Wikipedia:Village pump/Archive O

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A point for discussion[edit]

I'd like to raise a point for discussion. In the English wikipedia, I often notice edits that have been made by people with, for whatever reason, a relatively poor command of English. Very often this is because they are not native speakers. Now obviously I have no wish to criticise these people simply because they don't speak English like a native, but in some cases the result is to the considerable detriment to the article. In extreme cases some of the entries end up reading like those amusingly mistranslated user manuals for hi-fis and whatnot. The point here is whether the encyclopedia should be expanded regardless of the quality of the written English, or should those who are adding these edits be reined in a little bit so that the quality is maintained, perhaps at the expense of quantity? My own view is the latter - I have edited a number of articles purely on this basis where the change did not in fact add anything to what went before in any case, but others may disagree. Thoughts? GRAHAMUK 06:59, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Ok. If you really want to discuss this, I personally am not a native speaker or writer of English (not American or British). Are you saying that I personally am harming the English-language wikipedia? Or are you saying that I should apply for a special dispensation to write here? Are you saying that a "native-born" brit or murrican who does not handle language too well should be treated differently from "foreigners"?

Or are you just blowing smoke out of an orifice I do not care to mention? -- Cimon Avaro on a pogostick 07:14, Oct 23, 2003 (UTC)

Trying not to stir this can of worms, but: being a good writer in English and having good knowledge of a subject area are not the same thing. In collaboration, we can all make Wikipedia better. I have frequently found articles that needed a good copyedit but had the facts quite accurately. Others have found no fault with my writing but plenty with my facts.
And having English as a native language doesn't necessarily make one a better writer in it. Granted, certain patterns of usage would not come from a native speaker, but what of it?
--Morven 07:57, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)

You've got to be careful attributing poor writing to a lack of fluency. I was convinced Reddi was a non-native speaker [1], but I was embarassingly wrong. And you'd never guess Cimon was a non-native speaker. Except when you hear how he pronounces his name ;) -- Tim Starling 08:29, Oct 23, 2003 (UTC)

If a contributor's command of English isn't brilliant, then edit it so that it does make sense -- non-native language ability doesn't mean that the facts are wrong, just not arrayed too felicitously. Cimon, it's not a nationality thing -- when I first travelled to NL it was remarked "you know you're in Holland because the waiters speak better English than the English"! -- Arwel 10:50, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Cimon, if my phrasing offended you, I apologise, certainly not my intention, and I wasn't pointing the finger at anyone or any group other than poor writers in general. Having re-read what I wrote, it is emphasising non-native speakers as the sole culprits, not what I meant to say at all. Maybe I should have been more careful - what I meant was sometimes it is perfectly obvious that an article was edited by somebody with a poor command of English, and occasionally it's also perfectly obvious that the reason for that is that it was because the writer wasn't a native speaker, though obviously there are plenty of native speakers who can't write or spell properly as well. My point is not to discriminate against non-native speakers, but to gently rein in those writers who are so poor they don't make sense - native speakers or not. The trouble is that many such writers don't recognise that their writing is in any way faulty, and simply revert any edits to correct them. When this happens it's hard to be diplomatic and say look, the facts are fine, but the way you've set them out is hard to read. There is also the common situation where such an edit replaces a perfectly adequate previous edit, and this is something I also don't understand, though that's perhaps for another discussion. I just wondered if there was any place for some sort of consensus or policy on the matter, it might save a lot of time, as well as diplomatic incidents. I apologise again for any offense caused - the native speaker aspect is a red herring, it's poor English of any flavour I'm trying to reduce. GRAHAMUK 11:18, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Normally I'm one of those people who is the first to criticise bad English, but in this case I have to disagree with you GRAHAM. Wikipedia is a collaborative effort. Someone contributes the information, someone else turns it into good English. If you only let people contribute to Wikipedia if their English is up to it, then you are cutting off a vital source of information. DJ Clayworth 13:51, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)

"'Her English is too good', he said, 'That clearly indicates that she is foreign'" - Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady.

Here's an idea: How about setting up a page for w:Pages that need an English native speaker copyedit? On this page we would provide a boilerplate text and suggest that authors who know their English is flaky, and editors who find translationese but don't know how to fix it, add this text at the bottom of the article to request some TLC from a confident speaker.

This might encourage those from non-English backgrounds to contribute, and provide another useful haunt for some of our gifted copyeditors as well.

A convenient link to "what links here" similar to the one on the stub page would be good too, not essential but no trouble to arrange. I'm not quite sure how to write the boilerplate text, we might even need two versions depending on whether it's the author of the changes requesting the copyedit or someone else. Just an idea. Andrewa 14:55, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Where things become a problem is when an article has perfectly good content and language, and a poor writer tries to "improve" the wording and just makes it worse. In those cases it may be useful to enlist a supporter or two; even stubborn contributors are usually smart enough to realize when they're outnumbered, plus it makes it less of a personal dispute and more of a consensus about what constitutes better use of the language. Stan 15:54, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I agree partly with the above viewpoint. One can easily fix bad English written by both non-native or native speakers/ writers where the writers themselves are more interested in the content. They might not mind the changes. But sometimes people- native/ non-native start correcting pages thinking that their input makes the page better when actually it may not be the case. I personally found the problem of the latter much larger than that of the former.

Incidentally, I feel that among non-English contributors, there is a lesser likelihood of casual participants contributing to topics of popular interest. They are more likely to contribute in specific areas. So if they contribute in the humanities stream - where language plays a vital role- they might have a fair amount of command over the language, so necessary to articulate complex concepts. Of course, there is likely to be some kind of long- winded, not commonly used phrasing, but technically this problem is one of readability rather than that of correct English. If they contribute in the scientific stream, the objectivity of information makes minor faults in language less of a problem and more amenable to easy correction. KRS 17:49, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Actually, Stan (above) has put his finger on it exactly. That's what prompted me to mention this here in the first place. I didn't (and don't) want to point out specific examples, but that's precisely what happened in a number of articles - a certain contributor (who so happens to be a non-native speaker) altered the text of several articles to "improve" them, managing in the process to make them completely garbled. I felt that the previous edits were entirely adequate and reverted them. Now this appears to the other contributor as a personal attack, which is NOT at all what it's about, but once the feeling is there it's all too easy for an unnecessary edit war to ensue. Now it's fine if this is just one or two isolated cases, but a prolific editor can cut through swathes of the encyclo "improving" things. All I'm suggesting is that where this is happening, there is some kind of gentle admonishment so this activity is checked. If having made those reversions, I go and do this, it simply compounds the feeling of a personal vendetta or problem with that particular contributor, which is absolutely not the case. If a few other wikipedians can provide some backup, this could be a big help in depersonalising the situation. GRAHAMUK 00:28, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)
A further point, which is what I was trying to get at initially, was if this was somehow embodied in a policy of some sort, rather than done on an ad-hoc basis. That way it makes it even less personal - when such a situation occurs, the reversion or change can refer to "wp policy on garbled English" or whatever, so the contributor in question won't feel it's anything personal. GRAHAMUK 00:45, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I think a lot of contributors have poor command of English. I have not seen any reason to attribute that to them being non-English speakers. While you do have some valid points, especially where a person with poor writing skills insists on having it his/her way, it is a problem that requires constant editing of articles and is not going to ever go away. Personally, I'm enjoying editing articles that others of many different talents have contributed to. We could add some stuff to the Wiki style pages that emphasize this whole endevor must be a continuous learning process for all participants; that no matter how "super" you think your prose is, in point of fact it might not be. Each of us must be willing to take changes made by others as part of the learning process. - Marshman 01:17, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Straw Poll: Should there be another logo vote?[edit]

There has been quite a bit of controversy over the new logo. See: m:Final logo variants, m:Logo feedback and logo history (reasonably NPOV). If you wish to read the arguments for both sides see the above pages. The question I want to ask here is: Should there be a new widely announced formal vote for the Wikipedia Logo similar to the m:International logo vote? (The straw poll that is happening right below is over a limited sample, unless it is a landslide (say 80%) the results should not be considered conclusive.) Jrincayc 14:37, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)

  • Yes (4)
    1. Yes, there should be a new vote. Jrincayc
    2. Yes, we should never have "final" votes; although, I intend to vote to keep the logo -- Democracy must be allowed. Lirath Q. Pynnor
    3. Yes, see below. Andrewa
    4. for a brand new logo. The vote notification should be widely publicised, perhaps at the top of every page (like the donation statement) and enough time should be given for nominations and voting. Voting should be at wikipedia, not at Meta (the prospect of creating a new user account and password could turn many away). Lets ensure that the voting is in thousands, not in 100s. Jay 07:16, 22 Oct 2003 (UTC)
    5. Yes, pending at least 200 votes to give some assurance of actual rather than minority consensus. JamesDay 17:38, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)
  • No, there is no need for a new vote. (8)
    1. Fuzheado (Quit while we're ahead)
    2. —Eloquence (this matter has been settled in a reasonably open process)
    3. Angela (bored of voting for now)
    4. Axlrosen (gone on too long already)
    5. Arwel (good grief, no -- I didn't like the original puzzle globe, but I like the present version)
    6. Heck, no! Cimon Avaro on a pogostick
    7. The logo is wonderful, leave it alone. Paul Klenk 19:44, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)
    8. We have already gone over this. It was a fair vote, so leave it be. mav 09:10, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)
    9. Voting is evil. But discuss it, by all means. Martin 22:29, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)
    10. Maximus Rex 00:42, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

When is the deadline for voting in this poll about whether there should be another vote? Κσυπ Cyp 23:25, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)

  • Wednesday Angela (1)
  • Thursday Κσυπ Cyp Jrincayc (2)
  • Friday (0)
  • Yesterday Martin (0.5)
  • After 200 votes have been cast, so it doesn't repeat the minority decision issue which caused this problem in the first place. JamesDay (1)

I think the current logo is OK. But of the three images used recently on the English Wikipedia (the one by Cuncator used before we voted, the one by Paullusmagnus that was up when the ratification was conducted, and the one by Nohat that's up now) it's quite clearly the one I like the least, and it feels a bit strange to be told I voted (twice) for it! There have been a couple of comments to this effect from others too, in various places. My suggestion now would be to have another ratification process. In hindsight, maybe the ratification should have only happened after the tweaking. But hey, I'm here to help with articles, the three logos are all OK. Andrewa 02:43, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Is this vote about reverting to the earlier logo, choosing from the winning logo variants or coming up with a brand new logo altogether ? Pls clarify. Also what does Jrincayc mean by "As this is a poll over a limited sample ...". Jay 05:16, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)
This vote would at least include both the nohat logo and the pallusmangus logo (see m:Logo history for what these logos are). Basically there was the m:International logo vote and m:International logo vote/Ratification that displayed and had people vote on the pallusmangus logo and then there was the m:Final logo variants discussion that was to create a logo that everyone could agree on. The Final logo variants discussion produced the nohat logo that wikipedia switched to on Oct 12. I think that the Nohat logo is sufficiently different from the pallusmangus logo that it in some way should be reratified or revoted on to prove that the Final logo variants discussion truely did produce the consensus that the process was designed to produce. Jrincayc 13:29, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)
The comment "As this is a poll over a limited sample ..." was refering to this straw poll. I have reworded it to be more clear. Basically from this straw poll I see three outcomes: 1. Less then 20% of the people in this poll think there should be a vote on the nohat logo. In this case the plan can be dropped. 2. More then 80% of the people in this poll think there should be a new logo contest. In this case I or somebody else will go forward with a vote on the logo. 3. Otherwise, there is at least not a consensus on the decision so I will create a sample ballot page to show what would be voted on and request more feedback and possibly go forward with a vote. Jrincayc 13:29, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I'd like to see a vote to choose between the most popular of the options a month from now. Most popular = for votes minus against votes for this post. JamesDay 17:38, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)

why did u do all this[edit]

just wondering cause we can redo every thing and might mess it all up


and don't forget to go to mi spot.

Post a question now if you don't want to wait for the whole page to be loaded. On the other hand, please consider skimming through this page to see if your question might have already been asked (and even answered) by other people already. Also, please do not push the "save page" button multiple times when posting this way! The server is overloaded, but it usually will respond eventually, dutifully adding your question to the page several times in a row.

Help needed in Hinduism[edit]

Help.... neutral parties!!

(Now I know exactly why people leave. If this (sort of edit war) continues,I will not be able to spend necessary time, money and effort on this page. Which leads to a sense of futility and self-introspection as to why one is here at all) KRS 18:11, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

why did u do all this[edit]

just wondering cause we can redo every thing and might mess it all up

The history of pages is saved, so if someone accidentally messes something up, anyone can fix the mess easily. Apparently, when everyone can edit anything, people are good at cooperating, and are working together to fulfill the ancient dream of collecting all human knowledge in one spot. Maybe some time in the future, also even all alien knowledge as well. Κσυπ Cyp 16:54, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Now that will be a slashdot effect for all time ;-D Cimon Avaro on a pogostick 17:05, Oct 24, 2003 (UTC)

"Underline links" preference ignored[edit]

Today Wikipedia has started underlining Wiki links, where before it used to obey my preference not to do so. Is this a bug? -- Heron 12:40, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Perhaps. Check your preferences, clear your cache, and report it at wikipedia:bug reports. Martin 20:32, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Question from a newcomer[edit]

How do I add a table of contents to an article? -- bmills 14:21, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

TOCs are automatic when you have enough sections (the "== ==" syntax). Stan 14:07, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)
You get an automatic TOC for 3 headings or more so just make sure you have at least three headings, each surrounded by equals, like this:
==Your heading==
Adrian Pingstone 14:25, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Actually, I think you have to have more than three sections with the == headings. With a fourth heading, the TOC will appear. —Frecklefoot 15:22, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Feature Request: more meaningful HTML titles for special pages[edit]

I would like to propose that the HTML Title (i.e. that which appears in the title bar of the browser) be made more meaningful for some special pages. This enables a user to distinguish these pages in various lists,

such as Window lists on the desktop or History lists in the browser.

I would also like to propose that the "internal sub-title" of the page accords with the originating request. By this I mean the sub-title which appears under the name in parentheses.

The particular example I am thinking of is the "What links here" utility. The title produced is that of the source article without the "- Wikipedia" suffix. The internal sub-title is then "List of links". Similar is true of the "Page history" request which produces a page sub-titled "Revision history".

A worse offender is the "Related changes" utility, which produces a page entitled "Recent changes",

no matter which source article it comes from. This is therefore indistiguishable from any other, or indeed from the main "Recent changes" page.

I would like to propose that these pages are named for the source article with a meaningful suffix. My personal preference would be for something like

~Source Article~ [List of links] - Wikipedia

which would accord with the internal sub-title of the page. I would have preferred to use regular parentheses but many pages already have those. The square brackets would emphasise the special nature of the suffix.

Phil 13:41, Oct 23, 2003 (UTC)

Feature requests should go to Sourceforge. See Wikipedia:Bug_reports.
Done Phil 08:17, Oct 24, 2003 (UTC)
Good idea. Using the back and forward buttons of my browser, showing a menu of pages, more specific titles would be convenient. - Patrick 21:44, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)
And also on the taskbar and in the task management window. - Patrick 02:11, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Broken page[edit]

Chip's Challenge is broken (it gives a database error). Er... never mind... someone else just edited it, but it's not working for me. I dunno. ehh. sorry. Evil saltine 12:49, 22 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Fixed now. (Note for the future: please please report the actual error message, not just the fact that there was one.) --Brion 12:58, 22 Oct 2003 (UTC)


Question: It looked like some kind of "escaping the apostrophe" problem. Was this caused by something the initial submitter of the page inadvertently did (and thus something the rest of us should avoid) or was it a software/DB snafu? -- Finlay McWalter 13:09, 22 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Software issue. I changed parts of the watchlist handling code and accidentally removed a string escape function. (blush) It would have done the same on any page with an apostrophe in the title when viewed by someone logged in. --Brion 13:15, 22 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll report the entire error in the future. Btw, it didn't work when I was logged out either. Evil saltine 13:40, 22 Oct 2003 (UTC)

ISBN Booksource Links[edit]

When you click an ISBN link, it takes you to a page offering links to buy that book at all major book sellers. Why isn't the link set up so that Wikipedia gets 10% or whatever. In my experience, Amazon will willingly do this. This could prove very profitable.


This was suggested a while ago on list. We may in fact make revenue from this now. I dont know. There are some potential conflicts (like creating an captialist incentive for click-adding). I dunno. Sign your name, next time, BTW.戴&#30505sv 03:51, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I didn't follow the previous discussion (is it archived somewhere?) but it seems to me that it could work very well now that Wikimedia is up and running. Is there any reason we shouldn't leave it to the booksellers to decide what they will pay, and just report in a low-key way what they each decide? That could get a nice auction going! Perhaps the lower-margin booksellers can't afford to pay as much as others, so we leave it to the public to decide where in the spectra of price, service and Wikipedia support their priorities lie. Yes, it's capitalism, in fact I think it might even be monetarism as well. Andrewa 06:50, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)

http://www.4reference.net/encyclopedias/wikipedia/Lee_Enfield.html[edit]

What can be done about the appalling innaccuracies at the above address (which states that the information displayed is courtesy of Wikipedia)?

It is an article about the Lee Enfield rifle. The most glaring errors are:

"By D-Day (6.06.44) the lighter No. 4 SMLE was in use." The No 4 rifle is not an SMLE. The SMLE was renamed the No 1 rifle after which there were the No 2, No 3 and No 4 rifles.

"The main change was to expose 2" of barrel at the muzzle onto which fitted the new socket bayonet. This looked like a shiny 7" nail." The main change was to redesign the rifle to simplify manufacture, chnage from the v-sight to an aperture sight and increase the sight radius. The bayonet is not shiny - shiny is abhorent to the military - the bayonet is blued.

"Also post 1945, the No. 8 or "jungle carbine" was developed for use in Malaya and other similar campaigns" The name jungle carbine is a post-war marketing appelation designed to make the rifle attractive to americans. The correct name is the No 5 rifle (that is a number FIVE).

"the rifle was shortened by about 7" " The rifle was shortened by precisely 4.9"

"This rifle was probably designed at the Royal Enfield Small Arms Factory" This rifle was not designed - it was merely a lightened No 4 rifle. The trials lightened rifles were certainly prepared at the Royal Enfield Small Arms Factory and tested at Bisley but production of the No 5 rifle was carried out at ROF Fazakerly and BSA Shirley.

If such information is to be presented as reference material, it would be useful if some effort was made to ensure it is accurate.

Please feel free to make corrections to the Wikipedia article Lee-Enfield. 4reference.net is not affiliated with Wikipedia and simply republishes material from here; I don't know at what rate they update their Wikipedia-sourced material from master copies. --Brion 21:38, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)
The only way Wikipedia gets better is if people who see deficiencies in existing articles correct them. By the way, I believe you're misreading the last paragraph you quote; they're not talking about the No. 5 'jungle carbine' but about the Lee-Enfield rifle in general. --Morven 21:55, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Baha'i Faith[edit]

This article uses DA FUCKIN' capitalized pronouns to refer to DA FUCKIN' founder of DA FUCKIN' Baha'i Faith. Is that intrinsically POV?


Just a note: It is nice to see DA FUCKIN' large number of small improvements made to DA FUCKIN' Concorde article since it showed up on DA FUCKIN' Wikipedia front page. Goes to show DA FUCKIN' importance of rotating a lot of article links to DA FUCKIN' front page.

Hence my argument for more dynamic content at Talk:Main Page/Layout design and support for Main Page/Temp5. Ho hum. Martin 23:17, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)
It's been two months - perhaps time to revisit it? But only in terms of new ideas for DA FUCKIN' page -not ano DA FUCKIN'r vote so soon after DA FUCKIN' logo vote. Angela

Wiki fast?[edit]

Is that only my case but DA FUCKIN' wikipedia seems extremely fast today. Something happened? Is that only due to my Internet connection? -- Taku

Its really fast for me too!KRS 12:53, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)
You had to to say it didn't you, and now look at DA FUCKIN' speed. Dori 13:52, Oct 23, 2003 (UTC)

Cyrillic script[edit]

Ah, where's that Mediator. Have a look at DA FUCKIN' article Millosh Gjergj Nikolla. Igor thinks DA FUCKIN're should be a Serbian spelling in both DA FUCKIN' Latin and Cyrillic, I think that one is enough and DA FUCKIN' cyrillic one should not be used because it scares English readers away. Seeing as this is an English Wikipedia article and a Serbian Wikipedia exists to make use of DA FUCKIN' cyrillic form, I think I am right. I want to avoid having to revert his changes over and over so I am asking what DA FUCKIN' consensus is here. One should notice that I brought DA FUCKIN' issue up with him before (see this and) he seemed to agree, but now apparently he has changed his mind. thank you Dori 03:10, Oct 23, 2003 (UTC)

Cyrillic is OK; lots of Japanese and Chinese articles include DA FUCKIN' squiggly-char versions of names. :-) It's useful to see what DA FUCKIN' names look like as DA FUCKIN'y're written by DA FUCKIN' locals, plus DA FUCKIN're are at least a few English readers who can puzzle out Cyrillic letters... Stan 05:15, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I agree it is fine to add DA FUCKIN' cyrillic spelling - I do DA FUCKIN' same with DA FUCKIN' cosmonauts, and also add DA FUCKIN' thai spelling of DA FUCKIN' Provinces of Thailand I edit. Especially as it have different transcription/transliteration schemes for DA FUCKIN' cyrillic letters, it is good to have DA FUCKIN' source name to eventually verify DA FUCKIN' transcription. But of course it only makes sense if DA FUCKIN' local name is actually spelled in that different character set - not to add DA FUCKIN' spelling of an english name in all possible characters. andy 09:29, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)
In which cases do you actually do it though? The above writer was probably of Serbian descent (I'll take Igor's word for it as I don't know) and I could see how you might want to put a Serbian spelling along his most frequently used Albanian name, but why do it in two Serbian scripts. Also, do you start writing DA FUCKIN' names in every script imaginable as long as DA FUCKIN' article is remotely tied to an area that uses that script? For example, Igor has done this also for Isa Boletini and Hasan Bej Prishtina who were Albanian (thus DA FUCKIN'ir local name would be in DA FUCKIN' Albanian form) for whom made some pretty non-NPOV statements. How are editors of DA FUCKIN' english wikipedia to understand and correct any mistakes in ano DA FUCKIN'r script. For all I know, he might have called DA FUCKIN'm some pretty nasty things. The best solution would be to put up an interwiki link to DA FUCKIN' article in DA FUCKIN' Serbian language, which DA FUCKIN'oretically could monitor DA FUCKIN'm better. I am not saying DA FUCKIN' different scripts should not be used when DA FUCKIN' most used spelling is in that script. However, if most people see it differently than I do, I will relent on this issue. Dori 13:17, Oct 23, 2003 (UTC)
Additionally, he keeps using DA FUCKIN' Serbian spelling in o DA FUCKIN'r places in DA FUCKIN' article instead of continuing to use DA FUCKIN' more common one (and DA FUCKIN' one on DA FUCKIN' title of DA FUCKIN' article), making it very confusing and non-encyclopedic. Applying DA FUCKIN' google test: sites using Migjeni: 2,280, sites using Miđoni: 2 (one is DA FUCKIN' wikipedia article, DA FUCKIN' o DA FUCKIN'r is from DA FUCKIN' project rastko which is far from a NPOV source).
Personally I'd say that DA FUCKIN' primary reference point for a person ( DA FUCKIN'ir biography page, or DA FUCKIN' "best" list DA FUCKIN'y appear on if DA FUCKIN'y don't have a page of DA FUCKIN'ir own) is a reasonable place to put DA FUCKIN' native form of DA FUCKIN'ir name, in as many scripts as are remotely applicable, along with pseudonyms and nicknames if appropriate. Everywhere else in English Wiki should use standard anglicised versions of DA FUCKIN' name. The article itself I'd say can use any form provided that it is consistent within DA FUCKIN' article, and clearly explains what is going on - for example you could even use an abbreviation in some cases and still be "encyclopedic".
The same goes for language variants within one alphabet, and names o DA FUCKIN'r than people. So cities such as Köln should be referred to as Cologne, and I'd imagine that in DA FUCKIN' French Wikipedia London should normally be referred to as Londres and DA FUCKIN' United States as les États-Unis. The concern about sneaky insults is a valid one, but should probably be solved by finding o DA FUCKIN'r readers of DA FUCKIN' language in question ra DA FUCKIN'r than removing all funny-looking squiggles. It doesn't take mastery of a language to judge whe DA FUCKIN'r what is written is plausibly DA FUCKIN' right name - in fact all you really need to know is DA FUCKIN' alphabet. Onebyone 01:00, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

List of X topics[edit]

I have a question about DA FUCKIN'se "List of X topics" articles. I think DA FUCKIN'y are pretty handy, and I even created a Byzantine Empire one myself (and I'm considering creating a Crusades one), but is DA FUCKIN're any specific format for DA FUCKIN'm? Some seem to be a bunch of unorganized links, some are organized alphabetically, some are organized by DA FUCKIN'me...is DA FUCKIN're any standard for DA FUCKIN'se types of lists? If not, should DA FUCKIN're be? (I also imagine DA FUCKIN're must be people who really despise DA FUCKIN'm...) Adam Bishop 23:48, 22 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I don't know if DA FUCKIN're is a format, but what I would do is list DA FUCKIN'm alphabetically if it's a list of articles and by DA FUCKIN'me if it's a list of topics. I find DA FUCKIN'm ra DA FUCKIN'r useful, but DA FUCKIN'y do tend to get neglected ra DA FUCKIN'r easily if DA FUCKIN're aren't too many people that care about DA FUCKIN'm. Dori
Yes DA FUCKIN'y do tend to get neglected. The reason is that DA FUCKIN'y are hard to find. I was using DA FUCKIN' 'opedia for months before I found out about DA FUCKIN'm. The solution is to make DA FUCKIN'm visible. Include DA FUCKIN'm in articles. The easier DA FUCKIN'y are to find, DA FUCKIN' better navigation tools DA FUCKIN'y will become, DA FUCKIN' more people will use DA FUCKIN'm, and DA FUCKIN' more people will maintain DA FUCKIN'm. mydogategodshat 04:28, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Hopefully at some point we'll be able to auto-update those lists from category tags attached to articles. They are potentially useful as a way to gauge completeness, if DA FUCKIN' topics list is comprehensive. Alphabetical seems most useful, since DA FUCKIN'y're more like development and indexing aids than normal articles. Stan 05:21, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)
The best format for DA FUCKIN'se lists is difficult to determine because it depends on which of DA FUCKIN' many uses a list is being put to in any specific instance. If DA FUCKIN' list is being used by someone familiar with DA FUCKIN' subject, DA FUCKIN'n an hierarchical list would be prefered. If used by someone not familiar with DA FUCKIN' topic, DA FUCKIN'n an alphabetical list would be more useful. Probably DA FUCKIN' best compromise is an annotized hierarchical list. This is helpful to both groups. Then DA FUCKIN're is DA FUCKIN' question of whe DA FUCKIN'r DA FUCKIN' list is being used primarily for navigational purposes or 'pedia development purposes. There is also DA FUCKIN' question of whe DA FUCKIN'r DA FUCKIN' user is looking for a specific topic, a group of related topics, or just browsing. Because we really can't answer any of DA FUCKIN'se questions, DA FUCKIN're is no definitive answer to your question. mydogategodshat 06:23, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I have just written Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style_(lists_of_links). What does everybody think? mydogategodshat 11:06, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Ancient pages hooray![edit]

For DA FUCKIN' record, DA FUCKIN' Ancient pages page has reached a landmark, in that it is no longer full of pages whose last edit was by DA FUCKIN' "Conversion script". I believe this means that every single article has been edited (or created) since DA FUCKIN' last time DA FUCKIN' software was rewritten (or something to that effect... in any case, DA FUCKIN're is nothing that has not been edited by a human since February 25, 2002, which seems pretty good). Also, all DA FUCKIN' CIA-imported articles have been edited, even Demographics of Vatican City. Hooray for Wikipedia! Tuf-Kat 07:21, Oct 22, 2003 (UTC)

Congratulations! When I implemented that feature, Brion said it would take ages to go through DA FUCKIN' converted stuff. Well, it took about 5 months. Good work everyone. Those who want to participate in bringing our older stuff up to date should head to Special:Ancientpages.—Eloquence 04:54, Oct 23, 2003 (UTC)

Problem with photos[edit]

My photo of a Porsche 912 -took by myself- on DA FUCKIN' Porsche article was replaced by ano DA FUCKIN'r wich is obviously not a Porsche 912. The new picture is IMO studio works and probably copyrighted. It seems impossible to recover DA FUCKIN' old photo. Why ? Even if DA FUCKIN' new image is uncopyrighted and better than mine, mine could be useful elsewhere (on a Porsche 912 article) for instance. Ericd 15:24, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Alexa[edit]

According to [2]; wikipedia is now within DA FUCKIN' 800 most popular websites. The wiki's userbase has increased 119% (since July); and, DA FUCKIN' average user views 22% more pages. Lirath Q. Pynnor

The traffic seems to be decreasing in October. The culplit should be DA FUCKIN' server outage. -- Taku 03:25, Oct 21, 2003 (UTC)

Searching and page counters[edit]

When is DA FUCKIN' internal searching feature going to be switched on again. Also are DA FUCKIN' individual page counters ever going to be re-introduced.G-Man 18:32, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)

We can talk about this as soon as DA FUCKIN' new big ass database server is installed and set up. Before that, I'm happy if DA FUCKIN' site keeps toge DA FUCKIN'r as it is. Page counters are unlikely to be re-enabled anytime soon, though.—Eloquence 00:43, Oct 20, 2003 (UTC)

When will DA FUCKIN' new server be turned on: for that matter how long will it be before DA FUCKIN' new server becomes overloaded and ano DA FUCKIN'r even bigger one is needed G-Man 19:06, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)

How long is a piece of string? It'll happen when it happens. Martin 21:03, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Adding photos to articles[edit]

I need help adding a photo to an article. I've already uploaded it. I've read DA FUCKIN' related help sections, but cannot find a usable code to do DA FUCKIN' format I wish. What I want to do is add DA FUCKIN' picture to DA FUCKIN' top right corner of DA FUCKIN' page, with DA FUCKIN' article text flowing down and around it. Can someone help, please? Paul Klenk 03:26, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I don't really know, but DA FUCKIN're is a page called Wikipedia:Image markup that may help you. Dori 03:31, Oct 19, 2003 (UTC)
I added DA FUCKIN' Ricky Jay picture you uploaded to DA FUCKIN' article. I learned how to do by example! Samw 03:34, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Thanks, Easter Bunny, <buck buck!> Paul Klenk 03:39, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)

By coincidence, I added example markup for float right with caption to editing help about an hour before you wrote that question.:) JamesDay 17:21, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)

NUMBEROFARTICLES[edit]

Does DA FUCKIN' variable NUMBEROFARTICLES (used on DA FUCKIN' main page) include image description pages? I think it might, and it probably shouldn't. I don't know if this has been discussed elsewhere, so pardon DA FUCKIN' ignorace if that is DA FUCKIN' case. Dori 21:17, Oct 18, 2003 (UTC)


Also, what about redirect pages? Pardon my possible ignorance as well :) Adam Bishop 21:23, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)

According to Wikipedia:Multilingual statistics, DA FUCKIN' latest counting method (for en: anyway) is that an article = a page with at least one Wikification. But all redirects and some image description pages also have Wikifications too; DA FUCKIN'y're probably excluded. --Menchi 21:33, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)

The count (should) count only pages in article namespace that are not redirects and contain DA FUCKIN' character sequence "[[", indicating a wiki link. Image description pages are not in article namespace, and are not counted. --Brion 22:15, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)

West Tiki[edit]

test.wikipedia.org seems to be DA FUCKIN' same as (en.)wikipedia.org at DA FUCKIN' moment... I'm even still logged in... Just curious what happened to it... Κσυπ Cyp 18:37, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Timeline for New Server/Status[edit]

The entries at DA FUCKIN' top of this page regarding what is happening on DA FUCKIN' new server are very useful, but would have more meaning if a date was added to each entry. The phrase "real soon" means nothing without a reference date. --Fernkes 12:46, Oct 16, 2003 (UTC)

"Underline links" preference ignored (fixed)[edit]

Question from a newcomer[edit]

How do I add a table of contents to an article? -- bmills 14:21, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

TOCs are automatic when you have enough sections (the "== ==" syntax). Stan 14:07, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)
You get an automatic TOC for 3 headings or more so just make sure you have at least three headings, each surrounded by equals, like this:
==Your heading==
Adrian Pingstone 14:25, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Actually, I think you have to have more than three sections with the == headings. With a fourth heading, the TOC will appear. —Frecklefoot 15:22, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Section Edit[edit]

Something's wrong with this function? When I used section edit and saved, only the section part left( whole article became only the section i edited), i've experienced that twice, i am wondering what's wrong? --ILovEJPPitoC 11:08, 17 Oct 2003 (UTC)


Did you get an edit conflict on these occasions? Angela 17:29, Oct 17, 2003 (UTC)
I don't think so. But it seems to work on Opera. --FallingInLoveWithPitoc 02:31, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Straw Poll: Should there be another logo vote?[edit]

Please move this to m:Logo feedback when it is done. Thanks.

There has been quite a bit of controversy over the new logo. See: m:Final logo variants, m:Logo feedback and logo history (reasonably NPOV). If you wish to read the arguments for both sides see the above pages. The question I want to ask here is: Should there be a new widely announced formal vote for the Wikipedia Logo similar to the m:International logo vote? (The straw poll that is happening right below is over a limited sample, unless it is a landslide (say 80%) the results should not be considered conclusive.) Jrincayc 14:37, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)

  • Yes (4)
    1. Yes, there should be a new vote. Jrincayc
    2. Yes, we should never have "final" votes; although, I intend to vote to keep the logo -- Democracy must be allowed. Lirath Q. Pynnor
    3. Yes, see below. Andrewa
    4. for a brand new logo. The vote notification should be widely publicised, perhaps at the top of every page (like the donation statement) and enough time should be given for nominations and voting. Voting should be at wikipedia, not at Meta (the prospect of creating a new user account and password could turn many away). Lets ensure that the voting is in thousands, not in 100s. Jay 07:16, 22 Oct 2003 (UTC)
    5. Yes, pending at least 200 votes to give some assurance of actual rather than minority consensus. JamesDay 17:38, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)
  • No, there is no need for a new vote. (8)
    1. Fuzheado (Quit while we're ahead)
    2. —Eloquence (this matter has been settled in a reasonably open process)
    3. Angela (bored of voting for now)
    4. Axlrosen (gone on too long already)
    5. Arwel (good grief, no -- I didn't like the original puzzle globe, but I like the present version)
    6. Heck, no! Cimon Avaro on a pogostick
    7. The logo is wonderful, leave it alone. Paul Klenk 19:44, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)
    8. We have already gone over this. It was a fair vote, so leave it be. mav 09:10, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)
    9. Voting is evil. But discuss it, by all means. Martin 22:29, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)
    10. Maximus Rex 00:42, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

When is the deadline for voting in this poll about whether there should be another vote? Κσυπ Cyp 23:25, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)

  • Wednesday Angela (1)
  • Thursday Κσυπ Cyp Jrincayc (2)
  • Friday (0)
  • Yesterday Martin (0.5)
  • After 200 votes have been cast, so it doesn't repeat the minority decision issue which caused this problem in the first place. JamesDay (1)

I think the current logo is OK. But of the three images used recently on the English Wikipedia (the one by Cuncator used before we voted, the one by Paullusmagnus that was up when the ratification was conducted, and the one by Nohat that's up now) it's quite clearly the one I like the least, and it feels a bit strange to be told I voted (twice) for it! There have been a couple of comments to this effect from others too, in various places. My suggestion now would be to have another ratification process. In hindsight, maybe the ratification should have only happened after the tweaking. But hey, I'm here to help with articles, the three logos are all OK. Andrewa 02:43, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Is this vote about reverting to the earlier logo, choosing from the winning logo variants or coming up with a brand new logo altogether ? Pls clarify. Also what does Jrincayc mean by "As this is a poll over a limited sample ...". Jay 05:16, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)
This vote would at least include both the nohat logo and the pallusmangus logo (see m:Logo history for what these logos are). Basically there was the m:International logo vote and m:International logo vote/Ratification that displayed and had people vote on the pallusmangus logo and then there was the m:Final logo variants discussion that was to create a logo that everyone could agree on. The Final logo variants discussion produced the nohat logo that wikipedia switched to on Oct 12. I think that the Nohat logo is sufficiently different from the pallusmangus logo that it in some way should be reratified or revoted on to prove that the Final logo variants discussion truely did produce the consensus that the process was designed to produce. Jrincayc 13:29, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)
The comment "As this is a poll over a limited sample ..." was refering to this straw poll. I have reworded it to be more clear. Basically from this straw poll I see three outcomes: 1. Less then 20% of the people in this poll think there should be a vote on the nohat logo. In this case the plan can be dropped. 2. More then 80% of the people in this poll think there should be a new logo contest. In this case I or somebody else will go forward with a vote on the logo. 3. Otherwise, there is at least not a consensus on the decision so I will create a sample ballot page to show what would be voted on and request more feedback and possibly go forward with a vote. Jrincayc 13:29, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I'd like to see a vote to choose between the most popular of the options a month from now. Most popular = for votes minus against votes for this post. JamesDay 17:38, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Okay, the deadline for this straw poll has been reached. The results are 5 for a new vote and 10 against. I am guessing that the main result of another vote would be to ratify the nohat logo to the satisfaction of those of us that like it less than the Pallusmangus logo. I disagree with mav about the vote being fair. When the decision was made on Oct 12 to switch the logo to the nohat logo the only way to vote for the Pallusmangus logo was to vote against every other logo (about 15 or so). That says that the people who were in the final logo variants process were not thinking about possibly keeping the PM logo and I consider that unfair. I disagree with Eloquence that a consensus was reached to switch to the nohat logo, probably a majority, but not a consensus. I doubt I will try and get another vote. As I said above the only result that I expect would be to make some more people happy. I am unhappy with how switching to the nohat logo went. It was not as widely announced as the original logo contest, it was not made easy to vote to keep the PM logo and statements that the m:International logo vote was about voting on a concept are patently untrue (possibly the ratification was, but that was not made obvious and the concept voted on was implied, not stated). I would love to see evidence that any of those three statements are false, but I haven't. Jrincayc 14:38, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

That annoying indent on the first paragraph of every article[edit]

I know this isn't an earth-shattering question, but I can't be the only boy in Wikiland to wonder: What's with the slight indentation on the first paragraph of every article in Wikipedia? Can we get it fixed, please? It isn't a even full indentation, just a "stub" of an indent, if you will. If this annoys you, too, please do chime in. Paul Klenk 01:56, 26 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Report it at SourceForge (see wikipedia:bug reports), along with your browser, etc. Angela 02:00, Oct 26, 2003 (UTC)
I don't see it? An example? Dysprosia 02:19, 26 Oct 2003 (UTC)

overlapping articles[edit]

I found Government General listed at Articles Needing Attention, so I rewrote it since it's a subject I know something about. Then I found History of Poland -- World War II 1939-1945, which is just a collection of dot-points and could well be deleted. But in fact this is a better heading for an article about Poland during WW2 than is Government General. On the other hand, Poland under German occupation would be better still. My inclination is to create Poland under German occuption, transfer and expand the text from Government General, then list the two existing articles for deletion. Comments? Adam 07:22, 26 Oct 2003 (UTC)


How do I put a French link to my English version and vice versa ?

In my "user page" : How do I mention the same page exists in both languages?

Papotine 12:52, 26 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Add [[fr:Utilisateur:Papotine]] (or whatever you login name is in the French wiki) to your English user page. Conversely, [[en:User:Papotine]] to the French one... -- Viajero 13:48, 26 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Muchas gracias, Viajero ! Papotine 14:36, 26 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Two spaces after a period[edit]

I have seen that in many articles there are two spaces after every period of a sentence. I personally can't stand the practice and I remove the extra space. However, I could see how this might not be a welcomed change by whomever put them there in the first place. Is there a policy about this specific issue? The manual of style page mentions this issue, but it does not say whether it should be used. I think we should be consistent, and most editors do not put the extra space, so it should probably be discouraged as a matter of policy. Dori 17:11, Oct 25, 2003 (UTC)

I was always taught to put two spaces after a period when typing. I do that everywhere except Wikipedia, since people seem to be so opposed to it...I don't really know why that is, because it shows up the same in the end, doesn't it? It does for me, at least. Adam Bishop 17:17, 25 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I'd go for single space, but I'm not bothered by the double. jimfbleak 17:20, 25 Oct 2003 (UTC)
You are right, 2 spaces makes for easier reading. However, if these pages are rendered according to standard HTML rules (I think they are), you are both wasting your time. HTML ignores all series of spaces after the first one, so 2 spaces (or 10 spaces) are always displayed as one. - Marshman 17:25, 25 Oct 2003 (UTC)
You only see them in the editing window, right? -- Viajero 17:27, 25 Oct 2003 (UTC)
yes, I only notice them in the editing window. I just don't see he point and for some reason it bothers me (has anyone seen Monk?). Dori 17:29, Oct 25, 2003 (UTC)
It is typically a US habit. Some editors even ADD a second space after a period automatically when paragraphs are reformatted. I think the practice dates from the monospace typewriter era. -- Viajero 17:42, 25 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I always use two in my usual typing, but in HTML it just doesn't matter at all, even to me, unless you use the &nbsp; entity. Since it results in saving a little bit of space and bandwidth, I prefer the single space where it won't matter anyway, and will usually remove the double spaces in things I'm editing anyway. -- John Owens 18:18, 2003 Oct 25 (UTC)

It doesn't matter. Cf US vs UK spelling. If you want to add extra spaces, do so. If you want to delete extra spaces, do so. Just please don't get into an edit war over the situaton, and consider if there are more useful things you could be doing! Martin 18:31, 25 Oct 2003 (UTC)

It might matter to unfocused typists, as me.
Some manoevres become automaized. A typical example might be the two spaces after a period-sign for US typewriters, or the space-before-{colon, exclamation mark, question mark} typical for French typists. Another example, relevant for me, is the process of inserting a carriage-return in a paragraph. Due to some reason, unknown to me, I've got used to making one jump forward from the period-sign before I hit the carriage-return buttom. If I write fast and don't concentrate on it, I won't discover that there is an extra space on the new line ...at least not until I've hit show-preview (if I'm lucky).
--Ruhrjung 23:03, 25 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I personally like it, because it makes for easier automated parsing of sentences if that's ever desirable. If there's only one space after periods, you cannot easily distinguish an internal period (as in "e.g. blah") from a sentence-ending period. In a mono-spaced environment, it also makes it easier to read, and is standard typographic practice (in a non-mono-spaced environment, like LaTeX or professional typesetting, generally one-and-one-half space are used after sentence-ending periods). But in general I'd say good practice is to leave them as they are---don't go through and convert them from one to the other. --Delirium 23:16, Oct 25, 2003 (UTC)

I was taught to type two spaces after a period. It would be virtually impossible for me to stop doing it, it's a reflex now. I'd also take it as an insult if someone were to go along behind me and change my two spaces to one. It's the same as if I were to go around to change all English spellings to American. Don't do it. RickK 02:14, 26 Oct 2003 (UTC)

If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly and redistributed at will, then don't submit it here.
--Ruhrjung 06:42, 26 Oct 2003 (UTC)

That's not what I meant at all. I am not going to edit an article just to remove double spaces. What I meant is if I am editing an article, in the part that I am editing, I like to remove the double spaces and I didn't want someone to get angry at me for this. As justification, I was saying that most articles do not have double spaces and if I remove them, it looks more consistent, and besides the spaces aren't even visible in the article so there is no point in putting them unless you are used to them. I wouldn't get angry at people who put them in, but I just can't help removing them, they look very wrong to me. Also, if someone edits an article I started and puts in two spaces in the stuff they add, I am not going to go and edit the article just to remove the double spaces. I only do it in the normal course of events. Dori 06:51, Oct 26, 2003 (UTC)

Viajero is correct, it dates from the typewriter era (and maybe that article could explain a bit about the practice). It is not a US vs UK thing -- it was taught in the UK too. it was taught to me a mere 15 years ago. If it's still a habit, you're living in the past ;) RickK, if you can't unlearn it, get over the idea that people may remove them. -- Tarquin 09:50, 26 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I, too, was taught to type two spaces after a period. That was in the late fifties, as a matter of fact. As soon as I learned to type, I hardly ever used handwriting again. I typed, using two spaces after every period, through high school, through college, through graduate school. I typed two spaces after every period on punch cards, on paper tape, in FØRTRAN comments, in SNOBOL comments, in C comments, in every computer context that wasn't going to be parsed by machine. I typed two spaces after every period in TECO, in RUNOFF, in Word-11, in AppleWriter, in WordStar. It was a fixed habit that I probably practiced an average of several hundred times a day, every day, for over thirty years.

Then I got my first Macintosh, and discovered that typing two spaces after the period is not appropriate in proportionally-spaced type.(Which I should have known anyway, because I belonged to the high-school printing club and learned how to set type by hand in a composing stick).

At about the same time, I learned to use italics for emphasis instead of underlining, and that an open quote is different from a close quote.

Usages do change with time, and while I am a crotchety middle-aged guy who is set in his ways and has the illusion that he is Upholding Standards, I try not to be too hidebound about it.

And I have stopped typing two spaces after every period.

Because... it is incorrect.

It would never occur to me that it's worth changing anyone else's usage, however. Foolish consistency, hobgoblin of little minds, etc.

But, by Jingo, I still put an apostrophe in Hallowe'en and I defy anyone to stop me!

Dpbsmith 21:33, 26 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Right-justified intros[edit]

to be deleted


The first line of an article is right-justified, which can look very strange if the line is short (e.g. Richard Brinsley Sheridan). It can be fixed by putting a blank line above the first line of text, but is there any way the developers can fix it more effectively? -- sannse 10:50, 25 Oct 2003 (UTC)

The first line of an article is right-justified? Sounds like you've got a bit of browser weirdness going on. The first line, like every other line, looks left-justified to me. --Camembert
In that case I'd better say I'm using IE5 (I think I do on the other computer I use too). I've just got someone to have a look using IE6 and it's not a problem for them. This makes it a much more minor problem. Probably not worth wasting time on! -- sannse 13:06, 25 Oct 2003 (UTC)
In a lot, but not all, of articles, I see the first line right-justified, too. I think it's rather unjustified of my browser to right-justify for no reason... Κσυπ Cyp 18:29, 25 Oct 2003 (UTC)
It only happens in articles in which the right-floated [edit] links appear. It's a known bug, which has been independently rediscovered many many times since those [edit] links were added. —Paul A 10:28, 26 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Report it at SourceForge (see wikipedia:bug reports), along with your browser, etc. Martin 18:33, 25 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Linux future[edit]

dear friends i am not tech in linux but can you tell me future of linux? can linux become 100% graphical interface os like macintosh.and if not what are the problems?

Linux has nothing to do with graphical interfaces - it's a kernel (computers). The best place to ask this sort of thing is at Wikipedia:Reference Desk. CGS 12:50, 27 Oct 2003 (UTC).
However, several GNU/Linux distributions (all that I've ever heard of, since probably about 1993, for that matter) do support graphical stuff through X and OpenGL with an appropriate set of kernel build options. A lot of novice users think Unix/Linux is text-only, due to their experience using SSH to connect to Unix systems from Windows boxes. All major distributions except Gentoo and possibly slackware and linux from scratch - that is to say, all the distributions not aimed at very advanced users - even have graphical installers now. -- Pakaran 14:20, 27 Oct 2003 (UTC)

==Wikitrivia proposal==[edit]

Alexa[edit]

According to [3]; wikipedia is now within the 800 most popular websites. The wiki's userbase has increased 119% (since July); and, the average user views 22% more pages. Lirath Q. Pynnor

The traffic seems to be decreasing in October. The culplit should be the server outage. -- Taku 03:25, Oct 21, 2003 (UTC)

Banners and buttons[edit]

Someone who is good at purty things should probably have a whack at new versions of banners as they look a bit aged. Just thought I would bring to attention, because I can't do much with the Gimp et al. Dori 21:13, Oct 20, 2003 (UTC)

Idea for new feature: "Who's watching this page?"[edit]

Should watchlists be private?
m:Talk:Watchlist privacy

Straw Poll: Should there be another logo vote?[edit]

m:Talk:Logo feedback

Standards[edit]

m:Talk:English Wikipedia Quality Survey

Searching and page counters[edit]

When is the internal searching feature going to be switched on again. Also are the individual page counters ever going to be re-introduced.G-Man 18:32, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)

We can talk about this as soon as the new big ass database server is installed and set up. Before that, I'm happy if the site keeps together as it is. Page counters are unlikely to be re-enabled anytime soon, though.—Eloquence 00:43, Oct 20, 2003 (UTC)

When will the new server be turned on: for that matter how long will it be before the new server becomes overloaded and another even bigger one is needed G-Man 19:06, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)

How long is a piece of string? It'll happen when it happens. Martin 21:03, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Pages on Votes for Deletion should not be changed?[edit]

-->Wikipedia talk:Votes for deletion

Standard formatting for languages[edit]

(Firstly, thanks Dysprosia for directing me to this page, and for your welcome...) Being new here, it's quite possible that I've overlooked a simple answer to this question, but I haven't been able to find it. (Also, I perhaps shouldn't be thinking about this sort of thing until I learn my way around.) But I note that there seem to be standardized formats for pages on countries (eg Germany), some or all animals (eg the ostrich), and so forth. I was wondering if there was something similar planned for languages, showing things such as estimated number of speakers, language family, and so forth. I haven't noticed any, but I wouldn't know where to look. Is there somewhere where lists of such "standardized formats" can be found? Thanks. - Vardion 03:59, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Welcome, Vardion! Currently available "standardized formats" can be found at Wikipedia:WikiProject list. And we apparently don't have one yet, but there is a possibility at Xhosa language. --Menchi 04:05, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Thanks, that's most helpful. I'll look into those links. Now for my next question... am I supposed to delete this question now that it's been answered, or do I leave it alone? - Vardion 23:34, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)
It's normally best to leave it here. The question might be helpful to others, in which case it will be moved to the archive or to an appropriate talk page. Sections are regularly archived, so this one will reach the top of the page in a few days time, which is when you or someone else can decide whether to delete or archive it. Angela 23:38, Oct 19, 2003 (UTC)

Adding photos to articles[edit]

I need help adding a photo to an article. I've already uploaded it. I've read the related help sections, but cannot find a usable code to do the format I wish. What I want to do is add the picture to the top right corner of the page, with the article text flowing down and around it. Can someone help, please? Paul Klenk 03:26, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I don't really know, but there is a page called Wikipedia:Image markup that may help you. Dori 03:31, Oct 19, 2003 (UTC)
I added the Ricky Jay picture you uploaded to the article. I learned how to do by example! Samw 03:34, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Thanks, Easter Bunny, <buck buck!> Paul Klenk 03:39, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)

By coincidence, I added example markup for float right with caption to editing help about an hour before you wrote that question.:) JamesDay 17:21, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Wikipedian statistics[edit]

Do we have quick available stats on wikipedia contributors? I know most sign on with user-nics but it would be useful if we knew (1) where wikipedia users are from? (eg, are most in the US? What proportion are from Europe, Canada, Asia, Australia & New Zealand, Africa?) (2) given that there is a high turnover of wikipedians as people are dragged away with other commitments, what is the average length of stay of a wikipedian? It might be an idea if someone could create a program whereby new users (and existing users to wikipedia who had not yet done so) were asked to fill out a confidential questionnaire, not asking names or such but things like gender, ethnic background, educational qualification, physical location, etc. The results of each individual questionnaire would not be kept or anything, just the data included in an overall wikipedia profile of itself, giving wiki a knowledge of who it appeals to and why, who uses it, etc? It could appear when someone sets up a user-name, explaining why the questionnaire is there and stressing how the information data, once clicked by the user would simply update the overall numbers database and would not exist as an individual record. FearÉIREANN 00:00, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I suppose some of it could be gleaned from Wikipedia:Wikipedians, although there must be many more people who haven't put their names there. Adam Bishop 00:08, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)


I wouldn't personally be prepared to quote statistics that were gathered in the way you describe. They'd be too unverifiable. (Hmmm, is that like being "too pregnant"? Well, I think you get the idea). Misleading figures can be worse than none. Andrewa 03:49, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)

NUMBEROFARTICLES[edit]

Does the variable NUMBEROFARTICLES (used on the main page) include image description pages? I think it might, and it probably shouldn't. I don't know if this has been discussed elsewhere, so pardon the ignorace if that is the case. Dori 21:17, Oct 18, 2003 (UTC)


Also, what about redirect pages? Pardon my possible ignorance as well :) Adam Bishop 21:23, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)

According to Wikipedia:Multilingual statistics, the latest counting method (for en: anyway) is that an article = a page with at least one Wikification. But all redirects and some image description pages also have Wikifications too; they're probably excluded. --Menchi 21:33, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)

The count (should) count only pages in article namespace that are not redirects and contain the character sequence "[[", indicating a wiki link. Image description pages are not in article namespace, and are not counted. --Brion 22:15, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Pronunciation guides[edit]

Why are people putting in those pronunciation guides? They are unworkable in the content of wikipedia. Such guides work where there is (i) recognition of what they mean, (ii) a broad experience of usage of them, (iii) relevant context. Most people writing international english for a non-academic audience run a mile from these things because they are not widely used in much of the world and so in many cultures completely incomprehensible, and because they pre-suppose a clear shared standard of english, which in Wikipedia's case cannot be guaranteed because while for some users it is a first language, for many it is a second or other language that they are not wholly fluent in. The sensible approach in a cultural context where there isn't the culture, comprehension or experience of these guides is to avoid unduly complex pronunciation formulae and explain the pronunciation in basic english of the sort all readers everywhere can follow.

On Taoiseach we are told the word is pronounced /"ty: S'Vx/. Even with a link attached, to many people worldwide it might as well be written in Aramaic for all the use it is to them. Previously, to recognise that many people don't have the practical experience of understanding complex pronunciation guides, they were simply told the office was pronounced tee-shoch (the och and is loch). That version could be followed easily by many people. /"ty: S'Vx/ to many would appear to be complete gobbledigook. FearÉIREANN 19:40, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I agree with you, but I think that it would be easier still if a pronunciation file was attached. Then it would be even more universal (except for the deaf). I don't know how many times I've wanted to know the correct (or accepted pronunciation of a program or project, especially in the UNIX/Linux/GNU world). Dori 19:59, Oct 18, 2003 (UTC)
Many months ago, when I wrote the article for Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz, I searched Wikipedia high and low for pronunciation guide standards. I was disappointed not to find any. Instead, I used the pronunciation guide from an American dictionary.
I don't know enough about linguistics to proposal which pronunciation guide standards to utilize for wikipedia standards. But I feel such standards should exist, and should be listed.
Pronunciation files can help, but they should not replace the written word. Such files without written symbols breaks the continuity of reading, and cannot be used by many users.
A metapage called Wikipedia:Pronunciations (or something like that) should be created by people who know what their doing in the subject. I'd imagine it would look like http://www.m-w.com/aschart.htm in form, but not necessarily in content. Kingturtle 21:50, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)
The written pronunciation should stay. Perhaps I didn't make it clear, but I meant we should add sound bytes/clips for words, phrases, etc. to accompany such written guides. Maybe this could be a whole new site accompanying Wictionary and Wikiquote or it could just bee sound files uploaded to the pedias themselves. Dori 22:02, Oct 18, 2003 (UTC)
For example, have a look at Albanian_language#Pronunciation guide and Common phrases in different languages#Albanian (Albanian) that I just added. Dori 23:34, Oct 18, 2003 (UTC)
I think there;s no hard and fast rule, but generally they are helpful. Perhaps we could work on a standard for them... -- BCorr ¤ Брайен 19:52, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)

West Tiki[edit]

test.wikipedia.org seems to be the same as (en.)wikipedia.org at the moment... I'm even still logged in... Just curious what happened to it... Κσυπ Cyp 18:37, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Highlighted map[edit]

Could anyone make a highlighted map for every country like that in article US? I think that would be helpful since I don't know the position of every country. --FallingInLoveWithPitoc 02:31, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I think that would be a very good idea. There is a slight problem in that some countries would be fairly small on a map that size, but I think it would probably still be useful. I don't know where the map originally came from, and so I don't know how easily it can be edited for other countries, but I imagine something could probably be created that looks the same. (Or is someone already doing this? There doesn't seem to be any mention of it in the WikiProject Countries thing, but...). I'll experiment and see if I can get something looking okay.
Well, here's my first attempt. [4]. Does that look like the sort of thing that could be used? If so, I'd be willing to make more of them for other countries. - Vardion 00:15, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Having mentioned it on the country Project page, I've now started to implement some of them: Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil, and Armenia, just to start with. Comments welcome. If there's no opposition, I'll gradually work my way through the remaining countries. - Vardion 06:09, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Timeline for New Server/Status[edit]

The entries at the top of this page regarding what is happening on the new server are very useful, but would have more meaning if a date was added to each entry. The phrase "real soon" means nothing without a reference date. --Fernkes 12:46, Oct 16, 2003 (UTC)

Copyright of a single frame of a film[edit]

I think this may have been discussed already but I can’t find where so I’ll check here .......
If I can’t find any source of a still picture to illustrate an article is it OK to photograph a part of a film off TV and use that (with a clean up in an image processor to get rid of the TV scan lines)? In other words, is a single frame from a film copyright?
A good example is Diana, Princess of Wales where I’ve searched the internet for hours for a public domain image but all images are either copyright or nothing is said on the subject. To show the “quality” achievable, here’s an example I photographed today (off English TV).
image:princess.diana.offTV.350pix.jpg
Adrian Pingstone 21:30, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)

It is still copyrighted (your picture is an infringing derivative work). You could probably include it in an article using fair-use provisions. --seav 22:14, Oct 21, 2003 (UTC)
I think there is a loophole you can take advantage of. If an image is displayed for news purposes, it cannot be copyrighted. For example, if you record a news program, you can legally play it back in front of a stadium of people with no copyvio. I am not sure the reason for this loophole, and IANAL, but you might want to investigate that route. If you can't copyright a news broadcast, it stands to reason you can't copyright a single frame of that newscast. —Frecklefoot 16:34, 22 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Beyond the standard fair use doctrine, there is no such loophole for news in US copyright law. AxelBoldt 14:02, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Right - certain uses of raw news footage would be OK under the fair use doctrine, but there's no blanket loophole, and the footage is still copyrighted even if usable under fair use. Certainly ABC News Tonight is copyrighted and playing it back in front of a large audience would be a copyright violation (not fall under fair use). Axlrosen 15:12, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Whatever you do, say what you did on the image description page and if you're relying on fair use, add a fair use rationale. See wikipedia:image description page. Martin 19:20, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Problem with photos[edit]

My photo of a Porsche 912 -took by myself- on the Porsche article was replaced by another wich is obviously not a Porsche 912. The new picture is IMO studio works and probably copyrighted. It seems impossible to recover the old photo. Why ? Even if the new image is uncopyrighted and better than mine, mine could be useful elsewhere (on a Porsche 912 article) for instance. Ericd 15:24, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)


Wikipedia needs editor[edit]

I have a proposal to make. I think it is time to have editors for articles. I have had enough with NPOV, naming, conventions, facts and other sort of dispute. Maybe because I am ignorant. Maybe because wikipedia does not have professionals who know well. Or maybe because a writer has no sense of writing whatsoever. Whatever the reason is, we have to remember that wikipedia is not a place to debate, prove you are right and your opponents are wrong. The debate by nature is endless. There are many disputes and debates that have not yet been settled in the real world. NPOV disputes often happen simply because people in the world disagree on a number of topics in the first place. The conflicts here are mere reflections. The conflict is a necessary process to reach another step. Innovative ideas are created from disputes, questioning accepted values and theories. But wikipedia is not a place for that. We gather human knowledge to one spot and that is all. If we don't know about something, it is unnecessary to keep debating what is actually true--of course, it should not be discouraged as long as it doesn't curb writing articles. Disputes should be controlled somehow to make articles simply more understandable, relevant and complete--or good quality articles.

Personal attacks happen largely because someone thinks someone else does not deserve to write and edit on certain topics. A handful of people think I don't deserve to edit on certain topics and I have a number of people who should not understand stuff they are contributing, though they think they do understand. I often piss some people not because of my personality but because of the way wikipedia works.

What we need is an editor who can has authority--someone who can settle the conventions, is sensitive what points to include and exclude and define what wikipedia is to be like.

A group of people may but unlikely have a coherent idea. Today in wikipedia NPOV is done with very ugly way. People including me are more concerted about if their points are included or not. The use of weasel terms is silly, damaging the quality of wikipedia as the whole. Editors listen to discussion and make a decision--the result should be uniformed discussion in the article. Besides, having editors can make the goal of wikipedia more clear and consistent and keep contributions more in line. Why do we wage an endless debate of deletion in VfD? That is a choice should be made by the editor not by the writer. The scope of coverage in wikipedia is debatable because it is subject to each individual wikipedian. And while it is not bad to discuss the scope of wikipedia as the whole, it is a topic in meta-wikipedia not places where contributions happen. Freedom is important to have but it is also necessary to see its drawbacks. Sometimes I am terrified not by what I have lost, but what I have wikipedia lost by what I have got. The winner of the dispute is not necessary someone who is sensitive, knowledgeable but sometimes may be someone stubborn--in the case of me.

So what do we do then? In a tentative scheme I am thinking now, each article is supervised by an editor. We can put the name of an editor responsible to an article in the bottom of the article. I think an editor for one article must be just one person--not two to avoid any conflict among editors. Editors have an authority to make a final decision about:

  • the title of an article and its scope -- the most important job of an editor
  • responsible of NPOV of the article -- everyone does make an article NPOV but the editors are responsible for NPOVness.
  • protection of an article if necessary

And some criteria I think reasonable include:

  • He must not be a primary author of the article given to him.
  • He preferably has a degree in relevant fields.
  • He is an admit--so that he can protect the article.

I know sometimes admits play a role of editors as I explained informally. But the trouble I think is that it is very invisible, so it is often not clear who is a big shot of an article. Formally, putting an editor should be beneficial. Sometimes it is just so hard to make a decision in certain topics. The editors might seem somehow biased from certain people, but without editors, any controversial articles can be seen biased by certain people either.

The question then is: is it more important that wikpedia is in chaos but more free or is coherent but conservative? The wikiway is not perfect but so is this proposal. But some more security, some more procedure can make things more organized, if it sounds anti-wiki.

You may say wikipedia is functioning very well. The problems are there are just some problem users like me who should be more silent. I don't think so. I think it is more of structural problem rather than an individual. We have lost many great contributers who tend to be engaged in controversial topics. Besides, I see the emerge of a tread among wikipedians to make a significant change only because they don't want to go to edit wars. The absence of dispute is not agreement, but maybe because they just give up convincing others--ok. this is your article if that makes you happy. That is not a way we want to go.

I don't say implement this proposal right away, but can we do some experiment at least?

-- Taku 03:26, Oct 28, 2003 (UTC)

Indeed, many Wikipedians have become worn down in recent weeks, and many others are likely to leave. I think what is really needed is both a defined Wikipedia:Editing process (to eliminate edit wars -- users are under obligation to move to talk pages except in cases of vandalism) and a Wikipedia:Decision making process (e.g. try for consensus for 7 days, if that fails, vote). To deal with personal attacks, I have proposed to Wikipedia:Remove personal attacks. Alternatively, there needs to be a mediation system that functions quickly in case of complaints. I do not think just ignoring attacks is a solution.
Your proposed system is not as bad as it sounds, either, as it really just formalizes what is already going on: Some users "monopolize" articles and refuse to cooperate with others in improving them. An editor would be under much closer scrutiny to follow a defined set of rules and policies, and could possibly be recalled from an article for doing so.
But I would say that such a system should only be tried if other, more moderate approaches fail. I do believe we should make addressing these problems a priority, or we'll soon see NPOV and Wikiquette falling apart around us, with Wikipedia degenerating into a set of different clubs that don't let any non-members play. If there's no law, the law of the jungle takes over ...—Eloquence 04:58, Oct 28, 2003 (UTC)
What Taku describes sounds somewhat similar to Nupedia, and we all know what happened there. I would be interested in peoples' best guesses about what percentage of actively edited articles each day experience "nasty edit wars" or "pure personal attacks." My gut feeling is that it is not an epidemic, and a relatively small number of anomalous cases are being cited to drive radical proposals for the entire Wikipedia (editors, refactoring). Fuzheado 05:56, 28 Oct 2003 (UTC)


I should just point out that refactoring is not a radical new suggestion; it's essential to how wiki works. It's the process by which we have always created articles here at Wikipedia, through iterative improvement, additions and partial rewrites and cleanup. It may sound new because "refactoring" is a jargon term which will be more familiar to people who have hung out on Ward's Wiki and is less used here, but the concept is central to how this place works.
As far as the worry that we're losing valuable contributors! We've heard this cry to action time and again over the last years. It's even true, we always have been losing valuable contributors. And gaining other valuable contributors. There's a turnover as people lose interest and new people come in, and there's nothing wrong with this... we can't expect everyone who visits the site to spend several hours a day slaving away for free for the rest of their lives!
If anything we should ask ourselves how to get contributors to spend less time at Wikipedia and feel less personally invested in "content wars". I think there's no need for editors to fight off contributors in their fiefdoms; we just need people to remember that it's just an encyclopedia. If something makes you mad, back away from the keyboard and take a walk, read a book, write a program. The project's design is to approach quality asymptotically, and we don't have a deadline. Relax and take your time.
(Side note: anyone who does want a project that publishes only high-quality material is more than welcome to start an auxiliary project to put out vetted, fact-checked, expert-approved, non-insulting 'known-good' releases of Wikipedia articles. Larry talked about starting one long ago ("Sifter") but as far as I know there has not been enough interest to get it going yet.) --Brion 09:51, 28 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I agree with everything you mentioned -- refactoring is integral for the articles yes, and I have problems only with refactoring in Talk pages. Fuzheado 10:04, 28 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Me, I think refactoring is important for talk pages too. There's a tendency to accumulate many kilobytes of back-and-forth which is hard to follow because half of it is false leads, but the outcome of the discussion may be quite relevant to how the associated article is treated. The back-and-forth remains in the page history and can be called up or linked to at will, but summarizing the outcome and the basic outline of the arguments involved will usually be more helpful to future contributors than twenty pages of repetitious argument.
You can look at that as an archival task, something to be done later when no one's involved anymore, or as a continuous process in the evolution of a discussion, consolidating what's been said to reduce duplication and lowering the barrier to entry for other people entering the discussion by 'compressing' the amount of text they'd have to read to get up to speed. If you've ever tried to figure out what's at issue in an "edit war" (read: "childish pissing match") that's been brewing for a few days, you know it's nearly impossible to get through the reams of diatribes and catch up to the current point of contention. As a result, I suspect many people don't try, leaving the angry parties to their fight. Many of these would end up being just a couple paragraphs long if they were properly factored; one party stating their position, the other party stating why the other guy stating theirs, and each presenting some items in favor of their position. --Brion 10:30, 28 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Help needed in Hinduism[edit]

Help.... neutral parties!! See also Talk:Hinduism.

(Now I know exactly why people leave. If this (sort of edit war) continues,I will not be able to spend necessary time, money and effort on this page. Which leads to a sense of futility and self-introspection as to why one is here at all) KRS 18:11, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

This is only one factor of why people leave - they leave because they take stuff like edit wars, vandals, and nastygrams personally. If you feel yourself becoming genuinely angry, then take a whole week off Wikipedia. When you return things will, I promise, seem a whole lot more rational. Be well. -- Finlay McWalter 19:12, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Thanks for your advice, I intend following it. Though a very limited contributor, I have been wanting to step down my addiction to a level that allows time for more pressing, personally productive activities and saves on dial-up connection and telephone bills.This is the right time and pretext:-) KRS 12:23, 25 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I took a look, and this "war" is kind of petty; key points of disagreement seem to include the use of "in" vs "on", and the ordering of sentences in the lead. Even so, it would be better to agree on factual points via the Talk page before tinkering with the text, but editors don't always notice those right away, so I usually put editing a page on the backburner for at least several hours after I've posted the talk request. It's not like WP is irreparably harmed because a page has mistakes on it for a day. Stan 19:56, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Its not so simple. Have you seen the entire history, or do you know in detail about the subject matter? The 'on' and 'in' are only minor irritants. Just for clarification- the three people involved are me- KRS, user Lir and user Mkweise . Lir seems to make fast edits, sometimes cuts and pastes, and in my opinion,picks on second hand info without being aware of the consequences of his/ her actions. Mkweise seems to be reasonably informed, but wants to convey a point of view.
Second sentence in intro- people, mainly knowledgeable ones and gurus are not happy with the nomenclature of Hinduism as it was abruptly applied by the English.
Even if true, it SHOULD NOT be included in the intro on Hinduism because this is neither a raging debate(like Mother Teresa)nor something which is a widely known fact. You can't undo the forces of history however hard you might try. Irrespective of whether the idea of India existed or not prior to colonisation, India as a political entity was forged out of anti-colonial nationalism. But we haven't disowned our political identity.Its the same with Hinduism, by whatever name one may call it, the majority of Hindus practise it today without wanting to change its name or are not even aware of something called Sanatana Dharma. But they are aware that Hinduism has evolved over thousands of years taking from Aryan, Dravidian and other influences, and that colonial rule has destroyed certain ways of life irretrievably. Maybe knowledge was constructed in a certain way in the past under colonial rule. But one only needs to understand this, not reconstruct it by forcing a change of name from Hinduism to Sanatana Dharma. Seeking to call it this by some people is an issue of minor detail and can feature elsewhere in the page. History shows time and again that such abrupt reconstruction is counterproductive. It is a sign of our times that many people today don't understand this.
third sentence in intro- Hindus prefer to identify themselves under sects rather than as Hindus.
This is a natural corollary to earlier statement. It is something which cannot be taken for granted today. Ofcourse, caste is still an important way of defining a Hindu in the religious sense,but in a civilised, secular world, Indians today consciously refrain from referring to their castes/ sects/ whatever. Someone living in India would know how delicate the whole issue is. I don't know whether the other editors are Hindus or resident Indians, but I would like other Hindu contributors to have a look at this.
Finally with all these longwinded statements, I just want to say that the intro on Hinduism should be on Hinduism as known till today cumulatively, and not include a wishful yearning for an ideal Hinduism / or non-Hinduism as in the hoary past. Out of the 3 sentences in the present intro, two are inappropriate.
I have tried talking through talk page and edit summary, but there was no response. Since Hinduism didn't seem to be a high traffic page, I had to bring the issue to the Village pump. I had infact tried to broaden the definition of Hinduism by bringing out the popular reference to it as a way of life rather than an organised religion, and this was there for sometime in the intro. But now it does not even matter whether this is there or not, there should definitely not be a narrowing down. KRS 21:15, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Ive been editing there, I didn't even see an edit war. Whats the war over? I hope Im not involved... Lirath Q. Pynnor

Its not yet an edit war, but check my comments above.KRS 21:15, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I don't know much about the subject, and don't have interest beyond general curiosity, so I'm your ideal neutral party, and from my perspective I see that you have a great deal of intensity over what look like minor points. I reviewed the (long) history, came away with the impression that there were three editors simultaneously editing the same few sentences without any prior consensus or communication - a bizarre situation I hadn't seen on WP before. In those kinds of cases, it falls to the most aggrieved participant to back off and try to get the other editor(s) to engage in discussion. Stan 04:03, 25 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Wikipedia needs editor[edit]

Should articles have an editor? See m:Wikipedia needs editors

Not for VdF (or Cleanup), but...[edit]

Either is a fascinating article. But does it not belong in Wiktionary? -- Viajero 11:41, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Scissors (game)[edit]

I have included a Warning, Wikipedia contains spoilers in Scissors (game) and have included the spoiler itself in Rot13 since it really doesn't want to be read inadvertantly. Any objections? -- 195.232.51.17 23:10, 25 Oct 2003 (UTC)

  • the spoiler warning is fine, but the ROT-13 isn't. Lots of wikipedia visitors aren't technical enough to do that, and anyway - at some point there may be a paper version of wikipedia - try doing rot13 on paper. -- Finlay McWalter 23:18, 25 Oct 2003 (UTC)
  • moreover, bx, V pna'g sbe gur yvsr bs zr svther bhg ubj gb trg zbmvyyn gb qb n ebg13 va n oebjfre jvaqbj. lbh znqr zr jevgr n ge fpevcg, juvpu V _qrfcvfr_ qbvat. Teee. -- Finlay McWalter 00:00, 26 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Nu, lbh fubhyq gel vafgrnq frnepuvat sbe "wninfpevcg ebg13 pbairegre" --Nohat 01:59, 2003 Oct 26 (UTC)
Nohat, I know you're just saying that to be nice, but God bless you anyway. Paul Klenk 02:02, 26 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Tee, lbh whfg znqr zr jevgr n p cebtenz sbe ebg-guvegrra pbairefvba... Plc 09:11, 26 Bpg 2003 (HGP)

I'm too lazy to read the ROT-13 above so this suggestion may have been made already... Why don't you just move the spoilers to another page like Scissors (game spoiler)? Jimbreed 14:56, Oct 27, 2003 (UTC)

The suggestion hasn't been made, have a look at this translator page if you want to see what they've said but it's just chatter about their programming prowess. Personally, I think it's a bit rude to put this stuff onto the pump without a translation, I was tempted to put the translation in for them but maybe that's rude too. Available on request.
It occurs to me that ROT13 for spoilers or something similar might be a good feature to request for a future version of Wikipedia, although I can't see it getting a lot of priority. Andrewa 18:49, 27 Oct 2003 (UTC)

The page has now been editted (not by me) like this:

" The key to this game is here on a black background, to prevent accidental reading. In most browsers, you can read it by selecting it.

Spoiler text here

"

which I think is a very neat solution for short spoilers like this, interested in other comments.

If nobody has any problems with this (or if any raised can be easily fixed) then I think we should put this suggestion into the spoiler warning page. Andrewa 16:08, 28 Oct 2003 (UTC)

This won't work on text-based browsers such as Lynx, which will not be able to render the text as unreadable. I'm not sure about accessibility, but some people may read with text in more higher contrast colors, which would show up immediately.

What is the lowest common denominator of browser the Wikipedia aims to support? Dysprosia 04:36, 29 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Good point, very good point. I can't think of a good way around this for text based browsers, can anyone? And, I think we certainly want to support them.
But, this particular spoiler is IMO too short for an article all of its own. The ROT13 idea is looking better by the minute, if only it can be made more convenient. One way would be to implement <spoiler> and </spoiler> tags (probably not that format exactly, this is just conceptual) and to either ROT13 or (perhaps better) hide completely the text in between, and provide some way of toggling the display (or unscrambling) of the spoiler text on and off, with the default being hidden or scrambled. Hmmmm. I wonder how many entries (i) now and (ii) potentially are affected? Meantime maybe a scissors (game spoiler) article might be a good interim solution, as suggested above. Andrewa 06:14, 29 Oct 2003 (UTC)
What about a simple hr break with a notice going something like "If you do not wish to know of the solution, please do not read below this line", leave about two blank lines, then have it plain there? It's a bit...cheap... but I don't know, theres 2c for you :) Dysprosia 06:37, 29 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I think the black background table is quite sufficient. It's not the end of the world if a lynx user reads it accidentally. After all, there is a spoiler warning at the top of the article. Actually I think the writer of this article is going a bit overboard -- after all, reading the spoiler accidentally only adversely affects those people who will play it in the future with other people who are "in the know", which is probably a very small proportion of readers of the article. My main worry with the table is the possibility of a print version. But hopefully QC would pick up the problem. -- Tim Starling 06:45, Oct 29, 2003 (UTC)
Ok, I didn't really see the spoiler-warning on the page (may have been added recently), so that covers both cases neatly now :) Dysprosia 22:30, 29 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Scissors (game)[edit]

moved to Talk:Scissors (game)

Special:Whatlinkshere[edit]

The "Special:Whatlinkshere" feature is supposed to list every Wikipedia page, including redirects, that has a link to the page in question, right? So, I'm wondering why the Whatlinkshere page for President of the United States doesn't list the numerous redirects to that page. For example, United States/President, United States President, and President of the United States of America all redirect to President of the United States, but none of them show up on the links page. Is this some kind of glitch? How many other articles link there that aren't listed for some reason? Just curious, thanks. -- Minesweeper 22:03, Oct 25, 2003 (UTC)

It cuts off at the 500 link limit. Newer pages are not listed. It used to list all (even if there are 2000 links) or there used to be "See the next 500" function I believe. --Menchi 22:08, 25 Oct 2003 (UTC)
OK, thanks, that explains it. Was it changed as a stopgap measure to ease server load? I hope it's only temporary. Can a developer clarify this? -- Minesweeper 22:45, Oct 25, 2003 (UTC)
That was casually tossed in after the rambot city entries added circa 30,000 links to a number of pages. An unsorted list of titles isn't exactly the ideal display method for several hundred or thousand backlinks, and ties up a lot of resources trying to produce the list, invariably timing out before sending the page to the user in any case. --Brion 07:38, 26 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Two spaces after a period[edit]

Moved to Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (spaces after a period)

Removing personal attacks from talk pages[edit]

To address the problems of personal attacks on talk pages, which have driven some users away and generally harm our climate and our reputation, I have proposed a new guideline here: Wikipedia:Remove personal attacks. I would appreciate it if you could take a look and then add your name in the poll on the discussion page. Note that the guideline addresses some concerns you may have, e.g. removal of factual content.—Eloquence 06:35, Oct 25, 2003 (UTC)

List of POV pages?[edit]

Sometimes I come across a page which is highly POV, but shouldn't be deleted. I have an urge to tell someone about these pages (when I don't know enough to correct the problem myself), and almost have an itch to vote for it's deletion, so I just end up doing nothing. Maybe there should be a page where you can link to POV articles, sort of like Votes for Deletion?

If it just needs some work, you can list in on Wikipedia:Pages needing attention. If it's fairly strongly POV, you can place boilerplate text at the top linking to Wikipedia:NPOV dispute (see that page for the boilerplate text). --Delirium 03:27, Oct 25, 2003 (UTC)

You could also list it on Wikipedia:Cleanup. Angela 04:19, Oct 25, 2003 (UTC)

Wikipedia:NPOV dispute and explain your reasons on the talk page. Check the backlinks to that page for a list of disputed pages. Martin 13:12, 25 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Baha'i Faith[edit]

This article uses the capitalized pronouns to refer to the founder of the Baha'i Faith. Is that intrinsically POV? --Pakaran 00:29, 25 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Hmm, I suppose, a wee bit. Still, we cut most religious and mythological pages some slack - we don't always say Mohammad allegedly did this, or that Jesus is believed to have done that. Perhaps this is comparable. -- Finlay McWalter 23:24, 25 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Hmm. Jesus Christ has a lower-case pronoun in the second or third sentence - "According to Christian belief, he was the messiah..." Yahweh uses mixed pronouns, and Allah uses solely caps. Muhammad, which is arguably a closer analogy than Allah - an inspired founder, not a god - never does. -- Pakaran 01:41, 26 Oct 2003 (UTC)
On top of that, it makes it hard to read for those of us who are speed readers. For example, this quote from the article:
Mírzá Husayn-`Alí, who took the title Bahá'u'lláh, which is Arabic for "the Glory of God", was a Persian nobleman who became one of the early, prominent followers of the Báb. He was arrested and imprisoned during a period of severe persecution in 1852. While incarcerated in the dungeon of the Siyáh-Chál in Tehran, He received the first intimations that He was the One anticipated by the Báb. Nine years later, in 1863, while exiled in Baghdad, Iraq, He formally announced His mission to His family and a small number of followers.
-- Pakaran 01:49, 26 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I agree with Finlay. I think lowercase pronouns would be more NPOV, but not worth the arguments that might crop up if it's changed. If they bother you, think of it more as a courtesy to people of that faith rather than a profession of the correctness of that faith. (I suppose "he or He", along the lines of "he or she", might be more inclusive, but nobody wants that. I view "He" as the courteous alternative to that.) Axlrosen 20:07, 26 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Hmm. The issue is that I can see a future series of edit wars over which religions "get to have" the capitalized pronoun for their founders. If it was allowed to Scientology, for example, I personally would dislike that. On the other hand, I see nothing wrong with it being given to Allah or Jesus Christ. So it's never going to be anything but personal preference. And I have preferences about which religions should not get the capitalized pronoun, even as an Atheist. I just wonder whether this is something we should have an overall policy over. -- Pakaran 21:10, 26 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Well, we could have a rule that capitalized pronouns are reserved (as a courtesy) for those who are believed to God. This would leave Allah and JHWH capitalized, but would lower-case Bahaullah's pronouns. Hmm, then you could have an edit war over Jesus Christ between the pro-Nicenes and the Deists. Guess it's not the best idea. Dandrake 01:05, Oct 28, 2003 (UTC)
In any event it should be a courtesy, not an editorial position. I think we should make it "are presently believed by a significant number of people to be God" - otherwise we have to give the capital to David Koresh, Zeus and various Pharoahs and Chinese/Japanese Emperors. Allah and JHWH are not a problem then, and nobody says Moses or Muhammed or Bahaullah were gods - though Bahaullah is believed to have been a "Manifestation," or someone who was created at a higher-than-human status to give a message to humans. Jesus Christ is a special case, but I think Jesus would fit the "believed to be a god" criterion. As for Scientology, none of them believe Hubbard to be any kind of diety, so that's not an issue - at most, he is seen to be a particularly talented person who originated ideas that few would have been able to realize. -- Pakaran 03:40, 28 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Main Page[edit]

Just a note: It is nice to see the large number of small improvements made to the Concorde article since it showed up on the Wikipedia front page. Goes to show the importance of rotating a lot of article links to the front page.

Hence my argument for more dynamic content at Talk:Main Page/Layout design and support for Main Page/Temp5. Ho hum. Martin 23:17, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)
It's been two months - perhaps time to revisit it? But only in terms of new ideas for the page -not another vote so soon after the logo vote. Angela
Seems to depend on the article. Articles on less sexy topics can spend a week on the main page with nary a change. -- Viajero 17:22, 25 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Attention[edit]

Just a friendly reminder, if you need a break from your wikipedia-grind, take a gander at Wikipedia:Pages needing attention and help fix some articles that need improvement. Kingturtle 22:46, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

And if you made a significant contribution and want to highlight it, please use Wikipedia:Recentchanges summary.

4reference[edit]

4reference:Lee Enfield

What can be done about the appalling innaccuracies at the above address (which states that the information displayed is courtesy of Wikipedia)? ([[list of errors moved to talk:Lee-Enfield)

Edit Lee-Enfield. Fix them here if they're not already fixed. See Wikipedia:Why aren't these pages copyedited. Email 4reference and bitch at them. See Wikipedia:Sites that use Wikipedia for content. Martin 22:31, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Please feel free to make corrections to the Wikipedia article Lee-Enfield. 4reference.net is not affiliated with Wikipedia and simply republishes material from here; I don't know at what rate they update their Wikipedia-sourced material from master copies. --Brion 21:38, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)
The only way Wikipedia gets better is if people who see deficiencies in existing articles correct them. By the way, I believe you're misreading the last paragraph you quote; they're not talking about the No. 5 'jungle carbine' but about the Lee-Enfield rifle in general. --Morven 21:55, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Help needed in Hinduism[edit]

Help.... neutral parties!! See Talk:Hinduism.

why did you put EDIT THIS PAGE on this site[edit]

why did u do all this? just wondering cause we can redo every thing and might mess it all up

See wikipedia:replies, wikipedia:welcome

The history of pages is saved, so if someone accidentally messes something up, anyone can fix the mess easily. Apparently, when everyone can edit anything, people are good at cooperating, and are working together to fulfill the ancient dream of collecting all human knowledge in one spot. Maybe some time in the future, also even all alien knowledge as well. Κσυπ Cyp 16:54, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Now that will be a slashdot effect for all time ;-D Cimon Avaro on a pogostick 17:05, Oct 24, 2003 (UTC)

Question from a newcomer[edit]

How do I add a table of contents to an article? -- bmills 14:21, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

TOCs are automatic when you have enough sections (the "== ==" syntax). Stan 14:07, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)
You get an automatic TOC for 3 headings or more so just make sure you have at least three headings, each surrounded by equals, like this:
==Your heading==
Adrian Pingstone 14:25, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Actually, I think you have to have more than three sections with the == headings. With a fourth heading, the TOC will appear. —Frecklefoot 15:22, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)


Thanks. bmills 16:01, 28 Oct 2003 (UTC)


  • BR code now shows in my pic captions. bug report. Fixed.
  • "Underline links" preference ignored (fixed)

We've lost another two...[edit]

I just happened to notice this, but User:Ark30inf is leaving after just 2 months -- So long y'all. I have found that if you are not here to do battle then nobody will listen to you. Thats not what I am about. Hopefully, the project will mature at some point. Good luck to all. I know people often take a break and come back, but I don't know that this will happen with this user. Check out the user page for someone who has strong opinions, but seemed to be able to do well with NPOV and thoughful contributions and comments. It's worth checking out the observations they left at the bottom of their user page. -- BCorr ¤ Брайен 05:03, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

A shame, and I'm sorry to see him go; I hope a while away from the place and cooling off and he'll want to come back. I'm not confident about it, but I hope.
I think there is a certain personality required on here if you're going to get involved in any kind of controversial place in Wikipedia. You can't let them get to you. You have to realise that the idiots aren't the place. You have to be able to deal with the fact that the twits might have more energy than you do. --Morven 05:37, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I didn't have much interaction with Ark30inf, but what I read from her/him on talk pages and such, displayed a great understanding of what Wikipedia should be about. A big loss, if he/she won't reconsider. -- Cimon Avaro on a pogostick 05:58, Oct 24, 2003 (UTC)
My POV is that this issue is one of the most important for the wikipedia community, maybe the very most important, to ponder at this stage of wikipedia's development. And I do not yet agree with Morven. When I do, I will be out of here.
--Ruhrjung 12:14, 26 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Ark30inf listed some very salient observations on his user page. It's unfortunate that Wikipedia has become something of an advocacy site to some people, such as the "six degrees of Kevin Bacon" Ark30inf mentions. He has exactly the right NPOV spirit that, alas, is not as widespread among contributors as it should be. Wikipedia still has much maturing to do, and I hope he will want to be a part of it. -- Minesweeper 06:42, Oct 24, 2003 (UTC)


So Arkinf30 thinks this environment isn't mature enough. I would respectfully suggest that perhaps Arkinf30 wasn't mature enough to handle a completely open, international public forum as this with no formal hierarchy and contributors with highly diverse backgrounds and points-of-views (what he in his parochialism calls "agendas"). Perhaps he will return when he has matured; if not, aside from a few state parks and whatever in Arkansas that haven't been written up, I would say: no great loss. -- Viajero 12:14, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I understand your perspective, but I do hope that we can become more open to people who aren't particularly interested in engaging in "revert wars." And is you look at his complete list of user contributions here, he did quite a bit more than a few state parks.... -- BCorr ¤ Брайен 13:31, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I think what he has a problem with is not people with different POVs but people who try to push their POVs in encyclopedia articles. I agree with him completely about that. So many articles consist of person one saying: Some people believe <my POV>. Then person two adds: Other people, however, believe that <my POV>. What a mess. An article filled with this kind of POV-in-NPOV-clothing reads like a debate, not an encyclopedia article. Axlrosen 13:53, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)
How else do you present alternative points-of-view? Some people believe that Mother Teresa is a saint, others that she is a witch. Perhaps you would prefer only one author per article? Actually, Adam Carr -- a single author -- wrote an alternative version of the MT article with exactly that structure. And it reads like a real encyclopedia article. -- Viajero 14:10, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)


I guess my point is that a real encyclopedia article would spend 90% of its time on the facts of her life, her work, etc., and 10% of its time on the controversy surrounding her. On Wikipedia this often gets reversed, because everyone has to make sure that their own POV is represented (prefixed of course by "some people say..."). If you try to trim down all the debate in an article, then people accuse you of surpressing opinions that make you uncomfortable or whatever. (I'm not talking about the MT article specifically because I haven't been following that debate, but about WP in general. For example this is what happened on PETA recently.) Axlrosen 18:07, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Yes, WP has a bunch of editors who are only here to "get the word out" about some cause while paying lip service to NPOV; you can see it when completely obscure causes and their activists get long articles with pictures, and important "establishment" figures have stubs or are lacking them altogether. That's not being encyclopedic, that's using WP as free advertising. Although I don't share Ark's politics, his criticisms are dead-on. Stan 14:07, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Some of that, of course, is simply writing what you know, which is inevitable. Plus, people are more confident in their knowledge the more obscure the subject (or at least, are more confident that others won't know more!) I think people often get intimidated about writing about more important individuals.
I've definitely seen that 'six degrees' thing going on too - when someone has some agenda or issue they deem so important that it must be mentioned not just on the most relevant page, but every single page associated with the topic. To pick a smaller topic than George W. Bush, another is the person or people who insist on pushing their agenda that Erwin Komenda was the true designer of the VW Beetle and early Porsches, and that Ferdinand and Ferry Porsche are credited for work that isn't their own. Now, there might be SOME truth to that belief -- but that doesn't mean every single page related to Porsche needs a sentence or two and a link about that issue. It makes Wikipedia seem to be pushing an agenda rather than documenting, and I don't think such partisans realise that by overstating their case they ruin it. --Morven 16:42, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I can identify with this situation clearly- which has risen for me today after three months of participation. There is no way of reaching NPOV if someone has a viewpoint they want to force others on and one can't persevere due to obvious reasons - (see my call for help below). I can safely state that as it stands right now, the intro to the page on Hinduism is totally POV. Religion seems to attract extreme reactions and those who persevere need strong motivations - which only comes through extreme faith or for reasons of the sense of power and triumph associated with prevailing. KRS 19:06, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

And another one...User:Smith03.

This is time to reflect on Larry Sanger's parting words of advice
to be open and warmly welcoming, not insular,
to be focused singlemindedly on writing an encyclopedia, not on Usenet-style debate,
to recognize and praise the best work, work that is detailed, factual, well-informed, and well-referenced,
to work to understand what neutrality requires and why it is so essential to and good for this project,
to treat your fellow productive, well-meaning members of Wikipedia with respect and good will,
to attract and honor good people who know a lot and can write about it well
I want people to feel comfortable here. Please help others respect others. Kingturtle 23:19, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Hmmmm, I think as Wikipedia grows we are going to see more and more of this. I think we need a culture shift (or I suspect maybe to reverse a culture shift that is already happening) if we are to avoid having the number of active contributors level out.

Some time ago I raised an issue on the Pump which had it occurred a little earlier in my Wikipedia "career" would probably have resulted in my leaving. Now I don't want to criticise anyone involved in it. Rather I'd like to say that I think nobody was to blame, rather it indicates a culture that I think we need to work on. I've also acknowledged that I was at fault myself in several areas in this particular incident.

Just to set the background however, a stub I had created was (to my mind) vandalised by a widely respected old hand. I reverted the facetious comment they had left (in the article namespace, I stress), and they immediately reverted my reversion putting their facetious comment back. Now I don't want to dwell on the rights and wrongs of these actions, nor on mine, I admit the stub was substandard and that my summary when I reverted was rude and uncalled for.

What I do want to point out that the community reaction was heavily in support of the person who made thus facetious edit, twice. When I raised the issue on the pump, one person said "I don't see what you are making a fuss about". There was so far as I can see no censure for the facetious comment, nor has there ever been any apology, unless you count the perpetrator admitting that perhaps they were "too rude". I don't. I think any rudeness towards a newcomer making an honest mistake is totally unacceptable, and to immediately repeat the offence when challenged... words fail me. But again, I don't want to dwell on the adequacy or otherwise of the apology. What I'm more interested in is that this muted retraction drew no comment at all from anyone else.


I think this shows something about the Wikipedia culture.

At the time I made a few suggestions regarding established practices that IMO make it more difficult for newcomers to become established. As a relative newcomer I think I can contribute there, but again, there seemed little interest.

Food for thought? Andrewa 23:10, 26 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Feature Request: more meaningful HTML titles for special pages[edit]

HTML Title be made more meaningful for some special pages..... Transferred to SourceForge ticket. Feature requests go to Sourceforge. See Wikipedia:Bug_reports.

Good idea. Using the back and forward buttons of my browser, showing a menu of pages, more specific titles would be convenient. Also on the taskbar and in the task management window. - Patrick 02:11, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

A point for discussion[edit]

Are poor language skills a problems? -> m:Poor language skills

Getty Images[edit]

The article Getty Images seems suspiciously commercial. Is this actually legitimate? Dori 05:06, Oct 23, 2003 (UTC)

I don't see anything objectionably 'commercial' about it. It's just a single sentence describing the company. 'One of the world's best known' MAY show a little bias, but it also might be objectively true -- I don't know enough about photo stock agencies.
--Morven 07:42, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)


I just saw that small blurb with a prominent link to the site and figured someone may have sneaked it in as advertisement for the company. Dori 14:04, Oct 23, 2003 (UTC)
Googling returns 474,000 hits, and they're on the NYSE. Axlrosen 15:19, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)


Well, it was a very small stub originally (see history), only when I wikified it and added the external link that one became a bit too prominent. Maybe someone should try to enlarge the text now, then it will not look like an advertisement anymore. andy 12:03, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Wiki fast?[edit]

Is that only my case but the wikipedia seems extremely fast today. Something happened? Is that only due to my Internet connection? -- Taku

Its really fast for me too!KRS 12:53, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)
You had to to say it didn't you, and now look at the speed. Dori 13:52, Oct 23, 2003 (UTC)

Cyrillic script[edit]

Ah, where's that Mediator. Have a look at the article Millosh Gjergj Nikolla. Igor thinks there should be a Serbian spelling in both the Latin and Cyrillic, I think that one is enough and the cyrillic one should not be used because it scares English readers away. Seeing as this is an English Wikipedia article and a Serbian Wikipedia exists to make use of the cyrillic form, I think I am right. I want to avoid having to revert his changes over and over so I am asking what the consensus is here. One should notice that I brought the issue up with him before (see this and) he seemed to agree, but now apparently he has changed his mind. thank you Dori 03:10, Oct 23, 2003 (UTC)

Cyrillic is OK; lots of Japanese and Chinese articles include the squiggly-char versions of names. :-) It's useful to see what the names look like as they're written by the locals, plus there are at least a few English readers who can puzzle out Cyrillic letters... Stan 05:15, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I agree it is fine to add the cyrillic spelling - I do the same with the cosmonauts, and also add the thai spelling of the Provinces of Thailand I edit. Especially as it have different transcription/transliteration schemes for the cyrillic letters, it is good to have the source name to eventually verify the transcription. But of course it only makes sense if the local name is actually spelled in that different character set - not to add the spelling of an english name in all possible characters. andy 09:29, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)
In which cases do you actually do it though? The above writer was probably of Serbian descent (I'll take Igor's word for it as I don't know) and I could see how you might want to put a Serbian spelling along his most frequently used Albanian name, but why do it in two Serbian scripts. Also, do you start writing the names in every script imaginable as long as the article is remotely tied to an area that uses that script? For example, Igor has done this also for Isa Boletini and Hasan Bej Prishtina who were Albanian (thus their local name would be in the Albanian form) for whom made some pretty non-NPOV statements. How are editors of the english wikipedia to understand and correct any mistakes in another script. For all I know, he might have called them some pretty nasty things. The best solution would be to put up an interwiki link to the article in the Serbian language, which theoretically could monitor them better. I am not saying the different scripts should not be used when the most used spelling is in that script. However, if most people see it differently than I do, I will relent on this issue. Dori 13:17, Oct 23, 2003 (UTC)
Additionally, he keeps using the Serbian spelling in other places in the article instead of continuing to use the more common one (and the one on the title of the article), making it very confusing and non-encyclopedic. Applying the google test: sites using Migjeni: 2,280, sites using Miđoni: 2 (one is the wikipedia article, the other is from the project rastko which is far from a NPOV source).
Personally I'd say that the primary reference point for a person (their biography page, or the "best" list they appear on if they don't have a page of their own) is a reasonable place to put the native form of their name, in as many scripts as are remotely applicable, along with pseudonyms and nicknames if appropriate. Everywhere else in English Wiki should use standard anglicised versions of the name. The article itself I'd say can use any form provided that it is consistent within the article, and clearly explains what is going on - for example you could even use an abbreviation in some cases and still be "encyclopedic".
The same goes for language variants within one alphabet, and names other than people. So cities such as Köln should be referred to as Cologne, and I'd imagine that in the French Wikipedia London should normally be referred to as Londres and the United States as les États-Unis. The concern about sneaky insults is a valid one, but should probably be solved by finding other readers of the language in question rather than removing all funny-looking squiggles. It doesn't take mastery of a language to judge whether what is written is plausibly the right name - in fact all you really need to know is the alphabet. Onebyone 01:00, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

List of X topics[edit]

I have a question about these "List of X topics" articles. I think they are pretty handy, and I even created a Byzantine Empire one myself (and I'm considering creating a Crusades one), but is there any specific format for them? Some seem to be a bunch of unorganized links, some are organized alphabetically, some are organized by theme...is there any standard for these types of lists? If not, should there be? (I also imagine there must be people who really despise them...) Adam Bishop 23:48, 22 Oct 2003 (UTC)


I don't know if there is a format, but what I would do is list them alphabetically if it's a list of articles and by theme if it's a list of topics. I find them rather useful, but they do tend to get neglected rather easily if there aren't too many people that care about them. Dori
Yes they do tend to get neglected. The reason is that they are hard to find. I was using the 'opedia for months before I found out about them. The solution is to make them visible. Include them in articles. The easier they are to find, the better navigation tools they will become, the more people will use them, and the more people will maintain them. mydogategodshat 04:28, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Hopefully at some point we'll be able to auto-update those lists from category tags attached to articles. They are potentially useful as a way to gauge completeness, if the topics list is comprehensive. Alphabetical seems most useful, since they're more like development and indexing aids than normal articles. Stan 05:21, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)
The best format for these lists is difficult to determine because it depends on which of the many uses a list is being put to in any specific instance. If the list is being used by someone familiar with the subject, then an hierarchical list would be prefered. If used by someone not familiar with the topic, then an alphabetical list would be more useful. Probably the best compromise is an annotized hierarchical list. This is helpful to both groups. Then there is the question of whether the list is being used primarily for navigational purposes or 'pedia development purposes. There is also the question of whether the user is looking for a specific topic, a group of related topics, or just browsing. Because we really can't answer any of these questions, there is no definitive answer to your question. mydogategodshat 06:23, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I have just written Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style_(lists_of_links). What does everybody think? mydogategodshat 11:06, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Looks like a good start. I think there are other things that need to be answered there, but I can't think of any right now :) Adam Bishop 17:17, 25 Oct 2003 (UTC)

There has been talk among various users asking for either automated lists of articles on X topic, or a Wikiproject on lists. Besides the time it would save, in some realms the question of which lists should be created or what they are named can be a POV issue. For example, see VfD for discussions of list of multiracial people and list of queer composers. What's other people's thoughts on this? -- zandperl 21:41, 25 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Using pics from Wikipedia[edit]

I am working on a book and would like to use some pics from various Wikipedia articles as illustrations. The book is commercial, for-profit. Am I right in believing that the GNU/GDSL license policy applies to usage of pictures in addition to text? As in, if I put in that boilerplate notice, I'm cool? The various links didn't explicitly mention pictures and were rather confusing, not to mention that there doesn't seem to be any

specific person/thing to email my question to.

Please help!

Image copyrights have lead to some polemics in Wipedia. Some pics are explicitely GFDL but not all. Some are under fair use, some are PD, some are copyright expired, some are free for non-commercial use. You'd better contact the user that uploaded the pic before using it.
Ericd 18:33, 22 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Ancient pages hooray![edit]

For the record, the Ancient pages page has reached a landmark, in that it is no longer full of pages whose last edit was by the "Conversion script". I believe this means that every single article has been edited (or created) since the last time the software was rewritten (or something to that effect... in any case, there is nothing that has not been edited by a human since February 25, 2002, which seems pretty good). Also, all the CIA-imported articles have been edited, even Demographics of Vatican City. Hooray for Wikipedia! Tuf-Kat 07:21, Oct 22, 2003 (UTC)

Congratulations! When I implemented that feature, Brion said it would take ages to go through the converted stuff. Well, it took about 5 months. Good work everyone. Those who want to participate in bringing our older stuff up to date should head to Special:Ancientpages.—Eloquence 04:54, Oct 23, 2003 (UTC)

National Park Service[edit]

Question. National Park Service was recently moved to United States Park Service. Since National Park Service is the official name and United States Park service is not really a name at all, shouldn't National Park Service be the name in the article title? I'm of the opinion that if it needs to be disambiged then it should be "National Park Service (United States)". Am I off base here? Thanks. Ark30inf 05:42, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)

It should indeed be National Park Service, it's the official name. Even a Google search on "United States Park Service" brings back www.nps.gov first. Fuzheado 05:47, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I don't see why it was moved in the first place. I am not aware of any other countries that use the name 'National Park Service' for their equivalent government department, so there is no need for a disambiguation page. I think it should be moved back to National Park Service. -- Popsracer 06:39, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)


Probably correct. A Google search shows only the US usage of it. (Search on: national park service -site:.gov -site:.edu -site:.com -site:.org -site:.net -site:.us) still brings up only links to US National Park Service. Fuzheado 07:04, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Wikitrivia proposal[edit]

I noticed that an important debate was raised due to the amount of Lists in the Wikipedia, namely list with curious classifications of people like List of multiracial people or List of queer composers. Other items like songs, for instance, were also subjected to furious listing. I would like, at this moment, to redraw from this discussion the lists concerning people by nationality, name or profession, as well as the various List of topics of…, because I think everybody agree with their value as an index. To summarize the discussion here:

  • some people consider every list useful and interesting
  • some people consider that most lists are interesting, but others are not encyclopaedic
  • some people consider that everything that includes trivia do not belong in wikipedia and argue for deletion

As for myself, I admit that I'm for the absolute removal of all the funny categories. But I also see a usefulness in them, for trivia-curious people, for somebody looking for a strange topic in Google, for the ones who simply love compiling things. I agree with lists (I made List of Roman laws and worked in List of Roman legions with Stan, for instance), but some are hilarious and take credibility from the wikipedia. But what is a funny category? This is highly personal and POV. So, to free wikipedia from all the trivia-(not encyclopaedic)-like lists, I propose the creation of a WIKILISTS or LISTIPEDIA or WIKITRIVIA, in the same philosophy as the Wikiquote or the Wikctonary. This, I think, would value the wikiproject in a whole, because it would prevent the proliferation of trivia in the wikipedia, and, at the same time, provide a space to the list mania to grow freely. The Wikitrivia, with all of us working on it, as potential to become a reference for everybody preparing for a QuizShow or the likes.

As for practicalities, I can't contribute much. I'm not a sysop nor I know anything about programming or creating wikipedias. I only suggest here that the format can be similar so the lists could be copy-pasted to the Wikitrivia. And if a Bot could transform every link to a link to the wikipedia it would be great.

I fear that if the Wikitrivia is not created, the VfD will be perpetually flooded with Lists to delete. Therefore, I would like to debate this idea with other wikipedians. To host the discussion, I created

To finish I must say that I hate edit wars and getting involved in polemic issues. Those who know me here know that I'm not involved in disputes. If I'm suggesting this is not for creating attention about me, is because I really feel strongly that some lists should go. Somewhere. Wiki-greetings to all, Muriel Gottrop 07:26, 27 Oct 2003 (UTC)

All comments on the proposal above should be made at m:WikiTrivia.

Edits being saved but not shown?[edit]

I hope this isn't the wrong place to ask and that I'm not just being a buffoon. I'm a newbie to Wikipedia (but not to wikis) and thought that I would do my civic duty and update an entry that I was using in some research but found slightly lacking and unclear. The entry is question is about the Platt Amendment. I reworded the description and added some text of the Amendment itself, but when I go to the page, my changes haven't shown up. The funny thing, however, is that when I click on the Page History link, my changes (and IP address) seem to show up as current. If I request a diff, I do indeed see the changes that I made. So why does the page still show the older version? Do I need to have an account and be logged in? For what it's worth, I skimmed the FAQ but did not see anything relevent. Thanks!

No, you don't need to be logged on or have an account. Your changes are there. Maybe a caching problem? Angela 20:24, Oct 28, 2003 (UTC)
I am having the same problem as originally described. If there is a cacheing problem, it is on the server side. Who should be notified?
See Clear your cache and Troubleshooting -- Viajero 23:39, 28 Oct 2003 (UTC)
This shouldn't happen. If you can work out a procedure to reliably repeat the problem, Wikipedia's developers will be forever grateful. -- Tim Starling 00:11, Oct 29, 2003 (UTC)
Same problem as discussed twice earlier- redirect pages don't show current edits unless logged in. I checked out, this page has a redirect, so there...(couldn't resist this clarification during self-enforced break:-)KRS 16:35, 29 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Hi, original poster here with some followup. The older version of the page was even showing up on a computer that had never accessed wikipedia before, so I'm reasonably sure it wasn't a caching problem. I created an account and found that when logged in, the correct version of the page is displayed. When logged out, the old version. To reproduce: use a web browser or computer that has never accessed wikipedia before and go to the main page. (You could possibly just log out, but this is how I reproduced it.) Search for "platt amendment" and briefly note the content of the page. There should be no text between the bold headings "Full Text" and "Article I." (This is the old version.) Now log with your account and do the same thing. You should see my changes (the new version) which include some text between the two headings mentioned above. Anyone else able to reproduce this? If this should be a bug, who do I report it to? (P.S. KRS added his comment as I was trying to add this... So, is this a feature or a bug?) Eil 17:32, 29 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Okay, I've backed out this change which was intended to reduce database load on cached pages but fails in the case of redirects, whereas the previous behavior was to always load the page text from the database and then throw it away if the is cacheable. Redirect pages should now ignore any old cached copies, though this has some expense in database and rendering load.
This should fix the immediate problem until a better solution is found for dealing with caching redirects. --Brion 00:25, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I've noticed cases where it makes sense to have nonexisting article names redirect to existing articles, e.g. the nonexistant article "Merconium" should redirect to the existing article "Meconium". What is the most elegant way to accomplish this? Also, am I asking this question in the right place?


  • [1] Make a link to the non-existant article somewhere by typing [[merconium]]
  • [2] hit the preview button
  • [3] click on the red link that says "Merconium" (like here: merconium)
  • [4] click in the edit box, and type #REDIRECT [[meconium]]
  • [5] click the "Save page" button

You should now have what you want. -- Someone else 22:30, 31 Oct 2003 (UTC)

(You can also sign your comments with ~~~~ which will be converted to your signature and a timestamp when you save the page)

wikipedia deeper[edit]

what you think wikipedia may contain every piece of informqation on this planet or not?i think it must be deeper and parental control must be included.

No, wikipedia should not contain every piece of information on the planet, a significant proportion of it is reserved for our sister projects: Wiktionary, Wikibooks, etc. See WP:WWIN. Parental controls have been previously suggested. I think most of the discussion was on the mailing lists -- see for example wikien-l in early June 2003. -- Tim Starling
I absolutely oppose parental controls. Are we going to limit what is contained in Wikipedia, or the parts of Wikipedia people are able to access, to what some people think is appropriate for children to see or read? --Daniel C. Boyer 19:00, 1 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Will US go into another Vietnam war in Iraq?[edit]

Already there. Lirath Q. Pynnor

New arrival[edit]

Hi, Wikipedians

New arrival, totally infatuated with all this. It's an obsessive's dream come true.

Question:

I did a bunch of edits to 4-5 entries before I'd created my log-in name. I then tried to sneak in credit (once I signed up) by going back to those entries, marking a minor edit under my nametag, then trying to add a note saying something like "edits below (by XX-XX-XX-XX) were done by me".

So I made trivial edits (marked "minor"), and saw my name pop up on the recent changes page. Good. But while some editors had added comments here ("Removed the part about the exploding cat" or "corrected punctuation"), I couldn't figure out how to add my own comments. What am I doing wrong?

Also, is it too late at this point? I don't want to do another minor edit in order to insert the comment...feels abusive to really fill up the recent changes page just for my own vanity. Please advise. I'm willing to let it go, but I'd at least like to know how to add comments next time.

You just have to type something into the "summary" box, between the edit box and the "minor edit" checkbox. If you want to change the history of an article so that your edits are attributed to you, see Wikipedia:Changing attribution for an edit. And use ~~~~ to sign your messages -- it's automatically converted to a name and a date. Welcome to Wikipedia!. -- Tim Starling 06:43, Nov 3, 2003 (UTC)

== Editing One's Subsequent Editors (and a proposal for "locking in" mature entries) ==[edit]

There's a fine line between obnoxiously restoring one's "golden prose" after it's been subequently edited...and honestly improving an article that's been degraded by reintroducing legitimately better commentary...which happens to be one's own previously posted material!

Where do Wikipedians stand on this call? Firmly against persistent "ping ponging" (i.e. post it once and let it go forever)? An anarchic "go ahead" shrug? Simply use one's judgement?

This is a facet of a larger issue which I perceive as Wikipedia biggest fault: past a certain point, articles don't get better, they just get different (or, just as easily, worse). As a given entry ages to a certain point where' it's been worked over by many participants, might it not be intelligent to introduce a "vote to seal" feature, where viewers who think the entry is at a really good point can temporarily freeze edits and call for a vote to permanently seal the entry (or at least a vote to impede subsequent editing, e.g. by requiring additions to be approved by vote)? Otherwise, absolutely terrific entries can and will be degraded and washed away like sand castles in the tide.

I realize that many entries are temporal in various ways and therefore benefit from unended editing. Obviously, they should stay ever open.

I suspect my solution can/will be picked to death...but the problem I'm raising is a serious one, and there may be more intelligent/effective ways to address it. Or maybe I'm just being unwikipedian....? O. Pen Sauce 08:09, 3 Nov 2003 (UTC)

PiFast[edit]

Hi,

I just created a new article for PiFast, a freeware program to compute digits of pi. As this is one of maybe five or six articles I've ever written from scratch, I'd be interested in advice - especially which words to make into wikilinks. Feel free to comment on the article's talk page, which I'm watchlisting, or my user talk page.

Thanks! -- Pakaran 21:52, 3 Nov 2003 (UTC)

"new messages" message[edit]

I can't get rid of the "You have new messages" message. When I go to my page, it goes away, but when I leave it for another page, it's still there, even if there are no new messages since the last time I went to my Talk page. I've tried Refresh, and that doesn't help. RickK 05:36, 2 Nov 2003 (UTC)

That happens to me too. I have to open the page twice before it'll go away. Angela 05:47, Nov 2, 2003 (UTC)
Me too. I had to edit my talk page before it went away. -- Cimon Avaro on a pogostick 06:24, Nov 2, 2003 (UTC)
submitted to Sourceforge
Does this happen only when revisiting pages that you had visited with the 'new messages' flag displayed on them, and they haven't been changed in the meantime? --Brion 07:02, 2 Nov 2003 (UTC)
No, even if I look at my talk page and then open a page I haven't viewed before, the 'you have new messages' is shown on every new page until I open my talk page twice. Angela 07:07, Nov 2, 2003 (UTC)
Worksforme. Message written->read->open new page and no "new message" message Dysprosia 07:09, 2 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Worksforme too, for whatever reason. Haven't had that problem at all. I have had the problem of not being notified when I had new messages once or twice, but I think that was when there were database issues a few weeks ago. --Delirium 07:16, Nov 2, 2003 (UTC)
It's not doing it now. But it was earlier, and yesterday I think. Angela 07:17, Nov 2, 2003 (UTC)


Yes, for me it was truly persistent. I went through a whole slew of pages and purged my cache as I went, before I decided to just edit the talkpage. And editing it removed the message. -- Cimon Avaro on a pogostick 07:22, Nov 2, 2003 (UTC)
To clarify; no, the message did not go away when I opened previously unread pages, and the problem has vanished for me too, that is it no longer obtains. -- Cimon Avaro on a pogostick 07:27, Nov 2, 2003 (UTC)

Haven't quite figured it out yet, but it appears to be intermittent. Angela's ISP seems to have an oddity where some requests are proxied and some aren't, but I don't think this is directly related. --Brion 08:57, 2 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Try ctrl-f5 Lirath Q. Pynnor

wikipedia deeper[edit]

what you think wikipedia may contain every piece of information on this planet or not? i think it must be deeper and parental control must be included.

No, wikipedia should not contain every piece of information on the planet, a significant proportion of it is reserved for our sister projects: Wiktionary, Wikibooks, etc. See WP:WWIN. Parental controls have been previously suggested. I think most of the discussion was on the mailing lists -- see for example wikien-l in early June 2003. -- Tim Starling
I absolutely oppose parental controls. Are we going to limit what is contained in Wikipedia, or the parts of Wikipedia people are able to access, to what some people think is appropriate for children to see or read? --Daniel C. Boyer 19:00, 1 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Because some Wikipedians insist on chronicling even the most sickening human practices, like Fisting, treating these subjects like they're actually important and legitimate (when in fact they are valueless, and just degrade people), Wikipedia should have a big warning on it that some content is unsuitable for children and encourage parents to control a child's access. Paul Klenk 20:13, 1 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Fisting may be a repulsive concept, but people in consensual adult relationships do it, so obviously wikipedia has to cover it. Personally I find anti-semitism, homophobia, child sex-abuse, rascism, fascism and many heterosexual sex acts repulsive, but however much they may repulse me, if they exist then an encyclopædia should chronicle them. You may fisting "valueness" and degrading; I may indeed agree with you. But that is expressing a POV, and wikipedia is all about providing an NPOV, even on things that turn our stomachs (in my case, George W. Bush's rape of the english language, like now announcing that his National Security Advisor's job is to be an 'unstickler', whatever the hell that means!). FearÉIREANN 22:00, 1 Nov 2003 (UTC)

The point is, there should be a parental warning, letting them know that "Wikipedia, having a strict NPOV policy, has decided to use that as an excuse to abandon the idea that even the most basic values of human decency have any place in an encyclopedia. In fact, we have to, have to, have to, include everything. Anything goes, as long as its NPOV. Of course, our strict NPOV policy logically (don't ask us how) dictates that we cannot even categorize any content as adult or unsuitable for children. Therefore, before you let your children freely browse random pages, be aware that they may inadvertantly read articles about fascism or fisting. If you don't know what fascism or fisting is, perhaps you can ask one of your children to read the articles as a homework assignment, and explain the concepts to you." Paul Klenk 06:16, 2 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Would you mind awfully not trolling us? Thanks. Martin 21:14, 2 Nov 2003 (UTC)
. . . having a strict NPOV policy, has decided to use that as an excuse to abandon the idea that even the most basic values of human decency have any place in an encyclopedia . . . I think we can all see Paul Klenk's agenda here. And it certainly isn't encyclopædic, more 'don't offend my opinions'. Some might class them prejudices. FearÉIREANN 21:33, 2 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Hmmmm, I thought that NPOV only applied to within an article, and not to which articles. I thought that including everything-including-the-kitchen-sink was more of a "mission statement" type thing. -- Khym Chanur 09:21, Nov 2, 2003 (UTC)

I've found some more discussion, see Wikipedia:Content disclaimer. Perhaps this thread can be moved to Wikipedia talk:Content disclaimer. -- Tim Starling 01:43, Nov 2, 2003 (UTC)

I don't see a problem with labeling (like RACS), giving a rating to each page, so existing parental controls could work with it (though it might be technically difficult to start adding meta-info to each page). We could also do like then Open Directory Project does: their "Adult" subtree isn't reachable from rest of the directory, unless you enter "Adult terms into a search. So there could be an "adult.en.wikipedia.org". If the database could identify some things as "Adult", it might encourage others to copy and use the database, since they could simply pluck out the parts they don't like (this is a large reason the ODP has an Adult subtree, so people won't be afraid to copy and use their database).

As for things like facism, we'd need to use a much more complex and flexible labeling system than RACS, since that only covers violence, nudity, sex, and language. (SafeSurf also includes bigotry, and divides "sex" into heterosexual and homosexual) Also, Encyclopædia Britannica includes articles on facism, the Holocaust, and such, so I wasn't aware that these might be controversial articles to include in an encyclopedia, nor was I aware of the existence of "child friendly" encyclopedias that excluded disturbing subjects. -- Khym Chanur 09:21, Nov 2, 2003 (UTC)

"Fisting" might be offensive to some, but in wikipedia, one can really only read about it if you go looking for it. We don't have Winnie the Pooh redirecting to Fisting. We don't have beaver redirecting to vagina. We don't have toys redirecting to dildoes. Wikipedia is designed to help you find what you're looking for; we don't play tricks. This is an encyclopedia. We provide information. Guess what. Fisting takes place. And our article on fisting is academically written.
I put up a big fight with the shock site article. I wanted more warning to the reader. It isn't perfect now (imho), but it works well enough to warn the reader. And others have agreed to place warnings where appropriate.
Wikipedians take great pride in this encyclopedia. We work very hard at being fair, and being honest, and being comprehensive. We try to remove POV whenever possible. A rating system would be extremely POV.
With that said, we don't have parent controls and we should never have such controls. Parents *are* the control. Parents need to supervise their kids during internet time. And parents should be grateful that this site takes such care in being honest. We do not trick users into seeing things they are not looking for. Kingturtle 07:58, 3 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Consider creating a Wikipedia:Category schemes as a children friendly catalog. Actually, a friend just asked the other day about a good childrens' encyclopedia, so some combination of Simple Wikipedia] and a category scheme might fit the bill. Fuzheado 08:05, 3 Nov 2003 (UTC)

External Links[edit]

Thanks, Adrian Pingstone 09:36, 1 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I'm not sure about the legality of it. There have been a number of legal cases about this in different countries, resulting in quite a mess of different decisions. There's also the ethical angle; is it right to do this, legal or not?
You would do better linking to the page that the image is on on that site, not the image itself. Then, they can't claim you were pretending the image was yours or you were hiding its origin.
Overall, I would prefer asking the photographer if the image can be used here in reduced size form, or something like that.
--Morven 10:23, 1 Nov 2003 (UTC)
"you would do better linking to the page that the image is on on that site". Surely that's exactly what I've done? If you click on the link the page containing the image comes up.
Adrian Pingstone 11:26, 1 Nov 2003 (UTC)
There is no problem with what you intend to do, neither ethically nor legally. The site owner will be happy about the increased traffic yielding more ad revenue. AxelBoldt 12:08, 1 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Sorry, Morven, I worded my question carelessly, I meant to ask if linking to a web page carrying a copyright photo was permissible.
Adrian Pingstone 17:06, 1 Nov 2003 (UTC)
There's no problem, really, unless the site owner has problems with deep linking. --seav 17:08, Nov 1, 2003 (UTC)
I agree, linking to an external webpage is not a problem legally. Howeever, it is never a good idea to link to another site for just the graphics. It creates unwanted traffic (traffic that does not represent people visting the website and is therefore not a benefit), increasing the cost for the site owner without benefit. It has the disinct disadvantage of Wikipedia not having any control over whether the picture appears in the article or not, dependent upon what the external site decides to do and how much traffic it can handle. - Marshman 18:22, 1 Nov 2003 (UTC)
In generally linking to external pages is ok. Some sites don't like be linked to inside a frame, but Wikipedia doesn't use frames so that is not an issue. Ultimately if a site doesn't want to be linked to from external sites there are things they can do to stop that happening. The site in your example has a policy about linking to its pages see [5]. -- Popsracer 21:17, 1 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Are links to a copyright photograph allowed?[edit]

If I do a link to a photo on the internet site www.airliners.net (on which all photos are copyright the photographer) do I have to ask the photographers permission first or say here who took the pic?
Here’s how the link would look on Wikipedia. I declare the picture public domain so no problems if the answer is that I do have to ask.


using Wikipedia content[edit]

Hello, I know that this question has probably been asked before. But I want to make sure that I have a good grasp on the copyright issues associated with using Wikipedia material. I am thinking of building a site with commercial interests ( in other words I want to sell things ). I would also probably right my own articles about various topics. If I set up links to Wikipedia articles throughout the site where appropriate, would I be violating the copyright? Can I have the Wikipedia material as part of a webpage on my site? And do I have to make all of the material on my website belong to the same licensing structure? I want to do the right thing and I apreciate your patience and help. RW

You can link to Wikipedia articles anywhere without any problems, and we're happy about it. You can use Wikipedia material on your site if you acknowledge Wikipedia as the source, provide a link back to our article, and keep the material under GFDL, including your additions/modifications. If you do that, only the material on your site that can be seen as "derivative works" of our articles has to be under GFDL; you can continue to license your separate materials under any license you want. AxelBoldt 12:15, 1 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Contributions by 142.177.xxx.xxx[edit]

In the past little while, hard-banned user 142.177.xxx.xxx, aka 24, User:EntmootsOfTrolls has been rather active. Contribs: 142.177.10.33, 142.177.11.23, 142.177.81.243, 142.177.79.242. In particular, the following articles were created by him:

Now, being hard-banned doesn't mean anything unless someone enforces it, so I'm going to step up here. Here's what I'm going to do:

  • Rather than outright deleting these articles, I'm going kidnap each of these new articles to subpages of my own User page. I ask that if anyone wants to reinstate one of these, please do not move it back, but rather use a cut-n-paste procedure. The idea is that you are permitted to create the article, but 142.177 is not.
  • I will go through these contributions and revert all of the substantive edits that remain current at this time. (Substantive is my subjective judgment, of course.) Again, feel free to reinstate any of his edits, under your own user name.

-- Cyan 01:51, 31 Oct 2003 (UTC)

They also wrote Cognotechnology (currently listed on Vfd). Maximus Rex 01:59, 31 Oct 2003 (UTC)
That was before he was banned I think. Angela

I have only kidnapped articles created since October 27. Also, there is a question of the attribution required by the GFDL. Since this user is nominally anonymous, I'm not too concerned about it. If necessary, attribution can be made in the edit summary or on the talk page of any reinstated article. -- Cyan 02:06, 31 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I have reverted most of 142.177's other edits. I have also personally reinstated his article on the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. On another topic, I just want to make clear what the big idea behind all of this brouhaha is:

The hardbanned user who edits out of the 142.177.xxx.xxx IP range must get permission from Jimbo before returning to Wikipedia.

Thanks, and good night. You've been a great audience. -- Cyan 03:01, 31 Oct 2003 (UTC)

He's back as 142.177.74.48. Will revert. Kosebamse 16:55, 31 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Not sure what to do with Personal experience and Ethical paradox, though. And by the way, this seems not the right place for discussing the matter. We have a vandals page and a problem users page, but I can't remember seeing a banned users page (which would be useful anyway for reference - bans are rare, but some banned ones are persistent, and it would help to have their characteristics summarised somewhere). Kosebamse 17:19, 31 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Is discussion of LDS temple rites illegal?[edit]

[[User:BoNoMoJo deleted discussion of LDS temple rites from Temples_of_the_Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter-day_Saints, suggesting on the talk page that such discussion was not only immoral but illegal. Further input would be desirable. -- Someone else 18:49, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)

While not a lawyer, User:BoNoMoJo's arguments lack credibility to me. Quoting directly from copyright material of the church would obviously be illegal if they refuse permission (subject to rights of fair use, of course) - but the bogus 'right to privacy' he invokes is utter nonsense. If the church makes its members sign a contract before revealing its inner secrets, then it would be a possible breach of contract law and trade secrets law, but the fact is that this information has now been revealed by so many as to be public knowledge. The church could go after members for revealing its secrets, but I do not think it now has the right to have this information removed. --Morven 19:32, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Morven is 100% correct. BoNoMoJo's arguments lack credibility and seem legally dubious, to put it mildly. In the absence of a contract of secrecy involving all members of the Church, the 'right to privacy' argument seems spurious and I would go so far as to say bogus. FearÉIREANN 00:05, 31 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I think the cultural issues here may be more important than the legal ones although IANAL (I Am Not A Lawyer) either. If these were the religious secrets of an illiterate tribal society I think we would have qualms about the article. What's the difference? Please note, I don't mean this as a rhetorical question. I'm not saying I think the article should be blanked. I'm saying I don't know, the question is a real one, and I think we should discuss it and perhaps try to work out a policy. Andrewa 00:11, 31 Oct 2003 (UTC)
As far as the legal issues, there are almost certainly none. Even if there were a contract of secrecy involving all members of the Church, it would still be legal for us to publish the information. It would be illegal for them to divulge it to us, but once we have it, since we have not signed any contract, we can publish it (as long as it doesn't fall under trade secret law). A similar situation arises with leaks of classified documents: it is illegal for an official to leak classified information, but once it is leaked, it is not illegal to publish it (and in fact classified information is published by major media outlets all the time, citing "anonymous sources"). --Delirium 01:34, Oct 31, 2003 (UTC)

A fair bit has already been said about this at Talk:Temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Why not carry on there? Smokey the Bear says, "Only you can stop forest fires." -- Cyan 01:11, 31 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Good point, and hopefully this discussion will end up there too. There are some more general issues raised here as well, perhaps we need a Wikipedia ethics page. Not sure which wikipedia:namespace is best for it, or the meta, I'm still getting the hang of the namespace and link structure of Wikipedia. Or does it exist already somewhere? If so please someone say where, and let's link to it from wikipedia:Policies and guidelines. Andrewa 18:42, 31 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Terri Schiavo article[edit]

I can't find an article for Terri Schiavo - is it under another name? -Speaker of Your Mom

I don't think there is one; I tried to find one, too. Go ahead and create one. Paul Klenk 16:23, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Not for VdF (or Cleanup), but...[edit]

Either is a fascinating article. But does it not belong in the Wiktionary? -- Viajero 11:41, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Firstly, any article which puzzles, belongs on Cleanup. Secondly, I personally do not see any reason why we should not have articles on words, and the concepts they embody. They just shouldn't be dictionary-entries (if you see the distinction). Either is not just a mere dictionary entry (though it comes close). If that is all that can be said about "either", maybe even VFD is not totally out of the question, but I certainly do not see that as a pressing matter. The article discusses stuff you wouldn't find in a dictionary, and maybe someone will expand it... -- Cimon Avaro on a pogostick 11:58, Oct 30, 2003 (UTC)
My latest quixotic project is to make pages for at least the most interesting of Wikipedia:Common words, searching for which is not possible. I tried either, and perhaps I failed. Other is coming; it will be better. -- Smerdis of Tlön 13:53, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Interestingly, Google will search for either [6] I thought perhaps it was a stop word. No criticism intended, BTW, by all means, continue... -- Viajero 14:25, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Measuring Disputes[edit]

After a week of observing serious concerns on Village Pump -- "Wikipedia needs an editor", "We've lost another two", "protecting Wikipedia", NPOV disputes, epidemic personal attacks, and the like -- I wanted to find out how well perception stood up to the statistics. What I found was a real surprise. Searching through all articles for Wikipedia:NPOV_dispute warnings, care to guess how many articles came back? With 160,000+ articles in EN, I was thinking hundreds if not thousands were in dispute, but the actual number was 89. (September 20, 2003 database dump, with recent dumps about the same). That's 0.06% of pages being NPOV disputed. Of those 89 articles, 30 are related to Israel-Palestine or Jewish-Muslim issues. See User:Fuzheado/metrics for the actual list.

Granted, not all hotly debated articles have an "NPOV dispute" notice at the top, but with my guess being an order of magnitude (or two) WAY OFF is telling. Even if we are generous and say there are 10 times as many articles that are "hot button" and are not labeled "NPOV dispute" that's still only 0.6% of articles. A very small number of articles are creating headaches and bad blood. It seems to not be an 80-20 rule but a 99-1 rule. Just something to keep in perspective as we propose massive policy changes that may drastically change the face of Wikipedia. Fuzheado 10:09, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Yes, Fuzheado makes a fair point. I have contributed or done major edits on about 120 articles, of which only four or five have led to serious POV or factual disputes: Vergina (with a Greek nationlist), History of Poland (1939-1945) (Polish ditto), Adolf Hitler (highly-opinionated persons of all kinds), Jesus Christ and Mother Teresa (Christians), China and the United Nations (the irrepressible Jiang). I think that rule probably applies across the board - 90 or 95% of all articles are not controversial and are rarely if ever edited by anyone other than their author. Even my rewrite of Maoism hasn't stirred any feathers (and I did try).
But the problem is with the remaining 5%, which deal with big, conceptual, hot-button issues, on which consensus will never be reached: abortion, Zionism, terrorism, Dubya, etc. These articles will go on being editted and counter editted forever. Does that matter? Well if WP ever wants to be taken seriously as an encyclopaedia, eventually it will have to have a respectable, settled text on these issues. No-one is going to use or cite an encyclopaedia where every time they look up a controversial subject they find an ill-written spawling jumble of contradictory statements which changes every five minutes.
Just some thoughts :) Adam 12:45, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Question to Fuzheado: does your query also give some clue as to the number of Users who are creating all the alarums and havoc? Phil 17:35, Oct 30, 2003 (UTC)
Good question. I only only been using the articles database, and have no access to user names. That's something the developers might be able to provide statistics on. Fuzheado 00:29, 31 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Good observations, Fuzheado, and thoughts, Adam. Here's my lateral thinking... the respectability you suggest and the joyful anarchy we currently have are not mutually exclusive. IMO our current software and culture are both almost sufficient to support both similtaneously. I have a suggestion at m:referees which is just one way in which we could try to introduce a form of baselining without disrupting the current culture. Interested in others. Andrewa 20:16, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I think people are confusing two different projects:
1) The current Wikipedia that is being created now. The dynamic project that anyone can edit, and is liable to mischief and bad edits; but in the long run inevitably improves.
2) A 'trusted' wikipedia which has been okayed by referees/reviewers as at least meeting a minimum standard for its pages. This will be a static snapshot of the wikipedia perhaps on a yearly basis. This will requires its own location on the internet, and will take approved pages from the dynamic site. These pages will remain frozen until the next yearly? update from the dynamic site. This site will probably have fewer pages and will be exactly like a traditional encyclopedia.
What we have here is Wikipedia. The 'trusted' wikipedia is a different project, which requires a slightly different approach. As I see it this will evolve naturally out of the desire to create an CD version of Wikipedia or Wikipedia 1.0 for release. The information on this CD whenever it is created could be put on its own site. And then updated with each publication of the CD. It requires its own site so internet users can bookmark and know they are going to get safe information. Wikipedia references the latest page obviously.
Corporate organisations and people who have an issue with our dynamic Wikipedia will use this static snapshot, and only refer to the dynamic Wikipedia if they need the updated info. Indeed some people will only be aware of the static Wikipedia, unaware that any mad and crazy dynamic Wikipedia exists.
Having such a set up would deter vandalism, because they would only be very temporarily defacing what is from one perspective only an unofficial 'test' site. :ChrisG 21:51, 1 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Anonymous users should not be allowed to edit pages[edit]

This is a followup to three articles on this page:

  • "We've lost another two"
  • "protecting Wikipedia"
  • "revert war"

The consequences of bias, brutishness, vandalism, and incompetence are detailed in these posts and elsewhere, and yet many of the respondents seem to ignore the costs and perils of the current policy.

  • Please don't ignore those who have given up in despair!
  • Please don't forget that there are those who have heard about "revert wars" and decided not to bother in the first place!

Some of the people who may have the most valuable content to offer the project are likely to have little inclination or time to monitor the fate of their contributions let alone engage in interminable combat. Yes, there are some protections, but these all have their own costs.

In summary, I commend to you Adam's principle: anonymous users should not be allowed to edit pages.

I don't understand why everyone equates anonymity with editing when logged out. Here is a guy simply named "Peak", with no user page, telling us all that anonymity should not be allowed. It doesn't make sense.
Nomenclature aside, will raising the barriers to entry by requiring users to spend 20 seconds creating an account prevent all vandalism? Most vandalism (certainly not all) comes from logged out users, but it doesn't follow that requiring account creation will deter those users. It's just as likely to deter the thousands of logged out users who contribute in good faith. -- Tim Starling 08:59, Oct 30, 2003 (UTC)
And strangely enough, Peak's first and only edit is here. My two cents, though: not having to register is vital to Wikipedia's 1) mission and 2) appeal. For no other reason, Wikipedia turns heads when casual visitors see an "Edit this page" link instead of "Register now" button. What we have now is a zero barrier to entry, and raising our shields would severely affect the character of Wikipedia and the appeal. I certainly do feel registered/logged in users should have more privileges (voting for deletion, logos, etc.) but the privilege to edit here should be extended to all. Fuzheado 09:17, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Denying editing for non logged in users is meaningless, unless we also implement checks on who we allow to create an account, and that... Phhhpt. -- Cimon Avaro on a pogostick 09:31, Oct 30, 2003 (UTC)


Sorry, no easy high-tech solutions to all the strife in the world. Wikipedia is just a reflection of real-world issues.
-- Viajero 09:44, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)
There is a problem. And I think it's important for you who feel associated with wikipedia as it works now not to see in another direction. People who've got tired of wikipedia in its current state, surely will not be there when it has detoriated that much further, that even you realize it's gone too far.
I can't help thinking of dr Martin Niemöller's famous First they came...
--Ruhrjung 13:23, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)
There is an old saying in science fiction fandom: "Close the doors of fandom, as soon as I get in." It isn't so long from the time that I discovered Wikipedia, that I wouldn't remember doing edits before I created a username. If I had to have signed in before editing, I honestly don't think I would have bothered. -- Cimon Avaro on a pogostick 21:47, Oct 30, 2003 (UTC)
There is no problem, and Wikipedia is not deteriorating. For a site that's wide open to the world, article quality is remarkably high and conflicts are remarkably rare. People who have gotten tired of Wikipedia in its current state are welcome to leave, and we thank them for their contributions. I find Niemöller's quote that deals with Nazi crimes tastelessly out of place. AxelBoldt 15:32, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I think there are things to address, but whether we call them problems or opportunities is a matter of mindset. In particular, there are current suggestions and attempts to improve the reception given to new contributors, the quality of articles generally, and the efficiency of our processes.
I think there's room for progress in all of these, but I also think our approach at this stage should be evolutionary, not radical. A complete change in core policy such as this suggestion is not to be taken lightly. Andrewa 20:05, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC) above
People do not leave over vandalism, they leave over fights and edit wars, sometimes over simply bad edits. I have thought about leaving myself several times, and actually have done it (though getting back in two weeks or so), but none of those was because of an anonymous editor. Let's not try to fight the fire in the backyard by mowing the grass in front. Andre Engels 16:38, 31 Oct 2003 (UTC)

We allow edits from anonymous contributors because we assume good faith, and we know that logins are evil. Martin 21:22, 2 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Let me share a secret with you all. The most effective way to solve a revert-war is to walk away from it. Don't go back to it for a week or two. The world will not implode if what you see as incorrect content sits there for a while. You can always go back in a few weeks and make the changes you see fit. Relax. There are 100s of wonderful people here who love wikipedia as you do. It will all work out in the end. Just learn to walk away from the article and come back much later. Your head will be clear. And the dust will be settled. Kingturtle 07:39, 3 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Ban Functions[edit]

I'm wondering if there is any handy (or not so handy) source of information how IP and user ban works. Among the questions I have are:

  1. Will we be able to post some message to the user who is banned? (We have an option of using meta, if not. But it is nice to have some means.)
  2. Will the ban simply denies editing? or the banned user cannot even view Wikipedia articles?
  3. Will the IP-banned user be able to create an account and log on? Or when an IP is banned, all users from the IP, including logged-on users, will be banned?

Any pointer will be appreciated. And just to clarify, I am not planning to behave bad and be banned :-p , but I am just looking for info. on be half of Japanese wikipedians. Thanks for your help. Tomos 04:45, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)

The answers to these questions, as far as I know, are:

  1. Users who are blocked can still see their own talk pages, so messages to them should be received.
  2. In fact, blocked users can see all of Wikipeda; but they are barred from editing it.
  3. An IP block will block signed-in users trying to edit from that IP. (Occasionally, a user in good standing will be inadvertently blocked because the IP was previously used by a vandal.)

Also:

  • IP blocks expire automatically after 24 hours.
  • Blocking a named user also automatically blocks all users who share that IP, so you can't just create a new account to get around a block.
  • There's a distinction between "banning", which is a specific decision by Jimbo to reject a particular user (and comes in various shades), and "blocking", which is the technological method of implementing a ban. There's a user who frequently edits from the IP range 142.177.xxx.xxx who is banned, but not blocked (and in fact was quite active this past day).

-- Cyan 05:46, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Thanks! That clarifies a lot. Tomos 05:52, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)

One of you who understands this well should probably update Wikipedia:Bans and blocks, which is currently woefully out of date, and lacks all the information just posted here. --Delirium 10:49, Oct 30, 2003 (UTC)

Okay. It will happen soon. -- Cyan 18:23, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I have made the suggested update. -- Cyan 01:05, 31 Oct 2003 (UTC)

revert war (well, a skirmish)[edit]

Following Angela's advice (above), I created a new page History of Poland (1939-1945), and redirected the old page General Government to it. An anonymous user called 145.254.117.188 keeps un-redirecting the article, plus making edits to both articles which reflect a Polish nationalist POV and are in bad English. 145 has now taken to accusing me of being anti-Polish at my Talk page as well. I therefore request that General Government be deleted, and a new, empty, General Government be created and redirected to History of Poland (1939-1945), so that 145 can't restore the old text. Adam 03:48, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)

  • The problem is that General Government was an administrative unit, so its history is only a part of history of Poland 1939-45. This doesn't make any sense to get rid of General Government. Maybe good distribution of data between pages would do the same. GH
I had problems with the same user. He made very POV (anti-German) changes to certain articles dealing Germany and Poland, which I reverted. I listed him on Problem Users, then they listed me on Problems Users. After removing myself and being relisted on Problems Users, I had User:Angela move the discussion to Talk:Heimatvertriebene (to get my name off Problem Users). The user ("GH" supposedly but never logs in) seems unwilling to make NPOV edits. Maximus Rex 04:00, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)
  • The pages you are referring to are still disputed. Information, that you try to protect, are not anti-Polish or pro-Polish, they are simply factuary wrong. Despite the fact, that I know more details about some problems, details given by my are kept deleted.GH


I don't think he knows what NPOV is, he is only here to defend Polish national honour etc. This is a type I am sadly familiar with. Also his English isn't good enough to argue with him. This reinforces my strong view that anonymous users should not be allowed to edit pages. Call me old-fashioned... Adam 04:09, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)
  • You already accepted 90% adjustments, I proposed and still made such a biased statements against me personally. If it were up to you, the reader would think that Germany in 1939 annexed only areas up to 1914 border, that Lodz belonged to General Goverrnment and probably, the most important, that Polish history 39-45 is the same as General-Government.
The only problem we have here, is that I know much more details about the interesting questions and I can help you to review your pages, so they contain true informations.
GH

I am not the slightestly inclined to get involved in more warfares around matters of Poland's history. But many contributors, in particular them being cock-sure of their own NPOV-ishness, tend to neglect the involved emotions, it seems. Not the least the degree of disappointment, sadness and anger over how Poland, when formally on the victorious side of World War II, could be so harshly hit in the post-war decades.

Now, you say, the emotions have no place in the encyclopaedic articles, and nobody would argue against that, of course. But the emotions is a driving force which complicates the issue, as you don't have to be much of a nationalist patriot to see belittling of Poland's sufferings in edits which in the rest of the world rather would be seen as pedagogically motivated simplifications. If we don't recognize the emotions behind the edit-war, then we can be pretty sure of the defeated party going increasingly bitter against wikipedia. And that is exactly what wikipedia doesn't need.

On the issue at stake, the question of a separate article on the General Government, or not, I think that would be as much appropriate as separate articles on Vichy France and the Free French.
But that's only my personal view, of course.
--Ruhrjung 18:14, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Benitez, Duran, Hagler, Hearns and Leonard[edit]

Im thinking of writing an article about the important and historical rivalty these 5 boxers maintained among themselves dthrought the decade of the 1980s, with a timeline for each of their fights against each other. The problem is, since no official nickname was ever given by writers, critics, historians, etc to these fab five of boxing, I have no idea what to call the article..any ideas? Antonio Fab One Martin

Maybe it's not worth an encyclopedia article? Otherwise, I'd suggest going completely generic and write articles like Boxing in the 1980s which could also cover other topics specific to certain decades. Daniel Quinlan 23:47, Oct 29, 2003 (UTC)

Truth Controversy[edit]

Article on Truth is currently being kicked around a bit by a couple of users. My view is that one of the articles is of fairly good quality by someone with a philosophical education. The other one is illiterate. But who decides in such cases? User:dbuckner

The normal course of action is to discuss it on the articles talk page. Is there a discussion on it there? —Frecklefoot 16:17, 29 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Be aware as well that some of the recent changes may be from a hard-banned and very intelligent troll, see #Contributions by 142.177.xxx.xxx. Enormous potential here for wasting time. Andrewa 19:18, 31 Oct 2003 (UTC)

American English v British English[edit]

I recently edited Privatization to conform to American spelling (not that I entirely agree with it) because the dominant form was American. Another editor reverted one of my edits because it deleted the alternative spelling. Should we be including phrases like Privatization (also known as Privatisation) when we introduce an article with alternative spelling? See also Nationalization. Tiles 06:33, 29 Oct 2003 (UTC)

It's common to use both. One way of saying it some articles use is along the lines of "Privatization (British English: Privatisation) ...", but this (or the reverse) seems to prefer one usage over the other as canonical. I'd prefer "Privatization or privatisation ...", with whichever one the article is titled as coming first. As for which to title it as, I'd prefer just whichever the original author used; moving is just going to cause edit wars. An exception is articles clearly relating to a region, in which case the dominant usage of that region should be used. --Delirium 06:53, Oct 29, 2003 (UTC)

A few days ago, I put down the compromise that seems to be the unofficial policy on Wikipedia:Americocentrism, but it was not really complete. Therefore, I just finished a codification of what I believe is the complete unofficial policy (and made it official, I suppose) on Wikipedia:Manual of Style. Please take a look. (Some people will not be pleased until Wikipedia is wholly American or British in spelling; I am sure they will not be happy with this codification, but it does seem to be the unofficial policy and it has worked well in my experience here. Perhaps someday, a technical solution will be available, but until then, we might as well write it down) Daniel Quinlan 23:45, Oct 29, 2003 (UTC)

Establish context![edit]

Just a friendly reminder: establish context!

I notice one of the bigger minor corrections I've been doing lately is contextualizing articles. Many people seem to write from the perspective of someone who is vaguely familiar with the field; but some people might not even know what what you're writing about is a piece of computer software, or a concept in mathematics. Example picked mostly at random: Yacc said "Yacc is the standard parser generator on Unix systems.", which to someone who is not aware of the existence of parser generators or Unix systems isn't very helpful in saying what exactly yacc is. Modified version (feel free to reword better): "Yacc is a piece of computer software that serves as the standard parser generator on Unix systems."

The mathematics examples can usually be fixed just by adding "In [[mathematics, ..." to the beginning, or sometimes "In mathematics, particularly group theory, ...". --Delirium 04:37, Oct 29, 2003 (UTC)

I did that a countless times. Actually it is neccesary not be writers' fault. Sometimes writers do not know what he is talking about! For example, I have just added an article Akita Sanesue from an open content website. I know the article needs more context, but I really cannot add more because I don't know who he is honestly. -- Taku 21:47, Oct 29, 2003 (UTC)

Edits being saved but not shown?[edit]

Summary of snipped text: redirect pages were being incorrectly cached such that if the destination page was updated, a visitor to the redirect page would see an older version of it.

Hi, original poster here with some followup. The older version of the page was even showing up on a computer that had never accessed wikipedia before, so I'm reasonably sure it wasn't a caching problem. I created an account and found that when logged in, the correct version of the page is displayed. When logged out, the old version. To reproduce: use a web browser or computer that has never accessed wikipedia before and go to the main page. (You could possibly just log out, but this is how I reproduced it.) Search for "platt amendment" and briefly note the content of the page. There should be no text between the bold headings "Full Text" and "Article I." (This is the old version.) Now log with your account and do the same thing. You should see my changes (the new version) which include some text between the two headings mentioned above. Anyone else able to reproduce this? If this should be a bug, who do I report it to? (P.S. KRS added his comment as I was trying to add this... So, is this a feature or a bug?) Eil 17:32, 29 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Okay, I've backed out this change which was intended to reduce database load on cached pages but fails in the case of redirects, whereas the previous behavior was to always load the page text from the database and then throw it away if the is cacheable. Redirect pages should now ignore any old cached copies, though this has some expense in database and rendering load.
This should fix the immediate problem until a better solution is found for dealing with caching redirects. --Brion 00:25, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I've now fixed the problem with the above code, hopefully. :) --Brion 10:59, 31 Oct 2003 (UTC)


Seems to work now, thanks! Eil 22:20, 31 Oct 2003 (UTC)

List of song titles phrased as questions[edit]

This page has been unexplicably blanked without discussion by [[User::Walklib|Walklib]]. I know that some of the Wikitrivia topics are controversial, but this is not the correct procedure. Can a sysop please revert the page to the last useful edit? Thanks. DropDeadGorgias 18:43, 28 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Ok, I reverted it but you don't need to be a sysop to do this. See Wikipedia:How to revert a page to an earlier version. Angela 20:24, Oct 28, 2003 (UTC)

Gia Marie Carangi or Gia Carangi?[edit]

I dont oppose to the page about Gia carrying any of those two names, but a merger needs to be done. I just saw, on Gia, that Gia Marie Carangi had no page so of course I thought Gia had no page and wrote Gia Marie......merger anyone?? +

- Antonio Gia Wannabe Martin

Done! I kept the title as Gia Marie Carangi as it had more links to it. Angela

Classics Pictures[edit]

I need a picture with a Roman feel for a project I'm working on. I just need some eye candy to brighten up the text, like one could find on the front of any Latin textbook, but Wikipedia seems to be very short of pictures in the classics articles. Does any body know of *any* pictures of Roman things in classics articles? CGS 09:40, 28 Oct 2003 (UTC).

I've posted a few images of Roman coins. Not sure if any of them would be useful. Maximus Rex 21:20, 28 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Check out Gallery of Pompeii and Herculaneum, too.—Eloquence 00:53, Oct 29, 2003 (UTC)
There are some picture on the chariot racing page (a couple of Greek vases, a Roman mosaic, and the bronze horses from the hippodrome). Adam Bishop 20:29, 29 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Protecting Wikipedia[edit]

In some ways, this is a follow-up to the thread on "Wikipedia Needs an Editor." In particular, security was mentioned in passing, but I would like to make that the focus of attention, and to suggest that the Wikicommunity should adopt some measures in an effort to protect what has already been accomplished, and to help ensure that frustrated Wikipedians do not give up in despair.

Some Wikipedians seem to believe that things aren't so bad, so nothing needs to be done. I am not in a position to quantify how bad things are, but there are several indicators that the costs associated with protecting Wikipedia are already quite high. More to the point, the growing size and reputation of Wikipedia will make it an increasingly attractive target for vandals. I don't know if an automated attack been launched yet, but wouldn't it be better to try to avoid it?

What can be done? I am not a security expert, but it seems to me that one of the first steps that could be taken would be in the direction of ensuring that only suitably registered individuals can MODIFY pages created by others.

Security of course is not an absolute, but the history of the Internet yields too many examples of "nice ideas" being overtaken by vandalism in one form or another. The survival of the U.S. system of government can plausibly be attributed to the *pessimism* of the authors of the Constitution.

I think the idea of having the Wikipedia completely open is much more attractive than a semi-closed system to only registered users. (My 2c, in any case) Dysprosia 08:31, 28 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I don't think vandalism is a big problem really, and requiring registration wouldn't solve much (the most persistent and bothersome vandals have no problem registered accounts anyway). The only real worry is that if it's not caught immediately from the recent changes page, some of it slips through and stays in Wikipedia for months, which leads to an overall lowered quality (I found an "president of my ass" or something similar inserted into some politician's article that had been there for about 3 weeks, for example). --Delirium 08:37, Oct 28, 2003 (UTC)

A quick response:

  The day is not yet done, but six cases of vandalism have already
  been dealt with today (Oct 28), and they all involve (anonymous) IP
  addresses.  Whoever is spending time on this could be spending time
  more wiki-usefully.
  • Please reflect on Gresham's Law ("Bad currency drives out good.")
  There's a Wikipedia under that name but better yet there is Aristophanes.
  In his play, The Frogs [405BC], he wrote:
The course our city runs is the same towards men and money. 
She has true and worthy sons.
She has fine new gold and ancient silver,
coins untouched with alloys, gold or silver, 
each well minted, tested each and ringing clear.
Yet we never use them!
Others pass from hand to hand,
sorry brass just struck last week and branded with a wretched brand. 
So with men we know for upright, blameless lives and noble names.
These we spurn for men of brass....

See the thread "We've lost another two..." above.

-- 1635, Oct 28, 2003 (EST)

Surprising to people outside wikipedia and interesting, vandalism has been controlled very well so far. It seems the truth is that there are more wise, sensitive people than more those who are interested in damging things. The more we have vandalist, actually the more and more we have gained good eye-bolws. The trouble most came from well-intention from knowledgable people--those who care a lot of their topics so that they run into conflicts. -- Taku 22:14, Oct 28, 2003 (UTC)

If Wikipedia became an attractive enough target, a vandal could acquire a bunch of zombie computers (through computer viruses or other means), and then perform a Distributed Vandalism Attack, where each infected IP address would vandalize a few random pages. With thousands and thousands of pages vandalized by thousands and thousands of different IPs, we'd have to roll back the database to before the vandalisms started, and then lock out edits long enough to change Wikimedia to be incompatible with the viruses. And then the vandal would make a new virus that would be compatible with the new Wikimedia, and it would start all over again. -- Khym Chanur 07:45, Oct 29, 2003 (UTC)

That has happened yet, thankfully. The theory is that our servers are so slow that they would give up and die if thousands of people tried to edit them at once. So damage to the DB would be limited. Our response time would hopefully be reasonably short -- about 20 active Wikipedians have the contact details of the developers, one of them would hopefully make the call in short order and we'd lock the DB. If we wanted to improve this system, we could put a global maximum on the edit rate. But if someone really had thousands of compromised systems at their disposal, why on earth would they attack Wikipedia with them? Taking www.whitehouse.gov down is so much more glamorous. -- Tim Starling 08:07, Oct 29, 2003 (UTC)
Wikipedia must stay open to all. The beauty of the content is that it represents the minds of all interested. Quite similar to Lincoln's GETTYSBURG ADDRESS, where he says that America is an experiment, we too are engaging in an experiment to see if wikipedia can long endure as a fully-open site. I work on content, but I also do my part in thwarting vandals. The only thing that drives me away is server-slowness. But I always come back. Kingturtle 07:27, 3 Nov 2003 (UTC)

www.WikiImages.org[edit]

I would like to contribute 500 Images to Wikipedia. I work in 3 Languages. That means, 1500 Uploads :-(

Could we not create a central images Database for all Wikipedias with just translated titles or so? Please comment on meta:WikiImages.org. Thanks :-) Fantasy 07:39, 28 Oct 2003 (UTC)