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Notability of academic journals

From time to time, an article on an academic journal is taken to AFD for lack of notability. More and more frequently, I am faced with arguments (explicitly or implicitly) calling for ignoring all rules, even if an article on a particular journal does not meet WP:GNG or WP:NJournals. The justification usually comes down to "Articles on scholarly journals should be presumed notable; we owe it to our readers to allow them to investigate the sources we are citing to document other WP articles." (Carrite at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Journal of Bengali Studies). This argument is also given by non-peer-reviewed magazines (for example, Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Technologist (magazine)). I have given my opinion to the contrary at length at the AFD for the Journal of Bengali Studies, so I refrain from copying all that stuff here, but can do so if people think it is preferable. I would like to know whether the community at large here feels similar: should we include articles on all academic journals without exception? Should I stop wasting my time with lengthy (and repetitive) arguments about notability for journals? For years we have used WP:NJournals to good effect, but if we're going to go for IAR in these cases, that doesn't count for much. Opinions welcome! --Randykitty (talk) 17:38, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

No we shouldn't. There are some journals that are reliable sources for our articles, but the source is a non-notable publication. That said, merging non-notable journals to the publisher of the journal (who is more likely going to be notable if they have many publications under their name) is a good solution. --MASEM (t) 17:40, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Journals lacking the most slender reed of notability should not be considered as having sufficient WP:WEIGHT to count as an RS NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 17:44, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Notability and reliability are two different things. Academic journals are rarely noted by mainstream press, and the journal systems lacks any significant amount of navel gazing to write about themselves. But being peer-reviewed journals with experts in their respective fields meet the basic fundamentals of WP:RS. --MASEM (t) 17:54, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
At WP:NJournals, some criteria have been developed that are less dependent on "navel gazing". I sympathize with Masem's point of view: if a journal does not even meet NJournals, I think it is quite likely not an RS either. --Randykitty (talk) 18:28, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
You may have misread my point. The notability and the reliability of an academic journal are two , unconnected factors. A reliable journal can be non-notable, as long as it meets the basics of what we need for an RS: editorial control, and a history of fact-checking (in most cases for journals, peer-reviewing). Notability might help to identify how well the source may meet these elements if they are not spelled out by the source, but any self-respecting journal is going to make clear of its publishing guidelines. We do not require the source work to have an article on WP. --MASEM (t) 18:33, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I am 100% fine with the existence of stub articles on academic or quasi-academic journals sourced to nothing more than themselves, per WP:IAR. You have the right to nominate, I have the right to defend. Carrite (talk) 18:02, 3 July 2014 (UTC) Last edit: Carrite (talk) 18:03, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm absolutely not proposing to restrict your right to an opinion. I just want to have some clarification on what policy to apply. I have been spending a lot of time recently on AFDs where I was faced with a lot of opposition (and, frankly, also some abuse, but that is not the point here and I'm certainly not implying the abuse came from you; see for example Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Democracy & Nature) based on what I regard as non-policy based arguments. I'm getting tired of that, so I'd like to have this settled at least for the coming year or so. --Randykitty (talk) 18:26, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • "Proposal: WP:NJournals is modified to require that otherwise non-notable journals be cited 3 times in Wikipedia to establish notability." If increasing bureaucracy would make things more clear, then if all other tools for determining notability fail, we could push people who wish for there to be journal articles to at least prove that the journal is publishing content of use to the Wikimedia community. If any otherwise non-notable journal cannot meet this very low bar, then it is unlikely to be of use to this community.
Would a proposal like this resolve the problematic cases? I am presuming that bad journals and disinterested promotional editors would have trouble inserting facts from three journal articles in three Wikipedia articles. Like others have said, if some publication is good enough to regularly cite on Wikipedia, then it is useful for Wikipedia readers to have some information on the source. Blue Rasberry (talk) 18:30, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Not sure that changing NJournals matters in any official sense, in that it is only an essay. Likewise I don't see any need for VPP discussion on changing it. Playing along, however, it seems to be largely consistent with the practices of wp:WikiProject Academic Journals. I'd suggest that inability to find any bibliographic cataloguing data should be treated as a clear indication of both non-notability and non-reliability. We can't expect readers to find sources that we can't locate ourselves. A request on wp:RX that comes up dry after three months can be assumed to be unreasonably difficult for readers to find. LeadSongDog come howl! 20:34, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
I have always been opposed to IAR and Carrite's exposition is a great example of why. There are plenty of independent "newspapers" and other periodicals looking to give their screed the veneer of respectability. Bluerasberry's proposal would incentivize bad actors to plunk "facts" into various entries with an eye towards the springboard to their own article. Since notability is not temporary, the proposal is dead on arrival. I agree with NJournals as it currently reads and voted to delete Journal of Bengali Studies for that reason. While I like using Wikipedia to evaluate various periodicals as reliable sources, a dearth of reliable sources about a periodical render any article about same pretty worthless. I wholeheartedly agree with Masem in that an academic journal may itself be considered a reliable source although not notable. I get RandyKitty's point that an un-notable journal might not be reliable, but I would counter that unless a consensus at RSN says a particular book or author isn't reliable, it is often considered reliable even if it clearly fails WP:NBOOK. Chris Troutman (talk) 20:55, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
I wonder why this discussion has been conflating the isue of a journal's reliability as a source with that of its notability as an article subject at all. The two have absolutely nothing to do with each other; why would anybody think they do? The huge majority of perfectly fine academic quality publications are not notable in the sense of being potential article subjects (or else why stop at journals; is somebody planning to write an article on every scholarly monograph or Ph.D. dissertation that has been out in print with a decent publisher somewhere?). On the other hand, a journal might conceivably be highly "notable" (in Wikipedia terms) for being a notorious pseudo-scientific scam or something. Fut.Perf. 22:10, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I've participated in a number of academic journal discussions at AFD and agree that WP:GNG or WP:NJournals have been invaluable in helping to decide notability. In fact, I tend to ignore the rules and treat WP:NJournals as a sensible guideline rather than just a mere essay. I've never closed an AFD, but if I did, sensible arguments based on these would carry a lot of weight. But I also recognize there may be cases in which these may not apply and invoking IAR is warranted. For instance, major selective indices could have a systemic bias against non-English journals or those from the developing regions. Otherwise serious open access journals may be happy to be indexed in indices that some consider insufficiently selective. Sometimes dubious journals manage to get indexed in good indices for a time. In such cases, editors may invoke IAR and try to present an alternative argument for keep or delete, How well that flies depends on context and the strength of the argument. From what I have seen, IAR rarely works, but it can work and is a useful way to deal with exceptional cases. Unless AFD closers suddenly start consistently putting a lot more weight on IAR than WP:GNG or WP:NJournals based arguments, I cannot see how IAR is a threat to rational decision making about journals at AFD. --Mark viking (talk) 22:26, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Notability is a guideline not a hard policy and so there is plenty of wiggle-room to include topics such as journals. Readers may reasonably expect us to have an entry for any journal which is used as a source. If there isn't a lot to say about it that's fine. There is no requirement for our pages to be of any great length and so a perfunctory entry which provides the essential facts about such a journal is fine. Andrew (talk) 22:32, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • @Andrew Davidson:, this is exactly the kind of attitude that I am having problems with. The position seems reasonable, why not include every academic journal? In principle, I even agree with that. But in practice, I don't. Regrettably, there are journals that we really don't want to include, such as for example predatory journals. Unless these cause scandal that is covered in reliable sources, we would not be able to include a warning to readers that such a publication is a shady journal, because if there is no coverage, all that we can list in an article, as you say, are only the "essential facts" that the journal presents about itself on its own website. Unless you are proposing that WP editors start evaluating journals themselves to decide which new journals are predatory, and then delete articles on those journals based on their own opinion, I see no way around this problem but to have at least a minimum of requirements to establish notability of a journal. By necessity, we need third party sources for that, there is no escaping that fact. BTW, the problem is by no way limited to predatory journals. Each year dozens of journals get started online, now that it has become very easy for anybody to do so. Even when legitimate, many of those don't make it past a few issues, at most. Unless they are supported by a major publisher or academic institution, such journals often disappear without leaving a trace. If we would include articles on them the moment they produce an issue, we are later left with an article that cannot even be verified any more. How would you handle that? We simply must have objective criteria, independent of our own opinions. NJournals uses listing in selective databases for that. That does not, of course, constitute "in depth coverage" in the sense of GNG, but is a seal of approval from a professional organization/company. In practice, listing in just one selective database (not DOAJ or Google Scholar, for example) is taken as meeting NJournals. Everything that we subsequently write in the article, is based on information provided by the journal, which we trust because of that seal of approval by the database. So our current practice is already to have a low threshold for academic journals. I think it would be a very bad idea to completely do away with that threshold or replace it by our own, subjective, opinions. --Randykitty (talk) 10:29, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Let's talk a bit about those "essential facts". Most of those go into {{infobox journal}} parameters as simple factual data, about which even unscrupulous publishers have no reason to mislead readers. One fudgeworthy thing I see there is |impact=, and to mess with that is just foolish: it would be caught, and their advertisers would be pissed to find they'd been mislead. The other is |peer-reviewed=, which is usually omitted anyhow. It's the more elaborate text where primary content becomes a potential problem, particularly in describing scope or editorial policies. There are many reasons why users might come to an article about a journal, but I suggest that first and foremost among the reasons is that the user wants to locate a journal article they've seen cited (whether that be on or off-wiki). Although providing directory services is not strictly the purpose of wp, in the case of articles about journals doing so supports users in the verification of cited statements and in the long run supports the mission of the encyclopedia. For this reason we should prefer to have a minimalist data-only article over having no article at all. Note too that this is irrespective of the reliability of the journal. It is intrinsic to the way WP works that we enable readers to assess sources for themselves. Helping them find those sources is a key part of making WP useful, not to mention that it helps editors grow content and correct errors. LeadSongDog come howl! 15:14, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Are you guys seriously proposing carving out "academic journals" as a new topic fiefdom of alleged "inherent notability", i.e. blanket allowance of articles for any journal independent of outside coverage (like schools or villages)? I thought we've all had enough of those. And I don't buy the argument about it serving the information needs of our readers related to citations in other articles. Why stop at journals? Using the same argument, you could propose having an article about any book that has ever been cited anywhere on the wiki. Or about any individual academic who ever authored one. Or, why not any website that's ever been used as a source? Of course, such a proposal would run directly counter against the well-established consensus of WP:PROF, WP:NBOOK, and WP:NWEB. So what's different about journals? Fut.Perf. 15:33, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
(ec) A reasonable solution I would think would be to have the publisher of such journals have pages (the journal might not be notable, but the publisher should be, otherwise we are getting into SPS territory here), and redirects for those non-notable journals to the publisher and a list of journals there, with even a table to support the datum proposed above. If a non-notable journal has a non-notable publisher, that starts to beg the question of the reliability - not completely, but it does start to raise questions if we can't connect anyone involved with the work or publisher to a known entity that we can even validate with reputation. But I do want it clear that there are hundreds of non-notable journals published by notable publishers (my experience from the more fundamental science/engineering works) and these are certainly fine as reliable sources. Note that I agree with FP that we don't want to have inherit notability for journals, because that would be a slippery slope across the board for any site that publishes information. --MASEM (t) 15:39, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
If you go that route, the publisher articles will become dominated by a long string of thousands of journal infoboxes - something that nobody wants - leading to outright deletion of that data. Outside of WP editors, nobody cares the least bit about our policy on the WP:N of articles, but every critical reader cares or should care about the sources they can use to WP:V statements. How can I make this clear? We don't need these articles to have N subjects, what we need is a place to put the data about the cited sources. Since even after all this time WP can't seem to get it's act together on doing that simple thing well, (don't get me started on our cacophony of citation 'standards') instead we need to cobble together a workable endrun. I would certainly have preferred that this be done properly on wikidata or a dedicated citation space, but for now, wp articlespace is what we have. It sucks, but for now it is the least-worst answer that serves the purpose. Show me a better alternative, and I'll happily say "move that crap outta here", but please don't try to tell me that N trumps V, 'cause that just doesn't cut it. These stub articles may not be pretty, but they serve a useful purpose.
As an aside, consider too that we have many articles citing sources with variant journal titles such as PNAS, Proc Natl Acad Sci, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. We even have a rule saying we have to support the use of all the variant forms, depending on which was used first in an article. Without a target, the redirects are orphaned and deleted. Not that PNAS will suffer that fate, but that the stubby articles we're discussing will. LeadSongDog come howl! 16:50, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
It doesn't have to be a string of infoboxes, it can be a single table, duplicating the primary fields of the infobox (of course, not publisher, you're on the article about them). And realistically, a person who is reading an article that is primarily sourced to journal articles (as those of our technical nature will be), they are going to know how to figure out the reputation of a journal if they need to know that information for their research. And these publisher articles can also serve to be targets for the redirects that you talk about, even using anchors to have the readers land on the right line. So these concerns are simply not there or are addressable as to make the "need" to have journals be inheriently notable unnecessary. --MASEM (t) 06:08, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
Just a note... in the case of the article on Journal of Bengali Studies, there is a serious case of COI that needs to be taken into account... the article was created (User:Tamalmou. It turns out that he is the founder of the Journal. Thus, there is an element of self-promotion behind the journal article. I will also draw your attention to the fact that the only other article to link to Journal of Bengali Studies article is the article on Bengali Studies (which was also created by User:Tamalmou)... where it is mentioned in order to support a claim, that Bengali Studies is itself a notable academic discipline (to quote from that article: "This field is considered to have been formally recognised within academia in recent times with the launch of the Journal of Bengali Studies in the year 2012 by Tamal Dasgupta who teaches at University of Delhi"). I will mention all of this at the AfD... it may make a difference. Blueboar (talk) 12:43, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
Coi and a possible intention to influence Wikipeda in a pov fashion. Hopefully I'm wrong, but as they say they intend to settle one very controversial issue involving the birthplace of someon (Odisha vs Bengal) I'm concerned. Dougweller (talk) 15:35, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

This is why we have List of... articles. Journals not notable enough for their own articles, but with some credibility (i.e. not vanity publications), can be included in a "List of academic journals about foo". Consider also, creating entries for them in Wikidata. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:16, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

Exactly. This is a very workable solution. And redirects can be made since they are also cheap. --MASEM (t) 16:54, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree only partially. Yes, in theory this is fine. In practice, such lists tend to become huge spam magnets. Every new journal created somewhere on the web tries to get into these lists. The problem remains the same as with creating articles: which ones do we allow in a list and which ones not? At least with articles we have some info in the text to judge a journal's notability. In a list, we don't even have that. --Randykitty (talk) 22:59, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Notability only restricts article creation but does not limit article content, so yes, every single journal that is created could be on these lists without a problem. I would think we do need some other criteria in that these journals need to be better than a WP:SPS to be included, and I'm sure there's a few others but the lists are fine. --MASEM (t) 23:09, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
"yes, every single journal that is created could be on these lists without a problem". Including any predatory journals? Also journals that disappear again without leaving a trace (they may be verifiable for a while, as long as their websites are active)? If no, who decides what is a predatory journal? Inclusion is fine in theory, but please also give a thought to how this would work out in practice. --Randykitty (talk) 18:24, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
  • the existing special notability consensus works fine for science and the "hard" social sciences, where there are good standards based on the existence of reliably selective indexes. Within this scope Randykitty and I have almost never disagreed, and the consensus has almost always supported our positions. It's in the humanities where there's a problem, because citation figures and indexing are much more diffuse and variable, and I have often taken a considerably more inclusive policy than my friend RK. I would in these areas extend the inclusion criterion to include without question any established journal published by a major academic publisher or university press, or the principal journal of any scientific society, or included in the principal index of the subject area, but not to exclude others if significance in the field can be determined. (this still leaves us the problem of non-academic journals--I have no such simple solution for them) I think this is wider than RK wants, and its lower than what I would ideally want, but I think its a viable compromise that would resolve most of the problems. I think this better decided on such a pragmatic basic than trying to find general principles--anyone experienced at WP could find general principles here to support almost anything. DGG ( talk ) 22:15, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
DGG is absolutely right that we almost always agree (in fact, I cannot immediately remember an instance where we didn't agree) on the sciences and the "hard" social sciences. The reason that I disagree with including any journal from a good publisher (whether commercial or academic) is that even these publishers start the occasional dud (I have listed a few on my user page), that fails after a short time. udually, this means that such journals did garnered no or almost no interest and I don't think that an artuicle on them is justified. When a journal just started, we cannot possible know whether it will survive or be one of these duds. So at the least I would amend his above rule with some time limit ("...and has existed for at least xx years"). My general problem is of course not with DGG, who knows what he is talking about. My problem is with journals that I don't think are notable, but where there is a bunch of "supporters" who vehemently argue that it is, on grounds that are not policy based at all, but get their way because they shout loud enough. (See this discussion, where I seem to have struck an ideological nerve). For this reason, I'd like to have criteria that are as clear as possible, because that will reduce valuable editor time wasted on unproductive discussions. --Randykitty (talk) 13:07, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
  • "without exception": no. However I dont see any benefit in trying to define a policy or guideline for the borderline cases; that is what AFD is for: to discuss the specifics. And some AFD decisions may not always seem to be aligned with the guidelines or our expectations. That is normal, and corrects itself over time. John Vandenberg (chat) 03:58, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
The vast majority of medical journals do not meet WP:GNG. Category:General medical journals is filled with non-notable journals. WP:NJournals is an essay. I dispute criterion 2: "The journal is frequently cited by other reliable sources." How to determine "frequently cited"? By impact factor?
The essay subsequently indicates that any journal with an impact factor assigned by Journal Citation Reports "always qualifies under Criterion 1." The Journal Citation Reports website is not particularly user-friendly, but I found this page, which states that 10,800 journals are listed with impact factors. I would question whether journals such as "Victorian Poetry", "World Mycotoxin Journal" and "Cartography and Geographic Information Science" are genuinely notable enough to justify Wikipedia articles.
According to the website, Journal Citation Reports has a selection process, which aims to provide "comprehensive" but not all-inclusive coverage. However presence on a comprehensive listing does not necessarily make each individual journal notable enough for its own article in a general encyclopedia. Axl ¤ [Talk] 10:36, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
(ec)Why? "Victorian Poetry", in a field I know something about (and perhaps you don't), certainly meets criterion 1. The other two I know nothing about, but that is nothing against them, as I have no interest in their subject areas. Johnbod (talk) 12:15, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Victorian Poetry is one of several journals published by West Virginia University. However I could not find any third party statements that give it more than a passing mention. Which reliable sources consider it to be influential?
Regarding your claim that it "certainly meets criterion 1", what exactly is its subject area anyway? Is its subject area actually Victorian poetry? With "World Mycotoxin Journal", is its subject area mycotoxins? (Actually, with appropriate clarification of "subject area", I think that criterion 1 is in line with WP:GNG.)
Johnbod, you know more about the subject of Victorian poetry than I do. I am not disputing the quality or reliability of the journal's content. I am disputing your claim that the journal is sufficiently notable to be worthy of its own article in Wikipedia. Axl ¤ [Talk] 15:26, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
I repeat, it clearly meets criterion 1. Yes it is about Victorian poetry, and things a little around that, and I would say is the leading journal with that specialism, which is a decent-sized chunk of a major academic subject. As already pointed out, there is a catch 22 here as academic jornals don't spend much time praising their competitors, and nobody else cares much. That's why we have a special guideline. Johnbod (talk) 22:15, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
If you have a look at the website of Scopus, you'll see here that they include over 20,000 journals, so JCR is pretty selective. And Scopus, although more inclusionist than JCR, is selective, too: there are thousands (probably tens of thousands) more journals that are in neither database. --Randykitty (talk) 12:12, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Johnbod & Randykitty: to clarify your position, are you saying that the 10,800 journals listed at Journal Citation Reports each deserve their own Wikipedia article? Axl ¤ [Talk] 15:29, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, that's not going to fly. We have to make sure it is 100% clear that the verifyability and RS-ness of a source has zero to do with notability and having a stand-alone article. --MASEM (t) 15:56, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I think that all journals included in the JCR are notable: they have been selected by a group of specialists (in part based on objective quantitative data: citation analysis) as the most influential journals in their area. In practice, both DGG and I have even accepted inclusion in Scopus as satisfying NJournals, although we both are starting to have some qualms about it becoming more and more inclusive. In any case, I don't know the latest estimates about how many academic journals are currently in existence (JournalSeek has currently >70,000 entries, but even that is probably a lower limit), but 10,000 (or even Scopus' 20,000) really is only the top of an iceberg (i.e., notable...) --Randykitty (talk) 16:13, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
I've no idea - what puzzles me is where your decisive views on "Victorian Poetry", "World Mycotoxin Journal" and "Cartography and Geographic Information Science" come from! 10,800 seems rather high, I'll admit. "Victorian Poetry" would I think be in the top 20-60 Eng Lit journals, though I'm not the list-making type (and see the library figures below). Johnbod (talk) 22:15, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
For an encyclopedic article, we need to make sure that, in time, we can actually write a good article that meets V, NOR, NPOV. Just being listed in the JCR has no assurances that more sourcing about the journal will come about. Ergo, this logic does not work. --MASEM (t) 16:20, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
(1) Victorian Poetry was an interesting example:, because WorldCat shows it is in 1328 libraries, and it's included in Project Muse, on of the key services we and all academic libraries depend on for academic content of current journals. I would say it is unquestionably notable.
(2)I join Randykitty and Johnbod in asserting that yes, every journal included in Journal Citation Reports is notable beyond question, and the need for discussion is only for the ones that are not. (The real difficulty is with journals of national interest, that are not effectively part of the general international scientific information system. In principle we should cover them, but it is very difficult to get reliable information on their individual importance) Why should it surprise anyone that there are 10,000 notable journals? To take an example from another field, in the single 2012 Olympics, there were 10,568 participants--every one of them is considered unquestionably notable. Thee were another 4302 in that single Paralymic's, and we consider each of them notable also.
(3) We can always write an NPOV article on a journal, because the objective facts are easily verifiable. They're all in WorldCat, and other catalogs, and they serves as a third party source to confirm the information on the publication. DGG ( talk ) 17:11, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
But as an encyclopedia we want more than mere existence, we want to established "why" we've opted to document something and show its relevance to the world at large, with that reasoning backed by sources. Otherwise, there's billions of topics (starting with every living person in the more populated countries) we can verify existence but not relevance. For most academic journals, there's very little documented relevance to the real world that we can cite; I know personally in my own field that there's some journals that are more important than others but nearly all of them fail to have any real world importance that we can document. --MASEM (t) 17:26, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, the "why" is that a journal included in JCR is a leading journal in its field. We can provide an independent reference to that from JCR. And besides the IF, we can give all kinds of other interesting factoids: when it was established, publication frequency, which databases include it, language used, who the editor-in-chief is and who was EIC in the past, etc. All this is neutral info that we can get from the journal's own website. If you have a look at the journal article writing guide, you'll see that we can make an article that is sourced and informative, albeit probably brief. I disagree that these journals have little relevance for the world at large, after all, it's where new knowledge usually is published first. Yes, the subject matter is sometimes arcane, but that's not a reason not to have articles on them. --Randykitty (talk) 19:23, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
From an encyclopedia POV, those other factoids don't help. They're great for WikiData (see below) but just putting out primary information doesn't help. --MASEM (t) 19:41, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
DGG, the journal's presence in 1,300 libraries is circumstantial evidence. This does not directly satisfy criterion 1 of WP:NJournal. It certainly does not satisfy WP:GNG.
Your analogy to Olympic athletes is a poor one. WP:ATHLETE states "If the article does meet the criteria set forth below, then it is likely that sufficient sources exist to satisfy the inclusion criteria for a stand-alone article." The guideline indicates that Olympic athletes will (almost) always have suitable sources somewhere—which is what the GNG requires. (Incidentally, not all Paralympians are implicitly notable—only those who have won a medal, per WP:NOLYMPICS.) Tangentially related, there aren't 7 billion journals in the "population" of journals. Axl ¤ [Talk] 19:59, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────If one has a look at the talk page archives of WP:NJournals, the above discussion strongly resembles what happened when it was attempted to have NJournals accepted as a guideline instead of just an essay: some people argue that each and every academic journal should be included, others argue that they can only be included if they meet GNG. I think that the idea to get rid of all journal articles is just as bad as having them all. It would appear to me that NJournals is quite a good compromise between these two extreme positions, neither of which, IMHO, is likely to ever become the consensus position. --Randykitty (talk) 15:45, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Johnbod, since you ask, I looked at the Master Journal List. They divide the whole list into three categories: Arts & Humanities, Science, and Social Science. I looked through the lists and chose one obscurely named title from each category. Then I searched for evidence of notability for each journal.
You keep insisting that "Victorian Poetry" meets criterion 1, yet you have still not provided any evidence. Which reliable sources declare that it is influential in its subject area?
For what it's worth, I think that the three categories used by Journal Citation Reports are suitable for defining the "subject area" referred to in criterion 1. Axl ¤ [Talk] 08:44, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
What seems to an outsider an "obscurely named title" isn't likely to produce very good results, is it? The The New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet both sound pretty obscure. The former's article has to go back to 1977 for some independent praise singing, and as explained above, looking for "independent" sources saying nice things has all sorts of problems. For our purposes looking at library take up, citation indices, and similar quantative measures is more useful. Are you saying you think WP:NJournals means that a journal has to show it is "considered by reliable sources to be influential in" one of "Arts & Humanities, Science, and Social Science" as a whole ("its subject area")? I think that would be an unusual interpretation, which only a handful of journals would meet. Johnbod (talk) 12:55, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
"What seems to an outsider an "obscurely named title" isn't likely to produce very good results, is it?" That's why I also searched for reliable sources that describe the journals—which is the GNG recommendation.
"Are you saying you think WP:NJournals means that a journal has to show it is "considered by reliable sources to be influential in" one of "Arts & Humanities, Science, and Social Science" as a whole ("its subject area")?" In the absence of a clear definition of "subject area", I think that is a reasonable interpretation of "subject area".
"I think that would be an unusual interpretation." Possibly. We would need some sort of survey to demonstrate that. It may be better if the author(s) of the essay clarified the intended meaning.
"...which only a handful of journals would meet." Indeed! Axl ¤ [Talk] 22:01, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Victorian Poetry meets NJournals because a committee of experts has judged it among the most influential journals in its field. This is sourced by its inclusion in the Thomson Reuters databases. --Randykitty (talk) 12:24, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Wikidata alternative

John Vandenberg was talking about this at WikiProject Medicine and mentioned d:Wikidata:Periodicals task force. I see two concerns here:

  1. Academic journals rarely meet any Wikipedia inclusion criteria, and therefore by standard rules ought not have Wikipedia articles
  2. Other Wikipedia articles cite academic journals which are reliable sources but not notable for inclusion into Wikipedia. This means that if anyone wants more information about the reliable sources we use, they cannot find that information on Wikipedia.

I feel that Wikipedia would be best if somehow we were able to give people whatever information is available about the sources being cited in Wikimedia projects. LeadSongDog said "I would certainly have preferred that this be done properly on wikidata or a dedicated citation space, but for now, wp articlespace is what we have. It sucks, but for now it is the least-worst answer that serves the purpose. Show me a better alternative, and I'll happily say "move that crap outta here", but please don't try to tell me that N trumps V, 'cause that just doesn't cut it. These stub articles may not be pretty, but they serve a useful purpose." Pigsonthewing also said "Consider also, creating entries for them in Wikidata." Future Perfect at Sunrise, as you say, notability and inclusion are supposed to be related and you asked why people were arguing that non-notable articles were proposed for inclusion into Wikipedia. It is only because of giving people access to information about sources. I do not want that access lessened, but d:Wikidata:Periodicals task force may lead to a solution compliant with Wikipedia and meeting everyone's needs. Blue Rasberry (talk) 11:54, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

I've dumped my thoughts on how citations should work, in future, here: User:Pigsonthewing/Citations - the future. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:06, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
This might ring with your idea but a possible idea, like with WikiBooks when you link through an ISBN and get to a selection of links to review, that for journals, newspapers, websites, etc. we possibly have a database that include, at minimum, links direct to the source, Wikipedia articles about the source (if they exist), and other possible details. So that in references these can always be linked to something without necessarily having an article about it. --MASEM (t) 15:54, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
If it's decided that journals that won't pass WP:GNG but are whose reliability as sources can be verified are to be put in list articles, the lists don't necessarily have to be organized by topic. This would just start many new arguments about which journal should be on which list. It would make more sense for the list to be by publisher. For a few entries only, the list could be a table in the publisher's article, and for a large number of items a separate list could be made. If the section heading or list article title was something like "List of peer-reviewed academic journals published by X&Y Co.", that should exclude any publications by the same publisher that were unsuitable as sources. If each item on the list had to have either a Wikipedia article wikilink or one reference verifying that the journal was peer reviewed, that should eliminate unreliable publications. The fact that a journal may have published only a few issues and then was no longer published, and isn't very notable, should be immaterial to being on such a list. Comparing this to articles about musicians: There are many musicians who are not notable enough for their own articles, but are listed in the article about bands or orchestras in which they participate. Similarly, there are many musical compositions which are not notable enough for an article, but are listed in the article about the album in which they are included. Surely, if a not-yet-famous rap song or drummer can have a line in a Wikipedia article, a peer reviewed journal warrants a mention somewhere. —Anne Delong (talk) 16:18, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
This seems like a good idea, even alongside the other solutions proposed. It's also something that can be done immediately. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:47, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
not just a peer reviewed journal, but any published journal could justify a Wikidata entry. Similarly for every published book, and author. But I do not think we should be in any hurry to actually do it ourselves, as there are already excellent databases of such things., such as WorldCat, which can be used to populate the entries. Actually, I don;t even think there's a need for this, because the information is available in these and similar databases, and what we really need to develop is linking. If we redo the work ourselves, I think there is a real danger of ending up like OpenLibrary, with bibliographic information that librarians generally consider thoroughly unreliable. (it's a very good text repository, but not a good source of data.) We could probably even justify a listing for every scientific article, but the doi system already handles that., at least in principle, and is designed to permit indefinite expansion. DGG ( talk ) 17:19, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
This looks like a promising direction. Would it be better to convert the permastubs about journals into soft (or hard) redirects to the wikidata entries when the stubs are otherwise null? LeadSongDog come howl! 04:51, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
If this was implemented, I would grandfather existing stubs - let them be but if someone nominates them for deletion, we can then replace them. But new stubs after this has been put in place, those we'd speedy (following something like CSD#7, with no clear evidence of importance or notability) as to replace with this WikiData link. --MASEM (t) 05:19, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Colour or Color?

Why don't we use "Colour". Without trying to diss or outrank either culture, might I point out considering it is the ENGLISH language then shouldn't we use the ENGLISH spelling? I appreciate this may have been discussed, however it is extremely confusing how the spelling of a few countries such as America is used instead of the spelling officially in the English dictionary. This is on the article Color Please review. Thank you --WARNER one (talk) 16:35, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

Please see WP:ENGVAR for when we use the US vs UK spelling when there are strong national ties. --MASEM (t) 16:39, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
Color is an English spelling. —Farix (t | c) 22:20, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
Exactly, America is an English country meaning that color is English.-- (talk) 23:07, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
Colour is also English. You both need to read the policy that Masem linked to as well as Comparison of American and British English. If an article is about an British person, place or thing - colour is used. If an American p,p or t - color is used. Respect for both countries spelling, dating etc. is a hallmark of editing at Wikipedia. Please try and observe this. MarnetteD|Talk 23:21, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
I think you need to reread my statement and pay particular attention to the article. —Farix (t | c) 12:51, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
Both spellings are English. Linguists tend to document the common use of a language as its "correct" use (see Linguistic description), because prescriptive grammar usually amounts to preaching one's sins as gospel. Over half of all English speakers are American. And as the largest dialect in American is the Southeastern, y'all need to start using y'all more often.
And from a prescriptivist perspective, colour is more in line with its French origins, but color its ultimate Latin origins. Traditio adorat Americae.
WP:ENGVAR seems like a totally acceptable compromise. Ian.thomson (talk) 23:24, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
"Over half of all English speakers are American"? Tell that to the (East) Indians... --Stephan Schulz (talk) 12:10, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
And I think he must be aware of it. See for instance [1] and [2]. He does seem to have a problem with America though given his edit summaries. Dougweller (talk) 16:14, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
There are even words within English that vary in spelling with no national demarcation - artefact vs artifact. Are you planning to lay down that one is OK and the other is not all right?— Preceding unsigned comment added by ‎Peridon (talkcontribs) 22:09, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
That has a strong "national demarcation" - "artefact" is not ok in American English, but is predominant in British English. Johnbod (talk) 23:59, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
And in my uneducated opinion, "gray" and "grey" are equivalent and without much national tie. Chris857 (talk) 03:58, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Gray tends to be associated with American usage and grey with British, but you're right, both can be found in both varieties. (Then there's greyhound and Gray code, which are thus spelled no matter how you spell the color.) --Trovatore (talk) 05:31, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
I understand and generally happily accept WP:ENGVAR, but the Color article is one I truly find quite hard to read, probably more than any other impacted by that policy. It grates so hard against some great English teaching I had in my youth. I suspect I'm not alone. I wish we had a better way of handling this sort of very blatant seeming spelling difference, rather than just deciding to use one variant completely at the expense of the other. (Yes, I know the alternatives are mentioned at the beginning, but that doesn't help me read what my brain keeps telling me are misspelt words.) HiLo48 (talk) 04:19, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but if we changed it to your preferred spelling, someone else would experience the same psychic pain that you are feeling. So there is no equitable way to fix this, because no solution presents a case where what you describe doesn't happen for a sizable number of English speakers. --Jayron32 04:33, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
We'll, of course there is an answer: write both articles. We just don't think that is a price worth paying. Perhaps for a few high profile articles it might be, though. LeadSongDog come howl! 04:39, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
[AFter Edit conflict] That's obviously true Jayron. That's why I didn't ask for it to be changed to my preferred spelling. I said "I wish we had a better way..." Maybe there could be a very small subset of articles where the difference is as painful as this one is to those brainwashed into using the other spelling variant, where we create two versions. A user could switch between versions with the click of a very obvious button at the top of the page. As I said, I can usually cope, but this one reads like fingernails on a blackboard. Or should that say chalkboard? (See, that difference I can deal with!) HiLo48 (talk) 04:47, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
And LeadSongDog and I have said almost the same thing there. HiLo48 (talk) 04:47, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Why would two articles be a reasonable solution? Is the concept spelled color in North American varieties of English distinct and different from the concept spelled colour in Commonwealth varieties of English? If not, why do we need two different articles about the subject? Because a u or lack thereof bothers a small subset of people? --Jayron32 19:29, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Spelling is a non-issue. Any English-speaker will know what is meant whether it's spelled color or colour. The real problem is where there is a difference of meaning e.g. tabled. In theory, it would be easy to avoid using phraseology that causes this sort of confusion. In practice, editors don't have it front of mind. See for example the opening of Québécois nation motion. DeCausa (talk) 21:09, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Seriously everyone will understand.--Good afternoon (talk) 03:59, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
I hope that someday you will be able to complete your study of English, so that you might have the opportunity to read some works by American authors, as well as the fine works by those from the Commonwealth. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 16:33, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
From a technical perspective, i think its possible to make a string that shows depending on your ip location or wiki of origin. {{localspell|usa|color|rest|colour}} 16:52, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
The "{{localspell}}" idea given above would have far greater cost than benefit; it would make article source more difficult to edit, and would never be consistently applied anyway. A much better alternative—for the relative few to whom this issue is a big hairy deal—would be for someone to write some client-side Javascript code that dynamically swaps British and American spellings, one way or the other, for display in the browser. All that would be needed is a set of substitution rules (or a lookup table) to refer to. Users could then select a preference for British-to-American spelling conversion, American-to-British spelling conversion, or no conversion. — Jaydiem (talk) 01:01, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Not really related but some words such as "Tongue" to "Tung" by Webster were not accepted as well by the public. Okay now for the related bit, as for the article I can argue the same thing about the usage of date, I am used to dates such as July 18, 2014 and not 18 July 2014, it took me awhile to get used to it here on Wikipedia that is all I can say. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 01:24, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

IP edit Twitter bots and possible semi-intentional trolling/outing

We've now seen Twitter accounts set up for CongressEdits and ParliamentEdits. And now there are similar accounts for the North Carolina General Assembly, the Australian Parliament, the Chilean Congress, the Irish Government and the French National Assembly—and there's plenty more. It's not just governments but also now the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). User:Edsu's software to do this is open source.

On the one hand, this is no bad thing for transparency. There have always been politicians (or their staffers) fluffing their biographies, removing their now uncomfortable views and scandals of yesteryear.

But how far is this going to go? As I said, there's now at least one of these accounts set up for a non-governmental organisation—PhRMA. The transparency case is far harder to make for non-governmental organisations. It'd be useful before people start creating loads of these to work out how they fit with Wikipedia policy. What happens when the Palestinian editors set up "@EvilIsraeliEdits", and then the pro-Israeli editors set up "@HamasFanEdits"? What happens when people start guessing at IP addresses and then using this kind of bot to try and out editors they dislike? This could easily become a platform for outing and off-wiki harassment. At the same time, there are people who legitimately want to run one of these bots to monitor specific industries or organisations—I've had discussions with people who have asked exactly where policy stands on this and I've ended up saying "well, it sort of depends on the whims of ArbCom and ANI". Any ideas on what guidance we could give to people contemplating setting up one of these bots? Where's the line here between transparency and being a jerk? —Tom Morris (talk) 08:20, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Please explain how this could be/ lead to outing. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:21, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Collecting together and disseminating a list of IP address which are supposedly linked to a particular business, organization or person without any real confirmation, then blasting that out over Twitter seems like it could be harassment if it is incorrect. There are FOI requests which help us know that a particular IP address belongs to the Houses of Parliament, but for other stuff, there's a problem of inaccuracy. If I set up a Twitter bot called "@AndyMabbettSockEdits" and had it repost a few IPs I think belong to you, that's kind of outing/off-wiki harassment, even if it turns out to be inaccurate. Okay, in that case it's fairly obvious. But what if I set up "@IsraeliShillEdits" and started claiming that some IPs are pawns of the Israeli government? There's an attempt at outing a user as being an employee of a particular government or organization.
I don't ask this theoretically. There are people who have told me they want to set these bots up as a way to provide some kind of oversight of particular industries or organisations and they want to know where the line is—when does it become off-wiki harassment? —Tom Morris (talk) 13:30, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Setting up "@AndyMabbettSockEdits" my be harassment, certainly dishonest, even libellous, but it's not outing unless you post it here. However, none of the accounts in question are about people, but institutions. With that in mind, I asked you to "explain how this could be/ lead to outing". You have not done so. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:06, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
My question here: what is actionable to us? {{Nihiltres|talk|edits}} 14:16, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Nihiltres: The actionable bit is: (a) we need to work out whether or not setting up a Twitter bot to "monitor" edits of people you don't particularly like might count as outing/harassment, and (b) given the sort of trollish behaviour that the CongressEdits bot is causing those in Congress to make, whether long-term soft-blocking might be a desirable solution? —Tom Morris (talk) 10:53, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── For (a), I think the answer is clearly "no". Setting up a Twitter bot is only practical if the information is already mostly public—the only real connection that could be "outed" would be an IP to an organization or individual, and only when they're editing anonymously. It could be used as a component of other harassment, but I don't think that it would constitute significant harassment per se aside from being strange and perhaps uncomfortable. If someone were to set up "@NihiltresEdits" tomorrow, I'd be a bit uncomfortable, but it's not like anyone interested couldn't get the same through Special:Contributions/Nihiltres. For (b), I don't think that we need any particularly special reaction: if the edits are disruptive, temporary blocks may be justified to prevent further disruption. If not, we should remain open to contributions as usual. {{Nihiltres|talk|edits}} 14:22, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

This is a duplicate of a post at Wikipedia talk:Conflict of interest. Please discuss there. In future, please post pointers, not duplicates. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 10:32, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

links to TimaticWeb

We seem to have a lot of visa information articles and most of them have references to Timatic. These references are often unformatted, inline external links to long URLs on that can essentially be replaced with the {{Timatic}} template. I first thought of this as purely a technical issue - it's better to format these references, and to reduce a crapload of copy&paste across the encyclopedia. However, after seeing various combinations of the links, and visiting the general website, it seems like we might be using a trivial technical backdoor to access a database that is supposed to be off limits to arbitrary lookups, and is instead meant for use by airline websites - they have an elaborate charging model where each transaction through this backdoor actually has a monetary value assigned to it (!). Nevertheless, this issue has existed for at least 4 years or so. The link that we send people to doesn't have an explicit terms of use statement saying "you should not be here", but it can be inferred from the context (see Template talk:Timatic). I wonder if this is the time to start removing these links just in case, in order to make sure we prevent any possible liability for us or for our readers who click on the links. Thoughts anyone? --Joy [shallot] (talk) 11:34, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

I haven't read the whole terms of service but whatever they wrote inside cannot prevent us from using it as a reference. Asides from this probably being raw data that by definition is not eligible for copyright protection we are also not copy/pasting any content anyway so I don't see the problem. We only use it as a reference and I've never heard that anyone can forbid you to do that. The fact that it's a commercial service doesn't mean it can't be a valid reference, published books are also commercial and are sold for real money and you can't read them unless you pay for them (maybe a better example would be a newspaper) yet that doesn't mean we can't use books as a reference or that writing inside a book "This book cannot be used as a reference" would be of any significance. That still of course does not mean you can copy/paste from it. As for clicks causing an airline to pay for that, I am pretty sure anything that gets them billed is password protected. Just think about it, a hacker could write a script that would send several million such requests to Timatic on behalf of an airline, and what, an airline would suddenly be left with a multi-million dollar bill? I doubt it. I think there is a difference between raw data here available to everyone and the expanded Timatic client that airlines use on their counters and which can't be accessed by us, hence the missing "you should not be here" statement on pages we are using as a reference. Also common sense tells me something about the fact that these links have been used for years on Wikipedia if you check through article histories.--Twofortnights (talk) 11:45, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Maybe I didn't make one thing clear - I'd never suggest that we remove all references to Timatic. But I have to find it odd that the "Delta business to customer" (right?) account stopped working after a while. Maybe they noticed that we're racking up the bill, and changed it. Obviously it would be silly and pointless for an airline to go out and sue Wikipedia and/or all the people who click on those links. But it could still provide for a less than amusing interaction with an airline's legal team. We just don't need the liability. If we can go by with just using the meta data, we should probably do that. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 12:16, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes but we need more than a presumption that this was the case. I think we should contact Delta and see if their Timatic service was really terminated because of Wikipedia because to me it sounds far fetched and so far based only on your understanding of things which could be wrong. I personally think that if this was the case Delta would have changed access information or would have at least sent us a message, it really doesn't sound like a company of that size would entirely drop the Timatic service for such trivial reasons - [4]. I would say reasons are probably simpler, if I had to bet I would say they thought that the US Department of State website provides more user-friendly explanations that can't confuse readers like the technical Timatic response that's not so easy to read for a first time visitor and also the "Visa required. Except for" can probably confuse many readers. For anyone else they can use the SkyTeam Timatic.--Twofortnights (talk) 12:37, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I actually also don't think they ever dropped it - but they could have easily had it changed to another "user" and "subuser" parameters, and trivially hide the new ones from end-users. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 19:54, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
No the web based client was available on their website, now that page links readers to see what the State Department has to say - [5]. IATA provides paper based Timatic, maybe Delta is using that now. It's all guessing though, one would have to contact them and see what happened exactly.--Twofortnights (talk) 21:34, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Btw someone not involved in these articles might ask a perfectly natural question "why not use a different source". And here is the answer. A huge problem is that many countries don't publish their visa policies anywhere else at all so the only place where you can find it is Timatic as they still do notify IATA of changes (though even then many are slow to send them a notification). Sure, western countries mostly update their web pages and notify IATA immediately however so many don't. I have analyzed it and here is what I came up with specifically. Egypt, Bangladesh, Gambia have seriously conflicting information between various official webpages. Some countries have dubious information on specific issues such as the length of stay, for an example South Korea. Malaysian immigration website page on visa policy, the only relevant page there is, mentions countries that no longer exist, some of which ceased to exist even before the internet came to be. Some countries simply put up false information like Iran. For many countries it is unclear what the visa policy is all about as in original language it might mention that some countries have a simplified visa procedure while in English it might talk about visa on arrival, like Nicaragua or Kyrgyzstan. Some countries like China have very complicated visa policy that is not found in one place anywhere else. Conditions for visa on arrival by some countries is not explained, like Guyana, Nauru, Senegal. Some countries are trying to be creative with online visa systems but are apparently not capable of doing that properly - Rwanda, Myanmar and Nigeria come to mind. Some countries make grand announcements about adopting complete change of their visa policies only not to explain those changes properly anywhere like Congo or Syria have done. Of course not even Timatic is always up to date, island nations like Marshall Islands or Barbados are very slow even to notify IATA.--Twofortnights (talk) 16:42, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

AFDs and TFDs and CFDs

Subject was There should be a policy saying that AFDS and TFDS and CFDS shall be closed after 7 days open

I will not say anything more about this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 16:38, 22 July 2014‎

And I doubt anyone else will either, since you have given no explanation for your proposal. AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:42, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
No, they are closed as soon as enough people have given enough input to judge consensus. They generally remain open at least seven days to allow for enough people to contribute an opinion. But there is (nor should there be) any rule which requires them to be closed after seven days, sometimes they just need more input, and Wikipedia does not have a deadline. --Jayron32 16:51, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
The policy is clear that discussion shall last at least 7 days. Sometimes there's extensive discussion, so it's permitted to continue. Sometimes there's not enough discussion, so it's extended. There's no way in hell that anyone will lock a discussion in to "7 days, no matter what", and it's a poor way to treat the community if we did the panda ɛˢˡ” 17:08, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Hooray! Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 17:46, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

FYI, IP seems to be upset about Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2014 June 22#Template:Infobox Simpsons episode. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 17:51, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

I figured that, based on their contributions. I cannot fathom why they're in a hurry to have it closed, however. the panda ɛˢˡ” 18:05, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

It is overdue for a mouth now. (talk) 18:37, 22 July 2014 (UTC) I am the same man as by the way. (talk) 18:38, 22 July 2014 (UTC)


Missing reference markup will no longer show an error

As noted above, "If you use references on a page, you will soon always see them at the bottom of the page, even if you forget to add the <references /> tag (or a template)."

This has been deployed and has a few issues:

More discussion at Help talk:Footnotes#Missing reference markup will no longer show an error. --  Gadget850 talk 11:08, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

@Gadget850: bug 66700 doesn't look related, did you mean something else? — This, that and the other (talk) 11:22, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
Fixed. Thanks! --  Gadget850 talk 11:29, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
bug 67854 doesn't exist? --Redrose64 (talk) 12:09, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
bug 67845 --Glaisher (talk) 12:13, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Can the auto system be upgraded to add a References section header, and keep the references section at the bottom? We are now getting talk pages, with no separation between one post and the ref-list, and another post is then added beneath it e.g. Talk:Soka Gakkai where it appears that the references relate to the post above them, although they don't.

The current arrangement means that, althiough the list appears, someone has to go around and manually add the ==References== section header, which is also one of the most common misspellings (I have corrected "Refrences" at least once in 140 of the last 142 weeks, plus the corrections to "Refferences" "Referrences" and "Referneces") - Arjayay (talk) 13:37, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

Depending on how bug 67700 is resolved, I would add namespace detection like we do with the other cite errors. On talk pages, we could just not show the list or show it with a header. --  Gadget850 talk 23:21, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
Looking at the patch, I think it is just going to add a maintenance category, which would be blank by default. I will have to see this implemented to see how it actually works. --  Gadget850 talk 23:38, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
@Arjayay: Based on your post, I created Wikipedia talk:AutoWikiBrowser/Feature requests#Update FixHeadings to fix misspelling of References. GoingBatty (talk) 17:41, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks - but if it automatically added the (correctly spelled) References section, this would not be necessary. - Arjayay (talk) 17:48, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
It won't. And the auto reference list will always be put in the wrong place. If we had kept the previous error checking, then we could have done this. --  Gadget850 talk 13:25, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
The tracking category should be deployed in 1.24wmf14. --  Gadget850 talk 15:59, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Adding this feature caused explosion on pages with missing references section. -- Magioladitis (talk) 18:02, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Details please. What sort of explosion? Example? --  Gadget850 talk 17:14, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Gadget850 me and Bgwhite and perhaps more, fix daily Page with references list missing. Last month there were very few pages so we could fix them manually, checking for vandalism etc. The last days we have to fix more than 100 pages per day. At some point I had to use my bot. Bgwhite asked help from other bots that add references lists because as far as I remember some other bots were also checking for references lists removed and had better performance than AWB. -- Magioladitis (talk) 17:27, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

w:(lang) links

Did something change in recent months relating to the way MediaWiki handles [[w:(lang):Example]] links? Previously, [[w:de:Australien]] should have worked in exactly the same manner as [[:de:Australien]] to produce a link to this page, however it doesn't seem to work anymore, for any non-English language code. For some reason, the en language code still works: w:en:Test and en:Test both do the same thing. --benlisquareTCE 17:45, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

It has changed [6], there have been some fixes aiming to make the handling of "local interwiki links" like [[en:Dog]] or w:Dog more consistent. It seems that the fixes indeed introduced a little regression, [[w:de:Australien]] is now handled like [[de:Australien]] instead of [[:de:Australien]]. This, that and the other should know what to do with this. Matma Rex talk 19:00, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
Hmm, this is interesting. The new behavior is arguably more correct, and I suppose I designed the changes so it would work this way. But on reflection, it doesn't seem quite right; in particular, from a cross-wiki code reuse/transclusion perspective, it is definitely not right. I'll have a think about this and perhaps write a patch for MW core. Benlisquare, thanks for bringing this up! — This, that and the other (talk) 02:52, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Now that I've looked a bit more deeper into the issue, does this apply to enwiki only? w: links seem to still work just as before on the Chinese Wikipedia and other language Wikipedias. --benlisquareTCE 06:23, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
I've found (see User talk:RexxS#Oh no, not her again) that all you need to do to fix these is either insert a colon right at the start ([[:w:de:Australien]]w:de:Australien), or omit the initial w ([[:de:Australien]]de:Australien). So long as it begins with a colon, it's treated as a clickable link, not a H:ILL.
That's true, but the intention is to restore the old behavior, so there is no need to go around willy-nilly adding leading colons everywhere! — This, that and the other (talk) 02:48, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, there is the chance that templates and pages throughout Wikipedia have such links which have yet to be modified by someone following the change to link behaviour, meaning that there may be non-functional links lying around. --benlisquareTCE 04:58, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Given Wikidata has removed the old way of doing interwiki links that needed a colon, should the non-colon functionality be made identical to colon, or is there anything where it's still relevant? Adam Cuerden (talk) 20:46, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
@Adam Cuerden: ILL are still needed for #section links, and for topics with 2 pages at wiki-A but only 1 page at wiki-B. See H:ILL#Local links (2nd bullet point) and d:Help:FAQ#Editing (#14 and #15) for details on each. Quiddity (talk) 21:16, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Also for pages in User: space. --Redrose64 (talk) 21:54, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

This is now tracked as bug 68085, with a fix pending review. Matma Rex talk 23:05, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Can I get consensus for Special:Email to point to Special:EmailUser

It seems intuitive to me: Special:Email should redirect to Special:EmailUser. I was having a chat in IRC, on #wikipedia-en-help, and I asked a user to email me, and gave the wrong link. Redirects are cheap and this should save (some) time and confusion. I mean, who would you be emailing other than users? I was going to go to bugzilla but decided to get consensus first. Comments? Thanks, Lixxx235Got a complaint? 04:48, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

I would support such a change. Special:Contribs points to Special:Contributions, so why shouldn't Special:Email point to Special:EmailUser? Dustin (talk) 05:03, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Technically, as a software change, this doesn't need consensus. Anyway, I submitted gerrit:146798 that will add it. Jackmcbarn (talk) 16:11, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
I gave the patch a +1. I'm wary of adding in aliases for every possible thing, but this one seems pretty sensible and common to me. --Dan Garry, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 03:26, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Agree. — xaosflux Talk 04:07, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
We should probably do the same for Special:E-mail and Special:E-mailUser. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:52, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Might be going a bit too far, along the lines of DGarry's comment, not as useful. — xaosflux Talk 04:07, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
My change has been accepted. It will be live here effective July 31st. Jackmcbarn (talk) 18:13, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

More templates not appearing on mobile

Further to recent discussion, about {{Authority control}}, it also appears that {{Commons category}} does not appear on our mobile view or app; and no doubt its sibling templates and others are similarly affected.

This will affect editors little, since most are likely to be working on in desktop-view, but a significant number of our readers are on mobile devices. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:45, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

{{Commons category}} ultimately uses Module:Side box, which adds the invisible-for-mobile metadata class. About 380 other templates also use the module. SiBr4 (talk) 14:20, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
All those elements are also not present in print. This is by choice. They are not part of the 'content proper', but are 'internal' in nature. Now with the more advanced mobile website might slowly start losing the requirement to hide some of those elements by default, I think it was mostly hidden originally because of the maintenance templates, and even those are being represented now, so perhaps someone should file a bug against Mobile to revert the decision to hide .metadata in the mobile view. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 14:56, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Alternatively, we can of course say that {{Sister}}, should just not call the metadata version of {{Sidebox}}, but that is a community decision. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 15:01, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
It's Template talk:Listen/Archive 3#Does not render in mobile view. once again. Just add |metadata=no to the {{side box}} that is inside Template:Sister. --Redrose64 (talk) 16:44, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
@Redrose64: Done; please let me know if anything breaks. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 08:37, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Collapsed sections not showing

It also appears that anything inside {{Collapse top}}/{{Collapse bottom}} is hidden on mobile. See:

This really isn't on. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 08:33, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

{{Archive top}} has the navbox class. Same issue as with Template:Authority control. SiBr4 (talk) 09:25, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

two annoying problems

I mostly edit from an iPad. So, a while back they switched in the mobile site by default. As it does not support admin tools I opted to go back to the desktop version. For some reason in the last 48 hours I keep getting sent to the mobile version at the start of each new session, even though I'm still logged in from before. I've searched my preferences and can't find anything in there to deal with this. Is there a way to permanently disable the mobile site?

Also, I though maybe I'd try asking the devs over at the technical forum on meta and it seems SUL is not working over there. I navigated there from here and when I got there I was not logged in and for some reason it is not accepting the password I use here. I may have had a separate password over there in the pre-SUL days but I certainly don't remember what it was now. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:05, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Beeblebrox, I don't know much about tablets, but it sounds like the two most common problems when this happens are the user going directly to the mobile website via the URL (if you type "", then you'll get the mobile site no matter what your prefs say and no matter what kind of device you're using), and corrupted cookies. So you might double-check the URL, and you might see if there's a way to clear cookies. If neither of those help, then perhaps someone else will know more than I do. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:54, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
I've never navigated directly to the mobile site, so it's not that. I've had the same link in bookmarks for three years and it has always taken me to the desktop version of my watchlist. The way they do watchlisting on mobile is one of the worst things about it, I can't understand why anyone thought it was a good idea. I cleared all my cookies and loged back in and it took me to the mobile site again, so it looks like it's not that either. Beeblebrox (talk) 01:27, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Hrm. @DGarry (WMF):? Ironholds (talk) 04:11, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
[Re: The second problem, your Meta account is attached to your SUL account, so you theoretically shouldn't have a problem logging into that site. Graham87 12:16, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Tried again just now. Once I bypassed the mobile version over there, it prompted me to reload the page to apply my user settings, seems to be ok now. When I clicked back over here I got the mobile version again.... Beeblebrox (talk) 17:24, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

@Beeblebrox: For the questions about the mobile web interface, Maryana is your woman. For the SUL stuff, Special:CentralAuth/Beeblebrox says that Beeblebrox on Meta is attached to your global account, so I can't explain the issues you're having crossing wikis. Try totally clearing your browser cache and cookies, and if the problem still persists then, file a bug on Bugzilla with as much information as possible. --Dan Garry, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 17:00, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

The SUL thing seems to have resolved itself, must have been a temporary issue. I've completely reset my browser, removing all history and cookies, twice. Pretty sure the problem is not on my end. But I have to say I hate the idea that I have to set up an account on another website to get attention to an issue on this website. If someone with a bugzilla account wants to copy this over that would be great:
  • Issue:persistently redirected to mobile site despite repeatedly trying to opt out. If I leave WP, even without logging out, when I return I am sent to the mobile site. I can see the URL for the desktop site actually change to the mobile site about a half second after I click the link. Have removed all cookies and cleared all history, issue is persistent.
  • Time frame: last 3-4 days
  • equipment: ipad2
  • OS:ios7.1.4
Thanks in advance, Beeblebrox (talk) 17:31, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Hmm, that's no good... Thanks for the bug report, Beeblebrox; I've added it to Bugzilla. Will get the devs to take a look. Maryana (WMF) (talk) 22:19, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
@Maryana (WMF): Ok, here's a weird thing: I went into my bookmarks menu to look at the actual URL, which did not have the "m" for the mobile site in it. I removed it anyway, went to my watchlist and added a new bookmark with the same URL and now it isn't redirecting me. I have no idea how that makes the least bit of sense but there it is. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:18, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
That could potentially make sense if the mobile redirect thingy is, or has ever been, using a wrong kind of HTTP redirect (permanent HTTP 301 instead of one of the temporary ones). I haven't checked if it does. Matma Rex talk 22:43, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Watchlist notification page

Greetings, (I have forgotten), could someone provide me the page link that controls notifications above watchlist (example: A new discussion is taking place on ABC. [dismiss]). Thanks TitoDutta 05:13, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

@Titodutta:, I am pretty sure you do not mean the Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment#Before_starting_the_Request_for_comment_process because that is for pages that are prone to adversarial action. As far as I can tell, you can get notified about any wide-ranging discussions about watchlisted pages only if you created that page. In that case, in the top right corner of that page | Preferences | check Page link, or check Page review (you can hover your cursor over the question mark to get help) | Save .
It occurs to me that an editor could simply post a section to any watchlisted talk page about discussion or request for comment. You would see that by virtue of your watchlist.
PS: wp:flow may make it possible to get notified about pages which you did not create yourself (but not yet). Pinging @Quiddity: about this application for the Flow project. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 06:58, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
@Titodutta: MediaWiki:Watchlist-details. — Mr. Stradivarius on tour ♪ talk ♪ 08:56, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I think you're misunderstanding Titodutta. The query is about "notifications above watchlist". This would be about the banner adverts occasionally appearing there, and which can be [dismiss]ed with a click. AFAIK, there is no way to opt out of them, and I don't recall opting in. Actually, I don't have the slightest idea who or what is reponsible for these. Paradoctor (talk) 10:56, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Watchlist notices has some CSS fragments that make them invisible. -- John of Reading (talk) 11:07, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
There are two sets of these. Watchlist notices are displayed to all users; geonotices, which are displayed just above that (and in a different font, for reasons I've never worked out) are shown to all users in a specific region. These tend to be for local events rather than for on-wiki discussions, as it wouldn't make much sense to limit on-wiki stuff by geography. At some point they should probably be combined :-) Andrew Gray (talk) 19:12, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I can never remember the exact page name that works as the linkhub, but the shortcut is easy: WP:NOTICES. :) Quiddity (talk) 18:34, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Use old version of a template

At Template:IPvandal/testcases, I want to include a set of tests that showed the results given by a specific old version (581205260) of the template. I read and tried Help:Permanent link, but it doesn't work for templates (it just becomes a link to the specified template; it doesn't transclude it). How can I transclude this old version of {{IPvandal}}? —[AlanM1(talk)]— 14:21, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Create {{Template:IPvandal/old}} with the version you desire and transclude it. --  Gadget850 talk 16:57, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
@AlanM1: I copied the request to bugzilla:68399, because I wanted this same feature in few occasions before. 20:52, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Running template within Lua and a few other questions

I'm working on a Lua replacement for {{UND}}

My original goal was to allow an optional parameter to indicate that it should be signed. I'm still mulling how to do that, but wanted to recreate the existing functionality first.

My draft attempt is Module:Sandbox/Sphilbrick/UNDiftest

My main issues:

  1. Several of the output strings include a template. I don't quite see how to run a template inside a string. For example, one of the output strings has {{Font color|white|green|Submit your draft when you are ready for it to be reviewed!}}. That one should be easy, but I also have to accept an admin name and convert that to the usual output.
  2. The copyvio option has an optional input. - you can run it with or without an external site name. I think I want to do something like if frame.args[2] but I'm not quite sure.
  3. I believe we don't usually end with a module, but wrap the module in a template. I'm missing how to deal with the fact that the module will have 1-4 arguments
  4. In some cases, the template used safesubst rather than subst. I didn't use either. What should I do?
  5. I'd like to convert upper case input to lower case for the parameters. I know Lua is case-senstive, so if someone passes "D" as an argument, I'd like to autoconvert to "d". I chexkws the refernce manual and didn't see such a function.

I know I still have to write documentation and create testcases. I will work on that, but want to make sure I don't have to fundamentally restructure first.--S Philbrick(Talk) 17:39, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

@Sphilbrick: As I look at that template, I don't see any advantage to converting it to Lua. Jackmcbarn (talk) 18:21, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

What I really want is a better version of the CBB templates, as seen in:
North Carolina Tar Heels women's basketball
The problem:
When adding the 2013–14 entry, it isn't hart to enter the wins and losses overall and by conference. But it is a pain to update the coach records and the overall records, especially when you consider that they are occasionally done wrong, so you should verify the complete sums, not just add the most recent year to the totals.
AFAIK, ordinary templates don't do math well. They can calculate ratios within a row, but I don't know how to sum across records.
My impression is that Lua can do this, so I thought I would learn Lua to work on it.
However, I wanted to tackle something easier as a start.
I had independently been working at both WP:SCV and Wikipedia:Requests for undeletion. In each case, there are canned templates to deliver standardized answers. However, the SCV templates automatically add a signature, and a bullet point, and are designed to be added to the end of the entry, rather than the next row. In contrast, the UND templates do not automatically add a signature, and you need to add your own indention and place on the next row. Not a big difference, but when going back and forth it means I have to stop and think each time which convention has been adopted.
I suggested that the UND templates be modified to auto add signatures, and that was rejected. So I thought it would be a good excuse to learn some Lua skills and either create some templates which could handle either case, r if not, at least create some that would work for me.
If you tell me either how to do math in traditional templates, or that Lua can't handle math, I'll probalby abandon my attemtps to lean Lua, and simply make a custom version of UND templates for my own use.--S Philbrick(Talk) 19:42, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
You can use the {{#expr:}} parser function, covered at m:Help:Calculation. For example, {{#expr:2+2}} → 4 --Redrose64 (talk) 20:54, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
That would actually be mw.ext.ParserFunctions.expr("2+2") inside Lua. Jackmcbarn (talk) 20:59, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
It was in reply to Sphilbrick's q "how to do math in traditional templates". --Redrose64 (talk) 21:53, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I know how to do something simple like add two numbers in the same string. However, I have wins for each year, and need a total. For example, in Karl_Smesko#Head_coaching_record, the current approach has a separate template for each year, and subtotal templates. As you can see, I calculated the win loss ratio for the Walsh University year, but tpo get the sums of wins and losses for the subtotal and total lines, I need to do it in an external spreadsheet. That works if I always do the updates, but many of these were already created, so adding a new year, which is an upcoming task, is quite a pain.--S Philbrick(Talk) 22:07, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I think I asked once before and was told I cannot do math across templates, if that makes sense, so I need to build the table as a simple template, to have access to all the values. I'm assuming that is that much rework is needed, it ought to be done in Lua.--S Philbrick(Talk) 22:09, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Suggestion for a new tool

With certain articles, we get a lot of editors working at once on the article, with multiple edit conflicts etc. Recently, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 has been affected by this.

Would it be technically possible to introduce a "timer" preventing the article from being edited for a short period of time (i.e. not more than 5 minutes) after the last edit? Of course, if such a feature was technically possible, there would need to be due discussion as to its desirability, but there's no point in discussing the latter if the former isn't possible, is there? Mjroots (talk) 20:51, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

@Mjroots: Would reasonable use of {{in use}} (with a parameter as needed) be appropriate? GoingBatty (talk) 21:15, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
@GoingBatty: - No, because that is only a courtesy request, as is {{underconstruction}}. There is nothing to stop an editor from editing an article where these templates are displayed. Mjroots (talk) 21:21, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
@Mjroots: Note that {{under construction}} is an invitation for others to help with editing, whereas {{in use}} is a courtesy request not to edit for a short period of time. GoingBatty (talk) 21:35, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I believe he's looking for something that's enforced in software, not something that depends on the courtesy, or even the attention of, dozens or hundreds of other editors. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:29, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
On the actual question: It is technically feasible, but it'll never be agreed to. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:30, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I think this is a bad idea. At best, it would mean every act of vandalism would remain for 5 minutes at a minimum. At worst, it would discourage positive contributions and allow users to effectively lock down a page (by timing their next edit to the end of each time period). SFB 16:43, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I'd already thought of that. One way around this would be to enable admins (or maybe admins and confirmed editors) to be able to edit during the temporary lockdown time. Mjroots (talk) 14:55, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

I noticed that sometimes I have been getting edit conflicts on that same article's talk pages... caused by editors editing different sections (I am relatively sure of this, although I am not certain). Has anyone else experienced this issue? Dustin (talk) 22:34, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Yes, I ran into that issue on that article's talkpage myself a few times, I believe. Similar matters tend to happen if I take a while writing an edit on huge pages like ANI. AddWittyNameHere (talk) 06:34, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Flow is intended to replace current Wikipedia talk page system. --  Gadget850 talk 15:38, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

LaTeX, Cyrillic, UTF8, oh my!

I'm in the process of converting lots of Bibtex entries into wikipedia-friendly UTF-8. Consider the following bibtex entry taken from Mathematical Reviews:

    "\def\cdprime{$''$} "
 @article {MR0178390,
     AUTHOR = {Erd{\H{o}}{\v{s}}, Paul},
      TITLE = {On some geometric problems},
    JOURNAL = {Fiz.-Mat. Spis. B\u ulgar. Akad. Nauk.},
   FJOURNAL = {B\cdprime lgarska Akademiya na Naukite. Fizicheski Institut.
               Matematicheski Institut. Fiziko-Matematichesko Spisanie},
     VOLUME = {5 (38)},
       YEAR = {1962},
      PAGES = {205--212},
       ISSN = {0015-3265},
    MRCLASS = {50.00},
   MRNUMBER = {0178390 (31 \#2648)},

Per [7], I'm guessing \cdprime is supposed to be ъ or something similar, and MR def'ed it to a null character on the assumption that most people wouldn't have the cyrillic style file included. But honestly, my LaTeX isn't good enough to be sure that's what's going on. I'm not able to get this to compile on my home machine.

  1. Is ъ the intended symbol?
  2. Should the start of the full journal name look like "Bъlgarska"?

Thanks, Lesser Cartographies (talk) 04:36, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

(update) Worldcat uses "Bŭlgarska akademii︠a︡" and "Bulgarska Akademii︠a︡ ". Way out of my depth here.... Lesser Cartographies (talk) 04:57, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

No, it doesn't make sense to mix latin and cyrillic letters in one word, so Bъlgarska shouldn't be an option. You can use ŭ if you want. The sound is like the schwa sound of the letter u in the word Bulgaria. It can also be transliterated as a, with or without diacritics, but for English speakers even plain u works. It depends on which of the many transliteration standards you want to follow. Some standards use " (double quote) to transliterate ъ from all languages that use the Cyrillic alphabet, that's because ъ is silent in Russian, so you can't use a or u there. I suspect that line 2 of your bibtex code defines cdprime as double quote. --V111P (talk) 04:17, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
@V111P:, I just figured out how to compile this and the results aren't particularly sensible: B′′lgarska. I'm going to chalk this up to a strange error at MR and follow your advice and use Bŭgarska. Thanks for the help, I really appreciate it. Lesser Cartographies (talk) 06:00, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Copyright detecting bot

Dear technical experts: When I first joined Wikipedia I remember that there was a bot that went around checking and tagging pages for copyright violations. I haven't seen any pages so tagged for some time, and of course the ones it tagged have either been deleted or had tags removed. Can someone tell me the name of this bot and if it's still around? It appeared to be very useful. —Anne Delong (talk) 05:07, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

User:CorenSearchBot and WP:SCV? MER-C 05:23, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Also see WT:MED#Exhausted which points to WP:Turnitin. CorenSearchBot handles new pages only, not changes to existing pages, and the others are hopes that something might be done for additions to existing pages. Johnuniq (talk) 06:25, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
As noted above CSB only searches new pages. If you want to see some, see Wikipedia:SCV. There are dozens of new ones every day, and not a lot of editors clearing them. If anyone has any spare time...--S Philbrick(Talk) 19:47, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
If the bot only tags new mainspace articles, that explains why I haven't encountered it lately. I've been working mainly with pages in the Category:G13 eligible AfC submissions, which are all at least six months old, although, surprisingly, many of them are copyright violations. It would be nice if the bot could also check newly created pages in the Draft: namespace. Thanks for taking time to reply. Sorry, I won't have spare time to help with that backlog until I clear out my own.Anne Delong (talk) 20:30, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
CorenSearchBot misses many that would be easily found with a Google search. This is in part because CorenSearchBot (and MadmanBot, which I believe is a clone) are not permitted to use Google search per Google's Terms of Service. This is a place where a phone call from the Foundation might solve a big problem. --j⚛e deckertalk 19:12, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Ah! MadmanBot is the one I remember seeing. Does it check AfC pages? There are other search engines. It would also be nice to have a process that would go through a pre-prepared list of links to articles. —Anne Delong (talk) 19:26, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I've seen it catch some things at AfC, for sure. A lot of those get handled quickly, so if you don't spent a lot of time at the most recent end of the "0 days" category, you may not have seen them But you are absolutely right that too much slips through, when I was playing with G13s before there was a G13bot, I can't begin to tell you how many things marked "advert" were also copyvios, it was insane.
When I was noticing that, I looked into feeding MadmanBot (or one of the other CorenBot-alikes) the G13s, and none of them came out hits. You can point it at individual pages at User:MadmanBot/manual. That's what led me, along with some other evidence and discussion, to my conclusion regarding Google. --j⚛e deckertalk 20:09, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Tech News: 2014-30

07:42, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Links in headings

I'm increasingly seeing links (and sometimes even templates) in section headings. AIUI, this shouldn't be done. How can we encourage editors not to do so? Should we raise a bug for mediawiki to remove such markup from headings? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:13, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

MOS:HEAD already advises not to include links in headers. Is it such a big problem that links need to be removed automatically by MW? SiBr4 (talk) 15:15, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Ref tags cluttering an article talk page

Have a look at the end of Talk:Malaysia Airlines Flight 17; there are many sections of discussions where editors are proposing or challenging text from the article, and have included said text from the main page, refs tags and all. Is there a way to address this via technical means, e.g. suppress the output of a reflist on a page? Tarc (talk) 14:36, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Not anymore. See #Missing reference markup will no longer show an error. Until that enhancement was deployed, we had namespace control over the previous error message and did not show it on user and talk pages because of the copy/paste references. This keeps coming up, so I will file a bug report on this. --  Gadget850 talk 14:40, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
bug 68324 - Cite: Add namespace detection for automatically generated reference list. Now marked as WONTFIX. --  Gadget850 talk 01:22, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, thanks for trying. The WMF is too busy wasting millions on features no one wants (flow, visual editor) and rejecting small things that may actually be of value to the community. Tarc (talk) 12:13, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
The practical solution is pretty easy, and has the advantage of making it possible to evaluate the sources in that section. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:16, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

requesting help for 'help video clip'

Hi, I came across one video clip for ULS help for Telugu language wikipedia as shown below. The clip is usefull but it does not show how to access help page. We will apreciate if some one helps us with simmiller clip for Marathi language.

Thanks & Regards Mahitgar (talk) 15:16, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Click on the 'cc to change the subtitle language and learn how to type in Telugu on Telugu Wikimedia projects from this video

Viewing SVGs in IE

I'm running IE11, and I've always used this or previous versions since I began editing in 2006. I've always known that I can't get a full-resolution SVG by clicking on the image when viewing its description page: I have to click one of the links after "This image rendered as PNG in other sizes", or rightclick to get Properties and go to the address given in the "Address (URL)" line, because I've never had software capable of viewing or editing SVGs (aside from Notepad), and as a result it's always asked me if I want to download the SVG, or download software to view it, or something like that.

In the last couple of weeks, I've discovered that this is no longer the case: going to an SVG's description page and clicking on the image will take me to a larger-resolution version of the image, as if I'd clicked on a PNG or JPG. For example, clicking on the image itself at File:NRHP Counties Net Quality.svg takes me to without problem. Is this something new with our software, or something new with IE? I've not changed anything with my browser, aside from routine updates from Microsoft which, I suppose, could have included the capability to view online SVGs. Nyttend (talk) 01:05, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Internet Explorer has included the ability to natively view SVGs since version 9. Nothing really new. — This, that and the other (talk) 01:32, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
@Nyttend: It's been the case for some years that on a file description page (including that for a SVG), clicking the image is the same as clicking the Original file link; this is how I obtained the original SVG files so that I could make my first derivative work way back in 2010. What your browser does upon clicking the image (or the link) is down to itself. When I try it in IE8 (having Windows XP, I can't use IE9 or later), it pops up a box headed "0% of ...NRHP_Counties_Net_Quality.svg from" and in front of that, another headed "File Download" containing "Do you want to open or save this file?" and some buttons. --Redrose64 (talk) 10:13, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I was running IE8 until the end of last year, when I bought the current computer. Maybe it's just taken me eight months to notice the additional capability that this newer browser has? Nyttend (talk) 12:21, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

SUL question

So, according to this, once an account is unified that name is reserved on all Wikimedia wiki's. So I have a few questions:

  1. Does this preclude a bureaucrat on a local wiki from renaming a local user to a name that isn't (locally) taken yet (but is globally unified)? Or one that is taken but has zero edits?
  2. Does this break the "unification"?
  3. Is there a log/view that shows if/when an account was unified?

Back when this feature was enabled I could have swore I successfully unified my account. Then, sometime in 2010 or so, another user wanting to use my username on pt-wiki got a bureaucrat to rename them to my name. Now my account is not unified and refuses to unify as I don't have the password for that account. Is this a bug, or a feature, or am I misremembering that I unified my account? =)

Thanks! —Locke Coletc 01:42, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

@Locke Cole:, the answers to your questions are:
  1. No. Local bureaucrats have the ability to arbitrarily detach local accounts from global ones using Special:RenameUser.
  2. Yes. As you can see from the bottom of Special:CentralAuth/Locke Cole, your account is no longer fully unified.
  3. Not to my knowledge. Special:CentralAuth/Locke Cole is probably the closest you can get, but it's hardly comprehensive and there are errors for older accounts.
However, don't fret too much. When we finally do the SUL finalisation and forcibly rename users to resolve every single clash, the user on ptwiki will be renamed out of the way for you and your account will be permanently fully unified; I decided a while ago that if someone had already taken a global account then they'd get to keep it, irrespective of any other factors. --Dan Garry, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 03:15, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Sounds good, thanks for your help Dan! =) —Locke Coletc 04:13, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Watchlist on Android beta

I regularly use my Android mobile phone to look for changes on my (ridiculously large) watchlist: we're a two-person one-computer household. I'm using Beta but not "experimental". I have set my watchlist to "Hide bot edits from the watchlist", in my preferences. This works fine on the desktop, but seems to be ignored on the mobile: every bot edit is still listed.

Three other annoying factors about the mobile watchlist:

  • The only way to see User Talk pages is under "all"
  • There is no "more" option at the bottom of each list, so the system restricts how many changes are shown
  • Multiple changes to one page are all shown individually, rather than aggregated as on the normal watchlist.

Like many people, I have DGG's talkpage watchlisted. He currently gets a massive number of separate messages from HasteurBot every morning. As a result, I cannot see on my mobile watchlist any changes made to User talk pages between the last time I looked and about 2am UK time: the day's bundle of HasteurBot messages shifts anything earlier into invisibility.

Is there any chance of any of the 5 contributing factors being fixed?

  1. Make the "hide bot edits from watchlist" preference work on mobile
  2. Add a "more" option at bottom of watchlist listings on mobile, so I can see the rest of the changes
  3. Create a 5th heading for the mobile watchlist, for "User talk" (or include them in "Other")
  4. Aggregate changes to a page so that they list as one item in the mobile watchlist, capable of expansion, as on the desktop version
  5. Get HasteurBot to aggregate its daily messages per talk page.

I get the feeling that mobile users are considered to be the great unwashed, encouraged to upload photos but not expected to be serious editors. More and more people expect to be able to use their phone for a wide range of activities, and aren't always sitting at a desktop. Please can someone offer some help in this area of mobile watchlists? Thanks in advance! PamD 07:19, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

bugzilla:68365, bugzilla:68367, bugzilla:68368, bugzilla:68369. And it is not 'unwashed', it is strategy. The thing is still being build and the initial focus was to make Wikipedia accessible to readers on Mobile devices. Only THEN the team would start looking at what editor related functions would make sense on mobile and slowly build that out. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 10:02, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Will await progress with interest. PamD 21:22, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Also just realised: "Hide my own edits" doesn't work either. Can't face trying to read or edit Bugzilla on mobile. PamD 22:01, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

is there a way to change the highlighted reference colour?

on pages with many references i find it difficult to find the reference i clicked because the highlight colour is too much like the page colour. is there a way i can make it more obvious? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Xxami (talkcontribs) 10:31, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

You can put the following rule in your common.css and change the color to your liking:
ol.references li:target, sup.reference:target, span.citation:target {
    background-color: #DEF;
-- [[User:Edokter]] {{talk}} 10:49, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Tables / HTML

What is the correct sintax for some HTML code?

Variant A Variant B Variant C
background bgcolor=#RRGGBB style="background-color:#C0C0C0;" style="background:#C0C0C0;"
RGB - U/l #RRGGBB #rrggbb

For now it's all, but I think I had something more :) And am I right, that mixing bgcolor and background/background-color in one article could cause some problems with some browser? I read about it in one talk page. And which is the place (Wikipedia, Internet) where I could get the correct sintax?

For the tables, I think the Help:Tables could be expanded (in code size). These are the changes (never mind the reference, it is unrelated). And the tool warned for the deprecated HTML elements. --Edgars2007 (talk/contribs) 15:06, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Technically, variant B is the only correct one (though the RGB values may be specified using eiter 3 or 6 octets in either upper or lower case). Variant C will work, but is actually a shorthand for background-color, background-image and background-position combined. If you only want to change the color, don't use it to prevent potential CSS inheritance issues (when overriding it on a cell level for instance). -- [[User:Edokter]] {{talk}} 15:59, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
@Edgars2007: See Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 127#Background colour on mobile devices regarding bgcolor= and compatibility. If you find that bgcolor= is still mentioned in help pages, please list them here and we'll fix them up. --Redrose64 (talk) 17:48, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. @Edokter, Redrose64: What about making changes to Help:Table? --Edgars2007 (talk/contribs) 08:51, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I have already amended it to not use the bgcolor= attribute (six weeks ago). What's still wrong with it? --Redrose64 (talk) 09:12, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
@Redrose64: I was talking about these changes (most of which were made with Dispenser Reflinks tool), there are some deprecated HTML elements, too. --Edgars2007 (talk/contribs) 13:54, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I've eliminated all use of the bgcolor= attribute from Help:Table. Is any of the other deprecated markup actually causing problems? --Redrose64 (talk) 15:15, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I just thought, that help page should represent correct sintax, so that people could use it (at least those, who read that page), but OK, if I'm wrong, then it's my problem :) And yes, I know about the WP:AINT. --Edgars2007 (talk/contribs) 15:26, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
There is a demonstrable problem with the bgcolor= attribute on mobile devices, this is mainly because that attribute was never a formal part of the HTML spec except when used in the <body> tag, so it is good practice to hunt down and fix such markup.
However, a lot of other deprecated markup was valid at some time or other - this includes align= on a <table>, <tr> or <td>; valign= on a <td>; and width= on a <th>. In particular, the border= attribute is still valid on the <table> tag and is not deprecated. Some of the changes made in that edit to User:Edgars2007/tables was completely unnecessary, such as changing underscores to spaces in the left-hand side of piped links, changing the case of hex colour values, and adding spaces in section headings. Trivial changes like those make it difficult to spot the real changes. --Redrose64 (talk) 16:25, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
The latest HTML5 draft is showing align= on <table>, <tr> or <td> under "11.2 Non-conforming features": "Elements in the following list are entirely obsolete, and must not be used by authors". border= on <table> is not showing as obsolete or deprecated, but the W3C validator gives a warning that "The border attribute on the table element is presentational markup". --  Gadget850 talk 17:02, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

My preference for the desktop version of Wikipedia on the iPad doesn't stick! Any solutions, including JavaScript?

I am using Wikipedia in Chrome on the iPad. When I visit the site, I am redirected to the mobile version. I always tap on the desktop link at the bottom of the page and I get the desktop version. Wikipedia used to remember my preference and give me the desktop version on subsequent visits, but now it always redirects me to the mobile version. I don't want the mobile version - I want the desktop version! Any solutions - I don't mind using JavaScript?

Tracey Lowndes (talk) 17:35, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

@Tracey Lowndes: Please see #two annoying problems above. --Redrose64 (talk) 17:49, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

RfC: Should the hidden navbar be removed from the base Stub and WikiProject banner templates?

Should the CSS-hidden navbar be removed from the base Stub (1.8 million pages) and WikiProject banner (5.5 million pages) templates? -- Netoholic @ 23:44, 22 July 2014 (UTC)


  • Remove - This {{navbar}} template call was added to the WikiProject banner back in 2008, but then immediately hidden by CSS (display:none) in {{WPBannerMeta/core}}. The same thing exists in the Stub base template {{Asbox}}. There is a CSS trick which editors can add to their custom CSS files, but this trick hasn't been publicized and is in use by only a handful of already experienced users. Even though it is hidden by CSS, it still adds a few hundred characters to every stubbed or bannered talk page download (and pages with multiple banners add it multiple times). The navbar template transclusion itself is called every time a page is saved (which for talk pages can be alot). Now, normally, we don't worry about performance, but in the template design space we do have to weigh the costs vs benefits, and since these templates are so widely used, I think every small efficiency we can do deserves consideration. The people that know about this hidden trick or would use it, are also experienced enough to get by without it on the rare occasions they need to edit a particular stub or WikiProject template. -- Netoholic @ 23:44, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Procedural close as wrong venue. It has been pointed out before that RfCs are not hosted at VPT; if the template's own talk page is unsuitable (why might that be?), it's a WP:VPR matter. --Redrose64 (talk) 08:07, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
    This applies to templates, not policies, and is fairly technical to understand. And since the identical issue is present on two different templates, no one talk page is appropriate. -- Netoholic @ 09:05, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
    VPR is proposals, not policies. That page is currently carrying several RfCs, some of which are technical (including the very first one on the page). --Redrose64 (talk) 09:40, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Threaded discussion

Need directions with MediaWiki:Spam-blacklist

There is a very simple way to bypass the MediaWiki:Spam-blacklist and insert any blacklisted link, and this was exploited recently. Where to report this bug for urgent attention? The related talk pages don't seem active, and, though the exploit is simple, I hesitate to post it in open. Any advice? Materialscientist (talk) 05:10, 23 July 2014 (UTC) or bugzilla (check the options, public posting is the default). MER-C 06:51, 23 July 2014 (UTC) allows creating a bug report with very restricted visibility. I am aware of some reports about Spam Blacklist, so dropping an email to the security mailing list might be less work to start with. :) --AKlapper (WMF) (talk) 09:32, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
There's no real problem here. It's well-known that it's trivial to bypass the spam blacklist. It's also not fixable, since fixing it would require checking the blacklist every parse, which has been tried before and undone because it was so bad for performance. Jackmcbarn (talk) 16:07, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Padlock symbol

I have just repaired a broken-link footnote and now see a small padlock symbol beside the footnote in the "References" section of the article. None of the other footnotes show this symbol. Does this affect the footnote in any way? How can I ensure the symbol does not appear when I next mend a broken-link footnote? What does the padlock symbol mean anyway? You can see the padlock at footnote #171, "Another wave of bombings hit Iraq", in Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. --P123ct1 (talk) 09:26, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

@P123ct1: The padlock appeared because you used a https: URL in this edit. The website allows both http: and https: forms, so you could have used http: - but it is better to omit it entirely, to give a protocol-relative URL.
Please note that a URL of an archive site shouldn't be put in the |url= parameter, but in |archiveurl= instead, like this. --Redrose64 (talk) 09:51, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for making the adjustment. I had no idea about this. There is nothing in the Wiki help on link-rot about how to deal with URLs, or have I missed it? I have used the Wayback Machine a lot to mend broken links, but never had this problem before, so can only assume it always came up with an http. --P123ct1 (talk) 11:30, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Some websites allow only the http: form; some allow only the https: form; some allow either. For those that allow either, it can normally be omitted - such as [// Example web page] or {{cite web |url=// |title=Example web page }}, and this is known as a protocol-relative URL. This does not work for bare URLs like
The {{wayback}} template uses the https: form internally, so you always get the little padlock when you use that template. It should be possible to alter it to be protocol-relative, and I see from the template's talk page that a discussion was raised about six months ago on this matter, but which doesn't seem to have been resolved. --Redrose64 (talk) 13:47, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I wonder why we kept the icon for HTTPS while removing all the others? (PDF is added locally). --  Gadget850 talk 20:32, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Problem with template

I'm not sure where to post this, but this seems a good fit. A 2013 (!) edit to Template:Current Kenyan MPs updated the template, but also changed something so that the information will not display. See my post on the talk page for a diff. This needs fixing. --Auric talk 13:45, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Replied there. --Redrose64 (talk) 13:52, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Can you transclude pages from other projects?

I would like to transclude Tech News weekly summaries on my user page: {{m:Tech/News/Latest}}. Is this possible? Wbm1058 (talk) 14:16, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Or a solution similar to {{Signpost-subscription}} for Tech News? Wbm1058 (talk) 14:26, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
It's not possible to transclude across wikis. A number of things would be much easier if it were. Re your second suggestion: you could ask for this at m:Talk:Tech/News. --Redrose64 (talk) 15:06, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
@Redrose64: Thanks for the tip to look at that talk page, where I found the section Template for user pages?, which pointed me to {{Latest tech news}}. Just what I was looking for! Look at the syntax of that template code. I'll have to study that to figure out how it magically transcludes the current news. Wbm1058 (talk) 16:14, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I see that I'm just the third editor to transclude {{Latest tech news}}. A tip of the hat to the Technical Communications Manager, Wikimedia Foundation for creating it. Wbm1058 (talk) 19:45, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
He also set up Wikipedia:Tech news and signed that page up for Global message delivery of the news from meta. #lst: must be a parser function for the last section on the page (i.e., the most recent mass message delivery is added at the bottom). Nice! I don't see #lst: documented at Help:Magic words. @Guillom: Where is that documented? Wbm1058 (talk) 20:16, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
#lst is labeled section transclusion. But it won't work across wikis. It is not documented at Magic Words because it is part of a software extension. --  Gadget850 talk 20:18, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, I recall having run into documentation of that feature before but had never seen it in action, and this specific example is helpful. I just noticed the <section begin="technews-2014-W17"/> and <section end="technews-2014-W17"/> tags etc. in Wikipedia:Tech news that make it work. Too bad that per mw:Extension:Labeled Section Transclusion#Transcluding sections by headings we can't just use the regular headings, but I guess the work-around isn't that difficult.
Is there a list of all the extensions that are enabled on English Wikipedia anywhere? Wbm1058 (talk) 01:08, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
See Special:Version for a listing. Fwiw... we use #lst like crazy over on Wikisource and have scripted/templatized several solutions to make using it a bit easier, though still nothing simple abut using "regular" headings there as well. -- George Orwell III (talk) 01:50, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
... and fwiw - I recall cross-domain transclusions through the API are possible with some scripting(?). Somebody tried something like that with s:MediaWiki:InterWikiTransclusion.js but we never really wound up using it so I can't tell you much more about it. -- George Orwell III (talk) 01:58, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
We use {{#lst:}} for the Citation Style 1 error help pages to transclude the help section to the tracking category. I have used it a few other places. --  Gadget850 talk 02:15, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Wbm1058: I just saw your notification, and I see you've found the answers you were looking for :) I'm glad {{Latest tech news}} is useful. Let me know if you have any follow-up questions about Tech News or LST. guillom 08:17, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

Looking for user script

Is there, or can there be a script that would change selected/detected ALL CAPS as in this diff ? I assume maybe AWB has a setting for this but, I'm hoping for a .js script or something or even a lab tool. Thanx, Mlpearc (open channel) 18:54, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Customizing top-of-page navigation links

Some questions about the navigation links that normally appear right-justified at the top line of the window (Username, Talk, Sandbox, Preferences, etc.):

  • Is "navigation links" the right term to use to refer specifically to the links that appear at the top of every page while viewing Wikipedia, or is there some other preferred term?
  • Is adding addPortletLink() statements to one's own "common.js" file still the recommended way of customizing these links, or has this been deprecated in favor of some other method?
  • Can the default links be removed or redefined? If so, how?
  • I can't seem to find any documentation for addPortletLink(); using Google I was able to locate only this brief discussion. Help?

Thanks, — Jaydiem (talk) 19:48, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

The gadget 'Add a "Sandbox" link to the personal toolbar area.' calls it the "personal toolbar area" but its script calls it the "personal portlet menu"; it uses mw.util.addPortletLink(). --Redrose64 (talk) 20:10, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
There is some documentation here. -- WOSlinker (talk) 20:22, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't know about removing links, but I was able to add one. Look for the portlet code in User:Jonesey95/vector.js. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jonesey95 (talkcontribs) 20:37, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
There is proper documentation for addPortletLink here. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 07:12, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

User:Mr.Z-man/closeAFD.js (2)

... does not seem to be working properly (it's been a while since I was going through the AFDs, back in March it was still fine). I found that a similar problem has been discussed back in 2012 already, then fixed. But there may be another reason now. Help kindly requested. --Tone 20:45, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Is it still not working for you? I just closed Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Dunmore_Candy_Kitchen successfully with it. --j⚛e deckertalk 18:41, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
What exactly is wrong with it? I've closed several in the past month, seemed to be working fine. Ansh666 08:43, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Automatically generated reference lists- tracking

With the deployment of 1.24wmf13, a page with <ref> tags but no the reference list markup ({{reflist}} or <references>) no longer generates an error. Instead, the reference list automatically shows at the bottom of the page.

The automatically generated reference list (AGRL) has issues: it is always at the very bottom of the page, has no heading and can be displayed oddly depending on the markup before it (bug 68293

1.24wmf14 will be deployed later today. It adds a tracking category so we can locate and fix AGRL issues. The category is set through MediaWiki:Cite error refs without references category and I have set it to Category:Pages with an automatically generated reference list. I have added namespace detection so that user and talk pages are not categorized per previous consensus. The AGRL will still show on user and talk pages, it just won't show in the tracking category.

--  Gadget850 talk 17:34, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

This is all super-awesome. Thank you. --j⚛e deckertalk 18:42, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
The patch cause strip markers to be exposed and was reverted. --  Gadget850 talk 21:01, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Ah well. In time, I'm sure. The idea is still excellent, I think. --j⚛e deckertalk 22:45, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
At the moment, there are a few hundred pages listed in this category, and almost all of them are old AFDs. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:58, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Job queue rate

It's pretty easy to get the Help:job queue size in number of items, does anyone have any intuition about the rate jobs are processed from it? I had a request for a null bot job that I don't think should be required, the JQ is about 80K entries right now, but I don't have an intuitive sense of whether that represents a second, a minute, an hour, a day or a week in terms of latency. --j⚛e deckertalk 18:36, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

So, [28] is the graph of hourly job queue rates, but it applies to the entire cluster, not just enwp. Legoktm (talk) 23:37, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Legoktm, there's five graphs there, with dozens of numbers in the images. Which one of those numbers is the best one for estimating how long typically elapses between a job being submitted and a job being completed? WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:04, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
There is some lack of clarity in what is being graphed there. The green parts of graphs 1 and 2 at least are "jobs per minute", which contradicts the title of the page and Kegoktm's comments, which suggest hours, not minutes. I actually expect that graph 1 and 2 might be in jobs completed per hour, but I find it difficult to read graphs 3 and 4 in a manner consistent with what graphs 1 and 2 would suggest. The big y axis jump in graph 4 only makes sense if 1 and 2 are per minute, though. Hmm.--j⚛e deckertalk 21:36, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

some sort of mediawiki error is happening

copied from ANI Compare these two diffs, both which are doing mass replacements. (Or there is a very unsubtle sock)

This appears to be a known issue, but this appears to have been "resolved" quite some time go

Any way to escalate this to someone? If this isn't socking (which based on the bug report seems likely) then this is probably happening all over the wiki currently. Gaijin42 (talk) 19:28, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Yep, it's happening here to the refs: User:NE2/temp --NE2 19:46, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
@Gaijin42, NE2: Yeah, we spotted this after this morning's deployment and just un-deployed the code in Cite that changed – it should now stop recurring. Sorry for the disruption! Jdforrester (WMF) (talk) 20:15, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
What do we do with all the errors that have already happened? There are about forty instances of "UNIQ..." all over the help desk; how do we figure out what the posts meant? Altamel (talk) 01:26, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
These are exposed strip markers; see Help:strip markers. It is going to be hard to figure out what those markers originally were; you can only pick out the parser tag that caused it to be exposed. --  Gadget850 talk 01:57, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Talk pages are minor compared to the articles, such as Neeloor. --  Gadget850 talk 02:05, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
I have the "new search" turned on, searched for "QINU" in all namespaces, then searched within the results for "24 July 2014" and "25 July 2014". That identified about 20 pages, which I fixed, though some only needed a purge. Is that the lot? What is the lag in the "new search" results? -- John of Reading (talk) 08:18, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Missing toolbar

The toolbar under the edit window used for insertion of special characters has disappeared. I have checked Preferences->Gadgets->Editing to make sure that CharInsert box is ticked, which it is. How can I recover the toolbar? Brianboulton (talk) 20:30, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

I still seem to have it. Johnbod (talk) 13:59, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Can the email throttle be bypassed?

A user is asking at User talk:Taylordw#Question for administrator whether the email throttle limiting the number of emails sent in 24 hours can be bypassed for a particular purpose. He has a reason for wanting to use email rather than a mass message to talk pages. My question here is, is that technically possible? It is not one of the standard user-right groups in WP:User rights. JohnCD (talk) 21:36, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Technically, yes. Several groups have the noratelimit right, which would remove the throttle. Among them are 'crats, admins, and, notably, accountcreators and bots. I saw that adminhelp you're referring to and thought about it a bit; I thought that it was a thing to ask BAG about (basically, create a mass-email bot account and send it to BAG for approval), but after asking some people about it, they didn't think that would fly. (After doing so, I meant to leave a note to that user, letting them know I was looking into it, but apparently I forgot; that was my fault, and I'm sorry for it.) Simply granting them accountcreator would work, of course, and I suppose it's within the realm of simple admin discretion, but I'm a bit leery of that personally, since it's not what accountcreator is meant for. But yeah, it's technically possible. Writ Keeper  21:50, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I think this is a case for WP:IAR, but I am not quite comfortable with doing it off my own bat, so I have asked at AN if there any objections. JohnCD (talk) 15:34, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

User analysis tool missing the graphs

Hello! I keep a link to the User Analysis Tool on my userpage, and I was checking it today when I found that neither the pie chart of edits by namespace nor the bar graph of edits by month are showing. Is this happening for anyone else, and if so is there a way to correct it? Howicus (Did I mess up?) 22:15, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

I left a note at User talk:cyberpower678. He supports this. Wbm1058 (talk) 02:56, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Leaving messages

If a message is left on a general Talk page or Help desk for a particular user in this form, @Username:, is the user automatically alerted that they have a message? --P123ct1 (talk) 08:34, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

@P123ct1: Yes, provided that (a) the link to the user's home page (which might be in the form of a {{replyto}}) gets added in the same post that your signature was added and (b) at Preferences → Notifications they have "Mention" enabled (for either Web or Email); if it's enabled for web only, they also need to have "Show talk page message indicator in my toolbar" (on the same page) enabled. More at WP:ECHO. --Redrose64 (talk) 09:23, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Redrose. --P123ct1 (talk) 09:47, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

pdf format

I am not at all sure this is the right place for this query. I cannot use all the functions in some pdf files (e.g. in footnotes) on my new laptop, e.g. Search and Go to page number. Do I need to update some software in my laptop, and if so, how, please? For technical questions that are not directly related to Wikipedia, is there a forum on Wikipedia that can deal with them? --P123ct1 (talk) 09:47, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

@P123ct1: Yes, it's WP:RD/C. --Redrose64 (talk) 09:54, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks again. --P123ct1 (talk) 13:36, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Searching the Wikipedia archives

I want to find a long post I made, either on the main Help Desk or on a Wikipedia article Talk page, but can only remember the month I made it (April this year) and the content, not where I posted it. I have tried to locate it but without success. Is there some way I can do a global search using key phrases from my post and my username? Even looking at the list of topics for each month in the main Help Desk archives is not going to help, as I cannot remember exactly what topic I was posting under. Can I do a global search of all the posts I have made since the beginning of the year? The User Contributions list will not help either because I can't use key phrases to search it. Does Wikipedia have a brilliant data-mining tool that I don't know about? --P123ct1 (talk) 13:36, 25 July 2014 (UTC) (talk) 13:41, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

When I've wanted to do this before I just use Google specifying I'd be surprised if you couldn't find it pretty quickly. QuiteUnusual (talk) 13:49, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
This one, and following edits?. You only started editing just before so your "Contributions" set to "Oldest" found it very quickly. Johnbod (talk) 13:56, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

What about mobile users??

I'm not a registered user. I frequently use my mobile (android) to access Wikipedia but I'm facing trouble. I can't edit pages from the mobile version Wikipedia. Even this edit was made by toggling to desktop version from mobile. This is a serious problem for me, why can't I edit pages from the mobile version?? I can't register an account due to privacy reasons. I want to edit pages by mobile without getting registered. Is it possible?? Since the slogan of Wikipedia says "anyone can edit" - why can't I edit?? There are some countries were desktop, laptop etc is not available widely; they use there phone. I think it is acting as a barrier between people like me and editing a page. I hope someone can help me. :) (talk) 13:55, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

You will get better privacy editing with an account than without. Johnbod (talk) 13:57, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
I guess, I haven't asked a question about privacy. I want to know why I can't edit through mobile version. (talk) 14:01, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Are you getting a specific error, or is the edit function just not available? Which mobile platform are you using? — xaosflux Talk 15:02, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
You cannot edit via mobile as a non-registered user because it is not enabled. Bug 53076 implies that some work is ongoing. --AKlapper (WMF) (talk) 15:26, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
User:Maryana (WMF) is the product manager for mobile editing and could tell you the current status, but I believe that the overall plan is that logged-out editing will be permitted eventually. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:09, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
To clarify, Maryana is the product manager for mobile web, whereas I am the product manager for mobile apps. And, also to clarify, you can edit anonymously on the mobile apps. :-) --Dan Garry, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 01:09, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply Whatamidoing (WMF), AKlapper (WMF) & Xaosflux. I hope to see this function quickly. Btw I've found another problem. I can't see the "go" button and the drop down menus in this special page when I was browsing through my andriod phone. Both, the go button and those two drop down menu were vanished when I saw it through my phone. Can someone fix it?? Thanks -- (talk) 19:30, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Unexpected behavior by Notifications

I am reporting what appears to be a bug in Notifications, and my workaround to suppress messages such as

Since these unwanted messages were not the usual Thank or Mention notifications, I altered my Preferences, Notifications, uncheck all but Thank or Mention or User rights, Save.

I kept the check marks for New message indicator and Talk page message.

Since this change, there have been no notifications of Query from [No Page], etc., which started appearing 4 or 5 days ago. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 14:38, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

This is a known bug – it happens when the page which the notification was about gets deleted. See bug 50829 Matma Rex talk 18:37, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

CSS code to change the background color to black and font color to green

Hi all! I don't know anything about CSS. Could someone write a CSS code for me to change the background color of wiki to black and font color to green please? I'll put this code onto my preference section within my account so that I can view wiki in black color with green words. Thank you~ — Preceding unsigned comment added by Saucelord (talkcontribs) 19:32, 25 July 2014

Hey, Saucelord! This actually already exists in your Special:Preferences page. First, go to the "Appearance" tag and switch to the "Monobook" skin (by switching to the Monobook radio button and hitting the Save button at the very bottom). Then go to the Gadgets tab and, at the bottom of the "Appearance" section in that tab, check the box for "Use a black background with green text on the Monobook skin" and hit the Save button at the bottom again. It's not perfect, but it might get the job done. Writ Keeper  19:52, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Wow, it works! Thank you, Writ Keeper! That is really what I exactly needs! I am happy~~ — Preceding unsigned comment added by Saucelord (talkcontribs) 01:43, 26 July 2014

Mobile again - info about IP editors

If I read an article to look for information (as a reader rather than an editor), I usually click on "history" to see whether it's been the subject of controversy, vandalism, etc (and I advise others to do so too, when discussing the reliability of Wikipedia). If I read an article on mobile (Android, beta), I see "Last edited x days ago by Editor", and I know that if I click on the first half of that line, even though it isn't bolded, I get to see the history. If I click on a diff, I get to see the diff and, below it, a link to the editor who made it. If I follow that link and they're a named editor, I get to see a rather strange profile page (is it really appropriate to show the latest file they uploaded, however many years ago? Or to identify the editor who last thanked them - thanking is usually confidential, surely?). I can get to see their contributions list, by clicking on the number of edits where it's stated: "Joined over x years ago with y edits and z uploads". I can also get to their talk page, to make a comment.

But if it's an IP editor I don't get any of that. I get the message "Redirecting to editor", followed by a flash of "This page doesn't exist, why not be bold and create it?", and am then set up in edit mode to create a user page for the IP editor. Not a good idea, surely. In fact, I think it's a bug. Or three bugs:

(a) It's not appropriate to encourage mobile editors to create user pages for IP editors
(b) It should be possible for mobile readers to get to see the user contributions for an IP editor (OK this is probably more for mobile editors: I want to see whether the bit of vandalism I've just found on my watchlist is part of a spree of related rubbish, but even for an IP address the contributions list can give an indication of the seriousness of the editor). The only way to do this at present is to get back to the article, go into desktop mode (which involves stretching each page manually to make it a just-legible font size on my not-very-smartphone), click "history", get the editor, get the contributions list ... only to find it was their one and only edit, usually.
(c) It should be possible for mobile readers to get to see, and edit, the User Talk page of IP editors. I've just checked, and the above result, that clicking the red IP address link leads to an offer to create a user page for them, applies whether or not that IP address has a User Talk page.

A possible solution to all 3 problems would be if clicking on an IP editor led to a "profile" page saying something like "The editor using this IP address has not registered a Wikipedia username. There may be more than one person editing from this IP address. The most recent edits from this IP address are shown _here_. See/Start the _User Talk Page_ for this IP address." (As appropriate) PamD 20:09, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Most of this is for Maryana, but I can tell you that Thanks is only semi-confidential at best. You can see in the public logs who is thanking whom. You can't see which diff the person was thanked for. However, for people involved in disputes, you can often guess very easily. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:55, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Custom sig formatting issue

Sometime during the last few months; and I hope it's visible to most reading this and is not just on my end; I've noticed that when signing my sig it has started to leave a rather annoying leading inter-line space before the last line of text I write. This has never been an issue before and I don't think this has anything to do with my browser (Firefox), skin (Vector), or preferences as they have not changed in years. What has changed fairly recently, I notice, is the typography the entire site uses, and I think what's behind the issue is the superscripted ™ after my 'ligature' pushing the last line of text down. Okay okay I know how pretentious my sig looks with a bogus 'trademark' symbol that links to my talk page.. but if it's all the same I've been using this crazy sig for many years and have grown accustomed to it so I'd rather not alter it nor change my default skin. So wondering if there's any workaround where I can avoid this unsightly line gap but still retain the superscripted ™? If that is even the issue, and assuming the site-wide typography change is permanent.. -- œ 20:42, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

@OlEnglish: It's not the superscript (although superscripts and subscripts used to cause this, but it was fixed a long time ago), it's the huge font size. It also causes a gap below your signature, not just above. Matma Rex talk 21:00, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
The <font> tag is deprecated. You should swithc to CSS. The following should work (it also reduces the font size): <span style="font-size:1.6em;line-height:.8em;">œ</span>, which results in œ. -- [[User:Edokter]] {{talk}} 21:11, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Great! thanks, that did the trick. Just wondering though, if the <font> tag still works, and causes the overall sig code to be shorter/simpler, then why not still use it? I'm guessing it's because not all browsers support it? -- œ 00:31, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
It is deprecated in HTML5 which we use now. It still works, but it runs the risk of not working one day, when the tag is declared obsolete. -- [[User:Edokter]] {{talk}} 08:40, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
If you noticed above, the css formating works, but it still leaves the gaps above and below, like Matma Rex said it is because you are changing the font size. — xaosflux Talk 12:12, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

"What links here" seems to be having some issues... maybe?

Hello everyone! Here's something that either seems to be an issue with the "what links here" feature, or I'm horribly missing something. In a few words, when I try to see what links to the kernfs disambiguation page, I get over 50 pages; however, when checked by hand (at least for 10+ I've checked) those pages have no links to the kernfs page, while they include the {{Linux kernel}} template. This template used to have a link to kernfs, but it has been replaced with a link to kernfs (Linux).

Any clues? Am I wrong somewhere? — Dsimic (talk | contribs) 21:13, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

For about a year now, there has been a problem with the job queue whereby a change to the linking within a template such as {{Linux kernel}}, the what links here has often failed to update (there are other demonstrable problems too). There was definitely a change to the job queue software about that time, connected with Visual Editor, but various explanations have been put forward, ranging from "there is no problem, it's supposed to work like that" to "yes it is a problem, but we don't really know how to fix it". --Redrose64 (talk) 22:09, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for the explanation! As far as I can see, unfortunately there's little to be done there. — Dsimic (talk | contribs) 22:20, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Sometimes, if you leave it a few days, it sorts itself. Or it might take weeks. If you get fed up waiting - or it's clear after a month or three that nothing is happening - the only fix is to WP:NULLEDIT every page that is in "what links here" that shouldn't be. That won't fix pages that should be in "what links here", but aren't. In a recent post on this page, the forcerecursivelinkupdate API call was suggested, but I've never succeeded in getting that to work. --Redrose64 (talk) 22:59, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Hm, that's pretty much crazy, if you ask me. How can it be that WikiMedia developers can't fix this issue, what's even more surprising knowing that it's an old and well known bug? Even more, I'm receiving "Kernfs (Linux) was linked from XYZ" notifications for articles that have {{Linux kernel}} template included, and by no means links to kernfs (Linux) were added to those articles in referenced edits – that seems to be inline with your description of updates to internal caches upon editing pages. — Dsimic (talk | contribs) 00:25, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
From what I've been told, the HHVM project which is being worked on, which should improve performance of MediaWiki across the board, will also increase the rate at which jobs in the job queue are processed. As part of the phasing in of HHVM, part of the job queue is currently running on HHVM, but unfortunately that part doesn't increase the rate. The plan is that the rest of the queue will get migrated over, but only when it's ready. However, bear in mind that I am only relaying what I have been told as I am only tangentially involved in this project. --Dan Garry, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 01:00, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
So that isn't a bug, but an issue associated with too much data? — Dsimic (talk | contribs) 01:06, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
@Dsimic: In fact, I don't know how it's classified. I was just commenting on the fact that there is engineering work being done that'll speed the queue up. --Dan Garry, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 01:30, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
That sounds good to me, the issue/bug/whatever is being worked on. — Dsimic (talk | contribs) 01:34, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

It would be even better to be able to see what pages link to something other than only in a navbox. --NE2 01:18, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

Totally agreed. — Dsimic (talk | contribs) 01:23, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

Citation filler

I found a tool that provides a template for filling in citations for footnotes, but have lost the link for it. It was a wmflabs tool and had a name like "Templator". Please can you give me the link for this tool? Also, I am not clear how to transfer the wikicode it comes up with to the edit page. I did it by a hit and miss copy and paste, but is there not another way? --P123ct1 (talk) 13:24, 26 July 2014 (UTC)


RFC: Naming of one and two digit numbers and years

See box. Formerip (talk) 11:14, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Result: Consensus is against the proposal.

6 editors supported the proposal, of which 2 only supported one aspect of the proposal (pagemoving pages related to years) and opposed the rest of the proposal. 15 editors opposed the proposal.

The mains reasons for the opposes were (1) that the proposal was likely to run into trouble and drama over oldschool vs newschool year-naming and (2) that the proposal would cause inconsistency in the naming of articles about years. These are fair arguments. The case for support was that, for one and two digit numbers, the number, not the date, was likely to be the primary topic. This is also a fair argument.

On balance, though, I don't see anything in the discussion that would warrant not recognising the numerical victory of the opposes.


For the longest time, it was necessary to link dates (e.g. January 1, 1970) so the wiki software could format them automatically. Because this was often used in mainspace, it was desirable to keep those links blue and relevant, so four-digit number articles, by convention, are about years (if it existed, the corresponding natural number would be at 1970 (number)). Since people write about lots of different time periods on Wikipedia, this also extends to three-, two- and one-digit numbers (but not five and larger, because we are (apparently) not the Long Now Foundation); 5 is the year 5, not the number 5.

However, this linking is no longer necessary. We had a nice long edit war over whether it should still happen, of course, but I digress. Currently, fewer than 50 pages link to 5,[29] while many more link to its numerical counterpart.[30] One wonders whether the year is truly the primary topic for the numeral.


Should we rename 1 through 99 to 1 AD through 99 AD (the precise naming scheme here is negotiable), then rename 1 (number) through 99 (number) to 1 through 99, and finally amend WP:NCNUM to account for the change?

NB: This intentionally only extends to one- and two-digit years, because larger numbers are less important while more recent years are more important. We may later revisit this discussion for three-digit years, but they are not part of this proposal. --NYKevin 21:51, 21 June 2014 (UTC)

Threaded Discussion

Shouldn't the relevant WikiProjects be informed of this RfC? As I have a particular opinion, I don't think I can create a neutral pointer, but at least Numbers, Mathematics, Years, and possibly its parent Time, should be notified. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 09:32, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Done, also Disambiguation. So minimal as to raise no question of neutrality. PamD 14:24, 27 June 2014 (UTC)


  1. Support as proposer. --NYKevin 21:51, 21 June 2014 (UTC)
  2. Semi-support (first renaming only, i.e. years to include an indication such as AD or CE) – including up to three digits. But oppose renaming of articles on the numbers to remove the disambiguator: that would be unnecessary. However, I support that the freed up number like 5 become redirects to the correspond 5 (number) etc. On matters like this, a uniform convention should be the objective. —Quondum 23:49, 21 June 2014 (UTC)
  3. Support first half per Quondum. The current situation is truly awkward and needs to be solved. --cyclopiaspeak! 22:05, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
  4. The number is the primary topic at least for numbers up to a couple hundred. For consistency's sake, numbers and years should not be treated differently than chemical elements or countries: they occupy the un-disambiguated top spot only if they are the clear primary topic. —Kusma (t·c) 09:34, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
  5. Strong support I don't think of natural numbers below 1000 as years without an explicit AD/CE or BC/BCE. The number is clearly the primary topic until about then (rounding to an order of magnitude to be somewhat consistent and not have to decide on a case-by-case basis). Double sharp (talk) 10:38, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
  6. Strong support and people who will be upset will need to build a bridge and get over the AD/CE thing. Red Slash 05:46, 9 July 2014 (UTC)


  1. Oppose for consistency's sake. --AmaryllisGardener talk 23:37, 21 June 2014 (UTC)
  2. . A year is not a number. A year is a space of time conventionally designated by a number, conventionally written as an cardinal number, but actually meaning the first [etc] year of the particular era. DGG ( talk ) 05:47, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
  3. Oppose for now. To much drama creation potential. You first need to solve the harder problem of AD vs. CE. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 22:07, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
    We already have a precedent: 1 BC, 50 BC etc. Given this, do you anticipate it to be the source of a holdup? —Quondum 23:07, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
    AD vs CE provokes quite deep feelings on both sides. I wouldn't be surprised if the BC precedent were challenged if this proposal moves forward. And AD's meaning is potentially more offensive than BC. The present approach is an effective way to avoid a conundrum with no right answer. Add me to the Oppose count.--agr (talk) 01:44, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
    Couldn't the AD-vs-CE debate be sidestepped entirely by using "(year)" as a disambiguator, as in "43 (year)"? — Jaydiem (talk) 22:27, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  4. On balance, Oppose. I do see the point you're making, but we need to consider what people are likely to be thinking when they type a number into the search box. My suspicion is that people who are able to type '5' or '99' probably have an idea what these characters represent as numbers. When I look at 5 (number) I certainly see a lot of stuff, but it's of the form "the third prime number" or "there are five Exceptional Lie Groups" or "the atomic number of Boron", and so on. These sorts of things are certainly true, but I imagine they're more likely to be encountered as part of searches for prime number, Exceptional Lie Groups, Boron, and so on. The only interesting stuff that is not "accidentally" true of "5" is the history of the glyph. I might be persuadable, but I'm not persuaded so far. RomanSpa (talk) 06:39, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
    Of course you see mathematical information when you look up a mathematical object. How is that unhelpful or unreasonable? I just don't understand this objection. --NYKevin 01:51, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
    I think you've missed my point. Certainly the information that is presented is true, and, as you say, when you look up a mathematical object you see mathematical information. My point is that it's not interesting information. By this I mean that there is no particular reason why "the number of Exceptional Lie Groups" should be the same as "the third prime number" (or, at least, I'm not aware of such a claim). That the two have the same value is just coincidental, so the fact that they do is uninteresting. If it could be proven, knowing only the definition of a prime number, but not knowing that the third one is 5 that the number of exceptional Lie Groups should be the third member of the class of primes, then this would be an interesting result, but even then it would belong in the article on Lie Groups. What I'm trying to say is that most of the stuff about "5" is just a list of unrelated facts that only coincidentally apply to the same number. There's nothing deeper going on. RomanSpa (talk) 07:50, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
    This is an argument to not have articles on numbers at all. I don't believe it's germane to the discussion. If you'd like to do a mass-listing on AfD, feel free. --NYKevin 00:39, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
    It is indeed such an argument. However, we have the precedent that such pages exist, and I currently have no intention of proposing that such a precedent be reversed, as I don't believe that an AfD of the kind you suggest would succeed at the present time. I prefer to reserve my energies for matters of the possible, not the presently impossible. RomanSpa (talk) 04:56, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
  5. Oppose; the benefit from consistency seems to outweigh the benefit of a change (though both seem reasonably marginal). Andrew Gray (talk) 18:38, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
  6. Oppose; discussion on various WikiProjects (Numbers, Years, Mathematics) have lead to no consensus, I think the consistency argument dominates, but the newly created 2719 seems to have developed a local consensus that it shouldn't necessarily be done. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 03:38, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
  7. Oppose, for consistency sake. The benefit of the proposal is marginal (if any), while the drama potential and, more importantly, maintenance efforts (both initial and ongoing) are going to be high.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); June 27, 2014; 13:23 (UTC)
  8. Oppose: consistency is too useful here to overthrow, but we must be sure that every year page has a crystal-clear hatnote pointing directly to the number as well as the dab page. I think it's standard: I just picked 73 as a non-scientific sample and it looks fine. PamD 14:30, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
  9. Oppose. Consistency for me trumps other considerations. And anyway, this proposal would seem to exacerbate the whole AD versus CE business. Sławomir Biały (talk) 16:10, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
  10. Oppose; in this case, the consistency achieved by having years at all of the undisambiguated titles is more useful than not. Powers T 20:39, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
  11. Oppose at this time because AD vs. CE is not settled. Were that not an issue, I would support adding AD/CE/BC[E] to year articles. However, in any case I oppose dropping (number) from number articles. All bare numbers (1, 25, 308, 1904, 22545 etc.) should be dab pages given the vast possible selection of topics for each number, unless there really is only a single topic in which case the bare number should be a redirect (because they're cheap). This ensures consistency throughout the project, is simple, and avoids pointless conflicts over which article is the primary topic. Ivanvector (talk) 20:36, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
  12. Oppose Going through the archives, if they had decided to remove such they were correct. It is pretty obvious, anyone can understand the year. OccultZone (TalkContributionsLog) 10:19, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
  13. Oppose – The value of consistency sways me to oppose, and the dramah potential sways me even further. Mojoworker (talk) 15:33, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
  14. Oppose "A.D." is presumed when there is no A.D. / B.C. I don't think such a generally accepted rule has to be amended. For the disambiguation issue, almost everyone seeing "5" in most articles (that is, non-mathematical articles) would expect a link to the year, as no one links "5" in those articles to the number, but there are people linking it to the year.Forbidden User (talk) 16:09, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
  15. Oppose, the drama potential with this change just screams "what could possibly go wrong"... Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 22:54, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Polls are evil

  1. I'm going to hang out here on the Group W bench and watch for a bit. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 22:42, 21 June 2014 (UTC)
    How is this related to the topic?Forbidden User (talk) 09:35, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
    There is something to be said for listening first and deciding second. =) — Jaydiem (talk) 22:49, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Satpal Maharaj/ Devine Light Mission

Details mentioned regarding Devine Light Mission should not be the part of Satpal Maharaj.

In any of the record in Govt. of Indian Department , This organization was not headed by Satpal Maharaj.

Satpal Mahraj is founder of Manav Utthan Sewa Samiti - A Non-profitable organization registered as per Society Registration act of India, 1961.

Manav Utthan Sewa Samiti's registration no is S/7341/1974

Devine Light Mission was headed by Prem Rawat.

Mentioning of Devine light Mission under this article is again to vandalize the image of a person.

Add "Contributing to Wikipedia" to main left hand side info links

Wikipedia:Contributing to Wikipedia is a new article (revamped to be honest) that I believe would be a great asset to many potential editors. I have a simple proposal to add the link Contributing under the "Interaction" section on the main left hand-side navigational links. lots of work has gone into the article with videos and all. We currently have links to info about Wikipedia its self, where people can help (Community portal) and a link to "Help:Contents". I believe a direct link to our MAIN "how to page" is a good idea over having to read over the "Help:Contents" to find the how to pages. I am not sure if this is the right place or not - but nevertheless I am trying to get a feel for this idea. -- Moxy (talk) 07:48, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Make article titles case-preserving, not case-sensitive

Currently, the title of a Wikipedia article is case-sensitive except for the first character. This means allows articles like Gentleman's Agreement and gentleman's agreement to exist side by side. (If there is more than one place where a letter after the first might be capitalized, there can be more than two similarly titled articles.)

I submit that:

  • Instances where this is actually useful are quite rare.
  • Most computer searches, including Google's, treat words and phrases case-insensitively, so that's what most people will find obvious.
  • Library catalogs likewise access titles case-insensitively (indeed, the ones I'm familiar with don't even preserve the case of the original title).
  • The idea that in Wikipedia the first character is treated differently is additional level of non-obviousness, but does not cause any major problems.

On the other hand:

  • Disambiguation of similar article titles by suffixes like "(film)" or "(aviation)" or "(politician)" is common on Wikipedia and easily understood, and could easily be applied to cases like the example by renaming to "Gentleman's Agreement (film)" or "gentleman's agreement (concept)".
  • Indeed, in a number of cases the lower-case article is a disambiguation page that might as well have been named using the standard suffix "(disambiguation)".
  • In cases where such similarly titled articles exist, there is generally a hatnote pointing from each to the other. If the reader who opened gentleman's agreement wanted Gentleman's Agreement, their experience by following the hatnote will be no different if it points to "Gentleman's Agreement (film)".

I therefore propose that article titles should become case-preserving but no longer case-sensitive. Obviously this transition can't be done in a single step, but I propose the following sequence of steps to achieve it (note: I've edited this from my original posting, where I did not quite get it right).

  1. By "canonical name" I mean the lower-case form of an article title. Change the software that interprets URLs and implements the search blank so that if there is no hit on an article name as given, then the canonical name is tried.
  2. By "special redirect" I mean a redirect from the canonical name of an article to its actual name, e.g. from "william lyon mackenzie king" to William Lyon Mackenzie King. Change the article-creation software so that (1) when an article is created or retitled, if its title is not already in canonical form and there is no existing article with the canonical form of the title, then a corresponding special redirect is also automatically created; and (2) no further articles with the same canonical name as an existing article can be created, except for special redirects. Simultaneously change the editing software so that if an article is already a special redirect, it cannot be edited.
  3. Using a one-time bot, find all cases where the article title contains a capital letter and the canonical name is not already used for an article, and create a special redirect. If there are multiple articles whose canonical name would be the same, but no existing article whose name is the canonical one, the bot should create only one special redirect, making an arbitrary but sensible choice as to which one it redirects to: perhaps to the largest of the existing articles, or the one with the longest version history, or the one with the fewest capital letters in the title.
  4. Start a project where people would identify articles whose titles differ only in case, and retitle at least one of each such pair (or group), adding or cleaning up hatnotes as necessary. Redirects to other capitalizations of the same name, except for special redirects, can be deleted during this process. Once the process is complete as well as the above technical changes, the desired effect has been achieved.
  5. When this is complete, the final optional step is to clean up the article database to eliminate the special redirects. To do this, the database would be changed to make the canonical name the primary key for accessing each article, with the actual (case-preserving) title stored as an additional data item.

In writing all this, I primarily have English in mind, but of course the same would apply to titles in other languages that have the concept of case—and I guess to Wikipedias in all languages.

That's all I have to say. I don't plan to get involved in any way with the project I'm proposing, and if the Powers That Be think the whole idea is a non-starter, that's their prerogative. But I think it's a clear win, and I think the sequence I've set out should avoid situations where "you can't do that". Given that case-sensitive titling has always been kind of unexpected, I was actually a bit surprised that I didn't find it on the "perennial proposals" page; but I didn't, so I'm proposing it now.

-- (talk) 06:09, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

  • Support! In principle, I think this is a fantastic idea. Imagine all the redirect-cruft from variant capitalizations that could be swept away forever!
I do have a quibble or two with the proposed implementation. For example: for the same reason that the "eBay" article is technically at "EBay", the "canonical" version of an article title should be the "display" title rendered entirely in lowercase, except for the first character, which, if a letter, should be in uppercase. This would not only accommodate the existing technical requirements of the MediaWiki software, but would also have the additional benefit that the vast majority of articles' "canonical" and "display" titles would be identical, in which case no "special redirect" would be necessary. Also, it would be worth considering that if a URL containing the name of an article incorrectly capitalized were followed, then MediaWiki would respond with an HTTP redirect, using either status code 301 (Moved permanently) or 303 (See other), to the URL with the article name capitalized correctly (i.e., matching the article's "display" title)—rather than accepting the misspelled URL and presenting the article page with a "(redirected from …… )" hatnote.
One hurdle to overcome will be the fact that usernames are case-sensitive, and it would not be feasible to make the "User:" and "User talk:" namespaces case-insensitive—at least, not to the left of the first "/" character. I also anticipate some grumbling about the special role of ALL-CAPS titles as shortcuts to things in namespaces such as "Help:" and "Wikipedia:". I'm not sure how much of a "collision" problem there would be if these namespaces were rendered case-insensitive, but my guess is that the number of WP:SHORTCUTS that share a spelling with a non-shortcut page to which they don't redirect (or both don't redirect to the same target) is very, very small.
In sum, while the implementation would be non-trivial from a technical standpoint, much of it could be automated, and my intuitive impression is that this change would be warmly welcomed by our readers and editors. — Jaydiem (talk) 22:14, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Just to amplify what I said earlier about "redirect-cruft": A quick look at Category:Redirects from other capitalisations finds that it contains a mind-boggling 397,446 redirects, of which I'll bet at least 99% are completely pointless. And that number doesn't include what must be many more such redirects that exist but aren't linked to the category. We are talking about something on the order of half a million redirects that could be completely done away with by adopting case-insensitivity. It's a beautiful thing! — Jaydiem (talk) 07:19, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Support These seems like it could solve several conflicts as well. I believe one of the reasons why sentence case article names makes sense is because when articles are linked in sentences it goes to the case linked. If we made them all equivalent it could mean that we could use title case for article names without requiring redirects or pipes in the links. This would allow some of the recent capitalization style differences of opinions to be less important. I think in addition to folding letters, certain symbols should be folded together as well. For example treat "-", "/", "–", and "—" as interchangeable when resolving the page. This means that the correct hyphen, or dash can be used in a title but that it could be found with the standard hyphen-minus character. It could also solve the upper vs lower case first character issue. I'm not sure we need to use 301 or 303 codes. I might suggest making the canonical URL always be the lowercase forum ( etc. ), and just store the preferred capitalization along with the article either internally as a separate data field, or similar to how article names are handled inline for lowercase letters. In which case all interwiki links should always then go to the canonical forum. PaleAqua (talk) 03:20, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Instances where disambiguation can be provided entirely via capitalization are not rare - they generally occur when a common noun is appropriated by an organization or creative work as its name. No need to add extra bulk (which also makes wikilinks to those articles more annoying to create as they must be piped). -- King of ♠ 03:49, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

RfC: Should Persondata template be removed from articles?

Background (Persondata)

The question keeps arising on Wikipedia talk:Persondata and other forums on whether we should drop persondata now that Wikidata provides the same or similar information. I usually state eventually that is the goal, but I haven't heard anything else about it. I decided this time to be more proactive about it.

From Wikipedia:Persondata, "Persondata is a special set of metadata that can and should be added to biographical articles only. It consists of standardized data fields with basic information about the person (name, short description, birth and death days, and places of birth and death) that, unlike conventional Wikipedia content, can be extracted automatically and processed by cataloging tools and then used for a variety of purposes, such as providing advanced search capabilities, statistical analysis, automated categorization, and birthday lists."

At this time, I'm not aware of anyone using the data. DBpedia does gather the information and offers it for download. However, I'm not aware that they use it. Wikidata did have two bots running, which copied |SHORT DESCRIPTION= from persondata and put it into Wikidata. One bot worked only on dewiki. SamoaBot did work on enwiki. SamoaBot's operator stated that he doesn't "...recall having run that task in these months. However, tons of data have already been imported, and now it is up to the English Wikipedia community to decide whether they still want those data within articles." I did ask Wikidata about persondata.

{{Persondata}} does have many drawbacks. Some of which are:

  1. It is hidden, therefore it is often out of sync with the article text or infobox, with no current mechanism to keep it in sync.
  2. If an infobox is present, persondata becomes redundant.
  3. It is currently not being used by anybody (to my knowledge).
  4. |NAME= and |ALTERNATIVE NAME= parameters have no standard format. Format should be surname, firstname, but this isn't always followed. When a person as a stage/pen name, there is not standard on which parameter parameter gets what name.


  1. If the article doesn't have an infobox, persondata can become a source of info.
  2. |SHORT DESCRIPTION= is of use to Wikidata.
  3. From Periglio's talk page, "Wikipedia has an easy accessible database of over 1 million people. It is data available for serious research projects. Why delete it?"

Question: Should the {{persondata}} template be removed from all articles and no longer be used?

Proposed by Bgwhite 21:21, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Discussion (Persondata)

  • Have a comment?
Before implementing this change all the gadgets and tools that create or use this template must also be changed. Otherwise we will get them being created when others are trying to get rid of them. A comparable situation where the cite gadget creates "deprecated" cite template parameters that bot(s) go around undoing. So this should be done as a proper release, where wikidata, gadgets and tools are all synchronised with the policy implementation to stop wasted effort. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 22:08, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Graeme Bartlett, Wikidata is currently not ingesting anything from Persondata. I'm aware of two tools that create Persondata, Persondata-o-matic and AWB. An AWB developer is aware of this proposal. Persondata-o-matic currently doesn't work. There are some scripts/gadgets that do allow for easy viewing persondata. Bgwhite (talk) 22:17, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
So I think that Wikidata should ingest this. It will be harder to harvest from history as it may not be possible to tell the "correct" version. AFC reviewer tool currently adds persondata. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 06:02, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
If this goes ahead, someone (I'm willing to help) will need to close up the Persondata and WikiProject Persondata and related pages. Also maybe notify members of the project (and places like WP:BIOG) that persondata is going to be removed. Is there a way of setting up an ongoing bot to send messages to users who add new persondata?—Msmarmalade (talk) 08:09, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

User:Rjwilmsi's bot occasionally adds/updates Persondata using AWB but it should be very easy to diactivate AWB's after we agree to stop adding/remove Persondata. -- Magioladitis (talk) 08:24, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Biography and Wikipedia:WikiProject Infoboxes about this discussion. -- Magioladitis (talk) 08:27, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

My main concern is Category:Biography articles without infoboxes. This means we have 20,000+ that may have Persondata and not an infobox. -- Magioladitis (talk) 08:40, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Maybe it would be a good idea to add infoboxes to most of these pages so that we reserve the information in the article and in a visible place? -- Magioladitis (talk) 16:40, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
@Magioladitis: do you mean automatically create infoboxes and transfer Persondata to them? One consideration in that case then, is articles where there isn't enough information to justify an infobox (Although I'd like to see almost every page with an infobox anyway, I think the general consensus is that infoboxes without enough info are an eyesore). For example, if only |NAME= is available, the infobox is unnecessary as you can (usually) get that info from the article title. Perhaps these sorts of persondata can be deleted early on.—Msmarmalade (talk) 02:34, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
@Msmarmalade: we can select some rules (size of page, at least 3 fields are filled, etc.) and create infoboxes using a bot only for these cases. Still much better than now. -- Magioladitis (talk) 05:02, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

How reliable is Persondata anyway? in this edit a malformed article title was used to create a malformed NAME, and DATE OF BIRTH was copied from the completely unsourced infobox (it's not present in the body of the article). Where does that leave Persondata - or Wikidata if it scrapes up "information" using the same rules? PamD 10:40, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

  1. Questions - Perhaps it's just me, but there seems to be a failure of communications at work here. Even now, many WP editors remain in the dark about what Wikidata is doing, and how it will affect WP articles. In this example, for instance, would the supplantation of persondata by corresponding wikidata yield better WP articles? Will it, for instance, automatically populate WP infoboxes? What would the differences look like? How would they be made compliant with BLP, V, and other WP policies? Would WP editors still be able to correct errors, without having to learn their way around Wikidata? Are there some examples in place to show how these things will operate? LeadSongDog come howl! 20:40, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
    @LeadSongDog:. Some data in the infoboxes could be fetched from Wikidata, but that does not seeem to be the matter at hand here. {{Persondata}} is not meant to be used to populate infoboxes. -Superzoulou
    Thanks, but that really doesn't clear much up. The content of {{Persondata}}, {{Infobox person}}, etc should reasonably be automagically verifiable against the categories the article is put into. References supporting the assertions that cause those categories to be applied must be maintained if we are to avoid finding Koffi Annan in Category:Bollywood stars or something equally absurd. Will/does wikidata support checks to see that the categories are supported in the article, with references? Does it have a mechanism to support variances in sourcing policies between the different WP languages, or at least to attribute the sourcing to the WP language and article where the assertion originates? Vandalism isn't going to be disappearing anytime soon, after all. LeadSongDog come howl! 21:53, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
    I do not really understand what you are talking about. This proposal is not about deleting {{Infobox person}} and afaik, there is no consistency check between persondata and categories. Actually, I do not see how a bot could use Persondata in their current form to know that Koffi Annan should not be categorized as a Bollywood star.
    Many bots have added from which Wikipedia the data originated in the source part of the statement. One has added the actual reference that was used in the article (but this is more difficult so less widely implemented at the moment). --07:16, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment There actually appears to be actually two issues:

  1. should we work toward removing Persondata now ?
  2. should we delete data from Persondata wtihout checkign with have their data in Wikidata first ?~

I am certainly in favour of 1), not of 2): if data in persondata match those in Wikidata, they can be deleted. It is a bit pointless that when we want to correct some data, we need to do it in two pages instead of one. But when there are gaps in Wikidata/mismatch with persondata, it should be checked before deleting anything. --Superzoulou (talk) 07:16, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

In that case, perhaps we should have a {{persondata moved to Wikdiata}} which can be applied (by humans or bots) once the data is verified as being in Wikidata. It should prevent further addition of Persondata, and enable us to check progress statistics. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 10:27, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Once the data is in Wikidata, I think we can simply delete it, so we would rather need {{Persondata inconsistent with Wikidata}}. At the same time, we should obviously stop creating new persondata here. That means, among other things, updating scripts like User talk:Dr pda/persondata.js by user:Dr pda so that they add the data to Wikidata instead of Wikipedia. -Superzoulou (talk) 13:23, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Support (Persondata removal)

  1. Support, unless anyone shows a temporary need to retain the data while it is copied to Wikidata. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 21:55, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
  2. Support as redundant, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 22:07, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
  3. Support as redundant. I've never added it to an article, never understood why. Sometimes have to fix work of others who insert inconsistent data. Montanabw(talk) 02:48, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  4. Support per others. --AmaryllisGardener talk 03:27, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  5. Support as long as it is implemented cleanly, (see discussion above) and the information therein is not lost. This sort of data should appear in Wikidata instead, and is not really "encyclopedic" in itself. But it could be a tool to populate indexes, categories, or add to author records - more the thing for Wikidata. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 06:05, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  6. Support as reduntant. Perhaps afterwards, focus should move to cleaning up infoboxes, and standardizing the dates, data, etc within them.—Msmarmalade (talk) 07:47, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  7. Support as redundant. The use to which this data is potentially put is dubious, and the fact that it isn't sync'd seems to make the whole thing pointless. I'd like to see the automated insertion by AWB switched off immediately, and its complete reversal (into 'systematically remove' mode and not just neutral) if the RfC goes through. -- Ohc ¡digame! 09:10, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  8. Qualified support remove data that are identical on to those on Wikidata so that we do not need to maintain them at two places. Check and then remove the other ones. --Superzoulou (talk) 10:11, 21 July 2014 (UTC) + Superzoulou (talk) 11:01, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
  9. Support Finally the time has come. You always had the highlights and details in infobox, there was no need of persondata like others may have thought as well. OccultZone (TalkContributionsLog) 10:44, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  10. Support as redundant, and an annoyance to maintain. These can also be a pain to fix when disambiguating links because the link is there, but invisible. bd2412 T 13:33, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  11. Support I like the idea of using a tool designed to keep track of this sort of data to keep track of this sort of data. Zell Faze (talk) 14:04, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  12. Support, though make sure that the data we are removing already exists in Wikidata first. Cbrown1023 talk 17:45, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  13. Support eventual removal - as and when we are confident it's been migrated to Wikidata. Removal on a case-by-case basis when migrated would be reasonable, and then deprecating the system. Andrew Gray (talk) 19:53, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
    Andrew Gray, Wikidata will not import anything but |SHORT DESCRIPTION=. A bot has already imported this data and will run again before Persondata's removal. Bgwhite (talk) 19:59, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  14. Support The only reason I include persondata in my new stubs is because they otherwise got inserted with incorrect or incomplete data. I have never used the persondata and I believe it is redundant now with Wikidata - maybe someone could run some numbers on the accuracy of persondata vs Wikidata for 100 random biographies? depending on the results we could just rip them all out. Alternatively, we could agree to no longer insert persondata and manually delete whenever we check Wikidata and see the data exists on Wikidata. Jane (talk) 09:10, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Comment: I first create a stub on English Wikipedia, then I create the Wikidata item (if it doesn't already exist). When I create a new Wikidata item it imports the persondata so I don't need to type it over. I would not want to see persondata disappear before my workflow changes (i.e. first make improve WD item, then create stub from that). Now WD lets me import the stub, but so far I can't import the WD item to WP. Jane (talk) 13:04, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
  1. Support as redundant, Since I don't use WikiData I find PersonalData to be absolutely useless anyway. –Davey2010(talk) 18:58, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Oppose (Persondata removal)

  1. Oppose: First of all, the claim that Persondata are currently not being used by anybody is wrong. Tools that evaluate Persondata exist and are being used. Secondly, Wikidata cannot be taken seriously at this stage as its data (beyond the interwiki links) are simply not reliable. As elaborated in this discussion, Wikidata looks like a Wikipedia from 2003 without any references. A Wikipedia article, however, combines both, literature and references that backup the data given in the Persondata template. At the current state of affairs, the Wikipedia articles and their Persondata records should be considered as a source, not as a target for Wikidata. --AFBorchert (talk) 08:32, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
    And another observation: I just took a first look at one of the dumps of wikidata. They are as ugly as hell as they are embedding JSON within XML. To extract person data from Wikipedia dumps is pretty simple (and frequently done). This fun will be all gone when you have to turn to Wikidata dumps. --AFBorchert (talk) 08:43, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
    Wikidata does not contain enough references, but English Persondata do not contain any, so I do not really understand what your point is. The real question would be which is more reliable between birth/death place/date in Wikidata and in English Persondata. I see no argument one way or the other.
    German Persondata appear to be more used than the English ones, but the discussion for removing them should be done in Wikipedia in German. Does any German tool use English Persondata ? --Superzoulou (talk) 09:56, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
    @Superzoulou: Persondata are embedded in articles that (hopefully) provide references to backup this data. Hence, you have both, data and references in one place very close to each other. If the article is updated in this regard, the persondata can be easily adapted in one edit. At Wikidata we have mostly a heap of data without any references. This does not help us and is surely no replacement for the current Persondata. I refered to the German discussions as de-wp as this was debated there half a year ago. I think it is always worthwile to look into other similar projects and their discussions. And indeed the Persondata were introduced at de-wp and later imported to en-wp. It is surely a predecessor to Wikidata and at some time it may be envisioned to deprecate it but currently I would see it as a great tool that helps in the transition to Wikidata which is not yet sufficiently mature to replace it in my opinion. --AFBorchert (talk) 11:54, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
    @AFBorchert: English Persondata are mostly meant for bots that are not smart enough to read the rest of the article, and for them references elsewhere in the page are not really useful. It is true that people who maintain the template can check the consistency between Persondata and the rest of the article, but I wonder how many people do it by hands. Bots can also check the consistency of the data between Wikidata and Wikipedia. --Superzoulou (talk) 13:17, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
    @Superzoulou: I do it “by hand” at en-wp as well as de-wp. And indeed the consistency check between Wikidata and Wikipedia is an important advantage that would get lost if we would give up Persondata too early. With very few exceptions, I do not edit data records corresponding to Persondata at Wikidata as it is no fun for me to click through all the Javascript-based forms. Wikitext can be edited far more conveniently (and if necessary even by an editor of my choice like Vim), I do not want to waste my time with clicking through a myriad of forms. --AFBorchert (talk) 13:28, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
    @AFBorchert: Consistency of Wikidata can also be checked against infoboxes, and even against the article's lead (Wikidata items about people are marked as such so which avoids the occasional topic mismatch between the infobox and the article proper). --Superzoulou (talk) 14:44, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
    @Superzoulou: Many biographic articles do not have infoboxes but Persondata (example). --AFBorchert (talk) 20:05, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
    @AFBorchert: I know, and I would suggest that we should start the removal with pages with infoboxes. But the data can also be parsed from the article's lead (admittedly, only as an occasional bot task, not like permanent check thourgh templates). Superzoulou
    @AFBorchert: concerning the ugly dumps, the new JSON version will hopefully make things easier [31]. --Superzoulou (talk) 15:28, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  2. Oppose (from wikiproject templates): until wikidata is brought online, persondata needs to stay in order to populate wikidata with the largest source we have of data on article subjects. I know that AWB automatically copies information from infoboxes to persondata, so there is obviously significant overlap on those two, and I am absolutely convinced that persondata's usefulness will soon expire. But we need to keep this on enwiki, up until a bot goes through and copies the persondata entries to wikidata (just like they did with interwiki links), and no later; nobody else has nearly the comprehensive coverage of biographies that would facilitate that transfer. VanIsaacWScont 09:28, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
    @Vanisaac: In what way is Wikidata not "online"? Are we confident that Persondata is reliable (accurate and up-to-date) enough to be copied to Wikidata? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 08:58, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
    It's not online in the same way that Obamacare is not online: Yeah, there's a lot of the substantive stuff that's there now, and the different features are getting implemented roughly when they are supposed to, but there's still more to come as time progresses, and it's going to take some effort by people to get to the level of coverage that the system was designed to have. VanIsaacWScont 10:04, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
    @Vanisaac: So you object to deprecating persondata in favour of Wikidata, even though Wikidata does everything that persondata does, and much more besides, because Wikdiata will do even yet more in the future? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 10:34, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
    Please go back and actually read what I wrote. I object to removing persondata before it's been copied over to wikidata, since enwiki's persondata is likely to be one of the most robust and comprehensive sources for wikidata. That's what "we need to keep this... until a bot goes through and copies the persondata to wikidata" means. Since that has not yet happened, I oppose deprecating persondata at this time. There might also be an argument for keeping it supported after that time, if the transfer bot remains in operation, so that it can be used as a backdoor wikidata upload. But without any details about the wikidata transfer bot, that's merely speculation. VanIsaacWScont 13:03, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
    Yes, I understood that from your original comment, but in the light of it, and of your more recent comments, I cannot make sense of your "until wikidata is brought online" clause. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 14:23, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
  3. Oppose — this seems slightly premature, and the linked discussion from Wikidata seems to indicate that they would not like to see Persondata nuked just yet. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 18:26, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
    • How about nuking it as soon as Wikidata has it under control? bd2412 T 19:09, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
      • That wouldn't be too problematic, but it's a horse before the cart problem. (Wait a second...) Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 20:05, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
        • Titoxd, Wikidata is not importing any data except for |SHORT DESCRIPTION=. This has already been imported via a bot approved in May 2013. In the linked discussion, the Wikidata people were fine or don't care, only two non-wikidata people objected. One of whom uses the data for their personal amusement.
          • Would Wikidata be interested in eventually importing other Persondata fields? Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 20:39, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  4. Oppose. The proposer has not provided any English-language documentation demonstrating that Wikidata is, or soon will be, a fit successor to Persondata. Jc3s5h (talk) 19:47, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
    • Jc3s5h, Nobody currently uses the data contained in Persondata. How can there be a successor to something nobody uses? People do use Wikidata and DBpedia. Bgwhite (talk) 20:26, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
      • The proposal uses Wikidata as partial justification for the removal, but there is no link to any documentation about the part of Wikidata that would cover people. As for nobody using Persondata, there seems to be some disagreement about that. Jc3s5h (talk) 20:51, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
    • @Jc3s5h: Wikidata entries for people include a |label= property, which is the equivalent of |SHORTDESCRIPTION=, but also multilingual. They also have |Also known as=, |date of birth=, |date of death=, |place of birth= and |place of death=. Not to mention dozens and dozens of other properties, not available in Persondata, such as |gender= and |VIAF identifier=. See, for example d:Q17279725. Each property can be programatically displayed in Wikipedia templates such as infoboxes, succession boxes, etc. - unlike Persondata. In short, Wikidata does everything that persondata does, and much more besides. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 09:26, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
  5. Oppose. I am just using Persondata to populate some missing birth/death dates in Wikidata; there are hundreds of thousands of statements that can be used on Wikidata. And if Wikidata were fully "populated", there is no reason to run bots to sync; the template can automatically show Wikidata information if no local data is set, and even add the page to a maintenance category if both is the case, so the information can be merged on Wikidata, and the local data can be removed. Once that is done everywhere, we can think about removing Persondata. Not before. --Magnus Manske (talk) 22:44, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
    1. @Magnus Manske: I fear a misunderstanding; Persondata is not displayed in this wiki. When do you anticipate finishing your bot run? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 08:42, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
      1. I am aware that it is not displayed here. I have only just started with the bot; there are many cases (e.g. "fuzzy" dates) that I am not sure how to handle yet. IMO it would be beyond strange to destroy data in the Persondata template unless we can be sure it has been properly synchronized with Wikidata. --Magnus Manske (talk) 09:13, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
        1. @Magnus Manske: Thanks for the prompt response; I was referring to your "the template can automatically show Wikidata information" comment. Are you confident that the persondata you are importing is accurate and up-to-date? Do you check it against visible values in the infobox, or lede? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 09:26, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
          1. @Pigsonthewing: Probably the wrong place to discuss my bot's internals, but I also use the Infobox, and the German Personendaten template; I import the highest precision value into Wikidata, with "source". --Magnus Manske (talk) 12:18, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
  6. Oppose People do use persondata. I am using the data extracted from Persondata on my own website to generate facts eg "Who is 50 years old today". Although my use may be regarded as trivial,it shows that Persondata is available for serious research - births and deaths of over a million notable people. A lot of people are stating that Persondata is not used, but on what evidence? Extraction tools exist, who knows what people do with the article they download?
    My second reason for opposing is that based on my own experience, Wikidata does not provide a reliable alternative for birth and death dates. Admittedly, there appears to be an editor who updates Wikidata death dates as soon as they happen, but new articles and fixes to old articles do not get onto Wikidata. Someone editing an article would not necessarily think that they need to fix Wikidata as well.
    Finally, again from my experience, Persondata is pretty accurate. I expanded my own software to validate the extract, comparing dates against categories for example. There were only two or three thousand entries, from 1.1 million articles, where persondata had vandalised or out of date data and I am currently fixing those! Periglio (talk) 23:38, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
    @Periglio: Why are the results of a "Who is 50 years old today" query on Wikidata not acceptable? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 08:39, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
    @Pigsonthewing:Because I would miss Joe Gulla who is 50 tomorrow (at time of writing in my time zone). My point is that no one has explained how Wikidata gets updated when an average editor adds a date to an article. I remain opposed until I know Wikidata is not just a snapshot at the time the original bot ran. Periglio (talk) 21:12, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Wibe | Surf Wikipedia with the Power of YouTube


I am Akshit (Co-Founder of Wibe), we have made a Chrome Extension by which anyone will be able to watch relevant YouTube videos corresponding to the Wiki Article they are reading.

It is the deadly combination of Wikipedia and YouTube, it can really become a great new feature of Wikipedia. We developed it to solve our problem of switching to YouTube from Wiki to understand a particular thing.

I would be very thankful if you please try and review it. Then if you like Wibe, consider it to integrate as a functionality in Wikipedia for some days so that user can use and review this new feature.

Install the Extension and then try out "" page to see how it changes the original wiki page by integrating relevant videos from YouTube.


Akshit Agarwal (Co-Founder, Wibe)

Cool, But What Happens if Youtube is inaccessable? Wibe Messes up Chrome. Maybe we could integrate it into Wiki by having a <Youtube> Tag


Text Text Text <Youtube HTML= "">

Appears Like;

Text text Text [Youtube Video]

Just a Thought, TitusFox'Tribs 15:58, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

This cannot work with Wikipedia. First, you cannot embed external videos in a wiki article, unless they are explicitly published under a free license. 99% of the videos on YouTube are copyrighted and unsuitable for inclusion in Wikipedia. Second, even linking to such videos in the External links section of an article would not work without direct user supervision. Per WP:YT "Many videos hosted on YouTube or similar sites do not meet the standards for inclusion in External links sections, and copyright is of particular concern. Many YouTube videos of newscasts, shows or other content of interest to Wikipedia visitors are copyright violations and should not be linked. Links should be evaluated for inclusion with due care on a case-by-case basis." (emphasis mine) This means you cannot just automatically link to a bot-generated collection of videos in an article - they will be most likely either not completely relevant or possible copyright violations. 2Flows (talk) 16:53, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

It would be a pleasant notion for me and the Dell XPS-10 with Win 8.1 RT that I'm using today. Its built in browser cannot see Wikipedia's OGG videos and it cannot install other browsers. Sending a copy to a video site that allows ordinary video formats would be a somewhat clumsy solution if Wikipedia policy allowed linking to such a video. It makes me wonder why allow video at all, and yet so restrict it as to make it unworkable. Jim.henderson (talk) 18:19, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Assuming that you were to manually evaluate the relevance and copyright status of a YouTube video and decide that it was worthy of inclusion, I wouldn't be too opposed to the superscript-form link. Dustin (talk) 18:34, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Some time back I noticed another Wiki that did something similar to the above but didn't seem to last. I have always thought video was the one area that Wikipedia needs to grow in leaps and bounds but to do so might mean a project related to those editors that wish to create videos for Wikipedia and guidelines would need to be established to be sure copyright was being respected and adhered to. It could be opening a can of worms but I think the idea is sound. Sometime ago I made a video for an article I am a major contributor on. I did make a mistake and used an image that did have a copyright. I was lucky because the copyright holder liked the video and contacted me twice. Once in regards to attribution that I mistook for a take down request and so, removed the video. They contacted me after I removed the video and said I could use the images as along as I attributed the company and person who created it, so now the copyright has been granted (I reproduced the video to add the credit and not just drop it in the video summary on Youtube). Now...if we produced videos and ONLY used content from Wikipedia and Wikimedia commons, all that would be required is attribution. I wish we had a project where editors could produce videos for pages that are copyright free. I think it might be a good way to improve some of our articles.--Mark Miller (talk) 19:45, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Just how would production of videos improve any articles? Is this an echo of the recent proposal of having video summaries? ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 20:17, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
That is a legitimate question and can only be answered with opinion I suppose but I know nothing about the "video Summaries" issue. In my opinion a video could be watched to enhance one's understanding of the topic or additional content could be provided to add to the article itself and not just summarize what is already written.--Mark Miller (talk) 20:41, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Most tools and most sports ought to have video. Bark hack and Curling and many, many others. Jim.henderson (talk) 20:53, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Automating mergers

I hope it's okay to post here to draw a bit of attention to WT:Merging#Automating the perform. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 00:43, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

I tweaked your link to head to Wikipedia Talk space, hope you don't mind. Monty845 00:49, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for catching that. :) Anna Frodesiak (talk) 05:30, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Quality review for policy pages, guidelines, and high-impact essays

Would the project benefit if we had a semi-formal mechanism for submitting policy pages, guidelines, and high-impact essays to some sort of semi-formal assessment, from a quality and clarity of writing point of view? If that is of interest, as part of its execution I'd especially like to see a form of Usability testing where eds were asked to read and then say back what they think the text of these pages means. This is a way to

  • Identify matters where such pages have fallen behind the evolution of consensus, and
  • Sniff out technical writing that needs to be improved for clarity.

A semi-formal process would also help bring fresh eyes and new vigor to efforts at improvement, where the status quo is too strong for editors who stop by one-at-a-time to really market improvement ideas.

If this is a perennial topic, I apologize for not spotting the thread and would be grateful for a link. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 00:26, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

I actually have just had this put on my talk page and frankly ...I have no clue what this editor is attempting but is quacks too loud for me.--Mark Miller (talk) 04:30, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Goal is to discuss an idea that could lead to even better technical writing to describe current consensus, in the belief this could reduce misunderstandings. That would have the following benefits
  • Lighten the load on administrators and DR volunteers,
  • Increase editor enjoyment, and
  • Make such pages more newbie-friendly thereby contributing to editor retention.
NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 09:09, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
We already have a review process for new articles. How is this different?--Mark Miller (talk) 17:10, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Sounds like you mean AFC for new articles as described at Wikipedia:So_you_made_a_userspace_draft#Ready!. This is different in that it pertains to things other than "articles" and it is about existing things instead of just new ones. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 17:27, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
No, I mean new articles as well as articles that have existed for a limited amount of time (in the main space), are all reviewed by editors to check if they are legitimate articles. AFC is for reviewing only drafts. So your proposal is to go back through every article (or, I guess a nomination process) and re-review it under new standards that, while your proposal states this to be akin to Usability testing sound more like Usability inspection because you are not testing the "product" (the article) on real users but asking for experts to evaluate the article. Giving you the benefit of doubt could you detail exactly how this would improve the load for the DR volunteers, increase editor enjoyment and contribute to editor retention? As an editor that volunteers at the DR/N and very much concerned with editor retention, I just don't see how this would improve those areas.--Mark Miller (talk) 18:04, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
It's a good but premature question about the mechanics, but the question is whether the community perceives a partially unmet need. If there is no need, then no one needs to spend brancells on suggesting possible mechanics.
For articles, we did decide that the "regular editing process" was good, but could be improved by creation of the Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Assessment process. What about these other pages? The "regular editing process" is good for Policies/Guidelines/HelpPages/HighImpactEssays, no question about that. The question I'm asking is whether those pages could be even better with some sort of quality assessment process... not designed to alter their operation, but to provide another perspective on the presentation. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 18:38, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
We already have a quality assessment process. But I would like to understand your position on how any of this would effect the areas you mention. They are too important to me not to have those answered, since you brought it up as the reasoning for the change or addition of a new process.--Mark Miller (talk) 19:46, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Are you referring to BRD, normal editing, and VPump discussions or something else? If the latter, and there is a link to a specific process please tell me what it is, because I don't know it. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 20:29, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. We already have a well working quality assessment process and this proposal lacks specifics and the OP seems unwilling to discuss this adequately.--Mark Miller (talk) 05:56, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
If you say so. A better assessment is that the "proposals" pump probably wasn't the best location for this question. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 06:37, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Could be...or it could be that you are not answering questions and don't know the processes that are already in place. I really tried to give you the benefit of the doubt here. I tried to give you the opportunity to explain yourself better than you did on my page before I deleted it as nonsense. You are clearly showing your competency here. I suggest you stop, take time to get to know Wikipedia and regroup. Just lacking competence is not something that will hold you back forever. All one need do is...research. Its what we do here. Try it. But, I also feel you don't fully understand the article link you left and that doesn't give me a lot of faith in your ability to understand what you are attempting.--Mark Miller (talk) 06:56, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Whatever you say Mark. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 07:02, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
No. I am just one editor.....but the only one who has responded. It isn't as if this page has no editors viewing it. Seriously dude...if you have to have Wikipedia's quality assessment explained to you and are truly unaware of it.....I don't know what to say you even read the article talk pages before you come to the village pump to make a proposal?--Mark Miller (talk) 07:44, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
The closest thing to this is probably Wikipedia:WikiProject Policy and Guidelines, which you could try to WP:REVIVE. There's also one for the Manual of Style and another WikiProject specifically for Essays. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:47, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, I may followup with one or more of those one day. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 19:15, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Should the MediaWiki software be modified to include an option for specialized (such as blacklist / whitelist) blocks?

Would a system of specialized blocks be helpful? Dustin (talk) 02:41, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Note: This was partly discussed beforehand at Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab)#Specialized blocks, and I have decided to bring my proposal here. Please read that page first, though. I have started this as an RfC because I consider it to be of significant importance.

(The following has been copied from the idea lab)

The following is a proposed change to the MediaWiki software.

I don't know if something like this has already been proposed, but a brief search on my part didn't turn up something like this, so I will put forth my ideas. Here is my possible proposal, but I am going to give it here first just so we can discuss it and refine the idea beforehand. I would propose that we modify the MediaWiki software as to allow for specialized blocks. Blocks currently only have two options: a block on editing all pages except for a user's own talk page, or a block on all pages, including the user's own talk page. In my new "specialized" block system, there would be many more options.

  1. An administrator could block a user for disruption from editing either a specific, individual page, or the block could apply to a selection of pages. In cases where a user cannot be trusted to follow a topic-ban or does not feel that he/she can follow his/her restrictions, then an administrator could simply block that user from editing a list of manually selected pages which are "at risk".
  2. An administrator could block a user from editing all pages (minus manually chosen exceptions) that have a certain prefix. For example, if one user was being overly disruptive on SPI pages (and I am not talking about vandalism), then an administrator could block that user from editing all pages starting with "Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/".
  3. If there were situations where it was desired that an editor requesting an unblock edit one page apart from his/her talk page similar to this recent instance (but where the user could not be yet trusted to stay on only his/her talk page and the one exception page), then the block could be modified to ignore that one page.

I do not know how we would implement this because it is necessary that someone would develop this feature, but that is something to consider at a later point. I just want to know the opinions and/or ideas of editors. Dustin (talk) 02:42, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

  • I support the general idea, though the specifics of what kind of granularity we want is up for grabs. In particular, one thing I definitely would find useful is the ability to block IP ranges (perhaps as large as /8) from specific pages. Currently the only way to do this is with an edit filter, which impairs performance. -- King of ♠ 02:50, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
    Actually, what Graeme Bartlett said makes a whole lot of sense. And it should be possible to select an IP range as the user to be restricted by the filter. -- King of ♠ 03:43, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose because it would require development support from the WMF. These are essentially topic-bans with supporting block. Robert McClenon (talk) 02:52, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose The discussions on blocks have been extensive and the community has been pretty further options are required or needed. No support from me. Sorry.--Mark Miller (talk) 02:59, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
    • You obviously have neither looked at the previous discussion like I suggested, nor at the links at that discussion. Back in 2005, nine years ago, there was another proposal like this one, and it received over 80% approval. I know that was a long time ago, but why should we not reconsider? Dustin (talk) 03:04, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
      • I don't give a crap about that as you don't give a crap about other discussions so just stop complaining and let this go to the community now. You said your piece. If that isn't enough, you failed.--Mark Miller (talk) 03:08, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Having this discussion here somewhat clouds the purpose of the discussion. If the goal is simply to come up with a technical specification of what such a system would look like, would be a better location. A discussion here will inevitably involve local policy implications and we need to have some concrete idea of what the feature's capabilities are before such a discussion could reasonably proceed. Mr.Z-man 04:20, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
I would wonder if this is actually a local issue for Wikipedia as proposed by Dustin. I may think that dragging a discussion from 9 years ago, into this discussion isn't even relevant today but hey....lets let this go its course and see what happens.--Mark Miller (talk) 04:27, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Support As I said on the idea lab this could be an edit filter just applying to one user (or IP). When optimised so that the filter only ran for 1 user there would be no performance impact on the rest. There would be plenty of fine grain here, denying uploads, moves, use of interaction banned users talk pages and so on. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 07:28, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Support However, like Graeme Bartlett I would suggest to go into the direction of edit filters that apply to individual users or IP ranges. --AFBorchert (talk) 08:41, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Not persuaded that usefulness outweighs the effort and complexity. For logged-in editors, this idea is a non-starter for me. If a particular user is subject to a topic or interaction ban, then either they stick to the terms of their editing restrictions, or they get blocked entirely. A user who lacks the maturity or restraint to adhere to an editing restriction (and, for that matter, who edited in a manner sufficiently disruptive to earn such a restriction in the first place) doesn't need additional technical constraints, they need to stop editing until they can control themselves.
    For IP addresses, I can see some argument for this as a way to reduce collateral damage (particularly when placing rangeblocks), but I suspect it will be more complicated than it's worth. Semi-protection already exists as a solution, though it does affect all IP editors of an article. (It's a bit blunt as a tool, but we already tolerate even long-term semi-protection of articles where warranted by circumstances.)
    From an admin standpoint, I can see this becoming rather complicated to manage and track. If I block an IP range from editing a particular article, does it show up in the IP's block log, or in the article's logs, or both, or neither? TenOfAllTrades(talk) 17:52, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose This is a solution looking for a problem. It introduces complexity where none is needed. If a user will not follow restrictions then a conventional block will work. Either a user is willing to follow community expectations or they are not. Specialized blocks would result in gaming of the system. Chillum 18:06, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I wonder: Could selective whitelisting be used to keep someone blocked, but make it possible for them to clean up their own copyvios on specific, identified pages? That might be desirable. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:49, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
    This goes to the point I made above. If we can't trust someone to follow editing restrictions without building a technical wall around their editing, I can't imagine we would trust them to perform a task requiring careful judgement like cleaning up copyvios—especially where they were the ones who introduced the copyright violations or plagiarism in the first place. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 19:03, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
    It's not unusual to see a request for someone to be fully unblocked so that they can help with copyright cleanup. That requires a lot more babysitting than providing access only to specified pages would. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:16, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Support the idea, assuming it is technically possible. This would make more sense than existing practice in a number of areas. In the case of 3RR violations, for instance, if an editor is causing problems by edit warring on an article then our only option for stopping them is to prevent them from editing every single page, anywhere, even though they are only causing problems on one page. It would make more sense to prevent them from editing the one page where the edit warring is taking place. Hut 8.5 10:54, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

Allow "suppressredirect" and "move-subpages" within userspace

I would like to request that autoconfirmed users be granted the suppressredirect and move-subpages permissions for moving pages entirely within the subpage hierarchy of their own User: and User talk: pages.

I am aware of WP:Perennial proposals#Grant non-admins admin functions within their user space, but the main objections highlighted there appear to relate to the potential for vandalism committed through nefarious page deletion. This proposal does not have that problem, because (a) it does not grant the ability to delete any pages, and (b) its scope is limited to moves that both originate and terminate within the user's own userspace. This change would significantly benefit those who do a lot of page development in their userspace, and I can't think of any collateral damage that it would cause.

Respectfully submitted, — Jaydiem (talk) 16:00, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

  • Support if it wouldn't require much dev time to implement. Doesn't seem very prone to abuse, trying to imagine how this could be used nefariously, this is the best I can do: Move page you want to hide to userspace, then move it with suppressed redirect to another userspace name, then create a new page where you first moved it, so that the automatic redirect from mainspace would lead to a normal looking page, with no indication of what happened in the page history. The record of the 2nd move would still be fully visible to anyone who bothered to look at the logs for the page, though the log wouldn't be displayed by default once the new page was created. Also, it would be very obvious what happened to anyone with the original page watchlisted. All in all, I think the convenience factor outweighs the rather minimal risks. Monty845 16:30, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Unless there are dev issues, no reason not to do this. Writ Keeper  16:32, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Support if not too much work for the devs. Also, I presume that these rights would also be enabled in the User talk: space? I.e. to move talk pages of moved articles, to clean up talk page archives etc? BethNaught (talk) 16:09, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Yes, absolutely, the intention here is for the same rules to apply in the "User:" and "User talk:" namespaces. I'm adding this to the proposal statement for clarity, thanks. — Jaydiem (talk) 17:13, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
  • The only problem I see is when these pages are essentially draft articles--it is still permitted to use these, instead of the Draft namespace. DGG ( talk ) 00:40, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Sensible proposal. -- King of ♠ 03:44, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Support with concerns Seems mostly reasonable. However, and trying to avoid beans here, I can see a possible way that this can be used to trick pages into being deleted under a speedy criteria, that might bypass causal checking and could be tedious to undo. Though I'm not so sure that a would be vandal would have the patience required to do it. PaleAqua (talk) 06:57, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

Idea lab

Time to revisit schools?

I am getting seriously tired of all the, to be extremely blunt, crappy articles about this or that college, that because of the near automatic presumption of notability are littering Wikipedia. It's becoming rare for me to get through a single page of new articles on NPP without running into one or more of them. They are often completely unsourced and highly promotional. Even the one's that do have some sources, are often so poor and or obviously promotional that they would get nuked in an AfD discussion if the topic was anything other than schools. WHY ARE SCHOOLS A SACRED COW ON WIKIPEDIA?

I am considering putting up a proposal to require that all schools and colleges be subject to the exact same standards as any other topic, specifically significant coverage in multiple reliable sources to be considered notable. -Ad Orientem (talk) 16:02, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

It sounds like you need to take a break. You yourself could look for sources. For current schools there are almost always plenty of sources around, but they may be newspapers in languages that you don't know. However there could be lots of "colleges" which are just some private training company set up recently, without notability. These are the kind of article that should not have the presumption of notability. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 22:08, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
I think you are missing the point. As long as it can be established that a college exists, and that it's not a degree mill or something similar, then it is de-facto notable, extensive RS coverage or no. I also don't think it's right to attempt to shift the burden for hunting down sources on editors who are dong NPP, though I don't mind a little here and there in most cases. But there is a widespread pattern of abuse going on with way too many school related articles that would in the normal course of things, not even come close to meeting our notability standards getting what amounts to a free pass. So I will ask the question again... Why are schools a sacred cow on Wikipedia? -Ad Orientem (talk) 00:43, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
Because otherwise we will spend half our time at AfD debating the intricacies of just what sources are sufficiently "substantial" and "reliable", and will probably end up debating this not just for all the secondary school and colleges, but all the primary schools. Depending on whether you want to keep them or not, it is possible to interpret the sourcing requirements of the GNG to produce any wanted result for almost all articles of this nature. The current system is not, as you seem to think, an inclusive rule only, it is equally an exclusive rule, for not giving articles to primary schools, of which there are many times the number compared to secondary schools. The probable accuracy or even repeatability of our AfD determinations back 7 years ago was about 80% at most, meaning that almost any school could be removed after 4 or 5 afds, & those who wanted to avoid school articles did just such nominations. Simultaneously, those who wanted to keep the articles spent most of their time here on finding recondite secondary sources,which in general are available for most primary as well as secondary schools if you look hard enough, though it can take hours. And what's the point of it all? If, like now, we cover about 20 or 30% of secondary schools that would have trouble passing the GNG interpreted rigidly, WP is not paper; if we merge all the primary schools into the school districts as at present, the key links for the information are still available.
What we can not accommodate is wasting the energy of all of us interested in notability, inclusionist-minded and exculsionist-minded both, at these afds, when there are so many really harmful articles, especially promotional articles and poorly sourced BLPs, that we need to remove. It's a matter of practicality, not of principle.
The real problem here , is that similar decision points would be useful for many other types of articles, particularly those subject to WP:LOCAL. where the same ambiguity of the detailed specifications of the GNG can yield any wanted result. (And again, with almost random results, except when do we have such convenient cut off points as local or state branches of national organizations.) DGG ( talk ) 02:35, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I'ld say, keep the policy for real schools and colleges, but make it clear that this policy does not apply to those wannabe commercial 'colleges' those are nothing more than fronts for paid training programs. (i.e. any organization can call itself a 'college', but only include for our policy those that fit the traditional description of a college. ) However, based on CSD criteria, we should also delete all articles that are blatant promotion and advertisement (G11. Unambiguous advertising or promotion), or are largely copied from the college's website or informational material (G12. Unambiguous copyright infringement). @Ad Orientem, perhaps that addresses your major concerns? Darx9url (talk) 00:53, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I agree with the sentiment behind the proposal, at least to a degree, in that a locale shouldn't be made continuously more granular by breaking out articles about other items within the locale unless there is substantial reliable material and independent notability. For schools we seem to have moved too far away from this and now presume that they all justify an independent article. Some of the school articles have no more sources available than my local bus stop does - a primary source website and a couple of minor mentions in the local press when a bus broke down there. I think WP:NSCHOOL should have a line added, based on WP:NSONG, along the lines of "Notability aside, a standalone article is only appropriate when there is enough material to warrant a reasonably detailed article; articles unlikely ever to grow beyond stubs should be merged to articles about the town or locale." QuiteUnusual (talk) 09:26, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I agree with Ad Orientem that this is out of control for new articles. We need to remove the exception to db-A7 to solve the initial filtering issue. Nothing else has exemption so why should schools be any different? I don't get the concept of why if a college/high school exists it is somehow automatically notable. This does not apply to any other type of building so its anomalous to say the least. That's the CSD part.
As for Afd, DGG is spot on about the wasted energy. Everytime a nomination in this category comes up (with the exception of primary schools, which are thankfully under control with the redirect concensus), the discussion seems to involve once more explaining to people how the GNG overrides essays like SCHOOLOUTCOMES and why all educational institutions are not automatically notable. IMHO we need to tighten up NSCHOOL and remove the presumption of automatic notability. However, if we institute criteria based on article size using QuiteUnusual's nifty bus stop analogy, I can see people simply falling back on WP:DEADLINE. "It might be long enough one day..." What we need are better guidelines.  Philg88 talk 10:02, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
  • It's all volunteer work and while Wikipedia attempts to be encyclopedic, the only people researching such schools are likely going to people who either already went there, are going there, or are planning on enrolling there, it's not as if the low-quality information people provide is going to be used in anything scholarly or, well, serious. If the subject matter were serious, I'd say we need to be more proactive in eliminating low-quality pages which might very well be nothing short of promotion or propaganda, but it sounds like what you're evaluating is pretty uninportant. I'd say there's no problem that needs to be addressed, just a desire for better quality which is difficult to achieve since we're all volunteers. Damotclese (talk) 16:56, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
  • You know, it's all well and good to have this "standard" to which DGG refers, and I see his point about how it would be a time sink; however, this "notability standard" put into place well before the BLP policy really took hold. Almost without exception, the high school articles are huge magnets for BLP violations, and most of them really are only notable locally. I think perhaps it's time to start considering whether it's useful to have thousands of articles nobody's really watching on (at best) borderline notable subjects that are used as attack vectors against individual high school students, teachers and principals. Risker (talk) 00:20, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Risker risker, I understand your argument, but the more notable they are, the more of a magnet, because they;ll be the larger schools with the more students, and thus the more prospective potential abusive editors. We should be able to deal with this in other ways, like an edit filter. DGG ( talk ) 01:11, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
One might think, DGG, but my experience is that it is the high schools with under 1200 students, often in small communities/suburbs or rural areas, that experience the greatest level of vandalism, sometimes to the level that suppression is needed. (As a matter of course, if I need to suppress edits to a school article, I automatically apply a one-year semi-protection, since by the time the oversighters are called in, there is usually months worth of nastiness.) A lot of these schools would barely pass GNG, if that; all of their coverage is local (and usually sports-related), they usually have no notable alumni, and most of their information comes from the school website, schoolboard website, and the results of statewide tests if applicable. This is the reality for the majority of high schools in North America: they're no more notable than grade schools. But they get a lot more vandalism and revenge editing, almost all of it BLP-related. Risker (talk) 03:44, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
  • For what it's worth, my personal view is that the great majority of schools covered by Wikipedia are not in any way notable. Please note that I am in the UK and will choose my examples accordingly; it should be obvious that the same concepts can be applied elsewhere.
My reasoning is this: (to a first approximation) we regard a person as notable if they have accomplished something that makes them stand out from the crowd; in the same way, we might therefore regard a school as notable if it has accomplished something that makes it significantly different from the vast mass of schools. Thus, we might regard a school as notable if it educates a disproportionately large number of UK cabinet ministers or has produced an astonishing number of child/teenage entertainers and self-publicists in a short time. There's clearly something going on with these schools that make them different from the norm. We would not, however, regard a school as notable if it has done nothing of any significance other than be rated poorly in government assessments. It's not difficult to find serious references - books, newspaper articles, and so on - that ask questions like "Is Eton too influential in British society?" and "Why does the Harrodian School produce so many YouTubers?" (Answer: a drama club that aims at the Edinburgh Fringe, apparently!), but the references for what we might, in a better Wikipedia, call non-notable schools are generally restricted to local newspapers and government lists ("a comprehensive list of comprehensives"!).
The problem is driven by several factors, none easy to change. First, there are always going to be people who don't like the idea that their school wasn't notable. Second, there is the general problem of Wiki-notability, which is prepared to accept very poor references, most of which prove existence rather than notability. Third, I took the liberty of reviewing some schools AfD debates from the archives. It's easy to see that there was/is a clear clique of Wikipedians who took the general view that all schools are notable, and a rather larger clique who took the somewhat less extreme position that all secondary schools are notable. From what I can work out, this view was taken for two main reasons, which, paraphrased, are: one, that schools are notable in their own communities, and, two, that it was judgmental, unfair, or otherwise invidious to ascribe notability to some schools but not to others. It's not obvious to me that these contributors formed a majority of Wikipedia's editors, but they certainly formed a majority in AfD debates, which in any case are biased towards retention. It's a cliché that a small determined group can accomplish its aim when it is opposed by a larger but less generally determined one, and this appears to be what has happened with schools: enough precedents have been set that secondary schools, at least, are now automatically notable.
I feel that in a perfect world we would not have so many schools in Wikipedia, but I find it useful to think in terms of a heresy: Wikipedia isn't a real encyclopedia. It's an immensely useful resource, and if I need information about a particular manga character or disused railway station it's ideal, but it certainly isn't definitive. A "real" encyclopedia aspires to reliable coverage of significant matters, but this isn't what happens here. Although I haven't any idea of the statistics, I'd guess we have many more editors fascinated by pokemons, Star Wars and the Hunger Games than by point-set topology, monocotyledons and Akkadians. We do not apply any judgment about what matters and what does not. In this, we are not like a "real" (or, if you prefer, "traditional") encyclopedia. We are inclusive and non-judgmental. In this, we are simply reflecting the way our society behaves. Similarly, again like larger society, we do not distinguish between verifiable truth and matters of opinion. (I recently found an edit to an article that mentioned cheese-eating etiquette; its source was a blog, but I quickly found that journalists and bloggers had copied the Wikipedia article, sometimes word-for-word, so it's only a matter of time before we have a "reliable source" for this nonsense!) Further, I'm not a particularly hard-core editor, but even I've seen plenty of articles that have been swamped by biased contributors, or deleted because this or that claque disapproved, or (worse) not deleted because nobody has assessed the article. The vastness of Wikipedia makes it inevitable that individual articles will contain errors, and the best we can do is to fight the continual battle against those. And, as has been remarked above, it's probably better to focus on improving the important articles, and leave the articles on non-notable topics to those who care about them.
I suppose what I'm trying to say is that whilst I feel you're right, it's a battle that's already been lost. The schools articles are here, they're mostly out of date and they're mostly about non-notable subjects, but they're here and we have to live with it. From time to time I amuse myself by going through a school article, updating the name of the head teacher, and correcting the spelling mistakes, but there's not much else that can be done.
On the plus side, it's nice to know that there are other people who share my reservations about our schools articles. On the minus side, the precedent is clear, and I think we just have to live with it. I think we probably help Wikipedia most by working on the areas where we can make a positive contribution. RomanSpa (talk) 12:00, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
@RomanSpa... That is a very good and thoughtful post that touches on some of the concerns I have had. One possible, and admittedly imperfect, solution to the question of all the already existing articles is to just give them some sort of limited pass if we decide to tighten the standards. For instance, we might say that any articles about a high school or secondary school created before the revised guidelines come into effect are exempt, provided they cite at least one reliable source. -Ad Orientem (talk) 14:29, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
I see your reasoning, I think, but I'm not comfortable with the arbitrariness. It seems odd that of two otherwise almost identical schools, one might have a Wikipedia article and the other not, just because one was started before some arbitrary date while the other was started later. It also doesn't solve the problem of all the existing non-notable schools. One option that I've pondered in the past would imitate the real world like this: in my parents' house there are a huge number of books, more or less arranged by subject, including two book-cases that together form what might be called the "reference section". There is, of course, a full set of the Encyclopedia Britannica, but next to it there are a whole lot of other reference works, including the usual dictionaries and atlases and what-have-you. There are also a large number of directories, including a large and tastefully-bound directory of all the private schools in the UK (dated back several decades!), and assorted directories of specialist institutions, including university and college guides. Of course, such a directory would be impossible to compile and physically publish these days, as there are so many schools, and a satisfactory directory would have to cover both state-run and private schools, at all levels, and (in an international context) all countries. Ideally such a directory would compile all kinds of information about every school in the world, and would be readily searchable. Such a project is obviously much better suited to the web than to physical publication, and the creation of a single point of information on schools would clearly benefit students, parents and teachers. By making it possible to explore and compare schools, the subjects they teach, and their relative successes both academic and pastoral, it might even make a positive contribution to education generally. It's obvious that the commercial case for such a directory is not particularly strong, so a volunteer-based approach might be useful. We might therefore imagine the "Wiki-schools directory". Its core would be our existing schools articles (we would retain information on clearly notable schools in Wikipedia, but "locally notable" schools would move), but with suitable support it would be possible to supply the directory with mirrors of regular Wikipedia articles on the practical aspects of education. The directory would focus on applicable information, so articles on educational theories and research would not be mirrored, or would be mirrored in précis form only. It should also be possible to mirror schools-related news from Wikinews. The directory would apply the same standards of verifiability and lack of bias as Wikipedia, which we could guarantee by making a commitment that any disgreements in these areas would be adjudicated through normal Wikipedia processing, probably by the same administrators. This would give the directory the imprimatur of Wikipedia, and give confidence to its readers. The same basic look and software would of course be used. What do you think? RomanSpa (talk) 06:54, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
Unfortunately I think your suggestion would run afoul of WP:NOTDIRECTORY. Trying to fix a major flaw in the notability guidelines would be tough enough. Trying also to change WP:NOT, which is an actual policy, I think would be on the same level as trying to pass a constitutional amendment. As for granting a limited pass to the bad articles already existing, there is precedent for this. When the RS requirement was added to WP:BLP already existing articles were grandfathered. As much as I would prefer to be able to slowly get rid of the plethora of bad articles, I think that from both a practical and, to be crass, a political perspective, it is unlikely we would get any consensus in favor of tightening standards that left open the possibility of flooding AfD with all of the old articles. Again it's not ideal. But it may be the best we can hope for given the strong retentionist sentiment. And alas I see no perfect solution that doesn't involve a time machine. -Ad Orientem (talk) 12:53, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
I think you may have slightly misunderstood my suggestion: I'm not suggesting that we create a directory within Wikipedia, and I would have no intention of trying to change WP:NOTDIRECTORY. Rather, I'm suggesting an entirely separate project under the Wikimedia Foundation. For example, we well as our "not a directory" policy we also have WP:NOTDICTIONARY. And yet we have Wiktionary. In the same way, I see no reason why we shouldn't have "WikiSchools". As it happens, one of the arguments that's historically been used in AfD debates about schools is WP:NOTDIRECTORY. Current policy on primary schools has the effect of often making the page about the city in which the primary school is located into a directory of local primary schools anyway! My key point, though, is that the majority of school articles would no longer be part of Wikipedia. We would "boldly" put them all in the new project. No existing work would be lost, but it would be moved to a project explicitly dedicated to schools. RomanSpa (talk) 15:28, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
There's a lot of good points here. For some time I've had it in the back of my mind that a new project was needed to absorb items like this. Perhaps something along the lines of WikiGazetteer? Matt Deres (talk) 14:16, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
It might well be possible to apply similar thinking to other aspects of Wikipedia. RomanSpa (talk) 16:54, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
@RomanSpa. I'm not sure there is sufficient interest in a new WMF-backed entity. The gain that would be achieved — inclusion of elementary schools, removal of the weakest high school articles from En-WP — would be offset by the loss of good high school articles and the lack of ability to integrate high school articles into biographies, which is actually one of the main rationales for the status quo at AfD. A truly comprehensive biography will include the name of a high school, but not names of elementary schools, and these links should be blue, not red. This totally dodges the issue of where one is going to find sufficient volunteers to police one of the highest vandalism topics out there... I don't see any huge problem with the current system, as I noted above it amounts to two simple rules that every New Page Patroller could learn in about 60 seconds and would never forget, and it saves AfD from a monstrous mess of never-ending notability challenges and defenses. Things could be worse than the current system, for sure. I think in a huge RFC the status quo would be sustained. I support it. Carrite (talk) 15:23, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Lots of food for thought in the last few comments. I think the next question is where do we go from here? -Ad Orientem (talk) 17:07, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
I agree that we do need some threshold for inclusion of schools. I'm tired of the logic "most secondary schools have notable alumni, so they're notable, but now since most secondary schools are notable, all of them should be, and we need to keep every article on every school ever". Jackmcbarn (talk) 18:10, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

Time to start working on a concrete proposal? May I suggest that we begin working on something we can submit as an actual proposal. Bearing in mind that there will likely be vigorous resistance from retentionist quarters to any attempt to tighten standards, I will start the ball rolling with this...

Draft Proposal

  1. Effective thirty days from the adoption of this proposal, all new articles relating to schools, including High Schools and Secondary Schools shall be subject to the notability guidelines contained in the GNG.
  2. Articles about High Schools and Secondary Schools created prior to the effective date of the above amendment to notability guidelines shall be exempt, provided that on the effective date of the new guidelines the article cites at least one reliable source. Articles about schools that fail to cite any reliable sources on the effective date shall be subject to the provisions of the GNG and may be nominated for deletion via PROD and or AfD.
  3. Articles about schools created after the effective date may be nominated for speedy deletion if they meet the criteria in CSD A-7.
  4. With due regard for the provisions of Not a Directory, active consideration be given to the creation of a directory for educational institutions, separate and independent of Wikipedia, to which articles that do not meet GNG but which may nonetheless be of interest to some readers, may be migrated.
Note: The above is off the top of my head. Feel free to amend, comment, rant, praise, throw flowers or rotten vegetables in my direction etc... -Ad Orientem (talk) 18:47, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
@Ad Orientem: I like 1 and 3, I think 4 should go, and I think 2 should be changed to this: "Articles about High Schools and Secondary Schools created prior to the effective date of the above amendment to notability guidelines shall be exempt, provided that the article cites at least one reliable source independent of the school. Articles about schools that fail to cite any independent reliable sources shall be subject to the provisions of the GNG and may be nominated for deletion via PROD and or AfD." (so lose the stuff about effective date, and require the source to be independent). Jackmcbarn (talk) 18:58, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
Comment: I expect that anything with a deadline will lead to the creation of a vast number of schools articles before the deadline expires, of course. As for the draft proposal itself, I'm still thinking about it. Whatever is proposed, I'd prefer that there has been substantial nemawashi in advance. Ideally, consensus should be as broad as possible. RomanSpa (talk) 12:43, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
I concur which is why I am trying to get as much input here before I move anything over to the Proposal forum. The only thing I have a really strong conviction on, is that the current approach to notability for schools is far too permissive and we need to tighten up standards. Everything beyond that is details, and I am pretty flexible there. -Ad Orientem (talk) 13:10, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
What if the deadline were put in the past, say on June 13th, the day this thread first started? Jackmcbarn (talk) 15:49, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
I suspect there will be opposition if some sort of ex-post facto protection is not included. But again I am not stuck on details. My main objective is to tighten the standards. At the risk of sounding crassly political, where we set the "effective date" is not of great importance to me. I will go with whatever date is likely to garner the most support !votes. -Ad Orientem (talk) 15:55, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
Have there been previous attempts to do anything like this? If so, how did they do? I'd be reluctant to waste people's time if something like this comes up every six months, and always meets a substantial consensus against change. RomanSpa (talk) 16:30, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
@RomanSpa: I believe the topic has come up before, but not in quite some time. As for my opinion, I suspect that the vast majority of secondary schools and universities are notable, but I don't like the idea of giving them a free pass. I personally would support this proposal in its current form as I suspect it would lead to more high quality articles on schools. I disagree with the idea of including item #2 though. I suspect that this will cause more problems than it will solve, though it might, in the end, be needed to get something like this to garner enough support. Zell Faze (talk) 18:47, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

All you really need is verifiability and accuracy of an article. If a school only has its own website, you simply wouldn't be able to write an accurate verifiable article about it.

In my view, there is no need to waste time writing notability guidelines. Gryllida (talk) 23:19, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

Notability guidelines are necessary because Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information. -Ad Orientem (talk) 02:12, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
In some cases, content is verifiable and accurate but too abstract (too separated from the world) to include it. Then there are no references supporting its connection with the world. When such references exist, I call such property of an article as realistic. Most often, if you can write a verifiable and accurate article, it is also realistic (connected to reality: contains a reception, criticisms, or awards section; or simply a fair amount of third-party references and information scattered throughout the article). People tend to say that it is "not notable" for:
  • things they can't accurately and verifiably write about (99%)
  • the minority of cases when it is accurate and verifiable but there is no relation to something from the outside (<1%)
Again, I don't think notability guidelines are necessary for either of these two cases. It is pretty simple to establish whether an article is (i) accurate/verifiable and (ii) realistic — using reading comprehension. Such guidelines may ease such routine work, but they should not be used as a rejection or deletion criteria; instead, the contributors should be told which one of the two above points is the case. --Gryllida (talk) 10:41, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps a sensible thing to do is to think about what would be useful for our readers. Do they expect to find all their local schools in Wikipedia, or just those that are "locally notable", or only those that are "notable within a country"? And what kind of information are they seeking? Are they just checking the alumni list, or are they looking for the school's sporting rivalries, or do they want information on the school's teachers and academic performance, or what? I feel that any proposal that doesn't clearly improve the existing reader experience may struggle to gain support, which is part of why I feel there's some advantage to the idea of a separate "directory of schools" (as mentioned in point 4 above). I have the sense that editors who have a genuine interest in providing a useful resource for our readers might find this a reasonable path to take, while editors who have simply adopted the position that "all schools are notable" as a sort of fixed political and philosophical principle would presumably resist any change for purely dogmatic reasons. My question, I suppose, is: Can this change be made in such a way that it helps our readers better? If there are clear, positive advantages to a proposal, it is more likely to gain support, and if it addresses concerns about "notability" along the way, that's a nice additional benefit. A proposal that simply seeks to address the "notability for schools" question on its own, but provides nothing else, seems to me to be less likely to gain broad support.
I notice that input to this discussion has been sought at Wikipedia:WikiProject_Schools. I'd particularly like to hear what experts in this area have to say. In particular, within WikiProject_Schools would there be support for a directory-like project under the aegis of the WMF?
RomanSpa (talk) 12:28, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Schools are currently subject to WP:ORG, which is more specific than the GNG. Unfortunately, editors have interpreted this as meaning that if any two newspapers write about any game(s) played by the school's sports team(s), then the school is notable (even though said articles rarely mention anything about the school itself beyond its location). These are independent WP:PRIMARYNEWS stories, but nobody enforces the requirement for true secondary sources at AFDs for organizations (or people—for people, especially in the case of academics, we're still trying to convince the AFD crowd that the person's own webpage on their employer's website is not an independent source). WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:03, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
Actually, in practice at AfD GNG trumps more restrictive Special Notability Guidelines in almost every case (one exception being Unelected Politicians, who are subjected to a SNG "high bar"). As for schools, actual practice is not documented in the guidelines. I wouldn't mind an RfC that codifies what we've already been doing for years... Carrite (talk) 16:25, 3 July 2014 (UTC) Last edit: Carrite (talk) 16:27, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • The Draft Proposal is bureaucratic rule creep and runs contrary to the well established consensus at AFD: That articles about high schools and colleges of confirmed existence are presumed notable per se and that articles about elementary schools are made into redirects to their school district or city unless exceptionally noteworthy. How much easier could things be at New Page Patrol than this? So you don't like bad schools starter articles? Skip them at NPP. Quite Easily Done. Carrite (talk) 16:21, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
    • I think "consensus" is not stagnant and that there are quite a few editors who are not happy with the flood of dubious school articles that have been given a pass. -Ad Orientem (talk) 16:28, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
The consensus is solidly established at AfD. Look at it this way: the consensus is a compromise between those in Project:Schools who might want an article about every school — including elementary schools — worldwide, and those whom, like yourself, seek a more restricted set of schools articles. You think school article content is bad now? Just open the door to every elementary school with three mentions in the local newspaper to a pass through GNG and get back to me on that! Just look at the article: if it's grades 10-12 or a college, flag it if necessary and pass it through; if it's lower grades, don't be afraid to make a bold redirect out of it. In the long run, shitty articles improve. Just because you see them in their first state doesn't mean that's the way things end up... The current system is simple for NPP volunteers, simple for AfD volunteers, and is a very rational compromise between inclusionists and deletionists... Carrite (talk) 16:38, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
It's not that consensus is solidly established. It's that there's a guideline that says to keep them, and nobody is willing to deviate from them in an AfD. Jackmcbarn (talk) 15:26, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

Apologies I have been somewhat distracted of late and this discussion fell off my radar. I am not sure how often this has been raised here or elsewhere. That needs to be looked into as suggested. As much as I disagree with the current guidelines, I don't want to waste everyone's time by revising a subject that may have been addressed in the recent past. -Ad Orientem (talk) 14:22, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

My position has long been that specific notability guidelines (Schools, PROF, etc.) should serve as effective heuristics for when a subject would likely meet the GNG after a concerted search. Where they are effective, we should keep the specific guideline. Where they aren't we should (I realize there's no consensus for this, but whatever) direct the specific notability guideline directly to the trash and rely on the GNG. In this case if your argument is that the de facto notability guideline for schools (which is to say that secondary and post secondary schools in anglophone countries are automatically notable) isn't a good proxy for the GNG, your proposal should simply be to implement the GNG. No additional bullet points are needed.

In a practical sense, we don't delete articles on schools for 3 reasons, 2 of which are widely admitted and one of which is a nasty secret (:P). First, schools do tend to be notable, in the main. Secondary and post-secondary schools are usually the subject of some articles somewhere, even if they aren't easily found online. We have enough articles on schools and have had enough deletion debates about schools to build strong priors about the existence of sourcing. This speaks directly to my heuristic statement above. Second, people like writing about schools. "But Protonk," you interject, "people like writing about bands and we delete them all the same! WP:OSE, BBQ, BSG, etc." While it's true that reader/editor interest doesn't speak to policy, we should all kinda be aware that readers write articles. Rejecting wholesale reader interest should be done only if we have a pretty good reason for it and shouldn't be done if we can find even one decent argument against it. Third, we have a bias toward schools, colleges and other nominally "non-profit" ventures. We don't see them as agents acting in their own interest, rather they're semi-public pieces of the civic landscape. A small high school with about as much sourcing as an equally sized silicon valley startup will not get the same negative attention because we're not on the lookout for the school's self-promotion. Your high school has bricks and teachers? Good enough for us. Your company has an office and employees? Piss off until the Times reports on it. I'm not saying we need to upend that tradition (attempting to do so would be even more fruitless than making notability sensible!), but we should be aware it exists. What I would suggest is that we start thinking about schools (especially post-secondary schools) as agents who will act in their own interest, often inflating their importance beyond what can be supported by sourcing.

All that said, I doubt this is going anywhere (no offense intended Ad Orientem), as it is fighting against years of tradition and for the most part our heuristic basically works. Protonk (talk) 14:41, 17 July 2014 (UTC

Protonk and DGG have acurately summed up what is generally acdepted for schools, so it is unlikey that any discussions in the fnear uture are going to get things changed. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 07:52, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Anonymous page creation


Anonymous contributors page creation had been disabled in the past on experimental basis due to high amounts of low-quality submissions.

I see some issues with this:

  • We're putting unregistered contributors into an inconvenient situation where they have to go through extra work to get their contribution in. I would like to remind again that the assumption of good faith is important, but we're explicitly breaking it here. (The greater the expectation placed upon people, the better they perform.)
  • A research on article creation shows that in many wikis unregistered users' new articles resist deletion more.
  • Who writes Wikipedia? by Aaron Schwarz (2006) showed that unregistered users contribute more text than registered users.

There is also at least those things that changed since that decision was made:

  • The new draft namespace enables retaining drafts without cluttering mainspace (which I suspect was one of the substantial problems back then), or introducing the furious "my article was deleted! :(" reactions.
  • The new page patrol and the new page curation tool exist that ease a lot of routine work with reviewing new articles.

Please provide input about re-enabling direct page creation by unregistered contributors for the sake of assuming good faith. I believe our current architecture is more than capable of processing their submissions in the long term.

I would like to hear your impression and opinion to help this proposal evolve. This is not the final "yes/no" call.

--Gryllida (talk) 17:30, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

  • Given that the one and only thing a person actually has to do to create pages is to make up a fake name I don't see it as much of a barrier for good-faith contributors, but it undeniably reduces the number of bad-faith article creations. Beeblebrox (talk) 20:42, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
    • It's a poor barrier to impose, for it filters out good-faith contributions too (which you don't have a way to notice or measure). Gryllida (talk) 04:30, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
    • To clarify: "80% of vandalism from unregistered users; 80% of constructive edits are from unregistered users", roughly. --Gryllida (talk) 05:28, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks to I dream of horses, another thought: user rights (sigh as auto-confirmation) are not available for unregistered contributors. (Were this proposal to succeed, we would love the evil opportunity of requiring auto-confirmation to create articles.) Gryllida (talk) 05:18, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

  • Wasn't one of the reasons for creating a Draft namespace so that IPs could create articles within a structured environment, essentially getting their article creations approved by experienced editors? Is there a reason why submitting a draft through the AfC process is insufficient for that minority of IPs wanting to submit legitimate content on the level of new articles, but unwilling to get an account autoconfirmed? VanIsaacWScont 09:30, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
    • No. The reason was to avoid the "my article was deleted :(" feedback.
Yes, there is a reason. I'm sure IP contributors are working in good faith and they do not need this barrier. --Gryllida (talk) 09:37, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
My standard advice to all new editors, registered or not, is to write a draft via the Article Wizard. Yes, it's possible that entirely new editors manage to create an acceptable article on the first go that establishes notability, is verifiable and doesn't read like an advertisement, but that's a tiny fraction of all drafts. Promoting the direct creation of live articles by inexperienced editors doesn't sound like a good idea to me. Huon (talk) 11:31, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
My definition of collaborative editing suggests that two people work on something together without one of them having a superior role (such as a reviewer). Such role suggests that newcomers don't review reviewers' work. They should, when they like. I don't like disabling this communication channel. --Gryllida (talk) 11:37, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
It's not about good faith, it's about WP:COMPETENCE. IPs may have all the good intent that they like, but article creation is hazardous enough with newly autoconfirmed editors seeing CSD smackdowns at an unfortunate rate. The AfC process seems well placed to give exactly the kind of feedback that IPs need in order to have their article not just put on Wikipedia, but to actually stay on Wikipedia as well. VanIsaacWScont 11:58, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
Where do the 80% and 80% figures come from? Does it account for the 80% of vandalism that comes from anon-contributors? If it includes it then it is a meaningless figure. GimliDotNet (Speak to me,Stuff I've done) 12:40, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
  • No, when I say "80% of contributions are from unregistered contributors", I don't include vandalism. I mean 80% of truly constructive contributions.
These numbers are an estimate; I will do or find some analysis for you on different language wikis. Gryllida (talk) 04:48, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I think the competent use of wikitext and wikistyle is the biggest barrier to article creation. That is something that is only learnt through experience. Articles written by inexperienced editors often remain poor as the effort to "wikify" them is a high cost for a competent editor who has little interest in the topic. While I do not doubt the importance of contributions from unregistered users, they are often in the form of short additions and corrections. I think you are equating the skills required to add to an article with a solid base with the skills required to create that base. It's in the interest of our readers that the people starting the base of an article know what they are doing. Articles like this are not of much use for readers and the more we can do to prevent that, while remaining open for all to contribute, the better. SFB 11:03, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Reference Finder?

The other day I was writing an article and I wanted to reference a classic paper on Knowledge Representation by Levesque and Brachman. I knew that I had used that reference before. What's more I remembered that I had created a really nice reference, not just filling out all the fields (which there were a lot of since it was a paper in a book of papers, so there was editors, authors, name of book, name of article,...) but also I had included a quote that directly supported the point I was making before and now wanted to make again. Since I'm extremely lazy I didn't want to retype all that info. But for a while I couldn't find that reference. It wasn't where I first thought. I eventually found it but it occurs to me it might be nice to have something to search Wikipedia for specific references, not article but the data stored in reflists. I've been reading a bit about SPARQL, RDF, OWL, etc. and it occurs to me this might be a fun and useful project for me to try on a real world example. Anyone have any opinions? Does it sound like a decent idea? Does something already exist? If not is there a place I can look to understand better how wikipedia stores that data so I might try hacking some stuff to search it? Is the data stored as RDF so I could use SPARQL or would I need to use something like Perl or Ruby? --MadScientistX11 (talk) 17:52, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

Refs are almost always stored as plain old wikitext right in the article. (There are some exceptions for bot-driven templates like {{cite doi}}.) There has been some talk about storing citation data centrally at Wikidata. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:23, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the info. Makes sense. I was reading a book on SPARQL and got interested because many of their examples were based on accessing an open source RDF database (think the name was WikiDB) that is automatically generated from Wikipedia Info boxes. It's so cool what you can do searching that stuff but it makes sense that the refs aren't stored that way yet. --MadScientistX11 (talk) 14:20, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
User:MadScientistX11: That'd be DBpedia, by the way. —Tom Morris (talk) 23:00, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. --MadScientistX11 (talk) 23:07, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
The best way I can think of is to start creating a template for each reference. Only the access date should not be part of the template just like a proposed deletion reason starting with concern= because it can vary according to which article it's put into. Either it should also be possible to use Twinkle to do a reference search or there should be a search feature of only searching for references. Reference templates should be in a hidden namespace different from the regular template namespace to prevent people from finding non-reference templates with a search. Doing a reference template search will also ensure only finding reliable sources and will find those sources that are reliable but are not obvious that they are. For sources that are obviously reliable like a book, a bot can create a template for each of them and then those templates for unreliable books can be deleted. Blackbombchu (talk) 03:11, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

An idea for determining reliable sources: write Wikipedia articles about books used as sources by Wikipedia articles

Here is an idea: write Wikipedia articles about books that are used as sources by Wikipedia articles. Having these articles can help Wikipedians determine the trustworthiness and aspects of the books they use as sources.

My instructions:

  • 1. Search a university database like this: - (After entering the book's title, go to the left pane and select "reviews"). If you see at least two book reviews, you know the book is notable as per WP:GNG - You can also get a 14 day trial to Booklist and search for reviews there.
  • 2. If you see book reviews, try using Google to see if they are publicly available. If not, use WP:RX to obtain personal copies.
  • 3. Write your article using the book reviews as sources.

By having Wikipedians systematically writing these source book articles, they will have opinions on what the book does right/does wrong/should be doing/any biases of the author and this will immensely improve the quality of the supporting articles. WhisperToMe (talk) 12:10, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

A book doesn't have to meet WP:GNG to be a reliable source. Eric Corbett 15:01, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
I am aware there are other ways a book can pass notability other than GNG. But in any case two reviews = GNG WhisperToMe (talk) 15:33, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
So why fixate on two reviews? I understood you to be talking about reliability, not notability; the two are not the same. Eric Corbett 15:36, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Two is the minimum to establish notability (of course there can be more than two!), which is used to make the article about the book. But the article's purpose is not only to be a Wikipedia article, but to verify facts about the book (in other words the article exists for internal reasons as well as external ones). To understand what I mean, please see the notes that come with one book article I have written: Talk:Deng_Xiaoping_and_the_Making_of_Modern_China WhisperToMe (talk) 15:44, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I'll be the first to say it, but I doubt I'll be the last: this way madness lies.
If you want to use the reviews as sources, it will of course be necessary to ensure that they, too, are reliable. The obvious approach, following your reasoning, is to write articles about these reviews. This can be done by finding discussion of each review - if at least two such discussions cannot be found, we know that this review is not notable, and so not an acceptable source for a Wikipedia article. If we can't use the review, we can't write about the book, and so we can't write an article using the book. However, even if we do find suitable reviews, each in turn twice discussed elsewhere, we now face the problem with the discussion of the reviews: how do we know that these are suitable sources for Wikipedia? Obviously, by your thinking, we now need articles about the discussions about the reviews about the books that we were planning to use as references for the article we started with. But for these discussions to be appropriate sources for Wikipedia, we have to find evidence that these discussions are themselves trustworthy sources. So we will need critiques of the discussions. By similar reasoning, we will need documentation of the critiques. And in turn we will need reports of this documentation. And so so. Failures will always propagate upstream, while the need for reliable sources will always propagate downstream. Worse, by introducing the need for twice as many of everything at each level down the chain, you double the workload for each step to the next level.
I appreciate what you're trying to do, but I feel that our existing approach - many eyes looking at each article, steadily scrubbing away at the errors and biases - works reasonably well at present. Certainly, I feel the approach you advance here would be less efficient and effective at producing articles that are reasonably reliable and reasonably bias-free within a relatively short time, and with relatively few resources. RomanSpa (talk) 15:03, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for bringing up these points. Here are a few things to help aid the understanding of this matter:
  • 1. If a review appears in a university academic database, it is a suitable source for Wikipedia. There is no question of whether they are admissible.
  • 2. It's not a matter of saying "Oh we can't admit this book because I don't have sources saying it's okay" but it's when you have "source conflict" or a case when an author believes a reliable source published book is actually making factual errors. I took notes on the reviews of one book, and this is evidence of why it's important to pay attention to book reviews: Talk:Deng_Xiaoping_and_the_Making_of_Modern_China - Now, are these reviewers in fact wrong? Maybe, but the only way to know is to chase the trail and see what other people say about these things.
  • 3. I do understand your concern about increasing workload. In articles that are relatively uncontroversial with few disputes, I understand that there isn't a need to worry about the sources so much. In the cases of "popular" or "disputed" topics you will find conflicts about facts and questions over whether this book is getting it right. I recall an editor of Hmong people-related topics talking about a source that is RS but in fact has been stated to have made factual errors. Readers need to know these things about the sources they use! - While I understand your point that you don't want to increase the workload but my belief is that if you want to build a quality encyclopedia and make it better, it's unavoidable.
WhisperToMe (talk) 15:41, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Nicely put, I agree completely. And I'm completely mystified by the notion that a book review could in some way act as a substitute for the book itself. Eric Corbett 15:09, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
I did not mean to imply the reviews are substitutes for the books. I meant that they are supplements for the books, and they are "companions" on how to approach the books or use them. By summarizing this info in Wikipedia articles, editors can get a better handle on what the academic community thinks about the books, and what information should or should not be used. WhisperToMe (talk) 15:48, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
How else is one to interpret "Write your article using the book reviews as sources"? In case it's not already abundantly clear, I think that this is an absolutely dreadful idea that just hasn't been thought through. Eric Corbett 15:54, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
It is interpreted like this: "Write the article about the book itself using the book reviews as the source for information about the book. I apologize if the meaning isn't clear. I brought this up on the French Wikipedia and someone immediately said that he was writing an article about a book and he was wanting to know what the criteria is for writing articles on books. (fr:Wikipédia:Le_Bistro/10_juillet_2014#Id.C3.A9e_:_r.C3.A9diger_des_articles_de_Wikip.C3.A9dia_sur_les_livres_utilis.C3.A9s_comme_sources) WhisperToMe (talk) 15:59, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
"If a review appears in a university academic database, it is a suitable source for Wikipedia" isn't just wrong, it's spectacularly misguided. University databases contain all kinds of crankery—this is as bad an idea as "Every book published by Penguin is automatically reliable".
Likewise, the idea you appear to be pushing that any book which receives two published reviews is automatically notable, is (to put it bluntly) outright nuts. There are so many specialist journals one can get two reviews for just about anything—I've no doubt that if I went through a batch of ferret-keeping journals I'd be able to find numerous reviews of Ferrets as a New Pet, but it doesn't mean Wikipedia has any good reason to include an article on it. (talk) 15:59, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
"University databases contain all kinds of crankery—this is as bad an idea as "Every book published by Penguin is automatically reliable"." - Do you have examples? Which publications are "crankery" and how would I identify them? Usually inclusion in EBSCOHost, JSTOR, Project MUSE, Gale Group, etc. would mean "reliability" and I have not seen something in a university database which would be unsuitable for use in a school paper.
"Likewise, the idea you appear to be pushing that any book which receives two published reviews is automatically notable, is (to put it bluntly) outright nuts." - It's WP:GNG and frankly it can go for any subject. So, in other words: "I've no doubt that if I went through a batch of ferret-keeping journals I'd be able to find numerous reviews of Ferrets as a New Pet, but it doesn't mean Wikipedia has any good reason to include an article on it." - There are people out there who have an insane, specialist interest in ferrets. Frankly they would love an article on "Ferrets as a New Pet" to pieces. Wikipedia already has articles on specialist publications and these are the things which don't make GNG but have subject-specific exceptions written in so they do have articles anyway.
WhisperToMe (talk) 16:04, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Have you ever actually written an article on a book? If you have, can you point me to it? Because frankly it doesn't sound as if you have. And why do you keep banging on about WP:GNG when we're supposed to be talking about WP:RS? Eric Corbett 16:08, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
? Deng Xiaoping and the Making of Modern China, Born Red, De l'un au multiple: Traductions du chinois vers les langues européennes, The Chinese Novel at the Turn of the Century, The Columbia Anthology of Modern Chinese Literature, Islamic Homosexualities, Before Homosexuality in the Arab‐Islamic World, 1500–1800... It's a project I've been working on for quite a while, Eric. "And why do you keep banging on about WP:GNG when we're supposed to be talking about WP:RS?" - It's about both. You use WP:GNG to write the article on the book, and use the same article on the book and the talk page of the said article to discuss the WP:RS properties about the said book when using it as a Wikipedia source. I bring up both because reviewers talk about these things, Eric. WhisperToMe (talk) 16:14, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Theoretically, I agree with this idea, and have in fact proposed it elsewhere myself before, then primarily for reference books. The response was that this has been permitted for some time, and editors have known they could do it, but few if any people have shown any interest in doing it. John Carter (talk) 16:27, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for bringing that up! Do you remember where you made the proposal? I would like to see the discussion. It may stimulate more interest if people see examples or if articles on these books become more and more common WhisperToMe (talk) 16:31, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Okay, here's the discussion that had given me the idea of writing articles on sources: User_talk:Nposs#History_of_a_People_by_Quincy
  • Quincy has been discussed on the Hmong people talk page. As I posted there: Quincy's book has largely been discredited as a source of reliable information and it must be used as a reference with great caution. Suggested reading on the problems with Quincy's work: "The Myth of Sonom, the Hmong King" by Robert Entenmann, Hmong Studies Journal, Vol 6, 2005 and "The State of Hmong Studies". Nicholas Tapp. In: Hmong/Miao in Asia. Ed. Nicholas Tapp, et al. Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books, 2004: see pages 18-20 in particular for a thorough discussion of several of the numerous inaccuracies in the book. (the Quincy book is being used as a source by Anne Fadiman's book, so again... going down the rabbit hole is sadly necessary)
The Wikipedian told me that this otherwise RS book had factual errors documented by other authors, and I think these things are important to keep track of.
WhisperToMe (talk) 16:54, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
One more thing: One Wikipedian has ideas on how to prioritize which academic books should have articles written first: Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_China/Archive_24#Articles_on_important_China_books WhisperToMe (talk) 19:03, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
If you really want to try this your best bet would be to contact Wikipedia:WikiProject Books. I might also suggest creating some articles like Bibliography of Antarctica and some others I and others have created. But there seems to me to be rather little interest in such efforts here. Perhaps(?) a better idea for some topics might be to create pages like those in Category:WikiProject lists of encyclopedic articles for good reference books on specific topics, as recent specialist reference sources often tend to be good indicators of academic opinions. John Carter (talk) 19:27, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for your feedback! I have contacted WikiProject Books beforehand, so what I will do is quote you and add your additional suggestions to the page. It is good to suggest creating the most prominent academic books in given fields (a lot of book articles I've written are on more specific topics, such as The Japanese in Latin America)
Now, maybe additional interest will come if I write an article on Hmong: History of a People by Quincy, and include reliable secondary source information on the errors that User:Nposs says exist in this book (that is if the said information is stated in reliable book review sources). Then I link to that book from Fadiman's book, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down since she gets the information on Hmong history from it (Fadiman stated this in a footnote page). And Wikipedians will understand that I'm completely serious when I say you can write Wikipedia articles on books to show/display information that can gauge the reliability of a book. So even if the Wikipedians who know this have to retire or die, the "memory" of the information of the book is kept alive because someone wrote a Wikipedia article on it with sources that can be pulled from a database (talk page discussions unfortunately may get buried). WhisperToMe (talk) 03:18, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
Hmm... the University of Houston database is not showing any book reviews of "Hmong, history of a people" (it's showing only two copies of the book itself) - I'll have to see if they are elsewhere, but if no written reviews exist it will not be possible to write an article on the book. Found reviews! (I used the database of the University of Southern California to find them) and one review is from Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries which is supposed to indicate higher end academic books WhisperToMe (talk) 03:50, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
Now I've started User:WhisperToMe/Hmong: History of a People (I will release it into the main space upon receiving one more book review). Notice how this isn't just an ordinary book but is, according to a St. Olaf College professor, "the only easily available English-language study of Hmong history" (it's now 2014 so that may not be true anymore, but still...). And there are at least two authors who dispute facts about the book. Wikipedians are very likely to cite this book, and they need to know about these things. By having this information not only in the talk but in the book article itself, the disputes become more widely understood. WhisperToMe (talk) 04:50, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
And now that I found an extract of one source, I moved Hmong: History of a People into the mainspace. The kinds of things I found are things that you want to know about potential sources. WhisperToMe (talk) 09:18, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
After discussing Fadiman's book and History of a People here, I think User:ch gives good advice: Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_China#China-related_books_that_may_be_eligible_for_Wikipedia_articles - He argues focusing on books targeting a general audience that may be featured at book clubs, and for academic books the priority can be focusing on those cited the most often. WhisperToMe (talk) 13:58, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
It's a bad idea to write Wikipedia articles about references because those Wikipedia articles themselves unlike the Wikipedia articles those references are used in would be very unreliable. This is the idea lab, not proposals so there's no need to support or oppose this idea instead of suggesting another method of determining reliable sources by continuing this discussion at #Reference Finder?. Blackbombchu (talk) 03:23, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
While I wouldn't mind continuing the discussion elsewhere, the idea "because those Wikipedia articles themselves unlike the Wikipedia articles those references are used in would be very unreliable" doesn't take into account the various book reviews which are reliable sources. Just like with regular articles, articles on books *must* reflect what secondary sources say. I have written these articles on sources. It can be done and has been done. WhisperToMe (talk) 10:54, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

What to do with miniarticles

Sometimes there's a miniarticle on a notable topic that's not a stub because because some records of the past of the event the article is about have been permanently lost. I think a good solution for the article's expansion in that case might be to have sections stating different theories about what happened. Wikipedia is supposed to have really good factual accuracy but I don't see how stating those theories could reduce Wikipedia's factual accuracy as long as each section about a theory states at the beginning that a certain theory says what happened rather than stating that it is what happened. If some of the information in the theory is wrong, the article would still be telling the truth because it only said that the theory stated that piece of information and didn't say that that piece of information was true. Blackbombchu (talk) 18:41, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

  • Bad idea. See Wikipedia is not a crystal ball from which the first sentence reads... "Wikipedia is not a collection of unverifiable speculation." It's bad enough that we are way too tolerant of fringe stuff. No need to go further down that road. -Ad Orientem (talk) 20:13, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

Specialized blocks

The following is a proposed change to the MediaWiki software.

I don't know if something like this has already been proposed, but a brief search on my part didn't turn up something like this, so I will put forth my ideas. Here is my possible proposal, but I am going to give it here first just so we can discuss it and refine the idea beforehand. I would propose that we modify the MediaWiki software as to allow for specialized blocks. Blocks currently only have two options: a block on editing all pages except for a user's own talk page, or a block on all pages, including the user's own talk page. In my new "specialized" block system, there would be many more options.

  1. An administrator could block a user for disruption from editing either a specific, individual page, or the block could apply to a selection of pages. In cases where a user cannot be trusted to follow a topic-ban or does not feel that he/she can follow his/her restrictions, then an administrator could simply block that user from editing a list of manually selected pages which are "at risk".
  2. An administrator could block a user from editing all pages (minus manually chosen exceptions) that have a certain prefix. For example, if one user was being overly disruptive on SPI pages (and I am not talking about vandalism), then an administrator could block that user from editing all pages starting with "Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/".
  3. If there were situations where it was desired that an editor requesting an unblock edit one page apart from his/her talk page similar to this recent instance (but where the user could not be yet trusted to stay on only his/her talk page and the one exception page), then the block could be modified to ignore that one page. Dustin (talk) 00:44, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Proposals 1 & 2 seem like a "blacklist", not sure how that might be enforceable. If the topic ban applies to e.g. matters concerning Israel and Palestine, all relevant pages (and there are a lot) would need to be added to the blacklist; but that would not prevent the user from creating a new page which just happens to concern itself with Palestine-Israel matters.
Proposal 3 seems worthy of further consideration, in the form of a "whitelist". The pages which a blocked user might justifiably wish to comment might be any one or more of AN, ANI, SPI, an ArbCom case, or some other page where that user's conduct is under discussion. If accused of something, they should be permitted to defend themselves (unless their only comments are disruptive to that process). --Redrose64 (talk) 09:24, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
You have better worded what I was saying with #3. "Whitelisting" certain pages is a good way to put it. At the very least, if we could find a way of implementing it, I don't see any cons there. Dustin (talk) 22:44, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm going to gut instinct say no. If the user is topic banned, there has to be something significant that they've done to flout the consensus or the will of the community. If after being topic banned, the user can't be trusted to respect the conditions of the ban, we can't be certain that they'll respect any other conditions anywhere on the site and therefore the technical measure of enforcing the ban (a block) is now appropriate. Hasteur (talk) 17:03, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
"If after being topic banned, the user can't be trusted to respect the conditions of the ban, we can't be certain that they'll respect any other conditions anywhere on the site". How can you say that? Some editors have entirely different editing patterns on one part of the site as on another, so I am not sure that statement is entirely valid. Dustin (talk) 18:22, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
If we've told a user "Don't do that" and they do whatever we told them not to do, we should not let them continue kicking us like a schoolyard bully. Either they can respect the topic ban and stay away from whatever the community found troublesome, or they can be enforced to stay away from the entirety of Wikipedia. Hasteur (talk) 19:08, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
I think that this is an interesting idea. #1 would prevent accidental editing for topic-banned users, especially for people who do wikignoming or use AWB. If I'm fixing spelling errors, I might not notice that the error turned up on a page that I shouldn't be editing. I think it would be a bit of a relief to people whose topic ban amounts to "don't edit what the other guy has edited", which is much harder to keep track of than "don't edit anything about politics". #2 might be convenient for automatically enforcing topic bans on AFDs, editing categories, etc., but I think it's less important. Like Redrose, I think #3 would be handy for unban discussions, whose current method is that some other editor copies and pastes the banned user's comments to AN. With WP:Flow, you could even make it specific to the single section at WP:AN, which would be even better. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:31, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
I think this is worth some consideration. However, it does seem like a fairly obvious idea to me, so I'm wondering if this is the first time that it's been proposed. Is there any way we can find out if someone has suggested this before, and, if so, why was it not implemented then? There's been a brief search already, and that didn't show up anything. Is there a way of doing a more in-depth search of historical proposals? RomanSpa (talk) 19:56, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
This could be done with edit filters, but we would not want to overload editfilter with checking for all the different topic bans, so perhaps a way to add edit filters to one user only could make this very efficient. Then there would be a lot of control over what is allowed. So we could for example stop uploads, moves or mentions of particular users or words with edit filters. Also with edit filter there would not have to be a lot of development to support extra interfaces, or training admins on new technologies to use. The same technology would be used to help people with common errors, for example I will often type "THis" and then have to fix it. But most others do not have the same problem. So it could be set to warning for mistakes for that use. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 22:27, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
@RomanSpa: Yes, it has been suggested before; see Wikipedia:Per-article blocking and the links therein. Graham87 03:54, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. So it's fairly clear that this idea's been around for a while, and has in the past garnered broad support. The obvious question is "Why has it not been implemented?". We need to talk to an expert in implementation, I suppose. Can anyone provide an answer? RomanSpa (talk) 05:40, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Is nobody going to respond? Is there some place at to file proposed software changes perhaps? Dustin (talk) 23:59, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Software requests usually go to Bugzilla. The main list of bugs for that extension is here. The first step is to see whether anything there is related to what you want to do. If so, then we can add any useful comments; if not, then we can create a new report. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 01:29, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
It seems that this idea received a great amount of support way back in 2005. I'm sad to know that it was never implemented. Dustin (talk) 02:43, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
How can I draw attention to this thread? Nobody is commenting anymore. Dustin (talk) 03:26, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Could try an RFC tag. Monty845 03:46, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  • My thoughts are that this would help avoid a block for some people, but that its the minority. Many who end up with a topic ban have a problem in an entire area/field, not just a small subset of articles. So if you block them from editing one article, they will just move to a related article and still be a problem. I'm not sure if the small subset that are strictly problematic with respect to just one article is really worth the effort of implementation. Monty845 03:46, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
    • @Monty845: Thank you for replying. I understand that there would likely be some issues with it, but I still see advantages in implementing this sort of functionality, especially with my #3. Like I said, it received almost 85% support back in 2005, so I am sad that it still has not been implemented. Thanks for the suggestion; I don't know if I will try out an RFC, but I will consider it. Dustin (talk) 03:51, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I think it's a great idea to sometimes only block a user from editing specific articles, since I can easily see why an editor might have a problem only with a few articles. Although I can't think of an example that would make somebody only be untrustworthy with only a few articles instead of a whole topic, adding in wrong information by mistake, I'm sure there are cases where that could happen so it might be worth sometimes blocking people from editing specific articles. Another solution that's better than giving somebody a topic ban entirely might be to add a feature of submitting an edit for review, which is totally different from what I proposed in Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 106#Pending changes where no edits by anyone are visible right away, and tell them they may only submit edits of articles on that topic for review. I think the feature of submitting edits for review should be available to everyone, not just banned users because enabling people to submit edits for review doesn't stop them from being able to make an edit right away. I think Wikipedia even allows somebody to add in unsourced information if they believe that a reliable source for that information exists and they can't find one and not that no such source exists so for someone who's only a tiny bit disruptive to Wikipedia on a certain topic, it might be a good idea to give them a weak topic ban where for any article on that topic, they can only add in information if they find a source for that information and cite it. Blackbombchu (talk) 22:41, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
    • It could be used to enforce "stop posting on my talk page" requests. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:46, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#Should the MediaWiki software be modified to include an option for specialized (such as blacklist / whitelist) blocks?. Dustin (talk) 02:46, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Fork of Template:Uw-coi-username

The heard of ostriches votes we put our heads under ground

Context: In my activities as a Articles for Creation volunteer I frequently come across new users who register with a name that is somewhat connected to the topic they are contributing on (See User talk:Hasteur#Username warning on AustralianThreston). It has been my understanding that if you can infer a conflict of interest from the user name connected to the subjects they are contributing on (i.e. AustrailianThreston cotributing a significant amount of coverage on the family name Threston [32]) that we should notify the user of their conflict of interest and that their username may constitute a promotional username and therefore against policy.

I propose that we create a fork of the {{Uw-coi-username}} template that reduces the corporate aspects of the warning template, but still maintains the COI and "May be against username policy" portion. Ideally I would like to see the same hidden categories to flag the talk page for extra consideration by experienced users/administrators to determine if preventative activities need to take place. Hasteur (talk) 16:53, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

@WikiDan61: as the user who opposed my usage of the current template repeatedly I'm giving you heads up that I'm forming this idea. Hasteur (talk) 16:53, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
I like the idea, but why not create a parameter for {{uw-coi-username}} instead of forking it? Jackmcbarn (talk) 17:01, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
I disagree with this idea. The COI username policy exists to prevent usernames that represent organizations or companies. It is a violation of username policy to create a name such as MicrosoftMarketing, not because that name implies an inherent conflict of interest but because it implies that the name is shared by more than one person. It is not a violation of username policy to create a name such as JohnInMicrosoftMarketing, because that name represents a single person. The fact that this person likely has a significant COI where Microsoft products is involved is obvious, and his announcement of said COI is actually beneficial to the community. In the case that Hasteur has pointed out, we have a user in Australia whose surname is likely Threston, who has done some research on his family history and would like to share the results with the rest of the Wikipedia readership. The fact that this user's edits may be biased to give a more favorable history of his family than we might otherwise want is announced by his name, and his edits might be given extra scrutiny because of this, but the username still represents a single person and therefore does not violate any policy. I do not believe we need or want a template to warn users about such issues. WikiDan61ChatMe!ReadMe!! 17:02, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
So that I have you on record, you disagree with Wikipedia:Username policy#Promotional names specifically A user who both adopts a promotional username and also engages in inappropriately promotional behaviors in articles about the company, group, or product, can be blocked. In such cases, administrators should examine the user's edits to decide whether or not to allow them to create a new username. ... Users who adopt such usernames, but who are not editing problematically in related articles, should not be blocked. Instead, they should be gently encouraged to change their username. which is policy and not the nuanced "UW-COI-USERNAME only applies to Corporate naming". The policy as it is written and in text appears to support my view that the intersection of the user's name and the subject matter they've elected to write about raises enough concern that they are here to promote the family name. Hasteur (talk) 17:11, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Also adding the template does not outright say that the username is a policy violation and that they're editing in conflict of interest, rather that the is cause for concern about the username the user has selected and the subject matter they've decided to contribute to. While I will concede the point that the current uw-coi-username template focuses more on the username side of the equation, the template I invision focuses more on the "I think you might have a conflict of interest based on what you've edited and the username you've chosen". Hasteur (talk) 17:19, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
@Jackmcbarn: I am proposing the fork in the template because having a simple template invocation is easier to handle (especially with tools such as Twinkle) as opposed to the parameter that is passed along. Hasteur (talk) 17:14, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
@Hasteur: I don't believe the term group in the username policy was ever intended to refer to one's own family. I really think you're taking this policy beyond its intended scope. There is already a {{coi}} template that explains that users should avoid editing topics with which they have a conflict of interest. In the case at hand, adding an explanatory note that you recognize the COI based on the user's name and their selection of articles to edit would be sufficient, without adding any indications that the user's username might be problematic. In the case at hand, the user actually did apply for a username change based on the provided warning, and the name change was denied because no policy violation was found. WikiDan61ChatMe!ReadMe!! 18:15, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
COI-username is not just about WP:NOSHARE problems. "User:Buy these Widgets from me, a single individual!" is also a violation. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:23, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Having a CHU declined for no policy reason is not the same as "Your choices in editing coupled with your username could be problematic and is being flagged for scrutiny". To use a completely different example: If a user named BSmithwhick started creating a collection of biographies that share the characteristic of sharing the family name Smithwhick (of which some may be notable and some not) you instantly fall under WP:ADV/WP:N/WP:COI/WP:NPOV/WP:RELEVANCE and a great host more of policies/guidelines/best practices that the user should be warned about. If you have no further arguments, I'm going to assume that you're in the negative category, but based on Jackmcbarn's commentary it seems reasonable that this should be created.Hasteur (talk) 19:29, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── OK, so let's agree that WP:SPAMNAME expands beyond simply WP:NOSHARE and exists to prevent people from creating a name like JoesWidgets. But if my username is JimSmith (representing my actual name), should I have to change my name in order to edit articles about people named Smith? No. I will be well-warned if I make unabashedly promotional edits about people named Smith, but I shouldn't have to change my username because of it. Since the entire point of uw-coi-username is to tell a user that their name does not comply with the Wikipedia username policy, extending that template for the purpose of a user whose name does not violate username policy seems unwarranted. And I'm a little surprised that you would take Jackmcbarn's one comment in passing ("I like it, but...") and weight that against my rather involved opposition to this idea, and come out with the conclusion that your idea seems reasonable. I don't think that's how WP:CONSENSUS works. WikiDan61ChatMe!ReadMe!! 21:38, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Your obstinance astounds me. I'm not saying that they will need to change their username. What I'm saying the template will be used for(and that you've elected to overlook multiple times) is that "the user's editing coupled with the username that they've chosen has raised concern that their editing may be pushing a promotional PoV". Obviously it's the tagging editor's responisbility to carefully judge if the warning/notice is needed for the instance, and it's the reviewing editor (or admin) that passes a secondary judgement if additional protective measures need to be enacted. I dump your viewpoint in the bit bucket because you clearly aren't seeing the difference between the baseline COI-username template and the one I'm proposing. Hasteur (talk) 23:22, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
The name "AustralianThreston" was totally fine. Aren't you looking for simply {{uw-coi}}? –xenotalk 11:00, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
xeno No I'm not (for the 9th time)... If the user has been contributing articles about the Threston family name with the username RandomUser4618, I wouldn't have thought anything, but because the user registered as AustralianThreston and contributed articles about the family name is enough to trip the Promotional POV alarm and the question if the username implies a significant amount of non-NPOV with respect to this user-interest area. And for the record this is probably the 9th case like this I've seen this since January. Previously I've used uw-coi-username to flag down attention (with a eventual 90% blocking rate) and it's only when one user continuously disagrees that is causing me to desire a forked template from uw-coi-username because the coi-username focuses heavily on the CORPNAME aspect only of username policy. Hasteur (talk) 11:53, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
You are suggesting the editor may need to exercise caution when editing articles regarding his surname. This shouldn't lead to him receiving any kind of "username" warning. You could always explain, 'the reason I left you this uw-coi note is your username implies you may have a conflict of interest' or somesuch. But what does the username itself have anything to do with it? If he renames himself to RandomUser4618, it doesn't do anything to resolve a COI. But why do you think this user needs any kind of templated notice? They appear to be editing in good faith. Basically, I agree broadly with WikiDan above. The user should indeed be counseled about adv/n/coi/npov/relevance, but the username doesn't really come into the equation in these cases. –xenotalk 13:23, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
@Xeno: Wow... that's just... wow... What the templated notice would say (paraphrased) is "You may have a conflict of interest based both on your username chosen and the subject matter you have chosen to edit. Your edits have been flagged for extra scrutiny by other editors/administrators to determine if preventative measures needed to be taken with respect to your editing." As I said above to WikiDan, I'm not saying that they will need to change their username, only that their choice in username coupled with the subject matter they've chosen to edit has aroused suspicion about their goals in editing here. Hasteur (talk) 14:41, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry I just don't see why {{subst:Uw-coi|reason=Your username caused me to believe there may be a conflict of interests.}} (or similar) doesn't serve the purpose for which you are looking. As this is the idea lab, I'll withdraw from the further development of this idea. –xenotalk 14:49, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Sorry for apparently following this discussion around, but I don't think Xeno is out to lunch here. Asking users to pick a new name solely because a name can allow us to make an inference that they'll edit with a COI doesn't actually resolve the problem we want resolved. Further, a rename (whether the new editor knows it or not) will remove the bulk of that scrutiny without, by itself, resolving the problem we truly care about (COI editing). Protonk (talk) 14:58, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Bah... you all are a bunch of Ostriches with your heads in the ground. Fine... Prepare for an onslaught of uw-coi templates where some of the evidence is the username the user has chosen. Hasteur (talk) 15:26, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

"The heard of ostriches votes we put our heads under ground" LOL. C'mon. If you're gonna talk shit about your peers at least spell it right. Protonk (talk) 15:36, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

By the way deniers (xenoProtonkWikiDan61) I'm not the only editor who attempted to use the {{uw-coi-username}} template in this maner [33]. So now you want to go after Chris troutman for using the template the wrong way? Hasteur (talk) 18:09, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

"deniers"? What am I denying? I just chimed in with one comment here noting that Xeno made a good point with respect to the conflation of COI edits and COI usernames and the fact that we have a good set of tools for the latter which maybe don't do what they need to do on the former. Nobody here is the enemy. I'm certainly not going to "go after" anyone, where on earth did that come from? Protonk (talk) 18:16, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Since I was mentioned, I've been mulling over my reply. No, I don't think AustralianThreston's username really has to be changed and maybe I've misused that template in the past. I wholeheartedly agree with Hasteur that the message "Your choices in editing coupled with your username could be problematic and is being flagged for scrutiny" is what we're trying to communicate. I've seen several usernames that looked fine until you look at their edit history and do a little research. I support forking the template because while corporate editors still exist (I hurt their feelings everyday at the AfC help desk) there are a profusion of partisans and POV pushers that exclaim their COI thanks to their username. Wikipedia has a real collective blind-spot on this issue. Too many Wikipedians are concerned about paid editing and business promotion while they completely ignore the grassroots editors that will import their own brand of crazy for free. AustralianThreston is just a good-faith contributor that's excited to write about an apparent distant relation. I think there is a COI issue there that ought to be addressed, not that the user name is offensive, disruptive, etc.
Somewhat off-topic, the smartest idea I've heard lately is that new registered users should be assigned a random username and have to pass 300 un-reverted edits before they select their own. Many new users could use the time to carefully consider what to call themselves and it prevents the ongoing of UAA traffic because of some prospective editors that don't know better. Chris Troutman (talk) 20:53, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Bot name changes

Hello fellow Wikipedians! I've thought of something while I was on Wikipedia. Why don't we had a prefix to bots, for example you would have Bot:ClueBot NG, instead of User:Cluebot NG. Has this been discussed before? Brandon (MrWooHoo)Talk to Brandon! 00:38, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

MrWooHoo Because getting a new namespace for Bots, having a login that works differently than the standard login, and having an botuser experience that works differntly than regular user experience is not really worth the effort that we can get when the bot operator slaps a few bot templates on the user page and calls it a day. Hasteur (talk) 02:06, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Prefixes are normally used for organizing portions of the project (templates, users, project discussions, etc); bots ARE users, thus we have them in the User: namespace. For most bots, we generally require them to have an obvious bot-like name, and generally do not allow normal users to have such names. Adding a new namespace just to host these <500 user accounts wouldn't have any benefits, and requiring the user names to have a namespace-looking name would be confusing. If the community wants a stricter naming convention then suffixing "(bot)" to a username would be more maintainable. (WP:BAG member). — xaosflux Talk 02:52, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Interesting proposal. I might support it as a way to improve clarity over which kind of user (bot or human) made an edit. However I notice that the history page does not show this prefix anyway, so you would still have to click the name to find out whether it was a bot. Perhaps it would be simpler to propose that "bot" is shown more clearly on the history page for f=edits by flagged bots? There would be major changes needed to the software to support your proposal, so probably not worth it. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 11:42, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Complexity aside, I kinda like this proposal, though I'm unsure what benefit it would serve other than better organization. — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 13:12, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I am immediately reminded of the convention adopted in the fictional universe of Isaac Asimov's robot novels, in which the name of all robots begins with the initial R., as in R. Daneel Olivaw. I suppose that on Wikipedia, an analogous policy could be established whereby all "bot" accounts have names that either begin or end with a consistent identifier, such as Bot_~, ~Bot, or ~ (bot). Of course, measures would also need to be taken to ensure that non-bot accounts do not use names that satisfy the naming convention for bot accounts. I'm curious, is there a registry of bot accounts somewhere? How many such accounts presently have names that don't include "bot" or "Bot"? And conversely, how many non-bot accounts 'do' have "bot" in their names? — Jaydiem (talk) 16:39, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Too many archives

As most of us know, Wikipedia has many, many archives, possibly more than there are pages here. I propose we delete our archives that hold no significance. — Preceding unsigned comment added by JDgeek1729 (talkcontribs) 09:01, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

  • The problem with archives is (often) their poor facility for browsing and searching. Searching through revision history is even harder, so I don't see why we would force everyone to go the less usable route for no technical gain (since text is cheap and wikipedia can effectively store an infinite amount of it for an indefinite period of time). Protonk (talk) 14:17, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
  • That's mainly for finding relevant discussions should an argument be restarted on the same topic and citing consensus. Therefore we should not delete archives. We don't gain anything doing that anyway.Forbidden User (talk) 15:31, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Concur with Forbidden User. JDgeek1729, what makes an archive "hold no significance" vs one that is or might be useful at some unknown point in the future? DMacks (talk) 18:17, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
  • No, I meant things like WP:AFD submissions from five years ago, or page revisions that have no point being there, and just clog up your screen JDgeek1729 (talk) 18:24, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
That's exactly my point. Old AFDs are used as precedent for current discussions and to know whether recreation is WP:CSD#G4 vs actually now being viable. The phrase "page revisions that have no point being there, and just clog up your screen" suggests you are talking about removing entries from article-history of a page itself rather than deleting separate pages (*/archive). That's a separate issue (please tell me if I misunderstand), but if all you care about is recent history, then just don't jump to earlier-in-time entries. DMacks (talk) 18:29, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I thought among the lines of old talk page archives, that are no longer needed, or, maybe old WP:AfC archives from years back JDgeek1729 (talk) 18:55, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Old talk page archives may still be useful. As regards old AfC drafts, after six months of inactivity these become eligible for WP:CSD#G13. --Redrose64 (talk) 19:40, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
  • The point of having the archives open is so readers can see how Wikipedia works if they choose to look. It's important that we keep things like AfD debates around so that we can look into and debate changes to policy. Without that process being public, editors are denied the source material to argue for change. If, for instance, you think that we need to strengthen BLP policy around deletion of non-notable subjects, being able to point to examples of biographical AfDs that you think have gone awry. Similarly, when discussing whether a source is reliable or not, it is useful to be able to look at discussions of that source that have appeared in the old archives of the reliable sources noticeboard to see if there have been issues which other editors have considered serious and worth noting. For better or worse (and transparency has both good and bad effects), Wikipedia tries to show as much of the guts of its processes as possible—archiving away bits of the machine in the name of relevance seems misguided and against the general spirit of how Wikipedia as a project thinks of itself. —Tom Morris (talk) 22:54, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose Frankly, I see no reason to delete past archives. They provide context for many of our policies and guidelines as well as article content and organization. There is nothing to be gained here. On top of that, Wikipedia is not paper and we do not have to concern ourselves with how much room these archives take. As editors, we should not worry about how much disc space talk page archives and page revisions take. In short, there is no such thing as "too many archives". —Farix (t | c) 11:21, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Lacks Clear Criterion for Action. Proposal is to delete archives "that have no significance", but this phrase is not defined. Discussion above suggests that different editors have sharply different understandings of how this phrase might be understood. With no well-defined criterion for action there can be no action. RomanSpa (talk) 08:01, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
    • I agree with RomanSpa here. @JDgeek1729: do you have any ideas about what types of archive are "non-significant" (i.e. would be fine just to leave in edit history and not be searchable)? SFB 10:17, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
  • My line of thinking was deleting things such as old talk page archives filled with things that are of zero importance to keep and just clutter and make browsing harder


Talk:Customer experience management

Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive535

Talk:Main Page/Archive 170

JDgeek1729 (talk) 14:35, 19 July 2014 (UTC)(not an example)

@JDgeek1729: On what basis do you consider that these three examples are "of zero importance"? --Redrose64 (talk) 15:13, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose deleting archives. I read archives all the time. Deleting does not free up space it just hides them. There is no reason to delete our history. @JDgeek1729:, the examples you give are full of interesting debates. We gain nothing by deleting them. Chillum 15:20, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
@JDgeek1729:You haven't really addressed my point. You've provided examples of pages that you feel we should delete, but you haven't provided a clear rule to cover the general case. We can't just use your opinion all the time, particularly because in at least two of the three cases you mention I think it's very likely that there wouldn't be any kind of consensus to delete. What I think this discussion is boiling down to is simply a large number of personal preferences: for any page you personally might wish to remove from the archives, there are likely to be other people who would feel the reverse. The problem is that "I just don't like it" isn't a Wikipedia policy. RomanSpa (talk) 09:17, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Strong, really strong Oppose - Archives are essential, if only for documentation. It is context for policies, provides examples for good and bad practices, it is of help in issues with editors, it keeps and explains past administrative decisions, it documents consensus building etc. -and, if nothing else, history. History is important, per se and for what it can teach us in the future. Asking to remove archives is like asking to burn old newspapers from libraries because, well, they are old and get dusty, aren't they?--cyclopiaspeak! 10:48, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Absolutely oppose per User:Cyclopia and in addition want to point out that one of the fundamental features of Wikipedia is that everything is on the record, even deletions. The page or edit may be gone but the "why when and who" of the deletion remains "on file" forever - as it should be. I fail to see how the existence of archive pages "makes browsing difficult" particularly if you're not actually interested in the content of the archive pages - just how do they actually clutter any of the stuff you do want to see? Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 17:08, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Strongest Oppose Possible - Archives are essential here and help with alot of things, (AFDs, SPIs etc), Plus they're a part of history here. –Davey2010(talk) 21:05, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

English Wikipedia have become too much US Wikipedia

I think that USA dominate too much in English wikipedia. Users from other English speaking countries like UK, Ireland, Canada and Australia should have more influence over policy and articles, especially articles about politics and history. This have become clear when it comes to articles about the Middle East. Just look at those articles in the news like Operation Protective Edge. The American public are known to be far more pro-Israel than Europa and other places, and some of the articles seams like they have become a hostage by IDF. This was not the case som 2-3 years ago. Any comments, suggestions?--Ezzex (talk) 17:23, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

This most likely isn't included in what you were saying, but I don't see why there isn't an autoconverter for Wikipedia articles between dialects such as "behavior" → "behaviour" or "defence" → "defense" etc. Dustin (talk) 17:45, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
@Dustin V. S.: A spelling/dialect converter gets suggested every year or so, see for example Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 111#British English / American English converter?. It's not going to happen. --Redrose64 (talk) 10:37, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I wouldn't suggest words such as presented in your example link, only obvious words such as "organise" and "organize". Dustin (talk) 15:31, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
The main purpose for this would be to avoid useless spelling disputes such as the ongoing one at Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Dustin (talk) 17:09, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't think the user is complaining about spelling differences; in fact I don't think he is a native English speaker at all. He seems rather more concerned about wikipedia being dominated by American political opinion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ykraps (talkcontribs) 18:18, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
It's exactly what I meant.--Ezzex (talk) 20:10, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
A read of WP:SYSTEMICBIAS could be helpful here. HiLo48 (talk) 21:02, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
We strive for NPOV, but if a majority of English editors are American, this type of thing is bound to happen. If you see something that seems to be representing a particular POV, bring it up. Just have the verifiable references to back it up. — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 15:39, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Bear in mind that the English speaking world in general, and America in particular, is far from homogenous in its opinions about things. Neutral point of view also doesn't mean give each sides equal weight, if one side is much more broadly accepted in reliable sources, it should receive greater weight than a fringe view. Also, remember that world opinion is not static; a POV shift in favor of Israel/IDF over the last 3 years could be either the result of a bias amongst editors, or a result of world opinion shifting. Monty845 15:46, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
    There is always a risk of a "golden days" fallacy as well. Things may not have actuall changed at all in the last three years, merely individual perception. Especially if one's own feelings have become stronger in the interim. Resolute 16:19, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
The OP appears to be a Hamas apologist and an Israel-hater, so naturally he thinks Wikipedia is "biased". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:14, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
@Baseball Bugs: A pretty ironic thing to say considering the fact that you have a US flag,a Bold Eagle and lyrics from the U.S. national anthem on your userpage.Catlemur (talk) 20:47, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Your statement should be struck, BB. Discussion should be based on reason rather than misplaced patriotism. --Epipelagic (talk) 21:21, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Both Israel and the US do plenty of things I don't like. I'm not a blind loyalist. But the user Ezzex has been attacking Israel almost from the get-go, seven years ago, and he's courting banishment here. So I'm just saying, don't take his complaints seriously. They originate from an agenda. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:36, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Catlemur have a good point.--Ezzex (talk) 21:44, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Personally, I appreciated Baseball Bugs original comment (though I think it could have been worded a little more PC). I checked out Ezzex's edit history for myself. Yeah, he was right. You often have to consider the source.
That being said, everything in this discussion is still valid. Sometimes articles can be biased and we have to always work to ensure our articles are balanced and NPOV. — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 13:30, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
It's certainly important to be on the alert for bias, undue weight, coatracking, etc. Ironically, someone was just blocked a day or two ago for edit-warring and claiming that there was too much anti-Jewish bias on Wikipedia. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:01, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Universal assessment system.

The importance scale can surely vary between Wiki Projects.The quality scale is another story.I propose an inter-Wiki Project quality assessment system.I have recently noticed articles with differing quality scales between Wiki Projects.Catlemur (talk) 20:19, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

That already exists: Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Assessment. Notice, though, that many assessments are out of date, that there are a few (mostly minor) variations (extra classes used, other classes not used), and that each individual assessor may have a different interpretation of the standards. For example, one person may say that the minimum citation amount for a B-class article is at least one inline citation in every section, and another person may require that level for every paragraph. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:53, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

How to better manage our coverage of breaking news

(Moved from WP:VP/P) Has there ever been a proposal to limit the creation of articles about current events? Say, for example, requiring a one-week gap period after the event before creating such an article? Instead, one would encourage the creation of a draft. I do think that recentism has been on the up here. I'm not sure what can be done. I really do not appreciate, however, the way Wikipedia articles about current events get used as news aggregators in the first week of their existence. It is antithetical to our basis as an encyclopaedia. This particular comment by myself is in direct response to the mess that is Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. I haven't edited that article, as it is outside my interest area, but I have been working heavily on other Ukraine-related articles since the start of the unrest there. Working in this area has really concerned me about the abuse of our grounding principles. RGloucester 05:25, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

  • See WP:NEVENT as well as WP:NOT#NEWS. The short answer is that we do ask people to wait for events to be notable before creating articles - sometimes that will be immediate apparent (as in the case of a commercial airliner crashing (regardless of cause), and making the article then and there is correct; other times, the event may not be easily notable and could take some time for its effects to ripple through. That said, our past approaches to articles created on immediately-developing news topics has been praised before, so it's just a matter of making sure the collaboration of editors is there and having admin eyes on articles to deal with problematic editors. I doubt we can ever have a ban on creation of articles of current events otherwise. —MASEM (t) 05:38, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I think we should until a week after the event gains notability. No one respects WP:NOTNEWS, that I've seen, when it comes to current events articles. The aeroplane crash article that I referenced has been protected, praise God, but only after a mob of editors came in concerned about the article being "outdated". RGloucester 16:18, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
  • The protection has nothing to do with disputes regarding notability so that's irrelevant here. Also, notnews covers routine news coverage not every event the news happens to cover. Nowhere does it say that current events can't be notable. I don't see creation of article about a notable current event as even remotely being a case of disrespect, merely a case where people disagree with the suggestion that notnews prevents any coverage of current events.— (talk) 05:05, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Mr IP, I never said that this event wasn't notable. I said that we should delay writing articles, even for certainly notable events, for some time after they happen, perhaps a week. This would prevent the tendency towards sensationalism, news reporting, and cruft. We should take a historical approach, as is proper for an encyclopaedia, and this is impossible to do whilst an event is happening. We are not a news source. We shouldn't treat the starting point of our current events articles as such. Right now, they are essentially rolling news stories until after the dust has settled. RGloucester 04:09, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I think RGloucester raises a valid concern with his proposal. In the immediate aftermath of a major breaking news event, we know from repeated experience that any related reportage has a high probability of inaccuracy and unverifiability. There is a strong case to be made that an article based on such tenuous information, however notable the subject, does not belong in an encyclopedia. One possible way to address this problem would be to create a cross-wiki redirect from the title in mainspace where a proper article would be expected to reside once the situation settles down enough to provide a solid basis of information for it, to the page at Wikinews where the topic is being covered. Such a redirect could be made as a soft redirect, so that readers viewing it would see a brief explanation of WP:NEVENT and WP:NOTNEWS, followed by a link to the proper WikiNews page. This soft redirect could be given temporary Protected status. Once a consensus were reached that there was enough reliable, verifiable information available about the subject on which to base an article that would be appropriate for an encyclopedia, the soft redirect to Wikinews could then be replaced with that article, and the protection downgraded from Protected to Semi-protected, and eventually to Unprotected when consensus supports this.
In addition to the above, consider the following quotes:

Editors are encouraged to write about breaking news events in Wikinews instead of in Wikipedia.
— WP:BREAKING#Wikinews

Wikinews has . . . had issues with maintaining a separate identity from Wikipedia, which also covers major news events in real time. Columnist Jonathan Dee of The New York Times pointed out in 2007 that "So indistinct has the line between past and present become that Wikipedia has inadvertently all but strangled . . . Wikinews. . . . On bigger stories there's just no point in competing with the ruthless purview of the encyclopedia."
— Wikinews#Criticism

A welcome side effect of implementing something like the soft-redirect system described above is that it would leverage the torrent of intense interest arising from important breaking news events to inject a great deal of new attention, interest, and vitality into the Wikinews project. Nothing wrong with that, eh? — Jaydiem (talk) 19:40, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I would like to see more people using Wikinews particularly for "minor" news stories (for example, various public transportation accidents) that aren't yet established as notable; if they do become notable, they can be transwikied/brought into, but otherwise it keeps these to what Wikinews was for. But there are also stories where there is zero question that after some time we will have an encyclopedic article about it - eg irregardless of the cause, the crash of MH17 and its passengers would have gotten an article, period. We shouldn't attempt to stymie creation of these. But if one is unsure if the long-term implications of a news article will be worthy of a article, they should be taking that to WIkinews. --MASEM (t) 19:49, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

New articles being created when a draft is in progress

Dear editors: There are now over 11,000 pages in the Draft: namespace!!! There are also over 21,000 more in "Wikipedia talk:Articles for creation", and the most promising of these are gradually being moved to Draft. It's becoming quite frequent for a draft to be well-developed, but for another user to make a mainspace article about the same topic, unaware of the draft. How can we minimize this? Are there help pages that should include a suggestion about searching the Draft: namespace before beginning a new article? WP:Your first article comes to mind, but it will only catch new users. There are many, many editors who learned how to make articles before the Draft: space existed and may not be aware of it. It's pretty easy to make a custom search for draft articles:

Any suggestions? —Anne Delong (talk) 18:36, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Watchlist feature - go back in time to turn bold back on for later edits

On occasion, after I've looked at recent edits on my watchlist, I would like to turn the clock back to an earlier time, so that every later edit will again appear in my watchlist in bold (like an edit I have not yet reviewed).

Is there way to do that? Would it be easy to add a button to do that?

Thanks, NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 01:52, 26 July 2014 (UTC)


use of single quotes


The first paragraph of CDC 3000 uses a phrase in single quotes three times. I've seen it in quite a few other articles. To me this seems improper - single quotes are to be used as a quote within a quote, as far as I know. Is there any policy or guideline about this? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 03:16, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

MOS:QUOTEMARKS and MOS:QUOTE. --Redrose64 (talk) 11:35, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Per those sources, it would seem the use of the single quotes is incorrect. — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 13:42, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. Is there a way that I can link to this section after it is gone? I see these single quotes so often, I'd like to be able to refer someone to this. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 23:28, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
@Bubba73: Link to this section as normal, i.e. Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous)#use of single quotes. This page is archived by ClueBot III (talk · contribs) which will fix incoming links as necessary when it archives this thread after seven days. --Redrose64 (talk) 06:18, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
@Redrose64: What if User talk:Example had link Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous)#use of single quotes? Surely ClueBot would not adjust the link on Example's talk? I had assumed it would only adjust links on this page. A WP:Permalink could be used on another page to link to the current state of this section. Johnuniq (talk) 09:59, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
@Johnuniq: ClueBot III fixes inward links from anywhere that isn't protected higher than semi-prot. Consider these fourteen edits: the earliest two (those at the bottom) are the actual archiving, the next eleven (example) are where links are adjusted to point to Archive 263 instead of the original. --Redrose64 (talk) 14:52, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Amazing, thanks. My heart sinks thinking about the overhead involved, but it's clever! Johnuniq (talk) 23:53, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── thank you. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 07:27, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

Trying to avoid WP:WAR over spate of AfDs and PRODs

Community input is requested about a serious question. Out of the blue a user decides to focus on deleting a series of articles in an area he has not been known to edit. He nominates at least 15 articles for AfDs or PRODs and it looks like he has more in his sights. This rush to mass delete is picked up by editors in that field who realize that while all the articles may not be perfect, some are good, but they all have been built up over many years and are important to the field they belong to. A discussion and RfC is started about the haste and propriety of the rush to delete and how it can be slowed down by setting up a system of requesting that the articles in question should be improved, and what should be criteria for retaining and waiting for the improvement of the articles. But the tough unbending nominator has not responded to these suggestions and entreaties and indicates that he will continue doing so as it seems. Such is the case of what has happened when User Namiba (talk · contribs) (aka "TM") within the span or a couple of days nominates the following articles about synagogues for either AfDs or PRODs them for speedy deletion, ignoring or oblivious to the key role that synagogues play in organized Jewish life anywhere:

  1. Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Beth HaMedrosh Hagodol-Beth Joseph
  2. Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Congregation Tiferes Yisroel (2nd nomination)
  3. Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Anshei Sfard (Louisville, Kentucky)
  4. Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Congregation Arugas Habosem
  5. Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Congregation Beth Israel (Malden, Massachusetts)
  6. Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Temple Anshe Amunim (Pittsfield, Massachusetts)
  7. Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Congregation Shomrei Emunah
  8. Temple Oheb Shalom (Baltimore, Maryland)
  9. Congregation Shomrei Emunah
  10. Beth Israel Congregation (Salisbury, Maryland)
  11. B'nai Israel Traditional Synagogue
  12. Beth Sholom Congregation and Talmud Torah
  13. Temple Anshe Amunim (Pittsfield, Massachusetts)
  14. Congregation Shomrei Emunah of Borough Park
  15. Kesher Israel Congregation (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania)

A RfC discussion then ensues, see Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Judaism#RfC: Should there be mass AfDs of articles about Orthodox synagogues? but during that it still has not influenced the nominator from continuing with his actions. A big problem is that we have a great shortage of active Judaic editors in this field, and many of the original editors and creators of the synagogue articles are no longer active on WP, so while Namiba "contacts" them it is useless because they are "not home"! That is why his radical moves to delete all these synagogue articles needs to be brought to the attention of any current editors who can potentially contribute and improve and stop this destruction of good beginnings. It is hard to keep up with Namiba's nominations at this pace, while some have rushed to improve the articles but they cannot keep up with the pace of the AfDs and the PRODs. Okay, nominate one or two articles, but a mass deletion process is alarming. The WP:CIVIL and right thing for him to have done, to reach some sort of basic WP:CONSENSUS in order to avoid the onset of WP:WAR, was to make efforts to reach out to the active WP:EXPERT editors in the field familiar with the topic and somehow or other make his intentions known in a more friendly manner at a forum such as WP:TALKJUDAISM or anywhere else of his choosing and then ask for help and volunteers to improve the articles since these articles are important parts of Jewish American history, and at a minimum if they are not up to snuff (following suitable discussions) they can be incorporated into better sections of other articles rather than face this brutal process that Namiba has instituted. The community is requested to provide its input into this phenomenon. Thank you, IZAK (talk) 06:10, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

  • Comment: I've been participating in AfD discussions for a decade now, and this isn't remotely the first time that IZAK has raised the specter of anti-Semitic bias, animus or IDONTLIKEIT at someone filing AfDs on Judaism-related subjects; it happens often enough to be a stock in trade. Whether this stems from a persecution complex or it's a delaying tactic, his frequent assumptions of bad faith are uncivil and injurious to the encyclopedia. For someone with as much experience at AfD as IZAK, I am surprised he hasn't realized before now that group or clustered AfDs are common, and there's nothing sinister about it. I've made them myself, and no doubt from the same motives as the nominator on these: that I've found a category of related articles where, upon some poking, many of the subjects fail of notability.

    IZAK’s exhortations notwithstanding, no one filing PRODs or AfDs are required to obtain any WikiProject’s permission before so doing, they’re not asked to jump through hoops not required of them by WP:Deletion policy, they’re not required to wait for a response from the article creators, they're not required to be a frequent contributor to the pertinent WikiProject, there doesn’t need to be a critical mass of active editors from an associated WikiProject, and the only one who seems to be seeking a “war” is IZAK himself ... not for the first time.

    That being said, it’s peculiar that IZAK is using up so much time and energy sounding the trumpets – never mind his outrageous suggestion that we shouldn’t be deleting articles about synagogues because of Israel’s political situation – instead of doing a very simple thing that would guarantee the retention of these articles: source them. Sorry, but sourcing articles is not some vast chore: five minutes is usually all it takes to come up with a couple reliable sources which satisfy the GNG in all but the most obstinate of articles. What’s stopping him from doing so? Why is he using all this time and effort to raise the battle flags instead of bothering? Ravenswing 06:59, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

    • @Ravenswing: Your response is absurd. The problem is that the original editors of most of the synagogue articles are long gone. I do not usually write on the topics of synagogues but I noticed them listed on Wikipedia:WikiProject Deletion sorting/Judaism. In my case I have thousands of articles on my watch-list and it is impossible to track all of it. There is no way to track PROds, they weren't listed by Namiba on Wikipedia:WikiProject Deletion sorting/Judaism either AFAIK. By the time you pick up on it the articles are often gone. The only way I came across the PRODs is by taking a look at Namiba's recent edit history and saw that he had not just nominated the AfDs but also foisted his list of PRODs. If Namiba would slow down or let some active Judaic editors know then they could spend time improving the articles. No one can "jump" to another editor's whims especially if it takes time, and it takes way more than "5 minutes" (good joke, there is so much cyber junk on Google it takes a long time to hit the right sources). Otherwise it is ridiculous to say, "oh I have just nominated 15 articles for deletion or prodding, go work on them". We are not Namiba's or anyone's slaves, we are all volunteers here and we have enough work cut out for us without being flooded by capricious mass deletions. Thanks, IZAK (talk) 07:18, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
      • Well, for one thing, it is not the purpose of deletion policy to make it impossible to delete articles; it is, by contrast, an easy thing to recreate articles when proper sourcing is available: which the original creators were required to provide and should have provided in the first place. Beyond that, no one asked you -- or any other editor -- to put thousands of articles on your watchlist so you could personally "defend" them, or requires you to be a "slave" to properly source them. If neither you nor any other editor wants to spend that time sourcing articles, then so be it; I just don't think it necessarily follows that the provisions of WP:V and WP:GNG concerning the requirement that articles be properly sourced should be suspended because of that. (This quite aside that you've averaged over two dozen edits on Wikipedia per day since you've joined, so suggestions that you lack the time to source articles falls just a little flat.)

        In any event, if you find five minutes an impossible amount of time to find sources for an article, you're doing it wrong -- it takes me a minute flat, usually. Ravenswing 08:40, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

Actually, the task of defending these from deletion is even easier than that. Since GNG is a property of the article subject, and not the article itself, you don't even have to source the article, all you need to do is point to reliable secondary sourcing on the article subject in the deletion discussion. You don't have to do a thing with the article itself. A single secondary source that talks substantively about the article subject meets the GNG criteria. VanIsaacWScont 09:10, 14 July 2014 (UTC)


  • @Ravenswing: I basically NEVER look at my watch-list (just because it's there means nothing!), I don't have time for the watch-lists, the only reason my watch-list is full is because of all the edits over the years and it takes time to clear it out. The only thing I DO look at is Wikipedia:WikiProject Deletion sorting/Judaism and on that NONE of the PRODS were there AFAIK. You also know full-well that articles have been coming in from the time of WP's inception when policies were not well-formulated and now even editors who are not experts in WP policy also contribute articles. Many editors are new and we must just WP:AGF and follow WP:DONOTBITE even long after they have moved on their early work remains, and it is the job of more experienced editors to be more careful and welcoming and not act destructively, otherwise this encyclopedia will never be built up. How anyone uses their time on WP is their own private business! In any case a lot of my edits are corrections of minor spelling and typos that I try to fix. I devote various chunks of time to various aspects, and it is not anyone's business to tell others how to allocate their VOLUNTEER and FREE OF CHARGE time on WP, to do so would be a violation of WP:CIVIL and WP:NPA and the mark of an ingrate. In this instance I see an egregious misuse of AfDs and PRODs that are counter-productive and harmful to developing the subject of synagogues on WP. That someone is WP:IJUSTDONTLIKEIT is their problem and no one else's. Thank you, IZAK (talk) 10:31, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
  • @Vanisaac: The problem here is that the PRODs came up so quickly within a day or two 8 articles put up as PRODs in addition to the 7 AfDs to contend with (we do not have supermen and superwomen to edit at such a speedy rate -- your "calculations" to contrary) and the notifications went to long-dormant and inactive users that it was impossible to know about them, let alone try to improve them. On top of that there are few willing and able good Judaic editors on standby in this area who can do the job. That is why my complaint is against the improper brutal and blunt process being deployed here by User Namiba (talk · contribs) by not creating the right venue to start a discussion about improving the articles. It's like having a gun pointed at one's head and then have no choices, that is not called a conducive environment to collegial editing, it's more like slave-driving and walking the plank, terrible manipulation and gaming of the system, the very opposite of seeking WP:CONSENSUS and acting WP:CIVIL. Thanks, IZAK (talk) 10:31, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
  • It is never a good idea to nominate a great many articles of the same type at once; if they are all similarly weak, in practice if does make it difficult to defend them them. Proper sourcing takes time--for most topics, not all potentially relevant sources will be easily accessible online. I usually figure that doing it may take well over an hour omn the average, even if I am already in a situation with adequate library facilities,. There are, simply, a great many potential places to look. And I am someone with wide experience on wiki-- and much wider and deeper experience in the RW-- in doing this efficiently. In a really tricky case with older subjects not covered in standard treatises, I have sometimes spent several days if the project is sufficiently important. Sometimes there is some efficiency in batching questions to be sure, but a situation like this with widely scattered regional sources, it can be particularly difficult and inefficient.
I recognize that sometimes one comes upon a neglected type of article, where there are many that merit deletion. Normally, they will not be truly cut-and-tried--there is likely to be some dispute about whether the existing sources will be sufficiently substantial and reliable, and our practice may be uncertain, as is the case here, where our view on places of relatively local importance is quite variable. The practice I follow, and that I advise, is to first nominate one of the weakest articles, and see what the result is. If the deletion succeeds, the next step is to nominate two or three of the stronger ones. At that point, the nature of the arguments against deletion will be clear--if it is clear that the community thinks them utterly hopeless for a reason that applies to even the strongest, only then would I do a substantial batch.
Anything more rapid is unfair, not just because of the problem of finding sources. There's also the problem of an unwanted snowball effect, where people look at one potentially article and conclude that all the others must be similar-and this is an effect that can work in both directions. There's also the problem (which clearly does not apply in this case) of ensuring the appropriate people take notice of the problem-- and this too can operate in both directions.
Myself, I'm not sure my view on the notability of the actual articles. What I've said shouldn't be taken as a comment on that (I should mention that IZAK notified me of the deletions; he knows of my interest in the subject, and also knows that I do not infrequently disagree with him.) DGG ( talk ) 17:59, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
I am personally overwhelmed by the flash flood of AfDs and PRODs of synagogues submitted by Namiba in the past few days. I tried to source two of the nominations, Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Anshei Sfard (Louisville, Kentucky) and Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Congregation Tiferes Yisroel (2nd nomination), but I simply don't have the time to research 15 in the course of a week. I strongly suggest that Namibia withdraw these nominations and list them on WP:Wikiproject Judaism so that active editors can address them one by one. With good faith, I'm sure we can clear away the dross and keep what's notable.
Ravenswing, it's not clear to me exactly what you're sourcing in your five-minute slot. Each of the two nominations that I tackled took me more an hour to locate reliable online sources and write the prose without close paraphrasing. If it really takes five minutes to find sourcing, I daresay that even the AfD nominators would do it.
VanIsaac, your "one-minute" trick also doesn’t hold water, for the simple reason that the article needs to show the sources, not the nomination discussion. An article that no one edits is a speedy candidate for AfD (second nomination). Yoninah (talk) 22:05, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
No, it does not. An article nominated under GNG, ie that the subject of the article is not notable, does not need to have any sourcing added to the actual article. All that needs to happen is that you can establish its notability through a secondary source, which can (and should) be done at the deletion discussion. Literally nothing needs to happen to the article, although it's always nice when an article gets some of its unrelated kinks worked out because of a deletion nomination. Of course, if the article is nominated for deletion because of sourcing problems, eg an unsourced BLP, that's a completely different matter, but it's not germane to the actual situation being discussed here. VanIsaacWScont 05:36, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
Actually, one source does not cut it. You need to show citations (doesn't have to be in the article but needs to be identifed) of multiple sources with significant secondary, independent coverage of the topic to meet the GNG. If you are defending a PROD, you can probably get away with one, but that doesn't prevent an AFD from showing that. --MASEM (t) 05:46, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment. Rapid-fire / mass deletion nominations, and more broadly, invocation of multiple simultaneous processes by a single editor, are rarely a good idea in any part of the project. One person, by doing that, creates a disproportionate amount of work for many other editors, and it tends to overwhelm everyone's capacity for improving the encyclopedia. The results can be spotty and inconsistent, if the outcome of one process is debated and decided without reference to the others, so you end up with a swiss cheese of missing and extant articles in one subject area, in this case some orthodox American Jewish congregations might have their articles deleted and others not. Here there appears to be an underlying policy question about notability, what makes congregations and temples notable, and what the inclusion criteria should be. That is best discussed, and probably left up to the projects. At worst, the deletion discussions should be centralized and all overseen by the same administrator rather than handled willy-nilly. Ten is not a completely unmanageable number, but if this continues and we have dozens of similar articles simultaneously under deletion nomination I would suggest a speedy close on all of them to allow time for people to figure out whether and how to handle it. - Wikidemon (talk) 00:01, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
Incidentally, I did a quick check on Namiba's edit history. Their approach to deletion could be improved in my opinion but it is not beyond the pale and I see no evidence of bad faith. Namiba seems to follow topic area interests for a while here and there, as most of us do, and occasionally makes more than one deletion nomination when they're looking at a topic area. They're not particularly focused on Jewish issues. There was a similar ruckus with multiple synagogue / congregation nominations on Boxing Day 2011, but also some small batches of nominations here and there without incident over college buildings and associations, nongovermental entities, retail stores, and so on. Their hit rate appears a bit low. It looks like the majority of articles with speedy and PROD tags are still here, so perhaps a little more WP:BEFORE is in order. On the other hand, some of the synagogue articles that editors are staunchly defending right now do not seem to have any significant secondary reliable sourcing, so at least some of them do look like apt nominations. If anyone happens to be looking at a topic area and see 10-15 articles on subjects they think aren't notable, I'm not sure what the best approach would be. I personally wouldn't nominate more than 2-3 at a time to see what happens, but then what? - Wikidemon (talk) 00:31, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
Agree this is not desired behavior; in fact, this is something Arbcom has said in regard to fait accompli. [34] If the editor does believe that these articles fail notability guidelines but they number more than a few, then the process should be to open discussion either at the appropriate project page, or on the village pump to request input on how to proceed. 15 AFDs of the same type of topic I think would certainly qualify for fait accompli. --MASEM (t) 05:46, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Back in 2006-2007 some of us tried to create a notability standard for religious congregations, Wikipedia:Notability (local churches and other religious congregations),or WP:CONG, but it failed to reach a consensus. Perhaps there would be more consensus for such a standard today. Edison (talk) 17:30, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment There is nothing wrong with nominating articles for deletion when they do not meet notability. During discussions, it is unlikely that valid articles will be deleted, and it sometimes might lead to improvements. Deleted articles of course can be restored or re-written. OTOH, if this editor is cconsistently nominating articles that clearly meet notability, that would be a problem. You need to assess whether that is the case. Probably best to await the outcome of the AfDs. If they were mostly improper nominations, and the editor continues, then you could request an AfD ban at ANI. TFD (talk) 22:41, 15 July 2014 (UTC)


So far, as of 21 July 2014, the following AfDs have resulted in Keeps or "No consensus":

This shows that with AGF discussions the articles can and are being improved and that it is always best to seek WP:CONSENSUS and input from editors who are willing and able to work on the improvements. Thank you, IZAK (talk) 07:22, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Fraudulent sites with similar domains

I have recently heard that Eikipedia is a malware site hoping users will stumble across it by accidentally hitting the "e" instead of "w" key when trying to access Wikipedia(I haven't checked for myself because of fears D:). Has the WMF ever considered purchasing up similar sounding domains to Wikipedia, or trying to go after these sites?AioftheStorm (talk) 19:01, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

I'm not sure if Eikipedia really sounds similar to Wikipedia, and I can imagine that there's better things to spend money for than random URLs. Plus aforementioned page does not look like Wikipedia so an average user should realize that they ended up on a different page. What's the problem? --Malyacko (talk) 23:56, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
It's my understanding that the Foundation legal team, possibly with the assistance of MarkMonitor (Wikimedia's domain name registrar; MarkMonitor also offers "brand protection" services) regularly take down sites like these using the UDRP. Most cases deal with trademark issues (e.g. cases like ""), and for those you can send an email to to let them know. This case seems to be mainly just typosquatting, but maybe they deal with that too? Not sure about the specifics, but probably better to notify the legal team than not. {{Nihiltres|talk|edits}} 00:23, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
@Malyacko: Eikipedia doesn't sound similar, but the "e" key is right next to the "w" key, making it likely enough typo.
@Nihiltres: Thanks for the response I will contact the legal team about it to see if they want to do something.AioftheStorm (talk) 01:17, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia blocks 'disruptive' page edits from US Congress

FYI front page news on BBC Wikipedia blocks 'disruptive' page edits from US Congress. JeepdaySock (AKA, Jeepday) 14:00, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

This is one of the edits mentioned by the BBC. --Redrose64 (talk) 14:36, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
I added it to Wikipedia:Press coverage 2014#July. --Redrose64 (talk) 14:44, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
I brought this up, inappropriately it seems, at Main Page talk. I take the liberty of reproducing part of the exchange below. Sca (talk) 16:23, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

WP's congressional block

Are we going to say anything about this? Sca (talk) 14:18, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

In what capacity or location do you think something should be said? 331dot (talk) 14:24, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Good question. Suggestions? Sca (talk) 14:35, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
The best place would probably be ITN but we would need an article to link to(and add this info to) for the nomination. 331dot (talk) 14:43, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Doubt it would meet ITN criteria. Sca (talk) 14:46, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps we should have some sort of "To our Readers" page? Sca (talk) 15:10, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
For what? The story you linked to is not likely to be of significant interest to our readers. It may be of interest to some editors, but we already have the newsletter for that and besides, I'm not sure it's that interesting to most editors except for those affected (who will find out if they try to edit). Nil Einne (talk) 15:36, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
We have a place for this kind of 'about Wikipedia' content. It's called The Signpost. I suggest you bring it up there. Modest Genius talk 15:45, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
I've seen The Signpost before. Do you think the general public using Wikipedia looks at The Signpost on a regular basis?
Why do the general public care that a single government office is banned for less than a fortnight? AlexTiefling (talk) 16:56, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
How does this differ from any other institutional range-block? Why does this one need a special announcement? AlexTiefling (talk) 15:14, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Not being involved in administrators' duties, I don't know how it may differ from others.
I thought it might be significant because it targets a high-profile government institution, and because the BBC thought it noteworthy enough to write a story about it. Sca (talk) 15:44, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

As a US citizen and tax payer, I am somewhat pissed off that a congressman (or more likely a staff member) was spending time editing Wikipedia from his office computer. Governmental officials and employees have far more important things to do than edit Wikipedia. They are welcome to edit Wikipedia when they are at home, during their off hours ... they should not be editing from their offices - that's when they are supposed to be working. I have no problem with the ban. Blueboar (talk) 13:28, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

Weird project page

Excuse me, is this article, Wikipedia:Congoboy99k, unintentionally missed by admin? -- Hysocc (talk) 05:54, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

Deleted. §FreeRangeFrogcroak 06:02, 26 July 2014 (UTC)