Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 59

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Resurrected: WP:NOTNEWS, news belongs on Wikinews[edit]

It was very frustrating to see that this discussion ended up with only a bot caring enough to archive it, instead of someone implementing it or offering constructive criticism.

This is, to summarise, changes to existing templates to direct people to write news articles where they belong - on Wikinews.

Impacted templates are:

Examples of the changed templates[edit]

  • Where Wikinews has an article (embedded titles link to nonexistent pages)


  • Where Wikinews does not have an article:


I see absolutely no points in the prior discussion that, to me, appear to make this an unreasonable request. Can this please be implemented? --Brian McNeil /talk 03:25, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Sounds like a very good idea. Strong support. --Yair rand (talk) 04:10, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Strong supportCamelbinky (talk)
Support also per something among the same lines as Yair rand. --Mikemoral♪♫ 04:36, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Oppose current proposed wording. Some directing to Wikinews seems like a good idea, but some of that language seems to send a confusing message, as if the subsequent content on tagged pages is being criticized for being on the wrong wiki. Equazcion (talk) 04:40, 8 Feb 2010 (UTC)
Doesn't seem like that to me. Do you have a better wording? --Yair rand (talk) 05:03, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
  • I'm certainly happy to try and improve the wording - if I can have specific actionable points. I think the proposed changes to {{Recentism}} is the only case where there may be 'active' criticism of Wikipedia content where the template is in use. ---Brian McNeil /talk 10:29, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
    • I agree with concerns about the wording. We don't want the template to send the message "don't add anything about recent events to this article," but rather "the article should reflect a long-term view of the subject." Dcoetzee 10:37, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
    • I agree, the current phrasing might be interpreted to "don't add anything recent". Instead of the current comment, "Wikipedia is not a news site; please consider contributing to the obituary/article", perhaps something along the lines of "Although Wikipedia permits content regarding recent events, it should have a historical perspetive, as this is not a news site. In-depth news-style coverage is more appropriate on Wikinews", with a link to WP:NOTNEWS? But I don't have any real objections to the current phrasing either. Tempodivalse [talk] 14:47, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose The existance of Wikinews has no bearing on Wikipedia content. --Apoc2400 (talk) 13:06, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
    This is a baffling view, to me. It's not as though we'll be creating links to Google news, or even something like the NYT with this. Wikinews is a fellow WMF project, so the statement that it has no bering on us is simply silly, to me. I'd be very interested in hearing a reasonable explaination, though.
    — V = I * R (Talk • Contribs) 22:04, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
    Per WP:SISTER and longstanding co-operation between projects and our general view of 'we can't use this, but they'd love it over here' being a helpful way forward to violators of WP:NOTNEWS it does. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 20:56, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
    Wikipedia should be the best encyclopedia possible. That a sister project also covers similar content does not matter. I you think Wikipedia should limit the content about recent events, then just say that instead of referring to Wikinews. These additions seems to imply that recent events should not be mentioned on Wikipedia because of Wikinews. --Apoc2400 (talk) 19:27, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
    We can only really agree to disagree here, I suspect. I have stated below that I believe this helps creates recruit better contributors to WP as well as WN. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 18:01, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
    I think that we can do better then agreeing to disagree here though, which is specifically why I challenged this oppose. There's a bit of a disconnect between differing viewpoints here, and their not mutually exclusive (meaning that both the opposition to the proposal and the willingness to disagree are somewhat misplaced). The main issue here is exactly what you said yourself Apoc: Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. It is not a news source. On the other hand, Wikinews is not an encyclopedia. It's generally a good thing to define goals and structure for participants, especially in a collaborative, "headless" environment such as our WikiMedia Foundation projects. What I'm really curious about is this: what is it about the proposed changes that makes you believe that the proposal is attempting to convey that "Wikipedia should limit the content about recent events"? I don't see that assertion being made myself (at least, not so bluntly), but as an advocate I'm perfectly willing to admit that my own bias may be affecting my judgment.
    — V = I * R (Talk • Contribs) 19:26, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Support  The existence of Wikipedia policy does have bearing on Wikipedia content. (In case this isn't blatant enough: When content is inappropriate for Wikipedia according to Wikipedia policy, it is then appropriate to direct prospective constributors to the project where that content would be appropriate.) --Pi zero (talk) 13:54, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Support per Brian McNeil and WP:NOTNEWS. The existence of Wikinews has direct bearing on Wikipedia and its content. Although I think articles on recent events are okay on Wikipedia, they should have a long-term view over the topic, and people should know that there is a more suitable venue if they want to add certain things, such as obituaries (if someone very famous dies, for instance). One suggestion - don't italicise "Wikinews", I think that looks a bit out of place. considering "Wikipedia" is never italicised. Tempodivalse [talk] 14:47, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Support as a strong believer in decentralisation and promoting the sister projects :) --Skenmy(tcn) 17:49, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose; just seems to make the templates more obtrusive without offering any concrete advice for reader or editor. Any relevant Wikinews content should already be linked as a sister project link. None of the new links do much to explain how to write content in a manner appropriate for Wikipedia. Christopher Parham (talk) 16:22, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
    Perhaps a link to WP:NOTNEWS would solve that problem? Also, I'm not sure how adding a single small, barely visible line to the template makes it much more obtrusive than it already is. *shrugs* Tempodivalse [talk] 21:06, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
    I think you miss the point of the templates in the first place Christopher; to tell people certain content is inappropriate for Wikipedia. The addition is one line, one small line, suggesting where the content may be more appropriate. --Brian McNeil /talk 21:11, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Support A fairly logical way forward with WP:NOTNEWS. It helps keep WP's content from spiraling into recentism without making contributors feel discouraged that their contributions are unwanted. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 20:56, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Strong support - This is good for Wikipedia, and good for Wikinews. We already tell people when content is inappropriate for Wikipedia; we should continue to do so. While we're at it, it's a good thing to tell them where the content really should go.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:18, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Support It stikes a good balance between letting contributors know that their contributions are valued and finding the correct project for those contributions. -- PhantomSteve/talk|contribs\ 23:25, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Support - the logical extension of WP:NOTNEWS. - Philippe 00:22, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Support with an improved wording so people don't think that all information about recent events is inappropriate for Wikipedia. Reach Out to the Truth 14:53, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
    At the risk of repeating myself, what are the proposals for an improved wording? I was, in crafting these changes, very concerned to keep the size increase on these templates to an absolute minimum. The proposed change by Tempodivalse above is really overly verbose; are there changes to the existing wording which I've not touched which might address this and keep the Wikinews-related small line a single line? --Brian McNeil /talk 15:37, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
    The Wikinews line seems OK. I think that people are mostly complaining about (our own) text above that. People don't seem to realize that these templates already exist, and the only addition that you're proposing is the addition of one line, in small font, with a link to Wikinews in it.
    — V = I * R (Talk • Contribs) 18:03, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Support Though I do fear that most people simple don't understand that they are writing an obituary into the Wikipedia article. I'd be interested to see if this would drive any measurable amount of traffic to Wikinews. It can never hurt to a least run an experiment with something like this. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 18:24, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose First, {{Obituary}} and {{Recentism}} are not only used on articles on recent events, so wikinews is irrelevant. Second, we shouldn't use our articles as proxy for wikinews per our policy of neutral point of view. We already grant enough leeway to post relevant sister links, but prominently linking to wikinews on articles related to recent events, which gamer lots of views, would be way over the top. Third, the first three templates are principally directed for readers, not editors; they're some sort of disclaimer to alert people that the information can change; so saying that 'Wikipedia is not a news site' out of the blue is totally inappropriate. It gives the impression that the article may somehow content inappropriate 'news content' while it may not be the case at all; and Wikipedia sometimes contain completely appropriate in-depth coverage of recent events, much more developed than wikinews (such as sport events, elections and so on), so linking to wikinews would be a disservice to readers, and unhelpful and confusing to editors.
    Finally, there seems to have been some inappropriate canvassing, see Wikinews:wn:Water_cooler/miscellaneous#Wikipedia.2C_again, which explains why several wikinews admins, Jimbo Wales and Philippe came here to support the proposal. Cenarium (talk) 18:55, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
  1. Please provide examples where {{Obituary}} or {{Recentism}} are not used on articles related to recent events.
  2. As you apparently seem to be wilfully ignoring, Wikinews is a Wikimedia Foundation project and all projects are subject to a Neutral Point of View policy (see n:Wikinews:NPOV).
  3. I strongly object to your characterisation of the solicitation of input from people who care about projects other than Wikipedia as "inappropriate canvassing". I would ask you to retract that accusation, and the implication that Wikimedians who are not primarily active on Wikipedia are not acting in good faith; all have justified their reasons for supporting this proposal and you are suggesting that such votes, including that of Jimmy Wales, be discounted on your say-so alone. --Brian McNeil /talk 20:59, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
Would you care to explain in what way WP:CANVASS is violated? Cross-project co-operation is a cross-project issue. That's like notifying a WikiProject of an AfD. It is in each project's interests to know how they are used by each other. As for Jimbo, he had already expressed an opinion and hence an interest. Does my opinion cease to count because I contribute somewhere this affects? I have edited here since 2006; I am a long-serving WP admin. I am also a WN admin and Arbcom. Do you really view these as incompatible where interlinking and WP:SISTER/WP:NOTNEWS is discussed? Surely contributors to both projects are best suited to appreciating the intricate differences - and overlaps - in their respective missions. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 21:20, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
I would have no problem with letting know wikinews editor of this, if it were done in a more neutral manner (cf the diagram or the section 'campaigning' from the guideline) and not be emphasizing Jimbo's opinion (sought off-wiki). I's been some time since those changes are proposed (cf Wikinews:Wikinews_talk:Obituary_from_Wikipedia#Promotion_on_Wikipedia) and it's not this way that you'll make a difference (nor by calling naysayers those who disagree). The way it's carried out just doesn't inspire confidence or look like collaboration, but rather like campaigning. I point this out so that consensus can be appropriately weighted, it has no other implication. I'm not 'against' sister projects or whatever (I use and add links to wiktionary quite regularly for example).
  1. See Category:Articles slanted towards recent events which includes articles tagged as far back as January 2008 (so the recent events are anterior to that). Those recent events could be from the previous decade or before; most of the time this tag is applied considerably after the related events. Recent can mean decades ago in a historical perspective, there are many examples (here's one). As for obituary, this is not even event-related (though it implies the person has died), and could be applied to any dead person (example from a 1998's death). So for those two templates, mentioning that wikipedia is not a news site or wikinews wouldn't make sense.
  2. I've argued this point a bit quickly. We've extended NPOV far beyond its original intent, for example Wikipedia shouldn't be used as a mean of promotion. Of course we have a special relationship with other wmf projects, but we should keep the former in mind nonetheless. In my opinion, we should not use our articles (and templates therein) as a mean to promote sister projects. Promotion is not the intent of sister links (though in effect it does..). Linking at the top of articles or sections on recent events to a particular news source doesn't go well with our policy of neutrality. For another example, if the Wikimedia foundation were to advocate for some issues (see strategy:Task force/Advocacy Agenda), then Wikipedia should remain neutral on those issues nevertheless; in any case we would as a community. I appreciate that those proposed changes are primarily aimed to direct editors to more 'appropriate' places and wouldn't mind to stop arguing in this sense to appease the debate, but my first and third points remain.
  3. You didn't address my third point, which is similar to what said other commentators in prior discussions: the recent events templates are disclaimers for readers, they're not there to remember policy; they are applied to pages where the content can be in full conformity to the policies and guidelines on recent events. Suggesting that there is a problem where there is none is bad; for our readers who are confused, and even more for our editors. It may even discourage editing. Cenarium (talk) 16:38, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
    Just out of curiosity, do you also object to notices in articles that say things like "Please help improve this article by expanding it.", "This page is a candidate to be copied to Wikibooks", or "This article contains instructions, advice, or how-to content. The purpose of Wikipedia is to present facts, not to train. Please help improve this article either by rewriting the how-to content or by moving it to Wikiversity or Wikibooks."? Do you see these as "promotion" and a violation of NPOV? --Yair rand (talk) 19:01, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
    (Disclaimer, for what it's worth: I am an arbcom member and bureaucrat at en.wikinews) Indeed. I fail to see how this proposed template is any more "promotional" than is {{transwiki}}. By the same reasoning, we should not promote ourselves either, or even encourage people to edit our articles such as in the templates {{cleanup}}, {{expand}}, etc. Also, I understand and agree with your argument that certain templates like {{recentism}} doesn't always refer to events that have happened within the last few days (and perhaps we shouldn't add the wikinews notice to them), but there are many others, such as {{current}} and {{recent death}}, that do. Tempodivalse [talk] 20:10, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
    FYI: the criticism with respect to {{recentism}} (and elsewhere, for that matter) is easily addressed with the addition of a named parameter which could turn off the Wikinews message anyway. This whole line of criticism is really a completely irrelevant red herring, although it at least brought the subject up now so that we could talk about the issue prior to implementation. I don't think much of the other criticisms either, personally, but I found the point about the message possibly being irrelevant to be particularly artificial.
    — V = I * R (Talk • Contribs) 04:03, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
    Yair rand: I don't 'object', I say that we should consider the issue of promotion, intended or implied. I think that the cleanup templates asking to edit wikipedia, or to transwikify, are in their current state not overly self-promoting and appropriate for our projects which rely on user participation. However, I would have a problem if it were overly promotional (e.g. "Wikipedia is the number 4 site on the web, you should edit it too!" and such). I think this is an aspect to consider in fund-raising campaigns too: not being overly self-promotional, and there's actually been much criticism on those grounds in the latest campaign. We should apply policies with due diligence and not indiscriminately, but it doesn't mean we should completely disregard them in some instances when it comes to us (for another example, undue weight given to some events where wikipedia is involved comes to my mind).
    Tempodivalse: By the same reasoning, we should consider (self-)promotion in regard to those templates, which is very reasonable, and as I said above, I would have a problem with such templates if they were overly self-promoting; but in their current state, they're OK to me. Policies should be applied on a case by case basis, neither indiscriminately, neither wholly ignored, and never on their sole basis.
    Ohms law: Not addressed like this, see unindented comment.
    Overall, in the present case, I do not believe that we should use recent events templates for promotion of wikinews, as too opportunist; however this is a reason among others for me to object, and the least - no need to make a big deal out of this. Cenarium (talk) 03:12, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
I really don't see the problem. The Wikinews discussion has been done from a Wikinews viewpoint, and it has been agreed that WN would easily benefit from receiving such unwanted contributions from Wikipedia. With that out of the way, I come here to consider an entirely different question: What is right for Wikipedia? Had I honestly believed this was not in WP's best interests then with my WP hat on I would have opposed what I supported on Wikinews. Naysayers has no negative connotations; I am proud to be a naysayer on many subjects. I have, in fact, carefuly steered clear of the benefits to WN in this thread; they are irrelevant here. Obviously, since the idea initiated in The Other Place the benefits to WP were of relevence on loose terms over there ('is there any reason they require this?' - otherwise developing further would have been pointless).
  1. Is constructive. I have no further comment on that, other than that some slight reword may be required on the appropriate templates.
  2. That is largely already responded to earlier in this reply; although I again draw attention to WP:SISTER and WP:NOTNEWS in combination, noting my previous description of how these apply.
  3. Wikipedia aims to attract new contributors. That is fundamental to WP - and to all the projects. How discouraging is it to someone who sees 'may change rapidly' and thinks "wow cool!" and races to update with the latest, only to see WP:NOTNEWS chop it out? That is very sad, and means someone who would be interested in both projects would be end up a member of neither. I can't see this 'poaching' editors; rather, I see this as forming more users who are able to do as I do, and straddle accross both projects, trying to help them compliment each other the way they are supposed to. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 21:35, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
This is still not a way to attract people to support one's position that I found legitimate, but I have no wish to argue on this now. Reply to the other points in my 'unindented' comment. Cenarium (talk) 03:12, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
As far as Cenarium is concerned, I will debate no more on the points Xe raised; I feel others have cast reasonable doubt on Xe's interpretation of the purpose of the templates I propose modifying. Incidentally, good luck getting Flagged Revisions on Wikipedia – if you look into my background on Wikinews you'll see I've been involved for over five years; I was the driving force in getting FlaggedRevs implemented there, as well as a project 'crat, Arbcom member, checkuser, Wikimania 2008 attendee, press corps member & speaker. And, I recently resigned from the Wikimedia Foundation Communications Committee rather than play politics and toe a partei line (just since this seems the section for willy-waving). I'm not out to discourage people from contributing to Wikipedia, quite the contrary. Wikinews and Wikipedia are meant to be complimentary projects – as, in fact, are all WMF projects. I feel I am entitled to be proud of my contributions to Wikinews, which include several featured articles. Over the years I would estimate I've spent well over $1,000 of my own money supporting Wikinews - not including donations to the Wikimedia Foundation's general fund; I'm the first member of Wikimedia UK based in Scotland, and every single person in WMUK knows full-well where I stand and what I think. Too young to 'technically' qualify for the moniker curmudgeon; too old to still qualify for the once-applied label of "angry young man". Yes, I am impatient, I am unreasonable; to quote George Bernard Shaw, "[t]he reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." --Brian McNeil /talk 23:56, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Right, I'll tell you something of my experience too (I'm just a sysop here, fwiw). When you bring up some proposal, of course you'd like that everyone support it right away and that it gets implemented as soon as possible. But in most cases, there's going to be problems and such after the implementation, it's going to need some fixing, and it may well end up in complete failure; because you needed an outside point of view, that some other people made a real, serious review of your proposal, find potential problems, possible improvements and so. From my experience, criticism is good. I'm probably the only one commenting here who made an in-depth review, I actually spent hours on this by now. I've decided to oppose those proposed changes, I've given my justifications, this is fair and helpful. I've pointed out some pretty obvious flaws that would have gone unnoticed otherwise. Interestingly, sometimes when someone reviews an issue for real, rather than taking a cursory look and giving some nice but useless comments, their intentions (or more) are attacked.
Re unrelated FlaggedRevs: My proposal (WP:FPPR) is quite different from 'classic' flaggedrevs; there's consensus for a two-month trial but we're still waiting for the implementation. Cenarium (talk) 03:12, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
  1. (unindent for clarity) I've checked all of the transclusions of {{obituary}}, here, and there is not a single one used on an article on a person who died in the latest few months, most of them died years or decades ago. So it is totally irrelevant that wikipedia is not a news site or that people can contribute to wikinews.
  2. I've checked all uses of {{Recentism}} in the recent months to see if it had been applied because of recent related news. The vast majority of uses are for articles or sections which put too much emphasis on the 2000s or latest decades. When it's been applied because of recent news, it's mostly trivial things like sport performances which then tend to accumulate, that's insufficient for a wikinews article. And in all cases, wikinews can be relevant only for the time just after the events, so you'd need a separate template to subst (like prods) so that it's hidden after some time. However, I'm still to find an example where it would be relevant. Incidentally, Wikinews is mentioned at Wikipedia:Recentism.
  3. In the situation Blood Red Sandman describes, then I'd better see him/her editing, being bold is actively encouraged. There's only going to be a small minority of cases where WP:NOTNEWS will be a reason in and of itself to revert the edit. That person could be made aware of wikinews, which is mentioned in the relevant guidelines anyway. We should not discourage people from editing by citing potential but very theoretical policy violations. Only when there's actually a problem we should say it, while those templates take the position by default that something is wrong, and this is not acceptable, per WP:BOLD, and because our policies are non-prescriptive. Cenarium (talk) 03:12, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
    What about instances where these templates are applied, then the article is edited and the tag is removed? I think that it'd be a fairly obvious sample bias to use currently in use template instances as being completely representative here. Regardless, {{Current}} doesn't seem to suffer from any of the criticisms that you're bringing up, which begs the question: is your opposition centered on adding it to only a few of the templates, or is it a general objection? Do you criticize adding a link to Wikinews (or any other sister project) in general? How do you feel about the use of {{Wikinews}}, {{wiktionary}}, and similar templates? (Incidentally, User:Blood Red Sandman does plenty of content editing, from what I've seen. It'd be nice if we could avoid the personal stuff here).
    — V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 03:23, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
    If you read more carefully what I said you'll see that I was referring to the hypothetical person in the situation which Blood Red Sandman described (otherwise it wouldn't make any sense..). My objections are specific: my first point was about {{obituary}}, the second one about {{recentism}} and the later about the current events templates. The representative bias you allege (which I had considered) is negligible with obituary and recentism, since the removal of those templates is largely independent of the characteristics I evaluated, plus I had the time to check several times for new ones in the last few days and it didn't differ; and my objection for the current events templates was not based on a statistical analysis but on the non-disputable fact that not all content about recent events is removable per WP:NOTNEWS (probably only a small minority, but even if were half of it, it would not justify a default position against the coverage of recent events; said otherwise, we should not assume that any content on recent events is bad/to be deleted). I said already that I had no issue with sister links but I prefer them at the bottom of articles for consistency and because wikinews links become outdated very quickly. I use wiktionary often, and place the template and edit the project from time to time; fwiw I've redesigned Template:Wi. Really, I've no issue with sister projects... Cenarium (talk) 04:26, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
    Lies! Face-wink.svg Seriously though, I'll re-read through the above tomorrow. It would be interesting to hear a counter-proposal and/or a suggestion to make this more acceptable, though.
    — V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 05:15, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
    The results are comforted by a very simple analysis of the situation: there are many articles about dead persons, and among those where {{obituary}} is applicable at a given time, a very small minority will be dead recently (in the last few days). Actually it's much more likely for such an article to be created in the form of an obituary initially, and much after the death, rather than existing prior to the death and being transformed to the point of reading like an obituary thereafter (this can be 'statistically' verified, :). For recentism, it's very similar: there are many articles covering content which can be subject to recentism (which can go from the latest hours to the latest decades or more), and at a given time, only a small minority will be about events from the last few days (so be relevant to wikinews).
    For the recent events templates, a possibility to make this more acceptable would be to create an option to enable the warning about NOTNEWS and wikinews (default not shown), which was the initial proposal, and would be much less problematic, however it should be enabled only when the content is found to be in violation of that policy (cf my objection that warning about policy should be done only when presently justified). Although in such cases, a template like recentism would probably fit, so there's no real need for this.
    Thus my suggestion would be to use an option in recentism which can be enabled to show the message about wikinews, but only for, say, 5 days after the given timestamp (which is supposed to be the date of the event), since after a few days wikinews is no longer relevant. A secondary template could be substed, so that we can quickly enter the current time as timestamp (like we do with template:prod). Cenarium (talk) 06:11, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
(Unident) So, can we all be in agreement that it is essentially a good idea, but there may be issues with ensuring the text appears only when relevant? Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 13:01, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Strong support. Very sensible. Wikinews exists for a reason. Durova409 16:53, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Strong support - I can't see why anyone would oppose the general principle of this, to be honest. Wikipedia and Wikinews are sister projects, with the same fundamental goal - to spread knowledge freely. If we don't want content on one Wikimedia project, then why not direct that attention to a project that does want that content? We can haggle over the details as problems emerge, but let's give this a go and see what comes out of it. Mike Peel (talk) 23:51, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
    I am fundamentally opposed to templates which take the default position that there is something wrong in writing about recent events, and mentioning wikinews while most of the time, it will be irrelevant because the event was days ago. However, I have nothing against collaborating with Wikinews. Cenarium (talk) 03:12, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Srong oppose. This is a solution looking for a problem. If people are worried about recentism, we should add WP:BLP1E to the speedy deletion criteria: that would solve several problems all at once! If a page reads like an obituary, it should be tagged with {{inappropriate tone}}; but let's not forget that obituaries are often useful sources of information for biographies, and that includes obituaries written fifty years ago. There appears to be some idea that an item cannot have a Wikipedia article just because it happens to be in the news, which is, frankly, ridiculous: it is ignoring our readers for the sake of an artificial criterion. Physchim62 (talk) 10:02, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. Unless you're saying that no recent news should be in articles, which I consider absurd, the new text is inappropriate for most of the templates. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 10:34, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Strongly support the principle even if language may need to be adjusted. Speaking with my Wikipedia hat on (before someone brings up the fact that I am indeed an admin on Wikinews), policy is very clear that Wikipedia is not a news site. There is nothing wrong—quite the contrary—in having the most recent information available on Wikipedia; however as an editor I am aware of the huge difference in writing styles between an encyclopaedia and a news site. -- Александр Дмитрий (Alexandr Dmitri) (talk) 20:22, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Support - Directing people to the right Wikimedia project is a good thing, and the other projects do need more advertising exposure. But the wording should probably be tweaked, since the main purpose of the current events templates is to inform readers that those articles might be rapidly updated at the moment. We don't want to discourage people to edit those articles. --David Göthberg (talk) 23:19, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

News belongs on Wikinews, section break[edit]

  • Comment This template is, once again, not intended to discourage people from adding information about recent events. It is about *how* the information is presented. On Wikipedia, things can be written on things that have happened, heck, several minutes ago, but should be written from a historical perspective, whereas on Wikinews, they are written from a very recent perspective, like what one would find in a newspaper. The latter style is inappropriate for Wikipedia, according to WP:NOTNEWS; if people want to write things from a more "recent" point of view, as i've seen many Wikipedia newbies do, it *is* more appropriate at Wikinews and I feel that contributors should know that there is a place where certain info is more appropriate so they can contribute there, rather than their contributions be lost/reverted altogether. I frankly don't see what's "discouraging" about the template; for instance, we indicate that many other types of writing styles are not appropriate for Wikipedia (such as WP:NOTHOWTO and Template:Howto), and actually redirect people to Wikiversity/Wikibooks to write about topics in that manner, so why not extend that to Wikinews as well? If you believe the proposal implies that *no* recent events coverage is appropriate, please suggest a better way to phrase that. I think my original suggestion of the statement "Although Wikipedia accepts coverage of recent events, it should be written from a historical perspective; in-depth, news-style reportage is more appropriate on Wikinews" with a link to WP:NOTNEWS solved this rather well.
    The "It's irrelevant because the templates don't always refer to very recent events" argument doesn't make much sense either to me; sure, templates like {{obituary}} aren't necessarily used on such (and perhaps we shouldn't add the wikinews notice to them, or just make it an optional parameter), but there are many others, such as {{recent death}} and {{current event}}, that always do; imho that negates that argument. Tempodivalse [talk] 15:42, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
    That last argument was specific to recentism and obituary.
    The big difference is that Template:Howto and other cleanup templates like recentism are applied only when it has been observed that in the current state, the article doesn't respect policies or guidelines. While if we put this in current events templates, then it assumes that there is something wrong inherently, initially, with writing about recent news. This is incompatible with WP:BOLD and the nature of our policies which are not prescriptive. The policy message of your proposed rewording is strikingly similar to that of recentism, so it would be akin to put a recentism template with mention of wikinews after all recent events templates. Again, this assumes that there's something wrong while there's not in most cases. Only when justified we should make prominent mention of policy, and never suggest that there is a problem where there is none.
    It may not be intended to discourage people from editing, but in effect, it will do it. As I said, I wouldn't object to mentioning wikinews in the template recentism, but only when relevant, not days or more after the event; now that would be in line with what we do with other sister projects. It only just require some template magic similar to template:dated prod so that the message about wikinews is displayed only for a few days after the event (if we simply put it in option, then people would forget and it would remain there). Cenarium (talk) 16:50, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
    I have to say, the one thing that this has started me thinking about is the possibility that we should probably TFD {{obituary}}. Being worried that a link to Wikinews is incompatible with WP:BOLD, or that it would somehow discourage people from editing, strikes me as a preposterous argument. The wording could certainly be tweaked, and the templates that the statement would be used on could definitely be changed, but to take those criticisms in order to use them for panning the entire proposal is unnecessarily dramatizing the issue. The idea is simply to provide a link and a nudge, saying: "if you want to, we have a content space over here for news items".
    — V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 18:37, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
    user:Ohms law pretty much sums up my position on it, although he phrased it much better than I could have. I just *don't* see how the inconspicuous link, quitetly informing readers that certain styles of writing are inappropriate for Wikipedia, can be that harmful. I still think the proposed wording in my above posts solves any concerns with "discouraging editing" that some people perceive. It seems that it would be a good thing, and easier on us, not to have to bother with perpetually reverting newbies' obituary-style additions to our articles regarding recently deceased people (which I've seen quite frequently) by instead pointing them to a sister project where said additions are appropriate. Tempodivalse [talk] 19:17, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
    I'm not opposed to any link in any form, in fact I have proposed an alternative. To say it differently, I think the policy message driven by the proposed wordings is uncalled for in general. Making pre-emptive mention of policy, such as by alluding that something is more appropriate at some other place that on Wikipedia, will deter some editing, some of which could be bad, but some of which could be good too. That's why we make mention of policy only when justified and not indiscriminately, and why we have specific templates like recentism, obituary and so on instead of a list of things to do and not to do that all editors must read prior to editing. Bringing up WP:NOTNEWS for all articles on recent events seems indiscriminate, and I fail to see a wording which could be appropriate. For example 'in-depth' can be misleading: for 'news' events, Wikipedia often serves as a source for 'background' information, and presents a wider view of the topic, which could be considered 'in-depth' (and Wikipedia is often applauded for this), while news reports are more superficial, on the moment. Well that's the difference between encyclopedic style and news style which you try to point out, but it's not really feasible in a one-line sentence, and can give impressions that were not intended, that can be wrong or contradictory, especially when used indiscriminately. Instead, I propose to continue using {{recentism}}, when justified; with an option for temporarily mentioning wikinews. Cenarium (talk) 00:47, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment - Yesterday we added a line about Wikinews in the system message that is shown when creating a new article: MediaWiki:Newarticletext. (Note, that message looks very different in different namespaces.) See the discussion on its talkpage. --David Göthberg (talk) 23:25, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Support Symbol support vote.svg People seem to think here that sister projects must be treated like any other site and that linking to them must follow standard linking guidlines. WP:SISTER as it stands does not say that and in fact encourages linking whenever useful. All the foundation projects function together, NPOV only applies where the project is talked about and discussed (see WP:SELF), rather than merely linked. I agree that promoting Wikinews on an editorial level (not on a content level) would help their cause and reduce recentism here.--Ipatrol (talk) 21:02, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
    This is an important distinction, but we've extended our pledge for neutrality beyond the content level. For a recent case, see Template talk:Refimprove#RFC: Should a link to a commercial search engine be included in the template Refimprove. The issue is on whether it's actually useful, it may be good to let people know of wikinews but not at the expense of discouraging editing. Cenarium (talk) 00:47, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
    Does it matter? NPOV has no real bearing except to the actual wording should we decide to implement. WP:SISTER is pretty clear; where appropriate, do it. If you interpreted NPOV in that way, WP:SISTER would have to be nominated for deletion. While the link is interesting (thanks!), I do think the distinction is big enough that it probably has no direct bearing. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs)
    Yes, it has no direct bearing. Neutrality would matter more if promotion were the only or major intent, but this is not the case. Here it's to point readers to more appropriate venue for some content, and for sister links, it's to provide related content. Cenarium (talk) 13:23, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Unless I'm mistaken (which is a significant possibility), there seems to be pretty clear consensus at the moment to have some kind of Wikinews link in at least some articles with these templates. There are some concerns that the wording could have unwanted effects and that an option to show the extra note with the default being the current version would be better than having the extra note shown by default, but there's pretty clear consensus that something like this should be done. Would it make sense to temporarily change the templates to have a switch-on version of the added note for now, until someone can think of a better wording and we can figure out whether having a switch-on or switch-off addition is better? --Yair rand (talk) 04:12, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
    I say yes, that would make perfect sense, but then I'm a partisan here...
    — V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 19:36, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
    I too say consensus seems pretty clear. I attempted to clarify that above, but I think people missed it in the midst of the long discussion. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 09:39, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
    I think the reasons for not adding it on obituary and recentism (without time option) have now been agreed upon. If we add an option to the recent templates, then we should think of when it should be used. I'd say when the adding editor feels that the article contravenes WP:NOTNEWS, similarly to when we add cleanup templates. Cenarium (talk) 13:23, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
    So... any news (pun completely intentional)
    — V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 00:18, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
    Yeah, this discussion has stalled; any chance we can work on getting this implemented in some form, as consensus generally seems to be to do so? Tempodivalse [talk] 03:54, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
  • I think the template(s) should be used in this manner on any event that is still unfolding and where it is already suitable to have the template(s) in the present form. There could be a date set and this could be reset whenever there were upadates; at such time as we reached 2-3 days from that date the Wikinews section of the template would 'expire' and disappear. This is why we are having the wording issue; doing it only where there may be a WP:NOTNEWS vio substantially changes the proposal. However, I do like where you're going with that; perhaps a better idea would be to create a brand-new {{Notnews}}, which would be a tag for when there was a perceived problem and would read something like:

A user has expressed a concern that this article or section reads like a newspaper article. Please edit it to move it towards a historical account suitable for an encyclopedia.
It may be more appropriate to cover this event in detail on Wikinews instead, to prevent issues with recentism. If you are unsure if it is appropriate on this article, please be WP:BOLD and try it or ask at the talk page.

Again, the Wikinews bit would expire 2-3 days after whatever date was given. How does that proposal strike everyone? To be clear, this idea is not intended as an alternative to the above - which consensus is generally for, with a nod to wording - but to compliment it. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 15:43, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

  • I really tend to agree with Blood Red Sandman here; yes, I do have a somewhat 'selfish' issue of trying to promote contribution to Wikinews. It strikes me as a good compromise to have a Wikinews-specific message be time related. If there is an "added=<date>" parameter then, addition of such cautions can appear for a limited time. I'd wonder about having an alternative parameter "reported=<date>", and possibly even a "wikinews=suppressed". The contexts within which such templates may be used would merit all three of these options. For example, labelling someone's hagiographic bio as an obiturary may have no relevance to Wikinews if the death was decades ago; however, it could be as a result of a new report into the circumstances of someone's death decades ago, and be news - meriting a "reported=" parameter.
My template-fu is not at expert level, I'd be delighted to see someone take the copies of these templates I've created and work in solutions for more complex situations. I do, based on many of the above comments, think there's a need for those contributing significantly on Wikipedia to go back to the original templates and think through the wording they have. It's frustrating to me how slowly some things work on Wikipedia, but I'm happy to see that hashed about and sooner (please, rather than later) some proposal that has a reasonably wide consensus be put forward.

WP:NOTNEWS->Wikinews Break[edit]

As I say, take copies of the templates and, well, be bold!. --Brian McNeil /talk 19:47, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
Having a timer automatically eliminate the message after a certain time limit is not possible because of the way pages are cached; the template will only be re-processed when the page is edited. A wikinews=suppressed option could be done by putting {{#ifeq:{{{wikinews}}}|suppressed||Wikipedia is not a news site; in-depth...}} in the template. --Yair rand (talk) 04:09, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
We manage it somehow on Wikinews:Template:Abandoned, although you can subst it as well. Then here there is {{Prod}}, which only works when substed unless I'm very much mistaken (I rarely use PROD, prefering AfD since low-traffic articles can just vanish under PROD without anyone realising). Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 12:30, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
I don't know exactly what those templates do, but I'm pretty sure that #if,# ifeq, and #switch functions are only recalculated when the page is edited. To have a specific message go away after a certain amount of time (which is what I'm assuming Brian McNeil was suggesting) the page would have to be edited or purged after the set time for the timer to update the message. (There's a decent possibility that I'm wrong about this, though.) --Yair rand (talk) 22:47, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
  • An awful lot is done by bots following recent changes. In such a way it is possible to have a log of pages to recheck, do a null edit, and expire the template - or section thereof - as required. --Brian McNeil /talk 19:04, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
    Yes, using a bot to update the templates is a possibility. --Yair rand (talk) 04:39, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── So... Who might be willing to operate such a bot? Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 19:07, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Bump thread to avoid being archived. This needs to be implemented ... Tempodivalse [talk] 20:17, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
Why doesn't someone just add the stuff to the templates and then put in a request at WP:Bot requests? --Yair rand (talk) 05:42, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Another bump. I might put a bot request in, but I'm about as good with templates as your granny, so I won't be doing that bit. I don't even trust myself to copypaste into them. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 22:30, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Administrator inactivity[edit]

Better icons for user warnings[edit]

Rename the move function to... rename[edit]

Pure wiki deletion, redux[edit]

Link “date” part of a signature to current article’s revision[edit]

Effectively warning school IPs[edit]

Implementation of bureaucrat removal of admin and crat flags[edit]

User talk space abbreviation[edit]

I think it would be nice to have an abbreviation for user talk spaces. I'm proposing that UT:(USERNAME) can have the same function as User talk:(USERNAME), not unlike the WT abbreviation that goes to Wikipedia talk. I would do the same for portal (PT), but it seems to redirect to Portuguese or something. What does the community think? Airplaneman talk 19:20, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

If this were so, it would make sense to set U: equal to User: at the same time. —Akrabbimtalk 19:23, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Only saves three letters, not sure it's necessary. –xenotalk 19:24, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
But if "UT" exists as an abbreviation for "User talk," people will assume that "U" leads to "User" (and experience wasted time and confusion if it doesn't). —David Levy 12:54, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
As long as it doesn't conflict with anything, it would only be beneficial, even if it saves only a few (milli)seconds. Airplaneman talk 13:42, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Support UT: to automagically translate to User talk:. (Don't think portal talk shortcut is really needed) –xenotalk 19:23, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Support UT (keep in mind, this conflicts with 1 redirect: UT:XMP, trivial to fix/delete/whatever). U: isn't of any real benefit, just type the other 3 letters. PT: will of course conflict, since it's the language code for Portuguese (General rule of thumb, anything in List_of_ISO_639-1_codes should probably be avoided, as either a Wikimedia project is already there, or could one day be there) ^demon[omg plz] 12:29, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Support and would like to add template space to the mix: Template (T) and Template talk (TT). Not sure if it's been excluded for a reason, but "template" is a longer word than "user" so shortcuts would be even more useful there. Equazcion (talk) 13:02, 19 Mar 2010 (UTC)
  • Support UT and TT. Maybe template should be abbreviated instead to TP, or TM, because 1 letter seems rather odd. Would SP for Special pages be a good idea? Brambleclawx 14:34, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
    T: is already used as a pseudonamespace redirects for shortcuts to many templates so I would say keep it the same. –xenotalk 14:41, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Support UT and a shortcut for template (no preference). SP sounds good too. PrincessofLlyr (talk) 14:41, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Support Sounds like a Good Idea. Aiken 14:46, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
Against, the current system is flawless and needs no improvements. A5051790463174 (talk) 17:07, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
Improvements are usually not needed. They just make things better. You're perhaps thinking of fixes. Equazcion (talk) 17:12, 19 Mar 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose these shortcuts are unnecessary. UT: would already conflict with one redirect to an article (although there is currently no account with that name), and it isn't implausible that more could be created. Redirecting from Wikipedia: or Help: to an article (or adding a hatnote) is unlikely to cause problems, but people looking for an article shouldn't be directed to a user talk page. Maybe at some time in the future a user will be wondering why other users are redirecting their talk page to an article. snigbrook (talk) 20:55, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Technically neutral here, I guess, since I can think of no specific reason to stand in opposition to this idea but at the same time, seems rather silly to me. It's pretty rare that I manually head to a user's talk page, or manually type out a link to one. Shereth 21:08, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Support - things that make other things easier are generally a good thing, and I don't think there is anything here that would especially make it otherwiser. I occasionally visit talk pages directing by typing it, and this would be handy for that. Ale_Jrbtalk 21:20, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Support U: and UT: - That's [[UT:Example]] (14 characters) versus {{ut|Example}} (14 characters) or {{subst:ut|Example}} (20 characters), which serves, more or less, the same purpose. On the other hand, the namespace alias might be more intuitive to some, and it has the clear advantage of working within edit summaries and in template transclusions. No longer would we have to write out, for example, {{User:PleaseStand/Userboxes}} when we can write {{U:PleaseStand/Userboxes}}. I oppose P: and PT: because of the issues raised above. PleaseStand (talk) 02:10, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

Delete all lowercase -> uppercase redirects[edit]

I'd like to propose that all redirects of lowercase terms to their uppercase (often proper noun) equivalents be deleted. Possibly a bit extreme, but bear with me.

For example, if I type "george w. bush" into the search field and click Go, my address bar will say ".../wiki/George_w._bush" and the article will be titled "George W. Bush", but with a subtitle saying "(Redirected from George w. bush)", because there is a redirect from "George w. bush" to "George W. Bush". However, if I type "rick perry" and click Go, I will be taken directly to Rick Perry because the article Rick perry does not exist. In my opinion, this is the preferred behaviour.

MediaWiki automatically makes the change, and does so more neatly and seamlessly than we do manually by adding such a redundant redirect. There must be thousands of such redirects, mostly for major subjects with proper nouns, which are not only unnecessary but actually negatively impact, if only in a small way, the Wikipedia experience. Furthermore, they would have to be manually updated should the proper noun article be moved, adding an extra layer of unnecessary annoyance. —INTRIGUEBLUE (talk|contribs) 04:03, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

"they would have to be manually updated" I take it you haven't encountered the double-redirect fixing bots. --Cybercobra (talk) 06:18, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Yea OK, but we really shouldn't rely on bots... their great for convenience, but there's really nothing to say that they will be around, you know? (that that I necessarily support this, but it's got me thinking about it)
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 06:25, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
These redirects came from somewhere. Presumably people are under the false impression that they're needed. I don't see that changing, so if we deleted the existing ones, they'd keep getting created. Unless I've missed something.Equazcion (talk) 06:32, 26 Feb 2010 (UTC)
If we could have a bot perform the proposed task (i.e., identifying unneeded lowercase redirects and either listing them for deletion or, in the case of an adminbot, deleting them), then that might address the issue of continuing creation of such redirects... In light of Ohms' point above, I should probably amend my comment to include: "as long as the bot is active". :) -- Black Falcon (talk) 06:40, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
lol... that's taking my point above a bit too far. if a hypothetical "list/delete unneeded redirect bot" actually existed, I wouldn't expect most editors to notice the fact that it went down. At least, not right away.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 06:49, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Redirects also support incoming external links; I don't see the problem with leaving them in place. Josh Parris 06:41, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
As well as internal ones, I notice. Maybe it's better to keep mistakenly-cased links blue rather than red? Not sure myself. But the external links are probably a better point anyway. Equazcion (talk) 06:47, 26 Feb 2010 (UTC)
For "normal" redirects this obviously applies (and is embodied in the RFD policy). In this particular case, since the software itself takes care of the problem, it's probably actually better not to have a redirect. That's why the OP actually made the proposal.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 06:51, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
The software only takes care of it for article titles typed into the Go box. Internal and external links don't work without correct casing. Equazcion (talk) 07:40, 26 Feb 2010 (UTC)
For external links, I've personally always discounted this criticism. If our pages change, then that should break hard-coded links to the page from outside of the site. Keep im nind that visitors to such a "broken" external link won't get anything like a 404 error, they will land on the search/edit new page, so it's not as though they'll be lost. For internal wikilinks... in this particular narrow case, I really wonder if we would be better off if these sorts of links were redlinked. I mean, it's not as though the example above for rick perry is grammatically correct, after all. This is the only aspect of this proposal that gives me pause in actually supporting it, though.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 08:09, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Strong Support. I've been meaning to suggest the same thing myself for months. (Mixed case redirects would need to be left in place, eg The Ascent of Man needs a lowercase redirect (The ascent of man), but all-uppercase targets don't need all-lowercase redirects, eg My bloody valentine) -- Quiddity (talk) 07:32, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
    Not so. I had some trouble finding an article where there was no such redirect in place, but try searching for "barefoot in athens". No redirect, mixed case, and yet the correct article still appears. —INTRIGUEBLUE (talk|contribs) 08:30, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
    Nifty. Things have been fixed since I last investigated this then. I've struck my inapplicable comment. -- Quiddity (talk) 21:24, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
  • The software automatically fixes case mis-matches for searches; it doesn't take care of the problem for someone actually making an internal link with faulty capitalisation... Shimgray | talk | 08:00, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
    If an editor adds to an article a link to an incorrect capitalization of another article's title, is it better for that link to appear blue (and thereby give the impression that all is right) or red (and thereby indicate that the linked title does not exist)? In my opinion, it would be better for the link to be red, which would prompt the editor to fix it. -- Black Falcon (talk) 08:09, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
    I agree. Nobody should be referring to proper nouns in lowercase in our articles, either. —INTRIGUEBLUE (talk|contribs) 08:30, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
    If this is your concern, don't worry about it. Tag these redirects with {{R from incorrect name}} and a bot will fix them - see Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/WildBot 4. Josh Parris 08:47, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
    How does that address the concern that the redirect is actually getting in the way, in this narrow case? That's the whole reason that WildBot could gain approval for that task, is that those redirects are somewhat harmful. As a matter of fact, seeing as how WildBot already has approval to fix cases that have been identified as using these sorts of redirect links, that tends to push me even further into the support camp for this proposal.
    — V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 08:55, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
    Yes, I think this is a good idea (though not an urgent priority). But the bot should always check that there are no incoming internal links for a particular capitalization before deleting it. (The bot won't be able to distinguish between legitimate and erroneous alternative capitalizations, so it shouldn't make any existing links go red.)--Kotniski (talk) 09:03, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
    Maybe we could have a template to add to the redirect to tell the bot "no, we've given this some thought, and it really should be here"... —INTRIGUEBLUE (talk|contribs) 09:25, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
    It should be fairly simple for such a bot to: (1) generate a list of all targeted redirects with incoming links, and avoid touching any that do have such links (a human editor could check them); and (2) avoid touching other redirects on a whitelist. -- Black Falcon (talk) 18:07, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
    You appear to misunderstand the bot. It bypasses all valid redirects marked with {{R from incorrect name}}, altering the originating wikilinks to point instead at the redirect target. So, if someone linked to george w. bush and that redirect was marked with {{R from incorrect name}} the bot changes the article to read George W. Bush. Editors can use incorrect names, the encyclopedia remains robust until the bot fixes the link, and incorrect names are generally not used. Everybody wins. Josh Parris 05:44, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
    Putting a tiny hatnote of text at the top of the page is hardly getting in the way. Josh Parris 05:44, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Objection - not everyone uses the search for finding articles. :) Until we get to such a point that Rick perry will automatically point to Rick Perry in wikilinks and links to the full URL too, then we should keep these redirects in place. I'm happy for bots can go around and update the links as appropriate to avoid the redirects, but that doesn't help for new ones. Note that sometimes it's not particularly obvious that the capitalization in a link is wrong - not every case like this is a person's name. Mike Peel (talk) 09:19, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
    There are a very few cases where capitalization is ambiguous, and redirects are warranted there. I'd say 95%+ of these redirects are unnecessary per my original argument, though. One case where it might be warranted is in various capitalizations of in/the/and/etc., like the example I mentioned earlier, where both "Barefoot in Athens" and "Barefoot In Athens" would be acceptable. However, these are not lowercase redirects, since the redirect title has some capitalized words as well, so it need not be effected by the change. —INTRIGUEBLUE (talk|contribs)
  • Objection redirects are useful and redirects are cheap. Though where there are incoming links from an incorrect capitalisation as opposed to a correct one I can see a case for fixing them. In some cases there are edit histories behind the redirect or disputes that have only been resolved by making redirects for all valid permutations of the casing. ϢereSpielChequers 09:30, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
    These last two replies seem to have ignored the commentary above...
    — V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 10:49, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
    The one where you said changed article names should break external links, and improperly-cased internal and external links shouldn't rightly work to begin with? I don't really follow your reasoning there. If Wikipedia is less finicky about links than other websites are, I'd see that as a good thing, rather than something that should be fixed so that links become broken just as often as they do on other sites. Equazcion (talk) 13:48, 26 Feb 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose any blanket deletion, and this should really be discussed at WP:Redirect. –xenotalk 18:17, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
    Probably true. Since discussion is already established here, I'll just post a link to this section on the talk page over there. —INTRIGUEBLUE (talk|contribs) 00:51, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Terrible idea. Redirects are cheap and they don't hurt anyone. And you risk breaking links people might have put on their sites, bookmarks, etc. All because you want the title to redirect transparently. And remember: the auto-fixing of links on 'Go' only works for go. Type 'http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_perry' into your browser and you'll go to a dead page. Of course it could be fixed, but I wouldn't count on it anytime soon. ^demon[omg plz] 01:34, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose this will mess up too many internal links and as mentioned could screw up attribution requirements and so be a copyright infringement, removing people's attributions. For some titles it is not clear what is correct, so both should be kept, eg blue wren or Blue Wren. Manual more careful deletions can be done if there are no incoming links or history. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 03:07, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose I don't use the search bar. Plus redirects are cheap and that bit of text on the top of the page does not detract from the reader's experience. Tim1357 (talk) 06:46, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
  • An alternative solution... If people are deeply concerned that capitalisation redirects cause a problem in one specific circumstance, viz the searchbox, then the best approach would be to find a way of getting around them in that specific circumstance. Rather than delete all capitalisation redirects, for example, we could ask someone to write a piece of code to suppress them in the search-box autocomplete code. Problem solved without producing further problems. Shimgray | talk | 11:31, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Support Let's do it now before we end up with 10 billion redirects. These redirects served a purpose before search box becomes case sensitive. Of course they can be some exceptions but for person names we certainly should do that. -- Magioladitis (talk) 12:32, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose and question/alternative proposal. I've thought about it a while. It looks like a neat idea, but it is true that it could break links (within WP and elsewhere) and it doesn't seem worth the hassle. There is a real -if small- problem, that is: redirects do not really "redirect": the URL is indeed unchanged. This can be somehow annoying when one wants, say, to copy and paste somewhere the correct URL to the Wikipedia page. Why aren't redirects real redirects? Can we propose to the developers to make them so (maintaining the reidrect subtitle)? --Cyclopiatalk 13:48, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose any blanket deletion. Use for wikilinks, exernal links, tracking the history of a redirect (when ambiguous), maintaining discussion for the redirects (when ambiguous), etc. Well worth their cost. -- JHunterJ (talk) 15:40, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose blanket bot fix but Support as a general principle - The example given by the nominator holds up for the names of many people but not for other things (or all people e.g. bell hooks, where many will spell her name as Bell Hooks in wiki links). An example of an appropriate redirect that a blanket ban or "fix" on such redirects would break is Irish Nationalism vs. Irish nationalism. Both capitalisation are correct. The current manual of style is to use the non-capitalised version but a redirect from the capitalised version is necessary because it is quite common for editors to spell it like that (and equally correct). -- RA (talk) 16:33, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose proposal, I really don't see how this will help. How does it hurt for there to be a redirect? Our hit counter shows that george w. bush typically gets over ten thousand hits daily; why would you want to tell those 10,000+ wannabe readers that "Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name"? Nyttend (talk) 17:03, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
    • I believe the hit counter automatically follows redirects, the properly capitalized page has the same numbers. Mr.Z-man 18:12, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
      • No, it does not automatically coalesce redirects. I can provide examples if you want. Maybe it handles redirects that differ only in capitalization, but in general redirects don't count towards the hitcounts. — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:44, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
        • Sorry, I was unclear. I was just pointing out that the number of hits for that redirect Nyttend linked to were also including the hits for the rest of the article, so it can't be used for determining the usefulness of the redirect. Mr.Z-man 03:33, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Per Nyttend. Useight (talk) 18:00, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
Who apparently doesn't understand the proposal - no redirect is needed in order to get from george w. bush to George W. Bush, so those 10,000 people would still get to where they are going.--Kotniski (talk) 18:06, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
  • I would oppose deleting current redirects since this would just be arbitrarily breaking links. But I would support a prohibition or restriction on future redirects like this for proper nouns. Mr.Z-man 18:12, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose per ^demon. -- Basilicofresco (msg) 10:14, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose I have recently created a new page which redirects to S-L-M, but if that was moved (Which I might do in a moment), that would explain my reason. Minimac (talk) 11:30, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose, no real advantages (who cares that there is a small "redirected from X" link at the top?). Incorrectly capitalized names are a problem with e.g. Flemish and Dutch names (Flemish generally capitalize intermediate "Van" or "De", Dutch don't), so the incorrect Jan Van Eyck has over 30 article links, and the incorrect Vincent Van Gogh has more than 100. Bob de Moor is the name used on the English Wikipedia, but the Dutch (who should know how it is) use Bob De Moor([1]). If (as suggested above) people see a redlinked incorrect name, there is as much chance of them correcting the redlink as of them creating a new (duplicate) article at the incorrect spelling instead. With the redirects, we avoid the duplicate article at incorrect names. Fram (talk) 12:08, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This has been discussed before and rejected. See Wikipedia:Templates for deletion/Log/2009 May 4/template:R from other capitalisation. -- œ 14:34, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Side note: This proposal will reduce load on servers. Redirects are copies of the original page, which means that big pages, with 50+ redirects take up a lot of space on the WMF servers. There was a proposal to fix this, but it fell into disrepair. I'm formulating a nice, detailed proposal to change the MW structure for redirects. ManishEarthTalkStalk 02:21, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

No offense, you are completely wrong about this. Redirects are not copies of the original article, and they do not take up excessive space. But even if they did there is a general principle Wikipedia:Don't worry about performance. — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:47, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
I was talking about the squid (cache) servers. See a discussion here. ManishEarthTalkStalk 03:57, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
It's true that having copies of redirects in cache may increase the miss rate for other articles, but the site admins will be the ones to complain if the miss rate is too high. As a regular user, when was the last time that you looked to see what the cache miss rate on the squids is? This is why it's better to simply not worry about performance. Even if the miss rate was too high, the site admins have lots of ways to fix is (allocating more storage for the cache, or adding an additional tier of squids, for example). — Carl (CBM · talk) 04:05, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
  • comment What was the original rationale, does anyone know, for making article-name-matching case-sensitive in the first place? In my opinion, whatever the reason was, experience has shown that it's more trouble than it's worth; when two pages have names distinguished only by case this is almost always a bad thing and should be fixed by renaming or disambiguating one or both of them. I know this is radical and would entail considerable work on the part of both developers and editors, but — how about just making the names case-insensitive? --Trovatore (talk) 02:30, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
    • Wikipedia started off using CamelCase!
      As for your question, I think we generally redirect case-variations to the main article, but the only example I can think of offhand is Pattern Recognition. Hmmm, Dead air vs Dead Air vs Dead air (disambiguation) doesn't follow that. Odd.... -- Quiddity (talk) 03:21, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
      • That was before I knew about Wikipedia, but yes, I know about the CamelCase legacy. Surely that can't be very important anymore, though. In some cases there are GFDL attributions encoded in the histories yada yada yada but the abstract question should be, Is case sensitivity still worthwhile? If it isn't, then the question, What if anything should we do about it? would be the next one.
      • My assertion is that pairs like dead air/Dead Air are bad and should be fixed. In this case I think Dead Air should be moved to Dead Air (novel) — either that, or dead air, which seems a rather marginal article, should be merged somewhere. --Trovatore (talk) 03:27, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
  • I also don't agree with the proposal. I don't use the search bar; I usually simply re-type the article name into the URL bar. Until the software accepts that http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_washington without a redirect, the redirect needs to stay. — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:43, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
    • I have to say that seems like doing it the hard way. Are you using a text-based browser or something? --Trovatore (talk) 02:53, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
      • No, but the search bar is not always the most convenient place to type. I have to scroll to see the search box, but the URL bar is always there. Also, there are web tools that make links of that form. Also, I can type the title into the search box and type "Go" instead of "Search", and that will make the link above. This makes sense since I don't want to search for an article; I know we have the article, and I want to "go" to it. I agree that it would be nice if the software tried a case-insensitve match if a case-sensitive match fails. This is discussed at m:Case sensitivity of page names. There seems to be some issue that Tim Starling was worried about with that, but I don't understand it. — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:59, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
        • Oh yes, of course I meant using "Go", not "Search". I use the "Go" button easily twenty times as often as the "Search" button. The "Go" button does in fact fall back to case-insensitive matching. It's only URLs and internal links that don't. --Trovatore (talk) 03:09, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
        • (Well, that is, I don't literally use the "Go" button. I enter text into the search box and hit the "Enter" key. That's the same as using the "Go" button.) --Trovatore (talk) 03:18, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
        About scrolling to see the search box.. you can simply use a keyboard shortcut to bring the cursor directly into the search box from wherever you are on the page.. so you don't need to scroll to it. -- œ 16:03, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
          • As far as I can see the shortcut keys don't work on my browser (vector skin on firefox 3 on linux with a sun type 6 keyboard), and I am not going to spend much time investigating how to set up modifier keys in order to access the shortcuts. The URL bar is conveniently at the top of the browser all the time. — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:13, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose I see no harm in the existence of such redirects, particularly if tagged with {{R from incorrect name}}. If a user, particularly a relatively inexperience user, creates a wikilink to such a title, and finds it red (because the redirect was deleted or not created) then the user may be tempted to create a new article at th4e apparently missing title. If this happens we then have an article to merge, or we must WP:BITE the newcomer by speedy deleting under WP:CSD#A10. Haivn the newcommer fiond the proepr articel via the incorrect link instead is a much better result. DES (talk) 23:50, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Soft-block of school IPs.[edit]

School IPs are a huge problem: for every one good edit from an IP (if we get one at all), we get about 50 vandalism edits. Sure, they can be blocked for upwards of a year or two at a time, but by then , they've already made a massive nuisance of themselves. So, I suggest identified school IPs be soft-blocked. They can still edit, if they want to create an account. Since practically every edit from a school IP is Johnny Nosepicker killing time by replacing random pages with 'FUCK' 500 times, they probably won't even bother creating an account; they only log on because they can do it anonymously.

This isn't an question of assuming bad faith, this is a question of putting our foot down and saying 'enough'. Soft-blocking school IPs would literally cut vandalism in half. HalfShadow 19:36, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

How could pre-emptive blocking ever possibly not be assuming bad faith? --Cybercobra (talk) 22:20, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
Apparently you haven't been keeping your eyes open. And before you say: 'But HalfShadow, not all school-IPs have been trouble!', I defy you to show me three. HalfShadow 22:25, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
Non-problematic IPs wouldn't be subject to the addition of a sharedIPedu template. –xenotalk 22:28, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
I am relatively new here, but already I have found an instance of a registered user connecting (from school, or course) without logging in so he wouldn't be tarnished by his wilder edits. Quite aside from the question of whether anonymity is a good thing or a bad thing, schools (I am shocked to observe!) seem to be a plague of hit-and-run immaturity. - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:33, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
I sometimes wonder if that's not coming from the teachers telling their students that Wikipedia is unreliable and should not be used in school. They must be thinking, "Hey! Teacher sez it's unreliable and we shouldn't use it so it's ok to mess with it!" Sad. -- œ 02:53, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. If a school is a real problem, do as I have done and contact the school with the diff. They act on the information in my experience. Getting your retaliation in first is using a sledgehammer to do something or other inappropriate. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 22:37, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
    I wonder if it's good policy to scare of a vandal by a "I know where you live" template which basically says: "Hello there, we know that you're from this school and we shall notify your school if you continue". The school info is easily gleaned from a WHOIS, and by a little research (most schools have their own websites), we can get the name of their principal. That will really scare them off and they'll tell their friends that "Wikipedia knows where we are" etc. and they won't dare vandalize WP again. I'm just worried that that may scare off legitimate contributors. ManishEarthTalkStalk 02:09, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose Per Xeno. We can handle individual schools if and when needed but we should never simply block an institution just because their members might vandalize. The project is built on the very idea that everyone should be able to contribute easily without having to create an account and the proposal here conflicts with this basic principle. If we start now with schools, how long until someone says "well, it worked for schools, let's just ban IPs altogether and we can get rid of much more vandalism that way"? That anyone can edit is a founding principle after all. Regards SoWhy 22:49, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Support It's not a block-- anybody can edit by merely picking out a password, making ten good edits, and waiting 4 days. Of course, that's not good for vandals who are into immediate gratification. The real problem, of course, is that we don't treat school IPs like other IPs, and we don't treat IP-users like we do nameusers. It's rare to find ANY kind of long block (more than 48 hours) on IP users, even when not identified as shared or school. So it's already vandal paradise. A nameuser can be indef blocked for being rude to an admin, but I've seen IP users respond to block threats with "suck my *&^%". And you know what? It still doesn't earn them a long block. My personal advice for wiki-vandals: whatever you do, just don't register a name. Don't put anything on your userpage, and don't put anything on your TALK page that suggests you might NOT be a school library. Let admin imaginations run wild, thinking they're about to harm a whole junior high full of inquiring minds. And there you are: more or less immune. That's the only rule for success. Example: [2] SBHarris 22:58, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
    What if they don't have a computer at home to make an account? –xenotalk 19:03, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. School IPs should not be blocked simply because they are school IPs. IPs should be blocked when there's enough of a pattern of vandalism that a block is clearly preventing further disruption. (And yes, I've seen several IPs—some of which are schools—with blocks of anywhere from 3 months to 2 years, based on the amount of recurrent vandalism from the source.) The distinction is that with a school/shared IP, the block should be soft, because there's a more likely chance of multiple users of that IP. With a static IP, you can build a case that it's a single person making the edits, so a hard block is warranted. —C.Fred (talk) 23:14, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment - what is the proposal concretely suggesting? Soft blocking all known school IPs indefinitely? Quite a few school IPs are more or less there anyway, being soft blocked for 6 or 12 months at a time, til the vandalism starts again (school year...) and another block comes. So not much difference for those. Other known school IPs are presumably not blocked because they're not enough of a problem, or there's enough good edits in there to let it go. In general, a common argument against blocking IP edits is that IP vandalism is easier to spot and new accounts are too easy to create. This certainly applies here. Even for the current soft blocks, how much of that vandalism is popping up elsewhere in harder-to-spot form? Rd232 talk 23:26, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose per C.Fred and xeno. The problem looks worse than it is because we only notice the problematic ones. Timtrent makes a good point as well. ISPs don't give a crap about normal vandalism, but schools will actually take action, and in some cases do so proactively. Mr.Z-man 00:35, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
LOL. By doing what, exactly? Disabling access to Wikipedia? Disabling outgoing mail from their SMTP? These are far more draconian solutions than what is proposed! If your goal is to allow individual students as much access as possible while still differentiating the good from the bad, you will force the creation of student individual accounts. A teacher can stand and watch to see that this is done (good luck) or you can do it using a computer! It's called a "soft-block." It can be done from the WP end, but I doubt many secondary schools have the sophistication to program it from THEIR end. If the schools do LESS than this, the policy has failed, since they should be doing at least this much. So the argument that it should be left to schools fails on all counts. Schools aren't the experts on how to limit editing from a single shared IP to WP. Wikipedia is. If we abbrogate our own expertise and responsiblity, the job will be done FOR us, by people who don't know what they are doing. With less than optimal results, no matter what they do. Sorry, but this is a responsiblity you can't just pass off in the usual wiki-way. It ends up hurting both the good students AND Wikipedia. And by the way, any security system of ANY kind assumes some amount of bad faith from somebody in your society (sorry). There's difference between doing it on an individual basis, and doing it on a population basis. SBHarris 01:22, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
Schools actually can prevent specific students from editing, something that we cannot do. I fail to see how contacting problematic schools is worse than just blocking all of them. I'm pretty sure it is the school's job to make sure that students aren't misbehaving during schools hours while using school property. And "responsibility"? What? Just because someone started a discussion about it means that we all of a sudden have a "responsibility" to prevent vandalism from schools? I'm a volunteer, I don't have a responsibility to anything like that. Mr.Z-man 02:26, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Support soft-blocking every school IP. I see very few good edits from school IP addresses. Fences&Windows 01:25, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Support soft-blocking. About half of volunteer energy is consumed with censorship matters, it seems. Let's put the bureaucrats out of work by eliminating much of the problem at the source. Carrite (talk) 01:59, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Suggestion - A specific, more aggressive anti-vandal bot for problematic IP ranges. Sole Soul (talk) 02:07, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
    • Good Suggestion - I'd support this. --Ludwigs2 02:45, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
    • That could work - an anti-vandal bot that works differently for schools. What exactly would it do differently though? Possibly a lesser version of this proposal would be for such a bot to (among other things, like reverting more readily) automatically impose softblocks on known school IPs under certain conditions. Also, maybe an aggressive school edit filter could be made, preventing some behaviours from being saved in the first place. Rd232 talk 08:27, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
Cluebot has nearly no false positives, but that is because it is too cautious. You have to raise many red flags to be caught by Cluebot. Sole Soul (talk) 16:31, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure how the vandal-bots work, exactly. if they only look at individual posts, then you'd need to add the range IPs in as requiring a higher level of suspicion. if the bots keep track across multiple posts (looking for patterns) then you need to tell them to treat the range IPs as a single user. Either change should produce faster response and lower threshholds. --Ludwigs2 16:41, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose blocking, we should treat school IPs the same way as we treat all other non-open-proxy IPs. However, I'd like to see a more thorough use of warnings: it seems that we issue a level 1 warning for virtually any vandalism if it's more than about a week after the last warning. We shouldn't restrict editing from IPs whose users haven't caused problems, but we should have a more effective response to IPs whose users have caused problems. Nyttend (talk) 03:35, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
Nyttend has a point about how we use warnings and the warning texts themselves. I would support adding text to a level 2 warning for repeat IP vandals pointing out that there is a history of vandalism for the address, and a level 3 warning that includes something along the lines of "If you continue to vandalize Wikipedia, you—and all other users of this server for some time to come—will be blocked from editing."
(On the flip side, my personal practice is to give an IP whose sole contribution to Wikipedia is a mild vandalism "one free bite." I'll revert it with no warning (or just an anonwelcome). If they commit a second vandalism, especially to a different article, now they've shown they intend to cause trouble—and I go straight to a level 2 warning.) —C.Fred (talk) 17:45, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Suggestion - Instead of blocking schools when they are a source of vandalism, dispatch a hit team to find the little vandals and give them a nice thorough spanking. We'll need volunteers with the ability to violate habeas corpus and a large amount of ready cash to buy plane tickets on short notice. - Denimadept (talk) 17:15, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
    • oh, I don't know... I think the foundation would be willing to pay for professions spank-squads, don't you? some things just shouldn't be trusted to amateurs. --Ludwigs2 17:36, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

C.Fred above says he's seen school IP's blocked from months to years. Could I see examples, please? I already gave one [3] that had a page of vandalisms going back to 2007, which hadn't been blocked for more than 24 hours. After the "welcome to wikipedia" template on the TALK page, this user added 'u are an asshole'. Nothing happened. I don't even think that one is a school. Okay, here IS a school IP with 2 pages of vandalisms going back to 2008, and the longest block is 2 weeks. [4]. Therefore my challenge: for every IP-user you can find me with a block of more than 3 months, I will find you 3 vandal-only IP accounts with a page-worth of multiple vandalism warnings, who've never been blocked for more than 24 hours. C.Fred, you want to take me up on it? You'll work much harder than I will. Here's another: [5] And an even worse one: [6] My point? The system for dealing with IP vandals, as it stands, is not working. SBHarris 18:44, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Log/block&user=Xeno , CTRL-F for "1 year". (P.S. your fourth example is serving a 6 month block as we speak. The others should be reported to WP:AIV if they are actively vandalizing.)xenotalk 19:00, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

I'm tried of reporting accounts for "actively vandalizing." I get somebody who says: "gee, not in the last few hours-- call me when they do it again." It's not worth it. Is this account actively vandalizing? [7]. There two vandalisms just today. But I'm not wasting my time reporting it, because I know nothing is likely to happen. You yourself seem to be one of the new admins who doesn't coddle IPs, but you're a member of a small minority. Okay, I owe you more examples. Hold on. SBHarris 19:18, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

I straddle a middle ground, I am no stranger to throwing up an Pictogram voting wait orange.svg Insufficient recent activity to warrant a block. or whatever. –xenotalk 19:23, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

BTW, how did you know the "temporary block" in my example that you said was 6 months, was for 6 months? Take a look at this one: a university IP quite properly nailed for 6 months by Edgar181, a chemist and fine contributor, who took criticism from somebody saying university IP's shouldn't get more than 24 hours. [8]. Existing policy here is definitely lacking, or else points away from needed measures. 19:33, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

The contributions page shows active blocks, you can also look at the block log. As for the Edgar example, looks like he handled it fine. Personally I always use a sliding scale something like 31h, 72h, 1-2 weeks, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year. –xenotalk 19:37, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Support soft blocking after some defined level of disruption (perhaps 10 bad edits in a period of more than 7 days). I do some vandal reverting and I always warn the editor and check their other contributions but not if it's a school. When it's a school, I just move on because: (1) how stupid do I want to look adding "at least one of your recent edits ... did not appear to be constructive" after a string of level 3 or 4 warnings?, and (2) it's pointless with the current system. Johnuniq (talk) 01:18, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose174.3.110.108 (talk) 05:51, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose pre-emptive blocking of any sort. Many people begin contributing to Wikipedia at school, and the higher the barrier to initially contribute, the more new contributors we'll lose altogether. Vandalism is a problem, but I'm not sure that's a price worth paying. Dcoetzee 06:08, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Support.
    • We spend too much time on IP vandals, and shared IPs are a magnet for them.
    • We can easy explain to real new contributors - for example, real new contributors won't want their own work vandalised. ---Philcha (talk) 05:22, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Conditional oppose -- please show some statistics. Until then, I prefer the proposal by Sole Soul ("A specific, more aggressive anti-vandal bot for problematic IP ranges"). Andrew Gradman talk/WP:Hornbook 15:57, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Exceptions to Wikipedia namespace restrictions[edit]

A case arose recently where an editor with a community imposed restriction was blocked for commenting on an AfD for an article that editor had created. A number of editors felt this block was unwasie and/or unwarranted. I have therefore created Wikipedia:Standard exception to Projectspace limitations after a discussion at WP:ANI#Specific question. Comment is welcome. DES (talk) 00:12, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

New robot to warn users[edit]

I have registered the user WarningBot, because I would like to write my first bot. I am experienced in Java and would like to use the Java API that is offered to make WarningBot.

Look at the user page for details on it's purpose, but in short, this bot will warn vandals when Recent Changes patrollers or casual reverters have forgotten. If it gets accepted, it may warn users for other things, too.

What are your opinions on this bot? Do you think it is worth it? Or should I pursue a different idea?  Awesomeness  talk  12:33, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

To get approval for a bot you need to propose it through WP:BAG. Not sure if you were aware of that already, just letting you know. On the warning bot, warnings depend on the reason an article was reverted, which isn't necessarily clear from the edit summary. I'm not sure how the bot would determine which warning to issue, unless you plan on only issuing them for rollbacks and Twinkle vandalism reverts, for instance. Equazcion (talk) 13:49, 5 Mar 2010 (UTC)
I think Awesomeness will either make the bot have it's own warning or automatically warn when a user has been reverted with the rollback tool. --Hadger 04:14, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Will the bot be capable of providing different warning levels, such as a level 2 warning on the first offense and a level 4 warning on the 2-3 offense, or a level 4im (only warning) in cases of severe vandalism? Immunize (talk) 13:55, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Ivy League - split to two articles and rename[edit]

I asked this question on the Ivy League talk page but didn't intend for it to be a formal proposal over there, just more of thought gathering. But here (in the right place) I'd like to make it a formal proposal:

Ivy League is a well written article but there may be a couple of different issues. There's a whole section on the history of the term "Ivy League" which long predates the actual establishment of the NCAA athletic conference by the same name, and has far reaching implications beyond just athletics. The term Ivy League commonly refers to the 8 colleges in general and not just the NCAA's athletic conference. I'd first like to suggest that this historic section be split off into a separate article since it has more of a historical and cultural nature and not locked into the athletic conference alone. If anything, the NCAA conference should be a subsection of a main article on Ivy League in general. The athletic conference was founded in 1954 while the term Ivy League dates back to the 1930s, so it's obvious that the historic term referring to these 8 colleges, and the cultural connotations involved with the phrase long predates this NCAA conference. Besides, the non-sports meaning of the phrase Ivy League is definitely deserving of it's own article anyway.

I for one was looking for info on Ivy League colleges and this article came up and the opening disambig line says "this article is about the athletic conference." Since I wasn't looking for the athletic conference I went to the disambig page and found nothing worthwhile there either. It was only after resorting to Google that I found my way back to this same article that did have good information about the history of the term Ivy League, way down later in the article where I didn't see it the first time.

A second but related proposal is that this article may be improperly named. I don't know the legally registered trademark of the athletic conference (the subject of the article) but according to the logo, the name appears to be "The Ivy League" - not "Ivy League". What is the officially legal name of the athletic conference? If the name of the athletic conference is "The Ivy League" then instead of splitting off the historic and cultural content to a new article, we should keep the historical and cultural content here and move all the athletic specific content (most of this article) to a newly created article with the correct name of "The Ivy League". Not trying to be a trouble maker but IF the word "The" is part of the conference name then it can't just be ignored. There are dozens of articles of tv shows and movies that have needed to be renamed due to this same issue. --Fife Club (talk) 02:16, 13 March 2010 (UTC)(UTC)

Why do you think it's better to discuss this here than at the Ivy League talk page? Maurreen (talk) 19:42, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Maurreen: The better place to get discussion going among editors familiar with the subject is at Talk:Ivy League. —C.Fred (talk) 19:47, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
I don't know what the procedure is. I've seen other formal proposals had their own page to vote on and some sort of header gets placed on the article. If you don't just vote on the article's talk page (because nobody else other than those who edit that page would know there's a proposal) and you're not supposed to start the process here (then what's the point of this page anyway), then what's the procedure? --Fife Club (talk) 01:21, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
It looks like you've barely had the discussion open two days—and over a weekend, so turnout may be low. If there is still only the one (dissenting) comment after a week, you may want to follow up at Wikipedia:Requests for comment to get a wider range of opinions. If you think it reaches that state, please contact me directly on my talk page, and I will be glad to assist you. I will put a {{Split-apart}} template on the article to alert readers. —C.Fred (talk) 01:45, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Fife Club, the proposals here usually have a wider range than one or a few articles. I sometimes split articles just by being bold. Maurreen (talk) 06:07, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Proposal of gadget for highlighting your comments[edit]

Please see Wikipedia:Gadgets/proposals#User:PleaseStand/highlight-comments.js. PleaseStand (talk) 19:34, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

E-mail to a friend[edit]

Someone has suggested to me that Wikipedia should have an "E-mail this article to a friend" button. It is possible to just cut-and-paste the URL of the article into an e-mail client, but many websites have such a button, so I guess that people find the buttons are a useful way to disseminate information. JonH (talk) 23:03, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

You can try User:TheDJ/sharebox.js. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 02:40, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

I believe the suggestion was that anonymous users should see the button in the default interface, perhaps at the left of the screen. People who cannot cut-and-paste the URL, probably don't know how to enable some JavaScript. JonH (talk) 13:21, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Multilanguage drop-down menu next to search box.[edit]

I am constantly shifting from one language into another, so I believe that adding a drop-down menu with all the languages available in Wikipedia next to the search box in the article interface would be extremely convenient.

For example, lets say that I am in the Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious article in English. But then I want to search Parangaricutirimícuaro in Spanish. I have to 1) click on the Español (Spanish) link of the Supercalifragilisticexpialidociousarticle and then 2) I will be able to search in Spanish. Sometimes the article in English has no Spanish link, so I have to go back to the main page or to a link with a Spanish version of the article. Furthermore, in some countries it takes a long time to load Wikipedia articles, so the process is all the more slow.

I think that this drop-down language menu is such a simple feature that it makes me wonder why it isn't included already!

March 14, 2010 --Wobblythoughts (talk) 16:01, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

P. S. In fact, a cookie could be stored in order to save your preferred languages on the top of the language list, that way, when you open the language pop-up menu you wouldn't have to search all the way to S, that is, if your language is not Acèh.

If you have Firebox, and probably a couple other browsers (I forget which), you could always add the languages you want to the search box in the top corner. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 16:12, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Or you can type "es:<the article name>" in the search box of the English Wikipedia and that will take you to the Spanish version of the article. The same thing works for other languages and language codes. Graham87 03:05, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Assessment WP[edit]

Following my flagging up an individual editor's assessment of articles at WT:MILHIST#Assessment problems, discussion has evolved on the subject of assessment and re-assessment of articles. Therefore, I'd like to ask whether any editors would be interested in forming a Wikiproject covering the assessment of articles, and ensuring they are reassessed periodically. Mjroots (talk) 09:16, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

  1. One possibility would be to somehow link a given "grade" to a commitment by an editor maintain it. That doesn't necessarily mean the grade would not be given without the commitment, but maybe that the assessment would be indicated differently -- such as "GA monitored" and "GA unmonitored." An editor could voluntarily give up monitoring any given article at any time. Possibly a bot would update whatever needs updating. Then reviewers could concentrate on the unmonitored articles.
  2. Also, given that we have evaluations (of whatever type), it would be good to use them to actually inform readers. I realize this view is controversial. Maurreen (talk) 09:29, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
I'd say that most GA class articles are probably watchlisted. The main focus of a possible WP would probably be article assessments up to B class. Mjroots (talk) 09:38, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
  • I don't think other projects would necessarily appreciate a different project assessing their articles... –xenotalk 16:54, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Indeed not, and most project assessments agree to within one grade. Projects should be allowed to signal a lack of content in their project area by a lower assessment grade for that project. And let us not forget that project assessments are meant to be about content, not minor style errors! Physchim62 (talk) 16:37, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
Is there a rule that says "only members of a WP may assess that WPs articles?" It may be a convention, but I don't think it is prohibited for any editor to assess an article, whether or not they are a member of a particular WP. Mjroots (talk) 08:01, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Some projects may use a different assessment scheme. –xenotalk 20:40, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Notifacation Of Proposal To Promote wp:quote[edit]

There is a proposal to promote wp:quote.174.3.107.176 (talk) 15:49, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

That looks like a pretty good guideline. It's important that people make sure that the quotes they use are appropriate to the article and really were said by the person. This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilised encyclopedia will have full quote verification! Our wikistreets will be safer, our wikipolice more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future! Tisane (talk) 19:45, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
You might want to comment on the proposal's talk page, so as to centralize discussion.--Father Goose (talk) 22:04, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I agree. This will BE a historic time for wikipedia. More or less the most important aspect of wikipedia will have clear defined rules. Attribution and verifiability is paramount. And I believe (seems like you support this) that you should express your opinion on the talk page.174.3.107.176 (talk) 03:33, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Quotations are the most important aspect of Wikipedia?--Father Goose (talk) 08:08, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Father Goose's cmt at 22:04, 14 March 2010 looks serious, but ... --Philcha (talk) 15:27, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
It was. As was my second comment, although it's a rhetorical question.--Father Goose (talk) 23:49, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Reader feedback tool[edit]

I just ran a reader survey on five articles that I wrote or had a hand in editing. I found the results to be extremely enlightening and helpful in my work as an editor, and also as an important input to policy disputes in the project I am working on. You can see the results of the survey at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Composers#Survey results.

I performed the survey by creating the survey form at www.surveymonkey.com, and attaching a link at the top of each article (see, for example, this revision of one of the articles).

As an editor, I would love a tool that I could use to develop a survey with article-specific questions, attach it to the end of an article, and analyze the responses.

In numerous other forums, I have pointed out that Wikipedia is an editor-centric, rather than reader-centric, institution. All the mechanisms and rules of behavior are designed to create cooperation of a community of editors. In this dynamic, the reader is most often shunted aside; to the extent that, when I proposed my survey, there were editors who clearly didn't want to know what their readers were thinking.

This is something that has to change if Wikipedia is to move forward, and that change will occur only when features of the editing environment support the change. That is why I think a tool like this would be invaluable, not only to me but to the entire Wikipedia weltschaum. --Ravpapa (talk) 17:38, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

At first glance, I think that the idea of conducting these types of limited surveys (temporary and specific to individual articles) has promise as long as an active effort is made to respond to readers' comments by improving affected articles. Kudos on taking the initiative! -- Black Falcon (talk) 04:17, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
This is a very cool project, and I hope you continue to experiment with it. In line with Black Falcon's comment, in the place where you permit people to submit feedback, you might aslo provide a link that says, "view past submissions". I know that this is very easy to do if you use Google Forms; you can just publish the spreadsheet as a webpage and provide a link. Andrew Gradman talk/WP:Hornbook 04:37, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
Very interesting. We should do more of this, although obviously, we need to tread carefully.--SPhilbrickT 03:24, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
For anyone interested, there is a discussion of this idea at the Wikimedia Strategy Wiki. --Ravpapa (talk) 15:09, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Brainstorming-stage proposal: Method for consensus building[edit]

A WikiMedia Strategy task force is looking at improving consensus-building processes as a known and important need for Wikipedia. I've been thinking about the issue too. I put together a brainstorming-stage proposal, Wikipedia:Method for consensus building. I'm posting here to get suggestions for what changes it needs and what it will take to make it work. Ikluft (talk) 12:56, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Maybe that should be merged with Wikipedia:Requests for comment/RFC. They should at least cross-pollinate. Maurreen (talk) 14:29, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
If the reaction to Wikipedia:Method for consensus building is good, they can probably cross-pollinate. But their scopes appear quite different, so probably no merger. It looks like Wikipedia:Requests for comment/RFC could make use of the consensus-building method. But regular talk pages could make use of it too. Ikluft (talk) 20:14, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
You now, I started a page a while ago at wp:Good editing practices which overlaps a bit. don't know if it will help any (it's relatively unformed) but feel free to use whatever in it is helpful. In the meantime I'll read over your page and see what I can see. --Ludwigs2 21:34, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it does overlap, but is mostly complementary. I see potential for these to work together. I added a link to it on the See also section of this proposal. I'll also look at it some more. Ikluft (talk) 21:51, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Proposal To start Cleaning Old Notability Guidelines[edit]

Not sure how many of these are still around but anyone else remember a few years when there were tons of active projects and every project wanted their own notability guideline. Well now most projects seem to be abandoned, the proposed guidelines never went anywhere but all these guidelines are still there. This has become and issue here [9] where two editors are trying to use WP:MANOTE. I propose we make an effort to find these out of date essays mark them all as failed. I also fail to understand why the sillier ones are not blanked. MANOTE actually referred itself a guideline until I edited it yesterday [10]. Ridernyc (talk) 13:56, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

I have also started a discussion about the essay template used on this page. [11] Ridernyc (talk) 14:50, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, I think that the template serves to clarify the scope of those, in particular their informal status. If some of them are really in poor state, they can be redirected to the project page. Cenarium (talk) 15:26, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
Cross posted to the relevant (active) project: Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Martial_arts#Notability. --Natet/c 16:04, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

Filter to warn users when attempting to remove Speedy Deletion templates.[edit]

It's pretty annoying that users like to remove the CSD templates on their newly created pages, so why not have a filter so that if they have an edit that (accidentally or not) attempts to remove the CSD tag and then there is a warning? Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 23:55, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

There is a filter for that, but it only tags the edits, it doesn't warn the user that removes the template. The filter has the this among its notes: “remove warn, let's avoid scaring off new users for something so trivial. It's just to provide a list for review. Check the blue links. See discussions at WT:ABFIL - Cenarium”. Svick (talk) 00:07, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Have in mind that the template itself may also be added for vandalic reasons (it is, after all, a template to request the immediate deletion of an article). For example, if someone requested to delete the article on Bush or Obama, the template may be speedily removed by anyone, admin or not. MBelgrano (talk) 12:24, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
What if the filter took the age of the page into account? Log only if >24 hrs, log+warn if <24 hrs. Rd232 talk 15:22, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Will this end up issuing false warnings to editors who are removing speedy tags for good reason? DuncanHill (talk) 16:21, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Maybe if the person is autoreviewer or autoconfirmed they could be exempt? Aiken 17:19, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Can't anyone except the creator remove a speedy tag if it is inappropriate, not just in a case of clear vandalism? I have in the past and no one has made an issue of it. See WP:CSD - The creator of a page may not remove a Speedy Delete tag from it. Only an editor who is not the creator of a page may do so.  – ukexpat (talk) 17:47, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Then restrict creators and IPs from removing a CSD tag. --JokerXtreme (talk) 18:35, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
It is better to let people do wrong things, revert it, and they can learn. It's the wiki way. --Apoc2400 (talk) 21:12, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Sidebars[edit]

I was wondering what people think, in a very preliminary sense, of the concept of sidebars for Wikipedia articles. This idea came to me when reading articles where the effects of WP:TRIVIA become painfully apparent. Some interesting factoids that interrupt the main flow of a "History" or "Production" section are often nevertheless mangled into them, since we don't allow trivia sections (though I want to stress that I'm not talking about "trivial" material, but verified facts of interest). In other publications, such things would go into sidebars. A possible sidebar template would be a shaded box, floating to the left or right, with the main article text wrapping around it. Please post your thoughts. Thanks. Equazcion (talk) 02:43, 8 Mar 2010 (UTC)

I like this idea a lot. Solves a lot of problems, not only of trivia. It could also be used, for example, to extract political arguments that muck up an article, and put them in a frame. Is Jerusalem the capital of Israel, or not? --Ravpapa (talk) 17:46, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
You mean something similar to {{rquote}}? Svick (talk) 18:53, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
I suspect he means the "sidebars" as used in publishing, usually in box. And I like them, too, but isn't there was some kind of policy restriction on using them in articles? - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 23:21, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
{{rquote}} could be considered a type of sidebar, but I was thinking about using sidebars for more than just quotes. Equazcion (talk) 17:36, 9 Mar 2010 (UTC)
Sidebars give more prominence to the material in them. So I suggest they not be used for trivia. Maurreen (talk) 16:09, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
Interesting. I just advised a colleague to rewrite a document and incorporate sidebars, as they could include material less critical to the flow of the main text. When I read an article with sidebars, I use them in the sense that if I'm in a hurry, I skip the sidebars to get the gist, but if I have time, sidebars will add interesting points, but not central points. I did a quick search (very quick) to see if someone weighed in on the proper usage, but I didn't find anything clearcut.--SPhilbrickT 03:12, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Although editors can use sidebars to split off material less critical than the main text, that doesn't necessarily mean that readers read that way.
Here's a link to some research. It's not perfectly analogous, but it says (at the bottom of the boxy text), "This confirms the findings of earlier EyeTrack studies and other research that short text, especially with visual elements, is accessible and attractive to readers."
EyeTrack studies do just that, track the movement of readers' eyes as the readers peruse pages. Maurreen (talk) 16:12, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Random article needing cleanup[edit]

Stop me if you've heard this one... How about adding a new link to the lefthand navigation box: below "Random article", have "Random article needing cleanup". This either does exactly what it says on the tin (random article from any maintenance category), or takes you to a page with a menu of "random article needing copyediting", "random article needing wikifying", etc. Rd232 talk 22:03, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

I like it! I think it'd help clear out (or slow down the growth of) the massive cleanup backlogs. How about "Random article (BLP?) needing references" as well? Airplaneman talk 21:28, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
I think "Random article (BLP?) needing references" exists somewhere. Maurreen (talk) 16:14, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
Category:Unreferenced BLPs contains link to random page in that category. (Similar links for other categories can be created by {{Random page in category}}). Svick (talk) 16:40, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Request for Participation - Survey[edit]

Hi I'm Kay K. Lee, a Ph.D candidate in University of Kansas. I am currently conducting a research on the motivators of online collaboration. Here is a survey page through which I am collecting the initial data (17 Mar ~ 15 May 2010) The first set of data will be analyzed for part of my research aiming for AIS (Association for Information Systems) conference 2010. You can contact me by clicking here. Your participation will be greatly appreciated.Kay Kiljae Lee (talk)

You might find Wikipedia talk:Research interesting. Josh Parris 14:46, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Notify of proposal to automatically include a unreferenced template[edit]

Time to become a democracy?[edit]

Unreferenced BLP tracking by WikiProject[edit]

Flagged Protection: ready for more testing[edit]

"This user is currently blocked" message[edit]