Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 92

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Company Page Proposal (it's for a good cause)[edit]

Hello,

I have a 50% share in a legitimately run, Ministry of Justice registered claims management company which I took on for the purpose of opening a charity trust fund with much of the profits. Our website is http://www.my-compensation.co.uk - The money in this trust fund will be used for investments in order to grow it and, when it's large enough to make a difference, the funds will be donated to various charitable causes. I only own 50% of the business and so cannot state what will be done with the other half of the profits, but my half will be used mostly for charitable purposes.

I'm writing this today to request that I am allowed to post up a Wikipedia page for my business. I understand that companies are not usually allowed Wikipedia pages but I was hoping that an allowance might be made given the nature of what I will be doing with the funds.

They will go to good causes in the long-run and Wikipedia will be one of the benefactors. I'm not saying this as a bribe, it will be whether I'm allowed the page or not. I'm a donator and always will be.

Please help me in my SEO efforts with this company and allow me to have a Wikipedia page with a backlink to our site. I'll write it to the highest possible standards.

Feel free to call me on the company line if any questions.

Thank you,

Jim

Actually, lots of companies are allowed Wikipedia pages. They just have to have been properly covered by appropriate real-world sources first; see WP:CORP. I must urge you in the strongest possible way not to write an article on your own business; see WP:COI. If the necessary coverage of your company already exists, you can just let the Wikipedia community know about it. You might try adding it to Wikipedia:Requested articles/Business and economics/Companies, but again, only if the sources exist. Another word of advice: the expression "Please help me in my SEO efforts" is not a good one. In a lot of peoples' minds it's right up there with "please help me sell heroin to seven-year-olds." Ntsimp (talk) 14:41, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Hello, I have a 50% share in a legitimately run company that sells heroin to seven-year-olds and I'd like help with my SEO efforts... Face-smile.svg You had to see that one coming a mile away. 64.40.54.181 (talk) 19:39, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
You probably don't want this. I was just reading http://www.smallbusinesssem.com/should-small-business-have-wikipedia-article/2311/ earlier on this subject. Wikipedia doesn't help SEO efforts because of the nofollow attribute on the links. What it does is lower the value of pages that you actually control, in favor of a page that anyone can fill with complaints whenever they want. You should only pursue a Wikipedia page if you want to make sure that the first thing anyone reads about you is something that dissatisfied customers can change at any time of the day or night. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:32, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
See all of the above. Wikipedia will probably not help your attempts to improve your company's SEO, and if this is your primary purpose for wanting an article, its probably against our policies anyway. I'd encourage you to read our frequently asked questions for organizations. elektrikSHOOS (talk) 20:40, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Article improvement contest and user drive[edit]

I think we should have a large and very public improvement drive, and we should award prizes. It would be advertised on the main page, and it will be a contest to make Wikipedia the most comprehensive encyclopaedia in history.

The contest will have several different categories, inspired by the many different cleanup categories. Examples would be things like copy editing, stub improvement, article creation, image improvement, citation improvement, article rewrite ect. Awards would be given out the largest quantity of articles improved, as well as for the best improved articles.

Editors participating in the contest will keep a running track of their article list, and at the end of the contest the community determines the who have been the most accomplished. Editors in each category will be discussed in an AfD type structure, with administrators closing the contest and awarding the editors. I imagine there not being a first, second, third type structure, but awarded like levels of participation (basic, moderate, good, excellent) with a short-list of outstanding accomplishments highlighting specific editors.

I think this would be a great way for our community to get together and share what we are doing, as well as publicly recognising our personal accomplishments. Because let's face it, editing can often be a solo endeavour, it's nice when people notice the things you've done. Most editors see improving the wiki as a reward in itself, but in order to attract that next round of editors, I think we need a bit more than just that. I think this would not only engage and recognise our most talented editors, but also entice new editors to come aboard. The future of Wikipedia depends on it's community, because without the people it's nothing. A contest like this would turn the wiki from being a collection of articles to a community of editors. --NickPenguin(contribs) 05:25, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Are you familiar with Wikipedia:Article Collaboration and Improvement Drive and Wikipedia:WikiCup? WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:16, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia:The Core Contest is running right now. 64.40.54.3 (talk) 04:42, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Firstly, Wikipedia is already (by far) the most "comprehensive" encyclopedia the world has ever seen. But inviting people to win by the sheer number of edits sounds really dangerous. People might attempt to win by changing one word here and there in a gazillion articles - not improving them, but making them worse - or arguably, making no measurable improvement. Admittedly you say that the winners would be judged by some sort of admin oversight - but who would want to trawl through a hundred entries - each containing several thousand one-word changes, deciding which was the most worthy? I don't know what it takes to get a rapid influx of new editors - but I really don't think this is it. Something more prominent like a "HELP FIX ERRORS IN THIS ARTICLE!" button maybe? SteveBaker (talk) 12:37, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Ugh, yeah. Years later and I'm still cleaning up the OR from the mass of edits that a now-banned editor left behind. We need to focus on quality rather than quantity. Regards, RJH (talk) 14:36, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Proposed this at least ten times. A Core Contest and Article of the Month Contest every month with Amazon voucher prizes. As for "Wikipedia is already (by far) the most "comprehensive" encyclopedia the world has ever seen" , true but in comparison to potential it is still a miniscule manuscript in the British Library and still very early days. Most articles I start turn up masses of red links.♦ Dr. Blofeld 14:46, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

I agree that monthly contests would be best, it would keep competition fierce and editors engaged. As for existing contests, why are they virtually unheard of? Why aren't these advertised loudly on the main page, or even better, in the main stream media where it can reach a wide audience of new editors? What are the prizes for the WikiCup? How can we promote this to new users?
Maybe my specific concept of how the contest would run is not ideal. Quality is the goal, but there are some clean-up tasks that require quantity as well, and a scoring metric could be adapted to those kinds of tasks. I contend that the 'fakers' in a contest like this would be quickly spotted by the community; the people watchlisting the article will call them out on it, and they will be disqualified. I also think contestants would be easily graded, with a combination of the honour system and intuition.
I have heard that the rate of new editors joining is lower than the rate of old editors leaving. If this is the case, something has to be done to increase the amount of quality edits that show up, and real world prizes are a strong motivator. Ultimately I think the positive results from a highly publicised contest would be undeniable. --NickPenguin(contribs) 01:51, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
Maybe we need some exclusive barnstar T-shirts for the contest winners? That would make winning the contest at least interesting. Face-smile.svg Regards, RJH (talk) 15:10, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Informing new creators of article guidelines[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
I'm going to treat this as a proposal to approve a principle, and therefore as something that will require further discussion as it is developed. As such, I find that there is a consensus in favour of the proposal, but that development of the notice should be done collaboratively and should involve further discussion before the proposal is implemented.

I would note, as an aside, that it is most unhelpful for editors (whether with or without a "(WMF)" suffix in their username) to import their personality clashes from other areas of the project. I hope not to see it again. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 16:49, 21 August 2012 (UTC)


There are currently 55,070 articles tagged for unclear notability.

One of the main concerns at Wikipedia is that new users are not adequately informed of what new articles should be. Proposals that creation could be limited to autoconfirmed users were rejected. Various substituted proposals for a new landing page are under discussion and/or development but this takes time. Many new articles have borderline notability and other important issues that require tagging but not necessarily CSD or PROD for deletion. More content and/or more research could probably turn them into decent articles. Many editors and those patrolling new pages may feel that it is not the remit of regular users to complete such articles on behalf of their creators.

While (when using Twinkle) CSD and WP:PROD leave messages on the creators' talk ages drawing their attention to issues, maintenance tags do not. Many new pages may be the creations of WP:SPA who might not return to the project and be aware of any tags, but this does not mean that their articles are necessarily any less worthy of inclusion. It is possible that if new users were quickly notified while still on line that their article needs attention, we may be seeing a step towards increased user retention, and over time, a reduction in clean-up backlogs, and other areas such as AfC that are snowed under.

I propose that:

Certain important tags such as (to cite a few examples) COI, Unreferenced, More references required, Close paraphrasing, Essay like, Tone, Written like an ad, etc. should automatically place a welcome and a friendly notice on the new user's talk page, making them aware of work that still needs to be done, and perhaps with links to the appropriate specific guidelines.

This may have been previously proposed, but as I don't immediately see anything listed at WP:PEREN this is just a suggestion that has occurred to me during my recent intensive use of the prototype Special:NewPagesFeed, and if it gains sufficient support it could be moved to RfC and further discussed and perhaps developed as an additional combined feature of NewPagesFeed.

Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 03:52, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

  • Yes, it is certainly a good idea.--Ymblanter (talk) 07:33, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

There's a related discussion (and related suggestions) here (down the bottom, just above "Can we do both")   LittleBen (talk) 08:59, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

Thanks, but such discussions often get convoluted and bogged down. This is a straightforward, unambiguous single proposal, and perhaps it can be handled quite quickly without any side issues. Hence the reason for seeing what support there is for a discussion before moving to RfC for a discussion on the pros & contras of the proposal itself. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 09:29, 5 July 2012 (UTC).
Isn't the problem that such users don't know about talk pages and so would not look at them or for them?   My suggestion (3) is
(3) When a user who is not logged in (or who is logged in with an IP address) attempts to create an article,
it might be a good idea to display a link like "you might like to know the advantages of creating a logon alias, and talk page".
And my suggestion (2) is
(2) (When a user searches for a non-existent page "ABCDEF")
Instead of saying just "You may create the page "ABCDEF"...", also say something like "You might like to read Wikipedia Article naming guidelines". (It would be useful if this article were more clearly linked to the search engine tutorial which explains how to use search engines for research to satisfy Wikipedia requirements like verifiability and recognizability). LittleBen (talk) 15:26, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
I like LittleBen's suggestions, except that I would have the user directed to the Article Wizard rather than the naming guidelines pages. (Maybe something like "if you have not previously created an article or not familiar with Wikipedia's guidelines and policies concerning articles, please consult the Article Wizard before proceeding further").--JayJasper (talk) 15:37, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, for te suggestions but such discussions often get convoluted and bogged down. This is a straightforward, unambiguous single proposal, and perhaps it can be handled quite quickly without any side issues. Hence the reason for seeing what support there is for a discussion before moving to RfC for a discussion on the pros & contras of the proposal itself. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 18:54, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure that I'd be happy with this. I don't want to receive any such messages. How does Twinkle know whether I'm a new editor, so it knows who needs a welcome-refimprove note and who doesn't? Given the way some editors tag-bomb new pages with every conceivable problem, how would you handle multiple tags? WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:29, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm not talking about you or your contributions. That said, you might not be aware that Twinkle is already able to discriminate between regular and new users. Editors who tag bomb articles are the totally inexperienced and/or young page patrollers whom some editors consider not to be a cause for concern although they make up 80% of the patrollers. This proposal is part of a move to improve NPP and new user retention, where other suggestions for improvement to NPP, and the introduction of a new, new-user landing page appear to have failed. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 22:24, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
Kudpung, could you please explain how "inexperienced and/or young" patrollers can make up 80 percent of the patrollers? The existing data says much different (on the young point, at least). And it's not really helpful to look at number of patrollers; the useful data is number of patrols. If 80 percent are 14, and those 80 percent each tag 1 article a year while the rest of the work is done by everyone else (hyperbole, but you get the point) then the situation is rather different from what your number would suggest. Ironholds (talk) 12:05, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
On the existing data front; the survey data (which you have seen, as you helped gather it :)) suggested that "Between 79 and 82 percent of new page patrollers are over the age of 18, in line with the editorial community overall, and this rises to between 83 and 85 percent with the high-workload patrollers". Ironholds (talk) 12:08, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
I have no interest in that survey and its data whatsoever. It was my initiative, following a couple of years intensive research by some concerned, mature, experienced users into the enormous problems concerning the quality of NPP. I helped launch it, and immdiately afterwards the survey project was adopted by the Foundation who months later suddenly published a report that had little in common with the actual empirical findings of those established users and admins who have hands-on experience of new page patrol. Hence, some mature, experienced users are still looking for new, alternative ways to address the continuing problem of poor patriolling (and possible mis-judged deletions by some admins who may occasionally take the tags on face value in good faith), and user/new page creator retention. Wikipedia is losing content creators due to the way they are treated by drive-by deletionists.--Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 14:35, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
Can you point me to these empirical findings, please? And also to an example of how the report does not line up with them? And, ideally, either show how the report doesn't line up with the raw data from the survey or how the raw data was flawed? Ironholds (talk) 14:58, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
I ask the latter questions because, well, either the report was wrong about the raw data, the raw data was wrong, or the empirical data gathered "by some concerned, mature, experienced users" is wrong. Ironholds (talk) 14:59, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
As that survey project is dead as far as the community who initiated it is concerned, the volunteers are no longer interested in discussing it or digging for their empirical findings at this stage. The fact that some people prefer data driven explanations, while some prefer the reality of hands-on experience is one of the classsic breakdowns in communications where the WMF and the community are nevertheless working towards the same goal. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 16:47, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
Well, as the top patroller in '10 and someone who still keeps their hand in I don't think anyone could accuse me of not having hands-on experience :). If you don't want to discuss the survey or talk about it, that's fine - I'm not going to force anyone to rely on data they don't like - but I really wish you'd stop pulling out numbers, here and elsewhere, that isn't supported by actual data, like " Editors who tag bomb articles are the totally inexperienced and/or young page patrollers whom some editors consider not to be a cause for concern although they make up 80% of the patrollers.". If it was "I see a lot of young patrollers", that's fine, but once you start talking about hard numbers, you're talking about quantitative data that can't be accurately gathered simply by watching and looking unless you're watching, looking and actively counting ages. And quite frankly, I think the community deserves better than numbers that aren't supported by hard evidence, because, well...they're numbers. Hard evidence is where they come from. Subjective experiences are great, but only if you're giving subjective outputs. Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 19:37, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
WADR, your experience is, IMHO, possibly out of date, and nothing has been done yet to implement a concrete solution to the problem of what is generally very poor patrolling as witnessed by those experienced editors who do it seriously in an attempt to get to the root of the issues. Plain numbers can can all to frequently be interpreted by those who cite or extrapolate them to disprove the blatantly obvious, or to avoid the opportunities to discuss them face-to-face. If control over patrollers is to be ruled out, then other solutions must be examined. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 01:34, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
What do you mean by "discuss them face-to-face" exactly? Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 01:39, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Seems like a good idea in general. One concern is that if the note is too long, new users are likely to skim through it and miss something. I would suggest a very short note with a link to the article's talk page that contained more detailed instructions. Perhaps the detailed instructions could be formatted in a checklist fashion in short bite-sized segments that would be quick to read and could be checked off as they were completed. 64.40.54.4 (talk) 07:36, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
    • I agree with Kudpung that this is a simple and obvious change that, while it certainly will not solve all the problems, will probably lead to the improvement of at least some of them. it is something that any careful NPPatroller would want to do themselves manually, but even many experienced patrollers do not always have time to do. Better that it be done with a notice than not at all. DGG ( talk ) 23:16, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support The proposal is direct and to the point. --j⚛e deckertalk 14:43, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support New editors need more guidance when creating articles. David1217 What I've done 16:56, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - Guidance is crucial. Theopolisme TALK 17:01, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Absolutely. When tagging a new page, I always fear that the page creator--sometimes blatantly inexperienced--won't return to his or her article either because he or she doesn't quite know how, or because of disinterest post-creation. Deletion notices posted to a user talk page usually inspire a kneejerk reaction (unfortunate, but better than nothing) to return and improve his or her article accordingly, so I fail to see why we shouldn't do this for tags as well. One of the major issues among good faith new editors is indeed not only a lack of understanding for relevant guidelines/policies, but also basic expectations for the subjects of new articles and the corresponding content. Beyond welcome messages--usually ignored--I can't think of a way to immediately rectify this issue pre-article-creation, so I feel this proposal would be the next best thing. --IShadowed 14:27, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - if it can be done in a way that doesn't piss people off too much. Some way to limit initial rollout to see how it goes would be good; a "big bang" approach might just fail spectacularly and kill what's basically a good idea. Opt-out option of course is essential. BTW email notification, enabled by default, will push messages out to new users via email, so they won't need to log in to be aware of the message. Rd232 talk 00:44, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
Personally, I believe in keeping everything on-Wiki as much as possible. That said, the current proposal only concerns three or four templates of the most crucial kind - just one level down from threats of impending deletion. There is no reason why they cannot be worded in a very friendly manner (something we're not always very good at) - after all, the effort here is to retain articles that may benefit from more interaction from the creator rather than slumber unimproved for years with ugly tags, and to retain the editopr as a potential Wikipedian. I have found that my custom messages to users work very well, hence this suggestion for a proposal. A limited trial might well prove to be unnecessary. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 01:34, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
Guys, I still see no practical method for limiting this to "new editors". There's also no proposal to limit it to tags added shortly after creation, tags that are actually warranted, tags that remained on the article for more than a day, etc.
So let's try this a different way: How many of you have created new articles? And how many of you are volunteering to get a {{welcome-refimprove}} or similar message posted every single time someone spams one of the hundreds of clean up templates onto that article for the rest of your Wikipedia career? WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:34, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm not quite sure that I actually understand what you are suggesting here or the objective of your questions - the proposal, AFAICS, is simple and straightforward, carries no 'limitations', nor calls for volunteers, but my empirical experience does tell me that most tags are applied on, or shortly after creation. Perhaps you have misread the proposal. What I have suggested - for proposal - is for Twinkle to put messages on the talk pages of authors who have created an article that would risk being senselessly tag bombed (sooner or later) to receive little or no further attention for the rest of its life, except perhaps from those few brave souls who gnome away in the lonely cellars of obscure categories. In case you missed it, I'll repeat: I have found that my custom messages to users work very well, hence this suggestion for a proposal. Either you are in favour of progress towards retention of editors and their non toxic articles, or you are not; please consider stating your position clearly - alternatives are not requested at this stage of pre-proposal. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 06:55, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes, the proposal is simple and straightforward. The proposal is that every single time someone spams a clean up tag into an article for which you are the first editor/creator, you personally will receive a "Welcome and notice of a clean up tag on the article you started" message. Every single time, no matter who you are, whether you're active, whether you actually created or care about the page, whether the tag is deserved, how old the page is, how many tags have been spammed to it today, or anything else. You've created 60 articles over the years. How many times do you want to be "welcomed" by a bot? If I added one new cleanup tag—and we have some 400 or so, so I'm sure I could find one that was passably appropriate—to each one of those articles once a week, you'd get 3,120 "welcome" messages each year. Is that what you, as a person with six years' experience and nearly 49,000 edits to your credit, really need or want? Do you need to be "welcomed" every time I discover a minor issue (or believe that I do) in an article that you're already watching? I assure you that it is not what I want. I do understand the proposal. "Understand" and "support" are not the same. I oppose this well-meaning but misguided proposal. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:33, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
What you have still not understood is that this is a pre- proposal in order to measure any support for a detailed proposal. Frankly, (because I wrote it) I do not see where the proposal statement suggests that the tags should be placed on the talk pages of regulars. Details are not requested at this time as has been repeatedly stated and you are preempting issues that are not yet up for discussion. Guys, I still see no practical method for limiting this to "new editors" - well, we can't all be programmers, can we?. Fundamentally, this proposal is about exploring new ways to retain editors and their articles - I believe, wrongly or rightly, that that is a fundamental principle of the Wikimedia movement. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 11:35, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong Support - Clearly this is a step in the right direction. The tags can be short, friendly notices with links, not warnings, so even if TW borked and sent me one, I can't see how this would bruise my ego. Providing this info to new editors who might not be in the habit of checking watchpages is an excellent way to increase education in a non-obtrusive way. Dennis Brown - © (WER) 14:43, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support New editors come in all sizes and dispositions. lets retain as many a possible. ```Buster Seven Talk 05:05, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Very good idea! Jesse V. (talk) 21:18, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment (I already supported above): in terms of target audience (seeing WhatamIdoing's concerns above), the aim as I understand it is to notify article creators of problems identified soon after creation - especially articles created by new users who may not log in to monitor their article. This would suggest a simple time cut-off would prevent issues of users being told years later that someone stuck a tag on an article they've long forgotten about and maybe even dewatchlisted for lack of interest. A 30-day limit would probably be about right. The limit could also be customisable per user (eg by creating a user subpage with different settings). Other possibilities exist, including limiting notifications to "new accounts" (defined by time and/or edits; auto-confirmed limit would probably be too low), or limiting them to users who haven't logged in for a while (in the assumption that most target users will have email notification turned on, so a note on their user talk page will generate an email telling them they have a new message). The potential usefulness is certainly there, and there's absolutely no reason why, with proper design (including customisability beyond simple opt-out, which is obviously a basic requirement) and testing, anyone should ever be bothered with unwanted notifications. Rd232 talk 11:14, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Arbitrary break[edit]

In view of the initial support, I have listed this proposal as a RfC (see thread top). All users are invited to discuss and debate towards a consensus for the possible implementation, upon which, the actual details can be further examined. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 13:38, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

  • Support. Anything that might encourage new editors to engage with the project and learn about its expectations is worth considering, and this proposal could bring additional benefits in terms of article quality. In theory, this seems like a very good idea. In practice, I'm sure the details can be ironed out before it's implemented. Rivertorch (talk) 05:40, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose we already subject even goodfaith newbies to an unpleasant and unwelcoming process of templating of their articles, I'd be very uncomfortable about escalating that to an increased number of hostile templates on their talkpages. Impersonal welcomes are different as they are at least friendly, but the way to deal with newbies is firstly to improve the articles they write. I'm happy with a friendly, untemplated note on someone's talkpage if after some time they are still writing like a newbie. But in my experience it is rarely necessary if you spend your time improving articles rather than templating them, as new goodfaith editors are more likely to learn by seeing their contributions improved than by having them templated. Rather than increase the amount of templating I'd suggest we try to reverse the trend to templating and encourage people to use templates less and spend more time improving articles and giving personal messages to editors. My aim is to remove more templates than I add - maybe one day I'll create a userbox for those who do that. ϢereSpielChequers 10:26, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
That presupposes that every new user who creates a first page is a potential permanent Wikipedian. With all due respect WSC, I don't think that is accurate. A quick stint at NPP (which I know you have done plenty of) will show that a vast number of pages are created by SPA - we can see this clearly now with the meta data displayed on Special:NewPagesFeed. Now a lot of those pages are actually worth keeping, but although there are some rudimentary tasks that NPPers are supposed to do, if we expect them to stop and almost complete the articles, with the few patrollers we have, the job of patrolling will never get done - the back of the patrol queue is already at 30 days again - and the SPA will have logged out never to return; PROD is quite a good example of this. This is not a question of 'hostile templating', but one of leaving them a friendly but semi-automated message that would encourage the creators to do the job themselves, and in doing so they would learn a lot more about the processes here, and then perhaps stick around and do more editing. Take this for example: 'Hi xxx, welcome to Wikipedia and thank you for creating xxx. The article still needs your urgent attention and as you are far more familiar the subject than I am, perhaps you could return to the page and add a couple of references/include the country/add the birth place/remove the bits that were copied from another source/reword the promotional bits/etc/etc/, and if you need any help with this, don't hesitate to ask me on my talk page. ' I find it works wonders, and it's better than simply tag bombing the article with a mess of templates, acronyms, or threats of deletion. Doing it with Twinkle instead of copying and pasting one of my custom messages each time would simply save time, and most new users don't even realise it's a template - I didn't when I was new here. The idea is just a stop gap until the promised Article Creation Work Flow landing page has been released (but no ETA as yet). Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 18:47, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
That presupposes that every new user who creates a first page is a potential permanent Wikipedian.
So does your proposal. If the initial author isn't a "potential permanent Wikipedian", then your series of welcome-warning notices are going to be unread and therefore worthless. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:15, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Again, you have completely failed to understand the principle of this proposition. We're not talking about the trolls and vandals who are easily identified. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 11:43, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Not every seed sown bears fruit. But that doesnt mean we should stop farming. Planting seeds (notices) presupposes success. Failure isn't worth considering```Buster Seven Talk 21:25, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support; if even a few new users every day notice it and either don't dump their awful article onto us or rewrite it up to standards, it will greatly help our overworked NPPers and should help reduce frayed nerves on all sides. It can't hurt to try, can it? The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 22:19, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - So all someone has to do is add a template to a page and they can post such a message to someone's talk page? This doesn't sound like a good idea. Also, I'll strongly oppose on the grounds that this "friendly notice" hasn't been written yet. I've seen some rather overbearing welcome notices, and this notice is designed to tell someone politely that their article needs work? SOFIXIT comes immediately to mind. This proposal is just reinforcing the "tag it and forget it" mentality that we're seeing more and more as people use automated tools. - jc37 01:24, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Of course it hasn't been written yet. That what this proposal is for! It's explicitly designed to avoid the traditional 'tag and forget'. The whole idea of this proposal is to address the issues with the NPP 'mentality'. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 05:19, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
If that was "what this proposal is for", then it would have been a request for ideas on what the notice/message should consist of. That's not what I'm seeing here. I'm seeing a request for a blank cheque for something that hasn't been written yet. - jc37 03:00, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


Activate section 0 edit link for everyone[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
There is a strong consensus in favour of the proposal in principle. Several editors raise concerns that the section 0 link might be confusing for editors (particularly new, but also experienced editors who weren't expecting it) and these concerns are worthy of consideration. Support for the revised proposal to label the link in a way that would not cause confusion was unanimous.

I recommend that the wording of the link be worked out, and then that the applicable modifications be made to the interface, via a Bugzilla request if developer intervention is required. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 17:18, 21 August 2012 (UTC)


Per discussion at Wikipedia:Templates_for_discussion/Log/2012_July_5#Template:Introedit; it would be useful and convenient to activate the section 0 edit link by default, so that entire pages are not conflict-prone when editing the non-headered section at the top of pages. This is especially the case for high traffic and current events pages that receive many edits and would result in many edit conflicts, as every edit would conflict with editing section 0. -- 76.65.131.160 (talk) 06:37, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

You should start a request for comment using {{Rfc}}. It would also be a good idea to leave a note at WP:VPT. – Allen4names (IPv6 contributions) 07:07, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
Done; and, done. -- 76.65.131.160 (talk) 11:20, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
See bugzilla:156: "Add section edit link for 0th section".
In 2005 Brion Vibber wrote: "Please note that using the section-edit links does *nothing* special to avoid edit conflicts. Conflicts are merged (or not) from the full text, precisely the same way whether using section edit mode or not."
Does this still apply? PrimeHunter (talk) 12:00, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
I would also like to know if turing MediaWiki:Gadget-edittop into an opt-out feature would have an effect on reverting edits. It certainly would reduce the chance for errors provided there are no software problems. – Allen4names (IPv6 contributions) 05:16, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes it still applies. There is no difference (from MediaWiki's prespective) of editing section 0, and editing the entire page but only modifying stuff in section 0. In both cases we just feed the entire page to diff3. Bawolff (talk) 17:38, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
Though, it would still make editing an easier process, if you need to edit section 0, you don't have to deal with the entire page being loaded into the editor. -- 76.65.131.160 (talk) 05:24, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support regardless of the edit conflict issue. Primarily I believe the user-interface is conceptually cleaner that way. But to some extent my own support is selfish, I'd rather that my own configuration match the default, I actually *like* this feature, but currently have it turned off because the Wikipedia's caches work enormously better when one stays with default rendering preferences, and this can have quite surprising differences on page-loading times. Of course, if it does affect the edit conflict issue raised the nom, that would only strengthen my support. --j⚛e deckertalk 22:03, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support as per nominator, Joe Decker, and my own use of it, which, in addition to lessening conflicting edits, also makes the user interface more self-consistent. St John Chrysostom Δόξατω Θεώ 09:48, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support This turns up regularly at the help desk - new users often fail to spot the "Edit" at the top of the page and have to ask how to edit the lead section. -- John of Reading (talk) 10:45, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support per 76.65.131.160 and John of Reading. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 15:40, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - I use this gadget myself, and I have no idea why it isn't the default for everyone. It occasionally speeds up editing by just loading the first section of an article, and I can't see any downside to it. Robofish (talk) 15:41, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support as opt-out feature. I use it, and I find it useful. Having this on by default seems sane to me. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talk) 17:29, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Use this myself; have extensive experience editing as an IP; would have been useful. Furthermore, no reason at all that I can think of to disable it (at least from an editor's POV) Unsigned comment
  • I use it, and I like it, but I'm concerned that it might confuse newbies, who may expect it to work like the full-page edit button because it's at the top. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:38, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, this is very convenient for editing infoboxes and lead sections without opening the entire article in the editor. So why shouldn't we have it as a default feature. De728631 (talk) 17:42, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, its very useful and it also reduces the chances for edit conflicts. Jesse V. (talk) 21:19, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Reduces edit conflicts. Dan653 (talk) 14:30, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support --Waldir talk 14:35, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment I believe this proposal has been rejected before, because some editors might mistake an edit link for section 0 (where exactly would it be placed in the interface?) for an edit button for the whole article and get confused as a result. It would be a good idea to have the WMF UI team gather some statistics on its use if implemented. —Ruud 15:44, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. This is such a no-brainer. More editors are probably discouraged by currently having to open the whole page, then would be discouraged by not seeing the edit link at the top right away. And the full-page edit link is rarely needed anyway. Many registered users do not know they can activate this in preferences. --Timeshifter (talk) 16:03, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support as the best method to correct information in infoboxes and article leads. — MrDolomite • Talk 20:15, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support—no reason not to provide this option to all editors. —Ynhockey (Talk) 20:44, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - definitely worth having. Zangar (talk) 22:18, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose enabling for anonymous users at least. The section-0 edit link is in interface terms slightly confusing; all other section edit links are attached to a section header, but the section-0 link can only attach to the article header. This is bad UI. Users enabling this by choice can live with that, since it's a new link appearing after they've made a choice, and once understood it's fine. But for it to be default (i.e. the link appears without a conscious decision made), we should at least exclude the users most likely to be confused by this bad UI, i.e. those users who haven't got an account. But I'm not totally convinced we should be making it on by default at all. Rd232 talk 22:46, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
The 'edit section' UI should provide a clear way for the reader to switch to 'edit entire page' mode. e.g. the 'edit' link could become 'edit page'. John Vandenberg (chat) 01:09, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
  • SupportAt least make it possible to turn on this feature Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your talk page please reply on mine) 02:18, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. A poorly considered proposal. Put yourself in a newbie's shoes, people. A newbie won't realise the difference between this edit link and the edit tab at the top of the page. If they click the section-0 one when they want to edit something later in the page, they will be confused and frustrated, and will most likely not bother to make the edit. This feature's existing status as an opt-in gadget should be maintained. — This, that, and the other (talk) 08:10, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per User Tto. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 10:12, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
    • BTW, it seems the gadget is actually broken in some skins right now. Nostalgia, cologneblue, standard and simple (so all 'old style'-skins ?). Probably a side effect from the editsection styling now applying only to content (changed after RTL enhancements of 1.19) and headers are outside the content. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 10:18, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - very useful! Samw (talk) 15:21, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose ~ I've frankly been waiting for another editor to give a good reason why it should not be turned on, and I believe Ttato has hit on one of the significant ones. Aside from that, I feel that there are enough workarounds for people who have problems editing the whole page (due to slow Internet), and the fact that edit-conflicts are a non-issue, to definitely oppose this. --Izno (talk) 22:07, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment See refined proposal below to reduce confusion between editing the lede and editing the entire page. — Richardguk (talk) 12:31, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Hell yes. I have used section 0 edit link for years (yup, years) and the learning curve was not hard at all. OhanaUnitedTalk page 03:11, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support as anything that makes editing easier is a good thing, but with the hope that the comments here about clarity of purpose in the UI are taken into account in implementation. Whouk (talk) 12:47, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose I forgot I even had it enabled, but in the past I've accidentally clicked it when I wanted to edit the whole article. New editors and anons will be even more confused by this. Ryan Vesey 13:12, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I find this tool to be quite useful. It helps lessen edit conflicts as well.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 13:34, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose I've personally turned this gadget on, but in practice I just click the edit (whole page) button if I want to edit a lead section. It's perhaps useful for experienced editors, not so much for new ones and—especially with the longer caption—adds whole lot of unnecessary clutter to the interface. Just leave it as an opt-in. —Ruud 14:09, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
    • N.B. This gadget is especially confusing if the lead section is long enough that the edit links on actual sections are not immediately visible on (sufficiently small) screen(s). E.g., today's featured article: Peveril Castle. Even with the longer caption proposed below new editors are still likely to confuse this for a "edit whole page" button, due to a lack of context. I also fail to see the actual benefit of editing the lead section over editing the whole page; as far as I'm aware it does not reduce edit conflicts. —Ruud 19:44, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
    • Comment I do think we should make the "Edit" button/tab more prominent, e.g. by making the link bold or giving it a slightly darker background than the other buttons/tabs. —Ruud 14:13, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
  • comment, I've added threads at MediaWiki talk:Gadget-edittop and .js, linking here and summarizing a few points. -- Quiddity (talk) 07:36, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I used the gadget for a long time until it became buggy for me, maybe because of other gadgets. I'd love seeing it back. – sgeureka tc 08:22, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Activate reworded section 0 edit link[edit]

Many of the above objections refer to confusion from inexperienced editors clicking [edit] at the top expecting to be able to edit the entire article, not only the lede. So, what if the text for this link were amended to make it less ambiguous before making it appear by default? — Richardguk (talk) 12:31, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Refined proposal: Change the lede edit link text to [edit intro] before making it appear by default.

  • Support as proposer of the revised link text. — Richardguk (talk) 12:31, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - also useful for those editors who choose not, or forget, to use an edit summary. Martinevans123 (talk) 12:32, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
    The edit section 0 gadget does not generate an automatic edit summary? —Ruud 19:47, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support new proposal. Rcsprinter (babble) @ 13:48, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Cuts the confusion. Ryan Vesey 13:12, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. "Edit intro" eliminates any confusion about what one is going to edit by clicking that link. --Timeshifter (talk) 06:00, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support This would make it clearer what that edit link is for. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 12:15, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I already use the gadget, and it's helpful occasionally. Renaming it "edit intro" will remove any misinterpretations. There's no consequences for making it default (with an opt-out button), so why not? LittleMountain5 16:04, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Makes it easier to edit. David1217 What I've done 16:15, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support: why not? Thine Antique Pen (public) 16:21, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support makes sense. Dan653 (talk) 23:08, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes OhanaUnitedTalk page 06:38, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
  • comment, I've added threads at MediaWiki talk:Gadget-edittop and .js, linking here and summarizing a few points. -- Quiddity (talk) 07:36, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support If an extra five-letter word avoids confusion, then go with it. – sgeureka tc 08:22, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment Something to remember, if we change the wording, we change it for other wiki's as well, because several wiki's directly load our version of the gadget. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 09:53, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support That'd be great. Nobody Ent 23:16, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

The impact of socio-geo-politics on articles[edit]

Something that interests me greatly is the notion of how the same concept/period in history/person etc is spoken about in different langauge articles in Wikipedia. Through my Making Meanings course at uni, I now understand how subjective language is, and how it has culture boundaries - affecting the way we see the reality around us.

This led me to the idea, which I'm sure has been brought up many-a-time, of analysing the way different langauges speak about the same topic, identifying biases, or just simply what the different Wikipedias choose to put focus on. I think some sort of investigation/research into this would be both really informative, not to mention really useful (in discovering how the socio-geo-political conditions have affected the way different culture respond to the same event).

As an example, if we had article on both UK Enlgish and US English, perhaps we would find the US article has written about America's War of Independence as a noble quest for freedom and rights, and of George Washington as a naitonal hero, and perhaps the UK article would have written the article from the perspective that the War was more of a rebellion that needed to be crushed, with George Washington being a traitor. <-- value-laden language probably has a big part in this.

So my question is: is is possible for us to get some sort of research going? I'd say we go for very cross-culturally contentious issues and examine the Wikipedias relating to the ocuntries involved.--Coin945 (talk) 01:09, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

You probably want to go over to WP:CSB, which is a wikiproject dedicated exactly to this sort of thing. Unfortunately, I don't think it's very active, but it's worth a shot for starters. Xavexgoem (talk) 01:18, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Try out http://www.manypedia.com Fences&Windows 02:31, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
I have tried out that site. Very interesting.. but I don't really get what it's doing.--Coin945 (talk) 05:27, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
It puts two WP articles on the same topic from different languages next to each other, auto-translating the non-English one. The result is about as enlightening as you would expect... Rd232 talk 14:22, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
mmm.. that's what I thought...--Coin945 (talk) 14:42, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

There is quite some Wikipedia research, for instance:

Now, you would be a hero if you read these, write summaries and contribute those to wikipapers or acawiki. They are collecting research on Wikipedia. See also the Wikimedia Research Newsletter. Fantastic stuff! --Atlasowa (talk) 15:08, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Education Program extension RfC[edit]

I've just opened up a request for comment on whether to enable the Education Program extension for managing and monitoring Wikipedia educational assignments. If it does get enabled, there are related technical (user rights) and policy (who should be able to use it, and how will user rights be assigned?) issues that will need to be sorted out.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 12:50, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

WP:CANDIDATE[edit]

Re: WP:Notability (people)#Politicians, I would like to edit that guideline as follows:

  • Create shortcut WP:CANDIDATE as follows: "Any candidate for election to nationwide office is considered notable if formally nominated by a party which drew at least 30% in the previous general election cycle for that same office. In the United States, any general election candidate for governor or U.S. Senator is considered notable if his nominating party drew at least 30% in the previous general election cycle for that same office. A special election candidate for governor or U.S. Senator is considered notable if the candidate won a primary in that same election cycle AND his nominating party drew at least 30% in the previous general election cycle for that same office. These two or three facts must be demonstrable by reliable sources."

The fact is that the vast majority of these candidates are already notable, but a handful require disproportionate work to demonstrate their notability and such candidates perhaps tend to hail from areas with smaller populations and assumedly fewer Wikipedia editors. It may be that time passes for the publication of sufficient reliable sources, and additional time passes for editors to identify sources and then write the article with demonstrably significant coverage right from the get-go. That delay (and with an uncertain resolution) is a disservice to Wikipedia's readership, many of whom are interested in the candidates as soon as the major-party nomination is secure, and even a stub will encourage non-autoconfirmed editors to participate. In practice, the standard I propose will simply allow us to avoid delay to create articles on the two major party candidates (while not restricting us to those two) without well-intentioned but time-wasting interference from editors overly committed to bureaucracy and rules. I believe it would be a mistake to include candidates for the U.S. House or non-governor statewide offices, as a far higher percentage of those candidates are of temporary "notability". Occasionally, parties toss any old name in for special elections, so my proposal there includes a slight filter on the least-notable names. --→gab 24dot grab← 20:33, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

Any particular reason for choosing 30% as the threshold?--JayJasper (talk) 20:38, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm flexible on the exact percentage. Looking at numerous disparate elections, a 30% threshold will nearly always convey instant notability on the two official nominees of the two highest-vote-getting parties, and very occasionally could convey notability on three candidates. Intuitively, that seems "right" to me. Of course, a candidate below that threshold could still derive notability otherwise. I believe Wikipedia is well-served by requiring a relatively high threshold for assumed notability. --→gab 24dot grab← 20:59, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Seems like pointless WP:Creep, when it comes to candidates for major offices, it should be extremely easy to find sufficient reliable sources to establish De Jure Notability. Monty845 21:41, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree with the crux of 24dot's rationale, but am reluctant to support a proposal based on an arbitrary voting percantage which could easily turn into a political football. If a more objective standard can be found on which to base a voting %, I could support it.--JayJasper (talk) 17:30, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
How about ignoring percentages and simply conferring notability only on the nominees of the top two vote-getting parties from the most recently-concluded general election for that position? That's already how states decide what order to list candidates in (the #1 or #2 vote-getting party for an elected position has its next-election candidate for that position listed first or second, respectively, even if it's a different individual running as ran during the previous election). Incidentally, I've written more on WP:CANDIDATE at:
In particular, I contrast Senate candidates Alvin Greene (South Carolina, 2010) and Robert R. McMillan (New York State, 1988). McMillan is plainly more notable than Greene in every encyclopedic sense of the term, but what editor cares much about either one and is going to write an article Robert R. McMillan likely to be summarily deleted without a real effort. I contend it'd serve Wikipedia well for the article to be stubbed and pecked at bit by bit over time without an editor fearing the wasting of his time to add one fact and one source here, and six months later maybe another editor does the same. --→gab 24dot grab← 16:41, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
An interesting idea, but a major flaw is that the U.S. Senate is included and the U.S. House is excluded. It'd make more sense for it to say "member of the national legislature." Any guideline needs to be easily applicable across-the-board to all country governments. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 04:56, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
I think this would definitely be overreaching. I've seen many AFDs for major-party parliamentary candidates in the UK, and a significant proportion are deleted by clear consensus; they'd be presumed notable under a "national legislature" approach, which suggests it doesn't reflect general practice. Andrew Gray (talk) 12:27, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
This seems to be designed to work well for countries with two big parties and to work poorly for countries with three or more big parties. Three parties could split 41-30-29, with nearly identical performance resulting in one party's candidates being excluded. In a country with an enormous number of parties, this could be completely useless. No party in Israel has cracked the 30% barrier since 1992. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:24, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
This is part of my point, I guess. The proposal reads like a "U.S." proposal, and doesn't take into account the situation elsewhere. I really don't think we need to go down the path of having a policy that isn't generally applicable. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 22:59, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
My proposal is intended to strike a balance. I firmly agree that we want to avoid creating hundreds of articles annually for candidates of temporary "notability", but I submit that Wikipedia's interests are served by allowing the expeditious creating of an article for each "top-two" candidate for major office (the hypothetical third or fourth candidate article can still be created without prejudice). I readily acknowledge that I am most-familiar with the United States, but I'm open to suggestions. In the USA, each candidate for "the lower house" is elected by one of over 400 congressional districts; a particular congressional district's populace may overwhelmingly favor one political party, and so the opposition party may nominate no opponent or a merely token opponent who is unlikely to be elected or attain encyclopedic notability. So I exclude those USA House of Representatives candidates, and insist that each attain notability the old fashioned way. The situation may be similar for other-than-national candidates in other countries, but I'm not pretending to know that for certain...
By contrast, I submit that even long-shot top-two-party candidates for state governor or U.S. senate are not non-notable sacrificial lambs but are almost always individuals already with (or certain-to-attain) notability; the problem at Wikipedia is that without "stipulated notability", a candidate is at the mercy of experienced Wikipedia editors who can suppress the article by insisting on the type of WP:SIGCOV which may take weeks to establish (but the entire election cycle may only be ten or twelve weeks!).
If we grant 'stipulated notability' for the two candidates of the "top two vote-getting parties", that absolutely does not disallow 'earned notability' for the third- or fourth-party candidates; thus, I don't see how this idea is discriminatory or even arbitrary. The number "two" seems less arbitrary than choosing any other number of candidates-parties. So I'm happy to forget percentages. --→gab 24dot grab← 21:22, 16 August 2012 (UTC)


  • Oppose. This might be workable if limited to the United States, but as a general proposal it's a bad idea and goes against previous consensus: e.g. for British elections, the general consensus has been that unsuccessful electoral candidates are presumed not to be notable. Even for the U.S., I would be reluctant to agree to it as a fixed rule; I don't think we need lots of articles on failed politicians whose only content is 'so-and-so ran as the X-party candidate in Y election and lost'. These biographies should be considered on a case-by-case basis, and only kept where there is serious evidence of notability. Robofish (talk) 14:04, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose We don't need a complicated, let's-argue-about-the-details proposal like this, when we currently have a very straightforward consensus at WP:POLITICIAN: namely, that if a person is notable ONLY as a candidate for office, and if the only coverage found about them is related to that candidacy, then their name gets redirected to the article about relevant election. This preserves the article's history if they should later become notable (say, by winning the election), and it redirects users to the very place where information about their candidacy is most likely to be found. --MelanieN (talk) 18:44, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Articles about failed candidates and candidates running for election are covered by WP:BLP1E; relevant information should be merged with the event (i.e. the election). As others have pointed out, this proposal has specific issues pertaining to a US-bias and a subjective standard for inclusion. Location (talk) 23:33, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong support Someone running for election as a major party candidate at this level in not BLP1E, as it remains of permanent historical interest. I have supported this continually since I have come here on grounds of general considerations of educational purpose, and I now support it for an equally fundamental reason: avoiding bias. At present WP is so important that it s a major information source, much more universally used and relied on than 5 years ago when I started. At present, we effectually favor incumbents in elections. This is not as bad as if we effectually supported one particular party, but it is similar--it is interfering with the process by which citizens find information for political purposes. Personally, I'd include the HofR, but this is the area where it's hardest to find information, and we might want to adopt what I find it hard to believe isn't considered an uncontroversial proposal. DGG ( talk ) 02:04, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - The last thing we need is yet another backdoor single-notability guide to get general notability failures into article-space. An encyclopedia is not a campaign platform, which is what these usually-WP:COI articles are. Tarc (talk) 03:42, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Font (rain on my parade)[edit]

Not trying to start a riot here or anything, but something that's been playing on my mind recently: What do we think about he Wikipedia font used in articles? I'm assuming it been the same for ages, and I get the feeling that technology has moved on in many respects while Wikipedia has stayed stagnant. I know that's got a lot to do with Wikipedia's charm and everything (as any redesign proposal page will tell you), but I can't help feeling that this should be discussed. What does the Wikipedia community feel towards the font used in Wikipedia articles? What's good/bad about it? Is it outdated? What fonts could be better?--Coin945 (talk) 13:07, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Not trying to rain on your parade, but as far as I'm aware, Wikipedia doesn't make any font settings at all, does it? It just relies on the browser's (sans-serif) standard font. Fut.Perf. 13:11, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
... oh.. really??? hmmm... are you sure? I thought every website had their own personal design - like Facebook wall posts have a certain stylised font. Is Wikipedia unique in that respect or do lots of websites appear in the default font?--Coin945 (talk) 13:16, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, there are lots of design decisions that go into the design of a website. In Wikipedia's "skins", it's a matter of colors, font sizes, margins, borders, backgrounds and all sorts of other things, but the only font specification it seems to be using (in the "Vector" skin) is the generic "sans-serif". Which is probably a good choice, because it leaves it to the reader to specify what font they find most readable on their system. Fut.Perf. 13:54, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
I believe we do specify the font used when editing text, but you can change that to the generic sans-serif font in your gadgets. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 22:53, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Also, if you really like a font, I'm sure you can put it in place by editing your Special:MyPage/common.css or Special:MyPage/vector.css page, though I'm not sure what code you'd have to use for that. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 22:55, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
I have my browser set up to use the fonts I prefer, and it tends to really bug me when a website thinks it's important enough to mess with that. Ntsimp (talk) 22:57, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Huhhh.... well I for one didn't know that at all.--Coin945 (talk) 06:39, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • I did a Google search on [HTML fonts], and the top two pages led me to the following:
  • Sample text.<font face="helvetica, georgia, courier, arial"> Sample text.
  • Sample text.<font face="arial"> Sample text.
  • Sample text.<font face="arial black"> Sample text.
  • Sample text.<font face="comic sans ms"> Sample text.
  • Sample text.<font face="courier"> Sample text.
  • Sample text.<font face="courier new"> Sample text.
  • Sample text.<font face="georgia"> Sample text.
  • Sample text.<font face="helvetica"> Sample text.
  • Sample text.<font face="impact"> Sample text.
  • Sample text.<font face="palatino"> Sample text.
  • Sample text.<font face="times new roman"> Sample text.
  • Sample text.<font face="trebuchet ms"> Sample text.
  • Sample text.<font face="verdana"> Sample text.
  • Sample text.<b>Sample text.
  • Sample text.<big>Sample text.
  • Sample text.<i>Sample text.
  • Sample text.<small>Sample text.
  • Sample text.<sub>Sample text.
  • Sample text.<sup>Sample text.
  • Sample text.<del>Sample text.
  • Sample text.<ins>Sample text.
  • Sample text.<code>Sample text.
  • Sample text.<kbd>Sample text.
  • Sample text.<samp>Sample text.
  • Sample text.<tt>Sample text.
  • Sample text.<var>Sample text.
  • Sample text.<pre>
    Sample text.
    
  • Sample text.<abbr>Sample text.
  • Sample text.<blockquote>

    Sample text.

  • Also, starting a sentence with a space produces this:
Sample text.
Unscintillating (talk) 16:11, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

United States Military Date Proposal[edit]

A discussion on the encyclopedic need for the use of military dates on United States military related articles is taking place at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers#Proposal to strike out the requirement that American military articles use military dates. Please join in.--JOJ Hutton 23:24, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Images In The News[edit]

There's a discussion going on here on how to properly place images in the Main page In The News feature. Feel free to comment if you have an opinion. --Jayron32 17:29, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Recent Deaths on In The News[edit]

There's also a discussion going on here on whether to include a 1-2 line list of recent deaths in the "In The News" Main Page section. Please comment if you have an opinion. Cheers, Zaldax (talk) 21:26, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Notability noticeboard[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

We should create a notability noticeboard for discussing the notability of a topic before creating an article. I'm thinking someone could start a section with the subject as the section header, then give reasons why they feel it might be notable and discuss it. This could be useful for topics that barely meet WP:GNG or that might be a WP:BLP1E. If the topic is not notable, it saves the editor from the work creating the article. Ryan Vesey 00:25, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

I suspect such a noticeboard would just create extra bureaucracy and would likely degenerate into a preemptive WP:AfD and/or generate more heat than light. If someone isn't sure if an article is notable, they can always just find an editor and ask for their opinion. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 00:33, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
I wouldn't find it to be bureaucratic. It wouldn't be a requirement at all, it would be the same as Wikipedia:Media Copyright Questions. In addition, it allows you to get more than one opinion on a matter and saves you from needing to pester another editor with notability questions. Ryan Vesey 00:37, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Who would be the ideal users of this? Established editors? Theopolisme :) 21:24, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
I would think so, but new editors could use it as well. I came up with this idea because I was trying to decide whether to write an article on someone (who I won't bring up here so I don't derail the topic, you can talk to me on my talk page though) and I was only half sure he was notable. Nothing in the noticeboard would be meant to be binding either, if everyone said it wasn't notable and someone created the article anyways, it would still go through AfD and could possibly survive. Ryan Vesey 21:28, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
You mean that we should have something like WP:Notability/Noticeboard, which was created in 2009 and linked to on several hundred pages, including {{Noticeboard links}}? WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:07, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Are you kidding me? I could've sworn I looked for one. Well that's pretty much exactly what I was thinking of. Ryan Vesey 22:46, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Really? I'd forgotten about that one too. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 23:19, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Since we're talking about new articles only, isn't this the function of WP:AfC? SteveBaker (talk) 12:27, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Not really, because that requires someone to collect the references and write everything. AfC might save an article from AfD by not getting it published, but there can still be a lot of work that goes into it. Ryan Vesey 14:48, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
WP:DRAW is intended to help with this and other issues, but it doesn't have huge participation. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 19:46, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll be watching that one as well. Ryan Vesey 19:50, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
I think we can file the invisibility of this noticeboard under "This place is way too complicated". I probably wouldn't have known about it except that I happened to be hanging around the WP:N talk page at the time that it was created. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:45, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Oppose Notability is determined by a process that has been in place for some time. It is by consensus not by a few people who THINK they know what is and what is not Notable. Mugginsx (talk) 22:30, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Not only do we not want another notability board, but with only 29 questions in nearly 3 months I suggest it is another candidate for pruning the number of noticeboards along with WQA. Perhaps it could be redirected to the RS board. Maybe Ryan could start the RfC to get it disbanded. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 09:18, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
    Um, guys, we have this noticeboard already. It's been around since 2009, so it is a part of that "process that has been in place for some time". There's nothing to be decided here. This turned out to just be a request for help finding something that already existed in this overly complicated website. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:06, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


Blocking IP vandals capability for non-admins[edit]

I don't know if this idea was discussed in the past (I did not see it among the perennial proposals), so I'd like to float it here to see what others think. Assuming it is technically feasible, I think it would not be a bad idea to create a user permissions feature (similar to rollbackers and reviewers) which would enable users in that group to block IP vandals without actually having admin status. In my observations, blocking IP vandals is a fairly straightforward activity which does not require the kind of advanced policy knowledge that many other admin tasks do (such as deletion, for example). Yet in terms of project maintenance tasks, blocking IP vandals is probably the one that needs to be performed most frequently. Giving a limited right to block IP vandals (say for no more than 12 hours) to non-admin trusted users would alleviate persistent backlog at AIV, allow admins to concentrate on more advanced tasks and give users who later want to run for RfA some hands-on admin-related experience. I think this feature could function in a similar way to rollback rights - easily granted (by any admin) and easily taken away in case of a problem. Nsk92 (talk) 22:24, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Perennial_proposals#Hierarchical_structures ;-) Xavexgoem (talk) 22:30, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I saw that, but I am talking about something much more limited than a "partial admin" status. Nsk92 (talk) 22:35, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
I think the biggest problem with giving someone an incomplete set of admin powers is that they would then be tempted to use the specific power they have when a situation calls for the use of a different power. For example, instead of blocking certain IP users, maybe a better approach would have been to protect the article. Maybe both IP and signed-in users are causing problems but only the IP users get blocked. Maybe an indefinite block is warranted, and the problem resumes after 12 hours. Also, this proposal would increase the power imbalance between IP and signed-in users, increasing the extend to which IP users are regarded as bad by default. Cheers, Bovlb (talk) 23:07, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
"I think the biggest problem with giving someone an incomplete set of admin powers is that they would then be tempted to use the specific power they have when a situation calls for the use of a different power."
What exactly prevents this kind of abuse by admins currently? Also, only because someone is not an admin doesn't mean they cannot act responsibly. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 07:54, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps that sentence would have been clearer if I had used the word "tool" instead of the word "power". No-one is perfect and I'm sure admins do sometimes apply the wrong tool to a situation, but less so, I think, than if the right tool were unavailable. Cheers, Bovlb (talk) 08:07, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Bov1b has it right - basically, when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. And blocking of IPs is already overdone by some admins, who have access to all the tools, so how much worse for users who have only that tool... Rd232 talk 14:20, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Hook up with the editfilter/XlinkBot guys. It's not quite automated blocking, but they are the ones handling the majority of IP abuse, and there are some pretty powerful tools they use to facilitate it. In clear cases, I can tell you that expedient methods are already used. Gigs (talk) 13:38, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

I'd support this because I think the block is always the "urgent" step needed in many vandalism situations - deletions and protection can generally wait. Alas, few seem to share my view.--Jasper Deng (talk) 04:21, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

NO one reason why vandels exist is because they have been treated poorly by admins. After being blocked simply because they have edited under an ip, they take revenge on the project by wrecking havic. I strongly believe we need to re-examine when and who to block (ip's mostly), instead of giving out more authority to act reckless. Hillabear10 (talk) 05:00, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

If our existing admins are bad when it comes to this, why do we trust them to do it?--Jasper Deng (talk) 17:47, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
So prior vandalism which = a block by an admin leads to further vandalism? Shadowjams (talk) 18:53, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
It is sad, but in many cases yes.
99% of admins are good. It is one 1% that cause issues. Hillabear10 (talk) 20:02, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Question Isn't WP:AIV already meant to handle these types of issues? 64.40.54.147 (talk) 14:33, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
    • AIV often is too slow.--Jasper Deng (talk) 17:47, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
      • While it might be nice to see something like this, this proposal is a non-starter simply because there are much broader issues here that we can't even agree on. Like, should admin rights be unbundled at all. And in the most recent proposal of that, this was specifically excluded. AIV works fairly well. The real elephant in the room is that RfA is hopelessly broken because there's no good recall process. That proposal seemed like it could elad to something but I fear it too has stalled. But fixing RfA is the real fix, bandaid approaches like this won't do anything. Shadowjams (talk) 18:53, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
        Well Said Shadowjams Hillabear10 (talk) 20:07, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
        That's about right. There's no will for unbundling, mistakenly in my view but that's the way it is, and RfA is trundling into chaos. Malleus Fatuorum 20:29, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comments - If AIV is often too slow, why not fix that, rather than create new problems? However, I'd want to see some strong evidence before accepting that most IP editors are editing in good faith. My milage definitely does vary. That doesn't mean presuming individual IPs aren't in GF, but it does mean limiting their scope for doing serial harm. A short IP block, even 15 minutes, should be enough to slow down vandalism from the kids in detention hall without being long enough to cause serious issues. LeadSongDog come howl! 17:29, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
    • AIV can't be made faster unless more admins monitor it so that we have snappy responses 24/7, which clearly is not very feasible unless we drastically increase our admin count by something like 1.5-fold.--Jasper Deng (talk) 17:35, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose - The situation for blocks is as ill defined as what 'vandalism' means, the ability to block IPs is also one that can hurt many legitimate users such as institutions like colleges, universities or even sizable portions of a town. I don't have the data, but a majority of our IP editors are constructive rather than destructive and many of those 'vandalism' tags are either covered by good faith, or confusion on Wikipedia's policies. I'd really like some researchers or individuals aware of the consequences of such blocks to respond here. The matter is more complex than it is made out to be. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 16:34, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
    • I disagree. The vast majority of experienced non-admin vandal fighters know when a block is needed and what kind. Although I agree that the vast majority of IP edits are constructive I have to point out that 80% of vandalism is from anonymous IPs.--Jasper Deng (talk) 17:29, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Oppose - IPs have a hard enough time as it is. Introducing a new class of users that haven't passed RFA that can block them because they didn't AGF or actually look at the edits isn't a good idea. IP vandals are just like regular vandals...and there are IPs with thousands of good edits compared to registered users with none. Why should the IP be more open for a block? --OnoremDil 17:35, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Why? The suggestion that AIV is too slow is just incorrect, the proper vandals are blocked quickly and it's the ones that don't need blocking which remain untouched and give the appearance of a backlog, nor is the vandalism situation in general anywhere near severe enough to introduce an entire new level of vandal fighters (and another hat for people to try and collect). This proposal is a solution to a problem we simply don't have--Jac16888 Talk 17:40, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Onorem. LlamaDude78 (talk) 18:21, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - yet another level of bureaucracy. Of course vandals are IPs (?) most IPs are NOT vandals. Mugginsx (talk) 21:55, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Weak Oppose: You just have to look at your watchlist to realize that all or even most IP's are not vandals. I also agree that this would cause an imbalance of power. Some people just don't have the brains (with all due respect) to handle that kind of power. It would open up a whole 'nother can of worms, and frankly Wikipedia is complicated enough, as is. Lighthead...KILLS!! 03:03, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - Although I support the concept of splitting out the functions of admins into Role based groups of functions, blocking and unblocking would still need to be granted on a fairly restrictive basis and only to those that have shown that they know vandal policy. I also agree that even among the admins that have the tools now many are prone to block first and ask questions later. Lets remember it can always be revoked if abused and much easier than revoking admin rights. This would help free the admins for other tasks. With that said it will never pass. Admins have a lot of power and they want to keep it. They aren't about to give up a toolset without a fight. They fought about Filemover and Rollbacker when they were created and many said that creating these would be doomsday. They weren't and neither would this. Kumioko (talk) 03:15, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes, we're all a big ole bunch of power hungry dictators, desperately clinging onto our abilities to block a few anonymous strangers and delete a few page off a website. Grow up --Jac16888 Talk 10:58, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - receiving the ability to block is a matter of being entrusted with such tools. I do not believe I would trust all editors (even if they may be "autoconfirmed" due to 4/10), to have the ability to block. And besides that, we shouldn't be segregating IP-made edits from account-made edits. We're all Wikipedians here. - jc37 20:23, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Scroll galery[edit]

Hello,

per {{Scroll gallery}}: "This template is currently not functioning, as the required JavaScript code to use it is not integrated into the English Wikipedia. " - please could you do it? It is a very useful template. Regards.--Kürbis () 12:00, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

You might want to post this at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical). Best regards. 64.40.54.147 (talk) 14:50, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
WP:ACCESSIBILITY. Just because other sites do something doesn't make it a good idea. Happymelon 19:33, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
It is useful for many people as most just don't want to see hundreds of pictures, but one picture at a time. Also, having a simple gallery is not really great for disabled people. Regards.--Kürbis () 08:42, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia articles should never have hundreds of pictures in a gallery anyway. See WP:IG. If you've got more than about a dozen images in a gallery, you've probably made a mistake. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:11, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
If people want to see this in action, go to de:Vorlage:Galerie#Siehe auch. Personally, I just don't see the point of this over a normal gallery or a link to an appropriate category. Anomie 17:43, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
? Read my comments perhaps. Regards.--Kürbis () 09:34, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
I did read it. But I don't agree with your assertion that it's better. Anomie 22:06, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
If the IE compatibility could be obtained, it would be a nice option to have. --Nouniquenames (talk) 04:12, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Time to close? (LTA)[edit]

Please see Wikipedia talk:Long-term abuse#Time to close. ~~Ebe123~~ → report 20:31, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

Ebe has withdrawn the proposal to close WP:LTA. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:12, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

A proposal that ought not to be contentious[edit]

When you hover your pointer over the My watchlist link at the top of the page up pops "The list of pages that you are monitoring for changes". Why not the simpler "The list of pages you are monitoring for changes"? Or even better, "The list of pages you're monitoring for changes"? Or would that require a change to the software that would take forever to implement, like every other change? Malleus Fatuorum 06:23, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

No, it's set by MediaWiki:Tooltip-pt-watchlist. Any admin can edit it directly. --Yair rand (talk) 06:52, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Then hopefully one will soon. Malleus Fatuorum 06:56, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Done (the "you are" version, not the "you're" version, per WP:CONTRACTION). Fram (talk) 10:05, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't think WP:CONTRACTION applies outside of article space, but at least that's an improvement, so thanks. Malleus Fatuorum 12:26, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
It certainly doesn't apply to user space and talkspace, but such a notice (tooltip) is more of an "official" part of Wikipedia, where it is probably best to follow our MOS. But if more people feel that "you're" would be better, I won't be losing any sleep over it. Fram (talk) 12:49, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
The MoS is widely ignored in the "official" part of Wikipedia, where the writing is generally pretty poor, but at least we've now made a small step in the right direction. Malleus Fatuorum 12:55, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
For what it's worth (not much, of course), I'd support the contracted version. *shrug* --j⚛e deckertalk 13:03, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
It's bizarre that we have to try and reach consensus on something that ought to be obvious even to an averagely intelligent chimpanzee, but that's the Wikipedia way I suppose. Malleus Fatuorum 13:09, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
It's bizarre that we tolerate an editor who denigrates those with whom he disagrees by claiming that their intelligence is below that of an animal. —David Levy 13:40, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Ah well, I'll leave you to your pit of ignorant abuse then. Malleus Fatuorum 13:49, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
CIVILITY CIVILITY CIVILITY CIVILITY CIVILITY CIVILITY CIVILITY CIVILITY CIVILITY CIVILITY CIVILITY CIVILITY </steve ballmer mode> —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 14:54, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps once the side-splitting displays of irony are concluded, we could return to our regularly scheduled episode of "Much Ado about Contractions"? --j⚛e deckertalk 15:05, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
All this trouble for a reduced relative clause? Hrm. Personally, I prefer the non-reduced version. Anomie 23:31, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Here's another voice for the contracted version. The "you are" version reads in a very clunky and unnatural way. Plus, were "you're" to be used, it would sound consistent with five of the other six tooltips, which use "your". I'm exerting a massive amount of self-control here not to just go ahead and do it as I strongly feel it ought to be done. — Hex (❝?!❞) 08:33, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
Here's another voice for the contracted version.
In that case, here's another against it.
The "you are" version reads in a very clunky and unnatural way.
I disagree. It's simply formal (in precisely the way that this sentence isn't).
Plus, were "you're" to be used, it would sound consistent with five of the other six tooltips, which use "your".
How is the use of homophones desirable? If anything, it would increase the likelihood of confusion (albeit only slightly). —David Levy 12:16, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Color of the bikeshed. Please use the CSS .content attribute if you really can't live with this non-contracted version, so we can all get back to building the atomic reactor, thank you. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 13:21, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

For greater accuracy, the tooltip should be set to "The list of pages you will edit war at today". Tarc (talk) 13:49, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Wording of orphaned fair use tags[edit]

Currently the wording for the user talkpage messages generated by the {{orfud}} (orphaned fair use) and {{orfur}} (orphaned replaced) templates are the same. I would suggest it would be better if the wording for the message relating to the orphaned replaced template mentioned that the original file had been replaced in use by another. Cloudbound (talk) 01:20, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Moving Articles on the main page[edit]

Hallo all
yesterday an article which I proposed has been displayed on the main page (DYK section). During nighttime in Europe this article has been moved three times by two users. None of them was a vandal, but they repeatedly made mistakes, so that at the end the Article name was wrong. Yesterday morning (CET) I tried to fix the problem, but the right name was now a redirect, so that after my attempts for a couple of minutes the article link pointed to nirvana. Thanks to an helpful Admin finally the damage could be repaired. After this experience, I wonder if it would not be a good idea to block the possibility of moving Articles as long as they stay on the main page. The main reason behind it is that for a vandal would be quite easy to let the article link point to nowhere, just with a couple of moves. Thanks, Alex2006 (talk) 06:03, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

  • Support except where consensus indicates that a move is necessary. Not wanted, but necessary. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 07:40, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support- It makes sense for there to be a general rule about not moving articles that are mentioned anywhere on the main page, however i think an exception would be needed for In the News stuff. The recent shooting at the batman screening in the USA is one example where a title was changed with clear consensus whilst it was on the page, as the original title was inaccurate. But with the exception of those recent/breaking news issues, a temporary block on page moves makes sense. Although even in the case of ITN items, full page move protection would still allow it to be fixed, whilst preventing potential edit warring/vandalism over the page title. BritishWatcher (talk) 10:45, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Even if the article is moved, the link on the main page will still lead to the correct article. IRWolfie- (talk) 11:43, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
The problem is not that the article disappears, is that Wikipedia and the browser tab will show the article under the new name: if I move an article to an obscenity, then the article will appear under the "Obscenity" name. That can appear as a normal vandalism but - unlike the vandalism IN the article - a normal user has no way to correct it, because the correct article name is now a redirect. A move requires the deletion of the redirect on the part of an Administrator, and this can last long (I experienced it yesterday). Alex2006 (talk) 12:23, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Vandalism doesn't appear to be a current problem though. The mentioned case above is good faith mistakes. IRWolfie- (talk) 20:38, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment What about simply applying a greenlock to any article that appears on the main page? This could be made part of the respective process (WP:FAC, WP:DYK etc). Just an idea. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 12:34, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
This is exactly what we need, thanks! Alex2006 (talk) 12:38, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support As I recall, one should check "what links here" before performing a move, so that simple step would avoid problems. However, people sometimes do silly things. The greenlock sounds like the way to go. As it would take an admin to fix, it is less trouble to prevent a move while on front page. Dlohcierekim 12:54, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Even if it's as simple as applying a greenlock to articles linked from the Main Page, articles listed there should especially not be moved except in case of consensus. Doesn't really make us look good if they are, and, as pointed out above, the potential for vandalism is worringly high. Cheers, Zaldax (talk) 18:23, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • How, though? Just manually protect them from moves, or something fancier? That said, this doesn't seem like a bad idea; by rights the the things really oughtn't be moved without either very good reason or a general consensus that it's needed... or, well, both. But on the other hand, move vandalism is quite rare; wouldn't just a notice on them saying not to move them probably be enough to head people off in most cases? -— Isarra 19:14, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose I think this would be unnecessarily restrictive (and a fair bit of extra work) unless move vandalism of articles on the main page becomes an actual problem. wctaiwan (talk) 03:12, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment – This might be a bit much to implement for something that isn't really a problem. It could probably be automated, but I don't imagine it would get a high priority. Regards, RJH (talk) 19:11, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Because something happens rarely, is not a reason for a yet another new level of beauracy which will overburden whomever the group is that will have to deal with the requests for article moves. It is not practical. Mugginsx (talk) 21:27, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Neutral but leaning toward an oppose. Sorry but I don't see a problem and a knee jerk reaction to one incident isn't the answer. Wee Curry Monster talk 11:25, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This is a burdensome solution to a largely nonexistent problem, and it actually would cause problems in situations in which moves are appropriate. —David Levy 14:32, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Too difficult to implement it without preventing good moves. Anyway, when you move a page, you leave behind a redirect; a pagemove vandal would also have to change the redirect target after moving the first page, and I can't remember the last time I heard about that. It's definitely not so common that we need to implement a new feature or create a new bot request to deal with it. Nyttend (talk) 22:49, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

Interactive video for new editors[edit]

Hi. I am marginally involved in a discussion/study regarding the relative lack of content relating to the Middle East and North Africa here. One idea proposed by one of the other participants in the discussion here was perhaps an interactive video which could guide newer editors through their first edits. This actually sounds like a good idea to me as well. Has there ever been any previous discussion about this, and would we have the technical wherewithall to create such a video? John Carter (talk) 00:07, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

How to Edit Article in Arabic Wikipedia
See WP:WikiProject Screencast for a full tutorial/guide to creating screencasts. There hasn't been much activity there since it was created/finished, but the information within is still good. (And there are a lot of requests on the talkpage, if anyone wants to assist in making a few of them).
Volunteers are needed. (The most time-consuming parts are: Drafting/refining the dialogue (or subtitles), and storyboarding the elements that need to be covered. I.e. all the planning. Recording the final video is fairly easy.) -- Quiddity (talk) 01:33, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
See Commons:Category:Instructional videos on using Wikipedia. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 04:07, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
And commons:Category:Arabic Wikipedia Videos. --Atlasowa (talk) 14:14, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

Olympic athlete stub reference cleanup[edit]

There are about 1350 athlete stubs in the wake of the recent Olympics sourced *only* to the home page of the 2012 Olympics, most of those were intended, I gather, to be deep links to the profile of the athletes. (Example: Maja Jager.) After some investigation I've concluded it wouldn't be hard to find bios in the appropriate 2012 Olympic athletes categories, and try and correct this in many cases with automation. Before I send off a BRFA, I would like some consensus this would be a good thing. Obviously there will be a fair bit of coding, care and caution taken, and the BRFA folks would help me mind the relevant details, but.... Thoughts? --j⚛e deckertalk 16:37, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

  • Yes, it is definitely a good thing. (a) bios should be collected; (b) results at the 2012 Olympics should be collected (in the same format, for instance, as here. In several months, the website will be down (as happened with the official websites of all previous Olympics), and it would be much more difficult to get this info. With bios, we should be careful to prevent copyright violations.--Ymblanter (talk) 16:57, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
    • Hmmm, maybe I can also look into pushing all these out to WebCite. At present, I have no intent of adding content to the article beyond the ref, so I shouldn't be creating copyright issues that way. --j⚛e deckertalk 17:18, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
      • As I play with this, it looks like the Olympic site's anti-scraping efforts may keep me from being able to do this. Still, in case i figure it out, comments still encouraged. --j⚛e deckertalk 03:16, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
        • Ahh, we're back in biz, I got scraping working. --j⚛e deckertalk 01:02, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Have all articles go through Articles for Creation (with preclearance for established editors)[edit]

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

Whenever one wishes to quote from Wikipedia, it is still not uncommon that the quotation is met with a knee-jerk reaction of "OMG ITZ WIKI SO UNRELIABLE!!!" In order to remain relevant in the age of online and open-access academic journals and general-interest newspapers, Wikipedia must adopt some version of editorial control. Many newly created articles are immediately tagged for speedy deletion or proposed deletion, and the ones that are not are, with few exceptions, abandoned, over the years becoming more and more outdated as nothing is added to the articles. Weeding out the obvious absurd articles is not the problem here - the issue is the broader stagnation of the encyclopedia.


To resolve the problem of short, stubby articles, I propose that all articles go through Articles for Creation, which would scrutinize all articles created by new users, and give them the "critical mass" of information required so they can lead a proper existence and not be ignored by the community. Established users in good standing (I have yet to determine a specific threshold) will not have to go through this process, as I am assuming that such users would be more diligent about their fact-checking and will have some clout with which to publicize their articles. Wer900talkcoordinationconsensus defined 22:39, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

Good luck with that. We tried a similar proposal a while ago, the foundation quashed it. See WP:ACTRIAL. The foundation killed the ACTRIAL because it fundementally doesn't wish to limit the ability of new users to create new articles, so I doubt you'll get any traction with this proposal, even IF you could get enough support for it. --Jayron32 04:26, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
In short, we're going to need another incident like what happened with Seigenthaler in order to get the Foundation to do anything in this regard. They don't really seem to understand just how many non-notable articles have to be deleted every day because of new users. SilverserenC 11:39, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm gonna close this since it won't matter what people decide here. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 11:41, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

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


Add PMCID field to "Cite Journal" template[edit]

I like that there is an easy template for citing journal articles, and that it has fields for the article's DOI and PMID, but I think that it would be worth adding a field for the article's PMCID. That number would bring readers to the article itself on the NLM PMC site, rather than just the abstract on PubMed's website. The PMCID is much more helpful than the PMID.

It's "| pmc = nnnnnn" in those templates. If you use {{Cite pmid}} it will fetch and link the PMC article number automatically when there is one. —Cupco 05:14, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

A new featured article candidate requirement: expert review request[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Consensus has rapidly and clearly formed against this idea. Sven Manguard Wha? 14:40, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

The concept is simple: for every article that is nominated as a candidate for Featured Article, one of the nominators must contact one or more experts in a relevant field (for example, by e-mail) to request a review of the article, for the purposes of fact checking, ensuring completeness, and any other information the expert elects to provide. The results are posted, with an appropriate license release, on the review page. If an expert cannot be found who is willing to spend time on the review, for example because the area is too specialised, the requirement can be waived; only sending the request is mandatory. The point is to get as much feedback as possible on the article at a time when it is already prepared for review; experts are not expected to edit themselves. The burden of sending this request is miniscule compared to the Herculean task of writing the FAC in the first place.

For example, a featured article nomination for George Washington might solicit feedback from a historian studying American history, ideally one who has studied George Washington in particular, such as Frank E. Grizzard, Jr. or Edward G. Lengel. Even popular culture topics (such as movies, games, celebrities) would be amenable to review by scholars, critics, and journalists of pop culture.

The skills of the expert would complement the skills of Wikipedian reviewers well, with the former focusing more on correctness and completeness and the latter focusing more on complying with policies. Because the number of FACs is relatively small this is feasible and would not excessively burden scholars. For scholars, in turn, this would be an opportunity to reach out and create better public awareness and understanding of their discipline. Thoughts? Dcoetzee 21:01, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

To clarify - do you mean a expert who isn't already a wikipedia editor? Someone who can comment by email/phone? Fayedizard (talk) 21:07, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
If there is an expert who is already a Wikipedian I think that would be sufficient, although it'd have to be someone who hasn't already been closely involved in development in the article, since their input would presumably already be incorporated into it. Dcoetzee 21:15, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose making it mandatory. For some subjects, probably most to be honest, this would not be feasible to find a reviewer outside who is actually willing to review article after article. --Rschen7754 21:08, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
What if no historian appears at all? The article won't pass? I find rather difficult to find enough reviewers for my non-American (or non-British) articles about Brazilian history, things will get even worse if I'm required to go after a professional historian. --Lecen (talk) 21:11, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
As noted above, "If an expert cannot be found who is willing to spend time on the review, the requirement can be waived." Only making the request is mandatory, not receiving and posting a response. I edited a bit to emphasise that. Dcoetzee 21:15, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
For highways, this would not work at all. Either we are the experts, or the experts are the ones writing SPS that are not RS under the guideline. How would you be able to tell if someone made the request, since it would be off-wiki? I can foresee not being able to get a review for 70-80% of FACs, at a time when the number is already declining. Finally, what problem does this solve? --Rschen7754 21:19, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Not an FA, but this is relevant. I would consider Wikipedia to be the most complete source for HMS Phoenix (N96). That said, I don't need to find an expert on Phoenix I need an expert on submarines. We'd have to determine what could be considered an expert on highways, but I would assume it is someone who studies infrastructure in America, Infrastructure in Europe, Infrastructure in third world countries, etc. Ryan Vesey 21:22, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Again, as I've said above, they tend to be roadgeeks, the hobbyists that study roads. Another concern: what's to say that the "experts" wouldn't push their own views of scholarship on the article? --Rschen7754 21:24, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
That's my biggest concern, the scholarship point. On the needing an expert point, someone like Anthony Tomazinis might be elligible. He's an expert in transportation. Ryan Vesey 21:29, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
And at the rate the roads projects send articles to FAC, would this be practical? Last year we had about 10 FACs. --Rschen7754 21:31, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Responding to your original comment above: if you can't get a review that's okay, even if it's 70-80% of the time. Making such a request adds very little burden compared to the monumental task of writing an FAC in the first place. The point is just to further improve quality of articles where possible by soliciting expert attention at a time when it's already prepared for review. As for checking if they made the request, you could ask them to cc one of the reviewers, or you could just trust them. The experts would not be editing, so any feedback they express would naturally be taken with a grain of salt and some amount of bias is expected. If biased feedback were prohibited, all reviewers would be in trouble. If the limited number of available scholars feel overburdened by requests, they can of course decline and the article is still eligible. Dcoetzee 21:32, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment: Who bears the contact burden? Could we work out any deals with some museums or universities where they actively scan our FAC's? Ryan Vesey 21:22, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
    • I've clarified who would bear the contact burden (nominators). Dcoetzee 21:47, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Rschen. Who determines who is and is not an expert? For legal articles, does that mean anyone with a JD is an expert? Or an MD for medical articles? What about those in limited fields? Who determines whether a waiver is granted or denied? To get to featured article, there have to be citations from reliable sources - but in contentious areas, such as Israel/Palestine, pro-life/choice, various conspiracy theories, religions, etc., there have been major fights over who can and who cannot be considered reliable. The current system works fine. GregJackP Boomer! 22:31, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose, how do we know if an expert is expert enough on a specific topic? Is being a scholar in that general field enough? If I am nominating an article on something like a town in Oklahoma, even if I get an expert on Oklahoma history, it is likely they may not be familiar with the history of the particular town I'm nominating. So they'd have to look at the cited sources themselves, anyway, so they'd really be not much better off than a reviewer like you or I. How would we settle arguments about whether someone qualifies as an expert? Do we go on their credentials? Is there any way to verify those? (Essjay, anyone?) These are just the practical considerations—I'm sure someone below will articulate why this proposal runs counter to prevailing Wikipedia culture and making the compulsory Nupedia/Citizendium comparisons and such. —Scott5114 [EXACT CHANGE ONLY] 21:25, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
    • I think for really specialised topics that's certainly a reasonable concern, but I'd also argue that experts have a grounding in the field that lets them identify and interpret relevant resources in a way not everyone else can. For example, they may recognise a certain idiom in a primary or contemporary secondary source that was used in other historical Oklahoma documents which a laymen might not understand. Whether an expert could be found who'd be willing to put in that much effort is another question, but the article would still be eligible regardless. As for determining who qualifies as an expert, well, there's no reason multiple people couldn't be contacted if there's disagreement about who is best to ask. Dcoetzee 21:35, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Essjay controversy, plain and simple. Imzadi 1979  21:39, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
    • This is solely an advisory role - the expert would not be making edits, only pointing out reliable sources that may have been overlooked or misinterpreted for the consideration of editors. I think that distinguishes it strongly from the Essjay controversy. Dcoetzee 21:43, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It's not appropriate to put all the burden on FAC reviewers and nominators to make a new process work that would represent a significant shift in community attitudes. I also don't think it's ever appropriate to volunteer someone else's time on Wikipedia. Having said that, I've generally been supportive of efforts to get feedback from professionals and academia. - Dank (push to talk) 21:40, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - There is no need for this extra layer of red tape. If an article is worthy of FAC then the !voters will decide that regardless of who has or who hasn't editied the article. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 21:48, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
    • To clarify: the proposal is for nominators to request a review by an expert by e-mail, not for the expert to edit the article. The qualifications of the editors of the article are, as always, entirely irrelevant. Dcoetzee 21:51, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
      • Okay, but why should this be required? ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 21:53, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
        • Making the request is the only requirement, and if they don't get a response it doesn't hurt its eligibility. The purpose is to solicit additional feedback. It's a very low bar. Dcoetzee 22:04, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I have attempted to contact experts various times and very rarely get a reply - I recently did get very helpful feedback from two experts on an article but this is the exception, not the rule. How on earth can you prove that you've made the attempt? I could send an email to a non-existant address, get a bounceback and say I attempted to contact an expert. I could even forward a copy of my sent email to a FAC delegate as "proof" that I'd made the attempt. Simon Burchell (talk) 21:54, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
    • Nominators would be trusted to make the request. If they don't, or the expert can't review, they just get less feedback on their work. Even if they only get feedback 10% or 5% of the time, it'd still provide an impetus to seek it at a critical juncture. Dcoetzee 22:07, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This would be an excellent way to choke the number of FACs to as close to zero as would make no difference. Malleus Fatuorum 21:57, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The expertise of an expert in a specific field is very different from what is required to write an unbiased, neutral and well-referenced Wikipedia article. Only because someone is an expert doesn't mean he or she is necessarily a good Wikipedia editor. I see no ground for the assumption that a subject expert is necessarily able to contribute what is required for an article to comply with WP:WIAFA. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 22:07, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
    • As noted, the expert review (when available) would complement traditional review by Wikipedians. Experts are familiar with the topic area and can identify things like critical omissions, but are unfamiliar with policy. Dcoetzee 22:14, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
      • All editors should have the same right to review something. Any attempt to introduce a class system of Experts and non-Experts is harmful for the project, because it can be too easily abused. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 22:34, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
        • The point is not to classify editors as experts or non-experts, but to request feedback from experts who are not editors. Dcoetzee 22:36, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
          • I oppose this idea. Experts should be encouraged to become regular contributors by making Wikipedia a more welcoming environment for them as regular editors. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 22:54, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
            • I don't disagree with this as a general idea, but even a welcoming Wikipedia is a pretty daunting site to use. (I run courses on using Wikipedia for just these sorts of content experts...) As well as this, most people active in the community don't even notice FACs unless they have a page watchlisted! (and not always even then...). I don't think there's anything wrong with the idea of trying to lower barriers to entry for specific types of contributions, and trying to actively seek out and invite those contributions when appropriate. Andrew Gray (talk) 22:58, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
            • There are many experts who are too busy to become regular editors and contribute content, but are not too busy to review a few articles. Being an effective editor requires time and learning about many policies and technical tools. It's not for everyone. Dcoetzee 23:04, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
              • "I run courses on using Wikipedia for just these sorts of content experts..."
              • What is your experience with that, where do the main problems lie? I (and perhaps Foundation staff) would be interested to know what the main issues are. My personal belief is that Wikipedia is just like many things in life: it takes some time to get used to it and understand the basics, but once that's the case I think it runs quite smoothly.
              • "There are many experts who are too busy to become regular editors and contribute content, but are not too busy to review a few articles."
              • Becoming regular editors doesn't necessarily mean they have to contribute content. We have many regular editors who just do copyedits or other maintenance work. Any editor can do whatever he/she wants to. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 07:56, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support -- there are far too many FAs which are laughably inadequate and shouldn't be held up as the best WP can do. On the other hand there are lots of smaller articles that this community wouldn't consider FAs but which an expert reviewer could immediately note was top notch. I think that this review should have the highest weight on FA. -- Michael Scott Cuthbert (talk) 22:12, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose This will lock in systemic bias (as many editors won't be able to find or contact experts), and will mean inconsistent assessment depending on whether an expert can be found. It will introduce collosal delays - if the expert has to work for a living you could wait months for a response even when they are willing and able to help. And who is to determine who is an expert? What happens if an expert trys to push his or her own pet theory or books? Nigel Ish (talk) 22:21, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
    • I hadn't considered the issue of delays. You're quite right that the expert's delay might not fit into the timeframe of the FA review. I could simply say that it's okay if the expert review arrives after the FA review is over (better late than never), but it does limit the usefulness somewhat. I think inconsistent assessment is actually okay (review should meet a minimum bar but it's okay to exceed it), and I think expert bias is something our culture is very familiar with and would not be unduly influenced by (i.e. they would just ignore that part of the review). Dcoetzee 22:33, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment This was discussed quite extensively on WT:FAC back in about May, and the general consensus (IIRC) was that if any nominator wanted to get hold of an expert review that was a good thing to have, but that there was a strong objection to making it required and some significant concerns with the way those reviews should be handled; several people felt it might be best either before or after FA. I doubt you'll get much support for making it mandatory or making it a fixed part of the process. Andrew Gray (talk) 22:23, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
    • Thanks for the info, I wasn't aware of that discussion. I think you're right that making it a voluntary recommendation (whether done by the nominators or other interested parties) is probably the the way to go. Dcoetzee 22:25, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
      Recommendations aren't "voluntary", they're simply recommendations. Malleus Fatuorum 22:48, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
      • A good way to handle this, I think, is to treat external review as an additional "bonus" line of review. Essentially, think of it as like our "peer review" system - it can happen at any time in the life of the article, it has direct benefits on the text, but it's not a rating and it's not a level to work to or to pass through. It happens, we incorporate (or reject) the comments, it is noted on talk and may be invoked in a GAN or FAC or the like, but it's not automatically linked to those processes. Andrew Gray (talk) 22:58, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
        • I think that's a great suggestion, especially in light of the uncertain delays associated with an expert review (as noted by Nigel Ish). Reviewing earlier in an article's life, or more than one in its life, could also be beneficial. I guess the question is what kind of support should/could be provided - should people "just do it" or should there be a project page that provides advice, or a recommended process with templates, or template e-mails, etc.? Dcoetzee 23:14, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
          • I put a couple of proposed mechanisms in the old discussion, IIRC; I'll have a look over them later this weekend (it's late now). I'm certainly willing to help do some of the legwork to arrange something like this if there's a desire to push ahead with it. Andrew Gray (talk) 00:03, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
        • Even if a recommendation is stated to be "voluntary", human nautre means that editors (especially new editors) will be held to it. This risks re-inforcing the perception of FAC (and possibly GA) being a closed shop. (Newbies attempting to put articles forwards will be more likely to be forced to have an expert review done, and will be less able to negotiate the extra hassle involved.)Nigel Ish (talk) 23:10, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Interesting idea, but it would be extremely impractical, especially because of the difficulty of finding experts for every subject who have so much free time they can review Wikipedia articles. Even in cases where an expert is available and willing to help in this way, there's a high potential for disagreements and gaming on who constitutes an "expert", whether they're enough of an expert, whether the topic of the article is within their expertise, etc. And finally, keeping in mind that I'm not a wiki "purist", this proposal goes far outside the use of the wiki process for content development, a Foundation issue. Is the wiki process not good enough for featured content? szyslak (t) 23:14, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - A question is also who could count as an expert in some rather obscure fields. Who could be contacted for Ruma Maida, for example? Or, one which I may bring to FAC within a year, a series of pictures of an intersex person? If you're writing about the Constitution of the United States, sure it's feasible (not necessarily practical), but Pareh? Heck, some of our FAs are the most complete English-language reference points for their subject (such as Chrisye); getting "experts" whose opinions can be quoted on that would be difficult — Crisco 1492 (talk) 23:20, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment There's a larger, semi-radical-change idea I'm working on, but related to this, would instead it make sense to get at least one signoff on the quality of an article from the standpoint of each Wikiproject that the article is involved in? This doesn't get the "expert" concept but it does provide input from someone that knows what articles of that type should contain, what sourcing they should use, and other gotchas that may be unique to that Project compared to WP-wide standards, and just maybe may be able to tell or sniff out possible mistaken use of sources. If an article has multiple projects, there should be a nod from each of those involved. Basically, this would be like assuring an article has reached a project A-class requirements before signing it off as an FA. --MASEM (t) 23:24, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
    • I disagree. Who is to say that WP-wide standards coincide with the WikiProject's standards? There are some radical WikiProjects out there. --Rschen7754 23:38, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
      • A WikiProject's standards should augment - not replace or supersede - Wikipedia-wide standards. If the project's standards do replace or supersede the global standards, that's a problem that needs to be addressed. --MASEM (t) 00:13, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
    • I think this works in principal (while WPs have occasionally idiosyncratic standards, it's unlikely any have requirements which directly conflict with FAC, or if so that they keep them for long!), but in practice this would only work for a handful of fairly active projects and would stall on many of the less active or indeed moribund ones. Andrew Gray (talk) 23:42, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
      • If we approach it with the same idea given above, that if an expert can't be found in reasonable time, then the FAC moves on without that feedback. --MASEM (t) 00:13, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment There is a clear rejection to this proposal, but there is a way to fix it: reformulate it as a proposal unrelated to FAC, at least for the moment, and just about Peer Review. We may organize a section similar to Wikipedia:Peer Review, which is about actual peer review (review by experts; the current page is merely review by fellow wikipedians). We may invite experts to register as experts for that section, detailing their specific areas of expertise, and prove by OTRS their qualifications (such as their degrees). Then, if there is an expert about a given topic, users may post their request, and the expert may point what is right or wrong about the article. The process may not be limited to FACs, but also to other topics that need it, such as FARs or articles under dispute. Let's reuse the George Washington example: an expert on George Washington (or on the history of the United States, or the American Revolution period, or similar) registers as an expert on that page. Then he discloses by OTRS his real name and the degrees that make him an expert, and he is listed when confirmed as such. A user interested in confirming the accuracy of the article post a request, and the expert replies; if there is no such expert yet, we deal with it as we do it nowadays. Cambalachero (talk) 23:43, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
    • To be fair, editors reviewing the work of other editors is the very essence of peer review. ;-)
More seriously, I think an on-wiki process of accrediting "expert" contributors is not the way to go - we're pretty good at determining who is and isn't an expert when they contribute to an FAC or the like already, based on their comments, and so do we really need such a system?
The key to making any process like this scale up is going to be finding a way to make it easy for new experts to give reviews etc without making the system too cumbersome for us (by making it a requirement, or having an onerous process involved), or making it too cumbersome for them (by, eg, requiring active community participation). Andrew Gray (talk) 00:01, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
It is not the same to have read some history books about George Washington or the American Revolution, and to actually have a degree in history or be an acredited historian. Regardless of how good and well-informed a mere reader may be, the opinions of an acredited expert have much more weigth. Of course that the system may never be able to have experts for all possible topics, but a system like this may enhance the credibility of wikipedia and improve the vital articles. The way to keep the Pandora's box closed is to keep this as an optional feature, not mandatory for any of the project processes. Cambalachero (talk) 02:52, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
    • I think something separate could be useful, but rather than seeking to validate accreditation, which is a lot of work and counter to our culture, I think a more promising route is just to encourage editors to engage more often with outside experts to request reviews or input on discussions, by providing guidance on how and when to do so. One way to do this might be to create a list of "Wikipedia-friendly" scholars along with contact info who are more likely to respond to Wikipedia-related requests. You can't make a forum for experts and just expect them to show up and volunteer - many of them don't even know how to edit a page, and many don't have time, but nevertheless will respond to a specific request for assistance. I do value transparency, but for those not familiar with our technology I think republishing e-mail comments (with an appropriate license release) is more feasible. Dcoetzee 03:42, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Well intentioned, but completely unfeasible for several of the reasons presented above. The most likely outcome of such a policy is to choke FAC to death. Resolute 01:11, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. anonymous editing precludes this being feasible. Casliber (talk · contribs) 01:24, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
    • To clarify: the proposal does not suggest validating the qualifications of editors, nor do I think that would be a good idea. It suggests requesting outside experts to review article content and re-posting their feedback. The information would still be judged by editors on its own merits; the point of soliciting experts is that they may be able to provide useful feedback others can't. Dcoetzee 03:48, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose as written because of the logistical difficulties it would impose. But I would be okay with requiring a notification be posted to at least one appropriate WikiProject; many of those count SMEs among their members. Regards, RJH (talk) 15:38, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose, as well-intentioned but entirely impractical. Apart from the slow-down that something like this would cause, verification issues involved are basically insurmountable. How are you going to prove, without compromising your identity, that a particular external expert has been contacted and has responded in a particular way? For "internal" Wikipedia experts verification of credentials is also basically impossible, and simply relying on self-identification of a particular user as a subject matter expert is not acceptable either, as Essjay controversy demonstrated. However, the proposal does raise some valid and traditionally ignored concerns regarding all of the existing Wikipedia mechanisms for content review (FA, GA, etc). The issue that is generally swept under the rug is that for many topics relying on WP:V is insufficient and that actual subject matter expertise and competency are required. General knowledge topics are reasonably well-suited for the existing WP content review procedures, but the more technical and specialized topics are not. For such topics there are often (maybe even typically) there are not enough active WP users with relevant subject matter expertise who can properly evaluate the articles on these topics. The users who actually are actively involved in the WP content review process simply lack the requisite knowledge to understand the meaning of many statements made in articles on these topics and thus are unable to verify them even when appropriate sources are cited; and they are even less able to judge if the treatment of a particular subject is complete and well balanced. The most that one can expect from a content review in such a situation is general critique on the style of the presentation and organization of the article. Such critique is useful, but insufficient, and it is all too easy to sneak through, say, the GA process, an article that is reasonably well written but has major omissions in the way a particular topic is treated. For example, in my own subject, math, there are loads of articles on highly notable topics that should simply never be brought for GA or FA review, for the above reasons. Good examples of this are articles like Fundamental lemma (Langlands program), Kodaira embedding theorem and Hyperbolic Dehn surgery. All three deal with very important results, but, particularly for the first one, even having a PhD in Math is typically insufficient for providing a competent review of such an article. The existing content review process operate under the assumption - a false one, in my opinion - that every WP article on a notable can, and preferably should, be brought to a GA or an FA status. But that is simply not the case. Articles on technical topics requiring considerable subject matter expertise and competence for reviewing them should simply not be nominated for GA and FA. Nsk92 (talk) 19:34, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Experts are not always neutral but may want to promote their own theories. And if we contact multiple experts we may get multiple opposing opinions and the occasional proxy war. Experts can also be hired to back up POV editing. And I am convinced that there is no need for external experts to find missing sources or to have a sort of external peer-review. The existing tools are already sufficient. De728631 (talk) 19:54, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Although I can see that you have good intentions with this, I think it would bring in more problems than it would solve. For one, we are doing just fine as it is, so it's not really needed. Secondly, who defines an expert? This could start arguments over who is a better expert than others, and then you'll bring up meatpuppeting and possibly other trickery. If someone is a good enough editor to bring an article up to FAC, they've read extensively about the subject anyway. If they want expert opinions in the relevant field, they can make the personal decision to do so, just as one would do in normal research. With WikiProjects, RFCs, and teams of active editors there's enough input from Wikipedians to make a solid article. • Jesse V.(talk) 04:35, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose It's difficult enough already at FAC, we certainly don't need this flawed idea Jimfbleak - talk to me? 05:49, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I have seen in reviews of reference works that, in some cases, the authors of individual articles have at times used that article to, basically, promote their own beliefs, some of which are not in accord with existing consensus in the field, although that is not always easy to determine immediately. So, for instance, someone who just found the new equivalent of the Dead Sea Scrolls could reasonably think that they are about Jesus initially, only to be overturned less than a year later. This happens in published reference works - I have no reason to think that it would not also happen here if we instituted something similar. Having said that, I do like the idea of a rather formal peer review. I have only done a few, but recently I have myself reviewed a few articles against the articles in published encyclopedia, to see if they are comparable. That won't work for Lady Gaga or similar topics which have maybe not yet been published in reference works, but it would work for a lot of articles on older topics. I wouldn't myself mind seeing a part of peer review actively indicating a step of peer review is to compare our articles against high quality recent published reference sources, but that is a rather different idea than that being proposed here. John Carter (talk) 18:54, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Not for any of the reasons given above, nor for any consideration of the FAC process, but because our outreach to academics, curators and other experts needs to be less about validation of a small subset of our articles, and more about wider collaboration with the Wikimedia movement. There are better and more important things they can do for us. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 17:25, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps if we are going to try and outreach to external experts, we should be aiming more at the Wikipedia:Vital articles area?Nigel Ish (talk) 17:34, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - For several reasons: (1) not practical due to shortage of experts; (2) experts are often biased and may force their bias into the article; (3) experts are often unfamiliar with WP polices (e.g. UNDUE or POV) and may require changes that are contrary to policy. From an editor with four FA articles .... --Noleander (talk) 20:26, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose mostly per Noleander, though I should note: good luck getting someone knowledgeable enough, and with the time to do it. For free. Frankly, I've found that most academics have some hobby horse in their field of study that they ride incessantly. If the article doesn't match that, expect trouble. It is a fine idea in theory, but I think the practice would cause real problems.--Wehwalt (talk) 00:39, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose: this isn't really suitable for every topic. Some topics would invite the bias of the expert. Some topics really don't have an expert (I'm thinking of a lot of articles about fictional topics). I'm all for getting more experts involved, but it should be on a broader basis, and case by case instead of an overall policy. Shooterwalker (talk) 01:23, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
  • 'Oppose - to paraphrase Perry White: "Great shades of Essjay"... - jc37 17:05, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This creates more issues than it's worth (delays, verifying contact, determining who qualifies as an "expert", scientists (and, to a lesser extent, historians) trying to push their own theories, etc.). CtP (tc) 20:06, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


Differentiating reference syntax in the editing window.[edit]

I have spent some time responding to new user feedback, and I deal with a lot of confusion and complaints about how difficult it is to edit pages that contain a great deal of citations / footnotes mixed in with text. From the perspective of a new user, it can be incredibly frustrating and tedious to have to parse through, and sometimes results in mistakes like breaking citations. One user brought an idea across that it would be incredibly helpful to create a different font color in the text editor for references and regular text There are certain text editors, like Emacs and Vim that can parse through text and identify keywords that indicate an expression or a function, and color them appropriately to differentiate them from other kinds of syntax. I am unsure if this is possible to do with the current text editor we use. I am aware of the AutoWikiBrowser, but I do not know if it has this functionality that I described above. So, specifically, I am proposing a change to the text editor so that certain kinds of text (e.g. <ref> tags, table formatting, thumbnails, substitutions, templates) are given a different font color than text that is explicitly displayed on the page. If anyone can speak to the feasibility of this proposal, I also welcome your thoughts. I, Jethrobot drop me a line (note: not a bot!) 09:34, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

Dont have an opinion on text coloring (although it can cause problems with those with colour blindness and other issues) perhaps we should encourage List-defined references which tidy up the code and make it more readable. MilborneOne (talk) 11:05, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
I like the List-defined references idea. However, I don't understand how my proposal it would cause problems with people who are colorblind. As it is, all the text is the same color, so changing the colors would be at least marginally better, unless you have something close to monochromacy, which is rare. I, Jethrobot drop me a line (note: not a bot!)
I agree that list directed references make it much easier to edit the body text, but not everyone has the skills and enthusiasm to make the change, and identifying citations and other non-body-text items will make life much easier when editing. A highlight colour would also work, even if it is light grey, and that should be no problem to colourblind editors. Even a different font could be used. I dont care which, myself, as long as it is something. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 19:46, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
See also User talk:Yair rand/ReferenceTooltips#Wish list. Edit link that takes one to reference wikitext. --Timeshifter (talk) 20:42, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Great idea. It wastes so much time to have to hunt through a lot of text to find one reference out of many. Especially when one reference is used multiple times. Anything that makes it easier should be done. --Timeshifter (talk) 20:44, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment – Yes, color coding of the text would be particularly helpful, as it is in many IDEs. However, implementing this in a browser edit window would be a non-trivial task. Personally what I like to do is use WP:LDR, as mentioned above. This moves most of the reference clutter out of the way and allows contributors to focus more on the text. Not everybody agrees with that approach though. In the past I've tried using the informal convention of uncompressing the inline reference templates into an easier to read form using line breaks and spaces, but that just attracts the anal-retentive types who like to condense everything into an undecipherable ball. Face-smile.svg I just compromised and implemented WP:LDR with the citations rolled up. Regards, RJH (talk) 21:11, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
    • Yes, I considered this unrolling process, however the advantage of consistent formatting in my opinion outweighs the difficulties the templates bring. The templates are of course longer than a raw cite (so they aren't condensed), but they prevent some possible confusion, for example "title= John Smith | author = Peter Smith | publisher = Jane Smith". Rich Farmbrough, 01:20, 28 August 2012 (UTC).
    • Hmm, the thought occurs to me that you take the split pane approach; use an upper pane to display a color-coded, dynamically-updated version of the currently selected paragraph, while editing normally in the lower pane. Regards, RJH (talk) 21:30, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment Or we could just go for a full-fledged visual editor... Anomie 21:35, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
If it is anything like Wikia's visual editor implementation over time, we will be waiting a long time longer for a successful visual editor at Wikipedia. Wikia's visual editor is hated by many people. It has been so buggy over time. Many people can only get things done well with the source editor, not the visual editor. Wikipedia is not going to impose a visual editor on anonymous users until the bugs are worked out. --Timeshifter (talk) 22:32, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support In theory colors would make things easier for most editors.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 03:51, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Colour would certainly make it easier to navigate among reams of text. A boat that can float! (watch me float!) 05:07, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support this as a gadget initially, I also support LDR, but the two are not incompatible. I would like to see some proper research into syntax colouring to see who it is most useful for, personally I find it very useful, I am concerned that newbies might find a coloured wall of text even more intimidating than an uncoloured one. Rich Farmbrough, 01:20, 28 August 2012 (UTC).
  • Support this as a gaget - as long as there's an on/off switch in the preferences (defaulted 'on', perhaps?), I think this would be great for helping out. - The Bushranger One ping only 04:52, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support in principal. The implementation and testing of such an editor may be non-trivial. Stuartyeates (talk) 06:15, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment - In principal anything to ease editing is a good idea. However, I'm worried that it will be difficult to bridge the numerous referencing styles used on Wikipedia to have them show up correctly (i.e. <ref></ref> and {{sfn}} based templates may show up differently). — Crisco 1492 (talk) 06:57, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - great helpful idea, and will help identify references to everyone, not just new editors, but I hope that the coding will be able to work. --Activism1234 07:03, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support: our interface for references is going t be the key thing that distinguishes between an open encyclopedia, and an accessible encyclopedia. Shooterwalker (talk) 18:29, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment: See the truely fantabulous WP:VPT#Syntax highlighter reboot which I've just discovered and been testing. You (we) can easily tweak that, to only highlight certain elements (it currently highlights a handful of different things, in various colors). Definite possibilities. -- Quiddity (talk) 21:44, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
For further discussion: User talk:Remember the dot/Syntax highlighter --Timeshifter (talk) 01:49, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - A truly excellent idea. Even after all these years I still sometimes find it difficult to determine when a ref has concluded and the text starts up again, and vertically-formatted cite templates are annoying as a waste of visual space. I,Jethrobot's suggestion would alleviate those problems, and I support it wholeheartedly. Beyond My Ken (talk) 08:54, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support as a gadget, turned on by default for everyone. This could be an excellent way to help new editors learn markup, especially with a color key prominently placed nearby. WikiPuppies bark dig 19:24, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Don't we have that already? Doesn't WikiEd do that? (See User:Cacycle/wikEd help.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:17, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
    • wikEd and the VisualEditor that's coming down the line both break the undo/redo buttons, and wikEd requires you to click a button every time you want new text you've typed to change colors. Quiddity brought up that I've already made a tool (based on a different approach) which overcomes these limitations. So yes, the software is already available, you can pick your favorite one. —Remember the dot (talk) 23:53, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
    • Yes, but I've been here for six years and I never heard of either ones of these. I can't imagine new editors coming across them much sooner. I, Jethrobot drop me a line (note: not a bot!) 03:05, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
      • Well, I only finished my highlighter script in the past couple of weeks. I want to have it made into a gadget and then enabled by default, but I think more people should test it for bugs before I request that. I see that you've installed the script yourself, how is it working for you? —Remember the dot (talk) 22:28, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
        • I have it installed for a few days now. See: meta:User:Remember the dot/Syntax highlighter. I am going to uninstall it though. It is kind of distracting because it highlights so many things. If it highlighted only references, then I would keep it installed. That would be so useful. It wastes so much time to have to hunt through a lot of text to find one reference out of dozens. Especially when one reference is used multiple times, and only one of the locations for it in the text has the full reference details. --Timeshifter (talk) 03:40, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
          • Thanks for the feedback. I've fixed the highlighter to allow customizing what it highlights and in what color, including only highlighting tags such as <ref> (see the third example). Hopefully you can get the new code by just clearing your cache, but note that I've changed the installation instructions because the smaxage parameter (server maximum age?) seemed to be forcing server-side caching. —Remember the dot (talk) 18:59, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
            • Thanks, but that is way too complex for me. If you create a version just for references, and it is activated by a simple checkbox in My preferences, I guarantee that a lot of people will use it. Just look at all the support here. In the meantime could you create a simple version I can import to Special:Mypage/common.js and test? I suggest putting it on English Wikipedia and not Meta. You haven't been around for a long time, and Meta is not liked by many people due to the lack of an integrated, global watchlist. Stuff put on Meta condemns it to being ignored in many cases. There is another great reference gadget, and it has always been based on English Wikipedia, and yet it is becoming very popular, and getting used on more and more Wikipedias besides English. See the main discussion page: User talk:Yair rand/ReferenceTooltips. People there will soon learn of your references-only highlighter gadget if you create it. --Timeshifter (talk) 03:04, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
              • Timeshifter, the third example in meta:User:Remember the dot/Syntax highlighter#Customizing is pretty much exactly what you asked for. The 6 lines you want are given to you verbatim with a clear explanation of what they do.—Remember the dot (talk) 04:20, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
                • I don't understand how to convert it to references only. Can you add that example to that page? I just want to copy and paste it into Special:Mypage/common.js without having to edit any of it. I do not understand JavaScript. --Timeshifter (talk) 05:43, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
              • I actually really like highlighting everything and I suspect that most people if they used the default settings for a while would prefer that to references-only highlighting. What we need is to get more editors to install the script and give meaningful feedback. To that end, I am not going to move the syntax highlighter to the English Wikipedia because the English Wikipedia is not an appropriate place for projects that affect all wikis in all languages. Before too long the description/documentation page will be translated, first into Spanish, then into other languages. —Remember the dot (talk) 04:20, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
                • That's the theory but if you want anything to get popular fast I suggest not using Meta. --Timeshifter (talk) 05:43, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, on the basis of accessibility. As long as the color/change is not overly conspicuous, I would like this feature. My thought is it should be a gadget, either default or not, for those people who may not like it. Syntax is best if it's friendly to the end-user. NTox · talk 04:25, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. I've been working with web design software for years and using powerful text editors for linguistic research. These all offer a multiplicity of syntax highlighting options and I've always wondered why something similar was never incorporated into MediaWiki. Not only do I believe it would be a good idea, but it would be essential for reviewing and editing large articles with 100s of referenced sources - one of the tasks I find most frustrating is locating the refs. I'm not concerned how it could be technically implemented (which can and should be discussed later if this RfC gains consensus), but it should be done. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 07:47, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I've been asking for this randomly for a while now, but being official is grand! heather walls (talk) 19:52, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support – as a gadget option. This would be a significant improvement that would increase the user-friendliness of editing Wikipedia, particularly for articles with many inline citations. Consequently, this type of update could then lead to increased editor participation in editing and improving Wikipedia articles, due to increased ease in the editing-page interface. Northamerica1000(talk) 19:49, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

Require explanation before removing a PROD tag[edit]

Now that I know this was proposed just last week with strong opposes, I have very little confidence that this snowball will make it through hell. Plus, the discussion has strayed over to an even smaller snowball with a proposal to close PROD altogether. That can go to another section. For the mean time, my proposal is now failed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Michaelzeng7 (talkcontribs) 19:59, September 3, 2012

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

There are too many cases when a user creates an article that doesn't fall under CSD, but is uncontroversial enough to go to PROD. When a tag is placed, the user who created the article will probably feel an urge to remove it. I don't think I know anyone who, when they create an article, wants it to get deleted. There are a lot of cases where the creator removes the tag without explanation, and the article sits at AfD where other editors side with the nominator and the article still gets deleted. Essentially a big waste of time for the editors. An explanation to removing the PROD would be helpful, as the nominator now has information on why the creator created the article, and how he thinks it's notable. And any PROD objector with a good enough cause would obviously want to explain their actions. So, I propose that you are required to explain the reason for removing the PROD tag on an article. Michaelzeng7 (talk) 23:25, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

  • Note that this idea was already proposed and shot down here, with the discussion closed just over a week ago. CtP (tc) 01:19, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
  • This comes up frequently, and the WP:PROD#Objecting documentation has stood the test of many such revision discussions: explanations of PROD removal are "encouraged, but not required." --Lexein (talk) 01:56, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Nod, and if it keeps coming up I may start an RfC to get rid of PROD, as it's starting to confuse people to think that PROD is anything more than a process for non-contentious deletion. Removing a PROD template means that the assertion of the placer of the template is contested, and so now if they want the page deleted, they need to go through AfD. Q.E.D. - jc37 02:13, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

I am also unsure whether PROD is really useful. For stuff that needs to be killed ASAP we have CSD. Anything else can be handled through AfD. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 07:45, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
Plenty of stuff still gets deleted with prod, and it avoids using more editor time to consider the topic. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 10:55, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
Right, basically it's there to reduce the workloads of AfD by deleting those article that are sure to get deleted with no objections (besides maybe the creator). Michaelzeng7 (talk) 13:30, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
PROD is especially useful for non-notable subjects that have been around long enough that the creator has moved on. Most CSDs (copyvios, for example) are discovered within a few days of their creation, and the creator is therefore checking back to see how things are going. Most PRODs involve neglected older articles. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:14, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
I just do not see why it matters whether a "non-notable subject that has been around long enough that the creator has moved on" is sitting a few more days at AfD. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 17:28, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
There are many articles nominated for deletion that just sit there with no one commenting on them. Largely because they agree with the nominator and it's a clear delete that they know others will vote delete and this effect goes on for days and it is relisted over and over. Until finally the admins say enough is enough and delete the old article. This is a bit of exaggerating, but it happens sometimes and PROD fixes this many times. Michaelzeng7 (talk) 19:56, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

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


Multiple watchlists[edit]

We should be able to have multiple watchlists (at least two!). If I'm busy one week, and don't have a lot of time to go over my watchlist, it's good to have an "important" watchlist as well as a "everything" or a "not so important" watchlist. People could divide them up in other ways depending on what things they felt like keeping track of for the time being "movies", "economics", "recent events", etc. Byelf2007 (talk) 30 August 2012

Byelf2007. People editing at the Commons and other language wikipedias have also been asking about integrated, global watchlists too. It would be nice to have a priority, integrated watchlist alongside the multiple watchlists. --Timeshifter (talk) 03:07, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
  • It is possible to do that already, though the contents are publicly viewable, and it shows all changes not just most recent. Create a page in your userspace, add wikilinks to the pages you want to watch, then hit the related changes link in the toolbox on the left side of the interface. It will show changes to all pages linked from the one you were on. Not perfect, but largely does what your looking for. Monty845 16:15, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
That may help some people, but it is not satisfactory for most people. People are trying to create multiple streamlined watchlists showing only the most recent changes, and no more, in order to save time. --Timeshifter (talk) 03:07, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, I totally agree, There are some times when I can look at the full catastrophe, and others when I only have time to look at the ones I consider most important. Two would be a functional minimum, three or four would be a bonus. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 17:58, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support!. I would really like to have one for talk pages and another for the article space. Others might helpful too for WP:AFD and WP:ANI-related discussions. I, Jethrobot drop me a line (note: not a bot!) 18:00, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

The frequency with which this idea comes up should tell us something about the desirability of doing it... bugzilla:5875 from 2006 (Group similar pages in watchlist) is not the first time it came up. It was raised eg two years ago on WP:VP here. More recently (early this year) Sue Gardner (chief exec of WMF) filed a general "let's improve watchlists" bug (bugzilla:33888 - Requesting a user-centred rethink of how watchlists work), which includes multiple watchlists as point iii (not using the term, but that's what it is). That was 7 months ago and nothing's happened. :(( Rd232 talk 18:54, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

I see no reason why we would not have this. Have you tried submitting a patch ? —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 21:10, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
It amazes me that the chief exec of WMF has piled on to this longtime request to improve watchlists, and even she can not get around the perennial naysayers on Wikipedia in order to make this a priority. The WMF needs to hire more technical staff, and stop hiring so many staff who are not fairly skilled in MediaWiki coding. --Timeshifter (talk) 03:13, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. I think I already proposed this in the past myself because I agree that this would be immensely useful. For me the main argument in favor of this is that there are articles where I am interested in the topic and where I am a main contributor or the creator. But I also have a lot of articles on my watchlist, where I only do some maintenance. Since I have Watch this page checked by default, watchlist easily gets clogged. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 21:23, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Let's change how we explain this - Instead of saying "multiple watchlists", instead let's say: in addition to my watchlist, I would like a new special page called a "priority list". Pages would need to be added to my priority list manually by me (perhaps an exclamation point symbol or some such, next to the star for watchlist). While the priority list would need to have its own set of preferences, all hide/show preferences for my watchlist would also apply to my priority list (let's make things easier on the devs : ) - The presumption is that while (some of us at least) may have all edited pages added to our watchlists, the priority list is for things we really wish to watch closely. And yes, I would support this : ) - jc37 23:44, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. See how easy that is to say, O perennial naysayers. ;) A priority watchlist would be very helpful. The ability to watchlist only the talk page and not the article would also be useful. Right now that is not possible. If it were possible, then I could create a watchlist of priority talk page discussions. If we were able to have priority watchlists, and to watchlist individual sections of talk pages, wikipedia would stop losing so many active editors. Frustration with watchlists and many other problems cause many people (such as myself) to empty their watchlists of almost everything, and stop most editing of articles altogether. --Timeshifter (talk) 03:13, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
    You may be interested in this - jc37 12:42, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment Just to note that Aaron P, one of the GSoC students this year, has been working on something along the same lines for his GSoC project (commits, status reports) this year. Perhaps rekindling him would be helpful? YuviPanda (talk) 20:51, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
    • Thanks for plugging my project, YuviPanda. The project is still at an experimental phase, but I would like to continue developing it over at MediaWiki. Now that the GSoC project period has ended, I am seeking out developers who would be interested in working with me on the project. I will be attending classes starting next week, so having additional help during the Fall would definitely speed up development time. --Blackjack48  t c 15:19, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Symbol question.svg Question: How exactly are we going to implement this? Michaelzeng7 (talk) 23:32, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
Why don't we just add another watchlist? "Watchlist A" and "Watchlist B". I can't imagine this would require any additional programming, just a quick edit (but I don't know much about this stuff). Byelf2007 (talk) 5 September 2012
Great idea. Simple solution, I would think. --Timeshifter (talk) 18:31, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
  • As a relatively new Wikipedia user I see watchlists from a different perspective so can hopefully provide an interesting insight. I see them as being of use to readers as well as editors (and hopefully turning readers into new editors :-)). I think it would be great if watchlists could be used as "reading lists". For example during my university degree I spent a lot of time bookmarking wikipedia articles. What I would have loved would have been a feature to 'watch' these articles, to add tags to them such as "read", "not-read". If we had such a tagging system you would get multiple watchlists (via filtering by those tags) - ie. you could invent your own tagging system such as "priority" "spam-target" etc... To reinforce this idea - when I first saw the star icon on Wikipedia article's I assumed the purpose of this feature was to favourite an article (Google Chrome my default browser uses the star for bookmarking). I then started getting e-mail notifications - and thus entered a world I hadn't expected to but was pleasantly surprised to be in - a world where I could do things like revert bad edits on articles I cared about and keep up to date on changes.Jdlrobson (talk)
Another great idea. I hope some developers are reading this. --Timeshifter (talk) 18:33, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
sorry failed to sign.. I am a developer and on the mobile team where this can definitely happen if people are interested in helping define how it should work.... Jdlrobson (talk)
Strong support. This would have been of direct benefit to me (and still would be). Failing eyesight typically means a very high zoom level for me to be able to read anything (on a very big monitor). This means I only get to see the top few items in a single watchlist. A while back, when I decided to split up my interests into separate accounts, to be able to manage everything I wanted to watch, I got a indef block for "abusing multiple accounts". So it's something I'd be very pleased to see. Martinevans123 (talk) 08:38, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

The proposal regarding 'Muhammad' article.[edit]

Its forbidden in Muslim's faith to portray any kind of photo or illustration of Prophet Peace Be Upon Him. that is why, Wikipedia must respect the faith of Muslims about the issue. Wikipedia has to remove the illustration of Holy Prophet from the given article.

Thanks Alot ! Abir Fatima,— Preceding unsigned comment added by 110.39.143.160 (talkcontribs)

Please see Talk:Muhammad/FAQ. The first answer in particular explains the issue you raise:
There is a prohibition of depicting Muhammad in certain Muslim communities. This prohibition is not universal among Muslim communities. For a discussion, see Depictions of Muhammad and Aniconism in Islam.
Wikipedia is not bound by any religious prohibitions. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia that strives to represent all topics from a neutral point of view, and therefore Wikipedia is not censored for the benefit of any particular group. So long as they are relevant to the article and do not violate any of Wikipedia's existing policies, nor the law of the U.S. state of Florida, where most of Wikipedia's servers are hosted, no content or images will be removed from Wikipedia because people find them objectionable or offensive. (See also: Wikipedia:Content disclaimer.)
Wikipedia does not single out Islam in this. There is content that is equally offensive to other religionists, such as the 1868 photograph shown at Bahá'u'lláh (offensive to adherents of the Bahá'í Faith), or the account of Scientology's "secret doctrine" at Xenu (offensive to adherents of Scientology), or the account at Timeline of human evolution (offensive to adherents of Young Earth creationism). Submitting to all these various sensitivities would make writing a neutral encyclopedia impossible.
Future discussion about this issue should be at Talk:Muhammad instead of the village pump. Ian.thomson (talk) 15:38, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
"Wikipedia must respect the faith of Muslims about the issue". Actually, no, it doesn't. —Tom Morris (talk) 14:56, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Prevent non confirmed users from creating new articles[edit]

Yes, we want this. WMF has rejected this. No chance. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 15:02, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

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

I know this is listed, in a way or another, as a perennial proposal, but I'd like to submit a variation to it. The fact that Wikipedia can be edited by anyone is a founding principle of the encyclopedia, and I agree. Anyway there is nowadays a Wikipedia article for at least 99.9% of every bit of human knowledge: almost every city, including micro-villages, in the world has an article; all celebrities have an article; every constituent of physical matter in every form, known and theoretical, has an article; even the most obscure philosophical concepts have an article. The point is, at least 50% of all new articles created is deleted within a week if not immediately by CSD; another 30% is non-notable, orphaned and unreferenced and stays like that thereafter. I assume the remaining 20% is suitable content for an encyclopedia. The problem is that most of editor and admin resources are wasted fixing the problems caused by that 80% bad articles that are created everyday. More and more people get access to the internet in the emerging regions of the planet such as India, North Africa, the Middle East and China. This is great news for freedom and democracy, but it also entails the problem that some of these guys (and even a small percentage means thousands of people each day) want to edit the 6th most popular website in the world, and most of the time they do it just to get in the spotlight, because they have a conflict of interest, for religious propaganda (especially fanaticism-prone Islam), because they are paid to advertise, or just for (disruptive) fun. Jimbo Wales has complained that Wikipedia is slowly dying; maybe because it is becoming too messy and/or large to manage for dedicated editors? The best solution to all of this would be preventing non-confirmed users to create new articles. IPs would still be able to submit drafts for new articles, but these would not be immediately published; instead they would remain suspended to be reviewed by new page patrollers, before getting a red or green light for publication. This would be a fantastic deterrent against the creation of unwanted material because the anonymous editor now knows that his article will not go immediately online but would be subject to review - hoaxes, unreferenced biographies, advertisements, non-notable and unsourced content would have zero chance of being published on Wikipedia. One could argue that new user creation is a matter of a few seconds. That is right, but is still a further step one has to take before being able to create articles; in the meantime they could change their mind; requiring email confirmation to register new accounts would be the final nail in the coffin against unwanted content. A lot of resources would then be freed to counter vandalism and to relieve the backlog. The anyone can edit (and create) concept made a lot of sense while Wikipedia was in its infancy and needed to grow. To prevent Wikipedia from becoming an utter mess, stripping that concept of the create part would make a lot of sense in 2013.--Itemirus (talk) 14:01, 4 September 2012 (UTC)


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


Fold Wikipedia:User_page_design_center/Help_and_collaboration/Help_requests[edit]

Wikipedia:User_page_design_center/Help_and_collaboration/Help_requests appears to be dead. Most of the questions editors are asking where left unanswered. It's on the Template:Noticeboard_links but won't get any help. I would have asked at Wikipedia:User_page_design_center, but it also appears to be dead. (Should the whole project be folded or reduced?). I suggest folding the noticeboard and perhaps redirecting editors elsewhere. IRWolfie- (talk) 23:19, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

Gah. Subpage proliferation madness. This kind of thing is very hard to maintain/understand/watchlist properly, hence a supercomplicated overhaul will usually lead to inactivity soon afterwards.
I recommend: Merge as fiercely as possible, if you've got the patience to do it properly. If you don't, then it might be best to just mark as historical, and remove/redirect any incoming links from navboxes/helppages etc.
(Once you've said "hello-what's-up" at Wikipedia talk:User page design center, of course... ;) -- Quiddity (talk) 23:31, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
How about redirecting to the help desk? It's a high-traffic page, and should be able to cope with a few more queries. David1217 What I've done 23:52, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
I see there is apparently a discussion for deletion here: Wikipedia:Miscellany_for_deletion/Wikipedia:User_Page_Design_Center from 4 years ago which never ended. But no-one seems to have really bothered to defend it. It looks like a dead project. I couldn't find anyone active, although with the 60 subpages, it's hard to tell. IRWolfie- (talk) 13:46, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
I've put it up for MfD to try and get some more attention from interested parties so the consensus is clearer. IRWolfie- (talk) 15:25, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

WP: Pilot[edit]

I was wondering what folks would think of including a section in the WP: , to encourage editors both new and old to remember the ronin part of this community project. This is part of WP:Bold in some ways, but I think it might be welcome encouragement for (forgive the term) "outside the box thinkers." Interested in what you folks think.

It could be, for instance, WP:Pilot, as a reference to pilots, who, from ancient Greek times, had to be relied upon to make independent decisions.

Cheers- Settdigger (talk) 07:37, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

WP:PILOT? WP:RONIN? What? Linking to where? I think you mean WP:BOLD. —Cupco 09:30, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Thank you, Cupco, for telling me what I mean. Settdigger (talk) 11:22, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Message on search results page[edit]

I happen to have Help:Searching on my watchlist and because of this I stumbled upon the AFT feedback about that page. It seems that a lot of people ending up on Help:Searching are utterly confused. I think this is in part due to the wording of the message MediaWiki:Search-summary on the search results page. "For search options, see Help:Searching." If I read that unbiased, especially when imagining not being too good at English, I can imagine that clicking this link will give you more options. It doesn't, it gives an unreadable amount of information that 99.5% of the users isn't really waiting for. I propose we reword this message to better explain that the target is a functional description of our Search system, for instance "Learn how our Search functionality works !". Additionally it would be good to rework Help:Searching to be more useful and especially more readable. And possibly, the Search-summary message on the search results page should be right aligned or something, because it might be confusing to have it be the first linktarget on the search results page. What do others think ? —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 15:57, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

  • If I knew nothing about Wikipedia, then I would think "Help:Searching" was where I could configure my search options. I would click the link, and then be very confused by a long page of stuff, none of which is search options. So I think the idea to change the MediaWiki search summary page is a good idea. David1217 What I've done 16:25, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Good idea. The page gets viewed over 10,000 times a day. It would be interesting to see whether that drops if the message is made clearer. -- John of Reading (talk) 19:58, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
Feedback Form Option 6 Step 1.png
Note that Help:Searching was removed from this feedback system a few hours before the original post.[1] The edit summary was "Category:Article Feedback Blacklist, too much noise". The readers giving feedback saw the box to the right saying "Did you find what you were looking for?" If they clicked "No" then they got a box with heading "Sorry about that. Any suggestion for improvement?", and a feedback box prefilled with "What were you looking for?" In the case of Special:ArticleFeedbackv5/Help:Searching everybody naturally answered what they were originally searching for in the search box, and didn't comment on the actual content of Help:Searching. The box was designed for articles and has an unfortunate formulation for Help:Searching.
The bottom of Help:Searching currently displays a box saying "Leave feedback to help us improve this page". This is a different feedback system made by adding {{leave feedback|format=table}} to the page. People giving feedback get an edit box preloaded with {{Feedback preload}}. The feedback is at Help:Searching/feedback. There are also many confused users there but not as bad as Special:ArticleFeedbackv5/Help:Searching.
I think "Learn how the search function works." would be better than "Learn how our Search functionality works !". But I suggest an unpiped link saying "See Help:Searching for information about the search function." PrimeHunter (talk) 11:54, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support change in wording. Slightly prefer Prime's wording, but DJ's is an improvement over the current wording.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 12:09, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

(created article) date[edit]

Each article has a last modified date in the main page of the article {Read tab}, I have a small suggestion to include the (created article) date _which is already existing in {View history tab}_ in the {Read tab} of the article.

For example:

This page was first created on XX XXXX XXXX at XX:XX

This page was last modified on XX XXXX XXXX at XX:XX

Hope this is easy and possible.

Why would this be useful or interesting? WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:39, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Why is it necessary? Just click the link for "earliest" in the history and scroll to the bottom. That will show the first edit to the page—i.e., when the article was created. —C.Fred (talk) 00:42, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
As far as I see it, this would be rarely necessary. The last modified section is sufficient: a user can easily check to ensure the page might not be outdated.  Hazard-SJ  ✈  03:17, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

My subpages[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
My reading of the discussion is that the consensus leans most towards opt-in gadget. There is more support than there is opposition for this change, and while Toshio Yamaguchi's proposal targeted this to new users, several people mentioned wanting this as opt in, and at least one of the opposes' rationales - that the top bar is cluttered - would be mollified by this being opt-in. Yes, the gadgets window is getting cluttered, as one supporter said, but that's a small price to pay for a utility that people want. I recommend to Toshio that if he wants new users to have access to this, that he should investigate methods of introducing new users to gadgets. Perhaps through the welcome messages (which may already have a link? I don't know). Sven Manguard Wha? 22:45, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

For convenience and as a help for new editors, I propose to make a new link to the pages in ones userspace that would be displayed at the top of all Wikipedia pages when you are logged in. So instead of seeing

Emblem-person-blue.svg Toshio Yamaguchi My talk My preferences My watchlist My contributions My sandbox Log out

like I do right now, I would see something like

Emblem-person-blue.svg Toshio Yamaguchi My talk My preferences My watchlist My contributions My subpages My sandbox Log out

I know clicking My contributions/Subpages isn't complicated or anything, but here goes anyway.... -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 08:31, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

  • Looks useful to me. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 16:50, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Given one's sandbox is also one of their subpages, I'd say just replace "my sandbox" with "my subpages". And that certainly would be a useful addition in my mind as well. Resolute 22:07, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
    • That would impinge upon the discoverability of the sandbox. Jason Quinn (talk) 03:29, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
  • The large majority of registered users have no subpages so I think the link would be unnecessary and confusing for most users if it was displayed for everybody. I don't think MediaWiki can test whether there are any subpages and only display something if there are. We can make a user script to add the link. I don't know much JavaScript but I made a working test. Add the below to Special:MyPage/common.js (for display in all skins) or Special:MyPage/skin.js (for display in your current skin):
importScript('User:PrimeHunter/My subpages.js');
It could also be a gadget in preferences but I'm not sure it's worth it. A long list of gadgets makes it harder to find the important ones. PrimeHunter (talk) 22:48, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
Actually, this makes me think, it would be great if the toolbox contained a link to all of the subpages of the page you are on. The current process is pretty difficult. Ryan Vesey 22:54, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
See Help:My subpages and Wikipedia:Subpages for scripts. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 23:09, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
Of course, you can always do a search for "User:Toshio Yamaguchi" and the search bar should autocomplete your subpages in a drop-down menu. That's the approach I usually take. • Jesse V.(talk) 02:59, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

There's a link at the bottom of Special:Contributions to your subpages. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:10, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Yes, I know that :) This is mainly targeted at new users, who often might not know this and I see no particular reason to hide the link to the subpages behind a barrier so that you have to click My contributions first. PrimeHunter above said "The large majority of registered users have no subpages". I don't have any statistics, so I can't comment on this. I think the first articles a new user creates are often of a quality insufficient for mainspace, so this could encourage more use of user subpages by new editors and perhaps avoid some Why was my page deleted? questions. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 06:09, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
I've been active here for six years and I didn't know that I had that link. Nyttend (talk) 12:02, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
There is a small benefit to including it, but the line is meant to be for core functions (userpage, talk, etc) and is already very cluttered, especially for new users. I'm not sure adding a relatively low-use report here is worthwhile. Andrew Gray (talk) 12:08, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

Support. Add this to gadgets. I also like the idea of a subpages link in the sidebar toolbox menu to find subpages of any page. Add that as a gadget too. There seems to be this phobia about adding more gadgets. I think this is clueless. Anything that helps editors is a good thing. If there is a need to separate higher-value gadgets from lesser-value gadgets (and who judges that?) then create 2 gadget tab pages in preferences. We need to stop this "just say no" naysayer attitude lately on Wikipedia to new ideas. Editors are leaving in droves. Ask yourself why? As for adding either one as a default gadget maybe we can do so after awhile after having it an an optional gadget. There is plenty of room for more stuff in the sidebar especially if we add more menus. Look at all the closed menus in the MediaWiki sidebar. See mw:Main page sidebar. --Timeshifter (talk) 19:06, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

Note that this proposal is to add this link to those at the top of the page (the "Personal tools" area), not to the sidebar. Also note that adding a second tab of gadgets is not something we can do locally, as it would require a change to the extension code itself. BTW, I doubt editors are "leaving in droves" because of a lack of gadgets. Anomie 19:34, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
They are leaving for many reasons, all of which should be addressed, and not naysayed, or ignored. Ryan Vesey suggested putting a subpages link in the sidebar toolbox menu. I agree. Maybe a table of contents could be added to Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-gadgets. That would allow more gadgets to be added, and still be able to find them fairly easily. While waiting for the change to mw:Extension:Gadgets to allow more tabs. You are a developer. Maybe you can work on that, or suggest it to others. --Timeshifter (talk) 21:24, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

I would support a sidebar link. On the other hand, the gadgets page is getting a little overstuffed... David1217 What I've done 17:23, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose Menubar is already cluttered. If anywhere this would belong in the Toolbox on the sidebar. Jason Quinn (talk) 03:31, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Add this to toolbox menu in sidebar. I suggested adding this to gadgets also. But I don't see a reason registered users should not have easy access to their subpages. I could use that myself. So I prefer it in the toolbox, or if that is not possible due to all the naysayers on Wikipedia lately, then add this to gadgets. A gadget that puts it in the toolbox, or on the top of the page. Why is there this phobia against making life easier for editors? --Timeshifter (talk) 05:24, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - there should be an easily accessible link to 'my subpages' somewhere, and at the moment there isn't. I don't particularly mind if it goes in the top bar or on the sidebar, but we should add it somewhere. Robofish (talk) 13:59, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support as gadget - a reasonable gadget to have. I have had a variation of this idea for a few years now to give myself links to pages I often visit. SFB 23:07, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment I've been away and was pleasantly surprised to see a link to "my sandbox". This is wonderful and should have been done long ago. New users boldly experiment w/ articles and get told to experiment in the sandbox. Now they have a clear link to a place for experimentation. Dlohcierekim 04:10, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support the idea of an easily accessible link to "my subpages". Don't care where the link is placed. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:56, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support to the Toolbox - I like this idea. Will it be operated in a similar fashion to the "User Contributions" link in the toolbox? Michaelzeng7 (talk) 23:45, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The number of people this would benefit is far outweighed by those it would only confuse and those for whom it would simply have no use, as most do not use many subpages, and the gadgets list is already quite cluttered. Barring adding it as an option to an existing tool, this sort of thing is best imported instead to personal js for those with the knowhow to know what it means.
    As for those of you saying you would support a sidebar link, the sidebar is for general project stuff. That page-specific stuff was added to the toolbox is unfortunate, as it adds to the confusion of the interface when in vector there is also a dropdown in the page tools specifically for more page tools, but it does not mean that user-specific personal stuff might as well be added as well when there is also a toolbar specifically for that at the top right of the page. -— Isarra 16:47, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


Additions to the sidebar[edit]

Note: Discussion started at MediaWiki talk:Sidebar#Recommendation for a couple more links.

I recommend adding a couple more links to the sidebar that I think would help a lot of folks.

  1. Add a link to the Article creation wizard under Toolbox
  2. Add a link to the Teahouse under interaction

I think both of these are high value links that a new or even a veteran editor would find useful. The only negative I can think of would be an increased workload for the Article creation/New page patrollers. Kumioko (talk) 11:13, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

  • Support Teahouse link in Interaction menu. Editors are leaving in droves. Anything that attracts and assimilates more editors, especially women, is a good thing. There is plenty of room for more stuff in the sidebar especially if we add more menus. Look at all the closed menus in the MediaWiki sidebar. See mw:Main page sidebar. "Assimilation is the process by which the Borg Wikipedia integrate beings and cultures into their collective." ;) I also support putting a search link in the sidebar. In the meantime I have to use this JavaScript import gadget. --Timeshifter (talk) 21:15, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Very strong support When I work with new editors, two of the most common questions I get are "How do I create an article?" and "How do I get help from experienced editors?". This would help fix that. David1217 What I've done 17:04, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Note: I left links to this discussion at the Teahouse and at Articles for creation. Kumioko (talk) 23:38, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Sounds like a good idea to me! • Jesse V.(talk) 04:37, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment I'm supportive of both these additions. Article creation wizard is self-explanatory, but I'm wondering if new users will know that Teahouse is a place to get help. 64.40.54.58 (talk) 14:06, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
Thats a good point. I think we could put something like Help - Teahouse to clarify. Kumioko (talk) 14:08, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support with "Help - Teahouse" as suggested by Kumioko. Thine Antique Pen (public) 14:11, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - Both additions would be helpful to new editors without being intrusive. Ebikeguy (talk) 16:02, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Can't hurt. Or "Need Help? Visit Teahouse" but that's too long I guess :) SarahStierch (talk) 16:15, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Interesting thoughts. You might want to ping Mediawiki talk:Sidebar also. --Izno (talk) 23:51, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Reservations: To quote: two of the most common questions I get are "How do I create an article?" and "How do I get help from experienced editors?".
    1. Article creation was left out of the sidebar in the past, because we didn't want more cruft that we needed to instantly delete again. I agree however that it is one of the most common issues that new users are faced with. Perhaps however, it would be wise to redo part of that first page of the ACW again, because it already looks 'polluted' again with rules and tips. If needed, make step 1 an click trough tutorial of 4 pages with a bit more tasks. Line one should be: "Become an editor before you become an article author" :D
    2. I'm all for the Teahouse, but seriously, how will people get there any better by a sidebar link (Why would you ever click on something named 'teahouse' if you need help). In my opinion, clean out Help:Contents or create a new Help:Welcome or a Help:Your first steps and if need be make the Help link a bit more prominent by moving it into section 1. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 13:07, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
A lot of editors, even relatively active ones don't know what the Teahouse is or what its for. I receive Email's periodically asking about it form people who don't want to look, as a couple have said, "Stupid" by posting to a WP Talk page. Since I get one or 2 a week, it seemed like a problem that could easily be addressed with a link. Essentially as was said above 2 of the common questions are where can I find help and how do I make an article. These should be prominantly displayed without forcing the users to dig for it. Lets be honest, if you don't know what the Teahouse is, you probably aren't going to search for it. Additionally, with our new search filters to prevent Google from displaying non article stuff, in order to find them accurately you have to search for them by Namespace and a lot of folks won't know that. Frankly I would like to include a link to the User page creation wizard too but I knew that would never pass so I didn't try. Kumioko (talk) 14:13, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
That's not what I meant. You are confusing problem and solution. Your problem is that people can't find a good place to be helped. Your solution is to add a new link. I'm saying that what is behind the current links is probably the problem and that changing the content there might be a better solution. If i'm gonna look for help, i'll click Help. If that lands me at Help:Contents, then in all honesty, I think I'd get lost. So instead of adding more information (By adding a link to every page), consider creating better user guidance behind the current targets. So perhaps we should change the Help link in the side bar to point to a new help system that is better at getting people where they need to be, instead of dumping them in the index of an incomplete and confusing book. One of the first items of that guide might very well be 'Visit our Teahouse, where fellow editors will help you with any problem you have in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere." —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 17:22, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
With respect I am just trying to find a relatively low impact solution to a problem. Yes there are many problems that need to be fixed and you bring up some excellent points but using the case in point, if we meet such opposition to adding a link, how much are we going to see doing a major revamp of Help as you suggest? Kumioko (talk) 17:40, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
At the 'it will stare everyone in the face'-level, you will find much more opposition than one level down, no matter what you propose. I think a Help revamp would be much less controversial than you think, IF you put in the time to build it right and don't launch it too early. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 19:43, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
These days I think it would have more success coming from someone else but me. With my recent history if I said cats meow someone would argue they purr. You may be right that it could get more support but I don't think the community would support much with my name associated to it at this point. Kumioko (talk) 20:01, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't know if this will cheer you up, but for what its worth, there is a project that wants to take on improvements to Help:Contents, so maybe we'll see some movement in that direction sooner than you think! Agree it would be great to make it easier for new editors to find the help they're looking for, Teahouse included, where this is appropriate in the interface. Siko (talk) 20:56, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
That's great news but if the links are buried in Wikipedia and are not easily accessible to people then we are not advocating their use. We frequent editors know where to go, but the casual editors and the folks who don't edit all the time do not, nor should they be expected to know that they need to go digging for help. I would also say that I am perfectly fine with the decision not to put these links on the side menu but IMO if that decision is based on the premise that we are going to make more work for ourselves and we don't want more work, then that is a very wrong reason. Kumioko (talk) 21:22, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment There is the concern of the Teahouse being flooded with reference questions and so forth. While we surely need more questions and we're here to serve as a space where people ask questions about CONTRIBUTING and EDITING, I fear that there could be a flood of IP's coming by and our hosts will be burdened with questions that they didn't sign up to answer, so to say. SarahStierch (talk) 17:58, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
I've just spent five minutes thinking about this, and finally worked out that by reference questions you mean questions of the form "my plane tickets haven't arrived yet, where is your local office located?". Yes, there would very likely be a large influx of such questions. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 11:09, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose AFC is the only option for IP editors, but logged in editors have a better chance creating articles in mainspace where they belong and where others might help them improve them. And the Teahouse is for newly registered editors - so not appropriate for the sidebar. ϢereSpielChequers 18:32, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

That's fine by me. It doesn't really sound like there is much support for this idea so you can withdraw the request. Kumioko (talk) 19:16, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Fwiw, there is a strong desire and ongoing project, to overhaul and update as much of the Help system as possible. It's ongoing in various places, but Wikipedia:Help Project is attempting to provide a focus and center for the works. -- Quiddity (talk) 01:13, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. Support Help:Contents and Help:Teahouse in sidebar. "Teahouse" implies a more social help community. "Help:Contents" sounds like the more typical impersonal help pages people are used to on many websites. My proposal for moderators was a first attempt to help resolve content disputes in a more authoritative, but more cooperative way. Wikipedia is sorely lacking in cooperation of a more social, friendly nature. 90% (I believe) of editors and admins are male, and the common consensus of many people is that Wikipedia is a fanboy clique with a strong off-putting groupthink. "Teahouse", like salon, is understood by feminists and cooperative people in general. So they will click the link. It is the Facebook effect. Or Wikipedia can continue to live in the past if it wants to, and naysay most new ideas, per kneejerk normal at the Village Pumps. --Timeshifter (talk) 02:11, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Question - as a Help Desk regular, I have to ask why not also a direct link to that page. We get far more questions there than the Teahouse does.--ukexpat (talk) 13:02, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
ukexpat, I agree. We need a separate help menu, as suggested elsewhere by Kumioko. We could put Help:Contents, Help:Teahouse, Help desk, etc.. there. --Timeshifter (talk) 04:53, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, these pages need to be seen by new editors. They all have these two questions and this should help solve that. Swordman97 (talk)
Just a thought but why don't we add the Article creation wizard under interacton, create a new group entirely for Help, move the existing Help from interaction to the new Help group along with links to the Help desk, Help:Contents and Help:Teahouse? Kumioko (talk) 20:28, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
An interesting proposal, but much larger scope than the current thread-topic encompasses. I'd recommend looking over here (WP:Village pump (proposals)/Sidebar redesign) for old code-to-copy (and old discussions to skim through), and making up a clear demo of all the changes you suggest, and starting a new thread in a few days. -- Quiddity (talk) 22:03, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Kumioko, I like your idea. A separate help menu addresses many of the concerns expressed in the discussion. --Timeshifter (talk) 04:46, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment My concern is that it's hard to make clear what the Teahouse is for in the limited space available, and that it will likely result in a large influx of misplaced questions. Note that links in the sidebar do get a huge amount of traffic:
Help:Contents has been viewed 275548 times in 201207 [2]
Wikipedia:About has been viewed 384856 times in 201207 [3]
Compare to the current Teahouse pageviews:
Wikipedia:Teahouse has been viewed 5896 times in 201207 [4]
I'm worried that the Teahouse, which is supposed to be a calm and personal experience, will simply be overwhelmed. Perhaps Wikipedia:Questions would be a more suitable addition to the sidebar, with the title "Questions" or "Ask a question". It does allow us to highlight the Reference Desk a bit more too, which I do think more readers should know about. Or does it overlap too much with Contact Wikipedia?
As for Help, as Siko mentioned above I'm going to be proposing a major redesign of this page in the next few weeks. Nothing's finalised yet, but I can definitely say that both the Teahouse and Article Creation Wizard will feature prominently there. the wub "?!" 22:45, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
That's fine. I had just suggested adding a couple links I thought would be non-contentious and easily done. I don't have the desire or energy these days to get embroiled into another major contentious food fight. For what its worth though if we create these things like the Teahouse and the ACW then we should advocate their use not bury them in the site so only those that are familiar with the site know about them. It defeats their purpose. If we are going to be worried about making more work for ourselves then we shouldn't even start. It defeats the purpose of the pedia IMO. Kumioko (talk) 23:25, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Your idea, Kumioko, of a separate help menu could address some of wub's concerns too. People can choose the help method they prefer: Help:Contents, Help:Teahouse, Help desk, Wikipedia:Questions. Additional menus are a good way to help people navigate. Look at MediaWiki.org's sidebar. Its sidebar menus are directed at their audience, of course, but it illustrates the usefulness of more menus. Wikipedia's menus would focus on Wikipedia's readers and editors. --Timeshifter (talk) 05:09, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
A Help submenu would definitely be a good idea if we do add more links. the wub "?!" 09:55, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose both, would support Help leading to Help desk. KillerChihuahua?!? 05:01, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose both. Unnecessary clutter that would not be used by the majority. Also, there are any number of ways that an article can be created, and if an editor wants to use a particular method they can bookmark it on their computer. As for the Teahouse I am unsure how useful it is for the project and since it is not high usage a generic link is not required. -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 02:17, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose both. Per KillerChihuahua and Alan_Liefting. I think for many, many people the word "Teahouse" has no meaning at all relating to "help editing Wikipedia" so Help:Teahouse would be meaningless also. I also would support Help leading to Help:Contents. MathewTownsend (talk) 13:55, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment One link that is already there is the Wikipedia:Community portal, for which see Wikipedia:Community portal/Redesign 2012. -- John of Reading (talk) 14:02, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support They wouldn't take up much room, and would aid the learning curve for new (and more experienced) editors. All the best, Miniapolis (talk) 13:49, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Teahouse, oppose Article creation wizard. The Teahouse has proven to be very effective for new editors, who often use the sidebar to try and find a place to get help. My reservation about the article creation wizard is that it is essentially a choose your own adventure where most of the options end in death. By which I mean, it is rather designed to discourage the kinds of articles we don't want, instead of help people. It's the kind of resource we should only send someone to if they have no idea if the article they want to start is a suitable topic or not. Steven Walling • talk 00:43, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Teahouse, oppose Article creation wizard per Steven Walling. Sven Manguard Wha? 14:38, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose both - AfC has very specific uses, which doesn't really merit advertising it on the sidebar, and there's also just too much stuff there already anyway. If the help link that is currently there isn't getting folks to the right place, that is a problem with the help link currently there which will not be solved by adding more stuff under it, though it would make the sidebar that much more daunting. -— Isarra 08:39, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

How about adding a link to the tutorial instead of the Teahouse? That is certainly a useful link, and it's hard to flood that with useless requests. Face-smile.svg David1217 What I've done 02:31, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Main objection: because Introduction is just as likely (or more so, arguably). Additionally, the Help Project is in the midst of overhauling our collection of tutorials (eg see Help:Introduction to referencing/1 which is brand new, and shows the sidelink-style layout that is planned for future updates elsewhere. (instead of the current Top-tab style, which is confusing for a number of reasons)) —Quiddity (talk) 03:10, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Oy. Oh well, can a link to the introduction be added then? And it's good that the help pages are getting redone—when is that expected to be finished? David1217 What I've done 03:54, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Semi-deleted pages[edit]

I have come up with this idea to releive the burden on the backlog. Out of 4 million pages on Wikipedia, a significant percentage of them is in a miserable condition, are abandoned or not visited for a long time. As of today, there are more than 170,000 orphaned pages, 55,000 are tagged as non notable, more than 230,000 are tagged as unreferenced and 250,000 poorly referenced, including BLPs. Some of these pages are tagged like that since 2006 (there are more than 2000 orphaned pages tagged since november 2006).

The idea is to have Wikipedia automatically tag pages that satisfy a set of conditions - e.g. number of significant edits in the last 6 months (excluding bots) < 5 AND page accessed in the last 6 months < 20 times (from different IPs) - as semi-deleted ; the page would then be not accessible except for admins and a special group or reviewers (or a WikiProject) which will then decide the destiny of the page (merge or delete) without further discussion needed; alternatively (or in addition) another set of more severe rules would have Wikipedia automatically delete the page. Check for example the history of L-EXOS; the article has not been edited for more than 17 months, is still orphaned and since its creation in 2005 there have been no significant edits. You guess how many times it has been visited since. This would bypass the deletion discussion and would be an automated process helping keep Wikipedia much cleaner and make the backlog much more useful. --Itemirus (talk) 14:39, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Isn't this the difference between "published" vs "unpublished" state ? —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 15:33, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
I miss your point. Is there a flag for unpublished articles? And what is it used for? I was suggesting semi-deleting articles that are already published. --Itemirus (talk) 15:43, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm suggesting that 'semi deletion' is the wrong terminology for the functionality that you were proposing to add. Deletion being a negative concept, as well as inaccurate (since a large user group can still view the articles). Instead demoting something to 'unpublished' would be the same concept, yet better. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 16:02, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose Some articles are in a good shape, but aren't edited very often. Also, this would mean that an article in good shape about a "not so popular" topic could get deleted just for not being popular. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 15:56, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
"not so popular" is one thing; being totally invisible and forgotten is another; some articles are there just to clog the backlog, that's it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Itemirus (talkcontribs) 17:13, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
Well, if this gets implemented, I wish you fun with articles such as Angekommen wie nicht da. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 17:36, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
I see no particular problem with that. If the article about the book remains a stub and is never read for quite a while, it means that no existing or prospective editor ever cared or cares about that book , not even the original article creator. I'd merge it into the author's page.--Itemirus (talk) 18:29, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose While the idea of a semi-delete or unpublish option is intriguing as a lighter alternative to deletion, having it happen automatically, without regard to the page quality and only based on edit frequency is seriously misguided. Also, stubs aren't evil... Monty845 20:22, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
  • I don't think this type of proposal would help much in the long run. This could cause many articles that could potentially be improved to be consigned to a deletion process. Even though an article might meet some of the semi-deletion criteria listed, it might still meet notability and other guidelines, and thus is qualified for inclusion on Wikipedia and could conceivably be the subject of a once-in-ten-years search. dci | TALK 22:38, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Further comment to my vote In my opinion, it is part of Wikipedias mission to accumulate knowledge in a readable form. And in my opinion we should not hide something only because an article received few or no attention in a while. I believe determining the importance of an article based on how many edits an article gets will only make us more like facebook and less like an encyclopedia. I am NOT saying that there are not lots of articles which are in a poor shape, but this is not the way to deal with this problem. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 12:12, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose - I see the point your trying to make but the problem is there are more bad things this would create than it would help. For one, what is notability? Whats notable to me who may not care even a little about and vice versa. Many of those tags are in error or basically amount to spam and should probably be removed from the pages anyway. What purpose does it really serve to add an Expand, copyedit, Wikify or a number of other tags to a stub. We know it needs expanding! Its a stub. Also, aside from the number of times its been edited, how many times has it been viewed? There are plenty of articles that don't get edited much but have a relatively high number of views. Kumioko (talk) 19:19, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose - Ridiculous. Some GAs get 1-5 hits a day and no edits for months. Why? Because they are on a non-mainstream topic. Such a policy/guideline would just make systemic bias worse. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 05:56, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. This will result in articles on valid topics getting deleted simply because they aren't that popular. If you see an article that you're sure nobody will care about, why not just use PROD? CtP (tc) 01:11, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose (as stated) for many of the reasons noted above, the criteria will pick up decent articles on very obscure topics, which should not be semi-deleted or unpublished.
  • However I could imagine supporting an alternative, which targets poor quality articles. Perhaps one that get a sufficiently negative feedback score. --SPhilbrick(Talk) 12:06, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Talk page archivers: leaving a TOC trail[edit]

This is to propose a new (optional) Talk page archiver behavior, making access to previous topics easier, while keeping Talk pages reasonably small.

  1. Archive (move dated topics to archive, creating new archive pages as specified) using the same basic behaviors as User:MiszaBot and User:ClueBot III
  2. In Talk, keep (or create) a top-of-page level 2 topic: ==Previous discussions==
  3. Under ==Previous discussions== add a level 3 title which links to the archived level 2 dated topic
Page before archiving
==Previous discussions==
(empty)
==Topic Foo==
text. --sig1 date1
More text. --sig2 date2
Page after archiving
==Previous discussions==
===Topic Foo===

I believe this will have a beneficial effect, by keeping the fact that prior (perhaps very important) discussions occurred, visible right there in the TOC. Thoughts? --Lexein (talk) 21:56, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

I like the idea. Would the items be removed from "Previous discussions" after some time? Helder 22:36, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm imagining that ==Previous discussions== would be permanent, but maybe that section can be collapsible-boxed. I mean, the TOC itself is collapsible...--Lexein (talk) 22:45, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Seems reasonable for low activity talk pages, though would be totally unworkable for very high activity ones, so the bot would need to handle the conversion from the new method to a conventional high volume archive when necessary. Monty845 23:54, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Right. There is no conversion. To stop leaving a TOC-trail, just delete the whole ==Previous discussions== section and set the archiver option |TOC-trail = no. No other change is necessary. All the /Archive1...n will still be there, because of requirement (1) above. --Lexein (talk) 00:47, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I think you want User:HBC Archive Indexerbot/OptIn for archive (and current talk page) indexing in the order the items appeared in the TOC (or any other order, sortable) and which seems to be performed these days by User:Legobot. —Cupco 01:43, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
That's a separate index page. This is about keeping the Talk page integral, requiring no off-page navigation to see prior topics, in a very compact way. --Lexein (talk) 06:04, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
You could always transclude {{User:ClueBot III/Master Detailed Indices/{{FULLPAGENAME}}}}, but as seen here: User:ClueBot III/Master Detailed Indices/User talk:Cobi, it can be very, very long for even a user talk page, and for high-bandwidth pages, completely unmanageable. -- Cobi(t|c|b) 10:29, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
My proposal is not intended for high-bandwidth Talk pages. Do you have a specific objection to a compact, non-transcluded, TOC-based archive index as suggested?--Lexein (talk) 10:55, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Comment. You could keep the last year, 3 months, or 6 months TOC trail on the talk page. After that period of time, move the old TOC trail index to a consolidation page. Keep moving the TOC trail to that one page. Then you end up with one TOC index on one page. That would be very useful.

Currently, busy talk pages such as Village Pumps have huge archives spread out over many pages. The only way to find anything is with an archive search tool. It would be nice to be able to scan the topics, too. If I am looking to see what the topics of discussion have been for the last year or 6 months this would be very convenient.

Look at meta:Wikimedia Foundation Report, July 2012 and the archive index by month and year to the right. That collapsible index format could be adapted to a TOC trail consolidated to one page.

Helder might be interested in all this as another way to index the Portuguese Wikipedia Village Pumps. It currently indexes using monthly and yearly categories. See: the monthly discussion categories listed here: pt:Categoria:!Arquivo da Esplanada - 2012. Such as this one: pt:Categoria:!Esplanada/geral/setembro de 2012. That category lists discussions started in September 2012. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:42, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Ok, now I see that a separate cumulative (compact) TOC trail page makes sense. I theorize that keeping a TOC trail of links to old discussions will help stickiness, and help avoid needless rediscussion, but I have no proof that it will help. People will often write before reading, and that's human nature. Navigation of old content is always going to be a bit of a thorn, and I well know there can't be a single solution. I should test the idea by manually creating a TOC trail on one Talk page for a few key already-archived topics, to see how people respond to it. A question remains - how do we keep people from commenting in the Archives? Full page protection? --Lexein (talk) 16:38, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Well, the only reason I see not to allow people from editing "archived" discussions is because their comments may not be seen, since people only watch the main talk page. This is not a problem on Portuguese Wikipedia, which uses subpages for each topic, because "archiving a topic" just means "removing a link to it from the main talk page". In this case, anyone who was watching the topic before it was archived will still be watching it afterwards (and then will note a new comment made after the archiving). If more then one people add comments on an "archived" topic, it can be resurrected by re-adding the link on the main page. Helder 18:37, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I think DPLforum is a better way to index Village Pumps based on subpages. See mw:Extension:DPLforum and the discussion higher up:
#Proposal for one Village Pump using DPLforum or other subpage discussion software.
With DPLforum discussion titles do not have to be manually added back to the main page.
Wikia's Village Pumps use DPLforum where subpage discussion titles are listed and linked on the discussion entry page. The discussion with the latest reply is at the top. So old discussions can be replied to, and their title automatically moved back to the main page. At Wikia, old discussions are automatically "archived" after around a couple months (I believe) without replies. The edit link on those discussions is gone, and a trick has to be used to edit it. So it is difficult to reply to archived discussions older than two months.
English Wikipedia talk archives are marked as archives at the top and bottom of the page. So people know not to reply to them.
See {{talk archive}}
On pages with that banner there are no edit buttons except at the top of the page. They are not fully protected pages, because sometimes people want to update links, especially links to discussions after they are archived.
With any Mediawiki discussion method it would be nice to have a TOC trail by date of creation of topics. But what to do after that. With its archives English Wikipedia can show on one page all the old topics from a certain period in the past.
Portuguese Village Pump does not currently have a way to compile old topics and open them up on one page. For example; by month. It would be nice to be able to pick a month, any month, and see all the topics started in that month opened up on one page. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:56, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
That should be an easy thing to do adapting the code from another gadget, which is used to display the Articles for Deletion of each day. Since it uses a category, and the Village Pump also has categories for each month, it is just a matter of plugging the right things into the right places to get the feature you want. Helder 20:20, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Interesting. I found this too: Template:Deletion debates. It is funny and telling that deletion discussions are cataloged and organized in multitudinous ways, but English Village Pump discussions use out-of-date software, have a poor TOC trail, and can not be linked to permanently. I wish I could program JavaScript, but I haven't studied it. I can edit some HTML and some basic CSS. Maybe some other JavaScript coders reading this can help out. --Timeshifter (talk) 16:48, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

A pair of gadget removal proposals[edit]

I've proposed removing two gadgets at Wikipedia talk:Gadget#Deprecate textareasansserif? and Wikipedia talk:Gadget#Does Gadget-NewDiff actually do anything anymore?. Please comment. Thanks. Anomie 18:33, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Renaming of "Featured" to differentiate icon with quality-level[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
I'm closing this RfC per a WP:AN request. The result of the discussion is that there is no consensus to call featured articles something other than "featured", with about two thirds of commentators opposed to such a change.  Sandstein  07:43, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Okay, now before the vultures start attacking, here's my reasoning:

Sorry.... in retrospect that was rather a strong opening, and I am sorry if anyone took offense to it. This proposal was not created to rustle anyone's feathers, and I hope is not seen as some random outsider trying to come in from nowhere and try to dictate how the Featured projects should be run. My aim was to bring up a healthy discussion on a topic that I don't think has ever been brought up before. Something that I have personally found to be a major pet peeve and wanted to gauge the public opinion surrounding this issue to, indeed, work out of it is an issue at all. My reasoning is below.

  • "Featured" implies that the article has achieved this status by being prominently place somewhere (in Wikipedia's case, on the main page).
  • There may be some vague link between exceptional article quality and an article being featured on the main page, but without anything like "our best work" above the FA text on the main page, we cannot assume our readers will pick up on this. They may very well assume it to be 'another' DYK that just got picked out from the bunch.
  • It certainly was a huge shock to me when I found out that you could have articles at 'featured article status' that had never been featured on the main page - because FA is actually a level of article quality, not a symbol of being featured on the main page
  • [If I am wrong up to this point, please let me know. This is what I understand after some investigation into the matter]
  • So, I suggest we rename the featured article status to, for example, "great article" or "excellent article", or "best article" or something like that to then make it obvious that we are talking about levels of quality here.
  • Then when the star is added, it is simply a badge of honour to recognise that the article has also been featured on the main page at least once throughout its lifetime.
  • One consequence of this decision would be that Wikipedia:Featured article candidates will be renamed to Wikipedia:________ article candidates. Perhaps a new forum, specifically designed for setting up a calender for FAs of the day can be set up. Perhaps one is already set up that I don't know about) Then TFA can pretty much stay as is.

This is here to spark intelligent debate over this matter. Please do not shut it down with a policy shortcut, or with an attitude of "its too hard" or "its too complicated" etc. (without a proper argument to support your view)

I look forward to this discussion with you.--Coin945 (talk) 04:23, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

Support[edit]

  • Support (being my proposal and all.. :D)--Coin945 (talk) 08:20, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support You'd be surprised how many people think Today's Featured Article is selected by random; hence my labelling it "Best of Wikipedia" in my Main Page redesign. — Pretzels Hii! 06:53, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support in principle, but only if a better name can be found. I agree that "Featured" is not optimal, but so far have not seen a better alternative suggested. Oppose objections based on traditional usage, there is enough inertia on Wikipedia without institutionalising it. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 10:25, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Do any of the suggestions before tickle your fancy?--Coin945 (talk) 06:10, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Exemplary is the best so far, as suggesting that the article is a good example to be followed, but I am not convinced that it is much better than Featured. Most of the others are over the top. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 09:34, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support at least discussing the idea, and my suggestion would be something like exceptional, as that meaning accurately describes such articles as both "rare" and "superior". —Torchiest talkedits 15:46, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Strongly support Renaming - I'd be fine with "Article of quality" or "Quality article", based directly from the term already used by assessment. I'd also be fine with "exceptional" or even "noteworthy" as well. I strongly oppose words like "good/better/best/great/excellent/top/awesome/supreme/perfect/etc." as too subjective, and giving too much the impression of finality or being completed/"done". - jc37 19:22, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Please mind that the term Quality article is already used with a different meaning, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 05:42, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I find the adjective featured to be a misnomer. The articles are not noted for their prominence, but rather their quality. I'd be in favor of a high quality/quality for FA/GA or calling these exemplary articles, which is what they truly are.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 21:58, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
    Exemplary is a great word. I'd support that. - jc37 03:04, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
    Theoretically, if we rename featured to exemplary, and then rename start to D level, then we can have the ABCDEFG - or Alphabet quality system (A, B, C, D, Exemplary, Featured, Good) - sounds rather catchy! :D--Coin945 (talk) 06:12, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Weakly support renaming to something along the lines of either "Valued" or "Quality" for GA, and "Prime" for FA. WikiPuppies bark dig 22:52, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support exceptional or anything else. I have been previously troubled by the word featured. Bzweebl (talkcontribs) 03:41, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. I like "Top article" "and "Premium article" best of all. Toccata quarta (talk) 04:26, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support changing. --Nouniquenames (talk) 06:07, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support per Nom & others with strong support on the exemplary naming convention. LTC b2412 Troops Talk MedCab Talk? 11:33, 9 September 2012 (UTC)


Oppose[edit]

  • Oppose – I'm just not seeing a problem with the use of the word 'Featured'. In part it's preferable for being a relative term, rather than an absolute like "Great" or "Excellent". For the latter form to be meaningful, you really need to hold a review by a body that is independent of Wikipedia. Sorry. RJH (talk) 03:34, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
    Per the Wiktionary, the verb 'feature' means to "ascribe the greatest importance to something within a certain context". Kind of what we're doing. Front page appearance is an additional outcome that many editors seem to appreciate; not everybody does, however. Regards, RJH (talk) 18:19, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
    I understand the prestige that comes with having your article on the main page. My point is that if nobody understands that your page has been chosen because of its exceptional quality, then it's a bit of a waste. I think this is a two-pronged attack. Rename FA to something else to differentiate being top-notch quality and being featured on the main page, and then make it clear that we only "feature" something on the main page if it is top-notch quality. The consequence of this is that we will also be able to feature good article (I rememeber reading a discussion about this somewhere - people wanting to allow Good Articles to be featured on the main page).--Coin945 (talk) 00:58, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Featured articles have always (or basically always) been around here. I mean, the whole process (criteria, FAC, FAR, etc), not the articles themselves. A change like this would break a very long standing tradition, and would force to rename or modify hundreds of pages, along with interwikis, and to fix several templates to keep it all working... and for which gain? If a change gives more problems than solutions, or give big problems while not solving anyone (we may like it, or not, or just take it as it is, but there's not really a "problem" with the current name), then it's better to be conservative. There's no need to change for the mere sake of changing. Cambalachero (talk) 04:02, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Agree with the concerns by Cambalachero, a change would break a long standing tradition and could force the rename or modify several pages and fix several templates. As such, there's no need to change it just for the sake of changing. Lord Sjones23 (talk - contributions) 04:19, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - a traditional name - fitting or not - is THE NAME. Perhaps explain what it means more often, - I remember that it came up when I was welcomed to Wikipedia and I had NO IDEA what that meant, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:44, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
    I disagree... I don't like the idea of sticking with a bad idea just because of traditional reasons. It's a very outdated idea. I thought that in the 21st century, we'd decided that if we hind a better solution to a problem, the only logical choice would be to switch. Isn't that what evolution is? Resistance to change due to tradition is a very silly idea imo. --Coin945 (talk) 10:02, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
    "Very silly idea", a featured phrase! You got me wrong: I am not against changing structures and procedures, rather the opposite ;) But why change a name? Would you change yours to Bill because Coin might seem too small? Of the suggestions below, I don't prefer any to what we have. "Great article" would share GA with Good article, not a great idea. - Did you ask the people who run FA and TFA what they think? --Gerda Arendt (talk) 16:54, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
    The main point of the proposal was to gauge the public opinion, before we went ahead with something bigger. However, you are right. It probably is time to link the FA and TFA pages here since there seems to be some momentum.--Coin945 (talk) 06:10, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Ps: "featured" is more neutral than the alternative suggestions, FAs are of different quality, some 6-year-old ones would not meet today's high standards --Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:48, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
    Just on that last point, how would it be any different to the rest of the naming system? Good article - what does that even mean...? If we were trying to creating a new type of article called good article here in 2012, the entire discussion would be filled up with arguments of "how do you define good" etc. Featured may be a more neutral word, but it is completely misleading and frankly, very confusing. And the last part of your sentence proves my point exactly. Yes, articles that have been featured on the main page, both past and rpesent, are of very different qualities. This way having a featured article star does not insinuate any sort of quality, but instead merely points out that the article has been featured on the main page.--Coin945 (talk) 09:58, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose (unless I see a really good alternative). Not something I'd thought was a problem. Casliber (talk · contribs) 15:44, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Do any of the suggestions before tickle your fancy?--Coin945 (talk) 06:10, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Not so far "quality" is a bit general, "exemplary" somewhat esoteric....Casliber (talk · contribs) 14:27, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. All the supporting arguments so far would apply equally to renaming the Olympic medals. There's nothing actually "golden" about a 1st place finish. Renaming the Olympic medals would be a bad idea, for the obvious reasons, and those reasons apply equally to the idea of renaming any Featured content. - Dank (push to talk) 16:32, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose this is pain for no gain. Per RJH (above), the word "featured" is perfectly cromulant here. An article is "featured" on the Wikipedia:Featured articles page. A subset of FA's become TFA's (Today's Featured Article) which are on the front page - and that process often involves what amounts to another review stage (over and above WP:FA) at WP:TFAR. I agree that it used to be that every FA wound up being TFA - but since the rate of FA creation is now slightly more than one per day - that's no longer possible. But the articles are all featured somewhere - so the name is still applicable. Going through and renaming every occurrence of "FA" to whatever this proposal would require is an arduous and unnecessary task. There are better things for busy people to be doing than this. SteveBaker (talk) 16:38, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Our Featured Articles are now well established and have a strong tradition. Graham Colm (talk) 21:09, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The term "Featured Article" is ingrained within the Wikipedia community. It should not be renamed unless there is a very good reason to change it. I'll admit, it's a little vague, but changing it now could confuse new users even more. I may change my mind if someone suggests an exceptionally brilliant replacement.--SGCM (talk) 21:48, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose—FAs are featured on Wikipedia:Featured articles, which is prominently linked from the bottom of the TFA space on the Main Page. Any renaming of FAs would also have to include the Featured Lists, Featured Topics, Featured Pictures, Featured Sounds and Featured Portals, all of which are featured in their own places of honor, and only some of which are included on the Main Page. You can't discuss renaming one of the six types of Featured Content without equally discussing them all. Imzadi 1979  22:24, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
    Why don't we feature them all on the main page though?--Coin945 (talk) 06:16, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
    There was consensus to add Featured Sounds to the Main Page when Features Lists were added. However, the FS process has shut down. There has never been a proposal that's gained consensus to add the Featured Topics or Featured Portals to the Main Page.
    Then, perhaps that is where we should be heading as well. Especially considering that newbies (sorry, I extrapolate from my own personal experiences), have no idea what either are, and will feature much "featured" content that never gets the recognition is deserves.... e.g. what are featured topic creators aimng for? Self-satisfation? Working to complete a Wikiproject task force? NO reward at the end of all their hard work? Why not a main page spot?!! :D--Coin945 (talk) 04:51, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
    Again though, "Featured" in this context doesn't mean "Featured on the Main Page"; all of the types of Featured Content are listed on their corresponding lists, featuring them there instead. Imzadi 1979  06:59, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Can you explain why, please?--Coin945 (talk) 06:10, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Because it is an established name with recognition and a long history, used across 6 projects (Featured pics, etc). Because it would be a ton of work, and for what? Because you don't care for the name. I'm not seeing the point, frankly. KillerChihuahua?!? 13:52, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • oppose renaming established name works fine and I see no need to make a change as per KillerChihuahua. Dlohcierekim 04:18, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose proposal is far from convincing.Hillabear10 (talk) 05:08, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose There is no name that would accurately convey exactly what an FA is, and there is no reason to change from a word that a lot of people understand. Johnuniq (talk) 10:45, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose, unless someone comes up with a really good alternative. The OP and the people supporting this don't seem to understand what Featured Articles actually are. FAs aren't of "exceptional article quality"; aren't "the best of Wikipedia"; aren't "exemplary"; aren't "noteworthy"; aren't "prime". The FA process measures only whether an article complies with Wikipedia's arbitrary set of style guidelines, provides a reasonably comprehensive view of the topic, and is fully and accurately cited. There are some articles which undoubtedly meet the FA criteria but couldn't possibly be described as "Wikipedia's best work" (1, 2, 3, 4, 5); there are a lot more articles which are of superb quality but will never meet the FA criteria. (FA criterion 1c—"a thorough and representative survey of the relevant literature"—excludes a large number of topics from making it to FA, just because they've been the topic of so much coverage it's impossible to thoroughly cover it; see Nature, James I of Scotland and Roman Republic as just a few of hundreds of examples.) – iridescent 12:59, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
    Even though you said "FAs ... aren't 'the best of Wikipedia'", you linked to WP:WIAFA, which states quite clearly, "A featured article exemplifies our very best work". You are either discussing policies that are foreign to you or ... something else. Toccata quarta (talk) 04:35, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
    This common confusion is a big part of the problem... - jc37 17:07, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose The current name has served us fine for years and doesn't seem to confuse most readers or editors. To me it also sounds more refined than the proposed alternatives. Furthermore, the FAs are chosen to be singled out (for excellence) by a process--in that sense featuring or featured are not misnomers at all. wctaiwan (talk) 05:10, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Featured is a proper way to describe the articles. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 00:15, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose as Featured is an accurate and compelling name. We want these articles to seem featured in the eyes of readers. It's why we put so much work into them. Steven Walling • talk 00:52, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose I don't think any of the names given below work better than Featured. The issue is less with the name and more with that we're not terribly good with promoting our best work, methinks. Sven Manguard Wha? 14:45, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Comments[edit]

Do you know why they were renamed featured article in the first place?--Coin945 (talk) 08:22, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
IIRC, it was due to the plan of featuring them on the main page, combined with the sense that "Brilliant prose" sounded a bit self-complimentary. KillerChihuahua?!? 13:54, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Also, the criteria were expanded to focus on more than just prose quality. Now FAs are checked for compliance with the MOS, image use policy, sourcing, quality of sources, comprehensiveness of content, and other items, not just the quality of the writing. Imzadi 1979  22:16, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Ahhh that makes sense. Yes, that does sound rather self-complimentary. I understand why the old name was change, and even to some degree why it was changed to that specifically (there was a plan to feature wiki's best work on the main page, ergo featured ~ best). I am still convinced that this has been a pet peeve for many editors for ages, and it should be rectified.--Coin945 (talk) 04:47, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

The actual renaming[edit]

Possible replacement names for featured article (please place your own suggestions here too):

  1. Exemplary article
  2. Great article - (logical progression after "good")
  3. Excellent article - (logical progression after "good")
  4. Exceptional article - (describes articles as both "rare" and "superior" - as Torchiest said :D)
  5. Best article - (identifying these article as the best that Wikipedia has to offer)
  6. Quality article - (these articles are of an exceptionally high quality)
  7. Perfect article - (fits all the criteria that a "perfect" Wikipedia article should have)
  8. Top article - (at the very top of the quality table)
  9. Fine article
  10. First-class article
  11. Prime article
  12. Premium article
  13. Supreme article
  14. Super article


  • Taking the proposition further, for a replacement name I would probably go for Best article, as the page on Featured article criteria says: "A featured article exemplifies our very best work and is distinguished by professional standards of writing, presentation, and sourcing". In Pretzel's main page redesign, he renamed "Featured Article" to "Best of Wikipedia". It states what these articles are clearly and concisely. I think this would be a good way to go.--Coin945 (talk) 15:50, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Exemplary/Exceptional sound like the favourite choices in the discussion above.--Coin945 (talk) 04:55, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
They are no examples, they should not be exceptions, - keep it simple, keep "featured" --Gerda Arendt (talk) 13:10, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) See my comment above. You don't seem to understand what a Featured Article actually is. The process does not measure "excellence", let alone declare articles to be "exceptional"; it measures only whether an article fully complies with Wikipedia's style and sourcing standards, and thus (hopefully) won't embarrass Wikipedia if it's featured (hence the name) on the main page. – iridescent 13:17, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose any replacement for the current name. Leave it as it is. Imzadi 1979  06:59, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment – Assigning a superlative like Supreme article or even Exceptional article to a page is a sure-fire way for Wikipedia to lose credibility. It darn well better have won a Pulitzer prize first. Regards, RJH (talk) 21:06, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Some historical context[edit]

Just to give us some idea of the history of the article-quality titles, so we get a better understanding of what we're dealing with here, can someone explain how we ended up with a quality-control system that consists of both letters (in a school-grade system) like A, B and C & then also words like start, stub, good, and featured? It seems like a really confused system. Also, on a side note, I don't understand the purpose of A (at least anymore). The logical progression always seems to go stub --> start --> c --> b --> good --> featured. I just saw an article that was both at A level and a Good article, and that got be wondering: what does good article even mean....? --Coin945 (talk) 16:13, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

The standard explanation, in brief: A, B, C (and start) are project-based ratings, FA and GA are community-based ratings. One project may rate a article B-class for decent coverage of content related to the project topic, while another project may consider it C or start for minimal coverage of its project topic (not all projects use C ratings, which were a later addition). It's not uncommon for one aspect of a topic to be better covered than other aspects, leading to different project ratings. FA and GA are not reviews within a topic area, so reflect somewhat broader reviews of overall content, writing, image use, and so on. If an article has been approved by a project's A-class review and also the community GA review, both will appear on the talk page. Gimmetoo (talk) 17:15, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Most wikiprojects do not actually use the A rating, preferring to count anything below good status as B. (C was actually introduced only comparatively recently, as something between B class and Start class.) One good example of a project which does still use the A class is the military history project, who place A class as somewhere between GA and FA, requiring an FA-style assessment. As another historical note, in case no one else has mentioned it, you may be interested to know that the "featured articles" project was preceded by a system called "brilliant prose". This is back in Wikipedia's earliest days. J Milburn (talk) 21:35, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
The Highways Project has its own A-Class Review (used primarily by the U.S. Roads and Canada Roads projects) that also operates as FAC-light to assess articles as above GA and below or ready to be nominated for FA. Our ACR requires that an article be a GA before review as well, so M-553 (Michigan highway) is both a Good Article (it's listed on WP:GA), and an A-Class article (it was reviewed at WP:HWY/ACR). That just means it's a Good Article that is no longer at GA-Class, again that's possible because GA status and GA-Class are technically distinct. (see below).
The Stub-Class is an analog to the stub-sorting project, and typically it's reserved for short or unorganized articles. Start-Class is the next level up in terms of content and organization; I liken it to being the start of a decent article. That's followed by C, B, GA-Class (technically distinct from GA), A-Class and FA-Class (also technically distinct from FA). A project doesn't have to award GA-Class to an article listed as a GA; in fact USRD has had a few examples where a GA failed to meet the project's B-Class criteria, even though it was awarded GA status, so the article would have been both a C-Class and a GA before they were improved. Imzadi 1979  22:24, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Huhhhhh..... wow... I finally get it now.. :D Thankyou for all your wonderful insight. Your insights into the article quality system on wikipedia have enlightened me, and I'm sure many others as well. (BTW, why aren't there Wiki page on the history of different aspects of Wikipedia, such as this, or AFD, or talk pages etc... now, THAT, i would love to read). :D I think the question that must be asked next (considering that the main argument is: "is all that hard work worth a name", I want to explore how confusing that one name is to people. It may seem trivial, but it's those trivial things that annoy/confuse/agitate people a bit, each time they come into contact with them, but they come into contact with them constantly! (like a fly buzzing passed your face that you have to swat away --> little effort + frequent = very annoying). If the title can be changed once, it surely can be changed again. I want to know why the title got changed from "brilliant prose" to "featured article" int he first place. Perhaps the knowledge behind this change this will either strengthen my argument, or alternatively put another nail in the coffin. Do any of you know the answer to this?--Coin945 (talk) 14:52, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Plus, Imzadi1979 if what you say is true, and that GA-Class is technically distinct from GA, and FA-Class is technically distinct from FA, don't you find this very confusing? In an age (at least this is how I understand it) where we are trying to reposition Wikipedia as being a brand open and accepting of newbies/the non-editor to reel them in (new main page, WYSIWYG editing etc., should we try to make things as easy as possible for them?--Coin945 (talk) 14:57, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
On what you were saying about "Liken[ing start-class] to being the start of a decent article", I think in 2012 this is wrong in regards to Wikipedia articles. Perhaps in the past one sentence articles would suffice as stubs, but nowadays they get deleted within an instant (I disagree with this sentiment, but, wadaya gonna do..). Nowadays, what you describe as a start article, I would liken much more to a stub article - the only way a stub article can survive Special:Newpages is for it to be what would've passed for a start-class article 6 years ago. Perhaps start-class is obsolete. Perhaps it is misnamed. We need to realise that these traditions have stayed here for so long while time has moved on. Technology has moved on. And most importantly, WE have moved on. We need to change the structure of our site to keep up with the way Wikipedia works in 2012.--Coin945 (talk) 15:08, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't find it confusing that GA status and GA-Class assessment are separate. One is a status awarded by a community-based review process, and the other is a WikiProject-level assessment. Take, for example, a hypothetical article on a highway in Wisconsin. It's tagged by the USRD project and the Wisconsin project. Let's assume that someone took it to GAN, and it passed. Now it's a Good Article and it's been reassessed as GA-Class because both projects make that status equivalent to that assessment. OK, now the article is reviewed at ACR for USRD and promoted. Because the Wisconsin project wouldn't necessarily have to honor our ACR, the article would be A-Class for USRD and GA-Class for WI, but it's still listed on WP:GA because it's still a Good Article. A-Class doesn't change the little green icon on the article, nor does it remove the article from the WP:GA list.
For another example, Prairie Avenue would have once been tagged for USRD before the US Streets project was formed. (USRD deals with state highways, not city streets). It's a FA, but if it were still tagged for USRD, it would fall as a Start-Class article on our assessment scheme. (It's missing a junction list, which USRD requires in addition to a route description and a history section for C- or B-Class assessments.) The assessment classes are distinct from any status awarded through the community review processes. Imzadi 1979  22:22, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm sorry, what you have just described is actually very confusing and counter-intuitive to me. I understand the argument that articles can be part of different wikiprojects, which all have different criteria for different quality-levels but:
  • I thought over time the separate ways of analysing article quality (in different wikprojects etc.) had all been merged into one - thereby standardising how article quality is seen throughout Wikipedia
  • I think an article is only as good as its lowest quality-level. If you have a featured article that is stil considered a start-class article in the USRD rating system, what that says to me is that the article doesn't have all it's supposed to have after all, and that the article should lose its FA status. An FA article should have addressed all the FA criteria for the various Wikiprojects that make it up. Therefore it just doesn't make sense to me that you can have an FA article while the Wikiprojects rate it as something less.... *confused face*.--Coin945 (talk) 04:47, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Think of it this way. A Good Article usually means GA-Class, and a Featured Article usually means FA-Class but there will be exceptions. WP:MILHIST once assessed its Featured Lists as FA-Class because the project didn't use FL-Class. Yes, the classes usually line up with the community ratings from GA/FA/FL, but there is no requirement that they do so. Some projects use non-standard classes, there is a B+ rating in use by some projects that's above B-Class, and MILHIST has CL-, BL- and AL-Class for lists. (See Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Assessment.) Featured Pictures and Featured Sounds can be assessed as FM-Class (Featured Media) instead of just File-Class for projects that care to make the distinction, but some projects don't assess files at all. So no, there hasn't been full standardization, and they're probably won't be for quite a while, if ever. Imzadi 1979  10:44, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Hmm... then perhaps standardisation is where we should be heading instead on this rename. I've always thought it weird that we have all this quality levels for articles but only 2 for lists. Why don't we follow WP:MILHIST's lead and get these to be the norm?--Coin945 (talk) 13:41, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Alternate proposal - consider review of all A-class for merger into GA or FA (pending GAN or FAC)[edit]

  • Actually, I would support a reorganization of GA, A-class ranking and FA-class - as above - we review all A-class articles and maybe rename 'GA' to 'A' - or just leave A out all together...Casliber (talk · contribs) 22:24, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
The community at large cannot enforce this upon WikiProjects that choose to conduct their own A-class reviews. A proposal like this must be made at those projects, individually. - Floydian τ ¢ 22:53, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
A-Class, IMHO, is a step between GA and FA, a chance to get extra reviewer input to say it's better than "Good" even if it's not "Featured" level yet. Since there isn't a community-based process, and only WikiProject-level processes, I don't think a discussion here could tell a WikiProject it has to stop using A-Class. Also, there is a fair gulf between the requirements of the GA and FA criteria, and A-Class recognizes that an article fits in between those two levels. Imzadi 1979  23:09, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Hmmm.. i dunno. Getting rid of GA would be a good idea. If we're arguing about how valid article quality terms are, "good" is about as vague as you can get. It is a real bitch that we'd have to get every. single. wikiproject to take up the new system... I wonder if theres a way to standardise the way article quality is done around here... It's been 10 years, and I think we've moved past the 'lets just plow right ahead with our own approaches, and tackle those bridges when we come to them' stage. Btw, as I said above, I've always thoguht it weird that we only have 2 quality levels for lists. Why havent we changed that al;ready. All we have to do is have a list level to match every article level. They wont have the same criteria, of course, but it seems like a pretty jolly idea, doesn't it? :D--Coin945 (talk) 13:30, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
GA, and the review part of FA should be merged to WP:Peer review (as all three are mostly redundant to each other, and this would consolidate resources). If FA is only to determine whether specific content is to be placed on the main page (or at P:FC), then that's all it should be. - jc37 17:10, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Suggestion - How about an additional level? GA, EA (excellent article) and FA? ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 00:18, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.