Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 93

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Village pumps: PolicyTechnicalProposals (persistent)Miscellaneous


New Optional Dark Skin for Wikipedia[edit]

I think Wikipedia should create a new skin for users who prefer a dark theme. It should not be that difficult to implement. Change just a few color sets, such as black or dark gray as the background, fonts can be white, internal links can be yellow, etc. Otherwise the design can be equivalent to the original.

It would be extremely appreciated by many, it would also be functional for someone who works in a dark room and hence not having to squint because of bright white light from the screen. The option would be available to registered users, and perhaps even for ordinary readers, if possible.

Please consider this proposal! Can be very useful for some people, and is not difficult to implement.

ThTK35 (talk) 20:33, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

There's an option in Preferences > Gadgets for "Use a black background with green text on the Monobook skin"; if you tick this, you'll probably also need to set the skin back to monobook from the default vector. Hopefully this should be more or less what you're looking for... Andrew Gray (talk) 22:44, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Thank you very much! Fixed it, it's a good skin for night reading but the option is hard to find for common people. And the design is somewhat outdated, had not implemented Wikipedia's renewal of the design. Hope someone has the desire to improve it and make it more "mainstream", would help many others. ThTK35 (talk) 13:55, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

There have been quite some requests for "black background, green text" for vector:

I hope you can find someone to help you with an update of the skin. --Atlasowa (talk) 20:43, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

I just saw that User:Dodoïste has been updating the skin in recent months, do have a look at MediaWiki_talk:Gadget-Blackskin.css. --Atlasowa (talk) 12:33, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment: Anyone interested in new alternative skins, including those with potential for dark themes, I would encourage you to check out the set of skin ideas from several designers at the Foundation. Steven Walling • talk 21:49, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
    • Is Athena expected to have multiple skin options? I had assumed from the description that it was still one basic design, rather than a collection. Andrew Gray (talk) 22:05, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
      • (with my work account now) Athena is basically a set of design goals, and while I think it will end up with one new skin, the design team is looking at variety of ideas for look-and-feel right now. If a light and dark option for any skin is something folks want (it's quite a reasonable request), then you should drop by the Athena talk page and suggest it. Steven Walling (WMF) • talk 18:35, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
  • For a black Vector, we could perhaps use a more readable version of this one I made as a joke on uncyclopedia in January. While that is just a page gag in monobook, I was going to make it work with the current mediawiki anyway one of these days, and wikipedia is so much more stylable than uncyclopedia... could be fun. Be pretty trivial to then add the vector css to the monobook gadget to make it support both, though that would also make it a bit bigger... should I do that, then? -— Isarra 05:06, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Convert Village Pump to Wikia Community Forum software[edit]

Note. Moved from Wikipedia:Village pump (technical). This is now a proposal. See proposal section farther down. --Timeshifter (talk) 20:29, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

I am an admin-bureaucrat on a Wikia wiki, and I currently have over 36,000 edits there. Wikia sucks in so many ways. One good thing though about Wikia is that central, community discussions between editors across the wikis are very useful and productive. There are many expert coders participating. They fix innumerable problems caused by the Wikia staff and its software experimentation. Wiki admins add the custom fixes across many wikis.

Those central, community forums at Wikia are much better organized than the Village Pumps here, and have much better software. That is the model that should have been used for LiquidThreads. See here:

For example; look at the multiple threads at this specific forum:

Each thread can be put on one's watchlist. The thread with the last post goes to the top. So it is easy to see current discussion. Old discussion naturally scrolls off the bottom of the screen. Everything can be searched. What's not to like? --Timeshifter (talk) 18:51, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Er, the advertising? --Redrose64 (talk) 20:38, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, duh. How about a substantive comment, instead of the usual Village Pump fanboy comment? --Timeshifter (talk) 18:47, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm in favor. Although I do think that the DPLForum (which is the extension in question) approach is somewhat simplistic, as long as we don't have Flow, it might be good medium term solution. It needs to be reviewed first though. I have reopened the bug ticket on this issue. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 20:21, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
That the threads are forever moving over the page is one of the most offputting aspects of this layout. If I'm watching something or indeed the whole page, it keeping some sort of rigid structure to it is an advantage, not a disadvantage. NtheP (talk) 21:21, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't think I have heard any complaints along those lines at the Wikia forums. People seem to really like the format. As I said you can put individual threads on your watchlist. There is a link at the bottom of them called "Follow" that puts a thread on one's watchlist. I also check off the box in My Preferences to email me when a page I'm following is changed on the community wiki where the central forums are located. Mainly just for those threads. On my main wiki I use the recent changes watchlist.
A new experimental Village Pump could be set up alongside the regular, old Village Pumps. People would soon see how much better it is to be able to watchlist individual threads.
This forum method might also be useful for putting central forums on a Wikimedia forum wiki. Forums that people might actually use. Versus the greatly disliked Liquid Threads. If it is just a forum wiki, then people would not fear checking off the box in My Preferences to get email when a watchlisted thread is edited. This would be better than continuing to try to get involvement on forums on Meta and Strategy wikis. People really dislike the scattered forums there, and Liquid Threads there. A wiki just for forums might be a solution for global discussions. Since it is just for forums, an integrated global watchlist would not be needed. That has not been created yet. Email notification of thread replies would be acceptable to people since they would only be getting email for replies to individual threads. --Timeshifter (talk) 16:14, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
This is the wrong VP for this discussion: It's policy, not technical. The feasability is a technical question. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 16:43, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Even if we wanted to this isn't the correct VP to make the actual decision, feasability yes agreeing to the change no. Not sure i would be for it anyway but thats better left for the right board.Blethering Scot 17:21, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
The technical issues are what concern me and others now. This thread is linked from Bugzilla and other places too. --Timeshifter (talk) 19:09, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
  • How would the new forum work with the templates/bots that operate to support policy discussions/RFCs? Monty845 17:44, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Each thread can be linked to. So, for example; links can be added to Template:Centralized discussion. I am not sure though what you are referring to. --Timeshifter (talk) 19:23, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
I think it is possible there will be the same problem we have with LQT: meta:Talk:Global message delivery#To-do. Helder 00:15, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
  • How do I quickly and easily search the whole page? Dougweller (talk) 18:19, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
See the search box here: --Timeshifter (talk) 19:14, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
That's what I was afraid of. Search is definitely inferior with that system. I have to open each thread individually. No thanks. Dougweller (talk) 13:16, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
It is actually much easier. The Wikia search results list only has those threads that contain your search terms. The Village Pump archive search results lists whole archives. Several, or many, of them. So you have to open up a whole archive of multiple topic threads in order to see just one thread in that archive. That can be slow for people using dialup internet access. And it is easy to lose one's place in an archive.
It is also easier when using your browser to search within a current topic thread. Because at the Village Pump you have to wade through all the other threads on the current Village Pump page while using your browser to search for terms on the topic thread of interest. It is easy to lose one's place among all the topic threads. Happens to me often. It is much easier to search within a single topic thread as at Wikia central forums. --Timeshifter (talk) 16:17, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
  • I absolutely strongly oppose adding any sort of "forum" to Wikipedia. This very much sets the wrong "tone". Anything which indicates that Wikipedia is a forum-style place is contrary to the project goal. - jc37 17:14, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
    Um, we already have fora. You're on one now. The only difference is, these suck for the purpose of having actual discussions. Surely you don't suggest that making communication difficult is a good goal just because making communication easy could lead to the wrong "tone"? Powers T 18:01, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
    These are discussion pages, not "forums". There's a difference between a forum for discussion, and an online forum. Online forums are roughly synonymous with chatting or blogging. And yes, they have absolutely the wrong tone. - jc37 20:16, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
    Apologies, but I don't see the major difference. There are plenty of "online forum"s where plenty of business gets done, and they are much more akin to what we do here than to chatrooms or blogs. Powers T 00:08, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
    Would you prefer it if we instead of using the 'Forum' namespace, we would use a 'Structured discussion' namespace ? —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 09:45, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Proposal for one Village Pump using DPLforum or other subpage discussion software[edit]

Note. Proposal has been amended. Other discussion methods that allow individual discussion watchlisting since they are based on subpages:
  • pt:Wikipédia:Esplanada/geral (Portuguese Village Pump) - fully developed Village Pump with subpages for individual threads. Each can be watchlisted easily. New topics are easy to create. Here is the Google translation of the Portuguese Village Pump.
  • fr:Wikipédia:Le Bistro (French Village Pump) - subpages by day could be adapted to subpages by individual discussion.

This is now a proposal to start one new Village Pump. Call it Village Pump (general) or something similar. It will use Extension:DPLforum as at the Wikia central community forums. Once people use this forum for awhile I believe most users will much prefer it to the current Village Pump method. To see DPLforum in use go here:

The advantage of Extension:DPLforum is that it allows people to watchlist individual threads. It also automatically puts the thread with the latest post on top of the forum index. The forums are easily searchable, both within the archives, and within individual threads.


  • Support as trial, for say 90 days: being able to watch only threads you are interested in is a long-requested option. Please {{talkback}} me if answer to this comment, as I can't afford watchlisting a page with such amount of traffic. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talk) 20:52, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
LOL on the {{talkback}} part. --Timeshifter (talk) 21:18, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
It is actually the very core of this issue. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talk) 21:36, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
Exactly. --Timeshifter (talk) 22:20, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Personally, I kind of like phpBB. Regards, RJH (talk) 21:38, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
I looked around a little bit, and it does not look like phpBB has incorporated wikitext into their forum software itself. --Timeshifter (talk) 22:20, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support trial. Support for use at the Help desk too! benzband (talk) 10:34, 27 August 2012 (UTC) Please leave me a {{talkback}} if you reply
  • So what is this, just a system to subpage discussions and list them on a single page, like the village pump system in use on, etc. since 2006? --Nemo 11:20, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
That sounds intriguing. That might address the concerns of Jorm (WMF) about having to adapt the Wikia community forum software to use on Wikimedia Village Pumps. --Timeshifter (talk) 00:56, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose at this stage, purely because the WMF have decided that this ill-conceived idea that will make Wikipedia look like a 12 year old's Myspace page circa 2005 well-thought-out proposal is shortly going to be foisted onto Wikipedia regardless of any objections, so there's no point everyone getting used to a new system in the certain knowledge that it will be scrapped a couple of months later. If and when the WMF bow to reason and send Flow the way of LiquidThreads, I think a trial would be an excellent idea, provided a method is retained for re-combining the subpages back into a single village pump page should the trial be unsuccessful. Mogism (talk) 11:45, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
    • For crying out loud, Flow is a lot more than "a couple of months" off, and your declaration that it will make Wikipedia look like Myspace is absurd on its face, given that no final design is anywhere close to being a reality at this point. Powers T 18:03, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
    • Mogism. Could you change your oppose to support? Cause it sounds like you support it. Not everybody will take the time to read your comment in detail enough to get the sarcasm. Also, I have no problem with Flow continuing to be developed at the same time as DPLforum or other subpage discussion software is used for a Village Pump. In fact, what is learned from its use could be incorporated into Flow.--Timeshifter (talk) 01:03, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
  • I absolutely strongly oppose adding any sort of "forum" to Wikipedia. This very much sets the wrong "tone". Anything which indicates that Wikipedia is a forum-style place is contrary to the project goal. - jc37 17:14, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment - Sorry guys, but I'm afraid this proposal is dead in the water. We (the Foundation) have already investigated this idea and reluctantly discarded it. The Wikia extension is based heavily on some Wikia-specific architecture and MediaWiki modifications, which we would have to port into the WMF branches. The amount of work involved with doing so would be greater than building our own system for handling structured conversations (read: Flow).--Jorm (WMF) (talk) 20:23, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't see why it could not be adapted quickly. It is basically subpage discussions whose titles are listed on the forum index. We already do similar things on Wikipedia. Also, see Nemo's comment higher up about such subpage discussion systems used for the village pump system in use on, etc. since 2006.
I looked at mw:Flow and I can tell you as others already have that it looks like a disaster in the making to me. On the level of Liquid Threads. See: Talk:Flow
See also the relevant comments by Johnuniq about Flow here:
Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia Signpost/2012-08-20/Op-ed#wishlists and budget
After years of work, and combining it with LiquidThreads, it might become useful for user talk pages. But its implementation says that it would not replace current user talk pages. People would be allowed to keep both forms of talk pages. I can tell you that from what I see of Flow so far I would keep using my current talk page. So would many others. Flow might be more useful for article talk pages. From what I see so far, it looks like Flow changes so many things in ways I do not like.
I think current subpage discussions with an index page look better to me. For many reasons. Note that in the French Village Pump example linked below, the individual discussions could be adapted to allow individual discussion watchlisting.
  • fr:Wikipédia:Le Bistro (French Village Pump) - subpages by day could be adapted to subpages by individual discussion.
But DPLforum in use at Wikia already allows individual discussion watchlisting. Also, the individual discussion with the latest post is put at the top of the index. It makes things very convenient for seeing what is of interest. One does not have to wade through many titles of discussion that no one has any interest in anymore. It also makes it easy to archive. Old, dead discussions roll off the bottom of the page, and naturally disappear into the archived threads. Which are all searchable, by the way. --Timeshifter (talk) 02:37, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Well. My word about this is clearly not one you respect. I suggest you ask Brion Vibber himself about his technical evaluation of the software; perhaps he will be more convincing.--Jorm (WMF) (talk) 05:43, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't know how difficult it would be to make DPLforum work on a Village Pump. But other subpage discussion formats are easy. Here is one I created in about an hour:
User:Timeshifter/Village Pump. The subpages can be watchlisted. It uses a manually updated discussion index. --Timeshifter (talk) 14:51, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
The problem there, IMO, is that the subpages must be watchlisted individually if you want to generally follow all discussions. And then you have to look at each of the pages individually if you want to see what changed. And, unless you're also proposing some sort of bot that moves discussions to these subpages, you've prevented IP users from initiating discussions (since they cannot create pages) and made it much more complex for anyone else to do so (since they have to create the subpage and figure out how to transclude it). Anomie 23:36, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Look at the Portuguese Village Pump info below for an easy way to start new discussions. It is not necessary to watchlist every discussion. Why would you want to? If you are interested in all of them, then come to the Village Pump daily and scan down the page. --Timeshifter (talk) 01:45, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
See also the system used on Portuguese Wikipedia (check the history of our village pump), which keeps a subpage for each thread and uses this gadget to help the topic creation. Helder 00:15, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
That's amazing. We should immediately start one Village Pump using the method of the Portuguese Village Pump. Here is the Google translation of the Portuguese Village Pump. Each subpage can be easily watchlisted. --Timeshifter (talk) 01:41, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
I checked out mw:Talk:Flow and I don't see any actual constructive criticism of the proposal there. Am I missing something? Is there some implementation of it somewhere that people can look at and say "no, I don't like this"? Surely you're not giving a knee-jerk reaction to a feature that hasn't even been fully fleshed-out yet? Powers T 12:42, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
There is a mockup at mw:Flow captioned "Flow as shown at Wikimania 2012". It looks like another version of Liquid Threads to me. Also, some of the concepts and goals of Flow are listed on that page. Some of which I disagree with. See also Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia Signpost/2012-08-20/Op-ed#wishlists and budget and Johnuniq's comment about Flow starting with "The problem at Wikipedia is that there is no good way for the WMF to seek ideas about a proposal, and no good way for the community to provide ideas regardless of whether the WMF sought them."
mw:Talk:Flow has some very useful info. For example; Tychay (Director of Features Engineering at Wikimedia Foundation), writes: "Unlike LQT, this [Flow] is only targeted at User:Talk, not Talk pages and discussions in general." Also: "It's not necessarily a complete replacement to User:Talk. The two might coexist indefinitely." So it looks like Flow is not for the Village Pump, and will coexist with current user talk pages. Its development may take a long time: "It was clearly obvious that user-user messaging is broken so a project was put in 2012-13 goals to address that. This has been named 'Flow' and according to planning will not be worked on directly until early 2013." --Timeshifter (talk) 14:16, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Jorm, I don't entirely understand. mw:Flow says that Flow is intended for user-to-user communication (read: to replace User talk: pages), not for the kind of general discussion we have on the Village Pump, or on article talk pages. So how does that address this proposal at all? This isn't meant as disparaging Flow at all; unlike some of the other comments above, I think Flow has a lot of potential for its intended use as a User talk: replacement. But it's not a panacea for all discussion applications, is it? --R'n'B (call me Russ) 14:19, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment - Liquid threads had definite issues (I and others commented about that there.) And I'm not sure I see that FLOW has fixed those issues. (I need to look closer, and haven't as yet.) But as others have noted, work is still in progress on FLOW, so there's no reason for me to jump to any conclusions yet : ) - jc37 20:05, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
    Noting that I would rather see a separate User-wiki (something that SUL could allow for), than to see a user-space specific communication system. - jc37 20:07, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Support or oppose a test Village Pump based on Portuguese VP[edit]

Note: See previous discussion just above too.
Other Village Pumps (community forums) using the Portuguese Wikipedia Village Pump software:

See pt:Wikipédia:Esplanada/geral (Portuguese Village Pump) - a fully developed Village Pump with subpages for individual threads. Each can be watchlisted easily. New topics are easy to create. Here is the Google translation of the Portuguese Village Pump.

Helder brought this to our attention in the previous discussion higher up. It looks like Helder worked on it too. See pt:MediaWiki:Gadget-NewVillagePump.js (his script that enhances the creation of threads). See Google translation here. So we have someone here who can elaborate on it further. --Timeshifter (talk) 01:59, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

  • Strong support. It allows watchlisting of individual discussions. New topics are easy to start. --Timeshifter (talk) 01:59, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Will it be possible to automatically watchlist all discussions? Loosing the ability have every discussion appear in my watchlist would be a deal breaker for me. Monty845 03:23, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Prevents IP users from starting discussions (or requires the configuration be changed to allow IP users to create pages, or requires that these subpages be stored in talkspace somewhere). Also requires watchlisting (and checking) of every individual discussion subpage, instead of just using one diff to keep abreast of new discussions. No thanks. Can't say I'm terribly impressed with having to use a script to create topics, either, especially since it didn't seem to actually work when I tried it there. Anomie 03:27, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
I tried to start a discussion and it got stuck, and I saw this message: "Por favor, aguarde a criação do tópico e sua inclusão na esplanada e no arquivo desde mês. O script se encarregará de atualizar a página quando terminar as edições." Google Translation: "Please wait for the creation of the topic and its inclusion on the terrace and in the file this month. The script takes care of updating the page when finished editions." Maybe there is some bug, or problem with posts from users outside Portugal. That does not mean they block IP users from starting discussion. Where did you get that info? Maybe they do. So what? That is a configuration setting, and not worth opposing a proposal for. As for blocking this because you can't watchlist the whole page, think of the massive benefit from being able to watchlist individual discussions. This is a thousand times more important to most people. --Timeshifter (talk) 04:13, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
ptwiki does not prevent anonymous users from creating pages. enwiki does.--Jorm (WMF) (talk) 04:31, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
I saw the same message, but I waited long enough to just give up on it. This is a thousand times more important to most people.[citation needed] I do hope Flow, LiquidThreads, or whatever else includes a mode to display a diff of all changes. This certainly couldn't, and would result in my not bothering to follow most discussions. On second thought, maybe that would be a good thing, give me more time for actual coding. Anomie 16:03, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
I also waited a long time, and gave up on it. It seems to be a temporary CAPTCHA setting problem according to a comment farther down. The Portuguese wiki allows IPs to start articles. See also the English discussion section of this talk page: pt:MediaWiki Discussão:Gadget-NewVillagePump.js/Core.js --Timeshifter (talk) 00:52, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
You want to block a test Village Pump solely because of some minor problems? Think of all the disputes you have to deal with due in many cases to the lack of adequate discussion forums that give the ability to watchlist individual discussions. Many people leave Wikipedia for this reason alone. They have to wade through WP:AN forums, and other forums, where they get lost in the shuffle of dozens of other irrelevant discussions. --Timeshifter (talk) 04:36, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. I was able to post elsewhere on the Portuguese wiki. So the posting problem at their Village Pump is particular to it. Obviously, many others are not having a problem posting there. I bet it has to do with spam intervention software and foreign posters because I also got some CAPTCHA filters. I asked Helder (via his script talk page) to have a look at the problem. --Timeshifter (talk) 04:52, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment Is this really appropriate for a listing at Template:Centralized discussion which "is a list of ongoing discussions on policies, guidelines or other matters that have a wide impact and on which a broad consensus is needed"? This looks like a very local issue affecting only users of this board. I've removed it and ask Timeshifter not to replace it. Dougweller (talk) 05:02, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
People have been asking about the ability to watchlist individual sections of the Village Pump for ages. How is this a minor issue? What is more important than the Village Pump? It won't kill you to leave it up at Template:Centralized discussion for a day or two, and see what happens. The issue is certainly more important than some of the other issues listed there. --Timeshifter (talk) 05:17, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Ips and nonautoconfirmed users cannot use the script in ptwiki because of the CAPTCHA settings. Chico Venancio (talk) 18:53, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose - IPs cannot create pages on (for understandable reasons). And we obviously want IPs to be able to start threads at VP. And because what one person finds to be helpful, "works better", or even "looks better", is in the eye of the holder, and MMV, per person. - jc37 20:02, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
So you are helping to block this because you think IPs can't post at Portuguese Village Pump? Did you not read the sentence just above your comment that the problem is a CAPTCHA setting? Did you not also read Jorm's comment higher up: "ptwiki does not prevent anonymous users from creating pages. enwiki does." --Timeshifter (talk) 00:23, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
You continue to misunderstand this point. No one is saying that IPs cannot create pages on ptwiki. They are saying that IPs cannot create pages here on enwiki. So if we used a setup here on enwiki like the one on ptwiki, it would prevent IP users from starting discussions here on enwiki because they cannot create pages here on enwiki. Anomie 02:07, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
This was exactly my point.--Jorm (WMF) (talk) 03:21, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
I did not elaborate enough in my last comment. I had previously pointed out that it sounded like configuration issues and choices on both English and Portuguese wikis. I just found this too: mw:Extension:EditSubpages ("Allows sysops to unlock pages for anonymous editing. ... This will also allow the anonymous users to create new pages that are sub-pages of the unlocked page."). --Timeshifter (talk) 04:10, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. There is English discussion about the CAPTCHA problem here: pt:MediaWiki Discussão:Gadget-NewVillagePump.js/Core.js. I started a discussion in English there. As for anonymous IP creation of discussion subpages on English Wikipedia there is this: mw:Extension:EditSubpages ("Allows sysops to unlock pages for anonymous editing. ... This will also allow the anonymous users to create new pages that are sub-pages of the unlocked page."). The extension may not be necessary if this configuration capability is already built in to Wikipedia. I don't understand why people would block a test Village Pump because they prefer whole page watchlisting over individual discussion watchlisting. Many people prefer individual discussion watchlisting. In any case no progress is likely to be made on the English Wikipedia on the discussion front unless the test is allowed to go on. It is only one Village Pump. Call it Village Pump (general), or Village Pump (test). We can watch to see how people like it or not. I think most editors will prefer individual discussion watchlisting. Some of the people who live on the Village Pumps may prefer whole page watchlisting. Eventually, someone may write a script to show a combined diff of all the individual discussion sections showing on the page. But that is less likely to happen unless some of the perennial naysayers who seem to live on the Village Pumps allow a test Village Pump to happen. Or you can continue to wait on the future nirvana of Flow or Liquid Threads.
Another benefit of subpages for individual discussions is that the links to individual discussions are permanent. One example of the many problems this causes is linking to discussions from Bugzilla. For example; read my comment (#2) in this Bugzilla thread started by Sue Gardner, the chief exec of Wikimedia:
Posting problem at the Portuguese Wikipedia Village Pump has been solved. See discussion of the solution here: pt:MediaWiki Discussão:Gadget-NewVillagePump.js/Core.js#Captcha. I was able to post this on the Village Pump there: pt:Wikipédia:Esplanada/geral/English Wikipedia and Portuguese Wikipedia discussion forums (1set2012). That is the link to the subpage. Here is the link to it on the compilation page: pt:Wikipédia:Esplanada/geral#English Wikipedia and Portuguese Wikipedia discussion forums. It seems people there like individual discussion watchlisting for the most part. Use Google translation if necessary: --Timeshifter (talk) 15:23, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm still waiting for information on watch listing all discussions, for those of us who like the current system. Will there be a way for that to automatically happen under this proposal? Monty845 17:10, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
We are discussing that now at pt:Wikipédia:Esplanada/geral/English Wikipedia and Portuguese Wikipedia discussion forums (1set2012). It does not seem to be missed much. Plus, "related changes" provides some ability to watchlist all the current discussions at once. They started this discussion method years ago, and I believe this discussion method is now used on 2 of the Portuguese Village Pumps. The general Village Pump, and the VP for Proposals. Some of the Village Pumps use the old method.
Google Translation helps a lot for this discussion. I use this Firefox addon to translate the discussion page, or selected text: Translate This!. Or you can paste the page URL or selected text into The translation is not perfect, but it is very helpful. --Timeshifter (talk) 17:50, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. Other Village Pumps using the Portuguese Wikipedia Village Pump software:
While English Wikipedia community discussion remains in the Dark Ages, others are moving on. See discussion about this here: pt:Wikipédia:Esplanada/geral/English Wikipedia and Portuguese Wikipedia discussion forums (1set2012). This link is permanent! --Timeshifter (talk) 15:33, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. See discussion below: #Talk page archivers: leaving a TOC trail. The current English Wikipedia Village Pump software requires a convoluted TOC trail to provide an overview of discussion topics with permanent links. Some ideas and solutions have been offered. Some compilation tools and methods are also proposed. --Timeshifter (talk) 17:00, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
  • General comment I'm late to this party, but I'd like to say I've always thought it silly that we use the article editing tool for making threaded discussions. Before Mediawiki even existed, I was using wiki software that had threaded discussion capability. It's about using the right tool for the job. Gigs (talk) 13:31, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Can you link to some examples? --Timeshifter (talk) 14:24, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support If implemented in the "Wikipedia talk" namespace rather than in the "Wikipedia" namespace, unregistered users could create threads without reconfiguration of the Wikipedia servers (albeit a different archiving bot would still be necessary). We already do this at Articles for creation. Categorizing threads can allow editors to use Special:RecentChangesLinked ("Related changes") to monitor discussions of importance to them. We already use a subpage per thread system (including the categorization part) at AfD. PleaseStand (talk) 22:19, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Verifying editor identity[edit]

Wikipedia spends a fair amount of effort verifying facts, verifying the reliability of sources, and verifying issues around licensing of images and text. Occasionally, when issues of socking and COI arise, it attempts to determine editor identity (at least enough to try and link accounts and IPs to the same person); but generally, it's axiomatic that it doesn't matter who an editor is, it matters what they say and do. To some extent, that's a laudable principle, but it does cause problems.

So I'm proposing that we establish a variety of mechanisms by which editors can, if they wish, verify their identity. The security of the mechanisms will vary, so which mechanism(s) have been used should be specified. Some of the mechanisms can be automated; others will require some human decision-making - those would need a process similar to OTRS. One mechanism I'm drawn to is a credit/debit card payment of $0.01 - it's easy to do (for editors who have such cards - alternatives certainly needed for those without) and can be automated. Another mechanism may be emailing to/from email addresses published on an appropriate website (eg an academic's institutional homepage). But the point of this proposal is less to debate pros and cons of different mechanisms, but to establish the principle of providing (multiple) mechanisms.

Once such mechanisms are established, they can be used in different ways - and we have to address that now in order to answer the inevitable, and fair, question "why?". The main reason is that in cases where we have authenticated experts contributing, we can give more weight to their opinions about NPOV, sourcing, etc (without permitting original research or mere argument from authority of course). Example: if authenticated Professor X says Y is a crappy source because of verifiable reason Z, that ought to carry more weight in a discussion than if PseudonymBla says it (especially if it's within Professor X's expertise). This is similar to how in practice, PseudonymBla's voice carries more weight in discussions, if they're a well-established editor with a track record, than a passing IP with no edit history. We already have ad hoc gradations of respect for different opinions about facts, sources, etc; but because of the lack of means to link WP accounts with offline identities, we have no way of allowing people to draw on those offline reputations, even when they may be highly relevant.

Three fundamental principles:

  1. public identification/verification/authentication (whatever you want to call it) remains voluntary
  2. editors whose identity is verified have equally to respect existing WP policy and guidelines, most especially WP:OR, WP:RS, WP:NPOV.
  3. any additional respect given to verified-identity editors in a particular discussion is at the discretion of other editors; no rules can be made about it. It is ad hoc and discretionary in the same way that today a well-respected editor's opinion may carry weight in a certain topic area because other editors may know of and respect their track record of displaying relevant expertise; the difference is that this track record is no longer limited to being on-wiki.

Rd232 talk 14:53, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

  • Not sure I like the idea it presumes just because a user is a professor or professional than his/her word has more weight in discussion, all users should debate and discuss on an equal footing. We already have an email address authentication and the WMF has procedures if a user needs to be authenticated for legal reasons so I dont see what this would achieve. MilborneOne (talk) 15:23, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
    • The proposal presumes nothing about what additional weight, if any, a verified editor carries in a discussion even if they have known expertise in the area. It is entirely up to other editors whether they care or not. As to existing procedures: the current email address verification verifies only that the user has access to the email; in isolation that has no bearing on their identity. The current WMF verification procedure is AFAIK based on scans of identity documents, and besides being easily subverted is not practical for wider use. Rd232 talk 16:16, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
    • If the proposal gives editors no addition weighting then it doesnt appear to be worth the effort. Still not convinced that the profession or otherwise of editors is relevant to wikipedia to how they should be seen or behave. MilborneOne (talk) 16:46, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
  • I think it is a strength of Wikipedia that we focus on the quality of an argument, or a contribution, rather then on who is making it. The cult of credentials pervades the rest of society, lets not bring it to Wikipdia. Monty845 15:52, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
    • Focussing on the quality of arguments and facts is the only thing that makes Wikipedia as viable as it is. However, it is naive to believe that everyone is equally able to assess the quality of argument and facts in every situation. Nothing about this proposal throws out the existing system where editors establish track records onwiki through behaviour and quality of discussion and edit contributions, particularly by showing expertise in certain topic areas. All it does is additionally allow editors to consider offwiki track records which may be relevant. We know that the current impossibility of this (because of lack of identity verification) puts off real experts from contributing because they begin their Wikipedia careers with the same level of respect as the infamous Randy from Boise who knows nothing about anything. It does not, and cannot, force anyone to respect those offwiki track records, nor to have it override considerations of verification of facts, reliability of sources, etc. Rd232 talk 16:16, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
      • To the extent that we consider off wiki track records at all, WP:AGF should be all that is needed. If we are ever in a situation where it matters whether an editor is lying about a credential, we have already given far too much weight to that credential. If I claim I'm a rocket-surgeon, and you can't tell I'm not from my editing, does it matter whether I really am? If I really am a rocket-surgeon, but don't act like one, does it matter that I really am? Monty845 16:44, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
        • I don't know what your example is supposed to be. Here's a not uncommon scenario: A, an unknown editor, says X is a reliable source for fact Y. B, a professor in a relevant area, says it isn't, and says the fact is untrue, but there are no reliable sources which actually say it's not true, because it's trivial and not in dispute by mainstream sources. A third editor C wanders by and wants to help resolve the dispute. From a "settling disputes, let's keep the peace, none of this really matters, it's just a MMORPG" point of view, we don't care if C knows who A and B are. From a "quality is a good thing, this is supposed to be an encyclopedia" point of view, we want C to know who A and B are (how that influences C's decision is up to them of course). Capiche? Rd232 talk 19:20, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
  • I've been editing here since 2005, under the same name that I use for scientific publications (a subset of my full legal name). I have a link on my user page to my university home page, and a link on my university home page to my user page. I've established a certain amount of credibility on-WP, so that the pervasive lack of credibility given to activities off-WP isn't galling. But I would never suggest to any of my colleagues that they become Wikipedia editors. It's like being in grad school all over again, except that your committee changes randomly, everything you learned as an undergrad is devalued, and there's no light at the end of the tunnel. In short, for most academics editing in their own fields, WP is a waste of time. I don't know whether this proposal would improve anything (in the words of Shania Twain, "So you're a rocket scientist."). I know of a number of editors who are academics and specialists who intentionally keep their identities unknown (a fact that for me puts WP more in the realm of an online game than a scholarly pursuit). I have seen talented editors, well-respected outside WP, leave because their skills didn't include the harsh argumentation that has become the norm in many areas of Wikipedia. I've seen other editors leave because they got tired of being challenged over the basic facts of their disciplines. And I know there's an essay about all this. The responses above say a lot to me about why the essay, and the issue, exists.--Curtis Clark (talk) 17:36, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
While we occasionally have issues with pseudonymous editors claiming qualifications, credentials, or expertise that they don't really have (*cough* Essjay *cough*), such instances seem to be fairly rare, and I suspect are usually caught by their fellow editors.
What I haven't ever seen is an instance of an editor falsely claiming to be a particular and specific real-life, known expert, and I suspect that such cases are vanishingly rare. That is, I've seen User:RandyFromBoise falsely claim to be a college professor, but I've never seen User:RandyFromBoise falsely claim to be Professor Randy Knowitall from Boise University. The latter claim is far too easy for other editors to test, simply by sending an email to the good professor. The particularly conscientious or thorough professor might put up a link to his Wikipedia account from his website or blog. Verifying the identity and credentials of an editor who is willing to link their Wikipedia account to their real-life name is seldom required and generally straightforward to accomplish.
Has there been a rash of editors impersonating specific, named, real-life subject matter experts that I was unaware of? Are there really that many - or any - unresolved disputes involving editors doubting a genuine, self-identified expert's identity? In short, the ad hoc mechanisms we have for users to self-identify – often just a declaration on one's user page suffices – seem to work just fine; why would we want to build a formal and complex (and potentially vulnerable) identity verification system? TenOfAllTrades(talk) 18:37, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Has there been a rash of editors impersonating specific, named, real-life subject matter experts - if you re-read my proposal, you will see that this is not a problem I have mentioned (I'm not aware of this being an issue either). The reason it's not a problem is precisely that Wikipedia has a culture that credentials are completely irrelevant; therefore asserting them is largely pointless, and making easily disprovable assertions about them is fairly foolish anyway. No, the motivation for the proposal is more in encouraging new editors with offwiki expertise to verify that expertise, so that this expertise can feed into discussions (in whatever way other editors participating are willing). Basically, there are two aims: (i) by allowing experts to participate qua experts, even at the discretion of everyone else in a discussion, we ought to reach better outcomes in discussions. (ii) by acknowledging expertise (ideally as an optional part of the signup process), we should in the longer term get more experts contributing, because there will be more sense that expertise is valued. And frankly, if we don't get more experts contributing, using resources at their disposal that others probably don't, then there is a definite limit to the quality that can be achieved by enthusiastic amateurs with access to free online resources (or decent public libraries if you're lucky), which is how most WP content is currently written. Rd232 talk 19:13, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
The problem is that you're addressing the wrong issue, then. The trouble is illustrated quite clearly by Jayron32's comment immediately below. The difficulty is not editors with the attitude "I don't believe you're the expert you claim you are"; it's editors with the attitude "I believe you are who you say you are, but I don't care". The – as you put it – 'anti-expert fantasy' won't be dispelled by providing additional mechanisms for editors to prove their identities; their identities aren't generally disputed. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 19:52, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Hold on, that is also not what I said. I care a lot about what experts have to say. That's why I use the works of experts to cite when I write Wikipedia articles. Perhaps there is a fear of the use of credentials in lieu of having to cite one's sources, and I don't see that as a positive development either. I love when experts edit Wikipedia because they have access to, and understanding of, sources which non-experts don't necessarily do. But any identity verification system doesn't make Wikipedia any more or less friendly to experts, the only conceivable end I can see is that it would create classes of editors which are held to different standards of sourcing, writing, and verifiability. Experts should be here working, but they should not be exempt from Wikipedia policies and standards, and for that reason (among others), I don't see what is to be gained from verifying one's credentials. --Jayron32 20:20, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
The place where I see experts often getting the most frustrated is not when they're trying to add stuff in without references. In general, the academics I encounter – on Wikipedia and in real life – are quite understanding about the need for proper sourcing and citations—probably more so than the average person off the street. For academics, citations and footnotes are their bread and butter; using them comes almost as naturally as breathing. While there are certainly exceptions, the experts I see on the project aren't looking for an exemption from Wikipedia's rules.
No, the place where I see (and experience) the most frustration is in dealing with the non-expert who clearly doesn't understand the meaning or significance of the sources he is trying to use, but wants to use that dubious source to push a POV in an article anyway. (This comes up a lot in the fringe medicine and science articles: cold fusion, AIDS denialism, anti-vaccinationists, suppressed 'all-natural' cancer cures, etc.) Because the non-expert is unfamiliar with the field and its literature (and often writes from a particular, peculiar point of view), he doesn't know how to evaluate the sources available to him, and he isn't willing to listen to an expert's explanations, preferring instead to fall back on attempting to rules-lawyer the guidelines in WP:RS and WP:MEDRS. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 21:40, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
This proposal doesn't fix any of that, however. --Jayron32 04:28, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that's what I've been saying. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 09:24, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
  • I vehemently oppose any system, voluntary or not, which seeks to verify anyone's identity at Wikipedia. Even if voluntary, it would give extra credence and weight to users whose identities had been verified, and I don't think we want that. I can think of a LOT of good reasons why people wouldn't want their identity verified, not the least of which is having to explain to the cops why the stranger on my doorstep in the middle of the night has a dent the shape of my baseball bat in his head. Wikipedia users are only machines to rewrite and cite what is already written in reliable sources, and as such, it doesn't matter what our credentials are, it only matters how good we are at digesting source material and writing fresh articles from that source material. There's no way that knowing what my degree is or what my job is in any way makes my text more reliable. --Jayron32 19:21, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
    • Wikipedia users are only machines to rewrite and cite what is already written in reliable sources - there's the crux of the Wikipedia anti-expert fantasy: the idea not just that anyone can write good content based on reliable sources (and that it matters not that some people have access to better sources than Google), but (i) that everyone is equally good at understanding and digesting and summarising reliable sources and (ii) that when disputes arise they can always be settled with reference to sources - because there's never any issue about interpretation of sources (often displaced onto interpreting the "reliability" of sources, since editors aren't supposed to interpret) or dealing with sources that contradict each other. No, it's really just rote copying! Rd232 talk 19:29, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
      • It seems like you're trying to change the culture by changing the rules, when it usually works better the other way around. But then I don't have any ideas about how to change the culture.--Curtis Clark (talk) 20:02, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
      • It isn't that everyone is equally good at it, it is that there is no correlation between the skill set necessary to be a good editor at Wikipedia, and a person's professional certifications. Of course there are many people who stand no chance of being good Wikipedia editors, but there's nothing in someone's credentials that makes any indication that someone will or will not be. I've known plenty of highly credentialed, smart people who couldn't write for shit, and plenty of people with nothing more than a HS diploma who are excellent Wikipedia editors. If there is a fantasy, it is that there is any correlation between credentials and the skills necessary to edit Wikipedia. Nothing in my statement or my position implies that everyone is equally good. I never said or implied that, so you've invented a strawman there, if you want to disagree with my point, at least disagree with the point I made, and not one you wish I had made so you could shoot it down. The point that I made was that credentials are not a good system for making that judgement. There's nothing you could know about me and my provable identity which would determine whether or not I would be a good editor at Wikipedia, at least, not reliably enough that it's worth getting those inevitable 2AM phone calls threatening my wife and children by name. No thank you. Someone trustworthiness at Wikipedia should be judged by the quality of the work they do at Wikipedia. --Jayron32 20:12, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Politely but firmly, Jayron, that's nonsense. The correlation is by no means perfect, but a person's qualifications tend to be associated with an ability to contribute effectively in technical or esoteric areas, and people with a real-life track record working in an area are more likely to be able to find, use, and evaluate references appropriately. What I'm not saying – and what no one here is saying – is that a person's credentials and qualifications are the only factor that determines one's ability to contribute, or that such credentials could or should be required to contribute.
As well, a real-life identity offers others a broader and deeper record of "User contributions" to consider, and can form one more element of the reliability/competence heuristic we might use in assessing one another as editors. Even if an editor's real-life identity isn't associated with a set of formal qualifications and credentials, it can still help to build a picture of a person's interests and skills. In some areas, it can dispel concerns about conflicts of interest and the like. As you point out, disclosure of real-life identity does carry some risks and costs (which is one of the reasons why I haven't done it) but it can also be one effective route to letting other Wikipedians know what tools you're bringing to our party. The fiction that Wikipedia editors aren't real people, and that we should not acknowledge or consider anything they do outside their edits to this project, isn't always healthy or useful. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 10:30, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
  • I have no pressing thought on this proposal in the current moment, but I wanted to point out that we do already have a kind of mechanism like this. Currently, when an editor wishes to utilize the real name of a famous person as a username, he or she is required to verify (usually to an administrator, OTRS, or the secure-info mailing list) that that name is their actual real name. Upon doing so, they are required to note whether or not they are that famous person or not on their user page (See WP:REALNAME). This serves as a verification of identity to avoid impersonation risks. Without evidence of verification, usernames like this are often blocked until it has clearly taken place. We get these every now and then at WP:ACC. NTox · talk 20:22, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. See how easy that is to say, O perennial naysayers?! :) Anything that helps provide more info about sources is useful to Wikipedia. And an editor's verifiable identity does help me in learning more about sources. That is because I am going to check out the sources an expert provides for article references before I check out the sources from some drive-by poster with a pseudonym. In either case the info in Wikipedia has to be reliably sourced. This idea is just another timesaver needed to make editing more efficient. We have more articles and less editors, and so we need to be more efficient. I suggest WikiProjects and others advertise WP:REALNAME since this exists now. Encourage experts who use their real name to send an email to to verify their name per the rules of the Wikipedia:Volunteer Response Team. They can then link to the verification ticket from their user page. --Timeshifter (talk) 04:16, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Completely unnecessary waste of time when new editors sign up for accounts here. I concur with Jayron32's comment above.--Jasper Deng (talk) 04:28, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
Fortunately, it does not matter what Jayron32 thinks about this since WP:REALNAME already exists. What people do on their user pages is mostly their business, and if they want to better verify their identity it is their choice. What? Is Jayron32 going to tell someone they do not have a right to better prove their identity. Ha! I know that Randy in Boise may be disappointed by this but I WP:DGAF. --Timeshifter (talk) 05:12, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
What this proposed system does, however, is establish a culture at Wikipedia whereby people who have established their identity are treated as a higher class of editors than those who, for whatever reason, have chosen not to. The WP:REALNAME situation exists for a different reason, and does not substantially change the nature of Wikipedia culture. A culture where some editors are given "supereditor" status because they've proven their identity is not a good idea. --Jayron32 14:47, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
A system cannot establish culture (or certainly not in any straightforward way). The culture is already inimical to expertise, and I don't see that changing, whether or not this is done. (I actually see this as increasing the negativity towards editors who identify themselves.)--Curtis Clark (talk) 21:45, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
Two points 1) Wikipedia culture is not inimical to expertise. We use the work of experts all the time; ideally all of our articles should be sourced to the highest quality works written by the best respected experts in their respective fields. 2) If what you say is right, then that's still my reason for opposing. We shouldn't be creating classes of editors, either those who get super status, or those who get downgraded. --Jayron32 05:12, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
To be clear, I oppose it, too. Wikipedia is not inimical to expertise, only to editors with expertise who expect that expertise to be valued.--Curtis Clark (talk) 17:07, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
Even non-experts who know what they are talking about will have problems if they expect logic and truth to be valued. The only thing valued on Wikipedia to the point of something actually staying on Wikipedia is rough consensus. Of course, many articles don't have enough editors to reach some kind of consensus. So drive-by editors rule in those cases, and tagteams, many of which are tagteams of morons. See User:Timeshifter/More articles and less editors. --Timeshifter (talk) 11:23, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Nothing essentially changes. WP:REALNAME exists, and people can and do allocate whatever weight they desire to the points made by various editors. People oftentimes provide their real name and give some info about themselves on their user page. I can usually tell over time if they are lying about who they claim to be, without WP:REALNAME verification. I choose to allocate more time to researching the info and references provided by experts versus the info and references provided by morons like Randy in Boise. If you want to, you can choose to allocate more of your time to listening to morons. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:37, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. "Example: if authenticated Professor X says Y is a crappy source because of verifiable reason Z, that ought to carry more weight in a discussion than if PseudonymBla says it (especially if it's within Professor X's expertise)."
I strongly disagree that this "ought to carry more weight in a discussion than if PseudonymBla says it". Either a source is reliable or it is not. Why is it important for us who actually says source XYZ is crap or not? -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 10:06, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
Because an expert might actually know what they are talking about. In any case, it still has to be verified. But it is easier when some experts agree that a source is reliable. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:41, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
I still disagree. Content needs to be based on reliable sources and if we reproduce here at Wikipedia what a reliable source says, then there is simply no need for this. I agree that many sources require a solid background to be understood. In that case the editors who want to deal with the source have to acquire the necessary knowledge. I agree that this is not always easy and thus it would definitely be an advantage if we had editors knowledgeable about the subject. But this is not the way to achieve that. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 15:00, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
  • I too oppose this idea. Such verifications, voluntarily or not, will only eventually create a WikiFacebook. An editor's real-life identity is not needed to verify and assess the sources they provide. Giving whatever weight to an editor's identity creates just the sort of bias and NPOV we don't want to have in our articles. There are of course Wikipedia:Wikipedians with articles, i.e. notable people editing WP, but their input should still be put under the same scrutiny than everybody else's contributions. Even commited experts are not infallible and some even tend to make their competitor's work look bad on purpose. So let's keep the current process of having the casual editor decide which sources look reliable or not. Apart from that I have a feeling that a Wikipedia with a sudden burst of openly verified experts on board who are given additional weight will only further discourage layman editors from registering. De728631 (talk) 11:46, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
"So let's keep the current process of having the casual editor decide which sources look reliable or not." The current process is not changed. You do not understand the proposal. --Timeshifter (talk) 11:17, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Bad idea. Very few experts/academics edit Wikipedia relative to the number of experts/academics in any given field, and some of those who did turn up were unfortunately just as problematic as ultra-nationalist POV pushers, except for the somewhat obscure area of their drive, typically related to their own work; some were sanctioned by ArbCom. In light of this, proposing that the experts who bother to show up be effectively overruling the "plebs" because they ticked some bureaucratic boxes doesn't sound promising, especially since experience shows that they're more likely to pop up in areas where controversies exist in the their field. If consensus of reliable sources points in one direction, it's pretty easy to have most reasonable wikipedians agree on what that is, even if they're not mega-experts on the topic. Citizendum didn't fare so well... WP:RANDYs get recognized easily enough on Wikipedia, although I admit I feel there's sometimes a reluctance to take administrative action against them, even when they are moderately aggressive and persistent. Generally, posting at a WikiProject will get matters resolved, at least as far the contents is concerned, although there are some exceptions. Tijfo098 (talk) 07:30, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
"proposing that the experts who bother to show up be effectively overruling the 'plebs' because they ticked some bureaucratic boxes doesn't sound promising." Experts don't overrule anybody. Nothing has changed in how Wikipedia makes content decisions. Most of the people who oppose don't understand the proposal. --Timeshifter (talk) 11:17, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Maybe you didn't read it carefully enough. Quote from the proposal: "Example: if authenticated Professor X says Y is a crappy source because of verifiable reason Z, that ought to carry more weight in a discussion than if PseudonymBla says it (especially if it's within Professor X's expertise)." Tijfo098 (talk) 16:17, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
"ought to carry more weight". It does not carry more weight now, and will not carry more weight if this proposal was passed. People will still make up their own minds, and articles will still be edited according to rough consensus as to how well the article follows the Wikipedia guidelines. The proposal discusses "ad hoc gradations of respect", and how this proposal aids those informal factors in decision making. --Timeshifter (talk) 11:15, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, it would be a first (and pretty big) step in an obviously wrong direction. Also quite costly and requiring Foundation technical/financial support. So why bother with it given that the ultimate goal on that road is the anti-thesis of Wikipedia's editing model? (See this for a pair of recent examples). Tijfo098 (talk) 17:00, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
People who are threatened by people who are more knowledgeable than them may not like editing at Wikipedia. I am not threatened by people who are more knowledgeable than me in some areas. I enjoy learning. It is not the antithesis of Wikipedia's editing model. Wikipedia acknowledges that some people, websites, sources, etc. are more reliable than others. See WP:RS. Wikipedia is based upon learning how to sift sources. Anything that helps that is a good thing. It is still up to the rough consensus of editors to determine things in the end. That does not change.
It does not cost much to do this. It may not cost anything. Volunteers do much of the development work and other work on Wikipedia and MediaWiki. --Timeshifter (talk) 18:22, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment I don't have a problem with identifying who I am. I edit under my real name, and plenty of people have met me at Wikimedia meetups and at Wikimania etc. I don't honestly believe there's much doubt among Wikipedians that I am who I say I am. Why do I edit in my real name? It sure ain't for the money, sexual favours or the slightly higher risk of some nutter wanting to chop my head off and eat my balls for breakfast after I close an AfD the wrong way or whatever. It's primarily because I'm lazy and too unimaginative to come up with a decent nickname. There's also the built-in immunity to outing: as Rachel Maddow said of the other sense of outing, "nobody can insult you by telling you what you've just told them". There'll never be a dramatic ANI thread with someone trying to reveal my real name. Beyond these few scant benefits, what exactly does this give me? Ought I be exempt from, say, reliable sources because I'm open about my real life name? Well, no. I can't really think of any Wikipedia editing policy that I ought to not obey because I'm open about my RL identity. The expertise thing, then. What if we've got some professor who wants to edit Wikipedia and be open about who he is? Well, he'll get the same treatment as anybody else, but if he desperately wishes to do so, most universities have the ability to set up a homepage. Create an account on Wikipedia under your real name, link to your academic homepage, and on that academic homepage link back to your Wikipedia account. Done. Anyone who wishes to judge you on your degrees and expertise can now do so. Someone mentioned Citizendium. I was formerly very heavily involved in Citizendium. Real names didn't really work to solve the people-being-dicks problem. People were still uncivil even with their real names attached. The only real benefit it gave was it reduced the amount of vandalism and socking. But that might have been a side effect of reducing dramatically the number of editors. Face-smile.svgTom Morris (talk) 13:12, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
I added that method you described to WP:REALNAME. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:40, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
And it was deleted. I know I'm real; what about you....--Curtis Clark (talk) 00:37, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for letting me know. I returned it, and then it was deleted again. People can check that the website is really for the university or business or not. By the domain name. By the way, I am a figment of my own imagination. :)
There is discussion at Wikipedia talk:Username policy‎. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:29, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Get rid of the "Show redirects only" external tool in WhatLinksHere in favor of the native interface[edit]

If you go to what links here for a page (example) a link is provided to an external tool to "show redirects only", in the form "External tools: Show redirects only" Because I do tons of page moves and need to easily locate redirects for cleanup, I can tell you that the fastest way to do so is not by clicking on that external tool but simply by clicking on hide links, and hide transclusions available on the very same page. Doing so provides the redirects alone immediately and using our native interface.

The external tool lags sometimes, is nonfunctional when the toolserver is down, takes us away from Wikipedia for no purpose I can fathom given the native capacity available from the same page, and does nothing to help people understand our interface. I propose replacing that line with:

To show only redirects, hide transclusions and links above.

Or we could even keep the link in the same form, but make "Show redirects only" pipe to the url for the very page the person is on with &hidetrans=1&hidelinks=1 added to the URL, e.g., Show redirects only. Any change would be made at MediaWiki:Linkshere; I have advertised this discussion at its talk page.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 11:30, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Non-template pages are rarely transcluded so in practice you only have to click "Hide links" to see the redirects. The external tool also shows which anchor a redirect goes to, and it writes [Invalid] if the anchor doesn't exist. Compare for example the links on Special:WhatLinksHere/List of Pokémon characters: internal Hide links and external Show redirects only. I don't know how much the extra features are used but I have posted a link to this discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Redirect. PrimeHunter (talk) 13:28, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
I use the tool once a week, and would appreciate its continued presence. --Lexein (talk) 01:53, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, no decent reason has been given as to why we should remove the link to this tool, other than that it is redundant (which, as PrimeHunter explained, it is not). It is useful and should stay. — This, that, and the other (talk) 02:29, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

Closing Wikipedia:Wikiquette assistance[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.
WQA, as commented on by the participants of this RfC, is a noticeboard that is doing Wikipedia, and it's editors, more harm than good. The consensus below indicates that WQA in it's current state, is not going to work and needs to be shut down. There was also a consensus that there needs to be an intermediary process between the talkpage and ANI, now that WQA is closed. What that intermediary process is to be is not shown by this RfC, despite several pointers made towards WP:3O and WP:RFC/U. Also, concerning the opposition to the closure of WQA, many were fearing that it would be redirected to ANI, and that is not the case, and this RfC was clearly opposed to it's redirection there. The statements didn't say that ANI couldn't handle it, but that it would be a pile on to the drama already there, and the fact that it would cause more issues being at ANI, than WQA. There were also some below who stated the shotgun should not be fired before we realize that there will be a big mess to clean up (in other words, we need the intermediary process before the closure), but it was not a central part of the consensus. After that, a few were still supporting keeping WQA open on the basis that it still solves 1 in 12 cases, and it's better than none or that this is just a bad day (figuratively) for WQA. Despite the arguments to keep WQA open, the consensus is to 1) Close WQA 2) Find an alternative 3) Not redirect it to ANI. -- DQ (ʞlɐʇ) 21:22, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

I think we should close Wikipedia:Wikiquette assistance.

Wikiquette alerts is a noticeboard made to resolve problems about civility and Wikiquette. Right now, it's a noticeboard to vent at each other and the problem is not resolved (yes, in some cases it works but in the grand majority...). A lot of the disputes get referred to other noticeboards (which is not good), and the newcomers always receive a boomerang effect and leave unhappy. I've used WQA before, and that did not work well, with the other party leaving Wikipedia.

The hiarchy is currently "Talk page -> WQA -> AN/I -> RfC/U -> ArbCom. If a dispute is not resolved through the talk page, it does not have much chance at WQA, and AN/I should be able to handle civility complaints (and it already does). In brief, WQA is failing and is just a place to vent and kill each-other. ~~Ebe123~~ → report 22:03, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

Note: WQA will not be automatically redirected to ANI. Please see this comment and the below discussions, along with the survey and statistical analysis which were reasons for this proposal, before commenting. and an alternate proposal currently being developed to take over some of the functions of WQA (WP:Sanity checks). Any stray disputes will be directed to the third opinion project per a discussion there. Thanks. Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 11:49, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Just for the sake of clarity, there is no actual bar on redirecting WQA to ANI, is there? Formerip (talk) 17:30, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, no, but it'd make more sense to mark it historical and do a short write-up of alternatives, in my opinion. Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 03:47, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep-Improve I have found it useful for starting a case against a couple of obnoxious sock puppets (possibly the same one, now that I think of it). I have found twice that hostile admins fare better there than mere hoi poli editors who lose patience with them. (It's also fun to be taken there and prove that the person who brought you is really the hostile one :-) Nevertheless, I do think it's good to have a place to go to deal with constant, insidious low level sexist/racist/homophobic/ethnicphobic/etc. comments that don't quite make it to WP:Ani level. Something hostile editors have to think about and some may even learn from. Maybe Dispute Resolution Wikiproject should take firmer control of it to improve it, assuming it's not in charge already. Does it need more structured formatting for initial complaints, etc. CarolMooreDC 13:22, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

Comments on original proposal[edit]

I would support a close of WQA, and I think there's clear data that shows the need. In my work as a fellow, WQA was one forum that I did research on, and the results were quite poor. In the survey I ran, only 8% of participants felt that WQA was an effective process for resolving disputes, and this was reflected in my analysis of disputes for the month of May - 21.4% of disputes were resolved as a result of WQA - a majority of the other disputes went unresolved because the participants continued to bicker at WQA. Closing WQA is not a new idea - it has been proposed for deletion three times, and discussed elsewhere numerous times. Those that favour keeping WQA open state that it serves a useful function - conduct disputes that do not require admin intervention can be addressed there. That may be the case, but a majority of the time the discussion will end up with parties at each others throats. This doesn't do much to resolve a dispute - and I think we can do without it. I don't think there's a real need to replace WQA with anything - this month WQA saw 14 disputes, and in May only 17. Some may say that this amount of threads creates little impact and therefore makes it harmless - I disagree, as does the numbers. I therefore think we should mark WQA historical, and encourage hashing out issues on a user talk page - if this is ineffective at resolving the issue it can either be dealt with at ANI, or at a user conduct RFC. Once this change is made, it's up to us to encourage social change - close frivolous threads. But this is needed. Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 23:45, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
I would also support the closure of WQA. I have never been involved in WQA, but I found the discussions there quite poor. I also agree with the concerns posted by Stephen Zhang: we should make this historical and encourage hashing out issues at user talk pages. However, if this proves to be ineffective at resolving the issue, it can be dealt with at ANI or at a user conduct RFC. In any case, this closing is needed. Lord Sjones23 (talk - contributions) 23:50, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
I though I made it clear in the "hiarchy" "Talk page -> WQA -> AN/I -> RfC/U -> ArbCom", so without WQA, it would go to the next. ~~Ebe123~~ → report 00:51, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
We need to keep things flexible. It's very clear in my mind that WQA should be closed - how we deal with issues that are sent to WQA is another matter that we need to discuss. Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 00:56, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • I support closing WQA as well. It's a step in the dispute resolution chain that seldom produces meaningful results. If there are a few cases where WQA is actually effective, I think we can incorporate that into a new process, or maybe even an existing one. If people are nervous about closing it down, I'd be okay with making it a "conditional close", pending some other decision about where to re-route the current WQA complaints. Shooterwalker (talk) 01:04, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support: the underlying idea of WQA is flawed — conduct disputes are dealt more efficiently with hammer in hand, so that consequences are more evident. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talk) 01:11, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
    • Regarding the hierarchy: I would propose to simply cut it to "Talk page -> AN/I -> ArbCom", concentrating the WQA and RFC/U functionality at AN/I. The influx of "freed" Wikipedians would help to make the AN/I a solid first instance, capable of cutting off the traffic to ArbCom in most cases. Though indeed it is a separate discussion. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talk) 01:18, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment Having just become aware of this board as a result of being one of the infamous threesome at Wikipedia:Wikiquette_assistance#An_Uncivil_Threesome, I cannot for the life of me see what useful function WQA is performing. Shawn in Montreal (talk) 01:16, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • The idea is to try to resolve problems without admin intervention. Does it work? Usually not, but sometimes it does. Deleting this page won't change the total wikidrama at all, just move it, most likely to ANI. Better a newbie wander into WQA with Editor X deleted my post off their talk page then post that to the shark tank ANI. Consider this example where a thread was [1] closed with that rude "shut up" tag -- does that stop anything? Nope, problem just goes to ANI. Less disruptive to let users talk it out on a lower traffic board. On an environment that (allegedly) prides itself on not bureaucracy there really ought to be a mostly free form, non bureaucratic place for users to vent and feel supported. We're kind of a screwy place and it's easy for new editors to end up feeling miffed, and WQA provides a place for them to go. The usual sequence is not WQA->ANI etc. It's WQA-> (users eventually figure out they're not going to get the other guy "punished" and the need to figure out how to get along.) Nobody Ent 01:30, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Okay, well, that does sound like a useful function. I don't intend to cast a !vote one way or another, but I suppose if enough editors see it the way you do, and are willing to devote time to such an activity, no harm done. Shawn in Montreal (talk) 01:37, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • If we only closed WQA and did nothing, I'd completely agree with you - the disputes would simply roll over to ANI and nothing would be achieved. But we need to encourage social change - I don't disagree that it will be hard to achieve, but we need to work together on it. Closing WQA is a first step - we then need to rewrite WP:DR to include more self-help info - encourage hashing out disputes on a talk page. If that's unsuccessful, then AN can assist. I acknowledge the work done by those at WQA, but I think we need to rethink how things are done, and closing WQA in my mind is a step in the right direction. Let's close it for a month and see how things go. If things get out of control we can always reassess the situation. Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 01:50, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose: funny I favor a keeping a board that I frequently ridicule. But believe it or not I have been in disputes where the threat of dragging someone to WQA resolved the situtation. IMO all WQA needs is for volunteers to issue stern warnings, and inform violators that continued misbehavior will result in a perp walk to ANI.– Sir Lionel, EG(talk) 02:13, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Would discussing the issue on a user talk page not work the same way, with the knowledge that it could be taken to AN or ANI if necessary function just as well? Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 03:07, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Seems like the threat of escalation is still there - it's just AN/I or an RfC rather than a WQA. I agree that WQA might hypothetically work if plenty of active volunteers patrolled it and made a point of intervening in every discussion - but that doesn't happen much in practice - so it's really an empty threat: "If you can't agree in our discussion here on the talk page, I'll take it to WQA and we'll talk about it there instead."...Meh. SteveBaker (talk) 14:35, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong Support I have always been a proponent of shutting down WQA --Guerillero | My Talk 05:10, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support closing Only on Wikipedia would we have thought it a good idea to have a bureaucracy/public embarrassment forum for bad etiquette. Gigs (talk) 13:28, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support It's obviously not working - and it is quite possibly fanning the flames in some disputes. RfC seems to be a more effective mechanism. SteveBaker (talk) 14:30, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Nobody Ent has pointed out the way that WQA has been helpful in its way. I think it's a matter of not having overly high expectations. If you don't find it productive (and once you become an experienced editor you probably won't find it productive), then no one forces you to go to it to initiate anything. And I think it's telling that the opening proposal actually uses an outdated name for the page. --Tryptofish (talk) 14:35, 20 August 2012 (UTC) Fixed: [2]. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:26, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. As far as I can tell, WQA almost never works. I wish we could come up with a lightweight process devoted to handling interpersonal disputes that actually worked, but with herding cats as hard as it is, I'm not sure what such a process would look like. I suspect it would have to be supplied with sharp teeth to be useful in actually resolving things, and, well, if we're going to send people to a board with teeth, we might as well just direct them to ANI and see how that works out. I would very much be open to a proposal for a new, toothful interpersonal-dispute process if it turns out after the close of WQA that these sorts of disputes aren't handled well by the rest of the DR chain (talk, RfC/U, ANI...). A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 14:48, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Throughout the project, breaches of the expected level of decorum are common. These violations of the community's standards of conduct are unevenly, and often ineffectively, enforced. (1,2)
— English Wikipedia Arbitration Committee

You can't actually enforce civility because everyone agrees that we should be civil, but no one agrees what that means. Nobody Ent 19:32, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. too retrospective and blaming, needs to be more about finding solutions not highlighting problems. The number of dispute resolution places needs to be streamlined. Casliber (talk · contribs) 15:47, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support closure. Take for instance the current revision: none of the six threads has improved matters, and one or two seem to have actually increased the drama. Looking through the archives this state of affairs doesn't seem to be at all uncommon. Nobody Ent raises some valid points about occasions on which the board does fulfil a useful role, but the balance of evidence suggests that Casliber's "too retrospective and blaming" is an accurate assessment. Alzarian16 (talk) 15:58, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support The cost/benefit ratio seems to be unfavorable. I suspect that the rare instances in which a good outcome results would have had a good outcome anyway. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:16, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - sigh, unfortunate. I agree that IRL having a mediated place for individuals to "get it out", and to try to helpfully nudge editors who may be in contention towards collegiate wikiquette seems like a good thing. However, I'm not sure of its direct effectiveness in a typewritten environment that isn't in "real time". Seems like this has mostly devolved into each person taking their time to figure out how to better "get" the "other guy", and push their "side". So all this seems to be doing is moving a discussion thread, than actually doing any more resolving than can be done on any talk page. All that said, I think it would be great if editors who are regular helpers there, would write up a helpful guidance page based upon what they have currently learned while helping there, so to help others in future such situations. - jc37 18:57, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong strong oppose - AN/I is for administrative actions that need to be used (blocking, etc.) If someone crosses etiquette, that is by no means a reason to require admin action. If you have a dispute with a user, WQA needs to be the first place to go, and failing that, RFC/U, and failing that, Arbcom. Admin action is only needed if the person is or remains disruptive. --MASEM (t) 19:16, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
    • WQA is not the only way to stop such issues going to ANI. There's no point keeping it just because we can't be bothered to try alternatives. Rd232 talk 19:21, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
    • Inasmuch as "wikiquette" refers to being civil to one another - and that seems to be the crux of most issues WQA handles - it is an administrative matter if it's intractable. WP:CIV is a policy and a pillar, and editors who habitually break policies and pillars are quite likely to find themselves on the losing end of a block, topic-ban, or other administrator(s)-imposed sanction. If your point is that going to ANI for a first instance of incivility is overkill, I'll agree, but I disagree with the general notion that ANI can't handle civility concerns. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 19:27, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
      • I disagree on both points. We do not want people running to ANI because for playground-type annoyances. It already gets bogged down in petty events already and definitely should not be encouraged as the first point of dispute resolution after trying a talk page approach. But more importantly, ANI is specifically needed when admin tools are required. Most situations that go to WQA do not require admin but simply words of caution. If ANI starts taking up too much of these, I can pretty much assure that there will be enough spite by admins having to take up this task that all parties involved in disputes may simply find themselves blocked if the issue is petty enough. There's a reason why we have ArbCom at the top of this chain, they're people that the community believe can best help resolve behavioral problems, not admins. WQA, even if the arguments turn sour, works as a page to expose more editors to such issues and seek some type of resolve and if that or the non-binding RFC/U fails, then maybe admins should be in play. --MASEM (t) 19:42, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
        • "[A]ll parties involved in disputes may simply find themselves blocked if the issue is petty enough" sounds more like a solution then like a problem to me. I believe Wikipedia should become more generous on short-term blocks in case of conduct policies' violations. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talk) 23:10, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
          • ...up until you find yourself blocked along with an IP because the IP didn't like you took off the fact that "Justin Beiber is the best ever!" off an article about Abraham Lincoln and told you out on ANI. Yes, I would really really really really hope admins don't jump on a situation in that manner, but if ANI becomes overloaded with petty cases, the admins will become jaded and intolerable of any minor struggle. Certainly experienced editors will become upset at enforcement like this, and I can only imagine what newer editors would think The rigors of WQA act as a buffering point to prevent ANI from dealing with petty arguments that have no place on ANI. --MASEM (t) 23:21, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
            • FWIW, WQA won't redirect to ANI...other measures are being put into place (maybe some form of conduct third opinion, see WP:SANITY), but redirecting to ANI - not happening. Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 15:09, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
            • On Fluffernutter's first point, it disturbs me that you, Masem, think admins should not block editors for recalcitrant invivility, and that only ArbCom should police that pillar. ArbCom, in Nobody Ent's quote above, seems to be complaining that the admin corps isn't doing it or doing it well. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 18:20, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - I don't think it can be reformed, and the only way to do any better is to get rid of it. I would strongly suggest not sending people to ANI instead though - taking people away from there was one of the few virtues it had. Wikipedia:Third opinion or similar might be a better alternative - a lot of the problem with WQA was mixing up civility issues with content disputes, and 3O allows volunteers more flexibility to provide input on both, whilst focussing on the core of the dispute and not trying to litigate blame unnecessarily. A bit of "that wasn't nice/helpful, but let's move on and focus on the core of the dispute, which seems to be..." is often what's needed, when it isn't simply some clarification about policy etc. Rd232 talk 19:21, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, it is about time. Experience shows that essentially nothing ever gets resolved at WQA anyway and I don't see evidence that WQA discussions actually reduce drama and incivility. Nsk92 (talk) 19:26, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support yes please, burn it with fire, plow and sow its fields with salt. KillerChihuahua?!? 19:30, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Tentative support I have never seen it achieve anything. It was a brave and well-intentioned initiative, but I think it has irredeemably failed. --John (talk) 19:32, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Tentative support It seems like many people tend to skip it anyway, and head straight to ANI with civility issues. I will note that incivility is sadly still a significant problem, and as such I'm worried that this may result in a flood of minor disputes being left unresolved and simmering, or heading to ANI while too small for action. Cheers, Zaldax (talk) 19:44, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Currently WQA serves to delay cases being heard at ANI or Arbcom but doesn't actually seem to accomplish much per se. I find this extra step needlessly bureaucratic when ANI/AN are capable of handling civility disputes, at least to a larger extent than WQA. Sædontalk 19:47, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - Re-using part of my entry into WQA's 2011 deletion discussion WQA is like AN/I's redheaded stepchild, the petty things people don't want to deal with just get shunted out of sight out of mind. What it is is a tattletale board, an "editor X was mean to me! BAWWWWWWWWWW!" outlet to drag someone to do when an editorial dispute isn't going your way...or it is going your way, and you want to keep your foot on your wiki-opponent's neck. Tarc (talk) 19:49, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support WQA is beyond useless. It is a stupendously ineffectual mud pit in which ideologues, edit warriors, prissy civility nannies, and the mock-offended wrestle and spout sanctimonious rhetoric at each other. It can't even hand out a good trouting. Nuke it from orbit. Skinwalker (talk) 20:11, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment I will say that, having been at WQA here and there, the one thing I like about it is being able to talk about civility concerns in an open forum where outside input can be provided without feeling like you are trying to get somebody punished. The problem is that outside input is rarely offered. Usually you just have involved parties bickering, with some complaining about possible sanctions when the purpose is actually to avoid sanctions. Taking anything to ANI is horrific and RfC/Us are not for minor spats. Unfortunately, civility will always be a problem so nothing will solve that, but we still need a noticeboard for these sorts of minor civility issues that is not as confrontational as ANI.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 20:23, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I've never seen WQA work, at least not the threads I followed. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 20:31, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support per 'doesn't do what it says on the tin' (unless it's purpose is to assist in seeing that Wikiquette is breached more often). AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:40, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support or give it teeth. Don't get me wrong, it is very important to enforce our civility policy. But I oftentimes feel alone in this opinion. Every time I tried to actually accomplish something at WQA I was laughed away, because the board has no binding power and the policy it seeks to police is without consensus. With a strong userbase opposing civility blocks in all but the most egregious cases, disagreements brought to WQA only linger and fester. Until we as a community take civility seriously, WQA would remain a place where conflicts are heated up, not cooled down. ThemFromSpace 21:23, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, or move to WP:Airing of Grievances. It's symbol shall be an aluminum pole. --Xavexgoem (talk) 22:02, 20 August 2012 (UTC) I actually kind of like that idea...
  • Support not sure if my vote actually matters here since the consensus to burn this baby down is pretty clear so yes, today WQA, tomorrow all the other useless dramaboards.VolunteerMarek 22:58, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. The process very rarely accomplishes anything. The dismal success rate is telling.--SGCM (talk) 23:31, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose For a variety of reasons:
  • It's not WQA that needs teeth, the civility policy itself handicaps any enforcement of civility by making it very difficult to block for it: Wikipedia:CIVIL#Blocking_for_incivility. With current policy you can get away with large amounts of incivility. This is particularly the case if you are otherwise productive (except for driving away other editors that is) or are an established editor.
  • At times editors do modify their behaviour, even if grudgingly.
  • The survey demographics did not question inexperienced editors and focussed on experienced editors. High profile disputes with experienced editors are usually caused by long term issues and are also outside the remit of WQA; expecting a discussion which typically goes stale after 3 days to resolve that sort of issue is asking too much.
  • WQA can provide support or validation for editors who are subject to incivility, even if the incivility can't be dealt with; most of the threads at WQA would be promptly closed at ANI as they do not require administrator action; so the question then should be: does WQA do a better job than the individual editors re-discussing things on the talk page? I would say yes.
  • Sometimes people forget that WQA doesn't incorporate all user conduct. Issues primarly around WP:NPA, WP:EW and WP:OWN issues are outside of it's remit. IRWolfie- (talk) 00:16, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

So, without a better alternatives, it should be kept because otherwise there is no outlet for people who are facing incivility. IRWolfie- (talk) 00:16, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

  • RE: The survey - the criteria for selection was 10+ edits in total to dispute resolution forums over a 24 month period. Remember: perception is important. 39% (92 respondents) had requested assistance and 25% (60 respondents) had volunteered at WQA, but 73% (174 respondents) had an opinion on WQA - showing that some had an opinion of WQA but hadn't used it before. I've made further comment below, but I think that we need to focus on social change - encourage hashing it out on a user talk page and provide self help tools so things like WQA isn't needed. Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 01:58, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support The majority of the activity I've seen at WQA is best described as "bullying". All the other resolution processes work much better. Sven Manguard Wha? 00:24, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Conditional Support. Per Masem (opposing) who makes some important observations: strictly on the understanding that AN/I does not take up the role and become a redirect target. There are already far too many help, advice, and other drama boards and many users, including experienced ones, can't see the wood for the trees. Many of the problems on the drama boards themselves are that they are staffed very often by inexperienced users who lack the necessary negotiating skills. This is a golden opportunity to start slimming down but the role of AN/I needs to be made more clear. Admin noticeboards are already swamped by people who can't/won't read the instructions, and new users who want to test their 'moderating' by unnecessarily 'clerking' at AN/I and other admin territory; all it does is prolong the agony. If the proposal to disband WQA reaches consensus, while relevant non-admin comments are welcome, there should first be an indication that AN/I was never intended to be a kangaroo court and that comments should be restricted to admins and involved parties. Maybe then we'll get more admins interested in keeping AN/I on their watchlists. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 01:44, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Wikipedia needs more streamlined dispute resolution with more eyeballs. WQA achieves neither. aprock (talk) 02:04, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Somehow Wikiquette assistance became a sort of cruel parody. It's the only place on Wikipedia where you're guaranteed to be made fun of (or worse) if you present a complaint. Kaldari (talk) 02:28, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I'm not a great fan of WQA, but it does serve a purpose, in that it deals with entry-level and one-off complaints; extended or egregious behvioral problems can then go to AN/I. My fear is that if WQA is closed, AN/I (which already has many threads that could have been dealt with elsewhere) will be inundated with complaints of the level of "He was mean to me." There needs to be a gatekeeper noticeboard for civility and low-level behvaioral complaints -- if WQA needs to be restructured, or given more teeth, or renamed or whatever doesn't really matter, as long as there is some first place for users to go to before things escalate to AN/I levels. AN/I cannot be that first place. Beyond My Ken (talk) 03:44, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • The first place should be a user talk page - if that's unsuccessful then outside input should be requested - I think something like the {{helpme}} template or a modified 3O would work. We should emphasise the importance of hashing things out at a talk page and decrease the reliance on boards like WQA or ANI. Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 04:14, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes, of course, talk page discussion should always be the first recourse, but I was talking about the "port of entry" for when talk page discussion does not settle the issue. Right now, that's WQA. If WQA is done away with, those disputes are going to have to go somewhere, and I don't believe that AN/I is the best place for them, there has to be somewhere to deal with post-talk page dispute before they reach the AN/I level. Beyond My Ken (talk) 05:17, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • (ec) I had a think about this and chatted with a few people - one problem with WQA is that the filer has the upper hand - "X user DID THIS!" - it immediately puts the respondent on the defensive and they can attack the other user in retalliation. Thinking about what works well at the moment, I thought of the {{helpme}} template - a user pops it on their talk page and gets assistance from someone. Something similar may work to supplant WQA - I'm working on Wikipedia:Sanity checks - the purpose of which would be that a user can see a situation and ask for someone to take a look at it - no pointing fingers. The details need to be hashed out but I think it'd work well - we need to give new ideas a go at least. Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 05:52, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
We never had one before Mar 2005. You're right that the page was created because people were tired of complaints on ANI, but guess what? They didn't really decrease much. And WQA is not helping, in fact the opposite. KillerChihuahua?!? 05:38, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
I have not, of course, done any kind of historical survey, but my impression is otherwise, that a lot of stuff still gets settled at WQA and never makes it to AN/I. Since these are, by their very nature, fairly run-of-the-mill incidents, they may not make much of an impression on people examining the two boards, and the more serious issues (that get noticed) do indeed tend to move on to AN/I. My feeling is that if WQA were more forcefully promulgated as the place to go post-talk page (by, for instance, referring routine matters there from AN/I more often) it would be a better filter. At the moment, I'm afraid that the claim that AN/I won't be adversely affected by closing down WQA sounds a bit like the politician telling his constituents that the new traffic pattern won't result in more traffic on their street. Unfortunately, the traffic has got to go somewhere, and if there's no WQA (or a replacement for it), it's going to end up at AN/I. Beyond My Ken (talk) 07:08, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
I think I pointed to the survey that I did, as well as the activity stats above - in short - 8% thought WQA was effective, in May 21.4% of disputes were resolved, and a dispute was filed once every 2 days. I'm working on something similar to third opinion that will shift threads from "USER X DID THIS!!!" to "I think there may be an issue at X location, can someone take a look" - using something like the {{helpme}} template. The details will be hashed out over the coming few days - but it's all about encouraging hashing out disputes on a talk page - remember third opinion was the most successful forum in May, so it may work. But WQA isn't working. We need to rethink how things are done - if there was an influx of threads I'd agree with you somewhat, but due to the small amount of threads filed I think closing WQA and setting up other measures (self-help through a rewritten WP:DR page) will work. ANI gets many disputes a day - an extra one or two that slips through won't overflow it. Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 12:16, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - WQA was a well-intentioned "sounds good on paper" idea that, per nom. & others in support of closure, hasn't worked in practice (generally speaking) and if anything has proven counterproductive.-JayJasper (talk) 05:52, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Nobody Ent has this right. WQA is really only effective for low-level incivility between editors who don't know any better: it is hopeless for actual civility enforcement. However, given that, it actually works well enough for what it is and closing it would simply increase the workload of the general admin corps. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 07:45, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose I am convinced by User:Beyond My Ken. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 11:43, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - ANI should not be treated as the first port of call for resolving disputes that cannot be solved on the relevant talk page. --W. D. Graham 12:27, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict)To be fair, that's only one proposal for what to do after eliminating WQA, should we decide to do so. I agree with you 100% in that every minor dispute should not be brought to ANI; that would clog the system and leave many minor disputes unresolved, left to simmer until they actually do require admin attention. Instead, I think we should create an alternative to WQA, such as a 3O-esque template, to serve as a "first line of defense" in resolving civility disputes. The difference is, these discussions would still take place on the relevant talk page. Anyway, that's just one idea for how to replace WQA; other editors have proposed other options, and I'm sure people have suggestions they haven't made yet that would work equally as well, if not better. Cheers, Zaldax (talk) 13:05, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support and agree with Steven Zhang; We need to close WP:WQA and rewrite WP:DR to give users more help and encouragement to try to settle disputes that are currently brought up on WQA on the article or user talk page. --Guy Macon (talk) 13:03, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. I've read all the opposing arguments, and I'm not convinced. - Dank (push to talk) 13:33, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Conditionally opposed; support if condition satisfied: A process prior to ANI and RFC/U is needed, but the way WQA works, which allows it to allow conduct disputes to escalate by providing a forum for the disputants to not only fight with one another but also fight with any neutral editors who choose to weigh in and who are drawn into the fight, is counterproductive. Still, it's better than nothing and I'm opposed to its closing unless a substitute process, such as the "3O for conduct matters" proposed below is adopted. If that or some other substitute process is created (and WQA is such a failure, I don't much care what it is, so long as it is different than WQA), then WQA should be shuttered. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 14:24, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose There are a number of circumstances in which ANI is less than optimal, and simple incivility is a perfect example. Often, what is needed is the slower and thoughtful approach at WQA. ANI is for "incidents", and incivility is usually a pattern, so it is completely against the entire concept of what ANI is designed for. We put out fires at ANI, we don't coax two people to communicate more amicably. ANI is way too drama filled (and lord knows, many of us are trying to ramp the drama down) and it is the LAST place you want to send a simple incivility issue to. Don't make me chain myself to the doors here to keep it open, because there is no way I could be more strongly against this. It is simply not fair to the editors here to do this. If we need to change WQA, that is fine, lets tweak it. In my opinion, to completely throw out this extra step and rely on ANI to pick up the slack is foolish and will result in simple cases being barged into by the drama crowd, and end up costing us editors. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 14:19, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, did you see where I mentioned that WQA won't redirect to ANI? I added it recently - you may have missed it. Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 14:33, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
There's no need to be so emphatic about not sending people to ANI; most people wanting to close WQA agree an alternative mechanism is needed so those cases don't end up at ANI. Rd232 talk 14:35, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Indeed - but from some comments it seems that there's a perception that WQA will redirect to ANI or there will be nothing except ANI to use - just trying to show that ain't the case :-) Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 14:38, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
my remark was actually directed at Dennis Brown... never mind. Rd232 talk 19:00, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Steven: I think you've misperceived my stance. I am (of course) opposed to redirecting WQA to AN/I, but my point is something different: if there is not a place for low-level incivility incidents to go to (either WQA or a replacement), then -- like the cars that have been diverted by the new traffic pattern -- those incidents will naturally gravitate to AN/I, with or without a redirect. As I said to begin with, I've never been a big fan of WQA, but if people want to close it down they need to have an alternative in place first, or else (pace your surveys) AN/I will be negatively affected. Beyond My Ken (talk) 17:44, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong Support with equally strong encouragement to find some alternative means such as one of those suggested by Steven Zhang to handle civility matters shy of ANI. As a personal anecdote, the one time I attempted to utilize WQA I was attacked by the neutral editor for something entirely unrelated to civility and then accused of retaliating when I happened to tag one of their images for copyright problems a few days latter. There was no attempt to actually investigate let alone address the issue of civility on either side of the dispute. Perhaps this was only a case of the particular volunteer attempting to man the desk at the time I was there and would be equally prevalent in whatever replacement is found, but the whole situation left me more upset than before I sought outside resolution which is decidedly not the desired outcome of WQA. As Beyond My Ken notes, ANI should not be the first step for escalating civility disputes, but the current process is beyond broken--it allows and often encourages situations to actively worsen. Even if ANI is an interim solution, there would at least be multiple eyes to keep an eye on problems including admins to shut things down if they did get out of hand. VernoWhitney (talk) 15:18, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict)Oppose. That's going to surprise a number of people, but it's my opinion. Quite simply, yes, AN/I could do everything that WQA is doing, and possibly better. But WQA makes it so that the 10% of cases that just need to be vented about and the other 10% of cases that can actually be resolved there don't clutter up AN/I. It's a sinkhole for the more frivolous and/or easy-to-handle cases. - Jorgath (talk) (contribs) 17:30, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Close and mark historical. If it needs to be redirected to something, redirect it to WP:PAIN, which was basically the same thing (except with teeth) and was also closed and marked historical. - Balph Eubank 17:36, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. WQA is completely useless. Malleus Fatuorum 17:41, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong support — Wikipedia volunteers are not civility nannies. If someone is being rude to the point of it being a disruptive influence, then they can be blocked for it (notice that "gross incivility" is the second point listed under the subsection I linked to). There's no reason whatsoever that such instances can't be brought to ANI; if administrative action is deemed unwarranted, then the people participating there will say so, and the matter will be closed. WQA is needless bureaucracy, and the very notion of there being a separate noticeboard specializing in handling cases of rudeness is actually quite silly. To reiterate — if it's a problem, they can be blocked. If not, then just move on. Speaking from personal experience, you shouldn't let people like that get to you; be the better person. Kurtis (talk) 01:48, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
    • @Kurtis: Wikipedia volunteers are not civility nannies. And why not? Civility is, after all, the fourth pillar. Are you advocating discarding it? Beyond My Ken (talk) 04:27, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
      • No, absolutely not. Note also my second sentence: "If someone is being rude to the point of it being a disruptive influence, then they can be blocked for it..." You won't find very many people who are stronger advocates of the notion that WP:CIVIL should have more teeth. At a bare minimum, we really should expect people to be nice. I think I probably should have phrased my first sentence better, on reflection. Kurtis (talk) 14:09, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
        • I agree with you that civility enforcement should be stronger, but because definitions and standards of civility are (obviously) quite different from place to place, there needs to be a fourm where conflicts between those standards can be discussed, and not just be settled in the mind of a single admin, whose standard may be different from either of the disputants, or even from the community's as a whole (if there is such a thing). Without that forum, civility enforcement becomes simply a random collection of one-off admin actions, which is more likely to lead to discontentment, since the disputants can see that a different admin in a similar case applied a different standard. And, yes, we do have that now as well, but I believe it will get much worse if there is a not an entry-level forum to deal with civility cases in which a de facto standard -- or at least a small range of standards -- can be arrived at through community discussion. As I've said, I have no objection to restructuring WQA, or giving it more teeth, or replacing it with something else, but just shutting the doors seems to me to be a bad idea. Beyond My Ken (talk) 16:31, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I've been away, so let me know if I'm being stupid. It seems to me there are plenty of other ways of resolving disputes. This proposal probably won't cause an undo burden to fall on WP:an/i. It seems the process has broken down for a lack of disinterested 3rd parties to keep track of the board. Perhaps it would be better if these problems were resolved via user talk and failing that mediation. @kurtis-- I thought WQA was needless bureaucracy when it was first incepted. It was a product of the times and should be best celebrated by marking as historical and moving on. Dlohcierekim 04:01, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Good intentions, but bad in practice. • Jesse V.(talk) 05:00, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Provisional support. If WQA is demonstrably ineffective most of the time, plans should be made to replace it with something more effective. Once a replacement is up and running, WQA should be shut down, but not before. I do not think that ANI can be that replacement. Rivertorch (talk) 10:18, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment seems to me that WQA is a place to continue a dispute in an unresricted fashion so that it can move to another venue. It needs an influx of volunteers if it is to work properly. (talk) 14:14, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, though I imagine that many/most WQA issues are not suitable for ANI. WQA is largely ineffective, though this is symptomatic of a broader lack of enforcement of civility, and we have too many venues for dispute resolution. Hut 8.5 15:48, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - Close it. Its been pretty much pointless for a long time as are several of the other noticeboards. Much better reasons are given by users above but the bottomline is its ineffective, undermanned and at this point pretty much a waste of time. Kumioko (talk) 18:11, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong Support - Per S. Zhang. Close WQA, and enhance 3O to take on behavior issues. --Noleander (talk) 14:40, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support If WQA can't be fixed (OK, make that "won't be fixed"), then close it. My observation is that WQA is a waste of everybody's time. I don't think it matters why people think that - they do, and that's all that matters. Belchfire-TALK 08:52, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong Support Per my fellow DRN volunteers, Steven Zhang and Ebe123. Electric Catfish 20:59, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Twice I went to WQA after remarks on article talk and user talk. One case resulted in a stuck, and the reported user got blocked much later for sockpuppeting. The other "case" did not result at all, as no comment —let alone assistance— was given by anyone. On a third severe civility issue, when tempted to go to WQA (again, after many remarks on article talk and user talk), I decided to go to ANI directly. A few admin remarks solved the issue for a while. A revisit to ANI a bit later for the same issue resulted in a block of the reported user. It looks like experienced incivil editors are not impressed by the workings of WQA, unless of course a comment is made by someone holding a hammer. Therefore ANI is the place to go. I dont think that the proposed Sanity Check or the existing 3O in article talk space is a good alternative for WQA, as wikiquette matters are inherently off-topic in article talk space. - DVdm (talk) 21:48, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support removal OR moving to make explicitly voluntary, probably in userspace - Extra bureaucracy is a bad thing. This appears to acheive nothing, and wastes the time of many. On the other hand, I don't want to dictate to wikipedians what processes theny can use so if everyone agrees this could be helpful why delete it? I would say that in this case the movement of it to someone's userspace and it being made totally clear that it's a voluntary thing for everyone involved could potentially work. We need a volunteer for that though. Egg Centric 23:10, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose for the time being; if and when something else is instituted to buffer ANI and WQA becomes little used, it can be removed. Buy the tractor and have it delivered before shooting the horse. Dragging the horse away by hand ... you don't want to do that. htom (talk) 00:10, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose until some sort of alternative (e.g. WP:Sanity checks proposed above) is brought in and found to work better than the current system. Maybe this doesn't work all the time, but isn't it better to have something that works at least part of the time than to have nothing at all? Closing WQA without something to fill its place leaves a gap in the WP:DR process which it is intended to fill, regardless of how well it does so. If WQA were actually doing some sort of harm, then closing it without a replacement could be justifiable, but I don't actually see anything negative coming out of it.  dalahäst (let's talk!) 02:10, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - My opinion has changed. For the good of Wikipedia, the process should be streamlined. The arguments to close it are too strong to ignore. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 04:46, 3 September 2012 (UTC) Oppose/Conditional - WQA may not have the tools it needs to address the situations in a proper fashion, therefore I would suggest having a test of any proposal prior to WQA shuting down so there is no void and a transition process can be tested. Though WQA works if the editors both want to resolve the problem, if either party doesn't have much faith in WQA, than it will not work. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 16:28, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
The WP:3O process already exists and supports behavior-related disputes. In the past, 3O has primarily been used for content disputes, not behavior, perhaps because WQA and ANI were more widely publicized for behavior issues. 3O is a mature and tested process. So, in that sense, the test you are suggesting has been underway for a couple of years. --Noleander (talk) 18:33, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
I have always been of the belief that WQA is far more informal and the board has this tagline, "For disputes that are exclusively about an editor's conduct and are not related to a content issue, other forums may be more appropriate such as administrator incident noticeboard or request for comment on user." I figured that via the chain, WQA would be the first step and if it was a conduct matter (solely WQA's function) that it would jump to RFC:U or AN/I depending on severity and immediacy felt by the filer. The current issues at WQA are largely conduct and they seem to be going well despite this proposal to shut it down. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 23:17, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
A resolution rate of approx 1 in 5 isn't very successful, imo. Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 20:41, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. A step before ANI might be helpful, but WQA doesn't seem to be doing the job effectively from what I've seen, and I don't think it's used that much either. I'd be in favour of closing it and trying something else. OohBunnies! (talk) 18:47, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support close - This is like the United Nations of Wikipedia. It's basically a toothless talking shop that resolves nothing and is often use as a wikilawyering tool to deflect from content disputes. Stick a fork in it. -- Scjessey (talk) 19:32, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Second Scjessey above - close Mugginsx (talk) 13:44, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Followed a couple threads there lately, and there appears to be a mob mentality to the page. ANI might have the same problem, but at least stuff gets done there. Hot Stop 14:29, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. WQA's function could be filled by RFC, which would prevent ANI from being swamped with minor disagreements. All the best, Miniapolis (talk) 14:46, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I've been asked to comment two or three times at WQA, and find it a toothless vacuum, just ready to be filled with a continuation of any dispute bought there. It provides "yet another" forum for ill-mannered and bullying editors to promote themselves. It doesn't add any value to Wikipedia. Ideologically it's lovely, but in practice it fails, in an epic way. The Rambling Man (talk) 16:47, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Once it once without any resolution. "No binding decisions" does not work. --Redtigerxyz Talk 06:06, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support It isn't effective, and seems more often than not to end up continuing the discussions that led to it, without any real resolution. Cloudbound (talk) 12:43, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose for now; echoing htom up thread a bit. I would prefer being drawn and quartered to being "invited" to WQA but I am skeptical that this step of closure would be a cure to the trauma / drama I'm reading there. If this is step one, the abuse certainly excalates upline, so we definately need a testable proven buffer before editors and conflicts are thrown into ANI. Fylbecatulous talk 13:04, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support WQA seems to be more of a gladitorial stadium than a place for dispute resolution. Dispute resolution needs teeth, and teeth are inherent in ANI and not in many other places. Also, ANI should be able to close down dispute resolutions that are brough here too quickly, such as with a "Work it out on the talk pages, and come back in three days if it is still a problem type solution.

Tazerdadog (talk) 21:11, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

  • Support More encyclopedia. Less drama. --Kvng (talk) 17:32, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose It's another forum to get crap off the talk page. It's an alternative to RFC/U and it's low cost support for one of the pillars of the project. As an alternative has not been worked out, oppose. Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:50, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose, trout the OP, and prevent further useless nominations of WQA for closing The goal of WQA is to keep mildly uncivil behaviour off of ANI, and to improve communications between editors. ANI is there for incidents that need immediate action - WQA doesn't meet that definition. If I remember correctly, this is not the first time that this proposer has suggested its closing, and I may be wrong, but I think they were also involved in another assistance board that they mistakenly thought was possibly a replacement for WQA. This is a bad perennial suggestion. dangerouspanda 20:06, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
  • WQA won't be redirected to ANI, and 3O will take on any issues that aren't resolved through talk page discussion. Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 20:39, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
  • No trouting for giving ideas, trout yourself. You are not realizing WP:CONSENSUSCANCHANGE exists. ~~Ebe123~~ → report 22:14, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
    • It's also hardly fair to trout the nominator when the idea clearly has a fair bit of support (not saying whether it's reached consensus). Are we going to trout every supporter here? Heimstern Läufer (talk) 07:07, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
    Wow. This ostensibly pro-WQA comment is evidence that WQA is ineffective at improving civility. Shooterwalker (talk) 23:53, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. I concur with Steven Zhang's comments at the top of this section, particularly where he notes that it's up to us to encourage social change. This page had its use, but we have better options now and should move on. I also agree that EatsShootsAndLeaves's comment, above, is inappropriate. — Hex (❝?!❞) 08:25, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong support A good idea that sadly hasn't worked. --Dweller (talk) 10:40, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Stong oppose Just because an idea isn't working as well as it should doesn't mean you should get rid of it. I've never used wikiquette, because I didn't know about it, but I think it's a fantastic idea. Any opportunity to infuse civility into a discussion is not only nice, it's essential. I don't want to get to too philosophical, but we need this sort of mediation not just in the wiki world but in society at large - don't close it down just because it isn't working. Find a way to make it work.Jasonnewyork (talk) 18:01, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - Wikiquette assistance has unfortunately failed. It had noble intentions, but hasn't succeeded. I went there once with a serious complaint, and I didn't even get any help - I just got the editor I was complaining about responding and being incivil again. The thread above me was humongous, and consisted of essentially 3 or 4 editors involved in the request attacking one another, rather than anyone resolving it. It's not helpful, and throws off newbies. I'd support creating it again but with a different set of admin rules and a much closer eye on it from admins, but for now, I'd say close it. --Activism1234 05:09, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. This venue is ineffective and promotes a divisive battleground mentality. It seems to have become part of our content dispute resolution process, yet is inherently harmful to the goal of resolving editorial disagreement. (Disclosure: I have never been reported to WQA, nor have I ever really worked the board, so I see it as an outsider.) My preference for implementing this proposal is the same as KillerChihuahua's, below. AGK [•] 10:40, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - WQA is ineffective and redundant. If the incivility issue is minor, then no board should be needed. If the incivility issue is major, then take said user to AN/I. The labour spent at WQA would be better spent elsewhere, like AN, DRN and SPI. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 00:18, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support—Get rid of it. Was worse than useless (on occasions trolled) and now superseded. Tony (talk) 01:06, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support closure, and support conduct 3O. I agree with the characterization of WQA as "ANI without admins". It's basically a gossip-and-gripe forum, with little to no outcome other than escalation of whatever drama led the users there. ANI may be a "drama board" in a sense, but at least ANI allows for solutions, especially when the appropriate solution is the banhammer. In situations that don't necessarily require administrative action, 3O works because users know what to expect, and can resolve their differences in a structured and constructive way. I would support separate 3O processes for content and conduct, to keep personal drama as far away from content disputes as possible. szyslak (t) 22:56, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Were the board to function in the manner it is supposed to, I think that my opinion would be different. As it currently stands, the fourth pillar has essentially been rewritten to read Editors should interact with each other in a respectful and civil manner, unless you just don't feel like it. Civility policy is toothless to the point of hilarity. As long as that fact remains, then this board will never serve any purpose other than to escalate conflicts. It's sad... but my biggest reason for wanting to see this board go away is that it is the most immediately obvious avenue to resolve conflicts of this nature, and I would prefer new users not to see the fact that the blatantly uncivil among us are permitted and enabled to operate unfettered without any accountability... ever. Trusilver 07:49, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. From what I have seen, WP:WQA is — for the most part — next to useless for the purpose that was originally intended for it. Most of the problems reported there are nothing that a little bit of extended, courteous user talk page negotiation cannot handle. SuperMarioMan 00:22, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support merging of forums, because forum-proliferation is getting as bad as rule-proliferation. The more roles a board can fill, the more people will lurk and give feedback, and the more useful it will be. Narrow board-missions can hence be ineffective. -- Quiddity (talk) 00:41, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Too many other dispute resolution areas. A more streamlined process would be nice. Dan653 (talk) 23:29, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support from Signpost "Opinions of dispute resolution are overall negative – while respondents rate arbitration as the best dispute resolution forum (one in three respondents rate it as good or very good), Wikiquette assistance is regarded as the worst (only 1 in 12 rate it as satisfactory)." Seems this process is a failure and so abolish or reform it. Regards, Sun Creator(talk) 12:38, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Steven Zhang's Signpost article made it clear WQA lags behind the many other options in terms of effectiveness. This is a low-hanging fruit; let's pluck it. --JaGatalk 16:13, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support closure and marking as historical. The data collected and presented by Steven Zhang are pretty damning. With such abysmally low approval and effectiveness, I really don't think "we should just improve it!" is a realistic perspective. In order to improve something, there needs to be something workable, and I just don't see it here. Put it out of its misery. ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 19:53, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support closure and marking as historical. As I have only been able to observe the events on noticeboards for about 18 months or so now I have discovered that WQA is just plain useless nowadays. All WQA is doing nowadays is allowing people to vent and try to work things out in basically a talk page made public. Barts1a / Talk to me / Help me improve 02:53, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. I do not have any experience with resolving uncivil behaviour on the Wikipedia. I had a note of this debate in the header of my watch list. I have read through almost all contributions to this debate, and I have also taken a look at Wikipedia:Wikiquette assistance, the page in question. In my view, only a few things stand out. The first is the claim that 21.4 % of the disputes are resolved by Wikiquette assistance in May. This is a poor percentage. It should be at least 50 %. The second is the series of stages that exist to solve civility problems. The proposer depicts five stages. However, the maximum should be three, for any kind of conflicts. The third is the statement that the page in question makes about its goal: "Wikiquette assistance is a forum where editors who feel they are being treated uncivilly can request assistance. The goal here is to help all parties in a situation come to a mutually agreeable solution.". This goal means that those who assist have the view that uncivil behaviour on the Wikipedia is basically acceptable; it does not need to be investigated and sanctioned. However, soft doctors make stinking wounds. P.S. There seems to be a problem with the 21.4 %. If 21.4 % of 17 disputes were resolved in May, then the number of resolved disputes is not an integer. --Maarten 1963 (talk) 22:10, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support closing. Resolved rate is too low, especially considering the relatively high chance of making unresolved situations worse by having a forum to "attack" each other's conduct. In one of the current cases there was a budding edit war on whether the reporter was to be included in the title (as the report was a boomerang). A third party editor resolved this, but took no further part in the discussion. Other editors added their opinion and the reporter decided to leave the forum, clearly not taking the hints about his own conduct. Hardly a stellar result. I don't know if I'm entitled to vote here, but I wanted to add a comment based on a recent experience with that forum. (talk) 22:39, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - Make way for more effective venues. Marcus Qwertyus (talk) 03:22, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

Side discussion: replace/redirect WQA to what?[edit]

It looks like there are a few token objections to closing WQA. Assuming that the consensus *is* to close WQA, we should still take into account those token objections to make sure DR works optimally. The (limited) value of WQA has been described as:

  • Reducing the overload of low-grade civility complaints at AN/I or RFC.
  • A deterrent on low-grade incivility, to prevent things from escalating to a full-fledged AN/I or RFC.
  • A less bureaucratic mechanism for minor incivility that doesn't require an administrative action.
  • A less WP:BITEy way of helping new editors understand our civility policy, without too much page traffic.

Not saying that these are reasons to keep WQA around. But if the decision is to close WQA, we ought to decide whether to have another "line of defense" before we send these things to AN/I or RFC. If yes, we need to decide what that process should be. If not, we need to decide how to improve how RFCs and AN/Is deal with low grade incivility and newer editors who might only need a stern warning. Shooterwalker (talk) 20:04, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps a template of some sort, in the same vein as Third opinion? (How's that project fairing, by the way?) Users could tag a discussion they feel is becoming uncivil, and a neutral party could drop by to observe the situation and give a few friendly reminders to the involved parties. It would certainly be a less bureaucratic, bite-y way of handling minor disputes. Cheers, Zaldax (talk) 20:11, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Good idea. Often all that is needed is to get more eyes on a situation, and this would facilitate that. Rivertorch (talk) 20:53, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

It seems to me that DR/N could be the first line of defense, in-so-far as to establish whether the dispute is primarily content-related or behavior-related. As it already deals with content, and to the extent of identifying behavioral issues, this wouldn't be a change. From there, for behavioral problems (for that is what concerns us here) it could continue to "direct" users to the appropriate solution board, usually the user talk page to start, or another appropriate sub/pre-ANI noticeboard. If it's identified that the scope of the problem is larger than the scope of another noticeboard or user talk pages, then I doubt it's too small for ANI to handle.

This seems to me to get a bonus out of this direction, which is structuring the dispute to some extent, something I know is something WQA has an issue with.

Alternatively, we could set up a DR/BN (DR/Behavioral noticeboard), with the same restrictions on the participants as at DRN (word count, etc.). This also has the benefit of structure. --Izno (talk) 21:03, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Third opinion is a process that works, but minor content disputes are much easier to resolve than behavioural ones. When two editors start going at each other's throats, it's difficult to stop the dispute from escalating. Small behavioural disputes have a tendency to snowball into larger ones.
Instead of creating a separate template or noticeboard and risking forum creep, one option which has been mentioned is to expand the scope of current content dispute resolution venues (3O and DRN) to include small behavioural disputes (that don't qualify for RFC or AN/I) alongside content disputes. Behavioural disputes are often intertwined with content disputes. This proposal may work, but it does have some major problems. It would drastically increase the workload of the process, and introduce the mess of personal drama into the process that volunteers might be uncomfortable with handling.--SGCM (talk) 21:11, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Redirect to /dev/null. Skinwalker (talk) 21:23, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Third opinion is a process that works, but content disputes are much easier to resolve than behavioural ones. - Neither of these claims is true except for some pretty weird definitions of "works" and "resolve".VolunteerMarek 22:56, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Let me clarify, I meant relative to WQA. In the activity analysis, 3O had a success rate of 52% compared to WQA's 21.4%. A 52% percent success rate is nothing to brag about, and 3O certainly needs to be improved. I actually agree with you that the large content disputes (Arab-Israeli, Northern Ireland, Scientology, etc) are every bit as problematic as the dramafests that flare up on Wikipedia. But those disputes often fall outside the purview of 3O.--SGCM (talk) 23:24, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
WQA fails in its inability to enforce decisions. To date the only instrument that can be used to enforce anything conduct-related is ban, so any new conduct dispute resolution process that doesn't not offer "ban" outcome is doomed. On the other hand, we already have a place where this outcome is available — AN/I, so why reinvent the wheel? — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talk) 23:28, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Because not every WQA case needs admin action. If it doesn't need admin action or it's not apparent that it does because of no smoking gun; the section will be closed quickly at ANI. IRWolfie- (talk) 00:51, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
So probably ANI should be fixed? — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talk) 00:28, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

I do think we need a clear alternative to direct people to if WQA goes (an alternative which is not ANI!). My suggestion is WP:3O, via a help page about civility issues that tries to give advice about situations which WQA frequently encountered, including on when to escalate to RFC/U or ANI or Arbcom instead of using 3O. If this doesn't work for some reason, alternatives can then be considered. Rd232 talk 21:39, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

If we are to redirect to 3O, the latter is going to need to be reworked to an extent; specifically, to allow for situations in which more than two editors are involved in a civility dispute. Perhaps we could create a template such as the one I mentioned above, but fold it into the 3O project (perhaps as a civility subpage) to avoid some of the creep. That would allow for a more nuanced approach, I think, and would avoid overburdening the content dispute aspect of 3O with behavioral disputes. Cheers, Zaldax (talk) 22:29, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • I don't think 3O should be the primary destination that WQA gets routed to, but 3O is effective and I would be happy for it to take some of the caseload. If that means tweaking 3O's criteria, so be it. Our primary goal should be resolving disputes, rather than process pedantry. bobrayner (talk) 00:09, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
3O is for content disputes not for commenting about incivility. IRWolfie- (talk) 00:19, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
This is a discussion about process change; it's possible to change processes (although it's rarely easy around here). If there's another task which 3O would be better at dealing with, I'm happy for 3O to take that on too, rather than saying that 3O may only do what it currently does. bobrayner (talk) 07:16, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
IMO, the reason WQA does not work is that incivility is not a disease, it is only a symptom. Simply mark WQA as historical and focus on the root causes. If the incivility is tagging along with a content dispute, 3O is an option because resolving the content dispute should resolve the civility issue. If it does not, ANI becomes relevant. BLPN, COIN, etc. could also come into play depending on who is causing the concerns, and why. Resolute 00:59, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Nothing. Tag historical and move on. One puppy's opinion. KillerChihuahua?!? 05:44, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Something to consider here - in May, WQA saw a total of 17 disputes, a little over 1 every 2 days. If this trend were to continue, I don't think ANI would be flooded. Directing people from the closed WQA to a set of instructions on how to handle their own issues (read: self-help) should be encouraged in the first instance, something like Wikipedia:Sanity checks (hybrid of WP:GMN and {{helpme}} - currently being worked on) may catch any loose threads. But I don't think the concern of closing WQA causing an overflowing of petty disputes at ANI holds much water, simply because ANI isn't used a great deal. Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 11:46, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

  • As one of the most frequent contributors at 3O I am opposed to opening 3O to conduct disputes however I think that a separate "3O for conduct disputes" is a brilliant idea and could easily replace WQA. Mixing conduct disputes and content disputes in the same process weakens the ability of the intervening editor to deal with the conduct dispute by drawing the resentment of one or both of the warring parties, but a separate process that works like 3O would cure quite a few of the ills which WQA suffers. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 14:16, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
    • A separate 3O process for conduct disputes is a bad idea (since apparently we're enthusiastically bolding now) because it requires a dispute to be defined as being about conduct. Conduct issues are rarely resolvable satisfactorily by talking alone, and usually mixed up with content issues, which more often can be resolved by talking. Leaving it open whether a dispute is 10% conduct and 90% content or vice versa allows much more flexibility for respondents to decide how to proceed. Quite often "focus on content, not the contributor, now let's see about this content issue" gets things moving a bit. And working together to get somewhere with a content issue often helps with conduct issues, because conduct issues often arise at least in part from a breakdown in AGF, and cooperation on content with a bit of assistance can help rebuild it. Rd232 talk 14:29, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
      • I agree entirely that curing content issues generally cures the conduct issues, but inviting them to be discussed in the same process is a recipe for disaster. I have certainly given 3O's in which I gave a conduct opinion and also included a strong admonishment about conduct and have seen those be successful, but I generally limited them to situations in which the conduct problems were mutual and did not pick out one or the other of the editors to individually admonish. Doing so would simply weaken the conduct part of the 3O for the very same reason that conduct issues generally weaken discussion. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 14:43, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Agree totally. In first instance, this discussion seems a bit confused. If WQA is not useful (I have no opinion) get rid of it. If it useful, keep it. If it's useful but not working well, reform it. But this feels like a discussion that has reached two contradictory conclusions and wants to act on both of them.
Merging WQA with 3O would reduce 3O's clarity of purpose. Users (and, quite possibly, responders) would be less sure about what is does and doesn't do. Plus, I see there's a discussion consequent to this on the 3O talkpage about changing 3O to accept disputes involving more than two editors. That's something that should be discussed on its own merits, not because a failure of decision-making elsewhere necessitates it. And, it would basically make 3O an a cappella version of DRN, so we would presumably then end up discussing how to keep those two processes distinct. Before you know, the whole of WP's DR mechanisms will have been upended.
Seriously, this discussion needs to keep its focus changing one thing at a time, in sequence. Formerip (talk) 15:36, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
It seems to me there's two ways to look at closing WQA, and what to do afterwards.
  • One way to look at it is that we're closing WQA mainly because it's ineffective. In which case, it makes sense to create a 3O process for civility (a sort of "mediation lite"). Even though it would cover the same ground as WQA, hopefully it would have a greater likelihood of achieving some kind of result.
  • The other way to look at it is that we're closing WQA because we generally have too many DR processes. In which case, replacing it with another process is kind of self-defeating.
Steven Zhang noted that there were less than 20 WQA incidents in the last month. Couldn't we have 3O take on some of the content related stuff, have the DR noticeboard take on some of the behavioral stuff, and leave the truly angry stuff for AN/I? Shooterwalker (talk) 16:43, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • I'd encourage everyone to take a look at WP:SANITY; that proposal's coming along nicely so far, and I think it might make a good "replacement" of WQA as a sort of 3O for conduct. I think it would go a long way towards encouraging civility as well, by providing a neutral voice whose aim is to calm things down. Cheers, Zaldax (talk) 19:21, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Correction: 3O already allows conduct disputes by community consensus. I totally forgot that there has already been a community discussion at 3O, about two years ago, when I tried to restore a content-only restriction which had once been there and had subsequently been removed. The discussion and consensus decision is here: Wikipedia_talk:Third opinion/Archive 5#Alleged restrictions on disputes. I apologize to the community for my bad memory. Abashedly, TransporterMan (TALK) 15:01, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
  • 3O - Agree with those above that suggest 3O as a replacement for WQA (either as separate 3O-conduct & 3O-content; or as a single consolidated process). For a couple of reasons: (1) 3O is already in existence and functioning smoothly; (2) we need to streamline and consolidate DR processes, so 3O is a much better alternative than creating a new process. It may be that expanding 3O to handle WQA-type jobs will require some minor tweaks to 3O, but that is no problem. --Noleander (talk) 16:12, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
  • My reasoning for closing was mainly as it is redundant and we have too many locations. Make a big redirect to 3O and AN/I and folks keen to help out can watchlist those places. Casliber (talk · contribs) 13:30, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
  • The problem with 3O for conduct is how we respond when a matter involves more than two editors. My thought is that, similar to RSN and BLPN, we have a noticeboard specifically for discussing whether certain actions or statements constitute incivility. In other words, if someone feels he or she is being treated in an uncivil manner or if someone is curious about whether his or her own conduct is uncivil, that editor can see if outside observers agree that this is the case. Basically this would be used in cases where more than two editors are involved and could help guide admins on the matter of civility enforcement as well.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 20:27, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

Another way around[edit]

Some of the comments above enlightened me to understand that the best way to remedy the loss of WQA would be to create another process that would serve the same goal as WQA – show that others don't accept this kind of behavior – but in a more conduct-specific way. I propose to create a lightweight process under the name WP:DICKS/N. This would be an RfA-like process (in terms of organization), which would essentially be a nomination of editor for listing at WP:DICKS – a listing of people, whose behavior was found to violate WP:DICK. Wikipedia Signpost would then inform the community of successful nominations. Corresponding barnstars and userboxes should be provided.

Though this proposal might seem sarcastic or otherwise not serious, in fact I genuinely suggest this process, as being called a dick officially Wikipedia-wide might happen to be more effective even then a short-term block. This might replace WP:RFC/U as well. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talktrack) 13:21, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

But the qualification for your hypothetical WP:DICKS list would have to be something like: "A clear and persistent tendency to violate WP:CIVIL". But WP:CIVIL is a WP:FIVEPILLARS matter...and if someone is violating it to a sufficient degree to get onto your list - then surely we should simply have the admins block/ban the person instead? That implies to me that your proposed solution would simply mirror WP:RfC/U - which is where such blocks and bans are currently reviewed and dealt with. Since a large part of the problem here is the proliferation of mechanisms. IMHO your suggestion only makes matters worse. SteveBaker (talk) 14:43, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
The idea is based on the assumption that nominations are deferred to WP:AN/I when administrative sanctions are needed. Effectively the list is supposed to be populated with editors who don't deserve being blocked. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talktrack) 21:46, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

WQA Failure and Success[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.
Please see the consensus above. -- DQ (ʞlɐʇ) 21:22, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

It would be interesting to know how many editors who have stated "WQA doesn't work" feel that way because a.) they dislike being reported there when they push the envelope, as opposed b.) they editor they reported didn't get slammed.

WQA is not ANI or ArbCom. WQA rarely has winners and losers. WQA is the anti-Thunderdome: "two editors enter, two editors leave." Boring. No stocks or public hangings. WQA is either about editors being told yea, that editor was kinda of a jerk, but that's how it is around here, or you're being kind of a jerk and it would be good if you tone it down -- sometimes concurrently. What folks don't seem to get is just because someone doesn't get the block hammer, and confess Perry Mason style -- OMG, I'm sooo sorry I was rude, I'll never, ever do it again -- doesn't mean it has no effect. A newbie finding out that someone cares, a little, if ineffectually, matters. A veteran editor who tones it down about to avoid the annoyance of yet another WQA notification, matters.

Given the lack of consensus about civility -- what it is, how to enforce it, "WQA" is going to exist somewhere. When all is said and done with the "to what" section above, it's just gonna be WQA with a different name and watchlist.

As far as the "let's shut it down for a month and see what bad things happen" ... the argument is its own rebuttal.Nobody Ent 02:22, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

  • See my comments at Conditional Support above. One of the problems is that where people with a grievance arrive at the wrong forum, instead of being redirected to a more appropriate venue, many editors attempt in good faith to resolve the problem there and then. More effort should be made to send users to the right places. Most of the incivility issues probably stem initially from content disputes, and WP:DRN is possibly the best venue to attempt to resolve them. Only, and strictly only, should complaints be taken to AN/I when admin action is clearly required. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 02:30, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • My thoughts here: I think we don't necessarialy need to redirect WQA to somewhere - I think in the first instance, we need to encourage social change (I'm starting to sound like a broken record here). On WP:MEDCAB (now closed) we detailed ways that editors can get dispute resolution - offering DRN for small disputes and MedCom for larger ones. With WQA, we can do a short writeup on why WQA was closed, what steps they can use to address the issue and maybe a link to a modified 3O if that's unsuccessful. Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 02:36, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Tag historical, add a brief summary, and add the {{Dispute-resolution}} so editors can find where they need to go. This avoids the "what if we send them to the wrong page?" issue. KillerChihuahua?!? 05:48, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Exactly. It's an education tool rather than an enforcement tool. When you look at it like that it actually works quite well. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 07:47, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • An education tool that rarely works. We're thinking about things the wrong way with WQA - something else can serve the same function but not create the chaos that WQA does. I'm working on something new at WP:Sanity checks. In a nutshell - hybrid of third opinion and the {{helpme}} template - lighthearted way to say "Hey, I think we may be a bit of an issue here, can someone come along and assess it" as opposed to "USER X DID THIS AND I DONT LIKE IT" which is common on WQA. Social change is key. We made changes to DRN for August - status templates and structure. It's resulted in disputes being resolved four times faster than compared to the unchanged DRN in May, and thread size has decreased by just over 40%. Change is good. Let's work together and come up with something better. Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 08:30, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • I think WP:Sanity checks sounds like a great idea, I think that's exactly the sort of thing that I had in mind. I'd be willing to help develop any new policy we put forward to replace WQA, should we decide to do so (and it's increasingly looking like that is in fact the case.) That being said, any "replacement" we develop or designate for WQA should keep in mind it's "educational value", i.e. teaching editors to resolve disputes and remain civil. I think friendly reminders by an outside, neutral third party would be a good way to solve a lot of problems, and, should the dispute eventually escalate to another forum, it would provide a neutral witness to shed more light on the situation as it unfolded. Cheers, Zaldax (talk) 12:17, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • I oppose the new sanity check idea. 3O can and does handle simple cases that may tangentially involve a third (or more) editor. We had a discussion about that at 3O talk a few months ago, and the general consensus was that we should not turn down a 3O on "technicalities", if we think that a 3O can be valuable to the situation at hand. There was a little dissent from one editor, but the pretty strong consensus was that 3O could indeed handle many cases that fell outside of its explicit remit.
  • The subset of cases where a "sanity check" could address the matter, and a 3O could not, is non-existent. A large clusterfuck of multiple editors arguing for weeks is not going to be any more receptive to a "sanity check" than it would be to a 3O. I would say the main "action item" would be to send more people to 3O and to advertise it better. And if this sanity check idea sounds good to you, come help out by giving 3Os if you don't already. Gigs (talk) 13:47, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • For convenience's sake, we could always fold Sanity Check into the 3O project, but as a subpage, or link to it from the 3O page. My primary concern is ensuring that content disputes and civility disputes don't overlap; while the two are often linked, my idea for Sanity check is to bring a cool head into the conversation to calm everyone down and get things back on track, not necessarily to solve content disputes. We really ought to discuss if we want to handle both content and behavioral disputes at 3O, and/or if we want a way of distinguishing between the two. Cheers, Zaldax (talk) 14:14, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Third opinion never did have the artificial distinction between behavior and content disputes that most other dispute resolution processes had. And I do think the distinction is artificial, since legitimate disputes almost always involve both. If it's a purely behavioral issue not associated with any content (like personal harassment), that's the sort of thing ANI is better at anyway. Since 3O already handled all kinds of disputes, I don't think it's necessary to split them now. Gigs (talk) 14:43, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── But there's a difference between quietly handling conduct issues (or better, curing the conduct issues so the conduct issues do not have a foundation) and inviting them in. Giving an opinion about conduct, especially if it favors one side or the other, just makes it look like the opinion-giver is taking sides and weakens anything they might have to say about the content issue. That's the reason a separate 3O process for conduct is a good idea. Best regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 15:08, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

  • Question What's the difference between WQA and DR/N? ... There's SO many drama boards, it's hard to keep it all straight. — Ched :  ?  14:41, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
So maybe merge a bunch of stuff into 3 boards: "Content issues - DRN", "Behavior issues - BRN", and "Admin issues - ARN"? — Ched :  ?  17:27, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Re:"It would be interesting to know how many editors who have stated "WQA doesn't work" feel that way because a.) they dislike being reported there when they push the envelope, as opposed b.) they editor they reported didn't get slammed.", we have an article on that: False dilemma. "...a type of logical fallacy that involves a situation in which only two alternatives are considered, when in fact there is at least one additional option." --Guy Macon (talk) 17:40, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

  • oppose, keep, improve. WQA is broken - but we still have a pressing need for something in this space. It ought to be possible to operate WQA (or similar) by community (and a community of editors, not of admins), without involving ANI. We also have a problem of high-handed admins who are not as the other mere editors (and have taken to acting like it). Using ANI as WQA would further encourage this separation. Andy Dingley (talk) 12:14, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose, WQA is incredibly broken in its current state and needs reform to be effective, but a lightweight forum for resolving minor conduct disputes without the considerable overhead of 3O, AN/I or RFAR is, I think, still an essential ingredient in efficient dispute resolution. Lankiveil (speak to me) 09:20, 29 August 2012 (UTC).
    • Comment: I agree with Lankiveil. We need something that does what WQA intends to do. Or maybe WP:CIVIL just needs to be taken much more seriously? Wikipedia doesn't have a reputation as a civil and helpful community, and there's good reason for that (for all that many editors here are civil, helpful and generally awesome). Making a civil and helpful community is a hard job, Wikipedia is struggling at it, and we need every tool available to help us do that. WQA probably isn't one of those tools though, at least in its current form. --Chriswaterguy talk 02:42, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
      • @Lankiveil - Could you comment on the "considerable overhead" of 3O? Perhaps you are confusing it wither another process. 3O is, like WQA, very simple and lightweight. It is ideally suited to handle WQA-like issues. Merging WQA and 3O makes a lot of sense, since they utilize very similar processes. --Noleander (talk) 00:33, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose closure of WQA. We do need something like this. Far less work and more likelihood of success by fixing this than by starting from scratch. And IMO it's not completely bust anyway. Certainly better than nothing; There may be a gap in what it achieves but closing it will leave a still bigger gap. Andrewa (talk) 10:51, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
  • The third opinion project can fill any gap that's left by WQA's closure - we need to think about how we deal with conduct issues - address the underlying issues where they originate (3O style) or "report" the matter at a noticeboard where discussion loses focus and at times becomes finger pointing. Social change, people. Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 12:26, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
    • Disagree. Or at least, WP:3O is currently focussed on content. Perhaps this can be changed with the consent of the regulars there, but I doubt it should or will be, and let's deal with that if and when it happens. There comes a time when, WP:NPA and WP:AGF notwithstanding, the issue must be admitted to be behaviour. WQA is then a valuable resource. And yes, by its very nature it has problems that 3O doesn't have, but that's because it deals with trickier situations. Andrewa (talk) 19:03, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose WQA should exist, and it should be reformed so that it's not broken. The fewer venues which exist for dealing with dispute resolution, the greater the editor burnout at the few venues left. 3O really is focussed on content disputes, in part due to the strength of its process rules, which force narrow language choices which, if exceeded, result in the nomination being deleted from the queue without a hearing.
WQA should be 3O's complement, and perhaps become more narrowly focussed, and pipelined the same way, with a similar nomination process, so that cool heads are required. Looking at WQA discussions, I get hives: too verbose, too much "I said, they said", without just damn diffs and links. Radical changes are required: I propose them in draft form User:Lexein/NewWQA. --Lexein (talk) 02:02, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
  • I disagree that closing a dispute resolution forum will burnout dispute resolution volunteers - its actually more likely that the regulars who volunteered at the previous forum would migrate to the new one. Changing how WQA works would be a process change, but we need social change - to encourage people to focus on the content issues. WQA flies in the face of this idea - it encourages one to focus on one's conduct. The scope of the third opinion project has been broadened to address any minor civility issues at the point of origin. This solves another problem that exists with WQA - a user is "reported" to WQA and will instantly jump on the defensive, often will retaliate. This cannot be changed by imposing word limits or requiring doffs, it's human nature. A majority of the conduct issues reported to WQA have some underlying content dispute, so let's focus on that and deal with any conduct hiccups informally thru 3O on the article talk page so things aren't escalated. Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 20:38, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
  • It's true that A majority of the conduct issues reported to WQA have some underlying content dispute, in fact the vast majority of all conduct issues have an underlying content dispute, and at any stage it's good to try to focus on content not the contributor (which is still WP:NPA in a nutshell, despite the nutshell summary having been removed [3]). But a point comes at which the problem to be addressed is behaviour. Wikipedia has never been very good at handling these situations in my experience, and removing this facility will just make us worse IMO. Andrewa (talk) 07:37, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment we need some more active volunteers in this WQA section. I was really displeased when I first filed my statement, there was rarely any intervention or advice being given for both parties by an un-involved user. Some new kind of project revolving around WQA would be great to help encourage more users to help out in this section. Bleubeatle (talk) 02:48, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose closure of WQA. Although not perfect, it can work. It's resolved issues for me as a newbie and later as an experienced user I've mediated WQA disputes myself. WQA can appear to be an unpleasant place sometimes, but it's a necessary outlet for these issues. Plus, closing down WQA won't actually solve anything. 3O is simply a way for two deadlocked users to get another opinion on content matters—it quite literally does not make sense as an alternative/counterpart to WQA. Also, the community has always vehemently rejected the notion that civility policing is an administrative issue, thus ANI isn't a reasonable counterpart. We can't just shut this down without a specific alternative prepared. No way. Swarm X 06:53, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
  • WQA indeed can work - but the data I've collected as well as the personal experiences of both respondents to the survey and those commenting above indicate that a majority of time, WQA is not helpful to resolving a dispute. A few months ago, 3O would not have been a viable alternative to WQA for the reasons you describe - but if you had seen the 3O page recently, it's undergone some change to accommodate the leftovers from a closed WQA - the removal of the two editor restriction in the documentation, and a relaxing from the strict "content only" requirement. This may lead you to think "so won't the conduct traffic at 3O be as bad as it is in WQA?", and I don't think it will be. At present, an editor files a request for a third opinion on a certain page, and said third opinion is provided at the point of origin for the dispute. With WQA, User:X reports User:Y to a noticeboard, and the discussion can veer off topic and become retrospective, and thats because we have shifted locations and fragmented discussion. 3O had the best success rate out of all the DR forums analysed in May, where WQA had the worst, and I think it is for the reasons I outlined above. While the community has in the past discussed the issue of policing civility ad nauseum, I don't think this proposal is about that. It's about addressing a forum that has had problems for years, and these problems are social ones. Closing WQA (while having some alternative) will in my mind encourage such change. We need to ask if we want to continue handling disputes in such a retrospective manner. I think the answer should be no. And if this doesn't go to plan, we can always rethink, but I don't think imposing diff requirements, word limits or huge edit notices saying "PLEASE BE CIVIL" will do the job. We need to bin the whole thing - send a clear message. Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 14:08, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose closure of WQA. Redirecting to AN/I is a terrible idea. As for expanding 3O to take over the role of WQA, there seems to be some degree of resistance at the 3O talk page to this idea, and the removal of the two editor restriction from WP:3O was reverted pending further discussion. Better leave WQA where it is and work to imprive it in situ. Gandalf61 (talk) 11:31, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
The proposal makes it clear that WQA would not be redirectedto AN/I, so that is a bit of a red-herring. As for 3O: The discussions at 3O have, so far, decided that the main 3O page would not handle disputes exclusively about user conduct. But those very same discussions pointed out that the vast majority of "behavior disputes" (over 90%, I'd guess) are based on an underlying content issue, and those "mixed" disputes would be welcome at 3O. For the handful of disputes that are pure-behavior: the community needs to decide what to do with them. My personal opinion is that a sub-process should be established under 3O that handles pure-behavior disputes (so there is one-stop shopping), but there are other approaches as well. The top priority is to streamline the entire WP dispute resolution process: and that means trimming down the number of noticeboards, which is far too high now. --Noleander (talk) 15:29, 14 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.

To those who dislike WQA[edit]

Of those who want to shut Wikiquette assistance down, how many of you actually are volunteering there? As as the previous section asks, how do you determine success or failure? I've seen many instances where people are helped, where people learn more about policies and how to interact, and you're simply talking about shutting this forum down, yet I don't really think I've seen a lot of you drop in and volunteer your time there. I'd say as long as people are willing to help mediate at WQA, it should stay open. It isn't the job of a bunch of strong-armed opinion makers to shut down something where people regularly volunteer, and where some measure of success can be seen without at least coming up with a viable alternate FIRST. -- Avanu (talk) 22:50, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

Perception is everything. Perhaps the reason that people don't volunteer at WQA is because they feel it's a giant waste of time. Everyone's entitled to their opinion - telling people that they can't have a say because they haven't volunteered at WQA is not reasonable in my opinion. Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 22:59, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
I think they absolutely can have a say, but unless they are volunteering or checking in regularly, their opinion is much less well informed, and as such, should only be given the weight it is due. -- Avanu (talk) 23:09, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
Like all things on Wikipedia, WQA is open for all to see. If one has reviewed the discussions at WQA, then I don't think their opinion is any less informed than one who volunteers there. Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 23:42, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
@Avanu: I respect all the work done at WQA by editors such as yourself (speaking for myself: I mostly do RfC work, not WQA). However, I did !vote above to close it. My reasoning is that WP is not very friendly when it comes to dispute resolution: the biggest problem is that there are too many forums. You raise a good point about volunteer burnout: would that problem get worse if the number of forums were reduced? My opinion is that reducing the number of forums would actually help volunteers, by giving them more guidance, by having more volunteers share the workload in a few areas, and by enabling volunteers to help each other. I don't think of it as closing WQA, but rather merging it WQA with 3O. --Noleander (talk) 00:30, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
  • 2 things, that map the problem (and solution). 1) {{Noticeboard links}} footer (huge and overwhelming. We need to merge some, badly), and 2) {{Dispute-resolution}} sidebar shows the current recommended flowchart. As long as something comes before ANI and RFC/UC then the actual location is irrelevant - a broad & active set of people to give feedback, is all that is required. In an ideal situation, all the editors currently using WQA at its best, will move on to (WP:3O or wherever) and continue giving great advice there. -- Quiddity (talk) 00:49, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Close it. I didn't have much of an opinion on this until a few minutes ago, but it's doing substantially worse than other venues in terms "customer" satisfaction; see Wikipedia:Dispute Resolution Improvement Project/Newsletter. It's a trap for the unwary, basically. [And feel free to move this post to whichever section of this rather unwieldy discussion it's supposed to go in.] Tijfo098 (talk) 19:56, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
  • I've already !voted, so I'll say this: those who already have the skill and knowledge to work on help desks and notice boards already are, so criticising us for not working on WQA as well is a strawman argument. WQA is redundant, and those working at DRN or 3O could easily absorb the work, and probably would. The proof is that our work at WP:EAR, for example, although we are still busy there, has dropped considerably (thankfully) since DRN was inaugurated. The other fact though, is that at EAR we still get people coming there with issues that are clearly for the other forums - again more indication that we have too many noticeboards. I once suggested a single central ticketing system for all noticeboards, but the idea was scoffed at (probably the true reason was that it would need WMF help and a couple of hundred dollars to develop) Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 11:07, 13 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.

Add functionality to include links to sister projects in infoboxes[edit]

This is done on Polish Wikipedia, see for example pl:Maria Dąbrowska and look at the bottom of the infobox. It is pretty self-explanatory. I think it would raise the awareness of our sister projects among the readers, and thus improve the functionality of our articles. I upload a lot of photos to Commons, and occasionally I'll have people from museums and such get back to me and tell me they cannot find the gallery I promised them, even through it is linked through {{commonscat}}. I am not surprised - to find this tiny template they have to scroll to the bottom, and the template does not even include the word "gallery". Sigh. Adding "Gallery in Wikimiedia Commons", "Text in Wikisource", "Quotes in Wikiquote" and such to the infoboxes seems like a win-win. Thoughts? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 17:01, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

We already do this to some extent, but do it at the bottom of articles, usually in the "see also" section rather than the infobox. Just a random example, see Federalist No. 51, which contains a little box near the bottom that tells you about the Wikisource document. --Jayron32 17:09, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I know, that's why I mentioned the commonscat template. My point is that at the bottom is not as good as at the top, through I see no reason not to have both. I am not suggesting removal / replacement of the current templates, I am just suggesting adding their functionality to the infoboxes, to increase their visibility. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 17:52, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Navigational templates are for links to pages within each Wikipedia itself (internal links only). Not that we are trying to trap our readers here within each encyclopedia, but our info should be linked well before any external links that lead readers to info beyond what is offered here. External links should not be incorporated info the article text or nav boxes - they should be in the External links section to indicate to our readers there leaving English Wiki - as per Wikipedia:Wikimedia sister projects#Where to place links.Moxy (talk) 18:42, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Wikimedia sister projects is not a policy, so we should treat it just as an optional suggestion. The links I propose would be clearly labelled ("See gallery at Wikimedia Commons"), so people should not be overly confused. Any confusion from leaving our site should be well compensated for by the fact that it will be easier for people to access highly relevant content (galleries, source texts, quotes). Polish Wikipedia also includes clearly labelled external links to organizational home pages, which I think is also a good idea, although please note that I am not advocating adding this functionality in this proposal (I don't want to get too off topic here). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 19:02, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I think this is a good idea. Sister project links generally go in the "External links" section these days, which doesn't really make sense to me, since they're not "external" from Wikimedia. Wikimedia content should not be considered the same as external content. --Yair rand (talk) 18:57, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Indeed. If you look at English Wikisource (ex., you see sister project links featured at the top, not the bottom. Commons also links back to us (and other sister projects, like wikisource) prominently (ex. Only we (the English Wikipedia) try to hide our sister projects. I don't see why; they do good job and we should be promoting them (where it fits our mission and scope, and I think my proposal reinforces it). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 19:05, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
"Sister projects" are external links in my opinion (as seen at Wikipedia:External links#Links to be considered) and due to the fact they require separate registration for the end user. I personal believe any external links should be after the "See also" section - Refs - Bibliography - Notes - Further reading - External links .. all lead readers away from English Wiki, thus should be seen last. I do however believe "Sister projects" links should all be listed on the left side of pages like with our other "language wikis" or even there own section under "See also". I believe having 9 external links in an info-box/navbox is simply overwhelming.Moxy (talk) 19:41, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Sister projects are external links, and that's the section where they belong, not in the infobox, and not in "see also". Imzadi 1979  19:54, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
That is completely incorrect. Sister projects haven't required separate registration for years. --Yair rand (talk) 19:59, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
(ec) - Pls see Unified login - its a process - not at all the norm.Moxy (talk) 20:29, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Actually, it is the norm. It's only old users who have to go through any sort of process. Anomie 01:20, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
You wouldn't have 9, just 1-3. And it wouldn't be overwhelming, just helpful (have you bothered to look at the linked example before you invented the 9-link strawman? Anyway, I find it discouraging that so many will fall back on policy, rather than consider the arguments abut readability and usefulness. Here's a heresy to consider: policy should be changed to accommodate user experience, not the other way around. But if anyone want's to wikilawyer the policy here, note that Wikipedia:External_links#Templates_for_external_links encourages the use of links to sister projects in templates, and infoboxes are templates. QED :) --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 20:12, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
"invented the 9-link strawman" Pls see how many sister projects there are at Wikipedia:Wikimedia sister projects - I think your misreading that guide - its about templates "for" external links - not "about" external links. Its talking about making templates for external links - like Template:Official website that you may see in a musicians info box (that I believe should only be seen in external links anyways). I have not relied solely on policy for my position - but have explained that having links that lead our readers away for English Wiki so fast is not helpful. English wiki is not here to produce traffic to the other wikis, but to inform our editors here - for more info they should see below the "See also" section that will lead them to pages that do not comply with our policies of neutrality and verifiability etc. That said I believe our internal portals should be linked in the fashion you mentioned above. (Moxy (talk) 20:28, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Portals? They are usually off topic and pretty useless. As our polices suggest moving certain type of content to our sister projects (quotes, source text, galleries), I think it is only fair that we should inform our visitors of that through easy to access links. As I said above, I have had people complain to me they cannot find associated galleries because we don't make the links to commons galleries visible enough. To fulfill our mission to inform the readers, we must make those links more prominent. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 23:01, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I would say that Template:Sister project links (the solution used here on English wiki at teh bottom of pages) is much more visible then tiny little links as seen here in this nav box.Moxy (talk) 23:41, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Unless you can cite results of a survey, I am not convinced; I would counter hypothesize that many people don't look at the bottom, past references and such, they stop where the main text ends and thus never see this template. Therefore, why not have both? We are not paper, we have space for helpful redundancy. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 15:49, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Wikimedia sister projects is not a policy, but that style guideline is not just an optional suggestion, either. And even if it were an official policy, it could be changed.
I don't really care one way or the other, but I understand that some readers jump straight to the end of articles, because they believe the most interesting stuff is in ==External links==. It all depends on what the reader wants. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:32, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

Previewing an edit using Javascript instead of the servers[edit]

I do a lot of editing around Wikipedia, and it's important for me to confirm that my edits are proper. By default, when I hit the Preview button, the servers handle the rendering and send it back to me. I have recently discovered the preferences setting that lets Javascript handle it instead of the servers. I know we're not supposed to worry too much about performance, but seriously, if this was enabled by default (obviously one could disable it after) I'm sure it could cut down on server load. Javascript works just as well and it's faster, so why put extra strain on donation-run servers? Thus I propose that the setting be enabled by default. • Jesse V.(talk) 15:37, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

I assume Jesse is talking about the setting in Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-editing->"Use live preview (requires JavaScript) (experimental)"
I think(?) that is using this code:
What about user:js/ajaxPreview (~185 uses) ? (see also WP:Gadget/proposals archive for when that was added as a gadget, 2.5 yrs ago. I'm not sure when it was removed?)
I've used that one (and previously Anomie's) for years, and love it. I'd support making it a default-On gadget for logged-in users, or even a site-wide-default.
Tangent: Are all the best features of the other 'quickpreview' scripts, merged into either of those? Because there's also
See also the (needs an update) section at Help:Show_preview#Quick preview/AJAX preview, and the list at the bottom of User:Js/ajaxPreview#Similar scripts.
HTH. (I know I'm confused/ing...) —Quiddity (talk) 18:59, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
Wow. See there you go, plenty of client-side scripts to choose from. I had no idea those even existed. Let's embrace the new technology. • Jesse V.(talk) 19:05, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
The problem with all of them, is that they are unable to load JS and CSS that is specific to your view. So for instance, if you add a video, then preview, the JS code to handle the video won't be loaded. This is one of the primary reasons this functionality isn't on by default yet I presume. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 23:23, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
AFAIK, all of the currently available options do in fact use the servers anyway; most are posting to the MediaWiki API, while the "live preview" option in the preferences seems to contact its own private "API" on the servers. The VisualEditor and Parsoid projects may change this. Anomie 02:20, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

Re-enable 'Show changes since my last visit' on Watchlist (and History)[edit]

Since the last debacle where a super-usefull software feature has been killed purely for aestethic reasons, I am intent on reinstating this feature again. This time I expect no complaints; Two updates ago, the watchlist has had an extensive CSS makeover, which allows us to control the styling much better (so no more bold is needed). Even the bullet can be changed; which is exactly what my proposal is: Each unwatched item will be displayed with a green bullet (ChangedBulletVector.png), instead of the default blue one. This would also be the case for History pages on your watchlist, where the bullet will replace the "updated since my last visit" message. Now surely... no-on can object to that...

Code to test:

/* Watchlist and history of watched pages */
.mw-special-Watchlist #mw-watchlist-resetbutton {
    display: block;
.mw-special-Watchlist .mw-changeslist-line-watched .mw-title {
    font-weight: normal;
#pagehistory {
    list-style-image: url(//;
#pagehistory span.updatedmarker {
    display: none;

Edokter (talk) — 13:42, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

As you've inadvertently forgotten to link the discussion two months ago in which a majority of 101 to 43 voted to make this change opt-in only rather than foist your personal idea of "how a watchlist ought to work" on everyone else, this is the previous RFC. I take it you're going to keep on playing shoot-till-you-win until you find a board where people agree with you, at which point you'll declare that you've found "consensus" and unilaterally screw about with everyone else's user interface again188.29.114.59 (talk) 16:28, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
That's right, at least from your point of view. Everyone else will hopefully read my message more clearly and understand that cincumstances have changed an now allows for a non-intrusive way to have a default functionality enabled once again, in a way that will even please those that complained on purely aestetic reasons. Edokter (talk) — 16:43, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
I've followed the directions to manually turn on the bold face text (just like all the other WMF projects!), so I'd kind of forgotten that this problem still existed. I support making this feature available to everyone, with the old power users opting out if they dislike it. Someone who knows how to complain at VPT has a better chance of being able to opt-out than a newbie has for opting in.
That said, this particular proposal probably falls afoul of WP:ACCESS because some users with color blindness won't be able to see the change. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:40, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
The blue and green are very distinguishable, plus the green dot is bigger. But anything is possible now with the new CSS; any suggestion is welcome. Edokter (talk) — 23:38, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
In what way is this obtrusive?
Please do. This is really unobtrusive. FWIW, I've updated my style-selector user script to include this new option. Anomie 00:42, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose; the opt-out I had used earlier is not 100% complete. I feel that this feature is still too obtrusive on an extremely large wiki; I'm fine with it on smaller wikis like Meta and Deng (talk) 00:52, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
    What difference does the size of the wiki make? Besides, Commons is much bigger, with 3.5 times as many mainspace files as en.wp, and they use it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:40, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
    On this wiki I have 9500+ pages on my watchlist, while on other wikis I have far less. With much more activity on my watchlist than other wikis the change is a big intrusion on this wiki. I would imagine that Commons has far less changes per page than this wiki.--Jasper Deng (talk) 19:45, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
    So how do you keep those changes you have already visited on your watchlist apart from those that you haven't visited yet? Must be a pain to click on a page, only to discover you already saw that change. Edokter (talk) — 22:07, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
    I know my timestamps. I also use pop-ups to view changes without clicking on them if I'm ever not sure (which I'm not) of whether I saw it or not.--Jasper Deng (talk) 22:24, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
    Then how would a green bullet disrupt your way of working? (Note that most of us don't have 10,000 items on their watchlist.) Edokter (talk) — 22:45, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
    Because I don't need to be told what I already know.--Jasper Deng (talk) 23:13, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
    So from that viewpoint comes the presumption that no one needs to be told what everyone already knows? Edokter (talk) — 00:42, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
    That RfC I started on the day of the original change tells the whole truth.--Jasper Deng (talk) 16:32, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
    That no longer applies with the new CSS. Hence the new proposal. Edokter (talk) — 16:56, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
    This particular design was tried and failed on that same day.--Jasper Deng (talk) 16:58, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
    Must be a pain to click on a page, only to discover you already saw that change -- I fail to see how that comment even makes sense. Click "diff". Boom the link changes color and it's marked as visited in the browser. Refresh watchlist two hours late, diffs since that time are back to unvisited color. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 17:38, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
    Ah, so the bit about the "extremely large wiki" is irrelevant, a complete red herring. The relevant factor is "the size of my own personal watchlist", which doesn't seem like a good reason to keep this feature away from 99% of users. I'm pretty sure that someone of your capability can figure out how to turn the thing off. I'm even more certain that 99% of users won't know that it exists, or be able to turn it on, if it's not on by default. This situation sounds like a good time for the very small number of technically adept people who don't want it to manually modify their own environment, rather than having them impose their personal preference on the vast majority of people who would probably benefit from it (based on the positive experiences at the other wikis). WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:11, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

  • ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This particular desing was not even possible during the RfC. This is not te same as the stars which were displayed inside the list. Did you even bother to look at the atached image that Anomie posted? Edokter (talk) — 17:06, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Why are we making this into such a big deal. Some people like it and some don't and thats ok. Why can't we just make it opt in or opt out at least and move on. Kumioko (talk) 17:09, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Opt-in is a sure way to cause 99.9% of new editors never knowing about this feature. What is the big problem of having everyone benefit from a standard function in MediaWiki? Edokter (talk) — 17:12, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
I would support opt out. I find the feature very useful, and guess that many relatively inexperienced users would too. Including those who wouldn't ever suspect the existance of the tool if they had to look for it and opt in. Providing the opt-out works, I see no reason why anyone should object, but expect some will anyway. One other thing I would find very useful would be a way to mark a notice as checked without having to open the page. This would make things a lot quicker as the mouse-over display is enough in many cases. Cases where someone you trust has edited also don't always need to be opened. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 18:51, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - I definitely think this would benefit me, with an ample watchlist (about 300 pages). Further, I'll support opt-out, which is a reasonable compromise as those who don't want the feature won't have it. Michaelzeng7 (talk) 23:48, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - As proposed. With opt-out. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 00:30, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - By default, the opt out is already implemented, it's called Special:MyPage/common.css. Since I did not participate in the earlier RFC, I reserve the right to 'ignore' it's results when stating my opinion. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 11:32, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
    • It's great that you understand how to use CSS, but most people don't. Therefore stating that others can just opt out using CSS is a very, very weak argument. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sven Manguard (talkcontribs) 15:42, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
      • OTOH, basing your argument on people not knowing CSS when a gadget can trivially be provided is similarly a very, very weak argument. Anomie 15:57, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
        • Actually, i'm also against a gadget. Things that will only be used by 20 or so folks should not be a gadget in my opinion. And that is the amount of users of the gadget that I predict when we choose the CSS that edokter is currently proposing. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 18:26, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support for opt-in only because it's a purely aesthetic choice that a large number of people objected to last time around. Very strong oppose if it is opt-out or mandatory. Sven Manguard Wha? 15:42, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
    • It seems to me it's a functional issue, not purely aesthetic. And despite the wording of the RFC, people mainly opposed the bolding and the lack of a gadget (because the feature was overridden before a gadget could be written) last time around. This proposal involves something that is so inconspicuous that I for one worry that users who would find it useful won't actually notice it. Have you looked at the screenshot? Anomie 15:57, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
      • I did finally manage to poke an admin to add a gadget for bolding unvisited changes as an opt-in (thanks Edokter!) David1217 What I've done 16:43, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose watchlist already have triangles, little m's little b's now bold green dots are next annoying must have feature. Also I find this Since the last debacle where a super-usefull software feature has been killed purely for aestethic reasons, I am intent on reinstating this feature again. This time I expect no complaints rather ugly surely if the feature is such an essential item to the functioning of the watchlist that you wouldnt need to ask the community it'd be added at the next upgrade. We all do this voluntarily a little consideration for the opinions of others would go along way to getting people to even voice an opinion. What that comment has ensured is that many editors wont bother to respond, so we'll get your little bold green dot irregardless of what we want, like all non-essential gadgets I'd prefer it be an opt-in. Gnangarra 12:26, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
    Note this feature is not any sort of gadget, it is a standard part of MediaWiki, although the default styling is much more obtrusive than is being proposed here. Unfortunately, when it was rolled out here, a bunch of people complained and MediaWiki:Common.css was edited (without sufficient thought or discussion) to hide all visible effect of the feature. This discussion is a proposal for something much less obtrusive, hopefully enough so that this vocal group will stop insisting we hide the feature from all new users just because they are too lazy to enable a gadget to hide it for their accounts only. Anomie 17:57, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
    and again the language being used is creating the issue, why not just provide both options rather then deride those that dont want it. If it was that obtrusive that a sufficient number people odjected to it in the first place then is not reasonable to address those needs, then respond in a civil manner. Gnangarra 23:32, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
    Look at how much people also complained about the new diff colors, which were released at around the same time. But there the complaints were handled well: a gadget was created for the complainers to enable to change it back, rather than forcing the old colors on everyone who doesn't know enough to look for a gadget to get the MediaWiki default back. Anomie 23:53, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, a very useful feature. --Yair rand (talk) 18:16, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support OPT-IN ONLY AS IT IS NOW!. We've already BEEN through this crap! STRONGEST POSSIBLE OPPOSE FOR OPT-OUT OR MANDATORY Barts1a / Talk to me / Help me improve 03:26, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Like a dog to its vomit, the community to this sick.—The community has well spoken on this and I feel no need to oppose a grossly premature revisitation of a point on which such a strong consensus has previously been displayed. Fifelfoo (talk) 03:29, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support opt-in Seems the safest route. • Jesse V.(talk) 03:33, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Eh... While I would in a heartbeat support putting the MediaWiki default back on as the default, as making it opt-in for the sake of satisfying existing users simply puts new users in the dark about it existing at all (and no, expecting them to go through all 48 gadgets and try them all to see what they do simply is not reasonable), these alternate proposals have not only already been shot down same as the rest, but would only serve to make the function less useful even if they were used. -— Isarra 03:52, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia user count[edit]

Is possible to add a user count in every wiki ?

We can see how many read wiki.

Example: There are xxx users in this wiki right now.

What do you think ? --Tegra3 (talk) 06:50, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

If this was updated in real time and displayed on your screen it would be more clutter and software bloat - slowing things down, when those of our editors who don't have very fast connections are already getting slow load times. But if you want pages to go to that will tell you how many readers we have and how many editors then I suggest you look at Wikipedia:Statistics and the pages it lists. We have a lot of stats, some updated in real time and some less frequently, I that that includes both of the things that you are asking for. ϢereSpielChequers 08:01, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
Also keep in mind that the number of accounts Wikipedia has is a horribly misleading number. We have people that register and never edit, people that register only to upload a picture of their cat and stick it on their userpage, sockpuppets, vandalim-only-accounts, test accounts, bot accounts (both used and unused), secondary accounts (both used and unused), secondary bot accounts (both used and unused), and users that were active in 2003 for a month and a half and haven't been heard of since. That makes the number less than useful. Sven Manguard Wha? 02:56, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
I believe that the request is for a real-time number that is equivalent to "There are X users reading this forum right now", not a request for the number of registered accounts (which is currently 21,748,183, updated in real time). WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:38, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
It seems quite reasonable to implement this proposal, as it would give us a more thorough understanding of how trafficked this wiki actually is. We should also add to this a measure of how many pages are currently being edited, how many of these edits are comprehensive (±10,000 characters to an article), what namespaces these edits belong in, and how many page creations/deletions have occurred up to that point on that particular day/week/month/year/since the beginning of Wikipedia. These should be displayed both as raw numbers as well as in a graphical format, and should go back until as far as data exists. Of course, there should be an option to turn on and off various features of this panel, if a few kilobytes every ten seconds causes a problem for anyone.

Proposed changes to the edit interface[edit]

Proposal moved to Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Simplify the edit window.

Please comment, though. -— Isarra 03:00, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Ask an expert[edit]

There was a need for a third opinion that uses expert advice. I created a new page to propose this. Wikipedia:Ask an expert Junjunone (talk) 19:52, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Expert advice is not really how Wikipedia works, for example I happen to be a world famous expert in carpetology , thats right, the study of car pets, but if I say the nodding dog in your car is actually a sign of your own deep rooted anxieties about poodles, that doesn't make my point remotely useful unless I have a reliable source to back it up--Jac16888 Talk 19:59, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Please read the page. The idea is to encourage people to contact the people who produce reliable sources to get their opinions to help resolve disputes. Since most of the people who generate our sources have easily discoverable e-mail addresses, this makes them accessible to our queries. They can refuse to talk to us, but there is no harm in asking their opinion to help resolve content disputes. As it is, there is no way to access expert opinions to help resolve content disputes. Such a system helps mitigate this problem. Junjunone (talk) 20:02, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure if all academics would appreciate editors emailing them in this way. What counts as an expert? Let's pick an example, say Physics. IRWolfie- (talk) 20:07, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
I think the academics will manage. Who counts as an expert in physics? Many, of course. Chose someone from This list, for example. This isn't meant to be anything more than a way to get an outside opinion on, for example, a topic where expertise may be needed to actually understand the dispute. Junjunone (talk) 20:29, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Who decides on the expert? Say there are two editors, one religious and one not, are having a dispute over a religious topic (hey, it could happen you never know) and decide to get an "expert opinion". Editor A emails Bishop X, a well known religious scholar. Editor B emails Professor Y, a well known atheist scholar. Both experts reply with their opinions, each supporting the editor who contacted them. Result is nothing changes, their is simply more to argue about--Jac16888 Talk 20:35, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Ideally, the disputants would have to agree on which expert to e-mail together. It would require a bit of "assuming good faith". It could be that the two cannot agree on who is an expert or not in which case the "Ask an expert" option fails and other means of dispute resolution have to happen. But this happens with all the other avenues, apparently. For example, on WP:3O they will sometimes say that a third opinion cannot be offered because the dispute isn't suited to it. Not every dispute will be resolved by asking for an expert opinion, but I have a feeling that this could be a good option for more academic oriented disputes. Junjunone (talk) 20:45, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Comment period on the Wikimedia United States Federation[edit]

There is a proposal for an an umbrella organization for chapters and other groups in the US called the Wikimedia United States Federation. A draft of the bylaws is now up at meta. There will be an open comment period on the bylaws 17 September, 2012 to 1 October, 2012. The comments received given will be incorporated into the bylaws and they will be put up to a ratification vote from 8 October, 2012 to 15 October, 2012. --Guerillero | My Talk 21:48, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

  • Where exactly do we go to, you know, discuss the organization as a whole? The bylaws page is a mass of legalese specifics, while the main page for the organization is mostly old discussion and doesn't do a very good job of explaining why it ought to exist or how it will be useful. Is there somewhere I can go to read about why we need this group, what it will do for wikimedians, and why the bylaws are necessary to allow it to do those things? A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 21:57, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Proposal to add an API/Developer/Developer Hub link to the footer of Wikimedia wikis[edit]

Hi. There's a proposal to add an API/Developer/Developer Hub link to the footer of Wikimedia wikis. Further information is available here: <>. Please comment on the relevant bug, as necessary and appropriate. --MZMcBride (talk) 01:09, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Simplified move proposal process[edit]

Eliminate stub templates completely[edit]

Reiterating my comment from Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style/Layout which was mentioned by another user at Wikipedia_talk:Stub, I propose that all stub templates are eliminated. Some similar proposals have been raised before without generating much discussion:

I shall paraphrase my previous comment to :

PROPOSAL: Stub templates should be completely eliminated. RATIONALE: There are a variety of reasons. It is often unclear to editors when to remove them. For instance, it is very common to see articles that are way past stub status yet still have stub a template (or templates!) attached. Sort of opposite to the previous case, there are very many articles that are unlikely to ever get past stub status and so the templates just linger providing clutter. Spoiler tags were removed in part because it was "generally expected that the subjects of Wikipedia articles will be covered in detail" and were clutter. A template reminding us that we can expand an article is equally useless. It is always true that we can help expand an article so a template reminding us of that is clutter. A case could be made that the templates encourage new editors to start editing but stub templates have always been sold as helping organize articles, not as an "editor engagement" method. Even if the "editor engagement" benefit of footers is worthwhile, it could easily be done sans all the categorical (in the sense of requiring Wikipedia categories) baggage that stub templates entail. For example, simply putting "You can help Wikipedia by expanding this article" at the bottom of every article does the same trick. The other benefits of stub templates (which seem to be limited to just allowing editors interested in a topic to find short articles to edit) could be subsumed into the article class rating of Wikiprojects. Any editors that like to expand short articles could locate them through Wikiprojects. We currently have this duplication of article "rating" which can cause a Wikiproject article class rating to be incongruent with the presence of a stub template. This proposal eliminates that duplication.

I anticipate from the other similar proposals that somebody will claim that stubs templates help expand articles. There is, to my knowledge, no study to support (or deny) that claim. My anecdotal experience lends me to believe there's no significant expansion of articles due to stub templates so I skeptical of such claims. If you are going to claim this, either cite a study or recognize your own view is also anecdotal. Jason Quinn (talk) 15:06, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Personally I think that the stub templates could be cut way way back but not eliminated. I think we have way too many stub templates, a lot of which aren't used or IMO needed and it just causes too much maintenance to continually add them and remove them as necessary. Its a full time job for a dozen or more people just doing stub sorting. I think its better to use less stub templates and spend more time working on the article. More to the point, here is why I don't think they can be completely eliminated.
  1. Some projects gauge the stub "assessment" differently than the stub tag.
  2. Most people don't mess with talk page templates so far less are likely to add them
  3. Adding stub tags, to me, is an important part of sorting the articles
  4. tagging as stub is a good checks and balances between the aritcle and the talk page. Many assessment bots look for the stub tag to assess the article automatically. Kumioko (talk) 17:06, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
  • A stub template really serves two functions. First, it is an invitation to edit. Subjectively, I don't believe it helps much, if at all, in this regard. The second reason is stub sorting. So my question, which I believe Kumioko may be able to answer, is what is the value in stub sorting? Resolute 17:19, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
First, I personally agree that its unlikely to me that an editor is going to edit the article because they see a stub tag buried at the bottom of the page. That's always been a stretch for me. As I mentioned above I also think that in many cases we over complicate the stubbing/categorization process by adding too many layers. For example, all of the following stub tags add the articles to the same category (Category:American painters, 20th century birth stubs):
We also have
Which relate to similar categories and IMO this level of granularity is completely uneeded and just overcomplicates and overburdeons the process unnecessarily.
This is just one example, for one niche group of articles but the end result IMO is self evident. It takes a lot of time to sort these things and properly categorize them.
With all that said, I do think we need to keep some process of tagging articles as stubs. I think its important for several reasons to identify these articles outside the assessment on the talk pages as stubs because as I said above most folks wouldn't look at the talk page and if they did the project could characterize a "stub" as something different than the "stubbing" system with templates on the Main article page. Also, categorizing articles as stubs helps us as editors to identify which ones are 1) In need of the most work, 2) which ones aren't and 3) and probably the most important, allows us a lower level of granularity than the assessments onthe talk pages. By grouping them into like categories (American painters for instance as shown above) it allows editors who are interested in that topic to edit them without having to dive through the categories, which may or may not cover that topic. I hope this helps. I would also add that to me the Stub template name should match as closely as possible to the associated category. Using the Example above if the Category is called American painters, then the stub template should be Template:American-painters-stub and not Template:US-painter-stub but thats just my opinion. Kumioko (talk) 20:51, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
  • The one thing I would be wary of claiming (in addition to how some WikiProjects use the stub assessment differently) that one could use the talk page, is that there will be articles without a talk page, ergo, they will not be tagged for a WikiProject. My $0.02. --Izno (talk) 22:18, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
This is an excellent point worth more than 2¢ that would have to be taken into consideration. Also important would be articles that do not naturally fall under the auspices of any particular existing Wikiproject. Both these situations warrant a solution, perhaps requiring a slight weakening of the proposal. Overall I think it is a minor issue compared to the one being solved though. Jason Quinn (talk) 01:18, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - it's blindingly obvious that an article is a's really short, right? So why do we need yet another annoying template to say so. Wikiprojects can look at the length of the article using any number of tools which are guaranteed to deliver a realistic appraisal - rather than some subjective judgement that might just be entirely wrong (either false-positive or false-negative). SteveBaker (talk) 22:41, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I agree it is unlikely that a stub tag would prompt editing from someone who wouldn't otherwise, but to be honest I feel the same about virtually every cleanup/wikify tag, and most of those are a lot more visible. To me, the point of stub sorting is the categories: An editor who fixes/expands/references/etc a particular 19th century American painter article because that is their area of interest/expertise can find 120 more articles on the same topic for expansion using the stub category, whereas a category like Category:Articles lacking sources from April 2008 has 2000+ effectively unrelated articles on hundreds (if not thousands) of topics. I can't of course offer any studies to say this happens besides relating that I have used it that way before (looking for newer articles likely to be missing certain infoboxes, navboxes, etc, without having to search the entire much larger category). So I think the stub category structure is of far more value than the visible stub tags. --Qetuth (talk) 03:05, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Just to clarify why I think the stub cats are valuable: The Wikiproject categories should be good for this, but in practice, in the vast majority of cases, they are not. Maybe one day this will have changed. Is sorting American 19th century painter stubs by decade too much? Probably, yes, which is why that category recently got merged. But most of those articles (from random sampling) have a Wikiproject category of Category:Stub-Class biography articles (620,000 articles), except a few who have been sorted into Category:Stub-Class biography (arts and entertainment) articles (a mere 50,000 articles). Some few have interest from a second WikiProject, but these are completely inconsistent (some have a US state, some another country, some wp: Visual Arts, etc, or something completely different). For 'allowing editors interested in a topic to find short articles to edit', this is completely useless --Qetuth (talk) 03:22, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment I'm pretty sure that we don't have a wikiproject to cover the scope of every article, and if we don't have a project to cover an article, what then? Or if the wikiproject that covers the article doesn't support assessment? or if they have been classified as inactive, and therefore the banner doesn't support assessment anymore? -- (talk) 05:57, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
A new "Wikiproject Misc." could be created to cover articles that fit into no Wikiproject. If a Wikiproject doesn't support assessment, that's their prerogative. I was unaware that inactive projects no longer support assessment. I don't know. Would have to think about it. Jason Quinn (talk) 15:24, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
I think it unlikely that many pages will fall under at least one WikiProject. I will, however be even more iconoclastic and suggest that the whole values of many WikiProjects, much of the work around WP 1.0 and the several million banners are pretty much up for dispute. Also creating talk pages with just banners has the deletoray effect of making it impossible to tell if there is discussion on a page without actually opening the tab. Rich Farmbrough, 21:12, 13 September 2012 (UTC).
I think this was a stronger argument back in 2006 or so; as it is, in many cases the discussion that would turn the tab blue is a few passing comments from several years ago. The semantic value of a blue talkpage link (even without templates) is reduced the longer the page has been there. Andrew Gray (talk) 09:11, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
If you create a WPP-Misc, that could solve the two other problems, by adding a Misc-banner (so WPPs without banners, or whose banners don't do |class=, or whose banners has been inactivated by the inactivity setting, will be covered) ; If every page uses WPP-Misc for general quality assessment (stub/start/FA/etc), and page-type assessment (type=article/list/dab/etc), then regular WPPs could be reduced to just assessing importance (or not assessing if its their wont) -- (talk) 23:06, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
I think there is a good case to be made for amalgamating all the quality assessment system into a single template, and hanging project/importance tags off that, rather than the other way around. But that's another discussion, I think ;-). In an idea world, we'd be able to move all this metadata to be separate from the discussion, helping alleviate things like Rich's concern above.
Regarding inactive, my understanding is not that the banners don't support assessment because they're inactive, but rather that because the projects are inactive they were never "upgraded" when article ratings became standard practice some years ago. Originally, these banners were very little more than "ownership tags"; rating appeared later. Andrew Gray (talk) 09:11, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
{{WPBannerMeta/inactive}} doesn't do assessment. When someone from WP:COUNCIL I suppose, determines that a WPP's activity level shows no activity, it is tagged as inactive, and the banner is converted into a non-assessment form. The existing assessments are still on switches at the talk pages, but they don't get categorized or do anything anymore. (like any other template parameter that is used but not coded for) It doesn't have to do with upgrading, it concerns the amount of activity seen at the WPP. If the WPP doesn't use WPBANNERMETA, it can't have an inactive banner. There are still WPPs that don't do assessment, and WPBANNERMETA also supports not assessing (it's optional) so even then, lacking assessment is not a sign of not using current banner technology. -- (talk) 19:41, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
The French Wikipedia uses a single project banner template that does quality assessment, and subbanners for assessing each project's importance assessment. -- (talk) 19:45, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
  • There are two separate issues here: (a) is it useful for articles to be labelled as "stub"; (b) is it useful for them to be "stub-sorted", ie labelled as "this-subject-stub" and put into category "This subject stubs" (or sometimes a parent category, where the template is an "upmerged" one like the US artists above). I have spent many, many, hours stub-sorting over several years. As far as I know, this whole structure was created in the belief that there are editors out there who look for articles in category "This subject stubs", in order to work on them and improve them. I do not know whether this is (still?) the case, and would welcome any evidence one way or the other. Activity at Wikipedia:WikiProject Stub sorting seems pretty low right now, and sadly one of its leading lights has left Wikipedia "owing to the over-officiousness of several users who have made this site no longer the enjoyable place it used to be". But I urge that any decision to abandon this whole structure (stop stub tags, or stop sorting them) should only be done after wide discussion. PamD 07:09, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
There are at least two issues occurring, maybe even three if you include my "new editor recruitment" idea. Weaker proposals that target only individual issues might be a better approach. For instance, if it is true that stubs are unwanted clutter for the article but stub categories are beneficial, then stub templates could just be converted to hidden stub category inclusions. Jason Quinn (talk) 15:36, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Oppose Quite often one finds either an error or ommision in a particular stub. The assumption that a similar error/ommmision is in similar stubsize articles is usually not wrong. So after finding an improvement the stub-category is the first place to go to in order to duplicate that specific improvement. Project assessment categories are far too wide to accomplish this and serve a more shotgun approach purpose. Even at the reduced stubsorting activity due to the people that make life on the wiki unbearable the work that has already been done and is still happening make it worthwhile to keep the templates. If stubsorting is totally abandoned for more than a year we can look at this again as the incomplete categories will start to loose their purpose. Removing them now would be premature. 09:15, 13 September 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Agathoclea (talkcontribs)

  • Comment: 'Oppose' because it would put Pam out of a job she has been doing meticulously and with great devotion for years. On a more serious note, before deciding this on a simple straw poll, some metrics are required, such as for example, how many different stubs are there? (I would guess a couple of 1,000); How many are there of each kind in use? How much time does it take for a user to find and apply the right one? (I only have a few dozen in my head, and for the others I just leave a generic 'stub' tag (sorry for all the work I cause you Pam); How many stubs get expanded to when the stub tag is removed? How many articles get developed due to having a stub tag? (probably impossible to say). How many projects actually go through their stub articles and try to improve them? (probably impossible to say). Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 10:50, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
    • I don't know the exact number but its more than 10, 000. There are more than 1000 just related to the US. Kumioko (talk) 11:15, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
    • Comment The idea of similar errors replicated across a category because of the same editor populating those categories is noted as a good point. It does however rely on people actually fixing stub cats for it to be important which is questionable. Yet it remains a valid issue. Jason Quinn (talk) 15:41, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment - I have I think propose din the past, and I do so again, the idea that stub templates could, without loosing much functionality, be invisible, leaving just the category as the useful semantic structure. Rich Farmbrough, 21:14, 13 September 2012 (UTC).
  • Oppose I think the stub system works fine; I often use it to find articles worth editing, expanding, or cleaning up. Yes, sometimes the template doesn't get removed when it should be, but other than that I don't find merit in the other rationales for such a sweeping change. --Jayron32 05:23, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Jayron could not have said it better. It works fine and is the source of countless great ideas for articles. Mugginsx (talk) 20:32, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose/Comment. Stub templates are there for a reason. It's to invite potential users to help expand the page. it's up to the editor if they actually want to do edit it. As for false positives, one possible solution is for a bot to remove a stub template from an article once it reaches a certain length and/or if its classification in a WikiProject is not Stub or Unassesed. The problem with this is that not all articles have such WikiProject templates on their talk pages, so, especially in the case of newly created articles, this may prove problematic. Perhaps the same bot can also automatically tag an article with a stub template if its classification is stub. I'm not sure if any of my suggestions above will be practical however. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 12:00, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per "Stub templates are there for a reason. It's to invite potential users to help expand the page." from the above user. Sven Manguard Wha? 03:08, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Delete There is no reason to let us know that an article is a stub. If it needs expanding, then we have other templates for that, and if it is supposed to be a short article, then all is good without the stub template. Debresser (talk) 20:23, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
No, there isn't - but that's like arguing we should delete the category system because it should be clear from reading an article what categories it should be in. We may have other templates that say to expand, but we do not currently have a (working) system which does what stub cats do. Category:Articles to be expanded for example has over 100,000 articles, with no sorting by topic/field whatsoever - and it is currently not present on most stubs (which there are a lot more than 100,000 of). --Qetuth (talk) 04:57, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Addendum to Renaming of Featured Article[edit]

Shame the discussion was closed.... we were having so much fun discussing it... :)

After a bit of sleuthing, I discovered that the term used in Wikimedia Commons for images at Featured status are called: Quality images.

Quality images are diagrams or photographs which meet certain quality standards (which are mostly technical in nature) and which are valuable for Wikimedia projects.


Why are there two different categories of images - Featured Pictures in Wikipedia and Quality Images in Commons? Seems rather weird to me. And why not rename our featured articles to match this naming? "Quality" seems embedded within the wiki culture, so it's not like we're completely changing tradition - one of the many rebuttals in the original conversation. (P.S. I'm aware of the wiki/commons squabbles but surely we can sort out of differences and share the wikilove :D)

If memory serves, the words being tossed around included exemplary, exceptional, prime, top article, premium, (and of course) featured.

Also, as a side note, something that grabbed my attention in the previous discussion was the fact that we have many different quality levels for articles, and we still only have "list" and "featured list". Why not change this to match the article quality levels, although of course changing the criteria for each level.

Not trying to be that annoying rash that never goes away, but the new information strongly seemed to support the validity of a change, and so I wanted to bring the issue up again.--Coin945 (talk) 12:54, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Please keep in mind that the name Quality article is taken. That was mentioned above, among many other things, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 13:05, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Ohh I see. Quality article in that context refers collectively to good/featured/featured candidate articles. Good point. There was so much text confusingly written up there I was bound to get lost in it all. Thanks for pointing that out. Well i guess that means this discussion is null and void. I wonder where that "withdraw" template is...--Coin945 (talk) 14:11, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Um. Featured images on Commons are called featured images. Common's Quality images are like Wikipedia's Good articles; however, so are Common's Valued images. Rmhermen (talk) 23:08, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

RfC for differentiating text in the editing window[edit]

Based on the previous discussion here on whether syntax like references should be colored differently than other text in the editing window, I have opened up an RfC on the proposal. My intention is to ensure this proposal is as visible as possible, because it would be a change that affects all Wikipedia editors. If you are interested, I encourage you to participate in the RfC. Thank you. I, Jethrobot drop me a line (note: not a bot!) 23:54, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

Proposal: Template to indicate an article is being discussed at BLPN[edit]

Resolved: Template created, placed, and numerous instructions updated. Check back in a month to see whether it helped. —Cupco 01:22, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
BLP Barnstar.png

How about creating a template doing what a user tried to do here: [5]?

This article is being discusssed at the biographies of living persons noticeboard.

Perhaps with a little icon like the one shown on the right? Might bring additional eyes to any ongoing BLPN thread, and would be a convenient means of letting other users know that a BLPN thread has started. --JN466 11:04, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Not a bad idea, but mentioning a noticeboard on the front of the article would probably confuse most readers. This sounds like something you want on the talk page.... Here I'll subst {{BLP unverified}} and edit that:
Something like that? —Cupco 11:12, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, very nice, thank you. Face-smile.svg But I think it would actually make sense having it on the article page rather than the talk page, if you want to involve people. We already have many templates asking people to add sources, or advising them that the article's neutrality is disputed and they should look at the talk page. Telling them about a discussion at BLP/N is not much different really, and BLP/N could always do with more eyes. Just my 2 cents. --JN466 14:30, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm a bit hesitant... do we really need floods of people heading over to the WP:BLPN? Think about what 500 inexperienced editors who happened to be reading an article all charging to the noticeboard would do. I think a talk page notice is more than sufficient, IMHO. Theopolisme 20:49, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Having a template on the article page (along with the existing BLP sources template, in this case) was my initial preference, as few editors might bother checking the talk page (or for that matter check out even recent article history). Great work, anyhow. Esowteric+Talk 08:59, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
Is it safe to say that anything on BLPN should also have an article tag directing people to look at the talk page? —Cupco 21:09, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
Note, one reason I added the text to the top of the article was because I wasn't convinced that a registered user and two IPs were even looking at the page history, the article talk page or their own talk pages and reading the advice and warnings given; but I did know that they were reading the article itself. (They were making individual edits, not reverting).Esowteric+Talk 09:22, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

I went ahead and created {{BLP noticeboard}} and have populated the existing BLPN articles and its instructions, and will try to keep an eye on the articles and their discussions to see if it helps or hinders. —Cupco 01:02, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Fabulous, thank you. That was quick work! Esowteric+Talk 08:43, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
+1. Great work. I still think the thing should go onto the article page, though; not least because I think it is more likely to be forgotten (and left on indefinitely) on the article talk page. But so far, so good. JN466 14:35, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
I think you're right. I've been discussing automating removal with a couple bot authors. —Cupco 22:45, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

Beatles RfC[edit]

You are invited to participate in an RfC at Wikipedia talk:Requests for mediation/The Beatles on the issue of capitalising the definite article when mentioning that band's name in running prose. This long-standing dispute is the subject of an open mediation case and we are requesting your help with determining the current community consensus. Thank you for your time. For the mediators. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 23:34, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

Proposal: Add namespace name "Category" to categories listed at some special pages[edit]

Hi. Per the shown bug, I would like to propose setting $wgPrependCategoryInCategoriesSpecialPages to true on English Wikipedia which means that namespace name "Category" would be added to category lists on the following special pages:

This makes it easier to copy all category names and paste it to a file to be used by bots (like to nominate all these categories for deletion or mass categorized them) instead of having to add the namespace name manually. --Meno25 (talk) 13:23, 23 September 2012 (UTC)

Template category thumbnails[edit]

After combing through a template category to find exactly what I want for the umpteenth time today (this particular time, Category:Table and column templates), it struck me that templates are visual devices, and visual devices are best recognized visually, not by name. It would be massively useful if it was possible to be able to create thumbnail images representing the output of a template and associate them with that template for display in template category listings.


  • Thumbnails would be small images containing either a shrunken view of a complete rendering of that template, if practicable, or a representative selection of part of it distinctive enough to give a quick impression of what the template is for.
  • A good layout would be for the thumbnails to be rectangles and displayed immediately underneath the name of the template they apply to.
Category:Something templates
Template:Something 1 Template:Something 3
[Thumbnail] [Thumbnail]
Template:Something 2 Template:Something 4
[Thumbnail] [Thumbnail]
  • The images would be optional and manually produced; editors' judgment would be required to select the best thumbnails.
  • Settable by a magic word in the template? {{THUMBNAIL:Template Example thumbnail.png}} Or a new field in the editing interface?
  • Some people would prefer not to see thumbnails in listings, so there would need to be a preferences option to disable the behavior.
  • Template documentation pages could use the thumbnails in them in addition to textually describing the contents of templates. Consider the case of "see also" lists.

I see this as a way of improving the sometimes very difficult process of navigating our template system, which is often extremely opaque, even to editors who've been around as long as me.

Only minutes after thinking this I happened across Category:Image with comment templates, which is a sort of crude manual example of what I'm imagining.

What do you think? -- Hex [t/c] 18:10, 23 September 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Be a man wasn't given a fair shot.[edit]

Conversation relocated to Wikipedia talk:Don't be a wuss, per Emmette's request. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:44, 25 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.

Wikipedia:Be a man wasn't given a fair shot because of the arguably sexist "Be a Man" wording. It never should have failed because of that, "Be a Man" should have just been re-worded to something that wasn't arguably sexist. (Two re-wording idea's from the talk page are "Don't be a wuss" by Hooperbloob, and "Be a Good Sport" by Juneappal) I don't have an opinion as for weather this should be a guideline, but if this fails again, then in my opinion this should become an essay. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 22:33, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

It isn't going to be a guideline. If you want to make it into an essay, reach for the appropriate template and make it so. Then you can move on. --Tagishsimon (talk) 22:42, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
Are you saying that guideline proposals have changed sense 2006, and it wouldn't be a viable proposal now, in 2012, for reasons unrelated to the "Be a Man" wording? I'm not too familiar with how guideline proposals work, it's not usually what I'm involved with on Wikipedia.Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 22:55, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
It duplicates the message of WP:Dick, but lacks its insight. I see no demand for the guideline, little utility, and no likelihood of support for it. Look at the other behavioral guidelines we have. Can you really see even a renamed "Be a Man" in that company? --Tagishsimon (talk) 23:36, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
I have no idea. Like I said, I'm not usually involved with this kind of thing, and I have no opinion on weather this should be a guideline. The reasons you gave were not the reasons it was rejected tough, it was rejected almost entirely because of the "be a man" wording. Aside the opposition to the proposal based on the wording, almost all of the comments on the talk page are in favor of the proposal. My concern is that it never should have been rejected for the wording because "be a man" is easily re-worded.
My question is what to do now.
Should it be re-proposed with "be a man" re-worded, and I'm not asking whether, in you're opinion, this should be a guideline, I'm asking weather this should be re-proposed. That it was proposed in the first place (back in 2006) strongly suggests that eaver it should be re-proposed now (unless something has changed between 2006 and now to make this a non-viable proposal), or it should have never been proposed in the first place, and shouldn't be re-proposed now. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 00:39, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
The two opinions (whether this should be a guideline; whether this should be re-proposed) seem intrinsically connected to me. Since this was drafted in 2006, many things have changed, including a proliferation of essays that say more or less the same things, such as Wikipedia:Let it go, Wikipedia:Drop the stick and back slowly away from the horse carcass, Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not about winning, and Wikipedia:The Last Word. (There are tons.) Even the guideline Wikipedia:Disruptive editing did not exist when this was created. More importantly, the makeup of editors is very different, and even if it were not editors can change their minds...either because the Wikipedia environment is different now or simply because six years is long enough to reconsider. :) (WP:CCC, and all.) I think it comes down to whether you think the content could be useful as a guideline. If so, feel free to polish it and re-propose. If not, I can't see the value of putting it out there just because it can be polished. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 15:23, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
Also calculate: at which point in the cycle of a refuse-to-back-down dispute do you anticipate this'll have any utility? Doubtless when calm, everyone and her mother would agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment. Do you really think it'll affect intransigent behaviour? Further, calculate the probability of misuse, of the "this guideline says you have to back down" sort. --Tagishsimon (talk) 15:45, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

It looks like this isn't going to be re-proposed, so I've went ahead and made it into an essay. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 07:18, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Having just taken a glance at this, the idea of Wikipedia, a place of high-minded and effete scholarship, imploring people to conform to masculine gender stereotypes is most amusing to me. Seriously though, it's not so much about the sexism, it's that expressions that attempt to use gender stereotypes to push an agenda (even a good one, like not being a tendentious arse) are pretty ineffective. If you look at advertising, the only explicit uses of this kind of masculinity are now ironic. Yorkie (chocolate bar) famously advertises itself as "not for girls". I saw a small girl on the train the other day eating McCoy's (crisp), the packet informing me that they are "man crisps". Their website informs me of such important manly related topics as how to be a "bloke", play darts and assemble flat-pack furniture in order to impress "the girlfriend". It also invites me to take a multiple-choice test to determine how "manly" I am.

If you can't infer the existence of Kenneth Williams-esque sarcasm from the previous few sentences, let me explain it: gender stereotype-based humour is a deliberate throwback to an earlier age, an age of comics in tuxedos telling reheated mother-in-law jokes. It's not about whether it is offensive, it's just the world has moved on and that kind of style is now only used ironically. The idea of Wikipedians imploring each other towards masculinity ("how dare you edit this article, there's a bear to go hunt" etc.) is utterly ridiculous. What next? Are we going to replace Wikipedia:Civility with a reference to the "Bro Code"? Stop it Wikipedia, your pretensions of hyper-masculinity are embarrassing. —Tom Morris (talk) 09:04, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

I've already said "be a man" should be re-worded, because it's arguably sexist, and I've already re-worded it. Complaining about the "be a man" wording is beating a dead horse. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 09:12, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure "Don't be a wuss" makes it much better, given that the one of the widely publicized (but speculative, as with most slang) etymologies of "wuss" is pretty sexist. :/ I guess at least it's not as explicitly sexist, but if I were working on this and trying to avoid sexism I might go for a different term. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 14:02, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Let's take this to Wikipedia talk:Don't be a wuss. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 12:06, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
Okay. I've copied the conversation over. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:11, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
Well, as long as we're only insulting the submissive, I guess there's no problem here </sarcasm>. Does anyone really think that an essay on "if you do this, you're a WUSS, HAH" is actually going to persuade people to act properly? We're an encyclopaedia, not a primary school. Hands up everyone who, when already in a bad mood (and most of the examples given are bad mood-inducing) has found their brow soothed, their existential crisis resolved and their confidence resolved by having someone come up and insult them? I mean, seriously. Ironholds (talk) 14:08, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Your proposal didn't achieve consensus to become a guideline? Would it be terribly inappropriate to suggest that you be a man and quit whining? TenOfAllTrades(talk) 14:11, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
ToaT, I would suggest discretion is the better part of valour here :). Ironholds (talk) 14:15, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Not to mention that unless there's some socking going on, this isn't Emmette's proposal. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:13, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
This isn't my proposal this is User:AKMask's proposal. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 12:50, 25 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.

Mark "Picture Peer Review" as historical[edit]

Per the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Featured picture candidates#Wikipedia:Picture peer review I propose marking Wikipedia:Picture peer review as historical. Just in case there are people beyond the Featured Pictures community who are interested, I'm asking here first to see if there is a broader community consensus, or a lack of community interest, regarding keeping PPR active. The consensus among the Featured Picture community appears to be that PPR can be closed. Pine 08:08, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

KISS image filter[edit]

About a month ago Jimbo created User:Jimbo Wales/Personal Image Filter as a followup to the perennial image filter issue. Discussion on that has petered out (no comments in last 4 weeks), and we don't seem any nearer to a solution that meets the criteria listed at User:Jimbo Wales/Personal Image Filter.

So, here's my suggestion, a (very) partial and (hopefully) uncontroversial answer to the perennial image filter question by giving users more control over what they see. It is simply a tool that will

  1. put an images on/off switch at the top right of every article, defaulting to images on.
  2. in images off mode, leave the image space blank, and show images after clicking them. Icons (images below a certain size, say 50 pixels) and images transcluded by templates would be excluded from this mode: neither should ever present images that someone would want to hide.
  3. allow logged-in users to change their preferences, so images can be off by default (i.e. shown only after clicking), and to hide the images on/off switch.
  4. the switch in point 1 gives users the option to apply the choice to the page or to the site; and for logged-in users, remember per-page on/off settings.

Now, I asked recently at Wikipedia:VPT#Gadget_for_control_of_image_display thinking that this tool could be done in Javascript only, as a gadget; based on comments there, it may need to be MediaWiki/PHP. But even if it's technically a bit harder than I thought, it's conceptually very simple, and is probably as uncontroversial as any solution to this problem can be. For a problem that has defied any kind of solution, even this very partial solution would be a whole lot better than nothing. In addition, implementing this allows us to get more of a handle on real world preferences, instead of much much much speculation, by collecting real (suitably anonymised!) data on what people actually do, for analysis. NB I also asked Jimbo recently at User_talk:Jimbo_Wales/Archive_113#KISS_image_filter, having raised it at m:Controversial_content/Brainstorming#KISS; Jimbo didn't reply.

So, does the community support development of such a tool? Rd232 talk 18:54, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

  • Strong support if implemented EXACTLY as proposed here (points 1. - 4.). -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 19:04, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
  • 'Tentative support of 1-4, on a trial basis. My main concern would be breaking the page through the hiding/showing of images. Also, how would page caching affect this? We could end up with unhappy, or at least confused, readers, something we should want to avoid. Also, the switch should be clearly located, but not so glaring as to be distractive. Maybe place it over in the toolbox? - jc37 19:57, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment - a trial run could be beneficial. I think it would need to be codified right from the start, and stated directly by the Foundation, that under no circumstances will the filter ever default to 'hide images', either on a site wide basis, or for any individual article. Resolute 20:09, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
    • Well if that's what it takes, fine. But images off sitewide by default is completely and utterly implausible, whilst off by default on individual articles hardly less so, and in any case would require a system to choose which articles to apply it to - and there's no evidence there will ever be any agreement on that type of issue. Rd232 talk 23:47, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
      • Coming to an agreement on such a use is not my concern so much as the incessant arguing that certain editors would create on certain articles. Basically, what I would like to see in an image filter policy is a statement that "default to censorship will never happen. Don't even bring it up because the discussion will be ended immediately, with a block if necessary." But, as a personal concept, I can get behind a simple filter like this. Resolute 23:54, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support for all 4 points. -- P 1 9 9   23:21, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Tentative Support Fine with everything but allowing an account setting to hide the on/off switch. It must always be easy for a reader to easily turn an image, or all images back on. Also, my support is conditional on this finally resolving the image filter debate, if discussion suggests that a substantial portion of contributors view this as a step towards a more involved image filter, then I will be switching to strong oppose. Monty845 00:01, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
    • It must always be easy for a reader to easily turn an image, or all images back on. - yes, clicking a hidden image should always show it; and maybe hiding the switch would turn all images back on. Rd232 talk 13:44, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. If the feature is not strictly limited to hiding the images in the article currently being viewed then, from an intuitive design point-of-view, the on-off switch should not be located within the area of the screen given over to the article but instead at the very top of the screen or in the left-hand menu (i.e. locations where we expect to find features with a site-wide application). Formerip (talk) 00:14, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Conditional support. I've long supported the general idea. Of the points noted above, I oppose only the part about excluding icons and images transcluded by templates. The statement that "neither should ever present images that someone would want to hide" is exactly the sort of subjective judgement that we need to avoid.

    For an image filter to be acceptable at Wikipedia, it must be completely neutral. It's impossible to anticipate all of the images that people will want to block, but the many examples cited include spiders and religious iconography, both of which which are transcluded by templates.

    Additionally, most readers are unfamiliar with MediaWiki and its template system, so drawing such a distinction would cause confusion. —David Levy 00:31, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

    Well my concern is not to unnecessarily break interface images. I suppose the solution is to give users control over whether to hide icons/template images, so they can decide for themselves. Rd232 talk 13:44, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
    That would be fine, provided that the distinction isn't drawn by default. (In other words, the image suppression should apply to icons and template transclusions unless the user specifies otherwise.) —David Levy 14:09, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Conditional support, like David Levy: I can imagine any number of reasons why someone would want to block icons or template images, ranging from arachnophobia to template vandalism, so the simple image filter should hide those images as well. In "images off" mode, the only images this should let through are user-interface elements like the disclosure triangles on the enhanced watchlist. --Carnildo (talk) 00:54, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Right at the top of every article? There really isn't any extra space left there. The upper area of the page is already stuffed with tons of icons, buttons, links, and notices. In my opinion, that area already has much more than it should, and an images toggle button wouldn't be that high in the list of priorities. --Yair rand (talk) 11:46, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
    I echo that sentiment. Can't we figure out a better location ? —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 12:03, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
    The toolbox was suggested above. —David Levy 13:25, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Please educate me - I kinda want to support something like this - but I don't understand how this proposal works. If the switch is on the page itself - and it defaults to "ON" - then it's 99% certain that when I visit an article with NSFW (or whatever) images on it, I'll see the image before I have the opportunity to turn it off - and if my employer logs my Internet access and sees that I downloaded a porn image, I'll still get fired even if I turned images off on that page subsequent to it initially being loaded. Doesn't this seem a bit pointless? If I'm an arachnophobe and I can't bear to see images of spiders - then I need to state that globally so that if I visit (say) A Romance of Two Worlds - and innocently click on the unfamiliar word "gossamer" (which happens to redirect to Spider silk), I'm not confronted with two images of spiders before I can click the "Yuck no spiders please" button. What I need is a user-preference to say "No spider pictures" (or "No porn" or whatever) and have that operate globally. SteveBaker (talk) 13:02, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
    The third point of RD232's proposal addresses that. There would be a 'master switch' available in your profile that would allow you to default all images off. Resolute 13:17, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
    And it's been stated at the Wikimedia Foundation level that the idea of an image filter based on content tagging is off the table. If someone wants such a setup (i.e. one that identifies and suppresses images depicting specific subjects), they're welcome to develop and deploy a third-party solution. —David Levy 13:25, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
    The idea of an image filter with categorizing of content etc was of the board (mostly because of the contentiousness of classifying content). This is however a much simpler approach of everything on vs. everything off. I think it is within the realm of what might reopen the discussion at WMF level, especially if there are volunteers implementing this. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 21:36, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
    Yes, that's my point. The idea of developing and deploying an image filter system based on content tagging has been abandoned by the WMF, but the type proposed here remains a possibility. —David Levy 22:19, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
    Is there any way of incorporating the user preferences in such a way that a supervisory program not under the individual users control cannot alter the default setting? DGG ( talk ) 13:37, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
    Really? You imagine a supervisory program trying to fiddle with a user's Wikipedia preferences over image display, instead of just blocking images directly? Paranoia should be attenuated by Ockham's Razor, at least. Rd232 talk 13:49, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
    If I'm an arachnophobe and I can't bear to see images of spiders - the concept here is that it's better to give an arachnophobe an easy way to quickly turn off all images on a given aagh spiders page, so they can still read the text, rather than be forced to deal with the images or give up and close the page. Giving the user some control is better than not. Rd232 talk 13:44, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
    OK - thanks for the background. Then, I'm going to have to oppose. Seems kinda useless to me. SteveBaker (talk) 23:07, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - this is a good starting point for giving readers more control over their viewing experience. 28bytes (talk) 03:39, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose proposal, but support principle. I strongly oppose the switch anywhere outside Special:Preferences, and specifically for IP users: cookie pollution is no good thing, and if anybody wants to customize his UI experience, he may just register and log in. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talk) 16:48, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
    So you support the idea, but only for 1% of users? Why are you concerned about "cookie pollution"? What if I'd personally prefer a cookie instead of another username and password to remember? WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:33, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Broadly support but agree with Dmitrij D. Czarkoff comment. The primary use of an image filter for me is that I frequently edit Wikipedia on my laptop while in public: on trains, in libraries, at conferences, at events etc. If I'm doing anti-vandalism work or, say, fixing issues with an article on a sexuality-related topic, I'd rather not subject my fellow travellers on the commuter train to some of the delightful images on, say, WP:BADIMAGES. As for IP users? Let's try it out for account users first and then if the world doesn't melt due to our mind-blowingly ghastly breach of WP:NOTCENSORED, then we can think more about enabling it for IP editors. Alternatively, we could just have it as a user script you could import into your vector.js or monobook.js. Does the script actually exist? I thought about building one a while back but the inner lazy programmer never got around to it. —Tom Morris (talk) 21:48, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose in principle. "Think of a the children" and religious considerations really don't sway me. If you don't want to deal with reality, don't go online. Even Tom Morris's argument above doesn't sway me. Yes, it's more convenient, but it's not worth what I fully predict to be a poorly constructed and poorly imitated shadow of the plan put out at the top of this section. If it's written, and it functions as intended and isn't intrusive, I might support, but I'm still opposed now. Sven Manguard Wha? 22:41, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - without some way to select what kind of content one wishes to have filtered, it seems kinda useless. Unless someone is prepared to forgo all images (which seems unlikely), they'd have to first see an objectionable image, then turn it/them off...which is really useless. This is just a waste of effort and more GUI clutter on every page. I would seriously consider supporting a measure that allowed for some kind of classification - but even that is highly problematic. SteveBaker (talk) 23:07, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I follow Steve's reasoning, but I don't agree that using a global no-images setting is so unlikely. If you're using WP from work, it sort of makes sense — turn off images, and click on them if you need them, in articles where it's clear they won't be a problem. Sort of similar to how I leave images off in my e-mail by default (even though the exact motive is different — I'm not so concerned about taboo pics showing up in my browser cache so much as about web bugs). --Trovatore (talk) 23:18, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support ~Something for personal image control is better than nothing. Mikeatnip (talk) 00:39, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
    • That's not really true though. If adding this had zero impact on people who don't want/need it, then you might be correct - but that's not the case. It adds an additional GUI element to every single page. Since it's not the fully effective thing that most people seem to wish for, it actually can be "worse than nothing" - which is why I oppose it. SteveBaker (talk) 18:53, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. It's not strictly a filter, since a filter lets some things through and filters others, but it's a feature some will find useful, with minimal impact on the experience of others. It should prevent images from loading (not just hide them), so as to aid readers with slow connections or limited bandwidth. I'd like to see a commitment to take this back to the community three months after deployment for the community's final ratification. It's not a substitute for a real filter. If we ever adopt a filter, this can be included as a filter option. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 22:32, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. There are enough people who object to seeing certain images that we should do our best to cater to them in a way that won't affect everyone else. From the technical angle, couldn't we implement this with something comparable to the fundraiser banner? Having a little box to click that will remove the hide-images button from all pages for a certain number of days would seem reasonable. The proposal of permitting the user to click on images to see them is also good, since this might blank images that users would want to see anyway, such as the calligraphic representation of Muhammad's name in his infobox. What's more, Anthonyhcole's comment makes a good point; there are still people with dialup who would benefit from the lack of images. Nyttend (talk) 22:41, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Question. I have a question about point 3: "allow logged-in users to change their preferences, so images can be off by default (i.e. shown only after clicking), and to hide the images on/off switch." I'm not sure what "to hide the images on/off switch" means. SlimVirgin (talk) 01:29, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
    • It means that if you get annoyed by the button being there (which now that I think of it, it probably would to me), you can hide it from appearing on your screen. Michaelzeng7 (talk) 23:39, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - This is a no-brainer. It hurts no one and could help many. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 07:46, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - Put very nicely by User:GabeMc above me, there's not really any ways this couldn't be a useful addition to our MediaWiki installation. Personally, when I'm editing at the school library, I sometimes find myself frantically scrolling down, closing tabs and such when I mistakenly enter an article with a NSFW image. This would definitely benefit me; since I don't really work with images much at all, I could simply turn image display off whenever I'm editing in public. ❤ Yutsi Talk/ Contributions ( 偉特 ) 17:49, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support It was disappointing to see Jimbo's effort peter out in this way, after the confident promises he made at the beginning. As a token gesture, this, little as it is, is at least better than nothing at all. --JN466 01:03, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Conditional support. I like the concept, but also follow SteveBaker's reasoning that we can;t single out images transcluded by templates as completely inoffensive. I would support only if images transcluded by templates are hidden by default when the tool is activated (preferably through Special:Preferences for registered users). CtP (tc) 01:30, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
    • I actually realise now that the templates thing is a bit of a red herring; I really mean icons, which are often provided via templates, but some templates (infoboxes!) provide relatively big images. So the additional option I'm asking for (whether it's on or off by default is less important to me than having it) should be whether the on/off switch affects small images (say <=50px). Rd232 talk 12:15, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - hell yeah. I've wanted a simple "images on/off" switch for ages. - David Gerard (talk) 12:02, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
  • ABSOLUTE oppose: We exist to educate not to enable willful ignorance. This proposal is wholly incompatible with our stated values and objectives. Abyssal (talk) 16:17, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
  •'s critical to our mission to force people to look at unwanted images when they want to read text? It's critical to force people to download images on slow connections when they only have time to download the text? Nyttend (talk) 21:49, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - This very simple edit filter would be ideal for work/public situations as a general precaution against unwanted Not Safe For Work (NSFW) pictures. Its often a hop and a skip to an article containing something that is awkward, hard to explain even if it is not religious or sexual in nature. Though many individuals would have difficulty in explaining Mastectomy's pictures if for some reason you hopped to it from another article. While it is more common the Human body to expect something like that, but as the spider analogy above shows, ignorance of the subject does not necessarily mean a desire to be ignorant of visuals. This simple edit filter will also prevent the weird looks from stumbling into any questionable pictorial content long before such an opportunity presents itself. And before anyone gets any ideas about the Muhammad article, yes it could be a watershed for those who wish to learn, yet not see any pictures. It wouldn't be censorship either, because the restriction is self-made and is no different then using other technological means to do so. A simple toggle would be of unquestioned benefit, with its uses far outweighing any potential negatives. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 04:20, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Mostly support, but only at the level of "all images on"/"all images off", including templates. I think the setting should not be an icon, but an entry in the Toolbox which will work for all skins whereas an icon elsewhere could easily break things, that applies to the current page only. I do not support the option of hiding the toolbox option other than through special:preferences. Control for multiple articles should only be via special:preferences. I support the one-click unhide, and don't object to one-click hide as long as it doesn't interfere with the existing click to load the image description page. Ideally an images off setting should somehow interact with the maths display setting so that, where possible, text is displayed to the user (change "always show png" to "Math Jax"?). Although mathematical equations are unlikely to be NSFW that isn't the only reason people might be using this and exempting large maths images would not assist with bandwidth issues (although how much bandwidth MathJax uses I haven't the foggiest). Thryduulf (talk) 05:07, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose There is no reason for people to access pages on topics that likely have objectionable images if they would get in trouble for that. And existing policies should deal well with images that don't belong into an article. I also have issues with the "Think of the children" arguments as these seem to be speculation at best. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 09:31, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - Would be very useful for a variety of reasons and gets around many of the issues associated with other image filter proposals. CT Cooper · talk 12:33, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment a browser add-on might be better because:
    • It wouldn't cruft up WP
    • It wouldn't be a thin end of the wedge
    • It would give faster browsing.
Rich Farmbrough, 06:17, 15 September 2012 (UTC).
  • oppose extremely rarely useful but takes up space on the screen. Feels like a Wiki-politics solution to what I think is a nearly non-existent problem. I'd have no objection if this was done in preferences or some other way that didn't take up screen space). Hobit (talk) 01:16, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Weak Support - The "think of the children" ideas aren't really fixed by this isn't it? Children can probably figure out that this one button can turn all of the awesome pictures of Wikipedia on. I'm weakly supporting this because of it's not intrusive to your work, ability to opt-out, and mainly for the people with slow connections (which I sometimes land on) and only have time to read text. Michaelzeng7 (talk) 15:09, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Weak Support Sure. May be of use for certain people. People with sensitive eyes can simply use Wikipedia Zero.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your page reply on mine) 08:48, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Although extremely primitive, it is quite adequate to address certain scenarios, such as allowing a person to continue reading an article that they would otherwise be too disgusted to look at. The censorship potential does not concern me as it is simple for anyone to turn off. It also has technical applications such as low-bandwidth browsing on browsers/devices that don't support an images-off feature. The usage data would help inform more complex and useful projects in the future. Dcoetzee 00:14, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose. Unnecessary. Users can turn off images in their own browser options. (I've done that myself on slow connections when trying to improve load times.) For NSFW images there is a simple way out: don't visit the page. If you're not supposed to be looking at such images at work then you are almost certainly not supposed to be visiting that page either. DrKiernan (talk) 08:16, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
    • Concur (i.e. Oppose): This is a blunt instrument, redundant to browser options. A finer instrument is not going to happen any time soon either, so just stop trying already. --NYKevin 21:37, 19 September 2012 (UTC)


A gadget should be able to do this well enough, since gadget CSS is loaded at the top of the page. The gadget would set visibility:hidden on all images, and then some Javascript would unhide interface icons and set up the click handler on the rest. I've written such a gadget, and it seems to work on my local test wiki using Firefox 14, Chromium 21, Safari 5, and IE8.

It may not work quite right as a userscript, but you can try it out if you'd like. First, copy this to your common.js:


Then copy this to your common.css:

@import url('//');

Note that this does not attempt to implement the in-page on/off switch; if enabled, will always hide images. To turn it off, remove the lines (at least the one in common.css). Anomie 03:20, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

Note also this doesn't prevent the images from being downloaded (at least not in Firefox 14), it only prevents them from being displayed on the screen. Anomie 03:20, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
It is better to limit it to the images within article content: '#mw-content-text img'. I do not think anything questionable can reside outside that area. Ruslik_Zero 19:01, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
That's definitely a start, thanks. It works quite nicely in conjunction with NavPopups, so you can get some info about the image before clicking it to show. Can we develop this a little further, and work towards making it an optional gadget fairly quickly (default gadget is a discussion for later I suppose)? An easily accessible switch would be nice even if it's only globally on/off to start with, as would a means to display any alt text (maybe by tool tip when hovering, if it doesn't clash with NavPopups). Rd232 talk 11:41, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
I still oppose. The primary use is censorship. I recognize the problems with slow connections, but this is a browser issue. If such is needed for WP, it will be needed for other pages also. Software whose primary use is censorship should not be in any way associated with WP. If implemented here in any manner, expect an MfD as contrary to policy. DGG ( talk ) 18:01, 26 September 2012 (UTC)