Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive J

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

Contents

Anti Vandalsim proposal[edit]

  1. For certain pages, make a limit for how much of the page might be edited in one edit (for example 10%)
  2. Send a message to appointed admin if page is edited more than a specified limit (5% for example)
    1. If over the specified limit, than the user and/or ip is dissabled to edit actual page until admin verified edit
  3. Report of appointed admin if edit adds links or normal abbusive text(perhaps use same algorithm used for spam protection?)

--AzaToth talk 21:44, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

Roger4911:

The most common type of vandalism consists of inserting a few foul language words here and there. Your idea, to use a limit for the amount of edit, will not help against that.

You talk about an"admin" here. There is no admin for each page. But there should be. To find out who of us are suitable as responsible for a page of a branch of pages we need to talk to each other, that's why we need forums, unmoderated and open for all. We have no need for keeping the forums clean, it is the wiki which is important. Let's have a dirty forum system and a clean wiki.

People can spam a forum as well as a wikipage, but the spammers can never gain respect in the eyes of the other editors over time. Only really competent people can do that.

All new edits have to be revised by the admin before being included. That gives us an open wiki where anybody can edit, without even being logged in, and we have a clean wiki at the same time.

So this will really work to raise the quality and stop all spamming. Roger4911 23:08, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

But.. that's what we do. If somebody has a page on their watchlist, they can revert. If they find it in Recent Changes, they can revert it. A wiki is only "open" if your changes are actually visible. This whole thing is unnecessary, IMHO. Vandalism is small problem, and it's more or less under control.--Sean|Black 00:02, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
The limitation to editing ~10% of a page at a time would absolutely cripple some valid editorial styles, in particular those where there has been consensus for a major rewrite by one person followed by tweaks by other interested parties. Anecdotal evidence suggests that this happens in the medical area where physician-editors function. It would also cripple expansion of stubs into full articles where the content might inflate 1000% in a single edit. Courtland 14:58, 17 November 2005 (UTC)


Pure Wiki deletion system[edit]

The pure wiki deletion system is a proposal for deletion reform. Its goal is to address the problems of AfD by making fewer articles go there. This would both lighten the load on AfD, and result in fewer newbies being introduced to the worst side of Wikipedia first.

It works like this: If you encounter an article that you think does not belong in Wikipedia, you edit the page and blank it (remove all of its text), leaving an explanation in your edit summary. This is the same thing you would do if you thought an article section did not belong, for example.

PWDS proposes code changes that would make blanked pages act just like deleted pages, except that the blanking could be reverted like any other edit. Since most deletions are uncontested, we hope that most deletions could be resolved in this simple, Wiki way, without the need for a centralized discussion. To prevent "deletion wars", we also propose that if a PWDS is disputed, it should be sent to AfD for discussion.

The proposal is building momentum and has received comments from people supporting and opposing the idea. We'd like more comments, so go to Wikipedia:Pure wiki deletion system or Wikipedia talk:Pure wiki deletion system and tell us what you think of the idea.

rspeer 01:50, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

How does this differ from run-of-the-mill page blanking vandalism? And how it the community supposed to know that this blanking has occurred unless there is a central repository of these blankings? User:Zoe|(talk) 04:02, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

You can test PWD right now, by using the amazing simulation provided by XD4. This is not entirely ideal, since it requires changing your preferences, and it'll only work for you, but it works. :-) Kim Bruning 08:01, 16 November 2005 (UTC) hmm, looks like folks haven't been maintaining XD very well during my wikibreak.. *sigh*
Surely this offers too much scope for abuse? AfD is not overburdened because too many articles need to be deleted, it is overburdened because it is so abused. This facility simply allows greater, and more damaging, abuse. --Oldak Quill 16:41, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
No! This is a great idea! It puts article deletion into the same process as every other article editing process, and takes us back to our Wiki roots! It scales well, and concensus about blanking is established on the talk page, just like any other edit. The 3RR rule, and all other normal rules apply! Have a go! Trollderella 18:33, 21 November 2005 (UTC)


Browser shortcuts[edit]

(The followign is copied from Wikipedia:General complaints) DES (talk) 01:42, 5 November 2005 (UTC)

The keyboard shortcut overrides for editing features are neat, but it's a handicap to lose Ctrl-W for <close window>, etc. At the least, Alt-F for accessing the File menu should be open, which gives access to the menu systems. At the best, all wiki shortcuts except for Alt-E for editing the current page should be disabled until the user begins actually editing the page. It's quite intrusive to the web-browsing experience and makes mouse-less web browsing more difficult. There is a workaround in Windows, though it goes against what is probably considered "normal" practice: press and release ALT, then press the key.

Also, any keyboard shortcuts that are available should be instantly obvious to the user without having to find a lookup table -- the world standard for well over a decade has been to underline the character in the control's label. ("Find" is the closest I can get with the Wiki formatting I know -- how do you do underlining without a link?) I realize that not all buttons support HTML, but for those browsers that do, it would be a big help, and non-button controls should be able to do this in almost any browser. Ideally, it would be up to the user which shortcuts to keep and which to give back to the browser, but I haven't figured out how to do that in Firefox yet. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.129.118.21 (talkcontribs) 07:47 EST, 15 March 2005


Wikipedia's usurpation of the ALT-F keyboard shortcut is incredibly irritating.

Some of us actually use the standard interface conventions to navigate, and it is simply terrible form for a web page -- a web page! -- to abscond with standard UI objects. Given that the File menu is one of the near-universal UI objects, taking over its keyboard shortcut is nothing short of arrogance.

ALT-F is particularly useful when using a tabbed browser to close the current tab. (i.e. ALT-F,C) This is far easier to do with the left hand than CTRL-W. My usual practice is to have the mouse in the right hand, using CTRL-click to open new tabs to links of interest, and use ALT-F,C to close any tab on demand. But no, not with Wikipedia!

I beg you ... have some humility, and leave the standard UI alone!

  • I entirely and absolutely agree. Wikipedia's hijacking of standard shortcut key combinations is a total pain and should be removed immediately - Matt.
I hit Ctrl-W with my left hand. *shrug* --Golbez 01:52, 5 November 2005 (UTC)
I agree that it is inappropriate for a web site to co-opt standard shortcuts, especially something like Alt-F for the ubiquitous file menu. I find it highly irritating as well. — Knowledge Seeker 03:36, 5 November 2005 (UTC)
IMO, the most annoying shortcut is Alt-D. I have been "inches" away from deleting featured articles (on no:) because I hit Alt-D "by default" (having learned from this, I now use F6 instead). I find it very annoying for shortcuts I normally use in browsers, but on the other hand, incredibly handy for shortcuts to pages I often use on Wikipedia. Bad dilemma. Jon Harald Søby \ no na 12:38, 5 November 2005 (UTC)
  • So, how does a bunch of people agreeing that a feature is irritating turn into an action whereby something is actually done about it? That's one of the things I don't understand about these discussion forums. Are they just talking shops, or does anything ever result? Matt 22:02, 6 November 2005 (UTC)
Changes do result, though somewhat rarely. In this case, the next step should probably be filing a bug on MediaZilla; feel free to do this now if you'd like. Superm401 | Talk 22:09, 6 November 2005 (UTC)
  • It is very hard to tell what is the correct procedure for making enhancement requests. The page you refer to has no mechanism that I can see for entering enhancement or change-in-functionality requests, only bug reports. (I'm beginning to wonder if "bug" is just developer-speak for "bug OR enhancement request".). And then the supposed "help" page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Bug_reports) actually seems to be yet ANOTHER page for reporting problems/requesting changes. Should I enter the requets there or what? Finally, what might be the "real" reporting system (via "Enter new Bug" link) - though it's hard to tell - requires an email address. I am not prepared to provide this without a cast-iron guarantee that it will not appear on any Wikipedia pages where spammers and other Internet undesirables can strip it from, and will not be distributed in any form. And probably not even then. As per my whinge elsewhere on this page, the whole thing is a bit of a mess. There are too many pages all trying to do the same thing. Matt 23:17, 6 November 2005 (UTC)
Further to the above, in my short time here I have encountered five different places where potential software changes are discussed: this page, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Village_pump_%28technical%29, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:General_complaints, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Bug_reports and http://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/enter_bug.cgi
I think that five places is four too many. And if I have found five in a short time then my guess is that there are probably more. There should be one place for software enhancement discussions/requests, and that place should be universal to the user community and the developers. Some sort of consensus should be reached during the discussion, and then at some stage, if appropriate, the item should be flagged up for action by the developers. New pages springing up trying to do the same thing should be ruthlessly deleted. Matt 23:45, 6 November 2005 (UTC)
"I'm beginning to wonder if "bug" is just developer-speak for "bug OR enhancement request" ". You're correct about that. Your enhancement request should be made on MediaZilla. If you are concerned about having your real email made public, you can fix that. Use this link(my mistake, use this one) to create a disposable Gmail account. When you're done filing the bug, you can forget about the account. As for your points about chaos in enchancement reporting, you're right. I'll try to get people to redirect Wikipedia:Bug reports to Wikipedia:Village pump (technical). The latter page should stay around because it lets people answer technical questions about Wikipedia, in addition to discuss whether issues are really bugs. Wikipedia:General complaints is for general problems, not just technical ones. However, it seems almost no one monitors that page and that it has become a ranting ground. I wouldn't recommend posting anything there. Mediazilla is definitely the best place to file your reqest. Superm401 | Talk 01:07, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
Also, you should consider getting a user name. There are benefits. Most importantly, it's easier to keep track of frequent users of the wiki. No one will learn your email address even if you include it while registering(unless you voluntarily email someone using Special:Emailuser). In some ways, having an account is more private because if you don't use an account, your IP address, 86.134.46.230 , is visible to all. That means people can guess you live somewhere around Oxford, England and can determine your ISP. If you get an account, your IP will no longer be made public. Superm401 | Talk 01:25, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the advice. I think you may be confusing Wikipedia registration (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Userlogin&returnto=Main_Page) with bug-reporting registration (http://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/enter_bug.cgi). As far as I can see the two are completely different, and the latter DOES seem to publish users' email addresses (see e.g. http://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=####) which, without a big health warning, is BAD. Matt 12:09, 7 November 2005 (UTC).
I have also requested that Wikipedia:General complaints be deleted. I hope I have followed the procedure correctly and that the deletion decision-making process will now run its course. Matt 12:41, 7 November 2005 (UTC).
  • (another mention of this copied from the General Complaints page): I thought I was going crazy. When I tried to open the Windows Explorer "File" menu using Alt+F, I kept getting jumped to the top of the page instead. I finally realized that Wikipedia was taking me to its Search field! The underlined "F" in "File" signifies that you can use Alt+F to open the File menu. Can't you use a key combination that isn't already spoken for? Wikipedia is the only web page I have used in all these years that pre-empts this basic operation of Windows, which I use routinely to open extra windows. danwWiki 00:29, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
  • I have entered this into bugzilla as Bug 3963. Please comment there if you care to. DES (talk) 16:08, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

Accounting[edit]

You have followed proper procedure in nominating the page, though at this time I think the page needs to stay and have voted accordingly. Regarding the registration policies, you are right that they are quite different. I do understand this fully, but I probably explained myself poorly. I'll give a condensed summary(you may know some of this). Anyone can edit pages on Wikipedia(the essential activity at the heart of all others) without logging on. However, as stated, Wikipedia accounts provide some benefits, such as a consistent face to the community, a watchlist, and the ability to mark edits minor(more helpful to others to be honest). Wikipedia accounts do not require emails(however you can add one without having it published). Bugzilla requires that you have an account, and to create that acocount you must have an email, which will be made public. Since I explained why you must have a Bugzilla account to submit a "bug"(and offered you a Gmail account to protect your email privacy), I then decided to address Wikipedia accounts. That is because I see you as a responsible user of Wikipedia. As explained, this does not actually help privacy, so I am uncertain why you would choose to go without an account. Perhaps you could explain your reasons? Superm401 | Talk 03:44, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

The main reason I have not (yet) bothered to register is that very early on in my Wikipedia experience I tried clicking on my IP address as revealed in edit history, and saw that it showed all the edits I had made. I assumed that if I registered, clicking on my user name would enable others to see a cumulative list of all the edits I had ever made. I do not want this. However, I have just tried this with your username and I do not immediately see how to do it, so maybe I am wrong? The second reason is that occasionally I get a banner saying "You have new messages" or something similar (the message seems to be an auto-generated "welcome to Wikipedia" thing). This led me to believe that there was some internal Wikipidia messaging system whereby comments etc. could be addressed to individual users, kind of like an "internal email". I do not want to be bothered with these. I also do not want to be bothered maintaining a user page (which, it seems, ANYONE can edit? Surely that can't be right?). Finally, if I spot a typo and want to make a very quick edit (read: watch Wikipedia spend three minutes trying to load the edit page) I just can't be bothered to log in. Matt 12:27, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
Hm...
  • The "you have new messages" notice just lets you know someone has edited your talk page, most likely to leave a comment. The welcome message isn't automated; probably someone at the Welcoming Committee left the {{welcome}} template on your talk page, which is the standard greeting for newcomers.
  • If you have an account, you may be able to turn off the "new messages" notice by judicious use of "display: none" in your user CSS. "div#topbar strong {display: none}" should do.
  • You don't need to have a user page if you don't want one. It's also considered poor etiquette to edit others' user pages.
  • You should be able to stay logged in almost indefinitely by checking the "remember me" box on the login page.
Hope that helps. ᓛᖁ♀ 12:44, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the very helpful info. I don't entirely understand your explanation of the welcome message, since when I received the messages I wasn't registered or logged on, and therefore presumably didn't even have a talk page. It hasn't happened for a while so maybe it was just a glitch in the system. But, no matter. I DEFINITELY do not want a cumulative list of all my edits to be made available to other users, so that decides me. I'm surprised other people haven't complained about this too (or maybe they have...!) Matt.
Many people think it is desireable to have a list of the edits available to other people. Some users, such as myself, even edit under their legal names. Others prefer greater degrees of privicy. Note that even if you never log in, you are assigned a user ID based on your IP address, and there is a user talk page assocaited with that user ID, where people can leave messages (such as a welcoem message) for the suer editign under that IP address. DES (talk) 15:54, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

Er, Matt; all the edits you've made are already listed in various lists. Admittedly, not logging in makes it slightly more trouble to get a full list of your edits, but it doesn't hardly make it impossible. Having such a list is very important in reverting vandalism, and general editing tasks. Also, as people have said, logging in makes it harder, not easier, to compile such a list, if you have multiple accounts. JesseW, the juggling janitor 23:39, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

citation format[edit]

As far as I can tell, the "citation" format is rather broken. Two things:

  1. Superscripts are ugly; they mess up the article spacing. Using numbered [1] footnotes is a standard practice and not depricated in any way.
  2. It is a lot of work. As far as I can tell, you have to manually keep track of numbering. It does not adjust to the easier "inline" format [1].

Can we find a better solution? Perhaps a modification of the inline format that allows for footnote text? Sdedeo 03:07, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Footnotes. (SEWilco 08:42, 23 November 2005 (UTC))


Contact us redesign[edit]

There's a proposed radical redesign of the contact us page. See discussion. Tom- 00:06, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Image copyright proposal[edit]

I recently had several images that I had uploaded deleted. No body told me why, and I had to root around extensively before I found the reason. It turns out that the upload page does not have a list of valid licenses on it. Nor does it link to the list of valid licenses. The dropdown lists some (but not all) valid licenses, and some license which are not allowed. I would particularly like some guidance on which FlickR.com Creative Commons licenses are allowed, and to put them on the drop down or link to a page where this is explained. I think it would make everyone's life easier! Comments? Trollderella 18:27, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

I agree. There needs to be a comprehensive list somwhere, and it would be best if it were in that pull-down menu. As there's no need for un-allowed licenses, then those should just be deleted. Blackcap (talk) 18:53, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
I think I've heard that the un-allowed licenses are in there as a kind of honeypot to make it easy to cull out disallowed images. The reasoning being that if they weren't in the list, people would lie about the image source and pick one of the other licenses. Of course, that line of reasoning seems be in a bit of a contradiction with WP:AGF. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 19:13, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
The honeypot idea is confusing, at best. Who works on these things? Is there even a comprehenisve list of allowed licenses? One of the things I'd like is to make FlickR.com a more useful site for us - they have a lot of Creative Commons images, and you can search by license. On the dropdown for CC licenses, we only list v 2.5, but FlickR uses 2.0. Can we straighten this out? Trollderella 19:38, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
Note that even though it is possible to multi-license under CC, all the images that you own that you upload to Wikipedia must be released under the GFDL. Indeed, whether or not you add the tag, they are so licensed since you agree so both at account creation and image upload time. If you do not own the copyright and thus are not able to decide on multi-licensing, you must make a fair use claim on the image page for each and every article in which you plan to place the image. Note that Commons has different rules since its mission is not the same as here. See commons:Commons:Licensing. -Splashtalk 19:47, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
I don't think this is true - we have lots of images that are not GFDL. Lots of other images are allowed - can you point me to where you got this idea? Trollderella 19:54, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
Are you talking to me? It is true. It used to say this on Special:Upload and has been foolhardily removed. We have lots of non-GFDL images that are claimed under fair use. If they lack a fair use claim, then one needs to be written for them. -Splashtalk 20:07, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
  • See Wikipedia:Image copyright tags for a list broken down by "allowed" and "not allowed". Looking at Special:Upload, it looks like the various unusable CC licenses (eg cc-by-nc) aren't currently listed on there; we keep the tags around so we can make sure people aren't using them otherwise, since a lot of people add the tag manually rather than using the drop-down menu. All image licenses listed on there, with the arguable exception of the various FU ones, are all valid licenses to the best of my knowledge. Shimgray | talk | 20:04, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
I really don't think this is true. Nowhere on the upload page does it say that an image is being uploaded under the GFDL. Indeed, it asks people to be very careful in making this claim. An image that someone finds, that is in the public domain, is not being re-licensed under the GFDL (a more restrictive license) the uploader has no authority to do that. Can we link to Wikipedia:Image copyright tags, and add the previous (v 2) cc licenses? Trollderella 20:58, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
You're right - we really could do with flagging a link to the copyrights-tag page on Special:Upload. This connection's being abysmally slow for me, though, and I dunno how to edit these things - could you drop a note over at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard and ask someone to Do Something About It?
A comment like Specify the licence of the file by selecting it from the drop-down list below, or choosing one from [[Wikipedia:Image copyright tags|this list]] would work, perhaps.
I suspect the reason CC-*-2.0 isn't on there is because we would prefer people tag things with a new license. However, you don't have to use that menu - we have image tags for {{cc-by-sa-2.0}} and {{cc-by-2.0}} (plus {{cc-by}} and {{Cc-by-sa}}, for 1.0), and you can just link those templates in the image description and leave the drop-down box blank. Shimgray | talk | 21:19, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
Right, but once you leave the drop down (assuming you realise that the first two items listed are not allowable licenses) it's hard to find the list of allowable licenses. My proposal is either to put all allowable licenses (and no non-allowable licenses) on the drop down, or link to them from the upload page - is there a reason not to do that? Trollderella 21:24, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
Some of the "allowed" licenses are pretty obscure. For example, does the drop-down need every variation on "public domain as a work of the US Federal Government"? There are 62 of them. How about the GPL, LGPL, BSD, and MIT licenses? Those only apply (maybe) to screenshots of appropriately-licensed open-source software. --Carnildo 05:08, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
If you want people to get it right, I think linking to this list is what you need to do. Putting all of the common ones in the dropdown seems reasonable to me. FlickR.com is a pretty major photo repository, and could be a really useful resource for us, they use v2 cc exclusively, so including that seems reasonable. Trollderella 18:55, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

Why Hyperlinks, Still?[edit]

I think that Wikipedia's long-held practices on links in articles could use some revision. I think that basically, these articles are too full of hyperlinks that serve no useful purpose, and that these old-style hyperlinks cause more problems than they solve.

Problems:

  • When nearly every noun and verb is hyperlinked, hyperlinking loses its purpose
  • Articles printed out from Wikipedia look messy and unprofessional (there is no way to print an article in "plain text" or without underlined links)
    • Thats not true, there is style sheets linked for media print that displays links as normal text.--AzaToth talk 17:57, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
  • The visually cluttered space of an article is distracting for new users
  • The visual clutter of routine hyperlinks obscures more important information that could be conveyed by links.

Solution: Make it so that any word can be clicked on for a link; Make it so that the smaller number of links that remain visually marked do remain convey important information. Such as:

  • A word that does not have an article associated with it, but should.
  • A footnote included by the article's author, providing non-wikipedia bibliographical information

Changing wikipedia's practice re links would be a big one, but would improve the site's functionality, and provide a better mechanism for footnoting articles and providing research citations, the lack of which presently undermines Wikipedia's credibility. --ThaddeusFrye 17:31, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure how that could work. Wikipedia contains many words that have multiple meanings. If the page author doesn't provide a hyperlink to a specific article with the meaning relevant to the current article, it often leads to a "disambiguation page", giving the reader a choice of anywhere from two to a couple of dozen places to go. Imagine, by making everything in an article a hyperlink, it could leave a reader unfamiliar with the subject matter without a map, guessing which one of the forks in the road to take to get to his goal. I do agree, however, that some articles contain more links than they need to. For example some articles make a link out of every mention of a date, even though that date has no special significance to the subject matter.
Thaddeus, can you give an example of any current hypertext system that works in the fashion you describe? --QuicksilverT @ 00:38, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

Also see WP:FOOTNOTE for linking to citations. (SEWilco 05:19, 22 November 2005 (UTC))

I'm a little chastened by seeing that there is a "print view" available that I'd missed, and that some articles make use of footnotes (though many don't). I must say also that I don't know of any applications that make every word into a link in the way I describe. As Hydrargurum notes, an automated link system that just ran a search for any word clicked on would sometimes require readers to perform disambiguation. That is a disadvantage.

I suppose in my best of all possible worlds, a future wikipedia allows readers to right-click on any term, and use a context menu to search for the word in a dictionary, on wikipeida, or for for media, quotations, or etc. about the term in question--sort of a multi-link. Perhaps a disambiguation menu could also popup with a right-click?

I'm not sure that there's a solution for this available now; but going forward I think that ways of reducing the visibility of obvious or redundant links, and encouraging the use of more informative visual cues, remains something worth considering.--ThaddeusFrye 07:01, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia's present solution to reducing the visibility of obvious or redundant links is for editors to try to not create such links. This reduces the need for an intelligent browser which knows which words its user considers obvious. (SEWilco 08:47, 23 November 2005 (UTC))

Changes to the articles on major cities[edit]

Hello, I was having a debate at Talk:Moscow with some posters who want to glide over the problems or the unpleasant aspects of Moscow, when after arguing for inclusion I realised, on looking around, that most of the articles on cities try to present a sort of tourist agency view on everything. Sure, the best aspects of each city need emphasis, but I think it's extremely deceptive to talk about large cities without mentioning the problems they face. I just noticed for instance that London makes no mention of the squalor that is visible in many parts of the city and which has been one of its major attributes for ages - in the past two centuries alone these depressing parts of London, or the experiences from within, have given rise to many of the great works of sociology, literature and so on. I think there needs to be a change in the approach to writing such articles - apart from mentioning all the wonderful museums, galleries and other tourist spots, there needs to be some perspective offered to the curious reader, not just the kind of information that any tourist brochure or guidebook will give you; in fact, even some travel books are more honest about the areas to avoid, among other things, than Wikipedia is! Of course, every large city has more or less the same kinds of problems. But they all manifest themselves in different ways and to different degrees; corruption for instance is a problem in every part of the world, but it is much more widespread or common at lower levels in certain cities than others; squalor is also visible in every major American or English city, but to a much greater extent than in other industrialized nations like Canada and Australia; housing projects are extremely common now but they are much more numerous - in fact overwhelming and depressing - in, say, South American cities like Sao Paulo, than the ones outside Vienna or Frankfurt; public transport in London is shockingly overpriced and a lot less reliable compared to the equally extensive public transport in Moscow. Not everyone who lives in a big city is necessarily a middle-class, median income, lifelong resident, and the majority of those who aren't face a lot of difficulties, and so would an independent, budget traveller. These articles need to be more rounded out to reflect actual life in these cities, not just a listing of popular spots, and I'd like to see some guidelines to this end. -- Simonides 00:11, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Agree. FWIW, the featured article on Seattle, Washington prominently mentions its boom-and-bust economic history, with only slightly more emphasis on the booms than the busts; alludes to the Great Seattle Fire of 1889, the Seattle General Strike of 1919, and the street protests against the WTO Meeting of 1999; mentions earthquakes; has a paragraph on homelessness; and has a paragraph about the judicial system, jails, and crime. I suppose there could be more. The anti-Chinese events of the late 19th century are relegated to a separate history series, as are the several infamous blunders in terms of city planning that have left Seattle with no mass transit system (but so are a lot of positives). I'd be intersted in whether you think this article is also too boosterish, since unlike London, it is a featured article. -- Jmabel | Talk 07:48, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
Thank you very much for the response. It's good to see that someone agrees we can't just present the pretty side of things all the time, it doesn't tie in with "accuracy". As for the article on Seattle, I can't give you an informed comment as I've never been there nor read much about it; my debates on London, Moscow etc arise from the fact that I know these cities quite well; but I'm really glad someone is making an effort and cares for these things. -- Simonides 06:56, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

I would think a large portion of the readers of an article would be tourists or others more interested in touring historic sites and museums than looking at the slums. However, a map of "dangerous areas to avoid" could potentially be a life-saver, especially since a tourism brochure doesn't want to admit anything is less than perfect about the city. To avoid revert wars over which areas are dangerous and which are not, I suggest a map with crime incidents noted. Such maps, sometimes provided by police departments, show dramatic patterns and allow people to judge dangerous areas for themselves. For example, clusters of crimes are frequently present in or near government subsidized housing for the poor, AKA "the projects". StuRat 13:55, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

I don't think but can't say for certain that the majority of readers will be tourists. We aren't writing guidebooks anyway, this is supposedly an encyclopedia. You don't have to visit a slum or ghetto to see one (makes me wonder whether you travel much), it's just a fact of life in every other big city that is symptomatic of certain problems and can also pose others (like the crime you mentioned) and is an undeniable aspect of the city too. No good reason to sweep it under the carpet. Your suggestion of crime incident maps is needlessly complicated (What kinds of crimes? How long a period? What's the threshold? Which are ones are the most serious? Which ones are most representative?) and can also taint an article with prejudice, confirming the usual middle-class stereotype that areas filled with poor people, or a certain ethnicity, should always be avoided, etc. The standard advice that one should stick to peopled areas in broad daylight generally holds good anywhere in the world. -- Simonides 02:48, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Future protection of some non templatical templates[edit]

Soon templates Category:Boolean Templates are finish, and {{if}} is basically correct, just a minor thing left I think, like enable using named parameters beside using the numerical ones. After that they should never be changed. They don't contain any markup, and their purpouse is specific in nature. Also the templates that are used by those templates should be protected (They are {{show1}} and {{booleq/eq2}}). --AzaToth talk 14:06, 24 November 2005 (UTC)


Fair use and comics images[edit]

I have created a centralized discussion page to invite discussion on and form a consensus regarding the fair use of images within articles regarding comics.

All opinion welcome! Steve block talk 16:13, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

RSS or similar feed for the main page[edit]

Would it be possible to extend the capability of the Main Page by adding an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) link to:

  1. capture the Main Page contents complete (i.e. Today's Featured Article, In The News, Selected Anniversaries and Did You Know.) providing a full Main Page RSS feed from Wikipedia.
  2. or have individual RSS feeds for each section to precede the Archive – By email – More... tag.

As a minimum it would be great to have the anniversaries in RSS format.
Main Page RSS links would have the advantage of making Wikipedia even more accessible to the public when not browsing directly.--Steve Marquis 10:14, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

See also: Main Page, RSS

This has been proposed before. The main argument against is the bandwidth it would take. Currently Wikipedia is running pretty slow. It would only get worse with an RSS feed. Evil Monkey - Hello 04:27, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
Is there another way of providing the means to show the anniversaries, etc with links back to Wikipedia?--Steve Marquis 11:22, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
It is possible to write a screen-scraper in PHP or Perl to do it; if you are clever, I suppose you could use the daily-article email to do it, 'etc. Raul654 11:28, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

Tracking level of interest to determine notability via number of page views[edit]

In response to the notability controversy, as applied to article deletion:

Wikipedia is written for it's readers. If sufficent numbers of people want to read an encyclopedia style article about something, doesn't that justify it's inclusion alone?

It is, presumably, relatively straightforward to track the number of unique impressions a given page recieves. Taking this information, one could:

1) Apply a threshold for a minimum level of interest in terms of views per day/month, or just total number some elapsed time after the article was created. Any article not meeting the minimum threshold could be immediately flagged for deletion voting. OR 2) Rank articles in search by number of page views, so that in the case of similarly named pages, the one which attracts the most interest is the one which gets brought to the top of the search lists. OR 3) Articles not meeting the threshold could be automatically flagged with a tag saying "This article is not attrating sufficient levels of interest" OR 4) Use the raw data as an argument for or against in votes for deletion.

The reliability of the view counter is perhaps a problem and open to abuse, but egregious examples (My Best Friends Pet Dog, 65,000 views a day) will be spotted and deleted via standard procedures anyway.

This would cut down on a lot of controversy over notability of articles, and seems to be a sensibly democratic and audience-serving approach, far less arbitrary then urrent notability guidelines.

It would be necessary to implement the counter first and gather data on a sizeable sample of pages before determining thresholds, if any.

I apologise if this article is wildly impractical from a technical perspective, but I would greatly appreciate any arguments for or against it as a theoretical concept regardless of the plausibility of it actually being possible to implement.

Oh God. Please no. Popularity is not a good measure for what we should keep. If you apply this measure you end up with the Fox Network, not an encyclopedia. Level of interest has nothing to do with what should be in it. Trollderella 01:39, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
Wow, this is an _amazing_ proposal! I couldn't find any good stats newer than February 2004, but I am pretty sure the general trend hasn't changed too much (I know I saw similar stats about a year ago, with the same sort of pages at the top). Do you know what the most popular article was? Goatse.cx, followed by the United States. EOD, OK? — David Remahl 02:17, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
No, not end of discussion. This was never about the MOST popular pages, it was about the LEAST popular ones. THe fact that articles about Goatse dominate the high rankings does not speak to the quality of the data at the lower end, where it may well prove far more discriminating.
How popular a page is at the moment has nothing what so ever to do with it's place in the encyclopedia. Whether anyone reads the article today isn't more important than whether someone will read it in thirty years, and we have no way of predicting that. — David Remahl 02:31, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
Is an aticle that (say) has achieved only two or three page views in three months of existing ever likely to be soemthing that is still around in thirty years? And, for the nth time, it's not as if I'm proposing things be automatically deleted if they can't muster the popularity, or be made untouchable if they do. At most I've suggested it nominate them for an automatic vote for deltetion, so there's plenty of time for peer review. In fact the intention is more to preserve pages, by using this tool to show that there is interest in an encyclopedia article on a topic whose notability is brought into question.
The connection between popularity and notability is still in question. Further, Wikipedia is accessed in many ways, and we can track only a subset of all accesses. This would lead to systemic bias since (as an example) articles primarily accessed by people in the developing world (on paper) would not be counted and possibly deleted from the next edition. All the articles about Lewis/Scooter Libby got about 100 hits last October. Remember that last October was very close to the U.S. election, and Libby is a high-ranking official in the administration of the United States. Had he been an official in the government of Liberia he would probably not have received more than a single hit. But when Libby was indicted, I'm willing to bet "his" article skyrocketed into the top-100 as far as hits go, and even a Liberian official involved in a similar scandal would probably have received at least a couple of hundred hits, all of a sudden. From being considered for deletion under your guideline, to ranking in the top 500.
Article accesses has nothing what so ever with consensus to do. The only thing this "feature" could do is cause a lot of articles to be needlessly listed on AfD, where their "notability" would be put into question by self-righteous judges. Also, who don't you sign your posts!?David Remahl 03:06, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
October 2004 seems to be the most recent comprehensive hit stats collected. — David Remahl 02:33, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
And I have to ask, does a page that virtually no-one ever visits matter at all? Not being requested is practically the same as not existing. — David Remahl 02:36, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
In that case why delete pages at all?
You know, I don't know! Why? — David Remahl 03:06, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

A few reasons IMO. One is the threat of vandalism, POV, etc.. Pages with very limited interest will not draw the attention of neutral parties who can patrol for these things. So a page on a high school student will be either a detailed, unverifiable screed about how he is gay, or a long list of things that make him awesome. Ironically, when these article get put on AfD, they draw a lot of attention and people go and NPOV them just to bug the person in question. Sdedeo 03:10, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

You know, I'd like to see some examples that this is a problem. I think the practical result of this would be for it to be open season on obscure science and linguistic topics. I challenge you to find any detailed, unverifiable screed about how he is gay, or a long list of things that make him awesome that have been around for much more than 20 minutes. Trollderella 16:05, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

homepage[edit]

I notice that the homepage has not been updated for some time. Am I doing something wrong or are you experiencing difficulties?

April Fool's Day - Idea[edit]

After reading [2] it came to my attention that Wikipedia is annualy vandalised on April 1. While this can be funny, it can also be annoying as all the stupid changes made have to be found and reverted, and the person who makes the change does not always do this themselves. In my opinion it depends as much on the edit made as the individual reading the April Fooled version of the article as to whether it is found annoying.

Some people have proposed locking the whole of Wikipedia on April 1 to stop vandalism, but others do not like this idea as they enjoy the fun side of the April 1 edits.

So my proposal is that, during the 47 hours of April 1 (47 as it is at different times around the world), a disclaimer goes up on the front page saying "any edits made while this notice is up will be reverted after the notice comes down" or something like that. Then, users can have fun, but the changes made are automatically reverted after April 1 so other users do not have to go through the hassle of doing the reverts themselves. The only drawback to this is that users will have to wait a bit to post genuine edits, but I think the pros outweigh the cons.

Thoughts?

rst20xx 12:00, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

I'd rather we don't implicitly sanction the joke vandalism by rolling it back automatically. We can't do anything to stop it, but we should at least protect Wikipedia's repuation. Superm401 | Talk 12:09, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
Some other people don't like the locking idea because, despite all the vandalism and in-jokes, some real editing does get done in the April 1 period. Most people don't vandalise if it isn't April 1 in their timezone. ;) r3m0t talk 13:14, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
Most people don't vandalise at all. Trollderella 18:47, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
":I would think those with serious edits could wait 47 hours and make the edits then. I like the idea of an automatic rollback. I don't think the current approach against vandalism is very good; I spend hours reverting vandalism now. I would like to see pages just for anon I/P's, so they can vandalize them to their hearts content and leave the real pages alone. StuRat 14:06, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

I've been thinking about this too:

  • Locking will likely incite vandals to attack throughout early April 1.
  • Auto-rollback will encurage April 1st vandalism, and likely vandalism in general.
  • But very good internal wikipedia pranks, with rollback by their own author, might just dissuade pranksters.

My suggestion on the policy page was:

  • Tolerate joke pages being developed under {{PAGENAME}}/AprilFools during March, and allow their continued existance briefly into April.
  • Allow people to move {{PAGENAME}} to {{PAGENAME}}/NotAprilFools and move {{PAGENAME}}/AprilFools to {{PAGENAME}} on April 1st.
  • Encourage people to place {{Template:AprilFools}} at the bottom of the prank pages; which provides access to the original page. Or maybe the blank template {{Template:InvisibleAprilFools}} if you feel you must keep its joke nature hidden.

Such mild recommendations are not likely to encourage vandals. You could also see all participating pranks by pressing "What links here" from the template pages; thus showing off the good ones and ensuring cleanup of pranks. JeffBurdges 18:03, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Enhancement requests and the "Bugzilla" page.[edit]

At the head of this page it says "If the proposal is a change to the software, file a bug at Bugzilla instead. Your proposal is unlikely to be noticed by a developer unless it is placed there."

It is unclear from this explanation what one should do with requests to enhance the software or change things which are design flaws rather than bugs. In fact, this so-called "Bugzilla" page does say in one place "Please report new bugs and enhancement requests here", but then there is no obvious way to add an enhancement request (just an "Enter new bug" link). Generally, this "Bugzilla" page seems unfriendly and requires onerous registration procedures. It seems to have been designed by software developers for software developers, and the text seems to have been written by software developers, all of which is bad news for the average punter.

Then, there is a separate page at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:General_complaints which purports to be for "discussing problems you may have with the way Wikipedia is designed or suggestions on how to improve this Wikipedia", but which apparently even some people who have been using Wikipedia for a long time do not know about.

All this needs to be cleaned up. There need to be ONE place where it is SIMPLE for the average user to make software enhancemnet requests.

Wikipedia:Be cautious[edit]

Hi

I've just created a very short proposal at Wikipedia:Be cautious. Now I'm going to get under the desk for a while. Filiocht | The kettle's on 11:54, 25 November 2005 (UTC)


Multiple pro-wrestling pages mix fact and fiction[edit]

The bureaucracy here at WP is confusing at best, so I haven't found a better place to post this than here. If you know this should go somewhere else instead of this topic, please do move/forward it there:

Most articles concerning professional wrestlers blatantly mix biographical (ie. what actually happened) and fictional (ie. what was scripted to happen on television and shows) information. Mixing fact and fiction like this, without explicitly making a difference between the two is simply wrong. Otherwise we can start making tales about how Arnold Schwarzenegger fought against invading aliens as a soldier of fortune, before running for governor. This problem concerns a ~100 articles, all written in the same way, which I find distressing (I feel this is not, how an encyclopedia should function concerning celebrities). Mixing these two is misleading at best and works to strengthen the illusion, that what happens on wrestling shows is not scripted, but "real".

In this example the first paragraph is biographical information, explaining how the wrestler got in the business, where he trained etc. The second paragraph explains how he attacked other wrestlers and had heated relationships with them during the start of his career. The second paragraph is make-belief without any transition between the original, biographical paragraph.

I suggest a) to update all pro wrestling related articles with cleanup-tags and b) possibly create a new policy or guideline explaining why and how they should be cleaned up (this might be unnecessary, I think basics for bioraphical information should be clear enough for everyone). Due to the massive amount of articles requiring maintenance, this might be best to carry out using a bot. I'm not an expert on the matter and couldn't really be bothered to work extensively on it (I think the people who originally wrote the articles, or who are motivated to write on them some more, are prime material for this), but I feel it's important to bring the pro wrestling related articles also to a standard, that is currently accepted as adequate in Wikipedia. aeris 07:38, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

You know something, that's a problem that extends throughout Wikipedia: if a group of articles are not being looked at by a dedicated group (however small) of editors, they fall apart. Virtually everything related to horror films is the same way (but I'm working on it, trust me). As for this particular problem, I think gathering groups of editors together to bring the articles up to a higher standard is needed. I might suggest that a WikiProject would be helpful (although there might already be one). Basically, though, you just have to do it. As they say: Be Bold! --Sean|Black 08:08, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
Very excellent ideas indeed, something like an article series with proposed changes might well do the trick. However, where exactly to propose this, as I am not enthusiastic enough about pro wrestling to be all that bold about that exact topic :p Should I just start advertising someone should do this on various articles' talk pages, or simply here, and hope someone will catch on to it? aeris 08:37, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
Yes, those are excellent ideas. Also, look into the history of the wrestling articles, find out who made some good edits, and ask them. You'd be surprised at how quickly these things come together. Granted, my horror films project has not attracted much attention (hint, hint), but your's would catch on pretty quickly, I imagine.--Sean|Black 08:53, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

A problem with "pro" wrestling, horror movies, etc., is that many of the people with an interest in those items have an inability to tell reality from fiction. Those which can distinguish between the two don't find those forms of "entertainment" very interesting. You might have to settle for calling the fictional part "The story", or something like that, so they can continue to think of it as reality, which seems to be an important part of their "belief system". An extreme example of this would be religion, where some true believers will insist that everything they read in the various holy books is absolute literal fact, even when the books contradict each other and themselves. The best you could fit in for a disclaimer there would be "According to X...". The true believers can't object to that, yet, for the rest of us, that means this is not an established fact, just what somebody once wrote. StuRat 13:41, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

Please don't say that many fans of wrestling and horror movies have an "Inability to tell reality from fiction". That's very rude, and it's simply not true. The problem is with the prose. The way wrestling fans write is different from the most of of us, in that it attempts to summarize the fictional and factional careers of wrestlers, and if what Aerisama says is true, then the're not entirely successful. The horror movies things is entirely seperate, because those articles poorly organized, with awkward and unencylopediac writing. The situations are otherwise unrelated.--Sean|Black 01:10, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

Autonomous Subdivisions[edit]

We've reached the 800,000 article mark, and perhaps it's time to think about breaking the encyclopedia up into several independently-operating subdivisions, based on subject area. Each of these subdivisions could create its own policies for deletion, criteria for verifiability, place limits on acceptable behavior, etc. I'll explain more of my idea later; I just want to get it out in the open for now. Kurt Weber 15:01, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

OK, my vision for how it will work is this:

  • Each subdivision decides on its own procedure for selecting admins, who would be prohibited from exercising their powers outside their jurisdiction of that subdivision (an individual can, of course, be selected as an admin on more than one subdivision--although perhaps some subdivisions will require that an individual NOT be an admin on another subdivision as one of its criteria for adminship). Although it would take some code rewrites if you wanted to enforce this within the software, this would not be necessary--sanctions (including blocking and deadminship) could be given by Wikipedia at large (more on this later) for admins who exercise their powers outside of their jurisdiction. This is the same way that, for instance, arbcom decisions banning a user from editing on one particular category of articles are enforced.
  • Each subdivision would create its own policies for appropriate user conduct within its area of concern
  • Each subdivision would create its own standards for deletion/inclusion, verifiability, appropriate content, etc.
  • Each subdivision would have an "embassy" at each of the other subdivisions for coordinating administrative work (and possibly content work as well--although WikiProjects already do an excellent job of handling this) on articles that fall in more than one subdivision--for example, if an article falls in two subdivisions and one of the SDs has a policy that directly contradicts a policy of the other SD, the embassy would be responsible for working out a compromise that would apply to that article.
  • Each subdivision would establish its own procedures for creating sub-subdivisions, which might eventually be spun off into toplevel subdivisions themselves

The main Wikipedia community at-large would, then, be responsible for the following

  • Approving new subdivision requests, including bumping up second-level subdivisions (the above-mentioned sub-subdivisions) to top-level ones.
  • Handling disputes between subdivisions that they are unable to resolve themselves
  • Creating basic standards and ground rules for all subdivisions (for example, "no subdivision may adopt a policy that results in the effective nullification of anon edits")
  • Handle users who are causing problems across subdivisions

There are at least a couple reasons why this is a good idea; there may be more that I have not yet thought of:

  • It will encourage more people to contribute. Certain subject areas tend to attract certain types of people. For example, articles about technology may attract contributors who have no problem with phrases such as "Right now, this article reads like it was written by someone trying to shit and fuck at the same time" on talk pages. However, articles about soap operas, for instance, would perhaps be more likely to attract soccer moms and old ladies, who might have excellent information to contribute on their areas of expertise but are put off by foul language and abrasive or no-bullshit attitudes of other contributors. Allowing each subject area to set its own standards for user behavior and interaction, then, will enable them to tailor the community to one that is less likely to drive off potential contributors.

N.B. that I am by no means suggesting that the content of the articles themselves should be censored--in fact, I think this is one of the ground rules that Wikipedia at-large should set for the subdivisions--but simply that each subject area could set standards of discourse for talk pages, policy discussions, etc. that are appropriate for the types of contributors the particular subject area is likely to attract.

  • We already have, in certain instances, sets of criteria that apply specifically to one particular subject area; consider the notability guidelines for music or school, for instance. This is simply a logical extension of that.

Kurt Weber 17:44, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

It has less that 200,000 articles to go before an exciting day, but why do it so soon?? Why not wait until the exciting day comes?? Georgia guy 15:24, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

Wikiprojects and discussion boards already do subdivide the community to a certain extent. The Wikipedia:Canadian wikipedians' notice board, for instance, has its own Mini pump, Deletion listing, and Requested articles. Canadians represent about 10% of the Wikipedia population, and these pages are already as busy as the main Wikipedia ones were when I first arrived a few years ago. - SimonP 20:26, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
Subdivisions for the purpose of article editing, yes. I'm talking about administrative subdivisions, and ones with a good deal of autonomy to boot. Kurt Weber 20:37, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
I would oppose this. I think it would increase the amount of time and effor spent on adminsitrative functions, adn decrese the unity and conssitancy of the project, and reduce the number of eyes on important decisions, to little gain. DES (talk) 16:15, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
what an utterly horrendous idea! Why would we want Wikighettos? Please also note that Kurt Weber is perhaps the very epitome of a radical inclusionist, who has stated that the very fact that an idea has had an article created about it in Wikipedia, even if it's nonsense, justifies the keeping of it as proof that the idea exists. To me, this is just his attempt to end-run valid AfD discussions by chopping them into smaller and smaller compartments. User:Zoe|(talk) 04:05, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Whee! great idea! Five subdivisions = five times the bureaucracy, quintuplification of the necessary administration rigmarole, and - considering that there are unlikely to be easily administered hard and fast boundaries between them, five times the opportunity for duplication of articles and material, and five times the opportunity for confusion! Plus of course five times the difficulty of use for readers. Can you tell yet that I'm against this? Grutness...wha? 07:03, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
What a horrific idea! Why on earth would you create these synthetic topic divisions (which would be awkward, to say the least) and then need different deletion rules governing each one? --Oldak Quill 16:47, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
Consider this: There are already various discussions (and in some cases, actual policies) concerning specific subject areas, such as music/bands, companies, schools, etc. This is simply an extension of that. Also, by grouping policy discussions, deletion votes, etc. by subject area, it makes it much easier for someone interested in that subject area to keep up with developments concerning those types of articles by not making him wade through all the other discussions that, though important in their own areas of concern, have no relevance to that particular subject area. Kurt Weber 13:43, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
  • I say it's an untenable idea. If I'm working on, say, a technology article, I may have wikilinks to political articles, culture articles, hobby articles, you name it. While I work, I often find that the articles I'm referencing need touch-ups or even significant revision. If it's within my area of knowledge, I don't hesitate to do so, if needed. By breaking Wikipedia up into separate volumes, it would hamper the work. Unless there's a compelling reason to do so, i.e., the database engine can't handle the size anymore, I think it's just asking for trouble. Don't go looking for trouble, 'cause you'll usually find it. --QuicksilverT @ 05:48, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
I'm not talking about "separate volumes" or indeed any sort of technical breakup at all. I'm talking about a purely administrative breakup. Kurt Weber 13:37, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
Precisely. What would happen to Hitler in popular culture? Is that a political article, a history article, or a pop culture article? It'll never work, for numerous reasons.--Sean|Black 06:04, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
It would go in all of the subdivisions. Please read the entire proposal before commenting. Kurt Weber 13:37, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Folks, I understand that you don't like the idea, and I don't either, but can we please be more civil? Kurt Weber brought a perfectly valid idea here to the Pump and gets sarcasm, insults, "that's rotten," etc. Please, he hasn't done anything more than ask for input and discussion, and that's what he should get. Kurt, although I don't like the idea, I for one thank you for bringing it up and inciting conversation. I agree with Grutness that this would cause much too much bureaucracy, etc. I also agree in a different way with Zoe: that these sorts of subdivisions would create boundaries that would operate too independently, and would start having different standards and criteria based on the kinds of editors that joined the groups (e.g. the inclusionists all go over here, and the deletionists all go over there). I concur fully with DES. Blackcap (talk) 06:07, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
Well, "different standards and criteria" is the whole point. Different subjects NEED different standards--both for the articles themselves, because of the varying natures of the subjects, and for the community behind the articles, because of the types of people that different articles are likely to attract. For instance, articles on knitting and embroidery are likely to attract a different type of contributor (old ladies and soccer moms, for instance) than articles on muscle cars. Thus, different guidelines for community behavior on talk pages (such as use of particular words considered "obscene") might be appropriate to avoid driving away potential contributors who have a wealth of information to share. I'm not talking about censoring the content of the articles themselves, of course--I'm talking about standards for the behind-the-scenes operation. Kurt Weber 13:37, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Agreed that we should be more civil. I also like the proposal. Note that admin functions would not increase proportionaly to the number of divisions, but would stay proportional to the total number and length of articles, with perhaps a small overhead in dealing with "cross-division" issues. I have already stated a need for a certain type of division, between articles written for a general audience and those written for, and by, PhDs. StuRat 14:38, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Sorry, I admit my wording was harsh and out of order. I've rectified it. --QuicksilverT @ 00:15, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
  • I disagree. We already have Simple English for those who want simple text. If you look up E=mc², you should expect some math (and it should be there, too, or we'd be a crummy encyclopedia). The problem with technical articles lies in the article not being clear enough and needing work, not in a need for a division between complex/simple. Blackcap (talk) 19:12, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Simple: isn't for articles with simplified concepts; it's for articles with simplified language. —Cryptic (talk) 22:42, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
  • While that's true, an article on en. should be able to be understood by people of average and above intelligence (as, I beileve, they are), whereas an article on Simple: should be understandable to everyone, so Blackcap's point stands.--Sean|Black 22:53, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
  • We have many articles in Wikipedia which are not understandable by people of average intelligence, precisely because the PhDs who control those articles don't want any simplified language included, but prefer "rigorous language" only. This approach, I believe, is incompatible with the main Wikipedia goal to make articles accessible to everyone. Thus, a subdivision for highly technical articles is needed, with different rules. StuRat 23:59, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Perhaps, but a "subdivision"is highly undesirable. Just slap {{technical}} on it.--Sean|Black 00:07, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
  • I agree with what Sean is saying. That's a problem with those individual articles, not the people who read them. If Ph.D.s are POV-pushing, then deal with that, rather than splitting the entire WP and ignoring the problem. Our articles on mathematics could surely use work, but nothing's forcing people to read them. To create an artificial division within the 'pedia wouldn't make those articles more readable, it'd just remove them. If you want those articles simplified, take it to Simple: or work on it here. The division will not help that problem. Blackcap (talk) 00:24, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Ahh! Too Many Colons![edit]

I think it's a well meaning plan, but horribly over the top in most places except for the verifiability/notability area. That makes sense, perhaps individual wikiprojects could be in charge of them. Adding more WP:WEBs, WP:MUSICs and WP:BIOs would be fantastic. "Dividing" Wikipedia would not. The only upside there is using diplomatic immunity in regards to any potential Wiki-Parking Tickets. ;-)


Rekindling a translation barnstar Proposal[edit]

Discussion on Babel Barnstar for Translation at WP:BAP has been at a standstill for almost two months. If nothing is done within a week, it'll be archived. Please join the discussion and let your voice be heard. - Mgm|(talk) 08:27, 29 November 2005 (UTC)


Serbia and Montegro articles[edit]

As most of us in Europe, and many outside, are aware, 2006 will see Serbia and Montenegro vote on whether to continue their union or become seperate states. Most political commentators predict seperation will be the result. Wikipedia has several very good articles along the lines of Economy of..., Politics of..., Geography of... etc. for Serbia & Montenegro, as it does for most countries of the world. HOWEVER, the seperate articles for purely Serbia OR Montenegro are basic and lacking in detail, if they exist at all. Compare for example Economy of Serbia and Montenegro with Economy of Serbia and Economy of Montenegro. My worry is that if the referendums of 2006 produce two seperate states then Wikipedia will be caught completely off-guard. I have attempted to create many such articles, and whilst some such as Economy of... articles are more difficult whilst the two remain in union, articles covering Geography, History etc. are prefectly possible. I'd be interested in gaining support for some form of collaboration or drive to get these articles written to a high level. A list of articles I'm going to attempt work on can be found here. Anyone interested? Grunners 18:09, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Please don't do that, wait for results and than you can merge that articles and categories, S&M is one country not TWO. And where are you heard that "Most political commentators predict seperation will be the result." This is not true, but everyting is possible. I say again wait for decision, and than change whatever you think that is need to be changed. --Sasa Stefanovic 18:42, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
That's my point though, I want to avoid Wikipedia having sub-standard articles at the time if seperation occurs. I realise this is a touchy subject for people living there, which is why I asked Serbian and Montenegrin Wikipedians for their input. However, I'd suggest the idea is supported, perhaps more strongly by Montenegro, where the major political parties back independence. If they end up remaining united, no matter. There are good seperate articles on England, Scotland and Wales, none of which are independent states. Their articles do however provide a more focussed version of the UK articles. Therefore, by creating these articles, we end up either A)being prepared for the seperation, or B)have good regional articles complementing the main S&M versions Grunners 18:51, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
Well, I for one don't want to avoid Wikipedia having sub-standard articles at the time if seperation occurs.
On the other hand, there are articles which logically may be separate even now (and might have been separate even before). For example, politics of Serbia/of Montenegro, which would discuss internal politics. But there are articles which shouldn't be separate or couldn't even if we would want to, for example Military. Nikola 22:08, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

What is the main problem here? It is not the quality of "Serbia" and "Montenegro" articles. The main problem is what we will do with "Serbia and Montenegro" articles if this state cease to exist. If "Serbia" and "Montenegro" become separate states, we can easy change separate "Serbia" and "Montenegro" articles into the articles of independent countries, and we can easily improve their quality at any time. But, what we will do with the existing "Serbia and Montenegro" articles? I do not think that we should just to delete them or separate them into "Serbia" and "Montenegro" articles. We should retain some articles such are "Politics of Serbia and Montenegro", "History of Serbia and Montenegro", etc. Since "Serbia and Montenegro" in this case will become a "former state", these articles would have historical character, similar to this of Yugoslavia. PANONIAN (talk) 23:39, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Of course, historical articles are just as important, as you metion the articles on Yugoslavia for instance. Grunners 02:03, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

I don't see a real problem either. Most articles are already separated, in the sense that they're categorized to one republic or the other; only a few are shared and it wouldn't be a big deal to split them if there were a need for it. What is a real problem is the overall quality of these articles; however, that's up to us SCG wikipedians. Duja 08:03, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

Exactly, that's the main issue, the seperate articles are of a low standard, which was seen previously with the seperate England, Scottish etc. articles. These have now improved however, and I'm confident S&M ones can too. Grunners 13:35, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for publication[edit]

The answer to Wikipedia's problem: Wikipedia:Requests for publication -- Zondor 13:58, 26 November 2005 (UTC)

Erm, which problem was that again? Trollderella 02:32, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

features for deleting and restoring pages[edit]

I don't know if this will require a change in the MediaWiki software, but I am proposing two features that should make deleting and restoring pages easier:

  • A "select all" button on Special:Undelete: If an administrator deletes a page with a long history just to remove a few revisions, restoring the other revisions can be a pain. This feature should solve the problem.
  • The ability to delete certain revisions without deleting the entire history first: If an administrator wants to delete only certain revisions of a page (perhaps to remove offensive vandalism, for instance), he or she has to delete the entire page history, and then restore the other versions. This can be easily done on pages with few revisions, but can be very difficult to do on pages with many revisions.

All in all, only one of these features is really necessary, but it would still be nice if both of them were implemented. --Ixfd64 02:14, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

Neither are necessary, only one creates problems with the GFDL. Trollderella 02:28, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
Both might be nice, actually, especially the first one. I don't know how you reached your conclusion.--Sean|Black 02:42, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

I'm a step ahead of you: User:Cryptic/toggleundelete.js adds an "Invert" button to the undeletion page. When clicked, it checks all unchecked boxes for individual deleted revisions, and unchecks all checked ones. —Cryptic (talk) 06:29, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

Ooh, that's nifty.--Sean|Black 07:10, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
  • If you want feature requests noticed by the developers, please put them up on Bugzilla. Radiant_>|< 18:15, 29 November 2005 (UTC)


Semi-Protection[edit]

I had to deal with vandalism from someone jumping between IPs a few nights ago. Bans weren't working, because as soon as you banned one IP he came in as another and attacked the same pages again. An idea struck me. It may be impossible to implement, but if it was possible it might offer a solution to IP attacks. Admins would have the option of imposing a time-limited special block on a page which meant that only account holders with usernics could edit it. IPs couldn't. A block could be automatically set for an hour, or if not specified a default of say 4 hours. While anonymous IPs could set up usernics to get around them, I suspect many wouldn't, because they would be afraid that a usernic would be less easily hidden than an anonymous IP. The thought of having to create an account I suspect frighten most IP vandals away. Most would simply give up. If it was possible it would also be a solution to the damned AOL vandals using IPs. By having short blocks it wouldn't cause to much disruption to real IP users. Most pages only get the odd edits at spaced intervals. Often a vandal IP is the only IP at that time going anywhere near that article. One some nights it might mean that no more than 3 or 4 hour pages out of 800,000+ would have these short blocks, so the only people being disrupted in any major way would be the vandals, not the entire community. It certainly would cause much less disruption than protecting a page from everyone's edits.

Is such a solution possible? FearÉIREANN 02:51, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

One thing I would suggest if you find yourself in this position is to take a break. Vandals are very persistant on the minute-to-minute level, but you will outlast them. An article may remain vandalized for a few hours, but if you come back in the morning, you will almost always find the vandal gone. Yes, it is not optimal, the article was in a vandalized state for a while, but you will conserve energy that can be better spent on other parts of the wiki. POV-pushing vandals seem, surprisingly, to be quite similar -- they get bored and find something else to do, like advising the president. Sdedeo 03:03, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps, but wouldn't protection of a good version solve that problem without leaving a vandalized article in place?--Sean|Black 03:12, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
Sure, they may be a technical solution. But often times, technical solutions create additional problems that aren't forseen ahead of time. In the end, vandals are going to hurt us, and they are going to find ways to get around any bans we create -- in the meantime, bans will hurt other users. It's important to remember that anon IPs are just as entitled to things as usernames. People should avoid thinking and talking in ways that suggest a two tier system when it comes to editing articles. I myself was an anon for about a year, and made IMO important contributions. There's a balance, and I think WP is smart in leaning on the conservative side.
Meanwhile, ignoring vandals is a powerful tool. They thrive not on vandalism, but on your responses. That's why they vandalize wikipedia. Cutting off their oxygen for a few hours can do wonders, but making a software block will only give them a challenge to overcome. Sdedeo 03:18, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

(I should add I'm not dismissing your idea, just suggesting an alternate fix, and also suggesting that non-technical fixes are often the best solution to social problems.) Sdedeo 03:26, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Two points. One of the sets of vandalism I dealt with was of an IP user targeting a talk page to make such claims as that the owner of the page is a paedophile. Luckily the idiot was stopped by I think 10 blocks in the end imposed by 6 admins (he was so quick while one person was doing the block he'd be reappearing as a new IP to add in child-rapist etc on the user's pages). The user whose page it was being targeted generally doesn't like having his page protected, and it turned out that he was appearing on edit summaries of all Wikipedians worldwide with suggestions of a quite revolting nature. But others, oblivious to it all, were leaving messages on the guy's talk page, and couldn't understand where they were going to and why they were being reverted sometimes in the crossfire. That sort of defamation against a user could damage them — people unfortunately often think "no smoke without fire" etc so leaving the vandalism there was not an option.

Secondly, as Wikipedia gets bigger, a lot of vandalism is no longer being picked up, because there are so many articles that many get edited by IPs but not checked. Then 24 hours later a decent editor may add in a something totally kosher, then another and the vandalism may simply get overlooked until someone reads the article and screams "where the hell did that come from?" For example, I found one article that had claimed in a line for weeks that Diana Princess of Wales saw her husband the Prince of Wales shiftshape into an eight foot tall lizard. No-one spotted that buried in an article. That is just one of many. Unfortunately a lot aren't thriving on vandalism, but thriving on the knowledge that they have sneaked in changes that completely screw up an article. For many the best is if they can completely f-up an article and then get it spotted weeks later. It is a kinda treble whammy. 'Look I've fucked over your encyclopædia. And you are too dumb to notice. And when you finally found out you knew just how good I am at it.' Dealing with vandalism can be complicated. FearÉIREANN 04:32, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Do you have a diff for the shape-shifting lizard thing, by the way? Be amusing to have a copy for the files...
Even on heavily trafficed pages, with plenty of eyeballs, vandalism can go unnoticed - or noticed, but just lost in the process of fixing it. George H. W. Bush lost an entire biographical section - about twenty-five years of his life - at one point, presumably through vandalism... Shimgray | talk | 10:34, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Semiprotection...

...Should be done without a vote. Votes are evil. Semi-protects should be determined by admins just like regular protection on pages. Different levels should exist (as proposed), instead of the un-wiki idea of complete protection, a limit on how much newbies can edit will increase stability on pages such as George W. Bush.
...Should not be seen as promoting some sort of elitism, in fact its the opposite. Pages that otherwise would be protected (admin only edits), would with this stay editable even though with limitations.
...Should be implemented right away. Wikipedia cannot be a reliable source if information on certain articles such as on George W. Bush are not stable. Even though George W. Bush is perhaps the most closely watched page (for vandalism). Very rarely does such pages recieve any edit aside from vandalism and counter vandalism edits. Protecting the page is un-wiki, un-protecting it is also un-wiki.

This has been proposed many times and did not recive a notable opposition, I do not see why this hasnt been implemented yet.

--Cool CatTalk|@ 09:41, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Babel without adding argument number[edit]

I backported Babel as it is implemented on Fy:; see Wikipedia Talk:Babel. This version does not require the number of arguments as part of the template name. Aliter 01:17, 1 December 2005 (UTC)


Google it![edit]

I found this item while looking around on Google. I think it might be useful re: copyvio stuff. Here is an excerpt:

What's the "Usage Rights" advanced search feature?

Our "Usage Rights" feature helps you find published content -- including music, photos, movies, books, and educational materials -- that you can share or modify above and beyond fair use.

Sct72 02:30, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

WP:FAR: Project for Featured article review[edit]

I'd like to announce the opening of Featured article review, a project to identify featured articles in need of attention and provide input on the further improvement of featured articles. Please consider contributing in this important area of quality control. Tuf-Kat 04:19, 2 December 2005 (UTC)


Special:shortpages for non-main namespace[edit]

Special:shortpages should be modified so that it can display pages in the non-article namespaces. This could help administrators with Wikipedia clean-up. --Ixfd64 03:14, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

It would also be useful if it didn't show redirects and the like! Is there any way of making it show articles that really are articles? And - as Ixfd64 suggests, also ramping it for other namespaces á là user contribs? Grutness...wha? 00:22, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Privacy protecting authentication via nym[edit]

I've moved discussion of this proposal to User talk:Lunkwill/nym, since this page is too crowded. User:Lunkwill/nym also now has a voting section where you can register your support (or un-support) for this proposal. Lunkwill 00:43, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Nested Criticisms and NPOV[edit]

There is an ongoing discussion at NPOV regarding the subject of nested criticisms in an article, or quoting "critics of critics of critics" etc. when an original criticism of the article's subject is added. Please see [3]. Rangerdude 00:55, 4 December 2005 (UTC)


Long lists should be placed into a scrolling area[edit]

I don't think I like it myself, but I just thought I'd mention the possible use of {{scrollbox}} for long lists...

The Beatles UK singles

200px

Perhaps it doesn't look too bad, but then multiple scrollbars are usually a bad thing, especially for accessibility and printing. violet/riga (t) 11:43, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

disadvantage: not printable? -- Zondor 03:42, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

It looks rather horrid here. Mozilla has a problem with scrollable areas within pages: when you scroll the entire page, the scrollable area doesn't redraw properly, leaving bits and pieces of scrollbar and contents all over the page. --Carnildo 18:20, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Yes, it certainly does not print properly (i.e. in full) in IE. Even if this could be fixed I don't like this style at all. A link to a separate list page would be better if the list gets too long. Matt 00:17, 1 December 2005 (UTC).
  • I think the printing issue could be solved with a separate style sheet for printing. However, it's ugly on the screen (and not useful; most users can scroll quickly through the list anyway), so I'm not in favor of this. Jrockway 13:55, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Wikiclassifieds[edit]

I have set up a new site: Wikiclassifieds. Please transwiki all spam there. -- Zondor 09:11, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

That's an interesting idea, but it seems a bit odd to allow people to edit each other's classified ads. How does that benefit the listings? Deco 09:35, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Firstly, this is a free service. Just like Wikipedia, you get what you paid for; you have to maintain it; {{sofixit}}. Maybe you can do a Requests for page protection. You can also check the history to find the original version of the advertisement. Assume good faith for it to be sustainable because Wikiclassifieds is a useful purpose for both buyers and sellers. Buyers appreciate a good guide with reviews to help them make wise purchasing decisions. Sellers would like to advertise. Both opposing POV forces would hopefully make it NPOV. -- Zondor 12:44, 6 December 2005 (UTC)


We can't expect ppl to cite sources until it is made easier[edit]

External link citing is easy but periodical articles and websites often rot away. And to be at a superb standard, we need to encourage print sources. For a person to start neatly citing such sources, he or she must deal with the preliminaries of a 20-30 minute learning curve. First, the editor must search--probably using Google since we don't have an adaquete internal search--for our manual on citations. Once found, the editor will have to find examples to follow. And there is the task of learning the wikicodes for creating footnotes. It's hard to fnd and there's lots to read before locating the useful info. It took me 20+ minutes to figure it out. With a high entry barrier to practicing, citing will not be popular except among tireless devotees. As we become awakened to verifiability by a new opponent this week, we will probably want to demand more footnoting. It has to be made easier. The software must move away from an interface relying on inpute code (as elementry as the code seems, anything not image based is dismissively geeky for our general visitorship). There should be a top button that inserts footnotes through a popup form.

Another complainer who can't contribute code,

Lotsofissues 16:12, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

agreed agreed agreed — Omegatron 16:51, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
I agree. It's unfortunate that footnotes and citations have only developed as an afterthought; a mechanism for adding them should have had first class status from the beginning. ᓛᖁ♀ 17:27, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
The WikiCite WikiProject seems intended to address this problem. ᓛᖁ♀ 17:55, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
I agree that this should be easier, but if someone wants to jump right in and add citations with any old ad hoc mechanism, even just numbered blocks with no links ([1],[2],[3]), a more seasoned Wikipedian can fix it later. Deco 02:33, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Wiki-Lite?[edit]

Since Wiki is getting so large and cumbersome, there should be a way of accessing it for people who only want to use it (with-out all the stuff for modifying, etc.). This would load much faster. I'm thinking of some-thing like what www.a9.com gives me when I tick the Wiki box there, but a little more flexible and Wiki's own. There could be a button to click for people who wanted to switch to the full version. Kdammers 07:09, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

I believe that pages do load slightly faster for users who are not logged in. You would probably also get faster performance if you were to disable images in your browser. Providing edit tabs doesn't slow up the system at all.-gadfium 08:28, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
Switching to the classic skin might help a little (although of course that means staying logged in). You could also use a mirror site such as http://www.answers.com/ if you don't want to do any editing. the wub "?!" 11:38, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Gollum, the "Wikipedia browser", is exactly what you're looking for. It basically gives you Wikipedia without the wiki.--Pharos 11:49, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

New article pages and unregistered users[edit]

Im not sure if this should have been split into 2 proposals, but I'm sure someone will tell me if it should.

First, I have found it a little strange that when clicking on a red link, all users are immediately presented with the (somewhat dangerous) opportunity to create a live page. Only when the live page is created is the associated talk page created. Now I know this gives WP immediacy, but in the case where an editor has not quite got all his ideas together, there is the high probability that a substandard page will result in the first instance and probably be a candidate for speedy deletion and possible derision by readers.

1.The first part of my proposal is that when a red link is clicked, the first page to be created is the talk page relating to the subject. The article page should be created later (via a box on the talk page). This would give editors the opportunity to discuss a page and get it reasonably correct before exposing their work to the world. This could save a lot of future time-wasting edit wars if there is a general consensus before creating the live page. Editors only seem to get really fervent/worked up about stuff on live pages (rather than talk pages!)

2.The second part of my proposal is related to vandalism and general quality of articles. I propose that unregistered users can create 'talk' pages on new subjects (No harm in that) but they should not be allowed to create or edit live pages. Live page creation should only be done by registered users from a pre-existing talk page. I feel this would tremendously reduce the vandalism problem.

In short I feel these proposals if implemented, will save admins and other users a great deal of toil, tears and trouble in the future hopefully without putting off new users too much. We would need to say that another benefit of registering is that they can edit live pages instead of just the talk pages!!--Light current 02:52, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

For the second part of your proposal, see Wikipedia:Village_pump_(perennial_proposals)#Abolish_anonymous_users. For the first part, once a user clicks on a redlink, and then types something on the talk page, does the redlink turn blue? If so, then the new talk page is effectively an article. If not, then it isn't quite an article, but clicking on the redlink will still presumably take you to it and we'll want it to meet our usual standards.-gadfium 04:50, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

When the red link is clicked having had something written on the talk page, the red link will stay red indicatiing there is no proper article on the subject yet, but the clicker will be directed to the talk page. THe fact that its a talk page will be obvious by the heading and I dont think this is likely to lead anyone to believe that its a real article page. We do not currently impose the same standards on the talk pages (nowhere near) as we do on the article pages. --Light current 07:01, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

No, that isn't how a wiki works. The ability to create a page by simply clicking a redlink is part of the concept that made Wikipedia successful. 2) Vandalism will find ways around any new technical measures set up. Systematic vandalism, that is. Random tests and things like that aren't a great problem, and are probably responsible for introducing a great portion of our editors to Wikipedia for the first time. — David Remahl 06:04, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

New (unregistered) users will still have the ability to influence the content of the future page (as will registered users) by writing to their hearts content on the talk page. Vandalism here would not be half so troublesome (theres no fun in vandalising low profile pages is there?) You can look at it as a 'pause for thought' before rushing headlong into creating a page that could cause a lot of argument amongst editors if theres no consensus!--Light current 07:01, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

But without the immediacy, a lot of red links would have never become articles at all! I think your intentions are good, but you're throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Most of our unregistered users are making good, viable, helpful edits. Better tools for catching vandalism are needed; trying to 'stop' it just forces them to be more creative, and hence harder to spot. nae'blis (talk) 18:08, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Well what about the idea of creating the talk page first for those of us who do want to plan and discuss things before going 'into print' so to speak. --Light current 03:27, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

You can already do this, if you want to; you just have to go there manually. For new pages I think it's usually best to go straight to the article page, since you already get asked if you would like to put up a request when you try to go to a page that doesn't yet exist, most people who want to create an article will want to go straight to live. And it does get attention faster that way... Mindspillage (spill yours?) 21:03, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm not a big fan of this propoal myself, it seems very cold and unfriendly to newcomers, I think if you look in the News Section a lot of people agree with me. Deathawk 04:48, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Editing Notes[edit]

Could one of the MediaWiki: messages on the editing page (such as the one about copyright that now appears below the edit box) be adapted to include a subpage (using {{

/notes}}). This page could then contain notes about the english variant used or standards used within the page (such as the use of Derry/County Londonderry names). josh 23:25, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Uh, what? User:Zoe|(talk) 00:41, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
    • I think he's requesting the ability to have customized edit-page text on a per-article basis. A comment in the page source would be a more typical way to accomplish the goal. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 03:46, 5 December 2005 (UTC)


Propose a function[edit]

I suggest a later version of Wikipedia gets a new function, which is like this:

An article will expire if one full year is spent without any edits except edit pairs in which the latter is a rollback.

(Please note that this is restricted to articles. Re-directs and talk pages should still be allowed to be edited as rarely as one likes.)

Why do I propose this??

This is because of the pages at Special:Ancientpages. How long ago are these page edits?? This can be taken as meaning that nobody really cares about editing them. Any suggestions?? Georgia guy 21:46, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Huh? Why would anyone want to expire perfectly good articles just because they haven't changed recently? And if you are talking about poor quality articles, then shouldn't they just be nominated for deletion in the usual way?
Agreed, Its a stupid idea--Light current 23:22, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Good quality articles should be edited on a regular basis. If an article has spent such a long time with no edits, this can mean that hardly anyone is aware of its existence. Georgia guy 23:24, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

It may be an obscure topic, but that doesn't mean that the article has not been read. It could be good enough that it doesn't need editing. I think this is a crazy proposal. FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 23:28, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

  • So all books more than a year old should be pulped because they haven't been updated, should they?
    • Depends on what kind of book. Textbooks for school are expected to change once every several years. Wikipedia articles, in contrast, are expected to change several times a year unless there is a real reason not to. Georgia guy 00:15, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Agree with others that this is not a very well-thought through proposal. The reason that school textbooks change every few years has more to do with the textbook publishers' need to make a profit than it does with actually making improvements to the textbooks. I wouldn't want any sort of autmated deletion function. olderwiser 00:29, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
These articles should not be "expired". I don't agree with arguments that an article may not be edited because it's believed to already be good (even the best articles should continue to be improved and updated), but there are many pages which require attention - why rush things? We don't have a time limit, and we'll get around to it eventually, especially as more people interested in that area join. If the topic is obscure enough that it's non-notable, it can go through AfD like everything else. Deco 00:49, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

This is ridiculous. For example, both User:BrianSmithson and I have written many articles on 19th-century theater. Plenty of these are likely never to be changed again, or at least not until someone else decides to take on the topic in an even more serious way. And they are, for the most part, excellent articles, if I say so myself. -- Jmabel | Talk 03:42, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

This proposal assumes that the process of making an encyclopaedia is more important than the product: a usable encyclopaedia. This is a flawed assumption, resulting in a flawed proposal. Filiocht | The kettle's on 09:57, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Make disclaimers more prominent in MonoBook[edit]

In the French Wikipedia, the navigation box contains a link to the General Disclaimer page (fr:Wikipédia:Avertissements généraux). I think it should be there in the English as well, rather than in an inconspicuous place below the content. To make it more prominent, its text could be bold, and its bullet replaced with a caution sign (scaled-down Image:Warning.png).

==References==</nowiki>

So it is policy to have a references section. Whether it is employed or not isn't the issue here, it's whether verifiability is important. We're supposed to do it, and if we aren't, we should start. This is supposed to be one of the three central planks of Wikipedia. Do you have a better, workable suggestion for making sure it remains one of the three central planks, or do you believe it should not be? Steve block talk 17:32, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Another way to approach this is to let the editing to continue to run rampant but direct verification efforts to Wikipedia:Stable versions. -- Zondor 06:48, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

I think that it's also important to realize that a huge number of articles are quite well referenced, even without a references section or footnotes. For instance the 30,000+ Rambot entries explicitly state that the information comes from the U.S. census, but this information is in the text of the article. Similarly the article on Thorin Oakenshield, like most of our pages on subjects from fiction, makes quite clear where the information can be verified. - SimonP 16:35, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Sigh. Whatever. I give up. There used to be a saying along the lines of justice should not only be practised, it should be seen to be practised. If we can't even agree that Wikipedia shouldn't just practise verifiability, but be seen to practise verifiability, I'm not entirely sure what the point is. Even though it's policy, it isn't, really, and even though it's one of the central planks of the project, you can't even get a consensus agreeing that something needs to be done. Show over folks, nothing to see here. Steve block talk 17:32, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
It does need to be done. I think the scale of the work needed is far larger than the capacity of the Wikipedia community or the software, however. ᓛᖁ♀ 17:50, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
Search statistics
Talk: pages
"references" 178153
"no references" 2013
"citations" 8642
"no citations" 302
Wikipedia: pages
"references" 218140
"no references" 2013
"citations" 10683
"no citations" 398
Verifiability priceless
Since the workload is to great for the Wikipedia community, I reckon it's the editors of the individual pages that have to see after the referencing. And I think we're clear about the point that we can hardly punish everyone for not referencing, i.e. we cannot delete all the non-referenced pages. I think the best thing to do would be to work with positive incentives for people who do reference their pages; this is why the idea of Wikipedia:standard articles could be useful: you could be allowed to call your article a standard article once you have referenced it (and fulfill a bunch of other conditions).--Robin.rueth 08:26, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Verifiability[edit]

I'm starting from the position that one of the central tenets of Wikipedia is that all our articles and contribs should be verifiable. From that position I want to ask, why is it that lack of sources is not a CSD. Even for images it is seven days listed as no source and then speedy, hardly a speedy delete given IFD discussions last just five days. Shouldn't we move this tenet to the centre of the deletion policy and make any images or new articles which do not contain sources speedy deletion candidates?

Yes, anyone is welcome to edit Wikipedia, but no, we do not want information that is unsourced. We could, and I'm being radical here as a converstaion starter, start a major sweep of the article space and simply delete all articles which have no sources. We could remake VFD simply Votes for verifiabilty, with consensus asked only on the positions of whether the information is sourced, verifiable, and that the sources are credible. That's where the argument should be, isn't that where we all believe the argumet is? Yes, it merely moves the argument, but isn't that the ground we should be fighting on? Not inclusionists and deletists, but differing opinions on verifiability and the credibility of sources. Once we hammer out consensus on sources in specific areas, won't these arguments simply move behind us? It's not about notability is it? Where is the heart of Wikipedia?

I'm making a stand on the idea that it is in providing verifiable information.

Is it time to be bold regarding what we have, need and want?

What do you reckon? Steve block talk 14:28, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

"In this English version, started in 2001, we are currently working on 4,554,410 articles."
I would expect that number to be no more than a tenth of what it is now if you speedied every unsourced article. - SoM 14:36, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
Aye. I said it was a radical suggestion. I'd move further and say 5% tops. That's the size of the problem we've got. How do we square the circle? Ignore it and wait for the first writ? Steve block talk 14:41, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
There's radical and there's this. Gutting WP will get us nowhere in every sense of the word.
Plus there's the verifiability of the sources themselves - if info's sourced from a website, that website may crash without a backup, move URLs without a redirect or simply be taken down. If it's sourced from a book, how do we know the book says what is claimed (probably not a problem for big sellers, obviously, but otherwise...). A TV programme may not be repeated, etc. And even when it can be verified that the source says what is claimed, the source may be skewing the info to fit a POV or even making it up. - SoM 16:04, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
I don't disagree. But that's the very question I'm asking. How important is verifiability? What sources do we rate? Websites can sometimes be found in an archive even when they're taken down, and TV programmes are probably going to become more accesible, but that isn't really the question here. The question is, should we start making verifiability a merit of inclusion, because at the moment it's the one policy that isn't a deletion criterion. Is that right? Regardless of the problem it creates, is that fact right or does it need addressing? Steve block talk 16:10, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
I haven't noticed mention of existing policy in Wikipedia:Verifiability. Tools supporting it are in Wikipedia:Footnotes and WP:CITET. (SEWilco 16:38, 2 December 2005 (UTC))
The quality of our sources is another important issue. My opinion is sort of that we should not cite sources for anything unless the sources have actually been physically published somewhere. Inline links to online material can be very helpful because websites are so easily accessed, but anyone can find anything on the internet. [4] ᓛᖁ♀ 16:23, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
As was mentioned above, a website's contents can vanish or be rearranged. Then one has a URL which gives an error message. Details about a URL should be provided, such as with {{Web reference}}. (SEWilco 16:42, 2 December 2005 (UTC))
I don't think this is workable. If the bar to editing had started out this high, Wikipedia would be as dead as Nupedia and most people would never have heard of it. Instead we have huge amounts of useful material that is probably mostly accurate.
Setting a minimum requirement for references now will not help much either. Even a reference for every paragraph seems infeasible, and we should probably have far more than that. Of course references should be added whenever possible, and hopefully there's some sort of WikiProject working on that already.
[the project is WikiProject:Fact and Reference Check.]
Don't Panic. Wikipedia's fairly well insulated from legal threats incurred by its flaws, and the project works remarkably well despite all the reasons to believe it should not. ᓛᖁ♀ 16:10, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
I have to agree with the comments above and say that the social chaos that caused by the deletion of such a large volume of articles would severely harm Wikipedia. A lesser option that might be workable would be to just start tagging any article without references with a {{Not verified}} label. Such an effort would be hard for people to disagree with (if there are no references provided then the article is by definition unverified) and might be annoying enough to cause a change leading to more people citing their sources. --Allen3 talk 16:32, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
Thing is though, it has the same problem as the original proposal on a weaker scale - if 95% of articles on WP are tagged {{unsourced}}, no-one's going to see it and it'll be ignored. - SoM 18:31, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
I disagree. That's a good start. The 95% of articles(assuming it is that high, which is doubtful if you count basic external links) will not all be tagged in one go, but little by little. People will notice their favorite articles have the tag and do something about it. I'm going to start using that tag more often. I hope others will to. Superm401 | Talk 23:15, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
I actually proposed (a more time-limited version of) this once, here. (I no longer support my proposal, mostly because it is in severe tension with Assume Good Faith). Still, check out the debate there. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 16:33, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
I have made a proposal regarding "Standard articles" (see above) which is related to this discussion. Along with a "negative tag" like {{Not verified}}, there could also be a positive "standard article" tag to all articles that are realiable (i.e. verified, NPOV etc) and fulfill certain minimum criteria for style and comprehensiveness. This would help users to see which pages they can rely on; negative tagging will always be incomplete. Furthermore, I suppose editors' vanity would make them want that tag for a page they have edited, as a sort of Wikipedia stamp of approval.--Robin 17:46, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
Ummm... isn't that the point of having Wikipedia:Featured articles? - SoM 18:31, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Okay, I take all that on board, but then why bother having Wikipedia:Verifiability as a policy? Don't tell me why what I propose is unworkable, I know that. Tell me why it isn't vital to the project, then. Tell me why I'm asked to make sure my edits are based upon verifiable sources. Tell me why our policy states:
    • The burden of evidence lies with the editor who has made the edit. Editors should therefore be specific, avoid weasel words, and provide references, linking to the source if it's online, and giving a brief citation in brackets after the sentence if it isn't.
  • Surely the above states that if it isn't sourced, we remove it? I think the tag is a good idea, but hard to work. Could a bot add it on any article that doesn't have footnotes, that would be a start wouldn't it? I'm not sure I agree that Wikipedia would be a dead duck had this position been taken at the start, but that's beside the point. The point is that we now have a situation where we have a huge reputation and readership and many articles just aren't up to scratch. Some are potentially libellous. And whether we're legally safe or not is beside the point too, because if we hide behind the law to escape the moral obligation that Wikipedia:Verifiability and a sense of decency and fair play places upon us, then isn't that a betrayal of our purpose and our obligation as an encyclopedia?
  • As to the standard article tag, great idea, where do I sign up? Steve block talk 17:59, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Featured articles - SoM 18:33, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
No, Featured articles are articles that are kind of perfect in every respect, whereas standard articles would be those that meet certain minimum standards.--Robin 21:47, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
You can sign up on the Standard articles proposal page.--Robin.rueth 22:43, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
The idea for a bot adding it on any article that doesn't have footnotes is weak; the vast majority of sources on Wikipedia aren't footnotes, and we don't have any policy suggesting they should be. Christopher Parham (talk) 21:20, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
We should also all remember that proper referencing begins at home. This is certainly not directed at Steve block, who seems to be doing a great job, with only a handful of unreferenced articles on his brag list. (He has certainly been more rigorous then I have) But for some others it seems like a good first step would be to go through and reference one's creations before embracing radical solutions. If everyone who cares deeply about verifiability, which is most of us, would go through and references their own creations we would have made significant progress. - SimonP 02:22, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Strangely, 2005 in the United Kingdom is probably the most referenmced and yet I didn't cite them. I'd forgotten all about that page, blimey. It's built from all the curent event pages archived off British and Irish current events, and I stripped all the sources because that was the way the page had been formatted when I cam to it. I'll have to work at adding them all back in. Tiger (comic) and Paul Gravett I shall add references to anon. Thanks for the prod. Steve block talk 05:44, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

So if a bot adding a non verified tag to any article without footnotes is weak, howabout if they are added to articles without a reference section, which is mentioned in the MoS and thus is policy, yes? This isn't directed at anyone in particular, but rather than just shooting down all these ideas could we use this as a springboard to answer the serious question:

  • Why isn't the lack of verifiability a speedy deletion criterion? In other words, how much do we value verfiability?, How important is it to Wikipedia? How important is it to you? Steve block talk 05:44, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Again, regardless of what's mentioned in the MoS a reference section clearly isn't policy, in the sense that it is very rarely employed. Most of Wikipedia's verifying sources(at least in my experience) appear either as inline external links or under the "external links" heading. In many cases, these probably weren't actually used as sources but nevertheless contain much verifying information. Christopher Parham (talk) 14:17, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
So how about Wikipedia:Verifiability, which is policy and which explicitly states:
whether the source is online or not, add a full citation in the References section at the end of the page:


Discourage use of real name at account creation?[edit]

I have started a discussion at the talk page of the sign-in page to suggest that we include a note discouraging the use of real names. A few users have come under harrassment recently related to their use of real names, and I wanted to put the idea out there; and since I'm guessing few frequent the MediaWiki: talk pages, I'm placing this here to draw attention to it. Demi T/C 01:02, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

I, for one, deliberately used (a condensed version of) my real name, and my user page makes it quite clear who I am. -- Jmabel | Talk 03:38, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
I have never tried to conceal my identity on Wikipedia and I think it is offensive to suggest that people who don't, don't how to take care of themselves. Personally, I think that real identities add to the value of Wikipedia, although I would never suggest that we'd force anyone to not be anonymous. I'm sure people can figure out the pros and cons of disclosing their real name. — David Remahl 13:51, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
If I could change my username to my real name I would. Martin 13:58, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Inline comments in articles[edit]

I have a suggestion, though I am not sure how it could be best implemented. From time to time when reading a Wikipedia article (well, quite often actually!) I read something that seems highly implausible, or which makes no sense at all, or which contradicts something in the same article or another article. If I feel competent to fix it then I do, but this is rare.

Occasionally I make a note of these things on the article's talk page, but I think the "hit rate" on those pages is often low, and things often get lost in a maze of text. I think it would be good to be able to tag a particular problem passage with some sort of flag (a little icon maybe), with a link to a talk page discussion (or some sort of explanation of the problem) behind it, so that it was visible (not too obtrusively) to someone just reading the page. I guess I am talking about something more directed (and less in-your-face) than the "this article needs to be sorted out"-type banners that appear on the really disastrous pages. This way there might be a better chance of things being fixed.

Just a thought. Matt 00:08, 1 December 2005 (UTC).

Yeah, I think so. I am thinking mostly about individual facts, sentences and paragraphs. Just a little icon next to the text that indicates "someone has queried this" or "this makes no sense" or whatever. Let me give you an example. In the article Who wants to Be a Millionaire, under "Belgium" it says the French version is called "Qui sera millionaire", whereas under France it says the French version is called "Qui veut gagner des millions?". This is too minor to deserve any of the big "scare" banners. I don't know how to fix this myself (is one right and the other wrong? did the name change at some point?), and it's likely to be ages (if ever) before it is fixed by someone else. If there was a little flag next to this text I feel there is a better chance that someone browsing through will see it and think "hey, I know something about the French version of this show, I can fix this". Matt 12:39, 1 December 2005 (UTC).
In fact, I think both articles are correct. In France, the show is indeed called Qui veut gagner des millions ?, but the passage in Who wants to be a millionaire refers to the show in the French-speaking part of Belgium, produced by a different company in a different country. I will try to verify the Belgian title, as I live close to the French-Belgian border. Physchim62 (talk) 13:38, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
That sounds entirely plausible. If it turns out to be right then I suggest changing "One is the French version..." to something like "One is a French language version...", then the confusion would be lessened. (I should probably be saying this on the article's talk page, but to keep it all together...). Matt 20:45, 2 December 2005 (UTC).
Also see the suggestions at Wikipedia:Verifiability. (SEWilco 06:42, 1 December 2005 (UTC))
  • I don't think putting comments on the talk pages is too low-profile. I have on many occasions gotten good results that way. If the page is on your watch list, you automatically get notified of talk comments. Also, talk comments come under "recent changes", so if you're on RC patrol, you notice them if they concern something you have knowledge of or an interest in. --Slashme 12:51, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
  • This is a great idea. Sometimes you notice something is wrong, or poorly-worded, but would prefer that the main page maintainer fix things. There's something like this for CPAN modules called the AnnoCPAN (example of this in action) Jrockway 14:37, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

There is also {{fact}}. -- Jmabel | Talk 03:36, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Inflation and dollar amounts[edit]

A problem with mentioning dollar ammounts in a dictionary is inflation—the meaning of a dollar changes so seeing that there was a $33 million bond to finance the Golden Gate Bridge in 1933 means almost nothing to me. I don't know the extent of the features of templates, but I supsect they could be used to solve this problem. That is, one might enter {{currency USD|33000000|1933}} and then see “$33 million ($447 million in 2005 dollars)” or something similar. Using templates of some form to this end would make reading old articles much clearer.

This could be extended to a locale setting so one might see “$33 million (€382 million in 2005 euros)”.

Is this feasable? Is it worthwhile? (For what it's worth, I found this inflation calculator useful.) —BenFrantzDale 22:05, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

I agree this is a good idea. It would be hard to maintain this for many currencies though. My idea would be to make it like the ISBN special page. Dollar amounts formatted a certain way would be linked to a page where they are automatically inflation adjusted to today's dollars and are then converted to many world currencies. It's be very useful. Broken S 02:39, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
That's a good idea. BenFrantzDale, you can't do that with just a template. They have no scripting capabilities. Superm401 | Talk 12:11, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

Since templates aren't rich enough to support this, the template approach seems to be would be to make hundreds of templates, one for each year so you could get a parenthetical “($1 in 1933 is worth $13.55 in 2005)” that could be adjusted annually. Obviously this is not ideal. I guess this idea becomes MediaWiki feature request, then. Where should I make that request? —BenFrantzDale 19:10, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

bugs and requests go at http://bugzilla.wikipedia.org/ I believe Broken S 19:16, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
Thanks. I added it as Bug 3955 – Monitary Inflation Templates. —BenFrantzDale 01:15, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
There's a major problem for this - the inflation factors for different amounts are different, so you can't do a simple $X in 1930 is worth $X*Y in 2005, because the conversion factor Y will be different depending on whether you're talking about a cup of coffee, a salary, or a battleship. A useful demonstration of this is at EH.net, which generates answers for five different methods of calculating the comparison. ($33m in 1933 can be given as anything from $395m to $6,400m in 2003). I'd like to see a piece of software able to do simple conversions, but it'd be too easy to start generating relatively meaningless values without realising it via this method. Shimgray | talk | 20:40, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
I agree: a statement such as "($1 in 1933 is worth $13.55 in 2005)" pretends to be precise but is in fact a gross simplification bordering on meaninglessness. If you specify the exact method employed to arrive at that number, then the number ceases to be meaningless but becomes useless. The correct approach is to add information about typical prices of Gold, bread, cars, houses etc. to the 1933 page (in all currencies then in use). AxelBoldt 07:11, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
While I agree that having the most specific inflation figure for the commodity in question is ideal, the simplified "average inflation" figure is better than nothing. In other words, it's still more meaningful than the original 1933 dollars. Also note that when comparing old items with new items you are frequently comparing "apples and oranges". For example, a modern car has little in common with a Model T Ford, so comparing the prices isn't very significant. A better comparison would be what it would cost to mass produce Model T's today, using modern techniques. In another example, the cost to the ancient Egyptians to build the pyramids could best be judged as a percentage of GNP at the time, if known. Other valid comparisons might be what it would cost today to build an exact replica with modern equipment, or to build a cheaper equivalent, say by using reinforced concrete with cap stones, instead of building the entire pyramid out of stone. StuRat 14:24, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
I think an "average inflation" figure is in fact worse than nothing: it pretends a precision where none is possible, because the notion of "average" is ill-defined and all the apples-and-oranges issues you mention are ignored. That's why, under my proposal, no such comparisons are performed: you simply list prices of some common products available at the time and let people draw their own conclusions. Information about the GDP and a sample of typical wages and rents should of course also be included. AxelBoldt 15:36, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
I disagree and believe that a rough approximation is better than none. StuRat 23:54, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
Average inflation would be terrible - better to link to a table of years / currencies for comparrison. Trollderella 18:50, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

This isn't a beautiful solution, but it works: I created the template "USD inflation" which takes a dollar ammount and a year and makes a link to an external page to do the calculation. It is true that inflation doesn't cover everything, but this template could be used and changed accordingly. For example {{USD inflation|1|1900}}. —BenFrantzDale 01:33, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

New page for new users[edit]

Could we maybe have a new info page,something along the lines of 'how to get the most out of wikipedia'. I'm not meaning new editors, who have lots of sites, but something linked on the main page for readers to look at. It could suggest that wikipedia articles are good starting points for learning about a topic, but that people should look up the references at the bottom of a page. It should suggest following links, to get a broader view of a topic (also minimising your risk of falling foul of a malicious sneak-editor), and querying anything that seems unusual or unlikely in the Talk pages. It could finish by recommending that if you see something you know isn't true, you can edit the article and leave a note in the edit summary for everyone to see. This thought is prompted by the recent incident, but I've been wondering about it for a while. There is lots of guidance for new editors, but so many people I know don't use the resources at hand to learn effectively from wiki as a reader. Personally, I find the talk pages are excellent sources of information, but I don't know if that should be recommended :-) People often don't bother to look further than the immediate article, meaning they can easily be led astray by a single bad edit. 57.66.51.165 15:49, 6 December 2005 (UTC) (Skittle)

Don't we already have something like that in Help:Contents?--Rayc 20:06, 6 December 2005 (UTC)


Wikipedia Releases[edit]

After reading some recent news stories, attacking Wikipedia's capability to control and maintain its content, an idea came to mind. The majority of open source projects work on betas and releases. The community contributes their time and effort to improve the project, then when the community feels it has made such major improvements to the project that warrant all who are interested in such a project to notice a release is tested and released.

For this to work Wikipedia would have to take a major step forward in the way articles are handled, the site itself would have to undergo an entire overhaul, but basically I propose an entirely separate website be formed, one that contained locked material, articles the community has dubbed to be acceptable and accurate. As changes are made to articles in the normal Wikipedia the decision can be made to push these updated versions on to the "released" encyclopedia. As new articles are written the same holds true, perhaps after an article had seen 30 days of life on Wikipedia it is automatically pushed to "Release".

This "Release" version of Wikipedia would be the suggested site for those looking to research and learn, while those who want the absolute most recent content can still browse the editable Wikipedia, but they understand it may not be up to "Release" standards. This locked version of Wikipedia could still have edit links, but such links would edit the article as it exists on the normal Wikipedia, and if this edit was up to par it would find its way to the released site that inspired the edit in time.

Now who would make the decision to say article X is fit for release and article Y isn't. I've put a lot of thought into this subject and come up with 3 approaches. The first would be a time based system, once an article or edit has existed for a period of time unchanged the system would consider the article to have been generally accepted by the community and pushes it to the released version of the encyclopedia. The second method would be some sort of a rating system, the community would rate a given article on some sort of a point rating system based on everything from how accurate it is to its grammar. Once an article maintains a rating for a given amount of time it is pushed to release. The third is a much simpler method, every edit or creation has to be approved by at least 3 (this number is up for discussion) register users, once at least 3 give the okay, it's pushed to release.

Also the two versions of Wikipedia don't necessarily have to exist on entirely different sites, perhaps just adding another tab at the top of articles: "Community Approved Released Version" and "Working Version" (Obviously not using those descriptions :P ).

First off I have no idea if such a suggestion has been made before, so before it even hits discussion I apologize in advance if it has for wasting your time. Also I understand that the full scope of this suggestion reaches into the MediaWiki software, and some may see it has a new project suggestion, but I feel it is a direct suggestion to the core of Wikipedia itself, and as such should be posted here. I know such a suggestion would require a lot of work (it would require a major change to the MediaWiki software), and the way I’ve outlined it here may not be the best way to protect Wikipedia’s integrity, but I hope such a suggestion can inspire others to see a better way, however I really see beauty in this system to protect Wikipedia from its critics. I don't know if I'm alone in the idea that some sort of significant change is necessary to protect the quality work done by so many of you everyday. -- Ronmcasey 13:44, 6 December 2005 (UTC)


As someone who uses Debian Linux, I can confirm that this is a good suggestion if you want a stable, well-behaved system. It would obviously require more work, and allow us to have an even more trustworthy reference-style encyclopedia.

However, what would be the dangers? If we effectively guarantee the content on the "approved" page, would that not in itself make us more vulnerable when (as is bound to happen sometime) someone manages to make a bad edit slip through the net? Any thoughts from the legal eagles? --Slashme 14:00, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Regarding, "approved versions", see Wikipedia:Stable versions. -- Zondor 14:38, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

See also Wikipedia:Standard articles and Wikipedia:Good articles - the latter having a higher level of quality, the former conforming to some minimum quality standards. As to the voting system, I would opt for your third proposal, i.e., a group individual editors being allowed to give the site their approval. Of course, there would have to be some clear criteria as to when a site can be approved; a proposal is listed under Wikipedia:Standard articles. A much simpler way of implementing released versions would be giving them a tag which says that a certain edition of this article (let's say the one from December 6) has been declared a stable/standard/released... version. The tag could then just link to this page, so if people want something verified and - possibly - error-free, this is where they can look. With current editing features, however, it would not be possible for the standard version itself to have this tag, i.e. the current version would be at least the one after the standard version, the difference being the tag.--Robin.rueth 12:47, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Ethno-cultural labels in biographies[edit]

I have put a proposal for the Naming convention into the Wikipedia:Naming conventions/Ethno-cultural labels in biographies. Despite a weird name it is dealing with a persistent problem, arising then editing biographies of people from the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. I think the problem is universal, but I would especially like to see the feedback from the people of different cultural backgrounds. abakharev 04:31, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

This looks like a sensible proposal to me. I did a quick proofread for typos and grammar, but didn't find anything of substance that I disagreed with. --Slashme 06:34, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Very good! I was fumbling over this issue quite often and this will help a LOT! Awolf002 16:13, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Featured articles[edit]

I read often this page, but I find it is difficult to follow it : what are the recent articles added? Maybe it is possible to do like the french or german wikipedia, create a section "new featured articles added"? For ewemples, see : fr:Wikipédia:Articles de qualité (=>Nouveautés de la liste) or de:Wikipedia:Exzellente Artikel (=>Neulinge in dieser Liste).

(Note : I'm not a native speaker, so sorry for my english. I hope I am clear.) Kuxu 14:16, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Check this page for the last articles added in WP:FA. I saw the french page of the featured articles, and I liked it a lot, I hope it would be an example for the English page. CG 18:28, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
Thank you CG and sorry for my proposal. I didn't know this page already exists. Kuxu 19:20, 7 December 2005 (UTC)


Underlined Links[edit]

What's happening? Suddenly all the links are underlined? Ugly, ugly, ugly...

Flag of Ireland.svgCamillusFlag of Scotland.svgtalk|contribs 14:12, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

It sometimes happens that the user preferences are dropped (bug?). Logging out and back in may help. If that does not work, you can change your preferences to "underline" and then back to "no underline". −Woodstone 14:49, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
Another easy way to fix it (always works for me) is to do a forced reload (Shift-Reload on Firefox). --cesarb 00:25, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

New variant on an old idea to fight vandalism[edit]

I have a new variant on an old idea to stop vandalism. I have send an exploratory message to Foundation-L. In summary, I suggest a software feature which would make it so that if you edited certain high-traffic, high-profile pages (a la George W Bush) then your changes would not become "live" until about five minutes after you post them. If they were reverted during those five minutes, the page would remain unchanged. This would let us revert vandalism so that it never even showed up, while maintaining the ability of people to contribute to pages which otherwise might have to be protected. Comments about the suitability of this idea, both here and on Foundation-L, are welcome.

If the proposal is a change to the software, file a bug at Bugzilla instead. Your proposal is unlikely to be noticed by a developer unless it is placed there. - yes, yes, I know; I'm just floating the idea to see what people think of it first. I've also been informed secondhand that developers are working on a similar feature which would require administrative approval to promote pages to the 'current' version; this is a similar idea and may share much of the same implementation, only the approval mechanism would differ (it would be automatic). -User:Fennec (はさばくのきつね) 01:13, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

The obvious problem with this proposal is that the reverts would themselves be delayed by five minutes, just time-shifting the whole issue. The admin's "rollback button" could be given special status, but with ordinary users a revert is just a normal edit, and not one we'd want to give special status, because reverting can in some cases itself be vandalism (for example, reverting to a previous vandalized version). Deco 01:18, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
No, the idea isn't to hold back the reverts for five minutes too- if I replaced GWB with a page filled with expelitives for some reason, and it was reverted within five minutes, this proposal would have the article in question remain entirely unchanged during the entire period. Only revisions which last at least five minutes (or one with special admin approval, which would be equivalent to administratively un-dampening the page and returning it to normal status, then re-applying this form of protection) without being reverted would ever make the article page. -User:Fennec (はさばくのきつね) 01:38, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
How are you proposing that people 'see' the vandalism', then? RSS feed? What constitutes a 'high traffic' page? nae'blis (talk) 01:42, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
Use of this tool on 'high traffic pages' would be chosen explicitly by the community on a case-by-case basis, like our current protection tools. "Future" revisions ahead of the current revisions would be available through the Page History (ironic, heh) and show up on watch-lists and in Recent Changes. -User:Fennec (はさばくのきつね) 01:45, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

How about this variant: logged-in users always see the latest version. Non logged-in users only see a version if it has not been reverted (changed) for 5 (10? etc) minutes. People watching a page, will see vandalism right away. Occasional users (readers) will only see slightly more stable versions. Anonymous vandals will also be discouraged, because they do not immediately see their destructive work. The only risk is that very heavily changed pages, may develop quite a time lag. −Woodstone 14:46, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

This is a bit more elaborate in its separation of the pages, and may lead to confusion. Another issue: Suppose a vandalism gets stuck as the 'current' page while more reasonable versions float in the future but remain there for a long while, due to constant tweaking. How can any logged-in user tell? How can an administrator know to force a good version to the front page and overlay the vandalism, to eliminate this time lag? Should they need to open a new browsing session to view the page logged out? I do not like it quite so much. Admittedly, the version which I have proposed calls less attention to future vandalism, but such future vandalism generally would be caught by the Recent Changes page, moreso than by article inspection, which tends to catch the vandalisms which have already made it through. -User:Fennec (はさばくのきつね) 02:58, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Potentially controversial name change[edit]

In a potentially controversial proposal, I have suggested that the instances of "Bottlenose Dolphin" in the Bottlenose Dolphin be converted to lower case ("bottlenose dolphin"), and that the article therefore be moved to Bottlenose dolphin. If you wish to share your opinion on this matter, please visit Talk:Bottlenose Dolphin#Requested move. — Knowledge Seeker 03:20, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

I think the manual of style already say that this is how to title pages. Just make a redirect as well. -Splashtalk 03:38, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
You are correct; the Manual of Style does say to use common names and to only capitalize the first word of a title, unless other words are proper nouns, which is why the move has been proposed; however, capitalization of animals' common names is somewhat controversial. It would be difficult to summarize the arguments here, nor is this the best place for this discussion. It would be preferable for discussion to take place at the article's talk page; criticism of me may be placed on my talk page. — Knowledge Seeker 03:46, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
A simple example is the difference between "Black Rat" and "black rat". — Omegatron 22:45, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

A better way of getting articles referenced[edit]

leaving messages on editors' talk pages[edit]

The traditional method of getting articles referenced, by slapping {{unreferenced}} on pages, has never been very effective and has also generated a great deal of acrimony. This is understandable as it is essentially bullying, the message basically was "you'd better add references or else your work will permanently be defaced by an ugly template."

Last night I tried a new method. I added Template:Unref-talk to the talk pages of a hundred users who created articles without adding any sort of references. Today, only about twelve hours later, 38 of these pages have been referenced to some degree. During this same period another user was using the traditional template in article method. Of the 37 articles marked with {{unreferenced}} only one of them has since been referenced. A full list of the articles targeted can be found at User:SimonP/temp3, all of those marked in bold have since been sourced.

It's a limited sample, but by these numbers bugging users on talk pages is more than 10 times as effective as marking articles. A little digging also shows that far more than 38 articles got referenced. Consider User:82.39.114.135, who moments after I messaged him about Alexey Suetin referenced that article, and then also did the same for Artur Yusupov and John Fedorowicz.

Perhaps the most important difference is in the effect on the community. During my spree I received nine talk page messages and one e-mail, all were friendly and positive. This is in sharp contrast to marking articles, which has always generated a great deal of acrimony. - SimonP 17:55, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

I totally endorse this proposal. FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 18:22, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Messages on user's talk pages come up next time a user loads a page while templates on the article will only be seen next time a user checks their watchlist. Personally, once a day. So I would expect this method to be quicker in it's effect. I hope I would have responded to the old template. I certainly wouldn't have taken it personally, I've seen it before. Still I think the quicker response is better because it will catch people while they are still thinking about the article themselves. --MGSpiller 18:41, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

I like this proposal, but perhaps in the talk-template, should be a link to a more comprehensive guide how to cite sources etc... AzaToth 19:03, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
Feel free to rework it. It's difficult to get a wording that is both informative enough for new comers, and not sound condescending for more experienced Wikipedians. - SimonP 19:49, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

As I stated on SimonP's talk page, I wholeheartedly endorse the idea but, and it is a big but, the problem is not the referencing of sources, but the reliability of the sources referenced. - Ted Wilkes 20:52, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

I think it's more a combination of both, but yes, this is an excllent idea.--Sean|Black 23:28, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Made some ideas at Template talk:Unref-talk AzaToth 23:48, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

The only problem with the User Talk page template is that it is mostly useless for older articles such as History of the Middle East. In those cases, you would either have to identify the main contributor, or leave the old notice on the article or its talk page. — BRIAN0918 • 2005-12-5 00:49

Well you could try politely asking User:Adam Carr, who wrote the great bulk of it. However, such broad overview articles are difficult to reference as they are quite easy to write purely from memories of books read long ago and school lectures from one's youth. For instance my History of the Mediterranean region has been slapped with a {{unreferenced}} tag, but since it is just an amalgam of generally known facts I'm not sure how to source it. - SimonP 01:13, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
The best thing to do may be to note a couple general (high-school level) history textbooks as general sources for the article, if it is at such a general level of knowledge. Any specific points can probably be easily referenced at request, or removed if in fact unverifiable. Christopher Parham (talk) 05:11, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
I ended up doing something similar with History of the Middle East, I just added my Modern Arab History textbook, which was rather good, as a reference. I don't think I've ever read a history of the Mediterranean region, however, and wouldn't want to list a book as a reference that I had never even glanced at. - SimonP 05:39, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
  • The problem with references is that it is beyond the means or patience of readers who just want to quickly look up something on Wikipedia to actually carry out the verification. In the absence of re-verification every time anyone views a the page, references are pretty useless as a "stamp of verifiability". New information may have been inserted, or information changed, by anyone. Is that covered by the same set of references? Have new references been added? Who knows. The current article may bear little or no relation to the article that was originally referenced. The only way that references could become a meaningful "stamp of verification" is if the article was somehow locked for editing after it had been given a clean bill of health. At the moment references cannot be relied upon to be anything more than "if you want more, and possibly more authoritative, information, then try looking here" links. Matt 23:08, 7 December 2005 (UTC).

offering incentives for referencing[edit]

An alternative to individually adressing all editors of non-referenced pages (and eventually sanctioning by adding a non-referenced tag - this would be a step we'd have to take, but I think asking people politely first is really better) would be offering a positive incentive, such as has been proposed under Wikipedia:Standard_articles: If editors have referenced their articles, and fulfilled some other minimum criteria, they may add a nice little tag to their article. Perhaps many editors have enough vanity to want that tag, which might get them to reference their articles. The advantage of this would be that people might be motivated by themselves to reference, as opposed to a project group having to ask each and everyone.--Robin.rueth 12:52, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Standard articles[edit]

Introducing standard articles - the line between trash and featured articles. —MESSEDROCKER (talk) 06:32, 26 November 2005 (UTC)

I support this proposal.
German wikipedia has something similar, without the standard tier:
  • excellent articles (English featured articles de:Wikipedia:Exzellente Artikel)
  • good articles / "articles worth reading" (de:Wikipedia:Lesenswerte Artikel, i.e. articles that are written with great love for detail and are just nice to read (and probably above the information you might find in any other single place of the internet), but don't meet the strict criteria for featured articles . They have been chosen by consensus, but did not have to go through Peer Review.
  • non-tagged articles
  • stubs

Starting from this, I propose a five-tier quality system then:

  • featured articles
  • good articles: I think we should categorize a great many articles as good, much more than the 1,000 that the German wikipedia has got right now. This cannot be done by a central procedure, like it is done for featured articles. I therefore propose voting for good articles should be done on the portals of the different subject areas, which would also strengthen the role of the portals within wikipedia and de-centralize things a bit.
  • standard articles, i.e. articles that
  • give an overview of the subject area, without having to go into great detail anywhere,
  • have a clear structure (i.e. they are not tagged for need of cleanup)
  • are not tagged for POV, lack of factual accuracy, lack of reference (we might be lenient on this one), poor style... (this list has to be completed because I'm not too familiar with all these tags)
  • articles that are tagged for one of the defaults just mentioned. (which we already do)
  • stubs
So "standard article" would be for me a kind of "no-problem-with-this-article" tag. Of course, we could just start from the assumption that if there's a problem with an article, someone will have told so, but perhaps it is wiser to use these "no problem" tags to give Wikipedia users some kind of minimal quality guarantee. Many people complain that Wikipedia is not reliable because anybody can edit it and nobody really cares about the qualities of the articles. Adding a "no problem" tag to (perhaps) most Wikipedia articles shows people these are articles they can kind of rely on (to put it loosely), because someone has taken a look at it. I propose that decisions for "standard articles" should be taken directly on the talk pages of each article, not on any portal or central page. Readers and Editors of each page will be able to decide for themselves whether they find this article acceptable.
My proposal implies a certain degree of subsidiarity: Featured articles are chosen on one central wikipedia page which is relevant for the whole Wikipedia community, good articles are chosen in the portals by the contributors of that portal, articles are tagged as standard by the editors and readers of the page in question.
My proposal implies, furthermore, that, like in German wikipedia, all featured articles and other articles of rated quality should get a tag that indicates their quality. (The French and the Dutch wikipedia also does that, and so does the Icelandic one, if I'm not mistaken). Tags for FA could just be taken from the Germans, tags for Good Articles would have to be modified a bit.--Robin 19:06, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
There's one thing missing from your proposal. Why? Superm401 | Talk 23:41, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
Ugh... yet another useless designation. Raul654 15:40, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Could you make your point clearer? I'm quite serious about my proposal, and I expect serious explanation of criticism.--Robin 16:56, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
I think the essential criticism is: what are the advantages of your proposal that are so clear that they overshadow the instruction creep it would create? Also, I'm quite alarmed that you would explicitly be "lenient" about uncited sources. Uncited sources can get you expelled from a university; why should we tolerate them on Wikipedia? rspeer 17:16, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
I don't know if there is any instruction creep involved in people deciding whether a page is either o.k. (and tagging it explicitly, which we have not done so far) or subject to serious criticism (lack of reference might indeed part of the core criteria, you're right) and tagging it for that as well, which we're already doing. The advantage would be that it would give users a criterion to decide whether or not they can rely on what an article says.--Robin 17:26, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
The problem with this proposal is that it appears to solve no problem other than finding a way to address our vanity. Featured article selection serves as a means to find very high quality articles to place on the main page. Efforts such as Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team and Wikipedia:Stable versions are working toward identifying articles that are of high enough quality to justify their inclusion into a possible CD or printed version of Wikipedia. All this proposal would do is create an artificial reward for any article that does not qualify for a quality based distinction while still having avoided being tagged for an obvious problem. --Allen3 talk 17:34, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence... what does this add, besides workload (for agreeing to standards we should already be striving toward, tagging articles, arguing consensus) and reducing reliability? A tag, any tag, is only even verifiably good at the time it is included. A cleanup/stub/sources tag needs to be addressed; but what happens when an article is subtly edited over time to become less clear than it was when it was tagged as 'good'? Who decides when to take it off the list? This seems to be a solution in search of a problem, and the effort is probably better spent on articles that actually need help, than patting "finished" articles on the back. nae'blis (talk) 18:04, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
O.k., this is about vanity, of course, but if this vanity drives article editors to take a second look at their article to see if it's a) kind of complete b) in agreement with the general Wikipedia principles for quality (which already exist, so there's no need for fixing new standards), then I suppose vanity is a good thing.
Anybody can decide to tag the article as problematic, and then it is clearly no longer a standard article.
I suppose we're an institution by now from which users do not expect excellence in all - or some - articles, but overall reliability (many people tell me "I don't rely on Wikipedia because everyone can write into it and who knows whether it is right?") and this tag could show them what they can rely on - if they are prepared to rely on this tag; of course the tag itself is of limited reliability, but the fact that nobody contradicts it is a kind of evidence for its justification.--Robin 18:18, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Messedrocker, Robin : see WP:GOOD for the 'second tier' proposed above. I think FA should be able to cover 0.2% of all articles, and "good" should cover 2% of articles. It will be hard to list all 'good' articles in one place, but it is important; this would be very useful information for a quick index to a high-quality subset of WP.

Robin, I agree that it would be useful to have another tier for decent articles that are neither brilliant nor lacking. This could include hundreds of thousands of articles in en:wp, and we need a good way of tracking that much metadata before we start; but it's something to bear in mind.

Finally, we might want to distinguish between two classes of imperfect articles at the bottom of this setup; those that are unfiltered, unverified, or have noone watching them (a hopefully small number, but new articles should automatically get this tag), and those that are merely short and have not been cleaned up (perhaps 2-10% of all articles). Leading us to this:

FA          0.2%
Good          2%
OK           20%?
Untagged     60%?
Poor/stub    15%?
Unfiltered    2%
BJAODN      0.2%

+sj + 20:43, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

I think you're vastly over-estimating the quality of Wikipedia. Based on a recent survey of articles, I'd give it the following:
FA           0.1%
Good         1%
OK           10%
Untagged     15
Poor/stub    65%
Other        10% (disambig pages, lists, etc.)

--Carnildo 00:19, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Dashes[edit]

As in LaTeX, I suggest that -- is expanded to , --- is expanded to and ... to be expanded to AzaToth talk 14:03, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

This is something that has been suggested many times -- we haven't yet reached a consensus between the "use typographical dashes properly" and the "keep the markup easy to edit" crowds. Please see the current compromise at Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dashes) and the extensive discussions on its talk page. Any technical solution is going to have to await a developer ready to take on the code, and I doubt a developer will begin work until there's a clearer idea what the community really wants. — Catherine\talk 00:16, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
I don't think there's ever a legitimate reason for someone to use three periods without meaning `…', so why not s/[.][.][.]/…/g when displaying the page? Jrockway 14:49, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
This has been discussed many times, was fought over, etc. etc. and is no longer necessary, now that the wikisource is in UTF-8. Just enter the unicode characters directly:
en: – em: — minus: − and so on.
Readable in the source, readable in the rendered page, and accessible to those with crappy old browsers (through the crappy old browser workaround). Hooray!
I have a script that automatically converts a lot of things to their Unicode equivalents. So if people are using -- for example -- two dashes for an em dash, it converts it when I press a button. — Omegatron 22:55, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

I want MBTI templet!![edit]

To sysop

make a MBTI templet, please!!

I use {{User en-2}}

see my page.

and I want {{user intp}}

I am INTP user...:)

Wikipedia:babel Jimy 15:08, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

I am making it now Jimy 15:47, 9 December 2005 (UTC)


Blocking issues[edit]

The current blocking mechanism right now has two problems, one minor, one major.

  • (minor) multiple blocks may be imposed by admins who are unaware that this has already been done.
  • (major) the smallest block is the one that lasts. This causes all sorts of problems where two people impose a block and one person, not knowing the background, imposes a small block, whereas the other, aware of the background (eg, a year ban by the arbcom, a history of blocks necessitating a longer block, etc) imposes a longer block. Some time ago a user with a history of blocks was blocked by two users for one week. Another admin, who hadn't known of that history, imposed a 24 hour block. Only when it was pointed out to them that the vandal had been blocked three times already did they realise that they required longer than 24 hours. As their block was the one that would apply they had to unblock him and then reblock him for the 1 week he had been warned to expect if he did any more vandalism.

What Wikipedia desparately needs is a system that

  1. alerts someone when someone has already imposed a block on someone; and
  2. tells them how long the block is for.

Otherwise even arbcom blocks for one year can be overturned if a well meaning admin goes to extend a block as required if there is sockpuppet activity and inadvertently hits a lower number than the 1 year. FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 21:56, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Indicating Article Views[edit]

John_Seigenthaler_Sr. complains that Wikipedia is unreliable. This is true for rarely read articles but not for all articles. Some way of indicating how often an article is read that can be easily viewed would inform users how much articles are read and reviewed. I can't find the comment on Slashdot, but I remember one of the comments of the Slashdot article was something to this effect: If a person edited Albert Einstein's article to say that Einstein assassinated John F Kennedy, somebody would notice pretty quickly. However, an edit to a less frequently viewed article, such as Scarsdale, would not be noticed as quickly.

Improve layout for better species identification[edit]

We have many wonderful wikipedia articles concerning individual species, but if I have taken a photo, it is exceedingly difficult for me to retrofit a species name for the image. One way to increase the usefulness of wikipedia is to aid this process by including images (whenever available) of individual species when they are listed under the family name. I have done this to 3 articles as an example. Please comment on whether you think this is useful, and how shall we accomplish this. Thanks.

--Wingchi 23:51, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Errmm... in case it's as unobvious to everyone else as it is to me, what does "retrofit a species name for the image" mean? Matt 00:21, 1 December 2005 (UTC).
For example, I have taken this photo, but if I don't know beforehand that the common name of the flower is called Antelope Horns, I have no way to know that its species name is Asclepias asperula. While hiking, I often got chance to take pictures of flowers, birds, insects, fungi, etc which I can't identify. It would be nice if wikipedia somehow facilitates identification by placing available pictures besides each species when they are listed under their family name.--Wingchi 05:10, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Oh right ... I thought, perhaps rather stupidly, that this "retrofitting" was some technical aspect of Wikipedia, to do with naming pictures, or linking, or templates or suchlike. Having as many pictures as possible of as many different species as possible seems like a fine idea to me. I could make some picky layout comments, and another thing is that if a huge wodge of pictures interrupts the main flow of the article too much, or causes the page to become too desperately slow to load, then it could be a good idea to move them to a separate page. Matt 12:47, 1 December 2005 (UTC).
I'm assuming you converted lists into the tables on these articles. I like! However due to the size of some tables and because they are still essentially lists, I think the placement of the tables should be reconsidered. It might be better to place them as one of the last sections you see before you get to the See also section. And also, would you consider using an alternate table format, such as a gallery? Galleries are much easier for your average user to create and maintain. See the following galleries as examples. —Mike 04:27, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
¹ Disputed scientific classification
  • This looks much nicer and is a more efficient use of space. However, to my eye there is too much vertical space between the image and the caption below it, and the horizontal alignment of hte images and captions is also dodgy. Sorry, being picky... Matt 11:02, 2 December 2005 (UTC).
Absolutely! I've been thinking of suggesting something similar for ages. I feel that animals, birds and plants should be cross-indexed in such a way that you can look at a page of fauna/flora from a given area, and/or with given features (small, brown, etc) in a highly searchable way, so you can identify things you daon't know the name of. And creatures should come with sound files, with a small description, also cross-indexed. This would mean that you could look at a page of articles on birds that emit short, repeatative songs or something, or a page of pictures of rodents from western Europe, and identify likely candidates for what you observed. Then you can read the articles and identify them. (Oops, forgot to sign) 15:23, 9 December 2005 (UTC) (Skittle)
This would be amazing. +sj + 20:53, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Proposed Semi-protection policy[edit]

There currently is a straw poll running at Wikipedia talk:Semi-protection policy, dealing with a creation of an intermediate level of protection for pages with extreme levels of vandalism from new users. Right now, the policy has strong support, but additional input is always welcome. Titoxd(?!? - did you read this?) 21:30, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Please don't let this slip by and VOTE! Read #Rehashing for a quick overview, and the proposal (also on the proposal page) for background. But don't forget to vote! -Mysekurity(have you seen this?) 05:53, 10 December 2005 (UTC)


Add Disclaimer to History Page[edit]

To avoid another incident with an article that may or may not contain factual information, there should be a disclaimer on the history page letting the viewer know that these atricles were past revisions that were removed and may no longer be taken as the information supported by Wikipedia's standards. That way noone can say that the info is there in the history and it must be removed in which it shouldn't be because information in the history is no longer relevant to the published information in the Article. I'm just stating this because one of the main arguments by John Seigenthaler on CNN was that even though the edits are there on the main page of an article, the history contains information that may not be factual and thus should be removed. This cannot be allowed to happen, as older edits should always remain in the history in the event that one is trying to bend the factual truth to a fictional belief because that is what they wish people to think of the article, not what they know about it. Like Kyra Phillips of CNN, who sees her page and is disapointed at the view that is perceived by the general public and doesn't like her entry, so she will wish to spruce it up and 'bend the truth' so that her entry looks more appealing. We must continue to allow only the truth to be shown and not let anyone simply come in and tell us to "say this about me" because I though this site focuses on the truth, not what 'they' prefer as the truth. Azaze7 09:07, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Yes we should report the widely held, common, view of things. We cannot and should not be held reponsible for what has been said in the past and corrected , but only for what we say now. Thats only fair!!--Light current 02:23, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
We already have such a warning down at the bottom. It says: "This version of the article has been revised. Besides normal editing, the reason for revision may have been that this version contains factual inaccuracies, vandalism, or material not compatible with the GFDL." Deco 02:30, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
That disclaimer should be the first thing a viewer reads then instead of being below the entire article. Such a placement can mislead a reader if they take a glance and do not read the entire article. This must be why John Seigenthaler was complaining because even he may have missed the disclaimer.--Azaze7 05:13, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
I wouldn't argue with that. Even our critics at the New York Times failed to spot it (surely they weren't referring to the current version). Maybe make it a bit louder too. But does this require a software change? Deco 06:04, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
It looks like we should ask a developer to move MediaWiki:History copyright to the top of the revision page, and perhaps also to include MediaWiki:History copyright (or a new MediaWiki page) at the top of the page history, above or below MediaWiki:Histlegend. (Of course we could shoehorn the text into Histlegend, but better to get it done cleanly I think.) — Catherine\talk 00:19, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Libel and defamation[edit]

Apropos of this discussion over on the news page and my contributions to it, I hope as a Wikipedian for less than a year I am not presuming too much to make a proposal on how to deal with attempts to use Wikipedia for libelous or defamatory purposes.

It would be twofold:

  • First, a page in the Wikipedia namespace that would explain what constitutes libel (in addition to the existing libel article and how to avoid it (not easy, as the current AP Stylebook reflects ... what was once a few pages is now several chapters).
  • Second, two templates: first, an expanded banner, more attention-grabbing version of the libel template that a regular user could place on a page where there might be libel possibilities (if, say, editing doesn't work or they don't know enough about the subject to say for sure) and placing the article into a category of "potentially libelous articles" or something like that that an admin could then review and place a template similar to the copyvio one that would remove the libelous text or article from public view and put it where only an admin could read it until the problem could be cleared up, a la copyvios. This would avoid censorious abuse of a libel tag by, say, article subjects who don't like certain truthful information being published about them; yet provide some way for the community to swiftly and effectively respond to any libel problems better than it did in the Seigenthaler case.

Does this sound like a plan? Has something like this been suggested before? Is this page the best place for discussing it? Please let me know (here or wherever is appropriate, not my talk page). Daniel Case 04:21, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Absolutely on both counts, but see Wikipedia:Libel, which is no longer active. Christopher Parham (talk) 05:03, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Hmm. I humbly suggest that page be reviewed and reactivated. Just because you haven't been sued doesn't mean you aren't going to be. And some people who haven't worked at, say, newspaper copy desks, really do need the re-education on where the line is. Daniel Case 06:23, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
I agree that it needs to be reviewed. I would also add that people look at the recent Polanski trial, in which Polanski sued an American magazine in the British courts. If people really think Wikipedia is immune from libel because its servers are in the US, think again. Under British law, it is claasified as being published in the United Kingdom when viewed in a browser whilst on UK soil. I strongly urge people, and especially the foundation, to take this seriously. Steve block talk 09:47, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Whoever is considered by UK law to be the publisher could just avoid coming to that country. — David Remahl 09:50, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps it is time for WP to have ombudspeople (proper ombudspeople, not the pseudo-admins once proposed at Wikipedia:Ombudsmen) to handle such complaints from outside WP. I know that the AMA's requests page often gets complaints from anon visitors. Most of those are unconfirmable, but I'd expect after the USA Today article that people will give WP more attention -- specifically to find errors, and specifically about themselves. (I'm currently dealing with one such complaint, brought recently to AMA.) Does Jimbo really need to be the only person who can field them? Ombudspeople would filter and field concerns/complaints from outside WP, and attempt to get them addressed within the WP channels. This role would be somewhere between the AMA and Mediation. - Keith D. Tyler 22:29, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Okay, I gave Wikipedia:Libel a read and a rewrite and reactivated it. Thoughts? Steve block talk 10:31, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

I just wish that someone who knows law could say if the General disclaimer protects Wikipedia from libel suits. It seems like the INDIVIDUAL PERSON who posts libelous material is the one who is at risk. --JWSchmidt 17:18, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Not under the libel law in England and Wales, I don't think. Demon got sued for a message posted to its message board, since as the host of the message board it was deemed to be the publisher. It would be nice if there was some engagement of this point somewhere, even if someone exposes a flaw I'm missing. Steve block talk 17:31, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Logarithmic graphs of wikipedia growth[edit]

Wikipedia:Modelling Wikipedia's growth suggests that wikipedia's growth is exponential. Yet apart from a hand-generated graph in Wikipedia:Modelling Wikipedia's growth#10 biggest Wikipedias from last year, all of the graphs I can find about wikipedia are conventional rather than logarithmic. Are there any current (or better still, automated) logarithmic graphs of wikipedia growth? Andjam 01:22, 11 December 2005 (UTC)


Name change[edit]

I think we need a name change of one terminology of Wikipedia:

NPOV (neutral point of view) is to be renamed CPOV (common point of view.) This term makes more sense to me because a neutral point of view to me sounds similar to political correctness when it comes to being, for example, gender-neutral. Also, something a Google search widely reveals about Wikipedia is people write on talk pages that "Wikipedia is supposed to be descriptive, not prescriptive", meaning that it is supposed to use the common view of things rather than the proper one. Any objections to this rename of NPOV to CPOV?? Georgia guy 21:03, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

  • As I'm from Sweden, we dont say like "Neutral point of view", but we only refer to "Objective" and "Subjective" in such cases, perhaps we should do it here as well AzaToth 21:08, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
    • If they don't speak English in Sweden, then how does living in Sweden decide how much English is used here?? Georgia guy 21:15, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I would guess Mr. Toth speaks English in Sweden occasionally. --Gbleem 15:43, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
  • It was just an example the wording like 'neutral point of view' (would be transliterated as "neutral synvinkel") isn't used everywhere. I was merly suggesting that perhaps saying that an article should be objective is enought AzaToth 21:22, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

A problem would be that especially in disputed cases there is no common view. So the way out is to describe both (or several) views. −Woodstone 21:12, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Not a good idea. One of Wikipeadia's strength is it's ability to discuss minority views in an objective manner. Writing articles with a common point of view will result in stuff like "Intellingt Design is a largely discredited 'theory' supported by religious fundamentalists" Fornadan (t) 21:30, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

If an article is written from a "neutral point of view", it means that it is written as if by someone who does not favour the worldview of any interested group. This is exactly what we do. A "common point of view" is not correct. Common could either mean a view that is "frequently held", which would mean one of the partisan views, or "the point of view that we all share", which would leave out most of the text of most articles. --Slashme 06:54, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree. NPOV entails objectivity, even among minority viewpoints. To say we are descriptive is merely to say that we talk about things without making judgements; we don't tell people what to do, think, or feel. Text can be either descriptive or prescriptive and still be POV (for example, "George Bush is an idiot" vs. "Don't vote for George Bush"). Deco 08:09, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

If we wanted to call it "Objective point of view" that might more accurately describe our current policy. DES (talk) 18:39, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

One thing I have a problem with is using "POV" to mean "the opposite of NPOV" (something I have done myself). Having a point of view isn't bad; it just has to be a neutral one. Using the terms "objectivity" and "bias" would be better. — Omegatron 20:09, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
It can be, and has been, argued that strictly speaking the "Neutral Point of View" isn't a point of view at all, it is the absence of any particular point of view, which makes the name an oxymoron, but everyone here pretty much understands what it means, or at least most people quickly come to understand it. Perhaps "objective stance" would be a better term, but the term isn't nerarly as important as the principle IMO, and the principle as it currently stands is just fine in my view. DES (talk) 20:43, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Agreed. — Omegatron 22:40, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
I used to be very POV when I first came, in 2002, because I thought this was a magazine style of website and I saw a great conduct for me to show the world my talent as a writer (POV there, hehe!). But I understood the NPOV concept clearly after about two weeks here, and you know what? I appreciate it!!! Let's just say that if I read on Bernard Hopkins' article, for example, that he "Kicked Felix Trinidad across the ring before winning by knockout", I wouldn't like it that much (in reality Hopkins did have his way against "Tito", but Trinidad did give him one of Hopkins' most competitive challenges). So NPOV is the way it is, and shall be as long as Wikipedia stands. - Antonio Las Vegas Martin

Recent changes - improvements to catch Libel and Misinformation[edit]

Following the Seigenthaler incident, it would be easier to keep an eye out for possible libel on Wikipedia if there was an option to view the Recent changes special page by category.

  • Firstly this would allow people with specialised knowledge to keep an eye out in all articles across a knowledge area and reduce the risk of misinformation getting in .
  • Secondly we could have a new category called something like " Biographies of living people" which would identify all articles where there is a high risk of a libel being committed. Changes in this category would be given the highest scrutiny.

The number of categories offered could be limited. Lumos3 08:40, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

We do have this, after a fassion, at the moment. Go to a category that contains articles about people (e.g. Category:Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom) and click Related Changes. Thryduulf 15:50, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Categories related to Appropriate technology for developing countries[edit]

I have been working on articles related to Appropriate technology for developing countries. (If you're interested in this topic area, see User:Singkong2005/Appropriate technology for developing countries.)

I would appreciate feedback on two issues regarding creating and organizing categories:

Looking forward to getting feedback. --Singkong2005 03:58, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Usually, this is just shorthanded as Appropriate technology, and has been for at least 35 years. Any particular reason for the longer name? -- Jmabel | Talk 00:05, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
Because if we use the term Appropriate technology, someone will inevitably claim that technology X is appropriate in a technologically advanced country, or technology Y is appropriate somewhere else. The article then has to cover more ground, and spend a lot of time on definitions. So I suggested on the talk pages that we need a new page to deal specifically with Appropriate technology for developing countries. Appropriate technology is still there and deals more with definitions. There may be a better way of organizing it, but that was my best solution. --Singkong2005 00:42, 13 December 2005 (UTC)


Tagging revisions[edit]

This proposal would provide a pathway for solving quite a few different issues. I think there should be a way for individuals or groups to tag individual revisions. Then you could select for example the latest revisions approved by some group or individual you trust. Maybe some parenting groups would tag articles it thought were suitable for children. I would like to tag revisions free from vandalism. Maybe another group would like to tag revisions that have been fact checked. Admins could mark certain revisions as libel.--Gbleem 15:55, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

  • This seems like a very good idea, and not too hard to implement! It might be hard to define the responsible groups and the tags, but that shouldn't be a reason not to pursue the idea. Steve Summit (talk) 20:38, 13 December 2005 (UTC)


Proposal to improve the Babel template[edit]

(Interesting: If I don't word it as a proposal, nobody bothers to react to it.)

I propose to re-implement the Babel system with the backport from fy:.

  • Advantage - No longer any need for adding number of arguments.
  • Disadvantage - Requires renaming the babel templates (or one other template).
  • Status: So far no-one has voiced a protest, and there are two persons in favour.

Aliter 01:07, 14 December 2005 (UTC) (01:38, 11 December 2005 (UTC))

Have you proposed this before in more detail? If so, can you provide a hyperlink? Andjam 01:49, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

(My apology for forgetting to include the link to Babel this time. CG mentions it below. Aliter 01:07, 14 December 2005 (UTC))

Yes, I've seen your proposal on Wikipedia talk:Babel#Improved design and I liked it. On the long run it will make the use of Babel templates very easy. But it will need great efforts to implement this design and change all other templates. CG 15:56, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Changing the existing templates could presumably be done by a bot. -- Jmabel | Talk 00:03, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Once you remove my test bars, the language skill templates need only be renamed; would this be doable for a bot?. I suggested "Template:BabelUser etc.", but I don't know whether en: has a specific naming convention for templates. Of course, if you move the categories as well, then the templates do need adapting. As renaming will leave redirects, old-style Babel templates will still function, even when they are not adapted immediately.

Anyway, that's implementation, so it should probably be discussed on the babel talk page. If this proposal is acceptable, is there anyone willing to take the ball? I've neglected fy: for a couple of days to get this working and noticed on en:. However, on fy: an editor missing causes a noticable drop in the contributions, so I'd rather go back to writing. Aliter 01:07, 14 December 2005 (UTC)