Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive V

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Did you delete the talk page?[edit]

I originally wrote this to the technical page of the VP... it seems technical considerations have been addressed successfully, so I'm bringing it here to the proposals page. One thing I've run foul of two or three times when deleting pages is forgetting to check whether there was a discussion page... sometimes leaving a lone talk page floating in the void. I propose putting a message in large friendly letters on the "page deletion complete" page which will come up if there's an undeleted talk page that needs dealing with. Grutness...wha? 22:50, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

Some talk pages shouldn't be deleted... per WP:CSD, if "they contain deletion discussion that isn't logged elsewhere or notes that would help in creating an article". Other than that, yeah... generally there's no point of keeping talk pages that I'm aware of. Some kind of warning would be helpful I guess so admins can check... though I'm not sure if the software supports it right now? --W.marsh 00:25, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
That was all gone over at Wikipedia: Village pump (technical)#Did you delete the talk page?. It seems that it can be done. As for some pages needing to be kept, that was also mentioned, and there was a suggestion that some kind of {{deletedsubject-because}} template could be added to the talk pages kept to expalin why they were kept, which sounds a good idea to me. Grutness...wha? 00:56, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
Sure, why not? Titoxd(?!?) 23:25, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
Ok, I've been waiting for enwp to adopt a standard format for this (per my suggestions on the technical pump) so I could duplicate it for Uncyclopedia. However, as it has taken so long, I've just gone ahead and done it like this: I created a template, I added it to MediaWiki:Deletedtext, and I added it to MediaWiki:Confirmdeletetext. Easy Peasy, works perfectly. Some formatting changes might be desired, such as more/less noticability, more instructions, whatnot. The template should probably be protected, too. --Splarka (rant) 09:22, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Added tags/templates be seen in summary[edit]

I propose that the addition of tags such as NPOV tags and cleanup tags or any other tags be also duplicated (by the mediawiki or the wikipedia) in the summary box. This would help in two things, first, to know which version of the article was POV-oriented in order to work with the history more easily ans also, it would allow bots to recognize these tags right in the summary box thus helping with the FA and GA criteria. Lincher 19:15, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

That might be expensive in server processing. At first glance, the diff between the old and new versions could be parsed for well-formed templates in the new, but not the old version. However, if a template was not entered correctly, it wouldn't be picked up because a well-formmed template did not show in the diff. If the template was corrected on a later effort, it still would not be picked up in the diff. To avoid this, the program would have to parse all of the new version noting templates, then parse all of the old version, and then compare the lists of templates to see what well-formed templates were in the new version, but not the old. The program would also have to deal with templates being moved around in the article. And all of this processing would have to be performed on every edit. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 20:15, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the fast answer. Didn't know it was THAT tough to do and that it would consume that much server processing. Well, it was an idea. I'll ring in if I have less expensive ones. Altough we can now ignore the idea, it would be nice to have somekind of a bot that would search articles that are added a tag like cleanup or NPOV to monitor the GA and FA lists. Lincher 01:30, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

US Cities in French-language Wikipedia[edit]

A bot is currently needed to create articles on US Towns and counties on foreign language wikis. Much of North America is absent from these wikis. Policy has already been adopted in order to counter eurocentric and francocentric editing. ADM

Hmmm - a specific effort to increase systemic bias? I'm not impressed unless you're also planning to run a bot adding cities and towns from every other country in the world to these wikis. Grutness...wha? 00:08, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
Please explain how adding North American cities to the other language wikis is adding systemic bias? I find your comment unbelievably offensive, Grutness. User:Zoe|(talk) 01:40, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
Not nearly as offensive as I find the suggestion of deliberately favouring (oh, sorry, that would be favoring, wouldn't it?) one country in all language wikipedias at the expense of the rest of the world. And I bet I'm not alone in that thought. I've no objection to a bot creating articles on places worldwide on other language wikipedias, but suggestng that it shoulld be done for one country and one country alone seems apallingly parochial. Hell, the original suggestion didn't even mention the possibility of adding places in both the US and Canada to bump up the number of North American articles - no, it was the US alone. Grutness...wha? 02:07, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
Funny, last I looked, North America was not a country. And I am boggled at the prospect of intentionally omitting information on any wiki because you personally don't like the country it comes from. User:Zoe|(talk) 02:41, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
Nitpicking. There was absolutely no reason to switch the region on him. Partially a slip on Grutness's part, since he assumed that since the United States was specifically mentioned, it usurped the definition of North America, but I probably would have made the same mistake myself.Edward Z. Yang(Talk) 22:09, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
Ack, unexpected tab reset, whooops. (Comment retracted). — Edward Z. Yang(Talk) 22:10, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
Exactly my point on both counts. North America is not a country - so why did the original suggestion imply that the way to improve coverage of this region was by adding only US places, omitting Canada, and, for that matter, how would adding information about just one part of the world reduce any form of bias? It would simply replace it with another bias. There is no reason at all why Canada should be omitted from this plan, or anywhere else for that matter. There is no way that adding information about only one country can counter systemic bias - it will simply skew the encyclopedia in another dirction. This scheme, if done, should be worldwide, not simply for the US. This is not a US encyclopedia. As to whether I personally like or dislike a country, that has no relevance whatsoever to my views on whether this idea would address the problems it sets out to address. I would feel exactly the same way if someone suggested adding information from my own country in order to reopresent its continent under the guise of removing a Eurocentric bias. Turn it around. How would you feel if someone was to say "let's remove the Eurocentric bias of the french language wikipedia by adding articles for everywhere in China with a population over 1000 - but not add anything from the rest of the world". Would it remove systemic bias? No. It would replace a bias in one direction with a bias in to directions. What if they said "let's make the French language Wikipedia represent Asia more fairly by adding places in China." Would that make it fairly represent Asia? No. it would only bias the Asian articles in favour of one country. so, as I said, originally, before you got hot under the collar about it - "I'm not impressed unless you're also planning to run a bot adding cities and towns from every other country in the world to these wikis." Grutness...wha? 03:20, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I would expect other wikis to endeavor to eventually create articles on all cities around the world, so it is not a choice between adding cities in the U.S. or adding cities in the rest of the world. The English Wikipedia can and does welcome articles on cities from around the world. If we could get a bot to create articles on all of the cities in France or Argentina, we'd be thrilled. Also, cities in the U.S. are apparently what the other Wikipedias are lacking, so they would be countering bias on their Wikipedia by adding them. What is on other Wikipedias, like the English Wikipedia, is irrelevant because they are completely separate and most people are not multilingual. We should not cover the just the U.S., U.K., Australia and New Zealand cities in the English Wikipedia, Spain and Latin America in the Spanish Wikipedia and China in the Chinese Wikipedia. I don't know why the bot proposal is currently limited to the U.S., but it might have something to do with our readily available computerized records, which would be useful when using a bot to create articles. Finally, what they are talking about needs to be made clear. North America is not made up of the U.S. alone, or even the U.S. and Canada. It also includes Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. -- Kjkolb 03:26, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
(post edit conflict) As I already said, we (the English Wikipedia), would love it if we could get a bot to create articles on cities, even if it was from a single country, no matter where in the world it is. We don't have to chose which cities to cover. We intend to get around to them all eventually. -- Kjkolb 03:26, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
It may help this discussion to point out that many of the current articles on U.S. towns and cities were originally produced by Rambot using information pulled from the United States Census Bureau and other U.S. government agencies. As not all countries provide similar information, or place copyright restrictions on the information that effectively prevent wholesale usage of the information, it may not be reasonable to expect similar automated article generation for non-U.S. locations. I would suggest the requester contact the bot owner for information on current translation efforts. --Allen3 talk 03:46, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
Exactly, more articles is always a good thing, and generated articles from public domain US census data is relatively easy for a bot. If this exists in a machine-readable form for Canada or other countries, great, but I'm not sure if it does. It's complete bullocks to say that creating articles on US cities is somehow biased. If we can do it easilly, we should. Applies to articles on cities from any country. --W.marsh 22:15, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
Creating articles on only US cities - which is the original proposal - is extremely biased; this is a comment I stand by and nothing to do with oxen. Grutness...wha? 22:41, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
So we should create no articles instead of creating some articles? That's a terrible approach. If someone wants to create some good articles, the last thing we should do is tell them not to. --W.marsh 22:48, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
That's quite clearly not what I said. Creating some articles is always better than creating none (assuming they're encyclopedic), but creating some in a balanced way, rather than specifically favouring one topic, is far better still, and creating articles on only one area while ignoring all other areas is bad, especially if it is done by bot in such a way that theoretically thousands of articles could be created on one area, and even more so when it would be simple to create articles on a large number of places from across the planet. All of them exist in machine readable form - a form called called "Wikipedia articles". Anywhere which has an en.wiki article could easily have an equivalent created in French by bot as a babelfish-like translation at least. Those articles would be no worse than a lot of the garbled-English articles which are readily cleaned up on en.wiki. There is no reason on Earth to only limit this to one area. Grutness...wha? 06:40, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

I'm shocked at Grutness's take here. We should not add articles about US cities to other pediae? Because their cities aren't here yet? Then maybe they should get off their non-American asses and get cracking, I'd love to see an article here for every city, town, village and hamlet in the whole damn world, but until that happens, that's no reason to not add info about American cities, towns, villages and hamlets to other pediae. Please tell me I misinterpreted something. --Golbez 20:01, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

You clearly didn't read much of what I wrote. I am not complaining that US cities are being added to other Wikipedias. All I am saying is that the argument given for what it will achieve is fatally flawed - and that is something I would say whether it was your country, my country or anyone's country that had articles marked down as potentional additions. The original comment was that US cities and only US cities should be added in order to counter systemic bias. hink about that for a moment. Say you have a French language wikipedia with 1000 articles on places in France and 100 on places in the rest of the world. Adding 1000 places in the US isn't going to reduce systemic bias - it will simply split it in two directions. There will now be 1000 articles each on two countries and 100 on places in the rest of the world. Would systemic bias on the English language wikipedia be removed or lowered by adding 50,000 stubs articles on places in China? No, it would simply skew the bias in a different direction. An argument was then given that it was easy to add places in the US by bot, to which I answered that it was easy to add places from anywhere by bot. And if it is easy to do that, then that is a far better thing to do that simply concentrate on adding information from one country - adding places from throughout the world will attack systemic bias in a far more effective way that adding places from any one country, irrespective of what country it is. Why do it for just the US when you can just as easily do it for everywhere? Grutness...wha? 06:28, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
First, quality of machine translation. Second, why specifically US cities? CP/M (Wikipedia Neutrality Project) 21:26, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
No one ever said machine translation; that was an assumption. And because those are the cities we have the most info for. There is absolutely zero reason to say no to a U.S. city bot just because you're annoyed it doesn't have cities from Guatemala. Make your own bot if you can find the info, sheesh. --Golbez 21:48, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
If we have the bot ready and waiting, with a lot of human-written French-language info, let's press the Start button. If not, time would be better be spend to find adequate info for other countries. CP/M (Wikipedia Neutrality Project) 23:04, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
I wasn't aware we could only spend effort on one thing at a time. --Golbez 23:15, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
If we can spend effort on multiple things, we should spend it on multiple things - that means not only U.S. cities. If not, we still would better focus on wider coverage and not specifically our country. CP/M (Wikipedia Neutrality Project) 00:10, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
So you would oppose running a bot to add US city information to other pedia solely because it doesn't also add Canadian, Congolese, and Korean cities as well. WE can do multiple things; however, I have no problem with a single user (or bot) having a singular focus. If you want more, make your own bot. --Golbez 01:08, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
I in no way oppose it. Just press the Start button, it would only help.
But if there is no such button and no complete bot, then I really consider development of such a biased bot to be an ineffective way of spending time. CP/M (Wikipedia Neutrality Project) 02:01, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Your opinion is incorrect. It's not biased, it has a concentration. If I only edited USA-related articles, would I be biased? No, I would be editing what I know. Your witch-hunt for bias in every possible situation is abundantly clear. --Golbez 03:17, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
It's not witchhunt. If we have the bot already or need just to tune it, I support starting it (as mentioned below, if no objections arise, of course). If we do not have the bot, we'd better develop a bot for a wider scope of subjects. It's that simple. I just see no point in limiting the bot to the US cities. CP/M (Wikipedia Neutrality Project) 05:12, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

I think part of this discussion is academic as what we say and decide here (in this wiki) may not be accepted by other wikis. The only way to do things in other wikis is by abiding to their rules. Yes, as strange as it may sound, they all don't operate by the same rules as this one. Bots that create articles may need to be approved by the community of that wiki. If I remember correctly, that is the case of the Spanish wiki. I tend to remember some time ago someone there proposing a bot to create articles in the Spanish wiki about .... I do not remember, I think it was about French districts or something along those lines. There was a debate about allowing such bot and I think there was even a vote on the matter (do not remember the end result). Summarizing, I think we cannot decide here for the other wikis. Anagnorisis 04:01, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

11/03/2004 Spanish Trains Bombing[edit]

Warning for English users and Administrators :

There exists in Spain a small group of fanatics who think that the Madrid Train Bombing March 11th bombing was done by the current Spanish governement that was at that time the opposition party. They have now landed on English wikipedia and have started to shape the article to fit their madness.

They have many picturesque and bizzarre ways to state this non-sense and some variations involving secret services from France or Basque terrorist organisations (you will get painfully familiar with this crap so it is not needed for me give you details). The only solution is to block them and all their IPs. If you do not do this ASAP you will have all their rambling atrocities written again and again. In the Spanish Wikipedia we are sick of these guys trolling tactics regarding such a sensitive issue. A more soft solution could be to give them a special page for their deliriums as had been done with other conspiranoics. It is up to you. My message is that I cannot double my activity and control these nuts in English Wikipedia and many colleagues in the Spanish wikipedia are in the same situation. So it is up to you what to do between the next given three posibilities.

1-Allow them to publicize their aberrations spoiling the credibility of Wikipedia (currently happening)

2-Give them a page to at least have the damage controlled

3-Block them forever.

The 11-M were Islamic terrorist actions as anyone with a brain can see so I do not thing they will convince anybody but is really anoying to see their dirty lies shown as the truth. If someone wants to do something, please do it understanding that netiquette is used by them as a tool for their trolling. Enjoy.

--Igor21 16:35, 13 July 2006 (UTC) link addedFilceolaire 22:35, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

This is an article-specific dispute that should be resolved through Talk:11 March 2004 Madrid train bombings and, if all else fails, through Requests for arbitration. You might solicit admin attention on Wikipedia:Administrator's noticeboard. In any case, this is not a proposal. Deco 03:37, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Annoying "new messages" boxes[edit]

On various User and Talk pages, for example, GeorgeMoney (in the past) and Moeron (now), I have found fake "You have new messages" boxes. My proposal:

  1. Put something into the relevant policy, that although it isn't, lists this as an example of what is not allowed.
  2. Eradicate the existing ones (bot maybe?)
  3. If the problem still persists, have the developers make a change to the software that disables the real new messages boxes (user preference) and showing new messages other ways, such as the background color of the talk page link.

Seems to have come from this: User:Zappa.jake/templates/new_messages Invitatious (talk) 02:15, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

I agree; the practice of spoofing the "new messages" alert is juvenile and irritating. I have asked a few users to remove them, but apparently their amusement at tricking others outweights my irritation and time wasted. It's rude, to say the least. — Knowledge Seeker 03:13, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

One time I was on someone's talkpage and they made a what they called a "joke" and it forced me to laugh for several seconds when I could have been using that time to write the encyclopedia, so I'm proposing a NO JOKES AT ALL policy.

Seriously, come on... this is too much. Let it be. If someone you interact with has one, let them know of your displeasure and let peer pressure work its magic... vote against them if they ever come to RfA if you like... but making this a policy issue is overkill. — Bunchofgrapes (talk) 03:19, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Personally, I also find the spoofs annoying. Maybe it was funny the first few times, but it long since lost any appeal it had. However, the comment above makes me wonder. Is it possible right now to alter my style sheet so that real message boxes appear to be a non-standard color? Dragons flight 03:22, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
Yes, you can change the settings for the "usermessage" class to your liking. Unfortunately, most (all?) of the people involved are aware of this, and use the same class in the div tag for the fake bar. Kirill Lokshin 05:28, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
Where is the real notice in the page in relation to the other classes and IDs? Invitatious (talk) 15:06, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
Bunchofgrapes, that was unhelpful. Just because I don't find a particular action amusing does not mean I lack a sense of humor. At the hospital at which I work, we must use Internet Explorer, which means I don't have access to a tabbed browser. Furthermore, and I'm not sure why, but loading Wikipedia pages (even going back and forth in the history) takes at least 15-20 seconds, sometimes more. To go to someone's page (the most recent time for me was responding to an unblock request due to being autoblocked), seeing the message, and following the link wastes at least 30 seconds to a minute while I sit and watch the screen. It may not seem like a lot but it really is quite irritating. Your analogy is not accurate; laughing out of amusement is enjoyable; staring at my's computer screen waiting for pages to load because a user thought it would be amusing to deceive me is not enjoyable to me. In general, I am opposed to any spoofing of or interfering with the standard Wikipedia interface; this includes obscuring the standard layout with absolutely positioned divs, using protection templates on pages that aren't protected, forging notifications, and so on. — Knowledge Seeker 05:31, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
I am surprised, truthfully, that this is considered this permissible under the existing rules. Spoofing the Wikipedia interface in order to confuse other editors is plainly disruptive behavior; we shouldn't need new pages of rules specifically forbidding it to say that. There's some room for jokes, of course, but if someone objects or indicates that they find it genuinely confusing then it ought to be fixed. --Aquillion 15:51, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
It's certainly childish. Disruptive... maybe. The bottom line is not to go to "new message" pages if you're on a user page, but even that's annoying. Those of us armed with WP:POPUP escape that, of course.TheGrappler 16:01, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

True, this is annoying, it shouldn't be accepted as WP intends to be a serious project and these childish behaviour add to the non-respect of the encyclopedia. It shouldn't be a stand-alone policy but be added to some existing unaccepted behaviour page. Lincher 17:10, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

If some people find it disruptive I understand, but let's not call these people childish or disruptive for doing something that they honestly thought was innocent and playful. Only vandals enjoy wasting people's time. If you just tell them that some people find it confusing, I'm sure they'll understand and remove it - if you make a giant fuss about it they'll just go on the defensive. Deco 23:46, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

When I see the new messages indicator, I always eyeball the destination of the link before I click to it. Not sure if your browser selection doesn't display the link distance if your hover your mouse over it, though. --Deathphoenix ʕ 18:37, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

I always do that now whenever I see one on a user page (with popups). I would still like to get rid of these anyway. Invitatious (talk) 01:34, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
  • I would recommend removing it on sight, dropping them a note, and protecting their page for awhile if they fail to take the hint. Faking the interface is dangerous and disruptive. --Improv 12:49, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
I think the real "new messages" box is suboptimal in any case, since it looks like part of an article and can interfere with layout testing (especially if you need to determine the height of a page). I'd suggest changing the "my talk" link to read "my new messages." This would work on all skins. SeahenNeonMerlin 18:45, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree, something like this (maybe with different wording, or the option to change the tab color, but this basic idea) is the obvious way to go. Gavia immer 18:27, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
Going back to the original subject, I would class this as talk page vandalism. I feel that there are two possible options:
  1. An outright ban
  2. Make all users who post these use a different colour background.
Personally, I prefer the first option. --GW_Simulations|User Page | Talk | Contribs | E-mail 18:45, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
Guys! Chill! It's not that bad, if you hover over the link at it says "Special:MyTalk", it's fake. If it says "User_talk:XXX", where XXX is your name.. It's obviously real, it takes 3 seconds. Sure i'll admit i've stuck that on my page b4, but come on, it doesn't kill you... Does it? --Deon555|talk 00:56, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
It's just very annoying the first couple of times you encounter it, and it does seem rather, uh, beneath the dignity of this project. Hmmm! Wikipedia has dignity? I've got to think some more about that. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 01:15, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Dealing with vandals[edit]

I see that a lot of the warnings to vandals have been standardised ("Thank you for experimenting..."). I think that including the following sentence in the standard response can further reduce the frequency of vandalism:

"If you feel the need to be funny, try editing on Uncyclopedia. Uncyclopedia is a parody of Wikipedia where anyone can add jokes or funny pictures to articles."

- sYndicate talk 12:50, 09 July 2006 (UTC)

I'd support this in the first warning (apart from blatant vandal). Why don't you go over to the template talk page and suggest it? --Oldak Quill 19:59, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

I can't find any vandal templates? -  sYndicate talk  23:00, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:VandalismJonathan Kovaciny (talk|contribs) 16:20, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Found it, thanks Jonathan. -  sYndicate talk  03:28, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

History Tab usability[edit]

The History tab is very daunting for new users; it's very busy and just about everything can be clicked on, so it's confusing as to what one should do. At a minimum, there should be a link to Help:Page history in some obvious place near the top.

Are there any other ways it could be made more usable or intuitive? Could there be a "simple" and "advanced" version of the history tab (chosen in My Preferences) so that new users would see only the most essential information (hiding the "talk|contribs" links for each user, for example)? Could it be redesigned into more of a table format so the columns could be labeled? I know a lot of this would involve a MediaWiki software change, but I thought I'd get some feedback here first. — Jonathan Kovaciny (talk|contribs) 04:23, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

Could an admin please at least add a link to Help:Page history? It would help a lot of people and would hardly be any trouble at all. If you want to go a little further, I would suggest changing the current History page text from:
To view a previous version, click the date for that version.

Legend: (cur) = difference with current version, (last) = difference with preceding version, m = minor edit

... to ...
All versions of this article are listed here in reverse-chronological order.
  • To view a specific version, click a date.
  • To compare an old version with the current version, click cur.
  • To compare a version with its predecessor, click last.

Minor edits are denoted as m. For more help, see Help:Page history.

Thank you! — Jonathan Kovaciny (talk|contribs) 22:11, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
I like this idea. I've long been concerned that Wikipedia's processses are too opaque to new editors and outside observers.--Pharos 22:33, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
I don't. Not every newbie is a moron or a computer illiterate. Write wordy tutorials for people who want them, but don't cut interface functionality because you assume people are incompetent. Disclaimer, I do in general hate Wikipedia's tendency to talk down to readers, link "difficult" words, go off on illustrative "dumbing down" tangents, etc., we are an encyclopedia, not high-school-level education software (unlike, arguably, simple:). dab () 22:50, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia processes are a lot less "obvious" than you, as a well-experienced user, may think. Every time major news organizations have written feature articles on Wikipedia, they have demonstrated some fundamental misunderstanding of the system.--Pharos 23:17, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
I think more explanations is enough. The history interface is useful and shouldn't be dumbed down but it isn't obvious. Not saying that it is hard to understand just that it isnn't obvious which is fine. The a bit longer explanantion should be enough but it is hard for me as a wikipedian to judge. Jeltz talk 23:45, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree, and would give strong support to this proposal. When I first looked at the History tab, I was blown away by it. It was only by experimenting for a while that I managed to bumble through it. I think A short explaination would be perfect and would help a lot. Perhaps it'd also be good to include a short sentence on how to revert pages, too. I remember reading about reverting all over Wikipedia but having to hunt through several layers of help pages before I arrived at an explaination of how to revert something.Lor 09:38, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
  • It would also be nice to have the instructions visually separated from the "(Latest | Earliest) View (previous 50) (next 50) (20 | 50 | 100 | 250 | 500)" navigation by putting a border around the instructions. — Jonathan Kovaciny (talk|contribs) 03:29, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
  • So is there a concensus on this? Who can make it happen? — Jonathan Kovaciny (talk|contribs) 16:08, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
Changes made to the protected message at MediaWiki:Histlegend -- it looks a bit bulky, but definitely more helpful than what was there previously. We'll see how others like it. — Catherine\talk 17:50, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
Any option on how to remove that in one's preferences? It's just too big. Wouldn't just a link to Help:Page history be sufficient? Garion96 (talk) 17:55, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
I don't like it myself, but I can see that it might be informative for new users. But if it stays, it should be possible to turn it off in ones monobook or somewhere. Shanes 18:00, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

What can I say but UGH!. This huge box simply wastes a full third of the space on the history screen. What's more important: the history or the instructions? It should be a small link, or at least a single line (as it was before). I'm not opposed to the idea, just to the amount of space it wastes. For now, I'm reverting to the previous revision, but keeping the link to the help page (which is a good idea). --cesarb 18:07, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Thank you! Btw, I agree with keeping the link. Garion96 (talk) 18:10, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
Good compromise. The Help link is prominent, but the header doesn't eat up all my screen real estate. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 18:12, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
With due respect to the editors involved in this, I find this change to the page history an extremely unpleasant one. On a 1024x768 screen, it puts this legend directly smackdab near the center of the screen, where the eye naturally goes for whatever they're searching (in this case, history data). The amount of spacing and whitespace makes it an unusually large box. It makes extremely prominent functionality that most Wikipedians know after a short period of time. At the very, very least, please put a CSS class around it so that people can display:none it in their monobook.css file. —  Mike (talk • contribs) 18:17, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
How about the following (with a border around it for visibility), since each user only has to learn how to use the History page once. There's no need to see the Legend every time, is there?
For help using this page, see Help:Page history.
Jonathan Kovaciny (talk|contribs) 18:19, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
Again: what's more important: the history or the instructions? Drawing attention away from the history and towards the instructions is plain wrong in this case. Less visibility is better. --cesarb 18:41, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
I disagree. The instructions are the first thing that a new user should see, since the page by itself is far from intuitive. By the time a user becomes comfortable using the page history, the instruction link (even if it is a visual standout because of a border) will no longer be prominent because our brains are wired to ignore things that aren't needed and don't change. A highly visible link to the instructions will become less visible to each user as time passes.
After seeing the "bulky" instructions put to use temporarily, I agree that they were too much, and I now prefer the very succinct "For help using this page ..." notice. This reduces use of screen real estate without cutting usability. I also agree with Mike that it should have CSS class so people can display:none it if they wish. — Jonathan Kovaciny (talk|contribs) 19:09, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
The instructions should definitely be visible, after all, why even bother with them if they aren't? I like the new, more succinct notice though. For myself at least, the current: "Legend: (cur) = difference with current version, (last) = difference with preceding version, m = minor edit." is/was extremely confusing. We need a more visible link to the help at least. --Lor 21:06, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
shoving instructions into people's faces is patronizing. Don't assume every newbie is a moron. Place an unobtrusive "help" link for people who need it, but for the love of god don't clutter a perfectly user-friendly layout with infoboxes and talking office clips! dab () 00:23, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

New accounts[edit]

Hello! I was amazed by how there is no verification to sign-up. It's pleasant that there is no e-mail hassle but a keyboard verification might be good to keep off the spam. Thanks! — The preceding unsigned comment was added by Pawel z Niepolomic (talkcontribs) .

The commenter is probably suggesting the use of captchas during signup. The one possible use for this that I can think of is preventing massive automated account creation for the purpose of bypassing semiprotection. Deco 14:14, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
I strongly believe that there should be e-mail address verification, so that if a member misbehaves, not only can the account be blocked, but so can the e-mail address, so they would have to get a new address, which is easy to do, but is time consumming and annoying, so it would act as a deterent. -Wser 15:21, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
I think that is perfectly sensible. Also, I assumed we already used captchas, because when I signed up on some other language wikipedias they did. Martin 15:26, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
Omg i never realised we didn't use Captcha's, Simple does, and other WP's do.. Maybe it would be good..? --Deon555|talk 00:50, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
I think we shouldn't use email verification. I absolutely HATE it when pages do that, cause you have to wait for the email to come, it might be caught in a spam filter, and there's no gurantee that it's not going to be used to spam. Also, some people use ISP email addresses or email addresses related to their real name. And what about the right to vanish? Without email verification, people can vanish and there isn't an email address there if they haven't put it. If there is email verification, then when people vanish there's still their email address, and it's hard to vanish from that because they might have friends that contact them with email, sites they've registered on, etc. --Samuel 69105 15:27, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

New User categories[edit]

Hello,

My Question relates to the possibility to add a category such as category:public lectures in Town (replacing public lectures by org. name & town by the real name of the location) and invite user to add their user accounts in it ? (relating them with a main article Template:catmore which shall describe the community as a wikipedia encyclopedic article).

The aim is to give some newbies the feature of registering as members of that group, so that they could meet thereafter.

My point is to add brand new users that share the follow-up of philosophy-related lectures ; those are not the teachers, but they search a place to share the knowledge they acquired throughout a community.

I proposed wikipedia, which I know through another wiki identity. So that I just started this account creation to enhance their initiation to the wiki (people come from the course, and are basically unaware of wikipedia guidelines).

Yours,

--Lilliputian 12:12, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Forgive me, but I'm not sure if I understand what you're proposing. I'll give my best try, though. You've attended (or will attend) classes or lectures of some sort, and a large number of people from those classes have joined (or will join) Wikipedia? And you're proposing a category or categories to help the people from these class(es) find each other and communicate? Am I right? Luna Santin 08:42, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Yes you've got the idea; I assume that a simple user box in a user's page would be enough to group them using the noinclude ; category:acme user stuff. Later idea is to handle collaborative work through the wiki environment (this is not a negative "group ideology" thing, Let's say the lectures help understand many things about the past & the way history is currently told : hence, historiography by nation instead of one history). Overall issue shall not be reduced to History, though.
Anyway, is a user box the answer ?
--Lilliputian 15:42, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
note : talks can continue there.

New magicword <<DYNDATETIME|ZONE>>[edit]

NOTE: To avoid my text being interpreted as code, I replaced all curly brackets ({{) with triangular brackets (<<). They really should be curly brackets in the actual implementation.

BACKGROUND:

Many articles have specific dates and times in them. Currently these dates are fixed as simple text, and all users, regardless of their timezones, see the same number.

In many cases this is the way it should be, e.g. historical articles, events where the time of the day is important etc. But in many other cases, mostly in current event and schedule-specific articles, the ultimate objective is to convey the actual time of the event to the reader, as opposed of presenting the perspective of a local time.

For example:

"On January 1, 19XX, at 16:00PM country A declared war on country B."

In this case, the local time is important, to show the historical perspective. This date and time should stay constant to all readers, and not be adjusted for timezone.

But in another example:

"The semi-final is scheduled on August 10, 2006 at 16:00 PST"

The focus is more reader oriented than local oriented. The objective is to let the reader know when exactly the event takes place, for example so they can watch it in real time.

PROPOSAL:

For accomplishing the latter case, have a magicword of the following format:

<<DYNDATETIME|ZONE>>

For example, the article text contains:

<<2006-08-10 16:00|PST>> (Let's not get in a fight over the date format in the tag, it can be MMDD or DDMM or whatever, that's not the point of this suggestion.

What this would do is convert the displayed date and time according the user's timezone settings in Wikipedia (preferences -- time zone). It would then display the date to the user according to their specifications under preferences under "date format" section.

Thus, a user with time zone of -8 and long date preferences would see on the page something like:

August 10, 2006 16:00 GMT-8

A user with the same style but in timezone +3 would see:

August 11, 2006 03:00 GMT+3

And a user with short date preferences and offset 0 would see:

2006-08-11 00:00 GMT

In a nutshell, it would make dates displayed more dynamic, more suitable to user preferences, and most importantly, timezone-adjustable. So next time, for example, I won't have to recalculate all the times on my favorite football match when reading Wikipedia.

Of course, ALL CONVERSIONS WILL BE DONE BY HAND AS APPLICABLE. I am not suggesting that a bot do that, because in many articles the date and time should stay as they are (that is simple text). This is not intended to be a lighting-fast change, but rather gradual introduction in articles which could benefit from dynamically-adjusted times, mostly indended for current events and especially sports and other competitions.

Of course, we could also make a format like <<DYNDATETIME|FIXED>>, where it would adjust the style of date and time, but not adjust it for timezone.

Finally, users should be able to turn autoadjustments on or off in their time/date preference settings. If they turn it off, they will always see date and time for the same zone which was written in the article. And article writers, when writing dates and times using this magicword, should always use local time for the event as the base case.

Elvarg 18:27, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

First of all, do not write in all caps in your proposal. It is considered rude. Now, about the proposal; I disagree. All events should have the local time of the place where the event took place, instead of the reader's local time. It is much more confusing when, for example, there's a sports game, and you write: "the game was a night game, starting at 6:00 AM EST," or something of that sort. — Mets501 (talk) 14:02, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Mets501. The current practice is, in my view, better than this proposal. — Simetrical (talk • contribs) 02:23, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Mets501 has a great point. I'll also throw in the monkey wrench of Old Style and New Style dates which make an automated date or time conversion process for the years 1582-1752 difficult or impossible. --ElKevbo 04:15, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Uh just a comment, you can just use "nowiki" in "<" and ">" instead of using "<" and ">". Unfortunately, I can't type that in without it disappearing. --Terrancommander 04:21, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
<nowiki> blah blah blah code code code </nowiki> --The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake 00:58, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Special:Allpages in sidebar[edit]

Special:Allpages was recently added to the side bar. I think this is not a very helpful page to direct people to (less useful than the search box certainly). As a result, I am inclined to remove it, but don't want to start an edit war, so I'd like to hear other opinions. Dragons flight 14:27, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

I agree.
I thought these pages were protected? Lincher 14:36, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
They are protected, but Patrick is apparently an admin, and any admin has the technical ability to edit protected pages, though some discussion would have been nice. Dragons flight 14:57, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
I have been bold in adding it, because I think it is quite convenient (even more so since a namespace can be selected). I use it more often than Featured articles and Random article. What do others think?--Patrick 15:01, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
I think it should be removed, or at least moved down to the toolbox. It's a confusing way to browse Wikipedia, especially for new users, and it's a very large page (90k). The type of user that would use it (such as yourself) is experienced enough to know where to find it and how to bookmark it. — Jonathan Kovaciny (talk|contribs) 15:49, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
I would go for removing it completely. It's basically useless to the casual reader (or even the casual editor!). Kirill Lokshin 16:04, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree. — Catherine\talk 16:09, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
I removed it. Seems like a consensus to me. At least I think I removed it. Is there anything special I have to do to get me Sidebar to actually reflect the change? — Bunchofgrapes (talk) 16:33, 13 July 2006 (UTC)


CSD reference template series proposal[edit]

I propose a set of templates, Category:CSD reference templates, that creates references to criteria for speedy deletion, for use in XFD debates. I think it is useful because of newbies who may be looking for the relevant criteria. Examples of use are on the talk page. If you can improve the summaries (should be very concise) of the criteria, you are of course welcome to edit the proposed template. Also: Is this possible to use in edit summaries? Invitatious (talk) 01:30, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Keeping medical updates[edit]

Are there any Wikipedias who wish to spend some time each week making sure that medical articles are up-to-date? Wikipedia has been praised for been up to date, and there are certainly some fields (popular and media culture, current affairs and politics, anything to do with computer software) where it certainly is this, leaving other encyclopaedias (even those online) trailing. However, the medical articles are not always up-to-date. The article on whooping cough has not been updated since June 29 2006, in spite of a recent July survey into whooping cough in Oxford, United Kingdom. My proposal is for medically qualified Wikipedians to ensure that medical articles are updated regularly. ACEO 18:32, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

See WP:CLINMED and WP:MEDGENP for starters. — Jonathan Kovaciny (talk|contribs) 15:54, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Sysops and what we call them[edit]

So I was thinking, the word "admin" seem to bear a very high-and-mighty connotation to it, which might be attributing to the perceived power that admins have in the Wikipedia community.

We could rename them janitors! Not only does the title suit them better, but it also makes them not a big deal. Plus it's funny. :-) --The Prophet Wiz ard of the Cray on Cake 07:09, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

- I guess the term gods is to much for them then? LOL - don't want to give their ego's too much of a boost!Raven.x16 07:12, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

I'm seriously considering this.. it makes perfect sense. Why do we call them admins anyways? They basically just have some extra tools that they're trusted to use properly...

Administrators are Wikipedians who have access to technical features that help with maintenance. Those include protecting and deleting pages, blocking other editors, and undoing these actions as well. Wikipedia practice is to grant this access to anyone who has been an active and regular Wikipedia contributor for a while, is familiar with and respects Wikipedia policy, and is generally a known and trusted member of the community.

This little snippet from WP:ADMIN describes a janitor perfectly.
How do you think I could make this a widespread term? With enough effort, this could become the new name for sysops. I like it, personally. --The Prophet Wiz ard of the Cray on Cake 07:31, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
I think people would jump on board if you could persuade everyone that Wikipedia:Administrators should be renamed. But good luck with that. Deco 07:38, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
Meh --The Prophet Wiz ard of the Cray on Cake 07:55, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
I know they have janitorial duties...but don't they also act as kind of security guards/pseudo cyber (spam) cops as well? LoL.Raven.x16 07:57, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
Also they act as mediators, peer couselors, and tour guides, but since they can block me I call them all "Your Excellency", they like that :) --Doc Tropics Message in a bottle 08:03, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
I also like "The Powers that Be". ;-) While "janitor" is an informal name for admins, I don't think it would go over very well with everyone. On some pages, admins are referred to as "sysops", but I think it might be worse or at least not much better than "administrator". "Custodian" might be better and acceptable. I think it would be difficult to get it changed, though. We've got a bunch of pages referring to admins and some have "administrator" in them. Also, people are used to calling them admins and it would be difficult to get them to change. Also, people might get confused and think that there is a difference between a janitor and an admin if both are used or they see old discussions that say "admin". -- Kjkolb 10:18, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
I suppose "moderator" might be another option, but I think it is somewhat misleading because it implies that they keep things from getting out of hand through mediation, whereas they mostly do janitorial work (speedy delete articles that meet the criteria, close AfDs, move pages) and blocking, and those that are blocked are usually just vandals, which does not require much mediation beyond the test templates. Of course, admins try to mediate when appropriate, but they have no special authority or tools to do so. -- Kjkolb 10:33, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
'Moderated forums' are places were 'moderators' review new posts before they appear on the forum. That certainly does not fit Wikipedia. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 11:19, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
"Custodians", perhaps? Kirill Lokshin 02:57, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
Quis custodiet custodiens? User:Zoe|(talk) 22:25, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
What's the spirit of the original proposal? Is it to eliminate any intimidating titles used around Wikipedia? If it is, then something like Janitors is ideal. I certainly wouldn't mind being a Janitor for Wikipedia =), and I'm sure that most if not all Wikipedia admins. If on the other hand we're trying to assign them a name that fits their job description perfectly, then perhaps 'Custodian' or even 'Senior Wikipedian' or something to indicate their trusted status.
What's the spirit of the original proposal? Is it to eliminate any intimidating titles used around Wikipedia? If it is, then something like Janitors is ideal. I certainly wouldn't mind being a Janitor for Wikipedia =), and I'm sure that most if not all Wikipedia admins wouldn't mind this. If on the other hand we're trying to assign them a name that fits their job description perfectly, then perhaps 'Custodian' or even 'Senior Wikipedian' or something to indicate their trusted status.Lor 09:20, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

But I'm a 'custodian' of Wikipedia. I watch over it, nurture it, undo vandalism, welcome people, etc. But I'm not an admin, as I'm here to write an encyclopedia. I'd be hurt (and in some cases deeply insulted!) by any implication that I'm not as responsible as admins. I think the same would go for 'senior Wikipedian' - I've probably been here longer and made more edits than the pushier folk who can't wait to be admins. JackyR | Talk 11:08, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Janitors is best precisely because it is the least dignified title. Let them best their esteem on what they do, not on what they expect others to call them. Honbicot 21:05, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm still a fan of the term "power user", because this connotes that they are "just a user" but they can do more stuff. It doesn't indicate any particular status or responsibility. But if you want admins to have responsibility, then I can see how another word might be preferable. Deco 23:48, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
Well said, JackyR. As an editor, you are a custodian of Wikipedia whether you are an admin or not. We all are. The only real difference between an admin and any other editor is the "trust" element which an editor earns over time by making useful edits and demonstrating that they can get along with other editors. Once they've gained that trust they can cash it in by becoming an admin and getting the "trust-required" tools (if they want to). However there are plenty of trustworthy editors who haven't bothered. I've often thought that "administrator" and "sysop" are a very misleading pair of titles. Something more on the mark would be "old hand" or even "trustie". -- Derek Ross | Talk 18:39, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

One current concern is notifying editors what they are signing up for when they choose to become an admin. Perhaps we should rename the title to be "target". So we have regular editors like me and target editors with blocking powers who draw the enmity of donkey-editors onto themselves. Works for me. WAS 4.250 22:36, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

That made me laugh. Although, if you are courteous even when others are not, and thoroughly and politely explain your rationale for doing something controversial, I think you will find you will only occasionally be a target.
Until admins have a new name, I suggest that the instances of "sysop" in the Wikipedia namespace (guidelines, policies and such) be changed to "admin" or "administrator" to avoid confusion. -- Kjkolb 23:08, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Watchlist all articles in a given category[edit]

Sorry if this has been proposed before, but wouldn't it be very useful to include a function allowing Wikipedians to watchlist articles in a category they'd like?

Currently the 'watch' button on category pages only adds the category page itself to the user's watchlist and doesn't reflect changes to the pages in the category. This is OK, it is of use to many people, and I'm not advocating this function's substitution. I'd like to have both a 'watch page' and 'watch all pages in the category' (hope someone would come up with a shorter name :)) button on category pages.

I'm very interested in topics related to my native country, Bulgaria, and have often regretted not being able to effectively observe the developments (new articles, major changes to existing articles, article moves, etc.) in Category:Bulgaria, so the idea of such a function crossed my mind.

Now, of course, some more in-depth thinking reveals several problems: if you watchlist all articles in a category, you'd have to automatically watchlist all articles that are being added to it afterwards (there's little sense in the contrary). Also, implementing the removal of pages from the watchlist (when they've been added because they fall in a given category) may be an issue that needs further discussion. And besides, watchlisting very big categories may be troublesome both to the user and the software (not sure about that). Another issue are subcategories — the user should be asked whether to add them to his/her watchlist together with the main category or watch only the main category.

I'd like to hear what you think about it before going to Bugzilla, so we could discuss any suggestions and ideas, and see if it's a good proposal overall. I know the final result would look a bit complex and hard to understand to new users, but I (and I'm sure many other Wikipedians) would find such a function very handy. Todor Bozhinov 15:41, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

If I understand you correctly, what you want is Related changes, which you can find in the Toolbox (left column under the Search box) on most pages. For example: Special:Recentchangeslinked/Category:Bulgaria. — Jonathan Kovaciny (talk|contribs) 15:54, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
Recent changes is a useful function, but it only shows changes in the main category and not in the subcategories. And it lacks many of the other advantages watchlisting has. Todor Bozhinov 16:53, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Random Article[edit]

I don't know whether there is processing overhead associated with this, but I think it would be a good idea to only link to real articles from the Random Article link. Currently it links to both deleted pages and disambiguation pages;deleted articles are obviously not useful and returning disambiguation pages looks odd in this context. Maybe there should also be some weighting for featured articles or a Random Featured Article link Yomangani 10:18, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

I actually like it the way it works now. Whenever I have a few minutes but don't know what to do I just click 'Random Article' a few times until I see something that needs help; it usually doesn't take too many clicks to find something to work on that way :) --Doc Tropics 13:47, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
I've got 'Random Article' marked 20 times as bookmarks so I can open 20 random articles in tabs in Firefox at a single click - there's generally an interesting one. MikesPlant 15:11, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Dab pages need to be looked at too... Septentrionalis 01:57, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

I never understood the point of the Random Article thing. --Macarion 23:50, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

It would be nice if there was an option in My Preferences to modify the function of the Special:Random on a per-user basis. I would love to see checkboxes like the following, with only the first three checked by default, so new users wouldn't bump into pages of little encyclopedic value:

Random article may include:
  • ( ) Featured articles
  • ( ) Good articles
  • ( ) All non-stub articles
  • ( ) Stub-length articles
  • ( ) Disambiguation pages
  • ( ) Deleted pages

This would obviously require a software change, but I would certainly use the Random article feature more often if this were possible. — Jonathan Kovaciny (talk|contribs) 16:05, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Chronology or reverse chronology for lists of works and people[edit]

Blog format or scholar format for lists of works and people - here, applied to the case of the list of past conductors of a major orchestra. A proposal with four formats, various points about them, and a discussion is opened at Talk:Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (but the topic goes beyond this one article, and probably beyond orchestra articles).

(Disclosure: ongoing edit war and associated vandalism on the article.)

-- 62.147.38.70 17:57, 12 July 2006 (UTC)


copyright tag classification[edit]

Although Public Domain and SELF seem to be the primary divisions of copyright tag classification it appears that their are many, many more subdivisions which are not readily classified for the user. I propose for this reason that the copyright tags not only be properly classified but that the resulting classification be expressed for the benefit of users in the form of a dichotomous key. ...IMHO (Talk) 17:04, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Revision of Wikipedia:Requests for comment page[edit]

I have prepared a major reorganization and substantial revision of Wikipedia:Requests for comment at User:Centrx/Sandbox/Request for comment. It had not been substantially changed since RfCs were split out into subpages and has become a unnavigable and repetitive hodgepodge. This revision cleanly divides the page into subsections relevant to specific kinds of RfCs — articles, policy, user, and responses — with specific instructions, advice, and reference to policies for each.

What should be trimmed down further? What is missing? the section on requestion comment on articles is the most well-developed, but what might be appropriate for the user section in integrating it well with its subpage? Should the policy section be expanded? How about the section on responding? Also, I would like help with formatting of the templates on the right near the introduction, problems which may be visible on higher resolution screens. — Centrxtalk • 19:44, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Senior editors[edit]

Another proposal for senior editors... at least it has nice pictures. The reasoning and details are in the essay... It's just a userpage essay, comments welcome. It's here. Herostratus 19:05, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

I, and many others, oppose the thrusting of hierarchy upon the userbase apart from a few functional rôles such as admin and bureaucrat which are necessary to the fighting of vandalism and whatnot. I've been a member here for over two years, an admin for over a year and a half, I have done work on many different parts of Wikipedia (from stub making to article featuring to policy and WikiProject proposal and creation). I would not accept being called a "senior editor" - I am no more senior than any other editor. An anon with one edit should have as many rights as I when it comes to POV/content dispute (sadly, this isn't the case). The length of my term here and the breadth of my involvement does not, and should never, give me more rights (apart from the aforementioned functional rôles) when it comes to editing. I cannot speak strongly enough against this proposal. (By the way, the crux of the proposal (acknowledgement of hard work and giving newer users a list of people to talk to when problems arise) is already provided by barnstars and adminship, respectively.) --Oldak Quill 19:37, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
Something like this would help with vandalism fighting and other things, but it would need only be a function of how long the user has been an editor, with no vandalism, or somesuch. At the moment, I can find vandalistic registered users or newbies who need help or create articles that need to be cleaned up, based on whether their usernames are redlinks, that is, they have no created a userpage. This works a little, but newbies are quite able to and do create user-pages; vandals have the same ability and some make user-pages specifically to thwart this identification. — Centrxtalk • 20:14, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
Just because an editor's been around for ages doesn't make them immediately trustworthy, either. There's plenty of absolutely dire editors (I'm not even talking about POV-pushers or personal attack makers, of which there are plenty, I mean people still on the level of racking up copyvios, inserting completely bizarre, unsourced, own research/conspiracy theories/rants into articles...) with thousands of edits. They're only just above the vandals, but so long as they don't get personal and move on to new battlegrounds every so often, they don't tend to get banned. After that, there are an army of experienced POV-pushers, conspiracy crufters, edit-warriors and goodness knows what else. I believe quite firmly that Herostratus' belief that edit count plus two years experience indicates all is well may be far too generous. Unfortunately, identifying even the most obvious exceptions is likely to become "political" in some sense, and would involve to some extent the exercise of my own personal point of view. Several years back Jimbo came up with the idea of a "trusted editor" system, in which editors could declare which editors they trusted (the original idea was to have a ranking of how trustworthy editors were so that the senior editors could be identified, but it was difficult to decide on a "trust metric" and the system was potentially gameable - if lots of POV-pushers trusted each other, then they'd appear as the most trustworthy editors - so it shifted towards a more distributed "trust network"), but the system relied on people filling in and updating a rather complicated centralized table. Over at de:, they picked the idea up about 4 months later and ran with it, using a simpler technical solution for recording trust (see de:Wikipedia:Vertrauensnetz, and for an example of the system in action, de:Benutzer:Elian/Vertrauen). The English Wikipedia's version died through lack of interest, but an old copy is archived here. I made an effort to revive it using the German technical solution, but interest has been a little low and feedback generally negative (see WP:TRUST) precisely because a "trusted editor" system is political to a degree and looks a little like a popularity contest. So does WP:RFA, but still... The advantage of doing it this way is that if you see an editor who is trusted by somebody you trust as an expert on that subject working their way through your watchlist, you can make a fairly sensible decision not to make checking after them your priority. On the other hand, somebody trusted only by 50 sockpuppets, or a whole bunch of people you know to be nationalistic or pseudoscientific POV pushers, would ring alarm bells. I used to judge people to a significant extent by their edit counts, and give experienced Wikipedians more leeway, but I've always found the "diffs" column of their contribs page more useful than the number of them. Some, even with high edit counts, are just shocking. And the user page red/blue is not much of a guide either: linkspammers, for instance, sometimes do a null edit on their user page as one of their first acts after getting an account. 10,000 edits is a sign somebody isn't a blatant vandal or spammer, but it's no guarantee that they deserve to be seen as "senior", yet identifying them as undeserving is likely to involve at least a little bit of politics even in obvious cases. One advantage of the "trust" system, is that excellent contributors who focus on adding a small number or substantial and high quality edits can be recognized, as with those more active on another language Wikipedia but well-regarded for their work there, while there is no need to explicitly say "I distrust so-and-so" to more experienced editors, which is what would happen if there was a RfA type process for "Senior Editor" (precisely why Herostratus intelligently avoided including one, but his proposal leaves no means for doing so implicitly either). TheGrappler 14:50, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
This strikes me as a sublimely, almost comically bad idea. It does indeed feel like a system that might be devised to measure moral authority in an encyclopedic effort — if that effort was being run by the honourable users Gilbert and Sullivan. So, what, someone who's hit the 'edit' button ten thousand times over the course of two years gets a shiny sticker on their userpage, and we're to hope that other users will give all their opinions extra weight as a result? I have a counter-proposal, one that I believe is vastly superior in all regards: Any user who wants to call themselves a senior editor is free to do so at any time. They can, furthermore, decide at whim what rank they wish to assign themselves, and may even invent new ranks if the thought of ranking below or alongside one of their compatriots is displeasing to them. In the spirit of reciprocity, however, any user who assigns themselves a rank must likewise respect the rank of all other ranked users, deferring to those above them, managing those below them, and always, always using full titles in all communications. In this fashion, those who care about ranks and honours will spend all their time on meaningless politeness, while those of us who are actually interested in writing an encyclopedia will be free to do so uninterrupted. --Aquillion 16:09, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
I think Herostratus' point is that it's not all about ranks and honors. For certain purposes it's handy to see whether you are dealing with an editor you can just leave to get on with things. Like Centrx said, a user name or user page often aren't much information to be going on. TheGrappler 17:31, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Improving coverage of places in France[edit]

I am relatively new, so don't have the technical expertise to sort this. But the coverage of towns and villages in France is very patchy. In the French wikipedia most places that don't have an extended article have a standard stub page with headings and links, as well as a table (infobox?) with statistical information - postcode, number of inhabitants, area and population density, altitude etc. These must have been generated automatically from the French national statistical service database. Is there a way to migrate this information into the English wikipedia, without of course writing over entries that are more complete in the English version? --Itsmejudith 10:56, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Since Wikipedia should not reference itself as a source (see Wikipedia:Reliable sources), if this is done it would be better to redo it using the original statistical database than the French Wikipedia articles. There are a number of folks who write bots that might be able to accomplish this. Bot requests can be made at Wikipedia:Bot requests. -- Rick Block (talk) 14:09, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
Please don't do this. The bot-created American articles are awful. I would rather wait for a real person to start an article, even if it is only a sentence to begin with. Honbicot 21:07, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Case-sensitive login notice[edit]

Is it possible to change the login failure message to include a notice that the username and password are case-sensitive? It is not a problem for me, but failed log-in attempts may discourage people from logging in to edit. (I am assuming that account-editing is preferred over "anonymous"-editing, although this may not be the case.) I am accustomed to systems where the username is not case-sensitive, and such "case-insensitive" login systems seem rather widespread, so I expect that this might be a common problem. I apologize if this has already been discussed elsewhere.--GregRM 23:19, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

I've updated the "no such user" error message. -- Rick Block (talk) 14:21, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
That was fast. Thanks for the quick reply and action.--GregRM 23:07, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

support for google video[edit]

I thought it would be neat to include special banners linking articles to google videos. This would allow users to supplement their research with interviews, animations, etc, using already moderated source material. It seems like a logical step to me, so I'm sure someone's already working on it. Just wondering.--Asherp 20:31, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

what are google videos, and who "moderates" them? User:Zoe|(talk) 03:16, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
Google Video (http://video.google.com/) is a service similar to YouTube. I think it is unmoderated. To the original poster, Google Video is a commercial service with copyrighted videos and so is not appropriate for a free-content site like ours to systematically link to. The best situation would be to find free-content videos of interviews, upload them to Commons and link them (this already happens). I'm just speaking from the position of Wikipedia proper. There is no reason why you couldn't design some kind of external extension or service which would display relevant Google Videos (and Google Web search results) alongside a Wikipedia article. A similar project exists which links Wikipedia articles to locations on Google Maps (http://www.placeopedia.com/) . It is, of course, external. If you feel like throwing around a few ideas with me (I can help you from the Wikipedia POV), feel free to drop me a message.--Oldak Quill 19:52, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Marking redirects[edit]

Hello all;

I don't know if this is quite the proper place, but a feature I think would be of great use for tracking pages and maintaining one's watchlist would be to have any redirect on one's Special:Watchlist/edit page marked as such. I, for one, frequently go back and check for certain redirects and remove others. It is tedious and time-consuming to visit the majority of those pages. Charles 01:41, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Redirects are already marked there with a watchlistredir class. If you want them to look different, add something like .watchlistredir { font-style: italic } on your user CSS (this is the one I use, and it makes them appear in italic; you can try other styles if it's not different enough). --cesarb 14:58, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
I don't know where to go to do that or how to do that. Could you possibly point me where to go or what to do? Charles 23:48, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
If you use Monobook (the default skin), it's at Special:Mypage/monobook.css. Invitatious (talk) 02:24, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
Many thanks guys, it's very much appreciated :-) Charles 02:42, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Proposal for articles lacking verifiability[edit]

I was thinking about this last night (well, I was bored). I didn't know whether to put it on WP:V or WP:DEL, so I went down the middle route.

There are a heck of a lot of articles on Wikipedia that have absolutely no source information, and they should - it even says at the bottom of the edit box to 'use reliable sources for encyclopedia contend'. And thousands of new pages don't bother. So I thought of a way to resolve this. If an article has no sources (thus currently failing WP:V), and doesn't qualify speedy deletion, or it's been no consensused at AFD), or it's been deprodded, it could be tagged, by a tag that reads along the line of:

This article lacks references, reliable sources or verification, and may be original research. It is very important for articles on Wikipedia to have sources, as all articles must be verifiable. This tag was placed on 07:58, Monday September 1, 2014 (UTC). If references or sources are not provided within 30 days, it will be deleted. Do not remove this tag unless you are adding a reliable source or reference for information in the article.

This is way more generous then AFD, or PROD, and gives a heck of a long time to sort something out. It also means all that garbage with no references can be deleted (as an incredible number of articles that fail WP:V still seem to get through all the current deletion processes. A bot (if someone is clever with a bot) could then flag the pages that have reached 30 days (or 14 days, or 2 months, or whatever) for speedy deletion, and then an admin would still have the final say on whether the article is kept or goes.

If someone has already suggested something like this, apologies. Any thoughts? Proto///type 13:04, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

Cheers, Folajimi (leave a note) 13:15, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
Honestly, rather than delete a whoooole lot of content, it would be better to help people avoid this situation in the first place. We should, similar to WP:AFC, require a source when people submit an article. There should be a seperate field where they enter the URL or citation, and it's automatically added to a references section in the article (this is bypassed if the article uses ref tags, and so on).
Other than the obvious vandals and spammers, most new articles are created in good faith... this would let us quickly seperate the good faith from the bad. If someone can't find a source for an article, or can only find an ultra-obscure blog or something, it's probably a hoax or vanity or something and will be much easier to spot. Requiring a source at article creation means that the person who knows/cares about the subject will be able to address it, rather than just dropping it at our doorstep and leaving us with a potential mess to clean up, a la Seigenthaler et al.
But this will probably never, ever happen... the opposition to a sane article creation process is amazing. End rant. --W.marsh 14:03, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
Interesting idea, and probably doable, but there's the question of how easily it could be done, and what priority the programmers would give it. And, of course, there are complications. The system would have to detect if the new article was a redirect or a disambiguation page, which wouldn't have references. There would also still be a lot of work checking for and cleaning up spurious and malformed references entered by editors to bypass the requirement. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 15:08, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
Good points, but invalid citation (i.e. they just link to random Google results or goatse or whatever) would be a strong sign that the article was a hoax/unverifiable, though some human judgement would be needed (similiar to how it is now, we'd just have a real head start on it by being able to quickly identify articles with bogus sources). Ultimately we have 1m+ articles right now, some with sources, some without... checking all of them is nigh impossible. If all had at least 1 source, it would be a much more realistic chance of finding hoaxes. --W.marsh 21:45, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm inclined to keep articles – even ones which don't explicitly cite their sources – as long as those articles are still 'better than nothing'. I support adding tags (like {{unreferenced}}) where appropriate to clearly indicate to the reader articles that don't have sources and which should be taken with a larger-than-usual grain of salt. Articles that are clearly hoaxes, essays, or screeds can and should still be deleted as 'worse than nothing' through our usual processes. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 17:47, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

I don't think that this is such a great idea because it would mean removing like 70% of the whole encyclopedia (frustrating a lot of people). Secondly, it is better to have a poorly sourced or unsourced article than no article at all ... this would also be frustrating to find only red links on articles that were formerly well subpaged. Thirdly, as time will go, there will be less and less subjects to work on (I think we can foresee this in about 2 years) and then people will bring the whole project to a better level of quality overall. Thus, removing all these unsourced article would be frustrating, time-consuming and useless for such a project, we should then all take the time to add a book citation per day (maybe this could become a project or something). Lincher 05:30, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Very strong oppose This is a complete overreaction. Good material should not be deleted for being unsourced, and we should assume good faith on the part of contributors. There are plenty of more moderate mechanisms in place already, but like any major aspect of Wikipedia referencing is a never to be completed task. Chicheley 13:36, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Please note that WP:Verifiability#Burden of evidence supports the removal or hiding of ANY unreferenced edit, and an article with no references could easily become an empty article, which can be speedy deleted. Also, there is no way to determine whether material added is "good", unless the sources can be checked. This is policy, and it isn't going to change, so rather than ranting about "good material shouldn't be deleted", work on providing reliable published sources. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 14:45, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

When I'm doing RC patrol, I'll usually put a {{verify}} or {{prod}} on any new article with no citations that I can't verify with less than a minute of work in Google. If I can find one reasonable citation, I'll add a link. See, for example, Caribbean reef shark, which appeared as a one-line article and just needed a link to get it started. On the other hand, Afanti was a one-line article with no cites that was basically wrong, so I gave it a {{prod}}. --John Nagle 01:45, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Oddly enough I just posted similar ideas at Wikipedia talk:Deletion policy#Suggestions for deletion criteria. I completely agree that referencing needs to be much more strongly encouraged. Putting a delete tag on uncited articles would probably rarely result in actual deletion but would instead mean articles got citations quickly - a good thing.
It's very difficult to find sources for what someone else wrote - sometimes it's pretty hard finding sources for what you yourself have written, if you come back to it weeks later. So I think references should be mandatory on new articles, and they should be deleted after 7 days if refs are not provided. Worldtraveller 09:26, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Users Online[edit]

In forums there is a thing that lists how many users are online at any given moment.

I think this would be a good thing for the Wikipedia main page. Usually there is seperate entries for Registered Users, and guests.

There is also usually an option for people to not be counted, on their own user pages etc...

What do you people think?

Cheers.Raven.x16 04:57, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

I'd like to see that per-article. I'm especially curious about how large an audience mediation and arbitration pages get (especially mine). Even if it's not a live update, like per-day only, that would be interesting. -Barry- 07:15, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
This would be interesting. Especially if it's just 'X number of people are currently viewing this article/have viewed this article today.' It might even help with determining the importance of esoteric and obscure articles that could be mistaken as vanity (I forget the official wikipedia policy on it.) I think I would be against any 'lists of registered users currently viewing/who have viewed this article today'. simply because I can imagine people wouldn't like it known what they're reading on wikipedia all the time.Lor 09:33, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Turning years articles into prose[edit]

Did anyone think about turning years articles (like 2005) from lists and timeline to prose. These articles could be well-written summaries about what happened during the year in all fields. It will be divided by topic (politics, science, sports...) rather than months. It would be an enthusiatic community work, and relativly simple with very easy-to-find sources and pictures. And imagine that we will conduct a vote about what events should be included in the article, and write the article as the second step. What do you think? CG 19:37, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

It's been done in some languages - most prominently German, but I believe some others. Compare 1974 and de:1974. Might be interesting to try mimicking the German one in a subpage somewhere and see what it looks like. Shimgray | talk | 20:25, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
Yes, the German article is close to what's on my mind (Thank you for the link), but I also have some comments. The Politics section should not be divided by country but only by continent because we will have to include every country to preserve NPOV. Plus, no images should be inserted in the lead because we will have long debates about which image is the most representative. Finally we can keep the timeline but by moving it to Timeline of####. CG 11:35, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
I strongly support this proposal. Much, much better - far more useful to the end reader than a laundry list organized by date. KillerChihuahua?!? 11:41, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
You might also like to check out the Britannica 'Book of the Year' editions which I think use a similar approach (although they also expend much effort publishing revised versions of articles in their main encyclopedia). I imagine there might be a problem in limiting how deep you go into the events of each subject, but that's not a reason not to try it. -- Solipsist 11:57, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
You're right, I've though about this problem earlier. Everyone will want to include event that are important to him, to his town or to his country. Therefore, as a first step, we should make discussions and votes about which events should be described in the article. CG 12:35, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
We do already have some articles like this, such as 1922 in Germany. - SimonP 12:54, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
But my proposal is to generalise it and replace timelines by prose into all years articles (maybe also decades and centuries) and finally modify the template given by Wikipedia:WikiProject Years. CG 16:46, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

I oppose. The German approach doesn't give nearly the same amount of information as ours does. User:Zoe|(talk) 03:54, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Comment : I think that if the German doesn't give as much info as ours does is because they have less people adding to them and to keep the amount of information that we have we have to create a hierarchy of articles like 2005 ... Births in 2005, Deaths in 2005, Events of 2005 ... Births in January 2005 ... And do this until we give out all the information that we already have in several prose articles in order not to break the flow of reading that happens when reading lists. Support Lincher 18:59, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
I don't see how you worked that out. The German article is impressive. But while it would be good to add prose to these articles, most of the lists should be kept too. Honbicot 21:02, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Namespace[edit]

  • I know that some people are sick of having to type "Wikipedia:", "User:", etc. before every page with that namespace. This suggestion probably won't go very far, but how about putting a dropdown menu above the go/search box to select a namespace? --Gray Porpoise 18:56, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
If you want, you can go to the search page where there is a namespace selector. Also, we have shortcuts exactly for the reason you mentioned. (see WP:WP) — Mets501 (talk) 19:23, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Typing's faster and less RSI-aggrevating than using a mouse. --Carnildo 22:40, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Still, it's nice to give people options instead of deciding what's best for them... --W.marsh 23:38, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
On my wiki I added a hack so that namespaces could be abbreviated in links and the search box, for convenience. Would be nice if Wikipedia had a similar thing letting you substitute WP wherever. Deco 23:35, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
This might confuse new users. If they want to search Wikipedia for an article, they'll think they have to select the Wikipedia namespace, etc, etc.Lor 09:47, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Article Parenting[edit]

Maybe this has been suggested before, but it struck me that we have many more registered users than articles, even if we assume half a million of them to be inactive or irregular users. Therefore would it be possible to assign users an article to 'parent'. The process could begin by each user choosing an article that they are knowlegable about or interested in. Those users who do not choose, or who would rather have the opportunity to research something new to them could be automatically assigned one on their talk page. It would be the parent of each articles job to oversee that article in terms of vandalism, and research the subject and contribute to it themselves to bring it up to a level of accuarcy and detail which could be expected in an expert edited encyclopedia. This would reduce the number of stubs as if each user concentrates solely on one article it would improve, and since we have enough users for every article to have a parent, all articles could be improved, in some cases, beyond recognition. It would also reduce vandalsim and increase factual reliability. Possibly this scheme may be considered unfeasable, but I thought it was an idea worth debating.--Oli 09:41, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Is that not what we already do, except now we look after a few more articles? --Macarion 10:34, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
I guess I've already been doing this for Game and Pac-Man. This means that I have them on my watchlist, I revert vandalism if the RC patrollers haven't already, and I've taken steps to document and fix some of their problems. But that doesn't mean I can do it on my own; the articles still need a good deal of effort that I can't provide, and I've been nominating them (with no success yet) for WP:AID and other such projects-of-the-week.
However, I think "babysit" would be a better term for this than "parent," because I did not give birth to either article. (I did start Food and Drugs Act, but I've had limited involvement with it, so in a sense I'm its non-custodial father.) Seahen 13:39, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Assigning random articles to people in which they have no interest would not be a good way of motivating participation. Encouraging people to add a few random pages to their watchlist to check for vandalism is fine, but don't expect people to volunteer to research things they don't care about. Deco 14:12, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Not to mention that there is always the potential one will be charged with being on the wrong side of WP:OWN... Folajimi 18:48, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
I am pretty sure this is already done - I have a few articles I watch that I check all the edits on, just to make sure - I'm sure other people do the same. WilyD 14:24, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
I check most edits in my watchlist of 5270 articles. violet/riga (t) 14:49, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
According to the Roy Rosenzweig article that has been discussed on Wikipedia:Village pump (news), the average English Wikipedia article is on two watchlists. Of course, that means some articles are not on any watchlist; I have stumbled across articles where obvious vandalism had not been corrected for days or even weeks.
It's certainly possible - most serious editors watch all the articles I create, I imagine, but otherwise ... who knows? Maybe some service like Wikipedia:Unwatched Articles could be implimented so that someone could adopt all those articles - I'm sure most people wouldn't mind picking a few up. WilyD 15:23, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
Just because an article is on a watchlist doesn't mean it's actually being watched. A new editor might build a watchlist and then forget to ever check it, or an established editor might vanish altogether and leave behind a long watchlist. (I think the latter is more likely.) The only sure way to find unwatched pages would be to check whether a page has actually appeared on a called-up watchlist in the last X edits or Y days. A simpler partial solution would be to discount users who have not recently called up their watchlists and/or not recently edited. SeahenNeon Merlin 05:36, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
The problem with having a list of unwatched articles is that vandals can easily see which articles they can attack and not be noticed. violet/riga (t) 15:48, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Multiple featured articles?[edit]

I think that the number of registered users (1.7 million) that English Wikipedia currently has is enough to support posting two featured articles on the main page every day. Does anyone agree? C. M. Harris 22:21, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Not I. We have just over 1000 featured articles; articles have been featured since 2003. I don't know when we started doing featured articles every day, but if it was any sooner than sometime in 2003 (i.e. in the last 1000 days), we've already repeated some, si. Having more than one would just make us repeat them more often, and gain nothing. --Golbez 22:25, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Regardless of whether we have enogh featured articles or not what would having two in the front page achieve. Wouldn't it just take up more space at the expense of all the other stuff on it Ydam 23:39, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
What does the number of users have to do with the number of featured articles? --Macarion 23:49, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
When was the last time that we had to repeat a featured article? And as for the number of users, if it takes X users to bring one article per day up to FA standard, and one out of every Y users would participate in that, then the number of users required to sustain posting a new featured article every day on the main page would be X*Y users, and to support two per day, the number of users would be 2*X*Y, which I am sure is less than 1.7 million. I'm sorry if I confused you. C. M. Harris 17:19, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
While the English WP may claim over 1 million registered users, most of them are sockpuppets. I've seen one source that states that the majority of edits in WP are performed by the 1,000 most active editors. While less active editors make valuable contributions to WP, we do not have a pool of one million, or even 100,000 editors, available to work on bringing articles up to featured status. And quite frankly, although I am moderately active (almost 7,000 edits in less than a year), I'm not turned on by FA projects. I just try to improve the articles I touch without regard as to whether they are being promoted for FA. I suspect there are other active editors that feel the same way. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 18:01, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
We're producing about 30 FAs per month (we hit 39 in June, but that's unusual - we get a couple of busy months a year). In order to get two a day, sustainably, you'd need to double the rate at which we produce them. This is broadly independent of editor numbers - it's been increasing only slightly over a couple of years. Shimgray | talk | 18:06, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Additionally, having two featured articles would seem to detract from the meaning and significance of making something a featured article. To 'feature' something implies that it has earned a place in the spotlight, so to speak, it is praised for having qualities we look for in articles, and having multiple featured articles at any one time would detract from this. --Lor 21:56, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Verb Tense[edit]

When someone dies, when a band breaks up, etc, all the verbs have to be changed to past tense, but this can take a long time. We should just say "Albert Einstein is a deceased scientist..." or "Blink-182 is a defunct band..." and then leave the rest in present tense. This helps especially if a band reforms, because all you have to do is remove "defunct." Macarion 22:42, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

We'd also be covered if notable dead people come back in zombie form. --W.marsh 03:23, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Or when Elvis Presley comes back from Proxima Centauri. User:Zoe|(talk) 03:10, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Although all the verbs have to be changed, they then never need to be changed back, unless, as has been suggested, Elvis comes back or notable dead people come back as zombies. For bands, there would be more effort needed - but on the other hand, bands have more fans (including Wikipedians) than dead people. I think the effort's worth it; the resulting article is less awkward. Nihiltres 02:23, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Contact List of Experts[edit]

The community of Wikipedia comprises 1.6 Million members including hundreds of thousands of highly engaged experts in different fields. By this Wikipedia is not only an encyclopedia but also the propably largest expert network worldwide. My idea is about how this potential could be used more effectively. I think that a high absolute number of members would volunteer to answer e-mail requests on topics from their area of expertise. Their already exist ways to ask questions to the community of WP, but every of these have either of the following drawbacks:

  1. The experts who could answer the question do not obeserve the site where it is asked
  2. Questions are asked in the wrong places
  3. E-mails are written to experts who are not willing to help

My proposal is that every member can voluntarily specify topics on which he is willing to answer e-mail requests. These topics could be portals, categories or single articles. Furthermore every portal, category or article could contain a tab "Experts" linking to a page where the experts on the topic would be listed. This page could include an e-mail link, a link to their userpage and a description of their expertise so that the reader can make the correct choice.

What do you think about my proposal? I want your opinion, ideas and criticism.

--Falk Lieder 13:42, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

It's a very good idea. However, I predict that the community won't like it, because it would be incredibly hard to operate, technically and otherwise.--Keycard (talk) 15:49, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Even though it would be hard, it would be some kind of an assessment for the articles which some would really benefit especially fields where WP doesn't have too many experts representing them. Though we could also ask for journals or newspapers to assess articles for us. Lincher 17:53, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
As far as I know there already exists a list of Wikipedians by topic, but it is not linked to project pages, portals or even single articles. This makes it difficult to find it, which is probably why it is used so little. I've just searched for it on the English WP and could not find it. Therefore I think improvement is necessary here. --Falk Lieder 20:12, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
I think this would be a good idea. However, I don't like the idea of adding an Experts tab, because newcomers might (a) not understand the tab's purpose or (b) mistake the self- or peer-nominated volunteers for professionals paid and/or endorsed by the Wikimedia Foundation. Instead, I'd suggest associating a list of experts with each WikiProject. You could have a table something like this:
User Credentials Usual response time Sub-specialty
Fhqwhgads (talk · contribs · email) 24-48 hours First-person shooters
This would require no change in MediaWiki. It probably doesn't even require a policy change; the first expert willing to sign up on a WikiProject can start the table right away. Seahen 18:44, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
I can see your point but to my mind this list of experts should not only be available to Wikipedians working on a certain project but for everyone using Wikipedia. In order to avoid the misunderstandings you expect one should add a disclaimer to the top of every list of experts. Nevertheless I would also appreciate if the weak version you want established. --Falk Lieder 20:12, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
I oppose this suggestion for a few reasons. 1-Most WikiProjects already have a participants page, where project participants are listed. 2-Credentials just promote "I'm better than you" in the Wikipedia community, which is not a good thing. 3-Experts can already be contacted through their talk page, and most do not want to be contacted by email. — Mets501 (talk) 22:39, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Mets501, you may be right about the Credentials column, but I stand by all the others. Just because a Wikipedian signs up as a participant at a project doesn't mean they consider themselves an expert in the field or any clearly defined part thereof, are willing to be contacted with reference questions, or can answer questions in a timely fashion. Hence, I think available experts need a way to mark themselves as distinct from other project members.
An alternative, of course, would be to subdivide our five reference desks into dozens or even hundreds of topics. This would not necessarily mean splitting off new pages; we could just make the first-level headings on the existing desks sort by subtopic rather than date. This would allow a greater number of experts to use the system without promoting spam. A drawback to this is that a Wikipedian might not notice a question outside their specialty that they could, and otherwise would, answer. SeahenNeon Merlin 05:25, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
I really like this idea, perhaps set this up in a similar way to the Wikipedia:Local_Embassy, with lists of users (I like the example table above (= ) who are 'experts' or 'knowledgeable' in a particular area. That way people can contact them if they want expert input for a certain article, etc. Perhaps the Wikipedia Consultancy Bureau?--Lor 10:13, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

NPOV or BPOV?[edit]

Can I propose that the phrase "Neutral Point of View" is replaced by "Balanced Point of View"? Although I enthuse about Wikipedia, I am skeptical of its claims to operate with a Neutral Point of View, simply because I do not believe one can be entirely neutral. However, there is surely a difference between total neutrality and being able to take cognizance of several conflicting viewpoints, so maybe "Balanced Point of View" (BPOV) would be a more accurate description of Wikipedia policy. ACEO 19:52, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

I view these somewhat interchangably. The important thing about the neutral point of view is that the speaker does not take sides - they describe viewpoints held by others, rather than holding any viewpoint themselves. If this is an unachievable ideal, well, at least it's a goal to strive for. Deco 20:57, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
NPOV is a process, not a pass or fail test. No claim that it is perfectly achieved should be inferred from the policy. "Balanced view" seems to me to have a major inherent danger: there are many topics on which most of the noise is made by cranks, and Wikipedia shouldn't seek to cover such views in a way that reflects the balance of opinion among participants in the debate. Honbicot 02:59, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I concur with Honbicot. Balanced is even more problematic a word than neutral. Plus, any change to the NPOV policy would ultimately have to be approved by the Wikimedia Foundation and maybe even Jimbo Wales himself. --Coolcaesar 22:59, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
Me too. Cranks should not get equal time, even if they do make a lot of noise. All theories should be assessed against an absolute standard. In some cases they may be assessed against more than one absolute standard. If they fail to measure up then we should say so. Filceolaire 16:05, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
The general sentiment here is right - balanced is way worse than neutral. Neutral point of view allows us to justify substantially less weight for cranks, whereas I think balanced just invites the opposite. WilyD 14:04, 11 July 2006 (UTC)


Conch shell uses of it's carectoristics[edit]

…9-15-2005 3:47 searched conch first to show wikipedia, early this month i read something of the 17th century about indianc and albany congress and the use of string from a conch shell i beleive all i read in two dealing's of string making are from the conch shell though i heard that the color purple is from the cowhog oops had to find correct spelling two vercions quahaug or quahog so i was just curiuos for the relatively respect of 'atoa bbs'artists talk on art wanted the write repect thank you David George DeLancey 3:56 P.m.216.195.1.16 19:58, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Proposal for Resolution of Catholic Church/Roman Catholic Church debate[edit]

We have just recently ended yet another dispute about what the name of the page of the religious organization headed by the Pope should be, and what should be the contents of the page entitled "Catholic Church". If you look in the archives, you will also see that there are at least six archived pages of discussion dealing with this subject exclusively. Considering that somewhere over one-sixth of the population of the planet consider themselves members of this organization/group (possibly much more, depending on the specific definition given the term), I think it can reasonably be argued that this is a question of significant importance to the wikipedia. On that basis, I would suggest that we try to find some way to resolve the matter in such a way that these seemingly endless revert wars, which all seem to be based on the same arguments, end once and for all, at least in regards to the specific arguments put forward to date and allowing for change given significant changes in the "real-world" status quo of these organizations in the future.

One suggestion (mine) is as follows: We are currently in an election to determine who will take a seat on the Board of Trustees of wikipedia. We could allow those parties who have a position on the issue to put forward their reasons for their positions and rationally and civilly discuss them. Then, all those individuals who have voted in the Board of Trustees election could be allowed to indicate their opinions on what article or page should be under which title. Alternately, some other way of selecting these virtual "voters" might be chosen. However, by doing so, we would allow all those individuals who are informed on issues relating to wikipedia to indicate their opinions, not only those who are members of the various Projects involved. For this to be workable, we would probably have to create at least a stub for every disparate organization or church which has the words "Catholic" and "Church" in their names and links to all of them, as well as to a central discussion page. I could probably do create the various pages myself, so that wouldn't cause any additional work for anyone else. I am aware that approval voting is the approved method on wikipedia, for good reason, but I have a feeling that it might not be the right answer here, given the variety of opinions and options. Maybe something like preference voting or some form of run-off voting would be most effective here. Unfortunately, it seems to me that, given the history, some sort of extreme measure of this type may be the only way to end the argument on these issues. Also, as similar revert controversies probably exist in other fields, it might provide a basis for similar actions in the future in other areas. I know I blather on, so I'll shut up here and await any and all responses. Badbilltucker 19:16, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Categorisation of username[edit]

Dear Fellow Wikipedians,

Can I please make a plea for instructions to how to add one's username to a list of Wikipedians in a certain category to be clear, or else have a simpler method of doing this? Several times now, I have tried to add my username to the category Category:Wikipedians in England. I have tried to type the following at the end of my username page:

[[Category:Wikipedians in England: Template:ACEO]]

but it does not seem to work. I believe the reason is that I am suppposed to add something prior to my username, but can some one please explain what text I have to type immediately prior to my username? I thought that, once one had done this correctly, one would automatically see one's name added to the Wikipedians in that category list, so that there was no need to edit the category page. ACEO 11:03, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

If you just want the category, add [[Category:Wikipedians in England]] to your user page. If you want a userbox, add {{User England}}. If you see something on a page anywhere within WIkipedia you'd like to copy, probably the easiest way to figure out how to do it is to edit the page and look at how it was done. -- Rick Block (talk) 15:53, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
I fixed it for you. Garion96 (talk) 16:02, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Let's Make Wikipedia Easier To Use[edit]

I was looking at the ARTICLE's page history, but I wanted to go directly to edit the discussion. So there was no way to do so. The only thing I could do was click on discussion, then edit this page. Well, if you think about there should be separate buttons for talk page history and edit this page, & same goes with article, or user page, you know? That way, if people ever need to switch from article history to talk page edit, or article edit to talk page history, that would be possible.100110100 22:29, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

This is not the place for such proposals. File a feature request on bugzilla. It probably won't be implemented though, because it only saves one click and you can use javascript to add all sorts of extra buttons to do whatever time-saving things you want. —Centrxtalk • 06:51, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
I believe that the cologneblue skin already has something like this.Voice-of-All 06:54, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
This has come up a number of times before. I'm still confused though: doesn't it make sense to read the Talk page before posting to it? Fagstein 07:00, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
It has come up before mostly because 100110100 keeps reposting the same idea. Despite the good argument for it (I tend to agree that easier navigation is a Good Thing), it's a better idea not to allow blind editing of pages you may not have read, as you note. Gavia immer (u|t|c) 15:45, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
I'd add that it would mean editing of all the page instead of sections. Not a good thing. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 13:06, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Sources miscellany[edit]

One may come across various facts, references, articles, or bits of information that could be useful to an editor interested in using the information for an article. Some sort of area for taking and leaving this information could exist, allowing others to leave facts, images, or links, and allow others to delete them when they are to be used or found to be bad references. A page with seperators for each general category would be more convenient than several hundred links to subcategories, and it would have a sandbox feel to it at first as others add and remove entries. Sort of a scrapbook of knowledge.

<a name="bottomOfPage">[edit]

I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask but:

Would it make sense to add <a name="bottomOfPage"> at the bottom of each Wikipedia page? Right where "this page was last modified", "all text is available under..." etc are. That way I could bookmark or link to things like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Village_pump_%28proposals%29#bottomOfPage and get there without click-wait-scroll. Nice for these long talk pages that are often best followed from the bottom up. Or is there already a way to do this which escapes me at the moment...? Weregerbil 10:12, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

If I want to go to the bottom of the page, I just click on the last item in the Table of Contents. I don't think we need to complicate the page code for a feature that would add very little utility. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 12:26, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
The browser I use interprets the "end" button (on the keyboard) as "scroll to the bottom of this window". -- Rick Block (talk) 14:25, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Same here. (Mozilla Firefox) --jmeeter 02:18, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Past costs in terms of today's dollars (Inflation)[edit]

Is there a function out there that can be added to pages that will turn prices in, say, 1880 and note the price in today's dollars on the side? I'm suspecting it would be easy to code given a standard interest rate. I just would like to see if it cost $20 for such and such to buy land at some point in time, how much that would come out in terms of today's dollars. Grazie! Pat 16:00, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

The problem is that there's about four or five different ways to correct old values, which will give wildly differing results - it really depends what you're trying to measure. There's not even much agreement on what the best way to do such calculations is - consumer price index or GDP deflation? ("Cost in hours of unskilled labour" is one you see occasionally, which is rather clever IMO)
Calculations that hold true for small values (how much was a cup of coffee then?) break horribly for big ones (how much did fighting a war cost?) For example... take Alaska. The US paid $7.2m for Alaska in 1867; a simple inflation adjustment would tell you this is about ninety million dollars in current money. But in 1867, $7.2m was a nontrivial fraction of government income, whilst today $90m is - on a governmental scale - pocket change. It's clear that the calculation doesn't hold for large sums - the amount the US paid for Alaska can't in any real way be "ninety million dollars today". (As a fraction of GDP, it's probably closer to ten billion dollars)
As such, I'm worried putting in a calculator function like this would just lead to it being used (albeit in good faith) to generate somewhat meaningless numbers... Shimgray | talk | 17:02, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Another problem is that costs rise at different rates. As a fraction of income, for instance, travel is considerably less expensive now than in 1880. Durova 18:52, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Dictionary Tag-ons[edit]

I think that it would be useful for readers if, at the beginning of some articles, there was a short "dictionary definition" of the subject. Obviously, the regular extended encyclopedia article would be shown below.

--Oddmartian 16:50, 18 September 2006 (UTC) Please, respond to this idea on my Talk Page.

Articles are meant to begin with a Wikipedia:Lead section, providing a concise introduction to the topic. Also see Wikipedia:Guide to writing better articles. -- Rick Block (talk) 00:36, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
You might also like to read the policy about how Wikipedia is not a dictionary. We already have the separate Wiktionary project that is a dictionary. You can already add links from Wikipedia articles to Wiktionary articles, see Wikipedia:Sister_projects#Wiktionary. Best, Gwernol 15:34, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Here's a proposal[edit]

I would like to propose that someone else besides myself help clean up the massive year and a half 1500+ article backlog in Wikipedia:Transwiki log. --Xyzzyplugh 14:49, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

  • I'd say that 1500 articles needing attention is an underestimate by several orders of magnitude! Matt 10:29, 18 September 2006 (UTC).

Extend WP searches to Wiktionary when not found?[edit]

Hi. There are a few slang and jargon glossaries on WP, and occasionally we hear they shouldn't be in WP but in Wiktionary (if at all). I found there is http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Category:Appendices which seems to be rapidly becoming the repository for these. (OTOH, many "lists of" seem to appear on WP, so a "glossary" might qualify as a "list.")

The appealing thing about, say, "U.S. Navy slang" is it is a fast-moving and popular page which is not so much about the words and definitions themselves, but an intriguing and up-to-date view of the culture. Not a blog (though it has some elements of that), but a very dynamic article on a segment of our society a couple million people work and live in. (I mean, if there's room in WP for pages and pages about computer games from the '80s, why not for what people are saying in daily life today?)

I fear if all glossaries shuffle off to the obscure appendix, they will be overlooked, and these sorts of things (which some might even argue should be made into some kind of non-pedia Wiki of its own) won't continue to grow.

A solution occurred to me in that if one searches for a term that does not match a WP article but is in Wiktionary, one could be immediately taken there, or at least offered the choice of going to view it.

This way, a casual user (not terribly familiar with WP) would find their way to the right place by means of entering a term from their jargon and being led to the appropriate location. This would keep WP "glossary-free," but still make them easily accessible via the main search box.

(Yes, I know there's a "Wiktionary button" on the bottom of Main, but fear it may be overlooked by most.)

Stubs for glossaries could be maintained in WP pointing to the appropriate Wiktionary appendix, as well; these could grow into proper articles describing the slang/jargon or the culture/population using them, but without the clutter of a same-page list of words.

Thank you. Jeffreykopp 08:54, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Use of COLLADA format to enable 3D models for exemplification, explanation, and illustration[edit]

The .dae extension is for the COLLADA format (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COLLADA ). I would like to contribute some 3D models that I have authored using PD, CC:AT, and/or CC:SA:AT licenses. The first 3D model I'd like to submit is publicly available at http://people.redhat.com/tiemann/unitcube.dae and is licensed "Public Domain" by me. It is the unit cube. I hope this will open the floodgates for other modelers to begin adding their own creative 3D works with appropriate Wikipedia licensing. I hope that this proposal will result in the acceptance of .dae files by the wikipedia site rules.

--Michael Tiemann 11:36, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

It's up to the devs whether to enable it or not; one important question is whether the file format is a potential vector for malicious attacks (like the scripting capabilities in SVG). — Catherine\talk 01:39, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
You provided a reference to SVG's definition, which I know, but not the nature of the attack. I serached and found this link: [1]. The problem with the Adobe viewer has nothing to do with SVG per se, but rather a bug in their own code. Any file format sufficiently capable of representing ASCII text can be used as the basis of an attack on a sufficiently weak system (how many users have cluelessly followed instructions to install a trojan horse?). I don't think COLLADA introduces any new probems itself--it's just another form of content that can be consumed.--Michael Tiemann 22:48, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
It's probably too soon for COLLADA; that standard really hasn't been used much yet. And it's not something that most browsers understand. A few years ago, Web3D seemed the way to go. Before that, VRML. Before that, AutoCAD DXF. There are interesting things to do with 3D in an encyclopedia, but they're real work. For example, good anatomy models where you could remove layers and show different systems of the body would be useful. But such things are major efforts. --John Nagle 05:26, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

AutoCAD DXF was a proprietary format with IP issues that have made open source interchange very difficult--not the kind of thing for building a creative commons! Web3D looks like it's commons-friendly, so that would be an alternative. The challenge of servining over a million high-quality articles is a major effort, but when the right pieces are in place, it can be done. What cannot be done, because the Wikipedia rejects it, is to prime the pump with any 3D content. That's a bug in my book.--Michael Tiemann 22:48, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

The use of COLLADA is becoming more and more wide spread due to the availability importers/exproters by Softimage (XSI), Autodesk (3DS Max/Maya), and Blender. The specification itself lends so much more than Web3D, VRML, or DXF ever could (e.g. physics simulation and armature support). Having the open .dae format as a Wikipedia standard is nothing less than the best solution for 3D content. --Eugene Reilly 8 September 2006

COLLADA is in fact gaining popularity and has a number of merits on its behalf including an XML basis, wide 3D product support including Maya, 3dsMax, XSI, Blender, etc., and an open licensing scheme. It would be very useful in the 3D industry as a whole if a single file format became widely supported, perhaps even natively, by every 3d package out there. Such a lingua franca would make interoperability much easier than it is today (think XHTML's portability between IE & FireFox as opposed to Word & WordPerfect's interop). It won't be perfect, but much better than now. The bottom line is that it will take a lot of people committing to COLLADA support to make it into the lingua franca of 3D. I second Michal Tiemann's motion that Wikipedia commit to COLLADA support --Early Ehlinger President, [ResPower, Inc] 10 September 2006

I think everyone agrees that 3d models are very useful at illustrating subjects, for some subjects essential. It's true that there have been a lot of so-called "standard" formats before COLLADA, but in my opinion this is irrelevant. What is more relevant is that the format should be viewable by most people. What the COLLADA group have achieved is amazing. I don't think any other format has found such a huge backing in so little time. With both commercial and free tools available. As to the topic that maybe it is too soon to adopt COLLADA because it hasn't been used much yet. The format originates from Sony Entertainment where they use it for game development. So it's been put to the test. And this arguement is probably why all other formats have failed to find enough backing. The format itself is very sound. I think it would be a good step to take and this is the right time. Wybren van Keulen 18:21, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Well said! --Michael Tiemann 11:18, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

a list of melting points bot request[edit]

In the chemical literature there is a lot of information about physical properties of materials e.g. their melting point. In wikipedia quite a bit of that has already been constributed but usually on the page of the pertaining material. What seems to be missing on line (and elsewhere?) is a list of melting points in order of their temperatures. For calibration purposes (just to name an application) such a list could be very useful. Could somebody write a bot, go to the melting point page, use the 'what links here' button to find all these pages, extract the melting points and make a list?

Rob Wilcox, Jaap Folmer NCSU

Closure of RfCs[edit]

It is well-known that RfCs tend to become a cesspit, also that they ramble on for ever without ever reaching a conclusion. They are also unusual among Wikipedia debates in having no defined closure mechanism. A couple of times I've introduced a motion to close and move on, which has usually had broad support, so I'd like to formalise this by proposing that once discussion has run its course, as determined by (a) escalation to ArbCom, (b) deletion of any article which forms the locus of the dispute; (c) agreement of the contributors to the RfC that a satisfactory resolution has been reached; (d) no edits to the RfC or Talk for a defined period, say 14 days (and quite possible e and f, other closures I've not yet thought of), we mark the debate as closed, using a clone of one of the usual "debate closed" template pairs (e.g. {{at}} and {{ab}}).

Where a clear and obvious conclusion has been reached by a significant number of contributors, community sanctions may be applied. If these are not honoured then we can escalate to ArbCom, or if the case is unambiguous simply enact a community ban. Experience in the Gastrich case (Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Jason Gastrich -> Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Jason Gastrich) the fact of the RfC having reached a conclusion and the problem user failing to abide by that consensus resulted in a rapid turnaround at ArbCom, with less work for all concerned, and (most importantly) a good result for the project, in that much less time was wasted by editors in good standing, admins and ArbCom, than is often the case.

Don't be distracted by this talk about sanctions, mind, because this is not about trying to arrogate ArbCom's role, it's about fixing a problem with one of the dispute resolution mechanisms, one which is currently in my view fundamentally broken in that it offers no form of closure either for the people bringing the RfC or for the editor under discussion. By this method, frivolous disputes which are certified by members of a small group of disgruntled editors can be politely but firmly closed, and substantive disputes can have some kind of endpoint. Just zis Guy you know? 11:50, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Addendum: a comment has been made about what to do where there is ongoing problem behaviour. I would clarify: the idea here is to allow closure, not to enforce it. Guy 10:59, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
This is definitely a good idea, and the format (timing, reasons for closure, etc.) look solid. I still feel RfC needs to produce something more than lots of words, however, and would like to see some sort of summary system developed that could then be placed on the talk page of the user in question to ensure that they have seen the comments and get the picture at the end of the process. Tony Fox (arf!) 15:45, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Guy/JzG's concept. I was very surprised recently when I asked on an RfC that had reached consensus whether it was time to close the RfC, only to be told in substance that "RfC's never close." Notwithstanding which, in other instances, someone has written "I think we can deem this page closed" and the talking has stopped.
I am not sure I agree with Tony Fox's suggestion, however. In the case of a user conduct RfC, suppose 20 people say the user has been a difficult user, and the user gets the message and (hopefully) strives to improve. I don't think it's going to be useful for a helpful volunteer to then post on the user's talk page to the effect that "the consensus of your RfC is that you've been a jerk." If anything, the subject will write back, "no, Foo said I was only a semi-jerk, and Groo said I haven't been a jerk in 3 whole weeks, and Hoo said Foo was also a jerk, so we need to modify the wording here...." Newyorkbrad 16:14, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I agree. We don't need more process, we need more Clue. If thirty people all agree, with evidence, that User:Foo has been an idiot and User:Foo admits it and learns, then no more need be done. If, on the other hand, User:Foo continues with his idiocy, the RFC can still be closed with a community sanction or recommendaiton to arbitrate. either way we move on. Guy 20:37, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough. I was more thinking of having some sort of coordinator who would write a non-judgmental summary of the comments made during the process that would be a way to give the "problem" user a positive bit of feedback at the end - something to refer to, much like one might get at the end of a mediation sometimes. Having an actual concrete result at the end of the RfC would at least give it some closure, in my mind. (Such as it is.) Tony Fox (arf!) 20:43, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
I think that any "motion to close" with any kind of call to action should contain such a summary, and should be endorsed by participants. Queitly closing moribund debates would not need a summary, but I guess it would be good practice to include one. Again, though, I am hoping for a clue-based system not something legalistic. Guy 11:09, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
I definetly agree with the above that it is appropriate to bring some formal closure to RfCs after inactivity, escalation, or consensus.-- danntm T C 20:55, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
yeah. Agree as well. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 03:19, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
Considering how long RfC has been used on Wikipedia (I believe they antedate the creation of the ArbCom), I'm surprised that there is no procedure to close one! JzG's proposal is straightforward & meets the need adequately: an RfC is closed whenever the participants arrive at an agreement, discussion ends, or the matter is referred to another body (e.g. ArbCom or WP:AN/I). Works for me. -- llywrch 17:08, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Sanctions may be applied by the Arbitration Committee. Decision of the ArbCom is sufficient and essential for any sanctions besides blocks of obvious vandals. However, note that ArbCom makes decisions after at least a month (usually more) of discussion, listening a lot of people, and only by consensus.

Despite that, the election process for ArbCom has extremely high requirements. They are actually as low as affordable for judges. And now you suggest someone would close RfC, with conclusion and sanctions, unilaterally. Just whom exactly do you suggest to do that? Jimbo is quite busy; and, despite being one of the oldest members of WP (and also one of the founders), his decision is not widely accepted as definitely as ArbCom's. So Jimbo doesn't meet the requirements. Who does? --CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 13:38, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

While I do not know much about RfCs, I agree that there should be a mechanism to close it, to indicate that the dispute has been resolved. CP\M raised a point of who will close RfCs. Perhaps we could appoint an RfC committee, or RfCs may be closed with the consensus of at least (say) three admins, none of which is involved in the dispute. If the parties agree that the RfC should be closed because the dispute has been resolved, then we should close it. Of course, we welcome other ideas of how RfCs will be closed. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 13:52, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
Since RfC is not a formal process, it probably could only be closed by either the case submitter starter or the user case was targeted against, with no enforcement. We have ArbCom to impose sanctions, and I doubt that the community would accept a substitute body, unless it has similar requirements for members and a well thought-out process. Even if we create it, it will just turn into ArbCom-2. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 14:00, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
CP\M, no, ArbCom is not the sole authority allowed to make decisions. Wikipedia is neither a democracy nor a bureacracy. In unambiguous cases the community can decide to block a user, and I see no particular reason why other community sanctions hould not be allowed. ArbCom exists to give binding ruling where community consensus is not repsected or in ambiguous cases (for example, a user with a long history of both good contributions and disruption). I don't think ArbCom is involved in more than a tiny proportion of indefinite blocks. I see several indef-blocks a week (two or three today), and I block people indefinitely at the rate of several a month, in every case because the decision makes itself and involving ArbCom will be a waste of my time and theirs. See Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Jason Gastrich and Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Jason Gastrich; was the ArbCom case really necessary? Guy 22:16, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree, not always so. But deciding in simple cases (users with less good edits than harmful, or general consensus) doesn't need a special body for that. If the community has no consensus, however, only slightly equal votes - I don't think it is enough for indef sanctions. And this would be the case for some thouroughly selected group, specifically ArbCom, to decide. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 17:07, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Sorry about jumping into this discussion kind of late, but I just noticed it.

This is copied from the page where it lists the current user-conduct RFCs.

Closing and archiving

Disputes may be removed from this page and archived under any of the following circumstances:

If no additional complaints are registered for an extended period of time, and the dispute appears to have stopped. The parties to the dispute agree. The dispute proceeds to another method of dispute resolution, such as mediation or arbitration. Remove the link from the list here and add it to the archives at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/User conduct/Archive. If the dispute is handled in mediation or arbitration, please make a note of where the dispute resolution process continued.

So, basically, aren't you proposing something that already exists? ~ ONUnicorn (Talk / Contribs) 18:40, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

new tag for bad boxes[edit]

i think there should be a tag for boxes that are made poorly or with mistakes, too long, too wide, bad style, maybe cleanup-box see the history of Richmond, California this would have been very useful.Qrc2006 11:11, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Different color for deleted articles.[edit]

I sometimes patrol the log of the articles I deleted to check for any inappropriate recreations, but a lot of the time, I bump into the {{deletedpage}} template. I think it would be an excellent idea to somehow alter the color of such links so patrollers can instantly see it's not actually an existing article, but I have no idea of the technical feasibility. Feedback is much appreciated... - Mgm|(talk) 10:02, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

It's a good suggestion. Ideally I'd like to see those pages be redlinks, but that would require some hacking into the software. Fagstein 19:36, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

User To-do Lists[edit]

Since all registered Wikipedia users have their own user page,talk page, and watchlist, I think that it would make sense if we are each allowed to have our own personal "User To-do List". This way, we could keep track of all of our editing plans, and further. A list would especially be helpful for a frequent, busy Wikipedian. --Oddmartian 14:04, 20 September 2006 (UTC) Please, respond to this idea on my Talk Page.

Just make a sub page of you user page. No problemo 8-)--Light current 16:31, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Although people might like to keep that information to themselves. (although I can't think of a good reason why.) What I think would be helpful is something like a To-Do-List that would appear whenever you go to your watchlist. I don't know how most editors work but my first stop at Wikipedia is always my watchlist. Having a customizable sidebar with pages that you frequently edit or to categories you frequently clean up would be nice. Pascal.Tesson 02:57, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
  • A nice idea, but for a lot of editors, such a sidebar would be come ridiculously large. - Mgm|(talk) 10:04, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
Well that's not our problem, is it? :-) All kidding aside, it could just be a little tool that allows some sort of customization of the watchlist page so that you could link directly, say, to the categories you're currently cleaning up or to the pages you've planned to edit in the near future. I think some javascript wiz could do this easily. Alas, a javascript wiz I am not. Pascal.Tesson 16:03, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
  • I say, we try the idea without making it official, and just see how it goes. I can make a Wikipedia To-do list, and make a note to other users of what it is and why it's there. If it doesn't work well enough, I'll just let it be deleted.

--Oddmartian 15:18, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

  • I just created my own "User To-do List" page. I made a note saying that it was just an idea, though. I listed some stuff, and I'll see how it works out.

--Oddmartian 15:47, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

You mean as a subpage of your user page? Pascal.Tesson 16:03, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
  • No, as its own page. --Oddmartian 18:41, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

P.S. I don't know if you've read it yet, but I left you a message a little earlier.

"All kidding aside, it could just be a little tool that allows some sort of customization of the watchlist page" I've often wished I could customize my watchlist. I'd love to be able to put little reminders as to why I decided to add certian pages to my watchlist in the first place; so that months later it doesn't appear and I'm wondering, "why am I watching that? Have I ever even edited that page?" Maybe add things to watchlist categories? ~ ONUnicorn (Talk / Contribs) 16:10, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

Commons ticker[edit]

Many projects have a commons ticker (as described here: m:User:Duesentrieb/CommonsTicker) as, for example implemented at wikinews... some of the projects include other language wikipedias. Is there interest in having such a ticker here? I am willing to work with Duesentrieb to get it set up and be the responsible admin as outlined on his page. If there is no significant objection I will implement it. Also posted at the Adminstrator's noticeboard but please discuss here. ++Lar: t/c 03:24, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Support in the strongest possible terms. This is an immensely useful tool which has been awaiting the resurrection of the tool-server. —Phil | Talk 10:55, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
The only real question is what parameters it should have. The easiest way to run it, would be to have "notify" running, so then it posts messages to the talk pages of articles where an image is used. Then you say, well, it's the regular editors' responsibility to follow that up and check out the deletion request and/or remove it from the article.
The alternative would be to get a task force of people to watch the CT here and go do the removals and notifying themselves, which seems like a waste of effort to me. pfctdayelise (translate?) 11:46, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
Notify seems the way to go, at least at first. ++Lar: t/c 22:36, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, er... Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard#commons_ticker has some commentary too. Will have to investigate whether we can do this yet or not. ++Lar: t/c 04:27, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
As mentioned there, the toolserver is a problem. Perhaps I can provide some information on that... As one of guys with a toolserver account I hang out in #wikimedia-toolserver, so I know restoring en.WP database replication is in the works. An import of a current dump was started yesterday, however nobody knows how long it'll take, and then replication has to be set up again. —da Pete (ばか) 19:34, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

New technique for date sensitive information[edit]

user:Scott McNay and I worked out a pretty sophisticated template (template:update after) that can be used as a marker for content that is known to require updating at some future date. For example, this could be used for political officeholders whose term will expire. The template is invisible until the appointed date, and then adds a visible [update needed] indicator (which links to Wikipedia:Updating information). There is no maintenance required to make the mechanism work. The template has been written. The only thing lacking is a consensus to start broadly using it, presumably instead of the wikipedia:as of technique. Please comment on this proposal at Wikipedia talk:Updating information. -- Rick Block (talk) 15:25, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Template Images[edit]

There are a number of problems with template images at the moment;

  • Many of them are reliant on other Icon suites where they have a different meaning
  • Some of them (i.e. the ones based on signs) are Euro- or Americ- centric
  • There are too many variations on the same image, e.g. A red circle around a white question mark, a green circle, a purple questionmark with no circle, etc etc
  • Many of the images are fair-use and should not be used as adornments
  • They require resizing using the |n px tag
  • (Perhaps most importantly) They do not appear to form a continuous set

As such I think that there should be a design of Icon sets, perhaps as an extention of the Vote Symbols. --Quentin Smith 08:11, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Notice for edited watchlist changes[edit]

There should be the option in the Preferences to make a bar similar to the "You have new messages" bar appear when an article in one's watchlist is edited... or is there? --Gray Porpoise 03:09, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

I have to say that with a lot of editor's watchlists, we would be getting dinged with that message constantly. It's probably better to just get in the habit of regularly checking your watchlist. Agne 03:36, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
Such a feature would be redundant. Changes to an article on one's watchlist will already appear on one's watchlist; there is no need to make such a bar. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 08:47, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
As above. Average editor's watchlist contains 50 to 300 pages, for active editors usually 200 to 500 and more, patrollers may watch thousands of pages. Such notice would appear most of the time.
However, of course, not all pages are watched equally. For instance, I check most diffs only daily, skipping well summarized edits by proven contributors or changes by main editors, but there are a few pages I watch as closely as my talk page (basically Wikiprojects I'm most active in and some rarely edited articles where I'm the main editor). Probably it would be good to create priority watchlist feature (implementation: when editing watchlist, add "priority" checkbox), which would produce similar message. I think if it gets some support, we should ask developers to implement this in some future version. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 16:32, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
In response to above: I didn't mean that the feature should apply to all editors, just the ones who select it in their Preferences. Still, I like CP/M's idea better than the original. --Gray Porpoise 23:49, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Create "Infobox:" namespace?[edit]

Copying and pasting a proposal made at Bugzilla :

...Infoboxes seem to've become part of the Wikipedia furniture, at least in the English Wikipedia. Hence, rather than the many "Template:Infobox..." pages (with inconsistent capitaliz/sation etc), suggest an "Infobox:..." namespace created.

What do folk think...?  Thanks, David Kernow (talk) 01:13, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

There are lots of different sorts of templates. Why should infoboxes get their own namespace instead of, say, navigation bars? I don't think that giving them their own namespace will solve capitalisation problems; there's always somewhere you can go wrong with capitalisation. Tra (Talk) 01:31, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
Re infoboxes rather than navigation bars etc, infoboxes all seem to use "Template:Infobox..."; do navigation templates all use "Template:Navigation..." or the like...?  Re solving capitaliz/sation problems etc, I agree; but an "Infobox:" format should prevent at least one common mistake/oversight. Thanks for your input, David Kernow (talk) 11:20, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
What about a Userbox namespace? --J.L.W.S. The Special One 08:47, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
Maybe, but personally I reckon userboxes / Wikipedian categories / etc better handled by a separate wiki. Regards, David Kernow (talk) 11:20, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Commons delinker bot[edit]

Commons gets a lot of images that ultimately, need deleting. Red links on wikis referencing them are ugly. There are 701 different wikis that can get images from Commons. A bot has been created and tested to perform the delinking. But consider if all 701 wikis were asked for bot approval! gaak! So concerned commons admins and 'crats are asking on Meta for an exemption to normal bot rules... See Requests_for_permissions/CommonsDelinker on meta for more details. Your support would be greatly appreciated, I expect. You can also discuss it at the Commons noticeboard at the delinker bot topic (also mentioned on the talk for the bot approval group WP:BAG) ++Lar: t/c 19:02, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

"Wikis"? User:Zoe|(talk) 02:02, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
Zoe, I think Lar means all the Wikimedia projects (Wikipedia, Wiktionary, etc.) in all languages. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 08:49, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

tutoring[edit]

i think there should be a type of tutoring setup, maybe self help combined with a quick question and answer area like the one im typing in right now, but with several differant divisions, maybe wikitutoring for adding images a step by step for putting in a picture wiht a Q&A section, also for somthing like wikitutoring for linking to another language wikipedia it could say that you have to put in the code for the language and the articles name in that language after a colon between brackets and at the bottom of the page below the categories, maybe one on creating templates, categories? Qrc2006 11:11, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

  • We already have WP:HD and WP:NCH to answer newbie questions and we have a wikipedia bootcamp linked on NCH. All the things you mentioned are mentioned in the appropriate help pages or the Wikipedia:Tutorial or Wikipedia:Image tutorial. What is the added value of your idea? - Mgm|(talk) 11:32, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Its simpler, its a wikipedia for dummies!Qrc2006 02:07, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

  • I'm not a big fan of proliferating help pages. I find it really annoying when there are lots of different pages/projects that all overlap and try to do the same thing in different ways. If any new help material is to be written I am strongly of the opinion that it should be tightly integrated into what's already there, rather than starting a new "project". Matt 14:13, 22 September 2006 (UTC).
There are many help pages about various policies and aspects of Wikipedia, if that's what you meant. Perhaps you meant having more experienced Wikipedians mentor newbies: that would be an excellent idea! --J.L.W.S. The Special One 08:51, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

vandal tag[edit]

i think there should be a tag for articles that you suspect have been vandalised or have indeed been vandalised maybe suspect-vandalism and apparent-vandalism and article-vandalism depending on your suspicions. and maybe a tag you can add to a users page to notify a admin that you suspect they are a vandal or have been vandalism suspect-vandal, apparent-vandal, beleaved-vandal maybe people that are also dealing with this person can 2nd the motion, or even agree and disagree with this, then an admin can make a decision, dialogue with the user/editor and or tag them appropriatly.?Qrc2006 11:11, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

  • You can simply report vandalism to WP:AIV or WP:ANI. No need for tags. If they're tagged as vandals, you're usually adding to their already bad mood. Don't feed trolls, vandals or anger. - Mgm|(talk) 11:29, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
However, it would be useful for tagging articles which you suspect to have been attacked by subtle vandalism, such as fact-changing, but don't have sufficient specialist knowledge to check. On numerous occasions, anonymous vandals have been changing facts in the RuneScape article, and we had to keep cleaning it up, until the article was semi-protected. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 08:54, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Making links to discussions more specific[edit]

There are a lot of links, especially from templates, where you are invited to "discuss this" or "comment on this", or similar. Unfortunately the links often throw you into a massive page that contains dozens or even hundreds of different topics, and it can be tiresome to try to find the particular discussion you are wanting, or even to establish whether that discussion already exists. Some way to make these links more specific would be good. Matt 13:04, 20 September 2006 (UTC).

Which templates are you referring to? Tra (Talk) 16:16, 20 September 2006 (UTC)


Well there's lots, but the two examples that are uppermost in my mind as I recently encountered in them in fairly quick succession are:

  • The template deletion proposal at ISO 4217. The "See templates for deletion" link takes you to a humungous page with about a million different discussions. At first I searched that page for "ISO 4217" but to no avail. Then I searched it for "standards organisation", but again found nothing (you would find that text now, but only because of the comment I later added). Then eventually I thought to look at the code behind the ISO 4217 article and found the template was called "Standardization caveat", which enabled me to find the relevant discussion. I might easily have just given up though, and if I was a complete newcomer and knew nothing about Wikipedia then I probably would have. Really the link should take you direct to the relevant discussion.
  • The "discuss" link for the proposal to merge http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Notability_%28music%29 with "Notability (songs)" again just takes you to the top of a very long page. I searched the page for the word "merge", but did not find the relevant discussion. Then I couldn't be bothered to look any further... does the discussion exist somewhere? Am I supposed to create it somewhere if I want to comment? It's all pretty confusing and unfriendly.

Matt 20:14, 20 September 2006 (UTC).

I've fixed the template deletion proposal. The problem was that the {{tfd}} tag inside the "Standardization caveat" had not been added correctly, so the link was wrong. The issue with the merge discussion is that when the merge is discussed in the talk page, there is no standardised heading that must be added, and there is always the chance that no-one has discussed it yet. Therefore, the template cannot link to anything more specific than the talk page, which can be a problem with long talk pages. What I normally tend to do is I scroll to the bottom of the talk page to see if the discussion is amongst the most recent comments.
So generally, in a broader sense, if the link only takes you to the top of a long discussion page, it's either broken and needs to be fixed or, it may simply not be possible to find the right section of the page to link to. Tra (Talk) 23:30, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Right, thanks. I think that in an ideal world these templates (such as merge, and no doubt a number of others) should all be structured so that the editor is forced (or at least reminded) to link the discussion to a specific section on the talk page (or wherever it is to live), and thereby forced (or at least reminded) to create such a section if it does not already exist. However, I'm not expert enough in the details of Wikipedia syntax to know how this might be best achieved. If anyone has any ideas I think it would be worth doing... Matt 02:00, 21 September 2006 (UTC).
  • That's where links to specific sections are useful. - Mgm|(talk) 15:44, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
    • So how do you link to a specific section on the talk page from, say, a merge template? Matt 14:06, 22 September 2006 (UTC).
      • {{merge}}, {{mergeto}}, and {{mergefrom}}, could probably all include a default link to a #Merge anchor. The thing about anchors is, if they don't exist (or aren't named exactly the same), it's a graceful failure that just goes to the top of the talk page anyway, so you're not losing any functionality by trying to encourage precision linking. -- nae'blis 16:46, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
        • To get the template to specifically link to anywhere other than the top of the talk page, you can include the preferred link as the second parameter of the template, e.g {{merge|Article Name|Talk:Article Name#Merge proposal}} Tra (Talk) 18:22, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
          • Ahh, I glanced at the template code but didn't see that parameter, thanks. -- nae'blis 18:25, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
            • I looked at the help, and I couldn't see it mentioned there either. I have written a paragraph to explain this syntax at Wikipedia:Merging and moving pages#Proposing a merger (starting 'By default the "Discuss" link leads to'). It would be good if someone more familiar with this stuff than me could review it to make sure it is all correct. Matt 11:52, 23 September 2006 (UTC).

Install m:DynamicPageList[edit]

I suggest that the extension DynamicPageList should be installed into wikipedia. Of course it has no use on articles, but it could be a god-giving help for maintenance. AzaToth 18:53, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

I strongly agree. —Mets501 (talk) 18:56, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Can we have a non-technical explanation of what this is? Newyorkbrad 18:59, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
It can create lists based on different categories (intersections etc...) and sort them for example by the date they where added to the category. AzaToth 19:06, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
This extension creates the possibility of accidentally (or deliberately) constructing pages that take an excessive amount of time to generate. I'm not in charge, but I sincerely doubt it will be installed here. -- Rick Block (talk) 02:23, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that the dev's are not keen to install it here. You can see it in action on wikinews: .pfctdayelise (translate?) 05:25, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Sandpeople[edit]

When I go to sandpeople there it brings me to the tusken riaders. I think there should be an sandpeople disambiguation page. There is a hip hop/ rap group callled the sandpeople. I dont know how to make that page nor is there an article on the group. Id create one but I think that someone with more wiki experience should.

Village pump (assistance) would be a better place to make such a request. The Proposals section of the Village Pump is for making suggestions regarding Wikipedia process. I suggest you be BOLD and write an article about the group named the Sandpeople (if they are notable). You don't need to be an expert in wiki markup to write an article; just write a few paragraphs of information about the group. Once you have finished writing the article, you may wish to place a request for feedback on the article, so we can help you with wiki markup and offer suggestions for improving the article. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 10:50, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

Military Weapons/Systems Research[edit]

I believe the addition on every military weapon/system of a "cost" thing would be great. Quite simply, how much does each (be it AK-47 or M1 Abrams) cost?

It would better be addressed in the WP:MIL project. The problem, however, is reliable sources for cost, and selection between figures. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 19:41, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

Featured article probation?[edit]

(I've cross posted the below to Wikipedia talk:Featured article review):

Maybe it would be useful to place featured articles on a two or three month probation in cases where the page is not quite up to snuff but editors are responding to FAR/FARC feedback and making improvements.

Reviewers would write Probation in place of keep/remove/comment if they think a good faith effort is underway to improve a weak FA. At the end of 60 or 90 days the article would automatically return to FAR.

If my hunch is right, a featured article probation tag with a specific expiration date could motivate more Wikipedians to raise old FAs to current FA standards. This would give specific projects and task forces time to rally an effort to save the FA. What do people think of this? Durova 17:02, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

Sounds like a good idea to me. ~ ONUnicorn (Talk / Contribs) 21:08, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

Overhaulting the multi- and dual-licensing process[edit]

I think we need to update and merge these templates together. I suggest something like putting it under a {{DualLicense}} template with WP:AUM-like paramters stating whether you want SA or not, or what versions it's licensed under. So if I wanted to do an SA, I could write {{DualLicense|SA|1.0|2.0|2.5}} and all three versions would be in the template, or something like that. Because this just looks and feels anchoristic in an era where Parser Functions have made things so easy. Hbdragon88 22:52, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

Image Protection[edit]

I'm placing the following image on the Main Page, and would like it to be protected. I'd do it myself if I knew how...

Image:Junichiro Koizumi G8 summit.jpg

Thanks

LordAmeth 07:53, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Only administrators can protect and un-protect pages. Requests for page protection is the place to request an admin protect a page. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 08:58, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Template for Animals[edit]

Now we have only a taxonomic box, and I think it would very useful to create a additional template for every specie which will included (for males and females):

  • Population
  • Range
  • Life time
  • Adults height, height at birth
  • Adults weight, weight at birth
  • Number of chromosomes
  • Gestation period (if it's a mammal)
  • Birth to a litter (if it's a mammal)

--Haham hanuka 12:04, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Couldn't the taxinomy box be expanded with the above useful information? (Although people adding such information must remember to reference it). LinaMishima 14:18, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Having a template or even a portal for animals. We need to have a WikiProject on this thing. Animals we are and we should add this infos about them. This needs an action as soon as possible. I support this proposal. Kevin Ray 13:01, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Chat Room[edit]

As a regular editor of Wikipedia, I am obviously aware that Talk Pages have proven to be a useful way to discuss how to improve the site. I myself had some useful discussions. But whenever I post something to say, I have to wait a whole day before I get a reply. Chances are, other people have the same issue.

So I figured, "Why not create an external chatroom where Wikipedians can discuss things quickly and efficiently?" I have not yet done so, for if I create a chatroom, I want Wikipedia to approve of it. What do you think?--Oddmartian 16:08, 26 September 2006 (UTC)(Talk)

There's WP:IRC Tra (Talk) 16:34, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
I second that, IRC is great :¬) (I Use MIRC) alan2here (Talk)

Proposal - Discuss, Don't Vote[edit]

The proposal Wikipedia:Discuss, don't vote (previously WP:VIE - the voting is evil essay) has been changed to a guideline by User:Radiant! with no obvious consensus that I can see. Not to go off topic, but this user seems to think that he knows what "common practice" is and that pages that "document" this common practice are automatic guidelines. Hes done this with a couple other pages.

The proposal directly contradicts the guideline WP:STRAW, which has been guideline for a year - because it discourages the use of straw polls at all while WP:STRAW encourages using *good* straw polls in the right places. Note also that Radiant has inserted contradictory lines into WP:STRAW stating that "we usually don't use straw polls".

Anyway, please comment - i'd appreciate it. Fresheneesz 19:05, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

A page listing commonly accepted practice is a guideline. "A guideline is something that is: (1) actionable and (2) authorized by consensus. Guidelines are not set in stone and should be treated with common sense and the occasional exception".
"Good straw polls in the right places" does not at all contradict "we don't normally use straw polls"; they're both broadly correct, and minor conflicting ambiguities don't matter because the community behaviour is conflicting and ambiguous on this. Please bear in mind that we're not here to build some unifying legal construct out of policies and guidelines and style guides; we're here to write an encyclopedia and, when necessary, keep the community ticking over to accomplish that; labelling generally-accepted guidelines as just that seems pretty sensible to me, and "discuss things" seems pretty clear as an accepted community norm. Shimgray | talk | 19:21, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Category watch don't show newly added subcategories/pages[edit]

If I add a category into my watchlist, the 'recent edits' of the pages that I watch shows only the edits that are made to the category page itself but does not show recently added subcategory/page to this category. Adding this feature will help those who are working on better categorization of wikipages and other readers as well who are interested on the pages related to a category but some of which do not exist in wikipedia as of now.
Should I added this request to bugzilla as well, pls suggest. Vjdchauhan 06:34, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

Per Help:Category, the "related changes" feature can sort of be used for this (related changes shows changes to articles and categories in a category, adding an article to a category shows up as a change). -- Rick Block (talk) 14:08, 25 September 2006 (UTC)
I tried putting tag such as Special:Recentchangeslinked/Category:Companies of India on my page but it shows all the edits that were carried out on various pages already under this category and the change list could be huge, whereas I am only interested in getting only new additions to this category (new page or new subcategory that's it). So this seems to be a valid proposal, now should I add this to bugzilla as well, pls suggest. -- Vjdchauhan 09:44, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
This is already entered as a request, see bugzilla:7148. -- Rick Block (talk) 14:15, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Mass move of football (soccer) club articles[edit]

I originally posted this at Wikipedia talk:Requested moves but did not get much response, so I am reposting it here in the hope it will get more attention:

At the moment most football (soccer) club articles have titles with full stops in their abbreviations - e.g. Arsenal F.C. There's a growing consensus on WikiProject Football that it is desirable to remove full stops from the article titles (e.g. Arsenal FC) to fall into line with standard WP practice on abbreviations. But this is a non-trivial problem - there are thousands of articles, templates and categories in the current format. So I have two questions:

  • Where should a discussion take place in order to generate a full consensus? As there are so many articles to move it can't really take place on a single page's talk page like normal requested moves.
  • If the community decides such a move is desirable, what tools/bots that can help us in performing these renamings?

All help and advice much appreciated. Thanks. Qwghlm 15:40, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

Once community consensus is to move those articles, you can post at Wikipedia:Bot requests to ask for a bot to do the task. —Mets501 (talk) 15:58, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
Where does community consensus need to be gathered/displayed? aLii 17:15, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
Where is this community standard that periods not be used in abbreviations? User:Zoe|(talk) 18:19, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
It seems to be a near-universal practice - cf. NASA, XML, BBC, etc. To be more precise, these are initialisms; perhaps I should have made that a little clearer. Qwghlm 19:39, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

While knowing absolutely nothing about Football (US or US), I think that usage of periods in abbreviations is different in the UK and the US--most U.S. practice is to leave the periods in; the almost univeral modern UK practice is to leave them out. Have there been any general discussions here on UK vs. US style? or do we need versions of wikipedia in each? ----

It makes sense to me at least that if the teams are based in a location where it's more prevalent to leave the periods out, they should be left out. To Americanize an abbreviation for a European club just seems silly. --fuzzy510 00:34, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
Try Wikipedia:Centralized discussion. — Catherine\talk 06:44, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Spreadsheet meta-code[edit]

I know this is not as basic as it sounds, but having a spreadsheet-input option for tables would be really nice. Reason: many pages today offer "data sets" - sortable or analyzable data that is currently too static. Example: Comparison_of_webmail_providers - it makes sense to sort a table by "price". I don't think we need something as advanced as Google Spreadsheets. I also don't want to turn Wikipedia into a storage for open databases. However, some dynamic tables would add a whole new dimension to the kinds of information provided in Wikipedia. --Cryout 07:36, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

To input a spreadsheet into Wikipedia, you could get the spreadsheet program to export it as HTML and, as long as it's not too complex, it can be copied and pasted into an article. To do things like sorting the table by columns, you could copy and paste the rendered HTML into the spreadsheet program, and work on it from there. Tra (Talk) 16:36, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, that much I can do. I guess what I ask for is a request for Mediawiki. For example, Microsoft's SharePoint collaborative software supports spreadsheet views. This upgrades a CMS from a place to store text to a place to store meaningful data. Anyhow, it woul dbe nice to see something like this one day. --Cryout 21:47, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Administrator Review[edit]

I've been monitoring a growing problem, and I'd like to suggest a measure that may help alleviate some of the community pressures and specifically those on WP:AN/I.

The problem: There are a growing number of users who (upon having an article speedy deleted or after being blocked or are the target of some administrative action) feel that they have been the victim of persecution. The current recourse these folks has been a bit disorganized. They can:

  • Post a message to AN/I
While this has a large audience, the volume of chatter means that there is often no response. Also, there's a very strong reliance on the user being able to diplomatically state their issue without coming across as a raving loony. This is a bar that not all of our wikipedians can reliably reach, especially when they are agitated. The proposal would, hopefully, provide enough structure and formality to the process to keep these users aligned towards a positive goal of getting quick feedback (instead of falling into the "I want this sysop de-admined NOW!" rut).
  • Create an RfC
This has a very high price of admission, I've had disagreements with users over my use of admin privs in the past whom I have encouraged to create an RfC if they felt my actions/responses were not appropriate. In each case, they have refused and the general consensus was that RfC was "too complicated". I think that it SHOULD be complicated, but if there was a place halfway there that could help a user build confidence in their case (if it turns out that they were, after all, wronged), perhaps that might help reduce the feeling of disenfranchisement some of these otherwise productive editors feel.
  • ArbCom
To reach ArbCom, there's a real level of commitment that isn't always appropriate for the situation. As the old saying goes, in breakfast, the chicken is involved but the pig is committed. If a user disagrees with a use of page protection or something similar, "commitment" (in the above sense) probably isn't the right solution. If a case can avoid ArbCom because the correction is A: Easy and B: Only needed a widescale, unified response, then we've not only solved a problem, but also potentially avoided cluttering Arbcom's workload with cruft.

In essense, my hope is that this non-binding device may help A: Nip improper accusations in the bud with swift, unified community response and or B: Help otherwise timid or novice users who _have_ identified improper tool use build a solid foundation for getting something solved.

Critics may argue (properly) that this is a very focussed element of things that already happen on AN/I, and I agree. I'd like to suggest that perhaps a little focus and structure might reduce frustration and also make AN/I more readable. Please take a moment to review Wikipedia:Administrator Review and participate in the relevant discussions here or on its talk page. I've created the initial templates to support the process, if anyone would like to guinea pig themselves to try it out, it might be of use. Best regards, CHAIRBOY () 16:18, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

The first thing I noticed looking at that is that it's set up to handle AfD-style traffic. Are you really expecting 50+ complaints a day, or would a lower-traffic logging scheme be acceptable? (WP:MFD, WP:TFD, and WP:DRV show three lower-traffic debate-logging systems). Am I going to have to implement an Administrator Review categorization system as well? --ais523 16:37, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Good thinking, I'll refactor that appropriately. - CHAIRBOY () 22:40, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
"...there's a very strong reliance on the user being able to diplomatically state their issue without coming across as a raving loony. This is a bar that not all of our wikipedians can reliably reach..." Sorry... just wanted to say that this literally made me laugh out loud because it is so true! ~ ONUnicorn (Talk / Contribs) 16:49, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Heh, thanks. I'm just trying to find a way to stop as many people from falling through the cracks. - CHAIRBOY () 22:40, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Template_talk:Fact#Shorten[edit]

Proposed abbreviating the [citation needed] template. - RoyBoy 800 03:16, 28 September 2006 (UTC)