Wikipedia talk:External links

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Open Directory Project (DMOZ)[edit]

Recently this guideline was changed without, I think, adequate consensus.

I'm glad MrX made this change, because bold action to actually change a guideline is often more useful than paragraphs of discussion. Some of the previous discussion about DMOZ (Wikipedia talk:External links/Archive 34#No longer suggesting_DMOZ) showed that some people felt that DMOZ shouldn't be unfairly promoted above other web directories.

My understanding is that we have less than 5 Wikipedia templates useful for adding a link from a Wikipedia article to a web directory. If so, I suggest this guideline should link to all such templates. --DavidCary (talk) 04:34, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

Nearly two months ago, there was lengthy discussion and a clear consensus reached for the change here: WT:External links/Archive 34#No longer suggesting DMOZ, so I have reverted your bold addition of the material. If you wish to revisit this, that's fine, but I think you should present a stronger argument for recommending what other consider an obsolete link directory. The existence of the template or number of templates has no bearing on whether we should recommend DMOZ in this guideline.- MrX 12:48, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
As anyone can plainly see, there was no consensus in that discussion, just Wikipedia:Gaming the system, primarily by refusing to engage in a serious discussion by responding to the questions and points raised. WhatamIdoing is currently trying to address the cause of the issue (deleting External links from Wikipedia) from a different perspective, but getting the same Wikipedia:Gaming the system practices by the same people. This "cleansing" of U.S. political articles has been going on, in one place or another in Wikipedia, for over six months now. (talk) 13:59, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
Incorrect. By my count, there were 5 supporting the removal, 1 opposing, and 1 (the OP) asking for links to previous discussions. If you believe that is an improper assessment of consensus, then you could perhaps request a formal closure at WP:ANRFC. Of course, I'm not precluding a new discussion here to propose re-adding the DMOZ recommendation.- MrX 14:26, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
At this point, I really think it might be worth nominating the DMOZ template(s) for deletion to discourage their continued use. Thargor Orlando (talk) 16:05, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree, but I think there would be quite a bit of push back, especially since the template has 6978 transclusions.- MrX 16:20, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
About the number of links: I read through Category:Web directories (notable web directories) and {{dmoz}} and {{Yahoo directory}} were the only ones that I found in Category:External link templates. However, I didn't look in any of the 44 subcategories, so there might be more. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:09, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

you should present a stronger argument for recommending what other consider an obsolete link directory.
recommending a link to a page on some other site, a page that is a long list of links about that topic
Many people hear that Wikipedia is a repository for all human knowledge (Wikipedia: all human knowledge).
Many of those people know things that are not yet included in Wikipedia, and want to help. In general, we should encourage those people to be bold and improve Wikipedia (WP:IGNORE).
Sometimes these people become obsessed with some particular topic and want to know "everything" about it, in far more detail than is appropriate for an encyclopedia article.
Directly inserting the complete text of Euclid's Elements directly into Wikipedia is problematic, but many people find the direct link to that text (hosted on some other site) a useful addition to the Wikipedia article Euclid's Elements.
In the same way, directly inserting a long list of links about some topic directly into a Wikipedia article is problematic, but many people find a single direct link to such a list (hosted on some other site) a useful addition to the Wikipedia article on that topic.
Such a link is useful to the people who read that article and want many more details on the topic.
recommending a link to some specific link directory
It helps the editors of Wikipedia when, when a guideline suggests doing something, we also mention (or link to some other page that mentions) a convenient method for doing that.
In this case, there are convenient link directory templates that such an editor, reading this guideline, might find useful.
Removing that little tip leads to well-meaning editors who don't already know about that trick staying blissfully ignorant, leading to them doing things the hard way and wasting their time.
Dear editors who think DMOZ shouldn't be unfairly promoted above other, superior web directories that allegedly exist:
Could we please briefly *mention* those other, superior web directories in this policy?
My understanding is that there is less than 5 of them, so I wish this guideline listed *all* of them -- something like the way WP:NPOV recommends listing *all* the significant points of view in an article.
I would be surprised and delighted to learn that there are so many that they couldn't be briefly mentioned in a single short sentence, so WP:BLOAT becomes an issue.
--DavidCary (talk) 16:20, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
I still object to restoring the examples as you did here, for reasons that I've already stated. I'm not going to revert because I've already been too active on this topic, but I believe that your edit goes against consensus.- MrX 23:36, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
DavidCary, if you want to mention all of them, then you need to make a list of all of them. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:48, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
I think indeed, DavidCary that what User:WhatamIdoing is suggesting is the way forward. I also find it inappropriate that since it was removed after an earlier discussion, that the re-inclusion is pushed while discussion about that re-inclusion is still ongoing. More general, I think that linking to a directory service is also somewhat outdated, it is an option, but I do not think that it should be (strongly) suggested. Mentioning directory services as an option is more than enough, it should not be presented as 'if people object against your linkfarming on-wiki, then please go ahead and link to the directory service'. If the links do not merit inclusion on-wiki, then they do not merit being linked to through a directory service either. --Dirk Beetstra T C 04:59, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
linking to a directory service ... is an option, but I do not think that it should be (strongly) suggested. I agree -- linking to a directory service be neither strongly suggested (WP:ELYES), nor forbidden (WP:ELNO). I guess that means that we all agree that linking to a directory service should be de-emphasized by putting it in the WP:ELMAYBE section? Is there some way to further de-emphasize it without going so far as to forbid it?
... inappropriate that since it was removed after an earlier discussion, that the re-inclusion is pushed ... Huh? I was under the impression that people around here were comfortable with the Wikipedia: BOLD, revert, discuss cycle process (BRD).
It's likely that I didn't catch all the nuances, but the impression I got was that: Some people want to remove DMOZ from this guideline. Other people want to keep DMOZ in this guideline. As far as I could tell, the discussion never actually actually persuaded anyone to change their mind.
Then MrX did exactly what BRD recommends doing in that situation: boldly made a change. Then DavidCary did one of the options BRD suggests: revert. After that, according to BRD, the obligation was on MrX to discuss, which he did.
If you feel the BRD process is inappropriate, please give me a pointer to a more appropriate process?
WhatamIdoing, I thought I did make a list of all of them, but perhaps I was mistaken. Please tell me -- which ones did I leave out? (Or feel free to add them to the list yourself).
Some people seem to have the idea that a link never merits inclusion in a Wikipedia article whenever the text (or other content, such as a list of links) at the destination of that link doesn't merit including directly into that article.
That idea is wrong. For example, a link to the complete text of Euclid's Elements is appropriate in the Euclid's Elements article, even though the complete text itself is not appropriate in any Wikipedia article. --DavidCary (talk) 19:09, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
I haven't seen any such list. I've seen you say that you believe there are fewer than five templates, but I've never seen you list the templates that do exist. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:29, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
  • DavidCary, you're well outside of the original BRD cycle. You have essentially made a bold edit challenging the consensus established in June. BTW, why did you wait two months to bring this up again?- MrX 23:54, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
  • DavidCary - It was removed after discussion, that is the established consensus. It was a de facto consensus for 2 months that it was not there. You boldly re-included it, and it was re-removed. That is the B and R of your BRD-cycle, B is not the removal of 2 months ago and R the re-inclusion. However, when 'D' was busy, you re-insterted it. That is NOT what BRD is about, BRD is not about having your edits standing against consensus while discussion (which was against it, and does not seem to have changed) runs. Please remove the edit and establish consensus for re-insertion here.
  • Anyway, I am against the inclusion of 'some' examples, or even the 'many examples are available'. They are utterly superfluous. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:20, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
There are good reasons to mention templates for link directories, such as (a) It helps the editors of Wikipedia, when a guideline suggests doing something (in this case, WP:ELMAYBE mentioning "A well-chosen link to a directory"), that guideline also mentions (or link to some other page that mentions) a quick method for doing that (in this case, link-directory templates).
(b) The people who wrote "{{no more links}}" seem to think that DMOZ helps reduce a lot of unnecessary drama over arguing over which links to include or exclude.
After reviewing my edits, I see I did make one edit beyond BRD. Sorry. Please don't let one mistake distract from the topic at hand.
There exist good reasons to delete all mention of DMOZ in this guideline. Could someone please state those reasons, rather than alluding to unspecified "problems" or "previous discussion" or "reasons already stated"?
Stating actual reasons is much more likely to change my opinion from "DMOZ has problems, but mentioning it in this guideline is better than not" to "Let's not even mention DMOZ in this guideline".
Some people seem to be saying that DMOZ is "an obsolete link directory" -- which link directory(ies) made it obsolete?
After my previous waffling and asking for links to previous discussions, I'm leaning towards "opposing the removal", which -- by my count of the Wikipedia talk:External links/Archive 34 archive -- gives 5 supporting the removal in that archive, and 3 not supporting removal -- Johnuniq, an IP user, and myself.
Is a 5 to 3 majority what passes for consensus now?
How can we craft a compromise ("alternatives should be given equal consideration" -- pgr94) that would be acceptable to practically everyone? --DavidCary (talk) 19:46, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
which link directory(ies) made it obsolete? Google. Here is a game, which to be honest I don't play a lot: browse around DMOZ, and come up with a link that you find especially useful. Now search in google the head of the directory it was in, or the title of the most relevant W article. If it is not in the first page or two, you won. trespassers william (talk) 22:30, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
As someone who has only vaguely followed this discussion, I must say that this comment pretty much sums up my feelings. Continuing to recommend DMOZ, or any web directory, in the year 2014 is like still linking to a Webring. It's just outdated. So count this as a vote for removal. oknazevad (talk) 04:16, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
Since there seems be dispute about whether or not the previous discussion supported removing the DMOZ material, I suggest that someone create an RfC to get a clearer determination of consensus. But please, make a decision, and don't wait two months to comment. This is not worth the energy being expended over a few words that don't really have much practical impact anyway. For the record, I'm opposed to recommending any directories.- MrX 23:00, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
How should we respond to an editor who believes we should prefer DMOZ even if it is of poorer quality than an alternative? Can we make clear we have no favourites? pgr94 (talk) 12:36, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
And perhaps link to the "link quality" criteria to be used. pgr94 (talk) 12:48, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Someone has asked for a list of reasons why mentioning only DMOZ was removed. Off the top of my head, here are the main objections:

  1. Mentioning only one web directory unfairly promotes one web directory over others (especially for editors that are unaware that any others exist).
  2. Mentioning DMOZ by name discourages people from using better webpages.
  3. DMOZ's quality has declined compared to five or ten years ago. If we were going to recommend one web directory, it would be better to recommend one that is generally high-quality.
  4. Mentioning DMOZ may tend to promote needless links (in articles that could realistically have zero links rather than a link to DMOZ).

There may be others, but this is what I recall off hand.

The arguments in favor of mentioning DMOZ by name appear to be:

  1. Inertia: it's been in the guideline for years.
  2. If you don't mention DMOZ by name, then people won't be able to figure out that the template exists.
  3. Most DMOZ pages look okay in the particular subject area that I edit.

I happen to think that the one set of arguments is better than the other. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:36, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Excellent, thank you very much, WhatamIdoing.
I think there are 4 possible options for this guideline:
  • "Don't mention or link to any particular link directory."
  • "Only mention DMOZ." This has been the status quo for years. WhatamIdoing and pgr94 have presented some good arguments against it.
  • "Only mention one link directory, something better than DMOZ." Several people have alluded to this option "If we were going to recommend one web directory, it would be better", "an obsolete link directory", etc., but I wish they would specify what specific link directory they mean by "it".
  • "Link to a list of link directories, or mention more than one link directory, or both." This seems to me[1] to be more helpful to "editors that are unaware that any others exist" than the "don't mention any particular link directory" option.
Currently I think that "link to a list of link directories, or mention more than one link directory, or both" is the best of these options, given the above reasons and arguments.
--DavidCary (talk) 19:00, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
You might be right. The biggest problem with the "link to a list of link directories, or mention more than one link directory" is that none of our WP:VOLUNTEERs seems willing to spend time writing the list. As a purely practical matter, we can't include a list if nobody is willing to create it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:48, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Why on earth would we want to include more directories? Who actually uses directories in 2014? Thargor Orlando (talk) 22:20, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Books' Details vs Books' Author's blog[edit]

Some Wikipedians believed that if book of the author is not referrable in internet except in blogspot means then we can refer his blog with that book contents as reference.

But I beleieve that Book Details is enough.

Is it correct to cite a blog in wiki even the blog has that Book contents.?--Tenkasi Subramanian (talk) 19:22, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Hi Tenkasi Subramanian,
This question needs to go to a special discussion page, called the WP:Reliable sources/Noticeboard. They'll need to know the name of the article that you're editing, too. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:45, 8 September 2014 (UTC)


I am from Tamil wiki and this is for Tamil Article. Anyhow I'll question on that respected page. Thanks.--Tenkasi Subramanian (talk) 23:11, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Proposal: Allow for links to simulations and models under "Links to be Considered"[edit]

I propose the addition of the following under Links to be Considered:

"Links to interactive website pages containing relevant quality simulations or models of article material or phenomenon."

See, for instance, Monty_Hall_problem#External_links where simulations are of considerable use and are included under External links.

Currently there is no explicit statement that such links are allowed. Cannot you imagine that such links can be relevant and wrong to exclude?

I would like to get some consensus on this. Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Reidme (talkcontribs) 20:35, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

I suggest that you post a note about the discussion on that article's talk page at WP:ELN. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:55, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
There is no reason to modify this guideline for the example given. Per WP:ELYES some pages can normally be linked, and if a discussion establishes that a simulation assists the encyclopedic understanding of the topic, then a link is appropriate. That's if the link is helpful—articles do not link to every page that some readers might find useful. Johnuniq (talk) 09:20, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
no reason to add this specific type WP:CREEP ( particularly at the request of an SPA determined to get their particular link added). There are "simulators" for lots and lots of topics but very few where a "simulator" would generally be encyclopedicly helpful for a reader to understand the subject. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 20:34, 16 October 2014 (UTC)