Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive23

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Articles with ndash in the title

A number of articles have ndashes in the title, eg the recently-renamed Sino-German cooperation (1911–1941). There are others, but the recent rename got me looking around, and I found this and this discussion, where the point seems to be that anything other than regular hyphens has some accessibility issues. In fact, the ndash causes problems for the FA bot on one of the platforms it runs on. Can we have a clear policy on this, at least for FAs? Gimmetrow 04:12, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

This is also a concern for the recent FA and FACs, Bill Russell and Michael Jordan. There are numerous linked NBA articles which don't use en-dashes in the titles; should article names follow WP:MOS, or should they use hyphens to avoid accessibility issues? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:37, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Right now, WP:NAMING#Special_characters and WP:MOSDASH appear to be in conflict. Gimmetrow 04:36, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Accessibility is our primary concern. I say we use the standard ascii dash. Raul654 04:40, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
En dashes are an important part of the written language. They should be preserved in titles. Tony 20:39, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Process for requesting review of older FAs that no longer meet FA quality?

I've looked around for info on how to request a review of a current FA to insure it is still still FA class, but I must be blind because I can't find it. Would someone mind point me to this process? For instance, Moe Berg was promoted in April of 2005, but it doesn't have inline citations, that's an automatic fail even for GA class. Thanks --Roswell native 15:50, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Hi, Roswell (GA or NM?). Pls see WP:FAR; if you need help, let me know. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:57, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks SandyGA,(I'm GA BTW). —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Roswell native (talkcontribs) 23:15, 10 March 2007 (UTC).

Getting people to read FACs

I'm a bit concerned that an article I nominated for FAC, Nigel Kneale, isn't garnering many responses to its candidacy, possibly because it simply isn't very interesting to the people who regularly review articles here and cast their votes. Which is fair enough, but I wonder if there's any way I can try and get more people to come and cast their votes that doesn't simply look like me trying to drum up blind support votes? For instance, I was wondering whether to post a mention of the FAC on the talk page of Wikiproject:Doctor Who (Kneale had nothing to do with that show, and indeed disliked it intensely, but fans of it generally tend to be interested in his work too, and there isn't a wikiproject for any of his own stuff) but I don't know if that would be acceptable or not? Angmering 21:58, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

I had that problem too. I think posting notices at related WikiProjects is fine. (PS: try to use the preview button) --Ideogram 22:01, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

One problem I see is not enough reviewers for some FACs. Paradoxically, this is discouraging me from commenting. On Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Verbascum thapsus, I am now starting to fear my comment (not objection) sticks out too much and could damage the article's chances unless better-informed people come along to assess the actual subject matter (maybe people just aren't that interested in a glorified weed). With George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore, I was the only objector (there were three support votes) and so I felt I ought to work to meet my own objection (which took me two and a half weeks of reading and noting, since one of my main objections was that not enough sources had been consulted); I'm now being careful such a thing doesn't happen again, because life's too short. And I'm starting to get timid, fearing commenting too soon or objecting against consensus. Is there a way of attracting people to comment here without appearing to canvass? qp10qp

I guess that if you follow the WP:CANVASS guidelines, and resort to "friendly messages", it's all right. You just have to sound neutral in the request.--Kylohk 22:17, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

User:Feature Historian

This is rather odd - a user whose only contributions are to create a humungous table setting out the history of all featured articles. Is this a by-product of the article history template? If not, I suspect the bot could create something like this. -- ALoan (Talk) 14:00, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

It was in use before ArticleHistory, and it has been extremely helpful in re-constructing some missing FACs for articlehistory. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:12, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Youtube

Besides the fact that few reviewers seem to check sources :-), do we need to be more aggressive about Youtube? US$1 billion Youtube lawsuit. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:30, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

We should deprecate Youtube, on the whole, for the reasons given at WP:ATTFAQ. But the legal threat is Youtube's, not ours, and so that in itself shouldn't make any difference for the moment. qp10qp 17:23, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

I'd say "Don't link to copyrighted content on websites involved in $1 billion lawsuits over copyright violation" is a fairly sensible guideline :) – Qxz 17:49, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Where it gets tricky at FAC is that editors defend that their link to Youtube isn't a copyvio; I always have a hard time with Fair Use and other copyright issues. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:04, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Any editors who say their Youtube link isn't a copyvio are talking rubbish 99% of the time. LuciferMorgan 22:21, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

What happened?

Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon seems to have disappeared without any "Promoted!" or "Not Promoted!" explanation next to it. Did someone set us up the bomb? Hbdragon88 02:50, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

The tags are a relatively new development. Perhaps a bot will (is?) going through the archives addding them? -- ALoan (Talk) 09:36, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes; tagging and closing by GimmeBot is new. The Ninja article shows as featured on the article page and on its talk page. The Bot is still processing through older noms (Dec 2006 and older) to close and archive the fac pages. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 11:41, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Two tiers of FAs

I have a question. There seem to be two kinds of good articles that appear here: those that are referenced to scholarly works and those that are referenced to popular works. This is a particular issue on humanities pages. I don't think that scientists are submitting articles based on popular science books. Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Battle of Shiloh and Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna of Russia‎ are a good example of what happens if someone mentions that there needs to be more scholarly sources. I would like to know if there is an "open secret," as they say, that there are essentially two tiers of FA articles - those that are referenced to the scholarly literature and those that are referenced to the popular literature. The fact that a science article would never pass FA with references to the popular literature but that a history or literature article can seems problematic. Should not wikipedia's "best" articles have the best research in them? Awadewit 17:16, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Can of worms alert :-) I can't recall all the places where the discussion happened, but there was much discussion about lowering the standards on reliable sources to allow for more pop culture articles. I didn't pay attention to the outcome, as I continue to abide by WP:ATT and reliable sources, and resist attempts to introduce lower-quality sources anywhere on Wikipedia, including FAs. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:19, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
There is no need to lower the standards for pop culture articles. Scholars do write on pop culture. I myself attended a panel discussion on Harry Potter during which a scholar passed around an "invisible" Harry Potter figurine (it was clear plastic) to demonstrate "conspicuous consumption." :) Awadewit 17:31, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
I think we mostly have a systemic problem here, which is that citations are not being evaluated at this depth. Reviewing the featured article criteria, sources are required to be reliable and accurate, but those are of course subjective terms. Who determines what types of sources are appropriate for what types of articles? Ideally, popular literature can back up assertions that a subject is popular, or basic facts about the subject that are not in dispute. However, scholarly, peer-reviewed sources should be required to back up scholarly claims or disputed facts. For example, you might back up the statement that a certain historical battle was the subject of a film with a popular source, like a Web site. But historical information such as recounts of the battle should require scholarly sources. --Mus Musculus 18:49, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Whether a source is "scholarly" or "popular" shouldn't be a concern. All we need to worry about is whether it is reliable or not. — Brian (talk) 22:42, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Reliability should trump all. Goldfritha 22:53, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
But reliability isn't a bright line. FAs should be using the best sources available for their subjects, not just whatever comes to hand that meets some bare minimum standard of reliability. It's not always a question of scholarly versus popular -- some works written for a popular audience can be very good -- but the nominator should be prepared to explain the choice of sources. —Celithemis 23:33, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Concur that we should be using the best possible reliable sources for any topic, but the previous discussion I referred to was about problems with finding any reliable sources on some pop culture topics; the notion of relaxing standards was introduced then (I disagree with any relaxing of standards on reliable sources). Too many FACs are still referenced from marginal websources. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:18, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

We're an encyclopedia- we should use the highest quality sources available. I think a suitable compromise would be to insist on scholarly sources when scholarly sources are available. For instance, in pop culture, I would be far more strict on a Hermione Granger FAC than a Sailormoon FAC, given the amount of literary and feminist scholarship available on the Harry Potter novels. Hermione's article should have citations from peer-reviewed journals to be featured (this is not hard- I did a paper on Harry Potter once, they are tons of them) but for Sailormoon a feature article from a manga magazine would suffice. In this way, we protect the integrity of the FA sources whilst not locking out the more obscure pop culture articles. Borisblue 01:12, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

In my mind, this isn't a question of using the best sources. Rather, it's a question of comprehensiveness. In other words, if someone submits Hermione Granger to FAC without using these scholarly sources, the article should fail because it lacks a feminist/scholarly interpretation of the subject (and is thus not comprehensive), not because the sources weren't the "best". I just don't think that we need to be creating an additional level of sourcing that goes beyond Wikipedia's Attribution policy. — Brian (talk) 01:30, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Sandy brought up popular culture; that's not what the original examples were about. When you're dealing with biographical or historical facts, it's not a question of comprehensiveness but one of reliability. An FA on a historical figure should generally not be based entirely on popular-magazine articles if scholarly biographies are available. It's not a matter of creating a completely separate standard for FAs, but of recognizing that reliability is relative: there's a minimum standard below which information can be thrown out entirely, but sources that meet that minimum standard are not necessarily ideal. All articles should strive to use the best information available, and by the time they reach FA they should be primarily based on good -- not merely acceptable -- sources. —Celithemis 03:10, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
One major problem with the FA process is that any reviewer can decide an article's sources aren't reputable "enough" or are "low-quality". It is entirely subjective, and FA reviews often seem based on the whim of individual reviewers. Take the FA candidacy of the DuMont Television Network, for example. One FA reviewer strongly opposed because of sourcing from The DuMont Television Historical Web Site. The site has been used as a source in print publications, the old managing director Ted Bergmann said the site "got it exactly right", and (Weinstein, 2004) said of the site "no other broadcaster has been rewarded with a site as informative and thorough" (page 186). Yet the FA reviewer said the site couldn't be used because it didn't meet WP:RS, so alternate sources were found. These were also rejected. The same FAC reviewer rejected Roaring Rockets, a web site which conducted interviews with old DuMont employees and producers and which Weinstein (2004) called "a comprehensive site... that looks at Captain Video and other 'space operas', rivals any Web treatment of a particular program or genre of the 1950s" (page 186 also). Other sources were also rejected, for seemingly spurious reasons (one site was rejected as a "blog", when it clearly wasn't), etc, etc. It eventually became apparent that any source, no matter how respected or authoritative, even if it appeared in the bibligraphy of print media, would be objected to, and the article wasn't promoted. When well-respected print publications are using sources which are rejected by Wikipedia based on subjective guidelines, it worries me. If Featured Article status can be withheld from articles because even a single editor deems the sources unreliable, there's a problem. WP:ATT states of reliable sources "their authors are generally regarded as trustworthy, or are authoritative in relation to the subject at hand." There are all sorts of articles I'd love to bring up to FA status, but after an experience like the DuMont FAC, I gave up on this idea, because it became clear then that the FA process really is subjective. I still work on the dinosaur FACings, because that is a group effort and there are plenty of people to help jump through all the hoops, but I won't submit another FAC on my own again. Firsfron of Ronchester 01:38, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
This upsets me greatly. Had I realized this, I don't think that FAC nom would have turned out that way. Raul654 03:15, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
I appreciate your comment, Raul. Firsfron of Ronchester 04:55, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
It's not an accurate summary of what happened wrt the references (and there were prose problems as well). There was a refusal to identify publishers of websites, which still exists in the article today (example, http://www.slick-net.com/). I switched to Strong oppose not because all of your sources were rejected as unreliable, but because you refused to even indicate who the publishers were (per WP:CITE/ES) as well. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:12, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Not according to what you wrote at the time: "1c, (switching now to Strong object, unresolved, article fails WP:RS)". As I mentioned at the time, I followed the citation style listed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citing_sources/example_style . All specific prose problems were addressed. The other editors on that page had agreed the concerns were addressed and had stated "unfortunately Sandy now appears to be Wikilawyering. Specifically, what I perceive as a counterproductive insistence on a rigid vision of WP:RS leads me to conclude that Sandy is "Breaking the spirit of a policy or guideline through sticking to a too-literal interpretation of the letter of Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines," and is also in effect "Asserting that technical interpretation of Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines should override the principles they express." Firsfron of Ronchester 04:55, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
I switched to strong object for two reasons: you refused to identify publishers, and not all sources were reliable. Prose concerns were not removed. And "editors" is not plural; the charge of "wikilawyering" came from one editor—DCGeist—who by the way left a significant personal attack against me on your talk page. Just wondering: as an admin open to recall, do you not feel any obligation to uphold NPA and to attend to personal attacks in plain sight on your talk page ? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 05:07, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
As I said, Sandy, I followed the citation examples that were provided at Wikipedia:Citing_sources/example_style. In your objection you stated the sources used weren't reliable. You did object to Roaring Rockets, you did object to The DuMont Television Network Historical Web Site, and you did object to the Tulsa TV Memories site (calling it a blog). All of these things have been preserved on the FAC page, where anyone can read them. you did not change your opinion on any of them, and your last comment on the FAC page was that the DuMont article used unreliable sources. These three sites are credible, and two have been used as sources in print media (it's possible the third one has, too, but I haven't seen it). I am certainly listed as an Administrator open to recall, and if six editors have decided I've abused my admin privledges, I will step down. I don't see how someone leaving a comment on my talk page (and me not removing it) is an abuse of admin privledges, but feel free to formalize a request for me to step down. If the six person threshold is met, I will step down. All this seems somewhat removed from the central issue: sources deemed reliable by (a)multiple editors, and (b)well-respected outside publications are being rejected at FAC by regular FAC reviewers. Firsfron of Ronchester 05:38, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Again, referring to multiple editors when you mean one editor. You still refuse to identify publishers on the websources; they still aren't in the article. End of story. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 06:10, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
As I've already stated repeatedly, I used the citation style given at Wikipedia:Citing_sources/example_style. Soon after I pointed out that I had followed the citation example onWP:CITE/ES, you changed the page, adding "publisher" as part of the example. This is something else that worries me: FAC reviewers changing sample citation pages as they see fit, to justify their earlier objecting to FACs. The example citation style I used had been unmodified for over a year, reflecting the consensus of the community. You strongly objected to the article on January 7th. You changed the citation example on January 26th. There is nothing wrong with enforcing existing guidelines and policies. There is something wrong with ojecting based on a guideline that isn't even on the page. End of story. Firsfron of Ronchester 07:27, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Soon after? This is a simple situation; please stop misrepresenting facts (this is the third or fourth time you've done that). There were not multiple editors who agreed that you had established reliable sources (there was one, who encouraged you not to provide the publishers—you chose to follow that "wikilawyered" advice). I corrected the faulty example on the sample page well after your FAC closed; it didn't impact your FAC. The example given 1) was to a dead weblink, and 2) didn't follow any recognized citation style. I told you on the FAC what was wrong with the example; you chose to ignore that. It wasn't a guideline; it was a faulty example, which disagreed with everything else on the page. This entire argument is a red herring; my one Object didn't determine the outcome of your FAC. Your FAC did not have support or consensus that your sources are reliable, and you refused to indicate who the publishers were. If your FAC had had Support consensus, my object wouldn't have mattered a hill of beans. And, if you had indicated your publishers rather than arguing over such a trivial matter, on my fourth or fifth visit back to re-check the FAC, I would have had a new look at the sources. The process worked for you as it is intended to work; if only one reviewer had objected (as you state), with many Supports, the FAC would have succeeded. That was not the case; you seem to be misunderstanding the consensus by which FACs are promoted. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 07:51, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Hogwash. The article was only reviewed by a handful of people. Your strong object certainly did matter. Someone on that FAC (not me) accused you of "Wikilawyering"; when you begin with "Explain the basis for believing your websources are reliable" after explanations have already been given, it does lead people to think you're Wikilawyering. Firsfron of Ronchester 08:16, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
As I already discussed elsewhere,
Every criterion in FAC is subjective- comprehensiveness, neutrality, copyediting etc. Your experience is unfortunate, but just because there was a troll in your FAC doesn't mean that quality of sourcing can't be a criterion. Borisblue 03:18, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
I certainly would not call SandyGeorgia, a regular at FAC, a "troll", which is why the situation disturbed me greatly. The other FAC reviewers were puzzled by this incredibly rigid interpretation of what was at that time a guideline, and stated so on the FAC page. Quality of sourcing is important, but even the best sources available are being refused as "unreliable" or "blogs". Firsfron of Ronchester 04:55, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
You're again using other reviewers (plural) to describe *one* reviewer, who engaged in personal attacks. Moreover, to this day, the article uses and doesn't give a publisher for AOL member websites, and sites like tulsatvmemories.com, chicagotelevision.com, http://www.slick-net.com/ and others. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 05:40, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Oh, I don't know. It seems to me you were treated pretty well during most of that article's FAC process. Everyone certainly started out with "please" and "thank you"-type comments: take a look at the beginning of Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/DuMont Television Network/archive1. You were certainly thanked for pointing out problems with the article. DCG started out even agreeing with many of your points. It was only after you objected to any source submitted that things started looking ugly: like when you objected to the web-site of Steve Jajkowski, who is an archivist at Chicago's Museum of Broadcast Communications, claiming it was a "hobby site". This was pointed out at the time, but you never deigned to comment. Personal attacks should never be used on Wikipedia. But people do have a point at which they become exasperated, and you may have crossed the line around that point. This just highlights the problem that "reliable source" is a somewhat subjective term which any editor can use when objecting to a FAC. If a regular FAC reviewer can dismiss highly-respected sources with comments like "looks like a blog"... it can (and does) scare off potential nominators. Firsfron of Ronchester 06:09, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Explain the basis for believing your websources are reliable so that others can evaluate and come to consensus and add information about the publisher to the citation, and you should have no problem with future FACs. Your refusal to identify publishers was interesting; you seem not to have grasped that readers or reviewers shouldn't have to click on every single source to verify publishers. Had you identified publishers, I would have been in a position to strike my objections to any given source. By the way, still wondering why you still refuse to identify publishers on part of your sources, coincidentally, the ones from sources like AOL members homepages. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 06:12, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Sandy, it seems like whatever I say, you're going to debate. I told you right from the beginning that I felt the DuMont Television Network Historical Web Site was reliable, and provided examples where the site or its author have been cited by other sources. You poo-pooed me "It's still a self-published, AOL members website, and he is described as a "Dumont buff" - not good enough to satisfy me it rises to the level of WP:V and isn't just self-published <whatever>, sorry.", and so I thanked you for your patience, and removed those refs and replaced them with new ones. You objected the new ones as well, with spurious arguments about Tulsa TV Memories being "a blog" (it's not), Jajkowski's site as a "hobby" (it's not), Roaring Rockets as "unreliable" (it's used in well-respected print media), etc. user:DCGeist said he felt objecting to Chicagotelevision.com as unreliable was "Wikilawyering of the clearest sort." user:Kicking222 said he felt the objections had been addressed and that the article was "well-written and well-sourced". user:Dhett said the article was "FA-worthy". These users worked with me to help improve both the prose and the sourcing of the article. The only one objecting to the sources by the end was you, and several of those very same sources have been deemed reliable (not only reliable, but recommended) by outside sources, including print publications. Firsfron of Ronchester 08:02, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
And now, back to the facts again. Only one other editor specifically addressed the issues I raised about the sources; there was not consensus that they were reliable. It's curious that you ignored the sample you seem so tied to most of the time; you included the publisher on most of your sources, and left them off only on the sources that I questioned. This creates the appearance of something to hide. Add to that your failure to uphold NPA on your own talk page, and I'm beginning to wonder if you understand consensus or respect Wiki policy. It seems that you are trying to re-visit one FAC in this discussion because you weren't happy with the outcome. The question at hand was about reliable sources; reliability of sources—like everything else on Wiki—is a matter of consensus. You didn't have it, perhaps because you chose to follow "wikilawyered" advice and an attackish tone, which is never good practice on Wiki or on a FAC. Add info about publishers to the few sources you left them off of (there aren't that many, it shouldn't be hard), get a copyedit as suggested on the FAC (prose needed fixing throughout, not just the samples given), and resubmit to see if there is consensus on your publishers now. Should be simple. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 08:31, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes, Sandy, I have "something to hide". I stopped reading your comment at that point. Even after that unsuccessful FAC, I still had respect for you, because you did work hard to review so many other articles. But I can't respect someone who can't admit s/he rejected perfectly valid sources as unreliable and who hints other editors must have "something to hide". Ugh. Firsfron of Ronchester 08:42, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Sometimes credible references are very hard to come by, especially on stray topics that no published work has ever been written. I had a tough time with Indian Standard Time, on a topic which hardly had a single printed publication on the subject. Some flexibility should be allowed for such topics. =Nichalp «Talk»= 06:07, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

I am sorry to see how acrimonious this discussion has become - I did not see the FAC for DuMont Television Network, otherwise I may have commented on this point.
I thought it was reasonably well established that we require sources that are "generally regarded as trustworthy, or are authoritative in relation to the subject at hand", as WP:ATT says. The "in relation to the subject at hand" is crucial: there is a paucity of published information on some topics, and we have to rely on other sources that are nonetheless regarded as trustworthy or authoritative. Picking an example, spoo relies heavily on quotes from internet discussion boards, but, given who made them and where, they are as good, in this context, as material that has been published in print. -- ALoan (Talk) 10:27, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
And I've long disagreed with that. What that results in is articles of vastly different reliability with not much way for the reader to know unless they have the ability to evaluate the sources themselves. It results in articles that look referenced, but aren't in any useful sense. I've always felt we need a minimum standard of references, and it damages the project to allow promotional websites, etc to be used as references. - Taxman Talk 13:25, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, readers who are unable to evaluate the reliability of sources for themselves are going to struggle with an encyclopedia that anyone can edit.
But anyway, I don't see how sources that are "generally regarded as trustworthy, or are authoritative in relation to the subject at hand" create a misleading patina of reliability. I did not mention promotional websites, which are usually just as unreliable as any other self-published work, and I wonder what you "etc" includes; however, even advertising copy is reliable as a source for itself - “Coke claims that "It's the real thing"; however, U2 says that it is "even better than the real thing".” There are plenty of works in print that are neither trustworthy nor authoritative. -- ALoan (Talk) 14:27, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
I regard these last two comments as really useful, and apologise that the conversation did turn acrimonious. I was attempting to point out a specific example where I felt FAC guidelines and WP:RS were being given too strict of an interpretation, but this got out of hand.
I agree with both of youse, to some extent. There should not be a reliance on promotional web-sites (though I don't think promotional web-sites were discussed above), but I don't see any reason that you can't say that the company claims X, and reference the company's web site where it says that. What does the "etc" cover? Firsfron of Ronchester 15:25, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
I also apologize for the tone this took (set initially by the attack against me allowed to stand on your talk page, I felt, and continued by singling me out unfairly in a misrepresentation of what actually occurred on the FAC). Returning to the broader topic, I do hope you see that reliability of sources is not a black-and-white issue; because I didn't agree that you had established reliability of your sources is not a reason to make it so personal. As with other matters on Wiki, consensus determines whether borderline sites are reliable. Anyone can write anything on a personal website. Promotion of the article should require consensus about the sources; I think that's what we were discussing here. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:02, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

In response to Taxman (above): The problem of telling the level of reliability of an article (or at least the kinds of sources it uses) at a glance, without actually reading and evaluating, is one that is not limited to simply the borderline cases like spoo where we really have to go out on a limb source-wise. It's just as much or more of problem for articles that have a huge volume of relatively reliable sources of different kinds (journal articles, scholarly books, semi-popular books, popular books, academic websites of varying quality, children's books, TV specials). Ultimately, this problem will have to have a technical solution: the capability to classify and flag articles according to the types of sources used, so that a reader will have a first-order approximation of (un)reliability of the sources at one glance. As for FA's, I think we take the right approach generally, in tailoring our reference expectations to the subject at hand.--ragesoss 15:41, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

It is certainly not as much or more of a problem for articles that have a huge number of reliable sources. By nature reliable sources are reliable sources, and they either substantially agree or we can state where they don't. That results in a high quality article. But where we allow low quality sources under "authoritative in relation to the subject at hand" but have none of the processes of fact checking and academic rigor that reliable sources do, then we water down the soup. And those are being presented to the reader as if they are just as reliable. That's a problem. I agree a system like you refer to could be useful, but it's a long way from implimentation, and certainly isn't enough to solve the problem by itself. - Taxman Talk 16:30, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
It's an inherently insoluble problem, we always have to accept different sources for different subjects. Consider articles on mathematical theorems that can be rigorously proven, no other type of article will ever achieve that. A little bit lower are articles on other sciences that have reproducible experiments. A little bit lower still are articles on modern events - we will never have as good a coverage of Carthage as we do on New York City, for obvious reasons. We can't demand that Pokemon be sourced to peer reviewed scholarly tomes if there aren't any. --AnonEMouse (squeak) 16:49, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Right, there's a spectrum basically of quality from high to low. What we then have to do is pick a bottom point where we won't go below. We can all agree that self published websites are well below what we want to allow except for very limited statements such as stating claims people make about themselves on X website. And what I'm basically saying is that when we set that cutoff to a quality level that's so low it's almost the same as a self published site, we are doing the project and our readers a disservice. The simple conclusion is that when a subject has no source above a certain level of reliability, we simply don't cover it. Lest people scream Pokemon discrimination, lets pick a subject I like, Hindi films. There are lots of Hindi films that have little to no coverage in reliable sources. For a film that does have some reliable sources, lets pick Kuch Naa Kaho. Trying to cram that into a FA with 50+kb of explanation sourced from various Bollywood fan magazines would cover the appearance of being properly sourced, but it would amount to regurgitating fan material to fluff up the material that could be actually sourced to reliable sources. I would argue those fan sites are not reliable sources because they are essentially promotional material. Now if we pick a slightly more obscure film, then we're closer to the pokemon situation where individual pokemon have essentially no reliable sources about them. So again, the answer is that if there aren't sources of a reasonable level of quality, we simply don't cover that topic or subtopic. Using whatever sources are available no matter how poor quality they are just because that's what we can get on the topic is what waters down the soup and brings the whole project down instead of up. - Taxman Talk 20:56, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Awadewit's concerns. There is nothing wrong with popular works per se—some (for example Pauline Croft's 200-page King James, which I have just read) are scrupulously distilled from the latest scholarship—but in my opinion such works should be a starting point for an editor seeking an overview of a subject. The next step is then to double and treble and quadruple check the assertions in that popular book to the scholarly works on the subject (many popular works fail this test appallingly). "Reliable published sources", as defined by Wikipedia, are in my view a threshold, a minimum requirement, not an invitation to complacency. The conscientious editor will search for academically sound sources (they are instantly recognisable) and will not lazily rely on those—the majority, without a doubt—which are shoddy. For me, this takes effort, time, expenditure, and obsessiveness. If writng FAs was just a case of cleverly summarising a few popular books, we could knock them out very quickly—but they wouldn't then offer Wikipedia readers the best service. Feature articles should offer the best service—which I would define as lucid, readable articles that unobtrusively reflect the best and the latest scholarship. qp10qp 21:51, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Closing FACs

Is it okay for any administrator to close a Featured Article Candidacy? Kingboyk and I have been reverting back and forth on Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Sonoma County, California regarding this issue. He argues that as an administrator, he can close the nomination because "it's clearly not going to pass," while I've argued that the instructions on Wikipedia:Featured Article Candidates are quite clear that only the Featured Article Director has the authority to fail nominations. Now, I don't know Kingboyk or Sonoma County from Adam or Eden; I just want to make sure we don't open a can of worms by allowing any old admin to determine whether to fail a nomination (and I don't like the "closed discussion" template being used here). Rather than continue to revert and re-revert with Kingboyk, though, I hoped to hear further opinion on the matter. Thanks, — Brian (talk) 02:32, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Well generally, no, people should leave FAC's alone. But that's also no reason to revert war on it. I just takes one to end a revert war. Walk away and discuss it, it makes your position stronger anyway, and only takes patience. But they should stay open because a) they cause no real problems, and b) they can get some good feedback until Raul654 closes it. - Taxman Talk 03:31, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

No - nobody should be closing FAC noms but me. Raul654 03:42, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

We have discussed it, and avoidance of revert warring is why I brought it up here. Thanks for the replies. — Brian (talk) 03:57, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Correct me if I am wrong, but I think some admins (Bishonen comes to mind) have closed obviously-failing FACs before. -- ALoan (Talk) 10:24, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Do you have a specific example? In the last 6 months, the only nominations in the archives not closed by Raul are this and this closed by the nominator, and this closed by Titoxd.[1] There are occasionally bad faith or incomplete nominations. Gimmetrow 10:57, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
I can't name an example off the top of my head - more than 6 months ago, no doubt. With FAC running to 60+ open nominations now, perhaps it makes sense for interested admins (or others) to close clearly-failing FAC (for example, with no support after 4-5 days) rather than having to wait for Raul64 to do it? -- ALoan (Talk) 11:39, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with ALoan; we recently hit over 70 FACs, making it hard to review. We should have a means of closing the obvious SNOWs, such as Sonoma County. On the other hand, I don't agree that just any admin should close them, as they need to be closed and archived correctly (the wrong template was used here, for example) and we shouldn't start down that slippery slope. I propose we move towards asking Raul to name several and allow long-time experienced FAC reviewers (an example would be ALoan) to close and archive the SNOWs, so that GimmeBot can tag them correctly and update the article talk page. This would apply to SNOW objects only—not to promotions or controversial cases.SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:43, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Ha! Thanks for the job offer, but I have quite enough to be getting on with :) IIRC, the process to close them now involves the FAC subpage being added to an archive somewhere, so the bot can find it and do the necessary? -- ALoan (Talk) 15:17, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
If Raul wants help, I'll volunteer myself for it - it's easy enough to clear out the obvious ones in either direction at least, saving him some time and energy. I won't be able to start helping until after Easter, though. --badlydrawnjeff talk 15:44, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
[edit conflict]Sandy, I'm afraid I'd be uncomfortable with your suggestion. Things have been a little fractious and devisive at both FAC and FARC recently and whilst I'd be more than happy with Aloan doing this - who else? Perhaps a better idea would be to give Raul some clerks - Raul maintains his sole authority but can instruct the clerks to close/pass etc. --Joopercoopers 15:45, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Failed nominations are simply removed from WP:FAC and listed in WP:FAC/Archived nominations. This process has been unchanged for as long as I remember - well before the bot. (The bot took over updating the article talk pages.) It would take as long to tell someone else to do it, as to just do it. Gimmetrow 15:51, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
So if the adminsitrative action (small a) is simple, quick and easy (I thought I'd read Sandy somewhere saying it was quite involved - perhaps she was refering to your talk page gizmo), is the suggestion, the backlog is too large for Raul to cope with? Perhaps someone should ask him rather than unilaterally assuming this onerous responsibility. --Joopercoopers 15:56, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Unless I'm minsunderstanding the basic steps, the act of archiving and promoting do not require administrative tools. Anyone can archive a discussion page, anyone can put {{featured article}} on a page, anyone can remove a nomination from the lineup, and anyone can add articles to WP:FA. Because of the sensitivity of the main page, it's rightfully blocked off from normal editors in setting up the main page and setting up the subpages for the next FA to be on the main page, but I don't think Raul wants to give that up anyway, nor is anyone appearing to look to take that responsibility on. --badlydrawnjeff talk 15:59, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Sorry jeff, I was a little confusing - 'small A' adminstrative action means 'the act of administering/filing etc.' rather than some special admin button. --Joopercoopers 16:05, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
I hear you, no prob. --badlydrawnjeff talk 16:07, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Let me clarify - the activity needed to close a failed nomination is quite minimal - there is a page transclusion on WP:FAC, it's removed, and the same transclusion is added to another page. This isn't AfD. Raul654 has been doing this for a long time, and telling "clerks" to do this task won't make his job any easier. He used to have "clerks" update the talk pages for failed nominations - in a sense the bot is now doing that clerk function. It's the promotions that take work. Gimmetrow 16:33, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm confused - are we saying 1. we don't need clerks for failing FAC's 2. Your bot does most of the work to talk pages 3. Promoting FACs takes time - If so, isn't there a case for promotion clerks to take the load off Raul a bit? --Joopercoopers 16:59, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Heh... I did ask afterwards if it was ok... and that archive is relevant to this thread. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 17:34, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm going to restate this unequivocally, so there is no misunderstanding - other than a very few exceptional circumstances (such as: nomination is withdrawn by nominator, or nominator is shown to be a banned user, 'etc), nobody should be archiving or promoting nominations but me. Raul654 23:37, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Well, that is clear enough :) But may we ask why? -- ALoan (Talk) 00:52, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't mind the exceptional circumstances, because they are invariably going to pop up from time to time and they haven't been a problem in the past.
I do mind it happening in non-exceptional circumstances for several reasons.
  1. I've often noticed that when someone other than me removes a nom, it isn't archived properly (and then I have to go back and fix the arhcives)
  2. I prefer to give all noms - even the obvious failures - a certain amount of time on the FAC (a) so as to provide nominator feedback as to how the article can be improve, and (b) on the off chance that it might not fail after all. I don't want people freely removing noms before that minimum time is up.
  3. The decision whether or not to promote is a subjective one. I think by most measures, FAC has been pretty successful to date (This whole issue of the FAC becoming too large is simply a scaling issue which is indicative of success), and I'd prefer not to radically change how it works. Raul654 01:06, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Nominator's withdrawn Sonoma, so I've closed it, by moving the transclusion from one page to the other. Let's see if the Bot archives correctly in a couple of hours, if not I will do so manually. --AnonEMouse (squeak) 12:58, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

The bot actually checks for edits by Raul654. This would normally have been processed only if it remained in the archive after Raul's next edit. Gimmetrow 14:12, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
I disagree partially with allowing "even the obvious failures" time to get feedback. When an article is so hopeless, and it is clear that the nominator does not intend to listen to any advice on how to improve the article, every time even one more editor takes time to review it, this is time wasted that could have been spent on an article that needed improvement and had a nominator willing to weigh suggestions. The Sonoma County article is an example. On the plus side a couple of editors (not the nominator) are working to make it at least readable. But there are other places, with more people, that an article can be sent to get notice and attention for the drastic load of clean-up that an article like Sonoma County needed. In my opinion, with a sincere nominator, even if the article is crap, if there's an editor working on the article, extra time on FAC is not wasted. But in a case where the nominator repeatedly makes it clear right out of the gate that they haven't read the criteria, don't give a damn about them, and they'll do nothing to improve the article, and wastes additional resources by attacking people, what's the point of giving the article more time for the nominator to antagonize more people? I would like to see exceptions where the nominator is an issue addressed sooner. KP Botany 01:32, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
PS There are a couple of good examples of pop articles that I worked on over the past few months, totally outside of my area, where the prior failures had been SNOWs. The nominators had obviously considered the advice given in the FACs and made readable even excellent articles on concepts that were just not that interesting to me. To me, this broadens the scope of FA content on Wikipedia, when an article from an area not normally full of excellence and experienced editors, gets FA status. I think it works, giving some extra time on FAC. KP Botany 01:38, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

History question.

I can't find anywhere or anyone else to ask about this where I would get an answer, so I have to ask you guys.

I have only recently started editing articles on the English reformation, so I am somewhat uncertain about the inclusion of attributing cause and effect. For example, English Reformation recently had "Many factors contributed to the ferment: the invention of the printing press, the rise of nationalism, the transmission of new knowledge and ideas; but the story of how the different states of Europe adhered to different forms of Protestantism, or remained faithful to Rome or allowed different regions within states to come to different conclusions (as they did) is specific to each state." added to its lead. There are similar later statements and discussions on the talkpage about what historian's historiography to go with. I've always been under the impression that Wikipedia reports the facts as far as possible without getting into historical disputes (unless it is to report on them), so this struck me as being irrelevant. However, I am not familiar with the style of history articles and was hoping you could tell me whether this is normal or not. I would like to get some serious work down on the English reformation, but I'm loathe to do so and get it stomped on here. Dev920 (Have a nice day!) 08:29, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

It seems to me that those sentences are an overview of historical analyses of the great causation debates. In other words, they give a quick sketch of the subject of causality and refuse to offer a cause. I think they're good statements because a reader (and those are the creatures we serve) will want to know "what caused the reformation?" As clever and educated encyclopedists, we know that it's not possible to answer that question, and so we explain to Bob (my name for the reader) why he can't get a single answer to his question, and we introduce him to the complexities of the question. To me, this is the epitome of how we avoid speculative matters by reporting on everyone else's speculations in an uncommitted form. Geogre 11:03, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Great, thanks. Dev920 (Have a nice day!) 19:37, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
On Restoration literature, I tried, for example, not to say when the Restoration period ends. I know that the reader wants a definite period, and I know that historians argue about it. Therefore, I was able to sweep aside the matter by saying that the end point depends upon genre and point of view (meaning that the people who argue, do so more in discussions of some genres than others and the arguments are greater or lesser depending upon the worldview of the historian). However, I am personally an advocate of encyclopedia articles that possess theses and FA's that have a coherent and organic presentation. What we require is a neutral point a view, not a lack of any point of view.
It is possible to view the fights and squabbles in Augustan poetry a bunch of ways. The facts are that the poets fought, one poet dominated, and certain forms increased and decreased in critical praise and public esteem. (Production is another matter altogether. There isn't a significant decrease/increase in the production of certain forms, like the ode, we know now.) So, I felt that picking an approach that would be heuristically sound as not the answer but rather a framework for presenting the information was valid. Nothing of it was controversial, although any other literary historian would prefer another lens with which to view the panorama. I think it is the duty of all surveys to offer up a structure, and that structural principle will inevitably have an inclusion and exclusion criterion as well as a criterion of ordering the presentation. (E.g. choosing to tell the reader about Essay on Man but not include Stephen Duck (I hope that's a red link) means that I have a set of values that I believe are proper. I decided on what to cover by some criterion. Similarly, presenting the works and poets chronologically reveals a set of assumptions, just as laying them out thematically does.) If we are doomed to being present as thinkers when we write, then we should give readers the benefits of a neutral but informed analysis and a sound analytical principle. (Sorry for being wordy.) Geogre 02:42, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
No, that really explained what I was after. I can go work on the English Reformation withouts doubts now, so thank you for that. Maybe I'll help create an FA that isn't quite shallow. Dev920 (Have a nice day!) 07:40, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

History of Minnesota

I do hope that the problems I pointed out yesterday were fixed before promotion. I do hope. :-( Tony 20:37, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Withdrawing Featured Article nominations

Is it possible to withdraw an FA nom? The Land 09:51, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Of course it is, policy is what we do. But I'd say withdrawing becomes increasingly difficult the longer the nomination has been up, and the more support it's drawn. I felt very conflicted about Great Fire of London at one point, wanting to withdraw but feeling it would be discourteous to the people who had already supported. Bishonen | talk 10:12, 27 March 2007 (UTC).
What's more, some people will want to accuse you of WP:OWN for wanting to withdraw it, and then they'll say that you haven't kept it up, later, when the standards for citation change again and they put the article on FARC. Rueful observations aside, it is possible to withdraw a nomination at any time, but Bishonen is correct that the more supported it is, the more of an angry move it is, and the more anger it may generate. Geogre 10:59, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Kansas Turnpike

Wikipedia is not a reliable source; it is concerning that an article is promoted with 26 statements referenced to Wikipedia alone, with no means of verifying the information. This is not a functional reference for the 26 statements allegedly sourced to this Wiki article—I'd be interested to hear any explanation of how that article sources the statements it is attached to.

^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z National Bridge Inventory

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:15, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Actually, as far as I can tell, the article doesn't, nor does it claim to, be referenced to Wikipedia. All of those references listed above are from the National Bridge Inventory. That the article authors linked the term to the appropriate Wikipedia page was not meant to denote that the information referenced stemmed from the National Bridge Inventory article (That article is not nearly long enough to contain 26 valuable bits of information anyway...).
To me it looks like the source referenced was the actual National Bridge Inventory, a government inventory you can learn more about here. --NoahElhardt 14:25, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
If the sources are some actual inventory, that is the information that should be specified in the footnote—not a link to a Wiki article. Where do our readers verify the info? Give the direct information, whether a book, brochure, website, whatever. What was listed as a reference was 26 statements sourced to a Wiki article, nothing more. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:38, 30 March 2007 (UTC) PS, this goes back (again) to the troubling issue of reviewers who count little footnote numbers and don't check sources. We cannot source statements to a Wiki article only. All those little numbers mean nothing if they don't go somewhere, with an identifiable publisher and a means our readers can verify our sources. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:43, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
The National Bridge Inventory citation should include a note where the database can be found. (I said that in the KT FAC.) But it is not a reference to a wiki article any more than
Bill Keller (September 22, 2002), Sunshine Warrior. New York Times
is a reference to the wiki articles on Bill Keller, September 22, or New York Times. I think we need to emphasize that a citation should make sense if printed and read from a hard copy. The NYT reference above would make sense. National Bridge Inventory just needs to specify what it is. Gimmetrow 15:31, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with both of Gimmetrow's points. Raul654 15:34, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Right—The NY Times example gives me everything I need to pinpoint and verify any info sourced. I can go to a library, find the Times from 9/22/02, and also locate the article by the title and author. I can find it in a library; I can find it online. I have all the info I need; it is not based on a Wiki link to the Times alone. The National Bridge Inventory example only linked to a Wiki article. As Gimmetrow indicated, it should include a note about where the database can be found, if that is the actual source. And, in that case, it also needs an access date, lest the info changes. The Wiki article alone is not a source. Again, the concern is that reviewers count little numbers without noticing what is behind the numbers. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:41, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for fixing it, Gimmetrow—I'm still trying to catch up from travel, but I'll go back and fix the other referencing issues that weren't addressed during FAC, such as identification of other publishers. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:45, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

I suppose the other question is, why wasn't this done some days ago by the article authors? Gimmetrow 15:58, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
I just spent about an hour in there, and found and corrected numerous other problems. My question isn't to the authors of the article; it's why reviewers Support articles without checking sources. No matter how well meaning an e-mail is, it simply cannot be used as a reliable source. I'm not convinced that http://www.okroads.com is a reliable source, so I tagged them as well - it appears to be a self-published hobby website, although the authors may convince me otherwise. I brought this up here on the FAC talk page because I don't understand why so few reviewers check sourcing. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:40, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm a very slow reviewer. If I review an article, I check sources, but it's a nightmare because, whisper it not, the truth is that a surprisingly large number of citations lead to a source that does not fully support the cited information (or, often, support it at all). Or you get things like "the album was critically acclaimed" cited to one positive review (or phrase from a positive review, quoted on a commercial site).
I sometimes point this out but more often move on to review a different article. Otherwise one would end up the nagger-in-chief (OK, Sandy, not quite). We might hardly ever vote for an article to become an FA. I've come to the conclusion that we can't expect many articles to be written to a professional standard. People get paid to be professional, and editors here are amateurs. One can tell almost straight away whether an article is professionally written; the only thing one can really do about a faulty article which is receiving support votes is rewrite and re-source it oneself, which may take a month (been there, bought the Lord Baltimore T-shirt). Life's too short. qp10qp 21:41, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
LOL :-) I employ the division of labor idea; if I spend a lot of time on sources, others can review prose with more confidence and less distraction, knowing that the text is accurately sourced. Besides, my copyediting skills suck. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:44, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
I tend to believe, though, that quality copy-editing (I mean in the sense of straightening out sentences and word choice rather than just tyępoẽź, etc.) involves checking the sources. If the sentence is unclear, the clue to the intended meaning lies in the source. So, even to undertake a copy-edit is for me a major task. And 1(a) and 1(c) also have this in common: a generalised criticism on either grounds in an FAC isn't actionable—one must give specifics; and by the time one has done that, one might as well have fixed the thing oneself. (Sorry about all these "ones", I'm talking as if I'm wearing a monocle.) I've come to think the only way I can be of use at FA is to pick borderline articles and try to help edge them to qualification.
Where you get the energy to do all the things you do, I don't know (I hope you are not on benzedrine). I admire your efforts at FAR, that Gormenghastian cellar wherein no glory resides. (You either succeed in keeping a featured article featured (no one will notice) or in annoying the people who wrote the thing, who, unlike the pert nominators at FAC, have no incentive to jump through FA criteria hoops like obedient shetland ponies with their backsides on fire.) qp10qp 23:11, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
I had to look up Benzedrine; it doesn't cite its sources :-) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:42, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Food for thought

I was having some fun with an article history fetching script I wrote. It shows who edited a given page, and how many times they did. Raul654 06:00, 4 April 2007 (UTC):


hydra[56] [~/wiki_research/wikilib/]> get_hist --wikify --summarize --threshold=200 "Wikipedia:Featured article candidates" Fetching Wikipedia:Featured article candidates

  • Raul654 896
  • Jeronimo 395
  • Lord_Emsworth 357
  • Maveric149 324
  • Matt_Crypto 298
  • Ta_bu_shi_da_yu 295
  • Taxman 283
  • Filiocht 272
  • Henry_Flower 201
  • ALoan 201

This article has been edited 17385 times

I've been thinking about the same thing. It would be good to know, especially for FAs, how many words that remain in an article were done by so and so editors. There would be some difficulties, such as if the original editor's words were entirely rewritten by a copy editor(s), even though the article's material was all the same.-BillDeanCarter 07:52, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
It's been done Raul654 07:59, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Has there been any discussion about incorporating such an algorithm straight into Wikipedia? Then at a glance you could determine who the authors of a document are. I've heard recently that there will be some changes to Wikipedia's system, something about keeping recent changes to an article hidden until an editor approves them, for either controversial articles, all articles, or some such thing. Any truth to these reports of new changes on the horizon?-BillDeanCarter 08:12, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Interesting. I suspect that rather a lot of my 201 edits were done before the nominations were moved to transcluded subpages. That may also explain the high positions for Jeronimo, Lord Emsworth, and User:Maveric149. -- ALoan (Talk) 08:28, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Very nice; can we use it to enforce contributors to FACs identifying themselves on Support votes? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 11:08, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

There is already a tool to do that - here - example -- ALoan (Talk) 12:16, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Nice. (But, what's the difference between those and Raul's tool?) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:46, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Mine operates directly against the live version instead of using a data dump. So it takes longer to run but the results are up-to-date. Also, mine can be automated (so it's trivial to run it 100 times and let the computer do all the hard work, instead of doing it all by hand). Raul654 19:46, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Excellent - and we access it by... ? -- ALoan (Talk) 19:53, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
By opening another tool that already did that.[2] Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 05:19, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
I can't make it go. Can anyone run it on the article, Toronto Raptors? Also, I can't make the tool that ALoan posted work on articles with special characters in the title (example, Early life of Hugo Chávez). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:53, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Oh, I know the one I linked is not ideal, but I was not aware that there was an alternative. User:Titoxd's one seems to work fine. For Toronto Raptors I get:

User # edits # Minor edits
Chensiyuan 760 267
Quadzilla99 57 18
Martinsizon 47 6
70.25.168.90 35 0
Ktsquare 21 18
Amchow78 19 10
Boomtish 18 1
Manderiko 17 4

--ALoan (Talk) 14:19, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, ALoan. I misunderstood, and was trying to plub in the "stuff" written above by Raul, rather than just typing in the article name :-) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:28, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Is there a tool to make sure that reviewers have read the article they're reviewing or the existing discussion about it? The Land 12:21, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Is there a tool to make sure nominators have read WP:WIAFA before nomming? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:46, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Problem is that tool has a 34 day lag from en_wiki! CloudNine 12:40, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
I noticed that the counts generated by my script were higher than the tool, and (after some reading on that page) I was coming here to say just that. Raul654 14:25, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Thoughts on Featured Article process

I've been having some thoughts on the Featured Article process based on my own experience and on comments I've read in a variety of places. I think that — if one views FA as a standard of article quality rather than purely a selection of exemplary work — Featured Articles are vital to the future of the project, and the existing process broadly succeeds in identifying good work and improving it so it hits a very high standard. I hope these thoughts are a constructive input into the improvement of the process.

The bottleneck appears to be at the review stage. It takes a lot of time and effort to give a meaningful featured article review. Is it possible to do more to attract reviewers? There is, for instance, a Good Articles wikiproject which helps support and enthuse GA reviewers. Could the same be useful for FA reviewers?

Another point is that a fair number of FA candidates are far enough away from FA status that they will not realistically achieve the right level in a few weeks. This wastes reviewer time on giving extensive feedback while producing no FAs. Should there be higher barriers to overcome before making something an FAC? It would be possible, for instance, to create a 'Requests for Featured Article Candidacy' page where an uninvolved editor could check that a particular article had (e.g.) been passed as a Good Article or A-class article, that it had received a recent peer review, and that no maintenance tags were present in the article before allowing it to be listed on FAC.

I also get a sense that, when reviews are given, discussion sometimes diverges from consensus as much as converging on it. A corollary of this is that instead of the article being improved people can end up yelling at each other. I think there are a number of possible reasons for this:

  • Is Support/Oppose voting is basically antithetical to a feedback situation?. In particular, 'oppose' can be followed by anything from 'this article needs several months work and a comprehensive rewrite' to 'make sure you have correctly used hyphens and dashes'. (One might argue that FA should be a straight up-or-down decision on whether an article is one of the project's best, but in practice it is the most detailed level of article review).
  • What can be done about drive-by voting? I understand some longstanding reviewers are worried about 'drive-by support' where someone doesn't actually review the article and says 'support' when there are clear reasons to oppose present. The psychology of this is harmful to the process, making reviewers frustrated (and probably therefore harsher) and in turn making FA feel more like a contest for people associated with nominations and increasing the number of drive-by supports.
  • Are the FA criteria clear enough? Do reviewers 'gold-plate' criteria with personal preferences? I've seen a number of 'oppose' votes which are not very clearly associated with the FA criteria. Does this mean that the criteria aren't up to date? Does it mean reviewers should be more careful in only saying 'oppose' when they believe there is a consensus to back up their reasons?

Anyway, I hope these thoughts are useful... The Land 19:59, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree that shortage of reviewers is a problem, but it's understandable. To review properly is a big task: for me it would take a day's wikipedia activity (not a whole day of my life, I should say) to read and analyse an article, maybe check books and sources, and write out comments. It's asking a lot of people to do that often.
"Drive-by" supports aren't a problem, because I don't think Raul would take much notice of them if other reviewers identify flaws. I don't believe a pre-FAC process would work—we already have trouble finding enough people to peer review. I rarely get involved with no-chance candidates at FAC now, unless the subject interests me. I think it's best if reviewers concentrate on articles with a chance of passing, either now or in the future.
The criteria are clear enough, but they don't cover everything. Editors are entitled to object on other grounds. For example, some people objected to an article I nominated because a request for mediation had been lodged concerning its title. Fortunately, that objection didn't prove crucial. qp10qp 20:48, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
I think lack of reviewers is a problem whatever process you're looking at, be it FAC, GAC, PR or even RfA, where most people seem to vote on one or two diffs provided by previous votes rather than looking for themselves. However, I object to the idea that FACs need to be either passed at GA or be rated A-Class before it can even be considered for FAC - my last FAC was rated start and didn't even go to peer review before passing (I was on a time restraint). It's a work of moments to take one look at an article and realise that it bears no resemblance to FA standards, and to give a few overarching comments to your oppose to help the nominator out, without taking too much of our time. I think most reviewers are faithful to the criteria, though some FAC reviewers base their opposes on criteria harsher than WP:WIAFA, and some are just completely out there (LuciferMorgan's oppose to Trembling Before G-d, for example, because the Awards section wasn't prose). I have complete faith in Raul to sort the wheat from the chaff. So, I think the problems with FAC (lack of reviewers, pointless nominations, stupid votes etc.) are symptomatic of a wider problem withn Wikipedia, and we should try to strike at that instead. Dev920 (Have a nice day!) 22:03, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Two very quick thoughts:
1. Eliminate GA. It's a diversion of resources. We don't need to do what GA does; we need to stop people working on GA and have them working on FA. It's an ill-defined process. But of course people won't stop working on it, because it's easier to get almost there than to get there. GA is a slap on the back for having a half-decent article. No more or less.
2. Eliminate support/oppose for the first week of FACs. WP:FAR already does this (two weeks review/two weeks !vote). It doesn't work perfectly, but it works in general. Marskell 22:12, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
But FAR has far less volume than FAC; a similar process to FAR would overwhelm FAC. (Disagree that there's a bottleneck. Agree with other comments from Dev, qp and Marskell, but sure wish we could do something about Project/fan support in the face of obvious deficiencies: I guess some Projects are proud of their contributions, and others just want the star, regardless.) Oh, and Lucifer's objection to listy prose is a legitimate one, even if clumsily phrased. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:15, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
I wasn't suggesting lengthening this process at all but encouraging comments for the first few days of a poll, with support and oppose held off. Marskell 10:28, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
My thinking is that doing so will lengthen the process anyway, and we could end up with 100 (not 70) FACs running at a time. We get a surprising number of SNOW objects—articles that aren't close to ready—and Raul probably doesn't remove those until he gets a consensus of Oppose. So, if we wait, they hang around longer, delaying their needed peer review. What I've started doing on articles that have a chance is entering a comment first, waiting a few days, then switching to Oppose if issues aren't addressed, but I have a feeling that has a worse psychological effect on the nominators than a straightout oppose would; it seems to catch them by surprise, as they think Comment can be ignored? Maybe I'm wrong. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:07, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

A thought: Personally, my time has been very constrined in past months, so I don't know the answer to this question, but has inappropriate submissions of FAC's been a major problem? There's always going to be the jokester with <50 edits who nominates a start-class article for FA, just as there are jokesters with <50 edits who apply for adminship. Such cases seem to be easy to weed out, I don't even bother to look at a candidate article if another credible reviewer has clearly identified it as such a case. On the other hand, the FAC submission process could be modified such as it is with Adminship, where the person nominating the article must complete a basic form few boilerplate questions, like "Does this article clearly meet WP:WIAFA?" or requiring a co-nominator as a means to slim down the number of inappropriate nominations. I'm not a fan of adding a bunch of steps to a process just to resolve problem that really isn't a big issue, but that could be one approach if it really is a problem. Neil916 (Talk) 18:45, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

If I had to rank possible problems at FAC, that wouldn't be high on my list. The SNOW cases get quick Opposes; and with GimmeBot doing most of the work now, Raul only has to move the nom to archive. I see the number one problem as overwhelming "fan" or WikiProject support in articles that have clear deficiencies. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:53, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Which is one reason why I suggested that major contributors to an article should not be able to "vote." But that idea was quickly shot down (it is somewhere in the archives of this page). Awadewit 23:12, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Somewhere the idea for an FAC prep area had come up. An article would go there before FAC and people interested in fixing MOS issues could address those problems before an article ever got to FAC. That way debates would not erupt over footnote styles and dashes. Awadewit 09:29, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

You've just described Wikipedia:Peer review. I do agree that not all the articles reviewed there will go to FAC, but those articles that will can be prepped. We need to make it a more active area on the whole. CloudNine 09:40, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
But peer reviews often focus on global issues rather than on dashes, dates and comma splices. Also, the backlog over at peer review is astonishing. There is no way to do a proper peer review of each article over there unless we get a lot more people (please come help!). I have to pick and choose what writing issues to address and what global issues to address in a review. My reviews are some of the longest and I still feel that they are woefully incomplete. Awadewit 23:12, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes, that is supposedly what PR and GAC do. I see the problem as many nominations coming straight to FAC without, or right after, PR/GAC without taking time to fine tune the articles to FA standards. It sounds like Awadewit is proposing that 1a is more important than 1c and all of 2; I tend to think of all as equal, even if 1a is subjective. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:59, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Actually, it is quite the reverse. The style and formatting elements that come up so frequently at FAC should have been dealt with long before FAC. I consider many of them so inconsequential that I wish debates over those issues would be addressed elsewhere. That is why I liked the idea of an FAC prep - a group of people willing to dedicate themselves to checking citations (not the reliability of sources - that is a far more significant issue), dashes, spelling, puncutation and so on. These issues should not even concern us at FAC. We are supposed to decide if the writing is "compelling" and "brilliant," not whether it is grammatically correct. A page that arrives full of grammatical errors should be summarily dismissed, in my opinion, as well as a page that is not well-sourced or reliably sourced or a page that lacks crucial information on a topic. Awadewit 23:12, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Responding to your three posts together. Major contributors "voting" isn't really the main problem, from what I've been able to tell. I've been tracking (without opining) several articles over the last week to watch this. "Fan support" doesn't necessarily equate to major contributors. One article was promoted yesterday on "fan support" and not a single soul noticed or mentioned the fact that it relied heavily on personal websites; unreliability way beyond anything I usually point out. No one said a word, and the "fans" weren't major contributors, just fans of the topic. And, no it wasn't a pop culture article; it was a history article—how off is that ? How about history based on JoeBloeSaidSo@aol.com ?? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:46, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
I think you're observing several problems at peer review and GA; they are as backed up as FAC is. It seems global. FAC hit 80 the other day—I've never seen that before. There aren't enough reviewers anywhere. I used to routinely do at least one peer review a day; we could all try to do that (I got behind because I was traveling most of Feb, March). Also, someone used to run a script on every article at PR which picked up all the stupid little MOS stuff. Not sure why/when that stopped; maybe someone knows ? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:46, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree that articles that come here without the basics in place should be speedy closed, but I don't think anyone else does. Worse, by the time I get to an article and point out all the MOS deficiencies and problems with sourcing, they almost always already have four or five supports, so where does that leave "our best work"? In summary, since FAC, GA and PR are all overrun, I just don't think creating a FAC prep area will solve the problem; PR and GA are supposed to do that, and even when the articles come here without basic structure in place, they get fan supports. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:46, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

FAC restructering

Those wretched green checks and the strikeout

I'd just like to make a suggestion to Raul: could you please add a note at the top of the page or somewhere that says, "please do not strike out text that you have not written and please take it easy on the use of green checks." Any chance this might happen? JHMM13 22:53, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Those things are hideous, but since they only started up this week, I think that politely asking nominators to stop on each FAC should tame then in a week or so, without the need to add a note. I've been commenting wherever I see them. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:56, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
And on strike, the instructions are clear: To withdraw the objection, strike it out (with ...) rather than removing it. Contributors should allow reviewers the opportunity to do this themselves. If you feel that the matter has been addressed, say so rather than striking out the reviewer's text. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:57, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
[Edit conflict: Sandy, quit writing! ;P ] Ugh. Agreed. Those green checks are really annoying, and often the responding nominator could just as easily write a little paragraph summarizing the changes that were made or not made ("I've addressed your first, third, and eigth concerns, but I disagree with your ninth for these reasons . . . "). But I'm not sure we should outright ban them . . . . Striking out text that you haven't written is, of course, a strict no-no, though. — Brian (talk) 22:59, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
 ;P SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:27, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't like it when another editor strikes out my comments (more often than not, it gets struck when it hasn't been addressed), but I've seen some commenters who like having their own comments struck by others as a way of monitoring progress. It should be left up to the individual, although not striking the comments of others should be the default by common sense. Pagrashtak 00:05, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
It is; see the instructions at the top of the FAC page. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:18, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Ah ha! So it is. Thanks, Sandy. That'll teach me to speak up before reading the rules. :-D JHMM13 00:26, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
To clarify, when I say it "should be", I mean that I agree with it, not that it needs to change. As for the large green check, it's very close in spirit to striking out a commenter's objections. They are both an attempt to make the situation appear resolved, whether that is the case or not. I would not object to a commenter who refactored to remove the checks. Pagrashtak 22:29, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Well, is it that much of any issue if they use the checks? Come on, people, there are more pressing concerns! *thinks about spitefully adding checks Dåvid Fuchs (talk / frog blast the vent core!) 00:41, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm just worried that they take up a lot of bandwidth on a page that takes forever to load. JHMM13 01:02, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Your browser will only load the file (which at 0.53 kb isn't all that big and is probably cached), and then re-use it for every instance it is repeated on this page. So the bandwidth they consume is negligible. Raul654 01:04, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Often, nominators put their green "done" checkmarks when it's *not* done. We don't need that kind of mess; at one point, I felt I had to add a "Not done" in red, so it would be noticed, as the pages become overwheliming with all those tic marks. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:04, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Call me antediluvian, but I find them unsightly - distracting, even - and they are as unnecessary as the {{support}} and {{tl|oppose} dinky icones that get nuked from orbit whenever they are recreated. -- ALoan (Talk) 09:55, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

I don't really have anything to add, but I agree with apparently everyone that those check marks are obnoxious and an impediment to good FACing. Tuf-Kat 02:20, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Restructuring the specific format of FAC

I have a suggestion here gotten from the Italian Wikipedia regarding the layout of an FAC. As much as I don't think their process is thorough enough, I like the designation of special areas for support, oppose, and suggestions. A lot of times FACs can get pretty tough to read on here and it might be helped a little (and it might help Raul sort it all out) if we separate the areas. Any thoughts? JHMM13 23:04, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Looks like a very immature process; a straight vote, similar to what we had years ago when en-Wiki was much smaller. Most of our "votes" change as the FAC progresses, so entering them into a category like that will make a mess. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:55, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Well, as I said, the system is not what I'm promoting, it's the layout. I think the current tack on below model is causing a lot of clutter and makes it difficult to figure out who is supporting or opposing what. Just because we have a section for support and a section for oppose does not mean it has to be a straight vote. It seems a lot more straightforward to me, especially considering many newbies to this current layout could also mistake it for a voting process. JHMM13 16:59, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Professional peer review experience

As many of you know, when I'm not editing Wikipedia, I'm a grad student. As such, I've done a number of professional peer reviews for computer engineering related articles that have appeared in conferences (unlike most branches of science and engineering, Computer Engineering is conference driven, not journal driven)

The way it works is that an author writes an article. The conference puts out a call for papers, and the author sends his article. The conference chairperson (or someone delagated by him) assigns the papers to reviewers. These reviewers read X papers, and for each paper, they fill out a review sheet. Here's what a review sheet looks like:

ICPP 2007: The 2007 International Conference on Parallel Processing Review Form
Submission #[Article number] [Article name]
Authors: [Author's names]
Summary Ranking
Please evaluate the submission according to the criteria below. Scores for numerical categories are ordered from "bad" to "good." That is, a low score represents a negative evaluation, and a high score represents a positive evaluation.
Evaluation Category Enter Your Score

Overall Ranking (1-5)
Technical Quality (1-5)
Presentation (1-5)
Confidence (1-5)

Detailed Comments
Please supply detailed comments to back up your rankings. These comments will be forwarded to the authors of the paper. The comments will help the committee decide the outcome of the paper, and will help justify this decision for the authors. Moreover, if the paper is accepted, the comments should guide the authors in making revisions for a final manuscript. Hence, the more detailed you make your comments, the more useful your review will be - both for the committee and for the authors.
Enter comments here:

Confidential Comments for Committee
You may wish to withhold some comments from the authors, and include them solely for the committee's internal use. For example, you may want to express a very strong (negative) opinion on the paper, which might offend the authors in some way. Or, perhaps you wish to write something which would expose your identity to the authors. If you wish to share comments of this nature with the committee, this is the place to put them.
Enter comments here:

Notice that reviewers are given opportunity to express their criticisms both quantatively and qualitatively, as well as in a number of relevant "dimensions" (e.g, distinguishing criticisms of the material itself versus the presentation). The point I am getting at is that I think this system is superior for generating feedback versus the binary support/oppose system we currently use on the FAC, and both systems (the current FAC one and the professional peer review one) are better than the one JMHH13 mentioned in that they encourage constructive criticism rather than a straight vote.

As far as its application here - the FAC suffers from one serious flaw, which is that the people doing the reviews are probably not experts on the subject. The degree to which FAC can do quality control is an open question. Raul654 01:51, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Responses

This has some merit, Raul. How could we do it without creating absolutely monstrous reviews?

One very small thing we could start to do immediately is to note Speedy close rather than oppose for those that are completely unready. This will be easier for you to notice and clear off the page. Marskell 08:35, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

I like that; for a while, we were entering "Refer to peer review", but Speedy is more consistent with other areas of Wiki. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:43, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
How is the "...note Speedy close..." different from a vote? --Aarktica 17:47, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

I don't see how the one I proposed encourages a straight vote over the current FAC process. How often do we get people in here who just write Support? It's simply a matter of clutter to me. I like your system, but I don't think it's practical. We already have a hard enough time getting people to spend some time on an FAC without making the review process that much more complicated. I know I would personally be less likely to spend time on an FAC if I was forced to follow such strict guidelines and score it in four different categories. It would be nice if we could get paid professionals in here spending all day with FACs and PRs, but we have to deal with what we've got. Given the amount of users in FAC, I don't see how this could work without creating a backlog. JHMM13 17:12, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

A few questions:
  1. Regarding the concern about "hit and run" votes – wouldn't the added layer of bureaucracy would deter those uninterested in spending the time to provide a thorough review.
  2. Here is a non-rhetorical question: "How often do we get people in here who just write Support?" I suspect that this is not the pool of users suited to reviewing FACs.
  3. Is having a backlog really a problem? Aarktica 18:05, 6 April 2007 (UTC).
Not enough to warrant an overhaul, I reckon. FAC seems to simply be suffering from the same malaise that is striking all community processes on Wikipedia at the moment. I'd be far more worried about peer review to be honest, where listed articles can go up to ten days without a reply. FAC's nature at least gurantees someone will respond. Dev920 (Have a nice day!) 18:18, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm relatively new here ;) What is this "malaise" that you speak of? Aarktica 18:22, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
Welcome to Wikipedia. :) What I mean is that there's been a slowdown in the rate of response to many processes, like WP:GAC, WP:PR, and WP:FAC recently. Even the articles for speedy deletion aren't going as fast as they used to. I don't know why, but it's becoming a major problem and we should really try to rectify the overarching problem rather than tinker with individuals processes. Dev920 (Have a nice day!) 18:33, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
Oh. How about making the proposed layout more generic? Aarktica 19:01, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
I think you need to look at the processes a bit more. :) Dev920 (Have a nice day!) 19:33, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
When I saw the processes, I thought to myself: "same donkey, different blanket." I will have to look into them a bit further then. Aarktica 12:57, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
After reviewing the processes, I doubt that an overarching solution exists. Consider the WP:PR process, which is a completely different animal — a predecessor to the WP:FAC process. Also, according to WP:GVF, the difference between GA and FA criteria is much smaller. As such, I think that they should be on a different track. --Aarktica 13:30, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Encyclopædia Britannica/archive2

I just realised Encyclopædia Britannica might actually pass its FAC. As this is likely to hit headlines ("Wikipedia has better entry on Britannica than Britannica does") or at least utterly enrage the EBs, they're going to go through this article and find every possible error they can if it passes. Every regular FAC reviewer needs to get down there and go through it with a fine toothcomb to ensure that everything is all above board, referenced, well-written etc. That way we won't look stupid. Dev920 (Have a nice day!) 14:15, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the note, Dev; I actually hadn't looked at it since so many eyes have already been there. I should be able to get to it tonight. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:07, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Considering Dev's call to action, I'd really like to review it, but I have to put out a fire today. Would it be presumptuous to ask Raul to let this run a bit overtime? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:53, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
No objections here. Raul654 02:08, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for your call to action, Dev! I've been hoping that more people would comment at its FAC to help make it a better article, like the biblical refiner's fire. If you'll take some kindly-meant advice, however, we shouldn't speculate about what the people at the Britannica will feel. I like to think that they will be delighted that the world has another fine encyclopedia article, on a subject dear to their hearts. If they're annoyed, then we should engage them with gentility and fellow feeling and, God willing, charm them with our excellent manners and witty humor. Our enemy is ignorance, not each other; we face common difficulties and share such parallel goals that we might as well be siblings. And although siblings often bicker and tease each other, I hope sincerely that our article will increase the number of visitors to their site and perhaps even their number of subscribers. The world would be a poorer place indeed if the Britannica were lost. Willow 16:50, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Aha! So there's a conflict of interest here! ;-P Kidding of course... Nicely said. –Outriggr § 19:02, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Casino Royale (2006 film)

Something's wrong at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Casino Royale (2006 film); comments have apparently been refactored and removed completely !! I don't have time to reconstruct, nor should I have to. But, for example, I had a long list of questionable sources on the page which is now POOF-gone. I noticed other comments that were gone as well, so that one of my responses is left hanging, looking dumb. Gosh, irritating that objects are removed. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:58, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Foiled, nefarious plot by evil genius, one. But my martini's still dry. Mouse, E., Anon E. Mouse. 15:24, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

What ????????? The only thing missing was the suggestion not any comments this is such a waste time!! ♦ Sir Blofeld ♦ "Expecting you" Contribs 11:12, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Synopsis or plot summary guidelines

Do we have any guidelines (MOS, Project or otherwise) that restrict size on plot summaries or synopses? Someone (elsewhere) has stated that we have a 500–750 word limit; I've never seen that guideline. What guidelines do we have on spoilers and plot summaries? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:43, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

WP:FILM guidelines. Plot summaries generally need to be 600-700 words, and only over 900 if really complex. Alientraveller 18:44, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, Alien, but I'm not able to locate that specific guideline on the Film page? Do they have specific guidelines or a suggested article structure? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:47, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

A policy statement, though not quantified in the number of words required, can be seen under #7 at WP:IINFO: "Wikipedia articles on works of fiction should contain real-world context and sourced analysis, offering detail on a work's achievements, impact or historical significance, not solely a summary of that work's plot. A plot summary may be appropriate as an aspect of a larger topic." Basically, a film article with 1,200+ words in the Plot section and maybe 300 words in the Production section would not qualify. A lot of fictional character articles are especially vulnerable to this, it seems -- there's more focus on describing the characters' doings in their fictional universes than any kind of real-world context. —Erik (talkcontribreview) - 18:55, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks; that helps. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:00, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Right. WP:WAF says very much the same thing: Keep plot summaries concise, and no article should consist solely of plot summary. (Tell that to voters on AFD, though . . . ) — Brian (talk) 22:41, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
  • For Role-playing games, I think approximately 1,000 words for the synopsis is fine. Then again, RPGs are 40-60 hour stories, many of which have 8+ hours of cutscenes and 500+ script pages. And I'm somewhat in the minority; some RPG FAs have 1,500+ words, which is a but excessive IMO. Fortunately, their production and reception sections are 5+ paragraphs each... — Deckiller 23:29, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
  • I'm having issues with WP:MUSICALS. Someone is cleaning out all the synopses (equivalent of plot summaries), but also cleaning out other info as well. So, if we add back plot summaries, we could get into trouble, as we may end up with only plot, nothing else. The solution is an article structure similar to Films, but someone is deleting everything and not following any structure, leaving only a big lead and some lists. Anyway, not FA-related, but explains why there are no musical theatre FAs or GAs. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:40, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Multiple nominations

I've left notes at User talk:Tomer T about multiple nominations he has made in a short period, noting the instructions at WP:FAC, specifically "Nominators are expected to make an effort to address objections ... Please do not post more than one nomination at a time, as this may make it difficult to do justice to each." Tomer T currently has three nominations at FAC (Compass and straightedge constructions, Alfred Russel Wallace and Toronto Raptors), but hasn't participated in the discussion about any of these candidates. If he nominates another article, can we speedy withdraw it? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:38, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

I think multiple nominations are fine as long as you can keep up with them. The question is, does Tomer intend to? Dev920 (Have a nice day!) 21:40, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
S/he hasn't on the previous two. Our instructions say, "Nominators are expected to make an effort to address objections ... Please do not post more than one nomination at a time, as this may make it difficult to do justice to each." SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:47, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
I've seen other users nominate more than one article. I remember Deckiller (I think) doing so with two Final Fantasy titles but only after it was clear the first was going very well and no objections were raised. Obviously I think Tomer must have just misunderstood the policy. It should be okay if one FAC is winding down to nominate another. They should probably be separated by at least a few weeks or the original should have no outstanding objections. Quadzilla99 22:00, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Multiple nominations aren't a problem if the person doing the nominating is capable of keeping on top of them. In this case, I'm concerned about Tomer not doing so. Raul654 22:31, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Tomer T generally is not an editor on the articles s/he is nominating. After my own experience of an unexpected (and for several days, unnoticed) FAC on the article I was working on (Kepler), I asked Tomer to at least inform the editors of articles before nominating them. The result was the FAC of Alfred Russell Wallace, posted a week after a message on the talk page ("Do you think that the article is ready to become a featured article?"), to which no one had responded.--ragesoss 02:33, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Multiple noms are fine if the user does justice to it. (I tried that once and got both featured). But in this case if Tomer doesn't do justice to any, more reviewers should prod him to remove noms. =Nichalp «Talk»= 17:03, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

WP:CITIES - city template

A new suggested template has been proposed at WikiProject Cities. Since the main purpose of the template is to assist editors in bringing articles to GA and FA status, I thought I would mention it here to seek comments on it. Please leave comments on the WikiProject Cities Talk Page, not here. Dr. Cash 03:09, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Stability

Of late, the stability criteria is being cited in far more cases than it should.

A few days ago, I told a friend of mine who is familiar with Wikipedia that I'd wager any amount that someone would nominate Virginia Tech massacre on this page within a month of the shooting. I would have won the bet. It is for situations like the requirement is intended. I wrote it after someone nominated Beslan school hostage crisis less than a week after it occured. These are cases of articles that are clearly unstable.

However, as I said, many people seem to be citing it for articles that are generally active, but not necessarily unstable. This is a practice I would like to see ended. Raul654 21:24, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

  • It seems like there's two general kinds of instability. First is the unavoidable kind, such as the mentioned VT massacre article, where available information on the topic itself is changing so fast that it's unrealistic to promote an article to FA status when it will probably be changed massively over the next few weeks. Second is instability imposed on articles by editors, usually some kind of POV problem where the article is changing dramatically at least every few days, but it's because of the actions of editors rather than the topic itself changing. This could be on a topic where little new information is likely to come along, like Atheism or Adolph Hitler or whatever. I guess the point is that one is something article editors can't address, the other is one that they can if they want the article to become a FA. --W.marsh 22:44, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
    • In the second case, if there are genuine problems with all versions of the article then it is hard to imagine the article meeting the other FA criteria. If there are no genuine problems, it seems unfair to deny an article FA status due to disruption from a single editor or cadre of editors. Christopher Parham (talk) 21:16, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
      • Nevertheless, how could we promote something to FA status if key parts of the article aren't agreed upon by editors of the article? A FA in jeopardy of losing its status is Detroit, where some editors want to really water down or outright remove any mention of crime and decline, and other editors feel that's necessary to include. The article is a FA now but I seriously doubt it would pass FAC in its current state(s). I'm sure there are better examples, with more political topics where edit wars are constant... I just don't really follow those articles. --W.marsh 13:03, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
        • Like you I don't really wish to speak of specific cases with which I am not familiar, but I imagine there is a spectrum of disputes ranging from genuine disputes to single-editor efforts to unsettle a long-standing agreed version with wide support. It seems to me that the first sort of dispute should be settled before proceeding with FAC. But the second sort of dispute, I think, may never be resolved (except by the long process of removing any disruptive editors), and in general I wouldn't want to see it prevent the good work of other editors from being rewarded. Christopher Parham (talk) 02:49, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Page length

I find the FAC page to be far too long, and it requires so much loading time that it isn't at all convenient for me to read the nominations. I had the idea of creating a separate, short page that just lists links to the individual discussions, so you aren't required to load everything up on one page. Raul seemed to think it would be difficult to find an automated way to do this, but I wanted to see if anyone else had ideas about it. Everyking 08:07, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

I'd personally be concerned with even less input than we already get. --badlydrawnjeff talk 13:10, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
Well there's User:Deckiller/FAC urgents which is (I think) hand maintained, it's pretty useful for seeing the FACs that are slipping through the cracks, you can transclude it to your user page or wherever. Maybe User:Dragons flight could adapt his AFD monitor (User:Dragons flight/AFD summary), which seems pretty able to list all the daily AFDs, although the vote totals wouldn't be very useful to FAC. If someone feels like creating/maintaining such a thing there's no reason it can't exist. --W.marsh 13:13, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
That would be handy. It's the same as Wikipedia:Requests for adminship. I always go to Wikipedia:Bureaucrats' noticeboard instead of the extremely long RFA page. Garion96 (talk) 13:18, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
That would be a good idea. But for now, we have my archaic, hand-cranked template :) — Deckiller 13:21, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Note Category:Wikipedia featured article candidates, which includes the talk pages of all articles with FAC templates. The FAC template includes a link to the FAC discussion page. Gimmetrow 13:57, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Talk:Bulgaria

Can someone with admin tools please look at the trainwreck there; someone tried to do a FAC nom, I think. It's a mess. There's no new FAC, but there's some weird moves and redirects in the talk page history.SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:17, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

FAC lesson

Dweller has written a lesson for the virtual classroom, at User:The Transhumanist/Virtual classroom/Dweller, on Featured Article Candidates. Before it goes "live" it needs to be proofread/copy-edited. Please look it over for accuracy and quality. Thank you.  The Transhumanist    00:36, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

I added comments at User talk:The Transhumanist/Virtual classroom/Dweller, on Featured Article Candidates. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:49, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. I welcome further comments and criticisms. --Dweller 11:21, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Buena Vista Social Club/archive1

This article, which I made over 300 edits on and nominated for FAC was failed today for no valid reason I can see after a month of me hanging around waiting, then canvassing for someone to review it. Only two people bothered to make a decision on the article, one was invalid (no refs in lead), and the other hadn't really read the article closely - claimed it had "sloppy copy" which is just garbage as the two instances cited came from direct quotes by subjects in the article - and never responded to my subsequent clarifications/minor changes. Thus it's wasted a whole load of time for me, and for the few editors who bothered to even look at it during it's candidacy phase. This process is deeply flawed. Change it before it wastes more people's time.-- Zleitzen(talk) 11:06, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Zleitzen, I really think you were just a victim of a very busy time on FAC. And, it's not just FAC; GAC is backlogged and WP:PR currently has 139 articles listed ! Whenever FAC gets above 50 articles listed (and it's been hovering around and even above 80), it's hard to get enough attention on any one article. (I was out for several weeks because of the Spring Nor'easter of 2007, then spent six hours catching up on FAC reviews a few days ago, and what I got for my effort was a lot of talk page harassment from editors who were apparently surprised that someone was actually going to review their articles :-) I'm sorry this happened to you, since you've been pitching in here to help review articles. Please shake it off; bring it back now that there's hopefully less of a backlog and you'll get more feedback. It might also help to announce the FAC on as many WikiProject pages as possible; you can find a council directory listed at the top of WT:FAR. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:04, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Sandy but after 17,000+ edits and various featured items here, I’m finished with this business. I made the latest FAC available to the wikiproject early on, but received no reviews. I went around begging people I’d helped on their FACs to review the article after weeks without a review. I eventually received just one Mr Magooesque review from Dweller. Dweller then didn’t bother addressing my responses - apparently being too busy voting to support his own articles at FAC and writing guides for featured article candidates (the two seem related as far as I can see) - and that was that. Thanks for the work you put in on the refs. Good luck in the future!-- Zleitzen(talk) 22:50, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Horace François Bastien Sébastiani de La Porta

Discussion moved to Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/Horace François Bastien Sébastiani de La Porta.

FAC and FAR/C urgents boxes

FACs needing feedback
viewedit
Elliott Fitch Shepard Review it now
Bill Cosby in advertising Review it now
Xx (album) Review it now
61 Cygni Review it now
Featured article removal candidates
view edit
Marian Rejewski Review it now

Will reviewers kindly note that these boxes are regularly updated for problematic nominations and for those that are hanging around for too long with too few comments. Transcluding them on your user page and/or at the top of your talk page would be a great way to generate more interest in these processes, especially by reviewers who manage to visit only occasionally.

All you do is to key in {{User:Deckiller/FAC urgents}} and/or {{User:Tony1/FAR urgents}}. Tony 02:09, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Who decides what is urgent or not? (No, I'm not being a smart aleck, I'm just interested to know what the algorithm is.) Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 02:19, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
I don't know how Deckiller adds FACs; I add FARs or FARCs that are near the end of their review period but are lacking input, "votes" or consensus. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:20, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
Oh, and I keep the total number of "urgent" FARs at or below five; it is intended to be those reviews most urgently needing further input for consensus. I think Deckiller adds FACs that have received little or no attention or input. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:30, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

New version of Featured Sound Criteria

I've proposed a new version of the existing criteria to be implemented after a week or so of debate. Comments from reviewers from this room would be welcomed. Tony 02:28, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Transcluding FAC nominations on talk pages

One problem I've noticed with the FAC process is that discussion happens at both article talk pages and on the nomination page, and many contributors end up talking past each other because of this (and it makes the whole thing more complicated to keep track of). I think we should make it part of the nomination procedure to transclude the nomination on the article talk page (as well as here) so that editors don't have to navigate away to contribute. This would have the added bonus of making nominations more visible and probably increasing participation.--ragesoss 21:42, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Toronto Raptors

Why was Toronto Raptors promoted when there are active objections in the nomination? Punctured Bicycle 06:07, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

This sort of question might get a better response if you ask Raul directly (User talk:Raul654). Presumably he felt that the objections were (1) made irrelevant by improvements to the article; (2) unfounded; or (3) insignificant or not relevant to the featured article criteria. Christopher Parham (talk) 05:00, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
I think passing articles is an art, not a science... and as such, there are cases that pass that should fail and vice versa... Raul is only human and doing the best he can... which is a lot more than most of us are willing to do. (His level of commitment to Wiki is amazing, and my hat is off to him.)Balloonman 18:51, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
Actually, lots of people are willing to help Raul654, but he insists he doesn't need it. He's the featured article director, an administrator, a bureaucrat, an oversight, an arbitrator, and a PhD candidate, but supposedly he doesn't need help. Common sense says that the more tasks a man has to do, the less time he will have to devote to each one, and quality suffers as a result. In my opinion, this faulty promotion illustrates what happens when you draw one man too thin. Since the nomination is now frozen, I have outlined a more detailed criticism of the Toronto Raptors article at Talk:Toronto Raptors/Flaws. I am troubled and annoyed that this article was promoted when most of these serious criticisms were mentioned in the nomination already, just in less detail. It doesn't even pass the Good Article criteria. Punctured Bicycle 23:58, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Closed FAC had little input

Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Snuffy's Parents Get a Divorce/archive1

This FAC had appallingly little comment. I submitted it to the process because I usually get more of the criticism I want and need from this process, rather than the peer review process. But the FAC only received comments the day it was posted, and the day after. I asked follow-up questions of two of the objectors, none of them replied.

Can I get a reconsideration of the FAC closure, on the hope that someone gives enough of a hoot to comment? -- Zanimum 14:06, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

FAC might be less backlogged if it wasn't being used for peer review. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:40, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
I think suggestions on both the PR and the FAC are important, as they usually address different issues and have diferent standards (so in that sense an FAC is a bit like an advanced peer review). However, with the PR being backlogged, I'm not surprised people are hoping for more in-depth help and suggestions at the FAC.--Clyde (talk) 14:43, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes, everywhere's backlogged (FAC, GAC, PR), but it seems that two things are resulting: FAC being used in place of PR/GAC (because of the backlogs there), and complaints being lodged mostly at FAC, when some articles are coming here rather than PR. It seems the real backlog that needs to be addressed is at PR. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:00, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Clyde that PR and FAC seem to address different issues; the comments I have received from articles submitted to PR are vastly different from those at FAC. And several of the PR comments have been lacking altogether. I know quite a few people who view PR as a waste of time, as their articles received little or no feedback. And in many instances, the articles aren't being reviewed by peers at all. The Wikipedia:WikiProject Dinosaurs team was bypassing "peer review" altogether because the articles were peer reviewed and partially written by published paleontologists, and it seemed like a waste of time to have the article submitted to a non-professional "peer review" of dedicated but non-professional Wikipedians, who often offered well-meaning but bad scientific advice on how to improve the article. That said, the Scientific peer review process has been helpful, and I recently sent an article there. Firsfron of Ronchester 17:24, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
It's not so much even backlog. When I was working to get Sesame Street to featured status, back in the days when PR wasn't backlogged people still gave me weak, meak comments that did nothing but artificially inflate my opinion of how good the article was. So I'd head into FAC feeling fantastic, and get whacked in the face as soon as people would vote. It was the only place I good get comments I could really actually use. -- Zanimum 19:22, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
I work in a completely different sector of Wikipedia then Frisfron, but I find myself with the same ideas. When I'm working on an article, I find the video game peer review much more helpful, and I myself prefer to review articles there. The PR is just so large that it is impossible to find an article I know about to review, so I prefer to go on a smaller scale. I think if we had more subject specific reviews where people can find articles they know about, then there'd be more action on the PRs. I've also seen some FACs are promoted even through there is very little activity or improvement, but they are promoted simply because not enough high end editors are around to rip it apart and correct it.--Clyde (talk) 21:14, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
The FAC board seems to go through cycles where sometimes it has plenty of participation in reviewing FA candidates and sometimes it doesn't. Right now seems to fall in the latter cycle. I've been attempting the last week or so to try to assist the articles on the list that haven't received much participation, but I just can't get to them all. Plus, I'm just one person. We obviously need more people's participation with this forum and the main peer review. The Signpost highlighted the problem recently, which I think helped increase participation somewhat. But, we still need more participants. How can we influence more people to participate in these forums where participation is so crucial for the process to work? We especially need more participation in the different peer review forums, because we shouldn't have to use the FAC forum as a peer review. Cla68 00:39, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
Why was this one closed yet Horace François Bastien Sébastiani de La Porta restarted? Here's an editor who wanted feedback so he could make a successful FA and was willing to address objections, yet this other abomination of an FAC which has no respect for the process whatsoever has been restarted. LuciferMorgan 11:18, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Layout

Two editors are changing WP:LAYOUT to state that Wiki "sister" links should be added to the lead rather than the See also or External links at the end of the article. I believe this will clutter the lead, resulting in ugly articles, and that external content (even interwiki) belongs at the end. I always fix this on FAs. — am I wrong? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:23, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Sister links should be in the "See also" sections, as you said. JungianPPP seems to have signed up just to change Wikipedia rules and does not appear to respect consensus. CloudNine 15:27, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I just realized the three editors on that page have strikingly similar prose, syntax, and reasoning. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:29, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
Putting the sisterlinks in the lead is an awful idea. — Brian (talk) 22:47, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
They don't belong in see also - they belong in the external links section. That's how we've done it for years. Raul654 22:49, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Re-nomination process?

I nominated Mac Pro a while ago, you can see the results here: Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Mac Pro/archive1. I found the process somewhat, well, unsatisfying. After nominating I got a few comments suggesting changes to the reference style (which I did) and that it should have a non-technical overview (which I added), and then basically nothing happened. None of the original commenters appear to have commented on the changes (Zanimum seems to have had the same experience). The process just sort of ended even though all of the posted objections may have been addressed and the article would now be FA. I'd like to do something to drive this along, so what do I do now? Do I re-nominate it and go through another round? Maury 17:13, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Very good and very bad articles tend to get a lot of comment. Aticles in the middle — or in territory that others aren't familiar with — may languish, but in my experience, people tend not to comment on articles that they are uncomfortable about for several reasons, but don't really want to take the time to type it all out. I would suggest contacting various related WikiProjects for peer input and getting an independent copyedit before re-approaching FAC in this case. Has it passed GA (I forgot)? That's another vehicle for additional input. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:05, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
Well I'd like to ramble here for a moment...
I've been through the PR process once and only got comments from a single person. I've been though GA once IIRC, and that went OK I suppose, but it certainly wasn't a lot of comments. I've been through FA twice now, and in one case I got a lot of comments -some that contradicted each other- and another (this one) that got very little. The pattern was basically identical in every case; an initial flurry of comments, changes were made in response to those comments, there were no comments on the changes, and so the attempt passed or failed based on the initial "before" comments.
If the process of review is at all objective the comments from any of these processes should be identical. IE, if an article really needs more in-line cites, then that should come out in a PR, and certainly in a GA or FA. Right? And while each one takes the same amount of effort on the submitter's part, the outcome is very different, certainly an FA is considered "better" than a GA, and a PR has little "weight" at all. So this basically suggests that you should always go straight to FA. Why not? It's the same amount of work, and if it passes then you've saved yourself a whole lot of effort. Is there any point to the other two processes? I mean, a point that isn't also handled in FA?
I'd like to propose a suggested modification to the process, if I may be so bold. I propose that all of the review processes be combined into one. A user proposes an article for review, and suggestions are made. After a set time, the article is promoted from "commenting" to "reviewing", a different process in which a grade is assigned. During the review the article is assigned a grade, maybe FA, maybe GA, maybe just "reviewed".
As I see it, this process would offer several major advantages. For one, it would not split up the reviewers among different project pages. Not only does that reduce the workload for the reviewers, but it also maximizes the number of eyeballs on every article (assuming, as I do, that most reviewers tend to work off one project page at a time). Further it dramatically reduces the workload on the article submitter as well, as they have a single place to post their requests. Finally, it avoids the problem we're seeing here, when the editor makes modifications based on the comments, but then the article just falls off the map. In this system there would be a two-step process, which allows the editors to bring their articles up to scratch (spit-n-polish we hope) without failing based on the initial comments.
I have to admit, I'm basically giving up on FA as it stands. It's just too much work for too little payback, and the initial excitement of getting comments (even bad ones!) quickly turns sour when you realize everyone's forgotten about it one hour later. This needs to be easier and more rewarding, IMHO. Maury 20:20, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
I like it! An article's whole evolution laid out in one place. Comments can build on each other and become more fine-grained as the article progresses; different editors need not repeat similar objective observations in different areas. Categorize the page by its current state of evolution—when reviewers agree that it's in FAC territory, the FAC category hits the Director's radar. Centralizes our reviewing resources, vastly underfunded. Reviewing and consensus-driven collaboration feeding off each other. The focus becomes the improvement the article, with no arbitrary time limits, and no fail-and-retreat operations. The article evolves, and if it graduates high school at the age of 50, then it still graduates. Isn't that how the wiki process was meant to work? What article do you want to try this with? Make a subpage of its talk page, maybe. –Outriggr § 01:10, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
So more like the FAR route? Cool.--Clyde (talk) 01:55, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Wow, I seriously thought no one would like the idea. BTW Clyde, what's FAR (cringing because I have a feeling I should already know this...)? Wait, Featured Article Review? Is that a two-step process? Maury 19:54, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

While that's not a completely bad idea, I don't think it will work. Wikipedia:Good article candidates is backlogged, and Wikipedia:Peer review is so backlogged it's almost useless. Combining everything into one huge backlog will only bring FAC down, I think. Pagrashtak 01:35, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
You know, the A-class assessment doesn't require third-party review like FA or GA (except at WP:MILHIST and perhaps one or two other projects). So, if you're tired and/or frustrated with the FA or GA review process, I would suggest that after you get the article as good as you can get it, slap an "A-class" rating on it and move on. If anyone comes along that wants to dispute the "A" rating, they'll leave a note on the talk page, and you can address their concerns then. Cla68 03:55, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
That kind of approach explains why I recently had to remove A-class ratings from a number of articles from a number of different topic areas that weren't even remotely close to GA class. I suggest that people should not "slap an A-class rating and move on", unless the article is at least GA quality. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 11:08, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Sandy on that, as it gives some editors false hope. In my opinion, the highest status can give an article without proper review should be B. Also, I'd like to take the opportunity to say if you find a GA which you feel isn't worthy of that status, there's also WP:GA/R. LuciferMorgan 12:25, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
Well, there isn't a review process for A status. Why not make A and GA part of the same review process, i.e. the reviewer determines whether the article is at GA or A level? Cla68 13:22, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
There isn't a review process, but A-class is almost FA, above GA; articles which are completely uncited and have numerous WP:MOS violations are not A-class, and I've had to remove many. I don't care what GA does, but uncited articles with lots of MOS errors shouldn't have A-class assessments "slapped on". SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:37, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but that's my point. If your article has passed GA review, but you can't get anyone to comment on it in the FAC forum, then what are you supposed to do? If you put (slap) A-class on it, someone such as yourself will probably eventually give it a hard look, reasses it if necessary, and then the issues identified can be addressed at that time. I know that WikiProject Bio and Wikiproject MilHist have their own A-class reviews, but there's still a lot of other subjects out there that don't have an A-class review review forum that editors can turn to. Cla68 00:28, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
There is an A class review process, at least for biographies that I know of. And I am of the understanding that one cannot rate their own articles any higher than "start" - above that, i.e. "B", it is best to have a review by someone who was not a major contributor to the article, and by reviewers involved in the related WikiProject. If people were able to rate their own articles, the grades are meaningless. Cricket02 17:05, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
Is the working class writer grumbling again? The proposal reduces the bureaucracy and instruction creep that came with starting-up so many review processes. Can it deal with the FA/A/GA overlap, too? --maclean 19:45, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

A question

Say for example you have an FAC that has garnered little comment, would the nominator be allowed to leave messages on specific editors talk pages to take a look at the FAC? In this I mean editors that the nominator is particularly familiar with. I'm unsure if there's a policy on this and am seeking clarification. LuciferMorgan 23:06, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm not entirely familiar with the area, but Wikipedia:Canvassing seems most relevant. Geuiwogbil 23:17, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
I see no problem with nominators asking a few people to have a look, provided the request is phrased neutrally. Trebor 23:40, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
Agree with above. Just say "can you please review my article to either Support or Oppose giving FA status? Without your help, the article will soon be removed from nomination", or something similar. It works. That's how I got Jay Chou to FA. I don't think many people would've reviewed it if I hadn't done it. SeleneFN 00:39, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I have certainly done this in the past. It's not a vote so this is relatively unlikely to have any negative effects. Christopher Parham (talk) 00:51, 24 May 2007 (UTC)


Five noms

Epbr123 (talk · contribs) currently has five FAC nominations: 1) Sale, Greater Manchester, 2) Westgate-on-Sea, 3) Whitstable, 4) Birchington-on-Sea, and 5) Herne Bay, Kent. On his/her fourth nom, I called to his/her attention the instructions at FAC, requesting one nomination at at time. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:37, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

I sometimes nominate two at a time, but five is a little too much. Two at the most, please. On the other hand, one must respect the enthusiasm. — Deckiller 21:51, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
This is an instruction we should be happy to flout if the nominator is engaged. Marskell 22:32, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Well considering the amount of disatisfaction due to the slump in the FAC right now, multiple FACs don't sound too hard. Personally, one makes me stressed enough, but I don't see anything wrong with two, maybe even three if it is multiple reviewers. If the man can do five, why not?--Clyde (talk) 22:35, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
What slump in FAC? Nominations are running at all-time highs, with the number of noms on the page often approaching or passing 80, making it hard to give due attention to all of them, resulting in numerous complaints from dissatisfied nominators, who get little feedback. Why does one nominator get attention on five articles, while others go complaining (remember that Zleitzen left Wiki in disgust, as no one responded to his FAC, while he reviewed FACs of many others) ? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:54, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
I've considered nominating more than one FAC, but haven't yet had two ready to go at the same time. I wouldn't do it unless I felt I could give the responses the attention they needed. I understand that there may be a shortage of reviewers, but wouldn't that simply extend the review period, rather than require a reduction in the rate of submissions? Mike Christie (talk) 23:04, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
(another edit conflict) Above reply: The FAC is in a is in a slump because there is a decrease of active editors in proporation of nominators. I haven't decided if I condone or condemn a whopping five FACs, but I don't like the idea of discouraging someone from improving this encyclopedia. Perhaps ask him to remove a couple of the weaker ones and instead ask him to put some time reviewing other stagnating FACs. I certaintly see the lack of reviewers.--Clyde (talk) 23:16, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Deckiller. The person cannot do five - Herne Bay, Kent for example has a copyediting concern from May 19th which the editor has still failed to reply to while Whitstable has one from the 21st which the editor hasn't replied to. This is a waste of FAC's resources in my opinion, as gaining an FA certainly isn't as easy as just putting an FAC tag on a talk page. LuciferMorgan 17:24, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
If you had read the Herne Bay, Kent fac properly, you will see that I've been waiting for a review by the LoCE as requested. There is nothing more I should be doing to the article. Regarding the Whitstable fac, the reviewer's last words were "..but I've gotta go for the moment. I'll continue reviewing when I get back to the computer." I was waiting for him to finish the review before replying. I want an apology. Epbr123 18:18, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
You aren't getting an apology, since I stand by what I'm saying and honestly feel you think FAC is rather easy. It isn't. You're the one who nominated the Herne Bay, Kent article for FAC, not the LoCE, so it's up to you to bring it up to standard and not them - so yes there is something more you should be doing to the article. Have you even considered that it may be failed before the LoCE even find the time to take a look? I read the FAC perfectly well thanks. If you wish to make a comment such as that, my reply is have you even read this; "Please do not post more than one nomination at a time, as this may make it difficult to do justice to each."? Either you haven't, or you've plainly ignored it.
As concerns the reviewer's last words on Whitstable, you haven't even struck out the examples he's given despite it being given 3 days ago. I think 5 noms all at once takes the biscuit and you cannot handle 5 - you're hoping that not many people list a load of problems. If a load of problems were listed at each nom, you'd be swamped under and wouldn't be able to address them. So no apology for you - perhaps it should be you apologising to all the other poor FACers who actually can address an article's problems but are unfortunately yet to have any comments? That's my opinion on it. LuciferMorgan 18:40, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I can't resist the urge to gloat any longer. Apart from one that had problems beyond my control, all those noms are now FAs. Epbr123 21:11, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
Given your current ban for incivility, this doesn't suprise me. Epbr123 18:43, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
How long did it take you to think of this response? Not long. If you don't like the truth, then don't demand an apology. Furthermore, don't use the LoCE as an excuse for not addressing your article's FA concerns. LuciferMorgan 18:50, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
Epbr123, baiting another editor by bringing up past bans isn't civil. I just wanted to let you know that waiting for LoCE isn't really a very viable option; they rarely come through. You could be waiting a very long time. You can't put up five FACs and then hope LoCE will edit them while you wait; you would be better off looking for your own copyedit resources. If you don't have a copyeditor, waiting for five ce's from LoCE isn't a really good plan. They could get the impression you put up the FACs to jump the line to the FAC/FAR category at LoCE (which they don't pay much attention to either, BTW). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:55, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
I am going to continue trying to get articles to FA standard whether you like it or not. The reviewer said "someone else to copy-edit the whole text, please." The LoCE are the ideal people to do that and probably the only people willing to do it. Once, a reviewer in one of my past facs actually specifically requested a copy-edit by the LoCE. Epbr123 22:11, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

I would like to point out that it is actually very easy to handle five FACs at once. My Herne Bay article has been up for nomination for a month and has only had three comments. During that time, I have been able to also write four other FAC articles. The one nomination at a time rule is ridiculous and there's no way I'll start writing a sixth FAC if I'm going to have to wait five months to nominate it. Epbr123 22:38, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

A question related to this

After my exchange with this nominator, I read one of the nominator's articles at FAC and voted an oppose. The nominator then replied that I have a vendetta against them and said they will not respond to my criteria concerns, despite them being actionable. Does this mean then that if I express valid criteria concerns per WP:FA? at any of these 5 noms, that my vote can still be disregarded under the nominator's claims? I'm seeking clarification, as I hope this isn't the case. LuciferMorgan 19:02, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Of course not. If the complaint is actionable, it should count, regardless of who said it (and I'm sure Raul will see it the same way). Nominators can't pick and choose what they have to respond to. Trebor 19:10, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Trebor - personality conflicts are irrelavant. If the objection is actionable (and FWIW, the more specific the object is, the better), then the nominator should feel obliged to fix it, or contest the objection and explain why (e.g, "no, the manual of policy says to do it exactly as it already is"). Raul654 19:13, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
The problem is that upon reading some of the articles further, I have criteria issues with several. Given the fact that I recently had a block for 24hrs for reasons I need not to go into, I'm wary of being accused of WP:POINT which would not bode too well on myself given the circumstances, and could result in another block. LuciferMorgan 19:14, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
Go ahead and state the criteria issues. If they're valid I won't accuse you of WP:POINT. Epbr123 22:24, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

don't worry, i quit wikipedia Epbr123 19:15, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Don't do that. I'm not saying I feel your contributions are meagre as they're actually quite worthwhile, and all 5 of your FACs given minor work definitely have the potential for FA status. LuciferMorgan 19:17, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
I must say, following your logic does suggest vindictiveness though you may not have intended it that way (After my exchange with this nominator.....and voted an oppose.) - given the circumstances and if you felt the issues were manageable may have been more diplomatic to leave as comment rather than oppose. cheers, Cas Liber | talk | contribs 22:42, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
It's a fair point, but that's why I wished to clear the air here and stress I am not making a point to disrupt Wikipedia. LuciferMorgan 13:29, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
  • This is another reason why it's best to take it one (or two, depending on how many editors are collaborating) FA nomination(s) at a time; it can be stressful to deal with multiple opposes, especially if they're by the same people. You begin to think that they are on a vendetta when they aren't, you start to question yourself, you get stressed and burn out, and you end up leaving or taking a lengthy break. — Deckiller 16:00, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
      • It's not FACs that make me want to leave, it's arguments like this. Epbr123 16:25, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
    • I don't understand why our instructions request one nom at a time if we are going to allow five. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:01, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
      • Change the instructions then. Epbr123 16:07, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
If the instructions represent a consensus it should be OK for any editor to remove a nomination from FAC if the nominator has another FAC going. If there's no consensus the instructions should be changed (unless this part of the instructions is at Raul654's discretion).
I don't have a strong opinion either way. If experienced reviewers such as Sandy feel there is a detrimental effect on FAC if a reviewer has multiple noms, I'd take that very seriously. As a nominator, rather than a reviewer, I want to do things in a way that makes the reviewers' lives easier. Mike Christie (talk) 16:14, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
It would help if Epbr would have his article copyedited before bringing them to FAC, considering they are getting ce comments; waiting for LoCE just isn't a reliable option. It's hard to get through 80 FACs at a time, and any editor who has prepared one FAC carefully shouldn't get short-shifted because someone else puts up five. I'm not sure I have a strong opinion on the instructions, though — I can certainly think of editors who could bring five well-sourced copyedited articles to FAC at once, while responding to concerns. I'm just not sure Epbr is able to address the concerns of five at once, as it doesn't appear s/he's doing so. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:29, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Total nonsense. Nearly every FAC has copyedit problems. Epbr123 16:37, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
All three of my FACs required some copyediting, but there was no delay; I did it myself, or had editors (or reviewers) willing to chip in. I think the problem is not the copyediting but the need to go to LoCE. And Epbr123, please don't take this discussion as criticism; everyone here wants to see all of your noms make it to FA. The discussion is about the best way to get there. Mike Christie (talk) 16:41, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes, and LoCE looked promising when Gzkn started it, but he has since left, and it hasn't really taken off — they don't keep up, even with FAC/FAR requests. Waiting for a copyedit from LoCE just isn't viable. Someone with five noms up would be better off finding other copyedit resources. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:06, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
So you agree that there's nothing wrong with having five noms at once? Epbr123 13:12, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
I think two might be reasonable in exceptional cases. As I said, I know editors who could bring five well-prepared noms to FAC, and address issues raised as well. You haven't addressed issues yet even in your first nom (at least the last time I checked). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:32, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
That was not the first of my multi-nominations. My first has already been promoted to FA, disproving your points. Epbr123 15:05, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
It would have been a lot simpler if the reviewer had said exactly what was wrong with the article instead of just saying get a copy-edit. Epbr123 17:12, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
The problem is that in that case the reviewer would become a copyeditor. And most FAC reviewers just don't have the time to do that for all the articles they review. MLilburne 17:22, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

LoCE

(outdent) It does seem to me that copyediting is a little different from the other kinds of criticism. Most other points can be listed in less time than it takes to fix them; listing a copyediting problem can take a sentence where the fix might be just to change a word (or even a punctuation mark). This is why copyediting comments are frequently of the form "here are a couple of examples, but the whole article needs work" which is frustrating for editors whose antennae are not fine-tuned to detect prose in need of help. I don't know what the fix is, though LoCE would be a big help if it worked faster. I can think of solutions I'd implement if we functioned as a hierarchical company, not a wiki (e.g. Raul refers articles needing copyediting to LoCE which is then required to prioritize them) but I don't see a good process for our current situation. The result is that editors who can get prose to a sufficiently high level have an advantage at FAC over those who find their prose standards aren't up to those of the FAC reviewers. Is there a wiki-process way to fix this? Mike Christie (talk) 13:24, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Listing examples of bad prose (and then relating them to general problems) is also a "teach a man to fish" problem. Telling people how they can improve their prose now and in the future is better than fixing it for them, in my opinion. CloudNine 14:25, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes, there is a way to fix this. Encourage editors to find copyeditors before they come to FAC, as Tony's prose exercises do. Of course editors who can either do it themselves, or had someone else run through, have an advantage. FAs are supposed to be compelling and brilliant — that's the point, isn't it? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:32, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
Isn't the best place to find copyeditors at the LoCE? Or should I have to pester individual editors and bribe them with barnstars? Epbr123 14:39, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps I haven't made myself clear enough :-) NO, LoCe is not the best place to find copyeditors. You might get lucky and someone there might take an interest in your topic, but in your case, it doesn't seem to be happening. The Project had a lot of steam when it first started out, but that died out when Gzkn left, and LoCE hasn't kept pace. A big problem at LoCE is that articles show up there that have far bigger problems than prose, so copyeditors there may be wasting their time working on articles that are uncited, full of original research, or outright copyright violations. Whether your article will get attention there is random, and has a lot to do with whether someone is interested in your topic. You would be better served to find your own resources (read User:Tony1/How to satisfy Criterion 1a), especially since you're looking to have up to five articles copyedited. You need collaborators — sorry you think of it as bribery, but if you can't ce yourself (as I can't), you need to have people you work with (as I do). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:47, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
This is related to the process problem I mentioned earlier, and which I still think exists. One can visualize a flowchart for articles:
  • A: Does it have bigger problems than prose? If yes, work on those problems; if no, go to B.
  • B: Does it have copyedit problems? If yes, go to C, if no, it passes (at whatever level is being considered, FA, GA, etc.)
  • C: Can you copyedit satisfactorily yourself? If so, do it and go to B; else go to D.
  • D: . . . and this is where the gap is.
If we have a limited pool of copyediting resources, I suggest they should prioritze articles that only need copyediting, and should coordinate with other processes intended to improve articles, such as GAC and FAC. Under the LoCE approach, there is no filter. There is a FAC/FAR list but it doesn't guarantee prioritization; and even then there is no guarantee that an article on that list doesn't have other problems, as you say. I don't know how to fix this problem but I think it's real and will continue to hinder editors until we figure out a better way to deal with it. Mike Christie (talk) 15:32, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately, I've found the best way to do it is have two or three trusted people who are willing to pitch in when ready and able to do so. FA-level copyediting, while useful, is hardly as important as copyediting a B-class or start-class article anyway, since the majority of articles that get to this stage are in excellent shape and are more than readable and useful to the reader. So I dunno what the answer is, but I'm just glad I have a number of people I can turn to. --badlydrawnjeff talk 15:43, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
The single most effective means of garnering copyedit help is (and probably always will be) contacting users directly on their talk pages. People are more likely to respond to personalized requests and less likely to let a copyedit promise slide. The LoCE has removed their members list for some reason, but you can find 150 names in the history. Quite likely, some of those 150 are actually no good at copyediting, so check the mainspace edits of the person you're asking. In project resources on WP:1FAPQ we have four names; another 40 would be nice. Marskell 15:52, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
I used to try to keep the FAC/FAR list updated at LoCE, until I found I was the only one doing it, and it wasn't helping. I was keeping them apprised of which noms *only* needed copyediting (hence, were worthy of priority attention), and moving old requests out of the list. LoCE just doesn't have anyone regularly doing those two things, the list often means nothing (including articles which aren't FAC/FAR, have already been promoted or demoted, or have needs beyond ce), so I finally decided my efforts were wasted and stopped maintaining there. LoCE worked well when Gzkn was shepharding it; if someone would begin to tend and shephard this work, maybe it would take off again ? The FAC/FAR list at LoCE should be only current noms which have satisfied all other issues. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:03, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps as a project the LoCE should be scrapped in favour of a list of names? Add your name, areas of interest, and perhaps post an example of something you've edited. Marskell 16:10, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
Sounds like a good idea in my opinion. At present, the LoCE is misleading in that some feel they'll come along and definitely copyedit your FAC so to speak (a problem of course). LuciferMorgan 19:36, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
Reviewing the situation, I'm thinking also it should be scrapped in favor of a list of editors. Why have boatloads of subpar articles appeared at FAC lately, increasing the review burden here? Is it only because of the overload at Peer Review and GAC, or is it because nominators think (even though it's not working that way at LoCE, as they really aren't getting to articles) that's the way to jump the copyedit line at LoCE, and get help with their articles? I'm suspecting that some of the SNOWBALL oppose cases here may be fed by the mistaken notion that a FAC nom will get a FAC/FAR copyedit at LoCE, and is faster than going through PR or GAC. If the FAC overload gives us less time to devote to prepared candidates, LoCE is part of the problem rather than part of the solution. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:39, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
I like the list of names idea as it's smarter - eg. if a copyeditor says their main area is music for example, you can then contact them and they'd have more enthusiasm for the article. I'd say it's mainly PR that's the problem though, because some inexperienced editors wish to improve their article but do not know how to do so. With PR it's a roll of the dice - sometimes you get a load of feedback, sometimes you don't get any. GAC, again, is another reason why. Sometimes subpar GAs get passed, leaving the GA nominator think; well if it passed GA, what's stopping it pass FA? Of course when they nominate, they discover it's a whole different world. Really, we need a system where inexperienced FACers are successfully coached with the skills and resources to raise their article's standard. On a final note, can I please ask FAC reviewers not to recommend someone list their article at LoCE? It gives the nominator a false impression that the LoCE will come along and save the day, so they sit back and wait for them to come along, only for their article to be failed before anyone gets round to the task. LuciferMorgan 03:15, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Eats, shoots and leaves

Wow, I think I have a simple comment which is probably covered already but if an editor is prepared to push more than one FA through at a time then cool. If the same editor persists and the FA noms are continually rejected then maybe a suggestion to the editor would be fine. As an experiment I've been watching new entries at WP:FAC and reviewed all of the five new articles added in three days. Ultimately the consensus will drive positive FA results where necessary, any attention to articles near GA/FA is always a good thing regardless. So, in conclusion, I'm advocating anyone who feels positive about promoting any article. WP:FAC lacks reviewers. I'm off to Cuba. The Rambling Man 22:25, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Users can have more than one article on FAC and have them pass. Ask Hink, for example. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 20:46, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
True, just depends on who the editor is, but Hink's an exception to the rule to be fair. LuciferMorgan 23:01, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
As I said above, I can think of several who can do it, and have demonstrated they can. But we have an instruction for those who can't or haven't demonstrated they can. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:15, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

I've just reverted epbr's sixth FAC nom at once, as it appears pointy to make a sixth nom as discussion is ongoing about five noms. If we are going to allow six unresolved noms (several that need copyediting), then let's just remove the instruction asking for one nom at a time. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:15, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Do you realise I can just get one of the article's other editors to nominate it? Further proof that the one nom rule is pointless. Epbr123 23:48, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
If the articles have other editors, perhaps they'll help with the copyediting, wikilinking, and other needs instead of nominating more articles? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:53, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
How old are you? Epbr123 00:56, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Why does that matter? Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 00:57, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
I need to know if I should make allowances. Epbr123 00:59, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

I quit. The sad bastard is now opposing all my facs. Nice POINT. Bye forever. Epbr123 01:07, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Had you nommed them one at a time, you could have prevented having the same issues in all five, by learning from the first. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:39, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Hmm SandyGeorgia does have a point - I've learnt a lot from my two FACs and learnt a lot in nurturing future ones also. The editor has removed all their FACs linked to the main FAC page from the page - what happens now? Does someone reinsert them, do they get failed, or something else? Just curious. And another point I have is this; for using the word "b******" in response to another editor, isn't an admin going to issue a WP:CIVIL warning on the editor's page or something? I wasn't aware such words are allowed on Wikipedia talk pages... LuciferMorgan 02:36, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
You must be kidding ... Perhaps you've forgotten the time another editor told me to fuck off in full view of numerous admins and several members of the arbcom :-) Really, let's not go there. It's not necessary. Anyway, this is another problem with five noms at once. One at a time, he could have learned. Five at a time means there were five for me to review on my Sunday night review, and they all had the same issues. Waste of his time and mine. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:44, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
I would've got blocked though if I'd said that, but as you said let's not go there... As concerns the nominator, I feel your judgment is correct. We need some sort of like "expertise" list though in a way - for example, I'm alright at reviewing music articles and I feel I could help FAC etc. in reviewing music articles. Others have other areas they're good at, so it'd be wise using this to Wikipedia's advantage. LuciferMorgan 03:23, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Heck, I don't even mind being called a bastard; I just wish he hadn't asked how old I am :-) Now that's an insult. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:31, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

SandyGeorgia, I've decided to come back as I'm not going to let you drive away a good editor just so you can attempt to prove a point. I will start fixing the couple of typos you pointed out in each of your extensive reviews of my FACs. LuciferMorgan, you can remove your oppose to Herne Bay as User:Tony1's concerns have been met. Was that really a valid reason to oppose anyway? Epbr123 10:08, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Personally, I don't mind Epbr123 submitting as many noms as he feels he can handle. It's in his interest to keep it down to a sensible number. He appears to have the time to handle concerns (see the Herne Bay FAC, where he addressed all my concerns pretty quickly), and he's actually submitting pretty good articles (although some would have been more suited to a peer review beforehand). CloudNine 10:44, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
This is a reviewer workload problem. As Epbr should be noticing from his reviews, a handful of people do the vast majority of the reviewing. It's thankless—you help somebody else get the little star but you don't get one of your own. If 10% of the reviews on a page are from one person, then that person is increasing the workload for others and ensuring other reviews on the page get less attention. Thus, it's not just in his interest to limit it to a sensible number but in the interest of FAC itself. One at a time need not be a hard rule and we don't want to hold up improvements for procedural reasons, but six is simply too many. I'd suggest a rule to the effect "do not add a second review until concerns in a first have been substantially addressed."
On a last note, asking someone how old they are is both creepy and rude. If Epbr wants to get beyond this he might apologize and return to commenting on content. There are nuts-and-bolts issues in the nominations that need to be addressed, and thus lessons he might learn to apply to future work. Marskell 11:03, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Whatever. Epbr123 11:06, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Hmm. So what should we be making allowances for here: Sandy's age or your immaturity? Marskell 11:13, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Whatever. Epbr123 11:14, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
It would appear the latter. Marskell 11:15, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Whatever, hypocrite. Your concerns with the Birchington article have been addressed. Review please. Epbr123 11:18, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Coupling an insult with a demand for further review doesn't seem likely to garner a constructive response, does it? Khalas, as the Arabs say. I won't be returning to the reviews, but good luck with them. Marskell 12:55, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I thought you'd opposed. Feel free to not return to them. I don't need luck.Epbr123 12:56, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Actually, you still need to remove your oppose from Sale, Greater Manchester. Epbr123 15:48, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
If it wasn't clear, I'm not going to return to your reviews because I don't want to interact with you. Marskell 22:29, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Oh right. It might be best to remove the oppose though or people might think you're being vindictive. Epbr123 23:24, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Sorry? You ain't sorry, so don't patronize us. You are lucky - you called an admin a "hypocrite", and you could've been blocked for that, not to mention for calling Sandy a "sad b******". Epbr123 irrational behaviour here and at FAC is disrupting FAC, and I wish to know much longer it will be tolerated by others. LuciferMorgan 15:34, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry to have made you upset and I'm sorry if I have caused any disruption. Do you think you could get round to re-evaluating your FAC oppose comments, please? Epbr123 15:40, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
I will do so indeed. I'm saying this nicely, and as a person who has been blocked twice for incivility (ie. I know when the boundary has been pushed or not). I'll take a look at my oppose comments, but if I keep them it is because I feel my opposes are actionable. I would recommend though that for all the book sources you've used to use specific page numbers - the 1c criteria says "Claims are supported with specific evidence and external citations", and I would argue that not having page numbers fails to be specific. As concerns Sandy, she isn't trying to make a point - she comments at more FACs and FARs than anyone I know, and I certainly don't relish the Wiki work she undertakes. Even if you feel she is making a point (which she isn't), all you have to do is address her concerns really. Nobody can oppose without concerns, but Sandy has expressed concerns. LuciferMorgan 17:26, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
I am unable to provide page numbers for most of the book refs as they were found years ago by other editors. I get all my research from the internet. Epbr123 17:51, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Oh right. Hmm I'm honestly unsure what to do in this instance, but please mention this at all the FACs so reviewers are aware of this when requesting page numbers. LuciferMorgan 22:14, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Epbr, as to maturity, please don't be removing and reinstating noms at whim; last night, I updated three or four different pages to reflect your withdrawn work, and those will now need to be changed. You can make personal comments calling me young, old, bastard, whatever, but please refrain from accusing me of making a point in my reviews, as that addresses my *work* here and it's not how I work; I review many articles all the time, often in one sitting on the weekend, and all of your articles have the same issues. Adding a sixth nom when people have objected to five, on the other hand, does seem pointy. Please don't just "fix a couple of typos"; comments are samples of problems throughout. And, just a note, I will be traveling this week with limited and very slow internet access, so please allow time for me to strike objects if I'm not immediately around. Next I shall go see what other changes I need to make to reflect your reinstated noms. I'm sorry to see some of the characterizations you've made throughout this discussion (which is really a discussion of how to solve some bottleneck issues at FAC), but glad to see you've decided to continue working to produce featured content.SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:29, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

OK, I corrected everything to reflect your reinstated noms except LoCE; do you want to re-add your articles there? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:36, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes, please. You have been extremely offensive about my work and I still believe you are trying to make a point. Epbr123 12:41, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Reinstated at LoCE; I believe that should be everything now. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:46, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
By the way, your problems with my articles have been fixed. Epbr123 13:03, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
I will revisit them before I travel, but not right this minute. Thanks to this extra work, I haven't yet made it through my watchlist this morning :-) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:32, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

FAC instructions

I added Marskell's suggested wording to Template:FAC-instructions ("do not add a second review until concerns in a first have been substantially addressed"); pls review. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:39, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Being that all noms start off without any opposes, that wouldn't prevent people starting multiple noms at the same time. Epbr123 13:50, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Well, I think it's clear what Sandy/Marskell meant, but how about this wording: "Please do not add a second review until the first nomination has gained some support and there are no significant remaining concerns"? Mike Christie (talk) 13:53, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Now it's " Do not add a second nomination until the first has gained support and concerns have been substantially addressed, as this may make it difficult to do justice to each. " SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:13, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Noms in multiple places

I run through every new nomination at FAC (daily when I can) to make sure everything is in place on the article talk page for the eventual GimmeBot conversion to {{ArticleHistory}} (anyone want to take over that task while I'm traveling next week)? This includes making sure the fac template is at the the top of the page (many nominators forget to add it), oldid is identified in the GA template (if you have Dr pda's articlehistory script, this is easy), everything in Dr pda's articlehistory script is on the talk page, dyk is added to the template, peer reviews are archived, and old facfaileds are correctly dealt with, archived and listed on the new fac (they almost never are, except for those since about Feb, when GimmeBot started up).

I am seeing something way too often that we may need to address in our instructions (I may be the only one seeing this, since I'm the one running through the talk pages of the noms). Too many times, an article is listed at peer review, GAC and FAC all at the same time. (Yes, the workload issues are a concern to me — we have scarce resources working on one article in three places at a time, and only a few people doing the archiving, correcting the talk pages, etc.) Can we add something to our instructions specifically saying not to submit here if you are currently at peer review or GAC? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:15, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

What do you do if you nominate an article for FAC, and then someone requests that a peer review be done during the FAC? That happenned during the surface weather analysis FAC, and it seemed to work out fine. Different people were involved in the FAC and peer review. Thegreatdr 13:20, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
In that case, you have two choices: withdraw the nom, so that you can go to peer review instead, or stick it out and hope you can address all the issues here, even though they are substantial. Personally, I don't recommend peer review unless the article seems so unprepared for FAC that it doesn't seem like it can get there from here. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:34, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Sandy - peer review already has an instruction saying to remove the PR if the article's at FAC. It should be added indeed per Sandy's reasoning. LuciferMorgan 15:39, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Ditto..cheers, Cas Liber | talk | contribs 20:01, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Encouraging more reviewers

Would there be any value in having a list of prolific contributors to FAC, as a sort of recognition of service? I'm thinking of a parallel to Wikipedia:List of Wikipedians by featured article nominations, which is semi-automatically maintained. It would be possible for a bot to scan all featured article nominations and count contributions. I'm not familiar with how FAC worked in the past, but bringing it up to date would be a one-off problem anyway. Thereafter it would only require a daily or weekly update to scan all the FAC noms and increment the counts. I suppose people could game this with short, pointless comments, but I don't think anyone would bother. And if there's a chance it would increase real participation, then it's worth the risk. Comments? Mike Christie (talk) 19:15, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

game for this idea.(disclaimer: selfish motives as i toiled hard over the last couple of weeks in FAC and FLC) Kalyan 19:23, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
I like the idea. Not only will it display volunteer work and encourage some sort of friendly competition to boost feedback, but it will help FA writers to locate those who focus on certain topics (such as fictional, location, animal, etc) or common problems (such as prose, references, etc). — Deckiller 19:28, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
The problem is determining how to make it useful and accurate. — Deckiller 19:28, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
I don't think that is needed or would be productive. It would be a bad example of editcountitis (and bound to be skewed towards me because my eyesight requires me to change my comments often, and it takes me three posts to say what some can say in one, because my prose sucks). IMO, it's more important to look at causes of the bottleneck. I'll try to give an example. Marskell's Cougar came to FAC prepared. That is the kind of article it would be nice to read, help fine tune, give input on ... really work to help achieve Wiki's finest. Instead, to his one prepared FAC, there are dozens of articles that come to FAC unprepared, taking LOTS of time to review or comment on fundamental things that should have been addressed at peer review or GAC. Each one of these noms also carries "overhead" to administer (see thread above). The unprepared articles chew up a lot of time, and the well-prepared articles may get less and less attention. I spend many hours reviewing and providing feedback on articles that have basic, peer review type problems, and lodge a lot of Opposes. But I rarely get to lodge a Support, because to Support Cougar means I need time to read it "cover to cover". In other words, the better articles get shortshift, as so much time is taken up doing basic work that could be handled at peer review. IMO, that's the bottleneck, and acknowledging contributions won't address that problem. I haven't thought through how to solve this problem, but faster removal of the Snowball Opposes might help (so we'd have more time to focus on the prepared FACs and discouarge some of the driveby noms), and some means of strengthening peer review. How about implementing something similar to your proposal at peer review, to get the fundamental issues addressed there ? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:38, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm actually rather surprised that my template hasn't really helped. Perhaps one (very minor) solution is to spread that template, along with the FAR urgents, by suggesting that users place it on their user/user talk pages. I also agree that faster removal of snowball opposes is a good idea. Perhaps we should also enforce a "one FAC nomination per week" rule. — Deckiller 19:43, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Few editors have linked to those templates (either FAC or FAR). I don't need the template, because I sit down once or twice a week, start at the bottom of the list (oldest) and go through all of them. One problem with proliferating the template would be getting ... you know the type ... commentary that doesn't have anything to do with WP:WIAFA (invalid opposes and "I like it" support). I still think the key is to figure out how to strengthen peer review, so we can focus here on finetuning and not have to do so much basic review. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:48, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Maybe more of the basics problems should be sorted out at GA reviews. Or maybe the FAC page could have a link to a list of common problems found with FAC articles. Epbr123 19:57, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
GAC recently had a rework of the criteria that has helped, I think. I see no reason why the proposal above could not be duplicated at PR and GAC, though. GAC would present a few problems because of the way the page works, but it might be possible to get a reasonably close number. PR works like FAC so it should be easier.
Sandy, I agree that strengthening articles before they get here is best, but is there any objection to encouraging reviewers in all three places? Mike Christie (talk) 20:12, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
(After 3 edit conflicts, and three frozen screens where I lost it all ... now where was I?  :-) On common problems, others have suggested that, but it would amount to repeating WP:MOS and WP:WIAFA, since the common problems are 1a, 1c and all of 2. On GA, I see it as part of the problem, not part of the solution. Since anyone can confer GA, it means nothing, and often editors come here within hours or days of passing GA, not recognizing that GA does not an FA make. Encouraging reviewers in all 3 places? I'd hate to see any sort of editcountitis rewarded here, as we may get useless commentary as a result. But I do think rewarding input at peer review might help, and is really needed. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:16, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm not convinced that it would hurt here (or at GAC), but it does seem that there's a consensus that it could help at PR. I'll drop a note over there and link to it from here and see what people think; if there's support, I'll post a note to WP:BOTREQ. Mike Christie (talk) 20:24, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
OK, I posted this note at PR. Mike Christie (talk) 20:31, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
On Mike's initial idea, it would skew to Sandy at the moment (who needs to be cloned, with the clones then implanted with different skill sets—ha!), but if it were counting sigs rather than edits it wouldn't skew to people who do three minors to correct their own typos. So I think it's a good idea. It could be a really useful tool for people to know who to ping. (Or maybe it would just overload those reviewers further?). Marskell 21:56, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
oh, thanks, you put out that list, and what happens to my talk page (YIKES)!!! (I even get requests to copyedit, and have to tell people I Can't Do That :-) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:11, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Maybe it might be worthwhile to encourage people who have nominated FACs and successfully got them promoted to do more reviewing, the reason being two-fold: first, their article being promoted was thanks to the work of reviewers in the first place, so they should give something back; second, people who have written sucessful articles are likely to be good writers and have good eyes for what's good writing and what's not. This may tackle the problem of not having enough reviewers and improves the quality of reviews. SeleneFN 03:08, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

I don't think we can make them come back, and there's no shortage of people reviewing for 1a. The problem is a shortage of people reviewing for 1b, 1c, 2, and 3. Everyone likes to comment on the prose, and I come along a week later, and find they were commenting on and Supported prose that is based on non-reliable sources. There's several of those up now. Checking for reliability of sources — and a spot check that sources actually support the text — is time consuming and tedious. That is the work that isn't getting done, as well as the tedious, boring comments about the MOS issues that are wrong. If it were just about reading the article and commenting on the prose, I don't think we'd have a problem, and if others were checking 1c and 2, I'd get to read and Support some nice prose every now and then, too. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 05:50, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
I'd have to agree that the content comprehensiveness is the main problem and sometimes POV content balance, as almost anybody can tell with language issues (at least basic ones), since it is topic knowledge independent, whereas with the content, only a small group of people in that realm will be able to comment. Adam Gilchrist was sailing through until I noted some notable events which were not covered. And some factually uncited stuff is slipping through. I can think of a few FACs that were crusing despite having some paragraphs with no cites; they were added midway through but could easily have snuck through. Blnguyen (cranky admin anniversary) 06:03, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

"... there's no shortage of people reviewing for 1a. The problem is a shortage of people reviewing for 1b, 1c, 2, and 3"

I really couldn't agree more. It's very easy to snipe at someone else's prose, but it takes a bit more work to challenge the facts. --Malleus Fatuarum 00:05, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Sections within FAC pages

Moved from Wikipedia talk:Featured article criteria

Does anyone else object to the increasing segmentation by nominators of the pages in this room? I find it irritating to have to wonder whether to place my comment half-way through, at the end of the first segement, or right at the bottom, where it might not be read.

There's also my suspicion that some nominators have used sectioning to cordon off debates they don't like.

I see nothing wrong with banning the practice. Tony 10:58, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

I hate them, agree with you, and IIRC, Raul has removed some before. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:50, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes, subsectioning causes me irritation when I go to do the promotions. I don't think an absolute prohibition is necessary, but I would like to see the practice strongly discouraged unless there's an obvious need. Raul654 01:59, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
So Raul, is this better: "The splitting of FAC pages into subsections is strongy discouraged unless there are compelling reasons for doing so"? But then, who wants to get into a debate with wilful nominators about what compelling reasons are. Tony 04:27, 30 May 2007 (UTC)


Comment by Cas Liber

Sometimes helpful if the discussion is a really long one..cheers, Cas Liber | talk | contribs 12:59, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes, this proves my point precisely: I don't want my comment to fall under this subheading, so you're making me locate a precise position somewhere in the middle of the section, and to carriage-return a few times to fit it in. Really long discussions still take up just as much room when segemented into subsections (more, indeed). I'd still rather have a continuous page; it makes for a simpler structure and prevents attempts to fence off information in ways that suit the nominator. The other thing I'd love to ban is those ugly, humungous green ticks, but that might be going too far ... Tony 14:20, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
MY gosh, yes ! I think this tradition of separating comments with a section heading got started at peer review. It makes sense there because one reviewer enters comments, yet there's no need to come back and strike, etcetera, as there is here. It doesn't work here, and those green tick marks are awful as well. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:25, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
You have my adamant support for getting rid of this practice, which is particularly annoying when the user puts a fancy sig or links in the section header. I've found ---- to be perfectly acceptable for separating comments. Pagrashtak 18:32, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Personally, I only find a problem when it causes the FAC table of contents to become even longer, and that can be dealt with {{TOClimit}}. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 04:30, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
(I was having a bit of a laugh :) )cheers, Cas Liber | talk | contribs 05:12, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Quality Control

I was wondering if it would be better to only allow good articles to be nominated. this would reduce FA nominations that need GA critiques, and reduce clutter on the FA nomination page. Oldag07 15:27, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

That moves the clutter to the GAC page, which is already weighed down with nominations (though if everyone took the time to review one article, it would be reduced dramatically). CloudNine 15:32, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
No; GA process is seriously flawed. Furthermore, it's undesirable to have a "process ladder" increase the amount of effort needed to promote articles that are FA class. Christopher Parham (talk) 16:11, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Not necessary. Some articles can be created and be immediately eligible for FA status: see Effects of Hurricane Isabel in Maryland and Washington, D.C., which was created on 2007-01-24, and featured on 2007-02-03. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 19:44, 30 May 2007 (UTC)


What if there was some sort of initial FAC "holding bay" for new nominations. Similar to FARs before it gets to the FARC stage. Off the top of my head I can think of two goals for this:
  1. A place to identify and remove Snowball articles before they clog up FAC proper.
  2. A place for each article to have an automatic or semi-automatic script run against them to identify common problems, a good candidate is AndyZ's automated peer reviewer or a modified version. This would at least begin to look at problems mentioned here such as copyediting (such as identifying weasel words) and identifying the absence of cites in sections. If there are many problems or if they are not being fixed by the nominator then the article does not move on the FAC list.
This also would have the added benefit of each article being 'noticed' and not being buried in amongst other FACs. -- CheekyMonkey 22:51, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
AndyZ's peer reviewer script doesn't work on longer articles (at least not for me), so a different script would have to be developed or his would have to be tweaked. I'm not sure I like the holding-bay idea; it adds another step to a process that a lot of folks already see as overly bureaucratic. — Brian (talk) 01:02, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree that adding another step is far from ideal, it would only be worth it if the benefits of removing time-consuming activities (objecting to articles nowhere near FA standard, examining MoS issues etc) out-weighed the inconvenience of having such an area. CheekyMonkey 11:12, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
To make the comparison with something I am familiar with, when you submit a paper to a journal, it only gets sent out to peer-review if it meets the minimum standards of the journal, as assessed by the journal editor. TimVickers 15:29, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
I would strongly support this. I see articles here on occasion that are neither GA quality, nor have been through even one peer review, almost guaranteeing that they haven't been through sufficient examination by numerous parties. I think a prerequisite of a GA status is very reasonable. How would we go about implementing such a policy?--Esprit15d (talk ¤ contribs) 18:51, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
Gotta say I disagree. This adds a layer of bureaucracy to something that doesn't need it. I personally improved an article from a stub to Featured Article in one full step on the first try. People should be allowed to do this. Maybe a compromise can be reached by adding a "speedy declined nomination" section or something like that. Articles that are 2-3 sentences long or with no sources should obviously be removed from the list post-haste. Thoughts? BQZip01 talk 03:13, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Rudolph Cartier

The nomination for this article has been up for nearly two weeks now and attracted only two votes. Both supports, mind, but hardly enough to qualify it for promotion I'd have thought. Does anybody have the time to give it a look? I appreciate it's on a fairly niche topic, and I'm not trying to trawl for support votes, but I'd like to feel that if it doesn't make it it would have at least have had a fair review, rather than failed through apathy. Angmering 22:04, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Berlin

Starting the Berlin FA candidate request the new entry didn´t evolved properly. Any suggestions? Lear 21 12:58, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

You have to click "edit" since the {{fac}} template leads to a blanked page by default. Resurgent insurgent 13:19, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Reserve featured article director

Who would act as featured article director if one of the following happened?

  • Raul resigns
  • Raul goes on holiday
  • Raul is too busy with real life
  • Raul gets into an accident and is hospitalised
  • Raul decides not to rule on a certain FAC due to a real or perceived conflict of interest

I have nothing against Raul - I think he's doing a good job.

--Kaypoh 07:42, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

  • Chaos. DrKiernan 07:59, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
    • We'd appoint another one in most of those cases I suspect. No need to have any reserves here. Raul does go on holiday and the FAC process does survive. CloudNine 09:31, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
      • I believe that's one of the signs of the Apocalypse... Seriously, we'd just appoint someone else. BQZip01 talk 03:14, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
        • Maybe Raul should decide on somebody who will be the featured article director if something happens to him. --Kaypoh 04:40, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
          • It's not his position to appoint someone. That should be done by wikipedia as a whole. BQZip01 talk 05:05, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
            • Who chose Raul? Jimbo? The community? --Kaypoh 07:18, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
              • There was a poll to confirm his role, I don't believe anyone else was particularly interested in the job at the time, however. Christopher Parham (talk) 15:30, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Could everyone be a bit nicer?

I have mentioned the unpleasantness of some reviewers in previous posts, but I'm starting to get quite concerned that virtually all of my friends who have submitted FACs, most of which were subsequently promoted, have decided they don't want to submit any more because of the harshness of their reviewers.

Seriously, I'd like to ask everyone who reviews FACs to really consider how their edits will be taken. "Oppose: This article is nowhere near FA standard" is not only extremely unhelpful to the candidacy, it's guaranteed to piss off the poor editor who wrote the article. Similarly, referring to "crap" citation, or suggesting the editor has poor english, really doesn't achieve anything other than ruffle feathers. Please, everyone, consider your language, suggest or request things rather than order, and please be nice. We need more FA writers, and the ordeal people are going through at the moment is putting a lot of them off. DevAlt 17:14, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Agree, this same thing happens over at FPC. I took to straight up redacting anything that was inappropraite. -Ravedave 17:40, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree as well. I'd also like to see a very quick end to the practice of "snowball" opposing. Raul654 18:02, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
I can see how people would be put off by FAC. The only thing reviewers find annoying though is when an article is nominated which is only at start class, and I can see why they'd get annoted and vote "snowball" oppose. If ever someone votes "Oppose: This article is nowhere near FA standard", then by my understanding of the criteria it would be deemed inactionable and invalid since they haven't specified their concerns. I hope your FAC friends change their minds and come back by the way. LuciferMorgan 01:06, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
I know of a prolific article writer over in WT:MILHIST who takes his articles up to A-class review, but doesn't submit them for FAC (that I've seen). I haven't asked him, but I assume it's because he doesn't want to deal with the stress of the FAC process. If we see someone make an unduly harsh or inappropriate comment in an FAC review, I think we should remind that editor, either below their comment or on their talk page, to watch their tone and language. CLA 01:17, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Pointy opposes need to be cut down as well. Epbr123 01:23, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree Epbr - I earned a pointy oppose in one of my recent FACs, and that was a waste of Wikipedia's time. LuciferMorgan 15:36, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Yeah. Its pathetic, isn't it. Epbr123 19:21, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Yep, but we all have to persevere. LuciferMorgan 19:52, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Mine too. Somebody had a personal problem with an editor who worked with me, and chose to take it out in his FAC review. - Merzbow 01:52, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

I currently have an article up for FA, and the first few comments were very...negative. If a person is going to trash an article, then they should give some reasons. It's unseemly that for those of us who pour a lot of work into research and writing should then be dealt harsh condemnations. We're all here to improve Wikipedia, not deal each other blows. It's unproductive and discouraging. --David Shankbone 15:54, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

I do agree; some reviews are a lot more helpful than others. I'm not a fan of the 'it's far from FA standard, nominate for GA first'-type comments. If a clear, concise list of objections or comments are given, there's no reason a hard-working nominator (like yourself :)) could address them. Of course, there are some articles that need months of work, but I don't think they come by as often as people think. CloudNine 16:24, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
I love honest criticism/recommendations... but I too have little to no interest in bringing an article back to FAC... too many people attack the authors/subject, without providing meaningful insight on the articles themselve... there are exceptions (mainly people like Sandy who have been fixtures here) but they are just that, exceptions.Balloonman 17:30, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
That's the trouble. Balloonman, you produce brilliant articles (Military brat (U.S. subculture) was extremely informative), so it's a shame editors like yourself are staying away from the process. I'll try to keep an eye out for the kind of negative criticism you mention. I've had five articles that have gone to FAC and passed, and I've rarely received negative reviews. CloudNine 17:40, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
I have never have any negative experiences at FAC either (four articles passed), although I do sympathise with those who feel otherwise. MLilburne 18:41, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Some people are a bit oversensitive, I feel. I just address the substantive points and ignore anything unpleasant or irrelevant: that's basic assertiveness and it works for me. But it's easy for me to speak because I've got a hide like a rhinoceros; people do get upset and discouraged by harsh comments, and so I very much agree that everyone should be as nice as possible. Jimmy Wales has tried to make that a part of Wikipedia philosophy from the beginning, and however slushy it must seem to some people, there's a lot of sense in it. qp10qp 04:04, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
Maybe I have thicker skin? My first attempt (The Reputation) failed, and I understood why, my second (Kroger Babb) passed after about 60kb of back-and-forth. So what did I do for my next one (The Turk)? Simply prepared more ahead of time, and I think it eventually promoted in less than a week. I dunno. --badlydrawnjeff talk 02:20, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps there are two seperate problems here. The first is that there are often FAC noms which are vastly premature and/or made by less experienced users who are unprepared for the full scope of a review and thus can't keep pace editing-wise when it comes to addressing the concerns. To a certain extent they are never going to dissipate, and many will go on to successful FA status either by quickly catching on or going back to the drawing board until they do finally hammer out an FA-quality article. And therefore, there's little that can or should be changed for that problem.
The other problem is reviewer civility. And even though there is both wiki-wide policy to address that as well as FAC guidelines that state that votes must have substance and be actionable, this continues. Which is not acceptable and should be addressed as stringently as possible. It should be remembered that good-faith noms, no matter how unlikely they may seem, are still good-faith and should be respected as a right any editor has. Uncivil, rude, or bad-faith reviewing is not a right and is actionable. What action, I'm not certain. Girolamo Savonarola 11:37, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm not certain either, Girolamo. So, if qp10qp and Jeff are quite done boasting about their thick skins...  :-P , I'm ready to admit I'm one of those oversensitive, thinskinned people. But there remains a logical problem: see, after I'd very cheerfully nominated seven articles on FAC and had them featured, I found the eighth process so abrasive that it's left me with zero inclination for any number nine. How likely is it that I suddenly got a lot more oversensitive after those happily constructive previous FACs? I don't think it's likely at all, I think it's the process that's gotten more unpleasant. I'm not surprised it gets to other possible or former nominators, per above. To them, I say: writing good content is a service to the encyclopedia whether you nominate your work for the star or not. Just write. I don't know what to do about the present FAC culture, but if enough writers bypass FAC, maybe the community will actually do something about that culture. Bishonen | talk 13:07, 9 June 2007 (UTC).
Well, there's the article and then there's the review. But the review has no bearing on the article itself unless the nominator or another editor actually does anything to the article. So even if an FAC gets savaged, that in no way diminishes the quality of the work already done; one can always disregard the review. You may not get the star, but the point, as you say, is the work, not the star.
Another problem that I've been pondering about is the actual content of the FA articles. I have no doubt that everything was added in good faith to these articles, but it seems that the FAC is a poor screening process for actual review of what's inside the article. While reviewers may catch out inaccuracies, gaps, or other salient matters, the truth is that FAC largely is an intense form of copy editing. Now there's nothing wrong with that, but in the long run it may be more advisable that FA's be required to pass both an FAC-like process for general article standards, and a rigorous peer review coordinated by, say, relevant WikiProject editors who are better equipped to assess the content. I know this sounds like more bureaucracy, but as the WPs are starting to create their own PR systems, it shouldn't be too difficult. In any case, as soon as a Today's Featured Article shows up with major factual errors or something similar is covered in a major press publication, I'm certain momentum will emerge... Girolamo Savonarola 13:32, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
The first para of your second last nails one key problem, Girolamo. "There are often FAC noms which are vastly premature" indeed, and a page which pushes toward 80 noms and only has one decision-maker can't really pause too long over them. But because those noms almost always come from first-time, still newbish nominators the "Oppose clearly not ready" comments appear horribly abrupt when they aren't intended to be. I was hyperventilating on my first nom (which ultimately passed, but wouldn't today). But Jeff is right too—just remember it for next time. When I took my first cat to FAC, Peta and Sabine lit into me for not using enough research abstracts (followed by Kimvd, after the fact). When I took my second, every other ref was an abstract and the nom was vastly easier.
As for by-passing it, FAs are going up, not down, after a two-year flatline (Raul being more generous?). The WikiProject thing is interesting and may be pushing part of the uptick. The Dino wiki project is producing one every three weeks, and then there's MiltHist and our Tropical Cyclone aficionados. I almost wonder whether it wouldn't make more sense for a large Wiki project to internally declare something FA and have Raul rubber-stamp it; perhaps pass it to a professional for a read-over, as I believe the Dino people do. Marskell 13:56, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
This parallels comments made recently by some mathematics editors, at GA/R I think. There was a recent case of an article that was passed GA but which had technical issues and was only Start class per the Wikiproject. One suggestion in response was to completely separate the GA/FA hierarchy from the Stub/Start/B/A (SSBA) hierarchy; one would be for compliance, the other for completeness and accuracy. (I'm simplifying.) I don't think there are many subjects sufficiently technical for this to be warranted, but mathematics is clearly the most likely case.
I've had the benefit on the FACs I've been doing recently of getting some very useful input from historians expert enough to query me on sources and alternative interpretations. I'd say that's evidence that many FACs are getting the technical input they need, so there doesn't need to be any general policy change.
Suppose the mathematics WikiProject agreed to review the technical content of any mathematics article and pass it as A class, and also check that the technical citations met their standards (i.e. verifying that the content is truly covered in the citations). If they were willing to do that, then another way to implement Marskell's suggestion would be to say that any maths article that passes FAC with an A rating from the Maths WProject is an FA. If a maths article comes to FAC without an A rating, there are a couple of possibilities -- ask them to go through Maths WProject first, or pass it pending WProject approval. The benefit to FAC is that certain kinds of validation would be unnecessary, which should reduce workload. I would assume this approach could only be taken by mutual agreement between Raul and the WikiProjects involved; perhaps not every WikiProject is qualified to take this on. Mike Christie (talk) 15:32, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
... then another way to implement Marskell's suggestion would be to say that any maths article that passes FAC with an A rating from the Maths WProject is an FA ... ' Huh? Any article that passes FA without an A rating is also FA ? Confused about what you're proposing ... SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:36, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
Sorry if I wasn't clear. I meant that a maths FA would need both an A rating from the MWP, and a pass from FAC. The A rating ought to eliminate some fact-checking and technical verification at FAC, which should help workload; and the A rating would also increase confidence. The other thing I meant to say that may have been confusing is that it might not matter which was achieved first, so long as the article has no significant changes in the interim; you could pass FAC but not have an A rating, and hence not be FA; then if you get your A rating you can be rubber-stamped by Raul as FA if there have been no significant changes. This latter approach might not be workable in practice, but I didn't want to assume it wasn't. Does that make more sense? Mike Christie (talk) 15:45, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
OK, I think I'm following now, and I have problems with this proposal. An article cannot become FA based only on a Project review and a rubber stamp. I can think of three examples where this is problematic. 1) Math. With respect to Math, I acknowledge the longstanding issue between the Math Project and Good Articles over citation, but in my experience reviewing math articles, they typically have bigger issues with 1a than with 1c (prose and copyediting issues rather than citation issues). Having the Math project confer FA with just a rubber stamp and without broader community input wouldn't necessarily address the 1a issues. 2) MilHist. A Project which does an excellent job at peer review is MilHist. There is currently an article at FAC which passed MilHist as Class A, but based on a *very* scanty MilHist peer review, and I don't believe it should have passed their peer review as A-class. In some cases, an article just doesn't get a strong review, and those problems will be picked up at FAC. So, even Projects that have strong peer review processes can't guarantee that every article receives a strong review. I can see the reasoning in saying technical articles shouldn't come to FAC without an A-class review, but the A-class review cannot be used to rubberstamp FAC. All FAs should receive community-wide review, not rubberstamping by Project review. 3) Medicine. A third example are Medicine articles, where an A-class review process just isn't needed. It is not in the culture of the Medicine Projects to rubberstamp FA candidates (as is done by many other Projects, where support from Project members is almost automatic), and the FAC process is working fine on Medicine articles, without an internal review process. (For an example, see Coeliac disease, which took a long time to garner support, although it was nominated and mostly written by a highly-respected Medicine editor.) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:58, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I agree that an article can't become FA with an A review and a rubberstamp; I didn't intend to say that, so apparently I mis-spoke again. I meant to say that an A review might eliminate most of the needed technical review at FAC; as you say, there are still a lot of other things that FAC should look at, regardless of whether the article has received an A from its WProj. Your example of a MilHist article with an undeserved A review is a good one: I would think Raul would have to be convinced of a WProj's ability to accurately certify A class before he would agree to reducing the need for technical review at FAC. I gather WPDino is a better example -- I'm not familiar with their articles but they have an excellent reputation for getting the technical details right.
I also agree that where FAC is working fine on a technical area -- as with Medicine articles, in your example, or Anglo-Saxon history, to repeat the example I gave -- then there's no need for any such change. The suggestion I made would only add value in cases where there was (a) some clear problem in standard FAC providing sufficient technical review, and (b) a WProj which was agreed to be reliable in its awards of A class.
I should also add that I didn't mean it to be a formal "proposal", so much as a talking point -- it does seem there's a problem, though not yet a serious one, and this seemed the right place to speculate about possible solutions. Mike Christie (talk) 16:22, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
After edit conflict: OK, I also see your point about even a good WProj can't be trusted in every case. Is there another way to address the issue with specialized technical content, then? Mike Christie (talk) 16:22, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
Sorry 'bout all the edit conflicts; I kept changing my wording, aiming for clarity and to make sure we were understanding each other. Now that I'm pretty sure we're on the same page, I think MilHist provides the best model. When an article receives a solid peer review from the MilHist Project, it's usually a solid article. I always check their reviews, and on the rare occasion that their review was scanty, I look at the article much more closely. It does seem that a system like MilHist could benefit the Math articles. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:56, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
Good Lord! Mike Christie brings up the fact that people at FAC aren't necessarily reading, and certainly not engaging, the content of the nominated articles. As an example, he mentions a start class article, and what happens? Forms, forms, forms, and forms. Is it appropriate for a stub sort class start project poobah dippety doo to be classed on the ..... This is precisely what is useless about FAC. Read and understand, and then comment. Do not lay a sieve over things and look for forms to be filled out in process triplicate. Meanwhile, Bishonen (8 FA's) goes on Wikibreak because of the pathetic uselessness of this discussion, and everyone's just peachy with that. Before any of you say, "Good riddance," think about it: you claim to be fans of FA's, and yet you don't want FA authors. Something is seriously FUBAR about this. Geogre 18:48, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

Just to return to the point - what I'm suggesting is that, as WP peer review emerges for relevant articles, perhaps having the articles clear both the WP (looking mainly for content issues but certainly free to address generic guidelines) and FAC. No rubberstamping - the article still needs to go through all of the FAC process normally. Girolamo Savonarola 20:53, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

Girolamo, what do you think of my last at bottom of next thread? Marskell 20:58, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
Addressed. Girolamo Savonarola 21:46, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

Civility and the zeitgeist

Many editors have probably noticed all four of these, but for those who don't have all the pages on their watchlist, there have been conversations with a similar background at WT:GA/R, WT:GA, WT:FAC and WT:FAR in the last few days. I'm posting this note at all four places, to make the point that incivility (of various levels) and needlessly aggravating language is noticed and has a real impact. Here are some section links:

I don't have a prescription for this, but it doesn't seem coincidental to me that these threads are all going on at once. Mike Christie (talk) 02:38, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

As a stray thought, its usually that editors spend a lot of time sourcing, writing, and polishing their articles before bringing them here. The natural expectation then, at least on first nom, is gratitude for their effort from the community. Busy reviewers come along and make helpful suggestions to improve the articles, but they do so in a bulleted manner, and their comments are intreperated defensively rather than constructively. Thats very understandable, from both sides. PR is supposedly the filter, but is wholely understaffed. This is an early thought, but I suspect its the source of much of the negative perception on the FA process. And again, it comes down to resources. Ceoil 22:51, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
That would be assuming that we need "busy reviewers" rather than "careful reviewers" and that people in their "reviews" are concentrating on finding things wrong. It would also be assuming that anyone expects FAC to be "reasons why we cannot possibly let this go." There is such a hostility implicit in that attitude, and such superiority, that it can be rather noxious, and then, when the "reviewers" are wrong or absurd or irrational, it's going to be infuriating. Reviewers should respect the authors. For the negatives, offer positives. For each, "It cannot be," offer a normative value that would be good. If they're so "(heavy sigh)" busy, then they ought to hold their fingers and not offer exasperated lists of bullet points. Geogre 16:16, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
As I have been misunderstood, I posted the above from the perspective of an editor, and not a "reviewer". I was only describing why such a situation might arise, but I have to say I have never had a significantly bad experience; either on a FAC or FAR/C. Usually the regulars have been most thoughtful and constructive. The random odd fly by 'object' (and i really dislike the use of that term in FAC) is to be expected, that's life. But I just ignore them; usually there is little substance behind their words and people can see them for what they are, and there is no vote counting going on here. I limit my reviews to alt.rock articles, and the atmosphere there is generally very positive, and usually "reviewers" chip and help bring the nom over the line. Bty, I'm a bit miffed about the unqualified use of the words "hostility", "superiority", "wrong", "absurd", "irrational" "infuriating" in a follow up to a fairly innocent post. Ceoil 01:01, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
Agree with Geogre. It can easily feel like there is little in FAC which is constructive. I was quite miffed when my the first contribution to my first FA was an oppose on grounds which were total bullshit and would have been laughed out of a peer review at the wikiproject. This nearly wound me up enough to ignore the very helpful comments many other people made which helped get the article from nearly-FA status to FA status. The Land 18:06, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
Back in the seminary, someone put forth the proposition that you may petition the Lord with.... Actually, way back years and years ago, I was forced to take a pedagogy class. Most of what was told me then was of little use, but there was a way to comment on student papers that we all agreed was valid. It's the "compliment sandwich" approach: "Suzie, I really liked the way that you approached the subject of fashion accessories in literature. It's an interesting idea. However, you should probably have noticed that Hester Pryn doesn't choose to wear the big red A on her chest. Your grammar seriously interferes with my ability to understand what you're trying to say. Go back and re-read the section on the comma rule in Hacker. To do this well, you should clean up the sentences considerably and perhaps focus on how the lack of fashion becomes a fashion in Hawthorne's world." In other words, "what you tried to do appreciated, errors, mistakes, failures, goals to improve the situation." Granted, students instantly figure out the pattern and begin only reading the starts or middles of the end notes, and we ourselves grow so weary of the form that we can barely lift pen to paper, but the mental effort necessary in coming up with parts one and three improves all of us.
The biggest thing is that FA candidates do not come as supplicants to the mighty keepers of the seal. They are trying to find their peers (other writers, others engaged in the subject, others with an interest in the highest standards). What they actually meet, most of the time, is a group on a power trip. It's astonishing, when you know who some of these screen names really are, to see professors of law and NIH scientists being told that they do not make the cut for some pitiful formalist reasoning. Geogre 18:43, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
Geogre, I'm not sure if this is rhetorical zeal on your part, but "What they actually meet, most of the time, is a group on a power trip", is not universally true; it's not my own experience at FAC, for example. I think the real issue is not whether this is "most of the time", though; it should be "almost never" ("never" being perhaps too utopian). Though I've never run into problems, others seem to have done so; I'm not denying a problem exists, just suggesting that it may affect a smaller fraction of FAC discussions than you say.
That's by the way, though. The real problem I see is that remedies for incivility that involve notification that someone has been incivil are going to spark arguments in the same way incivility itself does. Anyone who took your comments above as applying to them is likely to be offended by being regarded as a "pitiful formalist" or by the implication they see themselves as "mighty keepers of the seal". It's not that no fault exists to be criticized, but once emotional language comes into play it's very hard to restrict discussion to the fault. Techniques like the "compliment sandwich" can be used when critiquing FAC participants too, after all.
Ultimately those techniques are useless unless necessary change is achieved, but the goal for that is consensus, and I think we get there more quickly when the temperature is low. Mike Christie (talk) 19:00, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
The people I intend by my comments are not going to miss the point, and if you have had good experiences at FAC, then that's good for you. My experiences have been universally bad since about the time Tony1 showed up and began to insist on a formal process and additional requirements that were unrelated in every way to the content of the articles. Several others have now pushed the boundaries farther with attempting to review every FAC, arguing that "inline cites" are footnotes, demanding citations for common knowledge, finding nonsensical or style-sheet variant "objections," etc. I was nice for a very long time. I cannot find anything to praise in their actions at FAC. Geogre 00:32, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
Wouldn't "professors of law and NIH scientists" find a "compliment sandwich" cloying in the extreme and prefer an abrupt list? And pitiful formalism isn't something alien to professional life—it originates in the professions. (Surely our math and science editors know that.) That said, I usually try some form good job-try this-good job in the few reviews I do.
In any case, to reply to Mike from the above thread here: a working group/checklist basis. The best of what MiltHist does is probably the best example. So, Geogre, let's say, is a member of the English Literature FA working group. There's a minimum of maybe six members but more than ten's probably a crowd. One of them or someone from outside brings an Eng. Lit. page to a sub-FAC page and all of them have to approve every broad category (prose, comprehensiveness, factual accuracy, and formatting). It can't be a closed process because it's Wiki—Lucifer Morgan would still be free to show up with a five word oppose—and good faith efforts to address anyone's concern would have to be put in. But the burden of decision would rest with the group. This would reduce drive-by !votes (support and oppose both). Not every project could rush off and do this, and a group sub-page would need to be approved by Raul or a poll or whatever. Marskell 19:41, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
Oh, Lord, no! Not more forms! Is it too much to ask that people at FAC review articles that they have an interest in or knowledge of? Can't people who work in cubicles resist throwing their corporate style sheets at articles and insisting that they are "professional copy editors" who must be obeyed? It's that "you must obey me" that is foolish. A compliment sandwich to a noted expert might be "cloying," but it would be infinitely better than, "Object! 2c not met! Hundreds of bad writing examples and no cites." At least, if reviewers had to be specific, had to engage with what the article was trying to do, had to note specific methods for advancement, they wouldn't be showing their ignorance as much. My bet is that many would have nothing to say, and that would be the greatest blessing.
I take part in no clubs, no projects. I write articles. I collaborate with people who have similar interests as those interests coincide, and I do not want a special hat. I don't want to have anyone wearing a funny hat tell me that my article has not met with the review group of Dreedle the High Elf, either.
All of this is laborious, when the simplest answer is for those people who consider themselves "experts at what is a featured article" to take a break for a while, for people to review things they intend to engage, for no one to act like queen of FA (but "far too busy" to give any actual critique, and "anyone can review prose"). Geogre 00:32, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
Geogre, I'm not even saying I like the idea. It was a suggestion to limit drive-by comments and to, as you say, specify. But it appears you're judging sigs and not comments, and that the attitude of contraposition is so complete nothing will make it budge. I really do love the repeated "you must obey me." Here's my characterization of what I'm hearing: "Reward my reputation. Now."
And please, don't make intimations about people's jobs or off-wiki lives. (Surely we can agree on that.) Marskell 06:16, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
First of all, civility and compliments should not be regarded as cloying, regardless of the situation. Plus, how are you going to distinguish between the "pros" and other editors? If everyone is treated respectfully, that doesn't change the validity or substance of the criticism, but it will presumably keep the mood light. Any backlash to compliments would likely be regarded as rude on the nom's part.
As far as the FA working group idea, I think that's unnecessary additional bureaucracy when the WikiProjects are only recently starting to start franchising their own peer review groups. Surely the whole purpose of these project PRs is to concentrate people interested in particular topics so as to better address the content? I'm not saying that the style guidelines are disregarded, but clearly the content is what distinguishes between normal PR and project PR. For groups which have sufficiently organized PRs, it may be reasonable to start requesting articles within the scope of these projects to clear project PR first before entering FAC. FAC would still be valuable for two reasons - identifying general concerns about the style and guidelines, and as a layman-check against articles which may have a blindspot by catering too much towards specialists at the expense of the interests of a casual reader. Girolamo Savonarola 21:45, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
Civility and compliments are always great, of course. (Though I really don't understand the bother if people are merely unfriendly.) I just meant that, by implication, Geogre's comments suggest that amateurs should be offering professional scientists generic pats on the back. It was a suggestion to re-target the people responsible for decision; note it wouldn't be pros as such, but simply people who have proven additions in a given area of Wiki (the proverbial twelve year-old could be on the working group). As you say, FAC may be a poor screening process, and as you say, an extra level of check might be in order. *Shrugs*. But these threads seem no-win. So. Marskell 22:01, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
No-win? Marskell, are you familiar with the medical concept of ascertainment bias/selection bias? People who are happy and doing well are rarely heard from, don't show up in doctors' offices, support groups or clinical studies, while (medically speaking) the "sickest of the sick" show up disproportionately in clinical studies and support groups, which causes specialists to see disproportionate representations of the "sickest" in their fields. Physicians msut know to look to broader-based population studies for true representations of the conditions they work with. So, consider the people you don't hear from as well as those you do hear from. Mav has a gazillion FAs, and they regularly come before FAR. Ever heard a complaint? A mere five months ago, Evolution looked like a hopeless POV wasteland when I brought it to FAR. What has happened there? While some editors nitpick back and forth on talk pages, TimVickers has quietly taken these highly controversial articles (that LOTS of people edit - not a quiet corner of Wiki) and brought them back from FAR to likely featured status (he saved Tuberculosis as well). Heard any complaints there lately? No, Tim is too busy becoming an FA machine, churning out some of Wiki's best work on VERY difficult topics and up to current standards. You just don't hear from the successes in the same proportion as you hear from those who have a beef. That doesn't mean we don't heed complaints or look for substance in them, but keep it in perspective and in the context of the successes. Some truly fine FAs are being churned out by people who don't even read these talk pages. And some who highlight civility issues may have less than clean records on that score, having chased off a few good editors themselves, so what can you do? Ignore the lack of civility, and focus on the "work", which is supposed to be fun. (And please don't fall into the trap of thinking we need another process on top of a process that is working fine :-) Regards, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:29, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
All I meant was that were I reviewing (I generally don't), I wouldn't really take the time to even look at the nom's profile to see if they were a professional scientist - it doesn't really matter to me either way. So how can I know if I'm patting a PhD on the back or merely an enthusiast? I won't, and I don't really think that it would make any difference - scientists are still people too, and while some may have thick skins, others may be offended by "mere laymen" telling them what's wrong. Girolamo Savonarola 22:11, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict; replying to Marskell) Why are they no-win? Seems like if FAC is going to truly scale up in the long term, something like this must be tried. There are several indications that it might be a good time to try it now (i.e. the mathematics editors' dissatisfaction, and other related comments above). A consensus plan has to start somewhere. Or do you feel there's not really a need yet?
Personally I suspect that if we can figure out how to implement something like this successfully, e.g. in MilHist or Mathematics, it could become a model for other WikiProjects, and an incentive for interested editors to work in a WikiProject. That could only be beneficial. Mike Christie (talk) 22:14, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
(pre-ec to Girolamo) OK, that's not entirely opposite my line of thinking. The people on a given group would not have faxed in degrees or anything—they'd simply have prior mainspace contributions to point to. User:A has two FAs in this genre of film; User:B has no FAs but has made 10K+ edits sorting and wikifying this genre film. That's all I'm thinking of. As an example, I'm sure we could get four, six, eight editors for a mammal FA group.
We can't just create cliques, though, which I think is what you intimate. It would have to be clear that others can make comments and that those should be addressed. But the dynamic would shift, and I think it might at least partly address Geogre's many comments about out-of-nowhere comments. Taking out our rhetorical hammers about FA culture isn't going to accomplish much.
(post ec to Mike) It seems no win (to me) because I'm tired, Mike. Tired of mischaracterizations. But perhaps it's not no-win. I have no problem workshopping some of the ideas proposed. Marskell 22:27, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
Marskell, see my response above about ascertainment/selection bias. I'm really sad to see such a valuable editor being worn down by mischaracterizations. Outriggr was shouted down for editing an article, and he's given up, too. I hope you can keep perspective, and stay focused on the successes, which enormously outweigh any perceived failures. On these talk pages, you're more likely to hear one side of a two-sided story; that's the "nature of the beast". SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:34, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
Ah, an attempt at logic. Let's talk about selection bias. You don't hear from the happy, and you don't even see the people who consider this a viper's nest. So, how many authors no longer submit to FA? How many write near-FA articles and intentionally prevent them from ever coming here? It works fine for you, no doubt, as you are having your desires served, but FAC existed before you, although it may not exist for very much longer. If you find that there are too many junk nominations and no good articles being recommended, you can either conclude that there are no good articles being written anymore or that people who write well crafted articles wish to have nothing to do with your page. Geogre 00:40, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but how exactly would clique-ism be a valid charge when there would be no change from the requirement that all FA articles must stand for general FAC? This isn't a suggestion to abandon current process, merely to enhance content vetting amongst interested work groups with an additional (already existing) peer review. I can't see how that's for the worse. Were we just creating a random step, I'd be concerned. But all I'm suggesting is that where content-specific peer review already exists and is active, articles should stop there prior to or concurrent with FAC. Girolamo Savonarola 23:22, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
The alternative is to work out an entirely different process. To some degree, that's what the -Projects are doing. They are creating their own awards and honors. If any of them bother with FAC, that's probably beside the main joy the authors are getting. The results of anything like that are going to be spotty, but there is no doubt that the authors' repeatedly voiced frustrations with FAC are at play and legitimate (despite Sandy's assurances of a silent majority of pleased FAC applicants). Geogre 00:43, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm from WP:DINO and I am pretty sure that the Project could send an article to FAC that was riven with purely imaginary information extensively cited to nonexistent literature, and the only thing that would keep it from being passed would be grammatical and formatting concerns. Aside from some of the TOL or geology people, the only editors I trust to judge the CONTENT of a dinosaur article are other WP:DINO editors. And we can't really vote at FAC because usually we all contributed to writing the article in the first place (there are just a few of us). Getting dinosaur articles featured is a major goal of WP:DINO, but we know that we are almost entirely responsible for reviewing the content. I'm not sure what this means for the current discussion, but I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling this way. Sheep81 02:35, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
How did you guess my evil plan? Now Calvinosaurus will never pass! J. Spencer 03:37, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
Ha! All part of the diabolical intent. :) .Ceoil 03:43, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps FAC should just be for grammatical and formatting concerns, where a project exists to judge content. Marskell 06:20, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
Well, I wouldn't want to divorce FAC's current mandate to cover all areas, as it also has the important function of being able to assess content from an independent standpoint. What may be obvious about topic X to members of WikiProject X may not be to general editors and thus warrant further editing. Girolamo Savonarola 07:36, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Raul? (Still alive?) Girolamo Savonarola 05:41, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Wondering myself; I've never seen him come within a day on assigning main page articles. He's "alive" according to his contribs, but must be very busy. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:06, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Yes, but what are your thoughts on yaoi?

Somehow my post on civility wandered off into a thread about WikiProject technical reviews, so I want to bring it back on topic. After reading through much of the commentary, it seems most people's attitudes are "Well, stop being so thin skinned then" or "Well, people should stop writing crap articles then". This is incredibly unconstructive. If you only want those who will weather insults, perceived or real, at FAC, you will only end up shooting yourself in the foot - once because "more sensitive" people, as you put it, will not contribute, and again when the otherwise unpleasant are tolerated on wiki because they are an "FA writer". Have you considered how many potential FAs are lost through that attitude? Raystorm, after she passed Same-sex marriage in Spain, told me she would never submit another FAC again because ExplorerCDT was so abrupt with her (and cast aspersions on her English). Now, most of the people would characterise her as "thin skinned" and "being too defensive" for edits that were not inherently incivil, but the fact is that we lost a brilliant editor to eswiki, because one person didn't think about how his words would be taken, and subsequently did not defuse the situation. I'm not asking for molly coddling, I'm asking for a empathetic attiutude to people who can and do take harsh comments personally. It is a fact of human nature and simply saying "Well, they shouldn't" does not rectify the situation. My first FAC garnered the comment "I'm afraid this article is not even close to FA quality at the moment" from EnemyOfTheState, which I got very annoyed about (and still do when I read my old FACs, because it was dismissive of my work, abrupt, and unjustifiable given I had two people voting support). A less objective person would not have wanted to write any more FACs. I probably wouldn't have bothered if I were not autistic. This is what you should be watching out for and avoiding, comments that seem to dismiss the article, or the author, or denigrate both.

Similarly for people who write poor articles: yes, they may have written a crap article this time around, but who knows what they will turn into? Just because a newbie doesn't quite get the process, this is an excuse to drive them away altogether? As Wikipedia grows, it is inevitable that we will get more and more unworthy FACs. The attitude in this case should be to say "This article needs quite a bit of work, and broadly speaking, you need to do this, this and this before an FAC should pass. Good luck." NOT "This article is awful and nowhere near FA standard. The prose is not compelling, what the hell is that section of background doing there, and nothing is cited. Begone.", which I have seen to some extent on some FACs. Every article, no matter how crap, needs to be given a calm and polite review. The mightiest oaks come from the smallest acorns. Please, please, consider your attitudes, and more importantly, reprimand other people you see being rude on their talkpages. DevAlt 13:37, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Examples of great ways of opposing politely:
  1. from the ET FAC: "I recognize the significant number of changes since the last FA nom, but more needs to be done.", "The article has a lot of promise, but there are some problems—ranging from large to small—that keep it from achieving its potential."
  2. from the Krakow FAC: "I plan to work on this article myself and I want to commend Poetic of bringing this from a poor B to what is close to GA/A class now - but this still needs more work before it is FA"
  3. from the Scotland national football team: "this article is good but not good enough, yet"
  4. from the Maria Callas FAC: "and I feel bad doing this for only one reason since the rest of what I read looked very good..."

Even just "I'm not too sure on some sections of the article" (1080ο snowboarding) or "Oppose per the following concerns" (loads), are easy ways to object without making people feel bad. "Oppose: the article is entirely in-universe and thus fails criteria 1b." (Flood), while not intending to make people feel bad or inadequate, is somewhat dismissive and I'll bet a few FAC submitters have stopped based on comments such as that one. DevAlt 14:16, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Hear hear. The Land 14:05, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
Though I haven't had the kind of commentary on my FACs that DevAlt found so irritating on his/hers, I'd like to register full agreement with his plea for moderation in tone. I also want to comment that the problems that Geogre and other have been raising seem to me to be closely allied to this: evident lack of expertise in a field, allied to a tone perceived as incivil, is surely doubly irritating. I think both threads are important. Mike Christie (talk) 14:22, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
DevAlt (Dev920), you raise good points, but you miss some as well. 1) ... it seems most people's attitudes are ... You may be reading it that way, but I don't see that at all. I see something entirely different. 2) RayStorm was not lost to Wiki over that FAC; she contacted me some time after that FAC with a barnstar and asking me to collaborate with her on a Spanish Wiki article. If she's lost to Wiki now (I haven't checked), it could be the unfortunate normal attrition we see on Wiki, and the reasons for that are beyond this discussion but well in evidence here. 3) A pattern we've seen in these discussions is people advocating civility who haven't always been examples of civility themselves, or presenting statements as fact which just aren't so. Do you remember who became the most critical and uncivil during that FAC? I do (but no, I'm not going to go dig up the diffs; I do remember working very well with RayStorm to get that article to standard in spite of a lot of debate and nastiness swirling around, and I do remember who stirred the pot). There are a lot of strawmen being thrown around in this discussion, with a curious lack of discussion of rudeness in the other direction (nominator to reviewer). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:40, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
That's because that isn't the issue I'm concerned about. Nominator to reviewer incivility (and indeed, reviewer to reviewer incivility) is just standard incivility, not restricted to FAC. FAC can't do anything about a Wikipedia-wide problem. But FAC reviewers are in a position of power, if you will, and people take hostility from them much more badly, and we are in a position to do something about that. Raystorm isn't completely gone, no, but she said something to me about not wanting to go through FAC again, and in any case, she was only one example to illustrate what I was saying. And I won't get into it, but suffice to say I completely disagree with you about who "started it" at SSM in Spain. You would be hard pushed to find an example of me commenting on an FAC in the hostile manner which I have described (though I admit I do not comment on FACs as much as I would wish). DevAlt 14:51, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
Your points are understood and taken, but yes, we can do something about reviewer-reviewer hostility which spills over onto nominators, negatively influencing them. RayStorm was primed from the beginning to believe FAC "was a bitch". Once we got to work, we got it done. IMO, we *do* need to do something about reviewer-reviewer hostily spilling over onto nominators, and it's hard not to see that RayStorm started off very defensively on that FAC because she had been primed. It's not entirely fair to blame it on Explorer. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:57, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
Jeff is not known for his temperence, but I think there is an issue there, as you have pointed out. If we could cut down on reviewer-nominator harshness, I think "priming" (and reviewers making vengeful and bitter comments on FACs) would not happen, as Jeff had just come out what what he perceived to be an unpleasant FAC (and swore he would never write another, again the problem), and I warned Raystorm that some reviewers can be rude based on my experience (as I am saying now). Having been around longer now, I would say that this hostility does not dominate FAC as I believed then, but it is a significant problem. I want to see WP:100K in my lifetime! DevAlt 15:23, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
We all want more FAs; we may disagree on the source of the problems, but unlike Marskell's frustration (above), I don't see these discussions as no win (although the mischaracterizations are interesting to analyze). But, I am concerned that only one side of the story has been painted (with bias) in several days of discussion. Yes, there was a lot going on in RayStorm's FAC; I tried to shortcircuit all of it by conversing directly on her talk page rather than on the FAC, and we got the work done that way :-) Anyway, my point is that there are many sources of this hostility and incivility, not just what has been painted above. SandyGeorgia (Talk)
I believe you. My focus though, was on what I perceive to be the most damaging. My hope is that in having this discussion, the people who read it, be they nominator or reviewer, will be inspired to be just that bit more nicer, and to encourage others to do the same. DevAlt 15:37, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
It can't hurt, but then ... arrogance is among the worst of character flaws, and no amount of reading may get through to some folk. Being uncivil while skirting the limits of what would trigger a civility warning is a skill that can be finely-honed by time on Wikipedia, and there are distinct double standards on Wiki as to who gets warned or blocked for civility. Anyway, I enjoy the discussion ... from this discussion, I'm going to remember to assume good faith when I spend two hours going through a FAC article, and find every publisher scrupulously noted in the references except, interestingly, those that are not reliable sources, which are curiously left unidentified in otherwise perfect sourcing :-)) You see, to me, the biggest two problems at FAC are still 1) fan support which allows for consensus in the absence of critical review, and 2) reviewers who Support without even a cursory check of whether sources are reliable and verify the text. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:51, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
For the record, I don't like it when people talk about me as you two have done (quite extensively, I may add) behind my back. And Sandy, if you are saying *I* started the mess at that FAC, then I guess we really have no more to say to each other, do we? Especially after the unfair final stab Explorer took at me when he grudgingly supported the article, after I even tried to smooth things over apologizing to him despite his obvious disregard of WP:CIVIL (he even boasted about it at his talk). If you think I am 'hostile' because of that FAC or whatever, well, let me tell you that only you (and Explorer, I suppose) have that image of me. I've never had a single problem like what happened there in my year and a half in Wikipedia. I am pretty easy-going. I did not go 'primed' to that FAC because the commiseration notes from other editors who saw what was happening came after Explorer had posted his objections, and only you Sandy did not share that general view of FAC because your FAC's had generally sailed smoothly (I suppose I can't blame you for showing off a bit then). You threw in several good suggestions, and we worked together well, didn't we? I even gave you a banstar at a later date. Was I a conflictive nominator, or did I try to address all objections as soon as possible? If I had been thin-skinned I would have withdrawn the candidature, but I stuck it out and worked my ass off. And it became a FA. But I'm not going through it again, especially since I tend to edit potentially controversial articles, and it seems that support from other members of a wikiproject may be suspect (the infamous gay cabal, for example). I am mainly at es:wiki now (not because of Explorer, but because I founded there a new wikiproject which is now thriving), where I have several FA's at my name and not a single problem with any user. And reviewers are much more constructive and polite there, I can assure you. Raystorm (¿Sí?) 18:01, 10 June 2007 (UTC) PS: I am not going to watch this page, so don't bother answering me. I only posted this comment so people would know my take on the issue after you two discussed my case.
My goodness, RayStorm, I'm not saying that at all, nor do I understand why you think I am! I hope you'll reread. Will leave this note on your talk page as well. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:06, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Threats - please consider your actions before making them

I don't appreciate threats like this from anyone. I suggest FAC tell Epbr123 to stop attempting to bully nominators around over their opposes, especially in light of the fact that same editor recently called someone here a "sad bastard", did other incivil things on this talk page for which no action was taken, and removed and reinserted their noms (rather silly behaviour). I don't have time for this at all, and have much better things to do with my time - I'm trying my best to improve Slayer related articles, yet my time's being taken up responding to this threatening behaviour. My time can be much better used focusing on improving articles, and furthermore I don't need the hassle. Thanks FAC reviewers and nominators for your time. LuciferMorgan 20:13, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

  • I don't think you've checked the editor's history tab. He has removed the warning I gave him. Bishonen | talk 20:20, 8 June 2007 (UTC).
    • I don't regret making the threat considering these pointy opposes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Epbr123 20:42, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
      • Epbr, it seems you'd like to make every medium-sized locality in the UK a Featured article—great! But you can't roam around demanding people support your articles, given that this whole process works on voluntary review. Indeed "strike this oppose or I report you for POINT" is a little bit of pot-and-kettle, isn't it? Patience. You've got one of these through, one failed, and a few are outstanding. I'm sure you'll have more FAs in no time. Ask people on their talk to look again but understand that, hey, sometimes people aren't going to. And don't remove warnings from your talk. They're left to be fair to the warnee, in fact, and it only looks bad on you to revert them. Marskell 20:56, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
        • You're another one - "Actually, you still need to remove your oppose from Sale, Greater Manchester. Epbr123 15:48, 28 May 2007 (UTC) " "If it wasn't clear, I'm not going to return to your reviews because I don't want to interact with you. Marskell 22:29, 28 May 2007 " I wonder why one of them failed? Epbr123 20:58, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
          • Yes, that's what I said. Thx for confirming the decision. Marskell 21:02, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
            • So you only want to avoid interacting with me when it involves removing opposes from my FACs? Epbr123 21:04, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
              • Read the posts, and the warning, again. Ceoil 21:07, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
                • And? Epbr123 21:11, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
                  • And civility. Ceoil 21:24, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
                    • And? Epbr123 21:25, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
                      • And disruption. Ceoil 21:26, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
                        • Get to the point, please? Epbr123 21:28, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

Actually "oppose per 'other user's concerns" is a legitimate comment, basically it underscores the severity of the concerns. In a way it's also easier - if you address one set of concerns you address two opposers. :-) And the person whom LM is backing, SandyGeorgia, is rather "known" around the FAC realm - she's tough, but fair. There is no requirement that everyone oppose for a different reason. --AnonEMouse (squeak) 19:12, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

  • Was is legitimate to refuse to remove the opposes once SandyGeorgia's concerns were met? I know the FACs will still pass anyway but its a clear act of maliciousness. Epbr123 19:26, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
    • Epbr, you've got to remember to assume good faith in these situations; "clear act of maliciousness" is problematic here. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:28, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
      • Oh yeah, maybe he just forgot to remove them. Epbr123 19:38, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
        • I'd say that putting a comment like "Since I've successfully addressed SG's concerns, I assume that also addresses yours." near such an oppose (after you have, in fact, addressed hers to her satisfaction), would not be out of place. In my experience, Raul654 doesn't just count instances of bolded text, he actually reads the comments, and usually ignores the frivolous objections, the unanswerable objections, and those that have been addressed. If by chance he should happen to miss, and only reject with comments that you believe have been addressed, you could always appeal; he's quite reasonable. --AnonEMouse (squeak) 19:46, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
          • That's a good point, although appealling to Raul654 doesn't always work. I tried appealing about Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Sale, Greater Manchester/archive1 but was ignored. It had only one actionable oppose which I was only given three days to address. I had actually addressed it but didn't say so on the FAC. The unactionable opposes made the FAC appear as though it was being snowball opposed. Epbr123 19:57, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

If it passes, you're a bad reviewer

Marksell and SandyGeorgia have both derided the choruses of instant approvals. Heck, anyone with sense is suspicious of easy affirmations. However, there is a mindset that is not honest, not appropriate, and not generative of quality in any sense, and that is the mindset that anyone who passes an article without revision is a bad reviewer. If I read Jack Sheppard and have a few things that I'd rather enjoy seeing changed, but which are merely preferences, and if I otherwise say that it is wonderful, am I a bad reviewer? Am I not a careful reviewer? Is my caviling directly proportional to my value as a reviewer?

In fact, all or nothing reviews are not a particular problem. If we only said, "Reject" or "Accept," we would very quickly determine which reviewers are monologic. There are many who will never be part of a project, either because of mistrust or hostility to the implicit power play of a "project" or because the area is too narrow to support a glad-handing group, and there are some projects that are so small, so tenuous, that whether they have a page or not, they're not actually a collective at all. It's obvious that we cannot turn to projects to make up for the nastiness of current FAC culture, which has been dominated by the belief that good reviewers are reviewers who demand extensive changes.

If you set out trying to find reasons to fail an article, you will, if you have any intelligence, find reasons. You will find them if you lack intelligence, too, but, in that case, the things you find will be so ridiculous that the person reading your review will get enraged that pleasing you has become a condition of acceptance. "Anyone can review," but that doesn't mean "anyone's criticism must be neutralized," and Raul has had the wisdom in the past of ignoring some of the more bizarre objections. Show me any FA, and I can give you reasons why it shouldn't be featured. It's easy. In fact, it's a mug's game.

If "regulars" at FAC will not see how weak their posture is when they argue that they know nothing about any field, but they know everything about "what is a featured article," then perhaps they could at least change their mindsets and try to find reasons why an article should succeed. If they can't do that, and I have no confidence that they can, then perhaps they can recognize that what they want is not what the article needs, that featured articles have mistakes and infelicities, that what you prefer is not necessary for passing. Learn this valuable phrase, "I support, but." It's valuable. The people going up for review will still respect you. You will still be clever. You will still be adding to the value. You will not be making so many enemies. Geogre 19:54, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Geogre, the reason I rarely respond to these sorts of posts is you seem to be making it up as you go, and I can rarely find any foundation or logic in any of the things you imagine and state as fact. Perhaps you really believe these things ("deriding the chorus of instant approvals") or think if you say them loud enough, often enough, and in enough different places, they'll become true in many people's minds. <shrug> SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:06, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
It's nice to see that your memory matches your logic. When you make a typo, you even blame that on your eyes. You are sure that FAC is working wonderfully well and that anyone with a complaint is wrong. You come up with lists and think it a review. Thus, I can't say that I've actually missed your replies, and I'm sorry that you have taken this opportunity to not reply at all, but rather to call me a liar. Geogre 02:38, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
I have noticed reviewers similar to what Geogre describes, but SandyGeorgia isn't one of them. Epbr123 20:22, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
Good to see we agree on something, Epbr. At this point, I'm shrugging too. I don't really know how to respond to Geogre, because it's so divorced from how I actually comment. Marskell 20:50, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
I generally use Comment and list my concerns unless teh article is such a mess that I think it plainly obvious will not get the work done to pass.cheers, Cas Liber | talk | contribs 21:25, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
That would be superior by far to the "I must fail it to show how in charge I am" tactic most often in use. Geogre 02:38, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
To be more friendly, maybe reviewers should put 'comment' at first, then later change it to 'oppose' if their concerns aren't being addressed. Epbr123 21:34, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, if we are sure that "concerns" are stoppers. That's the thing. It's extremely important to recognize, for example, that one's style sheet is not paramount. I might prefer that an article have reformed orthography, for example ("American spelling") or prefer that commas follow all introductory adverbial phrases, but because these are stylistic preferences, I would never dream of "object"ing over them. If it comes down to trying to find things to dislike, any fool can do it, as evidenced by the fools who do. Geogre 02:38, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree that a lot of reviewers' grammar and copy-edit concerns are based on personal preferences. Epbr123 11:42, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Um-hm. Sometimes I dream about opposing on the basis of commas (we all have dreams), but awake in front of my computer I would never do so. Pity the fools that do. Marskell 11:50, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
I've started to drop comment-initial support or oppose, as well. I think there's a lot of sense in not using them, when first posting to a review. Marskell 21:37, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
Sometimes we're damned if we do, damned if we don't. Some nominators feel blind-sided if you later change a Comment to an Oppose, as they may think Comments need not be taken seriously. I've started trying out "Fixes needed", which better indicates I may be an Oppose later if they're not attended to. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:43, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
From the nominator's point of view, I don't mind an Oppose vote right off the bat. If I address (or claim to address!) the issues, then I do expect the reviewer to return and comment, and I think so far that's always been my experience. I like Sandy's approach, though. Mike Christie (talk) 21:59, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
hmmm...fixes needed.. I like that.cheers, Cas Liber | talk | contribs 22:27, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
I don't see the problem. If someone is making silly objections, the nominator should call him or her on it, and Raul should no doubt see through objections that only reflect preferences. — Brian (talk) 02:57, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
(random indent) Some reviewers at FAC (and GA/R and FAR) do not start out with "Oppose" or "Support", but instead make some initial comments. I think that the "comment first, decide later" approach should be encouraged more explicitly.
"Comments" is one common way to provide such initial comments, but I think it is more helpful to indicate whether the article is near or far from the FA standard. I don't like the use of "Conditional support" because it suggests "I will support only if you do as I say". "Fixes needed" is slightly better, but how about "Looks promising, but..." (for articles close to the standard) and "Much work needed here" (for articles not so close) followed by some suggested improvements? At least the nominator, and other editors keen on improving the article, have some idea where they stand and how much work there is to be done. This is less adversarial than providing suggestions using the "Oppose/Support" approach, and has the additional advantage that it avoids all the crossing out of votes (it isn't a vote anyway) when an article does improve.
If more reviewers adopt this approach (and make it clear that their intentions are just as serious as reviewers with the "oppose/support" mindset) then I think many of the concerns about FAC, expressed both by nominators, and reviewers, might be significantly reduced. Geometry guy 20:56, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree with this whole-heartedly. As a nominator, humility is key, and the ocassional "bite-the-bullet" changes will have to be made. But to make preferential change after preferential change is disheartening - even more so when reviewers don't return and the oppose (or comment) votes stand for no apparent reason. It's as if they are not particularly going by the MOS or FAC guidelines, but approaching reviewing as "if I had written the article, I would have said..." which is not useful.--Esprit15d (talk ¤ contribs) 19:09, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

FAC n00b

Forgive me, as this is my first attempt at placing an article up for FAC. I'm not saying that the article was worthy or not, but let me lay out the series of events. I placed The Price Is Right (US game show) up for review on June 1. There was one minor point raised that was not even attached to a support or oppose on June 2. While other candidates before and after my submission were getting extensive commentary, this particular candidate did not receive any until June 7, which was a multipoint oppose. I was actively editing based on this comment when, on June 10 (three days later), a bot closed the FAC as not passed.

Is this a victim of noninterest? It would appear that the bot saw this as a stale candidate and automatically opposed it after only 9 days. I found the respondent's opposition comments quite constructive, and I was frankly waiting for more commentary that other candidates receive (even if it was in opposition). I didn't see anything in the oppose that could not have been hammered out during its candidacy. So my question is, is it typical that one oppose would close a candidacy for an article in three days? Or should I see the lack of response not as apathy towards the subject, but silent opposition? Perhaps my nomination needed to be phrased differently? Your thoughts are appreciated, so that I may improve this and future FACs. Many thanks!—Twigboy 03:11, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Hi, Twigboy. A real person—not a bot—makes the decisions. The bot does the talk page formalities, but FACs are only failed or promoted when the featured article director (Raul654) archives FACs as failed or promoted. I suspect the problem in this case was that you didn't make any response at all on the FAC between your nomination on the 1st and the closing on the 10th, so it could have appeared that you weren't working towards addressing the issues. Maybe you can take a week or two to work on the issues raised, and when you re-nominate the article, be sure to give feedback indicating progress. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:54, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I think Raul was just looking for any response that indicated that the article is being worked on. As one of the reviewers, what I suggest next is to list it on peer review once you think you've addressed my points, and I'll take another look. Then it can be re-listed for FAC. - Merzbow 06:08, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Huh? Certainly Twigboy can't be expected to work on the FAC comments before they were received! That left three days between the 7th and the 10th, not 10 days as Georgia states. Those dates are on the weekend, which may not be prime editing time for many people. Maury 12:29, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. This is a common trend it seems, the lackage of response, leading to early closure. -- Zanimum 16:29, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
On the contrary, I used to be much less generous about leaving FAC noms without much response on the FAC. I believe Johnleemk had to nominate some articles 3 or 4 times before he got sufficient response to get them promoted. Raul654 16:39, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
What was the explaination for the The Price Is Right FAC? Epbr123 16:44, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
It had multiple objections, no supports, and apparently very little response from the nominator. Consensus to promote did not seem forthcoming. Raul654 16:59, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Wow, from reading it, I gotta say that I think it wasn't given enough time. Maybe a guideline could be put out there stating something like, "If FAC nominations with open objections are not addressed within 72 hours, they will be closed." That way everyone knows where they stand. BQZip01 talk 15:18, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
Twigboy, I think if you note (next time) in the FAC that you're working on it, it'll stay up for a while longer. Mike Christie (talk) 17:07, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
This might be the time to point our how hard these tasks are, and the consequences of complaints—not intending to single anyone out, just raise some issues.
Almost every time Raul promotes/archives, he gets about three queries or complaints about why he failed a nom; addressing these takes time. And, about once a month, there's a big brouhaha over an article that passed (thinking of The Bus Uncle, Military Brat, and that Tank article, can't remember which, and another article that was passed as a mistake, can't remember the article title). Failing a nom prematurely can be remedied with another FAC fairly quickly; I understand the nominating editor may feel slighted, but the situation can be remedied easily if the article is up to standard. When a FAC passes prematurely, though, or based on the perception that it didn't receive a solid review, a whole boatload of other editors get pissed off and put up a big ruckus, which ends up FAR or at BLP and is takes even more effort to remedy (example list above). I guess I'm suggesting that what may be perceived as a premature fail is easier to deal with than what may be perceived as a premature pass, so people might give Raul a break in the complaint department.
And, in terms of FAR complaints and all of this talk page back and forth, two things. Having spent a lot of time in FAC archives while creating articlehistory templates, a lot of the charges about "current" whatever at FAC/FAR don't seem supported by the historical evidence. Second, the consequence of some of this back and forth is that articles get neglected. Just before all of this "characterization" of Marskell (who has done an outstanding job at FAR) started, he indicated he was going to copyedit Belgium himself, so it wouldn't have to be FARC'd. Everything else is cleaned up there, but the article desperately needs a copyedit by an uninvolved editor. I would completely understand if Marskell has decided that his own efforts at saving as many featured stars as possible aren't appreciated, since I don't see any of the people lodging complaints jumping in to do the copyediting he had offered to do. Just some thoughts about some appreciation warranted for Marskell and Raul654, as these tasks aren't easy, and Belgium could have been copyedited by now. Not surprising that we may lose the volunteer efforts of Gzkn, Outriggr, Deckiller, Marskell, Tony1, and other copyeditors, and we don't have that many of them to begin with. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:02, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Belgium will get worked on in time; plenty of editors. In more pressing news, what is the record for TFA edits? That would be an interesting/irrelevant stat to track. Cougar is just nuts. Marskell 20:13, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
And a not irrelevant stat that might be derived from other numbers that were discussed on one of these FA talk pages recently: do we know how many people click through the TFA on an average day? I think Raul mentioned 13% of page loads are TFA. Marskell 20:20, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
About a year back, the devs monitored main page click throughs - that is, of people who go to the main page and then go to something else, what percentage of that traffic goes where? #1 was the search feature, which had something like 45% of click-thrus. #2 was the featured article, which had around 17%. Raul654 20:25, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Jimbo had that C-SPAN interview, also about a year ago, where he mentioned two billion page loads a month for the site in general. If you then had a stat for loads to individual articles through search engines versus main page loads, you could very roughly put together the total number stopping at a TFA. I'd be curious the order of magnitude, anyway. Five digits? Marskell 20:39, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Wikicharts gives about 10,000 pageviews for cougar so far. [3]-Ravedave 03:19, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Very interesting. I see Pokemon is still more popular than sex. Marskell 06:13, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, everyone, for the response. No offense was taken, and I hope I didn't seem whiny and complaining. Excellent feedback for next time. And it rarely is said, but let it be known that the time invested by the reviewers here is appreciated. It makes the gold star all the more deserving.—Twigboy 20:30, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Not whiny at all, Twigboy. Just concerned about the article you've worked on like everyone else! Marskell 20:39, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Discussion on "challenged or likely to be challenged"

Based on comments here and at FAR talk, I've opened a thread in WP:A here to discuss concerns surrounding the wording and application of the phrase "challenged or likely to be challenged". I know a lot of people are unhappy with the vagueness of that phrase. - Merzbow 20:36, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

<Desperately looks for suicide rope>. This should probably go to V not A. Or should it? What's happening at ATT? Merzbow, you've just tied together two enormous wiki-stresses, at least for this editor. It. Can't. Go. Well.
At least, it probably can't. If you want to challenge "likely to be challenged," open a specific thread on WT:V, shortly and directly addressing it. Do not link to FA threads at the same time. Marskell 20:44, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
I figured that WP:V was on its way out, soon to be replaced by WP:A. At least there seems to be more eyes on WP:A, so I started the thread there. I've removed the backlink to the FAR thread. Anyways, it doesn't appear as if there's any danger of a consensus on modifying that text anytime soon, so Raul's page is probably the best place to work this out for the time being. - Merzbow 22:24, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Once again, I'd like to pimp User:Raul654/When to cite, which is a page I started to try to address these questions. (Eventually, I'd like to move it out of my subspace and into the main Wikipedia namespace) Raul654 20:45, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Major new sections implemented at MOS on hyphens, en dashes and em dashes

Reviewers here may be interested to know that the MOS, which is undergoing a gradual overhaul, now contains detailed guidelines on hyphens and dashes (until now, there were virtually no guidelines). As you may know, Featured Article Candidates are bound to follow the MOS (Criterion 2).

A rationalisation of the several articles covering this topic is planned. Tony 09:36, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Should project members be able to vote in FACs?

I've noticed this issue coming up a lot recently, and the most recent one that just blew my mind was the FA for today, Meteorological history of Hurricane Katrina. To be quite frank, the article is very short, has minimal citations, and doesn't offer too much other than the norm. Wondering how this article was ever promoted (but knowing that it was probably "stacked" by people at WP:HURR) I looked at the FAC of the article, which, not to my surprise, contained almost all Hurricane project people.

Now, it seems that there would be a conflict of interest here, because obviously, a person in a project would look at the article from a viewpoint of perfection. They would also benefit from having yet another FA in their project. But this, again, is just one example, but is something I've noticed while perusing the project.

What I've done in the past (see 2012 Summer Olympics bids FAC) is abstain from actually "voting" but just make comments on what I think of the article if I feel that I've been either a part of the editing or in the project that it would benefit. I don't know if there's any policy on this, but I thought I'd throw it out there for people to think about. If I were to make any suggestions, it would be to urge project members who know that it may be a conflict of interest to "vote" in an FAC to just either comment or abstain from the actual support/oppose "votes." Jaredt  00:44, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

I think anyone voting on an FA should note if they have conflicting interests. When I vote on Minnesota FAs I mention I am a member of WP:WPMN. Also watch your back, the weather cabal doesn't like to be messed with :P -Ravedave 00:55, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree that members of a WikiProject ought to declare that when voting, but I don't really see anything wrong with meteorological history of Hurricane Katrina - there are only thirteen sources used, but there are oodles of citations. And it's reasonable, I think, for such a specialized article to have relatively few sources. (note: I haven't analyzed the article in depth) I'll also note that the converse is true -- even if all the regular FACers enthusiastically supported a hurricane article, if no one from the hurricane WikiProject supported, that would be a problem too. Tuf-Kat 01:03, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't have too many problems with the article, but I know that had it been put under more scrutiny from outsiders, it may not have passed. I do not, however, want to try to get rid of it. It was merely an easy example. Like Ravedave said, I don't want to mess with them. (I've actually had some conflicts with them in the past, which is why I was slightly reluctant to use this as an example.) In short, thought, maybe just a heads-up of "Yes, I'm in this WikiProject" would be nice. Just so it doesn't look like a CoI, or like the person is hiding something/vote stacking. Jaredt  01:07, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
My take is that if an article has had two workers working on it, then it has double the chance of fixing problems, same with 3, 4, more etc. Thus the higher likelihood of it qualifying criteria. Thus I have no problem with support from these angles.cheers, Cas Liber | talk | contribs 01:18, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
There is no problem with project members voting as long as they state their previous involvement. Besides, FAC is not a vote. If an article with severe flaws gets ten "Supports" from project members, but one "Oppose" that points out the flaws—which the nominator ignores—then I'm sure Raul wouldn't promote the article. - Merzbow 06:59, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
Why don't you modify the line at the top of the page to:
If you support a nomination, write *Support followed by your reason(s). If you have been a significant contributor to the article or a member of a relatedproject, please indicate this. CG 22:20, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
What an excellent time for me to go on a wikibreak. :S This has been discussed before, and blind supports don't matter anyways, as they're ignored if there are substantive objections. Is there anything in particular that you find problematic about the article, besides the fact that it is written with canonical sources? Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 06:46, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

It's not a vote. Tony 10:13, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Request for opinion

Is Ediacaran biota about ready for FA, d'ye think? Adam Cuerden talk 21:26, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

Maybe peer review is the most appropriate way to get an answer, but given the enormous backlog, maybe this is OK too. I took a brief look and it seems ready for FA. You should remove those tags that say "Article with unsourced statements" though, provided of course all of the statements are actually sourced. SeleneFN 22:58, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
Drat! Missed that. Ah, well. It's only one, and it doesn't look hard to source. Would have just done peer review, but, frankly, for the more obscure scientific subjects, I'm not sure peer review works very well at the moment: Keep seeing articles leave peer review with no comments. Thanks! Adam Cuerden talk 03:23, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
The secret with getting peer review to work is canvassing (same with FAC, if you want constructive criticism of substantive content). Ask someone you trust to review it.--ragesoss 07:51, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Significant contributions

Can we codify what a significant contributor is? I've been raked over the coals because some people (who will remain nameless) felt that all "contributors should identify themselves as such" when they review an article. The top contributors to the article are myself, someone who hasn't posted in almost 2 years, and then people who have made minor grammar changes. After the first two, the highest number of changes comes from a guy who put in a picture and made six VERY minor changes (spelling, commas, etc) and everyone else was minor junk. To imply the reviews are biased or in some way tainted because wikipedians haven't disclosed their entire editing history, school of gradutation, affiliations in Wikipedia, etc. seems to go against Wikipedia:Assume good faith. Do I need to write this down every time I review an article? Should everyone also do it? In short, should I have to write down for every review that I am a US government employee who graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in computer science and a minor in mathematics, deployed to the Middle East twice, currently am in pilot training, was in the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M and its band, etc...oh and here is my entire edit history:

  1. 09:26, 19 June 2007 (hist) (diff) m Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Fightin' Texas Aggie Band (whoops) (top)
  2. 09:25, 19 June 2007 (hist) (diff) m Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Fightin' Texas Aggie Band (made chart easier to read)
  3. 09:21, 19 June 2007 (hist) (diff) Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Fightin' Texas Aggie Band (miscounted)
  4. 09:16, 19 June 2007 (hist) (diff) V-22 Osprey (→Popular Culture - wiki date) (top)
  5. 09:13, 19 June 2007 (hist) (diff) 9/11 conspiracy theories (title required by template...feel free to replace it with the actual title) (top)
  6. 22:31, 18 June 2007 (hist) (diff) B-2 Spirit (fixed poor wikilink)
  7. 22:29, 18 June 2007 (hist) (diff) Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/IPod (→IPod - oppose) (top)

... BQZip01 talk 14:46, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

I don't think the fact that you contributed to the article is of any particular relevance to the process, so I don't see why you would be expected to mention that you had contributed to the article. How would other parties (e.g. Raul) use that information? Any objections you make can be evaluated on their merits. Christopher Parham (talk) 18:34, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Featured Articles with

So, we now have a featured article that was promoted while it was tagged, "The factual accuracy of this article or section is disputed?" Why? This article needs substantial work, not the sort of work even someone who's mapped the damn mountain can do on a flyby because of the choice of age of geological history. There's no way an article should become a FA while its factual accuracy is being disputed. KP Botany 03:51, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

So as not to beat around the bush - Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Geology of the Lassen volcanic area. There were also a few things left on my list, nothing major like what you brought up though. Raul may have promoted it accidentally. -Ravedave 04:11, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, probably. KP Botany 05:25, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Substantial work? The only major thing you brought up was the fact that the basement rocks, not the mountains are what broke apart. That has been fixed. As for the missing history - what part of the history from that event to the tilting of the Sierras is relevant to the current geology of the Lassen volcanic area? Heck, as you stated originally, even the basement rock breakup is not really needed but I thought it would be important to mention in the geologic setting section (esp since the gap created was called the 'Lassen Strait' and readers wanting to know about that would likely look here). Either way, I asked Raul to relist the nom as we work this out. He has complied. --mav 23:13, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
If it's not that important, then remove it. But, really, if you start about something over 100 myo, then move forward 50 my, people might wonder what went on in those 50 my. Don't mention them if it's not your intention to discussion them. The geological setting can certainly be Cenozoic, but if you insist on making it Early Cretaceous, deal with the rest of the Cretaceous. KP Botany 20:48, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

Moving a Featured Article to Featured Lists

€2 commemorative coins was promoted at a time when Featured Lists did not exist, and if it were nominated today, that would be its rightful place. Since there are no agreed process for moving an article from a cat to another, I've started with nominating it at WP:FLC. When (if?) it is promoted, I will either nominated it for removal or boldly remove it myself. Any thoughts? Circeus 05:40, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

There is precedent. Provinces of Thailand was a FA, was removed at FAR on November 9, 2005, was immediately nominated for featured list, and passed November 19, 2005. This also means that featured lists existed in January 2006, when €2 commemorative coins was nominated and passed featured articles. Gimmetrow 05:55, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Weird... I thought FL was more recent. I still think the article in question is not in the right category, though. Circeus 06:08, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
First FL, 1 June 2005. I think, based on precedent, that maybe a FAR should be started for €2 commemorative coins. Gimmetrow 06:13, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
There were several comments in its FAC (one by me! gosh, how time flies!) that FLC was a more appropruate place for this. Yes, FAR and then FLC would be the appropriate route, I think. -- ALoan (Talk) 10:34, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
I've asked over at Wikipedia talk:Featured article review#€2 commemorative coins. Gimmetrow 11:58, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
  • I disagree. It's more of an article than a list. It's an article that contains lists, but there is way too much prose for it to be called an organizational "list". — Deckiller 20:51, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
I have to agree with Deckiller, this has too much prose to be called a list.--Danaman5 23:12, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
  • In my view, this text is structured as an annotated list, but I think a text shouldn't be both "featured list" and "featured article", and there doesn't seem to be strong support for removing it from FA. Gimmetrow 00:13, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm of the opinion that it's more of a list. LuciferMorgan 13:34, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Help requested

Moved to User_talk:Raul654/test#Updating_FA_stats Raul654 16:21, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Audit/updates to WP:FAS completed. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:18, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Unjustified restarts: my queries were ignored as usual

I called for the director to respond to queries about the restarting of El Al, but he didn't bother to justify his action. Now I see that Itanium has been restarted. Among other things, this wastes the work of long-suffering reviewers, who make comments on a nomination only to find the whole thing wiped and the process restarted, usually without proper justification. If Raul thinks that some nominations become disordered or messy, and that restarting is the solution, then why doesn't he step in and manage more effectively, or propose guidelines that will minimise the problem.

Otherwise, there's no telling whether there's a conflict of interest by the director. Most reviewers, I'm sure, would like to see the practice minimised. Tony 15:20, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

Concur. BQZip01 talk 15:36, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
If Raul could summarize the discussion when he resets the noms, that would really help. — Deckiller 15:39, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm sure large addressed comments or opposes could be {{hidden}}, but I could see reviewers having a problem with that. CloudNine 16:32, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

I'm with Tony on this - El Al got promoted and had minimal support after the restart yet it got promoted. I don't particularly like this restart procedure and feel it shouldn't be used so sparingly. LuciferMorgan 17:01, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

Don't get us wrong, Raul does a hell of a job, especially with his exceptional real-life load, but additional consideration should indeed be placed into restarts. — Deckiller 19:03, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Tony's point but also understand why Raul might be doing this; some reviews get so long that it makes it difficult to gauge consensus. Perhaps these long/convoluted reviews could simply be transcluded into another section on the project page? Restarting should only occur for clearly failed noms after a waiting period by somebody willing to address remaining issues, IMO. --mav 06:43, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Mav, I gotta say I disagree. I spent nearly 5 hours putting together a critique of the old nom, only to have it deleted and I had to redo everything again to justify an OPPOSE. Raul, why not just ask for clarification if it is needed? BQZip01 talk 14:46, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Great review. For such a detailed review, you may want to note your comments on the talk page, and note it on the FAC. Just a thought. CloudNine 15:02, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't follow how we disagree then - I'm advocating that we stop restarting noms exactly for the reason you give. --mav
Ok, to be more clear: I think Raul SHOULDN'T restart them at all. If he wants clarification, he can ask for it, not delete our work. If someone is willing to edit and doesn't...then how willing are they? BQZip01 talk 18:03, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Thus my suggestion to him to move unclear nom pages to an 'Unclear consensus / stalled nominations' (or whatever) section. --mav 19:01, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

How is restarting any different than failing the nom and having someone take the time to make a new nomination? Seems like a quicker way to acheive the same result. -Ravedave 19:05, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Concur with Ravedave. BQZip01 talk 03:50, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
Exactly my thoughts, except where Raul might feel that the disorder is unfair to the nominator(s). But even then, a call to order by the director before things get too out of control seems more appropriate than this ham-fisted wiping of everything, whether valuable or questionable contributions to the review process. Tony 04:21, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
I think when a FAC gets out of order it should be up to us, not Raul to fix it. The guy is busy enough, seriously. -Ravedave 04:40, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
That suggests that Raul's duties are too wide in scope. Perhaps he might consider delegating specific parts of it to trusted others (I'm not volunteering!). Tony 10:12, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm suggesting WP:BOLD -Ravedave 01:38, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

How come some many articles have been restarted again? This has gone too far now I think. An article that I nominated (Green Wing) has been waiting for around two-and-a-half months for a decision. How come we can't come to a decision about all these articles sooner. ISD 15:52, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

I removed the nomination last night and put it in the "Failed nominations" archive [4] Normally, Gimmebot would update the article's talk page and nomination page within a few minutes, but Gimmebot's operator (Gimmetrow) has been extremely busy as of late and hasn't been able to run the bot as punctually as he normally does. Sorry for the delay in giving you this information. Raul654 16:00, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Possible Solution?

Given the nominator's interest in getting an FAC promoted (and the fact that reams of text tend to put me off reviewing something), maybe there could be a suggestion/guideline that the nominator can summarise as an update with tally and notes on outstanding opposes once a page gets too hefty. The nominator is the obvious person to do this as it is in their interest to get the article through. This could be then noted in the FAC process cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 02:12, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
See page 23685.65 of the wikipedia rulebook: Wikipedia:Avoid instruction creep :P. I think that yes that is the way to go about it, but it doesn't need to be codified. If people start summarizing results, eventually it will be the vogue thing to do and no instruction creep needed. -Ravedave 03:08, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough. Just thought it was worth mentioning somewhere in case people felt a bit abashed in doing it.cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 04:43, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
  • No, there's an inherent and significant conflict of interest in encouraging nominators to summarise. I could summarise in a way that distorts the reviewing of my nomination, easily. Tony 08:14, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
OTOH all the material pre-summary is still evident right there and those who have been incorrectly summarised could point out any naughtiness. Question is, who else would be motivated (i.e. put up their hand) to summarise longer articles? cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 08:40, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
  • I still think addressed comments (of which there are quite a few in FACs) could be moved to a {{hidden}} section. I reckon that would help to reduce the clutter. CloudNine 08:51, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
    • Hrm... that's an interesting suggestion. As long as it's the objector doing it, I think that's workable. Raul654 13:31, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

I'm with Tony on this one, and think there's a definite conflict of interest whether it be the nominator or objector summarising. Definitely not workable in my opinion. If Raul cannot make heads or tails of an FAC, then his workload is getting too much and I suggest he pass the reigns onto someone else (definitely not me though). Most of these restarts are unnecessary - what we really need is objectors revisiting their votes (which most don't) and evaluating whether their votes / points raised are still valid. LuciferMorgan 15:47, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Can't the content of the old nom simply be moved to the talk page of the new one and Raul can point that out when restarting? Seems easy enough. Marskell 08:41, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

What do people think about this? [5] There was a lengthy discussion over various things to fix etc, once the discussion was done I linked to the old page and wiped the discussion. -Ravedave 16:29, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Cute, convoluted but cute :) cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 16:46, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Level of detail

This is probably the wrong place for this question, but I am hoping that regular FAC reviewers can point me at some precedents here. I am having a discussion with another editor about a historical biography article. One of the points at issue is the appropriate level of detail. There are two ways this has come up. First, when mentioning (for example) a fact known from a contemporary historian, one could say "According to Bede, <quoted information from Bede>". A footnote could then provide the source (usually Bede's "Ecclesiastical History"). Alternatively, one could provide an introductory sentence about Bede to explain that he was an eighth-century Northumbrian monk and chronicler, who completed his history of the church in 731. It would also be possible to provide a separate section in the article solely for the discussion of sources, if there are few enough sources that this could be concisely done. Which of these is to be preferred?

A second way the issue has come up is the question of whether to include informed speculation by respectable academics. For example, Æthelberht of Kent#Death and succession includes a paragraph describing how academics disagree on a particular point. Should this sort of information be included? Or should the article restrict itself to what is fairly well-supported by evidence?

This is not really an MOS issue, but I thought perhaps there might be a relevant guideline for what is fit for inclusion. I tried looking around WP:BIO, but all I found was Wikipedia:Manual of Style (biographies), which is more about style.

Any opinions, or pointers to prior discussions, would be very helpful. Thanks. Mike Christie (talk) 01:48, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

I think your first question revolves around how to cite a reference and there are many ways, none of which are a "preferred" method. However, make sure you are consistent throughout. See Wikipedia:Citing sources.
As for your second question, "the threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. "Verifiable" in this context means that any reader should be able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source" (See Wikipedia:Verifiability). Bede is clearly a reliable source for his time period, but I doubt that his grasp on Chemistry would much surpass that of a typical 7th grader today. It all depends on the context.
In the future, I would recommend posting these kinds of questions on the Wikipedia:New contributors' help page. They usually get back to you within 10-15 minutes max. As Paul Harvey would say, Good Day. BQZip01 talk 15:08, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Just a thought

It would appear as though the article Erie, Pennsylvania passed its FAC last week solely because User:Tony1 didn't get round to making his usual request for further copy-edits. I think it's a shame that the awarding of FAs depend on factors as arbitrary as this. Epbr123 09:58, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Well, yeah. It is an arbitrary process. I had some big concerns about Guinea Pig which I posted about 5 seconds before it was promoted. It happens. I agree he's pretty tough at times and also that if there are some glaring errors it is pointless continuing to review. I always come back to look to see if my concerns have been addressed. I can't speak for Tony. I do like hte guide he's written. Were you happy with the prose of this article you mention above? cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 11:40, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
Even after it's promotion, I had to do a spell check and I caught some errors. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 11:59, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
Even in the first paragraph of the lead it makes an outdated/inaccurate statement such as this: "Erie's Metropolitan Area consists of 280,843 residents." Epbr123 12:56, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
I think if there are actual concerns you can always discuss them on the article talk, or the nominator. In last resort, a FA review is OK if the concerns are made clear. Circeus 18:40, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

I wonder if you guys might be interested in this suggestion for a copyeditor's Department of style? Spelling of course is a different matter - that's just sloppy --Joopercoopers 20:57, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Number of line refs

I wonder how many inline refs are enough - anyone willing to have a look at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Deinonychus for starters as I'm having trouble reconciling the idea of every sentence being inlined as requested by Spamsara with the style issue of rather alot of cites and duplications.cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 05:01, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Actually, the (surprisingly new) user has been making similar comments on a number of FACs. I can understand a request for a few cites, but for every single sentence is preposterous. Circeus 05:13, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict) It's certainly possible to place a footnote after every sentence (I very nearly reached this level here); but it's neither required nor even recommended by any guideline I'm aware of. Unless you actually want to go for that level of citation, I wouldn't worry about people trying to impose "every sentence must be inlined" as a criterion; if a reasonable request is made for something in particular to be cited, you should do so, but you don't have to follow blanket requests for everything to be cited. Kirill 05:14, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
I remember I got opposed once for having too many citations, I believe their reasoning was that it breaks the flow of the article and distracting to some. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 05:15, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
The "Description" section is under-cited, but otherwise I think it's fine. DrKiernan 07:40, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
As it stands now, the article has approximately one citation for every two sentences (48 cites, 106 sentences). I've never heard that every sentence needs citation, and in fact some editors have opposed articles for over-citation. The position that every sentence needs a citation isn't really supported at WP:CITE. Academic papers don't usually use that much citation, either. I'm going to add some additional citations to the description section, though, as I think DrKiernan's correct that that section needs more support. Firsfron of Ronchester 08:45, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

The guiding principle is material that "is challenged or likely to be challenged needs a source." That doesn't mean any and everything can be challenged - the challenge should be a reasonable.....and specified - what's he challenging? Only then can it be actionable. Objecting on the basis of "not sufficient citation density" is patently absurd if the article is dealing with subject matter that is primarily common knowledge. --Joopercoopers 09:23, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Here's an update on another FAC with a similar discussion. cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 05:40, 14 July 2007 (UTC)


Da Vinci

should someone nominate Leonardo da Vinci, for it is highly informative? —Preceding unsigned comment added by T saston (talkcontribs)

Admin help needed to sort this out

For a VERY long time, I have sorted out every move, redirect, archive and anything else that has come up that affects {{ArticleHistory}} and GimmeBotification on FAs and articles listed at FAC, but I've hit one I can't fix myself. Several times, I've corrected errors and keep the history straight at Raëlian Church, which has now been split (or something) to Raëlism and Raëlian beliefs and practices while at FAC. The listing at WP:GA is now wrong (I don't know which article should be listed at GA, if either, since the Church article was assigned GA but has now been split and moved one day after attaining GA, and I don't think there's a GA any longer, but that's beyond my scope). The FAC has been moved, but not corrected at WP:FAC. And the articlehistory is now on a page it doesn't pertain to, since the items in History don't pertain to the new article. At least I think that's a summary of the situation, but I'm not sure. In any case, when GimmeBot has to decide what to do with the current FAC, there will be a mess to be straightened out. Can someone with admin tools who speaks ArticleHistory please help sort this out? I can fix ArticleHistory once it settles into one article or another, but I don't know where to park all the pieces in ArticleHistory. Then there's the matter of dealing with delisting the GA, but that's out of my realm. Maybe it's simpler than it appears, but I've gotten dizzy of trying to sort out the situation. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:49, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

I'd say that if an article splits, then it's clearly not stable and clearly not the article that was nom'd. It should therefore be stripped of all GA/FA distinctions until it can be re-vetted by the appropriate noms. Girolamo Savonarola 21:16, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
Should it be put up on GA/Review or be demoted immediately? Carson 21:35, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
I have no opinion about the article itself, but I have noticed something of what's been happening to it because of my involvement with a GA bot. The article has been to GA multiple times and has had a very hard time getting reviewed. For example I think it was quick-failed once or twice, causing it to start over at the end of the GAC queue. It was also put on review and hold notices by people who did not then complete the review. The nominator has become understandably frustrated, though I don't know that there was anything but good intentions on the part of the other editors. I believe there has been more than one split and/or merge done, as a result of other editors' inputs. I also think it might be unfair to say it's unstable: I don't think anyone else is editing the article significantly except the main editor. I think the nominator is trying to be responsive, and it would be ideal if the issue could be settled in discussion in the FAC since that's where the cause of the merge is. Just to reiterate, though, I have not reviewed the article, and it may be obviously not FA quality: I just feel a bit sorry for the nominator because of the history. Mike Christie (talk) 21:56, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
I have the same sense as Mike, which is why I'm asking for help. I can't keep track anymore, and I'm not sure what to do, but name changes alone aren't an indication of instability (The Language Movement article also had me chasing my tail, and it ended up at the right place). There are just a lot of pieces to sort out now. Calm heads needed. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:58, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
BTW, considering its history at GAC, kudos to TimVickers for taking it on, but it's changed a lot in the day since Tim passed it GA. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:03, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
And, as I keep going back trying to fix this thing, I still can't even find the original talk page, with all the GAC/GAR commentary; that's why I asked for admin help, to get the moves straightened out correctly. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:03, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
Sandy, I think this is the link you're looking for. Mike Christie (talk) 23:08, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, Mike, I just found it as well. Part of the puzzle is that he didn't move the page; he redirected the page, but left the talk page behind. I don't know how to fix it. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:11, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
Possibly revert and move properly? It is also possible to move talk pages alone, though it can get tricky. In general, if an article is split by cut and paste, then the original talk page should be archived after the split (leaving notes about all this on the resulting empty talk page), and archive links placed at the start of the talk pages on the split destinations. Sometimes it is possible to leave a short disambiguation page/summary style stub at the original location, directing people to the two split pages. An example of this is at History of Greek and Roman Egypt, which got split into Ptolemaic Egypt and Aegyptus (Roman province) (since moved). Gory details at Talk:History of Greek and Roman Egypt. Despite my optimistic note at the bottom: "I've removed the redirect and turned this into a stubby disambiguation page that will hopefully turn into a summary style article", the original History of Greek and Roman Egypt remains as stubby as ever, but, and this is the crucial bit, contains two and a half years of page history for the text that ended up at the split destinations. Carcharoth 16:48, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't have admin tools and I can't fix it, but the articlehistory and GA templates are now on a talk page that doesn't detail the GA history. It needs to be fixed. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:55, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
The admins who hang around Wikipedia:How to fix cut and paste moves probably enjoy poking through article histories. Why not try there? Carcharoth 17:16, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm kinda busy right now :-) This is really a GA problem, not an FA problem; I posted to them about it days ago, and I think someone over there should take this on. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:23, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

The singular is "criterion"

I propose a new rule under which each comment that refers to "criteria 3" or some such is immediately discounted for idiocy. Also, consider whether FAC nominations that use "phenomena" where "phenomenon" is appropriate should be removed and banned from nomination for two weeks. Spamsara 19:27, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

  • Erm, no. Raul654 19:28, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
Is it April 1? Thought we were in July... LuciferMorgan 22:09, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

Suggestion to use Template:La

I'd like to suggest using the Template:La to list candidates. Would make it easier to navigate, i.e. Article (edit|talk|history|links|watch|logs) Cricket02 07:19, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

The amount of time spent reading an article at FAC means the extra time spent finding these links is not really saving much time at all. 'La' is used at AfD, theoretically to remind people to look at the history of an article and its interconnectedness with other articles, before discussing. That is not so necessary here. The only thing that is really needed is a link to the talk page, but that is only one click away. Overall, could distract people from reading the article, so I'd say no need to use 'La'. Carcharoth 16:36, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

What can be done when an "Oppose" asks for copyediting by someone unfamiliar with the article?

After I nominated Jackie Chan, an oppose appeared saying that it needs copyediting by someone unfamiliar with the article, without elaborating why it needs copyediting. What can I do? If I have nominated the article, any requests for fixes should be actionable by the nominator.--Kylohk 12:56, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Why not find someone unfamiliar with the article to copyedit? The fine folks at Wikipedia:WikiProject League of Copyeditors seem like they might be willing to help. Getting another set of eyes on those sentences you've gone over and over can be a really useful thing. Collaboration is at the heart of Wikipedia, and it certainly trumps anyone's perceived right to have a featured article nomination go through. (ESkog)(Talk) 13:27, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
He does have the right to have actionable objections though. By actionable I mean non-vague stuff that can actually be done to the article. I can see this being a comment, but an oppose.. nope. -Ravedave 13:57, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I always welcome actionable opposes that are elaborate, since I'm good at correcting stuff. If concerns are actionable, I can usually take care of them in a matter of minutes. Meanwhile, LoCE seems to be undergoing some overhaul, and hence may be a bit too busy.--Kylohk 14:33, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
If you can't find anyone, give it a thorough copyedit yourself and ask the objector to provide more specific comments. Presumably if the article is in serious need of copyediting he will be able to do so easily. Christopher Parham (talk) 15:39, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Objections like this are extremely vague and virtually inactionable (because they automatically exclude the nominator, who is the de-facto responder to objections). For these reasons, I am very much against these kinds of objections. Raul654 15:52, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

  • Raul, after making that comment, you should resign. You show a complete disregard for writing standards and appear to be unaware of basic aspects of the collaborative writing process. You seem to be encouraging nominators to ignore requests for prose to be improved. It's disgusting. Tony 14:11, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
    • On the other hand, it is a crucial part of the FAC process that nominators be able to act on objections. Being asked to find somebody else to copyedit the article is quite difficult if it's a one-editor article with no active Wikiproject involved, and it is frustrating to nominators if the obstacle to FA status has no connection with the quality of the article. Christopher Parham (talk) 20:53, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
I am delighted to hear that. You have now given the green-light for everyone to ignore Tony1's demands for more copy-edits. Many of my noms have failed because of that. Thank you, Raul654. Epbr123 16:06, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I think the difference is that Tony always gives a long list of detailed examples. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:54, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
  • No, not always. Sometimes he just slides his eyes down the screen and makes vague remarks. As with this article's FA nomination. Chew Stoke. --Malleus Fatuarum 21:31, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
He will now have to list everything wrong with the prose, not just examples. Epbr123 16:55, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Comon, Be real. Are you saying that I could continually oppose a FAC with "needs copyediting" and thats it? One can't be expected to list every example either. Obviously the amazingly hard to reach conclusions is that if someone opposes due to copy editing they should either take it upon themselves to fix it or at least provide some examples or problems. -Ravedave 17:02, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I think you've misunderstood this conversation. Epbr123 17:06, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I've had Tony ask for copyediting on at least one of my FAC's, including the current one. I believe he's always given examples, which I agree is a prerequisite for actionability. When I look at the rest of the article, beyond his specific examples, I try to do so in the light of the kind of things he lists. This is easier for specific MOS issues such as incorrect use of em- and en-dashes, but it can be done to some extent with copyediting for flow and style. The way I think of it is that responding to a commenter's specific concerns is the minimum I need to do, but if I want to make a "support" more likely I need to try to go beyond that and see if I can spot other areas for improvement. Those unspecified concerns may not be directly actionable, but they might still be helpful. Mike Christie (talk) 17:07, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I am a non-native speaker of English. And in several FACs, Tony's examples have helped me a lot to improve the prose. However, it's really tough sometimes to attain his standard in the whole article. Asking other editors or the League for a copyedit is extremely helpful, especially if the copyeditors are unfamiliar with the article. You seem to overlook/miss wrongs/improvable aspects in the article if you are the main author, and going through over and over with the same pair of eyes does not help after some time. I think "copyediting by someone unfamiliar with the article" is a justified oppose comment.--Dwaipayan (talk) 18:15, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. Copy editing by a third party is just plain good form. I can see why Raul finds such objections vague, but it really is a good idea or anyone applying for FA status to request a copy edit by another set of eyes. Barring that, it's often useful for me to reread one of my articles after a few days of not looking at it or in printed form as opposed to on screen. It's amazing the kind of things you pick up on a fresh reading. — Brian (talk) 22:16, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't think anyone would deny that a third-party copyedit is very helpful. It's not easy to find someone to do it, though; and I've found it's worthwhile to go ahead and go to FAC with the best you can do, and clean up what you missed as it's pointed out. I very much agree with your last point that a wait of a few days is often very helpful. The other thing that's useful is to remember what your own weaknesses are and specifically look for them. E.g. I tend to overuse qualifiers and the passive voice, so I go through with an eye for those flaws in particular. I should also mention that I've several times had other editors at FAC jump in and do copyedits; I learn a lot from that process too, and as I recall Tony is one of the editors who did that on one of my articles. Mike Christie (talk) 22:24, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I guess I will do the next correction as stated by Epbr, and I'll go through the article again, myself. I will ask members of WikiProject Hong Kong to help, but in the end, I predict improvements to the article would be mainly done by me or someone familiar with Jackie Chan.--Kylohk 00:27, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

How long does it take to actually do a copy edit? I realize it's probably 30 minutes or so for a quality one. But I mean, we're all here to improve articles, right? Instead of opposing for "needs copy edit" couldn't we occasionally just do the copy edit? I have no real ability to copy edit at the level wanted by Tony1 and others, so if no one else feels like copy editting an article I'm working on... opposes like that can make FAC very frustrating. --W.marsh 00:32, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

I'd sure prefer commenters to do the copyedits, but it's certainly quicker for them to comment than to edit, so I understand when they don't, and I appreciate it when they do. As for getting help on copyedits, I think it's one of the shortest-supply skills here, and I wish there was a better way to distribute the skills of the willing among the articles that most deserve attention. Mike Christie (talk) 02:11, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the PR-bot even suggest some copyediting? Never hurts to run the article through PR first, remember - you can avoid a lot of common objections you can be sure will be voiced more strenuously during FAC. Girolamo Savonarola 02:26, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
What PR bot? I remember there was one months ago, but I never see it now. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 02:28, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Well, you'd be surprised, but when I submitted Jackie Chan for peer review, no replies were made. A few days later, I nominated it for a GA, concerns were raised, handled, the article was promoted. After which, no new comments appeared on the PR.--Kylohk 02:32, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
I did leave comments, and they were generated by the PR bot, but that was only two days ago, by which time you'd already nominated for FAC. DrKiernan 07:27, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
No, it is easily a two- to four-hour job for a feature-length article that needs work. (I don't copyedit, but a little birdie told me.) –Outriggr § 02:48, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
I agree. I just went back to look at Postage stamps of Ireland, which I helped copyedit; it was in fair shape but did need some work. Adding up the time per my contrib history it looks like I spent close to 90 minutes on it. And Outriggr can indeed copyedit, though he may not do so any more: he was extremely helpful on one of my FACs. And that diff is just part of what he did on it; I'd guess from the contrib history he spent at least one and a half or two hours on it. (Thanks again for the help!) Mike Christie (talk) 03:08, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Thank you Mike! And you've moved on to become such a prolific writer (if you weren't already?), and a talk-space voice of reason. –Outriggr § 05:32, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
I dunno, my point is more that listing edits the nominator must make is a bit weird... the nominator isn't the only person who can edit the article. We should fix errors that we see... opposing for things that one could easilly fix oneself has always annoyed me... it even seems like many times it would be faster to make the minor edit to the article than explain the problem in an opposition summary. Not that all "copy edit" problems can be instantly fixed, but I've seen a lot of opposes based ones that could be. --W.marsh 03:14, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
You know, having read through the nominations currently posted on the page, I noticed that most comments asking for fixes are made with great detail, so those users are really hard working model reviewers. So, I hope users would make a better effort in explaining thier opposes.--Kylohk 04:12, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
I second Outriggr's comment on the amount of time. Obviously it depends what shape the article is in, how technical the writing is, and how experienced the copy editor is (I'm not). I'm currently reviewing the prose of Autism on peer-review and it is taking me hours and will probably still need another pass by somebody else. Sure, I can make some edits myself (some of them are accepted and some aren't—I get it wrong) but often I've got to ask the editor to clarify since they have the source material from which to revise the text. Revising text without access to the source can be problematic (a bit like translating a French Bible into English). It is probably easier to directly copyedit less technical prose. Colin°Talk 08:15, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Hey, some people here aren't getting it. Copy-edit reviews are done by example, otherwise you may as well copy-edit the whole thing yourself. A set of examples, typically from the lead or another section, or just picked at random throughout, is evidence of the density of problems in the prose of the whole article. In the time I can copy-edit one article—one that I'm probably not interested in—I can show (force/dragoon, whatever) the nominators of a dozen FACs to find copy-editors as collaborators and, by implication, show that they should have done this BEFORE they nominated the article.
  • By chooseing to allocate my scarce time to reviewing rather than copy-editing, my footprint on WP is much larger. My aim is to improve the rather lacklustre standards of writing on the project, because I know that much of its value will be diluted unless there are people who prod and poke. A key prerequisite for this is not promoting so many FA nominations, something that Raul doesn't seem to understand. Tony 14:05, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
I can understand your point of view but I get the impression most FAC commentors, lacking your professional background, are less fussed by imperfect prose. I'm not sure that your typical FAC contribution is a good way pf helping your cause. "Oppose, 1a, look at these problems, but the rest of the article is written crap as well, you can't sort it out and I'm not going to" comes across as quite hostile because it doesn't leave the nominator many options. The Land 14:53, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
I guess that most FA reviewers assess 1a by reading the article (possibly not in full) and asking themselves whether it makes them want to read on. This is obviously a very different standard to a professional copyeditor. Do we need to look at what 1a says? The Land 14:59, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Land, I understand fully the frustration of many nominators at being told that their writing (and that of their collaborators) is not of the required professional standard. But professional is professional, and as long as the criteria insist on it, I shall do so. Tony 15:26, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
I didn't even know the criteria DID insist on it. This was introduced not very long ago in FA terms[6] after discussion by a total of eight people and on the basis that the Good Article criteria ad become tougher hence words had to be found with which the FA criteria had to be gold-plated. Had I been aware of the proposal to include a requirement for 'professional' writing I would have objected on the grounds that it introduces a further subjective judgement which, unlike 'brilliance', very few editors are adequately equipped to assess. The Land 17:12, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
This is a recurring issue. A lot of people complain that we don't have enough FAs, and a lot of FACs are rejected on the grounds of poor writing. The permanent flooding of FAC is for a great part due to the frantic effort of editors who search for copyeditors, and leave their review on hold in the meantime. I appreciate the effort that Tony puts into this, but I think 1a is a bit strict. The thing is, the very vast majority of editors and users don't care that much about it. It is certainly important that FAs be well written; but "professionnal" is a bit hard. I know professionnal writers who give me headaches in two pages. I also think Raul understands perfectly the effort that you put into this, and his frequently referring to you for the prose attests it; but he also needs to take all the other opinions into account.
A possibility that is generally rejected would be to have the FAC passed with a slightly lower language level, and all FAs automatically submitted to the LoCE, or whoever. --SidiLemine 15:39, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. GAs are well-written, FA is more than that. DrKiernan 15:45, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
I think, though, that Kylohk's and Raul's point is that an opposer cannot demand that an article be copyedited by someone specific (such as "not the original author" or "someone unfamiliar with the article"). I do agree, especially when there's only one main author, that outside copyediting is usually the best way to improve the prose of the article, so by all means suggest that someone other than the original author should do it. But the main point is that it should be done, and done well, and who did it (well) cannot be material in deciding whether to withdraw the oppose (because the judging of the article should only be based on the content, not the process). I'm sure neither you nor anyone else who is making these comments disagrees with this principle, but I think that what Kylohk was frustrated about (and Raul replied to) was that some comments have given the opposite impression. As for your standpoint versus The Land, I can't do anything but agree fully with you. Until the problems with an article are fixed, you are entitled—and quite right, may I add—to oppose it, whether or not you are prepared to actively help fixing them, as long as you tell the nominator why. If the prose is sub-par, a few examples will certainly tell the nominator why. -- Jao 15:51, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Kylohk's FAC shouldn't be compared to the kinds of comments Tony typically makes. He gives a long list of examples, and suggests a copyedit. Poor prose shouldn't pass FAC; those articles should go for GA, and individual editors and Projects should beef up their copyediting resources. Tony's responses encourage people to develop copyedit resources; articles should be copyedited before they come to FAC, and FAC is not peer review. I had three independent copyedits before I approached FAC, and my FAC sailed through. Yes, people are desperate for ce help; they should work on developing those resources rather than relying on a few FAC reviewers to do that work. It's not possible for Tony and a few others to copyedit all of Wikipedia. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:03, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

I've stepped away from WP:FAC to work on articles and other things. Just read through the discussion here, on Sandy's talk page, and Raul's talk page. Not sure what to think of all this, but disappointed to see folks here not getting along. I don't have answers or suggestions, but am just disappointed. --Aude (talk) 16:34, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

I wouldn't worry about that Aude; the source of the issues is finally coming to light, and only good can come from that. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:38, 20 July 2007 (UTC) (Unfortunately, it's chewing up a lot of editor time and probably furthering the backlog at FAC, but these backchannel rumors should have been dealt with long ago.) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:40, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Sandy, while I generally agree with what you say (on the principle at least), and agree that Tony's objects are far more constructive that the usual ce object, I'd like to know what you mean by "developing those resources". --SidiLemine 16:44, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
They can be developed at the Project or editor level: I'll give some examples (I hope no one is offended at the example I pick :-) Long, long ago, almost all of the India Project articles showed up here in very bad need of copyediting. Tony hammered on them for a long time, and they (at the Project level) improved their copyediting resources—I'm not really sure how, but they have. Their articles now come to FAC largely prepared, so I rarely review them anymore (short on time, allocate resources where they're most needed). There are several other Projects who now pool their resources to better prepare their articles for FAC (have a look at the very collaborative effort mentioned by Colin on the autism peer review right now). You can also work at the personal level. My prose sucks, to put it mildly. I waited *months* for Tony to have the time to dedicate to the article I brought to FAC. It's so much easier to get the work done before FAC, rather than deal with a messy FAC. Someone mentioned a few days at peer review: that doesn't work. You need weeks at peer review, and if no one responds, you have to go knocking on doors. You can spend time finding copyeditors who know your topic area, and developing a network, so that you can each help each other prepare for FAC. M3tal H3ad approached me long ago with his first Slayer article; I helped him learn how to cite an article, MOS issues, things like that. He now has a slew of FAs, and I also rarely review his articles, because I know that he knows reliable sources and how to reference an article. Those are some examples; does that answer the question? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:15, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
One part of Sandy's comment that I would like to highlight is the value of a supporting WikiProject. I think a community has a better chance than an individual of covering all the bases needed to bring articles to the highest possible level of quality. That applies to all aspects, not just copyediting. Mike Christie (talk) 17:21, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Thank you Sandy for the long answer. This is exactly what I thought, and the only logical way to proceed. There is, however, a definite shortage of good copyeditors. I remember having spent a lot of time through GA and PR specifically working on the text (I'm not even a native speaker), and a lot of people halped; but when I reached FAC, it was still considered very sub-standard. Still, I believe it saved me a lot of time and humiliating comments. Now, why don't we put a mention atop the FAC page about that, "get people from the projects to ce your article before submitting it!" so people are prepared? if there is enough emphasis on that from here, the projects will probably develop more and more ce-specific taskforces.--SidiLemine 17:40, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
An example of this is the (just-created) prose review page at Wikipedia:WikiProject Alternative music. Perhaps it'll serve as a template for other projects. CloudNine 17:35, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Well, let's all hope it works. This would definitely be a good solution. --SidiLemine 17:45, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Governor-General of India

i want this article to re-reviewed. the article do not meet any criteria. though the article was nominated on Aug 2004, but the article should meet atleast the basic Wikipedia's requirements. thanks, Sushant gupta 10:01, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

Very short article question

I know the question of length has come up before, and in principle there are no objections to an FA that is very short if it is of exemplary quality. However, I have an article I've been considering nominating which is probably right at the limit, and if anyone would be willing to take a look and express an opinion I'd appreciate it. It's Beyond Fantasy Fiction. Calculating the text size by grabbing the rendered article text and pasting it into a text editor and deleting headers etc. gives a little under 5K. This is comparable to the shortest FAs but would probably be the smallest yet; the shortest I know of is Hurricane Irene (1999)Hurricane Irene (2005). Beyond Fantasy Fiction would be about a hundred bytes shorter than that. Thanks for any comments or advice on whether this should or should not be nominated. Mike Christie (talk) 19:53, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

It is Hurricane Irene (2005), by the way. On a quick glance, I don't see much of a problem in it undergoing an FAC run. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 20:32, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

Professional standard

One of the criteria for an FA article, and one that seems to be be a blocker for many candidate articles, is that the prose should be of a "professional" standard.

My understanding of the word professional is "paid for". It implies no particular standard, depending on who is doing the paying. Tony seems particularly fond of raising this objection. But surely he disqualifies himself by misappropriating the word "professional" to mean "perfect"?

Given that there are no gross errors of grammar, punctuation or spelling, what's more important in an encyclopedia article? Great prose or great information? --Malleus Fatuarum 23:26, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

You are rerring to this, correct? While I find you calling Tony out on the use of "professional" amusing, I read the article and I would agree it needs a few more touch ups. Ex:
  • The intro doesn't mention it is in the country of England.
  • "... These new residents were moved to Chew Stoke in the 1950s, when the lake was created." - A lake, created? It's worth introducing the reader to more info about the lake. This is written to someone who knows this area. The lake itself is linked the 2nd time it is mentioned.
  • Recent history is choppy
  • The geography section contains transportation info
  • Something besides copyediting, I'd like to see Image:ChewStokeMap.jpg go through the OTRS system for permission.
  • This was only in a few minutes. Just keep trying you'll get it through.

-Ravedave 00:12, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Easy things to fix, had they been raised as issues needing attention. --Malleus Fatuarum 00:41, 25 July 2007 (UTC)


(edit conflict) I don't think the two are often exclusive. Tony's objections often raise the question whether a given prose issue is an error or a matter of personal taste. But if he is willing to clearly specify the changes he wants it seems that one might as well make the edits. It would be more helpful if you indicated the specific concern that brought you here. Christopher Parham (talk) 00:19, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

I did that right at the start. I asked what constituted a "professional" standard. I have no axe to grind with any particular article. --Malleus Fatuarum 00:31, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Just look at the existing featured articles, especially ones Tony has supported. That should give you a good idea. -Ravedave 01:29, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

I have seen some of Tony's offerings, that's partly why I started this thread.

But personalities apart, the question I'm asking is a simple one. What is a "professional" standard of writing? I'm sure that many of us are "professional" writers in the usual meaning of that word. But do we all have a common writing standard? Or has wikipedia misappropriated the word "professional" to mean something other than "paid to write"? --Malleus Fatuarum 02:00, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

"Professional" is also defined as "relating to, characteristic of or befitting a profession" or "has the skill, knowledge, and standards of a learned profession". DrKiernan 07:26, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

A "learned profession" would have some barrier to entry, some minimum standard that had to be reached. What's the required qualification for being a professional writer, other than being paid for your work? --Malleus Fatuarum 13:37, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
For someone writing Chemistry articles, training or qualification in Chemistry. DrKiernan 13:45, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
So a professional chemist writing about chemistry couldn't have his prose criticized, for the standard is the same as during his work?--SidiLemine 14:31, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't follow you. The work of professional chemists submitted to journals with bad prose is rejected. Of course prose can be criticised if it's badly written. DrKiernan 14:51, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
But we're not talking about professional chemists, we're talking about professional writers. So what training or qualification would someone writing about writing be expected to have? What qualification does a "professional writer" need to have? And by implication, what constitutes a "professional" standard of writing? --Malleus Fatuarum 23:32, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
In the narrow example that you insist on, I guess the qualification would be publication and the training would be in writing. DrKiernan 07:00, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm not insisting on anything. I'm simply asking for a clear definition of what constitutes a "professional" standard of writing, in the "narrow example" of Wikipedia. --Malleus Fatuarum 08:40, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
I'd like to add another dimension to this discussion, as the example of "professional chemists" was raised. I came across this earlier today, in an article that had been repeatedly copyeditted by so-called experts: "The mean average temperature in the years 1971 to 2000 was 9.4 to 9.7°C ...". That's not a 1a) violation, that's an abuse of basic arithmetic. Seems to me that too many people are looking for errors of grammar, and not enough people are looking for errors of fact. --Malleus Fatuarum 23:48, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
But isn't that an error of writing, not of fact? The annual mean temperature in each year from 1971 to 2000 was within the range 9.4 to 9.7°C. DrKiernan 07:00, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
Isn't it rather an error of reviewing? Many reviewers appear to have been quite content to allow meaningless terms like "mean average", or to allow an average to be stated as a range. Perhaps because they have no real understanding of basic statistics. Reviewing an article surely ought to involve more than just checking the grammar, punctuation and spelling. --Malleus Fatuarum 08:17, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
Absolutely. But it should include grammar, punctuation and spelling. DrKiernan 08:59, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
  • It certainly should. But that ought not to be the main criterion, as it seems to be at present, with reference counting following in a close second place. --Malleus Fatuarum 09:37, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
Even you yourself seem to struggle. What does "annual mean temperature" mean? Do you mean the "mean annual temperature"? Why repeat "annual" and "each year"? --Malleus Fatuarum 08:45, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
For your first two questions: I don't know. I'm not a climatologist or a statistician. For the last question: Yes, fine. The annual mean temperature from 1971 to 2000 was within the range 9.4 to 9.7°C. DrKiernan 08:59, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm not a climatologist or a statistician either, but I don't think that either of those qualifications is necessary for understanding that an average is a number, not a range. I also note that you still don't seem to have got the point entirely. "The annual mean ... from 1971 to 2000". --Malleus Fatuarum 09:26, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
You're misunderstanding me: The annual mean in 1971 was 9.41, in 1972 9.56, in 1973 9.64, in 1974 9.50, in 1975 9.43, in 1976 9.69, etc., etc., The annual mean in each of the years between 1971 and 2000 was more than 9.4 and below 9.7. DrKiernan 09:45, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
I believe it's you that's misunderstanding me. The met office data is averaging the information gathered between 1971 and 2000. It's quite possible, for instance, that in 1998 Runcorn's average rainfall was exceptionally heavy and so outside of that range. In 1999 Runcorn may have received rather little rain, so on average it's average. You cannot infer that because the average is within the range, that every (annual) value making up the average is also within that range. --Malleus Fatuarum 10:32, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
The statistical methods used are given here: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/about/methods.html. It's all way over my head. DrKiernan 11:16, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
I know what the statistical methods are, I'm suggesting that too many FA reviewers don't. If statistical data is being reviewed, as it probably is in every township FA candidate, then the current revewers are not acting "professionally". I'm also suggesting that it's far easier to address a lack of commas, or "funny phrasing", than it is to address a lack of understanding. Hence my belief that the present FA review process is fundamentally flawed, skewed as is it towards favouring presentation over content. --Malleus Fatuarum 12:33, 27 July 2007 (UTC)


I agree. Most Wikipedia editors do not have a background in professional editing; so, they do not have any method of judging what 'professional' means, other than 'not amateurish'. There is no place on this Wiki for a "if it's not done by professionals it's not good enough" attitude. The Land 08:56, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
The system is skewed to presentation over content insofar as most of the reviewers probably do not know enough about the topics to comment effectively on content. However, in my opinion, that doesn't mean the comments about presentation aren't useful. Since an encyclopedia is a place one goes to for information about things one doesn't know very well, the insistence on clear prose and presentation seems to me valid.
The word "professional" is vague, of course; but I don't see how it could sensibly be removed, if Wikipedia aspires to be taken seriously. Most of us are amateurs who aspire to a professional standard. My homepage is BBC sport, where I often see errors and sloppiness that I would call unprofessional, though it is a professional site. The best pages on Wikipedia are better than that and remarkably professional, both in content and prose. I suppose we would ideally like all FAs to reach that standard—a dream, of course; but we should at least aim high.qp10qp 14:07, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
There are other issues that arise when dealing with presentation over content, namely that incorrect content is accepted, even pressured through, for the sake of moving something through the list quickly. This will wind up embarrassing Wikipedia on the main page one day, when someone looks at the actual content of the technical data and sees what is clearly a pretty article that is wrong. I agree that presentation over content is a major issue with Wikipedia FAs. KP Botany 14:12, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't see the problem with the old formulation which asked for "compelling, even brilliant" prose. The Land 14:32, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Who's to be the judge of whether the prose is "compelling, even brilliant"? Professional writers? Back to square one. If "compelling, even brilliant" can't be measured objectively then what purpose does it serve? --Malleus Fatuarum 15:22, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
I think 'compelling, even brilliant' is something which volunteer Wiki-editors are quite able to assess (tehy ahve been for years). 'Professional' isn't. The Land 15:46, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm in no way trying to suggest that comments about presentation aren't useful, of course they are. We should all be aiming to write clear prose. I'm simply suggesting that the present FA review process seems by and large to be only about presentation.
And returning to the topic of "professional" writing, how can that be quantified, or is it some kind of a boolean? "If you can't measure it, you can't manage it." --Malleus Fatuarum 14:22, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
It may seem to be only about presentation, but where people comment on a subject they know about, they will go into depth. The trouble is that each one of us knows only a limited number of things in depth. That, I admit, does make the review process unsatisfactory. However, even with a little knowledge, one can often sense whether an article knows what it's talking about or not. I believe that there is a connection between prose clarity and clarity of thought: so if an article reads to me like a muddle, I am unlikely to give it the benefit of the doubt on content.qp10qp 14:38, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
  • In the example I gave above though, there's no deep understanding required to know that a "mean average" temperature can't possibly by 9.4 - 9.7, or that the term "mean average" is at best dubious. --Malleus Fatuarum 15:12, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict) One suggestion that was made a month or two ago was to have technical reviews provided by specialized WikiProjects, where one exists. If I recall the discussions correctly, the idea was that some projects (MilHist comes to mind) had sufficient skills in-house to validate some of the technical and content aspects of the articles. Those projects might be able to "certify" (whatever that might mean in practice) that an article met the "comprehensive" and "factually accurate" criteria.
Part of the reason for the suggestion was a recognition that for specialized subjects, many reviewers will find it difficult to verify accuracy and comprehensiveness. Rather than attracting those reviewers to FAC, the idea was to extend the FAC process into those WikiProjects that the FA director felt were qualified to make those technical assessments. An additional attraction of the idea was that it was easy to see how it would support scaling up the FAC process. However, there's no question it would increase the bureaucratic/process overhead, which is a negative. Personally I'd like to see the idea piloted somewhere like MilHist, since I think a sense of community is one thing that drives collaboration, and military history buffs will be more likely to contribute if they own part of the process.
Without some such approach, I think content reviews have to be done by whoever shows up at FAC. I haven't seen enough FACs to know how well that has worked, but I know that people with expertise in history have commented knowledgeably on the historical FACs I've submitted. I'd be interested to hear from other nominators about whether they feel their submissions were knowledgeably reviewed. Mike Christie (talk) 14:46, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
(post-edit conflict) I agree with qp that poor prose makes it hard to have faith in the content. It's the converse that might be more of an issue: an article with good prose might omit a key area of the topic. Mike Christie (talk) 14:46, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
While I agree that the prose standards we have at the moment might be conter productive, deterring people from FAC, etc, I'm not sure there is such a threat for accuracy. I mean, that's what WP:V and RS are for. If everythin is properly sourced, and the sources are reliable, then the only thing we're afraid about is not being comprehensive. In most FAC reiews I've seen, however, a few people from the project come and see. Moreover, a lot of reviewers will google the subject just to get an idea of the available literatureand documentation. --SidiLemine 12:32, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
Have to disagree there; IMO, very few reviewers check the reliability of sources. I often come along after a number of Supports have piled up on a review and Oppose because reliable sources aren't used. There's a recent promotion coming up on the mainpage soon that got a scanty review, and no one appears to have checked the sources. Raul can only promote/archive based on what reviewers tell him, and if reviewers aren't checking sources, articles which may be well written, yet against Wiki's core policies, can go on the main page. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:47, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Re-suggesting bot list of FAC contributors

At this section, above, I suggested a bot to track FAC contributors, in order to encourage FAC participation; after some comments Marskell refined the idea by suggesting it count sigs, not contribs. A suggestion was made that it would be better to post the idea at WP:PR, which I did; there were no responses.

I'd like to go ahead and post a request to count FAC sigs to the bot requests page. Any serious objections? Would it be actively harmful? Mike Christie (talk) 00:52, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

I like the idea exactly as presented (couting sigs).--Esprit15d (talk ¤ contribs) 12:20, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
May as well be this way..cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 12:33, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
I support the idea as well. Epbr123 12:50, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

OK, I posted a request. Mike Christie (talk) 20:57, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

I see lotsa complaining.. what does "Be Civil" mean ... etc.

  • I see lotsa complaining. Some of it boils down to (tremendously regrettable) pure factionalism, some of it is sour grapes, and some of it is sincere but directionless venting.
  • Are there any essays about how to review a FAC, and what "Be Civil" actually, concretely means when reviewing a FAC? I suggest creating them and linking them prominently on the FAC page.
  • And the faction-driven culture has to go, pronto. It's cancer... people need to step up and say, Wikipedia is bigger than (more important than) your factions....
  • But here's the main point: See 'The Diplomatic Critiquer' and several other articles at [7].
  • Ling.Nut 20:08, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
Some nominators could do with lessons in civility as well. Epbr123 20:21, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
It's not incivil to say that:
  1. Everyone is complaining.
  2. There doesn't seem to be guidance, and if there is, it hasn't been displayed prominently or made a part of the culture, and
  3. Factions are cancer.

Ling.Nut 20:23, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

I wasn't actually referring to you. This shows how rife incivility is at the moment; even innocent comments are assumed as attacks. Epbr123 12:54, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

(undent) oh sorry... :-) Ling.Nut 21:05, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Inspiration

To help civility I recall Dave Navarro being a good model for this on Rockstar Supernova where he was really positive and constructive - clearly really enjoyed what he was doing and respected the amount of work people were putting in....cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 03:20, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Former Featured Articles Wikiproject

According to Wikipedia:Former featured articles, there are over 400 articles that at one time met the Featured article criteria. Many of these were demoted for minor reasons that could easily be fixed by a dedicated group of editors. This project aims to dramatically increase the number of featured articles by first focusing on those former FAs closest to meeting the criteria, and working its way to those in need of more help. This would be done through scheduled collaborations on said articles. While all editors are welcome to join, editors with experience creating FAs, especially those with strong copyediting skills and/or knowledge of MoS are most needed. There is no reason for wikipedia to have any "former" FAs. It should be top priority to maintain them. "Once an FA, always an FA." is the eventual goal of this project. This project would also serve as a "rescue squad" for articles under FA review. Please click the above link and add your name in order to join. Wrad 14:14, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

I have often browsed the former FA page and thought about this sort of project so kudos for setting one up.cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 22:05, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
I've been toying with the idea myself, but the issues are generally not so minor as you might expect. It has already been suggested that the Emsworth articles are probably the easiest saves as they generally require footnotes only, and concern subjects that are widely covered. Ceoil 22:18, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
Many are way below FA standard, but many are very close. For example The Simpsons and Columbine Massacre. Wrad 18:19, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

I'm going to add this reminder here and to your Project listing. Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Io (moon) has a reminder I usually put at the top for Raul; if he isn't made aware that an article is an WP:FFA and has already been on the main page, on promotion, he may add it back to WP:FA without noting that it's already been on the main page (I believe this happened with Pluto). Please remember to add this reminder for Raul if you bring any FFAs back to FAC, and to add a link to the FARC, so reviewers can see that all concerns have been addressed. When articles are re-promoted, they are moved to the re-promoted category at the bottom of WP:FFA, the overall tally doesn't change, but the re-promoted tally is incremented. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:06, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

Clutter on FAC pages

It's taking over. We now have

  • green Yes check.svg Done check marks,
  • red X mark.svg Not done check marks,
  • Resolved
  • and now a Summary (vote tally) box as well.

On one fac alone, we have three of these components. All of these either obscure reviewers' comments ("done" and "resolved" aren't done until the reviewer srikes) or the potential to mislead (summary box not updated, or other editors hiding reviewers' comments). These elements are cluttering the FACs and making it harder to see what is addressed and what is not. I've had multiple items marked "done" or "resolved" on my reviews that aren't at all "done" or "resolved". I installed one of the headers to hide my comments now addressed (thinking that would be easier on Raul), and then realized someone else could just as easily hide my comments when they are *not* addressed. These practices require the reviewer to constantly monitor every FAC to make sure something isn't hidden or checked incorrectly. I suggest we need to stop these practices, and hear from Raul about what will help him sort through FACs. Several of the FACs have become hard to sort through because of all of these elements. When I encounter my review trashed by graphics, I plan to start over at the bottom, rather than sorting through and figuring out what I have to strike. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:00, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Do you think it's necessary to prohibit their use on the FAC? Raul654 01:08, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Raul, you suggested at one point that there might be value in the summary boxes. Perhaps there is a "clerking" function that could be performed (delegated) to do this summarization on whatever the clerk felt were the most complex or confusing FACs. The onus would be on the clerk(s) to keep the summary up to date. Could that work? Mike Christie (talk) 01:10, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Mike, the clerking might help Raul with a summary (if he agrees, not sure), but it doesn't solve the other problem of the clutter that has to edited around for a reviewer who has to strike comments and provide further feedback. I'm opposed to the Summary box as well, for other reasons, though. Ten "fan supports" can't balance one "there are no reliable sources in this article" oppose, and a summary box obscures that. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:57, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
I gotta say that I think Sandy's comments "When I encounter my review trashed by graphics, I plan to start over at the bottom, rather than sorting through and figuring out what I have to strike." sound awfully arrogant. Do we have to do all reviews her way or she won't bother to read them? All I am saying is that this seems like one person opposing an article because she doesn't want to read through the responses seems kinda arrogant. The marks are simply a way to indicate what has been done with your request and show what has been completed and what hasn't. Why on earth is this a problem? BQZip01 talk 01:17, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes, if the FAC is so cluttered that I can't easily edit to strike my comments, I'll start over at the bottom. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:57, 31 July 2007 (UTC) Also, please explain why we need to read around those big green check marks that distort the text (line size), when what we really should be seeing is meaningful text that we can respond to ? What is the value added of the graphics, besides giving the appearance that something is completed, when it may not be (often the case) ? When it's not done, do I then have to put a competing red check mark? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:17, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
As long as you state that you are starting over at the bottom and your reasoning, then go ahead, but you may want to delete your previous posts to make it clear that the problems have/have not been cleared up. Personally, I have rarely found these comments to be in any way obtrusive. The value added is that it is clear that the problem has been addressed (it may not have been addressed completely up to your standards, but it has been addressed). When you strike out comments, it is clear. Would it satisfy you if we reduced the size of the check mark/red X? BQZip01 talk 02:50, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Four or five different graphics, boxes, etc. have taken over: it's about what makes it easier for Raul to sort through, balanced by ease of editing for responding to comments. IMO, the graphics add nothing except deception. The FACs would be far less cluttered if a nominator said at the end of comments they had addressed the concerns, please have another look, no graphics needed, less to deal with. Do we need a check mark for every item? But if Raul likes the graphics and finds them helpful, so be it ... I'll still find that they make it harder for me to see what is actually addressed and they add no value except deception and clutter. Reducing the size will help the readability, but not the underlying issue: objections aren't addressed until they're struck by the reviewer. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:58, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Check mark sizes now reduced so that at least they don't distort line size. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:26, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Strike that; the size was restored. The argument there is that the larger {{Done}} template does serve a useful purpose elsewhere (probably where it's used once to close a discussion). Its use elsewhere seems more appropriate. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 09:40, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Raul, to answer your question, it's a matter of what will be most helpful to you in sorting through it, balanced by the concern that info be presented correctly and that it not be made unnecessarily hard to edit these pages. Something is not "done" or "resolved" until the reviewer (or you) says it is. Often, I'm working around multiple graphics, long sig files, and convoluted formatting to try to find my original comments to see if they've been addressed and try to enter followup and further feedback. If we use any of these elements, it should be because they are helpful to you, balanced by ease in editing and replying on the longer, messier FACs. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:33, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
"...long sig files, and convoluted formatting..." Like this? "''...I'll start over at the bottom. [[User:SandyGeorgia|Sandy<font color="green">Georgia</font>]] ([[User talk:SandyGeorgia|Talk]]) 01:57, 31 July 2007 (UTC) Also, please explain why we need to read around those big green check marks that distort the text (line size), when what we really show...''" —Preceding unsigned comment added by BQZip01 (talkcontribs) 02:50, July 31, 2007
I'm sure you can find the long sig files if you work at it. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:00, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
I agree that all this clutter is a pain in the neck. But I doubt we should go beyond mildly pointing out when it irritates us, because it might lead to a perception that reviewers are too fussy and put well-meaning individuals off from contributing, some of whom might be young or synesthetic, etc. I think we have to live with the fact that for many people, fancy stuff is part of their internet visualisation process and that they may spend much of their time in venues where all this is normal. On the other hand, none of this stuff should ever be officially adopted; then I would be annoyed. I think we have to be a little patient: where people tick things or say "done" when they are not done, we can just point out where they are not done. And starting over (oh no, I'm talking American) is often a good thing, so long as one makes it clear what one is responding to. I like things tidy, too, and until my thesaurus is parallel with the keyboard, I can't begin to edit; but I have three untidy daughters and so have become tolerant by necessity.qp10qp 10:07, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

BQZip01 asked, Why on earth is this a problem?

  1. It's deceptive. Something is not done until a reviewer strikes it as done, or Raul considers it done.
  2. It clutters the FAC, making them unnecessarily harder to read.
  3. It serves no useful purpose. Typing Done takes half the keystrokes of typing {{done}}. Chopping up comments makes striking them later much harder. What's wrong with typing at the bottom of a review something like, I've addressed everything except X because of Y, please review and strike?
  4. They chop up the FAC, making it harder to read. Why chop up each comment with a meaningless done checkmark, rather than just asking the reviewer to visit and strike?
  5. When I review an article, I'm obligated by the instructions at FAC to revisit and strike my comments once they are addressed. I invite you to sort through a page like this to find and strike comments. The clutter makes it hard to review and comply with the FAC instructions to strike. The goal, after all, is to strike Objects.
  6. If it becomes so hard to strike my comments, then I'm going to have to find something to do, perhaps like putting a box around my comments and asking that they be left intact so that I can later find my comments to strike them. In other words, competing graphics (my box around my text to offset all the other graphics).
  7. The tally boxes are deceptive and anti-Wiki. Reviewers should read through comments to see what has been raised and what has been addressed. FAC is not a vote. Ten pile-on fan Supports shouldn't cancel one "there are no reliable sources" Oppose.
  8. Do the graphics make it harder or easier for Raul to sort through a FAC?
  9. Would Raul prefer restarts for the messy FACs ?
  10. Is this a desired outcome ? Editor adding to Support summary box with no other commentary on the FAC.

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 10:24, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

  • Comment: I strongly agree with Sandy. At the same time, I partly sympathise with nominators' behaviour in the regard: it's satisfying to tick off issues as they're addressed, and at least it shows that energy is going into improving a nomination. But there are signficant disadvantages in that they:
  • make it much harder to read through and assess where it's going (let alone make the ultimate decision, as Raul must)
  • make the page look chaotic
  • look gaudy
  • are an unnecessary invasion of reviewers' text.

I suggest that they be proscribed, pure and simple, and that nominators simply write "Done" after each point they address, where appropriate, and keep private notes to prioritise their action. Everyone would benefit from a few basic rules to keep visual and structural order on FAC pages. We don't like instruction creep, but a few pointers will prevent much of the chaos creep that is infecting the process.

We already have in the instructions: "Do not split a FAC page into subsections." I suggest that two points be added, thus:

Participants are asked not (i) split a FAC page into subsections, (ii) add symbols (such as ticks and crosses) or boxes, or (iii) use bold text, except in reviewers' initial declarations (Support, Comment, or Oppose). Rewievers may strike through their initial declaration, but rather than striking through specific comments, nominators may add after them a word such as Done, and reviewers N/A.

Can we afford two extra lines in the instructions for this? Tony 14:38, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

PS Another proposal that might be helpful is to require reviewers to sign immediately after their initial declaration, as well as after each subsequent comment. It would be so nice to identify who is declaring what with minimal effort. You can sign in two places at once on the same edit. Tony 14:43, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

I routinely put red reminders at the top of the FACs for WP:FFAs (rare) to help Raul remember to file them correctly at WP:FA. I checked this with him; is that colored text a problem? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:46, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Agree with Tony, including the PS; easy for someone's sig to get separated by a lot of heavily-indented text, signed by others, from their original comment. I also echo Sandy's concerns, and note that it's very rude to put the whole FA page through the torture of reading a massive signature dozens and dozens of times. The Land 16:33, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Sandy, I see nothing wrong with making the text red.
Another solution might be to limit the Table of Contents to one level. We could then appropriately split each of the comments of each reviewer as a heading/subheading to make it clear (each reviewer under a different header, maybe?). This would limit the ambiguity.
As for your comment of the charts showing support, I agree that 10 supports and 1 oppose doesn't imply 91% support as each comment should stand on its own and be addressed, BUT it can show the progress and the current state of the opposition/support.

Stars

Do FAs still get stars on the article page? Rock Springs massacre didn't so I was just wondering. Thanks. IvoShandor 14:57, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

You add that yourself, by putting {{featured article}} after external links. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:04, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Is it supposed to go there? I've always added it at the top of the article. Mike Christie (talk) 15:05, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
I didn't know that, thanks. Hey Mike, I bet it's so a vandal would have to scroll all the way down to remove it? No? I don't know, maybe. IvoShandor 15:07, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
I think it's supposed to go at the bottom, with other templates after External links, but I don't remember why I think that. IvoShandor has a good point, though. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:19, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Well, I just looked, and the template does say to put it at the bottom. I might post a query at the template talk page; but I'll go ahead and change the ones I've done. Mike Christie (talk) 15:21, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
YesY ah, solved. The instructions at {{featured article}} say it goes at the bottom. Yes check.svg Done Shall I put a "Done" on this?  :-) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:21, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
The green checkmark has replaced Nazism in Godwin's Law. –Outriggr § 08:19, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Outriggr, WP:BEANS !! (Images of 60 px checkmarks all over FAC :-) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:11, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Promote/archive stats

I've often read the rumor that FAC is getting harder and harder to pass, so I decided to look at the data for the past six months compared to six months a year ago.

Promoted and archived FACs—last six months, 2007 vs. 2006

Month Promoted FACs Archived FACs  % Promoted
July 2007 70 62 53.0%
June 2007 73 72 50.3%
May 2007 56 49 53.3%
April 2007 53 61 46.5%
March 2007 88 74 54.3%
February 2007 52 40 56.5%
Subtotal 2007 392 (65 per mo.) 358 52.3%
July 2006 53 107 33.1%
June 2006 43 83 34.1%
May 2006 47 73 39.2%
April 2006 39 88 30.7%
March 2006 44 76 36.7%
February 2006 35 57 38.0%
Subtotal 2006 261 (44 per mo.) 484 35.0%

The promotion rate has gone up considerably. My sense is that we're working harder to get more promotions. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:25, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

I suspect it might be team voting actually. A lot of FAs these days seem to have a lot of votes from people who don't write particularly much and seems to derive mainly from topical or national feelings of pride. Also the standard expected of FAs change, so I would say that the raw number is waht counts, since you could simply have a scenario of drive-by nominations of articles people read and find interesting. This would put the success rate down. These often get crushed uanaimously because of having black holes in the content and so forth. Blnguyen (bananabucket) 01:57, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
If I had to guess, I'd say there are two reasons - (1) the expectations for what constitutes a featured article haven't been changing all that much in the last 12 or 18 months. People know what we expect out of an FA, and the nominations we're getting are, on average, much closer to being FAs and requiring less work. (2) The nominations are being left on the page longer. This was unintentional (my research and now my internship haven't left me as much time to edit Wikipedia as previously), but it appears to have had a positive effect. Raul654 21:57, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Also, canvansing folks to remove tags so that an article that is grossly unprepared can be quickly promoted, might explain things a bit. KP Botany 05:01, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
I am noticing a lot of group effort too on FA's; I see projects devoted on nothing to bring articles up to this standard. While nothing wrong with that, I just don't see any of the canvassing that KP is mentioning about. But as long as the articles are good, factual and comprehensive (with free images as much as possible), it doesn't matter to me what they are about. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 08:35, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
There might be another explanation: As the number of B articles and GAs grow, it is getting easier to find a "promotable" article. In other words, the average level of the articles is getting better, making it easier to "push" them through FAC. That, plus I think the standards get better known by the projects and others as time goes.--SidiLemine 15:29, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Arbitrary closure of FACs??

There seems to be an varying logic to closure of FACs. e.g. Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/The Apprentice (UK)/archive2 was closed after very few comments.

However the two FACs that really got me wondering were 2007 Malaysian Grand Prix and 2007 Canadian Grand Prix. Canadian GP article was nominated last but closed first, while as of the time of writing the Malaysian GP article is still a FAC. I agree that the Canadian GP article wasn't ready, but neither is the Malaysian GP article and the latter has received no less objections. I believe the rationale behind closures needs to be explained to interested parties when the nomination is archived. Mark83 21:31, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

(1) I close well in excess of 100 FAC noms per month. I will not provide a closing rationale for each one - it already takes long enough to get through the FAC pages without significantly increasing the work it takes.
(2) FAC noms are not closed in the order they are nominated. Nowhere on this page does it say they will be. The Canadian Grand Prix nom was closed faster than the Malaysian GP article for the simple reason that the Malaysian GP actually has some support to become a FA, and the Canadian GP had none whatsoever. Raul654 21:41, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the reponse. Fair point about timescales and I take your point about some support vs. no support so I apologise for the accusation of a lack of logic in that case. However I'm not sure about "I will not provide a closing rationale for each one" -- 100 FACs a month works out about 3 a day. Would three extra sentences a day really be an insurmountable challenge? Mark83 22:33, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes, he has a huge workload; please don't suggest that it be even marginally increased. Thanks for your input. Tony 10:51, 1 August 2007 (UTC)