Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive25

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A form of natural attrition?[edit]

I must say I do like the idea of an unfettered choice of subject matter at FAC - something like some sort of Freudian free association as to what wikifolks really want to give a spit 'n' boot polish too to polish up to FAC. Pop culture is today's version of folklore, fables and mythology so I have no problem with Simpsons as I do with ancient material.

But I digress; there is so much passing through FAC that I wonder if by choosing something too obscure one is dooming a FA candidate article to failing or at least delaying passing as it raises less interest than a more accessible one..and that as FAC gets busier this may be more apparent (or maybe I am just putting 1 & 1 together and getting 3....)...cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 14:11, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

There are many editors who state that any article can reach FA status, but I don't believe that's the case. I absolutely believe there are hundreds if not thousands of topics which are too obscure to be successful at FAC in its current form. Considering the small percentage of the community which weighs in on any FAC, and considering the lack of experts or organization within portions of the community, there's no way many FACs receive the attention (or recognition) they deserve. Choosing an obscure topic may well doom a FAC, depending on just how obscure the topic is. Firsfron of Ronchester 16:39, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
On the other hand, obscure topics may find it easier to get through FAC, as there are less experts able to find faults with them. Epbr123 (talk) 16:56, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Obscurity isn't the only thing that limits FAC reviews - accessibility also plays its part. Consider the current review on Ulysses (poem): most definitely not obscure, but not a subject people feel comfortable commenting on, for whatever reason. It seems to me that some of the more "high brow" articles suffer from inattention through FAC just as much as obscure articles do. Generally, the more traditional encyclopaedia subjects tend to attract reviews from a small subset of editors who are interested in that area (science, classical EngLit, MilHist etc), while the pop culture stuff attracts a lot of comment. Epbr makes a good point on expertise too - the aforementioned categories tend to attract fewer reviews than pop culture, but those reviews are typically much more detailed and critical than the "fancruft" (excuse the nasty phrase), simply because the reviewers have a passion for the subject. Being an "expert" on the Simpsons is a damned sight easier than being an expert on the works of Tennyson. Hmm, I'm not sure what the point I was trying to make was, but here it is anyway ;) Carre (talk) 17:28, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Firsfron, but the question for me is: What's the best way to object to an article about a subject which is too obscure to be an FA? Is there some part of the criteria which can be invoked most effectively? The best I can come up with is objecting on the basis of "not comprehensive enough" – surely this is a pretty subjective perspective, and I can't help feeling like I'm using a bit of WP:IDONTLIKEIT. – Scartol • Tok 20:48, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
This is a difficult issue that goes to the heart of what Wikipedia is. When I took Norte Chico civilization through FAC, I was quite convinced that I knew more about the topic than any Wikipedian going. Because I'm an archeologist or because the material is particularly complex? No, on both counts—it just seemed unlikely that any other conscientious amateur had read through the English language material as precisely as I had, on a subject so obscure. (It would only take you a day.) With the exception of one involved reviewer, the FAC was underwhelming.
What would have made it better? A subject matter expert—which, again, goes to the heart of Wikipedia. We don't bar subject matter experts, of course, but we don't have a process that requires them to look at an article. I would love nothing more than an actual archeologist looking at the Norte Chico article. Now, Nupedia failed because of clunky peer review (Citizendium will fail for the same reason) and Wikipedia has succeeded because it swore off expert reliance. I applaud that—I'm here for that reason. But maybe we might rope them in again to look on a lower order of magnitude at our best (and the main links to our best, which are often lacking)? Something above FA? I don't know. But I do think we should stop talking about quantity and start talking about the quality of what is already here. Marskell (talk) 21:47, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
The vast majority of "actual archaeologists" may well not not know any more about the Norte Chico than you do. Why should they, unless they'd taken the time to specifically study that civilisation? Given a sufficiently obscure subject, almost anyone can become the world's leading expert in a matter of days, no previous training required. The Zulu Principle. --Malleus Fatuarum (talk) 01:45, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
I feel something has to be pretty exacting or specific for there to be insufficient material for FA status - even then this can be fixed sometime by broadening the scope a wee bit. As well there is the structure and form of the article which can be viewed under hierarchy of headings and/or prose. Sometimes things just come out 'wonky' and need to be reworked. Happened first time I nominated Stegosaurus and also with K-T exticntion recently.
The reason I like the free flow of articles on all sorts of subjects is that it is fascinating to see what people write about as important to them, rather than some patronising view as to what is importnat or vital. Amusing also to see the similarities and differences between the top 500 viewed articles and the vital article list. cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 02:45, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
I think we're talking about two different things: some of us are saying that an article may be too obscure, where others are saying a subject may be too obscure. While I don't disagree with the former, I do with the latter. It's easy enough to get caught in the trap of writing too technically, alienating your readership. But in an encyclopedia read and edited by millions of users, there probably are very few articles which have an overly obscure topic. It's just that FAC is based on consensus, and with few people weighing in on many FACs, there isn't much consensus to promote, meaning one or two out-of-process objects can derail a FAC.
Say what you will about Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Norte Chico civilization, but despite the relatively small number of people weighing in, at least there were quite a few insightful comments. Compare that to Wikipedia:Featured_article_candidates/Styracosaurus, which did not receive any meaningful commentary. There was a PR and a Scientific Peer Review, luckily. But with Scientific Peer Review now defunct, and Peer Review now reduced almost entirely to automated suggestions from bots, articles aren't getting the attention they require, either from the experts or from outside editors.
Getting back to the idea of obscure subjects, in a truly NPOV encyclopedia, Styracosaurus would receive roughly the same number/quality of reviews as Tyrannosaurus. Of course, that fails drastically in practice: T. rex is just better-known (to the public) than Styracosaurus:. And I know better than to even bother submitting some FACs on more obscure dinosaurs: no one's ever heard of them, and they won't receive good (or any) reviews. I don't think it's likely that there will ever be a Triassic dinosaur FA: outside of the WP:DINO editors, no one's ever heard of Herrerasaurus, Massospondylus, or Plateosaurus, and these articles seem likely never to make it higher than GA. this was the actual "scientific peer review" for Herrerasaurus, left open for over four months in the vain hope that someone -- anyone -- would comment. Firsfron of Ronchester 04:52, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

(outdent) I disagree about those triassic dino FAs - the only one which has had a collaborative workout is Herrerasaurus which has gone a bit pear-shaped. I haven't looked at the others recently but all these are meaty enough to become FAs. Gawd Firs, yer gettin' all pessimistic all of a sudden..at least there are some active editors in WP dinos, compared with WP Fungi it's a wealth of talent, enough of whom are keen to point out things and assess at FAC to allow Raul to see there is a consensus of support (though outside input is always much appreciated).cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 10:28, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm not at all pessimistic about WP:DINO, Cas. These articles, however, are not getting reviews from the WP community, at any level of review. Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Styracosaurus received 5 comments in early June, only three from outside the WikiProject. Wikipedia:Peer review/Daspletosaurus/archive1 received only one comment in mid-June, none from outside the WikiProject. Wikipedia:Peer review/Massospondylus received only the one automated comment in early November. As linked above, the Herrerasaurus peer review remained uncommented-on for four months. The numbers are trending downward: based on these figures, future dinosaur PR and FA attempts may deteriorate to 0 comments (PR is already at 0). Back when WP:DINO was collaborating on the more "exciting" dinosaurs, we had decent reviews. But now that we're working on more obscure animals, the commentary has dropped to nil. Firsfron of Ronchester 11:35, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

100-FACs soon[edit]

Right now there are 97 FACs on the list. I recall when there used to be no more than 40 or so. Some have been there since Sept. I don't recall us ever hitting the 100-FACs at once limit before. I can't help but wonder if Raul654 is overtaxed on his FA director duties.Sumoeagle179 (talk) 20:15, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

We've hit and surpassed 100 quite a few times in the last few months; Raul is letting FACs go longer than he used to. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:17, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
I remember, there were about 130 or so FACs before the last facification. And this has happened in the past also, if I remember correctly. DSachan (talk) 22:19, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
But is the current trend because Raul has less time to spend on it or some other reason? Sumoeagle179 (talk) 22:37, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
I have no idea. Probably Sandy should shed some light on it. I was also wondering it last time. DSachan (talk) 22:42, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Because allowing more time means more issues are being addressed during FAC and more articles can ultimately succeed to FA status. If you look at many articles at the bottom of the list, you'll see that if Raul had to close sooner, many of them would fail. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:09, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Is that such a bad thing? It seems like a lot of articles get posted to FAC which need to be more thoroughly peer-reviewed first. The FAC process, IMO, ought to be a relatively simple up-or-down vote, with some minor discussions about dashes or image sizes if needed. Instead, I see people nominating articles in order to find out what they should work on. I've thought it might be good to have something on the FAC page about how this isn't a peer-review process.
I was very lucky to have Awadewit guide me through my first FAC, and she stressed the need for multiple PRs and thorough going-over before annoying people with Honoré de Balzac. I see the FAC flood as a problem stemming in part from an overload of people shooting in the dark for the star, and then scrambling to fix things on the fly when people oppose.
Maybe it's just me. – Scartol • Tok 23:22, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
It could be both reasons. PR is pretty much a waste of time--lots of articles don't even get looked at. The longer the FAC list gets, the less time the few reviewers we have spend on each article. I see the concern with Raul654, simply because of the time it takes to do all his wiki jobs, it's no doubt for him equivalent to a full time job. RlevseTalk 00:02, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
If every FAC reviewer will try to do one Peer review daily, PR could regain usefulness, and articles would come to FAC better prepared. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:12, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
But they don't, so let's deal in reality here. RlevseTalk 01:03, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Aawww give it a chance, there's just been a big overhaul 'n' all...cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 02:47, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
what big overhaul? RlevseTalk 13:35, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
I believe that's a valid concern. I have never been convinced by the rather opaque FA system (no clear time limit, no explanation for the decision), depending as it does on the judgement of one person who will inevitably find himself increasingly over-worked as the volume of nominations increases. --Malleus Fatuarum (talk) 01:36, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

I'll be archiving it in the near future (like tomorrow or Monday). Raul654 (talk) 05:33, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

The PR overhaul is being discussed at Wikipedia:Content review/workshop. Marskell (talk) 10:27, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Delegation[edit]

I know people have been saying for some time now that I need to delegate some of the work I do here. I have said that I didn't feel like it was too much, and that I didn't need a deputy. Well, with trends in FAC (towards ever more nominations - 100+ at a time now), I've re-evaluated my position on the matter, and I've come to the conclusion that I do need some help.

To that end, I've decided to name user:SandyGeorgia as my proxy here. The role will be essentially equivalent for the FAC to what Marskell and Joel31 do on FAR - she'll close nominations as either successful or unsuccessful, and interpret policies about what an article should or should not contain, and what is and is not an actionable objection - all just the same as I would. I don't intend to delegate the FAC as much as I do the FAR - I'll still be doing a significant portion of the promotions, but the job has become too big for one person to do it on a voluntary basis. It's possible that a second person might not be enough to break the logjam here - so I'm keeping open the possibility of having a third person do it. (I already have someone in mind.)

Lastly, succession issues come up from time to time. People ask me what will happen if I go on vacation or get hit by a bus. The FA director essentially has three big jobs - FAC, FAR, and scheduling the main page. (On those occasions when I do take a vacation, I can schedule FAs for the main page ahead of time and the FAC is robust enough to be unattended alone for a few days) If the worst should happen to me (knock on wood), I expect that Marskell could handle the FAR and Sandy the FAC. I haven't decided what to do about the main page scheduling - I consider that at some future juncture. Raul654 (talk) 20:26, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

I think it was a wise decision, and a wise choice. Woodym555 (talk) 20:38, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. Not that we're voting, but Sandy has my confidence. Pagrashtak 20:41, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Great pick, hopefully this will help a little with everything. David Fuchs (talk) 20:49, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Very sensible. The Land (talk) 20:54, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
I think it's a wise decision and a wise choice in SandyGeorgia, but I still have process questions. Is Sandy an admin who has garnered the confidence of the community on at least the occasion of her RfA? Or is she being picked for this important role just by Raul (and if so, is that customary)? Also, Sandy is active in (and extremely valuable to) the FAC process, whereas as far as I have seen, Raul doesn't weigh in on reviews. Does this new job mean that Sandy will need to stop participating in so many FACs? If not, does her participation as someone who closes them represent a conflict of interest? I'm not sure what the customs are, so I look forward to hearing what people have to say. --Melty girl (talk) 21:04, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Hi, Melty. I've never wanted to be an admin, and have turned down RfA offers more times than I can remember. But I can assure you that conflict of interest, or even the remote appearance of conflict of interest, is a huge issue for me. The good thing about having more than one person to promote/archive is that it means that I don't have to close any nomination that I have participated in; those can be left to Raul. If I get involved in a given FAC (which is becoming less and less lately), I would not consider it appropriate that I close it. That would extend to FAR, since I'm active at both places; that is, if I have promoted an article that later comes to FAR, I'll have to stand down at FAR. I would further be very reluctant to close any nomination that wasn't pretty clear cut, leaving those to Raul. I see my role as helping to tame the backlog, focusing on the most straightforward. I hope to be of some help, and am honored to have the um, additional work :-) Regards, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:23, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, Sandy, that really clarifies things on COI. The only question I really have now is if it's consistent with WP values for you to be picked for this just by Raul, even though I think you're right for the job. Or perhaps this is the informal consensus process right here? I do support the idea. --Melty girl (talk) 21:31, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't really think Sandy should have to be an admin. Admins have a lot of things to do and tend to get spread thin, which we don't want. I think a person can be respected without an RfA. At least, I certainly hope so. There are a lot of admins I would be very opposed to for this job, however their RfA might have been. Also, I like how Sandy does reviews a lot. I'd encourage her to continue, personally. I find her opinions non-biased and based on the criteria, although it may give her an unhealthy amount of weight in FAC discussions. Hmmm... Wrad (talk) 21:16, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Why does being an admin even come into this? None of the admin tools are needed to close FACs. Firsfron of Ronchester 22:42, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
I wasn't referring to admin tools. I was referring to the fact that this seems to be a job of major importance, yet the person being picked to do it was picked by one other person. There's no WP community function for evaluating the proposed person and consensing outside of this discussion. It seemed unusual to me, so I brought up the RfA simply because I thought if Sandy was an admin it would be an indication of widespread community trust in her. I didn't mean to imply it was a requirement for the job necessarily, but instead was pointing out that there didn't seem to be a community role in creating this new position. --Melty girl (talk) 22:52, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Ah! Understood. Firsfron of Ronchester 00:07, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Sandy is an excellent choice. No doubt Sandy is qualified to do the job well. --Aude (talk) 00:46, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Question: as Raul was elevated on a talk page vote, okay !vote, almost 3 years ago, where does it say, if anywhere, what the policy is, if there is one at all, that FA positions are infinite? Arbitrators get elected on a periodic basis, so I'm wondering just what is the situation with FA director and assisitant, are these infinite positions or what? I'd simply like to know. RlevseTalk 01:01, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
    • Policy, such as it exists where featured articles are concerned, has been done by a mixture of personal fiat by myself and community consensus. Nowhere does it say that the term is infinite, but at the same time, nowhere does it say that it is not infinite either.
    • Where the FAC and FAR decisions are concerned, it is important (if not paramount) that the decisions be consistent. That is to say, it is important that the people doing the promotion are using the same playbook, so to speak. And for that reason, I consider the FA director's proxies to be analogous to members of the president's cabinet -- they serve at his pleasure. If Sandy is consistently making bad decisions, I'll replace her. (Not that I see the need to -- I picked her, in part, because we agree so often) Raul654 (talk) 02:44, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree sandy's a fine choice. I just thought it odd FA director is not a set term. By the logic you used, arbitrators should have indefinite terms too, so rulings are consistent. RlevseTalk 03:01, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Arbitrators do technically have indefinite terms; we serve at Jimbo's pleasure. It's just that he happens to like annual appointments. ;-) Kirill 04:09, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
If either of them did something stupid, we could boot them out. I'm still waiting... :) Wrad (talk) 03:09, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Indeed. The current system is working well. I nominate them my 2nd and 3rd most favorite benevolent dictators! -Ravedave 04:27, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Very good choice indeed! Kirill 04:09, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I trust both Mark to make this decision and Sandy to carry out the work. I also hope that this is the first step in a massive conspiracy to convince Sandy to accept the mop, ostensibly to help out with TFA creation and protection. ;) - BanyanTree 04:44, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
FWIW I support Mark's move for Sandy here. cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 13:04, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I feel quite free to say things I'm sure have been said by scores before me. :-) I've always been very deeply perplexed and mildly concerned by the lifetime position Raul seems to have as FA director. Nothing against Raul, I solemnly swear. It's just that choosing a new one every one or two years seems far more community-based to me.
  • Having said that, and feeling relatively confident that this system is not going to be changed this week, I have no hesitations about supporting Sandy as Raul #2. ;-) Ling.Nut (talk) 13:34, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
I'd just like to add support for the decision. SandyGeorgia's the obvious choice. Epbr123 (talk) 18:03, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
  • SandyGeorgia is an excellent choice for this much needed position. I can't think of a better, more suitable candidate. And Sandy, you're not already an admin? Go for it, I think you'd be a great addition to the mop-corps! Dreadstar 22:10, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Support Sandy. Great choice Raul. Mbisanz (talk) 05:16, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Concerns[edit]

While I do not object, in general, to SandyGeorgia becoming the FA assistant, I question the method by which she acquired the position. No one voted on this and no one got any input; it was an arbitrary decision by a single person. Personally, I don't agree with some of the decisions SandyGeorgia has made and her opinions on certain subjects. I know I am not alone. That said, my opinion may not be the majority and I am perfectly willing to accept a consensus one way or the other. While administrator status need not be a requirement, the community's approval is. I suggest some sort of discussion prior to beginning her duties where people can ask questions and get answers before we decide on additional assistance for Raul (and yes, I agree you could use some help, Raul) — BQZip01 — talk 04:57, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Nomination by Raul followed by the above talkpage discussion strikes me as a perfectly suitable way to choose an assistant. --Carnildo (talk) 08:28, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Sandy appears to have the community's approval, or at least the approval of the community who cares enough to watch and discuss on this page—that is, the community relevant to the position. Having a discussion is usually beneficial, and in fact has already been happening in this thread, with questions about how Sandy will avoid conflicts of interest. BQZip01, if you have concerns or want a clarification, I'd say ask away right here. Pagrashtak 15:09, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

My question here, again why is FA/FAR/FAC not subject to community input while arbcom, etc is? No offense to all the work Raul has done, but this strikes me as decidedly unwiki. I commend his work in the FA area and all the other work he does, but I simply think the community should have input to FA director selection and maybe the assistants to, just like at RFA, RFB, Arbcom, etc. Raul himself became FA director on a talk page vote, so there there is precedent for this community input in this area. Arbcom has yearly elections, on rotating 3-yr terms as I understand it. I think we should give consideration to a similar process here in the FA area. If the FA director, just like at arbcom gets reelected, that's fine, but at least there has been community input on it. Again, I have no ill will to Raul654 at all and commend all his great work, but I feel we should look at options in this area. RlevseTalk 18:56, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Let's do a vote, then. How do we organize it? Wrad (talk) 19:10, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
By "vote", I'm sure you mean "a discussion by which we may reach consensus", right? Pagrashtak 19:50, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Not really. At least, "vote" is the best word to describe what goes on at RfA. Call it something else if it makes you feel better. Here's a [description of how it's done. Wrad (talk) 19:53, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I'm aware of that—I just didn't realize you wanted an actual vote. Pagrashtak 20:38, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
It's not like there is no community involvement. If Raul did not have the support of a strong consensus of people involved in the FA area, he would not be FA director. There is no reason to bureaucratise things yet further. The Land (talk) 20:06, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
What is the logic of making an exception to the procedures laid down in other similar areas of wikipedia for the FA director and his or her assistants? I agree with Wrad. --Malleus Fatuarum (talk) 20:47, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
What is the logic in applying a procedure developed in one area of Wikipedia to another quite different area? RfA was not developed because everyone sudddenly decided they wanted every area of Wikipedia to be turned into a bureaucracy. The Land (talk) 20:48, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
We are under threat of running into problems down the road if we can't clearly show in some formal way that Sandy was chosen by consensus. Wrad (talk) 20:49, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Before we talk about how to avoid problems, we need to agree that problems are likely, and I think most commenters here don't see a problem with Raul's selection of Sandy as his delegate. If you disagree with Raul having the authority to run FA as he sees fit, then address that if you feel you need to; but the selection of Sandy is simply his exercise of the authority he's agreed to have. I think that's why few people are objecting. Mike Christie (talk) 20:56, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
First, was there ever a policy developed via consensus as to Raul's powers and whether they extend to this type of decision? Second, however you want to spin it, Sandy is not simply an extension of Raul. She is a separate person who is now being given powers to make assessment/timing decisions that are not 100% cut and dried. At minimum, I think it might be a good idea for the two of them to write up something about how FAC assistantship works, what the COI groundrules are, whether Sandy's decisions might ever be overturned by Raul, what the community can do if problems arise, etc. --Melty girl (talk) 21:06, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
As to your first point: I don't think so, but Wikipedia was not born with a policy rulebook; that has all developed over time. It is developing again now. I think it is impossible for Raul to 'impose' an assistant FA director against the consensus of the FA an broader community - even if it was never explicit that he does not have dictatorial powers to do so it was very clearly implict. That doesn't mean there needs to be a formal process for something this, which has only occured once so far. Regarding your second point, that sounds like a sensible idea to me. The Land (talk) 21:14, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Let me clarify what I meant on all this. The issue is deeper than the appointment of Sandy for FAC. Raul654 became FA director in Aug 2004, by what was called ratification then, by a vote/not vote of 17 people, see here. This is over 3 years ago--longer than an arbcom term. Arbcom clerks are selected by arbitrators, not by the community. If an analagous process were in place for FA director, we'd have an FA director election every 3 years with that person selecting assistants for FAC, FAR, and TFA if he/she desired. I feel that since all this has come up recently and more than once, let's just settle it now instead of continually beating around the bush. It's obvious there are several editors with views/concerns in this area, so let's just air it out and settle it peaceably. Key questions as I see it are a) do we desire community input just on who the FA director is or their assistant too and 2) if so, how often should that person be reconfirmed/reelected/etc (pick your term of choice there). RlevseTalk 21:16, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

As a point of comparison here, Raul explicitly delegated FAR to User:Joelr31 and I about six months ago, in the midst of a long conversation reminiscent of this one. I didn't think it dictatorial or sudden, but natural—de facto, Joel and I had been doing it anyway. We were the obvious choices. Anyone familiar with FAC over the last year-and-a-half will view the choice of Sandy as similarly organic. She's most familiar, and most prolific within this process, and she's widely respected.
Given that Wikipedia is not bureaucracy, democracy, or anarchy, I don't disapprove of such evolution. I don't think that we must vote. For example, a sudden turnover of the main FA janitors every year would be a Bad Thing, IMO. That said, codifying what the exact current understanding is, on single page, might be helpful. A "Who do I Talk To" page. I don't think FAR works perfectly, for example, but I know from my own talk that people will come to me if they have a problem with a FAR, which is good. Raul's talk, of course, constantly fills up with FAC questions. Marskell (talk) 21:39, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
  • My concern with Sandy is that she tends to hold grudges and continue to bring them up, despite having them explained. Over a year ago I attended a circus in which a large caricature of a Hugo Chavez puppet was used; I took a photo of it and I put it on the Hugo Chavez page. I thought it was pertinent because the circus was a National Endowment for the Arts-financed production that had won several significant awards, and showed that Chavez had percolated into American popular culture. The page disagreed. Fine. I explained this, and specifically to Sandy, at which point she told me that the Chavez page is "owned." Fine, I thought it was all settled and I even thought I had a good and understanding exchange with Sandy. But Sandy has now, with all the time passed, and with the thousands of high quality photographs of difficult-to-obtain images I have contributed, continued to pop up on the random "Image issue" that involves me and bring up how she has experience with my problematic images. I've contributed a couple thousand photographs to Wikipedia, yet I can count on both hands how many have been contentious. That's not a bad record. I raised this issue with her, and asked her why she continued to bring up a dead issue--the Chavez photo I thought over which I had a sound argument, but backed down--and she was unapologetic. She seems to think me and my photographic work are problems on Wikipedia. I am concerned that Sandy holds grudges, and indeed, she'll involve herself into other disputes based upon her "experience" on even just one unrelated issue. I think that shows poor judgment and I worry if she is in a position to judge other people's work on the FA page she'll allow previous "experience" to cloud her perspective. I can supply diffs to everything above. --David Shankbone 22:35, 27 November 2007 (UTC)


FAR isn't as big a deal as FAC. There are a lot more articles coming through FAC and a lot more participants. I like the idea of letting things "air out". Lets have a formal process and lay everything out on he table. If you support Sandy, you can present the argument there. I don't know sandy very well, some people here do. We need to know who it is we're appointing. This is a good way to do that. Wrad (talk) 22:37, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

From Melty girl: At minimum, I think it might be a good idea for the two of them to write up something about how FAC assistantship works, what the COI groundrules are, whether Sandy's decisions might ever be overturned by Raul, what the community can do if problems arise, etc. Thanks for bringing up the specifics again, Melty. My take is the following. Of course Raul can always overturn any decision I make; he's the FA director. I don't imagine that ever happening, though, because if there's a FAC that isn't clear or where we might differ, I would leave it to him anyway or consult with him pre-closing. I can't think of anything less desirable for Wiki or the nominator than having an FA star stripped, and I would try hard to avoid promoting a controversial nom and risk that happening. This is not to say I'll always agree with Raul on promotions/archives, nor have I always agreed in the past, but when I disagree, absolutely the FA director's decision must trump. I strongly believe that the FA process must be driven a bit differently than any other process on Wiki, and Raul as director has long-standing community consensus. Otherwise, we could end up with a situation like GA, where an article can be a GA, be stripped of GA, and be returned to GA within a week. The FA process must be more stable. On COI, there are some people I've had differences with in the past over various issues; unless the consensus was very clear on their FAC noms, common sense would dictate that I not close their noms. That is my common sense take on COI; you can't write rules for common sense. I wouldn't close a FAC I've taken a position on, although I'll continue to try to keep the process moving by formatting the previous FACs, giving reminders when needed (for example, reminding that redlinks are not a valid oppose), etc. Raul can boot me at any time, or the community can boot me by talk page discussion; I'm not sure a new "process" is called for, and believe talk page consensus should work. Whether an RfA style vote is called for now, here or elsewhere, I think should be left up to Raul, but either way is fine with me. Avoiding problems down the road, and getting busy with the FAC backlog is what matters. On a related issue, Raul recently had to fail one of his own FACs; it goes without saying that having a delegate means I'll likely to have to make decisions on Raul's own noms, but I'm sure he's thought of that. I do agree with Marskell that too much turnover in the "janitors" wouldn't benefit FAC/FAR, and I'm not sure we need "term limits". As to "delegate for life"; it's demanding work. I don't think I'll be able to do it for life. The term will probably be self-limiting.  :-) No, Shankbone, I don't hold grudges. Many editors can vouch that in spite of initial differences on FACs, FARs, or any other issue, I'll dig in and help them anytime, and forget past differences. And I usually literally do forget differences, unless I'm reminded. I try to never forget the positive, though. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:56, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the reply, Sandy. This is all good to know and I like what I'm hearing. So basically, I'm now feeling more comfortable with this talk page as the process for the community ratifying Raul's decision. But I do think that this talk page doesn't really substitute for a page that editors can refer to about the FAC process
  • That hasn't been my experience with you Sandy. Back in January you and I had what I considered a pleasant exchange over Chavez. Then it resurfaced somewhere else. Then it resurfaced again on pubic hair when you brought up your experience from 7 months prior, that I thought we had worked out. I brought that up to you about raising an issue that was old and unrelated on your Talk page. Instead of responding there, or on my Talk page, you [responded brusquely on pubic hair. I'm not known for my "problematic photos" on this site, and if anyone wants to look at my User page they can see that. I think this experience I have had with you gives me concern for your ability to have a clear perspective and not hold grudges, and to then not apply those grudges to unrelated issues. I think the diffs I just supplied and my large body of work to countless articles speak for themselves. You have been unapologetic about this grudge, and I worry this mentality (assuming it is repeated elsewhere) will harm your judgment on the FAs. --David Shankbone 23:16, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
  • As I've explained above, I take COI issues very seriously; that was a COI issue, IMO, and yes, COI is a huge issue to me. I believe whenever one is suggesting his or her own work be included, it's best to let uninvolved editors make that decision. That doesn't mean I hold a grudge against you; it simply means I take COI seriously. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:25, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Sorry, Sandy, I'm not buying that reasoning Sandy, and the COI issue regarding photographers has long been resolved that there is no COI with photographers placing their images on pages. That's a long-resolved issue. Regardless, your focus wasn't COI, but "unnecessary photos in other articles (Hugo Chavez). These images aren't necessary", etc. And regarding the COI, User:Raul654 himself pointed out to you there was no COI. Again, I question your judgment and obstinate focus, and inability to "move on" but bring up issues that 1) are unrelated; and 2) are resolved (COI). --David Shankbone 23:32, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Yes, Raul answered the COI issue, but I still find it strange for anyone to edit war over inserting their own photos into an article, and believe it best to avoid even the appearance of conflict by letting other editors decide. Edit warring is never good; edit warring to insert your own material is a concern. I don't believe I was the one who brought this up, but since you have, I do have to answer. Although I agreed in principal with your Chávez photos, I disagreed that the quality of those photos enhanced Wiki. I believe they are now deleted, so I can't demonstrate the reasons for my concern; they simply were not encyclopedic quality. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:40, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
  • The Chavez photo was deleted because it wasn't used, not because of poor quality. It was of the same quality found from the same circus that I took photos for on stilts and clown. There is no COI, so an appearance of COI is not at play, or else that makes it a back door to COI. COI was arguably not your main focus, either. In the end, you had one user on pubic hair bizarrely warring over something, and consensus was reached against him. Regardless, I have concerns about your judgment and I think I have demonstrated in the diffs and in the record of my work on here that those concerns are founded. --David Shankbone 23:48, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Perhaps I take even the appearance of COI too seriously; edit warring is always a concern, and you edit warred over your own material. I personally would have left that decision to others and would not have edit warred. By the way, on the Chávez photos, I wasn't referring to photographic quality; adding a photo portaying the leader of a country as a garish clown in a regional fair is unencyclopedic, even if Chávez warrants that depiction. I remember that photo well because it made me laugh, not because I hold a grudge. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:57, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
  • The photo didn't depict him as a garish clown; it depicted him true-to-form. It was a tribute to Chavez and was not mocking him. Indeed, it was a tribute to the Socialist South American leaders (I believe one of the diffs I supplied points that out). It also wasn't a regional fair, but an award-winning, NEA-financed production here in New York City. It was stand-alone, not part of a fair. Regardless, we "edit war" over our contributions and photographs are not different. I'm not a professional photographer; I only photograph for Wikipedia. There is no COI unless my Wikipedia contributions are COIs in and of themselves. That would also make my textually additions COI. --David Shankbone 00:05, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
This is very far off topic now. David, Sandy - if you want to continue this line of discussion, please take it somewhere else. Raul654 (talk) 01:26, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
  • This is (part of) why we need some sort of process. I'm having trouble keeping track of all these concerns. I really think we should organize this discussion somewhat like an RfA so the comments and concerns everyone has aren't scattered all over this talk page. Wrad (talk) 23:44, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
  • No, this talk page, in its current form, is quite suffecient. We're not refactoring it or doing an RFA (or RFA-style discussion). Raul654 (talk) 01:26, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

I wish to know what'll be done about FACs which garner little comments, and just the odd oppose. Sometimes the oppose is addressed, but the opposer cannot be bothered to check back if their concerns have been dealt with. Then, an FAC gets archived when the nominator is actually willing to work on the article. It's a rather rubbish situation, and seems to crop up more and more often. LuciferMorgan (talk) 01:28, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Although there's no hard and fast rule, generally if I see an article that's been up more than 5 days, has opposes, and no supports, I'll archive it. Raul654 (talk) 01:50, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
There are several different situations which lead to that predicament, and each requires judgment. One is when the subject matter doesn't attract a lot of reviewers, or people knowledgeable in the content area haven't yet weighed in (for example, medical or math/physics articles or some obscure topic known to few people such as the Yomangani style articles). Reviewers may be reluctant to comment if they're unsure of the subject matter; I'd let those run longer than the norm. On obscure topics, it's better to err on the side of caution and wait to see if more people will eventually weigh in. Nominators sometimes don't realize they can approach WikiProjects neutrally (avoiding canvassing) for review of a FAC, so I might query how it's going if there are no substantive opposes and the FAC seems stalled. An example of extra time needed was K-T event; I worked on the MOS issues early on, got them mostly addressed and capped them off, but the content experts dribbled in over time and it took quite a while for consensus to develop over the content issues. On highly specialized topics, more time may be needed to gauge consensus. This is what Raul seems to do.
On more common subject areas, if an article isn't attracting reviewers or positive commentary, but has some opposes, the silence from reviewers could be telling; I agree with Raul that several opposes and no supports after 5 to 7 days would indicate archiving. After the fact, it sometimes turns out that nominators were willing to do the work, but hadn't given any feedback on the FAC because they didn't realize they needed to; they should be reassured that an archived FAC can always come back for a second time, and many fine articles took more than one FAC to become featured.
A third situation is unnecessarily unresolved opposes. I've noticed over my time participating at FAC that a surprising number of nominators don't realize or consider that it's entirely OK, proper and appropriate to contact a reviewer on the reviewer's talk page and ask if they will revisit an Oppose to see if issues have been addressed. Some first-time nominators seem afraid that doing so is akin to canvassing, and it doesn't occur to them to ask a reviewer to revisit Opposes. With two of us archiving/promoting, it may be possible to engage in more of what we do at FAR, which is to put out an "any progress here?" type query before archiving the FAC.
All of these scenarios involving little feedback require as much discretion and judgment as the opposite situation: the rare FAC with 25 Supports right out of the starting gate that fails (we had one recently). The bottom line is that each situation is different; factors such as which WikiProjects are involved (some are more active than others) and the subject matter come into play. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 05:32, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Raul that we don't need an RFA type discussion on this. For now I agree that the talk page is fine. RlevseTalk 01:35, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Only issue is whether or not Sandy will fairly read discussions and act accordingly. And of course she will. I fully support. Now let's get back to writing and improving all those articles. --JayHenry (talk) 02:59, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the latest reply above, Sandy. This is all good to know and I like what I'm hearing. I'm now feeling comfortable with this talk page as the process for the community ratifying Raul's decision. But I do think that in the long run, this talk page doesn't really substitute for a page that editors can refer to about the FAC process and the FAC director and assistant(s) (and FAR staff too). Maybe I'm missing an existing WP: or Help: page, but I don't think so. I think if you wrote something up about how the process works, a lot of time could be saved answering recurring questions on this page and on your personal talk pages. This page could include much of the material you've sketched out here, and could also cover process issues such as User_talk:Raul654#Some_questions_about_your_job_as_the_FA_director, User_talk:Raul654#Anticipating_the_inevitable_.22Is_this_article_featured.22_questions, what the bot does after closing vs. what the nominator does (adding the barnstar!), and so on. I think that writing up the process on a WP: page and linking to that from all the FA pages would go a long way to making the process more transparent to editors and would save everyone time. You could walk people through from start to finish of FAC and FAR as to how you're handling things and how nominators should interact at various stages in the process. FAC and FAR are primary Wiki processes, and I think it would be helpful to better document how they work. --Melty girl (talk) 04:21, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

I recently linked this page to {{fac}} and {{FAC-instructions}}. It should help ... but will they read it? I think the instructions at WP:FAR are really clear now after a serious rewrite undertaken during the summer ... but no one reads them either :/ That's always an issue, so I don't know if Raul wants more instruction creep at FAC. Seriously, Melty, in spite of very clear WP:FAR instructions, I field a couple of questions a day that are simply people not reading the instructions. Perhaps we should deal with that in another thread, though, to keep this on track. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:30, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm not talking about instructions, and the links you provide do not cover what I was proposing. I'm talking about process notes -- stuff mainly about how the FA staff operates. And I don't believe that most of things I mentioned in the above paragraph are on the core pages you linked to. Things like how "actionable" is interpreted by the FA director, and what consitutes COI for FA staff participation in FACs, etc. I know that some people won't always read everything, but you know what? Lots of us will. --Melty girl (talk) 04:38, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
In my opinion Wikipedia, and FAC too, work best with the minimum of bureaucracy, rules, statutes and votes. There will always be those who argue in the opposite direction, but discussion threads on reviews and rambling discussions (like this) on talk pages work best, in my opinion. When you get anything that seems like official appointments, such as for Arbcom (where, anyway, Jimbo still appoints who he wants as well), everything tends to get nasty, and energy goes into divisive advocacies rather than articles. So what I'd like to see here is the continuing of what, yes, seems a ramshackle and eccentric process but one which manages to oversee a stream of featured articles without too many hitches. The alternative might be a vote in which lots of the nastier people arrive and start being horrible to Raul, Sandy and the FAC process in general. Instead, I think it would be better if the consensus of those who use and know the FAC process is quietly accepted. Sandy is one of the few people who have volunteered to do this sort of thing (another is Marskell): if she fails, the regular users of the page will soon point it out and things will have to change. I don't think Sandy will fail: my only fear is that she'll overwork herself and become the target of a few people who don't like her. (I trust that those who know her value will help prevent criticism veering into bullying.) The real work here, I think, is the admin of closing, processing, and archiving: by and large, the reviewers make the yeas or nays obvious in advance. In borderline cases, I expect Sandy will consult not only with Raul but with editors who know about the specific subjects. Or perhaps leave the review open or just restart it. qp10qp (talk) 05:07, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I simply want to comment that I find that language rather strange. "Nastier people"? Are they just people who don't agree? Are their opinions to be discounted just because of who they are? As it happens I'm sure that SandyGeorgia will do a fine job as Raul64's deputy, but I do also think that the process by which she was selected will not inspire confidence in those who believe that the FA process is broken. --Malleus Fatuarum (talk) 16:22, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
ah, restarts :-) Controversial, some don't like them, they generate complaints, but there are (limited) times where you need a clean slate to get the thing moving again or out of stalled mode. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 05:38, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

*Support for Raul's selection of Sandy as his proxy --RelHistBuff (talk) 14:22, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Oppose, if we're really doing an RFA-style debate here. Sandy has rejected sources used and recommended in print publications. Wikipedia's standards should not be so stringent that editors are rejecting sources recommended in professional publications. Firsfron of Ronchester 14:44, 28 November 2007 (UTC)


I think qp10qp got it exactly right in his post above; I don't think there's a problem with accepting Sandy's position and moving on, and I don't think there would be much difficulty in resolving the issue if she were to fail. I also prefer a talk discussion to a formal vote; I think it allows for more fluidity in the posters' opinions. Mike Christie (talk) 14:59, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Really sorry, but I got too enthusiastic with my statement. There is no vote on this! I just meant to say I simply support Raul's decision. I just want to add that Sandy's new role will probably mean that she will not be able to go through the deep reviews that she is famous for on FAC and FAR. I would miss that greatly. But her new role would greatly aid the FAC process outweighing that loss. Hopefully someone else will fill her (significant) shoes. --RelHistBuff (talk) 15:11, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
  • "Move to dismiss application for mutiny permission" - What is due process where process has not previously existed? in 2004 Raul was made FA director, since then he has done his job very well. No outstanding complaints exist, and no revolution is currently deemed necessary, but in times of change people get frightened, and a movement for revolution or reform may take place even where there was little need.
    Move for new requirement for FA director: papal blessing or equivalent--Keerllston 18:58, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree. Best not to let those "nasty people" have their say. ;) --Malleus Fatuarum (talk) 19:37, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
I think, tacitly, the papal blessing already exists. Obviously, Jimbo is not unaware that Raul is the FA director and, by silence, seems to approve. No official voice has spoken against the FA structure, AFAIK. The Foundation has no problem linking to and referring to the FAs (eg., the press release at 1000).
The question then is how far Raul's writ extends in creating secondary positions. I'm with qp10qp's analysis: "what I'd like to see here is the continuing of what, yes, seems a ramshackle and eccentric process but one which manages to oversee a stream of featured articles without too many hitches." If the principal people involved in FA, can, in their ramshackle manner, come to this talk and approve Sandy, fine. Not undemocratic but no voting for the sake of it. Voting attracts people who don't care and aren't involved. Judging the above, the people who do care and are involved support Sandy. Marskell (talk) 20:18, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
I would in general agree with that premise, but I also know of some fine editors who have abandoned the FA process because of its perceived quirky and arbitrary nature. So, not voting for the sake of it, but voting for the sake of the perceived integrity of the project. --Malleus Fatuarum (talk) 20:30, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
I, the one who beholds, know of some fine editors who have abandoned wikipedia because of its perceived quirky and arbitrary nature - they've gone on to become scientists and businessmen, succesful in their own right - perhaps wikipedia was just not for them, perhaps they were just not for wikipedia.--Keerllston 20:49, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
  • You have an opinion, and you're entitled to state it. Just as I'm entititled to state mine, even though it doesn't agree with yours. --Malleus Fatuarum (talk) 21:00, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
I did not mean to be uncivil. Perhaps my comment could be understood as mockery, I did not mean to mock. In fact I agree with your point of view to a great extent, please understand, perhaps we perceive the same thing differently or different things the same.--Keerllston 22:12, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Perhaps we do share the same point of view. But taking the piss isn't the way to discover whether we do or not. :) --Malleus Fatuarum (talk) 22:29, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree. While I think a process could be created in the future, I believe precedent will create it, and if it is wrong then the wikipedia justice system will repeal it.--Keerllston 20:49, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
NOTE Wikijustice is made up of all wikipedians, unlike the FAC directorship.--Keerllston 12:00, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Excuse me for asking, but if Raul654 says he needs help/a proxy, and has identified Sandy as being the best person for that job, why is anyone second guessing his (cap)ability to make such a decision? The recent discussions about judiciousness sound very much like a fundamental distrust of the FA director's ability to do the RightThingTM. This is not fair to the Raul, or to his position. -- Fullstop (talk) 23:51, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

That's not an accurate characterization. Some people just feel comfort in systematic approaches. They aren't snubbing Raul at all. Wrad (talk) 00:10, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
And some people disagree with Sandy because they disagree with the process, not the person. And others disagree with Raul in the first place as per process, not person. There's multiple layers here. David Fuchs (talk) 00:12, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Well said. Firsfron of Ronchester 02:22, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

New subsection to break a huge page[edit]

  • Comments by Tony: I don't have this page on watch, because it's all or nothing and floods my watchlist when I do; so I've only just become aware of this issue. I disclose immediately that Sandy is a close wikifriend. Against that, I am quite capable of disagreeing with her, and by coincidence yesterday was an example, although on a relatively trivial matter (MOS talk). I want to make five points relevant to this discussion:
  1. I've squabbled with Raul about conflict of interest (mainly his self-nomination of FACs), my misgivings about what I see as his wish to maximise the proportion of WP articles that are FAs, which risks a fall in standards), and the proportion of renominations. However, Raul has my overall confidence and support in his unusual tenure of the Directorship.
  2. For some time, I've wanted to see more activity by Raul during the process, and on at least one occasion have posted a thank-you note on his talk page where he has made comments that push things along or focus proceedings. I haven't seen these comments by Raul as COI.
  3. I'm delighted with his delegation of the management of FAR/C to Tim Marskell and Joel: it has worked well.
  4. Likewise, Sandy is an excellent choice as assistant, IMO, in what has become a huge task. I'm very upset at losing her as a free player in reviewing FACs, since she will need to exercise care in her activities. Her skills are unique here at the moment, and we can ill afford to lose her input. It may be possible for both Raul and Sandy (given that the task will be shared) to take a more active role in encouraging the inevitable need for rapid improvement as nominations move down the list. It's no longer a nominate, tweak, and pass or fail be damned process. The longer duration of the process—noted by Raul recently—allows time for nominations to be brought up to standard, rather more like the design of FAR/C. Where a nomination clearly needs work to meet specific criteria, and the review process has not made this sufficiently clear, I see nothing wrong with a comment from management. Nominators are quite used to the process of reacting positively to pokes and prods by reviewers, and a healthy culture has emerged in this respect. This culture needs to be nurtured by all three stakeholders: nominators, reviewers and managers.
  5. Talk of the need for Sandy to be a sysop is irrelevant: the RfA process clearly fails to filter out inappropriate candidates, which is amply demonstrated by the behaviour of some mop-bearers, not just once or twice, but as a continuing pattern. RfA proves very little. With Sandy, what you see is what you get. Tony (talk) 01:26, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Seems like the natural development for FAC. Something needed to be done about the scaling problem here, and Sandy is the best choice for a FAC assistant. Gimmetrow 03:01, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
After reading the discussion above, so many people (not so much later in the discussion I guess) seem to be reluctant to accept this nomination due to the difference between this and an RFA. But didn't the RFA used to be similar to this? A trusted member of the community is decided upon, discussed and commented, and then approved? And even before that, just approved? It seems that this might go down that road, and might not. Who knows how this will turn out?--CM (talk) 03:25, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
very helpful comment!--Keerllston 16:27, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm happy with how Raul runs this process and trust Sandy to do a good job, since she does so much of it already. I suggest, however, that we should have three people doing this job, then if there is a serious disagreement there will never be deadlock. Tim Vickers (talk) 05:11, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the comments; I just wanted to note that if there's a disagreement, Raul's the director. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 05:02, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I support the way things have and are being done in FAC/FAR process. But if the view of a vote were to ever win out, I'd strongly oppose it being an election of all editors eligible to vote. I'd say the Featured Article Director (FAD) spot should really be appointed by the bureaucrats and the Director delegates different roles. That or limit candidates for FAD to bureaucrats and/or experienced admins. Mbisanz (talk) 05:32, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
For what it's worth, Sandy is an excellent choice (I won't say the best because I'm biased :) I also don't think there is any need for this to be an RfA-like process, since I don't think it will happen too often (and many, many people are not happy with the current state of RfA) and there is no reason for adminship to be a requirement for this "FA assistant" position. The tools are not required for any step of the promotion/archiving process. I trust Raul's decision and Sandy's judgment. Fvasconcellos (t·c) 13:06, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm hardly an FAC regular, but if Raul is happy with Sandy, I don't see any issue here. Tim Vickers' point about a third person makes sense. Hmm, couldn't Marskell and Joel pop over from FAR if needed? Angus McLellan (Talk) 21:18, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

That's only one small piece of this whole pie.Sumoeagle179 19:14, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Raul654 must teach SandyGeorgia what to do[edit]

It is not easy to be a FA director. You must know the FA criteria by heart, you must read a lot of comments in each FAC and you must know which opposes are "actionable". Raul654 has a few years experience as a FA director but SandyGeorgia is new to this. Even if she commented at a lot of FACs she only started closing them a few weeks ago. Raul654 needs to teach SandyGeorgia what to do and how to do it. --Kaypoh (talk) 14:28, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Greater FA process Transparency[edit]

It seems to me that the two topics of the "strangeness of the FA process" and the nomination/promotion by Raul should be treated separately, as they are different topics. I note three issues to the issue of the strangeness of the FA Process

  1. What is the "percived strangeness" of the FA process?
  2. from where is the notion of "strangeness" derived?
  3. how can we dispel the notion of "strangeness"?

--Keerllston 16:27, 29 November 2007 (UTC) Quotes

from User_talk:Raul654#Some_questions_about_your_job_as_the_FA_director--Keerllston 14:27, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

From Concerns, above [added by --Keerllston]

Definition[edit]

Proposed answer to 1: The strangeness is the erroneous promotion and erroneous lack of promotion and erroneous delisting from FAC.--Keerllston 14:27, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Speaking just for myself, I see none of the strangeness you mention. The process does not always work perfectly, but I would never expect it to. I think it works well enough. Mike Christie (talk) 14:43, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I personally agree - but if we want more perfection, we must make it ourselves, and I think people want "more perfection".--Keerllston 10:45, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

The "strangeness" -or "errors" are found everywhere in wikipedia.
I imagine FA status started out as a wikipedian's list of "what articles are good in wikipedia". It I imagine has since gotten somewhat official.
But is the rating of articles really building an encyclopedia? it does not improve an article to receive FA status - it helps people appreciate it, helps people receive credit for work, helps publicity... But this is not building an encyclopedia. This is a side-project aimed to help in improving wikipedia - not the main project - "Building wikipedia"
- Receiving FA status does not help an article - it does not magically change the writing style or improve it's quality in any other way.
--Keerllston 10:26, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

So all those detailed reviews I've done during an article's FAC (reviews that probably wouldn't exist if the FA process didn't exist) didn't improve the article? CloudNine (talk) 10:29, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
They would exist as "Peer Review" - and in fact - it seems that FAC is more and more becoming simply Peer Review+Vote
the fact that longer nominations are allowed helps this - contributes to this, exacerbates this.--Keerllston 12:17, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
PS: Oh - and the FA Criteria are really good too - serve to help along the Peer Review and all.--Keerllston 12:19, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Resolution[edit]

I think that with the more complicated edits, it's worth explaining what you've done on the FAC page. Even if the reviewer doesn't return, others can then assess whether the point has been addressed; this is also a good opportunity to demonstrate your command of the topic and earn trust. Just saying "fixed" is often not enough, in my opinion. qp10qp 15:58, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Rationale from Directorship
Perhaps a short rationale in each promotion / decline would be useful? Like we see them in AfDs or RfMs.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk 18:54, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Or even, dare I mention it, GAs. I think that you've hit the nail on the head. There appears to be an arbitrary amount of time that FA candidates are left open, and when they're passed or failed there's never any explanation as to why. That can hardly be considered to be a transparent process, and it certainly doesn't help the editors address whatever the secret "killer" was for their article. --Malleus Fatuorum 22:34, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
I like this idea.--Keerllston 10:45, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

FA Stars[edit]

I hate to break up the above discussion, but various FAs that were promoted yesterday don't have the FA stars on their page. I've certainly noticed it on M62 Motorway, Pre-dreadnought battleship, Powderfinger and others. Yet some already have got the star. Peanut4 (talk) 02:37, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Article editors are supposed to add the stars themselves. The bot that archives the FAC pages is only programmed to remove them when the lose FA status, not add them when they gain it. The Placebo Effect (talk) 02:42, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
I never realised that - I thought the bot did it. Many apologies. Peanut4 (talk) 02:44, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
The bot could be programmed to do it of course, but it's the custom for the article's main contributor or nominator to do the honors. Gimmetrow 02:48, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
More on the process at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/archiving. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:28, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
I never knew that (fx:goes to add star to article) The Land (talk) 08:59, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Gah![edit]

After *another* FAC going down in flames because not one, not two, not even three but four opposing editors never showed up after multiple posts on their talk pages, can we put some sort of note on the FAC page asking for more time, as concerns have been addressed but the reviewers don't show to refactor? David Fuchs (talk) 20:56, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

In addition to leave a note on their talk pages, please make a note of non-responsive objectors on the FAC nom page. I can't guarantee it'll save a nomination like the one you just described, but it could help. Raul654 (talk) 20:59, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Very helpful would be a diff; something like: I contacted so-and-so on x date (diff) and haven't heard back. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:00, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
A diff on the FAC page, you mean? David Fuchs (talk) 21:06, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes; the more you can do to keep the FAC apprised, the better. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:09, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
This comes up too often; sometimes, nominators don't realize they should re-contact those who have opposed, and sometimes nominators don't understand they need to keep the FAC apprised; in some cases, the nominator abandons the FAC, in others the Opposers don't return to strike, and in others, the Opposes aren't resolved. AT FAR, where more than 32 noms on the page is considered a lot, we're able to check back on Opposes and with nominators; that's harder with the volume at FAC. I added a sentence to the {{FAC-instructions}} and asked Tony to tweak my typically miserable prose. —Preceding unsigned comment added by SandyGeorgia (talkcontribs) 21:19, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
I feel quite diffident about approaching people on their talk page if they have opposed and I've made changes. I feel like I'm nagging them. I have done it occasionally, with mixed results. I'd also feel diffident about posting a note at the nomination saying "I notified this person and they haven't responded". People get busy on other things, and perhaps they don't think the problem is fixed; I would rather just let them return if they have time, and if not, the FAC can wait. I suppose in an ideal world the Raul and Sandy could go verify that the opposition is still valid, as part of the closing process, but I don't expect them to have time to do that either. So I just live with it. Not to say I don't feel sorry for people who have multiple un-revisited opposes on their FACs, though. Mike Christie (talk) 18:13, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

I have just witnessed a not very amusing version of non-responding FAC critique: 1) an editor demands a POV-ed 'criticism' section and objects due to its lack 2) few days later that editor adds this section (poorly wikified) himself AND does not withdraw his objection 3) few days later I merge the section into the article, keeping most of the added information (after some wikifying and NPOVing) and... 4) the editor wakes up, restores the section (despite that its content is now duplicated) and comes back to the FAC commenting on 'removal of material' :> Sigh... -- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk 19:47, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

I'm not really sure what to tell you - the FAC isn't the best mechanism to address issues of problem editing on contentious topics. Raul654 17:39, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
Don't worry. While it would be nice to see some editors who engage in personal attacks warned more seriously, the past and present experiences taught me that the FAC process still works reasonably well, allowing community to suggest improvements and express opinions.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk 18:08, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
As I understand it FA candidateship is renewable - one can be restarted as soon as the old one is done. This would mean that any FAC "going down in flames" would not be a great tragedy if it is true.
FA listing is removable as well per FAR
- I believe big problem is that the quality necessary for FA status is and has been rising over time and those promoted in 2004 are not often as good as those promoted in 2007.
--Keerllston 04:35, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't think that the raise in quality is a problem; it is a very good trend that I have with pleasure observed over the past several years. The problem is that as Wikipedia grows, as and FAC attract more attention and comments - which is overall a good thing - the amount of incivility, flaming and pure trolling increases too, and we should develop tools to deal with it. Otherwise we risk scarring the FA content creators - a rather valuable breed of editors - away, as they may question why they spend time creating quality content if it just puts them on the spotlight for some trolls to snipe at.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk 04:48, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
I mean in terms of consistency in what FA status means. Not a problem in terms of being a Bad ThingTM
I think edit warring and NPOV concerns also have been increasing in importance as time goes on.
I think wikipedia has trolls and so on, as well as article owners, neither are very good and there is some interlapping. I've seen a lot of article ownership in FAC I believe. I don't believe it's a good sign.
--Keerllston 04:59, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
With 3+ years experience I have yet to see a serious example of WP:OWN. I am sure it happens somewhere, but I doubt it happens in FAC. Simply, because what can one editor do against the community? Not much :) Unless of course they agree with him, but than OWN issue never comes into play. So far FAC seems to be pretty good with teaching humility to OWNers, it is the rise of TROLLing that I fear may be more problematic. That said, I have yet to see a FAC derailed by trolling - but I admit I have not been following the FAC much in the past half a year or so, certainly not as much as I used to once.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk 05:43, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
I think part of the problem with WP:OWN in FAC is that it is "wiki-culturally" considered to be a one-man job to bring an article to FA level rather than a community
-we see stars on User pages claiming to have brought an article to a better level and so on. (Many do this, not just Piotrus)
-putting FA stars being done by an individual resonates this. - An article has a "main contributor" - the author/senior editor made the article instead of the general community.
Article ownership has a great deal of good. "Owners" do take care of their "property".
Barnstars, Awards, Contribution numbers, Adminship status, and so on - are all valuable somehow in defining a contributor's "worth" or quality- since they signify to some extent the appreciation the contributor has gotten.
--Keerllston 11:24, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
  • As I understand it FA candidateship is renewable - one can be restarted as soon as the old one is done. I'm wondering where this idea is coming from, since I've seen three immediate restarts by nominators in one week. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:52, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
    • Am I to understand that I misunderstand, thine directorshipness, the legalities of restartability?--Keerllston 05:03, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
      • While we don't have strict rules on when you can restart a FAC nomination, we very much prefer that nominators wait a few weeks between nominations (instead of immediately re-nominating). The number of reviewers is limited, and it's not fair to other nominators to have some people immediately restart failed FAC nominations. Raul654 05:08, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
        • Indeed, this has been my experience. Very rarely a failed nom is ready to be restarted right afterwards - and if it is, I have seen Raul relist it himself. -- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk 05:40, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
        • I assume that's the same reason as for why one person can't nominate more than one article at a time? Is there a more efficient way to do that - increasing the number of reviewers? rating the importance of the candidateship as to whether it's its first time or its millionth, whether it has had other bureocracy (peer review, GAC, AIAC drive, etcetera), whether it has directorship support (or not), and so on?--Keerllston 10:38, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Something like that. Please be aware that our reviewers are stretched beyond normal limits, and so is the director. To review properly and fairly requires revisits and re-assessments. When there are 70 nominations in the queue, it's all daunting. Tony (talk) 05:22, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    • Let's not just see the current over-stretched-ness and instead look to the future, it will not go away magically. And working hard to fill a bucket with a hole in it is not very efficient. - Let's try to look at a bigger picture.--Keerllston 23:37, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Peer review and the bots[edit]

PR is basically dead these days, except for automated reviews. Editors know this, and would rather go straight to FAC instead of 'waste time' on PR. However, the automated review is not totally useless and will likely pick up some issues that could be improved. This suggests that there could be benefits from running the script on FA candidates. If this was done it might make sense to put the results on the talk page of the FAC; in the style of edit count on RFA.--Nilfanion (talk) 10:44, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Are you sure Wikipedia:Peer review is dead? A recent peer review of my now-featured article was quite detailed, and really helped in improving the article. CloudNine 10:48, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
It should be used (and isn't totally dead), but a for a significant number of articles the first real review is on FAC. These are the articles I'm thinking could benefit from adding the automated reviews to this page.--Nilfanion (talk) 13:40, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
I will just back up what Nilfanion said: the recent peer reviews I've been though have been entirely bot-commented, with no comments from actual living people. Firsfron of Ronchester 17:54, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
  • <shameless plug>Come work on military history articles; at the very least, you'll get a human review.</shameless plug> ;-) Kirill 17:58, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm... can we submit non-military history articles to Military History Review, if we promise to stick a battle into the article? ;) Firsfron of Ronchester 23:49, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
Is an edit war sufficient? --Carnildo 07:04, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
I admit, that cracked me up. Raul654 17:00, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

PR works for me, but I will ask a few people (who are familiar with the topic, edit similar topics, are in a relevant WikiProject, are good at copyediting, or otherwise I think they can help). I leave notes on their talk pages to please come and review. I am willing and try to return the favor for articles they are working on. That seems to work well, trying to resolve issues before I bring something to FAC. I haven't had much to fix with articles while they are at FAC. --Aude (talk) 18:22, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

For a long time I argued that an article should reach GA first, as a prerequisite to FA. Perhaps we could implement that, in place of the theoretically useful but in practice dead PR? -- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk 19:43, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

I don't like that idea. First, many of the editors with heavy FA/FAC/FAR involvement have grave issues with GA. Secondly, there are many capable editors here who can improve an article to FA standard quickly once they begin working. Why force them to waste time going through the GA process when they could go straight to an FA nomination? Pagrashtak 22:46, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm tempted to put a {{fact}} tag against your comment. "Many editors"? Who are they, and why don't they speak for themselves? --Malleus Fatuorum 22:52, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm a GA fan, and I don't even like the idea. If we did that we'd just have bigger backlogs at GAC and FAC. Wrad 23:06, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
I am not a GA fan. I think the standards for GA are too low and poorly enforced. I also agree that if you are seriously working on getting an article to FA why bother going to GA first. On the peer review issue, it is not dead, you simply need to ask other experienced editors in that subject area to take a look at it. I have done this and gotten a number of great reviews. Most editors don't hang around PR, so they don't know something in their area is there. A simple note on their talk page works wonders. KnightLago 18:03, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
My logic is simple: if it cannot pass a GA, it has no chance to pass as a FA.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk 18:09, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
True, but many articles come here without going through GA and pass FA without too much trouble. I wouldn't like to have to send the articles I work on through GA first; it's extra work. I expect FAC editors to figure out if they need GA to help them, and use it if they need it. Mike Christie (talk) 19:09, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
The first FA I worked on, I submitted to GA first, as it was helpful to have an extra stage of feedback on the article. For the next FA nomination I wouldn't want to, as it would be time-consuming and I would have little confidence in the quality of the review. The Land 19:24, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
I have grave issues with the GA process despite having little experience with it.
I believe any "legal requirements" of that sort would lead to more of "Wikipedia is a bureocracy",
many articles do pass through GA first and its a sign of quality, just like going through PR, Academic Review, etcetera - it is not however a very reputable stamp of quality
- and is in my opinion as "strange" or more, than the FA process.
--Keerllston 02:44, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
I believe that you have to judge FA/GA by their impact on the overall quality of the encyclopedia, however that might be measured. Has GA resulted in an improvement of the quality of articles, "reputable stamp of quality or not"? My feeling is very strongly yes, but who really knows? Who's measuring? --Malleus Fatuorum 03:02, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

(Undent) All this "PR is dead; GA sucks" talk is yesterday's news. It is not categorically true in either case. Moreover, it encourages posers to come in and mimic the GA sucks/PR dead cant, thus turning it into a minor meme of sorts. Stop whining and find something to improve and somewhere to contribute (including GA and PR). Ling.Nut 07:00, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

You cannot make someone pass a GAC before coming to FAC if they don't want to. Personally, I would invoke WP:IAR and just nominate straight at FAC regardless of how many large and sniffy messages told me to get a green cross first. And if I couldn't do that, I'd never write another FA (and I do have plans towrite more in the coming year). Simple.
On the peer review is dead/GA sucks thing - whether peer review is dead is an objective assessment; if people are still having their work reviewed, then it's not dead. And given that everyone who is putting up peer reviews at WP:LGBT is getting reviewed, that alone tells me there is life in PR yet. Whether GA sucks or not is a subjective opinion that is difficult to prove because everyone approaches the issue with different criteria (it's just that everyone who thinks GA doesn't suck is wrong. :). But you can't mix up the two and act as if damning the one is the same as damning the other. Dev920 (Have a nice day!) 11:38, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
I note your "extortion" - FAC would not like to lose you, nor would wikipedia. I think nominators could be rated by the rate of succesful vs. unsuccesful nominations, - perhaps to be noted in the nominator's blurb. that should be sufficient to IAR if any rules are made against it, and any director would be a fool to remove a constant succesful nominator.--Keerllston 10:48, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Umm guys, I know you enjoy debating which of GA or PR is better (or worse); but that was not the point I was suggesting at the start of this thread... I was proposing simply that if an article ends up on FAC without going through PR (as happens frequently), that the PR review bots do their job and report back to the FAC talk page.--Nilfanion (talk) 22:07, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Ummm Nil - I know you like keeping to a single thread - but that's not the point of a discussion - it's more of a free-for-all multi-threading tapestry - and the more things you can tie together and help understand the better it works. --Keerllston 00:32, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Yeah I know. I was just trying to get some discussion about the actual idea I proposed in the first place...--Nilfanion (talk) 00:38, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
hahaha... oh. - Did any development happen in that direction? Who would be able to act/decide? Let's try and make for a better way.--Keerllston 20:47, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

I think that comment led to this topic.--Keerllston 21:04, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Proposal for Automated Review in FAC[edit]

'The automated review from Peer Review is useful and will pick up issues. There are huge benefits from running the script on FA candidates. It makes sense to put the results on the talk page of the FAC; in the style of edit count on RFA.'
My version/interpretation/paraphrase of Nilfanion's comment- Let us begin again!--Keerllston 21:04, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

South of Heaven FAC[edit]

Hi guys, I hope all is well. Can some of you pop over to my FAC above and give some feedback? I appreciate that the FAC page is really busy, although I'd like to get this specific FAC finished as soon as possible. Thanks in advance. I'd also like to thank everyone nice I've met on Wikipedia since my time here, and those that have helped at PR and FAC etc. I wish you all the best. LuciferMorgan (talk) 02:42, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Allegations of "Improper Nomination"[edit]

17 Drew's Nominations[edit]

The Sweet Escape (song)[edit]

  • Improper Nomination can't you work on copy-editing? or get other people to copy-edit Rock Steady? or work more on Rock Steady? or let someone else nominate this article? Please either first withdraw your any ongoing nomination by yourself, or follow it through to completion, before nominating a new article candidate-ship.--Keerllston 14:11, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
    The copyediting for Rock Steady (album) is done mostly done but being done by someone else. The problem there is not that I don't have enough time to spend on the article but that three people commented in over a month. I've had more than one FAC at a time before (this is far from being my first FAC), and it's a suggestion not to have more than one at a time, not a requirement. 17Drew 18:28, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
The above complaint is not valid - 17Drew is perfectly capable of handling two FAC nominations. LuciferMorgan 00:32, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
He struck out the bolded part, so I think that means he's withdrawn his request to close the nomination. 17Drew 08:23, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
You did not note in the "Nomination blurb" that is has gone through Peer Review, Academic Review, or any other such. I find it objectionable that a nominator should nominate more than one article - FAC is not Peer Review and articles can be improved outside of FAC - including copy-editing.
Whether or not it is "proper process" or not seems to be a different subject altogether.--Keerllston 14:40, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
Frankly, most of the articles I've submitted to GAN, FAC, or PR have received little, if any, attention. I even had the dubious honor of having all three GANs have to be in Wikipedia:Good article nominations/backlog before they were reviewed. So I don't feel the need to wait several weeks for another article to be neglected so that I can note that there was a review when I bring the article here. That, and I've done 5 song FAs and 9 song GAs, so song articles have become rather easy for me, and I don't think this article needs any more copy-editing work. 17Drew 15:39, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
I notice you did not mention Academic Review - have you tried that?
I note that your other concurrent nomination was in need of copy-editing, wasn't it?
I note you didn't answer as to why not have someone else nominate it - does not nominating means you don't get to put a star on your page?
--Keerllston 02:27, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't exactly know any professionals in music, and I've never seen an academic peer review of a pop culture article. I wasn't sure if Rock Steady (album) needed a peer review since I've worked less with album articles than I have with song ones. I decided against it since I didn't feel like waiting a few weeks for comments when I could just deal with any issues during the FAC (and most of the issues have been dealt with, so the only oppose so far has been withdrawn). It'd be silly for someone else to nominate and deal with the article when I'm the one that has written most of the article and is already familiar with the sources. The limiting factor for improving this article isn't time. Were it, I wouldn't be discussing this with you. The issue is that in the four days that this nomination has been open, the only person who's supported or opposed probably has this article watchlisted. And there's only so much one can do about how much activity there is at FAC, but it's counterproductive to keep articles from becoming FA because of backlogs. 17Drew 04:43, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
There is no criteria that articles need to go to peer review or become a Good Article before being nominated at FAC. I've seen a number of articles that skipped these steps and have gone to FAC because the editors have a grasp of what to do. Your comments seem to be in bad faith, Keerllston. Have you read the article yet? The qualty of the article is the issue here, not what processes it has gone through. WesleyDodds 07:04, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Please note: I was not commenting on the article, I was commenting on it's the fact that it was nominated
- because I see it as bad faith to nominate more than one article at the same time
- your qualification of my comments as bad faith depends on whether or not I read the article? I have not. Until the nominator has only one article nominated I shan't either.
Peer Review Process is very much alive, it seems people do not notice that actual collaboration - requests to other people's pages and so on - work towards greater comments on Candidateships and Reviews.
--Keerllston 12:23, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
It's not bad faith to nominate more than one article at FAC. The subject of multiple FAC nominations by the same editor has come up before on the FAC talk page. As long as the nominator can properly address concerns, it's fine. You may not think an editor should nominate more than one article at FAC, or that an article can be nominated without passing through the GA process or Peer Review (and I understand your feelings, to an extent), but those are not actionable reasons to withdraw or close the nomination. And yes, I implore you to read the article, because that's the whole point of it being here. Otherwise there's no reason for you to post in the FAC for this article (I for one hope to review and comment on the article as soon as possible). WesleyDodds 12:44, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Having examined the arguments for and against it being improper or not, I have decided that it actually is improper - This is my opinion and can be ignored by the directorship and by any other commentors, as any other "oppose" in regards to the article's content [candidateship--01:26, 6 December 2007 (UTC)].--Keerllston 11:27, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
I suggest you post friendly notices in appropriate places -see WP:CANVASS#Friendly notices - to both receive good Peer Reviews and good FA Candidateships with lots of comments and lots (presumably) of "gained support" - having done that you may flood this page with your nominations
- otherwise I consider multiple nominations to be similar to canvassing - objectionable and distasteful.
I reiterate my suggestion -please withdraw one of your nominations
--Keerllston 01:31, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
The three people I've worked with most have already commented at both candidacies; if some haven't been able to comment on the article itself, they do know that the candidacies exist. Both candidacies are listed at the music noticeboard, but judging from past experience and the fact that all of the peer reviews and featured article candidacies listed there are for article I've worked on, the noticeboard's pretty inactive. Rock Steady (album) has gained support, and all of the concerns have been addressed. I strongly recommend you (re-)read Wikipedia:Ignore all rules and Wikipedia:What "Ignore all rules" means. Opposing the existence of these nominations for the sake of following a narrow interpretation of the request on {{FAC-instructions}} (since the copyedit was not meant to change it from a request to a rule) doesn't help anyone and wastes the time of all involved. CloudNine, WesleyDodds, and I have all explained that there is no issue here, and closing the nomination doesn't help the articles or anyone else involved. 17Drew (talk) 02:43, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Interesting, I am I to assume that you have not made comments to user's talk pages?
Ignore All Rules, did you imagine that I might be doing the same? - any rules that might come in between a user (me) and a better wikipedia
A better wikipedia is one not one with an FAC filled with nominations that get few comments because few people are interested.
I suggest you get more people interested in articles you look to become FAC's.
--Keerllston 04:01, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
If you have any problems with people nominating multiple FACs, then feel free to discuss this via the WP:FAC talk page. This specific FAC discussion is to discuss whether this article merits FA status, or does not. Read the article, and feel free to support or object per FA criteria. Otherwise, register a complaint at the WP:FAC talk page or with the FAC director (Raul).
This discussion should be moved to the talk page of this FAC nomination. 17Drew has written a few decent articles, and his interest in writing well written articles I value a lot more than your suggestion of canvassing votes. Rather than keep replying to this discussion, I'm sure 17Drew has better things to do with his time such as improving articles (the actual objective of this Project). LuciferMorgan (talk) 04:40, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Now that the discussion has taken the amusing turn that in order to nominate another article whose quality has not been criticized, I must wait a month, notify the related WikiProject, and notify at least four people...I'm going to withdraw myself from this discussion since if five people who appear to agree with me can't handle this discussion there's little I can do. As LuciferMorgan suggested, I'm going to resign myself to improving articles and hopefully getting a few that are FACs now off of the list (by commenting on the articles themselves). 17Drew (talk) 23:19, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Rock Steady (album)[edit]

Improper nomination I request that the nominator remove one of his nominations before proceeding or requesting further comments. -The FAC should not be flooded by nominations from one user. Before nominating more than one article at the very least some further bureocracy should be done, noting the worth. The fact that neither of the nominator's concurrently nominated articles are receiving much comment are significators of the lack of worth of these articles and the lack of proper involvement of the wikipedia community on these articles - Which would be given if someone else had nominated one of the two. Move to dismiss either one or both of the nominated articles.
--Keerllston 16:00, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

  • "Users should not add a second FA nomination until the first has gained support and reviewers' concerns have been substantially addressed". Looks good to me; "lack of worth", a subjective statement, doesn't and shouldn't come in consideration in the FAC process. CloudNine (talk) 17:07, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
I see one "vote" of support. This does not constitute "gaining support"--Keerllston 18:45, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
There's two supports; it's definitely gaining support. 17Drew has also addressed Tony's oppose comment. It seems to have satisfied both criteria. CloudNine (talk) 18:47, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Gaining support does not constitute having gained support. Two votes of support do not count as having "gained support" - Russia with many votes of support (for example) has gained support- this one has not.--Keerllston 23:10, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
It has "gained support", from two users to be precise (I don't recall there being a minimum number of support votes before we can state the phrase "gained support" anyway; there's no mention in the FAC prelude). Since 17Drew has efficiently addressed any oppositions in this FAC, in my opinion, both FACs should remain. CloudNine (talk) 00:36, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Regarding the definition of "Gaining support" - An article is promoted to FA status once it has gained support and has no outstanding opposition. I think that's the proper usage of "Gaining Support".--Keerllston 12:04, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Bullsh*t. "Lack of worth"?! Sorry for the language, but anybody and everybody writing articles which are at or near FA standard should be congratulated and thanked not told that their articles are unworthy.
I've asked here before whether 2 or more concurrent nominations are fine and iirc Raul has said that they are, provided the nominator is able to service both of them properly. If one of the FACs from this editor is all but settled let him get on with the next - if we're to reach 100,000 FAs we need to be going quicker folks. --kingboyk (talk) 02:00, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Pilsudski[edit]

  • Improper Nomination NPOV concerns should have been adressed in the nominator's blurb, having been the major concern in the last FAC.--Keerllston 10:33, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Not when they are a case of WP:UNDUE - as can be seen by the fact that only a tiny (if vocal) minority raised those concerns.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 19:09, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
    • Disagreement with Piotrus -Actually in every case where they form the majority of the opposing comments and the reason for its past failed nomination, they should be addressed.
      Whether the person who has been the cause of the NPOV concerns nominates it, which is this case, or someone else nominates it.
      --Keerllston 00:47, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
      PS: "Neutral point of view is a fundamental Wikipedia principle. NPOV is absolute and non-negotiable." from WP:NPOV
      • And they have been addressed, with various points incorporated into the text. If some are unhappy that not all of their points were, well, wiki writing is the art of compromise. The article should not represent a POV of any one editor or faction, but a balance between duly weighted ones. I believe that this article fits that criteria, and this belief seems to be shared by over 20 other editors who voted in support of it :) -- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 01:13, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
        • The fact that they have been addressed to your satisfaction Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus, is not an argument. I suggest that you, and the 20 other editors who voted in support of it, read and re-read the article's talk:Jozef Pilsudski from top top bottom. Perhaps some votes might change? Won't place odds on it though. Dr. Dan (talk) 02:25, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
          • My agenda is to include more international perspectives on Pilsudski - in short supply here, and an important aspect of NPOV. Novickas (talk) 14:46, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
            • There are plenty of those already, and the article is quite large. If you have further critical quotations of P. to add, I would again like to direct you to wikiquote. Wikipedia article's are not supposed to be a list of quotations (particularly one sided).-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 19:13, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Regarding Piotrus' Nomination[edit]

REQUEST OF COMMENT FROM DIRETORSHIP --Keerllston 15:22, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Indeed. I find Dwarf's behavior quite improper and disruptive (a significant portior of his contribution to my FAC discussion has been to defend uncivil users who are attacking content creators). It be preferable if instead he would take note of my posts addressing his concerns (the one under his 'strong objection' is unanswered since 25 November...).-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 19:09, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
As to it's unanswered nature - I believe my comments on your nominations FAC page were answer enough.- I do not believe the most important of the objections was addressed properly - regarding NPOV. I believe I have made a plethora of comments regarding this. I have defended the right of commentators to somewhat uncivil comments - not properly uncivil - definitely not personal attacks.
I note that you find my behavior disruptive - I attempted to decrease disruption caused by "Improper Nomination" by moving these to this page - Has it worked?
--Keerllston 01:00, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
I consider defending uncivil editors disruptive as it encourage them to flame more. If you would be accused of being 'a vane user who cannot get enough of awards', one of 'the roosters crowing about eggs they've laid, demanding them to get painted as easter eggs', that those who agree with you just 'boost each other's egos ' and 'they are individuals with an axe to grind, who are presenting a one-sided picture of a cult of personality propaganda piece', that an article you wrote is worse than 'term papers come out of a third-rate Community College', and finally that discussion with you is a 'waste of time' - I wonder, would you still encourage such comments? Because if I saw another editor who would be a target of such flaming, I'd offer him my support and warn the flamers that this project is not a place for such uncivil attacks. For the record, this is the only part of your edits which I find disruptive; you are certainly entitled to all of your opinions - but I draw a line at encouraging flaming.
As for your objection on NPOV, yes, you have made the argument that several users complained about neutrality - but I have addressed their arguments with my explanations. What in them do you find unsatisfactory, and why do you still oppose the article? As I have explained, despite several users intense dislike of Piłsudski, NPOV policy requires that we present a neutral view, and UNDUE clause means we should not include or prioritize certain points that are not widely supported by sources - even if they are a favorite of certain editors. That those few call the article non-neutral because it is not biased towards their POV, or doesn't include detailed discussion of their favorite theory/author, shouldn't be equated with the article being non-neutral (on the contrary, I would think it means it is in fact quite neutral).-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 01:27, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
I believe the comments were in large part not directed only at you - rather on par with WP:OWN to a large segment of wikipedians.
I think they could be construed as comments on you - not enough effot was placed to assure that was not the case -
I note you refer mainly to Matthead's comments - Encouraging flaming? I have seen no "further" "flaming" - perhaps I was not as well defined when you said I was "encouraging flaming" as you say?

As to POV - NPOV is rather important. I do not understand how your [(Piotrus')] actions could be qualified as "responsible" not having noted NPOV concerns in the nominator's blurb - in fact I'd qualify your [(Piotrus')] actions as "negligent" or even "intentionally misleading" - depending on evidence -
--Keerllston 01:39, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

[quote from SandyGeorgia's User Talk Page added --Keerllston 09:54, 8 December 2007 (UTC)]

I think that speaks too highly of the time and attention that thine glorious directorship put to the FAC page - it's huge - and there's no way you would remove a nomination - the directorship doth not act, it has preferences. - at least - it looks that way... doesn't it?--Keerllston 10:28, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
The reminder to Piotrus is to overlook the unfortunate comments and focus on the FAC rather than the distraction of whether a reivew is "improper". SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:32, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Indeed. I would very much like for neutral editors to comment on any issues they still need addressing. Dear Keer, as I have noted - and would like to hear your reply to that - unfortunately comments address the concerns of minority non-neutral editors who want to push undue/fringe bias are hard to act on, as other than by allowing that minority to introduce their bias into the article their objections cannot be dealt with. And of course by introducing this bias to the article to satisfy that small minority one would also ensure disqualification of the article (since the majority of editors who support the neutral version would than have to object).-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 06:30, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Negligence or not[edit]

So - does the directorship believes that not noting (significant) NPOV concerns as a nominator constitutes negligence?--Keerllston 10:14, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Response[edit]

The Rock Steady FAC is still open because Wesley Dodds has requested time to review it more thoroughly; there are no Opposes at all, much less Opposes that aren't being dealt with, evidenced by Tony's strike of his Oppose. Considering the situation, a second nomination a month later is not a violation of the spirit of the instruction, which is to make sure subsequent noms aren't put up too quickly, or when another article still has opposes or has not gained support. On the other hand, there are some older double FACs where the first is not resolved and does have outstanding Opposes; it would be good if that practice stopped, but those have been up for quite a while now, so it wouldn't be appropriate to remove them at this late stage. Some articles may pass with two Supports, and some may fail with 25 Supports; it's not a vote, it's a determination of when an article has attained the standards of WP:WIAFA. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 05:25, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

I've seen hasty multiple FAC noms before by a single user on many occasions. Usually by newer users. However, 17Drew's nominations are not in bad faith at all. He's proven himself quite capable to write FA-worthy articles and to address FAC concerns quickly and effectively. I have yet to review The Sweet Escape (song) but plan to when I can, and I'm quite close to casting a support for Rock Steady (album) (17Drew attempted to address my remaining concerns by crafting new versions of certain sections on a user page, and at first glance it looks great). I for one have three future FAC-bound article in the pipline, two of which are GAs and one currently at Peer Review (with little feedback, I must add). I'd hope no one would hold it against me if I brought them all within the same month (which I am planning to do) because I for one will try my best to watch over all of them, and there are plenty who would do the same for their own nominations. WesleyDodds (talk) 07:56, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
"Gained Support" (in my interpretation) means that although there are outstanding concerns of some kind, were it not for these it would have passed -
In other words, a plethora of supports, a grand preponderance of supports, a large number of supports these constitute support
--Keerllston 09:57, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Please note Raul's comments (Bolding added)--Keerllston 10:00, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
You're taking that quote out of context, it's about people who nominate articles immediately after they have failed, not nominating a second article weeks after the first was nominated. M3tal H3ad (talk) 10:03, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, "restart" is the key word here. WesleyDodds (talk) 10:05, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Actually Strict Rules and Fair are the key words. Also of note is the comment that Number of Reviewers is limited. - Perhaps we disagree? you have a POV, I have a POV, we all have a POV?--Keerllston 11:55, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
No. 17Drew did not restart a nomination. So the paragraph you quoted is irrelevant; there's no issue of POV here. By the way, there's nothing in the words "gained support" that imply a huge amount of supports; one or two is enough. CloudNine (talk) 12:19, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

(a) It seems clear, at the very least, that we disagree on what consitutes support for an article's candidateship, - I believe support for an article means "substancial support" and not "one or two votes of support".
(a) It seems clear also that we disagree that what I quoted is relevant - I believe they do, in regards to there being similar reasons for the different policies.
--Keerllston 15:21, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Dwarf Kirlston, please refrain from altering the section headings and the placement of posts of others. I have restored the heading and the placement of my original post at the bottom of this section. Thank you, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:22, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
I did this to put things in their proper context - I see that this is about Drew's Nomination - not about the others. Therefore I attempted to make it better. I understand you might feel that it was disruptive, I understand therefore your actions.--Keerllston 00:55, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
The first point is of course an opinion you are allowed to have, but in regards to your second point, you have misread what you are quoting. That quote is directly talking about restarting nominations. It's not relevant to your argument. WesleyDodds (talk) 00:14, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
As I said it's clear we disagree on whether it's relevant - I think you clearly voiced your support of that assertion - the one that says "We clearly disagree".--Keerllston 00:55, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
It's not a matter of opinion. You need to parse that sentence you quoted. It clearly has no relation to what you are arguing (multiple nominations by the same user). WesleyDodds (talk) 03:58, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
  • These nominations are not improper, and aside from the Pilsudski nom (which could be considered an objection based on the content of the article), you saying that they are is improper and inactionable. Users have historically been able to place two or three nominations on the page without having any problems responding to comments. It is not necessarily a problem to review these nominations, as usually we are talking about users who know what they are doing, and who have probed capable of handling several nominations at the same time. Users who have proved they are not capable of handling multiple nominations are usually informed politely about that. 17Drew is one of those users who have had no problems handling multiple nominations, so saying that these candidacies are improper because they are multiple per se doesn't fly. As for the quote, it is not relevant at all, as it talks about restarting failed FAC's. It is unfair for reviewers to have to check the same material without changes after it has been rejected at FAC; it is not unfair for them to review new material, which they would be doing anyways. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 04:14, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
    • It's not about Drew - it's about the FAC page - there's a reason people aren't allowed to have more than one nomination, and there's a reason people aren't allowed to restart. As Raul said - There's a limited number of reviewers - and even though there are no strict rules - what was it he said "we prefer" that people follow the non-strict rules. I am not saying that these nominations should be struck from the record immediately, I'm saying there needs to be more protocol in the FA process- "we prefer" is not very good at all.--Keerllston 10:34, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
      • Let's avoid instruction creep here. The process works fine as-is. CloudNine (talk) 10:40, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
        • One thing is instructions the other thing is better protocol. I mean in terms of there being a rationale for example at the end of each nomination. I mean that rather than there merely being a preference there actually being some sort of directorship action in terms of restarting nominations and multiple nominatinations.
          I must say I construed your comments to be calling me a "creep" ("instruction creep" to be exact) - I am very glad I was wrong.
          --Keerllston 11:41, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Step 1 from the Nomination Instructions:

My interpretation of step one is that if a nominator has not done this - ensured that it meets all of the FA criteria - then he should not nominate at all.--Keerllston 13:35, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

But if he has done that, there is no reason he can't have more than one article on the candidate list. Raul has said that before, actually. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 20:39, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Or if we are quoting people, I've just copied this straight from Archive 23:
Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 20:45, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks a lot Titoxd! So my entire argument was out of wack! Thankyou! - I am glad you were able to find a precedent and the reasoning for the case of multiple nominations.--Keerllston 00:37, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Copyediting related to 17Drew[edit]

While copy-editing was going on he nominated another article that (predicably) had copy-editing needs. This does not constitute ensuring FA quality - he should have contacted a copy-editor before nominating.--Keerllston 13:58, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Response from Raul[edit]

For the record, Sandy has my full support on these judgment calls. Raul654 (talk) 16:31, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Mine too!
- but I'd like to see her make judgements, you know... - like in response to "was it or wasn't it negligence?"
--Keerllston 15:47, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Picture requirements for featured articles[edit]

There is a discussion here. Permalink is here. Samsara (talk  contribs) 14:44, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Actually, that seems to be discussing Wikipedia:Featured pictures, which aren't the same thing. Most FPs are not on FAs, and most FAs do not have any FPs (which might be unfortunate, but so it goes).--AnonEMouse (squeak) 14:57, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
I've been around a while. :) Thanks. Samsara (talk  contribs) 17:46, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Ensuring it meets FACr[edit]

Step 1 from the Nomination Instructions:

What constitutes ensuring that it meets all of the FA criteria?--Keerllston 10:11, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

You compare it to Wikipedia:Featured article criteria, which is the link provided in that sentence in its original form. WesleyDodds (talk) 11:22, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
The nominator compares it? - but if it does not in his estimation is he supposed to nominate it? In ensuring is he supposed to depend on his estimation alone?--Keerllston 12:47, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
The nominator compares the article to the featured article criteria, and then nominates it at FAC if they feel it meets that criteria. Then it is confirmed or denied by the community at FAC. WesleyDodds (talk) 12:50, 8 December 2007 (UTC)


From Wiktionary--Keerllston 13:37, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes; that's what the nominator should do -- make sure that the article meets FA criteria. Mike Christie (talk) 13:39, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
The idea is the nominator does their best to get everything done before nominating rather than nominating a 'close enough' article which will generally result in lots of issues being raised and a huge FAC page and discourage other reviewers. It also runs the risk of gathering flat opposes who do not return to re-assess. I am not sure why you are raising this though cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 13:43, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
The point is - doesn't this kind of go against long FAC's? - meaning instead of long FAC's that double as "Peer Review" shouldn't this be more straightforwards or something?
There's opposition to requiring that Candidate Articles should go through GA - Peer Review - etc. - but what exactly is the "protocol" - the checklist - comparing it to other articles that have already reached FA status is common, isn't it?
There was some discussion - I don't remember exactly who said it - but it was that there be a requirement for 3 people to nominate an article instead of one - "Support as contributors" as it were - (what about "Oppose as contributor" comments?)
--Keerllston 14:02, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I may be one of the few editors to have "Opposed as contributor". :) Although there's some inevitable flak from doing that, I'm not sure that a contributor's oppose ought to count as being more weighty than any other oppose though. Any more than I'm sure than having 3 nominators ought to carry any more weight than having one. It's the article that's being assessed, on its own merits hopefully. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 18:58, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm still not quite sure what your first point is. Are you saying that if a nominated article were more carefully vetted beforehand it would be more likely to pass quickly? If so, you're no doubt right for some articles, though many are indeed carefully vetted. But there is no enforcement of the provision that nominators should ensure the articles they nominate meet FAC criteria before the nomination. An article that clearly can't pass will accumulate oppose votes and is likely to be archived quite quickly. It is not generally possible to bring an article to FAC knowing that it will pass with no objections.
There's no protocol that I know of for nominators, other than simply reading and understanding the FAC criteria and trying to judge the article by them. That's what I do, anyway.
For the last point, I also don't recall the exact discussion, but I believe there was no support for requiring three people to nominate an article. I would not support that myself; it would add another step that might be difficult to achieve for obscure topics, and I don't see that it would add enough value to make it worthwhile. The "as contributor" point: anyone can comment at FAC, and it doesn't hurt to make it clear there that you're a contributor (either for an oppose or support vote, it's information the FAC director may want to know). Mike Christie (talk) 14:18, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Dead links toolbox[edit]

I have just discovered the Dead links toolbox installed next to the FAC TOC; it indicates several of the FACs have an alarming number of dead links that may need to be checked. Have others been checking this, and is there a way to run that tool on a specific article and paste that to the article FAC? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:00, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

That's a useful tool. If you go to http://tools.wikimedia.de/~dispenser/cgi-bin/linkchecker.py you can enter a specific page to check. The number of those broken links is certainly worrying! Carre (talk) 10:15, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
Many of the links aren't actually broken; they're just links to JSTOR, Blackwell, etc, which do not allow entry without subscription. Some, obviously, really are broken. There's a link on the tool called [recheck] next to each FAC's name. That URL can be copied into the FAC discussion. here's the one for Bird. Firsfron of Ronchester 15:55, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I finally caught up on this after Gimmetrow deciphered it for me: you check an article by changing the page parameter. Examples: [1] or [2] Yes, some aren't really broken; is it mostly the 404s we need to look at or are there others ? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:27, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
I think the redirects need to be looked at as well, as they might indicate that a link is about to go dead. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 18:51, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
I noticed this morning when I was using the tool to fix a link on Allosaurus that changing the redirect to the live version sometimes has no effect, and the new version still ends up a pink "soft 404" redirect. Firsfron of Ronchester 19:32, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
The link returns a 405 Method Not Allowed at which point the tool reissues the request with a standard GET instead of the faster HEAD and then it gets redirected to http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cookie_setting_error.html which triggers the "soft 404" error. It also appear that the site needs to set the cookie before granting access, the changed link avoid thats and prevents the cookie from being set thus preventing the download :-). Cookie detect is now on the todo list. —Dispenser (talk) 02:23, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
Sweet! Thank you! Firsfron of Ronchester 06:36, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
It's a difficult question to answer. 404s are obviously broken, but that could just be bad web design - if a page requires subscription/registration to view, and the site isn't well designed, you could end up with a 404. Redirects could be as Malleus describes, but are also used for properly designed sites where a sign-up/login is needed. The only real way to be sure is to manually check each and every link that doesn't return 200-OK. Carre (talk) 19:01, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
[edit] Redirects can sometimes be used to hide 404s too, can't they? Where a 404 results in a redirect to a site-designated page to handle such things. So definitely redirects need checking. Carre (talk) 19:05, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
The tool makes it very easy to check where redirects are going anyway, so definitely worth doing. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 19:11, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Should FACs be objected to if they contain dead links? Wikipedia:Citing sources#What to do when a reference link "goes dead" seems quite tolerant of dead links if they can't be replaced. Epbr123 (talk) 19:16, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Web.archive.org usually will have a cached version of the page. If it's a scholarly journal or something, there should be a print edition anyway (so the journal itself can just be cited). A dead web link with no cached version is probably not a reliable source, and definitely cannot provide verifiability. In the case of a dead web link with no print version, that is absolutely objectionable.Firsfron of Ronchester 19:21, 10 December 2007 (UTC) BTW, I love this tool.
Not sure on that :-) On links that I know will go dead (Miami Herald comes to mind), I add a direct quote to the footnote at the time I cite the link. I think (?) I should leave the dead link, because that shows where I got the info initially? Oops, strike, sorry Firsfron, that's not a good example, because the Miami Herald is available hard print. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:30, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
(ec) No problem; I understand exactly what you mean here. There could be situations that arise where there are no print versions and no cached version. I'm hard-pressed to think of any off-hand, but the situation may arise. In situations like that, we may need to evaluate if the source can be used as a reliable source anyway: if it's never been cached, it probably wasn't on-line very long, or wasn't popular. Firsfron of Ronchester 19:40, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
Something along the line of Yahoo News maybe? Those links last a couple months, then die. Google caches only last a while, too. Gimmetrow 06:42, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I think they should be objected to; much more relevant than objecting on the basis of incorrect use of dashes anyway. The link should be repaired, replaced, or marked as dead. It would depend on how important the link was to the article as to how much weight ought to be placed on its disappearance so far as the article's verifiability is concerned. But like SandyGeorgia, if the link is to a newspaper's site, then I would have included the publication details anyway, so the link could easily be changed to a note. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 19:35, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
Identifier Meaning
Green (1)
Message
Link should work but should be checked.
Yellow (2)
Warn
Link that could pose a problem to users. Examples: expiring news, registration/subscription req., and low signal to noise
Blue (3)
Server/connection
Simple connection issue/just about impossible to fix without the webmaster's help
Orange (4)
Heuristically determined
The software thinks that the link is dead. 404 or similar appear in redirects urls.
Red (5)
404, 410 error
Server has confirmed the link as dead.
Slategray (6) Spamlink or Google Cache link

I'm surprised that very few people have tried the edit feature. Its by far the most powerful feature as you can edit the set of links to an article and send back the results. It also has the preset to help find that dead link again and something ith the internet archive.

The colors as nobody really seem to be picking up on the subtle with the selector at the top so I have a graph here explaining the basics.

The tool will account for 404 redirect, otherwise known as soft 404s. There's a hidden debug mode for the on-the-fly stuff, just append &debug=1 to the end like so. And a hint for find the live article is to search for text pulled from the Internet Archive. And if people could provided interface feedback suggestion that would be much appreciated. —Dispenser (talk) 01:54, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for popping in to help, Dispenser, and that's a handy tool you've developed. I admit a lot of this is Greek to me, so I hope reviewers and nominators will use the tool and sort it out! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:30, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Dead link tool is mighty useful! Thanks for advertising it, any other tools of that caliber that you guys want to share? -- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 06:05, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

{{Cite}} format generator seems interesting, although its usefulness maybe questioned. —Dispenser (talk) 01:15, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

I've update the tool once again, the mergeChanges.py has been re-engineered to work faster while providing more feedback. A few minor changes some of the other files. Please notify me of bugs.

The threshold hack should be replace with #display=0,1,1,1,1,1 (example) which can be simplified to #display=0 where each number corresponds to the rank. A script will toggle the rows once the page has loaded. Doing it this way allows users to see all links on the page. —Dispenser (talk) 23:20, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

United Nations Parliamentary Assembly[edit]

The editor who nominated this FAC contacted roughly 50 editors in an attempt to gain votes for their FAC - surely such behaviour should not be encouraged? Or is FAC encouraging everyone to shamelessly spam numerous talk pages for support votes nowadays? Maybe I should spam everyone to check my FAC - maybe I should start with all the editors I'm in regular contact with... LuciferMorgan (talk) 19:50, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

That's called canvassing. Asking people to review the article and give their honest opinions is fine. Asking people to support unconditionally is not. So, whether the behaviour is OK or not would depend on the nature of the canvas. Carre (talk) 19:53, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
I've discovered that the nominator went through the list of members for WikiProject International relations and asked nearly all of them to vote. This is the article's relevant WikiProject. Maybe I can contact every editor of WikiProject Metal, knowing full well that South of Heaven is a heavy metal article, and would get 99% supports off the members irrelevant of whether I ask them to support. This behaviour isn't fine at all as far as I am concerned. LuciferMorgan (talk) 20:03, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
To be fair, the canvasser asked others to review the article rather than unconditionally support; although it's possible there were bad faith motives. It's just a good job FAC isn't a vote. Epbr123 (talk) 20:07, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
True, but he actually asked them to vote (not review the article). I do suspect bad faith motives based on the evidence, but this is my opinion. LuciferMorgan (talk) 20:10, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm with Epbr here too. Going around asking people, whether those you know or those in a WikiProject, to review an FAC shouldn't be a problem. It's a matter of AGF, I think: going to a project knowing that the project members will !vote support, regardless, isn't a good thing, but going to a project and asking for proper, uninvolved reviews is surely a good way to help an FAC that's languishing without comments. Carre (talk) 20:17, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm of the belief that the age old policy of AGF has been in need of a review for quite some time, to be honest. It should be replaced with "Use common sense". AGF has been abused for quite some time unfortunately. LuciferMorgan (talk) 20:44, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

[←]LOL, I certainly agree with some of that. If I see an editor citing AGF in defence of their own edit, I pretty much always take it that the edit wasn't good faith at all; similarly, where an editor cites AGF when describing another's edit is quite often an indicator that bad faith was assumed. Carre (talk) 20:55, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

There's an essay on that actually: Wikipedia:Assume the assumption of good faith. Epbr123 (talk) 21:16, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
The only time I've seen it effectively cited is by a neutral party. Wrad (talk) 00:10, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
WP:CANVASS#Friendly Notice -friendly notices are good!--Keerllston 09:50, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

I'm sorry I had to be the one to bring this issue forward, but I'm more sorry that the article was languishing at the bottom of the list, compelling me to take off the proxy hat and put on my review hat to kickstart it. Now to focus back on the article, not the editors contacted. It's the article that matters; without AGF on Wiki, we could all be in a deep dark nasty hole here. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:56, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

I'm sorry Sandy, but you can't brush away contacting 50+ editors with AGF. AGF is a great defence against the bad things on Wikipedia, and is rather dumb. Perhaps we should tell the world to assume good faith when George Bush next makes a pro-Iraq war speech. This is canvassing, and yes it is "friendly" - how else would the person trying to gain votes a la politicians get their FAC through? LuciferMorgan (talk) 11:34, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
And may I add, this sets a precedent. Essentially, Raul's appointed assistant is more or less permitting others to send 50+ alleged "good faith" (what a load of rubbish) to editors who are interested in the articles. There was a time when such behaviour was frowned upon. I guess Wikipedia has changed since then, and for the worse too. LuciferMorgan (talk) 11:37, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
I understand your concern, Lucifer, but I'm not permitting, allowing, disallowing or otherwise judging good faith or bad faith or taking any stand in any direction. I provided info that more than 50 editors had been contacted; then we look at the article, not the editors. This is not the first time this has occurred on FAC, and probably won't be the last. We have similar potential for fan support on every large WikiProject that has a notification template for their FAs; at the end of the day, it's the article we're judging, and FAC is not a vote tally. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:36, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
So if say one person opposes actionably, would that one oppose outweight ten supports? I'll admit that this is the way I would like FAC to work, but it doesn't always work this way (likely due to the volume of FACs). LuciferMorgan (talk) 17:27, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Preity Zinta/archive1. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:39, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
Everyone mark this one on your calendar: I agree with Sandy on this one. Just because 50+ people were contacted doesn't mean they were all going to give a Support vote ('excellent example, Sandy). I have contacted people in the past to review. In my limited experience, it is usually painfully obvious when someone tries to "sneak one through" through canvassing. The usual process is that a couple dozen editors that have never been to FAC show up and give support with comments like, "that has a lot of good info" or "I like her a lot. She's a good actress." Then one of the regulars shows up and says something to the effect of "This is unbelievably bad..." and gives concrete examples as to how the article fails miserably. Upon further reading, it is painfully obvious that the article is not up to snuff.
In short, I see nothing wrong here. 100 supports and 1 objection are sufficient for an article NOT to become FA. 10 bad-faith or wrongly phrased objections and a few supports is enough to get an article to FA status. I see nothing wrong with what this editor has done. — BQZip01 — talk 00:29, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
For the record, Sandy neither agreed or disagreed with 50+ editors being contacted - "I'm not permitting, allowing, disallowing or otherwise judging good faith or bad faith or taking any stand in any direction". I agree with what Sandy said and the FAC she directed me (that's the way Wikipedia should work), but I certainly disagree with such canvassing and do think that Project members are more likely to vote support than a neutral editor. LuciferMorgan (talk) 02:15, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Lucifer. Someone who received one of the messages had not made a single edit in sixteen months, how is he supposed to know anything about the FA criteria? M3tal H3ad (talk) 03:18, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
And did that editor actually vote on the article, or was he/she merely contacted? I belong to WP:BIRD. We project members regularly let each other know when we've got articles up for peer review, GAC and FAC. Is that wrong? Those project members are the ones who are most likely to know something about the content of the article; we're the ones who are most likely to know if something is incorrect, incomplete, or badly cited. And some of us are even reasonable writers! : ) Obviously, if we were all just coming to give unanimous support to an article without actually reading it or making sure that it met FA requirements, that would be a bad thing. However, we're not (and I hope other projects aren't either), as you can see from the comments and suggestions for improvement that we regularly post to the bird-related candidates. And some of us have even stuck around and started to add our two cents to other candidates as well. I don't agree that canvassing a project and asking for reviews is the same as asking for support. And it will be a disappointing turn of events if it becomes "bad practice" to let a WP know when an article in its project sphere is up for nomination! MeegsC | Talk 09:07, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, the user who had not made an edit in 16 months supported the article. M3tal H3ad (talk) 09:38, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
If me and M3tal H3ad adopted this practice, we could technically notch up a fair few supportive votes pretty quickly. Also, people need to understand the notice asked for a vote and not a review. I'm also inclined to disagree that the input of a person who's familiar with a topic outweighs that someone who isn't. I think that Wikipedia experience, and familiarity with the FAC process, counts more. I think the fact that someone who hasn't edited Wikipedia in sixteen months supported the FAC goes to prove my point. LuciferMorgan (talk) 12:17, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
Please don't put words in my mouth LuciferMorgan. I never said that the input of a person familiar with the content outweighed the input of someone who isn't. I do, however, think that it's important to get input from people who are familiar with the content as well as input from people who are familiar with the FAC process. After all, just because something is well-written doesn't necessarily mean that it's correct! And if you could "notch up a fair few support votes" from WP members who were willing to review the article fairly and comprehensively (i.e. NOT approve it just because it was you asked them to), that would be perfectly fine. If, however, they were just saying "Yes it's great" without really critiquing it, that would not be perfectly fine. And WPs that are encouraging that should be "yellow-flagged"! MeegsC | Talk 12:51, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
Familiarity certainly helps with assessing comprehensiveness.cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 13:56, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
For the record Meegs, I did not put words into your mouth - I didn't even quote you. Therefore, don't even accuse me of doing so. I won't put up with accusations off you, or anyone else. You said the following; "And if you could "notch up a fair few support votes" from WP members who were willing to review the article fairly and comprehensively (i.e. NOT approve it just because it was you asked them to), that would be perfectly fine." When I referred to "this practice", I meant this conceited way of gaining support votes which should be frowned upon. If you had actually bothered to check the nominator's requests at the member pages, nowhere do they use the word "review". Also, do you contact every single member of your Project when an article is at FAC and ask them to vote? Do you ask editors who haven't edited in sixteen months to vote on an article? I can't even believe you're trying to defend this example of diabolical behaviour. LuciferMorgan (talk) 16:14, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

[←]Hi Lucifer: Somehow, we've really gotten off on the wrong foot here. I am hardly defending the idea of canvassing for yes votes. I firmly agree with you that such behavior is NOT acceptable (as you know from my posts, if you've read them carefully). All I've said is that I don't think that contacting WPs is unacceptable. As you have since posted, that isn't what this user did. I confess, I didn't check; I'm afraid I have rather limited time for Wiki stuff, and try not to get involved in controversial stuff. For this very reason! Life's too short to have our blood pressures raised like this. Truce? MeegsC | Talk 17:06, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree life's too short, so have no worries. No need for a truce, since there's nothing to have a truce about. It's fine that you firmly agree with me, but you're welcome to disagree. I think we can both agree this specific example is a more extreme case of canvassing, and other cases should be assessed on their own merits. LuciferMorgan (talk) 17:13, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Let's see - I think friendly notices should be encouraged and greater involvement should be encouraged. (I in fact encouraged this instance of canvassing (whether it be friendly notices or not I am unsure)
I am sure you shouldn`t spam - let's be serious - the discussion is not about whether spam is alright - spam is obviously bad.
The problem is that your characterization of this person's actions as in bad faith is not yet clear - let's try and clarify.--Keerllston 14:07, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

and similar statements were put. - this does constitute "an attempt to gain votes" - but I don't see that asking for vote is too different from asking for a "review of candicacy" - it's different wording - perhaps bad wording - but ultimately they are the same thing.--Keerllston 18:10, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Specific Rationale[edit]

Topic started by Keerllston 14:31, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Does this mean that rather than saying "I don't like it" editors should say "It's badly written" or does it instead say that rather than saying "it's badly written" reviewers should say "I have found 12374 of bad grammar and I shall show each and how to improve it"?
--Keerllston 15:10, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

If an editor said "I don't like it", an FAC nominator can easily dismiss this as inactionable. Such an objection wouldn't be valid. I think it's best to cite one's concern, like bad grammar for example, and highlight examples of bad grammar that need to be addressed. With those specific examples which are highlighted, one should specify why the grammar or writing is bad etc. LuciferMorgan (talk) 17:10, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Surely nobody would make a review comment like that without providing at least a few examples, would they? [3] :) --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 23:55, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
For the record, Tony1 asked if examples needed to be provided. If you would like to make veiled criticisms towards, actually have the guts to do it on Tony1's talk page instead of being a coward. I absolutely, 110% detest such spineless comments. LuciferMorgan (talk) 21:49, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
WOW! (at Aggressiveness/uncivility)
Using Tony1 as an example is useful because he is probably the best reviewer - and we should follow his example - an example against stringent requirement of examples rather than a veiled criticism of Tony1 - I can see no reason for "coward" and "spineless comments" - I believe you misunderstood his comments.
--Keerllston 23:00, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Degrading quality of reviews[edit]

This is not about the Peer Review or GA, but FAC. In general, the quality of the reviews on this page is of a high standard. Some candidatures are being shot down by opposes that are not struck when the article is adjusted accordingly. These are false negatives, which are potentially hurtful to the nominator but not directly damaging to Wikipedia. False positives, articles passing FAC without being of FA quality, are much more serious. Gaining the FA star is a disincentive to further work, so these articles may not ever improve to the "required" standard.

This candidature stayed open for 9 days. It gained 2 supports, one of which probably should be discounted, before passing. This is the sort of review quality that is expected at GAC not FAC. This alteration is the sum total of the modifications resulting from Wikipedia's review process. There are two questions this suggests: Firstly, is this article FA-standard at this time? Secondly, is that review something we want to hold up as a validation of an example of our best work?

I feel the article fails criteria 1(a) and 1(b), and possibly more. The last sentence of the lead contains a redundancy, and a thorough review would likely find more. Furthermore, if this is about the meteorological history of a storm - where is information about rain? That's meteorological information... The quality of this article is properly a job for FAR, but the low quality of its review should be discussed here.--Nilfanion (talk) 22:52, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree. More attention needs to be given to FACs before they are passed or failed. Recently too many FACs have either passed when there are only WP:JUSTAVOTE supports and no comments on the article itself (that is, nothing but Support/Oppose ~~~~); or failed when issues mentioned by oppose arguments have been resolved, but the opposers have not struck their arguments and/or changed to support. Meteorological history of Hurricane Ivan was most shocking of all; its passing through FAC has pretty much indicated that FAC itself has become little more than a PROD-like process (with obvious differences, of course, but you see what I mean). Someone can leave one commentless support or oppose on a FAC, and it will pass or fail respectively, and those who actually do have concerns about the article are unaware that the FAC is going on and show up too late to do anything about it. --Coredesat 23:02, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
It's also perhaps worth considering the issue of accusations of canvassing whenever an editor tries to involve a larger group of reviewers. It sometimes seems like everything has to happen in secrecy, with editors only taking part if they happen to stumble across something of interest. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 23:59, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Although it was closed early, I doubt we passed a way below standard article in Meteorological history of Hurricane Ivan (although I haven't read through the article). Hurricanehink is an experienced featured article writer, so I doubt reviewers would find many problems with his articles. Anyway, if you look at the average FAC discussion from 2004 or 2005 and compare it to a 2007 review, the latter is nearly always longer, with detailed comments on the article's content. Coming to the conclusion of "FAC itself has become little more than a PROD-like process" is a little hasty in my opinion; yes, some articles are underreviewed, but others get really detailed reviews. The number of reviewers is generally proportional to the amount of reviewers interested in the subject matter. CloudNine (talk) 00:20, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Nine days is not early;[4] I'm not sure where that idea came from. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:34, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
That doesn't mean we should give any article of his (or any article with a comparative lack of interest) an automatic pass through FAC without any discussion whatsoever. --Coredesat 00:48, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
I seriously picked over one of Hink's noms once just to see if I could find something to hit him with a Comment. I can't remember what it was, but I found one completely trivial MOS item he wasn't aware of, and I could only find one. Hink's noms are quite often "ready" when they show up here; it's no surprise that there were no changes during FAC. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:09, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
The logic there appears to be slightly flawed. "Hink writes good articles on hurricanes, like this one I've reviewed" does not imply "all hurricane articles written by him are of that quality". Sure there is a relation, but it doesn't certainly follow with regards to 1(a). If it had been reviewed in greater detail, I'd expect that redundancy in the lead would have been picked up. I'm also slightly disconcerted that you appear to be whitewashing my concerns with the process by saying they don't exist, given your responsibility. When was the last time that a FAC passed with 2 supports and no other comments in less than 2 weeks?--Nilfanion (talk) 11:02, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Disagree - "bad quality" articles have always been promoted - the idea of "FA quality" being unambigous or really defined is ahistorical (as a rather inexperienced editor this is my opinion) - there are FA's - especially those promoted in 2004 - that clearly were held to a much lower standard.
Point is - FA quality is diversely defined
I have been worried about the incidence of incivility in FAC - and I thought you were going to talk about that - the "degrading quality of" reviewers.
--Keerllston 00:03, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Keerllston, I'm really glad you raised the issue of civility at FAC;[5] it concerns me, too. I hope the community will take heed. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:44, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
hahah - I see what you did there. - I thought you would link instead to my comments regarding Matthead's comment - rather strange... is it a comment designed to make other's disregard my comment? was your comment designed as a reprimand? (as far as I know calling something slinky -like and saying that hoes (tool) like slinky wouldn't get near it is not ... bad (and humor is certainly good, eh?)--Keerllston 14:14, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
PS:at the same time I agree - some articles pass with considerably less discussion than others - I do not see how this constitutes proper/consistent reviewing or a proper/consistent definition of FA quality.--Keerllston 00:09, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Changing standards are a different problem to the articles not meeting the standards that exist at the time of their candidature. The rules have got tighter and that's good, for instance citation requirements. An article passing today with bad citations reflects more severely on the process than an article that passed 2 years ago without cites.--Nilfanion (talk) 00:42, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
It might be an idea that a Featured Article Committee should be set up. It should not be the sole duty of this committee to deal with FAC's but there needs to be some sort of group that is focused on the quality of these articles. However it i everyones responsibility to ensure only the best articles get FA status not just a few. We are all to blame for articles of a lower quality getting this status. Seddon69 (talk) 00:34, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Is there a competition going on in the Hurricane WikiProject? I've noticed some commentary that doesn't make sense about how many noms Hink has, so I feel like I might be missing something. There's a template at the top of this talk page, FACs needing feedback, that currently has 13 FACs that don't have enough review for consensus. Although I've been faithfully maintaining it and pestering people on their talk pages to review articles, many articles sit for weeks with no review. Maybe that FAC committee can start closing FACs as soon as people start reviewing them. Articles have always been passed on two supports after that amount of time unless the FA director sees problems with the article; nothing new here. The only way to get more review is to, well, give more review. Regards, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:03, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

In your place, I'd have reviewed Juliancolton's edits and discounted his vote. The closure was premature IMO--Nilfanion (talk) 01:17, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Two supports, yes, but two supports lacking any argument? Passing FACs like that would make it appear that FAC is little more than a vote, which it isn't. --Coredesat 01:26, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

I've opened an FAR on this article. Please discuss the article there, and the process here.--Nilfanion (talk) 01:17, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Improving FAC[edit]

Improving the FAC page? - How? "Featured Article Comittee"? - fewer candidateships and therefore more attention per candidateship? more transparency? enforcing greater bureocracy as a pre-requisite to candidacy? greater "friendly notices"/number of reviewers? abolition of multiple candidateships and restarted nominations? having regulations/rules and an active directorship that can enforce regulations?--Keerllston 23:06, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

How about: utilizing reviewers who actually have a complete understanding of policy/guidelines as well as true editing experience, and not just any random person who wanders onto FAC, deciding to make it their pet project despite not even knowing how to put together a quality article, who begins lecturing individuals (who have been here for quite a while and have established themselves as quality editors and/or reviewers of FAC articles) and making ridiculous suggestions and objectionable objections to articles they have no knowledge about, while also heralding sorely lacking articles that they *obviously* did not read. Also, proficiency in the English language (or just simple reading skills) would help. Just throwing that out there. Let me know what you think!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.177.105.45 (talk) 23:34, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm... an IP (that has a total of 4 edits? three on User:Coloane's talk page accusing him of racism!?) who seems to have a personal problem with me makes an edit. (i did read the article by the way, and not ridiculous suggestions imo, et all - oh I see you saw I created the R&R (military) page -*very* work in progress - I much prefer my work on life coaching and Steve Ballmer- I wonder how it was found... has an anonymous IP been looking me up?)
However - "utlilizing reviewers who actually have a complete understanding [...]" - most support votes are not this way in the current FAC - the inexperienced seem to come to like to support more than object/oppose. - and greater participation in FA reviewing would be glorious.
--Keerllston 14:53, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
Coloane's comment that Singaporeans are "basically semi-handicapped" could reasonably be construed as racist. --J.L.W.S. The Special One (talk) 14:43, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

New guidelines for date formatting where not autoformatted[edit]

There has been a lively debate at MOSNUM on the further relaxation of what used to be the compulsory linking/autoformatting of all full dates in WP aritlces; see also here. This has resulted, in the interim, in the insertion of a set of guidelines for non-autoformatted dates into MOSNUM by User:Remember the dot. The new guidelines mirror WP's existing practice for varieties of English, as set out at MOS.

This debate has emerged a number of times since the failed attempt to persuade the developers at MediaWiki to decouple the autoformatting and linking functions, as a first step towards fixing what many WPians, including me, regard as a dysfunctional system. In particular, several participants in the debate at MOSNUM talk have pointed out that date autoformatting hides inconsistency in the raw dates for logged-in editors, that there is a surprising amount of inconsistency, and that our articles need to be cleaned up in this respect, especially where autoformatting is retained. There is concern that the vast majority of readers (who do not log in or, if they do, do not select a date format preference) see an ungainly mixture of whatever raw date formats have been entered by various editors over the years, hidden from us, of course, by the system.

For the FAC process, there are three relevant points:

  1. nominations should not use a mixture of autoformatted and non-autoformatted full dates—one or the other is required;
  2. nominations should be checked for consistency of date formatting whether autoformatted or not. For autoformatted articles, this requires scrutiny via the edit window; reviewers may wish to spot check this issue;
  3. where an article does not use autoformatting, it needs to follow the guidelines. Tony (talk) 12:45, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

Stupid question: how do I tell, when looking in an edit window, whether a date is autoformatted or not? WesleyDodds (talk) 03:49, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Does it have brackets; is it wikilinked? Also, log out and look at the article as most of our readers see it (raw, no autoformatting of dates that convert them all to user preferences; unlogged in users don't have user preference settings, so they see only the raw format). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:55, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
If you're not clear on what autoformatting itself is, take a look at this section of the manual of style on dates. Mike Christie (talk) 03:57, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
When I edit an article I always make sure the dates are written out and linked per the language preference of the subject (British vs. American English and so forth). I wasn't aware that the linked dates can appear differently per user preferences, so I suppose this new guideline is a non-issue for me, at least when editing myself. I just wanted to make sure that was the case. WesleyDodds (talk) 04:02, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
By the way, a point that I raised in the previous discussions is that date formatting is not always the same as British vs. American English. Venezuela uses American English, but British dates. So, if we get to establishing a guideline, it wouldn't strictly mean following WP:ENGVAR; there are exceptions. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:28, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes indeed, Sandy; but I'm hoping it would never come to argy-bargy: Venezuela-related articles should use 19 October 2001, the non-US form, even though they use US spelling typically. Who would object?
It's only an example; most of Latin America is same, I believe (some Southern Cone countries may use British spelling). And there was a huge issue over a question mark vs. an explanation point, in spite of an overwhelming preponderance of reliable sources, at ¿Por qué no te callas?, so nothing surprises. We should be prepared for anything. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 11:00, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
I notice in the discussion at MOSNUM that there was mention of some {{cite}} templates only accepting ISO dates (or only linking ISO dates) in certain fields. Therefore, until the affected templates are amended to accept "normal" style dates, we need a certain amount of leeway in those cases (unless the templates are already fixed - I didn't check).
Regarding the "ridiculous limitation" mentioned below, I'm not so certain it's entirely down to the developers that improvements haven't been made. Seems to me that we haven't exactly been clear about what we want. Carre (talk) 10:20, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
I think this may still be an issue; the cite templates are still inconsistent. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 11:00, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Example[edit]

This is an example of what most of our readers see (even if dates are formatted) if different raw formats are used in an article; they aren't logged in, so they don't have user preference settings:

  • On 25 December 2007, Chrismas is celebrated, while January 1, 2008 is New Years. 2007-12-28 is the equivalent of April Fools Day in some countries, while 2008-01-06 is Kings Day.

On the other hand, logged in users with user preferences set will see consistent formatting depending on their preference settings, no matter the raw formatting used (same text as above, but linked):

Which in my preference settings, yields:

  • On December 25, 2007, Chrismas is celebrated, while January 1, 2008 is New Years. December 28, 2007 is the equivalent of April Fools Day in some countries, while January 6, 2008 is Kings Day.

The point is, we're logged in and have preferences set, so we're not seeing the raw formatting mess that most of our readers are seeing, caused by different formats entered by different editors. Because we're logged in, by wikilinking dates, we are covering up inconsistency seen by most Wiki readers. The proposal has to do with consistent raw formatting, since that is what most readers see. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:05, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

And now I have determined that I don't have autoformat date preferencess set when I log in. I was just curious if I would have to redo dating in some articles I plan to take to FAC soon, but apparently I won't since I see everything in raw formatting whenever I browse logged in anyway. Thanks for the explaination. WesleyDodds (talk) 04:11, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure; what is the Wiki default if we don't have preferences set? Is it the same thing unlogged in readers see? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:15, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Fairly sure the default preference is "no preference". Should be whatever the wikitext says, same as for those not logged in. Gimmetrow 04:19, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Yep. Thus I'm able to tell at a glance if inconsistent dating is used in an article. WesleyDodds (talk) 04:21, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Wesley, since you're used to seeing them with inconsistency, can you finger a good example of how bad it can be? I've been looking for one, but haven't yet hit on a great example to show the extent of the problem. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:24, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
The current WikiProject Alternative music Collaboration of the Week Oasis (band) has pretty inconsistent dating that should be fixed up pretty soon. I didn't occur to me that possibly I'm the only editor working on the page right now who sees how inconsistent the dating is, especially in the references. WesleyDodds (talk) 04:27, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm back (had to log out to look at it). It's inconsistent, but not atrocious. I'm hoping for an example that is short and atrocious :-) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:31, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
I know of one example where the dates don't match the regional practice, and the ISO dates are even wrong, but the dates are not wikilinked and article is likely to be deleted soon. Gimmetrow 04:36, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Dates formatted in US style without a comma, such as January 1 2001, have the comma added even for non-logged-in users. Gimmetrow 05:58, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Wesley, have you considered simply not using the autoformatting system in your articles? That, to me, is preferable; to start with, it will reduce the amount of ungainly blue splash all over your otherwise nicely written and formatted pages. Tony (talk) 06:31, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Doesn't the Manual of Style insist full dates are always Wikilinked? Regardless, the linking has never been a problem for me, I was just unawares of the whole autoformatting debacle in the first place (and the fact that we even have autoformatting dates in articles in the first place is . . . odd). WesleyDodds (talk) 07:15, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
I think it doesn't now insist thus. Although the guidelines still say that autoformatting is "normally" used, the option not to is implicit. Now that there are rules for the formatting of raw (non-autoformatted) dates, the way is open to article contributors who wish to make the appearance of their text cleaner, not to mention its maintenance easier. Tony (talk) 10:08, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Limitation[edit]

This is a ridiculous limitation in the MediaWiki software. Even if non-logged-in users have no Wiki preference set, there is still a locale associated with the browser itself, such as en_US (English, United States), that gives both language and country; that should be used as the default to render the dates in a consistent style. That's how most internationalized web sites work. Wasted Time R (talk) 04:34, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

I think the idea is that any changes have already been pretty well shut down by the developers, so we need to start solving it ourselves, with consistent formatting. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:36, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Was my nomination closed too early?[edit]

Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/International Speedway Corporation was closed after three rather brief comments, all of the "oh you should fix this" type and all of which I addressed. I expected that at least one person would need to object to the article being featured for it to be rejected, but maybe I am mistaken. The problem I have with this is that if someone in the future wanted to take the article and get try to get it to FA, they would look at the failed FA nomination and have no idea what needed to be improved. Recury (talk) 19:20, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

I made one of those comments. If you want I'll provide a detailed review. The logo still needs a detailed fair use statement, see WP:NFCC. Gimmetrow 22:04, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
I've added one. 哦,是吗?(review O) 04:40, 19 December 2007 (GMT)
Sorry not to have reviewed this at the time. I'll provide a list of examples, if you require them, of why the prose is not up to scratch, a few MOS breaches, and my concerns about the authority of some of the references. Please consider working on the article further and resubmitting in good time. Perhaps gather collaborators who have a track record in this field. Research the edit histories/summaries of other FAs and good articles to locate them. Tony (talk) 06:41, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Also, consider peer review for additional feedback towards helping prepare for FAC, as articles are at peer review for a month. Once listed at PR, it's helpful to contact other editors in the subject area to ask them for feedback. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 11:02, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

My point is, isn't everyone entitled to a detailed review before their nomination gets closed? I could understand foregoing that if 4 or 5 people said it wasn't even close, but that isn't what happened. Recury (talk) 14:28, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

I think the difficulty is just with the word "entitled"; I could agree that everyone deserves (or would benefit from) a detailed review. If the reviewers don't show up, and there is enough information for the director to make a decision, I don't see a problem with closing it. Leaving it up solely to get extra useful feedback isn't the best use of FAC's limited resources, I think. I know this can lead to frustration in trying to identify what it takes to get an article to FA. Tony's offered more detail; and I think you might try posting polite requests to the reviewers who did comment asking if there are other things they can point out that would help. As Sandy says, peer review is worth a try too; you don't always get a response but there are some very good reviewers there. Mike Christie (talk) 14:32, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
This was hardly enough information to make a decision. I was asked to make changes, I made them. Then it got closed. Recury (talk) 14:47, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
I understand how you feel; however, the emphasis is properly on garnering enough support to be promoted; on a busy and over-long list, this can be measured relatively early in the piece. If there's insufficient enthusiasm or endorsement for promotion among reviewers, or simply insufficient interest, this may mean that promotion will have to wait until another time. Tony (talk) 15:05, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
If that really is true, then it should be spelled out for nominators somewhere, especially since it differs from just about every other process on Wikipedia in that regard. An AFD or CFD for example would be relisted if no one commented on it. Recury (talk) 16:34, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

(undent)I've spent some time looking at this, and notwithstanding the comments above, I think Recury has something of a point here. That's not to say that it should have been promoted -- Tony and Gimmetrow say they have comments to make about flaws in the article. As a FAC nominator, though, it would be good to get at least one substantive negative comment before closure so that you'd have something to work with for next time. Not to criticize the closer of this FAC (I haven't looked to see if it was Sandy or Raul) but if I'd had a FAC closed with only these comments and responses I would be a bit disappointed. Just my two cents. Mike Christie (talk) 13:25, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

I tend to agree with you fully on that point, Mike. Davnel03 14:58, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

There are currently 11 FACs (listed in the "FACs needing feedback" template at the top of this page) that don't have enough feedback for consensus. There are more at the top of the FAC page. Review by folks knowledgeable about the criteria is encouraged. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:04, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

  • I strongly encourage Friendly Notices - detailed reviews is not the point of FAC - I suggest Peer Review instead, but rather deciding whether an article deserves FA status - not that it does that too well either mind you... but either way - lack of votes means that it shouldn't get FA.--Kiyarrllston 14:04, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
While I agree lack of votes means it should not be promoted, it should also mean the candidacy should not closed until sufficient votes (either in favour or against) are there. If we close nominations because nobody commented this would mean that articles of unparallelled brilliance, but outside of the area of interest (ie POV) of the active FAC reviewers, stand no chance of FA status. That can never have been the intention of the process. Arnoutf (talk) 02:24, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Taking note of the primary contributor(s)[edit]

People (and by this, I mean non-Wikipedians) often wonder who it is exactly that writes Wikipedia's articles, especially the FAs. Often, they will assume that thousands of monkeys on typewriters wrote the thing equally, each individual contributing only an anonymous sentence fragment or two. While random passers-by do help, in reality most FAs are primarily written by one or a very few authors in close collaboration, and that is probably a Good Thing in terms of coherence of the writing. And it is valuable to know who these primary authors are for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, though, discerning the primary authors from long edit histories is not practicable for outsider non-Wikipedians, and can in some cases be a seriously time-consuming task even for those of us most familiar with wiki structures. So, I propose that we simply include a listing of the primary contributor(s) to the current version of the article in the FAC, when such information is still fresh in everyone's minds, to be consulted for future reference.

Among the people and processes that would find such information valuable:

  • Academic researchers
  • Media inquiries
  • WP:FAR
  • And finally, Distant Posterity.

I also suggest that the listings be made machine-readable (perhaps through a template?), so as to keep options open on the further aggregation of these listings. Thank you.--Pharos (talk) 05:19, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Can of worms. Tony (talk) 05:51, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
How do you define who are or are not the "primary" authors? How do you define the "current" version? This could provoke a lot of "credit" wars. In any case, many users remain anonymous behind a username, so it isn't clear why academics or media would get some value out of this unless the users got "outted". --RelHistBuff (talk) 06:32, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
I think WP:WBFAN can serve all these purposes and is about as non-controversial as we could hope to make this. It's quite similar to what you're talking about. The primary author of a featured article is most often the nominator. It's certainly not a perfect system, but as it seems to exist with little objection, we may as well continue to use it for the purposes you mention. --JayHenry (talk) 07:06, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
We also have those handy "Maintained by" templates. WesleyDodds (talk) 09:12, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
  • (outdent) Sorry, I think this is a bad idea: could well foster ownership, which is a big enough problem in some articles already. It also goes against WP's overarching ethic of democratic involvement. Tony (talk) 10:13, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Agree. it is the whole collaborative process that produces FAs (apart from a few very good writers who can seemingly produce prose from (insert random noun here)) -this enocurages ownership which reduces this process. cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 10:19, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree with Tony, to me this suggestion seems to go against the founding principles of the project. I personally am always reluctant to add large edits to "others'" pages and usually feel I ought to ask permission first, now if I (not known for my temerity) feel like that how many others would feel they should never touch a FA even when they have something important to contribute. I think primary authors have the thrill and kudos of seeing their work reach FA status, and it is a thrill but after that the page has to be clearly seem to be open to anybody. The primary author then has the choice to maintain it or not. It should always be encouraged to be courteous to consult the primary author concerning proposed major changes to a page (if only because s/he is probably an expert on the subject) and I would like to see a more concrete footing for that consultation written in wiki-etiquette but not to such an extent that the primary author is singled out above all others. Giano (talk) 10:31, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Agreed too. It also strikes me that any primary author who has gone to the trouble of taking an article through all the hoops required to attain FA is likely, if still active, to have the page watchlisted, and so is likely to spot any questions or comments on the article's content at the article's talk page. Carre (talk) 11:53, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
And lets not assume that main editors would want their name on an article. I would only want my name on an article if I had total control of it (and I don't want that). I don't agree with all the content of articles I have been the main writer of. That's Wikipedia. It's frustrating but, I am sure, salutary for the ego. qp10qp (talk) 13:14, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Against that, I've been brough to AN/I a few times when I denfened articles [I own] from random low value edits. Ceoil (talk) 13:20, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

FAR gets everything it needs from Article stats and {{articlehistory}}. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:30, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

OK, I realize this is not a popular idea right now. I think it's maybe just one of those things we should have been doing since the beginning, but neglected to, and so it seems to go against our principles, but it really doesn't. I do not think that being one of the primary contributors should give you any special rights or privileges over an article on Wikipedia.

As I see it, this is an issue of transparency. On a theoretical level, we already have fantastic transparency here — transparency unrivaled in the history of publishing, really — by the openly readable nature of our edit logs. But on a practical level, for people who are not wiki-savvy (the vast majority of our readership, unfortunately), these people do not know who writes our articles. The idea that real individuals have written the article, and not some "hive-mind", is a powerful corrective to one of the most persistent myths about us.

And I don't think pseudonyms are a detriment here to inquiries by academics or media: the contributions of user accounts can still be followed, and most important, the owners of those accounts can still be easily contacted for future questions. This is an important point: the primary contributors to an article will be the #1 experts on how the article was constructed, including all of the background stuff like research methods which is often undocumented on talk pages. It is vital, to my thinking, to maintain this link between primary contributors and those making inquiries about the articles, for as long as possible, because questions will inevitably arise that need answering. I don't think it is enough to put a note on a talk page — really, you want to be able to e-mail the person (and many users have this feature enabled), even if they're no longer active at Wikipedia.

As I see it, raw statistics are and will always be an imperfect measurement of contribution level. It is not uncommon for one person to make major contributions in a handful of edits, but for others to make many edits of small corrections or just fixing vandalism. The advantage of a wiki, which is a human technology, is that it allows the people most knowledgeable about a situation, which in this case would be the people at the FAC, to make such decisions. Yes, the listing of the primary contributors to an article's current version (and by that I mean simply the version at FAC) would be a subjective, human-based process, no doubt. But I do not think it should have to be a controversial process. In the vast majority of cases I don't think there will be any controversy at all, and if there ever is we should just be inclusive. Even on an article with many major contributors, narrowing down hundreds of usernames to five primary contributors would really help with our book-keeping (most FAs I think would probably only have 1-3, though). And keeping our book-keeping in order on this point will only prevent the necessity of people having to go through reams of edit histories whenever these questions come up.--Pharos (talk) 05:07, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

As the versatility of the technology increases, I would like there to be a larger underlay of notes and references, made visible by a click on a tag. It would be convenient if these were user-signed. We could then quickly tell who had reffed a point, without dragging through the history; and we could contact them to ask about it, if necessary. If a lot of the notes had the same sig, we could tell who were the main editors. qp10qp (talk) 12:01, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Agree with Pharos and Tony1 - I must stress that it can be profitable to open a can of worms (if one is to fish for example). - It is the way it is done that matters and the motive - So far both are unreasonable. I think it is important to know who has written in large part an article - this is not truly known through an edit count, some make huge edits, some many many tiny edits. Let's not attempt to artificially simplify the complex.--Kiyarrllston 14:14, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

List articles as featured articles versus featured lists[edit]

I have some concerns about a recent trend of lists and quasi-lists being nominated here instead of featured articles. Specifically, I'm talking about Characters in Castlevania: Sorrow series, Characters of Kingdom Hearts, and List of works by William Monahan. Should these be (or be nominated as) featured articles, or featured lists? Raul654 (talk) 16:41, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

I see those as articles and not as lists. I am a traditionalist in terms of lists. Lots of columns and rows, ie Aston Villa F.C. seasons. The pages you specify just have too much prose to be a list. Although that seems arbitrary, it is not. A list is something that links many articles together under one heading. The Monahan one seems to span both really. The character pages though, are to me anyway, articles. Woody (talk) 16:53, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
To me all of them are lists. Basically, in my opinion, any page that merely enumerates is a list; anything else is an article. Joelito (talk) 17:11, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
I still have a difficult time seeing €2 commemorative coins as not-a-list. Gimmetrow 17:23, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
I would see that as a list. Woody (talk) 17:41, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
All Raul's egs are lists. Maybe the definitions need to be tightened. Ceoil (talk) 17:44, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Frankly, if they turned up at WP:FL they would be rejected (eg Monahan). In my opinion FL does not have the capacity to deal with that much prose. FL deals with "true" lists such as Aston Villa F.C. seasons and List of Canadian Victoria Cross recipients ahe reviewers don't tend to deal with prose issues as well. It is an unhappy compromise I suppose, they aren't lists but not really articles. Woody (talk) 17:56, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
List of Category 5 Pacific hurricanes has a lot of prose, and the actual number of list items is rather small. At least one user has suggested it is really an article (see the talk page). It should also be remembered that that list was nominated ages ago, so FL in its current form might not pass it if it had been nominated today. Miss Madeline | Talk to Madeline 18:05, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Two observations:

  1. There is no article currently at WP:FA that begins with the words, List of.
  2. See the original and restarted nom at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Macedonia (terminology); this article started "listish" and the prose had to grow significantly before it passed as an article. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:27, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

"List of ..." isn't a requirement for being considered at FL. I agree that all Raul's examples are lists. The first two are very similar in concept to List of Metal Gear Solid characters, which is an FL. The list of works was an FL candidate. It failed because it only attracted two reviewers (who were negative) but only one of those thought it was half-list-half-article-and-should-make-its-mind-up. So it would be a stretch to say there was consensus to push it over to FA. The €2 commemorative coins was discussed recently at Wikipedia:Featured list candidates/€2 commemorative coins. I think that is a list too, but I sense people were reluctant to strip off its FA star, which is considered a higher award.

FL is capable of handling lists with a lot of prose. When I was more active at FL, there were a couple of occasions where a list had substantial prose, and I sought out a prose-reviewer to help out. Perhaps we could discuss a way of handling that situation routinely. United States Navy enlisted rates has more prose than list, and I hope List of United States Presidential assassination attempts will turn up at FLC one day. It is probably best for any list/article discussion to occur before it turns up as a candidate.

Do we need some distinction to recommend where to seek featured status? A quick thought: "If the subject is plural and the article contains more content on the (distinct but similar) topic elements than the topic as a whole." So, for example, an article on a rock band wouldn't be a list, even if it discusses each band member, since the article mainly concerns the whole. Typically, for a list, discussion of the whole topic isn't expected to continue beyond the lead, though there are exceptions. However, I'm not convinced a formal distinction is possible or desirable. Colin°Talk 19:08, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

I think the List of works by William Monahan obviously belongs at the Featured Lists content page, but perhaps the best place for it to be nominated and processed is here at FAC.-BillDeanCarter (talk) 19:54, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
We can't promote a featured list at featured article candidates; if we promote it here, it's to WP:FA, not WP:FL. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:03, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Now that I've read Wikipedia:Featured list candidates/List of works by William Monahan/archive1, I concur with Colin that it wasn't necessarily rejected at FLC as a list; it reads more like a case where suggested improvements were rejected. The comments there were that a lot of the prose belonged in William Monahan. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:03, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
But could either FAC or FLC choose to take in the list of works? In other words, could one of the two say "we accept you for what you are" and will make a place for you.-BillDeanCarter (talk) 01:40, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
I too have a doubt. There is no article on wikipedia on a Tour by an artist which is GA or FA. I wanted to ask whether an article on a tour will come under a list or article. I am willing to work on The Sweet Escape Tour but have no idea under which category does the article fall. Indianescence (talk) 06:58, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Frankly, I think all the examples I cited (as well as the Sweet Escape Tour article Indianescence mentioned) should all be featured lists, and that if FLC doesn't currently accomodate them, it should expand so that it does. Raul654 (talk) 16:10, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

There is nothing in the FL criteria to prevent them being considered. There is a "Useful list" threshold that long ago only accepted lists where each entry was (or could be) an article. This was changed to allow timelines and finite sets (such as the character lists, or lists of works). We have three FAs that some say should be FLs (Characters of Final Fantasy VIII, Characters of Kingdom Hearts and €2 commemorative coins); and two FACs that should be at FLC (Characters in Castlevania: Sorrow series and List of works by William Monahan).

The List of works seems least controversial as everyone, including the nominator, thinks it is a list (clue's in the title :-). Awadewit noted that perhaps reviewers were unfamiliar with the "annotated bibliography" genre. If this was renominated as an FLC, some literary-minded reviewers can be invited. I'd be happy to write something about the issues at the previous FLC (that the issues with the large chunks of prose are stylistic and editorial, not reasons to exclude from consideration at FLC). Could this move be done now?

Raul, what do you intend to do with the existing FAs and the other FAC? Do the FAs need to go through FAR, or could the process be short-circuited with a special FLC nomination for discussion? Colin°Talk 17:42, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

I would hope we could generate consensus between FAC and FLC to do a sort of "trans-Wiki" without having to tie up FAR. An FLC page would serve to explain the moves in the articlehistory template. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:46, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
I have no problems waving the process if we're all in mutual agreement to convert them (the 3 FAs and 2 FACs) to featured lists/featured list candidates. I think they they should be. Raul654 (talk) 18:01, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Who is "we"? The nominators and the set of editors or wikiproject behind the "Characters in xxx series" might object. They lose their chance of main-page glory (€2 has had its day). Also, I can't speak for the rest of the FLC regulars. Colin°Talk 18:10, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
As the nominator of Characters in Castlevania: Sorrow series, I personally don't have a problem with the switch, but per Woody, these character lists do invest a lot more prose than is typical at WP:FLC, and a review would be more likely (not that it wouldn't happen, just that it's more likely) not to address all of the prose issues. However, opening a thread at WT:FLC to test opinion there would be good. Sephiroth BCR (Converse) 18:13, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
As one of the main contributors to and nominator of Characters of Kingdom Hearts, I concur with Sephiroth. I don't see a switch being a problem so long as some more distinction is made as to what falls under FA and FL, though there may be some disagreement from the Video game Project. We took the FA route because it seemed to be the appropriate path at the time. When editing, we tried including as much real-world content as possible and trimmed down as much fictional content as possible to meet FA criteria. Though I must admit that the video game character FAs seem to be in an in-between state. Though this may be irrelevant, two questions come to mind regarding the issue. What would need to be done for something like Characters of Kingdom Hearts to comply more with article standards/definitions? What would need to be done to comply more with list standards/definitions? (Guyinblack25 talk 18:41, 21 December 2007 (UTC))

I think that these sorts of pages, which have a significant amount of prose content, should be considered articles rather than lists. The need for attention to the neutrality and accuracy of the text surpasses the need for attention to organization and design, so FAC serves them better than FLC. The most important thing however is that FAC and FLC both stick to improving pages, rather than bringing them into compliance with some conception of the FA and FL criteria; where the two conflict, first takes precedence, and where the latter does not entail the former, the work is without value. Christopher Parham (talk) 20:43, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

FLC isn't some kind of merit badge for a pretty design. The FL criteria and the FA criteria are actually very similar. Both require the candidate to be "our very best work and features professional standards of writing and presentation". "Neutrality and accuracy" are core policies of WP and checked by both review processes. I'm not sure I understand your second sentence, but suspect it is off-topic. Colin°Talk 17:22, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Keep it simple, stupid Yes, that old expression. I think that all bibliographies should go to FLC, period. People will become confused otherwise. Look at it this way: You can't remove the list component of the list of works by W.M, but you can remove the prose component. Neither of these removals should happen but that proves it's a list at its core. I will go back to FLC, with these important discussions to show, and force them to broaden their conception of a list. Wikipedia has to be as intuitive as possible; you don't want Wikipedians to have to be policy wonks.-BillDeanCarter (talk) 03:31, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Totally agree with Bill and think we should move Monahan back to FLC ASAP (with links to the FAC). Having more prose-filled lists at FLC will also help attract reviewers who appreciate brilliant prose. Chicken and egg. Bibliographies (lists of works) and lists of characters both seem to be clear FL subjects, no matter how much prose they contain. Colin°Talk 17:28, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I think that BDC put it best. List of works by Bill Monahan is a list because of what it does; collects everything by him and puts them all in one spot, serving as a sort of "directory". Someone can add kilobytes of prose to it if they wanted to, but that wouldn't change the purpose of that thing. Basically, I agree that the enumerated examples are lists. Miss Madeline | Talk to Madeline 18:16, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
  • We seem to have clear consensus that at least two current FACs should be at FLC. Colin, can you take over the mechanics? Do you want to move the FAC page to a FLC page, or do Raul or I first need to close the FAC? Is it better to deal with this after the Christmas holiday, or now? I don't really want to leave coal in any Christmas stockings by archiving facs today or tomorrow. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:27, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
    • IMO, the current FACs should be archived first (which requires you/Raul?) and then linked to from new FLCs, preferably raised by the original nominators. If the FAC nominators are happy with this, then closing their FACs shouldn't upset anyone. Once the new FLCs are up, I'd be happy to add a comment. I'd rather not copy/move people's comments from one forum to another (but they are welcome to do so if they wish). Too busy offwiki to do much more tonight. Colin°Talk 18:53, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
      • I'd rather not deal with something this unique until after Christmas, and after we've heard from Raul to make sure he agrees. There's also the matter of how to handle the coins and the Kingdom Hearts characters. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:25, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Comment on Review Process[edit]

Having taken some time to reflect on the failure of the FAC on the article I had been working on for some time as well as reading comments on current nominations, I'm rather concerned with the number of reviewers who leave a long bulleted list of spelling errors, grammatical errors and badly worded sentences as a review and then conclude - badly written, not FA standard yet.

I wonder why the reviewer doesn't use his time to simply correct the article itself rather than just use it to rub into the poor nominator's face. It's almost as if you trying to use the typographical errors as a body of evidence to bring down the whole article. FAC isn't some sort of English exam where people submit essays to be graded and marked for errors. My biggest annoyance is when the reviewer actually spells out in his review blah is badly phrased, blah blah is better. Why didn't you just change it in the article then and just tell the nominator you've copyeditted his article, check the history? It's supposed to be a collaborative effort. Articles are supposed to judged here for their detail, references and the layout and style of writing as a whole etc. not single sentences.

I urge reviewers to stop cataloguing grammatical errors and example clumsy writing in their reviews and actually go and edit the thing. This does not require any in depth knowledge of the subject...all you are doing is rewriting what is already there. Centyreplycontribs – 02:28, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Oh yes, MOS violations is also another annoying comment to receive. If a reviewer is so knowledgeable about the MOS that s/he can confidently them out...why don't it themselves? Centyreplycontribs – 02:31, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Speaking as a FAC nominator, and not a very frequent reviewer, I'm quite happy to receive comments about layout, grammar, and MOS issues, since these are usually quite straightforward to fix. I don't blame the reviewers for not fixing these issue themselves since I know from experience that it really does take a lot longer to fix than to comment, though that seems surprising. In addition, those comments often only list examples rather than an exhaustive list of problems, so I find I have to go hunting for all occurrences of an issue. That would be very time-consuming for a reviewer. I can see why a nominator might wish for a reviewer to fix this sort of issue instead of opposing, but I try to think of it as an opportunity to convert an oppose to a support. Mike Christie (talk) 02:39, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm very sympathetic to the point being made here, and I absolutely agree that the FA process can be dispiriting with the tone of some of the comments made. I do agree with Mike though; FA reviewers are usually just giving a few examples of the problems they perceive, not a comprehensive list. And when you change something, no matter how small that change may appear to be on the face of it, you need to be sure that it doesn't conflict with anything said elsewhere in the article. Something that's easier for the nominator to do than the reviewer. Of course, in the ideal world, all of these grammatical/clumsy writing issues would have been caught in an earlier review process, but that's another story. :) --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 03:27, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
An editor should be learning from the review process, while the reviewers are generally helpful for one or two minor issues we also dont want the process to become elitist in that "you write the article nominate it here and we'll make it the best the prose ever". A persons first couple of FAC's can be stressful to have someone go in and substantially alter the prose without discussing doesnt make for health discussion. Gnangarra 05:43, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
We don't want this to be a process where people other than the nominator work to improve the article? Weird to see it actually spelled out like that. What the initial poster speaks of is a real issue with FAC... we should be working together to improve articles, not acting like the FAC nominator is the only one who can edit the article. It seems like a weird mutation of article ownership at times. --W.marsh 06:02, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, that's not quite what I meant to say. Of course I'm happy to have other editors come in and help when I nominate something, and I do see that happen a lot -- see Wulfhere of Mercia for an example of a lot of helpful edits from reviewers. It's just that when someone doesn't do that, I don't regard it as a big issue. Mike Christie (talk) 13:52, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Weird doesn't even get close. Here we have an FA reviewer who apparently doesn't understand how to use apostrophes correctly (FAC's) talking about altering someone else's prose. Frankly I'd prefer that reviewers such as that confined themselves to commenting, as opposed to cocking up. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 07:49, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Do I detect uncivility? "confined themselves to commenting, as opposed to cocking up"
-a user's comments on a talk page need not be perfectly grammatical - as opposed to an article
--Kiyarrllston 00:03, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
You may be right. I'd have to admit to finding the whole wikipedia idea of uncivility as being a little bit puzzling. It generally seems to be trotted out whenever anyone disagrees, and has nothing at all to do with civility. Disagreement is healthy; what's unhealthy is some of the ways that people try to deal with it. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 00:13, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't think pointing out someone's spelling and grammar mistakes is incivil; it doesn't inspire much confidence in the reviewer's knowledge of lucid prose if they can hardly write clearly themselves. CloudNine (talk) 14:38, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Although, someone's writing skills shouldn't be judged by one grammar mistake on a talk page. I wouldn't say Malleus should be prevented from copyediting after he's used the word uncivility instead of incivility. Epbr123 (talk) 18:09, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Deserving FA status means no errors - means proper "works-manperson-ship" - means proper quality. Not only are small errors significant of a pattern of more of these, these small errors are also significant of a general quality of the article. If a nominator has not properly ensured that the article is FA quality it is not the wikipedian's job to reprimand, but merely to note that it is not FA quality as of the wikipedian's review.--Kiyarrllston 14:23, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

In my current review of an FAC, I did both. I corrected the minor grammatical errors that were relatively uncontroversial, but I left some for the nominator to correct. Sometimes what is one user's "better" phrasing is another user's worse phrasing. Going in and editing the prose of another user is sometimes a tricky affair. Better to err on the side of caution in giving comments, in my opinion, than risk alienating an editor. Moreover, when someone points out errors to me and I correct them myself, I'm much more apt to learn from my mistakes, rather than having someone else just correct them for me. 69.202.60.86 (talk) 16:56, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

I didn't know IP's could do much in FAC...--Kiyarrllston 00:03, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree with this IP commenter. There's so much to deal with when nominating a FAC. It only piles on the work if reviewers make extensive phrasing edits that then have to be either cleaned up or struggled over, when the reviewer just doesn't know the article as well as the nominator, or simply makes weak suggestions. It's much easier for a nominator to point out why a suggested phrasing is actually more awkward or is incorrect and talk it out on the FAC page. On the other hand, I must agree with the original commenter re MOS violations, as long as they are not overly extensive. If there's just a few clear MOS problems, it's better to just correct them and explain what you did in the edit summary, which the nominator can learn from just as easily as a FAC list. It's also quicker to do this -- I've done it for FACs I've reviewed, and I've appreciated when other reviewers did it and omitted the minor issues from their reviews of my nominated article. --Melty girl (talk) 00:35, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Invalid opposes and "quickie" supports[edit]

The community doesn't seem to be highlighting and addressing unactionable or invalid declarations on FACs, and the number is increasing. When there are so many of these occurring, the risk is that other reviewers will glance at the previous declarations and won't seriously review the article per the criteria. This trend contributes to the backlog at FAC; several articles are in need of considered review before they can be closed. Perhaps this trend could be addressed if nominators who bring many articles to FAC can begin to review as many articles as they bring? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:29, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Examples would be the first two opposes here. I don't particularly mind this sort of comment myself, though I don't find them very helpful. However, is there a role for someone to let reviewers know when their comments aren't actionable? I would think this would lead to the occasional heated discussion, and would be a thankless task. Would it be worth it? Should we all try to do it every now and then or would it be better to ask a few regulars to chip in by commenting under reviews that aren't actionable, as Sandy did at the link above? Mike Christie (talk) 22:58, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
I move one that was on the Belarus FAC I started to the talk page. We should be using the talk pages of FAC's more, also to make it easier for folks like Raul and Sandy to do their work. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 23:04, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
When you do that, it would be helpful if you would leave a note that you've moved commentary along with a link to the talk page from the FAC. When I'm scanning the entire FAC page, I don't see tabs for individual talk FAC pages, so if you haven't left a note, I'm likely not to even realize the individual FAC talk page is activated. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:20, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
I made a comment that it was moved, but I will take your suggestion to add the link. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 23:29, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

However they are just as bad as long but off-topic rambling votes. I have seen support or opposes which are pretty long but discuss other articles, editors, or general philosophy :> And they may detract other reviewers even more - as they might think "oh, it's long so it's probably good". Short, at least, are what they appear to be.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 02:53, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Validity of "votes" is an ancient dead horse - which places lots of emphasis on directorship interpretation of consensus and validity - but that is really based on the lack of true validity, of true meaning of FA status. How can anything wrong be done by a bureaucracy that dedicates itself to shallowly decide to (shallowly) label articles? At least in depth decision of articles would be different.
The community is to blame??? No, the directorship is at fault.
--Kiyarrllston 04:55, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
"Validity of votes" is not a dead horse. On RfA perhaps, but not on the FA processes or (for different reasons) at AfD. Some "votes" should be ignored on the FA discussions. Without a directorship the process would be a mess here.
Anyway, one review before one nomination (or similar) has been suggested before. Is it policeable and practical? It's not a bad idea per se. Marskell (talk) 05:37, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, some votes should be ignored. Which means the director is under much pressure to analyze the issue; we are lucky to have two good individuals doing the job - and of course we should keep in mind nobody is perfect :) As I wrote above, it may be nice to have nominations closed with detailed rationale, but of course this would increase the time demand on the director even more. Sigh... as always, there is no perfect solution. But the system we have now works, so look on this bright side :) --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 17:25, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Supports should be nearly worthless - as worthless as "invalid" opposes.--Kiyarrllston 15:08, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Since FACs require at least two supports for promotion (any examples with less than two?) those first two are valuable. Beyond that, all other supports are bureaucratically worthless, but encouraging to the nominator (and contributors) nonetheless. --maclean 21:25, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't believe that's the case. I can't speak for their importance to the directorship, but if I'm looking for an article to review, given the choice between a nomination with two supports and a nomination with five supports from users I recognize and trust, I'll review the first. Pagrashtak 05:48, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
      • I am of course referring to support from people less recognized and less trustworthy - the so called "quickie supports", which like the invalid opposes are done by less recognized and less trusworthy reviewers--Kiyarrllston 16:00, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
  • If I may, quick opposes at FAC or long rambling have tremendous effect on the nominator especially if he/she is the prime contributor. It's frustrating to not understand why your hard work is being so quickly dismissed. That leaves a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths. All great article writers started somewhere and their first FAC probably wasn't in perfect MOS-compliant, perfect referencing, etc shape. Therefore reviewers should be as helpful and clear as possible. To add, this is not my experience but I've seen too many people get angry/leave wikipedia/stop going to FAC because of the reviewers cold or unclear commentary. Remedy is in great need. 76.10.141.216 (talk) 15:56, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure a policy of discouraging or not recognizing supports is the best path, since everyone knows and trusts different people. While the FA is a rather small community, everyone has their own opinions as to who's voice they listen to. Someone might think its a "quickie," while someone else may have worked with that person and trust their judgment. Its too hard to make blanket statements about such a dynamic process.--CM (talk) 18:04, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
There are many paths to rome - or one expressed in different ways
'I'm not sure a policy of discouraging or not recognizing opposes' is the best path - but it seems it must be for FAC to work at all - same for supports
--Kiyarrllston 23:57, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Further input needed[edit]

Hi there. I nominated Tawfiq Canaan for FA review. It's my first such nomination and I am unfamiliar with the process. After one 'weak oppose', the nomination was closed with no further comments. I was wondering if anyone could elaborate on why this happened. Is it that the comments in the 'weak oppose' were deemed valid? I responded to the comment and posed a question to which I received no response. In order to improve the article, I was hoping for more feedback and an explanation. Also, is it that one weak oppose leads to the closure of the nomination? Thanks. Tiamut 13:56, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Obviously I can't speak for the FA director, but to be perfectly honest I don't think that this article even meets the GA criteria, never mind the much more strict FA criteria. There are numerous MOS breaches and the article is really not at all well focused. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 00:49, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Could you please point out an example of a breach of the MOS protocols in the article? Tiamut 11:53, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
The following suggestions were generated by a semi-automatic javascript program, and might not be applicable for the article in question.
  • The lead of this article may be too long, or may contain too many paragraphs. Please follow guidelines at WP:LEAD; be aware that the lead should adequately summarize the article.[?]
  • The lead is for summarizing the rest of the article, and should not introduce new topics not discussed in the rest of the article, as per WP:LEAD. Please ensure that the lead adequately summarizes the article.[?]
  • Per Wikipedia:Context and Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates), months and days of the week generally should not be linked. Years, decades, and centuries can be linked if they provide context for the article.[?]
  • If there is not a free use image in the top right corner of the article, please try to find and include one.[?]
  • Per Wikipedia:Manual of Style (headings), headings generally should not repeat the title of the article. For example, if the article was Ferdinand Magellan, instead of using the heading ==Magellan's journey==, use ==Journey==.[?]
  • Please ensure that the article has gone through a thorough copyediting so that it exemplifies some of Wikipedia's best work. See also User:Tony1/How to satisfy Criterion 1a.[?]
You may wish to browse through User:AndyZ/Suggestions and User:BQZip01/FA Tips for further ideas. Thanks, — BQZip01 — talk 21:43, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
I'd suggest dropping a note on SandyGeorgia's talk page. After briefly skimming through the article, it doesn't look like it's one of those snowball cases of non-FA material. The closure might have just been an oversight or something. BuddingJournalist 03:04, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Excellent editor though SandyGeorgia undoubtedly is, as I said earlier, this article in its present state would struggle to get through a GA review, never mind FA. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 04:04, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps, but I think it'd be a good idea to ask Sandy anyway. (BTW, the article is listed as having passed GA). BuddingJournalist 04:20, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Grrr, lost my post to edit conflict. Thanks for the kind words, Malleus. I adhere to the timeframe for removing FACs that haven't garnered support that I observed Raul to have established. FAC is not peer review, and we can't carry articles that haven't gained support for a month; peer review is a better place to seek lengthy feedback. On the other hand, I'm letting things slide a lot longer than usual because of the holidays (I sure wish people would dig in and get the bottom of the FAC page addressed and dealt with so I can close a few :-) I may also tend to let some complex topics go longer, since they attract less reviewers, particularly if a glance at them shows they are likely within FA range. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:29, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Out of curiosity, what is the standard timeframe for removing FACs that haven't garnered support? (You mentioned a month, but this one was only there for six days). BuddingJournalist 04:39, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
It would be great if the article were given a chance to be reviewed by other editors as well. Six days during the holidays and one comment with a weak oppose was a little less discussion than I was hoping for. Tiamut 11:53, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
IMHO, it doesn't seem right to fail nominations just because they've had a lack of reviews. Epbr123 (talk) 13:59, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
OK, so I found the precedence that Sandy was referring to; Raul posted in November that: "Although there's no hard and fast rule, generally if I see an article that's been up more than 5 days, has opposes, and no supports, I'll archive it." So I assume he's been doing that for a long time now, and it hasn't been that big of an issue in the past. In my view though, this specific FAC might have benefited from some extra days. BuddingJournalist 14:50, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
I think the key is "has opposes". If the opposes it has are invalid or not actionable then I don't think the nomination should necessarily be thought of as having opposes. If it appears that the nominator has made a good faith attempt to address them but the opposer has not responded then I think it would depend on the nature of the oppose -- a MOS complaint that the nominator says is now fixed could perhaps be no longer regarded as an oppose unless the opposer posts again to explain why the fix is incomplete. Mike Christie (talk) 15:39, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Regarding the MOS considerations, the lead is long but it is a summary of the article and does not introduce any new information not found in the body. Canaan did a lot in his lifetime and it took some effort to sum it up in the intro. If anyone feels the intro is too detailed, it could perhaps be shortened.
A repeat of Canaan's name in one of the sub-headings has been removed by an industrious editor (Thanks for that).
As for the wikilinking of dates, I'm not sure how to interpret the suggestion in the MOS itself.
Regarding the lack of a picture of Canaan, my father found one just yesterday in a book and is going to photograph it and upload it to send it to me as soon as he can. I hope to have it in the next few days. Tiamut 14:14, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Royal names[edit]

There's a discussion at this discussion that may interest some here. It's not directly a FAC issue, but I'm posting here because (a) at least a couple of FAs may be affected, most notably Constantine II of Scotland, which was promoted very recently; and (b) it relates to a MOS issue and I know there are several MOS experts who read this page. Please contribute at the discussion page if you're interested. See also Talk:Constantine II of Scotland for some related debate. Mike Christie (talk) 15:43, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Closed with no votes[edit]

sgeureka self-nominated the good article Mythology of Carnivàle for featured article status at 1:12 on December 18. By 21:43 on December 27, there was not a single vote (with the exception of an implied support from the nominator) and the discussion was closed and not promoted. The FAC is here. Is there anything wrong with this? –thedemonhog talkedits 18:14, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Wow, what's with all these FACs getting closed for absolutely no reason other than not having more comments? People work on these articles for hours and hours and closing them because it receives a few comments is just wrong. So yes, there is something wrong and it needs to be rectified. M3tal H3ad (talk) 03:38, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, something does need to be rectified. We need for people to review articles. There's a template at the top of this page with about a dozen articles that have been there well over a week, needing feedback. It might help if editors add that to their talk pages and attempt to review articles. It's nice to bring an article to FAC and get feedback, but to get feedback, someone has to give it. I used to be the person regularly running through all of them. Since I'm no longer in the reviewer role, I've noticed many articles aren't getting reviewed. For example, Karanacs who regularly reviews FACs for everyone, has gotten no feedback from anyone on her own FAC. That's not nice. The Mythology article was up ten days, and no one looked at it. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:49, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Why was the Carnivàle nomination archived when it had only been up for ten days and some current nominations were started over a month ago? –thedemonhog talkedits 03:56, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm hurrying through season 2 so that I can actually read this and review it. Looked good, but I didn't want to spoil the series for myself. If it goes back up soon I'll review it. Also, sometimes if you wait someone who's been glancing at an article occasionally finally does a full read and does a review.-BillDeanCarter (talk) 04:28, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Friendly Notices - should be used - if comments are not available, neither can they pass and become FA status, nor can they remain in FAC indefinitely.--Kiyarrllston 17:02, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Nor can they be delisted from FAC because nobody bothers to review (IMHO), that would bias Wikipedia towards the interests of FA reviewers. There is evidently a problem here. Arnoutf (talk) 02:31, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Request for Comment: Vote-stacking[edit]

This is something which seems to be done quite a bit in FAC's and FLC's, where users from a particular project support articles to do with the project area. This, would surely consistute of "vote-stacking" as all of the Supports are coming from the home project, no other place, meaning if it had say for instance, 7 supports (all from that home project members) and 1 oppose, it would for sure be promoted. Am I wrong?

However, there seems to be an area of confusion. If a project member decides to support one of their project area FAC's, it should be compulsary for them (as they are a member of the main project) to give a detailed explaination of what led them to make this decision. If four or five people put support without a reason, surely their votes should just be discounted? Also, do Raul and Sandy look at particular FACs to see if some have six or seven supports and look at who has voted for the particular article, or not?

Is vote-stacking prohibited from FAC/FLC's? Are members from the "home project" allowed to vote on their FAC/FLC? In my view they should not, as stated earlier, this is clearly vote-stacking. The current system in place leads for a biast FAC/FLC where one article could stroll through with seven supports all from a particular project.

Let's take for instance this FAC. The FAC mentioned, of Gilberto Silva had eight supports (ten in total) with very little comment. Whoever nominated the article, although it may feel good for them, everybody should write down problems with the article - there is always problems with articles, no article is perfect. Just writing support makes me think that vote stacking is involved. In my view, project members should not be allowed to support their FAC/FLCs as there is room for bias in here. 10 project members could support one FAC, but another FAC to do with another project because no project members supported the article. This leads to the system becoming very disjointed.

D.M.N. (talk) 21:27, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

I think project members should be allowed to comment on articles from within their project, but I think there should be some disclosure. I frequently review articles for FA. I am a member of multiple wikiprojects, including Wikiproject Biography - and there are lots of biographies nominated. In 99% of the cases, I haven't had any contact with the article before I review it, and I have, I note that. Forcing someone to leave a detailed note with the support will lead to a lot of identical support notices. It's obvious to those who follow the FA candidates which reviewers are regulars and which aren't, so vote-stacking can become fairly obvious. Karanacs (talk) 03:20, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
The problem here is a lack of reviewers, and both Raul and I are able to look at Supports and discern if there is a "canvassing" issue or any other problem affecting the review; anything that discourages review would not be good, IMO. We have ample precedents of articles that failed fac in spite of overwhelming fan support (see Preity Zinta for a recent example). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:52, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Speaking as a WikiProject Football member who supported in the Gilberto Silva FAC, the inferral of vote stacking there does not sit comfortably. The nominator requested feedback for the article on a number of occasions while developing it, seeking advice from a number of experienced FA writers in the process. This meant that most issues were resolved before FAC, making the article one of the best sporting biographies we have. Yes, drive-by supports sometimes happen, but a brief comment does not necessarily mean one which is not well-considered. Oldelpaso (talk) 10:58, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

This is a problem on FLC, particularly on subjects that attract less mature editors. It is nice to support your friends and it feels good to see a subject you care about become featured. Wikiproject members have the potential to be really good reviewers. They are much more familiar with the subject, good and bad sources and can spot errors or omissions that many reviewers wouldn't see. A good Wikiproject would have reviewed the list prior to FLC, but that rarely happens. The big problem, as Sandy notes, is lack of reviewers. Often the best and most thorough reviewers are attracted to commenting on the best and most thorough lists/articles. So we end up with the situation where our best lists get a hard time at FLC but some of our worst lists are only looked at by fans.

The problem with FLC is compounded by the lack of a director, which means decisions on promotion have to be fairly clear-cut in the guidelines. These are consensus plus a minimum of four support (including the nominator). [Note: I'm not suggesting we need a director.] I'm minded to suggest that at least two of those should be from disinterested editors (no substantial editing history on the article or subject, no project affiliation, no close wikifriendship) but this may be difficult to check or enforce while assuming good faith. Colin°Talk 16:24, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

First and foremost, I agree that vote-stacking occurs at WP:FLC, as I am sure it happens at WP:FAC. There really is no debate of that. But to state "project members should not be allowed to support their FAC/FLCs as there is room for bias in here" is just wrong. I personally have written two WP:FLs, List of Green Bay Packers first-round draft picks and List of Seattle Seahawks first-round draft picks and I have Green Bay Packers seasons at WP:FLC right now. I am a member of WP:NFL and WP:PACKERS, and thus whenever I see a List of first-round draft picks, a Seasons list, or anything that has to do with American football, I jump right to that nom, because I feel like I can give the best review of the subject matter, because I am involved with the said subject matter. To exclude our most valuable and knowledgeable reviewers (those who actively participate in a Wikiproject) would not be beneficial to the Project, and likely it would have an adverse effect. Also I find that your assumption that when people from their home project vote support on articles they have worked on "is clearly vote-stacking" is an assumption of bad faith.
With all that said, I really do not find that the problem is that bad at least at WP:FL. We have the consensus process and WP:IGNORE which allows the closer to use his/her discretion in closing these reviews. Personally, I have the upmost confidence in and trust the discretion of Raul and Sandy over here, and Scorpion0422 (who does most of the closing at FLC). We also have WP:FLRC and WP:FARC, where there is a process for removal of featured status. With all this in place, I feel that the only viable solution would be to place a special warning at the top of WP:FLC and WP:FAC reminding reviewers about WP:COI and that without proper reasoning, it is within the closer's powers to indent or strike their comments. Just my two-cents on the subject.
Gonzo fan2007 talkcontribs 18:33, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
While I certainly abhor the idea of vote stacking, I think it is unfair to the dedicated editors in projects to presume they will always vote to support an FAC or FL without regard for the article content. I work primarily in the TV and Anime/manga projects, as well as Films. If I'm asked to ass an article in the project, either as part of our assessment, for a peer review, for GA, for FL, or for FAC, I would due so neutrally. As an experienced editor in those areas, I would first see how well the article meets our project MOS and guidelines and would not hesitate to vote "Oppose" to any article that do not follow those, as well as the general guidelines for the level assessment being asked for. Indeed, I tend to be conservative with my views on article assessments because I have pride for my project and I want to make sure our articles actually are good articles and worthy for the ratings they are given. I agree, true vote stacking should be discouraged and such votes ignored. However, I think in general, project members can (and should) be able to give fair assessments on articles, and that it would be fairly easy to tell if a person really assessed the article or was just throwing in a support vote because they felt they should from the remarks they make with the vote. Much as in AfD, a vote of just support or oppose with little to no commentary supporting it should carry little to no weight. AnmaFinotera (talk) 23:11, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Independent RfC comment from one who doesn't work in this area: I think any change in policy would be unnecessary rules creep, which would be difficult-to-apply and of questionable value. This isn't a vote anyways, and I trust that Sandy and Raul do more than count !votes. I imagine such a policy would lead to users challenging comments for being de facto project supporters, and so forth. It could be messy, unnecessarily personal, and off-topic. Challenging project membership doesn't really address the substance of each candidate article. The existing guidelines on CANVASSing along with some modest scrutiny should suffice. Cool Hand Luke 23:19, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

A model of consensus process[edit]

ASTM International uses a consensus process to develop standards documents; perhaps it would be a useful model for FAC. --Una Smith (talk) 03:44, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Introducing User:VeblenBot/C/Wikipedia featured article candidates[edit]

So I stumbled across User:VeblenBot/C/Requests_for_peer_review, which is a product of the revamped peer review process. I figured that FAC and FAR could use a similar page, so I dropped a note on VeblenBot's operator User:CBM, and he kindly set up User:VeblenBot/C/Wikipedia featured article review candidates and User:VeblenBot/C/Wikipedia featured article candidates. So for those of you who dislike wading through the 1 MB monstrosity that is the FAC page, enjoy! (and don't forget to thank CBM!). BuddingJournalist 03:31, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Nice!! I'm really glad that the category listing bot is being put to further use. Note that if you want to change the format of the page, you just have to change {{CF/Wikipedia featured article candidates}} etc.. Also, it is possible to transclude VeblenBot's data onto different pages, and use different formats for different pages: see {{CF/Requests for peer review}}, which uses VeblenBot's data to generate WP:Peer review, WP:Peer review list and {{Recently listed peer reviews}}. Feel free to contact CBM or myself for further info. Geometry guy 20:44, 9 January 2008 (UTC)