Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates/archive28

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Criterion 3—non-free content, copyright

Black Kite is an expert in this field (hangs around WP:NFC), and has just reviewed one of our nominations WRT the use of NFC images. Very instructive indeed. I suggest that we all take heed of the requirements of a central pillar of WP's mission, and apply them a little more often in reviews here.

Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess#The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

TONY (talk) 13:36, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Elcobbola (talk · contribs) is quite competent in this area, and in fact, gets to most of them, although it's not possible for him to get to all of them (nor should he, considering the flak he takes and has taken over the excellent work he does). If I have questions about images, I ping someone and make sure someone looks before I promote. It would be stupendous if Black Kite could come over to FAC regularly and help take some of the load off of Elcobbola; in return for his efforts, he might even get dissed in a blog somewhere :-) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:23, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, it was remiss of me not to include reference to Elcobbola in my post. TONY (talk) 03:46, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Which reminds me: I'm waiting for images to be checked at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:29, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Let's change something

I propose to change something in the criteria for voting/propose an article for FA or for the FAs:

  • Today an IP promoted this page for FA. Certainly, the article hasn't the criteria for became a featured article. IPs and registred user sice 1 day/1 week aren't experts. Another example is Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Cluj-Napoca (the promotor was User:Danutz, registred in 2005, but that was his 16th edit). So I ask to the specialists for FAC that forbid to the unregistred users/registred user since minus of 1 week to vote or propose an article for FA/GA. This because these user are certainly unexperts, they don't know the FA/GA criteria in 95% of the instaces.
  • Recently someone proposed the article "Chickasaw Turnpike" for FA (very similar to "New York State Route 174"). It is a short article for a short road, and it's an actual FAC. In FAs page there are links such "Templon" to short articles. For example, look at it:Strada Statale 17 dell'Appennino Abruzzese e Appulo Sannitico. This is a road too; this is a Statal road. We have these sections: Description (from Antrodoco to Sulmona, from Sulmona to Isernia, from Isernia to Foggia), History, Tourism. A FA is a complete, comprehensive article in limit for the topic. We can say more, well, about these articles? In fr.wiki, de.wiki, it.wiki, no.wiki etc. A short (15 kB, at least ^_^) FA may be comprehensive, written in a perfect prose; we will not find a perfect prose. So, I ask to don't propose very short articles for FA if they haven't a perfect prose.
  • There is a page for FAs, for GAs, but for an intermediate class, A-class articles, there isn't a page. Why? Can we create it?
  • There isn't a symbol for GAs and for A-class articles. FAs have the brown stars, GAs may have the Swedish blue star (or the "+"), for A-class we can insert a little "A".

I wait for your replies. --Mojska 666Leave your message here 15:47, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

  • Um, what about this GA symbol Symbol support vote.svg and this A-class symbol: Symbol a class.svg? Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 15:52, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Also, there is nothing that says the article can't be short. As long as it's comprehensive and doesn't leave out any major aspects, regardless of size, then it certainly should have as much respect as a long article. Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 15:54, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Why we don't put they in the up-right of the page? You don't replied to my questions -.-' --Mojska 666Leave your message here 16:02, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
  1. There is a process in place to handle "drive by" nominations. If the IP is not a principle contributor and has not conferred with the principle contributors, the nomination can be withdrawn.
  2. Comprehensiveness has nothing to do with length. The criterion only requires that "no major' facts and details" be neglected. See also Wikipedia_talk:Featured_article_statistics#Ten_shortest_articles_2
  3. A-class is awarded independently by Wikiprojects. An A-class article for one project could be a B-class for another. FA/GA are Wikipedia-wide assessments and, therefore, are able to have "stand alone" pages. Wikiprojects maintain lists of their A-class articles.
  4. Iconification is a dead horse. ЭLСОВВОLД talk 16:06, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Exactly! Comreshensiveness has nothing to do with the length of an article. It doesn't matter if an article is short. I mean, of course I'm not going to support an FAC for a stub, but within reason I don't take the length of an article into account when reviewing FACs, and niether should you. Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 16:49, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Regarding the first item, FAC isn't a vote, and the director won't promote the article to FA if it doesn't meet the criteria irregardless to how many support votes it has.
As far as length, the Chickasaw Turnpike is actually longer than the example you provided. Also, the Chickasaw Turnpike is off the beaten path in rural Oklahoma, there is no tourism and the only ones likely to use it are locals. The key to FA is being comprehensive. If you don't believe the article is compreshensive, point out where the article is lacking. A short article doesn't always mean it is not comprehensive, it depends on the topic.
Promotion to "A-class" is typically handled by the Wikiprojects.
There are symbols as Juliancolton has pointed out.
--Holderca1 talk 16:16, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
  • (ec)A couple points. A, B, Start, and Stub are classes used by WikiProjects to access the quality of the articles; presumably, every project's scale is aligned such that B < GA < A < FA (in terms of # of reviews going up for each step). Basically, a wiki-wide A-class system is not appropriate. The idea of GA stars or the like has just been resuggested at.. up, WP:VPP I think, but basically, this keeps coming up, and generally the argument is that since a GA is only passed by one person, marking it with a certain quality opens the system to gaming and the like. On the first point, I think between SandyG's efforts to evaluate each FAC as it comes it helps to filter questionable nominations from anons and new users (I'm sure more help would be appreciated :) ). However, I don't think we should block anon IP or new users from nominating, as long as we have this filter in place that we can check with the main editors of the page to see if the article should be quickly dropped from FAC; as long as they aren't spamming the FAC list, there's no need to punish these users. --MASEM 17:05, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Correct, IP noms are perfectly valid and acceptable as long as WP:FAC instructions are followed. I've also asked Mojska in the past to stop declaring "Oppose, too short", as that is not a valid oppose (often, neither is, "Oppose, too long": in these cases, you need to show either what's missing in terms of comprehensiveness or what is not tightly focused and could be better summarized). And the perennial GA icon in article space was just polled down again. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:13, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Monthly update of style and policy pages: April 2008

It was a complicated month, so I hope I've captured, as simply as possible, the substantive changes. Please notify any issues on the talk page. TONY (talk) 16:04, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Page name doesn't appear?

Can someone explain why the title of my nomination did not appear as it does with other nominations? I thought I followed the instructions to the letter. Maury (talk) 20:30, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

I'm looking at it now; there are a few problems. Give me a minute. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:32, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks! Maury (talk) 20:37, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
While I'm here, can someone with more technical expertise help with two very minor edits? One is to double-column the references, which is a little long in its current format. The other is to make the text in the GALLERY smaller, right now it's annoyingly large. Maury (talk) 20:39, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
I added two columns on the reflist (that doens't show on all browsers); I don't know about galleries. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:47, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
When dealing with old {{facfailed}} templates (before Gimmebot started, Jan 2007), there is still a missing step in our instructions. I'll see if Gimmetrow and I can fix it (basically, you hadn't added the sub-heading line because the instructions don't tell you to add that after you move the file, but I also had to rebuild articlehistory, add tools, and correctly archive the old facfailed). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:53, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Ok, cool, I'll remember this for the future. Maury (talk) 21:21, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

I rewrote the nominating instructions at {{FAC-instructions}} to account for the confusion when there is an old (pre Jan 2007) {{facfailed}} template. They confuse new nominators because they add a lot of steps to the instructions, they aren't the norm, but the instructions to work with them result in a mess. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:26, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Ownership likely in Featured Articles

<Moved from Wikipedia talk:Featured articles> SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:18, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

It seems that so-called "significant contributors" tend to (quite predictably) contravene theownership policy in their persuit of "Featured Article" status. It also seems to me like the featured article persuit process has the unintended consequence of facilitating and accepting such contravention. I think either the Ownership policy should be scrapped or the featured article process be better defined to confirm the priority of the ownership policy in featured article development. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 01:18, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Yup, Wikipedia:Ownership of articles is policy. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 06:10, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I've never quite understood. It Ownership of articles seen as a good thing or a bad thing on here? Buc (talk) 06:23, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Ownership is a bad thing! The ethos of Wikipedia is summed up in the tag line "the encyclopedia everyone can edit." Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 13:06, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia also focuses on the recognition of consensus rather than employing a battering ram approach by steering/establishing a sequential repair effort to systematically castrate the opposes and turn them into neutrals or struck throughs, which seems to have become the modus operandi with these FAC candidate nominations. In addition,I don't think it's wise to establish a vertically tiered organization ala corporate and that seems to be happening in a stealth way in the way the significant contributors to FAC nominations are being allowed to, and even praised for, practising article ownership and also by the way the FA Directors are completely dominating nominations from the very beginning e.g.[1] with his/her "management" decision to allow the nomination to go forward, clearly against consensus, and then picking away at the opposes with an air of authority while allowing supports to go unchallenged. To me it appears orwellian in its non-consensus approach within a project supposedly grounded in and by a dedication to consensus decision making. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 03:15, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't understand what connection you're drawing between WP:OWN and the FAC process. Are you saying that a single editor who works on an article and improves it to FA inherently owns it? Or are you making complaint about any particular brand of editor who does so with little to no regard for other editors who may have input for the article? Or something else? --Moni3 (talk) 03:58, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm talking about the brand of editor who does so with little to no regard for other editors who may have input for the article if that input does not fit comfortably with his own, and then,more importantly perhaps, that disregard is being validated by the FA director's pronouncement that contravention of WP:OWN is not a good enough reason to say "Oppose" to a FAC nomination; hence,that "oppose" is considered not valid and ignored.[2][3]Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 04:12, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Oppose declarations must engage WP:WIAFA. Saying an article is "owned" doesn't give anyone a concrete or actionable oppose to work with. For example, if what you're really saying is an article is POV, you need to provide examples. If you're saying it's unstable, you need to demonstrate that. And so on. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:23, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
This(1st.8.comments) was the example given and summarily dismissed. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 04:29, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps someone else can better explain how to more effectively engage WP:WIAFA; one example of one brief talk page exchange between one editor and an IP doesn't do that. Also, you need to demonstrate an effect on the article: but I'll let others try to explain. These kinds of opposes don't give either the nominators or me anything to work with in evaluating your concerns. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:47, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Please have a closer look at those 1st.8.comments in that brief talk page exchange you refer to and you will see it was actually between two significant contributors (# 1 (WastedTime)and # 3(Tvoz) in edit volume) and two different IPs(210.172.229.198 and 99.233.20.151) , not 1 and 1 as you seem to have mis-read. Also, aren't IPs also considered to be editors? Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 14:29, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't think there was a display of article ownership here. Rather, there was a dispute between some people who weren't familiar with Wikipedia's general content policies and some who were; and the discussion came to the correct conclusion which is that innuendo, especially when lacking reliable sources, does not go into articles. Christopher Parham (talk) 17:07, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

(od) In my experience, a degree of ownership is inevitable in getting to FA status because editing by committee simply doesn't work. Collaborations by very small groups of editors - who have become expert in the subject - are common and new participants have to prove their worth before they are taken seriously. Whether what I'm talking about is the same ownership that policy prohibits is another issue. There is a vast difference between steering an article down a particular quality-controlled path and vetoing any contribution by new participants. --ROGER DAVIES talk 04:41, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

  • There's "ownership" that becomes exclusivist, possessive and inflexible. The "ownerhip" that arises from having made major contributions to an article shouldn't be called such when it involves a commitment to improvement, negotiation, collaboration, inclusiveness and flexibility. That is what is meant by "significant contributors" in relation to FAC. TONY (talk) 09:02, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Now we are getting somewhere. RogerDavies is clearly expressing (when reading slowly and carefully his words),I think, a view which has majority support within the FAC community and especially reflects the FA directors' way of dealing with the Own policy; but that is a view which,in my opinion, does not have even a substantial level of support within the overall general Wikipedia community.
  • I propose that,for the sake of policy adherence integrity, that either:
A:the Ownership policy be scrapped or rewritten to allow an exception for FA candidates or else,
B:(my personal preference)The featured article criteria and the FAC page both be amended to include a firm reminder that the Wikipedia:Ownership of articles policy must be unquestionably adhered to throughout FA development as a prerequisite for nomination as a FAC. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 14:53, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
  • With great respect, we are getting precisely nowhere. In my experience, many drive-by contributions are unsourced and often express ideas which are at best original and at worst barking mad. Far from requiring regular contributors to an article to welcome such editors and their, um, improvements with open arms, policy actually prohibits unverified material and original research. In sharp contrast, and in my experience, the editor making quality informed contributions is very welcome indeed. --ROGER DAVIES talk 16:10, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Didn't someone do a study showing that FAs that were followed by editors who knew the subject matter or who had written them maintained their FA status better than those that there not followed? I thought it could be demonstrated that articles that were not "watched" by someone rather closely degraded and had to be taken to FAR? This is another important part of the issue, I think.
  • It is my understanding that it is impossible for an article to maintain its FA status without someone checking all of the changes to an article. Reverting vandalism is only one part of this maintenance. Someone needs to check the good faith changes to content, integrating or deleting them. Someone needs to make sure that the article retains its good prose and organization. Awadewit (talk) 16:32, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
I know. It's heartbreaking when they disintegrate. --ROGER DAVIES talk 16:47, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
How pervasive a problem is this really? I can remember some debacles—e.g., Great Fire of London—but a commsensical editor can easily put WP:OWN in perspective on FAC. The primary author doesn't have a veto but should also be accorded consideration and given room to address solutions on their own. Marskell (talk) 16:53, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Quite. I don't think OWN is an issue at FAC. --ROGER DAVIES talk 17:02, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
I would be quite happy for the ownership page to be taken down. I dislike being pointed to this type of page at the best of times, but being told to read something that I know about full well gets my goat: argue your case but don't wave blue capital letters at me. All that matters is edits to a page and whether they are helpful or not. If an editor is reverting good edits made by others, that is an issue of content. It is particularly galling to be accused of ownership on a talk page, when one is simply arguing rather than editing the article.
The Featured Article process has single nominators and groups of nominators, and they are the main editors of the articles. This is common sense. I don't keep a list of FAs on my userpage, but I have no problem with users who do. The only reward for editing on Wikipedia is pride in one's efforts, and the star helps with that. However, all the featured article nominators I know are realistic about changes to the articles they have worked on. I'd bet that there are many changes to such articles that we'd like to get rid of but that we leave in place because we accept that this is a collaborative enterprise. qp10qp (talk) 18:27, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Outdent. I agree with what's been said here. In general, WP:OWN and FAC are not tethered together. When one principal author, or a small group of authors does a damn fine job of writing and maintaining an article, and demanding high quality work from others who dabble in adding to it, that's not ownership, that's imposing high standards. I looked at grantevans2's examples, and not mentioning it was about Clinton's hair color which has to be pretty low in importance on the grand scale of her impact as a politician, the sources were not good sources. I would back up the editors who removed the information. --Moni3 (talk) 19:54, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

To clarify; the example given was meant to show the way the comments of those two IPs were responded to by the two significant contributors. Responses, in my opinion, which reflect exactly the type of ownership mentality described in the policy. The issue is not whether the material should be included; the issue is that the majority who commented were open to maybe including the material but the article's "owners" responded to the suggestion in a nasty and dismissive way right from the get-go. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 02:20, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Agree that ownership isn't a problem (for the purposes of FAC, at least). I can see why some users might think we are coming down on the sides of 'major contributors' and are in a way tacitly affirming our support for ownership of a sort, but the real reason (at least from my POV) is that it's these editors who are going to end up fixing the issues for the FAC they didn't want to start. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 23:07, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
It bears repeating that Wikipedia:Ownership of articles is policy and that the ethos of FA contradicts the policy. If push came to shove, I'd rather see FA disbanded than the promotion of article ownership. Wikipedia is the encyclopedia anyone can edit. If one doesn't like that, then join Citizendium. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 02:06, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
What would be the correct process for someone to bring this issue before the broader, general Wikipedia community? Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 02:20, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
I disagree that FAC promotes ownership. If someone really wished to "own" an article they'd be crazy to bring it to FAC. At FAC you are almost guaranteed to have multiple people proposing all kinds of fixes to an article, and you are likely to have some reviewers dive in and perform vigorous copyedits, change the organization of the article, reformat things that don't match the MOS, etc. It is extremely rare for an article to leave FAC in the exact same state it entered (and it is usually the better for the changes). If someone was that concerned with the article being "theirs", then why open it up to the opinions of so many others? Karanacs (talk) 02:23, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
The correct process to bring this issue before the broader, general Wikipedia community involves:
Note that Wikipedia:Ownership of articles is a fundamental policy of Wikipedia and will not be overturned: the firmament would split asunder. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 02:27, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
For the record, I agree with Karanacs and other FA people. The FAC process is anathema to article ownership. To quote Karanacs, "If someone was that concerned with the article being "theirs", then why open it up to the opinions of so many others?" Editors who do have ownership problems become livid in their rage at FAC. Real and true ownership issues surface at AfD, and in the phenomenon of Wikipedia:Walled gardens. Most of the Wikipedia community have nothing to do with the GA and FA process. It is out in the Wiki wilds that you see the Wiki-colonist banishing everyone from their turf. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 02:33, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
How does that square with your comment above that "the ethos of FA contradicts the (ownership)policy." Also, I don't want to waste anyone's time, including my own. Would you be kind enough to review the current Talk:Hillary Rodham Clinton and give your opinion as to whether there's an ownership problem? If not, then I'll assume I'm off-base with this concern. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 02:42, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
I've looked at the talk page, and I don't think there is an ownership issue. The primary contributors to this article are seasoned wikipedia editors who are very familiar with WP policies and guidelines, and it appears (to me) that they are merely trying to enforce those guidelines. For editors who are new to the process and unfamiliar with the guidelines, I can see how some of the comments might seem arbitrary, but from a quick glance they all appear to have sound policy backing them up. Karanacs (talk) 02:49, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
I realize my opinion seems to be - on the surface - contradictory, but it is not. The FA process itself contradicts the ownership policy because it gives special recognition to a single (or small group) of editors during the FAC process. If an article succeeds to FA, the nominating editors are accorded special recognition: thus, there is an ownership problem. On the other hand, editors who bring an article to FA are not likely to be control freaks; they present themselves to minute inspection. The editors - if they have ownership issues - will erupt in a Wiki-rage. It has happened recently. However, Talk:Hillary Rodham Clinton doesn't have the signs of there being an ownership problem. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 02:59, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
I find westcoast's point about recognition somewhat overstated. To be recognized for one's efforts in bringing an article to FA is to be acknowledged by at most a dozen editors who understand the inner workings of the FA process and how much work goes into it. It's not complete anonymity, but neither is it Grand Marshal at Mardi Gras. Or even Wiki Mardi Gras. The reward for bringing an article to FA has to be intrinsic, otherwise the aforementioned recognition would be a sore disappointment to those expecting any fanfare. --Moni3 (talk) 03:44, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Ok, I think I finally get the whole thing, thanks to Wassupwestcoast's explanation. I offer apologies to SandyGeorgia and others for my off-base mis-interpretation of the effect of the FAC process, although I agree that the FA process itself contradicts the ownership policy. I'll just try to work within the FA wannabe article culture when I find myself editing in one. I will say that the best products/reports in most fields of endeavor are recognized as such long after they are completed, Van Gogh's paintings and the Gettysburg Address springing to mind, and typically the self-consciousness and micro management involved in actively persuing an award during production usually blandizes and politically correctizes the product to fit with overly current norms and mores. That's just my opinion,of course, and the last word I'll have on the matter. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 16:21, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, and appreciated, Mr.grantevans2! Your original concerns were confusing to me, since one reason the FAC went forward was to avoid charges of ownership :-)) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:25, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
I might have to go the RfC approach after all because the [4] discussions are being dominated by just a very few contributors and the tendency to want to officially prioritize adherence to some policies over others seems to be picking up speed. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 14:14, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

Accessibility

Rick Block pointed out at Wikipedia talk:Featured article criteria#Proposed accessibility criteria that we aren't reviewing very well for accessibility issues.

Although Wikipedia:Accessibility is already implicitly included as a criteria under the MOS criteria (2), I think it would be appropriate to highlight these accessibility guidelines with an explicit, additional, 2d along the lines of:

(d) accessibility guidelines
In the same vein, criteria 3 should explicitly require that images have either a caption or alternative text (3 out of the 5 most recently promoted FAs have at least one image without either a caption or alternative text). Any objections to this? -- Rick Block (talk) 13:53, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

I'm not certain we need to add it to WP:WIAFA (since it's already part of MoS and covered by 2), but we do need to start reviewing for this. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:11, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

I completely agree awareness is the main issue. However relegating accessibility guidelines to the morass of picayune MOS details says these are less important than, say, ensuring the lead section is concise. If you're not disabled, these guidelines are pretty easy to overlook. For example, how many of us view an article with image loading turned off? On the other hand, not following these guidelines creates a distinct possibility that at least some content in the article is, well, inaccessible. We certainly don't want instruction creep, but I think these are worthy of top-level mention. -- Rick Block (talk) 03:19, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Rick, it's not being relegated to anything less important. All of MoS is covered by 2, while points a, b and c are in addition to MoS. For example, good articles don't have to comply with 2c, and 2a and 2b aren't specifically mentioned at MoS AFAIK. We try to enforce all of MoS (unless it changes faster than we can keep up with); we just need to increase awareness of this aspect, but adding every aspect of MoS to WIAFA could quickly get out of hand. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:45, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

I agree it's already covered. We can start by removing removing TOCleft and TOCright from all noms. Not only do I personally hate those things, but they violate the accessibility rules and make it hard for screenreaders to parse pages. Raul654 (talk) 03:22, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps you haven't been keeping up with the recent changes to the MoS then? --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 03:27, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
* Avoid floating the table of contents if possible, as it breaks the standard look of pages. If you must use a floated TOC, put it below the lead section for consistency. Users of screen readers expect the table of contents to follow the introductory text; they will also miss any text placed between the TOC and the first heading. -Wikipedia:Accessibility -- seems pretty clear to me. Raul654 (talk) 03:29, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
"Wherever possible, images of faces should be placed so that the face or eyes look toward the text, because the reader's eye will tend to follow their direction." Added: Where the lead image is a portrait with the face looking to the reader's right, it should be left-aligned, looking into the text of the article. Where this is the lead image, it may be appropriate to move the Table of Contents to the right by using {{TOCright}}.
Is that not clear enough? --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 03:41, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, when the image people enacted that, they failed to account for accessibility (and I still think it looks awful and would much rather see the fellow looking off the page, but I lost on that one). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:48, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps. I think it might also be a good idea if the FA director made an attempt to keep up to date with the FA criteria. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 03:59, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
The FA criteria are very stable and don't change that much, and I'm well aware of what they are. (Here is the diff since last year. The only note-worthy difference is the clause "except for edits made in response to the featured article process.", the original form of which was added by me).
If you're asking why I'm not aware of some trivialities in the manual of style, that is because the MoS is huge, self-contradictory, and it changes frequently. Perhaps it would be a good idea if you made an attempt to keep up with these basic facts of the FA process. Raul654 (talk) 04:17, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
I do try to keep up with these basic facts, but so often you don't. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 04:43, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
You claim to be keeping up with the basic facts, and then make a rookie mistake like conflating the MoS with the FA criteria of which it is a part. Raul654 (talk) 04:50, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Malleus, please. That change was enacted recently, it's rarely employed, some of us (me) never agreed it was that important, it's a little known corner of MoS, and really, try to go have a nice day, OK? Marskell a few days ago, Raul today, am I next? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:52, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Am I supposed to hold St Marskell and St Raul in some kind of high regard? I deal with people as I find them, saints or not. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 05:09, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
You're trolling. And you have no idea what you are talking about. Not the first time, either. Raul654 (talk) 05:11, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Oh dear. I've disagreed with the mighty Raul, and now I must be punished. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 05:17, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
I will accept both of your offerings of worship. I have never done anything wrong and only produce Good. When I die, may my bones be buried beneath the MoS alter of Our Lady of Way Too Many Rules. --Moni3 (talk) 13:46, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
And since MoS and MOSNUM are currently under attack by ToR vandals, subject to massive edit wars and long talk page diatribes, it's not going to be long before I lose track of who's on first. At some point, we have to rely on reviewers to keep up with it, because there aren't enough hours in a day, and every time I've tried to catch up with MoS lately, I've left confused, frustrated and no wiser. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:35, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
I don't know what ToR means, and neither do I care. But when I see the FA director not only out of touch with the FA criteria, but also abusing the English language by misusing a word like "conflating" it is difficult not to comment. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 05:01, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
I hate them as well, but some disagree; it has to do with photos looking towards the page, which apparently some people care deeply about. I wonder how the layout importance weighs vs. accessibility. See Wikipedia:MOS#Images, where we've introduced a contradiction because of this image issue. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:32, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

I made this change to keep WP:MOS in sync with WP:Accessibility. (Considering how things work at MoS, that should trigger about two months and 200KB worth of discussion that no mere mortal will be able to sort.) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:25, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

This is a good change. Guidelines are good, and I love the MoS however unstable it may be in places. Without it, the encyclopedia would disintegrate. When asked about images, I've been advising people to make the eyes look into the page (or make the trains, horses, and autos run into the page) but to avoid digital image-flipping because it distorts reality, sometimes in impossible ways. I have never advised anyone to move the TOC to solve an image problem. The solution that almost always works is to find or create a different image. Finetooth (talk) 16:11, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Unless I'm missing something, what happened here is that WP:MOS#Images had altered an important TOC accessibility issue to account for a very rare image issue. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:15, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree. Finetooth (talk) 16:42, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Drive-by nominations

Should we include something in the intro about these so they can be withdrawn on sight, pending endorsement by a recent major contributor? --ROGER DAVIES talk 08:09, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm in. Maybe also say that including a link to an endorsement would be helpful (but not required) if it isn't a self-nom? Ling.Nut (talk) 08:14, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Sounds like a good idea (although major contributors of articles sometimes lack perspective and think their article is much closer to FA than reasonable, but that is another issue). Arnoutf (talk) 08:18, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree it's growing, and becoming a nagging and very time-consuming issue, selfishly I'm unhappy about having to fail so many articles, but I'd not like to do anything precipitous. I have most reluctantly left a note for Yomangani that we may be seeing unintended consequences from the "Finding a subject" section of his funny User:Yomangan/A bastard's guide to writing a featured article. Maybe that's all it is? If we do decide something needs to be done, I'd hope it would only be after careful deliberation, to avoid unintended consequences (elitism, article ownership, and noms from experienced users aren't necessarily always any better, so ...). Each case is unique; I worry about instruction creep and too many rules. But it's certainly consuming a lot of my time, reviewer time, and Gimmebot time; worse, causing other articles to get insufficient review. Something to remedy the trend is in order. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 08:32, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Drive-by nom's have a place - especially on Wikipedia. One has to assume 'good faith'. Obviously it is aggravating if - as a result of a drive-by nom - no one responds to a review or suggestions. On the other hand, no one owns an article. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 20:33, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
When a Project is actively working on an article and there are clear statements on the talk page that MoS cleanup and copyediting is still needed, that's a pretty good indication the article shouldn't have been nommed by a relatively uninvolved editor. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:05, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Given that this happened with me for Gears of War, I wasn't aware there was a way to stop or withdraw a FAC. I think, if within instructions for an FAC that is put on the article's page, and in more depth here, if all that a major editor for a page needs to do is add in something on the FAC's page to "As a major editor, I wish to have this candidate withdraw", at which point a FA editor (SandyGeorgia, for example), could speedily close it after verifying that that editor is in fact a major editor to the page. You would expect major contributors to be watching the talk page and thus will see the FAC added on, and thus could quickly go add this. This still allows drive-by nominations (and I'm sure someone can list a successful drive-by FA), but a quick-out for articles where editors feel it is not appropriate. --MASEM 20:46, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Masem, see talk page precedent established here. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:45, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Since I've seen more of this recently I'll try and help out by noting if they are one of the major contributors, and if not notifying the top three or so editors if they want to proceed. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 21:56, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
I want to emphasize how delicate this is, and that each case is individual. When deciding whether to withdraw (which is an enormous amount of work), I look at the experience of the nominator, the nominator's edit history on the article and in general, the article talk page, the state of the article wrt WIAFA, the articlestats to determine if there is significantly principle editor, and many other factors. We must AGF and avoid elitism and "cabalism" (but we must also stem this trend). One of the first difficult FACs I was involved in was the Hillary Putnam FAC; it was grossly unprepared, the nominator put it up to make a point because of another article that had just failed, but he was able to bring it to featured status during the FAC, so decisions to withdraw must be taken carefully. I'm reluctant to codify instructions because of all the factors involved; maybe someone can propose wording that covers it without strapping us in. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:02, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
While we consider the wording below, would it make sense to move the existing withdrawal instructions to their own bullet? Their current position leaves them somewhat obscured by the surrounding text. This may not impact drive-bys (I'm slightly off topic here), but it may assist with the malformed withdrawals. Baby steps. ЭLСОВВОLД talk 18:24, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Which existing withdrawal instructions are you referring to, Elcobbola? (Do you mean archiving?) I've got a simpler idea that I'll try to put words tonight. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:53, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Oh for ... I’m sorry, Sandy; I’m an idiot. I read the “objection” in “To withdraw the objection, strike it out...” as “nomination”. A colleague just brought me coffee, should I should be ok from here on out. ЭLСОВВОLД talk 19:00, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Draft wording

Here's some draft text for bouncing around:

"Nominators are expected to be familiar enough with the subject matter and sources to deal themselves with objections during the FAC process. In practice, this means that nominations will normally come from recent significant contributors. Nominations from uninvolved editors may be withdrawn." Reactions? --ROGER DAVIES talk 09:30, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Changing the system

If withdrawing articles is so fiddly, why not simply change the system to have three categories: promoted, archived and withdrawn? I'm sure that'll be a load less work in the long run. --ROGER DAVIES talk 09:30, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

As a further thought, this may well ease the burden of reviewers, as it will allow nominators the chance to withdraw articles which attract early opposition without having to hang around for the lingering death a week or so later. In short, no stigma withdrawal should be encouraged. --ROGER DAVIES talk 09:51, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Sounds like a good idea, may have helped in the recent EU thing. Although, in that case, frequent editors, myself included initially supported FAC, the process got bogged down by non-FAC related major changes from other frequent editors. Personally I think we should have withdrawn at that moment, to relieve you guys from the burden (which is too much anyway).
I would go further and suggest that if frequent editors agree in any stage of the FAC process that promotion is unlikely they should be able to suggest withdrawal as a third option. Arnoutf (talk) 18:31, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
The delicate issue there, Arnoutf, is how we define frequent editors and how we preserve AGF. Some of the recent cases have been abundantly clear on every measure; not all will be so black and white and most are gray, so I'm concerned about how we codify any instructions. Look at the articlestats on the Sea otter nom (talk page precedent) that I linked somewhere in this discussion. When a significant and active editor has 400+ edits to the article, no one else has more than a few on the article, and the nominator has none, it's pretty clear the significantly principle editor can say it's not ready, withdraw; others are less clear ... we can't trigger FAC ownership edit wars. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:14, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
We have to consider the (significant) issues about keeping archives and articlehistory straight, that Gimmetrow and I put so much work into when we cleaned up all the articlehistories last year. The willy-nilly anyone withdrawing noms scenario is what I want to avoid, as it could get us back to the kind of mess Gimmetrow and I were dealing with in archives before article history and GimmeBot (see WP:FCDW/March 24, 2008). I've been working in the yard all day, so I'll weigh in later with more thoughts. I'm hoping we can start with a much simpler instruction and see if it does the job (that is, if we can discourage drive-bys to begin with, we won't have to worry so much about how to deal with them); I'm still really concerned about the AGF aspect, and I've got something sorta bouncing around in the back of my brain that I've got to put more thought to ... SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:50, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Good point SandyGeorgia; frequent editors is a difficult thing. We could experiment with leaving the option open and see what happens (I think withdrawals will be reasonably rare).
I would say that a withdrawal is a clear case of "not promoted", so no need to change article history. I think the main value would be to give the signal to the reviewers one of the editors is ok if the FAC is closed without promotion. Perhaps, as such it could be an indication of an editor involved in the article that (s)he is no longer actively engaged in trying to get a promotion (that information maybe of interest to the reviewers). I would not formalise "withdrawals", in any case not until we tried it out in practice. Arnoutf (talk) 19:36, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
One downside - which has been tangentially touched on - is the possibility of real nastiness. Most drive-by nom's are going to be AGF with a touch of naïveté. But, you are bound to trigger the bizarre vortex of the downward spiral to wiki-drama in some individuals. Obviously, this affects the wiki-experience of Raul654 and SandyGeorgia the most. Cheers!Wassupwestcoast (talk) 19:48, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Exactly what I'm worried about, Wassup :-) Not sure we want everyone/anyone to be able to withdraw noms, because the buck has to stop firmly with the FA director/delegate, so we don't have edit warrish nastiness. Just yesterday I got a nice note on my talk page from someone who thanked me for the withdrawal of an article nominated prematurely by a new editor in good faith (thank goodness I had cribbed Roger Davies' very nice message for talk page notification, it did the trick :-) Arnoutf, I'm tired from a long day of yardwork, and I'm not completely parsing your message ... can you try another wording (between "I think the ... and the reviewers)? Withdrawal with no objections does not figure in articlehistory as an article event, while a withdrawal after significant opposes does get archived and Gimmebotified to articlehistory. I handle the two differently. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:09, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Sorry wasn't aware that you already distinguished between withdrawal and no promote. Sounds like you already thought it over in much more detail than me. Just ignore my comments if they don't make sense. Arnoutf (talk) 21:03, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
But ... I'm still not clear here. Are nominators unaware that they can withdraw ? OR that withdrawal is often a desired option? Are you saying, Arnoutf, that the EU editors would have withdrawn if they had known they could? Because I had to agonize over that one, and withdrawal sooner would have been excellent (I saw the talk page turmoil, but there was nothing on the FAC). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:50, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes. Some nominators have no idea what is involved; they simply "vote" for an article on a topic they like. It is a matter of ignorance, and no amount of instructions will help, because these nominations come from people who could not be bothered to read the instructions that already exist. No recourse but triage. --Una Smith (talk) 19:25, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Second draft

Roger Davies proposed:

Nominators are expected to be familiar enough with the subject matter and sources to deal themselves with objections during the FAC process. In practice, this means that nominations will normally come from recent significant contributors. Nominations from uninvolved editors may be withdrawn.

I am not a wordsmith, but subject to help from others with the prose, I propose we intially try something milder like:

Nominators are expected to be familiar with the subject matter and sources to deal themselves with objections during the FAC process. If a nominator has not been a significant contributor to the article, and there are significantly principle editors according to articlestats, as a courtesy, the nominator should place a notice on the article talk page a week before submitting to FAC, inquiring whether regular editors consider the article ready for FAC.

Hopefully this prophylactic measure will work to stem the tide of premature noms; if not, I suggest we can add the other suggested wording about withdrawing. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:56, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

I prefer:

Nominators are expected to be familiar with the subject matter and sources to deal themselves with objections during the FAC process. Nominators who are not significant contributors to the article should consult regular editors of the article prior to nomination.

At least for a first measure. DrKiernan (talk) 08:22, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
It has potential :) How about firming up the first sentence and raising the bar slightly on the second, thus:

Nominators must be sufficiently familiar with the subject matter and sources to deal with objections during the FAC process. Nominators who are not significant contributors to the article should ask the regular editors of the article whether they consider the article ready and wther they are prepared to deal with objections prior to nomination.

Thoughts? --ROGER DAVIES talk
Last sentence may read ambiguous. whether they are prepared to deal with objections prior to nomination - (might mean that objections need to be dealt with prior to nom; instead of making sure they are a priory prepared to deal with objections during FAC). DrKiernans version is short, that has many advantagous (people might actually read it ;-) Arnoutf (talk) 08:47, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
[Chuckle] How's about this? A combined version of mine and his:

Nominators must be sufficiently familiar with the subject matter and sources to deal with objections during the FAC process. Nominators who are not significant contributors to the article should consult regular editors of the article prior to nomination.

Does that do it? --ROGER DAVIES talk 09:11, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
Whatever is decided, I want to keep the articlestats link, because that is the "hard data" that addresses AGF concerns. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:39, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Nominators must be sufficiently familiar with the subject matter and sources to deal with objections during the FAC process. Nominators who are not significant contributors to the article should consult regular editors of the article prior to nomination.

works for me. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:43, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
Me too. I suggest that we add it, between the "Before nominating an article" and "Nominators are expected to respond positively" paragraphs, if we have no objections within 24 hours. Seem reasonable? --ROGER DAVIES talk 06:45, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
I like it. I don't think it will stop all of those types of noms, but it might help lessen the number. Karanacs (talk) 13:10, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Done. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:32, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Test case for new instructions

Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Hillary Rodham Clinton. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 05:19, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

But the major contributors weren't aware of the new instructions or that what seemed like a casual mention of featuring by an unknown editor with no connection to the article, was going to turn into an actual nomination. We'll deal with it, but I'd recommend that the instructions be further tweaked to indicate that the potential nominator do something more than just make a casual mention - if they get no substantive response I think they should be expected to at least leave a note on the user talk pages of major contributors. Otherwise, this remains drive-by. Tvoz |talk 05:33, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't think the instructions need tweaking if "consult" is taken to mean "discuss" rather than "notify in the most vague manner possible". It doesn't take much to check whether the principal editors are still active and drop a note on their talk pages. However well-intentioned the nom was, it complied with the minimum interpretation of the letter of the instructions rather than the spirit (plus we wouldn't want some drive-by getting their name on WBFAN - that would really screw up the stats). Yomanganitalk 10:30, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I tend to think that this nom complied with the letter, not the spirit of the instructions. On some articles, there is so little traffic, that any note stands out on the talk page. With HRC, I'm sure it's easy to miss small mentions. Might "consult with major contributors both on the talk page of the article as well as on their own talk pages" help? Or perhaps "discuss the pending nomination with regular contributors" might be better, as discuss implies more than just dropping a quick note. Ealdgyth - Talk 14:25, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, including the word "discuss" might help, although Yomangani is right that "consult" should mean "discuss with". I think either one of Ealdgyth's suggestions works, and would increase clarity - and more clarity is certainly welcome here. Tvoz |talk 18:00, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Ealdgyth proposals: Change

Nominators who are not significant contributors to the article should consult regular editors of the article prior to nomination.

to

Nominators who are not significant contributors to the article should consult with major contributors on the article talk page and the editors' talk pages prior to nomination.

or

Nominators who are not significant contributors to the article should discuss the pending nomination with regular contributors prior to nomination.

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:42, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

I think the last option sounds best, but I don't think we'll be able to get rid of this problem. The people who create drive-by-noms on articles that aren't ready don't really understand the process, and the people who are active contributors are either unaware of the instruction change or take this type of question as a joke. I don't think tweaking the instructions more fully is going to help the underlying problem. Karanacs (talk) 17:49, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Since misunderstandings seem to 'happen', perhaps:
Nominators who are not significant contributors to the article should discuss the pending nomination with regular and recent contributors prior to nomination.
Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 17:51, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

(undent) What about just extending FAC expectations to encompass not only familiarity, but responsiveness (i.e. nominators are expected to actively address and/or respond to reviewer’s comments)? If one wants to bypass the opinions of the main contributors, that’s fine (we then avoid OWN issues), but they need to be prepared to actively participate at the nomination. The hallmark of the drive by is solicitation and expenditure of reviewer time without the courtesy of utilizing or responding to that time investment. We can kibitz over exact wording or defining what constitutes “actively”, but I think the general concept would help address a fundamental fairness issue and help avoid the slippery slope towards OWN issues (down which the new suggestions seem to be headed). ЭLСОВВОLД talk 18:25, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Totally agree. The problem, though, is that the reviewer must review before the dead-beat drive-by nom can be identified. Some would rather paint all drive-by noms as dead-beat rather than waste the time, effort and good-will of scarce reviewers. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 18:36, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, indeed. I was implicating playing off of Karanacs' comment. This is going to happen no matter what; the best we can do is try to minimize it. We can withdraw before too much reviewer time is spent (e.g. before Ealdgyth has to look through 300+ references). ЭLСОВВОLД talk 18:49, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm beginning to think some FAc nominations may be just so editors can get an Ealdgyth review of their sources :-)) Regardless of what happens with the HRC FAC, Ealdgyth's work will improve the article (barnstar time :-) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:54, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Oh, the only reason I did the 350+ refs for HRC was that I like the regular contributors, and figured it'd help them no matter what. I'm getting requests from folks to look at their articles BEFORE FAC, which I greatly appreciate and do everything in my power to do before it hits FAC, makes things easier for everyone. I'm trying to find the time to go to PR and do a souce check on things folks are saying they plan to take to FAC, but life is going to be a bit busy for the next few weeks, so probably won't get as much done as I'd like. Ealdgyth - Talk 19:01, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Further, if the article looks hopeless, I'm not going to bother doing a source check, I'll just oppose because it's not even close to meeting the criteria. Ealdgyth - Talk 19:03, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Copying my comment here from the FAC, so we'll have it for a full discussion of the instructions:

  • Clarification relative to previous precedent to withdraw noms: Unlike the Sea Otter nomination, which was withdrawn because the principle editor argued it was not yet comprehensive and some sources were not yet included, neither of the principle editors have argued here that the article is not ready for FAC. They argued that "As the #1 contributor to this article, I am not prepared, and do not wish, for it to go to FAC at this time." and "I agree, as another major contributor." This does not conform with the previous precedent set that an article can be withdrawn when the principle editor explains that it's not yet comprehensive or not ready. Unlike Sea Otter, in this case, the nominator queried the talk page about nominating; no reasons were given then or have been given here that the article is not ready for FAC. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:11, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

This discussion is still pending (for after the FAC closes), but I'm putting a post here so it won't get automatically archived tomorrow. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:31, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

1b vs 1c

<moved from Wikipedia talk:Featured article criteria#1b vs 1c> SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:10, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

While writing new articles, I have often come across topics that are interesting, but yet do not have very credible sources to list. Now my question here is on 1b vs 1c – To make an article comprehensive, I would have to add references that might not be considered credible, although the content pointed to by these would be best referred to as "common knowledge". On the flip side, without this content, the article cannot be said to be comprehensive (1b). What are your opinions? Can we compromise lowering the high referencing standards for such cases, or do we sacrifice comprehensiveness? =Nichalp «Talk»= 11:18, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Could you perhaps point us to some examples? In my observation, the community already takes this into account and adjusts accordingly. For Shakespeare we require dramatically more reliable sources than for video games. Thus it seems to me that relatively less credible sources already are accepted. That said, there has to be some lower limit. I can't think of any sort of article for which jayhenry.blogspot.com would be an appropriate source. But perhaps you're talking about some specific gray area? --JayHenry (talk) 01:22, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm not talking about blogs. Indian Standard Time was one article where I faced several issues with reliable sources during the FAC process some years ago. =Nichalp «Talk»= 18:41, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, I didn't mean blogs specifically. But I think the FAC you cited WP:FAC/Indian Standard Time actually resolved the issue fairly well. User:Indon rightly flagged an e-mail as an inappropriate source (this is what I mean by saying there must be a lower limit: blogs, e-mails, just don't really cut it), but the discussion determined that the Greenwichmeantime site was acceptable. It looks to me like the FAC process worked pretty well here, certainly lowering the referencing standard from what would be expected in some topics, without compromising the article's comprehensiveness. --JayHenry (talk) 02:09, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
I just gave this article as a specific example, but specifically the point to be made is the quality of references provided. The GMT site, may not be the most credible, but it did help to provide much of the content. =Nichalp «Talk»= 19:13, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
I am sorry, Nichal, I am possibly misunderstanding your question. You asked the question "Can we compromise lowering the high referencing standards for such cases, or do we sacrifice comprehensiveness?" My answer is that we already allow somewhat lower referencing standards in order to achieve comprehensiveness. You yourself provided an example of it, as that GMT site was allowed, though the site "may not be the most credible" and this article is still a Featured Article. I believe the process has struck an appropriate balance during my time observing and reviewing (only about a year... not as long as some users have been around :) --JayHenry (talk) 01:59, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
I am afraid, we do not allow lower referencing standards to achieve comprehensiveness. If anything, editors only turn a blind eye to it (for various reasons). I do not see where we legitimize this. Having said that, imo, it will do less harm (there sure will be some harm) and more good if we relaxed the rules for articles less than GA-grade. There should be no such relaxing for GAs and FAs. Sarvagnya 18:22, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
I'd say 1c trumps 1b. If no RS cares about a certain facet of the topic, then it is probably isn't notable and violates UNDUE anyway. Blnguyen (bananabucket) 06:48, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Sarvagnya, I think you've possibly misunderstood me. I'm not saying that we allow lower standards than what WP:V and WP:RS require. But for an article on Shakespeare we would likely expect all sources to be scholarly (ie the relevant body of published knowledge). For a topic like Indian Daylight Savings Time we allow referencing standards that are lower than we would allow for Shakespeare, but are still well above WP:V and WP:RS. Sources that are "reliable" in some contexts, are not appropriate in others. Or, in other words: we do, and should continue to, apply critical thought to whether the sources are appropriate for the topic at hand. This means lower relative to some other articles but never unreliable sources. I'm not suggesting for a moment that we relax any rules (as per my previous comments about blogs and e-mails never being appropriate and my emphasis on relative). --JayHenry (talk) 06:12, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
An example I know of is Defense of the Ancients. Granted, its video-game related, but it lost about 2.5KB of information because it was attributed to, according to FAC, unreliable sources or the connection being justified was implicit, such as the mod's changelogs. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 21:56, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Battle of Waterloo

See also Talk:Battle of Waterloo#Quis Custodet Custodes? and Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Battle of Waterloo/archive1

It is not clear to me why the FA process was so abruptly terminated. Who arranged for the bot to terminated it and why? And as only one person had proposed the that it be promoted and none opposed, why was it not promoted? --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 12:31, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

Sandy would of removed it from the main FAC process. I agree, the FAC should of gone on for longer.... D.M.N. (talk) 12:53, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
Most FACs run for just over a week. If the article hasn't attracted sufficient supports, then it is often archived. One support is not usually enough to determine community consensus. Make sure any issues that were brought up were addressed, and then you can renominate it. The FAC list was pretty long, and some of the regular reviewers are not as active right now, which means some articles are going to get overlooked. The key is more reviewers, but they've apparently been hiding. Karanacs (talk) 15:45, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
Is this true? A nomination I've made only has "Comments", they all say "looks great" or something and I've addressed all the issues they've raised. But will it fail if someone doesn't put the word "support" in BOLD? Ryan4314 (talk) 16:53, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
It may be archived if there are no explicit supports. Archiving doesn't necessarily mean an article failed, just that consensus was not reached or could not be interpreted. Karanacs (talk) 17:05, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
True; there were indeed issues expressed on the review page, and I believe that the third requirement in the instructions—that "insufficient information has been provided by reviewers to judge whether the criteria have been met"—also pertains here. Sorry, it's a fact of life that there just aren't enough reviewers. Try again, please, and let's hope there are enough reviewers this time. On a side-note, does anyone here know WPians who might be willing to lend a hand, even occasionally, to review articles? The process relies on having enough, and we're severely short at the moment. Nominations are just gonna be archived all too easily unless we get off our butts and encourage good people to come aboard in this endeavour. TONY (talk) 17:14, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
PS And Sandy's the last person you'd blame, if indeed there were any blame to distribute. TONY (talk) 17:16, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
A brief notice at WT:MILHIST and the other projects that tagged the article would likely help generate more interest in the FAC next time. Maralia (talk) 17:31, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm going to put it up again. One question, though - is it OK for major contributors to the article to support it? In that case, maybe this time, assuming we feel it's all up to standard, we can put some supports in. I will definitely try to call attention to it on WT:MILHIST. -Kieran (talk) 21:16, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
Articles can be re-nominated when previous concerns are addressed; there is rarely an occurrence where they should be put up again immediately, since I don't do frivolous archives. Also, FAC is not a vote, and there is not an automatic number of supports or opposes that will cause an article to be promoted or archived; please focus on the issues raised in the previous FAC before re-nomming. From memory, the previous nom included concerns about sourcing, prose, citations and other MoS issues. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:45, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
Also, please note that the FAC criteria say that significant contributors to the article should identify themselves when supporting or opposing. We assume that the significant contributors support the article or it wouldn't have been nominated; the FAC process is really to see what the rest of the community thinks. Karanacs (talk) 02:05, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
Other than the nominator no one has either opposed or supported the Battle of Waterloo article. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 09:58, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
That's true, but there were a number of critiques that reviewers, for one reason or another, did not label as "Opposes", and looking through them and the edit history, I'm unsure that they were all satisfactorily dealt with. The emphasis now is firmly on the resolution of criticisms in the FAC process, and we decided a couple of months ago, I think it was, that (1) we should resist the idea among nominators that there's a sense of failure in archiving, and (2) where significant work has had to be done during the nomination process, and appears to be unfinished, it's perfectly natural for archiving and resubmission to occur. This enables the list to be kept to a manageable size. It's no big deal. I like the article, and hope it's resubmitted soon (not immediately, please, since there's a little work to do on it). TONY (talk) 10:23, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

OK, I've tabulated the comments as a worklist on the article talk page, and we'll be back once they're addressed. Some of them do need a bit of debate though. -Kieran (talk) 20:22, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

Nice summary; curious that you haven't engaged the MilHist A-class peer review process, since it has such a good reputation. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:57, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
I have to disagree; I don't think the comments of most reviewers, including my own, are described accurately at all. Johnbod (talk) 11:50, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Mine are not described accurately, either. Awadewit (talk) 17:20, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Acid2 FAC

A question has been raised at this FAC relating to the article's use of lists and tables. I figure the FAC could do with some more eyes from experienced reviewers.

Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Acid2. dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) 11:14, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

WP:WIAFA says:

1 (a) "Well-written" means that the prose is engaging, even brilliant, and of a professional standard.

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:35, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

The X-Files

I'd like to request that some people who are more familiar with FAC than I take a look at this article and post thoughts at this RFC. I'd like to get the article ready for an FAC nomination, since a new X-Files movie is being released this summer, and I think it would be great to feature this article on the main page on or around its release date. I don't think the article is close to ready for a nomination yet -- frankly I think it's in downright bad shape. If you can take a look and offer some input, please do. Thanks. Equazcion /C 17:31, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

I've got two suggestions right off the bat
  • Open a Peer Review for the article and then direct people there.
  • The article definitely needs to be shortened
Gary King (talk) 17:43, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Done, thanks for the advice :) Equazcion /C 17:58, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
The article would also benefit if you contacted some of the other major contributors to the article, since those more familiar with the material; you can find a list here. After looking at that list, though, it looks like you are the lead contributor by a significant margin! Gary King (talk) 18:06, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, that's definitely helpful. I wasn't even aware such a tool existed. I'll put together a message to spam across some user talk pages :) Thanks again for the advice. Equazcion /C 18:09, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
You have got two months until the film is released, which isn't too little or too much. As long as you move swiftly, you should be able to get this to FA and hopefully on the Main Page. That would be great if that happens; I hope it does! Good luck. Gary King (talk) 18:13, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Agreed on all counts :) Thanks again! Equazcion /C 18:21, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Script

I just created a script for "resolved comments". Anyways, you can't (sadly ;() import the script because of the apostrophe (') in my username. On your monobook.js: importScript("User:Milk's Favorite Cookie/comments.js") There is a link below, and in the toolbar while editing a page, you will see "Resolved Comments". Highlight the resolved comments and click on it. It's pretty self-explanatory from there. The script is available at User:Milk's Favorite Cookie/comments.js, and all you need to do is copy everything and paste it into your monobook.js. Hope this helps. « Milk's Favorite Cookie ( talk / contribs) 20:09, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

I don't see a sample of what it does, but if it's going to add graphics, check marks, and other things that chunk up the page size, it goes against WP:FAC instructions. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:12, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

« Milk's Favorite Cookie ( talk / contribs) 20:17, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

So, it's only for allowing reviewers to cap comments? Are you making it clear that only the reviewer can cap their own comments? Don't want to see Scripts Gone Wild in FAC, with people capping other people's reviews when they think they're resolved. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:21, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
FYI you can still import the script; just use importScript("User:username_with_apostrophe's/script.js"); Take special note of the double quotes. That should do it. Gary King (talk) 20:27, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Changed above. About Sandy's Question.... I'm not sure if I an do anything about that. « Milk's Favorite Cookie ( talk / contribs) 20:30, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Most user scripts I've seen come with documentation, instructions, samples, etc. See User:Dr pda. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:32, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Done « Milk's Favorite Cookie ( talk / contribs) 20:43, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
In it's current form, I'd not like to see it used at FAC, as it contains no time/date stamp in the cap. I do check these things when I read each FAC :-) In fact, it also doesn't include a sig at all (just a username so someone else's username can be entered), so potentially causes issues. The way I know, without having to step back through the diffs, that someone's comments are resolved is by their sig and timestamp. With just a username, and no ts, I'd have to check back through all diffs to doublecheck who capped. Without ~~~~ in the cap, I'd be discouraging caps, period, because we need to be assured that other editors aren't capping reviewer comments; without a sig, it's creating work and I'd discourage it completely. In fact, unless the script is adapted to contain a sig and timestamp, I oppose its use at FAC. I need a signature and a timestamp indicating comments are resolved; this doesn't give me that unless I go back through the diffs. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:15, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

I like this, well done MFC. To Sandy, when capping your comments, you can also add a new support (etc.) comment, I take it. dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) 01:18, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, can't understand the question, but if a cap doesn't have a signature and timestamp as part of the cap, I oppose its use at FAC. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:20, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

By the way, I should add a note here, because I'm worried about the trend this script could start. Caps at FAC have one significant purpose: to hide resolved commentary that has become so lengthy that it may scare off other reviewers. I still have to read under every cap to see what has been reviewed, so they create an extra click for me. It is not useful or helpful for every little resolved comment on a FAC is hidden in a cap; if that trend gets started, that will not be a step forward. I'm imagining now reviews where I have to click dozens of times to read the FAC; it is not necessary for minor resolved comments to be capped. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:49, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

This thing is appearing all over FLC and FAC, and I'm having to remove it, since I can't tell who is capping the comments without stepping through the diffs. Caps need to be signed. I'm going to submit this thing to TfD if it keeps showing up. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:43, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

TfD nomination of Template:Resolved comments

Template:Resolved comments has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at the template's entry on the Templates for Deletion page. Thank you. — SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:04, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Huh?

Why did GimmeBot archive the NIF? I was still planning on doing minor work on that. Maury (talk) 21:53, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Soooo, no one knows what happened? Does Gimme fire after some fixed period of time or something? Maury (talk) 21:29, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
The FAC delegate archived it without a promotion. Gary King (talk) 21:38, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry no one answered (since anyone could have): see WP:FAC/ar. This information is included prominently in the instructions at the top of the WP:FAC page and in the {{fac}} template added to the article talk page. I don't know what else we can do to make the information more apparent (Raul has joked about blinking text in the past). It's curious that you're asking why the FAC was closed when you asked that it be closed, stating that "there is a lot more wrong than just crossing the T's". SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:45, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
My concern is that there was no warning. I went back to track down some of the refs and found that I couldn't say they had been fixed because the FAC was archived. So now it looks like a bunch of stuff at the end wasn't addressed, and this will linger on to the next attempt. Maury (talk) 23:05, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Input on VG article writing guide

On a slight tangent from the above discussion, here's a little something I hope will be of some help to the situation. I had planned on bringing it here after going to the WT:GAN, but I haven't gotten any feedback there. Anyway, the VG Project has been undertaking various efforts to provide resources to better educate members. One such effort is to create a guide on "How to write a good video game article" (title not set in stone). Here is the current draft of the guide.

Seeing as its purpose is to assist an editor as they improve an article up the quality scale (hopefully to GA or FA status), we thought it would be best to get input from some of the people that are part of the process. Of course, this is not the perfect solution, but hopefully it's a start to alleviate the stress from unprepared articles. As it has already been stated, everyone here wants high quality articles. Any thoughts?

And for those curious, see the first and second VG talk page discussions for more details. (Guyinblack25 talk 13:07, 14 May 2008 (UTC))

I agree that people don't make sure that the articles aren't good enough for the FAC, but I also find that the people complaining about this rarely assist in this in peer reviews, which video games often get overlooked. - A Link to the Past (talk) 22:04, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Video game FACs

I want to raise an issue to the general readership of this page in case some of you are not looking at the FAC list "as a whole" and recognizing a current and troubling behavior pattern. There is a gaggle of video game editors who are taking turns posting and trying to push video game articles through the FA process. On the whole, the articles are far from FA standard when they appear. They have been mostly or exclusively written, reviewed, and GA-passed by other video game editors. The last few to appear are:

  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – posted (for the second time in under a month) by Pagrashtak (talk · contribs). Video game editors Judgesurreal777 (talk · contribs), igordebraga (talk · contribs), and haha169 (talk · contribs) shortly show up to support the FAC, ignoring major problems. HUGE lists of issues develop in the ensuing days, found by non-video game editors, and the article is eventually brought up to standard.
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl – GA-passed by haha169 (familiar?), the most active editor on the article in recent history, peer reviewed by other video game editors, FAC posted by haha169 and failed when non-video game editors brought up laundry lists of basic problems.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess – GA-passed in Jan 2007 with one comment from the reviewer, wikiproject peer review (all video game editors), FAC posted by igordebraga (yes, the editor from above) and failed after another painfully long process in which the concerns of non-gamers could never be addressed. Gary King (talk · contribs) is by far the most active editor here in recent history.
  • Half-Life 2: Episode One – WikiProject peer review (all video game editors). An earlier FAC, posted by Qjuad (talk · contribs) failed when the concerns of non-video game editors could not be addressed. A new FAC appeared, also by Qjuad but quickly "co-nommed" by Gary King. Qjuad subsequently disappeared and Gary King dominated the FAC. Once again, the FAC quickly stalled when I (a non-video game editor) immediately spotted problems.
  • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption – another Gary King-dominated article. GA-passed by Judgesurreal777 (talk · contribs), a video game editor. FAC posted by Gary King. After some resistance on the article's FAC talk page by an FA director and various reviewers, guess who showed up to support the article? Wait for it... Judgesurreal777, igordebraga, and another active video game editor.

There are others, and if you start looking through the video game FACs you will see the same names over and over. This in itself is not a problem. Although my assumption of good faith is being pushed near its limit, I'm still assuming some kind of FA drive by the video game wikiprojects and nothing else. However - and this is the point - the FAC process is being abused and reviewers are being stretched thin by this flood of ill-prepared articles. The wave of non-substantive "Support!" comments at the beginning of each, all coming from video game editors, is giving an impression of general community support and due attention to FA criteria which is absolutely not the case. It makes the serious reviewers' jobs harder because we have to work harder to point out why the first handful of support votes are bollocks. It makes the FA director's job harder because she has to sort the comments made with an eye toward the FA criteria from those that are clearly not.

I urge everyone to pay due attention to this situation. It is not the job of FA reviews to pull articles up to FA standard during this process. They need to be there when they get here. --Laser brain (talk) 23:24, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

I was actually thinking about posting to the Video Game WikiProject about this very issue a while ago. The video game FACs I've seen have largely been quite disappointing, especially in their prose; some are rather inaccessible to general readers who are not familiar with the games (such as myself). I'd strongly urge video game project members to take a more critical look at the articles and evaluate them at a distance. Ask yourselves: does this article make sense for those unfamiliar with the game or even the platform? Does the prose truly meet the required professional standard at WP:FACR? BuddingJournalist 23:42, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
And on another note, edit summaries such as this one are rather unnecessary. I am not "complaining"; I'm giving examples of where I believe the article does meet FA requirements. The fact that you're editing the article in response to my "complaints" implies that you believe at least some of these are valid. Moreover, I'm sure many Video Game editors have been through multiple FACs; they should realize by now that when reviewers give "examples" of problems, fixing only the examples is not likely to resolve all issues. BuddingJournalist 23:57, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Though I agree with Laserbrain to an extent, I do believe that sometimes reviewers will oppose with comments that I personally believe don't satisfy the criteria [generally not the prose as laser commented though, those comments are usually are justified in initial opposing]. Another issue I sometimes see is where reviewers make comments to be satisfied, but don't indicate whether this is the only issue or just don't make further comments. I think reviewers should be encouraged to support, oppose, or make further comments after their objections are satisfied or not tended to.
Another issue is that peer review often lack comments for long periods of time. If peer reviews received more response, editors would be more liekly to submit the article there prior to their nomination. If the root problem isn't fixed in the process, in my opinion, peer review, and the nomination procedure or closure is reformed in some way, this could lead to discouraged editors at peer review, a lower amount of featured content being produced, along with other possible consequences. Hello32020 (talk) 01:02, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
While I understand it makes Sandy's job harder (I never see Raul around anymore :P) I wouldn't say that the FACs will be crippled, just because Sandy can veto the support votes when it's obvious the article doesn't pass muster. That said, I feel part of the issue is that video game reviewers review and work on (shockingly) video games, and the input of the project is requested. I do agree some reviewers should probably hold off on "supporting" articles (I usually only feel comfortable giving neutral reviews one way or another), but really, if you want to stop some of the nominations, just ask the reviewers (I know Gary is being a little obstinate, but still.) --Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 01:09, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
That said, I'm also trying my best to keep a track of and give comments to all of the above articles as well. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 01:10, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
I resent that. I still stand by the fact that I only have Facebook up for nomination. I never nominated the earlier two video game articles. I'm only there to help. It may look like I am 'taking over' an FAC, but people (no one person specifically) are assuming bad faith when they think that a conspiracy is going on and I am there just to take over FACs. I look at it like I'm helping out on articles that I am interested in. There are no doubt examples of failed FACs where the nominator did not respond back to a nomination after actually nominating it; these FACs might have ended up in that camp — or not. I don't want to assume what the nominators would have done, but I seriously doubt they would have left the nominations hanging dry. Gary King (talk) 01:16, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
I don't think anyone is assuming a cabal (ok, I '​m not, at least) but sometimes its better to just drop noms and consolidate reviewing resources rather than struggle to lift the tide, so to speak. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 01:22, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Fair enough. I am more than willing to do what is necessary to improve the system. Blame the system, not the people. I will ask reviewers who have been involved in my video game FACs to visit Peer Reviews for future video game FACs; hopefully some replies will come from that? Gary King (talk) 01:29, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
If the issue people above are worried about is that FACs are popping up when a peer review might do, then that's another case of "talk to the nominator"- the VG peer review process is actually remarkably good, especially if the editor posting the PR notifies editors. I just feel there's a little more smoke than fire overall that we're dealing with, smoke that could easily be dispelled. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 01:32, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
I've got a review there that has not received any reviews beyond reviewers I contacted. Also, I don't know if a peer review from WP:VG would help with the 'in-universe' content in VG articles? I admit that is a huge problem in VG FACs, but if only gamers are willing to c/e VG articles, then we don't get very far. Gary King (talk) 01:39, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
  • I entirely support what Laser brain and BuddingJournalist have said. It has been a persistent problem for some time, and I go as far as claiming that it has been a blight on the FAC process. Those behind this ungainly scramble for FA promotion in this area needs to take a breath and re-examine their standards. I've no time to talk more right now, and will revisit soon to assist our deliberation on this issue. TONY (talk) 01:19, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Some other things now that I've read through all the posts more clearly. First, at Laser Brain; when talking about the Half-Life nom you state "An earlier FAC, posted by Qjuad (talk · contribs) failed when the concerns of non-video game editors could not be addressed"- actually, I was the only person who opposed, and I am part of the video games project- that nom failed both by lack of fixing as well as attention. Secondly, @Budding, one of the issues is that "this prose sucks" is not actionable; reviewers must provide concrete examples of what needs to be improved. Saying "the prose can be improved" is like saying to a woman "you could be prettier"- it doesn't offer ways for definite improvement. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 01:26, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
"Secondly, @Budding, one of the issues is that "this prose sucks" is not actionable; reviewers must provide concrete examples of what needs to be improved." Um, David, if you read my above posts clearly, I never said "this prose sucks" is actionable. I never use that choice phrase in my reviews, so I have no idea why you are using quotation marks around that. If you are at all familiar with my reviews, you'll notice that I always give lists of concrete examples. I sincerely resent your implication that I go around saying only "this prose sucks" to nominations. BuddingJournalist 08:19, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
If a reviewer is going to give an example of prose that could be improved, please at least give one example where you also give the improved version. Sometimes nominators have no idea how it can be fixed, but I have no doubt nominators are more than willing to improve their own copyediting skills. Gary King (talk) 01:29, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

I had a feeling I was going to come back from hockey to see this ever-so-slightly off track. Again, I need to reiterate: The problem is that the articles are coming to FAC quite unprepared and below standard. Prose problems, image problems, sourcing problems, and so on. The reviewers are being forced to fix these problems, which is not what FAC is for. This is overstretching the reviewers. The problem is compounded by the same set of editors showing up to support the articles when they are clearly not ready. It has to stop. --Laser brain (talk) 02:20, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Indeed. Nominators might try to empathise with the hard work and skill that is required of reviewers at FAC. It's not like FLC, where typically there's only a lead and a list (although I'm not discounting that process one bit). Here, the volume of nominations is a psychological burden for reviewers and directors alike, and this continuous cascade has been swelled by vid game nominations that are simply not up to scratch in a number of respects: prose, verification, and—I might add—image copyright. These are time-consuming to peruse, check, and exemplify, let alone contribute to the fixing. Quite simply, two things need to happen:
  1. more time and work before nomination, involving a more systematic involvement of expertise in the problem areas (this needs immediate steps towards attracting the right people and/or their specialisation in the appropriate skills); and
  2. fewer nominations, much better prepared, at least until the house is in order.
I'm not directing this at anyone in particular, but at a system that needs significant modification. It's affecting the whole FAC process, and that is where I become extremely concerned. TONY (talk) 04:41, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

On a slight tangent, here's a little something I hope will be of some help to the situation. I had planned on bringing it here after going to the WT:GAN, but I haven't gotten any feedback there. Anyway, the VG Project has been undertaking various efforts to provide resources to better educate members. One such effort is to create a guide on "How to write a good video game article" (title not set in stone). Here is the current draft of the guide.

Seeing as its purpose is to assist an editor as they improve an article up the quality scale (hopefully to GA or FA status), we thought it would be best to get input from some of the people that are part of the process. Of course, this is not the perfect solution, but hopefully it's a start to alleviate the stress from unprepared articles. As it has already been stated, everyone here wants high quality articles. Any thoughts?

And for those curious, see the first and second VG talk page discussions for more details. (Guyinblack25 talk 05:22, 14 May 2008 (UTC))

With all due respect (and you've got a great document going), please place this under another heading. I really don't want to muddy the waters here. The issue is not that the articles aren't great - it's that the not-great articles are being brought to FAC without due diligence and it's killing us. --Laser brain (talk) 06:06, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
I can absolutely put this in a different heading. In fact, I had originally intended to do so at later time. But this came up and it looked to pertain to it. If it does not, then I'm not quite sure what the issue is. If I understand correctly, the amount of unprepared articles is starting to stretch the limited number of reviewers. Is that right? (Guyinblack25 talk 13:07, 14 May 2008 (UTC))

Would it make sense to allow for more quick-fails of an FAC (regardless of genre, but including VGs) if there are major problems with the article that one of a key reviewer can find simply by one check of article for:

  • Bad referencing
  • Poor language
  • FUR/copyright problems with images
  • MOS issues

These should be over, say, one bad reference out of 30 , but clearly should be if a good number are. Same with language/MOS: don't quick-fail if there's a few sentences out of place, but if you're through the lead and first section and already have a laundry list of items, quick-fail it. Clearly these are fixable, but should have been fixed before the article is brought to FA. Other issues, such as the reliability of the sources, the appropriateness of images, and general quality as an FA, should not be reasons for quick-fail since this generally requires some discussion between FA reviewers and the editors.

I would only allow established editors to call for a quick-fail along these lines, letting Sandy to approve them. Unlike other quick-fail FACs, these may be relisted shortly thereafter, though (in this issue) a more WP-wide review should be considered first. I'm wondering if we at the VG project need to re-establish the A class a bit better, strongly encouraging articles to go through that first before FA, just as a better QC for what ends up at FA. --MASEM 13:26, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Would cause huge resentment; difficult to control boundaries between directors and reviewers; prone to inconsistencies and subjective judgements. A better solution is resolve the problem at a different link in the chain: nominators might consider shaking off the big deal about being bumped off the list by the director; Waterloo is a good example of this, in which a tiresome encyclopedia has been written in just a few days raking over the whole thing. Bumping off at whatever stage is probably going to increasingly be a systemic strategy for maintaining standards, coping with too few reviewers, and managing the size of the list. Frankly, if a nomination is attracting critical reviews that are not resolvable fairly quickly, it's a premature nomination that is best taken off, worked on and resubmitted. Occupying a place on the list is ... well ... let's say a privilege reserved for the more deserving nominations, rather than a fix-it program. TONY (talk) 13:45, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
I fully agree with this reasonable (and actionable) suggestion. --Laser brain (talk) 14:38, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry, maybe it's too early in the morning for me, but what exactly is the suggestion? (Guyinblack25 talk 14:58, 14 May 2008 (UTC))
I believe Tony's suggestion is that "if a nomination is attracting critical reviews that are not resolvable fairly quickly", the FAC should be archived, rather than allowed to languish or turn into a long, exhausting peer review. BuddingJournalist 15:08, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm fine with that - I guess I basically don't want it the case that someone not typically involved in FACs to come along, plant a huge negative detraction on the FAC to have it trigger a quick-fail (possibly due to a grudge or the like, though we should be assuming good faith in all noms and comments), though certainly if the complaints are valid and reasonable, that's fine. --MASEM 15:20, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Thank you Budding. That sounds reasonable enough. Though I see it causing probably just as much resentment as Masem's suggestion. I assume there would be a guideline for this that disgruntled nominators can be shown. (Guyinblack25 talk 15:26, 14 May 2008 (UTC))
I'll enter this discussion later, once you all have had a chance to air some issues, but I think I can safely also speak for Raul in saying that neither of us believes in the concept of "quick fail", whatever that means (either the "quick" part, or the "fail" part; I don't "fail" FACs, I archive them for a later chance at success). One of my first, and most difficult FACs, was Hillary Putnam. The nominator put it up as a WP:POINT when a previous nom was archived; by these definitions, it would have "quick failed". It became featured: some editors are able to turn an article around quickly. Dealing with fan support and block !voting is the issue at hand with some of the FACs that are causing the serious reviewers so much work. The issue is not so much the quality of the articles when they appear at FAC, as the same group of editors supporting them over and over, regardless of deficiencies listed by other editors on the FAC. Also, I won't even entertain this concept, because of the cabalism, cliqueism and elitism it would promote (or appear to promote): I would only allow established editors to call for a quick-fail along these lines, letting Sandy to approve them. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:36, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

This is more of a general problem. If you review the same article for a second or even third time (I've done as many as six on some articles) for peer reviews, assessments, etc, you are less likely to find new things. This is analogous to how writers themselves find few things to improve in texts they've written themselves after reading it through a few times. The video games WikiProject is very active, with members often reviewing each other's articles in peer reviews and assessments, and as co-authors. There is no 'video game cabal' with the intention to flood FAC with bad votes, there's just this tendency to miss things once you read an article many times. User:Krator (t c) 16:33, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

You've missed the point by a wide margin. I understand the "self editing deficiency" as well as the next editor. However, the problem is that the deficiencies of the video game articles have been pointed out repeatedly, and the same requests for outside copyediting have been made repeatedly. The same group continues to post nominations without getting the work done ahead of time, followed by a block of fan support from other video game editors. They create an immediate obstacle that serious reviewers have to overcome. --Laser brain (talk) 16:54, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Laser, if I understand what your saying, the point is that there are several unprepared articles that are starting to stretch the limited number of reviewers. And you wish for editors to better prepare such VG game articles. Is that correct? (Guyinblack25 talk 17:18, 14 May 2008 (UTC))
That is Part One. Part Two is way more important to understanding the issue - that's when the nomination is posted and the fan group shows up supporting in a block. --Laser brain (talk) 17:29, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, I can see how that might cause some problems. However, after spending time editing with some of them, I will vouch that there intentions were not malicious. If anything it is the result of over-excitement.
All of the FAC mentioned above are either highly anticipated games or games that were milestones in video game history, and I'm sure getting them to FA was of great importance to the editors. I believe some of it may stem from a bit of excitement taking place on the VG Project as well. We just got a newsletter started, we're consolidating inactive child projects, a lot of time and effort has been put into the new guide, we recently obtained 200+ GAs, etc.
Essentially, a lot has been happening there and I believe many editors are excited at the efforts to improve the project. Of course, this isn't an excuse, but I hope a little background info will help the situation reach a resolution. (Guyinblack25 talk 17:52, 14 May 2008 (UTC))
I could react to this in terms of how we're not a cabal and how I don't think I'm missing the point, and that the implications are unintentional rather than intentional. That would be unproductive, however. I've already proposed a solution and encourage all VG editors to participate in the discussion surrounding it, see the bottom of WT:VG. User:Krator (t c) 17:27, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Guyinblack25 and Krator, thank you sincerely for your efforts thus far to address the issue from within the VG project. --Laser brain (talk) 18:09, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
I will skip the prideful outrage paragraph where I decry being mentioned as a "fan support" voter and jump to a thought I had springing from this discussion. Each FAC contributor contributes based on their own particular skill set. I think mine included most aspects of wikipedia editing except prose and MOS issues, though I am getting better. In the GA's of video games I have passed recently, I have implored the editors involved to get them peer reviewed by either the formal process or friends who will do it, and in the main they have done so and improved the article. That probably, however, only gets them to decent prose up from poor, and it is at FAC that the prose really gets hashed out in an extensive way. So yes it is true that the Video game FAC's aren't the strongest prose wise, but not everyone is supremely skilled at everything, and that is why it is so necessary to have people like Laser and Tony here to help us make this process work. If articles with too many issues need to be removed, that makes sense, but getting a lot of prose comments is the best way for some of us to learn how to write these things. Judgesurreal777 (talk) 18:30, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
FAC is absolutely not for hashing out the prose in an extensive way. It is an abuse of the process. --Laser brain (talk) 21:30, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
If that is true, then that "abuse" has been going on since I started editing in February 2006, and you have a much more widespread problem than a few video game editors. Judgesurreal777 (talk) 02:14, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
I just wanted to state for the record—the original post makes it sound like I nominated the same article twice in under a month, but the first failed FAC was nominated by Voyaging (talk). I read the opposes from that FAC, fixed the problems, and renominated. The major issues from my FAC were not raised during Voyaging's FAC. I admit I may have brought it to FAC too quickly—the featured topic nomination probably played a part in that—I incorrectly assumed that there would not be issues that major after reading the comments from the first FAC. I apologize for the additional strain on reviewers my hastiness may have caused. Pagrashtak 18:37, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Let me also state for the record really quick that haha169 did not pass the GA nomination for Super Smash Bros. Brawl. I did, and I haven't had any involvement with the article other than a few talk page comments after I had passed it. Red Phoenix flame of life...protector of all... 18:42, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Featured list to featured article

Historically, FL has been a poor relative of FA, with much looser, sub-GA/FA standards, such as little referencing, non-MOS formatting etc. I am aware of the attempts to clarify and improve the guidelines for FL, but it appears from the discussion that it will have a lower hurdle than FA, particularly with respect to referencing. I have been working up List of birds of Thailand so that it is now fully in-line cited, conforms to MoS, has text in every section and is a long way from a straight 'list'. Now, if I moved the article to Birds of Thailand, is there any de facto reason why it could not be entered at FAC? Jimfbleak (talk) 15:46, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

I wish to state here that I strongly disagree with the "looser, sub-GA/FA standards" bit... FLs have to have references for every item, and conform to MoS guidelines. See WP:WIAFL. Tompw (talk) (review) 18:57, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Then go through the WP:FLRC process then. Woody (talk) 11:56, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
Well over half the list comprises of tables, it still looks very much like a list to me. -- Scorpion0422 15:53, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Past discussions:
SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:49, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

An alternative idea which just occurred to me -- the distinction of "list" articles versus (for lack of a better word) true articles has always seemed a bit artificial to me. Why not just disband Wikipedia:featured lists and absorb its function into the featured article process? It wouldn't be all that difficult to tweak the FA criteria accordingly. Raul654 (talk) 15:52, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

I'd like that, but I'm sure there'd be a lot of opposition, too. Although, could someone restate the reasons of why the FL process was created in the first place? Maybe we could get a bit more insight from that. Gary King (talk) 15:54, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
My brain just exploded; once I pick up the pieces, I'll think this through. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:56, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Take your time - there's no need to rush this. Raul654 (talk) 15:58, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Wowee. Radical. Could be radicool. Needs to be discussed. Have we just wasted a lot of time over at FLC? The Rambling Man (talk) 16:00, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Not wasted at all: I can already see the advantages, but I'm having a hard time thinking with my brain all over the kitchen floor. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:02, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
(E/C) After initially spitting my drink out over my keyboard, I am coming around to agreeing with this. Whilst it would seem an inopportune moment given the recent director proposal, it does seem viable. It would give a more balanced review; the prose reviewing has always been a problem at FLC. The criteria are actually becoming much more merged. I know it is radical but I can see the benefits. Woody (talk) 16:03, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Sandy, you're editing Wikipedia in the kitchen? How cool. No, we probably haven't wasted our time, all discussion has been to a good goal, which know appears to be more like a common goal, common with FAC. The Rambling Man (talk) 16:04, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
A one-paragraph lead above a large table? I don't think that would go down well at FAC. The existence of the two processes for three years has fostered two different genres, for better or worse. The problems arise from nominations that fall between the two. If they want to be featured, they have to gravitate strongly towards either. The biggest problem in integrating both processes is that FAC is already too large. FLC would add significantly to the stream. Then there are 700 FLs that would have to be trashed or at least rigorously FAR/Ced. TONY (talk) 16:07, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
(double ec) Yes, I'm still having my coffee; it was really unkind of Raul to do that before I'm sufficiently caffeinated. I'm seeing the advantage of a combined reviewer pool, considering how resources are stretched thin across all review process, one set of pr/ar for GimmeBot and one set of files, less stretching prose reviewers across multiple processes, and of course, the list people would be thrilled to have access to the mainpage. But the issues Tony raises will need to be discussed. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:12, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Um, no, absolutely not. A list is a list, an article is an article. No reason at all to combine the two Featured processes. A featured list is not a featured article, and likely couldn't meet the FA criteria ever because of their structural needs and differences in dealing with a topic. Combining would just a nightmare that would likely kill off every FL in the process. People already doing enough damage to FLC as it is. Leave well enough alone.AnmaFinotera (talk) 16:10, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
The idea sounds reasonable as it would combine resources and help maintain quality across the board. However, I don't know if it can really work in practice, not after the current system has been in place for so long. As Tony pointed out, there are now to two very distinct interpretations of pages (articles and lists). I think bringing them together under one review process will further highlight differences and generate confusion. I could be wrong though, the idea may work beautifully and we may wonder why they were split in the first place. (Guyinblack25 talk 16:18, 14 May 2008 (UTC))
The fact that a list has an entirely different structure creates a significant challenge in merging the two processes, but the idea is not without merit. I'm not certain how they would mesh. Resolute 16:55, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
As a frequent FA reviewer, I'm skeptical about this suggestion. I'm open to convincing, though. Lists have a different rhetorical situation from full-prose articles, requiring not just adjusted criteria but also different review. I'm not sure reviewers will seamlessly recognize that they are seeing mixes of different types of content meant for different audiences. One type of reader will gravitate toward Stanley Cup and one will gravitate toward List of Stanley Cup champions. --Laser brain (talk) 17:05, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Before we do anything we need to find some process for immediately reassembling Sandy's brain the next time it explodes. Perhaps this function could be added to Gimmebot.
What about this: "Where the title of an article clearly indicates a list, the general expectation for full paragraphs does not apply." This could perhaps be added to 1a. Note that lists are articles; everything in article space is an article. This could work. Marskell (talk) 17:49, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Leave GimmeBot alone: he's/it's already overworked (and severely underappreciated, I might add. Putting a brain back together would tax the entired featured content system). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:51, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Then I suggest redundant copies of your brain be strategically given to covert action groups on-site in the event leaderless resistance is ever required... Anything less is intolerable.
In thinking about it, a new criterion would be needed for lists. "Articles in list format should clearly indicate so in their title ("List of..."). They should contain a finite, complete and well-defined set of items that naturally fit together. For articles in list form the general prose expectation for full paragraphs does not apply." We could add a few other things from WP:WIAFL but its largely redundant with what we have in the general criteria. A glance WP:FL suggests our due weight problem with media/sports/video games would get worse on WP:FA. But that's not a decisive objection. Marskell (talk) 18:34, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure this is really needed. There is perhaps an expectation that FAs be formatted in complete paragraph but that expectation isn't upheld by the featured article criteria at the moment: in fact there's nothing in the featured article criteria, that I can see, which would prohibit a list from passing. For all pages, information should be presented in the way that is most informative and useful, whether that is as prose, a list, a table, or a mixture. This is at least what I read into the demand that the work feature a professional standard of presentation. Christopher Parham (talk) 21:47, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Surely, though, the fact that nothing in the FA criteria would explicitly prevent a list from passing points to the logic of merging the two processes? I agree with Marskell: Lists are in article space and are therefore articles. Let's do what we can to allow for their natural format, but let's review them as articles. — Dulcem (talk) 22:48, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
During my FA spree in 2005, I had almost tried to get one of my FL also made into a FA. I figured that if I just managed to add three additional sections, I could make the article more of an article than a list and submit it to FAC. The tabular data the core focus of the article, so it would still conform to the FL criteria. Just never got the time to research further ever since then unfortunately. I still harbour ambitions to get a dual feature. I don't know if it has been done in the past. =Nichalp «Talk»= 20:08, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

(od) This is a very good idea, Raul, as I don't think the reviewing processes for articles and lists are incompatible. All the FAC criteria can apply to a list; just there's less prose to worry about.--ROGER DAVIES talk 03:03, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

I can only suppose that you have never been through the arcane and undocumented mysteries of the FLC process. My own view is that the arbitrary standards expected of FLs are so far short of what is expected of an FA that it is a travesty to even use the use word "Featured". --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 03:52, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
A merger of the processes, using the FAC not FLC standard, addresses that core issue in spades. Which is why I suggested it :) --ROGER DAVIES talk 03:56, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
Again, I think it's clear that you have never been through the FLC process. What's the accepted colour coding standard for table headers, for instance? Nobody knows. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 04:01, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

I'm skeptical of this. There certainly are lists that do lend themselves to the featured article process by the sheer amount of prose and related material, thus making the transition to WP:WIAFA much easier, but a grand majority of lists are a small lead and a big table. If anyone wanted (and I know since I've done it before), these lists could be produced and nominated in extremely short order, and I don't think anyone fancies seeing 100+ nominations here to tax our already strained reviewers (combining the current nominations at the two processes would result in one page with 99 nominations). Yes, you concentrate the nominations in one place, but I'm sure plenty of FLC reviewers don't want to review FACs, and common FAC reviewers will have much more on their plate to deal with. It defeats the purpose of centralizing the review process if FAC reviewers aren't going over all the lists to meet with the FA criteria. Sure, the merger works great for lists like List of works by William Monahan that generally have plenty of prose and MoS problems to resolve, but when dealing with say List of counties in New York, the issues are primarily going to be with the table's structure and functionality and resolving the minimal prose/MoS issues in the lead (which User:The Rambling Man, User:Matthewedwards, and others are doing a nice job of pointing them out during the FLC process now IMO). Sephiroth BCR (Converse) 10:13, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

May I point out that until recently the standard of FAs has been pretty appalling, and that the shortage of reviewers is a continual threat to the maintenance of high standards at FA. TONY (talk) 11:58, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

As someone who frequents FAC and FLC, I strongly object to this idea, for reasons mostly pretty well expressed above. FLC isn't broken, and its criteria have just been nicely honed. It has a bit of a problem attracting reviewers, but that's hardly going to improve by merging it with another process that struggles to attract reviewers. I see insufficient upsides to the proposal to outweigh the considerable downsides. --Dweller (talk) 16:50, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

The opening statement on this section is a huge slap in the face to all involved in the FL process. The subsequent suggestion that FL be disbanded, less than a week after appointing new directors to improve that process, is em, words fail me. I will remind folk that that both criteria have been largely identical, except for practical obvious reasons (latest rewrite notwithstanding). There is no fundamental reason why FLs should be viewed less highly than FAs and not held to the same standard. Never has been. If folk here think there are FLs that are substandard, take them to FLRC. If you think more substandard FLs will be promoted, then there is only one solution. Review them. Colin°Talk 21:06, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Rather than seeing insult in the suggestion that the processes be merged, why not ignore offending statements above and consider the idea logically? What, exactly, prevents a list article from being judged less fairly than a standard article using a single process? — Dulcem (talk) 22:41, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
I did consider the idea "logically". For about an hour. I saw no merit in it. Both FL and FA are handled by a similar "process" but judged against slightly different criteria. The criteria are essentially identical wrt to the things people have been complaining about but are different wrt those things that are different between a standalone list and a comprehensive article. Merging the review streams achieves nothing but a headache and bloat. If reviewers want to do a bit of both, they can watch both nomination pages. Merging FL into FA leads to the old Main Page for lists problem again, which is largely unpopular. One cannot view this purely rationally and ignore emotions. Those FL directors we appointed with huge support are human beings. The reviewers who have spent hours at FLC are humans. The editors behind those FLs are humans. What message are the FA editors sending them? Colin°Talk 18:55, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
It's no good taking criticisms of FL as an insult - however good the criteria are, they are not being applied. Several of the featured lists have major MoS and referencing issues, even accepting that FLs, unlike FAs, haven't have to be in-lined (lower standard) Jimfbleak (talk) 05:49, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Whatever the standards are, they have not been applied rigorously - I could list half a dozen list article in one field which are not MOS, where the references consist of two or three sources tagged on at the end, with few or no in-lines, and masses of completely unreferenced text. Jimfbleak (talk) 11:54, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
Are these recent lists, or older ones? If you can list them, why aren't you listing them at FLR? There is a process for delisting bad lists the same as there is for FAs. I can easily point out half a dozen FAs that need to be delisted, and have pointed out so many Sandy chastized me for having too many at once. Neither process is perfect. AnmaFinotera (talk) 05:57, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
"Chastized" <eek> ... do I need to adjust my tone? The intent was to point out that you should put up noms about two weeks apart (not three or four at once), so that FAR won't be overwhelmed (particularly by articles in one content area, as the same group of editors may be working on them), and you can stay on top of each nom. Regards, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:46, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Jim, there has never been any lower standard for inlines for FLs compared to FAs. Both processes have, over the years, become stricter in this regard. However, both qualify the need for inline citations as "where appropriate". Quite a number of editors have the wrong idea about inline citations: that one can measure the conformance with WP:V according to some ratio of text to superscripts. This results in FLRC and FARC nominations with "Not enough inlines" as the justification. Certain kinds of very stable lists may be cited to perhaps just one or two sources and you don't need inlines to do that. To take the bird lists that I'm pretty certain you are referring to, those all tend to cite a couple of authoritative sources for their listings. As long as the reader can easily verify each entry against those sources, there is no need to put a little 1 after every line. An FA with a table would not require the editors to cite every row either. What is disappointing IMO about those bird lists, and has been ever since the first one became the first FL, is that they contain "masses of completely unreferenced text". This is true of of birds of Thailand when it was promoted. I am very glad that you have improved this since, and the current article is a model that the other bird lists should follow. The opening statement that FL "will have a lower hurdle than FA, particularly with respect to referencing" is simply untrue. This Thai birds list would be rejected at FAC because it is quite plainly a list rather than an article and it would fail the "prose is engaging, even brilliant" test that is required of articles. Colin°Talk 11:29, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Test case

She's gonna love me, but I know Karanacs can handle it :-) I went over there with an eye towards how we would handle lists here, and saw that the nature of Lists lends itself to a lot of MoS issues and there are a lot of MoS deficiencies over there. I also saw some weak prose in several leads, that wouldn't fly at FAC, so applying FAC standards in both prose and MoS would improve the Lists. But Karanacs (a capable FA writer and reviewer) gives us a great test case, in List of Texan survivors of the Battle of the Alamo. As a sample, how would we review that here? Also, concerned that there are currently 53 lists there, so combined, we'd be running at about 100, which could be psychologically off-putting. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:39, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

I think Sandy just wants my head to explode too so that she isn't the only one missing hair ;) I definitely appreciate the attention on my list; please note that this is the first list I've nominated for FLC and I may not have any idea what I am doing there. Karanacs (talk) 16:19, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Capping FAC comments

See also: Wikipedia talk:FAC#Script

Perhaps this statement "Alternately, reviewers may cap off their own resolved comments, and sign them." should include more emphatic language as to the requirement that the headers of capped comments must contain a signature. I completely glossed over this part and thought that merely signing the diff where the comments were capped was good enough. --ErgoSum88 (talk) 17:08, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure how to fix the wording to make it more clear, but the issue is that if the cap itself isn't signed, the only way for the person closing to be certain that the comments were hidden by the reviewer who made them is to step back through the diffs, which is a pain in the neck. The cap must include a sig and timestamp, not just a username that can be added by anyone, because that creates the possibility that reviewer comments can be hidden by a different party. Since {{resolved comments}} is being employed by Milk's Favorite Cookie's script, and he hasn't responded to my talk messages or the concerns raised here, perhaps someone can convince him to remove this script. And, since the {{resolved comments}} template is being used all over FLC, without sigs, I'm wondering how the closers are sorting out who capped the comments; there have been instances in the past where reviewer comments where capped off by someone other than the reviewer. That can't happen; that's why we need a sig. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:23, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Also, I'm not sure if we need to alter our instructions; the problem originated with the creation of the new template that doesn't allow a signature, and it is now up for deletion. If it survives TfD, I will be pushing for no more caps at FAC, as I don't want to see caps without sigs. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:31, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
The fashion seems to be for lurid colours, which is distracting, especially when scrolling down the page looking for stuff that needs review. What's wrong with strikethrough? On balance, I think caps are hideous and make reviewing more not less difficult. --ROGER DAVIES talk 19:28, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
This one looks like an ad for Venetian blinds. --ROGER DAVIES talk 19:34, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, their use has gotten out of control. I believe it was Circeus who first started using them at FAC, and I liked them then. They are useful for hiding long, resolved commentary that might scare off subsequent reviewers. Now they're being used to cap a couple sentences (because someone wrote a script that does that). It's unnecessary and distracting for anything but very long commentary to be capped. Also, capping short commentary only creates extra clicks (I, at least, have to look inside every cap). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:20, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
But. I looked at your Venetian Blind example, and it's not so bad. Ealdgyth always has long commentary on sources, and when it's capped, that's a signal to me that reliable sources are resolved and I can go have a look at the article sourcing. I capped my commentary because it was a long discussion of why that group of editors continues to bring nominations with the same citation formatting issues. Laser brain's commentary was long, and all resolved. Along came Ergo sum with a short comment, that didn't need to be hidden, but Ergo probably thinks it's the norm and (I believe?) was using that goofy script that led to this overuse of hiding. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:45, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
I would appreciate if you would stop calling it "goofy" - The script HAS BEEN DELETED SANDY « Milk's Favorite Cøøkie ( talk / contribs) 20:51, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Thank you, MFC, for deleting the script. I'm sorry you're offended at the word goofy, which I think of as a lighthearted, inoffensive term; since you don't see it the same way, I won't use that word again. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:02, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Then none taken :) « Milk's Favorite Cøøkie ( talk / contribs) 21:06, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, MFC; I appreciate the work and good intent that you and Julian put into this, but I hope you recognize the problems it can lead to down the road, with the potential for a lot of indiscriminate and possibly unnecessary hiding of comments, with no way for me to know who hid them. Regards, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:13, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I did think it was the normal thing to do after one's comments have been resolved. This is the first time I've been participating in FAC discussions and I've only been here about 3 months. Now I'm wondering when I should use it, "length" is a subjective term and whether you have a few comments or a thousand I don't see why you shouldn't hide them to show that they have been addressed. I think it is useful in keeping the page length manageable. Otherwise, we shouldn't use them at all. Telling people they shouldn't cap "short" commentary is like telling people to delete "bad" articles. On another note, perhaps it would be useful to change "Alternately, reviewers may cap off their own resolved comments, and sign them." to "Alternately, reviewers may cap off their own resolved comments, and include a dated signature within the header." The second version is more specific and avoids confusion. --ErgoSum88 (talk) 22:01, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

It would be nice, I agree, if the rules of engagement at FAC didn't keep changing on personal whims. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 22:05, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
It's kind of a misconception that capping comments keeps the page short, because the comments are still there and you still have to edit around them. Of course people can do whatever they want (within the instructions), but it's helpful if they'll keep in mind that Raul and I still have to read the FAC, and we have to click under every cap to see what's there, so the original idea was only to hide resolved commentary that was so long that it would flummox subsequent reviewers or scare them off. As long as there's a signature, I'm not so concerned about the Venetian Blind effect, but when they're used excessively, they do create extra clicks for me <shrug> ... Also, editors should keep in mind that the reason we had to do away with graphics was that the page was exceeding the template limit. These are templates, too (I don't think they will ever cause us to exceed the limit, since editors only add one cap, where they might have added dozens of "done" checkmarks, but anyway ...) . SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:10, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Triaging suggestions

One of the things that struck me during my recent FA was that the suggestions and comments fall into a couple of broad categories:

  1. leaf raking - minor MoS issues, punctuation, etc.
  2. references - although the V says we only need these for "controversial" comments, FA basically means you need one per para
  3. copyvio - comments on images and licensing
  4. content issues - prose, completeness, major MoS issues etc

I personally feel that the first of these issues is of little import, to the point of being ignorable. Yet when I'm looking the FAs, including my own and the others I've gotten involved in here, it seems that the vast majority of comments fall into this category. What became even more troubling is the fact that many of these comments were often parroted from the MoS without any explanation of why they might be important, and on further investigation, several turned out to be wrong. In a more general sense, they were actually statements of opinion masked in MoS trappings.

I believe the FA might be improved if there was a triage process available. For instance, if the process gathers 25 comments, if 20 of those are minor MoS or sp/gr, I find it difficult to believe that that article is not FA as a result. On the other hand, clearly one copyvio is an auto-fail. Although this seems obvious, I cannot divine any visible manifestation of such a system being used. I'm thinking along the lines of a scale that could be applied to comments in the FA that "score" them, so that even a large number of low-scoring items would not be a fail.

Does this make sense?

Maury (talk) 21:16, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

I think most people have a feeling that FAC is really the final step for an article to becoming 'perfect', so as long as a single person has commentary on an FAC that is actionable, then someone needs to take action and fix it. Gary King (talk) 21:21, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
That's great if it were true and only a small handful of comments were being offered, but clearly the vast majority of FAs generate huge laundry lists of comments. Some of these are contradictory (see Cygnus X-1, for instance), and others are simply wrong (galleries). There needs to be some way to discuss and even discard comments, when appropriate, without getting bogged down in minutia. After all, the article is going to change in the future after the FA passes or fails, so if a missing period is all it takes to fail an FA, does that mean removing one makes it FAR fodder? Don't answer that last question too quickly. Maury (talk) 21:33, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
See WP:WIAFA, criterion 2; anything that can be fixed, should be fixed, and minor fixes are easily done. If all else passes, and only minor MoS issues remain, someone (like Epbr123) will usually fix them, so this is never an issue and articles don't fail on minor MoS issues. Also, because you don't see visible manifestations of something doesn't mean it's not happening. Also, FAC is not a vote and numbers (like 20 out of 25) have little meaning; the question is have all actionable objections been addressed and all important areas been reviewed. Finally, the biggest problem plaguing all review processes (not just FAC) is a shortage of reviewers; we don't need a system that creates more overhead to account for issues that are already covered. P.S. There is no such thing as a perfect article, as far as I know; just the best it can be relative to WP:WIAFA. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:26, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
I cannot find any widespread evidence that minor issues are being fixed by 3rd parties. As you note, "the question is have all actionable objections been addressed", and my concern is what exactly is "actionable"? Maury (talk) 21:34, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
"Actionable" is something you can take action on. If you have a biography article and someone tells you that the biography should not be featured, then that is not actionable. If someone tells you that you need a reference to cover a controversial statement, that is actionable. A missing period won't fail an FAC; plus, it is easy to fix, anyhow, so one would assume that the missing period would be added before an FAC is promoted in any case. Gary King (talk) 21:41, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, every once in a while I'll take a recent FAC and fix dashes, correct reference/puncuation/spacing issues, and so on. (Here's a small recent example) I don't bother posting anything on the FAC to that effect, as the things I have just fixed are no longer an issue, so you may not be aware that these things are happening. I'd be surprised if I'm the only one doing such things. Pagrashtak 04:19, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
There's no such thing as a perfect anything, but FAC is the last step towards building the best article you can build. After that, you've theoretically done all you can with an article; that is the ideal result, anyways, at least in my opinion. Gary King (talk) 21:39, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm not asking for perfection, I'm asking whether or not there should be a simple way to indicate when a suggestion does not have to be implemented without a fail. When someone says "oppose, you need to add x" and then someone else says "oppose, I don't like that you added X", what do we do? The current process seems to default to the last comment, right or wrong. Maury (talk) 23:09, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
I would suggest you respond back with something like "I agree with X that Y is better for the article, so I will keep it that way" and then Sandy can make up her mind on that FAC. Gary King (talk) 04:03, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

(undent) Wow. That flies in the face of everything I understand the Wikipedia to be. Single points of failure are supposed to be found and eliminated with all due haste, especially on the wikipedia. Maury (talk) 22:01, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Problems with multiple columns in Template:reflist

Since multiple columns in reference lists are common on featured articles someone sugested we bring this up here as well (it has also been mentioned on wp:vp, wp:mos and wp:wai so far)

There have been some discussion on Template talk:Reflist about problems with multiple columns in {{reflist}}. One solution would be to remove suport for it. Another is to remove "number of columns" (i.e. {{reflist|2}}) support in favour of "columnwidth" ({{reflist|colwidth=25em}}) support and somehow disable multiple columns for some browsers that don't work properly with this. Some users suggested it might be better to have a policy change? (I'm guessing they where referring to MoS?). If you have any thoughts about that please consider taking part in the discussion.
— Apis (talk) 22:00, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Multiple columns are not visible in Internet Explorer since that browser don't support that feature yet.
— Apis (talk) 22:03, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

As I posted there but will do here also, "I'll accept anything as long as I still have an option to show the references in columns, even if it is off by default." Gary King (talk) 00:40, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Get rid of your IE, which is, well, shit. There are superior freeware alternatives, among them Safari for Mac and for Windows. TONY (talk) 03:16, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
I know at least a few WP:FAC regulars that use Internet Explorer as their primary browser, unfortunately. Gary King (talk) 04:21, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Takes five minutes to download and organise a MUCH better one. The worst thing is that I've heard from those who should know that Microsoft has absolutely no intention of improving the functionality of IE in the foreseeable future. Dump it, I say, and don't compromise the project to accommodate persistent deficiencies in that browser. TONY (talk) 05:48, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Since you have already backed Safari, I feel compelled to also suggest Mozilla Firefox. Go, try it now! Gary King (talk) 06:16, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
[Did! Downloaded Firefox during the week after reading this, and well it's great. Never had seen multiple cols before; but I definitely approve.] Ceoil (talk) 13:51, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
I only tried to point out that 75% of all users probably isn't aware of multiple columns being used, not start a browser war.
— Apis (talk) 11:50, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
...And that even if they aren't using IE, many alternative browsers, if not updates, don't display them either (Safari 1.x, for example, in OS X Panther.) Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 16:44, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Spanking new featured-list criteria—food for thought?

Dear colleagues—After two weeks' debate, the new criteria have been implemented. This represents a reduction from 420 to 220 words, and from 15 to seven categories/subcategories. We hope the new design attracts more reviewers and makes the requirements clearer for nominators through their crispness, simplicity and brevity. Food for thought WRT the FA criteria? Do I sniff repetition, over-complicated hierarchy, and the unnecessary inclusion of universal requirements? TONY (talk) 13:21, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

I think this list could be adapted to FA with very little effort. It seems far more "natural" language so editors don't have to sort through WP jargon to come to the point. The only serious "addition" that would need to be made for articles is the prose should be compelling in addition to professional. Lists can be dry as that bottle of Chablis in my fridge I've been avoiding, but full-prose articles should be engaging. Perhaps:

A featured article exemplifies our very best work. In addition to meeting the requirements for all Wikipedia content—in particular, naming conventions, neutrality, no original research, verifiability, citations, reliable sources, and non-free content—a featured article has the following attributes.

  1. Prose. It features professional and compelling standards of writing.
  2. Lead. It has an engaging lead section that introduces the subject and provides a concise overview of the article.
  3. Comprehensiveness. It is written in summary style, but does not neglect major facts and details.
  4. Structure. It is easy to navigate, and includes a logical hierarchy of section headings.
  5. Style. It complies with the Manual of Style and its supplementary pages.
  6. Visual appeal. It is visually appealing, making suitable use of text layout, formatting, and—where appropriate to the subject—images with succinct captions or "alt" text.
  7. Stability. It is not the subject of ongoing edit wars and its content does not change significantly from day to day, except for edits made in response to the featured article process.
--Laser brain (talk) 14:20, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Ooh, nice work, Laser. I wonder what other people think. Do "tables" and "colour" need to be explicated thus? TONY (talk) 14:27, 15 May 2008 (UTC) PS I presume you intended that the lead be included; that contains the critical mention of "in addition to the requirements for all articles" clause. FL people were keen to highlight some of those requirements in the lead (well, I fought to keep them out of the criteria, for good reasons—I think the criteria should not be a checklist of selected universals). TONY (talk) 14:32, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Affirmative on the lead. Not sure about tables. My experience is that a lot of full-prose articles come here with tables but they're normally not up to any kind of standard. No consistent formatting, citations, etc. --Laser brain (talk) 14:42, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
You mean move this over to the main criteria? My first instinct is opposition. We've fought tooth-and-nail over the WIAFA wording and I'd need to be shown why it's not working as it stands. Marskell (talk) 14:33, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
Particularly, I'd be opposed to devoting so few words to factual accuracy and reference formatting. Marskell (talk) 14:39, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
Whoops - Marskell, if you click the link in Tony's original post you'll see that information is included in a lead to this list. I neglected to copy it here, but I meant for it to be included. --Laser brain (talk) 14:42, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I clicked through. It blue links V, CITE, and RS but doesn't unpack them at all. "Consistently formatted inline citations using either footnotes or Harvard referencing" is elided, amongst other things. Certainly seven is an improvement on fifteen but this list is far too sparse for me. Marskell (talk) 14:48, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
I've added the lead and placed Laser's proposal in a green box. Tim, be my guest and tweak the list of universal requirements in the lead, as an experiment: what needs to be added, and what should the order be? I'd soon enough dispense with "(taking particular care with living persons)" and "what Wikipedia is not", which I've removed pending comments. TONY (talk) 15:12, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
Ugh. The FA criteria are fine and do not need to be backed down like the FL criteria have. All this shortening will do is make it harder for new reviewers to know what to look for, and result in less good reviews rather than more.AnmaFinotera (talk) 15:18, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Having not yet had an opportunity to fully ponder the changes, I might note an immediate concern with the new iteration of "comprehensiveness". What exactly is a "defined scope" (defined by whom, scope of what, etc.) I'm further concerned about the loss of a workable definition: "the article does not neglect major facts and details". I realize there may be implicit redundancy with WP:SS (i.e. it's okay to omit minor/trivial facts and details), but I think the existing verbiage is needed to "defend" against the common "it seems too short" comments, as it requires the reviewer to articulate the missing "major" information. Am I missing something in the new criteria that serves an analogous function? ЭLСОВВОLД talk 15:26, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

"Comprehensiveness" is framed for listed and would have to be rewritten for articles, you're right. AnmaFinotera, what does "backed down" mean? I've tweaked the list, having had no idea it would appear here so soon. TONY (talk) 15:42, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
Meant to be watered down. I.E. its too generic and reduces the criteria for FL rather than actually make them any better. Another of my formerly favorite aspects of Wikipedia affectively ruined. AnmaFinotera (talk) 15:47, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
Nope, there's a lot of fluff and repetition in the current criteria, which are far too long and complex. Although this version needs development, I do believe that its brevity and clarity point to just the type of wording that will attract reviewers: so much easier to deal with for all parties. TONY (talk) 15:57, 15 May 2008 (UTC) Oh, and if you're talking about generic, what's worse than the current "is of appropriate length"? What does that mean? But the worst aspect of the current criteria is their casual mixture of universal requirements with those that are specific to FAs. They should clearly be separated. Apart from all else, to do otherwise is to send signals that the universals are not taken seriously for WP's articles in general. TONY (talk) 16:00, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Sorry, I'd rather have fewer GOOD reviewers who do thorough reviews than a bunch of bad ones. The "fluff" encouraged the former, while this will only attract the latter and result in even more pointless, unthoughtout support for lists that shouldn't be passed. Its this new "criteria" that is nothing but useless fluff, where as the former criteria was comprehensive and well formatted. You've also basically ruined all on-going FLCs and FLRs that refer to the criteria by number, as many of us reviewers do. No such numbers now. Yeah...great job. AnmaFinotera (talk) 16:03, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
Fluff encourages good reviewers? Yeah right. TONY (talk) 16:40, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
Glad you agree. This new fluff criteria won't encourage good reviewers, and encourage even more low quality list submissions. AnmaFinotera (talk) 16:51, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
No, these cr. have no fluff: that is reserved in huge dollops for the current wording. You've got it in reverse, and quail at the thought that you can't see that. TONY (talk) 16:57, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
No, I've got it right, as someone who actually is (was) involved with featured lists, as opposed to you who just came in, screwed it all up, and will now go back to not actually doing anything useful in the FL process. These new criteria are not "criteria" at all, just regurgitating existing basic MoS stuff. AnmaFinotera (talk) 17:09, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
If I can make my way through your illiterate comment, it looks like offensive rubbish. TONY (talk) 02:02, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

I'm happy with our current criteria and think they're working fine. Each time we've tweaked them, we've tried to stay true to the long standing numbering scheme so that editors encountering an older FAC or FAC will know where improvements are needed and what 1a, 1d, etc. refer to; altering the numbering scheme will render these older FACs and FARs less useful to new editors wanting to improve an article and understand its deficiencies. We currently have ten points; this condenses them only to seven, loses some points, and combines some in ways I'm not convinced will help. I'm particularly concerned that it loses an important point, 2c (consistent citations), and combines 1b and 4 (comprehensive and length), which are two separate issues. The loss of 1c and 1d as specific points (now in the opening sentence) are theoretically not a problem, since those apply to all articles, but in practical terms, why would we take away a specific actionable point of opposition, and also take away the reminder to reviewers to check for those issues ? I don't really see the need to change WIAFA unless a problem with it is demonstrated. As to "universals are not taken seriously for WP's articles in general": they aren't. Articles get all the way to FAC, through other content review processes, before issues are identified. Let's not take away the specific reminder to check for these items. The current numbering scheme has a specific correlation to actionable opposes; I'm concerned that this obscures that one-to-one correspondence between criteria and actionable oppose. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:07, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

And this is a very confusing thread (maybe because I'm not feeling well today): it's titled as featured lists, but discusses changes to WP:WIAFA. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:21, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
I hate the current wordings. TONY (talk) 16:59, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
Me too. They read like a government form. "You need to fix this, see 2a." Ugggg. Maury (talk) 23:11, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

It would be very difficult to rewrite the criteria so comprehensively without making material changes to their meaning. To take one example, the current criteria call for "engaging" prose with an aspiration to brilliance, while these call for "compelling" prose. That doesn't mean the same thing, and I don't think the new meaning is better. Christopher Parham (talk) 17:06, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

I don't disagree, but that is a superficial change that can easily be substituted; why don't you now? The general thrust is the removal of that stupid repetitive announcement of items at the top of 1, which are then repeated in a labored fashion on the second level of the hierarchy. The awkward MOS components. The fluff. Tell me, how many of you know what 2b is without looking? 3? 1b? TONY (talk) 17:12, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
I know what they are, but I guess I don't count as the norm, since I have to sort through them 50 times a day. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:32, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
Clearly there are some strong opinions on this, all of which have come from those heavily involved in the FAC/FLC process. I wonder though - does a list like this better serve its other audience, the people who write and submit FACs? --Laser brain (talk) 17:36, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
Having worked with Tony on the FA criteria, I'm surprised to find out that he suddenly hates the wording. Everything here is subject to reevaluation, of course, but those criteria have served us well. Wording that develops canonicity is a good thing for the site, and much of WIAFA has done so. Why fix what isn't broken? (I can tell you what every point is without looking, BTW, but perhaps I'm a special case.) Marskell (talk) 17:43, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
(ec reply to Laser) The ones who don't read it or the ones who don't need to ???  :-) In other words, good point, but it's the reviewers who most often need to reference the actionable issues. By the way, there's another problem in the way summary style is referred to in the sample: not all articles (need to) use summary style, some articles don't depend on daughter and main articles. Comprehensive and length/summary style are two different things. BTW, we've got an awful lot of discussion of change on the table right now, and at least Laser is still actively reviewing FACs, while most are languishing under the real problem at FAC: lack of reviewers. Solving the issues at FLC, and finding ways to improve the encyclopedia are great goals, and we should all engage, but in the meantime, while this page is one edit conflict after another, FACs and FARs need to be reviewed or they can't be closed. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:49, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Tim, I don't like them because they're unnecessarily complicated in their structure and layout, need to be stripped of meaningless wording such as "is of appropriate size". I don't want the substantive, actionable meanings—which you can understand with a lot of hack-work—to be changed. They should be as short and east to comprehend as possible. TONY (talk) 03:19, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Changes to FA criteria

  • Changes: Since there is such rampant conservatism here—sorry to be blunt (you're mostly my good Wiki-friends)—I've done the bare minimum by removing the frightful repetitions and bolding the themes of each criterion/sub-criterion. The "means that" mantra has gone. The substantive meanings are untouched. The hierarchical structure and numbering/lettering are untouched. It has shrunk by about 11%. THE OLD JUNGLE; THE FRESHENED UP VERSION; THE DIFF TONY (talk) 05:32, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Thanks, Sandy. Can you explain your caps comment? His Grace and I are video conferencing at the moment, and can't work it out. Also, I think there's a weakness: "a lead:". But neither of us can come up with anything better. TONY (talk) 16:01, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
  • A joke about the end of your previous post (above), where you hollered in all caps :-) Send my greetings to His Grace, and tell him my chocolate supply is running low. Video conferencing? And you expect me to move beyond IE7? Ha !! I still think there's a weakness in that we haven't gotten back to some older wording about overwhelming table of contents hidden by toclimit, but I seem to be alone on that score. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:05, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Wholeheartedly in favour. As there are no material changes, why not just post them? --ROGER DAVIES talk 16:25, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
<Moved from Wikipedia talk:Featured article criteria> SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:20, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Given the train wreck that some sourcing is, can we make some sort of mention that the sources need to be of the best quality possible? Or not be biased towards online sources? I get tired of repeating myself endlessly about this sort of thing. Ealdgyth - Talk 16:15, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
I think that is (or should be) addressed at WP:V, WP:RS; I share your frustration that articles get through peer review and GAN, and all the way to FAC, with non-reliable sources or low-quality sourcing, and that few reviewers seem to check these issues, rather are relying on Ealdgyth to do it all. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:22, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Oh, gods, no. I'm not even stepping foot in the policy pages. I have dreams of actually editing articles sometimes! I'm trying to be preemptive, and do more over at PR about sources. I'm very happy that Laser's backing me up on sources, as well as Karancacs. Relata and RelHistBuff have helped a bunch also. It's just frustrating that folks don't see that using the best sources possible is in Wiki's best interest.... (tears hair out). Ealdgyth - Talk 16:34, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
It's understandable. It's about easy availability and cost. Paper sources have to be ordered by interlibrary loan (fiddly, time-consuming) or bought (expensive). It's much easier to write something directly from web sources. --ROGER DAVIES talk 16:44, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Indeed. A helpful user allowed me to access his ProQuest account, so at least my FAs will have more print sources, never fear! (and I've been running out text for others who need some off-the-net/paygate sources.) By the way, this brings up a point; if we have sources which are borderline or are not readily clear as fitting WP:RS, should we state so in opening the FAC?, i.e., "Joystiq author for current ref 55 is XX, whose work has also appeared in XX and XX." or "Ref XX is only being used for interview" or stuff like that? --Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 14:06, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
I know I'd appreciate it, but I'm not sure Sandy or Raul would like it, as it may add more junk for them to read through. Honestly, the biggest thing everyone can do is get their refs formatted consistentely. The link checker tool now shows me the domain name as well as listing the publisher that's stated, so it's pretty easy to see where folks try to "fudge" on the two not matching. This needs publishers listed though, so that's a big step that'll help. (The FAC for the History of Indiana is a mess because of all the help I had to give on getting the references formatted, which I don't mind, it's a new editor to FAC and we need them to come and not get bit, but it does take a lot of time.) Ealdgyth - Talk 14:44, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
What exactly is the difference between the publisher and work fields of {{cite web}}? I've used the work parameter more often just because it's italicized and therefor easier to read, but the template instructions never specified what it's for, in contrast to publisher. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 16:59, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
Take this as a personal opinion, but I think the work is like the title of a book, and the publisher is like the corporate publisher that does the work, but that's just how I understand it. I can't say I'm really picky about which is which, honestly, because I'm just not that into citations and the proper formatting thereof. (I know it's bad of me). I just want the information in a form I can understand, and that it be consistent through out the article. Oh, and not in arcane abbreviations either! Whether there are periods before or after things just doesn't bother me that much. Books I'm a bit pickier, but even then, as long as I can figure out what the publisher is, and read the stuff, it works for me. Sorry, got long winded again. Ealdgyth - Talk 17:12, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
It's ok. :P I guess maybe I'll post the RS info on the talk page and link to it on the FAC page, to save space and Sandy's sanity, then. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 17:36, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
Excellent (assuming you mean the article FAC's talk page, be sure to link to the individual FAC talk page from the FAC, since talk page links aren't visible when viewing the entire FAC page). I've never been convinced on this "only used for an interview" reasoning, and wish someone would find the time to go over to the reliable sources noticeboard, or WP:V, and get that ironed out. The issue is we sometimes see borderline notability articles being sourced largely to interviews hosted on personal or non-reliable websites, and I'm not convinced that problem has ever been sorted, or if we want featured articles largely sourced to non-reliable interviews. Some of these interviews are hosted on Joe Bloe's website.com, and we have no way of knowing the interview is true or even happened. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:54, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm not convinced that just because it's an interview it's reliable either, but one step at a time. (And no, I'm NOT going to step foot in the RS or V policy pages. No way.) Let's get the interviews hosted on reliable sites, and that'll take most of the concerns away. I'm not against interviews, but they are really primary sources, and should be subject to the same considerations and concerns of other primary sources.
Opening another can of worms, what stand our chances of getting something about using the best sources possible into the FA criteria? Ealdgyth - Talk 18:00, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

(←) Per our discussion here, I made a slight tweak to 2b to make it a little clearer that editors don't all believe the hierarchical headings and table of contents need to be exactly the same, but we all agree that both need to be organized logically, etc. --JayHenry (talk) 20:55, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

From the Peter Wall FAC

This belongs here instead. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 22:09, 29 May 2008 (UTC)


  • Regarding Cenarium's mention of three months, I'd like to point out (and ask someone else to fill in the details, since I'm traveling, and can't remember which article it was) that Yomangani once brought an article to FA status very quickly, but if my memory serves, it had previously gone through DYK, meaning it had mainpage exposure before coming to FAC. I could be wrong; this is from memory. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:15, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
The Four Stages of Cruelty came to FAC 17 days after being created, having previously been through DYK and had a peer review. --Peter Andersen (talk) 19:23, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
I remember this TFA, it had already been substantially peer reviewed before FAC. I said three months like this, but maybe one month is enough, or at least a review or a DYK so that it gathered community's thoughts beforehand. Cenarium (talk) 19:35, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
FWIW, this article is up for DYK at the moment. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 19:46, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

(outdent:) See this discussion, which seems to establish Kreutz Sungrazers as the record-holder: nominated within 18 hours (and only 21 edits!); featured within 7 days; see also this discussion about what Raul terms the fastest "true living FA." And Second Malaysia Plan was submitted within 20 minutes. But we may think that times have changed, and that a new policy should be instituted. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 20:06, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Those discussions and examples are from 2005 and 2006 - there are probably more recent ones. The criteria could be debated as well. If, for articles moved from userspace to mainspace (or cut and pasted, if only one person worked on it and doesn't care about or want to preserve the working record of the creation of the article), you could look at the time from moving it over to being featured, and then you might find some more 'swift nominations' and records. Also, some stubs are worked up to FA very fast, even if they had been stubs for a long time - looking at the first edit by the person taking it rapidly to FA is the better starting point. Also, some articles (like your 20 minute one) are created entire and then nominated within a few minutes. It also took a while to get promoted (10 days), but that depends largely on the speed of the FAC process at the time. A good example (and possibly the winner, though for controversial reasons - it was being targeted for a specific date to appear on the main page) is George Washington (no, not the president!), created at 07:27 27 March 2007. Nominated at 07:41, 27 March 2007 (that is 14 minutes later, with the only edit being the one to create the article), the promoted version linked in the Article History template is timed at 16:35, 31 March 2007 (4 days, 9 hours and 8 minutes from creation and 14 minutes less than that for the time betweeen nomination and promotion - depending where you take the promotion point to be). The article then went up on the Main page at 00:00:01 01 April 2007 (you've probably twigged by now, yes?), so it almost certainly will forever hold the record between time of creation and being featured on the Main Page (4 days, 16 hours and 33 minutes), and for the time between promotion and appearing on the Main Page (7 hours and 25 minutes). There was undoubtedly a huge furore when it appeared on the Main Page, and it was nominated for deletion at 02:32, 2 April 2007 (actually rather a common occurrence for controversial Main Page FAs - someone should do a list). Sadly, it was speedily kept (see here) after only 38 minutes, so it doesn't have a deletion discussion that lasted longer than the FAC discussion... :-) There, I think we have a winner, but this seems to have been a special case due to the push to get a suitable FA article for the April Fools Day theme for the Main Page - you'd have to ask Raul to be sure about that. For the record: the article is George Washington (inventor) and User:Pharos was the creator and primary author. Carcharoth (talk) 21:06, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

This article is becoming a bit of a hot potato, and attracting a lot of comment here. That's fine, and I'm grateful for the thought and attention that is being paid to this FAC. I thought I'd just resume a couple more general issues, which I do not see as actionable, but which are important and could well be reasons for the article's failing. I disagree with these argument, but I understand them, and think them eminently reasonable. This article is something of a test case, and if it helps us rethink policy, then that's fine by me. OK...

  • Several have said that this is "too soon." I can see that the fact that it came to FAC within 24 hours of creation can seem, well, cheeky or "hubristic." I think the article should stand on its merits, however. At present there's no rule about how long an article has to have existed before coming to FAC. But it would be eminently reasonable to propose such a rule: whether it's a month, as Cenarium suggests, or a week, ten days, whatever.
  • Several have also pointed out that it has not been through GA or Peer Review. Again, I think that the article should stand on its merits. But it does seem eminently reasonable to argue that an article has to go through such review processes before coming to FAC.
  • I'd also point out that there are very few comparable articles. There are no FA articles of living businesspeople, as far as I can see; the only equivalent GA articles are Mona Best, Heather Higgins, and Steve Fossett (the latter recently deceased, of course). I think this article stands very favourable comparison with those.
  • Some do, however, continue to have problems with featuring an article on this topic, especially when there biographical details that are not in the public domain. Again, this article proposes a way of dealing with that: in brief, by not treating an encyclopedia article as a biography, or not a biography in the normal Wikipedia sense, concerned above all with the personal. But I could see why people might reasonably suggest that all Wikipedia articles about people need to follow a certain format, and that if the necessary information is unavailable, that it should fail.

Again, I disagree with the above points; but I think the debate about them is worthwhile, in a search for consensus. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 19:45, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

This is way off topic for an FAC for a particular article, but I would disagree with such a rule. Articles can be of featured quality as soon as they're created, depending on the author, and these rules would only work to cause problems in non-controversial cases. For example, List of North Carolina hurricanes (1900–1949) was "published" on March 30, 2008, and got submitted to WP:FLC within hours. The article was promoted to a featured list less than two weeks later. However, with this rule, Hurricanehink would have to wait a month to submit an article that was obviously ready right from the outset. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 21:10, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Also, why should articles have to go through GA or PR before being submitted? Not only has that never been a requirement, but when you get reviews like these, they aren't necessarily helpful. Again, if an article is ready at the outset, editors should be free to submit it at the outset. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 21:13, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. External reviews (though rare) can, if good, stun FAC into awed submission. How common are external reviews? Carcharoth (talk) 21:22, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Technically, you could (using tabs) create the article and nominate it at FAC at the same time. Would be a bit silly though. The bottleneck would always be the FAC discussion, and nowadays the wait to go on the Main Page (for those lucky enough to even get there) is a bit longer than it used to be. Only a special "theme" (like the April Fools Day example I gave above) would be able to short-circuit the process, or if you produced an FA article a few days before an anniversary event or something, but even then I doubt people would nowadays stand for a FAC discussion of only four days, unless lots of people worked hard on the article during the discussion, or lots of people gave it glowing reviews in the first few days, or (this is more likely) the nominator was able to point to a pre-submitted and prepared external review that was done before the article was dumped on Wikipedia in that oh-so-silly single edit - I agree with what Bantman said in the April 2005 discussion:

"This little game of finding the "fastest" FA, while entertaining, is misguided. Many of us are able to write FA-quality articles on our own. To challenge a record such as this, all that would be required is to "hide" a developing article by writing it entirely offline, and then contributing it as a completed article once it is finished and nominating it on FAC straight away. While contributions such as those certainly add good material to Wikipedia, they also serve to destroy the best aspects of Wikipedia. Such a program of article development creates a strong, perhaps overwhelming, sense of ownership both on the part of the author and in the perception of the community at large. It also makes collaboration on the initial article impossible, and strongly discourages future collaboration and editing in general. Wikipedia is special because we can all edit each other's work; this "contest" serves to defeat that feature. Instead it transforms WP, and especially the list of FAs, into more of a classical publication in the vein of magazines, where fine but essentially unchangeable articles are presented for the readers' enjoyment -- but not their contributions. I think that feting an achievement (and thereby encouraging challengers to it) that does not serve the best interest of Wikipedia and what it stands for, is a mistake." - User:Bantman - April 2005

So this is probably a good point to stop. And good luck to those who try in vain to find this discussion years later in the WT:FA archives... <evil grin>. Carcharoth (talk) 21:22, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
That was easy... Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 21:29, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
I meant people trying to find this discussion years later. Large parts of this discussion (mea culpa) should be at WT:FA or whichever talk page it is that gets the most traffic - can never remember. Carcharoth (talk) 21:33, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

I asked Raul about records and the promotion of George Washington (inventor), and he replied here. Carcharoth (talk) 22:11, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

For what it's worth, unlike all those previous examples, I began this article onwiki, rather than pre-preparing anything. This was the first edit. Also for what it's worth, I did the research while I was writing. This is why it's gone through (in only just over 48 hours) 236 revision. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 23:03, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

What are we searching for consensus on? I'm not quite sure. That the time frame from an article's posting to its nomination for FA is too short and there should be an imposed minimum time in the mainspace to allow other editors to verify its contents? Or something else? --Moni3 (talk) 23:12, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

See above. A number of people were objecting to the article because it had been submitted too soon, and without going through either FA or PR. I said this was an unactionable oppose, albeit perhaps a reasonable one. Consensus (here at least) appears to be moving towards saying that it's not reasonable, either.
The other issue (see TonytheTiger's oppose on the FAC) is whether an article for which we don't have the subject's DOB, marital status, or other personal details, can become featured. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 23:21, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
I once decided to see how few edits I could get an FA with, so I created Authentic Science Fiction offline and loaded it up, and nominated it one minute later. It was about ten days before it was promoted, so it doesn't beat George Washington (inventor), but I bet it's the current record-holder for nomination. (Though someone with two tabs open could get it down to a few seconds, of course.) I guess I should add that I don't see a reason to forbid this; the FAC process should be about the current state of the nominated article rather than its history (except for the stability criterion of course). Mike Christie (talk) 00:41, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Hmm. I'm a little baffled, then, as to why the FAC of Peter Wall has led to such discussion of the issue, with multiple editors objecting about the speed in which it was nominated. I was even accused of "hubris." In fact its nomination seems relatively leisurely, all things considered, by comparison. I suspect that it's the Elderly Instruments affair that continues to reverberate, but I could be wrong. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 00:46, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
BLP policy is new in relation to some of the older discussions, I believe this is the only BLP among the other articles discussed, and BLPs require extra care. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:50, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Ah, possibly. I do think that a lot of care has gone into the BLP issues here, too, but perhaps that's a comment more for the FAC itself. --jbmurray (talkcontribs)
That was my reason for asking: infoboxes aren't required, GA and PR aren't required, and the Elderly Instruments affair may have been fueled by an off-Wiki campaign and some sockpuppetry. I do review BLP promotions with extra concern, and believe that we have an obligation to take extra care where living people are concerned. A person's life is different than an "old" and stable piece of artwork. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:57, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Oh, I agree with you. As I've said repeatedly at the FAC itself, BLP issues are my number one concern (far more, for instance, than the remote possibility that this article may be taken to be promotional). --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 01:00, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, I read the conversations in both places, so I'm still not sure if consensus is being asked for, or just discussion. I'm not one to impose standards like this on others' writings, but I see the points of multiple sides. I wrote my 4 latest Everglades articles in a sandbox and posted them as complete as I could get them, so it appears as if 44k articles with full citations just appeared. I don't feel comfortable enough to rush it to FAC. That could be my lack of confidence depending on perception, but I think my topic is too important to rush through anything, and I'm asking for as much help as I can get, including off-wiki help. But these are my decisions to make.
If editors can submit articles for FAC as soon as they're posted, does that give undue burden to the FA reviewers to point out simple problems that could have been taken care of at PR or GA? I'm not maligning jbmurray's writing, and I've only skimmed through Peter Wall and it appears to be a fine article, but not every immediate posting may be written as well. I pushed two FA's through without GA formalities and I don't think I'm going to try that again soon, but again, that's my experience. But - how often will this sort of thing happen? (And will the frequency of it be affected by competitive announcement of record holders for shortest time posted at FAC?)
Another issue to consider is, of course, who does the nomination. jbmurray is well-known now at FAC for good reason. He's written or helped a few articles though. I worry sometimes the name of the nominator precedes the article's content. It's tempting to consider all bird articles by Jimfbleak an almost automatic FA, like HurricaneHink's storm articles. As reviewers, we should take the time and effort to consider the articles going through to make sure they're receiving the proper scrutiny for FA.
So - consensus on what? Did you realize what monster you would unleash with this nomination, jbmurray? --Moni3 (talk) 01:02, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Heh. I thought this article might prove somewhat controversial, but I didn't think it would attract the comments that it has. I didn't, for instance, think that the speed of nomination would prove much of an issue. I would have mentioned that in the nomination if I had thought it was a cause of concern.
Rather, as I said there, I thought it was a test case for how (or whether) to write a short article. And also, to some extent, it was a test on how to write a biography. I guess I had particularly in mind issues that I raised at the Preity Zinta FAC, where I described the article as "awfully uninspiring," at the Getting It FAC, which I felt was thin without contextualization, and to some extent also at the Skin & Bone GAR, where I also called for setting the subject within some kind of context. I was trying to "walk the walk" having talked a fairly critical talk regarding those articles. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 01:26, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Oh, and I was once challenged to write an FA from the ground up, without help. I didn't really have that challenge at the forefront of my mind, but I do think it's worth saying that writing an FA need not be a time-consuming process. I put a lot of work into Peter Wall in a concentrated period of time. But if you have some idea of what you're doing (and I feel I have some idea, at least, but so do others and it's not a question of magic), the process of writing an FA need not be traumatic; perhaps it should be demystified somewhat? --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 01:37, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
I dunno, jbmurray. By suggesting it's not all it's cracked up to be, you may get all sorts of articles not ready for FAC with surprised nominators hurt and confused why their articles they put very little work into got slammed. I think effort is relative to subject, experience, and the inherent talent of the writer. On one hand, I think encouragement should be given as often as possible, but there's a reason so few articles are FAs. It is a lot of work. Although this has given me an idea for the ubiquitous how to do an FA essay: From neurosis to FA in ten short steps! --Moni3 (talk) 01:55, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Writing an FA on a book or a hurricane may not be a time-consuming process, but perhaps you've never tried to write an article on a religion, for instance? --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 02:03, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Oh, of course, some topics are easier than others. I've been helping out a bit at League of Nations, but I find that especially a really daunting task. But going back to the point here, and Peter Wall. I think it'd be nice if there were more examples of fairly simple and short FA articles on (say) people, films, and books, that could be models for how such articles should be written. I find the current models, for instance the biography template, very uninspiring, and indeed downright unhelpful. (The same could be said for the templates for films and books, to a large extent.) --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 02:12, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
(ec) Heh. I'm not saying "it's not all it's cracked up to be." It is a lot of work, and I worked hard on Peter Wall. It wasn't something I just tossed off, though it helped that I did feel I knew what I was doing, and had a fairly clear idea of what I wanted the article to look like. But you can look through the revision history to see that much was changed en route. It was a real case of multiple revisions, restructurings, and so on; it just took place over a relatively short period of time.
What I am saying, however, is that it isn't a mystery. Lots of people either never come close to FAC, or when they do say "it's unfair, I wrote a great article, and people didn't appreciate it." Maybe this is the teacher coming out in me ;). But anyone can learn how to write a featured article, I think, and should be encouraged to do so, rather than to complain that FAC is full of naysayers and pedants, and so on. Heh, it is fully of naysayers and pedants, and I'm sometimes one of them; but that doesn't mean the task is impossible. Tony's advice on how to pass criterion 1a is a great step in demystifying the process of writing well. But we should all be looking for ways to encourage more people to write FAs... which is not the same, of course, as encouraging people to bring unprepared candidates to FAC.
We're singing from the same hymn book here, of course. I just want to emphasize that writing an FA is an achievement, an accomplishment, but one that (with guidance and practice) almost anyone can manage. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 02:09, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
And often best done in a team that includes at least one word-nerd, who might best be brought in half-way through and just before submission. When the article was written and how long that process took are totally irrelevant to FAC. Totally. TONY (talk) 02:22, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Oh, indeed. And of course, teamwork is most of the fun of Wikipedia. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 02:26, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

I agree that it gives more work to the reviewers, which are said to be lacking furthermore. While the FAC process is a good opportunity to have community imput, I think that an article should be given the time to embed. Because as remembered, Wikipedia is a collaborative project, some people are able to create quality article on their own, but the place of the article in this wide network that is Wikipedia, matters. In the FA criteria, 1e is relevant. But I think that it's not enough, so indeed, I believe that we should wait a certain amount of time before a FAC. Cenarium (talk) 16:23, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

New York Routes 28 & 32 contrast & compare

As another user and I have been the poster of both FACs, there seems to have been a problem growing in one that is not happening in the other.

It seems that the New York State Route 32 article is becoming a battleground over the "Major intersectons" chart that is used in every USRD article. Well, the project standards is to use shields in it to make others understand the difference. Well, this has been brought up on my FAC and the user is not letting go at all. This has become a 5 vs. 1 battle and not helping the situation any.

The problem I am trying to bring up is that this is happening on the NY 32 FAC and not the NY 28 FAC right above it. Is there some kind of reviewing deficiency or is this just a problem that other users are not bringing up on the other FAC? This battle is going nowhere and it feels weird that one article is getting all the abuse from it, and the other isn't at all. Is that really fair? I mean why abuse one FAC when another has the same problem brought up in the other.

Also, this was never brought up in the last 10 FAs that have passed. Why is this so? Is there anything we can do about it? It would help a lot if some compromise was made over this.

Anyway, comments would help. Thanks!Mitch32contribs 00:24, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Mitch, if it's a five to one battle, let it go, as clearly the consensus is to leave it just the way it is. However, yes, there is indeed a lack of reviewers. Also, it appears that you are trying to get my (NY 28) FAC involved with the argument, no? I think WT:USRD might be a better place for this discussion. Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 00:31, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
I'd just direct the users to the talk page of the roads Wikiproject, as that is the more appropriate forum for this debate. However, characterizing this little disagreement as a "battle" and "abuse" is stretching it. From what I can see, the 2 editors who take issue with the shields have only posted a couple of one-sentence replies. And it's not like they are adamantly opposing the article. BuddingJournalist 01:10, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Content forking and introduction articles

A few of these slipped under my radar and I am a bit dismayed to see that things like Introduction to evolution and Introduction to general relativity passed FAC without substantial discussion on the content forking issue. In the latter it was just tabled, not worked out like it probably should have been. If we continue out the trend to it's logical conclusion, it doesn't reach a good place and here's why:

  • Very simply it represents content forking, with double the maintenance and a lot of redundancy that could be reduced by handling the issue in a better way. If an article is too difficult to understand then it is not aimed for the right audience and it should be fixed, not forked.
  • It creates problems with deciding what is the right path to the content. Connectedness of information is very important and is perhaps Wikipedias greatest strength. Content forking creates a problem of what should link to the introduction to article? If you think about it all articles should link to one or the other, not a little of each. And if it's one or the other, only one should exist

It's not to say that lots of good work hasn't been done, but it's just a bit in the wrong direction. I know people will oppose this because they've put work into these articles, but we really have to focus on what's best for the project. So on to the solution:

  • Proper use of summary style. Make the intro article the main article because it is more approachable for the layperson, and then move progressively more detailed and difficult material into subarticles. That's what summary style was conceived for as a way to have the best of both worlds. People that have a need for easier introduction have it and all of the detail is still available. Of course that's not easy to do, but no one said great writing would be. I believe the longstanding practice was to avoid content forking and I believe it was for good reason and we should return to that, and can do so with no loss, instead actually improving the project. - Taxman Talk 14:01, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
Taxman, I agree with what you've said. Are you raising the issue here to encourage FA reviewers to be more aware of possible content forks? --Laser brain (talk) 14:10, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
(Disclaimer, Taxman and me have chatted about this on IRC for the last few hours (on and off).) Yeah, I think that's the essence of it—reviewing prose, images, sources, etc. etc. are obviously important, but sometimes reviews/reviewers will miss "bigger picture" issues such as the one raised here. giggy (:O) 14:12, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes, and to get a bit of more specialist knowledge input before I decide to take this to some type of proposal stage. I thought this was a good place to get people that know what it takes to create great articles. But this way we can head this type of thing off at the pass and then cover what's already been done. - Taxman Talk 14:17, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
I brought this up on an FAC once before and was roundly chastised for the suggestion that introduction articles were essentially forks. I agree with you, but I think we'll need a lot more opinions from other pieces of the project to determine what the consensus actually is. Karanacs (talk) 14:44, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
No, Giggy, reviewers didn't "miss the bigger picture"; the issue was discussed a lot (maybe not all on the FAC, but it was discussed in both cases in many places), and consensus went with the intro articles. I'm not saying consensus can't or won't change or whether I agree with it; only that it wasn't a case of reviewers missing the big picture. (And that's one of the problems with IRC discussions; you may have misunderstood, missed, or misstated something else that the rest of us might not know about.) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:51, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
It is exceedingly difficult to discuss anything that you, Sandy, disagree with, without being accused of not having read Archive 45.83 and not having filled in Form 29.3 section 2a. Clearly only those who have spent as much time around FAC, FAR, and other such processes are yourself are entitled to discuss them. Thus I will recuse myself from this discussion. Best wishes, giggy (:O) 15:12, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
Recusing from an open and transparent discussion won't address misimpressions delivered over IRC. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:14, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
Well that's why I brought it here, so we can bring in the people that know what's going on and calmly reference the relevant points from past discussions. I had wanted to get some general input before raising the issue so I did. As simple as that, so no need for hostilities please all. Please leave outside issues outside and focus on the issue at hand. - Taxman Talk 15:18, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
Taxman, I don't recall where all the various discussions took place, but it was discussed in several places (perhaps not all evidenced on the FAC). Perhaps TimVickers (talk · contribs) knows where past discussions occurred (I just don't remember), but more important now is to figure out where to locate a new discussion. At any rate, it's a complete mistake to think this flew under FAC's radar, because it didn't. Also, there is Category:Introductions. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:56, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
For now lets discuss it here since it is here and does affect the FA process substantially. Then we can go elsewhere if need be. Basically it seems like what occurred was a local consensus that didn't match with longstanding more broad consensus. In any case now the issues are on the table and we can discuss the merits. If someone can find the links to the previous discussions you mention that would be interesting. Only one of the two FACs covered it and not really in an in depth way. - Taxman Talk 15:18, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
OK, the best way to find the old discussions, and get more people involved for now, is to bring in the participants on those two FACs (I'm still getting through my morning watchlist, if anyone else can ping them). The Intro to Evolution FAC, in particular, got quite testy, and there was a lot of discussion in a lot of places. I had a strong opinion on the topic, I can't recall if I lodged my opinion, but since I have to judge consensus on FACs, I'll keep my opinion to myself :-) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:23, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

For reference, I found some of the previous discussions.

I haven't finished reading them yet, but I believe on the whole we'll find they fail to address the above concerns. What was added to Wikipedia:Make_technical_articles_accessible certainly doesn't consider the better alternative of good use of summary style to avoid content forking. - Taxman Talk 15:49, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

I think the most recent discussion was the one at Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Introduction_to_genetics--BirgitteSB 17:32, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
Am I the only to think it's ironic for those concerned about content forking to start the discussion in so many different places in parallel?
That said: I think any talk of "the right audience" needs clarification. Sure, we might have consensus about the main audience (the "curious man in the street" of earlier discussions), but Wikipedia has many more audiences that derive great use from it. My personal worry about the discussions about "Introduction to..." has been the danger that we might make Wikipedia less useful for those audiences, while not improving it much for anyone else, simply on a matter of principle. That, I would feel, would be a very bad, if all too human thing. Cf. WP:Many things to many people.
I'm somewhat surprised that you claim Introduction to general relativity passed FAC without much discussion about content forking. You did see, I hope, that much of this particular part of the discussion was taken to the FAC review's talk page, a somewhat unusual step which was taken precisely because the discussion about "Introduction to..." was getting overlong for the regular review page?
On content forking: as has been pointed out in similar discussions a number of times, it's not fundamentally different from regular spin-off articles. Think of "Introduction to..." as the spin-off of the article's lede, or of an overview section. The lede should be generally accessible, but that's not always possible given length restrictions. The solution in those (hopefully rare) cases? The same as when any other section of the article gets too long. Summary style in the lede, and a dedicated extra article with the details.
Connectedness: in my view, that's an argument for "Introduction to...". In general relativity, for instance, I find it hard to imagine how you can write the article so that it is suitable for a general audience, while still keeping the links to the many advanced concepts related to general relativity (the related semantic network) intact.
"Introduction to..." plus normal article vs. normal article plus "Advanced ..." article: I have no clear predilection; however, I think the "spin-off of the lede" means that the former concept fits better in with how Wikipedia works. Also, it's the way this is currently implemented, so, from an efficiency standpoint, I would think that is an argument in favour of keeping it. Markus Poessel (talk) 19:05, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
One of the things that is best about these general introduction articles is that they can give a broad overview to introduce several articles. For instance, I've used Introduction to genetics as an introductory overview to several articles, including DNA, gene and genetics. If you wish to gauge community consensus on if these articles are content forks Taxman, I'd simply suggest you nominate one for AfD with "content fork" as your deletion reason. Tim Vickers (talk) 01:02, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
That's a rather curious argument, which if taken to its conclusion would lead to a single Introduction article would it not? --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 01:09, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
No, but there are a set of related concepts that are needed to provide the background to both the article on DNA and the article on genes. Such a general introductory background would not give the reader any better appreciation of an article on Ancient Egypt, for example, so your argument is untrue. Tim Vickers (talk) 14:02, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
I don't agree that these articles are inconsistent with summary style, which I view as being about different levels of specificity and detail. These articles are mostly written at similar levels of specificity but at different levels of technical accuracy. I also think FAC should be careful not to become a second forum for deletion or merge discussions that properly belong at other forums. The discussions to date on this issue, at least for introduction to evolution, suggest a solid consensus that the current organization is okay; I don't think it's the role of the featured article process to contradict those decisions. Christopher Parham (talk) 01:40, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, there was a very clear community consensus at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Introduction to genetics as well. Tim Vickers (talk) 13:59, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Only just found this discussion. Hopefully all the previous discussions were linked. Taxman, did you have problems finding the previous discussions, or were they just not where you expected to find them? My view is that there is a place for such articles, but we need to use the "Introduction to..." titles sparingly and only use it where the two articles can be substantially written in a useful way. I do think the issue of linking should be discussed more - ie. when people follow a link to genetics, should they have to click again to reach the article the might want (the introduction article), or should it be the reader who wants the detailed stuff that should have to click again to reach the "technical" genetics article? Carcharoth (talk) 02:49, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

Found two more discussions: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Introduction to evolution and Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Introduction to evolution (2nd nomination). Carcharoth (talk) 03:02, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

Technical articles

Following on from the above, I have a little list of articles that I personally have found very technical and complex. Does anyone else have ones to add to this?

Unfortunately, I find the last two equally incomprehensible! But then so do lots of people, apparently. Carcharoth (talk) 03:10, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

New (to me) FAC procedure

I've been through the FAC procedure once before; the rules appear to have changed, and in the new rules, there is one part I don't quite understand: 'If there is a "previous FAC" link, leave the link in the new nomination.' – how do I "leave a link" in a "nomination"? Does this mean I should set a link to the previous FAC discussion when I re-nominate? Is this something that will become clearer when I actually start the FAC nomination? I'd be glad for clarification. And incidentally, I vote for formulating this more clearly. Markus Poessel (talk) 01:49, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

There is now a pre-load on the FAC template. Go to any article that has a recent previous FAC that didn't pass, add {{fac}} to the talk page, click on the link to the fac, and have a look at what's there. Then tell us if it's no longer clear. You "leave the link" you'll see that's already there (as opposed to deleting it). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:55, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
It is clearer once you actually do it. For the sake of more timid people, who do not attempt to do something without understanding it, it would be great, though, if this could formulated just a little bit differently, like: "If there were previous nominations, you will see a link to each. Leave those links as they are." or similar. Thanks! Markus Poessel (talk) 13:06, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
I made a change; is it better now? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:52, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
I think it's much clearer that way. Thanks! Markus Poessel (talk) 18:33, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

Disambiguation detector

I thought I'd share a script User:Splarka/dabfinder.js with the reviewers here. It uses the API to get a list of templates used at link and checks it against the list at MediaWiki:Disambiguationspage, if they match it draws a border around the link and adds it to the count. — Dispenser 06:33, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

It looks useful. Installed! Gary King (talk) 15:18, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

May FAC stats

During May, 107 featured article candidates were handled, resulting in 54 promotions and 53 archived nominations. FAC had 800 statements from 242 editors, including:

  • 163 editors with 1 review;
  • 45 editors with 2-4 reviews;
  • 20 editors with 5-10 reviews;
  • 8 editors with 11-20 reviews; and
  • 6 editors with over 20 reviews.

Focusing on the editors who participated in over 10 reviews in May, I revisited the FACs to roughly assess the quality of those reviews. Extra weight was given for extensive reviews and for reviews that were a determining factor in the outcome. Lower quality reviews were often the result of prematurely supporting a FAC in which other editors subsequently identified significant issues, or of unactionable opposes based on non-criteria, such as personal preferences for infoboxes, images, or citation templates.

The top 10 FAC reviewers in May, based on quantity and quality, were:

Honorable mentions go to: Black Kite for assisting with image use reviews; Awadewit, Roger Davies, Jbmurray, and Dweller for especially in-depth reviews; and new reviewer Giants2008 who almost made the top 10 list in only his second month reviewing at FAC.

Thanks to all for your hard work! Maralia (talk) 18:33, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

And an extra special thanks to Maralia for doing this work !!! It usually takes me two to three days, so I really appreciate it. Barnstars on the way (I'm starting now :-)) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:36, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
You know, I don't really consider it a review to check sources... but I think I've lost this argument with Sandy before. Ealdgyth - Talk 19:53, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
I thought I reviewed, like, 5 or 6. 17 is nutty! --Moni3 (talk) 20:16, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
I thought I had done more, but it's not the number that counts, but rather the quality, depth and usefulness of the reviews themselves. Well done everyone. — Wackymacs (talk ~ edits) 20:21, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
All that matters is whether the encyclopedia is better or worse as a result of whatever contributions you're able to make Wackymacs. It's not about racking up cricket scores of reviews. Reviewer of the month is yesterday's news almost before it's published. Does anyone remember who the reviewer of the month was for March, for instance? Does anyone really care? --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 20:33, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
Yea, I remember March; there weren't any barnstars because I was too busy to do the stats. Don't be a party-pooper, MF; your fans expect so much more from you :-) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:36, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't mean to poop the party, and I just picked March at random; I didn't even notice that there had been no stats for March. Of course all of the reviewers who worked so hard in May deserve their moment in the sunshine. I was simply offering a little condolence to those left watching from the shade. :-) --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 20:42, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

I've barnstarred the reviewers identified by Maralia, but want to extend thanks to all reviewers; every little bit helps. I think it would be very nice if the people behind the scenes could be recognized more often by FA writers (I'm thinking of Gimmetrow who maintains {{articlehistory}} and processes FAC and FAR closings, Brighterorange with his famous dash fixing script, Dr pda who wrote the articlehistory and prose size scripts, Rick Block who maintains WP:WBFAN, and Dispenser for the FA tools that I don't understand :-). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:36, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

(bloody edit conflict) :It's nice, very nice, to be thanked for, (and reminded of), all the many hours I've spent on FACs, so please continue. But it's even better when the nominators show gratitude, particularly when one's initial review has been deemed by some to be adversarial. I see a great team growing at FAC—with each member, although not blind to the bigger picture, developing a particular expertise on the criteria. FAC is about achieving consensus; I think we are getting very good at this. Graham. GrahamColmTalk 21:01, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

Idea

This might be the time to bring up on older issue that Tony1 and I fought over a few months back on Raul's talk page (we had different ideas about how to implement this, but Tony really wants an FA of the Month while I really want to recognize good reviews): a proposal to use this methodology to choose 10 FAC reviewers each month, along with several other non-FA regulars appointed by Raul (or Marskell or whomever), to form a panel to vote an FA of the month, where the top 10 FAC reviewers each put forward five articles from that month for voting. Feedback ?? Too much work? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:27, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

What's the purpose of such a task? Indeed it does sound like too much work, even if someone is determined to do this each and every month. — Wackymacs (talk ~ edits) 21:34, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
Hey, an FA of the month, count me in, a new challenge and a great way to celebrate achievement. Graham. GrahamColmTalk 21:35, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
Tony's purpose is to recognize an FA of the month, to encourage additional recognition of fine work and better standards. My purpose was to give reviewers a way to provide feedback into that recognition of good work, since they are the ones who've already been through the articles and can put forward their lists of five for voting, so that the external panel has less articles to read (the 10 reviewers would vote down the top five, which an external panel would then review). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:37, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
IN other words, the 10 reviewers only put forward and vote on top five, and any top 10 reviewer who doesn't have time can cede their spot to other reviewers (for example, Tony had planned to cede one to PMAnderson). Then an expanded panel can read and vote on those five articles, allowing Raul/us/someone to bring in new blood to the FA process. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:39, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
Something tells me "important" topics would be more likely to find favour with any panel than pop-culture topics would. indopug (talk) 21:44, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
(edit conflict) To me, an article achieving FA status is recognition enough in itself. The finest works are already available for those to see by viewing recently nominated articles. I personally think effort should be put into either more reviews or improving articles, instead of a superficial 'FA of the month' that, like the monthly FAC stats, will most likely soon be forgotten. Sandy, your view of this seems to complicate the matter. Lets keep the FAC process simple—as GrahamColm said, its working very effectively. — Wackymacs (talk ~ edits) 21:46, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
Something tells me you're very likely right indopug. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 21:55, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
I like the idea of FA of the month, though am neutral as to how it should be chosen: some method that's fairly uncomplicated would be good; I'd even support SandyG or Raul nominating FA of the month themselves. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 02:21, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
My idea is not to have a cast of thousands (or 10) and to make the system as automatic as possible; therefore JB's idea is more attractive than any massive system, but I think neither Raul nor Sandy will have it. I wanted four panellists, and proposed that they have three-month tenures to lessen the work in selecting and recruiting them. I wanted a three-month trial with feedback encouraged during that period (but a one-month trial in the first instance would be fine). And I wanted a fifth person to be short-lister for each period, to sift through the huge number of promotions and select, say six articles; the short-lister and the panellists would be specifically instructed not to allow their like or dislike of topics/areas to influence their decisions. Each article would need to be read properly by all panellists. Asking all to sift through 80 articles is just too much; I do not support that, since it would be onerous and would take our best reviewers away from reviewing; and it's hard to see how a numerical voting system could work with that many items. The idea is not to reward good reviewing by everyone in each period but to do this over a longer period by rotating personnel. Keep it small, keep it easy is my feeling. TONY (talk) 02:27, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
Sorry to repeat the whole big discussion that Tony and I had, but ... First, absolutely I don't want this responsibility, and I'm not sure if Raul does. Second, we can't empower a panel of x people, and charge them with reading through 50 to 80 articles a month: no fun, they won't want to do it, too much work. By having our top 10 reviewers nominate and vote to narrow it down to the top 5, you can present a panel with only five articles to read (and our reviewers don't have to read 80 articles, because they've already reviewed them and have a head start). What panel or group will want to read 50 to 80 articles in one sitting ??? Tony solves that by proposing a short-lister; in other words, back to one person, or a few people, doing the choosing, which will always lead to charges of <whatever>, not to mention, who chooses that person? My solution is to reward top reviewers for their work by letting them each nominate five articles, they vote amongst themselves to select the top five, which are put before the panel. For those who are afraid this would mean no pop culture articles, well, this would provide an incentive for better reviews of pop culture articles. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:35, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Sandy: Can you clarify whether you're responding to JBM's idea or to what I'm saying ...?
  • Pop: Some worthy pop nominations are promoted, and once in a while need to be highlighted as models for others in that area. This is why I'm keen that both short-lister and panellists be explicitly asked to disregard their own likes and dislikes of topics/areas (just as a judge might ask a jury to disregard certain aspects of evidence in RL—easier here than for a jury, I suspect).
  • Relationship to the criteria: On a dry run of short-listing I performed as an experiment, I came to the view that short-lister and panellists should be steered away from excluding promotions purely because, in their view, they don't quite satisfy every single criterion. I think that having recently promoted an article, the "system" should be aiming for a global assessment, balancing what each judge feels are positives and negatives into a single ranking, period, no feedback, no comments.
  • Who would be the short-lister? Short-listing is a more onerous task than being a panellist and would exclude final judgement, so you might not have people rushing to do it. Perhaps if there are four panellists, five might be selected and asked to sort out among themselves who'll do the short-list each month: that makes three of the five who'll get a go at the time-consuming bit over a three-month tenure.
  • Other comments: As I conceive it, this process should (1) avoid explicit comments by judges, both between each other and externally; (2) require the short-lister to consider selecting a reasonable range of topics/areas (not mostly video games, or science-based, or biography, or history, unless there are extenuating circumstances); (3) allow only questions of procedure by short-lister and panellists, where absolutely necessary, to be put to Raul/Sandy; and (4) require panellists merely to rank the short-listed articles (e.g., if there are six items, their first choice receives 6 points, their second 5 points, etc., the scores for each item added to produce a winner). Query whether to publish the total scores and thus the average rankings of all six: can't see a problem in that. TONY (talk) 09:38, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

PS Sandy, are you suggesting that all panellists isolate their five best, and that, say four panellists then have to go through a second stage of selecting five from 20, and then in a third stage to select one from five? Hmmm ... it's three stages and relies on a lot of procedural follow-through by a lot of people. Too complicated. My system requires only one formal stage for any one person. Allegations of bias against a short-lister ... well, it's like allegations of bias against reviewers, isn't it? Just wear it. Over the months, it will pan out. TONY (talk) 09:45, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

I don't like the idea of having an FA of the month. I think that no matter how it is determined it will be subjective, and that always causes problems. Having panellists or a group of judges? Just sounds like bureaucracy to me. I'm also not a fan of any kind of super-FA, either an article is FA or it isn't. As for reviewer of the month, while I think this has more merit, I think it'll just take time away from other things, and would prefer people just hand out a few more barnstars. - Shudde talk 10:04, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
I concur. It will probably prove to be a time sink for already hard-pressed reviewers and I'm not keen on the elitism inherent in either the panel approach or the FA of the month idea. --ROGER DAVIES talk 10:59, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
I won't be participating with any sort of process, my article writing has suffered enough just doing the source checking, I don't have time to do much more processes. Sorry. Ealdgyth - Talk 11:57, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

All [FA]s are equal but some [FA]s are more equal than others. indopug (talk) 10:47, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

If "FA of the month" sounds too Animal-Farmish, another form of words could be used: "Spotlight FA" or something. It could be written up each month in the Signpost Dispatch, with comments from editors and reviewers. It might not be the best, but a particularly interesting or unusual FA or FAC, that had particular issues. (If RCC were to pass FAC, for instance, it would definitely deserve some comment!) --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 16:38, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
I don't think how it sounds is the issue. I believe Indopug was basically saying that this is a bad idea (or at least, that's how I see it). — Wackymacs (talk ~ edits) 17:11, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm reading through all this, and being rather ambivalent about it. While I think a spotlight FA is nice, and in fact, think all my articles deserve it, I also think effort should be put into recruiting more FA reviewers or making the FA experience - in going through it and being a reviewer - easier somehow. Though I don't quite know how, because it's really not that easy. Perhaps our energies should go toward improving the system we have, assisting Maralia in stats, Ealdgyth as the primary source checker, and Sandy in keeping track of all our random comments. I've long thought a rubric would be nice and logical to have, one much more comprehensive than the GA criteria, but other than a checklist, I don't know what it might be. Also, there is a certain je ne sais qois about an FA, that while making me sound like a pretentious prat, exists in articles. Either it has it or it doesn't. Have I sufficiently hijacked the topic? --Moni3 (talk) 18:16, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
I don't think this would be a time sink. I'm betting most frequent reviewers could instantly tick off a handful of articles they reviewed in the last month that had that "wow" factor. --Laser brain (talk) 20:48, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
Isn't a spotlight FA called Today's Featured Article? - Shudde talk 23:38, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

(reply to jbmurray) I remember a while back Dispatches had a segment chronicling FACs that failed multiple times before finally succeeding (Ronald Reagan was an example). I guess such a thing would be fine; the story behind the FA. Yes RCC would be an interesting story and, ahem, so would this one (if it had succeeded). indopug (talk) 13:52, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

  • Scartol and I are planning on doing a series of Sypecasts on "how to contribute good content to Wikipedia" - could we highlight especially well-written or well-researched or well-illustrated articles there as well? So, if we are discussing copyediting, we could turn to one of our especially well-written FAs, or if we are discussing image placement and manipulation, one of our especially well-illustrated FAs, etc. Might there be a way to teach and at the same time "spotlight" the articles? (Open invitation to those who want to join us, by the way! See our ideas here.) Awadewit (talk) 14:35, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
I like this idea, and would like to assist. I don't know what it is you would need. Please keep me in the loop. --Moni3 (talk) 15:34, 10 June 2008 (UTC)