Wikipedia talk:Featured topics/2009

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Not just articles?

I came up with a bold new idea. I wasn't sure which talk to page to add it to, so here's a link. --Cryptic C62 · Talk 06:20, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

Is it possible...

...to have a featured topic that is composed of small featured topics? For example, would it be possible to have one featured topic on jet fighter, another ft on jet bombers, and have both of these ft's be a part of a large "jet aircraft" ft? TomStar81 (Talk) 05:04, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Yes, this is called subtopicing and is done quite a bit. For example, if you look at the Solar System topic, it's got subtopics on the Main asteroid belt and the Dwarf planets.
But you must make sure that each topic is fully comprehensive. So the Jet aircraft topic would need to consist of a whole lot more than just Jet aircraft, Jet fighter and Jet bomber, but also cover other types of jet aircraft and maybe also include Jet engine - rst20xx (talk) 16:52, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
My idea is to create FTs for each class of US battleship, then unite all 71 individual battleships, there class pages, armament pages, aircraft pages, and any other related material under one master page, probably "history of united states navy battleships" or something of that caliber. By my rough calculations its going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 articles or so, hence the question. We have a long way to go before getting there, but I thought I would ask to ensure that such a plan was viable. Thanks for the answer. TomStar81 (Talk) 05:38, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Question

Is there any way to make an exception to the rules for Featured Topics? I'm currently working on a 25-piece FT 'awards, lectures and medals of the royal society'. Unfortunately one of the awards (Microsoft European Science Award) does not (and for several years really can not) qualify as a Good or Featured piece. With a topic like this I cannot simply 'leave it out', and breaking it down to its constituent parts ('lectures of the royal society', say) means the core list does not have enough items to qualify as Featured. As stupid as it sounds is there any way you could make an exception given the size of the project? Ironholds (talk) 02:08, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Yes, this should qualify under 3.c) as an audited list of limited subject matter, as it is too short to become a featured list. This has been done with 5 lists before, in 3 topics, see here, here and here. You will however need to put Microsoft European Science Award through a peer review, to ensure that what IS there is up to scratch - rst20xx (talk) 11:25, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
Excellent, thanks for your help! Worlds biggest Featured Topic coming right up :P. Ironholds (talk) 13:40, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
Just out of curiosity, would mind listing the articles here? I'd like to see them. :P --haha169 (talk) 05:19, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Page problems

Why is "Awards, etc." section not in the "categories" box? And a quick preruse in edit-mode shows an "art" section with Millennium Park as a FT, but it does not show up. Why is that? --haha169 (talk) 05:23, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

I've added the awards section, that was just a coding error. As for the other missing topics, the hidden list contains both featured topics and good topics, but the code makes it so that only the featured ones show. The only difference between FTs and GTs is that FTs require more featured articles in them, so if any GTs get enough FAs to qualify for FT, it will automatically appear on this page. It also works the other way around; any FT that loses some FAs will disappear from here and appear on the GT page. --Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 05:32, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Coordinators' working group

Hi! I'd like to draw your attention to the new WikiProject coordinators' working group, an effort to bring both official and unofficial WikiProject coordinators together so that the projects can more easily develop consensus and collaborate. This group has been created after discussion regarding possible changes to the A-Class review system, and that may be one of the first things discussed by interested coordinators.

All designated project coordinators are invited to join this working group. If your project hasn't formally designated any editors as coordinators, but you are someone who regularly deals with coordination tasks in the project, please feel free to join as well. — Delievered by §hepBot (Disable) on behalf of the WikiProject coordinators' working group at 05:24, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

Books

In view of the fact that so many featured topics (rightly) have associated books, I've added a link within the FT box to the associated book. Because I belive that all featured topics hould have books associated with them, I haven't made the link conditional on teh exsistence of the book (so missing books show up as redlinks). Tompw (talk) (review) 22:26, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

Update... I've also added an optional parameter called bookname into the FT box template, for use where the title of the book is different form the topic's title (as for Wikipedia:Featured topics/Lists of universities in Canada vs. Wikipedia:Books/Canadian Universities). Tompw (talk) (review) 23:03, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
Nice! And it appears Dwiakigle made most of the books a few days ago, so there are very few redlinks - rst20xx (talk) 13:19, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Uh oh

I've just noticed that the bottom topics at both WP:GT and WP:FT look iffy to me. At WP:FT, for "Iowa class battleships", I can't see the "edit | Topic discussion | Book" links or the fully featured star, and I can't see the "Spanish Tanks" topic at all. At WP:GT I can't see the "edit | Topic discussion | Book" links on the bottom 3 topics, and the first of those 3, bizarrely, is "Solar System", a fully featured topic!

But I think I know what's going on. If you click "edit page" and then "show preview" you see an error message saying "Warning: This page contains too many expensive parser function calls. It should have less than 500 calls, there are now 511 calls." (Or 518 calls in WP:FT's case.) Which means that it turns out (I never knew this) that once you get over 500 parser function calls, Wikipedia pages start to break and refuse to handle further calls properly. Which explains all of the above problems.

So what do we do? Obviously this issue technologically limits the further growth of the pages. One solution that I will have a think about over the next few days is to work out a way to lessen the number of parser calls by making things more efficient. Another solution will be to break up the pages into subpages - both are getting quite big. This would be a bit of a shame but I think this is bound to happen eventually, because each topic takes up a lot of space, both physically and screen-wise, and as we now know, in terms of number of parser calls :P - rst20xx (talk) 14:30, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps replace the {{icon}} template with other symbols? I think this is the main source of parser function calls. Nergaal (talk) 17:46, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
i.e. Featured article and Good article Nergaal (talk) 17:48, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Maybe change the topictransclude template to autodetect if it's being called on the FT page or the GT page- that would let you remove the |FT or |GT parser call from every topic. --PresN 18:52, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Some experimenting suggests that neither of these are considered to be "expensive" parser calls, so the changes do not help. And some research tells me that "expensive parser functions" are those that use #ifexist - rst20xx (talk) 22:24, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
OK I fixed it with this change. Once I bothered looking up what an "expensive parser function" is, that was surprisingly easy to fix. There are 149 topics in total and each had 2 calls. This means that there should have been 298 in total. I don't know why there were more but I just removed 298. I also find it particularly worrying that the pages had a different number of them. Anyway, problem solved - rst20xx (talk) 22:30, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Consistency?

Hey mates. I've been browsing some of the FT nominations, and I've noticed that, for the most part, the discussions almost exclusively focus on which articles should/shouldn't be included in the topic. There's nothing wrong with that, but there really doesn't seem to be any critical examination of the content in the articles. Quoth Ruslik: "Creating a new topic is actually quite simple, providing you have enough GA and FA articles."

You're probably thinking "Well, why should we examine the articles? The fact that they're all GA/FA means that they've already been thoroughly reviewed!" However, it is important to keep in mind that GA/FA reviewers of one article might not be aware of the information presented in related articles. Therefore, there exists the possibility that related articles, despite having passed GA/FA, may be factually inconsistent. This, I suspect, is especially true of very large topics, those written by multiple editors, and those whose articles were promoted over a very long time period.

Perhaps to some of you this doesn't actually seem like a real problem. Consider then the Periodic Table. In a few years, WP:ELEMENTS might nominate the Periodic Table and its 118 elements for a featured topic. We currently have 33 pieces of recognized content written by at least 6 editors going as far back as December 2005. Would it really be safe to simply assume that such a large topic written by so many editors over such a long period of time would be internally consistent? I think not.

Thoughts? Should consistency be added to the FT requirements? Should this become another focal point of FT nominations? --Cryptic C62 · Talk 16:04, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Some of the recommendations cover this. Nevertheless, I think it would be nice that if reviewers notice any problems to recommend opening a GAR/FAR/FLR for the problematic articles. Nergaal (talk) 17:27, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't know about consistency (hopefully that would be picked up in the GANs/FLCs/FACs, as Nergaal points out) but I do think sometimes editors have trouble seeing the larger picture of how articles in a topic play off each other, of how a topic becomes comprehensive and of how a topic would fit in with other topics. I think this has been somewhat addressed though by the overview topic guidelines. Also the criteria do require that "The articles have a clear similarity with each other" and this can I suppose be used to ensure they are internally consistent. I think if you find a topic candidate which contradicts itself and you query it then no-one is going to say "you can't do that" - rst20xx (talk) 19:44, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
The criterion that you've pointed out and the recommendations section both seem to be about structural and stylistic similarities. Nowhere in the guidelines does it explicitly mention factual consistency, something which any guideline on groups of articles should require. --Cryptic C62 · Talk 20:53, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
A featured topic nomination is not really the appropriate place for fact checking. As stated above that is better handled at FAR/GAR/FLR. I'm not sure fact checking every article in a topic nom would even be plausible. Using your hypothetical example of a 118 elements featured topic, it would take a great deal of time to go through every line and every source of every article in a topic like that. And a process like that could take months, assuming you had a group of editors willing to undertake such a huge task. Rreagan007 (talk) 21:18, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Suppose there is a topic of twelve articles. All of them touch on a specific subtopic. 6 of them present one piece of sourced information, the other 6 present a contradictory piece of sourced information. Are you suggesting that 6 FARs/GARs/FLRs be opened to address the problem despite the fact that the featured topic nomination already presents a location for centralized discussion? If so, how do we decide which 6 articles should be labeled the flawed ones? Or should we just open up 12 review pages?
Also, I'm not sure I understand your aversion to doing work as part of the FT nomination review process. FACs require a considerable amount of hard work on the part of the reviewer. If a featured topic is to be viewed as a step above individual FAs, why should the amount of diligence required of the reviewers be lower?
You also seem to not fully grasp what I'm suggesting. I'm not suggesting that FT nominations necessarily involve rigorous fact-checking, for you're quite right in that such work would be better handled in other more individualized review processes. I'm suggesting that FT nominations involve checking for factual consistency between multiple articles, something that really isn't handled anywhere and would be best suited for this venue. --Cryptic C62 · Talk 17:43, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Let me see if I got Cryptic's point right and let's use the noble gas FT as an example. During the nomination procedure, people should check that all the 7 elements have a history, a characteristics, a production, and one applications section. Is that what you want Cry? Nergaal (talk) 18:36, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
No, that's not quite what I'm referring to. What you've described is, as you pointed out earlier, already adequately covered by criterion 1b. Let's go along with the noble gas example: Suppose the Neon article claims that it was the first noble gas to have been discovered, followed by Argon. The Argon article confirms this, stating that it was the second noble gas to have been discovered with the first being Neon. However, Krypton and Noble gas both claim that Krypton was the first to have been discovered. In all four articles, the discovery statements are cited to reliable sources. All four pass their GAN, as they are all reviewed by different people (this is all theoretical, btw). Because there is no existing process by which these articles are checked against each other, they continue to contradict each other despite being GAs. However, the Featured Topic nominations present us with the opportunity to check a group of related articles against each other for internal consistency. That is what I'm talking about. Sorry for not making this clearer earlier. --Cryptic C62 · Talk 20:40, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
There's nothing to say that you can't have a look at the articles whilst reviewing the topic. If the articles are inconsistent with each other, then okay they don't fail the topic criteria as it stands, but they do fail the article criteria (GA/FA), as some of them are not factually accurate. And at this point you can point this out, either in the topic nom, or on the article's talk page, or if it's really serious you can start a review of the article's status - rst20xx (talk) 01:27, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

150+ total topics

91 FTs + 60 GTs, hurray! Nergaal (talk) 04:45, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Somebody who is patient enough should create a graph with the # of FTs and GTs vs time. Nergaal (talk) 04:46, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Here you go:

Chart showing number of good and featured topics per month.

The 91 featured topics contain 675 articles, whilst the 60 good topics contain 461. This means there are on average 7.42 articles per featured topic and 7.68 articles per good topic. As can be seen here, there were 7.51 articles per FT and 8.58 articles per GT when we hit 100 topics in December, and 8.18 articles per FT when we hit 50 (there were no GTs yet then!) I think the loss of the Simpsons topics had a large impact on the fall of the number of articles per FT between 50 and 100, and the fall in the number of articles per GT between 100 and 150 probably in part reflects the fact that the Simpsons topics make up a smaller portion of the whole - back then they were 4/26, but now they are 6/61. And other large topics like Millennium Park and the 30 Rock and The Office season topics already existed in December.

It took 4 1/2 months to get from 50 topics to 100, and it's taken a further 7 months to get to 150 topics. I would guess that the slowdown is probably somewhat superficial as after GTs first opened for business there was a rush of new topics that were already ready to be GTs but couldn't have become FTs. But looking at the graph above it appears that the slowdown has mainly been in FT growth. 35 of the last 51 topics have been GTs, and 16 have been FTs. There certainly was an inital GT rush so this may be because people are working on GTs now instead of FTs, and also because FTs are harder to get because they now require 33% of articles to be featured instead of 20%. There have also been more featured topics demoted lately, for a variety of reasons - rst20xx (talk) 15:51, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

If there is a gap line, there should also be a totals line. Nergaal (talk) 17:21, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Done - rst20xx (talk) 17:53, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Ooh, what about Fully Featured Topics? --Cryptic C62 · Talk 00:04, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

That would be harder to work out, because up til now I've just been (roughly speaking) going through the featured topic logs, whereas that would involve trawling WP:Featured topics/count - rst20xx (talk) 01:17, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Congratulations on the milestone! I haven't been around FT for a while due to real life commitments, but without seeing what's been going on here I would definitely guess that the introduction of GT could have slowed down the growth of FTs due to people only working to get to the first stage before moving on to something else. The harsher rules at FL don't help either. It's not a big problem, but it would be nice if we could encourage people to upgrade from GTs to FTs. For articles it's easy to encourage people since they can get things on the main page. For a project like this one that can't use the main page as an insentive, we have to think of something else. I think the answer lies in finding out-of-wikipedia ways to present complete topics. The books section that topics are now automatically included in helps, but I think some kind of connection to wikibooks and wikivesity would be better. Unfortunately, those projects are not yet big enough to act as an incentive over here in the 'pedia. --Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 23:22, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

And with the promotion of Chough, there are 500 articles in good topics. This is close to the 676 in featured topics - rst20xx (talk) 15:06, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Scary

When I started my FT effort the percent was 30%; now it's been upped to 50%. I don't suppose you guys are going to raise it any higher? 50% is VERY demanding as is. <think of the wiki-children!> ResMar 21:26, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Do you mean 33%? It was never 30%. But I don't anticipate any further raises - rst20xx (talk) 22:04, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
You could aim for Wikipedia:Good topics first. GT is the reason in my mind that the FT criteria are getting increased to 50%. -MBK004 22:07, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Well let's hope so. Eh who needs GT, I'm aiming for the big cookie :P I predict (eventually) 5 FAs and 2 GAs, so it's all good, unless someone has the brilliant idea to make the requirement 100% r.r ResMar 00:14, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
In all seriousness... now that we have GT, I wouldn't object to making featured topics fully featured. In fact, I'd be rather in favor of it. :) –Juliancolton | Talk 02:14, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
No...please...don't tell me you just said that :(. Well what about if your topid has a lone GA article that you simply can't push along further? Then what? ResMar 04:01, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Then you have a nice GT. Featured content definitely isn't about making it easy for people. The more I think about it, the more I like this idea. The distinction between good topics and featured topics is pretty marginal right now; they both have a mix of GAs and FAs. GT could adopt FT's current standards, and FT would require all pages to be FAs or FLs. –Juliancolton | Talk 04:17, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Don't worry ResMar; I think most people wouldn't be in favor of bumping it to 100% any time soon, so if this happens it won't be for a few years, and maybe not even then. We went from 20% to 25% on September 2008, and to 33% in April 2009 6 months later (and only that fast because GTs were created; they were actually proposed as a direct result of the proposal to raise it to 33%), and it won't go to 50% until 17 months after that. At this rate it will be 2014 before it gets anywhere near 100%.--PresN 04:35, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
What's the argument against it, aside from "I won't be able to get an FT as easily"? Personally I can't see any, but I'm open to being persuaded. –Juliancolton | Talk 14:57, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Well there are probably some articles that could be good articles that could never become featured articles due to their size. And if one of those articles is required for the topic to be comeplete and you require 100% of articles to be featured, then that topic could never become featured. Rreagan007 (talk) 15:16, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes. Further, I'd expect you'd see less users bothering to take their articles to FA/FL, because they will aim for GT instead of FT, as FT is too hard for them to achieve. And finally, we already recognise fully featured topics with the star in the topic box, so there is some recognition of that higher achievement already.
It's all about what incentivises editors to produce the most FAs, the most FLs and the most GAs. Raising the bar beyond a certain point will lead to less FAs, not more, as editors will get demotivated. I'm somewhat hoping we haven't just done that, but if we raise the bar any more, I have a feeling we will - rst20xx (talk) 17:00, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
I concur. ResMar 23:08, 13 December 2009 (UTC)