Wikipedia talk:Talk page guidelines

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Reverting interruptions[edit]

The guidance at WP:TPO says:

  • Interruptions: In some cases, it is okay to interrupt an editor's long contribution, either with a short comment (as a reply to a minor point) or with a heading (if the contribution introduces a new topic or subtopic; in that case, one might add ...[comments] below the heading to make the nature of the change clearer). ... One may also manually ensure that attribution is preserved by copy-pasting the original signature to just before the interruption. If an editor objects to such interruptions, interruptions should be reverted and another way to deal with the issue found. [emphasis added]

Is this to suggest that one editor may revert the other's comment? I think not. Recommend that the last sentence be revised to say "Upon request of an editor, interruptions in a long contribution should be reverted and posted elsewhere." โ€“ S. Rich (talk) 02:38, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

It is so rarely done that it (the interruptions topic) should probably be removed from the guideline entirely. Monty845 17:20, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
I believe that the "posted elsewhere" sense is what was intended. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:35, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
Concur -- endorsing this practice on the guideline will just give folks something else to fight about ("some cases," "long contribution") vague terms that are just going to lead to trouble. I've removed the section per Monty's suggestion. NE Ent 21:19, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
I would still like to see interruptions addressed, if only to make clear that they should not occur. Deleting the passage saying they are sometimes acceptable does not make it clear that the consensus is (as I gather) that they are not acceptable. I have a strong bias against them because I have probably never seen a case where it aids in improving the related article or otherwise furthers discussion. In the archives, one point was made was that they're usually "tendentious" (perfect word), and I agree with that. Once an editor makes one interruption, they usually go on to interrupt further on a point-by-point basis. Another issue is that it makes further responses to the interrupting comments even harder. An additional objection I have is that it quickly becomes unclear to readers who is saying what, and it is very easy to misattribute words of one editor to another editor. I also have to disclose, I was recently in a protracted discussion with another editor who insisted on the interruptions approach, which drove me particularly batshit, so that's another reason I'd like clarity here. TJRC (talk) 21:45, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
"Interleaving was the predominant reply style in the Usenet discussion lists, years before the existence of the WWW and the spread of e-mail and the Internet outside the academic community."-Wikipedia It is also the predominant style on IETF mailing lists. So what you term "interrupting others' posts" has been and remains not just acceptable behavior, but best practice in many important arenas. "Interleaving continues to be used on technical mailing lists where clarity within complex threads is important" - ibid. On Wikipedia, clarity within complex threads is important, and interleaving, properly done, is an effective means to that end and is best practice. As noted here, within many years of discussion history,
(If you don't understand the above counterexamples and you're participating in this discussion, say so. Thx.) The latter's source.
Anyone find the above reply easy to grok, and the following hard to grok? Surely not.
I've noticed that some people don't understand how to read or participate in interleaved discussions; when they try to do so, some are frustrated. The appropriate solution is to educate these people regarding this best practice. (See especially "READING:" instruction entries below.) A clear guide would be invaluable. It's both very simple to understand and makes both reading and writing easier, but only after one learns it. And it's easy to learn.
Better tools would also be invaluable. The fact is, with a normal email client, reading and writing interleaved are both easy:
WRITING: All you do is go to the end of each statement you want to reply to, hit enter/return, and type your reply. That's it.
READING: It reads just like a novel. Easier; each contributor's comments are displayed in a color and with an indentation level unique to that contributor, and each contributor is identified right before their first comment begins. To read the latest reply, one just reads the unindented text, skipping everything else.
Currently, on Wikipedia talk pages, reading interleaved text is easy, but writing is difficult:
READING: It reads a lot like a play. Each contributor is identified at the end of their first comment, and at the end of any subsequent section of a comment. Successive replies are indented one level more than the text to which they respond; multiple responses to the same text are sometimes indented the same, but sometimes each is indented more than the previous one. This complicates the reading of both interleaved responses and bottom-posted responses. Coloring is not available.
WRITING: All you do is go to the end of each statement you want to reply to, hit enter/return, and type your reply, using a flush left set of colons before and after your reply to ensure it is indented one more level than the statement you're replying to and that the text after the statement you're replying to remains at the same level of indentation as it was before. (Add {{subst:interrupted|USER NAME OR IP}} before your reply too; often attribution is still obvious based on indentation level, but if multiple users reply to the same comment, those users' replies will have the same indentation; also, sometimes additional formatting in a discussion makes it hard to identify speakers with just indentation level to go by.) That's it.
As interleaved text is (at least where the tools don't get in the way) a superior communication style,
Well, the notion of "superior" is highly debatable. -Wikid77 (talk) 22:15, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
we certainly shouldn't be coming out and telling people not to use it.
Again, that notion is debatable, as the presumption seems faulty to say interleaved text is a "superior communication style" where the interleaved lines might overpower the simplicity of the original message, perhaps interjecting completely false issues, or ramble into tangents which obscure, or perhaps even reroute the original ideas by diverting into tangent ideas such as techniques to augment email structures with interleaved-note insertions, which might be an interesting, or even important subtopic, but far removed from the issue of talk-page rules. -Wikid77 (talk) 22:15, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
Unfortunately,
Here, perhaps the word should be "Regretably" rather than "Unfortunately" as considered a side issue about fortunes, or perhaps a better choice would be the words "incidentally" or "totally unrelated to the current train of thought" and yet this line of reasoning shows another danger of interleaved text, in nitpicking the use of a single word, in the middle of the original message. -Wikid77 (talk) 22:15, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
our tools get in the way far too much for us to be prescribing its use.
Here the notion of "tools get in the way" seems entirely off-base when considering years of talk-page use with no tools involved, other than the NewPP parser changing tildes "~~ ~ ~~" into a timestamped signature. Hence, any presumptions about the use of tools, as an impediment to interleaved text, seems to boggle the mind about alleged impacts to "prescribing its use". To keep it short here, let's move on to another phrase. -Wikid77 (talk) 22:15, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
I'd expect improved communication and less retirement of good editors will result when/if that changes.
At this point, with all these interleaved messages disrupting the original message, it is difficult to discern the antecedent of "when/if that changes" as to whether it refers to the above-disputed "tools get in the way" or some other issue. Please clarify here (ya right, months later). -Wikid77 (talk) 22:15, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
Why?
Well, "why what" or perhaps say, "Why not?" as the interleaved response here. Also, remember how hermit crabs will test a variety of new shells, each time returning to the original shell, until finding a new shell with a better fit, and also checking for the new shell to be unoccupied by other creatures. Some might wonder the connection here to hermit crabs, but this is clear example of off-topic, tangent text within an interleaved response. -Wikid77 (talk) 22:15, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
Questions are less likely to be left unanswered when the response to each question is placed directly after the question.
That notion presumes each response will be, in fact, an "answer" to each question, rather than a twisted, or off-topic reply, which might not be the case in a debated topic where the original message had presented a concise, coherent train-of-thought, but could be confused or obscured by several twisted responses intended to derail the logical flow of the message. -Wikid77 (talk) 22:15, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
Points of agreement are more likely to be noted when it's easy to note one with a few keystrokes:
Well, use the bolded word "Support" to indicate agreement, followed by a phrase to clarify details. Also, note how inserting interleaved text could warp the original meaning, as if claiming the original poster thought everyone else was stupid, to which they replied below. -Wikid77 (talk) 22:15, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
"Agreed! <enter>". --Elvey (talk) 01:36, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
Interleaving text above a reply (such as "Agreed") can warp the original meaning and mislead subsequent readers who do not check the date of reply. All rhetorical devices aside, unless a dialogue occurs between cooperative people, in a close timeframe, then it is too easy for opponents to slant the meaning of an original message by inserting twisted wording, as interleaved text, perhaps weeks or months later, when the original user would be unlikely to correct, or clarify, the distorted effects of the interleaved text. In general, there are too many dangers for misguided remarks, or twisting of meanings, to encourage the use of risky interleaved text, especially weeks, months or years after a comment has been posted. Hence, use of interleaved text should be avoided, or moved afterward with snippet quotes from the original message to provide context for each interleaved portion. -Wikid77 (talk) 22:15, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Because of my experience with USENET and BBS systems, I came to Wikipedia as a big fan of interspersed posting. As I started reading Wikipedia's bottom posting style I came to realize something.

  • USENET intersperse-posts because long posts are the norm.
  • Wikipedia bottom-posts because short posts are the norm.
  • For free-ranging USENET discussions, long posts are fine,
  • For discussion focusing on getting the job of improving an encyclopedia done, short posts are far more effective.

I have no answer as to why corporate email on exchange servers tends to be top-posted, or why it so often contains every attachment from every previous message. --Guy Macon (talk) 21:19, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

(off-topic) regarding corporate email: If I had to guess, I would say that it's more efficient in a business setting to see the new stuff first. Keeping the entire thread including attachments helps with "accountability" and "compliance" issues that are found in some corporate environments. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 01:56, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
That's correct. It's important to see the latest reply first as that might require action, and it's important that a clear history of the correspondence be easily and quickly accessible. Dougweller (talk) 11:48, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

Editing own comments (WP:REDACT)[edit]

The entire WP:REDACT section is repetitive and should be consolidated. For example, there are three separate references to using <del> tags to strike out deleted comments but only one reference to using <ins> tags to underline inserted comments.

Additionally, the text suggests amending timestamps, if comments are amended the "same day", by deleting the date and adding a new stamp after the time of the original post, the intention being that this would produce a timestamp such as "01:23/13:34, 32 Smarch 2013 (UTC)". This is a bad idea for three reasons:

  • Timestamps are automatically converted to the user's local time zone and time/date format according to their preferences. This is broken if the usual timestamp is not used. In the given example, the first time is not altered but the later time and date would be.
  • While the comment might be edited on the "same day" in the editor's time zone, the edit might be on the next date to a reader in another time zone (e.g., the above example could appear as "01:23/01:34, 33 Smarch 2013 (UTC+12)" to another user), leading to confusion as to the date of the original post was made. [Note: in this example, the edit was made more than 12 hours after the original post, however, appears to be only a few minutes later because the first time is not adjusted to the reader's time zone.]
  • Users can edit the format of timestamps, but this would not be applied to the first time as this would not be recognised as part of the timestamp, leading to inconsistent formatting.

I propose this section be amended as follows:

If it becomes necessary to edit your own comments to correct false information or remove (or redact) personal attacks, follow these guidelines:

  • Where possible, make the edits before other users reply or must step in to amend the text.
  • If anyone has already replied to or quoted the original comment, consider whether the edit could affect the interpretation of the replies or integrity of the quotes. Use "Show preview" and think about how your edited comment may look to others before you save it. Any corrected wording should fit with any replies or quotes. If this is not feasible, consider posting another message to clarify or correct the intended meaning instead.
  • Other than minor corrections for insignificant typographical errors made before other editors reply, changes should be noted to avoid misrepresenting the original post.
    • Mark deleted text with <del>...</del>, which renders in most browsers as struck-through text (e.g., wrong text).
    • Mark inserted text with <ins>...</ins>, which renders in most browsers as underlined text (e.g., corrected text).
    • If it is necessary to explain changes, insert comments in square brackets (e.g., "the default width is 100px 120px [the default changed last month]") or consider inserting a superscript note (e.g., "[corrected]") linking to a later subsection for a detailed explanation.
    • Append a new timestamp (e.g., "; edited ~~~~~" using five tildes) after the original timestamp at the end of the post.
  • Leaving false text unrevised could be worse that substantially altering a comment after someone has replied to the original post. If it is necessary to make such an edit, consider the following steps:
    • Add a comment in the edited comment (in square brackets) or below the comment to explain that you made the edit and explain why you needed to do this after others had replied to it.
    • Contact the person(s) who replied, posting on their talk page to explain the change.

Under some circumstances, you may entirely remove your comments. For example, if you accidentally posted a comment to the wrong page, and no one has replied to it yet, then the simplest solution is to self-revert your comment.

โ€”sroc ๐Ÿ’ฌ 13:29, 13 March 2014 (UTC) [edited to adjust example timestamps 13:44, 13 March 2014 (UTC)]

One of the worse things that an editor can do when communicating on a talk page is leave a comment out of context by removing theirs (or someone else's) or otherwise having significantly changed theirs in a way that now then misrepresents one or more of the subsequent comments. That is why I like that the current guideline states: "Removing or substantially altering a comment after a reply may deprive the reply of its original context, but leaving false text unrevised could be worse. It can also be confusing, so perhaps add '[corrected xx after reply below]'. Before you change your own comment, consider taking one of the following steps:"
And then it goes on to explain those steps. I think all of that is a good thing about the Own comments section. Flyer22 (talk) 13:42, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
The current guideline seems disorganised as it goes back and forth. It would be clearer re-organised in a bullet list like WP:TPO, which I attempted to do above without substantially altering the meaning. Do you have any suggestions on how to edit the above to better reflect the current version? โ€”sroc ๐Ÿ’ฌ 13:48, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
Since no one else has weighed in yet, I'll go ahead and reply to your comment: I don't have any suggestions, except to reiterate that I favor keeping the aforementioned "Removing or substantially altering a comment" aspect. Flyer22 (talk) 14:23, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
@Flyer22: Note the second bullet:
  • If anyone has already replied to or quoted the original comment, consider whether the edit could affect the interpretation of the replies or integrity of the quotes. Use "Show preview" and think about how your edited comment may look to others before you save it. Any corrected wording should fit with any replies or quotes. If this is not feasible, consider posting another message to clarify or correct the intended meaning instead.
Could we re-phrase the above to address your concern? Alternatively, should the final bullet be amended? For example (changes highlighted):
  • Removing or substantially altering a comment after someone else has replied may deprive the reply of its original context, however, leaving false text unrevised could be worse. If it is necessary to make such an edit, consider the following steps:
    • Be sure to mark up your edits as shown above.
    • Add a comment in the edited comment (in square brackets) or below the comment to explain that you made the edit and explain why you needed to do this after others had replied to it.
    • Contact the person(s) who replied, posting on their talk page to explain the change.
I'm keen to avoid repetition and simplify the guideline without significantly disrupting the intended meaning. โ€”sroc ๐Ÿ’ฌ 05:01, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
The "If anyone has already replied" version is not stern enough for me; that's why I stated that I prefer to keep the "Removing or substantially altering a comment" aspect. Yes, as long as you keep the "Removing or substantially altering a comment" line, I can be fine with your changes. The "Contact the person(s) who replied, posting on their talk page to explain the change." line seems to me to be something we should also keep. Flyer22 (talk) 13:57, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
To be clear then, I understand that you would be happy with this version:

If it becomes necessary to edit your own comments to correct false information or remove (or redact) personal attacks, follow these guidelines:

  • Where possible, make the edits before other users reply or must step in to amend the text.
  • If anyone has already replied to or quoted the original comment, consider whether the edit could affect the interpretation of the replies or integrity of the quotes. Use "Show preview" and think about how your edited comment may look to others before you save it. Any corrected wording should fit with any replies or quotes. If this is not feasible, consider posting another message to clarify or correct the intended meaning instead.
  • Other than minor corrections for insignificant typographical errors made before other editors reply, changes should be noted to avoid misrepresenting the original post.
    • Mark deleted text with <del>...</del>, which renders in most browsers as struck-through text (e.g., wrong text).
    • Mark inserted text with <ins>...</ins>, which renders in most browsers as underlined text (e.g., corrected text).
    • If it is necessary to explain changes, insert comments in square brackets (e.g., "the default width is 100px 120px [the default changed last month]") or consider inserting a superscript note (e.g., "[corrected]") linking to a later subsection for a detailed explanation.
    • Append a new timestamp (e.g., "; edited ~~~~~" using five tildes) after the original timestamp at the end of the post.
  • Removing or substantially altering a comment after someone else has replied may deprive the reply of its original context, however, leaving false text unrevised could be worse. If it is necessary to make such an edit, consider the following steps:
    • Be sure to mark up your edits as shown above.
    • Add a comment in the edited comment (in square brackets) or below the comment to explain that you made the edit and explain why you needed to do this after others had replied to it.
    • Contact the person(s) who replied, posting on their talk page to explain the change.

Under some circumstances, you may entirely remove your comments. For example, if you accidentally posted a comment to the wrong page, and no one has replied to it yet, then the simplest solution is to self-revert your comment.

โ€”sroc ๐Ÿ’ฌ 14:40, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
It seems too restrictive for a guideline. The heart of the guideline is 'make any substantive change explicit.' It should not be phrased as "only do mark up this way". If users want to use brackets or small text or explanatory notes, they should not face 'mark up violation!' ... the guideline should just give 'examples' of ways to do it. Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:08, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
@Alanscottwalker: So...
  • Other than minor corrections for insignificant typographical errors made before other editors reply, changes should be noted to avoid misrepresenting the original post. For example:
    • Mark deleted text with <del>...</del>, which renders in most browsers as struck-through text (e.g., wrong text).
    • Mark inserted text with <ins>...</ins>, which renders in most browsers as underlined text (e.g., corrected text).
    • If it is necessary to explain changes, insert comments in square brackets (e.g., "the default width is 100px 120px [the default changed last month]") or consider inserting a superscript note (e.g., "[corrected]") linking to a later subsection for a detailed explanation.
    • Append a new timestamp (e.g., "; edited ~~~~~" using five tildes) after the original timestamp at the end of the post.
How is that? If you are not satisfied with this, could you be specific about the change you would like to see? โ€”sroc ๐Ÿ’ฌ 21:53, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
OK but I rather think that users feel free to do most anything -- up to including deleting -- to their post before someone else comments on it. Alanscottwalker (talk) 01:46, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
Do you have any constructive ways on how to revise this, if it is not satisfactory? โ€”sroc ๐Ÿ’ฌ 02:22, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

โ”Œโ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”˜ Yes check.svg Done โ€”sroc ๐Ÿ’ฌ 01:03, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

s vs del[edit]

I object to the replacement of <s></s> with <del>, as long as our editing tools support the former but not the latter. This reminds me of the failed effort to rename "talk" pages. --Elvey (talk) 16:03, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

I made this change from <s> to <del> for consistency with Wikipedia:Strikethrough:

Show deleted or inserted text

For more details on this topic, see Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines.
  • When editing regular Wikipedia articles, just make your changes and do not mark them up in any special way.
  • When editing your own previous remarks in talk pages, it is sometimes appropriate to mark up deleted or inserted content.
    • To indicate deleted content use <del>...</del>.
    • To indicate inserted content use <ins>...</ins>.
Markup Renders as
You can <del>strike out deleted content</del> and <ins>underline new content</ins>.
You can strike out deleted content and underline new content.
โ€”sroc ๐Ÿ’ฌ 22:28, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
I would propose that the other guideline be changed instead. I don't actually care about editing tools per se (everyone should use markup; wikimarkup is very simple and I don't see any need not to ask that people learn it). But <s> is just faster to type. --Trovatore (talk) 22:56, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
I was aware of that, sroc. I agree with Trovatore. Have asked Cacycle about it, apropos WikEd. --Elvey (talk) 01:26, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
Fine, as long as they're consistent. I assumed <del> and <ins> were superior to <s> and <u> for some technical reason. โ€”sroc ๐Ÿ’ฌ 03:13, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
It comes from the Semantic Web, and I agree with Tim Berners-Lee[1]. --Guy Macon (talk) 21:36, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
You know, I have no objection to that in theory, but it seems kind of abstract to try to enforce it on users on talk pages. I wouldn't object to giving both options, together with an explanation of why one is better in theory. --Trovatore (talk) 21:49, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
In my opinion, this edit should be reverted. --Guy Macon (talk) 13:03, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
Care to expand on that with reasons? โ€”sroc ๐Ÿ’ฌ 08:56, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
Because agree with Tim Berners-Lee[2], the World Wide Web Consortium[3] and Aaron Schwartz.[4] I could post a long explanation of why I think that the Semantic Web is a good idea, but we already have an article on it: Semantic Web. I would also note that the only argument anyone has posted against semantic markup is that 3 letters are harder to type than one letter. --Guy Macon (talk) 17:39, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

โ”Œโ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”˜ Note that we have {{Strike}} (which uses <del>). Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 18:13, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Er, Andy, {{strike}} uses <s>...</s>, not <del>...</del> --Redrose64 (talk) 12:02, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
Although I have a slight preference for <del>...</del> (Do a Google search on "semantic web"). I have a much stronger preference for consistency. Whether we decide on <del>...</del> or <s>...</s>, we should be consistent across help pages and templates. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:01, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

Signature cleanup[edit]

I've just noticed that WP:SIGCLEAN#Signature cleanup advocates a violation of WP:SIG#NT. I've traced it to the many edits that occurred on 12 January 2010. To save you wading through, the previous form was

this was changed to

  • Signature cleanup: If a signature violates the guidelines for signatures, or is an attempt to fake a signature, you may edit the signature to the standard form with correct information (โ€” {{User|USERNAME}} TIMESTAMP OF EDIT (UTC)) or some even simpler variant. Do not modify others' signatures for any other reason. If the user's signature has a coding error in it, you will need to contact the editor to fix this in their preferences.

and this has since become

  • Signature cleanup: If a signature violates the guidelines for signatures, or is an attempt to fake a signature, you may edit the signature to the standard form with correct information (โ€”{{User|USERNAME}} TIMESTAMP OF EDIT (UTC)) or some even simpler variant. Do not modify others' signatures for any other reason. If the user's signature has a coding error in it, you will need to contact the editor to fix this in their preferences (but see "Fixing layout errors", below).

I suggest this be amended to

  • Signature cleanup: If a signature violates the guidelines for signatures, or is an attempt to fake a signature, you may edit the signature to the standard form that would have been produced without signature customisation ([[User:USERNAME|USERNAME]] ([[User talk:USERNAME|talk]]) TIMESTAMP OF EDIT (UTC)) or some even simpler variant. The {{subst:unsigned|USERNAME}} template may be used for this. Do not modify others' signatures for any other reason. If the user's signature has a coding error in it, you will need to contact the editor to fix this in their preferences (but see "Fixing layout errors", below).

Comments please. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:10, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

sounds good. {{signing}} also seems to work. Frietjes (talk) 21:58, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Without prejudice to the merits of the proposal, can we please fix the punctuation at the end:

...(but see "Fixing layout errors", below).

โ€”sroc ๐Ÿ’ฌ 22:32, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Done that, and amended the above to suit. --Redrose64 (talk) 23:57, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Well spotted, I totally missed that. Thanks for tracing the origin. Your proposal looks good. โ€” Scott โ€ข talk 13:47, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
I don't think {{Unsigned}} should be used if the comment was originally signed. โ€“xenotalk 14:27, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Hmm. I've clearly not had enough caffeine today. You're quite right. How about The {{subst:usert|USERNAME}} template may be used for this.? โ€” Scott โ€ข talk 15:47, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes but it would have to be fixed to subst properly otherwise it's going to leave the template junk in the target page. โ€“xenotalk 15:51, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) No, it doesn't subst: cleanly, which is the main reason that I made this revert. --Redrose64 (talk) 15:53, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
That should be easily fixable with safesubst, no? โ€“xenotalk 15:58, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Like this, by PC-XT? User:PC-XT/sandbox/Template:User. โ€” Scott โ€ข talk 20:38, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
If it is easier to read, that example could use includeonly tags, instead of the parameter markup. The parameter only lets someone override the substitution if needed, for some reason. โ€”PC-XT+ 20:51, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Note there is also {{subst:ProbSig}} that I just the other day created because of this problem before I saw this discussion. โ€” {{U|Technical 13}} (t โ€ข e โ€ข c) 13:50, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
    • That is redundant to many other user info templates and solves a problem that doesn't exist. TfD. โ€” Scott โ€ข talk 14:23, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
  • {{User}} should now be substitution-friendly. โ€”PC-XT+ 08:43, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

Talk page guidelines versus reference page ones[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

I have raised the problem about talk page guidelines versus reference desk ones at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)#Claim_that_talk_page_guidelines_override_reference_desk_ones. Dmcq (talk) 17:59, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

I attempted to add the following to TPOC
Other namespaces: Additional reasons may be specified in the guidelines for any page where users directly interact outside the user and article namespaces (e.g., the WP:Reference desk).
but Guy Macon reverted saying "Major change in policy in the middle of a discussion about whether to change the policy"
(A) This is not a policy, but a behavioral guideline
(B) It isn't a "major change", since it doesn't actually do anything other than a bit of housekeeping that sidesteps the difficult taxonomic question whether direct communication pages outside the user & article namespaces are/aren't "talk pages" and it shunts debate over unique procedures needed for such pages (at lease according to some eds) to those pages instead of cluttering everything for everyone here.
(C) Would have resolved the alleged POLCON problem cited by Guy at the Village Pump.
IN SUM I am unclear as to the substantive basis for this revert, other than Guy did not like it. Guy? NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 15:54, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
As a gesture of good will, I self-reverted while we discuss this.
As I understand the addition, and this relates to NewsAndEventsGuy's comment above ("and it shunts debate over unique procedures needed for such pages (at lease according to some eds) to those pages instead of cluttering everything for everyone here"), it changes this policy so that it allows local consensus to override WP:TPOC. Right now our policy is that W:TPOC lists what you can remove/edit, and per WP:LOCALCON, local consensus cannot decide that it is OK to delete comments for any reason not listed at TPOC. The additional wording not only allows the deletion/editing of non-harmful good-faith questions on the reference desks, but it allows the local consensus to decide that it is OK to delete anything written by an IP editor, or to delete anything that someone disagrees with. This is a major change from existing policy, which is that "Consensus among a limited group of editors, at one place and time, cannot override community consensus on a wider scale", and it causes WP:TPG to directly contradict WP:LOCALCON. That looks like a major change in policy to me. --Guy Macon (talk) 16:34, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
(Sound of Crickets) Looks like WP:BRD was the right idea after all. No discussion, so I am going to remove it again as being an undiscussed major change of a guideline. --Guy Macon (talk) 04:50, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
So basically you are removing it as no-one except you complained when it was put in? Well by my reckoning Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)#Claim_that_talk_page_guidelines_override_reference_desk_ones approves the change and it is a valid location for debates about policies and guidelines - especially if there is a conflict like this, however if you dispute my reading of the situation I'm sure a proper RfC and a note at centralized discussions etc can be set up. Dmcq (talk) 07:45, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
In fact as far as I can see there is good grounds from that discussion for saying that the reference desk pages are not talk pages as covered by this guideline, just that they have their own guideline which defers to this one in most matters. I think though we should wait and see if there are more contributions at VPP first though about that. Dmcq (talk) 08:00, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
You made a Bold edit. I Reverted it. I started Discussing it, but made the tactical error of self-Reverting and allowing your edit to stand while we discussed the matter.
Then you spent three days not responding.
So, realizing that you wouldn't discuss this unless you were reverted, I undid my self-revert. Lo and behold, three hours later here you are discussing it. Looks like I made the right call, doesn't it?
Alas, you also decided that WP:BRD and WP:TALKDONTREVERT don't apply to you and instead went for the popular (but wrong) BRRD.
That's a bit disappointing from someone who has been around as long as you have and who should know better.
Finally, discussion somewhere else does not justify a refusal to discuss on the talk page of the page you edited.
You are certainly free to summarize and refer to that other discussion, but anyone who is interested in the content of Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines will look for any WP:BRD discussion at Wikipedia talk:Talk page guidelines, and should not be required to monitor some other page.
So, are you going to do the right thing (WP:TALKDONTREVERT, WP:BRD), or are you going to stick with your decision to do the wrong thing (BRRD)? --Guy Macon (talk) 16:39, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
NewsAndEventsGuy put in the original edit, you reverted it, I put it in again. The discussion is on the village pump on policy because a conflict between two guidelines is being discussed and as it says "The policy section of the village pump is used to discuss proposed policies and guidelines and changes to existing policies and guidelines." Dmcq (talk) 19:02, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
OK, I have my answer to the question "are you going to do the right thing (WP:TALKDONTREVERT, WP:BRD), or are you going to stick with your decision to do the wrong thing (BRRD)?" You are clearly committed to your present path of doing the wrong thing (BRRD). Note that WP:BRD does not make an exception when The B and the second R are made by different editors. Its is still BRRD instead of BRD and it is still wrong. --Guy Macon (talk) 20:44, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

Removed change; a small discussion at VPP is insufficient to call "consensus." (A policy rfc on this page would be, of course). NE Ent 20:52, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

Have a look at the discussion. It is not a small discussion and the consensus is pretty clear that the reference desk is not to be considered a talk page. VPP is an appropriate page not here for such a discussion because the issue straddles two guidelines. If anything the statement should be stronger. Anyway you should give a better reason than that you think it hasn't been discussed enough yet, why do you think an RfC is needed given what is said there? Dmcq (talk) 22:20, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

Poll[edit]

Consensus is against this change. Number 57 11:44, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Should the statement:

  • Other namespaces: Additional reasons may be specified in the guidelines for any page where users directly interact outside the user and article namespaces (e.g., the WP:Reference desk).

be included in talk page guidelines? (See discussion above)

BACKGROUND: At the reference desk, question askers sometimes ask for legal, medical, or other forms of professional advice. Providing such advice might legally require a professional license and might expose the advice-givers to liability. What's really at issue here is whether such questions should (A) just be deleted, or (B) handled in some other way that leaves them visible but without providing the solicited advice.
  • One camp claims these talk page guidelines apply to RefDesk with controlling authority, and that the section about messing with others' comments does not allow such questions to be deleted outright. That camp views this proposed addition as changing how these guidelines work, because they think the proposal would free the RefDesk from what they say are controlling guidelines.
  • The other camp thinks the RefDesk is not a "talk page" and although the RefDesk has embraced most of the talk page guideline even though the RefDesk is not a talk page, this camp thinks the RefDesk is already free to adopt additional rules as needed for that unique area. This camp views the proposed addition as adding clarity to the talk page guidelines, without changing anything about their applicability to the RefDesk. According to this camp, the proposal is merely a crystal clear expression of how these guidelines and the RefDesk already work.
  • Partisans to the dispute have my permission to edit this summary if I got part wrong, but please refrain unless I really screwed up big time.)
NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 23:56, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
Essentially correct but the reference desk guidelines actually talk about hatting or removing and replacing with a comment, not deleting without any sign so doing that would be against either guideline. The principle though is whether it can set up guidelines for its own best practice. Dmcq (talk) 08:02, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
As a side comment, anything about exposing advice-givers to liability (as mentioned by NewsAndEventsGuy) has been discussed before, and the reason for not giving medical or legal advice has nothing to do with liability. It is because Wikipedia must strive not to do any harm. Amateurish advice presented as a professional opinion could cause harm. The liability is a moot point if no one could realistically be caught anyway. IBE (talk) 03:19, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Support[edit]

  • Support No longer support The argument about whether the talk page guideline overrides the reference desk one has evaporated with agreement to work on fixing the reference desk ones rather than arguments that this guideline automatically override them. In that case I think this change is to an extent instruction creep. Dmcq (talk) 16:32, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
The previous comments by me were
The discussion is at WP:VPP#Claim that talk page guidelines override reference desk ones not above. The village pump on policy has a mandate to discuss proposed policies and guidelines and changes to existing policies and guidelines and this issue straddles two guidelines. It was notified on the talk page of both. At that discussion Proposal A which had a number of sections section B of which was this proposal. There was two supports and one against section B. Proposal B was to say that the reference desk was a talk page and this had 4 disagrees and no supports. The names for the proposals were disjoint. That gives 6 saying the reference desk is just different or that this sentence should be here and one against who says the reference desk guidelines are overridden by these guidelines. You can look there for some comments by a couple of others who didn't specifically say support or disagree.
I believe if anything the sentence at the start of this policy "When pages in other namespaces are used for discussion and communication between users, the same norms will usually also apply" may need revising to stop this trouble. I believe it is a reasonable statement but that the pushing of this as meaning the reference desk guidelines can be overridden where it gives specific advice about the reference desks is wrong. It is not justified by WP:LOCALCON which says guidelines have wide support or WP:POLCON which simply says that conflicts may need to be resolved to reflect actual practice. The concept of precedence only applies to policies compared to guidelines. However this issue has been based on those grounds so a clear statement may be needed to indicate in this instance that there is no automatic overriding. Dmcq (talk) 22:52, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Support because this text is just an on-point explicit and clear statement of how things work if we just apply existing text. (A) The RefDesk is simply not a talk page. At Help:Using_talk_pages there is a box that lists the talk pages of the various namespaces. I've seen references that the RefDesk is part of the Help namespace, but right now it appears as part of the Wikipedia name space. Either way, it is not part of either Help_talk or Wikipedia_talk and these guidelines are not entirely controlling for that reason. (B) In addition, the talk page guidelines explicitly say
"Article talk pages should not be used by editors as platforms for their personal views on a subject. When pages in other namespaces are used for discussion and communication between users, the same norms will usually also apply." (Bold added)
It does not say "absolutely-positively-in-all-circumstances-no-matter-what apply". Just "usually" apply. Some whom I presume will be in the "opposed" camp want us to read the talk page guidelines as a powerful authority, and give them full force and effect. Well...... ok by me! That happens to include the phrase "usually apply", unless there is consensus to change that phrase. "Usually apply" means there are times when they won't and don't apply, for example to "pages in other namespaces [that] are used for discussion and communication between users", such as the RefDesk. (C) The RefDesk Guidelines have had a protocol for replacing medical-advice solicitations with a template since 2007. (D) Methinks editors who deal with the RefDesk are the ones best suited for reviewing their 2007 protocol and revising if something would better suit their needs over there. (E) IN SUM the proposal makes no change whatsoever, just turns an existing protocol from something that was implied to something explicit. SUPPORT.NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 00:21, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Support No longer support I have already commented at the other active discussion of this topic, WP:VPP#Claim that talk page guidelines override reference desk ones, that the Reference Desk is very different from other Wikipedia pages and needs to have its own guideline based on a consensus developed there. I won't repeat my reasoning here. While I generally oppose instruction creep, I feel that an addition is needed to end this "my guideline trumps your guideline" argument over the reference desk. The Talk page guidelines are not the right place to manage the reference desk and adding a sentence to clarify that is the best way for us to move on.--agr (talk) 14:22, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Per Dmcq, no longer needed.--agr (talk) 19:10, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

Oppose[edit]

  • Unnecessary policy creep to deal with a transient problem caused by one editor at a single location (Reference Desk). Less is more NE Ent 23:00, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose Agree that this is policy creep. Even if it isn't this is going in the wrong direction. Do we let the local consensus to decide that it is OK to delete anything you disagree with? As written, this addition allows that. WP:TPOC and WP:LOCALCON form an important barrier against a local consensus violating the consensus of the wider community. --Guy Macon (talk) 00:04, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Changing my !vote to Neutral. Whichever way the consensus goes is fine by me. --Guy Macon (talk) 17:44, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose to avoid instruction creep, but talk page guidelines can have exceptions. Also per Rhododendrites. โ€”PC-XT+ 06:07, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

Can we leave our comments in the appropriate section to make it easier for the eventual closer? NE Ent 01:22, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

  • Comment [Reply to Rhododendrites]
As the original author of the proposed addition, I'm confused as to why you are not in support? I mean, I wrote the original proposal because I don't think talk page guidelines have or should have controlling jurisdiction of the RefDesk (unless a RefDesk section were added that is). So why aren't you in support and then advocatig for the fixes to the RefDesk guidelines over there?NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 00:35, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
@NewsAndEventsGuy: - The text in question more explicitly clarifies talk page guidelines' jurisdiction over the refdesk guidelines by making explicit that "additional reasons may be specified." So, as I see it, while it says the talk page guidelines do apply, it effectively adds "but don't let that stop you from removing or altering other people's comments if that's what you do on the reference desk." I don't find that productive. So in other words while I understand this grants flexibility to the refdesk, it maintains the domain of the talk page guidelines while neutralizing the very part of them that deals with the problems at hand (which is to say, tempering the currently too loose refdesk guidelines on content removal/hatting). If the refdesk guidelines were improved, this addition wouldn't be so consequential, of course. --โ€” Rhododendrites talk |  14:58, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Not sure I understand, precisely, but feel we are way down the hypertechnical rabbit hole. I may come back to this later, but for now would like to thank you for the explanation and apologize that it's not going "in" (yet, anyway). NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 15:21, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Rebuttal: Not Creep In my "support" !vote, I explained that this change takes an existing protocol based on existing text, but writes something concise and onpoint so that it is clear and explicit. Pursuant to WP:CREEP "All instruction should be as clear as possible". Thus, adding a pithy statement of how things already work, based on existing guidelines/policy, is not "creep". (Of course, if you can demonstrate that the RefDesk is a "talk page", then I'm wrong.) NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 00:30, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment [Reply to NE Ent]]
Perhaps you could say what problem you are talking about thanks and how it is transient. Dmcq (talk) 23:09, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment I don't understand and still don't understand why there's suddenly this big fuss (unless people are annoyed at one editor but rather than doing something about it are fussing over other stuff) and I've found it incredibly boring hence why I didn't comment until now. But I feel I should point out there seems to be a mistaken belief TPOC currently implies you can't close or remove medical or legal advice from RD if we intepret the TPOC as applying there.
This isn't correct as TPOC allows off topic posts to be closed or even removed although urges caution. This follows practice on article talk pages and noticeboards like ANI where offtopic posts are closed or occasionally removed depending on the post, how bad a problem offtopic posts are in that specific talk page, etc.
One difference is that we generally delete rather than close such discussions primarily because history suggests someone will still try to respond. (Although in some article talk pages where it's a big problem off topic posts are routinely deleted and as I said TPOC doesn't actually forbid removal even if it suggests closure.) The other main difference is that it's usually only happens in clearer cut cases whereas medical and legal advice questions are often disputed.
(The nature of what's offtopic and what's on topic is of course somewhat more confusing on the RD than in normal talk pages although some noticeboards may have similar issues. And besides medical and legal advice, we are generally fairly tolerant of stuff which seems offtopic with one editor who is an exception. )
But anyway, all this means that if medical and legal advice questions are offtopic on the RD then the TPOC doesn't actually prevent their removal as some seem to think.
None of this means we shouldn't clarify if people really feel it's necessary but I think people are reading TPOC to be more presciptive than it actually is if they think that it prevents these sort of resonable norms on what's acceptable and what isn't on talk page like boards.
Nil Einne (talk) 06:32, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Good point, i.e., that professional-advice solicitations are "off point" at a venue where such advice is probably against the law. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 07:59, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps the discussion for the comment below will illustrate the problem for you. You can have a person doing something on the reference desks which is wrong according to both guidelines but that original point gets obscured by an argument on what should be done with this guideline being quoted even on medical and legal matters which it doesn't mention. Dmcq (talk) 11:53, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment Though I am a support I have sympathy for the instruction creep argument and this change only had a small support at VPP. However you can see the WP:LOCALCON argument being advanced above as a reason for one of the opposes despite there being a strong consensus at VPP that the reference desks are not talk pages and can set up their own advice. When this RfC is closed I would like a clear statement on that point please or I fear this point will disrupt further discussions. Dmcq (talk) 08:25, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
  • The "strong consensus at VPP that the reference desks are not talk pages and can set up their own advice" does not actually exist. Dmcq wants it to exist, but the straw poll he is referring to asked another, unrelated question. Alas, Dmcq keeps making comments like the one above, acting as if his interpretation is an established fact.
The problem with taking a straw poll or RfC asking one question and trying to use it to answer another is one of self-selection. Let me illustrate with an example. Suppose you ran a straw poll with the question "which is better; an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy S series?" In the discussion, one person claims that the iPhone is more fragile, another claims that the Galaxy is more fragile, and the vast majority (over 90%) say that fragility is rather unimportant and that the usefulness of the smartphone is far more important. Could Dmcq use that to claim that "there is a strong consensus at the smartphone RfC that mobile phone usefulness is more important than ruggedness"? Please think about it for a moment and draw a conclusion before you read on.
What if there were ten Wikipedia users who use the Casio G'zOne Commando and a hundred who use the Casio G'zOne Boulder for every one that uses the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy? They wouldn't comment on an Iphone/Galaxy RfC, and indeed probably wouldn't have the page where the RfC was posted on their watchlists, but if you ran an RfC asking the specific question "which is more important; mobile phone usefulness or ruggedness" you could very well get a completely different answer because now the Casio users would reply. --Guy Macon (talk) 10:35, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
So something you disagree with at VPP is just a straw poll you can dismiss unless it is an RfC. So be it, you've got an RfC. The proposal that was dismissed outright at VPP was 'Proposal B Declare Ref Desk to be a rootin' tootin' talk page'. which is basically what Guy Macon is advocating. The discussion was at WP:VPP because that is where WP:Centralized discussion says is a good place for them and this affects the reference desk guideline as well and notices were placed on the talk page of both guidelines. I've already posted a note to the reference desk guidelines talk page about this RfC and I'll place a notice at VPP that the discussion has now moved to here.
This is the problem I have with this RfC. Guy Macon is as far as I can see here laying the ground for dismissing this RfC as having any relevance to the question of whether or not this guideline overrides the reference desk guideline which is the basis for the trouble. Dmcq (talk) 10:53, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
First, you have completely mischaracterized "what Guy Macon is advocating". I am not advocating what you think I am. This is, presumably, because your bias (not an insult, we all have biases, especially me) is coloring what you read into things. If you had asked me "are the reference desks talk pages?" I would have told you "of course not. They are pages in another namespace that are used for discussion and communication between users, as described in WP:TPOC".
But we are not disputing whether reference desks are talk pages. If that was your only claim I would have agreed at once. Your actual claim, as per your words above, is that "there [is] a strong consensus at VPP that the reference desks are not talk pages and can set up their own advice" (emphasis added). There is no such consensus.
As to your claim that "Guy Macon is as far as I can see here laying the ground for dismissing this RfC as having any relevance to the question of whether or not this guideline overrides the reference desk guideline", I flatly deny it and ask you to please WP:AGF. First, I always go along with consensus as demonstrated in an RfC or any other poll that has an uninvolved closer. Specifically, I go along with what the uninvolved closer say is the consensus, not on my interpretation or your interpretation of the results. Second, if I did think that there was a flaw with this RfC, I would have said so at once so you could fix it.
Would you do me a favor? would you please indicate that you agree that this RfC asks the specific question
"Should the statement: 'Other namespaces: Additional reasons may be specified in the guidelines for any page where users directly interact outside the user and article namespaces (e.g., the WP:Reference desk).' be included in talk page guidelines?"
and that you agree to not reinterpret the result as being the answer to some other question? Unless, of course, the closing admin says in his closing comments that there is or is not a consensus for something else. You are free to ask him to do that, BTW. --Guy Macon (talk) 11:36, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes that is the question, also I did ask for the closer to make a decision if they could on whether the talk page guidelines take precedence over the reference desk ones. The poll on whether the reference desk was a talk page was made in the context of this problem of which took precedence even if that was not explicitly written in the precise question. What is required to make a decision that you would accept and abide by on whether you are right that this guideline takes precedence over the reference desk one or whether you are wrong and should give up your LOCALCON argument? Dmcq (talk) 11:57, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
If either one of us thinks that the closing admin didn't answer the question of what happens when the talk page guidelines forbids something and the reference desk guidelines allow it, I will ask him to clarify. I am fully committed to follow the consensus from this RfC, and I have absolute confidence that you are as well. Both of us want to do what is best for the encyclopedia and both of us have been around long enough to know when to drop the stick, accept that consensus went against us, and continue working together with no hard feelings. --Guy Macon (talk) 14:32, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Ya'll keep referencing "the RFC" and the "Closing admin" and I'd like to go look that up, but I'm not 100% sure what thread you are talking about. Would one of you please provide a link? NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 14:48, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Sorry I'm not exactly sure what they're saying either. 15:34, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
It's the one with {{rfc|policy|rfcid=0AB79B9}} at the top. --Guy Macon (talk) 01:26, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Or more directly, Wikipedia talk:Talk page guidelines#rfc_0AB79B9. --Redrose64 (talk) 09:36, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


Instruction creep in the "good practices" section[edit]

I've removed the last item, "Use wikilinks not full URLs for internal links; use {{Diff}} for diffs" from the bulleted list of "Good practices for all talk pages used for collaboration". It may be nice if posts to talkpages can be streamlined in such a manner, but I'm completely against being exclusionary of the less technically proficient by making such demands as a matter of good talkpage practice. The proof of the pudding is in the eating: what does it matter if people use full URLs? Clicking on them will take you to the target just the same as a wikilink. And how many people actually use {{Diff}}? (I don't.) The technically-minded may find the template helpful, but many people are uncomfortable around templates altogether. How does the way you create a diff affect the reader who clicks on it? (Answer: it doesn't.) These technicalities have no place in a list of important stuff that concerns consideration for others in the discussion, such as comment on content, not the contributor, avoid repeating your own lengthy posts, etc. They're instruction creep. Keeping the list itself concise matters. Bishonen | talk 09:45, 6 April 2014 (UTC).

Regarding the first point (only): internal links show up in What links Here only if constructed as wikilinks. If formatted as ELs, they don't. --Redrose64 (talk) 09:58, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
I won't be so blunt as to say "Who uses 'What links here' anyway?", I know it's useful/necessary for some purposes, but I do think it's a minor point. People nearly always do use wikilinks, because it's simpler; but new users might not be there yet. We should be pleased if they manage to link at all (it's certainly not always the case). We don't want to disinvite them with so many rules and regulations. Bishonen | talk 10:37, 6 April 2014 (UTC).
If it's actually important the bot geeks could be commissioned to write a bot that fixes the suboptimally formatted links. NE Ent 12:08, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
See this edit by Magioladitis (talk ยท contribs). I rather think that Basilicofresco (talk ยท contribs) (under the guise of FrescoBot (talk ยท contribs)) may well be a "bot geek". --Redrose64 (talk) 12:44, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
Bishonen one of the advantages of wikilinks and the diff template is that they create stable urls. In case there is wikipedia makes changes to their url instead of fixing thousands of urls we can only update a single template. I also do not use the diff that often but we ofcourse kindly ask editors to use them in talk pages without denying them the possibility to use that fits them best. -- Magioladitis (talk) 15:14, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
It doesn't come across like that when it's in this list, Magioladitis. All the other bulleted points are important matters of talkpage etiquette: you really mustn't do personal attacks, repetitiousness, over-long posts, etc etc, because these practices are actually disruptive. It's not a matter of kindly asking users to not, for instance, attack others, alter other people's posts, etc etc. We do want to deny them the possibility of doing those things. I think your comment really reinforces my point that the matter of urls and diffs, which you now inform me is merely meant as a polite suggestion, doesn't fit in that list. Please put it somewhere else, and include the information that people may do as they like if it suits them better. Maybe a "technical" section? Bishonen | talk 16:24, 6 April 2014 (UTC).
Bishonen just to be sure you got it correctly: The bots change wikilinks in mainspace not in talkpage space. -- Magioladitis (talk) 16:53, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
No, I didn't get that. I thought you were talking about the instruction creep in the "good practices" section of the talkpage guidelines like I was. Weren't you expressing an opinion about the issue I raised at all, then? (Do you have an opinion about it?) Bishonen | talk 17:23, 6 April 2014 (UTC).
So (again) if it's important ask the bot operators to expand their domain. As a dispute resolution volunteer, the diff is my bread and butter, and it's not worth the extra time of mucking with some template when I can type [] and cut and paste a url from my browser into the space between. NE Ent 17:03, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
OK here is my opinion again:
  • Fixing wikilinks is a common practise in mainspace
  • We do not lose anything if we ask editors to use wikilinks/{{diff}} in talk pages instead of plain urls.
  • I see no harm if bots visited talk pages and updated wikilinks/{{diff}} in comments to make text easier to read and urls more stable. -- Magioladitis (talk) 18:14, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
If someone takes this as a "Thou shalt always" commandment, rather than a "Hey, there might be a small advantage to this less-common style", then the harm could be significant and pointless drama. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:36, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
Magioladitis, There needs to be some caution about this, since some (though very few, i suspect) of the links that were posted in an external format might have actually been wrote that way for a reason -- e.g., to force https or plain http as the protocol for accessing some content. -- Jokes_Free4Me (talk) 14:33, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
I use Special:Diff, though {{Diff}} has more options, so I'll probably use it, sometime. Wikilinks are always nice. I think these should be recommendations, rather than requirements, though I wouldn't oppose some guideline saying it is ok to change urls to wikilinks. Converting to {{Diff}} would probably be ok, too. โ€”PC-XT+ 06:01, 7 April 2014 (UTC) (Since Special:Diff goes nowhere, an example is Special:Diff/12345, which is an old diff on the article Congruence (geometry).) โ€”PC-XT+ 06:10, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

Layout[edit]

A minor technical aside: there's been an "anchor hi-jack" here, Wikipedia:Talk_page_guidelines#Layout stops at one of the bullet-points within Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines#Good_practices_for_all_talk_pages_used_for_collaboration instead of going to the first sub-section of Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines#Technical_and_format_standards. At the very list this "shortcut" ought to be highlighted just as "EXHAUST" is. But i really think one of the two should change. Problem is, how many incoming links were for the section and how many for the bullet point?! -- Jokes_Free4Me (talk) 14:29, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Back to the actual topic that i want to clear up: Wikipedia:Talk_page_guidelines#WP:INTERSPERSE says Whitespace is also not necessary between any lines within an indented or bulleted list... but what, pray tell, is an "indented list"?! -- Jokes_Free4Me (talk) 14:29, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

They are talking about the wikitext in this comment.
This is a separate line with a new point.
In HTML jargon, this is a type of list.
  • Or it can be done with bullets.
  • This is another type of list.
  • None of these lines have a blank line ("whitespace") between them.
Johnuniq (talk) 01:57, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
HTML has three main kinds of lists (plus some obsolete types). These are:
  • the ordered list, enclosed in the <ol>...</ol> element - created in Wikimarkup by using # (the hash sign);
  • the unordered list, enclosed in the <ul>...</ul> element - created in Wikimarkup by using * (the asterisk); and
  • the association (or description) list, enclosed in the <dl>...</dl> element - created in Wikimarkup by using ; and : (the semicolon and colon).
This last one has had various names down the years: when first introduced in HTML 1.2, it was called a "glossary (or definition list)"; this settled on "definition list" in HTML 2.0 and the name was retained in HTML 3.0, HTML 3.2 and HTML 4.0 but in HTML5 is now known as an "association list ... (a description list)". Whatever its name or true purpose, this is the HTML structure that is emitted by the MediaWiki software when we use colons to indent lines. When colon-indented lines are contiguous, only one <dl>...</dl> element is output; but when blank lines are interspersed between colon-indented lines, multiple <dl>...</dl> elements are output. --Redrose64 (talk) 09:42, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

Quiet edits[edit]

I was asked by a user regarding this edit what I meant by a "quiet edit".  IMO, two basic rules when editing other editors talk-page comments are (1) We are here to build an encyclopedia.  (2) Don't change the meaning.  If an edit is removed from a talk page without adding a comment, this changes the meaning.  The addition of a comment alerts readers to look in the edit history to learn more.  The absence of such a comment is what I mean by a "quiet edit".  Likewise, the edit was restored quietly.  Unscintillating (talk) 05:16, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

WP:TALKCENT: "Before implementing a centralized talk page, you must first propose and gain consensus."[edit]

Is the "Before implementing a centralized talk page, you must first propose and gain consensus." line referring to something different than what Wikipedia:Centralized discussion is referring to? After the topic of centralizing a discussion was mentioned in this discussion, I came to Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines to see what it states about it, if this is the page I originally read guideline material about centralizing discussions. The "propose and gain consensus" aspect of WP:TALKCENT seems odd to me; we don't usually have to get consensus to centralize a discussion. Flyer22 (talk) 23:32, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for this, Pigsonthewing. Flyer22 (talk) 23:50, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
You are right, it's talking about a different thing entirely. It's talking about a perpetual centralized talk for a set of pages, not about community-wide advertising of a transient centralized discussion. I'll see if I can fix this. Gigs (talk) 20:42, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
I just changed the "see also" to "not to be confused with". That should do it. Gigs (talk) 20:44, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

Explicitly stating when TP comments may be ignored[edit]

This thread relates to my bold addition of Ignoring Comments

Recently I ran across a new IP who made a determined effort to ignore TPG formatting standards. In the interests of full disclosure, there might be a current dispute with this IP (who is now blocked for other forms of disruption), but that's besides the point. I still think this is a good idea.

After I pointed out a few things they still made a determined effort to post badly formatted walls of text. In my view, whatever the wallsoftext might say, if a user insists on not following TPG formatting standards, after being specifically notified, then they are not really here to collaborate to improve things. In other words, that is a mild form of disruption and such comments - whatever they say - do not count for consensus and may be ignored. Users who can't or won't bother to learn about indenting and signatures are probably WP:NOTHERE to collaborate in a meaingful way, so others are justified in ignoring them.

Comments? NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 13:07, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

I fully agree. It is up to users to try and follow standards to help in communication. It is not up to everyone else to try and cope with the eccentricities of any eccentric that comes along just in case they may have a point. As part of being welcoming we should initially try but in my experience people who can't quickly learn to communicate have never had anything worthwhile to say anyway and reading what they say is a waste of time. Users are not required to waste their time. Dmcq (talk) 14:03, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

Adding external links to talk pages[edit]

NAC: Consensus is against Ark25. Robert McClenon (talk) 19:19, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I have recently added 5 external links at Talk:Human tooth#Human tooth regrowth with some information that I find interesting about the possible future of better ways of replacing lost teeth. The information includes reports of successful laboratory experiments. I think my action respected this guide, which states There is reasonable allowance for speculation, suggestion, and personal knowledge on talk pages, with a view to prompting further investigation. My point is to notice the other editors (and to help myself for not forgetting about such information), so that later, someone (it can be me) can find some interesting information to add to the Wikipedia article, based on/starting from the references I provided. If there would have been 10 such external links instead of 5, then it would have probably been the same thing.

If I would do such actions on 100 talk pages, my actions can very well go unnoticed. If I would do that in 1.000 talk pages, it would most certainly raise some eyebrows.

But what if I would do that in 10.000 pages? Or 30.000 ? Or 100.000? Occasionally (when I have the time), I am using such links posted in talk pages (by me or by others), in order to add information in the Wikipedia articles. I know that it's better to directly add the information into the Wikipedia articles. But that is more time consuming. Say that each day I find 200 references with valuable information. Instead of trying to make use of them as references in the articles and using only 20 of them (because I simply don't have the time to do more than that), I prefer to add all those 200 links into the appropriate talk pages (about 200 distinct talk pages), in the hope that someone else will make use of them, or that I will make use them, later or at least when I will retire :)

Sometimes I find so much (relevant and verifiable and from reliable sources) information (in national newspaper sites) about corrupt (Romanian) politicians every day that I simply can't add all of it into the Wikipedia articles about those politicians. Therefore I have a problem. There is too much information for me to process every day. What I can't process today, I won't be able to process tomorrow. By the contrary: what I can't process today will just pile on the yesterday's unused information. In time (years), such information is lost, since it won't be available online anymore (there are national papers that delete their archive of articles instead of keeping them) and searching for all of it on printed paper would be an impossible task.

It's simply unfair to ask me to add all that information in the Wikipedia articles every day, since that's absolutely impossible for a single person to do. Other editors are simply not interested to make use of such references. Therefore I find myself alone in trying to do the task. In front of such a dilemma, I choose to add the links to the talk pages, many times providing a short description of the newspaper article's content. With the risk of being called a spammer and being accused to break the WP:NOT#LINK policy, I see no other choice for me than to try to make use of all that information, in the way I can. Examples of such edits of talk pages: Talk:Ghervazen Longher#Controversies and Talk:Romeo Stavarache#Controversies

I am 100% dedicated for improving Wikipedia and I don't represent any third party. I only represent myself and my desire to make notable and verifiable and relevant information available on Wikipedia, as much as I can.

Please don't tell me there is life outside Wikipedia because there is no such thing! :)

I think that on Wikipedia we can apply the concept of division of work. If some people only have the time to suggest adding something good into Wikipedia articles, then they should be allowed to do that, if those suggestions generally prove to be valuable.

I am doing such actions in good faith. I am not trying to fill the talk pages with spam. I am just trying to notice something that is valuable to add in the articles. Of course, sometimes I fail, adding links that have outdated information or simply not usable information. But I'm not perfect.

Some can say that I am using the talk pages as drafts. Not as my personal drafts, but as common drafts.

I have used talk pages for making such drafts before, gathering some useful statistics: Talk:Webcam#Sales  #  Talk:Digital camera/Archive 1#Sales  #  Talk:Camera phone#Sales  #  Talk:Television set#Sales  #  Talk:E-book reader#Sales  #  Talk:AMOLED#Sales  #  Talk:Watch#Sales  #  Talk:E-book#Sales  #  Talk:Kickstarter#Statistics. Those statistics will serve to develop/improve the โ€žSalesโ€ sections of the respective Wikipedia articles. Those are not examples of posting external links, but they are good examples of me making suggestions and making drafts (noticing and preparing data for use in the WP articles) on talk pages.

What would you think about my actions?

This hasn't happened on English Wikipedia. But it can happen. Imagine I already did such things. What would you say about that?

Thanks. โ€”  Ark25  (talk) 18:40, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

Just say "no" to external link spam. It's easy to keep your personal notes off wiki, and work on one article at a time. Some eds use their sandbox for temporary drafts.NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 20:13, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Sorry but I dont' believe that's spam. Those are (potential) future references, as I could prove many times, by later using them into the articles. As I said, each day there is more information than what I can possibly process. It doesn't help me to store the links on my own disk or personal notes because, instead of being able to later use it, it will only pile up into a larger and larger collection that I will never make use of. Why to keep them just for me, since they can show to the other editors that there is useful information to add into the WP articles? After all, Wikipedia is a collaborative effort. Not just a collaborative effort of egoistic additions to articles, where we โ€žcollaborateโ€ by just allowing each other what to add and what not to add into the WP articles. Collaboration for building better articles has a broader sense: we can have various kind of collective drafts, like for example the pages in the Portal and Project namespaces. To a certain extent, we should be able to use the talk pages as drafts. If those drafts become too large, then they should probably be moved into the Wikipedia portals where they belong. Or to some other kind of (collective) draft pages - like for example resources pages. In my view, spam is mainly a voluntary effort to promote the interests of a person or a company, or (accidentally) an effort that involuntarily promotes such interests. But reasonable posting (in good faith) external links from a broad number of sources just for drafting purposes doesn't fall in any of those categories. The links I gather are spam just as much as the references used in the Wikipedia articles are spam. In case the links I posted involuntarily promote some interests, the references used in the WP articles also involuntarily promote the same interests.โ€”  Ark25  (talk) 09:04, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
You said, "It doesn't help me to store the links on my own disk or personal notes because, instead of being able to later use it, it will only pile up into a larger and larger collection that I will never make use of. Why keep them just for me...." Can I store my moldy couch in your living room? I already have more furniture than I could possibly use, but who knows? Someone might want to use it at your place, someday. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 09:40, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Is your moldy couch providing additional information for adding into the article? Does it follow the guide that says There is reasonable allowance for speculation, suggestion, and personal knowledge on talk pages, with a view to prompting further investigation. The links I was adding are suggesting to add some particular information in the article. My living room is not a space for collective gatherings. I rephrased my first answer now, I should have said I don't believe that it's .. instead of It's not ... Because I haven't come here to tell you how things work. I came here to ask for opinions. โ€”  Ark25  (talk) 12:39, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
OK... My opinion is that adding links to talk pages when you have no intention of working them into articles stinks like external link spam, and is a form of disruption. I see from your talk page you've invented a script to rapidly convert article entries to cite format. No wonder you are buried in (useless) sources that you never plan to edit into articles. Keep 'em in your own living room, please. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 13:07, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Sorry but it's not true that I have no intention of working them into articles. I do want to make use them into articles but for the moment (and for a while from now on) I don't have the time to use them. Sometimes I came back and I added them into WP articles as useful references. Some other times, other editors used them in articles in order to add more information. I stick to my view that, being a collective effort, people are allowed to only make useful suggestions, if that's the way they can contribute. Useful suggestions can be in the form of useful links. Others will later use those suggestions. The sources I found are not always the best sources on the respective topics, but they contain useful information and that prompts further investigation - i.e. - make use of the information and find better sources if possible. My actions is in form of suggesting the addition of certain useful information into articles, noticing the links that contain that useful information. I can't use all those links by myself because I don't have the time, but that doesn't make the links useless. Yes, I created a wonderful script that helps editors to create references in a single click. It's a pain to waste more than 1 second for generating a reference. Those things should be done automatically. I presented it at Help_talk:Citation_Style_1/Archive_5#Script that generates references in one click. Those who tried it found it awesome. And they are not spammers, they are just regular editors. โ€”  Ark25  (talk) 15:10, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
(A) Oh, you're saying your remark above in green wasn't true?
(B) You'd have more time to work just one of the sources into articles if you don't waste it by posting raw links and moving on - or by posting a gazillion words defending your desire to do so.
NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 15:17, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
(A) You mean the green remark is contradicting with my other statement: Sometimes I came back and I added them into WP articles as useful references.? Well, if that's what you mean, then, yes, sometimes I do find the time to add such information into articles. The daily stream of information is not constant. For example, today I can find only 100 useful links instead of 200. That gives me the time to go back to some talk pages where I posted something very interesting and to make use of that information in the respective article. But that applies to only a small part of those links. But in no way I can make use of all of them into WP articles. If there would be more people like me, interested to make use of the information about corrupt Romanian politicians, then we'll be able to directly make use of all of those links into WP articles. But we are too few at the moment.
(B) In this case, instead of processing 200 links per day, I can only process 20 links per day, because adding information into articles is much more time consuming. I only have a limited number of hours available each day for editing Wikipedia. The rest of 180 links will be ignored, and in time, many of them go offline and the information they presented will be practically completely lost. After a while, we will not even know that such information existed. Romanian newspapers don't care that much about keeping their archives.
There are many WP articles about Romanian deputies and senators and other politicians that look like the Ghervazen Longher article (a stub with a single line) and they have empty talk pages. Many of them won't be developed much if at all and they will look the same after 10, 20 or 30 years. There are very few news about them. So, after 10 years, instead of having the same stub and an empty talk page, it's better to something into the talk page, instead of having nothing. Sorry for using another gazillion words. I know that the case I make is highly unusual. But it has a valid and practical point. โ€”  Ark25  (talk) 22:39, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
  • No, posting multiple links anywhere in Wikipedia is spam which will be removed. I just reverted the link at Talk:Ghervazen Longher which had "He was sent to court on two counts of conflict of interest" with a handy external link. WP:BLP (and common decency) applies on all pagesโ€”if the material is not suitable for the article, it is not suitable for any page. The links on Talk:Human tooth#Human tooth regrowth may be acceptable as a one-off, but please find something else to do because there are already enough people trying to add links to Wikipedia. Google can be used to find lots of suitable pages if an editor wants to add something to the article, and it is unlikely that anyone capable of adding good material would even notice the section with the links on the talk. Johnuniq (talk) 11:32, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Maybe I have translated it wrong. He was investigated and sued by prosecutors. I don't understand how that can violate WP:BLP. It is suitable for the article. For example the Cฤƒtฤƒlin Voicu article says โ€žHe was later arrested and investigated for corruption and trafficking in influenceโ€. It's basically the same thing. He was not convicted but he was investigated. If other people would try to add external links to Wikipedia, then they should be judged individually, based on the nature of their actions and based on their particular intentions. Google can't find information that is not available anymore. Romanian newspapers sometimes delete their archives. Evenimentul zilei just did that a couple of months ago. Articles older than 2006 were wiped out. A lot of information is lost and can't be found online anymore. It's not true that the other editors would not even notice the section with the links. That happened before - they noticed it and they used it in the articles. There are lots of talk pages which are virtually empty, and especially on those pages it's not hard at all to notice the links. โ€”  Ark25  (talk) 12:32, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
"Google can't find information that is not available anymore." If the links you provide no longer lead to information by the time someone interested in improving the article comes across them, then they'll be useless anyway. An editor can't cite them if he doesn't know what they said when they existed. โ€”Largo Plazo (talk) 18:00, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Sometimes I provide a short description of the information contained in the link. Even without that, the title of the link will suggest what you have to look for (you might find the same information on other sources - online or not). At least, the link will tell you in which issue of the printed edition you have to look in order to find that information (I always write down the publication date). So, the link is far from useless. By the contrary, it wil notice the WP editors that some useful information exist. Without the link I posted, they won't even know that such information ever existed, because they can't find it online. On top of that, fortunately, Archive.is is still doing an awesome job for us, archiving any external link (reference or not) posted in WP articles or in talk pages of articles. For example this link (from Talk:Romeo Stavarache):
is archived at http://archive.today/http://www.gandul.info/stiri/primarul-bacaului-romeo-stavarache-trimis-in-judecata-12394765 (on Romanian Wikipedia we have an awesome gadget that after each external link, it posts it's backup links on Archive.is and Archive.org. Before you ask: no, that awesome gadget is not made by me)
Not sure how long they will do such a favor to us, but at least for the moment it works.
I really much hope that Wikipedia will have it's own such archiving server (and I expressed my hope here), because that's really necessary in order to counter the Link rot problem. You can read more about this at User_talk:Lexein/Archive_19#Archive.is and Wikipedia:Archive.is RFC. In short, Archive.is is accused of spam, even though it's doing a wonderful job for Wikipedia. โ€”  Ark25  (talk) 20:24, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
By the way, noticing many such cases of information being lost before we can make use of it prompted me to invent a new philosophy named meta:Archivism, which is a complementary approach to meta:Inclusionism. โ€”  Ark25  (talk) 12:06, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

I have mentioned this discussion at WP:BLPN#Material on talk page of a BLP and WP:ELN#External links on article talk pages. Johnuniq (talk) 01:49, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

WP:COMMONSENSE. IP's and new editors add external links to talk pages all the time, asking for material in the target to be incorporated in the article. Nothing wrong with that. I've also seen a list of potential sources appear in a header box on talk pages. Again, could be useful. However this practice can be abused. In a specific case, an IP was continually finding links to negative reports (all reliable sources) on a BLP and adding them to a section on the talk page, claiming they could be "useful". It resulted in a nice little attack section. If the links are of high quality, possess new info, and are added out of a genuine desire to help others expand the article I say leave them in. --NeilN talk to me 02:23, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

I just wish you can stick to your opinion after me adding 10-15 external links into 100.000 talk pages :D. On Romanian Wikipedia most of my former supporters are blaming me now (I have touched about 10.000 pages there). Now they are scratching their heads trying to find a way to stop me :D. โ€”  Ark25  (talk) 10:09, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
There is a simple approach to stop you here, at least temporarily. Per WP:BEANS, I'm not going to mention it. โ€” Arthur Rubin (talk) 13:08, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
If you check the WP:ANI archives, you will see that a floating IP was blocked (aka banned) for doing just that (adding raw URLs or citations to talk pages, without indicating probable use), among other things. In other words, there is a WP:CONSENSUS that what you are saying you will do is wrong. Enforcement will be left to another post, but we do have some AdminBots. โ€” Arthur Rubin (talk) 13:52, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
See also {{uw-botblock}}; we have a template to report what you are saying you will do as a reason to block. โ€” Arthur Rubin (talk) 14:19, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes, your story about the case in the WP:ANI archives scared me very much. I was scared even more by your mysterious claim involving the story about the beans. In order to avoid being blocked for providing links without indicating probable use, I will indicate probable use from now on. Like for example the way I did at Talk:Romeo Stavarache.
Speaking about uw-botblock: I really can't imagine a way to design a bot capable to find useful information in newspapers and then to detect on which Wikipedia articles such information would be useful, and then to check if the information was already used in the article or not, and then to automatically add the information into WP article's talk pages. But hey! I already made a sleek Bookmarklet, I'm sure that sooner or later I'll figure out how to make such a program containing a lot of Artificial Intelligence (you know that spammers are geniuses, right?), and then I'll happily help you out into proving that I'm a spammer. After all, what's life without a little bit of collaboration and cooperation? โ€”  Ark25  (talk) 17:00, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
User:Ark25 - I don't understand why you are going on at such length. Much of your posting is too long to read. However, you appear to be asking to what extent you can push the limits of the rule against external link spamming. Don't ask that question. If we told you that link spamming 20 articles will get you blocked, would you use that as an excuse to link spam 19 articles and then wikilawyer your defense? What are you trying to ask or say? If it is to what extent link spamming is permitted, don't ask that question. Robert McClenon (talk) 17:07, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
He's already articulated a rationalization for what he's trying to do. He wants to know to what extent can he add ext links to article talk in the interest of somehow someday someone maybe using 'em to somewhat improve the articles he doesn't have time to work on? Don't ask him to repeat somemore! NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 17:28, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
@Robert McClenon: I think that the spam is an attempt to promote someone's interests. I only have a genuine desire to help others expand the articles. So the links I posted can't be spam. Therefore I was asking for opinions about posting useful external links, not about rules against spam. If they are too many of too low quality then they are probably an abuse but still not spam. If the limit would be 20 then I would post 19 (not as an excuse but as respecting the rule, because I don't have bad intentions) and I will defend my point and I am entitled to do that because I know my desire to help article development is genuine. Sorry if my messages are too long, really, but I just wanted to explain my actions the best way that I could, making sure I'm not missing something important in the point I want to make. โ€”  Ark25  (talk) 19:03, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
WP:LINKFARM, in addition, what you're talking about is definitely spam per and your promotional goal is with respect to your own right to create a WP:LINKFARM of external link WP:SPAM instead of doing the actual work of using the sources for article improvement. Since your stated goal is something other than directly improving the articles, WP:NOTHERE applies. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 21:33, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
So I'll have to say somemore:
  1. WP:LINKFARM doesn't apply to articles: excessive lists can dwarf articles and detract from the purpose of Wikipedia - such links have not much to dwarf in the talk pages
  2. WP:SPAM doesn't apply here since I'm not promoting anyone's interest, not even involuntarily.
  3. WP:NOTHERE doesn't apply since those links are proven to be useful for being used in the WP articles, sometimes other editors were using them thanks to the fact that I added them in the talk pages and some other times I used them myself as references in the articles. And sometimes I posted links into talk pages and those links are dead links now (e.g. Talk:Domestic_pig#Attacks_on_humans), so my action is good for making sure the information is not lost forever: meta:Archivism: Many times such information can also be found in the printed edition of the newspapers, but searching into printed archives is so much time consuming, that, except for extremely important data, nobody will have the time to search for it. Therefore we can safely say that, most of the time, once the information doesn't exist online anymore, it is lost forever.
About your previous comment: someone will maybe use the links.. - if no one will use the links in the next 500 years, it's still better to have them than not to have them. Imagine that Ghervazen Longher article will stay that way (1 line stub) for the next 20 years. In this case, when you check the article again in 20 years, what you prefer: an empty talk page or a talk page with some useful external links? โ€”  Ark25  (talk) 22:01, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
An empty talk page, of course. If it is still worth covering at that time sources will be readily findable. If sources are not readily findable then it should be deleted. So of course, an empty talk page is better than a LINKFARM posted by someone NOTHERE to do actual article improvement work. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 22:49, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
I find the term โ€žreadily findableโ€ a bit fuzzy. You mean available online? Available in printed edition? Available in form of statements in history books?
If it's worth covering the information today, then it's worth covering it after 50 or 500 years too. This aspect doesn't change in time. There is no If it is still worth covering. Once it's worth covering, it will always be worth covering.
1. The printed issues of a newspaper might be โ€žreadily findableโ€ easier to a historian than to you or to me, but historians would never have the time to cover so many things like Wikipedia does. They won't bother to make biographies to such politicians like Ghervazen Longher, because they focus on presidents, prime ministers, ministers, etc. At least that's how it works in my country. Or, in case that the historians will cover them, they will miss some of the aspects of the guy's biography. Those overlooked aspects might be mentioned in the links I posted, therefore the links are coming with something useful.
2. In 50 years (it can be 20, 100, 500 or w/e else), when virtually nobody knows who Ghervazen Longher was anymore, and the links about his legal problems are already offline:
2a. If you find an empty talk page then how can you possibly find out that he was involved into such controversies? I don't believe that you will read all the printed editions of Evenimentul zilei between 2008-2016 for a reason like "maybe I find something relevant about Ghervazen Longher". So, somewhere there is an information worth covering that it's not readily findable and you don't even know it exists. This contradicts your first statement.
2b. If you find a talk page with a dead link then you can search Archive.is (or the future Wikipedia's own such archiving server) for a backup of that link. That Archive.is backup link exists because I added the original link into the talk page and then Archive.is stored it automatically - so if you find it on Google then that's thanks to me. If there is no online backup, then you can search the printed issue of Evenimentul zilei, and you know in which issue you have to look because the (already) dead link I posted tells you the publication date. Therefore, in this case too, the information will be โ€žreadily findableโ€ thanks to me posting that external link into the talk page. So, according to your statement, the link should not be deleted, because the information it contained is readily findable (online or offline). โ€”  Ark25  (talk) 00:55, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


Broken autocollapse links[edit]

This year, we have seen many broken tab links, even if they are in autocollapse mode. The few of them are the list of all of the "Kiss-FM" formated stations and all of the TV stations in Charleston, I think those autocollapse tabs are broken and should be fixed wikipedia, to add in that help, go to the KIIS-FM link for the Kiss-FM stations, and WCIV for all the Charleston TV stations, I realize that these cannot be fixed by a normal Wiki user, however, it can be fixed by a "Wikipedia EXPERT" only!!! Please help those come back to normal.

I would really thank you if you do fix these tabs, Thank You Wikipedia! โ€” Preceding unsigned comment added by 50.9.114.198 (talk โ€ข contribs) 17:28, 28 June 2014

I fixed Template:KISS-FM radio stations and Template:Charleston TV, and it now seems to be ok. Johnuniq (talk) 02:24, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

Person making up stories in a page[edit]

On Monday, July 6, 2014, someone makes up a story that WZJZ is dead forever and given up by the FCC. Proof of evidence: "On June 21, 2014, a gang of women destroyed the transmitter and murded the crew and it got defunct. The station's license was cancelled and the WZJZ call sign assignment was deleted permanently from the FCC database." I copied and pasted the evidence caused by 70.27.98.190 and because of that, and this is true that I didn't do this and if you see on their revision history, I undid what he or she has done. This is a bad thing for Wikipedia and needs to be stopped, before more broadcasting pages are effected by this person. Check WZJZ's Facebook and Twitter pages on the day marked June 21, 2014 and you will see nothing about it and it still is being updated. I think he is making this up because he did a typo and how could women be that clever to kill a TV station and make the FCC give it up by force. Besides I still hear it where I live in my car radio sometimes at night. I also have never heard from the FCC that they given up a station to criminals, and that this is made up, besides they are still streaming on iHeartRadio. Would someone please consult this to this person: 70.27.98.190. Thank you and let's not make this happen. We don't want people making up stories that TV and radio stations are off the air forever and make people have heart attacks. Maybe some "Wikipedia EXPERTS" could tell him about this.

If you do this, I will thank you Wikipedia. โ€” Preceding unsigned comment added by 50.9.114.198 (talk) 02:54, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

You reverted the IP's sole edit, and warned them on their talk page. That's the right way to handle the situation. There's no need for further action.--{{U|Elvey}} (tโ€ขc) 19:08, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

WP:REDACT clarification[edit]

Support/ opposition to this edit? It's been reverted. Edit and revert have deletion summaries. (In addition, I fixed the last section; the indentation didn't make sense, as its also an instruction, like the others.)--{{U|Elvey}} (tโ€ขc) 18:56, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

The proposed edit changed:
If it becomes necessary to edit your own comments to correct false information or remove (or redact) personal attacks, follow these guidelines:
to:
If it becomes necessary to redact your own comments to correct false information or address personal attacks, follow these guidelines when you strike or remove text:
The problem is that WP:TPG#Own comments (WP:REDACT) includes advice for how to handle simple changes to one's own comments and while the formal definition of "redact" may include that operation, common usage of that word refers to the removal of sensitive text, so "redact" obscurs the meaning.
Another issue is that the edit also put a bullet before the final paragraph "Under some circumstances, you may entirely remove your comments..."โ€”that's not correct as the paragraph is separate from the preceding which refers to editing a comment.
What is the purpose of the proposed change? Johnuniq (talk) 00:41, 11 July 2014 (UTC)