Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Biography/Archive 17

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FAR of Denis Law[edit]

Denis Law has been nominated for a featured article review. Articles are typically reviewed for two weeks. Please leave your comments and help us to return the article to featured quality. If concerns are not addressed during the review period, articles are moved onto the Featured Article Removal Candidates list for a further period, where editors may declare "Keep" or "Remove" the article from featured status. The instructions for the review process are here. Reviewers' concerns are here. Woodym555 16:09, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Flags in infobox[edit]

User:MarnetteD is removing flags in infoboxes based on a policy suggestion: Wikipedia:Use of flags in articles, without consensus. Anyone have thoughts about using the flags in the infoboxes? I at first didn't like the flags, but removing them here and there, rather than having a consistent policy isn't good. It alters the look and feel of Wikipedia. I would rather have one policy, so all the biographies look the same. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) 20:11, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Proposal to remove the main biography project from the bot run[edit]

There is a discussion at Wikipedia talk:Version 1.0 Editorial Team#Proposal to remove the main biography project from the bot run. about assessing Wikipedia 1.0 biography articles. If you are involved in that, you can comment there. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:04, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Cockacoeke error?[edit]

Cockacoeske has a death date of 1657, which would have her dead at 17. Yet, the article states she reigned for 30 years AND has the dates of her reign being from 1656–1686. The 1657 death date is obviously wrong, but I don't have access to quotable research for the correct date of the death. Could someone help with this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kilarin (talkcontribs) 19:29, 27 September 2007 (UTC)


I have run into an oddball, who insists on saying that P. G. Wodehouse was an "England-born British comic writer" because we have to have the "basic of sovereign nation" in the first sentence of every article. I don't see this is policy or practice; I do see the phrasing as abominable writing. It is particularly weird here, because Wodehouse is clearly an Englishman, in fact a South-of-England man; and he became an American citizen, so British is less useful than usual. The present discussion is here, where some editors have taken the promising line of evading the English/British issue altogether. Comments welcome. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 14:42, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Aviators and assessments[edit]

Hello, as part of the Aviation WikiProject, I would like to make sure that all aviators, and aviation related biographies are rated and organized. Rather than do this by adding another level to the Aviation project, would you prefer this to be done using your project banner? Is there a specific work group that this would fall under (e.g. Science and acedemia)?

At the moment Amelia Earhart gets placed in Category:B-Class biography articles, instead of a category within Category:Biography articles by work group. Can this be changed? Can/should an Category:Aviation work group articles be created? Or should all of this be created within the aviation project and linked to in your project? Thanks for any suggestions/help. - Trevor MacInnis (Contribs) 05:21, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

At present, we don't have such a specific work group. My only real potential objections might be the determining the scope and number of articles which might fall within the scope of the group. Given the staggering number of articles on which the banner is placed, 440,000 or so as we speak, changes to the banner are I think understandably not made lightly, as such changes would bog down the servers, particularly if they were later reversed. Also, on a purely practical matter, only an admin can change the banner, and I ain't no admin. Maybe the best way to go would be to determine whether there would be sufficient interest in such a group, like maybe posting a proposal on the Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals page, and seeing if there would be enough interested parties. If there were, and if the number of articles affected would justify such a work group, I think/hope we might be able to get someone to change the banner. Maybe not the best answer, but the best answer I've got. John Carter 15:42, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Photograph Copyright of Irish Politicians[edit]

There is a large number of articles about Irish politicians that don't contain photographs. These include prominent politicians such as the minister for health and the minister for education and science.

Images of all incumbent TDs are available on the Irish government web site with permission to reproduce. The copyright statement on the site reads as follows...

"The material featured on this site is subject to Irish Government copyright according to the Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000. Where this material is being issued to others, the source (including URL) and copyright status must be acknowledged.

The permission to reproduce Irish Government copyright material does not extend to any material on this site which may be the property of a third party. Authorisation to reproduce such material must be obtained from the copyright holders concerned. "

Is there a reason we can't use these images in the articles? Far Queue 18:46, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Also no photo for some Northern Irish Politicians : e.g. Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Davidseed (talk) 01:06, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Kari Byron[edit]

Visit here.--Monnitewars (talk) 03:32, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Lasting Tribute[edit]

I often write up articles about UK-based people from their newspaper obituaries. I have noticed that many of them end up with a link to - see this, for example.

I hesitate to call this spam, but there seem to be one, possible more, editors, like (talk · contribs), whose contributions seem to be devoted to adding these links to articles without adding any other content. See also some discussion on that IP's talk page.

Should I/we be concerned about this? -- !! ?? 15:08, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Bahta Hagos[edit]

I added content to this article. Please take a look. Consuelo D'Guiche 19:50, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Pauline Green[edit]

I've done a substantial reworking of this article, and I think I've put in everything I can find: I'd really appreciate a second pair of eyes going over it to check for errors, uncited statements and general compliance with wiki guidelines. Cheers Terrypin 10:27, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Need Assistance[edit]

Abd el-Krim Can someone assist. I offered some references for items in the Abd el-Krim article. No one has responded to add them to the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:15, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

The same with Shamil Basayev, I left the references on the talk/chat page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:03, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Also Alberto Bayo, some more information on the chat page and sources. Can someone add this information? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:45, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Sorry if this is not the right place for this.

Request for Assistance - Edit War on Kathleen Battle Entry[edit]

Is there someone involved in this portion of the Bio Project, preferably and Admin, who could assist in a disagreement that has been brewing over some time with respect to the entry on opera singer Kathleen Battle and her highly publicized firing from the Metropolitan Opera? The background on this dispute is covered on the discussion page [[1]] and has been going on for a year. In short, certain editors believe that it is sufficient to reflect NPOV to provide -- with citation -- the statement by the Metropolitan Opera made at the time of her firing and, on the other hand, the statement issued by Ms. Battle in response to the firing. Other editors have maintained that this is not sufficiently NPOV, and have added statements -- some of which lack supporting citations -- regarding what others (such as the Met's current management, some 14 years later, say they "would have done" if they had been in charge in 1994). I for one think that such edits are actually inconsistent with NPOV and are an attempt to skew the discussion of the firing and characterize it as unwarranted. Since the edits have gone back and forth 3 times now it is I guess becoming an "edit war" of sorts and the assistance of a neutral party within the Bio Project would be greatly appreciated. Thanks very much. NickInBigD (Hey!) 22:29, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for bringing this to the attention for the Bio Project, Nickbigd. Please excuse the length of this posting, but this is a somewhat complex issue. The Kathleen Battle page, not just the particular dismissal (the word Volpe used in his book, has been the source of disput for some time. And for quite some time, the entire biography read like a gossip column. And rather than providing biographical information, it made statements like "Battle became more and more difficult to deal with as her career moved forward" as if it were fact, not opinion, which it is. It made little attempt to provide even basic biographical information the reason why she had been invited to perform at some of the most prestigious venues or details of her education. It barely resembled a biography.

At one point, almost three quarters of the article was a litany of gossipy anecdotes. So when efforts were made to provide an informative article on the singers career and mention anything remotely positive, you'd see edits back to focusing on the negative. For example, someone asserted that she was successful merely because two highly respected conductors, Levine and Von Karajan, championed her. This completely did not account for the fact that she studied voice, worked hard, and could perform difficult pieces cleanly and with a tone many thought was beautiful. This was called "whitewashing." So it seems that when facts (which could be read as positive and sympathizing by some) were added, some did not feel this was valid -- what Nickbigd suggests comes from "Battle Sympathizers", then the NPOV claim is added.

Then, there is an issue over the dismissal itself. The fact that the dismissal took place is not in question. But the viewpoints about the dismissal are. In this particular "edit war", Nickbigd removes the balancing viewpoint. And tries to make it a single focus. However, I looked at other wikipedia projects about singers who have had difficulties and reputations for egos and demanding behavior in their career, namely Maria Callas and Luciano Pavarotti. And neither have a section header entirely devoted to their "challenges." Callas was also fired, but there is but a sentence or two mentioning that in her biography. The crux of this discussion is not whether someone sympathizes or not, as one poster claims. It is the attempt to create a high quality biography that presents a balanced view and avoid censorship. Include both the artist's perspective and those who don't have an issue with her; and why not try to make this biography consistent with the style and tone with many of the other biographies of this project which focus on the entire life, not the gossipy side. Hrannar 13:53, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

It is in no sense "gossipy" to simply report the statements issued by Ms. Battle and the by the man who fired her, Mr. Volpe, at the time of the event. That is purely factual, and verifiable. The discussion does become "gossipy" when editors begin adding commentary by others some 10-14 years later who were not involved in the firing or add unsupported/uncited charaterizations of Ms. Battle as "gracious," etc. NickInBigD (Hey!) 15:02, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
Please read my post more carefully. I didn't suggest that statements made by Kathleen Battle are gossipy. I am suggesting that personal judgements and unverifiable, potentially slanderous stories such as the limosine story are gossipy. And are against Wikipedia Bio Project guidelines. / Everything I've added can indeed be supported by either print material (Volpe's book) or online sources. In fact, every time there have been requests for the citation to be provided i.e., Levine advising against the dismissal or Gelb's comments, citations were indeed provided. If there is a statement that you feel isn't supported, feel free to point it out and I will indeed look for the citation. And if one can't be found, it completely makes sense to remove it. / About the "gracious" statements, here are two sources. A concert review and Ohio Magazine article.; / Again, both sides are being presented. Some think she's difficult. Others think she is gracious. I am sorry you do not agree with the gracious characterization, but other opinions need to be brought in. Hrannar 18:25, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Possible project contest[edit]

I note that WikiProject Military history has a contest in which interested members of the project can earn points in a friendly competetion at Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Contest. Considering the scope of this project is at least as large as the scope of that project, we might be able to do the same sort of thing here as well. We might also offer an additional point or two, potentially, if the given biography article in question were rated as "High" or "Top" importance to one or more projects out there. It clearly would need some thought given to development and process to be implemented, but it certainly would be a way to help improve the quality of at least some of our articles. Any opinions? John Carter 15:48, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

FAR notice[edit]

The Jackson 5 has been nominated for a featured article review. Articles are typically reviewed for two weeks. Please leave your comments and help us to return the article to featured quality. If concerns are not addressed during the review period, articles are moved onto the Featured Article Removal Candidates list for a further period, where editors may declare "Keep" or "Remove" the article from featured status. The instructions for the review process are here. Reviewers' concerns are here. --RelHistBuff 15:08, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Open letter to the members of WikiProject Biography – SBS and new Succession Templates system[edit]

Greetings, members of WikiProject Biography. I am here on behalf of WikiProject Succession Box Standardization (SBS) to inform you about S-start series, the new succession box template system that we have been developing for more than a year and which we have many reasons to believe that will solve most of the problems now present in succession boxes created by Template:Succession box.

Indeed, we have had plenty of chance to try out these templates, and their two basic advantages, simplicity and flexibility seem to make them much of an improvement over the old system. The s-start templates are easier to learn by Wikipedians, as they are fewer and simpler, and boxes incorporating them are more effortlessly created and edited even by relatively inexperienced in this field editors. Furthermore, as each template produces a cell, rather than a line, the resulting boxes are more adaptable and with a single "rows" parameter can achieve most configurations with the lowest possible degree of complexity.

These, and other, advantages, which you can all see for yourselves by visiting the project's pages (main page, Documentation page, Guidelines page), are the motivation behind SBS's efforts. We aim to replace the rigid Template:Succession box boxes and the even more antiquated HTML boxes with the highly adaptable and standardised newer templates whose style and content will conform to our guidelines and work better not only in the articles that will host them but also as parts of their respective chains.

I am hereby addressing all the honourable Members who are reading this message in requesting two things: first, start using our improved templates, so that they can be more useful and actually improve the articles they are in, while also standardising the entire group with all the positive results that this means; second, assist us and our work by staffing SBS, helping adopt policies and edit the thousands of inadequate boxes that litter the mainspace, or by helping us recruit editors to aid us in doing this.

We are the only project working on succession boxes. Help us remain active and continue improving Wikipedia.

We shall be eagerly waiting for your response, looking forward to a fruitful cooperation. Thank you for your time. Waltham, The Duke of 16:03, 8 October 2007 (UTC)


Wikipedia:Most_wanted_articles#Biographies has been updated using the 2007-09-08 data dump. --Sapphic 17:23, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Images ready to be put[edit]

Hi. I'm doing a list of images for biographies. --Emijrp 17:50, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Article title[edit]

I have a question relating to the naming of biographical articles and I cannot seem to find it anywhere. Is it more appropriate to use the full middle name for an article if known or just the middle initial? I have seen cases of both and wondered if there was a standard.--Kumioko 21:32, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

No general rule that I know of. Basically, the name by which the party is best known is the one to use. This can vary depending on how many people have that name, whether the party in question is the most notable person by that name, how many other people have the same or similar name, and on and on and on. Are there any specific names you're thinking of? I think it might be easier to have a particular name to refer to rather than try to decide which variations apply in any specific case. John Carter 16:30, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Irc meeting[edit]

I'm having some trouble getting set up to take part in the discussion. Therefore, I have tried to create a statement of my ideas for possibly improving the project at User:Warlordjohncarter/Biography. I'm not sure if anyone would think any of the ideas raised worth mentioning, but thought I'd write them out anyway. John Carter 15:10, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Military work group[edit]

I doubt this will be at all controversial, but probably best to check:

The military work group here has, from its inception, been more or less on the sidelines as far as WP:MILHIST is concerned. In the interests of bringing more attention to it, I'd like to fully integrate it into the military history project; from our side, we would consider it to be something like the "military biography task force". Would there be any objections to such a joint arrangement? Kirill 13:19, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

None from me. Doing so might require some adjustment of the banner, which I personally am not qualified to do, but in theory the idea makes sense to me. John Carter 14:50, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
I concur.--Kumioko 21:33, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
Ok, since nobody has objected, I've gone ahead and integrated things. The changes to the Bio banner were minimal; all that really needed to be done was to make the category name a bit more specific. Kirill 22:48, 14 October 2007 (UTC)


I was wondering whether we would want to maybe set up the portal for automatic rotation of articles, which can be done, and has been done elsewhere. We would however have to have some agreement as to how many articles to include in the rotation, and, of course, which articles should be numbered among them. I've seen other projects have articles on weekly rotation, and given the scope of this project we could really have a different FA every day, if we chose to use only FAs. Any ideas? John Carter 16:21, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

We should definitely do this. It is fairly easy to set up, and then I think you only have to update two lists to add new ones (the visible list and the rotating list). The visible list should be updated regularly anyway. Carcharoth 12:57, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Current bot requests[edit]

Please see:

Any ideas or comments, please add them over there. Carcharoth 14:01, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Some plans for biography articles[edit]

I hope the IRC meeting went well - it was good to see the WikiProject featured in the Signpost. I'm just dropping off a few links to biographical discussions I started recently in various place, in case people are interested:

Please ask if you have any questions, or help out if you have any ideas or know of similar plans. Carcharoth 06:57, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Oh the irony of it... Not a single person came on to the channel when I was on (six hours). It was a failure, despite the massive amount of people who are members of this project. Psychless 04:49, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Proposed work groups[edit]

I personally believe that we would benefit from having the project's work groups be able to address more specific groups of people, as I think that is more likely to get people to join them and, by extension, work on the relevant articles. On that basis, I have proposed a few new biography work groups on the Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals page, specifically for baseball, football (soccer), North American football (including College, NFL, CFL, and Arena League players), and basketball. I have also added a possibly vaguer proposal, People and Places. Any parties interested in any of them are encouraged to add their names there. John Carter 13:12, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

This is the wrong way to go about doing this, I believe. I'd like to see some discussion on how our present workgroups should be divided, and how new workgroups are going to be useful. Is the workgroup actually going to "work as a group"? Right now our "workgroups" just provide links to categories and such. That is useful, but not the sole purpose of a workgroup. Psychless 04:59, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
If the groups are made specific enough that their scope is all directly relevant to the same subject, they should be more likely to be able to work as a real, functional team. That's one of the disadvantages of the size of some of the existing work groups. Science and academia, for instance, includes a lot of biographies which have at best a tangential relationship to each other, making collaboration as a workgroup at that level that much less likely, given the scope of the group. If we make the focus specific enough, there should be a much better chance of the editors involved all being interested, to some degree, in all the articles within the scope of that group, and should make real collaboration more likely. But, at this point, it doesn't look like any have sufficient support to formally become groups right away, so there is probably more than enough time for discussion before anything really happens, particularly considering that I can't figure out how to change the banner right now anyway. John Carter 14:32, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Possible vandalism in project assessments[edit]

Would someone at this project take a look at the article assessments on Talk:Joseph Merrick please? It's not clear to me why this person should be considered a top-level importance on so many projects. WhatamIdoing 04:46, 23 October 2007 (UTC)