Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Biography/Archive 2

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Archive 1 | Archive 2 | Archive 3

Metadata for biography articles

Hey guys, in case you haven't heard about it, the German Wikipedia has successfully launched a progam to add metadata to all biographical articles. You can read about their efforts here. I would like to launch a similar program for the English Wikipedia. I have already created a metadata template for biographies and made the necessary changes to the common.css file. The instructions for how to use the template, and information about what its purpose is, can be found at Wikipedia:Persondata. Let me know what you guys think and if you have any suggestions. Kaldari 19:14, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

OK, but why not make the database larger- and include sources, references, categories, etc? Or am I working the wrong issue? stilltim 20:17, 23 December 2005 (UTC)
That's a good point to bring up. Theoretically we could make the metadata template quite extensive. In fact, it's not hard to imagine recreating an entire article as symantic metadata. I believe there is a trade-off, however, between ease of use and completeness. If the template is too bulky and intimidating, people will be more reluctant to make use of it, especially in the initial stages. Ideally, this template (or something similar) will be included in every biographical article in Wikipedia. Thus, I think we should make the initial use of the template as simple as possible. Perhaps even setting up a human-assisted automatic process for adding and populating the template (like the German Wikipedia did). Regarding categories specifically, we can already automate the harvesting of category information since that is recorded in a standard way, so adding that to the metadata would be somewhat redundant. Kaldari 22:17, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Marc Lemire

I hope that WikiProject Biography will take the lead on getting rid of crappy articles like this. It is just horrible to write such awful things about someone without sources. EVERY SINGLE NEGATIVE CLAIM in a case like this should be CAREFULLY sources, preferably with dual sources.--Jimbo Wales 22:46, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

RfC Fred R. Klenner Biography

There was a RfC about whether to include implications that Fred R. Klenner's son was involed in murder. Without a great deal of knowledge on this, here is what I think. It should only be included in the article if it happened before he died which of course would have affected his life story. If it was after his death and the son is notable enough for his own article it should be noted in the See Also section. Can if anyone who is knowledgeable about the related wikipedia policies can please comment on this issue, that'd be very much appreciated. - JustinWick 23:19, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

non-notable spouse list

FWIW, I maintain a list of biographical articles on Wikipedia of people who are basically only notable because of being the spouse of a notable person, here: User:Herostratus/List of non-notable spouses. What use this has I don't really know, but its there if anyone wants to peruse or add to it. Herostratus 08:56, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

Structure directions

The instruction to add '{{subst:Biography}}' and then save can cause problems with speedy delete requests. Can that item be reworked to have some content added before saving? Vegaswikian 03:18, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Disambiguation page styles for people

(Copy of a question I posted at the Wikipedia:Help Desk and at Category talk:Lists of ambiguous human names)

I have been looking at several disambiguation pages for names (to get some ideas following work I did on Ptolemy (disambiguation)), and I've come across pages like Jesus (disambiguation) and Leonardo (disambiguation). Some questions I want to ask:

(1) The Leonardo (disambiguation) page has a bit allowing people to see all articles starting "Leonardo", or rather to see a list of AllPages starting from Leonardo, as seen here. This is the first time I've seen this, though the Leonardo disambiguation talk page led me to Robert, which does look a bit overdone, but also has the "AllPages" link. My question is whether this is a common practice, or whether it falls foul of the "no self-reference" rule about not linking to non-article space in Wikipedia (creates problems with mirror/redistribution sites)?

(2) Is is normal to (like I have done with Ptolemy) to arrange the disambiguation page in a historical sense, thus bringing out a narrative about the name throughout history, and tracing the links that sometimes exist, with certain uses of the name being inspired by one Ptolemy, and other uses being inspired by other Ptolemies? I ask this question because I feel a similar reorganisation of the Jesus disambiguation page could help make it easier to read as an article about the history of the name, rather than as a disambiguation page. Note that this could not be done with pages like Robert, as there is no such narrative thread to pull out of the history of the name.

(3) Is there a better place to discuss this?

[Additional comment - I've found Category:Lists of ambiguous human names and its template tag. I can't work out the best place to discuss that sort of thing? Maybe I should go to the People Portal?]

Thanks. Carcharoth 19:35, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

If anyone responds to this, please note that I'm trying to centralise discussion back at Talk:Ptolemy (disambiguation), as I'm losing track of all the places I've asked about this. If anyone has further advice, please add it there. Thanks. Carcharoth 23:50, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Dab'g suffixes for Bios

I'm pretty sure i recall at least a discussion (possibly a guideline) regarding putting a year (or vital stats or range of reign) in paren as the Dab'g suffix on an ambig name. IIRC the practice was at least denounced and not defended. But i haven't found again anything about it. Help!
--Jerzyt 16:41, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

BTW, my use of a variation on that (see The boxers Davey Moore and Davey Moore) when i broke up a joint bio, seems to have gone unchallenged for going on a year; it continues to strike me as a rare (and perhaps enlightening) exception to the rule that there is virtually always something better than dates to distinguish people. IMO, this case justifies it bcz the time periods are more likely to be both recalled and clear (for any but serious fans) than anything else (like weight class or form of trauma ("(beaten)" vs "(crushed)"?). Comments welcome.
--Jerzyt 16:41, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm posting my three (initial) 'graphs for this section at both Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Biography#Dab'g suffixes for Bios and Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Disambiguation#Dab'g suffixes for Bios. If someone comments, it would probably be good if the first one would also put a note at the top of the section at the other location, urging that the responses be centralized. (Also good:

*put a note after this 'graph, on the same page that has your response, saying "done as to Moores" or "done as to years in general"
*indicate on the non-centralizing page which of the two topics has/have drawn responses.)

--Jerzyt 16:41, 6 April 2006 (UTC)


Is there a convention for classifying nationality of subjects of biographies? The specific case I refer to is Anders Chydenius (see the talk page for a discussion). Chydenius was born in what is now part of Finland when Finland did not exist as an independent country (it was part of Sweden). His mother tongue was (almost certainly) Swedish, so he has been put in Category:Finland-Swedes. Although this is uncontroversial, there is disagreement over whether he should be classified as a Finnish politician, priest, economist etc. or as a Swedish one. I tried to find a guide to this on the Manual of Style and this page but there doesn't seem to be any. Perhaps it would be a good idea to have a guide, because such questions must come up all the time on historical biographies. Tamino 05:44, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

I get the impression that the convention is to label people by the nationality of their occupations according to where they practice those occupations. If that is the case, perhaps people could have different nationalities for each occupation. Tim Ivorson 2006-05-26

President of the United Nations General Assembly

has a lot of red links for an important position. --Midnighttonight 01:16, 27 May 2006 (UTC)


I've looked for a policy or guideline on how to describe locations, but I've yet to find one. I've been giving locations briefly. In the case of N.O.R.E., I'm inclined not to just edit in the absense of a guideline, as it would involve reverting an apparently good faith edit. The article says "He was born in Queensbridge, Long Island City, Queens, New York City, New York, USA". Is this OK? Tim Ivorson 2006-06-01

Julien Cahn

I've started the above - can anyone improve it please? Brookie :) - a will o' the wisp ! (Whisper...) 13:28, 7 June 2006 (UTC)


Hello all. I am wondering what the common practice is regarding lineages. I work on a lot of articles on samurai and other nobles & aristocrats of pre-modern Japan; lineage and clan membership was very important to these people, and is very useful for the historian or interested reader towards understanding a continuity of events. I see that many articles on royalty use the Monarch Infobox, which contains information on mother, father, and children... Is there another one I could or should use? How is this generally handled? Thank you. LordAmeth 12:16, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Release version work

I am interested in working on high-importance biographies toward a release version of WP. Is anyone interested in helping with this? Maurreen 20:06, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

George II of Great Britain

George II of Great Britain is up for a featured article review. Detailed concerns may be found here. Please leave your comments and help us address and maintain this article's featured quality. Sandy 22:32, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

WikiTree, Family, Memorial, etc

When I look into these things, WikiTree is slower than a cow in molasses, just impossible to use. And the other projects to document non-notable people, all seem more-or-less defunct. Someone steer me to the *funct* project? :) Thanks. Wjhonson 14:29, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Stating current Age in biographical articles

Please see Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Age in biographical articles Jon513 07:42, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

The Beatles

The Beatles is up for a featured article review. Detailed concerns may be found here. Please leave your comments and help us address and maintain this article's featured quality. Sandy 15:14, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Tap, tap - Is this thing on?

Was wondering if this project is still a going concern? Anyone have any interest in trying to breathe life back into this puppy? We should try and use the assessment scales for WP:1.0 and have some peer reviews... If no one objects, I can tackle this, just let me know. Didn't want to step on any toes...-plange 06:01, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

You woke me up! Wjhonson 06:02, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
LOL, did the feedback wake you? -plange 06:03, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
You might be interested in Wikipedia:Core biographies and Wikipedia:Best biographies (both of which I made, for better or worse) and a comparison between the two. I would help through WP:AID and Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Core topics/Core topics COTF for the most important people that don't have at least a WP:GA (realizing that importance is subjective). Maurreen 06:16, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
Cool, since there are no objections, I'll go ahead and tackle....plange 23:35, 28 July 2006 (UTC)


I'm glad the additions I made (The talk template, the assessment scale) have been adopted fully by the project and spurred a reboot. It's gratifying to know. ....(Complain)(Let us to it pell-mell) 08:43, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Cool I wondered who'd done that! I'd started adding the assessment page and when I was done noticed there were already articles tagged by class! -plange 09:06, 29 July 2006 (UTC)


Very impressive work, plange. Maurreen 14:27, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Current collaboration nominations elsewhere

Core topics COTF:

Article Improvement Drive

Maurreen 14:27, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Controversial articles

Jesus and Muhammad are two biographies of high-importance that are often controversial. It would be good. If these could somehow be brought to WP:GA status. Maurreen 14:38, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Release version and related

You might also be interested in Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Biographies, although it might be outdated. One possible longish-term goal could be to to get 100 bios of high importance to at least WP:GA status. If such as set had proper breadth and selection, it could be worth publishing as a stand-alone set. Maurreen 14:38, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Thanks Maureen! Would you say it would be safe to tag those articles as importance=Top? -plange 15:31, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
My opinion would be no. The standards for importance at 0.5 are loose, and in my opinion, low. For instance, I wouldn't put Mariah Carey in the same class as Mozart.
That list was kind of just one a few possible jumping-off points.
I think the general wikiproject importance classifications could be improved. They are too vague and fuzzy for my taste.
I prefer more-defined sets. That is, "These are the most important X number of biographies (or foobar articles)." For instance, please see Wikipedia:Core biographies (which of course is open to further improvement by you or others).
I think it would be more efficient to have some focus on some limited number and work toward improving them, than evaluating masses. But that's just my opinion. Maurreen 16:54, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Task Forces?

What do you guys think of forming task forces to subdivide out the vast amount of work in this huge project. The military history project has done this to great effect. Only question would be, do we divide by occupation or region? I can see arguments for both... Organizing by occupation would allow people to group related categories and templates together (i.e. all politician stubs, footers and categories, etc), whereas by region might seem more intuitive for some, for instance, it would be pretty rare for me to work on a non-US person, but I might cross occupations pretty regularly from writer to politician to soldier. What do you think? These task forces would be like little mini-projects and would save people the trouble of having to create a whole project to manage that might go inactive for a period. plange 21:54, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Sorry to throw cold water on such enthusiasm, but I'm not sure the rest of us can keep up with you. I like the idea of starting fairly small and building on successes.
Maybe it would be good to start with individual general goals and then just see about narrow down a few priorities.
I'm interested in the most important bios (realizing that that's subjective and relative). I also have some interest in sorting and integration.
What are your main interests, plange or anyone? Maurreen 22:01, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
My interests are pretty narrow, pretty much biographies of Virginians :-) But project-wise my interest is in helping facilitate great biographies all-around and provide an area for coordination so that smaller interest groups didn't feel a need to start their own WikiProject and so fragment resources. For instance there are 2 current project proposals: WikiProject Current UK MP's and Medieval women which could easily fold into here so that they didn't have to spend the energy setting up the infrastructure and can concentrate on editing and writing plange 22:45, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree with your larger goals. Maybe WikiProject Current UK MP's and Medieval women could just be invited here? Maurreen 22:59, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
I sort of did-- I left a comment on the project proposal page-- I'll leave something on the proposer's talk page too.... Also, what did you mean by "some interest in sorting and integration" - is that stub sorting and integration with other projects? Just want to make sure we have what you need for that....plange 23:14, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Hey, you're neat -- believe me, I have plenty to keep me busy. :) What I have in mind is roughly "stub sorting and integration with other projects". Not sure how to express it concisely and clearly.

  1. For instance, the biographies with various problems could be tagged in various ways, so people who care more about X are more likely to find and work on them. But I have little experience with templates.
  2. About the integration -- besides various "global" or "meta" projects such as Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team, especially Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Core topics, and the various good and bad quality programs -- biographies are multidisciplinary, they overlap with any other field, and it could be good to have some loose coordination somehow. For instance, maybe we could start with coordinating something on one or a few famous Virginians, such as Founding Fathers? Would you want to nominate for a collaboration? Maurreen 23:31, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
Sure, do you mean an article collaboration that we'd reach out to other projects with? Forgive me if I'm asking some stupid questions, am still kind of a noob. Great ideas! plange 23:44, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure what I mean yet. But yes, that's basically it. Thomas Jefferson and George Washington come to mind as examples. Washington is already a WP:GA and a candidate at WP:AID. They could overlap with groups working in WP on history, the USA, war, government.
And this kind of overlaps with your original idea of inviting those proposed projects here. It's all a big, messy but useful web. Maurreen 23:53, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
LOL, yep! And I've been thinking some more about the task forces, and maybe we don't go full out on it like MILHIST where we have people sign up, etc., but maybe think of it as a way to sort things, like what you mention above about helping people narrow in on what their interest is. I'm currently slogging through tagging the Core Bios so I'll let my brain ruminate on that some more plange 00:00, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Cool. I need to sign off. I am way behind in real life, addicted to WP.
But if your or anyone else feels like it, one thing I could use some help with is making an even smaller set of Wikipedia:Core biographies, which could still go on the same page. I'm thinking it would be good to have maybe one or two lists of between say, five and 50. A couple places for ideas are Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Core topics/Supplement and Wikipedia:Vital articles. (The first is smaller than the second.) Or if anyone can make other improvements to Wikipedia:Core biographies, that'd be good, too.
And your questions weren't stupid at all. I enjoyed talking with you about this. 00:13, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

I'm sorry. I repeated myself. Apologies. Maurreen 00:31, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Oh, also, about the integration, that could include the portal, for instance, also somehow, eventually. Maurreen 00:32, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

List of Taskforce Suggestions

  1. Film Taskforce
  2. Politics Taskforce
  3. Stage Taskforce — Preceding unsigned comment added by Thefourdotelipsis (talkcontribs)
I'm leaning toward occupations too, the more I think about it. Should film and stage be combined to actors or Arts and Entertainment? Here's some more:
  1. Philosophers
  2. Academics
  3. Athletes
  4. Mathmeticians
  5. Scientists
  6. Writers
  7. Religious figures
  8. Explorers
plange 03:44, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
One thing to keep in mind here is that some of these may already exist as independent projects. If those aren't particularly active (and sometimes even if they are), you can arrange their merger into this project (with a corresponding renaming to "task force"), which will save you from having to deal with overlap issues later on. Kirill Lokshin 03:49, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
We do have some overlap - there's a Composers, Saints, Baseball Players, Canadians, and US Presidents that all seem active. Did you have the same problem when you started MILHIST? If so, how amenable were they to merging? Of these only Canadians doesn't fit with our idea of going by occupation, so not sure what to do... And the others are more narrow then what we have above. Your advice greatly welcome! plange 03:58, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
I would like to suggest we tone this down to A) Art and Entertainment, B) Politicians, Public and Religious Figures, C)Scholars and Academics, D) Physical (I need a better word here for people famous for physical prowess or physical achievement i.e. Sports, Explorers, Daredevils, etc.) Wjhonson 04:01, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Actually, most of MILHIST's early task forces were direct mergers of external projects; but (a) they were mostly inactive and (b) MILHIST had been very large and active for several months prior to our beginning to experiment with task forces. As far as how amenable they would be: I have no idea. Only thing to do would be to ask them, I suppose. Kirill Lokshin 04:05, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

I like Wjhonson's idea of narrowing it down and the basic groups. But maybe they could be tweaked a little, such as:

  • Artists, writers, entertainers and related (including athletes and other performers, possibly also celebrities in general)
  • Leaders, public and religious figures (including explorers, criminals and businesspeople)
  • Scientists and scholars (including philosophers, social scientists, inventors and technology people if the other categories are not more appropriate)
This might still have room for improvement. Maybe there should be a miscellaneous group. What about chefs, for instance? Maurreen 17:35, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Thanks Maurreen! I would think a Chef if they are well-known like Wolfgang Puck would be an artist ? Although I could possible see him as a businessperson, I think people in general would perhaps what he does as art. Wjhonson 17:43, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
I like the consolidation too, but the problem is there is already a Writers project which I'm hoping will merge and not sure how happy they'd be to be merged with entertainers and athletes. The Saints project would probably be fine merging with Religious figures, but not with politicians, and the Baseball one would probably be okay with merging with Athletes, etc... Also, programming-wise, we need to keep in mind of what they'd type to show their task force in the Project banner, i.e. writers-task-force=yes would be easier, so that their task force notice appears in our Project banner like this example. Also, I guess I was thinking of what would be easier to transclude, since AfD's already have divisions along a more specialized line. I'm also thinking it will be easier for members to dig in to something they can bite off and chew than swimming in some large sea, which might be a reason why the Biography project had stagnated... just some thoughts... what do you guys think? plange 17:59, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Addendum: but then, speaking of transclusion, here's how GA has their page divided, so maybe that's what we use? I'm just worried about getting the existing projects to participate. I'd rather have them participate and have more task forces than not have them at all plange 18:02, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
I see your point. But a lot of things wither because they don't have enough people or interest to support them. Maybe we should gauge the support for specific subject before creating something special for it. Can you tell us more about current related groups? Maurreen 18:19, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
true. Here's the current ones I could find. There were some others (like politicians that went inactive) but these still seem active:

Undent. Well couldn't the new ones just be slapped on top of the old ones? Wjhonson 18:45, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Some more that I found (many of these are catatonic or never got properly started; some of them are active, and should hence be approached with kid gloves):
General merging (if only for the purpose of cleaning up loose ends) may be appropriate here. Kirill Lokshin 18:49, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
My preference is either to put specialties under just a few headings or to only add new specialties or headings when enough interest is shown for that subject, or both. Maurreen 18:55, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Good idea. The ones that Kirill found above that are still active are: Guitarists, porn stars, golfers, and police officer biographies. I jumped the gun earlier and asked Authors, should I go ahead and invite the other active ones and then the non-actives we merge into a larger category? With that in mind, then the proposed task forces could be:
  • Actors and directors (invite Porn stars)
  • Musicians and composers (invite composers and guitarists)
  • Politicians (invite US Presidents)
  • Public servants (invite Police officers)
  • Athletes (invite golfers and baseball players)
  • Authors and critics (invite Authors)
  • Religious figures (invite Saints)
And we don't create any more but just wait until enough interest builds to create another, i.e. if a lot of people want an Academics task force we debate it here and create it, etc.plange 19:14, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Better yet, sorry, just reviewed list and perhaps politicians and public servants could be merged?plange 19:16, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Also, some of these might also have active parents, which could make us -- aunts and uncles? Maurreen 19:03, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Maybe a friendlier name than "task force", such as "subproject", "committee", "group". Maurreen 00:40, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

I would avoid "subproject", as that may not distinguish between "task force"-like subprojects and "child" projects which are nevertheless entirely separate. "Committee" doesn't seem to be very meaningful in this regard either. If "task force" seems too militaristic, perhaps something like "working group" would be better? Kirill Lokshin 00:43, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
That's good, thanks. Maurreen 00:45, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
How about Work Group? And is everyone cool with the proposed first work groups? plange 03:23, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Core bios for release version

Thanks to all the work by plange, I've revised Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Biographies. Maurreen 17:13, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Max Weber

Max Weber is up for a featured article review. Detailed concerns may be found here. Please leave your comments and help us address and maintain this article's featured quality. Sandy 14:00, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Thanks Sandy, we now have a to-do list and have added this. I was actually the one that submitted it :-) plange 17:09, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Tagging talk pages

I've just tagged the biographical pages from my other WikiProjects with {{WPBiography}}. It might be a good idea to do an AWB run from Category:Categories named after people and tag as many of the others as can be found that way. Then you will have some idea of how many articles you're dealing with and can start assessing. Hint: The numbers are going to be massive! --kingboyk 18:21, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Actually, there's a much jucier target for bot-tagging: Category:Living people (which has ~100,000 entries) ;-) Kirill Lokshin 18:25, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Yikes!!!!! I think there's a parameter for "living person", I'd hate to see somebody tag all 100,000 and then realise they'd forgotten to add the param :P --kingboyk 18:32, 30 July 2006 (UTC) (edit conflict)
Furthermore, is it going to be humanly possible to assess so many articles? You're certainly going to need more members or be at it full time for the next 3 years. I can't promise to do many because I'm already involved with other Projects. --kingboyk 10:57, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
ooh, thanks, didn't know about this bot.... *rubbing hands together* plange 18:31, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
I would suggest figuring out the status of the task force issue first, though; otherwise, you're likely to get some complaints from the sub-projects about double-tagging their articles, which could easily be avoided if the issue is discussed with them first. Kirill Lokshin 18:35, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Good idea! I'll go ahead and apply and then wait until we get a stable version of the Project banner plange 18:40, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
You need an admin to add you to the approved users list? Just say the word, I don't think you'll break anything right? :) --kingboyk 18:43, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Not sure, but I added myself to the request list but I see a link for bot approval too which I'm wondering if that's what I should be doing instead...plange 18:59, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
You do need an admin to add you; that much I knew. I was in effect asking "do you want me to add you?", which I have now done (but not as a bot). --kingboyk 10:57, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Even with AWB, which is only semi-automatic, tagging 100,000 talk pages will take... weeks, probably. It takes me the best part of a day to attend to all 600 Beatles-related articles. I'd suggest either asking for an automated bot run (add the template and param to all living persons articles, add it without for all year of death articles) or alternatively accept that the numbers are just too large and tag articles as you find them. --kingboyk 18:36, 30 July 2006 (UTC) PS Mr Lokshin, is there any part of Wikipedia where you don't show up?! :) (edit conflict again)
Actually, I was specifically asked to take a look at this project; I likely wouldn't have found out about it on my own ;-) Kirill Lokshin 18:49, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Hey! How come there's no category for Dead Person? That's discrimination! On another note, I had no idea there were 100,000 bios on living persons. That's pretty impressive. Wjhonson 18:37, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Category:Dead people --kingboyk 18:38, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
That's hilarious. I wonder if I'd get a lot of objections by adding that to the pages I edit Wjhonson 18:43, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
If they're still alive, I think you might yes! :) And if they're dead, they probably shouldn't be listed directly in that category anyway. It seems to be a supercategory, with subcategories below for century of death (and death date unknown). --kingboyk 18:45, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
I have one I'm working on (Benjamin H. Freedman), the guy is basically really famous for one specific event, which is flooding google and making it hard to find other bio snips, but I'm like a dog with a bone. I just keep plugging away patching together bits and pieces into a biography. However, the guy was "born in 1890" (might be slightly suspect by a few years either way), but he is most certainly dead. I just don't know exactly what year yet. So I put him in the dead people cat. Maybe someone can check a Who Was Who or something and come up with a death year. It's a nice place to park dead people until a better, more specific cat can be found. Wjhonson 00:22, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Good question! I've got some too that I don't know when they died, but they are most certainly dead. Any of the more Wiki-experienced know what to do in cases like this? plange 00:36, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
I was working up a guy yesterday Curtis Bean Dall. Personally I had *never* heard of him before two days ago. Turns out he was really quite a famous person, in his day. At any rate, again google is flooded by one specific thing he did. So I turned to WorldCat which told me the year he was born. Then since he has such an odd name, I would say "unique", I looked in the Social Security Death Index and boom there he was. Wjhonson 16:41, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
yes WJ Remember I did state that "Some" history seems to be harder to find than "some" other history.-Theblackbay 11:54, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

When in doubt, be vague ... for example, "about 1890" or in "the late 1800s". Maurreen 00:39, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

In the article, sure, but he's referring to categories plange 00:50, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
How about a new category for date of death unknown? Maurreen 00:57, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Category:Year of death missing. Kirill Lokshin 01:01, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
I guess I was a bit vague huh :) I was referring to what year he DIED :) That's what I don't know and don't really have a guess... 1960 to 1990 ? That's a little wild. The "Abt 1890" is widely reported, but I'd like to see the primary on that to be sure. There are several "Benjamin Freedman's" who it COULD be, just not sure which one yet. Hoping to stumble on an obit or something. Wjhonson 00:58, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

When I started the article on B H Freedman I thought I would find it rather hard to find a lot of information, but particularly it has been hard to find his death date and other things I believe I have done this I have a death date of April 1984 at the age of 94. I’m trying to verify it further but that is it i believe. -Theblackbay 11:51, 1 August 2006 (UTC) also i have been organising the headings as i stated i would do, should we take the geen tag off now?-Theblackbay 11:51, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

I may be attempting an AWB run on Living People soon. I've asked for some advice with AWB settings. If there's any reason why this wouldn't be desirable please let me know on my talk page. --kingboyk 20:01, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

OK. Kingbotk has started tagging talk pages in Category:Living people [1] It will be a fair old job because of the size of the category. To keep things simple, I'm skipping talk pages which already have our template, and those that don't get a simple {{WPBiography|living=yes}}. Any {{Blp}} present is removed. Later on we can be a bit more sophisticated perhaps, e.g. a category containing musician stubs could have parameters added "class=stub|taskforce=music". I want to avoid that complexity this time round and, besides, I've forgotten more about regular expressions than most people know :) --kingboyk 20:02, 5 August 2006 (UTC) Note to self: Can use What links here for Blp for a second run to pick up any stragglers


Articles tagged with importance are not coming up on the chart. Something's not working. Something is rotten in the state of WikiProject Biography. ....(Complain)(Let us to it pell-mell) 00:07, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

yep, I noticed that. Will try to figure that out before 10 PM EST so the bot will grab em plange 00:11, 31 July 2006 (UTC)


This is going to be trouble some. Jesus should not be covered by WikiProject Biography just as a matter of principle. It's just not good ethics. ....(Complain)(Let us to it pell-mell) 00:09, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Hmm, seems kind of weird not to. It is a biography of a person. We also tagged Buddha, Confucious and Muhammed per the Core biographies page. plange 00:15, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I can't see any reason why anyone would object, unless they were of the opinion that he's an entirely fictional figure. Otherwise, his life is a perfectly valid topic for biography, regardless of what one believes or does not believe about him. Kirill Lokshin 00:41, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Indeed. I'm not aware of a strong body of opinion that Jesus didn't live, even among those who totally dispute his status as a messiah. He lived, he has a biography. Simple really. --kingboyk 10:59, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Just got removed again. Should we just let it drop instead of being dragged into some huge theological debate? plange 01:10, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

This is a sticky issue. Perhaps Historical Jesus would be a better place for this project's efforts? (and that article needs a vast overhaul anyway). The problem is that "fictional and non-human" acounts are covered in the main Jesus article. The problem with using the HJ article, is that there is the POV that the gospels are 100% accurate, so any attempt by scholars to cast doubt on inerrancy is just another POV. I would say, mythical/religious figures that have very little archaeological evididence, very little non-religious, contemporary accounts should probably not be considered for this project because we get into issues of historicity and fiction/myth. I removed the project tag from the Homer and Solomon talk pages as well. I hope that the above reasoning is satisfactory, but I am totally willing to listen to counter arguments. I just feel that if you are going to say that fictional and non-human articles do not fall under the scope of this project, then stay away from the mythical figures (even if parts of them may have been based on one or more actual historical figures).--Andrew c 01:32, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

I didn't even know of the historical jesus article, thanks... What does everyone think? I was the one who added "fictional and non-human articles" to our scope on the main page as I thought it was necessary in case people started wanting to add fictional characters, and because I saw Seabiscuit listed somewhere as a biography... There's also two musical groups listed on the core biographies page and so not sure how that fits... Thoughts? plange 01:37, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm an outsider to this project, so that's my disclaimer. I feel that a number of other wiki projects end up stretching themselves too thin, so I think narrowing things down can be a good thing. While biographies of fictional characters, and non-humans clearly do exist, perhaps limiting the scope of this project for the time being can be beneficial. That would lead me to say that musical groups probably shouldn't be considers (individual notable musicians, sure). However, I don't want to discourage anyone if they would like to focus on band biographies. And if the religious figures thing gets too sketchy, you could always change the scope to include religious and mythical figures. It'd be opening a pretty big door, but it's always an option. It's tough. Most noteworthy people have some legends surrounding them, but when we get to the point where its hard to tell what is and isn't a legend, then we start leaving the realm of non-fiction, human biography. --Andrew c 01:50, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
How about if the exclusionary statement about the project is changed from excluding "fictional and non-human articles" to excluding "animals, real or imagined, and characters created in arts and entertainment"? Maurreen
"Fictional... articles?" thats not very clear Smile.png. I think maybe it was supposed to say "articles about animals and fictional people". But anyway. We could add "people considered real by some". At any rate, it's kind of odd, I mean Jesus did exist, and the Jesus article is the most obvious one a person is going to go to. Unless Andrew wants to create a Historical Buddha, Historical Mohammad, Historical Santa Claus... I just don't see that happening personally. Tempest in a teapot, we should be consistent. Wjhonson 07:04, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Whether Jesus was a historical figure or not is still debated, so should wikipedia take sides on this issue? We can say, in a NPOV manner, that the majority of biblical scholars (and Christians) believe Jesus was based on a real person, but we cannot say that Jesus WAS real, because there is another POV (a minority one, but still 'valid' per NPOV policy) that Jesus was purely a mythological, spiritual being/creation. Furthermore, the Christian POV (described in the main Jesus article) that Jesus is God sort of qualifies Jesus (or aspects of him) as "non-human", and the supernatural and miraculous acounts of Jesus' life described in the Gospel account makes the "fiction" aspect sticky. I'd say to narrow the scope of your project, to just not include figures whose historicity is questions, or figures where it is very difficult to seperate legend from history. That, or add a clause that legendary and mythological figures can have biographies included in this project. If we say "people considered real by some" would basically do that because there are people who believe King Arthur and Robin Hood were real, and people who believe the avatars in Hindu mythology were real. (and how is it my fault that other religious figures do not have spinout aricles on the "Historical X")-Andrew c 14:20, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, Andrew, but no.
To disqualify Jesus from this project would be taking sides ... the side of the fringe minority rejecting the historicity of Jesus. Measured by the same standards, various other historical personalities would have to be dropped too. We should adhere to the state of the art of historiography.
Finally, you misrepresent the Christian view when you characterize Jesus as (partly) non-human. The vast majority of Christians consider him to be "fully human and fully divine".
Str1977 (smile back) 15:45, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

[reset indent]This matter isn't settled. Why do people feel justified in editing during conflicts on talk? It only leads to edit warring. This matter is being discussed by the project, and it has not been decided whether Jesus and other legendary figures should be allowed under the scope of this project. Therefore, to edit in a manner as if it has been settled (by re-adding the template tag), you are spitting in the face of this discussion and consensus process. Secondly, either way you are taking sides. By saying that the Jesus article is describing a non-fictional human (as the current wording of this project states), you are pushing another POV. Like I said above, wikipedia's purpose is not to decide which POVs are valid. We must objectively report all valid sides. And I agree about the same standards, which is why I removed Homer's bio tag as well. (read the first sentence of the Homer article, and tell me if that is describing an actual historical figure). Finally, I do not want to get into a trinity debate, but saying someone is "fully dvine" is describing an aspect of something that is non-human (even if that person is considered "fully human" theologically). Furthermore, the article discusses the risen Christ, who is obviously non-human (and possibly fictional, but wikipedia should not, and cannot decide that matter).--Andrew c 15:52, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

While I agree we need to resolve this here before getting into a tag editing war, we did change the project description yesterday to "It does not include biographies of animals, real or imagined, and characters created in arts and entertainment" so by this, Homer and Jesus would be eligible. The previous description was added on the fly by me in an attempt to exclude biographies of Fred Flinstone and Seabiscuit. Obviously I did not word it very well and that has been corrected. plange 15:57, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
So, Krishna (and all the other avatars of Hinduism), Homer, Robin Hood, King Arthur, etc are now included in the scope of this project? Or just Judeo-Christian figures? I still think the wording could be a little clearer. Maybe "people believed by some to by at least based on historical figures"? or "This includes most legendary and mythological humans". or something along those lines? Like I said, I'm just uncomfortable specifically with the Jesus article describing the events of the gospels (miracles, resurrection, virgin birth, and all) as historical, biographical information, and I'm uncomfortable in general with people who have questioned historicity, or highly legendary accounts related to them being passed off as non-fiction biography. However, if this project does include biography that isn't strictly historical or non-fiction, then I would have no problem with including the aformentioned individuals.--Andrew c 16:10, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
The question of what is included within the Jesus article is a separate question from whether the article should be included in this project's work.
I have just changed the statement on scope to delete "real people". The statement now reads "The Biography project concerns the creation, development, and organization of biographies in Wikipedia. It does not include biographies of animals, real or imagined, and characters created in arts and entertainment."
Jesus, or the idea of Jesus, is obviously not among "animals, real or imagined, and characters created in arts and entertainment".
In this project, as in life, gray areas may arise. There is no need to address them all at this time. Maurreen 16:31, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Also, NPOV doesn't mean we have to sit on the fence. The opinion which rejects the notion that Jesus even existed is a tiny minority. The existence of such a tiny minority has no bearing on whether we affix a biography project template to a talk page. --kingboyk 19:02, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
So, it sounds like we have a consensus to add it back, given our rewording of the scope, etc? plange 19:04, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes, considering the scope change, I see no issue with this. Thanks everyone. --Andrew c 20:47, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
No problem, and thank you for calmly discussing this with us while we were having our growing pains :-) (and I'm not being sarcastic, you were calm)... We just reenergized the Project this past weekend, so we didn't have quite all of our ducks in a row. plange 21:44, 1 August 2006 (UTC)