Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Biography/Archive 4

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Archive 3 | Archive 4 | Archive 5

Importance (2), from Wikipedia talk:Core biographies

When we get this sorted out, which Levels relate to which importance flag they get? plange 19:16, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

The templates and assessments are fuzzy to me. I would lean toward putting the top level here with the top level importance, and so on, for lack of a better option. In other words, the top 15 would be top importance, and so on. Maurreen 08:24, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Problem with that is that it puts core biographies into Low if we do a 1=1. And then anyone not on the list is lumped in with them too. How is 1.0 wanting us to use this? Thought that was what it was for, to help them pick what should be in there? If they only want Level 1, then we can say only those 15 people get Top, then perhaps the rest are High? After all, they made it to a Core Biographies page.... I was thinking about this, as we need to nip emotions in the bud with this, and I came up with some rough additions to the importance scale ratings, based on our discussions above:

Top - Must have had a large impact outside of their main discipline, across several generations, and in the majority of the world. For instance, Einstein, brilliant physicist, but his theories have affected people outside of physics and in many other countries besides his nation of origin and several generations. His ideas have changed the way people think. [And if we nail down who on this list gets this rating, we can add this] No member should give this rating to any biography without first getting Project approval from the other members.

High - Must have had a large impact in their main discipline, across a couple of generations. Had some impact outside their country of origin. [We could put same disclaimer here]

Mid - Important in their discipline

Low - a contributor to their discipline and is included in Wikipedia to expand depth of knowledge of other articles. plange 14:56, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Your suggestion is well thought-out.
Conceivably, there might also be eventually levels within levels, in case any get too big.
Some background informaton --
The list of core bios is in a relatively early stage of evolution. It started from a list of bios approved for 0.5, but that has somewhat low standards. The contents of 0.5 are a hodgepodge, in my view.
The use and value of the wikiproject assessments has always been fuzzy to me. They are used somewhat of a guideline for inclusion in 0.5. But they should not be used exclusively, because that would give a bias to active wikiprojects. And the overall release version project has several subprojects, etc.; everything is evolving and not always neatly aligned.
In my view, the ratings have more potential value as guide within the projects themselves, to help people narrow down what they want to work on.
Also, the general importance ratings don't align very well across subjects. Top-rated articles in some subjects are not what most people would agree with, often because the subject is so narrow. Some wording uses "importance within this field"; I think some uses "importance within a a general encyclopedia." (Those are approximations.)
You mgiht take a look at Category:Top-importance articles. For instance, Category:Top-importance Narnia articles includes 27 articles that someone considers "Subject is a must-have for a print encyclopedia." Maurreen 17:06, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps this should move to the wikiproject talk... Anyway: Every article here should be Top, and perhaps a few contenders which didn't make it to core should be top too. There are other 100,000 bios on Wikipedia, so having only 150 top level would make the assessments bottom heavy. Furthermore, we need to reserve Low for crud (e.g. Norman Pilcher or Brooklyn Beckham), and mid for run of the mill celebs, politicians and so on. --kingboyk 19:34, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Adding infoboxes

If I add an infobox, what procedures should I follow to remove it from the list and category of articles needing infoboxes? Apologies if this is addressed somewhere already. I'm a newbie to this project. --Wisekwai 10:27, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

no problem, thanks for asking! You will need to go to the Talk page and then edit the call to our project banner to take out this parameter needs-infobox=yes
plange 15:15, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Peer reviews

Hello all! Our project has got some healthy activity now and I thought I'd see if everyone could pitch in and help with any peer reviews that get added. These are articles that fellow members have asked us to give feedback on....Also, a more informal task is assessing the class of an article that fellow members have requested. Thanks! plange 19:30, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

If anyone has a bit of free time, we've several peer review requests that could use more attention; having me being the only one to answer is probably limiting the feedback there somewhat :-) plange 05:18, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
Have a back log now, can anyone help? Also, if you nominate one, can you review another? plange 18:50, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Still need help here :-) Pretty please? Especially if you've asked to have a review... We have 2 still needing attention (one is mine and the other I don't feel qualified to review) -- there are others there too who've only had one reviewer and it would be nice to have more than one... Thanks! plange 03:37, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Sneak peek at new work group page

Okay, I went ahead and presumed the Politics one was going to be created so we could work out the page structure and also give everyone an idea of what a task force is. Here's the first go at the Politics and Government Work Group

You'll notice that this work group I divided by country as that seemed the most logical for this work group. However I'd see the bulk of the others breaking down their Work Group into disciplines, i.e. Arts and Entertainment could be divided by Actors, directors, Musicians, etc.

Let me know what you think and what suggestions you'd have for improvement. To give everyone a taste of what you can do, I collected here and there stubs, templates, etc., and put them on the page, and then I fleshed out China (picked this arbitrarily) and then since the US was already so huge, I made it a subpage so you can see what could transpire if another country/region gets that large too. And then within the US, I expanded Virginia (because that's my interest)... Before anyone gets mad at me for how I divided up the world, I went by how Wikipedia organized the Category:Politicians by country category. And then the decision on which country got a subhead was solely based on whether it had any politician stubs, since that's a pretty good barometer of how many articles there are (since I think you have to have at least 60 stub articles to be approved for a stub template). Anyway, please assume good faith and know that I did not intentionally mean to hurt any national pride, I was just attempting to get this started. I've made a template to assist in organizing a particular country, and how I picture this is that whoever is interested in that region will take it from here in organizing the rest.... Cheers! plange 03:07, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Also, did we decide to go with "work group" or "task force"? plange 04:00, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, another note: So that you can also see how project banners will display (and why we need to nail down what it will be called) I added politician-task-force=yes into just this one article I've worked on. Don't use this yet, as it might change to politician-work-group=yes. If we go with task force, I'll need to change language to that, and vice versa....plange 04:05, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Well personally I like "work group", sounds more homey and personal. "Task force" sounds like we're ready to blast off in our jet-powered backpacks. Wjhonson 05:10, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Me, too. Maurreen 05:14, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Okay, work group it is -- more importantly, what do you guys think of the structure of the Work Group page? plange 03:49, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Smells good. ....(Complain)(Let us to it pell-mell) 05:56, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Yes, it looks very good. You're very industrious. Maurreen 06:01, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Okay, hearing no objections or comments otherwise, I'll start stubbing out the other work groups that got more than one nom plange 19:58, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
Okay, have also now made Royalty and nobility work group. It needs fleshing out, so whoever voted for this you're welcome to take over! plange 05:01, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

The Beatles

Two questions:

  1. Are music groups to be considered within the scope of this Project? If so, I guess I should tag Talk:The Beatles.
  2. The Beatles are a core topic. Can I tag Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr as Top and if not why not?

Thanks. --kingboyk 17:03, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

At the moment, The Beatles are a core bio; core topics is a separate subproject.
I think The Beatles are in their own class. They might be an exception to a general standard against including bands with this project. And I think the members individually are not nearly as important as the group.
I think we plan to hold off on tagging importance until the list gets more settled.
In that case, probably the best plan would be to list The Beatles as a core biography but not tag it with our template, so as not to confuse matters. I'm the founder of WP:BEATLES so if there's any dispute about that article's inclusion anywhere I'll know about it's core status. Besides, I think it's such a no-brainer for inclusion there's little chance of it being overlooked. --kingboyk 17:30, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Sounds good. Thanks. Maurreen 17:36, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree, The Beatles we're making an exception for for the core bios list, but wouldn't get our project banner on its talk page. plange 19:53, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

The list

kingboyk suggested expanding the list of core bios. That's probably a good idea. Maybe 200? I'm thinking of the list as essentially a work list. The more it grows the less doable it is. Maurreen 17:24, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Also, as I have explained before, there is no one-to-one correspondence between the list and any planned release version. If you think any bio is important, you can nominate it for release, regardless of whether it's on the list.
You can also add stuff to another CD planned for release.
Version 0.5 includes such things as Ann Arbor, Michigan, which demonstrates that the standards are pretty open.
Also, it's more useful to think of the list as a work list, guide for priorities for people who want to use it while considering what they want to work on. Maurreen 18:00, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Infoboxes when not wanted

There is no consensus amongst editors to add infoboxes to all biographies of people. In some cases the overwhelming consensus among editors of a given article is not to include an infobox. For articles with lots of regular editors (Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin) I think it would be highly advisable to ask on the talk page before creating an infobox. Just a note from someone who doesn't find infoboxes for scientists useful, and is somewhat irked by this project's apparent determination to add infoboxes even where they are not wanted. --Fastfission 22:17, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

The scope of this Project is massive, and "we" can't be everywhere or control everything, so I wouldn't be too concerned if I was you. What I would most heartily recommend, however, is signing up as a participant and helping to dictate policy yourself. There's no need for an "us and them" approach; most Wikipedians have edited a biography at some time and have some interest in what this project is about, I think. For me, I think it's helpful to have guidelines and also a central point for WP1.0 work but the scope is too large to try and control articles. --kingboyk 22:21, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree, I wouldn't worry about the tag being placed just yet, we're still a long way to getting around to that, it's just a housekeeping note right now. We welcome discussion of this and perhaps we can work out which types of articles get these. If for scientists it just doesn't make sense, that's fine. Perhaps we also talk about if this is not an article you are a regular editor of, we ask first on the Talk page. Should we start a guideline discussion? plange 18:28, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
Don't forget I've already started mass tagging (and still maintan it will be easier to weed out a few false positives later than to do the whole thing manually). I've had a few queries on my user talk and a few reservations have been expressed below of course but considering I've tagged several thousand now there's been no great commotion, which is good. I'm trying to help, so the last thing I want is to annoy. --kingboyk 18:40, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I should have been more explicit, I didn't mean the tagging you're doing (keep going!) -- I meant the needs-infobox=yes parameter we manually put in if we don't see one. Sorry for the confusion! I meant to say not to worry if one has that parameter because I doubt we'll get around to adding infoboxes anytime soon. My whole comment was relative to that only (whether we should add infoboxes, etc) plange 19:14, 6 August 2006 (UTC)


Does anyone else find the scope of this project way, way too massive? We might as well create WikiProject Articles in Wikipedia. Of course, everyone will disagree; otherwise why would you be active in the project. But I wish more thought had been put into this. Adam Bishop 00:04, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

I concur with this assessment 100%. The project is unnecessarily broad in scope and should be rethought before tagging every biographical article about all sorts of people that may already be tagged as part of one or more other projects. Further, unlike specific other projects (projects devoted to specific nations or subjects) this one is so broad that it will likely attract editors to articles regarding subjects they know little or nothing about. It's best in the case of biographies, a subject that is so broad, to let articles develop at their own pace, in narrower WikiProjects. These enormous WikiProject Biography "tags" are beginning to colonize English Wikipedia, but unfortunately it doesn't seem that this project was well thought out to begin with. Badagnani 04:45, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
Ideally every article on the wiki will have at least one Project template, so that the article may be assessed and considered for Wikipedia 1.0 (and any other uses which may come about in the future for article assessments). Furthermore, every living person article ought to have {{Blp}} or {{WPBiography|living=yes}}, so I think the tagging currently underway by my bot shouldn't be a problem. As for the very use of project templates themselves, it was discussed on one of the admin boards recently and although a few people were against it the consensus I think was that it's necessary (or a necessary evil if you prefer).
That said, you're both absolutely right about the scope. (This project wasn't my idea, and I've signed up simply because like most people here I work on biographies at some time or another. I'm tagging on behalf of the project because I have great interest in the article assessment scheme.) I think when people start to appreciate the number of articles involved - which my tagging will surely help with - there will have to be some refining of the project's aims and operations. I see it as a central point for policy, guidelines, and assessments, rather than a Project which will actively seek to manage articles like e.g. WP:BEATLES does. It's just too large for that kind of hands on approach. Is it too large, period? Well, I don't know; I think the taskforce idea may have some merit and I think if this is viewed as a policy centre and a parent WikiProject it's ok. Comments? --kingboyk 08:42, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
I see this as a central point for people working on biographies. I don't understand the complaint, unless it's just about the tags. And althrough the project has recently picked up more steam, it's not new. Maurreen 11:44, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
Like others, I'm here because I often write or edit biography articles. I must say that the tags make me uncomfortable. Wikipedia is suddenly developing too many of them and they are much too big and prominent. The good thing about Wikipedia has been that it's businesslike and worth reading: that's no longer the case if you open a talk page and find nothing but boring irrelevant text, classroom evaluations, competitions to get into the CD, rules about what the talk page is NOT, etc. It's only a personal opinion, and I don't want to hurt anyone, but I would love to see fewer, smaller tags! Andrew Dalby 17:43, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
Fair point. One thing I would say though in regard to the recent "new breed" of tags like {{WPBiography}} is that, through the use of conditional logic, they can actually replace multiple other tags. Ours replaces {{Blp}} for a start, and some - I'm not sure of ours but I think it might - anyway, some replace the peer review, FA and other tags too. So, the tag will be a bit bigger but it will at least knock a few others off the talk page. --kingboyk 17:49, 6 August 2006 (UTC) PS If you want to see a monstrously large tag, see {{WPBeatles}}. One of our members is a bit keen on verbosity; I'm thinking perhaps we should trim it :)

I don't think it's too large either to merit a project. There needs to be a central place to manage and control policy in relation to writing biography articles, and not every person-article will fall within a WikiProject to help... Also, some of the smaller WikiProjects seem to die off after awhile and our task force project is meant to help with that. Also, it's not a new project, it just regained some energy. plange 18:35, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

Some questions or issues have been getting mixed up together -- such as about tags and a biography wikiproject.
In general, I think tags on WP are overdone myself.
But matters about templates are separate from whether this wikiproject should exist, or whether its scope should be restricted. Maurreen 20:30, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
Quite true. Yes, it should exist, and it will be useful to have all biographies under the same umbrella! Andrew Dalby 20:43, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

I'm part of the way through building a list of articles within the subcategories of Category:Dead people, and already I have a list of over 100,000 articles. My (wild) estimate is that biographies form ~25% of the over 1 million articles on Wikipedia. That is, to put it mildly, a lot of articles. I don't know how so many articles can get assessed, nor how people would feel about 250,000 articles being tagged with a WikiProject banner. I'm continuing with tagging living people for now, because the living=yes warning is helpful and is wider Wikipedia policy. I'm a bit uneasy about this scope issue though.

I'm not sure that "task forces" help much; child WikiProjects are likely to be far better imho. --kingboyk 16:28, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

A month ago, I counted the number of articles in the "birth", "death" and "living people" categories out of a (May) database dump. The result was 193.000 articles, if I remember rightly. So there you have the current scope of the project... --Alvestrand 08:25, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Immanuel Kant

Attempts to bring this article to compliance of the project request for inline citation are being disrupted by the additions of user Spinoza1111, who has considered my warnings as "authoritarian". I am tired of arguing with him and am beside myself as to what to do. Amerindianarts 00:39, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Have you referred him/her to WP:CITE? If it's gotten out of hand, it sounds like you need a mediator (I'm not one, sorry) plange 04:15, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
Another user complained about his name calling directed towards third parties; me, I think. I will proceed according to seeking peer review, and if I have further problems consider WP:CITE. Thanks. Amerindianarts 04:22, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
I think peer review might be a little too early for this article. You should first get it in line with GA criteria and get the GA nom, and then get a peer review in prep for FA. WP:CITE isn't something to consider, it's a guideline on how to properly mark inline citations, etc...plange 04:26, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

I realize the article still needs a lot of work. I am not familiar with GA and FA. Amerindianarts 05:05, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

oops, sorry, didn't mean to thrown acronyms around without linking. GA is the process of getting an article listed as a Good Article and to be designated as such a reviewer looks for it to meet these criteria. You can nominate it by following the instructions on the Candidate page. FA means it has gone through a rigorous peer review/vote and is selected as a Featured Article on the Main page of WP. Hope this helps and good luck! plange 05:13, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Pericles, Alcibiades, Demosthenes

I think you should check the following articles and evaluate them, adding the Wiki-project biography template: Pericles, Demosthenes, Alcibiades. I'm working on all these three articles and I soon intend to submit them for FA. After all, these were very important personalities and I think that your project should be interested in.--Yannismarou 07:16, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

I've added Pericles' and Demosthenes' infobox, but I've not done the rating. I also asked for a Wikipedia:WikiProject Biography/Peer review/Pericles and a Wikipedia:WikiProject Biography/Peer review/Demosthenes.--Yannismarou 08:13, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Portal:Biography upkeep

We need volunteers to help keep this portal fresh. We are now accepting nominations for selected articles - add your nomination now or vote on nominations that have been added. Only FA or GA articles should be nominated. Also we've added a Portal Upkeep department plange 05:33, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

No one has any articles to nominate? That can't be possible :-) plange 02:58, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

WPBiography template too large

It seems to me that the WPBiography template takes up an excessive amount of space. See this page for example. Maybe we should remove some of the less-needed content from the template. Personally, I don't think we need the link to the Biography Portal or the Biography to-do list in the template. What do the rest of you think? Kaldari 21:51, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

The problem is, in that example you gave, taking out the portal and to-do really won't help since it's the transcluded {{blp}} template that takes up most of it, or at least half...plange 00:23, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, the living person template is a bit of a space hog. Maybe we could come up with a reduced-size version to include in the WPBiography template. Kaldari 00:40, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
I did have one, but it was deemed necessary to directly transclude theirs instead of having our own version, since the wording was still in flux. plange 00:49, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
See what you think of the version I just saved. You can see it in action here. Kaldari 00:51, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
I appreciate your effort, and the funny thing is, that's pretty much how I designed it in the beginning (warning symbol and all!) but the folks at BLP complained it wasn't prominent enough and wanted me to put it at the top, and so I did and I had it nice and compact though, but someone else was the one that said we should transclude it directly... Let me see if I can talk to the BLP people and see if we can both transclude common text.plange 00:54, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Incidentally, WP:MILHIST is experimenting with some code to help reduce the size of their template and asked us for feedback. When they have the code worked out, they have generously offered to let us share it. They welcome comments and feedback. What do you guys think? This will help reduce the size of ours. We could put the assessment and work group notices behind the hide/show pane. plange 01:48, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Michael Ignatieff

This article is having a bad time. I have stepped in as an admin with the view of enforcing policy, but it would be extremely useful if any experienced editors could take a look in here with a view to achieving consensus for a NPOV result. The article itself is protected at the moment to give things a chance to settle down, but this can be lifted if there is a reassurance of good input. I will still be available if/when needed. Tyrenius 13:21, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Wow that looks like a mess-- not sure how much help I can offer, maybe more experienced editors here can pitch in... Anyone here able to help? plange 06:41, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Update: I've taken on a mediating role and things have settled down a lot recently. Tyrenius 09:49, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Something Broke

The BioWikiProject template no longer shows an articles importance ....(Complain)(Let us to it pell-mell) 00:11, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Yep, I changed it to only show Top, since we decided not to worry about classifying people other than for that level. You can still rate the others and it will show in the work list plange 01:46, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Tagging living people

I'm now up to J, about half way through. --kingboyk 13:53, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Woohoo! plange 14:35, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Advice Wanted

I am trying to get some advice on a potentially-controversial issue. I have initiated a discussion on the Talk page for James E. Edmondson, on the possible inclusion of information relating to his daughter Sarah Edmondson in the article. See Talk:James E. Edmondson and share any thoughts on the matter on that Talk page. --TommyBoy 15:41, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

New essay

has begun here about biographies written about academics and artists-- thought you guys might be interested in it....plange 02:17, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

SciFi Channel programming guy.

A few days ago, I created the article for Chris Regina and, even though I'm pretty proud of how it has turned out, was wondering what categories he should be placed in, &c. DrWho42 09:18, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Something under "science fiction" and "television"? Maurreen 15:55, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
Category:American television producers? plange 06:12, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
oops, I guess he's not really a producer, so perhaps Category:American television? plange 06:15, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
That would be just about right. DrWho42 20:31, 18 August 2006 (UTC)