Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Biography/Archive 7

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Biography categorisation

Over at Wikipedia:Categorization I mooted the question of what to do with articles that have some categorisation, but lack categories that they seemingly ought to have (in the extreme case, only a stub category -- or worse, a cleanup category, but no "real" categories by subject at all). Biographies seem to be a case in point, as normally one would hope to see a DOB category, a DOD or a "living" categorisation, a "by nationality" category and a "by occupation" category. (The last might be the slipperiest, since not everyone is notable in a way that relates to their day job.) One might go somewhat further and suppose that an article in "X people stubs" should have a "Xs" permanent category, or ideally some subcategory thereof, but that might a bit over-engineered to start off with.

At any rate: I think it should be possible to automatically generate lists of articles missing some or all of these classes of category: from which the question arises, what to do with same? Would the lists be useful in raw form? Would it be preferable to use them to populate "X category missing" maintenance categories? (As already exist for dates of birth and death.) Personally I'd prefer the former, as it avoids a large number of extra edits, and having to tweak bot-code to get rid of the inevitable false-positives caused by articles having acquired categories since the db dump they were found to be uncategorised in (as opposed to such errors in a list, which are less intrusive). But if there are people keen to fix up the categorisations on some such basis, I'll try to go with whatever they find satisfactory. Alai 21:55, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Should I take that as an "easy either way", or more like a "not interested in working on this" all 'round? Alai 02:12, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
Sorry for not replying - it got buried... I think a list would be useful, but what to do when you find that a bio can't logically include said category (i.e. lack of occupation)? How do we remove it from worklist of missing categories? I might not be understanding this correctly, so i apologize in advance if I'm being a little thick :-) Or are you saying we could have a bot create a worklist, that we then manually see if it needs to be tagged with the 'category missing' template? --plange 02:35, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
You raise a good point. For birth, death (or liveliness), and nationality, I don't think it's too much of a problem, since every bio should in theory have such info, and if it's lacking in the current article, it can be put into a "X missing" or "unknown X" category. But as you say, for occupation this is less clear, unless we want to have a "people with no particular occupation" category, which seems a little contrived. I could certainly use an off-page exclusion list, if people don't mind reporting back their false-positives as they encounter them, or just continuing to ignore them if they reappear on later such lists. Or I could just skip occupation for the time being, until it's clearer what to do with 'em. As regards the bot, I was meaning more the other way around: whether it would be necessary to populate maintenace categories from the worklist, which in either event would be constructed on a database dump. (Current one is two weeks old, so I'd be inclined to wait in the hopes that one might be along in about another week, and generate a list or several from that.) Alai 03:57, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
Might be easier for me to visualize what you're saying if I could see the current dump?... If that's not available, let me see if I can encapsulate what I think you're saying. (In either case, I'm thinking maybe we skip occupation for now?) You have access to a database dump that culls bio articles that are missing categories for birth, death and nationality, which you could then write a bot for to populate new categories, i.e. Category:Biography articles missing year of birth category that are children of a new category we create called Category:Biography articles missing categories, which in turn would be under Category:Biography articles needing attention? --plange 04:22, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
By 'current dump', I mean the whole database (well OK, actually just all the page data, and all the category information, not strictly speaking all the database). But I could go ahead and generate a sample of what I'm suggesting based on that -- say just for one mid-sized biographical stub category, missing some particular set of categories, for example nationality -- that might indeed clarify matters. (Let's indeed skip occupation for now, and revisit it later if the other stuff is a raging success, or things otherwise becomes clearer.) And yes, that's pretty much what I'm suggesting (though if people don't mind working from the lists directly, we may be able to skip the pop-step for the time being). Alai 05:06, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
Your sample suggestion sounds great-- we can start from there and hammer out how best to tackle --plange 05:18, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

OK, I've prepared a list of the writer-stubs (at least apparently, and as of the db dump on October 14th) lacking a nationality category: User:Alai/Writer-no-nationality. When I said "mid-sized" stub categories, I might have been underestimating a tad (actually, I'm surprised categorisation is as low as it seems to be: I wasn't expecting the list to be as long, proportionately). Comments welcome. Alai 05:28, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

I now have task approval for a bot to tackle this sort of thing. As a starting point, how would people feel about an Category:uncategorised people? I could initially populate this from assorted bio-stub types, with articles with no categories at all (other than stub categories, and other template-populated maintenance categories). Alai 03:26, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Project Directory

Hello. The WikiProject Council is currently in the process of developing a master directory of the existing WikiProjects to replace and update the existing Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Directory. These WikiProjects are of vital importance in helping wikipedia achieve its goal of becoming truly encyclopedic. Please review the following pages:

and make any changes to the entries for your project that you see fit. There is also a directory of portals, at User:B2T2/Portal, listing all the existing portals. Feel free to add any of them to the portals or comments section of your entries in the directory. The three columns regarding assessment, peer review, and collaboration are included in the directory for both the use of the projects themselves and for that of others. Having such departments will allow a project to more quickly and easily identify its most important articles and its articles in greatest need of improvement. If you have not already done so, please consider whether your project would benefit from having departments which deal in these matters. It is my hope to have the existing directory replaced by the updated and corrected version of the directory above by November 1. Please feel free to make any changes you see fit to the entries for your project before then. If you should have any questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you. B2T2 22:32, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Sorry if you tried to update it before, and the corrections were gone. I have now moved the new draft in the old directory pages, so the links should work better. My apologies for any confusion this may have caused you. B2T2 14:24, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

11 steps

If the image is more than 100 years old, no worries mate! Live well.

Where is this coming from? An image more than 100 years old can easily be in copyright worldwide if it wasn't published when it was created and the artist/photographer managed to live until at least the late 30s. On the other hand, an image published in the US before 1923-01-01 -- a little less than 84 years ago -- is public domain. The rule "more than 100 years old" doesn't apply to anything as far as I know.

Also, while I'm sure this will be a helpful guide for people starting out, I'm bristling a little at being asked to affirm that I've followed it when I submit an article for peer review, like it's some kind of pledge. I mean, {{subst:Biography}} may be a good thing to recommend to newbies, but I don't use it myself, so I will never actually have followed the steps. Plus, there are smiley faces. It's a bit like having to turn in work projects with a cover letter attesting that I've graduated kindergarten. —Celithemis 17:40, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

undead persons

I am fairly certain that Yutaka Katayama is not dead, but I do not have proof he is alive, either. Would one of you lovely people please inform me of his status? domo, ... aa:talk 15:21, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

I'd wager that we should err on the side of caution, and mark him as living. To quote WP:BLP: "Wikipedia articles about living people can affect the subject's life." To declare him dead would certainly affect him (as opposed to being declared alive, if he's dead). However, this does raise an interesting point; should there be another option to the "living" field ("unknown"), that brings up a similar box, except it states that the subject's living stuatus is unknown and that, in lieu of evidence of death, WP:BLP should be adhered to anyway?
As for the actual answer, the most I could find was in 2002,[1] while his node doesn't mention his death.[2] EVula 16:02, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
It seems to me that listing him as living, until we have definite proof that he is dead, would be the best and safest alternative. There will be extreme cases, like when someone was born, say, before 1800, when it is reasonable to assume that they're dead, but they don't come into play here. I am kind of disappointed about the actual question, though. From the heading, I thought maybe someone had actually found a real vampire. I can just imagine the confusion resulting from having someone who both died and is still a living person. :) Badbilltucker 16:08, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
LOL! Yep, I agree with tagging him as living=yes in the WPBIO tag so that the BLP warning appears, however, Evula has a good suggestion for a new Category for the article space. What do others think? --plange 00:37, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

Flag icons

Is it now the standard to add flag icons to biography articles? While it's possible that this or this is OK. I can't see how this sort of addition is improving the article. CambridgeBayWeather (Talk) 05:45, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

The third one would make me wonder why the flag was there. It's not directly related to anything. I like the look of having the flag in the infobox though. Dismas|(talk) 06:11, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
I hadn't seen such things before -- I suppose I don't read a lot of biographies of the living. Clearly it would be inappropriate (and controversial) for most of the dead, who didn't necessarily belong to any current nation. On behalf of the living, I still don't feel enthusiastic. What's it supposed to represent: parentage? place of birth? citizenship? residence? oath of allegiance? Andrew Dalby 10:54, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

I like them in the infobox IF the flag represents the country they were born in at the time, but that third one is rather weird. --plange 14:44, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

I did forget to mention that all of the ones I removed were added by User: as can be seen here. While I think that it might be OK in the infobox I also think that it might lead to some disagreement over which flag goes in and how many. John A. Macdonald got a Canadian flag as Prime Minister but why not a Scottish or British flag as his birth place. But there was no Canadian flag in his time anyway so why would he need one. What about Jean Chrétien? Does he get a second Canadian flag as his nationality or a Quebec flag as his province of birth to offset the Canadian flag as Prime Minister? Which flag would be used for people born in Ireland between 1801 and 1919? The Image:Flag of Ireland.svg or Image:Flag of the United Kingdom.svg? There are several countries whos flags have changed during our liftimes and the issue of which flag is used, the one valid at birth or the current one, could lead to edit wars. While I may be looking for problems that will never arise, I can quite easily see that issue of who gets which flag could become very disruptive. Then of course there is this. CambridgeBayWeather (Talk) 18:31, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
I'll reiterate my position - I think it's only valid to use if there is no case for dispute on which flag to use. I don't think we should hand down a blanket "don't use" policy, but rather, like any content, it should be handled on a case by case basis. If you have a problem with an individual use of it, discuss it on the Talk page --plange 18:43, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

I'd argue for country of birth, especially since the icon is added to that line in the infoboxes with which I'm familiar. On the other hand, I would not have an issue with adding a different flag where appropriate; for example, Serbian native Vlade Divac played professional basketball in Serbia starting in 1986 and in the US from 1989 to 2005, so that info could look something like:

| career = {{flagicon|Serbia}} 1986-1989<br />{{flagicon|USA}} 1989-2005

Meantime, I also argue for case-by-case use when disputes arise. Thoughts? :) RadioKirk (u|t|c) 18:52, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

I'm not asking for a complete ban on flags in the infobox but some guidelines as to the flag to be used. The current flag or the one in use at the time of the persons birth? CambridgeBayWeather (Talk) 03:04, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
Already gave my opinion on this in my first reply above-- are you looking for others? I'll restate it here just in case: "IF the flag represents the country they were born in at the time" --plange 03:18, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
Bit of a misunderstanding there. I just wanted to make clear that I wasn't asking for a complete ban. CambridgeBayWeather (Talk) 03:30, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree with the comment up above that flag icons in infoboxes for historical people are inappropriate, but it seems that people are adding them anyway, without stopping to think. There is was (see talk page) an England flag in the Isaac Newton infobox, despite the fact that Newton lived in 17th-century England, and not the 20th/21st century England that most people associate the flag with. I really think flag icons should be restricted to living people who are clearly associated with that country (whether by birth or residence). Carcharoth 23:39, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

  • I disagree with using any flag icons in the info box at all. It looks jingoistic, in my eyes, and seems to be put there simply to "jazz up" the page. My preference is to simply type in the country of birth or residence, depending on which is most appropriate. I commented to somebody today about a page I was assessing, and made those comments...though I hasten to add I did *not* remove the flag icon, even though I think it's tacky. Jeffpw 12:50, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

See also Wikipedia:Don't overuse flags, and the discussion at Template talk:Infobox Scientist. Carcharoth 12:20, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

I oppose the use of flag icons in this manner. They add no information to the articles and I don't think they look good either. -Will Beback 02:08, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
  • I believe the flag serves a purpose in the info box. As a symbol of birth country, it is no more useless than other info (Why is "height" in there; why not hair color or eye color?). As for repetition, everything in the box is repetition. Isn't the info box all pertinent information at a glance? If not, it should be.

These flags are already proliferating themselves in articles on both continents, mostly actors, I see. I mean wiki is global isn't it? Does everyone in the world know William Shatner is from Canada? Does everyone in the world know Elizabeth Taylor was born in England? Probably not. It's on several of the heavily monitored presidential articles and nobody there has complained. If you don't like the way it looks, change the design.

Why does wiki have to be so stringent with its images and graphics? Encyclopedic doesn't have to mean sterile; there are numerous graphics-rich encyclopedias.

trezjr 01:33, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

People who can read the word "Canada" will know that Shatner is from that country. Having both a country name and a flag is higghly redundant and serves no purpose. As it happens, there are many complaints about the flags, including several on your talk page. Finally, It is rather odd to use the flags of subnational entities in some cases but not others. Elizabeth Taylor has te flag of England instead of the Union Jack of the United Kingdom. To be consistent, we'd have to use state flags for U.S. persons which would really confuse people unfamilair with those flags. Another similar complaint concerns historical figures who may have been born under a different flag then now in use. I don't see any consensus to use them. -Will Beback 02:18, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
I agree. Graphics and images are ok if they serve a useful purpose, but if they're just being used for decorative reasons, then it's a different story. Many of the flags are difficult to recognize at a glance - some are similar (eg Australia - Flag of Australia.svg and New Zealand - Flag of New Zealand.svg) and some are obscure. But the name of the country is easily recognized. Does seeing a representation of the Canadian flag clarify that William Shatner is Canadian, when the word "Canada" is already there? (complete with Wikilink for anyone that hasn't heard of Canada). I don't think the flag graphic makes the infobox easier to read, or offers more useful information, which should be the aim of the infobox in my opinion. I agree that the style should not be sterile, but an infobox which (often) contains an image and always contains some degree of text, is not sterile, in my view. I think sometimes we get carried away by what we are technically able to do, rather than what needs to be done for the good of the encyclopedia, and I think this is a good example. Rossrs 03:31, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
There's also the problem of someone like Romaine Brooks: born in Italy to American parents who were travelling there, spent most of her adult life in England, Italy, and France, died in France. Going by country of birth doesn't work at all here, and an American flag doesn't seem particularly appropriate either. Using flags on a case-by-case basis means spawning talk page discussions for every questionable case, which will soak up time and energy that could have been spent improving articles. It doesn't seem worth it for a design element that doesn't add any new information. —Celithemis 04:21, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
The problem is how to remove them. There are people who will vigorously oppose the removal of these flag graphics. I don't see a consensus for their use, but I'm not sure if this is merely a matter of presentation style, or something more. I wonder if a centralised discussion is needed? Carcharoth 16:12, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
FWIW, I think that if one is using flag icons, they ought to be the current flags, not the flag at the time of birth of the individual in question. I can see arguments for both sides in the case of Canada, but what about the States, where the flag changed each time a new state was added, or the case of people born in the USSR, but of various nationalities? Also, my sense is that the flags represent nationality rather more than nation of birth, but I don't see that there is any hard and fast rule on the matter. Coffeehood 01:29, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Please contribute to the centralised discussion on flag icons at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#Flag icons - manual of style entry?. Please add comments over there, not here. Thanks. Carcharoth 14:01, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject Former countries

Some of you may be familiar with the old Historical States WikiProject. This project - under the new name WikiProject Former countries - has recently been restarted. I am making this announcement here because there is a part of our work which ties in with your project: particularly the Royalty and Politics workgroups.

Many entries on historical states have a list somewhere of its heads of state/government, but some do not. And some of the lists that do exist are incomplete or do not have entries for all people listed. I don't know if the Biog Project keeps track of all of these lists. If not, perhaps we can help. I was thinking of setting up a Biography department within our project, to keep track of all of these lists and to keep the right people on this project informed about what areas need working on. This of course would be a bit of a gray area between our two projects, but I believe that a colloaborative approach is the best way. I would like to hear any comments or suggestions that you would have about such a department and the best way to go about this.

One more request regarding the discussion of former countries: Please be careful when wikilinking to historical states. In many cases there is no problem, but sometimes mistakes are made. This is not really a surprise since many former country entries do not exist yet. For example, most entries refer to the Kingdom of Bavaria while linking directly to the modern German state of Bavaria. At the moment, Kingdom of Bavaria redirects to Bavaria anyway, but that will change. Over time, we hope to have entries for all former countries, and the sooner that the correct links and/or redirects are in place on other entries, the less correction work will need to be done later on.

We also have a number of child projects: one for the subdivisions of former countries, and one for Prussia. - 52 Pickup 14:18, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Political Figures

Hey all, recently, there have been a few articles recently that I've seen that've led to difficult discussions on covering political figures, especially those standing for office. I believe that the increasing stock people put in Wikipedia will lead to a need for more detailed, targeted guidelines for handling a few issues on articles of this sort, in particular but not limited to:

  • Appropriate depth of coverage
  • Appropriate sources for quotes (in the article linked above, for example, a newspaper editorial is used as a source, which might count as a primary source and thus be discouraged)
  • Appropriate and useful sections to include, appropriate depth outside of political topics

I would like to suggest that this Wikiproject may find this to be a worthwhile topic to discuss, as it is hard to discuss in the specific without becoming embroiled in political discussions. If the project would like to spawn a subproject specifically handling current political figures, that might be worthwhile. --Improv 02:10, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Manual of Style (lists of works)

I've overhauled Wikipedia:Manual of Style (lists of works) based on a 2nd round of feedback. Possibly it's complete and ready? Feedback (at it's talkpage) or improvements welcome :) --Quiddity 02:25, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Hope I'm not stepping on anyone's toes

I have been doing assessments on articles that are on the assessment list. I've done 3 now, and leave comments for the appropriate person after I'm finished. I don't know if I need permission to do that (assessing) or not, so I thought I'd just drop a line here. If my actions are incorrect, please say so and accept my apologies. Jeffpw 21:13, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Have at it! Thanks and welcome to the Wikiproject Morphh (talk) 21:20, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
If you know what you're doing, you don't need to make any apologies. I think everyone would welcome having them done. Thank you very much. :) Badbilltucker 21:22, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
Only done 3? You must go faster! :) Seriously, welcome aboard and no you don't need permission. --kingboyk 21:34, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
Thanks a lot! The Biography project is my favorite area of wiki. I just wrote a bio of James Robert Baker that is a FAC now, and I plan on starting to rewrite the John Rechy page, since it reads more like an ad for his website and books than a bio. By the way, the people whose pages I assessed were happy with the assessments and sugegstions (and no, I didn't assess them all as A's or FACs. :). 2 Bs and a Start, all with comments and editing help. Wiki is Fun! Jeffpw 23:14, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
Yippee! Welcome aboard! Committed editors who find our project fun are always welcome! --plange 23:19, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

It looks like a person's name in Category:Uncategorized from November 2006 etc.


Just a feeler to gauge your objections (if any) to whipping thru backlogs such as Category:Uncategorized from November 2006 using AWB and adding your project banner to the talk page of any article that looks like a person's name (skipping foreign names that are too unfamilar). You would unquestionably be getting some chaff this way. It's OK with me if you don't like the idea... Thanks! --Ling.Nut 00:41, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

That would be great, though it would probably work even better if you used User:kingbotk/Plugin for AWB as that allows you to preview an article first and then serve up the Talk page to tag (and has the tag built into the plugin). --plange 22:23, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
That's good advice; I'll see if I can get that downloaded. Thanks! --Ling.Nut 22:31, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

And/or, slap a {{bio-stub}} tag on them, if they're stub-length articles, which will give them at least a "pro temps" category directly. Doubtless the same articles will end up being processed by both routes sooner or later, anyway... Alai 02:56, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Thanks again! I am poking around looking for ways to contribute.--Ling.Nut 03:13, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
Note: Many of the uncategorized articles that I see have been vandalised. The orignla categories and sometimes other end material are either accidentally or intentionally deleted. In those cases it's worth going through the histories and recovering the lost data. -Will Beback 02:33, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I've encountered that too. Thanks!
--Ling.Nut 03:49, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Tillie K. Fowler

These are the comments I made on the assessment page. I hope I wasn't too harsh, but I was really surprised to see a page like this on Wiki:

  • I came here because this article was on the assessment request page, only to find that somebody had already assessed it as "Start". In any event, here is what I found:
  • This article has many problems, the most serious of which I have addressed. I have removed the photographs section--5 large images of Ms. Fowler are simply too much for an encyclopedia article about a low priority politician, no matter how noble or goodhearted she may have been. I note that there are still several on the page. Likewise, I have removed the request for donations to her memorial fund. It is enough that it is stated there exists a fund, without giving numerous ways in which the reader can contribute (telephone, mail, and even via secure, online donation!). Wikipedia is not a place to solicit funds.
  • This article also has no inline sources, and needs a longer lead. I am sure there are more suggestions I could make, but this will have to suffice now. I am putting this article on my watch list.Jeffpw 18:20, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
  • I am also concerned about this page because I see what looks like plagiarism. This is from an obituary found here[3]:Upon her departure from Congress, Rep. Fowler's extraordinary efforts to ensure a strong United States military were recognized by the Secretary of the Navy and the Secretary of Defense. She received the Navy's Distinguished Public Service Award and the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service. These are the highest civilian awards given by the Navy and the Department of Defense. Now this from the wiki article: Upon her departure, Rep. Fowler's extraordinary efforts to ensure a strong United States military were recognized by the Secretary of the Navy and the Secretary of Defense. She received the Navy's Distinguished Public Service Award and the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service. These are the highest civilian awards given by the Navy and the Department of Defense. I note, as well, that the entire page is unsourced. I was just trying to polish the article and found this instance in a google search. Would somebody from this project please leave a note on my talk page about how to deal with this? Jeffpw 22:15, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
    • Hmm, I'm not sure where to report that, since it's a chunk of the page and not the whole thing -- I guess ask at Wikipedia talk:Copyright problems and make sure they know it's only part of the article. Let me know what they say... --plange 22:36, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
      • I just left a note at copyright, asking them to take a look at it. I know it's just one paragraph, but my concern is that since the whole article is unreferenced, they might have just lifted things from articles willy nilly, without changing it or acknowledging the original authors. That disturbs me. Jeffpw 22:49, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
        • Yep, I agree. You did the right thing and I'm glad you brought it up. Let me know what they say, so I can know how to handle such in the future... Thanks for being so diligent! --plange 23:05, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
          • Interesting note left on the talk page for the article, from someone who had been working on it. Apparently, there's a lot more plagiarized than that one paragraph. He and I will be workling on it tomorrow, to rewrite it and source it. The subject is a Republican Congresswoman, and I am a Socialist, but I am sure I can remain NPOV. At least it will end up being a decent article. And copyright hasn't responded yet. Thanks for your support, PlangeJeffpw 23:22, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

(unindent) Cool, no problem, especially for a possible future Browncoat ;-) --plange 00:16, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Cheng Yen

Could someone please take a look at the Cheng Yen page and tell me what you think - or even give it ia rating? Thanks. Ludahai 13:39, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Hi Ludahai,
  • I'm not gonna actually rate it 'cause I haven't hung aroung this WikiProject enough to get a feel for how people think.
  • The article has a lot of info, and that is definitely a Good Thing. Believe it or not, tho, I would be quite tempted to rate it "Start-class" due to the total lack of citations/references on the info. That kinda thing always gives me the copyvio shudders.
  • Also, I dunno if this WikiProject has relevant infoboxes. I need to look into that. If they do, then you need one.
  • But it's obvious that a lot of work has been put into the article. Definite Thumbs Up on that score!
  • --Ling.Nut 17:11, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
I gave it a B, but Ling.Nut's points above are valid. If you want a thorough review, I suggest doing a peer review with us :-) --plange 17:24, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
Ling Nut, I can go ahead and cite the pages the information came from, but nearly all came from the three books that I listed in the references section. Ludahai 01:11, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia is a work in progress! Go ahead and work on citing things, plus try some Internet research at the same time (or even do that first, a little bit, maybe). You might be able to get some good documents from Google Scholar. Try to spread things out so you don't have too much info from one source all placed together. That's just my opinion; others may disagree or have additional comments. Thanks for the hard work!--Ling.Nut 01:40, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Talk:Ann Coulter#Non-notable

There is a discussion at Talk:Ann Coulter#Non-notable about removing the names and other info about parents and siblings of Ann Coulter. I feel that basic biographical information about a person includes brief discussion of siblings and parents, basically keeping what is now there. I was wondering if someone would like to weigh in on this matter. Thanks in advance for any information, regardless of stance for or against inclusion. My only problem with the material is lack of a reference. --Dual Freq 03:50, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

It depends. Definitely needs references. In general, if the sources out there about the subject don't mention the family, then we shouldn't try and dig the details up. If the subject has published an actual biography, then the information is usually there. But this is also a question of balance. A Wikipedia article will be shorter and less detailed than a 300-page biography, and the editors of the article have to decide what to include and what not to include. If it feels irrelevant, it probably is. Carcharoth 11:11, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the response. The info that is there now as far as parents and siblings is very sparse and doesn't detract from the rest of the article, which is basically a list of complaints about a controversial political commentator. I'm not sure if there is a privacy issue, perhaps removal of birth dates would solve that, but the notes about relation seem to be almost the only portion of the article that is actually NPOV and biographical. I didn't add it to start with, so maybe I should take a look back to try to find the source of the info. --Dual Freq 01:41, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

I diagree, I think every biography should place a person in the context of their family and mention: parents, siblings, and children. It only takes a few sentences. Its part of a standard biography like the schools that someone attended. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) 23:08, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

W. G. Grace

It'd be great if this project would make an assessment of the Grace biography, as he is one of the iconic figures of his age. --Dweller 08:21, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

He certainly is. Please ask for assessments at Wikipedia:WikiProject_Biography/Assessment#Requesting_an_assessment. I've placed your request there for W. G. Grace. --kingboyk 12:30, 14 November 2006 (UTC)


I would appreciate it if some members of this project could help me get this as a Featured article; it would be extremely helpful. --SunStar Net 23:23, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

George Washington

I have recently started trying to add references to this article, and find that the reference function is already being used for the copious notes section, so that I can't figure out how to add a separate references section for my footnotes. Please advise. robertjohnsonrj 14:46, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

In my opinion there's no point in having two sequences of footnotes. If some of them are "asides", and some of them are references, so be it. Just go on adding them. Does that help? Andrew Dalby 18:29, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
This is just me, but I would prefer Harvard referencing (probably using templates) for the actual references, and cite.php footnotes for little asides/comments.. you know.. footnotes. That way they are visually quite different. --Ling.Nut 03:31, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
It's also possible to have a separate section of lettered explanatory footnotes, as in El Greco, but then you have to manually change the labels every time you insert a new one instead of having them numbered automatically. Mixing the two kinds of footnotes together seems to be accepted in Featured Article candidates, for what it's worth.
I personally don't care for Harvard references in encylopedia articles, since I find parenthetical notes much more intrusive than footnotes, but I know others disagree. —Celithemis 03:51, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
The references function (Cite.php) is made for adding references and footnotes. There's no problem with mixing them together. Kaldari 22:10, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Question regarding year of birth categories

I note that someone else just added a year of birth category to Socks, the cat of former president Bill Clinton. I don't think that having animals put in year of birth categories should create any problems for this project, which is the one which has most to do with those categories, but, if they do create problems, let me know and I'll try to remove any others nonhumans that have been placed in those categories. Badbilltucker 16:51, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

I don't know if this qualifies as a WPJ problem, but there's certainly an (existing) categorisation problem here: Category:Births by year is a subcat of Category:people, but Category:1991 racehorse births (for example, to consider Socks' contemporaries) are a subcat of Category:1991 births, as well as there briefly having been a cow-cat in there. Either the former one, or the latter two of these are correct: not all three. Alai 10:02, 12 November 2006 (UTC)
They shouldn't be there imho, as they're human categories. It could certainly cause problems if bots trawl the categories to tag them for this project. --kingboyk 10:25, 12 November 2006 (UTC)
"Births by year" is OK as a subcat of People, as long as only people are put in there (the implicit "Births of people by year" not spelt out in full in the category title). The animal ones should go in something like Category:Animal births by year or Category:Births of animals by year, but these should be subcats of Category:Animals, and not subcats of Category:Births by year. Carcharoth 17:19, 12 November 2006 (UTC)
In fact, what would be more useful, is for someone to look through Category:Famous animals and create categories allowing them to be browsed by when the animals in question existed (while still retaining the main category to allow general browsing of all famous animals). Carcharoth 17:24, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

Indian COTW, a biography

Anandi Gopal Joshi is the current Indian collaboration of the week. She was the first Indian woman to become a doctor in India. Please come and help it become a featured-standard article. -- Ganeshk (talk) 19:12, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

New Workgroup?

Hello all. I wanted to suggest a possible new workgroup to collaborate on increasing the quality of journalist articles, especially in light of how the article on Ed Bradley was in such miserable shape right before his passing. Is there much interest out there? If there are only a few editors, I'd be happy to just maintain an informal project page under my user namespace. I'm currently working on Robert Hager, a new article I started from scratch a few days ago. Gzkn 05:05, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

It might not be a bad idea to start it informally or at least canvas for a few members first. I don't think we'd want to go to the trouble of creating a new workgroup only to have it flounder, but on the other hand we would certainly prefer it to be a workgroup than seperate. --kingboyk 12:32, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
OK, sounds good. For now, if anyone wants to collaborate on a particular journalist article, let me know on my talk page. Gzkn 02:52, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Citation overkill?

Hey guys, I thought I would just hopefully get some opinions on the Matt Tilley article and the amount of sources for such a little article. I have inserted most of these sources because another user keeps adding "{{fact}}" at the end of nearly every sentence. Is it too much? I would find sources for the {{fact}} that remains but I cannot find them anywhere on the internet. Anyway, is it just too much and does it warrant the removal of the remaining {{fact}} tags? Thanks. --Lakeyboy 05:58, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Not really, no. If the information can't be verified, the information should be removed not the {{fact}} tag. --kingboyk 12:27, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Also, you are not limited to what you can find on the internet-- you can cite books too... --plange 22:19, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

copyright images of living people

Please take a few moments to look at 2 possible proposals for images of living people on Wikipedia. Would appreciate comments or further suggested wordings before I finalize for voting. The intention is to clear the air on this class of image, as there has been some kerfuffle recently regarding fair use of images. There is some discussion on the proposal talk page as well as *here* on talk:fair use, where you can see more about the problem. Thanks.--luke 07:03, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Religious leaders workgroup

Is there a possibility of creating a new workgroup entitled 'Religious Leaders' or something similar. This request is borne out of suggestions made at WT:IND and WP:HINDU for better categorization of Hindu saints/godmen, and an admin considered broad application via WP:WPBIO (for including the Pope, Dalai Lama, etc). Tags and banners would need to be created for this purpose. Hopefully there will be enough consensus to give the green light to creating and expanding this new workgroup? Ekantik 01:38, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

I think there is-- the question is what to call it-- we had some votes for a Religious Figures work group, and, alternatively Religion & Occult. I prefer the latter, to keep in line with using category names for a group instead of specifically naming the type of person (i.e. Politics and Government, as opposed to Politicians) --plange 15:41, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
I tend to agree with creating the group by the "Religion & Occult" name above, given that some people will question the inclusion of some people like for instance Alister Crowley in the religious figures group, despite the fact that Thelema, the group he created, is generally recognized as a religion. By using this name, we get to avoid facing the question of having to controversially categorized severl people as one or the other. Badbilltucker 18:00, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Thank you

My thanks to the Biography Project for supporting the article James Robert Baker to its current FA status. I couldn't have done it without your support and helpful criticisms. Jeffpw 12:59, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Experts required

Hey folks. Just want to make sure you're aware of this page: Category:Pages needing expert attention from Biography experts. Cool? Cool. :)

Regarding newsletter and portal

Personally, I think one of the ways to perhaps stimulate some additional interest in the project's activities is to highlight the recent successes of the project, in terms of good and featured articles, and maybe using the portal as a way to highlight these recent successes. Specifically, I noticed last month there were 10 biogrpahy articles promoted to FA, probably a similar or higher number to GA status. Would there be any way of setting up a bot to automatically put in a queue for inclusion on the portal those articles which were recently promoted to either status? I know some portals, Portal:Dogs and Portal:Cats among others, use this technique, and it would be a good way to "show off" the project's recent successes and encourage more people to such efforts. We could then include the recent promotions as a section of the newsletter, and tell all the members that these articles are in the queue for the Biogrphy portal. The article could maybe be changed automatically every two or three days. Giving people additional places their work can be seen I think is generally one of the easiest ways to encourage further high quality work. Anyway, just an idea. Badbilltucker 18:06, 25 November 2006 (UTC)


Beginning cross-post.

See Wikipedia talk:Version 1.0 Editorial Team#Stablepedia. If you wish to comment, please comment there. MESSEDROCKER 02:56, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

End cross-post. Please do not comment more in this section.

Birth names vs Stage names

Hello. In uses of the subject's name after the article title and the topic sentence, should a subject be referred to by the surname of his birth name or his stage name? Is there an accepted convention? I notice that Stevie Wonder uses "Wonder"; is that the norm? Thanks. -ryand 15:30, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

I think the rule is to use the most common name. You can do a Google search to find which is more common, so that the answer isn't subjective. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) 04:29, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Biography as a header

I apologize if I brought this topic up before: Should we be using ==Biography== in the opening paragraph of biographies? See: Mason Welch Gross. I have no firm choice, but a decision should be made here, before more biographies are changed. I don't see it as a convention in any other encyclopedias. Do you think its redundant? Anyone else have a firm opinion? I tend to prefer a few subheadings, so I can go directly to the "cause of death" or "education" sections to find what I am looking for without reading the whole article. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) 18:47, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

I hadn't been doing it myself, but actually I think it's a good idea in the case of a relatively short biography, where more detailed headings would be inappropriate. It marks off the main body of the text from the remainder (fame after death, links, bibliography, and whatever) and also from the initial paragraph. Andrew Dalby 10:17, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Category:uncategorised people

I've gone ahead and created this, as mooted above, and I've started populating it (from the US-bio-stubs lacking any other category at all, to start with). If people find this useful, and some are interested in actually working through these and categorising the articles, I can find plenty more where those came from. (If people find it objectionable, or no-one transpires to be interested in emptying it, I'll let it wither on the vine.) I'll also mention this at Wikipedia:Categorization. Alai 00:40, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Update: I haven't added any more to this, as I'm not entirely sure whether anyone's really working on categorisation of people, as distinct from categorisation work in general. However, I can now give you a more accurate estimate of the scope of this: at the time of the last database dump, there were 12,934 biographical stub articles (in Category:people stubs and descendants) with no non-stub category at all. (This is if anything an underestimate of the degree of uncategorisation, as it ignores articles tagged with {{uncat}} or {{uncatstub}}, or indeed any 'maintenance' category whatsoever.) This is obviously rather large, but it beats the 60,000-ish number of uncategorised stubs in total, which is where they'll eventually end up otherwise. So the question is, is the a feasible and appropriate granularity of cleanup resource, and is anyone likely to tackle it on such a basis? Or anything similar? An alternative is to split them up further (corresponding to WPBIO's workgroups, or otherwise), though the fallback is likely to be more "lumping", rather than more "splitting". Alai 20:30, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Big sidebars on short articles

What should be done on Princess Annette of Orange-Nassau, van Vollenhoven. Her article is just a paragraph, but the sidebar templates run for a whole page, creating a huge empty space. Bottom navigation bars would be more appealing. Should sidebars be eliminated from stubs? --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) 04:32, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

None of them are outrageously large, but the trouble is there's three of them, and all right-aligned. Perhaps they could be parameterised on alignment (defaulting to right). Alai 02:01, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

John Goodman

May God Bless You Always!

I was adding a Missouri Project Tag to the article of John Goodman due to his birth in Missouri. While I was adding the tag to the talk page I noticed messages that the article had been vandalized a lot. So, before I left the article I decide to check for possible vandalism. An IP address has remove a sentence that stated John Goodman has a daughter named Molly. I do not know if this is vandalism or not. Will someone who knows more about John Goodman please check if the edit was valid or vandalism. Thank You!

Yours in Christ, (Steve 16:58, 28 November 2006 (UTC))

IMDB says the daughter is Molly. Maybe it was removed for privacy concerns. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) 17:40, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Roger Boisjoly

I think this articles falls within your peer view, so I am leaving this message here to inform you that the article needs help. Someone needs to read through this and make some serious edits, the article seems a little iffy in places. TomStar81 (Talk) 01:15, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

RfC: William G Tifft

I started a biopgraphy on astronomer, William G. Tifft, and discovered one of the few sources of biographical information, and want to include it. But another editor disagrees. I would appreciate some input, described on the Talk:William_G._Tifft page. --Iantresman 17:05, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Filmography vs Selected Filmography

Just need a little help.
When do we use selected filmography? Is there a policy on this or is it up to each user?
Thanks -- Zarief 13:52, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Sports Family Categories

I have been looking at categories more closely recently. Today, I decided that there are a lot bio articles that would be more easily navigated if we developed a Sports family hierarchy (in Category:Families). I have started to fill in what I could not find out there in the section that follows: User:TonyTheTiger#Categories_Created. Can you tell me if anyone here would be interested in getting involved in Sports family categorization or if there is a good way to proceed in such an endeavor. TonyTheTiger 20:25, 4 December 2006 (UTC)


I noticed that there are fields for height and weight in some of the infoboxes. How is this notable? —ShadowHalo 21:05, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

ShadowHalo is correct; unless a person's weight and/or height is/are notable as part of their fame—as in, wrestlers, basketball players, world's tallest person, etc.—this should not be included except in individual templates for those people for whom this is notable. Otherwise, this data embodies the definition of fancruft. RadioKirk (u|t|c) 20:49, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Biography/Assessment needs some help

I've been working hard to keep up with the requested assessments here, but there is currently a backlog of articles which should rightly be assessed as a high "B", "GA" or "A" and I'm not comfortable (yet) really rating the "good" ones. ("Stub", "Start", and most "B" quality articles are pretty clear-cut.) Can someone with assessment experience help out here to cut the backlog which will also help me to get a better feel for how an "A" article looks? (Also, does "GA" have to go through the Wikipedia:Good article candidates process to get above a "B"?) Once I get some more experience with this, I can try and help out with the backlog on the GA candidates also. JRP 23:05, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

I added a backlog tag to Category:Unassessed biography articles. That should get you some help. Cbrown1023 23:16, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, we would expect a backlog from that category since there are thousands and thousands of articles in there. I'm specifically only dealing with the backlog on Wikipedia:WikiProject Biography/Assessment which is articles that are user-requested for assessment. (Is there a good bot or macro to help with this? Opening articles, then opening talk page, then filling in the infobox, then returning to the category and repeat a billion times gets old quickly. If I could look and rate and then see the next article, possibly viewing the Talk and article page at the same time, it would go much faster...) JRP 23:22, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Wait that little list of like 20? I'll help you with that... Cbrown1023 23:29, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
I've got the list down the ones I'm wasn't comfortable rating yet. JRP 23:35, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
yeah, I saw that, good job! Cbrown1023 23:38, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Remembering nothing is officially official, I've always tried to ensure that any article which is assessed either "GA" or "A" class actually goes through good article review. I know that the good article reviewers aren't really happy about that, but there are cases, like Ancient Rome, where something is mistakenly assessed as an "A" which fails GA-review. Right now, I am doing a lot of other assessments, but will add Biography kind of high on my list. That's not much, I know, but it's what I can do. Badbilltucker 23:25, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Normally, GA and A should only be assigned if has passed a GA nom (GA for passing, A if you think it is really good and almost FA). If you think it is a GA and it hasn't passed yet, then consider posting a note on the article talk page about nominating it or nominating it yourself. Cbrown1023 23:29, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Okay, what I can do is go through WP:WIAGA and any article that doesn't qualify gets a B. This clarifies the GA/A question for me, nicely. Any that remain, need to go through GA anyway and so there's no point rating them without going through that process... JRP 23:35, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

(unindent) Thanks guys! I've been unable to help with this lately, so I really appreciate you guys helping! To clarify, you can give an A to an article that has not gone through GA, but obviously it should meet GA and almost be an FA. I don't like giving A's, though, via the Assessment process though, and ask that they only be given by someone doing a Peer Review... --plange 00:00, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, that sounds better because Assessment is not very thorough, it is just a quick grade that the article seems like to see how much it needs to be improved. A Peer review goes more in-depth and analyzes the weakness and strong-points to see what needs to be improved. I like your reasoning. :) Cbrown1023 00:25, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, it's hard. I'm basically jut going through and doing all the stub/start articles. I do think that the upper-level ones should be reviewed a bit as well. Just got done with all the X's and most of the Q's. Left the harder ones for you guys. Also, anyone know what's wrong with the bio statstics box? It's saying 193 for start and stub...--Wizardman 06:21, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

DONE! With your advice, I've caught up and completed the remaining backlog, except for one requested assessment from me which I won't do for obvious reasons. Now, if someone finishes that one, the list will be cleared and we should be able to do a better job keeping up. (And I can feel accomplished for a couple of minutes.) JRP 15:44, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Revised Category:Family request

Yesterday, I queried for assistance and advice on Category:Sports families. Today I realized that the entire Category:Families needed to be overhauled. I believe all bio articles of individuals from notable families could benefit from a concerted effort to use the system that I have started. You can see the hierarchy in the 2 columns on the right (as of 12/5/06) at Categories_Created (I apologize this subsection was unavailable for several hours yesterday as I reformated my user page). Can you tell me if anyone here would be interested in getting involved in Family categorization or if there is a good way to proceed in such an endeavor. Note that the 3 major subcategories I have created (Category:Families by ancestry, Category:Families by profession, & Category:Families by religion) supplement the previously created Category:Families by nationality. TonyTheTiger 19:48, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you mean by this. When you say Families by Profession, are you talking about a case where say a grandfather, father, and son are all lawyers ? Wjhonson 07:26, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
There are many families that are notable for a family business. If you look at the link I directed you to on the right side of Categories_Created you will see many notable families that shared the same profession. I might have a Legal families (including judges and lawyers) for groups of notable individuals from such families. TonyTheTiger 19:18, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Please note the current CFD on the Families by religion Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2007 January 10#Category:Catholic families . I have to say that given the general understanding of religion as much more a matter of individual belief/faith/practice, that I think religion is an inappropriate cross-section for family. Yes, families inculcate particular faiths in their children, and a family may be able to be classed as entirely or mostly a particular faith, just as it may be able to be classed as a "political family" or whatever. But faith seems a little different to me, because, again, we modernly see it very much as a matter of individual conscience. --lquilter 14:19, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Messy Redirect

Hi, I just noticed that the redirect of Johnny Williams to film director John Williams redirects also some other persons with the same nickname (see Special:Whatlinkshere/Johnny_Williams). I am not sure what is best to do. Can someone please take a look? Hoverfish 16:30, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Note: I have cleared actor Johnny Williams as Johnny Williams (actor) where linked. There are also one in music and one in sports, if not more. Hoverfish 16:52, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Horrible infoboxes

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov
Chekhov 1898 by Osip Braz.jpg
Alexander fighting Persian king Darius III. From Alexander Mosaic, Pompeii.

I don't like infoboxes and prefer the elegance of, say, this: James Joyce—a nice big picture, with the necessary info in the text. However, my attempts to rid the Anton Chekhov article I'm working on of its infobox have met with helpfulness by editors keen to have one, so my next-best aim is now to at least have a professional-looking infobox instead of the IMO horrible generic infobox for biographies and writers which mars the page at present. In particular, I don't like the uncomfortably wobbly-looking attempt at centering the information, or gaucheries like "profession(s)", or the presence of national flags for places of birth and death: it all looks rubbish and homemade compared to the well-designed style of the article text, font, and illustrations. I'm very envious of the attractive infoboxes used for other topics, for example Tongzhi Emperor or Alexander the Great; I'd like to do something like the one to the right (Chekhov hybrided with Alexander, just for an example).

Is such hybridisation allowable? And does anyone know where I might find out how to make (or adapt) such templates myself (I'd like to get rid of the blue pelmet here, to use yellow ochre instead, for example).

Cheers.qp10qp 19:43, 7 December 2006 (UTC) (Infobox hater/template naïf)

I like nice ones too, and would be willing to help craft a nicer generic one. What fields are you thinking of including? --plange 22:12, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
I like the idea of one to which you can add or delete whatever fields you like, if that is possible. And one where you could change the colour of the surround and the thickness and style of the rim etc. and the colour of the type. (I'm not sure about the font, because we all have different skins, defaults etc.) The basic info should probably be name, birth and death dates and places, and after that flexibility according to what the person did or was famous for. If possible, I think the editors should be able to choose whether to centre or not; centred styles always look a bit unbalanced to me. I find it easy to change images, but infoboxes can be a bit inflexible; this might just be because I just don't really know how they work. qp10qp 22:56, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
That's all possible but could lead to issues if an inexperienced editor changes it. There can be a field for background-color that calls for the hex code of the color and there could be a field for border thickness (although I've never seen an infobox with this option). Really, the infobox to the right could easily be modified to have any background-color (in place of the blue behind the name and birth/death date). But you have to be careful because anybody could make the background black thereby rendering the text unreadable.--NMajdantalk 23:00, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
It's usually better, in my opinion, to use a uniform color or have a field in which one indirectly specifies the color based on some other criterion. For example, WikiProject Musicians created an infobox where the color is based on whether the musical artist is a band, solo singer, cover band, etc. (see Template:Infobox musical artist). I'm not quite sure what categories would be available for biographies in general though. —ShadowHalo 23:15, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Flag icons next to birth and death locations in infoboxes

I want to bring up discussion on this issue. I am strongly against them. They:

  1. Merely duplicate the text next to them, adding no information
  2. Immediately draw the eye to the birth and death locations, giving them unequal importance
  3. Don't benefit anyone not familiar with the specific flag

I would like to hear reasons for keeping them, because I am having trouble coming up with many. The only thing I can think of is they help a resident of that specific country (or someone familiar with the flags of the world) more quickly identify with the subject. – flamurai (t) 21:16, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Keep. The entire purpose of infoboxes is the quick reference; in my view, the flagicon does serve a purpose: it's quick, it does help draw the eye to the data, and it's aesthetically pleasing. My only concern, as I've noted above, is the occasional potential for controversy in cases where more than one flag could be used. RadioKirk (u|t|c) 21:27, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
    • Why do the birth and death locations get special treatment? If we could create free-use icons for each TV series, for example, would you support their use in the infobox? – flamurai (t) 21:33, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I'm seeing apples and oranges... :) RadioKirk (u|t|c) 22:38, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Okay, I'll rephrase: What makes the locations important enough to deserve a visually distinct treatment that emphasizes them above the other elements in the infobox? – flamurai (t) 00:05, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, speaking only for myself, there's a certain "this is who I am" or "this is who this is"—accurate, or otherwise—connection to someone's origin; and, yes, I think it does help people from these countries find countrymen and -women. Misguided or otherwise, origin is a powerful common denominator, and nothing else within the infobox really speaks to this segment. IMO... :) RadioKirk (u|t|c) 00:19, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
And if it is not "who I am"? What if the person has expressed no special patriotism or has even avowed hate for the country in which he or she was born? A time period in which a person is born is also a much more significant indicator, or the profession. A Russian in 2006 leads a life much more similar to an Englishman in 2006 than does most anyone in 2006 compared to someone in 1500; a famous rock star leads a much more different life than a mathematician than does a farmer in France compared to a farmer in America, or a writer in any time period. (We also do end up with the ridiculous situation where the ancient Roman gets an Italian flag, etc.) —Centrxtalk • 07:17, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Death to flagcruft. Kaldari 00:21, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Keep it's always good to have pictures because some people are better seeing images than reading things (but keep in mind that there always needs to be text because of people with color-blindness and other problems...). Cbrown1023 01:48, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
You can extend that logic to every piece of information in the infobox, or anywhere on the encyclopedia. Plus, that's a rather frivolous argument. (a) My conservative guess is that 95% of information on WP is written. (b) While I don't quite understand exactly what you mean by "better seeing images than reading things", it's great that someone could see an image of a flag, but what's the likelihood they'd know what it is if it's not either their home country or a well known country? (Also, I intended this to be a discussion, not a poll. I would still like to the cons I presented addressed.) – flamurai (t) 03:04, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
  • duplicate to text: well duh, all images are that! (not really a stron argument, but dismisses that point)
    draw to eye... well those are two of the main things put into an infobox; are you sure that it automattically draws the eye, please give an example of this with a link. :)
    un-familiar you hover over the image and it gives you: a message and at the bottom (on your status bar) a link to the image which includes its name...
    Cbrown1023 03:18, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
    I'm leaning towards delete because I believe what you are saying, but the above is still there as a counter-argument. Cbrown1023 03:19, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
    duplicate to text: No, an image of a person (or a building, etc.) is much more direct and informative than any page-long description of the person's body, face, classic attire, etc.
    draw to eye...: I don't see why the location should be any draw to the eye, or anything else in the infobox. There is a whole article there, or just the introduction, the person could read.
    un-familiar: The name of the country is already listed. Anyone who hovers over the link or looks at the status bar could have gotten the information much more easily just be looking at the text right there. —Centrxtalk • 07:21, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
  • The first time I saw flags in infoboxes I hated them. I still find them wildly inappropriate in most cases, though they can be used tastefully. I will repeat what I have said elsewhere. Take a look at any serious encyclopedia and ask yourself why (when they easily could) they do not scatter flag icons all over their text. It looks frivolous, is often an oversimplification, and it doesn't add anything of real value. The text and carefully selected and placed illustrations and pictures (not icons) should be at the core of any serious reading experience. Adding icons could be the one of the first steps along a slippery slope that ends up with a multimedia Flash-o-pedia. Carcharoth 10:46, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Another issue: Franz Liszt was born in what was at the time Austria, but is now Hungary. Why should a Hungarian flag be in his infobox when he at the time didn't identify with that nationality? In this case the flag is adding misinformation. The fact is flags do more than identify a geographic location. They are associated with nationality, and therefore have political connotation beyond mere identification. What would happen if someone went through and changed all the flags of England and Scotland to UK flags? And why should we use flags of nations that didn't even exist in someone's lifetime in their article? – flamurai (t) 05:28, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Using flags in cases like that is just wrong. If someone wants to put a flag on a historical biographical article, they have to chose between finding the flag that existed at the time, or using the flag of the country that claims the person as part of their heritage and history. Often problematic. To be fair though, the proponents of using flags accept this, and this is just something that all editors have to be alert for: correcting the well-meaning mistakes of others. Carcharoth 10:31, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Historical flags would have the same identifiability problem as contemporary flags, but compounded. What about Americans born in the pre-50 states era, those born in East Germany, the USSR, etc? There are just so many gray areas with these flags. – flamurai (t) 16:09, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Some articles are now including state flags: e.g. Adrianne Curry – flamurai (t) 14:38, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

  • I really don't like them. To me as a reader they raise the question of why have small icons on this particular feature? Death of country, for instance, sometimes falsely suggests the person was a citizen of that country when they died there. The icon exacerbates the problems with that field to a significant degree: as text it's usually important information and occasionally somewhat misleading, suggesting citizenship or residency. As an iconned text, it's vital information and really important and suggests a strong connection with place of death -- so even in the (relatively rare) instances where it's misleading it's a real problem. They might be appropriate for military service-members, politicians, nobles, and state officials (leaders, monarchs, etc.), people who by occupation or fame are particularly noted for their association with that nation-state. Otherwise I think they're completely inappropriate for all sorts of reasons: many people emigrate; some people abjure nationality or at least have qualms about that; countries change flags or the shape of the nation changes; etc. --lquilter 14:42, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Human name dab pages

Should human name dab pages have the {{WPBiography}} tag? TonyTheTiger 16:18, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Yes, and they should be |class=Dab. Cbrown1023 17:11, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Could I ask what benefit(s) you anticipate resulting from this addition? --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 17:38, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
    • It is what is done, it puts articles into Category:Biography disambiguation pages. Cbrown1023 18:46, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
      • Technically it puts the talk pages in that category. You have to click through again to get to the page itself. The benefit is small, but it does help organise things a little bit. If someone wants to work on Biography dab pages, they now have a category they can work from. Catgorisation of the actual dab pages themselves is frowned upon for some reason. I think more categorisation of the dab pages themselves (rather than just the talk pages) would be helpful, but for now gathering the talk pages together is the next best thing. Carcharoth 10:57, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
        • One thing that you could do is to include Category:Biography disambiguation pages as part of Template:Hndis, so that when this dab template is used, the associated pages are so categorized. I've been an opponent of using hndis in the past, but I'm reconsidering that. My problem with its use is that there are so many topical dab templates that could be (and in the past have been) created that it is difficult to stem the tide once they start being used; further, I don't think it's terribly helpful to have multiple dab templates used on a page, but this becomes very likely for names that are the same as or close to non-human topic titles. However, if it were a choice between adding a banner to a talk page and adding a topical dab template, I would support the topical dab template option over the banner option. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 12:26, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Wikiproject support tags

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is a good example of a WikiProject Biography that is supported by other WikiProjects. How do I add a tag for Business & Economics to show that the Bio is supported by that Wikiproject? TonyTheTiger 17:55, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Diego Velázquez FAR

Diego Velázquez 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. Sandy (Talk) 01:06, 14 December 2006 (UTC)


Do we have a filmography guidline? If not, we should make one. Or maybe let Wikipedia:WikiProject Television take care of it. - Peregrinefisher 01:45, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

James Kim

I guess this doesn't fall under peer review, but the article could benefit from some more experienced biography editors. There are multiple disputes and issues going on there, most notably right now is a timeline issue with a consensus split down the middle on both its appropriateness, role, size, etc. There are a couple of other POV issues there, but I think they are mostly resolved, though I suppose another opinion never hurts. I've listed it at some other places, like RFC, but really, right now this article needs as much help as it can get.--Crossmr 07:58, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Sorting by timeline allows the article to be free from organisational POV and stops events which an editor considers more important from being placed at the top because of that editor's/editor's group of cyber-cohorts own personal opinion on the matter. I will contribute my opinion to the article.--I'll bring the food 16:18, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

English? Scottish? Welsh? British?

Is there any consenus about whether people are described as British, or from their home nation? I've seen a lack of consistency regarding this on various biographies, but wanted to make sure any edits I made were making the articles consistently right first. Thanks. One Night In Hackney 01:16, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Stubb that will need watching...


I'm a participant on the Comics Project and I've got a stub that is going to need someone from this project to flesh out.

The article is for Eric Strauss, PhD, Director of Environmental Studies at Boston College.

Someone set up Eric Strauss as a redirect page to the article for the comic book character Doctor Fate. While there is a fictional Eric Strauss associated with the character, the article shouldn't link there.

I think Dr. Strauss has tried, as an anonymous user, to un-hijack his name, to little positive result.

I'm going to try and convert the article as best I can, but I'm unfamiliar with the specific style guides and templates used for this project. If someone can take a look and nail down thing I'd appreciate it.

Thanks for listening... — J Greb 06:54, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

Not the only one -- Sally Floyd is an important computer scientist (she was one of the main people who developed TCP/IP, without which this wiki would not be possible); she doesn't have an article, but lots of Internet articles point to the current Sally Floyd article -- who is a comic book character. Someone "dis"ambiguated this a while back. I haven't gotten around to writing the article yet, so if anyone else wants to help out that would be great. --lquilter 14:53, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

FA candidacy of a related article

Hippocrates, an article related to this project, is a current Featured article candidate. Comment on the discussion are appreciated. Circeus 19:33, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

Paul Belien

I am not sure this is the right page to post this, but the biographical article about Paul Belien looks pretty much biased. The problem with such an article is that, if one biased contributor puts a lot of energy into it, it will stay biased for long... Anyone willing to clean up the article or put this article on his watchlist? Thanks in advance for your assistance. This WikiProject is a hell of an important one. --Edcolins 11:47, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Question and comment about Andy Richter article

I put an infobox on the article, but I didn't have all the details for it. As it appears now, only birthdate and birth place appeared (along with the picture). I put his occupation as well, but I have no idea why it didn't show. Anyone know what happened? If anyone knows how to fix it, feel free to. Also, if anyone can fill in the rest of the infobox, that would improve the article as well. RobJ1981 19:01, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Pieter Paul Rubens missing information

  • Need an answer to a general question of sorts about historical fact. There is nothing in the article about his wives and many children!
  • re: Pieter Paul Rubens trying to verify this quote: "His first wife Isabella Brant had died in 1625, taken from him by disease, at the age of thirty-five, in the prime of her life."
Any leads or confirmation would be appreciated. Reply on Fabartus with a xpost here, Please. Thanks! // FrankB 03:36, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Infobox addition

I've got an Infox box I'm cobbling together for comics professional (currently here: User:J Greb/Comics professional). Aside from creating the related category it seems to cover most of the bases. If a second set of eyes thinks this will work, I'll create the category and template page and category.

As it stands, I started with the format from the "Artists" 'box and tweaked it from theres.

Thanks for listening... — J Greb 23:10, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Day Awards

Hello, all. It was initially my hope to try to have this done as part of Esperanza's proposal for an appreciation week to end on Wikipedia Day, January 15. However, several people have once again proposed the entirety of Esperanza for deletion, so that might not work. It was the intention of the Appreciation Week proposal to set aside a given time when the various individuals who have made significant, valuable contributions to the encyclopedia would be recognized and honored. I believe that, with some effort, this could still be done. My proposal is to, with luck, try to organize the various WikiProjects and other entities of wikipedia to take part in a larger celebrartion of its contributors to take place in January, probably beginning January 15, 2007. I have created yet another new subpage for myself (a weakness of mine, I'm afraid) at User talk:Badbilltucker/Appreciation Week where I would greatly appreciate any indications from the members of this project as to whether and how they might be willing and/or able to assist in recognizing the contributions of our editors. Thank you for your attention. Badbilltucker 16:42, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Filmography RFC

I've created an RFC to work out the details involved in making useful filmography sections. Check it out at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Filmography. - Peregrinefisher 21:34, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Request for help with new wikiproject

Please can someone form this well eestablished project who know what they are doing help me with the WikiProject British crime. I recently set it up and gained enough support for it to bevcome a fully fledged Wikiproject. If any of you kind people are wil to help me establish a rating scale a portal and other things i would be very happy and very gratefull.--Lucy-marie 15:06, 30 December 2006 (UTC)