Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Council/Archive 6

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Featured WikiProjects?

I don't know if this has been suggested before, but I like the idea of having featured WikiProject, or at least some way to make those that put much effort into their respective articles or have a well designed, planned, or laid-out project page or plan of action.

It seems that this would be a good idea. If we had levels like Good WikiProject in addition to featured, we would be able see what WikiProjects are available for people to join or contribute for.

A lot of times, I think that WikiProjects are set up and well executed by a select few, but those who are oblivious to the fact that there is a place where discussions go on might miss out on recent acts of consensus on a certain layout of a page, etc. I find this often with the Olympics WikiProject.

I just think that if our WikiProjects—the organized groups that ensure the pages under their jurisdiction are as superb as possible—are not used to potential, we are only hampering work that could be or has already been done. So finding some way to announce certain projects' existances, like featuring WPs for example, might raise the awareness of those who are not currently involved in a project. I think every Wikipedian should be an active member of at least one project, and this may help to open their eyes. Jared (t)  16:43, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Recruiting for WikiProjects

I have little experience with WikiProjects. Most of the time, i just edited on my on on various articles of my interest. I have become an inactive member of some WikiProjects and started two, WikiProject historical atlas and WikiProject organized debate. WikiProject historical atlas had only three participants who were not active enough, i was too much busy with my final paper. WikiProject organized debate also only had three participants and i abandoned it.

What i like to start is a coordinating project for recruiting for WikiProjects. So, multiple WikiPorjects working together in order to get people with enough quality and commitment to make WikiProjects work. This way, looking for participance wouldn't have to be the main task anymore for a WikiProject. Instead, WikiProjects can solely aim at improving the quality of articles. We can look for recruits in multiple sections of the Wikimedia Foundation and the Wikia groups. Next to that i would like to professionalize recruiting in order to get people from outside Wikipedia, especially experts on subjects. An important idea behind the recruitment is that the members of each WikiProject can determine for themselves what they want achieve with their WikiProject and how that corresponds with recruiting.--Daanschr 09:17, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

It is only a suggestion. What i do want is to make both projects that i started a success, so maybe some of you have some ideas. The historical atlas project was promising at the start, but now it is dead meat, so i hope to do something to make it work again and also to do something to help other projects work.--Daanschr 12:25, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
I have started Wikipedia:WikiProject recruitment for WikiProjects to let my ideas come to fruition. Let me know if there is a problem with this.--Daanschr 08:11, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Assessment Categories

Are all assessment categories meant to have a standard in all their names? Does this also apply to cat, list, dab, redirect and template classes? Simply south 19:34, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Please clarify. I'm not entirely sure what you're asking here. John Carter 19:39, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
Sorry. Many categories in the project i am in are Category:... Scotland Transport articles. This is except for the classes mentioned above, which come out as Category:WikiProject Transport in Scotland lists, Category:WikiProject Transport in Scotland redirects, Category:WikiProject Transport in Scotland disambiguation pages, Category:WikiProject Transport in Scotland categories and Category:WikiProject Transport in Scotland templates. (I know some haven't been created yet as we are still working on this). I was wondering whether these should also be either Category: ...-class Scotland Transport articles or Category:Scotland Transport categories, Category:Scotland Transport lists etc.
Also, do these qualify for speedy rename? Simply south 19:53, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
AFAIK, Stub, Start, B, A, GA, FA are all standard - as in Category:Stub-Class LGBT articles. The others are suspect (though "List-" is pretty common), and a WPs can define their own... I would say that, if the project agrees, rename away! -- SatyrTN (talk | contribs) 19:55, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
BTW, I believe WP:1.0 sorta requires the ones I mentioned to be in that format: Category:Stub-Class WikiProject Transport in Scotland articles. -- SatyrTN (talk | contribs) 19:57, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
The standard ones are standard under Scotland Transport. Simply south 20:04, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
The categories of articles assessed by WP:1.0 do have standards ("class-Class Project articles"), which Category:Scotland Transport articles by quality uses correctly. However, there is no standard categorization naming scheme for the non-article pages (cat, dab, image, list, na, portal, redirect, template, unassessed). No one seems to care about standardizing these non-article categories. I posed this question above (see Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Council#Article category standardization) one month ago and got no response. Since WP:1.0 only uses the assessments to decide what articles to include on the Wikipedia CD, they are leaving the decision up to each individual WikiProjects for non-articles. I think there should be standardization, and would like to see it happen. Also, I do not think the category names should contain the word "WikiProject," unless the category is specific to pages (templates, images, etc.) that pertain to administration of the project and not content produced by the project. --Scott Alter 04:28, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Cooperation banner

I winder if there is (and if there is not I move a proposal for creating it) a small banner with something as " this project coordinates its efforts with (and list other projects with which collaborates)" I believe that it can link better different projects and give a graphic idea of the networking. This regarding the projects.

Regarding articles, also useful should be some banner which allows integration of diverse projects banners, this is, when an article is under the scope of many projects, for there is not a cascade of banners or a "fight for first place" of the diverse banners, to standarize a banner or template which may accomodate the other banners in reduced form (it could be also one that just includes the names of the projects but that will make each project to loose identity) In this way and after a while most projects will have a normal banner for using on articles under their sole scope and a reduced banner to include in the "this article is under the scope of the folowing projects" template in articles under many projects. Daoken 14:17, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

It seems a good idea, some articles have longer list of project banners than talk, I second this Profbrumby 17:14, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Take a look at {{WikiProjectBannerShell}} - see Talk:Apollo for an example. -- SatyrTN (talk | contribs) 21:28, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Great! That is exactly what I was talking about. Now, how is the etiquette? when you find an article with many project banners or your project banner is the third for example, do you go ahead and implement the shellbanner or do you contact the other projects there and ask them first?

And about a banner for having at the base page of a project telling with which other projects they cooperate, is there something already? Thanks Daoken 17:37, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Pregnancy and Childbirth project

I would like to start a project for coordinating improvements to articles on pregnancy and childbirth. I cannot find a similar project already in existence. I am looking into creating it as a task force of WP:MED, but I am not sure WP:MED even has any task forces. Alternatively, I could create it as a full-fledged WikiProject, probably as a subproject of WP:MED. The problem is that I'm not sure where to go from here. I have a couple of draft pages in my user space (project page, navigation template). Any help would be very much appreciated! --Ginkgo100talk 14:42, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

I think the page you are looking for to propose this is Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals. Simply south 14:49, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. List it there, and then dependent on the number of potential members that sign on and general interest evinced, you'll have the info to either set it up separately or ask one of the other projects to take it on as a task force or work group. John Carter 14:51, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks! --Ginkgo100talk 15:09, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Be bold and start the first MED task force! It will be a lot less administrative overhead for you, will complement their efforts nicely, and potentially egg them on to create more as needed. Girolamo Savonarola 21:30, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject Balzac

O Mighty Council, hear me. I'm interested in rescussitating Wikipedia:WikiProject Balzac, but I am noob and inexperienced. The project is listed as inactive, and the coordinator/founder of the project, User:ExplorerCDT, says on his talk page that he is "very busy in real life". Ergo, I wonder if I should request the guidance and/or wisdom of someone else who might monitor the process and make sure I don't cause the complete implosion of the entire kit and/or caboodle. With thanks in advance, I remain Scartol 02:27, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Well, it's inactive - how much damage could you do? :) I say be bold and see what happens. Girolamo Savonarola 02:43, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Projects and peer editions and reviews

Of course that in an ideal environment, wikipedians with enough knowledge in one or other area should collaborate within the structure and strategies of a related WikiProject, this solves many issues as the recruiting of specialized editors, the lonerangers , etc and even can help to reduce vandalism.

The problem of course is how to do that and it is one of the "to do" of the WIkiProjects Council of course.

One possible solution should be the propagation of a vertical, slim banner or a tab, built on combining a model similar to the right box of the WikiProjects Council page and the Shellbanner which can nest project descriptions inside.

That tab or banner could be placed and propagate in all articles and should say something as "before editing or making changes" and nested some information regarding the subject that in spite of that an individual editor may enhance an article, there probably exists already a Wikiproject agrupating many editors in that specific area of knowledge, to join such project will not only help Wikipedia in general (to be better organized and efficient) and to reduce vandalism or suspicion of vandalism but also will provide the editor an umbrella under which to provide his help, recognition as a reliable editor and not an "impulse editor" and the help and assistance of editors who understand his views and assist him in making the changes he wants within Wikipedia policies so his changes stay instead of been undo by others.

The banner could provide the nested list of sub-nested projects ordered by areas of expertise or so.

We applied this in recruiting reviewers through the intranet of an international, interdisciplinary very large project where most of the large quantity pof participants were individuals with authority and self determination to a large degree and where there were clusters, and what it was a chaos before, in one year became 200% more efficient and with almost zero friction and confrontation.

Perhaps we could make something on that model? Daoken 18:26, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Inter-project cooperation

I have created a banner modelled on the {{WikiProjectBannerShell}} for projects can detail with which other projects they cooperate routinely, see {{coopshell}}. Maybe this contributes to motivate cooperation between projects Daoken 21:23, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Are you implying that most WikiProjects don't cooperate? I mean, as in actively? It is assumed that everyone is working in good faith to bring articles to FA class. I guess what I'm saying is that I don't really see the point - especially since membership is not a requirement to work on articles or discuss project issues, and one can be a member of as many or few projects as you desire. What is this banner going to do that isn't being done efficiently? Girolamo Savonarola 23:38, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
Frankly I am very surprised of your reaction, mostly when what I said is obviously with the heart in assisting good faith, projects and Wikipedia in general. I don't see any place where I say that there is not cooperation, all by the contrary, I am based on the assumption that there is, otherwise which should be the purpose of the banner ?

Now think in the following two situations:

  • 1.-A new editor finds a project he/she likes and engage in membership. When going to the project page he/she sees (in the banner) that the project actively cooperates with another projects, some of which he/she is also interested. So, the new editor will also join those projects saving the time and effort in going through directories or randomly finding other projects of interest. The banner would have saved time and would have multiplied the helping capacities of the new editor in an instant.
  • 2.-An editor pertaining to a project finds an article which he/she tries to help to improve within the goals of his/her project, however he/she observes that there are also other fields needing improvement, fields which he/she has no expertise and doesn't even know which project may handle that. Simply goes to the banner of his/her own group and chances are that one of the projects listed as cooperating routinely, handles those areas of expertise, now he/she knows who to alert about the help needed.

In both cases time and wandering is spared greatly and inter-projects flow is enhanced. Now, this is what I mean. I don't see any negative point in trying, just good chances of enhancing what already exists. It is not a new model either, we have tried it succesfully in real life and intranets. Daoken 09:16, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Sounds great. It's really difficult to find related wikiprojects. My only concern is that the banner may become huge. But there are lots of related projects that don't even realise how much they overlap. I am a lemon 00:32, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Exactly how would we determine which projects "cooperate" here? As above, it is generally assumed that all projects cooperate toward the improvement of the article. I can see having, for instance, national and state projects listed, but would we be seen as saying that Wikipedia:WikiProject Paranormal and Wikipedia:WikiProject New Mexico don't cooperate if they aren't indicated as "cooperating"? Considering that there are now well over 1000 WikiProjects out there, I think the practical complications of the usage of the cooperation template would probably make it no more workable than the more commonly used one. Also, I personally think that maybe having a bit more active upkeep of the Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Directory, and maybe just links on the main project pages to the directory, would probably be at least as effective, and possibly more so, when what we're talking about are comparatively new projects that the older projects might not even know about otherwise yet. John Carter 00:42, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

I see the use of this banner as for projects which work quite routinely in collaboration, I added to the top that wording now (see {{coopshell}}). In general terms, a project who collaborates much with other, can ask them if they want to place the {{coopshell}} and include the name of the project of who is asking, offering to reciprocate in same manner.Daoken 07:40, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Project Proposal Page

It is a mess. To aid in cleaning up:

1) Could we put them in order of date rather than alphabetical? Newest proposals up the top. Old ones would drift to the bottom where they can be easily and quickly deleted.

2) Can we suggest an approximate number of articles that would require a wikiproject rather than a task force? I was thinking maybe about twenty?

3) Can we also encourage people to delete their proposals once they reach a decision either to form a project or not? There are lots in the list that sound resolved.

I have just been trying to tidy the whole list, deleting proposals inactive for over two months. In an hour, I got as far as the DaimlerChrysler proposal. Perhaps we need a task force to manage the page :-P I am a lemon 00:15, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Oh and I also put the above comment on the project proposals talk page. I am a lemon 00:17, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

And 4) Can we have a task force proposal page? There are so many things on that list that are definetly task forces, and two seperate pages would be so much easier to manage than one. Thanks everyone.I am a lemon 00:28, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Participants list

Do we really need this? Especially since we're not a proper WikiProject ourselves in the sense of having a set of articles in the encyclopedia proper - this is a meta group for advice and practice. It just seems awkward to me whenever I see someone signing up - what exactly is that act signifying? That you support WikiProjects having a recommendations and guidelines page? That you want advice? That you want to bestow it? That you are interested in the conversations? That you want to work on maintaining the guides and directories? Just seems (to me) that this is like most Wikipedia: and Wikipedia talk: pages, and it's not like there's a member-delivery newsletter. Girolamo Savonarola 02:03, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Although such a newsletter might not be a bad idea. Certainly, if we could get someone to regularly produce a list of the new projects that have developed recently, that would help. And I think, maybe, that the list is to maybe function as a list of names to contact if one has any particular matters to discuss with a particular member of another project. It clearly could be used for that purpose. But I do agree that there isn't a lot of activity by the project itself. Maybe we could start a new page here, like Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Discussion, which we could use to discuss a specific general issue at a time, like optimum project page layout and general project setup, for instance, and maybe use the discussion as the basis for some additions to the Guide or other matters. Other issues this group might be able to address include Project review, for "reviewing" inactive projects and maybe seeing how best to salvage them, if at all, and other things. Any opinions out there? John Carter 18:14, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Multidisciplinary category added

I added the category "Multidisciplinary Scope" to the Directory as it seems it was missing. I also made some updating in the directory of shortcuts, at least on those projects I am familiar with (WP:MED, WP:ORGZ, WP:TIMET, etc Daoken 07:44, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Optional footer available

There are some matters that have direct incidence on the coordinated work and efficiency of projects.

  • One is the difficulties in recruiting or better said the difficulties in finding a way to channel users with some expertise to the projects on the same field.
  • Other matter is that some users who are members in diverse projects have some confusion about how to tackle their editions when they find issues unders the scope of more than one project, they do all at once or they come with one goal and after that is finished they start another? Do they integrate all goals, and if they do this, must they comment in all talkpages of all the projects involved?
  • Still other issue is that many users join a myriad of groups and end up as "inactive" in most of them.

I created a footer that WikiProjects may use, if they want to, at the bottom of their pages, it may help to tackle those issues in an informative way. To recommend the use of this footer to be used at WikiProjects main pages, may increase spontaneous sign-up (recruitment), inter-projects collaboration and users responsible participation. See {{WPCouncilRec}}. It is an option, it may help or not but at least is available.Daoken 08:00, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

I am, in general, quite wary of putting out a template that says anything claims to make recommendations for the entirety of the council.
Beyond that, though, I fail to see the usefulness of a footer for project pages to begin with. If an editor is already visiting a project page, the recruitment process is 90% done; and certainly a link to the council page will not help in this regard. Kirill 09:19, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
The link is to the WikiProjects Directory page (where an editor can see available projects by category) not to WPCouncil. Also the editor may have come by chance or curiosity, however the footer explains why he/she should join a project and some Daoken 10:53, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Possible expansion of scope of project?

I am putting together a list of all the extant projects, with the hope of updating the project directory, and maybe getting it to conform to the ten "basic" categories as per WP:1.0, WP:GA, and other entities. I was wondering whether in the process of doing so it might be a reasonable idea to make a list of those projects which qualify as "inactive". These projects could then be listed on a separate page, and any of the more active projects which might have overlapping interest and/or might be able to expand a little to take on the "scope" of the ianctive project could look them over and try to propose some sort of merger. Then, if no such merger seems likely or useful, perhaps propose some of the projects for outright deletion. I'm thinking that doing this might give the Council a bit more to do, maybe increase membership and input, and also, at least potentially, maybe help discourage some of the proposals which have similarly narrow scope from insisting that they have to be a stand-alone project. I'm putting the new directory pages together in userspace, and don't know how long it will take to get them together, but will probably leave a note here when that's done. John Carter 15:31, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

A-Class review?

Yesterday the Biography project's A-Class review unit was asked to do an A-class review on History of Northwest Territories capital cities, which is really outside the scope of our project. Is there any way we could keep track of which projects do such review, so that we can refer people to the right place if similar requests arise again? John Carter 14:09, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Project banner redirects?

If we were to find that an inactive project whose scope technically falls within the scope of a larger project had an assessment unit, would there be any way to maybe turn the inactive project's banner into a redirect to the other project's banner, and thus move the assessment data to the new project? For some of the projects which start out in a big way but quickly die out, I think maybe this would be something useful to do. John Carter 14:12, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

From a technical standpoint, that would definitely work. The 1.0 assessment mechanism will simply process the articles as part of the over-project. Of course there's the possibility, then, that the article will have two of the same banner, but that's a pretty minor issue. -- SatyrTN (talk | contribs) 13:58, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
I would assume that, in the event such a redirect were done, one or the other banner would be removed at the same time the redirect is created. I think this would probably also only affect some of the smaller projects, many of which haven't placed that many banners in the first place. John Carter 14:06, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, the removal wouldn't happen automatically. If you replace a banner with a redirect, each article *automatically* gets the redirected-to banner instead of the old one. The individual articles would then need to be reviewed for duplicates, etc.
Another method is to get a bot to do all that automatically. -- SatyrTN (talk | contribs) 14:17, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Yet another question, again about banners

I noticed that several joint task forces have banners specific for their task force. This could actually be a functional idea, particularly if the banner automatically inserts an assessed article in the catgories for both the task forces and the multiple parent projects. It would also, I think, help reduce, in some cases, the number of banners on a particular article. Does anyone here know whether banners can be set up this way, and/or how to do it? Particularly for some of the new small projects, like Wikipedia:WikiProject Chicago Bears, having the one banner assess for both the Chicago and NFL projects as well would seemingly be a useful goal. John Carter 13:54, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

closing of Wikipedia:WikiProject Redirect

I didn't know where else to list this, so i thought i would take it straight to the WP council. I recently edited for the above project, but before listing my name as a member, I left a post on the project's talk page. This post remained unreplied for a number of weeks, before i left a few more comments. I refused to join the project at least until any of my questions were answered.

I believe this project should be closed down. The question i posed to the group of people was, "what exactly is the purpose of this project?", as i do not find it entirely clear in the project page. As well as this, there are a total of 4 members of the project none of which seem to be active, one of which is hosting a large number of sockpuppets (the founder) and another who has not listed the project at all in their userpage list of WikiProjects.

As i said, I think this project should be closed down, and then re-activated once it can be made more direct and better explained. I don't think its a case of people not being aware of the project, as it is linked to on WP:R. It seems to be hastily set up and not well organised - so i think it should be hastily shut down.

--SteelersFan UK06 04:12, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

  • Agree - I too had noticed it was basically an inactive project. A take down and revamp would be the best course of action imo

Cabe6403 04:19, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

  • Disagree - Why don't you just join and refocus the project? It already looks like you are one of the most frequent contributors to the talk page. I think it's fair if you've made comments that haven't been addressed to address them yourself, though etiquette would probably require you to join. What exactly is meant by "take down"? See my comments below. --Doug.(talk contribs) 02:30, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
In fact, you are answering questions on their talk page - contrary to your assertions there, users will get answers - from you.--Doug.(talk contribs) 02:35, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Have you read the comments I left? My reason for leaving comments was to say that no-one bothers to answer any OTHER comments. The project doesn't properly explain its focus. I don't want to do it, I would only join the project if i knew what it was about. Do you get what i mean? --SteelersFan UK06 02:04, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Deleting/deprecating? or merging of projects and problem with the template

The previous discussion brings up some questions I have:

1. MfD says in the Introduction: "This process is also sometimes used to discuss shutting down undesirable projects on Wikipedia, although this is rare and used in extreme cases only. Sometimes when such projects are shut down, their pages are kept for historical reasons." and in discussion "projects are typically marked historical and deprecated in lieu of actually literal deletion". (emphasis in original) What exactly does this mean and how do we do it?
2. Reviewing MfD it doesn't seem as rare as the page suggests. However, there is no procedure for requesting deletion of a project at MfD#Prerequisites. Is it possible/practical that this project could be notified of requests to delete projects? We should at least consider giving our opinions and/or notifying any parent or child projects, particularly when it's a question of inactivity rather than speedy deletion.
3. Can we simply merge a project into another project? For example WikiProject_portal_dynamics could be merged into WikiProject Portals rather than deleting it or marking it as historical and "deprecating" it, whatever that means. MfD#Prerequisites seems to indicate that merger can and should be done to non-articles when appropriate.
4. At WikiProject_portal_dynamics there is the tag {{inactive}}, however, WikiProject_portal_dynamics does not appear to be listed at Category:Inactive_WikiProjects, is there someone who can debug this template/category issue - or explain it.

--Doug.(talk contribs) 21:55, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

There was some discussion that might interest you at Wikipedia:WikiProject reform. Feel free to take a swipe at that and, if there's interest, I'll be glad to help. -- SatyrTN (talk | contribs) 13:25, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
That discussion seems to have died out abruptly several months back. What gives?--Doug.(talk contribs) 20:42, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

I am slowly getting together a revision of the project directory, which will also indicate which extant separate projects are and are not active. I'm hoping to create a separate page listing all those projects which are tagged as inactive, so that members of other projects could look them over and see if they could be reasonably turned into task forces. I do agree that it would probably be a good idea to have some period of at least potential discussion about what to do with a project before submitting them for MfD. John Carter 14:13, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

I notice that projects that cover a topic can get the articles falling within that topic by categories sort of referred to them, though Wikipedia:WikiProject Deletion I think. Couldn't we:
1. have the same thing happen with WikiProjects that are submitted to MfD, and
2. request a provision of the procedures on MfD be added that requests for deletion, except for speedy deletion of spam, etc., be referred here first before submitting to MfD - or alternatively that any submission to MfD for a Project include a notice posted here.--Doug.(talk contribs) 20:14, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
That was actually Wikipedia:WikiProject Deletion sorting, not clear whether that's part of Deletion or a separate project altogether--Doug.(talk contribs) 10:10, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Regarding Item 4 in my first list above, I think I didn't realize there was a second page of listings so my simple searches for text on the page were coming up null.--Doug.(talk contribs) 18:44, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Regarding Item 1 in the first list above, a look at deprecation has helped me understand that this is a technical term in the computer world, the meaning of which I was completely unfamiliar with - means something to the effect of "superseded" or "this is out of date and there is no plan to update it". To mark it one uses the tag {{historical}}.
  • Regarding Item 3 in the first list above, looking around (and not always keeping accurate notes on where I was) I find more indication that projects can be merged, but discussion that suggests that renaming rather than merger is the way to change a project into the task force of another project. I know that Task Forces are organized as subpages of project pages, so is renaming the correct procedure?Doug.(talk contribs) 02:49, 10 September 2007

Arab Wikiproject and Ahwaz-related articles

I put a WPARAB tag (for the Arab World Wiki Project) on the talk pages of following Iran articles Khūzestān Province Ahwaz Politics of Khūzestān Province History of Khūzestān Province Abadan Khorramshahr‎, which contain content relating to the local Arab population and culture. One editor has objected to this and removed the tags, claiming it was a "pan-Arab attempt to label/claim Iranian territories as part of the Arab world"[1]. Another said that the placement of the Arab League flag (which is used for the Arab World Wikiproject) on the talkpages of articles on places in Iran was inappropriate and "is like claiming a country territory".[2] I would like advice on whether I can place Arab populated places in Iran under the Arab World Wikiproject and whether doing so is a "provocative act".--▓▒░الأهواز ★ Al-Ahwaz░▒▓ 13:16, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

It has been over a week since I posted this request and I have heard nothing. Could someone tell me whether this is the appropriate place to ask these questions?--▓▒░الأهواز ★ Al-Ahwaz░▒▓ 13:12, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Make technical articles accessible

I wish to request attention for Wikipedia:WikiProject General Audience. (Even though it has a vibrant talk page, the project itself seems to be relatively dormant.) In particular, the articles on mathematics and logic in this encyclopædia seem to presuppose an above-average level of mathematical knowledge, skill or ability.

The Make Technical Articles Accessible policy is important because members of the general public may look to Wikipedia first for introductory information on various topics, and yet I sometimes find articles in my own field of expertise (which, by the way, is not mathematics) to be so technical that I lack a sufficient level of understanding to be able to improve them intelligently. 68.49.208.76 06:29, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Inactive projects

Centralized discussion
Proposals Discussions Recurring proposals

Note: inactive discussions, closed or not, should be archived.

I've started a page above which lists those projects which I have to date found which are listed as inactive. Please do not think of using the list as the starting point for a mess of MfDs, though. If you do think that these projects deserve a "second chance", or think that a project of which you are aware could successfully integrate one or more of these projects in as a task force, please feel free to propose as much. John Carter 15:37, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

John, I think this a good move, but help me understand how this relates to {{inactive}} and Category:Inactive WikiProjects?--Doug.(talk contribs) 18:31, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
Basically, I'm just taking those Projects which have, either already or by my having placed it there after reviewing the activity, those projects which have the {{inactive}} and are, I think, automatically put in the category. I think that's what you were asking, right? John Carter 18:37, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
I guess, so is it just a list of all the projects in the category? If so, what is the added value? I'm not attacking it by any means, I just don't understand the thinking.--Doug.(talk contribs) 18:41, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
One - it can potentially, probably in revised form, be a place where active projects can indicate whether they have any interest in any of these projects, and possibly discuss which active project is the better fit. Two, and this may not be a good reason, I think it might help reduce the number of separate band and TV WikiProjects if the proposers saw, on the navbar of the project, a page listing a large number of inactive projects in their same field. And, of course, after some time has passed with no proposals for merging, it might be possible, probably with an altered format, to propose the project for deletion. I do think that this group and the people who come to this page would probably be the best people to decide whether or not to delete a project, though. John Carter 20:19, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
Wouldn't the talk page for the category be just as good? It just seems like you are duplicating the efforts of categorization.--Doug.(talk contribs) 02:21, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
  • John, I can see that you have made it into more than just a list now. I don't know whether we can say that there is consensus yet, since I'm the only one who has discussed this with you here and there has been no mention of it at Category:Inactive_WikiProjects, but I am going to Be Bold! and refer people there to your page, subject to an objection by someone. So far, I notice only about five editors who seem to have a real interest in this topic, including you and I.--Doug.(talk contribs) 21:24, 10 September 2007 (UTC)


I take that back, I wasn't bold. I know of some interested parties who may not be in agreement that this discussion should be centralized on a Council page. I posted a notice at Category_talk:Inactive_WikiProjects that discussion is going on simultaneously at multiple locations, we need to {{cent}} this discussion. I do not believe there is consensus to do it here, yet, I'd like to see more people involved in this discussion than just you and me.--Doug.(talk contribs) 21:51, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure it really matters *where the discussion takes place. IMHO, here is as good as anywhere. -- SatyrTN (talk | contribs) 01:29, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
Just remember that it's going to be at least several days before the new version of the Project Directory is finished. The final info for the inactive projects won't be available until the directory itself is completed. John Carter 01:31, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
John, is the directory you you have created tied directly to Category:Inactive WikiProjects? If not, what is the plan for new additions to the category, how will you deconflict - also what happens if someone marks a Project as {{historical}} without marking it as {{inactive}} (and without letting anyone here know?--Doug.(talk contribs) 02:09, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Alright, I've tagged this discussion with {{cent}}, also the other discussions I'm aware of and updated the template to direct discussion to Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Council/Inactive_projects. Not sure of the best way to merge the relevant discussion on this talk page to that talk page, though I think that would be beneficial. Discussions on Category:Inactive WikiProjects were not well developed and don't really need to go anywhere, discussions on Wikipedia:WikiProject reform were highly developed and should remain where they are unless there is consensus to merge the whole thing - which I'm pretty sure there is not.--Doug.(talk contribs) 05:10, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Projects & "cared for" categories?

I have been looking for a list of projects that includes the categories for which each has taken responsibility - and have yet to find one. If there is such a list - could someone point me to it please! Thanks in advance... SkierRMH 18:44, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

I know of no such listing, although I can see how it might be useful as well. I'm presuming you mean the "parent" category of each project, given the huge number of total categories. Do the rest of you think that it might be useful to add an extra column to the directory to indicate what each Project's principal category is, if it has one? John Carter 18:55, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
Yes, the parent category or categories - given that there are "stub" and similar categories that are not necessarily "recursive" to the general parent category. I'd be willing to do a bit of legwork for putting this together for the directory page, but am not sure where to begin! SkierRMH 19:32, 12 September 2007 (UTC) (p.s. Hope Dejah is doing well)
Generally, the projects indicate that their articles should lie in a given category somewhere on the page. However, given that I'm right now trying to update the entire directory for all the changes in the interim, it might be a bit premature to do so now. I can try to add them to the finalized draft, though. John Carter 19:53, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Requesting help with banner

Wikipedia:WikiProject Mammals now has two work groups, Wikipedia:WikiProject Mammals/Pocket pets work group and Wikipedia:WikiProject Mammals/Weasels work group. Anyone who knows how to adjust the banner {{MaTalk}} to accomodate these groups is welcome to do so. Thank you. John Carter 16:47, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Assessment

We need to try to get the word out to more people to assess articles. So many vital articles in topics of every sort are unassessed. Assessment is the first place to start when it comes to improving Wikipedia (my approach is assess, plan, improve). More projects need to get active assessing, and more people need to download the assessment patch for their .js page, which encourages them to assess by showing an article's current assessment on the article page. It has sure got me assessing a lot more. Richard001 09:37, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Don't you think that is the responsibility of each Project? It's only because of the Projects that articles can be assessed. I don't see the importance of this to the Council. That's not to say that I don't think the effort is admirable, just not sure it's really within our scope.--Doug.(talk contribs) 00:32, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

What should I do then, run around all the projects and post the same message? I'm not very familiar with the workings of the council, but I would imagine it would work somewhat like the UN, providing recommendations and so fourth. Setting assessment goals might be one of those activities, and streamlining the process of setting up assessment schemes might aid in that, for example. Richard001 07:48, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

It's not a bad idea to post here at all, as we are also a semi-notice board for WikiProjects. What we should do is look into what methods different projects are using to encourage editors to assess articles, or see what kind of ideas we can come up with. Then we can invite projects to use these ideas. -- Ned Scott 07:57, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

One of the problems is that many projects do not have their own assessment capabilities built into their banner. I've tried requesting someone make a bot that can speed the process of setting one up, but what little response I got was just suggestions it wasn't worth while. A report or newsletter sent out to projects or just announced here would be an idea. It could cover current progress, goals and recommendations. It might be a good idea to work with the assessment team on it. Richard001 08:36, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

A bot would be problematic because assessment involves creation of categories, and in many cases subcategories, for each grade, an assessment page to the project which is generally completely optional, and a substantial degree of latitude for the various grades which a given project would use. Would a given project like to assess images, categories, and redirects as well as articles? They can, although by definition no bot can decide that. That's why they more or less have to be done on an individual basis. If you were talking about your animals draft project being set up for assessment, that presents problems as well. Wikipedia:WikiProject Mammals already probably covers the same basic territory, and has assessments. You could ask to have your banner and assessment parameters incorporated into theirs, like the Australia projects have done on pages like Talk:Sydney and with Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Sydney articles by quality statistics. That might help reduce the number of banners on a given talk page, which in some cases now number 10 or more and are receiving complaints on that basis alone. But, in general, if there is an existing project which covers "new territory" which wants to be set up for assessment, drop me a note and I'll do what I can. John Carter 13:32, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

I've set up several projects myself, usually ones I have no involvement in. It's a fairly mindless and time consuming process that a bot could easily do instead. I'm not sure what you're saying about the animals project - mammals are only a small group of chordates - which themselves are only an insignificant phylum of all animals. You're not seriously saying animals should be included as a subfield in the mammals template? Richard001 06:17, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

  • If I recall correctly, there were grumblings on WP:WVWP to do something similar, but I don't know what happened with them. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 06:56, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

WP Photography and WP History of Photography - project name/scope assumptions and should names be changed?

I'd like to point your attentiont to the discussion here first, because it's probably easiest to keep it centralized there. In short, there are two WikiProjects - Photography and History of Photography. WP Photography was created earlier, and is a project for the creation and maintenance of photographs in Wikipedia articles. More properly, it's a type of Wikipedia WikiProject. Since this name was already reserved, when some of the editors wanted to make a WikiProject to manage the articles about photography, they chose the name WikiProject History of Photography. It seemed to me that this was unnecessarily confusing, since neither project name really implied the full scope or domain of what they covered, and I did raise the issue with the projects - since I was not and am not a member of either - but it was rejected as too much fuss over too little. Fair enough. I've revived the issue again now, however, since I've seen some edits (which I presume were in good faith) by editors changing the talk page project tags from HoP to Photography because they (understandably) mistook which project covered what. Would anyone like to offer some opinions on the above-linked page as to how (if at all) this should be dealt with? It seems to me that WP Photography should be WP Wikipedia photography or WP Article photography, and WP HoP should be WP Photography. But that's just my humble opinion... Many thanks as always, Girolamo Savonarola 02:56, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

I think photography would be better for the one on photography articles. The other Wikipedia one could change its name to WikiProject Photos, photo improvement etc. I'm not involved with either though, just going on what you've told us. Richard001 07:10, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Addition of an Inactive template

While working on something for WP:ILL, I found the template Template:Active. I don't suppose anyone would know how to create a template like this for "inactive" or what to name it. Currently the inactive is only for WikiProjects that are inactive, but I would like to have one so I could add it to a table of project participants for Illinois. Would anyone be able to assist in creating this template? I suppose I could stumble through it, but the big thing is I am not sure what to name it. Thanks for any assistance you can give.--Kranar drogin 10:43, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Adding classes to the assessment scale

There have been several suggestions about adding several classes to WP:1.0's assessment scale, but adding them would be a significant change to the scale that is used on all projects, so we've been hesitant to do so. However, we're having a discussion about what to add, if anything, and we'd like everyone's input, proposals, concerns, or even flaming. :) So, please spread around the word and participate in the discussions. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 18:15, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Overlapping assessment groups

WP Films is in the preliminary stages of bringing WP Indian cinema fully into the fold as a project task force. However, there is an issue involving the assessment that I'm not certain how to deal with. WP India also claims it as a workgroup and has already been generating assessment statistics on the workgroup thru a parameter on their banner. We also have a Indian cinema task force parameter set up on the Film template. It just seems silly to reinvent the wheel, though. The question is - should the two groups each be generating what are (at least in theory) identical lists? Or should they be sharing a common assessment pile? If the latter, how can each project also transclude the results into their larger project-wide assessment? Many thanks, Girolamo Savonarola 18:39, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Would it be possible to create a single banner for Indian cinema, which would then its specific assessment categories made subcats of each of the larger project's assessment categories? John Carter 18:42, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, no - the idea is that it shouldn't be a WikiProject in its own right, since it needs to conform to style guidelines established in WP Films. Right now, I'm also looking at the Korean military history task force, which appears to be shared between WP Korea and WP MilHist - it appears that each banner has different parameters, but both serve the same purpose as far as categorization is concerned. I suppose that's the best approach? Girolamo Savonarola 18:44, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
Probably. If you can figure out how to copy the banners correctly. I still haven't gotten that down myself. And I wasn't thinking that it would be a separate project, just that it might have a special banner diaplay, like some of the Wikipedia:WikiProject Hinduism subprojects, which might also display the workgroup or other relevant project. I've never had much luck doing so myself, though. John Carter 18:51, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

SBS badly understaffed – plea for assistance

Honourable Counsellors. During the last six months, serious efforts have gone into reorganising WikiProject Succession Box Standardization (SBS), optimising the guidelines for succession boxes, and improving the succession templates. Apart from the betterment of the project and the assistance that will provide to editors, we also aim to take up major editing work and engage in organised editing of entire succession chains.

A significant obstacle in this scheme is the great lack of contributors our project has been experiencing for much of its history. Without people to help, proposals cannot be voted on, standardisation cannot be promoted, large-scale editing cannot proceed. We are moving extremely slowly, and there is the danger that activity may once again come to a standstill.

For these reasons, we request your assistance. We are launching a campaign to recruit contributors for the project, and we should like to know what ways there are to do this and whether we have forgotten any or we have indeed exhausted every available means (something which I highly doubt). It is very important that we finally get some help, as the workload is enormous and there are few Wikipedians on the job with little time in their hands. There are thousands of these boxes across the mainspace, and it is a pity that so useful navigational aids have been so conspicuously ignored by the community so far. We are attempting to change that. But we need help. Waltham, The Duke of 18:27, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm guessing the best people to contact would be the Biography project, as that project seems to be most directly associated with succession boxes. There are a few other biography related projects in the Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Directory/Culture#Biography section who might be worth contacting as well. John Carter 22:55, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
Even though contacting the Biography WikiProject was in my plans, I had not realised nearly significant it would be. I shall also look at what else I can find in the directory. Thank you for your advise, Mr Carter. Waltham, The Duke of 13:37, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Template: Project

I have noticed that there are users who are adding {{project}} to the top of wikiproject pages - I really don't see the point to that - The structures of the page as well as the title are obvious giveaways to what they are. Is this policy of the WP:COUNCIL now? master sonT - C 11:58, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Not really, I think; it's more of a general wiki-wide trend that pages need templates at the top. ;-)
(But this particular one seems harmless at worst, and might actually help first-time visitors, particularly in the case of more unusual project page layouts.) Kirill 14:28, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
I basically agree. We do seem to be developing an attitude of "lets explain everything", which I'm not sure is absolutely required, but I don't think that it necessarily is a problem, particularly for those who aren't already familiar with projects. John Carter 14:59, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
So in other words - don't worry about the ones that have them, but don't bother adding the templates to those that dont ;) master sonT - C 16:24, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
Until very recently {2 Oct) that came with the canned {{WikiProject}} recommended for use at the Guide. I notice Kirill removed it shortly before this discussion started though I'm not sure about the rationale, as when you use that template the project isn't ordinarily very "established" yet - seems like it should stay in the template and projects should remove it if and when they decide. There doesn't seem to be any good reason to go around adding it to or removing it from projects though.--Doug.(talk contribs) 21:41, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
After discussion on the template's talk page, it is now back in {{WikiProject}}. --Doug.(talk contribs) 03:47, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
It could be argued that the presence of templates at the top of a page is a visual indicator that the page is not a proper article (apart from the non-mainspace prefix in the title, which might pass unnoticed by a less observant Wikipedian). "Fix this article" templates excepted (whose nice coloured bar on the left sets them apart anyway—I was very pleased to note all these templates' recent standardisation), these boxes provide a basic characterisation and classification of the page, and unless a project has already adopted some kind of different design for its pages (like WikiProject Biography), its addition to a project's main page is helpful. Mind you, not only newcomers get confused by the massive labyrinth of the Wikipedia namespace. And not all projects accurately describe in their pages what exactly they are. And even if they do, not everyone has the time to read those descriptions.
I actually added the template to SBS yesterday. Apart from the other benefits, it adds a sense of... standardisation. And it shows that we are part of the WikiProject system. The directory of which is most helpfully linked to by the template in question. Waltham, The Duke of 07:03, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree that {{Project}} is helpful for identification and consistency, but question the usefulness of {{WikiProject Footer}} which often accompanies it. I say we keep the former and get rid of the latter. --PEJL 10:12, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject Contemporary music

Greetings dear Wikipedians. :) I have created a proposal page for the proposed Wikipedia:WikiProject Contemporary music. I’m not entirely sure I’m doing this right. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. The original proposal is at WP:COUNCIL/P# Experimental art (Proposed rename “Contemporary music”) Thanks! --S.dedalus 06:11, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

"Maintenance" Wikiprojects?

The Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Directory/Wikipedia page includes the following projects:

And the answer to the question "What's different about these two?" is that unlike every other project on the page, these two restrict themselves to a (small) subset of articles in Wikipedia.

Please move these to Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Directory/Culture/Music. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:34, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Archiving proposals

I have received a suggestion that it might be best to archive proposals on the WP:COUNCIL/P page that are over four months old which haven't yet received sufficient support to start up. This seems to me to be a fairly reasonable idea. Would any of the rest of you object to that proposal? John Carter 21:45, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

As the one who suggested it, I obviously support the idea : ) - jc37 21:47, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
Agree. Archiving closed discussions over a certain age should be considered routine maintenance. --Gadget850 ( Ed) 22:26, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
By "that are over four months old" do you mean over four months since there was a constructive comment or new member or over four months since creation of the proposal?--Doug.(talk contribs) 01:16, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Four months since creation of the proposal, provided the project hasn't already reached enough members to make a viable group (5-10). As has been indicated elsewhere, waiting too long often means that editors become inactive sicne they expressed interest or have lost interest in the topic since then, so some sort of set time period seemed called for. John Carter 01:42, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree with the idea, the proposals page is incredibly long. I think you may need to be flexible on a case by case basis though, the page instructions imply that a small group could actually be a project from that page. A small group, organized there, might actually be actively editing, coordinating on talk pages, etc. Archiving the proposal without telling them might cause them to simply re-post it. It might be a good idea to suggest to the members of old proposals that seem to meet those criteria (which assumes that they have more than one member signed up) that if they are still working on building membership they might move their "provisional project" to user space. Also we may want to post on the Guide and the Proposals page this procedure of archiving after four months. --Doug.(talk contribs) 21:38, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean regarding the phrasing indicating that a small group could be a project, so I really can't answer that. And, in all honesty, if someone does seek to repost a proposal that's already been archived, I'm not sure if there's any way we can really prevent that. If they would,however, I think I probably wound indicate to them on their own talk page that the older proposal had been archived on the basis of insufficient interest, and that they might want to ensure that the parties who had indicated interest previously were still interested. John Carter 21:50, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
That's fine, and it looks like this has been done in the past after only one month (which seems a little too soon) and no one has squawked, at least not on the Proposals' talk page. And I do see that it is actually quasi-policy, as language to this effect is on the top of the page. So clearly we should enforce what we say. Sorry for any confusion.--Doug.(talk contribs) 22:45, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
I support the motion. The available energy will be better spent on project that have a chance of proceeding beyond the proposal stage. Waltham, The Duke of 08:54, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
  • BTW, shouldn't we at least post a notice of this discussion on the Proposals' talk page? We're all likely watching both places but many who have proposals open will be watching that page but not this one, and this concept has been discussed there before.--Doug.(talk contribs) 21:38, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
See my comment above - same date/time.--Doug.(talk contribs) 22:45, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

New proposal for Category:WikiProject essays

Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2007 October 14#New Category:Wikipedia essays subcategory, Category:WikiProject essays may be of interest to people here. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 22:31, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject guidelines

We have a few events coming to a head here:

The root issue is a lack of guidance on how projects should develop and implement guidelines. I have browsed though a few of the large number of project style guides.[3] Most of these are not style guides per se, but are project-specific process guides on article maintenance or how to use categories or templates. Much of the actual style guide material I have seen duplicates material from the standard WP MOS. Most of the project guides would benefit from an application of Wikipedia:Practical process.

Thoughts for discussion:

  1. Should we create a process to define project style guides and then work to promote each project guide to the MOS?
  2. What are the criteria for a MOS style guide?
  3. Do we really want a MOS page for each project guide?
  4. Should there be a graded level where a project may have a guide approved by the WikiProject community but not promoted to the MOS?

--Gadget850 ( Ed) 23:47, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

  • I'm not sure, since essays are just one user's opinion. On the other hand, we got WP:FLAG that only belongs to WikiProject Flag Template, so that's a little questionable. Finally, the basis of an MOS guideline should just be something that's agreed to by a wider portion of the community. O2 () 00:02, 15 October 2007 (GMT)
WP:FLAG does not "belong" to WP:WPFT at all; it's a Wikipedia-wide style guideline proposal; the WPFT template on its talk page is a vestige from the initial drafting phase and should be removed. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 00:25, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
Then why does WP:WPFT have a link to WP:FLAG off the project page? --Rschen7754 (T C) 01:06, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
  • 1: Definitely need a process. 2: There aren't any defined MOS style guideline criteria; a good rule of thumb would probably be "Is it applicable to articles in general, or a very broad type of article (biographies, all articles about Japan, etc.)? If so, it might be a good candidate for integration into the MOS. If it only has very limited applicability, then it probably is not." 3: I have to day we definite do not want a profusion of new MOS subpages, nor new sections in WP:MOS which is already long. 4: I don't know what "graded level" means, but I can see creation of something like {{guideline}}, perhaps a {{projectguideline}} that indicates that the document is designated as an asserted to be a guideline, with limited applicabilty to articles within the scope of the project, and subject to be overridden by Wikipedia-wide guidelines. I'm not sure any other compromise is going to work really.
The problems as I see them are that people, often a single editor, just make up some "guideline", on how to format a Pokemon character article, or a naming convention for Lord of the Rings characters, or whatever - some very narrow topic - and (usually rightly) with the aim of inter-article consistency to aid both editors and readers. But these wannabe-guidelines are not subject to the sort of WP-wide scrutiny and input that marks a real guideline, are often disputed when outsiders ever bother to look at them, are frequently poorly written (both from a readability point of view and with regard to whether what they recommend actually makes sense), and rarely are created in a way that does not raise either direct conflicts or at least questions with regard to how this new "guideline" interacts with existing policies and guidelines. Some of them verge on WP:OWN. It's a process problem. We have good-faith editors trying to do something to solve a problem they perceive, but doing so in a way that tends to generate more (but different) problems than are solved. So we end up with a lot of pseudo-guidelines that only 4 editors care about that assert that they have the authority and the consensus buy-in of actual guidelines and this just isn't the case. Yet they have their value (when they are cleaned up anyway). The new category proposal mentioned above was a first stab at addressing this, but the comments so far at the CfD seem to indicate that some recognition is desired that they offer guidance on style and other matters and are not aphoristic in nature. And it should also be noted that the principal editors of these documents often react very negatively to "outsiders" editing them to conform to recommendations in WP-wide guidelines like MOS, leaving us with little choice but to differentiate them from WP-wide ones in authority level.
My new proposal would be that such a document be tagged with {{projectguideline}} if and when the authors of it think it is solid enough that it can be relied upon, and that they "live" in the Wikipedia:Wikiproject subnamespace. Most of them should stay this way indefinitely, with very few ever rising to the level of becoming part of the MOS, or the MOS will get so long and complicated no one will bother reading it. Most of the "Wikipedia:Manual of style ([country-name-here]) related articles" need this treatment, as do those on very narrow topics. The same should also happen with notability "guidelines" on topics so narrow that they have little chance of ever being accepted as part of the WP:N set of WP-wide guidelines, yet are useful enough as rules of thumb for members of the relevant WikiProject(s) that they should not be deleted. Basically, you can read the CfD proposal and simply invert it to favor the term "guideline" over the term "essay", with the rest of it remaining unchanged.
PS: Disclaimer: I am the principal author of two documents that would be affected by this proposal, so I have an anti-deletion bent with regard to them, and also should not be misinterpreted as hostile to the creators of such pages. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 00:25, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
Then where's the line on "narrow"? As far as I'm concerned, something like WP:MOS-ZH probably wouldn't be considered narrow, since there are lots of topics that are associated with China, and with lots of variety as well. But that's only my $0.02. O2 () 00:30, 15 October 2007 (GMT)

Note for those who don't know: SMcCandlish attempted to modify WT:ELG to follow WP:MOSFLAG. When he was reverted on the basis that WP:MOSFLAG didn't apply because highway shields aren't flags, he went to WT:MOS and now here in order to get WP:ELG demoted to a lesser category of guideline and establish MOSFLAG primacy over ELG. —Scott5114 07:15, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the civil assumption of good faith. Your description of the situation is not accurate at all. I editing ELG to conform to MOSFLAG and to MOS much more generally, and was reactively blanket reverted in every respect by editors who are wandering dangerously close to WP:OWN territory. Discussion ensued, there and at MOSFLAG and at MOS, on different but related issues. Completely independently, I noticed that someone stripped the {{Essay}} from several other documents of this sort, and the idea hit me that everyone would quit fighting about what to call these documents and what weight to give them if they were designated, categorized and located consistently, and then went to WP:CFD to propose such a solution. That proposal was met with a response that WT:COUNCIL was a better place for such a proposal, so here we are. I don't really care about ELG, and am certainly not trying to attack its existence or that (when its own editors can agree on what it should say) it should be applied to the articles it pertains to unless it advises things that do not mesh with broader consensus (which is currently the case, but fixable). I think it is simply embryonic and has had too little input, and too little thought with regard to how it interacts with guidelines that have broader consensus and more applicability. (See topic related to ELG at WT:MOSFLAG and WT:MOS for numerous comments from others that ELG has not had enough community input; I'm hardly just making this up.) I'd like to stop talking about ELG now. Much more broadly than any issues with ELG, I want to see consistent treatment of all such documents to reduce strife and confusion, and to make it easier for the community to find them so that they do get the wider input that they clearly need. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 23:21, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
Eh, now you want to get ELG to a guideline but get the stuff that "conflicts" with your MOSFLAG removed? (Highway shields are still not flags, and never will be, unless we get a roadfan state established...) That's what I read. --Rschen7754 (T C) 23:33, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm not going to address this again; we've been over this 3 times already at WT:ELG, WT:MOS and WT:MOSFLAG. If you're not "getting" that this is about consistency across guidelines, not "my guideline is better than your guideline" we're just going to have to agree to disagree and leave it at that. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 00:09, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Under suspicious circumstances and potentially with ulterior motives. And it's been addressed three times because you brought it up at those pages without bringing in all the context... forum shopping? --Rschen7754 (T C) 00:13, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Again, what's with the bad faith assumptions? I could just as easily accuse you of trolling and WP:NOT#BATTLEGROUND, but I'm trying to assume that you genuinely are having a problem with what's proposed here, rather than simply a problem with me personally. I've already explained the course this took, so anyone can see it is not forum shopping. In pertient detail: I raised wording and MOS compliance issues, and an issue with reversion without justification, at WT:ELG, and was effective told to go buzz off. I notified WT:FLAG that ELG looked to be in conflict with it, and that this would need to be resolved one way or another, and you raised the same issues there that you did at ELG, despite much of the topic being different. For completely unrelated reasons I raised "Is this actually part of the MOS?" questions at WT:MOS, and you again raised the same complaints despite the topic being totally different. I got the idea for a solution to this issue and the issue I've had with {{essay}} being deleted from similar documents, and various other problems, as a brainstorm and took that larger meta-topic to CfD and then here when CfD said collectively that it wasn't interested and that the proposal was poorly formed, so I reformulated here, and have been engaged in hammering it out into a compromise, and notified both WT:MOS and WT:MOSFLAG that the ELG-related topics there should be considered {{Stuck}} pending resolution of the discussion here. Anyone else want to call that "forum shopping"? Oh, and again you arrive bringing up the same arguments about flags vs. signs an so forth as you did at ELG, still not recognizing or willing to acknowledge that the topic is not the same. I'm really don't want to talk about ELG any more except at WT:ELG. It's simply off-topic here whether ELG and MOSFLAG really conflict and what to do about that, and WT:MOS and WT:MOSFLAG have already stopped talking about ELG. Other editors of ELG don't seem to have a problem with that. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 00:44, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Specifically, I do not want to see "topical guidelines" like USSH and ELG to be demoted to become essays, or any euphemisms of essay. I legitimately have a problem with making project guidelines such. If what you say is true, then why did you continue along the path that you did? If what you say is true, it would have been better to stop after posting WT:FLAG, rather than carry out a controversial proposal that would have been misinterpreted. --Rschen7754 (T C) 00:51, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure how much more clearly I can express that I'm not proposing a "demotion" either; I used poor essay-related wording on the first version of this proposal, but we're well beyond that now. Your last point, I don't really get. There's almost no connection between this proposal and ELG. The fact of, not the specific details of MOS-related bickering about ELG, combined with other issues not related in any way at all to ELG, like essay tag deletion, the inability to effectively maintain MOS (as expressed by Tony1 and others at WT:MOS), and so on, inspired this idea, but it is a new idea. I can live with being misinterpreted initially. I hope we are past that point now! :-) — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 01:23, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Guidelines

In reading the above, and considering that most WikiProject guidelines are in a constant state of development anyway, why not just tag them with an appropriate template (Template:WikiProject guideline as a name sounds fine to me), and just let the editors edit without another level of bureaucracy? : )

Most articles these days have an associated WikiProject template on their talk page, so there shouldn't be much confusion. And there should be nothing wrong with establishing consensus (or applying the BRD cycle). In my experience, though, WikiProject MoS changes (and MoS changes in general) come through an RfC or some similar discussion, usually following some bold action. Which is probably fine too. - jc37 07:22, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Consensus for a guideline is consensus for a guideline, it doesn't matter if it is a "WikiProject" guideline or not. If it's a small consensus, it's a small consensus. If it's a strong consensus, it's a strong consensus. If it's a matter that needs broad attention, then it should have broad attention before being tagged as a guideline. I think the problem comes with projects make guideline forks, and we end up with more than one set of advice. If anything, I think a WikiProject guideline tag would only enforce the idea that WikiProjects are not as open as they really are (or should be). -- Ned Scott 07:27, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
Hear hear. —Scott5114 07:33, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
No arguement from me. (In other words: can all the guidelines just get along? : ) - jc37 07:42, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm saying "they don't, when they are of remarkably different acceptance and input levels, but this situation could be improved by what I'm proposing". — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 23:46, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
Ned, I have to respectfully disagree with you in part. I agree that a small consensus is a consensus with regard to small matters, but have to observe that when a small consensus butts heads with a large one, it almost inevitably has to bow the larger consensus. WP:CONSENSUS says this quite explicitly. The issue I'm trying to address here is that WikiProject-generated guidelines, or quasi-guidelines or whatever we call them, almost invariably and practically by definition are necessarily "small consensuses", and that they frequently do in fact conflict with broader ones like WP:MOS, etc. (even as they attempt to be part of MOS in some cases!). I can somewhat see the point you make about WikiProject transparency and the proposed template/category name, so perhaps some other term would work better. "Topical guideline" instead of "WikiProject guideline"? I'm trying to get at a distinction between widely-applicable guidelines with massive amounts of WP-wide buy-in, and very narrowly applicable alleged guidelines with no input other than a handful of authors, sometimes only one author, and such limited scope that the community at large rarely even notices them until a problem happens.
If the editors of them were not so borderline WP:OWNish it wouldn't be a real issue, but that behavior problem is real. And no, I'm not picking on ELG in particular, as this happens all the time. See the old thread near the top of my talk page marked with {{Resolved}} and a note that I keep it around as a cautionary tale for a really egregious example: The then-WP:OWNer of the overall guideline on books actually put a vandalism user-warning template on my talk page because I dared to disagree with him and make edits he didn't like, edits that ended up being supported entirely by consensus in the long run; I couldn't make this stuff up.
I have a secondary motivation here, which is that I write "quasi-guidelines" of this sort myself, and it would be nice to have a simple and clear designation to put on them that will not cause one pundit or another come along and declare from on high "this is not a guideline", "this is not an essay", "this is not a policy summary", "this is not a [insert any other existing designation, and someone will freak out about it]". A tertiary purpose is centralizing these in the category space so that they can actually be found. They are floating all over the place. Some of them hae no designation at all and no category other than that of their authoring WikiProject. Some are declared to be part of the MOS and categorized as such despite no one who regularly edits MOS ever even hearing of it before. Some are labelled and categorized as essays, others as non-MOS guidelines, etc., etc. It's just messy, unhelpful to editors, and leads to precisely the kind of guideline advice forking being deprecated here. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 23:44, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
The vandalism template placed on your talk page was completely wrong. I saw it. O2 () 23:52, 15 October 2007 (GMT)
Jc37, I don't understand in what way your proposal differs from mine. I propose no additional bureaucracy at all, other than a subcategory, which I wouldn't really call "bureaucracy", especially as the template would do the categorizing automatically. <confused> The other issues, like whether such things should be moved to and remain in Wikipedia:WikiProject space, or whether the region/language-specific MOS subpages are "narrow" enough to qualify, are quite secondary. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 23:29, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
It sounded to me that you were also advocating a new process to go with the tagging? I think our current process(es) should be fine. And I'm starting to lean the other way on whether there should be a different template for WikiProject guidelines (see "membership" below). Are they guidelines or not? I don't think I like the idea of "minor guidelines", or some such... - jc37 23:42, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
Not proposing "levels" of guidelines, only a different template and a subcategory for those on very narrow topics or with very narrow applicability (which necessarily means limited input and what's been described a "small versus large consensus"). Tt's not a punitive idea, just an accuracy one. There would of course be cases that could go either way, and that would be resolved by discussion. I also proposed that all the regional/language MOS pages be categorized like this, because they are so narrow, but I don't have any problem at all so far with the core advice in any of them (as Tony1 has pointed out over at WT:MOS many of them have copyediting issues to resolve, including outright conflicts with MOS, but that's half the point: It is unfair to our editors to have pages purporting to be part of the MOS but in which no effort has been made to comply with the MOS. A categorization of some other kind would let editors know "Oh, this isn't part of the MOS, it's a project/topical guideline, so I should pay attention to the topical details in it and trust the MOS on wider matters"). But I'm not against those pages, nor against ELG, or any such documents that I've run across. By way of a metaphor to me it is a bit like equating an collective administrative decision about what to serve for lunch on Fridays at the Univeristy of Wisconsin cafeteria, with national US legislation. Both of them were probably arrived at by similar processes, but they do not have the same import and gravity, nor a similar amount of consensus building, nor a comparable breadth of potential impact. Contrary to what I was attacked about above, with regard to ELG, I'm am not proposing that these documents all be "demoted" out of guideline status (though some at WT:MOS have said that they believe that ELG is not a guideline at all, but a draft proposal; I tend to concur with them, but don't really care much). I intially proposed calling them all "WikiProject essays", as a point of differentiation not of "demotion", but I've been rapidly convinced that was wrongheaded. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 00:05, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Topical guidelines should be fine, however their status should be equal to guidelines like WP:FLAG. I'd also go careful about the claim that it's messy, etc, since I haven't really seen any consensus that supports it. O2 () 23:52, 15 October 2007 (GMT)
Right; I'm not talking about "status" at all, just truth in advertising, or in some senses a "gravity" distinction. The average editor, who spends no time editing WP guidelines, has no basis on which to judge the level of consensus that a designated guideline has; categorizing those with limited editorship and scope gives some basis for personally deciding how much "weight" to attach to a guideline. I think "topical" is better that WikiProject, since projects sometimes do come up with guidelines that have broad applicability. Wasn't intended as any kind of attack on Projects (I've started and still participate actively in several of them), just lack of a better term coming to mind at the time. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 00:05, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
These so-called topical guidelines should have the same weight as all other guidelines. Including in denotation and connotation. Under this proposal, that would not be the case. --Rschen7754 (T C) 00:15, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
But they simply don't, per WP:CONSENSUS and per points others raised here about "small" vs. "large" consensuses. The proposal would simply take some of the guesswork out of the matter. Rschen, it's my impression that you fear "no one will do what WP:ELG says if it is not designated part of the MOS", but there's no evidence of this in practice. Loads of guidelines all over Wikipedia are not part of the MOS and are not ignored. Please don't be emotional about this; the entire point of it is to accurately categorize a distinction between guidelines that are of WP-wide importance across potentially and often actually every single article on the system, and those that are of narrow application to something highly specific such as highway interchange tables in your case or billiards nomenclature in the case of one the ones I've written. If I thought that this would have some kind of "demotion" effect, do you think I would propose it for my own work? — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 00:24, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Maybe "weight" was the wrong word, as that can imply "levels". I like "gravity" better, like "How important is this in the entire scheme of WP things? How much priority do I, as an editor, need to assign to absorbing the advice in this guideline?" Of course editors who focus on highways or billiards will personally give more weight to the topical guidelines in their favorite topics, but editors of medieval history or automotive articles should be able to tell categorically at a glance, "These are the guidelines I most need to understand, and those are ones I can probably not read unless and until I need them." Clearer? — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 00:29, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
If a sentence was specifically added to the template emphasizing that the "WikiProject -topical guidelines" carry the same clout as the other guidelines, I would not object. --Rschen7754 (T C) 00:31, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
(I think we've abandoned the "WikiProject" part.) I don't see how this could be reconciled with what Ned Scott is saying, above and below, that sometimes WP-wide guideline do in fact trump those with only small consensuses. And I thought that we were all agreeing that we not making a distinction between guideline "levels" (which seems to me to be what "clout" would mean). Can you clarify? What is wrong with some guidelines being classified as topical, while others are not? All it indicates that that the topical ones have a limited/specific/particular scope, and (by implication) that is level of consensus may not be very broad. That's not the same thing as having a template on it saying "This is kind of a guideline, but you can ignore it because it doesn't have enough consensus yet". :-) — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 00:51, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
There is nothing wrong with that. However, to ensure that editors do not get the connotation that "This is kind of a guideline, but you can ignore it because it doesn't have enough consensus yet" that sentence is needed to clarify. Specifically, I want to avoid a situation where WP:ELG is forced to condescend to WP:FLAG (despite the topics being completely unrelated). --Rschen7754 (T C) 00:54, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Another way of looking at it. I am in no way proposing that WP:POLICY be updated to talk about policy, guidelines, and a new type, a "minor guideline" or any such notion. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 00:24, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for clarifying (even though I knew what you meant before this back-and-forth). This should be okay now. O2 () 00:36, 16 October 2007 (GMT)

To reply to SMcCandlish's comments to me, I actually don't think we disagree at all. When I said "small consensus" I was actually thinking of situations you just described, where a more Wikipedia-wide guideline does trump a smaller project one. In fact it was partly the subject of an arbcom case I was involved with, where someone wanted a WikiProject to be able to excuse themselves from a guideline in order to set their own standard. And while it's a shame when some users get ownership issues or territorial about a guideline, I think that's more of something to address with that group, rather than having another "tag" for guidelines. -- Ned Scott 00:40, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

What case? Additionally, project guidelines should carry the same weight as other guidelines. --Rschen7754 (T C) 00:44, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Naming Conventions. The problem with that idea is that not even all project guidelines are "equal" to other project guidelines. The deciding factor when there is a conflict is usually which had a more involved / known / larger discussion, or something to that effect. -- Ned Scott 00:55, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
I see nothing on that level in the principles. Rather, I see "1.2) Rather than simply list known alternatives, debate for a short time, vote, and then accept or reject by some measure, a consensus decision-making process involves identifying and addressing concerns, generating new alternatives, combining elements of multiple alternatives and checking that people understand a proposal or an argument, Consensus_decision-making#Key_principles," which implies that all consensus decisions are on equal level. --Rschen7754 (T C) 00:58, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
It does not imply that at all, and to think so is completely absurd. No offense, but you have some nerve trying to tell me what the hell I argued about for several months. If it is not clear which discussion developed a stronger consensus, then start an RfC and end the silly dispute. -- Ned Scott 01:58, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
WP:CONSENSUS doesn't seem to agree with that article; how consensus is determined in general and how it determined in Wikipedia aren't exactly the same thing, just like article writing style isn't (otherwise the MOS would simply say "Do what is recommended in the Chicago Manual of Style; the end". :-) — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 01:18, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Ned, okay, so perhaps the OWN issue is weak, but there are other rationales for creating a categorization for narrow guidelines. The main one being that certain forceful editors will not accept a {{guideline}} tag on anything that has not been through a WP:VPP proposal, won't accept a {{essay}} tag on them for reasons not well-articulated that I've seen so far, and so on, leaving no conceptual "home" for topical guidelines that have not risen the prominence of something like Wikipedia: Manual of style (Japan related topics) (which if course has a broader scope given all the .jp bio articles, than something like a billiards spelling convention guideline or one on formatting of highway exchange tables). I think what I'm proposing will help acceptance of topical guidelines, by lowering the barrier to entry, as well as help editors decide what guidelines they really need to pore over, simply by reducing the number of pages listed in Category:Wikipedia guidelines by moving some to a new subcategory, and help MOS and other guideline maintainers keep stuff in synch and help improve the topical ones but actually knowing where these things "live".  :-) — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 01:18, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

A procedural note: I am in no way trying to fast-track this. I will actually drop this discussion for a while, as I have other stuff to do (even off WP, imagine that!). It is not my intent that this be anything other than an initial exploration of the idea, and I expect it would be followed later, if it does well here, with an RFC or a new CFD proposal or a VPP proposal, or whatever. Rschen, if my good faith is not evident by the time we get to that point, then I really am doing something wrong. I'm sorry that we've argued so heatedly; it's not my intention to irk people for the heck of it, and I don't see WP as a place to argue for the heck of it. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 01:18, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

I also want to note that the proposed "Topical guidelines" category is not necessarily mutually exclusive with other such guideline subcats, like "Behavioral guideline", "Style guideline", etc. This could be handled with further subdivision (e.g. "Topical style guidelines", a subcat of both "Topical guidelines" and "Style guidelines"; coding the template to sort this way would be trivial, and I can do that myself (I'm pretty handy with ParserFunctions). So again (to Rschen principally) this is not about "demoting" ELG to no longer be a guideline or making it a "minor guideline" with less "clout". A solution like what I'm actually proposing would incidentally also be particularly handy for guideline gnomes. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 01:18, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Well, thinking more about what you said, I guess it's not a bad idea. -- Ned Scott 06:12, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

"Membership"

Ned Scott's comments above just reminded me of something that I've wanted to see discussed: "Membership" in a WikiProject.

I'm fairly active at WP:UCFD, and we keep running into categories of "friends of the WikiProject" - Wikipedians who don't want to "join". but are interested and want to help.

What the heck?

So now WikiProjects themselves are standing in the way of collaboration, or even collaborative discussion?

UGH!!

This idea of inclusivity was already killed with Esperanza (which I would have liked to see remain, but without the inclusivity). And it should be killed in the WikiProject system.

I'd like to see something clear in the council guildeines about it. And I'd really like to see the usage of the word "members" and "membership" removed. We're all participants or collaborators here, or even better, we're all Wikipedians here. No one's a "member" of some club or organisation.

I know we've used the terms in their broader sense in the past, but apparently that's just not a good idea any more.

Interested in any thoughts/concerns, as well as suggestions for implementation. - jc37 07:52, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't know the specifics of the Esperanza events, but I don't see what the problem is with a group that has a membership at will of the user and provides equal rights for non-members to join in discussion. As far as I can tell, the main and exclusive benefits of membership for the members are the ability to be delivered newsletters, be explicitly notified of large project issues, and (where they exist) vote for Coordinators. The project itself benefits by having a relative idea of whom some of their key editors are and if there is support for the project. I suspect that a large problem with the Esperanza clique was the problem that the group was doing nothing with regard to the encyclopedia itself - whereas projects only exist for coordinating editing on articles. So it's not really a fair comparison, unless the projects start to spend the majority of their time on business not relevant to editing articles. Girolamo Savonarola 12:41, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
I can see, at least theoretically, how members of a given project might somewhat automatically come to the defense of a fellow member of that project in an article dispute in a dispute with someone not considered a member of that project, even if theoretically the outsider is right in that particular instance. That could create problems in some specific situations, particularly if that project has an unusually proprietary view of articles they deal with. I have no idea how to prevent such problems from developing, though. John Carter 14:08, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
No system is perfect. Having members "sign up" has the benefits of (to some extent) getting a commitment from editors, making them (at least slightly) more likely to participate. It also (as pointed out) has the benefit of creating a list of newsletter recipients. And the inability of a proposed project to get at least five members is useful as an indicator that it shouldn't be a WikiProject at all. On the other hand, as noted, it can lead to editors to supporting one another when they should be judging things solely on their merits. Is that problem large enough to make it worth trying to change the system? -- John Broughton (♫♫) 14:17, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
Theoretically, this will develop in any group situation, though. For example, I mainly work in WP Films and we have over 100 active members (and several hundred inactive ones). However, a cursory glance at the project talk page will show that there is a much smaller collection of members who regularly participate in the discussions, many of whom communicate regularly both through the talk page and their own user talk pages. Abolishing membership will not affect this (and whatever "defenses" may arise), because the talk pages will continue as always, and that is where editors tend to meet - no one is randomly pulling names from the membership to enlist support for or against measures. Girolamo Savonarola 14:20, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
I think that looking at it as "members" versus "not-members" isn't particularly useful here. What you're concerned with is the question of espirit de corps among people who identify as part of a cohesive group (i.e. the project). While this can obviously be taken to excess, leading to an "us versus them" mentality, it is not, in its milder forms, a bad thing; projects that generate no such feeling in their members tend, in practice, not to function at all.
The real answer should be going after those specific cases where the notion of membership is somehow being misused, not killing off the concept in its entirety. Kirill 14:45, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
Indeed. As mentioned, membership status can make people feel that they are part of the group, and that they have, in turn, a commitment to it. And most people tend to sign up as members to WikiProjects that they are interested in and that they believe they will contribute to. This does not mean, however, that they are going to be there all the time; many members sign up in a lot of projects and spend little time in each because they do not have any more time to spend. And we should not forget the case of Wikipedians that are away altogether, busy in real life. For that reason, regular membership renewals can help clean up the lists (once a year, perhaps).
One more thing: apart from the usefulness of member lists to the projects (ability to communicate with project members, newsletters etc.), membership status helps members remember the existence of the project, when it is so easy to forget about things in Wikipedia's slightly chaotic environment.
To return to the beginning of this "thread", though, I do find strange the situation of having "friends" categories for WikiProjects. Either you are a member and you help, or you are not a member and you do not help. Or you do help but you make no big deal out of it. The rest is simply not worth the trouble. Waltham, The Duke of 15:58, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
To an extent, I agree. However, I have seen cases where individuals say that they are willing to work on the content, but don't feel that they will do so often enough to qualify as full members. Personally, considering how inactive several people who do call themselves members in some projects are (yes, including me in some cases), I find that ridiculous, but those specific individuals who do list themselves as "friends", "associates" or whatever evidently don't think that they "qualify" as full members, but only as "part-timers", and I'd prefer seeing their names somewhere on the page than nowhere at all. John Carter 16:02, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
I hear you there. Considering that membership carries no specific responsibilities or burdens, it seems silly to have a second-tier. Girolamo Savonarola 16:10, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Here's the link to the MfD on Esperanza:

It's very clearly concerns about "membership".

Also, there are a fairly equal number of WikiProjects which use the term "participants", rather than members. If this in anyway helps inclusivity of everyone, then it sounds like a minor innocuous change that only helps, and in no way hinders.

And if the WikiProject feels that it's important to have a "second tier" for specific work within the project, I would think that creating a task force/work group for that specific work would be the better plan? - jc37 22:04, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

You misunderstand my meaning - I meant second-tier type of member, like someone who signs themselves as "sympathetic to the project", not second-tier in the sense of content organization. In the latter sense it's the task forces which are second-tier, not their members, who are technically automatically equal members of the project by virtue of their task force membership. I think you need to look at this less as a "Membership" and more as a "Directory of Interested Editors". Which in fact may be a better title for that section. Or "Participants" if you prefer. In reality I see it affecting very little difference, but if it's going to make certain parties feel better, so be it. Girolamo Savonarola 22:30, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
I would also note that in general I think the interested parties section is not so much to indicate "second-class status" on the part of the project, as to try to give people who initially say they wouldn't do a lot of work with the project, but work on the subject, somewhere to place their name. If there are people who are shy of becoming official participants/members thinking they won't do enough work to earn that "recognition", than certainly having somewhere else for them to put their name is reasonable for the project, as it lets them know who are available for help with the articles. John Carter 22:57, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
Active, inactive, less-than-active, or whatever? It sounds like a question of how active they wish to be, rather than one of "limited membership".
Also, Directory/listing/category/whatever of interested Wikipedians/participants/editors sounds reasonable. - jc37 23:02, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

The whole "members" thing is really just a perspective on a WikiProject, and the term membership does have some problems. It was a word we used a lot when the concept was growing, but a lot of projects are switching over to saying "participants" instead. Here's how I've summarized what participants are in the projects I'm in:

Technically speaking, anyone who edits / contributes to X articles is a participant, and there are no requirements other than that. If one wishes they can further identify themselves with the project by listing their name as a participant. This helps spread the word about the project and can help other editors see what types of articles that user is interested in editing.

This helps maintain the group feeling, but also says that even people passing by are still a part of the project, because they're a part of the effort. When ever I list myself as a participants of a project, or stick a userbox on my userpage, in my mind that's a way of telling people it's ok if they ever want to bug me about project stuff, collaboration, improvement drives, etc.

At any time someone should be able to become involved with a project's task or discussion, and be on the same level playing field as others. We want people to know that, and we even want to encourage them to do that. Using "participants" over "members", while not a major issue, is one clever way of doing that. -- Ned Scott 00:49, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject Japan uses its participant page to help organize efforts in various taskforces. You can see that here. Anyone is free to add themselves to the list. There are no requirements to join other than wanting to help with related articles. There's no exclusive club. This is nothing like Esperanza (which didn't really have a focus other than being nice to people, which is good and all but doesn't really help further the goals of Wikipedia). I think the same is true for most WikiProjects: the main goal for (hopefully) all of them is to improve articles under their scope, thereby helping all of Wikipedia to become better. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 02:46, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Right. I wasn't saying that the WikiProject system was bad, just the idea of memberhsip needs semantic changing at the very least, in order to help alter what appears to be a mistaken perspective about collaboration. It's not entirely pervasive, and I would presume that we should be able to "nip it in the bud" before it does become more of a disruptive issue. - jc37 11:02, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

So, to ask for reiteration, does anyone have any concerns about expunging the word "emmber" and it's variants (members, membership, etc)?

And also, that we add something "somewhere" making it clear that all WikiProjects are open to everyone to help collaborate, at whatever level of activity that they wish to volunteer for? - jc37 11:02, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes, as I said above, "member" is a perfectly suitable word for "person who signs up as a part of the project". It's certainly better than "participant", which would necessarily constrain us to editors that actually participate ("inactive participants"?!).
I have, in any case, seen no evidence that the use of the term is commonly interpreted in some exclusionary manner. Indeed, I would say that offering "membership" is an encouragement to newer editors. When a new editor first spots a WikiProject, one of their initial questions is typically "How do I join?"; it is a natural impulse, when first encountering a group, to wonder how one might become a part of it. Hiding the answer to this behind convoluted terminology is unhelpful. And putting hurdles in the path of people trying to put their names on a list is similarly unhelpful, since membership lists (by whatever name) are extremely useful when properly constructed.
Put a note on Wikipedia:WikiProject if need be, explaining what exactly joining a WikiProject entails, if you feel the matter is not clear enough. But I am opposed to sweeping changes in terminology for no good reason. Kirill 12:31, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
There's already a strong precedent about this, though (aside from Esperanza): WP:CFD changed all of the "WikiProject foo members" and "members of WikiProject foo" to "participants" versions, with a strong consensus to do so, on the basis of the same concerns raised here. Nothing was apparently done about use of the term "members" and "membership" in templates or other pages, so what is proposed here is really just post-CFD cleanup. People would still "join" or "sign up", as participants. It isn't a "sweeping change", just a different word, that speaks to doing something instead of belonging. One good reason for this is all of the bogus "memberships" created people who do not understand what WikiProjects really are. Many noobs sign themselves up for every other project on a topic of interest to them, as a sort "declaration of allegience" or fannish boosterism, and then never do anything to help the project. This is bad for at least four reasons: It is frustrating for actual WikiProject participants, because it is difficult to determine who in a long list of "members" can actually be approached for collaboration with much hope of success. It can make totally moribund projects look like they have more support than the do (especially if one or another of the "members" edits the project page and talk page without working on articles; this makes it look like the project is active, when it is only pseudo-active). It artificially inflates the "members" lists of temporarily popular topics, leading one to think that they have strong projects working on article improvement, when in reality there is often nothing useful going on at all. And, due to the "me too" pride/envy factor, it leads to the proposal and creation of lots of fannish projects on narrow topics, that will never actually gather enough genuine participants to be particularly useful to the encyclopedia. "Participants" implies an obligation to participate, thus reducing such problems. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 17:59, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
That may make sense in theory, but I don't think most of those arguments actually stand in practice. First of all, are these concerns not in the spirit of more exclusive signups? There's nothing wrong with having a long list of names per se - maintaining active lists on a periodic basis either through re-signup or looking at if the user has been at all active are both fair maintenance metrics already in use across several projects. And productive members go unproductive and vice versa. Some may write a lot on the article space, but make very poor edits, while others may do no article editing at all, but provide valuable advice and discussion on the project pages. I agree that there is a problem of project profileration, but it appears to be somewhat under control through the more recent initiatives of tagging inactive projects, discussing proposed ones here, and consolidating some as task forces into larger projects. Are there specific instances you can cite to evidence problems with membership vs participant? Girolamo Savonarola 18:09, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Erm, CFD did no such thing; the only standardization occurred in the order of terms in category names, not in the terms themselves. Looking at Category:Wikipedians by WikiProject, it would actually seem that "members" is rather more wide-spread than "participants". Kirill 18:07, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Additionally, I think making a guideline or policy stating that you must (or even should) use "participant" rather than "member" is full blown instruction creep and should be avoided. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 04:35, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
For those who have said that they don't see any situation in which "members" causes problems, please re-read my initial statement at the top of this thread. It is setting up a situation of inclusivity, and a suggestion that there is some minimum threshhold for activity in order to be considered a "member". I consider that a rather great problem, and a barrier to collaboration. - jc37 09:19, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
{{WikiProject}} results in a "Participants" section, looks like Ned changed it from "Members" about a year ago, so many of the newer projects will say "Participants" simply because they used that template as suggested on the Guide. Interestingly, the Guide examples use "members" and the text switches back and forth.--Doug.(talk contribs) 05:37, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

To clarify the current CFD (now UCFD) concensus: Allow the WikiProjects to use member or participant as they choose, but if they show no preference, use participant.

However, in a recent group of rename nominations, we discovered problems such as I've noted above. Which has prompted this thread. - jc37 09:19, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Right (to Jc37 and Kirill); I misremembered the CfD debates! Thinking back I do now recall that you're right, that the order of terms was made consistent, but the exact terminology issue did not quite reach consensus. I seem to recall that it was fairly close to reaching consensus on "participants", and perhaps the issues pointed out by jc37 would swing that if the issue came up again at UCFD, I dunno. I can't agree with Nihonjoe that its an instruction creep issue, if there are genuine problems, and they can be traced in whole or in part to the use of "members". The fact that it's come up here and a XfD so much suggests strongly to me that the problems are real enough that it's not WP:CREEP. "Always call your project's parent/child/related-projects section 'Related projects'" would be instruction creep. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 08:45, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
After reviewing the whole discussion, I have reached the following conclusions:
On one hand, concerns have been voiced about the trends of increasing inclusiveness as far as WikiProjects and the Wikipedians connected to them are concerned. On the other hand, there are worries about false listings of editors as contributors in WikiProjects, that create misleading impressions about the prosperity of said projects. One would expect those two to cancel each other out and make the problem disappear. (Hehe.)
Seriously, though, the situation is not that far from this. I mean, I do not really believe there is an actual problem here. The system has worked rather well so far, and I should simply propose that we contact those "friends" and tell them that being a member of a WikiProject does not any entail any specific responsibilities. After that, most of them will probably either sign up or decide they are not interested in something like this—in any case, the "second tier of membership" will disappear sooner or later and so will (I hope) any reason to continue this discussion.
Now, even though both terms can be used more or less interchangeably, I do prefer the term "member". Basically, I mostly agree with Kirill: using "participant" tends to seem paradoxical when one does not actually participate. On the other hand, being a "member" both indicates that one is a part of the collaborative effort that a WikiProject represents and it further shows that one belongs to a group, as opposed to separately from the others working towards something, even if that would be the same thing. After all, it is the semantics people are looking at here, and "participant" gives me the impression of something temporary. Which I do not welcome in the least.
PS: I have just changed the introduction of the "Members" list in SBS to this: This is a list of editors interested in contributing to this WikiProject and/or succession boxes in general. If you would like to join, please put your name in the list. You may add a brief statement. I believe this is fairly clear as to its purpose, which is to provide us with a list of people in the succession box business, any one of whom can partake in project activities. Waltham, The Duke of 07:58, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Word

If "members" is bad, and apparently there are grammatic concerns about being an "inactive particiapant", I'm open to ideas for another term, then. (How about "Wikipedian participants", that may fix the grammar issue, at least partially...) - jc37 10:45, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

As I have said, I prefer the term "members". However, if we were to choose a completely different term, I would go with "affiliated Wikipedians". It implies both a connection and an interest, and it does not create grammatical paradoxes.
Still... Have I mentioned that I prefer "members"? Waltham, The Duke of 12:42, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
I go with members as well. Unless someone can find a name used elsewhere for members of projects. John Carter 13:37, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't think this is as important as some seem to think. Many projects use "members", others use "participants", as long as no one is making "members" into something "exclusive", and I haven't seen any evidence to that effect, who cares?--Doug.(talk contribs) 20:51, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, as long as "membership" is self-selected, it's utterly unimportant what we call it.--Father Goose 22:09, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Taskforces

This is in reference to the recent move of Indian cinema project to be a subpage of the Films project. Prior to the move, the project was a taskforce of India and Films projects. The reason given for the move was for a "for greater coordination". I feel taskforces can remain independent WikiProjects while acting like taskforces of various parent projects. There is no driving need to make them sub-pages of a specific parent project. I would like some guidance on how taskforces that are shared by multiple projects need to be structured. Thanks, Ganeshk (talk) 03:23, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Comment What is the point in a seperate wiki project for it? just what does this gain when we can have articles assessed properly? ♦ Sir Blofeld ♦ "Talk"? 12:38, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Assessment for the Indian cinema was implemented as early as October 2006. Films has recently updated their talk page banner to populate the same categories that Indian project banner was using. Assessment can happen irrespective of the project location. Regards, Ganeshk (talk) 03:28, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
And will continue to. No one is moving to shut down the WP India assessment. However, it might be more resource-mindful if the WP India banner edited its categorization in order to render identical categorization to the WP Films banner. This is something that we already do with WP MilHist for the War films task force, and it allows the statistics to be drawn from the common categorization tree. Girolamo Savonarola 04:30, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
I was involved in the move, which had consensus, all from editors actually working within the project. There is absolutely nothing which prevents WP India from using the taskforce as well, much as it has been done with Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Indian military history task force. Girolamo Savonarola 03:32, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
There was absolutely nothing that prevented WP Films from using the Indian cinema project page as a taskforce without actually moving it to a sub-page. Can you please provide any good reason why the taskforce should be a sub-page? Regards, Ganeshk (talk) 03:40, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Task forces, by (pretty much universal) convention, are located on a sub-page of their parent project (or one of their parent projects, in the case of joint task forces). You're confusing "task force" with "sub-project" here, I think. A task force, by definition, doesn't—and shouldn't—operate as an independent project; the entire point of the task force model was to go from having little projects to having semi-autonomous—but not independent or self-supporting—groups within larger projects.
(There may be a valid question as to whether something should be a task force or a separate project to begin with; but that's an issue for the editors participating in the group in question to resolve.) Kirill 03:57, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I do understand the definition of taskforces. My question was only related to taskforces that are shared by multiple projects. I don't think it is right to move them into a sub-page of one parent project. The move alienates the taskforce from other parent projects. For all practical purposes, the project can be left alone and shared by both the projects. The move was purely cosmetic. Regards, Ganeshk (talk) 04:17, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
There is absolutely nothing that prevents WP India from continuing to link to the task force as if it were its own through the WP India sidebar. As always. If the move results in the task force being alienated from WP India, it will only be from WP India's refusal to continue to link to it. And there is no evidence that locating the task force within its parent topic project instead of parent region project causes these claimed problems. WP:MILHIST, anyone? Girolamo Savonarola 04:23, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
WikiProject Japan has a few taskforces that are jointly operated: Japanese baseball, Districts and municipalities, and Japanese military history. They vary in how they work, so it should give you a few ideas. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 03:33, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
And as can be seen from these, the task forces about geographical issues (districts and municipalities) are located within the geographical project, while the task forces about non-exclusively geographical topics (baseball and military history) are located within their topic projects. Girolamo Savonarola 04:27, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't know that that is necessarily true across the board. That's just how it happened in this instance. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 05:25, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
The project had undergone significant atrophy including the loss of leading editors due to inability to marshall up fellow members to help resolve conflicts, the entirety of the project is already within the domain of WP Films guidelines and style conventions, there was no effort to tag articles with the Film banner, we did extensive reworking of the project template and structure in order to accommodate national task forces, much as WP:MILHIST has, and most importantly - the editors gave consensus. Its continuing to function as a task force within a psuedo-project space prevented adequate editorial cross-pollination from the two parent projects, most notably in regards to discussion, and led to poor project organization of basic tasks. Eventually leading editors like Zora left due to frustration with the project's inefficiency and inability to deal with common issues like POV, OR, and MOS because of lack of support structure. Which is precisely what WP Films is designed for. And I find the disregard for editorial consensus on this matter disturbing. I don't seem to recall WP Films ever claiming that WP India wouldn't continue to operate this jointly with Films, regardless of the location. Again I mention the Indian military history task force as an example of how this has worked effectively already. Girolamo Savonarola 04:08, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Regarding the consensus, I don't see a formal discussion that happened on the project page. The entire discussion was copy-pasted in a single edit here. Subsequent edit cleared out a question about a need for a move. And there were no responses for my comment. Is this how you gain consensus? I thought gaining consensus meant giving people choices and letting them decide. The choice would be to stay as a independent project or to move to a sub-page. I did see couple of members questioning the reason for the move, but I don't any see replies at all. This shows desperate attempts to get to a end-result of a project move. Nice manouevering indeed. Regards, Ganeshk (talk) 03:28, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
I did not start that conversation, but I quickly moved it to the project space and left it there for two weeks. Your comment had been answered in the prior discussion and remains answered: this will have no effect on its interaction with WP India adversely, but its integration as a task force will enhance the support structure of the project while reducing project admin overhead. Quite frankly, it seems that you're being overly-territorial at the expense of the greater interests of both parent projects. And to my knowledge, you do not spend much time on this task force, whereas the consenting members are regular editors, which is relevant to consensus as well. One oppose from many supports does not equal no consensus. I do not appreciate the filibustering, and would be much more grateful if you would rather sit down with us at WP Films so that we can ease your concerns about the transition. Girolamo Savonarola 04:37, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
I have no intention to revert your project move. I brought this to Council's attention since I see this being a continual problem. The Council should provide a guideline for handling these cases. Moving a project to sub-page of the topical project may not always be beneficial as SMcCandlish mentions below. I am sure this would not be the last time Films hears from other projects about these project moves. You are doing a great job getting the Films project organized. I wish you all the best. Regards, Ganeshk (talk) 04:56, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
I first must apologize if I came on too strong in this discussion; it was mainly a reflection of my frustration on what's now been over a year of working to complete this move. (Most of that time spent studying other WikiProjects and then renovating WP Films - particularly its banner and assessment process.) I appreciate your concerns and do believe that they are genuine and have future relevance. That being said, I also believe that this will be a much larger issue as the task force concept (and the merging that forms a significant percentage of them) continues to gain momentum. Girolamo Savonarola 05:11, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
Kind of an interloper comment, as I've studiously avoided this topic for over two years: In theory all small project can be merged into bigger ones as taskforces, but in reality this isn't workable, because of human focuses on topics of interest to specific human beings. For example, an argument could be made that WP:CUE should be a task force of WP:SPORTS and/or WP:GAMES. But the fact of the matter is that the active editorship of WP:CUE outstrips that of either, and next to none of those editors have any interest in working on sporting or gaming articles and their collective issues as a whole. Even more to the point, it has been suggested (though never formally proposed) that WP:SNOOKER merge as a task force into WP:CUE, since snooker is quite obviously a cue sport. Yet this would be an unmitigated farce. It's a "never the twain shall meet" situation, this developmental history of the games be damned. After almost two years, the only editor in all of Wikipedia, to my knowledge, who edits both sets of in-scope articles is me, and I only do it for gnomish consistency stuff. Snooker fans do not care in the least about pool or carom billiards and only in the dimmest, vaguest way have any concern about articles on English billiards; meanwhile, WP:CUE active editors care either about pool, or carom, or sometimes both (more than I would have thought) or, rarely, the history and interrelatedness of billiards-family games in general including snooker (I think that third category consists, WP-wide, of me and two other editors, and I am the only one of the three that actually edits snooker articles). The interests simply do not align, period. Other differences of note are that WP:SNOOKER rapidly produced player infoboxes and other things I would call "editing tools", while WP:CUE has taken a far more structural approach, with a focus on categories and identification of articles in need of expansion and articles in need of creation. Someone utterly unfamiliar with the topics would say "oh, well, of course, just combine forces and those of you, the snooker people, who are into making templates and creating year-by-year articles on statistics can focus on that, while those of you, the cue sports generalists, can focus on categorization, style, and other overarching matters, and fluffy bunnies will flourish throughout this fertile land". Not gonna happen. The entire nature of snooker interest/fandom is radically different from that of pool/billiards. The former is far more akin to that of baseball, with a focus on statistics and names. The latter is more like physics or archaeology, with a focus on theory and practice. Snooker, in the UK and some other countries, is a huge sport, and attracts a biographical and statistical editorial focus, while pool and (to the extent it gets covered at all) carom billiards, especially three-cushion, attracts an editorial focus on rulesets, organizations and events, with only the very cream of crop of players getting bio articles above the stub level. I am very skeptical that other such disjuctures don't occur, with frequency. Just because a category-namespace arrangement makes sense (in which snooker is a subcat of cue sports, in turn a subcat or sports) does not mean that it logically follows that a topical "parent-child" quasi-relationship can be extrapolated into a project-taskforce relationship. I strongly suspect that failing to recognize this will simply lead to either the near-instant death of a number of active and semi-active projects that are small and focused (though not always remarkably productive). In some cases the Big Project and Little Project into Bigger Project and Littler Taskforce change make sense, and in others it doesn't, while the difference is often completely invisible to those not on the inside of both of the to-be-affected wikientities. Apologies if this is too "meta" for the topic at hand, but I've been meaning to get into this for over a year and the opportunity finally presented itself. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 08:47, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedians are free to contrbute at whatever level of activity they wish. So even if some task force is attached to a WikiProject, that doesn't mean the members of the task force need to concern themselves with contributing to the parent WikiProject if they do not wish to. They can expend all their energy upon tasks of the task force, and be doing just fine, I presume. - jc37 10:56, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
As for saying the move was purely for cosmetic reasons what a load of rubbish. Giro has stated very clearly to many of the editors of the Indian cinema project that are actually active that such a move would be beneficial for assessment purposes and he most certainly wouldn't have made a move without consensus. All that has changed is the name slightly when it still has the same function. Sorry but hands down I'd rather people put in the effort in assessing or improving articles rather than constantly opposing things. The most important thing is that these articles are assessed and have some kind of control to improve things fully. Forgive me if I'm wrong but the Indian cinema group whilst having a handful of excellent contributors was not well organized at all and many articles were suffering as a result . This is the best news for Indian cinema since the Bollywood blog images ♦ Sir Blofeld ♦ "Talk"? 12:44, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

TV series - WikiProject or Task force?

(Moved from the proposals talk page.)

The header says it all. Should a TV series be a WikiProject or a task force? See also Wikipedia:WikiProject_Television#Show-specific_projects_and_taskforces. Just from looking at that link alone, I think that we should at least move all the project proposals which are about TV series to the task force section. - jc37 00:34, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

It could be either. The benefit of being a taskforce is that you may find more people willing to work on a project simply by it being more visible as part of a larger project. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 04:43, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Except that that's not what I'm reading at the link above. Could you clarify? - jc37 10:45, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Naming and scope of projects

At Wikipedia talk:WikiProject U.S. Roads#USRD scope there is a discussion about no longer covering all articles on U.S. roads under the project. How should this be implemented? Does there need to be a clear statement of scope, and should the name be changed? --NE2 13:58, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

The scope of a particular project should be decided by those participating. There is no set way of doing it other than discussing it there and coming to a consensus among the editors participating. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:14, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
The only thing I would add is that it generally works best if a given project decides that a given category, with subcats, should include all their articles. What category that might be, and what the criteria for inclusion in a given cat should be, is of course open to discussion. John Carter 01:27, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
But then does it have to be stated clearly, so those tagging can know what to tag? --NE2 11:19, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

It appears to me that the discussion you reference *is* about changing the project scope. I would think that if consensus is achieved, then the scope outlined on the project page would be updated. I would also think that changing the project name would also be achieved by consensus of the participants, but changing the name is not a step to be taken lightly. --Gadget850 ( Ed) 11:29, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm concerned that people are not clearly defining the new scope. --NE2 13:11, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Appropriateness of new proposal?

Just curious as to whether the rest of you think that the projects proposal page is the right place to discuss changing existing policy, like at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals#Trivia and In popular culture. Thank you. John Carter 20:57, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Sounds like a fantastic MfD candidate, as forum shopping. I'm taking it there myself. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 01:26, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
The MfD has been misinterpreted as an attack on all trivia/pop-culture material <sigh>. Anyway, it is active if anyone wants to comment, either way. I've tried to make it clear that "delete" and "keep" are not the only valid outcomes (versus "cleanup to stop campaigning" and "merge"). — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 08:48, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
I for one haven't assumed the MfD is an attack on trivia, just a misapprehension of what the project is actually about. The project as implemented has taken a very different form from the ill-conceived proposal linked to above.--Father Goose 02:06, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject History and child projects

I've noticed some history projects with very small scopes. I'd like to propose turning these smaller projects, mainly the ones focusing on particular regions or countries, into task forces of WikiProject History. I've proposed this on some of the project talk pages but they get so little traffic that my comment is unlikely to be replied to in a timely manner. The main ones that could be absorbed are the following:

I need advising on whether this is a good idea, and how I would carry it out--Phoenix 15 (Talk) 20:33, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

  • OK, well first, you know that I already have a position on this because I've already taken a position on this at both Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject European history, and Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject History and there is a proposed merger of the European History Project and one of the History task forces which has been posted for only about 24 hours. I wouldn't say, I'm biased, it's just that the discussion keeps moving. That being said, what's the hurry?!! You started a major edit of the Project on 14 October. You started deprecating projects without discussion a few days ago. Your task forces, which you were deprecating in favor of, have bare bones pages and don't even have their own talk pages. Some of these projects are quite established and have detailed project pages. Give this process some time! A joint task force arrangement has been proposed BUT NOT YET DISCUSSED at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_History#Related_projects. Why hasn't there been any discussion yet? Not because there's no interest, but because the idea was mentioned only about 4 hours before your post here. I don't have any problem with you asking the Council for suggestions, even though it could be seen as asking the other parent, if you would just hold your damned horses about this process. Joint task forces may have merit - in the same vein as WP:MILHIST, then again, the existing projects may wish to remain on their own. You're proposing a major change. You probably wouldn't get so much resistance if you had started out by asking instead of rushing in and changing everything. Soliciting advice from Kirill would make sense based on his experience at WP:MILHIST and the projects are obviously more than slightly related. Deprecating a project page without notice does not make sense. But based on your above comments, before you go any further, please read WP:DEADLINE, WP:PANIC, WP:CHILL. I realize they are not policy, but they are very much on point, call me an Eventualist if you wish.--Doug.(talk contribs) 21:37, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
    • While I do not disagree with the above comments totally, I do think that, given the fact that several of these projects are inactive, those projects might make reasonable task forces. Upon further thought, however, I think WP:AZTEC might work better as a subproject of Wikipedia:WikiProject Former countries than the history project. And while it wouldn't be out of line to go ahead and propose these projects be merged, I agree there really isn't any rush yet, although it would be useful to work with some speed regarding the inactives so that the relevant articles don't get tagged for one workgroup only to have to be tagged later for another, more specific one. John Carter 21:45, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
      • This would be best discussed on each project talk page and on the History talk. An inactive project should be adopted by an active project, but activity can be relative. I think WP:AZTEC was being adopted by WP:MESO. Cold War would probably work better under WP:MILHIST and Soviet Union under Former Countries, but that should be taken to the project talk. --Gadget850 ( Ed) 22:27, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
Doug, I proposed it here simply because of the extremely small traffic that most of the listed projects talk pages get. Also, your accusing me of not having enough discussion. The reason I posted here was to generate more discussion. I added the deprecated template to the European history project's page because I didn't think there'd be any objection. When there was, I proposed it properly.
The only reason I'm working so fast is because I've got nothing else to do and there's no point sitting around doing nothing. I'm certainly not panicing and I haven't set any kind of deadline.
I'm not "rushing in and changing everything" either. As I said aboe,, I added a deprecated template to one page because I didn't think there'd be an objection--Phoenix 15 (Talk) 17:10, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

A-Class reviews

Based on my own experience with the Biography project, there may well be more articles seeking A-Class review than there are reviewers for all the projects which would like to offer such review. What would the rest of you think of perhaps trying to create a special group of cross-project reviewers who could provide such reviews? It might be the only way for some of the less popular projects to get enough reviewers to keep the reviews active. John Carter 15:52, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

It sounds alright in theory, but isn't it a bit quixotic? Let's get together a group of people, who could be helping with FAC, to review articles in depth in order to approve them for a classification which is supposed to be "essentially ready for FAC"? Girolamo Savonarola 10:53, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, it does. Unfortunately, when we have as many projects doing A-Class reviews as seem to want to, the options would seem to be to either scrap the reviews or maybe try to ensure that there are enough people to perform them. Maybe it would be possible to make FA review itself function for determination of both A and FA status. That might be the best available option. But, until then, we probably will continue to face backlogs in reviews for several projects, which probably won't be easily solved by the projects themselves. Personally, I'd like to see as many projects have A-Class review as possible, and one of those two options might be the only way to get enough people to make that a real possibility. John Carter 13:04, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Personally I'd propose just renaming the GA process as A-Class and killing several birds with one stone. (shields himself from flying rotten fruit and veg) Girolamo Savonarola 13:17, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
If they could be gotten to agree to it, I wouldn't have any objections whatsoever. So, anyone willing to volunteer to ask them? I'm not sure if I would necessarily be the best person to do so, given that I've never really had any involvement with them before. And I hate rotten tomatoes. Yeck. John Carter 13:20, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps. Maybe we could just set up a club similar to WP:HEC that makes the members do one peer review a month--Phoenix-wiki (talk · contribs) 15:27, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
I tend to agree that merging A and GA class would be best in the long run. GA standards have risen a lot since it first started, and it's now sort of a mini-FAC. On the other hand, A-class articles are often assigned by relative newbies with no formal review. If we think of classes as letter grades, FA, A and GA would basically be A+, A and A- respectively. I think it's a bit excessive to have a separate review process for all three. Richard001 20:56, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
That sounds like a good idea to me as well. There are few enough reviewers, without spreading them over more projects than are really justified. As Richard001 said, the GA standard has risen a lot, and is continuing to rise with initiatives like the GA sweep. A merger between A and GA that manages to preserve the best features of both (and I suppose by definition eliminate the worst features of each) can surely only be a good thing for the encyclopedia. --Malleus Fatuarum 21:40, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
I think merging would be best. With the semiformal review process of GA producing a much more standardized body of quality work than the rather ambiguous A-class rating, and the fact that many articles step directly from GA to FA without a real rating as A-class, I think A is a completely superfluous rating. VanTucky Talk 20:46, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Merging A and GA has been discussed many times before, and rejected, because it combines two fundamentally different processes. While we sometimes view the Stub-Start-B-A system as fitting in with the GA-FA system, in practice they are quite dissimilar. The GA and FA processes are community-wide approval processes and they tend to focus primarily on compliance with policy, guidelines (e.g. Manual of style) and good style. By contrast, Wikipedia 1.0 devolved Stub-Start-B-A to WikiProjects, because the improvement of articles from stub class is primarily a content issue, and specialist WikiProjects are best placed to assess and improve content.

This may not be so obvious in a hugely broad WikiProject like Biography, but it is completely transparent in specialist subjects such as mathematics, chemistry and medicine. (It could even be argued that Biography should not be assigning its own Stub-Start-B-A ratings to the 300000+ articles within its coverage, but instead facilitating the interaction, on biographical articles, between WikiProjects and the GA-FA system — especially as the project doesn't appear to have any more active contributors than a project like mathematics which handles about 5000-15000 articles.) A class is crucial because it provides advanced content review. How can FAC possibly decide that Equipartition theorem is verifiable? Okay, it can check that each substantial claim is cited, and that the Scientific citation guidelines have been followed, but can it check that each cite really supports the claim? No, that requires expert input, and only WikiProjects can do that. Comprehensiveness of an FA is an even more obvious example. Who says that the article on Archimedes is comprehensive? It is the fact that relevant WikiProjects have rated it A-Class that reassures FAC that it is.

If you take article assessment away from WikiProjects, you remove a crucial check of content (including issues of verifiability and comprehensiveness). That would be a big mistake. Geometry guy 21:26, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure anyone was talking about "taking" it from the projects. What would be more accurate would be to say that, at least I think I was proposing, that we perhaps set up a system so that articles get more reviewers. Certainly, to at least a degree, someone who knows grammar, regardless of the subject, could review an article for that particular aspect. I wouldn't think to try to assess a GA/A class article on, for instance, Arachnid genetics, because I know nothing whatsoever about the subject. I could however comment on the general grammar involved. Just as an idea, would anyone object to having a multiple inclusion type system, where we could transclude the request page into multiple review processes? That would allow, for instance, an article that deals with a general subject to get review at least input from multiple groups, thereby probably reducing the "burden" on the specialist reviewer to comment not only on the accuracy, reliability of sources, etc., but also the grammar, punctuation, and lord knows what all else. Possibly a system requiring at least two reviews, one general, one specialized (if applicable - some articles may not have any clear "specialties" involved)? John Carter 21:37, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but there isn't much point in doing that, because grammar and punctuation already get extensively reviewed at GA (esp. GAR) and FA. The current system already provides specialist and generalist reviews, only it doesn't quite admit that. Geometry guy 21:58, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
I think that I struggle to see how A class fits into the present hierarchy - a problem that I also have with the peer review process, although that's another story. The inevitable conclusion to be drawn from Geometry guy's argument is that no article should be nominated for FA unless it has been already assessed as an A class is it not? I'm not saying that I either agree or disagree with that idea, I'm just trying to understand what the issue is here. --Malleus Fatuarum 21:41, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Well, if FAC can judge an article's verifiability and comprehensiveness without expert input, then A-Class reviews are not needed for the FAC of that article. Often the FAC attracts experts who will testify to these issues, but not always. However, in any case, FAC demands a lot of an article, and it is often valuable to know about the quality of the content without approving that every aspect of the manual of style has been followed. Geometry guy 21:58, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
The fact remains that the scale goes Stub-start-B-GA-A-FA. A-class articles are often awarded by inexperienced editors with no discussion about it, so unless a formal review process is enforced the argument presented for keeping it is pretty weak. And why shouldn't a specialist have to review GA/FA candidates? As Malleus points out above, FA class articles need never have been A-class beforehand. I've removed A-class from several articles myself, often articles I know little about, because they are clearly not up to that standard. If you want to argue that GA and FA are separate from the other classes you need to remove them from the regular assessment system, such that it simply goes stub-start-B-A. GA and FA would then be awarded separately with a different template, such that an article would be, e.g. an A or B-class good article, or an A-class featured article. Richard001 22:07, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
I think that sums it up pretty well. The present scale does not seem to be well-formed. --Malleus Fatuarum 22:12, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
The reason it does not seem well formed is that a single Stub-Start-B-GA-A-FA is wishful thinking, possibly even a delusion. Stub-Start-B-A classes are assigned by individual WikiProjects, and it is perfectly possible for different WikiProjects to have different opinions. Community wide input is only inserted at the GA and FA levels (and at Wikipedia 1.0 itself for release versions). For example John von Neumann is somewhat weak on his mathematics, so the mathematics WikiProject is perfectly justified in assigning a lower rating than other WikiProjects. On the other hand, as this is not a GA, the Biography WikiProject only accords the article B-Class, even though it is much more developed than most B's. WikiProjects vary in how carefully they control their A-Class reviews, and I've no doubt that some are poor. But if anyone has removed A-Class from WikiProject banners, I hope they have consulted the WikiProject concerned, because these are Project-specific ratings.
And, yes, Good articles and Featured articles are already awarded separately with a different template, which has nothing to do with the WikiProjects. I think the systems should be completely orthogonal. At mathematics, for example, a GA-Class article is simply a Bplus-Class article which is also a Good article. Geometry guy 22:32, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
There is no way (IMHO) that the A and GA should be merged. G-Guy has stated my opinion as well as I could. Although I accept that in most cases GAs would also make A-Class and vice versa, but for myself I would strongly oppose any merger. In chemistry we have a few A-Class articles - reviewed by at least three people from WP:CHEM, and we keep them as long as we think they are complete articles. A couple have failed GA (for lack of inline citations), but in terms of content we consider them pretty much complete. Once or twice we have seen people from outside the project reassessing our articles, but often these changes are reverted for the reason G-Guy pointed out - though of course sometimes they may spot something wrongly assessed. I accept that the Biography project is a special case.
The answer is simple: We need each WikiProjects to set up its own peer review scheme, and then get it to work. I think this could provide a wonderful stream of potential FAs, boosting the quality of the entire Wikipedia. The difficult question is, how can this be done? Walkerma 23:52, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Many WikiProjects already have a peer review mechanism, for example Wikipedia:WikiProject Video games/Peer review (which is separate from Wikipedia:WikiProject Video games/Assessment). However there is no system for approving A-Class article currently implemented. I'm curious how you would suggest going about this. In a previous attempt at the VG-assessment page (scroll to the bottom), I implemented an A-class vetting system. However, it was eventually discarded due to lack of participation. JACOPLANE • 2007-11-4 00:06
That's not a universal experience among WikiProjects, for what it's worth. ;-) Kirill 00:08, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
I know that poor participation is a common problem - we have the same problem currently at WP:CHEM - that's why I used the word "difficult". As Kirill points out, it does work well here, in a large, active project. Could this be replicated at other projects? I don't know. Low participation is a general problem, also seen in many Collaborations of the Week, Article Improvement Drives, Peer Reviews, etc. It doesn't mean these things are a waste of time - it means we need to find new ways to get people engaged. I've been very impressed with how WP:GA has got lots of reviewers working actively together - are there lessons to be learnt there? I don't have the solution of how to get this to flourish, but I'm hoping others have - and I really think it's the only way to go. Walkerma 03:22, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Geometry guy, you are trying to argue that GA and FA are somehow delinked from the rest of the classes, yet as WP:ASSESS clearly shows, they all fall as part of a single, linear scale. An article is either an A class or an FA class, a B class or a GA class - not both. The exception is with GA class, which can also be A-class (but not B). But A-class articles are still better than GA class articles, or at least supposed to be according to the scale (I suspect it's probably the other way around). If you want your argument to make sense, as I've said, you need to get those two ratings removed from the linear scale and 'orthoganize' it.

As for removing A-class ratings, I see no reason to consult with a WikiProject to remove something I can see is not A-class. Similarly, I see no reason to join a WikiProject before attempting to assess an article (though I generally avoid GA and higher calls). Would it really make any difference if I added my name to a WikiProject list before assessing it? Richard001 07:14, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Indeed, they are separated from the rest of the classes. Why is that? Because the SSBA system and the GA/FA system have two different purposes. One is trying to verify the content of an article, and the other one is focused to verifying the style and prose of the article. Both of them measure different dimensions of quality, as stated previously by Walkerma. The reason FA and GA are there is essentially as pegging points: Essentially something that meets A-Class status requires minor or no massaging to become a GA, so it should be higher than the GA level of the scale; the reason FA is above A-Class is because WP:WIAFA includes a "comprehensiveness" criterion, which is similar to the purpose of A-Class. Both GA's and FA's placement are general guidance, not policy, ergo there is no real need to remove those levels from the scale. They have proved to be useful in the majority of cases.
Removing A-Class from an article for cosmetic reasons will be frowned upon, whether you have your name on a member list or not. Removing A-Class from an article that has been previously assessed by several editors using some sort of review mechanism is also controversial, unless you really are convinced that something is lacking in the content of that article. Likewise, adding A-Class to an article purely for cosmetic reasons defeats the purpose of A-Class reviews. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 08:12, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
There is only one meaning of the word quality. If an article has bad grammar and a one sentence lead, it's not A class worthy, and GA and FA articles are supposed to be excellent all round, not just nicely written with good grammar. Trying to divide the system up like that is completely artificial. If you believe that is how it is, a note should be added to the assessment page to explain that though it appears to be a continuum, it actually isn't at all. Richard001 09:00, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree with that. There are no "different dimensions" to quality. An article may be assessed on different dimensions, such as comprehensiveness and so on, but they are orthogonal. Which is why it is apparent to me that the GA/A split doesn't make much sense. At least not as it's currently being explained anyway. --Malleus Fatuarum 14:39, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
So, let me see if I have got this right: quality is one dimensional, but is assessed by many orthogonal components. Right, so suppose I have two versions of the same article, one more comprehensive, one with better grammar. Which has higher quality?
Let me repeat. The Stub-Start-B-A system is WikiProject based: different WikiProjects can give different ratings to the same article; see e.g. Talk:John von Neumann. It is already orthogonal to GA in the sense that an article does not need to be (or ever have been) a listed GA to be A-Class. Each WikiProject has its own way of handling the scheme, and the ratings are provided in WikiProject templates: GA and FA are awarded separately, with a separate template: it is called ArticleHistory. It just happens that the Wikipedia 1.0 decided it would be a good idea to use GA and FA process to define two classes called GA-Class and FA-Class in the scheme. Unfortunately, the result of this is that editors now sometimes call Good articles GA-Class, when in fact an A-Class Good article is not GA-Class at all! Personally, I'd like to see this orthogonality made even more explicit, so that this pointless merger idea doesn't keep coming round. One possibility is to replace GA-Class by Bplus-Class, as the mathematics WikiProject has already partially done.
The bottom line, though, is that if you don't see the point of A-Class ratings by WikiProjects in the GA/FA system, then just ignore them! There's no point in trying to merge or delete a process that many WikiProjects find useful for tracking article progress. Geometry guy 15:23, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Having started this, I would like to repeat my point that the question here is about the use of our users' time. As I said at the start: Let's get together a group of people, who could be helping with FAC, to review articles in depth in order to approve them for a classification which is supposed to be "essentially ready for FAC"? I don't get it - if I were writing an article and had three review groups to go through, I'd just disregard the lower two and keep on working on the article till I felt it worthy enough for FAC. Yes, some WikiProjects are organized and large enough to have a good participation. Some are not. It's not the domain of review that matters, though, because like everything else on Wikipedia, the important thing is to get appropriate notice out. I have no doubt that the listing of an FAC on the announcements list of both small and big projects should be enough to bring in some subject experts, if they'd otherwise be committed to doing reviews. Girolamo Savonarola 15:26, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

":So, let me see if I have got this right: quality is one dimensional, but is assessed by many orthogonal components. Right, so suppose I have two versions of the same article, one more comprehensive, one with better grammar. Which has higher quality?" Arguably they both have the same quality, unless you're arguing that one of those components is in some sense weightier than the other. The fundamental problem though, is that it is very hard to measure "quality". What usually being measured is really a lack of quality. And my issue with the A classification is that is appears to place one component - comprehensiveness - above all others. But, as you say, I'm quite at liberty to continue to ignore A classifications, so no big deal I suppose. --Malleus Fatuarum 16:32, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
What I think might work best would be if we could contact the various "broad scope" WikiProjects and perhaps ask each of those projects if one or two members from each would be willing to work on such assessments. Then we would have a base of people to contact if and when a relevant article were nominated for A-Class review. Creating such a system would also probably help prevent ballotstuffing, which can itself be an occasional problem. Actually, I think helping to bring together editors from various projects is probably one of the essential purposes of this particular project in the first place. Would anyone object if the Council itself were to try to set up an A-Class review department, for those articles which clearly fall within the scope of multiple unrelated projects? If this were successful, it might help found, perhaps down the road a little, interproject peer review and article collaborations, which would also be potentially very useful. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Warlordjohncarter (talkcontribs) 14:17, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Article quality control via Wikiprojects

One of the main weaknesses of Wikipedia is its susceptibility to vandalism and deteriorative edits. Besides hoping people come across the mistake and fix it, we have two 'lines of defense': recent changes and watchlists. Sadly a lot of the vandalism gets through recent changes, and short of having a system where every edit is checked and approved by a trusted user at a rate that could keep up with traffic, it always will. Watchlists are the second line, but many articles are manifestly unwatched, even some that are very important. Sadly on this front one has no clear way of knowing whether an article is watched or not. The best we can do is ask on the talk page, and we only hear ECHO! Echo echo... we must assume the answer is negative. I've tried to get something done about this, but none of my suggestions have received any support, and nobody has suggested an alternative. Yet we still need to devise a way to systematically and reliably maintain the quality of our articles. If a critic of Wikipedia then says "Anyone can add any crap they like to an article" we could then say "Oh yeah? Give it a try then!". The goal must be to have every single article watched by at least one person who is trustworthy and minimally clueful, just as we ideally want all articles to reach FA status (though that would be a bit more difficult).

A WikiProject based method may be one way to tackle this. Each project is responsible for its given domain of articles (assuming it is that sort of project), and it could begin by ensuring someone is watching/maintaining all the top importance articles, then working its way down the list. I presume this will meet with a similar disinterest that my other proposals have, but I at least want to put it out there. Richard001 07:57, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

From my experience, the easiest way to catch vandalism is to keep up with an article's history via it being on the watchlist and checking every new edit that comes into the article. As you may assume, this can be very difficult for high-traffic articles, but for low-traffic ones it's pretty reasonable. However, the only type of users that would do such a thing would be users who have a high interest in certain artciles and in effect "look after" any new contributions to make sure no vandalism gets in and everything stays consistent. This falls into one of the major built-in problems with the project: users will only generally edit articles that interest them. Now, I'm not talking about fixing gramatical mistakes or simple WP:MOS fixes or the like. I mean real full-blown editing, research, and building up articles to GA or FA status that takes a lot of work. Either you have a collaboratation between many interested users, or you have one or two interested users, but either way the interest has to be there. As such, only articles that interest users will be checked regularly and made sure that any vandalism gets reverted, but even on pages that are watched by many, vandalism can still get through and doesn't always get reverted immediately. It's just a design flaw for Wikipedia, and I don't think a WikiProject would be able to do anything since it's been going on since Wikipedia was invented and the first vandalism was cast.
Then again, at least you're trying to propose something to try to solve the problem. I just go around reverting vandalism on articles I watch.-- 08:19, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
You're missing the whole point...
Nobody really knows who watches articles. Even articles that I watch may or may not be watched by others. I may suspect others watch them, but I don't know. And I may see vandalism going by unreverted, but I don't know that nobody is watching either - they may just be pretty useless at it. The point here is that there are some articles that too many people will watch, and others that will be watched by too few. If all of the huge number of editors just watched 10 articles and took responsibility for maintaining quality, we could watch each and every article here. It's fairly arbitrary which articles we watch - we could easily pick a related article instead that was unwatched, hence more efficiently spreading watchers around. And for busy articles, we could have 10 watchers or more, perhaps even taking shifts to keep it vandal free 24/7. If we tackle the issue in an organized fashion we can fill in these holes and make Wikipedia one hell of a hard thing to vandalize. It doesn't have to be perfect to start off with either - just start with the most important articles on a project by project basis. If it builds up enough momentum, we could have the whole encyclopedia virutally vandal-proof in a short time. Richard001 08:35, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
But you didn't get what I was saying. Users only watch/edit articles they want to watch/edit, and even then it takes more interest than normal to maintain an article and keep it vandal free. Most people just don't have the time nor the want nor the drive to do something like that. So I think your proposal, while having good intentions, is rather unfeasable.
I get the point just fine: have enough editors watch a given article so that vandalism will all but disappear, but I don't think it's that easy. Like I was saying, it's the traffic of a given article that really shows how much attention it's going to get by anyone, whether they be vandals or editors. So a very high-traffic page would need a proportional amount of contributors and vandal fighters just as a low-traffic page wouldn't need that many; maybe one or two at most that checked the page once a day let's say. In high-traffic pages, the article has to be checked multiple times an hour every hour of every day, and there are just not enough people with the want, drive, nor interest to take on such a feat. Again, this is a design flaw in the programming, and I do not think it can be corrected.-- 10:20, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps we think differently on this, but for one, I would be more than happy to watch different articles than I do. It makes no difference to me whether I watch mutualism or ecological facilitation, and if the latter was being neglected I would much prefer to know and let someone else take care of the former. The problem is we have no system of going about this - our article quality control structures are flawed and underdeveloped. There are some articles that I do want to watch, but for many I would be just as happy to take care of something else instead. I also don't think watching ten or even a hundred articles is that much of an effort, especially when most articles on 'pedia are seldom edited, so the task far from an impossible feat. Richard001 23:04, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

I think this is a good idea, but just as with A-Class reviews it's difficult to get participation. We set up a user for WP:CHEM called User:WPChemwatcher, and put all of our "core" articles into its watchlist. But it is quite a bit of work, and then I got involved with the 1.0 project, others got distracted elsewhere, and I haven't checked that watchlist in a while. We did it informally, but perhaps if something more formal were set up - say, we would make sure that the articles were checked at least once a week by a person - perhaps it could work. The second aspect of the idea, sharing of watchlists, is also useful.

What I would suggest is that we consider implementing such a scheme as part of an overall strategy when Wikipedia:Flagged revisions come in (next year?). We could have an organized scheme within a WikiProject for a person to review an article history once a month (or week for busy articles) and tag a recent one as the new sighted version. We could have a check table - I'll sign up to check ammonia, and Joe can sign up to check methane, and make a note when you do so. In other words, combine the sighting process with a vandalism review (via article history). I think this could really work. Walkerma 04:06, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

I wouldn't count on flagged revisions ever coming in... Anyway, one problem with the WikiProject system is that articles may belong to multiple projects, so something may appear to be unwatched but actually be maintained by several users at other projects. It therefore really needs to be managed at the article itself, not some WikiProject based list or category. We do have the 'template:maintained', but I've always felt that simply being a 'watcher' of an article doesn't qualify one to use that template. Perhaps a sister template 'Template:Watcher' or something like that could work. The person would have to more than just have it on their watchlist though - they would need to be 'maintaining' it. But they needn't be an authority on the subject to do that, nor be actively contributing to the topic (which are the only two things template:maintained seems to suggest. It needn't be visible even, provided there is some way for those 'in the know' to see if an article is watched or not. If we could get every article watched though, we would have a certain level of oversight that is completely lacking now. I suppose the flagged thing could provide similar oversight, but all I've heard from the proposal is bickering and promises that it's coming next month, which I assume it always will be. Richard001 07:27, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Many projects maintain a project list page to watch over the articles. User:WatchlistBot has been recruited by many projects to automatically load the page with articles based on the Version 1.0 banner templates. See India page for example. It would help if this list is further filtered to the taskforce level so that interested people could watch over a smaller subset. I use this feature to watch changes on India project-related talk pages. Regards, Ganeshk (talk) 07:39, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

That's been suggested before, but it doesn't do the job. Watching the important articles would only be a start - the goal is to have every article on Wikipedia maintained (which, as I've pointed out, isn't that unrealistic). Also, just having a watchlist like that isn't enough; it needs to be systematically checked through, not just placed there and hoped that people will look at it. If people take responsibility for what they personally watch themselves, there is no such problem. With a public watchlist, you need some way of saying 'Everything has been checked up until here', a feature which is probably not available with the software so difficult to implement. Richard001 08:55, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Importance scale

Is it possible to add another rung to the importance scale, that of minor, which would sit below low. We have an awful lot of low importance comics articles, and there's a lot of bumping this article up because it's more important that that article, not because it's more important to the core concept. I know how to do this through the template and so on, I just don't think the bot will pick it up. I don't know enough about bots to know if the bot can be easily adjusted to handle one project just adding another category, if you get what I mean. Hiding Talk 21:58, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

New "pages" of the Project Directory

Does anyone have any opinions on the new Wikipedia:WikiProject Lists of basic topics, Wikipedia:WikiProject Lists of topics, Wikipedia:WikiProject Glossaries, and Wikipedia:WikiProject Categories, and the older Wikipedia:WikiProject Portals, now being listed as effectively separate pages on the Project Directory navigation bar? John Carter 14:38, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Multiple WikiProject Banners templates

This is not a typo. Why are there the two templates of {{WikiProjectBanners}} and {{WikiProjectBannerShell}}? (merge?) Simply south 16:09, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

I think because one displays a summary of all the project which have tagged the article, and the other doesn't. There are some cases when even displaying all the relevant banners in the "short" form takes up a lot of space. John Carter 16:22, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

What to do with WikiProject History

WikiProject History is a bit of mess organisation wise. I have a new proposal for organisation:

  • History would have sub projects for each continent, which would be co-parented with the corresponding continent Project. ie. WikiProject History of Europe would be parented by both WikiProject History and WikiProject Europe
  • These WikiProjects would have national task forces to work on individual nations
  • Periodical task forces such as WikiProject Middle ages would have a subpage for each continental project, with their main page being just a kind of introduction with the task forces doing all the work
  • Projects for other aspects of history such as WikiProject Military history and WikiProject History of Science will be left to their own devices, with only a little help for WikiProject History
  • Members of all sub projects will be considered members of WikiProject History, as they currently are

We can achieve this by merging current national history projects into task forces of the continental ones. More national task forces would not be created untill a user expresses interest in creating them. We've had experience of creating ones when no one is interested when the continental task forces of WikiProject History. What do you guys think?--Phoenix-wiki (talk · contribs) 23:02, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Any and all mergers would have to meet with the approval of the members of those extant projects in advance. And I wouldn't try to create task forces of task forces, that gets too complicated. MILHIST creates them all as task forces without differentiating between them, and that's probably the best choice here as well. John Carter 23:11, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
We should advertise if you will our efforts on national Wikiproject pages so that we can attract them to these continental task forces. I'm sure there will be a lot of interest in joining one of those from Wikipedia:WikiProject Greece and Wikipedia:WikiProject Turkey for sure. Monsieurdl 23:49, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
I think you are trying to force it too much. You don't need a new proposal, you just got started. Let this thing run. Where is User:Wandalstouring in this conversation? And why on Earth are we having this conversation here? See further comments at the Project.--Doug.(talk contribs) 00:35, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. The proposed hierarchy is elegant, but I don't see how it would affect the quality of articles -- which is what it's all about in the end. Editors will find the subjects they wish to contribute to, whether or not there is an orderly hierarchy of sub-projects. -- Rob C. alias Alarob 04:00, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
I know little about thematic WikiProjects and the way they cooperate, but I can tell you one thing: bringing WikiProjects Greece and Turkey under the same roof would be sheer madness a very bad idea. In this particular case, of course, Turkey is probably a better candidate for the Asian History task force (in the proposed model), so it will not be together with Greece (definitely European), but I gather that this is only an example, and that there are numerous problematic cases like this one. The problem here is that we have to do with people... Wikipedians still have national pride and, though many of them do not let this affect the way they work in Wikipedia, most seem to be more susceptible to such influences. Waltham, The Duke of 09:39, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
I never advocated joining them together, only putting notices around stating that we have continental task forces under history and they could help us out by assessing articles under our banner. I would never agree to eliminating national WP's- not in a million years. And as a side note, there would be no madness as you put it- we already have a good understanding in the Wikipedia:Greek and Turkish wikipedians cooperation board. Monsieurdl 12:38, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Doug, we're already doing this, tryig to organise EuroHist and all. This is just to clarify exactly what we're doing-Phoenix-wiki (talk · contribs) 18:20, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Clarification is fine, but it should not be done here. Editors at the Council are free to participate in the discussion, but the discussion about the future of the Project should take place at the Project.--Doug.(talk contribs) 21:06, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
So what do you want to do? move the discussion to the project talk page?--Phoenix-wiki (talk · contribs) 21:08, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject History of Pakistan appears to be inactive--Phoenix-wiki (talk · contribs) 21:07, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

(Answer to Monsieurdl's comment) Sorry, maybe I have phrased my message badly. I may also have misinterpreted the situation on the whole; the maturity of Greek (and Turkish) Wikipedians seems to be greater than what I had anticipated (an impression party created by the shameful video race people from both nations engaged in at YouTube some time ago), and I am extremely pleasantly surprised to discover that there is such a thing as a cooperation board. In any case, I am happy to see that things are going well between Greek and Turkish Wikipedians, and I ask you to forgive my rash comments. Waltham, The Duke of 23:14, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Calling all contacts...

I think we should ask for volunteers to sign the /Contacts page on the main page. That is, I think it should be elaborated on the main page the need for contacts. I already made the changes in what seemed to be the appropriate location. Can I be Frank? (Talk to me!) 05:47, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes, thanks. No objections to my expansion, I take it? Can I be Frank? (Talk to me!) 02:43, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Not from what I noticed, I think you just added language about signing up on the /Contacts page if you are a key player, right? That sounds fine.--Doug.(talk contribs) 05:16, 18 November 2007 (UTC)