Talk:Bucket toilet

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WikiProject Sanitation (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
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Edits on "see also" and on India[edit]

Hi User:Carbon Caryatid, thanks for your edits here. Just two points: the part about India which you copied from manual scavenging needs adjustment, as manual scavenging figures are not equal to bucket toilet use in India. I would probably shorten that part. - Secondly, about the "see also" links: I would prefer not to have those mini definitions after each one. Most articles on Wikipedia that I look at don't have these (not sure what the manual of style stipulates about this?). If you want to add a definition then it should probably be equal to the first sentence of that respective page. But can't we just expect the user to click on the "see also" term to see what it links to? Otherwise we might have to argue and fine tune the definitions again which would be doubling up of work. EvMsmile (talk) 12:00, 6 June 2016 (UTC)

Hi! Thanks for these comments. I've done a lot over the past month or so with very little engagement, so I am especially appreciative of constructive discussion. I had a peek at your userpage, and am impressed by all your toilet articles. (I haven't updated my own pages for what feels like years.) Anyway, to business.
India - I am completely amenable to any sensible change. I don't have access to other info or stats. By all means correct it if you do, or shorten it if you think it would improve the article.
See also - here we differ. It's true that many articles do not give glosses, but I think they should. Our manual of style says, "Editors should provide a brief annotation when a link's relevance is not immediately apparent, when the meaning of the term may not be generally known, or when the term is ambiguous." I think all of the terms in "see also" fall under at least one of those categories. The linking policy stipulates that pages should make sense if they were printed or offline; we have to write as if our readers cannot hover over text to gain insight into what it or we mean. ("The text needs to make sense to readers who cannot follow links. Users may print articles or read offline, and Wikipedia content may be encountered in republished form, often without links.")
As for the wording of the glosses, we can certainly work on that. The tactic you propose, of taking definitional text from the main article on a given subject, is a good one in principle, but in practice the first sentences are not always scintillatingly clear. How do you suggest we improve the four glosses I created?
I have some completely separate toilet questions for you, but let's work on this article and then see how things unfold. Carbon Caryatid (talk) 18:29, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
Hi User:Carbon Caryatid, thanks for your detailed response. That's interesting about the "see also" links. As most articles don't give additional info, I thought that was the standard... But I will follow your advice then. I am going to take another look at the India section and at the see also explanations a bit later tonight and see if I can improve them, and you can then re-check my edits. - If you have any toilet questions for me, please go ahead. I am happy to answer any of them. Toilets or more broadly sanitation is my focus on Wikipedia. Did you take a look at the WikiProject Sanitation?: I would be very happy to welcome you as a new member there. :-) EvMsmile (talk) 08:31, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
Done - please check and improve further if needed. EvMsmile (talk) 12:31, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
All of your changes are fine by me, with one exception. The gloss to dry toilet now reads "a toilet that operates without flush water, unlike a flush toilet", which strikes me as not only stylistically clunky (the perils of copying over from a less than ideal article) but also potentially misleading. Sanitation experts aside, most readers will know what a flush toilet is, and will know of one type that doesn't require flushing (probably they'll think of a pit latrine). I fear that they will equate their own knowledge of a non-flush toilet with "dry toilet", and think it's just a simple opposition. They won't realise that "dry toilet" can mean a lot of different things. That's why I proposed a gloss along the lines of "an umbrella term for various sorts of toilet that do not depend on water".
Hmmm, well, that's why I would like for people to click on "dry toilet" and then find the whole information there. I have now modified the explanation, hopefully it's clearer. However, I still think the term "dry toilet" could be possibly left without an explanation, as the link's relevance is quite obvious and the meaning can also be guessed and if someone wants to know more, they should click on it. - I don't like the term "umbrella term" as the defining feature of a dry toilet is actually quite clear and narrow: no water seal, or no water used for flushing. E.g. a vacuum toilet is not a dry toilet even though it uses very little water for flushing.
I'd like readers to click on links too, but as above, we can't know that they will be able to, and so we have to write as if they depend on our text alone. The gloss for "dry toilet" that you've written is better, thanks. The "defining feature" may be obvious to sanitation experts, but not, I fear, to the layperson, so an explanation is necessary. Achieved! Carbon Caryatid (talk) 09:39, 11 June 2016 (UTC)

toilets in mines[edit]

Another area I'd not thought of! Apparently technology is marching on according to Mining Weekly. I don't see a problem with the sentence about old systems in that its proof is the museum photograph that the article uses. Yes, a proper citation would be better, but the photo is self-explanatory (once it's in English). Carbon Caryatid (talk) 12:25, 15 June 2016 (UTC)

So what are you suggesting? Add a sentence to indicate what toilets are used in mines nowadays? Actually I looked at the link and it reads more like an ad - I couldn't figure out what process they are using. Might be more something for the article on portable toilet or on composting toilet (or chemical toilet). EMsmile (talk) 10:14, 6 July 2017 (UTC)


This article needs a disambiguation page. Bucket toilet may refer to an unimproved (unsanitary) toilet that would make an epidemiologist shudder, such as those protested in South Africa; but "bucket toilet" may also refer to an improved sanitary toilet system that is permitted by the global standard for international plumbing codes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:59, 5 February 2018 (UTC)

I don't think we need a disambiguation page. The article itself should explain the different facets of bucket toilets, i.e. the good and the bad. Does that not come out clearly yet? EMsmile (talk) 14:22, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
I've made some improvements to the article to address the concern that you raised. I think there was also misleading information in the lead (the lead is meant to be a summary of the article). EMsmile (talk) 14:48, 1 March 2018 (UTC)

Contradiction in first line[edit]

A bucket toilet... " is a very simple, basic form of a dry toilet which is portable. There are basic versions and more advanced versions." The lead needs to summarise the text overall. What's it to be? Carbon Caryatid (talk) 15:55, 2 March 2018 (UTC)

I've made some improvements to the lead. Is it better now? The whole thing is a little tricky, as bucket toilet has a negative connotation, but a toilet using a bucket could be made into something that works - but then we usually don't call it a bucket toilet anymore but rather composting toilet for example... EMsmile (talk) 01:38, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
Yes, definitely better - and I've tweaked some as well, to the lead and elsewhere, to improve the style. Do discuss if any of my changes don't fit.
One thing I'd like to change, but haven't yet, is moving the alternative names away from the first sentence, and ideally out of the lead altogether. Where else might they go? Carbon Caryatid (talk) 12:02, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
Great edits, thank you. Just wondering why you would add the word "pail" here? It seems to be an old-fashioned word. I am not a native speaker but in all my years dealing with this topic in the English language I have never come across pail, except for the historical content on Wikipedia... Also I agree that the term "honey bucket" does not need to be in the lead but could be mentioned somewhere in the article. It's a euphemism term, isn't it? Apparently common in Canada and the US? "Bucket latrine" might be useful to keep as a synonym in the first sentence or why would you prefer not to have it? EMsmile (talk) 13:11, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
I'm glad you think I'm going along the right lines. You are the subject expert; my interest is in the lay reader. I like to think we complement each other.
Re "pail". There is lots of erudite (and not so erudite) discussion about its synonymy with "bucket". Here is the OED's first entry:
An open-topped vessel with a hooped carrying handle, typically of slightly tapering cylindrical shape, used esp. for holding or carrying liquids; (now more generally) a bucket. In early use also: a container for food, a kitchen vessel (obs.). The precise range of vessels denoted by pail, as distinct from the near-synonymous bucket, has varied over time, and there continues to be much regional variation. As a word for a container for milk pail has long been preferred (cf. milk-pail n. at milk n.1 and adj. Compounds 1b), and it is now frequently taken to be a container for liquids, esp. one made of metal (or plastic); though originally it was made of wooden staves hooped with iron. (My emphasis)
Re "honey bucket". Yes I think that should be moved out of the lead, as it's slang (and many Ghits direct to a particular company) though I don't have a view on where. As for "bucket latrine", if there's going to be a place for alternative names, it could go there. If not, it could stay where it is. Carbon Caryatid (talk) 10:34, 23 March 2018 (UTC)
OK, done. I created a new section for alternative names. And yes, Carbon Caryatid, I agree we complement each other very well! It is always a pleasure to play "ping pong" with you. If you have some time, could you help me with this article which I have been working on: developing countries? It still needs a lot of further work. EMsmile (talk) 04:22, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
Thanks! I'll take a look at that article. The lead of this article needs one addition in order to summarise the text: a mention of the history. I'll work in a sentence or clause. I like your description of our ping-pong. Carbon Caryatid (talk) 09:42, 10 April 2018 (UTC)