Talk:Deaths in 2012/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4 Archive 5

Whats with all the red links?

They are probably not notable. -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 19:30, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

There is long-standing consensus here that redlinks remin for one month to see if an article develops. If not, the listing is deleted. WWGB (talk) 22:30, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
It's always a nice surprise to see how many of the red links actually turn blue before the one month deadline is up. I know I've personally created an article or two on very notable individuals based a red link here (example Colette Renard). --Jezebel'sPonyobons mots 21:11, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

This very issue has been covered on the talk page of a "recent deaths" (I do not think it was this year) before. Some one suggested that we get rid of the red links from this page, but I pointed out that sometimes, people do get covered who were formerly only mentioned in red links. The example I gave was of Rose Gray, who was notable enough to have her death mentioned on the Radio Four news. As I say, this issue has been covered before, and I can see it becoming a perennial issue on this talk page - so perhaps we need a note at the top of these pages about this issue. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 19:52, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

Overlinking in past months

Back in September 2010 we started doing the "Deaths in..." articles with minimum wikilinking and it seems to have had a good reception over the past (almost) two years. Should we go back and do some serious delinking on the months prior to September 2010 or just leave them be? I may be volunteering myself, but I certainly don't want to put in the work if I'm just going to be reverted, so I want to establish a consensus beforehand. Canadian Paul

My own preference would be let this page of Wikipedia remain as it is. It seems to be serving its purpose quite well, ACEOREVIVED (talk) 09:40, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

Senility as cause of death

I've been seeing a lot of three Japanese entries with 'senility' as a cause of death. This seems sort of nonspecific to me, is it a translation thing? Just curious here. S7evyn (talk) 22:18, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

It could be dementia, although its many forms usually only cause death to be noted as 'complications from dementia', which normally masks the true cause(s). I am not a medical person though. It is a good question, and I will pose another. Why is it that the majority (and I have not undertaken a specific numerical calculation here - perhaps someone good with figures should do so) of Japanese deaths here seem to be red links. Is it a cultural/language thing, or are the Japanese deaths being 'promoted' irrespective of true notability ?
Derek R Bullamore (talk) 22:40, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
It may simply be that there's a lack of slightly-less-notable biographical articles translated from the Japanese Wikipedia. But as I read on this talk page, red links either turn into blue links or get pruned out as they get old, so the problem solves itself. I didn't really notice it as a notably large amount of entries. S7evyn (talk) 22:53, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
I have seen bios in other Wiki-languages that haven't been translated over to English, for either notability issues or translation reasons, but, to answer the topic at hand, senility is a form of dementia or Alzheimer's or what-have-you. It just depends on the source that lists it and thus the editor posting it. Luckily, a senility wikilink takes you to dementia. And yes, if not cured or monitored, you can die from "complications". — WylieCoyote (talk) 23:39, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
I will again stress that I am not a medical person, but I worked in a hospital for years. A euphemism for the actual cause(s) of death is often just that (to soften the reality), and the exact word probably does differ between nations/cultures/creeds, but basically means roughly the same thing (as WylieCoyote notes). Having created two lines of discussion within the same heading, I do also take S7evyn's point about the linking issue on this page.
Derek R Bullamore (talk) 00:18, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Red or blue links, COD's should be clear. As with suicides, it should be understood but most people list how they killed themselves. "Complications from" takes 5 seconds to type in. — WylieCoyote (talk) 01:49, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Links on individual days on deaths list

Eg 14. Why have these been removed? They are a handy link for seeing what else has occurred on that day in history, and I don't see the harm of them being there. If no-one objects I will restore Martyn Smith (talk) 16:40, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

Hmains went on an edit roll one day and removed them. You might ask why on their talk page as they may not see this here. Frankly speaking, I never noticed the blue day links. — WylieCoyote (talk) 22:21, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks to whoever reinstated them :-) Martyn Smith (talk) 13:18, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
You're welcome! I concur with your original post. I think that the article is better served by including the linked dates, also. And I see no reason to eliminate them. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 01:56, 21 May 2012 (UTC)


{{edit request}}

WP:TERRORIST: "Value-laden labels—such as calling an organization a cult, an individual a racist, terrorist, or freedom fighter, or a sexual practice a perversion—may express contentious opinion and are best avoided"

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi has "a Libyan citizen, alleged former intelligence officer, former head of security for Libyan Arab Airlines and former director of the Centre for Strategic Studies in Tripoli"
Yet Wikipedia deaths has "Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, 60, Libyan terrorist, convicted of bombing Pan Am Flight 103, prostate cancer." This should at least be changed to "Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, 60, Libyan citizen, convicted of bombing Pan Am Flight 103, prostate cancer."
You left out the rest of that Wikipedia policy statement, which continues: "... are best avoided unless widely used by reliable sources to describe the subject, in which case use in-text attribution". I imagine that the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 has, generally, been referred to as an act of terrorism. (I am sure that we can find sources to that effect, if we were to look.) He was convicted of that act of terrorism; hence, he is a "terrorist". Not a stretch. I don't think we need to be that politically correct so as not to "offend" terrorists – convicted ones, at that. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 01:50, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
A follow-up: Below are three reliable sources that describe the subject as a "terrorist" and the incident as "terrorism".
  • [1] – "convicted terrorist Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi"
  • [2] – "the deadliest terrorist incident ever to have taken place on British soil"
  • [3] – "Libyan terrorist al-Megrahi"
Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 02:11, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
"The reliability of a source depends on context".
All three sources have UK addresses. The UK is clearly heavily involved in this case, as is Libya, the US and so on. That the Daily Mail in particular, with its emotive headline "NHS patients are refused 'too expensive' prostate cancer drug good enough for Lockerbie terrorist al-Megrahi", should be regarded as "reliable" in this context is questionable.
That the Abdelbaset al-Megrahi page does not, and has not, used the word "terrorist", that even the page of a figure as notorious as Osama bin Laden does not use the word "terrorist" and that Deaths in May 2011 does not use the word "terrorist" when referring to his death (preferring the much more specific "Saudi founder of Al-Qaeda"), strongly suggests caution should be exercised.
"Contentious material about living persons (or recently deceased) that is unsourced or poorly sourced—whether the material is negative, positive, neutral, or just questionable—should be removed immediately and without waiting for discussion". The material is questionable, "terrorist" being one of those vague words thrown around much too often without any clarity concerning its meaning, therefore, as the guideline states, it "should be removed immediately and without waiting for discussion." That it has been allowed to remain for more than 24 hours contravenes this basic principle found in Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources. Such a lack of ability to identity what a "reliable source" is and what a "reliable source" is not should be a great cause of concern for any vigilant editor. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:15, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
Also worth noting is the source used to back up the statement on the deaths page doesn't even use the word "terrorist" to describe its subject. It opens with "Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the only person convicted over the 1988 Lockerbie bombing above Scotland which killed 270 people, has died at his home in Libya." How this fits in with "unless widely used by reliable sources to describe the subject, in which case use in-text attribution" is a puzzle. That even the BBC exercises caution, despite being based in the UK where the incident occurred, suggests it is imperative that Wikipedia also exercise caution. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:22, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
I am not sure what the problem is ... or what your point is. In a very quick 30-second time span, I found (and offered) three reliable sources that called him a terrorist and/or called the event (of which he was convicted) a terrorist act. I am quite sure that I would be able to come up with many, many more if I were to spend more than those 30 seconds of research time. I stopped at three, thinking that the results were obvious. Is there really any question that this was a terrorist act? Can other editors please weigh in on this topic? Particularly since the above editor identified that he/she has a conflict of interest in this matter. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 22:45, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
No indication of conflict of interest. This is a protected page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:37, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
Your original edit request indicated a conflict of interest. This box (below) is exactly what appeared in your original edit request. The very first line of the box states: "It is requested that an edit be made to this article that the user below does not want to make because of a conflict of interest."
{{edit request}}
Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 04:00, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
Hi. I've disabled the above COI Request edit template, only because it appears there is no actual request attached to it (as opposed to the edit request higher up in this thread). Since this page is Semi-protected, if you'd like to submit a request, it might be better to use {{edit semi-protected}} Thanks. -- Eclipsed (talk) (COI Declaration) 21:35, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
To ... click this link (Template:Request edit) to see what your original edit request looked like. That will explain why I stated that you indicated a conflict of interest in editing this article. Perhaps you used an incorrect template? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 01:25, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

Archive - the term "term" in question

Recently I have been noticing someone changing the length of Congressional and State Representatives terms. Instead of John Doe (1999-2012), they are being changed to "since 1999." I noticed in the notes that it was done because it "implied" they were out of office before their death. I have 3 questions on this matter- First, wont this mess up archiving? If say you look back in 2014 to the deaths in 2011 and see a "since 1999" wouldnt that be odd? Secondly, who cares what is implied? The length of their term was 1999-2012. If you need more specifics cant you just open their article? Isnt this about facts and not implications. Third, if its not suitable then maybe something on the order of 1999-Death or 1999-Day of Death. Would be interested in other thoughts on the matter. Not a huge deal either way, but I think the "since" is a weaselly way around pure facts. Sunnydoo (talk) 20:39, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

Hello. You seem to be hung up on the word "implication" or "implied". So, perhaps, I could have said it better by using the term "convention" instead. By convention, John Doe, Senator (1999–2012) means that Doe was a Senator from 1999 until 2012 and that his term ended prior to his death. By convention, John Doe, Senator (since 1999) means that Doe was a Senator from 1999 until his death. In other words, the first scenario indicates that some other reason (besides death) terminated his position as Senator. The second scenario indicates that he only stopped being the Senator because of his death. The conventions are used to distinguish whether or not he was still the Senator when he died. So, perhaps "convention" is better terminology than "implies" (although, it's really all the same thing). To answer your questions. (Question 1) How will it mess up archiving? You ask: "If, say, you look back in 2014 to the deaths in 2011 and see a 'since 1999' wouldn't that be odd?" No, it would not be odd. The reader knows that the person died on such-and-such a date. So, the term "since" means "since 1999 until whatever present date of death entry you are currently reading". The reader knows that the subject has died and knows the date of death for the subject. So, if the person died in 2011 (per your example), a person reading the 2011 archives in the year 2014 would not think that the person was still alive in 2014. If the subject were indeed alive, they would not be listed on the "deaths" page. (Question 2) You ask: "Who cares what is implied?" I addressed that above by changing terminology that you seem uncomfortable with (i.e., switching "convention" for "implication"). Also, to answer your Question 2, of course, a reader can always open an article and read it. (Question 3) Your question is simply proposing a new convention. There is already a convention in place. I think that the present convention is more succinct, compact, elegant, and readable. Your proposed (new) convention is wordy, awkward, and clunky; it doesn't add anything. It doesn't fix any problem ... as indeed there is no problem that needs fixing. Finally, you proffer that "the word 'since' is a weaselly way around pure facts". I disagree. In fact, using the current convention gives the reader more information, not less information, about the subject and the time frame. Your convention (i.e., 1999–2012) gives the reader less information. So, why would an encyclopedia strive to offer less – as opposed to more – information to its readers? And finally finally, I noticed that there were a lot of inconsistencies in the article. I only made one or two changes. But I made the changes so that the list was consistent. The above is my opinion and position on this issue. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 01:21, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

Chronological order

There was a recent discussion about this, and there seems to be a consensus that past months should not list deaths in reverse chronological order. I completely agree, so I've made a start (Deaths in 2004 is now the right way round), but it's quite a leviathan task for one person. If anyone wants to help out, I'd appreciate it. It's tedious work, yes, but it only takes about six minutes per month, so if a few of you could spare the time to reverse a couple of months here and there, it would help me get this done a lot quicker. Thanks. DoctorKubla (talk) 09:43, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for your work! I am glad to see that this project is underway. Thanks again! Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 16:15, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

Alright, that's done. If whoever archives the months from now on could take the time to put the dates in the right order, that'd be great. DoctorKubla (talk) 13:00, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Great job! Thanks! Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 14:47, 1 June 2012 (UTC)


I wish to voice opposition at listing an Ape's notable death in the context of this list. Unless that ape has allegiance via citizenship to some country it is contrary to the established criteria atop the page. Commingling animals on this list devalues the citizens (human beings) who populate it properly. My76Strat (talk) 03:38, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

This article reports notable deaths, not just the death of notable people. It is a long-standing practice that deceased animals with their own article are reported here. WWGB (talk) 04:13, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
This is in keeping with longstanding practice. See Deaths in October 2010#26 for the noting of the death of Paul the Octopus, for example. Some major newspapers publish obituaries of notable non-human animals alongside obituaries of notable people. Paul Erik (talk)(contribs) 04:25, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Also, in the past ... Travis, the Chimp was listed ... as was Senator, the Tree. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 04:57, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for clarifying the practice. As I contemplate, the things said, I can see the level of appropriateness. I don't know if the topic has come up in the past, or perhaps other good faith reversions, but I think this is a good example where an html comment within the document, or even an edit notice, should exist to preempt these potential feelings of ill will. Best - My76Strat (talk) 05:11, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

More examples would be many, many famous racehorses, the Taco Bell dog, collegiate mascots such as Uga and the Apes that played Cheetah in the Tarzan series. Sunnydoo (talk) 06:35, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

Yes I concede agreement. My reaction was quick, in line with knee jerk; because I was lacking the knowledge of this practice, and hadn't meditated long on it. My curiosity now is only whether or not a consensus might agree that an html comment or maybe an edit notice would be at all prudent? My76Strat (talk) 06:56, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
There used to be a notice at the top of the page stating that notable animals are also included in the list but that disappeared a while ago. A visible notice or edit notice would be useful as this comes up occasionally. Consensus seems to consistently favour inclusion of animals and the rare plant and I can only recall one edit-warrior insisting that no animals be permitted. He hasn't been around in several months. A notice would be helpful. I see no logical reason policy- or guideline-wise to exclude non-human notables and from a personal point-of-view I find it rather Victorian to consider only humans to be notable. If this list is meant to be information rather than serving as a tribute or memorial, then animals and plants that are independent subjects of articles should be included. freshacconci talktalk 15:23, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
An alternative would be to have a separate list for animals, as is done on German Wikipedia. (talk) 17:46, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
What about the rare case of a notable plant's death? Flygon's friend- Smarter than the average bear! 01:32, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
I think this list is exclusive in terms of biological deaths. With Earth being the only known astronomical feature that is also a biosphere, it is the only candidate eligible for entry. And of course something of that magnitude would require significant reliable sourcing before anyone would consider allowing its inclusion. My76Strat (talk) 02:00, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
Er, I think you misread "plant" as "planet". There was some earlier discussion here about whether to list the "death" of The Senator (tree), but it seems that the tree may be producing new shoots anyway. WWGB (talk) 02:24, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
Ah yes, my bad. My76Strat (talk) 02:40, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────On a lighter note, Freshacconci expressed views sufficiently well enough to move this to the next logical step. With an edit notice in place, I am considering this thread closed. I wish to express appreciation at the kind manner I was shown, by those who participated here. Thank you. My76Strat (talk) 03:53, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

RfC: Should we use references

Completed (and closed) RfC. Collapsed to reduce clutter on the page
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
The core of the question here is whether WP:IAR can be invoked to permit bare external links or whether WP:MOS needs to apply to this article. It is a complicated discussion, with valid arguments well presented by people on both sides. There are conflicting principles at work here. When there is no consensus for change, WP:STATUSQUO takes precedence. But when there is no consensus to WP:IAR, guidelines and policies apply. WP:LOCALCONSENSUS cannot overcome wider consensus.

Given that, the people who support the bare external links cannot overwhelm the greater number who oppose them, as those who oppose bare external links have the weight of wider consensus behind them. There may not be strong enough consensus to mandate change (whatever that would look like), but there’s not strong enough consensus to prevent it.

Those who have good reason to suggest that articles of this kind should be handled differently (and I myself can certainly see the value in some of the arguments advanced) may want to open the question at Wikipedia talk:Manual of style to see if the principle – that some articles are better served by bare links – is adopted there. If so, handling of the article here may be done differently. As it stands, there is insufficient consensus to prevent standardizing this article in accordance with WP:MOS. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 13:32, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Should this article use references (such as <ref>{{cite web...}}</ref>) or inline external links within the body (such as [http://...])   — Jess· Δ 05:03, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

  • Support using references, per the MOS, WP:Citing sources, and the reasons presented in the sections above. Our guidelines clearly state that using references is important, more user friendly, and avoids common problems with using just bare urls. Some of those problems include the target of the link is not obvious, the convention is non-standard for anyone who's ever viewed any other article, the author and access date are lacking for reference, and it's prone to link rot. References don't suffer from any of those problems, and are a standard across the site. External links within the body was deprecated many years ago, and should not be used here. Please see the discussions above for further context.   — Jess· Δ 05:07, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support the status quo. To summarise my main arguments:
1. URL at end of line allows for quick confirmation of death and details
2. This is a large page by end of month (over 400 cites), that many web cites makes page very slow to load
3. Similar process used on like lists, see April 2012 for example
4. List edited by many editors, including novices
5. Many contributing editors cannot use web cite effectively, adding to cleanup detail for a few wikignomes
6. High access page (over 60,000 visits per day), a page with mixed/messy cites is not a good look for Wikipedia. Current page looks clean, simple and effective.
7. The present format has been in use since Deaths in October 2004. That is a considerable precedent. WWGB (talk) 05:39, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Essentially copying my responses from above, which weren't addressed:
1. So does a web cite, which is why it's used everywhere else
2. So are other articles, including featured ones, which all use references
3. Inline external links are not used on any featured lists. Not one. If other low-quality lists don't yet comply with the MOS, they should be fixed too.
4. True of every article on wikipedia. With that in mind, we still made the MOS guideline.
5. True of every article on wikipedia. It's not that much work (see section above), nor does it introduce serious problems. External links, however, do introduce serious problems.
6. Current page doesn't look clean. It looks sloppy and out of touch with the way every other article on WP is formatted. There's no indication of where the link goes before clicking on it, which also makes it more difficult to use. This is not the most visited page on WP, by far - featured articles get a lot of traffic, and they all use a standard format.
7. WP:CCC. 8 years ago, inline external links were acceptable. They were deprecated many years ago, and nearly every article has been converted to refs since then, per explicit guideline. I don't see any reason this article should be different, and simply ignore the MOS.   — Jess· Δ 15:02, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Having recently brought up virtually the same thing, I'm familiar with several (but probably not all) previous discussions about this. I can understand the stance of many regulars of this page that anything but [URL]-format references are unpractical here. However, I don't see why previous incarnations (Deaths in 2011, ...) should be kept in this state. Goodraise 05:46, 12 April 2012 (UTC) Goodraise 13:35, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support status quo per WWGB above. This list page is unique within Wikipedia and there are very good reasons that it appears the way it does despite the fact that it may not follow typical MOS guidelines. All entries are vetted at the time they are added and include a reference - expanding the references is unwieldy and does not improve readability or comprehension of the list page. This format has worked well for years; changing to match guidelines better suited to articles and short lists is process wonkery. Jezebel'sPonyobons mots 18:52, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
  • You said "there are very good reasons it appears the way it does". What are those reasons? I have asked for them repeatedly... the best I've gotten is that using {{cite web}} is hard. What about the very serious problems introduced by using external links inline, which was the reason for the MOS guideline?   — Jess· Δ 19:13, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
~Who said "using {{cite web}} is hard"? Not me. The bold-, italic-, wikilink-button edit line has a Cite button at the end of it, which should make it easy for any editor to do it. The problem is getting every editor to use it. - WylieCoyote (talk) 20:06, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
We don't need every editor to use it. If someone screws it up, we fix it, just like everywhere else on WP. I already fixed them all on this page, but someone reverted me and said they should be the other way... I asked why, and was told "it's the way we've always done it", and "using cite web is hard". So, when youPonyo says "there are very good reasons it appears [this way]", I want to know what those very good reasons are. I haven't seen them yet. I also want to know why the very good reasons our guidelines outline for not doing it that way don't matter on this article, such as link rot, clearly representing the target of the link, clearly publishing cite info, making a consistent feel for usability, etc.   — Jess· Δ 23:54, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
I've searched the above comments for using cites as being "hard" to no avail, only saw the "always done it". Good luck in your endeavors to get this passed. I spend enough time fixing other cites on less-viewed pages, so I imagine it would grow tiresome for one or more "copy editors" here. — WylieCoyote (talk) 01:10, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
You said above that {{cite web}} was "involved", inline links were "easier", and other editors didn't know how to use refs. I don't know how to take that but that they are hard. "X is easier than Y" means "Y is harder than X". I disagree with the assertion, but it seemed fairly clear to me. You haven't answered any of my questions or advanced any reasons to use inline links, which makes it really difficult to engage in this discussion... I'm really trying here, but I still don't see any reason not to follow policy for just this page.   — Jess· Δ 01:24, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Oh, I see. "Involved and easier" doesn't necessarily mean "hard". Case in point. Look at all the bare URLs. The references are from "confirmed editors", who find that it's easier to just use a URL in an article that begs for full cite webs. I used the Reflinks tool twice there and it timed me out twice, therefore not completing my "ref fixes." As for here, I think I have saturated this page with my answers and reasons and this is my last one since it's "difficult" for you to engage in discussion, or would that be "involved"? — WylieCoyote (talk) 02:29, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
That's an unassessed article. Sure, if we compare this article to stub-class, unassessed, and C-class articles, I'm sure we'll wind up with lots of different conventions than the MOS prescribes. That doesn't mean those are good conventions. Look at all the good class or featured articles: none of them do this. Once again, we don't have to get everyone to use cites, and you don't personally have to fix errors here for us to allow errors to be fixed. I tried to clean the article up, but was reverted and told consensus was they shouldn't be fixed. Now I'm getting arguments that we shouldn't fix them because other editors don't want to. I do. I'm trying to, but I'm being barred from doing so. I still haven't seen any reason that this article is different than any other, and should simply ignore our WP-wide content guidelines.   — Jess· Δ 03:04, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

Arbitrary break I

  • Status quo support - My fingers hurt from the points I have made, but let me also add the conciseness that is also called for in Wiki articles. A reflist of 500 references a month would lengthen the page. — WylieCoyote (talk) 19:10, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Status quo support - In my opinion, there are no serious problems with having inline links in this article, and there are no compelling reasons for introducing a list of refs -Kiwipat (talk) 09:27, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
So, you recognize that there are problems with having inline links in this article, and that there are reasons for introducing a list of refs. Curious that you still support the status quo. What might the reasons for that be? Goodraise 10:04, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Why is following policy not a compelling reason?   — Jess· Δ 15:42, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Err, it's only a guideline, not a policy. WWGB (talk) 15:51, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Sure. A content guideline that is used in every good article across the entire site. Why is following the consensus of the entire community on this issue, as outlined in the MOS, not a compelling reason?   — Jess· Δ 16:37, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Well, I'm not compelled and, so far at least, neither is anyone else. WWGB (talk) 16:43, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Umm... within these few sections, we have 3 editors (including myself) who support following wikipedia-wide consensus on the matter, and 4 regulars to this page who have opposed it without giving any solid reasons. I don't think "no one" is a really apt characterization. With all due respect, I appreciate your input, but my question was posed to Kiwipat. I would genuinely like to know why he doesn't feel that following site-wide consensus is a compelling reason to use refs, as well as his reasons for using external links inline to begin with. Thanks.   — Jess· Δ 16:51, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
The fact that there are "regulars" who agree that what you are proposing will not work should give even more weight to the argument to maintain the status quo, not less as you seem to insinuate above. And the "no solid reasons" comment is incorrect, they are simply reasons that you evidently do not agree with. You are certainly not the first editor who has happened upon this very high profile list and decided it needs "fixing". At the end of the day/week/month it is the "regulars" who are familiar with the formatting and the eventual fall-out of the changes that are left to clean up the mess and eventually it returns to the format that works best, which is the current state. --Jezebel'sPonyobons mots 18:38, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
How about if we let Jess run this page in May 2012, just to see if this cite-web plan is a success or will blow up in their face? Since apparently our "solid reasons" nor our opinions matter? — WylieCoyote (talk) 17:50, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Guys, I'm not trying to be hostile here. If I thought your opinions didn't matter, I wouldn't have started 4 sections for discussion and an RfC, as well as spending considerable time responding personally to each one of you. The problem is, I'm asking questions and not getting answers. The regulars here are just saying "I don't agree" and then bailing. That's not helpful. I'm being told "some people don't want to do it themselves, so you can't do it even if you want"; that's not an argument. I'm being told "we've done it this way forever"; that's not an argument. I'm being told "there are problems, but the reasons to switch aren't good enough" without any indication of why we should keep this problematic version; that's not an argument. I'm being told "the MOS doesn't matter because of IAR", with no indication of why we should IAR; that's not an argument. None of these are solid arguments. I get that you guys have been doing this for a while, and you've done it a certain way, and changing things up can be tough sometimes. But the way things are being done now are against the way we do things on WP, and will prevent this and any other related article from ever being a good article. We have the MOS for a reason, and there are a lot of problems it was created to circumvent. This article suffers from a lot of them. I'm not trying to force anybody to change their editing habits, or push anyone into a new convention they don't like; I'm just trying to personally fix up some standard issues on this page so it's a better article.   — Jess· Δ 19:15, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Status quo support I've read over all the arguments and my opinion is that we should maintain the bare URLs on at least the current month list, so unless stated otherwise, assume that I am referring to any current month and not to past months or years. The MOS guidelines are just that - guidelines - a set of broadly applicable rules that have seen wide-spread use across the encyclopedia and to which consensus has been reached that they are a useful setting of guiding principles. As it states at the top of, say Wikipedia:Citing sources, however, "It is a generally accepted standard that editors should attempt to follow, though it is best treated with common sense, and occasional exceptions may apply." I would argue that whatever is linked to by "recent deaths" on the front page should be considered wholly different from most other articles and ignore all rules should be applied to the guidelines for it. That makes what is done on any other article or list irrelevant. Why we should apply an exception in this case is (correct me if I'm wrong) the real question you are asking here.
The reasons for this have been mentioned above but key is that this page is a potential WP:BLP nightmare that several diligent users have spent considerable time maintaining just to make it look as good as it does and, as you pointed out, it's still "sloppy and out of touch" (debatable, but I agree that it is certainly not the best it could be ideally). Most pages are about set topics that stop evolving after a (potentially long) amount of time, so once all the citations are converted to proper format, depending on the quality of the article, there's not a whole lot more that is going to be added - of course, articles develop and new information can always be uncovered, but it's at a much more steady, even slow, pace. According to Wikipedia:Wikipedia records, the most citations a single article has ever had is 895, and that article was split. By contrast, Deaths in January 2012 alone has 468 citations that stuck, not to mention all the ones that would have been there for red links that didn't become articles, foreign language citations that were transferred to English, links that went dead etc. etc. And that pace will never, ever stop. That is why there is so much resistance to adding "proper" citations: editors here already have a hefty burden already in keeping this page free of vandalism and BLP concerns, and they get a hell of a lot of flack for insisting (as they should) for proper citations even when a death is "known" (the example that comes to mind is the kerfuffle over Fred Saberhagen's death, even though that's ancient history by Wikipedia's standards. Maybe think about the initial reports of Michael Jackson's death for a slightly more recent example). Quite simply, if it is mandated that "proper" citations are used, I doubt that anyone is going to spend their time maintaining the page and we're going to have a lot of nice citations that are very much in line with Wikipedia:Citing sources and a lot of serious BLP issues. The average editor who watches over this page has limited time - they can spend time doing fancy citing or looking over the entries for potential problems. The latter is what has been prioritized, and my opinion is that it should remain that way.
I guess rather than arguing or debating, this is more just my attempt to explain why you are being met with such resistance despite what probably seems to you like a handful of lazy editors who would rather argue on a talk page to keep the status quo than actually follow the guidelines. Just remember that to them, they might see someone who has no experience with what it takes to maintain this page on a daily basis coming in and telling them how they have to do things regardless of how practical it may be. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe people would spend the time to make it look nice and be BLP safe. But from the comments on the talk page, that doesn't seem to be the case. In fact it seems like most regulars would stop working on this page if the proposed citation style were mandated, which in my opinion would make this page a lot worse because there would be fewer eyes on it checking for BLP problems, formatting things correctly, etc. etc.
Having said that, I don't have any objection to standard format being applied to previous "Deaths in..." articles, which would require less maintenance and may actually support WP:BLP concerns by making dubious death claims easier to spot (what vandal wants to waste their time faking someone's death with a proper citation?). Of course, many people (myself included) have proposed far less controversial proposals to the old articles and have been met with apathy or rejection. I proposed removing excessive wikilinks on older pages, something we already do on the current pages, and no one supported it, so I'm not going to spend my time fixing the articles when I might get instantly reverted. So, I'd support fixing the old pages, but wouldn't do it myself without consensus.
In summary, requiring compliance with Wikipedia:Citing sources would drive editors away, leading to fewer page maintainers, leading to a worse page than we had before (due to more BLP issues, inconsistent formatting that lasts longer etc.). Thus, WP:IAR applies because the rule would be detrimental to the article's improvement and maintenance. Canadian Paul 18:36, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Paul, I truly do appreciate the considered response, but I think you've missed the point. When we say "we should use references", we are not saying that each editor has to modify the way in which they add or edit content on the page. No one has to make any changes to the way they do things. The question is whether these articles should be working towards meeting the standards of a higher quality article, and thereby allow editors to come in and fix problems. I am personally attempting to fix the article such that it meets those standards, and other editors are telling me I'm not allowed to. I'm not asking others to change, I'm asking to be allowed to make corrections.   — Jess· Δ 18:59, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
I understand your point completely; however you want to state it, you are seeking consensus to change the referencing format of the page to fall in line with the MOS. All I was attempting to do is explain why I feel that is a bad idea and why you are meeting with such resistance. If you are going to be so disingenuous as to write "I'm being told 'the MOS doesn't matter because of IAR', with no indication of why we should IAR" after I wrote 6kb of text explaining why I feel that we should IAR, then it makes me think that you really aren't making much of an attempt to understand the other point of view in this case. It's fair if you don't agree with my reasoning, that's the name of the game, but you cannot claim that no one has provided an explanation of why we should IAR. Although I agree that some of the other "status quo" editors may not have expressed themselves as clearly as they could, at the end of the day they are expressing that they have come to the conclusion that following Wikipedia:Citing sources would be more detrimental to this article than not following it. If more people believe that than not, then consensus is that we keep bare URLs. Otherwise, consensus is that we adhere to proper citation style. It's as simple as that. And I'm fully willing to admit that I may be wrong on this one - it's very possible that everyone !voting to follow Wikipedia:Citing sources will continue to maintain this article and make it look much better than its current state and, if they do, I will commend you and all those editors. I am merely skeptical based on my experience here and on Wikipedia in general. But it's one time where I'd be really happy to be proven wrong. Canadian Paul 19:31, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
I've been trying to leave the conversation alone and let others weigh in, but I think some clarity here is important. When I mentioned IAR in my post above, I wasn't referring to you. You did, indeed, provide justification for invoking IAR, however, it was also brought up a fair number of times before you without justification. (e.g. WWGB on Apr 12) I appreciate that you took the time yesterday to give me a considered response, but in your case, I think your argument boils down to "some editors don't want to use cites". That doesn't carry weight with me when its used as an argument to say "no editor is allowed to use cites"... "My brother John doesn't want to edit wikipedia, so I vote that no one can." What I've been looking for is an explanation of why the problems outlined by WP:CITE don't apply here, why this article is different than all others on WP to warrant an exception to guideline, and what benefit external links provide to begin with. Until today, no one has attempted to answer those questions. WWGB provided a comparison of article size 2 hours ago which attempts to address #2. I don't find it personally compelling, but it's an attempt to answer the core issues, which I appreciate. Lastly, consensus isn't a vote. This RfC is intended to spur discussion about the issues, not to tally supporters in a straw poll and settle on the majority. Thanks.   — Jess· Δ 03:43, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Per WP:CITE, "Each article should use the same citation method throughout. If an article already has citations, adopt the method in use or seek consensus on the talk page before changing it." Yes, you are seeking consensus to change, but you also need to accept the outcome of that debate, whatever it may be. WWGB (talk) 01:39, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
WWGB, considering that guideline says that inline external links were deprecated years ago and we should not use them, I don't think it's saying what you've implied. There are lots of ways to properly cite sources which conform to the MOS; that guideline is saying that we should consistently use one of those acceptable methods. It does not mean that we shouldn't correct problems just because an ip editor might mess it up one day and then things wouldn't be consistent. Again, the question is whether it is acceptable for an editor (like me) to use citations within the article and correct noncompliance with the MOS, not whether every editor from here on out must be forced to change their editing habits or face penalties. Every article on WP has external links added to it now and then; we just quietly fix them.   — Jess· Δ 02:10, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Arbitrary break II

  • I've been wondering. How are print sources handled? When editors want to cite obituaries in national newspapers, do you tell them to find online sources? Is there some way to make them fit in nicely with the inline links? Or is the current "citation style" enough to deter any such attempts? Goodraise 03:23, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
  • This is the first time I see this article (after a note on the talk page of the Biographies Wikiproject) and I'm baffled. Since when would lists like this not need to follow WP:MOS? Including the fact that we should not use external links in the body of a text? The argument that there are older lists that also do this is, of course, completely fallacious (or, to say it less reverently: WP:OTHERCRAPEXISTS). This article urgently need a lot of cleanup to bring it in line with the encyclopedia that it is part of. --Guillaume2303 (talk) 15:56, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
  • No-one seems to have mentioned one of the principal reasons for not using bare URLs, which is WP:LINKROT - I would welcome a response from the "status quo" editors on this specific point.
    The argument about new and novice editors having problems citing references properly is extremely weak, as the article is indefinitely semi-protected.
    The statement "the present format has been in use since Deaths in October 2004" is no reason whatsoever - before 1991 "the format" was to read the deaths column in your newspaper. Things change, evolve and move on - or (rather appropriately) die. - Arjayay (talk) 17:31, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
    • My response to Goodraise and Arjayay would be that those are both very valid points and great reasons not to use bare URLs, (Goodraise: they simply aren't included, which can be very frustrating) but I (not speaking for anyone else) believe that even taking those negative points into consideration, the article would be still be in better shape with bare URLs than formal citations. Rather than restate my arguments though, I'll let people hack through my paragraphs above to dissect why I feel that way. And again, I would love to be proven wrong here! Canadian Paul 19:31, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
      • If the current format really excludes all but online sources, then I find it intolerable. Editors should no longer be prevented from using full citations, if they want. Goodraise 13:35, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Aids readers?. Seems to me only editors are upset. The bare link is there to click on if readers want - simple, clean, efficient. Readers of this article couldn't give a toss about refs with information shown for them. This drive to 'standardise' the article is simply an exercise in editorial pointyheadedness, with little or no regard for readers.-Kiwipat (talk) 22:10, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
I've mentioned this a few times, but when we settle on a non-standard format lacking in information, that impacts usability. This is a readership issue primarily. Wikipedia readers expect to find refs for claims, not external links. Refs also provide author, date, title and publication info so the reader knows where they're going before they click the link; external links are lacking that metadata and "blind". Bare urls are also prone to link rot, resulting in readers being confronted with incurable 404s; cites don't suffer from that problem, which means a better experience for readers.   — Jess· Δ 03:43, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose inline. Not broken, doesn't need fixing. Lugnuts (talk) 17:28, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
    • Oppose inline citations as well/ Lugnuts is completely correct - "Not broken, doesn't need fixing." Same could be said for the entire page. Scanlan (talk) 20:34, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support using references, per the MOS, WP:Citing sources. Being a list class article is no reason not to adhere to MOS unless there is a specific reason per policy and guidelines. Consensus rules on this however as there is no goal towards improving assesment of class of importance to weigh any decision.--Amadscientist (talk) 05:06, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Supports using reference, per MOS because that's the right way to do it. Sorry if it's hard. Quinn SUNSHINE 13:38, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
  • OPPOSE The way things are have worked very well for many years now, and I see no reason except to be a trouble-maker or imposing one's will that 1 person has made such an issue of it. Williamb (talk) 19:32, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Inline references and MOS-style references, since this is a heavily sourced article, I suggest ignoring consistency (by WP:IAR). So, let editors who want to put inline links continue to do so but also allow others to add or migrate links to a normal MOS method. --PnakoticInquisitortalk 01:18, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support inline references as status quo, for reasons of space. -The Gnome (talk) 15:55, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Supports use of footnotes: Readers looking for references can easily find them. Also, maintenance of citations is easier if an editor can look over the References section and upgrade as needed. I agree that bare URLs make the article more compact, but the maintenance of citations is more important. Wikipedia gains respectability by its reliable citations. DonaldRichardSands (talk) 00:30, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support MOS-style references if this RfC is still open. There's no reason this article should be exempt from following the MOS. If the argument is that it's too much effort, it's silly to repeatedly revert an editor who's willing to make that effort. And the fact that the current format doesn't allow offline sources is ridiculous. DoctorKubla (talk) 19:24, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support use of proper citations Part of the point of the citation template is to enable better tracing of material when links go offline... which they do, quite frequently. Having some metadata about the sources that are being used enables editors in the future to trace articles where the URL has changed, and to find the articles if they are hosted elsewhere (for instance, on archiving sites like or on services like Lexis-Nexis or HighBeam). Not using proper citation templates is just sloppy and ought to be fixed. —Tom Morris (talk) 09:23, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support using proper MOS references, i.e., footnotes and citation templates. It's silly that this discussion even needs to be had, that's what the MOS is for. Raw inline links are uninformative compared to a proper citation and appear unprofessional.  Sandstein  17:09, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

Clarification and comment

Any discussion of citation and "references" on WP tends to get confused because of a higly lamentable confusion of concepts. I would like to offer some clarification of concept, which might assist this discussion, and then comment on the nature of WP:verification.

First: while the "ref" in the <ref> and </ref> tags is derived from "reference", what those tags create is not a reference itself, but an in-line link to a footnote — the familiar [1] thingys. These link to the footnotes (usually collected elsewhere by template such as {{reflist}}).

Second: the importance of the foregoing is that any kind of material that can be placed "in-line" in the article text — more text, external links, "bibiographic references", citation templates, etc. — can also be placed between <ref> tags, and therefore in a footnote. So what we have is two levels of where stuff can be put: "in-line" in the text, or in a footnote which has an in-line link. Same stuff, just different levels.

So when Jess initially proposed using "<ref>{{cite web...}}</ref>" he implied two things: use of the "cite web" template, and placement of it not directly in the text ("in-line"), but indirectly in a footnote with an in-line link. So there are really two questions here. But supporting or opposing "in-line" is nonsense: both alternatives are "in-line". The main issue here seems to be whether to continue with the use of external links (aka "naked urls"), or to switch to a citation template (specifically, "cite web").

I submit that the principal policy applicable here is WP:verification, which says: "Verifiability on Wikipedia is a reader's ability to check cited sources that directly support the information in an article." An external link is nothing more than a pointer to some place on the Internet. While it barely suffices to indicate where verfication might be found, it is a single datum, and quite fragile: any error in it, or any change of the target, breaks it, leading to link rot.

This kind of problem is not new. The print world figured it out quite a while back: include as much information as you can about the source. E.g., the link provided for Carlos Fuentes goes to the Washington Post. No author or date provided, but if the link should break I would have a good lead on where to look. This also bears on the reliability of the source. E.g., I would be rather skeptical if the source was The Onion. Or some little-known blog. The point is: additional information is good.

Such additional information need not be in a citation template. It could also be added as simple text. A minimal proposal could be that naked urls — lacking a label — be banned, that all external links are required to name the source, and possibly the author, date, etc. Use of a template would be more convenient and more consistent, but is not necessary.

The core issue here, stripped of misconceptions and complications, is this: should this article move beyond naked urls? Most certainly it should; the question is how.

~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 19:13, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I support using references (<ref> . . . </ref>) to create footnotes, rather than placing external links within the body of the text. It promotes cite verification, looking for deadlinks, and looking to see how well an article is inline sourced. I do not see any benefits from placing the external links in the body of the text. This is a separate question from the use or non-use of the various cite templates. Most of the time the cite templates help an editor with selection of metadata and with format, sometimes they just don't work for a particular citation. They are not perfect. --Bejnar (talk) 21:50, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I agree 100% with J. Johnson's regards. My76Strat (talk) 05:28, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

A real example

Note: Originally a subsection of the RfC above. Moved for clarity 00:35, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

To provide a comparison, I spent considerable time "creating" a footnotes version of Deaths in December 2011 (which is now a fairly stable article). The two versions may be compared below:

Version A (current) Deaths in December 2011 with URLs size= 69,060 bytes
Version B (suggested) Deaths in December 2011 with footnotes size=131,319 bytes

Observations and comments

  • Version B (with footnotes) is 90% bigger then Version A. That is, footnotes almost double the size of the article.
  • I cannot download Version B to my Blackberry because of the article size. That means I could not read or edit the article while traveling each day. WWGB (talk) 01:18, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
131k is big for a list, but not out of the ordinary. WP:Article size discusses articles with prose size alone of 100k, and all the stats there indicate this article (with or without refs) is well within the confines of a normal article. For comparison, btw, the first page of facebook is nearly 500k without any images, external resources, stylesheets, etc; browsers regularly download pages many times the size of your mocked up version, and quickly. I appreciate the comparison, however. Thanks for the effort!   — Jess· Δ 03:57, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
And please take into consideration that both versions of the article that was brilliantly compared by WWGB are without the redlinked/barely notable deaths which currently take up one-third of the current month. — WylieCoyote (talk) 21:49, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Yep. I'm aware of that... and planning to boldly remove them from this article for a second time in short order. I was giving discussion some time before jumping back in, but it would seem now that everyone is either for it or disinterested. I'll do that now, since you brought it up. Thanks.   — Jess· Δ 23:35, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
It's Bold, Revert, Discuss, not Bold, Revert, Disruptively remove again. Dru of Id (talk) 03:11, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
  • sigh* Or in this case, Bold, revert, discuss, editor tells you to try edit again, wait a week with no further input. Bold, get berated for following normal processes. Look, if you have something to contribute to the discussion, you're welcome in the section I started specifically for it above. If you actually read WP:BRD, it says it's cyclical (i.e. B comes after D). If you have a problem with my editing, you're welcome on my talk page to discuss it. I'd appreciate it if, here, we could stay on topic. Thanks.   — Jess· Δ 03:22, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
By the way ... when does this RfC discussion end ... so that we have a final decision, one way or the other? Does anyone know? Thanks! Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 15:20, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
Typically, RfCs take 30 days, but that's not a hard rule. Ideally, it would end in a natural consensus. Alternatively, if we can't do it on our own, we'd have to ask an uninvolved editor (perhaps an administrator) to close it for us. Unless I'm mistaken, you haven't commented on the matter yet and probably don't want to. Since you're also familiar with these articles, you're in the ideal position to help move this RfC forward by summarizing what has been said so far (listing pros and cons). I think that would be a great help. Goodraise 15:37, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
No, I have not commented on this issue. You are correct. The issue of bare URL versus footnotes is not an issue that is important to me. I can go either way on that issue. Therefore, I don't have much to add in that regard. My "bigger" issues with this page are the possibility of setting it up as a table (versus a list), as in the discussion above. And, also, setting up the old archived pages in chronological order, instead of reverse chronology (also cited in a discussion section above). Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 20:28, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
I think someone uninvolved with the article would be best. I was planning to ask an admin at AN after enough time had passed. I'm trying to stay away from the article and let others discuss in the meantime. Give it a while yet, after enough editors have had a chance to comment, I'll get someone over here to close things up. Thanks.   — Jess· Δ 15:47, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
Someone uninvolved should close it of course, but inducing further discussion by summarizing what has been said so far wouldn't hurt, would it? Goodraise 15:52, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
Summarizing would of course be fine. Anything to induce further discussion would probably be good. The closing admin will, of course, summarize all the points made in his close as well. Thanks.   — Jess· Δ 17:34, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

Other examples?

Question, Are there other examples of bare URLs (not dealing with list of Deaths)?
DonaldRichardSands (talk) 00:10, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes, there are other instances. See, for example, Portal:Current events. WWGB (talk) 00:32, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Certain list articles, like this one, feed various WikiProjects, so an appropriate section might display information within their projects scope. (P:RECP uses this list). Forcing the reference to pass through an indirect path necessitate either creating a "References" section at the Portal, (tacky) or modifying the inline reference back to its direct form; for our use. Archives would be affected; the transcluded pages (when you were editing there); no telling how many templates would require modifications; and undoubtedly other things yet unrealized. Finding that I fully agree with J. Johnson's comment, I support the concept of including more information in the link; requiring the indirect link be used, I oppose. My76Strat (talk) 05:36, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.
  • Support inline references as status quo, for reasons of convenience. It is time-consuming to scroll up and down the page, and my browser history tells me, by changing the color of the hyperlink, which articles I've already read. BTW, inline citations are acceptable under MLA standards. Consider the purpose of this page. It is not a scholarly page, it is a guide to news articles. Tenorlove (talk) 09:50, 13 June 2012 (UTC)Tenorlove


Has there been any resolution to the RfC above? It began on April 12, a full month ago. Is there any conclusion – one way or the other – about the citation format to be followed in this article? Can an administrator "close out" the RfC and resolve this? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 16:27, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

Well, since this request has been here for six days, and nobody has shown any interest in responding to it, I will make a few remarks. I will, however, leave the request for help open for a little longer, on the off chance that someone else will be able to give a more useful response to it.
  1. The discussion is so long and involved that I am unwilling to read it all, and I expect other administrators will feel the same way. However, a quick glance at it suggests that no consensus was achieved, in which case the answers to your first two questions are "no" and "no".
  2. There is nothing here that specifically requires an administrator. An administrator is no more able to assess consensus in a discussion than anyone else. An administrator is usually needed to close discussions which are likely to require administrative action, such as deletion discussions, but that is not the case here.
  3. If, as seems likely, no conclusion was reached, then it would not be helpful for an individual (whether an admin or not) to come along and announce that a conclusion of some sort has been reached. To do so would be for that person to unilaterally decide to impose a decision of their own. It would be possible to close the discussion as "no consensus", but it is not clear to me that doing so would have any advantage over leaving it as it is.
  4. The only way such a discussion can be closed is by an uninvolved outsider who is willing to read the whole thing and weigh up all the arguments. My guess is that the likelihood of finding such a person is low.
The conclusion of all this, it seems to me, is that the best thing is to leave the discussion and accept that it led to no conclusion. That may be disappointing, but if it is the truth then it is best to accept the fact. JamesBWatson (talk) 16:43, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
That's why it's so hard to change anything around here. No consensus means status quo. Even when the current system is completely unsupported by policy, and the only argument against bringing it in line with MOS is "we can't be bothered". DoctorKubla (talk) 21:00, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
If consensus is applied properly, it's not a vote. If the other side's argument really is "we can't be bothered", as you say, then consensus supports the change. James said he didn't read the discussion, so he likely just tallied up the votes to get a rough idea. I don't blame him for that. However, as he's aware (and said himself), that doesn't put him in a position to gauge consensus. Someone will be along eventually to close it down. In the meantime, we're getting a few new people to comment here and there, which isn't a bad thing.   — Jess· Δ 22:26, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
I've listed this at requests for closure. Danger! High voltage! 22:46, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 23:05, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

Comments on RfC

We're still waiting on someone to close the RfC. I'd like that to be someone uninvolved, which is why I haven't done it myself. That being said, I'm personally seeing consensus for the proposal within that discussion. Few arguments were presented to ditch the MOS for this page, and a large majority of the editors commenting (particularly those uninvolved) were supportive of sticking to broader community consensus on the matter. Nearly 1/2 of the opposition to the proposal were bare votes. Some of the reasons presented for references included that the current page excludes offline references, inline links are prone to linkrot, consistency with all other articles which aids readers in using refs properly, and the various other reasons presented in WP:Citing Sources. I'd still like an outside editor to evaluate the arguments presented and conclude whether consensus was reached before migrating the page to a standard format myself, so as not to waste a large amount of my own time. The discussion was listed at requests for closure, so I imagine someone else will be by to make the close eventually. Thanks.   — Jess· Δ 14:57, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

Thanks. I'd like to see this issue finally settled – one way or the other. Above, I had asked for an Admin to close the RfC (quite some time ago). How exactly do we get someone to come in and actually close it? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 16:01, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

Notable decedents

I am assuming that the general rule is: if a decedent has his own Wikipedia article, then he is notable enough for inclusion on this list (excepting the first 30 days, during which red links are allowed). Is that correct? So, my question is: are re-directs or piped links "allowed" in order to establish notability for inclusion on this list? Or no? For example, there is no article for Roy Wilson (singer), yet there is a redirect to Higgs and Wilson. Or, another example, there is no article for Marco Antonio Ávila García, yet there is a redirect to List of journalists killed in the Mexican Drug War. What are the policies and practices for these situations? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 00:51, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

I've had some of my piped links removed before so I can't answer that. For example, a popular Minnesota radio personality named Dark Star died Friday, and I thought to add him here but he would not be notable enough to others. — WylieCoyote (talk) 01:41, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
Is that a good example? What could you possibly use as the piped link for him? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 04:09, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
I delete redirects like Marco Antonio Ávila García from the list after 30 days if there is no primary article. In the case of Roy Wilson, I'm inclined to give a little leeway when the redirect is to a duo or husband/wife etc, as that's almost as strong as an article about the individual. However, I don't have a strong opinion about that and could be persuaded to delete as a non-article individual. Regards, WWGB (talk) 08:22, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
OK, thanks. But do we have any consistent policy? I understand your point about the "Garcia" example (i.e., you are inclined to say that he is not notable and therefore exclude him from the list). I also understand your point about the "Higgs and Wilson" example (i.e., you are inclined to say that he is notable and therefore include him on the list). I was thinking of an example more like Rudy Eugene. He had his own article ("Rudy Eugene"). His own article was later redirected to an article entitled "2012 Miami cannibalism incident". What is policy for an example like that? Thanks! Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 15:55, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
I'd like to suggest creating an archive for red-linked inclusions later removed. My76Strat (talk) 18:58, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
I need clarification here. If there is still no Wikipedia article about a listed person 30 days after the death is added to the list, is the death always removed from the list? (talk) 01:48, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes, except the removal takes place one month after the death, not from the time that the death is added. WWGB (talk) 01:59, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

More thoughts on citations

Well, that RfC didn't go anywhere, and having thought it over, I think that's probably for the best. Despite what I said higher up this page, there were some good arguments made in favour of the status quo - namely, that footnotes would double the size of a very high-traffic page, and more than double the workload of the editors who maintain it - and I've come to accept that the current month's list is always in flux, so it will always be a little sloppy. Past months, however, are much more stable, and there's no reason they shouldn't be tidied up a bit. I've made a start on this by putting the lists in chronological order, but I want to do something about the bare urls. Converting them all into footnotes is out of the question, so what about getting rid of them completely? The sources that verify the details of each death can generally be found in the person's article (past months shouldn't have any redlinked entries), and the information isn't likely to be challenged. So let's just scrap the bare urls and we'll have a much more presentable collection of articles. DoctorKubla (talk) 11:46, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

To clarify again, I'm talking about past months, i.e. 2011 and earlier. The current month, and probably the current year, will contain contentious material and should be crammed full of citations. Just making that crystal clear from the start. DoctorKubla (talk) 11:48, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
I disagree with removing references. Verifiability is a pillar of Wikipedia. Having a list article without citations will lead to problems. Why would you remove references that editors have taken the time to accumulate? WWGB (talk) 11:59, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
WP:V says that only material "challenged or likely to be challenged" absolutely has to have a reference. Anything else is down the judgement of editors. It also says that information must be verifiable, which it will be. Anyone wishing to verify the information will only have to click the link to the article. Deaths in 2003 has no references, nor does any list prior to 2003. No problems have arisen. Anyway, if verifiability is your concern, try using Checklinks to see just how prevalent the linkrot problem is. Half the links are completely useless anyway. DoctorKubla (talk) 12:53, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Agreed entirely. Removing all references is what's out of the question. Anyway, being allowed to tidy up older lists would be an improvement. (Didn't I propose something like that recently?) DoctorKubla, may I ask why you think "converting them all into footnotes is out of the question"? Goodraise 12:28, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Because it would take a lifetime. I don't want to do it, and neither will anyone else. DoctorKubla (talk) 12:53, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
The only reason it hasn't been done yet is that every time somebody tries, they are reverted and told there's a consensus against it. It happened to me and I was neither the first nor the last. Goodraise 13:07, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
I think I may have missed your point, DoctorKubla. Why are you proposing to remove all citations completely? I am uncomfortable with that idea. But, I'd like to know your reason and rationale. First, the citations provide information; second, the work (to include them) has already been done. So, what is the benefit of removing them? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 13:20, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
I know removing all citations sounds extreme, but as I've said, verifiabilty isn't compromised. In a list of links to other articles, there's no need to provide citations for every item on the list unless the information is challenged or likely to be challenged. I understand that this in itself isn't a good reason to remove citations that are already in place. The problem is, the citations are bare urls, which are subject to linkrot and look untidy and are strongly discouraged by the wikiwide community. That's why I want to get rid of them. If these lists included redlinks or contentious material, then of course I'd take the time to replace the bare urls with fleshed-out footnotes, but in fact, it isn't necessary. It would be a waste of time and effort. The simplest way to remove the bare urls is to simply remove them. Lists like this don't need references. Other lists like this don't have references. Every date article (June 7, for example) has a list of births and deaths, without references. Not everything has to be verified, only verifiable. DoctorKubla (talk) 15:52, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
URL only "references" are bad because they are less useful than full citations and more fragile. Having no references at all is even worse! Your arguments for removal are nonsense. WP:V concerns itself with what's necessary, not with what's desirable. For that you have to look here. Goodraise 19:00, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
The featured list criteria doesn't mention citations. Looking through some of the featured lists, some of them cite every entry, some of them don't. It seems to be decided on a case-by-case basis. What is clear is that featured lists should comply with the Manual of Style, which means no bare urls. DoctorKubla (talk) 07:58, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
It should be done like you say. The logical first step is to simply begin doing it. I stand upon my position that more information is the way to go but maintain the links in direct form. You can <!-- comment out --> the information or pipe it through an # to keep the link down to a number. Something like this should be happening IMO. My76Strat (talk) 08:13, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

I wanted to display this example of some easy solutions that would be an immediate improvement.

  • The current method is subject to link rot[4]
  • Adding reference information is our key weapon[5]
  • You don't even need the arrow if you prefer.[6]

    My76Strat (talk) 09:34, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

Right, the featured list criteria don't mention citations. The key phrase is that "a featured list exemplifies our very best work". An article that isn't verifiable won't be labeled a featured list. An article that doesn't have a citation stuck to every entry can still be verifiable if it contains references to the necessary sources somewhere else in the article. Not doing this and instead leaving the responsibility to linked articles which may or may not contain suitable sources isn't enough to exemplify our very best work. Such a list wouldn't even be reviewed. It would be closed as a premature nomination. I suppose technically you're correct in saying that removing all these links will rid us of the MOS violation, but that would be akin to cutting off your leg to get rid of the pain caused by stubbing your toe. Goodraise 11:56, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────First of all, I don't think the RfC "went nowhere", it just needs someone to close. I've requested it at ANI. It'll be closed in time. As for this suggestion in particular, I'm ok with removing refs for entries with articles. @Goodraise, briefly skimming the featured lists, I found this, which has refs relating to the lead, but no refs for the entries. None of the lead's refs enumerate the films listed, either. I don't see a problem with leaving the cites to the articles, and listing refs for only the entries without articles. Editors pointed out page size issues earlier. I really don't think page size is something we have to worry about, as I've explained in depth above, but if others are concerned about it, this would be a great way to cut down on the article's size without losing content.   — Jess· Δ 19:48, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

Look again. There is a reference, a "general reference". That said, the list is probably due for an overhaul/FLRC. Goodraise 20:50, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
You are correct, there is a source which enumerates the entries. I think my point still stands, however. I don't think delegating the references to the individual articles would make this list fall afoul of a FL. The same suggestion was even proposed by an admin in my request for closure at ANI. He, and I, and DK may be wrong... I'm tempted to propose another RfC (or seek another venue) to find out, despite our trouble with getting outside opinions here in the past, but I'll wait for now. However, I'm pretty sure as long as the articles are verifiable, and we're essentially transcluding a part of the article, we should be fine. I think there's a guideline saying as much somewhere, but I can't track it down.   — Jess· Δ 21:10, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
I can certainly understand the reluctance to close the RfC either way. It's too complicated because it bit off too many things at once. We can draw two conclusions from it though.
  1. There is no strong consensus to stick with the status quo.
  2. There is no strong consensus to switch to using a combination of Cite.php footnotes and Citation Style 1 templates.
Fortunately these aren't our only two alternatives. WP:CITE allows for a wide variety of methods. The best way forward may be to break the issue into smaller pieces and work them one at a time. Follow-up RfCs would be quicker as we can invite the editors who participated in the first. We'd just have to make sure to invite them all to avoid canvassing problems. A first such follow-up RfC could ask whether we should go from the status quo to using manual (i.e. not templated) parenthetical citations including, for the time being, only page title, publisher and language.
  • [[Otto Ineichen]], 70, Swiss businessman and politician, heart failure. ([ "Nationalrat und Unternehmer Otto Ineichen stirbt an Herzversagen"] (in German). Swissinfo.)
  • Otto Ineichen, 70, Swiss businessman and politician, heart failure. ("Nationalrat und Unternehmer Otto Ineichen stirbt an Herzversagen" (in German). Swissinfo.)
We could even skip the publisher for now. Then, step by step, RfC by RfC, we'd get to the point where consensus actually lies – however far or close to the status quo that may be. Goodraise 21:52, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
Certainly there was no strong agreement to change the page, but I'm not sure I agree that, weighing the arguments presented, consensus was not formed. Consensus is not a vote, after all, and universal agreement isn't necessary. However, my opinion isn't largely relevant, since I won't be doing the close. We certainly could start other RfCs for opinions on other related topics. However, I've noticed two things:
1) Many regulars here want no change to the page at all. There were numerous comments like "the page isn't broken", or "it's worked fine this way for 9 years", concluding that we should leave everything as it is. Those editors are likely to feel the same way about any change.
2) It was very difficult to get anyone independent to comment. I imagine this is a combination of the silliness of the question (should we follow guideline?), the lack of impact on content itself, the combative nature of the discussion, and the size of the talk page. All of these are likely to be exacerbated by a flurry of similar RfCs.
I'm not sure how to resolve either of those issues. I've tried to resolve each one already, but with no luck, and I'm out of ideas now. Perhaps you don't feel the same way, in which case it may be prudent for you to start another RfC once the last one is finally closed. However, I have strong misgivings that it will result in any more clarity. In any case, I'd like to first see how the existing RfC is closed before making any big moves. Too much of my work has been reverted already.   — Jess· Δ 01:23, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
I did say "no strong consensus", didn't I? Anyway, I'm in no hurry. We'll see what happens. Goodraise 02:05, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, yea. I disagreed with the implication that it was weak. No worries; we'll wait and see what happens, and then move from there. All the best,   — Jess· Δ 03:07, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Ok, so the RfC seems to have concluded such that we can migrate to using references in the article. I'll try to take care of that once I have the chance to completely redo my work from before. With that in mind, do the editors supporting this particular proposal (removing cites from entries with articles) still think it's necessary for the page? If so, we can discuss it further. If not, perhaps we could try using refs for now, and see if the page needs any additional cite changes after that.   — Jess· Δ 20:37, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

Well, the closure is pretty close to what I expected. Consensus to change something, but no consensus what to change to. The next step is obvious: Decide on which of the myriad of citation styles permissible by WP:CITE should be used. I suggest we start a new section for that, allowing everyone to present their favorite style, discuss a while, and then use whatever gains the greatest support. Goodraise 22:30, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't see it as that ambiguous. A fair amount of the RfC opposes were opposes to footnotes, not a citation style, so I don't think those editors are going to have a strong (and unexpected) opinion about which style we use. I'd rather just follow normal process here: be bold and switch to a given cite style, and if someone has an issue with that style, they can change it up or discuss. We're talking about pretty basic stuff, here... every other article just does this without any issue. I would really prefer not to spend the next 2+ months hashing out RfC after RfC to pick out a cite template if that's not necessary. I'll hop in and do the cites once I get a chance, I just wanted to know if this (very much separate) proposal was still on the table, or if those advancing it felt that it should be superseded by the now-closed RfC.   — Jess· Δ 06:34, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
Whatever form they take, I still think citations ought to be removed once enough time has passed that the information is no longer contentious. I don't want to muddy the water, though, so I'm happy to drop this particular issue for now. DoctorKubla (talk) 07:05, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, if we can avoid a long discussion, so much the better. I have a hard time believing that this is over though. Goodraise 11:29, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

Footballer, not football player

Since most who play a form of football are referred to as footballers, could we please have no more "football player" nonsense, from ignorant North American editors. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:31, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

Flattery will get you nowhere. — WylieCoyote 21:04, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Main Wiki article either is acceptable ( "Footballer" is merely a colloquialism, while "football player" is more formal. Since "Football player" is more formal and has been the standard, it should remain so in my opinion. Sunnydoo (talk) 23:06, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
These are formal entries. My76Strat (talk) 08:16, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

January 2012 – May 2012


This gets the same exact information across to the reader. And it does so in a more compact, elegant, aesthetic, and efficient manner. (And, again, nothing substantive is lost at all.) Another user – who apparently does not like this change and/or does not agree with it – has reverted it a few times. He or she claims that, quote, "on a high profile page such as this one, every single edit/change needs consensus".

The exact conversation is as follows. I made the above change. The other user reverted it, stating: "no consensus to change format for current year". I asked: "we need concensus for EVERY single edit?". He replied: "on a high profile page like this one, yes you do".

It seems ludicrous to me that every single edit/change needs consensus, simply because this is a high-profile page. I suspect that the user in question makes this (patently absurd) claim only when presented with an edit/change that he does not like or that he disagrees with. Otherwise, it seems, plenty of edits go unchallenged and do not "require" consensus on this page. And, in any event, he is making a mountain of a mole hill. This is hardly a "major" issue. But, he wants to make a federal case of it. And he wants to engage in a pissing contest. So, I am bringing it to the Talk Page. And, apparently, from now on ... every single edit/change to this page requires consensus (as I understand it). Or so says he. Is my understanding correct? Is his interpretation of policy correct? Are there any thoughts on the proposed change? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 11:05, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

Leaving aside the personal attack and the misquotation, it seems that JAS wants the days to be listed backwards, the months to be listed forwards, and the years to be listed backwards.[7] In other words, a dog's breakfast. I'm not interested in federal pissing contests with Joseph, just a recognition that there are many editors who contribute to this page, and who deserve the courtesy and respect to be consulted on a significant format change. WWGB (talk) 11:56, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
(1) Where exactly is the mis-quotation? Please be very specific. I did an exact "cut and paste" of the exact quotations of the conversation (while even leaving in there my own mis-spelling). And I did that precisely because I knew you would claim some red herring like a mis-quotation. (2) You miss the entire point of the edit. I don't particularly care if the order is up or down ... I care, rather, that 20 or 30 "wasted" vertical lines be compressed to 5 or 6 (with no loss of substantive content). I have no idea where you get those other red herrings ... that it "seems" (in your words) that I prefer days backwards, months forwards, etc. Where did you come up with those red herrings? You are making that up out of whole cloth. (3) You consider this to be a significant change? Wow! I knew you would make this a mountain out of a molehill. I hardly think, in the grand scheme of all things Wikipedia, that this is a "significant" change. It's a relatively minor, simple, non-controversial format change (and improvement, I'd posit). And, as I said, I knew that you would want to raise it to the level of a federal case by asserting how big / major / "significant" it is. Get real. That's simply your "code word" for saying that you personally don't like it and you personally disagree with it. And, therefore, you want to create bureaucratic impediments and obstacles, veiled under the guise of "proper policy" and/or "respect for other editors". Minor format changes are made every single day on Wikipedia, without "requiring" consensus. Get over yourself. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk)
Until you can communicate with a fellow editor with courtesy, I decline to respond to you. WWGB (talk) 13:38, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
Of course, that's a very easy way to avoid the substantive matter at heart ... and to divert/deflect the issue entirely. In other words, you have no defense. So, you throw a little temper tantrum / hissy fit... and stomp your feet like a little child until you get your own way. That's the gist of your conduct. Once again, get over yourself. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 13:43, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
Let's keep things collaborative. If the only objection is that the order is backwards, then I've addressed that by reintroducing the proposal in reverse order. If there are any other considerations, I'm happy to discuss more. Thanks.   — Jess· Δ 15:20, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

Deaths in July 2012

Please create an article called Deaths in July 2012 thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:01, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

It has already been created Deaths in July 2012, however, it is redirected to Deaths in 2012 until the end of July in line with common practice. WWGB (talk) 01:19, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
"Common practice" translation: won't be active until August 7 or 8, 2012. There will be an editor's note added on the main page. (It used to be there.) — WylieCoyote (talk) 01:38, 1 July 2012 (UTC)