Talk:District Railway/GA2

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Reviewer: Fayedizard (talk · contribs) 16:08, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

Good afternoon all. I'm going to be reviewing this article for GA - for completeness it is noted that the last nomination was the subject of some conversation and I volunteered to re-review as being the simplest way to keep the article moving forward. Having said that I'd like to make sure that there is no implication that the article is getting an easy ride - for this reason I'm going to stay off article edits myself (so all suggestions will go in the prose box) and the review be particularly interested in the sources. The review should go up in the next few hours :) Fayedizard (talk) 16:08, 10 August 2012 (UTC)


Rate Attribute Review Comment
1. Well-written:
1a. the prose is clear and concise, it respects copyright laws, and the spelling and grammar are correct. I find the article a touch heavy-going to read, (although I suspect that's largely because it's not a normal subject of mine to read) the text has a tendency to feel like it's written for people who already know a lot of the related history - I think it's probably fine for GA (on the level of clear and concise) but it's something to look at for future development (as a point in this 'clerestory' certainly needs a wikilink or a different word)
  • "On its opening the Met operated the trains on the District, receiving 55 % of the gross receipts for a fixed level of service." - Can re remove 'On its opening' - it makes the sentence a bit ambiguous...
  • " burden of its very high construction costs" - I'd drop 'very'
  • "On Saturday 1 July 1871 an opening banquet " -> "On Saturday 1 July 1871, an opening banquet "
  • "The following Monday, 3 July 1871," -> "The following Monday,",
  • "To promote travel by the underground railways in London a joint marketing arrangement was agreed in 1908 that" - bit passive, can we have "X agreed to..."?
  • You've got a bit of a problem with "LT&SR" - it's used a lot but because of the size of the article it's difficult to find what it means... I haven't got any ideas though... any suggestions?
  • Looking though, there are bunch of single-sentence paragraphs, which are generally discouraged - could you go though and maybe attach to a related paragraph, or even expand?
  • "Several vehicles have been preserved. " I'd drop this, it is implicit in the following sentence. (I'm not going to do much more prose on 'Electric multiple units' because of the movement suggestion below, but if there's a clear reason to leave it in then I'll come back with more :)
  • "Initially lighting was by coal gas held in bags on the roof, and this changed to a pressurised oil gas system." -> "Lighting was initial provide by coal gas, and later by pressurised oil gas."

I'll do another pass though tomorrow and see what else I can find. I'm done with prose for the most part now - although I suspect more might pop out after some of the below issues are resolved :)


1b. it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation. I'm not a bit fan of footnotes in general, but I can't find anything in MOS about them so that's okay, Likewise I find the layout a touch difficult to follow given that there are only two sections and a bunch of other sections... can we talk about ways of maybe promoting some of the section? I certainly think it would be handy if each of the history subsections had approximate years on them... (i.e. 'South to Richmond and east to East Ham, 1886-1904')
2. Verifiable with no original research:
2a. it contains a list of all references (sources of information), presented in accordance with the layout style guideline. Slightly unusually here, I'm going to ask that the books references are given a bit of a going over. I used [[1]] to get the Stephen_Hawking#Bibliography books a bit more linked to the outside world. This is slightly outside the GA criteria but I think you'll understand my motivation for asking in this case - EDIT - This isn't a GA criteria so I'm not going to insist before passing.
2b. it provides in-line citations from reliable sources for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons—science-based articles should follow the scientific citation guidelines. All appears fine, but I'll do another pass tomorrow.
2c. it contains no original research. Can't find any yet - but I'll do another pass tomorrow. No obvious problems, but I'd like to leave this as unresolved for a while in case something pops up.
3. Broad in its coverage:
3a. it addresses the main aspects of the topic. To the point of getting a touch out of hand (see below)
3b. it stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style). Detail is a bit of an issue - I'd be inclined to drop the paragraph that starts "In December 1876 there were six trains per hour on the inner circle between Mansion House" for a start and also everything from "After opening the District service from New Cross " to the end of the paragraph, as well as the paragraph that starts "In 1907 the weekday off-peak service was" - but I take my hat of you for such fine work - the article is amazingly detailed... I do think that quite a chunk of the 'Electric multiple units' section can be moved into the relevant article though... (I've changed this to a pass following the second opinion...)
4. Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without bias, giving due weight to each. Not a controversial subject.
5. Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute. A apparently well organised and committed group of editors.
6. Illustrated, if possible, by images:
6a. images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content. No problems.
6b. images are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions. Captions and Alt text - all good.
7. Overall assessment.

So I've gone though and given my first comments - I'll take another pass tomorrow - although people are welcome to start responding, the article isn't on hold yet as the review is still ongoing. Fayedizard (talk) 17:06, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

1a 'On its opening' - there needs to be some way of stating that initially (from 1868) the Metropolitan operated the District services, with the District not taking over until later on (1871); rather than implying that the District operated its own trains throughout.
'very' -  Done
"On Saturday 1 July 1871, an opening banquet " -  Done
"3 July 1871," -  Done --Redrose64 (talk) 20:07, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Finished today - I'm considering the article 'on hold', for let's say, seven days - although I'd very much like this to be a dialog (apart from anything, changes may reveal other things that could do with being changed) - you are entirely welcome to reply to concerns inline, and I look forward to seeing how you get on. Also, as a gesture of good faith I'm considering inviting the previous reviewer to go though the prose separately, but I'd like to take a bit of time to think about that. Fayedizard (talk) 16:01, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Thank you for your comments; I've been away and have just returned today. I plan to have a response for you in the next couple of days. Edgepedia (talk) 11:00, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Sorry for the delay, as the above says I have been away from the internet and hadn't been able to respond. I've made a very minor start, and agree that the electric multiple unit section can be reduced in length - I will work on this in user space and this could take a few days. I will comment again tomorrow. Edgepedia (talk) 19:04, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Just to bring the reviewer up to date I found the previous Good Article review just before I left to go away. I intended to re-nom the article after I returned. Thanks to everyone for re-noming this, and thanks for the comments. Concerning your comments above:
    • 1a:I've not been able to find a definition for 'clerestory' in a reliable source and linking to the article Clerestory doesn't help and is likely to confuse as it doesn't mention this usage of the word, so I've asked at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Trains#Clerestory. Regarding LT&SR I've expanded this in a few places using the {{abbr}} template; does this help? I've believe I've dealt the other issues raised, please check.
    • 1b:I've re-arranged the history section using sub-sections and dated sections.
    • 2a:I'm concerned about linking to Google books; however I am still considering my detailed reply on this comment.
    • 3a/b: The article size is 66,893 bytes; the readable text (measured manually using a text editor) is 45,984 characters and 7534 words. This slightly bigger than the 50,390 byte size Metropolitan Railway (currently at FAC) was in March 2012 when in a Peer Review User:DavidCane commented that the There are quite a few things that I can see that are silent or missing. This only a little bigger than Central London Railway, a featured article. Regarding the sections you suggested removing, surely historical outline service frequencies are an important part of an article on a railway? I do agree (after a break and coming back to the article) that the multiple unit section should be reduced in size. (I wrote Metropolitan District Railway electric multiple units and I'm confident that everything in this article is in that one.) Edgepedia (talk) 17:55, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
  • drive by comment
  • does this follow GA criteria 3(b) "it remains focused and does not go into unnecessary detail (see summary style)"? MathewTownsend (talk) 17:57, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
  • p.s. This is a GAN, not a FAC. So it shouldn't be compared to FAs in size or focus. Or what's going on? Too long and too many unnecessary "facts". MathewTownsend (talk) 18:00, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
I really don't understand this comment MathewTownsend. Are you suggesting the route to FAC is to write a short article, get it reviewed as a Good Article, and then rewrite as Featured Article? Surely (from Wikipedia:Featured articles) Featured articles are considered to be the best articles Wikipedia has to offer..., hence comparison with the length and detail of featured articles. Edgepedia (talk) 18:18, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
Referring to Wikipedia:SIZERULE with a readable prose of 45k this article is below the recommended size to consider division. Edgepedia (talk) 18:27, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
3. Is it broad in its coverage?
a. it addresses the main aspects of the topic:
b. it remains focused and does not go into unnecessary detail (see summary style):
  • This article is not being measured against the FAC criteria. Those criteria are different. MathewTownsend (talk) 19:35, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
    • My understanding is there is one WP:Manual of Style and good articles have to comply with a few elements of that. If you think that a good article should comply with a requirement not in the MOS, so that any featured article that complies with the MOS and WP:FA? could fail as a good article, perhaps we need to start a discussion elsewhere. In my view that would be a flawed process. Edgepedia (talk) 06:04, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

Good morning fellow editors. Nice to see you both, Today was due to be the deadline for pass/failing the article - but I think it's fair, given that Edgepedia has been away, to extend the deadline for another week - we'll do a pass/fail next Sunday. I confess to struggling to follow much of the conversation above - (I personally find it easier when all of the conversation is in the relevent bit of the table but we've started down here so that's fine) - are there any particular things that need clarifying about the review? Fayedizard (talk) 09:12, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

Good evening, Fayedizard.

I'm suggesting that GAN is not meant to be the "road to FA". No! Most articles do not go on to FAC and that's as it should be. Many readers find FAs too long and detailed. Their page views tend to be low. Most people don't want to know all there is to know about a subject. They don't want to wade through every little detail. Hence we have GAs.

Wikipedia:Good article criteria must follow a MOS "lite". That is:

As for MOS, that's it!

Good articles are meant to touch on the major issues of a subject (broad overview), but to be concise and not go into excessive detail. That way the reader actually reads the whole article.

It might be helpful to read Wikipedia:What the Good article criteria are not, approved by User:Geometry guy who worked hard to create a simple GA evaluation process, basically to prevent long, drawn out reviews like this one. GAN is not meant to prepare an article for FAC. Go to peer review for that.

GAN was meant to be simple so that articles could be evaluated quickly as "good" to exercise some quality control over wikipedia articles. It was meant to be a quick evaluation, addressing only a few major points, so a huge backlog can be avoided.

If a GA becomes a FA, it's good article status is removed. MathewTownsend (talk) 21:54, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

Thank you Fayedizard. My understand that we have the following points outstanding:

  • A definition for clerestory - there is a discussion atWikipedia talk:WikiProject Trains#Clerestory; also I plan to visit a library in the next week.
    • A definition has been added in the electric multiple units section. Edgepedia (talk) 11:20, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • A discussion on the reliable sources cited.
    • I looked at the google snippet view you suggested and only two of the books are available, and these have very restricted views. Edgepedia (talk) 11:20, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
    • I have concerns about linking to google books in such a way: perhaps it detracts from the primary linking mechanism that is the isbn wiki-magic which takes you directly to looking for the book on on-line sources, in libraries or from book-sellers. Linking directly in this way can be perhaps seen by some people as an endorsement of google.com; this could be unpopular with some readers. However, I have linked to complete texts in the past, and added the links to the bibliography in a revised format that lets the reader know what is being offered. Edgepedia (talk) 11:20, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Perhaps further discussion on the detail/length of the article following comments made by MathewTownsend and the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Good article nominations#Good article detail or length
    • My guide when writing this article has been the MOS, as exemplified by FAs. The length criteria for GAs and FAs substantially the same; above I was attempting to explain to MathewTownsend how logically this needs to be so that article <GA <FA, but looking subsequently at the criteria (WP:FA?, WP:GA?), there is one word difference. WP:ARTICLESIZE gives a guideline of about 30 kB to 50 kB of readable prose, which roughly corresponds to 6,000 to 10,000 words; this article is currently about 43k of readable prose, or about 7000 words. Also this article is one of a group on the companies of the Underground Electric Railways Company of London. All the other articles in this group are featured; for comparison the lengths are below:
Article Size (bytes) words characters
Underground Electric Railways Company of London 34091 3473 21883
Baker Street and Waterloo Railway 77124 7888 48671
Central London Railway 62963 6670 40879
Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway 50639 4761 29454
City and South London Railway 44724 4389 27003
District Railway 63222 7027 43077
Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway 49196 4950 30903

Edgepedia (talk) 11:20, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

  • A revised electric multiple unit section
    • This now revised. When I split the sub-article off some time ago, I failed to condense this section sufficiently. Edgepedia (talk) 11:20, 22 August 2012 (UTC)


Is there anything else? Edgepedia (talk) 11:20, 22 August 2012 (UTC) ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Afternoon everybody, great to see progress is being made. Couple of clarifications... I wasn't actually interested in snippet view (although for books that have that, it's worth using the tool I suggested) merely that to show willing to the previous reviewer concerns, some effort was made to make clear the availability of references. I'm aware that the community disagreed with many aspects of the review, but the bones of the argument can be made into a reasonable point. Nevertheless, you have put some effort in there. More importantly is the detail issue - I'm not entirely sure why there has been so much discussion of length of this article both here and on the GA noticeboard - the concerns in my review are about the level of detail in the article much of it appears to be what the criteria calls 'unnecessary detail '. I confess that I'm a little worried about this articles chances of passing GA at the moment - I had hoped for something of an iterative review, with quite a lot more in the way of changes and revisions and further comments - but we've had very little and the deadline we set has already been extended a week. :( Let's see what we can pull together shall we? Fayedizard (talk) 13:42, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the comments. Looking at your comment about unnecessary detail, to interpret this I've read the linked WP:Summary style again and article length is mentioned in the first line in the "nutshell" box at the top. This anticipates an editing process whereby as the article length gets bigger, sections are spun off into sub-articles. Further down the page, WP:DETAIL section discusses arranging articles in a series of inverted pyramids, with a general article with sub-sections linking to sub-articles. Perhaps page length can become too important in this process as its far easier to assess than 'detail'.
This article is organised like that, for example Metropolitan District Railway electric multiple units and Metropolitan District Railway steam locomotives are sub-articles. One form of unnecessary detail is information in an article that should be (or is) in another article. I've fixed one instance of that in the electric multiple unit section. Looking at the article again, I found another [2].
Looking again at the WP:DETAIL section again, I note we have at bullet 2 "moderate amount of information on the topic's more important points" and just below it we also have "some readers need a lot of details on one or more aspects of the topic". I also have one eye on WP:FA? 1b (that the article is "comprehensive: it neglects no major facts or details and places the subject in context"; I'm unsure if I will take this article further at the moment.
Apart from the section on multiple units, the other thing you mentioned when originally assessing 3b was the three paras on service frequencies. I guess we could move these into a "Services" section, but I don't see enough for a sub-article. Another way allowing readers access to a 'moderate amount of information' and satisfy the reader who need a lot of details would be to push these into footnotes. Would footnotes work for you?
Is there is anything else that you consider unnecessary detail?
Is there an FA (see Wikipedia:Featured articles#Transport for similar articles) that you could suggest as a model for this one? Edgepedia (talk) 07:50, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
I've just read the Cincinnati, Lebanon and Northern Railway article. Perhaps you could point out the differences for me? Edgepedia (talk) 08:13, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm going to away now until tomorrow, but I will be able to work on this article then, given a little direction. Edgepedia (talk) 08:43, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
I suspect that what we have here is simply a difference of opinion on how the 'unnecessary detail' clause of the GA criteria should be interpreted. With this in mind I've changed the article status to ask for a second opinion. I'll post on the GA talk page now to see if there is anyone around.Fayedizard (talk) 17:35, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
I believe the issue of article size is irrelevant to the assessment of the article for GA consideration. The issue of detail is relevant, but it is not the case that good articles must be less detailed than featured articles rather that they do not need to be as detailed. Whilst the developmental process for many articles ends with the achievement of GA status, that does not mean that it is not a step on the route to FA status and there is no reason that an article that is almost ready for FAC should not go through GAN first. I was the author of the six London Underground featured articles that Edgepedia listed above as comparative examples for this article and all but Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway went through GAN immediately before going through FAC. In most cases, as soon as they passed GAN they were nominated for FAC. At 7,844 words, the good article Chesham branch is 20% longer than the 6,489 words in the current version of this article and that article deals with a railway line less than four miles long.--DavidCane (talk) 00:18, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Hi David, sorry - really confused and I might need a bit of clarification here - I think I just need the basic overview - why are people talking about article length? (and for that matter FAs?) I'm presuming I must have missed something early on on the conversation. Fayedizard (talk) 06:26, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

The discussion about the article's length grew out of MathewTownsend's comment at 18:00 on 18 August "too long and too many unnecessary 'facts'". Length is not relevant and a consideration of what is too much detail is subjective. --DavidCane (talk) 21:39, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Hello everybody - apologies for the delay, I've been waiting for a second opinion reviewer to turn up and David has just informed me that he intended his comments above to be just that second opinion. Clearly this article's review process is a mess of communication erros from start to finnish - let us try and be as clear as possible. My opinion is that the article is unnecessarily detailed to the extent that I would fail the article over this - but asked for a second opinion because there is a lot of weight to the article. David, if you are happy to provide your second opinion (the comments above devolved into a side-dissuasion on length) Can I get a definite yes or no to the question - is does this article go into unnecessary detail per the GA criteria? Fayedizard (talk) 09:21, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

OK. To be absolutely clear, I do not think that this article is too detailed to be passed as a GA. Central London Railway is an example of one of my own articles of a similar size to this one which was passed with a similar amount of detail. It then proceeded through the FAC process with minimal change to the content and no expansion of the detail.--DavidCane (talk) 17:53, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for your second opinion - I've marked that part off as complete. Fayedizard (talk) 19:58, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Separately - Edgepedia - is it your intention to submit this article to FAC directly after passing GA? (It's on my mind that the FAC process will quite definitely knock any edges of the article that are not cleared up by this review)Fayedizard (talk) 09:21, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

I think I'll take this article to peer review. The main reason for this is that in a month's time I'm travelling for about 3 weeks. I will have access to the internet, but no access to my books, and this could frustrate those at FAC. A good through peer review should mean that most issues are resolved before FAC. Edgepedia (talk) 19:31, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Okay - now we've had the second opinion - when do you think you'll have a chance to have addressed the remaining comments by? Fayedizard (talk) 19:58, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for that. I'm seeing two open sections above: it looks like I've missed the "On its opening the Met operated the trains on the District" sentence – sorry about. I think I'm going to have to rewrite this sentence; this may affect the whole paragraph. The second section I'm confused about as I thought I had dealt with it has far as possible. The reliable sources are published books, but for a history that stops nearly 70 years ago that's not surprising. There is a (self-published) website, Clive's UndergrounD Line Guides:(District Line that covers this history and I'll add that in external links; I thought it was already there! The timing of comments on these GA's is unfortunate, as I'm away for 48 hours, but hopefully by then I should have a rewrite of the offending sentence. Edgepedia (talk) 05:35, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I've rewriten the last unstruck line in the 1a section[3]; the read through also lead to some other changes, including spliting the first history sub-section into two that I prefer. Can you please clarify any other comments that I haven't addressed? Edgepedia (talk) 06:04, 12 September 2012 (UTC)