Talk:Main Page/Archive 90

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Archive 85 Archive 88 Archive 89 Archive 90 Archive 91 Archive 92 Archive 95

Comet McNaught

Why is this not "In the News"? It's a pity that tonight and maybe tomorrow are the last chances to see it in the southern hemisphere before it disappears forever (northern hemisphere had a chance last week). I think we missed a golden opportunity to put something quite pertinent onto the main page while we had a chance. And perhaps a featured picture would not have gone amiss either. Zunaid©® 08:31, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Hmm both our article and the news sources I've read suggest it will probably still be visible in the southern hemisphere for a while yet, altho fading in brightness all the time... 12:08, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
It's not in ITN because no one has suggested it. Things don't happen automatically. ITN relies on people nominating candidates. See the info box at the top of this page for all the details. Eventually you'll want the candidate page which is here. --Monotonehell 12:48, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Doomsday Clock has been there for a while but not used on ITN. --13:56, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Is there an anti-science bias on ITN now? Somehow, both of these items on Wikipedia:In the news section on the Main Page/Candidates have been ignored by admins. -- 01:53, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
I've moved it to the next day's section maybe people aren't watching the old entries. --Monotonehell 12:01, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

In the News: Dates

Apologies if this has been raised before. My suggestion is that we put the relevant dates, or day, on news stories that happened at a particular time (rather than ongoing), such as the hanging of Saddam's half-brother. The reason I think this would be helpful is that web news sections, especially bullet pointed ones, are implicitly taken to be today's main stories, while the 'In the News' section is approximately a weekly review. Besides being informative, it would also be relatively simple and unobtrusive. E.g. :

  • Monday: Saddam Hussein's half-brother Barzan Ibrahim (pictured) and I ...


  • 15th: Saddam Hussein's half-brother Barzan Ibrahim (pictured) and I ...

Dast 17:37, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Good idea in theory, but the trouble is that many news stories take place across several days. The Celebrity Big Brother controversy is one of those, where the racist incident, the diplomatic protests, the withdrawal of sponsorship, the negative commentary etc. took place over several days (and is still ongoing). A single date wouldn't really mean much.
Anyone who reads the actual news will know that Barzan Ibrahim wasn't executed today, so I don't think many people would actually make the mistake of thinking our ITN section is for today's news. --Sam Blanning(talk) 12:29, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, so too with the storms. 15:47, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

The actual ITN description should give the date for single-day events. Otherwise, it should indicate the date range, or start date. Some date context must be provided. Simple journalism 101 (and Wikipedia 101 as well) - What? Where? When? Who? How? Why? Don't make things difficult for the reader to understand, and don't expect the reader to go running all over Wikipedia to different articles to find the answers to these basic questions. That is our job as editors. Carcharoth 14:59, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Tuberculosis is NOT the most common bacteria-caused disease

I'm pretty sure the most common bacterial disease is gingivitis, not tuberculosis. The article on Tuberculosis gets it right--specifying that it's the most common *potentially fatal* bacterial disease--but the summary on the main page claims that it's the most common bacterial disease period, with no qualifications. --Lode Runner 22:39, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Next time, use WP:ERRORS. —Dark•Shikari[T] 06:45, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia split?

Maybe there should be an english and american versions separate to wikipedia as a lot of the content is americanised and as I am english a lot of it takes figuring out which to be frank is not very good to do late at night.--99ghorner|Talk 01:26, 9 January 2007 (GMT).

I Think There should be a change, I've done some research and I think there is going to be a Canadian version, I'm not to sure but it would be nice. I Love the idea but I still like doing my searches in other languages, and maby wikipedia shouldn't split but im still for it. EnsignLovel 3:55 January 23 2007

Lets start with a capital "E" for "english", as in North American. However not as in german or french etc (I think - to be confirmed). Osborne. 11:08, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

No, no no! We need to work on collaboration, not splitting up. A preferences for American/British English would be a lot better than a split. —Mets501 (talk) 01:35, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
A lot of articles are Britishized, and I really don't have a problem with it, though I'm American. A rule I use, is that if the article is about an American thing, use American spellings;if the article is about something British, use English spellings. If it has to do with neither, make a decision. --TeckWizTalkContribs@ 01:47, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
That works in theory. But not always, many Caribbean islands (esp. former colonies of Gr. Britain) have ties with Cuba, many have meetings or engage in programmes along with Cuba as a Caribbean state. However, many people from the United States also love to take their Cuba bashing to the Cuba articles. So you end-up with a miss-match there too. So, which spelling would be correct? CaribDigita 23:56, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
A profoundly idiotic idea, if I do say so, and I am not usually rude about this sort of thing. Separating versions by tiny dialectic differences would only result in two inferior versions of Wikipedia, mostly overlapping and yet neither as complete as the current united project. Mets501's idea, which I'm certain has been proposed before, would be a solution—it's already done that way at the Chinese Wikipedia—, but it seems like far too much work for our programmers for piddling differences. (Chinese had a much larger problem of two different character sets to deal with.) I suppose I have some advantage in understanding both easily, being British-American, but I don't understand what causes such trouble in understanding. —Cuiviénen 01:51, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Same here, I don't have any problem at all understanding it and don't mind it's usage, so I would be opposed to user preferences. It may be the only way though, in the long run. —Mets501 (talk) 02:06, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Expect an answer similar to Bug 8327 if this is suggested to the developers. Titoxd(?!?) 02:10, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
I also disagree, as loathed as I am to leave alone "incorrect" spellings like "color" (Oh the pain it took to leave the u out!) we don't need to make redundant British verses American WPs. What next? Australian verses Hong Kong english? In fact I'd like to see the en.WP introduce policy that the lead paragraph of an article must be in simple terms in order to merge in the simple english WP. As that's another redundant project. --Monotonehell 04:33, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Ladies and gentlemen, the vast majority of people on this planet who learned English as their first language are Americans. Can we agree to standardize (or standardise) on American spelling? The comments by Mets501 are well taken. -
Comment: Factually not correct. The USA has 300 million true. If you count everyone in the Americas and say they were learning American-english you'd get around 800 million people... However Britain (60 million) does have the 1+ billion persons alone from India heavily tilted in their court. Plus another 20 million from Australia, ~8 million from the British West Indies, 47 million from South Africa etc... I would say it would have been a better argument to say Wikipedia should default to American english because that's the way the Internet has been since the United States pioneered much of the current Internet. But to say more people speak American English might not be entirely accurate. CaribDigita 00:14, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Quite righte, a colourfule ideae. Ie agree withe alle the above. Britishe or Americane ise fine. ;-) | AndonicO Talk | Sign Here 15:51, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Why does first language matter? Surely all people who use a language have just as much right to define how the language is used regardless of whether's it's their first language or tenth language. While you can argue that there should be some consideration depending on how much they use a language, you can't IMHO argue that their views and usage should be ignored Nil Einne 14:32, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

We could also make sure that everyone is using the same American dialect. You know, replace all instances of 'pail' with 'bucket,' etc. We could use some of that $0.9Mil we raised to hire a team of linguists to standardise the entirety of the Eng. wikipedia into the same dialect.-- 19:50, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

The question then becomes...which one? There's quite a few distinct American dialects. How do we pick? And what about other languages/countries in similar (meaning, not Chinese) situations? graphite_elbow 16:04, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
You can't make everything American only. I'm sure there would be a lot of objection to that. Simply south 17:03, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
As long as it is not Ye Merrye Ole Englishe, people should be able to read articles wether they speak of the loo, or the restroom. FirefoxMan 17:18, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
How about a new policy? If an article begins with British-English keep it that way, if it begins with American English, then keep the rest that way. This way we have consistency. -- Kerowren (talk contribs count) 17:26, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
If i'm reading that right, it is a clever way of saying next article= British-English, articles aferward= American-English or am i jumping to conclusions already? Simply south 17:40, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Actualy, there is a manual of style pages on this. See Wikipedia:Manual of Style (national varieties of English) and WP:SPELLING. FirefoxMan 17:44, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
I've never associated the words "pail" and "bucket" with conflicting American English dialects. Here in New Jersey, both terms are commonly used (though "pail" most often refers to a small bucket, such as one used by a child as a toy). Of course, the word "bucket" is more fun, as one can comically use the pronunciation "bouquet." —David Levy 17:56, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
LOL..... Got it.... ,-) CaribDigita 00:22, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
One pales at these suggestions, they are beyond the pale. etc. Rich Farmbrough, 11:45 16 January 2007 (GMT).

Splitting wikipedia simply due to American or British English would be a ridiculous move. Its not that difficult to figure out the differences - its all the same language! If the spelling differences seem annoying to anyone, it really is a personal thing. The idea of keeping the dialect consistent in an article is a good one, but given the fact that anyone can edit articles, it would be very difficult to implement such rules, unless there are editors whose sole job would be to go around fixing articles. Personally, it seems like a waste of time. Not to mention the fact that there are plenty of people who use and contribute to wikipedia regularly who have learned English as a second language...for them American or British English isn't as obviously different. Bottom line though...wikipedia is here to share knowledge...why would we want to put limitations on that?? Eendrani 13:31, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

The current guidelines state pretty much that. And there are those disruptive elements / ignorant elements who insist on "correcting" everything to their understanding of what's 'right'. Look at the current mini-wars over the spelling of the chilli chili chilllliiii chilie tamagotchi and the classic color article for examples of how pigheaded some people can be as to their way is the only way. What we need do is recognise that there are differences and incorporate that into the articles when it's part of the subject matter, or just use one set of grammar in the context of the article when it's not. --Monotonehell 08:51, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure how Wikipedia is set up code-wise, but could a script either server or client side change whether users see American or English spelling? I'm certain it's possible to do without editing the page to do so, but may require downloading an applet or something. Just an idea. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 14:57, 14 January 2007 (UTC).
But it's not just spelling. Pissed and pissed are my favo(u)rites. Bazza 17:16, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

I mean if we're to make difference between Am Eng and Br Eng then maybe we should add South African english and Indian English? You got to be really tired or really drunk if you can't understand an Br Eng article?--NoNo 16:11, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

I think unless it is possible impose global guidelines on how people should speak and write this is a problem that will always come up. Instead of splitting hairs over another communities unique if incorrect spelling/announciation we should just accept to read an authors work how he intended it read.I meanas your average American to say aluminium or the common brit to say hatchet... oh and cricket sucks anyway.

What about simply translating the offending articles into Latin?

--Lord Terrance

Latin? Then, instead of arguing about spelling, people would be arguing about the order of the words in each sentence. That's worse! --14:10, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
If you want to translate the articles into Latin, I'm sure the Latin Wikipedia would benefit from your help. --ais523 17:29, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
The whole idea's ridiculous. The differences are few and far between, and are too small to cause any serious difficulties in communication. And for the record, American spellings aren't any less 'correct' than the British, often they're closer to the word's roots. And this is coming from an English guy. Until the language is standardized then the system is fine as it is. Morrad 22:51, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

I haven't read the above discussion, but I think it's safe to say the problem is rather trivial. Small spelling differences do not cause a comprehension problem, as I assume an even moderately educated reader should realize that "color" = "colour", etc. As for other differences in the language- just make sure to write articles in a way that most English speakers will understand them. Do not use regional phrases and expressions unless absolutely necessary. If you're not sure if a word or phrase is part of your regional dialect, don't worry- someone will eventually get confused by it and will fix it. --- RockMFR 03:08, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Long term - I wonder what will "eNLGISH" look like in future iterations. American "English" is without doubt a viral amalgam of many different sources. Is it worth the effort to muck about with segregation when the target is shape shifting daily? Grxwikian 03:45, 22 January 2007 (UTC) GrxWikian

I agree - the English language (both British and American and everything in between (NZ, Australia etc etc) is a mongrel language anyway - harvesting words from many other languages. Trying to 'standardise' it would be an exercize in futility. 20:13, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't think it would be hard for programmers, but still, someone could easily write a custom javascript thing (to put in their personal monobook.js) which converts spellings. I'm gonna try it. Ed Smilde

I am an american user and i prefer the British spellings because English game from England.19:48, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

  • I also think this is a bad idea, per above reasoning. — Deckiller 21:07, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
My humble opinion: I'm American, and I've had no trouble reading any article in British English (in whole or in part), and I'm pretty sure the British can read American English. Coincidentally, I read the entire article on the differences between American and British English a couple of months ago, and none of the differences are so large as to alienate one country's English speakers, in my opinion. Don't change a thing. (I'm fine with "colour" as long as the British can tolerate our "color". ;) And yes, I use the British English quote content style. :P ) —OneofThem(talk)(contribs) 02:14, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

I also have no problem with reading British or American content in an English section. The only problem I see in the future is with spelling but not translation.(Who spells everything correctly anyway?) The English we use in America is plagued with multiple words with the same meaning and multiple meanings for one word. It shouldn't be a problem if British-based words are used in articles as well. Despite our best efforts, the English language is not a masterpeice. As long as we keep slang from both parties out of main articles we should be able to understand the English version of Wikipedia just fine. I beleive that because of the media and advancing technology the English language will be molded together anyway. So why not start here. We don't need to change the languages, just combined them so that every English speaking person can understand the full range of this spoken language. We can do this through the wikipedia dictionary, by citing British or American origin on words that have questionable meanings. Plus it is fun learning different English terminology. Besides if you are worried that each variation of the language will lose it's distinction by combinding these languages, you are forgetting about accents and dialects. =) - Nameless

I'm Canadian and I read a number of American and British periodicals and websites daily. I have no problem whatsoever understanding American and British English, and I'm not necessarily that literate. I don't see the different spellings and use of expressions to be much of a problem. I see it as part of expanding your vocabulary so to speak. For example, if in Canada we sometimes use the word "Chesterfield" instead of "couch" or "sofa", then look up "Chesterfield" on the Internet just as you would any other word that you don't understand. English is surprisingly homogeneous once you get the hang of a few regionalisms and national quirks. To say that Wikipedia needs a split is like saying the Economist or Sports Illustrated needs an American-English or British-English version, respectively. It's completely unecessary. --Lonesome road 22:39, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Small categories

Would it be a good idea to make a new counter "Categories with only one article" in the special pages? -- (Alphaios) 18:04, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Well since categories with only one article are not categories at all then those categories should be deleted. So no. That's totaly not what I read yesterday lol --Monotonehell 19:05, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Well that's the idea. If you can find them, you can delete them. However, I'm asking what people think about it here, because in finnish Wikipedia many seems to think, that those are acceptable categories. -- (Alphaios) 04:46, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Let's not bug the devs for more special pages until we can fix the really necessary broken ones (like Special:DoubleRedirects). —Mets501 (talk) 19:08, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
They don't have a to-do list? --Nelson Ricardo 22:16, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean. Here's example: There is only one article about greenlandic people, and he is the prime minister. Now categories are: greenlandic people -> greenlandic politicians -> Prime ministers of Greenland. So, three categories and only one article: Hans Enoksen. Many think it's ok to keep this person alone on the category, because there is a chance that somebody makes another article there during next five years. --Alphaios 00:59, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

In the News:

It says: "Parliamentary elections are taking place in Serbia, the first elections since Serbian independence in 2006."

Serbian independence?--Steven X 11:12, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Independence from their union with Montenegro. GeeJo (t)(c) • 11:16, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Okay.--Steven X 13:04, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
I think it would be best for our readers if we link to an article about Serbian Independence. I was taught this year in my Geography class that the country is Serbia and Montenegro, and I wasn't aware of independence until I saw your comments today. Can we change the Main Page to reflect that?--Ed ¿Cómo estás?Reviews? 17:27, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Just goes to show that you can't trust anything you learn in school. GeeJo (t)(c) • 08:43, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Captions for photos

Can I suggest photos and images on the main page be given a clear caption. particularly in relation to the people in the news section. Today I read the top story about the EU president and saw the photo next to it and thought okay that's him, but when I click the link for more info I see an entirely different photo. The guy on the front page is actually Saddam Hussein's brother. Conceivably both could argue you've tarnished their image and sue ;-) but the lack of clarity is the bigger problem, especially for the first page readers come to. Just a name under the photo would help, a reference burried in a second or third paragraph is not enough. Alternatively you could ensure the photo is always positioned next to the relevant caption but this may be more difficult to ensure.

a good news service though, thanks Pugsworth 01:43, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

If the "(pictured)" isn't good enough, you can also mouse over the image to get the person's name. — BRIAN0918 • 2007-01-19 02:40Z
This has been brought up many times but no one can agree on any of the fixes suggested for it. --Monotonehell 04:05, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Side note: "a good news service though, thanks" ahem. --Monotonehell 04:06, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a news service. User:Zoe|(talk) 21:09, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
That was my point, for all those cool kids who are in on the joke. Rename ITN! ;) --Monotonehell 23:20, 22 January 2007 (UTC)


"India Standard Time"???? Is that the best featured article we can use for the main page? There must be some better choice for the main page featured article. I can't say the same for the pics, though---they are good. Seldon1 18:02, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

What's the problem, almost every FA eventually appears on the Main Page — people have worked hard to bring this to FA standard, and I personally found it interesting, we don't often see such FAs after all. TodorBozhinov 18:25, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
It's the Battle of Cannae tomorrow. Is that better? – Qxz 18:36, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
And history of saffron is on the horizon. -- Zanimum 19:12, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
We try to get a diverse selection of articles on the main page. Not everybody agrees with what's good for the main page, pop culture? science? humanities? -- Zanimum 19:12, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
I suppose thats true. I always assumed the purpose was to have a featured article that is also important or interesting--but opinions on whay is interesting do vary. I withdraw my complaint. Seldon1 19:14, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
I commented before that the function of the entries on the main page is to make people aware of topics they might not otherwise have thought of looking at. There will always be some topics that readers will think "why did they bother" - and the odd one which causes a few squawks of protest (g). Jackiespeel 18:13, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
In any case, I would argue the time 1 billion people follow must have at least some interest and importance. And I suspect other people like me still find half hour time zones a bit strange 15:15, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
Try living in one, it's a pain in the proverbial. --Monotonehell 15:55, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
You can't make everyone happy, some people won't be interested in some articles, while others will not be. --Credema 07:52, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Picture on the main about Amsterdam

The capital of The Netherlands is not AMsterdam but De Hague! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 08:37, 25 January 2007 (UTC).

The second paragraph of our article on The Hague explains that while The Hague is the seat of government, Amsterdam is actually the capital city. Raven4x4x 08:47, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Capital of the Netherlands 10:40, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Amsterdam is the capital city, not The Hague, which is the correct spelling. --Soetermans 17:12, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
194.7 spelt it the same way as you...? --Monotonehell 01:18, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Nope he write "De Hauge". I missed that one too at first. :) Jeltz talk 13:35, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
De = The. The complaint was about spelling not language. --Monotonehell 01:43, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Are you sure you missed it? Maybe Jimbo is using his overseer privilages to screw around with your head? 13:52, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Navigation on left

Or an alternative title: Sandbox link

What i am wondering is, shouldn't the navigation contents bar on the left link to the WP:Sandbox? Simply south 12:58, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Why? FirefoxMan 13:39, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
You could always do this yourself with the addlink script (inquire at WP:US). Many users have their own personal sandboxes to experiment with rather than share a common sandbox, so a link to WP:SANDBOX might not be necessary for many users. AZ t 00:15, 27 January 2007 (UTC)


Wikipedia is the most unsafe place to search for information. Luckily, everybody cooperates. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 18:30, 25 January 2007 (UTC).

How so? dposse 18:35, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Unsafe? One might say that Wikipedia's information isn't always reliable, but the users are always working on that. Anyway, this isn't really the right place for such a discussion. If I were more experienced in Wiki, I would've gladly linked you to such a place. --Soetermans 21:20, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
If you really can't bear to see the odd piece of vandalism, Stablepedia mostly guarantees that what you're viewing is worksafe, at the cost of losing the most up-to-date information. GeeJo (t)(c) • 22:57, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Hey thanks for that link, they even have a bookmarklet, neato. :) -- 12:17, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

"Each page requested will require our servers to transfer at least 500 KB of data from Wikipedia." (FAQ) This is a good thing? - BanyanTree 17:12, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
My £20 donation should cover the cost of my using the service now and then for a while. What's £20 worth in dollars these days, $100? $200? :P GeeJo (t)(c) • 19:37, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Less than one buck! By the way, Stablepedia's article on Moshe Katsav says he might resign. How old! Ugh! :-) | AndonicO Talk · Sign Here 19:43, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
The user of Stablepedia must understand that he is giving up most-up-to-date for stability. The service is not designed to be used as a starting point for retreiving articles. It is rather designed to use when you feel a page is vandalized, hence, the bookmarklet has been made; for switching easily. Also, regarding the bandwidth usage, Stablepedia's algorithm has been adjusted to use less bandwidth, now it uses about as much bandwidth as you will use if you opened the page directly on Wikipedia, the FAQ has also been updated to reflect that. Sinan Taifour 01:22, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
WTF? They just took down the notice about the 500 KBs per page load! Compare Google's cache to the current version! —Mets501 (talk) 01:49, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Let's not digress now... I think what the anon was trying to say that anyone can add information to the articles that may be false. A vandal can secretly add an extra zero in a math related article. Also, some students receive failing grades for citing Wikipedia in their papers. (I learned that the hard way...) Ed ¿Cómo estás?Reviews? 01:55, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Indeed it isn't a good idea to cite Wikipedia in paper for school, but it's a pretty safe people to get information from because there are a lot of people that are checking pages and reverting vandalism. In your example someone would probably notice the page on the recent changes and double check the correct number and revert the page if need be. --Credema 06:46, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Top Right Toolbar

It should be noted that as of now, (see below), whenever the cursor is hovering over one of the options such as "Log In" or "My Watchlist," the options quickly switch to the top left, as if they went from right-aligned to left-aligned in an instant. This is possible an individual error, yet is believed to be an error in the coding for the group.

This should be examined before someone gets frustrated.

Prodigy Kid 22:15, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

It works fine for me. Try Bypassing your browser's cache. | AndonicO Talk · Sign Here 22:18, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Tried that. With Internet Explorer, bypassing the cache fixes it temporarily, but the second you move your cursor over it, it moves back behind the Wikipedia symbol. Prodigy Kid 22:22, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
What skin are you using? Any unusual additions to your personal .js file? GeeJo (t)(c) • 22:53, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
No. No preference changes. I switched to a different computer and it's fine. Must be my internet options then. I'll delete this in 30 minutes since there is no apparent defect in the system. Prodigy Kid 00:53, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
I've had that problem before. I just ignored it or refreshed the page. After a few times i have been on here it seemed to stop doing it. Simply south 15:18, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Same bug affected me before I switched to Firefox almost a year ago. —Mets501 (talk) 22:35, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
It's a known issue, but with Internet Explorer. Bug Microsoft about it. Titoxd(?!?) 22:29, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
No pun intended, I hope :). Anyway, I've had the same problem with IE 6. Sometimes, the personal JS fails completely as well. It seems to happen only occasionally, though. <shamelesspromotion>Maybe you should get Firefox!</shamelesspromotion> PTO 01:59, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
No shame in that promotion. As a web designer I constantly get annoyed with IE's foibles. And regret that I can't use a lot of the facilities that PNG provides, because IE doesn't support them properly. I just hoping that either everyone adopts Firefox or at least the Vista version of IE will be W3C compliant. --Monotonehell 02:38, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
You mean IE7? Don't hold your breath... – Qxz 10:49, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Obscenity on main page

Can someone please move the obscenity from the section of the lead article that appears on the main page? Postlebury 14:38, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

That's a direct quote and wikipedia is not censored (Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not#Wikipedia is not censored) 15:03, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

James Field (in DYK?)

Um, London didn't have a police force until the 19th century... Totnesmartin

  • It had parish constables and court runners and thieftakers, so I assume the term is being used in an informal sense. Postlebury 14:38, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
If you had clicked the link, you would have ended up at Bow Street Runners which described this force as a police force. Also, in future this kind of thing is best discussed at Wikipedia:Main Page/Errors. 14:56, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
I clicked James Field itself, which mentioned a constabulary. i didn't know about the Errors page - there are so many specialised WP pages I never know when I'm on the right one. Totnesmartin 18:37, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, things can be confusing. Helpful hint: read the help boxes at the top of this page. --Monotonehell 11:42, 28 January 2007 (UTC)


Hello. I am a filmmaker, and I was wondering that if I showed an administrator a local newspaper article that includes a photograph of myself and another local celebrity filmmaker and a summary of my film, would that be enough to have my own Wikipedia page for biographical purposes. I also have a website for my film production company, Gonzo Films, on which you can view the films that I have made. I believe my friends in The River Company ( got their own page in the same manner. Thank you in advance. Michael.m.winters 23:41, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Ideally, if you are notable enough, someone else would have written an article about you already. We here at Wikipedia generally discourage people from writing articles about themselves or their own organizations. If you honestly believe that you meet notability requirements, the community will eventually respond by making a page. Lobbying for a bio page probably won't get you what you want though. I would suggest this page as a good starting point. Antimatter---talk--- 21:17, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

I've had a quick look and I'm somewhat doubtful that you meet our notability requirements and I also suspect nor does your film production company. Having a website and being reviewed in a local newspaper is unlikely to be sufficient in itself. You might want to take a look at Wikipedia:Notability (especially those relating to films, people and music) and Wikipedia:Conflict of interest. I would also suggest if you are friends with The River Company it is probably wise to refrain from editing the article and hopefully having read the policies and guidelines you'll agree with me. Indeed I'm not even sure if it meets our notability requirements either (I believe you created it?). At the very least, you should make sure you declare your friendship when it's relevant for example, when offering opinions n the deletion. Anyway this isn't really the best place to discuss all this, try the links at the top 13:50, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

American vs British Spellings

I'm starting to think we should use only American spellings, and not just because I am one. America's population is 5 times more than England (according to Englands Wikipedia article), so why isn't everything American English. If it has 5 times the amount of people, than you could estimate that for every 5 Wikipedia readers, 3 are American, 1 is British, and 1 is from other countries. --TeckWizTalk Contribs@ 22:34, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

What's the matter does seeing words spelt differently hurt your eyes or something? Jooler 22:46, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
No. But the encyclopedia should be consistent in spelling. --TeckWizTalk Contribs@ 22:48, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
As the great American poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 23:01, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
This is a very contentious issue, and I don't want it to degenerate into a flamewar. Wikipedia is meant to be used by English speakers all over the world, and there are lots of articles about subjects from the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, African countries, India, Pakistan, the West Indies, et al., all of which are likely to be written by people from those places, who primarily use British spelling. It would be a giant waste of time, and create lots of ill-will, to start changing the spelling in all those articles. Please see the discussion on this on the Manual of Style page if you want to get into this further. Newyorkbrad 22:38, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
Please remember that this is the English Wikipedia. Not the American Wikipedia. It really makes no sense to use American English in articles about the UK or other places that use British English. Note that place names themselves are spelled using BE there (e.g., Fillinnameofplace Harbour), and we would have to reflect this. Another note is that it is offensive to many users of British English to imply that we should use AE because it is the majority dialect (if indeed it is that). Our current way of doing things is the right way, I think. Heimstern Läufer 22:55, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
English-language Wikipedia policy already covers this issue; the original dialect spellings are used unless the article is about a specifically British, specifically American, specifically Australian, etc. subject, in which case the local dialect spelling is used no matter the original dialect spelling in the article. (Also, FWIW, just over two-thirds of all native English speakers are American; see English language#Geographical distribution.) —Cuiviénen 00:12, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
TeckWiz, as I pointed out when you raised this issue here, this has been discussed before. Many times. The consensus reached was, as Newyorkbrad points out, to use the variety of English most appropriate to the article. See here for the relevant guideline. Also, this isn't really the best page to raise this issue; it would be more appropriate to discuss it at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style. However, I doubt that you'll gain much traction on this — as I said, it's been discussed a lot. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 22:57, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
As someone that don't speak English as his first language I don't really care. English is English is English! Some minor differences exists but they are minuscule and I don't even have a problem mixing two different kinds of English in an article. It just isn't noticeable for me. Stop the bickering and just continue writing articles. The information is what is of primary importance after all. Lord Metroid 00:40, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Using the same logic as Techwiz, maybe the USA's official language should be Spanish? ( 23:12, 31 January 2007 (UTC))

See also Talk:Main Page/Archive 90#Wikipedia split?. This relates directly to that discussion. Simply south 00:46, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

It's also worth noting that on any given page there are likely to be more ordinary mispelingz than GB vs. AE spelling variances, so maybe we should concentrate our spelling reforms on the words we can all agree are incorrect? TotoBaggins 03:13, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

LOL - There are many other countries than the UK that use British English. Canada, for example. Kiarasexton 19:19, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

How bout if the article has to do with an American issue, company, person, profile, etc. on American soil, then it should the American vernacular and if from the U.K. then the Queen's English ...? Metamorphousthe 21:06, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
That's more or less the existing guideline. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 21:23, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

I guess the English would say that they invented the English language long before America was inhabitated by English speaking people, so that it is reasonable to use "English" English. As an Aussie I find the "English" English sometimes harder to use than the "American" version where words generally are spelt phonetically. Flight Engineer. 9.45 pm Australian EDST.

That's because us Orstralians don't pronounce them correctly. ;) --Monotonehell 12:51, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
A few comments. One the language is called English, not the Queen's English, which is a dialect of English. Two, please refrain from mixing and matching England and Britain, they are two different things. The former is a country, the latter is an island.-- 23:46, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Are you forgetting this is the English Encyclopaedia? Not the American English Encyclopaedia? Also just because Americaland has a large population how does that make it the defacto English? enlighten me, bu please, do not blaspheme. thanks/Fenton, Matthew Lexic Dark 52278 Alpha 771 00:03, 1 February 2007 (UTC)


Is it just me, or does anyone else think it's weird that you need need a seperate account for sister projects. If I am wrong, and you don't need seperate accounts, then I'm confused--Zramsay 01:07, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

If I remember correctly, I think that meta provides a service that reserves a username of your choice across all Wikimedia projects. I don't know if that service is still active, though.--Ed ¿Cómo estás?Reviews? 02:00, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
It sounds like a good idea to have a common account for all projects, but this isn't the place to bring this up. And I bet this has been brought up 100 times over at meta. My guess would be the horse has bolted. --Monotonehell 02:05, 30 January 2007 (UTC)bud
I was under the impression that they are moving towards a universal account, though it will take a while to implement, get everyone migrated, and resolve naming conflicts. Koweja 06:04, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
See Single login specifications at Meta and the pages linked from there. Graham87 10:37, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Why bother?

If Wikipedia is NOT a democracy, then why do we vote on things here on the talk pages, like the one about the split because of spelling differences between the UK and American spellings, or the one about the moving of the Main Page. What does this achieve? Seldon1 15:20, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

To determine if there is a consensus. -- 15:26, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
It's not a vote, but an attempt to achieve consensus. A vote where people were saying nothing but Support and Oppose wouldn't be particularly useful (and in fact, a vote of this sort was shut down a while ago for this reason on this very talk page). On the other hand, a discussion where people give their reasons and try to debate individual points can be highly useful; ideally, everyone would come round to the same point of view in the end, convinced by the arguments on offer. You might want to read meta:Voting is evil, a longstanding essay about this topic, and Wikipedia:Polling is not a substitute for discussion, a guideline. --ais523 15:26, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
We're not in charge of everyone who posts anything on Wikipedia. Just because we have rules and guidelines doesn't mean people always follow them. Voting is not consensus, and cannot be used to make decisions like the one you mention. Straw polls can be used to see where everyone stands, but they shouldn't be done on a page such as this, which is visited by random users unfamiliar with Wikipedia guidelines and policies. — BRIAN0918 • 2007-01-29 17:28Z
It's a common misconception that we're voting; we're just stating our basic opinion. In bold. So it stands out. It's just to achieve consensus, not to vote it in as law. Remember, Wikipedia is not a democracy; it's communism. DoomsDay349 20:13, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Don't confuse voting with consensus. — BRIAN0918 • 2007-01-29 20:24Z
Actually, Wikipedia to me seems more like a republic--Ed ¿Cómo estás?Reviews? 02:02, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
In a republic we'd elect officials to make our decisions. Here, we all talk about things in an (ideally) equal voice. Communism. DoomsDay349 03:15, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
It isn't really communism either; there is no perfect analogy. It's wikism :) Koweja 05:57, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
it works, that's what counts, labelling and analysis of the system are secondary. It works, because its stated aim is an encyclopedia, not the greater common good, freedom and the pursuit of happiness; I wouldn't like to try the system on a real-life society (not with certain modifications at least) dab (𒁳) 12:29, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

I never said communism was evil. That's a very common misconception. I'm merely stating the closest thing we are to is a communistic form of society...not really my ideal governance, but hey, whatever works. DoomsDay349 21:48, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, in communism you have two cows and the government takes both of them and gives you a share of the milk. Whereas on Wikipedia you have two cows, you release them under GFDL, but they are deleted because they are unsourced and not notable. Gandalf61 16:01, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia does not want cows, only information about them, and you should provide third party references to verify that your cows are notable. --Ezeu 16:13, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Just when this was making sense you guys go and bring cows into it. Seldon1 17:16, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Could I BJAODN this please? --Ouro (blah blah) 07:40, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't see why not. ffm yes? 11:47, 2 February 2007 (UTC)


Just thought I'd point this out: The logos for Commons, Wikisource, Incubator, Meta, and the Wikimedia Foundation are all simple, but Wikipedia's is a complex globe. Yes, it is the most used site of all the branches, but why does it get a special logo? In addition, the other logos all follow the color sceme of red, blue, white, and green. Again, Wikipedia is different. Firstly, could someone explain this? Second, why not change the Wikipedia logo to fit the other branches' theme? Wikipedia isn't so special--it's just a part of a bigger project, as we all know. Seldon1 17:37, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Wikipedia logos for more info about the Wikipedia logo. --Tntnnbltn 17:51, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks! Seldon1 23:43, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Wiki puzzle.svg
Though one can admire the technical effort that went into producing such an all-inclusive logo, I reckon we might be better served with some form of the single iconic puzzle-piece.--Pharos 00:38, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Wouldn't that be better for WikiGames? - UtherSRG (talk) 12:52, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
The symbolism the same as that on the "wikisphere"; that everyone's contributions are part of something larger. My experience is that people can identify better with graphically simpler symbols– think of the popularity of the flag of Texas relative to that of other states in the US. It just seems to me that a more iconic logo might be better for selling t-shirts etc.--Pharos 13:11, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
I like the puzzle better personaly, but oh well. ffm yes? 13:16, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
The flag of Texas is popular because of the "we're a special state!" fetishism many of its residents have. Alabama's is even simpler, yet it's not popular. — ceejayoz talk 20:19, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Talking of the logo...
Discussion and Petition concerning the character errors is still ongoing... --Quiddity 18:31, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Vandalism On Featured Article 01/30/07

Should the featured article not be locked? I realize this is not the greatest article but it has become increasingly vandalized since it's been on the mail page.thegreattim

See WP:SEMI. We usually don't protect Today's Featured Article, unless things get to out of hand. The purpose of Wikipedia is so everyone can edit the encyclopedia, and keeping such Main Page articles unprotected helps convey this idea. Nishkid64 22:07, 30 January 2007 (UTC)


Wikitravel hasn't been listed alongside the other Wikimedia sites. Could it be added, its a really good site.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 19:11, 31 January 2007

It is not a wikimedia site. It is independent. ffm yes? 19:24, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

sentence fragment in "did you know"

"...that when the Young Bengal leader Ramgopal Ghosh was threatened with ostracism for opposing Hindu religion?"

what? I'm so in suspense! Tell me wikipedia! Sdedeo (tips) 22:16, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

It's been fixed now. Next time, try WP:ERRORS. Tennis DyNamiTe (sign here) 23:54, 1 February 2007 (UTC)== Sea birds ==

I'm really not sure about this, and there will be those of you who tell me I'm posting in the wrong place (like I give two f*@#$) but...

"Sea birds are birds that have adapted to a marine environment." Sounds a touch presumptuous.

Perhaps "Land birds are sea birds that have adapted to a non-marine environment."

I mean, how does anybody really know?

Chicken or egg? --JohnO 01:52, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

You're reading the sentence completely wrong, and I think it is because of a misinterpretation of the word "adapted." There are birds that have adapted to a marine environment, and there are birds that have adapted to a land environment. The former are called sea birds and the latter are called land birds. There's no presumptiveness. Andrew Levine 02:12, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Requested move

The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was No consensus Duja 10:08, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Super-short summary

All the arguments for moving/keeping appear to boil down to this:

  • Move: The fact that the Main Page is not an article but a portal is a wart on an otherwise clean design. Warts can cause problems.
  • Keep: The secondary effects of moving the Main Page will require some effort to fix. Any benefits are not worth the effort.

Monotonehell does an excellent job of breaking things down into objective fact, theories, ideology, etc., but I think this is a good introduction to the debate. —DragonHawk (talk) 13:40, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Monotonehell's analysis

As a bipartisan wikipedian (I'm willing to be swayed either way) I can offer my summary of how I've seen this discussion so far. Firstly I'll cover any technical reasons for the move, then ideological reasons, then cost verses benefit ...

On technical reasons
Actual arguments (points with some merit)...
  • Main Page is included in database dumps of articles, which means that various software features (such as Special:Contributions and 'cite this article') and external websites (such as Wikiseek and the top-100-articles list) consider it to be an article when it isn't.
Granted. I can't argue with that.Actually I can argue with that. LOL
  • In the event we ever need Main Page for an article (who knows?) we will either need a disambig in the Main Page or need to rush through a sudden reasonably major and will not be able to redirect Main Page to Portal:Main Page for long unless we continue to disambig
I suppose it is possible that the next big Youtube type project, political newspaper or similar thing that has wide reaching influence may be named "Main page" and would require an article. Right now it's not that case, but this is a slightly compelling argument to be forward looking. Even though a different solution could be found in the current paradigm, eg "Main Page (newspaper)" but this would require a disambig on the top of the main page.
With a bit of template magic, it's possible to set up a page in such a manner that it's equivalent to a redirect with a disambiguation header; see WP:SIGN for an example. --ais523 09:07, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
The only encyclopedic topic under "main page" I can think of is the second definition listed at Homepage; i.e. what we are actually using the term for.--Pharos 21:47, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
  • The number of links and redirects that will need to be fixed 'won't' be too high, and bots can carry out that sort of fixing anyway.<
  • The number of links and redirects that will need to be fixed 'will' be too high.
Neither of these arguments are quantified. Neither side has offered any proof.
Actually, if you look back at what got archived in the first archiving (it's in archive 89 at the moment, I think), I presented a list of all the mainspace pages linking to Main Page; it wasn't excessively long in my opinion, and you can look at the current list yourself at (which will query the database directly); it contains all the redirects, and also some articles with disambiguation headers pointing to the Main Page. There are 38 articles on the list at the moment, which I'm pretty sure an admin could fix by hand in less than 15 minutes (some of the pages are protected), or less using AWB. --ais523 09:05, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Right you are, I've moved this into arguments with some merit. --Monotonehell 02:15, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Points with no point (arguments that offer no proof)...
  • Many link to and have bookmarked the main page.
  • No evidence many people link to
Neither argument offers evidence. They just contradict each other (That's not an argument).
(I'm the author of the second one and I argue it doesn't need evidence. Simply stating the fact that so far no evidence has been provided by the other side who brought up the "many people link to" argument. If people want to make the argument they need evidence. Never tried to argue that many people didn't link to, simply that there was no evidence that many people link) 14:00, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Supporting arguments (Not actual arguments in themselves but support the above)
  • There is no technical reason why the move cannot be made.
    • Other Wikimedia wikis already have their Main Page outside the article namespace: [1] [2].
The second point seems to support the first, but perhaps the en.wikipedia experience will be different? I need more evidence.
This contradicts the previous argument that the article is needed for another topic. But okay if it's temporary.
  • Most of the large number of incoming links to the Main Page are templates, and so can be easily changed to the new location (and redirects would take care of them, anyway).
  • Moving the main page won't create any lasting extra load on the servers.
Not quantified, I need evidence on how the proposed redirects would affect server load.
I've heard a redirect increases the server load once, then it's cached until the page changes or someone purges it. No doubt posting on WP:VPT will turn up a developer who knows this for certain; I'll do this after saving this comment. --ais523 09:07, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
According to the discussion [3] (permlinked so this make sense even after VPT is archived), it does increase server load, but by a 'negligible' amount. --ais523 16:42, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
On ideological reasons:
Actual arguments...
  • De facto, it's a portal. The Main Page is a contents page, and therefore not in the body of the encyclopedia. WP:PORTAL uses the Main Page as an example of a portal.
Arguments which have no "correct answer"
None of these arguments are compelling since they can be contradicted. --Monotonehell 02:51, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Having the Main Page outside the article namespace would help people find out about the logic of how Wikipedia works earlier.
  • "Portal:Main Page" and similar would seem overly complicated to the visitors.
No supporting evidence of how this would affect visitors. Since the main page's title is hidden by server voodoo both points seem to be moot anyway.
  • Most other Wikimedia wikis have their main pages at Main Page.
Not sure if what everyone else is doing matters that much. What matters is the cost verses benefit of such a move.
  • Why fix something that isn't broken?
    • Even if something isn't broken, fixing it can be a good idea.
(That's not an argument)

No one has really focused on the actual costs verses the actual benefits as yet. Some have been offered, but they haven't been quantified.

People have offered the following on cost verses benefit reasons;
  • What difference will it make to the common Wikipedian?
  • It will be a lot of work for no real benefit for the readers. (How much work? How much benefit?)
  • Time could be better spent on doing something else. (How much time? Have we already spent more time debating then the actual move will take?)
Well yes those are questions that need to be answered.
  • The only problems that this might cause would be short-term, whereas the benefits would be long-term.

So that's where we are at the moment. None of the arguments from either side are particularly compelling in themselves. There is not a weight of argument for one case or the other in total. The only thing left is to quantify the costs of the move verses the benefits and apply some kind of utilitarian judgement after all the evidence is collected.

So what are the benefits? What are the costs? Please don't just throw an unquantified opinion in here, we need hard numbers and facts if we are to weigh them against each other... --Monotonehell 06:12, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

You forgot that giant uncyclopedia:Nobody cares I put up a few days ago. That must count for something – Qxz 08:12, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
No it doesn't. I'm sure some people had a laugh over it, but your remark doesn't make any sense considering the lengthy discussion we've already had. So if you don't care, just look for some other things to do. Piet | Talk 12:52, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I think there was something to that. ("When a thing is funny, search it for a hidden truth.") I expect most people really don't care, one way or the other. They're here to read or write an encyclopedia, not argue the fine points of Wiki design. Further, I would guess that most Wikipedians don't care that "Main page" is the wart that it is, or something would have been done before now. I can't back that up with hard proof, of course, but it's something to think about. (Note that the fact that most people don't care doesn't necessarily mean the wart should not be fixed.) —DragonHawk (talk) 13:20, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
You're probably right that a lot of people don't care. However a lot of people don't care about most things that happen on wikipedia. As in all cases, we only tend to consider the views of those that do care. If you don't care either way, well it shouldn't matter to you what we do 14:24, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, yes and no. I think there is one bit more: Assuming "most people don't care" as a given, that is an argument for keeping things the way they are. Changing things always causes some amount of disruption. If "nobody cares", that also implies it isn't a problem for them, so the disruption wouldn't be worth it. Of course, I have no proof that "most people don't care", only the theory that if people did care, it would have been fixed before now (and I'm well aware of the problems in that argument). I don't know how we can quantifiy apathy, though. Further, if this wart ever does become a problem (say, a popular website named "Main page"), then it is likely people will suddenly start to care. Alas, my crystal ball is in the shop. —DragonHawk (talk) 00:15, 29 January 2007 (UTC)


  • Moves article from article space, correcting the most viewed articles, cite this article --HamedogTalk|@ 06:21, 25 January 2007 (UTC
I've split these benefits into two points. Okay that's a benefit. Can we quantify the affect of this? How much will the statistics be changed? Is this change going to affect the counts a great deal? A little?
It's a lot of minor changes. Most of the counts affected will change by exactly 1 (out of 5,619,579), so that's a tiny and somewhat pointless benefit. The charts that name specific articles (such as the ones linked from Special:Statistics) put Main Page as the most-viewed article (rather than the most-viewed portal), disrupting the list; 'cite this article' would be absent rather than present (and it doesn't work properly on the Main Page, because permlinks don't take account of transcluded templates). Probably the biggest change here would be to tools, etc., external to Wikipedia; for instance, many mirrors and external search engines only copy/search articles, and they need special exceptions for the Main Page (which not all of them have). --ais523 11:53, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
  • (and most importantly) keeps the most viewed page inline with Wikipedia policy.--HamedogTalk|@ 06:21, 25 January 2007 (UTC
I disagree that "keeps the most viewed page inline with Wikipedia policy" is the most important point. Indeed, I would say that is the least important of reasons. Remember: Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy. Wikipedia does not have firm rules. Policy exists only to help us write an encyclopedia. It does not exist as an end in itself. Do not worship at the altar of policy. The rest of your points have merit; I suggest focusing on those. —DragonHawk (talk) 13:25, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Also, assuming that most policies are intended to be descriptive in nature, this page probably doesn't violate anything. Christopher Parham (talk) 17:34, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Keeping the attack on the argument's wording aside, who does this benefit? How does this benefit them? What's the affect of this benefit? Define, quantify.
  • Allows for someone to eventually create an article about main pages (i.e. the primary page on a website, sometimes homepage). The article should probably be a protected redirect for quite sometime to allow search engines and people to update their bookmarks. falsedef 21:14, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Small benefit here, we free up a possible article title. How would redirecting the page alert people to the need to update bookmarks? This sounds like a cost (adding below). --Monotonehell 01:28, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Also the reason I mentioned a protected redirect is because the article space for main_page will be quite sought after for both vandals and glory seekers. falsedef 09:19, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
So is that another cost? --Monotonehell 11:25, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
While I can't quantify the cost, the relative cost here must be on the side of moving. If we ever need the Main Page article then it is rather likely we would have needed it in any case. Ergo, whatever decision we make, if this issue ever arises, we will have to confront it. If we've already move the main page our options are likely to be greater hence the cost would be lower. 14:09, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
On the other hand, if we never encounter that problem, we've spent resources with zero return, for a net loss. Back on the first hand, if we are going to encounter the namespace collision problem, the sooner we fix it means the less disruption, so the sooner, the better. Unfortunately, both of these are speculation. We have no way of knowing if "Main page" will ever be a namespace collision. It falls into the realm of "Not overly likely, but not unlikely, either". Without an accurate mechanism to predict the future, coming up with hard numbers is going to be... difficult. —DragonHawk (talk) 00:25, 29 January 2007 (UTC)


  • ais523 claims above that 38 articles in article namespace links to Main Page. Jeltz talk 15:32, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
How is this a cost? --Monotonehell 01:22, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
I think Jeltz was trying to quantify the amount of work in updating double-redirs after the move. --ais523 13:05, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Indeed. I thought that the purpose here was to try to quantify costs, and I listed on that already has been quantified even if it happens to be minimal. Jeltz talk 13:33, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Ah I see now. So it's a small cost then. Thanks people. --Monotonehell 02:40, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
  • The move may upset people's bookmarks. One possible solution proposed was to redirect. But how would this alert people to the change?
Again we need to quantify this point. Every user who arrives via the old main page URL will need to be alerted and redirected if the page is intended to be reserved for an article. If not we need a soft redirect, this would add approximately 10% load to the servers on top of requests for the old main page. Either way people need to be alerted of the change. --Monotonehell 01:32, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Quantification is necessary. However we need to remember it's extremely speculatory beyond a day. There's no knowing how long it will take people to update their bookmarks 14:12, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Is that a 10% extra load for every request through the current main page url? Surely that's not acceptable? Then it could not be a redirect, but it would have to be a message "The main page moved to ... " so the lazy visitors too update their bookmarks. That would be a cost, although small and short-term. But are you sure about that 10%? If the page is cached on the server, it seems to me the only extra cost is the extra line "redirected from ...". Piet | Talk 14:35, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
I've linked the VPT discussion above. It's a real but negligible extra load on the servers, it seems. --ais523 16:45, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
User:Simetrical said in that disccsuion that "Redirects don't add noticeable load." 10% would definatly be noticable load so it is much less than that. Jeltz talk 19:12, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Ah okay, the 10% was based on the relative size of a page with only the sidebar, other menus and etc verses a whole page of text. The idea being that the server has to effectively serve one small page and one big page instead of just one big one. This would only be additional to requests for the main page, not a 10% increase on the servers over all. But according to the VPT discussion this small increase would not be a big load. --Monotonehell 02:45, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Three MediaWiki pages (MediaWiki:Mainpage, MediaWiki:Common.js, and MediaWiki:Monobook.css) will need to be updated as a result of the move (changing MediaWiki:Mainpage to the new location, changing all mentions of the Main Page to the new name in common.js (and 'ca-nstab-main' in that section, meaning article-space, to 'ca-nstab-portal'), and changing the page-Main_Page selectors in monobook.css to read page-Portal_Main_Page (or the equivalent of this if a different title is selected)). This shouldn't be too much trouble, but the Main Page will act oddly until the change has been made, and the move should probably be made by a technically-minded admin. --ais523 17:22, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Digging a hole

Iknow i am starting to dig a very deep pit but i am starting to think Portal:Wikipedia is a better option. Look at the foreign Wikipedias. Simply south 23:14, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

What is the topic supposed to mean? What about Portal:Main Portal or Portal:Main? FirefoxMan 01:26, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

I think he meant he's digging a hole, not calling someone an a-hole. I've added a extra word to it. falsedef 08:08, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
I would avoid the use of Portal:Wikipedia since it feels like a bit too much of a self reference to me, and the title doesn't really describe well what it is. Jeltz talk 12:10, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
It would also collide with any future portal on the subject of Wikipedia itself (at the rate WP is growing, this is not a red herring). Portal:Main seems likely to be proof against such things. (I can't think of a situation where a genercal topic would become known only as "Main".) —DragonHawk (talk) 00:10, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
I've said this before (three times), but Portal:Main is my preferred option (followed by Portal:Main Page, Wikipedia:Main Page, and Main Page), given that [[]] is technically impossible. Portal:Wikipedia would be a misleading name for the Main Page (you might find it interesting to see where that link goes, if you don't know already). --ais523 10:20, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Okay, just a thought. I withdraw. Simply south 12:15, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Seriously, we need to poll the wider Wikipedia community and get a concensus either way and end this debate. I hope an admin or someone higher can step in and take the require steps to get the monobook change so there can be a vote.--HamedogTalk|@ 08:32, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
How would you conduct a straw poll on this subject? It can't be held here as there'd be too many !votes. The last poll on this page was closed as it became a joke. The pump would be the best place but it would just start the whole discussion over again as most people would not be prepared to read the entire discussions from the archive before placing an informed vote. It has become clear from the above that it would be a small amount of work for a small amount of benefit. I can see no compelling reasons for the move, nor any compelling reasons not to move. If we can come up with a good way to conduct a straw poll then that might be a next step, otherwise there's probably better things to do. --Monotonehell 12:37, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Portal:World would actually be more in keeping with the naming of the other portals (by subject area).--Pharos 22:40, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
But "World" sounds like it came from a wiki MMORPG. Also, what about earth portals, Portal:World should then be a redredct to the (not yet in existance) earth portal. Mars, venus, and other worlds need portals too! ffm yes? 02:16, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
I meant it in the sense of Die Welt and Le Monde. Anyway, in the Portal:Best of all Possible Worlds that would be the name.--Pharos 03:48, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
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