Talk:Wikipedia/Archive 12

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Budget 2006/07

Trying as hard as I could, I see no pages for the wikipedia/media budget for 2006 or for 2007. Could someone point me in the right direction or include it in the article? Thanks so much ! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 07:45, 3 January 2007 (UTC). this what your looking for? 01:23, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Created By

I think it makes a lot more sense to say that Wikipedia was "created by" thousands of volunteers. Larry does deserve credit for his early work in Wikipedia, not as a founder, which he clearly was not, but stating it that way makes it sounds like Larry and I created the website... when the heavy lifting was done by other people, always. Particularly with respect to the core ideas that make up Wikipedia, they did not come from Larry (indeed, he stills argues against them!) but rather came mostly from people who argued with Larry... and won! ... in the early days. They should be acknowledged.--Jimbo Wales 15:23, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

It all depends on how exactly the section is written, I believe. Small summaries should cleanly state that you two made the website, since that's pretty must just the thing you did. When there's more room for explanation, it may indeed be good to mention that volunteers who were participating in discussions with you had a major influence on the foundation of Wikipedia, and continue to do so to this day. (The good thing here is that Jimmy can just write an article, have it published someplace, and thus provide a reliable source for this claim...) function msikma(const U, T : Float) : Float { to my page. } ; 18:06, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
As long as Jimmy continues to say patently untrue things about my role about Wikipedia, it appears I am going to have to point readers to some facts:
As to the notion that I had little to do with "the core ideas that make up Wikipedia," Jimmy has said this enough times that I suppose I will have to correct him explicitly: Jimmy is either lying or misremembering. Through my daily work in taking people to task for violations of policy, and and in articulating policy statements, I was more responsible than any other single person for ensuring that Wikipedia follows certain essential policies, including the neutrality policy, the policy against original research, and the fact that the project is focused on an encyclopedia (and not the other things that "Wikipedia is not"). Neutrality and no original research were policies I articulated in Nupedia days before Wikipedia even existed. What Jimmy could mean in saying that I "argue against" Wikipedia's essential policies, I really don't know.
Jimmy, I remember the facts about how Wikipedia was founded far better than you do, because I was there--in the trenches--while you were busy as CEO of Bomis. Please stop making patently and provably false assertions about my role in and views about Wikipedia. You might notice that some such assertions are in fact actionable. You really should stop. --Larry Sanger 06:41, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, I certainly am not going to jump inbetween you two. If these things are really untrue, then that raises some questions. I presumed Jimbo's assertions to be correct and simply in need of some kind of source; if Larry states that they are untrue and has sources that back up his claims, then for what reason was Jimbo suggesting them? It certainly would be really nice to read about how influential the visitors of the site once were and still are, as Jimbo suggested, but if this is not really true, we shouldn't think of including it. My question to Jimbo: for what reason do you state apparently original research material to be added to this article, and how do you respond to Larry? Benevolent dictator for life you may be, but I would like some explanation here. function msikma(const U, T : Float) : Float { to my page. } ; 07:15, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
As a relatively new user, it distresses me that Jimbo's and Larry's statements contradict each other. I have no way of concluding who is exactly right without doing more research than I have time for. If Jimbo and Larry can't verify a Wikipedia article, then who can? I would suggest the following:
  • Human memories are very unreliable. I remember co-inventing a device together with a friend. He went on to market it and made it the center of his life; I just use it. For a while I used to tell people I was the coinventor, but I no longer do, because I have no conclusive written evidence and because I don't know if my brain isn't exagerating my accomplishment or not and because it no longer matters.
  • It doesn't matter whether Larry was a founder or not or how much Jimbo worked at the beginning, or indeed who founded Wikipedia at all. So many people work so very hard at it, it is irrelevant. What is more important is the work which Jimbo is doing now and the Citizendium project Larry is working on now. Think of Asimov's Foundation stories, where the Encyclopedia Galactica eventually became something like God...
Therefore it would be great if you great people could bury keyboards and offer a congruent joint statement. We love you all no matter who did what when. And I do thank you both, and everybody else involved, for something really really great! --Theosch 17:16, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Since it's taken quite a while now and neither has responded to this, I guess that neither really care about this anyhow. —msikma (user, talk) 07:18, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Triva and First Article on Wikipedia

The page should have a trivia section, and one of the items in that section should be the name of the very first article on Wikipedia. If it's impossible to know what was the first, then that itself is an interesting bit of trivia. Who knows the answers? I don't. Interlingua talk email 15:31, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Avoid trivia sections in articles. Trivia sections are undesirable. Also see History of Wikipedia#Beginnings of a new project and Wikipedia:Wikipedia's oldest articles for some answers.--Pethr 16:36, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk page index?

Is there one and where is it? I'm looking specifically for an index of editorial polls and the like. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Whoblitzell (talkcontribs)

Future directions for authoring content

is this correct ? afaik the idea was about flagging content, the article says it is about flagging people.

"Wales also talked about creating "stable" or "static" pages for entries that are considered complete, to help people who want to cite them in published works. The plan being tested in Germany appears designed to root out mischief, as opposed to inaccuracies that may be harder to detect."

--source: linuxworld, first google hit after 10min of searching on wikipedias pages...-- ExpImptalkcon 01:43, 8 January 2007 (UTC)


i have just registered with wikipedia and i am surprised that people are given so much freedom to edit stuff. you can edit almost every page of this website.i could go and edit the text above into rubbish and no one would care. can someone tell me what this is all about??? Electron8 21:25, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia works because there are many more people who are good editors than bad editors. There is also a lot that goes on behind the scenes to combat vandalism. Wikipedia is constantly vandalized, but most vandalism is reverted within minutes (or within seconds for User:AntiVandalBot). --h2g2bob 21:38, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
An explanation of the behind the scenes stuff, if you're interested. There are many people using their watchlist to keep an eye on pages they have an interest in. Volunteers at recent changes patrol and bots keep an eye on the most recent edits to Wikipedia. In some cases, users can be blocked from editing for a while, or pages protected to prevent vandalism, but these are really a last resort. --h2g2bob 21:48, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Actually, if you add rubbish to an article, some people will get annoyed and find it to be disruptive. However, it it easy for most editors to simply change it back without much difficulty. Users only get blocked if they repeatedly vandalize articles, and this is usually only temporary. The purpose of Wikipedia is to allow many editors to contribute to articles so that another piece of valid knowledge is added. I've heard that the goal of Wikipedia is to compile human knowledge and give free knowledge to the whole planet. Unfortunately, Wikipedia will never be actually completed, because to complete Wikipedia is to complete global human knowledge, which is impossible. Good editors are usually welcomed. BTW Antivandalbot doesn't read all articles, and sometimes makes errors. I've reverted people's edits many times without the help of Antivandalbot. It doesn't catch everything. AstroHurricane001(Talk+Contribs+Ubx) 22:24, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia statistics

We now have two large lists of statistics. One shows the amount of articles, and the other shows the amount of words. I have two problems with this: firstly, this causes readers to have to draw conclusions of their own. We should find some news articles that also highlight these two lists and explain more about it rather than just indiscriminately giving information and hoping that the reader will "figure it out". Secondly, why have two lists when you can have one table? I bet that there are bots that are constantly updating these lists, so perhaps some of the bots' owners could change them to put these statistics in one table? It really is not necessary to have two lists at this point. function msikma(const U, T : Float) : Float { to my page. } ; 07:08, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Removed wiki listing by number of words

On second thought, I feel that we do not need yet another list of wikis, this time sorted by number of words. It seems like it's an inaccurate way of measuring wiki size, and it also seems a bit verbose to the reader. For example, Dutch is a slightly longer language than English, since we have more words and colloquialisms to say all kinds of things. I design websites, and when I need to make a multi-language site, I always seem to notice the Dutch texts being about 1.4x as long as the English ones, which can at least partially be attributed to a different amount of words. Anyway, if anyone really, really, really liked the listing of wikis by number of words, then just revert my change, but please discuss it here as well. msikma (user, talk) 22:00, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

remove that begging donation request

remove or set aside that banner:

You can give the gift of knowledge by donating to the Wikimedia Foundation! Wikimedia ...

Tax-deductibility of donations | FAQ | Financial statements | Live list of donations

its really shame to beg donations in top of every page —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 10:35, 9 January 2007 (UTC).

Have you tried the "dismiss" link? I did, and it worked like a charm to dismiss that banner. -- Jeff G. 11:35, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
He likely knows how to dismiss the banner, and is mentioning this because he feels it's not a good idea for all the visitors that stumble upon this site. Those visitors may not know how to click the dismiss link, or they simply don't want to see such an advertisement at all. And quite frankly, I agree. This fundraiser has gone on long enough, and Wikipedia isn't in any financial problems. msikma (user, talk) 13:18, 9 January 2007 (UTC) PS: this shouldn't be discussed on this page. See the WP:PUMP instead.

This is stupid

Why have a Wikipedia page about Wikipedia??? It's stupid, "Hey, whats Wikipedia?" "I dunno, lets look up Wikipedia on Wikipedia." "There, thats what wikipedia is." Its stupid and a waste of space. SerpentsTail

You brought up a valid question. The main answer is that the Wikipedia article in Wikipedia is one of the four currently permitted exceptions to Wikipedia:Avoid self-references in finished articles per Writing about Wikipedia itself. I have some additional justifications, and think of the Wikipedia article in Wikipedia as each of the following:
  • A "Help About" page for itself. Lots of software has such a feature to answer the question "What is this?".
  • A reference for all the mirrored or forked versions.
  • A link to give to newbies on other sites or in email who ask "Wikipedia, what's that?". Think WP:BITE in a global sense. The new acronym RTFWA (for "Read The Fine Wikipedia Article") is gaining currency (13 hits so far on Google).
  • Wikipedia is certainly a free online encyclopedia worthy of note in any new encyclopedia. See Wikipedia:Notability.
-- Jeff G. 01:46, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
WOW! I was real surprised to see that Wikipedia had a page about itself. I just thought now of checking to see. How can it possibly be NPOV when the subject is itself? Weird stuff! lol
YourPTR! 03:14, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Sure, much of the article is somewhat biased in favor of Wikipedia. Only edits by Wikipedians have survived in it (the quantity of material that hasn't survived in it is mind-boggling - see the article's edit history). And only in American English (from what I've read). But it does include a whole section on criticism and controversy to balance the POVs. -- Jeff G. 03:35, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
It's no more stupid than the word "dictionary" being in the dictionary. Kidcorona 09:00, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Technical Help?

I'm looking for precise technical informations and ressource pages about Wikipedia. I know that the content is free, but is there some sort of way to get the articles in a computer processible form? Like a giant file that has all the article contents in plain UTF-8 in it or something like that? How large would such a file be? 15:02, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

You can find all the informations you need on Wikipedia:Database download. Have fun! (I am copying this message on your user talk since I move it at the bottom of the page) -- lucasbfr talk 15:59, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Equipment WikiMedia Plans To Buy ?

Have they come up with the list of stuff/ servers they plan to buy with the donation(s) ? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Kumarrrr (talkcontribs) 13:15, 12 January 2007 (UTC).

Please see Fundraising - Wikimedia Foundation. -- Jeff G. 18:03, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia "studies"

The Nature investigation wasn't a study, so I changed that. I did a cursory check of other "studies" and it seems one was done by a defunct website and the other wasn't published in a peer-reviewed journal. This should most definitely be noted and repeatedly calling them "scientific studies" when they aren't peer reviewed is biased, since it's leaving it up to the Wikipedia editors as to whether or not it's scientific.

And of course, as stated in the todo/priority list (which hasn't seem to have been addressed yet), there's an obvious pro-Wikipedia bias in the Criticisms section. It basically attempts to debunk the minimal formal criticism listed.

Also, there is this: "However, it was also found that Wikipedia articles were generally of greater length (2.6 times as long as the Britannica equivalents, on average), and that thus its error per word ratio is lower."

This seems to have been quoted from the Wikinews article that was linked to. Who found this? If it was found by the person who wrote the Wikinews article, that's essentially original research. Wikimedia should never self-reference as a source for research. Nathan J. Yoder 07:03, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

more study and statistics

Do we know the average age of wikipedia users in en.wikipedia? Likewise for editors? Likewise for countries of provenance? Thanks. Politis 17:18, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

In a related point - I would love to see more statistics on how many average users contribute regularly. How are the number of edits split geographically and questions around that. Literature on Wikipedia is sorely lacking and Wikipedia administrators need to step up to provide more information about the "server side" of Wikipedia. varuag doos


Given that this site has been rated in the top 15 in terms of web traffic of all the websites in the world, the advertisement revenue potential for wikipedia is immense, and yet they choose not to post any ads.If the revenue would be by far enough that they would never need donations, why does the site choose not to sell ad space?is it just integrity?Rodrigue 17:43, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Its adspace appears to be reserved for donations to the Wikimedia Foundation. -- Jeff G. 18:09, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Im glad theres no ad's! Would you like stupid pop-ups like on every other website? --ISeeDeadPixels 20:41, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

But seriously,it would generate alot of money,because wikipedia is one of the most popular website in the world[1],and that translates into very high advertissement rates, and besides never needing donations from people to keep the site running, the founders would really be very rich by now,but if it is about integrity, then I guess I understand why they wouldn't want all that money.Rodrigue 01:03, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Oh, get out of here. I and all the other contributors write the articles on this site. Not Jimbo Wales. Jimbo can't even respond to his own talk page comments. Founder of the site he may be, but he really doesn't care enough to write articles. Why should his organization get anything other than donation money to keep itself running? —msikma (user, talk) 07:05, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Jimbo's own talk page is at User talk:Jimbo Wales. -- Jeff G. (talk|contribs|links|watch|logs) 17:28, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

It would be really nice if they can use all the donated money to come up with some new features etc for the site. The preceding comment was added by Kumarrrr at 22:01 on 18 January 2007 (UTC), but was not signed. -- Jeff G. 22:41, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Regarding adverts on wikipedia and profits: it has a .org address and they are non-profit sites. Otherwise, it would have been a .com. Politis 22:55, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Most vandalized page

Could this be it? And if not so, what is it?

I think George W. Bush is the top winner. Hbdragon88 09:15, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Original Research

Way too many cites in this article are to wikipedia or other 'official' Wiki sites. Is this ok because of the nature of the article? It seems a bit odd to me. dreddnott 09:34, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Is that a joke? — Omegatron 03:15, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Self Promotion

Surely this is just self promotion? I have seen othger articles about websites be delted as they are regarded as self-promotion. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Randomjack (talkcontribs) 12:01, 23 January 2007 (UTC).

The article tries to be balanced and neutral, and provide facts about the project and a summary of criticism directed at it without prejudice. How well it achieves this is of course open to interpretation – Qxz 02:59, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm very surprised that anyone would think Wikipedia should not have an article on itself. Imagine that someone wants to read a summary of this project. How would they do it? They would have to go through thousands of help pages, which is impossible. So they can come to this article and have the project explained in one place. The article has to be unbiassed of course and point out the flaws of the project as well as the strengths. As someone said elsewhere, you would surely expect to find the word "dictionary" in a dictionary so I would expect to find Wikipedia in Wikipedia! - Adrian Pingstone 10:18, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

New sections

WillowW, it looks like you're going after point 4 of the to-do list, or something along those lines... which is great, especially as I just added it. Problem with removing subsections from the "criticism and controversy" section, though, is that they're about criticism, and responses to said criticism, and as such don't really belong elsewhere in the article. Also I'm not sure I like the look of the table-of-contents now that there are ten new sub-sections and sub-sub-sections. Perhaps it could be restructured into four or five? Any more than that and I think the article will start to get bloated again; the criticism section was too large before (it only needs to be a summary because of the much more detailed Criticism of Wikipedia, and I've spent the last couple of days trimming it down. It's still a little on the big side, but I think it's better) – Qxz 12:08, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

OK, why don't you move back the criticism parts (like the "Reliability sources"?) and I'll work on condensing the subsubsubsections into something less profligate. I should say, I'm not married to the text; it's just a skeleton draft onto which others should add things. Thanks for being patient with me! :) Willow 12:13, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, anything's better than nothing. "Quality as an encyclopedia" seems a bit of an awkward name for a section, though. I'd suggest "Characteristics", but that already seems to be taken. Perhaps the section structure as a whole needs re-thinking? – Qxz 12:16, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Another thought: Having spent a day summarizing the somewhat bloated "Reliability" section into three paragraphs, it's now growing again – back up to three sections already. I'm assuming that once there was just a single paragraph of text there, and it grew and grew and got so big it had to be split off into Reliability of Wikipedia, which is now an entire article in itself. Unfortunately once stuff is split off like that, the section from which it came inevitably starts to grow again. Would some of the new (or even old) material there be better off in Reliability of Wikipedia? (To be honest, that article needs some work itself, so there may not be much place for it at the moment) – Qxz 12:25, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Hmm... now there are TWO "reliabilty" sections, each of three paragraphs! I'm not sure whether that's better or worse. Though it may lead to the same sort of problems as having separate a Reliability of Wikipedia article and the "Reliability" section under Criticism – stuff tends to get duplicated – Qxz 12:29, 27 January 2007 (UTC)


The Wikipedia article about Wikipedia is suffering from bias in the section about bias in Wikipedia. Figure that one out if you can – Qxz 16:10, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

It's not so bad now. (Actually, it wasn't so bad before, I just wanted to say that) – Qxz 19:52, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Vandalism of this page encouraged by national radio station


Just a quick heads up, Australian national radio station Triple J at approximately 15:15 AEST, had a segment where the presenters (Chris Taylor and Craig Reucassel) where discussing Wikipedia, in particular, how reliable it was as a reference source - they then suggested to the audience that they find the article "Wikipedia" then vandalize it. The comment was made as a joke, but you can be sure some people will act on it (this has already happened: 1 2 3 4.)

From memory, Triple J's broadcast is not heard in real-time around Australia, but rather, will be played in each time zone at 15:15 their time (eg. people in South Australia will hear it in about half an hour, Western Australia in about 1.5 hours etc) - so keep an eye out for vandalism. --DWZ (talkemailcontribs) 04:33, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

I was listening too - they have done it the last few weeks as well. As soon as they said the words "does Wikipedia have their own Wikipedia page" I was tempted to pre-emptively protect it straight away - (if it wasn't for the fact that some by-the-book admin would have pulled me up on it). -- Chuq 04:41, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
The page is currently semi-protected, as it usually is, so there shouldn't be too much of a problem. If anyone hits it, it's a sleeper account, so block on sight. --Slowking Man 05:21, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

On the off chance that anyone was interested in why there was so much vandalism to Wikipedia from about 3:15 EST onwards, I was listening to Australia's Triple J and the radio jocks were actively encouraging people to vandalise it. - Ta bu shi da yu 08:25, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

/me gestures at thread above Tongue.png --Slowking Man 08:51, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
"/me" is an IRCism which probably isn't appropriate here, but I appreciate the humor nonetheless. It appears that Ta bu shi da yu had trouble reading the previous section Talk:Wikipedia#Vandalism_of_this_page_encouraged_by_national_radio_station (from its POV; I moved its section to a new subsection). :)
Australians at various IP Addresses have posted "lol" to this and the section. Why not let them have their bit of fun on this page, and just apply one of the unsigned templates to their "work"?
Oh, and re your use of "EST", please be aware that such use is ambiguous, and see EST for details.
 -- Jeff G. (talk|contribs|links|watch|logs) 09:19, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
I didn't notice it, actually. As for the EST thingo, oops - but please, lighten up! - Ta bu shi da yu 09:50, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
P.S. they seemed rather taken aback by the fact that we mentioned things like the controversy over our reliability, and that we even mention vandalism. I guess they don't believe that it is possible for us to write well about any given topic. Luckily for us, they are wrong. - Ta bu shi da yu 09:52, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, can we get a cite for a transcript, to balance the POV-ridden controversy section (or whatever it's named at present, thanks recent editors for working to improve the article over the past day or so)?  :) And sorry about the EST thing, I live in the original EST (Eastern Standard Time; see "History of Standard Time in the U.S." at History of U.S. time zones and UTC conversion for details). :)  -- Jeff G. (talk|contribs|links|watch|logs) 10:26, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't think they do text transcripts, but the show should be available as a podcast soon (as I type this, it isn't up, but it should be in the queue to be uploaded). The XML for the podcast can be found here. --DWZ (talkemailcontribs) 10:40, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
Great, that's all we need. Good thing it's semi-protected, I guess – Qxz 09:52, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

"Peer review" (if you can call it that)

Sticking the results of that script thingy here so people can have a look at it.Qxz 16:42, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

The following suggestions were generated by a semi-automatic javascript program, and might not be applicable for the article in question.

  • When writing standard abbreviations, the abbreviations should not have a 's' to demark plurality (for example, change kms to km and lbs to lb). Yes check.svg
  • Per Wikipedia:Context and Wikipedia:Build the web, years with full dates should be linked; for example, link January 15, 2006. Yes check.svg
  • Per Wikipedia:Manual of Style (headings), headings generally do not start with articles ('the', 'a(n)'). For example, if there was a section called ==The Biography==, it should be changed to ==Biography==. Symbol question.svg
  • Per Wikipedia:Manual of Style (headings), headings generally should not repeat the title of the article. For example, if the article was Ferdinand Magellan, instead of using the heading ==Magellan's journey==, use ==Journey==. Symbol question.svg
    The above two points refer to The Wikipedia model, which may be OK as it is
  • Per WP:WIAFA, this article's table of contents (ToC) may be too long- consider shrinking it down by merging short sections or using a proper system of daughter pages as per Wikipedia:Summary style. Symbol question.svg
    Currently a total of 23 sections and subsections. Possibly we could reduce that number to around 20/21, but not much more, and it seems stupid to do so purely for the sake of doing so. And there are already four "daughter pages", some of which have nearly this many sections themselves.
  • There are a few occurrences of weasel words in this article- please observe WP:AWT. Certain phrases should specify exactly who supports, considers, believes, etc., such a view. Symbol question.svg
  • "it has been", "allege" might be weasel words, and should be provided with proper citations (if they already do, or are not weasel terms, please strike this comment). Yes check.svg
  • Watch for redundancies that make the article too wordy instead of being crisp and concise. Symbol question.svg
  • As done in WP:FOOTNOTE, footnotes usually are located right after a punctuation mark (as recommended by the CMS, but not mandatory), such that there is no space in between. For example, the sun is larger than the moon [2]. is usually written as the sun is larger than the moon.[2] Yes check.svg
  • Please provide citations for all of the {{fact}}s. Yes check.svg
  • Please ensure that the article has gone through a thorough copyediting so that it exemplifies some of Wikipedia's best work. Symbol question.svg
Some, but more needed.

Differences of opinion

Hi, perhaps we should agree on common principles before reverting one another.

Wikipedia is indeed an encyclopedia in the original Greek sense, since it offers instruction on an all-encompassing range of topics.

I believe that the Smellie quote is entirely appropriate, expressing in elegant wording the common frustration of all encyclopedians that their articles must be mere summaries. However, if our consensus is that it's tangential to the topic, it can of course be deleted, along with the rest of the paragraph.

The Buddhism v. Christianity article count in the Macropædia may be confirmed by counting. Its role in this paragraph is as evidence that traditional encyclopedias may give unequal coverage to equivalent topics. Any encyclopedia would do, though; if you'd care to count the articles in the World Book Encyclopedia, that's be just as good, of course.

Given that we do not know who Wikipedia's editors are, one must remain agnostic on whether they are experts or not; the data have simply not been collected, right? Therefore, the original version is less POV.

No book or person can claim to have absolute authority in scholarship. We do not live in the era of Moses, who came down from the mountain with tablets of stone engraved by the hand of God. Instead, we have imperfect authors, imperfect experiments and imperfect journal editors; every "truth" is contingent upon further data, and is established by the preponderance of evidence published in scholarly journals after critical review. A good example is the concept of aether (the medium of light) in physics, which was taken as certain (or nearly certain) in the latter half of the 19th century (see Chwolson's textbook of 1900, for example), but which was shown to be incorrect in the 20th century by experiment, after being demolished theoretically by Einstein. Even the brightest Nobel laureates can make mistakes (Linus Pauling and vitamin C — or the hree-helix structure of DNA?), and no source — not even the EB — has an intrinsic claim to the truth. The Nature study has shown the fallibility of the EB, no?

Do we agree on these principles? If not, how do we differ? I'm sure that, together, we can find a wording that satisfies your concerns for accuracy and fairness.

Hoping to reach a compromise, Willow 20:05, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

This is the article about Wikipedia, not about encyclopedias in general. The Smellie quote is off-topic. As to the Buddhism v. Christianity article count in the Macropædia, you used this to suggest that Wikipedia does not suffer from such a bias, but where is your reference for that? Have you done a comparable count for Wikipedia? I'd take any bet that there are many times more articles relating to Christianity than to Buddhism in Wikipedia as well, since a disproportionate share of Wikipedia contributors are from Western countries.
Since Wikipedia can be edited by anyone, it is obvious that most of those "anyones" aren't experts. An encyclopedia is supposed to record the state of knowledge as it stands at its time, it is not to blame for recording imperfect theories that are later overturned. The Nature "study" (an editorial, rather) hasn't shown anything, it was neither peer-reviewed nor met even the most elementary principles of a scientific study. That said, of course the EB is fallible; that hardly requires proof - nothing is perfect. But the EB, being written by top experts, is obviously more reliable than anything that can be "edited by anyone". Whatever errors there are in the EB, they are not just less numerous, but usually far less serious than what you may find in Wikipedia, where quite fundamental misconceptions and extreme POV distortions, of a kind you'd practically never find in EB, are frequent. Bramlet Abercrombie 20:29, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Hi Bramlet, I've tried to address your concerns as follows. My intention with the Buddhism, etc. paragraph was not to maintain that WP was necessarily better, moerely that it need not follow the wishes of tis readers, since it didn't need to be bought; there's no need to ensure profitability, which I hope agree may introduce biases. I've added a sentence to clarify the intention.

I've also re-arranged the Smellie paragraph to state that WP cannot claim intrinsic authority as yet, since it lacks that "track record" you mention. However, I objected to your wording as being POV, almost as though you intended to cast WP in the most negative light possible.

I believe that the Nature study did establish — and the EB's editor agreed in his response — that the EB had contained errors, albeit small ones. To me, and I think to the scholarly community, those observations suggest that the EB is not perfect and that its assertions are more authoritative when they're backed up with references. However, of course it's true that the bulk of WP has a long way to go before reaching the level of EB, even if WP surpasses the EB on individual articles such as Photon or Laplace-Runge-Lenz vector.

We should maintain this discussion and not be hasty in our reversions. I vow, I'll make a sincere effort to address your concerns as best I can and, failing that, will recruit others to do what I cannot. Willow 21:13, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

It is you who apparently wants to cast Britannica in the most negative light possible. I've seen this throughout your edits to Britannica-related articles. Again, this is the article about Wikipedia and there's hardly a need to make any specific references to Britannica here. So your point is that non-free encyclopedias may adopt the biases of the general public whom it is sold to - and yet Wikipedia, which is directly written by such a general public, is supposed to escape those biases? I don't think so.
The EB has agreed as much as I said above, namely that it is, of course, not 100% accurate. It didn't agree that Nature established that, since everyone knew this before. Its assertions are about as authoritative as it gets, since it is written by top authorities. If they had to provide references, they might reference their own books or journal articles, or else those of lesser authorities. How would that make it more authoritative? Bramlet Abercrombie 21:34, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
And you just keep on with the blatant POV, like this: "However, its increasing breadth, depth and citation of reliable sources suggests that it will establish a good track record for itself." Where is the citation of a reliable source for that? Bramlet Abercrombie 21:46, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Hi Bramlet, I'm guessing that you're not a scientist, since there is a big difference between citing a person (including Nobel laureates) and citing a series of carefully controlled experiments that were carried out and independently reproduced in multiple laboratories. There have been all too many scandals in science when that protocol was not followed; a recent and illuminating example was Jan Hendrik Schön.

Re:the EB, I'm willing to admit my imperfections, but I have tried hard to be fair, as I hope that you'll admit. Likewise, you should be all the more sensitive to making the same mistake here. Our mutual goal on both sets of articles is not to demean the encyclopedias unnecessarily, but to calmly and neutrally point out both their strengths and weaknesses, without averting our gaze from either. You agree with that, right? Willow 21:49, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Re: the depth, breadth and referencing. It seems obvious from the overall growth of WP and from the growth of the WikiProjects that both the breadth and depth are increasing. The frequency of citations in increasing as well, judging from the number of citations provided on more recent featured articles compared to those promoted earlier. Are those statistics adequate?

Experiments don't cite themselves. You still need a personal authority at the end, and the authors and editors of Britannica are about as good as you can get. If you are not an expert yourself, you may not be able to evaluate any given citations, or even to check if they really say what is claimed (which, in Wikipedia, won't be always the case). Indeed, you may not be able to evaluate the qualifications of a named expert either. And that's where Britannica itself comes in, because that's the authority the reader ultimately trusts.
The quantity of WP has long eclipsed that of Britannica or any other encyclopedia. But what does that have to do with its quality? Sheer numbers of citations do not create accuracy either; many references tend to be dubious websites, not reliable sources. As long as random people, without requiring any kind of qualification, can make edits that go live immediately, WP plainly cannot ever match the quality of a professionally-edited encyclopedia. Bramlet Abercrombie 22:17, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm afraid that that seems POV to me. Are you willing to concede that WP might surpass the EB in at least some areas, perhaps those covered by its Featured Articles? For example, two of my FA's, Cyclol and Laplace-Runge-Lenz vector, aren't mentioned anywhere in the Britannica (check the EB index), and a third, Photon, covers its subject in much greater depth, supported by peer-reviewed citations rather than my paltry authority, than does the EB. Please don't misunderstand me; I'm not saying that WP matches the EB in most topics; on the contrary, it clearly falls short. But one shouldn't dismiss it out of hand, without providing evidence, simply because one cannot imagine that it could be reliable.

Re: the experiments, I merely wished to point out that the experimental data is what determines the prevailing model in science, not the authority of anyone. Even to use authority as an argument in science is considered to be a logical fallacy with formal name, ad vericundiam, if I recall correctly. Willow 22:39, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

I have already conceded that WP surpasses EB in quantity, i.e. it has articles about obscure topics not covered at all in EB, and it covers other things in greater depth. Nothing of this has to do with quality though. I am not a physicist, and the mere presence of a long list of citations (which I couldn't verify anyway) doesn't convince me that the Photon article is reliable, nor does its "featured" status (which is, after all, conferred by the same kind of "anyones" who write the articles; it's unlikely that sufficiently competent experts even notice a given FA nomination and, if so, bother to check all assertions in the article). Also, even if every fact in an article is backed by a citation, there could still be a bias of selection and omission, and there's no way for the reader to judge its overall balance and completeness without an authority behind it. Bramlet Abercrombie 18:49, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Your last clause doesn't follow from the preceding. But that's not really relevant, because personal opinions on the merits of "authority" or of open-content creation aren't relevant. Opabinia regalis 06:28, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Hm. It seems there was an edit war while I was out. Never mind, we can learn from it. The nature of this article means that we're always going to encounter problems of neutrality and bias — writing about ourselves in this way is difficult!
The article as a whole has improved, so we are making progress; that is the important thing. It has gained an entire new section and (especially on a heavily-edited page such as this one) the section will inevitably be subject to many significant changes in the coming days, and not just by us. Especially when the Article Creation and Improvement Drive people show up. We have to take that as a given, and not be afraid to trim or reword large sections of text.
In the end, the neutral point of view is the most important concern, and as it was there were problems — and there still are, of course. You both have valid points; however, let's not get ourselves into any more revert wars. I will look over the new material and see if I have anything to contribute – Qxz 21:45, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

As an outsider, I would agree that WP suffers from big problems. However, it is a very new enterprise, and EB is building on decades of effort and refinement. WP is still settling on rules and principles to organize itself. If you compare almost any article on WP with the version from 1 or 2 years ago, the improvements are manifestly obvious. WP often starts out with the bias of its initial editor in an article, and this slowly but inexorably changes in many cases. For example, a couple of years ago there was almost no Hindu content on WP. Now there is a tremendous volume. If you want to get an idea of what it is like, try writing an article on any aspect of Hinduism and see what response it engenders. You will be stunned, if you did not realize this before. The one Hindu article I attempted was met with a storm of "helping" hands, so that I was already archiving the talk page discussions after only a day or two. The volume of Hindu editors is phenomenal, and doing nothing but increasing. I suspect in 2 years Christianity will be dwarfed by articles on Hinduism. Chinese topics are more limited than they otherwise might be because of Chinese government restrictions on WP; if this was lifted, I suspect that Chinese articles would also be benefitting tremendously. If we waited for 100 years or so, and then compared EB and WP, how would they compare? I suspect that long before that, EB will incorporate some parts of the WP model into its development.

Advantages of WP model:

  • very rapid incorporation of current information
  • huge number of contributors
  • much wider range of topics possible, albeit with serious and peculiar holes, and very unencyclopedic content on aspects of pornography and video games

Disadvantages of WP model:

  • vandalism
  • unreliable content
    • Potentially. —msikma (user, talk) 07:38, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
  • tyranny of majority is possible in some topics; for example, there are 3 or 4 articles on the "historical jesus" or similar topics, including "jesus as mythology" but even the Jesus as mythology article is about Jesus being real, and not about the Jesus account as false at all. Similarly, some feel that Intelligent Design exhibits a tyranny of the majority by including the opinions of those who believe intelligent design is not science.
  • large number of articles on whimsical topics
    • Subjective; and also irrelevant with proper moderation. —msikma (user, talk) 07:38, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
  • large number of articles with minimal references
    • Irrelevant if proper editing procedures are followed; time ensures that they eventually will be. —msikma (user, talk) 07:38, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
  • large number of articles with poor grammar
    • See above. —msikma (user, talk) 07:38, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
  • editor disputes can drive away some of the most competent who are trying to contribute
  • deletion of some important articles in the belief the themes are nonnotable, etc.
    • See above. —msikma (user, talk) 07:38, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Anyway as bad as WP is (and anyone who has been on here for any length of time will admit it has problems in places), this is really a bit premature since the model is still evolving and adapting. And WP itself is changing drastically.--Filll 21:42, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

I apologize for being a bit behind, but I started thinking about what Bramlet posted above many hours and many distractions ago, and yet I think some of these points need to be made in order to be sure we include only well-substantiated information while avoiding excessive self-reference and unwarranted assumptions about ourselves. It's easy for us to make ultimately unsupported but very intuitive assumptions about what is "obviously" true of Wikipedia editors.
Bramlet posted that "it is obvious that most of those "anyones" aren't experts." That is probably trivially true in the aggregate, and much less true when considering the major content contributors to individual articles. I don't particularly understand it, but we have hundreds of active editors who specifically registered to do RC patrol and vandalwhacking. It may be (almost certainly is) true that the majority of active users are not experts; it is likely true that the majority of edits to a given article are not made by experts, but both can be true while the majority of the content in the same article is expert-written. Speculating on the relative proportions doesn't really have a place here, and is almost certainly variable by article subject in any case.
The later contention "the EB, being written by top experts, is obviously more reliable..." - well, that's the question that Nature was asking, however imperfectly, isn't it? Taking this as true a priori is an unwarranted assumption. The same with the matter of how serious the errors are: it is intuitive that WP has more serious errors than the EB - everyone can point to an individual article they found in a horrendously misinformed state - but there has been no good study of the subject. (The Nature study was a fair but incomplete attempt, but it's all that's been done to my knowledge.)
This is a minor point, but in a real sense experiments do cite themselves; there's a reason peer review is (or tries to be) anonymous. The idea being, of course, to minimize the influence of "personal authority". I do question the inclusion of a discussion of "peer review" as the optimal or most authoritative mode of publication; to my knowledge it's not common in the humanities, for example, and I think most scientists would trust the unreviewed assertions of a noted expert in his field over a minor reviewed publication by unremarkable scientists working somewhat outside their field. Opabinia regalis 05:44, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for your well-considered post, Opabinia! :) It's true that I may have an idealized view of the weight of anonymously peer-reviewed publications, and have tried to remove the comparative adjectives ("higher", etc.) to compensate for that. One could indeed imagine that a paper of dubious scholarship might get published even after peer review, say, if its author were really good friends with the editor. But an independent set of peer-reviewed papers would eventually carry more weight than any "personal authority", wouldn't you agree? Even if they were published in JOT (Journal of Outermost Thule) or the Hammerfest-schriften, (I imagine that) if an experiment were repeated independently in different laboratories, or a long-cherished hypothesis refuted by different means, people would eventually believe the Davids more than the personal authority of an unrepentant Goliath. ;) The battle between Justus Liebig and Gerhardus Mulder, etc. over whether proteins were macromolecules might be a good example.
If I'm not mistaken, the humanities also use peer review, although maybe more at the book level than the conference paper level? My acquaintance is rather limited, but books, not journals or grants, seem most important for the career of a young humanist. As I understand it, books are reviewed anonymously before publication, and then oh-so-unanonymously afterwards in the pertinent academic journals. But perhaps we can find some bona fide scholars to explain to us what is the common practice, and which sources are considered most reliable. For now, I'll try to be more temperate in my writing. Thanks again very much for your help, Willow 11:55, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I'd agree that multiple peer-reviewed papers would eventually outweigh the opinion of a noted expert, of course, with the number and quality of papers required directly proportional to the eminence of the expert ;) And I think you're right that books are usually at least semi-anonymously reviewed (though the reviewer at least knows who in the publishing group is handling the proposal). In any case, even in science some fields are so small that "anonymous" is functionally impossible anyway. I do have the impression that peer review is not as much of an "institution" in the humanities, but I may well be wrong, or biased.
Out of curiosity, I assume the inhabitants of this talk page have seen this series by Aaron Swartz? I think his statistics are just as much bunk as the ones he's contesting, but it's an interesting contention. Opabinia regalis 06:28, 31 January 2007 (UTC)


I have removed some material, and may remove some more, that is simply speculation about the nature of the project, encyclopedias, or whatever. This is an encyclopedic article; it cannot contain original research. Saying that "Wikipedia may be such-and-such" does just this. If we can find an independent reliable source that says, "I think Wikipedia is such-and-such" then we can say "Some consider Wikipedia to be such-and-such" and cite that. That is all we can do. The only other thing we can do is state simple facts that aren't open to doubt — even then, they still need to be backed up by references, for example "Wikipedia has over 1.5 million articles", with a reference to an appropriate project page. This is one of our most important policies and one of our most important articles, so it's essential that we get this right – Qxz 22:40, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Just to state that more plainly, you cannot say "Statistics show that this-and-that" or "It is possible that this-and-that", unless somewhere on that line or in a footnote there you can point to the statistics in question, or a person who has says this-and-that. Without that, you simply cannot say it. (And when I say "point to the statistics in question", I don't mean suggest that the reader go and compile the statistics themselves, and see that they work out. Someone must have done this, and the results must be accessible, somewhere, as with any other source – Qxz 22:43, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure that this applies here as straightforwardly as it does in most articles. Of course we have to reference what Wikipedia says about itself, and that requires referencing our own project pages. But I could compile some statistics on article subject distribution - in fact, I already have, and it would be time-consuming but trivial to calculate the proper sample size to get reasonable statistics on 1.5 million articles and hit the random article button that many times - and post the results with some nice fancy graphs on a project page. Point being that "we" - Wikipedia editors - are writing the articles and the sources, so it's best to be very conservative even about taking our own word for things. Opabinia regalis 06:00, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, it's not entirely the case that we're "writing the articles and the sources". We shouldn't be accepting any sources that state an opinion that are part of the project. We reference project pages to illustrate facts, such as "Wikipedia has a 'featured article' process", or "there are 1.6 million articles in the English Wikipedia". We can't write "Wikipedia is completely reliable" on a project page and then reference that. Statistics, though, are really just facts presented in a different way. The number of articles is technically a statistic, and it's necessary to point to an internal page in order to assert that there are indeed 1.6 million articles. Nobody is going to argue with that, so it's OK. If you did compile some statistics and post them on a project page then we could indeed reference them — take m:List of Wikipedias, for example. That's where the claim of "182 active language editions" that's used in the article comes from, which is a statistic; the page has been put together by contributors just like the rest of us. Once you've defined active to be "over 100 articles" (which is subjective, but it's explicitly mentioned in the text of the article that that is the definition used, so the reference itself isn't subjective) then that number is a simple fact; there are that many language editions with over 100 articles. But if the page also said "the Spanish encyclopedia has a poor coverage of Star Trek topics" or something, we couldn't use that in an article, we could only state facts and figures that pointed in that direction (if there were any). Hopefully I'm making some kind of sense here – Qxz 07:20, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
I sort-of agree, but I think you may be trusting too much that statistics are aggregations of facts ;) See the link in the immediately preceding thread, which discusses whether anons or registered users contribute the bulk of the content. Jimbo's admittedly very small 'study' of the subject concluded that registered users did (by number of edits); Aaron Swartz reanalyzes some data and concludes that much of the content - possibly most - is added by anons, with registered users doing mostly formatting and polishing work. I think both sets of statistics are bunk, but my point is to be suspicious of such things, especially when "we" wrote them. Of course "number of articles" has much less room for interpretation than "how to I quantify who wrote the content in this article". My article subject "study", I think, would fall well into the latter realm. Even if my sample size were much larger, would you feel comfortable putting in the article, "24% of Wikipedia's articles are biographies" and citing this data?

The NPR test

A good standard of fairness for this article seems to me the "NPR test". Can National Public Radio talk about itself with objectivity? If so, does it have to say only negative things about itself? My answers would be "yes" and "no", but others might think differently.

For this reason, I think it's fair to state that some people find it admirable that anonymous Wikipedians labor for no tangible reward. if I can find a reference, may I re-introduce that? I'd also like to include the Middlemarch quote, which expresses the sentiment better than we can, although I would defer to well-justified counter-arguments. Thanks! Willow 04:11, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

You can include pretty much whatever you like if you can find a citation for it (provided it's relevant and addresses an aspect not already covered by existing material, obviously). Citations are the key, though. As for the bit with the quote, it didn't really seem to fit with the rest of the article (it's good, just out of place). And I am a little worried that the size of the article has jumped from 68Kb to 83Kb, and looks to be getting larger still. It's not excessively long, but bear in mind that four of the sections (listed in the To-do box above) actually have sub-articles of their own which were split off from the main article in order to keep the size down. After each split the main article inevitably grew back to its previous size, and the initially short sub-article grew much longer. The state that those four pages are in shows one of the disadvantages of this; I wouldn't want to see yet another article split off, but at the same time the article has to present things concisely, and avoid having the reader get bored and wander off before they've reached the end. We have some guidelines on this sort of thing at Wikipedia:Summary styleQxz 04:29, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
I've rewritten the Criticism section to be more of a summary; everything in it is covered in more detail at Criticism of Wikipedia. Unfortunately, at the moment it's not always covered very clearly, and the article isn't particularly well-organized. One thing at a time, though; that is one of the many things on the to-do list. This gives things a bit more room — your new section deserves a lot more space, since it doesn't have its own sub-article. So quotes are fine, if they fit with the article. You're introducing most of the new material at the moment, so we'd be stuck without you — I don't want to put you off – Qxz 09:11, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia "behind the scene" section/article

Could be interesting don't cha think? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Tonich03 (talkcontribs) 17:55, 29 January 2007 (UTC).

This article is supposed to provide a neutral, balanced overview of Wikipedia. We shouldn't misuse the fact that we are Wikipedia in the article. We have project pages for that sort of thing — if people want to see what's going on, they can read them; several of the most important ones are referenced in the article already – Qxz 05:46, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

The end of days?

Can someone add a section telling how the development of Wikipedia will usher in the end of days, personified by the Antichrist? Thanx. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) at 20:16 on 30 January 2007 (UTC)

If you're eager for a sign, you could begin by signing your posts. ;) An Affectionate Woman Riding a Beast

Please avoid wiki-political positions

I originally was going to post this in the thread above, but with the advent of the ACID collaboration I thought I'd give it its own header. Can I issue a general plea for editors of this article to be very careful to avoid taking wiki-political positions in the text? I didn't go through who added what or when, and I don't intend to criticize the original writers (none of these are unreasonable on their face), but it's very easy to mistake one's own firm opinions for facts: here's just a couple of examples from the time of this post:

  • "many articles lack the citations they need for their assertions to be verifiable." -- 'citations = verifiability' is a broadly sensible assertion, but also internally disputed in some circumstances; see especially math-related articles where the content is trivially self-verifying to those familiar with the subject and hopelessly abstruse for those who aren't. See also Bramlet's post above that a naked citation doesn't improve 'verifiability' unless readers can access and understand the source.
  • "Most contributors to Wikipedia generally respect its policies" - cf. fair use. Too many weasel words anyway.
  • "Wikipedia also does not shy from covering controversial topics" - implicit comparison to encyclopedias that don't cover any particular topic chosen as the example. Sexual harassment as the example makes the assertion sound eminently sensible; 9/11 Truth Movement has the opposite effect.

Opabinia regalis 06:30, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

OK, this is going to sound really dumb, but I'm not sure what's meant by wiki-politics? I kind of intuitively understand it for issues within Wikipedia, but I'm not sure how it extends beyond WP?
Also, could you just explain what you meant a little more for the three points? For example, what's "fair use" here?
On the third point, two questions seem to come up that we should discuss:
  • Is it notable that Wikipedia covers controversial topics? I would say "yes", since not all encyclopedias do, per the reference? Maybe we need to support that idea with a broader range of refs?
  • Given a choice among equivalent examples, should we choose examples that show WP in a favorable light, an unfavorable light, or perhaps both to show the extremes? I would say either "favorable" or "both" per NPOV; I don't think we have to stress only negative things just to avoid the appearance of partiality. But admittedly, I've only thought about it shallowly; please help me see it in a larger light! Willow 08:13, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
We shouldn't stress only negative things, nor should we stress only positive things — we must try to provide a balance. Anything else can be interpreted as bias – Qxz 08:21, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Chris' post below about "meta-commentary" might make the point better, but it was the first example above that made me think in 'wiki-political' terms. Even if it wasn't written as one, the contention that citations are required for verifiability purposes is an internal political position and aspects of it are often disputed (to what extent we should recognize a distinction between verifiable and verified, whether and to what extent common-knowledge facts should be cited and how, whether newly created and unreferenced but plausibly verifiable articles should be deleted, yadda yadda yadda). For the purposes of this article, statements of policy should probably be limited to what's in the "nutshells" to avoid the possibility of reflecting individual editors' interpretations. Also, more on related topics below (eventually). Opabinia regalis 04:18, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Page protection

OK, who just unprotected the page? Is this some kind of joke... unprotecting our second most popular page just because "more pairs of eyes" will be looking at it? It's heavily watched all the time — and still suffers from vandalism despite being semi-protected. Trust me, the presence of the ACID people isn't going to make much difference – Qxz 08:27, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

See the page history already. All that's doing is making it ten times harder to track constructive edits to the article through watchlists and the like – Qxz 08:28, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Normally, I'm strongly in favor of keeping pages open, e.g., the Featured Article on the Main Page. But Qxz seems to be correct here. The high frequency of vandalism is taking significant time away from editing the article and could sap the enthusiasm of potential contributors; the article will progress more quickly if it is protected. Willow 18:42, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
I'll second "sap the enthusiasm". I've been sitting here for three hours now doing nothing but...
... sorry, someone just vandalized Wikipedia, had to go revert it. Anyway, yes, I think... uh oh, more vandalism... – Qxz 20:39, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Finally an administrator with sense has re-protected it. Hopefully it will stay like that – Qxz 21:03, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Qxz, stop with the personal attacks. I unprotected the article because it was this week's AID. If an article is at AID, everyone should be given the opportunity to unprotect it. Do you know that there are hundreds of people who watchlist this article? This article is quickly reverted, so you can take a "break" from your constant reverting. There's more than enough people watching this article, so you can seriously edit the article, and not have to worry about reverting vandalism, because there are many others watching, too. Nishkid64 22:39, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, but any real edits are made a real PITA due to the reverts which are happening while they are composed... /wangi 22:46, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
This is true; indeed, I nearly overwrote one of WillowW's edits earler today. I think the main obstacle to collaboration, though, is the mess it makes of the history – Qxz 23:04, 31 January 2007 (UTC)