Talk:Xkcd/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

Barrel guy as Recurring character?

The barrel guy was in five, early doodles and has barely mentioned since (or at all!). Would he really be considered a reacurring character? And if so, what about the red spiders? They have appeared in numerous comics. Bit101 (talk) 00:37, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

I don't think the barrel guy is a recurring character; he was the focus of one plotline but has not ever appeared since.--Politizer (talk) 00:32, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
I agree, recurring means many times, not 5. No the spiders should not be counted either. OverSeer (talk) 05:53, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't know, I think the spiders have appeared in enough comics to be counted as recurring characters, or at least running gags. Besides their initial appearances, they were feaured in comic 427 as well as the collective "xkcd Loves The Discovery Channel" comic. We do make a mention of them in the "Themes" section, though. Is that enough? Vertigo893 (talk) 13:08, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
Well, the spiders appear randomly, whereas the barrel guy appeared in one self-contained plotline and is not likely to ever appear again. If he does start appearing again, we could reconsider. Politizer talk/contribs 15:11, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Red Cape & Goggles

Anyone want to have a discussion on whether the new picture should be there or not? Thanks. David McCabe 02:40, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Being that the caption is wrong, and that the picture has nothing to do with the comic, no. If by some miracle the xkcd blog becomes notable, then I guess it would merit some consideration. until then the caption is patently false and unencyclopedic. --YbborTalk 02:47, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
I'll agree it's questionable to put this in the encyclopedia. However, the caption is exactly true. David McCabe 04:16, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
Agreed, for the reasons stated above. It doesn't add anything to the article.   -- BeezHive (talk|contribs) 03:11, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
The caption told the truth. Think of it as xkcdality. In all seriousness, I agree that it was non-notable, and the article looks better without it in my opinion. --LuigiManiac 04:35, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
Indeed. A distinct lack of encyclopedic value is added by the inclusion of the image. Chris Cunningham 09:47, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
the image and caption add nothing to the article and should be removed not be re-added--Cadet hastings 22:44, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

There needs to be a notation of the fact that the blogger that is featured in the comic (Don't remember his name) was sent a Red Cape and Goggles in the "Life Imitating xkcd" area. Quadrius 18:02, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Given that it is the fourth entry in the "Life Imitates XKCD", I think it's covered. Improbcat 18:09, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Making Out With Yourself

I've reverted the addition (accidentally submitted before completing my edit summary) of making out with one's self as an official theme, as the tooltip states "Making out with yourself: now an official xkcd theme? Troubling." I certainly don't think this constitutes an official theme.   -- BeezHive (talk|contribs) 22:14, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Am I missing anything or is the current count at a whopping two references? today's, and Parallel universe? --YbborTalk 01:45, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
I believe that there was another in the "Choices" series. The Dark Overlord (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 15:41, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

"My hobby" is Randall?

Is it? Needs a citation maybe? I always read it like a vox-pop segment with a different character tell you about their hobby each time. A Geek Tragedy 16:54, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

First person pronouns are rarely Randall.Tar7arus 19:02, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. I'm tugging that claim out. A Geek Tragedy 17:39, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

An interview

I interviewed Randall Munroe a short time ago, and so somebody that is not me should be editing the information into the article (WP:NOR and all). Tar7arus 16:12, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Is that really a reliable source? --YbborTalk 00:18, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
I am all but certain the site fails WP:WEB and is a Primary Source. So, uh... wait for a seconday source to come up? Tar7arus 08:39, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
How will that ever happen? :-P -- 23:22, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Image Change

In my opinion there are more suitable xkcd comics than the one selected for use (although there's certainly nothing wrong with it) - for example or which both make a direct reference to Wikipedia. I would just change the image myself but there seems to be miniature fanbases of editors growing around pages like these recently that'll go nuts if I change the headline image without proposing it first ;) Sean 15:37, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Didn't realise there had already been a debate about this issue... I'll add The Problem with Wikipedia outside of the infobox and see if there's an uproar of indignation or a ho-hum of quiet approval :) Sean 15:41, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
Since c214.html is non free content, you really can't add it outside the infobox without a reference discussing that comic strip. I agree with you to replace the existing infobox comic strip with c214.html or c285.html. I prefer c285.html (it's funny to me), but which ever one you want to use is fine with me. -- Jreferee (Talk) 14:40, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Quiet approval here, was just about to make the same suggestion, but for c285 :) Goodralph 04:13, 7 July 2007 (UTC)
Actually, the comics are free content (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 to be specific). Tomgreeny 22:42, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't care if you change the picture, but not to those. Read WP:ASR. Those two might be funnier to us because they mention Wikipedia, but there are certainly better choices that aren't self-references. --Rory096 01:06, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

I actually came on Wikipedia in the couple of minutes I have here on the computer... But I think the frequency that [xkcd mentions Wikipedia] and the comedy value of it might allow us to bend the rules guidelines a little and use [285] somewhere on the page? Sean 01:11, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
Just so everyone's one the same page, the old discussions about which comic to use was here, and the section immediately below it. The issue I would have with c214 or c285 is that it's not really typical of Randal's work. Most of xkcd is cartoons of about four panels featuring stick figures. c214 and c285 are not representative in this regard. Also, artistically I think that c285 is not a good representation, as some people on the forums expressed surprise at the inclusion of fingers on the speaking politician, something Randall rarely does. The currently selected comic is representative of both the seriousness (existentialism) and the craziness (super-soaker) seen in the series, while still being representative of xkcd art. c214 and c285 are uncharacteristically specific in their references, and some people might get the idea that Randall's comic devotes a considerable portion of the comic to our corner of the interblag.--YbborTalk 02:06, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
EDIT:oh, and "the frequency that xkcd mentions Wikipedia"? So far that seems like a whopping two references, and an additional one on his blog. That's comparable to the frequency with which he mentions cats: [1] [2]. --YbborTalk 02:15, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

I'd be happy to restore the original comic image (the final panel with the squirt gun) -- I think it works better than this one, anyway (and is readable on the wikipedia page). I didn't want to cramp the article's style with my license.  :) What's the best way to go about the licensing? And are there any other images anyone wants to be more-freed, while I'm taking requests? Xkcd 22:46, 1 October 2007 (UTC)xkcd

I think the easiest (edit: see below for easier way) way would be to go the philosophy comic and insert a line beneath the image noting the change in license (to CC-BY, CC-BY-SA, GFDL, or PD). If you wanted to do it the hard/long way you can use the Open Ticket Response System, but I think that takes longer. I've never used the system, so I couldn't tell you much about it, but if that's the way you want to go, I can direct you to someone who does know (in essence: write permissions-en AT wikimedia DOT org filling out the form hre). Actually, procedure isn't being followed very closely on the Wikipedian Protester in that regard. Alternatively, you could upload the image yourself here, with eh proper tag, and a quick explanation that you know it says on the actual page it's a CC-BY-NC, but that you're overriding that. Thanks for helping out :) --YbborTalk 23:06, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
EDIT: Actually, come to think of it, the easiest way would probably just be to go the image page and replace all the fair use mumbo jumbo with {{self|Cc-by-sa-2.0}}. --YbborTalk 23:11, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
Done. --Xkcd 00:01, 2 October 2007 (UTC)xkcd

umm i think it should be changed yet again, a single panel of a larger comic is kind of dumb, tho i have no suggestions, maybe the first one if it wasn't so strange... but defintely a single panel one. XBCD ftw!!! --FranzSS 00:34, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure there's a good reason to change it. The squirt gun comic currently on the page is fairly representative of the style of the comic and works fairly well on its own (and, as mentioned above, is readable). A single-panel comic probably won't fit in the infobox and be readable.   -- BeezHive (talk|contribs) 00:13, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia Ref?

So the comic referencing "Wikipedian Protester"- does that merit a note in the article? 18:41, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Recurring characters - Beret Guy?

Shouldn't Beret Guy be mentioned in the list of recurring characters? He appears in four comics for sure, and possibly a fifth one though he has no line in that comic. The four I'm referring to are [3], [4], [5], and [6]. The fifth one that he may be appearing in is [7]. Barrel Lad who is already mentioned in the Recurring Characters section only appears in five comics. Thought I'd bring it up and see if it was worth mentioning in the article. 15:32, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Hmm. Hat Guy and Barrle Lad are both named, while "Beret Guy" isn't. And Hat guy and Barrel Lad share similarities from strip to strip, while Beret Guy isn't nearly as clear (although 209 and 167 both share a connection to an adventurous future), we don't actually know whether he's the same character. I'm really undecided, considering berets are uncommon, and I would personally guess its him. At the same time, we don't really have a reliable source that says either way, so I think it's best just to let it go for now, but be ready to add it in when we know for sure. --YbborTalk 20:59, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Speaking of recurring characters, am I the only one who (before I read this article) thought xkcd had 3 main characters: a guy, his girlfriend and his buddy? And then I came here today and it was like when I found out that every single Zelda game stars a different guy named Link, totally blew my world. --Unsigned

Possibly useful ref: [8] --Raijinili 05:31, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
Also, looking at the four comics for the beret guy, he seems to consistently be the voice of "Enjoy your life!" or something else involving simple happiness. --Raijinili 05:33, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

I don't think the Nihilist is a recurring character. Only in [9] has the 'Nihilist' got a white top-hat - so I don't think his 'appearances' other than Nihilism count. (So I think we can lose the line about 'until recently, they always appeared together'. (forgot to sign in) No-genius 09:24, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Never mind.

This comment was removed by its own author. Jesin 21:27, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

The Meet and Greet event

Anyone want to add info on the big mass fan gathering that happened in imitation of one of the comics? News source: [10]. Buspar 09:31, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

That's a suprisingly neutral news source, for the internet. Approval! --Tar7arus 22:44, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Double Image

The [citation needed] guy is on twice, with identical text. Whut. Tar7arus 22:35, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

I've removed the first image, leaving the one in the "life imitates xkcd" section. For my part, I would prefer to leave the image off entirely, and don't really enjoy the change of the example comic. However, the change in the infobox comic is almost a necessity since Randall released that one (and only that one apparently) under a free license, and hence our hands are tied. I really hate how both the images used to illustrate this article are self-reference. It really gives the reader the wrong impression. Sure if Britannica were to reproduce a comic or real-life event, they would not find these pictures the most representative of xkcd. --YbborTalk 22:49, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

IRC Channel

Noteworthy enough to mention in the article? Mentioned only in title-texts and the fora, but still prominent and comic 321 is a direct reference to a meme in the channel (there is an infobot, by name of Bucket, which, among other things, will echo a string with "eye" in it, replacing "eye" with "thigh". Questionable content has also used the "over-use-of-lions" idea in a comic strip. Tar7arus 22:40, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

The IRC channel isn't really notable. Atleast not in my opinion. --TheSeer (TalkˑContribs) 22:42, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
And for the record, I'm the one who wrote that eye/thigh module into the bot -- I did it at the same time that I came up with the comic. I just didn't post the comic for a long time, so everyone thinks of it as a reference to the bot. --Xkcd 21:49, 3 October 2007 (UTC)xkcd

Notes from the author

I don't edit the article myself (see WP:COI) but I'm pretty sure I started scanning and posting these drawings in late September 2005, not May 2005 (and posted intermittently until Spring 2006, when I started the completely regular schedule).

And so long as I'm here mentioning things, I've never referred to the boy in the barrel as "Barrel Lad" -- that seems to have started in this article. I've called him "Barrel boy" or "The boy in the barrel". Minor detail, but it's funny how sometimes something can appear on Wikipedia, get referenced in other places, and then Wikipedia cites those other places as supporting references. Hooray Wikiality! --Xkcd 19:27, 3 October 2007 (UTC)xkcd Someone on the forums referred to him as 'barrel lad', but I don't know which was first. 14:32, 19 October 2007 (UTC)


I'm interested in reading the article, as I have seen other articles with "audio version!" available. What is the correct way to go about doing this? Tar7arus 14:47, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

There's a wikiproject that makes spoken versions of articles, WP:SPOKEN. I believe you can make a request there for a recorded version of this article. Bhamv 06:04, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Wet Riffs

Should some mention of (site probably not safe for work, FYI) be mentioned in here? As I understand the story, and someone who knows the subject better than I can correct me, the website was mentioned as a joke, and then created by Randall, and people have then submitted pictures for this site. I'm sure I'm all over the map on the story, but I hope I'm getting the idea across. Would mentioning it in the article here be worthwhile, since it got its start in the comic? Umbralcorax 21:01, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Not particularly notable outside the xkcd community. If it was made by a third-party in honour of the article perhaps, but because it isn't I wouldn't mention it. --TheSeer (TalkˑContribs) 23:48, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

But what is notable outside the xkcd community? The pictures were sent by third-parties, I don't understand the distinction. 12:28, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

I think it deserves a mention in the "Life Imitates xkcd" section. All other references in this section can be described as notable only to the xkcd community. --Antonio.sierra 13:22, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't think it can be considered life imitating XKCD when the site was registered by the creator of XKCD in expectation of this comic, and he solicited among the XKCD readers for pics. It's more a matter of XKCD artist following through on an idea he put forth in his comic.
If someone else had registered the site and created the content who had no official connection to the comic, then I think it'd be more relevant (like the XKCD Sept. meetup, which happened with no encouragement or effrot from Randall). Improbcat 13:39, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
True. I guess the name of the section doesn't apply to this specific situation. --Xer0 05:41, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

It does not appear that any major third-party sources have taken interest in this, so I do not think it should be included. —Remember the dot (talk) 03:10, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Just another point about wet riffs, the domain was registered before the comic went out by several months, by memory. The domain is infact owned by xkcd. . (talk) 12:06, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

Baloon Prank

I'm not really seeing any form of confirmation that the Balloon Prank was inspired by xkcd. I've seen this prank done a million times, and it doesn't seem to have anything to do with xkcd. Quadrius 17:56, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

I concur. The source given mentions nothing of xkcd. I'm removing this. Subdolous 19:52, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

George Clinton

Without an explicit citation, I'm not convinced the George Clinton Wikipedia edits are definitely xkcd references or even notable. The "George Clinton has a BA in mathematics" urban legend appears to actually exist (whether or not this was started by the xkcd strip I don't know) and the edit could have been in good faith. Also, simply using an old Wikipedia page as the citation is not good enough. What would be even better is a reference to the urban legend actually existing, having been started after the xkcd strip suggested it. ~ Switch () 10:42, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

The way the entry is currently worded doesn't suggest that xkcd was the origin of that particular legend, just that there's an xkcd strip about George Clinton having a math BA, so I'm ok with that part of it. However, I agree with you in that it's poorly cited, and its notability is questionable. On the whole, I wouldn't be unhappy with this entry's removal. Bhamv 10:50, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
To my knowledge, my friend James and I are the origin of that urban legend, through xkcd. We used to joke with a third friend about how gullible she was, and made that up as one of our many stories to her. I would check any references to the legend -- unless they're dated from before late 2005, I don't think there's any reason to assume it existed before I started it. --Xkcd 21:57, 15 November 2007 (UTC)xkcd

Weblog Award

Don't know if this would generally be considered significant -- though I suspect it is -- but xkcd won the 2007 "Best Comic Strip" category of the Weblog awards.

"2007 Weblog Awards"

Should there be a reference to that? Ltyore 00:51, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

I think it is significant. Lietk12 00:54, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. -- A. 00:57, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Maybe. But only a one-liner. --TheSeer (TalkˑContribs) 04:33, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Recurring characters

There are some characters who are based off real people Randall knows. I believe one was the math teacher. Or, wait, maybe she was the only one. -- 02:44, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Proof of correlation is not proof of causation. Randall knows a math teacher. There is a math teacher in at least one comic. There is not necessarily a causal link between the two ~ Tar7arus 10:34, 4 December 2007 (UTC).

"Life Imitates xkcd"

for this section can this link be added Dylan2106 (talk) 01:53, 24 December 2007 (UTC). I think it is appropriate since the ball pool strip is one of the comic's most famous. I'm sure that a lot of people have made their own ball pits, but this is acknowledged by the author as being inspired by xkcd --Dylan2106 (talk) 01:53, 24 December 2007 (UTC) edit- also I have got rid of the quote marks for this section --Dylan2106 (talk) 01:55, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

It does not appear that any major third-party sources have taken interest in this, so I do not think it should be included. —Remember the dot (talk) 03:10, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
I think that the old long list about "life imitates xkcd" should be returned. I personally used to have this page as a reference to point my friends for good things about xkcd and a wider list would service this kind of archive much better. -Garo˙ 24 December 2007 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:08, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
I added one of them back just now, but the other ones from the old list were either poorly referenced or insignificant. —Remember the dot (talk) 22:54, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Excessive self-sourcing

Please, please find discussion of this in independent secondary sources - as it stands, the entire thing appears to be written from personal evaluations of the comic itself, almost the entire thing is referenced to xkcd. Guy (Help!) 20:47, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

The main offender is the "themes" section - all of that information is in the first source cited, while the rest of the citations are specific examples proving that. The second main offender is the "reoccurring characters" section. I'm not sure that's the best way to do that, really... Kuronue | Talk 17:42, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

I think, Randall should be denied any opinion on this topic since he is obviously not objective. --Maweki (talk) 20:43, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

On the topic of something like 'is XKCD awesome,' maybe, but I really don't see any reason to keep the statements of the author from being considered sources on the themes of his own comic! -Toptomcat (talk) 15:14, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
Indeed. This is not a literary review where a work is evaluated objectively; it is an article that explains the work. The foremost expert on a work is its author.
If there were any statements in the article that should not be sourced to Randall based on objectivity, they would be POV and should not be sourced to anyone, but removed. --- Arancaytar - avá artanhé (reply) 11:55, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

I find this section to be completely ridiculous: "There are also many strips depicting "My Hobby", usually depicting the non-descript narrator character describing some type of humorous or quirky behavior often involving language games.[21][36][37][38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45]" ... 11 cites for one thing? (talk) 00:40, 29 June 2008 (UTC)


Does the name have any meaning or significance? -- Beland (talk) 05:18, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

xkcd: About ~ Switch () 11:40, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
But then again : [11], the number 42 having special significance, being The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything
Now this would be Geek Humor... -- (talk) 20:04, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

Allegedly this has been denied by the author. Coincidence or not, it is still notable that the inference has been drawn. I think it is a relevant addition to the article, though a citation for the author's denial would further help. On that basis, I intend to restore the note. Please continue discussion here if you disagree. - Paul (talk) 01:36, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

See this recent post on this page.... If you absolutely must include the 42 thing, you have to present it as what it is: some people's speculation (rather than how it is presented now in the article, as a possible meaning that has high probability of being true...your use of the word "however," particularly, makes the entry sound as if the 42 theory is so great that it overrides anything that Munroe himself says about it), which is very likely an interesting coincidence, and which Munroe himself has denied. You can include speculative information in the article if you like, but you can't present it as if it's the best, or even a good, explanation for the phenomena--arguing for a view in that way would constitute original research
So, for now, to make a compromise, I am at least going to change the language of this entry. After that people can maybe decide if it belongs in the article or not. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Politizer (talkcontribs) 01:49, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Recurring themes

I just removed some themes that, in fact, only happened once. If I am mistaken feel free to re-add them.-- (talk) 21:53, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

I've done the same - The point here is not to list every single comic made also. That 'I love the whole world' parody is funny as hell, but it's one parody, and I don't see any others on a quick glance. Now, if parody of that level is a recurring theme, then it does belong. Otherwise, it's just another example of his love of science, and it gets footnoted with the others. -- Ipstenu (talkcontribs) 18:12, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

Alt text for comic pane

First of all, I don't see that punchline in the referenced comic. Where is it from? Is it just a made-up explanation of the implicit punchline? If so, it should be removed on the grounds of being original research. Second of all, the alt text on the image doesn't work for everyone, for example for editors who use Popups. EAE (Holla!) 02:38, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

I assume you mean the tooltip text? That text is a tooltip in the comic as it appears on Munroe's website; all the comics have alt text addenda. ~ Switch () 03:32, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
I see... I never noticed that before. I guess I have been missing out on that the whole time that I've been reading the comic.
Be that as it may, is the tooltip really necessary here? If anything needs clarification in this pane, it's who "she" is and how exactly she got existential. The parallel between the super-soaker and a cat-training squirt bottle is obvious. EAE (Holla!) 04:04, 23 January 2008 (UTC)


... was my favourite computer science in-joke. -- (talk) 08:49, 27 May 2008 (UTC)


Isn't it notable that xkcd doesn't use advertising? -- (talk) 03:22, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

not really. It's nice, but not notable. (All IMHO of course. I haven't looked at wikipedia notability guidelines). --.../Nemo (talk) 03:59, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
No... Irregular Webcomic! doesn't use advertising either. -- (talk) 19:47, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

How to Survive a Raptor Attack on Wikihow

I believe the creation and deletion of the "How to Survive a Raptor Attack" on wikihow deserves a mention in the "Life Imitates" section of this article. (talk) 02:44, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Doesn't seem very notable to me. = ∫tc 5th Eye 02:55, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. Anon, how could this possibly notable alongside the other things in that section? Huntster (t@c) 03:09, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Just a suggestion. Point taken. (talk) 05:36, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Recent Vandalism of "Wood" article to be included in "Life Imitates XKCD" section?

I think this week's spur of vandalism of the Wikipedia wood article should be included in the "Life Imitates XKCD" section. It was in response to comic 446, "In Popular Culture", and the "Wood" article is still locked as a result. Any thoughts? PlanBMatt (talk) 19:12, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Non-notable, and falls under WP:SELF. = ∫tc 5th Eye 19:17, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Unverifiable, not discussed in any third party reliable source. Wikipedia diffs and articles are not sources, and Wikipedia is not a place for internet navel-gazing. -- SCZenz (talk) 19:36, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
So under your criteria we should remove the last five entries in that section. NJGW (talk) 19:43, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
I think we should. = ∫tc 5th Eye 19:52, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Under Wikipedia's criteria, the answer is possibly yes, but I'm not planning on going on a crusade. ;) Wikipedia self-references are of particular concern, though. -- SCZenz (talk) 19:53, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Let me clarify the difference; using XKCD pages as a source about XKCD is appropriate for certain information, even if the information doesn't appear in other sources. Using Wikipedia diffs as a source is never acceptable, though, because we're writing an encyclopedia, not a meta-encyclopedia or a blogosphere experiment -- I'd be much happier linking to a blag entry by Mr. Monroe where he discussed the diffs than that. -- SCZenz (talk) 19:57, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Taking a quick peek at the Life Imitates XKCD section, I'm really not sure the events that took place because of the recent XKCD strip really fit that section, at all. That section refers to ways in which people play out xkcd concepts in the real world, like when Richard Stallman was presented with the katana; editing articles on wikipedia kinda lacks the intrigue that would merit inclusion, right? (Though its commentary is relevant in the 'In Popular Culture' wikipedia policy page) However, a real-world enactment of this strip might merit inclusion... and imminent hospitalisation. X-Kal (talk) 01:18, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Please don't use this talk page as a chat room; you might be looking for the XKCD forums. Thanks! -- SCZenz (talk) 05:33, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Why would we discuss what should go in the article over at the xkcd forums? NJGW (talk) 16:30, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
It looked mostly like chatting about the subject of the article, not what should go in it. -- SCZenz (talk) 21:22, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, that comment made no sense. We're still talking about Wikipedia. = ∫tc 5th Eye 16:39, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Maybe I misworded things so the commentary didn't come out like it was supposed to. In regards to the wikipedia article here, on xkcd, the "Life Imitates XKCD" section is about people who do things in the real world to mimic things that happen on xkcd - having imitations that strictly happen over the internet do not seem to fit the nature of that section, thus the recent xkcd strip should not be referenced in this manner. (I hope that better illustrates relevance - if not, nag me on my talk page) X-Kal (talk) 07:13, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
I know it bounces up against the rules and I respect that, but I think it should be noted that XKCD inspires folks to go around doing unpleasing internet thingies. A very brief note. Re: the rules, sometimes they need to be adjusted. Lots42 (talk) 06:43, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
The place you would start an adjustment of that rule is Wikipedia_talk:Self-references_to_avoid. -- SCZenz (talk) 07:15, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

An XKCD book

Just wanna let you guys (and gals and anything in between) know, that there'll be an xkcd book from O'Reilly coming out in the next couple of months. Details are to be announced later this week. More info after the jump. ~ Feureau E.S.P. (talk) 00:59, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Ballmer Peak

Ballmer Peak redirects here, but the article doesn't have any reference to one. I'm clearly too lazy to do so, but there should be a mention of the Ballmer Peak comic such that people searching for it won't be confused.

Maybe we should even add a "Notable Comics" section.

-Keith (Hypergeek14)Talk 01:20, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Impossible. No NPOV. --Raijinili (talk) 03:31, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

Question about the "Life Imitates XKCD section"

Is the title to this section an intentional Oscar Wilde reference? Insane99 (talk) 05:52, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Don't see how ... but shouldn't matter if it is. Lots42 (talk) 11:11, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Random Beret Guy and Existencialist

In the Recurring Characters Part it talks first about and existencialist and then it talks about the random beret guy...aren't they the same characters? Even the inclusion on which comic they had appeared are the same! ( (talk) 01:49, 12 August 2008 (UTC))

This is symptomatic of a wider problem... The "recurring characters" section is essentially 100% original analysis by Wikipedia editors. Does anyone have any good sources that could be used to rewrite the section? -- SCZenz (talk) 05:38, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
I am confused. Except for an odd redundancie concerning the beret guy, I don't see 'one hundred percent original analysis'. Could use some tightening up in general, but otherwise...I've read the entire run. Lots42 (talk) 09:45, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
The point is, all the generalities are based on individual editors' understanding and looking for patterns between comics. There are no sources in which, for example, the author identifies the characters and gives them names. (However, there is a source that discusses a few recurring themes, and one that's cited in regard to the alt-text, and probably a few others.) Take a look at Wikipedia:No original research; saying "XYZ is a recurring character" and then citing 10 comics in which you think that character appears is original synthesis. -- SCZenz (talk) 09:54, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
I just mean that if in the article the beret guy has been mentioned before and the you present it as another character below, you may have to choose whether which "probably character" is the right one, so delete one of the mentions. And in addition, I don't think that the creator of this comic would draw another character with the same appeareance than one in previous comics...also, the Existeciales Beret Guy always had a thing for eating food...( (talk) 19:11, 12 August 2008 (UTC))I'm the same guy as before!
Well, they are all stick figures. I personally think you might very well be right that the guy with the hat is always the same guy—but it's still a personal interpretation, and if you read Wikipedia:No original research I think you'll see it goes too far. -- SCZenz (talk) 05:45, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
Does "All you stick figures look the same to me" sound at all... WRONG to you? I don't see the problem with considering that a character with an identifying visual characteristic as being always the same character. XKCD uses fewer and simpler 'identifying visual characteristic' than many comics, but the concept is the same. .../Nemo (talk) 06:03, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
There has to come a point when things are so obvious that characterising it as research and insisting on references could come across as slightly silly. Editors need to use their personal judgement, but I think we may be getting close to that point here. - Paul (talk) 00:21, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Meaning Of Name

X = 24, K = 11, C = 3, D = 4 24 + 11 + 3 + 4 = 42 If you have no idea what his means please leave the internet. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:13, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Yes, the correlating numbers do add up to 42. But unless there is confirmation this was intentional, stating this is original research. P.S. For those confused, 42 is a central plot element to the 'Hitchiker's Guide To The Galaxy' series of novels. Lots42 (talk) 01:42, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Character names

Ok, let's take this one step at a time. Are there any sources that the characters are named things like "Black Hat Guy," "Existentialist," and "Nihilist"? If not, we should identify them strictly by appearance rather than using our own names. -- SCZenz (talk) 07:20, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

I agree with your points above about OR, which I think were dismissed too readily in the earlier discussion. I wouldn't object to "Black Hat Guy" being renamed "man with black hat", and some of the sentences could simply be reworded to take out some of the interpretation. Still, I wonder whether this is an appropriate instance to apply WP:ignore, to partially avoid stripping the article, but also given the disagreement above about the applicability of WP:OR here. Debate 01:52, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Ignore all rules is never applied to article policies simply because it would "strip the article"—at least not to core content policies like original research. If we agree something is original research, it has to go. That being said, folks on this talk page don't agree, and obviously I'm taking it slow on this page, in the hopes of educating rather than pissing people off. -- SCZenz (talk) 05:11, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
The tooltip for today's strip says "I started to do the tables for more famous people but it got really depressing and morbid and I had to go outside. Hat guy wins again.", so there's at least one explicitly named character. RossPatterson (talk) 13:47, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Reception section

Someone added some information on xkcd's hits in 2007 to the lead-in. Since that information was too random and specific to go there, I moved it, and figured the best place for that sort of information is in a section on xkcd's reception and reviews....and I noticed that doesn't exist yet. So I created that section for now and moved the 2007 thing to it (because otherwise that info would have had to be deleted), but for now the section is almost empty. Could someone please start adding in some of the following information: praise/criticism of xkcd that pops up commonly in reviews, xkcd's appearances at WCCA and other awards, readership, etc.? Thank you, Politizer (talk) 13:50, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Citing Wikinews in section on black hat character

A few recent edits to this article have added stuff about how the black-hat character is based on a character from Men in Hats, and the source cited is an article on Wikinews. Can we really cite that? I don't really know anything about Wikinews, but my instinct is that we should avoid citing other wikis or Wikimedia projects whenever possible. I won't go as far as saying that the new information in the article should be removed because of having a bad source, but I think someone should definitely look into finding an alternate third-party source that we can cite and that will be more trustworthy than Wikinews. --Politizer (talk) 22:11, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

You are right, usually open wikis are not considered reliable sources (cf. the opinions in this essay), but I think these concerns are less pressing in the case of original reporting on Wikinews, especially for interviews (if Wikinews' original reporting policy is being followed, which seems to have been the case here).
In any case, it is currently the best reference in the "Characters" section, all the rest consists of analyzing and interpreting the comic itself.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 06:40, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
"Best available source" doesn't mean "reliable enough to use." -- SCZenz (talk) 21:55, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Please read my comment again. I wasn't talking about "best available sources", but comparing this reference to the others which are currently cited in the "Characters" section. Regards, HaeB (talk) 09:19, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
I would like to point out that the comic #29's tool tip explicitly states that "the hat guy is closely based on Aram, from Men in Hats."TauntingElf (talk) 22:40, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
There are some things that we can't verify using Munroe's own tooltips. As you know, the comic and tooltips are full of jokes and tongue-in-cheek remarks. There's no way to tell when he's being serious, especially in something as brief as a tooltip. —Politizer talk/contribs 22:52, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Citations and OR

This isn't a big deal to me, and it is nice when things are cited, but using the citation-needed template on what is common knowledge and easily verifiable is silly. While not yet a policy, Wikipedia:When_to_cite gives some good insight on this, including the suggested guideline of "Challenges should not be made frivolously or casually, and should never be made to be disruptive or to make a point. Editors making a challenge should have reason to believe the material is contentious, false, or otherwise inappropriate." The appropriate issue here is not wp:OR or wp:CITE, but rather wp:SOFIXIT. NJGW (talk) 15:40, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

That XKCD has Ender's Game references (for example) is neither "common knowledge" nor "easily verifiable." It requires interpretation of specific comics by the reader. -- SCZenz (talk) 15:45, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry if I came across as making a challenge, or disrupting the article. I only meant to point out that, as you said, it would be nice to have a footnote in that particular paragraph giving the readers at least one example of each theme cited. While the stuff stated in that sentence may be "common knowledge" and "easily verifiable" to you and I, to someone who has not read the entire xkcd archives then I doubt reading or searching through 400+ comics counts for "easily verifiable." I do agree with you that WP:BOLD is the best policy here, it's just that I personally didn't want to go through the archives just now so I left the {{fact}} tag so that someone else might be inspired to do it before I get around to it. —Politizer( talkcontribs ) 15:47, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Politizer, I didn't think you were making a challenge or being disruptive, but I did think the original tagger was acting strangely. SCZenz, [12]. NJGW (talk) 16:01, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Are any of those reliable sources? -- SCZenz (talk) 16:06, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
That's not what you asked for. NJGW (talk) 16:17, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
NJGW: The fact that something's easy to find through a Google search doesn't mean we shouldn't cite it. Saying that is tantamount to saying, "We don't need any citations, the reader can go find the information himself." Our responsibility here is to collect relevant information in one article and provide all the relevant information to the reader, not to tell the reader to go verify things himself. —Politizer( talkcontribs ) 16:31, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Look, I never said it shouldn't be cited, I just said this level of statement doesn't have to be cited to stay in the article. I just pointed out with the google search that it is common knowledge and easily verifiable. Tagging CN is tantamount to "I don't believe you, I'd rather this statement be removed from the article." NJGW (talk) 17:03, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Do you really think something can be "common knowledge" and "easily verifiable" if there are no reliable sources that say it? -- SCZenz (talk) 17:42, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but who's saying there are no reliable sources available? I'm certainly not. NJGW (talk) 18:22, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
I think you are misunderstanding the intent of the user who first tagged the sentence. No one wants this information to be removed from the article. That is the whole point of the {{fact}} tag here: to encourage other editors to provide a good source and thereby keep useful information in the article. If someone wanted the information removed, they would have removed it, rather than tagging it. You and I are both in agreement that the sentence in question doesn't need to be removed; the other editors and I are just trying to point out that it should be cited as well so that it won't be brought into question again later. —Politizer( talkcontribs ) 17:45, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree over the intent of a fact tag. In all the other articles I edit, it is generally used to say "I doubt it, and I give you at least a month to come up with a source, though others may decided to be bold enough to remove it sooner." NJGW (talk) 18:22, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for your message. With all due respect, I do not agree at all with WP:LAZY (and it is not an official Wikipedia policy anyway)—without going into an extensive discussion here, since this is not the appropriate place for it, I will just say that templates allow editors to point out areas for improvement in a wide number of articles in a wide variety of subjects, where the editor may not have the time or the means to repair the article himself but is interested in at least showing other editors things that need to be fixed. I myself randomly bump into tens of articles that need edits every day, and there's no way I could take the time to adopt each and every one of those articles. Thus, I don't think it's fair to call an editor's behavior "strange" when the editor leaves a {{fact}} tag on a sentence that several other editors (AEB this thread) agree needs a citation. (And, finally, I would also add that if you read WP:LAZY, you will see that it's not even relevant to {{fact}} tags: the essay is about people making templates to avoid repetitive editing, such as infoboxes—it says nothing about using {{fact}} and cleanup templates to point out shortcomings of articles.) —Politizer( talkcontribs ) 16:27, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
I meant to point it to a page (essay, yes, not policy) that seems to have been deleted. I retract my link to wp:LAZY. NJGW (talk) 17:03, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Youtube new feature

This new Youtube thing has been added twice now to the Life imitates xkcd section. My take is that it's not notable enough to include yet, as it's just come out, is still in beta, hasn't been covered in any major third-party media yet, and there's no guarantee that it will last for more than a week or two. I reverted once, but since it's been added gain, I wanted to bring it to discussion. Does anyone else think this information should or shouldn't be included in the article? —Politizertalk • contribs ) 13:46, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

I think it should be included. Even the fact it happened is notable, whether the feature is kept or not. Some of the other examples in the section are one-time things, and much less dramatic. This is not something one person was inspired to do, this is a major internet fixture adopting an idea from the comic (please note I do not know for sure the comic actually inspired the change, it may be coincidence or Munroe may have gotten wind of it earlier) (talk) 17:18, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm going to have to disagree, it should be deleted. The other examples were one-time things but took place at one-time events. For this to be mentioned it really needs to become more of a permanent thing, as youtube is a permanent thing. Furthermore, it should not be included at all until someone can provide a reliable source that says it is actually based on the idea from the comic. KhalfaniKhaldun 17:32, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
I think some editors here are far too concerned with the letter rather than the spirit of the policies. How hard is it to admit that the existance of the feature has been verified? You don't have to claim in the article that it is because of XKCD... we can say instead, "Although Youtube never admitted that they copied XKCD's idea, a new feature appeared [or "appeared briefly"] on day/month/year which was exactly what strip #XXX discussed." Even if later it turns out that the feature was in the works from before the strip (doubtful), then a sub section about XKCD trying to fool its readers into thinking that 'life imitates XKCD'. NJGW (talk) 17:36, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
One aspect of the spirit of Wikipedia policy is that we don't put things that our editors think are true, we put in things we can verify. Phrases like "although YouTube never admitted . . . which was exactly what strip #XXX discussed" violate several core policies at once. -- SCZenz (talk) 17:41, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
In addition to what SCZenz brings up, my main concern is that, even if it could be verified that Youtube's inspiration was the xkcd strip, there's no way of knowing yet if this is notable (contrary to's claim). As it's recent news, there's no guarantee that Youtube won't lose interest and abandon the venture, or that no one will use or care about it, or that it will only be up for a couple days and then get taken down. says that "the fact that it happened" is notable whether or not the feature is kept, and that a "major internet fixture" has adopted an idea from xkcd...but, as the feature is apparently in early development, it's more likely that just a few develepors at Youtube who happen to be xkcd fans liked the idea and decided to play around with it—there's no evidence that the entirety of the Youtube conglomerate is undergoing some kind of paradigm shift because of one comic. If the idea comes and goes without having been backed by any more than a few developers, it certainly wouldn't be considered notable.—Politizertalk • contribs ) 17:54, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
A few notes for the veracity of the "xkcd's idea": NetworkWorld has now covered this at, and links to a blog of a software engineer at Google who attributes the feature to xkcd. (The NetworkWorld story has now been picked up by SlashDot) Erusdruidum (talk) 16:49, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
The second page isn't necessary to mention, as it's a blog and isn't by one of the people actually involved in the project (as far as I can tell). The first link, though, looks ok at first glance, and if other editors agree that it establishes notability then I don't have any problems with you un-commenting the Youtube stuff already in the article. —Politizertalk • contribs ) 23:16, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

As there have been mixed responses to this question, I have commented out the Youtube information in the article until more contributors have discussed this issue and reached a consensus. —Politizertalk • contribs ) 17:37, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

What the hell? It doesn't have to be a permanent thing. That's not the point. Google imitated an xkcd comic on one of the most popular websites on the internet. That's not noteworthy? *Slaps forehead and returns to citizendium* (edit: This talk page should become an xkcd comic) --Yurimxpxman (talk) 00:17, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Also worth mentioning is Matt Cutts's comments on the digg page --Yurimxpxman (talk) 00:24, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
No one ever said it has to be "permanent." I personally said it's not notable if it only lasts a couple days—and at the time I said that, it had only been up a few days, making it too early for us to speculate about how noteworthy it would become. If you want to insult other editors, please take the time to actually understand that they're suggesting. —Politizertalk • contribs ) 03:26, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
I actually think it might be worth including it in the article now... but it's still debatable, because I personally think needs to impact the YouTube community. Most people seem to have shrugged it off. Others seem to think it's a virus [13]... I just think it's dumb that they don't force it upon people with low comment ratings. Back on the topic, I guess my vote for including it now might be a yes, however hesitant. Then again, if it were up to me most of the life imitates section wouldn't be there. =/ KhalfaniKhaldun 05:14, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
It looks like all the editors who objected (well, who objected and commented on it), have now at least come around to neutral, so I plan to give it a few more hours for any last-minute objections and then uncomment the Youtube stuff already in the article. Erusdruidum (talk) 13:14, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm fine with it too, as long as someone makes sure the source being cited for it meets WP:RS (ie, not a blog post and not the thing in digg, probably). As of now, the NetworkWorld thing here seems to be the best source, although it still looks slightly blog-ish to me (but I don't know anything about NetworkWorld). —Politizertalk • contribs ) 14:17, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Just to close the loop, Conti beat me to the punch and re-added it with what appear to be two reliable sources. Erusdruidum (talk) 23:45, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Are you people serious? This is a webcomic and one of its strips inspired one of the most widely used websites in the world controlled by one of the biggest internet companies in the world to implement the feature suggested by that comic. That isn't "noteworthy" to you guys? Holy hell, it might not change the world or impact the lives of the human race as a whole, but it IS significant and noteworthy, especially considering that we are talking about a COMIC here. Obviously the creator of XKCD thinks that it is noteworthy, he has already blogged about it. The fact that this feature was added so quickly after the release of the comic and we have already gotten insider confirmation that Google employees got the idea from the comic, it is undoubtedly something that should be mentioned here. Come on people, quit ego-tripping and add the damn thing to the article. Really doesn't need to be argued about anymore. Dan428 (talk) 15:34, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Dan, the editors here are very serious. Almost as serious as those protecting their FA status at truthiness. NJGW (talk) 16:29, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

I'm with Dan all the way on this. I think it's absolutely ridiculous this was ever an argument, regardless of how serious the editors are. --Yurimxpxman (talk) 09:08, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

October 27

I think we can expect a deluge of wild speculation and other junk to be added to the article once people start seeing today's comic. Everyone keep your eyes open! —Politizer talk/contribs 05:33, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

September 27 2007

I think there needs to be mention of this in the "Life imitates" Section. The date/location mentioned is September 23 2007/Cambridge (Look at the caption for the picture there). (talk) 15:23, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Already in the History section. —Politizer talk/contribs 19:15, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Nihilist and Existentialist

The duo are in another strip, [14], Dark Flow. I would add it to the section, but quite honestly, I've never done an edit like that, and don't know how. I don't want to make some kind of major mistake or look like an ignorant fool on a page such as this. Sk8tuhpunk (talk) 01:54, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Don't bother. The article already has problems with editors listing every single insignificant detail about every character in the strip. If the characters listed really are notable, there shouldn't be a need to update the page every time they appear in another strip; when people scramble to edit like that, it often seems to be a sign that they're struggling to take something not very notable and make it look notable.
Anyway, what I'm trying to say is, you don't need to add anything to the section right now. Thanks for the heads-up, though. —Politizer talk/contribs 02:04, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Alright then. Wasn't completely sure what to do, but you know, just that little heads-up. Sk8tuhpunk (talk) 02:17, 11 November 2008 (UTC)


What the heck is the point about having to references (footnotes) after "[...] created by Randall Munroe,[2][3]"?

The English Wikipedia is swimming with references all over the place, and this is over the top. What is the point? I imagine someone revert it if I delete those.

- Jetro (talk) 14:54, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

I suppose they're there to help verify that Randall Munroe is the creator. You're right that they're not necessary, but they're not really a big deal; they're not hurting anything. —Politizer talk/contribs 16:52, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Are we sure that 'Little Bobby Tables' is Mrs Roberts' son?

I grant you that comparing 342 and 327 makes it look likely, but is it ever actually stated anywhere that they are the same family? Soap Talk/Contributions 03:54, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Not explicitly stated, but it is the obvious conclusion. --TruthfulCynic 06:50, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Rule 34

Rule 34 should not redirect here; why does it? Murdersaurusrex (talk) 04:43, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

No doubt because there's no real article on a meme like that, and because of --Gwern (contribs) 00:44 18 January 2009 (GMT)
Still confusing as heck. Especially to folks who have no idea what XKCD is. Lots42 (talk) 01:56, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Then what should Rule 34 be linking to? What would someone be looking for when they type it into the search box? Politizer talk/contribs 02:16, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
It should link to Rule 34 (meme), incase there's ever a good reference or way to use the current bad references. I linked it to 34_(number)#In_other_fields for now because there's actually a description of Rule 34 there, and because Rule 34 has as much to do with xkcd as any of the other 100s of topics which have been in the comic. NJGW (talk) 02:23, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree with that move but I can assure you that "rule 34" is much older than xkcd and does not derive from it. I will edit out the "derived from xkcd" on that page now. Soap Talk/Contributions 02:39, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
That's my bad; I'm the one who added that bit to the 34 article. Thanks for fixing it. Politizer talk/contribs 02:46, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Request for comment on articles for individual television episodes and characters

A request for comments has been started that could affect the inclusion or exclusion of episode and character, as well as other fiction articles. Please visit the discussion at Wikipedia_talk:Notability_(fiction)#Final_adoption_as_a_guideline. Ikip (talk) 11:05, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

Is Randall Right?

Is it possible for an event to be engineered in such a way that it is impossible to cover neutrally here on Wikipedia? 2/18/2009 Comic Raekuul, bringer of Tropes (He does it without notability) 22:07, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, I heard about that one :) rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 22:23, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Life imitates xkcd

What about geohashing? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:44, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

It's already in there. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 17:47, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Spanish and Russian external links

Re the reversion represented by this diff: [15]. Okay, I didn't catch that the links are given in the "Translations" section, so I agree that they're redundant. I can also see the point (although I don't quite agree) that they're not important enough. However, I would also be careful about assuming that WP-en readers are unilingual. :) Mark Shaw (talk) 23:58, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

I don't think they are important enough. They may be relevant on foreign-language translations of the en page, but doesn't seem relevant here. tedder (talk) 00:01, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
That would largely depend on what the alternate language Wikis have listed. The explanation of "personal promotion" is frankly nonsense, imo. It is somewhat redundant to have it mentioned both in the Wiki and in the external links, but redundancy isn't necessarily a bad thing. I don't see a strong enough reason for removal at the moment. --Human.v2.0 (talk) 00:42, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
Not sure where the personal promotion thing comes from, but I spot-checked the ES wiki and it had the translation listed. In any case, not sure why that matters. In effect, they are fansites. tedder (talk) 00:45, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
"Personal Promotion" comes from the edit explanation of the original removal, which I think is frankly invalid in and of itself. --Human.v2.0 (talk) 01:09, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
(@ Mark Shaw) Yeah, en-wiki readers aren't necessarily unilingual (heck, I speak 4 languages myself, and this isn't the only Wikipedia I edit on), but Spanish and Russian are just two in thousands of languages, and the proportion of en-wiki users who can read Spanish or Russian xkcd or would care about Spanish or Russian xkcd is very small. I don't have any problem including the links where they are now, as refs, but I don't see them as a useful general resource for further information (at least, not as far as the vast majority of en-wiki readers are concerned) so I don't see any point in keeping them in the EL section. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 00:46, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
I imagine xkcd might attract the sort of people who would be interested in reading a comic in a language they can't understand. That, and the sort who would read the foreign xkcd's to see if they could remember the dialogue by heart. Soap Talk/Contributions 01:25, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
How about a box like this one: Megatokyo#Fan_sites? Rror (talk) 12:54, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
I have to say no; These are fan sites and as such do not meet WP:EL criteria. EdokterTalk 14:44, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
Also, the fansites on the Megatokyo article actually have information that supplements the comic, and is the kind of information that may be useful but we can't accept in the actual article, which makes them reasonable to include as ELs; the Spanish and Russian xkcds don't really have any extra information (even for mega-nerds), they're just for fun. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 14:51, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Two external links removed

I was questioned about removing external links to Spanish and Russian sites. This was my reply:

I don't read Russian, and not much Spanish, and I imagine that most other English Wiki editors can't check the references either. (I was surprised to see, looking more closely, that this matter has been brought up in discussion.) It's a somewhat small matter one way or the other, but actually, in this case, I was responding in specific to what seemed to be general problems with this article. There's a lot of original research, and the "Activities inspired by xkcd" section is mostly trivia that belongs on a fansite. The main idea was to rein in the promotional and unencyclopedic direction this article seems to be taking.

Since my edit, a day ago, I note that HaeB has reverted an anon edit adding another item to "Activities inspired by xkcd". Piano non troppo (talk) 21:24, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, the "activities inspired" section (formerly called "Life imitates xkcd") has been bugging me lately as well. It sporadically acts as a magnet for people who want to add information about the stupid robot they built in their garage and stuff like that. On the other hand, though, one or two of the events in there are notable and have gotten some decent coverage, I think. maybe the best solution is to delete the junk, and merge the remaining couple things into History? rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 21:36, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't know if the "history" section would really be appropriate - it's it should be the history of xkcd, not of xkcd fandom doing things in response to it. The "activities inspired by" section certainly is in poor shape, though - the bullet-pointed text is in no coherent order, and the images are all jumbled up. My suggestion for the moment would be to leave its structure alone, but clean up the content of both sections and see where it goes. [N.B.: strikeout, and italicized text, added a few minutes after original publication of this comment. -MS]
By the way: this should be obvious from the commentary above, but just for the record I'm now fine with the removal of the Spanish and Russian versions from the "external links" section. Mark Shaw (talk) 22:08, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Robot inspired by xkcd is non-notable?

Hello, I'm trying to understand why the "Sudo Make Me a Sandwich" robot is considered "non-notable"? Just curious. -- swaroopch (talk) 01:35, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

I tend to agree, though what it needs are reliable sources to establish notability. tedder (talk) 01:46, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
Actually, as noted in the NN article, non-notability is only intended to limit articles, not information. To quote: "These notability guidelines only outline how suitable a topic is for its own article. They do not directly limit the content of articles." Since the NN policy seems to have been misapplied in this case, I think it is appropriate to re-add the edit and will do so shortly. If someone else wishes to delete it for a different reason, go for it, but please explain your rationale. Thanks! JorenCombs (talk) 13:50, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
No, no matter what one sentence in that guideline says, notability applies to everything. Wikipedia is not a collection of random information and TRIVIA. Information should only be added to articles if it's worth reading about; as far as I can tell so far, since no reliable sources have been supplied, this robot is nothing more than something some guys made at home and want to show off. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 13:51, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for your explanation. First, to reply to your edit - the notes written by Swaroopch and Tedder have been sitting there for two weeks, so people *did* have a chance to respond already, and did not do so. I believed this to simply be an isolated reversion that had been overlooked, and due to the already existing lack of replies I was not aware of any significant disagreement.
Secondly, thanks for citing a policy that *does* apply; citing Trivia is a lot easier for me to understand than citing NN. (the guideline was pretty clear on this point, and said that other policies should be cited when evaluating content, rather than NN).
To be more specific, I am referencing Notability guidelines do not directly limit article contentJorenCombs (talk) 14:23, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
However, if you want to apply trivia to this particular fact, should it not also be applied for the rest of the trivia in this section? Is the MBR program really notable? (it is a self-citation, after all, just like the sudo bot) How about the chessboards? How do you know that is considered reliable information? Honestly a good chunk of this section would fail your proposed implementation of policy -- which is actually fine by me. Just be consistent about applying it, and don't single out one fact. JorenCombs (talk) 14:19, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the majority of that section is junk and needs to be removed. My suggestion has always been to merge the stuff that's worth of mention into the History section, and delete the rest. There have been several discussions here but all have gone stale and no one has really taken the initiative to make a move on it yet. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 14:28, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
Also see the links a couple other editors suggested at this discussion. The sandwich robot is also unacceptable under the verifiability and reliable sources policies, since the only coverage it seems to have gotten is in a personal blog. This is one of those cases where notability and verifiability are rather intertwined (if New York Times wrote up an article about these guys' robot, it would affect both notability and verifiability). rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 14:31, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
So if NYT writes about the sudo sandwich bot, then having a Wikipedia article about it would be ok with NN, right? Oh dear... :D JorenCombs (talk) 14:45, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
I say go for it if you're so inspired. My main concern here was to undo an edit that in my eyes was misapplied policy; I'm not particularly wedded to the sudo bot or anything else in that list. I'd much rather have an expanded history section than a list of random info.JorenCombs (talk) 14:45, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

This robot has not been covered by a reliable source. I also don't think that somebody making a robot based on the comic is relevant to an article about the comic. Chillum 16:50, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Article Start

In order to avoid an edit war... Randall specifically says, "In formal contexts where a lowercase word shouldn't start a sentence, 'XKCD' is an okay alternative." Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, and thus is a formal context. It is not appropriate to start a sentence with a lower case letter, unless there is no acceptable alternative, such as with linux commands where adding capitalization results in a non-existent command. KhalfaniKhaldun 21:34, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Munroe is not the boss of how we choose to write the comic's title, and he wrote that About page years ago. "xkcd" is more common, it doesn't look bad or informal (to be honest, I think the capitalized version looks worse and less formal). rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 21:44, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Formally, Wikipedia allows the use of lower case in case of a proper name if that lower case is commonly used, which is the case here. In fact, we can drop the upper case instance alltogether. EdokterTalk 22:33, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Shouldn't this also apply to the article URL? (talk) 18:45, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Well, Wikipedia's MediaWiki software still isn't case sensitive for the first letter of articles, so either Xkcd or xkcd will send you to the same place (there's not even a redirect involved; it's the same actual page). URLs are commonly given with capital titles so that names will be capitalized, but it really doesn't matter. e.g. lester James Peries is as much a correct title as Lester James Peries is. (But not lester james peries.) MediaWiki supports case sensitivity, and it exists on Wiktionary (cf God versus god), so it's possible it may exist here someday. If so, then we could specify that xkcd should have lowercase for all four letters as the proper article title. Soap Talk/Contributions 19:41, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Also, it just occurred to me that it will probably never happen, because if it did, we would have to make millions of changes to already existing links which refer to lowercase things but are written in uppercase because they are the first word of a sentence. Soap Talk/Contributions 13:25, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

New source

Gwern found this NYT article and added it to the EL section; I think it would be better to use it as a ref and integrate it into the text, so I'm moving it here. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 17:50, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

So then leave it as an external link until you find a way to work it in. That's what the external links section is for; information that is valid, but does not as of yet have a way to work it into the main body. --Human.v2.0 (talk) 17:54, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
If the content of the article can be worked into our article it would make more sense as a reference than a link. That being said until this is done there is no reason to remove it that I can see. Chillum 17:58, 20 April 2009 (UTC)