User talk:Iridescent

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My first arbitration
My second arbitration

If I start a conversation on your talk page, I'm watching it; reply on your talk page.

If you start a conversation here, I'll reply here
, so make sure you watch this page.

How Arbcom Works: part 1

Wikidata migration[edit]

I should go and find the discussion that was had about this but I still don't get the reasoning behind this: Category:Templates whose data is currently being migrated to Wikidata. Ah, I managed to find the bot request, but you have to go to Template:Wikidata property migration to find the link. That's not very helpful. I still feel queasy about this. Copying the data over, yes. Removing it, I'm not so sure about. There are times when it is useful to have the information available here. My experience of such templates is that they are used in three relatively distinct ways: (i) in an infobox to produce an 'official' link; (ii) in an external links section, again to produce an 'official' link; and (iii) to produce a reference when wrapped in ref tags. Given that the bot is not doing anything with case (iii), I don't really see the point. It feels like a trial run, a demonstration to say "look, it works", followed by much more ambitious data-slurping. And it still doesn't feel reversible if anything goes wrong. This bit makes no sense: "I have concerns that the seven-day wait would leave a window for people to add new instances of the template being migrated, whose data would not be on Wikidata when the bot operates". How can you even consider operating a bot like that without knowing whether the two systems are in synch or not? What is the end goal? To remove such templates from here completely and have them operating on Wikidata instead (you would click a link here, but would actually be editing Wikidata)? Will Wikidata eventually take over the entire template namespace? Carcharoth (talk) 01:04, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

@Carcharoth: My impression is that they want external link information in templates stored on Wikidata rather than locally. That is, the informaion normally provided to the template via a parameter is now provided by a Wikidata property. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 12:35, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, I sort of realise that (you saw the previous wibble I had). It just feels like it is happening too soon, before the options are put in place to allow people to access and edit the data on Wikidata (either from Wikidata or [ideally] from Wikipedia), before it is moved across. At least a link left behind to indicate to people where to go if they want to access the data, or to edit it. As an example, I might want to try and generate a list of all articles calling a certain property from a template. At the moment I can do that. If the data gets pulled over to Wikidata, how do I get the data now? It might be easier, but the ability to work with the data needs to be seamless before, during and after the transition. An example is images. On Commons, you can see where the image is being used. On Wikidata, how do you 'see' which articles the data is being used in? Maybe I am missing something obvious? Carcharoth (talk) 13:12, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
As for a list of articles calling their property from a template, I believe this is what categories are for but maybe I misunderstand the question. The editing thing is a good question - my sense is that such migrated templates ought to have an edit link for the Wikidata entry (pinging JJMC89 about this) prominently linked. Myself I consider this a reflection of a problem with setting up inter-wiki dependencies (such as enwiki depending on Wikidata) between Wikimedia sites - the Wikimedia site philosophy considers each wiki an independent bubble with no extensive connections to each other, which is a problem here and will be even more so with phab:T121470. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 14:51, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the phabricator request pointer. Shadow namespaces? I hope that will be a good thing... By list of articles, I meant if a template has (say) a parameter for (let's say) the listed building ID for a database, you can do things with Wikipedia and extract the data from there to list all the articles and the IDs used in them. If the data is being called from Wikidata instead, will the same methods work, and if not, what would be done instead? I suspect it would be easier on Wikidata, but all I've worked out how to do so far is how to get lists of Wikidata items using the properties (see here), but have not yet worked out how to generate a list of Wikipedia articles calling the properties and (obviously) the value of the property in question. Carcharoth (talk) 15:13, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
The bot does not operate on references because those values are not being imported to Wikidata. The categories are to tack discrepancies between the value on Wikidata and the template parameter value with the bot operating on those that match. (The bot could be written in Python to not need the categories.) There is a 'Wikidata item' link in the toolbox on the left panel. I like the super-scripted pencil for an edit link as shown here. RexxS is that something that could be implemented for external link templates (e.g. {{Fashionmodel}})? I'm not familiar enough with Lua. — JJMC89(T·C) 04:55, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
@Carcharoth: Where this bot is working, there are specialised templates such as {{JudoInside}}. That template uses a parameter which is the ID used by the website to identify the subject and the template then produces an external link to the subject's page at that website. What has been done is to enable the {{JudoInside}} template to fetch the subject's ID from Wikidata, if the ID isn't supplied locally at the article. That should save some editor time in looking up the ID and remove the possibility of transcription errors. However, it does then leave other editors in the dark about where the ID has come from. So ...
@JJMC89: I've created a module Module:EditAtWikidata to supply a free-standing pencil icon with tooltip and link to the relevant Wikidata entry for the page on which it is placed. It can be used inside templates to add the "Edit at Wikidata" link where desired. If an optional non-blank local parameter is supplied, it doesn't display anything, allowing articles where the value is supplied locally, rather than from Wikidata, to suppress the icon. I've made a wrapper template for it at Template:EditAtWikidata. To test it out, I've added the template to Anton Geesink #External links. I'd be grateful if you could check the documentation, to see if it makes sense to you, and perhaps let me know if it does the job you wanted it to. I hope it's obvious that the module could be added to a template like {{JudoInside}} with the relevant local parameter {{{name|{{{2|}}}}}} passed to it to avoid displaying the icon where the local name exists. See what you think. --RexxS (talk) 15:18, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
I know how the templates work. What I'm asking (probably in the wrong place) is how to extract data from Wikidata when you would previously have extracted it from Wikipedia. I am not talking about Wikipedia calling the data, I am talking about the tools used to generate lists of all the articles using a template and the values of the parameters of the templates used in those articles. Will those tools and methods still work? Will people be able to do it from Wikipedia, or will they have to switch to Wikidata instead? Carcharoth (talk) 16:19, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
It completely depends on the tool. If a tool reads the rendered html, it won't know that the ID came from Wikidata instead of the Wikitext; whereas if the tool reads the wikitext, it will not be able to find the ID in the cases where that is fetched from Wikidata. Could you perhaps give me an example of one of "the tools used to generate lists of all the articles using a template and the values of the parameters of the templates used in those articles", please? I am a dinosaur of small brain and it's far easier to answer questions based on concrete examples than to try to guess what generalisations might mean. TIA. --RexxS (talk) 17:08, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
{{AFM roll of honour}} has 17 transclusions. How would you generate a list of those articles and the AFM id values? For Talaiasi Labalaba it is X9129. For Armed Forces Memorial there are multiple values. At the moment, tools can read the wikitext and 'find' the values in the templates. Surely if the data was on Wikidata, there would be a way to get Wikidata to generate the list? Carcharoth (talk) 17:34, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
Do you mean lists automatically generated from info in Wikidata like User:Nev1/sandbox? Nev1 (talk) 21:09, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
I think (correct me if I'm wrong) the question is along those lines—how to generate a list of the height of every building in Macclesfield over 100 feet high, or the number of goals scored by every player in a specific team. While I don't think it's any great secret that I think the benefits of Wikidata are totally eclipsed by the costs (the straightforward costs of setting it up, the opportunity costs of diverting people from writing into tinkering, and the goodwill costs of relying on a system that's completely incomprehensible to the majority of editors and thus will either mean they skip over updating it and the quality of information deteriorates, or they decide Wikipedia is only interested in recruiting the small subset of nerdy white males who consider "updating someone else's spreadsheet" a worthwhile use of their spare time and instead leave altogether), generating this kind of list is one of the few cases where I can imagine Wikidata could actually be potentially useful to anyone. ‑ Iridescent 22:28, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Wow, Template:Wikidata list looks exactly like what I was looking for. Thanks! I think I'd even briefly read that blog post (or something similar) but managed to forget all about it. I am going to need to work out how to use that template (or maybe someone will knock up a more user-friendly version with drop-down menus?). I've actually done some editing this evening that might be relevant. I added war graves references to twenty-two articles of MPs killed in WWI (see here) and I added the CWGC person id numbers to their Wikidata items (see here). I actually got those the wrong way round. I could have added the id number on wikidata and then not had to use that number over here, but as these are references (not external links) I want to at least have a record of the numbers in the edit history. I think, though, that this means I could set up a Wikidata list for the 22 MPs killed in WWI. Maybe. I will probably take me a week to work it out unless someone else does it first... <hint, hint> :-) (If that is too easy, maybe someone could work out how to sort the 3000+ pages listed here into obvious groups such as 'cemeteries', 'churches', 'people' and so on - some bright spark will probably tell me I can use Wikidata to do this, as the articles all have Wikidata entries that will indicate whether the article is about a person or something else, the 'instance of' property, I think). Carcharoth (talk) 23:57, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

@RexxS: Thanks, the module looks good. Would you add an optional link to a specific property on the entry (#P2767 for {{JudoInside}})? — JJMC89(T·C) 16:13, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
(With apologies to Iridescent for talking technical detail on his talk page) @JJMC89: I deliberately stripped out the #<propertyID> fragment from the link (see Module:WikidataIB line 71, which is what I adapted) because I wanted to keep it simple to use and universal in application as a stand-alone. There are two ways of adding the fragment: either add another parameter to the module and expect the user to know which propertyID to supply; or build the code into an existing module for a template, which is obviously more efficient. Anyway, I've updated to module and template to allow a named |pid= which creates the link you want. I should warn you that because of the way the JavaScript expands the display at Wikidata, you rarely get exactly to the section you want. Here a link to the ID for Anton Geesink Edit this at Wikidata. You could just incorporate that (or the equivalent module invocation) into Template:JudoInside. I've made a test version of that at Template:JudoInside/sandbox that seems to work when I previewed it in articles. --RexxS (talk) 17:18, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
Much appreciated RexxS! — JJMC89(T·C) 02:33, 1 September 2016 (UTC)

Organising article coverage[edit]

Could I get your advice on how to organise some of the material relating to war memorials at the Palace of Westminster? The current article is Parliamentary War Memorial (the history and change in its appearance is covered here), but there are a number of other memorials that I am intending to add more about to Wikipedia. Some of these are already covered in that article, but strictly speaking are separate memorials. There is an overview here and here. Some of that is already mentioned in Parliamentary War Memorial, some of it isn't, and some current mentions could be extended using that and other sources. What I am wondering is what is the best way to organise this? The current options I am pondering are:

  • Moving the current article to Parliamentary war memorials and using sections to write overviews and something about the main memorials. The title may not be specific enough (as it would cover more than just WWI and WII and might be thought to include other parliaments both in the history of the UK and England and elsewhere).
  • Leaving the current article where it is, but writing an overview article such as War memorials at the Palace of Westminster. Linking would be either to the article, or to sections of the article (including anchors to preserve the links), with redirects created as well.
  • Adding material to Palace of Westminster (though it is difficult to add to such a large article). I encountered similar problems when working on specific items at Westminster Abbey, though there was a subsidiary article there at Poets' Corner. These are both buildings with a storied history; maybe other articles on other buildings have taken a similar approach? St Paul's Cathedral has a section on tombs and memorials. Sometimes articles or sections are written on specific rooms or buildings (e.g. Royal Gallery and Westminster Hall) or institutions (House of Lords Library and House of Commons Library).
  • Separate articles for the House of Lords memorial in the Royal Gallery, and possibly for the WWII stained glass window (though this is more logically seen as an extension to the Parliamentary War Memorial in Westminster Hall). The other memorials don't really have enough to justify separate articles. Some will just end up referred to elsewhere, such as adding this to the Kitchener article. There are various other statues and plaques and items at different locations.
I am tending towards an overview article, though the IWM war memorials inventory has some fascinating details about the House of Lords memorial which is making me think there is enough for a separate article:

"The peers wanted their own memorial to be separate from the joint memorial in St. Stephen's Porch. The project was delayed by controversy over the site, the rejection of designs from all four artists invited to submit, and the complex process of deciding who was eligible for inclusion. In 1925, Lord Iveagh bequeathed £20,000 for thirteen murals by Frank Brangwyn as a memorial in the Royal Gallery. Five were completed, but were rejected in 1930 and are now in Swansea Guildhall."[1]

That entry also says: "This memorial record is currently under review and will be updated shortly. Please check back again soon." Which is good, but also annoying as I bet they don't provide a revision history... The stained glass window IWM inventory entry is here. I am going to dump various other IWM links I found somewhere else now (the backstory and details of the books of remembrance are particularly fascinating, as more can be said about these than you would think - they had full unveiling ceremonies, for a start). Am still unsure whether to do the overview or article approach. Where a memorial has a backstory and a well-documented design process (including costs, material used, named architects and so on), photos, an unveiling ceremony, an inscription, and was reported on in the news at the time, and a number of notable names, there is a fair amount that can be included. But it will rarely be more than a few paragraphs for anything other than the most famous ones (which I really need to get back to writing about at some point). Carcharoth (talk) 04:58, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
My instinct would be that If you think there's enough material to write an over-arching War memorials at the Palace of Westminster or even better, Monuments and memorials at the Palace of Westminster, that would probably be a good thing, as it would provide a place to park short paragraphs about those elements about which there's not enough to say to create a stand-alone article. Assuming there's enough material to write stand-alone articles on a given memorial, they can be spun off into subpages, in the same way that we treat multiple structures which are part of the same complex but are independently notable. There are certainly precedents for this approach when it comes to monuments and memorials—the articles on individual memorials and graves in Category:Arlington National Cemetery spring to mind—so it's not like this would be some kind of bizarre outrider.
Study of Alexandra Feodorovna Room 2 White Drawing Room of Alexandra Feodorovna The Malachite Room Concert Hall The Nicholas Hall The Great Antechamber The Jordan Staircase The Field Marshall's Hall The Small Throne Room The Armorial Hall Military Gallery St. George's Hall Small Hermitage New Hermitage The Grand Church The Alexander Hall Drawing-Room of the suite of Grand Duchess Maria Nikolayevna and her husband Duke Maximilian Leuchtenberg War Gallery (suite of 5 rooms) The White Hall Gold Drawing Room The Crimson Cabinet Boudoir of Empress Maria Alexandrovna Alexander II's Study The School Room The Rotunda Gothic Library The Arabian Hall Portrait Gallery of the Romanov Dynasty Room 29 Palace Embankment Neva River Court Garden Palace Square Staff of the Corpus of Guards West garden West garden The October Staircase Apollo Hall Room 38 Principal Entrance Hau Winter Garden Hau Winter Garden The Dark Corridor Dressing Room of Alexandra Feodorovna Pompei Dining Room Bedroom of the Tsarevich's suite part of the Tsarevich's suite The Guard Room Private rooms of the Imperial Family Private rooms of the Imperial Family
Unscaled plan of the 1st floor of the Winter Palace as it appears today, the fourth palace on the site. The numbers in this key are referred to throughout the article—click on numbers for images, pages and further details.
Although it breaches WP:ACCESS six ways to breakfasttime, a sketch-map of the PoW complex with the sites of each memorial as a clickable link and references to the numbers in the body text, along the lines of {{Winter Palace}}, would probably be quite useful. A lot of the traffic for such an article would probably either be people looking to find out exactly where the memorial to their Great Uncle Archibald is situated, or people who've recently visited the PoW wanting to know what that memorial they saw in (insert corridor) is called, and this would be quite useful to both.
I'm weakly against Parliamentary war memorials as a title, since it's too vague. Given the naming conventions in the English-speaking world for these things, I imagine most readers will assume it's a reference to the casualties of a conflict called the Parliamentary War. As you say, it's also ambiguous since presumably at least some other parliaments include memorials of some kind, and it could also be taken to mean memorials erected by parliamentary decree, or to Parliamentarian troops in the Civil War.
I'd be against adding more than a couple of sentences and maybe a few {{main}} templates to Palace of Westminster itself. It's already up to 12,000 words and really doesn't need any more bloat, especially given that on a conservative estimate 99% of those reading the article aren't interested in the war memorials.
I'd imagine you could get enough material to write a stand-alone article on virtually any memorial, just from the Times coverage of the dedication ceremony. Whether you should is another matter; if nobody is going to want to read the things, there's no point creating yet another stub to add to the pile. I've always been firmly of the opinion that in most cases, one long article is more useful to the reader than a bunch of short ones, as it provides context to the topic and avoids having to provide the same background information on multiple pages. (If I had my way, about 75% of the articles on Wikipedia would be rolled together into broad topics—I see no reason why we need stand-alone articles on The Grapes, The Duke's Head, The Spread Eagle, The Bedford and The Falcon, rather than Pubs in Wandsworth, and you can repeat that exercise on virtually any topic you care to name.)
Although it would annoy the purists since it's not technically part of the PoW, it would probably be sensible to include the Parliament Square memorials (and probably the Cenotaph and this eyesore) in any overarching article. They're much more likely to be search topics (since tens of thousands of people a day see them, rather than a couple of dozen people on organised tours of the PoW), and they fit into the same broad theme of "military monuments considered significant enough to be erected at the heart of government". Remember, there's no point writing something if nobody reads it, so provided it doesn't get too bloated a broad article is better than a narrow one. The disadvantage—other than potential bloat—is that Parliament Square is much more of a focus of nutters than the PoW, so an article expanded to cover it would be harder to keep clear of POV-pushing and protestcruft than a PoW-only article languishing in uncontroversial obscurity. ‑ Iridescent 14:17, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. Overview it will be then. Though I do like Template:Public art in London and List of public art in London. Quite easy to get lost meandering around in there. Carcharoth (talk) 14:27, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
If there were some way to give a brief location of each item as part of its description in the overarching article ("about half-way along the north wall of Flagellator's Gallery") then you would satisfy concerns about WP:ACCESS, as the image would not be the sole means of providing the information. We accept that we can't be expected to provide to image-less readers everything that can be found in an image, but having the key bits of the information elsewhere is some sort of compensation. --RexxS (talk) 16:20, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
I would have thought that any overarching article would be arranged geographically, so that shouldn't be an issue. (My attitude towards WP:ACCESS has always been that while it's important, the it is best treated with common sense, and occasional exceptions may apply needs to be taken seriously rather than just as a piece of skimmed-over boilerplate—if a particular change will be useful to a lot of readers but there's no way to implement it without inconveniencing a few, then WP:ACCESS shouldn't be taken as a reason not to make the change. Too many people—not you—don't really grasp what "reasonable adjustments" actually means, and treat it as "if it inconveniences even a single reader, it needs to go".) One day, I'm going to cite WP:ACCIM as a pretext to add alt-text to the images on Rorschach test. "Two foxes kissing", "smurfs high-fiving", "limbo dancers carrying shopping bags", "fat guy on a Harley", "bat", "cow seen from below next to a dragonfly", "trowel", "woman in a corset holding ferrets", "the stains in the toilet bowl when you puke up WKD" and "Eiffel Tower with seahorses", if you're wondering. ‑ Iridescent 16:03, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
Talking of WP:ACCESS issues, I was reading through MOS:LIST and came across this:

"Although the use of tables to display lists is discouraged—because they provide low-quality accessibility and have a more complex notation that hinders editing—there are some instances where they can be useful, such as when three or more columns are required."

I then went and looked at WP:FL to see what forms various lists I have been compiling usually take, and it seems that complex lists and tables are not as common as I thought (such as lists-as-tables with, um, 12 columns)... That table is based on this one, which when I started it back in 2009 looked like this. About a day later, the bullet-pointed list had got to this stage (remember that this editing was taking place in a userspace draft) and I then turned it into a table, one that had 13 columns (I merged two later). No-one else seemed to copy that style, until July this year when an editor attempted to copy the format and was doing OK (though hadn't managed to complete the table). I welcomed them, offered to help, and then ended up finishing the article to produce this. I can see that tables are far, far easier to read and work with when they are kept simple, but I am wondering how common the more complex multi-column tables are. Are there tables out there that use many, many columns? Many ones presenting scientific data of some sort? Would it even be possible to search Wikipedia for tables with many columns? I need to work out what to do with the draft table I have (offline) with about 20 columns and work out how to present things in a simpler fashion... (maybe combining prose, sections and smaller tables, rather than cramming everything into a single table). I quite like the approach taken at List of Presidents of the United States who died in office. I never knew you could just have the sections of an article be the items in a list! (PS. I have no intention of trying to produce a massively complex map with links embedded - I had enough trouble even figuring out how to do a fade-in and fade-out .gif for the different classes of relatives listed here, and concluded it would take far too much time to do). Carcharoth (talk) 17:29, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
Tables are complex markup. I will probably need one on the Lake Tauca draft so that I can keep track of all the proposed durations of event. I've seen very complex tables in sports articles where they indicate data about competitions and the like. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 17:32, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
You wouldn't need to produce the map yourself—there are people who enjoy the challenge of things like that who would do it for nothing if asked. Jack Merridew was very good at things like that, if you can winkle him out of wherever he's currently hiding. ‑ Iridescent 17:39, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
(ec) I've also heard that tables are easier to do in Visual Editor now. I am going to insert all the fancy mark-up in an Excel spreadsheet I have, dump the result (which includes oodles of notes and links not suitable for the published version) into the draft page in my userspace, and then see what it looks like (a good trick is to footnote anything complex and leave the table contents itself simple). I think I will eventually have to split the draft table into two smaller tables, as the list is an intersection of two topics and can be split that way fairly easily. Carcharoth (talk) 17:43, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

Break: tables[edit]

The table has been done now. Only 11 columns and the first three could be merged (though the ability to sort by both birth year and death year would be lost - the column could be sorted by one, but not both). Logically, the default order is by date of death. Anyway, lots of notes as well, most of them can be ignored as it is mainly the table I am looking for advice on: see here. Should I stick with that single table, or go the route of having three separate tables/listings? The topic divides quite logically into three areas, as can be seen from the notes. Or should the focus be more on prose and less on tables? There will be lots of prose to go with the tables, but where should the line be drawn between the two? Carcharoth (talk) 09:01, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

My instinct is always for prose over tables wherever possible, since tables are much harder to read (particularly in mobile view), but in this particular case I can see the argument that sortability takes precedence over readibility, as some readers will want the list chronological, some will want it by party, some will want it by name and some will want it by unit. I don't think it would make sense to use more than one table; having multiple tables with the same names is just confusing, while "all listed together with equal prominence" is such a well-embedded convention when it comes to lists of military casualties that I think it would be quite jarring to readers to see the list split. I do think you need to make "party" sortable, since "how many from each party?" is going to be one of the most common things quick-skimmers are looking for. If you need to save width, "place of death" and "place of burial" could probably be dropped from the tables, provided they're in each person's article.
Oddly enough (and to play Devil's Advocate), tables are sometimes easier to read than prose in a couple of scenarios. On a HD desktop screen, the table of "Members and former Members of the UK Parliament who died in the First World War" takes one screen's worth of scrolling to see the entire table and gives me an at-a-glance view of the information. I find it very easy to find a particular individual and then each piece of their information. One use for that might be if someone revisits the page looking for a single piece of information, like "Was Alexander George Boteville Thynne buried in the same place as Ninian Crichton-Stuart?" then it's easy to find the answer. I make no claim as to the frequency that such information may be sought. ‑ Iridescent 09:44, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
For a screen reader like JAWS, a properly marked-up table can be jumped to with a couple of keystrokes as soon as the page is opened (call up a list of all the table captions and go to the one you want). Then table mode can be engaged which allows the screen reader to traverse the table in any direction, for example you could go to the column "Military rank and regiment" and then travel downwards, cell-by-cell. On a properly marked up table, the listener would hear first: "Thomas Charles Reginald Agar-Robartes; Military rank and regiment; Captain, Coldstream Guards", then when moving down one cell: "Guy Victor Baring; Military rank and regiment; Lieutenant Colonel, Coldstream Guards", and so on (i.e. "row header; column header; cell contents"). Giving the ability to a blind visitor to browse through a table just following a single topic, like rank and regiment, is quite an increase in functionality over prose. Now you know me better than to think I'm advocating turning the encyclopedia into a collection of tabular information - I'm just saying that there's an upside; and where there's a place for a well planned, laid-out and marked-up table, we need not be ashamed to include it. You may need to read WP:Manual of Style/Accessibility/Data tables tutorial to maximise the number of screen readers that can benefit from your work (or I could mark it up for you). Cheers --RexxS (talk) 16:10, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
Oh, I'm not some kind of anti-table zealot—the reason Carcharoth is asking my opinion is because I'm the author of List of tablets on the Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice which (as one of the first tables of its nature) has become something of a template for "list of all the names on a particular memorial" tables which need to include complex references-within-footnotes-within-tables markup and to be sortable in multiple ways. I do, however, recognise that quite often on Wikipedia tables add an additional layer of complexity which makes the page virtually uneditable, and can wreck the reading experience for readers on phones or small-screen devices like Kindles. (Given what today's TFA is, I'll point out Infrastructure of the Brill Tramway which if I do say so myself is a good example of something which could have been a table, but is better for both readers and for future editors as a list comprised of nested subheads.) ‑ Iridescent 16:50, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks both (and I'll come back to you, RexxS for the mark-up when it gets into article space). I am going to ignore mobile views as all tables seem to suffer there. I do think my idea of three tables does have merit, but it will need a lot of work to bring that out. It will be an absolute PITA to split an existing table into three. Certainly there are limitations to what can be achieved, and there will be lots of prose, no worries about that (though a lot of it will be in footnotes). I do despair a bit at things like List of women linguists. That doesn't look any better than it did when created back in January. At least it honestly tells the reader up-front that it is bot-generated (technically, the bot is the middleman, ferrying over data carefully mined and checked possibly by humans). If technical stuff is too boring, is it worth trying to winkle out a birth date for Francis Bennett-Goldney? Interesting character - name change and story of a jewellery theft. Carcharoth (talk) 17:00, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
I take it you've seen the talk page at List of women linguists (or the recent history of the page)? It is not a great advertisement for bot-generated tables. ‑ Iridescent 17:22, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
Indeed. I thought such lists were to be used sparingly and carefully, mostly in project or userspaces to help generate content that would be checked. Incidentally, regarding sorting by party political affiliation in such tables, there are issues with that which are better brought out in prose. The various flavours of Unionism around at that time, primarily. This list of MPs that died is not to do with their politics, except in the case of Kettle and Redmond, who were both in their own ways had their ideals magnified by their deaths. Apart from that, they were all united in death and in a common cause as the various people planning the memorials were at pains to point out (it was, obviously, not put on the memorials). I even considered leaving out the party affiliation altogether. I dread to think how Wikidata would sort lists of politicians (the problem of course is the quality of the data that was harvested). Carcharoth (talk) 17:36, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
On a dig for Bennett-Goldney's birthdate through the British Library newspaper archive, while I haven't found his birthdate I have found quite a bit of coverage of the case of Paterson v. Evans, a very high-profile court case involving the family in which a will was "found" granting Frank Evans a large sum provided he adopted the Bennett-Goldney name, with the strong implication that he'd faked the whole thing. Assuming "Frank Bennett Goldney, formerly Frank Evans" is the same guy (I'm fairly certain that he is, as it gives his father's name as Sebastian Evans), then Scotch Will Case Glasgow Herald (Glasgow, Scotland), Wednesday, March 18, 1896, Gale Document Number: BC3203845706 has him giving his age as 34 in 1896, which would make the 1865 birthdate incorrect. He sounds like a contemptible little shit. ‑ Iridescent 17:54, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
middle-aged man in military uniform
Francis Bennett-Goldney, 1918
Because I'm, like, helpful and stuff, have a photo of him. ‑ Iridescent 18:12, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
Um, certainly not your standard politician, I think I'll say. He was mayor of Canterbury, but they don't seem to have put any memorials up to him. Of all the people on that list I looked for other memorials for, he was the one I failed completely. I did find a portrait of him in the IWM collections. And this webpage has a lot. I just noticed that his brother published a book by him (FBG) post-humously, so I suppose that was a memorial of sorts. He can't have been all bad, if he was involved with something such as Beaney House of Art and Knowledge. The obituary in The Times said he was "about 53". The CWGC claim he was 51. The 1865 year is given in the Commons book of remembrance, but I suspect they got that from The Times claim of 53 (the book of remembrance biographies are in part compiled from the obituaries in The Times, and the book was then put in the Commons Library and later redone with input from the parents [who had identified lamentable deficiences] and unveiled properly in 1932). Thanks for the photo! (any more where those came from?) Carcharoth (talk) 18:23, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
Tons more, provided you can get into the Illustrated London News archive—they were very big on illustrated rolls of honour. That article alone has photos of 18 casualties, including David Jennings. (I don't really like copy-pasting ILN images, as while it's certainly legal under Bridgman Corel, I don't think it's particularly ethical to impact on their business by taking images they provide to researchers as a public service and releasing them into the public domain—however, the likely loss to them of this particular picture is negligible since I can't imagine anyone would ever pay for it.) ‑ Iridescent 18:55, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

Arbitration Case opened[edit]

You recently offered a statement in a request for arbitration. The Arbitration Committee has accepted that request for arbitration and an arbitration case has been opened at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/The Rambling Man.

Evidence that you wish the arbitrators to consider should be added to the evidence subpage, at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/The Rambling Man/Evidence.

Please add your evidence by September 17, 2016, which is when the evidence phase closes. You can also contribute to the case workshop subpage, Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/The Rambling Man/Workshop. For a guide to the arbitration process, see Wikipedia:Arbitration/Guide to arbitration.

For non-parties who wish to opt out of further notifications for this case please remove yourself from the list held here

For the Arbitration Committee, MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 10:04, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

This request wasn't heeded, was it? Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 10:40, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
Much as I'm tempted to start blocking clerks for disruption if this recent development continues—not only does it have a chilling effect since people don't want to comment in case it get them added to the clerks' spam list, but it means genuine evidence is buried on the case page among piles of chit-chat—I won't, annoying though it is. They're damned if they do and damned if they don't, since the nature of Wikipedia means that if they don't notify everyone, someone is bound to complain. I've removed myself from the evidence page, however, since nothing I said could remotely be considered "evidence", although some over-eager drone will no doubt restore it.
My thoughts on clerks, clerking, and the necessity of both are on the record already; if the arbs had to manually do all this stuff themselves, it might make them stop and think about whether whatever it is they're directing be done is actually worthwhile. There's no other part of Wikipedia I can think of where a group of editors has their own personal team of servants and guards to make their edits on their behalf and prevent them getting their hands dirty, let alone any other part of Wikipedia where even suggesting such a setup wouldn't be considered seriously screwed up. (I'm not even getting into the idea that "I was told to do so by email" is a legitimate excuse should an edit be challenged.) The whole clerk mentality has always seemed really odd to me; yes, some I assume are good people, but the whole idea that anyone would choose "menial secretarial work for a bunch of earnest nonentities with an inflated sense of their own importance"* as a hobby just strikes me as really weird even by Wikipedia standards. ‑ Iridescent 13:56, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
*I include myself in that.
I have heard some non-complimentary theories about the clerk mentality so I won't raise them. As for arbitrators having clerks, I've always thought it was a diffusion of responsibility sort of thing - so that people don't complain about clerking arbitrators supposedly being "biased". Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 14:37, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
But since the clerks do whatever they do mechanistically, at the direction of an arb, it doesn't do anything to reduce any potential bias—since the clerks explicitly act as tools of the committee, "the arbs didn't do it, the clerks did it" is semantically no different to "Officer, technically I didn't stab him, the knife stabbed him". The official definition of the role of the clerks is the administration of arbitration cases and management of all the Committee's pages and subpages; enforcing Committee decisions; implementing procedures; and enforcing good standards of conduct and decorum on the Committee's pages; none of that is anything the arbs couldn't do for themselves. (Can you imagine the outcry if Jimmy Wales unilaterally appointed a bunch of his friends to "enforce good standards of conduct and decorum"?) The real-world equivalent would be if a judge let random members of the public wander into the courthouse and paddle witnesses with a wooden spoon whenever the judge decided that they'd said something inappropriate. ‑ Iridescent 14:47, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
I can give you my theory on the clerk mentality, albeit based on anecdote. Back in dial-up-internet days I worked briefly on a very early dating website, and one of the biggest head-scratchers was how to police all the uploaded photos to prevent people using topless shots, celebrity photos etc; on the shoestring budgets of the early internet, there was no way we could have paid anyone to monitor all incoming images and we'd have probably struggled even to respond to everything sent to an abuse@ email address. Someone hit on the idea of mailing long-term users, offering them the chance to "be part of the website" and act as volunteer moderators. We were flooded with volunteers who would sit at a computer for hours on end, just pressing Y or N to an endless stream of photographs; and when we set up a high-score table listing who'd checked the most photos and who was in line with consensus most often, people would literally devote all their free time to it, racking up tens of thousands of photos approved/rejected. Never underestimate the desire of some people to play cop and exert control over other people no matter how minor that control may be, particularly in an environment with few consequences for getting it wrong, and with an element of competition to keep people playing. ‑ Iridescent 14:58, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
  • I think it may be the common human need to do a minor repetitive task for hours on end, rather than any need to control. See for example the search for Steve Fossett. Xanthomelanoussprog (talk) 15:07, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Possibly in some cases, but in some cases it's definitely driven by an urge for authority; there's a certain type of person who will volunteer to do jobs that ordinarily struggle to attract even paid recruits, provided they get a fancy-sounding title and the ability to boss strangers around. The special constables are never short of volunteers, despite doing a job for free which involves being punched in the face and having people vomit on their shoes and struggles to attract paid recruits at c. £40,000 a year, but nobody (I assume) volunteers to do those same police forces' filing for free. ‑ Iridescent 15:25, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
  • I can't let this pass without a link to Fagging. The last sentence in the History section is "It is now believed to be obsolete in Great Britain." I wonder if I'd get away with adding "... but is alive and flourishing in Wikipedia."? I'm guessing probably not. --RexxS (talk) 17:27, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Make an intentionally-libellous edit to one part of the article, add what you want to stick elsewhere in the article using a different account, then use your own account to revert the libellous edit and request it be revdelled. That way not only is a "good" edit the most recent thing in the history thus making the insertion invisible to patrollers, but there's a good chance the revdelling admin will actually hide your insertion from the history while leaving it in place in the article. You're welcome. ‑ Iridescent 17:36, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Bear in mind that these are public schools we're talking about, not normal schools, and while public schools have always been hotbeds of rum, sodomy and the lash they only cater for a tiny, tiny minority of the population (215 boys' and 230 girls' public schools in the entire country, compared to 2500 private schools and 25,000 state schools). While they have a higher profile than other schools because they produce a disproportionate share of public figures, they're not remotely representative of British education. See also Bullingdon Club. ‑ Iridescent 09:58, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

Re:Random order[edit]

Your explanation makes sense, it's just that there are over 50 names. I guess the random order is the arbs' problem to deal with. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:28, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

@Baseball Bugs, remember, from the arbs point of view "order in which they commented" makes more sense than alphabetical order (which would give artificial prominence to those at the beginning of the alphabet). Think of it as a court transcript; you wouldn't expect it to be re-ordered to arrange the testimony by order of the witnesses' names. From experience, what will be happening is a few of the arbs watching every diff in real time, while the rest read the whole thing top-to-bottom every couple of days. (This is shaping up to be one of the weirdest cases I've ever seen, given that of the three parties one made an initial statement and then seems to have wandered off, one isn't participating at all, and one is raving semi-coherently, while even among those who say there's a problem which needs addressing nobody seems to agree on what the problem actually is. I don't envy whoever ends up having to draft a formal response to this crap—if Wikipedia Review were still about they'd be laughing their socks off at the time otherwise sensible people are investing in this.) ‑ Iridescent 20:44, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
I was surprised the arbs' took the case. It must be a slow time for them. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:21, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
I did advise them not to, but nobody listens to me. I've yet to see anything that couldn't have been resolved with a "chill out, take those pages off your watchlist, and work on something else for a while". ‑ Iridescent 21:26, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
You were too cool and calm. It might have worked better had you invoked this old slogan: "You'll be SOOOORRY!" ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:55, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

More on memorials[edit]

Could I ask for some more advice on memorials (presuming the goings on at {{cite newspaper The Times}} aren't too much of a distraction)? Most of the advice I am after relates to the notes at User:Carcharoth/WWI and WWII deaths, mostly right at the bottom of that page in the 'gallery' and 'links' sections.

  • The armorial/heraldic shields/coats of arms - I have a vague knowledge of how these work, and I know that the idea is that from written descriptions people are able to construct the shields. Because some of these MPs were sons of peers, some from families with well-established titles, some of the armorial shields already exist on Wikipedia. However, there are subtle differences between them and the shields displayed in the Commons Chamber (which was destroyed in WWII and rebuilt with replacement shields). Obviously I need to find a source which actually discusses this (if one exists), but would you know anything about these differences? e.g. Earl of Rosebery and Primrose heraldic shield are the same, but there are sometimes differences in colour and additional symbols, e.g. compare Aberconway barons and McLaren heraldic shield (white flags and blue crescent moon). Also Walrond and Walrond arms (obvious differences). I should probably find someone who draws these shields and find out what they know (plus actual sources on what Parliament did).
  • Memorial and headstone inscriptions. Down the bottom of that page, in the links section, I have dumped the headstone inscriptions that I found. I'm a bit wary of including these, as some of them can be very personal (they were chosen by the next of kin). Some have encyclopedic relevance, some don't. I have included these in the past (e.g. here), but I am not sure about including them as a general matter. It feels, silly though it may sound to say it, like intruding on personal grief, even after 100 years (for an example of what people can be moved to do, see here). Memorial inscriptions can also be included, and some sources do transcribe these, such as here and here (translating them is another matter). For some reason, quoting memorial inscriptions feels different to quoting headstone inscriptions. Finding sources that go into actual details is rare, though, but sometimes the sources of the often-poetic lines (unless they are an original creation) is obvious, try looking up this one for example, or this one.
  • Hansard quotes and parliamentary debates and tributes. I was quite impressed when I stumbled across the tributes paid to Neil Primrose in parliament, and went and added them to his article. Was unsure if that was excessive or not. Really, secondary sources discussing the tributes paid are needed as well, to put them in context. I had half-expected to find parliament doing this for all the MPs killed, but it seems not. A couple of references, and the rather stark formal notices of by-elections ('writs' issued 'in the room of' the MP killed), but not that much. One example is here. Can that be used as a source, or should I be wary of quoting directly from primary sources like that?

Incidentally, I am not the only one to wonder what criteria were used for inclusion for various memorials in Parliament. See the November 2013 debate here, where Chris Bryant said: "There are three shields from the first world war that I think are missing from the Chamber." Lyell and Kettle were former MPs, so I can understand them not being included. Not sure why Esmonde got left out though (the writ is here so he was an MP at the time of his death). There were also former MPs killed who were not commemorated as MPs on the parliamentary memorials: Charles Duncombe, 2nd Earl of Feversham, Gerald Archibald Arbuthnot and Mark Sykes. Duncombe is included on the memorial to the peers killed in the war. Why those two former MPs (Duncombe and Arbuthnot) and one current MP (Sykes) were not included and Kettle and Lyell were, I don't know (Lyell was an MP during the war, but not at the time of his death; Sykes died after the armistice but before the formal peace treaties and within the period where he would be included by the CWGC). Maybe they just failed to notice? Or maybe Kettle was a special case? Anyway, finishing on different note, the list of MPs killed in WWI (the canonical figure of 22) has been in the Wikipedia article space in list form since May 2008. You can cheat by using 'what links here' for those in the list, but try and see if you can find the list just by searching... Carcharoth (talk) 05:15, 10 September 2016 (UTC)

File:Times May 10 1830.jpeg
Page 2 of The Times as it was formatted in 1830
Regarding the Times brouhaha, I've commented there, not that I imagine it will do any good. I think this is a big misunderstanding; because the software was lagging, it looks like Andy genuinely believed that the template wasn't in use which is obviously not the case. It might make it easier to understand why we give the column number when citing the Times to see just how crammed the paper's news section was in single-big-sheet days owing to the need to cram everything onto two 'pages' and consequently how useless a citation which only gives the page number is.
I don't really understand coats of arms, but I'm aware that they cause hugely disproportionate arguments on Wikipedia, either from people claiming they're not illustrated correctly, or claiming copyright over them and demanding they be removed. BrownHairedGirl or Giano might understand how these things work, or be able to point you towards someone who does. Alternatively, it might be worth just writing to the College of Arms, who are paid to actually understand this nonsense and presumably can issue definitive rulings on the correct way to approach these things.
I'd be inclined to include headstone inscriptions, unless they were obviously intended to be for the family only (e.g. a plaque within a family mausoleum). As I've said previously in a different context, a tombstone is pretty much the canonical example of "work of artistic craftsmanship on permanent display to the public", and any who genuinely didn't want something to be read by other people wouldn't be engraving it on a stone tablet and putting it in a highly visible open space, so I see no ethical issues at all with reproducing their contents. I also agree with the line taken by the CWGC (and I assume their equivalents in other countries) that photographing and documenting military graves helps both in spreading the memory of people and deeds who might otherwise be forgotten, and preserving the record in case the site itself is destroyed (I'm guessing Aleppo War Cemetery is probably not being maintained), and is thus A Good Thing.
I don't really buy the "intruding on personal grief" argument—these people have been dead for a century so I assume their relatives are over it by now, and it serves as a useful reminder to readers that these were real people with real families, not the braying nitwits fresh from the minor-public-school assembly line for which "British army officer" usually serves as shorthand.
There is no issue at all with quoting primary sources as evidence that something happened (in this case that the House paid tribute to those killed); the only issue would be if you were to claim in Wikipedia's voice that they set a splendid example of patriotism, etc.
I will guess (emphasis on guess) that Esmonde was left off the memorial because the family were very closely associated with Fine Gael (two of his sons went on to be Fine Gael TDs), and the family didn't want to be publicly associated with the British Army by the time the memorial came to be built in 1921–22, so asked that he kept off. When it comes to "obscure Irish MPs and TDs", BHG is the one to ask. As regards Arbuthnot, Kittybrewster can tell you more than you ever wanted to know about any given member of the Arbuthnot family. I'll guess that the reason Sykes wasn't included was that because he died after the Armistice and died of flu rather than war wounds, they felt the link was too tenuous to justify including him as a casualty of the war. ‑ Iridescent 14:57, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks muchly for the advice. The 'cite newspaper The Times' thing was a misunderstanding. I have apologised to Andy, though I don't know if he has seen that yet. The day-of-the-week I've never understood (and that has been questioned over at the discussion). I have several questions to ask the College of Arms, so maybe I will try that approach. Please don't get me started on whether it is OK to put photographs of war memorials in France up on Commons. Several discussions at Commons have failed to make any headway against the FoP (freedom of panorama) obstacle.
About destroyed or inaccessible or unmaintainable sites and memorials, that has happened several times in the course of the now nearly 100 years of history of the CWGC - they are remarkably adaptable. They just document what happened, when they can get access again they assess the situation and save what they can, and if necessary re-establish the memorial somewhere else. A good example of that is the Port Tewfik Memorial (and the Aden Memorial, with no article yet). Over in Iraq, there is the Basra Memorial, which has an interesting history having been moved once already. There are also very remote cemeteries in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia (and some in Central Africa I think) that were essentially abandoned and the names inscribed instead on a suitable memorial. The Commission has to be practical and pragmatic in such cases.
About Hansard, I am a bit cheesed off as it appears that the grand digitisation project, named "1803-2005", is annoyingly incomplete. The project seems to have run out of steam in around 2008 (maybe a victim of the financial crisis) and this page gives an indication of what areas are incomplete. Zooming in on the series that includes the First World War period, we see that several volumes from the war years have not been digitised. This would explain why my searches were proving fruitless. I have no idea if they intend to restart/complete the digitisation project at some point, but hopefully they will.
About the specific MPs, I agree about Sykes, but the whole Irish connection is a minefield of politics. Redmond and Kettle were ardent Irish nationalists, so I don't see that Esmonde would have been left out if they were included. And Esmonde is on the other parliamentary memorials. It is only the heraldic shields in the Commons that he was left out of. I suspect it may be something to do with Kettle and Lyell being former MPs, and Esmonde being far less on active service than the others (who all were directly wounded in some way and who all went abroad on active service). Esmonde, as far as I can tell, just did recruiting at home in Ireland (this is clearer if you read this account which confirms that he served at home and died at home - those accounts are largely copied from the obituaries in The Times as far as I can tell, but that one contains a glorious nugget about "a scheme for the manufacture of synthetic rubber from artichokes"). Note also that two of his sons served and one died and is also commemorated in that book of remembrance - I don't think anyone really got left out of these books, which tried to rise above politics. The heraldic shields appear to have been reserved for those who were MPs at the time of their death, and who had actually served in action in some way. Carcharoth (talk) 19:52, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
I'll guess that the "day of the week" field reflects that the Times and Sunday Times have historically taken very different editorial lines, but convention is that they're archived as if they were a single publication, so it's sometimes important to know which day of the week is being cited. I don't think the marginal benefit justifies keeping the additional field, though.
On the photos, the War Grave Photographic Project would probably release some images into the public domain if you asked nicely, which would circumvent the problem. They pay for the service through the sale of high-resolution images, but you could make a decent case that the widespread circulation of low-quality photos will more than pay for itself by raising awareness of this service. There are probably hundreds of thousands of people who would happily pay for a high-quality image of Uncle Barney's grave but don't have the time, money or inclination to trek out to Normandy or El Alamein to take one; by releasing a couple of hundred images of selected graves into the public domain (possibly at a lower resolution) it would raise awareness that they offer this service. (IANAL but I don't see how image rights could be a restriction, even for the cemeteries in places like France which don't recognise FoP, given that the CWGC are the creators of the 'works' being photographed and have already said they don't object. If Commons are causing problems, just upload the images to en-wikipedia and periodically revert the bot when it tries to tag them.)
Digital Hansard has always been a mess. I would assume it's not so much a by-product of the financial crisis (the costs involved are minimal; the BL would probably do it for nothing if the Cabinet Office asked politely) as of the general distrust by all later governments of any of Blair's pet IT projects. The legislation database also stopped being updated around the same time. ‑ Iridescent 20:36, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
The Commons issue is not about the general photos of the cemeteries, or pictures of grave headstones, but the architectural elements of the cemeteries (quite extensive in some cases) and photos of the memorials (which are even more clearly architectural works). The architects, even though employed by the Commission, were clearly the designers with the rights under French law. I tried the works-for-hire argument, but it didn't fly. The memorials by Lutyens and Blomfield are now public domain. The ones by Baker will be public domain from 1 January 2017 (he died on 4 February 1946). Holden is a bit more tricky, as he didn't die until 1960. And some of the junior architects lived on until much later. But as you say, uploading to en-Wikipedia tends to be the way to go. Though the image discussions here can be fraught as well, as you found recently. I am aware of TWGPP, and am pondering the best approach there. Carcharoth (talk) 21:14, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
And speaking as an enwiki admin who works in Files for discussion, images with freedom of panorama issues get deleted here as well. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 21:17, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
<sniffle> One day, there will be universal Freedom of Panorama! :-) Carcharoth (talk) 21:25, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── PS. Going back to the 'intruding on personal grief' bit, maybe you saw this image. Cover of a memorial service is fine (the provenance is interesting, Google 'Sammlung Fane-De Salis' to see the other images from that archive), but would you open the booklet and take the reader into the funeral service itself? Some funerals are public (even state occasions), and reported on in the newspapers. Others are private affairs, but the service booklets can pop up in strange places many years later! Carcharoth (talk) 21:23, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

Honestly, I don't see personal grief or intrusion as an issue in this context. Every person who was old enough to personally knew a WWI fatality has been dead for twenty years; I don't see it as any more intrusive than is visiting a preserved house and going into other people's bedrooms, or reading Pepys's diary. Per my previous comments, I'd consider anything which helps us illustrate how these people were like ourselves and how they differed is a good thing. For WWII casualties I'd be slightly more careful, as in some cases there may be family members alive. On issues, yes images here get deleted as well, but the Wikipedia admins who work with images tend to be considerably more sensible than those at Commons, and are willing to disregard the tag-bombers rather than having the "delete, I've not heard of it" mentality which is increasingly prevalent at Commons. (My opinions of Commons are on record, but I'll repeat them; if I were Katherine Maher I'd shut it down tomorrow, have each image hosted on the appropriate Wikipedia for the country in which it was taken/painted, and set up a cross-wiki indexing system so files on one wikipedia are accessible from all WMF projects. Commons was a fudge of a solution a decade ago, the problem it was intended to solve no longer exists, and lord alone knows its continued existence and stubborn unwillingness to abide by even the vaguest notion of ethics causes more problems than it solves.) ‑ Iridescent 22:20, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
Some images are taken in one country and published in another. Some were taken in countries that no longer exist. Commons has its problems, but I think centralisation is a good thing here. Carcharoth (talk) 22:38, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

Plague pit[edit]

Thanks for spotting that and correcting my error -- please accept my apologies for accidentally conflating the two plague outbreaks, hundreds of years apart. -- Markshale (talk) 18:42, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

No worries. There's not been any doubt for some years that the pathogen for the 14th-century outbreak was Y. pestis; the significance of the 2016 paper is that it verifies that the 1665 epidemic was a modified form of the same disease (which wasn't by any means certain, given that the mortality rates of the two outbreaks were so wildly different). The 2016 paper is getting more publicity than it probably deserves, because MoLAS are flogging this particular horse for all it's worth having belatedly figured out that their parent organisation is about to embark on a very expensive move to Smithfield, that unless the money to pay for that move is coaxed out of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Corporation of London or the Greater London Authority (none of whom are reknowned for generosity) somebody will get their budget cut to pay for it, and that there's one particular wing of the MoL which is extremely expensive to run and which wouldn't have much impact on visitor numbers or gift-shop sales if it were scrapped. ‑ Iridescent 18:53, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

File:Times May 10 1830.jpeg[edit]

Can I dispute the USonly tag you added there? It is extremely unlikely the author(s) of a newspaper article written in 1830 would be still alive in 1946, which they would have to be in order for copyright to still subsist in 2016. And if the author(s) weren't known the copyright would have expired by 1900/1901. I have looked at the copyright laws and I don't see any special provisions there. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 16:21, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

Bridgeman Corel is a US-only, not a global, ruling. England (where the Times is published) has sweat-of-the-brow still in place, and there's no question at all that Gale and News UK still claim copyright over the Times back catalogue (as the big copyright notices throughout the archives make clear); if you got the actual vintage newspapers and scanned them yourselves, the resulting images would be PD in Europe but taking images where the scan has been performed by a newspaper library, would certainly be open to challenge. Yes, the NPG dispute settled down to a grumbling stalemate, but the NPG has a reputation which would be damaged by pushing the WMF to the wire; News International wouldn't bat an eyelid at pushing a lawsuit until it bankrupted the Foundation, given that Wikipedia is a direct competitor to their commercial interests. I've done a G7 deletion of the file in question, as I have no intention of letting you drag me into a dispute with one of the most litigious corporations on the planet just to make some kind of point. ‑ Iridescent 19:08, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Ah, the PD-Art/PD-Scan issue. I've never understood why the WMF made a statement about it applying to non-New York jurisdictions. I see from Google that the scanning thing has generated quite a bit of copyright debates. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 19:50, 15 September 2016 (UTC)


I missed your recent Etty FAC because I was preoccupied with "other stuff". A pity, because the subject of Candaules and Gyges has interested me since I read about it in A Dance to the Music of Time years ago. The eleventh volume of that series has an extended episode which analyses a ceiling painting of the bedroom incident by Tiepolo, found in a Venetian palazzo. Is this a real or imaginary painting, do you know? The analysis is certainly very interesting. Brianboulton (talk) 23:13, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

Sort of. The painting is imaginary, however Russell Gwinnett says "I’ve been told it’s not unlike the Villa Valmarana Iphigenia in composition", and the Villa Valmarana Iphigenia by Tiepolo does exist. (I can't think of any painting which actually matches the description in Temporary KingsAn unclothed hero, from his appurtenances a king, reclined on the divan or couch that was the focus of the picture. One single tenuous fold of gold-edged damask counterpane, elsewhere slipped away from his haughtily muscular body, undeniably emphasized (rather than concealed) the physical anticipation to which Pamela referred, of pleasure to be enjoyed in a few seconds time; for a lady, also naked, tall and fair haired, was moving across the room to join him where he lay.)
There's a blog discussing the provenance of the pictures in ADTTMOT at which isn't by any stretch a reliable source, but looks considerably more intelligent than your typical Wordpress blog.
A Dance to the Music of Time
The World Before the Flood
If you want an Etty–Powell parallel, there's an even closer one at The World Before the Flood, which bears more than a passing similarity to A Dance to the Music of Time itself. (It was painted as a conscious imitation of Poussin; it is fair to say that opinion was divided as to whether this was a good idea.) ‑ Iridescent 08:24, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
Thank you, that's very interesting. I will certainly look at the blog. You'll recall that Pamela put her reference to "physical anticipation" a bit more bluntly. Brianboulton (talk) 10:16, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
The Lady Catherine de Burgh will likely never speak to me again for admitting it, but to me ADTTMOT sits neatly alongside Blackstar, Joan Miro, Casablanca and Dickens as something which all right-thinking people are supposed to appreciate but which does nothing at all for me. Like so much of British art and literature, the technique is self-evidently superb but the characters are such a uniformly unappealing bunch it becomes difficult to empathise with any of them—the overall impression is rather like being trapped in a lift with Boris Johnson. (IMHO, the only piece of British fiction ever to successfully pull off the "new money meets the minor aristocracy" setup is Vanity Fair, and even that's primarily down to the character of Becky, rather than the circles of insecure dullards and jumped-up shits through which she passes.) ‑ Iridescent 16:51, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
Well I feel a little differently about ADTTMOT, although I don't remember reading anything else of Powell's that was any good. Many of the characters are very like people I've encountered during my life – poseurs, bullies, chancers and outright shits, and I enjoy it when they get their comeuppances. And I still think the anti-hero Widmerpool is a great comic creation. Compared with Simon Raven's attempt to do the same sort of thing in his Alms for Oblivion sequence, I think Powell shines like a jewel. Brianboulton (talk) 19:59, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
The greatest evocation of "poseurs, bullies, chancers and outright shits" I ever read was Le Carre's A Perfect Spy—he tends to get dismissed as a genre writer, but his later works are spy fiction in name only and are really analyses of the froth of hypocrites, chancers and dilettantes in the upper reaches of the English middle class. ‑ Iridescent 22:57, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

Like you...[edit]

Per this, I too wonder when folks will wake up to the fact that an infobox is just a big quote box highlighting facts that "give them more prominence than other elements which aren't included". Ealdgyth - Talk 18:20, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

Given that at the very least Gerda and RexxS are watching this talkpage, and probably quite a few of the other QAI-ers, I'd guess "next time Gerda checks her watchlist". (Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates#RfC regarding quote boxes and Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#RfC: What (if anything) to do about quotations, and the quotation templates?, to save TPWs wading through my contributions to see what this is a reference to. Bring popcorn.) ‑ Iridescent 18:28, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
I pointed this out back on Brianboulton's (pinging Brianboulton) talk page a while back... didn't go anywhere. I have no desire to have my every contribution stalked so I've tried to stay out of too much involvement with either box type... Ealdgyth - Talk 18:51, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
I've said my piece already; as far as I can see explicitly banning any method of "attracting reader interest which favors a particular viewpoint" and applying the ban without exception (which is what's implicitly being proposed) will wipe out a sizeable chunk of Wikipedia's infoboxes, lead images, and opening paragraphs (as well as reducing the main page to a blank space). Even in the unlikely event they manage to force this through, it will be so widely ignored as to be pointless, to the extent that if the MOS-ers tried to enforce it they'd probably end up blocked for disruption themselves. ‑ Iridescent 19:11, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
Ealdgyth, re every contribution stalked. Its actually worse than that; if you fall within in the line of sight of these people it will be article by article, and you will find yourself defending over and over - grinding down seems to be the mo. To be clear, the central issue at the Gerarda Delition thing was coordinated attacking. Related was issues of fanning incompetent editors because they were on message.

There is also that RexxS was indefensibly horrible to Victoria, in her home teorratry of modern lith, that he knows fuck all about, but chose as a battle ground to be endless personal, and said things that would be kindly dismissed as abusive. This form seems par for the course recently and why there are not blocks and site bans is beyond me. Ceoil (talk) 19:36, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

Careful what you wish for; there are two cases currently up before Arbcom (1 and 2, and none of the committee emerges with any credit for accepting either) which have the potential to drastically extend Wikipedia's definition of "incivility" to cover "someone said something I didn't like", or even "someone said something I didn't agree with", in which case every person on this page can probably start formatting their {{extinct user}} templates and drafting the biting indictments of the fundamental flaws in the Wiki model for their userpages. Assuming this is the comment in question, if I were to block RexxS for that, I'd have to block half of Wikipedia since while it's certainly not polite, it's certainly not over any reasonable line (and isn't even the rudest comment in that thread). I've seen considerably ruder comments from the Voice of Civility himself. ‑ Iridescent 22:52, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
Its not about civility with me, god knows. This is real life and I'm not ten years old. Its about basic decency and not humiliating your opponents to take cheap shots when trying to keep your toys. And boys with toys is exactly the issue here. Ceoil (talk) 00:32, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
To add an extra layer of weird, an admin has decided (admin only) that I clicked on your link but as soon as I saw Merridew, I felt nauseous and clicked off. But you're right, that discussion is indicative of the kind of shite an FA author has come to expect. is "Grossly insulting, degrading, or offensive material" to the extent that it not only needs to be removed from the page, but the page history itself needs to be wiped to hide the fact that it ever existed. The only explanation I can think of is that he thinks "Merridew" is somebody's real name and that this is some kind of BLP violation. (The irony of protecting Jack Merridew from rudeness is not lost on me. Not only do I imagine even his most loyal friends would concede that he had a decent claim to be the rudest editor on Wikipedia, but for all his faults he could take it as well as dish it out and was never one to run to mummy when somebody was rude to him.) ‑ Iridescent 07:37, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
Ah, that explains why "rudeness about Merridew" is unacceptable but "rudeness about Victoria" isn't. Shocked, shocked, I tell you. ‑ Iridescent 08:35, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
I will admit I watched the deleting of that comment and then the removal of it from the history with a bit of incredulity, especially as the comment to Victoria on the JA page was left standing... I fail to see how that comment was any worse than a bunch of stuff on the JA page... but I guess that's why I'm not an admin or something. Ealdgyth - Talk 13:10, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
"Incivil" is an irregular verb: I am standing up for my principles, you are being incivil, he is being baited, she has been blocked. You must have been on Wikipedia long enough to notice that people are only being "incivil" when the person making the comment is someone an admin dislikes. (The civility police were presumably all on vacation here, here or of course here.) ‑ Iridescent 16:13, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
It turns out there were other reasons. I didn't put two and two together and stand corrected. It should be said that the deleter is a friend and collaborator of all involved here; the action was most certainly was not to *defend* Merridew from rudeness; but is covered by policy. An unfortunate sequence of events, but all are clear now. Ceoil (talk) 15:19, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

It's been nine years, today.[edit]

Wikipe-tan mopping.svg
Wishing Iridescent a very happy adminship anniversary on behalf of the Wikipedia Birthday Committee! Chris Troutman (talk) 12:21, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Ah,those were the days. Although, remember I was desysopped for a chunk of that period, and was inactive for quite a bit more; "four or five years" would probably be nearer the mark. ‑ Iridescent 14:38, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Extended confirmed protection[edit]

Padlock-blue.svg Hello, Iridescent. This message is intended to notify administrators of important changes to the protection policy.

Extended confirmed protection (also known as "30/500 protection") is a new level of page protection that only allows edits from accounts at least 30 days old and with 500 edits. The automatically assigned "extended confirmed" user right was created for this purpose. The protection level was created following this community discussion with the primary intention of enforcing various arbitration remedies that prohibited editors under the "30 days/500 edits" threshold to edit certain topic areas.

In July and August 2016, a request for comment established consensus for community use of the new protection level. Administrators are authorized to apply extended confirmed protection to combat any form of disruption (e.g. vandalism, sock puppetry, edit warring, etc.) on any topic, subject to the following conditions:

  • Extended confirmed protection may only be used in cases where semi-protection has proven ineffective. It should not be used as a first resort.
  • A bot will post a notification at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard of each use. MusikBot currently does this by updating a report, which is transcluded onto the noticeboard.
Please review the protection policy carefully before using this new level of protection on pages. Thank you.
This message was sent to the administrators' mass message list. To opt-out of future messages, please remove yourself from the list. 17:48, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Remind me when we repealed Wikipedia:Anyone can edit and became Citizendium 2.0? I have no intention of ever using this ability, which was created for a very specific purpose, not as a general purpose tool to make it easier for admins to build protective walls around whichever little fiefdom they want to prevent the peasants defiling with their pesky edits. Every person listed here should be ashamed of themselves for supporting this. ‑ Iridescent 18:00, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Eh, I think there is a long way still from that to a Citizendium lookalike. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 18:51, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
"Slippery slope" is a cliche, but warranted here—this is pretty much exactly what happened at Citizendium, which initially started as a Wikipedia clone but Larry kept ratcheting up the restrictions on who could edit what until nobody bothered even to try. I get the feeling an awful lot of those voting forget just how daunting "500 edits" sounds to a new editor. Someone who wants to fix an error on one of the walled gardens this will create will be given the choice of putting in a significant amount of work in an unrelated field first, or wandering off and finding something else to do; if they protest this and say that only City Without Baseball/Phosphorus/Andrew Rannells/Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco (all listed at Category:Wikipedia indefinitely semi-protected pages so presumably leading candidates for the new treatment) interests them so why should they go edit something unrelated, they'll be dismissed as a single purpose account and kicked off altogether. And then we pay money to consultants to figure out why Wikipedia has a problem recruiting new editors! ‑ Iridescent 19:09, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
None of these pages are candidates unless a interminable sockpuppeteer starts hitting it, to my understanding. Also, my impression was that Larry Sanger was not a fan of the "open to everybody to edit" model, yeah? Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 19:13, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
No, Citizendium started off as a pure Wikipedia fork, the only difference being that every editor had to use (what they claimed was) their real name. Larry then ditched all the content imported from Wikipedia, leaving an almost empty shell in which only those articles which had been edited post-fork remained, and over time started adding more and more layers of "peer review", special editing privileges for anyone he deemed "an expert", expulsion of anyone he felt wasn't showing him enough respect, and so forth, meaning virtually all their editors quit in disgust and "the reliable and high-quality alternative to Wikipedia" currently boasts fine writing like Moscow, Encyclopedia, Black Sea or my personal favourite Art, and the last 100 edits in their recent changes feed for the entire project stretch back ten days (to put that in perspective, the last 100 edits to Wikipedia stretch back less than a minute).

"None of these pages are candidates unless a interminable sockpuppeteer starts hitting it" sounds great in theory, but that's not what will happen. Just look at Category:Wikipedia pages under 30-500 editing restriction—the ink isn't even dry on the RFC and it's already being used on pages with no apparent serious long-term abuse problem or community discussion. ‑ Iridescent 21:26, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

I haven't used this protection but I've seen three articles I took to GA (The Who, Tommy (album) and Who's Next) stung by it. In the case of the former, IPs are making constructive edits all the time, in the latter two I'm pretty sure the article was expanded after an IP or new account added some extra information which I then copyedited and sourced. A lesser admin would have reverted and blocked - pooh to them. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 16:25, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Ah, these pages have landed on User:Никита-Родин-2002's target list. Myself I am more bothered by the liberal application in the Israel-Palestine area (and I am not innocent in that regard, either). Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 16:41, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

Category:English people of Indian Tamil descent[edit]

and many other such, including Category:British people of Indian Tamil descent. Are these even remotely necessary? The English one sounds wrong too. cheers. —SpacemanSpiff 14:54, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

I'm not a fan of hypercategorisation, but I'm aware that some people find them useful, and I can certainly see potential uses for categorising down to this level (if I were writing a paper on whether communities from different Indian backgrounds were integrating differently into English society and wanted examples of high-profile English people of Tamil descent, for instance). I suspect that in the wake of Recent Events this kind of ethnicity-category will become gradually less and less useful, as the immigration doors slam shut and the immigrant communities already in Britain gradually become fully assimilated, in the same way that "English person of Irish/French/Welsh/German descent" have gradually lost most of their meaning as the communities blur together. BrownHairedGirl is the one you want to talk to about categories, generally. ‑ Iridescent 15:29, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
I don't usually work on cats or on stuff related to this part of the world, so I'll let it be. There's probably more that I don't understand than what I do. It just seemed odd to have a linguistic-national-linguistic cat, so I brought it up. cheers. —SpacemanSpiff 08:42, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
English is probably nationality/cultural in this context (like Scottish or Welsh) rather than language. Unless they actually meant it to be 'British' in which case it needs a rename. There are probably (given the ethnic makeup of England) at least some people of Tamil ethnicity who identify culturally as 'English' rather than British. I cant imagine that there are that many notable ones. Likewise Tamil's are also an ethnic group. So really its a Nationality/Cultural - Nationality - Ethnicity category. Which is equally silly. Only in death does duty end (talk) 09:26, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Tireless Contributor Barnstar Hires.gif The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
By now you must hardly think anything of plugging away at quality content, but when I got a ping and checked to see who had linked to my little article on A Sea–Spell I was amazed to see so much good and fascinating writing appear all at once. Thank you for your work! FourViolas (talk) 23:42, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
Well, thanks. I'm not entirely happy with it, as I feel the prose reads a little tersely, but I'm reluctant to expand it any further given that it's already longer than Mona Lisa or The Starry Night. I'm hoping to shoehorn it through FAC in time to run on Obama's last day in office, as it would seem to be a fitting send-off for him. ‑ Iridescent 07:36, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

The World Before the Flood[edit]

Have you simply abandoned this FAC? You have not shown any interest in the comments I left a few days ago. I understand that your main interest has switched to another painting article, but an acknowledgement would have been nice. Brianboulton (talk) 08:55, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

Oh, sorry—I must have slipped over it on the watchlist and not realised anyone else had commented. Will pop over there now. ‑ Iridescent 14:54, 29 September 2016 (UTC)