User:Larry Sanger/Final comments archive, maybe

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Hi Larry i want to ask a question for you. How to play video on wikipedia. Please send your contact number to me .Me jeniz Larry, this is Andrew Szanton writing you a brief note to thank you for welcoming me to the Wikipedians... I admire your effort, and appreciated you taking the time to welcome me. Best wishes, Andrew (I hope I put this in the right place -- still learning my way around here) (!)


No problem at all. Hope you join us often! --User:LMS


Hi Larry,

I joined this project a couple of days ago, wanting to start Wikipedia in serbocroatian language - and in a way I did it as I typed an invitation for other users to join at homepage, but I could not set up preferences or anything else - getting Invalid UserID 112 ??? Tried same thing on Catalan directory - again it did not work. Any technical issues that I should know about before proceeding ??

As I was testing features that are needed for serbocroatian encyclopaedia, I inadvertently entered page at www.wikipedia.com instead at sh.wikipedia.com with UTF encoding and of course I cannot remove it now - sorry about that, and would appreciate ay help to clean it.

Goran Kulenovic

First, Goran, thank you very much for starting that project up.

I'm going to post this message on Intlwiki-L, which I encourage you to join. I really can't help you here--I'm not a system administrator, though I should try to get the proper know-how to become one.

I'm not sure what you mean about HTF encoding on www.wikipedia.com. The homepage looks OK... --LMS


Wikipedia NEWS appears pretty much defunct, prehaps it should be removed from the homepage.


I must agree. It was a good idea while it lasted. --LMS


Thanks Larry, for the redirect user:H.J.


Two issues for you Larry. I was editing the Minnesota page which has got quite large. When I go to preview the page I intermitently get a page not found error, or sometimes get bounced to the main page. The second issue is that I thought I should report this as a potential bug (I'm a software tester, so it's kind of a reflex). I went to meta.wikipedia.com and immediately saw a link to bug reporting that I followed. I was about to enter the problem when I noticed I wasn't logged in. I did this (had to create an ID), but was then taken to the wikipedia page at sourceforge. Scanning the page I saw a link for bug reporting, but was taken to a completely different page than the other bug report page. Why two pages, and could it be made clearer on the pages? User:Verloren

As Larry is currently rather busy, I will try to answer this. There is a bug report page for the "real" wikipedia (UseModWiki software) and for the meta/sourceforge/test wikipedia (my PHP script). As these are two different scripts, they each have their own bug report page.
Sorry, Larry, for turning your page into a talk namespace ;) --Magnus Manske

No problem, Magnus!  :-) --LMS


Welcome back, professor! Now that the 'pedia is settled in its new software home and your family is settled in its new physical home, we're all rarin' to go!! --User:Ed Poor

Hi Ed, I moved your comment down here to the "changeable comments" section... I'm missing it a bit myself and I'm ready to get going again myself. Despite the server slowdowns, the website is still running more or less, which is good. I will do what I can to make sure we get running more quickly. --User:LMS


Hi Larry, Somehow my number got changed from 66.47.62 while updating. It changed to 130.94.122, which is another person's , who is still adding articles. What should I do ? user:H.J.


I really have no idea. Funny, that's the number at the top of my screen right now, as I write this. I imagine this is an item for the Wikipedia bugs page. --130.94.122.xxx


Aha, now I logged in using "Larry_Sanger" (with the underscore) rather than "Larry Sanger" and I stayed logged in. So, user:H.J., try logging in [similarly] and see if that solves the problem. -- Larry_Sanger


Hi Larry, before I saw your answer here it dawned on me to go back to one of my old entries. I did and logged in under that and it worked, (so far. I hope it works next time too). user:H.J.


It appears that I have deleted something from here. I certainly didn't mean to, don't know how it can have happened. Sorry! :-(


In that case, I'm sorry I accused you! Could have been due to some kind of bug with the new software, I suppose. --LMS


Could we have an updated 'Most Wanted' page, Larry? Many of the current 50 are now there (or, in the case of [leg], taken care of by having many unnecessary occurrences de-linked!). MichaelTinkler


Hmm, like most things having to do with the new software, it's out of my hands, unfortunately. I can post a request on Wikipedia-L... --LMS


Hi, Larry. I'm working on a project of my own that I've recently wikified (having seen from the Wikipedia example just how effective that can be). I'm interested in soliciting advice and contributions from you and the Wikipedians, but I don't know whether you'd consider that appropriate. I am, of course, including a plug for Wikipedia. :) Would you consider it best for me to drop the subject, or would it be acceptable to (a) tuck it away on my user page here, (b) place an article on the meta page, and/or (c) raise it on the list? I appreciate your patience with the question. -- April


Why not do (a), (b), and (c)? It's OK by me. --Larry_Sanger


Larry, I have a style question. What's up with subpages? I'm starting to see them show up again. There's a great start to an entry (it needs heaps of editing, but it's full of interesting material) at Rome/Foundation by a user I don't recognize (151.24.190), and I think the user created the subpage from scratch. My preference is to break the information out to other relevant entries or to rename the whole thing [Rome, foundation]. What do you think? (I know, I know, you're not whatever anymore, but you're still here and I'm going to ask anyway!) MichaelTinkler


I'm still here, but I shouldn't be (I should be looking for a job :-) ). Probably the person saw other examples of subpages, e.g., the WWII subpages, and thought that's how it's done. Anyway, why emulate a nonfunctioning and inferior technology? How about the founding of Rome or the foundation of Rome or something similar? I'd just redirect it myself if I were you (please?). Thanks... Larry


Now that you are not here; Who do you suggest the contributors complain at?

I personally make it a policy of life in general to complain only to the person or persons most likely to have the ability or power to resolve the problem. So if you want to complain about an article, put your complaint in the talk space of that article. If you want to complain about a user, speak to him directly. If you want to complain about the software, write a note to the wikitech-l list. If you have a complaint about the community or process as a whole, write a note to the wikipedia-l list. --Lee Daniel Crocker
Very well said, Lee. (I read Wikipedia-L, of course.) --Larry


mirwin, could I ask you please to write again, in plainer English, to Wikipedia-L, summarizing what you're up to? I am also confused about this very odd assertion that "corruption is setting in"--does this have something to do with Wikipedia? Are you making the assertion, for example, about me? Please do clarify on Wikipedia-L, not here. --Larry Sanger


Hey Larry, could you join a policy discussion a few users and I have been having on the meta? It is about Upload utility abuse. maveric149


Please forgive me if this is in the wrong place. I saw your comments on meta Wikipedia page "Controversy from unclear or conflicting goals of contributing wikipediasts" and I thought maybe the follwiing would help:

Caution, my inline responses below! --Larry

Maybe an FAQ redesign would help by making it more obvious where the answers to trollishness etc are, for example:

  • list all the questions on the main page so that readers can see what the questions are and so have a better idea of where to look for answers. Rationale: many other FAQs are structured that way, and they seem to work more efficiently.
    • Might help, but the problem is that the FAQ doesn't have all the answers :-) and the front page is already a bit long as it is.
      • The front page of the FAQ is at present way too short. I was thinking that what many sites do is put just the questions on the main FAQ page, with links to the answers on separate page/pages. That way the main page is short enough to load ok, but readers can more quickly see what questions are being answered.
  • put questions such as "What is crummy/silly/boorish behaviour" right at the front. Rationale: those to whom it is directed might get the message quicker
    • Hmm. I'd say instead that we could have a more prominent link to Wikipetiquette. From the Home Page, for example. Not a bad idea. But y'know, telling people how to be polite doesn't make them much more polite. It makes a few of them distinctly nastier.
  • include a question along the lines of "We've heard all these SO many times before" right at the start. Rationale: as above.
    • Well, see Wikipedia/Our Replies to Our Critics. Hmm, so you're saying we need a page like that for people who criticize the way the project is managed?
      • No, I am suggesting putting something near the front phrased to try and get the message across that they are not the first to think of their bright idea. I know you've got masses more experience at this sort of management than I, so probably such a link applies to me as well :-)
  • lock the FAQ like the main page
    • Oy, bad idea! We like the fact that it's editable! It was built up by people who felt free to add questions!
      • Yes, but maybe you can structure the FAQ to help modify behaviour, in which case you want to filter changes so that Joe Blow's latest bright idea doesn't remove previous careful engineering. In other words, you use your dictatorial powers for the good of mankind, just as you already do to end arguments. In this case you do it by locking the main FAQ page so it is similar to a moderated mailing list.... but again, it's just a suggestion, and it comes of course at a price, as you say.

Another mechanism used elsewhere is to put a message like "PLEASE read the FAQ before asking questions/criticising" displayed prominently on the main page. Might be worth trying.

See wikipedia:most common Wikipedia faux pas. I think anything bolder than that, along these lines, would be insulting to most readers.

Graham Chapman



About "'Wikipedia-l' My resignation"

You will return, friend!

1 saludo RatBert


Well, there are two ways of interpreting that: (1) I won't be able to keep away, despite my protests of quitting; (2) I will someday get my job back. As to (1), you could be right. I guess we'll see, but I have successfully managed to stay away from other projects I've started before (there have been several). I hope not in this case, anyway, because golly, I need to use my time to get a job.  :-) As to (2), if that's what you mean, your gesture of support is greatly appreciated. --Larry_Sanger


Re a recent user's subpage deletion by yours truly (it was a catalog of quotations by me that were critical of him): ahh, that was enormously satisfying.  :-) --Larry_Sanger


I need a little bit of advice and I think you would know :). I want to write the Nupedia article on harps, but I'm in high school and so I don't have any real qualifications besides that I'm a harpist. Is that enough to write an article based on the Wikipedia one (which I wrote almost completely) or should I wait several more years until I have degrees and things? Thanks! --Dreamyshade

Dreamyshade, Larry has (sadly) left both the Wikipedia and Nupedia projects. Read the announcement on the announcements page, or have a look on the wikipedia-l mail archive for the full story. The implications for Nupedia are very serious, less so for Wikipedia. --Robert Merkel
Thanks, but I knew that already. :( I was hoping that he'd still drop by once in a while, and he still would have a good sense of I should write that article or not. It's just something I was thinking about, maybe I'll do it anyway and see what happens. --Dreamyshade

I will answer on your page, Dreamyshade! --LMS (back on a relatively lazy Sunday)

April 6 - Hi Larry, I've been off working in India for 3 months and only just read your resignation. I must say that I understand completely. My life is going in a similar way, the time when I could spend eight hours a day editing articles are gone. You're married now, and family (and its contingent repsonsibilities and pleasures) must come first. I do hope you eventually come back in a similar fashion to the one I'm carving out for myself - do what you can, when you can, and let the wild beast that is the 'pedia find its own way. It surely will - the chaos and dissent being displayed presently is actually no different to the chaos and dissent that's been apparent since day one.

But I will personally miss your wit, intelligence and insight terribly, and I hope to see you whenever you have the time to visit. The beauty of the quasi-anarchic nature of the 'pedia is that real respect can only derive from a mandate from the masses, and you will always surely have that mandate. Drop me an email sometime to tell me how things are going. With respect and friendship - Manning


Thanks very much, Manning. That is probably the nicest going-away I received.  :-)

As for the current chaos, you might be right. I have a bit of advice for everyone on that score, however:

The best way to deal with trolls in a free Internet environment (like Usenet--or wiki) is to ignore them. Please -- do -- not -- respond -- to -- trolls -- just undo his changes, if necessary. But don't respond. I apologize for not having kept that in mind myself. I could have saved myself a lot of grief had I kept that simple advice in mind. --Larry Sanger
  • Still, the controversy has done some good if it's drawn you back just long enough for us to let you know how much your input has meant to us and is missed - Manning said it already and better, but I thought I'd add a "me too." While understanding that your Real Life must come first, I just want to tell you that I feel that your work in founding, editing, adding to and guiding Wikipedia has been wonderful. Good luck in your current endeavors! Come back anytime you can! :) -- April
  • April, it's cool to look for the Good Thing in all of this. Optimism is cool! --Chuck Smith
  • I do hope you are able to come back! Best of luck with the job-seeking. -- Vignaux

Good to see you back for your hour-a-day, Larry! When your schedule next permits, could you look over moral relativism and moral absolutism and improve them? They really need a pro philosopher's help. :) -- April


I commented on the issues raised by the articles on Talk:Moral absolutism but I'm not going to try to improve them. Frankly, I don't think the articles are very good as they stand. --Larry Sanger

By the way, I think the articles aren't bad, just not very good. Thought I'd clarify that! --Larry Sanger