User:ImperfectlyInformed

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To change your mind and to follow him who sets you right is to be nonetheless the free agent that you were before.
Marcus Aurelius


Ref reform: Vote for Bugzilla:5997, Bugzilla:2745, and Bugzilla:12796 per this discussion.

On writing: read The Elements of Style (full-text) and George Orwell's essay Politics and the English Language. If there are other good essays available on the internet, I'd love to see them.

Along with Orwell, Bertrand Russell is another classic exemplar of plain writing, saying what you mean without bullshit. --Geronimo20 (talk) 13:31, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Did you mean to link his essay How I Write? II | (t - c) 17:54, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
The link How I Write is no longer valid, as the domain is for sale. Just wanted to let you know. There is nothing civil about Civil War.Let's Talk! 10:55, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, somewhat sad that I took so long to fix it. Tried another link to the essay, but it was blacklisted. II | (t - c) 06:30, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

Article editing guidelines[edit]

When I edit articles, I try to abide by certain ground rules and sometimes introduce the idea on talk pages. These aren't mandatory and no doubt I don't follow them 100%, but they could make things simpler and easier for future generations:

  • Use descriptive edit summaries. Whenever you add/remove a reference, say so and why. If you add/remove a bunch, consider discussing the change in the talk page. Quantify the number of references added/removed if feasible.
  • If you want to edit two sections, edit the entire page. Deleting material in one edit and adding it in the next makes it more difficult to review differences.
  • When you use cite templates, always collapse them. Expanded cite templates split up the sentences so that the raw text of the article is often unreadable.
  • When you use a citation, put it directly behind the distinct fact rather than stacking it at the end of a paragraph. If you add a sentence with several major facts sourced to the same article and that article is not freely-available, you may want to cite each fact rather than just sticking it at the end of the paragraph. Otherwise you risk your information being deleted.
  • I start out my research on a given topic at Google Scholar. I always look through the sources that are available on there first. If it's freely-available on Google Scholar but perhaps illegally hosted, it is still better than not available online at all. I sometimes add such hosted articles; it might be technically illegal but I think the way the academic publishing industry takes scholars' copyrights is dubious at best.
  • Most people understand verifiability, but remember to learn about the somewhat more complex policies neutral point of view and original research.
  • I personally avoid doing wikignome edits unless I have a substantive change to make, and when I do make a wikignome edit only I make sure to mark it minor. As a person who frequently reads the histories, wikignome edits can be frustrating for people who looking for substantive changes. They also generate lots of noise on the watchlist and can stack on top of substantive changes, decreasing the chance that the substantive change will be adequately reviewed.

User your Bugzilla votes![edit]

  • Bugzilla:12796 -- allow us to create a "base" footnote, so that we can use named footnotes in-text.
  • Bugzilla:7988 -- create a list of primary contributors to a page (preferably by size as well as edits)

Ideas[edit]

  1. Edits can be tagged minor. I'm more interested in being notified of major edits.
  2. In general, upgrade to AJAX.
  3. There's a list of ideas at Village Pump/Technical.
  4. Keep an eye on Wikimedia's usability initiative.
  5. History options -- see discussion over at persistent proposals (permalink).
    • Possibly try this Greasemonkey history enhancer.
    • Filtering certain user's contributions to an article, sorted by date, size, ect. Filtering history for edits of only a certain size.
  6. A way to put certain sections on my watchlist i.e. controversial information.
  7. A way to track users so that I automatically know if someone is nominated for admin or something similar and can chime in.
  8. Downloadable data spreadsheets available (maybe unnecessary).
  9. More ways to hold users' accountable for questionable activities -- i.e., a way to easily access complaints and flagged edits, such as quick ways to privately store diffs for future reference.
  10. Better ways to access people's good or major edit.
  11. Proposals: toolbar of quick links, acknowledgements section added to talk pages
  12. We should be able to tag diffs with certain standard keywords [1]. These include "minor", which already exists but can't be changed (should be changeable) but also more importantly things like "add reference(s)", "remove reference(s)", or even "disputed". This tagging should be reviewable by other editors and correctable by admins if clearly out of line. I should be able to collapse minor, gnome, and vandalism edits (and their reverts) when viewing the history. This data can help track other editors' contributions and record as well as analyze the history easier. I should note that these tags would be really opinions expressed as codes/tags. I could also potentially code certain editors as trusted, and I could rely on these editors if I wanted to say, screen out edits tagged as minor.
    • Related to this idea, my watchlist should be able to screen already reviewed edits automatically, and be configured that if the is a substantive edit and then a minor edit on the same day, the substantive edit is displayed on the watchlist. See a wikitech discussion.
    • Thinking about this idea, I think going beyond just reviewing the level of detail is likely to lead to too much of a political mess for it to be workable. I plan at some point (could be 10 years) to create a Wikipedia mirror where I can not only code edits as "adding unsourced" or "adds facts unsupported by citations" but also potentially code edits which are disruptive or include personal attacks. This would allow for sophisticated data analysis to analyze page histories and user contributions/behavior. The benefit of doing this externally on the public data is that I could avoid the bureaucratic mess of consensus and quickly act on people who abuse the power.
  13. Wikipedia needs to update its database to formally track more data. For example, all notices on noticeboards (WP:RS/N, WP:OR/N, etc) should be formally connected with particular articles, and perhaps a particular topic and editors. That way, if someone brings up an RS/N on a particular article, the database can display the prior incidents automatically.

Other[edit]

Articles for Deletion[edit]

Absurdity on Wikipedia[edit]

  • Deleted because there is far too much.

Crediting Wikipedians[edit]

Tools[edit]

Articles about Wikipedia[edit]

C This user is a celiac.