User talk:Acad Ronin/Archive 3

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Hyphens - another section

Acad, seeing as you're now changing "fifth-rate frigate" to "fifth-rate", could you go the whole hog and change the adjective "fifth-rate" to the noun "fifth rate"? I suggest it might be better in the case of frigates to use "frigate" rather than "fifth rate", as it is perhaps more accessible. If in doubt, ask Rif ... Yours, Shem (talk) 22:32, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

Shem, will do re the noun vs adjective form. What I am trying to do with the "fifth rate" vs frigate route is to make sure that both are in the article. I still will keep the Rate, probably earlier in the article than the frigate, to encourage people who don't know what a to go to the Rate article. That way they will learn something more. Regards, Acad Ronin (talk) 02:17, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
Acad, great - I thought I could see this happening. Good luck. Shem (talk) 08:28, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
Shem, we are all trying to make Wikipedia a better encylopedia; we just disagree sometimes on how. That said, when I find the Rate correct (i.e., in caps), I will leave it for now. When I find it hypenated, I will remove the hyphen. Regards, Acad Ronin (talk) 11:22, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
Acad, I understand entirely. I'm holding off making any sweeping changes at the moment, although our discussion seems to be attracting little interest! I have just changed HMS Iris, though, since some were in lower case and some in caps ... I did of course change them to the correct (ie lower) case! One minor point which is worth noting, if you don't mind me pointing it out - Flower-class corvette doesn't take italics, since there was no HMS Flower (instead the common theme is flower names). It's the same with River-class frigate, Town-class destroyer, and so on. Yours, Shem (talk) 16:42, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
Hi Shem, re Flower - good to know. Shows what happens when one blindly assumes. As for caps vs. lower case, I suspect that there are only 3-4 people in the whole world who care, and that the group that cares about Age of Sail warships and their history is not much larger. Doesn't stop me from continuing, but it is sobering. Regards, Acad Ronin (talk) 17:35, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
Acad, I see we have one fairly ambiguous comment at Talk:First-rate, dealing with hyphenation, which is one of the things we agree on, if memory serves. Any advance on 4 people who care? Shem (talk) 19:28, 18 June 2010 (UTC)


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Acad, take care. In this edit you reverted User:Benea after he had written on the Talk:First-rate page that he thought you were making an error in removing "fifth-rate frigate", and you ignored his edit summary, which said the same thing. Benea is a deeply experienced editor, and a frequent contributor to WikiShips; I bow to his wisdom frequently. Please discuss the issue with him before reverting him. Yours, Shem (talk) 18:22, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

Damn. I didn't notice. That said, I don't fully agree with him. Acad Ronin (talk) 20:04, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
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Acad, I think you make a good point when you say proofing each other's work is time well spent. May I suggest that we co-operate in a meaningful way on this? I suggest that we set up a page at User:Shem1805/Proof readings, and that under each other's names we occasionally insert the names of articles ready for proof reading. You would need to watch the page, and please bear in mind that my job takes me away for long periods at a time, but it could work. I use a similar system with User:Benea/Shiplist pages to suggest shiplist pages for Benea to do when he sees fit. I would also be very happy to run up navboxes, provide pictures, etc. Let me know how you feel, and I'll set up the page accordingly. While I'm here, am I right in supposing that you have Rif's British Warships in the Age of Sail? Do you have any other "Winfields" or indeed, Colledge? Yours, as ever, Shem (talk) 17:39, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Hi Shem, Sounds worth a try. I do have the Winfield (1793-1817), and most (not all) of Colledge is online. I would suggest setting up the page as simple as possible. Then whoever is looking under their name can access the article and see what they can contribute, be it editing, shipboxes, or images. That said, I am just now fiddling while I wait to head off to the airport. I will be back on line after the first week of July. Regards Acad Ronin (talk) 15:08, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
And I'll be away after the first week of July! I'll set up the page (I'll put a couple of examples on there too), and you can make whatever changes or additions you think best. I look forward to hearing from you, whenever that is. Yours, Shem (talk) 19:32, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

Ocean (convict transport ship)

Thanks for your edits for which I am very grateful. If you ever get the time I would appreciate if you could also look over these articles which I also created:

Your editing skills are clearly vastly superior to mine! Regards AWHS (talk) 23:27, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

History of Kyrenia

Hi Acad Ronin, I'm going to get straight to the point. The only reasons behind my actions were because you placed the link on the title. If you want to provide a link to the Turkish invasion, by all means do so. However I think it would be more appropriate to show this by means that I have shown below.

Thanks Seric2 (talk) 08:45, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Mariam (ship)

I saw your work on Mariam (ship), I hope that you will help me edit a similar article on the ship Avrazya. It would make a good DKYAMuseo (talk) 22:06, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Copyright issues

I note from my work on copyediting the Cruizer-class brig-sloops that much of the text is lifted word-for-word from Age of Nelson website. Please reassure me that you know something I don't about the source of the text - for example that Michael Phillips lifted it word-for-word from a public domain source, such as William James. Shem (talk) 20:30, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Hi Shem, when I looked for info I found that Michael Phillips had used James extensively, but also The Naval Chronicle and other such sources, usually without changing any wording. Often I found the James material via pbenyon's Naval Database. Occasionally I would bypass both pbenyon and Phillips to the original source, and often I didn't bother. What I did source was things I found only in one place such as books I found via Google books. Regards, Acad Ronin (talk) 20:51, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Acad, we need to be really careful here. I don't know if you've noticed the mass blanking task in the wake of Darius Dhlomo's copyright infringement, but in essence they are effectively deleting 10,000 articles that he had anything to do with. The problem is not that he copied stuff every time, but that he copied stuff sometimes, and therefore they've decided they have to delete everything he touched, more or less. If you've been copying Phillips, then potentially you're in the same situation - who can say (even you) where you've copied non-free text, and where you haven't? I need to think a lot more about this, but in the meantime, please be scrupulous about not copying text unless it can be shown to be public domain - and if you do that, then reference it clearly to the public domain text. Enough said for the time being, though. Shem (talk) 21:00, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Hi Shem, Roger wilco. I will start going back over the articles to see where I can find non-Phillips sources. Regards, Acad Ronin (talk) 21:07, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Acad, I'd like to move this discussion to User_talk:Acad Ronin/Copyright, becasue I'm likely to take up a lot of space with quotes. Happy? Shem (talk) 21:57, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
Sure. Acad Ronin (talk) 23:05, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Ship naming discussion

Acad, you may want to contribute at Wikipedia_talk:Naming_conventions_(ships)#Total_opposition. Shem (talk) 19:16, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

Possibly unfree File:HMS Brazen monument.JPG

A file that you uploaded or altered, File:HMS Brazen monument.JPG, has been listed at Wikipedia:Possibly unfree files because its copyright status is unclear or disputed. If the file's copyright status cannot be verified, it may be deleted. You may find more information on the file description page. You are welcome to add comments to its entry at the discussion if you are interested in it not being deleted. Thank you. --Angus McLellan (Talk) 11:33, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Just in case you are interested (which you probably aren't, in which case you can ignore this), regarding the difference between the various sorts of Creative Commons licenses, the ones listed at Wikipedia:Image copyright tags/Deprecated#Non-free Creative Commons licenses aren't acceptable for Wikipedia. These are all of the ones which have "NC" or "non-commercial" and/or "ND" or "no-derivatives" in their name. The ones which are OK for Wikipedia are listed at Wikipedia:Image copyright tags/Free licenses#Creative Commons. Cheers, Angus McLellan (Talk) 23:28, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Danish Translation

Hi Acad Ronin, I have sent a fairly large email to you "privately" via the toolbox, containing the next section following on in your Reference from the capture of the Grinder [Anholt (Denmark) page]. It is not strictly relevant to Anholt or the Grinder, but could have a use elsewhere. Please confirm receipt of that email, or ask me to repeat it. Would it fit [ethically] with Wiki to post it here on your talk page?? I am still very new to Wiki, and learning on the job! Viking1808 (talk) 19:37, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Hi again! Many thanks for the reply email and all the advice - which I will take up. There is some confusion in London Gazette over the date of the raid on Grenaa, so take care! 7 July 1810 is one possibility [recorded in a letter dated 7 August 1810 and published on 4 August 1810 YES!three days before it was written] or 8 September 1810 [recorded when prize money was allocated in 1812 ] In addition, I have suggested a change of sentence on the Anholt discussion page. Viking1808 (talk) 12:24, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
And thanks for the editing on HMS Falcon (1802) - it is interesting to see how pages develope! If you have a greater interest in 1808 in Tunø/Endelave see the link to the notes I made on various English and Danish sources before I knew anything about Wikipedia. I will be trying to dig deeper in Danish for anything on the Grinder, but the story so far seems to be exactly as it was - no official record of such a ship Viking1808 (talk) 22:14, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

AR - Please check your private emails for something on GRINDER Viking1808 (talk) 14:19, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Hi AR -

  1. I agree that much of British history is too anglo-centric and that we need to get the other sides' points of view. Linguistic and cultural differences play a large part in how the truth of a situation is felt and understood. My first - and so far only - Wiki article now known as HMS Falcon(1802) was intended to bridge the gap of British and Danish sources but was rapidly degraded to a simple ship story. Too much detail and research, and not enough notability were the main criticisms.
  2. Regarding the GRINDER, please see the update in the Anholt(Denmark) talk page. If this is to become an article - orphan or otherwise - will it fall foul of being too much research? Not verifiable unless you read Danish? There are still a lot of gaps and we still have no GRINDER on the British record, unless someone comes up with a convoy raid dated 5 July 2011
  3. Battle of Lyngør answer on Viking1808 (talk)

Viking1808 (talk) 16:18, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Information via the Sailing Navies forum, extends our "Black Register" of Danish ships into a new book! "For those interested in the Danish navy, a new three book list of all Danish Naval Vessels from 1500 to date has just been published by the Danish State Defense Museum. it works out at around £30 / $50 for the 900 page set" (plus tax of some £12). see order details here (in Danish). I have not seen it yet, but if you have access via a library we might yet have a good report on Prise Nr 5 aka GrinderViking1808 (talk) 20:42, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

Battle of Saltholm

Thank you for the note on Saltholm.

Bottom of page 45 of the book

Tim Voelcker: "Admiral Saumarez versus Napoleon [The Baltic 1807 - 1812]" Boydell 2008

reads " the danish gunboats were extremely active, though only one of the convoys suffered serious losses: off Malmø 13 ships were taken or destroyed as well as two escorts, Thunder and Piercer, leading to complaints against the Admiralty by north country merchants being published in Hull...."Viking1808 (talk) 22:13, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Battle of Lyngør

Sorry, AR! I do not understand the question. The article seems to be easily readable, with no Danish in need of translation. One word - lumber- seems a little too american when timber might be better (first paragraph of Background) Perhaps I have been too deep into the GRINDER today. Perhaps you solved your own question before I came to it? anything specific, please do comeback.Viking1808 (talk) 19:47, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

see reply on Viking1808 (talk) 10:38, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Hi Acad. As this has not been quoted in the references you may not have seen it. (?) A full three and a bit pages of London Gazette dedicated to the battle - (London Gazette Number 16623 Pages 1361 - 1364) -and a small mention of Seagull right at the end. Nothing really new, but a good English language reference.Viking1808 (talk) 17:23, 20 January 2011 (UTC) Viking1808 (talk)

Abbreviated month names

WP:DATE says "Abbreviations such as Feb. in the United States or Feb in most other countries are used only where space is extremely limited, such as in tables and infoboxes". The references section is not such a case, In fact, I tried three different browsers, and they showed the reference section of HMS Zebra (1780) in 1 or 2 columns, depending on the browser, but not depending on the length of the month names. Readability may depend on a person's familiarity with English; this may have been taken into account when the policy was decided. Happy editing! Chris the speller (talk) 19:53, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

All Caps

Acad, on browsing the Wikipedia guidelines on capitalization (on an unrelated subject), I noted under Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style_(capital_letters)#All_caps that it says "Reduce newspaper headlines and other titles from all caps to "start case" " (my emphasis). I think it's pretty clear that in examples like Hired armed brig Ann, the clasp title should be "Ann 24 November 1807", or "Ann 24 Novr. 1807" rather than "ANN 24 NOVR. 1807". Any discussion on the subject should probably take place at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (capital letters). Shem (talk) 10:40, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Shem, I have put in an inquiry on the page you suggested. However, when something is in quotes, such as "Hired Armed Defence Ship", and you start changing caps, why not change spelling as well? Or for that matter, why don't we modernize other direct quotes, such as changing "GUADALOUPE" to "Guadeloupe" or "PICKLE 3 JANY. 1807" to "Pickle 3 January 1807". Once you start changing direct quotes what meaning does quoting have? The point of quoting is to convey the feeling of the original as best as possible. Regards, Acad Ronin (talk) 12:20, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
The spelling issue is a bit of a straw man; I'm not saying change the spelling, just follow the guidelines and place the words in the appropriate case. Anyway, these are not quotations, but names of medal clasps, which are always in title case in WP, except where you make them caps. See Military General Service Medal for a good example. Shem (talk) 16:30, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Links to non-existent articles on ships

Hello Acad Ronin, I had removed the links to non-existent articles as there was nothing to indicate that the articles would ever be commenced. Some of the links to non-existent articles were set up in late May, and now we are in January. For a number of ships, there already exists a potted history on a site such as Paul Benyon's or Age of Nelson (hosting the details from the former Michael Phillips site). If Wikipedia is simply quoting from one of these sites, or from a book, there are potentially copyright infringement issues which could occur. Wikipedia can be of use in filling the gaps, rather than mirroring what is readily available. I have passed on requested corrections to Paul Benyon on one occasion, so that an acknowledged source can be improved. Conversely, when I came across extra (unpublished) details for HMS Spartiate (which gained extra attention when its flag was auctioned), and given that an existing article did exist on Wikipedia, I added these extra details about Spartiate to the Wikipedia article, making reference to the source of information. Keith H99 (talk) 00:22, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Hi Keith, I cannot disagree more with your arguments. I am engaged in a project of replacing unsourced or even sourced to Phillips/Pbenyon or James items with citations to the London Gazette or the Naval Chronicle, including adding info that Phillips or Benyon have dropped. In the course of that work, I find many instances of other vessels sharing in the event, the prize money, etc. I include the vessels' names and look up the launch dates so that I can refer properly to the vessel, rather than cursorily. I often find that the vessel is already in WIkipedia, and sometimes I can copy over the info when it is missing. In many, perhaps more cases, I find that the vessel does not yet have an article. Sometimes, I see that I can quickly create an article, typically in cases where the vessel had a short life, and I do. In other cases a red link remains. That is a feature, not a bug. Having looked up the launch date, it seems stupid to throw it away, forcing someone later to rediscover and add the date. To object to red links is to throw away information and to privilege form over content. THat seems contrary to the spirit of an encyclopedia. Regards, Acad Ronin (talk) 00:29, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
'I find that the vessel does not yet have an article' - This is what I do not agree with. As, when and if there is newly-discovered factual information on a vessel, I see the benefit of using Wikipedia. (The Gutenberg project and similar initiatives provide the wider public with access to antiquarian sources that would otherwise be difficult to consult). If there is nothing significant to add to Wikipedia, I do not see the point in creating a link, ad-nauseum, to every vessel encountered, just for the sake of it. Launch dates do feature in the already-quoted maritime websites, to differentiate specific ships. All of the launch dates for the ships in the Fort Peter article have their launch dates recorded on PBenyon, so nothing new is being added that was not already in the public domain. Wikipedia articles can complement (as opposed to duplicate) the existing sources; there is no need to try and turn Wikipedia into a collection of glib stub articles on every possible subject. If a new Wiki article simply mirrors what is on an older website, it devalues the use of something that is deemed to be an encyclopaedia but which becomes a collection of articles duplicating content which is available elsewhere.
On a different subject, I found your quotations from the London Gazette, with regard to prize money from the Chesapeake campaign, to be very interesting. Regards Keith H99 (talk) 22:10, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
The policy is laid down at Wikipedia:Red link, and I have to say that Acad has a point - over the years I have consistently seen the red links he creates turned into articles (often, but not always by Acad himself). It is a slow process, I grant you. The heart of the guidance seems to be "Sometimes it is useful in editing article text to create a red link to indicate that a page will be created soon or that an article should be created for the topic because it would be notable and verifiable." If you accept that the ships for which red links are created are potentially notable and verifiable, then the creation of those red links is right and proper. Shem (talk) 16:59, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Caps or lower case for medal inscriptions

Acad, the consensus at Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style_(capital_letters)#All_Caps_when_quoting_an_inscription seems to be firmly against you. In fact, it's more of a re-iteration of the current guidelines as widely used for medals and elsewhere. If you wish to comment at the talk page, I suggest now would be a good time. Shem (talk) 17:45, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Invitation to join WikiProject Ships

WikiProject Ships
Hello Acad Ronin! I noticed your contributions to a ship article, and thought you might be interested in WikiProject Ships, a collaborative effort to improve Wikipedia's coverage of ships of all kinds.

If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks and related articles. Thanks! ~~~~

Djembayz (talk) 00:23, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Hello there

Hey, I saw your article on the Mosambique in the Good New Article search results and looked at your other contributions, and I see that you do a lot on naval history. Would you be interested in helping me to expand Action of December 1669? Roscelese (talkcontribs) 05:35, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Hi Roscalese, Thanks for the invite, but I am going to have to decline. I have more than enough to do with the vessels of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, and there, at least, I have some reference books and am starting to know my way around the sources. Best of luck, Regards, Acad Ronin (talk) 16:00, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
Fair enough, good luck. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 21:31, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Case for medal inscriptions

Acad, you know from the discussion at Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style_(capital_letters)#All_Caps_when_quoting_an_inscription that all caps for medal inscriptions is wrong (for example, here). Please stop doing it. Thanks. Shem (talk) 21:56, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

Hi Shem, 1) Thanks for the clean ups. 2) I cut and paste the medal inscriptions from a website that reproduces them as they were. I don't bother recasting them to conform to Wiki rules because, as you know, I don't like the rules. (I admit I am being passive-aggressive in my opposition.) I figure that someone, generally you, will eventually make the changes, which I do not oppose. In the meantime, I am spending my time trying to provide in-line citations to proper sources. (Phillips is not a proper source because he did not give his sources. My experience is that he used primarily the Naval Chronicle, Marshall, and James, and I link, where I can find his source, to them, or even better, to the London Gazette, when I can determine that that is the source that those sources used.) Regards, Acad Ronin (talk) 18:51, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
I understand you; you're saying that you're deliberately avoiding Wikipedia's house style because some other mug will eventually do your work for you. That, of course, works both ways. Shem (talk) 18:55, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
Hi Shem, It is way more nuanced than that. First, I follow the house rules whenever they make sense, which is most of the time. Second, I do a lot of scut work too. I have been adding proper citations to many articles I did not write, as well as those I did. I do style and grammatical clean-up on many articles, especially those by non-native English speakers. On the ships, I often correct or fill-in ship boxes, including on articles I did not write. I have dug and found info not in Winfield with the result that I have on occasion had the opportunity to correct him. I also do clean-up on my own articles when I go back to them after a bit, ie when they are no longer fresh and I can see the errors. Overall, I believe that I am a pretty good citizen, with one bugaboo - certain house rules. Regards,Acad Ronin (talk) 01:31, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

The French Invasion of Russia

Nicely done. Tirronan (talk) 18:41, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. Acad Ronin (talk) 18:53, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

The Grinder draft

hi Acad - User:Viking1808/The ship “Grinder” is now in my user space as a tentative draft article, where it can stay until something/anything comes of English language sources. It would still need some editing before going live, even then, but can act as an aide memoire. Just in case the original report was wrong, do you have access to any lists of Swedish gunboats ? - they were known to be operating in the same waters. What think you? Viking1808 (talk) 18:47, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

Rudi, the Dane, has looked at six different Swedish websites for GRINDER, KVARNEN (Swedish), or MØLLEN (Danish) without success. Likewise, the threedecks website fails to come up with any of these three variations or anything like them. Viking1808 (talk) 14:40, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Copyright problem: HMS Weazel (1805)

Hello, and welcome to Wikipedia! We welcome and appreciate your contributions, such as HMS Weazel (1805), but we regretfully cannot accept copyrighted text or images borrowed from either web sites or printed material. This article appears to contain material copied from, and therefore to constitute a violation of Wikipedia's copyright policies. The copyrighted text has been or will soon be deleted. While we appreciate contributions, we must require all contributors to understand and comply with our copyright policy. Wikipedia takes copyright violations very seriously, and persistent violators are liable to be blocked from editing.

If you believe that the article is not a copyright violation, or if you have permission from the copyright holder to release the content freely under license allowed by Wikipedia, then you should do one of the following:

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If you would like to begin working on a new version of the article you may do so at this temporary page. Leave a note at Talk:HMS Weazel (1805) saying you have done so and an administrator will move the new article into place once the issue is resolved. Thank you, and please feel welcome to continue contributing to Wikipedia. Happy editing! Shem (talk) 18:53, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Primary sources

Acad, please have a read of WP:PRIMARY and consider whether your use of the London Gazette and other primary sources is in the best interests of the encyclopaedia. Thanks. Shem (talk) 20:41, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Hi Shem, I looked at the policy and it looks OK. The good thing about the London Gazette is that it is official, and the letters from the captains were official reports. I have been using them purely for facts - numbers of guns, numbers of crew members, names of vessels, etc. Thus there is no interpretation involved at all. Furthermore, once you start looking at most of the secondary sources that were reasonably contemporary, such as James, Marshall, Norie, and the like, you see that they often just repeat the info. The Naval Chronicle often just reprints the original letter, and on many other things it is just factual: this ship arrived, this ship left, and so essentially a primary source. I use Marshall and James a lot, James because he has interpretation, that one must label as such, and Marshall because he often has biographical info not found elsewhere. Obviously, one of the best secondary sources for factual stuff is Rif. What I have been finding though, and this is important for an encylopedia, is that sometimes going back to the letter reveals errors. Not to pick on Rif, because in my book he is great, but he has Endymion capturing Prmier Consul, and she going into the RN as Sophie. He and I have corresponded on this, and we agree, Endymion captured Sophie, which became HMS Sophie. I do want the data to be as correct as possible.

Very laudable, but of course Wikipedia is not for Original Research.

On other matters - you win on medal inscriptions, if for no other reason than that I have no moral leg to stand on. I will correct them as I see them. I am going over the articles I have done and am rewriting to remove copyright issues. Fortunately, that is often easier than finding London Gazette letters. Regards, Acad Ronin (talk) 21:16, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Acad, I'm more concerned, I suppose, about the fact that you seem to insert every detail whether it's encyclopaedic or not. If you look at WP:NOTDIRECTORY, you'll see that it says Wikipedia is "not a complete exposition of all possible details". When you put in every detail of how much prize money an AB got, for every capture in a ship's life, that's not an encyclopaedia, that's a gazetteer. If I sound a little strained, it's because it's late and I've spent much of the evening dealing with a couple of articles afflicted by an editor (who also works on the Old Weather project apparently) who wants to put in everything he's ever transcribed from that ship's log. Ask yourself if HMS_Dryad_(1795)#Return to the Irish Station (1804-1808) is really better for all the detail, or whether the last three paragraphs should just say "Between May and September she captured 9 prizes."

On another subject, have you considered getting involved with Old Weather? I suspect you'd find it compelling, as most of the team there seem to. It doesn't suit my real life, but it doesn't mean it's not attractive.

Anyway, aware that I'm no more perfect than the next editor, and perhaps more prone to nit pick, I'll wish you good night. Yours, Shem (talk) 23:45, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Hi Shem, I have had the same qualms re the detail. The reason I have continued providing the detail is because of its corrective effect, I hope, on the picture of what these vessels did and the nature of the war. The war was highly economic: most of the vessels take far more merchant prizes than anything else - devastating the lives of small captains just trying to get iron bars down the coast. The capturing of privateers shows how much of the Royal Navy's job was trying to protect British shipping. The infrequency with which privateers fight back when chased points to the commercial nature of the enterprise, as does the size of their crews. Per cannon, they have much larger crews than the RN, something you don't realize until you start to see the numbers. The number of times the captor reports that their quarry was out "x days without taking anything" starts to give one a sense of the distribution of rewards - a few fortunate privateers make a lot of money, and most don't, but the expected mean return is enough to keep people at it. The RN is similarly entrepreneurial. People joined the RN, even Americans prior to 1812, for the shot at prize money. A good capture could yield, for a captain, several years' wages. Even for an able seaman it could be months of wages. The search for prize money means that when a navy ship sees a chase it joins in, with the result that quarries surrender without resisting. Captains make arrangements to share prize money, reducing the variance of fortunes - I may not be lucky this trip but you might, and vice-versa on another cruise. The reason for including the AB's wages is that in a time when a banker's bonus is a public issue, it is interesting to see what the ratio of first-class shares were to sixth-class shares. I haven't yet given in to the impulse to calculate and provide the ratios in the articles (that really would be moving into original research) but one gets a sense. The detail changes the picture of naval warfare from one of great battles and glory, to a much more nuanced one of war as business as rival entrepreneurial firms (the individual RN ships and the privateers) compete, sometimes violently, but with violence as exception more than intent. Ultimately, while battles and actions are inherently notable, focusing on them but omitting the detail skews the picture away from the reality and hides a different notability. At some point I will work on the prize money article to get the gist of this there, but someone just looking up a particular vessel may already see the gist without going further. At least that's my thinking now.
On correcting errors: one of the things that drives me wild is when colleagues make disparaging remarks about Wikipedia's accuracy, when I know from my efforts, yours, Benea's, Viking1808's, Rif's, etc., how much effort goes into getting the facts right, so much so that Wikipedia is becoming more accurate than any one of its sources.
As for "Old Weather", that is cool, but first I have clean-up to do, plus one obsession at a time. Also, I would just end up looking for the non-weather items to pull into ship articles, and that really would cross the line into original research. Regards, Acad Ronin (talk) 13:54, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

Copyright problem: HMS Scout (1804)

Hello, and welcome to Wikipedia! We welcome and appreciate your contributions, such as HMS Scout (1804), but we regretfully cannot accept copyrighted text or images borrowed from either web sites or printed material. This article appears to contain material copied from, and therefore to constitute a violation of Wikipedia's copyright policies. The copyrighted text has been or will soon be deleted. While we appreciate contributions, we must require all contributors to understand and comply with our copyright policy. Wikipedia takes copyright violations very seriously, and persistent violators are liable to be blocked from editing.

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If you would like to begin working on a new version of the article you may do so at this temporary page. Leave a note at Talk:HMS Scout (1804) saying you have done so and an administrator will move the new article into place once the issue is resolved. Thank you, and please feel welcome to continue contributing to Wikipedia. Happy editing! VernoWhitney (talk) 17:37, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

In looking through this article which was brought up on Shem's page I noticed some phrases which still closely resembled this page but that I was unable to find in the cited sources, such as "anchored there where they hoped a battery of four guns and a mortar a gun in a tower" where the source says "anchored under the protection of a battery with guns and a mortar a gun in a tower" (identical words bolded for emphasis). Do note that this is only one example, there are many places where the article seems to follow the language as closely and the language does not appear to be in the cited sources. VernoWhitney (talk) 17:37, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
Hi VernoWhitney, I had amended that sentence to read "Three enemy ships were anchored there where they hoped a battery of four guns and a mortar, a gun in a tower (possibly the Torra di Sagone) and some 200 troops with field pieces perched on the heights overlooking the anchorage might protect them." Here is what Phillips has: "three enemy ships were anchored under the protection of a battery with 4 guns and a mortar, a gun in a tower and some 200 troops with field guns on the heights above." Here is what James (1837) said: "lay at anchor in the bay of Sagone, island of Corsica, under the protection of a battery, mounting four guns and one mortar, and of a martello tower above the battery, mounting one gun." The original report reads "as the Day opened we could clearly observe the Enemy in full Possesion of the Heights, and ready to receive us. He appeared to have about Two Hundred Regular Troops, with their Field Pieces, &c. and a Number of armed Inhabibitants; the Battery, consisting of Four Guns and One Mortar, presented a more formidable Appearance than I expected, and a Gun was mounted on the Martello Tower, above the Battery." The similarity in wording comes from the fact that we are all drawing from exactly the same original source. There are generally no other sources than the original letter in the London Gazette. Marshall, the Naval Chronicle and the Gentleman's Magazine all reproduce the original letter. I rearranged the words, and introduced the Torra di Sagone link. The question is how different does a sentence have to be to no longer violate copyright? The original and the James are in the public domain. Does Phillips establish copyright by rearranging the words in the original and James that a subsequent rearrangement and addition does not undo? I have been working through the ship articles I have written to move from Phillip's formulation by adding info, dropping info, converting passive voice to active voice, modernizing some of the terms, and the like, but given that identical starting point and that we are describing the same facts there is only so much one can do. I am sincerely open to suggestion.Acad Ronin (talk) 20:51, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
Can you link to the source for that original report? I thought I was looking at the correct one, but I must have missed that part. VernoWhitney (talk) 11:56, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Sure. The link is: "No. 16502". The London Gazette. 6 July 1811. . the story starts near the bottom of the second column on the first page and continues through to the third page. All the info is there about the names of the vessels, the number of troops, the battery with four guns and a mortar, the tower with one gun, the vessels catching on fire and setting fire to the battery, etc. Regards,Acad Ronin (talk) 12:47, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Acad, I'm a bit concerned by your statement that "I have been working through the ship articles I have written to move from Phillip's formulation by adding info, dropping info, converting passive voice to active voice, modernizing some of the terms, and the like, but given that identical starting point and that we are describing the same facts there is only so much one can do. I am sincerely open to suggestion." If you take Phillips's text and then amend it by changing sentence and paragraph structure, you are creating what is in copyright terms a "derivative work", which is the copyright of the original author. Please do have a look at Wikipedia:Copyrights#Using_copyrighted_work_from_others - but the upshot is that the prose in the Wikipedia articles needs to be basically completely original to the person contributing it.
I know you've discussed this with Shem (and others) at some length. But what we really need in these articles is original prose by you, not "modified Phillips". The only thing you can really do with text borrowed from Phillips is press the delete button and start over. The Land (talk) 18:48, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Hi TheLand, The problem is that Phillips is not the original author. The original author is usually the ship's captain who wrote the letter that appears in the London Gazette, and frequently is copied in the Naval Chronicle or other contemporary newspaper. These accounts then form the basis for the accounts in James, Marshall, Norie, and others. That is, Phillips is a derivative work of works that are in the public domain. Many of his phrases are verbatim copies. I guess a better way of putting what I am doing is to say that where there is info from Phillips, I go back to the original source, which again is in the public domain, and then chop, change, modernize, add outside info, etc. That is, there are two derivative works, Phillips and mine, but both are derivative of the original in the public domain. And they have to be derivative of the original and parallel because there is no other source and there are limited options when describing a vessel of x guns, y crew, captured after a chase of z hours, the vessel having not taken any prizes, etc. The key point is that Phillips is not original but rather is derivative of material in the public domain. Regards, Acad Ronin (talk) 00:53, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Just to be clear, there's no problem paraphrasing or even copying public domain sources so long as they are attributed, but Phillips' derivative work includes enough originality to be copyrighted, and so while your language will be similar to his (since you're both working from the same original logs), it needs to be separately derived from the PD source, not paraphrased from Phillips. Moonriddengirl (talk · contribs) has rewritten HMS Scout (1804) to separate it from Phillips, and she may have some better advice, but my advice would be to simply avoid looking at Phillips entirely, since he's not (as far as I can see) providing any new information that's not in the PD sources. VernoWhitney (talk) 01:08, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Basically, that's what I am now doing by going back to the originals. Regards, Acad Ronin (talk) 01:17, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Acad, the problem is that you are "chop, changing, modernising" Phillips's work rather than the original. If you were to take the original public-domain source text and "chop, change and modernise" it that would be fine. However, starting from Phillips' text is not allowed because he holds the copyright on it. Please understand that this distinction is very important in copyright law and therefore here. If it is unclear, please say so. If you disagree that it should be the case, please understand that it is not something that is optional or negotiable.
Can I ask you to make a list of all the articles where you have added content that is a rewritten version of Phillips. Then we can address the problems article by article. There is evidently still a significant job of clean-up to do and it will be much easier for all concerned (including you) if it happens with your cooperation, than if it happens without it. The Land (talk) 10:51, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

List of articles

I have worked on some 300 ship articles where there might be content from Phillips. Here is a list of some 40 Cruizer-class brig sloops. In all cases, Phillips has an article, though is some cases his article is minimal and so probably there are no copyright issues. However, I think it better if others judge whether that is the case or not.

Thanks for that. I'm pretty sure this is the best way to proceed. I have invited other Ships editors to get involved in checking these articles. The Land (talk) 16:49, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

I will continue to identify articles over the next few days and add them to the list. Regards, Acad Ronin (talk) 13:45, 30 March 2011 (UTC) Cuckoo-class schooners:

Acad Ronin (talk) 14:07, 30 March 2011 (UTC) Ballahoo-class schooners:

Miscellaneous vessels:

Copyright problem: HMS Magnet (1807)

Another random trawl shows this:

As you can see (especially from the first line), the Wikipedia text is essentially a derivative of the copyright text of Phillips, not the public domain source. I've tagged the page. Shem (talk) 09:41, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

HMS Magnet

Acad, I've given Magnet an infobox; I'd be grateful if you'd adjust the dimensions to those "as built" from Winfield. Thanks, Shem (talk) 21:15, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the infobox. Unfortunately, Rif doesn't ahvee any "as built" data for Magnet. I checked. Incidentally, I am moving the prize money details to the footnotes, as you prefer. I finally figured out how to do it while retaining the source citation, which was what was keeping me from doing it earlier. Regards, Acad Ronin (talk) 01:43, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
How are you doing that? I couldn't get WP:REFNEST to work, and would be grateful to see a working example. Shem (talk) 07:17, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
This probably only works for things like the London Gazette template. If you look at Minerva you will see what I did. Basically, all it involved was removing the beginning and end refs tags from around the LG template. It's a limited fix but sufficient for my purposes re the prize money.Acad Ronin (talk) 12:54, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
I finally worked out how to use WP:REFNEST; if you're interested, see edit to Minerva. Shem (talk) 20:00, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Great. Seems straightforward. I will implement this as I go over the articles. Thanks.Acad Ronin (talk) 20:09, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Tried it and it works a charm. Took me a couple of tries to get it right on Zebra but I think I have the hang of it now. Just need to watch out for typos.Acad Ronin (talk) 20:23, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
I think the details of prize money sit well in the notes rather than the text (it certainly gets round my strong feeling that it's unencyclopaedic), and the ability to cite the notes is useful. It took me a while to figure out, though! I think I'll add some info to WP:REFNEST to help those trying to do the same thing. Shem (talk) 19:58, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
Fully agree re footnotes. It is where I would have put the info if I had figured out even my kludge earlier. Having the prize money info does provide another view on the roles of Royal Navy, and of captains as CEOs of potentially money-earning enterprises. The sources could be useful to someone interested in the topic of prize money because often there is info on all eight classes of shares.Acad Ronin (talk) 20:46, 14 April 2011 (UTC)