User talk:Greg L/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2


Elastic Collisions

I am currently working on a fix to this animation. A memory leak develops in later versions of Safari and a program called SeaMonkey. The above animation links to a test file, which is really a sandbox in which to try different fixes. The only reason I’ve placed the image here is to keep the source file from being an orphan, which would make it a target for OrphanBot.

I've been meaning to ask you - in the animation, are the atoms experiencing elastic collisions or inelastic collisions? In the animation it looks elastic, but apparently they should be inelastic. Now, I know making the collisions inelastic would be a lot harder, it's just that as an AP Physics student I pick up on these things ;) →EdGl 16:18, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Very cool indeed! I think the inelastic collision article contradicts what you're saying, which is why I got confused there for a second. Maybe you can use your expertise to help along that article and any other relevant articles you may find. We can't have misinformation in an encyclopedia! →EdGl 16:59, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm talking about this sentence: "Collisions between molecules of a gas or liquid may also be inelastic as they cause changes in vibrational and rotational energy levels." Hmm, I guess this is something you wouldn't be able to see in your animation, since the Helium is represented by circles rather than "atomic shapes". I'm guessing the helium atoms you are representing in the animation are diatomic molecules rather than single atoms, am I right? It could be that you are envisioning atom-to-atom collisions while I am thinking about molecule-to-molecule ones. I'm assuming there's a difference (?). →EdGl 17:30, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
This diff shows it was User:Numsgil who added this information. I left a not on his talk page saying I'll remove the info from the article. I'm not going to add anything to the article, but if you see something that could be added, you should; it's a rather poor-quality article (except for the animation lol). Hey, maybe you could put your soon-to-be-featured animation into the elastic collision article? I think that's a great idea! →EdGl 18:26, 27 January 2007 (UTC) 


I edited your recent addition to the kilogram page and added a citation needed tag. I noticed that you labeled the source you got the information out of in the edit summary, but not in the article. Since I don't have that source, it would be great if you'd check and make sure I didn't introduce any errors in my edit, make sure that the information near the fact tag I added is all in the reference you were using, and add your new reference as a footnote. Thanks!Enuja 08:38, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

  • Thanks so much! I'm a bit fan of the info you added; it's great to know what the prototype is made of and when it was made. I'm happy with the statement of ratification by the 1st CGPM; it doesn't read as repetitive any more. Enuja


Sorry I didn't reply sooner - thanks for the offer, but I'm quite content with the images already on my page. They have amazing quality, by the way. :-) Mrug2 21:10, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Image:Z-machine480.jpg listed for deletion

An image or media file that you uploaded or altered, Image:Z-machine480.jpg, has been listed at Wikipedia:Images and media for deletion. Please look there to see why this is (you may have to search for the title of the image to find its entry), if you are interested in it not being deleted. Thank you. — Rebelguys2 talk 17:58, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

So, what was the result? They seem to have decided to delete it, please correct me if I'm wrong. Mrug2 10:47, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

So How About That?

Your animation will be on the main page! I'm excited, and I'm sure you are too. Congratulations. →EdGl 23:22, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Text-to-speech experiment

The following two methods sound like “Span-based”:

  • 6.022<span style="margin-left:0.25em">141<span style="margin-left:0.2em">791</span></span><span style="margin-left:0.3em">×<span style="margin-left:0.15em">10<sup>23</sup></span></span> kg → 6.022141791×1023 kg
  • 6.022141791&nbsp;×&nbsp;10<sup>23</sup> → 6.022141791 × 1023

The following method sound like “Conventional”:

  • 6.022&nbsp;141&nbsp;791&nbsp;×&nbsp;10<sup>23</sup> kg → 6.022 141 791 × 1023 kg


It has taken me a few days, but I've left a reply to your comments at Talk:Sucralose. Enjoy! --Ed (Edgar181) 20:37, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

HCP Close packing

Hello, I am an NYU student and an intern at the Mayo Clinic. For my computer program I need to create a lattice for a "closest packing" of same-size spheres. I was wondering if I could ask your help.

I have so far determined how to make each plane of my A-B-A-B-... HCP lattice but I dont know the z coordinates.

In otherwords I have the first plane, the balls that are resting on the z=0 plane, those balls all have their centers with a z coordinate of r, the radius. Then the balls are distributed correctly according to the HCP packing on the z=r plane. Then I have the next level on top of the first, those are all distributed according to A-B-A-B stacking but I don't know what the z coordinate is. It's clearly not z=2*r or z=3*r. So far my guess is z=r+SQRT(3)*r , but I have no geometric way to prove it.

Sorry if this was confusing. Thanks for any help. And thank you ginormously for your photos on the article. Mangledorf 21:39, 25 July 2007 (UTC) 

So, I have a new guess. If the next ball on top of three balls forms a tetrahedron then the difference should be the height of the terahedron ( SQRT(6) *(a/3) ) where a is the length of the side and the length is 2*r so the height of the sec ond row would be r+SQRT(6) *(2*r/3). Is this correct?
See my response here on your talk page. Greg L (my talk) 23:01, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the links, the one had exactly what I needed. Turns out it is a tetrahedron even if I had to get out the tennis balls to prove it to myself.Mangledorf 20:49, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
The formula is the height of the tetrahedron formed by the centers of four spheres. Imagine three balls on the ground in a triangle (this arrangement tessalates into the entire plane) then place on ball in the middle. This forms a normal tetrahedron who's height is SQRT(6) *(2*r/3), and that'll be the difference in the z-direction for each stack. It's much easier to prove it with actuall object than on paper, but it matched the first paper you mentioned. Mangledorf 16:43, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
Mangledorf: I can confirm that your formula must be the correct one. I apparently forgot just how far I must have zoomed in with my CAD program when setting the z-axis but I managed to nail it amazingly close. The size of the balls in the Fig. 2 ray-tracing is Ø 10.16 mm (r = 5.08). Shown below is the results of your formula (top) and my CAD program (bottom):

8.295 605 262 225 696 492 561 47 mm
8.295 605 253

Are you going to add this formula to the Close packing article? Greg L (my talk) 17:12, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
I would like to add it. When I have it totally straightened out and a good reference source made out, I will. Thanks for the back up. I was actually surprised it wasn't on the site to begin with, but that's what we're all here to do, eh? Mangledorf 20:32, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Greg L (my talk) 19:50, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

Thermodynamic Definitions at T=0 in a vacuum

Thanks for the interesting question on my talk page. I haven't contributed to Wikipedia lately and my opinion is definitely not authoritative, but I try. I think most people in thermo define internal energy or enthalpy based on what they reasonably think will cause a significant change in the system they are studying.

Imagine a box with a shaft sticking out of it in a vacuum at around T=0 with the shaft poking out of the vacuum chamber somehow. Something in the box makes the shaft turn for a while, and that motion does useful work or generates heat outside of the vacuum chamber.

Maybe there's some Casimir effect gizmo in the box utilizing electromagnetic force due to changes in zero point energy. Or maybe there's a weight falling within the box utilizing gravity due to changes in height. Or maybe there's some radioactive material in the box. But the energy inside the box is decreasing while work is being done or heat is being generated outside.

That energy inside the box is thermodynamic internal energy at T=0 in a vacuum. See the table of intensive and extensive variables in section 1.3 in Alberty's and the equations in section 1.4. So the answer to your question is no. U does not have to exclude zero point energy. U should include ZPE if its inclusion will significantly alter the system under consideration. But there's no need to include it as an additional "tally" that just remains constant during a process. Flying Jazz 05:52, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

I would not write At T=0, these [closest-packed] crystals have minimal internal energy (retaining only that due to ZPE). I would either remove the word "only" or, better yet, remove the phrase in parentheses entirely. Alberty's paper (a publication of IUPAC so it should carry some weight for Wikipedia) makes it clear that internal energy may include or exclude many different terms. Flying Jazz 14:13, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
I cited the Alberty reference to answer a question you left on my talk page. All I meant to say is that thermodynamic potentials like internal energy and enthalpy are useful because the variables in the particular system under study determine whether the potentials include or exclude some terms. But Alberty only uses the word "temperature" a few times in that article, so I don't think a reference to Alberty is justified in the Thermodynamic temperature article. I hope you consider reducing the length of many of your Notes in this article. I've never seen such tangential Notes in Wikipedia. If the information is useful but tangential, it should be added to other articles and linked to instead of placed in a Note. I'd also consider removing the History section. We already have History_of_thermodynamics and Timeline_of_thermodynamics,_statistical_mechanics,_and_random_processes for historical information. Details about contributions should be included in the biographical articles. Sorry if I sound overly pushy, but the article as a whole is too long and cumbersome in my opinion. Flying Jazz 20:18, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

Featured image nominated for delisting

I saw the image above and was surprised to see it was a featured image of Wikipedia in spite of the fact that pressure and temperature values are given for a two dimensional representation. I've nominated the image for delisting. See Wikipedia:Featured_picture_candidates/delist/Translational_Motion to comment. Flying Jazz 00:17, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

What’s your problem? I wish I had never contacted you asking your opinion on a mathematics issue. People like you make editing Wikipedia so un-fun. That’s fine, I’ll play your petty game. Do you just go around in the world angry over something and take your frustrations out on others? Greg L (my talk) 03:41, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
P.S. Regarding deleting the above comment from your user page as a “personal attack”, unfortunately, it’s not; they’re all fair questions given the way you seem to operate. I note that a period table template you made was nominated for deletion (see entry here) back in January. It apparently got deleted as it no longer exists. That makes me wonder if you’re still smarting from that experience and want to “spread the joy.” Gee, thanks. I suggest we part ways and you go find someone else to pester. Greg L (my talk) 04:32, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
Huh? I think asking "Should a factually incorrect image be a featured image?" is a legitimate question. If I have a volume of helium at the temperature and pressure indicated in the caption, will the atoms really be that close to each other? Will they really collide with each other that often? Those are my questions. You think asking "Do you just go around in the world angry over something and take your frustrations out on others?" is a legitimate question. That is your question. As for the periodic table issue, see Wikipedia:Templates_for_deletion/Log/2006_January_26#Template:Periodic_table. An editor came up with an fantastic template, and I was the first one to agree with the deletion nomination that you think I'm angry about. The deleted template wasn't even mine. Please don't take what I am doing personally. I don't mean to pester you. I am only trying to make a good faith effort to make the encyclopedia better, and I'm not angry about anything. I hope I can convince you not to be angry about anything either. Flying Jazz 05:21, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Re: exploding head

Small world eh? :) --frotht 06:13, 27 August 2007 (UTC)


I have initiated a Wikiiquette alert about your recent behavior on Kilogram. As I understand the process, discussion from the alert is expected to occur on Talk:Kilogram.

I personally apologize for mentioning personal attacks on the talk page. I went and read No Personal Attacks after I posted my concern on the talk page, and it strongly suggests talking to users about personal attacks on their talk pages, not on the project talk page where the dispute is occurring. Enuja (talk) 00:00, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Hogwash. Boy is that the pot calling the kettle black. I posted this response on your talk page:
Enuja, regarding your recent post on my talk page, I actually had come back to the computer after cooling off to tone down my flaming of JimWae when I saw that you had left your message about “personal attacks.” Anyone who wants to can click on this history link to see what I originally posted. While, I'm not exactly proud of it, it was all heart-felt and precisely what I meant at the time. I also read the Wikipedia:No personal attacks article. It says:

There is no bright-line rule about what constitutes a personal attack as opposed to constructive discussion, but some types of comments are never acceptable:

  • Racial, sexual, homophobic, ageist, religious, political, ethnic, or other epithets (such as against disabled people) directed against another contributor. Disagreement over what constitutes a religion, race, sexual preference, or ethnicity is not a legitimate excuse.
  • Using someone's affiliations as a means of dismissing or discrediting their views -- regardless of whether said affiliations are mainstream or extreme.
  • Threats of legal action.
  • Threats of violence, particularly death threats.
  • Threats of vandalism to userpages or talk pages.
  • Threats or actions which expose other Wikipedia editors to political, religious or other persecution by government, their employer or any others. Violations of this sort may result in a block for an extended period of time, which may be applied immediately by any administrator upon discovery. Admins applying such sanctions should confidentially notify the members of the Arbitration Committee of what they have done and why.
As you can see, the prohibited behavior very much falls in an entirely different camp from anything I’ve ever written regarding you and JimWae (particularly JimWae). In each case, my criticism has been about behavior and skills of the author. While, he might not like it, life does not entitle you to be free of criticism—especially when your behavior is clearly outlandish and provocative; people need to have a thicker skin than that. I don’t know if JimWae is accustomed to having teachers tell him he’s done good work when he really hasn't but he won’t get false self-esteme-boosting praise from me. Also, when you falsely state that a consensus has been reached and start to act on it, again, I’ll call you out on such a stunt. It was a cheap shot and you know it. Greg L (my talk) 02:38, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
  • I deleted the Request for Comment template on the Kilogram talk page because, after I did the Request for Comment, I tried to be active on RfC, and I noticed lots and lots of old RfCs. I was going to other pages and deleting old RfC templates, and I figured it would only be consistent to delete the RfC on the kilogram page once it got old.
* You may have many reasons for deleting the RfC. However, the below-quoted text is your stated reason for doing so that you posted on Talk:Kilogram page:

I am removing the Request for Comment template because we haven't gotten any new comments in three days, and Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Maths,_science,_and_technology really doesn't appear to be a very lively place; other RfCs there are also only netting one or two outside editor comments.

and you also summarized the results as follows…

We haven't come to a consensus on where mass versus weight and the issues of massing should be.

Greg L (my talk) 23:33, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
If you want the RfC to be active again, just write another RfC. It would have been constructive and reasonable for you to have re-opened the RfC at that time, and I would have appreciated it much more than you just ignoring the RfC. I honestly did not believe that we would get any other comments, from looking at other RfCs and how many comments they get. I'm very sorry you interpreted my action as trying to ignore your viewpoint. It was not my intention. I was very disappointed that you didn't reply to my original summary of the RfC, and I'd still like you to do so. I did not try to make up a consensus where there was none.
My interpretation is that the RfC did establish a consensus that mass v. weight should be in one common article, and not in articles devoted to particular units of mass.
My interpretation was also that RfC did not ADDRESS the issue of WHERE mass v. weight should go (and therefore there is no consensus on the issue), so I asked in talk:weight. I would greatly appreciation your views on where the single, common treatment of mass v. weight should go. I can't see how it's any cheaper for me to ask people where mass v. weight should go than for you to continue adding to mass v. weight on kilogram. We are both trying to move forward. I think I'm trying to move forward with the consensus, you appear to think that there is no consensus so you should just ignore the opinions of others editor. Maybe neither of these approaches are correct, but I'd love to hear a suggestion for a new approach.
You've said you care about kilogram because students will actually use the article. I care about the article for about the same reason; it's a really important article that people will read. I think it's really, really sad that process such as RfC and asking questions on the talk page are not getting a large number of interested editors. But, instead of giving up, I think that means that kilogram needs interested editors like you and I, and that we need to find a way to agree. It is not finding a way to agree for you to tell me and other editors that we should just stay away from the article because we disagree with you. That approach; that if someone disagrees with you, they should simply stop editing the article (and you should keep editing the article) is what bothers me, and what makes me think of WP:OWN.
Unfortunately, the wikiquette alerts are, much like RfCs, totally volunteer based, so it probably won't help us straighten this out at all. Which leaves it to us to be mature and cooperative.
I couldn’t be more pleased to hear that! Greg L (my talk) 00:08, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
…I'm trying, and I can see that I'm not succeeding at avoiding pissing you off. I don't know how to be more polite and more constructive than I have been. If you have any honest, polite advice I am very willing to listen to it.
I know how to leave the article, but I honestly think that would be a disservice to the article; it needs more attention, not less. Your edits (like all edits of Wikipedia) have been helpful in great part by sparking other people to improve them, and if you chase off everyone else, the article will not be as good as it could be. Enuja (talk) 22:56, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
Gad! Talk about “not being able to let go.” The article has grown. Stop whining about how you can’t get your way and start making good-faith edits. I haven't seen much of the kind of work you can do because it relies too heavily upon the delete key. I've corrected an error in kilogram this afternoon and added a section with photo links. Enjoy. Greg L (my talk) 23:04, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
I can't make good-faith edits (which, to me, mean collaborative editing) to kilogram until we have a consensus about what should be in the article. Since you say we don't have a consensus, I can't edit. Enuja (talk) 23:10, 2 September 2007 (UTC)


Hello. I've nominated Image:CGKilogram.jpg, which you created and uploaded, to Featured Picture status. I think it's a great image that adds a lot of value to the kilogram article. I can't believe you created such an incredible image :-) You may find the nom at Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates/Computer-generated kilogram, where you may correct my nom, if you wish, as I copied it from the image description page and, not having used the metric system in my entire life, don't know if there's something wrong or incorrect. Keep up the good work! --Agüeybaná 23:31, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Oh, and regarding this, that's not my talk page :-) You're the second person to do that. Sorry :-) --Agüeybaná 02:08, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Discussion style

About one phrase you left on various talk pages (including mine): How can anyone have such a dramatic, 180° change of heart? -- maybe you are assuming too much about peoples (hidden) motives. From the tone of your earlier comments, it appears to me that you saw the nomination for deletion of Template:SI multiples almost as a personal attack, while I was merely expressing my doubt that it served a purpose. I did explain on Talk:Kelvin#SI prefixed forms of kelvin that I wanted to see a consensus about whether to keep these tables in various articles, and there was clearly no consensus for deletion. For me it is not a "dramatic change of heart"; I don't think it would be good if I became very emotional about minor disputes. I don't know you personally, but from the way you respond to me and to others on various talk pages I have the impression that you do often get more upset than necessary. Maybe you are never upset at all, but then be aware that your writing style could give a false impression. Han-Kwang (t) 10:15, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

  • I am not upset. Nor did I see your nomination for the SI template as a "personal attack". Not in the least. I don't even like the SI templates since they generate inferior-looking tables. I saw your nomination to delete the SI table template for what it was. First, you deleted an SI table, then, when I restored it, you tried to delete the template that made it. Am I missing anything here? I don't think so. Notwithstanding the general rule that editors should embrace the Wikipedia's wholesome, politically correct notion of "assuming good faith with other’s actions", no one has to suspend common sense. Your prior writings and actions would make your intentions abundantly clear. So don't try to hide behind the apron strings of my "discussion style". That is a metric ton of weapons-grade bullionium and I'll have none of it. Greg L (my talk) 17:55, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

RE:Where’d I see that picture before?

Cool... Congrats! --Agüeybaná 15:57, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

free versions of watt balance

Cross posting from Theresa Knott's page.

The copyright holder, in this case Richard whoever, will have to email with a statement that he is explicitly releasing these pictures under a free license such as the GFDL or into the public domain. Then an OTRS representative will review that the license statement is ok, and will notate the pictures wikipedia page with a template stating that permission has been received for them from the author. SWATJester Denny Crane. 17:09, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

  • Denny: Here’s what Richard Steiner wrote in his e-mail with the pictures: “ I’ve attached a schematic of the balance and coil, plus a picture of the upper balance wheel assembly. No copyrights involved.” Is his effective usage of the language of “non-copyrighted” different from yours (“[t]he copyright holder”)? What I hope to do is minimize the hurdles Richard would have jump over since he knows nothing about editing a Wikipedia article. They are pictures taken by Richard and he has given them to me without restriction. They are in my possession now. What can I do so Richard isn’t further burdened? Greg L (my talk) 17:19, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, it's different language. The simplest path is that he can email permissions above, and when we get it you can go ahead and upload and we'll notate the file. The only requirements here are that he explicitly states in his email that it's a GFDL (or compliant) license that he is uploading the pictures under. The email also needs to come from whatever his official email address or domain is from. That's the easiest way. He emails permissions from his official address, and says "I license the picutres Greg L is about to upload under the GFDL" and then you upload them, and then someone (I can do it, or I can get another OTRS volunteer if you don't trust me on this) will put a template on the pictures that says permissions received, and we're all set.) PS, My name isn't Denny, it's just a quote from Boston Legal. SWATJester Denny Crane. 17:26, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Alternatively, Richard can upload them himself through his own account, using the GFDL self upload template. It'll still need a permissions email as described above though. SWATJester Denny Crane. 17:10, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

I've put the OTRS permission received template on the file. Should be good to go now. SWATJester Denny Crane. 02:19, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

  • Thank you Swatjester. Greg L (my talk) 03:47, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

A simple warning

A simple warning should suffice. Do not make false accusations of vandalism, as you did here — and do not remove dispute, dubious, fact tages and the properly added and documented on the talk page while the controversy continues. Gene Nygaard 01:44, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Jimbo's talkpage

I removed a comment that was put there by a vandal that was of no use to anybody. Unfortunately, this is a regular occurance on Jimbo's talkpage. I would like to assure you that I didn't and would not remove a comment that was serious or even by an established Wikipedian who was just being playful. The comment I removed was vandalism, and you can check the diffs to find out exactly what it was. Infact, I'll provide it for you... Lradrama 09:20, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

THIS is the comment I removed. Honestly, I would not removed comments that were not blatant vandalism like this. Cheers, and happy editing. Lradrama 09:22, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
GregL, just email Jimbo at "Jimmy Wales" <jwales at wikia dot com> and put "Wikipedia" in the subject line. I think that will get his attention better. 20:10, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
“” You seem to have been unjustly swept up in this for backing my position. Clearly, it’s a case of mistaken identity and (what I feel) was Swatjester’s near-irrational fit over my defying him. You lipped off to him and 47 minutes later got blocked. Quite telling. I've posted my explanation of the true circumstances regarding our near back-to-back reversions of Swatjester’s removal of the photograph here on your user talk page (if that’s what you can call it when you’re anonymous). I also notified Hank-wang here on his talk page. Greg L (my talk) 02:56, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
That's fine, no worries at all, it wasn't an inconvenience, trust me! Don't worry about it! Thankyou for understanding, with regards, Lradrama 15:32, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Lradrama 15:33, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Unnecessary edit

Your change to [[Metre per second squared|meter per second squared]] was unnecessary, and if I'm not mistaken, actually discouraged in our current guidelines. Redirects are there to use.

The missing warning is duly noted. Gene Nygaard 02:24, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

I know about the policy but I hate redirects. It looks like “that article no longer exists” or “excuse our dust, we’re still under construction” Greg L (my talk) 02:29, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
Since you like to argue about national varieties of English, you should also consider that linking what is actually used can be helpful to people involved in usage disputes; and that while people will use such arguments, they are misleading but needn't be unnecessarily so. Gene Nygaard 16:07, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
Furthermore, one major reason they are now actively discouraged (that wasn't always the case) is the software change which makes it possible to anchor redirects to a specific subsection of an article. That wasn't true until recently, even if you put in #... it would only take you to the top of the article when used through a link. Even redirects not so anchored now might be in the future, and using the redirect in some cases will make the old uses follow the new redirect. Gene Nygaard 16:12, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Orphaned non-free media (Image:NIST watt balance.jpg)

Nuvola apps important blue.svg Thanks for uploading Image:NIST watt balance.jpg. The media description page currently specifies that it is non-free and may only be used on Wikipedia under a claim of fair use. However, it is currently orphaned, meaning that it is not used in any articles on Wikipedia. If the media was previously in an article, please go to the article and see why it was removed. You may add it back if you think that that will be useful. However, please note that media for which a replacement could be created are not acceptable for use on Wikipedia (see our policy for non-free media).

If you have uploaded other unlicensed media, please check whether they're used in any articles or not. You can find a list of 'image' pages you have edited by clicking on the "my contributions" link (it is located at the very top of any Wikipedia page when you are logged in), and then selecting "Image" from the dropdown box. Note that all non-free media not used in any articles will be deleted after seven days, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. Thank you. BetacommandBot 14:57, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

A delay in getting to consensus

Hi greg. I just wanted to drop a line before I head off to let you know that there's probably going to be a delay in getting a complete consensus on the Kilogram article. (Gene got an enforced vacation, so he might not be able to contribute for a bit). However, given that there's some time before the editing deadline, I don't see any harm in waiting for him to return before going anywhere substantial with the article. (Although I don't see any issue with using the time to address the concerns he raised.) Best, --Bfigura (talk) 04:37, 3 November 2007 (UTC)


Aw, thanks. A few other people have suggested as much, but I think I'm going to wait a bit before doing that. I'd say I'll let you know, but since that might get construed as canvassing, I'll just say that you're free to add Wikipedia:Requests_for_adminship/Bfigura to a watchlist if you choose :) Cheers, --Bfigura (talk) 06:32, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Pressure in the translational motion animation (again)

Thanks for changing the caption on this animation to show a higher pressure. A google search led me here where I found some of the data you used. Unfortunately, I still think the caption was sufficiently misleading to be called wrong, and I've changed it. Here's why:

To most readers, a caption that says "Here, the size of helium atoms relative to their spacing is shown to scale under 1950 atmospheres of pressure...atoms don’t really move in 0.062-nm-thick windows..." with no further elaboration would suggest that you are depicting an unrealistically thin 0.062 nm window and the pressure is based on that value. But a volume 0.062 X 1.66 X 1.45 nm would be 0.149 nm³. With 32 atoms in that volume, the density would be 214 atoms/nm³, not 48 atoms/nm³, so the pressure depicted would be over 4 times greater than 1950 atm value you cite (if the rest of your math is OK).

From what I could tell from your post on Froth's talk page, the starting point of your calculations was a 0.2744 nm average spacing between atoms, and the density you calculated of 48 atoms/nm³ works out for a volume of 0.2744 X 1.66 X 1.45 nm. So changing the value from 1950 atmospheres to something over 4 times greater would mean that everything else about your animation would be thrown off because your average spacing would no longer be correct.

What you seem to be doing is taking a 0.2744 nm thick layer and representing it as if it were one atom thick, and you're straight with the reader now when the caption says "in a 3-D box, they would actually pass in front of and behind each other and collide much less often," but then it becomes even more unclear that the 1950 atm value represents a 3-D situation.

Now that I think I understood what's been going on, I've tried to correct the caption. Here's my math:

0.2744 nm X (11 pixels/0.062 nm) = 48.7 pixel thickness above the computer screen. I rounded this to about 50 to be nice to the reader.

Also, as a quibble, the maxwell-boltzmann distribution for a 2-D situation is not a "perfect" representation of the 3-D case (even though it is a perfectly good distribution for a 2-D case), so I also removed the word "perfect" from your caption. I hope you like the change. Flying Jazz 08:03, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Naw, the 0.062 nm depth of the z-axis is actually a zero depth as far as spacing goes. You can only calculate inter-atomic spacing by measuring in 2D; you can't make a “volume” calculation in a frame that is just thick enough for atoms to slide by. An expanded explanation is on your talk page here (historical version). Greg L (my talk) 20:35, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Please forgive me for over-analyzing this, but the statements "The animation properly conveys the appearance of helium atoms at a pressure of 1950 atmospheres" and "the z-axis is zero depth" cannot both be correct because zero depth means zero volume, and that would mean infinite atmospheres. Have you seen the new caption here? I'm pretty sure that I understand that you determined the pressure that would give the same inter-particle spacing in 3-D as is shown in the 2-D model. A statistical mechanics person or a physicist or another kind of "particle person" might understand the old version of the caption and have no issues with it. However, readers (like me) with more of an engineering background than a particle physics background or kids who are just learning about the gas laws for the first time really do need to relate to a 3-D volume if a 3-D pressure is given. Of course you're right that we can't just make a 2-D animation match 3-D reality, but maybe we can give the volume that makes PV=nRT hold if we were to try to make a 2-D animation match a 3-D reality. Flying Jazz 00:20, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Flying Jazz, I copied the exchange to Image talk:Translational motion.gif. You may leave a brief note here when your respond there. Greg L (my talk) 21:02, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

{{SI multiples}}

I've fixed it up so that the template uses the micro symbol rather than mu. I never knew that they were different. You said you understand why ... do tell. The other symbols are the same as the Latin letters they look like ... aren't they? Jɪmp 07:00, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for all the explanation. I'll be using the correct symbols from now on (wherever I can). It makes sense to me now ... almost, actually there is something still puzzling me. I see why these would want to be different, why, though, do they also look different? Could we not have got all the advantages we have using a micro symbol which looks just like a mu but can be distinguished from a mu by a computer? Also, as for looking different, yeah, I can see it now, since I know to look for a difference ... but it doesn't seem a great difference (though, of course, I've not got the trained eye), nothing like the difference you generally get in changing font. --Jɪmp 17:07, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
Regarding the "tl" template, see Barek's answer on my talk page. Another useful one is {{lt}}. {{lt|SI multiples}} for example will give you the following.
Template:SI multiples (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs)
Jɪmp 00:08, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
No, worries. Jɪmp 00:11, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

vandals, etc.

Hey, thanks for caring! For policies on vandalism, see WP:VAND. The type of vandalism done by the user you referred to at my talk page is actually on the mild side - he/she hadn't edited in three months or so. Also, IP addresses can be used by many people, so the contributions from that IP may not all be by the same person. As an unrelated suggestion, you might want to check out Help:Show preview. Using the "show preview" button when editing can prevent the situation of having lots of edits to make one change (as in Talk:Kilogram. Helps other editors to see the changes more easily. - Special-T (talk) 14:32, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

SI multiples revisited

Hi GregL, I see you've sorted out the micro issue with the template. I made an extended version Template:SI multiples 2 that allows suppression of less-common prefixes. It probably needs some more work (such as enabling the &x00b5; parameter), so if you have constructive comments, let me know (on the template talk page). I'm just giving the options, but I'll try to stay out of discussions which prefixes deserve being mentioned in a particular article. Han-Kwang (t) 14:58, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

My tone


I'm sorry for my poor choice of words. I had no intention of taking any uncivil tone.

Jɪmp 04:18, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Number formatting tempate

Been a while getting back to you—with Christmas, New Year's & a computer which seems to have a mind of its own ... Yeah, the kind of template you're after, one that'll stick spaces betweem digits, is doable. It'd take a bit of coding but not tons. We'd have to resolve the issue of the width. I saw the photos on Mosnum talk. Yeah, it looks completely different to what I see in terms of font, however, the 0.3 em still looks too wide with the 0.2 em looking just about right and my gut feeling is better too narrow than too wide and thence risk it's being mistaken for an ordinary space. I don't reckon that making the width optional would be a viable alternative. Another issue would be what to do before the decimal point. Spaces, commas, either with the default being ... or do we make two templates? Finally ... no, probably not finally but finally for now ... what do we call it? I'd very much advise against {{formatnum}} or {{formatnumber}} for risk of confusion with the magic word. We'd want something which better reflected what the template does.

So, yes, it could be done, next question is whether it should be done. I agree that spaces as delimiters are perfectly readable. I prefer spaces ... and preferably either side of the decimal point. If it were up to me, I'd have it that way across WP (seeing as the copy-and-pasteability problem is sorted). Commas then spaces is a compromise I'd settle for. However, it's a question of consistency for me. I'd want this to be the standard formatting and I'd want not to have to use some cumbersome template but for this to be hardwired into {{formatnum:}} (the magic word). Without this we face either (or probably both) of two problems. The first of which being that if some numbers are formatted this way and others the (current) standard way (i.e. what {{formatnum:}} currently gives, commas then nothing), we'd have inconsistency ... of course we do have this now so things won't exactly be getting worse. The second being that to overcome the first we'd have to hunt down the {{formatnum:}}s and replace them with the new template ... which I'm sure would not go down too well and would push up the pre-expand sizes of many templates (meaning that fewer of them will fit onto a page).

Jɪmp 19:02, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Rationale for using “comma delimiting” with “narrow-gap delimiting”

  • Jimp: If you are using a mainstream OS (like XP) then what you are seeing regarding 0.2 em vs. 0.3 em represents the majority of users. Details like width of the separator in the fractional side of the decimal marker can be resolved at the last minute after ensuring the consensus sees the same thing; I would accede to the majority. The more vexing issue to settle is what to do to with the integer portion of the significand. I advocate using commas for two reasons:
1) Most articles on Wikipedia already use commas. It’s what U.S. readers expect and is a convention that Europeans are accustomed to encountering. Trying to do the integral any other way wouldn’t be well received and the template/parser function simply wouldn’t get used.
2) Few numbers simultaneously require delimiting on both sides of the decimal marker. In other words, it will be a rare number where commas (a U.S. style) and narrow spaces (a European/SI style) are juxtaposed within a single value. For example, check out Kilogram, which I suspect is representative of the typical technical article as far as the types of numbers it uses. Here are some typical examples (copied from Kilogram):
  • The avoirdupois pound is defined as exactly 0.45359237 kg, making one kilogram approximately equal to 2.205 avoirdupois pounds.
  • For instance, the meter is defined as the distance light travels in a vacuum during a time interval of ​1299,792,458 of a second.
  • The meter’s length is delineated—not defined—as 1,579,800.298728 wavelengths of light from this laser.
  • The Avogadro constant, is an experimentally determined value that is currently measured as being 6.02214179(30) × 1023 atoms (2006 CODATA value).
  • …has a relative standard uncertainty of 50 parts per billion and the only cube root values within this uncertainty must fall within the range of 84,446,889.8 ±1.4; that is…
  • As such, the kilogram would be defined as 1000/27.9769271 × 6.02214179 × 1023 atoms of silicon-28 (≅35.7437397 fixed moles of silicon-28 atoms).
  • The Planck constant would be fixed, where h = 6.62606896 × 10–34 J·s
  • The kilogram would be defined as “the mass of a body at rest whose equivalent energy equals the energy of photons whose frequencies sum to 1.356392733 × 1050 Hz.”
Note in the above examples that only the third example (the definition of the meter) has five or more digits in both the integral and fractional portions of the significand. All the others require delimiting only on one side of the decimal marker or the other, but not both. Regarding naming the thing, an obvious choice for me would be {{delimitnum}}.
In order to make progress and work together, I’m just hoping we can agree that four things are true about Wikipedia: 1) many of its articles are currently using non-breaking or simple full-width spaces in the decimal portion, 2) this makes it so you can’t copy-paste into Excel without editing because the “numbers” aren’t really numeric values, 3) the visual appearance of full-width spaces is a Costco-size bottle of suck, and 4) regular spaces which word-wrap at the end of the line are unacceptable. If we can agree that all the above are true, then we can further agree that Wikipedia could really benefit from a template/parser function. But then the question becomes: how do we get editors to use it? I propose that a template/parser function that makes life extremely easy for editors will be highly sought after and well used.
I think it would be super-helpful if {{delimitnum}} also took care of uncertainty in concise form, handled scientific notation, and put a non-breaking space between the value and the unit symbol so they can’t become separated at an end-of-line word-wrap. Examples are as follows:
  • {{delimitnum|6.02214179|30|23|kg}} → 6.02214179(30) × 1023 kg
  • {{delimitnum|1579800.298728}} → 1,579,800.298728
  • {{delimitnum|1.356392733||50|Hz}} → 1.356392733 × 1050 Hz
  • {{delimitnum|0.45359237|||kg}} → 0.45359237 kg
  • {{delimitnum|6.022461}} → 6.022461
  • {{delimitnum|6.0224613}} → 6.0224613
  • {{delimitnum|6.02246134}} → 6.02246134
  • {{delimitnum|6.022461342}} → 6.022461342

I’d bet that faced with the prospect of coding all this: 6.022<span style="margin-left:0.3em">141<span style="margin-left:0.2em">79(30)</span>&nbsp;×&nbsp;10<sup>23</sup>&nbsp;kg to obtain this: 6.02214179(30) × 1023 kg, users will be anxious to use a template/parser function like this: {{delimitnum|6.02214179|30|23|kg}}
Is all that possible?!? Could it even be smart enough to make any em-based spans following a “1” narrower than the others? Like this…
6.02214179223, which I coded as follows:
6.022<span style="margin-left:0.3em">141<span style="margin-left:0.2em">792<span style="margin-left:0.3em">23</font></span>

Note the narrower gap (in bold) following the 1 in order to make it appear visually balanced. At least, it looks so in Safari. Here’s what it looks like knocked down 0.1 em across the board:
6.02214179223, which I coded as follows:
6.022<span style="margin-left:0.2em">141<span style="margin-left:0.1em">792<span style="margin-left:0.2em">23</font></span>

The above doesn’t even look delimited on Safari, but there it is for comparison on your machine. Is the “141” centered? What OS and browser are you using?
Greg L (my talk) 20:44, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, it's all possible and I would agree with those four points above. Also, yes, I'm using XP (when the computer decides to work at all) and those 0.1 em spaces are too thin. Before the decimal point, let's see which way concensus goes but, no, it might not be a problem seeing that few numbers on WP will have more than four significant figures either side. Commas then spaces would be slightly easier to code. We might run into strife though if ever anyone wants more than a dozen or so significant figures: the software can't handle that (unless we use more than one parameter) but I don't suppose that this will be a great problem. Jɪmp 21:30, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Jimp, keep me apprised; I’m very interested in how this is done. Let me know when you start on it so I can watch as you start and do your editing. I know nothing about perl.

    Sometimes, just doing something and then showing others is a way to make progress on Wikipedia. I once had all the contents of Mass versus weight as section within the Kilogram article. A consensus had been easily reached (plenty of unsolicited bitching and moaning) that the Mass versus weight part didn’t properly belong in Kilogram but no consensus could be reached as to where the subject should be moved (to Mass?, Weight, in its own article?). Finally, I just created the new article. The others rapidly (within minutes to hours) went to Mass and Weight and added links to the new article.

    By the way, I took the liberty of adding—after you posted your above answer—a fourth example (0.45359237 kg) of how the delimitnum would be parsed in the template/parser function. Greg L (my talk) 21:54, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Will keep y'posted. It won't be this year though. How ... there are many ways to skin a cat, right, but what I'd do is do it thousandth by thousandth ... details later. Ave a good one. Jɪmp 22:21, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Platform-independent span-gap comparison
Until then. For convenience, here’s a link to the Manual of Style discussion. And below, is a copy of the em-spacing comparison. Later. Greg L (my talk) 00:19, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Show above is how various spacings appear in Safari under Mac OS X v10.3.9. I added the vertical rule to help discern the relative width of the numeric strings.

0.1 em:


0.2 em:


0.25 em:


0.3 em:



6.022 416 79
6.022 416 794
6.022 416 7942
6.022 416 794 23

0.4 em:


Shown above is how
delimiting appears with
live text on your

Hi gents. I like what's going on here - even though I don't understand much of the detail. I think the best way I can help you is by continuing my low key lobbying at MOSNUM. Don't underestimate the need for that.

An example of it working well involves the use of nm as an abbreviation for nautical mile. Don't you hate that? I used to find it everywhere, and found myself getting into edit wars on countless individual ship & aircraft articles before I discovered MOSNUM. After some careful lobbying I was able to get such use deprecated, as a result of which it is now becoming less common :-) Thunderbird2 (talk) 21:35, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Making a case for why narrow gaps are already well-accepted on Wikipedia

Thanks for your support T-bird2. You and User:Gene Nygaard have been at the forefront of serving as our “SI Nazis” (I mean that in a good way). Although context would avoid most cases of confusion in the field, using nm for nautical mile in general publications like an encyclopedia is so wrong.

Especially, thanks for offering your “low-key lobbying” at MOSNUM. I truly have no idea if we need buy-in from anyone over there because I’m entirely unfamiliar with the forum and the ability of those editors to frustrate the use and adoption of Jimp’s template/parser function. My instinct however—especially given your caution (“Don't underestimate the need for that”)—is that your obtaining buy-in from people like SMcCandlish would certainly be helpful. His reasoning for opposing the template/parser function (“It [delimited decimal strings] is not understood by most readers”) is simply flat wrong. I think his position is unintentionally just a red herring due to bias; he personally doesn’t like the look of space-delimited remainders. I’ve seen many Wikipedia articles that feature space-delimited numbers to the right of the decimal marker and they’ve been stable for years without one single “drive-by shooting” by an unregistered editor-in-a-hurry attempting to “fix” the ‘funny-looking’ values. Font size is just one such example; there are too many Wikipedia articles to count. This is clear proof that essentially all readers readily recognize that what they’re looking at are space-delimited numeric values. If this can occur with full-width spaces, then reduced-width ones—which just look “right”—will be even easier and more natural for readers. Delimiting numeric strings to the right of the decimal marker serves precisely the same purpose as does doing so to the left of the marker and is very much needed. I just hope that any opposition from SMcCandlish (he seems somewhat flexible now) doesn’t harden into full-blown, proactive opposition to our efforts to make progress here.

I’ve looked at the perl-based programming language that Jimp uses to make his templates. People like Jimp and User:Hankwang (another template writer) are the unsung heros of Wikipedia. I don’t think they get anywhere near the recognition they deserve since they quietly go about their day, working damn hard to make template/parser functions that work so simply, the magic of what they accomplish is masked. If Jimp can pull this off (a template/parser function that offers all the above-mentioned, much-needed features), then I think everyone will jump on the bandwagon and the template/parser function will prove quite popular. Greg L (my talk) 01:05, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Nutshell of what is being contemplated

P.S. Sorry if I’m speaking below your level, but since you wrote above “I don't understand much of the details…”, I thought I’d here-provide, in a nutshell, what’s being contemplated:
  • Jimp and I are discussing the details and merits of a template/parser function (magic word) to make life easier for editors when expressing delimited numeric equivalencies—with and without physical units. The fundamental motivation underlying this effort is this obvious truth: delimiting numeric strings to the right of the decimal marker serves precisely the same purpose as does doing so to the left of the marker and is very much needed on Wikipedia. A full-featured use of the template/parser function would allow an editor to type {{delimitnum:6.02246479|30|23|kg}} in order to obtain the following: 6.02246479(30) × 1023 kg

    The parenthetical (30) in the above value denotes the uncertainty at 1σ standard deviation (68% confidence level) in the two least significant digits of the significand.

  • In summary, the above template/parser function functions as follows: {{magic word: significand–delimiting | uncertainty | base–ten exponent | unit symbol}}

  • The use of a template/parser function like this greatly simplifies things for editors. To generate the above value, one currently must hand-code the following: 6.022<span style="margin-left:0.25em">464<span style="margin-left:0.25em">79(30)</span>&nbsp;×&nbsp;10<sup>23</sup>&nbsp;kg (*Phew*)

  • Although highly capable and feature-rich, this template/parser function wouldn’t be cumbersom for simple tasks. For instance, one need only type {{delimitnum:6.022464}} to obtain 6.022464 or they could type {{delimitnum:1579800.298728}} to obtain 1,579,800.298728

    You could also pick and choose just the features needed. For instance {{delimitnum:1.356392733||50|Hz}} yields 1.356392733 × 1050 Hz and {{delimitnum:0.45359237|||kg}} yields 0.45359237 kg

This section added 10 January 2008 after some of the below discussion already took place in order to have a succinct place to capture important details.
  • One of the things that has been standardized by the ISO, the BIPM, NIST, ect. is that delimiting in the decimal shall not leave a single dangling digit, like “0.001 4”. Accordingly, the progression of delimiting goes as follows:

  • Even nicer, the template/parser function wouldn’t use “spaces” to delimit the fractional portion of the significand (the portion of the significand to the right of the decimal marker). Instead, it would use what typographers refer to as “pair kerning” via em-based control of margins (e.g. <span style="margin-left:0.25em">). Margin positioning is part of what the Web-authoring community calls span tags, which, in turn, is part of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). Effectively, what appears to be a space would really only be a visual effect caused by the precise placement of the digits; the “spaces” wouldn’t be separate, typeable characters.

    To see the difference, slowly select the two values below with your mouse:

6.022464342 (via em-based span tags, note how the cursor snaps across the gaps)
6.022 464 342 (via non-breaking spaces, note how the spaces can be individually selected)

  • One might ask “Why is em-based margin control via span tags nice?” Note how, as you select the two values above, the lower version has spaces that can be selected because they are distinct characters. By using the technique illustrated in the top example however, people will be able to select entire significands from Wikipedia and paste them into Excel, where they will be recognized as real numbers! This beats the hell out of the current system, where (as exemplified at Font size) simple regular spaces and non-breaking spaces are used to delimit numbers. These values can’t be copied and used in Excel without first hand-deleting each of the spaces from every value. Until the spaces have been deleted, Excel treats the numbers as text strings upon which mathematical operations can’t be performed.

  • All of the above assumes several things: 1) commas should be used to delimit the integer portion of the significand, 2) narrow gaps should be used to delimit the fractional portion, and 3) a template/parser function should be made to facilitate delimiting the significand and to also simplify the formatting of the rest of numeric equivalencies (such as relative standard uncertainty in concise form, base-ten exponents, and setting off unit symbols with a non-breaking space). The reasoning underlying this is addressed in Rationale for using “comma delimiting” with “narrow-gap delimiting”, above. As regards how Wikipedia readers already recognize and accept gap-delimiting to the right of the decimal marker, see Making a case for why narrow gaps are already well-accepted on Wikipedia, above.
Greg L (my talk) 20:33, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
  • UPDATE: Today, I looked at this page using Firefox on Mac and saw how 0.3-em gaps appeared larger than in Safari. It’s a bit of a jump, but I suspect (hope) that what I’m seeing in Firefox is representative of what Windows users are seeing. I also discovered something really neat. Safari treats 0.25 em as 0.3 em. However, Firefox displays 0.25 em narrower than for 0.3 em. Thus, by coding 0.25 em, Windows users should see 0.25 em, yet Safari users, who can see either 0.2 em (too narrow) or 0.3 em (just right) will continue to see the rounded-up, 0.3 em space. Let me know how the examples in the below Discussion subsection appear; I’ve adjusted them all down to 0.25 em unless the span follows the digit 1, then it is 0.2 em as it seems to look better across all platforms when following the digit 1. I’ve also adjusted everything above in Nutshell of what is being contemplated this same way. For convenience, I’ve reproduced some examples chosen from Kilogram and modified them all per this new convention so you can see a complex variety of delimited numeric strings in context. Please tell whether this technique produces acceptable looking strings in these following examples:
  • The avoirdupois pound is defined as exactly 0.45359237 kg, making one kilogram approximately equal to 2.205 avoirdupois pounds.
  • For instance, the meter is defined as the distance light travels in a vacuum during a time interval of ​1299,792,458 of a second.
  • The meter’s length is delineated—not defined—as 1,579,800.298728 wavelengths of light from this laser.
  • The Avogadro constant, is an experimentally determined value that is currently measured as being 6.02214179(30) × 1023 atoms (2006 CODATA value).
  • …has a relative standard uncertainty of 50 parts per billion and the only cube root values within this uncertainty must fall within the range of 84,446,889.8 ±1.4; that is…
  • As such, the kilogram would be defined as 1000/27.9769271 × 6.02214179 × 1023 atoms of silicon-28 (≅35.7437397 fixed moles of silicon-28 atoms).
  • The Planck constant would be fixed, where h = 6.62606896 × 10–34 J·s
  • The kilogram would be defined as “the mass of a body at rest whose equivalent energy equals the energy of photons whose frequencies sum to 1.356392733 × 1050 Hz.”
If this doesn’t fix platform-dependent differences, maybe there will be a perl or parser function-based method to check the O.S. of the viewer and adjust accordingly. I don’t know; these are details that can be resolved on-the-fly. Greg L (my talk) 01:21, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Posted before the Update, above.

Thanks for the clear explanation. I certainly look forward to seeing the fruits of Jimp's labour. I don’t agree with SMcCandlish's objections any more than you do, but they are well meaning and, until recently, had almost unanimous support at MOSNUM. Thanks to the efforts of you two, things are now close to evenly balanced. For the record, these are the arguments that were presented for and against SMcCandlish’s proposal for a NO SPACES rule:


  • Consensus by standard practice: SMcCandlish
  • Reader unfamiliarity: Tony, SMcCandlish, Rmhermen,
  • Ambiguity (breaks can be misinterpreted as the start of a new number): SMcCandlish
  • Pasteability: Jimp, Jim77742
  • Fidelity (resulting from pasteability): Jimp
  • Readability of short strings: Thunderbird2


  • Readability of long strings: Thunderbird2,, Jimp
  • Fidelity (resulting from readability): Thunderbird2
  • Rarity (no need to legislate for such a rare event; can rely on editor common sense & local consensus): Thunderbird2

The rarity argument works both ways and is likely to be used again. Notice also how readability appears both FOR and AGAINST. (The point being that, in normal text like this, 0.0014 is easier to read than 0.001 4). The question of pi also came up as a possible exception to any rule, as there seems to be a tradition of grouping every 5 digits.

I did a survey of 100 random articles to see how frequently the issue comes up at all. Of the 100, there are 16 that use the decimal point, 15 of which with either one or two decimal places. The 16th (Enchanted Rock) uses 4 decimal places to specify the position of a rock to the nearest 0.0001 seconds of a minute of latitude & longitude. (One second of latitude is about 31 metres, which means they are specifying the position of this particular rock to the nearest 3 mm!).

100 is not a huge sample, but the fact that I found one (however bizarre) in a sample this small suggests this could be less rare than I had previously imagined.

Of the 100, three had a connection with physics: Delphi (CERN), 1994 Shane and AdS/QCD. (No decimal point appears in any of the 3). I remember at least one about chemistry as well, but the details escape me.

Happy editing :-) Thunderbird2 (talk) 14:17, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

  • For too long, debate at MOSNUM has been based on the appearance of full-width spaces. When I encounter an article that uses full-width, non-breaking spaces, I can see why delimiting to the right of the decimal marker on Wikipedia hasn’t been popular and hasn’t formally been adopted.

    Generally, Wikipedia policy is to permit spelling and style of other English-speaking countries besides the U.S. (“British English” vs. “American English” stuff). However, Wikipedia:Manual of Style properly permits only the American style for formating numbers. Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style#Large_numbers says delimiting in the integral of the significand should be done only with commas (flouting the SI way of doing things, which speaks only of narrow spaces). Also, Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style#Decimal_points says that the decimal marker should be a full stop rather than a comma. Again, this sides only with the American way of formatting numbers (the SI officially supports either commas or full stops for the decimal marker).

    You wrote of how others cite the aweful example of how “0.0014 is easier to read than 0.001 4).” Of course, a proper implementation of narrow-space delimiting never leaves a single dangling digit like that and. The proper progression is as follows:


    Accordingly, the “0.0014 is easier to read than 0.001 4” example is really no argument at all and, whether intentional or out of ignorance, is just a red herring.

    I find it interesting that Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style#Percentages states that there shall be no space between the value and the percent symbol (%), e.g. 2%, not 2 %. The BIPM via their 5.3.7 Stating values of dimensionless quantities, or quantities of dimension one, states that there is supposed to be a space between the numeric value and the percent symbol. This advise has been completely ignored in real-world practice and Wikipedia policy ignored the BIPM in order to use the convention that is most well recognized and causes the least confusion (e.g. 2%). That is, after all, the purpose of technical writing: to communicate to the intended audience with minimal confusion.

    Where I’m going with this is that “offical” policies must recognize the way things are really done in real life. Some at MOSNUM have advocated that if spaces are used on the fractional side, then they must also be used on the integral side; there can’t be a mix. That’s a wholy unrealistic position that doesn’t reflect reality. Changing the way things are done by so many people is simply not going to happen. Whatever MOSNUM does, it must acknowledge and accede to the way people actually operate. Digits to the left of the decimal marker get delimited with a comma. The decimal marker is a full stop. These are the realities we live with. Given this reality, nothing in our debate of how to delimit digits on the right of the decimal marker should be linked to the treatment to the left.

    As I stated above in Rationale for using “comma delimiting” with “narrow-gap delimiting”, it will be a rare number that juxtaposes comma delimiting to the left of the decimal marker and em-based gaps (narrow ones) to the right. Since there are zero other (proper) options for delimiting to the right (commas or full stops can’t be used), I’m rather suprised there is even any debate on the subject. Official recognition at MOSNUM would be very nice but I don’t see that MOSNUM needs to take a formal position one way or another with regard to delimiting numeric strings to the right of the decimal marker. Fractional-side delimiting is currently done in a wide variety of ways on Wikipedia: full-width spaces, full-width non-breaking spaces, narrow spaces, narrow em-based gaps, and no delimiting whatsoever; Wikipedia accomodates them all. However, spaces of any width produce values that can’t be pasted into Excel, and full-width ones are so damn wide they make values appear like a serial string of separate three-digit numbers. In my opinion, MOSNUM would do Wikipedia a favor by taking an official policy that if the fractional portion of the significand is delimited, then narrow em-based gaps (Jimp’s template/parser function) should be used.

    Further, I would favor that MOSNUM’s official policy be that the fractional portion doesn’t have to be delimited. After all, delimiting may not be suitable or desirable for many nontechnical articles. However, technical articles very often desperately need full-tilt, professional tools to automate the process of making easy-to-parse, proper numeric values (complete with relative standard uncertainty and unit symbols that don’t break from the numeric value at an end-of-line word wrap). I think that as other Wikipedia editors discover Jimp’s template/parser function in use in other articles, it will very quickly find favor and will be rapidly adopted wherever it is needed. Greg L (my talk) 20:43, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Here and here are two more examples using decimal coordinates. Neither are from the random sample of 100. Thunderbird2 (talk) 20:21, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Decimal degrees isn’t uncommon outside of Wikipedia; it’s a user-setting option on Google Earth and on most (if not all) GPS receivers. Did I miss your point regarding decimal coordinates? Greg L (my talk) 20:43, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
No, you didn't miss the point because there wasn't one. I was just making an inventory of articles that use more than three decimal places, so that we have some idea of how many, and what kind of articles might be affected by any new rule. I'll make one now though, which is this: I think it is significant that all 3 examples I found were in the context of geographical coordinates. It means that any new rule needs to be flexible enough to permit correct display of GPS coordinates to something like 7 decimal places. Thunderbird2 (talk) 21:06, 30 December 2007 (UTC)


You should put a class on the spans and add a style to common.css, rather than using inline CSS. —Random832 21:44, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Also - Ultimately, due to template size concerns, this should be a parserfunction like "formatnum" rather than a template. —Random832 21:46, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

  • Thanks. I don’t understand either of the above; however, I trust that Jimp will. Greg L (my talk) 22:25, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
    • Well, a parser function would have to be implemented by the developers as an extension, rather than existing in template space where ordinary users could edit it. looking at this proposal, I'm not sure it's even technically feasible to implement it as a template, and earlier discussion on WT:MOSNUM seems to have been about a proposed parser function. See m:Help:ParserFunctions, Help:Magic words for information about parser functions. —Random832 23:01, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
      • I’m now venturing out of my comfort zone. If I’m reading this all correctly, it appears that {{formatnum:}} is a “magic word” rather than a template. It also appears that magic words can be made several ways, including parser functions. I can not see whether magic words can be accomplished using perl, which is what Jimp is expert in, nor do I know if Jimp is handy with parser functions.

        I can however, see that whereas most templates can be accessed by any ol’ unregistered editor who just fell off a turnip truck, there are semi-protected and fully protected templates. If that is correct, then I assume that if the objective is to have constancy after editors begin adopting the “{{delimitnum:}}” feature (or whatever it’s named), constancy can be accomplished via any number of ways. Yes?

        So would it be fair to say that if Jimp is savy only with templates, and if he can accomplish his objectives with a template, then his resulting template can be protected. Yes? I note further from Jimp’s very first post here (which started off this entire section), it seems he understands this magic word business, that’s where he is headed, and he has anticipated some of the intricacies. This suggests he is handy with all aspects of this. And if Jimp is savy with all the techniques and technologies you’re speaking of, then I assume he will employ the most suitable technique. So it may be that you and Jimp are heading in the very same direction (parser functions) and the only reason for your perceiving the need offer your caution is due to my imprecise use of language like “template.” Am I missing anything here? Greg L (my talk) 00:26, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

  • To avoid confusion, I’ve gone back and changed all instances of “template” in my proposals to “template/parser function“. I wanted to be sure to mention that change here so your efforts here at steering me in the correct direction are understood in their proper context. Thanks. Greg L (my talk) 21:44, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I do understand what Random832 is saying with respect to parser functions (which are a kind of magic word) verses templates. And I agree with him that it would be much better to have this {{delimitnum:}}/{{delimitnum}} be one of the former rather than the latter.* As for being savy with parser functions ... well I can use them but, as Random832 notes, not being a developer, I can't create them. Now, what I can do is write a template which could achieve what we're after but there'd be limitations. Firstly, templates don't seem to be able to cope with calculations on parameters with more than a dozen (or so) significant figures. We could work around this, if need be, by splitting the numeral up into strings of digits but this is very much less than optimal. Secondly, as trim as I might be able to get the template, it'll still be huge in terms of pre-expand size compared to a parser function, thereby limiting its applicability for use in other templates. Neither of these concerns apply to parser functions. I'd therefore propose that we instead aim at having {{delimitnum:}} created as a parser function (i.e. a magic word) or, perhaps *better still (or at least maybe more likely to achieve), have {{delimitnum:}} do the delimiting and save the addition of uncertainty, base–ten exponentiation and unit symbol (the easy bits) for a template. If our pleas to the developers fall on deaf ears (or bind eyes as the case may be), then let's look at a template solution. Jɪmp 06:19, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
So… are you saying that your preferred method would be to solicit the assistance of a developer to make a parser function? Greg L (my talk) 06:26, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
It's not the only way of doing this but, if successful, it would be the best one. Of course, the template solution is not bad: when I say "huge" I'm comparing it to the fifteen bytes of of a potential {{delimitnum:}} and chances are that the need to go beyond twelve digits will be rare enough that even typing the code out in full wouldn't cause a problem. I'm not sure how willing the developers would be to help us out here but it might be at least worth a shot. Jɪmp 06:47, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it does indeed look like the significand will very rarely have more than a total of 12 digits to deal with. You are referring to a limit of twelve digits in the significand are you not(?) and not twelve digits total—including both the uncertainty and the exponent? And do tell: what is a “developer”? Is that a Wikipedia term for someone who has the ability to code the inner workings of what makes the Wikipedia user environment work? If so, do you know how to contact them? Greg L (my talk) 17:58, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, twelve digits in the significant. No calculation would need be done on the uncertainty or the exponent, they can simply be treated as character strings. Yeah, someone codes WP's inner workings. That's about right. To get hold of them we'd go via BugZilla. If this is our route, though, it would be best first to drum up a bit of support for the thing.
As for having commas only and never spaces before the decimal point, take a look here. Sure, this is meant not only to cater for English speakers but nor is it meant to cater only to non-English speakers. Just for fun, I went and had a prévisualisation of {{formatnum:123456789}} does on the French Wikipédia. It puts regular thick non-copy-and-pastable spaces in, they were non-breaking though. Surely they'd be better off with your copy-and-pastable thin spaces. So that may be a line we could take: this might be of benifit in other parts of the Wiki


Jɪmp 06:44, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Joining the discussion

Thanks, Thunderbird, for directing me here. I'd like to help.

A few thoughts:

First, good job, both of you. I think there's a chance you can make this fly.

Second, I agree that there 's really no reason to do it unless the goal is to make it, eventually, the MoS standard format. That means you have to consider what it'll be possible to get consensus on. In particular, that means spaces to the left of the decimal are a no good -- it doesn't matter that they're logical, they're too alien for too many people.

Third, I think the order of arguments should have the uncertainty last, else users will be confused about the need for the double bar. The use of an uncertainty term is far less common than any of the other arguments, I think.

Fourth, I'm using Firefox on XP and I find the 0.2 em spaces pretty much invisible. Maybe I'm unusual, but I prefer the 0.3. Also, I agree that this could be the last aspect to be set in stone.

Fifth, I'm not sure where it went but someone (one of you, probably) suggested that groups of four wouldn't be broken (hence, e.g., 12.345 6789). That's readable to me, but needs to be discussed, as it will confuse people.

  • Thanks for joining us atakdoug; all good advice and input. (Thanks T-bird.) Regarding having two to four digits in the last group, see again Nutshell, which I’ve updated regarding this point. Greg L (my talk) 21:56, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

If I can help, ask. And when we finish this, maybe we can move onto the issue that took me to the MoS talk page: linking of dates... atakdoug (talk) 08:56, 10 January 2008 (UTC)





Notability of Teragram

Thanks for your message. I don't feel strongly about this, but from my position within the search community (I've worked at Lycos and FAST and am now responsible for search at Gerson Lehrman Group), they seem like one of the top players in applied multilingual computational linguistics, even though they are smaller than Inxight and Basis Technology (which is also privately held and also deserves an article). After all, WP is not a paper encyclopedia. --Macrakis (talk) 16:10, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

By the way, I agree that the dabnote in Kilogram is strange. Instead, I've created a dab page for "teragram", a term which will rarely be used in the sense 1012 grams, but often for the company -- try the Google search teragram, where the top 8 results are all about the company, except #4, which is a Wikipedia mirror of the kilogram page! --Macrakis (talk) 14:29, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
  • That seems to be the perfect way to accomplish that. Thanks. Greg L (my talk) 20:16, 2 January 2008 (UTC)


I have tagged Image:Freedom_From_Fear.jpg as {{orphaned fairuse}}. In order for the image to be kept at Wikipedia, it must be included in at least one article. If this image is being used as a link target instead of displayed inline, please add {{not orphan}} to the image description page to prevent it being accidentally marked as orphaned again. Calliopejen1 (talk) 17:37, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

I removed this from a couple articles where it could have been replaced by free images or where there were too many nonfree images. It's copyrighted, not public domain. Calliopejen1 (talk) 17:38, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Gradual continencets

OK, I just misunderstood (or just plain didn't understand) the caption. --Slashme (talk) 05:52, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

The new version is perfect: unambiguous and readable. --Slashme (talk) 08:44, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

joining the military

greg, i'm mildly interested in joining the military, any branch. Is it possible to join if I only have one eye? Monikker23 (talk) 00:37, 25 January 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Monikker23 (talkcontribs) 00:35, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

  • I’m flattered you’d ask but am certainly not an expert on all-things-military. I assume my account of my son’s experiences in the Navy (trying to get into the SEALs) lead you to believe I have a more extensive knowledge about the U.S. Military than I actually do. I’d check out this site at, which says, ‘no’ and explains that if your good eye is 20/20, the other eye can be no worse than 20/400. However, I would not accept this information as the final word; the career path you’re contemplating is an important decision. For a proper answer, I suggest you call a local recruiter; perhaps waivers might be available under certain circumstances. Greg L (my talk) 02:38, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

Steel balls and copy-editing

Hi Greg,

Glad you found my edits worthwhile!

Those steel balls of yours are pretty impressive ;-) --Slashme (talk) 09:30, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Templates for numeral display

I can't easily form an opinion on this, as few or none of the articles I'm involved in would have this formatting issue. Perhaps a good place to gain support would be on talk pages of WP:WPM and WP:WPPhys. linas (talk) 03:51, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

p.s. Fascinating story about your son. Tell him he's lucky and he's doing well, and keep at it. It took me more'n four decades to figure out what he's already learned. (Well, OK, so maybe I'm better at math than he is :-)) Keep at him about going to college: its one thing to be fit & strong and a whole 'nother to be fit & strong & smart. linas (talk) 05:04, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for the kind words Linas. I passed them onto my son. Greg L (my talk) 06:20, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Translational motion

Hello, I was guided to your talk page from your pretty animation on translational motion. I noticed that on that image, the boundary is adiabatic, and wondered whether you could make a similar animation with an isothermal boundary to show thermal energy being transferred to the gas. I must admit I have no idea on how to model the energy transfer from the boundary to the gas, though... Oh, here is a vague idea : model it as phonon modes, each time there is a collision determine probabilistically in which mode it is, giving a certain speed to the point where the collision occurs, and model the wall as being very massive, so that the speed of the atom after collision is vafter=vini+vwall. Does it make sense? MPerrin from the fr wiki.-- (talk) 07:36, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

First, my compliments on your English-language skills. What you are seeking is an animation of a system that is not in equilibrium and the gas is getting hotter until the animation loops. To pull this off, the walls would simply have to be hotter than the gas so the helium atoms would rebound from the wall—on average—with greater speed after each encounter. This could be accomplished several ways.
  1. One way would require only a very simple algorithm whereby the 83 yoctokelvin atoms are given an extra kick of precisely the same additional amount—say, an extra 100 yoctokelvin with each impact.
  2. A second technique would change the speed to an exact value representing the temperature of the wall as if its atoms had no Maxwell distribution; slow atoms would speed up to a temperature of 200 yk up and very fast ones would slow down to 200 yk. Each time a 200 yk atom rebounded from a wall, it would distribute its energy into the herd and cool back down. However the group temperature would slowly increase from 83 yk and would approach ever closer to 200 yk (depending on how long the animation runs).
  3. A third method could entail a more complex algorithm wherein the wall’s “temperature” follows a Maxwell distribution and is modeled as if it is iron. Thus, helium atoms rebounding from such a wall would be entirely dominated by the temperature of the wall and the incoming velocity could be ignored. I like this last approach because it’s a higher fidelity model that better represents the actual kinetics of an out-of-equilibrium system between helium and iron; you could watch a slow atom drifting casually into the wall and it would almost always be kicked away at a much greater—but far from predictable predictable—speeed. However, unusually fast atoms would often slow down after encountering such a wall. Regardless of the speed of the incoming atom, its energy after the rebound would follow the Maxwell distribution of 200 yk. Anyway…
Unfortunately, I don't have the capability at this time of creating anything beyond what you already see. I've got a friend who’s a programmer and I’ve been trying to get him interested in creating an animation tool so I can create a new version of the existing animation that has higher frame rate. I would imagine it would be possible to make it so the walls could be either hotter or colder than the gas. However, the animation tool I’m envisioning (with perfectly “reflective” walls) wouldn’t have to “know” anything about the Maxwell distribution curve; the curve is a natural byproduct of spherical-particle rebound kinetics where all you have are the velocity vectors of perfectly elastic collisions between spherical (circular) particles. Now I’m curious; why do you seek a non-equilibrium animation? Greg L (my talk) 19:56, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for cross-posting and for your compliment. You know, my job as a physicist requires me to publish in English, so one way or another I had to learn it—or at least scientific English. Plus, I like speaking in English, it's cool! :-)
The reason I wanted such an animation is that we were having this discussion at the fr:Projet:Physique about terms like heat, thermal transfer and heat transfer (closest translations I can find). I've seen on the talk pages of these article that you've had some discussion about these terms as well. Just so you know, we agreed that heat transfer is redundant—a transfer of transfer of energy?—and should be abandonned, and that heat and thermal transfer are two ways of telling the same thing: heat means energy is being transferred, while thermal transfer means energy is being transferred.
Anyway, from this discussion I realized we had a good image illustrating temperature microscopically, but nothing for heat, and I started wondering if it could be done and how it would look like... Let me comment on your proposals.
  1. This looks to me as if we are continuously adding some energy in the system, and that no thermal equilibrium will ever be reached.
  2. That's a good idea, even though I'd like to see some atoms slowing down, and I don't really know the physical meaning of giving the same temperature (normal speed) after each collision. I fear that in a large system, we would have a non-maxwellian distribution near the boundary and a maxwellian one inside the tank. Anyway, heat would be exchanged and the system would reach an equilibrium.
  3. The conceptual difficulty that I have is that we are describing the gas microscopically, whereas the wall has macroscopic properties such as a temperature (the gas does have one, but only to give a microscopic initial condition). My initial propposal would have been to make the wall microscopic at the time of a collision, while yours is to give a temperature to atoms after a collision, in a very similar way to the Boltzmann equation (although I must admit I only get the general idea behind this equation). I think both approach are valid.
If you can't easily create such an animation, then forget it. I just thought you might have a program ready for it with a few minor modifications. If I have enough courage, I'm going to try and see what Matlab can do for me. MPerrin from the fr wiki.

Fair use rationale for Image:Freedom From Fear.jpg

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If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 20:13, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Disputed fair use rationale for Image:Freedom From Fear.jpg

Thanks for uploading Image:Freedom From Fear.jpg. However, there is a concern that the rationale you have provided for using this image under "fair use" may be invalid. Please read the instructions at Wikipedia:Non-free content carefully, then go to the image description page and clarify why you think the image qualifies for fair use. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to ensure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

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These things generally just take a while - I'll ask someone on IRC tonight. —Random832 14:29, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Days elapsed times factor

Can you think of anywhere else this would be needed? It seems like an awfully specific thing, if it's just the one place you could just one-off the code with #expr. I've done this; I can make the template if you need it for general use but it's quite a specific thing to want to have. Note that I didn't make code yet to automatically round to two significant figures, but since it won't become an issue for this until about 2230 anyway, I think it can wait. —Random832 18:44, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

I've started work on this template at Template:days elapsed times factor - I'm still not sure what to do on significant figures - it would still become necessarily to periodically revise what units the result is stated in, so it may be easier to simply have it as a parameter for decimal places. —Random832 20:52, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
Should be ready to go. —Random832 00:59, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
The rounding error was in the fact that it was rounded off before applying the conversion template. It's not an issue with single uses (we just have to be careful if we use these in combination with providing values in multiple units). —Random832 02:22, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

delimitnum status

Ok, I couldn't go to sleep without fixing it, so it now works for negative numbers, and I added another parameter for trailing interpunction, which I will go add to the kilogram article now. Good night. Zocky | picture popups 18:25, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

I've now fixed the spacing between × and 10. AFAICT, the template now produces the same code as your handcoded examples, apart from the outer span that prevents the numbers from wordwrapping. Here's a test:
  • code: {{delimitnum|6.02214179|30|23|kg}}
  • template call:6.02214179(30) × 1023 kg
  • produced code: 6.02214179(30) × 1023 kg
  • handcoded: 6.02214179(30) × 1023 kg
The only substantial difference I can see is that my template doesn't customize the widths of spaces after certain digits (e.g. 1), but as said, that's wrong behaviour, and IMO developers won't want to implement that either. Zocky | picture popups 02:00, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Hi Greg. I fixed the bug that caused 0s to disappear. The template now works as expected for all numbers under 10 million, at which point the formatnum function starts outputting the E format. This can be fixed too, but it may be more bother than it's worth, since the template already allows us to use the ×10n notation. Try to see if you can find any more bugs. Zocky | picture popups 03:32, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Hi Greg, thanks for the heads-up on your post. I'm on a wikibreak at the moment, but let me just say:


Keep up the good work. --Slashme (talk) 15:33, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Converting m/s² to ft/s²

Thanks, as a layperson, reading over writings on scientific topics becomes confusing when there are no explanations as to something like a definition for m/s². I was just trying to understand something about Gravitation, however, whenever I see something I don't understand I try to pose a question, though the explanation is confusing in itself (for someone who doesn't normally encounter decimals that go on for nearly 30 places). Again, thanks...I'm just ignorant when it comes to figuring out anything about Physics, mostly because of the formulaic language in mathematical descriptions. Cheers, Galo1969X (talk) 03:22, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

binary prefix at mosnum

Hi Greg, thanks for your support :) Just to be clear what I am proposing though, what I would like to see quite generally is a requirement on editors to explain use of ambiguous or non-standard units, while leaving as much freedom as possible in how they carry out that duty of disambiguation. In the context of the dreaded prefix, the implication would be that use of an IEC prefix (eg KiB) is just as acceptable in principle as an explanation that 1 KB = 1024 B. But either way, the wording should be achieved by consensus on each article. That is how I was interpreting the present MOSNUM wording anyway, but it seems that others read a different meaning into the same words. That is why I want the words "also acceptable" to be replaced by "equally acceptable". Happy editing. Thunderbird2 (talk) 19:42, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Hello again. I don't understand the remark you just added Greg. You've done nothing wrong. Thunderbird2 (talk) 23:05, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

You're clearly not biased and have no "hidden agendas": Not at all! -- (talk) 20:59, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

  • Who is this anonymous chicken shit (other than someone who lives in or near Hamburg Germany)? Of course I have an agenda: to promote a policy that is precisely as appears on the surface of my proposals. I don’t try to pretend to be anything I’m not and I’m not trying to push a policy with hidden motives. I have no “hidden” agendas and if you think I do, tough; I don’t give a damn what you think. And if you can’t figure out the distinction, between “agenda” (translation: objective) and “hidden agenda,” then you’re just intellectually hopeless and have no business here on Wikipedia. Finally, this is a hobby that people are supposed to be having fun at. You’re acting like it’s the God-damned end of the world. Get a life, go with the flow, or go somewhere else. Greg L (my talk) 21:15, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

    P.S. To “Capt. This Is the End of the World”: Do you think I’d post something on another editor’s user page (like what you linked above), if I didn’t want everyone involved to also read it? How old are you? Sixteen? Grow up. Greg L (my talk) 21:41, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

This might help explain what is happening. You might want to ask for a semi-protect of your talk page if this blocked user keeps on vandalising. Fnagaton 21:17, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Thanks but no thanks Fnagaton, you appear to have confused me with someone who gives a crap about this. Wikipedia is an interesting microcosm of the real world out there and I learn more about people as I participate in issues like the IEC prefixes. “Capt. End of the World”, though interesting, is a bug splat on my windshield of life. If he/she gets truly disruptive and damaging, then we’ll have to deal with that when the time comes. In the mean time, it’s just spineless horseplay. Greg L (my talk) 21:47, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

your user page

Is pretty massive. And I'm not really that sure that a long essay about your son's attempts to get into BUD/S is relevant to Wikipedia. It might be a good idea to take that section down, since it doesn't really fit into what is allowed under WP:USER. Not sure if anyone has brought it up with you before, my memory is pretty bad.SWATJester Son of the Defender 01:19, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

In addition to the no blogs part, it also discourages excessive content not relevant to Wikipedia. And no, it's not a demand at all, just a bit of advice that it probably is closer to the unacceptable edge of the gray area than the acceptable one. SWATJester Son of the Defender 03:26, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Sorry for the delay

Hi Greg. Nope, no mop for me. I've been a bit busy with RL, so I've been on a wiki-hiatus of sorts lately. As far as the proposal, I'm busy with work until the weekend, so I probably won't have time to look at it until then (apologies). Let me get back to you soon though. Best, --Bfigura (talk) 15:59, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
So, to finally reply: I tend to agree with you, in that I think there's probably not much use for deprecated terminology. However, I don't think I'm really up for serving as a MOS coordinator on the topic. Due to work, my on-wiki activity is kind of sporadic at the moment, so I'd hate to be in a position where people are waiting on a reply from me for something. (And for the same reason, I'm not really sure of who a good person would be off the top of my head.) If I think of (or come across) someone, I'll let you know though. PS: with regards to the vocal minority, I think there's no easy answer. A vote isn't binding (given WP:DEMO), and unless both sides agree to a mediator, there's no way to impose any sort of final resolution. Cheers, --Bfigura (talk) 00:25, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

On integer divisors on image sizes

I noticed a section about this on Talk:Kilogram - Wouldn't it make sense to instead crop the original images so that they would come out sharp at the common user preference sizes? For example, if the image were 1200 pixels wide instead of 1319, the reduced versions would be:

120 - 10:1
150 -  8:1
180 - 20:3
200 -  6:1
250 - 24:5
300 -  4:1

--Random832 (contribs) 15:46, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

  • Indeed. As my previous practice has been to specify an exact size (like 264 px), I rarely bothered. An example of where I do bother is the Meissner-effect picture at the bottom of Kilogram; it is an extreme cropping I did because the original showed way too much extraneous stuff. So I created a new one and mathematically selected an integer value. Only at that time, all my other “display” pictures were 275 pixels, so I made the new, cropped version 550. Usually the results are too subtle for the average reader to notice due to the nature of the picture. But on some images, such as the one at the top of Thermodynamic temperature (again, high contrast at high spatial resolution), the impact can be truly enormous. Greg L (my talk) 18:11, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Unicode and unit symbols

I noticed that you're the one who added sections to Celsius and Kelvin back in 2006 about the unicode characters for them - since these are just compatibility characters for CJK encodings that had them for a different reason, rather than something that actually should be used, it seems like it doesn't really make sense to cover them in the articles on the temperature units. --Random832 (contribs) 17:53, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

  • I didn’t add that stuff (though I may have restored it after someone deleted it). I corrected it because the earlier version made incorrect statements regarding how the symbols appear and are translated when unavailable. I don’t see how a brief treatment of the subject in the two articles possibly detracts from anything. The conclusion is to advise would-be authors as to why it might be wise to not use the special symbols since they won’t appear correctly across all platforms. As you pointed out, those sections have been there since 2006 and seemed to have served a good purpose during that time.

    I’ve been planning on getting onto the “volt/kilogram” issue but have been busy in the real world. I’ll study it hard this weekend. Cheers. Greg L (my talk) 19:59, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

    • Well, I assumed that because you wrote the descriptions on the images, and I didn't look further. But anyway, I'm generally trying to reduce the unnecessary/redundant stuff we have about character encoding, text input, html entities, etc on every topic that uses non-ascii symbols. --Random832 (contribs) 03:44, 12 April 2008 (UTC)


I lost my temper a bit towards the end of that; we were talking past each other a little. It puts things into perspective that in the end, the debate was over less than half a dozen words of the article. But like you said it's important to be accurate, and the article did benefit. --Random832 (contribs) 03:09, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

The problem with delimitnum is it simply can't be done with what's currently available in wikitext (the current math-based version is probably the best that can be achieved); there aren't sufficient string functions - the devs have to make a new parser function, and I don't set their priorities (I have done my best to try to bring it up whenever I'm on IRC) --Random832 (contribs) 03:52, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

{{val}} va {{delimitnum}}

Hi Greg,
I noticed you've been actively involved in the {{delimitnum}} work. I recently created {{val}} for a similar purpose. It has a few more features and I have integrated the {{delimitnum}} code into it as well. Since {{val}} is easier to remember and type and because there aren't many pages that use {{delimitnum}}, I'd like to change all use of {{delimitnum}} to {{val}}. Also, I'm looking at getting a bot to replace values on scientific pages (or some other form assisted editing). I noticed that there has been much heated debate about delimitnum, but I've not bothered to read all of the shouting back and forth. I was wondering if you could let me know what the outcome was and your oppinion on trying to get such templates used on all pages. Thanks,
-- SkyLined (talk) local time:15:47, 7 January 2018 (CET), server time: 12:00, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

  • I answered on your talk page. Greg L (talk) 18:00, 15 April 2008 (UTC)


Greg, I'm glad we can agree on something (again). Your green proposal at MOSNUM is also getting close to one that I can support. You can make it much easier for me to debate with you if you can tone down your style somewhat, listen to my arguments, and accept that other editors, including myself, in the end have the same objective as you: to improve Wikipedia. Thunderbird2 (talk) 13:09, 19

For your acid...


Sorry to cause your stomach to go acidic on you. I hope that picture helps. In any case, I've posted another bit to the MOSNUM discussion that we are having. I tried to be clear and give manufacture based sources to support what I've been talking about. I hope that you understand. Regards, —MJCdetroit (yak) 19:28, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

  • My objective is to get it turned into a policy as fast as the process will allow. Greg L (talk) 17:34, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

green box in MOSNUM

Hi Greg

I have to write the monthly update of policy and style pages soon. Is the big green in MOSNUM a proposal or is it the finished version. It will look a bit chaotic if I have to include such a large amount of text if it hasn't settled. TONY (talk) 15:23, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Can you remove it by the end of the month so I can avoid reporting a proposal—that is, unless the final version is agreed on and implemented by that time? TONY (talk) 17:31, 25 April 2008 (UTC)


Regarding your request: I advise against vote-like procedures (now and probably also later).

A rough consensus seems to have formed.

Discussion seems to be style improvements of the wording now primarily (and "too long"/"too short" kind of comments) - nothing substantive to the core of the matter of this being a useful idea to be added to mosnum.

Yes the procedure was somewhat unusual. Nothing inappropriate or whatever though, congratulations! --Francis Schonken (talk) 22:42, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

  • Thank you Francis. It was a first for me. I don’t think I’ll try it again though. Greg L (talk) 08:18, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
    • I believe, however, that polling is (as M:Voting is evil says) a tool to demonstrate consensus. Please come help do so. If it was a mistake to start one, it's too late now. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:01, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
      • Agreed. Different tools for different jobs; the basic reality at MOSNUM at the moment is that you have a couple of reasonable editors, Thunderbird and Tony, who are not at all clear on what the current consensus is or should be, and a few votes will nail it down. There isn't really any serious, organized resistance to the process, at the moment, just anxiety about where it might go, plus some of the usual misbehavior. It's safe to vote; let's get it over with and move on.
      • But that's not why I came over here :) I just wanted to say I was focusing on the word "banned", Greg. Socks are fine (in theory; they rub me the wrong way). Coming back to WP with a sockpuppet after an indefinite block is a major no-no, of course, so it's never appropriate to accuse someone of that; just bring it up at WP:AN if that's what you think. I hope it's clear that I don't really care, I'm just trying to help. If we need to call an admin in, say to help us close the debate, they sometimes care about things like that. - Dan Dank55 (talk)(mistakes) 21:29, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
    • Please read WP:CANVASS. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:31, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Without ever reading it, I had anticipated that there must be such a policy and decided that the right thing to do is send the same message to all participates—even the “no” votes. Greg L (talk) 21:34, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

On symbol font

I found an old talk page post that you complained that apple is "blocking" the symbol font - that's not exactly true, the reason why modern browsers (not only on mac os) do this is actually a bit more complicated than that - has this already been explained to you? If so, I won't bore you with the details. --Random832 (contribs) 15:54, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

It's fundamentally a matter of encoding - the unicode character 'm' U+006D is defined as LATIN SMALL LETTER M. Older browsers would take the appearance of "m" or even &#x6D; as meaning the glyph at the position 0x6D in a non-unicode font, rather than as the unicode character U+006D. Similarly, &#163; could be used to get Ł when using a central european font, since that character is at 0xA3 in Windows-1250 - however in modern browsers, &#321; or &#x141 must be used.
It's not correct to say the symbol font itself is blocked - you can, after all, still get the symbol character 0x6D, which is U+03BC GREEK SMALL LETTER MU : <span style="font-family: symbol"> &#x03bc; </span> - and it will indeed pull the glyph from the Symbol font and not from Times.
For proof that you are indeed seeing symbol rather than times, one needs only refer to the glyph for lowercase "phi" U+03C6, which differs quite visibly between the two fonts at least on my system (windows XP). Times: φ - Symbol: φ
--Random832 (contribs) 16:52, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Thank you very much for your thorough explanation. Greg L (talk) 06:17, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Feeding trolls

From block log: "2008-05-01T11:42:13 Dmcdevit (Talk | contribs) blocked "Tarapotysk (Talk | contribs)" (account creation blocked) with an expiry time of indefinite ‎ (MOS troll)" LeadSongDog (talk) 18:44, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

ppb @ Kilogram

It's not a natural way to say it in a definition. 1 atmosphere is 101,325 Pa. It's not "100 kPa plus 1.325%". --Random832 (contribs) 02:06, 7 May 2008 (UTC)


Now I'm a vandal. I'm going to bed. Have a nice evening Greg. JIMp talk·cont 18:52, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

Oh dear!

[1] and your recent edit summary removing a section was exceedingly uncivil. Perhaps I should just block you for this???? Please feel free to leave commentary at the noticeboard. Spartaz Humbug! 21:27, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

  • I already did. This is another sockpuppet of a user who has been banned for life. He created this account just to work this one hot-button issue and game the system. Greg L (talk) 21:45, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
    • Cool. Thanks for the explanation. I'm not going to follow up the report because I'm too cross with a bunch of edit conflicts to be safe around a block button right now but for what what it's worth, I wouldn't be inclined to penalise you. Spartaz Humbug! 21:49, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

Deletion of the backwater


I've put a speedy delete tag on Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (binary prefixes) as a matter of simple maintanence. JIMp talk·cont 04:26, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

fifth draft

Thanks for your invitation to contribute to draft 5. Due to real life commitments I don’t have time just now, but there are some things that you can do in the meantime to get the ball rolling. First, we need some stability. That is best achieved by agreeing what it is that we disagree on. Do you think you can persuade DPH to leave the dispute tag in place?

The second step is to get the main players involved. I think that any agreement reached without the involvement of (eg) Fnagaton, Omegatron and Tony is unlikely to stick. The good news is that Omegatron has started contributing again.

After that, it’s important to find out precisely what people’s concerns and objectives are (it’s not just me and Jimp, because our wishes are likely to conflict with those of others), as succinctly as possible – like SMcCandlish was trying to do before his domestic strife. Perhaps if we approach him again now (and promise to him that we will be civil to each other) he may be prepared to give it another try. Thunderbird2 (talk) 09:16, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

  • I'll see what I can do with DHP. Greg L (talk) 21:27, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Drip line

  • Apparently, the drip-line border represents both the proton drip line and the neutron drip line. In which direction is an element “beyond” these drip lines?

Away from the diagonal of stable nuclides.

  • Specifically, which isotone, hydrogen-5 or helium-6, leaks protons?

5H leaks a neutron, 6He beta decays, neither leaks protons.

  • Which isotope, carbon-8 or carbon-9, leaks neutrons?

9C leaks a proton, 8C inverse beta decays, neither leaks neutrons.

  • Another way I could ask this question is this way: Do most nuclides leak or not leak?

Common nuclides do not, but if you include enough nuclides far from the stable diagonal, you might be able to get a majority that leak, albeit extremely short lived ones.

In nuclear fission, some initial neutron rich fission products leak a neutron, which is where delayed neutrons come from. Neutron/proton drip probably also plays some role in nucleosynthesis in supernovas.

Inside the drip line, decay is by beta decay (on the neutron rich side of the stable diagonal) or electron capture or positron emission (on the proton rich side) or alpha decay (mostly for heavy nuclei).

--JWB (talk) 21:51, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Drip lines

Hi Greg, nice to hear from you. Most nuclides shown in our chart do not leak. Nuclides too far away from the line of stability will leak eather protons (above) or neutrons (below). So, Carbon-8 will leak protons (as it has “too many”), and Hydrogen-5 will leak neutrons. Further to the right, there still is a drip line, but we represent only a region of the chart too narrow to see them. I constructed the drip lines from the data in the Isotope lists. Sometimes it was difficult to decide. So I hope I made no mistakes. Cheers --Quilbert (talk) 23:44, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Oh I see, JWB already answered. I just used the “add comment” functionality, unaware of JWB’s answer. But note that he apparently confused C-8 and C-9. Concerning your answer on his talk page, note that B-5 would consist only of protons. So it will clearly disassemble into those 5 protons within no time. Also note that He-4 is stable. --Quilbert (talk) 23:54, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Correct, sorry for switching the two carbon isotopes.

  • All nuclides with atomic masses of greater than about 20 amu are “within” the drip line (do not “leak”)?

No, I think it's just that drip line data has not been added to higher portions of the chart, or in many cases is not known at all.

  • Also, regarding those nuclides that are perpendicular to the diagonal of stable nuclides, if they are 1) less than about 19 amu and 2) are sufficiently far at the edges of the chart, are these “beyond” the drip lines? Examples would be B-5, Ne-16, Li-12, He-4.

Sufficiently far towards the edges (X and Y axes) is condition enough. There shouldn't be any condition on mass per se, except perhaps if you get to superheavy nuclei that spontaneously fission in other ways than emitting a single neutron or proton. Ne-16, Li-12 are drawn on the chart as outside the drip line and He-4 as inside the drip line; in fact He-4 has no decay modes at all.

The single free neutron should be inside the drip line, as emitting a neutron would be meaningless. (Although you could say the neutron's beta decay is emitting a proton, though this would be a bizarre interpretation!) It's not marked on the chart currently, perhaps because of lack of information on whether the alleged dineutron would split into two neutrons or beta decay to deuterium. The dineutron article seems to say it is not bound and therefore the two neutrons would separate. --JWB (talk) 06:43, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

curly quotes

MOS proscribes them, as I've pointed out twice already. Why do you insist on putting them back in? Are you just going to ignore it? TONY (talk) 10:11, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for supporting the Kilogram

Thanks for your response and investigating the accuracy of the Kilogram density. The information benefits many and the article may one day inspire a standard surpassing the artifact in reproducibility and accuracy. Drakcap (talk) 09:22, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

ANI thread

There is a thread about you on the administrators noticeboard. Gwen Gale (talk) 05:23, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

RFC/USER discussion concerning you (Greg L)

Hello, Greg L. Please be aware that a request for comments has been filed concerning your conduct on Wikipedia. The RFC entry can be found by your name in this list, and the actual discussion can be found at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Greg L, where you may want to participate. -- — Omegatron (talk) 00:27, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

I've also moved your response to Lightmouse to the talk page. See Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/User_conduct#RfC_guidelines and Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment#Request_comment_on_users.

"All signed comments and talk that are neither a view nor an endorsement should be directed to the discussion page." RfC is a fairly structured page, not like a talk page with everyone responding in threads under each other. — Omegatron (talk) 00:27, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Regarding Omegatron

I was surprised to see in this RfC issue that Omegatron is an administrator; I've been having issues with him in the Posting style article, and to me it looks like he is not following Wikipedia guidelines; he is selectively using them to achieve his goals while ignoring the things that work against him.

I'm not sure what is the proper thing to do here but I think I can help to demonstrate that Omegatron needs disciplinary actions. -- Felipec 12:46, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

  • Yes, there seems to be a pattern to his method of operation: stretching (or breaking) rules to get his way, and exploiting the powers of adminhood to crush opposition. I was wondering if what I was seeing on MOSNUM and Talk:MOSNUM was an aberration. Your post makes it clearer in my mind that there may indeed be a consistent pattern of this. I’ve complained about Omegatron’s behavior at User_talk:Seicer#Abuse_by_Omegatron. I think it’s about time his wings were clipped. I just don’t see that Omegatron is worthy of being an administrator. I personally think Wikipedia would be better off with him being just another editor. Greg L (talk) 18:25, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
This is what Omegatron replied on my talk page:
What "issues" are you having with me? What Wikipedia guidelines am I not following? What does any of this have to do with being an admin? Have I protected the article? Have I revert warred with you over it? Have I blocked you unfairly?
You asked me on my talk page to change the wording of something in the article, I agreed with your reasoning and changed it. What is your complaint here? If you don't like the wording I used, you are completely free to change it, just like any other editor. — Omegatron (talk) 22:05, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
My issue is not with your administrative status. My issue is with the way you behave in general, as editor.
We went back and forward removing and adding the (though top-posting does not alternate quotes and replies) text. You added that text to disregard the previous succinct example. The example I added is widely used, your counter-argument is not. I asked you to provide sources for that counter-argument, you decided to ignore that inquiry. I asked you to provide reasoning for your continuous disregard of the example, you choose not to respond (as you did not in previous occasions). You choose to change the wording to another text that still is a personal counter-argument, that's even more generic and still wrong. Now your tactic is to say you complied with my request, although you didn't, and blame it on me for not doing what I apparently am supposed to do.
I think this is a frivolous issue that anyone with common sense could solve immediately, but with you it has gone quite far and is still not solved. I think you need disciplinary actions so you stop thinking your reasoning is above anybody else's, and that you can edit articles to support your point of view without even providing references for that. -- Felipec 10:00, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
  • I don’t mind, Felipec, if you use my talk page for posting charges/venting against Omegatron. I find it can be quite therapeutic and stress-relieving to share one’s frustrations. However, my sense, from having complained here on Seicer’s talk page is that someone will have to be quite motivated to strip Omegatron of his administrator privileges. One would have to research Omegatron’s behavior (Fnagaton could be of assistance in that regard), and you would have to start here at Wikipedia:Administrators#Grievances by users ("Administrator abuse") in order to make it a formal process that has a chance of resulting in anything meaningful. I suggest that you bookmark me and Fnagaton and keep an eye peeled for whether or not you think Omegatron is still being selective as to which Wikipedia rules he chooses to observe. I see no reason to permit an administrator nearly as much slack as is normally afforded regular editors. Greg L (talk) 20:03, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Rage against the Machine

Hi there, just stepping by and affirming that I accept the majority’s rejection of IEC prefixes. It was the same on dewiki. Today I thought I’d make an effort as I was thinking that consensus was unclear. Now, I was wrong in that assumption. The only thing I don’t understand is that valid arguments are rejected as “unsubstantiated” … But I’ll just let it be. --Quilbert (talk) 15:53, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Well, I was going to post this to Talk:MOSNUM when I experienced an edit conflict and saw that you dropped the issue. Thanks. Here is what I was trying to post:

* You are hereby notified Quilbert, that the rest of here feel that the issue of the IEC prefixes has been settled. Drop the stick and back slowly away from the horse carcass. I’m sure Omegatron and Jimp had their reasons for not voting “oppose” on the current policy. Both were active on Wikipedia on 5 and 6 June but elected not to vote on what went to MOSNUM. I suspect you had your reasons to not vote on the new policy, for you were active on Wikipedia on 6 June when voting was going on here. Yet all you chose to do on those days was add your two cents to Omegatron’s RfC against me! So I don’t think you would be believed if you were to now argue that you weren’t somehow aware of what was going on here. I and the other editors here will not participate in this any further, and you may not legitimately claim that a valid consensus of any sort was arrived at without the participation of the key proponents of the current policy. That would be about as valid as having a few people run off to Guyana to create Jonestown and vote that they had revised the state constitution for Idaho. It doesn’t work that way. You need a quorum as measured by common sense and don’t have it. The issue is settled for the moment. Come back in six months.

And by the way, I just can’t reconcile the the message to me you just put on my talk page, and the rest of what you’ve written here and elsewhere lately.

  1. Greg L (talk) 16:01, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
I’m a little confused here, I hope you understand that I added my two cents to the RfC for you, not against. As to why I was not active on this issue before: That was a huge talk, and it would have taken hours to get to the state of the minute. So, that is natural, when I don’t have the time or motivation, I leave it there. I came back now because I thought the community would need another effort to reach consensus. I was wrong. Therefore I had also expected a completely different reaction; all I got was hostility. I didn’t want to stimulate the fire but tame it. So I decided to back off fast. --Quilbert (talk) 16:16, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Indeed, I lost track of the fact that your 2¢ were helpful to my cause and I am deeply appreciative of that. I misread your true motivations and apologize. I think you had the misfortune of suggesting remedies that came straight out of the handbook from the proponents of the IEC prefix editors. Your true intentions were misread. Again, thanks for you help on the RfC. Cheers. Greg L (talk) 16:24, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
Alright then, I am pleased that all personal issues are resolved. --Quilbert (talk) 16:55, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Portal:Computer generated imagery

...exists. Please help to improve this Portal - the scope is anything that is generated on computer without a sensor. The Topics section is the only part at first draft. If you can help with anything - collecting images for the "More pictures" gallery, good articles, heck, even the intro needs a rewrite or three, please tuck in. See you there. Dhatfield (talk) 21:30, 30 June 2008 (UTC)


I was wondering several things about this image:

  • How was it made (what program)? Do you still have the source code?
  • Are the beveled edges accurate? (and, if so, what's the reason for them? It's a fairly distinctive feature, and this doesn't seem to be mentioned in the kilogram article)
  • Could this be done with a more natural lighting color than blue?
  • Could it be done with the ruler in cm? Maybe as another copy? nevermind saw your response to this on the FPC.
  • Is the mirror finish accurate? If so, why does it have a mirror finish?

--Random832 (contribs) 20:56, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

  • Answered on your talk page. Greg L (talk) 01:57, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

cite web and auto-lemon

Hi Greg—Please see this issue on my talk page. I wonder whether you have any leads on it? TONY (talk) 10:17, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Greg—See under "Removing excessive link" at my talk page: Gary King and Lightmouse are discussing ways of providing a switch-off function for this widely used template for the formatting of article references at the bottom. Trouble is, it autoformats all of the dates at the moment. I was wondering whether you have any technical suggestions at this stage. I see that Gary has been experimenting in a sandbox. TONY (talk) 02:18, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

OK, I see you've found it! TONY (talk) 02:35, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

sneak preview

Wikipedia:FCDW/July 7, 2008 TONY (talk) 06:14, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

ah, isn't the kilogram a unit of measurement?? TONY (talk) 06:23, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
So shall I retain it? More explicit caption? TONY (talk) 06:45, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
How's that? PS It's only after choosing it from the Commons that I found out it's yours. What of the queries above? TONY (talk) 07:39, 6 July 2008 (UTC)


...for your comment on my talk page. I think it's sometimes a case of arguing one's position or even defending it, and other times simply putting on the record so it can be heard or can stimulate other debate. This was one of the latter times. Orderinchaos 06:01, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Request for mediation at MOSNUM.

I have completed a request for cabal mediation here. Thunderbird2 (talk) 15:15, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

  • No. Mediation would result in a half-baked solution no better than what we had before. Binding arbitration or nothing. Pardon me all over the place for thinking that committee would see it entirely our way. Still, I’m not going to do all that heavy lifting on arbitration; not yet at least. We’ll see how Headbomb and Fnagaton feel about it. Greg L (talk) 19:28, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

Your failure to assume good faith.

You are trying my patience to the limit. I will not tolerate any more accusations of acting in bad faith, or unfounded accusations of disruption. Thunderbird2 (talk) 05:22, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

  • I don’t understand why you think you deserve a presumption of good faith. You had demonstrated a clear and consistent pattern where you act like you are sitting on the fence on this issue and need only a few concessions here and there in some wording, and in return, you pledge to support a proposal. But, in the final analysis, you did not do as you indicated; you did precisely the opposite. It has become clear that you were not at all like a “sitting on the fence, undecided” editor and that was just a negotiating strategy to slyly influence editors to make concessions. When it all comes out in the wash, you proved to have the most extreme views of all and turned out to be most animated about having things the old way. Do you deny any of this?

    Wikipedia doesn’t require that the “presumption of good faith” means I have to turn around in the tavern all fat dumb and happy and let you kick me in the butt so everyone can have a good laugh, and that I have to accept your promises to not do that again and turn around so you can give me another swift boot. Heabomb and Fnagaton have been—and are—infinitely frustrated with your lack of candor and seeming proficiency to duck direct questions.

    I note further, that you seem to lash out at me every single time you see progress on MOSNUM going a direction you disagree with or try a ploy that blows up in your face or doesn’t go at all as you had hoped (like your “request for advise” to Rlevse). As for my view that your tactics are disruptive and my view that you do not conduct your affairs with others here in good faith, those are my views about your method of operation and I have all the evidence and history memorialized in Wikipedia’s history to prove that I have well-founded, reasonable grounds to A) harbor those opinions, and B) to allege so in mediation that you started.

    Please also note that I’ve also agreed to tone down what I call my “straight-talk express (cut the crap)”-style when dealing with you (what you and others call “uncivil”). But I think you’ve crawled way out onto a small limb if you can presume to come here and tell me that I have A) no factual basis for believing as I do, and B) no right to tell a mediator of those beliefs. What other views do I have, which—rather than being directed at you in debate on Talk:MOSNUM, aren’t allowed to be even conveyed to a mediator? If you want to dispute what I told the mediator, dispute them. This isn’t an issue of a “personal attack” (threat of legal action or death threat). This isn’t an issue of being “uncivil” (telling someone they’re stupid or should shut the hell up). This is an issue of my telling a mediator what I believe to be true and you don’t like it. Well, please don’t presume you can tell me how I may think or express my thoughts, especially to a mediator. You are free to dispute what I said; the proper response to bad speech is better speech. Note thought, that if you do dispute what I told the mediator, I’ll be more than pleased to wade back in and thoroughly document my basis for feeling as I do. Greg L (talk) 18:49, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

  • Exactly. Thunderbird2 you are acting in bad faith because you repeatedly misrepresent other editors, even when shown exactly why you are wrong you carry on doing it. Thunderbird2 you are also being disruptive because you keep on repeating untrue accusations and even when asked to stop you keep on doing it. Your edit history is proof enough of your bad behaviour so stop what you are doing because it only makes you look bad. Fnagaton 22:41, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Thanks much

Good things seem to be happening at MOSNUM these days, thanks for your work. Also thanks for reading my comments and changing your vote...but now I've changed mine, based on the references people gave for "ml" and my search on - Dan Dank55 (talk)(mistakes) 18:30, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Television in 1928

Greg, if you want to take a break from MOSNUM, get yourself a 2 liter soft drink and read my 24 KB article on television broadcasting on WRNY in 1928. I don't have an ISO date in the article or references. I didn't find anything in the Manual of Style on whether I should say that WRNY was on a wavelength of 326 meters or a frequency of 920 kilocycles. (The New York Times preferred wavelength.) Any comments or edit would be welcome. -- SWTPC6800 (talk) 20:59, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

  • Wow! That’s a damn impressive job you did on WRNY. Seriously. I can’t believe you did that in less than 48 hours. I also see that you seem to have the same philosophy as I do: well-chosen graphics can really help make an article enjoyable to read. You took a forgettable article and made it a showcase. I am humbled. What is this self-deprecating business about not being such a good writer and you are more comfortable with research and editing? And given where you live (and your age), why the interest and familiarity with an old NY radio station? Greg L (talk) 04:32, 10 August 2008 UTC)
It took me a bit more than 48 hours. I started on the Experimenter Publishing article in early June and had it in a sandbox all of July User:Swtpc6800/Experimenter. I found a lot of stuff on WRNY and the Wikipedia article was a stub. After I posted the Experimenter article I took all of the material that I had on WRNY and created the article in about 10 days. Here is the sandbox for it User:Swtpc6800/WRNY. -- SWTPC6800 (talk) 05:38, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
  • OK, ten days. So you can’t make baskets overflow with fish. Impressive results in the end though. Greg L (talk) 17:44, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

citation template: Use year instead of date

I figured the citation template thing out: you use "year" instead of "date" and it doesn't link it. These template guys think of everything! --Slashme (talk) 05:56, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

  • Thanks; I appreciate your help. Greg L (talk) 21:01, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

I just noticed on the WP:Wikipedia Signpost that linking of dates is now deprecated:

The autoformatting of dates is now deprecated. Thus, month-day (October 13) and day-month (13 October) items, and month-day-year (October 13, 1998) and day-month-year (13 October 1998) items should be rendered in plain black text without square brackets.

--Slashme (talk) 10:42, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Indeed. I’ve been active on that issue on WT:MOSNUM. Thanks for the heads-up though. Greg L (talk) 17:38, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

MedCab check in

Is Wikipedia:Mediation Cabal/Cases/2008-07-13 Manual of Style (dates and numbers) still needed? What's the current situation? Vassyana (talk) 22:04, 18 August 2008 (UTC)


I know, I feel like I'm committing some injustice, "spamming" your discussion page - but I came across your user page, and started reading it... it's really fantastic, I could read it all day. I'm impressed, and that's even without looking at actual contributions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by AWeishaupt (talkcontribs) 16:27, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

  • Thank you very much for taking a moment to offer the complement. I appreciate it. Greg L (talk) 16:35, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
    • It should be an article! Tony (talk) 11:20, 9 September 2008 (UTC)


FYI: Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#WP:MOSNUM. (sdsds - talk) 10:36, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

  • You are too excitable in my opinion. If you would have participated in the discussion the entire time, you’d probably better realize how the recent moves are a good thing. My answer is here. Greg L (talk) 15:32, 25 August 2008 (UTC)


I have replied to you on my talk page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:29, 27 August 2008 (UTC) (who is not watching this page)

one of your tabular polls?

Greg, to try to bring closure to this accursed question of selecting a date format for articles related to non-anglophone countries, I've suggested that you might be willing to set up a table. Please see here.

As an aside, as you know, I too favour the European format for its internal logic and brevity, but I can't abide by a system that will upset a lot of US editors needlessly and will require a lot of retrofitting. But a nuanced poll will, in any case, give us a starker idea of consensus, and should be promulgated at the Pump and elsewhere, I think. What think you? Tony (talk) 11:19, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

  • Yes, I’d be pleased to set up a poll table. Busy for work hours today. Will get to this tonight. Greg L (talk) 18:07, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Please chill out

Have you any idea how disruptive it looks to launch a poll on what two options from another poll (that multiple editors have already stated does not even allow for their views to be considered!) to "vote" on, when the original poll has not even concluded yet? I know you are heavily invested in the underlying debate, but please stop thrashing. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 23:44, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

  • Hogwash. You’ve already posted that you think all polls are evil so your bias on this is clear. Obviously a great number of editors do not agree with you on this and a huge number have participated. So stop vandalizing the page by deleting polls please. It is you who is being disruptive. Greg L (talk) 23:48, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
I never said that, as I've already told you three or four times now. I said they are usually not helpful. Anyway, I've taken all followup of this dispute to ANI, since mutual griping on your talk page won't be productive, and the dispute is largely off-topic at MOSNUM. I know we usually get along fine and agree on many things, but I won't tolerate outright manipulative polls that are clearly (intentionally or simply carelessly) going to produce bogus results, and which are then over-controlled by a single party with a conflict of interest, to decide who can and can't participate (e.g. by closing it early the instant that person's favored outcome is shown by the invalid data to supposedly be more favored by others). I have nothing against you personally, nor against recognizing the multiple viewpoints on the date formatting issue and working toward consensus, nor on polling when done properly; this is a purely procedural and processual issue. PS: I'm not watchlisting this, so I'm not likely to reply here. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 05:13, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Your vote

The vote comment accompanying your recent vote on WT:MOSNUM looks like were trying to vote for option C when you wrote of “flexibility with Canada.” Greg L (talk) 18:43, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Let me try to explain myself better...I don't think that the variety of English used should necessarily dictate the variety of date formats used. If I understand correctly, Canadians may mix U.S. dates with British spelling, or international dates with U.S. spelling. Thus, the guideline should not bind articles related to Canada to US dates and US spelling or International dates and British spelling.
Likewise, I don't want to force everyone to use international date formats on Wikipedia. Yes, they're better from a logical/engineering standpoint, but they come across as quite foreign-sounding to United Statesians, and I really do not want to add more controversy to the date delinking policy.
So, to me at least, B seems to be the most logical choice. It doesn't bind dates to spelling, and it doesn't try to enforce international dates across Wikipedia. Does my vote make a bit more sense now? —Remember the dot (talk) 01:12, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Thank you for taking the time to explain your reasoning. I just wanted to make sure you voted correctly (the table-based method is prone to errors) because your vote statement appeared to me like you had intended to vote in a different column. Greg L (talk) 01:26, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

date type of template

Hi - I'm interesting in your comments on User:Dmadeo/DA which I've been noodling with. Take a look if you're interested, please leave brief, civil and constructive feedback if you'd like. I think it addresses all the concerns I've seen brought up, but I could use some other opinions before I point it out to a larger audience at MOSNUM Thanks dm (talk) 05:45, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for your feedback I've replied there dm (talk) 22:24, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks again for your comments - I'm travelling so will be offline for a day or two dm (talk) 15:07, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
Ok, last round of replies before I announce to MOSNUM Thanks again for your comments, I hope I've clarified with my responses... dm (talk) 16:28, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Short and curly quotes

Thank you for the support on the text formatting talk page. I enjoyed your user page about as much as any I have ever seen, possibly more. So if you and Gerry are on a trajectory to make me laugh as much as Rebecca and Gary did, I’ll sit back and enjoy the show; Earl Grey, not Camomile however for me. Seriously, I’ll have to take a night to read the entire page and links. At any rate, I was amused when I first read the “curly quotes” thread and the one previous on the same subject, so I decided to throw in a little history about elegance in computing and yes, text formatting. But I think it is a losing battle. The author and main promoter of the style guideline, SMcCandlish, is fairly relentless.

I think the best chance for an advancement of typographic style might be proposing your guideline at the pages discussing the development of the Wikipedia 0.7 DVD. Then, even there I think the lowest common denominator, i.e. Windows based typewriter style, might win out as the standard. However, see the article on Thoreau, compared to René Descartes from version 0.5. As I typed that e-aigu on my MacBook, I thought about how right it is to use the proper punctuation and accents. But, with the demo of your ray-traced image at varying sizes, the vast amount of readers and even editors won’t see the dithering, artifacts or aliasing errors there or the ugliness of typewriter quotes of convenience elsewhere. See this strange directive at the Hockey Project MoS. I support your proposed text formatting guideline in full, but don’t want to get into a huge struggle with the folks over there. Sswonk (talk) 02:50, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

No one in particular is the author of MOS, so pointing a finger at me is kind of pointless. Someone else reverted Greg on that, not me. Also, when you fail to gain consensus at the relevant place for a change and then try to drum up support for it elsewhere, this is known as "asking the other parent", a form of wikilawyering, in turn a form of disruptive editing. Just FYI. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 22:04, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
  • How can any single editor be full of so much hogwash? Sswonk is the very individual who started that post. I was alerting him that I was backing him on his proposal. And now you come here to tell me I have no right to tell him that? You make he me laugh. Greg L (talk) 23:18, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
The above two posts are confusing. I think #1 says: "Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: <Windows root>\system32\hal.dll. Please re-install a copy of the above file." Of course, that is purely conjecture. Then, #2 says in part: “You make he laugh”, which is ultimately true but still confusing. I think SMcCandlish got his threads confused: the revert came well after this thread started, and I know all about WP:LAWYER, so I hope we can now move on. Sswonk (talk) 02:12, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
  • You made me smile. Thanks. I find it thoroughly interesting as to how one conducts one’s affairs on Wikipedia and interacts with others can so quickly give others insight into their character. Fascinating really. And with regard to WP:Lawyer and similar links to buttress one’s point, remember, “if it’s blue, it must be true.” And “he” is now fixed. Regards. Greg L (talk) 03:09, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
  • P.S. And I just now noticed the section title you used for this thread. LOL. Twice. You and I think much alike. Greg L (talk) 03:15, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
I find it considerably less amusing that I challenge your accusations of WP:OWN (an accusation of bad faith that isn't backed with any evidence from you), and of me being somehow the principal author of MOS (completely ludicrious), here, and instead of addressing them, you actually repeated them at WT:MOS. If you think that this sort of thing is going to help you win people to your side of MOS debates, you'll be unpleasantly surprised. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 03:16, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Oh, lighten up Stanton. This is over a style guide; not a dispute over whether or not your first born should get kicked out of the “gifted” classes at school because she forgot to bring her lunch money twice in one week. Greg L (talk) 20:40, 21 September 2008 (UTC)


The idea that correcting an article constitutes edit-warring is bogus. As is the idea that a single user's choice of spelling for one word should permanently bind all future editors of the article to that spelling variant despite a better option. That is not the intention of WP:ENVGVAR. The cardinal articles on SI units should use the official spelling. The metre, second (unit) and litre articles do. I've got no objection to using the alternate (in this case US) spelling where it belongs, but an SI metrology article is not such a place because it unnecessarily confuses the reader as to the meaning of "meter" (the instrument versus the unit). You'll note that where feasible I attempted to reduce the usage of either spelling by replacing it with the abbreviated form, so far as consistent with good usage. In any case many of my edits were correcting citations from title case to sentence case per MOS, which you've chosen to revert. I'd appreciate you restoring those corrections.LeadSongDog (talk) 18:23, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

  • No, you have misinterpreted the rules. Kilogram has no strong tie to an English-speaking country. ENVAR is not the controlling guideline. Your facts, that the name is “officially” metre and litre is incorrect. The BIPM itself says that English-speaking countries usually call the tonne “metric ton”. This is nothing but an issue over the dialect of English being used in an article—any reading of American newspapers and magazines makes that clear as glass. Stop your POV pushing. There will be no editiwarring over this; MOS is clear on this as it is the first guideline on the page. Greg L (talk) 18:32, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
  • P.S. It is also clear from the examples used Citing sources that the title case of publications are maintained in citations. In the case of Kilogram, I simply retained the title case used for the referenced document. I have copies of every single one of them. So whether it was a Web page, or a scientific article, I simply used the title case used by the source. This is clearly the best and most natural technique. And that is no-doubt why the Citing sources examples use them: they were just following the style used by the document itself. Greg L (talk) 18:38, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
  • P.P.S. And finally, look at all the contributions you made that stuck. You’ve improved the article. Thanks. But don’t be stubborn over the dialect of English being used. The current guideline on leaving the style per the first major contributor was intended to not discourage authors who slave over articles to improve them, only to have someone who does nothing more than editwar over spelling. That doesn’t improve Wikipedia and only takes the fun out of it for others—that’s why you aren’t supposed to do what you just did. Greg L (talk) 18:44, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
    • Where are you seeing editwarring? That is unfounded, so yes, I will choose to take that personally if I like. I'm well aware of that deliberate error in the brochure, (put there to suit the NIST representatives), but we're not discussing the tonne/metric ton issue, we're discussing one article on the direct subject of a fundamental unit of the SI. I'm quite happy to leave the articles using the terms in whatever flavour/flavor suits the editor. In highway article, using kilometer or kilometre won't matter squat, it's just a matter of local preference/usage. But using a meter to measure a meter is just plain confusing, we should use a meter to measure a metre. In this case, a laser interferometer. That is why, in metrology articles, the spelling matters.LeadSongDog (talk) 19:00, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
  • You are citing theoretical straw man arguments (“use a meter to measure a metre”). There is no use in the article of “meter” when taken to mean “instrument”. There is no confusion in the article. I expect intellectual honesty here from you. You object to “meter” (v.s. “metre”) because it looks foreign to you. Well, “metre” looks foreign to me because it is not spelled that way in the U.S. How to solve this dilemma? Abide by the current MOS policy, which makes sense, makes peace, and encourages authors to roll up their sleeves and really make improvements to Wikipedia by expanding and improving articles. I had believed you to be a sufficiently experienced editor to know all this. If I was wrong in that assumption, I take back the “editwar” accusation and apologize. Greg L (talk) 19:18, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
  • I understand that "metre" looks foreign to you, but I'm quite sure you have no doubt what it means. In fact neither spelling looks at all foreign to me, I'm quite accustomed to both. But I'm not the audience, and it is confusing to some readers. Many of our readers are even reading in a second language, linked in from a search engine. Some are even editors on other wikis. There's no point in going out of our way to make articles confusing to them. The authoritative BIPM sources are written using terms like "caesium", i.e. International/British English. We should follow the sources. BTW, the straw man isn't a straw man, he's real, just not in that exact article: See Metre#Standard wavelength of krypton-86 emission and micrometer. I had assumed (yes, I know...) that of all people you'd understand that from the fact that I was talking about "metre" and "meter". Obviously nobody would "use a kilogram to measure a kilogramme", they'd use a balance or scale instead...
  • Thank you for pointing out to me the ambiguity of MoS on title capitals. I'll look into that more. On MOSMED it's clear, the rules are those used by Medline and the National Library of Medicine, the authoritative bibliographic source in the subject area. I think that the examples at Citing Sources are using Sun and Moon as proper nouns ("the Moon", not "a moon") and capitalizing them for that reason, rather than because the source did, but I'll inquire further.LeadSongDog (talk) 20:51, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Following the sources only proves that the spelling of meter/metre is just a dialect issue. Note the NIST’s take on how it’s spelled. Arguments that the only name that “officially” matters is the BIPM, and the NIST is a secondary source that somehow “just uses ‘funny’ American spelling that is *wrong*” doesn’t fly. How the unit is spelled is purely a dialect-based matter and that fact follows all the way to Wikipedia: the first major contributors to Kilogram were American. Let’s ignore that the Internet got its start in the U.S. and that Wikipedia got its start here. Very well, let’s do that. Now you seem to have an attitude of “the American way is all fucked up and let’s pick up where the War of 1812 left off and save them from themselves with all their foolish spelling and customs because it’s all sooooo wrong and sooooo confusing.” Such arguments are rejected as patently false. As I said, the rule of MOS is wise and proper in this case. Please accept that with grace.

    As for title case, yes, I see that examples used here in Citing sources ducked that with conveniently chosen examples using three-word titles and proper nouns, didn’t they? Nevertheless, I am quite convinced that the best practices is to mirror the case convention used by the very title of the cited publications; that’s all I did—copy the style in each case. I’m not trying to invent some new style here. Greg L (talk) 01:29, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

  • While looking at the NIST site, see this page to see who NIST say publishes the definitive international reference on the SI. Contrary to what you seem to think, I don't have an "attitude" about this. The American way isn't going to change based on Wikipedians' opinions in any case, but WP is intended as a worldwide endeavor/our, not a national one. Where there are international points of view they are as a matter of policy preferred to national ones. I'd be just as set against imposing any other single nation's POV on the world. We want full cooperation from other nations in WP. We won't get that by demeaning or ignoring them.
  • I wasn't born in 1812 and I suspect that you weren't either. From what I read, all parties to that conflict seem to think they won (or lost the least), but that's no reason to want to stage a belated rubber match. We'd have to find a new Bonaparte and a Wellington for one thing, and they're both rather scarce these days. LeadSongDog (talk) 05:58, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
  • I think we’ve pretty much gone full-circle here LeadSongDog. If this is a contest to see who gets in the final word, then you go next and that will be the end of it.

    Yes, the NIST defers to the BIPM with regard to the definition of the SI since the BIPM is the controlling authority on it. But when it comes to how the unit is spelled in the the U.S., the NIST follows the practices prescribed in the United States Government Printing Office Style Manual, which follows the country-wide practices observed in the U.S.: “meter”. At the NIST Guide to the SI (I used the title case used by the source), it states as follows:

• the spelling of English-language words - for example, "meter," "liter," and "deka" are used instead of "metre," "litre," and "deca" - is in accordance with the United States Government Printing Office Style Manual [3], which follows Webster's Third New International Dictionary rather than the Oxford Dictionary used in many English-speaking countries. This spelling also reflects recommended United States practice (see Secs. C.1 and C.5);

Yes, the BIPM is the controlling authority on the SI. And notwithstanding that the BIPM uses British/International English in their translations from French, the NIST simply follows the BIPM with regard to definitions, and observes common U.S. practices when it comes to spelling. Once again, this is clearly a dialect issue and nothing more. It is not an issue of right or wrong. If you want to change MOS policy, go lobby to have it changed on WT:MOS, but please stop wasting any more of our time by arguing here that meter and liter are some sort of exception to the rule; they are not. Greg L (talk) 17:45, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

re: email

I got your email, I just haven't had time to deal with it yet --Random832 (contribs) 19:21, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Ok, thanks. Greg L (talk) 19:31, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Good article nomination

Moved from Talk:Kilogram

I think I'm sufficiently uninvolved on this article to nominate it for WP:GA status, so I have done. Congrats to all editors who have helped to improve it. Physchim62 (talk) 20:17, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

  • Thanks—I think—Physchim62. I know nothing of the GA process. But I certainly hope it is more pleasant than having pictures nominated for Featured Picture status, which I found to be frequented by some editors who were… uhm… *stuffy* (fancying themselves as Charlie the Tuna, who had good taste). Enuja contemplated nominating this article (see, this post, above). At that time, I told her I’d just as soon put on tire chains on a summit pass in a blizzard laying on my back in slush with frozen fingers (I did that once), than watch—or worse yet—participate in some sort of peer review. I just took at look a your nomination and don’t see any debate forum. Perhaps you could explain what happens over there? I guess my question are this: 1) is any participation from someone here needed? And, 2) is this a process one actually looks forward to? Greg L (talk) 22:30, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
    • The process is nothing to be scared of, so long as you don't actually care about the result (same goes for FA, and my "pet article" has now been refused three times, obviously because of the ******* FA b*g*ts ;) ) All the same, the article is of a much higher standard than many that are promoted to GA status, and it would be a shame that that were not recognized. But recognition or no recognition, the only legacy of the WP editor is the article s/he helps to create! Physchim62 (talk) 23:18, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
    • Here are three examples of fairly contentious (and ongoing) GA candidatures: [2] [3] [4]. I would hope that "kilogram" got through easier than these. Physchim62 (talk) 23:43, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Looking at the examples, that’s about what I feared/expected. We’ll see. I don’t plan on watching the goings-on over there (better for mental health, blood pressure, and cholesterol, I think). Let me know if there’s some reasonable-sounding suggestions that won’t validate my already jaundiced prejudices on this issue. Thanks. Greg L (talk) 01:50, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
  • For someone who didn't want to watch the goings-on, you seem to have found the page quite quickly! :P Physchim62 (talk) 22:01, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Be careful about being nice, people will ask you for favors this one. Please see WT:Mediation_Cabal#Moving longer disputes away from WT:MOS. I'm tied up, but we don't want to leave things hanging for too long. I think we're agreed that another long debate at WT:MOS (which I didn't participate in btw) won't be helpful, but that means some resolution forum is needed. Could you pick one? Can you get some people together to outline the arguments, at least from your side? I didn't mean to take a side in my message at WT:MEDCAB, only to point out that we're not talking about finding a way to make editors happy, we're talking about making sure we don't restrict the flow of information in and out of Wikipedia. Not the kind of issue we want to let sit around unresolved. I lean towards straight-quotes-only, but I wouldn't be fussed if curly quotes are okay in the guidelines; I would only be fussed if we toss that long-standing guideline because a few editors were vocal in opposition and we didn't feel like fighting. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 13:36, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Greg? What kind of dispute resolution would work best for you? I think it was mainly you and Sswonk arguing your side of it. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 02:39, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Dan, I never actively argued for the change Greg made. I supported it as a proposal on the MoS talk page exactly once, prior to the premature change, and then retracted that support based on consensus and impracticality. Please see my response on my talk page. Sswonk (talk) 09:08, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
  • It’s a battle I don’t care to fight right now. Pretty much every post I’ve ever used here or on WT:MOSNUM has used typographers quotes. Habit. And hardly anyone seems to notice or care; the goings-on over on WT:MOSNUM haven’t ground to a halt because of it. IMO, arguing over this is making a mountain out of a mole hill. The editors who are using typographers quotes seem to subscribe to the philosophy of Wikipedia:Ignore all rules in their efforts to improve Wikipedia. For now, that works for me Dan.

    Besides, I’m busy at the moment fighting a battle that I think is worth fighting for right now: the over-linking of articles and how the linking of dates contributes to this problem. I’m accomplishing that via my Sewer cover essay. Happy editing. :-) Greg L (talk) 02:51, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

I appreciate it, Greg. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 03:17, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Sewer cover challenge

I'm not willing to make a link in an article to a page in user space. I have, however, done something in the same spirit. I included a photograph of an object in my guest bedroom in the article Dummy load, and I provided a link to that article from the article Cantenna. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 13:22, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

  • I see. Of course, the offers to link to that sub-page are tongue-in-cheek. The real challenge is to earn the Sewer Cover Barnstar if one intends to link dates. Cheers. Greg L (talk) 14:27, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Actually, it's not really that hard. I've read through October 16 and 1925, and copyedited both. If I were writing a historical novel or a role-playing scenario set then, I would consider 1925 an invaluable resource.

But the key point here is that not every article exists to be read through. By the same logic, one would oppose WP:MOSGLOSS because it envisages glossaries of over 500 kilobytes; yet they are likely to be extremely useful. So is List_of_hereditary_Baronies_in_the_Peerage_of_the_United_Kingdom, which I have myself consulted repeatedly, although no-one in his right mind would read it from top to boottom. (And, no, I don't want a Sewer Cover; so I will stop there.) Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:56, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

  • The whole thing? Both of them (Oct. 16th and 1925)? To the very bottom? Wow!

    There is an important difference between lists of specific things—like which breed won “top dog” each year at an AKC contest—and a compendium of random historical events contributed by a totally random army of volunteer editors: The former are often used by people in search of something specific. And now that these lists are often on the Web, one doesn’t have to read them all; they can search on, for instance, “Golden Retriever” and see how long ago it was the winning breed. If it’s a list of kings and queens of a country, one might scan the list, looking for trends in specific time frames when male or female leaders predominated.

    The nearest thing to a completely random list that has been successful is the Guinness Book of World Records. But, given the nature of what’s in that book, and the fact that is is organized into classifications (natural disasters, human feats, etc.), it can actually be read rather linearly with some measure of enjoyment. Although you found the experience of reading two date articles “not really that hard,” these random lists of who-knows-what come up quite short of what I would call “compelling reading.” Whenever I look at them, my reaction is “Don’t give a shit. (*read another line*) Don’t give a shit… don’t give a shit… oh, that one is mildly interesting… don’t give a shit… don’t give a shit. As I am not a masochist (although I do keep on debating this link issue, so maybe I am), I generally don’t click on these things unless I’m actually discussing this issue. I doubt I’m all that unique in this regard.

    The issue is not whether or not these lists have any socially redeeming value whatsoever; it is whether or not they are sufficiently topical and germane to the subject to merit being linked. My take is as follows: In intrinsically historical articles, judicious use of year links (1795) makes sense. And for certain other purposes, like what you cited above, or in an article on the Great Depression, judicious use of links like 1929 make sense and do a good job of exploiting the promise of hyperlinking as first envisioned by Paul Otlet in his 1934 book, Traité de documentation (Treatise on Documentation) as interestingly covered here on YouTube. But for general-purpose uses like birth years? No. And dates, like March 12: Exceedingly rarely.

    If Wikipedia had a Fairness In Advertising policy on all links, where you had to make it exceedingly clear what would happen if you clicked on a link, date links would work as follows:

Pearl Harbor was attacked December 11, 1941 (list of random events throughout history on Dec. 11).

There’d be far fewer of them being clicked on after that. In all seriousness, I suggest that year links be aliased so they better disclose to the reader what they will be taken to. I suggest as follows:

The Great Depression followed “Black Thursday” which occurred on October 24, 1929 (other notable events of 1929).

Just two more date articles Pmanderson (Oct. 1st and 2008), and you can be the first recipient of a Sewer Cover Barnstar! Greg L (talk) 19:08, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Merge proposal

Please see WT:Only_make_links_that_are_relevant_to_the_context#Break 1 for the current discussion. I'm letting everyone know who has a comment on the relevant talk pages. Obviously, we're not going to push anything through without a full discussion of every issue, including whether to merge at all. My sense is that there's wide agreement on all the big points, but the devil is in the details. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 19:04, 3 October 2008 (UTC)


Hi Greg,

I have been working on year pages -mostly on the since I think 2002 or so. Off and on, that is and usually pre-1800. When I read your sewage story I was taken aback a little at first. If you don't like year pages that is your right but you do seem to think that means that nobody should like them. But upon trying to read 1925 I can see part of your point. I do think there are two different issues here.

  1. Are year pages inherently trivia pages?
  2. Is there a lot of trivia on year pages?

My answer to question 1 is a definite no. Although I am more into older history I did come across a number of topics on the 1925 that sparked my interest enough to click on them and read more and that probably happens to more people. For the older years this is even more true because history is seldom taught in a synchronous way. People teach French history and say English history as if they are on two different planets -even if talking about the same hundred years war between them...- and that is not healthy at all. The wiki year pages are imho a welcome break with that tradition. After say 1800 that may hold less.

My answer to question 2 however is certainly a resounding yes when it comes to 1925. I really do not see what the foundation of some student club is doing between the events of world history. But that is kind of a different issue isn't it? The year pages have the function of giving a synopsis of what was happening on this planet in a particular year and allow the reader to get better access to the fuller information. It is one of the very few ways I know to get a synchronous picture of the world I know. In fact this ability makes wiki pretty unique.

As to the linking question: in writing year pages, particularly of the earlier centuries it is very useful if other pages link to a year because that makes it a lot easier to find the information and write a one-line synopsis on the year page to link to the lemma. You can just use the "what links here" button. Without links it is much harder to make the synchronous picture more complete, even if the info does exist in wiki.

As to the date pages (January 1 etc.) I have always regarded those as pure trivia. For some strange reason people often prefer to work on those though. I don't understand why.

Jcwf (talk) 16:55, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

If someone is reading up on the famous architect Frank Gehry, providing a link to beautiful architecture, like Falling Water, is a good idea. But…

We devalue links and bore most readers of that article by providing a 1929 link to an article that says March 3 - Revolt attempt of Generals José Gonzalo Escobar and Jesús María Aguirre fails in Mexico.”

  • Jcwf: The issue is not whether or not these lists have any socially redeeming value whatsoever; it is whether or not they are sufficiently topical and germane to any given subject to merit being linked to; that’s all.

    The nearest thing to a completely random list that has been successful is the Guinness Book of World Records. But, given the nature of what’s in that book, and the fact that is is organized into classifications (natural disasters, human feats, etc.), it can actually be read rather linearly with some measure of enjoyment. Wikipedia’s random lists of who-knows-what come up quite short of “compelling reading.” I don’t buy into the implicit argument that since ‘nearly everything is in date articles, they are suitable links to put into any article.’ To rebut that attitude, I submit How to Bore People in Five Simple Steps.

    I fully agree with you: links to years in truly historical contexts are appropriate: in an article on the Great Depression, judicious use of links like 1929 make sense and do a good job of exploiting the promise of hyperlinking as first envisioned by Paul Otlet in his 1934 book, Traité de documentation (Treatise on Documentation) as interestingly covered here on YouTube.

    But for general-purpose uses like birth years? I don’t think so; if visitors are reading a Wikipedia’s article on, for instance, Frank Gehry, they are most likely there because they are interested in famous architects and beautiful architecture. Accordingly, we add value to the Frank Gehry article and encourage learning and exploration by providing a link to Falling Water, not by linking to 1929 (the year Mr. Gehry was born). And for specific dates, like like March 12, I again agree with you; so few readers would be interested in wading through any of these lists, we would only diminish the value of links and desensitize readers to them were we to link to them. If there was an article on notable architectural events of 1929, then by all means, let’s link the year of Frank Gehry’s birth to that article.

    I also think Wikipedia’s Fairness In Advertising policy ought to be better applied. For specific dates (which ought to be quite rare) links would work as follows:

Pearl Harbor was attacked December 7, 1941 (list of random events throughout history on Dec. 7).

There’d be far fewer of date links being clicked on after that. In all seriousness, I suggest that year links be aliased so they better disclose to the reader what they will be taken to. I suggest as follows:

The Great Depression followed “Black Thursday” which occurred on October 24, 1929 (other notable events of 1929).

Greg L (talk) 19:06, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
That the list for Dec 7 is random I concur and I would gladly see those links go. For 1929 you really cannot say that, because many events are related or come to influence each other in a process we call history. Birth dates are seldom historically important because the newborn is seldom a player in the historical process. The opposite is true for the dates people die. They are often turning points particularly if they are kings, dictators, emperors or popes. Their demise typically brings someone else on the throne. For others such as scientists, inventors, poets, architects I think mentioning the date a certain invention, book, poem, building appears is often more sensible and interesting than birth or death on a year page, even more if you can show an illustration. Of course I respect your POV that such things are boring but I do not think you can substitute your POV for that of our readers. As to the idea that the reader may not know what a link like 233 BC would lead to is downright insulting to their intelligence. I encourage you to show more respect.

Jcwf (talk) 23:34, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

  • Uhm… it’s an essay encouraging that articles not be overlinking. It (attempts to) do so with over-the-top humor. Other editors find the essay helpful and amusing (see another editor’s reaction below). If you had found yourself beginning to take offense as you read it, you might have “voted with your eyeballs” and hit the ‘back’ button on your browser. And since the best response to “bad” speech is “better” speech, you might consider writing your own essay: one that employs tongue-in-cheek humor to encourage editors to not write essays that offend editors who read offensive essays. Let me know if you write one; I’ll read it! Sorry for offending you. Happy editing. Greg L (talk) 20:14, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

FYI: date of Pearl Harbor attack

Not that it substantively affects your point at WT:MOSNUM, but the date Pearl Harbor was attacked was 7 December 1941, not 11 December 1941. — Bellhalla (talk) 23:53, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

  • Oops. Sept. 11 on the brain, I think. Fixed. Thank you very much. Greg L (talk) 00:18, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

TfD nomination of Template:Val

Template:Val has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at the template's entry on the Templates for Deletion page. Thank you. Gerry Ashton (talk) 18:47, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

TfD nomination of Template:Delimitnum

Template:Delimitnum has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at the template's entry on the Templates for Deletion page. Thank you. Gerry Ashton (talk) 18:47, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

  • I appreciate that John. Greg L (talk) 19:58, 11 October 2008 (UTC)


Greg L/Archive 1, you posted at one or more of the recent discussions of short FAs. There's now a proposal to change the featured article criteria that attempts to address this. Please take a look and consider adding your comments to the straw poll there. Mike Christie (talk) 19:31, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

  • I added my 2¢ (∆ here). For what it’s worth… Greg L (talk) 20:37, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Sewer Cover Challenge

I've read (and improved) both October 16 and 1925. I wouldn't have thought those articles were useful, if I hadn't read them. Now I think they're very useful and interesting (I had no idea that Margaret Thatcher and Lenny Bruce were born on the same day.) I'll get to reading the other two when I get a chance (need to cook some dinner) and earning that barnstar. --Sapphic (talk) 02:06, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

  • God speed Sapphic. Greg L (talk) 02:20, 24 October 2008 (UTC)


Hi Greg,

I just took a look at a few articles in the Great and Noble Encyclopedia Britannica. Ouch. I was looking for the "edit" link all the time! Weasel words, "some observers say, ... other observers claim", woolly time specifications ("recently" etc.), even in one case "about the time of Christ". I took a look at their article on the kilogram, and found it sadly lacking. It makes me really appreciate your input when I see things like that. Did you know that the words "watt balance" do not occur in EB anywhere at all?

Anyway, just remember, some people may be rude, stupid and objectionable, but on the other hand, others appreciate the work you do! --Slashme (talk) 09:11, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

  • Thank you very much for those kind words. I deeply appreciate it. Happy editing. Greg L (talk) 20:49, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Thunderbird2's disruptive editing

I've started compiling a RfCU and because I'm really busy with work at the moment I'm looking for some help with diffs to support the claims. I'll be adding some over the coming days. Fnagaton 05:29, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Got it. And didn’t notice your misspelling the first time around. :-) I suggest we prepare this and not post it so long as T-bird behaves himself and drops the matter. After all, I concluded my last post with…

Choose your next post carefully and consider yourself warned. Your behavior as of late bears all the hallmarks of a tendentious, single-purpose editor whose benefits to Wikipedia are wildly offset by the disruption you cause. One remedy for this, which is distinctly possible, is a permanent ban. Please drop the stick and stop flogging the dead horse.

So I think it wouldn’t be playing Cricket to push forward with this so long as he either A) goes away because he can’t behave himself when he’s here, or B) actually starts contributing to Wikipedia and refrains from being disruptive.

Besides, I wouldn’t bother with a damned RfC; I’d just go straight to an ANI. I think his disruption is clear enough that we don’t have to narrowly stick to the rules (you know: Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy?).

Speaking to the point of “actually contributing to Wikipedia” (something I wish T-bird would do), I just got through adding this animation to Mandelbrot set. Much more rewarding that screwing around with T-bird. Greg L (talk) 17:14, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I was trying to decide if ANI or RfC were the right place, in the end I just about concluded RfC was because even though Thunderbird2 is being very disruptive he deserves one last chance to modify his behaviour. If he really does decide to stop being disruptive (for good) then posting the RfC is also unnecessary. Of course the pattern is that he will stay quiet for a short while and then return to being disruptive, so the pending RfC will still remain on my talk page ready to be used if needed. :) Fnagaton 10:27, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Very well then. Greg L (talk) 19:05, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Looks like his disruptive pattern has started again. I have a meeting now so I don't have time to upload the RfC/U at the moment, but it will give him more time to post to provide yet more evidence of his disruptive behaviour. Fnagaton 09:31, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Sewer Cover Barnstar

I've read all of October 1, 1925, October 16, and 2008. -- Army1987 (t — c) 13:17, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

  • And you are humbly and with great reverence, hereby awarded your Sewer Cover Barnstar. Congratulations. Greg L (talk) 03:14, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I read all of them. Not only that, I reformatted 1925 to meet WP:YRS standards. (I'd read 2008 previously, to look for non-events in #Events.) I can't say I traced all the links to see if they went to the correct article, though. Does that count? — Arthur Rubin (talk) 21:41, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Sewer Cover Barnstar challenge

I stumbled across your sewer cover page by accident and must confess that I genuinely enjoy "This Day In History" features so it wasn't as much of a chore for me to read all four pages as it might be for some. I also took a moment to correct a couple of glaring typos and remove one entry entirely as I strongly suspect it's nonsense vandalism. I agree that dates can be over-linked but also feel that some readers will get more out of 2008 than others. (I, for one, hadn't realized that Yma Sumac had died.) - Dravecky (talk) 20:55, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Thanks. And you’ve been here awarded Sewer Cover barnstar for that accomplishment. Happy editing. Greg L (talk) 21:19, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Notice of gift of the gods

Dravecky may be disturbed about it, but FYI March 1 has been nominated for deletion. Ohconfucius (talk) 04:14, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

  • No god, just a mere mortal. I was sure it would incur a wrath and I was right. In fact, I was a bit surprised in reverse (that the dd mm yy articles did not have stronger following and that the dd mm articles is so well ring-fenced by trivia lovers). You probably gathered the so-called 'notifying the projects' is code for "canvassing". Judging by the massive response within such a short time, I have been fighting to avoid the nomination being speedily kept so that we can at least have a sensible discussion about it. However, I judge from the tone unlikely. Ohconfucius (talk) 05:47, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I’m just not bending over to pick up the soap if I drop it right now. Greg L (talk) 05:51, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
LOL neither am I. ;-) Ohconfucius (talk) 06:01, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Time to walk the dogs. Goodnight Ohconfucius. Greg L (talk) 06:05, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I had a good chortle over your 'barrel of monkeys' comment. Ohconfucius (talk) 08:31, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
  • The walls were closing in. Ohconfucius (talk) 14:33, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Several times over there, I was tempted to write I’m out! Throw me another clip!”

    Greg L (talk) 19:30, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Nice post

Read your recent post at ArbCom with appreciation - something to think about for us all. Ronnotel (talk) 01:10, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

  • You are certainly welcome. Greg L (talk) 01:18, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Your ArbCom post is great. I also liked your post on the Pcarbonn page [5] . I have wanted an administrator with "Pcarbonn authority" to help at cold fusion for some time now! [6] Olorinish (talk) 01:50, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Jimbo himself? That would be some “Pcarbonn authority.”

    When I heard the breaking news in 1989 that cold fusion was producing spurious excess heat, I figured it must be milliwatts, which would be damn hard to discern. But after encountering this dispute and reading the technical details here, I see it’s thirty freaking watts of excess heat energy!

    If I really thought I had accidentally made a 30-thermal watt fusion reactor, I don’t believe I would go near it. Thirty watts of deuterium-deuterium fusion should produce gobs of something. They’re not seeing gobs of neutrons or gamma rays or some sort of convincing emission or over-pressurization from helium and shards of glass “emitting” from the device. What’s left? How about tritium production? Then they should be seeing the emission of 185 trillion protons per second (a flux intensity of 37 billion protons per cm2 per second at 20 cm from the device). You’d have to assume that every single 2.01 MeV proton is captured through some unknown mechanism (FSM interactions?) to get around this inconvenient truth.

    Yet I’m sure those “researchers” are putting their noses right up to the things as they “do their passivation thing” or get hydrogen nuclei packed into every conceivable atomic orifice or whatever it is they’re actually doing as they utterly gum-up and self-destruct in a matter of hours. “Whatcha doing?” I might ask a researcher. “Watching my Jonny Quest, micro-size, ambient-temperature, personal desktop fusion reactor™ operate,” the researcher responds. “So… as you watch those little bubbles, why do you have your damned nose pressed right up against it while it’s running(?); do you like getting proton therapy for fun?” I would innocently ask. “Because I don’t really believe my own bullshit” comes the response. No plausible explanation is being offered to account for why 30 watts doesn’t eventually kill  everyone in the room. It’s the same logic as “look, I see lights in the night sky. I don’t know what it is. It must be UFOs from other stars.”

    Like Carl Sagan once said, “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” Were he alive, he would be pointing towards CF when he said it. With CF, we have have an inverse situation with the claims-versus-evidence equation: stratospherically exotic claims and galactically stupid evidence that fusion is responsible for the observations; ergo, CF is a religion. I’m not buying my DeLorean until after the faithful have a Mr. Fusion for me to buy. Further, legitimate researchers trying to get to the bottom of it (like the Japanese guys) don’t even want to mention the words “cold fusion” in their papers. Pcarbonn has the “faith.”

    Someone should brain-wash Pcarbonn into “getting religion” about how dates shouldn’t be routinely linked (an ongoing, chronic debate on WT:MOSNUM). He’d be our *secret weapon* that would make the opposition want to stick their head in a door jamb and slam the door on it over and over. Greg L (talk) 05:42, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Cold fusion

An Arbitration case in which you commented has been opened, and is located here. Please add any evidence you may wish the Arbitrators to consider to the evidence sub-page, Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Cold fusion/Evidence. Please submit your evidence within one week, if possible. You may also contribute to the case on the workshop sub-page, Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Cold fusion/Workshop.

On behalf of the Arbitration Committee, Tznkai (talk) 16:06, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

August 1, 2003

I was stunned to see the discussion on this closed as "no consensus, default to keep", since very few people suggested an outright keep, and most would have been satisfied with a merge. I honestly don't think the closing administrator paid attention to any of the comments. Regardless of how you felt on this issue-- delete, merge, keep -- I think that everyone's comments showed that a lot of people care about this issue, and "no consensus" was similar to a snub. I've asked for a review, and invite everyone to give their two cents worth at [7]. Best wishes. Mandsford (talk) 00:05, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Mandsford, I’d like to help but there is no clear right or wrong answer on this topic; just a big pile of opinions. One has to be awfully patient on Wikipedia to effect change. Even if you’ve found a way to convert straw to gold, you’d find some editor scurrying out from under your refrigerator who can write just as passionately and extensively as you with a message about “messing with nature’s plan.” I really don’t have a problem with any date-related article “existing”; I think it would be better if the information from “date throughout history” articles (like “May 1”) was copied to other articles that served a better purpose. I’ve been working the issue of no longer linking to these “May 1”-type articles; I find they are nothing more than agglomerations of random trivia pulled straight out of Professor Marvel’s crystal ball. I’ve seen a sudden change in WT:MOSNUM consensus over the last three months and am saving my ammo to ensure that win sticks. Greg L (talk) 02:38, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Sewer cover challenge

I, too, stumbled upon your sewer cover barnstar challenge. The article reminds me of the Notice posted on the corridor of the ground floor at Hietalahdenkatu 7A, Helsinki, Finland (the AFD for that article is also hilarious). I finished the challenge. The first two were easy for me, but I got distracted by the Munich air disaster which I didn't know about before. Reading the births and deaths section was interesting, particularly finding out how many people survived well into their 90s in 2008 compared to 1925. However, reading the events sections did get boring after a while. Graham87 15:53, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the barnstar. I've been known to read all sorts of strange and, to most people, boring material, and this is just one more thing to add to my list. :-) Graham87 00:35, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
2006 - The article titled Notice posted on the corridor of the ground floor at Hietalahdenkatu 7A, Helsinki, Finland was deleted from en.Wikipedia.
Greg L (talk) 00:57, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Thunderbird2 is forum shopping again

Thunderbird2 is forum shopping again. I don't have time to add it to the RfC right now but I might do later on. Work to do... :) Fnagaton 17:54, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

  • *sigh* I added this regarding Thunderpain. Greg L (talk) 22:17, 20 November 2008 (UTC)


  • Keep an eye on Cole: he's made another attempt at spoiling the RfC if not trying to sabotage it outright. I've just reverted him again. Ohconfucius (talk) 10:39, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
  • See below. Greg L (talk) 20:40, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Please note: you are already in violation of WP:3RR. You do not own WT:MOSNUM; and if two editors wish to comment on the wording of a poll on which they were not consulted, that is our business. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 00:41, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Ridiculous? Yes. Pure bull shit? Indeed (and I said precisely that). My response here. Thanks for the heads-up! Greg L (talk) 02:01, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

"Are you kidding?"

I think you may have attributed this to the wrong person. Please check.LeadSongDog (talk) 19:37, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

response about cold fusion

Please note that I have given a second, better response to the issues you raised on my talk page. Any comments welcome. Pcarbonn (talk) 14:21, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Thank you for the notice and opportunity to respond. My response is at the bottom of this section on your talk page. Greg L (talk) 21:10, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Sewer Cover challenge

I read all four of the date articles, and even made a couple of edits. It's true that I have a high tolerance for reading trivia, but I found parts of all of them interesting and informative. Not that I think they should usually be linked to, mind you. As far as date-linking goes, I would generally oppose it if there were another mechanism for auto-formatting dates. Even though I'm an American, I hate the standard American format for dates—I believe the one I prefer (29 November 2008) is the European standard. I've always liked Wikipedia's auto-formatting feature, even if using wikilinks to do it is a kludge that leaves pointless links. In general, lots of links don't bother me; I probably have some things to learn about overlinking. You've given me food for thought. Thanks. Ntsimp (talk) 00:51, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

  • And you’ve been awarded a well-deserved barnstar. I too, dislike American-style dates. I also greatly dislike AWG wire sizes (square millimeters is a far, far superior way if you’re doing anything from trying to figure out how many wires you can get into a wire nut, all the way to advanced calculations of voltage drops.

    I don’t have a problem, really, looking at either date format; neither format *confuses* anyone. My problem with autoformating is that it only produces special, *pretty* output for A) registered editors, who B) set their user prefs. But for 99.9% of our readership, they get to see some sort of default format. As it had customarily been implemented, some of those defaults have been a total abortion. It is overly optimistic to believe the developers will produce special parser functions that spoon-feed custom content to each reader depending on their I.P. address. So the best thing to do is make editors actually have to look at what we write (and what every regular I.P. user sees); then we’ll eventually develop a sane and rational approach to choosing the date format best suited to the subject matter and stick to it throughout the article. Greg L (talk) 01:54, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Shocking edit summary

"I agree with Dlabtot" wow, those are four words I've never before seen on Wikipedia! lol... cheers Dlabtot (talk) 04:34, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Note to self…

My feeling is that we should get past the temper tantrums of editors who don’t like to see change (there is too much of that attitude here and as many opinions as butt-holes), and come up with a simple, unambiguous guideline that anyone can follow and which optimizes Wikipedia content for the likely readership. The simple reality is that en.Wikipedia is read by a *world-wide* English-speaking audience and most English-speaking readers are accustomed to using Euro-style dates in their daily life. So, IMO, it’s best to accede to that reality and go with the flow on this: use Euro-style dates for most articles. Articles like Kilogram, Black hole, Andromeda galaxy, and Argentina should use Euro-style dates. But if it’s an article on or closely related to an American subject (e.g. Yellowstone National Park, Kevin Coe, and California) use American-style dates so those articles read most naturally for its likely readership.

I think it is unrealistic to expect that Wikipedia is going to *teach* an American audience to change the way it formats its dates and visa versa with the rest of the world. It’s just as unrealistic as it was for us to think that our adoption of “kibibyte” instead of the “kilobyte” the rest of the world used would change anything; it didn’t. I also just don’t see grandfathering in what is arguably the wrong date format based on who would be considered to be the first major contributor as a viable long-term solution. We shouldn’t have to go look at edit histories and have editwarring in order to resolve this on a case-by-case basis. Keep it simple; with a subject-based guideline:

1. For articles on, or strongly associated with, the following countries and territories: The United States, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Wake Island, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Republic of Palau; editors should use the U.S.-style date format (“February 2, 2008”), otherwise, editors should use the international date format (“2 February 2008”) in articles.

In 99% the cases, a simple look at the subject title settles the issue and that’s that. If I was the first major contributor to the Ford Mustang article and used Euro-style dates, I could certainly handle sitting back and watching them all consistently changed to American-style dates. The same goes if I had used American-style dates in Black hole; I would have no problem seeing them all changed consistently to Euro-style. I really do believe that most editors here can do the same.

Quick question re: your signature

Greg, I've noticed that a portion of your signature tends to appear as a change in the diffs for unrelated edits. For example, in this edit, Ruslik's comment is in green, but so are three paragraphs containing you signature. Furthermore, the "popups" tool strikes out the " L]]''' " and appears to replace it with the same " L]]''' ". Is there a non-standard space in your sig that is perhaps getting replaced when some browsers try to interpret it? (Please note this isn't a problem, just a curiosity.) --Ckatzchatspy 17:28, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

  • I was wondering why edit deltas did that? My autosignature uses a no-wrap for the whole thing. I might have also used a hidden non-breaking space between the Greg and the “L”. I just went back and made sure that the aliased (appear-as) space is a regular one. This is my new one: Greg L (talk) 21:36, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • …and for testing purposes, here is a separate entry. Greg L (talk) 21:37, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, I forgot to check on this post. Thanks for the quick reply. Looking at the diffs from entries later than this, your change seems to have fixed the issue by the L; there is, though, a similar quirk between the hyphen and the bracket preceding "([[User_talk:Greg_L". Cheers. --Ckatzchatspy 22:44, 7 December 2008 (UTC)


I wondered the same thing and found this likely definition: ETA at urbandictionary (note the 3rd definition). —Locke Coletc 02:46, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

That’s probably it. Thanks. I would say it’s the functional equivalent, of “P.S.”, which is much clearer. Greg L (talk) 02:50, 5 December 2008 (UTC)


ETA here is used as "edited to add". --MASEM 03:37, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

  • Got it. Thanks. It takes time to be fluent in Wikispeak. “Excuse me, but if the VP is such a VIP, then shouldn't we keep the PC on the QT? Cause if it leaks to the VC, he could end up an MIA and then we'd all be put on KP.”

Inch-based ruler on the kilogram CG image

Wouldn't it make sense to use a ruler with centimetres in the picture of a SI unit? (Or maybe one with centimetres on one edge and inches on the other, so that it will not be less unfamiliar to Americans?) -- Army1987 – Deeds, not words. 16:24, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

  • Without a doubt. This issue comes up once in a while. Some French guy once wrote that he “nearly had a stroke” over this and suggested (here) that I should be drawn and quartered for this outrageous juxtaposition of the IPK along side an inch-based ruler.

    I had the inch-based ruler left over from a real-world project (a CG illustration of a medical device) and it took a l-o-n-g time to make it in the first place because the CAD program (which includes its own ray-tracing rendering engine) has a bug in the way it renders numbers.

    A bug that affects making a ruler? Oh yes. Characters with closed loops, such as a 4 or 8, show blank space in the closed loops instead of letting the wood texture show through. I discovered that bug while making the ruler. I had originally intended to make the entire ruler (inch and metric sides) and simply flip the damned thing around if I wanted centimeters to show. So I stopped after making the 1, 2, and 3-inch legends (the “4”) being the first digit with a bug. By using dark shadow, no one notices that the ruler doesn’t have legends behind the IPK (same thing in my medical renderings).

    So… It took a lot of work to make just what you see: the rules on the ruler are actually one-thousandths of an inch thick “paint.” You’d be blown away if I showed you the close-up texture detail of the end of the brass pen-guide along its edge; it is stunningly realistic. It takes a lot of effort with texture, minute detail such as radii, light, and shadow to trick the eye and give a photo-realistic effect. I have hours and hours making the thing. As it was, I spent probably an hour researching the IPK to track down the actual blueprints actually used to make the first prototypes. I also spend probably eight hours screwing around with the placement, direction, intensity, spread, diffusion, and color of lights; reflective objects are notoriously difficult to light—both in real-life and in CG. Even though the CAD program outputs anti-aliased images, I then spent several hours screwing around rendering the scene with double resolution and then using two different photo applications to scale the image down to produce even better looking anti-aliased edges. So…

    Am I interested in being drawn and quartered for making a less-than-perfect contribution to Wikipedia? No. Am I interested in spending two evenings to add metric rules and legends to the ruler and re-render the whole thing again? No; with that much time, I could greatly improve some other article in desperate need of repair. *It’s a good thing this is a (usually) enjoyable hobby.* Greg L (talk) 19:55, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

    I didn't believe that was so hard a task (and I would never have noticed the missing numbers myself). I had even thought "couldn't Greg just have scaled down the long side of the ruler by 1/2.54?", before noticing the missing numbers, and, more important, that inches aren't divided in ten... BTW, if "[t]his issue comes up once in a while", if I were you, I'd consider adding this explanation on the image description page. -- Army1987 – Deeds, not words. 20:20, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
  • P.S. E-mail me (here) your e-mail address and I’ll e-mail you some close-up views of the ruler. Greg L (talk) 20:09, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
    How big are they? I have a 56K connection... (Yes, I do. In 2008.) -- Army1987 – Deeds, not words. 20:20, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
    Thanks for the pictures. They're really impressive. (BTW, I've found another reason not to use that program to draw metric rulers: they usually have a number at tick 0, too!) -- Army1987 – Deeds, not words. 15:24, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

The RfC closing note

FYI, I've temporarily removed the "closing" note from the header. I don't think this should be a problem; it is just that it appeared confusing to have a note that suggests the RfC is closed (given the time) when it is still open; it may stop readers from contributing. When a time is set, it can be easily restored. (Personally, I'd suggest giving at least 48 hours to ensure people see it, especially if you're announcing it on a weekend. I read through the discussion you linked to, and given its length I suspect many people aren't even aware a date was discussed.) Thoughts? --Ckatzchatspy 22:35, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

  • 48 more is fine by me. Greg L (talk) 00:01, 8 December 2008 (UTC)


Ny only reply addressed to the original questioner was the one you kept moving, the one which answered his question: why do we do this way?. The rest have been to you; but that does seem futile.

Don't worry, I expect you will, as the self-appointed owner of MOSNUM, have the last word; just try to sign off with something which doesn't deny that it is possible to disagree in good faith. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 03:50, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

  • Shit man. Lighten up. Go with the flow. Do the right thing. Don’t worry about “people taking over.” This is a 100% democratic system that was bootstrapped from nothing. Progress is made much faster and much, much more enjoyably if you really read and understand where people are coming from. Greg L (talk) 05:24, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Please read WP:Refactoring: If another editor objects to refactoring then the changes should be reverted. Where is your own special license? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:26, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

So ... do you have a substantive reply to Greg? Tony (talk) 03:55, 18 December 2008 (UTC)


I'm sorry for my accidental removal of text you'd added at your RFC. In the future if something like this happens feel free to undo the part you disagree with to "test the waters" to see if it was an accident or intentional. Obviously if it's intentional I'll revert it back with a more meaningful edit summary. Or, easier still, leave me a note on my talk page (preferably with a diff link so I can see what you're talking about) and I'll self revert/fix things if it was accidental. I'm still amazed I didn't edit conflict on that, so my apology stands. —Locke Coletc 01:24, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

  • I don’t understand. I thought it was a technical SNAFU in the database. But if the deletion of my addition was by your hand and was unintentional, then your apology is accepted. I very much appreciate the gesture. Thanks. Greg L (talk) 01:29, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
  • It was a technical SNAFU, I didn't intentionally remove it (I didn't remove anything else in my manual editing except for the shortcut), but it still happened, so I apologize for not catching that (in this way it was "accidental"). —Locke Coletc 01:38, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

I'm nominating Kilogram as a Featured Article Candidate

The nomination will be at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Kilogram. -- Army1987 – Deeds, not words. 21:01, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

  • Awe… poop. I know you mean well, appreciate the science in the article, and are proud to have contributed to it. I am appreciative of your many contributions there. But when you mention FA and I think of the editors who will be doing their drive-by shootings of careless critique, something Spiro Agnew said comes to mind: “An effete corps of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals.”

    I kid you not; I would quite prefer that it not be the subject of an FA nomination so the article isn’t a target of these guys with their Glock‑9 pie holes. Greg L (talk) 02:40, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Don't make too much of this.

If you want the article Americanised, that's fine. It's really not that big a deal. Serendipodous 19:09, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

  • Thanks for your flexibility. But it’s not about that I “want it Americanised”; I wanted it to remain using the dialect in which it had long been stable. It appears yours was an honest effort to rectify the situation after a series of your own edits. But many times, UK and American editors go about dialect-warring and that sort of stuff has to be nipped in the bud. That’s why MOS guidelines on this issue were written so precisely: to avoid needless editing just for the purposes of changing the dialect. No harm/no foul. Greg L (talk) 19:16, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Character counter

Just at MOSNUM where you write about {{val}} and talk of your poor luck with convincing the developers to give us a character counter. I was just thinking how such a function would simplify {{precision/+}}. Considering that {{precision/+}} has something of the order of 100,000 transclusions (if my counting is correct), this would be quite beneficial. On the other hand, could {{val}} make use of {{precision/+}}? JIMp talk·cont 11:44, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, didn't mean to undermine anything ... it didn't cross my mind. I'll see what I can add to the discussion. JIMp talk·cont 00:53, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposal to use Georgia on {{xt}}

It has been proposed to use Georgia on {{xt}}. It has a larger x-height than Times New Roman, so it wouldn't have the size problem.

Write 5 cats and 32 dogs or five cats and thirty-two dogs, not five cats and 32 dogs.

What do you think? The discussion is at Template talk:Xt. -- Army1987 – Deeds, not words. 13:10, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

  • Hmmm… Experiment:
Georgia → Write 5 cats and 32 dogs or five cats and thirty-two dogs, not five cats and 32 dogs.
Times New Roman @ 108% → Write 5 cats and 32 dogs or five cats and thirty-two dogs, not five cats and 32 dogs.
Palatino @ 100% → Write 5 cats and 32 dogs or five cats and thirty-two dogs, not five cats and 32 dogs.
Why not? Greg L (talk) 17:48, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
Hmm. I don't have Palatino installed and my browser falls back on default serif, but I do have URW Palladio L which I guess is close enough, and ...
Write 5 cats and 32 dogs or five cats and thirty-two dogs, not five cats and 32 dogs.
The exaggerated overshoot makes size comparisons harder (the v's ares slightly too small, the o's are slightly too large), but it's far better than TNR @ 100%... It also doesn't have the ridiculous glyph for the italic v which makes ν = λv look like we mean that λ is 1 (compare ν = λv, ν = λv).
OTOH, Georgia is much more common, and has all letters without descenders or ascenders with more-or-less the same height (though I don't like those text figures very much ... but I think that practical concerns are more important than personal tastes, and, as I said, Georgia is much more common). -- Army1987 – Deeds, not words. 18:36, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
  • My complete thoughts are on template talk. I don’t have a problem with Georgia as long as we’re confident we are more likely to fix something than break something. If you’re happy with Georgia, then, I say, “be bold.” Greg L (talk) 18:51, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Your outrageous edit to Trivia

You missed March 1. --RexxS (talk) 04:16, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

  • Ahhh… thanks. Now fixed. If they want dates linked, I can not possibly think of a more suitable article, where linking to historical trivia is perfectly germane and topical to the subject matter. Greg L (talk) 04:21, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
2008 appears in Rubbish ... --RexxS (talk) 04:25, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Hex etc

I sympathise; it was a frustrating incident. AdminReview is not yet live (have to fix it up properly and hold elections for the Coordinators—it's going to be a few weeks yet; also, we have to solve the multiple-complainants/third-party comments issue first). In any case, the process cannot deal primarily with admins' breaches of policy/guidelines that are not concerned with their administrative actions (wp:admin). While there, I strayed into other sections. My, there certainly is a cabal-like presence at AN/I where admin actions are criticised. The one about copyright usage, OMG ... the "half-smoked sausages case" here! Tony (talk) 15:21, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)#Let's bring them before the ArbCom

They are getting antsy... Dabomb87 (talk) 01:48, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

User:Dabomb87/Summary of the Date Linking RFCs—The only way that we can get anywhere on WT:MOSNUM is through clear-cut statements and through cogent reasoning. I want to rise above this cycle of argument and move on; that will never happen if we don't agree on what the consensus is. Dabomb87 (talk) 05:09, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
  • This is an outstanding move. I guess it was better for you to have summarized the results than Tony since his results would automatically be encumbered by skepticism and prejudice. Thanks. Greg L (talk) 21:03, 11 January 2009 (UTC)


I've requested arbitration over this date delinking situation and the conduct of those involved. You are named as a party. Please see here. Thank you. —Locke Coletc 03:06, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

[8] I must say, I like your style :D Dabomb87 (talk) 04:03, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Thanks. The last time checked, I hadn’t been drafted into the U.S. Army and still had free will. I’m not about to let Locke Cole dictate how I might enjoy my hobby here on Wikipedia or control my life in anyway whatsoever—particularly over such a whiny-ass, sore-looser stunt. WT:MOS and WT:MOSNUM are a marketplace where ideas are exchanged. Locke apparently isn’t impressed with the direction things are going there right now. Too bad. In the grand scheme of things on a 1–10 scale of importance, this issue over which he has his panties in a bunch is a nice solid 1.2 (or maybe 1.3). Concern over which restaurant Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie ate at today is about the only damn thing I can think of at the moment that might be less important. I have zero interest whatsoever in getting swept up in his überdrama and wikilawyering. Finally…

    To you, Locke: If you want to engage in debate and exchange views on WT:MOS and WT:MOSNUM, that’s fine with me. When I elect to do so there will be a matter of my choosing. Outside of that, please leave me alone and don’t bother me here again. Greg L (talk) 04:42, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Your Message

Heh ... when I read Tim's first book, I was already LMAO by page 3 (which I think is where the whole description of his "entire family of Dicks" was happening. I think you would have to either do drugs or comedy with that name :-) (talk→ Bwilkins / BMW ←track) 11:26, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Date delinking

An Arbitration case involving you has been opened, and is located here. Please add any evidence you may wish the Arbitrators to consider to the evidence sub-page, Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Date delinking/Evidence. Please submit your evidence within one week, if possible. You may also contribute to the case on the workshop sub-page, Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Date delinking/Workshop.

On behalf of the Arbitration Committee, Ryan PostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 23:42, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

  • Oh… joy. Greg L (talk) 06:30, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Temporary injunction in Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Date delinking

The following temporary injunction has been passed in Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Date delinking;

Until this case is decided or otherwise directed by the Arbitration Committee, all editors are instructed not to engage in any program of mass linking or delinking of dates in existing articles, including but not limited to through the use of bots, scripts, tools, or otherwise. This injunction is entered as an interim measure and does not reflect any prejudgment of any aspect of the case.

For the Arbitration Committee, Ryan PostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 11:56, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

  • Works for me since I don’t do mass delinking. Only here and there. Greg L (talk) 06:06, 17 January 2009 (UTC)


I find you offensive and really rather boring. If you continue to attempt to contact me I will consider it harassment and treat it accordingly. If you wish to refer to anything I do in an article, by all means add that to a relevant article talk page, but I won't respond there either.- (User) Wolfkeeper (Talk) 01:44, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

  • Oh, well, pardon me all over the place for not being more blunt when referring to your chronic tendency to assert things throughout Wikipedia that are, uhmm… “not in the slightest bit true.” While doing that, I merely came across as “boring”?? I must be getting too civil lately ;-) Unfortunately, Wikipedia requires that I give notice to editors who are the subject of ANIs. So methinks thee doth protest too much. Greg L (talk) 06:01, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Whatever. Just to be crystal clear and then I really am gone, you can just fuck off about ANI notifications as well, as I certainly consider your ridiculous "running to mommy" behaviour to be part of a self-defeating pattern of attempted harassment. I've had people way better at it than you try to intimidate me, and to be honest they weren't really very successful either. Your paranoid 'meat puppetry' conspiracy theories are not being taken in any way seriously, by anyone. The admins themselves can always contact me if it is really necessary.- (User) Wolfkeeper (Talk) 07:02, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
  • LOL! I see. Splendid post there. What was that you were saying about me being offensive? BTW, I’m not trying to “intimidate” you; I’m trying to get you to comply with the rules of conduct on Wikipedia. Judging from the last three items on your talk page as well as your above post, it appears my achieving that goal will certainly be elusive. Greg L (talk) 07:08, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
  • P.S. Oh, with regard to your initial 01:44 post here, where you wrote If you continue to attempt to contact me I will consider it harassment and treat it accordingly, I suggest you abandon the assumption that this is some sort of unilateral arrangement. That would please me. Greg L (talk) 07:38, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Your message

I believe that his behaviour jeopardises the culture of Wikipedia. There is no doubt of the strength of his opinions. He will devote great energy to setting out his views, resort to forceful language, try to amend Wikipedia policies to suit his point of view at the time, take unilateral action while discussion is still underway, ignore the important opinions from people such as the leader of a project, selectively quote anything, believes the world is against him, does not try to refute valid counter arguments but merely repeats his own view incessantly, and proposes action such as a merge and then implements it within hours. Incidentally there is some discussion about his behaviour on Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard#Glider edit abuse and 3rr avoidance, if you wish to make any points there, now would be an excellent time. I notice that you have also had to refer him to a similar page. Fortunately I think he has a tendency to 'shoot himself in the foot'. This time he referred himself! Suggestions gratefully received. JMcC (talk) 11:21, 17 January 2009 (UTC) & JMcC (talk) 12:11, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

  • You’ve hit the nail on the head. I agree with everything you wrote here. I’ve responded over on your noticeboard here. Let me know if I can be of further assistance. God speed. Greg L (talk) 19:06, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

  • And I thought he was talking about Piggy. ;-) Ohconfucius (talk) 12:28, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Talk:Drake equation

Over ten million Americans believe the Apollo Moon landings were faked.

That's amazing. I never knew it was that high. Tell me, why do so many people in the U.S. believe that? Is it simply a matter of poor education, or is there something else at work here? Viriditas (talk) 14:14, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Well, remember, there are a lot of Americans here, so even portion like 6% of adults adds up to a bunch.

    As for the reason: Distrust of corrupt government as a result of the Vietnam war and President Nixon, and genetics, I think. American’s are the descendants of extremely religious people who said “screw you” and set sail across the ocean at a time when you had maybe a 50/50 chance of being alive after five years. That is one heck of a “malcontent” streak. Modern behavior studies with twins separated at birth show a genetic component to basic personality traits. This basic “disaffected-in-America” attitude persist to this day with gun ownership (I’m one of those), death penalty proponents (I’m one of those too, except I think executions should be televised if they are to be a real deterrent), and other matters of daily life. We also have a culture that glorifies the individual and individuality v.s. the group and conformity. I too, fairly embrace this value.

    People who believe the moon landings were faked fancy themselves as individualists who aren’t like the gullible sheep everyone else are—a virtue in their own eyes. That, and there’s simply a lot of dumb bastards over here; setting sail across a perilous ocean to an extraordinarily harsh existence surrounded by people armed with tomahawks, just so they could pray to the gods to keep volcanoes silent and their crops green (and whatever else they wanted) wasn’t the sharpest thing to do.

    Looking up and what I just wrote, it’s a wonder I think the moon landings are real. Greg L (talk) 18:42, 17 January 2009 (UTC)


Isn't Wikipedia wonderful? I never heard of this before. Great unit. Great collaboration. --John (talk) 06:53, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

  • Indeed. And, unfortunately, more elusive of an experience than it really ought to be. Your help was instrumental for getting g-force to where it is now. Thanks, John. Greg L (talk) 17:32, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Dates and formatting

Hi Greg, I was reading through your MOS subpage and was struck by the logic and simplicity of your proposal. Positions are likely now far too entrenched, but here is the idea I had a few months ago:

  • Keep DA, i.e. retain the [[...]]'s around dates, and retain the DA function in the software.
  • Introduce two new magic words, namely __USDATE__ and __INTDATE__ that the parser uses to set the initial auto-formatting preference (overridden by user prefs I suppose, though I don't set mine anyway)
  • Encourage all dmy and dm dates to be DA-linked.
  • Turn off blue-linking unless the DA syntax starts with a ":". (Blue dates don't bother me all that much either way, but the consensus seems clear)

This would achieve the objective of uniform date formats per article, achieve your proposal with a one-word edit per article, require the absolute minimum of editing to any article, let people keep on following the leader by linking dates, and is simple enough that I think we could persuade a dev to implement the code. Relinking appropriate dm/md articles would still need to be done, but it solves all (most of) the other issues. Much too late to suggest this, I'm sure, but I do like your proposal anyway. Franamax (talk) 08:44, 20 January 2009 (UTC)


Greg, maybe you revert too readily. The opening para of this article is one of the most tortuous in wikipedia and needs revision and simplification. Yhe article is about g, it should start suimply with what g is. The measurement of g comes later. Ex nihil (talk) 00:26, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

  • The article is about g-force. If you want to edit an article on the unit g, I suggest you create a new article. Greg L (talk) 00:29, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
    • g and g-force are synonymous, it doesn't need another article but this one does use very confused English. By comparison look at this children's encylopedia opening para for clarity. We need to get somewhere like this:

g (also gee, g-force or g-load) is a unit of acceleration defined as exactly 9.806 65 m/s2, approximately equal to the acceleration due to gravity on the Earth's surface. Gravity due to the earth is experienced the same as being accelerated upward with an acceleration of 1 g. The total g-force is found by vector addition of the opposite of the actual acceleration (in the sense of rate of change of velocity) and a vector of 1 g downward for the ordinary gravity (or in space, the gravity there). Weightlessness means a zero g-force, which is the result when acceleration due to movement is equal to that due to gravity. The symbol g is always written in lowercase, to distinguish it from the symbol G, the gravitational constant, which is always written in uppercase. Ex nihil (talk) 00:33, 22 January 2009 (UTC)


Please mark your reverts [9] as such. The convention is to use "rv" or "revert:". It makes it much easier for the blocking admins :-); not me in this case, of course William M. Connolley (talk) 20:40, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

  • Charming. Discussed here. Greg L (talk) 22:57, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Yet another message

I removed your latest talk post [10] just like I removed W's [11]. For why, I refer you to my message to him [12]. Just leave out the accusations of shouting, hostage-taking and intransigence; it simply isn't helpful William M. Connolley (talk) 20:46, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

  • Ah yes. Censoring a post of mine because you didn’t “find it helpful”. Let the record show, we certainly had some discussions about this slick move. However, I let it slide because of reciprocity: you had done the same thing to the other editor. Besides, I had more important, strategic objectives at the time that took precedence of calling each other a ‘poopy head.’ Greg L (talk) 22:53, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Proposal: shifting italics text slightly to the left

I've noticed that you often use CSS margins for parentheses after italic text. I have made a proposal that would solve that problem once for all throughout Wikipedia, without the need of adding such a tweak manually. If you're interested, it's at MediaWiki talk:Common.css#Proposal: shifting italics text slightly to the left. -- Army1987 – Deeds, not words. 20:52, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Sewer cover challenge

Ok came across the challenge boy I must have been bored, got as far as 1906 - The Captain of Köpenick fools the city hall of Köpenick and several soldiers by impersonating a Prussian officer and had to follow link and discovered a new word hoboed never heard of that before but got back to the task with great gusto thought I might find another new word. I then went to 1925 and got as far as Meher Baba I love that photo he looks like he is about to say Ah come here and I tell you this one. Also I can’t believe I read the whole thing. BigDuncTalk 16:42, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

  • Ah, I see. After taking time to carefully read your post, you are saying that you managed to get only about 10% the way down into the 1925 article (to Meher Baba). Indeed, four trivia articles (Oct. 1, Oct. 16, 1925, and 2008) is a lot to go through. Thanks for your candor. I agree, the picture of Meher Baba does indeed look like he’s saying Ah come here and I tell you this one. What a character he must have been. Had he been born 40 years later, he no doubt would have had his own TV show. Thanks for pointing out to me that when one has an adventurous mind, one can really get a great deal of enjoyment out of these articles. Greg L (talk) 22:46, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
If only I stopped there, :) let me explain I was supposed to be doing some lab work in college on Data Structures and Algorithms and I thought to myself what would be less boring so took the challenge and I continued and read the other ones too. It was a chore in places but I finished them all. BigDuncTalk 22:57, 28 January 2009 (UTC)


Yes I was going to mention thin spaces. Thanks for your message, SmackBot makes a number of changes that are available to all WP:AWB bots - in general these provide a number of non-controversial minor improvements.

The issue you raise is related to these, and has been discussed in the past. The present arrangement is the result of consensus. However there's no reason you can't raise the matter, leave a message about your concerns on the WP:AWB pages.

Regards, Rich Farmbrough, 01:50 31 January 2009 (UTC).

That dreadful sewer challenge

I did it and it reminds me of an episode of Will & Grace when Will, looking at rather eclectic decor in an apartment of a rather unstable neighbor states "Now we know who's buying everything on Ebay." -- Banjeboi 14:11, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

  • I’ll be getting to your just-deserved barnstar later. Will & Grace analogy: funny. Greg L (talk) 16:47, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Your incivility

Your incivility has been raised here. Thunderbird2 (talk) 17:51, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

…was actually nothing of the sort, but was instead the product of employing a facetious and humorous metaphor to illustrate the point that no one is interested in your proposals. For yucks, what T-bird is reacting to is here (scroll up an inch to see my post). Thanks very much for providing me the opportunity to deal with you in the manner befitting the disruption you cause on Wikipedia. My response is at the bottom here.

Now, pardon me all over the place for not being able to entertain you by further responding to your endless Wikidrama; the real world calls. I’ve got to tend to some digital x-rays of a lab animal that is part of a medical experiment. Greg L (talk) 22:26, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

P.S. As to your final question on your WQA: What should I do now? As the others have said in response, please, please drop this “we should use the IEC prefixes” crusade of yours. It is exceedingly clear that the Wikipedian community believes it wise to follow the way the real world communicates to a general-interest readership. It is exceedingly unrealistic (not to mention extraordinarily tedious) for you to keep harping on this point. Doesn’t the fact that this whole issue was moved to its own MOSNUM subpage signal to you that others are so sick to death of this that they don’t even want to be reminded of it? And it would also make it look like you were more of a grownup if you didn’t come here to whine about how other editors failed to leave an after-dinner mint on your pillow and turn up your sheets for you in response to your insessant hounding on this issue. If you can be something other than a single-purpose account and actually do some good, welcome. If you perceive that the only role available to you on Wikipedia that gives you any satisfaction is to persist at this, it would be better if you walked away rather than have to finally be banned. Greg L (talk) 00:03, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Looks almost as inviting as the date-linking debate... Dabomb87 (talk) 04:11, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Truly fetching. Greg L (talk) 04:15, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Date delinking

  • I also replied on the summary talk page. Dabomb87 (talk) 13:26, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
  • It may interesting to see what the other side has to say about date linking. Dabomb87 (talk) 01:27, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Sewer? I barely even know her!

Did the sewer; stuck a fact template on Godrej Sidhwa's birthday (unknown) in 1925, and updated reference 44 on the 2008 page. I know, awesome. Even better, as far as date linking, was the fact that I made a typo on the Chocolataire page (put 18th century instead of 19th century), but failed to correct before it went to DYK[13] unnoticed... Whoopsie! If later should you want a face full of trivial nonsense, check out the List of common misconceptions (which I've done a bit of editing on), or for a laugh, its talk page -- good example of how meaningless information brings out the best in us, particularly here. Irontobias (talk) 09:41, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

The final solution for {val}

Please see Template_talk:Val#The_final_solution. Dragons flight (talk) 19:59, 10 February 2009 (UTC) (aka Robert Rohde)

Val test suite

For my {{val}} sandbox, go to User:Greg L/Val sandbox.

Extra! Extra! Read all bout it!

Even Rubin and Cole say Tennis expert has lost it. Ohconfucius (talk) 12:26, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

  • Publicly distancing themselves from Tennis expert. Both Arthur and Locke have e-mail. Greg L (talk) 05:52, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
The thoughts and opinions expressed above on this user page are not intended to be offensive to any particular minority group (based on race, religion, ethnicity, country of origin, gender, gender identification, disAbility, occupation, meat-eating/vegetable-eating practices, and hobbies—even hunting). Note too that parenthetically mentioning “even hunting” in the preceding sentence was not intended to signal any disapproval of the sport; the author does not wish to disparage the legal, safe, and most humane-possible methods of hunting. This preceding statement should not however, be construed as an endorsement of the sport; the author values all the biodiversity of earth and no animal should suffer at the hand of a human. However, that preceding sentence should not be construed that the author is indifferent to the plight of workers displaced by environmental issues; the author is mindful of the plight of timber workers vs. the plight of spotted owls. The preceding sentence should not be construed that the author thinks there is only one group of workers who have been financially harmed by environmental issues; there are others and not mentioning these others by name should not be construed as suggesting they are any less important than another. The author wishes to ensure all who review this communication that he values diversity and has the utmost respect for the law, government officials, the institutions of the United States, the wide variety of social customs and diversity of its peoples, and the civil treatment of other Wikipedians, even if the come across as assholes. This statement should not however, be construed as being intolerant of others who have contrary or differing values or who might hold the U.S. in disdain. The author embraces the wholesome notion that no person’s or group's values are any more meritorious or valid than another’s, and the author does not wish to suggest that by stating an admiration for America and the U.S. Government, that this ought to be construed as deprecating the many other fine systems of government throughout the world and the social practices of its peoples. Notwithstanding that the author wrote the word "he" three sentences ago, (the author happens to be “anatomically male” by birth) this should not be construed as diminishing in any way, the existence of the word "she" nor does it signal that the author is adverse to the use of the gender-neutral "he/she" where appropriate. Furthermore, the words "he" and "she" should not be construed as being exclusionary or diminishing to the transgendered. This paragraph was not intended to be understood by blondes.
  • Excellent and very pertinent observation. It is now clear that I was wrong for blaming Tennis expert for his actions from the start. He is but a pawn in the game. He has now received the supreme mixed-message, just a few hours after being disowned. Picture the bride, being left at the altar, receives a telephone call from her husband-to-be that evening, saying "sorry I couldn't go through with the wedding, but I love you". Ohconfucius (talk) 09:43, 16 February 2009 (UTC)


Ryan warned me on my first attempt that I couldn’t add the group’s proposal as a whole new proposal. I quickly got responses on his talk page when I inquired. Fine, so I contacted him again and got no response because he had left his computer. Perceiving the silence as acquiescence, I replaced my old proposal (a bunch of petty stuff regarding banning Locke that was permitted to stay) with new contents that took up less room and spoke straight to the heart of the issue and Ryan blocked me for that. Who would think a clerk would pull such a stunt? I should have been warned again that even modifying my existing proposal wouldn’t be allowed either. Furthermore, now that I had moved my old proposal to the workshop talk page, replaced it with the new, smaller contents of the proposal, and had that deleted by Ryan for being something arbitrators wouldn’t even consider (go figure), I now have no proposal at all on the workshop. This was a knee-jerk reaction from a frustrated clerk and is not right. Greg L (talk) 03:32, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

  • Appears to have acted rather hastily. It is not entirely clear Greg did anything wrong, because of the blur in the scope and the instructions to move/remove stuff from User:Risker. Also, where's the warning, and the block notice? Ohconfucius (talk) 05:03, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

The warning is here (from me) and the block notice is here. Greg_L, the proposal you are putting forward is something that has to be decided by the community. The Arbitration Committee has no remit, in my opinion, to instruct in the manner which you propose. That doesn't mean it is a bad idea (I offer no opinion on that), it just means it's outside our scope of what we can and cannot do. Risker (talk) 06:50, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

  • I think that Poss panicked when he thought things were getting out of control following your invitation for editors to move/remove stuff from Workshop. In the ensuing confusion, Greg moved/rewrote his proposal, and got stuffed with a block. I just think he got the raw end of the deal. The invitation should never have been made - it's the clerk's job to do the cleanup/move, as it states very clearly in the preamble. It is my considered opinion that the clerk should have been bloody doing his job instead of twiddling his thumbs or eyeballing other stuff for the last 4 weeks. This whole process, from who can make statements, how much they are allowed to write (and not just the ban on Greg), sucks; Shit which gives WP a bad name and gets editors fed up and pissed off. Ohconfucius (talk) 09:24, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

I do not want any more posts here on this issue. Every time I turn on my computer and go to Wikipedia, I don’t want to see an orange banner up top that there is a message waiting for me on this topic. I have posted a position statement here on the workshop talk page. If I chose to I will look there to see what is going on. Greg L (talk) 13:52, 16 February 2009 (UTC)


It is quite simply entirely inappropriate to upload an image with a title like "Clerk.png" as you did. Please don't do so again. --MZMcBride (talk) 21:31, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Stop x nuvola with clock.svg
You have been blocked from editing for a period of 72 hours in accordance with Wikipedia's blocking policy for a long, steady pattern of incivility. Once the block has expired, you are welcome to make constructive contributions. If you believe this block is unjustified, you may contest the block by adding the text {{unblock|Your reason here}} below, but you should read our guide to appealing blocks first. Gwen Gale (talk) 21:42, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
File:Orologio rosso or File:Orologio verde DOT SVG (red clock or green clock icon, from Wikimedia Commons)
This blocked user's unblock request has been reviewed by an administrator, who declined the request. Other administrators may also review this block, but should not override the decision without good reason (see the blocking policy). Do not remove this unblock review while you are blocked.

Greg L (block logactive blocksglobal blocksautoblockscontribs deleted contribscreation log change block settingsunblockfilter log)

Request reason:

You cite It is quite simply entirely inappropriate to upload an image with a title like "Clerk.png" as you did. Of course I want to contest this block. All I did was create a cropped version of his photograph instead of the landscape version so it would take up less room in my post. Why is there a double-standard for uploading this image? Ryan uploaded the photograph and used it on his own talk page. Your stated reasoning for the block is that I uploaded it. Do you not realize that it is just a zoom of an existing photograph that Ryan himself uploaded? Perhaps I should have just used the existing landscape-orientation image and crowded my post some more. And BTW, the post in which I used the image was civil, so all this fuss is over some perceived notion that I “uploaded” an inappropriate image, which can not possibly be the case since Ryan took it.

Shown below is Ryan’s very own home page. Greg L (talk) 22:30, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Decline reason:

No, you were blocked for incivility; read your block message. True, the image didn't help, as it appears to have been uploaded solely for the purposes of harassment. Hersfold (t/a/c) 22:52, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

If you want to make any further unblock requests, please read the guide to appealing blocks first, then use the {{unblock}} template again. If you make too many unconvincing or disruptive unblock requests, you may be prevented from editing this page until your block has expired.

  • Very well. The block, nevertheless, is a knee-jerk reaction and is a clear double standard. You cite It is quite simply entirely inappropriate to upload an image with a title like "Clerk.png" as you did. In fact, all I did was create a cropped version of File:Ryanpostlethwaite.jpg instead of the original landscape version so it would take up less room in my post. Why the double-standard for uploading this image? Ryan uploaded the photograph and used it on his own talk page. Your stated reasoning for the block is that I uploaded it. Do you not realize that it is just a zoom of an existing photograph that Ryan himself uploaded? Perhaps I should have just used the existing landscape-orientation image and crowded my post some more. And BTW, the post in which I used the image was civil, so all this fuss is over some perceived notion that I “uploaded” an inappropriate image, which can not possibly be the case since Ryan took it. Greg L (talk) 23:04, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
You may not have carefully read the block notice yet. MZMcBride warned you about the image. I blocked you for a long, steady pattern of incivility, of which the image name and use were only a very tiny bit. Gwen Gale (talk) 23:07, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Very well Gwen, there is little one can do on Wikipedia editors looking for any excuse to block. The block, nevertheless, is a knee-jerk reaction and imagines incivility where none exists. You cite …as it appears to have been uploaded solely for the purposes of harassment. One can’t possibly harass someone with an image uses on his own talk page. In fact, Ryan didn’t seem to have taken offense to my use of a picture he used on his own home page, as evidenced by his post in response. All I did was create a cropped version of File:Ryanpostlethwaite.jpg instead of the original landscape version so it would take up less room in my post. Perhaps I should have just used the existing landscape-orientation image and crowded my post some more so there wouldn’t be an “uploading”. But, Gwen, I think you’ve got an exceedingly short fuse ever since I complained about what I felt was your harassing me for suggesting I had a thing for skin. Greg L (talk) 23:04, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
No sir, I did not cite as it appears to have been uploaded solely for the purposes of harassment. Hersfold said that in declining your unblock request, although I agree with it. Meanwhile this block, for a long, steady pattern of incivility, is hardly a kneejerk reaction, nor is it a double standard. Incivility isn't allowed: You've been warned and told about these worries many times. As for any complaints about harassment, they were empty. I've only been hoping you'd settle down into a more civil way of editing, but this has not happened yet. Gwen Gale (talk) 23:23, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
  • We will have to agree to disagree as to whether my complaint about your harassment was “hollow”. I question your motives. This stunt of yours appears to be payback. Well done Gwen. Your words (“long pattern of incivility”) betray that were smarting from that complaint, were watching my every move, and just looking for an excuse. I feel your power. Happy? Ask me if I respect your judgement. Greg L (talk) 23:32, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Oh, by the way, you still haven’t explained how my use of an image that Ryan uses on uses on his very own talk page is uncivil. In fact, you can’t, proving that this block is clearly just retribution by an obsessed admin. Greg L (talk) 23:41, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Block reset

Your block has been reset to one week with email disabled and talk page protected. Time to take wiki break. RlevseTalk 23:49, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Full explanation required

The block and the "reset" appear to be politically motivated. Please assure the community that this is not the case. I believe that a full justification is required. The reasons that appear above—to my eyes—are disjointed and most unconvincing. A block is to be used, by policy, as a last resort and very conservatively. The reasons must be explicated. This reason: " I blocked you for a long, steady pattern of incivility, of which the image name and use were only a very tiny bit." is simply not good enough. Just why the block has been "reset" to a week is totally unexplained. The blocking policy requires this to be explained, or it is a breach of WP:ADMIN. Tony (talk) 06:47, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

PS I'd also like an explanation of why the user has been blocked from editing his own talk page. This is a contested practice, and much community opinion has been expressed against this. Why has it been done in this case? Tony (talk) 06:49, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
Politically motivated? That is simply preposterous. Evidence and reasons above and on Gwen's talk page. RlevseTalk 21:59, 22 February 2009 (UTC)


  • I just could not believe it when I saw the block log. This is just another manifestation of the authoritarian American gun culture, where the 'police' shoot first and ask questions later. Since when has "Don't do it again" ever been considered an adequate explanation for any such admin action? I was aware of the Thunderbird2 case and the shenanigans of/with Gwen there. It just seemed too surreal for the block extension to come from a member of Arbcom, ostensibly for "harassing blocking admin" — that action appeared to have taken place long before the block, for which Gwen appeared to have extracted her pound of flesh. Exactly what "harassment: of Gwen Gale took place on this page? and so how does any of this justify the extraordinary move to extend the block and disable email and talk page at the same time? Oh, could you possibly mean saying she had "an exceedingly short fuse"? Even if it was uncivil, which I vehemently contest, she was not obliged to come back to this page once the block was in place. Instead, she was guilty of provocation/escalation, repeating the same old mantra when all Greg wanted was a proper explanation. It is only because he didn't get what he was entitled to that he started being sarcastic, and when he did, I do not feel he overstepped the mark. This total disenfranchisement is complete bollocks, and made me think about exactly the sort of things AdminReview is seeking to deter. To think that admins don't know any better is one thing; quite another when it's a member of ARBCOM, quite irrespective of the capacity xhe is acting in. Ohconfucius (talk) 04:48, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
Shame that someone with Daedalus969's understanding should get to impose the last word. Jesus christ. While you wait this out, here is a good word...whatever, let the children have their toys. Ceoil (talk) 10:14, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

Diffs for Osomething and Tony

Here is the first diff, with Greg L deleting it with an attack, no less.

Here is the second diff, with Greg removing it again, basically noting he read it.

Oh hello, it's not my job to go finding diffs: it's the blocking admin's. Would you like to do some of my work? I've got a few things in mind. Help would be welcome. "Crying abuse" is a poor choice of words. The whole point is that Gale failed to include the required documentation at the time of blocking. Tony (talk) 02:36, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
Good point. It should be the blocking admin who provides the diffs. Especially if it only takes a "few seconds". It is peculiar that you, Daedalus969, has to be the one providing them. It just add gasolin to the fire. --HJensen, talk 23:36, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
How dare you talk to me like that? All I said was that I agreed that the blocking admin should provide diffs. That is not, as far as I can see, equivalent to "throwing around claims". Instead, it is an opinion that takes its origin in a firm belief in the general principle that a person is innoncent until proven guilty: In this case, I would find it natural that the blocking admin presents diffs to back up a block. There is no reason to make things appear mysterious. As for the particular accusations against the admin, I take no stand. (But if I did, how does one presents diffs for missing actions?) --HJensen, talk 16:39, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. No, you "don't answer to me" but nice that you found time to explain your outbursts against me. --HJensen, talk 15:21, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Could I remind all of the extraordinary rudeness of Deadalus969 on that page?

Incivility by the above on the talk page of Gwen_Gale. Diffs of aggressive and hostile comments follow:

  1. Accusations against Tony1 (talk · contribs) and Ohconfucius (talk · contribs) of baiting.
  2. "back the hell off, try reading WP:DICK yourself, as you really are being one"
  3. "Please just shut up now, I'm sick of this disruptive trolling of yours on this talk page"

This is currently the subject of a WikiQuette Alert. Tony (talk) 15:47, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Dynamic Dates

  • An even better approach might be to leave Dynamic Dates enabled but to disable the date preference for registered editors. Oh, the humanity! By forcing registered editors (those who think date formatting is worthy of a fight to the death on the Orient Express) to actually have to look at the same article content that every I.P. user sees, articles will get cleaned up in a hurry. Greg L (talk) 02:58, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure why you deleted that, but anyway I just wanted to let you know that it's essentially the same as just turning off Dynamic Dates. If the wikimedia sysadmins put this line in the LocalSettings.php config file for the site:

$wgDynamicDates = false;

... then the result would be that all registered users see the site the same way that anons do — i.e. with no autoformatting but with dates still linked. As an added bonus, doing it that way would also make the "phantom comma" go away and leave the text entirely alone (right now, even users who specify "no preference" will see a comma in this date: January 15 2009 even though it's not in the "raw text")

Look, as for getting pissed off, I'm sorry I keep losing my temper but it really seems like you're not acting in good faith. You obviously understand the point I'm trying to make here, yet for some reason feel the need to pull shit like making up fake quotes, simply as some kind of rhetorical device. You know that pisses me off. Which might very well be why you're doing it. Which is not cool.

Consensus isn't about the number of supporters, it's about finding a "starting point" or "lowest common denominator" amongst a set of positions. I think almost everybody in the poll (and across the project) agrees that Dynamic Dates is broken. Where we differ is in whether to fix it, or ditch it entirely. I think the only way out of this mess is to start with the part we all agree on, and establish a process for dealing with the rest. Right now I don't trust you to contribute to any development process in good faith, which is why I want you excluded (and that exclusion enforced by arbcom.) I can't imagine you'd actually want to participate in that anyway, so I don't see the problem. Others have pointed out that there will be more "phases" of polling, so I think you should reconsider the proposal to end all this right now.

(I posted this here to keep it away from the public discussion, so nobody will feel the need to propagandize it.. if you quote this back there, either in whole or in part, I'm going to be very very pissed off. Please don't do that.) --Sapphic (talk) 03:21, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

better this way…

yes, indeed. Tired old thread should be killed off and not nourished. Ohconfucius (talk) 03:22, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

The Hex Creative, Reactionary, Awesome Prose (CRAP) Barnstar

This jewel comes from here:
Greg, I think we need a Hex Prize for the Most Poorly Behaved Admin of the Year. I nominate him now, along with Gwen Gale. On the other side, our prize for the best admin ... I'd nominate Black Kite, for starters, just on his copyright work, but for other things too. Tony (talk) 02:49, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Please reconsider taking a break

It's not just because of Sapphic's loss of temper that I'm suggesting a break, although it certainly plays a part. I really think more progress would be made (in arriving at a community decision supported — and enforced — by ArbCom, as well as in getting the injunction lifted) if the named parties all removed themselves from the situation.

As for my comments about your son, I did NOT mean to imply that his trying out to be a SEAL was important to you and nobody else. If I'd meant that, I'd have written it that way. I don't like sarcasm or veiled insults, and prefer the more direct variety. If I'm not writing mean things to you, then you can be sure I'm not thinking mean thoughts about you when I write whatever I do write. I think in at least that one aspect of things, we have pretty similar views, and I definitely respect you for being able to shrug off insults.

I'm not posting anything to any of the dates-related pages for at least a week, I'm fairly sure I'll be able to convince Sapphic to do the same, and hopefully Locke Cole will follow suit. You can choose to keep posting, but I don't think you're actually helping your cause by doing so at this point, and you may in fact be hurting it. Most of the reason I picked the names I did is because we all seem to have a rather... "wordy" ... approach to things, and we're drowning out (and probably scaring off) other people who might want to voice their opinion.

You don't need to reply here if you don't want to, I'm not trying to strike up a conversation, I just wanted to let you know how I see things. Have a good day, --UC_Bill (talk) 17:36, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

  • I did NOT mean to imply that his trying out to be a SEAL was important to you and nobody else. No worries; I didn’t take it that way. I responded only that it’s just not that he was “trying to be a SEAL” that was important to me. He is now working on being a Navy Diver. That is important to me now. I support him in anything he does. I want all my children to be happy, contributing members of society. As regards …I'm fairly sure I'll be able to convince Sapphic to do the same [not post anything to any of the dates-related pages for at least a week]: splendid news. I really do appreciate your stopping here to mend fences and ensure I correctly interpreted your intent with your post. I admire your style. Greg L (talk) 17:44, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

    P.S. Since you are more expert in this than anyone else, please advise if I have misstated any facts here in “Statement by Clerk Ryan Postlethwaite:” Again, I claim no “ownership” of that post; it is a live document. Please contribute to it. Greg L (talk) 17:49, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Date formatting and linking poll

Please consider taking a step back on the date linking poll. Whilst I understand your frustration, the way you're putting across your views is becoming increasingly combative and not in line with a communal editing approach. A little more tact in your comments would help you put your point across a lot better. Regards, Ryan PostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 22:35, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

  • As regards my being combative, please explain how it is that Sapphic posts this:
…and she wasn’t even warned (let alone blocked) by you or anyone else? Let’s have some fairness and balance here. My arguing style might be a bit forceful at times, but it utterly pales in comparison to what she’s been doing. Greg L (talk) 23:24, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm sorry I called you names, Greg. I was angry because you made up a phony quote and attributed it to me. That's not an excuse, just an explanation. --Sapphic (talk) 00:44, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Some respect please.jpg
  • Thanks for the apology. “Name calling”. *Pfift*. There is no need to apologize to me, as words like “asshole” is just another word like “dick-head”, which I am. Words like “fucking” is just an intensive signaling state of mind. Again, I couldn’t care less. But I can’t let you off the hook quite so easily with your “phony quote” allegation. If you had read what I actually wrote, you’d see I didn’t even imply that I was directly quoting you, but was summarizing your position. I wrote this:
(emphasis just now added) It seems clear enough to me that I wasn’t implying those words were a direct quote. My problem is with an oft-imperious attitude about admins and the resulting double-standard. You could call me a “donkey-fucking bastard” and not get warned. Try calling an admin a “poopy head” and see what happens… Greg L (talk) 01:22, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Well, one thing we seem to agree on is that the admins have too much power, and block people more according to whim than well-defined rules. --Sapphic (talk) 01:28, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Just a quick apology
I genuinely regret that I often don't express myself as clearly as I ought. Let me try to be plain:
  1. I think linking of years needs to be done only if the target article actually provides something useful that isn't already in the article (or should be) - in other words, I estimate less than 0.01% of the time;
  2. We need a rule to stop TE from linking 1990 fourty-eight times in each tennis article, so it has to be in MOS;
  3. If we anticipate the "opposition's" arguments (like "one day, all our year articles will be worth linking"), they can be defused more easily - as Tony has ably demonstrated;
  4. Moreover, if we provide them with the argument and they fail to use it, we nullify the cries of "but there is this extra reason that should have been included" when it looks like they are losing.
I know you already know all this, but I wanted you to know that I know <grin>. And I'm also sorry I didn't contribute more to the construction of the poll: I was watching, but it looked good to me and I really had nothing extra to add. --RexxS (talk) 03:11, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
  • I sure appreciate that you took the time to come here and clarify your thoughts, RexxS. As you could see from my two self-reverts, I (finally) carefully read your post and understood that you feel basically as you more fully described above. It’s my fault that I didn’t read it more closely. And, by the way, I fully agree with everything your wrote. I don’t see any value in links to these compendiums of pure historical trivia. The articles themselves aren’t bad; it’s just that links are supposed to take readers to related material or more detailed material—not totally irrelevant material. Greg L (talk) 17:28, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! And there was one more point I forgot to add:
5. We actually benefit from 1346. It provides an irrefutable argument that a few year-links are required - i.e. the link from 1340s to 1346 is a good year-link (about the only one in the whole encyclopedia!). Which means that we can show those that are asking for "no date links" that Option 1 actually must be their preferred option.
Not that it matters, I guess. There's the proverbial snowball's chance that there's not going to be consensus for Option 1. Politely convincing everybody of that is another matter, of course. Best --RexxS (talk) 21:49, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Quoting you: …convincing everybody of that is another matter. The arbitrators have to jump off the USS Pussyout and settle it. The community has clearly said there have been enough RfCs. Greg L (talk) 23:33, 11 April 2009 (UTC)


Please let me know if he edits in your userspace again. Gwen Gale (talk) 18:45, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Idiocracy quote

Your quote reminded me of this one, and made me laugh: [14]

I don't think disabling autoformatting is "what the community wants" (since the poll was inconclusive on that point) but since it seems like the only viable option at the moment, I want to at least see it done right. --Sapphic (talk) 01:50, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

  • I listened to the WAV. In this case, it means “lead.” Greg L (talk) 02:00, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

    …or, not, if you can’t control your temper. Greg L (talk) 22:41, 15 April 2009 (UTC)


Per this topic ban against you from the date linking arbitration case, you are banned from all style guidelines and related discussion. Here you made an edit in a style related discussion. I have to warn you that any further edits to the page will result in a block. Ryan PostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 13:32, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

  • Well… OK. I thought “style guides and related discussions” was quite clear: WP:MOS, WT:MOS, WP:MOSNUM, WT:MOSNUM; that is, don’t argue about style on talk pages and don’t edit the pages. I expected participation with a simple vote in RfCs, where there is slim to no potential to be uncivil to someone would be fine. That is, after all, the basis for my restriction: incivility to others, yes? I note that SilkTork commented this discussion is flying close to the spirit of that ban. Restrictions on Wikipedia are to be interpreted least restrictively to prevent harm, not most restrictively. Do you see potential for harm here? I’ll stay off of RfCs related to bot activity (which relates to style) until this is resolved. Greg L (talk) 15:45, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, this was my understanding too, and that of Arbitrator Vandenberg, I seem to remember, early on at the talk page there: that "related discussions" refers to the style guide talk pages, not an infringement on broader participation. Otherwise, Greg can't discuss style-related issues on an article talk page (whereas he is restricted only from reverting edits on style-related matters than are not wholly covered by the style guides); nor could he discuss style-related issues on his own talk page. I'm taking this up with Ryan now. Tony (talk) 16:06, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
Tony, please do not quote me unless you are going to provide a diff so that my comment can be seen in context. I would appreciate it if you would figure out what you are referring to there, or strike my name if you can't. John Vandenberg (chat) 03:58, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
John, mea culpa. It's a case of writing what I thought I recalled and forgetting to perform my intended check before I pressed the button. I've now searched and searched without success. My apologies. Tony (talk) 16:37, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
In re Greg, the intention of preventing harm is why the committee agreed to sanction you. We must be cautious about unnecessary harm to the individual, but it is our primary objective to prevent harm to the project. Your behaviour in style related discussions has been harmful to the project, due to your incivility, tenor, and tenacity, and culture that breeds. The committee has restricted you from entering into these style related discussions, and you would be wise to steer clear of them entirely. Dancing on the edges often results in administrators becoming tired of being asked to watch the replay to determine whether your toes crossed the line, and weary administrators may decide you are intentionally pushing the limits, knowingly consuming administrator time, and if warnings don't help you move on, they are at liberty to use blocks to wake you up. Think about it this way: your innocent comment on the RFC has now consumed time of Ryan, Tony, Ohconfucius, and me - none of us want to be discussing whether your comment on the RFC is appropriate or not - we all have other things we would prefer to be doing. If these types of innocent enough comments keep happening, lots of effort is wasted, and eventually that is also harmful to the project.
Another aspect you should consider ... your comment on this poll was unnecessary and clearly tightly wound up in a style related discussion. There will be a time when you make an innocent enough comment that is a useful addition to a discussion that is partially style related, and someone will complain about you breaking your restriction. That is when you want to be asking for careful consideration and leniency. If you have steered clear of style related discussions prior to that time, people will be more interested in understanding why you accidentally made a comment that some people have considered to be style related. However if you have consistently been dancing on the edge, plea's for leniency are unlikely to be effectual. John Vandenberg (chat) 04:40, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

AN Notice

There is a topic that pertains to you or something you have been involved in here at the Administrators Noticeboard. Rgoodermote  17:28, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

ArbCom and TE

Shouldn't this comment you added to evidence be a suggested injunction, instead. Without considering the merits of the issue, it appears to be misplaced. Cheers. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 02:14, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

  • Yeah, probably. But I don’t want to have Tennis expert in a position where his running around spray painting buildings with B.S. graffiti necessitates my running around to counter it. The end result would be him dictating my activities. Besides, although many admins are no-doubt unimpressed with the guy, I doubt there is anything anyone can do about him. Like the common cold: you just put up with it. TE is a bug splat on my windshield of life. Greg L (talk) 03:04, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
  • "Like the common cold..." Swine influenza is a lot more topical right now, and perhaps more appropriate comparison in light of people being driven off the streets by him. Ohconfucius (talk) 03:18, 29 April 2009 (UTC)


Thanks for your help on template:fx. I really do appreciate your comments.    7   talk Δ |   03:34, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

  • You are most welcome. If you go forward with this, you will be doing a lot of the heavy lifting. That takes dedication and I don’t want to do anything to discourage you. Far from it, I think you are onto something that would be of great benefit to Wikipedia since understanding what ₤200 per annum in 1713 means in today’s money would really help our readers’ understanding. Currently many editors lack the wherewithal to figure this out on their own. With a tool as we have been discussing, this kind of information would become more readily available on Wikipedia. I wish you well. Greg L (talk) 04:23, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
You're updating my talk page faster than I can type back...  ;)    7   talk Δ |   04:37, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Yeah… had a thought and then realized it was stupid, so I deleted it. {{feeling retarded emoticon}} Greg L (talk) 18:42, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Just wanted to let you know

I think you're an okay person. I personally don't wish to get involved in the date-linking issue, as I don't really feel strongly about it one way or the other. Before I really 'met' you, I really had no idea how you were as a person, and in fact, I based what I viewed you as from two of your 'fan party', if you know what I mean. Tony and Oh. But from what I now know of you.. well, suffice to say, I like you, heh. I don't think we'll ever cross paths in the bad light, as I have no particular interest in wikipedia, and my activities are mostly centered around fighting vandalism, AFD, CSD, ANI, AN, etc. I don't really think I could really make a major contribution to any particular article, since my knowledge of the subjects is few and far between.— dαlus Contribs 23:57, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

    • I also think you are a reasonable person from our earlier conversation and I think you can get through this. You seem understandably upset right now. Please consider emailing someone to vent (or me if you would like a more outside perspective). I wouldn't want you to post something you might later regret out of emotion. Please delete this if it upsets you at all.--BirgitteSB 22:36, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

You may appreciate this

Raymond Chen (Raymond Chen) discussing why Windows Explorer uses "KB" and not "KiB". —Locke Coletc 20:46, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

  • Thank you Locke. I agree with everything Raymond wrote. Way back when Wikipedia first commenced its unilateral adoption of the IEC prefixes (four years ago), there was a vote, which enjoyed the participation of a few dozen editors on a remote backwater of an RfC. An editor, Ben Arnold, wrote this, which I find prescient:
2. Support [oppose adoption of IEC prefixes] Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not an instrument for special interest groups (like IEC) to try to push the way they would like the world to work. We should reflect in the encyclopedia what the world is like, not what we think it should be. The reality is that kilobyte means 1024 bytes most of the time it's used. Many people who use computers (including much of the IT industry) have never heard of a kibibyte and don't use the term. We shouldn't be social engineering. Ben Arnold 21:41, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
Greg L (talk) 21:12, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Date delinking

This arbitration case has now closed. The final decision may be reviewed on the case page. A synopsis of the final decision is provided below.

Notes: (1) for "topic banned", read "banned from style and editing guidelines, and any related discussions"; (2) an "editing restriction" is a prohibition from reverting any changes which are principally stylistic, except where all style elements are prescribed in the applicable style guideline.

For the Arbitration Committee,

AGK 20:03, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

  • Yeah, I see that. “Indefinite”. It’s hard to imagine how I can get back to contributing on WT:MOSNUM and WP:MOSNUM—where I make valuable contributions on science-related issues—if no one can see any more of my contributions there. Perhaps the topic ban can be appealed to something more targeted and germane to the dispute? Such as “nothing date-related on the style guides?” Greg L (talk) 20:12, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
  • As a clerk, I but handle the committee's paperwork. If you truly think the topic ban would be better suited in a different form from that passed in the final decision, then I suppose you might wish to file a request for amendment. I would, however, encourage you to contact an arbitrator off-the-record to discuss your intentions; John, the author of the majority of the final decision, might be a good idea. I'm sorry I can't be of any more assistance. Regards, AGK 20:20, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Established Editors

Discussion of objectives here. Peter Damian (talk) 20:07, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Oh great, another official clique of people who stick by each other regardless of merit. Wikipedia should never be about who's been here longer, and no one should be able to form group which excludes people who don't "meet certain criteria". What's next, the Association of People who Wrote Feature Article whose scope is to uphold the "good names of feature article writers"? The Association of People who Write Banners? The Association of People who Manages Wikiprojects? Exclusive cliques lead to groupthink. "Sorry, you've been here for 3 months, so you can't join our exclusive group. If you get shit on by someone of our association of superior people, we'll unite against you, so don't even think to accuse one of ours of being anything less than embodiment of all things good." This is bureaucratic creep at its worse.Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 21:23, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia is supposed to be a fun and rewarding hobby. If the aims of a group (or, as the detractors are fond of saying: “clique” or “cabal”) are to get together and figure out how to improve the community’s adherence to the core principles of Wikipedia and better improve its articles (there are many that need to be improved—some, a lot), then that’s perfectly fine with me.

    The idea of limiting membership to established editors (and hopefully—in my view—to only those who are over the age of 40) is to exclude editors who have minimal experience and/or still edit from their mother’s basement/ I don’t know about you, but I find it more enjoyable to work towards a common goal when I do so with individuals who share a similar world-view.(Disclaimer)

    I don’t find anything nefarious about Peter Damian’s goals. Please advise, Headbomb, if you witness evidence otherwise. Greg L (talk) 22:54, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Sure, but remember that when you exclude people based on things like age and experience, rather than competence and common goal, you exclude people like me. I doubt this is what you want. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 00:06, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
  • I agree. Keep it to yourself that you aren’t older and more experienced. Greg L (talk) 04:08, 19 June 2009 (UTC)


Can you edit now? Gwen Gale (talk) 18:25, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

  • Yes. Thank you very, very much for your assistance Gwen (and Xeno too). The crazy-crap that goes on here on Wikipedia has me pissed right now. I will be posting some civil straight-talk on Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard shortly. I won’t put up with this. Greg L (talk) 18:29, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
I do understand how you feel, but you might want to talk with User:Sandstein before posting to AN. Gwen Gale (talk) 19:07, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
  • There are plenty more admins who aren’t familiar with all the wikidrama over date linking. There is a limitless supply of admins like Sanderstein. The source of the problem is some ArbCom rule that says I can’t make any style-related edits to articles—even the ones on which I am the major contributor (shepherding author). The restriction is far too broad and unjust. It has nothing whatsoever to do with date linking or civility. It was just a big-brush “solution” by ArbCom members who were too anxious to lay waste to anyone associated with the sordid mess. I expect this to be fixed pronto. Greg L (talk) 19:14, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Ok, I understand what you're saying, arbcom does use a big brush, but a post to AN won't sway this. You might want to think about writing a carefully reasoned email to arbcom instead. Gwen Gale (talk) 19:17, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Where, exactly? Would you please provide a link to the most appropriate venue? Greg L (talk) 19:20, 3 July 2009 (UTC) (see also WP:arbcom). Keep in mind, they're all volunteers, like you and although I can tell you first hand arbcom makes mistakes with its wide scythe, it's also a thankless, time-burning job. Gwen Gale (talk) 19:40, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
  • They should have you there. You have such a common-sense approach to things. Thanks. Greg L (talk) 19:45, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Heh, I got talked into running last December and withdrew after about 7 hours :) Gwen Gale (talk) 19:57, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Like I said: common-sense. Greg L (talk) 20:04, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
As you know, I'm a big fan of Wikipedia, I so believe in the project, but that arbcom election kerfluffle was yet another helpful knock on my thick head ("be wary of what you ask for, because you might get it"). I was almost gleeful when I withdrew.
Much more to the pith, if you handle this deftly, I mean if you care to even try, you won't be under the topic ban for all that long: All most anyone cares about, what most admins care about, is that you've learned how things are done here and can now handle disagreements and disputes on your own. It's not easy for some of us to learn what truly spins en.Wikipedia, or to be ok with it and happily put up with it, I can tell you. Gwen Gale (talk) 20:29, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
  • I am astonished at the absurd lengths that some editors will go to in order to get their way, like the complainant in this case, who was objecting to the use of CSS on Wikipedia’s pages (which Wikipedia’s rendering engine supports, by design) to fix overlapping, crowded text. There are simply too many Sandersteins and complaining editors who are like the one that plagued me today to shake a stick at. This is too much crap for anyone to put up with. I have appealed my restrictions here at Arbitration-talk. Greg L (talk) 20:37, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
You're going to have email from me. Gwen Gale (talk) 20:44, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

stylisitic reverts since being unblocked

Since being unblocked, you have made an edit which does break the restrictions, which I have mentioned in the current arbitration enforcement section: Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement#Greg_L --John Vandenberg (chat) 21:39, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Greg L, please respond to John Vandenberg's new diffs on WP:AE within an hour of your next edit, or you may be blocked in enforcement of the arbitration remedy (which remains in force until such time as it expires or is lifted by the Arbitration Committee).  Sandstein  23:26, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
I can't believe it! Here's my take on it. Ohconfucius (talk) 03:19, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

July 2009

(48-hour block notice used to be here)
  • I have no intention of contesting this block. The “useful edits” to which this block template refers, apparently includes leaving articles on which I am the primary shepherding author, all messed up after an editor (whom I am now advised is a Bureaucrat) does an incomplete job and makes style changes to only four of 24 identical links in an article. Let’s see… I could have gone to that editor’s talk page and discussed the issue, asking said editor to either complete the job or undo the edit, but that would have been “discussing a style issue” (verboten). Under the current restrictions, if any editor goes to articles I’m working on and changes text I’ve emphasized with italics, I can't revert it or even discuss it. I am working on an appeal. I can not and will not edit on Wikipedia while so hamstrung. Greg L (talk) 13:32, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Greg, I've walked into this situation without knowing the backstory. I saw a mention of the spans in kilogram somewhere and looked. I made some edits that included removing the font-elements and was going to remove some/all of the spans, too (I have not looked at most of them, so don't know what I'd do at this point). I looked at the article history and related pages and see a bit more of the picture. I've still not read the date-case. You should know that John is my mentor and also that he and I have not discussed this, or you at all; I just stumbled into it. It seems that you are restricted from reverting or even discussing this, so I'll explicitly offer to discuss this with you on email (That's allowed, right? If you email me, it will be just between us). My view is that the wiki-text should have minimal mark-up in it; I can deal with it fine — I'm good at markup — but most wiki editors are put-off by anything beyond wiki-bold, wiki-italic, and wiki-links. The proper place to implement the sort of stylistic formatting you seem to be after is in MediaWiki and the site CSS. Cheers, Jack Merridew 14:00, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

  • Wiki-whatever is not the issue Jack. This is about unjust restrictions by ArbCom. We have an on-line encyclopedia in which many thousands of contributors enjoy contributing to it. The ArbCom committee members mean well, but they are volunteers with real lives to tend to and have very limited time to address issues. It is human nature to want to discharge cases as expediently as possible. You should have seen the evidence page on the date-linking fiasco. Printed out, it would have run 30 feet. No human could read all that text let alone all the related links.

    The ArbCom committee took a date linking fuss, where there had been a local culture over several months of mild incivility on both sides, and applied a needlessly broad brush that is over-restrictive beyond what is necessary to protect Wikipedia. Note that I had not once been blocked for incivility to anyone involved with that date linking affair while it was ongoing. So imagine my surprise when some dick who was refusing to accept the community consensus (now blocked for six months) named me as an involved participant and that ArbCom had powers to retroactively go look at cherry-picked history to see if civility that had been passable then at the time met a litmus test of their choosing now.

    ArbCom’s remedies on me are absurd. All they needed to do was say “stay out of date-linking related issues for one year, and you are on a civility probation.” They didn’t look into what kind of productive work I did on MOSNUM or elsewhere.

    The restrictions currently allow me to deal with an I.P. editor who deleted half an article, but I can’t revert a change regarding style. In the case in question, some editor changed only 4 of 24 links that share a similar property. That hack job screwed up the article and I undid it. That was against the restrictions on me; apparently it is better to leave the article screwed up. Moreover, according to Kirill Lokshin, I’m not allowed to go to that editor’s talk page to discuss how he/she fouled up the article because I am not allowed to participate

Note the above thread. Some editor, Charlotte, had dug through some 600 edits and found a revert of mine from 2008 that predated my restrictions by over a year. She then charged back over to Arb enforcement and cited that edit as evidence that I broke my restriction. So some admin blocked me, accidentally left me unable to edit my own talk page to contest the block, tried to undo the block after it was pointed out that the block was in error—but failed, and I spent a morning e‑mailing people to get the block undone. And, why did Charlotte do that to me? She didn’t like my use of CSS to uncrowd some crowded text (a cite tag following italicized text).

This is far too much weirdness for me to handle and I will not put up with the abuse. Wikipedia has a limitless supply of young editors who can combine their collective wisdom and understanding of science to improve Wikipedia’s science articles from hereon.

Thanks though, for your offer to help. Greg L (talk) 15:14, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Just saw this and it's late here. I'll look at things further tomorrow. I have seen the WP:AE thread and the one above this one. If your restriction is re style guidelines I'm not sure how it precludes discussing these local style issues. Don't go by me, of course; I trust the details are clear enough somewhere. Do think about the issue of too much markup snotting-up the wiki-text. Sometimes it is necessary, but it should be avoided if not. It is far better to move stuff to common.css or the code generation level. Also, issues like italic text bumping a not-italic parenthesis are specific to rendering engines and the browsers and platform. These will improve over time and some of your concerns may be addressed at that level; someday, at least. I see you did the image on the kilogram article, and likely a lot of others; beautiful work. Cheers, Jack Merridew 17:11, 5 July 2009 (UTC) p.s. see my user page for how such an image can be used as on-wiki wallpaper.
  • I don’t understand why you think this is about special markup for me; those are advanced techniques I largely employed in the past (as you can see) on Kilogram. I made that a special project where I used full-tilt techniques like CSS spans to uncrowd superscripts following italicized text. How much such of such techniques do you see on Fuzzball (string theory) (the article I was last working on)? Maybe… none?? I haven’t looked, but I don't think there is any. Is anyone surprised about this?

    ArbCom was way-wrong on this. They took a dispute over date linking and appear to have cloistered themselves with some editors who think my past use of fancy markup ‘threatened the peaceable harmony of the collective that obsesses about such arcane matters.’ So way out from left field, they drag this arcane “remedy” of style edits into a mix that was supposed to be about date linking. Take a look at the technical reasoning CharlotteWebb cited here on her contrived ArbCom enforcement complaint. I dare you; read through it. This is too much weirdness for me to handle. ArbCom’s out-from-left-field remedy of “not making style-related edits and no talking about” amounts to this:

Wikipedia’s culture has been hijacked by editors who have way too much time to obsess about arcane, trivial of issues and make them end-of-the-world matters. CharlotteWebb had to wade through 600 edits to find just the right one that fit ArbCom’s restriction; one from March 2008 (over a year before I was restricted). She appears to be an experienced editor and I find it less-than-plausible that she could dig so diligently that far back and find such an arcane edit but not even notice that ArbCom’s restriction is only weeks old. For me, this is about not being able to be abused by people like CharlotteWebb and having a sword dangling over my head that can be manipulated by people such as her.

I can wait this one out; Wikipedia has a limitless supply of young editors who can combine their collective wisdom and understanding of science to improve Wikipedia’s science articles from hereon. The restrictions can’t last more than a year.

In the mean time, I can focus my energies on improving the way Wikipedia runs. Though many—perhaps most—of the people on Wikipedia have good intentions, pretty much everyone involved with Wikipedia is young and a volunteer; Wikipedia has grown phenomenally over the years so let’s not labor under notions that Wikipedia can’t be improved along the way. E-mail me. Greg L (talk) 22:20, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

I've been commenting on the markup issue because that's the bit of this I've seen and have a view on. I'm pleased that the spans are an old technique of yours. I expect Charlotte has a similar view to mine; that the wiki-text should not have excessive markup in it. I don't want to get you into a discussion here that might be inappropriate, so I'll pop you an email after this. The AC folks I know are reasonable people, so if you're reasonable with them, they'll consider easing the remedy; Kirill's note given above said as much. These things move slowly (I'm under some restrictions myself;). The suggestion Charlotte made to do something in common.css is a good one, and if there were improperly nested tags (I didn't see any) they should be fixed. I don't know what was with that diff from more than a year ago; people mistake one year for another often enough. I rather doubt that she looked at 600 edits; there are more efficient ways of finding things.
Now is not the moment to wade into the style issues. I suggest you assure folks that you'll abide by your restriction and then, gently, propose a reasonable clarification and/or easing of it.
I've been on-wiki for most of five years and am aware of a lot of the issues you're referring to. It is getting better, if that helps. Cheers, Jack Merridew 12:14, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Heh. Greg, from all indications I've seen, CharlotteWebb is a pretty technically savvy editor. Actually, very technically savvy. It's not too difficult to set up a piece of software to look back through an editor's contribs to check for additions of "<span" or anything else. In fact, you can give me the challenge right now, name your text fragment. I won't promise anything since I'm working more on enjoying the summer just now, but it would be a good incentive to me to finally write the code. Actually though, that whole thing was a mistake with timing IMO. The bigger issue is your extremely aggressive attitude toward those who oppose you and your quite disparaging remarks towards those opposers. For instance, I've not seen you say anything so conciliatory as "maybe Charlotte made a mistake" - I mean really, how tough is that to say? Franamax (talk) 23:42, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Sure, it could be a mistake. But, you know, when I am not paying attention to where I’m going in the grocery store and accidentally push my shopping cart into the back of someone’s heel, and it’s obvious I caused them quite some measure of pain, I offer a profuse apology—no doubt with a very red face. Only then, might I hope that the recipient of my carelessness would show magnanimity and respond “quite all right; it could happen to anyone.”

    If CharlotteWebb is so experienced and has all the virtues you describe her as having, I should think she would have had the courtesy of stopping here to offer an explanation and a profuse apology. Is it the habit of all Wikipedia’s “technically savvy editors”, who seeks to pounce upon an editor because she suspects them of violating a ArbCom restriction, go rat on them in error, mutter “woopsy” under their breath when they get blocked in error, and merrily go on with business as usual without offering an apology to all those she inconvenienced with her utter lack of due diligence?

    In fact, I note that when Sanderstein (the blocking admin who fell into all this drama) cautioned her to “please be more careful” next time, she never even acknowledged her error there nor apologized for inconveniencing him. It could be, I suppose, that she never checked back after getting what she wanted and no one notified her on her user talk page of her mistake. I notified her of her error here on Talk:Kilogram in response to a post she made. In spite of all this, this “technically savy” editor still might be utterly clueless of the what she has done. Perhaps you might go tell her if you suspect this to be the case.

    You ask a great deal for me—or anyone else under such circumstances—to assume good faith of someone who has such serious shortcomings in the common courtesies (or failure to exercise due diligence when one seeks to clobber another—it’s not an action one should take lightly). Greg L (talk) 04:28, 6 July 2009 (UTC)