User talk:Iridescent

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The arbitration committee "assuming good faith" with an editor.

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

If you start a conversation here, I'll reply here
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How Arbcom Works: part 1

Improving Etty[edit]

Hello! Thanks for your detailed response on @Johnbod:'s talkpage. The Wrestlers was almost certainly rephotographed with colour calibration in advance of the gallery reopening on 1/08/2015. I am trying to get access to this copy in advance of the normal release process (at which point it will appear on the collections page: The Wrestlers on the YMT Online Collection). There are also a number of William Edward Frost's paintings in the online collection that currently lack accessible images.

How useful might Etty's sketches and works on paper be? There's one on Commons already and one by William Holman Hunt of Etty sketching: Works on paper in the York Art Gallery. A collections search indicates that there are nearly 700 more that might be photographed but may have dubious quality. If particular examples would be really useful it might be fun to hunt them down.

It would be great if Etty or related articles could hit TFA around early August as the gallery reopens? Let me know if there's anything else I might help with? Cheers PatHadley (talk) 16:12, 4 June 2015 (UTC)

PatHadley, I can try to get William Etty up to FA status by August 1, but it would be cutting it fine. Because the existing article is so poor there's nothing to build on, it will need to be written from scratch which I'd estimate will take around a month, and the FAC process will take a minimum of two-three weeks and probably longer as the article will be quite long, so people are more likely to spot issues. That pushes an earliest-possible promotion date to late July, which is cutting it very fine.
Unfortunately none of the three articles completed so far (Sirens, Destroying Angel and Candaules) are in the YAG, so they're not ideal. I'll ask the TFA schedulers (pinging Brianboulton, Crisco 1492 and Dank) to avoid scheduling any of those for the next couple of months to allow us to run something at the start of August without prompting "you're featuring too much Etty" complaints. If all else fails, we can always run Sirens, which is such a striking image it will almost certainly get quite a lot of pageviews, and will hopefully drum up some interest in Etty even though the painting itself is on display in the Auld Enemy over the Pennines.
Preparing for a Fancy Dress Ball
The Wrestlers
Venus and her Satellites
In the meantime I'll try to get one of the works currently in YORAG through FAC in time. It will probably be one of the four to the right, as of the Etty works in the YAG collection they're going to be the ones it will be easiest to get a decent-sized article out of; if you or any talk page watchers have a particular preference do let me know. If I can arm-twist a TFA delegate into running Venus and Her Satellites under its older name of The Toilet of Venus and crop the image for the main page slot down to just the central tableau of naked women, it will light up Reddit and Twitter and should get around 100,000–200,000 pageviews, but it will also generate a firestorm of complaints that will make this argument look small, since some people take great offence at any effort to inject any element of populism on to the main page, especially the hallowed TFA slot. Aside from that, The Wrestlers or Preparing for a Fancy Dress Ball are probably the ones which will connect best with Wikipedia's audience; Benaiah looks a little dated to the modern eye, and British audiences are unlikely to get Biblical references without explanation. Unfortunately, while YORAG probably has the most significant collection of Etty's works, the collection is surprisingly short of paintings in the "Great women of history and literature who have accidentally mislaid their clothes" style for which he's known today, so whatever we go with is going to be slightly unrepresentative.
Speaking of Venus and her Satellites, if you get the chance can you see if YORAG can upload a copy of their version of Venus and her Satellites? The version currently on Commons is the one now on display in Ponce; the YORAG version is similar but has certain differences, particularly in the sky and the shading of the figures. (If need be I can copy it from their website—I can't imagine they'll object—but uploading images taken from UK gallery websites without asking permission has caused a degree of unpleasantness in the past.)
Regarding sketches, they'd probably be more useful for the articles on individual works. An example that immediately springs to mind is in Candaules, where I mention that the central figure was one he'd sketched many times before; an illustration of a sketch predating the painting in the same pose would make the point well. The Art & Controversy book has quite an extensive section on his sketches—I'll see if there's anything mentioned in there that would be particularly useful. What would be handy is more pictures of Etty; at the moment we only have Holman Hunt's sketch, the 1844 photo & Adamson's painting from it, and Etty's 1823 self portrait. (Etty also made a self-portrait from the 1844 photo, but it's inferior in quality to Adamson's so there's no point using it.) We don't have any pictures that I'm aware of showing him in the 1830s, which is the period in which he was most active.
I am almost certain these are four images of the same woman
Another thing it would be nice to have would be some preliminary sketches, if there are any, for Sirens and Andromeda; I am virtually certain that these show the same model in four different poses, and think it's quite likely that Andromeda began life as a study for Sirens; preliminary sketches that show the Sirens' faces would prove that one way or the other. (What would be really nice would be to have a name for her—it never feels right just saying "the model" like they're interchangeable objects—but I suspect there may be no record of that. Treating life-class models as important people in their own right rather than as disposable props was a practice that only really began with the Pre-Raphaelites.) Despite the fact that there's been very little written about it, I'm determined at some point to create some kind of article on Andromeda; of all Etty's works it's the one that's looks most strikingly modern (probably because she's not shown in either an awkward Academy Life Class pose, or in a reference to a piece of literature which is no longer studied, and if you ignore the fact that she's chained up and wrapped in cellophane the model is much more natural-looking than most of Etty's women). – iridescent 17:54, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
I would be able to get a general article on Toilet of Venus as a subject up, we have a Commons category. Johnbod (talk) 19:39, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
Just as long as you make it a minimum of 1500 characters of readable prose, so "Did you know …that Mary Richardson went for a slash in the Toilet of Venus" can go on the main page. – iridescent 21:36, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
Nice one, though I'm not sure Americans have that idiom - perhaps just as well. Johnbod (talk) 15:37, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
"…that a elderly musician was pictured with eight naked women in the Toilet of Venus?" – iridescent 16:31, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
Keep 'em coming! Is that Homer? If not blind he might easily get distracted - Etty stretches even my attenuated sense of decorum. On reflection, I'm amazed that no 5th-rate band or singer has called an album or track Toilet of Venus, & so it's still red. That's rare in iconography. Johnbod (talk) 16:58, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
Ask and ye shall receive.
The wording of the first one should actually be "…that Mary Richardson popped into the Toilet of Venus for a slash before joining the British Union of Fascists", which is factually accurate and unifies the Main Page obsessions of Nazis, poor-quality puns and the gender gap.
As I think I've said previously, the more I see of Etty the more I'm coming to warm to him. He does seem to have sincerely believed that he was doing the world a service by painting as many norks as possible and illustrating the magnificence of God's creation, and never to have understood just why people found his habits of visiting morgues to dissect corpses and of asking people to take their clothes off for him to be odd. – iridescent 17:05, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes, how come they haven't made the film yet? Johnbod (talk) 17:32, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
Halkett Boat Cloak in use cropped.jpg
Heh, if I can write an article which inspires an opera, maybe I can inspire a film as well. (If someone were filming a Wikipedia article, the one to watch would be Halkett boat which would be wonderful animated; Lieutenant Halkett and his umbrella-propelled inflatable coat sounds like something from The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.) – iridescent 17:48, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

The Wrestlers[edit]

OK, I've written The Wrestlers to try to ensure we have something in the YORAG collection ready for the 1 August reopening; once the FAC for The Destroying Angel is either archived or promoted, I'll nominate it. If anyone has any suggestions/improvements to make, please do as given the glacial pace of WP:FAC this is going to be a tight deadline; pinging Victoriaearle, Ceoil, Eric Corbett (this one is of male subjects so shouldn't have any GG implications), Giano, Johnbod, Kafka Liz, ArchReader and anyone else who might have an interest in Victorian high-kitsch. It's a bit of a difficult subject, as it's so poorly documented it's impossible to be sure what the artist's intentions were so of necessity there's a "it might be social commentary on the struggle between black and white people in British society, or it might just be that the model happened to be black that day" element. Plus, Etty also painted a completely unrelated picture also called The Wrestlers (nothing at all out of order going on in that picture, you just have a dirty mind), so there's an issue as to which painting any reference to it pre-1947 is referring to. – iridescent 09:38, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

OK. Woah.... First of all, huge respect for firing off such a brilliant article so quickly! I'll be letting the curators know and hopefully we'll get a little feedback from them. I'll definitely be getting hold of the latest images of all YAG's Ettys for speedy upload. Meanwhile, you are more than welcome to download any image from YMT's online collection (image policy here), as you saw on the Hunt sketch, there's a Commons template for tagging these images. His sketches and preparatory works that are in the 'Works on paper' collection might take a little longer to dig out and get snapped (by Christmas hopefully?). I'll mention Sirens, Andromeda and Candaules in particular. Also, we've begun our first experiments with stitching photographs for super-high-resolution results (eg, Snyder's Game Stall). Is it worth doing this for particular Ettys to see details, paint texture or anything that else worthy of explication? All your hard work is massively appreciated so there's no need to bust a gut for 1 August!? Perhaps it'd be healthier to aim for TFA on the death anniversary on 13 November? Let me know if there's anything else I can do! PatHadley (talk) 09:28, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
PS - you'll see that I've replaced the YourPaintings version of Study of a black boy with a much higher-res version from the online collection. I know the quality is variable but just want to reiterate that there is a great deal on there (Search for 'Etty' throws up 1241 items) that you can download and transfer to Commons as needed. Cheers, PatHadley (talk) 16:02, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for getting back. Regarding curators, it's probably worth reminding them that if they're not already familiar with Wikipedia's odd customs, it's probably best to raise concerns on the talkpage. In my experience, the leading experts in any given field generally find Wikipedia's reliable source culture quite jarring, since things they know are true are omitted from the article. The Destroying Angel is a good example; there's a figure in it which I'm almost certain is misidentified as a bacchante and is actually a nod to Liberty Leading the People, but because the only reliable source I can find that mentions it identifies her as a bacchante, that's what we call her.
The Ettys I can think of that would particularly benefit from scanning at super-size would be Sirens, (which would probably be a pig to photograph at very high quality, since it's too big and too fragile to fit on a flatbed) to be able to show the joins where the restoration took place, and the loads-of-small-figures ones like Cleopatra, Youth/Pleasure, Destroying Angel and The World Before the Flood where people might want to zoom in on individual characters—but none of the five are in the YORAG. Of works in YORAG which there's a realistic chance of writing a stand-alone article on, A Family of the Forest, Elizabeth Potts and Preparing for a Fancy Dress Ball are probably the ones which would most benefit from an extreme-close-up treatment. (The problem is that, while York may have the largest collection of his works, the ones in the Tate and Walker have much more written about them, and consequently are easier from a Wikipedia point of view.)
It might be useful to have one of Etty's Elgin Marbles sketches as well (some of them are reproduced in the Art and Controversy catalogue so the scans have presumably been made, even though they don't appear on the website). There's no rush on any of this; the paintings important enough to warrant stand-alone articles are all either already on Commons, or easily available. (Picture quality is a nice luxury, but it isn't essential. If you watch people using Wikipedia in the real world, one of the first things you notice is how many people will crane in to look at images close-up because they don't realise clicking opens them in large size.)
I'm aware there was a better quality copy of Black Boy, but the YORAG website was down at the time and I figured the lack of quality didn't really matter given that it was just intended to illustrate a minor point about his having a history of painting non-white subjects. Since the alternatives were The Missionary Boy and Indian Girl, which IMO are among the most unpleasantly ugly works of the entire 19th century, I wanted this one if possible, and rushed it in to get the article up and running in as near-complete a state as possible.
If Wikipedia's going to run with a specific date, the reopening of the gallery is a much more pertinent date. His death anniversary isn't really of interest to anyone and presumably isn't going to see any kind of commemoration, whereas for the gallery reopening he'll presumably be covered in at least the local press. (Plus it's during the holidays, so might encourage some of York's flood of tourists to poke their heads in.) Date connections aren't really that important—he's not a figure like Shakespeare where his birthday genuinely is recognised. – iridescent 17:39, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
I've also cleared out the worst of the nonsense from William Etty. It's still an atrociously bad article which is going to feel the benefit of the WP:TNT approach fairly soon, but at least it's not full of outright lies now. – iridescent 18:53, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
All looking excellent! I've just shown the curator the Wrestlers article and she was very impressed and thrilled to learn that Etty might make the front page for August 1st. She's given me the list (from memory) of which Etty's will be on display in the new gallery:

Not sure how those might fit into your plans. I'll do my best to see if we can get the Elgin sketches digitised! Cheers, PatHadley (talk) 16:01, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

Break: Which paintings can realistically be worked up to full articles[edit]

Excellent news—there's always the risk with something like this that the curators will think the emphasis is wrong (or worse, the basic facts); or, that they'll be annoyed that Wikipedia is potentially eating into their own gift shop sales if they're planning to sell "about this picture" pamphlets.
There should certainly be something Etty-related run as TFA on or near 1 August, since even if The Wrestlers fails to gain FA status in time Sirens is ready and Destroying Angel should be barring unforeseen circumstances, so if need be one of them can run. (August 2 will almost certainly be taken by a football article to coincide with the Charity Shield, but to the best of my knowledge nothing else is lined up for August 1.)
I can do Preparing For a Fancy Dress Ball to a shortish full-length article (probably about the same length as Sirens), and Mlle Rachel and Male Nude with Staff to "short article but respectable enough that it won't look out of place standing alone" status. Monk Bar is probably a lost cause, since to the best of my knowledge there's never been anything substantive written on it (although I'm certain that enough has been written about the York city walls to write a stand-alone Monk Bar article which it could illustrate). It would probably be possible to squeeze out a stand-alone article on Mary, Lady Templeton, after Thomas Lawrence but I don't think there would be much point, since it's a slavish copy of the original which the young Etty painted as a training exercise, and it would make more sense to have a single Copies made by William Etty of works by other artists list/article.
From a Wikipedia viewpoint, the ones which could realistically be brought up to FA level at present (aside from the four already done) are:
  • Benaiah (YORAG)
  • The Bridge of Sighs (YORAG)
  • Britomart Redeems Faire Amoret (Tate)
  • The Combat (National Gallery of Scotland, engraving in YORAG)
  • The Dawn of Love (Russell-Cotes)
  • Male Nude With Arms Up-Stretched (YORAG)
  • Musidora (Tate)
  • Pandora Crowned (Leeds)
  • Preparing for a Fancy Dress Ball (YORAG)
  • The Triumph of Cleopatra (Lady Lever)
  • Venus and her Satellites (Two versions, one in Ponce and one in YORAG)
  • The Warrior Arming (Manchester)
  • The World Before the Flood (Southampton, with a much rougher version in YORAG)
  • Youth/Pleasure (Tate)
and possibly also Prometheus (Lady Lever), Bathers Surprised by a Swan (Tate) and Venus and her Doves (Manchester).
The problem is that (per my comments above) the YORAG collection is somewhat unrepresentative, because of how the collection was assembled; the paintings for which he's best known (the big glossy history paintings filled with gratuitous nudity) were bought by industrialists and ultimately found their way into the Tate or the municipal galleries of the big mill towns; YORAG's collection is heavily skewed towards his early and late works, which haven't had the same level of coverage and thus aren't as easy to cover from a Wikipedia viewpoint.
Male Nude With Arms Up-Stretched
Elizabeth Potts
(For what it's worth, I think if YORAG is only going to pick five works from the collection to display, Male Nude with Staff and Mary, Lady Templeton are odd choices. Male Nude With Arms Up-Stretched and Elizabeth Potts are far more visually striking examples of a male nude oil sketch and a formal portrait of a bad-tempered-looking woman, respectively. I agree entirely with including Preparing for a Fancy Dress Ball, which I think is arguably his greatest work despite its relative obscurity, can see the obvious local-interest reason for Monk Bar despite its insipidness, and can kind of understand Mlle Rachel as it's so radically different from his usual style. Any Etty exhibit without a single female nude or history painting does seem slightly odd to me, though, especially given that YORAG has Venus and her Satellites, the apotheosis of "gratuitous female nudity in an overblown mythological history painting", in its collection.) – iridescent 23:54, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
I tend to agree, but the Venus takes up a lot of wall (the York version is bigger than Ponce, is that right?). Johnbod (talk) 00:39, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
The York version is 78.7 by 110.4 cm (31.0 by 43.5 in) – it's not exactly a miniature, but it's not a behemoth like Sirens or The Combat. The Ponce version is very slightly larger at 80.6 by 111 cm (31.7 by 43.7 in); the discrepancy is probably accounted for by the framing rather than any difference in the canvas itself. For comparison, Preparing for a Fancy Dress Ball is over three times the size, at 173 by 150 cm (68 by 59 in). – iridescent 00:50, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Fair enough, though of course it's the width that is key when hanging. Johnbod (talk) 15:02, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
There's always the cop-out the V&A and Tate have both followed in recent years, of saying that hanging salon-style is "more authentic to the period" and cramming the paintings virtually floor-to-ceiling like bathroom tiles. While I do entirely get that having as many works as possible on display is A Good Thing since when you have a rotating display it means people are more likely to see what they came to see, it does sometimes feel like the museum equivalent of prostitute's cards in a phone box. – iridescent 00:52, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
Well yes, although there's also the National Gallery's approach of hanging at their standard close peering, school party & wheelchair friendly height works which they know perfectly well were designed, and the perspective aligned, to be seen from 10, 15 or 20 feet below. And don't even get me started on exhibitions of historic sculpture at the Royal Academy. Johnbod (talk) 03:36, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
I would rationalise the NG's treatment of something like The Ambassadors as the painting equivalent of when a science museum intentionally exposes part of a mechanism so visitors can see how it works. There's always going to be a loss of authenticity in the settings, given that most of the things were painted on the understanding they'd be seen by dim flickering light. – iridescent 08:52, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

Preparing for a Fancy Dress Ball[edit]

PatHadley, Johnbod—in light of the above I've worked Preparing for a Fancy Dress Ball up to what I consider FA standard. Do either of you (or anyone else watching this page) have any strong opinion as to whether Preparing for a Fancy Dress Ball or The Wrestlers would be preferable, given that the timescale means there's likely only to be time to get one through FAC in time for the gallery opening? My preference is tilting towards Fancy Dress Ball if that one's going to be on display and Wrestlers won't be, but I can see arguments the other way as Wrestlers is a more visually striking image so might generate more page-views. I'll nominate one or the other very soon, so if anyone has and good reasons why one or the other should be chosen, speak now or forever hold your peace. (I've also nominated Fancy Dress Ball at Featured Picture Candidates despite my general distaste for FPC, as I feel it easily qualifies and now the painting is the subject of an article, the image has an obvious encyclopedic value.) – iridescent 11:29, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

I'm also leaning towards Fancy Dress. One could argue that the important genre of female portraits is under-represented on WP, though so of course is inter-racial wrestling. There's always Black History Month, October in the UK, for the Wrestlers. Johnbod (talk) 13:21, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes, at the moment the only female-only "portrait" (loosely) FAs are I think: Drowning Girl, Madonna in the Church, The Magdalen Reading, Portrait of a Lady (van der Weyden), Portrait of a Young Girl (Christus), Rokeby Venus, Statue of Liberty, Three Beauties of the Present Day. Shades of Caryl Churchill's Top Girls , & certainly a group that could do with a 19th-century addition. Johnbod (talk) 14:52, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
Is that really all? We surely at least ought to have some Madonnas and Queen Elizabeths knocking about. I ought to be able to work Musidora and The Dawn of Love up as well, which I suppose technically qualify as female portraits, although I'm not sure they're exactly what the GGTF have in mind.
Fancy Dress Ball it is, I think; quite aside from the fact that I think it's both a more engaging painting and a more engaging article, it works better from the point of view of drumming up interest in York Art Gallery since it includes three other works currently in YORAG, even if they're not on display. (The more I see of Elizabeth Potts, the fonder I'm becoming of it. Her expression is right up there with the Mona Lisa as a tabula rasa—you can legitimately describe her as happy, sad, excited and bored.) Fancy Dress is probably more likely to create interest from people who'll go on to visit the gallery, too; Wrestlers would probably deter as many people as it attracts. – iridescent 23:55, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
Fwiw, I really like Fancy Dress Ball and would go with that. I'll be sending the Annunciation (Memling) at some point, when I'm in FAC mood again, but as Johnbod says, it's a group that could use a 19th cent addition. Ping me on my page when you nom, and if I'm around I'll review it. I don't have FAC on watch, so haven't a clue what's going on there. Victoria (tk) 00:29, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
Now live at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Preparing for a Fancy Dress Ball/archive1. – iridescent 00:40, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
That's good. On female portrait FAs, I missed the artistically dreadful Streatham portrait (of Lady Jane Grey), bringing the total to 9. The scary thing is that 5 of those are mainly User:Ceoil (plus Victoria, myself, et al.), so without him ..... I haven't counted things like Portrait Diptych of Dürer's Parents, though of course one of those is just a female portrait. Ceoil & Victoria again. Johnbod (talk) 03:46, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
The Streatham portrait is at least no worse than the NG Lady Jane Grey. AV Club does a good series on "hate songs" (typical target Lennon's vapid "Imagine"); Paul Delaroche might roll in his grave if it ever becomes a series on paintings. Ceoil (talk) 04:13, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
If you'll forgive me coming over all Simon Cowell, the Delaroche wins on the important measures of whether people walking past stop to take a longer look, and whether people buy a poster in the gift shop. See also And When Did You Last See Your Father? (No article? Really?), Isabella and the Pot of Basil, The Lady of Shalott… (My personal "Imagine" would be "anything by Leonardo da Vinci". I am mystified by the pseudo-religious awe in which he's held—his paintings are without exception completely generic works of the Florentine tradition, but there seems to be an ongoing conspiracy to promote him as the greatest artist who ever lived. And Within Leonardo's own lifetime his fame was such that the King of France carried him away like a trophy and was claimed to have supported him in his old age and held him in his arms as he died. Interest in Leonardo has never diminished. The crowds still queue to see his most famous artworks, T-shirts bear his most famous drawing, and writers continue to marvel at his genius and speculate about his private life and, particularly, about what one so intelligent actually believed in. has a good claim to be the most ridiculously overblown paragraph on the whole of Wikipedia. This paragraph has somehow managed to survive for eight years) – iridescent 09:27, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure if its some weird oop north thing, but the Italian High Renaissance doesnt really work for me. The Lady of Shalott and that, well you can see why it appeals to passers by, nearly all of the paintings mentioned here have commonalities, tropes, that appeal to the sentimental. I'm not entirely immune, have a fondness for the Lady of Shalott, that I can rationalise, but am not proud of. Am much more tyrannical when it comes to music; Shellac? Lightweights. Ceoil (talk) 17:50, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────It can't just be sentimentality, or the walls of the world would be papered with Millaises (Millae?). There's something very specific to present-day England (you don't see it in Scotland or Ireland to anything near the same extent) that reacts to the combination of ginger subject and a primarily green or turquoise background; almost all the gift-shop favourites from Beata Beatrix to Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose to Chatterton to The Last of England to The Hireling Shepherd seem to have this in common. (I just did a quick dip sample of major English galleries' Wikipedia pages looking at their "highlights" section, and all but the Tate conform to this, and given that they have an entire room full of Rossetti and Waterhouse they're clearly in denial.) I'm sure there's a thesis in here somewhere—a cultural legacy of the whole Celtic Twilight fad of 100 years ago perhaps? – iridescent 19:36, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

Cracking stuff! Not sure what I can add at the moment while you're forging ahead - I'm at the limits of my art history knowledge and the curators are so buried in set up that they can't spare a moment to go through this. Having said that, they have personally passed on their support, thanks and awe! I.e: "Amazing work!" - "Great to see Etty getting attention" - "I wish I had time to write that!". They all understand the benefits of Wikipedia/OpenGLAM work and there are no issues with them feeling threatened. The next step for me will be to get the latest hi-res images of Etty's paintings up on to Commons (hopefully this Thursday, poss next Tuesday). I'm also going to advocate getting the works on paper (particularly the Elgin Marbles sketches) digitised in the autumn. Anything else? PatHadley (talk) 11:08, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
Excellent news! We also have Musidora, Candaules, Fancy Dress Ball and The Wrestlers lined up waiting for their turn at WP:DYK, so there should be a steady stream of incoming traffic from the main page, particularly if Musidora runs with this rather eye-catching image. – iridescent 11:24, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
Johnbod, RexxS—since he might conceivably listen to one of you, can you tell Mabbett to knock this nonsense off? There is nothing contentious about a lead image width of 300px/upright=1.35, which is the recommended size for a lead image specified by VAMOS. Given that this is an article on a topic in which he's never shown the slightest interest, and that in the past few days he's edited Stonnington City Centre, Royal Society of Chemistry, Technetium-99m, Bidford-on-Avon, River Tame, West Midlands, AirTrain JFK, Samuel Lines, Concorde aircraft histories, Holdout (real estate), LAMP (software bundle), Birmingham Museum Collection Centre, Entomological Magazine, Supermarine Spitfire, Diane Gromala and Amos Smith—all of which have images the same width or larger, and none of which he's raised any concern about—I can only assume that this is a deliberate attempt to disrupt FAC. Even Gerda Arendt, who generally supports POTW, is saying in the FAC that if anything, the images in this article ought to be larger. (If he genuinely thinks 300px is too large, I can only imagine his reaction when he notices Witches' Sabbath.) – iridescent 15:58, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
He certainly won't listen to me (we've been round this track many times) and I expect RexxS agrees with him. The MOS on images has been somewhat contradictory & widely ignored for years. This is really all linked with the drive for infoboxes that Wikidata can pick up from. Johnbod (talk) 16:03, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Sigh. Touch wood, he'll give up of his own accord, since I have absolutely no desire to ever set metaphorical foot in WP:ARCA again. – iridescent 16:10, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
On the contrary, John, I agree with you. My poor old eyes need bigger images if I'm to make out the detail without having to keep on messing about with zooming. Can I say what a delightful article it is - and if anything I'd be arguing for a slightly larger image size, although I accept that it starts to become impractical on many mobile phones once you get past a certain point. Hope that helps --RexxS (talk) 21:56, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Large number of semi-naked people
The World Before the Flood at WP-default size
Thank you (both for intervening, and for your kind words). I tend to agree that if anything, the images ought to be a lot larger for a lot of these visual arts articles. Particularly with someone like Etty, who painted a lot of large-canvas works like The World Before the Flood where at Wikipedia default size the individual figures look like grains of rice; even at the MOS-approved maximum of 300px it's virtually incomprehensible. I can say with absolute certainty, having seen it for myself often enough, that many (perhaps most) Wikipedia readers are completely unaware that clicking on images enlarges them, and when confronted with an image will either jack up the zoom setting on their browser or press their noses to the screen. On something like Witches' Sabbath (The Great He-Goat), forcing the image even to the 300px MOS-approved maximum, let alone the WP defaults, will make it look like a brown smudge. – iridescent 20:21, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes, but then you have something like Beaune Altarpiece, which we (I, Victoria and Sarah) never managed to resolve. Also, I agree generally with RexxS' cmts re images and succinct pic descriptors. The temptation towards eye candy in arts articles is huge, as is the tendancy towards long, long captions. I usually find myself cutting down a fair few during pre FAC waves of self awarness and restraint. Followed by long, dark, winter nights wondering if I sold out, for a FA trinklet and one single main page day, to the man. Ceoil (talk) 23:55, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Sometimes the long captions make sense—someone just skimming over the article rather than reading word-for-word should be able to read the caption to any picture and understand "what is this a picture of, and why is it here?". Very long captions are certainly not exclusive to VA articles, although on VA topics there's sometimes more of a need to explain to the reader the significance of what they're seeing. – iridescent 12:58, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

Current state of play[edit]

PatHadley, barring unforeseen circumstances Preparing for a Fancy Dress Ball will pass FAC by 1 August, so will be hopefully be TFA that day. The YORAG paintings included on it are Preparing for a Fancy Dress Ball, Elizabeth Potts, Venus and her Satellites (albeit the Ponce and not the YORAG version) and Mlle Rachel. There will also be a steady stream of "Did you know" articles between now and then, starting tomorrow with Candaules and followed at roughly 4–5 day intervals by The Wrestlers, Fancy Dress Ball, Musidora, The World Before the Flood, Youth & Pleasure and The Combat. I'll try to get the bio up to at least a respectable level before 1 August, as at the moment it's really not fit for purpose. – iridescent 21:37, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

Fantastic stuff. I know that on Wikipedia the work is supposed to be it's own reward but I would really like to celebrate your incredible work on these articles and speedy, friendly discussion of the issues. Just a random thought - how about a Periscope tour with a curator? You could ask the questions and the rest of the world could tag along? If you're UK-based we could look into a trip to visit? Cheers, Pat
(PS - Sorry that the new versions of the images are still delayed but I'll get them up as soon as I have them.) PatHadley (talk) 12:23, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
I'd be reluctant to do anything that involves working closely with any institution, rather than at the present arms length. After the QRPedia/​Monmouthpedia/​Gibraltarpedia and Contribsx fiascos (fiascae?), the WMF will be taking a much dimmer view than they used to of anything with even the slightest hint of conflict of interest particularly when it looks like there's any potential involvement of Wikimedia UK (who it's fair to say are not at the top of Jimmy Wales's christmas card list right now). Presumably the last thing YORAG wants is to be the subject of multiple incoherent rants by the rabble of fruitcakes and loons who infest Jimmy Wales's talkpage, followed by their grand reopening being overshadowed by gloating "Wikipedia is corrupt and here's the proof" articles in the Guardian. (Possibly a statement of the obvious, but bear in mind that YORAG's very survival is dependent on the goodwill of a government in which Grant Shapps is an influential figure, so a public association with Wikipedia is possibly not something thet want to publicise.) I'm well aware that I'm still a hate figure among certain members of Wikipedia's lunatic fringe, who would welcome the chance to manufacture a conspiracy theory. (As those with long memories can attest, in the case of at least one member of said lunatic fringe the combination of "Thomas Gray" and "naked teenagers" on Youth and Pleasure is virtually guaranteed to be taken as a personal affront.) – iridescent 15:53, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

Bio done[edit]

Wikipedia now has a shiny new William Etty article in place and ready in time for the local papers to plagiarise use as a basis for their own writing in their coverage of the YORAG reopening. Re-pinging User:PatHadley, Victoriaearle, Ceoil, Johnbod, Kafka Liz, Lingzhi; do your worst. I'm aware that it's nudging the WP:TOOBIG limit, but IMO this is a topic that really shouldn't be split into separate "Early life" and "Later life" articles a la Ricky Ponting or Samuel Johnson, since such a key element is being able to see how his work changed over time, and how his later works relate to early works. (It's not unconscionably long; assuming User:The ed17/Featured articles by wiki text is correct, if it were to pass FAC today it would be the 147th-longest, and those above it include considerably less weighty topics such as Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, Adam Gilchrist, 2012–13 Michigan Wolverines men's basketball team and Ontario Highway 401.) Besides, the only natural break points are 1821 (which would only trim a tiny amount) and 1828 (which would mean a post-1828 article requiring such a long "story so far" section, it would effectively be a content fork).

It does intentionally break the all-hallowed WP:VAMOS in a few places, but I feel it's justified; with the monumental paintings like Sirens it really doesn't make sense to have images at default size (those sailors who look like tiny specks in the background are each around three feet high in the original), and the "bound captive" paintings I've intentionally placed looking out of the page as I think it suits the aesthetic better. – iridescent 19:15, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
Failed to ping earlier as the names were a cut-and-paste from my previous list, but Belle consider yourself pinged as well. – iridescent 23:16, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

Great stuff! I'm travelling at the moment so it will take a few days. An impressive wall of Ettys at the Lady Lever Art Gallery, 11 I think (including Cleopatra as below), which will put York to shame. I'm of course too early to see theirs though I'm there now. Johnbod (talk) 06:29, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
Amazing work! I understand your reservations from my previous offer but the relationship between WMUK, WMF, the community and this project has been overwhelmingly positive. If there's anything that we can do to celebrate your work, I'd be happy to find something you thought of as appropriate. Thanks again, PatHadley (talk) 09:11, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
Britomart Redeems Faire Amoret
Johnbod I've always thought that if you take them on their own terms as a museum of late 19th-century tastes, rather than a museum of art per se, Lady Lever and its less self-promoting southern twin are two of the best small museums in the world. Even kitch vileness like His Turn Next and The Kelpie kind of work in context, and some things like Jeunesse Doree or The Chosen Five would be celebrated as major works if they were in the Tate rather than tucked away in the unhip half of Merseyside or the arse end of Dorset. (When it comes to Etty, Lady Lever bizarrely hung on to tat like Aurora and Zephyr and his rejected cartoon for Prince Albert's shed, but flogged off probably the most important of all his works in their collection, Britomart Redeems Faire Amoret, to the Tate who promptly shoved it in storage for five decades. And yet, they give pride of place to Cymon & Iphigenia which vies with Dignity & Impudence to be the most tackily unpleasant artwork of 19th century England*.)
*Specifically England. When it comes to "charmlessly tacky", 19th century Scotland and Ireland were in a league of their own.
PatHadley Many thanks for the thought, but as I say I don't think I'd be comfortable getting too close to any institution. WMUK does some excellent work but I don't think anyone would dispute that WMUK's attitudes are currently very out of sync with the hivemind in San Francisco who currently call the shots and have very little fondness for WMUK which they consider (with some justification) an extremely loose cannon. WMUK doesn't make the rules, Jimmy and Lila do, and the rules as they currently stand are these, which I'd technically be in breach of if the YORAG cafe gave me a free bun. Just watchlist User talk:Jimbo Wales and WP:COIN for a while and see how often some variation of "someone who corrected a typo on this article two years ago once sat next to the subject on a bus" is raised and meets with a chorus of "burn the witch" approval from the self-appointed Defenders of the Wiki. (Johnbod can no doubt recall just how well the British Museum giving out prizes a few years ago for expanding articles on their exhibits went down.) The people within Jimbo's approved circle can and do get away with COI editing, but I am decidedly not in that circle. – iridescent 20:53, 15 July 2015 (UTC)

(de-indent) I was looking around in JSTOR the other day and came across a snippet in the Bulletin of the American Art-Union advertising the 1849 retrospective. Apparently, "The Council of the Society of Arts [...] exhibit every year the collected works of some one artists, and apply the funds arising therefrom;—first, to giving the artist whose works are exhibited, a commission for a picture; and secondly, to the purchase of pictures already painted. The first of this series of Exhibitions was that of Mulready's works, last year. This year a collection has been made of Mr. Etty's. One hundred and thirty have been brought together, and are said to form a combination of great excellence." I hadn't read the new biography at the time, so I was surprised by the tone of the piece, which was far more respectful than I had expected for someone with Etty's reputation (as reflected in your articles for his various paintings, or at least those I had read). It all makes more sense now; in its detail and completeness, the new biography explains clearly and impassively the changing perceptions of Etty's work, and indeed places even the kitsch in its proper context. Beautiful work, Iridescent, about a remarkable artist. Waltham, The Duke of 23:39, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

Well, many thanks. I will confess that I had much the same opinion of Etty when I started these (the conversation which sparked this series begins "Much as I dislike Etty and everything he stood for"). I think he's really suffered through the fact that the only paintings of his which most people have heard of are the garishly kitsch ones which aren't actually very representative of his output; plus, the Pre-Raphaelites who followed him had a vested interest in claiming to have invented a new genre and didn't want to acknowledge their debt to anyone later than Raphael. I think it's reasonable to make the claim that one can trace the style of virtually every subsequent English painter of whom anyone's heard, from Dante Gabriel Rossetti to David Hockney, directly back to him. (I'm also very pleased at how high the page-views spiked when Fancy Dress Ball was TFA; it shows, I hope, that the article engaged a significant proportion of its readers to the extent that they wanted to learn more about him.) – iridescent 18:56, 2 August 2015 (UTC)


Nineteenth-century fusions of Venetian history painting and English proto-realism appears to beat Wikipedia's usual remit of sports, war, trains and astronomy with our readers. (Didn't Jimmy Wales ban Gibraltar Tourist Board fluffery from appearing on the main page? It looks to be sneaking back in.) ‑ iridescent 19:46, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

DYK for Preparing for a Fancy Dress Ball[edit]

 — Chris Woodrich (talk) 12:55, 3 July 2015 (UTC)
Star on the Main page today, thank you, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 05:20, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
Thank you… It doesn't seem to be getting too badly damaged so far, although I could have done without the time it took me to repair someone's well-intended attempt to "fix" the references on William Etty which ended up breaking them. – iridescent 20:25, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

DYK for The Combat: Woman Pleading for the Vanquished[edit]

Thanks for your help Victuallers (talk) 12:01, 12 July 2015 (UTC)

DYK for The World Before the Flood[edit]

Gatoclass (talk) 00:01, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

Norm Sartorius[edit]

Thanks, thanks, thanks. I am new, so I have a lot to learn. I get it now and will rewrite accordingly. I am glad to see you are working on behalf of the arts. Many fine craft and woodworker pages are pretty lame. It would be great to see those improve radically over time. Several craft curators, critics, and historians have commented on Sartorius, but hardly anyone ever says anything even slightly negative, unlike other fine arts. The print media tends to be positive and therefore sounds nothing but promotional. I get the idea now on how to cover the juried craft shows,awards, etc. I'll get to it tonight, after the day job. I appreciate your work on behalf of Wikipedia (talk) 14:55, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

AWB runs[edit]

I've seen you pop up and down my watchlist with your AWB runs and it reminded me of this discussion at the WP:India noticeboard regarding AWB runs on our numerous village articles. Would it be possible for you to do those runs when you have some time? A lot of these articles need some amount of typo fixing, grammar checks, and MOS changes among other minor changes. The can be addressed by districts, and typically each district can come with one census reference which could be added to all articles under that district. cheers. —SpacemanSpiff 17:18, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

I would be slightly reluctant to do systematic runs of AWB—or any other semi-automated system—on India/Pakistan/Bangladesh articles. One of the problems with AWB is that, while the editor still has to preview and approve every edit, the window only shows the section of the article in which the changes are being made. For most articles, this isn't an issue, but Ind/Pak/Ban are particularly prone to having large chunks of either poorly machine-translated semi-gibberish ("This village have beautiful women and many HOLY men and is home of syed hussain whose sells fine meats and fruits and also splendid and clean vegetables") and blatant cut-and-paste copyright violations.
Because these problematic edits don't contain any spelling mistakes or formatting mistakes of the type AWB will pick up (duplicate referencing, double-spacing etc), if there's a well-written section that contains a minor spelling mistake elsewhere in the article then the problematic section won't be noticeable in AWB. Consequently, the most recent edit in the history will be a valid edit by the AWB operator rather than a potentially problematic edit by an IP, making it that much less likely that problem edits will be noticed and reverted. (Sure, problem edits will be noticed quickly on something like Chennai which has a lot of readers and where issues will be quickly noticed, but most I/P/B articles don't get many readers and problems can last for years if an AWB user or bot edit "whitewashes" the edit history in this way. (Thanks to an edit from SmackBot immediately following a problematic IP, Chungtia contained the phrase The Chungtia war dance is one of the most macho war dances which is a treat to watch from 2007 until about 30 seconds ago, and you can see something similar in the history of a substantial proportion of articles.) Sitush, do you have any thoughts on this? – iridescent 17:41, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
Before someone turns up to accuse me of racism, unsourced puffery is certainly not unique to Asian articles; Attleborough is one of Wikipedia's most dubious articles, and is is about a relatively large town squarely in en-wiki's heartland. South Asia does have the fairly unique problem of having a sizeable number of people who can't speak English but think they can, which leads to a unique set of problems. – iridescent 17:46, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
I've only tried using AWB on a couple of occasions and it scared the life out of me. I can well understand your reluctance given the sheer range of problems that exist in those articles and the way in which AWB displays things. - Sitush (talk) 17:51, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
I understand that perspective iridescent -- though I haven't come across the fish sellers yet, that's one of the reasons I seldom touch these village articles -- too much of a headache for too little result; and it's not like we're short of other areas on the India project that could use some help, but that's also the reason I was thinking of an automated approach instead of something that requires editors to spend time cleaning up. I think Anna Frodesiak has spent some time on cleaning up some Indian villages (unrelated) so maybe she has a different perspective to mine and can chime in. (Sorry if I've converted your TP to a musing board!) cheers. —SpacemanSpiff 18:04, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
This talkpage has always served as something of a chatroom (check the archives); I wouldn't worry about it. If we're on the subject of pinging, Magioladitis might also have thoughts on the pros and cons of semiautomating, and it might also be worth asking for input at WT:AWB.
Stepping slightly outside the box, but would booting a lot of the core data from the village articles across to Wikidata and making each article effectively a giant template showing imported Wikidata (basically a prose infobox) coupled with a free-text section go a long way to cleaning up the worst of the village problems, by making it considerably harder for drive-bys to touch the core data while still giving them an "anyone can edit" section if they have something to say? (MZMcBride, RexxS, Pigsonthewing is this actually a viable idea or would the technical issues make it unworkable?) – iridescent 18:13, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
The export to wikidata idea is appealing. A lot of the village articles were created by GaneshBot (an AWB bot) and the source files should be available somewhere. The census data as well as other infobox data like pin codes etc can also be dumped to csv files. —SpacemanSpiff 18:32, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
Unfortunately, the RfC on extending the use of Wikidata in the English Wikipedia concluded that we can "modify existing infoboxes to permit Wikidata inclusion", but we can't "use Wikidata in article text on English Wikipedia at this time". Normally I'd just go ahead and do it as a proof-of-concept, but I'm scared of a backlash that could scupper our chances of making progress in the future. The idea of a custom infobox that auto-populated from Wikidata would work - I've made a number of them already - but I'm naturally wary of being seen to foist an infobox onto areas that didn't ask for them. Have a look at that RfC and you see what we're up against in trying novel solutions. Cheers --RexxS (talk) 19:43, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
As you may know (cough), I'm aware of the issues regarding foisting infoboxes or anything similar, but I think it would be a viable concept. Without the ability for Wikidata to feed data back to the wikis, I struggle to understand what Wikidata is actually for. (The relatively minor uses I'm aware of, like updating interwiki language links and the {{authority control}} template, certainly don't justify the time it hoovers up and the ill-feeling it creates; I would think an actual visible use for it beyond "spending the WMF's money on something whose primary purposes are enabling external companies to make a profit from Wikipedia's information more easily, and in due course to take over from Commons as en-wiki's penal colony now Wikiversity no longer wants the job" (Before half the Wikidata admins turn up here wailing and gnashing their teeth, that may not be how you see Wikidata but it's certainly the impression it gives to a sizeable chunk of en-wiki.) would be a good thing. – iridescent 20:04, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
Well, I can show you an infobox on Audrey Russell that is a pointer to what could be done. Small beginnings, but it scales well. What is more exciting is the possibility of dynamic articles - where a visitor could ask for a list of notable composers born in the 18th century and we could deliver a properly formatted list article where the content was generated on-the-fly from Wikidata. I'm also looking hard at how we could use Wikidata to create stub articles on the Welsh Wikipedia that could then be fleshed out by Welsh speakers (not me, sadly). Once we've learned how to do that, there are a couple of hundred more small language Wikipedias where we could take the concept and make huge strides in delivering "the sum of all knowledge" to "every single human being" - and probably not quite how Jimbo thought we would. --RexxS (talk) 20:28, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Just to get an idea of what we're up against I went to the category of villages in India, dived down randomly to sub cats and chose three articles at random: Merangkong, Jalanpur, and Kashipur chakbibi.

  1. Merangkong is reasonably ok per our village article standards, though the census link could be included in place of india9 which is, for the most part, a census dump.
  2. Jalanpur is an example for the problems iridescent talks about above.
  3. Kashipur chakbibi is the problem I was concerned about.

While it's not a statistically significant sample, I think the general pattern of the village articles is likely to follow this sort of a split. #1 and #3 have mostly bot/AWB activity outside of the creator. #2 has had its share of problems unaddressed for quite a while now, so I'm not entirely sure that running AWB might hide the problem for a longer duration, but I see that an AWB run on the other two groupings would definitely be helpful. RexxS, I'm not active on the indic wikis, but if you think testing something like a Wikidata populated set of village articles might be worth a try I can check with some of them on that. —SpacemanSpiff 04:26, 5 August 2015 (UTC)

RexxS, to be fair, "Dynamic articles" translates equally well to "vandalism that affects multiple wikis simultaneously". As anyone who's been here long enough to remember the days of template vandalism can confirm, it's surprisingly hard for even very experienced editors to spot where a transcluded bit of vandalism is coming from, particularly if done separately. I can't remember which article it was, but one of the horse editors will no doubt recall the racehorse TFA which over its 24 hours in the sun was showing virtually every horse imaginable as its lead image aside from the horse in question, thanks to an enterprising vandal who'd worked out how to add absolute-positioned images to the transcluded templates. This incident and the time it took anyone to spot it did not exactly cover Wikidata in glory.
Regarding the Welsh stubs thing, if you haven't already it might be worth asking Irish Wikipedia for their thoughts on it. The two have very similar userbases, in that anyone writing for them can reasonably be presumed to have absolute fluency in English (or Spanish, in the case of a few Patagonians) so I would think the whole "an article on every subject regardless of quality" approach would be less important, since most readers would presumably prefer a good quality English-language article than a poor quality Welsh/Irish/Gaelic/Scots stub. (Enough time has passed since the last time it was laughed at that Moose is probably worth another quick kick.) I specifically raise Irish rather than the others because they have (or at least had) Alison chivvying people along for much of their history.
SpacemanSpiff, I agree about the villages, and I suspect that that 13 adequate, 13 inadequate, 13 seriously problematic breakdown would be replicated across India articles in general. A quick dip-sample in Category:Indian people and its subcategories certainly seems to bear it out.
(The WMF would never allow it, but I think one could make a decent case for moving every Indian article into a special draft namespace, and requiring an established editor to manually move each one back into mainspace before it becomes visible to Google, in much the same way WP:Articles for creation was meant to operate. It would cause the mother of all backlogs, but would clear out a huge chunk of Wikipedia's problem articles at a stroke as well as giving an indication as to which of these articles people actually care about.) – iridescent 19:29, 5 August 2015 (UTC)
That proposal might do some good, especially for BLPs. I'd thought of something along those lines regarding stubs -- putting them in a cleaning pen on WP:IN but then I came to realize that the class ratings are way too random with GA/FA etc being added to articles at random (I've had to remove two random GAs this past month). Some variation of your idea begs consideration, so I'll think about that. —SpacemanSpiff 04:27, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
I have my own issues with the usefulness of the whole article quality/article importance matrix, which I think is a decade past its sell-by date and survives only through bureaucratic inertia. ("That article assessment scale is a by-product of a decade-old pet project of Jimmy Wales to create an offline version of Wikipedia for that girl in Africa who can save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around her, but only if she's empowered with the knowledge to do so, and the Importance/Quality metric was used to determine which articles got the limited number of berths on the CD-ROM. Nowadays, the girl in Africa is far more likely to have high-speed mobile broadband than she is to have a computer, CD reader and reliable power source to run them, and the CD version of Wikipedia hasn't been published for years. However, "because we've always done it this way" Wikipedia persists with a grading scale which runs "F, G, B, C, Sta, Stu", with an additional grade between G and B only available to articles on hurricanes, computing and military history. You've been here so long it probably seems natural, but stop and think how messed up that must look to every outside observer, and there's no rational reason to keep doing it other than that understanding it gives some people a momentary buzz of "I understand this secret code". Those "importance" categories were necessary in the days of WP:1.0 when the WMF could talk seriously about "producing a print version of Wikipedia" and it was necessary to decide what was worthy of printing, but are pointless now. Quite aside from "importance" being completely subjective, importance in Wikipedia terms doesn't necessary equate to importance elsewhere, since the most important function of Wikipedia is collating information not easily available elsewhere—for Wikipedia, John Sherman Cooper is a more important article than John F. Kennedy.", if you missed it.) Personally, I would say the only assessment categories Wikipedia should have should be "Needs major work", "Adequate" and "Realistically as good as it's likely to get".
I would think article assessment—or at least FA status—would be an ideal use case for Wikidata; give the six FAC and FAR delegates admin status on Wikidata, and a protected wikidata "is en-wiki FA" checkbox. Something of the kind must be going on anyway, to generate the "is FA/GA on a foreign language project" markers (see the language sidebar on Tarrare for an example). Provided the source table on Wikidata were adequately protected, this would appear to be an obvious solution to the perennial problem of people trying to unilaterally promote and unpromote FAs/GAs. – iridescent 09:12, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
Article quality & importance ratings can work well, but only if there are people who use them to improve the "low quality but high importance" set. Personally I generally prefer to let the people decide on importance, by using the excellent (& I think little-known) Category:Lists of popular pages by WikiProject, together with the quality ratings. The visual arts project wisely decided at the start never to use the "importance" ratings. For most projects I wonder if the effort of maintaining the system is worth it. Far too many raters clearly just go by length, & one might do that automatically. Most projects now have far too many articles for the system to work well, not to mention too few editors. Johnbod (talk) 15:59, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
I am not entirely convinced those rankings are accurate. – iridescent 16:09, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
There are some obvious oddballs like this on the India list but a check on the no views under article history will typically set those right, but for the most part I think the list is fine except during article moves and such actions. —SpacemanSpiff 16:18, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
Directoire style was a flash in the pan last month; you get these - google doodle, reddit, who knows? Now its back to 1,000 per month. The rugby is odder - betting? That started suddenly last mid-October, & then was very jerky, going from several '000 to bugger-all day by day. Bone char used to be a top VA article for a while, getting over 500K per month for several months, then back to 500 pd. The lists are accurate compilations of the figures, & such mysteries apart, reliable. Johnbod (talk) 16:28, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
Hmmm. Quite aside from all the sporting ones at the top, I am less than convinced that Tuppence Middleton is really a more popular article than Winston Churchill. I don't doubt that the figures accurately reflect the stats, but I do doubt as a reliable source. (IIRC it had Daniel Lambert as one of the 1000 most-read articles on the entire Wiki for 2010, while blips like this can't be entirely down to Reddit or passing mentions on QI.) – iridescent 17:14, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
Last month she was - just the same pattern as Sense8, and yes, they can. The 4-day bump, mainly on day 1, is exactly what you get with a passing web or news story. It is actually the blippy-ness of the blips, which one can often tie down to a particular cause, that I find pursuasive as to the stats' accuracy. Johnbod (talk) 17:42, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
In which case, why can't bloody Reddit pick up on something actually worth reading, rather than dull tasteless half-finished crap like Whipping Tom? – iridescent 18:06, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
We could tell them about the quality and importance ratings? Johnbod (talk) 18:25, 6 August 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I confess that looking at the France list, I feel a certain pride that Tarrare ranks higher than Prime Minister of France and Portrait of Mlle Rachel ranks higher than Dauphin of France. I like to think Wikipedia's readers have their priorities straight. – iridescent 18:37, 6 August 2015 (UTC)

But what about the important articles, like In re Snyder and Bureau of Insular Affairs and "My Name Is Not Merv Griffin"? Newyorkbrad (talk) 18:41, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
Or A215 road, which I believe may be the single lowest-traffic [sic] Good Article on Wikipedia? (I have a sneaking suspicion Wood Siding railway station is probably the least-viewed FA as well—it's certainly lower than the mighty Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Baxter Healthcare Pty Ltd.) – iridescent 18:57, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
All the articles I've ever created currently hold the coveted Bad Article designation (although it appears I will have to change that if I ever want to pass RfA again).... Regards, Diderot a/k/a Newyorkbrad (talk) 19:51, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
You do know you have only yourself to blame for that comparison? I can say from experience that the bureaucratic timesink does indeed distract from the reason we're all (well, all but one apparently) here; that doesn't make it A Good Thing. Since I can see you writing away on Yates v. United States (2015), and since this link is still blue, presumably you feel this as well. – iridescent 20:05, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
Actually, my main time-and-energy competitor for mainspace work is not really the wikitime I spend/spent on administration/arbitration/bureaucracy; it's a series of off-wiki recreational and professional research-and-writing projects. I've tried to work some of that into my contributions here, but I need to beware of self-citation and OR. None of which is a good excuse, of course.
I can't help noticing that you seem to be rejuvenated as an editor lately; a whole series of substantive contributions, plus things like typo runs, a sort of activity I assumed you'd burnt out on long ago. Glad to see that, especially if you're having fun, which is also a reason many of us are here. Regards, Newyorkbrad (talk) 20:55, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
Both are somewhat accidental. The Etty series had its origins as a piece of trolling as much as anything else, as The Sirens and Ulysses is arguably the embodiment of everything Jimmy Wales and his clique loathe, from gratuitous nudity to WikiProject Greater Manchester, but once I got started I felt I ought to finish the series off. (Despite all the people insinuating that I was exaggerating that "eight hours" claim, FAs really aren't that hard to write provided you know the material to start with and have all the sources to hand, and ideally have an existing similar article to copy the fiddly formatting from.) The run of automated edits stems from a conversation recently with Ling.nut in which I made some rather unflattering comments about what WP:AWB has become compared to what it was in my day, and the things it flags as "typos" which are nothing of the sort; I figured that one shouldn't really criticise something without trying it for oneself. (I am singularly unimpressed with the changes to it. Some of the supposed "errors" it fixes really are nothing of the kind, and I can see this becoming another Date Delinking or Hyphenation case at some point.) – iridescent 21:08, 6 August 2015 (UTC)

Hello, could you please userfy a page you deleted on 8 June 2015[edit]

The [page you've deleted] on June 8 2015 was missing sources to prove the subject's notability. I am happy to work on correcting that if you put it back in a sandbox under my account. Thanks! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Youreadme (talkcontribs) 23:24, 6 August 2015 (UTC)

Assuming you mean Julia Hasting, that was deleted under proposed deletion so I've restored it per WP:REFUND; feel free to move it to your userspace if you want to work on it (or ask at requested moves if you can't; I forget what the requirements to be able to move pages are). I will warn you that in its current state as an unsourced WP:BLP, it's extremely likely to be renominated for deletion. – iridescent 23:40, 6 August 2015 (UTC)

DYK for William Etty[edit]

 — Chris Woodrich (talk) 05:56, 7 August 2015 (UTC)


Hey Iridescent,

I'm not sure if you'll be into it, but do you think that you could review Kurt Vonnegut and leave your thoughts at the peer review. I'm trying to get as many eyes on it as possible, and hope that my coverage of him is the best possible. Sound good? I understand if you don't want to, for any reason. Thank you, --ceradon (talkedits) 08:35, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

I'll give it a go, although he's not someone I know much about. If you haven't already, you probably want Victoriaearle and Eric Corbett on board for this one; they shepherded Ernest Hemingway and Enid Blyton respectively through FAC, so will be more aware than me of the issues regarding writing a biography of an author of whom everyone has a vague idea they're familiar with but nobody actually knows that much about. – iridescent 08:52, 7 August 2015 (UTC)
Hehe. I already asked Eric Corbett for a copyedit and a comment. Didn't get a response; I guess he's not interested. I would like for the article to be the best it can possibly be though, so as many eyes as possible. Cheers, --ceradon (talkedits) 08:59, 7 August 2015 (UTC)
Other than a few minor edits and driveby talkpage replies he doesn't seem to have edited for the last few days—he's probably just on holiday. If he doesn't want to talk to someone he's generally not shy about letting them know. – iridescent 09:04, 7 August 2015 (UTC)
I don't have the time or motivation I once did to contribute here, but I'll take a look at Vonnegut in due course. Not this week though. Eric Corbett 16:36, 9 August 2015 (UTC)
Eric Corbett, thank you. :) --ceradon (talkedits) 17:39, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Hey Iridescent. We're about ready to go to FAC. Any further concerns? Thank you, --ceradon (talkedits) 12:37, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Nothing obvious I can see, with the disclaimer that I don't know much about him so am assuming accuracy throughout. ‑ iridescent 14:14, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

The Combat[edit]

Hello there! Thanks for getting in touch. I've not spoken to the folks at the Scottish National Gallery so far, but I can certainly make enquiries... :) Lirazelf (talk) 10:27, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

Thanks—absolutely no rush, as the current compromise works adequately and this is not exactly a high-traffic article. (Although astonishingly, aside from the two Scottish Parliament articles which are something of a special case, assuming this passes FAC it will be the first FA on an Edinburgh topic.) It may well not have been photographed at a better quality—it's such a huge size, it won't fit into the flatbeds they usually use to photograph their paintings. – iridescent 16:22, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

Superb work![edit]

Love the William Etty article! Maury Markowitz (talk) 13:01, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

Thanks! Now somebody is at Talk:Main Page complaining about Wikipedia's pro-Etty bias, I feel my mission is complete. (I'm sorely tempted to see if I can persuade someone to schedule three of them in a row as TFA just to watch the complaints roll in.) – iridescent 16:14, 7 August 2015 (UTC)
The one thing schedulers go for is variety, - one month apart for mushrooms and hurricanes. If you want them together, suggest them all three one day,- it has been done for two presidents and two galaxies, and would fight the backlog. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 18:01, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
I did consider it, but there's no obvious grouping—for things like the Nazi blockhouses or the constellations there was a good reason to run them together. Etty had a very varied output; it's not always apparent because his nude history paintings are more famous than his other work, but his works generally have very little in common. (I could see a case for running the three Judith paintings as a set, but I doubt I'll write a stand-alone article on those.) As a more general arts idea, what would make an excellent series would be multiple artists' take on the same theme. As I imagine you know, I'm not a great admirer of the idea of TFA anyway, and would happily abolish TFA (and DYK, and OTD, and ITN, and TFP, and TFL, and all the rest of the alphabet soup on the main page); if I were called upon to redesign the Main Page it would be a set of randomly chosen tiles each showing a "featured article" chosen by one particular Wikiproject. It will never happen, per the comments here; too many people see appearing on the main page as "winning" and will fight if anyone threatens to end their game. ‑ iridescent 19:01, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
Rubens, 1617
Van Mieris, 1698
West, 1773
Millais, 1848
@Gerda Arendt, or reflection I don't think multiple-hook visual arts articles in general are ever going to work at TFA, barring a radical redesign of the main page. As a general rule, they're all going to need a thumbnail image for a blurb on a painting/sculpture/photograph/building to make sense, but having more than one image in the TFA blurb will eat up space, as well as playing havoc with the mobile site; remember that every TFA blurb has to work in this format as well as the normal site. The Nazi blockhouses were something of an exception, as they were architecturally virtually identical so didn't need multiple images, but if one were to (for instance) try to do a TFA blurb on four different paintings of Cymon and Iphigenia, then even forcing the images down to a tiny size the thumbnail would look like this, which would either mean reducing the blurb to a minimum or expanding the TFA slot and temporarily booting ITN or DYK out of their spot to make way for it. (There's also an issue with multiple-article blurbs, in that the first one tends to be the only one anyone ever reads. When they ran the constellation ones and Obama/McCain, Bencherlite had to write a special script to make the order keep changing back and forth to prevent one of them being treated as the primary topic, but for most arts articles that's not going to be practical as there will always be a natural sequence. @Bencherlite, @WP:TFA coordinators: , would you agree or is there something obvious I'm missing? ‑ iridescent 21:16, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for thinking much more seriously than I did,- in the meantime I recommended to not even combine two DYK hooks, as it takes away from the second. Had a good one today, about a text offer the composer couldn't refuse, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 21:25, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
Knowing Wikipedia's core audience of bored teenagers, this one ought to do spectacularly well in terms of pageviews. (I will confess to feeling a twinge of smugness when a DYK I've nominated gets more than twice as many pageviews on the day than that day's TFA. ‑ iridescent 21:31, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
Not my call. It's true, some days not many people don't click through to that day's FA. I'm still hoping they enjoy the TFA text. - Dank (push to talk) 23:09, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

You have got to be kidding[edit]

(cur | prev) 17:11, 7 August 2015‎ Iridescent (talk | contribs)‎ . . (131,644 bytes) (-22)‎ . . (Undid revision 675004524 by ♥Golf (talk) The one in England is clearly the primary usage; there's no need to specify the country) (undo | thank)

    1. (cur | prev) 17:09, 7 August 2015‎ Iridescent (talk | contribs)‎ . . (131,666 bytes) (0)‎ . . (Undid revision 675006605 by ♥Golf (talk) Etty never even visited America, stop trying to change this to en-us) (undo | thank)

What in the hell is your problem? Do you have a corn cob stuck up your ass or what? You are the rudest son-of-a-bitch I've ever come across. Fuck you, and the horse you rode in on. --EditorExtraordinaire (talk) 22:43, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

This article is about a British topic and is written in British English. In en-gb, houses are in the road and cars are on the road. If you really think Etty never even visited America, stop trying to change this to en-us and The one in England is clearly the primary usage; there's no need to specify the country are "the rudest things you've ever come across" and on a par with "Fuck you, and the horse you rode in on", I'm really not sure how to respond to you, nor do I have any particular desire to. (Newyorkbrad, remind me again how this is OK but "sycophant" isn't?) – iridescent 23:22, 7 August 2015 (UTC)
I have done dozens of useful edits on Etty, including a few just today. You seem to be completely oblivious to WP:Good faith. I did an edit awhile back on another of your articles (moved a picture as I recall) and got a similar rude summary comment from you. Not more than 10 minutes later, a total stranger emailed me to apologize for your rudeness. The person said "It's only Wikipedia, just ignore it". I only try to help articles, never to damage them. It would be nicer if you simply changed edits that you don't like rather than do a vicious reversion with a snide remark. --EditorExtraordinaire (talk) 23:36, 7 August 2015 (UTC)
I have commented on Golf's talk page that his language here is unacceptable; his post is also inaccurate in that he has made 12 edits (not "dozens") to the Etty article. Risker (talk) 00:09, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
Iridescent, as I expect you realize, I had nothing to do with the "sycophant" incident. @Risker: this editor's latest post on his talkpage is so over-the-top and out-of-character that I think we need to consider whether he is having some sort of issue or whether this might be a compromised account. Regards, Newyorkbrad (talk) 01:26, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
NYB you're right, I do apologise; for some reason I remembered the admin from the "sycophant" incident as being you but looking at the history I see it was Gwen Gale.
To be fair, Gwen did apologise to me, but what the fuck good is that? It's just two more entries in my block log. Eric Corbett 21:26, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
I wouldn't have any issue personally with deleting those entries from your block log, and would do it if I didn't know someone would immediately reverse it and haul me off to be punished for it. The usual argument (which has some validity) is that deleting block log entries hides the actions of bad admins from scrutiny, but since it happened about eight years ago, and Gwen is barely active, I can't imagine anyone ever wanting to use it as evidence against her. ‑ iridescent 21:36, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
To whoever's about to pop up and say that editing block logs is impossible; no, it's just a matter of politics. This is an unblock of the long-suffering User:ThisIsaTest; the reason you can't see the corresponding block is that I oversighted it out of the block log. ‑ iridescent 21:40, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
I would! ;-) Eric Corbett 21:49, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
If I'm going to be accused of being an agent of evil, I'm sure someone could find something more convincing than "a couple of reverts". For the benefit of viewers, the edit summary which was "so rude somebody emailed to apologise" was You don't get a unilateral exemption from the MOS just because you don't like it, referring to an edit which put two pictures at the same level with the text sandwiched between them. – iridescent 07:42, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
  • this is encyclopedic? - NQ (talk) 13:01, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

DYK for The Triumph of Cleopatra[edit]

Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 17:12, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

Kurt Vonnegut FAC[edit]

Hello. We've gone to FAC with the Kurt Vonnegut article. Just a heads up. Cheers, --ceradon (talkedits) 14:35, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

Will pop by when I get the chance—busy at the moment and unlikely to have time to review for a bit but I assume it will be there for a while. ‑ iridescent 15:45, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

Lambeth is no more[edit]

Maybe referring to Elizabeth Hankes? Several lines of odd stuff supposedly written on an envelope by Etty, I suppose between 1828 and 1830, in Round Table, Volume 3, H. E. and C. H. Sweeter, 1866 - New York (N.Y.) p. 316. • Lingzhi ♦ (talk) 08:01, 16 August 2015 (UTC)

WP:BLP prevents my giving my full opinion on Robinson's methodology, but I find that initial section where he traces Etty's family tree highly dubious, which is why I disregarded it altogether when writing the article; the sole source for Elizabeth Hankes of Lambeth even existing appears to be "according to William's great-great-great nephew". It seems unlikely anyone would refer to a family member, let alone a female family member, as "Lambeth"; the only people who are referred to by placenames are peers and bishops. Unless one is specifically talking about a district of local government, "Lambeth" is almost invariably going to be shorthand for the Archbishop of Canterbury; if it was indeed written in 1828, it will be a reference to Charles Manners-Sutton who died in office in July 1828. ‑ iridescent 16:43, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
The lambeth bit comes from a scribbled bit of self-talk pseudopoetry that might or might not be interesting enough to be worthy of inclusion in Etty's article. It mentions his sister, mother, specific paintings sold, prize won (I assume the 100 pounds) and so on. • Lingzhi ♦ (talk) 00:35, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
OK, looking at the original this just looks like verbal doodling (I wouldn't even consider it poetry, just scribbled notes), and I don't see what use could be made of it. For the benefit of anyone else watching this, the "poem" in question is:
God is God
Turkish proverb
Now that I am elected a Royal Academician
That I have sold my picture to the Marquis of Stafford
That I have sold my sketch of Pandora
That my mother is restored to me
That my Betsy remains
That Lambeth is no more
That the Chambers are comfortably let and [illegible] done with
And that my 'Venus' is sold, the 'Evening Star' and York in view
And 'Herculaneum' hung and Models done with
Can I forget? No! No!! No!!!
It will almost certainly be from summer 1828, as that's when Venus the Evening Star was sold, which means "Lambeth is no more" as a reference to the death of Manners-Sutton make sense, as he died in July.
If we're going to go down the "original research into Etty's writings" route (which would be more suited for Wikiversity than here) there's a lot of considerably more promising material in the YORAG archives, given that we still have the man's notebooks and correspondence. (I do use occasional quotes from him in the bio to give an illustration of how his mind worked, but have tried to do so very sparingly. Farr includes what he considered the most relevant of his letters as an appendix.) It's hard to convey just how huge YORAG's Etty archive is; it has over 1200 catalogue entries, many of which are notebooks or sketchbooks containing multiple items. There's no way one could ever distil the whole thing into a full-length book, let alone a Wikipedia article—trying to corral all his jottings into a coherent narrative would be a matter for a doctoral thesis, not a dilettante Wikipedia editor. ‑ iridescent 10:09, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Ok, sounds right. Good luck with your FAC • Lingzhi ♦ (talk) 10:23, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
To be clear, the "dilettante editor" is me, before the Civility Police pop up to accuse me of belittling other editors. ‑ iridescent 13:36, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
That may be true. However, if you count every fourth letter in your contribution to this thread, and adjust for the Coriolis effect, it's painfully plain that your message reads "Death to Jimmy Wales! All hail President Trump!" I personally think we should just skip the whole admin/ani/arbcom stuff and permaban you now. • Lingzhi ♦ (talk) 00:52, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Brilliant Idea Barnstar Hires.png The Brilliant Idea Barnstar
Thank you for your fine help at Trinity Chain Pier. It is really appreciated and has eased my work in improving the article. John (talk) 21:23, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, but I can't really take any credit—it was purely through idly flipping through Google hits that I noticed it had a different name in early sources. It occurs to me that the National Maritime Museum might have something on it as well—from the existence of Wikipedia:GLAM/National Maritime Museum I assume we did at least at one point have a contact there. (There's apparently a Scottish Maritime Museum as well who might have something as well, although since it only opened in 1982 I wouldn't hold out much hope that their collections go back that far.) It might be worth looking through the Scottish collection of the National Gallery of Scotland as well (I assume it's all online) to see if there are any paintings of the thing which are in the public domain. ‑ iridescent 21:33, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
I would probably have figured the name thing out myself in time but you saved me a lot of head-scratching. All the other suggestions are appreciated too. Thanks. --John (talk) 21:37, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
I don't know if it's sourceable, but dropping the location into Google Maps, there's a straight road (bizarrely, named "Trinity Crescent"), which runs directly from the disused Trinity railway station to the base of the pier, so it looks like even though the pier's importance was supposedly over by the time the railway was built, it was considered important enough to affect the placement of the roads. It may be worth looking to see if there is any discussion of links between the pier and the station in any of the books. ‑ iridescent 21:53, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
One of the sources talks about that. The building of the pier was contemporary with the building of Trinity Crescent, and the street was never completed with buildings. The railway (and it was Edinburgh's second) certainly traded on the popularity of the pier as a swimming destination, as mentioned by my railway sources. There was a steep stairway according to one of the sources, I think. I suppose it's a question of just how much detail one adds from the sources. Having decent sources really helps, and I heartily appreciate your help there. --John (talk) 22:04, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

DYK for Britomart Redeems Faire Amoret[edit]

Gatoclass (talk) 08:41, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Invitation to WikiProject TAFI[edit]

Today's Article For Improvement star.svg
Hello, Iridescent. You're invited to join WikiProject Today's articles for improvement, a project dedicated to significantly improving articles with collaborative editing in a week's time.

Feel free to nominate an article for improvement at the project's Article nomination board. If interested in joining, please add your name to the list of members. Thanks for your consideration. North America1000 08:13, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

I won't, but I wish you the best of luck. I find it's easier to work on something when there isn't someone else working on it at the same time, as otherwise you tend to get a mass of edit conflicts and duplicated research. (I know it's heresy against the Wikipedia credo, but aside from a few top-level articles, collaboration on Wikipedia doesn't tend to work very well—in my experience, if more than a couple of people are working on something it tends to function much better on a "you leave me alone with it for a week, then I'll leave it with you for a week" basis. Despite the WMFs protestations to the contrary, Mediawiki is an awful piece of software when it comes to how it handles multiple people working on the same piece of text.) ‑ iridescent 17:41, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
I agree, unless it's someone you know well and can trust. As for the Mediawiki software .... Eric Corbett 17:46, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Hi Iridescent & Eric Corbett: Thanks for your opinion/insight. For what it's worth, check out some of the project's accomplishments, for examples of the good the project is capable of. North America1000 23:50, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Oh, I'm not belittling the project, but I don't feel its model is very good once you get to FA level (if I'm reading this page correctly, TAFI has only ever achieved one FA and two GAs (and one of those GAs was promoted following a rather dubious-looking review by Awadewit). To misquote Kelly Martin, open editing may be a good way to start an article but it is not a good way to finish one; the mass-collaboration model is good for getting things from bad to adequate, but a collaboration of more than three people doesn't really work at the higher levels. Quite aside from all the technical issues (edit conflicts, MOS compliance, citation styles, avoiding repetition, image placement…), when you're inviting a lot of people who don't have specialist knowledge or access to sources to pile into an article, you're effectively adding an open invitation for people to write articles based on the results of Google searches, and "people who don't know the subject well enough to weigh sources, trying to add to articles based on whatever they've found on Google" is a recipe for disaster. (Unless the topic is something like a videogame or recent movie, where the most important sources will genuinely be online, "more than a third of the references are to things which can be found on Google" is a pretty sure-fire indicator that an article will have serious systemic problems. The nature of Google Books, which is largely built from American collections, means the results of a Google Books search automatically come with an inbuilt serious systemic bias, which people who aren't intimately familiar with the topic generally find very hard to counterbalance.) ‑ iridescent 19:28, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
I've not infrequently had objections from editors complaining that sources weren't available online. Have they never heard of libraries? And as for the saintly Awadewit, least said soonest mended. Eric Corbett 20:04, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
My thinking was that the TAFI works best trying to improve broad untechnical articles that are in a poor state with little inline referencing. There are still quite alot of these around the place, so I think there is a place for it as long as the right articles are selected. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 20:15, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
@Eric, you may recall that back before the dawn of time, it was myself who sarcastically defined "unreliable source" as Any source that would require more than 30 seconds of effort to verify, and if anything the rise of Google has just made that mentality worse, coupled with a tendency of some editors to unquestioningly accept whatever Google throws up as holy writ. (I won't embarrass by naming names, but I've caught at least one significant editor citing articles to novels without realising that they're works of fiction.) I believe my opinions of the sainted Awadewit were, and are, fairly well known.
@Cas, I agree entirely that there's a place for TAFI in getting things which are currently unacceptably bad up to the level of adequate—some of Wikipedia's core-topic articles are atrocious. (This is a website that purports to be an encyclopedia, yet Prose is a mighty 355 words long.) For getting things beyond "barely adequate", I think it's far from the most efficient process. (Divvy up the participants into groups of two or three, and assign one article to each group to focus on exclusively, if you really want to win the Wikipedia MMORPG.) ‑ iridescent 20:26, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Yet another competition without a prize! Yeah, great! Eric Corbett 20:43, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
The whole of Wikipedia is a competition without a prize, unless you count "increased number of abusive emails from people you've never met" as some kind of prize. I don't like the assorted contests and think they tend to focus people's energies into areas where it's not best used, but (with the exception of WikiCup, which is actively disruptive and should have been shut down years ago) I don't see any great harm, and they might do some good. ‑ iridescent 21:33, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
I've never considered the TAFI project as competitive. Rather, it is collaborative, the opposite. North America1000 01:40, 29 August 2015 (UTC)