User talk:Jorge Stolfi

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Pirahã features[edit]

Hi, I didn't remove the list of Pirahã features because they're controversial. If you read my edit summary, you'll see that I removed them because all that information is elsewhere in the article and lists like that are not good wikipedia style. Best, Arxack (talk) 23:42, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Hello, that's a good point, but if we're going to do that, do you think we go further and have a section actually about the controversy? Arxack (talk) 04:14, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

Propylene oxide[edit]

To chemists, there is essentially only one propylene oxide (the one made on the billion kg scale per Ullmann article on "Propylene oxide"). The second isomer is of minor importance and usually called trimethylene oxide. The nomenclature is imperfect, which irritates purists and some others. In any case, I recommend that we move good ole propylene oxide back to its old name. You are welcome to contribute to the discussion on the Wikichemicals page. PS you are doing interesting and welcome work on the carbon oxides. Try the sulfides!--Smokefoot (talk) 22:07, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the note. I think that I will move the article back. Your words encouraging accessibility to non-specialists resonates. For this reason I try to spend time on general topics like ketone and alkyl. It would be interesting to know a lot more about who exactly is reading these articles. My guess is that our main readership includes those interested in the ingredients in consumer goods and technicians and students that are tasked to work with or write about these materials. My thinking on propylene oxide is not just about preserving legacy names, but is motivated by optimizing the approachability of an intrinsically difficult topic by using familiar names. To wander off the subject, did you see that one of the most consulted articles is oxiclean, a product that contains one of your favorites - peroxycarbonate - as the active ingredient. --Smokefoot (talk) 00:15, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

Your change to Set (computer science)[edit]

I've reverted it because it's plain wrong to make void "the same" as unit type in that context because Void type cannot actually be stored; it's one of the key differences between unit type and void, as explained here. Honestly, despite your CS professorship, you're starting to act like a WP:RANDY. Pcap ping 19:39, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

COBOL was NOT the first language to use records[edit]

The IBM/360 Assembler language contained numerous ways of defining records. eg.

      CARD     DS   0CL80       describes a collection of fields in the record (0 multiplication factor, implied length 80)
      NAME     DS   CL20
      ADDRESS1 DS   CL20
      ADDRESS2 DS   CL20
      CITY     DS   CL20


      CARD     DSECT            describes a 'dummy section' representing offsets from a 'pointer' register
      NAME     DS   CL20
      ADDRESS1 DS   CL20
      ADDRESS2 DS   CL20
      CITY     DS   CL20


      CARD     DS   4CL20       4 unamed fields of 20 bytes each comprising a record


      RECORDS  DS   9CL80       reserved storage for up to 9 card records

ken (talk) 09:09, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

Organic chemistry[edit]

Hi Jorge. I slashed your definitional section in organic chemistry. In my opinion, the article on organic chemistry is probably not the right place to discuss some highly specialized compounds that fall into the gray area. The page is viewed thousands of time each day by readers who, I am guessing, mainly want to know about regular organic compounds. IMHO, readers are probably not interested in the "hair-splitting" definitions that fascinate you and me. The topic is sufficiently broad that we could continue the conversation on the Chemistry project page, if you wish.--Smokefoot (talk) 18:54, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for your note. I used to be interested in the inorganic-organic distinction (and like you was amused by the irony that Woehler's urea is inorganic). You'll find however that organic chemists find the distinction completely trivial. I hope that you liked the [Au6CL6]2+ cluster that I inserted into carbide, which you have expanded so well. There are zillions of these things. In Fe5C(CO)15, the carbon is square pyramidal: Best wishes,--Smokefoot (talk) 20:41, 15 November 2009 (UTC)


What are your definitions of "TooCuteForWikipedia"? Are there any common definitions?

Warmest Regards, :)--thecurran let it off your chest 06:04, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Nomination for deletion of Template:@@[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svgTemplate:@@ has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at the template's entry on the Templates for discussion page. Thank you. — This, that, and the other (talk) 10:04, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Your accurate two-phase model[edit]

Your new section at Wikipedia:Modelling Wikipedia's growth makes very good sense. You seem to have resaerched this extensively. Some people might argue that you can model anything with 10 parameters, but you explained quite satisfactory (to me at least) what the purpose af these parameters are.
The seasonal pattern for article creation peaks at February and August. Have a look at Google Insight for Search for the seasonal pattern for Wikipedia as search criterium. It is quite the contrary of the editors, with valleys at summer and Christmas.
A few questions about predicting the future:

  • the technical report mentions 2 different values for the Limiting size: At paragraph 7 you mention about 5.9 million articles, but in the abstract a finite limit a little over 8 million articles.
  • can you provide the is modelled values for future article numbers? I would like to add them in the monthly graphs, if that is OK? HenkvD (talk) 20:26, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

User:Jorge Stolfi/Oxocarbon test[edit]

It appears you can use relative path names as well. Feel free to revert if you don't like it. Thanks! Plastikspork ―Œ(talk) 17:17, 15 December 2009 (UTC)


Had a good laugh reading user:Jorge Stolfi/Templates that I sorely miss, and wanted to thank you. ;)

Talkback re: Subroutine and the unreferenced tag[edit]

Nuvola apps edu languages.svg
Hello, Jorge Stolfi. You have new messages at Pointillist's talk page.
Message added 03:38, 20 December 2009 (UTC). You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

Proposed deletion of Jorge Stolfi/Death of Wikipedia/Why uniformity should not be a goal[edit]

Ambox warning yellow.svg

The article Jorge Stolfi/Death of Wikipedia/Why uniformity should not be a goal has been proposed for deletion because of the following concern:

Wikipedia is not for personal essays.

While all contributions to Wikipedia are appreciated, content or articles may be deleted for any of several reasons.

You may prevent the proposed deletion by removing the {{dated prod}} notice, but please explain why in your edit summary or on the article's talk page.

Please consider improving the article to address the issues raised. Removing {{dated prod}} will stop the proposed deletion process, but other deletion processes exist. The speedy deletion process can result in deletion without discussion, and articles for deletion allows discussion to reach consensus for deletion. Singularity42 (talk) 20:56, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

You created the essay in the main article space. Moved to: User:Jorge_Stolfi/Death_of_Wikipedia/Why_uniformity_should_not_be_a_goal. Jarkeld (talk) 21:15, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Hi, thanks for moving that bit of essay to the correct name. I was not aware of the missing "User:", and got quite upset when I got a "deletion" notice on an essay that I had not even finished writing yet. Sorry for the bother, and all the best. --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 21:19, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
No problem. Glad to have been of assistance. Jarkeld (talk) 21:23, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Sorry - I should have caught the missing "User" from the title. Singularity42 (talk) 21:25, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

It is me who must apologize. "Honi soit qui mal y pense". --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 01:31, 21 December 2009 (UTC)


SpecialBarnstar.png The Special Barnstar
For removing the gratuitous {{citations missing}} template from the article List of minor characters from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. HairyWombat (talk) 02:15, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Where you display it is up to you. Feel free to move it to your talk page.


Furazan looks like your cup of tea, esp the dicarboxylic acid. The article mentions nitrosocyanacetate, which is one of those special organic things that are barely organic. I am not even sure what it is. Cheers--Smokefoot (talk) 16:45, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Re: Aerican empire infobox[edit]

Thank you for explaining your rationale, and thank you for talking it over with me before reverting my changes. It's always nice to meet someone here open to talk through a disagreement. Wish it happened more often.

I don't agree with you about the infobox. The labels on the box are indicative of the subjective claims made by the state; hence labels such as "purported currency" and "area claimed" as opposed to "currency" and "territory" as seen in the standard country templates. The information doesn't have to come from an "independent" source. Wikipedia requires that notability be estalbished by a certain number of outside sources, but content in an article about a website can certainly come from that website... it would have to, because you can't assume that an outside reporter will arrange to cover every single fact that someone might want to know. In the case of these microstates, information such as supposed land claims and currencies are essential data to appreciating the content and scale of the project, and the best and most reliable source for that data is the website in question. It's no different that putting up an item of celebrity news based on a press release from their website, which we do routinely. It's a biased but valid source, which is why we use citations to warn people of bias when we quote them. As it happens, I do have a citation to support the "purported currency" and "population" figures, which I'll try to dig up. They were mentioned in a European radio broadcast a few months back...

Lastly, I'd appreciate it if you refrained from making sweeping comments about micronations being games or role-playing. I don't ask you to say that they're valid political organizations, but given that the people involved don't consider it to be playing a game, it's arguably not accurate to say that it is one. Some of these countries certainly openly admit to being games, but by and large, the ones with Wiki articles don't. Obviously, though, I'm biased on this point, and I freely admit that. Timcrow (talk) 03:29, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

You wrote,
Wikipedia does not consider "the contents of a website" to be a suitable topic for an article.
I don't recall seeing this as an official guideline, though it's possible I'm mistaken. That said, it happens in quite a lot of articles. Go to Google and type in 'wikipedia "according to her website"' and you'll find that this exact phrase appears on quite a number of articles. The latest news about a person or group is often best found in their own press-releases, despite the fact that, as you say, anybody with a computer and a first-grade reading level can create a website and put news on it. I believe you 100% about how anyone can post fake information online, but if you cite only a group's official website, then barring vandalism, that's usually a good way to get their news and not that of, for example, a rival splinter-group, as with the Talossas.
You wrote,
Now, "data" such as the precise areas which the Aericans decided to claim as their territory is of this sort: neither relevant, nor permanent, nor encyclopedic.
I would say that this information is different from bus schedules and numbers of bathrooms in so far as it's essential information to understanding the group. In so far as it's a land-claiming political entity (however dubious), it's land claims are central to it and useful to understanding it. The article on the United States includes information about its states -- information which has proven not to be permanent -- for the same logic. As it was presented in the Aerican Empire article, it was arguably encyclopedic -- meaning it was a complete list -- and seemes to me to be relevant. I can't argue with you regarding permanency, but it was currently accurate, at least.
You wrote,
However the currency info is still pure fantasy.
How so? The coins are physical. They get bought and sold. They're unrecognised in most shops, but they're still a form of currency minted metal currency. At the very least, they're novelty coins, which qualifies them as "purported currency" according to the numismatists.
You wrote,
A Wikipedia article about a micronation (or any other entity) should not be written from the group's viewpoint.
You're absolutely right: saying that the Aerican Empire is "not a game" is a biased point of view. Saying that it "is a game" is *also* a biased point of view, and one without any sources to back it up, to my knowledge. This is why the wiki article doesn't say, one way or another. It's left up to the reader to decide if the micronation is a political entity, a political simulation, or a game, without trying to bias their PoV. All I'm asking is that you refrain from comments such as "most of the internet-centered ones --- and Aerica in particular." Anything in life can be thought of as a game, but there's an important distinction to be found in "exists as a game" and "is a source of entertainment value." At the very least, I appreciate the fact that you haven't put such statements into the article itself... I suppose it's not my place to decide what vocuabulary you do or don't use on talk pages.

Timcrow (talk) 13:36, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

You wrote, "all English words should be used with the meaning that they have for the majority of readers." Again, I agree with you. The problem is deciding what the majority of readers think it means. Webster defines a game as "activity engaged in for diversion or amusement" (I assume this is the definition you're using?). You'll note that it doesn't specify "primarily" or "solely" or anything like that, so that if I'm enjoying this discussion with you right now, it's arguably a game by definition. If I enjoy suturing a wound or putting a sample into the mass spectrometer (to take examples from our respective fields of science), if I find it amusing, does that make it a game? What I think you mean (please correct me if I'm wrong) is that you feel that these micronations are founded primarily for amusement, which isn't the case, at least for the Aerican Empire. That's a hard statement to prove, but I can point to it being mentioned in an article or two, I'm sure. It can be fun and diverting without that being its main purpose, and I, for one, feel that means it's not a game. I don't presume to say what the average wikipedia user thinks, since most of them aren't as over-educated as we are.
Next, you comment on members not being united. You're right that most of them don't live in the same region, but I have to dispute you when you say they lack a shared cultural heritage. The members from a dozen countries are united by geekdom... not a national heritage, but certainly a cultural one. This is why most of these groups are called micronations instead of microstates; they're based on an adopted national identity, not a physical border.
You also comment that the word "government" isn't appropriate, but again, how is the word meant to be used? "The body of persons that constitutes the governing authority of a political unit or organization." No mention of states. Schools have student governments. Fan clubs have presidents. The word government, as applied to a micronation, is equally valid whether you consider them a group of kids or a political entity. The same logic is true of the word "politics."
Lastly, as for statements about a group by a group, I still don't agree with you. Yes, a lot of the statements made in the article can only be backed up by their website... but really, how is that different from some of the statements made in the articles for the United States and Canada? When you go to Statistics Canada, for example, are you equipped to verify their claims? When any reporter reports their statistics, they're getting their data from Statistics Canada, not from an independent source. Yes, you can argue that they operate in the "real world" but you already know how I'll respond to that. You can argue that they have thousands of employees fact-checking and verifying, but when you get down to the level of the individual, you or me looking at their publications, it's still just a question of putting your trust into what they tell you. Sometimes, when you're writing an encyclopedic (which Webster, of course, defines simply as "complete"), you have to admit that the best cource for information about a group is the group itself. The group may not be trustworthy, but in absence of better or more up-to-date sources of information, it *may* be necessary so that the article is complete.
Timcrow (talk) 17:08, 8 January 2010 (UTC)


Appreciate the cleanup you have done on the article Kali's Child. There are still problems related to POV and word usage. For ex: "Faluts", "Misuse", "Misunderstanding" should be removed and the titles should simply be "Tantra" instead of "Misunderstanding of Tantra". Then in the section we must write neutrally, so-and-so argues that so-and-so has misunderstanding of argues that so-and-so's understanding of tantra is correct... presenting both the views. This was on my todo list for quite some time and thanks for initiating this. I will chip in once I have some free time. Thanks. --TheMandarin (talk) 06:25, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Saw your question on Somnath Bhattacharya, there are several news sources, for ex: [1] and couple of other journals / books which I cannot recollect now. --TheMandarin (talk) 06:43, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Reversions made to "Acid test" article[edit]

Please post references in that talk page demonstrating why a metaphorical acid test is not destructive to imitations. In a literal sense it is definitely untrue, but to effectively challenge the metaphorical meaning, a brief digression into the relevant etymology would be both relevant and helpful. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:04, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

IAST usage[edit]

Here are the couple of discussion related to IAST usage :

Off-topic so dropping a message here. --TheMandarin (talk) 16:24, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia's statistics and future[edit]

[Split off from the previous section due to its large size and change of thread. --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 07:07, 28 January 2010 (UTC)]

[unindent]Quite right, I cannot expect anyone to take my opinons or analyses for granted, or even show respect for them. However, I have the right to demand an explicit cost/benefit analysis (even if a rough one) for each proposed rule or feature, such as infoboxes; as well as the extent to which the so-called "consensus" decisions really reflect the opinion of a majority of the editors. I would expect that anyone genuinely interested in the welfare of Wikipedia would want to see that data, too. I have asked for such estimates several times, in public forums and to individual users; and I have provided my own. I never got back satisfactory answers; worse, it seems that no one in those forums sees those questions as relevant. Sigh again.
My point is not "I do not like infoboxes". My point is that "infoboxes are extremely harmful to Wikipedia", for several reasons. I pointed out some of those reasons above, and gave a crude cost estimate for one of them. What do infoboxs offer in return, exactly?
(Actually infoboxes do not bother me that much, even when I am editing articles. I do not remove infoboxes wantonly; in fact I have never done that before as far as I remember. I removed the infoboxes in *those* articles because, in *that* situation, they contained mostly inappropriate information and were worse than useless. Indeed, if Tedder had just restored the valid parts of the infoboxes, without throwing away some 3-4 hours of ^my hard work and who-knows how much work by the other editors, I would not mind at all.)
All the best--Jorge Stolfi (talk) 23:00, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

"Wikipedia is not recruiting any new editors": That is not what the statistics say.
"right to demand an explicit cost/benefit analysis": Absolutely, but what is gained by that? There is no deadline, we don't have to worry about performance, the content is free. The only thing we really need to worry about is whether we enjoy doing volunteer work here.
'so-called "consensus" decisions really reflect the opinion of a majority': We seem to be talking past each other. Consensus can very well be represented by a minority, as long as the majority has no problem with the outcome.
"What do infoboxes offer in return": Err, they look nice? Sorry, but I fail to see your point of harmfulness. Making the source code "readable" is a simple matter of adding undisplayed whitespace. I don't have that problem, but that is just my view. As regards, the amount of work involved: Maybe, but who says you have to do it? ;) Regards, Paradoctor (talk) 01:38, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
What that plot shows is new *articles*, not new *editors*. If you look closely you will see that the rate of creation of new articles has been falling. (Note that "zero growth" is not at the bottom of the plot but just below the 4th tic mark on the left side.) For a wider look, and some discussion of what the plots mean in terms of editor recruitment, see Wikipedia:Modelling Wikipedia's growth, specifically the "two-phase model".
Wikipedia (en) has a bit over 3,000,000 articles; 1,600,000 of them are still marked as "stubs", and perhaps another 1,000,000 need major rewite and cleanup. Many of the articles in my watchlist have been stubs for many years now; and many of the new articles that are still being created are stubs too. On the other hand, wikipedia (en) has about 10,000 "regular editors". This number of course depends on the definition of "regular editor", but that gives an idea of the discrepancy between the amount of work to be done and the number of volunteers that will have to do it. Moreover, this number, which was doubling every 11 months until 2005, has been halving every 4 years since 2006. So it is a fact that, since 2006, more editors are leaving than joining. The breakdown is not so clear, but the best explanation for the plots I could find is that the drop-out rate has not changed, while the join-in rate fell suddenly to zero in 2006.
If these trends continue, Wikipedia will keep growing, but at a slower and slower pace, while editing activity will keep decreasing. The final result, say 30 years from now, is easy to forecast: about 6,000,000 articles, of which perhaps 3,000,000 or more will be stubs and 2,000,000 will need urgent editing — but there will be only a few hundred editors working on it. So wikipedia is not just a "work in progress": it is a ship doomed to run aground halfway to the port, unless something radical is done to reverse those trends.
The main culprit for the lack of new editors seems to be the rule instituted in dec/2005 that limited article creation to registered users only. However the Wikipedia Usability Initiative survey pointed out the complexity of wikisources as another factor that scares away would-be editors.
So that is why every feature needs a critical cost/benefit analysis: because the work of editors is too precious to waste,and we desperately need to recruit new editors.
If the waste of work was strictly voluntary, that would already be a problem, because Wikipedia was not created for the enjoyment of its editors. But the real problem is when the cost of a feature falls on editors who would rather work on other things, and may not even like the feature. For example, I see many users wasting time filling superfluous fields in infoboxes, because they mistakenly believe that infoboxes are an "official" Wikipedia requirement, and that all their fields "must" be filled.
As for consensus, well, the notability rule and editorial templates are examples of decisions where the majority clearly *does* have a problem, but "any resistance is pointless". Moreover, many editors apparently accept the rules because they do not know what "consensus" means in Wikipedia, and assume that it means "majority opinion". I wonder how many editors would respect those rules if the statement "this gudeline is a consensus" were to be replaced by the more honest "this guideline is the opinion of a microscopic minority".
As for infoboxes loking nice, that is definitely *not* my opinion, and I gather that I am not alone. As for readability, the problem is that when a reader clicks "edit" for the first-time, in order to fix a spelling error or add a sentence, what he sees is not the lead paragraph, but a bunch of infobox fields in a non-intuitive syntax. Even if he recognizes those lines as the infobox, he probably assumes that (a) he must understand the infobox syntax and fields in order to do *any* kind of edit, and (b) he *must* provide an infobox when creating a new article. Now, what are the chances of that reader becoming a regular editor? (Of course vandals are not deterred by that problem).
All the best, --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 12:05, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
PS. In the usability initiative, I was referring explicitly to this page, beginning with the section "Wiki Syntax is not that hard to ignore (in small doses)". All the best, --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 12:29, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
"plot shows is new *articles*, not new *editors*": Sorry, pasted the wrong link, here's the correct one.
"30 years from now": For the sake of discussion, let's assume I consider the argument valid. My question is: So what? We'd be left with an English encyclopedia containing about one million articles that do not "need major rewite and cleanup". Not bad for a Rome built by barbarians. ;)
"Wikipedia was not created for the enjoyment of its editors": ?!? Wikipedia is not just an encyclopedia. It is an encyclopedia that anyone can edit. There are rules, sure. But any game has rules, even Nomic.
"what are the chances of that reader becoming a regular editor": Several thousand try it on any given day. 'Nuff said. Paradoctor (talk) 13:39, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Still the wrong plot. The blue line of that plot presumably includes IP users, in particular new vandals and "users" who got as far as to click "save" but never came back. The green/gray line is the total number of distinct such "users" since the start of WIkipedia. If you have been around for a while you know that casual users may contribute one paragraph or two, but it is the regular users — those who do hundreds of edits per month, over many months — who actually write most of the contents and do virtually all the cleanup work (including adding and filling infoboxes).
The statistics you want are here. Note that the number of regular users in the "en" wikipedia has been falling since a high of 54,000 in 03/2007 and is now about 40,000, the same level it was in mid 2006. Compare that with the growth from 2001 to 2005. Note also that their definition of "regular user" is pretty generous: 5 edits in the the month in question, including users who started in that same month, made 5 edits to one article, then disappeared forever.
As for "so what": I suspect that most wikipedians will disagree with the view that a "dead, mostly bad" wikipedia is Ok. Besides, if the trends continue, the regular editors will soon be unable to keep up with vandalism and junk articles, so the percentage of garbage may well increase and reach 100% in the limit.<bt/> As for the enjoyment of editors: Wikipedia has a fairly definite goal, and its fundamental rule is that you are allowed to play only by helping it move towards that goal. Editors who don't enjoy doing that are not welcome here. But I am sure I don't need to tell you that.
Finally, for "thousand" readers becoming regular editors, see above. The number of regular editors is shrinking, there is no doubt about that. All the best, --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 17:13, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
"plot presumably includes IP users": Nope.
"dead, mostly bad" / "unable to keep up with vandalism": Pick the good ones from history. I don't really understand why readers are not treated to links to assessed versions of articles. Takes the urgency out of dealing with the kids.
"regular users": I see. Now you only need to convince me that the predictions of doom will hold up under scrutiny. You might want to take into account that I'm a singularitarian. ;)
"Editors who don't enjoy doing that are not welcome here.": I was not suggesting that enjoyment is a requirement for participation. What I am suggesting is that we need to keep in mind that enjoyment is the only tangible reward a contributor can get from participating in Wikipedia. This implies that stressing ourselves over non-existant deadlines or arbitrary article count goals is bad for Wikipedia. See it this way: Even if you're really into it, you're not likely to use more than a few tens of thousands of articles in your whole life. This means that at least 98% of Wikipedia will never affect you in any meaningful way (the realistic figure being more like 99.9%). I'd say: backup what interests you, collect permalinks to good versions, and if WMF goes totalitarian, you can always fork off, and be none for the worse. Paradoctor (talk) 20:36, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
I stand corrected about the count including IP edits and the new editor rate being zero, sorry. Nevertheless the difference IN−OUT, where IN = (New *regular* editors joining), OUT = (Established regular editors leaving) is definitely negative. If IN is indeed in the thousands per month, as you believe, then OUT must be in the thousands per month, too. Somehow I fail to find that possibility reassuring...
The assertion that 300,000 new *named* accounts are created per month is quite surprising in view of the Usability Project statistics that I cited above (which are consistent with other statistics I have seen); or of this table, that says that only 500,000 of those 11,000,000 users made more than 10 edits in their entire life. It would seem that every month 300,000 readers create an account but 290,000 of them give up forever before making 10 edits. Indeed this other table seems to say that 8,800,000 of those 11,500,000 named accounts *never made a single edit*. Why???
Unfortunately I could not find any statistical study that measured IN and OUT (of *regular* editors) separately. The reasoning that led me to belive that IN ≈ 0 is a bit convoluted, but it is based on the shape of my plots in Wikipedia:Modelling Wikipedia's growth.
Anyway, even though the value of IN and OUT are uncertain, the doomsday forecasts depend only on IN−OUT which has been measured independently and is decaying. From my plots the editorial workforce falls to 1/2 every 4 to 5 years. Then in 30 years it will be around 1/100 of today's. That same model gives a formula for the number or articles, which tends to a finite limit of about 6 million no matter how long one waits (the math is fairly straightforward.)
"Pick the good ones from history": I saw this idea being discussed several times. AFAIK, the problem is: who does the selection? Someone still has to check new edits and decide which are good and which are bad. This must be a steady-state process, i.e. one cannot allow a backlog to build up, while thousands of new articles get created per month. Also having one version of the articles that readers see, and another one that editors see, creates many operational problems and probably would discourage editing. When one gets down to concrete proposals anad quantitative estimates, I suspect that the current system — instant publication — turns out to be the "least inefficient" of all alternatives. I believe that Citizendium has some sort of article vetting, but AFAIK they have only 30,000 articles so far. But all this is only my speculation, not a firm belief.
As for enjoyment, we obviously agree. By "goals"I meant article quality, not deadlines or article counts. I think that most people would be satisfied if we could maintain the current average quality while expanding the coverage, i.e. improvements in old articles compesate the creation of new but bad articles. Unfortunately the doomsday scenario above implies that many of the articles that are bad today will remain bad forever
All the best, --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 22:30, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
The read-only user mistery is solved, I trust it?
"OUT": Huh? Who says that editors have left en masse? The most we can say that activity patterns have shifted. Take my case: 11 edits in my first month, then nothing for two years. So, in my first month, I would have been counted as a "regular" editor, and then I would have seem to have "left". Now I'm a Wikipedoholic. Furthermore, even though the number of editors qualifying for "recently a regular" has decreased, this tells us nothing about the output of the regulars. It would only be natural to assume that productivity of an editor increases with experience. I'm only slowly starting to use all kind of automation tools, and am far from having settled into a routine. I'm still all over the place, trying things, learning, and expect to keep doing so for quite a time.
"who does the selection?": Anyone who wants to. People will quickly ferret out whose assessments they find useful, and whose not. That's Attention Economy 101. But that digresses into my ideas about peer-hosted Wikipedia 2.0. ;)
"doomsday scenario": Let me try to cure you of that one. If I understand it correctly, this is meant to imply the we're now in an exponential decay to zero, right? If that is the case, then this model has to answer to the same objection as the logistic model: There will always be new articles to add, though the sustained growth rate would be considerably below current levels.
But here is the real problem: For any given data set, and for any given prediction of future development, there are incountably many smooth curves that can be fitted to the data to arbitrary precision. What this means is that the fit of a curve to a data set is entirely meaningless. You need criteria independent of the data set that restrict the set of possible models so much that the data set can actually exclude certain possible future trends. Take one very simple example: Does the data set actually exclude exponential decay not to zero, but to, say, 10k new articles per month? I'd be very surprised if that was the case. Regards, Paradoctor (talk) 01:32, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

[unindent] "OUT": Sorry if I wasn't clear, in my theory the established editors did not leave en masse in 2006. Quite the contrary, I believe that they all survived the event and continued working at the same rate as before, dropping out slowly (about 1/2 every 4-5 years). In my analysis, it is the "IN" term that dropped abruptly to near zero in 2006. But, again, my reasoning for the "IN" and "OUT" separately is rather flimsy, and I deduced the difference IN-OUT from the slope of the new-article plot, which is measurable and definitely changed from very positive to frankly negative in 2006, quite abruptly.
Zachte's table 1, column D (number of users with at least 100 edits in the month) gives an upper bound to the editor pool, and its differences give another estimate for IN-OUT. By that coulumn, wikipedia lost about 300 of those editors (about 7.5%) between Oct/2008 and Oct/2009, which means a half-life of about 9 years. On the other hand the rate of new articles per day (Column G) dropped about 260 (18%) in the same period, meaning a half-life of 3.5 years. So either column D overestimates the regular editors, or the average "fertility" of regular editors has been falling too, not just their count.
"Productivity increases with experience": Not sure I agree. Individual editors have very erratic work patters (check mine for example), but my bet is that, on the average, the productivity of a regular editor reaches a maximum after a few months, and then stabilizes or falls. The quality of his articles may improve with time, but I don't see why he would create more articles per month as he matures.
"who does the selection?": Sorry again for confusing language. I was not worried about "how are the selectors chosen". I meant that, if the editor pool keeps shrinking at the current rate, the selection of good versions will never get done, because the work required for that task is much, much greater than the total work that all the current and future editors will do before leaving.
" There will always be new articles to add": Indeed, I believe that just filling all the "holes" in Wikipedia, at the current "notability" levels defined by the deletionists, would easily require another 10 million new articles. If we were to lower the criteria a bit (e.g. include elementary schools, minor rivers and mountains, etc.) the count is much greater. But that is why the scenario is a "doomsday" one: Wikipedia will not stop because it is somehow "complete", but because there will be no editors to fill its millions of holes and fix its millions of poor articles.
"Drop to zero or to a finite rate": Obviously no one can predict what will happen to the rates next month, much less 20 years from now. The exponential decay model is conceptually reasonable *if* IN = 0. It simply assumes that the chance of an editor dropping out in any given year is the same, no matter how long he has been editing. The logistic model assumed that the slowdown was due to some sort of "saturation" or "completion" of Wikipedia, but by now it is clear that it does not fit the data. Note that the "linear decay" model is more drastic than my exponential model, it predicts a drop to zero in a much shorter time. Now if the recruitment rate IN of regular editors is not zero, then my model would indeed predict a finite but nonzero editor pool in the limit, and therefore a nonzero steady rate of work (including the creation of new articles). However, the data of the last four years fits fairly well an exponential decay (times a seasonal factor); so this limiting pool and limiting creation rate (if any) must be much smaller than today's. The current rate is about 35,000 per month, about half of what it was in July 2006 (Zachte's column G).
Well, enough rambling for now. Thank you very much for the comments, they are forcin me to think harder about this question. All the best, --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 07:07, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

OUT: What gets me is the term "leave". There is nothing to indicate that any editor left. All the data shows is that many editors edit less than they used to. Do they actually stop editing?
productivity: I'll take you up on that bet. I'll send you my favorite shiny new Euro coin if you can show that the typical editor starts, peaks, and the stops after some time. Shouldn't be to hard, just three million edit histories to sic a bot on.
I don't think that article creation works as a measure of productivy. I have 2k+ edits, and created exactly one new article, if we discount a handful of redirects. Also, the times when topics without an article were aplenty are gone. Useful work is shifting towards improvement of existing topics. If my experiences are any indication, then that is the real work ahead of us.
selection: What makes you think that (only) editors will do the rating?
always new articles: I recall reading an estimate of upwards of 400 million. ^_^
conceptually reasonable *if* IN = 0: Sure, but that pesky "if" is a problem. ;)
fairly well an exponential decay: How well? Better than exponential decay with a significant non-zero asymptote? As stated above, showing that the curve fits is meaningless as long as you can't show that it fits better than all the other curves than can be fitted.
forcin me to think harder: Happy to oblige. ;) Paradoctor (talk) 17:29, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
OUT and productivity: Good point. I will try to get some actual data.
selection: Seems a reasonable assumption. To undertake such a task (for 6,000,000 articles, note) requires commitment to the WP project and some experience about what is a "good" article. The regular WP editors are the obvious candidates for that. If WP cannot recruit enough editors to clean up the articles, even partially, it seems unlikely that it will be able to recruit people to do the much more boring (and probably more work intensive) job of evaluating them. Note that typical productive editing does not require a careful reading of the whole article nor checking all the sources, whereas validating an article requires both.
400 million articles: quite likely. There seem to be more than 10 million chemical products that have been synthesized, studied, and published. I don't know how many published living species there are but it is probably several million. High schools currently are considered "notable enough"; if there is one high school for every 6,000 people that is another million articles. Printed books probably number in the millions too. And so on. Note that each of those things is important to dozens if not thousands of people, so there is no lack of potential manpower out there to create and maintain those articles. We only need to convince those people to become WP editors...
if IN=0 and how close to exponential: again, we need real data. I have toyed with the idea of downloading the Wp database dumps and generating statistics myself, but it seems that the available files are either too meager or too large. Perhaps I can convince some of the statisticians to add another column or two...
think harder: Thanks again, and all the best, --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 22:56, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
typical productive editing: My point exactly, editors may not be the best choice for rating the content they produce. Film reviews are typically done by journalists or people you happen to know(!), not directors or actors.
downloading the Wp database dumps: Wouldn't suffice to analyze edit histories? If not, you could get an account at toolserver, so you can query the database directly. Regards, Paradoctor (talk) 01:46, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
(update) how many living species: Paradoctor (talk) 21:35, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Editors are leaving[edit]

[Re the preceding discussion] Actually, of course we do lose experienced editors. Very few active people remain more than 3 or 4 years. Even the most active people leave sometime. About half of those who ever got the admin tools have not edited at all for many months. If nothing else, we are all going to die eventually. We rely on an inflow of new editors; converting readers to editors; converting editors to active editors; getting active editors to take a role in the operations of the encyclopedia. we rely on this not just for growth, but for maintenance-- all articles will always need updating. DGG ( talk ) 20:16, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

  • Yes, old editors are leaving, presumably as they always did. What is clear so far is that something changed abruptly in 2006 that turned vigorous and steady growth of the editor pool into a steady decline, which is at least consistent with the hypothesis of zero influx of new editors. Meanwhile the article base keeps growing, and the wikihackers and wikibosses keep inventing more and more bizarre ways to waste everybody's time. What is scary is not so much this situation but the fact that so few editors seem to be concerned about it. *This* is Wikipedias real problem, not BLPs or whatever. All the best, --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 20:38, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Virtue of infoboxes[edit]

Jorge, I think you are missing the point on infoboxes. The real reason for them is not just a consistent appearance (although this is a customary sign of high quality workmanship ). Nor is it even ease of use--some people will always prefer prose to a tabular presentation, but others just the opposite. I think that for those who are not familiar with English, the tabular one might be better--confirmed on my own experiences working getting information for the enWP from foreign language articles in languages I can barely read.

The real reason is that they are semantic data, because of the tagging. They permit integration and manipulation of the material with outside program, both for serious analysis, and for the construction of special purpose compilations. for example, any new WP could easily translate exactly an infobox from us. The development of the web is in this direction, and the possibilities are enormous, and grow as our database gets bigger and as other s become available. The possibility of really accurate biographies is an example. The possibility of automatically updating after a census is another. The possibility of changing a scientific classification when opinion in that field changes. The possibility of constructing a database focused on publishers, or birthplaces. All this will be not just accessible to the programmers, but to any end user. Think of what we could do, for example, if the data in the successive editions of the old Soviet encyclopedia were semantically tagged! I look forward to every Wikipedia article being structured as much as possible-- we could then focus the displays according to need. You could, for example, have an interface converting all structured data to sentences (which is a lot easier than going the other way, though this is increasingly possible also). DGG ( talk ) 20:16, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Dear DGG, I understand the value of putting information in a database format; what I object to is building that database *inside* Wikipedia articles.
Using infoboxes for that purpose is bad for the database, and very bad for Wikipedia. I have already written about the latter, so let me expand the former:
  • The database suffers, for example, because one cannot add an entry about XX without also creating a Wikipedia article about XX. Since articles are created completely at random, at the whim of individual editors, the database will have an extremely poor coverage, like a swiss cheese minus most of the cheese. For example, WikiProject Chemistry has about 4200 articles, of which half are "stub" or "start", 800 are "unassessed", and many of the rest are about processes or classes of products, rather than substances. So the number of substances that have a {{chembox}} in Wikipedia is about 1/10 of the number of entries that Chemical Abstracts provides for free as a sample of its database (which, AFAIK, lists several million substances). Not to mention that many of those {{chembox}}es are still practically empty.
  • Since infoboxes have to be displayed in Wikipedia, their width and length are limited, and there are severe constrains about the size and formatting of their fields. For example, an industrial chemical often has several dozen alternative names, some of them very long and boring. Public chemistry databases (such as PubChem) easily carry all those names; but an infobox is too small to contain them. Ditto for optical and microwave spectra, vapor pressure tables, relevant biological reactions, etc. etc..
  • Moreover, a WP article can carry only one infobox. Therefore, in the acetylsalicylic acid article, for example one must choose between the {{chembox}} and the {{drugbox}}. Either template will hold only part of the information. A separate database could carry the union of both.
  • Also, with the current design one must go through the entire article edit cycle in order to update *one* field of *one* record. If an editor finds a public table with, say, the melting points of 200 alkanes, he will have to edit 200 articles in order to enter that information in the database. In contrast, if the infobox contents were stored in a proper database separate from Wikipedia, there would necessarily exist tools for such "transversal" editing — so that the editor would simply upload that table in some standard format, with a single transaction.
  • Wikipedia is a more visible and accessible resource than DBpedia, so it attracts a lot of vandalism. Embedding the database records in Wikipedia exposes them to such vandalism. What is the use of a database that cannot be trusted?

And so on. Besides, for almost every infobox template, there is a public database that covers that subject much better (and with more high-quality support) than Wikipedia can ever hope to get. For chemistry, for example, the only really useful fields in the infobox are the links to the external databases, PubChem (public) and CAS (commercial).
By turning Wikipedia into a database, the infobox mania is betraying the very premises of the project, and the expectations of many of the people who built it. I joined WP in 2004 because its stated aim was to build an encyclopedia. If its stated goal had been "build an unsystematic and incomplete database, without any clear scope or plan" I would never had bothered.
Anyway, thanks for your comments, and all the best, --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 22:43, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

I'd go further than " building that database *inside* Wikipedia articles.". I would advocate rewriting Wikipedia completely to convert it into such a format, and provide for a tabular display of as much information as possible. There are then the two separate questions of editing format and display format. Whether the default display should be tabular or in paragraphs, would be an interesting question. Considering that over 90% of the use of Wikipedia seems to be for quick look-ups, there's a lot to be said for tables. What would I myself set up as my default: tables, almost certainly. In the RW I tend to put everything possible, including paragraphs of text, into a spreadsheet. What we want ads an editing format is quite uncertain, but again, we will probably need more than one. Again, for editing, I would prefer as much of a db structure as possible. For editing large amounts of material, we need the development of better tools for updating groups of articles; search/replace is even more direct in a database format. We just need tools.
You raise a different question, about the virtue of small vs merged articles. Here, I am not dogmatic: At present I would for example merge most routine books into a page for the author, and combine the pages for all minor fictional characters in a work or franchise, though in each case without losing information. I agree with you about the problem that the world considers "Separate /Wikipedia article" to mean "RW importance." However, there's not much we can do about it. To a certain extent , we need to conform to expectations. Ultimately, again I think we want choices.
As for chemicals in terms of notability, I think the usual informal convention now is that "appearing in two referenced articles" justifies an article--if I remember correctly , this is about 5% of the 50 million chemicals in CA. This turns out to be comparable to biology, where the established rule is that every species gets an article. There are probably identified about 1.5 million eucaryotes & I expect we will do every one of them. DGG ( talk ) 02:55, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Dear DGG, I shiver at the idea of Wikipedia turning into a set of tables. As I said, that is not what I came here for. If that ever becomes Wikipedia's goal, I will have to find some other way to waste my time.
But I do not think that it is necessary to spoil my fun for you to get yours. Rather than convert Wikipedia to a database, it would be much easier — indeed, perhaps even feasible! — to remove all the infoboxes and navboxes from the articles and put them in a separate namespace, say "Table:*", leaving only the pictures and a wikilink behind. Users who like tables could set an option in their profile to have the infoboxes transcluded by default; users who don't care for them would see only the link. Then everybody would be happy, including those who wish for a pure database without the text. (I had a similar proposal to handle <ref>...</ref> entries; but I have never met a worse salesman than myself...).
By the way, you mention the need for tools that would allow editing many articles in a single seesion, e.g. search/replace style (or what I called "transversal editing" above). Here too I think that the needs of Wikipedia and databases are exactly opposite: a database *must* have efficient transversal editing tools, but Wikipedia *must not* have them. The lack of such toolls forces editors to read at least one paragraph or so of every article that they edit, and spend a minute of their brain's time doing and checking each edit. That not only improves the quality of one's own edits, but it also forces every editor to spend a fraction of his time checking other peoples edits. And, more importantly, it limits the amount of editing that one user can do; so that a single editor cannot do much damage before someone noticing, cannot trigger the watchlists of too many fellows, and cannot impose his tastes on more than a couple hundred articles. So, please let's *not* have search/replace, not even within a single article.
Indeed, robots — which allow some users to bypass that limitation — are now at the top of my (rather long) list of "things that are wrong with wikipedia". It is because of robots that we got all those unsighty and idiotic editorial tags, like "orphan" or "this article needs expansion". I would guess that half of the entries in histories are now totally dispensable robot edits, like removing extra blank spaces between words (which have no effect on the visible text), changing hyphens to en-dashes, capitalizing template names, etc.. I used to think that robots should be limited to absolutely uncontroversial and beneficial edits, such as spelling corrections, and only with the approval of the Wikmedia Foundation board. Now I think that not even Jimbo should be allowed to use them, for any reason whatsoever. Robots are "weapons of mass vandalism" and it is practically impossible to prevent their abuse. As for spelling errors, I now think that they are actually a good thing: they remind the reader, better than any tag, that the article was written by amateurs and was not properly reviewed, not even for spelling. Only users who actually *read* the article should be allowed to remove them.
As for article splitting, I do not have a fixed rule either. I create sub-articles whenever I feel that a section or topic does not fit well in one article, because of its volume or for other reasons (and sometimes I do the opposite). I would normally treat books like you do, but if I fell like writing more than a couple of paragraphs about a particular book I will just create an article for it. So I have even written a couple of articles each about a single short poem --- that is, about a *single page* of a book". (Joyce Kilmer's "Trees" would definitely deserve an article, methinks; and I am tempted to start another one for Woodsman, spare that tree.) Recently I split off the tiny article alizarine crimson (color) from Rose Madder because the latter is about a type of artists' oil paint now replaced by the synthetic paint "Alizarine Crimson" (both with very definite composition); while the former is the color of that paint (and of many other things). In that case, I found that discussing both concepts in the same article was simply too confusing. and so on...
Well,time to go home. Thanks for a pleasant chat, and all the best, --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 04:43, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Popol Vuh[edit]

Could you kindly weigh in on new thread on PV talk page? Thanks. AmericanGringo (talk) 15:10, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Interesting - says who?[edit]

"Mellitates (and salts of other benzene polycaboxylic acids) of iron and cobalt have interesting magnetic properties." Interesting - says who? 84,000 chemistry publications appeared in 2003 alone. More each year. Check out How many of these do you think we should cite? From your skeptical fellow editor, --Smokefoot (talk) 21:04, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Touché. I should have withheld the adjective and added more details (it is about the aromatic cores contributing to magnetic properties of the cations or some such). I was editing an article about another anion, saw that bit about mellitate, and tried to save the ref for later (or never 8-). All the best, --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 21:35, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
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John of Cornwall[edit]

Hi, thanks for getting the subjects seperated. If you like, I could email you the ODNB articles about the theologian and the schoolmaster - just email me through Wikipedia and I will send them to you. Best wishes, DuncanHill (talk) 00:46, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Your essay on the bLP RfC[edit]

Do you mind if I reproduce your essay on a page in my user space? It would be a shame to lose it when the RfC closes. Gigs (talk) 04:33, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

  • I am flattered, please help yourself. Besides, that text was released "under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 License and the GFDL". 8-) --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 11:11, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
Gigs, let me know where, I would love to tweak the comments a bit myself for clarity. Okip 12:21, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
I'd rather keep the version in my userspace more or less as an archive of what Stolfi wrote (maybe fix a couple spelling errors). If you want to edit it we might move it into WP space as an essay, or you could take a copy as well into your userspace. Gigs (talk)
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Thank you[edit]

Chemistrystar.png The Chemistry Star
I just wanted to let you know that your efforts at creating and improving chemistry articles is appreciated. Thank you for all your contributions. -- Ed (Edgar181) 20:46, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Barnstar - For your comments at the unreferenced BLP RFC[edit]

Socratic Barnstar.png The Socratic Barnstar
For bringing a fresh and stimulating point of view about WP. A beautiful startpoint to reflect on things and change them. Cyclopiatalk 10:09, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

(The barnstar template seems to complain if I include links, but I refer to this comment)--Cyclopiatalk 10:09, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for your excellent view on the BLP "problem" and your caustic analysis on the master-syndrome[edit]

Choco chip cookie.png

Power.corrupts (talk) 11:59, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

Cite Template[edit]

i tend to agree with you about the cite template, but i do find it useful for cutting and pasting google books and news sources, a little faster, but uglier -- is the template savable? is there a way to migrate to Wikisource? Pohick2 (talk) 16:35, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Pre-Siberian American Aborigines[edit]

Hi Sir, I found a copy of the previous "Pre-Siberian American Aborigines" article under your user profile. To your knowledge, was this article deleted from Wikipedia some time ago? Due to which reasons? (I guess is original research or merged into another article) Chakazul (talk) 07:42, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

Jorge Stolfi is my hero![edit]

For fighting the good fight against the loathsome Info Boxes I proudly present you with the most applicable barnstar... Your essays inform my user page and if there was a President of Wikipedia, you'd be my first choice... Carrite (talk) 14:40, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

No spam barnstar.png The Anti-Spam Barnstar
Infoboxes are WikiSpam! Keep up the good work fighting them!

MfD nomination of User talk:Jorge Stolfi/Pre-Siberian American Aborigines[edit]

User talk:Jorge Stolfi/Pre-Siberian American Aborigines, a page you substantially contributed to, has been nominated for deletion. Your opinions on the matter are welcome; please participate in the discussion by adding your comments at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/User talk:Jorge Stolfi/Pre-Siberian American Aborigines and please be sure to sign your comments with four tildes (~~~~). You are free to edit the content of User talk:Jorge Stolfi/Pre-Siberian American Aborigines during the discussion but should not remove the miscellany for deletion template from the top of the page; such a removal will not end the deletion discussion. Thank you. Dougweller (talk) 19:07, 9 May 2010 (UTC)


Thanks for your comment on the AfD discussion of Administrator abuse on Wikipedia. That was very passionate and well said. I appreciate your support for the article, and it is good to know that I have not just imagined the phenomenon. There are a lot of good people around here, but I have unfortunately run into a few admins who are Machiavellian with their tools. Minor4th • talk 04:37, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

User talk:Jorge Stolfi/Pre-Siberian American Aborigines[edit]

I've emailed you a copy, I'm afraid that's the best we can do in a situation where you won't be working on it for some time.I can't see that it will make any practical difference in any case. Dougweller (talk) 15:04, 29 June 2010 (UTC)


Hello professor. I saw some of your comments on the damage caused by deletionists and rule-mongers, and just want to say that I agree with and appreciate your opinions and your work, and it is inspiring that you continue despite the anguish they cause. Cheers, :-) Shreevatsa (talk) 19:01, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

Proposed deletion of Social environment[edit]

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The article Social environment has been proposed for deletion because of the following concern:

Not notable. The basic meaning of the topic is covered well in other "social class" articles. It does not need an article of it's own.

While all contributions to Wikipedia are appreciated, content or articles may be deleted for any of several reasons.

You may prevent the proposed deletion by removing the {{dated prod}} notice, but please explain why in your edit summary or on the article's talk page.

Please consider improving the article to address the issues raised. Removing {{dated prod}} will stop the proposed deletion process, but other deletion processes exist. The speedy deletion process can result in deletion without discussion, and articles for deletion allows discussion to reach consensus for deletion. Beeshoney (talk) 13:49, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Coord system CA 0.svg[edit]

Hi, in your drawing titled Coord system CA 0.svg, I noticed that the endpoint of the arrow that represents the X-axis concides with a corner of the part of the YOZ-plane that is shown in your figure. Because the whole set-up and use of colours in this figure is very good in my opinion, I wonder if you would agree that this figure can be further improved by extending the three axes a little bit? Thank you and regards, Bob.v.R (talk) 20:31, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Your Wisdom has been Noted[edit]

I just wanted to let you know that one of your comments and a few of your brilliantly sarcastic templates have been included (and attributed to you) as part of my Nuggets of Wiki Wisdom . Thanks, and if you object then let me know :o)   Redthoreau -- (talk) 07:19, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Uncategorized articles[edit]

There is a list, generated daily, of all new articles that have no active categories on them; six months ago, that list had approximately 25,000 articles on it. There is an absolute requirement that the list get cleared to zero each and every time somebody works on it, with no exceptions, precisely because it can never, ever be allowed to hit 25,000 again. And because it picks up somewhere between 100-300 articles per day, it would get there in three months flat if the list isn't cleared regularly. The whole point of the uncat tag is that there is actually a whole project devoted to getting articles properly categorized, a whole team of people who make that their active priority. It's not a tweak to your nose; it's an active cleanup project that people actively work on each and every day, and the tag is what puts the article into that project's work queue.

Sometimes, furthermore, the appropriate category for an article already exists at a different wording, and there are also some people who don't understand the categorization process and instead create nonsense categories which should rightly never exist in the form suggested. So a redlink is not always a valid pointer to the "correct" category for an article; some redlinks are needless duplicates and clutter. And if you really think any given category that you want to add is the correct one, then the onus is on you to create it if it doesn't already exist; leaving it red is doing the very same passive-aggressive "I think somebody should do this for me, but I can't be bothered to do it properly myself" thing that you seem to think categorization tagging is. I can't always create the category for you, because especially with science topics I don't always know where its correct place in the category scheme is. A page cannot be left improperly categorized just because I don't know where to categorize it, which is why there's a process for flagging it so that somebody can.

At any rate, the core point is that there's actually a policy explicitly requiring every article to be filed in at least one existing, bluelinked category, or tagged as uncategorized if it isn't. There are no grounds for deeming some improperly categorized pages to constitute some sort of special exemption to the rule that applies to the rest of them; every page must be directly accessible from the category system. That you don't think a tag looks good isn't a reason not to tag an article, either; it's much more important that an encyclopedia be well-organized than it is that each and every page meet your personal aesthetic standards.

If the tag really offends your sensibilities that much, then the simple solution is to create and file the category that you want to use. If you do that, the article won't get tagged in the first place. But if you can't be bothered to do that, and are content to just leave it sitting in a redlinked category and move on instead, then there's no point in being surprised when somebody else comes along and tags it for cleanup. Bearcat (talk) 05:42, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

The daily list is generated offsite as a text file whose only viable use is to set up a batch tagging run in AWB. It's a supplemental tool for the categorization project to help identify articles that need to be added to that queue; but it does not and cannot act as a substitute for that queue, because it doesn't work in a way that can viably act as a primary work queue. And yes, you are missing something in your latter question: of course any article on Wikipedia can be found through the search tool or through a comprehensive database scan. What it fails to do, if the article doesn't have a real bluelinked category on it, is to be locatable through the category system.
Not everybody using Wikipedia is necessarily already an expert in the topic they're researching — if you already know that a brydioside is a Category:curcubitanes, then it isn't particularly critical that the article be properly categorized, because you can type "brydioside" in the search box. But if you don't already know about brydiosides, and are trying to learn about biochemical compounds by navigating Category:Organic compounds, then you're not going to find our article on brydiosides or the category for curcubitanes, because they're sitting wholly outside the category tree. Essentially, using a redlinked category instead of an existing bluelink causes the article to become hidden, such that you can only find it in one of two cases: (a) you type the word directly into the search box, which you can only do if you already know that the topic exists, or (b) you do a complete scan of the entire database to list every single article that we have on Wikipedia, and then happen to fish brydioside out of a list of well over a million titles. And either way, you're not really helping the average user find what they're looking for.
And honestly, if you want to use a category that doesn't exist yet, it really isn't that hard, and doesn't take more than a minute or two at most, to create it so that you can use it. If you're enough of an expert in curcubitanes that you can identify and create all the missing articles, then surely you know enough about them to know where Category:Curcubitanes would belong in the category tree — I'm not a science guy, so I don't have that knowledge, and therefore I can't create it for you. Is there an actual reason why you're so resistant to the simple solution of "if the category you want to use is a redlink, then create it so it turns blue"? Bearcat (talk) 20:28, 12 January 2011 (UTC)


np: your point has been noted. thanks for the link and i suppose you're right Otelemuyen 03:49, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Inorganic vs organic dividing line[edit]

There's a discussion on one of your favorite topics going on at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Chemicals. Cheers, --Smokefoot (talk) 05:00, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Computer science & oriented matroids[edit]

Hi Professor Stolfi!

I saw your (needed) caveat on metaheuristics, and thought I'd say "hello".

I liked your thesis on oriented projective-geometry, and I would guess that you might be interested in oriented matroids.

I may have missed your userbox for the Wikipedia:WikiProject Computer science .... If you are not yet a member, then I am sure that the project-members would welcome you.

Best regards,  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (Discussion) 23:00, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Cyclohexane conformations[edit]

Hi, I see that you were doing a lot of very useful rewriting of Cyclohexane conformations earlier this year, and I wanted to check that you were OK with the nomenclature changes I implemented, summarised here. Thanks, Walkerma (talk) 18:50, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

File:Fruitnveg-3.png listed for deletion[edit]

A file that you uploaded or altered, File:Fruitnveg-3.png, has been listed at Wikipedia:Files for deletion. Please see the discussion 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. Nadiatalent (talk) 14:43, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

File:Ph-people-wolsey-1.jpg listed for deletion[edit]

A file that you uploaded or altered, File:Ph-people-wolsey-1.jpg, has been listed at Wikipedia:Files for deletion. Please see the discussion 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. SKATER Is Back 19:40, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

WP:UND and WP:NPA[edit]

Wikipedia:Requests for undeletion may be relevant. I suggest if you disagree with WP's policies you take it up somewhere suitable, and do not resort to attacking me personally. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 10:20, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

List of oxocarbon anions[edit]

There's an image missing on Oxocarbon_anion in the List of oxocarbon anions in the orthocarbonate entry. I have no idea about how to fix such things. Can you look at it? -- Dougher (talk) 03:05, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

Template placement[edit]

While, I may agree with you that editorial comment should be placed on the talk page, there is a problem with moving templates like Refimprove from the article to the associated talk page. Namely, the way Wikipedia is currently constructed the template Refimprove when active on an article's page, places an entry in a hidden Category:Articles needing additional references which organized by date. When the template is moved to the talk page, this function no longer works. So if you wish to move these templates, please initiate a discussion about Wikipedia structure, at say the Village Pump. However, pending such a change, I have restored the templates at the Sardinia article. See the documentation for Template:Refimprove. Note, when it says There is currently no consensus on where to place this template. it means where in the article not where in Wikispace. --15:44, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Invitation for comment[edit]

As you are an experienced editor, would be appreciated your opinion in this, as yet, non-consensual and critical talk. By the way, I just read your essay Death_of_Wikipedia/Wikipedia_is_dying, I strongly concur with almost everything you said, except that personally never bothered me when I had to register my user to do anything. Therefore I bet in the other reasons cited by you: hostility imposed against newbies and particular articles; tags (a real plague); ... and if I may add in special: the bureaucrats actually filled with their consensual povs (not neutral), ownership, etc. Your other essay:Impact_of_editorial_tags_on_the_recruitment_of_new_editors, simply is exact. Yet, I think the best insight said by you is "Wikipedia is not an encyclopedia. It is not..."; that is the point in my opinion too (always it was to me). This is just logic. Thanks, Excalibursword (talk) 17:41, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

Viscous stress tensor[edit]

Hello Jorge Stolfi, I started a discussion on a possible merger of Viscous stress tensor on Talk:Newtonian fluid#Merger of viscous stress tensor. Best regards, Crowsnest (talk) 14:12, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

Hi - I restored the section "linear viscous stress tensor" to the Viscosity page, not realizing that it had not been deleted, but rather had been moved to a separate page: Viscous stress tensor. I see that now both entries have been edited, mostly by you, and I wonder if you could combine the two back into the viscous stress tensor page, since you are probably more aware of the differences that might now exist between the two. PAR (talk) 05:09, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

Methylene (compound)[edit]

Just a note: normally, chemboxes contain information, including images, of the ground-state molecule. Could you please ensure that the chembox in methylene only contains the triplet relavent images. Plasmic Physics (talk) 05:00, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

I tweaked the nomenclature section, is it missing anything? Plasmic Physics (talk) 11:50, 17 September 2013 (UTC)


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Plasmic Physics (talk) 03:49, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Carbene radical[edit]

It's my understanding that a carbene (H2C: in particular, or the functional group in general) is not intrinsically a "radical" (would depend on its spin-state). You have added that statement several times, including re-adding it without explanation after I removed it with explanation. Please don't do that. DMacks (talk) 14:00, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Or are you using a different meaning of "radical" other than IUPAC's specific definition of unpaired-electron structures? DMacks (talk) 14:28, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Eigenvector article revision errors[edit]

Hey man, this recent edit of yours to the eigenvalues and eigenvectors article was full of markup errors, so I had to revert it.

Naturally, your old revision is still accessible. I suggest you fix all the TeX markup errors and use the preview function to double-check everything before committing a change.

You may not have noticed these because your user settings render math tags as HTML when applicable. I have them set to always render PNGs, so the TeX renderer threw dozens of errors. You should do the same while editing just to be sure the markup is all correct.

Ideally, you should NOT use math tags on basic stuff like "3 x 3" or "A", so I highly recommend you go through your changes and leave those kind of math stuff alone. It's a good idea to change the use of <sup> or <sub> tags and such, but not EVERYTHING that's a math symbol needs to be inside math tags.

I hope you understand my point. Cheers! — Kieff | Talk 02:16, 4 February 2013 (UTC)


Greetings! Please do not create disambiguation pages having only two pages; such situations are generally handled with a hatnote. See WP:TWODABS. Cheers! bd2412 T 13:56, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Let me couch this in terms of informing readers, then. If a term has only two meanings, at least half the time the reader will be looking for one of those meanings. If that title is a disambiguation page, then the reader must figure out which meaning to go on to. In other words, they would type or click the name and get taken to a page from which they need to make another click to get where they really want to go. Where there are only two possible meanings, having one of those meanings at the undisambiguated title means that hopefully at least half the time, the reader landing on that page does not need to click any further, because they have found exactly what they are looking for. For the reader who is looking for the other meaning, it is right there in the hatnote, so they are not inconvenienced any more than they would be if they had gone to a disambiguation page. The basic question, of course, is which of the two pages should be at that title, but in this case that is easy because there is only one page that contains an exact match to the title. So, in short, avoiding a disambiguation page here inconveniences no one, while saving at least half the people who come to the page from having to read, decide, and click again. Cheers! bd2412 T 15:13, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Re: Hooke's law etc.[edit]

The discussion about anisotropy seems to make clear the need for a segment on the historical development from Hooke through Cauchy through Lekhnitskii to modern times. In particular, the reader may want to know why the article (and the mechanics community) made the sudden transition from forces to stresses. Please go ahead and add that information if you have the resources at hand. A wonderful resource is "Mechanics of Solids: Volume 1: The Experimental Foundations of Solid Mechanics" in Handbuch der Physik, ed. S. Flugge and C. Truesdell. The article was written by J. F. Bell. Bbanerje (talk) 01:58, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Deletion discussion about Noise (signal processing)[edit]

Hello, Jorge Stolfi,

I wanted to let you know that there's a discussion about whether Noise (signal processing) should be deleted. Your comments are welcome at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Noise (signal processing) .

If you're new to the process, articles for deletion is a group discussion (not a vote!) that usually lasts seven days. If you need it, there is a guide on how to contribute. Last but not least, you are highly encouraged to continue improving the article; just be sure not to remove the tag about the deletion nomination from the top.

Thanks, atnair (talk) 02:16, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

Assistance requested[edit]

Based on your opinions from your various essays linked to from your talk page, that you may be able to add to this discussion in a favourable manner. Plasmic Physics (talk) 20:55, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

Here's the deal on secondary references[edit]

I am responding to your note where you state that the rules do not apply to you: "I don't think the WP recommendation is relevant to specialized topics". Well congratulations, most editors behave exactly the same way. So you must be right.

My position is that we should favor secondary references, i.e. use them more frequently than primary sources in articles and require them to establish notability. Listen, I know I am not going to win this battle, which I have waged for years. But I like to at least make the case to reasonable editors who might not be in the chem research business, which is what I do for a living.

Tens of thousands of papers are written annually according to Chem Abs. J Phys Chem publishes 45,000 pages annually. It is one of hundreds of journals. The number of papers poses practical problems for editors. Am I to conclude that you and Plasmic feel sufficiently authoritative to pick and choose your way through these? You have searched "iron hydride" on Chem Abs and are so experienced that you know which of the 962 sources represent the field? How do you guard against WP:UNDUE and WP:OR? Or dont these guidelines apply to you either?

Again, I know that I have lost this battle, but I thought that you should hear my reasoning. Best wishes and happy editing, --Smokefoot (talk) 22:24, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

I agree about the cite templates[edit]

One thing you ought to add is the issues with large articles and edit delays (this was proven by experiment). For large articles with a lot of references (e.g. painted turtle, Fluorine, Israel), you can have a half minute delay when doing an edit and then saving. Makes it hard for even an FA editor to upgrade the topic. Imagine a newbie (less investment) and the turnoff to them. (maybe less if they were going to do a one time change).

They do make a hash of the edit view also. Actually...I think the best thing to change edit view is LDR (put the references all at the know in the reference section) and just have name calls in the text.

I had not thought about the volume, issue description. Not 100% sure that is needed. Often we do give more content than an ACS type journal (typically giving the title of the article and often a link).

I also hate the callouts to various databases (JSTOR, Medwatch, etc.) If you have the article and maybe a link that is all you need. Really annoying to get 4 of these callouts just for the few editors having that access AND too lazy to cut and past the citation.

Also hate the proliferation of blue in citations. The external link gets lost with the Wikilinking of editor name, publication (!), and then the extra blue for ISBN and the like (we have to link to a definition of ISBN....10 million times or so.)

TCO (talk) 10:37, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

out of body reffing is interesting[edit]

One thing that really frustrates me is having all the different formats for references. Actually it does not bother me that different things exist...not picky about that. But bothers me that I am expected to learn 100 different formats and can't just learn and perfect a "house style" so I know I am right. The cite template system is sort of a pseudo house style, but annoyingly there is anadequate explanation of how to implement that house style manually. TCO (talk) 10:41, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

yeah...I agree[edit]

Of course in most cases, we are talking about people who don't really write large swathes of content. And a few who do, but still think "I figured it out, everyone else should...walked uphill through snow to school...liked MSDOS and UNIX and FORTRAN"...not realizing they are losing vast amounts of very smart professors and the sort who don't want to play code-monkey when they are used to MS Word and it all working fine when they submit papers).

There is also the whole "never ascribe to evil what stupidity can explain".

And then an amazing suspicion of anything new. This place is both so amazingly conservative AND suboptimal (I.e. the Nash Equilibrium not at value maximizing spot). It's amazing how silly IAR is. It's a bromide, but really it should be PATECR (pay attention to every conflicting rule).

TCO (talk) 16:07, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

be still my beating heart...[edit]

u r into chemistry too?

You are a great editor. Srsly. Give yourself a pat on the back...and no backtalk or humbleness. Just very incredible all your new articles and your thoughtful essays.

TCO (talk) 22:00, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Me again[edit]

I edited the MOS. Take a look, nothing sinister. We want this thing to be concise.--Smokefoot (talk) 15:52, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

Your changes to mechanics articles[edit]

Not everyone around the world has access to a good library. Nor can they afford to pay USD 50 for an equation in a journal article. Several of these Wikipedia articles on mechanics were designed with the intention of providing a set of reference materials for an audience interested in mechanics who do not have easy access to the source material. A large amount of explanatory text is not what such an audience is looking for. Over time these articles on mechanics that you've been playing with have morphed into things that neither satisfy a lay audience nor an audience that specializes in mechanics. Please make your changes keeping in mind the Wikipedia dictum that you shouldn't include your original research (e.g., on Cauchy stress and its definition) in the articles. Bbanerje (talk) 23:51, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

I appreciate the work you've put in and understand how much effort is needed to weave a good narrative into Wikipedia articles - particularly technical ones. I agree that Wikibooks and Wikiversity are useful for pedagogic purposes. Wikipedia is meant for quick reference and that's how the mechanics pages were designed. For instance, a student will have to troll through at least three textbooks to find some of the information contained in the Wikipedia article on Hooke's law. Bbanerje (talk) 21:39, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
Regarding "original research": Our understanding of a subject depends on the amount of time we have spent thinking about it. I've sometimes inadvertently added information that I "know" but cannot bother to find a reference for. I was warning you against that error because personal opinions can creep into articles in the process. For example, you wrote in an article that true stress is what most people know as stress (I'm paraphrasing arbitrarily). But that's not correct. Most engineers who deal with stress don't even know of the existence of true stress. All their calculations use the "nominal stress" which is the force in the undeformed reference direction divided by the undeformed area. One has to be careful about such things so that people don't get confused. Bbanerje (talk) 21:39, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
I have stopped editing articles that deal with fundamental concepts - it's too stressful (no pun intended) :) My contributions to Wikipedia will continue to be on topics that are not well covered and to add new content. I have decided to leave editing to others. Please continue with your changes but keep my comments in mind. Bbanerje (talk) 22:22, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
About the definition of "deformation": Since you're interested in animation you will may have run into a situation where you need to drape a silk scarf over a Stanford bunny under the action of gravity. Assume that the bunny is stiff so that it does not deform much. But will the scarf deform? If we assume that the scarf is initially a flat square it will take a shape that has folds in it. The scarf will see small normal (size change) and shear strains (shape change) but much of the shape change will be caused by rigid body translations and rotations. Therefore, if we ignore rigid body motions in our definition of deformation, we not only severely restrict the possible kinematics but also eliminate much of what we understand to be deformations in the common sense use of the term. Bbanerje (talk) 22:22, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

Stress measures etc.[edit]

I'll be tied up with real work for a while. Please take your questions to imechanica and I'm sure you'll get a lot of insightful answers. Bbanerje (talk) 02:05, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for wonderful editing of Calorie article[edit]

I am a new editor who has recently tried to improve the Calorie article. I could not see how to do the major rewrite that was needed. I thank you very much for your editing. I have learnt from your addition of a disambiguation page and your organisation of references using LDR style that does make the markup easier to use and I will use this myself in future. My thanks. Nerlost (talk) 02:02, 25 February 2013 (UTC)


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I started a discussion on infoboxes inspired by a comment of yours at the Signpost. I had an idea so I posted for feedback. Seems good to me at the moment... I'm curious what others will say and what ramifications I didn't consider. Jason Quinn (talk) 08:00, 13 March 2013 (UTC)


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I read some of your comments about stress, strain etc. I think we can help each other out. Hence, I called you at your two numbers at your office. No one picked up. I tried to reach your office to leave a message that I have tried to send you an e-mail. I hope I have the right address. If you receive my e-mail, please respond. I am in Toronto. I need your opinion on some of my creations. Let us communicate. (talk) 17:43, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

I just talked to you over phone. I am the same person who wrote the above message. I had forgotten to sign in hence my name does not appear. There are several definitions of stress and strain. Results from your analysis depend on what definition you use. I have prepared some material on this topic. I want to know if it is good enough from your point of view. So let us communicate.Rajen Merchant (talk) 18:12, 15 March 2013 (UTC)


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mabdul 16:52, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

Top 2500[edit]

Since the BLP deletion debates, I have long respected your opinions. From my user page, I even direct people to read one of your comments that hit the nail on the head. I see you have written much more, detailed, analytical suggestions to improve wikipedia, which we both know will be heard by deaf ears. But I agree with most of what you say. And both of us continue to contribute to the world's knowledge anyhow, each in our areas of expertise (though I must admit yours is far more academic and thus significant to mine). So it is today I am honored to notice that both you and I join the Top 2500 editors at the same time. Congratulations. Keep up the good work. And please continue your astute analysis and honest tongue. Your voice is needed. Trackinfo (talk) 09:40, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

stubs versus tags[edit]

I just read some of the kerfuffle about stub elimination from a couple years ago.

1. They are a lot less deadly than the fixit templates ("turdboxes"). They's at the bottom of the page (benefitting both reading and editing). They are not obtrusive and nastily worded like the fixit templates. You pretty much CAN piss all over an article (on purpose) to annoy the editor with fixits. Try doing that with stub templates. And the people doing stub sorting are pretty sweet little old ladies. The NPP taggerz are often aggressive 14 year-olds who don't write articles, couldn't be aggressive to a man in real life, get warped looking at crap articles and can't judge good ones, and just the type who degrade Wiki into an edit war piece of shit.

2. Yeah, the stub sorting is a waste. duplicative of categories. But they are wasting their own people's time, not others.

3. There is a mild benefit to the stub tags in that you may (very sometimes) be able to get a tagger to layoff, since of course the thing has's a STUB!

Net/net: The stubs aren't needed, but they're really not evil. Actually I really think they are sort of cute. I even (maybe barely) feel inclined to help out an article that has that cute little icon down there. The turdboxes though? Dated to 2008 and dropped by people who don't even engage on talk and rip through 100 articles a night? Would love to do A/B testing. I think that if we exclude the article creators (and bullying them is just vile), that the tags actually create less help than the opposite.

TCO (talk) 21:47, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

Mass matrix[edit]

Your edits to the article are a "massive" improvement, and I drew a couple of simple diagrams for the examples you added (two masses in 1d and the rotating dumbbell). Thanks M∧Ŝc2ħεИτlk 18:43, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Methenium has no lone pair[edit]

Hello. Could you please correct your drawing of the CH3+ ion at Methenium? As pointed out by User:Dan at Talk:Methenium, there should be no lone pair of electrons. Dirac66 (talk) 02:11, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

OK, I have now replaced your drawing by a correct one which I found in the carbocation article. Dirac66 (talk) 01:22, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

Article Feedback Tool update[edit]

Hey Jorge Stolfi. I'm contacting you because you're involved in the Article Feedback Tool in some way, either as a previous newsletter recipient or as an active user of the system. As you might have heard, a user recently anonymously disabled the feedback tool on 2,000 pages. We were unable to track or prevent this due to the lack of logging feature in AFT5. We're deeply sorry for this, as we know that quite a few users found the software very useful, and were using it on their articles.

We've now re-released the software, with the addition of a logging feature and restrictions on the ability to disable. Obviously, we're not going to automatically re-enable it on each article—we don't want to create a situation where it was enabled by users who have now moved on, and feedback would sit there unattended—but if you're interested in enabling it for your articles, it's pretty simple to do. Just go to the article you want to enable it on, click the "request feedback" link in the toolbox in the sidebar, and AFT5 will be enabled for that article.

Again, we're very sorry about this issue; hopefully it'll be smooth sailing after this :). If you have any questions, just drop them at the talkpage. Thanks! Okeyes (WMF) 21:55, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

Science article help[edit]

Jorge, could you please participate in the Wikipedia:Peer review/Fluorine/archive3/upgrade party for Fluorine? (talk) 18:00, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Speedy deletion nomination of Sri Lanka Kaffir language[edit]

A tag has been placed on Sri Lanka Kaffir language, requesting that it be speedily deleted from Wikipedia. This has been done for the following reason:

Sri Lanka Kaffir language is not Sri Lankan Portuguese creole. So, the redirect is not right way

Under the criteria for speedy deletion, articles that do not meet basic Wikipedia criteria may be deleted at any time.

If you think this page should not be deleted for this reason, you may contest the nomination by visiting the page and clicking the button labelled "Click here to contest this speedy deletion". This will give you the opportunity to explain why you believe the page should not be deleted. However, be aware that once a page is tagged for speedy deletion, it may be removed without delay. Please do not remove the speedy deletion tag from the page yourself, but do not hesitate to add information in line with Wikipedia's policies and guidelines. If the page is deleted, and you wish to retrieve the deleted material for future reference or improvement, you can place a request here. AntonTalk 11:16, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

June 2014[edit]

Hello, I'm BracketBot. I have automatically detected that your edit to Realgar wine may have broken the syntax by modifying 1 "()"s and 1 "[]"s. If you have, don't worry: just edit the page again to fix it. If I misunderstood what happened, or if you have any questions, you can leave a message on my operator's talk page.

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  • its use for protection against disease, snakes, and evil spirits. The [[Dragon Boat Festival]]) in fact coincided with what [[Chinese astronomy]] considered the height of summer and ''[[yang (
  • an [[amulet]] containing or made of realgar. Realgar is also used in Chinese "[cold-food powder]]".

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Nomination of Les géants de Mu for deletion[edit]

A discussion is taking place as to whether the article Les géants de Mu is suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia according to Wikipedia's policies and guidelines or whether it should be deleted.

The article will be discussed at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Les géants de Mu until a consensus is reached, and anyone is welcome to contribute to the discussion. The nomination will explain the policies and guidelines which are of concern. The discussion focuses on high-quality evidence and our policies and guidelines.

Users may edit the article during the discussion, including to improve the article to address concerns raised in the discussion. However, do not remove the article-for-deletion notice from the top of the article. McDoobAU93 21:08, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

Required notice[edit]

Notice of Conflict of interest noticeboard discussion[edit]

Information icon This message is being sent to inform you that there is currently a discussion at Wikipedia:Conflict of interest/Noticeboard regarding a possible conflict of interest incident in which you may be involved. Thank you.

I do want to emphasize that I don't think you have done anything wrong, I just want other editors to be aware of it. CombatWombat42 (talk) 19:19, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

Occidental Language[edit]

When you made an article for the Occidental Language in 2005(?) you wrote that with the apearance of interlingua the Occidental language declined Do you have a source for this? Thanx Naytz (talk) 18:43, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Please read and comment delete or keep Dao's theorem[edit]

Dear Jorge Stolfi, I known You because You are creator of pages Pascal theorem, so You are knowledgeable classical geometry, please read pages Dao's theorem and comment anything You think. Delete or keep pages Dao's theorem. Thank to You very much. Best regards. Sincerely -- Eightcirclestheorem (talk) 04:23, 5 October 2014 (UTC)

  • Dear Dr. Jorge Stolfi, I am very thank to You for your comment. Best regards. Sincerely --Eightcirclestheorem (talk) 06:21, 5 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Thank to Dr. Jorge Stolfi, Please check again, I change minnor: Dao's eight circles problem, a generalization of Brianchon's theorem, proved by Luis González. Thank to You very very much again. Best regards. Sincerely --Dao Thanh Oai — Preceding unsigned comment added by Eightcirclestheorem (talkcontribs) 07:16, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Utility of the Cite template[edit]

A comment on your comment: you say that the Cite template offers "no gain" and only makes citations more difficult to enter or edit for the "non-specialist"; however, you seem to assume that the non-specialist is already a specialist at writing academic citations. The template's principal value is in allowing people who have at least a basic comfort with markup language but little familiarity with citation conventions to produce consistent, appropriate citations. I fall into that category, and I personally find filling in a Cite template far quicker and easier than opening up a copy of the Chicago Manual of Style to try to remember which elements of the citation are separated by periods and which by semicolons, which are abbreviated and which are not, what the standard sequence of elements is, etc. Food for thought... Bryanrutherford0 (talk) 13:31, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

About Dao's six point circle and Lester's theorem[edit]

Original I posted at;

Profesor Garcia Capitan answer at:

This is nice property of median line and the centroid of any triangle.

I am graterful to You, I am thank to You very much

--Eightcirclestheorem (talk) 11:10, 11 October 2014 (UTC)

Nomination of Dao's six point circle for deletion[edit]

A discussion is taking place as to whether the article Dao's six point circle is suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia according to Wikipedia's policies and guidelines or whether it should be deleted.

The article will be discussed at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Dao's six point circle until a consensus is reached, and anyone is welcome to contribute to the discussion. The nomination will explain the policies and guidelines which are of concern. The discussion focuses on high-quality evidence and our policies and guidelines.

Users may edit the article during the discussion, including to improve the article to address concerns raised in the discussion. However, do not remove the article-for-deletion notice from the top of the article. DGG ( talk ) 20:10, 12 October 2014 (UTC)

Dear Dr Jorge Stolfi, the Dao's theorem keep or delete that is not important with me than you. I thank to You and grateful to You very much. --Eightcirclestheorem (talk) 20:31, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

October 2014[edit]

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  • glycosides''' are the [[chemical compounds]] responsible for the sweet taste of the leaves of the [{South America]]n plant ''[[Stevia rebaudiana]]'' ([[Compositae]]), and the main ingredients (or [[chemical

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Please see my last comment[edit]


Thank to You very much.--Eightcirclestheorem (talk) 21:31, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

Proposed deletion of Dao's six circumcenter theorem[edit]

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The article Dao's six circumcenter theorem has been proposed for deletion because of the following concern:

Fork of part of Dao's theorem while it's under discussion for deletion, i.e. an attempt to circumvent the deletion process.

While all constructive contributions to Wikipedia are appreciated, content or articles may be deleted for any of several reasons.

You may prevent the proposed deletion by removing the {{proposed deletion/dated}} notice, but please explain why in your edit summary or on the article's talk page.

Please consider improving the article to address the issues raised. Removing {{proposed deletion/dated}} will stop the proposed deletion process, but other deletion processes exist. In particular, the speedy deletion process can result in deletion without discussion, and articles for deletion allows discussion to reach consensus for deletion. JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 23:57, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

Please help me check detail[edit]

Dear Dr. Jorge Stolfi,

Please help me check detail:

I am very thank to You.

--Eightcirclestheorem (talk) 03:50, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

Name after title of the article is normal[edit]

Please see history of van Lamoen circle or Droz-Farny line theorem or Marden's theorem or Schiffler point original these theorem also are their problems.

--Eightcirclestheorem (talk) 16:13, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Editors Barnstar Hires.png The Editor's Barnstar
Thank you for your work to point out areas of improvement on the Bitcoin article. It is a difficult area to improve due to the low quality of many sources on the matter and your suggestions may result in future improvement. Chillum 17:41, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Iron–hydrogen alloy[edit]

You might like to contribute to the discussion on accuracy at Talk:Iron–hydrogen alloy. I believe you were the creator of the article. Biscuittin (talk) 13:34, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

I have made a proposal to re-name the article: Properties of iron hydride at high temperature and pressure. Biscuittin (talk) 13:26, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

Happy new year to You[edit]

I am Dao Thanh Oai, Happy new year to You — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:46, 1 January 2015 (UTC)

Proposed deletion of George McDowell School[edit]

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The article George McDowell School has been proposed for deletion because of the following concern:

Non-notable grade school

While all constructive contributions to Wikipedia are appreciated, content or articles may be deleted for any of several reasons.

You may prevent the proposed deletion by removing the {{proposed deletion/dated}} notice, but please explain why in your edit summary or on the article's talk page.

Please consider improving the article to address the issues raised. Removing {{proposed deletion/dated}} will stop the proposed deletion process, but other deletion processes exist. In particular, the speedy deletion process can result in deletion without discussion, and articles for deletion allows discussion to reach consensus for deletion. ukexpat (talk) 18:02, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

Acai, Purpura bacca[edit]

Jorge -- thanks for your thoughts on my Talk page concerning your wish to use Purpura bacca in the acai article. I work in the supplement industry, have known acai products over their entire history in the US and have never heard of Purpura bacca. Well beyond my judgment, it's a vague relation to acai for the English encyclopedia, WP:EN, doesn't have a botanical relationship (Purpura is the gastropod genus, [2]), impresses as distantly related to all the commercial or scientific information about acai, WP:TRIV and the use in Brazil you refer to is excludable under WP:PRIMARY. That's why I reverted your edit and feel it's a small but accurate matter to exclude Purpura bacca. Kind regards --Zefr (talk) 15:15, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

Comments on "Wikipedia is dying" (User:Jorge Stolfi/DoW/Intro)[edit]


Your essay/article is wonderful, and very though-provoking for a long-time Wikipedia reader.

I agree completely that the hostility towards newbies – in terms of deletions and tagging, and the wikisource complexity – is very detrimental to Wikipedia.

Regarding the ban on anonymous new articles: would it help to have a system where new anonymous articles have to be approved by a registered user? (so that even the user itself could approve it, if he chose to register)

A single help page seems like a good idea.

FSund (talk) 09:03, 7 October 2015 (UTC) 11:28, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

ArbCom elections are now open![edit]

You appear to be eligible to vote in the current Arbitration Committee election. The Arbitration Committee is the panel of editors responsible for conducting the Wikipedia arbitration process. It has the authority to enact binding solutions for disputes between editors, primarily related to serious behavioural issues that the community has been unable to resolve. This includes the ability to impose site bans, topic bans, editing restrictions, and other measures needed to maintain our editing environment. The arbitration policy describes the Committee's roles and responsibilities in greater detail. If you wish to participate, you are welcome to review the candidates' statements and submit your choices on the voting page. For the Election committee, MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 22:14, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Nomination of Mathcad rounding syntax for deletion[edit]

A discussion is taking place as to whether the article Mathcad rounding syntax is suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia according to Wikipedia's policies and guidelines or whether it should be deleted.

The article will be discussed at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Mathcad rounding syntax until a consensus is reached, and anyone is welcome to contribute to the discussion. The nomination will explain the policies and guidelines which are of concern. The discussion focuses on high-quality evidence and our policies and guidelines.

Users may edit the article during the discussion, including to improve the article to address concerns raised in the discussion. However, do not remove the article-for-deletion notice from the top of the article. fgnievinski (talk) 02:13, 27 June 2016 (UTC)


Hallo Jorge Stolfi,

Illustration of typical stresses

I like very much the above image which you contributed. Do you have a similar visualization of a positive definite tensor? --Alva2004 (talk) 08:02, 19 August 2016 (UTC)

Reference errors on 29 August[edit]

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Reference errors on 31 August[edit]

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