User talk:Mark Richards/Archive 2

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"That gained brief notoriety"? "fleeting notoriety"? "15 minutes of fame"? Sorry; bad day at the office; abject sense of humour failure &c. --Tagishsimon

Demographics of US towns[edit]

I note that in the demographics of us towns like Hialeah, Florida, all ethnic groups except white are wikified. Does this strike folks as odd? What should this one link to? Thanks, Mark Richards 21:28, 14 May 2004 (UTC)

It should link to Race (US Census). User:Rambot didn't finish his job and vanished for some reason. The link to Asia is inapproprate. We need to know about the ethnic group, not the continent from which their ancestors originated. --Jiang 22:50, 14 May 2004 (UTC)
There is a WikiProject on ethnic groups. It's been a bit quiet lately. If anyone is interested in investing some effort into it, that would be great. This does come with one warning though: this is an area that ineveitably must be handled with some sensitivity, a matter that is discussed in that project page and its related pages. -- Jmabel 23:55, 14 May 2004 (UTC)

Hi Mark. I moved this from the village pump in case you hadn't seen it yet. Angela. 00:07, May 21, 2004 (UTC)

The rambot runs somewhat infrequently, merely because it takes time out of a busy day. That isn't to say that it won't be done later. I'm just not in as big of a rush as many other people at Wikipedia are. I have a big todo list, and just waiting for the day when I can spend a large amount of time to work on it. Presumably it will come. Until then, the links will remain incorrect. But they should all link to Race (US Census), which explains the classifications with regards to the unique census classifications. The problem with linking to, say, Asia is that there is no single ethnic group in Asia (obviously!). Instead the meaning of Asian in this context is someone who comes from one of the ethnic peoples in the continent of Asia. The new link serves to help explain this more closely. The U.S. County articles have all been updated, and the city articles are mostly incomplete. --Ram-Man 16:09, May 24, 2004 (UTC)


Thanks for the revert on my user page. I appreciate it. Snowspinner 04:59, 21 May 2004 (UTC)


Please do not put page breaks underneath disambiguations at tops of pages. Do keep it concise too. --Jiang 09:19, 21 May 2004 (UTC)

Cheesed off[edit]

I'm a little pissed off that you note on CESM (No response on talk page - removed 'gained common currency' - it did not.), when in fact you had contacted me on my talk page, and I responded offering alternative suggestions on your . talk page. That hardly seems to be in the wikipedian spirit that your comment suggests you appreciate. Or do you only adhere to those rules that suit your opinion? --Tagishsimon

Appologies Tagishsimon, you have every right to be cheesed off. For some reason I missed your comment on my talk page, and assumed that you had not replied. Didn't mean to come across as having blown you off - go ahead an put in whatever version makes you happy. Best wishes, Mark Richards 20:35, 21 May 2004 (UTC)
Thanks. I've stopped being cheesed now. I just want something a little stronger than 'used', which I find v.insipid. I'll understand if you're getting bored with the whole thing now; equally I'm trying not to enclose CESM, so I'll let go & give you the last shout; consider (and feel free to dismiss) my suggestions, above. Best, ;) --Tagishsimon
Aw...thank you! --Tagishsimon. And strictly speaking, it was me who assumed the worst in my pissy comment "Or do you only adhere to those rules that suit your opinion?". Apologies for that. I do very much appreciate your courtesy in dealing with the whole thing, & regret being snappy. --Tagishsimon

Nick Berg shared email with Zacarias Moussaoui[edit] says "In a bizarre coincidence, Nick Berg crossed paths with Al Qaeda years before its henchmen beheaded him, when his E-mail and password wound up in the hands of 9/11 suspect Zacarias Moussaoui." And this is just one of many hundreds of articles all citing the FBI and making identical claims. And I have to say, it certainly is a "bizarre coincidence". Not a conspiracy theory. Energybone 19:23, 25 May 2004 (UTC)

Third person object forms[edit]

Not sure if you saw this reply on the Ref desk:

Her / Him / It / Them are the 3rd person object forms in modern English, the object forms of the third person pronouns She / He / It / They. i wouldn't know what else to say on them that would warrant an article. Anárion 14:45, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

Berg conspiracy[edit]

Would you mind looking over Energybone's latest version? I've used up both my reverts and my willingness to deal with him for the time being. Thanks, Meelar 21:47, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

Thank you very much. I needed a bit of time off to grab dinner and chill without being insulted. Greatly appreciated. Yours, Meelar 23:51, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

Meeler Conspiracy[edit]

Mark Richards, by acting as a proxy to revert pages for Meelar you are violating wikipedia policit and pure simple common morality and decency. Why are you trying to subvert the very processes that keep wikipedia honest? If Meelar "uses up" his reverts, he should do what everyone else does, wait twenty-four hours and calm down. If he asks you to behave as a proxy again, I suggest you tell him you are unable to do so without violating wikipedia policy and common courtesy. Please don't aid Meelar in the furtherance of his childish game. Energybone 01:21, 27 May 2004 (UTC)

As I am sure you realise, I am not acting as Meelar's proxy. Meelar asked me to take a look at a page that I was already in the process of editing, and I have made my own edits. I do not know whether Meelar agrees with them or not. My edits are my own, not made on behalf of anyone. Mark Richards 01:36, 27 May 2004 (UTC)

Tell it to the judge, and while you're at it, throw a whole bunch more text under here, maybe that request from Meelar for you to act as his proxy because he "used up" his reverts will just vanish. Energybone 03:09, 27 May 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for your opinion EB, as you say, the facts speak for themselves. Mark Richards 05:02, 27 May 2004 (UTC)

Re Robert Plant: It was a situation where they were "testing the waters" for a reunion; the press made a big deal of his flubbing the lyrics, the fans tended to agree ("Plant's too old now" etc.) and the group took the hint and stopped performing together. This site also says Page's guitar was out of tune, but I don't remember that being the case myself. I'd also heard rumors that Plant hated singing the song so often.  :) - Hephaestos|§ 04:21, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

I'm not sure; I tried to clarify the wording a little but don't want to delve too far into the "rumor" part of it. - Hephaestos|§ 04:30, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

My talk page[edit]

I just happened to notice your visit in the protection log. I take it you must have accidentally hit "protect" and then unprotected it? Anyway, it's interesting to discover who's looking at my talk page (which anybody is welcome to do, of course - I'm not objecting). --Michael Snow 22:29, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

Placing a picture of the skull and crossbones poison symbol[edit]

Give me a favor. Go to the website [1] and place the picture of the crossbones from the website on the skull and crossbones page.

soviet strength[edit]

Yes in some areas the USSR was stronger and in some the USA. The USSR had numerical superiority over the west, however the USA had technological superiority over the USSR and thats how they over came the numerical disadvantage. The USSR had an advantage in conventional forces but the USA had nuclear superiority. Either way both countries were superpowers and if there was a war between them no one would win because mutual assured destruction (mad)existed. Hope that helps.

Citrix MetaFrame and Croat Catholic Ustashi clergy[edit]

Did you intend to for your VfD vote on Citrix MetaFrame to actually be added to Croat Catholic Ustashi clergy? The current format of VfD is causing people to edit the wrong sections. - Tεxτurε 21:43, 4 Jun 2004 (UTC)


Did that fix it? Maximus Rex 22:19, 4 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I added the "a" [2]. Maximus Rex 22:23, 4 Jun 2004 (UTC)

You can find more information at m:User styles. The original CSS can be seen here. Maximus Rex 22:28, 4 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Central Asia[edit]

Sorry for not responding to you earlier - I planned to look into it, and then of course we had all this downtime. Anyway, as you may know there's a bunch of these related articles and what are now templates being fought over. I was just unprotecting those Jiang had missed, and having not followed the debate much, I don't have an opinion on how to proceed. Of course, it looks like there hasn't been much debate (except for edit summaries, which is sometimes worse than no debate). At this point, if you can think of a better version, I think you can probably go ahead. I'm not sure what Cantus is up to now that his favorite edit war opponent (Wik) is gone, and 172 has also stopped contributing, at least for now. So it may be that noone else will pay attention if you edit the page, and anything you put on the talk page is even more likely to be ignored.

To me this case highlights yet again the problem with users who routinely revert things they disagree with, but fail to see that any discussion is necessary as a result. --Michael Snow 04:29, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I will continue to monitor the situation as far as I can, in case protection is necessary again at some point. However, I am leaving on a vacation shortly, so at least for the near future you may need to look elsewhere if you need assistance. Sorry about that, but this is definitely on my radar for when I get back. --Michael Snow 20:26, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Unblocking EntmootsOfTrolls[edit]

Why did you unblock JRR Trollkien and Leo Trollstoy? It has become clear that they are EofT and should stay blocked. Hephaestos followed Wikipedia:Banning policy#Reincarnations perfectly when he blocked them. Unless you give a valid reason why they should be unblocked, I will reblock them. Guanaco 19:09, 10 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Hello, can you by any chance, connect to irc ? If you could, that would be great to discuss now. /join wikipedia. SweetLittleFluffyThing 05:19, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)


What is your plateform ? which browser are you using ? Could you look at Wikipedia:IRC

Please, also, wait on the banning topic for a while. Guanaco agreed not to block the account till we have discussed a bit. SweetLittleFluffyThing


This case is not under review by the AC, it is settled in light of his legitimate block under policy. Do you click on the links I provide? Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration#Votes_and_discussion_by_arbitrators. - Hephaestos|§ 02:20, 14 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Trolls, Admins, and Policy, oh my[edit]

Mark, I thought I'd drop you a note because I see you've gotten into the thick of things on the mailing list, and likely elsewhere also. I wanted to mention some things to you in a place where they won't be read by the mailing list hawks (everything gets too partisan there, especially when several contentious topics are in the air at once). You know I like and trust you -- I supported your adminning, if I recall correctly. And on this topic, we differ in perspective, though not in goals, I think.

I don't know if you've had prolonged exposure to trolls here, especially a troll who decides haunting you is his own personal idea of fun. Perhaps you have. In my experience, however, a few things are clear. One is that mav was right in his assertion on the mailing list -- a troll is here not to "refine the community", regardless of their rhetoric. They're here to destroy it. When this community is out of balance, we don't depend on the JRR Trollkiens of the world to wake us up -- we depend on users like you (and me, I would like to think, though my aversion to conflict makes it harder for me to charge in as often as you do). I do want a site that is welcoming to everyone who is in accord with its purpose. I believe that current policy damages that goal by allowing trolls to live here for too long and disrupt too much. When you point out the very real dichotomy between current practice and current policy, I believe you are asserting that we should return to policy compliance. I look at that and wonder how the policies could be so weak and out-of-date. Failure to ban trolls once they've made clear their intention to disregard this site's aims and rules is the leading source of user loss around here. I would list them here, but they are many, and (sadly) I've been so busy fighting my personal troll that I find myself failing to remember the names of good friends who left here months ago.

The point I want to make to you is that I believe you've chosen the wrong side of the hill to die on, though it's the right hill. There are serious problems with Wikipedian policy -- but it is my contention that the problem is that policy needs to allow much better and more swift enforcement of the rules. Trolls like User:Irismeister and User:Mr-Natural-Health have been allowed to remain here for half a year now, slowly insulting, attacking, and POVing this site until it makes me a little sick to my stomach to consider combatting them. I almost left this site because of Irismeister. The thought of making it even more difficult to rid ourselves of such attackers makes me wonder if I could withstand another assault by Iris. I understand your desire for fairness -- I, too, have this desire. I believe in assuming good faith, and I think we are good at that here. If you take a look at users like Sam Spade, WHEELER, and Get-back-world-respect, it's easy to see that these users would not be welcome most places around the net -- they have strong opinions, they are occasionally too abrupt, and they are often resistant to compromise (some more than others). But by welcoming them here, we've gained something. I would even call Sam a friend of sorts, though he and I disagree on almost every issue. But we are open to the extreme viewpoints -- User:80.255's support of what appear to be racialist figures from Britain was tolerated because he managed to remain mostly civil (though he certainly did anger many, and I believe drove off an editor, though that may be my poor memory). Paul Vogel, though, stayed here 5-6 months insulting and bullying users, I think mostly because we were all so worried that people would think we'd banned him for being neo-Nazi. I think admins need to be relieved of that kind of worry. We need to provide admins with clear directives for use of power, simple checks and balances, and a useful way of reviewing admin actions that doesn't degrade into an admin and their friends fighting the trolls of the site while a few observers offer comments. If we can't rid ourselves of people who come here only to attack and tear apart the thing we're building, then this isn't worthwhile for any of us. If we don't build an encyclopedia, it won't matter how kind and open we were. This is my opinion. So strict measures that help us accomplish our goal are welcome to me. I know, some of our trolls will say it proves it's a cabal, or it's not open, or not neutral. But the collaborative work of the disagreeing here will prove them wrong, and besides, the trolls we tolerate here would be banned at so many other fora around the Web that I doubt they'd find a place to denounce us from.

This is too long. But I wanted you to get my perspective without thinking I was slamming you publically. If you feel this is in any way disrespectful to you, I hope you will feel free to delete it. I'm not trying to attack you, or to say your position isn't understandable -- it certainly is. But I want you to understand that the reactions you are getting may well be from people like me, who know that they've remained here only barely, and that they worry every day that a troll will resurface and say and do the cruel things that will drive us off. When we hear your words, it gives us a vision of a future Wikipedia where the trolls have even more power because the admins are even less able to deal with their attacks. It is a Wikipedia that we see has no room for us. I know that isn't what you want, and you may well feel that we're too pessimistic. Perhaps we are. But I think you deserve to know why we react as we do. That's more than enough, and if you read this in one sitting, then bravo and I apologize for making it so long. Thank you for your work here, and don't stop being critically aware of what we do, and definitely please don't stop standing up for your principles. I only ask that you consider alternative ways of upholding principle that may avoid the troubles this site has had for 6+ months now. I'm open to discussing this more if you like. Have a good day, Jwrosenzweig 16:35, 14 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Mark, I'm glad we can chat about this. I would say that it's a very good idea to talk about these things in vacuum, so to speak. Once we get talking about any given troll, the conversation inevitably involves the admin for whom it's not just a name but their personal troll, and I know what kind of emotion that involves. I think mav is a good one to enlist here too, given that he is on the AC and knows their side of it. I'll drop him a note (and perhaps you will too?) and see how we can best officially propose policies that allow admins to do the work of keeping this place useable. :-) You are more familiar with these policies that me, I think -- can you write an initial proposal (which will be wikied, of course) that expresses a policy you think would be generally easier to follow and more consistent with WP's needs? I'd appreciate that, and would gladly use whatever small pull I have here to get people talking about it and supporting it. Jwrosenzweig 17:59, 14 Jun 2004 (UTC)

North Korea[edit]

North Korea may have a one million man army or whatever but it spends only about 4-5 billion on the military compared to the U.S. which spends close to 400 billion. This is not even close. The U.S. will cripple N. Korea much like it did to Iraq because of superior technology.


Thank you for the advice on Copyright maps. I do appreciate it, and guess someone should include some advice on the topic in the wikipedia notes on image copyrights, I read through them all, and they don't really help my question. At least I think I read them all... but thanks anyway. K. Kurogawa 11:19, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)


(cross-posted to several user talk: pages)

I noticed that you participated in the discussion regarding reorganization of this page. I have written a proposal for a new format and would like any comments, criticisms, or feedback you may have to offer. Thanks, —No-One Jones 14:28, 22 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Mark - thanks for the +feedback on Maluku stuff. If you're interested in exploring that topic further, I took much of it from here:

Cheers, Adam

Mark, regarding this page whose new process we're discussing, may I suggest that it's time we take down your complaint against Guanaco and Hephaestos, and consider that matter resolved? Since you made the complaint originally, I wanted to ask you about this. I'm not necessarily asking you to remove it yourself, but if you have no objections, I would like to get rid of it. (Then we would also have a clean slate on which to impose the new template, which I think we have enough of a consensus to start using.) --Michael Snow 21:39, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Ethnic cleansing[edit]

"A euphemism is a word (or phrase) which people use in place of terms which are more disagreeable or offensive to themselves and/or to their audience."

Yes, I knew that. Nikola

Surely Ethnic Cleansing meets this criteria? Mark Richards 06:54, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)

No. I can't think of a more offensive term. "Population removal" or even worse "population transfer" sound less offensive to me. The fact that "cleansing" is a positive process is irrelevant here - insecticide is generally viewed as a positive thing but genocide surely isn't. Compare also with Great Purge. Nikola 07:01, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)

List of things named after Ronald Reagan[edit]

This is the name of a museum, housed in the regan boyhood home - I think it belongs there, because it is the museum called 'Regan Boyhood Home', in Regan's boyhood home. Let me know what you think, Mark Richards 22:24, 3 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for your message about List of things named after Ronald Reagan. I think that the Reagan Boyhood Home is more like Ronald Reagan Presidential Library -- it's named after Reagan because it's something about Reagan. I understand the list to be for things named in his honor as a tribute, like Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport or the Ronald Reagan Turnpike. -- Tregoweth 07:31, Jul 4, 2004 (UTC)
I guess so, but the museum is named after him, and is a kind of tribute - should we have a separate section for this kind of thing? Mark Richards 16:28, 4 Jul 2004 (UTC)
An "appendix" section listing things like the Library or the Boyhood Home sounds like a good idea. -- Tregoweth 20:11, Jul 4, 2004 (UTC)

Vote Fraud[edit]

I seem to be having a little browser trouble, and have deleted a couple of votes. As far as I know, this has been put right, but please let me know if you find anything else - I am trying to track down the issue. Thanks for your patience. Mark Richards 18:15, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)


[3] Sam [Spade] 02:24, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Don't worry about it, I think I fixed it. I've had similar troubles before, its quite annoying. At least no one went hysterical and accused you of attempting vote fraud (at least not that I know of ;) Sam [Spade] 17:46, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Hey Mark Richards[edit]

Can you explain why you deleted my vote on the Dealing with trolls page. It's the kind of thing that tends to get noticed and complained LOUDLY about unless you have a good reason. Yes? Alteripse 02:30, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Erm. Didn't mean to - sorry - if I did it was in error. Can you replace it or shall I? Mark Richards 02:32, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I'll put it back, thanks. Alteripse 02:34, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC) Sorry I yelled-- I should have assumed it was a mistake.Alteripse 02:53, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Great editing in progress[edit]

Thanks, you are both needed and appreciated. Cheers, Sam [Spade] 20:58, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)


Between 02:55 and 08:13, 6 Jul 2004 User:Hephaestos and User:Mark Richards reverted a user page at least 5 times in an edit war. I hope both of you are profoundly embarrased. You are both supposed to be leading by example and I am appalled.

  1. Are you planning on repeating this sort of behaviour?
  2. What steps are you planning to take to avoid future outbreaks?

(i have posted this on both user pages)Erich 06:30, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Don't feed the trolls?[edit]

If Hephaestos is trolling, as you have now repeatedly claimed, aren't you feeding the trolls, contrary to your own advice? --Michael Snow 18:02, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I didn't even necessarily want an answer, I just wanted you to think about it, but since you gave me one I'll respond to it. All admins should use good judgment, regardless of seniority, and set good examples both for each other and for non-admins. On that score, I am totally in agreement with Erich's sentiments above. Whether it's an edit/revert war or a block/unblock war, two parties are always necessary. If one side is ready to step back and stop "feeding" the dispute, it can't continue in that form, and the chances of having a real discussion and resolving the dispute improve.
If you want advice, I would suggest that you try harder not to contribute to the Wikipedia Vicious Cycle. 142 has pretty much failed in that regard, and he's the one that started the page. I think the line - "Who cares what they think? It's what they do, that does the damage." - is particularly perceptive. Ultimately, the community as a whole is unlikely to care what either you or Hephaestos think our policy is or should be, even though that's what you're fighting about. It will care whether your conduct on balance is beneficial or detrimental to the community environment. --Michael Snow 21:16, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I agree that a vicious cycle can develop, but I don't consider it inevitable, or impossible to break. That particular page and its companion, Wikipedia Peace Process, are slanted by 142's personal experience. I can only assume he found the project of making community policy more accommodating for himself to be as difficult as the community found the task of making him more accommodating to its policies. Anyway, by wanting to "lower the heat", I think you have the right goal in mind, but there may be better ways of doing it.

There is a legitimate route to express frustration with admin actions - Wikipedia:Dispute resolution. I'll agree that with admins generally having life tenure, accountability is more of a concern, but that's the same problem as with blocking or banning disruptive users; we have mostly crude disciplinary tools for both admins and non-admins. Some admins should be less attached to their status and remember that they can still be respected as regular contributors, true, but should we be more hasty about "demoting" admins than the arbitration committee currently is about imposing bans?

In terms of dealing with these disagreements, you could try soliciting input from other people before acting unilaterally. That's part of the idea behind Wikipedia:Requests for comment generally, though too many people still treat user conduct disputes there like the old /ban pages. But of course, you don't need to use that format to get opinions from people whose judgment you respect. Similarly, Wikipedia:Blocking policy suggests that in controversial cases, you discuss the matter before unblocking someone. --Michael Snow 22:58, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)

You have, from what I've seen, only discussed the matter with Hephaestos directly before acting. I too wish he would be less dismissive of your concerns. But that's why my suggestion was to involve other people. They would be able to bring pressure to bear if correction is needed, or give you someone else's perspective on why it is not. Hephaestos already has voices around him that support his actions, which is probably why he's not inclined to explain himself very much. You, on the other hand, don't seem to have that. --Michael Snow 23:23, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I meant that before you undo Hephaestos' actions, you do little to request other opinions, to see if it's actually a good idea. I apologize for any implication that you haven't raised the issue generally, or that you're unwilling to discuss your reasons for acting; that's certainly not the case.

If the community wants people to be "tough on trolls", then that is policy, just as much as the formalized content in Wikipedia:Blocking policy. In some sense, we all want to be tough on trolls, but we disagree on "how tough?" and "what is a troll?" Part of the reason there is no clear consensus is that we don't even have agreement on terms and definitions. To some people, trolling behavior is covered by the definition of vandalism, which can be read pretty broadly. And as you noted, the comments (on both sides) render the poll at Wikipedia:Dealing with trolls pretty meaningless as a guide to policy.

You may have supportive voices as well, but if they hide themselves out of fear, then effectively they're leaving you to face the dragon alone. It's of even less use to you than the unnamed foreign leaders who John Kerry claims want him to be elected. --Michael Snow 01:11, 7 Jul 2004 (UTC)


I put photomosaic on the recentchanges since I am interested in trying it out. Have you played with any? - Tεxτurε 22:08, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)


I noticed you have unblocked several EntmootsofTrolls reincarnations. Please stop violating the policy of unblocking reincarnations of hard-banned users. Best regards --H. CHENEY 02:05, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)

JPG versus PNG[edit]

If a conversion is done directly from JPG to PNG, there is often no gain (and can sometimes make the file larger), but with careful color reduction there's often some gain to be had, especially with diagram-like images. The one I just did ended up in a file size reduction from 18k to 13k (and is a slightly cleaner-looking image, not having the jpeg artifacts). It's a minor hobby of mine, reducing jpegs that should have been PNG in the first place. I did one a while back; a graph of site traffic that was originally a 520k jpeg. Efficient conversion of that resulted in a 2k PNG - a 99.6% size reduction! :-) -- Wapcaplet 20:22, 15 Jul 2004 (UTC)

  • P.S. - To answer your question, yes it can result in a loss of quality, if care is not taken, but PNG is a lossless compression and can have as many (or few) colors as necessary; JPG is a lossy compression and always results in quality loss. With JPG, the loss of quality is more noticeable on diagrams with relatively few colors, which PNG suits better anyway. -- Wapcaplet 20:27, 15 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Just making sure there's no ambiguity here---while selecting PNG as an output format (e.g., from Photoshop or something like that) will not have the artifacts that JPEGs do, if you convert a file that's already had JPEG compression applied to it into a PNG, you'll still be left with the artifacts, which will likely not only make the PNG ugly, but larger to boot. See Image:Red Cross.png for an example of properly converting a JPEG diagram (one of yours, in fact) into a PNG. (I traced it with The Gimp. Removing JPEG artifacts is a nontrivial process; for a complicated image, it may just be easier to start over.) grendel|khan 22:07, 2004 Jul 15 (UTC)

Well yes, this was what I was wondering about. Is there any advantage in taking a jpg and converting it into a png, rather than using the source to generate a png instead of a jpg? Mark Richards 22:08, 15 Jul 2004 (UTC)

If the original source is available, it's best to use that, rather than a jpeg or any other lossy-compressed format. Of course, originals are not always available. I use the GIMP for such conversion. -- Wapcaplet 22:26, 15 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Just so I'm clear, if the source is not available, and only the lossy jpg is, is it helpful to convert it to png? Thanks! Mark Richards 22:27, 15 Jul 2004 (UTC)

It can be. As mentioned, I've taken many JPGs and reduced their file size by moderate to large amounts by carefully converting to PNG. The main advantage is shorter download time; it sometimes results in sharper images too. Check out Wikipedia:How to reduce colors for saving a JPEG as PNG for more details on how it works. -- Wapcaplet 00:42, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)


I noticed you created a stub at Consumerism (wiki). The name of the wiki is actually Consumerium (and there is already a page about it). Maximus Rex 22:30, 15 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Scrolling shooter[edit]

Could you perhaps clarify what you mean by an 'up/down' dimension, or provide an example? The whole point of that section is that motion is essentially in a two-dimensional plane. Spottedowl 00:12, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Page blanking[edit]

If you want that page unprotected and reverted, put it up for a community poll. I'm not changing my mind and neither are you. - Hephaestos|§ 14:55, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Scrolling shooter[edit]

Well, I'd rather take that bit out, as it's confusing. Notable exceptions can be mentioned in a separate paragraph.

What is Fortress, incidentally? I've never heard of it (which means it's probably a Nintendo game), and I couldn't find anything on it.Spottedowl 16:23, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Who is 24?[edit]

From your posts on User talk:The Trolls of Navarone, it appears that you're missing some important information. Like 142, the name 24 is a shorthand for the IP address or block of IP addresses used by an "anonymous" user. Furthermore, I think most people who were around or are familiar with the background agree that 24, 142, and EntmootsOfTrolls are all this same person, since returned as JRR Trollkien and other identities. As 24, this user was originally banned within a few months of his original appearance on Wikipedia over two years ago. As I understand it, the ban was based on inability to work with the community, along with a few very provocative but obliquely worded statements some people took to be death threats. Although the community tried to tolerate this individual's return to some degree (I think Jimbo put it as "for as long as we could stand it"), the ban was ultimately reimposed when EntmootsOfTrolls repeated the same combination of behaviors that got 24 banned originally. Anyway, it may not have been clear before, but whether people are talking about reincarnations of 24, 142, or EoT, it all means the same thing. --Michael Snow 21:14, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)

22 24

Thanks for the clarification - I'm still not clear how people know, given that I can't see anything that this user has actually done (ie threats, personal attacks, vandalism etc). It appears to be based entirely on some material posted on the userpage, which is apparently similar to some material that this other user(s?) wrote. I would like to wait until the user does something questionable, or make clear what text is banned before the fact. Mark Richards 22:30, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I entirely support this opinion :-)

Codec/Jet Audio[edit]

Cheers for that... I've downloaded the Codec but can't install it until my computer finishes with something else. I'll let you know how I get on. Thanks very much. --bodnotbod 20:37, Jul 18, 2004 (UTC)

Bah. As I say on Wikipedia:Reference desk: "I downloaded the codec but Microsoft won't let me install it unless I download the whole Windows Media Player 7.0 too. No wonder the world hates them. I think I'll just do without the sound clips... I've always found that - regardless of how I set up my preferences in WMP and other apps - WMP always finds a way of popping up and hijacking my mp3s etc. Bloody thing." --bodnotbod 23:09, Jul 18, 2004 (UTC)

Revert war on "Religious minorities in Iran"[edit]

Thanks for the protection applied. Unfortunatley I do not think that the matter will resolve in any near future. User:k1 has refused to take up mediation and is currently gone on a war path against user:roozbeh as he thinks that Roozbeh did the protectin on the wrong page. Have a look yourself on the two user's talk pages user talk:k1 and user talk:roozbeh. Thanks anyway... Refdoc 23:32, 19 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Not very much I think. K1 is in somewhat destructive mood and will either self-implode or - hopefully, but less likely - calm down. Maybe a note on his talk page to confirm that you were the one who protected the page might be sufficient to get Roozbeh out of the firing line. k1 alleges now that roozbeh has antigovernmental tendencies (Islamic Repulic Iran - were both live) for having put in the "protect" on the wrong version I am not sure how serious this is, but do not like the tone. Refdoc 23:58, 19 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I really like you[edit]

Every time I see you doing something, it's something good. Most of the time it’s something I am enthusiastically in favor of, and even when it’s not, its something I respect. We need a higher % of people like you making decisions, and a lower % of self-centered power mad POV advocate cliquey admins. You rock. Whew, I feel alot better now ;) Cheers, Sam [Spade] 23:41, 22 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Something to read[edit]

Please consider reading this:

and then voting here:

-- orthogonal 18:28, 29 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Vfd consensus status of Base 120[edit]

Look at the Vfd consensus of Base 120. As of when I put this message on your user talk page, you are one of exactly 5 voters who voted, and yours was the only one to keep; the other 4 were all to delete. 02:21, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Erm, ok? Do I need to do something about this? Thanks, Mark Richards 14:58, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I was just trying to make sure you knew it. 15:05, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)

The "Encyclopedia that Slashdot Built" Awards[edit]

I will be making occasional awards to pairs of articles that typify this accusation, in the hope that it will motivate some (including me) to overcome our tech and pop biases and invest in some of the (apparently) less appealing articles. The first award goes to:

  1. the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ("one of the oldest civil rights organizations in the United States"), which I clock at 249 words (not including external links) and;
  2. the GNAA ("a self-aggrandizing troll organization originating from the popular news website Slashdot."). I count our article at 422 words.

I make that a 1.69 Slashdot ratio, and will leave folks to draw their own conclusions about the relative significance of these two erstwhile organizations. Yours, hoping to meet you on the pages of some articles that traditionally don't get our focus, Mark Richards 15:28, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)

  • Or consider "Fluble", a now-defunct comic that appeared in the Brown University student newspaper while its writer was a student there. Described as "at times a re-casting of the Job story, at times a meditation on depression and insanity, and often simply an aggregation of (loosely) popular cultural references, concept humor, and endless asides," one can't help thinking that this description really boils down to the same kvetching heard at any late night college bull-session of "misunderstood" and self-absorbed kids taking Philosophy 101.
Of interest only to nostalgic Brown alumni, it clocks in at 3303 words, 2.15 times the length of "Doonesbury", a comic that, while it began as a student's work in a student paper, is now seen in 1400 newspapers and which has been making incisive political commentary and causing controversy since 1970.
But the pioneering "editorial comic on the comic page", considered by many the precursor of both "Doonesbury" and "Calvin And Hobbes", "Pogo", a comic that arguably hastened the downfall of Senator Joseph McCarthy, clocks in at less than one-eighth the length of "Fluble", at a mere 410 words. The actual ratio is 8.01:1.
Technologically prescient, too... I remember Albert watching Pogo at a typewriter and saying to the effect that it's no wonder his writing is so good, he "has a little spellin' machine." And remember the Loan Arranger? But it always seemed to me that the political commentary, if any, was so very, very subtle as to have no sting at all and present virtually no challenge to the establishment. Dpbsmith 18:27, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)
"Simple Joe Malarky", the pole-cat (?) with the perpetual five o'clock shadow who brought his mobile inquisition to the swamp was certainly Joe McCarthy. (Indeed, my life-long revulsion for state suppression of dissent probably originated in the Pogo comics I read at six or seven.) And according to this page, "[a] disagreeable Senator named Wiley appeared as Wiley Cat. The ultra-right-wing John Birch Society became 'The Jack Acid Society,' the Ku Klux Klan was 'Kluck Klams.'" Of course, much of Pogo was light-hearted: "Deck us all with Boston Charlie/ Walla Walla, Wash., and Kalamazoo!" -- orthogonal 19:23, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)
But "Fluble" takes up even more space in Wikipedia: it includes five example comics as images, totaling another 281446 bytes of bandwidth.
Presumably there would be copyright issues with reproducing Pogo or Doonesbury strips, and they'd be fairly serious as both of those strips still have a lot of commercial value left in them. I'm not sure why there aren't copyright issues with Fluble? Dpbsmith 18:27, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Presumably there are copyright issues -- although I haven't looked closely enough at the page to be sure. -- orthogonal 19:23, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Taking into account the images and comparing bytes, not words, the Fluble:Doonesbury ratio is approximately 31:1; Flubble:Pogo ratio is approximately 117:1. -- orthogonal 18:08, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Not any more; I hacked out some of the most obvious excess. The ratio is still way excessive, though. - DavidWBrooks 18:52, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Gee it seems to me that adding to Pogo or Doonesbury would be better than subtracting form Fluble, no? ;-) Paul August 06:13, Jul 31, 2004 (UTC)
  • Bravo! Let's have a regular WikiProject and feature it on the Wikipedia:Community portal so these articles get the deserved attention! -- ke4roh 20:54, Jul 30, 2004 (UTC)

Pcb21| Pete 11:26, 31 Jul 2004 (UTC)

(This example admittedly works better if you don't look at Category:William Shakespeare!)
There are 24 articles in the category William Shakespeare, giving it a Slashdot Ratio of 2:1 with category Slashdot. I don't know about the article length, but it would be nice to think that we had even more than twice as much to say about Shakespeare than Slashdot... Mark Richards 16:46, 2 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Uh....a little too pessimistic, I think. :-) Mark, you forgot that the category has four subcategories, so all the articles in those didn't count towards your ratio. We in fact have 67 articles under the umbrella of Category:William Shakespeare, for a Slashdot ratio of almost 5:1. I think we can relax just a little bit -- in the year I've been here, we've made huge strides away from being narrowly focused on "geek topics", and I think we should be congratulated more than derided. We've a ways more to go, but as it stands I think we have achieved a relatively sound balance. Jwrosenzweig 17:39, 2 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Hi Mark. I didn't know what you wanted done with the above discussion but it was taking up 7kb on the village pump and there didn't seem an appropriate place to move it, so I'leave it here for you to decide what to do with it. Angela. 15:28, Aug 3, 2004 (UTC)

University history merge[edit]

Let me know what you need done, and I will do it! Mark Richards 21:33, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)

So be it:

The history (= the list of past versions) of the article Catholic University of Leiden (now a redirect) is the earlier history of (the contents of) the article Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (That is, the past versions of Catholic University of Leiden actually talk about the (flemish) catholic university of Leuven, a totally distinct subject). Reason is that "Katholieke Universiteit Leuven" was once renamed erroneously as "Catholic University of Leiden" then the contents were copy-pasted into a new article about of "Katholieke Universiteit Leuven" so that the history (= sequence of past versions) got broken. I would like someone to merge these histories (= sequences) again, if that is possible. (Not the current articles themselves, they don't need mergeing.)

Once that is done, Catholic University of Leiden can be recreated with a copy of its current contents, that is, a mere redirect to University of Leiden, with no significant history on its own: this I can then probably do myself, of course, but it's better if you do it because otherwise there will be an impredictible delay.

Thanks you. --FvdP 18:23, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC) (Sorry for the added pedantic parenthesis, but I want to make sure I'm understood this time. English is not my native tongue, and I'm afraid parts of the problems come from my misuse of it, and I'm trying to overcome this by being redundant.) (BTW, I suppose you're on holidays... it's not urgent.) --FvdP 19:29, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)