User talk:Mav/archive 15

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User talk:Maveric149 Archive 15 (August 2003)[edit]


The page fumocy that I started was put up for removal during my holiday. You moved it under my personal pages instead, which I appreciate because it was a substantial amount of work to write. Anyway, the reason for removal was that it described a novelty, and "Wikipedia is not" a place for original research. And there is a whole washlist of things that Wikipedia is not - it is much more not than it was when I joined the endeavor.

Disregarding the issues for this particular case, my question now is: who gets to decide what Wikipedia is or is not? How are the criteria established, who enforces them? Who is really in charge on Wikipedia? I've been a contributer for over 2 years, but it is still unclear to me who is "behind" Wikipedia, and I am unpleasantly surprised when things like this happen. -- Tom Peters 17:56, 13 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Community consensus decides and criteria are developed over time, again by consensus. Some things are not negotiable, such as "we are an encyclopedia" and our NPOV policy. Bluntly put, new ideas are not encyclopedic and can not be NPOV since they are inherently idiosyncratic. Our Votes for Deletion page is part of the consensus finding process; things get listed and if there are no objections after a week (which was the case for fumocy), then the page is deleted. However, out of respect to you I moved the page instead of deleting it. It might be the basis of a future PhD, or it might be a load of crook. We simply don't know until/if it is accepted by the scientific community. I also deleted all references to the article because those references indicated that "fumacy" was a valid new idea that was gaining a great deal of currency in the scientific community. But a search for "fumacy" on Google brings up zero results for the term (only 44 hits searching English language pages;, all those on TGP in what looks like random gibberish, but may be some oddball language). --mav
If you googled for fumocy (with an 'o') you would have found more relevant pages besides the Wikipedia entry. But the fumocy has been mostly discussed on a calendar mailing list, which is not easily accessible from the WWW (just as, I might add, peer-reviewed scientific journals). Indeed I and others have been linking to the page from other Wikipedia articles, which is a testimony for the relevance of the concept rather than some publicity campaign. I can understand the motivations for shunning lemmata that are not tried&true. On the other hand I and my list mates find the Wikipedia an ideal medium for consolidating some of the basics and results that have come out of our calendar discussions (which involve some very smart and educated people) - much better than an unedited mail archive or a FAQ under someone's homepage. My point is that this is one of the things in which the Wikipedia surpasses conventional encyclopedias, and the growing list of "Wikipedia is not" is unnecessarily restrictive.
I'd like to comment that I find the "consensus" procedure biased. The policy is "delete unless". A single person can submit a page for removal (even without adding a notice on that page), and if no-one who at some time read or will read the page happens to peruse the deletion page that week, the article gets removed. -- Tom Peters 20:09, 13 Aug 2003 (UTC)
Proper procedure is to place a deletion notice on the page that was listed. This was not done in the case of fumocy so that prompted me not to delete the page outright. But that is a valid point and I will help to enforce a policy that deletion notices must be placed on pages that are listed on the VfD page. But there is also a "votes for undeletion" page to go to dispute deletions. And almost all peer-reviewed journals at least have the titles and short descriptions of their articles, so the word "fumocy", if used at all, would come up. Just because one group works on a idea doesn't mean that that gives them the right to push their ideas onto everybody else.
We need to have independent proof of the existence of ideas placed into Wikipedia. Citing at least a few articles from established and respected peer-reviewed journals or even independent gray research publications would constitute independent proof that this concept is at least marginally scientifically relevant. But even if it is not scientifically relevant it could still find a place somewhere in Wikipedia if other, less scientifically sound but still independent and reputable sources can be cited; such as newspaper or magazine articles. In that case we are talking about a pseudo-science term and it could not be linked from valid scientifically-based articles. --mav
I was disappointed to hear the fumocy page was deleted. I was unaware that it was to be deleted until after the fact. Are contributors to pages notified of deletions? If not, this would seem to be appropriate.
In any case, I would like to comment on some of the points made here: While the term "fumocy" may be new, the concept is not. It is not hard to find information on this cycle of the moon. The problem with discussing the topic, though, is that this cycle was not previously named prior to Karl Palmen's coining the term "fumocy". Just because a concept doesn't have a name doesn't make it unpublished, unknown, or invalid. Wikipedia, though, operates by means of key words. Although the term "fumocy" may not yet be generally accepted, it seems natural to use it as a key word for this discussion.
An alternative would be to republish the article without using this new term, and instead use the phrase "full moon cycle". This cycle is very important if what you are trying to do is to track where the moon is at a given time. Citations for derivations of the formulae in the article were given and are well accepted. Victor Engel 15:48, 14 Aug 2003 (UTC)
See your user talk page. --mav

Thanks! It's good to be home. --Brion 07:23, 1 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Graculus is refusing to believe that talk of creating a History of Germany-style series predated his involvement on the page. It would be great if you could tell him otherwise. Hours of back and forward sniping on the talk page demonstrate that he won't believe me. 172 12:59, 1 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Now that Lir/PP has agreed to shift to a new persona on the Village Pump page, I redirected his temp page to User talk:Pizza Puzzle/New Imperialism (temp). Would you like to list New Imperialism (temp) on the VFD page? I can?t do this myself since there might be suspicions that Lir/PP is being victimized. 172 06:57, 2 Aug 2003 (UTC)

It is a redirect of a page that existed long enough for Google to index it. Per policy it stays. --mav

Hi Mav. You are listed as having expressed an opinion on whether or not Daniel C. Boyer should be deleted. Can you please turn that opinion into a formal vote? Go to Talk:Daniel C. Boyer. Thanks. -- Tim Starling 09:52, Aug 2, 2003 (UTC)

Done. --mav

Thanks Mav. You're right, it does make it look amateurish. I guess I just wanted an immediate response. I just thought that overstating the truth in the holocaust article would have been just as damaging as being in denial of the holocaust. I was just in a hurry to fix the problem. But thank you for being candid, and I will no longer write those types of comments but in the talk pages. Nostrum 08:14, 14 Aug 2003 (UTC)

New Imperialism[edit]

Mav, I know I had a shout at you earlier, sorry about that, but we need to get New Imperialism into some sort of order. The vote decided to have a link from the current version to Pizza Puzzel's version. I think we should uphold this vote by including the link and protecting the page (as much as I hate protecting pages). What do you think? CGS 11:15, 2 Aug 2003 (UTC).

Angela just changed her vote - thus the "list temp" option no longer has a majority. That, combined with the fact that the major complaint against the NI article was its excessive length (which has now been addressed) nullifies a need for any temp page. Simply use the text on those pages as a resource to add more info to NI and its daughter articles. I see no need for a fork of the article at this point and I really don't see the need with protecting NI. --mav

Textbook project[edit]

Hello Mav- just been looking at the wiki textbook project- I'm not clear of the point of this project or how it will differ from wikipedia- won't there be lots of content duplication (then divergence as people edit one but not the other) which is needless? I've got horrible visions of having to re-do all the pages I've done on various aspects of organic gardening for example, which would seem to be appropriate content for a textbook on the subject? Hopefully you can clarify this for me (guess this should go on a talk page at the textbook wiki, but I havn't created a log in there as yet....)quercus robur 11:54, 2 Aug 2003 (UTC)

There's really a textbook Wiki project? I heard that term thrown around thinking that it was only said in a facetious manner. 172 12:03, 2 Aug 2003 (UTC)
There's a link to it at the top of the recent changes page, under 'sister projects' I think quercus robur
Actually it's on the 'recent changes for' line as 'textbooks' quercus robur
Textbooks organize and present information in a very different way than an encyclopedia - esp a non-linear hypertext encyclopedia such as Wikipedia. A Wikipedia article is also supposed to be fairly well self contained and hardly ever part of a sequence. The scope of a Wikipedia article is also supposed to be general - history, uses and all sorts of controversial views on a subject are thrown-in along with a description of the subject. A textbook treatment of the subject will often be more specific - just the description and use with maybe a couple lines given to the history and controversy (think of how a medical textbook would treat the subject of abortion, for example).
Also, a textbook is a, well, book. The Wikipedia software doesn't allow for the creation of Wikibooks, but it can be modified to do so. However, we do not want to have books within Wikipedia - it is completely counter to the non-linear approach of encyclopedias in general and highly hypertext encyclopedias like Wikipedia in particular. Thus a separate wiki is needed since we have special software needs.
A textbook also has the goal of leading a student through particular aspects of subjects in a themed manor and through a particular sequence; there is a specific goal and order in mind. A Wikipedia article has the general goal of presenting all major aspects of a topic - no particular underlying theme or focus.Textbooks also have practice problems and answer guides. Also, in addition to textbooks we also want to create Wikified and annotated source texts (such as the Works of Shakespeare. NOTE: most non-navigational wiki links would go to Wikipedia articles - we do not want to recreate Wikipedia). Hosting complete source texts is really inappropriate for Wikipedia - that is not the role of an encyclopedia.
Wikipedia will be one, perhaps our largest, source of text; but that text will need to be boiled down, re-factored, and placed into a particular sequence. See m:Talk:Science Hypertextbook project for background, Textbook planning, and our Staff lounge (our version of the Village pump). --mav
OK I see where you are coming from, but wouldn't it be more energy economical to create the textbook project within the existing wikipedia, ie, by creating contents pages that link to already existing high quality articles and considering these as 'textbook' contents pages rather than creating a whole new project, which, to be honest, I would find it far to exhausting to recreating the articles I've already submitted to wikipedia and would find far too convoluted to retrace in history terms. I always liked the idea of 'books within books' and always had in mind the idea of creating a definitive encyclopedia of information pertinent to organic gardening and farming WITHIN wiki which is why one of my longer term projects, List of organic gardening and farming topics, is modelled around various existing organic gardening encylopedias i have at home. Rather than reproducing wikipedia content, wouldn't it make more sense to create a 'textbook' structure within the existing wikipedia that creates contents pages that link to pertinent content rathe rthan building a whole new encylopedia? (and will only confuse the average info-seeking web searcher?) quercus robur
Again, a textbook is not an encyclopedia. People do not study encyclopedias to go through subjects - that is just way to tedious and there simply is way too much info in an encyclopedia article (again, think about the medical textbook/abortion example). And the extra work you speak of is exactly what is needed to make a textbook useful - the goal and focus of a textbook is different and incompatible with the goal and focus of an encyclopedia. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia of encyclopedias but it is not a textbook. The average info-seeker will not be confused by the difference between an encyclopedia and a textbook. But this is all a moot point since the project exists and is gaining speed. It also has the full support of Jimbo for the very reasons I already mentioned. --mav
OK, I'm not saying we shouldn't have a textbook project or anything, just that it would be good if there were a way of integrating existing wiki articles that would be suitable rather than having to move stuff by hand into the textbook project, re-upload graphics, etc. Do you know if this would be posible (or desirable?) quercus robur 09:47, 3 Aug 2003 (UTC)
Re-loading graphics may be an issue (as it is already between different Wikipedia language versions), but copying and pasting text should be easy - just make sure to note in the edit summary that the text adapted from Wikipedia article x and if there is a lot of material from Wikipedia then a mention on the book's author's page with link-backs to the articles would be good. --mav

Hail, mighty and powerful Oz[edit]

I submit once again a request for assistance from the puissant and knowledgable Mav. There are two articles, one thalassaemia, and one thalassemia (the former being a British spelling, the latter American. I edited thalassemia, and now it crashes my browser...I can't view it. I'm assuming this is either because I've accidently put something squirrelly in the article, or the mark-up is now too complicated to handle for my puny browser. I wonder if you would look at it and see if you have the power to make it work... then perhaps I can correct/merge the thing. -- Someone else 22:07, 2 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Does it work now? If not then my bag of magic is empty. :( --mav
Not for me. Are you successfully able to view both those articles? If so, I'm reasonably content that I haven't done something seriously bad, and can live with a buggy browser, and I can don my ruby slippers and go home.... -- Someone else 22:22, 2 Aug 2003 (UTC)
That's strange - I don't have any problem viewing either article (Konqueror 3.1). Sounds like something to list at Wikipedia:Browser issues. I'll merge the articles for you. --mav
Yeah, it's getting on to be time to replace my aging computer. Thanks for your help, I appreciate it a lot. -- Someone else 22:34, 2 Aug 2003 (UTC)
I think I found the problem; <sup>o</sub> is probably what was causing your browser to crash. Try it now. --mav
Setting my prefs here to turn off page caching seems to help, I've now seen the page at least once. The greek letters aren't showing up properly, but it beats crashing<G>! Thanks again. -- Someone else 08:09, 3 Aug 2003 (UTC)
No, still crashing, I think it's me running out of either memory or disc space :( -- ah, well, I'm just holding on till the new Macs are shipping, I hope this thing makes it till next month :) -- Someone else 22:43, 2 Aug 2003 (UTC)

(btw, 35k on this page). I'm sure other countries have weather forecast services. Even if the US has the only hurricane centre (I would have thought SE Asia had something), US is still more appropriate to indicate where we are talking about.

I realise that it is possible that Radiojon checked that there were no other national weather services or hurricane centres before chosing his title, so I may have done him a disservice by assuming US-centricity.

However, about 90% of the articles that do not identify the country they are talking about are US (UK responsible for most of rest, Canada never), so I may have jumped to conclusions. Jim.

(copy reply to Radiojon) I may have jumped the gun by assuming US-centricity, but I would still maintain that it is not obvious to a non-American that an article called National Weather Service is going to refer to just the US, rather than national weather services in general, or to the weather service of another country. Jim
I didn't realise that it should have been United States rather than US - apologies
That is why you check in the article - that info is in there. It is a proper noun - thus the capitalization. Nobody is going to confuse that with the general topic of national weather services. I'm moving the articles back - "US" is just plain wrong anyway - if anything it would be "United States" but that sounds weird. If and when another "National Weather Service" turns-up that we want an article on then we can think about disambiguation options. --mav


Hi Mav, could you please look at the taxo-box at Nyala? I'm not sure about the species and the binomial name. I based the classification on , but I've never been very good at biology. -- JeLuF 19:07, 3 Aug 2003 (UTC)

It looks good - since we have a place for the binomial name already we only list the actual species name. --mav

Template syntax[edit]

Remember the template system I told you about? I'm now working on the syntax details. What do you think of the following syntax for transcluding templates:

|Country table
|Population => 80 million
|Flag => Germany-Flag.png
|Anthem =>
|Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit
|für das deutsche Vaterland...


  1. The template is defined as a block whose every line starts with an "|", and whose last line ends with "|__" (or any number of underscores greater than two).
  2. The first line defines the page from the Template: namespace that will be transcluded as a template, with the keys/values substituted accordingly.
  3. Keys/values are separated with the "=>" sequence (single spaces before and after the sequence are trimmed).
  4. Values can be multi-line.

If there is only one key to pass, it might be useful to do a call by value without any name:



I thought about using a HTML syntax, but I wanted something that is quick, not too confusing and which lets the template stand out from the normal wikisource. The syntax proposed above should accomplish this; the only downside might be the need to type "|" before every line (but then again, templates probably shouldn't be used for very large texts anyway).—Eloquence 20:09, Aug 3, 2003 (UTC)

I have to say that I really liked the thought of using :: because it is just so damn easy to type ([SHIFT], press right pinky finger; what could be easier than that?). I always have a hard time reaching the | character without looking (same for the underscore character). IMO, ::, is more wiki. Also to separate subheads from data, how about this;
::Population::80 million
::Anthem::Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit für das deutsche


I'm not sure how valid any keyboard layout based arguments are, given the vast differences in these layouts across countries. The | is usually a bit harder to reach than more common characters, though. My problem with the double-colons is that they're really hard on the eyes -- they look like bird droppings and they do not stand out from regular text. I'm afraid this will lead to readability problems when used with text that has colons in it. Some templates might make the table cell names themselves values that can be changed, so you would end up with something like

::Caption:Size of Wikipedia:

The | may be harder to type, but that's the only way to get its advantage -- a relatively unusual character that stands out, and which is also a good separator because pairs of it form a straight line. That's my rationale at least. Hmhmhm.—Eloquence

It's not that big of a deal since both the :: and the | are much better than HTML. I'm more concerned with results than process. --mav

Resource for day pages[edit]

Mav, There's a very new and I think promising site for birth/death date confirmation that you may want to give a try (you'll want the "This day in history" report.) It'll tend toward the distantly historical and European, but give it a shot and see what you think. -- Someone else 12:15, 4 Aug 2003 (UTC)

That's pretty neat - thanks. --mav

No, I was talking about the vote on dynamic content. Who do you think would support temp 4 but not temp 5? It took me a long time to update temp5, so I'm really annoyed, but I understand why we shouldn't use it yet.LDan 19:07, 4 Aug 2003 (UTC)

The whole "vote" was done in a very wrong way and will have to be re-done correctly. The "results" are very confusing and can be interpreted in several different ways - that isn't good at all. --mav
I've created a new opinion poll - solely for temp5 vs current main. You're all welcome to vote :) Martin 21:32, 4 Aug 2003 (UTC)


What do you think, should I go ahead and implement the __TOCHERE__ feature? The advantage would be that we could put TOCs inside DIVs, and thereby alter some of their properties, esp. width and float, or put them inside other tables. One possible disadvantage is that people might start adding __TOCHERE__ on top because they don't like the post-intro placement. Hmm.—Eloquence 06:09, Aug 5, 2003 (UTC)

Well they can already put the TOC on top by creating a bloody ==Definition/Intro== heading. It would be nice to put a TOC in a div as an option though (but the default position should be as it is now). --mav
I like the idea of a div option; sure people will put it on top from time to time but that can be fixed (an addition to the style guide might be in order). (BTW mav you're up to 43k) - Hephaestos 06:14, 5 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Dear mav, i've been organizing the List of people pages, putting links to years, connecting them to anniversaries pages, deleting duplicates etc. Somebody told me that the years in the lists are not supposed to be linked. Is there any page i can see for refference about what i should/shouldnt do, say a wiki project? With the search engine down i can't find anything. And by the way, do you think this is a waste of time? Cheers, Muriel Gottrop 07:37, 5 Aug 2003 (UTC)

No WikiProject I'm aware of (although Historical anniversaries is an informal WikiProject). I don't know why somebody would object to your linking of years in lists - it seems to make them more useful. Maybe it is a style issue - Please give me an example of a page you worked on. --mav
Ac, and the aa, ab and half of ad (i started from the beggining). Well, it's dull work but a lot better than play freecell in the middle of PhD :) Muriel
Heh. :) There is nothing wrong with that page except for the replacement of "born" with "b." (which is less clear - esp for dyslexics like me). Unless somebody can point you to a set of agreed-upon guidelines, then I say continue. --mav
Okay, let me now if you "hear" something about it... Muriel

Thank you for approving my sysop status. It is sincerely appreciated. Mintguy 22:24, 5 Aug 2003 (UTC)

No problemo. :) --mav

It's that link table problem I mentioned at Wikipedia:Village pump (now Wikipedia talk:Software updates). I should really fix that... After you undelete a page, you should edit it to trigger the link table update code. -- Tim Starling 04:08, Aug 6, 2003 (UTC)

Thanks - I thought I was going nuts after I looked at the deletion log and only saw one entry for Boyer. --mav

Mav, I understand your concern but considering that the said person (I won't say gentleman, as that would insult to gentlemen, of which you are one) has called me rascist, anti-semitic, bigoted and presumably through stupidity took quotes I used to get a genuine anti-semite banned and interpreted them as my views on the person I described in farmyard terms, calling him that term was pretty reserved and controlled. My main worry is not that I may have offended him (type two letters together and he reads some insult into it) but that I cruelly and unfairly libelled an entire animal species by associating them with him. In any case his behaviour does more damage to wiki than a thousand farmyard references. wikilove, FearÉIREANN 10:08, 6 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Mav, why did you remove 1998 U.S. embassy bombings from the main page? Chadloder 18:53, Aug 7, 2003 (UTC)

It is a stub. I'm going to work on expanding Aug 7 and Aug 6 tonight and I'll also be updating all the events listed in Aug 6 and 5 tonight and will add more entries to the Anniv section tonigh as well. --mav

Mav, RE: the "Don Mullins" entry, all of the information there was taken from his own biography which is wrote for the former "Far From Kansas" web page. Likely is is just paranoid about his sexuality being literally published for anyone to see because, as I recall, he was super-paranoid about his personal life. But everything there he openly discussed at FFK performances, so I don't think Wikipedia is any sort of legal danger. He's probably just trying to sound big and mighty to protect himself. *shrug* It's not like he's so very famous that the deletion of his entry in the Wikipedia would be some horrible loss, so I suppose the discretion is entirely up to you. -EB-

I say we should keep it. --mav Koyaanis Qatsi 00:51, 8 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Interesting read. Thanks. :) --mav

I am a new user and you sent me a message. Definitely I'm staying in Wikipedia, Its interesting and a very good idea. Check this link too: [1] 17:08 UTC, 8 Aug 2003

Temp 5[edit]

Now the temp5 columns are of unequal length.  :-/ Koyaanis Qatsi 20:26, 8 Aug 2003 (UTC)

They never were in my browser; that can be fixed anyway by putting all tables in one larger table. --mav
Ok, then. Well, that's not something I'm willing to spend any time on, since the display must vary by browser and resolution. Koyaanis Qatsi 20:33, 8 Aug 2003 (UTC)
I might get around to it later; however I get confused with hand coding HTML (I'm at home right now and don't have access to Dreamweaver). --mav
Is that all it would take? You'd just add a TABLE tag, then a TR, then a TD in front of the first TABLE tag, then at the end of it all, add /TD, /TR, /TABLE. Off to visit a friend, Koyaanis Qatsi (I'll try it later if you haven't when I get back). ... Oh, never mind, I can't--I'm not a sysop.

Mav, I have removed the additional small tags you put in temp5. They make it unreadably small as already discussed on the talk page. I don't know if this is just browser issue but someone else noted it too. It appears half the size of the language links on the current main page. Angela 21:29, 8 Aug 2003 (UTC)

That's odd becuase the current Main Page uses the same small tags. Oh well. --mav

Daniel C. Boyer[edit]

Hi, the redirection into user space to have time for a discussion without edit war is fine for me -- but I'd prefer it (and did so last time, but don't want to do it myself this time, because it could seen as POVed) that the redirect didn't link to Boyers user page, but to a copy of the last Boyer article (say, the last one about the surrealist Boyer) in the namespace of "User:Daniel C. Boyer". I think even DCB sees that there is a difference between autobiography and wikipedia entry, and one of the last revisions of the article (before the last edit war started) could be a good entry. Also last time I put a disclaimer in front of the article, explaining why it is in user space and where it can be discussed. What do you think about such a procedure? -- till we *) 22:28, Aug 8, 2003 (UTC)

The disclaimer it good - it is a temporary measure until we decide what to do with the article. --mav

Catholic sex abuse[edit]

Mav, could you take a look at Roman Catholic sex abuse allegations. I took a look at the article tonight and thought (as I had the first time I looked at it) that it was probably the worst written, monumentally inaccurate and extraordinarily POV article on wiki. For some reason the urge took me to rewrite it. I went through the original article to find things to salvage but I think 3 lines are most were passably NPOV (or could be made so; the rest was so biased they were beyond salvage. Seven hours and 31K later I had written an entirely new article which, including the three lines and some of the old links, much extended. I'd welcome your observations on it. BTW I also renamed it. 'Catholic' could also mean Anglo-Catholic but the article was strictly confined to Roman Catholic so I changed that. The sex abuse cases don't just involve priests (but also nuns, brothers and lay workers in church organisations) so that word in the old title was misleading, and some are still before the courts or could not be prosecuted for time reasons, so allegations gave the scope to cover those cases as part of the broad issue. The old name was as agenda-laiden and POV as the contents. Happy 31K reading! lol FearÉIREANN 03:22, 9 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Sure. I'll take a look at it later (not much time now). --mav

New page[edit]

If you think that Ex-gay is worthy of being listed among the new pages, perhaps you can add it. I'll add some other new pages later.—Eloquence 10:36, Aug 9, 2003 (UTC)

Done. --mav

You'd be proud of me. History of Brazil is now a completed series and no longer a whopping 66 K monster! 172 13:44, 9 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Looking good! --mav

Front page[edit]

Mav, I put the following on the page debating changing the main page. I'd be interested to know your views, lol. FearÉIREANN 22:08, 10 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Part of the problem with the front page is that we are trying to do too many things on it. Why not use it as a more graphically intensive disambigulation page? In other words, it doesn't try to cram in everything but should contain links which a new user can follow explaining what wiki is and how it works. For example;

  • What is wikipedia? - a page telling the history of wiki, when it was founded, how many users it has had, how many articles it has, how the community works, the wiki-list, etc
  • Using wikipedia - how to find things, how to edit, use of usernics, links to naming conventions, an explanation of NPOV, what is OK and not OK on wiki.
  • So you want to start? - a graphic-orientated practical example of how a text is edited, with a sandbox which could be used by a first time user.
  • Category index - containing much of the stuff crammed onto the front page now.

The front page should contain

  • a strong corporate identity through use of font, layout, colour scheme and logo;
  • links to a small number of sample articles and categories;
  • the current top list of current events, deaths, anniversaries with more explanation;
  • links to the above pages or whatever number is suggested, answering the questions What is?, Where is? How do I? All too many users come onto wiki not knowing much about it or how to use it. That is their right, but if you do want to find out factual basics, where do you go right now to find them out? I'm still finding out about procedural pages (eg, on voting) that I never knew about, and I have been here 10 months! Most of the information I know I stumbled on or learned through mistakes or finding a link to something I never knew anything about. A more streamlined set of sources linked to one page (the main one), rather than found through a link to a link to a link etc., would make it easier for everyone. FearÉIREANN 03:29, 10 Aug 2003 (UTC)
Much of that can be incorporated into Temp5 (except the category bit - IMO it is very important to have one category scheme on the Main Page and alternates in a daughter page - just as it is now). --mav

Please see my response on meta:User talk:Brion VIBBER. --Brion 00:03, 11 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Item possibly of interest[edit]

Mav, Since you've taken an interest in the Recall, I've put an item of probable interest at Talk:2003 California recall-- Someone else 07:54, 11 Aug 2003 (UTC)

That was printed in a gay magazine in the 1970s, but I can't remember which. "There are more where that came from," as the saying goes. Koyaanis Qatsi 09:18, 11 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Hitchcock's birthday today. Koyaanis Qatsi 07:45, 13 Aug 2003 (UTC)

I wasn't mentioned in you comments on the VFD page. What, you don't respect my opinions? 172 22:16, 13 Aug 2003 (UTC)

JT's opinions were presented, not yours. All you did was refer to JT's statement. But I do respect your opinions as far as historical accuracy is concerned (however, we often disagree on how to present that information). --mav
Oh, okay, thanks. I feel better now. It was just easier to quote JT on the VFD because he's a more forceful writer. 172 22:52, 13 Aug 2003 (UTC)

It said "in general." To me, this meant "not just anybody." マイカル (MB) 22:50, Aug 13, 2003 (UTC)

It needs to be more clear then. But Wikipedia:Selected Articles on the Main Page says no birth/deaths at all (that needs to be updated since we do allow 100 year milestone birth/death listings). --mav

Mav, your comments on the debate on Temp5 were grossly unfair. We have been voting for ages on temps, and all the votes were so ambiguous and unclear at the end we knew as little about what people actually want as at the beginning. The vote on temp5 was a classic. 17 endorsed it. 19 said no but in a way which could be interpreted as saying 'we want something else, just not this.' 8 unambiguously endorsed the current main page. All that produced was the likelihood of Martin producing another temp and another until people got fed up voting them down and a small hardcore remained, voted through one by default and his decision, with only a clique behind it, would be adopted.

You must have a very low opinion of me to think that I would behave in such a manner. Martin 09:41, 14 Aug 2003 (UTC)

All I did was to organise a proper professional vote, to give people the simple option of deciding do they want to keep the current front page or replace it, if replace it, when and with what. If those elementary questions had been asked in the first place, we would have been spared weeks of pointless voting that failed to clarify what do people actually want. And we will be spared endless hit and miss Temp votes in the future. I would have thought you of all people would have recognised the use of finally ending this pointless re-voting on new temps. There is every likelihood that people might either decide to keep your design, or adapt it slightly. For you to tell the community that they cannot vote to decide what they want, but most go through the endless charade of voting down what they don't want, I find astonishing. And BTW I am now getting emails from people who agree that this is the vote that should have been taken in the first place but who cannot vote because the link to the vote on the Recent Changes has been removed and they can't find the page to cast their vote. I've relisted it on the Recent Changes. FearÉIREANN 00:00, 14 Aug 2003 (UTC)

You have no authority to call another vote. There was no consensus to do so. I also find it very odd that all these mysterious people tend to email you every time there is some dispute and they all agree with your position. If they had conviction they would make their views public. --mav

I have had FOUR emails, 2 AIM messages and 1 message on my talk page. How they choose to express their views is none of your business. I don't know any of the email senders so it is quite possible that they are newbies who when Martin took the message of Recent Pages didn't know where to go to express their views. But since you don't believe me see User talk:jtdirl. I'm emailing you one of the emails. What has come over you all of a sudden, Mav? You are normally the one who works with people, not acting like an bossy teacher with a toothache. I've never seen you show such contempt for everyone who doesn't do what you want. FearÉIREANN 19:13, 14 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Because what you are doing is counter to a very important core Wikipedia concept; that we seek to form broad-based consensus on issues that appeal to the great majority of users. Unilaterally calling a binding vote that one person set-up cannot be allowed. Period. I'm not taking issue with the goal of the vote or your intentions (both good, IMO), I'm taking serious issue with your methods. --mav

Mav, in my time on wiki I am contantly finding debates where one person calls a vote unilaterally; Eloquence has called at least one vote. Martin has called votes. No-one ever questioned their right to do so. I was the one who tried to sort out the farce that was Martin's vote on Temp5; suggested that the vote be widely heralded so people knew about it, suggested that a clear date for the end of vote be stated, suggested a methodology for calculating the result, pointed procedural flaws in the vote, reverted unilateral attempts by two users to decolourise the page. I have seen plenty of votes on wiki, almost call called by one or two people, and not a single one was described as invalid. And I have not seen a single vote where more efforts have been made to contact people. I left messages on the pages of most of the the people who had showed an interest in the topic and had a draft letter to go onto the wiki list when a computer crash wiped it out. And plenty of people have come to express opinions even after Martin removed the Recent Pages link twice. Your attitude seems bizarre in the circumstances. I expect in the interests of consistency you will now go to the vast majority of votes that have taken place and which were called by one person, and retrospectively declare all of them null and void. If you don't, then there can be no question of claiming the Main page vote is invalid, without looking ridiculously inconsistent. FearÉIREANN 20:27, 15 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Two words: voter fatigue. And the fact that nobody protested those other votes indicates that there was a consensus that a vote should be held. In this case there was a protest and was backed-up by several other people who also objected to the vote. Obviously there was no consensus to have a vote and it is therefore a non-binding straw poll. --mav

O great wise guru of Mount Wikipedia, I need your advice. :-)

As I am now starting to do national selections on the Eurovision entries (see:United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 1967) I will come into some difficulties with earlier years, as alot of information is either not known, not annouced, lack of information or just lost in time never to be known again. anyway more to the point, what do you think I should do when a blank piece of information comes up for example:

The UK in 1957 had 3 semi finals, alot of the song titles are unknown but it is known who sung in each semifinal. Do you think in the table I should leave it blank, put a "?". -fonzy

If the information is not available, then just say so. That alone is a good thing for readers to know (some of them may have hardcopy sources that they could use to fill in the information). --mav

Let me simplify this whole dispute. If my sysop status is revoked that will be tantamount to banning. I promise that I will not continue editing in disgrace. If you people would rather deal with Nostrum than someone of my qualifications, it's the community's loss. I'll just devote this time to efforts that would be far more constructive and appreciated. I tend to edit and write articles while doing other work. This just spares me from a wrenching distraction. 172 05:36, 15 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Along with power comes responsibility. I feared that you could not handle that responsibility correctly and time and again you have been in the gray area (if not crossing a couple lines along the way). It simply isn't good for Wikipedia to have an Admin that is in the gray area so often. I was, and still am, at a loss on why you wanted to be an Admin so badly to begin with. Sigh... I do hope you continue to contribute to our history section; you do create great copy (even though we often disagree on how to organize the resulting text). I very much respect you and your academic ability and I do wish you best no matter what you decision is. --mav

Aside from the comment on MBs page, which was solely and appropriately retaliatory and reciprocated by his actions, where's your evidence of me going into the "gray area?" It sounds like total, unsubstantiated suspicions. It also sounds like you read a bunch of one-sided wining complaints about me not being nice enough to that poor newbie vandal without even analyzing this situation objectively. I expected much more out of you.

BTW, user Zog, that hard-banned racist vandal, just made a comeback as User:ZOG. I caught him right away and banned him after he exposed his IP. He hasn't come back, so I'm getting reassured that it isn't one of those shifting AOL IPs. Crisis averted. He's not going to fill up ban pages, vandalism in progress pages, and the mailing list again with complaints because I just acted quickly. You and others should appreciate that I chose to avert vandalism rather than encourage vandals.

However, in the spirit of unsubstantiated suspicions, with which I've been thoroughly victimized, I think that MB might have some sort of strange affinity with Nostrum's POV, prompting him to attack me for articulating the case for his ban. It's also possible that he's getting back at me for criticizing him for the way he dealt with Paektu, another vandal. Nostrum and MB just drummed up all these charges and other users are repeating them. What exactly did I do other than propose Nostrum's banning, which so far has been supported by more users than those who oppose it? Nostrum and MB are attacking me personally, and it seems like there's now an avalanche of criticism by users who haven't worked with me much and aren't really aware of the Nostrum controversy. 172 07:40, 15 Aug 2003 (UTC)

BTW, I just found this comment. Think about the powers of your words: "I am quite surprised by what I am reading here. 172's edits that I have seen have always been good. If some people I trust, like mav, think the decision to demote 172 is appropriate, then I will accept it. Otherwise, I would like to keep the case open for a while. olivier 07:37, 15 Aug 2003 (UTC)" See, when one user personally attacks another it creates a domino effect or an avalanche. I have done nothing wrong, but it looks like I'm going to have to go. I'm frankly sick of a place where personal attacks by someone who comments on Pat Robertson’s penis size in articles overshadow the credibility of months of substantial contributions. This is just a chaotic rumor mill. 172 07:48, 15 Aug 2003 (UTC)
You are constantly in the middle of one edit war or another and have used your sysop powers too autorevert people you are having an edit war with (this only should be used for clear cases of vandalism). Others have mentioned shady protection use by you. So the biggest issue is that you are in edit wars so often; that in itself combined with the fact that you are an Admin has the appearance of impropriety (which you occasionally feed by going into the gray area). I'm also well aware of the force of my opinion, so I have not expressed it fully on the de-admin section. I'll try to put down the fire a bit though. --mav
Incorrect. Charges of my abuse of sysop powers have only come from conflicts pertaining to Nostrum (on Catholicism) and Lir/Pizza Puzzle (on New Imperialism). And am I the only user involved in edit wars? You and JT come to mind as just as often involved in edit wars as I am. I can't help it that these two trolls are targeting me for some reason. Why are the vandals right and why is the user acting in good faith to stop their games wrong? 172 08:12, 15 Aug 2003 (UTC)
Hm. Let's see. Without looking I remember Martin and Graculus were also involved on the side opposite you in the last NI edit war. So let's not try to paint the "all trolls against you" picture. And the issue with the Catholicism article was not if you were right or wrong, but how you conducted yourself (re-protecting the page was not cool). And when was I in an edit war over an article last? --mav
Didn't Graculus and I complete the article? Once PP was out of the picture our correspondence was very cordial. We are now on very good terms. And BTW, I don't appreciate your charges that I had a strange desire for sysop powers. Administrator's status is often awarded to users who have far less seniority than I had when I was awarded them and often to users who are far lower on the list of most active Wikipedians. I'm on this site often, meaning that I'm capable of spotting problems often and responding to them, as I did tonight with Zog. 172 08:36, 15 Aug 2003 (UTC)
In the middle of a HUGE debate on whether or not you should be an Admin you asked two developers on their talk pages to promote you and then you privately pleaded with Jimbo. It was only a fluke that Jimbo read your email before he read mine and Axel's - otherwise you would have never have been promoted in the first place. --mav
Axel? When have I ever worked with him? Moreover, it sounds like your getting a little arrogant with your own influence. You are not a developer and your status is equal to all the other 100 or so admins. My months of activity, the number of my contributions, and my qualifications put me in the top tier of administrators. I have no guilt over the fact that your unsubstantiated suspicions weren't considered. And BTW, I had the strong backing of other contributors who actually spend more time on fields of articles with which I work. 172 08:48, 15 Aug 2003 (UTC)
That's funny. Jimbo said exactly the opposite, and you said yourself that my mere opinion about you was disproportionately hurtful since I am so highly respected. You also pointed out a statement by another user that supported your de-sysoping just because I indicated approval for such an action. And Axel reads Recent Changes too and can easily see all the trouble you cause. The last thing you should be doing at this point is burning bridges. You should note that I haven't fully endorsed your desyoping; yet. --mav

Pietro Carnesecci appears to be a mis-spelling - Google has no hits for that name, and tons for Pietro Carnesecchi. I didn't move or touch the page (other than to fix a mistake in the identiy of Pope Clement), because I am very touchy about renaming anything now. The only wrong spelling in the page itself is the one at the very start. I'm mentioning this to you because you're the only person who's worked on the page; I'd suggest moving it, fixing the pointed on the Carnesecchi, and then deleting the Pietro Carnesecci forward. Noel 21:12, 15 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Thanks for noticing that. Page moved. --mav

Image link[edit]

Is it ok if I put your image link here: Wikipedia:Brilliant_pictures#List_of_images_by_fellow_Wikipedians_-_please_comment ? Fantasy 11:05, 15 Aug 2003 (UTC)
That's fine. Thanks :) --mav

You didn't answer my question, Mav! Is it because it showed the inconsistency in your stance? FearÉIREANN 00:32, 16 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Look in the latest archive. Your attitude is not appropriate. --mav
I'm sorry if what I wrote above sounded accusatory. I hope you know I do still respect you enormously, even if I think your judgment call in this case was wrong. wikilove and wikipeace, FearÉIREANN 03:07, 16 Aug 2003 (UTC)
Wikilove and peace to all. :) --mav

Yeah man, The Panama City and Asuncion were listed in the August 15 Anniversary page, so I thought it'd be acceptable. I'll have to update those articles.Poor Yorick 01:10, 16 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Hey Mav, I have big news: I turns out that MB, who has been leading the attempts to revoke my sysop status, has been a personal friend of Nostrum all along. Weeks ago, I was invited to protect Catholicism from an ongoing edit war and POV vandalism. Uninvolved in the editing of the article and having received an invitation, I acted in good faith to protect the page; yet, my reputation hasn't recovered since. Now it seems that the coordinated attacks on my 'abusiveness,' promulgated by MB and Nostrum, and rehashed by other concerned users, was bogus all along. Allegations can be self-perpetuating, you know. You hear allegations and that clouds the thinking of even the far-minded.

The most serious charges against me have been the protection of the Catholicism article from Nostrum and my attempts yesterday to urge a ban on Nostrum. But my reactions to Nostrum were no different from past reactions to other users guily of adding absurd POV rants, such as Zog months ago and JoeM days ago. JoeM, for instance, was subject to auto-revert with less of a hearing than Nostrum ever got. I think that MB owes me an apology and the controversy over my sysop status needs to be seriously reconsidered in light of the revelations of this severe conflict of interests. I don't think that months of substantial contributions by a professional academic should be overshadowed by a kid who was protecting his vandal buddy all along. 172 01:11, 16 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Sigh. "kid who was protecting his vandal buddy all along" You have learned nothing and continue to burn bridges. --mav
So what? I'm telling it like it is. This is 100% true. 172 02:21, 16 Aug 2003 (UTC)
BTW, I see that you're telling another user above that his attitude is inappropriate. By and large, you are a fair-mined contributor, but you'd be even easier to work with if you toned down your holier than thou righteousness. You are not omnipotent and subject to the limitations of your knowledge and perspective just like everyone else. You accused me of some awful things privately in confidence. I have forgiven the charges, but you, just like everyone else, are too capable of coming to the wrong conclusions. We all are since we are all inherently constricted by a limited amount of information. 172 02:30, 16 Aug 2003 (UTC)
It would be real nice if you took your own advice and not automatically assume newbies making bad edits are vandals and subject to immediate banning. They are simply not aware of our policies of NPOV and quality, if you would give then a chance to learn our ways then maybe you will find out that they are not vandals after all - just ill-informed newbies. No wonder you think vandals and trolls surround you. --mav
I agree. But I also agree that you should try not to come to conclusions until you have all the facts. I did not call for Nostrum's banning before his reappearance, although if you take a look at the Catholicism talk page and the Catholicism page history, you could see that the case could've been made then. I called for the banning after his return, after he defaced the Holocaust article and vandalized Pat Robertson. Then, I established the User talk:Nostrum/ban page. So far, more users agree with a banning than disagree. And the creation of these user ban pages was not unprecedented; it's a tactic I learned from the successful responses to vandalism by users such as Zog and Paektu. I wasn't heavy-handed, but just outspoken, and thus an easy target for vilification.
Why couldn't MB do the honorable thing of disclosing at the time of the Catholicism edit war, with which I wasn't involved (I was merely invited to protect the page), his relationship with Nostrum? Perhaps had MB vouched for him at the time then we would've given Nostrum the benefit of the doubt, which was not unlikely after a wave of trouble-making involving Michael, Adam identities, Zog, DW, and others. Why couldn't MB e-mail other users and me, reassuring us that Nostrum's intentions are good, and privately urge me to instruct him? You are a mature person and you resolved a heated dispute with me by e-mail, not by crusading on page after page. Don't you think that his action to wage a campaign to have my sysop status revoked on behalf of his friend was inappropriate? He handled this situation wrong. 172 04:02, 16 Aug 2003 (UTC)
IMO, you all three handled it wrong to varying degrees. But you are the old timer and also an Admin, so you should have handled the situation better. --mav

re US, yes, unless it's obvious (like all the delta blues singers). Jim

Cool. --mav

Brillant pictures[edit]

Hi Mav, I was just bringing order to Wikipedia:Brilliant pictures visible, great picture you have there! ;-) Fantasy 11:12, 16 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Thank you! :) Although only one is mine (I'm planning on replacing that one with a 100 ° panorama made of 3 different photos). --mav


Do you want to know why I'm frequently involved in edit wars? It's because I've been working on history articles and articles dealing with contemporary politics. That's it. These are inherently contentious fields. Anyone trying to maintain proper encyclopedic standards will be dealing with partisans. That's why JT and I stand out as users frequently involved in edit wars. According to your profile, your fields of expertise are biological sciences and geological sciences. Had I been capable of contributing to these articles, which I am not, I would fade into the background and my reputation would fit my actual personal characteristics. I'm actually quite mild-mannered and quite polite. In the real world I'm not regarded as a "bull."

JT has been involved in edit wars too. And if you took the charges against him seriously you would regard him as an apologist for the Roman Catholic Church, a Communist historical revisionist, an anti-Semite, a hardline Likid partisan, a Brit-loving Irish-hating Tory, an ultra-nationalistic IRA sympathizer, a staunch Australian Republican, and a monarchist. I am merely one of the most active contributors who solely focus on history, contemporary politics, and social sciences. Please, take into consideration the plight of contributors who deal with contentious subjects. From time to time we're going to run into grotesque violations of POV, factually inaccurate rants, and uncompromising partisans.

In fact, Tannin was one of the best contributors to the history articles until he started focusing on completely different topics when he realized how bitter and contentious the disputes with ranting partisans could get. Please, quit castigating me as someone looking for trouble. A historian is going to get trouble whether he likes it or not around here. 172 16:26, 16 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Let me add a world about your influence. It doesn't rest on your infallible judgment and omnipotence. It rests on the fact that you were often the first major contributor with whom many of us started working. Although after nine months I have a good deal of seniority, you are practically ancient, having started when Wikipedia was practically an unsettled frontier. You are the second most active contributor. When you're online, you usually stand out as having the most edits on the recent changes page. You are practically an institution around here. You're also not usually involved with writing major controversial articles, but adding factoids and copyediting here and there. So it's easy for you to act as the guardian of Wiki-love and as a neutral arbitrator. In contrast, my focus is extremely limited compared to yours, and thus I have worked with far less people.
I'd appreciate if you could take your trusted, good-intentioned, but not necessarily infallible, judgment to the debate over my sysop status and put that circus to rest. Let me go back to being productive like I was before MB and Nosturm decided to wage this campaign against my administratorship. With all this time I could have written a major article, such as New Deal or the History of Brazil series. But instead, I have to respond to ancient charges that have already been resolved months ago. For crying out loud I'm responding to charges stemming from my role in the Communist state dispute between JT and Fred Bauder, in which my role was actually secondary! Let's get that 172 adminship page fast-tracked for the VFD too.
Perhaps I was one of the many contributors who were wrong to conclude that Nostrum was here to deliberately be malicious. You have to admit, however, that MB treated me very unfairly by not privately reassuring me about Nostrum's intentions and not disclosing his relationship with Nosturm. However, I am willing to forgive this. But I'd like him to admit that he treated me very unfairly but choosing to campaign against me for days, going from page to page, user to user, and digging up one old charge after another. His over-arching goal was to defend a friend and he chose a wrong way of doing it. Someone who has never worked with me, and never really shown an interest in my articles, has probably irreparably damaged my ability to collaborate with others. 172 17:01, 16 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Well I have to admit I try to stay away from contentious topics unless I'm asked to intervene. That's why I stay away from topics I otherwise have a lot to contribute to, such as; evolution, global warming, abortion, gay rights and homosexuality-related issues. I also tend to stay away from these topics because I know that I have a hard time being neutral on these topics (especially the gay-related topics). But even though you do tend to stay within topics that are more controversial, you should still try to tone it down a bit, not revert so quickly, ask questions on talk pages before making drastic changes, and try, really hard not to create articles above 28 KB (this makes the articles difficult to edit and absorb by others and IMO is a major contributing factor to many of your edit wars). --mav

When RK comes back I want to nominate him for sysop (again) I dont ask for much, but I ask that you support his nomination. Sincerely-戴&#30505sv 23:06, Aug 16, 2003 (UTC)

Sorry, but I can't support RK's nomination as Admin. He has very consistently demonstrated an extreme hostility against newbies who show even a slight bias he does not agree with. He is, however, a great, if sometimes troublesome, contributor. --mav

Trust me. Consider that responsibility brings its own rewards. Gotta run -- campaigning. -戴&#30505sv 23:18, Aug 16, 2003 (UTC)

Campaigning? It looks more like trolling. --mav

Sorry for missing that guideline. I read it before it was updated mid-July. However, I don't understand why it needs to have a notice as well? This makes a lot more work. You need to list it, add the note, then remove the note if it is not to be deleted as oppsosed to simply listing it. Surely whoever is removing it from VfD should delete it there and then, which means there is no need for a note. Angela

The note is to inform the person who created the article that their work is being considered for deletion. --mav
When did this become a rule, and where was it discussed? RickK 01:15, 17 Aug 2003 (UTC)
See your talk page. --mav

Thanks Mav:

Although, you may delete all the images that I uploaded at the beginning. I don't mind; I've discontinued uploading because of all the hindrances. I've focused on just researching and writing for the timeline of video games and other articles.

As for the name election, I've discontinued with that too. Although the proposal is ethically just, Angela is also correct in that the organization currently just does not have the software and technical support to ensure that an election and vote by all Users are done properly (since they can cast multiple votes per multiple User names or IP addresses). Also understanding that this is a non-profit organization, the site has a much more prioritized agenda to do with the allocated funding than to pursue this topic further. Perhaps in future it may become viable. Although if the administrators are interested in how creative the community can be, there can be just a name competition, with only the administrators as judges.

I am concerned on how the Logo election is going to be handled since the same issues are present in this as well (all Users are able to cast multiple votes, as mentioned above).

Continue to make this website better, you guys rock.

Thanks again,

Tonius 01:26|2003.08.16

You make this website rock too! :) --mav

Hello Maveric149 -

Thanks for the reminder about VfD notification re Guts. I appreciate your being diligent in spotting apparent errors. Here, the story is a bit different. I actually did include the VfD notice (in the correct wording, no less). Shortly afterwards, the article I had VfD'd was renamed Guts (anime) and a new article - with no history - was created with the previously used name Guts. Perhaps you could suggest to User:ZeWrestler a better way to handle this sort of aituation. Aug 17 User:NuclearWinner

I posted this at Wikipedia talk:Sites that use Wikipedia for content but you didn't respond, so I am posting it here:

I've made a few changes to Wikipedia:Copyrights in anticipation of updating our copyright notice on the bottom of the page. I purpose that the new notice read "All text is available under the terms of the GFDL. See Wikipedia:Copyrights for details." Right now the link at the bottom links to a page which redirects to Wikipedia:Copyrights, but being that the GFDL is intimidating to most to read, people are less likely to click on the current link and read the terms of copying.

I would like some feedback before purposing this on the mailing lists. Thanks. (Please post replies to my talk page) MB 18:02, Aug 8, 2003 (UTC)

I think it is a good idea. -- mav

Thanks Mav. You're right, it does make it look amateurish. I guess I just wanted an immediate response. I just thought that overstating the truth in the holocaust article would have been just as damaging as being in denial of the holocaust. I was just in a hurry to fix the problem. But thank you for being candid, and I will no longer write those types of comments but in the talk pages. Nostrum 08:18, 14 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Hey, we all make mistakes; esp when we are new. More on your talk page. --mav

Still plugging away at it, are you? Koyaanis Qatsi 23:27, 17 Aug 2003 (UTC)

I can't get enough! Sleeping is such a waste of time! :) --mav

Mav, we already had an article on Gold Standard. That's why the page was redirected. 172 05:37, 18 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Please see my comments on Talk:Gold Exchange Standard and Talk:Gold standard.
I'm in the middle of something right now. I'll take a look after work in about 15 hours. --mav

In case you didn't spot it, Billbell has made a comment on the Village pump which appears to be regarding the changes you made to various date pages. Angela 13:22, 18 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing me to that. --mav

Hi Mav

I've been looking for statistics and possibly graphs about the rise of Wikipedia. I thought I'd seen some earlier. Could they be put in the FAQs for example - perhaps start up a new Development FAQ? Not sure if it's appropriate, but there could also be info about Wiktionary - my guess is that that's going much slower. When I last checked there seemed to be around 130,000 articles. A few other obvious questions include:

  1. What wiki software runs Wikipedia?
  2. Is the Wikipedia wiki software available?
  3. How many active Wikipedians are there?
  4. Are there any plans for future improvements? (e.g to allow multiple servers, to enable WYSIWYG editing, enable automatic spell checking of articles, whatever .... )

I'm currently looking at Open Source systems, and Wikipedia must still be one of the largest in terms of info. It'd be interesting to see the facts and figures as it goes.

Enough to be going on with I think. -- David Martland 13:25, 18 Aug 2003 (UTC)

  1. MediaWiki. Also see:
  2. Yes. It is licenced under the GNU GPL (note this is different than the GNU FDL that Wikipedia is under). See above link to download the software.
  3. Current estimate for the end of August is 2425; 1262 of these from the English Wikipedia. See [2] and the Wikipedia Statistics - Sitemap
  4. Yes on all counts except auto spell checking. But a spell checker may be included in a future WYSIWYG/off-line editor. But that is longer term. Shorter term we will be balancing load over several servers and setting up ways to have near-real time mirrors in several different parts of the world. We are also going to add WikiBook and annotation features for the Wikibooks project (this won't be enabled for the other Wikimedia projects).

Hope this helps and sorry for the late reply. --mav

Hello again Mav, my friend (if i can call you friend :-s). I don't suppose you have any suggestions for: Wikipedia:WikiProject Clouds (or any pictures). -fonzy

You may call me your friend, but I unfortunately do not have time to check out your new WikiProject (barely have time to eat and sleep right now) . :( --mav

OK :-).

I'm sure this will cause you to roll on the ground giggling: check out Talk:Sharaku. Noel 04:36, 20 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Thanks for the support[edit]

Hi Mav,

It was already some weeks ago, but i nevertheless wanted to thank you for the support in my application for Adminship. I will try to do my best to make the people know that Admins are here to help. If you ever see me doing someting, that you think, an Admin should not do, let me know immediately. I look forward to a long time of good collaboration (for humankind ;-)

Thank you very much, Fantasy 08:30, 20 Aug 2003 (UTC)

PS: Hope to see you back soon with "full power" ;-)

No problem on the nomination - I call things as I see them. Hopefully I'll be back first week of September. Lots of work till then. --mav

Nupedia articles-in-progress licensing status?[edit]

Hi Mav,

I asked a question on the Wikipedia talk:Nupedia_and_Wikipedia about whether articles-in-progress on Nupedia qualify under the GFDL, or are they like the Nupedia "Chalkboard". I also asked at the Wikipedia:Village pump but I got no response (the question has since been moved to the Village pump archives). Some of these articles have been languishing since 2001 and it would be nice if it were possible to use some of them as a basis for articles (or at least good stubs) right now. I searched the Nupedia website, mailing lists, history etc. and there appears no mention whatsoever of the copyright or licensing status of the articles-in-progress on Nupedia. I was hoping that you might have some insight. Thanks. -- Lexor 02:21, 26 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Hm. I don't know, but I'll ask somebody who does and then get back to you. --mav
Thanks. So, no news is good news? Or maybe not. ;-) --Lexor 10:37, 1 Sep 2003 (UTC)
I just checked out the wikipedia-l list archive and saw the thread: I noticed that the last poster, posted the URL to the Nupedia license (which of course is the GFDL), is this the last word on the subject? --Lexor 10:41, 1 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I think Project Sourceburg should still be set up, and on it we can place lots of pointless data, documents etc. Documents like constituions which can be linked form Wikipedia. Data like weather data for the past 100 years (or something) this will nto be useful to the average man, but for someoen doing reserach on weather paterns it will be. It just needs more man power and for people to go get the data and put it in, the licenseing will probably be different. I know your busy at the moment so don;t expect a reply yet but what do you think of trying to get it up and running as at teh moment its quite dormant. - fonzy

that was quite funny to see you removing the software patent link from the main page for not being relevant. On the french wiki, the debate is raging because some want to put a big banner "Wikipédia supports free software" across the main page (I am hardly joking) or even replace the main page with a huge free-software supporting message. Curious he ? Anthère

Relevance wasn't the issue; the article was not updated nor listed in current events. --mav
It really pisses me off Jessica Lynch is considered to be more important than software patents. -- 10:37, 29 Aug 2003 (UTC)
How is that relevant to this thread? The software patents article was not updated and it was not listed on current events. Until those two conditions are met, it will not be listed on the Main Page. So instead of whining why don't you do the updates that are necessary to link the article from the Main Page? --mav

We have quite few. In cars more and more often, but not in appartments or houses. The climate is temperate enough that we would need air conditionners only a couple of days a year. In truth, it was damn hot, but bearable to someone in good health. I have been living in AZ; over there, that is necessary. Not in France.

What happen is that old people loose the capability to realise they are losing their fluids too quickly. They don't drink enough, because they don't feel thirsty and after a few days, excretion is impaired, wastes accumulate, and body metabolism works bad, and have trouble to evacuate the heat. Solution is to drink more of course, and wet yourself to lower temperature. That is what we moms do with the kids over 40. But it seems that what is obvious to a mom toward her child is no more obvious to an old man or woman, and not even obvious to the adult children taking care of elders.

About a week after it got pretty hot, many old and diseased started feeling wrong (my father in law did so, we fed him only soups and yogurts for a few days), and then real bad. There were some incredible cases of people calling the medics for their old parents, and the doctors finding an old person just over 40°C and nothing special had been done to lower the heat at all and to rehydrate them.

In retirement houses, there were less workers than usual, because it is holiday times, so not enough people trying to make them drink, keep quiet inside, close all windows, curtains and such and wait for the evening to move again. And not enough to give them bath to cool down the body.

So, when all these people got real sick about 1 week after it started, they all got to the hospital at the same time, and then, it was sometimes too late or there was perhaps not enough people to assume the work to save them. There were not enough time and place to bury them. Too numerous.

On top of this, because of the heat, many cities had awfully high ozon pollution levels, which didnot help. My son being a heavy asthma sufferer was challenged. In some cities, strong speed limits were set, sometimes people respected them. Others didnot give a damn. Add the numerous fires (hence smoke), some of them just around cities, most due to human stupidity (lighted on purpose). Add the very unusually dry spring and summer on top of it, with many animals dying, no right to use water for anything else than home stuff in many department (hence, most gardens were yellow and dry, instead of perphaps providing a welcome shade)

Did I also mentionned that we nearly stopped our nuclear facilities providing the necessary electricity to make the air conditionner work because of the water level too low in rivers to properly lower the plant reactor temperature, and that many fishes died from the high water temperature in particular since the plants were exceptionally allowed to release water at higher temperature than usual ?

It is kinda easy to accuse the governement. Yes, it should have reacted sooner when the first unusual deaths occured.

But, in truth, this is just the result of the fact we don't know how to listen to our bodies and to react intelligently to the outside conditions. We wait for the government to tell us "be careful, it is hot outside, here is what you should do, and not do" instead of taking proper decisions by ourselves. And yes, some rely on technology to solve the issue.

If it's hot, stay inside. Don't move, keep quiet, close the window, drink a lot, take showers or sink in a lake, don't forget the babies, the kids, the sick, the elders. They can't take care of them themselves ? help them. Think of just helping. Just wait.

That is just what happened. Curious he ?. That made 11500 people died. Probably one being my husband god mother, over 90, in a retirement home in Paris.

I'll have a technical question about press releases btw, but I'll write privately :-)


Thanks for the long reply. The whole thing is tragic and I now understand. --mav

Hi Mav. I don't have access to email, so I'm not up to date on the discussioon about wikibooks. But I've had an idea. Does wikibooks aim to produce discrete textbooks, or textbook-type articles? If the former, do we have one wiki per book, or many books in the single english wiki? If one wiki holds several "books", why not have have books in diffferent languages coexisting? We can split them apart later, or we could look into ways of making the user interface language a user-set option. Just a thought -- it would certainly solve the current problem :) -- Tarquin 20:26, 30 Aug 2003 (UTC)

We have over 20 textbooks right now in Wikibooks. These books are or aim to be full-brown e-books, not articles. Mixing English with other languages is a mistake in an actual project. This does not need further explanation since the goal of a project is to create content while the goal of meta, for example, to to bind the Wikimedia community together. Having different languages all in one wiki does not serve the goal of creating content since it creates a confusing mess in RC and in the database itself. Why not do the same thing for all the Wikipedias? --mav

well you already have several distinct projects in a single wiki. I was just trying to think of ways to make the non-english speakers feel more included. -- Tarquin 20:55, 30 Aug 2003 (UTC)
What? Where do we have more than one Wikimedia project in a single wiki? Wikipedia is a project that has many different language versions. Wikibooks aims to be the same thing, but there are currently technical problems that complicate this right now. Wiktionary is in far better shape for internationalization and yet they aren't internationalized yet. --mav
I meant that you have 20 separate books. Why not have a 21st in french, for example? -- Tarquin 22:33, 30 Aug 2003 (UTC)
I've already explained this on the mailing list. But two words; technical problems. --mav

Can you answer my questions/comments on Talk:Main Page regarding the listing of births and deaths? If we're going to list each event once a year, what's stopping us from listing someone's birth once a year? --Jiang 05:07, 31 Aug 2003 (UTC)