User talk:Pointillist/Archive 2009

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Queen's Counsel

If you want to ask me to do something, please post the message on my talk page rather than my user page. Thank you. --Eastlaw talk ⁄ contribs 01:59, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

  • Thanks for expanding the citations so quickly and sorry about posting the suggestion on the wrong page. I think this section will need some more attention - I've put some notes onto the talk page. - Pointillist (talk) 15:56, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Kew Panoramas

Is monochrome Pointillism cool?

Thanks for the compliment - much appreciated! Patche99z (talk) 19:35, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

By the way - the treetop walkway one is of course by Dillith - I just moved it to a more prominent place. Patche99z (talk) 19:53, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
  • I suppose I was walking in your footsteps on monday (I got to Kew at lunchtime once it became clear that South West Trains would be a tad stretched) but I didn't have the intelligence/experience to attempt a panorama like that! In the end I managed some shots I like (e.g. Syon Vista with snow falling, right) but nothing useful for wikipedia, except a minor shot of a Monkey Puzzle tree looking very architectural. Such a shame that most of Chiswick House is closed right now - it would have looked superb in snow. - Pointillist (talk) 22:10, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
Well, they are both great shots - well done! There was plenty of opportunity that day, and there were many people out with their cameras. I have been taking an occasional panorama for some time now, but normally of much narrower subjects, which simply will not quite fit on one wide angle shot. Dilith's work is something of an inspiration here - the treetop one is amazing, to be so clear when the subject is (moving) trees. Another point - you mention taking photos "useful to Wikipedia", which is something I think about a bit - many of my submissions are simply record photos, hopefully useful, made as well as I can, but by no means art. I suppose that your Sion vista is not useful in an encyclopedic sense, which is a pity, since it looks great. And many of the photos I see on Wiki are not very useful in that they do not contribute to knowledge of the subject. I am afraid Dilith's treetop pan is more or less in that category, because it does not show the walkway itself very clearly. I guess I am a bit picky there, since it conveys the feeling of being up there. How do you judge? Patche99z (talk) 11:43, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Brilliant Idea Barnstar

Barnstar-lightbulb3.png What a Brilliant Idea Barnstar
Your idea at Wikipedia:Notability/RFC:Reevaluation#Objectors_to_the_Proposal is so scathingly brilliant. Elegant and simple in the extreme. It would be a tremendous boon to Wiki to have newcomers know from the outset that their contributions are welcome. I hope to see you pursue it through to implemantation. Schmidt, MICHAEL Q. 21:39, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the barnstar

Thanks for starring my barn :) Equazcion /C 21:45, 13 Feb 2009 (UTC)

Well merited, IMO. You didn't carry over the adrenaline rush from the notability re-evaluation pages and you got the tone right. That combination passes the "Manners Makyth Man" test with flying colors. Good luck with your future interactions with that editor. - Pointillist (talk) 22:23, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Hazel Genn

Many thanks for the message. Am currently inundated with irritating midterm assignments, but when I get round to it I would be happy to have a go at putting together a short bibliography. BartBassist (talk) 02:40, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

King's School, Worcester

Many thanks for copyright help with logo. You're not an OV, by any chance, are you? BartBassist (talk) 12:00, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

No, I'm afraid I'd never heard of the school before. I had your Talk page on my watchlist (re: Hazel Genn) and when I saw the copyright warning I just thought that one good turn deserves another. I prefer not to write about things that are too close to home anyway (e.g. I've no connection with Prof Genn)—I learn much more by really having to work at understanding something and getting proper references for it. - Pointillist (talk) 12:28, 19 February 2009 (UTC)


Thanks for the barnstar! You brightened my day right up :) Karanacs (talk) 22:00, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

You deserve it! Sorry it doesn't fit your user page very well but I guess it can go on your awards page now you've seen it. - Pointillist (talk) 22:27, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Fred Goodwin


Thanks for your support. The admin that reverted and just assumed vandalism really p***ed me off. I have added a sentence to the preview about the public, political and media opinion. I would welcome your input leaky_caldron (talk) 18:57, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

could it be considered as WP:SYN? I've used sources referring directly to Goodwin's greed and/or hubris covering public, politial and media. There are many more leaky_caldron (talk) 19:07, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Seems OK to me - well done for bouncing back so positively! I've endorsed it on the Fred Goodwin talk page too. If need be, I will roll up my sleeves and find more sources, but four should be enough.... - Pointillist (talk) 22:56, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
many thanks for the barnstar! It's encouraging to know that work is appreciated!!!! leaky_caldron (talk) 22:32, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

pension "scandal"

Have put my two-pennyworth on "scandal" FWIW on the Fred talk page. Cheers. Ironman1104 (talk) 10:03, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for doing that - I'll leave it a while to see what other points of view come up. All the best - Pointillist (talk) 11:07, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Your latest edit has stirred up a bit of an edit war - dare I say controversy! Can you take a look at the talk page? I have only reverted to try to get back to a stable position and to try to avoid a minor revert war! leaky_caldron (talk) 21:04, 9 March 2009 (UTC)


Thanks for cleaning up the vandalism on my user page. Themfromspace (talk) 11:26, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Thumperward's RfA and newpage patrol

I am able to quickly patrol large numbers of pages by the use of several cunningly-devised software scripts. They enable me to mark-as-patrolled all articles created by a given username. If someone has created +30 articles and a random sampling of 5 are all valid, then it is reasonable to conclude that the rest will be likewise. Patrol is not for checking if articles are perfect, it is for checking if they are valid articles.

The reason I did not oppose the other RfAs for having no entries in their patrol logs is because I was doing other stuff. I would have opposed them had they been brought to my attention.

It's useless to do NPP without clicking the button. DS (talk) 18:54, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Well, DS, thanks for coming over here to talk about NPP. I've also read the reason #54 comments. I think it is a tragedy that you are having to devote so much time to this task, I can imagine that it is tremendously frustrating and thankless, and I can see that it would be good if other editors would take up the burden. If for tactical reasons you want to introduce this line of thinking into future RfAs, I see where you are coming from, and it might make a difference if you just insert a boilerplate para asking other editors to support only those candidates who have visible patrol log activity. After all, 14 out of 2009's successful candidates did have pre-mop patrol log histories—I checked.
However, if you are bulk-approving e.g. 30 articles based on a sample of five, there we part company. If the NPP process doesn't find the obvious inaccuracies in Suicide Tuesday (DJ Hyper album) that I mentioned, I doubt it is worth flagging the article as patrolled. Who's going to come back and check it later? Anyway, good luck with your burden, I do feel for you. - Pointillist (talk) 19:25, 16 March 2009 (UTC)


Pointillist, a) I've been an administrator longer than JulianC has. b) If you don't like how I'm handling newpage patrol, you're more than welcome to help out yourself. DS (talk) 23:16, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

I also advise you to check out JVbot's whitelist. DS (talk) 23:18, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
Also, I don't feel "possessive" about NPP. I would be very, very pleased if more people would get involved. Please, I ask you. Get involved. DS (talk) 23:28, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, Dragonfly is far more experienced in the area than I am. Though it may seem like a trivial task, new page patrol is one of the most under-appreciated and difficult tasks on Wikipedia. Without DS' assistance, we'd likely have several thousand more low-quality articles. I do a bit of NPP from time to time, and I regret that I do so little. –Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 00:29, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
I certainly don't think the task is trivial and I have nothing but sympathy for DS. His comments in the reason #54 section give the impression that he might be feeling excessively responsible for the backlog, not in a "possessive"/WP:OWN sense, but as a lonely burden. That isn't good. I don't expect I'd be able to make much difference to the backlog, though: I'd probably want to check each article too thoroughly. - Pointillist (talk) 12:23, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, I've done my first four patrols—took me almost an hour, though. I just can't stop myself from checking and rewriting.... - Pointillist (talk) 14:19, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Reached fifty-four patrols now. This has given me a much better appreciation of why DS would like all RfA candidates to show NPP experience. However, I still have reservations about the DS's block-marking approach. We may have to agree to differ on this one. - Pointillist (talk) 18:42, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

countries in 1851, 1852, 1853, etc.

Some nasty people might say that this editor is POV pushing, simply pushing France because all the articles just list one country, France. I suggested to the editor that one article be worked on not just listing a lot of articles with the country, France. Hopefully, this person will be productive. Spevw (talk) 20:30, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

Ah well, now s/he has received our gentle guidance maybe they'll get fixed in due course. I'm not a fan of this sort of list anyway: they typically lack citations, and even if they do, the references are hard to maintain. IMO the wiki software should support references for categories, so lists like these could be generated automatically. - Pointillist (talk) 20:48, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

Peer review of Oxbridge article

I'm broadly happy with your approach so far, but I am keeping an eye on it, and have semi-reverted one change so far. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 11:04, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Your revert was probably correct, on reflection (wood=trees-1). Thanks - Pointillist (talk) 11:16, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

"worried you might not be amused..."

Worry not. The irony caught me just a little by surprise; much like the surprise of those around me startled by my unsuccessfully stifled half-chortle/half-snort when realization set in. ;-) As an aside, re: your query on the MSF talk page about PD and GFDL images, I'm looking in to it. Communications have been sporadic. Xenophrenic (talk) 17:44, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

That's a relief! I was so entertained by your user page that I couldn't resist "improving". Then the implications hit me like a bucket of cold water... o-m-g, what if he's not amused? ...quick, undo, wipe forehead, sigh. - Pointillist (talk) 17:51, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
Nuvola apps edu languages.svg
Hello, Pointillist. You have new messages at MichaelQSchmidt's talk page.
You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.


Re your message, Hi sorry for the late reply, it seems you left that message on my archived page which I rarely check for new messages. However, I have reported the user to WP:AIV who knows if they'll do anything about it. Cheers! --DFS454 (talk) 09:58, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Dr Sushil Kumar

See my reply at User talk:EdJohnston#Proposed deletion of Dr Sushil Kumar. Thanks, EdJohnston (talk) 03:51, 15 April 2009 (UTC)


Thanks for all your help! Jonathan A Jones (talk) 17:02, 23 April 2009 (UTC)


If it wasn't a joke, WP:RFC and WP:RFAr are options open to you. Removing my talk page comments and calling me "discredited" is ridiculous. - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire - past ops) 02:11, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Thistle/Thistlethwaite vandalism

Richie, there's been some vandalism (see examples below) from and inserting comments about someone called "Thistle" or "Thistlethwaite" who is apparently a student at Caius. The two IP addresses are blocked until next Saturday, and one of the admins involved thinks they are in Caius's address space. If that's correct, and if there is a student of this name at Caius, then the vandalism here might be a type of malicious action against the student, which could have real life consequences. As you have admin experience on Commons, and such a strong computer science background, I thought I should let you know of this possibility. - Pointillist (talk) 16:41, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for letting me know about this vandalism spree. The IP addresses are definitely used for members of Caius, but it will be hard to find out who it was. There is an undergraduate with surname Thistlethwaite currently at Caius. However, I don’t think there is anything I can do about this right now. Please let me know if you have any suggestions. — Richie 22:07, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for replying so promptly. The urgent concern is whether a living person is aware of being attacked via Wikipedia and is suffering in silence. If Caius has a central point for pastoral care (e.g. it might be the Junior Dean) it would be appropriate for you to alert him or her to the issue, in case the undergraduate needs support. It would also be perfectly reasonable for the Caius IT people, and maybe the JCR president, to broadcast a general warning about permitted IT uses. I expect that any concerns you raise would be taken very seriously, though of course you should explain that there is also a possibility that Thistlethwaite is positively involved in the vandalism (in which case the matter is much less urgent). I will stay involved and I'll also tell User:Jonathan A Jones about this interaction – maybe he can give you better advice as he is currently a Fellow at BNC Oxford (i.e. G&C's sister college) and will have a better feel for pastoral interventions (you can talk to him privately by email if necessary). - Pointillist (talk) 23:10, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't think I have anything helpful to say, but Richie is of course welcome to get in touch if he wishes. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 07:13, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. Pointillist (talk) 07:17, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Titan Arum

Thanks for your compliment - much appreciated! I was lucky to get the photos, though - I was chatting with one of the students working nearby and he told me it was in flower. They were well worth seeing. Patche99z (talk) 17:02, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Apollo 11 Launch2.jpg
Your Featured picture candidate has been promoted
Your nomination for featured picture status, File:Apollo 11 Launch2.jpg, gained a consensus of support, and has been promoted. If you would like to nominate another image, please do so at Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 03:17, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for nominating this! Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 03:17, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Mea culpa. I started promoting the wrong one, then went back and fixed it, but missed that mistake. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 14:59, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Cat delete

I'm sure it was a 'good faith' creation, but I had to put this Category:Wikipedians interested in Anglo-Irish nationality for deletion. There is no such nationality. purple (talk) 01:51, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

That's fine. - Pointillist (talk) 09:54, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Re: BEAR closure

Well, even so, there still would have been overwhelming consensus (both at the MfD and WP:ANI) to keep the page. –Juliancolton | Talk 18:31, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the prompt reply. I've added a tedious teacher-knows-best homily at "This metaphor could mean more than you intended" which should take most of the fun out of using the tag anyway. We can debate minimum elapsed time to WP:SNOW when it really matters. All the best - Pointillist (talk) 22:41, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Sounds good. Regards, –Juliancolton | Talk 22:44, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Re: International reactions

Well it wasn't that difficult really so I didn't have to try very hard - it's everywhere! Plus I needed to prove its significance so it could be posted on the Main Page... but thank you! :) --candlewicke 18:25, 23 May 2009 (UTC)


According to your user page, you assume good faith. My edits to that article were correct, and not vandalism. -- (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 09:49, 26 May 2009 (UTC).

I'm sorry if you were offended. Your copy reads...

The colleges are mostly kept separate from the rest of Cambridge by 10ft high walls, often with razor wire or broken glass on top. They remain completely apart from the local communities, except for a carefully selected underclass of cleaners and gardeners who keep things in pristine condition, and security personnel who keep the commoners out.

...which isn't the detached neutral tone expected in an encyclopedia, is it? BTW at Oxbridge "commoner" means a student who is not a scholar, which is obviously not what you intended. If you must use emotive language perhaps hoi polloi would serve your purpose better? But I think you are barking up the wrong tree anyway. Colleges are like Halls of Residence—places where young people live and keep their treasured iPods etc. There has to be some sort of security, and I doubt that the broken glass was put there to stop academically ambitious outsiders from consulting college libraries or listening in on supervisions. - Pointillist (talk) 11:16, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

NowCommons: File:Chiswick Eyot.jpg

File:Chiswick Eyot.jpg is now available on Wikimedia Commons as Commons:File:Chiswick Eyot.jpg. This is a repository of free media that can be used on all Wikimedia wikis. The image will be deleted from Wikipedia, but this doesn't mean it can't be used anymore. You can embed an image uploaded to Commons like you would an image uploaded to Wikipedia, in this case: [[File:Chiswick Eyot.jpg]]. Note that this is an automated message to inform you about the move. This bot did not copy the image itself. --Erwin85Bot (talk) 00:50, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

File:Green Goddess PGW248 emerging from Wellington Barracks.jpg is now available as Commons:File:Green Goddess PGW248 emerging from Wellington Barracks.jpg. --Erwin85Bot (talk) 13:21, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
File:Boat Race at Barnes Bridge 2003 - Oxford winners.jpg is now available as Commons:File:Boat Race at Barnes Bridge 2003 - Oxford winners.jpg. --Erwin85Bot (talk) 20:12, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
File:Green Goddess PGW248 about to emerge from Wellington Barracks.jpg is now available as Commons:File:Green Goddess PGW248 about to emerge from Wellington Barracks.jpg. --Erwin85Bot (talk) 13:51, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Talk:Disclosure of expenses of Members of the United Kingdom Parliament

Hi there. I wonder if you could look at the discussion on this article when you have a bit of time. I don't think you have contributed to it. There is a bit of a swell of opinion to include the word scandal in the title. Having considered this in the past for Fred Goodwin I would welcome your thoughts. The specific discussion is at Talk:Disclosure of expenses of Members of the United Kingdom Parliament#Article title part 2.

kind regards and enjoy your holiday! leaky_caldron (talk) 16:23, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Welcome back! We now have a scandal. UK parliamentary expenses scandal leaky_caldron (talk) 09:50, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Congratulations on all your hard work on that one - it looks like there was a lot of material to shape. - Pointillist (talk) 13:07, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Your note on my page

I am not arguing - only asking to interpret the existing references fairly. The 'misconducts' are crimes - which is clear even to a layman. No need for mentioning law libraries or asking for new references.-- (talk) 01:01, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Order of original titles of books vs. translated titles

You made an edit to an article of mine in which I cited the title of a German book, followed by the English translation in square brackets. You changed it so that the English title appeared first, followed by the original German title. Is this the agreed way of doing this in the Wikipedia, or is it just your personal opinion about what is "appropriate"? The point is that there is no existing English-language book whose title is the translated name of the German (at least not yet, since I am working on a translation of it). That is, the book you referred to DOES NOT EXIST. However, the German book very well does exist. A reader that does not know German would, of course, want to know the translation of the title, so it is appropriate to provide a translation. However, I find it much more logical to put the original title first, since it actually exists, followed by a translation that is merely explanatory, which is what parenthetical comments are for. In fact, I believe that this is the style that translators are taught. Are you following a standard Wikipedia style? Thomas.Hedden (talk) 01:00, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for your message, Thomas. I imagine you are referring to the Walter de Haas edits on March 20th? My main purpose there was to fix the red links some previous author(s) had created by failing to "inter-wikify" links when translating the de.wikipedia article. I don't have a strong opinion about the order of titles, and as both forms are in use on the English wikipedia (e.g. in Goethe#Literary_work and Herman_Hesse#The_First_World_War) do go ahead and adjust to your liking. It would probably make sense to adjust "Friends of Nature Club" (Gesellschaft der Naturfreunde) likewise. Grüss - Pointillist (talk) 12:39, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Brasenose BC

Even better than that, I can give you your own copy! It would be good to have a better BNCBC page, to match that of their earliest rivals. Let me know if I can help. Regards, BencherliteTalk 12:19, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

What a star! I looked for it in Google Books but only found "snippet" and "no preview" versions. I will add this to my "to do" list. Thanks - Pointillist (talk) 12:30, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
You might find the 1898 history of use; there is also (if you can find it) Volume II, Part II of the 1909 monographs, which the introduction to II.I says has a piece about rowing ( has Vol I and Vol II Part I only!) BencherliteTalk 20:04, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

POTD notification


Just to let you know that the Featured Picture File:Apollo 11 Launch2.jpg is due to make an appearance as Picture of the Day on July 16, 2009. If you get a chance, you can check and improve the caption at Template:POTD/2009-07-16. howcheng {chat} 00:47, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for barnstar

Never been a "defender of the wiki" .... is there a coloured hood and a hat? anyway thanks. I was thrilled to see "we" were right and that the No 10 site was so arrogant that when you press "contact us" it assumes you want to moan at the government and not tell them their web site is wrong. Thx. Victuallers (talk) 13:45, 2 July 2009 (UTC)


In light of the recent events I think it might be a good time to make a new project proposal at councils and organise a project which concentrates on trasferring content from other wikipedias but in a may which is much more efficient and can done with no community concerns. If I make a proposal in a day or two can you comment as I fele we both share the same view that it is important to transfer content from other wikipedias but done adequately as part of a project coordination. Dr. Blofeld White cat 19:04, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

I'll happily comment when you make your proposal. As you haven't gone public yet, here are some of my instincts:
  1. I think there is—or should be—only one Wikipedia. Language differences shouldn't create silos of information: en.wikipedia is already edited by contributors from multiple states, likewise es.wikipedia and de.wikipedia. So I believe in the goal.
  2. However, I don't like hard-to-verify articles, especially if they are about BLPs (that includes articles about scandals that refer to living people), so unreferenced stubs are worse than useless and I'm not comfortable with any article (on en.wikipedia) where most of the references aren't in English. I'd want those references to be policed by contributors who knew what they mean. That means either using English references (I'm trying to do that on Ludwig Marum) or ensuring that non-English references are policed by people who understand them.
  3. I share the opinion that watchlists are often the principal line of defence against vandalism, so when a BLP article isn't on anyone's watchlist the risk of vandalism is significantly increased. A translator isn't going to watchlist every page s/he translates.
The bottom line is that I don't believe in translating articles from other wikis to create a "fork" that must be separately maintained and supervised. I'm already concerned that the current "anyone can edit"/"everyone's a good guy" model could fail quite catastrophically, partly because the present population of active editors will eventually have better things to do than analyse subtle vandalism but also because the number of articles to patrol is growing much faster than the number of editors. We quite rightly tell new editors that they have to produce high quality well-referenced articles from day one, but that means they don't get the quick hit satisfaction that today's star editors used to get from excreting low value stubs in the old wild west days.
Anyway, I do have a nascent counter-proposal. As it happens early in my career I worked with the thought leaders in "value added republishing" using SGML/XML markup, and IMO that approach would help with this problem. For example, if we could agree global infobox syntax for politicians (and for actors, artists, authors, journalists, musicians, scientists, etc) then those infoboxes could be mirrored on every other language wiki entirely automatically through software. The "publisher" site would take care of maintenance and supervision, and each "subscriber" site would populate a default page using the machine-translated infobox. The default page would also contain links to the original article directly and via Google and Babelfish translators. The goal of transwiki-sharing would be largely satisfied without any need for high-maintenance translation, and there would be a stable starting point for custom-translation of the most important articles.
What do you think? - Pointillist (talk) 23:21, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

That is "exactly" how I feel. I've long thought of the wikiproject as one and I can't believe there isn't even a project on here running to trasnfer cotent methodically and more efficiently and ensuring standards ar eup to scratch upon creation. I really think we need a big project on this and contributors from various languages to help work as a team. The odd translation every few days by a single editor is never going to meet our objectives and while quality is of a great importance so is content and achieving our goals of distributing knowledge. There needs to be some actively trasnferring content on a daily basis but doing so in a much better way than before. Dr. Blofeld White cat 08:29, 25 July 2009 (UTC)


Thanks Pointillist for your help, good job...Modernist (talk) 11:10, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

Speaking of spam

Regarding [1], I still don't get it. However, that doesn't mean I am capable of knowing what you intended either. I've investigated, and I think the entire meaning from my perspective was lost on the A34 and I will simply never understand. So, rather than invite further embarrassment upon any of us, I'm chalking it up to a case of this. ATB to U2. Sswonk (talk) 05:15, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Now I'm intrigued: you're from Massachusetts, but you do your editing on the A34? Welcome to sunny England, in that case. I'm sorry if we were separated by a common language there. I'm an Americaphile—been up the Willis Tower, entertained in the John Hancock Center, walked from Times Square to Battery Park, lost my way around San Jose (really) and Philadelphia (scary), been amazed in Anaheim, mildly disappointed by the Space Needle, humbled by the history of Harvard, bowled over by the beauty of Boston (and eaten at Legal Sea Foods)—so I'll try to do better next time. - Pointillist (talk) 09:33, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
The A34 allusion came to me when I checked the location of the IP you complimented via the geolocation link at the bottom of his contribs page: Southhampton. I imagined the complete blank I was drawing was related to some inability I had to catch the meaning of your communication with IP, something like a dog trying to catch a car on the route between Southhampton and Oxford. Admittedly obscure.
I have not been to England, but did spend over a week on the continent at the end of secondary school. I confess to being an Anglophile tempered by both German and Irish ancestry. Having general appreciation anyone born in the 60s gained through the popularity here of the Beatles, I think I really started to get into England when, as a teenager, I bought a paperbound coffee table volume called NME Encyclopedia of Rock. I don't know what happened to the book but I can still see the pages and visualize a style very similar to Wikipedia, with a small photo and summary similar to infoboxen at the start of the articles. From there I discovered Small Faces, Fairport Convention, Pretty Things, King Crimson and things less well known in the US at the time like early Pink Floyd. I went on ultimately to collecting OS maps and reading Shakespeare, which combined with the fact that both parents were English teachers shapes my interests today. I occasionally listen to Kate Bush, which is a pretty hard sell to many including my wife.
Your comment about Philadelphia made me grin with recognition. I have never spent time there but traveled through the airport twice in the early 90s stopping between Virginia and Toronto, and to this day recall the harsh, and I mean harsh, contrast between the Philly airport and Pearson, especially related to the grins and politeness at the Toronto airport. Of the five big east coast cities, Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, NY and Boston, Philly is the only one I have not actually visited, NY less frequently than the other three and having lived in or within a city of Boston for over fifteen years. One thing I will say: if you love American things, and don't want to piss me off, never use the term Boswash to describe this area. It is a coinage of a French urban scholar of the early sixties that I believe has been usurped by eurotrash and people from far away in this country that is totally baseless as a usage and a description. I don't like the original theory either. My comments at the talk page will give you insights; I think it is an attempt to mimic Benelux but reminds me of hogwash and is likely the pet name favored by this gentleman (delay/ads precede 6+ minute comedy video). How would you like to be known as someone who lives in Lonbirman? I didn't think so. So, yeah, Wikipedia is great for all of us to be able to communicate about the language this way, and I will certainly try to do better as well—it's a great pursuit. Sswonk (talk) 16:00, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for that - I can't stop grinning now. "Bosny Balti" sounds like an Indian dish you'd eat in Lonbirman, "Phillywash" could be mild detergent for lingerie, etc. Mind you, his original "Megalopolis" term isn't much better either, is it? - Pointillist (talk) 17:07, 27 July 2009 (UTC)


Hi. In light of recent events and community concerns about the way in which content is transferred I have proposed a new wikiproject which would attempt to address any of the concerns and done in an environment where a major group of editors work together to transfer articles from other wikipedias in the most effective way possible without BLP or referencing problems. Please offer your thoughts at the proposal and whether or not you support or oppose the idea of a wikiproject dedicated to organizing a more efficient process of getting articles in different languages translated into English. Dr. Blofeld White cat 12:55, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Thank you...

...both for the barnstar, and for the kind words. They are greatly appreciated.

I just needed a couple of days to back off and cool down. Though this really wasn't a spur-of-the-moment's been a while brewing, and things just came to a head with the ANI. Ah, well...I'm back, now, and don't intend leaving any time soon. :-)

Once again, many thanks. --User:AlbertHerring Io son l'orecchio e tu la bocca: parla! 02:28, 28 July 2009 (UTC)


Thanks for the sausage box. Now I know where to get a quick snack. Thanks again. Enter CambridgeBayWeather, waits for audience applause, not a sausage 22:08, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

I've been tempted to feed you a couple of times before—you seem to trail good feelings behind you. Cheers - Pointillist (talk) 22:13, 28 July 2009 (UTC)


Hehe, thanks for noticing that [2] - apparently if you forget to subst the requested move template it just displays the ~~~~ rather than your signature... strange. ~ mazca talk 17:53, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Hahaha, timed perfectly with your post to my talk page. Cheers ~ mazca talk 17:53, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
A perfect storm of overlapping edits! - Pointillist (talk) 17:54, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Who am I?

Damn I'm forgetful. I have the photo on my camera but I'm in a hotel just now, so I'll not be able to upload it until tomorrow. Thanks for the reminder. Alan16 (talk) 22:21, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

I'll upload the picture sometime tomorrow afternoon - if you have a Commons account would you be able to upload it there if I put it on Wiki? Thanks, Alan16 (talk) 22:31, 1 August 2009 (UTC).


Much appreciated. Tom Harrison Talk 00:23, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

No idea what the above was for, but I sincerely echo the sentiment: many thanks for the unexpected barnstar. All the best, Steve T • C 22:22, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

Your barnstar was for seriously hard work on that article, which had been a red link on Richard Asher for too long. Much appreciated. My exchange with Tom was recognizing his smart thinking when some editors were getting hot under the collar (the edit comment on this diff): good for collaboration but nothing like your effort. - Pointillist (talk) 22:34, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

Climate table vandalism by Special:Contributions/

Thanks I hadn't noticed that. All I saw was that the table and the source didn't match up. I'll keep an eye out and deal with them if they continue. Cheers. Enter CambridgeBayWeather, waits for audience applause, not a sausage 12:37, 5 August 2009 (UTC)


Thanks for your help. I'll keep your changes. They look good. How can the Tmbox be aligned to the left, on the same line as the boxes above it and the TOC? Debresser (talk) 09:21, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

I'm afraid I don't know how to force the left-alignment. I tried adding the row |style = float: left; to the template, but it had no effect. Indeed, when I inspected the message box with Firebug, the style instruction wasn't in the HTML for the box. You could try asking at either the technical village pump, or the Tmbox talk page. This might be a deliberate restriction to avoid browser-specific hiccups. - Pointillist (talk) 10:17, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

IBDP improvements

Hi Pointillist-I noticed the improvements you made on the IBDP page and was wondering if you could give us some advice on how to improve that page in particular, and the IB series in general. When you have a moment, please respond on that talk page so that the other editors can benefit as well. Love the hexagon, btw. Cheers! La mome (talk) 21:45, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

You're very kind, but I'm afraid I don't have an opinion about how to improve it "top-down". I mostly go for the detail, trying to ensure clean prose and good sources, then that leads in the direction of improving consistency, which may bubble up to the top sometimes. Thanks for the kind words about the hexagon was such an obviously important graphic that I felt I should upload something even if it isn't a work of art :-) Pointillist (talk) 16:38, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

IB series

Just wanted to drop you a line to thank you for the work on the IB series. I'd wanted to change the template all summer and never knew where it lived, so it's nice to see that's done! Truthkeeper88 (talk) 01:50, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

I'm happy to help. Templates live in their own "Template:" namespace, so you can find them using the search box: just enter (e.g.) Template:IB to find the template (typically a page of documentation), and then click the "Edit" tab to modify it. The IB template was simple but some are horribly intricate and easily broken, so do tread carefully.... Cheers - Pointillist (talk) 16:47, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the info. Yes, I've seen some intricate templates and most likely wouldn't need to change one, but as we'd changed "IBO" to "IB" in all the articles, it was a glaring discrepancy that had been bothering me. Anyway, again, nice work on the articles. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 16:56, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks again for your help on the IB pages. I hope you will continue. I never would have guessed that decapitalization would start off such a firestorm! The little buggers comment cracked me up. Thanks for the laugh.
La mome (talk) 00:51, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Unused bitmap once SVG has been created?

{{helpme}} When a PNG or JPG bitmap image on en.wikipedia has been replaced—for months or years—by an SVG version on commons, and the bitmap isn't used anywhere, should I request that it be deleted? If so, what is the correct way to request deletion? Does it make any difference whether the bitmap was created by me (e.g. File:Boat Race map 700px.jpg) or someone else? BTW {{Db-f8}} doesn't apply because it is only for redundant files of the same format. - Pointillist (talk) 22:34, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Hi Pointillist. WP:CSD#F8 ({{db-f8}}) does not apply to duplicate images (in fact, the file type does not have to be the same, but deletability is to be addressed on a case-by-case basis) on Wikipedia but rather applies to duplicate images uploaded to both Wikipedia and Commons. This image you describe could be deleted deleted under deletion criterion F1 as being a duplicate of an image already on Wikipedia in an improved format (svg in this case). Feel free to let me know if you have any other questions/comments or are in need of assitance. Cheers, FASTILY (TALK) 23:15, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for that though apparently F1 insists on "in the same format", too. Anyway, in the spirit of scientific method, I'll try nominating it using F1 and see what happens! Cheers - Pointillist (talk) 00:55, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

AfD nomination of List of schools offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

Ambox warning pn.svg

An editor has nominated List of schools offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, an article which you have created or worked on, for deletion. We appreciate your contributions, but the nominator doesn't believe that the article satisfies Wikipedia's criteria for inclusion and has explained why in his/her nomination (see also "What Wikipedia is not").

Your opinions on whether the article meets inclusion criteria and what should be done with the article are welcome; please participate in the discussion by adding your comments at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of schools offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (2nd nomination) and please be sure to sign your comments with four tildes (~~~~).

You may also edit the article during the discussion to address the nominator's concerns but should not remove the articles for deletion template from the top of the article; such removal will not end the deletion debate. Thank you. TerriersFan (talk) 22:51, 17 August 2009 (UTC)


You may be interested in this article and the related AFD. Colonel Warden (talk) 09:13, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

IB Diploma Programme

Hi Pointillist,

Could you please visit my talk page, read and comment on my recent section about the IB Diploma Programme.

Many thanks, --Candy (talk) 21:32, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

  • Thanks for inviting me to comment, Candorwien. Though single-purpose accounts are sometimes helpful to counter inbuilt biases by other editors, it certainly isn't desirable that IBDP article edits are in effect being policed by the foul-mouthed rants of an individual editor who hasn't contributed elsewhere. I don't intend to make further IBDP contributions until the community has clearly censured such behavior. - Pointillist (talk) 22:48, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Bed management

I wonder whether File:Bed_Management_cycle_outline.svg could be re-formatted as a vertical illustration? It's hard to make it wide enough to be legible without being so wide that it will cover nearly the entire screen for people using small monitors. (No rush, no obligation, but if you think it's a good idea, then please feel free to do it sometime.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:47, 15 September 2009 (UTC) (who is not watching this page)

Do not remove comments

If you retract a statement, you use <s> </s> ... especially when someone had already replied to your comments. Removing them otherwise creates inappropriate gaps in conversations. (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 18:14, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

OK, thanks for your advice. - Pointillist (talk) 20:54, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
I thought you were the expert but you are getting advice, too! I came here to thank you for the Parr correction of the JFK template. Now I know about this transclusion thing! I suppose the typing and then seeing your own typing in print is too tempting, which is why that other person wrote that Parr killed JFK. For that, there's one's own page and sandbox to cure that urge! Thanks again for your village pump answer and vandalism correction. Suomi Finland 2009 (talk) 14:55, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
I was happy to help and I am always learning here, too! - Pointillist (talk) 20:49, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Need your opinion on some photographs

Hi. Can you provide you opinion on this matter? Thanks. Nightscream (talk) 01:55, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Pointillist, thank you very much for the retouching on the Daphne pic! (If only I knew how to do that myself!) Btw, how did you manage to remove the old Daphne pic from the Commons? There are some old versions of photos of mine I'd like to get rid of in favor of retouched versions, but don't know how to do that. Nightscream (talk) 15:23, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
I think you mentioned that you have a copy of Photoshop? I did that retouching by selecting various parts of the scene and copying them into new layers before working on them. Selection is a slow process: you may be able to start using the magic wand but you normally have to adjust the area using the elliptical selection tool, especially when dealing with sitters' hair and clothing. You can then use your selection to create a mask which prevents changes from affecting other areas of the image (e.g. only her chemise needed desaturating). Really it is all very tedious and you soon get into the habit of minimising potential problems when taking your original shots! Having prepared a new version you navigate to the Commons page and click the "Upload a new version of this file" link which you will find at the foot of the "File history" section. The more recent version is—once the cache has been updated—the one displayed in Wikipedia articles. - Pointillist (talk) 18:40, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Okay, I wanted to upload a new version of this image, but I could not find any "Upload a new version of this file" on the History page. Where is it? Nightscream (talk) 21:43, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
On the file page there is a section headed "File history". You'll find the ""Upload a new version" link on the last-but-one line of that section. If you have any problem, please let me know and I'll be happy to help. - Pointillist (talk) 21:51, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Hi, its been a while....

Thanks. hope ur well. I agree. I'll just keep my head down and leave it to the experts! Leaky Caldron 23:16, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

I just thought you'd made your point perfectly, and it would spoil the inexorable Julius-Caesar-spiral-of-doom effect if you came back to debate the detail. Taking the longer view, I hope you stick around here as a contributor rather than as a casualty of one of Wikipedia's seductively tar baby disputes. - Pointillist (talk) 23:31, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. I think it takes a while to learn the art of “leaving a message” and not coming back for more, especially in content disputes for example. As far as the increasingly routine drama is concerned, I’m fortunate to operate in a different sphere to OR and most of the other notables who crop up regularly. He’s evidently a brilliant article writer, but he possesses a antagonistic style in disputes which would test the patience of a saint. A bit like The Medusa Touch.
The same combatants crop in most of these disputes, so I’m not sure whether the collateral damage is actually that great. It has the potential to be extremely damaging and is certainly wasteful of time and energy.
I’ll stick around and do bits here and there, no reason not to!  ;) Leaky Caldron 00:04, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
That's smart thinking. I'm busy elsewhere at the moment so I do more lurking than editing, but FWIW it looks like you're doing OK here ;-> - Pointillist (talk) 00:14, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

Invitation to participate in SecurePoll feedback and workshop

As you participated in the recent Audit Subcommittee election, or in one of two requests for comment that relate to the use of SecurePoll for elections on this project, you are invited to participate in the SecurePoll feedback and workshop. Your comments, suggestions and observations are welcome.

For the Arbitration Committee,
Risker (talk) 08:31, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Hugo Kuehne - Thanks

Thanks for the work on Hugo Kuehne - I just got interupted for a few minutes and whoosh you'd done lots of the work. Best wishes (Msrasnw (talk) 17:51, 23 November 2009 (UTC))

A pleasure: all credit to you for following up the Cox-Craddock notability question so vigorously! Can you find and add more references? - Pointillist (talk) 17:56, 23 November 2009 (UTC)


Wikipedia Rollback.svg

I have granted rollback rights to your account; the reason for this is that after a review of some of your contributions, I believe you can be trusted to use rollback correctly, and for its intended usage of reverting vandalism, and that you will not abuse it by reverting good-faith edits or to revert-war. For information on rollback, see Wikipedia:New admin school/Rollback and Wikipedia:Rollback feature. If you do not want rollback, just let me know, and I'll remove it. Good luck and thanks. JamieS93 15:24, 27 November 2009 (UTC)


A non-IP, more regular editor has just made the same change! I thought this had been covered on the talk page. Leaky Caldron 22:40, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Mmm, I've just been re-reading that section on the talk page. I don't know about you, but in retrospect I think our banking/NPOV period was very formative for me as an editor: I could see why some contributors were so frustrated, with their fury kept on the boil by popular newspapers. Yet we managed to think it through in stages, and I was particularly pleased that we didn't fall out on the Fred Goodwin talk page even though I changed my mind about "pension scandal". Hope all is well with you, anyway, and all the best for Christmas. - Pointillist (talk) 23:16, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
One of the drawbacks of the instant update afforded by WP is that day-to-day changes are demanded due to media pressure. I agree that working through these is formative and actually can be quite satisfying. I recently completed some minor changes to Scotland and Northern Ireland which are hotbeds for nationalist/unionist cabals. I was pleased to find a few editors more interested in consensus building. I also found it oddly satisfying today to discover that a long-time combatant on Big Brother articles turned out to be a sock-puppet and has been banned! Leaky Caldron 23:31, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
I didn't have it in mind but what you describe is exactly what I meant to say (except that I feel BB is past its sell-by date anyway). Working through those rough areas is a sort of cross-training for the mind. Good for you. - Pointillist (talk) 23:41, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Desaturation of John Billingsley Pic

File:John Bilingsley Before and After.jpg
Before and after fixing overexposed areas

Hi, Pointilist. Happy Holidays. I was wondering if you could do me a favor. A publisher has asked me if they can reprint my photo of John Billingsley in a book. This is a great milestone in my Wikipedia work, and although it probably isn't as saturated as that Daphne Duplaix photo you desaturated, it does look a bit washed out, particularly at the arms. Do you think it needs retouching or would look better if it were? Should the arms be fixed by the face left alone? Is there any way you could work your magic on that? I don't know how to do that in Photoshop. Let me know if you're not available for this. Thanks! Nightscream (talk) 20:08, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Hi. I've played around with this a little, but it is a more complex situation than the Daphne Duplaix pic. (1) there's more overexposure in more places; (2) this is a hairy, unshaven, freckled subject, so just overlaying a blur isn't enough - reconstructed areas will need texture, too; (3) he's leaning on a lightbox so some overexposure is to be expected and will add to the drama of the image; (4) you already have a client who like the original: either it is already fit for purpose or they'd prefer to do their own image manipulation. I suggest you offer them your original and my alternative, and tell them that the recipe for my changes is listed on the Commons page. - Pointillist (talk) 00:21, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Here's the recipe in easy to cut-and-paste format:1. Open the image in Photoshop. 2. Duplicate layer once. 3. Select the upper layer (if it isn't already selected). 4. Select the magic wand tool. 5. Set Tolerance 8, anti-alias ON, contiguous ON, sample all layers OFF. 6. Click in the bright white lightbox area at the bottom of the image (the area will be outlined with marching ants). 7. Press <Control> + X (Windows) to cut the area. 8. Set Tolerance 48. 9. Click his forearm to select it. 10. Hold <Shift> and continue clicking his forearms and hands (except his ring) until all of his arms and hands are selected (except for the ring which will muck up the blur). Still holding <shift> select the main areas of his face, too. 11. Edit Copy. 12. Edit Paste (there is now a new "Layer 1" selected). 13. Navigate Image menu > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast. 14. Select Brightness -24, and execute. 15. Navigate Filter menu > Blur > Gaussian Blur. 16. Select Radius 24, and execute. 17. Navigate Filter menu > Noise > Add Noise. 18. Select 6% Gaussian (Monochromatic), and execute. 19. Set the layer mode to Darken. 20. Set the opacity to 50%. 21. Select the upper (layer 1) and middle (Background copy) layers. 22. Navigate Layer menu, merge layers. 23. Navigate Image menu > Shadows/Highlights. 24. Select Highlights 20%, and execute. 25. Flatten image. 26. Filter menu > Sharpen > Unsharp mask. 27. Select Amount 50, Radius 3.0, Threshold 0, and execute. 28. Navigate Image menu > Auto color. 29. Navigate Image menu > Auto tone [newer versions of Photoshop only]. 30. Save the file as JPEG. You might like to step through it using your original and experiment with different settings (e.g. in steps 20 and 27). Good luck - Pointillist (talk) 13:07, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Unreferenced BLP bot

Hey there

I wanted your input on a bot that you requested (and i scripted)

see discussion here Tim1357 (talk) 17:57, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

"Subroutine" and the "unreferenced" tag

Hi, I have been away from Wikipedia in 2007 and only now saw your comments about the placement the "unreferenced" tag in the "Subroutine" article.
Well, it is an old and fundamental rule of Wikipedia that comments *about* an article should go in its talk page, never in the article itself. The "unreferenced" tag is directed at editors (there is no danger that a reader will think that the article *has* references!), so it should go there. Furthermore, placing the template at the *top* of the article violates another basic rule, namely that the first sentence of an article should be a short but precise definition of the article's topic.
It seems that the custom of placing {{unreferenced}} at the top of the article is not really a "policy" but simply an abuse which became established only because the tag has been splattered all over the place with the help of a robot. I just found a straw poll on the proper placement of that template with 9 votes for "top of article", 10 for "bottom of article", and 13 for "talk page". And note that the voters were mostly people who aproved of the template and who collaborated on its creation.
There are far more serious problems in the "subroutine" article than its lack of references. I did a lot of cleanup work there, but stopped halfway through the article, out of sheer exhaustion. Most of the information that I put in is trivial computer science knowledge and can be confirmed by any moderately experienced programmer. It has been there for years, and the many minor edits it has suffered imply that many people have read it and found most of it OK. I can hardly imagine Wikipedia being sued or chastized in the press because of anything that is written in that article. So, why is "adding references" so urgent that it justifies defacing the article with that silly tag?
I think that the tag belongs to the talk page. The tagger apparently believes that it should go at the top of the article. "Bottom of article" seemed to be a fair compromise. But since the tagger drives a robot, and I don't, somehow his opinion seems to be much more important than mine; and of course he is such an important person that he can's spare the time to defend his choice. Should I be happy about that?
From looking at random articles, I have the impression that a large percentage of Wikipedia's articles have got that tag by now; I would guess something between 100,000 to 1,000,000 articles. What is the point of tagging so many articles with a generic request "somebody please do this particular work"? There are perhaps 10,000 regular editors, most of whom (thank God!) are still busy editing *contents* — rather than discussing policies, tagging other people's work, and otherwise Vogonizing this site. Is there any chance that those tags will get the editors to do *more* work than what they are already doing? Will the tags make their work more productive? Will the tags at least redirect their efforts towards contributions that are more valuable to readers?
Like many things in Wikipedia, the {{unreferenced}} was a questionable idea that ws never a "consensus" in any sense of the word, and became an entrenched "de facto" rule before anyone could understand its consequences. I generlly do not fight the placement of those tags; but not because I agree to it, or out of respect for the opinions of other editors — but simply because "any resistance is pointless" in those cases.
Well, sorry for the rant, but I had to take it off my chest. All the best,--Jorge Stolfi (talk) 15:12, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Hello there, nice to hear from you again. If I have understood you correctly, this is about something I said in 2007, is that right? I will happily look into it. Can you give me a diff or link to start from? Thanks - Pointillist (talk) 20:44, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
OK, I think understand now:
  • the article had been tagged {{citations missing}} since June 2007
  • at 04:36 on 14 November 2008 you moved that tag down to the foot of the article (diff)
  • I moved it back to the top at 22:56 the same day, 14 November 2008 (diff)
  • I left a message about this on your talk page at 23:42 the same day (diff), explaining in detail why it is important that readers be alerted before they begin reading unverifiable content.
At this stage the article contained only one reference (Wilkes, Wheeler, Gill 1951) to support the statement "Maurice Wilkes, David Wheeler, and Stanley Gill are credited with the invention of this concept." This fails the WP:RS test because it is (in this context) a primary source. So the article, already more than six years old at that time, was effectively unreferenced.
  • You replied to my message at 13:36 on 16 November and I replied in turn - see my talk page archive (here). I don't mind if you've forgotten this: it was a long time ago and I make mistakes like that too!
  • Anyway, I then moved the June 2007 {{citations missing}} template from the article header to the top of the History section (diff)
  • Thirteen months later (13:34, 10 December 2009), M4gnum0n (talk · contribs) put two reference templates at the top of the page.
  • You raised this on my talk page.
I like you and I wish we were having this debate face-to-face over a friendly meal so I could be less offensive, but I think you are completely wrong here, in several ways:
  • You say warnings should be on talk pages so they are only seen by editors, not readers. I think warnings should be with (or before) content, so readers are alerted to the lack of verifiability before they read the content. This means they assess it in a different way - as a blog rather than as an encyclopedic entry. When you move the warning to the end of an article, some readers won't see it at all, and the remainder will have to re-read the article with a more critical mind set. I made exactly this point in these words on your talk page last year (diff). You did not reply.
  • You say the lack of references is OK because "most of the information that I put in is trivial computer science knowledge and can be confirmed by any moderately experienced programmer." Setting aside the implication that a "moderately experienced programmer" is a computer scientist—which most academics would deny—if information is trivial/obvious it should be easy to source. In November 2008 the Subroutine article was missing any mainstream references. This is more your field than mine but I would have though any undergraduate computer science student would consider mentioning Dijkstra's GOTO statement considered harmful (1968) and Dahl/Dijkstra/Hoare Structured Programming (1972) in an unreferenced article about subroutines.
  • You seem to be saying that the search for references is a waste of time (you said "There are far more serious problems in the Subroutine article than its lack of references"). If you are saying that, I think you are wrong because (i) it should be possible to check any Wikipedia article against reliable secondary sources, and (ii) searching for sources can help solve content problems expose new material, such as the Smotherman 2004 site describing Turning's 1946 BURY/UNBURY proposals. So searching for sources is a good thing in its own right, IMO.
Can we discuss this further? I can't believe you are really antagonistic to sourcing! - Pointillist (talk) 03:01, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Please don't take it so seriously. First, let me apologize for my mistake in attributing M4gnum0n (talk · contribs) edits to you. I just had several dozen of my articles edited by Smackbot, many of which got an {{unreferenced}} tag. That got me rather upset, for various reasons including the (f)utility of the tag, its placement, the reason why the articles were tagged, and the ethics of using a robot to attach valuation tags to articles en masse. I am sorry for the time that my mistake caused you to waste.
Many editorial tags, such as {{merge-to}}, are strictly messages to editors and have no value to readers.
Many other tags which pretend to be warnings to readers are pretty redundant. These include {{uneferenced}} (is there any danger that the reader will think that the article *has* references?), {{cleanup}}, {{globalize}}, etc.: in general, those tags merely state what the reader can see for himself. The {{unreferenced}} tag, in particular, does not mean that the content is particularly dubious, unreliable, unverifiable or unverified, but merely that the tagger did not see any explicit references and did't bother to look for them himself. Note that robot-assisted taggers generally do not read the articles they tag, so the tag carries very little information about the article's quality. In most cases, the article is OK, and references exist and could be added; so, if the tag is to be seen as a seal of unreliability, in most cases the seal is unwarranted. Conversely, if an article lacks that tag, it only means that it contain explict refs, not that the references are reliable and/or support the content. In that case, the absence fo the tag may lead readers to put undeserved trust in the article. So, either way, this tag is more harmful that beneficial to readers; and is not even very useful to editors, if you think about it.
Other tags like {{npov}} merely express one editor's opinion, which should have the same weight as the author's opinion and be subject to the ordinary edit and discussion protocols; but by being expressed as a tag, instead of as a comment in the talk page, the tagger gets an undeserved superiority, and his opinion becomes somehow immune against the other person's edit. Instead of tagging an article or section as {{npov}} or wathever, the tagger should delete the material that he believes is biased, or move it to the talk page, and write down hs objections in the latter. Too much work? Indeed, but that is how it should be. When two editors disagree, they should argue on equal footing; if one is allowed to express his opinion by a flashy tag on the article, with a single mouse click, while the other must argue on the talk page, then the field is badly tilted. Indeed, it seems that the practice of article tagging became widespread not for being a consensus among editors, but merely because many editors think that taggers have superior authority, or because they were simply overwhelmed by the robot's efficiency — so that "resistence is useless". Indeed, it is quite useless to argue against the tag in the talk page, because the taggers won't even notice the complaints, much less bother to answer them. Mass article tagging is an abusive practice, that neither sought nor obtained general consensus (did I point you to the "poll" on tag placement?), runs against the most basic principles of wikipedia, and does far more harm than good.
The futilty of the tags is more obvious when one considers the numbers. Judging from random samples, I would guess that a sizable fraction of the 3,000,000 Wikipedia articles have the {{unreferenced}} tag already, and smackbot is still busily adding more. Cosidering how much work it takes to find and insert all necessary references in one article; that there are perhaps 10,000 moderately active editors and 1,600,000 stub articles today; and that the editor pool is steadily shrinking, it is obvious that the majority of those tags will remain on the articles forever. Said another way, ordinary editors will never be able to catch up with the tagging robots.
As for the subroutie article, in particular, note that the {{unreferenced}} here has been pretty futile too: the various editors who have bee through this page have neither added references, nor expressed any serious misgivings about its ostensibly "unverifiable" content, nor mustered the energy to fix the second half of the article which, when I last looked at it, was still a garbage dump. (However one editor deleted the statement that subroutines help make programs easier to write and to maintain; which must have been the most uncontroversial and better-documented fact in the whole article...)
I certainly did no mean that "search for references is a waste of my time", but only that fixing the rest of the article is much more urgent than entering references. The former would make the article useful for readers (which at the moment is not); the latter is mostly needed to appease the wikivogons. Moreover, even if this article contains some errors, it will not be the end of the world; this is not a journalist's biography or a primer on how to assemble a nuclear bomb. I am sure that, when finished, it will still be better and more accurate than 90% of all programming textbooks out there — even without a single reference.
Well, sorry for the rant. I am feeling rather burned-out as a Wikipedia editor these days. I felt like that on a couple of occasions before, and had to take a long vacation from it. Sigh... All the best, --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 05:42, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

CSD nom of Téléphérique (Jounieh) declined

In copyvio cases, it is a good idea to check the page history before nominating for speedy deletion. In this case a simple revert was all that was needed. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:28, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Hi Beeblebrox and thanks for coming back to me. I am happy to be guided by you but in this case I did review the article history and performed other digging including a good-faith search for NPOV sources. As far as I can see, this article has always been a copyvio of pages from, starting from the originally created version in Feb 2007 which uses text now only visible on and related pages. I've re-tagged it g12 linking to the main archived page (ideally the template would allow me to link to multiple pages). Maybe the copyvio is because the article is promo-spam by the people who run the cable cars, so naturally they re-use their existing copy; if so, it might be taggable for spam too. Anyway, if you have any better advice on how to handle this sort of situation I'm keen to hear it: this sort of progressive copyvio of non-neutral sources is probably going to be a rising trend in future. When I spend >30 minutes checking out an article it is unfortunate if the only available template makes it look as if I'm some trigger-happy teenager. - Pointillist (talk) 00:33, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Huh. Well obviously this is more complex than it appeared. I didn't mean to suggest you were trigger happy, it's actually a very common error to not check the history, and I have been guilty of it myself on more than one occasion. Looks like your latest CSD nom has been declined though. Maybe listing it at Wikipedia:Copyright problems would be a good idea? Beeblebrox (talk) 01:08, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback. I was a bit shocked by your first post ...Pointillism's raison d'etre is basically about creating a picture from fine detail, so if I get that wrong I am not in a good place. In this case it looks like we are making progress in small steps: first you reverted and blocked the spamming contributor, then Ronhjones (talk · contribs) declined CSD but deleted a section, now I've deleted a sentence that matches the archived-in-French website, and perhaps someone who has reliable sources will help fix the article in the longer term. Anyway, if we don't speak again before the holiday break: I hope you have a good one. - Pointillist (talk) 01:23, 19 December 2009 (UTC)