User talk:Quiddity/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2


Hello, Quiddity/Archive 1, and welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are a few good links for newcomers:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian! Please sign your name on talk pages using four tildes (~~~~); this will automatically produce your name and the date.

If you need help, check out Wikipedia:Questions, ask me on my talk page, or place {{helpme}} on your talk page and someone will show up shortly to answer your questions. Again, welcome!  -- Longhair | Talk 21:55, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Article change notification

I replied quickly earlier but not to your email, sorry! There is no way I know of to get an alert to any article changes other than your own talk page - whenever your user talk page is altered you get the orange message bar, but there isn't anything like that for any other pages. The only way you can monitor such things is using your watchlist, though the "related changes" link can be useful if you have a list of articles you have worked on. For example, see and

Regards, violet/riga (t) 19:15, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Your proposal

A month is a long time in WikiSpace, so yes, your proposal is at least at the moment historical. Of course it can be reactivated if and when you can get more people interested in it. At a guess, at the moment you didn't get much feedback either because of the holiday season, or because people aren't interested in (or don't understand) your proposal. HTH. Radiant_>|< 19:51, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

An apology

I'm sorry. I didn't mean to slight you or your efforts on behalf of providing a better (less obscure) search box. When I went on my rant at the WP:VP/T I had completely forgotten your proposals and should have included them and informed you (that is, if you even wanted to be a party to my Sunday night ranting). :-) hydnjo talk 21:17, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Well you are generous person. Thanks for making me feel better about my oversight of your contributions. hydnjo talk 02:04, 21 February 2006 (UTC)


Thank you for supporting me in my successful RFA. The admin tools will definitely be useful for dealing with vandalism. If you have any questions about any of my actions, please drop me a note on my talk page. Thanks. --Aude (talk | contribs) 16:02, 23 February 2006 (UTC)


Hi, this is to allow date preferences to work. If you set them you will see 11 September and September 11 ([[11 September]] and [[September 11]]) the same way. The MoS is very clear. Section 1.2 [1] explains date formatting. Section 1.2.1 is a caveat warning against linking just years or just months or just year-month combinations - which I generally remove when I come across them. Rich Farmbrough. 23:18, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

Date links

You have discussed date links before. It seems that more and more people are becoming interested in the debate in many talk pages. I do not know if you have seen the discussion and votes at: new bot application. Voting may have ended, so I am not soliciting your vote. But I thought that you might like to read what has been said by other editors. Several editors feel strongly about it and the issue will inevitably be discussed again. bobblewik 11:50, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

CBB announcement

This (imo) is the exact point at which philosophies diverge. You want to "upgrade" an "advertising" "campaign". Whereas, because I am positive that the redesign Will be implemented, and that after it is implemented there will be continued changes and development by the people who actually maintain the front page and everyone who discusses it at the talk page, There is nothing to win or lose. (i think maybe it is best summarized as the difference between meta:Eventualism and meta:Immediatism).
I agree. There are no losers, because the Main Page will keep on improving. Check out the version from 2004. Way different. And in 2007 it will probably be much different than the current redesign. I'm very patient, as long as I find something to occupy myself with while I'm waiting.  ;-) --Go for it! 22:06, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Specifically on the announcement issue, we have already gotten more feedback than i have seen anywhere on wikipedia before. And the ratio of results has been completely consistent for the entire 'vote' period. Therefor further announcements would be redundant. Those who havent voted would better spend their time editing actual articles, than adding more "me too's" to our redesign discussion. (There are 1,000,000+ registered en: users. Can you imagine if 10,000 more people added their vote to the discussion?!? that would not be good!) --Quiddity 21:30, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Why would that not be good? --Go for it! 22:06, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

By the way, you seem like a seasoned Wikipedian. I'm collecting tips for the tip of the day project, and I was wondering what your favorite personal tricks and techniques for getting the most out of Wikipedia, or putting the most into it, are. Also, what were your hardest lessons while learning the ropes at Wikipedia? (So newcomers can learn from your experience). --Go for it! 22:06, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Community portal (Policy list)

Hey, i just wanted to request that maybe you add back in the links you removed during this edit. They seem quite useful and pertinent, and removing useful links just to make columns balance aesthetically isnt a justifiable reason ;) --Quiddity 21:04, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for asking. Please let me explain my overall approach to upgrading the Community Portal page (and the Help system), so you know where I'm coming from and so you can see where I'm heading...
Before changing a single thing on the Communtity Portal, the Help Page was completely revamped. During that project, myself and others gathered as many help links as we could possibly find to integrate into it, in order to make it a complete directory of help files (and of the Wikipedia namespace). One place that had a lot of links that were missing from Help was the Community Portal. So we captured all of those links and organized them very well onto the help page, which was soon chopped up into the menu system that sits in its place today.
So, all the sections (such as "policies") on the Community Portal got their own section (or even their own subpage) in the Help system. None of those sections were entirely removed from the Community Portal, even though it looked that way. As they were phased out, their headings were retained as link items in a relevant section of the page, leading to each of their help pages. The "Policies" link is currently in the About Wikipedia section (waiting for the Resources section to be rebuilt), and leads here: Help:Contents/Policies, conventions and guidelines. Note that every link in the section that was removed is covered there, in an easier to read format. The link to that page will be made more prominent...
So each "deleted" section was replaced by a link. By the time the department section is completed, the most prominent help sections will have an equally prominent link on the Community Portal, under the most relevant department listings. Anything that doesn't fit into a department, will go into a rebuilt "Resources" section. But only major links (that is the previous headings), rather than the entire lists will be included, since that is precisely what the Help system was designed for - but we will be hooking in to those relevant pages, rather than just directing folks to the top Help menu.
I hope you find this solution to your satisfaction. --Go for it! 21:49, 18 March 2006 (UTC)


I hunted up the new URI of the BIS and, luckily, the text was the same and so I cited it. I've attempted to make it more smooth, but it still seems a little rough (IE. Too legalesed). 08:18, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Search box

Talking of which, could someone take charge of the proposal to highlight the search box using css? --Quiddity 02:26, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

What a great idea. Therefore, I hereby nominate... you! :-) Seriously, you're the perfect spokeperson for that project. --Go for it! 11:16, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Ah, but the first rule of management: delegate delegate delegate ;) --Quiddity

The village pump (technical) would be a good place to start to recruit the necessary technical help you will need. Push the right "buttons", knock on the right "doors", and you'll have it done in no time. --Go for it! 11:23, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Community portal

I don't understand why you re-added the redundant link to the Signpost. The signpost is already VISIBLE in the bottom right of your screen, embedded in the bulletin board. thanks. --Quiddity 01:35, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Either the Signpost should stay or the Village Pump should go from the top of the page. The Village Pump is a bit of a mess (proper discussion board software is needed) so I don't think it should be the first thing people are directed to. Osomec 15:15, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia-CSS expert needed on Main Page

Where do I (or could you?) post a request for a wikimedia-experienced web dev to come clean up our amateur webstandards-code? I know enough about css to know that things are wrong (primarily excessive duplication of embedded styles), but am not experienced enough to fix. thanks. --Quiddity 01:59, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure. WP:VPT, perhaps? —David Levy 14:34, 24 March 2006 (UTC)


Dear Quiddity,

In reference to the question you asked about the sentence I added to the page for the film Manhattan, my source is the internet movie database, in the trivia section. There's also a recent interview in Entertainment Weekly where he talks about his dislike for Manhattan, it should be on, but you need to be a subscriber to read the whole thing. —This unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .


There is one thing you've been doing that I do object to. It's your use of rhetoric rather than logic in your arguments. For instance, you've been presenting objections out of context, such as those to "Tip of the day". You failed to mention that there have been far more contributors to TOTD than there are detractors (of which you seem to be the primary one). Each contribution can be rightfully interpretted as an endorsement of the project, as can each instance in which a user has placed one of the TOTD templates on their user pages. The project hasn't even launched yet, and already nearly 100 users have put the template on their user pagees. You didn't mention that in your analysis of the project's support. After the project launches, I wouldn't be surprised if the use of the templates increased to many hundreds.

I understand that others like the totd, and i probably will too once it stops looking to me like "an unchanging banner-ad invading wikipedia" on the help page. ("I wouldn't be surpised if the microsoft paperclip appeared inside it instead of the lightbulb" is the gut reaction it gives me.) --Quiddity

You've made such a big issue of "plowing forward" in the face of opposition, when the primary opposition is you. In most cases, the sides have been about equal, and in some instances the sides were off by a single "vote". That does not make consensus.

And in the main page redesign, David Levy had the most time, and ended up battling you over every little issue. As you wrote in the barnstar, in the last major edit of the talk:Main Page redesign "Yep, that was a tedious project. Good job. --Go for it!". Only tedious for me because we had to argue with you the whole time. Now I'm the one who has some extra spare time, so i'm arguing as the primary opposition of your changes at the CP and Help and elsewhere. --Quiddity

Meanwhile, your approach of making the Community Portal look like the Main Page has its detractors as well, but you seem to ignore that as much as you accuse me of the same. You even used the opposition to the MP design applied to the CP as an argument against me. Note that I backed off from that direction of development very quickly, while you continue to storm on in that direction.

Completely untrue. I had no code input in the actual draft until last night. I made those changes last night after 2 days of inactivity in the draft. --Quiddity

I do my best to accomodate critiques, and implement fixes to each and every problem that is pointed out. Though after much contemplation concerning design, I am diametrically opposed to homogenizing Wikipedia's major triumvirate (Main Page, Help page, Community Portal). Each needs its own identity.

Strongly Agreed. That is why i changed the draft's colour scheme last night (and to a lesser variation (just flipped) on what it was this morning, after it was reverted). I also don't like the top header/banner, way too similar/confusing, but I have yet to get around to mentioning that on the talk, or conceiving a solution. They should have similar aesthetics to the rest of (un-re-designed) wikipedia, as well as the new Main Page aesthetic, but with a different identity, that would be easiest and most coherently applied through colour schemes.
These are the only 2 useful colour links i've found so far:
I would add that not only does "Each needs its own identity.", but Each needs its own single page. Breaking these pages up is a very drastic move that should be carefully considered over weeks before implementing, and by someone with professional web-usability qualifications/knowledge/background. --Quiddity

That being said, I'm more interested in the organization of content than the color of the pages, but nobody else has come forward to improve on the color scheme. I even tried to base the CP's design on an award-winning user page, and that got just as many complaints. My conclusion is that there will always be those who aren't happy. I'm left wondering if we are swimming upstream against a process bias inherent in WP's design. It seems that users are much more likely to post their complaints on talk pages than they are to post compliments, praise, and encouragement. Most users seem to want to use the encyclopedia (or work on their favorite areas), rather than stop and comment (on anything else). It forces one to look for other clues of user appreciation, such as the volume of contributions to the CBB, and interpret that as support. We also know that about 30,000 users frequent Wikipedia every day. I would guess a fair portion of those (hundreds if not thousands) visit Help and the CP. And if only a handful of them are complaining, we must be doing something right. --Go for it! 00:18, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Sounds good. Your work in philosophy is great! and the organization of headings and content in the community portal was very very useful. But it was/is completely un-useable visually (it's easy for you, you designed it! you know where everything goes from memory...). --Quiddity 01:17, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

My (HereToHelp’s) RfA

Thank you for supporting my RfA. I’m proud to inform you that it passed with 75 support to 1 oppose to 2 neutral. I promise to make some great edits in the future (with edit summaries!) and use these powers to do all that I can to help. After all, that’s what I’m here for! (You didn’t think I could send a thank you note without a bad joke, could I?) --HereToHelp 12:59, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

RFA Thanks


Hi Quiddity. Thank you for your support vote on my RFA. The final result was a successful request based on 111 support and 1 oppose. I promise to take a look at the Main Page now that I can tweak it. Pretty formatting isn't my field, but I can probably cut down some of the CSS redundancy. --CBDunkerson 11:33, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Dr. Seuss

Hi there. I simply changed it to conform with proper grammar, but if the community deems it better abbreviated then I have no concerns over it. Regards. Netkinetic 00:58, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Community Portal Redesign

I noticed someone has changed the design of the Community Portal, saying that consensus was reached. After reading the discussion, it doesn't seem like any consensus was reached at all. I left a comment on the Community Portal talk pageJ3ff 16:34, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Goforit's RFC

Hi, regarding Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Go for it!, there has been much editing of the initial statement since you signed it. Please read it again and/or consider changing your edits/your signature to avoid the impression of inadequate procedure. Thank you. Kosebamse 20:52, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, and I have been watching all the changes closely. Also thanks for removing the excess notices I left on talk pages, I wasnt sure what the protocol was for notifying relevant parties. (misread diffs, ignore) Finally, I think we may have all signed lethe's section when we arent meant to (in addition to the section above), so might need to remove those surplus sigs too? -Quiddity 21:00, 7 April 2006 (UTC)


On Pooky/Pookie, I removed "title character from a series of children's books from the 1960's by Ivy Wallace" because there isn't an article about the author or the series, and "a common euphemism to describe something cute. It is also often used as a pet name or as a term of endearment for one's significant other" because that's more of a dicdef, and doesn't point to another article. tregoweth 21:10, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Support tag

The thing is, adding support tags where they are not needed (especially at the beginning of a discussion, not a poll) usually generates comments of "This is not a poll! Polls are evil! And it way too early. That page is useful reading - for anything, talk first, ask for ratification later. When the time comes, I'll change it if it becomes necessary. Titoxd(?!? - help us) 06:55, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Re: User:Gurch/Calendar

Quiddity wrote:

May 25 is Towel Day ;) --Quiddity

So it is. Interesting... I might as well add it, there being nothing else on that day. And H2G2 is pretty cool anyway :) – Gurch 21:38, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

TfD nomination of Template:Timeline of Russo-Turkish Wars

Template:Timeline of Russo-Turkish Wars has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at the template's entry on the Templates for Deletion page. Thank you. John Reid 10:30, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

All this page design

Looks like our design for the CP is well liked; but let's give it a few more days. Don't forget about Wikipedia:Featured content—I spent all that time on a design and I'm not letting it go to waste! And, on a third separate-yet-relevant note, can you ake a look at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Don't make major design changes without consensus? Thanks.--HereToHelp 00:23, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

We crossed posting-Also comment in VP:proposals

Hi! See this since we had an edit conflict. Follow HereToHelps link to the pump. Good thing I don't do reverts <G>. Best wishes FrankB 04:54, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Comm portal bug

I fixed it on the draft. The deal is with width being 100%. I changed it to 92 and it's fine. I am using IE 6.0 (btw, nice work on design). Renata 20:12, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Picture upload help

Hi, I’m new to wikipedia and I was hoping you could help me with an image I just uploaded. I’m trying to put my dragon picture on top of “Books I’m currently reading”, but for some reason it keeps going to the bottom of the page. I’d really appreciate it if you can help me with this problem. Also, I put the source in the picture. Is that fine or should I put that in the caption? QuizQuick 00:11, 22 April 2006 (UTC)QuizQuick

I floated the image to the left. If you change the "left" to "center" it will be above, instead of next to, the list of links.
Just so you know, new talk page messages should always go at the bottom of pages :)
Also, you'll need to reupload that dragon image, and use the dropdown box on the upload page to select a copyright status ("Licensing") for the image. (ditto for the one mentioned on your talk page by the bot.) --Quiddity 02:00, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Transparent background

Hi, I've copied your style="background: transparent" from Help:Help to Template:Phh:Reader/, is the effect okay on e.g. WP:MOVE? With my non-CSS browser I can't judge it. -- Omniplex 04:20, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Yup. Looks good.
There's possibly a better solution to this? I'm not yet familiar with how mediawiki incorporates stylesheets and templates, but possibly these should be made into a sitewide class (for borderless wikipedia-namespace located tables, that users dont want the normal-default white background for, or something to that effect)? --Quiddity 04:53, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
2 screenshots of same problem, in different places at wiki, and equiv at meta. They either need borders or transparent/coloured backgrounds. It's elsewhere too. --Quiddity 05:20, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
I just noticed that cyberjunkie is inserting "background-color:tranparent" too, so i guess it is the right thing to do :) I'll fix them when i see them. --Quiddity 08:49, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
Interesting, with bgcolor="" I end up with a black background for the input box. You could report it as harmless bug, there was a similar issue with size="" last week in mediazilla:5566. -- Omniplex 09:30, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

The policy

Well, technically we are applying for status as a guideline. Regardless, I think it is ready. My only concern is that before we create the page in the Wikipedia namespace, do you have any better (i.e. shorter) naming ideas than Wikipedia:Don't make changes to graphical layout without prior discussion? It's a mouthful. (Respond here. I'm in the proces of archiving my talk page, and I'll watch this one.) --HereToHelp 01:33, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Hmm. Thinking out loud, maybe combine some of these. (I hope you have your instruction-creep counter-arguments ready ;) --Quiddity 02:09, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Graphical redesigns should be discussed.
  • Always draft layout-overhauls.
  • Draft and discuss layout redesigns.
  • Discuss, before redesigning major pages.
So, to generalize a little, we should say what to do as well as what not to do? Will do.--HereToHelp 02:13, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I was just trying to paraphrase and shorten your title ;) and also was thinking that a guideline might be better expressed as a suggestion, as opposed to a forbidance. But i now see there are many guidelines expressly titled as forbidding certain —actions. And stating it as a negative does make it sound more emphatic. Up to you. --Quiddity 02:20, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
We could submit it as an essay (in fact, we wouldn't even need to submit it, just post it), but that doesn't have as much teeth as I would like. I want to be able to revert those bad layout edits and point people to this and not have them say, "so what?". Heck, there are even policies—Wikipedia:No original research, Wikipedia:No personal attacks, Wikipedia:No binding decisions—forbiding a specific thing. As for the negative, that may be our ticket to shortening this thing: Wikipedia:Discuss design changes before making them or even Wikipedia:Discuss graphical design changes before making them. Also, don't edit my sanbox for a few minutes to avoid edit conflicts. HereToHelp 02:31, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Or, combining ideas, Wikipedia:Discuss and draft graphical layout overhauls? That seems long but accpetable.--HereToHelp 02:38, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I like that last one. The drafting is a fairly key point, stops people from tinkering on the fly...
I'd guess it'll be assigned as a Style guideline "See Category:Wikipedia style guidelines for the other 100+ style guidelines.". --Quiddity 02:42, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
No. It deals with style, but it doesn't tell people how to design pages. It tells people how to work with others when designing a page. It's a conduct guideline, like be bold. (I should make that clear when we submit it). I'll tweak it throughout the day—any ideas on a See also section?—and will use that last title that you liked (and it looks fine with me).--HereToHelp 11:58, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Potential See also links: Wikipedia:Etiquette, Wikipedia:Colours, Wikipedia:WikiProject Usability. --Quiddity 19:37, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Okay, we're live: WP:DDGLO.--HereToHelp 20:10, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Hah! that acronym makes me smile.
It looks really good (I fixed a cpl typos). Do we next support this on its discussion page, or at VPpolicy?
Looks like you and kmf have been having fun at the CP all morning... (condolences). I'll weigh in there after more coffee. --Quiddity 20:22, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Tell me about it. You don't support per se, you express approval on the talk page (just make sure that you indicate you developed it).--HereToHelp 20:34, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Wikipedia is an encyclopedia

How come? TheJabberwock 19:04, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Because "5 pillars" is linked at the top, so "8 words" is unnecessary on this very minimal page. (or, why "8 words", but not "trifecta" or "simplified ruleset"...?)
And because "8 words" has been proposed for merge (which i support), nevermind which it has either 7 words or 11 words depending on how you count! Sorry if this is one of your personal projects, but I was/am (very slowly) working towards merging it. --Quiddity 19:17, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
OK, that's fine. TheJabberwock 20:07, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Six_Pillars PROD moved

Hi. This is just to let you know that the above PROD has been moved to an [nomination] due to its status.--み使い Mitsukai 12:36, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Thank you

Thank you for your message and taking the time to clarify what's what. I appreciate it and its helpful.

Going forward I will follow the guidelines in the links you sent, and will also start contributing with more meaningful content.

Thanks again,


replied on users page

Your Monobook.css

Where did you find all of that stuff to put on your monobook.css? Did you write it yourself? --GeorgeMoneyTalk  Contribs 06:17, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Most i got from looking at other people's, and the samples at Help:User style. A few were written. -Quiddity 06:39, 4 May 2006 (UTC)


Thank you for adding that link to Meta:Contingency planning in my random thought. I appreciate it. --Mr. Billion 02:29, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Block request

Done. -- Francs2000 22:33, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Quadell's remedy

I think that it is possible that Ambi might be persuaded to accept Quadell's remedy. Can you look at my talk page and give encouragement as required? bobblewik 19:04, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

I am asking for guidance

Based on the information that I have gathered (as explained below), there is an appalling lack of experienced engineers participating in Wikipedia. The guidance I seek is: (a) should this information on the lack of experienced engineers in Wikipedia be made known to all of Wikipedia and (b)if so, where is the best place in Wikipedia to publish it? Perhaps in the Community Portal bulletin board?

I am a retired engineer and I have been surprised, to say the least, at the poor quality of many of the engineering articles on the Wikipedia, so I undertook an informal survey. There are 54 names listed under the Category:Engineer Wikipedians. Last week, I posted a questionnaire on each the the 55 User Discussion pages and asked them the following questions:

  • Are you a graduate engineer?
  • If so, in what engineering discipline did you receive a degree?
  • In what year did you receive your degree?

I received responses from about 16 of them. I also studied the user pages of those who did not respond. This is a summary of the information that I managed to gather:

23 of the 54 have engineering degrees
6 of the 54 are still undergraduates without degrees
25 of the 54 did not respond and had little or none of the requested information on their user pages

2 have Chemical engineering degrees
2 have Mechanical engineering degrees
5 have Civil engineering degrees
2 have Aerospace engineering degrees (or working in an Aerospace company with a different engineering degree)
6 have Electrical or Electronic engineering degrees
6 had other engineering degrees (Computer Science engineering, for example)

3 graduated over 10 years ago
4 others graduated over 5 years ago
3 are still in university as post-graduate students
13 graduated less than 5 years ago or did not provide their graduation date

Many engineers believe that it takes at least 5 years of experience before a graduate engineer is truly an experienced engineer. From that viewpoint, even if my above data are 100% in error, it is obviously apparent that Wikipedia has a real problem with attracting experienced engineers to participate ... and that probably explains why the quality of the engineering and technological articles is so poor. - mbeychok 22:29, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Quiddity, thanks for your response. If you don't mind, I'd like to continue this thread here. Sorry about the colon, I forgot it and I really do know better. You asked how would I propose attracting more engineers? Well, I have some comments and they apply to the many administrators who spend almost all of their time editing articles written by others and very little time, if any, writing their own articles:
  • Very forcefully remind those administrators of Wikipedia's Civility Policy. If they can't take being questioned or complained to about their editing without being rude, then they shouldn't be administrators.
  • Very forcefully remind those administrators that their job is to be mentors as well as "style" enforcers.
  • Make it mandatory that, when an administrator tags an article as needing clean up or as needing Wikifying, they must take the time to explain on the article's Talk page in some detail why they have done so.
  • Make it mandatory that, when they make multiple edits to an article, they must explain on the article's Talk page why they did so. One or two words (or more commonly just incomprehensible abbreviations) on the edit summary line just simply is not enough.
  • Impress upon those administrators that comments like "What you did was thrown out in 1970" is very rude and insulting.
  • Impress upon those administrators that articles have two components,one being "style" and one being "substance or contents" and that Wikipedia's style must sometimes be subordinated to improve the substance or content ... or subordinated to common usage in specific fields or disciplines. Blind slavishness to the overwhelming amount of Wikipedia style minutia is not necessary!!
  • Educate those administrators to the fact that no matter how bright or facile a university undergraduate or post-graduate student may be (and most of them are very bright), they cannot simply read some "source references" and become overnight experts in scientific or technical fields in which they have not had at least 5 years of real-world working experience ... nor should they attempt to write articles in those fields even if they are majoring in those fields.
  • Finally, forcefully educate those administrators to the fact that newcomers to Wikipedia were not born with knowledge of all the facets of the Wikipedia markup language ... or how to use the TeX math markup to create equations ... or the complete contents of the multitude of Wikipedia policies and rules. It takes at least a few months to just approach that stage ...if you devote 4-5 hours a day to it.
Quiddity, I know whereof I speak because I have only been a Wikipedian for about 4 months ... and I encountered all of the treatments described above. There were many times when I thought about just quitting. The reason I stayed is that I am an 83 year old retiree with time on my hands and I felt that I wanted to give back to others at least some of what I learned in 50 plus years of working as an engineer ... and I am proud of the many Wikipedia articles I have now created from scratch or contributed to. But other much younger engineers, still in the real-world workplace earning a living to support their families and trying to further their career, just would not put up with the nonsense they would receive if they became Wikipedians. Wikipedia is the real loser when experienced professionals refuse to participate!!
There simply must be a way to let experienced professional people submit articles to Wikipedia as they would to any professional journal ... and then have some administrators collaborate with them in editing the articles to fit into the Wiki mold, but that collaboration should be respectful, helpful, and civil mentoring rather than hectoring. - mbeychok 05:19, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Ah, people! Yes, people are a problem. (I much prefer cats myself. Cats and books, art and invention. ;)
Hence all the etiquette, civility, assume good faith, etc guidelines and policies.
In this case you're talking about WP:BITE (don't bite the newcomers), which administrators especially are not meant to break.
A large factor (i'm completely guessing, based on observation and discussions with friends) is that dozens(hundreds?) of administrators are teenagers and college students because they happen to have a lot of disposable time. And they are quickly promoted because they are probably some of wikipedia's most useful vandalism fighters, but they're also as emotional as... teenagers.
I think there are various proposals to create different subtypes of administrators to partially solve this problem?

As for professionals, I happened to be reading these sections yesterday, which i think answer your underlying questions.
I keep hoping to find an faq on what wikipedia is prophesised/expected/hoped to become. My own fanciful explanation that it will eventually become a U.N. dept was only half-joking. Noone really knows what this vast and unique experiment will become, but i do hope we find ways to attract more intelligent editors, and (forcibly if necessary!) educating the willfully ignorant. Aside from that, erm, are whole essays and conversations and such :)
The subject of wikipedia itself spawns so many ramifications/extrapolations/permutations/implications...
Good to have you around, drop me a note for a hand anytime :) -Quiddity 06:34, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
My last word here on this subject ... I promise. I totally agree with you that "dozens (hundreds?) of administrators" are teens or university students ... and I lean more toward the hundreds as being correct. - mbeychok 06:49, 11 May 2006 (UTC)


I cleaned that talk:list of fictional universes up some; see if it's better now using the black and killing centering. Thanks for the input and compliment too. See user talk:fabartus#Color_Suggestions for longer answer. (I personally can't hardly ever find time to see the watchlist! <G> Maybe I should get lessons from you. FrankB 03:21, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

an aside - following your HTML link lead to this (META-WIKI) post on 'unfamiliar' institutional turf. If this is part of your 'world', and this should be elsewhere repeated, please raise it in the proper venue. Thanks FrankB 16:51, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

aside#2: Your comment about coming changes to better follow thread... be patient, etc. in your initial post on my talk are intriguing, but I've just had to copy-down an ignored post on article talk-space, and mult-threaded talk pages, as in for example Baen's Bar would truly be good if the unread posts were flagged so to be easily eliminated! I Don't know whether you can get in without a password but here are four successively deeper looks pages if the links work for you: remove links that dont work for unlogged-in users

The only other webboard forums I've bothered with other than fly-by visits were the AOL boards. The one feature they had which is highly recommended by me is the ability to page through a thread post by post (Prev and Next buttons).

That's my two cents! FrankB 16:51, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

Good for them, all one of you. Since I see the indent styles vary all over these pages, I'm hardly going to worry about 'their' angst, or your opinion, even if it 'really' is important to someone else so as to spend an entire day on something so annal, besides for you that is. Do I have to draw big pictures and use very very very small words. Go away. Bug someone else. You're a pest. You've worn out your welcome. You've taken too much of my time. I can't take you seriously anymore. Get lost! Grow up. I'm done humoring you. Last warning. FrankB 01:36, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
Good for the Talk page guidelines#Layout. further reply at fabartus' talk page. -Quiddity


Quiddity, Fabartus does not want to engage in a discussion with you. At this point, I'd suggest just leaving him alone. Continuing to try to talk to him is being seen by him as stalking whether it really is or not. --Woohookitty(meow) 05:18, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Sure thing.
But he really does need to learn to adapt to others, learn from mistakes, and accept criticism. Especially as he doles it out so freely, and at such length. It implies authority which he doesnt actually deserve here yet.
I wrote to the extent that I did because i have seen the wake of disruption and frustration he often leaves in article and user talk pages, but respect the breadth of his contributions enough to want to try to suggest improvments in his online-communication habits, rather than just trying to ignore him. I'd appreciate it if you read through the thread at his talk page, and confirm for him (or correct for me) what i have said. I made a determined effort to remain completely polite/formal/friendly/civil, until the reply in section FrankB-3, with the subtle republican jibe, but i was still writing that when he sent me this email.
He is beyond uncivil, and frequently, as both I AND He point out! (see "vitriol" quote) I'm surprised he hasnt had an RfC already.
I shouldn't have posted a response to his query at User_talk:Pegship#Seems_to_me_Milieu_was_Hi-Jacked. I was trying to show him that I can be helpful. Silly in hindsight. Although i don't think he groks how watchlists are used.
Keep me posted. -Quiddity 07:34, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
(Preface: I grok fine, but have no time to switch to them. If there's a trick to split your eyes and attention, I'm all ears!)
  • I'll post this section on my talk as well, and your 'judgements' are, to say the least, unsupported. Moreover, with all the time you spent, and your opinion that such a 'mild' rebuke as I put in that email considering the days history as a provocation, you've got to be some Ivory Tower type sans real world experience. So you clearly don't travel much in troubled waters with busy admins. My language is mild, despite the fact you had me swearing like a sailor.
I've stood within and more often outside more offices where managers were throwing 'purple prose' back and forth at each other than I can count—I've seen it in law offices, accountants offices, real estate offices, etc. —so your experience is lacking perspective. Add in the list I just left on my talk. You should have fun mining Mel's! Some of the diatribes make me look like a devote nun.
Nor have I read anything that appointed you to some high office so that you would or should make me nor my behavior a project. At best, your 'good intentions' were overweeningly arrogant. At worst, and the dumbest, you ignored the point to take it off line for your own unfathomable reasons. That invitation is still open.
You've certainly made the last 30+ hours 'interesting', however frustrating it was to edit and do work, but who's style has caused that and the losses to wikipedia? My rare 'punctuated' points (with grumpiness or not), or your long winded never ending discourse? I should have been clearer sooner, and my apologies on that. I'll remember if I ever meet another as curious as you. Apologies again for the warning, such was not my request. I sought only advice.

Best wishes, FrankB 21:10, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Re: "the issue was respecting anothers time, the same boundary YOU crossed"
I think the misunderstanding over my turning you into "a project" comes from the fact that i replied to you at a rapid pace. That's easy because i use watchlists to combat vandalism at many pages, so end up refreshing the list every 10 minutes or so, whenever i'm in front of a monitor, which is a lot. I'm trying hard to write clearly, so that nothing is miscommunicated across cultural barriers (i'm a Brit...(certainly not a Dem) ;), so perhaps it was coming across in the wrong tone, depending on what intonations/implications you give each phrase as you read them.
I enjoy privacy. Hence the alias and not emailing you in reply. (Primarily because i dont want to revert the "wrong" vandal someday and have a hacker-kiddie add me to spam lists and worse. And identify theft is rampant.)
I'd started off just trying to explain why changing talk page styling, so drastically, was considered harmful. And then as you seemed potentially interested in usability matters, went on to bring up your fairly unique, prolific, and inconsistent use of the 3 indenting techniques (colon, semicolon, asterisk).
You replied, i replied and clarified, you replied, i replied, and it all fell to bits! Darned politics and guidelines were raised, and you suggested that your methods of intro writing (in MWI) made the "lead section" guidelines ignorable, which raised my hackles, because, as you realize, i'm more interested in background matters that affect multiple pages (like stylistic or categorical or usability concerns) than with individual articles, which others, like yourself, are better at developing. A red flag to a bull-like academic, indeed!
I've been online since '96, and dabbling since 93 (ahh, compuserve) so have seen a fair few actual flame wars before ;-)
Anyway, this all would have gone a lot smoother, if i just hadnt replied as rapidly (once a day instead of once an hour), or been trying to match your own verbose style ;) So, as you say, back to business...
Apology accepted and offered back in return.  :) -Quiddity 22:04, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Hi again -- All's well; I tend to agree with your last two recaps on my talk. All is now in User_talk:Fabartus/Archive04. And I have taken some tips to heart! <g> Like the Turnducken (sp?), but the 'wifee' doesn't like duck. Too rich after her physical too. (You see there my short-term memory handicap— I have to use a term several times to internalize it; one reason I gave up 'coding' unless absolutely necessary, which it still is, but I play to maximize my strengths, minimize the weaknesses). You are quite correct I was tough on J-777, and such flashes usually are with a load of fatigue, but styles again. Don't usually have troubles though, so nuff said.
If you feel like flexing your superior HTML skills, I've two problems I could use a hand with. 1) the two boxes on my user page that should sit side by side on Firefox or Netscape (you may have already seen the tutoring has struck gold above those) <g>. 2) (more important to me) is Grantville Gazette II — I'd like to float the disclaimer paragraph over to either wrap around the TOC, or float to the right of same. The box is unecessary and can be dispensed with if releasing that form helps. Inform me if you get success on #2 ASAP, or if you won't attempt so I can ask for anothers help. I suspect I'll see 1 soon enough! Thanks, and grins! FrankB 00:16, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

CSS locations and usage guidelines

Hi Quiddity,

If you don't mind, could you direct me to where style sheets and how to use them are located on Wikipedia, like when a table uses something like class="wikitable"? I'd like to learn a little more about the details of some of them and how they're used here. Thanks! Rfrisbietalk 14:46, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Thanks! Rfrisbietalk 17:32, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

You're bloody brilliant (when you ain't preachy!) Thanks! FrankB 03:13, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

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Thank you!

Thanks for your edits to Wikipedia:Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. When I first encountered it, it looked like it was written by a vandal. With your edits, it looks much more like the sort of official policy page that I could see myself referring someone to. --M@rēino 23:21, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

no prob :) though credit where due, it was Wintran's idea: Wikipedia_talk:Wikipedia_is_an_encyclopedia#Let.27s_get_rid_of_the_CAPS, i just agreed. :) -Quiddity 23:50, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Special characters not showing up

Does adding #editpage-specialchars {font-family: "Arial Unicode MS";} to your monobook.css solve the problem? —Ruud 02:40, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Nope. but today i'm getting question marks instead of tiny squares for those missing characters. how odd. though i'm running win98, so am used to minor problems ;) -Quiddity 04:35, 22 May 2006 (UTC)