User talk:Retro

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toggle ref check[edit]

Hello, just a note to say that User:Lingzhi2/reviewsourcecheck has been update to add the option to toggle it on or off.

Refck screenshot.png

The installed script will add a tab to the drop-down tab at the top, located between the 'watchlist star' and the search box (using the vector.js skin). The tab toggles between "Hide ref check" and "Show ref check" with displaying the errors as the default option. Please do drop me a line if you have any problems or suggestions. Tks. ♦ Lingzhi2 (talk) 15:18, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

  • Sorry to bother you again. After the addition of a toggle option in the tab atop the page, one editor requested a revised version in which the toggle link appears in the "Tools" section of the page's left sidebar. So now there are two versions of this tool. If you prefer the links in the Toolbar section on the side, the slightly altered script is named User:Lingzhi2/reviewsourcecheck-sb.js (just add "-sb" before the ".js"). Finally, both versions should now also store the page state (whether reference errors/warnings are "hidden" or "shown"). The state persists between page loads and between the browser closing and reopening (unless cleared by the user, for example by deleting data in your browser's cache etc.). Huge thanks to User:Evad37 for much coding help. If you have any questions or problems, please drop me a line. Thanks again. ♦ Lingzhi2 (talk) 08:26, 5 February 2019 (UTC)

Sabana Grande, Caracas[edit]

Dear Sir or Madam,

I opened a peer review request. The user did not edit the article, but deleted 110,000 characters. What is the name of that? I contacted the people that previously edited the Sabana Grande (Caracas) article. I rarely edit Wikipedia these days because I am very busy with my PhD application and work. I had no time to send personalized messages.

He could have ping me before deleting a whole article, but he deleted it instead. Nevermind.

QuinteroP (talk) 19:09, 13 March 2019 (UTC)

@QuinteroP: Sending messages to 14 different users is generally not appropriate regardless. The article's talk page is the appropriate place to discuss such matters, not many other user's talk pages.
People delete and add content all the time, and it's not their responsibility to personally tell you about it (see also: WP:OWN). If you disagree, you can always revert. But immediately assuming bad faith and calling an edit 'vandalism' is overly aggressive, especially when it's sent to 14 different user's talk pages. Instead, if you have a problem, you can always seek dispute resolution, but allow the natural bold, revert, discuss cycle to run its course first. E to the Pi times i (talk | contribs) 19:19, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
I would also discourage you from deleting warnings from your talk page. E to the Pi times i (talk | contribs) 19:22, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
@E to the Pi times i: Okay. Good to know. I am not a frequent user of Wikipedia/Wikimedia. Thanks for the info. QuinteroP (talk) 19:29, 13 March 2019 (UTC)

Much later note for the archives: WP:MULTI is more directly relevant here than WP:FORUMSHOP. eπi (talk | contribs) 06:02, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

Prostitution in India[edit]

Hi. I notice you added an anchor to the section heading "Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act". When wikitext is parsed to html a span with an id of the same name as the heading is added as an anchor to the heading. It's not necessary to add a second span. Regards --John B123 (talk) 17:32, 17 April 2019 (UTC)

@John B123: I think you missed the difference in section headers in my edits. The original section header read "Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act", while the anchor I added was "Immoral Traffic Persons (Prevention) Act" (which I added to account for some section-targeted redirects). eπi (talk | contribs) 17:38, 17 April 2019 (UTC)
In which case the redirect on the page Immoral Traffic Persons (Prevention) Act should be changed rather than adding unnecessary anchors. Nothing links to the redirect page so it's not as if there's lots of pages to change. --John B123 (talk) 17:58, 17 April 2019 (UTC)
@John B123: Your point is fair. There are only three redirects to that section (1 created by me today), and their targets could be replaced painlessly. Additionally, the anchor does slightly increase the complexity of the Prostitution in India's article source.
However, this makes no material difference to the encyclopedia's readers, and I request that you allow it to remain at present. I ask this because this specific situation shows a bug in the Rdcheck tool, and I would like to file a Phabricator ticket for this bug (or a bug report in general, if I mistakenly assumed this tool's bugs are managed on Phabricator). The bug is that the tool reports the redirect links as broken, while if you actually try the links for yourself (Immoral Traffic in Persons Act, Immoral Traffic Persons (Prevention) Act, Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act), you'll notice that they work as intended. The bug appears to be related to how the tool url-encodes parenthesis.
I do plan to try to replicate the bug on my own user pages, and not use actual articles directly for the Phabricator report, but if I can't manage to replicate the bug, it would be ideal for the page to be online for reference. eπi (talk | contribs) 18:31, 17 April 2019 (UTC)
No problem. I did notice that in the anchor you added there are spaces between the words, whereas the page generated anchors have underscores instead of spaces. Thinking the spaces may be causing a problem with urlencode, I changed the spaces to underscores, but this made no difference. --John B123 (talk) 19:00, 17 April 2019 (UTC)
@John B123: Alright, I've finally gotten around to playing around with this a bit, and figured out the issue.
Since you expressed some interest in determining the problem, I though I might offer an explanation; hopefully it's understandable. If there's anything you don't understand from my explanation below, I'd be interested in knowing where my explanation failed (don't feel obligated, though).
For the most part, the bug isn't actually a fault in Rdcheck (though there's a bit that could be improved), but more a phenomenon of how section headers are encoded in HTML. Take for example the following two headers:

Header 1[edit]

2 (parenthesis required)[edit]

Looking at the HTML for the headers (if you're using Firefox or Chrome, you can inspect the source by using Ctrl-Shift-i or right clicking and selecting "Inspect Element" (Firefox) or "Inspect" (Chrome)), you will notice the first header looks like this:
  • <span class="mw-headline" id="Header_1">Header 1</span>
And the second one looks like this:
  • <span class="mw-headline" id="2_(parenthesis_required)">2 (parenthesis required)</span>
Both headers look similar: they're both surrounded by a <span> element with class="mw-headline" and an id equal to the text in the header. The id is important, because it's the part that the site actually needs to be able to link to the sections; it's the part that is searched for when one creates a section link like #Header 1.
But I actually told a bit of a fib there; a lie of omission. Because while these two headers look the same on the surface, there's an important difference. The second header actually looks like this in full:
  • <span id="2_.28parenthesis_required.29"></span><span class="mw-headline" id="2_(parenthesis_required)">2 (parenthesis required)</span>
What I recently learned is that when section headers generate with non-standard characters like parentheses, the site adds an extra <span> with a separate id that contains a modified version of the section's name. In this case the modified name is 2_.28parenthesis_required.29; in this version of the section's name, .28 replaced the ( and .29 replaced the ). This means that there's two ways to wikilink to this section:
These .## replacements may seem a bit strange, but there's a reason they exist. Take for example the following section:

Vertical bar | in the middle[edit]

How would you wiki link to that section?
If you try to copy the wikitext [[#Vertical bar | in the middle]], it produces in the middle; you can't include | in the link because it gets interpreted as a pipe. The only way to wikilink to that section is by using .7C instead of |, like #Vertical bar .7C in the middle.
So to sum all this up, the reason why Rdcheck fails is because while section headers do produce an extra <span> with an alternate id, {{Anchor}} does not produce an extra <span>, and thus when Rdcheck tried to use .##, it didn't work because the section link in question didn't exist. eπi (talk | contribs) 00:32, 9 May 2019 (UTC)


Hi there. I refer to your edit here: [1]. I overhauled the Lemmings article and successfully nominated it for GA back in 2015. In the process I spent a considerable amount of time searching for a reliable source that Canon in D appears in the game. I unfortunately could not find one, so accordingly did not include this information. After seeing your addition, I have just spent another hour searching for such a source. These three sources were the closest things I found, but I'm fairly confident none of them meets the criteria for WP:RS: [2] [3] [4]

Being somewhat of an immediatist and perfectionist, and also being aware the source you're requesting does not exist, I'd rather not have the stain of a 'citation needed' tag on the article. Incidentally I can't say I've ever seen someone add information to a Wikipedia article and then request a citation for it themselves before. If you cant find a citation either I'd much prefer to remove this information entirely, even though we both know it is true. Let me know if you have any problems with removing it, or if you think we could just remove the citation needed tag as the information is self-evident by playing the game. Thanks and have a nice day. Damien Linnane (talk) 00:47, 18 April 2019 (UTC)

@Damien Linnane: I appreciate your diligence, and I certainly do not object to you keeping an article you care about high quality. It's the price we pay for our WP:OR policy (though I think the benefits of the policy outweigh the negatives). Perhaps someday someone will write a reputable article mentioning the song legitimately. I've seen a similar case in my own personal curation DKC that I will probably end up removing (the OST for it has a hidden track, but I haven't yet seen any reliable sources mentioning it).
As for including it as self evident, I think the guidelines discourage that, because anyone can dispute uncited claims. I don't think edit warring over a relatively minute piece of information is worthwhile. My personal philosophy in this area has been if it wasn't important enough for the sources to mention, then it's probably not important enough for it to require mentioning in the article.
But take my thoughts with a grain of salt. I am not the best person to tell you about policies or guidelines; I've been topic banned from discussing changes to them and have taken an 11 month break, so I'm basically relying on my old memory. eπi (talk | contribs) 01:03, 18 April 2019 (UTC)

Some notes re: WP:Templates_for_discussion/Log/2019_June_9#Link_language_wrappers[edit]

Please peek at User:Shenme/ll1 for transclusion counts for the individual templates.

I've got other notes (in text, not on WP) but not formatted or made pretty. I'm probably the most paranoid person you'll never meet because I stay in my lair under the volcano, but I look wildly around at all sorts of things in my paranoia.

Looking for redirects of {{Zh_icon}} found

So I'm wondering how you'll find the all the various places that could/should be fixed up? Would you like me to do the equivalent of the above search for all your listed templates, in order to find the indirect templates?


Later (must leave for awhile) Shenme (talk) 07:31, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

@Shenme: Actually, I systematically queried a list of all the redirects before I nominated the templates (beware! My SQL code is probably suboptimal.)
As for handling the redirects, I assume the methodology there could be chainwise substitution, where the main wrapper is substituted to the redirect and then the redirects are substituted (but it would probably be good to check each redirect before marking it as okay through a bot task).
I don't necessarily think all the implementation details need to be worked out here and now though; I plan to make a post on Wikipedia:Bot requests so experienced bot operators can offer further technical feedback before before filing a BRFA (or before someone else offers to do it using functionality in an existing bot). Retro (talk | contribs) 12:40, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

Ahhh. It took me a minute to understand why I was pinged here. I haven't been directly involved with the wiki page Wikipedia:TemplateData/Template usage count, but I did create phabricator:P632, which the wiki page is based off of. --MZMcBride (talk) 00:40, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

TfD notices broke language icon templates[edit]

Hi, Retro. Just letting you know that adding Template:Template for discussion/dated at the top of broke them, because notice was not wrapped in <noinclude></noinclude> properly. It seems that invocation of Module:Noinclude in these edits was intended to wrap the notice, but it did not do so. At the moment of writing, DannyS712 has helpfully fixed three templates after template-protected edit requests. —⁠andrybak (talk) 17:08, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

In the article namespace, it seems that most uses are inside references, so issue is not seen in the prose sections. For example, Symphony No. 9 (Beethoven)#cite_note-74. —⁠andrybak (talk) 17:12, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
@Andrybak: Can you show an example? They seemed to work fine when I checked how the rendered in article-space; if they're working properly, they should simply add <see TfD> with a link to the TfD (I intentionally did not put them in <noinclude>...</noinclude> for this reason). If there is a problem, I will do what I can to help fix it. Retro (talk | contribs) 17:19, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
@Andrybak: You linked to Symphony No. 9 (Beethoven)#cite_note-74, but I don't see the problem; it seems to be working as expected. Retro (talk | contribs) 17:21, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

@Andrybak: Ah, I see; in the edit requests, you linked to {{User SUL Box}}, where {{Link language}} is used in a piped link; that appears to be causing problems. It's arguably misuse on the part of {{User SUL Box}}, rather than the fault of {{Link language}}, but I'll look into it further.

I think it's a bit premature to <noinclude>...</noinclude> them all, since that's one specific issue which may be easily resolved; I would prefer editors be able to see they're being discussed at TfD in articles. But you are welcome to make more edit requests if you see fit. Retro (talk | contribs) 17:30, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

I haven't had a chance to dig in to this, but making the TFD notices "tiny inline" shouldn't break anything. Broken templates/userboxes/pages should be looked into and dealt with, but we don't need to be putting <noinclude> on everything. Primefac (talk) 17:39, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
@Andrybak and Primefac: Alright, I've moved the lang icon templates outside of the piped link; {{Link language}} is supposed to be used outside of the piped link, so that usage is a bit invalid. If you see any problems with this edit, you are welcome to revert. If not, I think it's appropriate to revert the <noinclude>...</noinclude>. If there's any other problems, they can be investigated, but for the vast majority of usage (which is in articles), it shouldn't cause any problems. Retro (talk | contribs) 17:40, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
Thank you! —⁠andrybak (talk) 17:44, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
@Primefac: Does reverting the edit requests seem reasonable? I think the TfD notice small link should be shown so interested parties have any easy link to participate in the discussion. Retro (talk | contribs) 17:48, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
If it's already been enacted, then it's not worth it for just a couple of templates. Primefac (talk) 18:05, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
@Primefac: Well, it was only for a couple of templates, but those were among the most widely transcluded templates in the nomination, totalling to about 1/3 of the transclusions. Retro (talk | contribs) 18:14, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

@Primefac: *sigh* I'm been too inconsistent in this situation. Following this discussion, I thought most of the transclusions were <noinclude>...</noinclude>ed, so I ended <noinclude>ed most of the language templates on another editor's request (I withdrew my edit requests on the highly transcluded ones, though). Pppery kindly informed me that there was no consensus for <noinclude>ing templates that aren't subst-only.

Ideally, I just shouldn't have acquiesced to that other editor, so they could all the template just consistently be visible. But at this point, I don't see any purpose in sweeping through a third time for a relatively small percentage of the transclusions (all of the highly transcluded templates have the notice, so most of the transclusions have the notice).

Obviously, this is my action, so I take full responsibility for it. I guess this is a sort of lesson learned about the dangers of flip-flopping in template-editing. For me, this situation shows the benefits of passivity where consensus seems uncertain or nonexistent. Retro (talk | contribs) 13:31, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Ray McDonald (actor)[edit]

Iused the AfCH . It should have left a redirect to the talk page but didn't. Such errors are rather common with AFCH. DGG ( talk ) 16:32, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

@DGG: From that it sounds like the tool is not sophisticated enough to remove the scaffolding (e.g. {{AFC submission|...}})? Or does the tool normally remove those templates, and this article just happened to be an edge case? Retro (talk | contribs) 16:36, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
If the page is refreshed before AFCH finishes its job it can often result in the templates not being removed. Sometimes there's a hitch in the system. There are many reasons why it doesn't remove the templates, but 99% of the time it does. Primefac (talk) 16:52, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
@Primefac: It'd be nice if one could do a page move and a page edit as an atomic action; it seems like problems like this will always happen unless that is possible. Retro (talk | contribs) 16:57, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean. AFCH moves the page, removes the AFC templates, adds relevant categories/WikiProject templates. What other functions should it be performing? Primefac (talk) 17:01, 2 July 2019 (UTC) (please do not ping on reply)
I'm actually talking about the MediaWiki API itself, not AFCH. It would require a change to the current revision model to allow pages to be edited when moving, but a null edit is already added to the revision history when a page is moved. If the MediaWiki API allowed this, then it seems AFCH would be much less likely to miss making the necessary edit. Retro (talk | contribs) 17:06, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
Feel free to file a phab task. Primefac (talk) 17:07, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
Filed: T227119. This is not to say that there might not be a bug in AFCH, but what you describe sounds more like a timing issue. Of course, this might not be the best solution for solving it, and I can imagine many problems.
And actually, AFCH could probably implement some kind of check internally so such things are quickly detected and presented to the actioning admin. I'm not hugely familiar with JS scripting unfortunately, but maybe I will become more familiar in the near future and be able to help with that.
And sorry for the initial ping; I realized it was silly right after I sent it, and it's a reflex I need to work on. Retro (talk | contribs) 17:30, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
No worries about the ping, I often forget to add {{ppor}} and there are a fair number of editors who never watch user talks. Primefac (talk) 18:28, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

Another case where manual fixing was necessary: Who is the Savage? Retro (talk | contribs) 17:40, 4 July 2019 (UTC)

Is this happening (regularly) only with DGG or is it happening with other editors? If it's just DGG, then it might be something on their end as opposed to something "wrong" with AFCH. Primefac (talk) 13:59, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
I don't know. I just happened to notice it because I've recently been systematically tracking userspace links in articles, and drafts moved improperly generate such links.
I do think two diffs can still be put down to coincidence, especially if DGG is one of the more active AfC reviewers. For now, I will continue to note any future occurrences, but I caveat this by noting this is not a particularly sophisticated method of analysis. In the future, I will likely go back and systematically analyze previous AfC moves in detail to better understand the scope of the problem. Retro (talk | contribs) 14:12, 14 July 2019 (UTC)

AfC template retention list[edit]

Cases where manual removal was necessary (last updated 12:00, 20 July 2019 (UTC)):

Retro (talk | contribs) 12:00, 20 July 2019 (UTC)

Texas Veterans Hall of Fame[edit]

I could really use some help with what I'm doing wrong with Texas Veterans Hall of Fame article. I'm on the board of the TVHOF... does that mean I can't edit the article? And I really don't get the COI templates. Gary J Hardy (talk) 01:10, 9 July 2019 (UTC)

Hi, Gary J Hardy! I've taken a closer look at the article you created, and unfortunately, I do not think the article's topic currently meets our notability criteria, so I have nominated it for deletion. You can find more details and comment there.
In regards to the conflict of interest, you are strongly encouraged to avoid editing the article directly, instead requesting edits through {{request edit}}. However, in this case, since you created the article, it would have been preferred that you created a draft of your article first, so then it could be reviewed and improved by experienced editors. Retro (talk | contribs) 03:32, 10 July 2019 (UTC)

Carla Fletcher moved to draftspace[edit]

An article you recently created, Carla Fletcher, does not have enough sources and citations as written to remain published. It needs more citations from reliable, independent sources. (?) Information that can't be referenced should be removed (verifiability is of central importance on Wikipedia). I've moved your draft to draftspace (with a prefix of "Draft:" before the article title) where you can incubate the article with minimal disruption. When you feel the article meets Wikipedia's general notability guideline and thus is ready for mainspace, please click on the "Submit your draft for review!" button at the top of the page. Jack Frost (talk) 04:34, 9 July 2019 (UTC)

@Jack Frost: As my original edit summary noted, this is not a draft I actually authored. I just moved to draftspace from a talk page after the author kept moving their talk page into mainspace. Retro (talk | contribs) 11:07, 9 July 2019 (UTC)
Retro, Apologies! I did realise that; I forgot to untick the box to automagically notify you of the move. My fault entirely! Jack Frost (talk) 22:36, 9 July 2019 (UTC)

Recent Portal changes[edit]

I see your AWB alter-ego made changes like this and this, but I am not aware of what exact effect it had besides being cosmetic. I see you posted here that you were working on a script, but the discussion didn't even close yet. So mind sharing why you've started implementing this change?
I really kind of found it disruptive; no offense. Face-troubled.svgMJLTalk 16:04, 12 July 2019 (UTC)

@MJL: I'm sorry if you found it disruptive.
Currently, yes, the change doesn't affect the appearance of the template on the portals. However, once the parameter is added, the year parameter will be required to render properly, or there would have to be messy conditionals to make the template display properly in all cases. Multiple participants in the discussion have expressed support for date-marking the template in some way, and even if that doesn't happen, the parameter could still be used in other ways, like populating a maintenance category,
Of course, I can see your point: I probably should have drafted the appearance and then added the parameter to all related templates after an appearance was agreed upon. I implemented the template transclusions before adding support to the template because I wanted to have the parameterized template transclusions ready to ease the transition into them, but since you have raised concerns, I will probably reconsider doing so if I run into a similar situation in the future. Retro (talk | contribs) 16:19, 12 July 2019 (UTC)
@Retro: [Thank you for the ping] Well, I appreciate you acknowledging that things went wrong in that one regard. All is forgiven! Face-smile.svgMJLTalk 16:32, 12 July 2019 (UTC)
Hi Retro, I saw you added the {{Featured portal}} template back into Portal:Scotland last night and your AWB alternative account added the FPOCyear parameter to it today. Thanks for that, but it's probably jumping the gun a bit, don't you think? The TfD is technically still open, even though it's almost certainly a snow close to keep, but we've probably got too many rules and procedures to follow as it is, so No Big Deal IMHO. My other question is about the technicalities: I see that the template doesn't contain the FPOCyear parameter yet, so why doesn't it throw a wobbly and generate an error message about "unknown parameter" or some such? It's displaying fine on the Portal page. Apologies if this is a dumb question, I've just always avoided the technical side of templates, they're much too scary for me.
As a side note, in case you never noticed, I slept on your advice overnight, and struck my final paragraph of my opening comment on the TfD. On reflection it was a bit too personal and over the top. The problem is that BHG has been the main driver behind this portal deletion campaign for many months now, and has become effectively the cheerleader or official spokesperson for them. So when I'm making a point, or having a complaint about something dubious her Username somehow emerges from my keyboard. No excuse, I know, so I'll try to take more care in future. Many thanks for the sound, friendly advice. All the best. 17:59, 12 July 2019 (UTC) Yeah, after some reflection (and after MJL commented above), I do think I jumped the gun on adding the |FPOCyear= parameter to all the template transclusions. Particularly because a more granular <month> <year> date may be preferable.
As for why it doesn't display an error, superfluous parameter use in transclusions doesn't normally display errors. More specific templates can process parameters and report on unused parameters. For example, the infobox templates display a message mentioning when a parameter is unused.
I appreciate you striking part of your comment. Retro (talk | contribs) 18:11, 12 July 2019 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Civility Barnstar Hires.png The Civility Barnstar
You have been so patient regarding Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2019 July 5#Link language wrappers. I just think you deserve a barnstar for it at this point. Face-smile.svgMJLTalk 19:36, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
@MJL: Thanks! I try to ensure all my comments contribute to a productive discourse.
I have replied quite a bit in that discussion (at this point it is probably the most comments I have ever made in a single discussion, by a long shot), but I think I've avoided bludgeoning. But perhaps the resulting lengthy discussion could have been avoided if I'd structured my nomination rationale better. Face-wink.svg Retro (talk | contribs) 20:18, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
[Thank you for the ping] Nah, you definitely didn't bludgeon. I think you just underestimated how little people knew about {{LL}}. Like, my mind was blown when someone said you could link multiple languages. A lot of folks had questions for you lol –MJLTalk 20:22, 16 July 2019 (UTC)

Broken templates[edit]

Hey, I had this happen just now here. I had given the student pretty detailed directions on how to copy things over so I know that it wasn't anything that they had done, as they copied their work over in the same way that an experienced editor would.

I did have a thought, though: I wonder if it's caused by someone adding a named source, along the lines of "<ref name=":02">". I wonder if this is the case of the system messing up because there's already a source with that name and rather than resolving it by renaming it to something else like an unused number, they instead link to the sandbox. I don't know if this is limited to stuff in the sandbox or if this would happen with content copied from another article, as it's not as common for someone to copy over chunks of content from one article to another since in most cases it has to be rewritten or there may not be other sources with the same reference name.

I wanted to let you know about this since I can vouch that it's not student error. Not that you thought it was, but this is a situation where I can guarantee that the student didn't do anything out of the ordinary since the directions were not only detailed, but had pictures of what they should do. Shalor (Wiki Ed) (talk) 23:27, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

@Shalor (Wiki Ed): I've been meaning to get back to you on this. Sorry for the lag in response.
You said you gave detailed instructions; can you share those instructions? I have a theory about what's causing this: people are copying text from articles without clicking the "edit" button. In my own experimentation, I've found that copying text without being in "edit" mode produces identical results to the erroneous additions. I will note it hasn't produced identical results in a few cases, but I've attributed that to citation copying working differently on old revisions in certain circumstances.
But students are just the tip of the iceberg. There are currently <17 citation error of this type created by students (I've been actively working at chipping away at these, so hopefully it will get to 0 soon so I can just keep up with new ones that arise), but there are around 800 total errors.
And also, I earlier said I had a few tricks for fixing these. I will now summarize my general strategy. I use WikiBlame to see what revision the malformed citations were inserted, then go to the version immediately prior to insertion in the revision history of the page the malformed citation links to (i.e. usually User:<username>/sandbox in the case of student editors). The trickiest bit is adding the correct citations to the article: if the references are named, adding them might cause a reference name collision, so I usually rename the sources I'm inserting to an <AuthorLastName> <Year>name format (the risk is especially high if there have been edits since the malformed citation was added). In the process of avoiding name collision I often end up merging identical citations (care must be taken to preserve unique information like page numbers if available; one shouldn't blindly merge two citations just because they have the same author and title, but thoroughly verify). I also use a text editor with find-and-replace to ease the process of replacing source names and merging redundant sources. I also check the result using the "Show changes" button as a safety measure.
But overall, a by-hand approach is truly time-consuming, even with better methodology, so I'm currently working on developing a script to clean up the massive number of malformed citations that are currently present. I will likely file a BRFA to carry out part of this process, but certain pages will require more discretion, so I will definitely not be able to fully automate for every page, unfortunately. But the tool will probably still be helpful assistance in those cases. Retro (talk | contribs) 00:03, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for the tricks! I'll send you the link via email - I don't want to post it here since it has the student's name in it. Shalor (Wiki Ed) (talk) 13:17, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
@Shalor (Wiki Ed): This response came out a bit more long-winded than I intended; hopefully you're up for reading it! Face-wink.svg
I've had a look at those instructions and I have to agree, if the student followed those instructions, it seems unlikely to have been user error. I'll do a bit more testing related to that specific situation and see if I come up with anything.
Oh, and there's one more thing I forgot to mention: sometimes there's cross-contamination going on with the malformed references. In these cases, you'll see a broken citation that links to the sandbox, go back to the sandbox to discover that the sandbox also has a broken citation. Then you will have to run WikiBlame on the sandbox itself; sometimes the citation will go back to the original article, and sometimes, it will be a malformed copy from within the sandbox. And a general cautionary note: WikiBlame is not a cure-all: sometimes the malformed citations have been created in multiple separate edits, making it difficult to easily restore the correct content.
Regarding merging citations: if we're talking about merging citations that are the same source with different page numbers, it's a bit tricky, and I get the sense that even experienced Wikipedians can struggle with this. More specifically, the default citation model does not play nicely with this, and encourages one to just copy citations; I can imagine this is even more difficult with the VisualEditor. It is my understanding that there are two main models for this: {{sfn}} (Harvard-style citations) and {{rp}}. Harvard-style is preferred by me and many other editors, but it requires more section headers at the bottom and more complicated organization generally. {{rp}} is easy to use, but it separates the page number from the reference, and instead places it near the referenced text; it is fairly clear, but not my preferred style because it separate the citation components, so one has to go back and forth to verify the citation. But anyway: when I mentioned merging above, I was more talking about truly identical citations, rather than citations that differ by page number; the VisualEditor actually offers some assistance with name-referencing in this regard, though it is not sophisticated enough to detect citations with the same body. Retro (talk | contribs) 14:03, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
@Shalor (Wiki Ed): My testing seems to suggest that the student did make the type of copying error I suspected. I got correctly formatted citations when I copied in "edit" mode. But when I copied without the sandbox being in "edit" mode, I got identical results to what the student produced; compare the student's result vs. my result.
This is not intended to insult the student; I think the VisualEditor is deceptive because it's not easy to tell whether you're in edit mode or not.
It's important to emphasize that I don't think the main solution to this problem is behavioral shifts; there are quite straightforward ways for the VisualEditor to detect when a malformed citation is pasted and warn the user with instructions on how to properly copy the citation. Retro (talk | contribs) 14:43, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
By "warning", are you talking about the Edit Filter (which VisualEditor does appear to handle reasonably)? * Pppery * it has begun... 22:09, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
@Pppery: I wasn't really thinking of the edit filter in particular, but that will probably be the most effective method of putting a stop to it here, since MediaWiki developers are sometimes slow to work on things like this.
But then again, I'm not sure how efficient the edit filter is; are you familiar? Specifically, detection of miscopied references can be done by finding added wikitext containing cite%20note and added using the VisualEditor (this wouldn't catch every conceivable scenario, i.e. if someone absent-mindedly restored an old version in the source editor, but it would probably be fairly effective). Retro (talk | contribs) 22:52, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure about performance, but just checking "does the wikitext contain string x" should be performant enough. I suggest you make a post at WP:EFR. * Pppery * it has begun... 23:07, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
Okay, I'll do that in a bit. Retro (talk | contribs) 23:10, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
@Pppery: Actually, I would like to eliminate all current cases before putting a lock on new cases, because there is a possibility people working in the sandbox have improperly copied their citations from an article, and thus would be warned or stopped even if they do copy their work from the sandbox properly. I have a work-in-progress script that I'll hopefully finish in a week, and then I'll file a BRFA.
Eliminating all current cases could also potentially simplify the edit filter. Retro (talk | contribs) 12:54, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
Eliminating all current cases will be difficult when they continue to be created as you work. Creating an edit filter makes eliminating all cases easier. The argument you are making goes both ways. * Pppery * it has begun... 20:46, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
@Pppery: You're welcome to make a request if it seems preferable. I don't feel comfortable doing so at this time, because I'd rather fully understand the problem and make sure we don't leave any contributors stuck. I can see your point though; I don't consider the daily accumulation a significant factor, but I may be mistaken. Retro (talk | contribs) 22:05, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
  • I was afraid of that. I can honestly see how it can happen as well for the same reasons you stated. The warning does sound like a good idea - I know it'd make my life a lot easier with students. XD Shalor (Wiki Ed) (talk) 17:51, 18 July 2019 (UTC)

Palestine-Israel articles 4 arbitration case commencing[edit]

In August 2019, the Arbitration Committee resolved to open the Palestine-Israel articles 4 arbitration case as a suspended case due to workload considerations. The Committee is now un-suspending and commencing the case.

For the Arbitration Committee, Kevin (aka L235 · t · c) via MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 04:09, 5 October 2019 (UTC)