User talk:Simon Burchell

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Your GA nomination of Spanish conquest of Honduras[edit]

The article Spanish conquest of Honduras you nominated as a good article has passed Symbol support vote.svg; see Talk:Spanish conquest of Honduras for comments about the article. Well done! If the article has not already been on the main page as an "In the news" or "Did you know" item, you can nominate it to appear in Did you know. Message delivered by Legobot, on behalf of Auntieruth55 -- Auntieruth55 (talk) 19:21, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Copyeditor Barnstar Hires.png The Copyeditor's Barnstar
Thanks for copyediting Disappearance of Federico Tobares! Not sure if you have this barnstar already, but it is definitely well deserved. If you can, spread the WikiLove to someone else you think deserves it! Happy editing, ComputerJA () 22:35, 7 May 2017 (UTC)
Thank you! All the best, Simon Burchell (talk) 07:53, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

DYK for Pedro de Portocarrero (conquistador)[edit]

Updated DYK query.svg On 12 May 2017, Did you know was updated with a fact from the article Pedro de Portocarrero (conquistador), which you recently created, substantially expanded, or brought to good article status. The fact was ... that conquistador Pedro de Portocarrero founded the first Spanish colonial town within the territory of the modern Mexican state of Chiapas? The nomination discussion and review may be seen at Template:Did you know nominations/Pedro de Portocarrero (conquistador). You are welcome to check how many page hits the article got while on the front page (here's how, Pedro de Portocarrero (conquistador)), and it may be added to the statistics page if the total is over 5,000. Finally, if you know of an interesting fact from another recently created article, then please feel free to suggest it on the Did you know talk page.

Mifter (talk) 04:23, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

DYK for Guaytán[edit]

Updated DYK query.svg On 18 May 2017, Did you know was updated with a fact from the article Guaytán, which you recently created, substantially expanded, or brought to good article status. The fact was ... that fragments of ancient Maya books have been recovered from the ruins of Guaytán in Guatemala? The nomination discussion and review may be seen at Template:Did you know nominations/Guaytán. You are welcome to check how many page hits the article got while on the front page (here's how, Guaytán), and it may be added to the statistics page if the total is over 5,000. Finally, if you know of an interesting fact from another recently created article, then please feel free to suggest it on the Did you know talk page.

Gatoclass (talk) 00:05, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

DYK for Spanish conquest of Honduras[edit]

Updated DYK query.svg On 30 May 2017, Did you know was updated with a fact from the article Spanish conquest of Honduras, which you recently created, substantially expanded, or brought to good article status. The fact was ... that infighting among the conquistadors hindered the Spanish conquest of Honduras? The nomination discussion and review may be seen at Template:Did you know nominations/Spanish conquest of Honduras. You are welcome to check how many page hits the article got while on the front page (here's how, Spanish conquest of Honduras), and it may be added to the statistics page if the total is over 5,000. Finally, if you know of an interesting fact from another recently created article, then please feel free to suggest it on the Did you know talk page.

Mifter (talk) 00:01, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

DYK for Spanish conquest of El Salvador[edit]

Updated DYK query.svg On 14 June 2017, Did you know was updated with a fact from the article Spanish conquest of El Salvador, which you recently created, substantially expanded, or brought to good article status. The fact was ... that during the Spanish conquest of El Salvador, the Spanish town of San Salvador was destroyed by natives within a year of being founded by Gonzalo de Alvarado? The nomination discussion and review may be seen at Template:Did you know nominations/Spanish conquest of El Salvador. You are welcome to check how many page hits the article got while on the front page (here's how, Spanish conquest of El Salvador), and it may be added to the statistics page if the total is over 5,000. Finally, if you know of an interesting fact from another recently created article, then please feel free to suggest it on the Did you know talk page.

Mifter (talk) 00:43, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

Books and Bytes - Issue 22[edit]

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Issue 22, April-May 2017

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This is to inform you that an attempt is being made to overturn an RfC that you voted on[edit]

This is to inform you that an attempt is being made to overturn an RfC that you voted on (2 RfCs, actually, one less than six months ago and another a year ago). The new RfC is at:

Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#RfC: Allow private schools to be characterized as non-affiliated as well as religious, in infobox?

Specifically, it asks that "religion = none" be allowed in the infobox.

The first RfC that this new RfC is trying to overturn is:

The result of that RfC was "unambiguously in favour of omitting the parameter altogether for 'none' " and despite the RfC title, additionally found that "There's no obvious reason why this would not apply to historical or fictional characters, institutions etc.", and that nonreligions listed in the religion entry should be removed when found "in any article".

The second RfC that this new RfC is trying to overturn is:

The result of that RfC was that the "in all Wikipedia articles, without exception, nonreligions should not be listed in the Religion= parameter of the infobox.".

Note: I am informing everyone who commented on the above RfCs, whether they supported or opposed the final consensus. --Guy Macon (talk) 03:22, 26 June 2017 (UTC)

Your GA nomination of Spanish conquest of El Salvador[edit]

Hi there, I'm pleased to inform you that I've begun reviewing the article Spanish conquest of El Salvador you nominated for GA-status according to the criteria. Time2wait.svg This process may take up to 7 days. Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments you might have during this period. Message delivered by Legobot, on behalf of Auntieruth55 -- Auntieruth55 (talk) 17:42, 4 July 2017 (UTC)

Your GA nomination of Spanish conquest of El Salvador[edit]

The article Spanish conquest of El Salvador you nominated as a good article has passed Symbol support vote.svg; see Talk:Spanish conquest of El Salvador for comments about the article. Well done! If the article has not already been on the main page as an "In the news" or "Did you know" item, you can nominate it to appear in Did you know. Message delivered by Legobot, on behalf of Auntieruth55 -- Auntieruth55 (talk) 18:02, 4 July 2017 (UTC)

Toniná[edit]

Hi Simon, I do not agree with the archaeologists of INAH (I am sure, neither would David Stuart, Richard Hansen, Bill Saturno, Ian Graham, et al.) but I totally agree with you in undoing my revision.

Still, there persists a problem:

In the second paragraph, the last sentence ("Toniná possesses...") seems to contradict the first few lines of same paragraph (could a part be taller than the whole?).

May I suggest

  • (A) fixing the 71m/74m controversy to 75m
  • (B) replacing the last sentence with a new paragraph, ...
  • either (B1) Toniná possesses one of the tallest structures (multiple temples and staircases built on the slope of a hill) in Mexico; at 75 metres (246 ft) in height, it is taller than the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan.[1][2][3]
  • or (B2) Archaeologists from INAH [4] have defined a large group of terraces, staircases, monuments and temple pyramids as "La Gran Pirámide" of Toniná.[5] According to this criteria, this would make it one of the largest pyramids in Mexico; at 75 metres (246 ft) in height, it is taller than the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan.[6][7]
Note: I prefer option (B2).

Cordially,

Saludos desde Coyoacán CdMx, Wkboonec (talk) 07:43, 16 July 2017 (UTC)

Hi @Wkboonec:, there was a bunch of recent news reports about this. When it was first inserted into the page, my first instinct was to revert the claim of largest pyramid, but a bit of poking around backed this up - even though I think the news releases coming out of the Toniná archaeological project over the past few years have been over-hyped. A nice illustration can be found at news.com.au - and it wouldn't be the first Mesoamerican pyramid to have been mistaken for a natural hill. When I visited the site years ago, it certainly looked like a terraced hill, but the recent excavations seem to be turning this on its head - and it may well actually be a large pyramid with a whole bunch of stuff built on top, which has its own precedents in the Maya area, in the form of the triadic pyramid complexes of the preclassic. Putting an exact height on it seems problematic at the moment, given the varying estimates, perhaps it would be best to say "over 70m tall". There is no rush, and it might be safest to leave as is for the time being, until archaeological reports start being properly published, rather than relying on press reports, which may well be geared towards promoting the site for tourism and securing further funding for the archaeological project. All the best, Simon Burchell (talk) 15:02, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
Yes, Simon: Toniná is quite an extraordinay and impressive site, even without what I believe to be "extraordinary claims" (so far, still without the required evidence). I can't begin to imagine that the topmost temple-pyramid of Toniná is sitting under anything other than the hillside, aside from some cosmetics. I like to think that the INAH people didn't mean what came out on the press; and that afterwards, they prefered to remain silent and not try to clarify their statements. Hopefully, the hype will be of benefit for the region (you must be well aware of the EZLN uprising in 1994) and this matter will clear itself away, vanishing harmlessly.
P.S. By the way, if you haven't seen it already, you may want to see Richard Hansen's talk at the Library of Congress (2014): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kE8BNer2H3k
Saludos, Wkboonec (talk) 03:12, 20 July 2017 (UTC)

Hi again. I climbed aboard Google Earth and flew over and around the temple of the "Espejo Humeante del Cielo" in "Zona Arqueológica de Toniná". No way there's a man-made 50-meter whatever under it. I don't think that Wikipedia should be stating those claims as fact - Wikipedia should, in any case, state that "according to INAH archaeologists, ...". Cheers,Wkboonec (talk) 00:47, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

Hi Wkboonec. A few points here - we don't need to say "according to INAH archaeologists", because this is already cited to INAH as a source, and is redundant. We must refer back to published reliable sources, and INAH is a reliable source, whether we agree with it or not - they have produced plenty of solid research - until we can find a more recent rebuttal of the claim in an equally reliable source. We certainly can't rely on a Google Earth flyby to source the article - which strays perilously close to original research (the dangers of that are painfully evident over at K'àak' Chi'). I think we should let it stand for now, in due course the archaeological reports will hopefully become available, and become subject to analysis and review. All the best, Simon Burchell (talk) 15:24, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

DYK for Spanish conquest of Nicaragua[edit]

Updated DYK query.svg On 22 July 2017, Did you know was updated with a fact from the article Spanish conquest of Nicaragua, which you recently created, substantially expanded, or brought to good article status. The fact was ... that within 100 years of the Spanish conquest of Nicaragua, the native population had been all but eliminated by a combination of newly-introduced disease, the slave trade, warfare, and mistreatment? The nomination discussion and review may be seen at Template:Did you know nominations/Spanish conquest of Nicaragua. You are welcome to check how many page hits the article got while on the front page (here's how, Spanish conquest of Nicaragua), and it may be added to the statistics page if the total is over 5,000. Finally, if you know of an interesting fact from another recently created article, then please feel free to suggest it on the Did you know talk page.

Alex ShihTalk 12:28, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

DYK for Nicarao people[edit]

Updated DYK query.svg On 8 August 2017, Did you know was updated with a fact from the article Nicarao people, which you recently created, substantially expanded, or brought to good article status. The fact was ... that the extinct Nicarao people of pre-Columbian Nicaragua shared many cultural traits with the Aztecs of Mexico, including their calendar, screenfold books, and human sacrifice? The nomination discussion and review may be seen at Template:Did you know nominations/Nicarao people. You are welcome to check how many page hits the article got while on the front page (here's how, Nicarao people), and it may be added to the statistics page if the total is over 5,000. Finally, if you know of an interesting fact from another recently created article, then please feel free to suggest it on the Did you know talk page.

— Maile (talk) 00:03, 8 August 2017 (UTC)

Books and Bytes - Issue 23[edit]

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Issue 23, June-July 2017

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Sent by MediaWiki message delivery on behalf of The Wikipedia Library team --MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 02:03, 23 August 2017 (UTC)

Featured articles candidates[edit]

Hi there! I saw you listed under Wikipedia:Mentoring for FAC#Mentors, and hoped that I could ask you about three articles that have just passed GA. The real question is whether they have a shot at becoming FAs? They are all relatively short articles on minor subjects, yet cover all the literature on each.

  1. Guilden Morden boar
  2. Tjele helmet fragment
  3. Gevninge helmet fragment

Thanks for any feedback! --Usernameunique (talk) 18:04, 16 September 2017 (UTC)

Hi Usernameunique, I will see if I have time to look at these later today. All the best, Simon Burchell (talk) 10:10, 18 September 2017 (UTC)
@Usernameunique: Sorry, I haven't had much time, I had a quick look through the boar article, I think it could use a paragraph upon the role of boars in Anglo-Saxon culture, but otherwise it looks very good. I see it is already up at FAC, unfortunately I won't have time to go through it in detail for at least a couple of weeks - but given the pace of review, it is likely to still be around and I will see what I can do to review it. Simon Burchell (talk) 10:35, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
With the Tjele helmet fragment, again some context would be good, a little bit about the culture that produced it, and the warrior class that used helmets. At the moment it seems to almost exist in a vacuum. The Gevninge helmet article is a little better in this respect, but still, a summary of who would be expected to own or use helmets in their culture would be good, and how common they were. The Gevninge helmet article indicates that it was a prestige item, so probably not that common. They are all fine articles, and the Gevninge helmet in particular could potentially pass FA with a bit of work. Best regards, Simon Burchell (talk) 10:39, 29 September 2017 (UTC)

WikiProject Women in Red/The World Contest[edit]

Hi. Thankyou for your participation in the challenge series or/and contests. In November The Women in Red World Contest is being held to try to produce new articles for as many countries worldwide and occupations as possible. There will be over $4000 in prizes to win, including Amazon vouchers and paid subscriptions. If this would appeal to you and you think you'd be interested in contributing new articles on women during this month for your region or wherever please sign up in the participants section. The articles done may also count towards the ongoing challenge. If you're not interested in prize money yourself but are willing to participate and raise money to buy books about women for others to use, this is also fine. Help would also be appreciated in drawing up the lists of missing articles. If you think of any missing articles please add them to the sub lists by continent at Missing articles. Thankyou, and if taking part, good luck!♦ Dr. Blofeld 08:49, 5 October 2017 (UTC)

Maya Astronomy[edit]

I put the comment in about American English because under WP:ENGVAR the article should use in the dialect in which it is originally written - in this case, American English. This can help when British English chauvinists come by and start to rewrite it as British English. Although this rarely happens, putting the comment in can help avoid this.

I know that many mayanists use the proleptic Gregorian calendar. Since this as an astronomy article, I hope editors will use astronomical dating. Use of the the proleptic Gregorian calendar and the Thompson correlation is a real nightmare for people trying to study the Maya calendar and Maya astronomy. The astronomical system of dating and the GMT correlation reflect mainstream scholarship on these subjects.

Also this is a rough partly-finished draft article so be patient. I'll get back to adding the rest soon. Senor Cuete (talk) 15:30, 20 October 2017 (UTC)

Sorry, I think I jumped the gun on that, and undid my edit. You're doing good work on it, and I'll hold off (and I'm not in the habit of changing established English varieties). I doubt I will get around to doing much work on the article anyway - I've long had half an eye on it, but there are plenty of other articles clamouring for my attention! All the best, Simon Burchell (talk) 15:33, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
I have all of the references about his and have programmed my computer to do the astronomical calculations based on Meeus, although I use a commercial program to study this. I've checked it and it does the calculations right. Checking the calendar conversions and dates of astronomical events in books about the Maya is a horrible experience. They're almost all wrong - a casualty of the proleptic Gregorian calendar and bogus correlation constants. I'll try to write a complete and accurate article. At some point I'll name the references, etc. Senor Cuete (talk) 15:58, 20 October 2017 (UTC)

Books and Bytes - Issue 24[edit]

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Issue 24, August-September 2017

  • User Group update
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Women in Red World Contest[edit]

Hi. We're into the last five days of the Women in Red World Contest. There's a new bonus prize of $200 worth of books of your choice to win for creating the most new women biographies between 0:00 on the 26th and 23:59 on 30th November. If you've been contributing to the contest, thank you for your support, we've produced over 2000 articles. If you haven't contributed yet, we would appreciate you taking the time to add entries to our articles achievements list by the end of the month. Thank you, and if participating, good luck with the finale!

Editor of the Week[edit]

Editor of the week barnstar.svg Editor of the Week
Your ongoing efforts to improve the encyclopedia have not gone unnoticed: You have been selected as Editor of the Week in recognition of your collaborative efforts. Thank you for the great contributions! (courtesy of the Wikipedia Editor Retention Project)

User:MX submitted the following nomination for Editor of the Week:

Simon Burchell's work speaks for itself! 155 DYKs, 7 FAs, 22 GAs, and much more! He works extremely hard and is a team-player. He specializes in Mesoamerican articles (mostly for Guatemala and Mexico). He also creates maps and uploads free images to improve this encyclopedia. I've followed his work for years, but I first came in contact with him when he reviewed an article I promoted to DYK. Most editors will review an article without thorougly going thru it and copyediting along the way, but Simon Burchell made several fixes. And for that I appreciate him too! He's a pleasure to work with and I'm happy to have Wikipedia celebrate him for a week!

You can copy the following text to your user page to display a user box proclaiming your selection as Editor of the Week:

{{User:UBX/EoTWBox}}
Project editor retention.svg
Editor of the week.svg
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Project Mesoamerica
Simon Burchell
 
Editor of the Week
for the week beginning December 3, 2017
A hard working team-player. Focuses on Mesoamerican (Guatemala and Mexico). Creates maps and uploads free images. Reviews DYK articles, copyediting and fixing along the way.
Recognized for
155 DYKs, 7 FAs, 22 GAs
Submit a nomination

Thanks again for your efforts! ―Buster7  15:01, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

(talk page stalker) Congratulations, Simon, this is definitely well deserved! Vanamonde (talk) 16:04, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
Wow, thanks! Simon Burchell (talk) 17:34, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

ArbCom 2017 election voter message[edit]

Scale of justice 2.svg Hello, Simon Burchell. Voting in the 2017 Arbitration Committee elections is now open until 23.59 on Sunday, 10 December. All users who registered an account before Saturday, 28 October 2017, made at least 150 mainspace edits before Wednesday, 1 November 2017 and are not currently blocked are eligible to vote. Users with alternate accounts may only vote once.

The Arbitration Committee is the panel of editors responsible for conducting the Wikipedia arbitration process. It has the authority to impose binding solutions to disputes between editors, primarily for serious conduct disputes the community has been unable to resolve. This includes the authority to impose site bans, topic bans, editing restrictions, and other measures needed to maintain our editing environment. The arbitration policy describes the Committee's roles and responsibilities in greater detail.

If you wish to participate in the 2017 election, please review the candidates and submit your choices on the voting page. MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 18:42, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

List of hills of West Sussex[edit]

Hi Simon, thanks for your help with the hills of West Sussex. I've restored the two parent peaks, however, in line with the sources. A parent isn't necessarily a nearby summit; it could be the other side of the country. So, for example, the parent of Scafell Pike is Snowdon. Mark Jackson, among others, has produced detailed lists of peaks in Britain and their parents. Cheers. --Bermicourt (talk) 19:34, 6 December 2017 (UTC)

Hi Bermicourt. Perhaps the the parent peak concept being used should be added as a note to the article, and certainly linked there. I would assume that the parent is the neighbouring higher hill of which it is an offshoot. It is not at all obvious why a parent of a peak in West Sussex should be in Somerset, or the other side of the Weald... All the best, Simon Burchell (talk) 17:30, 7 December 2017 (UTC)

Books and Bytes - Issue 25[edit]

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Issue 25, October – November 2017

  • OAWiki & #1Lib1Ref
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Sent by MediaWiki message delivery on behalf of The Wikipedia Library team --MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 18:57, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

Chacmool[edit]

Hi Simon,
would you please explain why you undid my correction of the caption under the chacmool image? The Maya did not know it before the Toltec invasion. The issue has been discussed largely in books on Mesoamerican archaeology, e.g. by Michael Coe. The very iconography of this idol is not Mayan by origin, if you compare it with Mayan statues, pictures and stone carving.
I know that Mexican tourist authorities are currently promoting the archaeological ancestry of Yucatan / Quintana Roo as "Mayan", having in mind engagement of the local Yucatec Mayan population in the tourist business. However, why should the Mexican policy influence Wikipedia?
Regards, Dmitri Lytov (talk) 22:19, 26 December 2017 (UTC)

Hi - the nature of the relationship between Toltec Tula and Maya Chichen Itza is unclear, and the subject of much discussion. There is certainly no clear evidence of a Toltec invasion or occupation. If you read the dating and origin section, there are no clear central Mexican antecedents for the chacmool figure, however there is an argument that it developed out of Maya iconography. There were parallel rapid developments in both cities, and recent dating evidence undermines the idea that the Toltec invaded Chichen Itza. The arguments will no doubt continue for decades; in the meantime Chichen Itza is without a doubt a Maya site (albeit with strong central Mexican influence in some architectural groups), the sculpture produced at Chichen Itza was produced in a Maya context, it is therefore more accurate to describe the sculpture as Maya, rather than attributing it to a hypothetical and contested Toltec occupation. Note I am not influenced by Mexican policy, but rather by research on the subject. The very idea of a Toltec empire has crumbled in recent decades, and the concept of Toltec was misinterpreted in early research. Simon Burchell (talk) 23:24, 26 December 2017 (UTC)

DYK nomination of San Clemente, El Petén[edit]

Symbol question.svg Hello! Your submission of San Clemente, El Petén at the Did You Know nominations page has been reviewed, and some issues with it may need to be clarified. Please review the comment(s) underneath your nomination's entry and respond there as soon as possible. Thank you for contributing to Did You Know! The Bushranger One ping only 01:09, 28 December 2017 (UTC)

DYK for Pascual Abaj[edit]

Updated DYK query.svg On 2 January 2018, Did you know was updated with a fact from the article Pascual Abaj, which you recently created, substantially expanded, or brought to good article status. The fact was ... that Pascual Abaj (pictured), near Chichicastenango in Guatemala, is a sculpted stone idol that survived the Spanish conquest but was badly damaged in the 1950s by religious activists? The nomination discussion and review may be seen at Template:Did you know nominations/Pascual Abaj. You are welcome to check how many page hits the article got while on the front page (here's how, Pascual Abaj), and it may be added to the statistics page if the total is over 5,000. Finally, if you know of an interesting fact from another recently created article, then please feel free to suggest it on the Did you know talk page.

Alex Shih (talk) 00:02, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

Pascual Abaj[edit]

Hello. I just finished reading the Pascual Abaj article you created and I just wanted to thank you for writing an interesting article on a fascinating topic :) and congrats for the DYK! Happy new year! TomasBat 01:22, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

Thank you - Happy New Year! Simon Burchell (talk) 07:55, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
I second that message. Glad to see it got the lead hook. — Maile (talk) 13:09, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
Thanks! Simon Burchell (talk) 13:27, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

DYK for San Clemente, El Petén[edit]

Updated DYK query.svg On 13 January 2018, Did you know was updated with a fact from the article San Clemente, El Petén, which you recently created, substantially expanded, or brought to good article status. The fact was ... that the ancient Maya ruins of San Clemente, El Petén, in Guatemala include a two-storey palace structure and two Mesoamerican ballcourts? The nomination discussion and review may be seen at Template:Did you know nominations/San Clemente, El Petén. You are welcome to check how many page hits the article got while on the front page (here's how, San Clemente, El Petén), and it may be added to the statistics page if the total is over 5,000. Finally, if you know of an interesting fact from another recently created article, then please feel free to suggest it on the Did you know talk page.

Gatoclass (talk) 00:03, 13 January 2018 (UTC)

Books and Bytes - Issue 26[edit]

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Books & Bytes
Issue 26, December – January 2018

  • #1Lib1Ref
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Sent by MediaWiki message delivery on behalf of The Wikipedia Library team --MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 17:36, 31 January 2018 (UTC)

Precious six years![edit]

Precious
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Six years!

--Gerda Arendt (talk) 06:33, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

Books & Bytes - Issue 27[edit]

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Books & Bytes
Issue 27, February – March 2018

  • #1Lib1Ref
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    • Alexander Street (expansion)
    • Cambridge University Press (expansion)
  • User Group
  • Global branches update
    • Wiki Indaba Wikipedia + Library Discussions
  • Spotlight: Using librarianship to create a more equitable internet: LGBTQ+ advocacy as a wiki-librarian
  • Bytes in brief

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Sent by MediaWiki message delivery on behalf of The Wikipedia Library team --MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 14:49, 18 April 2018 (UTC)

Invitation to WikiProject Portals[edit]

The Portals WikiProject has been rebooted.

You are invited to join, and participate in the effort to revitalize and improve the Portal system and all the portals in it.

There are sections on the WikiProject page dedicated to tasks (including WikiGnome tasks too), and areas on the talk page for discussing the improvement and automation of the various features of portals.

Many complaints have been lodged in the RfC to delete all portals, pointing out their various problems. They say that many portals are not maintained, or have fallen out of date, are useless, etc. Many of the !votes indicate that the editors who posted them simply don't believe in the potential of portals anymore.

It's time to change all that. Let's give them reasons to believe in portals, by revitalizing them.

The best response to a deletion nomination is to fix the page that was nominated. The further underway the effort is to improve portals by the time the RfC has run its course, the more of the reasons against portals will no longer apply. RfCs typically run 30 days. There are 19 days left in this one. Let's see how many portals we can update and improve before the RfC is closed, and beyond.

A healthy WikiProject dedicated to supporting and maintaining portals may be the strongest argument of all not to delete.

We may even surprise ourselves and exceed all expectations. Who knows what we will be able to accomplish in what may become the biggest Wikicollaboration in years.

Let's do this.

See ya at the WikiProject!

Sincerely,    — The Transhumanist   10:24, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

WikiProject Cryptozoology Emergency[edit]

Just thought I'd give everyone that's a member of WikiProject Cryprozoology a heads up. I've been seeing a lot of that looks like vandalism by Bloodoffox, removing cryptozoology categories and rewording things to appear as though article topics are on mythological creatures. I believe this is an attempt to get his merger proposal for List of Cryptids merged with List of mythological creatures although I cannot be sure. You might want to give your input here--Paleface Jack 03:00, 22 April 2018 (UTC)

DYK for Peniscola Castle[edit]

Updated DYK query.svg On 24 May 2018, Did you know was updated with a fact from the article Peniscola Castle, which you recently created, substantially expanded, or brought to good article status. The fact was ... that Peniscola Castle, in the Valencian Community of Spain, was used as a papal residence by the Antipope Benedict XIII? The nomination discussion and review may be seen at Template:Did you know nominations/Peniscola Castle. You are welcome to check how many page hits the article got while on the front page (here's how, Peniscola Castle), and it may be added to the statistics page if the total is over 5,000. Finally, if you know of an interesting fact from another recently created article, then please feel free to suggest it on the Did you know talk page.

— Maile (talk) 00:51, 24 May 2018 (UTC)

Thank you very much[edit]

The RfC discussion to eliminate portals was closed May 12, with the statement "There exists a strong consensus against deleting or even deprecating portals at this time." This was made possible because you and others came to the rescue. Thank you for speaking up.

By the way, the current issue of the Signpost features an article with interviews about the RfC and the Portals WikiProject.

I'd also like to let you know that the Portals WikiProject is working hard to make sure your support of portals was not in vain. Toward that end, we have been working diligently to innovate portals, while building, updating, upgrading, and maintaining them. The project has grown to 80 members so far, and has become a beehive of activity.

Our two main goals at this time are to automate portals (in terms of refreshing, rotating, and selecting content), and to develop a one-page model in order to make obsolete and eliminate most of the 150,000 subpages from the portal namespace by migrating their functions to the portal base pages, using technologies such as selective transclusion. Please feel free to join in on any of the many threads of development at the WikiProject's talk page, or just stop by to see how we are doing. If you have any questions about portals or portal development, that is the best place to ask them.

If you would like to keep abreast of developments on portals, keep in mind that the project's members receive updates on their talk pages. The updates are also posted here, for your convenience.

Again, we can't thank you enough for your support of portals, and we hope to make you proud of your decision. Sincerely,    — The Transhumanist   09:40, 25 May 2018 (UTC)

P.S.: if you reply to this message, please {{ping}} me. Thank you. -TT

Portals WikiProject update #007, 31 May 2018[edit]

We have grown to 89 members.

This is the seventh issue of this newsletter. For previous issues, see our newsletter archive.

Welcome[edit]

A warm welcome to our nearly one dozen new members...

Our new members include:

Be sure to say "hi" and welcome them to the team.

The portal set has shrunk[edit]

There were 1515 portals, but now we have 1475, because we speedy deleted a bunch of incompleted portals that had been sitting around for ages, that were empty shells or had very little content. Because they were speedied, they can be rebuilt from scratch without acquiring approval from WP:DRV.

Maintenance runs on the portals set have begun[edit]

This is what we have been gearing up for: upgrading the portals en masse, using AWB.

More than half of the Associated Wikimedia sections have been converted to no longer use a subpage. This chore will probably be completed over the next week or two. Many thanks to the WikiGnome Squad, who have added an Associated Wikimedia section to the many geography-related portals that lacked one. The rest of the subjects await. :)

The next maintenance drive will be on the intro sections. Notices have gone out to the WikiProjects for which one or more portals fall within their subject scope. Once enough time has elapsed for them to respond (1 week), AWB processing of intro sections will begin.

Thank you, you[edit]

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your part in the RfC. I went back and reread much of it. I believe your enthusiasm played a major part in turning the tide on there. I'm proud of all of you.

Why reread that mess, you ask?

To harvest ideas, and to keep the problems that need to be fixed firmly in mind. But, also to keep in touch. See below...

Thank yous all around[edit]

I've contacted all of the other opposers of the RfC proposal to delete portals, to thank them for their support, and to assure them that their decision was not made in vain. I updated them on our activities, provided the link to the interviews about this project in the Signpost, pointed out our newsletter archive so they can keep up-to-date with what we are doing, and I invited them all to come and have a look-see at our operations (on our talk page).

Sockpuppet, and reverting his work[edit]

It so happened that one of our members was a sockpuppet: JLJ001. According to the admin who blocked him, he was a particularly tricky long term abuser. This is a weird situation, since the user was quite helpful. He will be missed.

This has been somewhat disruptive, because admins are doing routine deletions of the pages (portals, templates, etc.) he created, and reversion of his edits (I don't know if they will be reverting all of them). Please bear with them, as they are only doing what is best in the long run.

The following pages have been deleted by the admins so far, that I know of:

Automation so far, section by section...[edit]

Automatic article alerts is up and running[edit]

Automatic article alerts are now featured on the project page.

Some super out-of-date entries kept showing up on there, so posting it on the Project page was delayed. Thanks to Evad37 and AfroThundr for providing solutions on this one. Evad37 adjusted the workflow settings per Wikipedia:Article alerts/Subscribing#Choosing workflows, to make sure only the appropriate page types show up. AfroThundr removed the tags from the old entries that caused them to keep showing up in the article alerts.

Other things that could use some automation[edit]

Noyster pointed out that it would be nice to automate the updating of the portals section at the Community bulletin board.

Another major component of the portal system is the main list of portals, at Portal:Contents/Portals. How would we go about automating the updating of that?

Please post your ideas on the WikiProject's talk page. Thank you.

Deletion discussion survivors[edit]

Keep in mind that we have already speedy deleted almost all of the nearly empty portals, which can be rebuilt without approval whenever it is convenient to do so. Other portals should be completed if at all possible rather than delete them through MfD (which requires approval from Deletion review to rebuild).

(Current deletion discussions are posted on our WikiProject page).

Portals needing repair[edit]

Wrapping up[edit]

There's still more, but it will have to wait until next issue.

Until then, see ya around the project.    — The Transhumanist   12:02, 31 May 2018 (UTC)

Portals WikiProject update #008, 7 June 2018[edit]

The WikiProject now has 92 participants, including 16 admins.

Welcome[edit]

A warm welcome to the newest members of the team:

Be sure to say hi.

Congrats[edit]

Pbsouthwood has just gotten through the grueling RfA process to become a Wikipedia administrator. Be sure to congratulate him.

The reason he went for it was: "For some time I expect to be busy with subpage deletion for Wikipedia:WikiProject Portals as mentioned above. The amount of work is expected to keep me busy for some time. I am primarly a content creator and contributor to policy discussions, but would be willing to consider other admin work on request, providing that I feel that my involvement would be appropriate and not too far outside my comfort zone."

New feature: Picture slideshow[edit]

Picture slideshow

Evad37 has figured out a way to let the user flip through pictures without purging the page. Purging is awkward because there is an intermediary confirmation screen that you have to click on "yes". In the new picture slideshow section, all you have to do is click on the > to go to the next picture or < to instantly show the previous feature. The feature also shuffles the pictures when the page is initiated, so that they are shown in a different order each time the user visits the page (or purges it).

It is featured in Portal:Sacramento, California. Check it out to the right.

Keep in mind that the feature is a beta version. Please share your comments on how to refine this feature, at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Portals#Refining the Picture slideshow.

The one-page portal has been achieved[edit]

We now have a one-page portal design. It isn't fully automated, nor is it even fully semi-automated, as there are still some manually filled-in areas. But it no longer requires any subpages in portal space, and that is a huge improvement. For example, Portal:Sacramento, California utilizes the one-page design concept. While is employs heavy use of templates, it does not have any subpages of its own.

I commend you for your teamwork[edit]

This is the most cooperative team I've ever seen. With a strong spirit of working together to get an important job done. Kudos to you.

In conclusion...[edit]

There's more. A lot more. But it will have to wait until next issue, but you don't have to wait. See what's going on at the WikiProject's talk page.    — The Transhumanist   02:10, 7 June 2018 (UTC)

Mesoamerica[edit]

Hi Simon, thanks for the appreciation for my work on Macuahuitl. I was trying to browse the Mesoamerican site to see if there were other articles which I might like to work on, but found it a little confusing. If you know of any start class articles in good shape to be worked up to B class or (particularly) B class articles which might be promotable and which are (or should be) MilHist I would be happy to hear about them. Thanks. Gog the Mild (talk) 10:32, 9 June 2018 (UTC)

Hi @Gog the Mild:,
A few articles that could use some work that may be of interest:
If I think of any more, I'll let you know. I am in the middle of Spanish conquest of Nicaragua with an aim of getting it to GA, but haven't worked on it for six months or so. The Central Highlands, 1530–1603 section in particular needs expansion. Best regards, Simon Burchell (talk) 14:40, 11 June 2018 (UTC)

Portals WikiProject update #009, 15 June 2018[edit]

(Article slideshow prototype)
Selected animals

Don't mind that box to the right. We'll be talking about that later, below.

Almost done...[edit]

With the portals upgrades?

No. :)

What is almost done is the updating of the main list of portals!

There are 23 portals left to be listed.

Kudos to the WikiGnome Squadron, for spearheading this.

Once it is fully updated, we need to keep it up to date. When you complete a portal, remember to add it to Portal:Contents/Portals.

Concerning portal upgrades, we are working on those section-by-section...

Associated Wikimedia section conversion task complete[edit]

The Associated Wikimedia sections of the entire set of portals have been upgraded. These are now handled on each portal base page (bypassing the previously used corresponding subpages), using the {{Wikimedia for portals}} template rather than reiterated copied/pasted code.

So, to be more accurate on reporting upgrade progress, that's one section down (for the whole set of portals), with (about) nine sections to go. (Skipping curated portals, regarding custom content sections, of course).

Further section conversions (using AWB)[edit]

Work is underway on converting Portals' introduction sections, and the categories sections.

If you would like to help, see Wikipedia:WikiProject Portals#Upgrade introduction sections and Wikipedia:WikiProject Portals#AWB task: Convert category sections

Further section conversions (by hand)[edit]

Work has also started with converting selected picture sections to picture slideshow sections. See Wikipedia:WikiProject Portals#Install picture slideshows.

Quality rating system for portals under development[edit]

Currently, there is no quality rating for portals: in the Portals WikiProject box on each portals' talk page, it just says "Portal". But times are a changin'. Quality assessment is on the way, and you can help. See the discussion.

What's coming: excerpt slideshows[edit]

Evad37 has figured out a way to apply the picture slideshow feature to displaying article excerpts (now you can check out the provided box above). :) This allows us to bypass page purging to see the next selection, and you can even click through them rather quickly. Currently, the wikicode for doing this for article excerpts is a bit eye-boggling, and so we are looking into simplifying it. A streamlined version may be just around the corner.

Note that this is a prototype, not ready for widespread use. Click on the box in between the lesser than and greater than signs, to see what I mean. It was meant for pictures, and so the thumbnail feature doesn't apply to article prose very well. I've presented it even though it isn't ready, to show the direction portal development is heading. See the discussion.

Wow[edit]

I'm amazed at how rapidly portals are evolving. And we're still within a single generation of portal technological evolution. Imagine what they might be in 2 or 3 more generations of developments. Pretty soon, portals will be able to shake your hand. :)    — The Transhumanist   11:05, 16 June 2018 (UTC)