User talk:Thehelpfulone/Archive/May 2009

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WikiCup Newsletter XV

Delivered for the WikiCup by  ROBOTIC GARDEN  at 08:42, 4 May 2009 (UTC). To report errors see the talk page.

Outline of knowledge WikiProject update 05/10/2009

Development is moving steadily forward. We haven't created any new outlines lately, but a lot of editing of our existing outlines is taking place. Take a look at Buaidh's contributions.  :)

I'm impressed.

I can safely say we now have another fanatic working on the project.

Importance of watching

A big danger to new pages or pages that have low traffic are prods. These are deletion proposals that don't have to go through AfD. If a prod sits on a page, any page, 5 days without opposition, the page can be deleted without discussion.

Such pages can be undeleted without discussion too, but there's usually a delay, especially if you don't notice the page missing right away. Prods create undesirable gaps in the subject coverage of list sets.

I just caught one the other day, so keep an eye on the outline pages!

Tangent: Indexes

One of the benefits of reverse outlining is the discovery of problems (gaps in coverage, etc.) with the publication being outlined. We've come across several and have been fixing those as we go. Because hypertext tables of contents are only as good as the pages they link to, we've been cleaning up large sections of Wikipedia. This was something I did not foresee when I started this project.

One of the sets of pages we link to on the outlines is the set of indexes, formerly called "List of x topics". Unfortunately, the lists of topics were divided between 2 different sets competing for the same article names, and this impeded development of both sets. One of those sets were indexes, and the rest are outlines (more about these below).

So I set about splitting up the 2 sets, by renaming the indexes to "Index of x articles" or "Index of x-related articles".

All 450 or so of them.

Nobody has complained about the new names, but 2 or 3 people thought I was way too bold to attempt this without a proposal or discussion first. Just 2 or 3 people. That's about as much opposition as you could expect for moving a single page.

Not bad for a move of this volume.

There are many more indexes out there, but our main concern are those which are provided links on the outlines. Many of those are redlinks (gaps in coverage as mentioned above), and so we need a way to track these and direct editor attention to them so that somebody creates them...

So, I've created a page for the set, that parallels the OOK list:

See Portal:Contents/Index.

The complete list of "Index of" articles can be found at User:The Transhumanist/Index, and this list needs to be gone over to make sure each article index listed is included on the portal page above. If you help with this, please put - placed after each entry that you check and place.

Thank you.

To further support the development of index pages, and provide a central place for people to go to find out more about indexes and what needs to be done, I've created the Index WikiProject.

Hidden outlines

There are outline pages hiding all over Wikipedia. They aren't in OOK's formats, but we can fix that.  :)

Converting existing outlines and absorbing them into the OOK is a lot easier than creating outlines from scratch, and it avoids unnecessary duplication of effort. But before we can convert them, we have to find them...

A hunt is underway for non-OOK outlines. So far, User:Gimme danger is in the lead and has found the most. See Wikipedia:WikiProject Outline of knowledge#The hunt for hidden outlines for more information.

Please don't rename any non-standard outlines you come across to OOK's standard naming until after you reformat them. Renaming them only after they are reformatted helps us keep track of which outlines have and have not been converted.

Thank you.

Converting outlines

The way I usually do this is by substituting the relevant outline generator template at the beginning of the outline, which forces the existing outline to the bottom of the page. Then I add an "under construction" tag, and then move all the links from the original outline to the relevant sections in the standard structure. It is important to finish the conversion quickly, so as not to create confusion. Then I scour Wikipedia for missing links (using Google to do a site-specific search of Wikipedia), to make the upgraded outline more comprehensive than the converted outline. Be sure to check all related categories too. Add a lead paragraph, add external links, and voila!

Better than before.

Where we're heading

The next phase in the evolution of this project is to increase participation by expanding the Wikipedia community's awareness of the Outline of knowledge, its purpose, and what needs to be done for any given subject.

This will entail placing banners on the outlines' talk pages, the talk page for the WikiProject associated with the subject of each outline and of each planned outline, and on the talk page of each article corresponding to each outline and to each planned outline.

Then instructions on improving subject access, including the creation and development of an outline for each subject, will be posted on every related WikiProject page. (There's a WikiProject for the subject of most outlines).

We will also be sending notices to every member of every WikiProject associated with the subject of each and every outline and planned outline.

But before this happens, the outline guidelines and the article draft for the topic "Outline" must be completed. Without these, many editors will not know what an outline is, or what to do to build and improve them.

And that's our current bottleneck.

Once those are ready (the guideline and article), we can take this project to the next level.

Keep up the good work

Well, that's all for now.

Until next time,

The Transhumanist 00:28, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

AWB Task: Index talk pages

Please add the following banner to the beginning of the talk pages listed at User:The Transhumanist/Sandbox22. (Use the "prepend" feature, and also set AWB so it does not skip non-existing pages).

Here's the text to have AWB insert:

{{WikiProject Index}}

That's all there is to this task.

Good luck.

Thank you.

The Transhumanist 21:09, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

The Wikipedia SignpostWikipedia Signpost: 11 May 2009

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Delivered by SoxBot (talk) at 22:30, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

A couple questions for you...

What are the benefits of a tree structure?

The article doesn't say.

I'm interested, because I need to explain the benefits in the guideline on outlines I'm writing. (Outlines are a type of tree structure).

I've also asked the question at various reference desks, and these threads may help to jump start your brain on this question.  :)

What are the benefits of outlines, over and above regular articles?

What benefits have you noticed?

How are Wikipedia's outlines useful to you?

I look forward to your answers on my talk page.

The Transhumanist 04:33, 14 May 2009 (UTC)


I've just removed your name from approved users (admins don't need approval); and from "bots" - I wasn't sure if the latter was meant to be there to allow you to use AWB from this account without clicking save. If so, feel free to re-add under bots.

On a side note, you've a number of threads at the top of your talk page without timestamps or with nonstandard timestamps (neutral homer's old sig). As a result, these won't be archived by MiszaBot, you may consider manually archiving them. –xeno talk 15:32, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Your bot request

Hi Thehelpfulone I wanted to let you know that Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/Thehelpfulbot 5 is labeled as needing your comment. Please visit the above link to reply to the requests. Thanks! --BAGBotTalk 04:15, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

WPOOK Update - 05/17/2009 - Blockbusting!

This project needs another shot in the arm.

So here it goes...

Countries WikiProject Collaboration - Contests!

I've contacted all 59 members of the Countries WikiProject to help in designing and conducting contests for the further development of the country outlines.

You are invited too.

Houston, we have a problem

The guidelines and outline article still aren't complete.

Which means you will be needed to help explain to the newcomers mentioned above what outlines are and how to develop them.

Please participate in the discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Countries#Hosting country coverage contests.

The Transhumanist 22:21, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

WikiCup Newsletter XVI

Delivered for the WikiCup by  ROBOTIC GARDEN  at 09:18, 18 May 2009 (UTC). To report errors see the talk page.

RE: AWB Task: Index talk pages

Hi there,

I've been away for a few weeks so I've not managed to do this task yet.

However, I'm back now, and I am running this task on AWB as I type this message. I will leave you another message when the task is completed.


The Helpful One 17:47, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

This task is now  Done! The Helpful One 20:14, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Nicely done. Hopefully those banners will help attract people to the Index WikiProject. If not, we'll have to keep trying new things until something works.  :) The Transhumanist 21:07, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

A two-pass AWB task (for placing notice on "Government of" talk pages)

This one will take two passes, and uses substitution.

(By "pass", I mean AWB needs to be run 2 separate times on the same list.)

For the list of pages at User:The Transhumanist/Sandbox32, please do the following:

Pass one

Please append (to the end of each talk page) the following:

{{subst:User:The Transhumanist/Sandbox02}}

(without the "nowiki" codes).

Pass two

Pass two includes 2 search/replaces in the same pass, without the indents (i.e., no colons - I've added those to make this task easier to read):

Search for:

Outline of Government of

Replace with:

Outline of

Search for:

politics of Government of

Replace with:

politics of


Both passes must be completed, or the message will not make any sense.

So please do this task when you have time to do both passes.

Thank you.

Good luck.

The Transhumanist 22:21, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Here's a similar task, to post a notice on "Politics of" talk pages)

Again, 2 passes. Note that you'll be using a different list than before (a different sandbox):

Be sure to set AWB to skip pages that include "When the country outlines were created".

(That's because many of the pages in the previous task have redirects to these pages).

For the list of pages at User:The Transhumanist/Sandbox09 (the "different list" just mentioned), do the following:

Pass one

Please append (to the end of each talk page) the following:

{{subst:User:The Transhumanist/Sandbox02}}

(without the "nowiki" codes).

Pass two

Pass two includes 2 search/replaces in the same pass, without the indents (i.e., no colons - I've added those to make this task easier to read):

Search for:

Outline of Politics of

Replace with:

Outline of

Search for:

politics of Politics of

Replace with:

politics of


Easy as cake. Piece of pie.

I mean a piece of cake, and easy as pie.

Thank you.

Good luck.

The Transhumanist 22:39, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

A question for you, concerning a possible contest...

To promote work on the country outlines, maybe a contest between country WikiProjects could be run, to see which WikiProject could develop the best country outline.

What do you think?

(I look forward to your reply on my talk page).

The Transhumanist 23:55, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

The Wikipedia SignpostWikipedia Signpost: 18 May 2009

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Delivered by SoxBot (talk) at 13:40, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

For the bot

Please check for redirects when adding like this. Thanks.--GDibyendu (talk) 18:07, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Oh, OK. :) --GDibyendu (talk) 19:03, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

2-pass task above is fixed

Use Sandbox32 instead of Sandbox07

Thank you of informing me of the problem.

The Transhumanist 21:52, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

WikiCup Newsletter XVII

Delivered for the WikiCup by The Helpful Bot at 20:09, 23 May 2009 (UTC). To report errors leave at message here.


Hey there, I have a question for you. Can you check out this conversation please and see if there is anything you could do to help speed up the BRFA or if there is anything that I missed? NW (Talk) (How am I doing?) 00:59, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Has the shit hit the fan? - WPOOK update, 05/25/2009


We've started the next phase

I was experiencing mental block on the article draft for "outline" and on the outline guideline draft. And this was holding the whole project back. Without these (which are intended to explain the type of lists known as outlines in detail), the danger is higher that a controversy could go the wrong way.

I requested help on them, but there was none forthcoming.

So I went ahead and started us on the next phase of operations without those 2 pages...

Our AWB'ers and I have placed about 1600 notices all over Wikipedia. And the plan is to place several thousand more.

This generated only one complaint, but it was a very vocal one, and attracted a few other detractors who seemed unfamiliar with the concept of hierarchical outlines and their benefits. However, just as many or more editors came to the defense of the OOK, and there was no consensus formed. But, dab is still trying to rally opposition to outlines at the Village Pump. See below...

Administrator noticeboard incident and Village Pump policy discussion

It appears that the banner placed on the talk page of the Outline of Switzerland caught the attention of an editor named Dbachmann who posted a rather forceful message on my talk page, another on WT:WPOOK, another at WP:VPP, and still another at WP:AN!

He went well out of his way to use negative hype to cause a stir.

It appears that Mr. Bachmann doesn't understand the nature of hierarchical outlines and their applications. And though he implied that he has never seen an OOK outline before, he was involved with a discussion on these when they were called "lists of basic topics".

His primary argument is that outlines are content forks of articles, and violate WP:CFORK.

But "topic lists", of which outlines are a type, have been around for almost as long as Wikipedia, and fall under the WP:LISTS and WP:STAND guidelines. They aren't intended as forks, as they are lists, bringing the benefits of lists to the corresponding subjects, such as grouping and navigation.

Someone suggested an MfD, but lists are articles, and are within the jurisdiction of AfD. Only the portal page, which merely lists the outline articles, falls within the scope of the MfD department.

The administrator's noticeboard was considered the wrong venue for the discussion, and the discussion was closed.

But Dab's discussion at the Village Pump is still active. Hopefully level heads will prevail there too.

Now what?

Am I disheartened or deterred? Hell no. I say "full steam ahead!"

But we really need to finish the article draft and the guideline. Otherwise there will continue to be confusion.

Over the next week or two, we'll be posting another 1600 or so notices. It's a good thing we didn't send out 10,000 of them all at once.  :)

The Transhumanist 23:27, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

P.S.: Another related thread has popped up at WP:VPR#OoK's expediency. --TT   04:27, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

AWB task - replace footer template

Important: set AWB to skip pages that do not exist.

In AWB, make a list from Wikipedia:WikiProject Outline of knowledge, and use AWB's filter feature to filter out all pages that don't have "Outline of" in their titles. And filter out all pages that are not in either the Article or Wikipedia namespaces.

Then set AWB to replace:

{{List resources}}


{{Outline footer}}

Thank you.

Good luck.

Have fun.

The Transhumanist 03:02, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

10 Wiki Cup Newsletters!


I got the information on the 10 newsletters you gave me, thanks for the removing of 9! I don't know how your bot did that!

Clyde1998 (talk) 14:04, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

The Wikipedia SignpostWikipedia Signpost: 25 May 2009

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Delivered by SoxBot (talk) at 04:17, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

WikiCup newsletter XVII.V

This is just a quick reminder that the round ends this Friday, May 29, 2009. I wanted to let you guys know the current standings. If you are very close, but not close enough, work as hard as possible these next two days. Pool leaders are listed as usual, and under the 10 wildcards, are competitors that are still fighting for a spot. Also, if you currently have any un-reviewed GAN's up and you'd like them to be reviewed and counted for this round, you must place them on the appropriate thread of the WikiCup talk page.

Pool A
  1. Wales Shoemaker's Holiday (647)
Pool B
  1. Colombia ThinkBlue (247)
Pool C
  1. Sweden Theleftorium (455)
Pool D
  1. Denmark Candlewicke (539)
Pool E
  1. Mexico Durova (479)
Pool F
  1. Switzerland Sasata (961)
Current Wildcards
  1. United States Useight (393)
  2. Iceland Scorpion0422 (372)
  3. Thailand Rlevse (329)
  4. Japan Wrestlinglover (307)
  5. Cambodia Paxse (285)
  6. Maryland Ottava Rima (248)
  7. Flag of Albany, New York.svg Mitchazenia (226)
  8. Republic of Ireland Juliancolton (181)
  9. Michigan the_ed17 (179)
  10. Isle of Man J Milburn (168)
  11. Confederate States of America Bedford (156)
  12. Toronto Gary King (147)
  13. New South Wales 97198 (142)
  14. Luxembourg Ceranthor (111)
  15. India Tinucherian (106)
  16. Vanuatu Matthewedwards (98)

 GARDEN ,  iMatthew :  Chat  , and The Helpful One The Helpful Bot 00:55, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Request to comment on block

Please see User talk:Aoganov#unblock request. --mav (talk) 02:00, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

WPOOK update - 05/27/2009

Input on the OOK threads at the Village Pump has died down (at both WP:VPP and WP:VPR), and there is currently no consensus on either.

Negative feedback

For the number of notices we posted (over a thousand) the number of complaints we received (the two VP threads mentioned above) was quite low.

Silent majority

Considering most of the outlines are orphans, they get pretty good use.

Note that people who are happy with articles on Wikipedia generally don't say anything, so I simply interpret it as positive feedback.

Traffic, traffic comparison, and increasing traffic

Using Traffic, I compare the traffic of articles, their corresponding outlines, and their corresponding portals from time to time.

Outlines are starting to catch up to portals. Though the main portals, which are included in a navbar menu at the top of most portals are still way ahead of their outline counterparts.

Both outlines and portals are way behind the articles on the same subjects. Articles usually have 20 to 30 times the traffic.

Keep in mind that most outlines are orphans, with the primary link to them being Portal:Contents/Outline of knowledge.

Traffic should improve once we include links on the corresponding subject pages, including the main subject as well as subjects that correspond to subheadings (e.g., History of x, and in the case of countries: Geography of x, Demographics of x, Culture of x, etc.)

I'm convinced the traffic of outlines will overtake portals once we've link-integrated them into the encyclopedia. And since outlines serve as tables of contents for each subject, it seems most fitting to place links to them in the form of hatnotes at the top of each subject's main articles (and the sub-subjects mentioned in the paragraph directly above).

By the way, there's another traffic counter called Wikirank, but I haven't tested it out much yet, but will do so in the coming weeks.

Going for the Main Page

Once the traffic of outlines has overtaken portals, it will be time to replace portals on the Main Page, even if we need to spearhead a new main page redesign! This isn't a far-fetched idea. I was the one who jumpstarted and led the project responsible for the current main page design (until it hit critical mass and attracted other leaders), and I was also the most active editor on that project. I even created the WP:CBB on the Community Portal to promote the main page election. The second time around should be easier.

Back to the here and now

Targetting the Main Page is a few months off.

Right now, we need to continue posting notices and start link-integrating the OOK into the encyclopedia.

I have a whole slew of AWB tasks to assign. I hope you are ready.  :)

Spread the word

WP:WPOOK needs members. Tell all your friends about the OOK, and get them to join.

The Transhumanist 02:46, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

A shiny!

For using bot automation to help out Wikipedia:WikiProject Mixed Drinks, I award you this new and shiny star. Use it responsibly, and know your limits! Face-grin.svgQuadell (talk) 20:33, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Unblock and then topic ban for Aoganov

Please see and comment here. --mav (talk) 14:19, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Why do we have outlines in addition to...?

Wikipedia:Outlines was growing so large that I split this section off as a separate page.

I look forward to your feedback and improvements.

The Transhumanist 22:32, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

I blanked out nothing, I merely added observations that are objectivly correct. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:54, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

WikiCup Newsletter XVIII

Delivered for the WikiCup by The Helpful Bot at 14:44, 31 May 2009 (UTC). To report errors leave at message here.