User talk:WereSpielChequers

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  • Welcome to my talk page. If you just want to make a short comment why not put it in my guestbook. If you want to add something to one of the existing topics go ahead, Or click here to start a new topic.

Poop patrol[edit]

Thanks for the message about poop patrol. I had a look at it and been thinking, but I've not had a chance to do any work on it yet. Sorry for not contacting you sooner. I'll try and find some time to have another look. Edward (talk)

Thanks Edward, much appreciated. ϢereSpielChequers 19:27, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
I've had a go at implementing my own version of poop patrol. My prototype is available here:
It is built using the Wikipedia search API, so all the results are live. It has support for safe phrases and safe articles. Right now there isn't an interface for adding safe phrases. Edward (talk) 22:16, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Edward, that is really useful, I have already fixed a hundred or more typos with it. ϢereSpielChequers 14:33, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
a few issues with the prototype:
  • Some pages don't become safe articles despite multiple clicks, it is almost as if the mark as safe article button is disabled for pages such as shoegazing, or possibly if it is a safe page for stared it can't also be so for staring.
  • The fifty exceptions limit seems to be on fifty examples of the word being found rather than fifty examples after screening out safe pages and safe phrases. This makes it a bit of a faff going through a report such as staring which has over 20 screens. not subdividing it might be the best solution here.
  • Sometimes the same exception keeps recurring, almost as if the next batch of fifty is calculated on a sometimes differing index.
  • @Edward: An odd one. When I clicked on Who's That Boy? I wound up at the article that Who's That Boy redirects to, as if the questionmark had been displayed but ignored.
  • Would it be possible to import the existing lists of safe pages into the new system? I noticed with causalities that many of the examples are on the existing safe page list. This is particularly helpful for ones like pubic where it can take a bit of research to add each example to the safe page list. ϢereSpielChequers 08:16, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Currently there are two numbers, one on the list before you select a report and one in the report. For example Strecher appears as Strecher (8) with a result that says 7 results. I think the 8 comes from the first time it was run with your software and 7 is the number of examples screened out by safe words and safe phrases. Both are interesting, though it would help if the 7 was subdivided into safe pages and safe phrases. But more important is the number of articles still to check, if as in the case of strecher this is zero then there is no need for me to check that report.
  • Smelly and Poop can come off the list, I started the thing with poop and cleared up lots of old vandalism, but I think one of the edit filters is stopping the new stuff. However there are a number of others worth adding. Idealy the current list would be as per User:DeltaQuadBot/Job requests, though I suppose I should move that. ϢereSpielChequers 06:01, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

I've dome some work on Page patrol. The latest prototype is in the same place:

There are now pages that list the safe phrases and safe articles for each term. It is possible to add new safe phrases.

The fifty examples after screening problem is due to the way that the mediawiki search works. I can only get up to 50 results at a time. I get 50 results, then filter them and display them. The solution is to use more Javascript. I should show the first set of filtered results, then in the background request more results from the search engine, filter and add them to the current patrol page.

I have a look at adding the existing lists of safe pages and at adding the terms from User:DeltaQuadBot/Job requests.

The numbers are all off, maybe of the hit counts are returned from the search engine before filtering. To fix this I need to download all the search results, filter and safe to the database. This would take more time, I didn't make it a priority.

I'll take a look at the question mark problem. I need to URL encode the article titles when generating links to Wikipedia.

Edward (talk) 13:43, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

I've been working on fixing some of these problems. The new plan is to cache search queries in the database instead of trying to use the live search engine.
The article titles from the search results are saved to the database with safe articles filtered. The search engine is used to find articles that contain safe phrases and filtered them as well.
The API will be used to download and save the full text of each article. Snippets showing patrol terms within article text will be generated and stored so the patrol pages can be rendered quickly. The patrol pages will include a pager that works correctly, showing a fixed number of articles per page.
A user can either identify an article as safe by clicking the 'safe article' button, or follow the link to the article and fix the vandalism. When the user clicks 'safe article' it will trigger Javascript add to the list of safe articles in the database. The user will see the article removed from the list without needing to reload the page.
There will also be a 'vandalism fixed' button. This will trigger the article text to be downloaded again and checked to ensure the problem has been fixed. The article will be removed from the patrol page using Javascript without a reload.
Using this technique means the search result numbers on the index page and patrol pages will be correct. Edward (talk) 08:52, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Hi Edward, I think what is happening is that the search includes the safe phrases, but the fifty are then filtered against the safe pages. So searches with a lot of safe phrases work well but ones with lots of safe pages can involve quite a few tedious trawls through empty batches before you find anything. Also there seems to only be one safe page list for all queries, and the system errors if you need to put the same page as safe in more than one query. ϢereSpielChequers 09:17, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
I had to take "Salle à Manger" out of the safe phrase list for manger as it caused crashes. ϢereSpielChequers 21:59, 9 February 2016 (UTC)


I'm starting to draft an RFC User:WereSpielChequers/Private Space RFC, comments and collaboration from observers would be welcome. ϢereSpielChequers 10:40, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

And in this corner...[edit]

I hope you don't think I'm beating up your idea. I actually find it quite interesting with great potential, it just raises a lot of questions of how to manage since it is so different than anything we have done before. I'm peppering you with a lot of questions, but others will be asking the same in time anyway. I'm curious as to if the Foundation would interfere and say no to such an idea for some reason, ie: "it is against the open nature". Anyway, it is very thought provoking and I just wanted to make sure you knew the questions were because it intrigued me, not because I was against it. Dennis Brown |  | WER 15:19, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

not curly[edit]

Saw that on my watchlist and wondered what the tarnation does that mean? Looked at the diff and laughed. Well done. It is nice to laugh for a change amongst all the vandalism entries on the watchlist. Bgwhite (talk) 07:24, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, it took a while to get that one under control, and there are still a few music lyrics where I'm really not sure whether to put them on my safe page list or not. But I reckon to make two or three typo fixing not curly edits per week. Curiously I'm seeing less vandalism nowadays, especially with that particular search, I suspect someone has set an edit filter to stop edits that include removing the first l from "public schools" as I used to get one or two of that sort of vandalism every week. I also stopped patrolling for "poop", lots of vandalism when I first went through all the articles that contained that word, but nowadays not enough to be worth manually checking for. ϢereSpielChequers 11:45, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
And in the case of Empire Air Day, does show I wasn't copy+pasting form the sources Face-smile.svg!--Shirt58 (talk) 10:48, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

Editor retention[edit]

Any watchers interested in looking at User:WereSpielChequers/2010-2014 Editor retention test? ϢereSpielChequers 17:03, 25 August 2014 (UTC)


Note: that this may include non-place entities, e.g. people in the category tree that have burial coordinates. But then there may well be a nice photo of their tomb/grave/crypt.

If you let me know any items without coords or with images, improvement may be possible.

All the best: Rich Farmbrough19:47, 5 February 2015 (UTC).

Thanks, that's brilliant. I spotted that where the infobox and image are being delivered by a template your program doesn't realise there is an image see Lochaber Narrow Gauge Railway. Also Zeta Island, Bermuda a Dutch volcano Zuidwal volcano a pass in South Georgia Zigzag Pass and a museum in Abu Dhabi Zayed National Museum are not quite in the UK, though the volcano is close. ϢereSpielChequers 22:39, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
There's not a lot I can easily do about abuses like Lochaber Narrow Gauge Railway - content is not supposed to be abstracted away like that, though I understand the reasoning if there are many uses of the template - in this case there is only one. Conversely, of course, if the template was used on many station pages, then a generic image would not suffice.
  • Zayed National Museum was in the category "British Museum"
  • Zeta Island was included because Category:Islands of British Overseas Territories was a sub-cat of "Islands of the United Kingdom"
  • Zuidwal volcano was included because Category:North Sea is a sub-cat of "Bodies of water of the United Kingdom" (among others) (not changed yet...)
  • Zig-Zag Pass was probably included because of a similar British Overseas Territories miscat, possibly Category:British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies being a sub-cat of "Government of the United Kingdom"
All the best: Rich Farmbrough18:02, 8 March 2015 (UTC).

Comments and collaborators please[edit]

I'm starting to draft something on meta meta:User:WereSpielChequers/spot_checking. ϢereSpielChequers 14:07, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

Going off the boil?[edit]

Hey. I took up your invitation. Some comments:

  • Theories are great; and I have another one. But, without verification, they are pure speculation and nothing more.
  • You mentioned about typos being less common, and are often fixed quickly. Of note, there's an abuse filter that picks up on canned edit summaries including "fixed typo" (see this). Thus, in recent changes log a well meaning user fixing a typo will come under increased scrutiny, with a higher chance of having their edits reversed.
  • Along with typos, you mentioned vandal fighting as a gateway task. It would be interesting to conduct a comprehensive analysis to find out what productive new editors of this generation are doing. If we knew that, we could focus our resources on maximizing opportunities for new editors to become connected with now-relevant gateway tasks.
  • There's a saying I learned a long time ago. The factory of the future will have two employees; A human and a dog. The dog's job is to keep the human away from the machines. The human's job is to feed the dog. Wikipedia is heading towards this paradigm. Increased automation, decreased editorship, fewer things that need to be worked on.
  • You commented on increased mobile surfing. Very true. Desktops are dying. It will take time, but desktops will become artifacts as obsolete as typewriters. [1] Portable devices make horrible editing devices and always will. Nothing yet can replace the efficacy of a keyboard. Until that happens, mobile platforms will be permanently handicapped. The world record for texting is 25 words in 18.19 seconds [2]. This works out to 82 words per minute, if it could be sustained. I type faster than that on a keyboard, and I'm just an average guy on a computer. The world record top speed for sustained typing is 150 words per minute (and the record holder sustained that for better part of an hour). Whoever comes up with a better interface for mobile devices is going to be a billionaire. I digress. The point is the mobile platforms mean editing will permanently decline.
  • All the good stuff is already done. We have nearly five million articles now. People like to feel good about their contributions. If all you're doing is tweaking a few things here and there, it's not very rewarding. If you're starting the articles on the Nile, God, Superbowl X, etc. you feel like you're contributing. If instead any article you can think to create has already been created, you feel like you can't contribute. I had a personal case of this; there's a place I've visited a couple of times that is on the national historic register. It's an amazing place! It is frequently visited and toured. Yet, it did not have an article on it here. Rather bizarre. So, I had a not-so-devious plan. I was going to create an article from absolute nothing to featured status with just one substantive edit. I even bought a book on the place in support of this. I took my own photographs, took notes on the tour to verify in other sources, found a multitude of solid sources, and began writing. Just as I began writing, someone created the article. I was sorely disappointed. I haven't even touched the article. Pout :) But, I hope you get my feeling on this.
  • It isn't just that we need a wysiwyg editor. Trying to get people to learn new systems is very difficult. We have to create something that mimics how things are done in MS-Word and other significant desktop editing platforms. The markup language we use, while intuitive for me after years of use, is horribly archaic and difficult to learn. It is as archaic as TeX. Case point for me; at a job I had I installed a wiki on our Intranet, to allow people to easily write things up and share them with everyone. There were a couple of geeks who took to it like ducks to water, but the organization as a whole never did anything of consequence with it. We later moved to SharePoint, which allows people to edit things in MS-Word, and it took off.
  • On snark; I've long held that the WP:NPA policy is null and void. I've been directly attacked by a whole host of editors, admins and even a bureaucrat. Nothing every happened to them. Personally, I think the policy should be deleted. It creates more controversy and disappointment than it solves. Witness that we did away with Wikipedia:Requests for comment/User conduct. Doing away with WP:NPA isn't much of a stretch of the imagination. It is very rare that people who are deliberately insulting ever have more than a soft warning tossed their way. People don't like confrontation. Case example for me; I know of an administrator who is extremely rude, and frequently bullies people who disagree with him. He doesn't directly insult anyone, which is how he gets away with it. Plenty of people have complained about him, but nothing is done. I've committed to avoiding him at all costs, knowing that any complaint against him will fall on deaf ears and it will only lead to more grief. As a result, there's a section of the project he frequents that I have largely avoided. Result; less things for me to work on that I want to work on.
  • Simplifying our policies and guidelines isn't going to happen. They are ever expanding. I concur with the reality that this generates difficulty for new users. The learning curve is enormous and fraught with a huge number of potholes where you get negative feedback telling you how badly you messed things up, and how you would have done better if only you'd read War & Peace first.
  • As you know, there's been quite a bit of change in the stratification of editors. Unbundling has contributed, but so has 'upbundling'. Excuse my neologism; I mean rights normally available to brand new editors are no longer available. Given that we have bots that quickly deal with vandalism, given that much of our content comes from IP editors, partially shutting them out of the process is antithetical to our purposes. I refer in large part to the pending changes and autoconfirmed rights. They sound good on paper, but I would speculate they have significantly impacted gateway tasks for new editors. I also find the template editor right insulting. I should not have to plead my case before someone to get the right. The bureaucracy for it is already large (Wikipedia:Template_editor#Guidelines_for_granting,Wikipedia:Requests for permissions/Template editor) and this will increase. We want to reduce the monstrosity that is WP:RFA yet create more crap like Wikipedia:Requests for permissions. Unbundling achieves only a stratification of bureaucracy; it does not eliminate it.

So, there are my comments. Enjoy. --Hammersoft (talk) 14:11, 14 July 2015 (UTC)

  • PS: I took so long to write this I got "Sorry! We could not process your edit due to a loss of session data. Please try saving your changes again. If it still does not work, try logging out and logging back in. "
Thanks, I don't agree that all the good stuff is started as I know of subjects where that is far from true. But I'd concede that it is true for many of our existing and former editors, so I've added User:WereSpielChequers/Going_off_the_boil?#All_the_Good_stuff_has_already_been_done. I'm familiar with the term upbundling, though I use it more for various proposals to shift certain admin rights just to crats. I agree that there have been changes that are disconcerting for newbies, the classic being that if you cite your first edits you are going to have to complete a capcha, if you don't you will get reverted and maybe bitten by others. I became autoconfirmed in 2007, and in those days you could add uncited edits without getting bitten. I was autoconfirmed long before my first cited edit so never had the capcha hassle, but we need a better less bitey way to handle that. ϢereSpielChequers 15:12, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
  • On the 'good stuff'; I saw a study a while back that showed disparity in areas of Wikipedia. The types of people attracted to Wikipedia will of course have subject areas where they are plentiful and subject areas where they are not. The areas where we do not have a lot of contributors certainly have lots of 'good stuff' to start. But, we don't attract the types of editors that fill those voids. The types we do attract find little in the way of voids where they can contribute. As to the captcha problem...holy crap! I had no idea that was part of the editing process for newbies now. That's sick! On rights... I eschew having any special rights. I shouldn't have to jump through a bureaucratic nightmare to edit a template after I've been here for many years with tens of thousands of edits and one inappropriate block that was placed by an admin who has (for an unrelated event) since been relieved for cause. The idea that I could be here so long, have done so much work here and still not be trusted without jumping through a bunch of hoops is absurd to me. I am an editor. Nothing else. If you can't trust me, you might as well shut down the project. --Hammersoft (talk) 15:31, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Admin, Crat Oversight and checkuser are the only rights that involve jumping through hoops. If you want Reviewer and Rollbacker you have but to ask. As for admin, RFA may be crazy but a 2008 block should be ignored, I'd be stunned if even one maverick opposed over that. ϢereSpielChequers 20:30, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
  • On Capatchas... holy crap. I got a new account for my WMF internship and had to ask to be manually confirmed. It was way more of a hassle than I ever thought it would be. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 15:37, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Capchas are a complete pain, I can sort of understand IP editors needing to do them and also them being needed for new account creation - apparently a test of dropping the requirement saw us spam botted. But I don't see any gain in requiring capcha for links added by new accounts. PS are you going to Mexico? ϢereSpielChequers 20:33, 14 July 2015 (UTC)

Sorry for the late response. I think my brain went off the boil. Anyway, to your 20:30, 14 July 2015 comments above; people oppose RfAs for all sorts of crazy reasons. I would be surprised if someone didn't oppose an RfA for a years old block. As to additional rights, I don't want to ask for additional rights. If my time here isn't enough for me to have rights to perform editing functions without having to ask, then I don't deserve them. Five years ago, an administrator gave me additional rights without me having to ask. I asked him to undo his changes (which he did without any resistance). Wikipedia has long walked away from the idea of empowering the simple editor to being able to build something magical. This is wrong, and is a foundational issue to the problems we have with editor recruitment and retention. But, to date, our response has been to continue to stratify users into ever more rights groups. By keeping my simple status as an editor I stand against this stratification. It also has the added benefit of understanding the viewpoint of editors who are relatively new to the project. My anecdotal conclusion; we treat them like crap. I think we treat any editor that does not have additional rights like crap. --Hammersoft (talk) 18:49, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

I think we mistreat lots of our volunteers in various different ways, but I don't agree that it is as simple as mistreatment of editors who lack additional rights. I occasionally edit as an IP when I'm on an insecure connection, and my typo fixes as an IP don't get reverted. I've also been involved in several outreach editathons training new editors. Sometimes the participants ignore my advice and create an article that they can't find independent reliable sources for and then have it deleted, but newbies who add referenced content rarely have problems here. If anything lack of userrights can be used as a shield by some editors. ϢereSpielChequers 09:42, 5 August 2015 (UTC)

IT that does useful things[edit]

Anyone watching this page might enjoy meta:Grants:IdeaLab/Community prioritised IT developments - you all have four votes. ϢereSpielChequers 22:13, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

Nominating for Autopatrolled user rights[edit]

Hello WereSpielChequers! At our earlier discussion at WT:Autopatrolled you said "Many people get nominated or are nominated for this user right, and occasionally when we have a list I and others trawl through the list of prolific article creators and appoint suitable ones as autopatrollers." Well, I'm starting to parse through the data to try to figure out how many editors there are with 20-50 (non-redirect) articles created (which I'm having to do manually via Wikipedia:List of Wikipedians by article count!) But what I'm finding alarming is the number of (still active) editors that have 50-100 (non-redirect) articles created and who don't have "Autopatrolled" rights! So, I'm thinking that I'd like to nominate some of these for Autopatrolled rights – How do I do that? Thanks in advance! --IJBall (contribstalk) 20:14, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

Hi IJBall, the simple answer is that you can nominate them at Wikipedia:Requests_for_permissions/Autopatrolled - though you might want to check a bit more than just the raw number of articles created. However I'm hoping to get one of my contacts to start producing the list of prospects again, 14 months after it last ran there should be a good crop of editors ready for this userright. Extracting it manually from the Wikipedia:List of Wikipedians by article count sounds like a much more time consuming thing as a lot of those editors will already have the right directly or as admins, and those that don't need to be checked out, some will have already lost the userright due to copyvio or creating unreferenced BLPs, and some will still be creating articles that get deleted for notability reasons, doing some of those checks is a lot quicker if you have admin rights and can look at deleted revisions. So I don't want to sound discouraging, but I wouldn't want you to waste hours of time doing something that a computer may be about to resume doing. ϢereSpielChequers 21:01, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
Yep, that's exactly what I'm having to do: weed out Admins (and the occasional Bureaucrat), and exclude anyone who hasn't edited in a year or more. I'm also checking to see if they're already "Autopatrolled" at less than 50 articles created (I'd say about 20% are...). I'm not sure I have the stomach to do this for the Top 10,000 Article Creators, but I will definitely finish this out for the Top 5,000 (I'm already up to about #2,200 right now...) So, progress!! I figure some numbers here for my proposal are better than none! (I'll hope the people that lost Autopatrolled due to Copyvios, etc. is a very small number here – hopefully ~0.) P.S. Thanks for the answer on nominating – I won't be nominating any of those editors today (with maybe just a few exceptions! – I've already seen 2–3 editors that I know should be Autopatrolled!), but I may come back later, on a day I'm bored, and check the 50–100 article editors, and think about nominating some of them for Autopatrolled... --IJBall (contribstalk) 22:02, 4 August 2015 (UTC)


WereSpielChequers, as you're one of the people who likes data, I thought I'd report what I found out... I manually looked through Top 5,000 in the List of Wikipedians by article count looking for editors who had created 40-49, 30-39, 25-29, and 20-24 (non-redirect) articles (note: the data wouldn't let me filter out Diambiguation articles easily so, unfortunately, they'll be included in the count - oh well...), respectively, excluding from the count any:

  1. Admins or Bureaucrats
  2. editors blocked for cause, and
  3. editors who hadn't actively edited within approximately the last year.

It was a "hand count" so, unlike a bot, it's probably not "100%" accurate (I'm sure I missed an editor from the count here or there...). And it's certainly not the "complete data set" of everyone in the Wiki. But I think it's decent enough data to draw some conclusions from. Here are the results:

Number of articles created by number of editors, and Autopatrolled rights
# of articles created Total # of editors # of editors with
Autopatrolled rights
 % editors with
Autopatrolled rights
40–49 72 8 11.1%
30–39 61 8 13.1%
25–29 47 4 8.5%
20–24 38 6 15.8%

A couple of follow-up thoughts: While I didn't keep a "hard count", I would say about half of the editors in the table above already had some kind of "extra permissions" (e.g. Rollbacker, Reviewer, File Mover, or combinations of any of these) even if they didn't have Autopatrolled. Also I recognized a significant percentage of the names from this list, and nearly all of them appeared to be long-time editors. IOW, I'd say nearly all of these can be put in the category of "trusted editors". So considering all of that, and the percentage of editors with less than 50 created articles who have already been granted Autopatrolled status, I can't think of any good reason not to go ahead with my proposal to drop the Autopatrolled permissions requirement to somewhere between 20–30 (non-redirect, non-disambig.) articles created (with 25 articles created being my likely suggested level). There's clearly a significant number of medium- and long-term "trusted" editors who would benefit from a lower requirement for Autopatrolled, and lowering the requirement will also hopefully help take some of the burden off the Page Curation crew.

I may try and put together the proposal for VPP tonight, but if I don't I may not get to it until 24 hours from now (as I'll have to run errands tomorrow during the day...). As always, any thoughts on your end are welcome. Thanks again! --IJBall (contribstalk) 03:32, 6 August 2015 (UTC)

The tricky thing is not establishing that we have lots of editors who have created that many articles, but establishing the point where such a large proportion will be ready for autopatroller that it is worth lowering the bar. I realise that my own experience is likely to be somewhat skewed, in going through the list of people who have created lots of articles but who don't yet have Autopatroller I am looking at the list after many people have pulled out good candidates and given them autopatroller. So maybe if someone went through a batch of people who have created forty articles they will conclude that it is worth doing, but there are two prices to remember. Firstly assessing candidates takes much longer than patrolling a single article, and can only be done by an admin, we may be short of new page patrollers but we are even shorter of admins. Secondly we don't want to set people up to fail; If we lower the bar to forty but more people then get refused because their work isn't yet good enough, then we don't just waste admin time, we give a group of goodfaith editors a negative experience. ϢereSpielChequers 21:38, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

User:WereSpielChequers/Edit Warring[edit]

Opinions on User:WereSpielChequers/Edit Warring would be welcome. ϢereSpielChequers 15:59, 16 August 2015 (UTC)

WMF / Auto sign on talkpages[edit]

The WMF put out some extremely misleading statements. Some of your comments in the Village Pump discussion were incorrect (not your fault).

  • Now that Flow is deprioritised - Nope.
  • The WMF is asking for community input into things they could do instead of FLOW - Nope.

I spoke with the Flow project manager[3]. They have not diminished work on Flow, they are working full speed ahead on specific features for Flow. When the WMF says that their new work is going to be driven by the needs of the Community, they mean they decided what they wanted to give us, then they did research interviews with a couple of editors, then they shoehorned those responses to fit what they wanted to build. I spoke to one of the people they interviewed - the WMF staff interviewing him didn't even know the Community had already built the functionality they are working on. Specifically they are building a replacement for scripts like Twinkle, except their version won't work on existing pages. The Flow team is going full speed ahead, building a project that largely duplicates functionality we already built, and they are deliberately designing it so it won't work unless we convert every goddamn page on Wikipedia into Flow chatboards. Oh.... and it doesn't work unless you switch to Visual Editor too.

In the last election for WMF board of directors, all three elected candidates ran on a platform that Flow could not be deployed if the community didn't want it. So.... the WMF is restricting new development and support to Flow. If we want any new features, if we want any continuing support, we have to take Flow first. There's not much chance of the WMF willingly picking up the autosign project. They want our editor *gone*. Alsee (talk) 19:40, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, interesting. Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2015-09-02/News_and_notes "Flow on Ice" did seem to me a pretty clear sign that Flow was no longer in fashion at the WMF. The dinosaur takes time to change, but in my view that sort of comment is usually code for "this project is dead", due to the obfuscation the message may get out more slowly, and due to its sauropod like nature the WMF's hind legs might still be moving for a while after the brain has squawked end. But I had stopped worrying about Flow. Though this implies that you may be right, staffers may still try to get it deployed wherever they can get consensus. ϢereSpielChequers 19:55, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

A possibility for your talents[edit]

Hello WSC. I am one (among many) who have been delighted to share, with our fellow editors, the wonderful "Seasons Greetings" templates that you have created over the years. As we approach that time of year yet again I wonder if you have ever seen this? It looks tailor made for your talented skills. If it doesn't pique your interest then no worries. I look forward to whatever you come up with. Thanks for your time and cheers. MarnetteD|Talk 01:06, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

Hi Marnette, I'm not sure whether that works in the very small thumbnail that fits into something suitable for a talkpage post. What do you think of this version as opposed to say my Hibernian special? ϢereSpielChequers 07:36, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
I had not considered the size reduction. I do like what you came up with though - especially since I lived in Alaska for a few years :-) Hopefully recipients will do what I did and click on both pics to see them full sized at their file pages. I like the Hibernian as well - it gives us a choice between the fanciful and realistic. Thanks for your efforts! MarnetteD|Talk 12:33, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
You're welcome! There may even be a third version before the holiday season. ϢereSpielChequers 12:41, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

List of Wikipedians by article count[edit]

Hi. I figured you might be interested in this edit – based on the Talk page topic below that that you started, you may want to run the question about also showing Autopatrolled with the article count stats by MZMcBride. (And I'd be interested in that data too!) --IJBall (contribstalk) 04:23, 7 November 2015 (UTC)


WSC, there's a name missing on this list: yours. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 12:40, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

Hi Kudpung, that's very flattering, but not great timing. In the last few weeks I have taken on extra responsibilities in several different parts of my non wiki life, so now is not a good time to consider a two year stint on Arbcom. That said I'm not ruling out a run in future, just not this year. Plus looking at all the candidates who've come forward in the last few days I may have nine I'm willing to vote for, including several better qualified than me. ϢereSpielChequers 16:30, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

You might want to check it[edit]

As you saw I just updated the table [4], however I did it manually. Best efforts basis and I hope it is correct. Peter Damian (talk) 10:17, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

Hi Peter, looks good to me. I agree that the final September figure is an obvious error and best to use a different days data. ϢereSpielChequers 17:30, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

Patrick Hennessy (painter)[edit]

When we met recently I seem to remember that one of the editors told me that the lead section of an article did not need referencing.When I attempted to refine ClemRutters hack(that was his word not mine)at the lead to-day an editor 14GTR undid my edit stating that the lead was not referenced.Is that correct? snowpatrol 22:27, 18 November 2015 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Seascaper (talkcontribs)

A Misspelled Tail[edit]

I was reading up on Spiel Chequers er, I mean Spell Checkers, and I ran across this little gem:

A Misspelled Tail
by Elizabeth T. Corbett

A little buoy said: "Mother, deer,
May I go out too play?
The son is bright, the heir is clear;
Owe, mother, don't say neigh!"

"Go fourth, my sun," the mother said.
The ant said, "Take ewer slay,
Your gneiss knew sled awl painted read,
But dew not lose your weigh."

"Ah, know," he cried, and sought the street
With hart sew full of glee--
The weather changed--and snow and sleet
And reign, fell steadily.

Threw snowdrifts grate, threw watery pool,
He flue with mite and mane--
Said he, "Though I wood walk by rule,
I am not rite, 't is plane."

"I'd like to meat sum kindly sole,
For hear gnu dangers weight,
And yonder stairs a treacherous whole--
Two sloe has been my gate.

"A peace of bred, a nice hot stake,
I'd chews if I were home,
This crewel fete my hart will brake,
Eye love knot thus to roam.

"I'm week and pail, I've mist my rode,"
But here a carte came past,
He and his sled were safely toad
Back two his home at last.

Source: Elizabeth T. Corbett, originally published in the children's magazine St. Nicholas in 1893.
--Guy Macon (talk) 19:12, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, a nice read, though surprised she missed the opportunity to say "The whether changed or even "The whether chain Jed". ϢereSpielChequers 23:05, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

Moderation policy[edit]

  • I just came across this interesting account of how content moderation is done elsewhere. I was wondering where to put it and this conversation seems a good place. As a talking point, do we have a "Grandma Problem"? I've not seen it described in this way but suppose it's what Natbrown was complaining about. Andrew D. (talk) 11:36, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
    • Here is as good a place to restart such a debate as any. If you pay people to moderate you then you will probably farm much of the work out to low wage countries, but doing so for Wikipedia is more complex than for a US based social media site, especially if you want a policy that goes further than "legal in the state of Florida". Considering the reference to Natka I'm assuming you are more interested in her idea of a "child safe" product than in the economics of it. We have a global mission and a global community. A policy that says Wikipedia should be "safe for Work" or "child friendly" immediately raises the issue of whose mores are you proposing we follow. Since some of the Wikipedia critics have claimed the porn content on commons is a significant minority, I've heard critics range from commons being saturated with porn to it being as much as 1% porn, it is fair to ask the critics whose mores they think a global project should follow. I doubt that many people in the west would consider 1% of commons as "porn" but to a strict Wahhabi the proportion would be even higher. I'm sure there are parts of the American Bible belt where there are people who would be comfortable with a swimsuit policy, equally there are people who consider that Victorian museum curators chiselling off parts of statues and painting figleaves on artworks were Philistines and vandals. There are also cultures that find depictions of female faces offensive, by contrast I come from a culture which considers a ban on female faces immoral. So I don't believe we can come up with a comprehensive policy that all cultures and moral codes can agree with, yet I'd agree there are some things on Commons that I'd rather not see. If you would set a policy line somewhere other than "legal in the state of Florida" where would you set it and why? ϢereSpielChequers 17:32, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Hello again[edit]

It's possible you may vaguely remember me. We had a fair bit of contact several years ago, but I became pretty disillusioned by certain aspects of the whole project (specifically with regard to fair use images) and I have been on pretty substantial wiki-break. Now I'm willingly getting pulled back in to things and I'm once again finding everything for the most part interesting, challenging and enjoyable.

Anyway, I was wondering if you might have any observations you might share about how editing culture has changed since 2011. There are a few things I have noticed that are at least as bad, and in some ways worse, than they were before:

  • I still see speedy deletion being horribly misapplied, in ways which can only discourage new editors. I'm looking at an article which was tagged as A1 and G2, neither of which was valid, eight minutes after it was created. I doubt that user will be back.
  • The new (to me!) Articles for Creation process doesn't seem to have significantly changed things. I regularly see drafts that are really in pretty good state being declined by editors who want to hold them to punitively high standards of referencing. I'm looking at a draft that has three quality references to reliable sources which specifically discuss the topic in depth, which has been declined now by the same editor three times in a row, with the same reason given - "needs more references". The same editor declines drafts for hours on end at a rate of roughly two per minute. Unsurprisingly, the same editor is also an offender for inappropriate speedy deletion tagging.
  • Free-content idealists are still chipping away at fair use images, unnecessarily making the encyclopedia progressively less useful as they work in pursuit of a goal that I do not share (an encyclopedia entirely built from free content, even if it means removing screenshots from articles about historically-significant GUIs). I'm staying away from this topic area because it's what led to my quitting in frustration last time. I do feel it's unfortunate that those policy and deletion debates are so dominated by editors with a stridently anti-fair-use point of view, and I'm not sure that they reflect the true consensus of the community.
  • I keep seeing what appear to be deletion campaigns based on racial or religious grounds. For example there is an editor who is a significant contributor to articles on Sunni Islam, who also seems very keen on getting articles about Shia Islam-related topics, and Shia-believing individuals, deleted. I recently rescued an article about a significant topic in Sikhism (to be fair, the article was a pig's breakfast, and the "rescued" version is basically a stub). We have well-written, well-sourced, multiply-linked articles about "XXX in Catholicism", "XXX in Islam", "XXX in Buddhism" etc, but there was a serious argument from the nominator and an AfD participant that "XXX in Sikhism" was "not notable", a position that is so removed from reality (even reality as revealed by ten seconds of Googling) that I struggle to assume good faith.
  • There seems to be an increase in the number of new articles from India, the Philippines, etc, and other places where English is not the primary or only language. I think this is a good thing - it reflects the global reach of the project, and increasing global participation is something to be proud of, not a problem to be solved. But new page patrollers in particular seem to disregard non-English sources. They don't seem to know how to Google non-latin-alphabet names. I don't think this is deliberate racism, but the behavior is racist in effect.

I suppose a lot of these things could have been written in 2011. Maybe not much has changed. Certainly the ongoing trend away from the "optimistic content creators" of 2006 towards the "pessimistic gatekeepers" who will eventually control everything is very noticeable when you take a few years away.


Thparkth (talk) 15:09, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Hi and welcome back! Yes CSD is an ongoing problem, but as we found with WP:NEWT resolving it one way or the other risks tearing the community apart. I do occasionally decline incorrect speedies and try to educate patrollers, but its a thankless task. There is a new speedy deletion process but it largely missed the point and for example changes such as disabling A1 and A3 as options for the first few minutes were rejected out of hand. I'm more enthusiastic about our chance of protecting more of our established writers from deletionist mistakes, once I get a bot writer to refresh the prospect list we can appoint a load of overlooked ones, the sort of people who create an articles a fortnight and have done so for years.
AFC is a failure and I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking so. Part of the problem is that it keeps articles out of mainspace so they don't get collaborative editing, and anyone can decline an AFC submission whilst only an admin can delete a new page in mainspace. I would advise against any goodfaith newbie using it.
Disregarding non-English sources is a problem, people who !vote delete at AFD with rationales such as "no English sources" should soon get the message when admins close as no valid reason given for deletion. A bigger issue is when people who rescue articles don't know how to use non English articles. Is there an essay explaining how to do so? If not would you consider writing one?
Yes there has been greater growth in areas such as India, I assume this reflects growing internet use in such places. My view is that editing Wikipedia is not usually an entry level Internet task, I don't know if the rule of thumb still holds that it takes two years from getting internet access to using it for shopping. But I'm expecting there to be a lag between growth in internet use in an area and growth of the Wikipedia community in that area. This is greatly complicated/hindered by the problem that the smartphone is not as good an editing devise as a pc, and in many areas the increase in Internet use is basically a smartphone phenomena. I'm hoping that we have little overt racism here, but we've yet to come to terms with issues such as people in poorer societies having less access to free reference sources, or even the reliable sources in some countries being much more extensive than others. On the plus side there has been a huge growth in Commons, not least because it is much more inclusionist than Wikipedia, and part of that growth has been European museums digitally releasing images from their former colonies.
I can't comment as to whether partisan deletion tagging has become more or less common. The biggest such battle I've been involved in was before you left and I don't know whether my experience is indicative of anything.
I'd agree we have a problem with gatekeeping, but I'd diagnose it slightly differently. The community is roughly the same size today as it was four years ago, but we have significantly more articles; So we probably have less of a problem with people owning articles and rejecting any change to "their" work. But we have more of a problem with people who treat unsourced changes in the same way we used to treat vandalism. Personally I'm quite moderate on this issue, but I draw the line at an unsourced change to sourced information, and with a growing proportion of the pedia being sourced even with my stance there is much less room for editors who contribute uncited content. ϢereSpielChequers 17:00, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
Lots to digest there. For now, is there any chance you could share the kind of criteria you're thinking of with regards to protecting established editors? Is there any existing "prospect list"? Thparkth (talk) 14:06, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia talk:Database reports/Editors eligible for Autopatrol privilege is worth looking at and explains why Wikipedia:Database reports/Editors eligible for Autopatrol privilege isn't currently fit for purpose. ϢereSpielChequers 11:24, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
So from what I understand, you're looking for editors who have created articles in the last 30 days, who don't currently have autopatrol, and who meet the general autopatrol eligibility criteria of having created at least 25 articles. At that point presumably you and other administrators would want to manually review the persons article creation history with a view to proactively offering them the autopatrol right. I've written a little bit of MediaWiki::API code that might be helpful in identifying those users. It isn't a bot - it doesn't make any edits, and it's run manually for now.
I have put the output from a limited test run in my userspace here (based on editors who created pages in the last day, rather than the last 30 days). Note that I don't bother counting pages created if it goes over fifty, because it takes longer and is unnecessary since the guideline threshold is twenty-five. Even from this limited amount of data it is clear that there are many users who should really have autopatrol.
I would be grateful if you would let me know if this going in the right direction. If so I will work further on it.
Cheers, Thparkth (talk) 05:00, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Further to this, I updated the page with my output data with the complete data set, and also upped the maximum creation count to 200. This should pretty much be the complete list of users who meet the criteria of having created 25+ articles, not currently having autopatrol, and having created at least one article in the last month. Thparkth (talk) 12:16, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Hi, that's good, almost there, and you've got rid of the bots. Running it daily means we might miss the person who creates an article every week or two, and they are a key group I'm trying to find an appoint as autopatrollers here; so if it could pick up anyone who has created mainspace article in the last 30 days that would be better. Also I'm not sure whether you are excluding redirects and creations of pages outside mainspace. This editor has over a thousand according to your list, but I could find only twenty mainspace articles they had started. ϢereSpielChequers 23:20, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Hello, apologies for the confusion from the contradictory information as I worked on the code. The current version of the report does indeed consider all of the users who have created articles in the last 30 days, not just those from the last few days. It also does exclude redirects. However it appears that the "count how many articles the user created" method I am using inadvertently includes the File: namespace, which is why the numbers are anomalous for the user you referenced. I'll go work on that now :) Thparkth (talk) 01:03, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
Update - I have fixed the issue with the inclusion of non-mainspace contributions in the count. Updated data (for all users who have created articles in the last thirty days) is in the same place, User:Thparkth/autopatroltest. Thparkth (talk) 02:45, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
Nicely done, I've started appoint autopatrollers from that list. Do you want to start refreshing Wikipedia:Database reports/Editors eligible for Autopatrol privilege, that's where people look for it, and we can mark the request as fixed once you refresh it there. ϢereSpielChequers 13:13, 16 December 2015 (UTC)
  • I agree with much of what Thparkth says but he's perhaps getting too black a view by looking at speedy deletions and AFC which, by their nature, tend to be negative in nature. The number of articles is still going up steadily – see WP:5MILLION – and the rate seems to have increased in the last year or so. So, overall, the content creators are still gaining ground. Where they have got the hang of this, this seems to happen without much fuss and so is perhaps just hard to discern. Anyway, welcome back and feel free to ping me if you need help with something. Andrew D. (talk) 09:49, 23 December 2015 (UTC)
Hello :) What is perhaps not obvious from what I wrote is that speedy deletion was something I was heavily involved with in 2011 as well. I really do notice a less patient, less forgiving, less encouraging mood in the project today versus then. It was already pretty WP:BITEy back then, but it is worse now.
That is the continuation of a long-term trend that I have observed from my earliest days as a Wikipedian when as a brand new editor I created a number of shitty unreferenced articles (in mainspace directly, no less!) and was immediately welcomed by a real person and constructively engaged in cooperative editing. Today I wonder how many templated warnings I would have earned instead.
In my mind, the early days of the project were dominated by optimistic, imaginative, open-minded content-creators who loved the idea that they could significantly contribute to an encyclopedia article on a major topic. "Geology", "James Watt", "Scotland", "Christianity" - they were all missing or stubs. How exciting is that? But over time the trailblazers got burned out, or bored, or just weren't interested in writing about minor topics. On the other hand, there was a need for a new kind of editor - one who would make incremental improvements, and create new articles on minor topics, but who would also defend the encyclopedia from the growing menaces of vandalism, POV-pushing, and commercial interests. This time also corresponded with the explosion of policies, guidelines and the zoo of acronyms that we cheerfully throw at each other nowadays, and it was also the time when newcomers began to be treated with suspicion and distrust.
A few years later and we have a situation where new article creation is becoming an eccentric minority interest (and we more or less have a default assumption that any article a new user wants to create is probably a bad idea), where WP:NPP is played like it's a MMPORG where score is kept by counting the number of pages deleted and new editors banned (the goal being to level-up to admin, at which point you have completed Wikipedia and presumably will stop playing it), and where a huge amount of human effort is spent discussing, criticizing, documenting, and ultimately supporting an ever-more-self-referential quasi-judicial bureaucracy that is so many steps removed from the stated goal of building an encyclopedia that it is sometimes alarming. (Why are we arguing about the fairness of the process for establishing a consensus as to how to run an election for membership of an arbitration panel? Don't these people realize that Semiconductor is still a WP:SHITTYARTICLE?
Now you may take issue with the factual accuracy of some or all of the above, and you may be right - it is largely bullshit. I am looking at the past through rose-tinted eyeglasses, and I am being more cynical then necessary about the present. But I do genuinely believe that somewhere along the line we have stopped assuming good faith about new editors, and the foundational principle of being the encyclopedia that "anyone can edit" (and which anyone else may fix afterwards if necessary) may no longer be the consensus position of the community.
I guess this is where I see myself fitting in, in a small way. I am motivated to look out for new users, particularly those who have created new articles. There are some new users whose contributions we would not miss, it's true, but it breaks my heart to see someone's genuine, well-intended best work be slapped with an A7 and their talk page pasted with warning banners all because some wikipedian with a hundred thousand twinkle edits and a complete lack of empathy is ignorant of its importance. I know this is a concern WSC and others share. I'm not proposing any major changes to the processes - they are mostly quite well designed. I'm just advocating for a kinder, more empathetic, and perhaps less-rushed approach in dealing with newbies. Much as we need new pages patrollers, we can't ever get into the situation where we are significantly more welcoming to new patrollers than to new good-faith content contributors.
Thparkth (talk) 17:02, 23 December 2015 (UTC)
2011 wasn't perfect either- have a look at some of the problems we battled over in WP:NEWT. My theory is that the drift from the wp:soFixIt society of the pre 2007 era to the subsequent WP:SoTagitForSomeHypotheticalOthertoFix era is an ongoing process. the article rescue squadron is one of the responses. My hope is that we can get the WMF to do some technical changes, in particular reducing the edit conflicts caused by people categorising and templating new articles. The difficulty is in getting WMF support for change. ϢereSpielChequers 22:22, 23 December 2015 (UTC)


Hi, please see this - is this some bot that can be turned off? Johnbod (talk) 17:39, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Many thanks! Johnbod (talk) 21:04, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Detection of paid editors / socks[edit]

Being discussed here [5]. For AI to work we need some good datasets. Not sure if you have a list of more? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 08:45, 3 December 2015 (UTC)

Sorry doc, my focus is more about spotting attack pages. Kudpung has much better antenna for spammers and socks. Not sure if you can easily differentiate between a hagiography written by an unpaid fan and one written for pay. You might find that an attack page detector would be easier to write and find data for - all articles deleted per G10 looking at their unblanked pre deletion template version would be a good training set. Personally I would prioritise that because I think it more important than dealing with overly promotional articles; But you may also find that a much easier task to develop an AI for, and your paid editor detector might be much easier to do when you already have an attack page detector developed. ϢereSpielChequers 11:35, 3 December 2015 (UTC)

Stats for MENA and AR wiki[edit]

Hi! Hope this finds you well. I saw you were one of the editorss who contributed to this page here so I figured out that maybe you can help find up-to-date statistics for MENA and AR Wiki. Specifically, I'm looking for the number of edits coming from each MENA country to the AR Wikipedia. Thanks!--Reem Al-Kashif (talk) 13:58, 16 December 2015 (UTC)

Hi Reem, the closest I know to that are the stats at here but I'll also ask some people I know. ϢereSpielChequers 17:41, 18 December 2015 (UTC)

Users eligible for Autopatrolled[edit]

Thought I would move this discussion into it's own section, hope that's OK.

I could definitely update Wikipedia:Database_reports/Editors_eligible_for_Autopatrol_privilege but that page "belongs" to the Database Reports project and Community Tech Bot is updating it with its slightly-less-useful information twice each month. I suspect it is theoretically possible to have my script run through that mechanism, but I haven't worked in that environment before and there would likely be a learning curve involved. Going that way may end up being dependent on the same overworked volunteers who haven't yet been able to action your request to modify the current report.

It would be much, much easier to put my data somewhere else. Any thoughts?

Finally I have updated User:Thparkth/autopatroltest with data from December 18th.


Thparkth (talk) 22:22, 23 December 2015 (UTC)

@Thparkth: Your list does look useful. I hope you get some help on this, as your list will be much more helpful than the current Database Report version... You might want to contact NKohli (WMF) about your version. --IJBall (contribstalk) 21:08, 27 December 2015 (UTC)

Gathering my wits...[edit]

WereSpielChequers, I was poking around WP:UAA, and there are several bot-reported names that are clearly not violations. How do I decline? Is it a simple as removing the entries from the page? Thanks! 78.26 (spin me / revolutions) 18:05, 28 December 2015 (UTC)

I think so, since the bot doesn't warn the user, but a clear edit summary is unusually important here. Otherwise here are a couple of examples, I haven't done anything at UAA for yonkls yonks so if I returned there I suspect I would do a few like this till I calibrated my tolerance with admins active there. Note the very clear edit summaries and Reassurance at the editor's talkpage that they aren't going to be blocked. ϢereSpielChequers 21:22, 28 December 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I think I'll add a few {{UAA}} and see if the bot automatically removes them. I'm just used to reporting and then ignoring the page. By the way, I must add "yonkls" to my vocabulary. 78.26 (spin me / revolutions) 21:37, 28 December 2015 (UTC)
Whoops, though that does look like a word in need of a meaning. If I ever get round to writing my opus they may get their own planet. ϢereSpielChequers 22:01, 28 December 2015 (UTC)
I like yonkls better. 78.26 (spin me / revolutions) 22:27, 28 December 2015 (UTC)

Mahmood Haider[edit]

I reverted because sourced information was removed and unsourced info was added. If you didn't like anything, then remove that and not revert the entire thing. I also no longer respond via email. I've received numerous death threats after responding to people. Bgwhite (talk) 22:31, 29 December 2015 (UTC)

Hi BG, sorry to hear about the death threats, if you don't want to get emails you might try disabling it in your preferences, that way people will know not to email you even when discussing the sort of negative stuff that ideally shouldn't be discussed on wiki; Either that or create an email account just for Wikipedia stuff. My concern was about the unsourced negative information, hence my revert. If you disagree with the policy of reverting to the last neutral version in the page history I suggest you seek consensus to change the policy. ϢereSpielChequers 16:33, 30 December 2015 (UTC)

New list[edit]

I have forgotten how I created the old list, but I found a note on Meta from you asking for a list split by {{Infobox UK place}} vs everything else.

As I remarked I am still severely restricted in what I am permitted to do, so the list(s) will have to be placed in my user space, from where they can be copied, moved or transcluded.

I have been tussling with a huge (somewhat related) issue of producing accurate region codes for some 100k+ articles, success rate is now about 87-88% (compared with much less than 50% before I started) but of course the last 20% is going to be 80% of the work.

Nonetheless the first list should be uploaded soon. The rest will have to go on my todo list for now.

All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 03:46, 12 January 2016 (UTC).

Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/Femto Bot 7. All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 21:11, 17 January 2016 (UTC).

Towards a New Wikimania results[edit]

Wikimania logo with text.svg

Last December, I invited you to share your views on the value of Wikimedia conferences and the planning process of Wikimania. We have completed analysis of these results and have prepared this report summarizing your feedback and important changes for Wikimania starting in 2018 as an experiment. Feedback and comments are welcome at the discussion page. Thank you so much for your participation. I JethroBT (WMF), Community Resources, 22:47, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Revised opening for Moai[edit]

Hi Spielchequers, thanks for your revert, but leaving it "island of Easter Island" is simply awkward. I've made another edit that took care of it. Mistakefinder (talk) 02:27, 22 February 2016 (UTC)

Hi, you may not like the clunkiness of the pre-existing compromise, but don't expect your current version to survive long. "the Chilean Polynesian island of Easter Island" is a compromise that respects both the Polynesian nature of the island and it's legal status as part of Chile. If you you can come up with a non clunky phrase that respects both then it might stick. Otherwise I predict that your version will first see some edits between Chile and Polynesia before reverting to a clunky compromise. ϢereSpielChequers 09:53, 22 February 2016 (UTC)

decline in auto confirmed numbers[edit]

I've been doing some stats, extra eyes welcome. User:WereSpielChequers/auto_confirmed_before_and_after_visual_editor ϢereSpielChequers 22:26, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

Precious anniversary[edit]

Three years ago ...
Cornflower blue Yogo sapphire.jpg
native tongue as tool
... you were recipient
no. 432 of Precious,
a prize of QAI!

--Gerda Arendt (talk) 06:46, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

An SRS adiminz?[edit]

Is that a special administrator of sorts? VegasCasinoKid (talk) 20:25, 26 March 2016 (UTC)

Tis Lolcat speak. ϢereSpielChequers 19:10, 27 March 2016 (UTC)


So, I'm now 2 for 2 when it comes to people assuming bad faith when I make a suggestion regarding admin practices in general. First, at WP:AN, I asked if mass-checking accounts with IPBE really fit within the checkuser policy, suggesting that it didn't and maybe the practice should be modified. The checkusers that responded assumed that I was just trying to pick apart the actions of an individual checkuser. Now, I suggest a general confirmations process as a method of reducing the status associated with being an admin, and you respond by suggesting that I have a bone to pick with a particular admin, or want to do mass-desysoppings out of process?

I am honestly very confused over this. Why are people so quick to assume I have some sort of agenda? I've been active here for just about two months now - what agenda could I possibly have in that time? Most importantly - is there something in what I am saying that makes it look very suspicious? I'm not used to being a "newcomer" or so to speak; on meta and wikidata, people know me and don't jump to assume that I have some kind of nefarious plan in the making. Anyway, if you have any feedback on how my comments or formulated or what I can do to make them seem less confrontational here, I'd appreciate it. I've never experienced this problem before, and certainly don't want to continue to participate in those discussions if that's the impact it's going to have. Regards, Ajraddatz (talk) 20:38, 4 April 2016 (UTC)

As an aside, thinking back to my overall desire to have adminship be less of a big deal and status, you're right that confirmations and strict inactivity removal don't work towards that. I'd been considering confirmations already when looking at the steward processes and reform proposals for them, so my mind must have adopted that as kind of a paradigm. Ultimately I think that there are non-RfA reasons why we see the current types of behaviour at RfA, but I'm not really sure how to "fix" those, or what those really are... Ajraddatz (talk) 21:13, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, I'm not assuming bad faith, apologies if it came across that way. I've been following the RFA process for years, at least since we started talking about the drought in 2009 and seen innumerable attempts to get more admins sidetracked into attempts to get rid of more admins. I've listed two dozen of the the main proposals for change at User:WereSpielChequers/RFA reform. Why don't you have a read of that and tell me what you think? Fresh eyes might bring a fresh perspective. ϢereSpielChequers 22:17, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
I must have read it to it too far; in that case, sorry for assuming the assumption of bad faith :P. I've read over your page, and it's a good read - thanks for linking it. Especially, I think your comments about confirmations are pretty good. While I still think they are useful for the steward role, for local sysops (which really shouldn't be a big deal), confirmations shouldn't be necessary.
On your page, you have a section for "training and evaluation", but it seems to be for after a user is already elected. What about a system where any user can become a temporary / training sysop for a month, under the supervision of another sysop? After the period of one month, they go to RfA, and people can evaluate them on how they act as an admin rather than basing comments on strange edit count metrics. Some vetting of candidates would need to happen of course, and trainee admins should stay away from the abuse filters. This is done on enwv, and while that community tends to be a cesspool of trolls, I wonder if that idea would work well here. I seem to remember the WMF saying that they wouldn't grant access to deleted revisions without an RfA, but that's frankly untrue and easy enough to convince them otherwise. Edit: Also reducing the standard for adminship, from 80 without issue to something like 60-70? I'm not sure the historical basis for the 70-80% discretionary range here. While a reduction would mean that people could get in with less community support, as you mention on your page, that is probably already the case for existing admins who might need re-election. Ajraddatz (talk) 00:01, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. I've expanded the training and evaluation section. I think its main future is to make things easier of returning admins or admins who have not been sufficiently engaged to keep up with policy change or who are moving into new areas. Over the next few decades as we morph from a fifteen year old organisation to a fifty year old one so the need will increase to be able to welcome people back after a decade or two in a demanding career or bring up kids. I'm not convinced by the probationary sysop idea. Two of our biggest oppose camps are those who think that admins need to have first made some significant contributions to the pedia; and those who consider that looking at a candidate's deletion tagging they know all too well what would happen if that person got the delete button. We also have RFA !voters who deliberately go back a few months to check edits the candidate did before they started being cautious in advance of their RFA. None of those group are likely to be appeased by a probationary system. As for lowering the support requirements from the de facto 70-75% of the last few years, in December the threshold was lowered to 65-75%. Though it could be a while before we have many examples where that makes a real difference. Those who pass usually get much greater support than that and those who fail much less. ϢereSpielChequers 14:23, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
That makes sense. To be completely honest, the topic of RfA reform isn't something I want to spend much time on, though it's an interesting topic to think on. We both seem to agree that adminship should be less of a big deal, and more accessible. If confirmations don't accomplish this (which they most likely don't), and a probationary period would not be appreciated (I can see that as well, people opposing a candidate with a month's experience due to issues before, and that's fine), maybe establishing criteria is the most helpful step. Anyway, I should probably move on to more productive things, and HighInBC's continuing insistence that I name names or have an axe to grind would seem to confirm this. Have a good one, Ajraddatz (talk) 16:09, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

Comments regarding User:WereSpielChequers/RFA reform[edit]

This is a good document. It's nice to see something in this form.

A few notes

  • RFA is broken point #2; it is very uncertain as to what number of administrators we need to keep the site running properly. Nobody really knows. We do know that bots have had a very significant effect on this. I think eventually we will have to rely on ClueBot do block new accounts/IPs. ClueBot does phenomenal job as is. Not perfect, but it's at least on par with humans now.
  • Qualifications; There's a nebulous character to all of this. I can assert I would pass all these criteria, and can even prove some of it. Yet, I know beyond a shadow of doubt that it is impossible for me to pass RfA. I tell things like that are, and have no interest in gaining friends on Wikipedia. The result is I'm unpopular. That's fine by me, but means it is impossible for me to become an administrator. I know you address the popularity contest aspect of RfA. But more to the point, we should be allowing people to be admins who have a demonstrated track record of commitment to the project, not doing damage to it, and having enthusiasm for the final product. We're very, very far removed from that right now.
  • Crat decision: I change the range to 65-75, vice 70-75. I think you know about the recent changes.
  • Upbundling; while bureaucrats have a lot less to do these days with global renaming coming to the table, I don't think they would take this on. Recent objections to related topics have included the fact that bureaucrats were not appoint to their roles to do this.
  • Voting rights: Wikipedia:2015_administrator_election_reform/Phase_I/RfC#L:_Minimum_requirements_for_voters shot that down, 3-1.
  • Optional pre-vetting: You might want to add Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/Optional RfA candidate poll to this.
  • Research: Indeed. We need considerably more research. Of note; I once did an analysis of 20 administrators who had lost admin status due to an RFAR. Only one had an RfA that was below the 75% threshold for bureaucrat scrutiny to come into play. One. 15 of 20 scored 90% or better at RfA. From this (albeit limited) data, it appears RfA is a terrible predictor of problematic administrators.
  • Make it easier to remove the mop: You might want to link to Wikipedia:Requests for de-adminship#Proposed processes

--Hammersoft (talk) 15:31, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

Regarding the number administrators we need, I do note that there are currently articles in the speedy deletion queue which have been there for eight days and counting. Just one data point of course, but I do think in general we need more admins (or even better, give qualified non-admins the right to perform non-controversial deletions.). Thparkth (talk) 15:51, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Data collection...I've been thinking it would be nice to have a bot that kept track of various queues and their statuses, recording the data somewhere. --Hammersoft (talk) 16:56, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
I agree that reports on queues would give some warning of when particular shortages were going, and especially on how long it takes us to delete G10s and respond to AIV reports. But I'd prefer that the debate was about what sort of community we want rather than how close we are to the minimum. There are two philosophies as to how many admins we should aim for. One focuses on the minimum, how many admins contributing how many hours of their time do we need to keep this site running smoothly. The other philosophy is that this should be a self governing community where every clueful member of the community who wants to be an admin is or can become so with a not unreasonable amount of effort. I'm very much in the latter camp. I will sometimes use or support arguments about particular shortages, especially when there is an RFA candidate who I think merits the mop, but I leave it to others to research that. I fear that to talk in terms of how few admins we could run the site with is to accept the idea of mops being scarce and expensive, without a philosophy of governance to go with that. ϢereSpielChequers 14:35, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Your differentiation between the two philosophies is an excellent point. We do need to be liberally giving out the mop to clueful people. There is what I think an irrational fear that unless a candidate is near perfect they will cause irreparable harm. While harm can be caused, we have to remember we are a wiki; almost anything can be undone. I don't think there's ever been a case of an administrator going bonkers and causing enormous harm. Mild harm, yes. But I don't think there's been a case where harm was caused that was not reparable. Given that, we should not be fearing promoting admins who don't fit various metrics. Those metrics have never been shown to have any correlation to administrator success. Administrator "success" isn't even defined in any objective terms. Yet, people are absolutely certain they know what requirements a person needs to meet to be an administrator. I'm going to call you out as an example, one of hundreds, of this issue; User:WereSpielChequers/RFA criteria. If we are to liberally give out the mop to clueful editors, then criteria like this are anathema. I think long before we come up with criteria for what people need to become an administrator, we need to define what a good administrator looks like. Even if it were done in subjective terms, it would be a far cry from the empty vacuum we have now.
  • Then of course there's the way things are (and, sadly, is unlikely to change). The philosophy of how many admins we need to keep the project up. This approach is akin to declaring an emergency and mustering assets to avert disaster. Sure, it helps, but fails to address the underlying problem of what caused the emergency in the first place. I've long noted that Wikipedia is in decline. I don't need to go on about this here; my userpage has a number of sections noting this issue. Suffice it to say for this discussion that I believe it :) Given that, trying to anticipate when we'll drive off the cliff might help spur the community into thinking about ways to avert disaster. Having some quantifiable measurements, over time, of various administrator backlogs can help identify our key problems. This might help us to identify solutions not currently in place; perhaps an unbundled userright to help address the most egregious issues, or a new admin bot to do the same. This data would help to focus our efforts. --Hammersoft (talk) 15:36, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments Hammersoft. I've made several updates. As for your own chances of passing RFA, I'd be happy to discuss that by email, I think such discussions are better done off wiki. My experience is that more fear RFA than really need to, and most regulars who think they can't pass RFA could within months if they made certain changes. On the broader point of RFA results predicting whether people make good admins, you need to allow for the fact that most successful RFAs are very successful indeed. I'm not sure if it is more than 75% of all passes that are by >90% but both this year's have been, along with a clear majority of last years. I'm pretty sure that very few passes have been in the discretionary zone. If the norm was a narrow pass and >90% was rare then you'd be right that RFA was a terrible predictor of bad admins, I think the last time it was looked at there was a small correlation. My suspicion is that the borderline candidates get heavily scrutinised and some of the near unanimous ones would fail if they were more heavily scrutinised. ϢereSpielChequers 14:35, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
  • To be clear; (1) I don't fear RfA. I never have. (2)(a) I've little desire to be an administrator. This sums up some of my philosophy on the point. (b) There is a considerable segment of this community that hold an admin's status hostage against them. Even ArbCom does this. I've seen them strip someone of adminship for something that had nothing to do with the use of tools, but simply because they did something bad. Not being an admin gives me considerable freedom I would not otherwise have. Case in point; I'm a very heavy critic of ArbCom (as a body; not any individual). I know of a few ArbCom members, past and present, who would like to see my head on a platter. But, there's nothing they can do about it in part because I am not an admin. (c) I have eschewed having any special userrights below (yes, below) editor. Doing so allows me the perspective of an editor new to the project who runs into problems because they are part of the great unwashed, the heathens who built this project.
  • I may look into assembling some more data regarding 'bad' admins. It may help to inform future discussions.
  • Sorry to get so long winded. --Hammersoft (talk) 15:36, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Point taken. I believe that many who could pass are deterred by RFA's reputation, happy to consider you an exception. As for ARBCOM and the defence of not being an admin, there are some cases which support your "gadfly" view, and others that support the rival "Super Mario" theory. My belief is that ARBCOM is so inconsistent that both the gadfly and Super Mario theories can be proved or disproved depending on the incident you look at. I would add though that if one is going to criticise ARBCOM or even just check what is happening, then sometimes it helps to be able to see deleted edits (Sometimes it doesn't, there are at least three cases where I doubt if I will ever understand how ARBCOM came to the decision they made).
  • One really useful bit of extra research would be around AIV and the 24 hour clock. Anecdotally we have increasing numbers of incidents where AIV has no admins for half an hour or even more, how to measure that and work out most likely hours for such gaps.
  • Another would be to look at the effect of removal of tools on reactivation. One theory is that removing tools from accounts would make people less likely to return, another is that removing the tools from an account reminds people they are Wikipedians. Return rate by length of gap over time would be good to have, especially before and after we started to autodesysop. ϢereSpielChequers 17:16, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Interesting comparison of gadfly/mario situations. If you think I haven't been long winded enough already, just ask me to talk about ArbCom :) More to the RfA/Admin issues...
  • Yeah, AIV is a problem from my perspective. But, that's subjective. A bot's data collection might be interesting. I think I'll make a request for something to monitor that and a few other backlogs. WP:UAA comes to mind. The bot that removes people from that list when they are blocked just now reported 38 users left on it [6]. That's just the user reported problems. There's another 48 in the bot reported ones, so 86 reports total reports that need to be processed. The oldest bot reported is coming up on 4 days old. Oldest user reported is 5 days old. The turnaround on these should be minutes, at most hours. These accounts are often disruptive in one form or another.
  • Yeah uncertain about the removals/return stuff. There's just so many factors at play it is difficult to isolate. We do need better data. I've long argued that so many proposals come forward as the next great idea, but without groundwork being done. We need this data. --Hammersoft (talk) 18:04, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

I've made a request for a data recording bot at Wikipedia:Bot_requests#Daily_record_of_admin_backlogs. Please feel free to add on to or modify the request. --Hammersoft (talk) 14:22, 11 April 2016 (UTC)

A barnstar for you[edit]

Team Barnstar Hires.png The Teamwork Barnstar
Thank you so much for helping with that page. I would just like to say how nice it is to discuss things with you. You are so productive and constructive. You don't mind when I disagree. You are so sensible, and work toward solutions. You are just lovely and I think the world of you!

Oh, and I know you have a Teamwork Barnstar already and they are supposed to be for article teamwork, but that is okay. This is the nicer, more colourful one that you don't have, so that is why I chose it. SFriendly.svg Anna Frodesiak (talk) 02:24, 12 April 2016 (UTC)

Thanks Anna, nice to be appreciated. In real life I spend much of my time in an environment that isn't conducive to calmly exploring differences, trying to understand other people's position and seeking to resolve those that can be resolved. Not that Wikipedia is perfect in that regard, but it is one of the reasons why I come here. ϢereSpielChequers 10:29, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

Users eligible for autopatrol... finally![edit]

It's been a while but the all-singing, all-dancing, new version of the report code is now working and its first results are on the report page. I would be grateful if you would let me know about any problems you identify in the output.

Thanks for setting me along this road by the way - this kind of work is a lot of fun for me, and I now have all the access required to fix, modify, and create new reports without undue delay. Thparkth (talk) 23:37, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

WSC – I can confirm that this list is now useful again! I'll start looking through it on my end for editors I recognize to let them know about applying for autopatrolled... --IJBall (contribstalk) 17:51, 18 April 2016 (UTC)

Arb request[edit]

I'm at my word limit, so I cannot respond to you on the Arb request. The objectionable part of the edit you mention was not that change from 06 to 6, which was legitimate, but the removal of a blank line in the categories. A blank line in the cateories is not rendered and thus is an example of Bg19bot making an unnecessary cosmetic edit. Best, Beyond My Ken (talk) 21:16, 31 December 2016 (UTC)

Thanks. So your objection is to people doing such minor cleanups at the same time as they do a meaningful edit? I thought consensus was long established that you could make such edits if at the same time you maka a non cosmetic change such as the 06 to 6 one. AWB for starters is designed on that basis, you can set it to automatically make such minor changes at the same as any meaningful edit you make. Why would you want to change such a policy? ϢereSpielChequers 05:38, 1 January 2017 (UTC)

Arbitration Case opened[edit]

You recently offered a statement in a request for arbitration. The Arbitration Committee has accepted that request for arbitration and an arbitration case has been opened at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Magioladitis.

Evidence that you wish the arbitrators to consider should be added to the evidence subpage, at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Magioladitis/Evidence. Please add your evidence by January 17, 2017, which is when the evidence phase closes.

You can also contribute to the case workshop subpage, Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Magioladitis/Workshop.

For a guide to the arbitration process, see Wikipedia:Arbitration/Guide to arbitration.

If you no longer wish to receive case notifications for this case you can remove yourself from the notifications list here.

For the Arbitration Committee, Amortias (T)(C) 22:52, 3 January 2017 (UTC)


There are a lot of RfA on the go right now (waiting for your votes too...). Quite like the old times! Like you, people keep telling me I should run for 'crat. But I'm still far too active (and noisy). Happy New Year! Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 23:35, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

And a Happy New Year to you too. Unlike my family, RFA is certainly looking healthier than for a while. Most of those RFAs are too far from the discretionary zone for me to spend time assessing an unfamiliar candidate, or enough time to assess them sufficiently to !vote. Plus I'm one of the few members of the SpielChequers temporarily enlarged household not to be afflicted with a nasty cough, in case it is a virus I feel I should limit myself online this week. I suspect we are both too invested in the RFA process to make Crat, years of trying to shift the community consensus on RFA is not an ideal prelude to fairly and neutrally determining community consensus on contentious RFAs. Even if both of us are quite capable of going into the oppose column when appropriate. ϢereSpielChequers 17:48, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
I hope everyone gets better soon - not that the current climate at RfA is in any danger of improving in spite of a spate of courageous candidates! Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 23:38, 5 January 2017 (UTC)