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)

Request for comment[edit]

Hello there, a proposal regarding pre-adminship review has been raised at Village pump by Anna Frodesiak. Your comments here is very much appreciated. Many thanks. Jim Carter through MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 06:47, 28 May 2014 (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)


Hey WSC, it's been two years since my RfA report and almost four years since your groundbreaking analysis. Could I tempt you into writing an update for the WM community? :-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 01:19, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Hi Ed, it is overdue, but realistically I won't have time until well after Wikimania. ϢereSpielChequers 08:02, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Hey WSC, that's fine! I'll ping you after the conference. :-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 12:59, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Ping :-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 05:25, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
One more quick ping -- just making sure you've seen this! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 15:25, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
@WereSpielChequers: -- Fuzheado | Talk 15:26, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, I've seen this, but well after Wikimania could be a little while yet. You wouldn't believe how many leads etc came out of Wikimania! ϢereSpielChequers 17:19, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! Much appreciated :-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 06:54, 7 October 2014 (UTC)


In September 2014, for only the second time in over a decade, we went for an entire calender month without appointing a single new admin on the English language Wikipedia. Whether you think that admins are a small minority of the community who have agreed to take on certain chores re deletion and blocking, or like me you believe that all longterm experienced and qualified members of the community should be admins if they want; This is not a healthy situation for the community. But it isn't really the September result that troubles me. A third of the months in the two years since the last zero had only one RFA, so it was only a matter of time before we had another zero. Monthly results in the last three years have been in the range 1-4 with occasional outliers, three months had five successful RFAS, and we'd also had a six and a zero. So a zero saddens but does not surprise me. What does worry me is that it follows three consecutive months with only one new admin in each, so this month was preceded by the worst rolling quarter since records began, and now we have a new record, only two new admins in the last three months. Just possibly the pattern is changing again and the long decline at RFA since 2008 has resumed after a two year pause when things seemed to have bottomed out.

I'm hoping that we can tempt more people to run. I believe that there are quite a few people out there who could pass, when sufficiently over qualified candidates do run they don't just scrape through, five of the last eight successful candidates had 0 opposes.

More to add.

ϢereSpielChequers 08:05, 3 October 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)

Oxford meetup[edit]

Good to meet you at Oxford a couple of weeks ago. Do you have any information on the digitizing machines you mentioned? A manufacturer's name and model name/number would suffice for a search. I visited the Didcot Railway Centre recently and had a brief chat with the archivist of the Great Western Society. I'm planning on joining them and hoping to do some cataloging and transcribing of their archive. There was definitely some interest in what Wikimedia could offer working with them. They are an accredited museum under the MLAC scheme. See Great Western Trust Museum and Archive for details. Robevans123 (talk) 19:33, 4 August 2014 (UTC)

Hi Rob, "Epson Expression Model 10000XL flat bed scanners, with Graphic Arts, USB2 and Firewire interfaces." We have just been sorting out the paperwork and are drawing up an application process for GLAMs to borrow them, but the key criteria will be what they will openly license and upload to commons. ϢereSpielChequers 21:17, 4 August 2014 (UTC)
Looks good - very high dpi and depth. I'll let them know the capabilities and criteria, and if they're interested, put them in touch with you, if that's ok. Robevans123 (talk) 22:42, 4 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, much appreciated. BTW are you coming to Wikimania? ϢereSpielChequers 22:34, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
Alas, no. Was planning to come to Wikimedia UK AGM and drop in on Wikimania, but (due to circumstances beyond my control) now won't be able to. Hope it all goes well. Robevans123 (talk) 08:09, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

Thank for helping me with my first edit![edit]

Hey! Thanks for helping me out today. Herahussain (talk) 16:50, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

Article count ranking[edit]

This also seems to have stopped working. BTW, happy to do that review you suggested. Philafrenzy (talk) 01:14, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Thanks Philafrenzy, I'm not personally interested in that list, but it looks like it stopped at the same time and probably for the same reason. I'd suggest you start a thread at User_talk:MZMcBride - I think he is only migrating stuff to Labs if people request it. As for the review, we got enough reviewers for that one but I would welcome your input on the next one. ϢereSpielChequers 22:07, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Philafrenzy (talk) 23:02, 22 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)

Pending changes reviewers[edit]

Happy New Year WereSpielChequers. Thank you for adding me to the group Pending changes reviewers. I take it as a response to the fact that I've made a lot of edits and haven't screwed up anything major - thanks for that vote of confidence. Are you also letting me know that there's a need for more editors to do that kind of work and you'd like me to do that? My list of wikithings to do is long, but if you think there is a need, I could adjust my plans. Keep up the good work. SchreiberBike talk 17:41, 31 December 2014 (UTC)

Hi SchreiberBike, I'm guessing that anyone with your level of edits has a fairly sizeable watch list and would sometimes be getting pending edits appear there, and everyone wins if you have the tool to handle them. Also I'm one of the people who would like to see increased use of pending changes to protect us from vandalism, and I try to balance protecting articles with finding more people to protect them. If you have time to visit Special:PendingChanges occasionally then extra help there is always welcome. ϢereSpielChequers 22:16, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! I'll do some of that. SchreiberBike talk 18:28, 3 January 2015 (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).

Admin attrition numbers[edit]

Hi Jonathan. I see some numbers for "active admins" in the first chart at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)/Archive_115#Time to replace RfA. My understanding is that those numbers reflect a pretty low bar for "active"; do you happen to have figures that correspond to any higher bar? - Dank (push to talk) 15:05, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

Sorry Dank, I just use the list at Wikipedia:List_of_administrators. I appreciate that 30 edits in the last two months is a very low bar, but it is consistently applied over time, so comparisons are easier. Also I'm getting less and less interested in discussions about how low we can go before we run out of admins. If and when we run out of admins we will just go out and appoint a large number of poorly considered ones, most of whom will turn out just fine. My dream is to turn the site back into one where all sensible longterm editors are or could become admins - a self policing community. Working out how close we are to running out of admins isn't helpful to that, though I would say that a situation where we delete a thousand pages a day and depend on one admin to do 200 of that is one where we are critically dependent on a small number of very active admins, and knowing that 595 have done at least 30 edits in the last two months is not a good measure of our available admin time. ϢereSpielChequers 22:26, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
That's true. Okay, thanks anyway. - Dank (push to talk) 23:26, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Pancreatic cancer research.[edit]

Hi, Set those up, as discussed: old, and new. Thanks for your help! Wiki CRUK John (talk) 17:06, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

Pending Changes Reviewer[edit]

Thanks very much for admitting me as pending changes reviewer, I will read up on all the guidelines before I head into the fray. Your vote of confidence means a lot!Smirkybec (talk) 23:27, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

You are very welcome. I must drag myself over to Erin sometime to go to one of your events. ϢereSpielChequers 21:51, 22 February 2015 (UTC)


I mentioned them User_talk:Jimbo_Wales#Wikipedia_Corpus here, along with some of the solutions. All the best: Rich Farmbrough17:42, 8 March 2015 (UTC).

Precious again[edit]

Cornflower blue Yogo sapphire.jpg

native tongue as tool
Thank you for using the tool of your native tongue, for the wisdom to ignore "your" articles after you finished them, and for not ignoring people, as one of the adiminz: you support others to be one in "fair and consistent" voting and make efforts to reform the process, and you trust editors to rights such as roll back, - repeating: you are an awesome Wikipedian (3 May 2009, 14 October 2009)!

--Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:35, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

Two years ago, you were the 432nd recipient of my PumpkinSky Prize, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 16:41, 22 March 2015 (UTC)


A gummi bear holding a sign that says "Thank you"
Thank you for using VisualEditor and sharing your ideas with the developers.

Hello, WereSpielChequers,

The Editing team is asking for your help with VisualEditor. I am contacting you because you posted to a feedback page for VisualEditor. Please tell them what they need to change to make VisualEditor work well for you. The team has a list of top-priority problems, but they also want to hear about small problems. These problems may make editing less fun, take too much of your time, or be as annoying as a paper cut. The Editing team wants to hear about and try to fix these small things, too. 

You can share your thoughts by clicking this link. You may respond to this quick, simple, anonymous survey in your own language. If you take the survey, then you agree your responses may be used in accordance with these terms. This survey is powered by Qualtrics and their use of your information is governed by their privacy policy.

More information (including a translateable list of the questions) is posted on wiki at mw:VisualEditor/Survey 2015. If you have questions, or prefer to respond on-wiki, then please leave a message on the survey's talk page.

Unsubscribe from this list Sign up for VisualEditor's multilingual newsletterTranslate the user guide

Thank you, Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 15:56, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Goodlyfe Crew[edit]

Ha! brilliant. DBaK (talk) 17:56, 2 April 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)


for catching blanking of No Love (Joan Armatrading song) UK No.50 and dab page. I have restored "other" hatlist to Eminem song In ictu oculi (talk) 06:37, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

You're welcome. I should have checked into the history, I just treated it as a good faith if incorrect speedy deletion tag. ϢereSpielChequers 08:02, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

Damn ping[edit]

I doubt the ping worked, because I didn't do it absolutely right first time, and it hates that, so [1]. Cheers. Begoontalk 17:20, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

Castell Coch[edit]

Hi. I'd be very grateful if you could give Castell Coch a read and comment at Wikipedia:Peer review/Castell Coch/archive1. Thanks.♦ Dr. Blofeld 19:08, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

Definitely managed to read it, made a few tweaks and was hoping to come back to it in Mid May when I anticipate having more time, but I see it has already gained a well deserved FA. Maybe next time? ϢereSpielChequers 09:46, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Happy First Edit Day[edit]

Nuvola apps cookie.svg Happy First Edit Day, WereSpielChequers, from the Wikipedia Birthday Committee! Have a great day! Anastasia [Missionedit] (talk) 00:43, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

Hi, please write back when u can[edit]

why is gamergate such a big thing its its not on the news??? please come back to my talk to answer page since its the easiest, thanks. (talk) 01:15, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

Sorry, not really my subject, I don't recall taking part in any Gamergate deletion debates. But things can definitely be big without being in the contemporary news. ϢereSpielChequers 02:54, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

Keeping Wikipedia Expanding Not Shrinking[edit]

Translation tool and interesting IEG grants[edit]

Hey WereSpielChequers: great seeing you at GLAM-Wiki. Here is the translation tool I was talking about: . Also, as new user grant type projects: Wikipedia:WikiProject X and Wikipedia:Co-op . I think there would be a lot of room for research and work in developing grants around the new user research you were talking about, under IEG; as you can see there, are already similar initiatives; and I think we could do a lot of with Welcome template testing, and setting up more tools for positive feedback and integration of good examples into templates. Sadads (talk) 15:10, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

Gather Moderation Question[edit]

Hi, I am the product manager at WMF for the Gather Collections feature. I very rudely just deleted one of your edits on the moderation criteria page.. (, but then undid my revision because I realized how rude it I'm writing to you to discuss. On the Moderation criteria, you suggested that we delete falseties or opinions from collections. Since collections belong to a user, I think the same rules that apply to userpages should apply. I can say the "sky is yellow" or "barack obama is stupid" on my user page, so I think that I should be able to say it in a collection as well, as this has my name on it. I know there is a lot of wikipedia tradition around url structure, but I actually don't think 99% of our users would see that something has "special:Gather" in it and therefore believe the page is the opinion of 'wikipedia'. This is especially true on mobile devices, where only the domain shows. What do you think? Also, with the rapid rate of comments coming up, I was not able to address all questions that were raised about Gather, so if you want to discuss more, here I am! Jkatz (WMF) (talk) 21:15, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

Hi Jkatz, I'm quite broadminded when it comes to including things in userspace, and as for mainspace I'm proud to have been described as a "hempclad, patchouli smoking, sandal wearing inclusionist", I've also been described as "the most deletionist admin in the article rescue squadron". So if I have a problem with content then you can usually be sure that many others will be more deletionist than me. URL and different userspaces are the traditional ways that we use to differentiate between userspace and mainspace, but there are other ways such as header notices. I suspect if you put a header notice such as {{user page}} on these pages then that would make it clearer that the intent is to create userpages, but for those of us who don't use mobile then including user in the url would make a big difference - at the moment these look like they are part of Wikipedia, and part that breaches a slew of rules. There's also the issue that we already have lists, lots of them, and these new lists simply ignore the policies and workflows that have evolved over the last 14 years. ϢereSpielChequers 22:00, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Dirty hippy! :) I hear you loud and clear on the 'user' thing and have heard similar from others. I will try to get the url situation fixed and make it more clear that these are user creations....but the namespace choice is harder to fix. I am sure we can find something to make it possible to have an inclusive policy--the last thing anybody wants is for a collection called "Evil corporations" to be considered the NPOV of wikipedia. I won't make any changes to that page, then until I find a way to make the 'user'ness of the page more evident and run it by you. Jkatz (WMF) (talk) 00:28, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

Forty-Fourth Amendment of the Constitution of India listed at Redirects for discussion[edit]


An editor has asked for a discussion to address the redirect Forty-Fourth Amendment of the Constitution of India. Since you had some involvement with the Forty-Fourth Amendment of the Constitution of India redirect, you might want to participate in the redirect discussion if you have not already done so. Ninney (talk) 00:06, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Thanks but no great interest to me, other than to remind people that redirects are cheap - to cheap to bother deleting..... ϢereSpielChequers 10:23, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

Era changes[edit]

I've always wished this was clearer. I think it depends on stability, not just who got there first. If an article created in 2005 with one style is change 2 years later to another, and stays that style for 8 years, should it be reverted back? I'd say no. Dougweller (talk) 09:04, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

I thought it was becoming less of a problem and assumed that an edit filter was intercepting most era changes. I agree that someone going back through the history of an article and reverting to the situation of many years back is bordering on being pointy and disruptive. My preference used to be that we try for some compromise whereby early Christian topics were done BC/AD and non-Christian ones BCE/CE, but I've now come to realise we would best serve our readers by moving to a template based solution, just as metres and yards can be stored either way a template could allow us to store dates in one format and display by user preference - with Islamic, Judaic and other dates as options. ϢereSpielChequers 09:37, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
I like the idea. Too sensible to be adopted of course. I still find editors, mainly IPs, making changes - both ways. Dougweller (talk) 10:52, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
I cut my watchlist back by two thirds, that may have influenced my perception as to how common the problem still is. I first raised this sort of thing in the strategy wiki back in 2009. I think we should give our readers a number of preference toggles, most important being American English v English, and in the case of language one could default by geolocation of IP address. OK we would need hidden templates to record the true meaning of words such as bonnet, trunk, fag and pants, but it should avoid many of the situations where we bite newbies because they simply don't realise that there is more than one way to spell English. I realise there would be some work involved in setting such templates, but less I suspect that the overhead of dealing with people making changes that get quickly reverted. I also think that our having such templates would be a big boost to auto translation software - we are important enough that I suspect Google et al would pick up on such templates PDQ. ϢereSpielChequers 11:07, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
I'd rather the the WMF spending money on that then some of their software work. Why not propose it again? Dougweller (talk) 08:53, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm a bit busy in real life for the next week or two, perhaps the whole of May, but hope to make some proposals in June. There are a couple of other things I also want to revisit, especially the way we treat IPs, and I have a new type of welcome that I've been testing. When I get round to it I will link them to User:WereSpielChequers/Going off the boil?. ϢereSpielChequers 10:04, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
Ok, thanks. I'll add that page to my watchlist. Dougweller (talk) 10:11, 29 April 2015 (UTC)


I recently saw you on a wiki podcast ...

  • 👍 LikeChed :  ?  11:09, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Ched, do you remember which one and where it is? I was in a couple at Wikimania last year for starters. ϢereSpielChequers 11:29, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
I remember is was number 109 ... one of the User:Fuzheado podcasts. Will look for the Youtube link when I get back. Hope you're doing well by the way. Always enjoy meeting up with old friends. — Ched :  ?  11:45, 29 April 2015 (UTC)


WereSpielChequers, I just want to say that I appreciate your continuous engagement on the Gather Collections issues, and tackling details, without giving up due to my lengthy questions :). Thanks for offering different/broader views of things to make it easier for others to see things differently. I trust that we can together make the best use of this feature, and other features, while keeping everything aligned with movement and community norms. Thank you again.--Melamrawy (WMF) (talk) 17:57, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

Help, please?[edit]

Could you do a password reset for my UK wikimedia account please.

Multiple mistakes on my part:

  • I don't have email enabled over there, so can't do a reset request the normal way.
  • Lost my password before the grand unifying of accounts and didn't bother fixing it at the time, so now after the unification, I'm carrying a dead siamese twin.
  • I've tried doing a password change, but while it seems to have reset on every other wiki, it's not altered UK Wikimedia.

Thanks, Bazj (talk) 19:04, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Hi Bazj, not sure I can help you on that one, but I will ping @Richard Symonds (WMUK): who is much more likely to know how to help you. ϢereSpielChequers 18:03, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
@Bazj, I'll try to help. So that we can send a new password, we'll need an email address. If you email I'll ask our developers to sort things out. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 09:46, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

Copyvio expert as admin[edit]

Having assumed good faith so far, I'm now wondering whether the recent discussion reflects a WMF desire to boost admin numbers for their convenience. Have you seen any signs of this? I'm hearing rumours that WMF's internal stats paint a worse picture about enwiki involvement than we see publicly. - Pointillist (talk) 22:13, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

I haven't heard anything from the WMF, and consider myself well outside most WMF dialogue; Though I am going to Mexico and might pick up some gossip there, and I did try to engage with the proponents of the new list feature and at one point they let slip they were thinking of outsourcing the moderation of that. Also I know some of the individuals the WMF thinks we are most dependent on and if I had made the WMF mistake of thinking that all admin actions were of equal value I would be much more alarmed than I am. I have been saying for years that when our admin cadre declines to the point where it becomes a problem then the result will be a large batch of poorly considered appointments, most of whom will turn out just fine. I'd guess that the WMF is considering its options, one of which is to intervene and appoint more volunteer admins. But they don't seem to be lead by people who understand our volunteer community, and they have no shortage of money, so if the volunteer model can be argued to have failed then one alternative they could jump for is to hire moderators from outside. It wouldn't surprise me if that dialogue is part of the WMF sounding us out about such an intervention - appointing some para legals as admins to combat copyvio. Different people will have different views as to the relative importance of dealing with vandalism, spam, incivility, copyvio and non-notability, and it wouldn't surprise me if they were considering copyvio as the area where they need to employ admins. I just hope if they do that they first teach them how to civilly communicate and guide those who contribute copyvio. ϢereSpielChequers 08:28, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for taking the time to write such a well-considered reply. Rather than failing, I think the historical success of the volunteer model engendered a cavalier attitude towards efficiency: while there were lots of admins and other cannon-fodder there was no need to streamline processes. I was hoping a fall in numbers would produce a new realism about ways of working; even perhaps a reconsideration of how anonymity should work. Sadly, your speculation seems more likely to happen than mine. Anyway, good luck in Mexico. We did meet briefly at Wikimania London last year. - Pointillist (talk) 09:16, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
I agree there are things that we could do that would use existing admins' time more efficiently, and most would have other benefits. Ages ago we got consensus to enable all editors to do their own U1 deletions provided the software didn't allow them to delete articles they had moved to their userspace, we just couldn't get a developer. I can also think of better solutions to the range blocking, editwarring and speedy deletion issues and we used to have bots that identified likely prospects for rights such as autopatroller. But I haven't heard of a credible alternative for blocking vandals and speedy deletion of attack pages other than having more people with the tool to do it, and those are the two likely pinch points - most other areas of admin activity can function fine in a world where we catch up each day in the 10 hours or so from when evening starts in London to when it ends in LA. Many admin functions including most deletions could if necessary have a weekly backlog that eases at the weekend. ϢereSpielChequers 12:03, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
Sign first aid.svg It's just First aid, not Admin Lite
Back in 2010 I supported the 'Vandal fighter' concept, a new right that allowed blocking of unconfirmed users and iirc either speedy deletion or rollback-with-oversight to hide vandalised content. It wasn't admin lite: in particular it didn't grant access to deleted content. The name wasn't so hot but I still like the idea. I said at the time that "I think of these rights-holders as being like first aiders or paramedics—they get to the scene quickly and stabilize the situation using a narrow range of very short-term remedies (e.g. a one-hour block and/or a semi of three hours). If the problem is severe, then more experienced medics (i.e. admins) take over. The theoretical benefit is that a shorter interval between vandalism and prevention will discourage vandals, and that a reduction in admin workload can be achieved in line with the higher standards that have evolved at RFA."
First aider can block Admin can block
Purpose To prevent vandalism To prevent vandalism, gross incivility, harassment, spamming, edit warring, sock puppetry, rogue bots, public accounts
Scope Only unconfirmed users and IP addresses All users and IP addresses
Duration A few hours at most Any period including indefinite
Can anything useful be salvaged from those ideas? - Pointillist (talk) 15:24, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes. The difficult thing is unbundling something that is simple, sufficiently commonly needed to be worth unbundling and worth the community unbundling for a group of editors who couldn't pass RFA. I think User:WereSpielChequers/RFA_reform#Unbundling is something we might get consensus for, the main obstacle is that the WMF distrusts the community's treatment of newbies too much to allow this, and we would need them to write the software. There is also an objection that this would occasionally put someone with the tool in the position where they could block one person in a dispute but not another, however I think this could be averted by instructing people with this right not to try to resolve disputes among goodfaith editors. I don't like either the vandalfighter or first aider names, but don't have a name that would work, except perhaps "moderator" - but then that implies dealing with incivility which this would leave with admins, perhaps janitor? As for the first aider concept, we gain very little if you can only block for a few hours. Most IP blocks are going to be 31 hours and most vandalism only accounts are blocked indef - so the first aiders would often if not always have required an admin to repeat their work. ϢereSpielChequers 17:08, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
I've very sorry, I had entirely overlooked your RFA reform page. The short block period I think was based on a suggestion that (a) this was enough to discourage some types of vandal; (b) if short blocks had to be repeated frequently that would produce a trail of evidence for an admin toact; and (c) of course short blocks are less controversial. As you say, the name is key. Perhaps "moderator" has too many implications, how about "warden" or "guardian"? - Pointillist (talk) 17:49, 3 June 2015 (UTC) Oh, I forgot to say: with respect, I don't think this should be expressed as for "a group of editors who couldn't pass RFA". In my mind it's more along the lines of being [almost] automatic to grant this right for a rollbacker in good standing. - Pointillist (talk) 17:55, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
For experienced editors short blocks are the normal first step unless there is something really egregious. But most new registered acconts that get blocked are vandalism only accounts that get an indef block. As for who this is for, I think we are focussing on two very different audiences. I'd agree that this isn't the most attractive description for the people who might go for it, but if we are going to sell the idea to the community then we need to explain that there are editors who could make good use of this tool but who couldn't currently pass RFA. As for qualifications to get the tool, I think we should judge people on their AIV reports. The sort of editor who could make good use of this right would be someone who makes lots of correct AIV reports but lacks the content creation or tenure now needed for adminship. It is entirely possible that a person could be using rollback scrupulously but be overhasty in taking people to AIV. ϢereSpielChequers 11:35, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
I accept all that. You have the insight and reputation to make this happen, assuming we find the right name and take care about timing. I suggest you decide when/how it would be good to take this forward. I will support. We can meet to discuss if you like: I'm mostly in West London and central Oxford. - Pointillist (talk) 22:04, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
FYI I've created a new sub-section How much content experience should an admin have? on the Adminstrators' noticeboard. - Pointillist (talk) 23:00, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, commented there. The London meetup is a good place to discuss this sort of thing and I attend most of them. I might pop in for the last bit of the June one, but can't be there at the start. I won't start anything as big as an RFC for at least a month - my editing time is currently limited and I may have to take a week or two away from here at short notice. ϢereSpielChequers 13:24, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't normally do meetups because they overlap with family time on Sunday, so would you mind letting me know when you are interested in kicking something off and I'll come to the meetup? As WhatamIdoing kindly pointed out, I don't do much around here nowadays. - Pointillist (talk) 13:28, 5 June 2015 (UTC)


Hi, WSC - would you take a look at the copyedit changes I'm proposing for the lead? User:Atsme/sandbox. I haven't gotten to the meat and potatoes of the body but noticed you have started some copyediting. I left a message on the TP of the nominator. Thx. Atsme📞📧 17:52, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

At first glance I see advantages, in particular I like the linking of terms that a non birder might not know. However my interest in the bird and the first time I'd heard of it, is in relation to Easter Island and the birdman cult. If I get time I may rewrite that section. But as the article is currently at FAC I would suggest discussing potential changes at Wikipedia:Featured_article_candidates/Frigatebird/archive1. ϢereSpielChequers 09:39, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

Pending changes reviewer[edit]

First of all, i would like to thank you for adding me in this group. But, what does the term "pending changes reviewer" mean? Can you please explain in your own words! Face-smile.svg Pavanjandhyala (talk) 09:21, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

Sure. Some articles are protected in such a way that edits by newbies and IPs don't get shown to everyone until a pending changes reviewer approves that edit. As you edit in an area where there will be a lot of information about living people, and your editing shows you know our standards re sourcing, I think it would be useful for you to have this right. If you check your watchlist and there are any articles on it with pending edits to approve or reject then they will be emphasised. See Wikipedia:Reviewing for more details. When you nominate articles for page protection one option is to ask for pending changes protection as opposed to semi protection. Thanks and happy editing ϢereSpielChequers 09:34, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

Austrian ethnologist Georgian-German translator[edit]

Hi, I recently started a page on Robert Bleichsteiner who it urns out was a Georgian-German translator. I wondered whether you would have any contacts who would either be interested in starting a page on him in Georgian, or who might be able to add material to the page on English Wikipedia? Leutha (talk) 13:20, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

probably not, I think the Georgian Wikipedia is still focussing on more core topics, and I'm not sure when I will get a chance to meet them again. But I will bear it in mind. Otherwise great to hear from you, I hope the east London meet up went well and might see you at the next London meet up if I can make that. ϢereSpielChequers 06:36, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

We had five of us, which is more than we have had at quite a few other meetups. I think it is well worth branching out into more local events across London, even if it takes a while to have much impact. I would like to start to involve local heritage groups and other community groups, but I don't think that will happen until the autumn. I am also looking into starting a study group looking at Wikipedia and epistemology perhaps holding sessions at the Wellcome Trust Library. The gist is how do we create a pitch which works with academics. We had a good session at the BL recently, but the problem I saw was that academics don't have enough insight into their own practice (does anyone, Wikimedians included?) What I would like to see is a short document which positions Wikipedia (and perhaps the sister projects) within a context that encompasses academia on a level playing field (not that they'll like that, but with the neo-liberal impact on higher education I am not sure how much room they have to manoeuvre). It would be good to catch up at the next meet up. Leutha (talk) 23:27, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

Hi Leutha, That's good to hear. Not sure at present whether I will be able to come this Sunday, it clashes with some real life stuff, the August meetup is more likely - but perhaps we could Skype? I'm home today if you want to talk. ϢereSpielChequers 05:55, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

Just wanted to say thanks...[edit]

...for your vote of support at my recent RfA. I hope I may prove to be worthy of the honor. --Ser Amantio di NicolaoChe dicono a Signa?Lo dicono a Signa. 05:21, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

thou art most welcome and I am sure will do fine. ϢereSpielChequers 06:37, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
Ooh, lovely, thanks. I'll play around with the shiny things and see what they look like. :-) --Ser Amantio di NicolaoChe dicono a Signa?Lo dicono a Signa. 23:32, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

You've got mail![edit]

{{you've got mail}} ceradon (talkcontribs) 17:02, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

Another one! --ceradon (talkcontribs) 22:56, 4 July 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/Ceradon is now around the 90% mark, and thus far has been a gentler, calmer RFA than some recent ones. I've been holding back so far, and haven't commented since writing the nomination. Quite often by this stage I would have commented on some of the opposes, but I haven't yet needed to, none of them are being rude or unfair, they just have personal criteria for adminship that aren't shared by the 90% of the RFA !voting community. In short you are doing well, good luck for the rest of the week. ϢereSpielChequers 07:50, 8 July 2015 (UTC)


{{you've got mail}}Bosstopher (talk) 23:43, 5 July 2015 (UTC)

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May you please check Tarafa Baghajati ? I made few changes, added more references ,two more ideas , and tried to change the article lay out to be more specific . so can you take a look at it please ? and I saw you are an Admin in English can you see if it is grammerically fine for Wikipedia ? thank you in advance :) Wikipedian13579 (talk) 01:03, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

Hi Wikipedian13579, I have read it and made a few minor changes, I've also tagged some relevant projects which may bring it to the attention of editors who specialise in those subjects. Hope that helps. ϢereSpielChequers 05:42, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
Thank you so much :) Wikipedian13579 (talk) 07:52, 8 July 2015 (UTC)


{{YGM}} --Biblioworm 21:59, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

replied ϢereSpielChequers 15:52, 17 July 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. [2] 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 [3]. 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)

Speedy deletion nomination of File:Palace Ruins.JPG[edit]

A tag has been placed on File:Palace Ruins.JPG requesting that it be speedily deleted from Wikipedia. This has been done under section F2 of the criteria for speedy deletion, because it is an image page for a missing or corrupt image or an empty image description page for a Commons-hosted image.

If you think this page should not be deleted for this reason, you may contest the nomination by visiting the page and clicking the button labelled "Click here to contest this speedy deletion". This will give you the opportunity to explain why you believe the page should not be deleted. However, be aware that once a page is tagged for speedy deletion, it may be removed without delay. Please do not remove the speedy deletion tag from the page yourself, but do not hesitate to add information in line with Wikipedia's policies and guidelines. Stefan2 (talk) 20:24, 15 July 2015 (UTC)

Is a Bureaucrat's bite worse than his BARC?[edit]

You're familiar with this but it was already 2 years ago. Something has to be done so I'm going to start the ball rolling very soon. Following several general discussions on the topic, I have completely reworked it and I would very much appreciate your updated comments on the talk page. Thanks.--Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 16:50, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

My RfA[edit]

Homemade chocolate chip cookies, fresh out of the oven, November 2009.jpg
Pavlov's RfA reward

Thank for !voting at my recent RfA. You voted Support so you get a whopping three cookies, fresh from the oven!
All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 18:43, 16 July 2015 (UTC).

Thanks Rich,sorry it didn't quite succeed this time. Better luck next year. ϢereSpielChequers 14:44, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

Community desysoping RfC[edit]

Hi. You are invited to comment at RfC for BARC - a community desysoping process. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 07:18, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

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