Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Butter/archive1

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Eighteen ounces of self-nom soaked in rich, creamery butter.1 If that doesn't induce you to vote support here, perhaps the regular featured article criteria will have to do. Butter goes back in time to when people first started milking goats or sheep — probably — and it will always be delicious. The article had a productive peer review. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 02:57, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Delicious indeed! It's a well-written and fascinating article; however, I'd like to see some discussion of industrial and commercial issues—world butter production/consumption, chief exporters, and so forth. Some more footnotes, particularly in the history section, would also be nice, but that's more of a personal preference than a real objection. Kirill Lokshin 03:19, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
    • Both comments true enough; I'll work on it. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 03:48, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
      • Comment: I've added a "Worldwide" section, which has some production/comsumption/trade stats. I still need to improve the citations in the History section. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 15:23, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
        • Excellent work! Full support from me! Kirill Lokshin 01:47, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Support – I've also expanded the yak's butter part. Its known as Butter tea and it has a disgusting flavour (personal experience). =Nichalp «Talk»= 04:16, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Comment: Seems a bit too Western-centric to me. For example, the last paragraph of History focuses only on recent history of butter in the West (and thus discusses the Industrial Revolution). No mention is made of what was going on in India/Tibet/Africa/whatever at the time. Not going to object, just suggesting something in this excellent article that could be improved on. Johnleemk | Talk 05:48, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Support! Object. As noted above by User:Johnleemk, the article is too Western-centric. The article itself is amazing otherwise; once the Western POV is toned down, I will switch my vote. —Hollow Wilerding 22:00, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
    • Sigh, I thought I'd made good progress in that direction during the peer review; I see I'll have to keep working at it. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 22:07, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
    • Comment - Removing "Western-centric" is not a FA criteria. If that were so, then no western pop songs could become a FA. --malber 19:57, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
        • Yes, it is tacitly mentioned in 2(b) of WP:WIAFA: "comprehensive" means that an article covers the topic in its entirety, and does not neglect any major facts or details;. Butter is a universal subject, whereas Western pop songs are more localised. =Nichalp «Talk»= 06:47, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
      • It can go to comprehensiveness; if there isn't enough discussion of butter worldwide (perhaps proportional to actual butter use and history worldwide), then it may be a valid objection. I believe little changes here and there since the objection may have helped it some in this regard. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 20:33, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
        • User:Malber's comment are unacceptable and the attitude of the user needs to be addressed in a serious matter. However, that is a different case not suited for an FAC nomination. Nonetheless, the lead image has improved considerably (I still don't find it to be the best, but I won't be too strict), and the POV has begun to divide. You have done a fantastic job on this article! —Hollow Wilerding 01:02, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Object. Needs a better lead image. --Carnildo 22:49, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
    • I'm one of those cameraless people... what's your opinion of Image:NCI butter.jpg? (If you like me think it's washed-out and lifeless, maybe my asking will get some kind soul to take an actual good picture of some butter.) —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 22:58, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
      • Comment: Well, proto put in Image:NCI butter.jpg, which may be better. What do you think? —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 15:21, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
      • Well, since the image looks washed-out on my laptop, and too dark on my desktop, I expect it'll be all right for most people. --Carnildo 20:13, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. I don't think it's Western-centric at all. I was going to raise a minor objection over some formatting, and the image, but I've just fixed those myself. Huzzah for Bunchofgrapes and his awesome food article skillz. Proto t c 14:38, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. "Skillz"? Indeed. I agree that the treatment of butter's history is not necessarily Eurocentric or Western-centric. And even if it were, that would not necessarily translate into "POV" as claimed above — it would probably just reflect the balance of sources as well as the relative usage of butter in different parts of the world. For example, butter and other dairy products are indeed used most heavily in northern climes, especially in Northern Europe and the neo-Europes (Australia, New Zealand, United States, Uruguay, etc.). So there is nothing wrong with disparate coverage of its history and usage in different regions. As a comparison, we wouldn't necessarily want to give exactly equal coverage to the usage of green cardamom pods in, say, South America (where it is hardly used at all) as we do to its usage in Scandanavia (heavy usage) and South India (even heavier usage). Indeed, such a balance would pervert the article's principle of giving due attention. Thus, cheers to Grapes. ← SARAVASK 18:30, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. Very excellent, well-written article. Considering the topic, it was surprisingly fascinating.R'son-W 19:36, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Support very nice. I was wondering why France comes after Germany in terms of consumption since both apparently consume the same. Are the figures in the article rounded up/down? -- Rune Welsh | ταλκ | Esperanza 21:31, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
    • It was an error - Germany's consumption figure was 578,000 tonnes, not 528,000. Good catch. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 21:41, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Support - Parkay?  ;-) --malber 21:37, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
    • But with one caveat: I think the second paragraph of the intro should be broken out into a section. It would help the flow and placement of the TOC. Perhaps "Constituents"? There is probably a better culinary term that I am not aware of. --malber 00:09, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
      • One-paragraph sections are always a bad idea. Is it just a flow issue, or do you object to the technical chemistry material in there? —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 00:12, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
        • The first paragraph is an excellent introduction and can stand alone as a basic overview description of butter. The second two get more technical. I think they would stand well as a section detailing butter's components. Mind you, no content needs to be changed, it's brilliant. --malber 03:07, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
          • The science has been moved into the "Butter making" section. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 23:12, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Support - Butter! TCC (talk) (contribs) 22:14, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose -- Introduction doesn't provide a concise summary of the article and establish context. Instead, it goes into a lot of very specific facts that don't seem to "fit" elsewhere in the article. We don't necessarily need the butterfat percentages, detailed chemical information, etymological information, etc. This is related to Malber's comment above.
In a related note, the article doesn't explicitly mention one of the most important facts about butter -- that this is a very *common* food in many parts of the world. Most American houses have butter, and very few have neither butter nor a butter substitute. Butter is considered a *staple food*, and at the moment the reader has to infer this from the sales statistics.
The "History" section currently seems to stop at the year 1900. I'm sure there have been changes in production methods, household use, levels of usage, cultural representations, and/or butter substitutes in the past 100 years.
The "Types of Butter" section is essentially a list -- there's no narrative structure connecting the different types. Each is in its own paragraph(s). This kind of list makes the article more difficult to read, and encourages the reader to skim rather than reading. -- Creidieki 04:11, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
I've addressed some of these issues:
  • The lead no longer contains chemistry or butterfat percentages. My feelings are that the etymology works well there, so I left it. See for example FA Black pepper.
    • The lead now mentions that it is a common food in many parts of the world. Butter doesn't seem to fit the definition of a staple food, by the way.
The history issue I've yet to work on. "Types of butter" being essentially a list... well, yes, that's what it essentially is. Maybe some smoothing out can be done, but it's unlikely to get much of a narrative flow. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 23:10, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I think that it's almost always possible to place an appropriate narrative structure around a list of related topics. I rewrote the "Types of butter" section on the Talk page; I hope you'll take a look at it, and consider adding it to the article. (I don't know much about butter, and I was afraid I might have misrepresented something, so I didn't want to add it myself.) -- Creidieki 18:50, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I took a quick glance and it looked pretty good (ok, very good), except for that clunky opening paragraph. Thanks so much! I'll work getting it in soon. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 19:14, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I've integrated most of your suggestions into the "Types of butter" sections and I have added a para to "History" describing butter's declining popularity through the 20th century. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 22:16, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Support -- All of my concerns have been addressed. Very good article. -- Creidieki 02:18, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Support Excellent article, a lot of work has been put into it. — Wackymacs 09:00, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Support, it is a very good article. However I would suggest, tentatively, moving the biochemistry, which is a bit weak anyway, away from the introduction to its own seperate, later, subsection. But it is a good article. ping 09:17, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
    • Yeah, I agree. There should be some shuffling, to get the chemistry out of the lead. I'm going to do that soon. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 17:04, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. Contained all the things I was looking for, plus no problems. Nice job! Sortan 03:28, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
    • I supposed the lead image could use a bit of contrast... (mostly) white butter on a white background doesn't stand out too well (or it could just be my laptop screen....) Sortan 04:40, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. Great job. Of course, can be better, but good enough to be a FA. deeptrivia (talk) 04:47, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Slight object. I've cleaned up some of the article and done a bit of a copyedit, but I'm still finding little bits of what read like unsourced editorializing. An example is this:
Greece and Rome showed a disdain for butter, considering it a food for northern barbarians; certainly butter lasted longer before spoiling in the cooler climates of Northern Europe. And the farther north the better: Scandinavia has the longest history in Europe of a butter export trade, dating at least to the 12th century.
There's probably an easy way to make something like this sound like it's in a more encyclopedic tone. I fixed up two of the captions, but there are still some that don't really draw the reader in or provide context, such as the caption for the picture of the Austrian butter factory. As for completeness, I couldn't find any mention of the butter dish, an item so common and so related to butter that it seems a bit silly not to even mention. All in all though, it looks like it can reach FA worthiness fairly soon. Scott Ritchie 08:23, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
Nice copyedit, thanks. Looking at the rest. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 17:41, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
Could you have another look? I've made signifigant changes to the first half of the history section to improve the tone and referencing. I'd appreciate it if you could point out any other portions of the prose that are as bad as the "Greece and Rome showed a disdain for butter..." one was; at this point, my nose is too close to the glass to be able to reliably catch this stuff. As far as butter dishes go, it's a similar problem I had with butter knives, as brought up in the Peer Review: there aren't good sources. At best I could throw in some very culturally-specific information, that would then get objected to on the grounds that I am not properly treating, say, middle-eastern butter dishes, or that what they call a butter dish in America is a butter-festoon (I'm making that up) in New South Wales. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 19:10, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
Give me another 24 hours or so. Scott Ritchie 09:14, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. Nicely written, nicely sourced. Hydriotaphia 07:58, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. Very interesting and informative, I was surprised to see India was the world's largest producer (I always thought NZ would be - perhaps we're the largest exporter). Lisiate 23:25, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Indeed you are. Thanks! —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 23:32, 5 December 2005 (UTC)