Wikipedia:Help desk/Archive 11

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This is an archive of the help desk. Please do not edit this page. To ask a new question, go to this page.


What's wrong with this code[edit]

I tried inserting an image in my talk page, it doesn't want to work. Here's the code, I can't find anything wrong with it:

Is there an RSS feed for the main page?[edit]

I have looked for one and can't find it.

Every day I get news, history and general knowledge from the wp main page. Would love to have all the factual articles (not meta content) available in an RSS feed.

Apologies if it already exists and I've missed it.

Try for some screen-scraping prototypes. I also worked up a My Watchlist RSS script, but ultimately I decided this wasn't all that useful. --Chinasaur 06:48, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Thanks very much for the response, Chinasaur. Anything "official" afoot in this area?

It's not RSS, but you might be interested in Today's featured article by email. —AlanBarrett 15:15, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Votes For Deletion[edit]

God. EVERY time I try to nominate something for deletion I manage to screw it up, and I DONT understand why because I follow the instructions to a t. I have no idea how to fix my recent nominations (all Spongebob related.) Could someone go there and fix the, and then leave me a message to tell me what I did wrong? Pacian 18:55, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Actor photographs[edit]

Can a case for fair use be made for the use of portfolio mugshots of an actor? Could I simply use a still from a movie that's spread amongst the press? Or should I simply wait for a reply from the actor in question? I'd like the pic to be added fairly quickly, but I don't want to break copyright laws. Any comments welcome. Mgm|(talk) 22:42, Nov 6, 2004 (UTC)

If you have a publicity shot that is typically given to the press, it should be fine. They are meant to be circulated and are not copyrighted because if they were, every publication that wanted to use them would have to call the publicist. Incidentally, I would think your best bet would be to get in touch with the actor's publicist. They typically send out autographed photos to anyone who writes in. Skyler1534 20:47, Nov 8, 2004 (UTC)
No case for fair use could be made if the picture is under copyright. Skyler1534 20:47, Nov 8, 2004 (UTC)
Being under copyright is a necessary precondition for fair use, as fair use is a limitation on the enforcement of copyright. mendel 05:03, Nov 9, 2004 (UTC)

All photographs are under copyright, yes even publicity stills. The copyright holder should be contacted and his permission obtained before submitting to Wikipedia. --Minority Report (entropy rim riot) 21:59, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)


How do you not show links within articles? The whole page is filled with links and they are distracting.

There is an option in your user Preferences under "Misc settings" that lets you turn off underlining links. I find that that helps readability. Martyman 02:15, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)
What article is it you aree talking about? Maybe it needs some de-wikifying.... Mgm|(talk) 11:44, Nov 7, 2004 (UTC)
You can also add this to your user CSS. User:YOUR_USERNAME/monobook.css
a {text-decoration: none;
   color: inherit;}
MikeX (Talk) 04:12, Nov 18, 2004 (UTC)
But, do be aware that if the number of links is not excessive, different coloured links will help with readability. MikeX (Talk) 04:13, Nov 18, 2004 (UTC)

How do I add a page to a category?[edit]

I created an article last night: Toasty. I'd like to add this page to Category:Computer and video game terminology, because that is a term that has been used since the 1990's. But I don't know where to start or request such a thing.

What should I do?

  • Place a link to [[Category:Computer and video game terminology]] at the bottom of the article, see Wikipedia:Categorization for more information. -- Ferkelparade π 18:07, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I am getting a message to "stop adding nonsense," but I have not done anything![edit]

Why do I occasionally get this message (look between lines of dashes):

User talk: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Thanks for experimenting with Wikipedia. Your test worked, and has now been removed. Please use Wikipedia:Sandbox for any other tests you want to do, since testing material in articles will normally be removed quickly. Please see the welcome page if you would like to learn more about contributing to our encyclopedia. Thanks. Hadal 03:20, 5 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Please stop adding nonsense to Wikipedia. It is considered vandalism. If you want to experiment, please use the sandbox. Thank you.

Please stop. If you continue to vandalize pages, you will be blocked from editing Wikipedia.

I have done nothing on this site, except to find myself constantly browsing around on it with admiration! Some weeks ago, I did start one of the "learn to edit" pages, but did nothing with it.

At one point in my session today, all the characters on each page started displaying as small squares. I reloaded the site, and the problem stopped.

I am not trying to hurt the site, really. I can only be accused of spending too much time while I should be doing laundry!!

Thanks for your note -- the comments you're talking about almost certainly aren't aimed at you. If you look again at that talk page, you'll notice a note in italics that many Internet users share IP addresses (i.e., when you dial up to the Internet, you're accessing through a server that others also use for access). Unless you sign up for a Username, the site only sees you as an IP address. Apparently, occasionally you connect to the Internet through an IP that has been used by someone else for vandalism -- the warnings are for them. Sorry for the inconvenience -- I'm afraid the only thing to do is either ignore the warnings or else get a username (which is free and quick -- click the link at the top of the page that says "Create an account") so that you'll only see messages intended for you. Good luck, and sorry for the confusion! Jwrosenzweig 20:26, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Fix redundant capilisation in a title[edit]

I created Estate Agent (United Kingdom) from a sketchy page on deadpages called Estate agents. As you can see I inadvertently capped the second word. I tried moving it to a page with the capping fixed but to no avail. Is there a simple way to do this (ie am I being thick) or would someone be kind enough to do the honours? Icundell 01:20, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I don't know what the problem was, but I tried moving it and it worked. It's now at Estate agent (United Kingdom). - MattTM | talk 05:10, Nov 8, 2004 (UTC)
Thanks Matt (for the record, it kept teling me the page already existed) Icundell 09:55, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Prejudicial report on current court-case?[edit]

Hi. I'm a new user and haven't yet mastered all the policies but found this new page Tammy Imre which seems to concern a ongoing court-case and is quite possibly prejudicial. Not especially notable, I wouldn't have thought (althought it's sad to think that's the case...) Thought the safest thing might be to flag it up and move on. Cheers, Mattley 13:26, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

In my opinion that page is a news article, not an encyclopedia article. I have listed it for deletion; its entry is here. Isomorphic 15:41, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Copyright question[edit]

I don't usually do images, but I have a drawing I want to upload. The drawing is originally from a book published in Austria in 1918. The copyright should have expired by now, right? Isomorphic 15:43, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Under U.S. federal law, which I believe is extended to other friendly countries by a number of treaties, a copyright does not expire until 70 years following the author's death. If the publisher is still around, I would contact them for permission. If not, I would say it's pretty safe as being pretty darn close to "public domain", but it's not clear-cut. I'm finding more and more that copyright law is really never clear-cut, so err on the side of caution. Personally, though, I would say you are pretty safe. Skyler1534 16:50, Nov 9, 2004 (UTC)
  • I thought anything published in the U.S. before 1922 was in the public domain and that the new rules apply to subsequent works. PedanticallySpeaking 17:22, Nov 9, 2004 (UTC)
You're right. Works published prior to 1923 outside of the U.S. are now public domain. Thanks, PS. Isomorphic, you are good to go. Skyler1534 17:45, Nov 9, 2004 (UTC)
Thanks. Image uploaded and added to Zvartnots. Isomorphic 22:45, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Indirectly related categories[edit]

What, if any, is the one true way to link to categories that do not properly fall within the scope of a category, but I consider it rather likely that people will want (ie. wrong from the database POV, right from the navigational concenience POV)?

Example: In Category:Proof_theory, I'd quite like something along the lines of:

Possibly you wish to find material from one of the indirectly related categories:
Category : Heuristic | Proofs

to appear just between the catmore template and the main listing of category contents ---- Charles Stewart 09:24, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)

To refer to a category, all you need to do is put a colon in from of the name in the wikilink, for instance [[:Category:Proofs]] displayed as Category:Proofs. Noisy | Talk 14:45, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Thanks, this solves the technical part of my question. As to the other part, is this idea of a template for indirectly related categories something that sounds reasonable stylewise? ---- Charles Stewart 16:04, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Why not - go ahead and make one, and we'll see if people use it. You should probably mention it on Wikipedia:Catagorization, the Village Pump and other places when you do, so people will know to use it. JesseW

editing issue[edit]

I've managed to screw up The links to Sciatic and Appendix both reference the edit page, not the actual Wiki entry. Is this some bug related to the use of tables, or is there something else I'm missing?

Found the problem - The actual wiki entry didn't exist.

category question[edit]

I tried to create a category Category:Archives in the United Kingdom. If you follow it, it lists the articles, but also says that the category doesn't exist. I couldn't locate what I've done wrong at Wikipedia:Categorization. Mattley 11:59, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Sorry, that link won't work. I'm more confused than ever now. But you can get there via Modern Records Centre, which is in the phantom category. Mattley 12:09, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)

(I've corrected the link. Add :Category to go to the category itelf. Noisy | Talk 14:42, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC))
I don't think you've done anything wrong. The Category exists, but hasn't got a page to go with it. The page is really just to explain what the category is, and to link to other categories that this Category is a sub-category of. You don't neccesarily need an explanation, but in any case put the Category in at least one other category, as you would articles. You can edit the page as you would any other article.Silverfish 14:24, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)
There: that's looking a bit more healthy. You now need to see if there are any other similar articles that can become subcategories of Category:Archives by country! Noisy | Talk 14:42, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Making a contribution marked with my IP to be marked with my username[edit]

I started an Article about my project New Millennium Orchestra, but I forgot to log in. Can I make it to my username instead of showing my IP?


(Question moved from top of page, notice left on User talk:Rockslave.)
See Wikipedia:Changing attribution for an edit. Note that these requests may take a long time to be filled. Triskaideka 16:44, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Resolving NPOV disputes[edit]

Take a look at George W. Bush. User:Patriotic is making edits that people widely disagree with, and I've been trying to explain NPOV to both him and myself. My question is not about this specific case, but more general: is there any place I can go to to ask people to help? It's nice that Patriotic and I are talking, but one of us will go away sooner or later, and I'd like to keep the fire burning (and not have everything degenerate into edit wars again). This is the first time I'm in a dispute like this, so pointers are appreciated. JRM 17:28, 2004 Nov 10 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Dispute resolution. Maurreen 17:47, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)
That's exactly the link I was looking for. Thanks. JRM 17:52, 2004 Nov 10 (UTC)

Wikipedia reverts to "old" format when I login[edit]

Hi, sometime in the last few months, Wikipedia got a wonderful new look/format, with a nice modern sans-serif font, and with the very useful tabs along the top edge of the article, etc. (was this the upgrade to MediaWiki 1.3?) Anyway, Wikipedia stays "modern" only while I'm anonymous; when I login, Wikipedia reverts to the old/less-attractive format, with the Times/NewRoman font (?) etc. - ugh! I have searched around the helpdesk, FAQ, etc., to no avail. Oh yeah, this may be significant: I use the Opera browser. Help? Harris7 19:44, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Could it be that your skin is set to something other than the default? Try going to Special:Preferences and changing your Skin to "MonoBook". If you've already tried that, I'm not sure what to suggest. As long as you're successfully logged in, as far as I can tell, the server should be giving you the skin of your choice, so I don't think it could be a problem with cookies or JavaScript. I don't know, though, maybe it could—what version of Opera? Tried upgrading to the latest? Triskaideka 20:19, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Bingo! My skin preference was not set to anything; setting it to MonoBook did the trick. Thanks Triskaideka!!! Harris7 20:43, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Chemical Notation[edit]

I see there is a section in the help desk already on creating a chemical structural formula using ASCII art, but in a lot of the articles on various chemical groups people have used pictures, which look as if they have been created by a program. Is there a program somewhere that does this, or are these just pictures that have been nabbed from elsewhere?

Akchizar 04:47, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Well, there is ChemDraw, but that program is by no means free...I mostly nab them from other places, too little creativity in the pictures to be copyrighted. I doubt you can copyright a picture of a chemical structure. Mgm|(talk) 09:15, Nov 11, 2004 (UTC)
OK, thanks. Looks like I'll stick to using ACII art then. Akchizar 03:43, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I'm happy to create pictures for people. Try putting the ascii art (or a really clear description of what you want)on a page User:Theresa Knott/requests for drawings, and I'll give it a go (I don't have ChemDraw, but I reckon I could do simple 2D diagrams easily enough) Theresa Knott (Tart, knees hot) 22:19, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

red links in featured articles[edit]

I was considering suggesting an article for featured status, and wondered if the presence of links to as yet non-existent articles is considered a no-no in featured articles. Apologies if this is not the right place for this question, but the "Featured article candidates" didn't seem the place for a question about general principles.

Harry 13:34, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Generally, the best place to start a discussion on something is wherever it will be seen by the people who would be interested in the discussion. In this case that would be either Wikipedia talk: Featured article candidates or Wikipedia talk:Featured articles. Really general discussion can sometimes go to the Village pump. The Help Desk rarely spawns much discussion; most topics here are simply a question with a single response. Isomorphic 18:48, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply, but I wasn't aiming to start a discussion. I imagined this would be very much in the "simply a question with a single response" category. Perhaps there's no hard and fast rule about this which is why I haven't found one. Harry 11:38, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I would think that if the red-linked article is to an article that Wikipedia should have (at some point in the future) then this is completely fine. — Matt 11:46, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Red links aren't a bar to a featured article, but you sometimes see people complaining about. They can be an indication that an article isn't sufficiently developed - anyone with the knowledge and background to write a featured article can usually at least write appropriate stubs for most of the related red links. Wikipedia:Peer Review is intended as a stepping stone for an article you are grooming for 'Featured article candidates'. In particular you could ask for input on red links there. -- Solipsist 11:56, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Formatting tables[edit]

In wikicode tables (the whole {|, |-, |} thing), is there any way to (1) control the width of the columns and (2) to specify the horizontal alignment of the contents of certain data cells? — Matt 18:02, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Yes. See Wikipedia:How to use tables#Setting your column widths, and elsewhere on that page it shows how to use 'align=center' (where the alternatives are left and right). (Note the AE spelling of 'center'.) More table help can be found at m:Help:Table. Noisy | Talk 22:28, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)

help with sorting out kinnaur copyvio[edit]

I'd like some advice about sorting out the Kinnaur copyvio. I've checked and sufficient amounts of the article are copied word for word that I believe that it's a coypvio. At the same time, those who wrote it are not being cooperative (they delete requests for clarification from their talk pages e.g.[1]) , so I can't expect their help.

The biggest problem is that there is a reasonable amount of original material, but that the edit which introduced the first copyright violation is quite old [2]. I'm a bit unhappy to revert to the previous version to that. I may try going through the article and editing out apparently copyright material, but without cooperation it is very difficult to tell what is what.

Any suggestions?? Mozzerati 20:27, 2004 Nov 11 (UTC)

no instructions, no clue[edit]

This is about the most confusing site I've been on. I simply want to vote against deleting the Election 2004 discrepancies article but there is absolutely no clue as to how to do that, as invited at the top of the page. It is a valuable collection of links and information and should be retained. I guess one must be a computer programmer to post on this site.

There are a lot of instructions. (See Help:Contents, Wikipedia:How to edit a page, etc.) However, there may not be instructions on doing what you are trying to do. One reason for this is that generally voting on deletion is only done after an editor has some expierence, so basic guides have not been felt to be necessary. VfD(Votes for Deletion) is a major point of controversy for Wikipedia. Since all text(unless it's a copyvio(copyright violation)) is under the GFDL(GNU Free Documentation License) if you are concerned that the text of the Election 2004 discrepancies article will be lost, I suggest you copy it to another Wiki. There are many that specifically request articles that may be deleted from Wikipedia. Among them include(off the top of my head), Infopedia, Disinfopedia, etc. As long as the text is saved, the article can be put back if necessary. JesseW 01:19, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)
If you want to add your vote to the debate, simply follow the link at the top of the article to Wikipedia:Votes_for_deletion/2004_U.S._Election_controversies_and_irregularities, edit the page and add your vote. Voting is so easy it doesn't need instructions. Just vote 'delete or keep and give your reasons. Mgm|(talk) 13:15, Nov 12, 2004 (UTC)

Dundas Square[edit]

I've run across an article in Wikipedia that reads like it was written by a marketing hack for a Toronto landmark called Dundas Square. Is there a protocol for vetting this kind of information...this is beyond a rewrite. It really does need to be examined and done away with, IMHO.

I've given the article Dundas Square a quick read and it seems to provide proper info on the square. Can you give specific examples of things you see as marketing? Mgm|(talk) 13:03, Nov 12, 2004 (UTC)

Diebold Message[edit]

Is anyone else seeing the message "Breaking news: Walden o'Dell, CIO of Diebold arrested for rigging the Ohio election results! Kerry recognized as the rightful Present Of the United States!" It was at the top of WP:RD but when I went to edit it out it wasn't visible in the source code, then it vanished from the display. Likewise, I found it atop the Wikipedia:Cleanup but it wasn't in the source code. How could something show up on a page and not be in the source code? Ave! PedanticallySpeaking 16:03, Nov 12, 2004 (UTC)

By being in the wikisource to a template the page included. The vandalism was to Template:Shortcut, and can be seen in its history. -- Cyrius| 18:36, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)

How to encourage someone to check a fact?[edit]

Twice yesterday, this newbie noticed facts in articles that may or may not be correct. I can't find out the correct version myself, but someone should. What's the correct way of dealing with things like that?

Specifically, the article on Camille Pissarro claims both that he died on 12th November and 13th November. And the article on Ellis Island used to say that it closed on 12th November but now says that it closed on 29th November. In both cases, I tried to find out the correct date from other web pages, but I found both versions were stated about equally commonly.

I tried posting on the articles' talk pages, but I'm not sure if anyone reads those. Is that the correct place, or is there another location where I could usefully post such questions?

Thanks for any guidance. Stephen Turner 14:38, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)

  • The talk page is indeed the first place to start as anyone who has the underlying article on his watch list will be alerted to the presence of additions to the talk page. Be sure that you give it an edit summary that will prompt someone to read your query, something like: "Two Contradictory Death Dates in Article" or some such thing. Another good place for this is our reference desk at WP:RD, which is seen by a lot of people who know about many topics. I'm copying your question there now. Glad to have you aboard. PedanticallySpeaking 15:10, Nov 13, 2004 (UTC)
  • Thanks for your helpful answer, PedanticallySpeaking, and for posting the specifc questions to WP:RD. I'll keep an eye out there for any answers. Stephen Turner 18:15, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)

How do I handle transient information??[edit]

What do I do with information that is likely to change in the future? For example, in the Chartered financial analyst article, I wanted to mention how many there were, and wrote "as of 2004...". For another example, the article on Barak Obama starts: "Barack Obama (born August 4, 1961) is an American politician, and U.S. Senator-elect from Illinois." which is clearly only applicable for the moment (as he will soon be a senator, not a senator-elect.

Is there some convention for this sort of thing? I did not see anything on point in the style guide page.

As of is indeed the proper way to handle it., but if at all possible try to avoid time-sensitive sentence constructions alltogether. In the senator-elect example you could mention when the elections he's standing for are. That way future readers will know whether he's still an elect or actually a senator. Also, try to update as soon as new info is available. Mgm|(talk) 15:43, Nov 13, 2004 (UTC)

Hide the blue question mark?[edit]

I am very new to Wikipedia. I am trying to post some literal code. Parts of it, for example the text:

textureMap ":SubFolder1:SubFolder2:MyTexture.jpg"

Keep getting a blue "?" inserted in the text (treated as a WikiWord). Is there any way to supress this?

Also does Wikipedia have an equivalent to the HTML pre (pre-formated) tag, or is there a way to force the use of raw HTML?

The site I am trying to post to is not the main Wikipedia site, but seems to be some sort of sub branch, and does not use the formating bar. the site is:

That site isn't a sub-branch of Wikipedia — rather, it's an unrelated website running similar wiki software, so things will work differently in both places, especially since Wikipedia differs from the programming-wiki standard in a few important respects. In this case, the two important differences are that on conventional wikis, links to other articles appear in CamelCase, and links to articles that don't exist get the blue question mark you're seeing.
As for the "how to avoid", the help links at the bottom of the pages on that wiki are the best place to start. Their TextFormattingRules suggest that [= this syntax =] is what you're after (under the "Escape sequence" heading there).
Of course, since it's an unrelated website running different software, you'll probably find more help on that wiki should you encounter further problems there. mendel 05:27, Nov 14, 2004 (UTC)

2 vandals on my IP. Help![edit]

(Mirrored on Wikipedia talk:Vandalism in progress)
User:Bobberton and User:Kuetipo use one of the same IP addresses as I do. This is because we live in the same house, because we are related. I seem to be the only one given to constructive edits, and I am fairly sure the other two are eventually going to get banned based on my conversations with them IRL. When they do get banned, I do not want to go with them, so I would like to know if there is any way to distance myself from them so that the IP we share is not banned, or that I am in some way still able to access the Wiki. Thank you! Suntiger 23:59, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)

As far as I know, registered users can have their name banned so other people with the same IP still have access. Maybe an admin on the vandalism in progress page can help you with that. Mgm|(talk) 19:09, Nov 14, 2004 (UTC)

Creating a User Page - description about onesself[edit]

As a newly registered user, how should I create a user page? If I just click on edit, whilst at my account it says on the edit page:

Please do not create an article to promote yourself, a website, a product, or a business (see Wikipedia:Policy).

So this cannot be right, becasue I am not allowed to create an article about myself on that page. So is there some special way of setting up these user pages? And when it is set up, how do I get it to appear upon the structured lists (i.e. alphabetical, country) - is this a separate edit of some kind, or are they linked in some way? Zylek (sig added by User:Ambarish)

The user page isn't an article — articles are in the main namespace, and user pages are in the User: namespace. So you can happily create User:Zylek, but you shouldn't create Zylek about yourself. mendel 01:17, Nov 15, 2004 (UTC)
To create your user page, click on your user name in the top right corner of the screen, next to the human head icon. That will take you to a new page where you can edit and add a description of yourself. To add yourself to the various lists, just go to list pages; find the proper part(i.e. what country you're from) and type ~~~(while logged in); this will create a link back to your User page(which you just created by following my instructions above). JesseW 02:04, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Text of language on interlanguage links[edit]

Per Template talk:Wikipedialang#Sanskrit, I'd like to change the text that appears for the interlanguage link to the Sanskrit wikipedia from संस्कृत to संस्कृतम्. I've changed the text on Template:Wikipedialang, but I suspect something more needs to be done. What? Ambarish | Talk 00:44, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Handling of Dates in Articles[edit]

What is the protcol for handling years mentioned in articles. For example, if I write in a biographical article that someone "... did something in 1965 and did something else in 1966..." is it supposed to be "[1965]" and "[1966]"? I ask only because I notice other contributors putting in the [1965] syntax and I wonder if I am missing something.

Personally, I don't see much value to linking to the 1965 page, but does the link serve any other useful purpose?

Morris 02:33, Nov 15, 2004 (UTC)

Well, for dates it allows users to pick a date format. Check the help on Preferences for more info(I think). And, it should be [[1966]], not [1966]. Single brackets are external(full url) links, double brackets are internal(various shortcut) links. JesseW 02:48, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Linking a date like April 12, 2003 like this: [[April 12]], [[2003]] allows for dates to be formatted according to a user's preferences. Loose years should only be linked if whatever someone did had a certain impact on a country, sport, etc. Mgm|(talk) 10:20, Nov 15, 2004 (UTC)

How does the size of wikipedia compares with other encyclopedias?[edit]

I know that it would not measure quality, but I was wondering if anyone had any rough measure in terms of either number of articles, or number of megabytes, etc. Morris 02:33, Nov 15, 2004 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Size comparisons. -- Cyrius| 02:38, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Cache problem on main page[edit]

I've updated Did you know and formatted some Main Page sections to wrap text around pictures and make sure the selected anniversaries stay within the table. After I purge the cache it looks fine, but when I went to look at another site and came back, I got the old version. All my changes are still intact when I look at the separate templates, what happened? Mgm|(talk) 10:17, Nov 15, 2004 (UTC)

  • Edit: I never had cache problems with this machine before. Now cleared my cache, no problems so far. Mgm|(talk) 12:01, Nov 15, 2004 (UTC)

Against Deletion[edit]

An article I wrote is on the votes for deletion and I want to challenge the call for deletion. How do I effectively do that? Please provide specifics, thank you.

The best way to do this, is providing others with reasons why it is not against wikipedia policy to include it. If it's a small article, maybe you could incorporate the info in a larger article. What article are you talking about? I might be able to be more specific if I know. Mgm|(talk) 10:45, Nov 15, 2004 (UTC)
If you happen to be talking about Tard Blog: Websites should have a certain popularity before being included. The Alexa ranking mentioned on the deletion page shows it's not popular enough. Mgm|(talk) 10:50, Nov 15, 2004 (UTC)

Main Page Tables[edit]

The left table on the main page is pushing the right one away. Can someone fix it? I can't find the problem. Mgm|(talk) 12:42, Nov 15, 2004 (UTC)

That's easy enough: the left table is set at width 55%, the right one at 45%, hence the difference. (I'm assuming you're referring to that, I can't find any other problem in either Firefox or IE). AFAIK, only an admin can fix that, if indeed it's something that should be fixed. JRM 12:58, 2004 Nov 15 (UTC)

I guess it's a problem combining 800x600 screen size with an odd Internet Explorer on a Mac. The right table is no more than 30% of the screen in what I saw. Mgm|(talk) 13:16, Nov 15, 2004 (UTC)


How do people generate the nice, neat "00:29, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)" style dates? Is there a tag you can use to automate timestamps to discussion entries?

If there isn't, it'd kick ass if there could be one. If there is, I'd have been better able to find it if wikipedia:time, date, and/or timestamp had redirected to mention of it. [User:MrZaius]

( test: 4 February 2017 11:53, 4 February 2017 UTC [refresh] ~~~~~ The current date and time in Help desk/Archive 11 is Saturday 4 February, 11:53.[1] Hmm... that's weird. the DATE template exists, but not one for the whole unix time? Surely I'm missing something. )

23:48:56, Venezuala/Houston/Chicago/Evansville-time

Use ~~~~ to generate the timestamp and name for discussions. - MattTM | talk 05:56, Nov 16, 2004 (UTC)
Try Wikipedia:Timestamp now... (It really should have a better link for more information; someone please fix this.) JesseW 07:41, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Category errors & NPOV?[edit]

There is an article under the category Ethnic Groups: African labeled "Bantu". However, there is no such ethnic group as "Bantu". "Bantu" is a term created by convention among European linguists, and dozens or hundreds of different ethnic groups speak languages categorized as "Bantu" linguistically. The Bantu-speaking peoples collectively share none of the features one might use to define an ethnic group; the ethnic groups who speak Bantu-languages vary widely along all of those features.

This is an issue of definition. It is comparable to writing Ethnic Groups: European: Indo-European. Indo-European isn't an ethnic group, and neither is Bantu.

Yet obviously someone has thought otherwise. I understand the basic idea of NPOV and don't have a problem about working with it within an article.

However, to have something that seems to me to be a factual, definitional error built into the very organizing structure of the information seems to pose a different sort of problem.

Is there a convention for dealing with this sort of difference of perception? How much leeway is there? I assume an article Animals: Fishes: Whales would not be permitted to remain, except perhaps to point out that this is a somewhat common error. Is that assumption correct?


I looked at the entry in question. It looks like the article itself makes it clear that "Bantu" is a linguistic and (to a lesser extent) cultural term, not an ethnicity. I suspect that it was categorized that way because even though Bantu is not an ethnicity, the ethnic groups who speak Bantu are not represented in individual articles yet. It's a way to make what information we do have on those peoples easier to find.
However, if you feel that having the "ethnic group" label is misleading readers, it's easy to recategorize it. You simply edit the article and add or remove category tags. In this case, you would remove the tag [[Category:Ethnic groups]] from the article code. Isomorphic 16:03, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Moving Page Help[edit]

Help! Someone moved Bosnian language to the less common, more POV name Bosniak language. I tried to undo the move, but moves didn't work the way I though they would. See talk:bosniak language#naming for more info. Can someone help? - Key45 18:19, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Your move would have worked if you had left the redirect in place, because if a redirect created by a previous move is left alone, then a move back will work. As it is, you will have to get the Bosnian language redirect deleted by an admin, by listing it on Wikipedia:Redirects for deletion. Noisy | Talk 20:00, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Numerous questions[edit]

I have put a number of questions in my User page because they seem too long to foul up your Help desk with. The questions are listed in a part of the user page with a header shown as "November 16, 2004 -- questions to all." I'm really starting to become concerned I should remove my edits and stubs because I'm not sure I'm conforming to some of the standards listed in the citation citing discussion, verifiability, and perfect page discussions, though I'm giving accurate info. Also concerned about the "original research" and "neologisms" discussions I just read. I wonder if someone could answer in my user talk page or if I need to write a long list of questions here? I'd have uploaded a photo or two by now also but I found the copyright discussion too hard to understand. For instance, if I am directly given a photo image by the photographer, who only asks that I put "copyright" and his name on it but approves it to be used, is that not good enough? I don't really understand how to upload images. I don't understand how to make a new page for a historical figure with the same name as a currently existing page also. That issue has slowed me up some. Then if my information is directly from inquiring about birth/date/fact info from the person or their survivors, that might be thought "original research." I'm totally stymied at this point and fear I should remove my entries and edits. I have only been editing and writing about music figures in an area of my specialty in every case, except for a phrase or two related to an entry. Also, should I find a way to put my contributions list links into my user page so someone can go and tell review what I've done and tell me what I need to work on, my flaws? Bebop 20:23, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I think most of my questions above are being answered at my user page, thanks. Bebop 16:31, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Spacing between paragraphs[edit]

I have discovered today with the Stax entry that someone felt the spacing I added between paragraphs to make them readable was superfluous and removed them. I find it very hard to read articles from a design standpoint if you don't properly space between paragraphs. The only way to do this is to hit Enter three times between paragraphs instead of twice. However, no entries besides the ones I've worked on do this. Therefore, regardless of what I think about the readability issue, I should go back and remove the spacing I added from all entries I've edited, correct? This is also a question in my user page. thanks, Bebop 20:25, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Yes, the same standard formatting should be used on all pages. Putting a single blank line between paragraphs makes the <p>...</p> HTML tags that surround paragraphs work correctly. Putting an additional blank line adds an extra <br /> tag, which is superfluous, at least from an HTML perspective.
If you don't like the amount of space between paragraphs, you can try editing your personal stylesheet (User:Bebop/monobook.css if you're using the default skin, Monobook) to your liking. Try adding this line:
p { margin: 1.5em 0em }
Make the number 1.5 smaller for less space between paragraphs, or larger for more. In order to see the results of your change, you'll need to follow the instructions on that page to clear your cache after you save the change.
Part of the reason you want to be consistent about style issues like the number of blank lines between paragraphs is so everybody can tweak their stylesheet as they prefer and achieve uniform results. If you insert those extra spaces manually, you're forcing a certain style on everyone. HTHTriskaideka 21:00, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Thanks, I have edited my stylesheet according to the above and am now going to renew the spacing on all entries I edited that way to be the one line space. At least I didn't edit anything only to do spacing and nothing else though. Bebop 21:35, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)


Is there a way to transfer only certain information from one article to another?

By hand, usually -- copy it out of one, paste it into the other, then remove it from the first. Unless I misunderstand what you mean mendel 03:47, Nov 17, 2004 (UTC)

Contents tab[edit]

I did a large bibliography section for Boris Vian a while back, and since I had to use different headers for poetry/dramatic works, Wikipedia automatically added a Contents tab right after the article text! I thought it looked very wrong, a CONTENTS tab AFTER the article, covering the bibliography section only.. is there a way to remove it? -- Jashiin 18:11, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Yes. See Wikipedia:How_to_edit_a_page#Placement_of_the_Table_of_Contents_.28TOC.29. You can put the text string __NOTOC__ anywhere in the body of an article to suppress display of its table of contents.
Another option is to put a section heading close to the top of the article, so that the TOC shows up in a more sensible place. For example, in Boris Vian, you might start a new section called "Life and works" immediately after the first paragraph. Whether that's a better option than __NOTOC__ is a matter of personal opinion, I suppose. Triskaideka 18:28, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Thanks a lot!! I used the NOTOC option, since I'm planning on expanding the article and don't want to edit its header structure right now :) -- Jashiin 18:38, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Personally, I think having a proper header structure is far better: only a short introduction should be outside all headers in anything but the smallest article. And then, of course, people can actually make use of the ToC to access the other parts of the article. I'm going to do that now - you can, of course, revert, tweak, edit or whatever if you disagree with how I've done it, or because you're expanding and rearranging it in general. - IMSoP 18:50, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Actually, yes, this looks better.. I think I'll leave it like that for a while, until I have a good cohesive text ready for the article. Thanks for your help! :) -- Jashiin 21:35, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Adding images to article[edit]

Help! I have this image of David Holmes (Dream Job Season 2 Winner) that I want to put into my article on him, but I don't know how to. Here's the link: [3]Mike Hackney 21:38, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Take a look at Wikipedia:Image use policy, Special:Upload, and Wikipedia:Extended image syntax for what to upload (beware copyrights), how to upload it, and what to do with it then, respectively. - IMSoP 22:04, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)
That image is copyright either ESPN or the guy whose name is on the image itself. Please don't upload it, we have enough images claiming to be fair use already. -- Cyrius| 05:18, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Inappropriate links?[edit]

What is Wikipedia's official policy on inappropriate links?

Specifically, there is a page about an actor with an external link leading to his nude pictures. Is this allowed?

Whether a link to nude pictures of an actor is appropriate depends on the particular actor. You're going to have to actually tell us what article you're talking about if you want a specific response on whether the link belongs. -- Cyrius| 05:23, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)
And if you're going to keep the link, at least put in a warning. Mgm|(talk) 08:21, Nov 18, 2004 (UTC)

Templates and Categories[edit]

Is anyone here really good with Wikimedia templates? We're trying to think of a way to set up the {{delete}} template so that the template can contain the category tag but be sorted in the category list so that it is separate from all of the actual CSDs. I feel like there must be a way to manipulate the pipe trick and template parameters for this effect, but I don't have a lot of experience with templates. Look at my suggestion at Category talk:Candidates for speedy deletion#Cluttering and see if any of those ideas will work. --DropDeadGorgias (talk) 16:59, Nov 18, 2004 (UTC)

You could use {{subst:delete}} to include the text from a template on the pages in question and manually delete the category. Mgm|(talk) 08:18, Nov 19, 2004 (UTC)

Search Question[edit]

I created a page, the Battle of Watling Street. In the search engine, it will only come up when I type in the exact pharse "Battle of Watling Street". Is there anyway to allow another search item to be linking to it? (e.g. by typing "battle of watling street" will bring the page up)

I'm not sure why the full text search isn't picking the article up under "Article title matches" when you search for "battle of watling street". I suppose it's possible that it was not indexed properly, but only a developer can know for sure. One workaround would be to create a redirect from Battle of watling street to Battle of Watling Street. --David Iberri | Talk 22:56, Nov 18, 2004 (UTC)
This is the same problem I posted about here a couple of weeks ago. Your search isn't finding the article because it would appear that the wikipedia search index is only getting updated on an occasional basis. Last time I was looking it took a month for my pages to show up in search. The reason the full article name is working is because you are using the "Go" funtion not the "Search" button. I would appreciate a comment from the developers as to whether this is the normal state of affairs. Martyman 23:03, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Are you perhaps thinking of the external search (choice of Google or Yahoo!) which is used when the "real" site search is disabled for performance reasons [which is all too often]? Being external search engines, those will only update when they periodically trawl this site along with billions of others; I can't imagine any reason for the internal search not to index pages as they are created/edited - unless, I suppose, the indexing is also disabled during busy periods... - IMSoP 18:53, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)


I have just put up an entry for Robert Palmer (author/producer) to help sort out a conflict in other references, such as at the R. L. Burnside entry, to this Palmer being confused with the British singer by the same name. I have a couple of questions. First of all, there seem to be more than one way to do this disambiguating process. Some, as with Al Green (musician), involve making a disambiguation page and specifying what each person was known for. Obviously Al Green, the musician, is much better known than the politician mentioned on that page. Another place in the faqs here discusses just putting a notation on the top of the more famous individual's page and having the search lead straight to the best known individual. For some reason they chose to have a search of "Al Green" lead to a disambiguation page instead of to the musician. So for a search on "Robert Palmer," which method would you suggest be used to disambiguate? I feel it should go to a disambiguation page and have one that is Robert Palmer (British singer) and one that is Robert Palmer (author/producer) because both are famous. Would the problem be that there are too many already-existing links going to the british singer's current Robert Palmer page? I suppose I could try to make a project of looking all those up in a Google wikipedia search and correct them myself if someone was concerned about that. I am worried about how to complete this disambiguation correctly Bebop 23:23, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Like everything else in Wikipedia, disambiguating is done according to what each editor considers to be best practice -- and different editors write different guidelines, I'm afraid. We do TRY to be consistent and come to consensus on these things, but disambiguation is one of those things that really must be judged on each individual case. For the most part I support using a "disambiguation block" of one sentence or so at the top of the "most famous" person, but that's always subjective. I don't think the Al Green page was strictly necessary, but the creator was probably thinking ahead, since both "Al" and "Green" are very common names and there may be more Al Greens out there becoming notable as we speak. (Still, I prefer to deal with present realities -- it's very easy to change something to a disambiguation page in the future when it becomes necessary.) That said, I'm also the one who created disambiguation pages for John Taylor (33 entries!) and a few other common names...
In your case (and as one of the contributors to the current Robert Palmer page), I'd have no objection to moving it to Robert Palmer (British singer) and leaving a disamb page there -- although I'm not as familiar with the other Robert, he certainly seems equally notable to me. In my personal opinion, you might consider moving him to Robert Franklin Palmer, though; with such a multitude of talents, it seems cleaner to me, and it's easy enough to use a "piped link" such as [[Robert Franklin Palmer|Robert Palmer]] so that the middle name does not display in the linked text.
Already existing links are not an obstacle to moving or renaming a page, though they do create some work for the editor. (Accuracy is more important than ease!) Each page has a "What links here" link in the sidebar. If you move the existing RP, it would be your responsibility to use that link and go to each article that mentions RP, and fix the link in that article text so it pointed to [[Robert Palmer (British singer)|Robert Palmer]] instead of the new disambiguation page. You might even find a few more that should link to RFP as well!
Have I rambled on enough....? Catherine\talk 00:23, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)
He was never known by anyone but his mother by his full name, I hope no one tries to change it to "Robert Franklin Palmer." He was always known as "Robert Palmer," as that was his byline and his production/musician/author name. I don't see anyone wishing to call the British singer by his full name which is also written on his Robert Palmer page as "Robert Allen Palmer." Anyway, I have tried to disambiguate and had great difficulty. I have finally done it, with help from the Requested moves desk, but lost all the list of "what this links to" links. I did change a number of them prior to making the move, but I'll try looking in Google to find the rest. Thanks a lot for the comments. Bebop 02:21, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)
If by that you mean the list of pages that link to Robert Palmer, what's wrong with going to Robert Palmer and clicking on "What links here"? --Paul A 02:37, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)
It seemed that I lost a number of the "What links here" items that I saw, which was a very long list, including numerous "Talk" pages, when I made the switch. I don't know why. They do not appear in the What links here area for that page ever since I moved the page, and I feel I should have changed all the links before I made the switch. Anyway, I have made a good faith effort to find and change links intended to link to the British singer's page and will continue to change more if I find them. Everything seems fine now, thanks. Bebop 05:29, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Not to worry, Bebop -- it's likely that since this was a public discussion other editors helped to fix the "What links here" links. Catherine\talk 03:02, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

How should I handle Martin Luther King and his son with the same name?[edit]

The most well known of the Martin Luther King clan is Martin Luther King Jr., (the one who delivered the "I have a dream" speach, etc.)

I am thinking of writing a short article on his eldest son, who I believe went by the name "Martin Luther King, III". Should that be the title of the article (with the comma and the roman numeral 3)?

Is there another way to handle this? Some use the custom of dropping the "jr." etc. when only one is alive, but that is probably not wise in this case, as he is so well known.

Also to add to this person's question, I'm curious about what house style is on "Jr." and "III" because some style manuals prefer people to not include a comma before "Jr." The only times I've left them that way so far is when I saw someone spelled a name that way already. P.S. Mpearl asked the above question, not I. Bebop 05:31, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I'd use Martin Luther King, Jr. for the son and Martin Luther King, Sr. for his father. Those are the names most people will know them by, so that's the name wikipedia should use. His son Martin Luther King III should be without a comma, I believe. Mgm|(talk) 08:13, Nov 19, 2004 (UTC)
Hi again. I'm going to focus my reply here about the comma issue, whereas of course Mpearl (who didn't use a signature) brought the MLK topic at hand up. I am still interested in the comma issue after reading the above answer. For consistency, one would normally punctuate both III and Jr. the same way. Modern styles I've seen, such as A.P. style (and I also think Chicago Manual of Style) usually don't include a comma for either one. I didn't use one in Robert Palmer (author/producer)'s entry where I mention his full name and father's name, for instance. And if I learn of a final house style on this (and an example of which style you guys are basing the comma decision on), I could adjust any entries I've seen with commas in them (like Al Jackson, Jr., an entry which by the way is redirected strangely to a name he didn't use professionally, since I think all his recordings said "Jr." on them, but I'll study that further) or adjust anything I've put without a comma to have one, if need be. I did have a reason to not use the comma though, as I didn't see a style rule here and therefore went by house styles I'm familiar with. Maybe I should be talking about this in the talk page for the house style entry? I have experience discussing house styles, as I've written one before, so please excuse my interest in this tedious detail. Bebop 15:31, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)
A quick glance around the style and naming pages suggests to me that this has been raised a couple of times, but has never "taken off" into a proper discussion and consensus. E.g. this discussion didn't get very far, while this one amounts to "people generally use with-comma style at the moment". Maybe you'll have better luck getting people's attention ("advertise" the discussion on the village pump if you're really bothered), but, unfortunately, maybe not. It's the kind of detail a lot of people just put off thinking about; of course, you can always Be bold and start systematically changing things - then if anyone is bothered either way, they'll start complaining. ;) - IMSoP 00:50, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Dificulty navigating community portal links[edit]

Hello, i am very new here, actualy just arrived for the first time... Long story short, My first action here was to put a defenition on a link that lead to nowhere (no description or article on the subject) Since i am very new i was wondering how i did and how i could make my article better; so i went to peer reveiw. However, i got hoplessly lost because i cant tell where im supposed to put up a question there (i tried to start a topic but instead i kept being brought e to a editing page of someone else's request) so i left. And i came here and i want to know: how do i navigate the community areas? i can barely tell where the questions stop and the responses begin. Thanks

Above is from User:Fledgeling, who created Fraser magnolia. (You can get these actions attributed to your new user name through Wikipedia:Changing attribution for an edit.)
You are probably looking for Wikipedia:How to edit a page, but my advice is just be bold. If you do something wrong, it is very likely that someone will come along and correct it. Most of the time, their actions may seem abrupt, but in general people will be pleasant if you explain your situation, as you have here. Noisy | Talk 16:03, 20 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Also, the lack of distinction between where a question ends and the answer begins is something of a feature of wikis - just like on this page, it's actually one long block of text, so a "conversation" is just a bunch of text. On many pages, including this one and Wikipedia:Peer review, the convention is that each conversation has it's own heading - which is created like the one above, with a line like "== This is my heading ==". So to start a new section, you just add a heading; it doesn't matter if it looks like its "inside" someone else's section, all the headings are exactly the same. And, as Noisy says, if you're not sure, do your best, and someone will probably correct it for you; if they're feeling particular nice, they'll tell you what to avoid next time... - IMSoP 19:04, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)

failed edit - lost the page completely![edit]

Tried to edit an entery:

with my somewhat expanded text (below):

The '''Tanganyika sardine''' is really two species (''Limnothrissa miodon'' and ''Stolothrissa tanganicae'') both of which are small [[planktivorous]] [[pelagic]] [[freshwater]] [[clupeid]] originating from [[Lake Tanganyika]] in East [[Africa]]. They form the major biomass of pelagic fish in Lake Tanganyika, swimming in large schools in the open lake, feeding on copepods and potentially jellyfish. Their major predators are four species of ''Lates'' which are also endemic to Lake Tanganyika, and are related to (but not the same as) the Nile Perch in Lake Victoria. All of these pelagic fish have suffered from overfishing in the last 2 decades. The local names are '''Kapenta''' in Zambia or '''Dagaa'''or '''Ndgaa'''elsewhere. ''Limnothrissa miodon'' has been successfully introduced in both natural and artificial African lakes. Large kapenta fisheries now take place in the [[Kariba Dam]] and [[Cahora Bassa]] in Zambia. {{stub}} [[Categories:Fish, Lake Tanganyika, Fisheries]]

But it said it lost the page and the old ID no longer exists. What now?

To the person above who wrote about their problem without signing their user name, I am not an admin, I'm a newbie, but I just now have gone in and fixed it by the following procedure: I clicked in the History file on the time and date of an older version, clicked on the Edit tab and added into it your edits above, then hit Enter and it worked. There is helpful information in the Revert faq. There seems to be a bit of a confusing editing duel going on in the page at issue, by the way. - user Bebop

Red linked contributors[edit]

How come I can see new pages being added by people with red-linked IDs?

The red-linked user name means they have not created a user page yet. This is the default state for all new user accounts. -- Cyrius| 18:22, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Clarification on copywright rules- verification[edit]

I really.. um... anyway.

I have been told by some people (my writing teacher, parents) that putting up someone else's ideas or information that you learned from that book/person/website is OK, as long as you correctly cite your references/sorces. I have been working by this premice (specificly, leaf leinghts and species distribution- i cannot find species distribution by going by myself out and surveying an extensive area alone- not copyinf and pasting whole articles, just peices of information that i could not obtain elsewhere) Recently i have been told by others that THIS IS NOT THE CASE! Since the site articles on copywright information did not answer my question, i wish to verify trough a third party if either side is correct, because i am getting coflicting reports. Who's correct?


IANAL; but I'll tell you what my understanding is: in general, facts are not the subject of copyright - so something like the average length of a rowan leaf is probably fair game. However, copying the detailed results of a piece of research verbatim is likely to breach copyright; researchers generally want their results to be known, but the journals they publish to make their money from controlling who reads and copies the full text. I'm not sure where the line would be drawn, but I imagine it is analagous to quoting passages of, say, a short story: a few appropriate quotes, properly credited, is going to be OK, but if your quoting ends up being most of the original content, you're risking it. Obviously, anything that can be considered "general knowledge" is not going to be copyright (as long as you put it in your own words); so reading someone's website to get a better understanding of, say, Einsteinian physics, doesn't mean you mustn't write E=mc2 ever again.
In general, putting someone else's conclusions in your own words, backed up with referenced quotations, is just good practice; but if it's a truly new and ground-breaking idea, then going too much further than a summary, so that you're paraphrasing almost the entire paper, might attract raised eyebrows. But as long as you're not passing the ideas off as your own, and distinguish between direct and indirect quotation, no major harm is being done. - IMSoP 00:33, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)
The amoung pages i have done so far that i am wondering about is Fraser magnolia - specificly the scentence((Magnolia fraseri) is a small, fragrant, basal-branching deciduous tree of the southern Appalachians with narrow, auriculate-lobed leaves.)- i found that out in a book i listed in references. If thats ok then i havent been copywrigting, but it is a direct quote, so im not shure. Mostly, besides one other scentance, its from my own knowlege and not taken from anywhere. One scentence is the same as on the internet reference (It grows best on moist, well-drained soil) but i already knew that because of its habitat (almost all plants found exlusively in that area require their soil to be like that) and because Magnolias virtually as a whole require that same requierment, so i assumed it was common knowledge

User:Fledgeling00:49, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC) P.s In the rowan section it should be noted that its also commonly called Mountain Ash

You should only use the exact words you read if you are using them as a "direct quotation" - that is, one with quote-marks round it, and a clear label of who actually said it, e.g.:
According to person X, the Fraser magnolia is "a small, fragrant, basal-branching deciduous tree..."
To clarify, an "indirect quotation" would be more like:
Person X describes the Fraser magnolia as small and fragrant, and notes that it is deciduous and basal-branching...
[hmm; this should be covered in quotation or somewhere, really]
Whereas what we want here is those facts, but in your words (or, I guess, mine); so, something like:
The Fraser magnolia is a small deciduous tree native to the Southern Appalachians; it is basal-branching and has...
It's not a big deal with individual sentences like that, but rewording everything you read is a good habit to get into, and it also helps you structure things into decent paragraphs when you're joining up information from multiple sources. - IMSoP 01:11, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)
There might be two different issues in question. When your professors say that using someone else's information is okay, as long as you have proper attribution (meaning citing your sources) they could be talking about meeting academic standards for research, and avoiding plagarism.
It is possible that something could be acceptable in a paper you submit for a course, and not acceptable in a commercial publication. For example, if I am doing a biography of someone, and I take a picture from his wedding album, and attached the picture to a paper, I should (for an academic paper) make clear that I did not take the picture myself. For a commercial publication (like a book being offered for sale) I would probably have to get permission of the person who took the picture (which would probably involve paying a fee if the person is a commercial photographer).
In my experience, people get made in two occasions, when they don't get credit for their work, and when someone is using their own work to compete with them. Even if you're technically in the right, having people get mad at you is not a good thing (in my opinion).
Morris 01:55, Nov 22, 2004 (UTC)

Most of the facts i am stating would be obvious to an attentive observer, and i cannot go to, say, china, and back to comment on the leingh of the fruit myself. I doubt writers of text encyclopedias would have as well, because they cant go and do everything and be everywhere to the places and things that they list in their books; its simply not feasable. User:Fledgeling,

Nobody is saying you have to experience it all firsthand. And as mentioned above, the facts are not copyrightable. But the presentation is. Copyright is all about who gets paid for the work. Someone (author, publisher, journal, encyclopedia) gets paid to do the research to write "{Magnolia fraseri) is a small, fragrant, basal-branching deciduous tree of the southern Appalachians with narrow, auriculate-lobed leaves." Copyright says that (in theory at least) if they find that exact sentence, with those exact words and commas, in Wikipedia or any other work, they have the right to take legal action to punish us, because we "stole" the fruits of work that someone else has a legal right to be paid for. Now, if you rephrase the sentence, using the descriptive words necessary to convey the facts, but in a different order so that it is clearly a different work than the source where you found the facts (as Imsop did a nice job with, above), then the owners of the copyright have no basis for suing us.
Now, on the one hand, most of us here think it's a silly way to try to "manage" information -- saying a corporation "owns" a particular sentence is really frustrating if all you want is the information that sentence contains. (Otherwise we wouldn't be building a volunteer, open source, copylefted encyclopedia. On the other hand, much of the knowledge available to us so freely in books and on the Internet would never have been researched or written if there weren't a profit motive for the authors and publishers. Regardless of how you feel about it, the fact is that it is imperative that Wikipedia obey copyright laws -- otherwise the Wikimedia Foundation could find itself under petty legal attack that we really don't want to bother with.
We're really glad you're trying to understand the distinctions between research, plagiarism and copyright -- we need more people to "get it" so that we can spend less time checking for copyright violations, and more time writing (in our original words!) this wonderful 'pedia, which is going to be around for generations to come. Catherine\talk 06:09, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Fledgeling, you're mixing up two things. One is the need to cite sources for information. That has nothing to do with copyright; it's to help readers verify your facts. Copyrights protect creativity, which in this case would be the words themselves. It is not a good idea to copy an exact sentence from anywhere without using quotation marks and attributing your source. There's nothing wrong with stating the same fact in different words. Isomorphic 20:13, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Okay, i think i understand now. Thanks everyone.User:Fledgeling22:35, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC),

Missing link, version problem[edit]

I've just posted another link on my page User:MacGyverMagic/Articles. However, while it shows in the source code and the history, the new link doesn't show on the page even after I forcefully empty my cache. What am I missing? Mgm|(talk) 08:47, Nov 22, 2004 (UTC)

Do you mean the link to Justin Yoder? It shows up fine for me. Maybe it was just a cache issue after all; did you try purging the server cache? - IMSoP 19:05, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Yeah, and I got a message saying that User:MacGyverMagic/Articles&action=purge didn't exist, maybe it only works of title= is part of the link? Mgm|(talk) 21:30, Nov 22, 2004 (UTC)
Yes, it does. Or, more precisely, a web page can have parameters added like ?a=b&c=d; that question mark has to be there, so, I now realise, does work. is really a kind of shorthand for, and since that's already got the question mark in it, you need an & instead, to seperate further sets of parameters. Hence
Meanwhile, does the link show up for you now? Because it was visible for me as soon as I visited the article. - IMSoP 22:12, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Yep, shows up fine now. Thanks for clearing up how the parameters on a link work. :-) Mgm|(talk) 08:43, Nov 23, 2004 (UTC)

Viktor Yanukovych[edit]


I tried to find a better forum for this but couldn't.

When you open the following link in IE (

it comes up with


Viktor Yanukovych From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. MY NECK, MY BACK, LICK MY PUSSY AND MY CRACK. Khia







where Khia links to (

But when you open it up in Mozilla it comes up just fine.

It's a caching issue. There was a vandal who vandalized the page earlier today. In IE, trying hitting control+R to force a clean reload. →Raul654 07:57, Nov 23, 2004 (UTC)

problems with the wikipedia service[edit]

what is going on with wikipedia!! lately every time i search something i get an error page. the service is not working properly.

please fix!!!

  • Could you give a specific example? Mgm|(talk) 21:23, Nov 23, 2004 (UTC)

probably forgotten password[edit]

Hello every sysops at English Wikipedia,

I tried already to ask help from User:Meelar;

please help me to retrieve my password to login to English Wikipedia. I am User:JanJosef, and I am not sure, If I mentioned my e-mail jpospisil at cpoj dot cz

Now I am as User: (at my work) and you can check another wikis: Czech - Esperanto - Simple -

(I think, the IP should be the same)

May I receive a new password?

Thank you very much. Jan Pospisil

  • If you provided the wiki with your email adress when you signed up, you can go to the login page and ask for the system to send you a new password on that address to gain access to your personal pages. Mgm|(talk) 21:27, Nov 23, 2004 (UTC)
I'm afraid I can't help you. I don't have any special rights here and I can't check such things.

I suggest you try to see if a developer can help you. Otherwise, set up a new account, using a password similar to one of the other accounts you have so you don't forget, and have your old edits attributed to you. Good luck! Mgm|(talk) 08:59, Nov 24, 2004 (UTC)

Yes, I will do a new account, and I will note on the User:JanJiri, that I am now JosefJan, identical with JanJosef. Tanks many, and see you :-)

-- 16:05, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)


The occupying force on April 9 allowed more than 70,000 women, children and elderly residents to leave the besieged city, reportedly also allowing males of military age to leave. On April 10, the U.S. military declared a unilateral truce to allow for humanitarian supplies to enter Fallujah. U.S. troops pulled back to the outskirts of the city; local leaders reciprocated the ceasefire, although lower-level intense fighting on both sides continued. An Iraqi mediation team entered the city in an attempt to set up negotiations between the U.S. and local leaders, but as of April 12 had not been successful. The resistance forces capitalized on this 'ceasefire' to conduct the most aggressive counter-offensive of the cordon. Additionally, numerous weapons were found hidden in the humanitarian supply trucks that were attempting to enter the city. [2] (

the above is from the fallujah article.

The link is broken(the last line) and I did not know how else to tell anyone

In general, the best way to comment about an issue with a particular article is by clicking the "discussion" tab at the top of the screen; in the case of the article Fallujah, it will take you to Talk:Fallujah. In this particular case, I realised that the problem was that the ")" at the end of the link was being treated as part of the link. I've fixed this by using special numbered external links: if you type "[]", it appears as "[4]". The old links look oddly like they were copied and pasted from the display of another page on the site, rather than the underlying code you see when you click "edit this page".
See Wikipedia:How to edit a page for more on how you can fix things yourself. - IMSoP 20:18, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I'm trying to understand all that a wiki is capable of...[edit]

I'm putting together a technology plan for an social benefit organization I'm working on starting, and I'm trying to figure out how the wiki tool can best be incorporated into the overall plan. Here are some of my goals and questions:

1. I want to have a series of webpages written by authors representing either their own ideas or those of an organization or group they represent. These authors will be identified, chosen, and recruited by members of the organization. Membership will be open to anyone who lives in the identified community and agrees to uphold certain core values and principles (as outlined by the members themselves) and to strive to behave according to a set of guidelines (also outlined by the members). What defines and unifies the group is that they all live within a defined community (with geographic boundaries) and share an intent to bring about a more just, peaceful and sustainable world in which the desires of the individual are not met at the expense of the needs of others throughout the world. This may not be the best description of the group, but I think you'll get the point.

So my question is this, can a wiki be set-up so that a section of the page which expresses the information and perspective presented by the author (membership elected individual or group of representatives), is protected from edits by others? Then the greater membership could have access to a comment section of the page for continual edits, encouraging the author to continually re-evaluate his/her perspective and integrate their feedback into an ever-evolving article.

The goal here is to take academics and others who've developed a trusted reputation and give them a more public platform upon which to communicate, while also removing them from the "echo chamber" where they only hear from others with the same perspectives. A sort of virtual dialogue amongst those who are either members of the community which is impacted by policies and practices of which they speak or respected experts selected by the community to help formulate solutions which work for the greater good.

2. I don't know how the underlying wiki engine works, as I'm not all that technical, but I'm wondering if the engine could be further developed so that there are tags to represent certain kinds of data. I'm hoping for the ability to have a reference database of books, articles, lectures, videos, etc. that anyone could select from in displaying a list of references or suggested educational materials for a particular purpose. Kind of like a shopping cart of references. Say I'm writing an article about statements made by our president which relate to global warming. I could search the reference database and select those which apply to my article and at the end, I will have an automatically generated list of references. Or perhaps in the body of my article I want to list recommended educational materials grouped by category. I could simply select from the available reference database (adding those not yet there) and have the list sorted according to my specifications (by author, keyword, date, etc). Does this seem possible?

3. How does a non-technical person go about finding someone to help set-up and administer a wiki when there is currently no budget (it's my hope that once the community begins growing, member donations will support some paid staff)?

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I apologize if this isn't the right place to post these questions; if that's the case, perhaps you can redirect me to the correct place.

Thank you, Jennifer

  • If you're having trouble finding technical people to set up a wiki, you might want to start a free hosted on. Starting your own would require a server and some bandwith which can be quite costly. Anyway, I think you might like to visit this link on how to start a Wiki. Good luck and don't hesitate to contact us again if you need to follow up. Mgm|(talk) 21:38, Nov 23, 2004 (UTC)


In the article Cultural and historical background of Jesus, Admin (User:Theresa knott) took sides by protecting page immediately after revert by Biased editor. Rather than protecting a pre-edit war version (the edit war goes back about 100 or so edits, by the way).

Is this allowed? CheeseDreams 22:33, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Without looking into the specifics of the situations, my gut feeling is that the answer is "yes", this is "allowed". Although the complaint that the version protected is the "wrong" one is a common one, it is an impossible complaint to uphold - even if you go back to before the edit war began, you are still "supporting" a particular version, which presumably somebody felt needed editing. Choosing which version to protect would, obviously, be taking sides; protecting whichever version happens to be current when the protection is carried out is in fact the only way to maintain neutrality.
This is why the message added when a page is protected includes the text "Protection is not an endorsement of the current version. To see other versions, use the page history." Queries and complaints regarding this point are frequently much less civil than yours [thank you], and are the subject of a parody on our meta-wiki entitled The Wrong Version. - IMSoP 22:48, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia mirror?[edit]

Where would one report a Wikipedia mirror which was not citing Wikipedia? doesn't have any reference to Wikipedia that I can find, but uses Wikipedia content. - Vague | Rant 08:16, Nov 24, 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks, low compliance →Raul654 08:18, Nov 24, 2004 (UTC)

Starting a category for chicken breeds.[edit]

I'm looking at starting a new category (or finding an existing one!) for chicken breeds. I'd like to make sure my understanding of Wikipedia:Categorization is correct. Here's what I'm planning to do — I'd appreciate any feedback (positive or negative) that anyone would like to offer.

Would Category:Chicken breeds be a suitable category name, based upon the fact that there is already a Category:Dog breeds to do the same task for dogs.

Currently there's Category:Galliformes which includes chickens. It would make sense for the new category to be in a subcategory of Category:Galliformes. Is there a better subcategory instead?

Many thanks,

--pjf 08:36, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

In line with Wikipedia's policy on being bold, I've created the category with a few articles and placed it as a subcategory in Category:Galliformes. However I'm still hoping for a thumbs-up/down from a more experienced Wikipedian to ensure I'm on the right track. --pjf 08:43, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Looks good to me. Noisy | Talk 13:35, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Thanks! I appreciate the check. --pjf 08:00, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia crashes Netscape[edit]

The Wikipedia homepage seems to reliably crash Netscape 4.79. This seems to be due to its use of Javascript on the homepage.

(If I turn off Javascript in Netscape it doesn't crash).

Javascript is *not* a standardized language and I should have a perfect right to use an old browser on an old computer because Netscape 4.79 is faster than modern browsers. Wikipedia should be able to accept and work with that -- they should not be overengineering their web pages to an extent that they crash browsers. Wikipedia is distributing *information*. The distribution of information does *not* require the execution of code on machines visiting a site. I do *not* friggen care about pull down menus or pop-up windows -- I care that the site works reliably in the browser and on the machines that I choose to use.

If anyone could inform me of *who* is responsible for the Wikipedia home page I would appreciate it. Because I want to give them a piece of my mind.

Thank you, Robert Bradbury (

I too have problem with home page. I am using Mozilla 1.0.2. To e the main page does cause crash but the browser (and hence the whole computer) seat down for 1 or 2 minutes. I am experiencing the same problem also with very long and complex page (like this one). In particular the presence of not very standard character (like chinese) seems to give troubles to my computer. AnyFile 14:54, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Wikipedia and its sister sites use an open source wiki engine called MediaWiki, the project homepage for which is available at For information on how to report bugs in this software generally, or in the setup of this site specifically, please see Wikipedia:Bug reports. A bug which causes the entire browser to crash will no doubt be treated with very high priority.
As someone who has spent a little time on the "development" side of things, I can assure you that the software is designed to conform as closely as possible to standards, and work with as many browsers as possible. Despite what you seem to be suggesting, this site uses very little JavaScript, and in fact one of its uses, I believe, is to make the site behave correctly in more browsers. There is certainly no use of JavaScript for pull-down menus or pop-up windows; the most complex pieces of script are probably those for showing and hiding certain information, so that the server can cache one copy of the page to serve to people with several combinations of preferences (this is necessary for the distribution of information, since without it the site would slow down to a crawl).
I am sure the developers will be much more receptive of your comments if, rather than "giving them a piece of your mind", you politely explain the exact circumstances of the problem. One thing I'm not clear on is whether this is an issue with the Main Page only, or with every page on the site (which would include this one). If it is just that one page, then it is unlikely to be a JavaScript issue, since no individual page can contain custom JavaScript, and the Main Page is not special in this respect. I gather that the Main Page has recently been edited to make different/more use of CSS, however, so maybe this is causing the problem? Perhaps, as suggested in this announcement, you should therefore mention it on this discussion page.
Once again, I'm sorry you have had such a severe problem with the site, and hope it is successfully resolved soon; thank you for pointing it out to us. - IMSoP 18:41, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Hello Robert, I have just changed the Main Page to mostly use CSS instead of tables, which has stopped it crashing Netscape 4. You do, indeed, have a right to use any browser you wish to access Wikipedia and we try to cater for as many as possible. There are still a few problems with the Main Page and Netscape 4, which I am trying to solve. These are problems with NS4 not conforming to established standards such as CSS. The problem with Netscape crashing was not an issue with JavaScript, but in fact with CSS - which due to the way NS4 works is also disabled when you disable JS. Thanks, Tom- 22:18, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

History: current and last[edit]

What is the meangin of the last link on the history pages? AnyFile 15:46, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

It compares the selected version to the version immediately preceeding it. It essentially shows you the changes made in individual edits. -- Cyrius| 16:35, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Whatlinkshere not updating[edit]

I switched Template:New York so it links to Capital District rather than to Capitol District (see Talk:Capitol District). But Whatlinkshere:Capitol_District still lists all the pages that include Template:New York. Why? (It only bothers me because I'm trying to see if anything links to Capitol District, now a redirect page, and I'm getting all these false positive results.)msh210 18:06, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

It is most likely to be a caching issue -- to see if it's on your machine, try holding Control/Command down when clicking your refresh button, or using Control-F5, or following the instructions at Wikipedia:Clear your cache. If it's a caching problem on one of the intermediary servers, it should clear up soon (10 minutes to an hour). I know it's frustrating when you're trying to follow up on work that's half-finished, but use your watchlist or a to-do list on your user page to remind you to come back to it, and trust me that the developers are working as hard as they can to keep things like this from interfering with our work. (If you're inclined, please consider making a donation so that we can continue to upgrade our hardware....) HTH, Catherine\talk 19:37, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

No, it's still doing it (from a different machine). Would you mind checking it out, someone, and see if you see it too, please?msh210 14:47, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)

It's wrong from my computer as well. I'm not sure what's going on, but it might have something to do with the dates of last change compared to what is being cached. I think I'm going to try testing a bit. Wålberg 20:49, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)
My small tests weren't successfull. But I have an idea what it could be. I assume all articles have an internal id in the database. If the caching of the What links here and/or the templates only happens once in a while, and the id of the article remained the same when you renamed it, changing the template to point to the new name means it still points to the same id internally. Hence the software might think nothing has changed and therefore nothing to update. I didn't have the patience to test this theory though. It would probably take two of the cycles mentioned by Catherine, one for updating the link to something else, and then another for changing it back. Wålberg 21:42, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Heh, just saw the post a bit further down on the page, about changes to templates not being properly propagated to pages using the templates. :-) That would explain it. But it certainly defeats the point of templates, doesn't it? Wålberg 21:50, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Firstly: yes, this does seem to be a problem with the template code, similar to that with categories - ordinary links being stored in the database in a similar way, for purposes of Special:Whatlinkshere etc.
But secondly: no, this does not "defeat the point of templates" - the "point" is surely to include the same text in multiple places, and allow it to be updated "at source", as it were; this is working fine, as you can check by looking at the bottom of those pages which include the template, and seeing that the link has changed. The only problem is that until you make another edit to each page, the software "doesn't notice" that the link has changed, and so the part of the database which Special:Whatlinkshere uses remains out of date; annoying, but minor compared to actually getting the content right.
Thirdly, the way to "solve" this (not a quick one, I'm afraid) is to make a trivial edit to each page containing the template. For instance, I have edited The Bronx, and it now no longer shows up on Special:Whatlinkshere/Capitol District. AFAIK, there is no easier way at present; over time, of course, this will happen naturally, as the pages are edited. - IMSoP 14:52, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)
You are of course right about this not defeating the point of templates. Not sure what I was thinking when I wrote that. Probably a bit hung up on the what links here thing. Wålberg 16:48, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Well, that's fair enough: like I say, it is a pretty irritating bug; unfortunately, it's not a trivial one to fix, as far as I can see - the obvious solution of automatically parsing all the pages that include a template (as though you'd edited them all) would put an untenable strain on the server. Meanwhile, I've updated Bugzilla:939 to reflect the fact that it's not just categories that don't get updated when you change the template. - IMSoP 19:47, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Thanks, all.msh210 20:59, 29 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Boilerplate Templates[edit]

Is there a special page that lists all template pages? I don't want to create new templates that duplicate the function of an existing one. Are there guidelines for what belongs in a template and what does not?

  • Yes, there is a list, maybe not of all templates, but at least of the templates people cared enough about to list. I'll track it down...Found them. There's a complete list at: Wikipedia:Template_messages/All, new ones can be added at Wikipedia:Template_messages. Generally, stuff you have to type repeatedly like welcome messages, or stuff that's hard to code repeatedly are done in templates. I hope this helps. Mgm|(talk) 19:10, Nov 24, 2004 (UTC)


Hello dear Jim,
is the only way for me to get into "Wikepedia" some mention of 42nd Baltic Fraternities` Convention [ which Corps Concordia Rigensis/Hamburg will organize] to become a contributer/editor ? Greetings from Germany

Everyone can contribute to Wikipedia. Just use the edit link on top of the page, or better yet, sign up for a free account so you can get your own user page. Mgm|(talk) 09:40, Nov 25, 2004 (UTC)
See also Wikipedia:Welcome, newcomers and Wikipedia:Why create an account? - IMSoP 20:01, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Reversing images - Can it be done with regular markup?[edit]

I've recently uploaded a picture of a leghorn chicken, and have used it on the Leghorn (chicken) page. Unfortunately, the chicken in question is looking to the right, and I'd much rather mirror the image so that it's looking to the left.

Why do I care which way the chicken is facing? It's got to do with psychology. People naturally want to see what others are looking at. If images of people or animals look interested in the article text, there's a better chance that the reader will be interested as well. If the picture is looking away from the text, then the article overall appears less interesting. Therefore, I want the chicken looking at the text to its left.

I could move the image itself to the left of the page, but then, depending upon the article text and browser settings, one can end up with orphaned words under the image. That can be a little jarring to readers, and something I'd like to avoid.

So, is it possible to automatically mirror or flip an image using regular image mark-up, or will I need to upload a second image (or replace the existing one) with a mirrored copy to suit my purpose?

Many thanks,

--pjf 07:59, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

As far as I know, there's no mark up to mirror or flip a picture. You'll have to do another upload. Mgm|(talk) 09:46, Nov 25, 2004 (UTC)

Thanks. In which case, I've flipped my image. --pjf 20:46, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Templates and caching[edit]

In the interests of sanity on my user page, I've borrowed an idea I found on Jimbo Wales' site, and included my picture and list of useful links in a side-bar as a template.

However I notice that any changes to this template don't update immediately, and I cannot find how to make this happen; presumably the template code is cached on the server, because refreshing my browser cache (Ctrl and reload in Mozilla Firefox) does not cause an update, and other items on the main page do update immediately. I usually just wait and hope. I wouldn't know where to look for information on how to fix this. Is there a way I can force the cached template to refresh on the server? --Minority Report (entropy rim riot) 22:14, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

You've diagnosed the problem absolutely correctly. There is currently a bug in the software that means that changing a "template" which is anywhere other than the Template: namespace doesn't cause pages containing that template to be regenerated in the server's cache. There are two ways of working around this problem:
  1. make a trivial edit to the "target" page (in this case, User:Minority Report)
  2. use the special "action=purge" URL: either add "?action=purge" to the normal URL (like this) or hit "edit" or "history" or something, and change the "action=" bit to say "action=purge" (like this). (The two are equivalent; if you want to know why they look like that, see my comments in another section.
"We apologise for any inconvenience caused." - IMSoP 23:01, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Oh, I know what else I was going to say: not sure why that template isn't showing up with a pink background when included, very mysterious; for a while, I thought the cache still wasn't purging even when I told it to, hence the test-vandalism you may have noticed on the template. Sorry about that. - IMSoP 23:05, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for the help. Yes it was mainly the background color that I was interested in propagating. This would make the divisions in the page more visible to the reader. I even tried putting the background color information in a table outside the template, but it still doesn't work. Oh well.. --Minority Report (entropy rim riot) 23:21, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Added: For now I'm putting the style stuff in front of each table item, which is tedious but has much the same effect as I intended. --Minority Report (entropy rim riot) 23:42, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

adding to a votes for deletion page[edit]


how do i vote for/against the deletion of a page

  • On every page that has been placed on VfD, you will find a link that reads "please see this page's entry etc". Clicking on that link will bring you to a subpage of the main VfD page where you can add your vote for that specific page. (You can also browse the main VfD page and click on "edit" next to the page you want to vote for) -- Ferkelparade π 02:59, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Categorization in Arts and Visual arts[edit]

I'd like to do a lot of cleanup in Category:Arts. There doesn't seem to be a lot of activity there. The last decision seems to be here Category_talk:Art#Category:Art. I have some suggestions at Category_talk:Visual arts.

There doesn't seem to be a wiki project about Arts. Is there a place with Arts discussions some place? What would be a good way to proceed? Clubmarx 21:51, Nov 26, 2004 (UTC)

I'm not really an art type of person, but it seems arts pretty much covered in Wikipedia, but not very organized. If you want Arts discussion to get centered in one place I suggest you start a WikiProject on it. Mgm|(talk) 22:16, Nov 26, 2004 (UTC)
Thanks. It seems really odd that there isn't an arts project already. There seems to have been an arts wikiproject at some point in the past - a few other wikiprojects still link to it. hmm. Clubmarx 23:15, Nov 26, 2004 (UTC)

Silkie (chicken) and Silkie — rename or redirect?[edit]

G'day lovely wikipedians,

At this time Wikipedia does not currently have a page for Silkie, however it does have Silkie (chicken). Unfortunately this means that editors must type an extra "(chicken)" every time they wish to create a link. I'm eager to see this avoided.

I can easily add a redirection page, but what I'd really like to do is rename Silkie (chicken) to Silkie, and have the redirect work the other way around. Are there any conventions that I would be breaking in doing this? Must a chicken breed end in "(chicken)" even if it's not ambiguous?

Note that the only ambiguity I can find is with Selkie, where Silkie is mentioned as an alternate spelling. I've added this to the Silkie (chicken) page, although I'd love someone to check my placement and wording.

Many thanks,

--pjf 01:25, 27 Nov 2004 (UTC)

What you want is the "move" command. It renames the page and creates a redirect at the old title in a single operation. I've already done this for you. -- Cyrius| 02:23, 27 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Changing uploaded image name?[edit]

I uploaded Image:SelfPorEnhancedLjubljana2004.jpg after spending a long time making sure the photographer understood the copyright issues. But I'm still new to this and it's my first upload.

Big problem -- one is that I forgot to put his name in the jpg title. I certainly don't want to be confused with the person the photo was taken of. How can I move it to say Image:TavFalcoSelfPortraitSlovenia2004.jpg? I would much prefer it be titled that. It is not of interest to either me or wikipedia that it is "enhanced" and "self por" doesn't tell anyone who it's of. I don't know how to delete it and restart and the Move function didn't work. Also, I apparently only activated an "alternate text" option but not a caption and am curious how to format that (see image description page link to article using jpg). Bebop 01:55, 27 Nov 2004 (UTC)

There's no way to change it once it's been uploaded; just upload a new copy of the image with a new name, and I or another admin can speedy delete the old one for you, since it's a duplicate of an existing image. (Normally items must be listed on Wikipedia:Images for deletion and discussed, since images cannot be undeleted.) Just let me know when you've copied over the information you want from the old image.
The same text is used for captions and the alt text. However, a caption will not display unless you use the keyword "thumb" or "frame" between pipe symbols in your image syntax: [[Image:Westminstpalace.jpg|right|thumb|200px|caption text]]. "Thumb" with a pixel size will resize it; "frame" will generate frame and caption without resizing. (Note that the first images in an article are generally placed to the right of the article text.) Catherine\talk 04:01, 27 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Thanks, I've made the change and put a "delete" tag on the older image. I don't know if that automates some process to have it show up on a page where admins look and delete things, but I think it does. I'm putting the rest of this reply in my talk page; thanks again! Bebop 14:12, 27 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Yes, that tag lists the article in Category:Candidates for speedy deletion, which is regularly patrolled by admins. I am always appreciative of people who use the deletebecause tag and mention the reason that they think it needs deletion so that I don't have to guess why. Rmhermen 17:16, Nov 27, 2004 (UTC)

Changing format of username[edit]

Is it possible to change my username from 'Randyjohnston' to 'Randy Johnston'? Thanks a lot. --Randyjohnston 04:53, 27 Nov 2004 (UTC)

You can create a new account, and ask the developers to attribute your old edits to the new account -- this might take several weeks or more, though, as our volunteer developers are severely overworked! Or, if you don't care about attribution, just redirect the user and talk pages from the old account to the new one.
If you just want your signature to display differently, you can customize your signature by going to Special:Preferences and changing the field "Your nickname (for signatures):". The software automatically puts "[[user:<yourusername>|" and "]]" around the text entered in this field, so that whatever nickname you choose to use as a signature will be linked to your user page, whatever the spelling. (for more, see Wikipedia:Sign your posts on talk pages.) Good luck! Catherine\talk 07:20, 27 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Okay, thankyou. I have posted my request on Wikipedia:Changing_username. Please try and find time to move my information to my new username. Thank you a lot! --Randy 17:57, 27 Nov 2004 (UTC)

How to make a {{....}} tag.[edit]

How do I make a double brace tag such as {{inuse}} and is there a list of already existing ones?

That's called a template. If you wanted to make {{blah}}, then you would go to template:blah and put the content there. →Raul654 21:38, Nov 27, 2004 (UTC)
Oh, and yes, there is a BIIIIIG list somewhere but I can't remember where it is off the top of my head. →Raul654 21:39, Nov 27, 2004 (UTC)
You're probably thinking either of Wikipedia:All pages in the MediaWiki and Template namespace or Wikipedia:Template messages/All. --David Iberri | Talk 22:04, Nov 27, 2004 (UTC)
Check out m:Help:Template for more details on setting up templates. --David Iberri | Talk 22:04, Nov 27, 2004 (UTC)

Personal workplace (sandbox)[edit]

Is it OK to set up a personal workplace page (User:Name/Workplace) or something like that as a temporary place to work on an article? Hydnjo 01:58, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)

It's perfectly okay. You can use subpages of your user page for pretty much anything short of attacking other users, violating copyright, or hosting your own wiki. -- Cyrius| 02:15, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)
It's much preferred! By working on articles in temporary workspaces on a user subpage you keep the main article namespace clean. Mgm|(talk) 11:26, Nov 28, 2004 (UTC)

Linking Images[edit]

How do I link images to an external location? Oven Fresh 21:19, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)

  • You can't. Every picture in Wikipedia needs to be uploaded to a wikipedia server or to the Commons. This is simply to guard wikipedia from copyright issues. All pictures on wikipedia need to have notices regarding the copyright status of the image in question. More help is available in our help section. Mgm|(talk) 21:15, Nov 28, 2004 (UTC)
    • I've seen someone linking a Get Firefox logo to Must've been my imagination. Is there anyway I can stop an image from linking to its image page? Oven Fresh 21:19, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)
      • Nope. Best you can do is shove a redirect on the image description page. -- Cyrius| 21:20, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)
    • There's also vandalism issues as well. It makes it slightly more difficult to link in offensive images. -- Cyrius| 21:20, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Downloading the Encyclopedia[edit]


perhaps this question was here 1000 times but i didnt found an answer or i am to studpid. But if i want the content of the english encyclopedia on our school server because we dont ve access to the internet what do i ve to do? MYSQl and PHP and Apache2 is installed. How big is the full english version with pictures?

Greets and thx max

I doubt you have the server space to download the entire wikipedia. The information is spread across several severs, and it took the Wikimedia Foundation quite some time to get the equipment together. Trying to gain internet access is the cheaper solution here. Mgm|(talk) 12:50, Nov 29, 2004 (UTC)
The database dump is not that big in terms of disk space (currently about 45gig for the whole thing with edit histories, 11 gig for only the current revision), but you'll need a lot of bandwith to download it. Latest database dumps are available here. Oh, and of course you will also need an internet connection to download a database dump in the first place :p -- Ferkelparade π 13:44, 29 Nov 2004 (UTC)

How to edit a protected article?[edit]


I would like to edit the description for Capitol College, but the only edit link available lets me change the external link to the college website and nothing else. How can I change the typo in the description? Right now it says that Capitol conifers degrees, which makes me think of pine cones!

Capitol College looks editable to me. I think you may be clicking on the "edit" link next to the "External Link" heading. Instead, click on the "Edit this page" (this link) at the TOP of the page. See if that works for you. --Wolf530 18:08, Nov 29, 2004 (UTC)

Infobox on parks pages[edit]

User:Viriditas noticed that the WikiProject Protected Areas tables are buggy in Firefox, sometimes overlapping text and causing other problems on the page. Should we be using newer markup or templates? Rmhermen 06:19, Nov 30, 2004 (UTC)

It's working fine now, so I wonder if it was a problem with Wikipedia. Thanks anyway. --Viriditas 10:13, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Album covers[edit]

Would it be okay if I uploaded several album covers and used them in articles about bands? The reason I'm asking is because I've seen people complaining there's a ton of images on Wikipedia that claim to be 'fair use', and a lot of notices about copyright problems etc. And I wouldn't want to add to the problem. The upload dialog has a box that goes "I affirm that the copyright holder of this file agrees to license it under the terms of the Wikipedia copyright." While uploading an album cover that was downloaded a long time ago from some website, I can't really grant that the copyright holder of this file agrees to license it, can I? Does that mean I have to find out where I downloaded the image, then contact the webmaster of that particular site, then ask him/her for permission and only upload when the permission is granted? -- Jashiin 10:09, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Fair use, read the fair use rationale, and don't forget to add the appropriate image copyright tag, like {{Albumcover}}. --Viriditas 10:26, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC)
UGH this is all very confusing actually.. Oh well, I'll try to figure it out. Thanks. -- Jashiin 21:01, 2 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Bear in mind that the copyright of these album covers won't belong to the sites you found it, but to the original copyright holder: one or more of the artist, designer, lyricist, band, copy writer, publisher, distributor, photo library, etc. It is complex indeed. I am not convinced use of album covers is fair use, because it may be all of the work by a particular artist, even though it may be considered incidental to the music. But I'm not a lawyer, just careful. Notinasnaid 12:23, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Several times this week I have been automatically logged out while trying to edit. Why? NB:- If I get logged out while I'm editing this, I'm User:Honeycake. Please either put the reply on my talk page, or notify me on my talk page when the reply is here. Thanks,--Honeycake (babble were rig) 17:07, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Further on this topic ...
this is a real problem on another cookie‐based site I often use, LiveJournal, and there's a FAQ there about how to handle it. So I tried the techniques suggested there, since it’s been happening to me here far more often than it ever happened to me on LJ. (For example, clearing cache, clearing Wiki‐related cookies, re‐logging in etc. Probably need to reset some preferences actually, at least any that are locally stored, though from my experience using this site on different machines I seem to find few of those. Erm, anyway. Yes. Right, then!!!
So, I applied those suggested‐there techniques, but they were of little if any help today. (The problem does come, and go, and is especially... virulent?, well, that is strong very strong, but — the problem is nasty today. I fully expect this to be signed today.) Hrm. I welcome any other suggestions for future use. (Ah, preview shows that I'm very very logged out now, so it’s a good thing I used it.)
Probably not helping that it is a slow, p’haps heavily‐used day??
Many thanks in advance from Schissel bowl ear open 03:45, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC) (with no clue how to generate that by code, entering it manually)
And as I should have mentioned in the just‐above, I’m using Mozilla Firefox 1.0(1?) on a Macintosh G3 with OS 10.2.8. Using Safari (v125 I think?) doesn’t seem to help, nor does the occasional switch to IE on Windows machines at work, if I remember correctly but I’m not as sure of that part. Schissel 16:06, Dec 13, 2004 (UTC)

Edit Search History[edit]

I'd like to delete some items from the drop-down search history (empty pages,missspelings, etc) that show up when I start to type into the search box. Can this (editing) be done? Hydnjo 20:45, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC)

  • That's a feature of your browser, not of the website. In Firefox, go to Tools - Options - Privacy - Saved Form Information - Clear. In IE, it's Tools - Internet Options - Content - AutoComplete - Clear Forms. Note that either one of these will clear the auto-fill history of all websites, not just wikipedia. Does anyone know how to do it on a site-by-site basis? - Key45 22:36, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC)
  • Thanks User:Key45 - I thought that might be the case. I'm using Safari and it saves a separate search history for each search box (Wikipedia, Google, etc.) that it recognizes as such. I'm pretty sure it's an all or none history saver, no site-by-site and no selective editing within any site. Hydnjo 23:27, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC)

GPS Articles[edit]

This is more a suggestion for a global feature than a question.

Add a WIKI element for latitude/longitude and range that is searchable, so articles that have a proper 'location' to reference can be found by location.

In other words, historical things have a time and a place. Many articles about things in the world also have a place in the world where those things can be found.

A query based on a GPS receiver could then type in a location and specify a range for the search and find articles about things of interest near that place on the Earth, and conversely when reading an article that contains such a GPS location, could pull up a map with that place/thing centered on it.

So when planning a trip, you could find points of interest on the way, and when doing a school report about something in history or of interest near your school or community, a lot of candidates can be trivially found from a map.

Some additional notation might be added to the location, such as the type of reference (local history, regional history, national history, global history, wildlife habitat, etc.)

It could be something like [gps:N30.24.66:W97.54.19:R1K], and an article might make more than one such reference to cover one or more regions with what are essentially circles on a map. A search engine (such as google) could then spot those references as they're finally formatted.

A java applet with a world map could allow trivial poking in of locations to some sloppy accuracy, while people who are more precise can go out and take a GPS reading and type the data in to the nearest few feet.

Please remember to sign your comments (use four tildes ~~~~ to add your name and date). I could be wrong, but I believe you should post feature requests on MediaWiki. I have linked to the section where you can add your request. --Viriditas 00:32, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I believe there has been some discussion of this; see meta:Wikiatlas and meta:Wikimaps. Catherine\talk 15:58, 2 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Mailing list[edit]

Tim Starling is saying he will remove me from the Wikipedia mailing list, but I don't understand on what grounds the basis for this is. Is there anything I can do to get an explaination for his actions please? Thanks, --Rebroad 21:37, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I would head over to User:Tim Starling's talk page and politely ask him why he's doing it. Mgm|(talk) 22:05, Nov 30, 2004 (UTC)

Question regarding Pesach[edit]

I have been commissioned to write an article about the Passover Seder. My question is based on some beliefs, how is Jesus the fulfillment of the Jewish festivals? Thank you.

Take a look at: Pesach and Passover. Can anyone else add something to this? Mgm|(talk) 09:08, Dec 2, 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia in Vietnamese page[edit]

I visited Wikipedia in Vietnamese page, it does not display in proper Vietnamese, it has a lots of squares in places of letters . Q: How do I set my PC to view this page in correct Vietnamese ?

You need to install some Unicode fonts (typefaces) that include Vietnamese characters; putting "vietnamese font" into Google turns up plenty of promising looking leads. - IMSoP 17:02, 2 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Simpsons character starting with the letter "Y"[edit]

A friend of mine was asked in a crossword puzzle "Simpsons character starting with "Y" " this had me stumped, could anyone help me with this problem, please email me at, i am unsure if i can get back to this site, my bookmarking deletes sites on me :-(

A quick search of Wikipedia would have turned up List of characters from The Simpsons, but I didn't spot any Y's on a quick glance -- check the links at the bottom of that page for more leads. Catherine\talk 16:07, 2 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Placing a 'search' field elsewhere[edit]

I edit a library web page and want to put a 'search' field that will link directly to Wikipedia's search. Is there a way to do this?

If this is the incorrect place to ask this, could someone please direct me to the right window?

Thanks in advance.

Try this code, which is based on the code used on this site. Edit the attributes of each form control as desired—the important things are that there's at least one text field named "search", at least one submit button, and that the form action is the same URL (although you could replace "en" with the abbreviation for any other language's Wikipedia if you want).
<form name="wikipedia_search_form" action="">
<input name="search" type="text">
<input value="Go" type="submit" name="go">
<input value="Search Wikipedia" type="submit" name="fulltext">
The "Go" button will take you directly to the article with the name you enter, if it exists, so you might want to remove it if you want a "true" search. The "Search" button searches all articles for the text you enter. HTHTriskaideka 16:40, 2 Dec 2004 (UTC)


What does &action=purge do, when appended to the end of a URL? E.g.:,_world&action=purge

msh210 20:32, 2 Dec 2004 (UTC)

It's supposed to manually purge the various Wikipedia-side caches of various things. It's generally only used to ensure the main page is updated when one of its templates is changed. -- Cyrius| 20:48, 2 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Thanks.msh210 20:57, 2 Dec 2004 (UTC)

More generally, off the top of my head, there are 3 situations where a manual purge is necessary, all of which can be considered bugs in the way the template code works:
  1. a template "transcluded" by the page transcludes a further template, and that template has been changed (Bugzilla:983)
  2. a template transcluded by the page has been changed, but is not in the Template: namespace (Bugzilla:734)
  3. the page uses variables like {{CURRENTDAY}} in certain ways (I'm not sure about this one, but I think it's still an issue in some cases)
The main page suffers from #2 (it uses templates stored in the Wikipedia namespace) and possibly #3. - IMSoP 23:04, 2 Dec 2004 (UTC)
PS: The title of this section seems to have broken the auto-summary feature!

How to edit signature[edit]

How do you edit your signature that appears with four tildes? Oven Fresh 00:12, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)

You can modify the nickname field in Special:Preferences to your liking. See Wikipedia:Username#Signatures and Wikipedia:Sign your posts on talk pages#Customizing your signature for a bit more. --David Iberri | Talk 00:25, Dec 3, 2004 (UTC)

Odd image change[edit]

A while back I found an image of General Georges Boulanger on the French Wikipdeia (see [5] for image. I added this image to the English language version and then got on with my life. However, I now note that the image on the English language Boulanger page is not the image I added and the page history does not show the one edit to the article since changing the image. Does anyone know what has happened here (eg. someone else has saved an image as Boulanger.jpg which has automatically replaced my image)? --Roisterer 02:14, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • The image you submitted is still intact. The link in the article has just been replaced with that of an image on the English wikipedia. Mgm|(talk) 08:07, Dec 3, 2004 (UTC)


I am getting a Proxy Error for PlanetMath. Has it been removed?

Trying to access PlanetMath works for me. If you mean the actual web site, we don't really have anything to do with them. -- Cyrius| 00:41, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Why aren't thumbnails being generated?[edit]

I'm posting an article on a newly-created wiki. The owner has just turned on image uploading. However, thumbnails are not working. The image box appears, but instead of a thumbnail inside, there is only a link. The link leads to the proper image. This is the code I'm using: [[Image:test.png|right|thumb|The test image description]]

What does the owner of the wiki need to enable in order to get thumbnails to display properly?

  • Can you provide a link to this wiki? My guess would be that the feature is partially disabled. Is the picture displayed if you removed the "thumb" part of the coding? Mgm|(talk) 12:29, Dec 4, 2004 (UTC)


Please see Wikipedia_talk:Arbitration_Committee_Elections_December_2004#Disputing_vote_exclusion. I am concerned that some will be unfairly excluded from the current arbiter election. Sam Spade Arb Com election 14:23, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Who has the right to delete text?[edit]

Today, 4 December 2004, 14.44 GMT, the article "Amnesia" on Wikipedia ends with:

My friend has it and it is sort of scary but i now wwhen the time is right it will be ok i just now it she is getting it back peice by peice but i was so nice to her does that mean she will turn back to the way she was before and if so what will happen to me and her now that shes better will i get upset like today i like her so much i don't now what to do

It seems this should not be in a Wikipedia article. I wrote about it in the "discussion" side of the page, but should I have deleted the text? Should I have put it in a <!-- and --> tag? Could the Wikipedia documentation be made more clear about what to do in such a case? I did look in the documentation, so if such guidelines are there, they may not be easy enough to find.

Just be bold and delete it! If somebody thinks you were wrong, they will revert it or say so. --Khendon 14:53, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I would also lend my support to deleting that particular text or editing it to make it NPOV. Something like: "When a person suffers from amnesia for a long time, the resulting apparent personality change can be disturbing to those who knew them before. If they ever recover, this in turn can have a disturbing effect as they recover memories and adopt old attitudes." But on balance the observation is probably inherently POV and not backed up by reliable observation (it's just one person's feelings) so it's probably best deleted. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 11:33, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Help formatting large image caption[edit]

Hi. I added keydrive#The internal components of a typical keydrive as an ordinary section, but really it's an extensive caption for the accompanying diagram. IMHO it would be better as a sidebar to the article, but I'm having trouble figuring out the wiki syntax for doing so. I tried just putting all the text into the image caption, but the parser doesn't seem to like the # marks (which are needed for the numerical expansion of the diagram's labels). I also tried (a bit) html-style DIV tags, but I couldn't get the formatting to work. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks.-- John Fader

Well, I (sort-of) figured it out for myself. Wiki syntax doesn't work properly in image captions, but HTML syntax does. I guess it's probably frowned upon. An example (using templates, although that isn't necessary) is at keydrive (until someone reverts it). -- John Fader

Uploading ZIP archive[edit]

I'd like to upload a ZIP archive containing the image files and other stuff necessary to make a diagram (which I've already uploaded as a normal JPG). I want to do this so it can be altered by others, including translating or correcting. I tried to upload a ZIP file, but the upload program says ".zip" is not a recommended image file format.. Is there a way to upload a zip, or do I have to do something horrible like rename it to a PNG and tell folks to rename it before use? -- John Fader

Damn, even that hack doesn't work, as the system notices the intrigue and complains The file is corrupt or has an incorrect extension. Please check the file and upload again. So am I out of luck? -- John Fader
The upload uses the unix 'file' command to determine what kind of file it is (by reading the file's magic number). Changing the extension won't make a bit of difference. If you want to make it more easily editable by others, make it a PNG instead of a jpg. →Raul654 20:41, Dec 4, 2004 (UTC)
I see, thanks Raul. A PNG isn't really a substitute for somone being able to edit the original structured document and the associated collateral resources. In this case all my constituent resources are, I think, uploadable (assuming it will accept SVGs) but doing so with some of the more complex cases (where there might be dozens of components) would be such an onerous task that I would probably not bother. Do you know the reason why archives (either tar or zip and its kith) are excluded? -- John Fader
That's an easy one to guess: it's too easy to make Wikipedia a gathering ground for warez d00dz and their ilk if we allowed archives. (Also see leet.) Wikipedia is not an FTP server, and I guess so far nobody's found a ZIP file of great usefulness to an encyclopedia article, so we've erred on the safe side. JRM 22:05, 2004 Dec 4 (UTC)
There used to be a 2 megabyte limit to all uploads. (I discovered this by trial and error - it wasn't documented anywhere). I bitched about it on the technical mailing list, and they increased it to 5 as a result. (I'm told that on the commons it's 20). But regardless, the low limit doesn't make it terribly attractive either. →Raul654 22:12, Dec 4, 2004 (UTC)
I guess that makes sense. I can think of at least two (hacky) ways around the current check, but given that the aforementioned d00dz are mostly thirteen and won't have a tool that does it for them, the check seems to be working fine. Thanks both for enlightening me. -- John Fader

Need some help editing my user page[edit]

I have no clue how to make a phrase appear directly underneath another, I tried newline, and it didn't work. Also I can't seem to link to the sandbox (or other non encyclopedia articles). decided to use my guetsbook as a test page, so I decided to put a link to the sandbox in there.

For example, this is what might appear: sandbox

I tried this as well w:sandbox, which doesn't work either.

Thanks for the help.


Try <br> for the line break problem. Try Wikipedia:Sandbox to get to the sandbox. If you want to put a friendly message on the talk page of the anon user, then try using the template {{test}}. Noisy | Talk 19:34, Dec 4, 2004 (UTC)

So I need to put "wikipedia" in front of the page name to link to non encyclopedia articles?

The encyclopedic articles are in the "main" namespace. So if you wanted to link to Albert Einstein, you link to it like that. Wikipedia related pages are in the Wikipedia namespace. You link to them like this: Wikipedia:Village pump. There's also a template namespace (for templates) (there's actually something like 14 of them, but only the main namespace, the template namespace, and the wikipedia namespace are of any consequence). →Raul654 20:36, Dec 4, 2004 (UTC)
You will likely also encounter the "Talk:" namespace (the "discussion" tab of each article) quite a lot. For more information, see Wikipedia:Namespace. - IMSoP 00:01, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)


How can I change my settings so Wikipedia will dispay using my monobook.css stylesheet? Oven Fresh 22:14, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Are you using the monobook skin? If not, change your preferences. If you are, then do a good solid reload, possibly with a purge of your browser's cache. -- Cyrius| 23:19, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)
For how to do that, please see Wikipedia:Bypass your cache. Note that the message displayed above the CSS page is incorrect; just clicking "reload" will not bypass your cache in Mozilla. [If any sysop/admin sees this, please change MediaWiki:clearyourcache, as explained at its talk page; thank you.] - IMSoP 23:57, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Is there a guide to all the symbols used in WikiHiero, including what each one represents? --ᓛᖁ♀ 04:17, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • Meta lists all the hiero's you can use, but if you want to know what they mean you'll have to go outside the wiki. There's a "Hieroglyph Library" program somewhere on the net that lists numerous symbols and their meanings. I also recommend a book about glyphs from the British Museum, but I'd have to look up the authors or the title. Feel free to contact me if you want to know more. Mgm|(talk) 13:31, Dec 5, 2004 (UTC)

OSI-RM and TCP/IP question[edit]


I have a question pertaining to the OSI-RM and the TCP/IP.

What i intend to know is that how much do these models mirror the real world?

in terms of applying at least one technology such as email,video conferencing,etc; to these models;how does it fit in to the model-if it does?

Hope to learn more from Wikipedia,


Well, both are workmanlike models that have gotten the job done for two or three decades. It's not that they particularly matched the real world, rather that they forced the real world (the hardware and software that people made) to conform to them. By and large things worked out okay, with the phone network and the internet respectively built on them. But as time progresses the cracks start to show more and more. In particular:
  • OSI is fine at the lower levels, but the distinction between the uppermost three is fairly cloudy, and most deployments just deploy three lower layers and one upper one that they call "the application layer" for want of anthing better. TCP/IP just ducks the issue by not having any upper layers.
  • The abstraction between the layers was always something of a fairy-story, and it's getting more so with time. Web servers know more about the low control of the underlying socket than the model says they need to, and IP layer firewalls become progressively more stateful, introspecting packets at higher layers to figure out what's going on.
  • the architecture is contorted in ways that break the rigid layering: NAT, VPNs, SSH tunnelling etc rewrite packets or magically move them around inside other packets, breaking lots of the model's assumptions
  • more and more stuff is done in the application rather than the network stack. P2P programs and voip implement much of what they do in UDP (or just IP) themselves. HTTP has become the new lingua franca (motivated by firewalls that block everything else), with HTTP headers replacing TCP port numbers as service identifiers.
So the models still work, but lots of people spend lots of effort doing an end-run around them, and like all models they're a lot simpler than the real world demands. - John Fader

User Page Shortcuts[edit]

Just out of curiosity, are we allowed to create shortcuts to our Userpage? Like how WP:HD brings you here, could I do something like U:OF? Oven Fresh 16:14, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • Good question, my user name is quite a pain to type over and over again. I'm note sure, but I'd like to know this one as well. Mgm|(talk) 16:21, Dec 5, 2004 (UTC)
    • I'd strongly advise against doing this: non-encyclopedia content in the "main" namespace (which this would be, since there is no "U:" namespace) is quite severely frowned upon by some; the "WP:" and "WT:" shortcuts have mainly survived because they are 1) very useful (and not just for one person) and 2) long-established (inertia needs a strong consensus to overcome).
    • Besides which, you don't need to type out the name, you can just use the non-timestamped signature, as in ~~~. Obviously, this doesn't apply to people like Mgm who've done weird hacks to their signature, but that's the choice one makes, I guess... - IMSoP 19:42, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)
      • When you're logged in, you should have a link at the top of the page or in your sidebar to your user page anyway -- it's only one click away, or a press of "Home" on your keyboard and then a click. Much easier than setting up a shortcut I think.... Catherine\talk 22:48, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)

"Enhance My Search" nightmare: virus, spyware, help![edit]

I am battling a "Enhance My Search" nightmare on one of my home computers. It jumps up whenever you open Google or Yahoo searches, and opens a window in front of either. Whether it open in a windows or not, it adds language to your text in any apparent attempt to create links to certain words (IE "work"). None of the programs I have used so far have been able to get rid of it. It really screws up Wikipedia work when editing. Its hard enough to find the right text to use for WP without something being inserted in it. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. Any help would be appreciated. Vaoverland 06:36, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  •! =) Oven Fresh 22:11, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)
    • If you want a clean version of IE, instead of/in addition to Firefox, and the usual suspects (AdAware, Spybot S&D) were unable to help, you might try Hijack This, which should be able to get rid of practically everything, but it requires you to manually identify the offending spyware from a list of possible offenders on your machine, so it is preferable with a bit of computer knowledge. Wålberg 18:38, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Hi Vaoverland. Most results from a Google search seemed unhelpful, but try the instructions from this particular CastleCops thread [6] and see if that helps. Bumm13 07:44, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Regarding using Firefox instead, I do not want to give up on IE explorer because I just recently started using the IeSpell program (recommended by other WP users) which has turned out to be a big help with my typing transposition disability I have to overcome. I will trust advice from here which was right on target with the ieSpell program, and face with the rather complicated procedure to try to get rid of Enhance My Search. Drat! I fortunately have more than one computer, but the stronger one is the sick one (of course!). I'll update here with news on "how it goes". Thanks for all the help folks! Vaoverland 20:40, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)
    • Well, I might be wrong, but I think there's a spelling extension for Firefox. --Sgeo | Talk 21:16, Dec 8, 2004 (UTC)

[Note: due to a technical problem, this entire page was duplicated, and the above section was edited in more than one place; I've folded the two conversations into one above, so apologies if something doesn't make sense/surprises someone. - IMSoP 15:39, 9 Dec 2004 (UTC)]

  • Shazaam! It seems that following the CastleCops thread [7] carefully worked. The dreaded Enhance My Search window is notpopping up in front of Google and Yahoo searches and my text is not being attached by insertions of weblinks to Enhance My Search. I suspect the duplicate text noted in the preceding message was done by my computer. SBTC (sorry 'bout that chief). Now, if only I can keep from getting EMS again! I am running ad-aware and Webroot's Spysweeper programs. Thanks to all for the help. Vaoverland 02:01, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Link to Wikipedia reference from keywords[edit]

I want to add a link to a Wikipedia entry from keywords in articles on a protal page, similar to what the Trillian3 chat client does. Do you know if there is a service available that provide such short descriptions of Wikipedia entries? Also, what is the best way to find out which keywords are available on Wikipedia, should I download the database to do that?

Sending Email[edit]

Other users have sent me emails, but I don't see an option to send emails to any user on their talk pages, even though my email is listed in preferences. Also, can other users (or sysop) see my email or it remains hidden to them? OneGuy 01:04, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)

The "E-mail this user" option appears in the toolbox. If you're using the default Monobook skin, it'll appear on the left side between the "User contributions" link and "Upload file". Other users cannot see your email address, unless you use the email feature to send them an email first. Wikipedia's developers have low-level access to the database, and could therefore see your email address, but there's only a small number of them. -- Cyrius| 01:32, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Print friendly pages missing in the default skin?[edit]

There is no "Printable page" link on any pages when using the default skin (MonoBook). I discovered quite by accident that changing the skin to Classic or CologneBlue in user preferences causes the "Printable page" option to appear in all pages. --Grnch 23:19, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Why doesn't the default skin have this?

  • It's very non-obvious that you have to change skins to get this functionality.
  • Users without an account can't change it, so they are deprived of this.
  • The default skin is quite nice, I'd like to be able to use it and still have access to print-friendly pages.

Nevermind, figured it out... the MonoBook skin doesn't need a separate "Printable page" link, it has a print-friendly CSS which automatically hides the sidebar and other non-relevant content when printing. --Grnch 23:19, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Can I make my own Wiki Page?[edit]

If I belive I'm an important person :P, can I make my own Wiki document page? I have a user page but can I make my own Wiki/MyNameHere page? At this time, 'No page with that title exists' sid007 23:51, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Chances are that, like the overwhelming majority of us Wikipedians, you are not particularly notable and therefore shouldn't have an article devoted to you in the main namespace (see Wikipedia:Criteria for inclusion of biographies). Only a select few Wikipedians are notable enough to merit inclusion; User:Jimbo (Jimmy Wales), User:RandalSchwartz (Randal Schwartz), and User:Dwheeler (David A. Wheeler) come to mind. --David Iberri | Talk 00:53, Dec 8, 2004 (UTC)
Also note, that even if you are in fact important enough to warrant an entry in the Wikipedia, you probably shouldn't write your own autobiography. While it's not directly forbidden, it is frowned upon by many Wikipedians and not recommended. See Wikipedia:Auto-biography for more details. Someone else will eventually make an entry for you, if you are an important or famous person. Wålberg 01:34, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for your answers. I guess, I'll just wait for someone to write an article about me :P sid007 08:00, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Is the wikipedia PHP & software open source and available for other projects?[edit]

Our food coop wants to start a community written (ala Wiki) clearinghouse of information on the companies that provide foods and services to our coop, and it would be cool to be able to start with the tools you folks have already written. Is the underlying software/PHP scripts and whatever open source and available?

MediaWiki is released under the GPL and is available at its sourceforge site. Be warned that it's not the simplest thing out there, and you may want to use a less complicated Wiki engine. -- Cyrius| 03:42, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

{{R ...}}[edit]

Why is it that when one puts {{R ...}} at the bottom of a redirect page, the R ... message stays there, whereas if one types something at the bottom, it doesn't? Is there a way to rig it so that I can type an explanation (not one of the R ...s) at the bottom of a page, and it'll actually appear there? (I'm thinking in particular of merging the current content of Talk:Handlebody decomposition (minus some of the formatting) into Handlebody decomposition.)msh210 20:49, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • Messages like:{{Blah)} take the information from a template (in this case: Template:Blah) and insert it into the page. [[Blah]] is simply a link to an article. - Mgm|(talk) 21:39, Dec 8, 2004 (UTC)
    • I know that. But that doesn't answer my question, so I guess I didn't word the latter well enough. Let me try again.msh210 21:50, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

El Nino is a redirect page. Its text is

#Redirect [[El_Niño]] {{R from misspelling}}

So it is possible (at least under certain circumstances) to include text after a redirect command: one such circumstance is if that text is called by {{R from misspelling}}. I wish to include text after a redirect command without calling it from Template:R from misspelling or any other template.msh210 21:50, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I decided to ask on IRC also, and sannse told me there that it'll work if the text (or template that calls the text) is on the same line as the redirect command. So that answers my question. Thanks for trying, though, Mgm; and thanks, sannse.msh210 21:55, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

How do I display an image from a foreign-language wikipedia?[edit]

You can't - at least not directly. A link to a foreign-language wikipedia is treated as an external link, and all linked images must reside on the local Wiki server. However, if the image in question is released under the GFDL or is public domain, you can just upload it here and add the relevant license tag (remember to include the original contributor to the foreign-language wikipedia for GFDL images) -- Ferkelparade π 00:58, 9 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Note that there's a special feature for images hosted on the Wikimedia Commons. Images hosted there can be included by using the standard image syntax. If an image with a particular name does not exist on a given language, but does exist on the Commons, it will be included from the Commons. -- Cyrius| 05:39, 9 Dec 2004 (UTC)

How to display images from other-language wikipedias.[edit]

See above -- Ferkelparade π 01:24, 9 Dec 2004 (UTC)

How do I link to a headline that's also a hyperlink?[edit]

See There is a broken link there to the Skunk Haven section. It isn't working because the Skunk Haven headline is also a hyperlink to their external website. Can anyone help me fix it? Nathanlarson32767 04:33, 9 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I think you're going to have to take the external link out of the heading. -- Cyrius| 05:30, 9 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Also linking to article sections is discouraged as someone may easily change it's name and break the link unknowingly in the editing process. Mgm|(talk) 11:20, Dec 9, 2004 (UTC)
I must say, I think external links in headings are discouraged in themselves as well. Add to that the fact that that article seems to be tending away from an encyclopedia article and toward a "skunk-keepers guide" (see Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not; perhaps this should be moved to Wikibooks?) and I feel that fixing the link is the least of our worries here. Nonetheless, I've fixed it with the good old trick of replacing ":" with "%3a"; and don't forget you can do section linking with internal links, not just external ones (e.g. [[Pet skunk#Diet]], [[#Diet]]). - IMSoP 22:47, 9 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Place names in article titles?[edit]

I've seen two different styles used to dis-ambiguate place names in article titles:

Location, enclosing location Location (encloseing location)

Which is preferred? More specifically, should it be "Bronx, New York", or "Bronx (New York)"?

The comma convention is preferred according to Wikipedia:Naming conventions (city names). Best, David Iberri | Talk 21:30, Dec 9, 2004 (UTC)
The policy Wikipedia:Naming conventions (city names) applies to cities, however, not to geographic features. In the case of City Island (New York), it is a both an island and a neighborhood of the Bronx, but it is not a city. Likewise the other islands in Long Island Sound. Using the simple comma form in this case is incorrect, in my opinion, since it casts the article in the form of a municipality, which none of them are. In the case of these islands, the correct form should be the parentheses, or alternatively, the full neighborhood form of the Bronx, for example City Island, Bronx, New York. -- Decumanus 18:09, 2004 Dec 11 (UTC)

Thanks for the help. Now, I've got another related problem.

There is an article with the title "City Island (New York)". I was going to move it to "City Island, New York" to go along with the above, but when I tried to do that, I discovered that the comma-delimited version already exists, as a redirect back to the paren-delimited version. To slightly complicate things, there's also a "City Island" article, which is also a redirect. What should I do now to best straighten out this mess?

In such a case, you have to contact an admin to delete the redirect so that the page can be moved to its correct title. Things get more complicated when the redirect has an edit history, but this one didn't have one, so I just del/moved the article to its proper title. If you encounter any more cases like this, just contact an admin and tell them why you think the page should be moved -- Ferkelparade π 16:07, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Hmmm -- now the "City Island, New York" page has lost its entire history!

It has? Maybe some caching issue, I can still see the entire history here: [8] -- Ferkelparade π 16:34, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Category question[edit]

Please see Duboce Triangle. I added an external link to a neighborhood association but the category assigned is also adding an External Link section - bad style. What is protocol here?

The category was not used properly in the article. It should be included like this: [[Category:San Francisco neighborhoods]], not like this: {{Category:San Francisco neighborhoods}}. The later syntax is used for templates. Also sections (such as External links) should have double equal sign around them. Brona 00:48, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

JPG Help[edit]

I can't seem to make [[Image:Hydnjo.JPG]] thumbnail sized. I've uploaded it as a 2KB file but it still comes out BIG. Feel free to edit or explain so that I can edit. Also how can I reference that image without displaying it. I used "nowiki" for that image reference in this message but that requires some helpful soul to type it out rather than clicking on it. Thanks, User talk:Hydnjo

(From Hydnjo): Experimenting around it seems that my original upload needs a "syop" to delete. Sorry about that, I'll be more careful in the future. Would a "syop" please help. Delete everything if you wish and I'll start over. Thanks Hydnjo 02:55, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC) User talk:Hydnjo
Firstly, you can display a reference to an image by including a colon at the beginning of the wiki-brackets, like this: [[:Image:Hydnjo.JPG]] , which displays this: Image:Hydnjo.JPG. Secondly, it's okay to upload big (within reason), because you can use the Wikipedia:Extended image syntax to display a smaller version, but still have the large version available for users who want to see more detail. Thirdly, you can modify an uploaded image by uploading a modified copy with exactly the same file name -- you will be given the option to overwrite the original image. See also Wikipedia:Picture tutorial for more info and links. Best of luck to you! Catherine\talk 06:54, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Dynamic signature[edit]

Hello. I'm trying to make a signature that one can change already existing copies of by changing a template which is a subpage of my user page, User:Vacuum/sig. Then I set my signature in the preferences to {{:User:Vacuum/sig}}. Unfortunately, it comes out looking like this:

Vacuum c

Thanks in advance, Vacuum. PS. The page User:Vacuum/sig does exist, despite the red link.

Ok, according to Sunborn there appears to be some limitations on the sig template. Sunborn says the template will only work five times per page. You can use your dynamic sig if you change Vacuum c to this instead:
Vacuum [[User_talk:Vacuum|(tc)]] [[Special:Watchlist/Vacuum|w]]
Here is my result with four tildes: [[User:Viriditas|Viriditas (tc) w]] 03:50, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Note that Special:Watchlist/Viriditas is redundant: you can only ever view your own watchlist, so this is exactly the same as just Special:Watchlist (try it: Special:Watchlist/IMSoP). Given that, it's not a very useful thing to have in a signature, since everyone has a link to their watchlist on their own screen already. (I believe some people were concerned that they would be "stalked" if other users could see what they were watching). - IMSoP 14:51, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Meanwhile, there are a number of users who make public watchlists. If User:Vacuum wants to do this, all he has to do is create a subpage of links he wants to watch or allow others to watch (see User:Viriditas/public). Then, he can link to the public watchlist in his sig. I still don't understand why I can't watch user contribs. --Viriditas | Talk 08:01, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I realised why it wasn't working: you'd used "{{:User:Vacuum/sig}}" instead of "{{User:Vacuum/sig}}". The leading colon makes the software look for an article called "User:Vacuum/sig" in the main namespace, rather than a page called "Vacuum/sig" in the User namespace (the "User:" bit isn't actually stored as part of the page's name). As a side-effect, because of an oddity in the way the software checks links, this was making all the links to User:Vacuum/sig turn red. So, sort of a bug, but only because you misunderstood the syntax (you only need the leading : to include something that's in the un-named "main"/"article" namespace).
Incidentally, I fixed your template up a bit, too (if you look, it gets substituted in after "[[User:Vacuum|" and before a closing "]]", so it's best to leave those out of the template).
Oh, and finally, to avoid the only-5-times-per-page doom, you might want to try using {{subst:User:vacuum/sig}}, which is replaced just once at save time and never changes again. Although this rather defeats the point of having a template, I spose, because you could just change your preferences each time, rather than the template... - IMSoP 15:44, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Contributions analysis[edit]

Hi, does anyone know of any third party programs (or for that matter, features of wikipedia) that can do interesting things with one's "contributions" list? I've seen other wikipedians with all sorts of statistical analysis done to their contributions (e.g. time of day, over the history of their user account, etc.) Are these just generated by scripts that they've written themselves or are there widely available tools? How automated are these programs/scripts/whatever? And finally, does anyone know a better way of finding out how many edits you have other than pasting them all into notepad and seeing how many lines there are? :-) -Lommer 08:48, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Someone made a beatiful tool to count edits. I can't remember the link, but it's by someone called Kate and it's linked at the bottom on my user page. Mgm|(talk) 09:13, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)

According to that tool: Lommer has 1094 edits (311 current revisions, 783 old revisions) - Mgm|(talk) 09:17, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)

Numbered definition list[edit]

I need a numbered definition list. Simply combining # and ;: like this:

#;item1 : def1
#;item2 : def2

does not work; only the first list number is printed. If I add a newline:

#;item1 : def1

#;item2 : def2

then I get two lists, each starting with a one. Is this a bug in wiki? If not, then what should I do? It is a long list so I shouldn't use a table...

Welcome, User: Why not register - it'll make you feel all warm and tingly inside (or perhaps that's just me and the curry). How about just leaving the ';' out of the loop, like this:

#item1 : def1
#item2 : def2

  1. item1 : def1
  2. item2 : def2
Wiki markup is probably quite different to what you are used to, so have a look at Wikipedia:How to edit a page. Noisy | Talk 18:06, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)
Thanks, I'm currently using:
which gives the desired result and is not too bad..., 14:53, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Make Google/Yahoo default[edit]

Every now and then the search button leads to a page saying that for performance reasons the function is not working and putting up Google and Yahoo search boxes instead. Is there a way to make Google the default search option, since the wikipedia search function drives me bonkers with its inflexibility? ta. Icundell 17:15, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Well, you can always just ignore the box on the site, and construct the searches yourself - I don't know about Yahoo!, but in Google it's just a matter of adding "" to the search terms you enter by your favourite method (by going to, by typing in Mozilla's address bar or Firefox's search bar, by using the Google toolbar, etc).
If you are using Mozilla or Firefox (and maybe others, but those are the ones I know about) you could also set up a "bookmark keyword": create a new bookmark, and set the "location" to "", and set a "keyword" like "wp" or something. Then you can type "wp word or phrase" into the address bar, and it will do a Google search of the English Wikipedia for word or phrase. - IMSoP 17:31, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Note that if you're using the Google toolbar (and probably other installable bars), you can customize the toolbar to add a "search site" button in addition to the usual "search The Web" button. This is very useful for searching only the site you're currently on -- which is almost always WP for me, oddly enough... Catherine\talk 22:30, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)
You can also alter Internet Explorer 6 so that typing search terms in the address bar uses your favorite search engine (rather than MSN Search). Click the Search button on the toolbar (the magnifying glass) to open the search sidebar. Click "Customize" at the top of the sidebar. Ignore the dialog box, just click "Autosearch settings" button at the bottom, and select your desired search provider from the dropdown list. Now if you type anything other than an URL into the Address bar, it'll do a search using this setting. HTH Catherine\talk 22:55, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Cheers. Trouble is i'm on a somewhat elderly Mac (for another month at least, too). Hopefully, once I get a nice whizzy G5 and Firefox (which has some rather coll extensions) these issues will become moot, but in the mean time I was hopeing for a in-wikipedia solution. Icundell 23:55, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Help setting up a disambiguation page[edit]

Hi all,

I am a BCP/DR specialist and found a the need for a disambiguation page for the acronym "DR"

Right now, if you search for "DR" the 'doctor' page pops up.

I just don't know how to make a new disa page.

DR - doctor
DR - disaster recovery

Thanks in advance...

Revmachine21 18:42, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Actually, DR redirects to Dalereckoning. Dr redirects to Doctor. To edit redirects, use a link of the form Then you can edit the redirect page. Note that Dalereckoning has a disambiguation section at the top, but this section is getting too large, so a new disambig page is definitely needed (I doubt "Dalereckoning" is the primary expansion of this abbreviation, but even if it is, you still need DR (disambiguation).)
Read Wikipedia:Disambiguation for everything you need to know, and don't be afraid to post a question on my talk page if anything is unclear. JRM 18:50, 2004 Dec 11 (UTC)


where can I find a list of common law lawyers in the state of michigan.

It's not a list, but the State Bar of Michigan has a searchable directory online. -- Cyrius| 08:26, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Watched Users?[edit]

Is it possible to maintain a watchlist of users? That is, all edits that they make are reported on some central page? I recall seeing mention of this feature somewhere, but cannot find it. -leigh (φθόγγος) 03:12, Dec 12, 2004 (UTC)

Yep, I just gave an example of how to do this in the Dynamic signature section.Sorry, I misread what you wrote. I don't think it's possible to do that. Hopefully, I'm wrong. --Viriditas | Talk 07:31, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Policy metric system?[edit]

Does Wikipedia have a policy about using/not using the metric system? Ie when looking at the page on China_National_Highway_312, and it confused me that the author was using miles - I had to use Google to convert it... (of course people from the States might have the opposite problem - what I am asking is whether there is a policy). thanks Hou Shuang 00:20, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

In the scientific and medical articles most of us have been trying to use both metric (SI) and American units where different. I can think of some various policies but don't think we have an official one for geographical and other units. For example

  1. Use the units most familiar to the author of the articles (i.e., American authors can use mi and most others can use km).
    1. If the author feels like it, he can put alternate units as well. This is I suspect our current de facto policy.
    2. Link all units in all articles to a conversion page so the reader doesn't have to use Google to find conversions.
  2. Use the units most familiar/appropriate to the subject matter of the articles (i.e., use km in articles about Europe and Asia, but mi in US).
    1. Make it policy that both types of units be provided by the author(s).
  3. Make it policy that all units should be metric because most of the world uses them. Since I think the majority of writers and maybe readers are currently American I don't think it would be accepted.

I agree with you we should do better at this and it deserves a policy. alteripse 00:45, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

With my European bias, I would be in favour of only using SI units, and having a bot clean up all the mess (should be pretty doable), but I understand if others don't agree... In the meantime, I was just looking for a policy. Hou Shuang 03:36, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Maybe it's worth adding an appeal here for people using non-metric measures to remember that "gallons" is a useless and ambiguous measure unless you indicate whether this is US or imperial gallons. The same for the derived measure mpg. Notinasnaid 10:33, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Moving of pages, fixing of links[edit]

I just moved NORAD to North American Aerospace Defense Command, and created a disambiguation page, to be able to include Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation... While I believe this is the right thing to do, I am at loss as to how to clean up all the references to NORAD all over the place - is there some way to do that automatically? Hou Shuang 03:36, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I'm afraid there's no automatic way -- you will have to go to the "What links here" link (in the Toolbox, usually in the sidebar) from the NORAD article. (Here's a direct link: [9]). Go to each page linked there, find the mention of NORAD, and edit it as appropriate to the article -- in most cases, you'll probably want to use a piped link like this: [[North American Aerospace Defense Command|NORAD]]. It's time consuming, but it's always better to have human judgment involved in sorting out these links. Good luck! Catherine\talk
Alternatively, if the task is large enough you could ask someone who runs a bot to help you. Isomorphic 21:17, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Listing watchlist, exclude own[edit]

I use my watchlist often, to see what has happened to articles I have helped with, but if I am in a heavy editing bout, it gets all cluttered up with my own changes. I think it would be very useful to have a little (show own edits) (don't show own edits) link. Or is there already a way? Hou Shuang 03:39, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia can't currently do this, as far as I'm aware. You might consider suggesting this feature as an enhancement to MediaWiki (Wikipedia's underlying software) here. Best, David Iberri | Talk 00:09, Dec 14, 2004 (UTC)
See User:JesseW#Bookmarklet Rmhermen 01:10, Dec 14, 2004 (UTC)
Hot dang, that's cool. Obviously, I rescind my prior statement that this isn't currently possible. --David Iberri | Talk 05:52, Dec 14, 2004 (UTC)

Add picture to user page[edit]

Sorry to not be a techie, but although I've reviewed the relevant instructions on Wiki, I still can't figure out how to add a photo (I have jpg & tif formats) to my user page. Can you explain this to me? Thanks.

User:sca 13dec04

Have you read Wikipedia:Uploading images? All you need to do is upload the JPG file (click the "Upload file" link in the toolbox), give it an appropriate image copyright tag, then stick [[Image:Mypicture.jpg]] on your username, replacing "Mypicture.jpg" with the actual name of the image. Best, David Iberri | Talk 21:11, Dec 13, 2004 (UTC) P.S. You don't have to manually date your posts; you can use four tildes ~~~~ to get a full signature and timestamp.

New article not in search results[edit]

I created a new article and I find that I can not locate the article doing a search but since I have the url I know it did exists. What do I do to add the new article to the archives so that it can be found in a search?

You do not need to do anything - it may take some time for internal Wikipedia search to update its index. It takes even longer for external search engines such as Google to update their index. It is a good idea to categorize your article and link to it from some related articles so that Wikipedia readers can get to it more easily. Brona 23:54, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Perhaps you have been stung by the all-too-common confusion over internal versus external search: when the Wikimedia servers are particularly busy, the actual internal site search is disabled (to allow viewing and editing to remain usable) and you are instead offered searches using either Google or Yahoo!. These alternative searches do not use any special archives, and so can only search the pages that those search engines have crawled on their regular spiderings of the web. The main upshot being that a new page won't show up for some time (i.e. until Google or Yahoo! "spots" it) and there is very little to be done about it.
If I'm wrong, and you are using the internal search, there may be something wrong in the site's software, or it may be that the terms you are searching for fall under certain exclusions (e.g. common words, short words). - IMSoP 23:57, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC) [drafted simultaneously to Brona's answer above]