Wikipedia:Help desk/Archives/2008 June 17

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June 17[edit]

Links and spam[edit]

Is it possible to know the guidelines/rules bots have to identify spam in links external to wikipedia? How many links can be inserted in wich amount of time, until they are flagged as spam? can you give that info away? I do not plan to use it with bad intent, but I understand if you can't tell... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:06, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Someone may be better able to answer this, but I believe the external link bot only looks for certain addresses, such as (**), where the asterisks are wildcards. In that example, anything containing is removed. More info can be found here. I hope this helps. Cheers! TNX-Man 00:20, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

F: namespace[edit]

I typed "F:F:F" into the search box, thinking I would redirect the name of a plot element in a fictional work to the article on that work, and instead of a redlink "create this page" screen at F:F:F, I reached a user contributions one. Pourquoi? Skomorokh 01:03, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Huh. Weird! That's not a very helpful answer (or really, not an answer at all), but I can at least confirm that it doesn't just happen to you. -- Natalya 01:28, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
It also happens for many other cases with two ":", for example "d:e:". I don't know why. People at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical) may know more. PrimeHunter (talk) 01:34, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
That is pretty strange. Wikipedia:Shortcut does not mention anything about an F: prefix expanding into something else. I get similar results for F:F: but not for F:F. Looking at Special:Listusers, "Display users starting at: F:", shows a username that starts with F:, but the next letter is not another F. So I don't really understand this. However, Help:Search#Avoid short and common words suggests your search string is not likely to work well for Wikipedia's oft-maligned built-in search function. You might have more luck with a Google search on Wikipedia: Search Wikipedia with Google for: "F:F:F". It appears that Google does not respect the ":" character, instead matching any punctuation character between successive "F" characters. --Teratornis (talk) 01:43, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Interesting. Apparently it does that for all IP addresses that aren't actual titles of existing pages (so "" works, but "" just takes you to localhost). It seems the software is mistaking "f:f:f:" for an IPv6 address, even though it's not actually a well-formed one. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 02:29, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Quite interesting, thank you all for your responses. I'm off to create that redirect! Skomorokh 03:19, 17 June 2008 (UTC)


This is really getting on my nerves (I've been working on it for 2 hours and have made no progress). I have just created a new babel template (Template:User lkt-00). I copied the source (from the edit window) from here. The only thing I changed when I copied the source was what the template was to say. Nothing else. When I edit previewed the page; however, the category was messed up. How do I fix this? Thank you, Ζρς ι'β' ¡hábleme! 02:47, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

You also changed the location (i.e. pagename) of the template (from one 0 to two). This affects the template because it uses {{languages}}, which is sensitive to location because it uses {{Pagename}}. {{languages}} only supports levels 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, not 00. You will either need to get consensus to change {{languages}} (if you want your template to be standardised so it can be easily used and updated by others) or write your own specific version that does include 00 (I can help). Skomorokh 03:00, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Alrighty. Thank you, Ζρς ι'β' ¡hábleme! 03:04, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
I've edited your template so that it will display the userbox and put the user in the category Category:User lkt, but the other templates do not recognise it. Skomorokh 03:19, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Citation/Opinion Answer?[edit]

Just looking for a response to my question. Gwernol seems unavailable at the moment to clarify: (talk) 03:21, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Yes, correct. Is that your answer? -- RyRy5 (talk) 04:02, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
  • That's the one! Thank you all for your help! (talk) 04:27, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
In answer to the various statments you made on Gwernol's page: Everything in an article needs a reference to a reliable source, not just contested opinions. However, citations are especially important for controversial facts and anything that is likely to be challenged, and the burden of doing so is on the person adding the material; anyone can and should remove such uncited material. Personal opinions do not belong in an article. You cannot, as you say, publish you opinion on your website and then cite that in the article. Your website is not a reliable source. You should also not give undue weight to opinions that are fringe. So if many reliable sources cite Firefly as speculative fiction, and many others say it's not, but rather science fiction (I'm not sure in this case they're mutually exclusive) then you can cite that dispute. Remember that it's "all significant views that have been published by reliable sources" (emphasis added). Especially relevant here is this piece from Wikipedia:Neutral point of view: "Articles that compare views should not give minority views as much or as detailed a description as more popular views, and will generally not include tiny-minority views at all. For example, the article on the Earth does not mention modern support for the Flat Earth concept, a view of a distinct minority." Personally, I doubt you will be able to source that edit. "Science fiction" is a very broad genre description. After reading what Firefly is about I think it would be very hard to argue that it is a ""pretense of a" science fiction narrative" rather than a science fiction narrative.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 11:18, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Just received spam from Wiki email address. See below[edit]

Deidre Bouchard <[rmv email -- see history]> Massively Reduce Your Debt Today

This is what I received. I have pasted the headers of the message below for your tech people to investigate further. Is this person on your staff or is this some sort of spam?

I thought it was important that I alert Wikipedia and this was the only place I could find to submit something. I thank you for any assistance anyone can bring to this. If Wikipedia cpntacts me, I can supply all headers.

Sudarat in NYC —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sudarat64 (talkcontribs) 05:32, 17 June 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sudarat64 (talkcontribs) 05:24, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Redacted a few emails from the above message (spambots will ruin your day). Sounds like somebody's spoofing the email address -- it's actually very easy to fake the sending address of an email in most cases, for someone inclined to do so. WHOIS information for the originating IP address indicates no association with Wikipedia. You don't seem to have an email address set in your user preferences (I get an error message trying to email you via Special:Emailuser), either, which seems to empirically indicate these people got your address from elsewhere. This is awkward, but beyond advising you to ignore/delete the email, there's not a lot we as individuals can do about it. – Luna Santin (talk) 05:32, 17 June 2008 (UTC)


What does the bolded area specify: [[Image:Tonic, Subdominant, Dominant, and their parallels.svg|550px|Major T, S, D, and parallels]]? (talk) 11:07, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

I think that's the image caption. Gazimoff WriteRead 11:17, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Not quite. It's only displayed as a caption if there is another parameter like thumb. Without that, the specified text is used as the image's alt attribute (alternate text for programs which cannot display images, such as screen readers) and as the title attribute (supplementary text, often displayed as a tool tip when the mouse is over the image). PrimeHunter (talk) 11:24, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
For more info on that, see Wikipedia:Alternative text for images. --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 11:27, 17 June 2008 (UTC)


why is richard rosson the actor who is sometimes known as rubber ritchie,,is credited as avery in harry potter and the goblet of fire.But is not in the list of cast members for the harry potter cast list —Preceding unsigned comment added by 984cooper (talkcontribs) 13:29, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

He is listed here. GtstrickyTalk or C 15:25, 17 June 2008 (UTC)


i have also been told that dave legeno the actor previously had a profile on here.but was it deleted. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 984cooper (talkcontribs) 13:30, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Dave Legeno has never been created or deleted. --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 13:32, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Part time professional business[edit]

I m having share broking office and also i am interested to start-up a new business so can u give an outstanding ideas? and also i m having a space of more than 500 Sq.feets and enough man+money power i m only interested in starting a professional business like Insurance,Financial services,Tourist frenchisee —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:56, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Hi, you should check out the Wikipedia articles on small business and franchising. If you still have any questions which are not answered there, please come back and ask and we'll try to help. --Orange Mike | Talk 13:59, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
This page is for requesting help in using Wikipedia. Did you have a question? TNX-Man 14:01, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
It can also be helpful to know which country you're in. DOR (HK) (talk) 02:41, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

How many articles in Wikipedia exist on a given topic?[edit]

I'm trying to find out how many articles in Wikipedia exist that are about the subject of neurology. Is there any easy way to do this?

One way would be to do a search with several keywords (neurology, neurologic disorder, neurological disorder) and count the number of hits, but it's not clear to me how to do this.

Another way would be to count pages within the category:Neurology (and the category:Neurological disorder) hierarchy. However when I do this for Neurology, it says there are 419 articles. This seems to be wrong at two levels: first, it doesn't seem to include articles in the subcategories, and second, even counting only those articles that are directly in the Neurology category, the count is inaccurate.

Anyone have any suggestions?

Timyu (talk) 14:50, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

The category count should be accurate - but doesn't include the subctegories. You'd have to add each subcategory on. Large category counts can be a bit off, but they're good enough - aren't they?...... Dendodge .. TalkHelp 14:52, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the reply. Hmm, I also just realized that some articles are listed under multiple categories, ie, stroke appears under both "Neurology" and "Neurological disorders" -- so categories are not strictly hierarchical, but more like keywords? Is there an easy way to deal with this redundancy for a final count? Timyu (talk) 14:56, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Not that I know of, besides using some sort of counting bot (that wouldn't be approved anyway)...... Dendodge .. TalkHelp 15:33, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
There might be something appropriate on the Toolserver. Confusing Manifestation(Say hi!) 00:54, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
You can get lists of articles from multiple categories from Special:Export (see Help:Export). You can keep typing or pasting category names in the "Add pages from category:" field and clicking the "Add" button each time. Each time you click "Add", more article names appear in the box of article names to export. You don't actually need to export the articles to XML. Just copy the list of article names, paste it to a local text file, and then if you are running Unix (or Linux, or Cygwin, or some Unix-like system), you can use the sort (Unix) and uniq commands to sort the list and remove duplicates (if Special:Export was not already smart enough to remove duplicates). You can use the wc (Unix) command to count the number of unique files. See pipeline (Unix) to see the method to run several commands on a file of text at once. --Teratornis (talk) 02:28, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

HTML link behavior change?[edit]

I put this link in a citation in the SI prefix article:

[ ''Guide for the Use of the International System of Units (SI)''].

I expected it to turn the title blue and hide the URL. Instead, it showed both, along with a tiny icon showing it is a PDF. Has the behavior changed? --Gerry Ashton (talk) 15:06, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

It's always done that for PDFs...... Dendodge .. TalkHelp 15:19, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Try using the {{Citation}} or the {{Cite web}} template and see if that works. GtstrickyTalk or C 15:22, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Those templates will also show the PDF icon. MediaWiki:Common.css adds an icon to all external links ending in .pdf. --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 15:47, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Indeed. It's standard behavior for MediaWiki to display an icon for any link to non-HTML files. Circeus (talk) 17:36, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
It depends on the CSS. For example, these get a generic icon:
While these get a specific icon:
--—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 17:56, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
This is resolved. It seemed to need a space somewhere. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 22:18, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Creating a company profile[edit]

Hi there,

there's a template companies can use on Wikipedia to upload information about themselves. Not advertising but a generic company profile, overview products/services, URL etc. and there's a right hand side box with logo/snapshot data (see SBS Broadcasting). Where do I find this template?

Many thanks! Welpie 2008 (talk) 15:08, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Just go to the page you mention SBS Broadcasting, and click edit. You can copy and paste into another page and change the information to match the company you are working on. Please see WP:FAQ/Business for other tips. GtstrickyTalk or C 15:13, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
There may be a template that can be used in articles about a company to summarize the information about the company. However, the purpose of the template is not for companies to upload information about themselves. The only way to provide information about a company is to write an article about them. For this to happen, it is important that
  1. the company be notable enough for an article
  2. the article be written by someone who is not affiliated with the company (see Wikipedia:Conflict of interest)
--Gerry Ashton (talk) 15:16, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
You seem describe the {{Company}} template. This is a type of infobox template. Typically it appears in the lead section of an article. The lead section on Wikipedia does not have a section edit link by default (but you can change this with the Edittop gadget); the most straightforward way to edit the lead section is to click the "edit this page" tab above the article. It helps if you describe your goal, not just your step - why are you interested in the {{Company}} template? If you want to create a new article about a business you are associated with, please read WP:FAQ/Business first. --Teratornis (talk) 15:43, 17 June 2008 (UTC)


Seems to be broken (see for instance Western Ghats). Can someone who knows templates fix it. Shyamal (talk) 15:24, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

It seems to have something to do with the length field. This is a complex template and I do not see the issue. I left a note on Template talk:Geobox. --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 15:42, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
The template has been fixed. --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 17:34, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Edit summaries[edit]

Editors are often criticized for not using edit summaries. When information is automatically populated into the summary (the section that was edited, for instance), does that count? Or should an editor always add something? Keepscases (talk) 17:45, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

It does count as an edit summary. I try to add more info just to be a little more detailed, but that's up to you. If you look at your preferences, there is an option that will enable a warning if you try to complete an edit without a summary. I've found it to be very useful. I hope this helps. Cheers! TNX-Man 17:47, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Well not always. If it populates with a page section name it does not count. One way to make sure it counts is to go to your preferences. You will find an option there under the editing tab,that will prompt you if an edit summary is blank before you save the page. GtstrickyTalk or C 21:07, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

missing contribution[edit]

Hi, I contributed an article today and I can't find it anymore. Was it deleted or does it take time to load on the site? I can't find it when I search or when I look in my account under contributions.

Jeneva —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ibinc (talkcontribs) 18:19, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Did you create or edit the page when logged in with this account? Your message here is your sole contribution. --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 18:21, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
No, they have a deleted contrib, Dr. Alan Hirsch M.D.. Deleted via WP:PROD, it appears it was just a CV. Tan | 39 18:26, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Actually, not sure why PROD was used, as it was created and deleted within fifteen minutes. But, article/subject definitely falls under CSD A7 - not a notable person. Tan | 39 18:28, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Jeneva, To translate the alphabet soup above: Your article Dr. Alan Hirsch M.D. was deleted because it was a copyright violation and/or because it did not indicate the notability of the subject. The guideline for notability is at WP:BIO. Sorry —teb728 t c 20:48, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Inacurracy with Electronic Data Systems page[edit]

The box on the right, which contains key facts about the company doesn't seem to have any way for me to make edits.

The first fact list EDS as a subsidiary of HP. This is incorrect.

EDS is currently expected to be bought by HP, with the deal expected to close in the second half of the year, but the company is currently a public independent company and will remain so until a deal with HP closes.

We would appreciate this inaccuracy being corrected.

Thanks for all the great work that you do!

I changed it back to public. Thanks for pointing this out. —teb728 t c 21:00, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Adding a page to the site[edit]

Question moved from Computing Reference Desk Astronaut (talk) 21:27, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

I am a cabinet maker and in this industry there isn't enough information about the kind of software that is available to the cabinet shops. How can we add a page to your site to give information to our fellow cabinet makers about the software available? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Will6825 (talkcontribs) 17:03, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not an advertising board to tell "fellow cabinet makers" about software. However, if cabinet maker software is notable then articles could be created about the software, and if there were enough cabinet maker software articles, they can be linked together in a "List of ..." article or by a category. You might find Wikipedia's Cabinet making article helpful, and it might be a good idea to take a look at lists like List of CAD companies and categories such as Category:Computer-aided design software to get an idea of how Wikipedia works for this kind of subject area. Astronaut (talk) 21:40, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
See WikiIndex for other wikis that might be suitable to concentrate on procedural knowledge or a given trade. For example, maybe wikiindex:Learn Woodworking Wiki, or wikiHow. Wikipedia is often not the most convenient platform for people who have a vocational or avocational interest, because of Wikipedia's notability requirement, which will often seem nonsensical to people who are talking shop. Wikipedia is where you would tell the world what is really special about cabinetry, whereas cabinet makers need to know lots of tradecraft that may not be "notable" to laymen. We have the same situation with every discipline, which is why thousands of people have started other wikis to concentrate on all the things Wikipedia is not. Despite the huge size of Wikipedia, it doesn't really go into serious depth on most topics. An encyclopedia is really just a survey of many fields, each of which expands into its own library for people who want to get things done with it. (However, because Wikipedia is not paper, I expect that in the long run Wikipedia will just keep getting bigger, and Wikipedians will interpret the notability guideline more inclusively, especially as Wikipedia's tools improve, and more of the world's knowledge comes online, thereby making it easier to write quality articles here.) --Teratornis (talk) 02:17, 18 June 2008 (UTC)


How can I make a template such as this?  United Kingdom. I want to make one like that, except with this flag Naval Jack of the Netherlands.svg. Thanks Red4tribe (talk) 21:29, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Take a good look at the template {{UK}} and copy the same ideas to {{NLN}} by clicking the red link (unfortunately there's already a NL template for "Newfoundland and Labrador"!! and a NLD template for the Netherlands country flag). Astronaut (talk) 21:49, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
I've got it, thanks. Red4tribe (talk) 22:03, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
I really don't think this is good advice. There is consensus at WP:WikiProject Flag Template to not create any more flag templates with "invented" three letter country codes instead of familiar or standard ISO codes. What is wrong with the standard {{navy|Netherlands}}? If you agree, please stick {{db-g7}} on Template:NLN to clean things up. Thanks — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 01:23, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Sorry about that. I wasn't even aware there was a WP:WikiProject Flag Template which had discussed this issue already and I wasn't aware there was a {{navy}} template either. Please do delete if the creator (Red4tribe) agrees (I've asked on their talk page). The project's guidance is noted in case a similar issue comes up again. Astronaut (talk) 21:25, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

More template trouble[edit]

Allright, I sort of got what I wanted. But I need to create one like this {{navy|Empire of Japan}} How can I create one like that? Red4tribe (talk) 23:40, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

I think what you need is to get an admin to add “flag alias-naval = Naval Jack of the Netherlands.svg” to Template:Country data Netherlands. Then {{navy|Netherlands}} would give you the flag you want. —teb728 t c 00:26, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
It's better to check with the appropriate WikiProjects, such as WP:WikiProject Ships in this case, to see what to do. Specifically, that project has consensus to use naval ensigns and not decorative naval jacks for ship and battle articles, so I've declined this request. See Wikipedia:WikiProject Ships/Ensigns to see the difference between ensigns and jacks, and note that for many nations, the naval ensign is the same as the standard national flag. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 01:16, 18 June 2008 (UTC)