Wikipedia:Help desk/Archives/2008 November 28

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November 28[edit]

wikipedia to go[edit]

Hi I was wondering if there is a way to download all of the articles and the format of wikipedia to a point where it would be useable on a pda or other device without the use of internet.

My email is <email removed> Thank you for all your work this is an amazing site! and I bet I'm one of those ignorant people asking a stupid question, but, yeah thats kinda how it's gonna work out if this is really the job you want. thanks anyways! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:25, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Version 1.0 Editorial Team are trying to complete this goal, version 0.7 is planned to be released later this year. Also, why would you want to download the entire encyclopedia? The file size would be enormous and you would have out of date articles as Wikipedia is always under development. – Jerryteps 02:29, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It does require internet access, but there's also Wapedia.--Fullobeans (talk) 03:06, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

how do i make an article?[edit]

i need to know —Preceding unsigned comment added by Smeds1 (talkcontribs) 00:30, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Before creating an article, please search Wikipedia first to make sure that an article does not already exist on the subject. Please also review a few of our relevant policies and guidelines which all articles should comport with. As Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, articles must not contain original research, must be written from a neutral point of view, should cite to reliable sources which verify their content and must not contain unsourced, negative content about living people.
Articles must also demonstrate the notability of the subject. Please see our subject specific guidelines for people, bands and musicians, companies and organizations and web content and note that if you are closely associated with the subject, our conflict of interest guideline strongly recommends against you creating the article.
If you still think an article is appropriate, see Help:Starting a new page. You might also look at Wikipedia:Your first article and Wikipedia:How to write a great article for guidance, and please consider taking a tour through the Wikipedia:Tutorial so that you know how to properly format the article before creation. Algebraist 00:34, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


can u breifly tell me about mubai bomb blasts —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:33, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The article November 2008 Mumbai attacks might help you. Chamal talk 04:53, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How to reference a website in an infobox[edit]

I am editing the page of Mark Yudof, which includes Template:Infobox University Chancellor. One of the fields is "website". In what format should I populate this? The page for Shirley Jackson (physicist) shows Office of the President, while the page for Richard C. Levin displays the URL ( Is there a preferred format? Thank you. Espertus (talk) 07:25, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Since the infobox documentation does not give a preference, use your own judgment. You can also discuss it on the infobox talk page. --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 12:11, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Avoid having it in printable version[edit]

Those huge images in Reference_ranges_for_blood_tests#Sorted_by_concentration have a separate, vertical, image for printing:

Vertical, together with molarity image, for easier printing

However, how to avoid these images to appear in the usual printable version of the article, where they are of little use when they are horizontal? Mikael Häggström (talk) 08:32, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Navbox needs to be expanded[edit]

I am working on Category:United States House of Representatives delegations navigational boxes. Specifically, I am doing {{ILRepresentatives}} and {{NYRepresentatives}}. It looks like {{Navbox}} will only handle 20 list/group combinations. This needs to be expanded to about 60 to handle states like New York and California.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 09:06, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You can discuss expansion on the Navbox talk page. You may also be able to create this in chunks and put them within another Navbox using the child feature; again, discuss this at the Navbox talk. --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 12:22, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Do you have any formatting suggestions so that its (I have reformatted the IL one) flag and seal placement are more harmonious with those of the states with less than 21 districts.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 17:09, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Unable to log in[edit]

My user name is: LLP

When I try to log in I receive a warning that the password is wrong and the possibility to use the password reminder. After 24 hours and having received nothing, I try to log in again and receive the following message:

"Login error. A password reminder has already been sent within the last 24 hours. To prevent abuse, only one password reminder will be sent per 24 hours."

Since I don´t receive any notice from you, the only possibility is a wrong email address.

Can you help me?

Thank you.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Unfortunately not. If you can't access (or remember) the email address you used to register, you won't be able to reset your forgotten password. Sorry! Zain Ebrahim (talk) 10:30, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
See Special:Contributions/LLP to make sure LLP is your account. You could try checking with your mail provider and mail software to see if the password post was blocked as suspected spam. PrimeHunter (talk) 12:54, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Template Choices[edit]

What kind of template should be applied to an article when:

  • words like “dramatic shift” and “revolution” are properly used in the lede, and
  • “ huge turning point in… political history” is properly included in a lower subject section, and
  • the article includes no issue discussion about what makes the article so important, other than a bare right versus left political reference?

Issues are easily ref’able from several povs. The article is near the roots of a continuing Wikipedia and real world hot topic. It appears ‘consensus’ has not discussed issues, since article creation, my bias suggests consensus wants to keep it that way, No-POV rather than WP:NPOV. What to do… suggestions, list of possible choices. Thanks. Regards, CasualObserver'48 (talk) 10:48, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

See Wikipedia:Template messages. Specifically Wikipedia:Template messages/Cleanup. --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 12:18, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Resolved, thanks for the links; I should not lose them. CasualObserver'48 (talk) 12:41, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
One way to not lose these links is to put {{Wikipedia template messages}} on your user page. Although if your user page gets out of hand then it is possible to start losing things on it too. --Teratornis (talk) 23:05, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Adding Video Content[edit]

Is it allowed to link to a video report on the subject? Are video links allowed on a topic?

In addition, how does a notability notice get removed on an article? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:54, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Which topic do you have in mind? You are allowed to upload videos the same way you would upload images - except they have to be in Ogg Theora format. Links to YouTube, etc. are generally not allowed. To remove a notability notice, prove that the subject is notable. See WP:NOTE for more. Xenon54 14:03, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Yes, videos are allowed on any topic as long as they're relevant. That said, we do not accept videos that are copyright violations (not in uploads and not in external links) - Mgm|(talk) 17:36, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Recently I demonstrated the notability of the Blayney Wind Farm, New South Wales article to the satisfaction of the user who had put a {{Notability}} template on the article. See:
That case study illustrates one way to go about it. If you present your notability proof directly to the editor who put the {{notability}} template in an article, you can see whether you get agreement. It's a courtesy to notify that editor directly, rather than just unilaterally remove the template when you think you've fixed the problem. If that editor later stumbles on your change, and disagrees with it, the fact that you did not contact the editor directly might get the disagreement off to a bad start. Being bold is part of Wikipedia's cultural norms, but so is being considerate. --Teratornis (talk) 23:15, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Award winning"[edit]

Is there a guideline that says that the intro of a biographical article shouldn't include the words "award winning" or similar such wording? I've looked through WP:BLP and WP:INTRO but can't find anything. I know I've seen these removed various places but can't recall the guideline which was cited for such removal. Dismas|(talk) 14:28, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well, award winning can be seen as a bit weaselly and peacocky to bend those guidelines into adjectives; what awards did the subject win? The high school's battle of the bands contest? or a Peabody? Wikipedia:Words to avoid also comes to mind.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 15:02, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You may see a relevant discussion at Wikipedia_talk:Neutral_point_of_view/Archive_29#POV_in_first_sentence.3F. Simply put, the introduction should "introduce" what or who the subject is. Awards, criticism, etc. may come later. The awards may make a person notable, but do not define them. This is why we don't want to label people as "award-winning", instead we say they "have won this and that award". Also, beginning an article with phrase "award winning" is considered POV, as Fuhghettaboutit said, how do we determine which award is important enough to warrant a mention? And what about awards with negative POV implication, like Golden Raspberry Award? (To win this award in one's career may be considered a "notable" event, but do we have to start the intro with "xxxx is a Razzie-winnig actor"?) --PeaceNT (talk) 15:30, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

History merges and preserving redirects for GDFL compliance - can this be explained?[edit]

I do not understand the concept of a history merge, or how it works. Nor do I understand why when an article is redirected following an AFD debate, it must be retained in redirect form. After all pages are regularly deleted and these are not preserved. May someone explain?-Boshinoi (talk) 15:02, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

When pages are deleted, they are still preserved in the deleted history; they are not removed completely. They are just hidden from non-administrators. When a page is merged, the old history of the page must be there also, as per GFDL, there must attribution for every edit. When an article is redirected, the history is contained in the history of the redirect; Henry VIII will redirect to Henry VIII of England, but if you click on the Henry VIII "redirected from" link, you can see the history of that redirect. In a nutshell, every edit must be attributed, including deleted edits. Only oversighted edits are hidden from just about everyone, but oversights are done under special circumstances. Best, PeterSymonds (talk) 15:07, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To add just a bit more. Pages that can be safely deleted are those whose content are not preserved in any other article on Wikipedia. The retained redirects you mention, I believe, are formerly articles whose content have been copied/merged/etc. to another article - an article that continues to exist. Because the GFDL requires acknowledgement of all edits to a page, the history of these redirects must be kept. When we look at the history of the redirects, we know where the content (of the destination articles) come from. About how history merge works, you may see Wikipedia:How to fix cut-and-paste moves. Hope that made sense. :) --PeaceNT (talk) 15:17, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Often, history merges will mess up the edit history of the resulting page in such a way it's no longer useful in the period both pages existed, that's why redirects are kept after merges, the history is still available, but the edits do not interfere with the history of the existing page. - Mgm|(talk) 17:34, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Changes which occure when coppying a text to word and saving it16:26, 28 November 2008 (UTC) (talk)[edit]

I copied a text from wikipedia to word and I made some changes which are relevant only for my pourpouses. Isaved the document and when Iopened it again I saw "jump to navigation...."' changes in the document, "edit" at the beggining of any paragraf, the list of all the languages .... an so on. What have I done wrong and what do Ihave to do in order to avoid this? Thanks for everything!!!

When you copy from Wikipedia to Word, it copies everything on the page - this includes [edit] links and the sidebars too. To avoid this, copy one section at a time. neuro(talk) 18:31, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Or copy the printable version. Algebraist 18:43, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Help with math,time, and if/then/else for a calender[edit]

I am trying to get my calender to be automated so I won't have to change it, but the following won't work! {{ #if:{{#expr: {{#time:t}} >= 30}} | 30| }} It is supposed to be if t(which is number of days in the month) >= 30, then write 30, else, do nothing I keep trying differnt ways but it's not working D: —Preceding unsigned comment added by Costest (talkcontribs)

Questions like these are easier to answer if you give some context. You seem to refer to the template code on your user page. Where did you get that code? Did you write it yourself from scratch, or did you substitute it from a template such as {{CURRENTCALENDAR}}? Please read How to Ask Questions the Smart Way. The question as you posed it might only be answerable by someone who just happened to have recently done exactly what you are trying to do, and the odds may be low that such a person would be among the handful who are monitoring the Help desk just now. Which means if someone is going to answer the question, they will need to take a detailed look at what you are doing, the sources you used, and why you decided on this particular step to reach whatever your actual goal may be. --Teratornis (talk) 23:36, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

personile file[edit]

How do i create a personal file box on the right side of the page? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Michael DiNunzio (talkcontribs) 18:34, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Probably what you are asking about is an infobox template. There are several infobox templates, depending on what kind of person or thing the article is about. For example, the infobox for a football player would be {{Football player infobox}}. —teb728 t c 22:07, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Infoboxes are to put in articles which are normally about subjects other than yourself (unless you are notable enough to have your own article). If by "personal" you mean boxes about yourself, you want to read about userboxes to put on your user page. Every registered Wikipedia user gets to have a user page, and an unlimited number of user subpages, but these are supposed to assist with your work on articles, not as a social networking site type of thing. --Teratornis (talk) 22:56, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
However, that guideline tends to be fairly loosely interpreted, as long as you aren't vandalizing or advertising. Some users festoon their user pages with teeming flocks of userboxes, to the discomfort of Jimbo Wales who doesn't care much for userboxes actually. While a few infoboxes can be useful to show other editors what sort of articles you tend to edit, I advise against going overboard with vast collections of personal trivia boxes. That might give other users grounds to challenge you, for example if you get on someone's bad side in a content dispute. --Teratornis (talk) 23:01, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Table help[edit]

I want to make a table where every cell has a black border. However, to do this, I've been doing "style=border-right:1px solid #000; border-bottom:1px solid #000;" though this is a lot of code for almost every cell. Is there an easier way of doing this? E.g. look at the table below as an example.


--Dafterror (talk) 22:11, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If the "state of the art" for tables is judged using this page then you may be out of luck. Noah 22:49, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Actually, looks like doing style="border-collapse:collapse;" does exactly this.Dafterror (talk) 22:55, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In case you haven't seen this yet: Help:Table. --Fullobeans (talk) 22:58, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I did, and it did not help at all. I've figured it out anyway; adding style="border-collapse:collapse;" to the start of the table makes me only have to add style="border:1px solid #000;" which really does cut down the code, like in the code below in the table.Dafterror (talk) 23:02, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Counting characters in an article[edit]

What is a good method or tool for counting charaters in an article. I am interested in counting the charters in two on my new articles of Frank Daniel Gerber and Daniel Frank Gerber. How many do you show for each? Does the characters in the info boxes count? And wording in the Footnotes? --Doug Coldwell talk 23:14, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

See the links under WP:EIW#Long such as WP:SIZE. I don't know if there is one standard way to count the characters in an article. That probably depends on what you mean by "in". For example, do you mean the number of characters that have to fit into the edit box when you edit the whole article, or do you refer to the words of readable prose that the reader must read? The (human) reader's perception of article size may be different from the (computer) Web browser's perception. --Teratornis (talk) 23:21, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You can always copy and paste into a word processing application, or into any number of websites like this one. As far as what counts toward the total character count, that depends entirely on what you're counting it for. --Fullobeans (talk) 01:05, 29 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for ideas. I am counting it so that I know I have enough characters to qualify for a DKY article, minimum of 1500. In my MS Word program it counts Frank Daniel Gerber as 1672 and in the above Java program it is 2037. When a count is made for DYK does the spaces between words count? Apparently my MS Word program does NOT count the spaces, but just the actual characters. Does the characters in the info boxes count toward the total count for DYK? --Doug Coldwell talk 16:12, 29 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is an excellent illustration of describe the goal, not the step. The question becomes completely different once we understand your goal. What you are really asking is for a clarification of Wikipedia:Did you know#Selection criteria, specifically this list item in that section:
  • Long enough – The article must be of sufficient length.
    • Articles must have a minimum of 1,500 characters of prose (ignoring infoboxes, categories, references, lists, tables etc.) The number of characters may be measured using this tool.
Did you measure your articles with that tool? Although I have not participated in any DYK discussions, I would be astounded if someone would reject a DYK candidate solely because it had only, say, 1499 characters. In other areas of Wikipedia where specific numbers like this appear (for example in WP:RFA when discussing edit counts), they are but one factor among many that people consider. I would expect that if a DYK candidate was otherwise compelling, few people would complain if it was a little short of the minimum length requirement (but I've been wrong before). The definitive way to tell if your DYK candidates are good enough is to submit them for discussion according to the procedure in Wikipedia:Did you know. --Teratornis (talk) 20:38, 30 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes! Thanks for the details. That helps a lot. --Doug Coldwell talk 23:50, 30 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Blocking template and banned users[edit]

I'm confused by this block template:

You have been temporarily blocked from editing in accordance with Wikipedia's blocking policy for abuse of editing privileges. Once the block has expired, you are welcome to make constructive contributions. If you believe this block is unjustified, you may contest the block by adding the text {{unblock|your reason here}} below, but you should read our guide to appealing blocks first.

It says that the block is temporary, but it doesn't explain for how long. So when a user receives this un-specific template, how are they to know when it expires? And suppose a banned user evades a ban by moving to another country and editing Wikipedia from there? Would anyone be able to notice? if it is the same user --Crackthewhip775 (talk) 23:18, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

See the {{uw-block1}} page. The documentation lists a "time" parameter that the person who places the template should fill out with the duration of the block. For more information see WP:EIW#Enforce and WP:BLOCK. --Teratornis (talk) 23:25, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Any attempt to edit while blocked will result in you seeing this enormous infodump, which tells the blockee when the block will expire, among other things. Algebraist 23:29, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What's up with the $, though? I don't get it. --Crackthewhip775 (talk) 23:34, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
When the user sees this message, the $ will be replaced with the details from the actual block. For example, $6 will be replaced by the duration of the block, and $2 will be replaced by a summary of the reasons for the block. Raven4x4x (talk) 23:40, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
See Help:MediaWiki namespace and Wikipedia:MediaWiki namespace. The MediaWiki namespace works differently than the other namespaces that ordinary users can edit. --Teratornis (talk) 23:43, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

austrslisn customs and values[edit]

what values and customs does autralian have —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:44, 28 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Have you tried Wikipedia's Reference Desk? They specialize in knowledge questions and will try to answer any question in the universe (except how to use Wikipedia, since that is what this Help Desk is for). Just follow the link, select the relevant section, and ask away. I hope this helps. Algebraist 00:17, 29 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]