Wikipedia:Help desk/Archives/2008 October 30

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October 30[edit]

Filmography Box[edit]

What's the code for a filmography box. i.e.:

The boxes there are ordinary tables. See Help:Table. Click "edit" to see how they were made. PrimeHunter (talk) 00:15, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
If you mean {{Tarkovsky}} at the bottom then click "edit this page" at top of Template:Tarkovsky to see how it uses {{Navbox}}. PrimeHunter (talk) 00:19, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
Is there a default one that I can just copy and paste?
A default one of what? You can transclude the {{Tarkovsky}} template into any page on Wikipedia, although it would only be appropriate in a few of them. See WP:NAVBOX for more information about how navigation boxes work. And did you mean "i.e." above, or "e.g."? "I.e." means "That is" and "e.g." means "for example". "I.e." would imply "I want to do (exactly) this" whereas "e.g." would imply "I want to do something similar to this." --Teratornis (talk) 01:24, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Cannot log in to my account with password you sent[edit]

I am trying to log in to my account. I requested a new password, but when i use it it says that it is incorrect. What should i do? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

What is your username? Is Help:Logging in of help? PrimeHunter (talk) 02:18, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

How to announce a guidelines proposal?[edit]

I've recently started Wikipedia:Notability (restaurants) in hopes that we can get a better handle on the rather large number of restaurants which have pages here but may or may not have sufficient notability. I'm hoping to get some other editors input and guidance on this effort. Do you have suggestions on the best place to make this newly proposed guideline more visible so this is not a one-editor-effort? Thanks! --Kickstart70TC 04:54, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

You should start a section at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy). You can check the page/recent archives for some examples of how people list policy proposals. Darkspots (talk) 05:04, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
Much appreciated, I've announced there. --Kickstart70TC 05:13, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

sending articles?[edit]


I would like to know if there is a link that allows to send directly article to a friend?

Many thanks,


  • Not that I'm aware of, but you can send them the link to an article. p- Mgm|(talk) 11:09, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
Depending on what computer and software you have, you might be able to print an article to a PDF file and e-mail that to your friend. My friends who use Apple Macintosh computers like to gloat about how simple this is for them. However, assuming your friend is able to access Wikipedia, sending a link rather than the full article has these advantages:
  • When viewing the article on Wikipedia, your friend can follow links in the article to related articles.
  • Sending e-mail attachments is a bad idea in general, because this conditions people to click on the attachments to view them. Attachments are the prime vector for the spread of computer viruses.
  • E-mail passes through several computers before it reaches your recipient. Along the way, all sorts of things can happen to the content of a message. The best way to insure your recipient receives what you send is to send only plain text messages. Wikipedia article URIs are generally short enough to avoid getting word wrapped or otherwise "munged" in transit.
--Teratornis (talk) 19:20, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Sources and AFD[edit]

I've found that a lot of people drop articles on AFD (or for that matter speedy delete) when claims for notability are made without making any sort of effort to find sources at all. Such nominations usually end up in snowball cases of commenters finding more and more sources and eventually to the article being kept.

Obviously, there are different sorts of cases, but the ones that bother me most is when editors only search English language sources for articles on non-English topics.

  1. Where should one go to get help referencing such articles?
  2. Would it be at all viable to force a local to search local sources before allowing deletion?
  3. Perhaps we should force the use of references in new articles by providing a separate box or not allowing articles to get saved if there are no link/book titles/citation templates or reference header in them.

Please answer my first question. Comments on the other two are welcome so I can start to think up a policy suggestion. - Mgm|(talk) 11:09, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

When an editor creates or edits an article, it is their responsibility to ensure that the correct references are provided. With articles on foreign language subjects this means that the editor generally needs some understanding of whatever language the subject is covered in to provide said references. If you need help with an article on a foreign subject, that country's WikiProject would be a good place to ask.
re 2), the answer is no. You cannot force anyone to do anything on Wikipedia. Why should another editor be forced to look for references for something just because the first editor couldn't be bothered to find them. Mjroots (talk) 11:35, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
Because people claim it is not verifiable when it could be. Plenty of good articles are lost because of immediatism, when allowing such articles to be dropped off at appropriate WikiProjects for an additional few days could get input from people who WANT to provide references. - Mgm|(talk) 11:50, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
Does that mean your answer to 3) would be yes? - Mgm|(talk) 11:48, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
The "immediatism" problem, as you put it, is covered in my first reply. If you create an article, they you must supply the references. If you do not, then the article is liable to the deletion process. The deletion of an article doesn't necessarily mean that it can't be recreated in the future.
Of course it doesn't, but it does mean it will drop in a sea of articles that were deleted for the right reasons, making it impossible to find out if it is a viable candidate for recreation without a whole lot more work than what I'm suggesting. - Mgm|(talk) 12:32, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
It doesn't necessarily mean my answer is yes or no. What you suggest is a Policy issue, and would need much discussion to bring about. Mjroots (talk) 12:05, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

(undent) In general, before attempting to change something on Wikipedia, one must first understand as fully as possible why things are the way they are currently. Wikipedia seems to have an overall philosophy, if you will, of allowing anybody to do pretty much anything, and then clobbering what they do after the fact. That is, we seem to favor permissiveness followed by punishment, rather than trying to prevent people from being able to do the wrong things. The current philosophy is not perfect, but Wikipedia has become pretty successful with it. An excerpt from: User:Jimbo Wales/Statement of principles:

  • "You can edit this page right now" is a core guiding check on everything that we do. We must respect this principle as sacred.

Speaking for myself only, I don't hold anything sacred, except the need to examine and constantly re-examine everything we might be tempted to consider sacred, so we don't fall into the trap of sticking with ideas that gradually become outmoded as conditions change. Appeal to tradition therefore does not impress me much. However, the opinions of Jimbo carry an enormous weight around here, and the idea that anybody should be able to do anything, insofar as is possible, seems very important to Jimbo. I get the idea that Jimbo doesn't like to see the kinds of creeping restrictions on who gets to edit what that naturally accumulate on Wikipedia in response to errors and abuses. Thus one would need some pretty convincing arguments to change Wikipedia's laissez faire approach to article creation. It's hard to generate convincing arguments about Wikipedia, because we lack such basic statistics as view counters on pages. For an argument to be convincing, it must be based on facts and data. For example, what would be the full impact of requiring editors to meet some minimal qualifications before creating new articles? All we really have are opinions, and many people mistake theirs for truth. Nobody has really looked at how all 29,720,730 registered users interacted with Wikipedia and how they reacted to various things they saw. Usability experts such as Jakob Nielsen insist that you can't just imagine how users react to a system, you have to physically observe them (and use eye tracking equipment and so on). Getting a handle on this is very difficult and expensive, and Wikipedia isn't set up at all to do it. Anyway, my reaction to the permissive nature of Wikipedia has been to think about how we can improve the efficiency of the damage control made necessary by the permissiveness. Bottom line: almost everything a person could need to know about Wikipedia is in writing somewhere already, so our main challenge is to figure out how to get the appropriate chunks of writing to each user when they need them. Hence my interest in the Help desk, and in helping to build search tools such as the Editor's index and {{Google custom}} which simplify the difficult task of finding the right chunks of instructions. I think developing better citation tools is important, because finding and formatting references is currently a pain and it takes a long time for new users to read and understand WP:CITE, WP:CITET, and WP:FOOT. --Teratornis (talk) 23:13, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

One way to qualify new editors to create articles would be by setting up an approval system similar to what we have for administrators. For example, before a new user could create a new article, they would have to pass an Editor review, just enough to convince interested members of the community that the new user has read WP:LAYOUT, WP:RS, WP:NPOV etc. and might create a new article that has at least a snowball's chance of not getting deleted. In the early days of Wikipedia, that would have been a bad idea, because the main need back then was to recruit as many people as possible to write lots of new articles. Many obviously notable article topics (such as Jupiter, Ohio River, etc.) didn't have articles in the early going. Fast forward to 2008, and most of the obviously notable topics have articles now. Among the remaining things to write about, the proportion of marginally notable or non-notable topics keeps increasing. Plus the expectation of quality keeps rising on Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a lot fancier and more intricate than it was in the early years, when it started out as little more than plain text. New users who know nothing of the layout guidelines, infoboxes, navboxes, and other ways to dress up articles may inadvertently bias other editors against them by creating new articles that just don't look good, even before we consider the content. That is, as Wikipedia keeps growing in complexity and sophistication (i.e., in professionalism), the test edits of new users keep falling farther behind the standard. That's less of a problem when a new user makes a small edit to an existing article, but creating a new article from scratch requires a user to know a lot more than anyone could possibly know when they first show up. We'd like to find ways to gently encourage new users to start by doing the easy edits first, and save the hard stuff for when they are ready. Keeping it all noncompulsory might sit better with the Jimbo school of laissez faire. --Teratornis (talk) 23:31, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Getting preview screen[edit]

I'm trying to edit my post at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Google platform but whenever I press "Save page" I get the preview screen previewing the page as if it were blank. The same happens when I try to null edit. Can someone please try a null edit so I know whether it's only me? Thanks, Zain Ebrahim (talk) 11:53, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

i did a null edit with no problem. Sssoul (talk) 12:06, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Your edit took all right. Do you have set the preview to be forced in your settings? - Mgm|(talk) 12:06, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
    Thanks, it's working now. I don't have preview forced. Maybe Sssoul's null edit fixed it? Zain Ebrahim (talk) 12:13, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
When I suspect a caching issue I find that appending ?action=purge to the URL tends to clear it and I see the latest version. AfD nominations tend to need it, also changes to templates. TrulyBlue (talk) 10:23, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

How to become a registered user[edit]

I planed to create a new article. I read the insrtions, it said a registered user can create a new article. how to be a registered user? -- (talk) 12:11, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Special:CreateAccount. :) Looking forward to seeing your contributions! Best, PeterSymonds (talk) 12:13, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
At the upper right corner of your screen should be a link that says "Sign in/Create account". Click that link, and it will walk you through the account creation process. Once you have an account, you need to be autoconfirmed in order to create a page. All that means is that your account needs be shown to be an active account by making 10 edits to articles and be older than 4 days. Once that threshold is reached, your account will have full privileges to create new articles. Cheers! 12:15, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
You don't need to be autoconfirmed to create pages. Zain Ebrahim (talk) 12:21, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
Yep, only moving pages and editing semi-protected pages. PeterSymonds (talk) 13:07, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
And uploading images. TNX-Man 13:09, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

How can I download all my edits ?[edit]

How can I download all my edits to store them on my computer or process them f. e. in WORD? wettig (talk) 13:49, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

You can go to the history page of the articles you edited and view each revision that you (or any other editor) has edited. You can then save these revisions to your computer if you want. Hope that helps, but I'm not sure if that's what you wanted. Cheers. Chamal talk 13:55, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Hi Chama1, thanks for your answer ! Could I do this also automatically ? Cheers from Germany wettig (talk) 14:01, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Not sure if this helps but here are your contribs. Here are user:Wettig's contribs at the German wikipedia but I'm sure you know how to get those. Zain Ebrahim (talk) 14:07, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
See Help:Export. If you want to process a copy of your edits locally, you'll need software that understand's MediaWiki's XML export format. The only software I know which does is MediaWiki itself. You could install a (free) copy of MediaWiki on your computer and import every page from Wikipedia that you edited. However, to make the pages look right you would probably have to install several extensions, and do other complicated things to set up your own local mirror of (part of) Wikipedia. This requires some pretty good system administrator skills. See mw:Manual:Wiki on a stick if you want to try it. Also see Personal wiki. --Teratornis (talk) 19:29, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
Or you could read b:XML - Managing Data Exchange - that should tell you how to do it. Dendodge TalkContribs 20:23, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
Now that's a handy link to remember. Learning XSLT is on my list of 50 things to do before I die, although the schedule seems to be slipping. --Teratornis (talk) 22:39, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
Thank you very much, folks, wettig (talk) 09:43, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Adding to a page[edit]

This is concerning the page for the Charles Bronson "Death Wish" movies. There is a rapper called "Deathwish". Not sure how to add it. Thought someone would want to know though. Thank you. (talk) 14:49, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Note that additions must be notable and have a reliable source. Myspace does not count as either. However, in order to add content to any page, just click the "edit his page" button at the top. GrszReview! 14:52, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
If the article meets notability, then you can create the article as Deathwish (rapper), then add the article to the disambiguation page Deathwish (disambiguation). --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 17:52, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
Please also note that the addition[s] must have something to do with the subject of the article; in this case the movie. If I came across a reference to "Deathwish (rapper)" in "Death Wish (movie)" I would take my sockfull of nickles (quarters?) to it as being not relevant. Saintrain (talk) 21:57, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

uploading a free image[edit]

For the Edwin Hawkins biography: I have a very nice pic framed (or unframed if preferred).

Your instructions are so complex. How do I just upload it because everytime I click on "upload now" it won't allow me.

Magi —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gibsonmagi (talkcontribs) 17:14 30 October 2008

In order to upload files, you must be an autoconfirmed user, which simply means that your account has been active for four days and you have made at least ten edits. After reaching that point, you can upload files. Please don't let the instructions discourage you and if you have any additional questions, let us know. Cheers! TNX-Man 17:21, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Your account is still too new to upload images – accounts have to be autoconfirmed by being at least four days old and having made at least ten edits. Your account was only created today and has only made one edit so a few more days with a few more edits are required. Incidentally, it's a good idea to sign messages on talk pages by putting ~~~~ at the end, which generates a name and date stamp like this ---> BencherliteTalk 17:24, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
  • If you upload your image on the Wikimedia Commons it can be used in not just Wikipedia, but all Wikimedia Projects. They have extensive help on how to upload an image. 0 Mgm|(talk) 18:35, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
Part of the complexity is in being sure that we can use the picture. A picture has to be licensed so that anyone can reuse it for anything. If it is a picture you took yourself, you can license it, but if it is a picture you found somewhere, we may not be able to use it. —teb728 t c 19:39, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
Unfortunately for new users, the fact that Wikipedia's instructions are extensive is the whole problem. A human brain needs time and effort to absorb unfamiliar complexity. While it is somewhat fashionable to decry the complexity of Wikipedia's instructions, I'm pretty sure the instructions need to be complex. What Wikipedia does is inherently complex and unlike anything most humans have ever done before. (How could building the largest encyclopedia in history be simple?) Plus we have many users who constantly edit the cruft out of our instructions, so all that remains will be necessary instructions. Wikipedia is a do it yourself system, which means it is for people who are comfortable with learning on their own by reading lots of friendly manuals. That does not describe most people, who need personal instruction from actual teachers, which is why we have formal education and schools in the real world. Wikipedia in its current form simply is not for everybody. It is only for a type of person who is unusually self-reliant and determined, the kind of person who reacts to obstacles by trying harder, trying other approaches, and learning from mistakes, rather than quitting. (The kind of person who says along with Thomas Edison, "I have not failed; I have discovered 9,999 ways that do not work.") To User:Gibsonmagi (the original poster), the fact that you found your way to this Help desk puts you ahead of most people in terms of resourcefulness. Wikipedia has 29,720,730 registered user accounts, the vast majority of which have zero or very few edits. A very large number of people dabble on Wikipedia for a few minutes and then lose interest, without even attempting to ask a question. Wikipedia in its current form is probably unsuitable for most of them. You have already taken the next step, finding your way here and asking for help, which suggests you probably have the mental tools to master Wikipedia if you want to. But it will take some work. If you want personal guidance, I suggest you ask to be adopted. Also be aware that uploading images is not the best thing to try first on Wikipedia. The whole issue of image copyrights and so on can get very complicated. It's better to start by taking the tutorial and making simple text edits while you read the manuals and learn how Wikipedia works. If you want to read a structured introduction to Wikipedia, get the book: Wikipedia - The Missing Manual by our own John Broughton who also created the helpful Editor's index to Wikipedia. --Teratornis (talk) 19:56, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Page view counter for Wikipedia articles?[edit]

I've searched Wikipedia but so far I haven't found an answer -- does anyone know if there's a tool which displays the number of times a page has been viewed (like the old fashioned web counter, You are visitor number XXXX since XXXX)? Thanks a million! -- (talk) 22:24, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

There is such a thing installed in Mediawiki, but it's disabled on Wikipedia to improve performance. However, there are some pages that will give page view counts, listed at WP:EIW#Page_v. Confusing Manifestation(Say hi!) 22:28, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
I think this is what you are looking for. Just type in the name of the article, select the month and it will give you a day by day break down of visits. It was created in December 2007 so it only goes back as far as that.--intraining Jack In 22:37, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
Those look great. Thank you! Does anyone else think these are an extremely interesting and potentially useful measure that should be better-popularized? -- (talk) 19:14, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, the Editor's index (which contains the WP:EIW#Page_v entry) gets a lot of views already, for example see how many people have linked to it from their user pages, from talk pages, and so on. The index has several thousand entries, and probably all of them are extremely interesting to respective groups of users. On Wikipedia, There is no common sense, which is another way of saying our users are extremely diverse. We don't yet have an efficient way to "popularize" one particular technical feature which would not be bothersome to the users who don't care much about it. That is, Wikipedia is more of a "pull" system than a "push" system. It relies on the user to go look for things, rather than trying to push things at you. Given that there are so many things the system could be pushing, you can see the potential problem with that approach. Ideally, we would like the system to be smart enough to figure out what each user needs and tailor the presentation accordingly, but that won't be possible until computers can pass the Turing test. In the meantime, Wikipedia remains a Do it yourself system that relies on good old reading the friendly manuals. If you find the stumble-across-stuff serendipitous discovery method inefficient, you might like to read a structured introduction such as Wikipedia - The Missing Manual. --Teratornis (talk) 19:20, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Some symbols not showing up[edit]

I gave someone a vandalism warning on another computer. That one had Internet Explorer. This one has Firefox. Some of the symbols I remember seeing on that person's talk page don't show up here. I never noticed that certain symbols weren't showing up on this computer.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 22:49, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Some browsers you can see the symbols and in some others theres just a square box as a placeholder. More information can be found at Help:Special characters. Monster Under Your Bed (talk) 03:33, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

There's nothing, not even boxes.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 15:47, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

user page spam?[edit]


... i know about the {{db-g11}} template for adverts masquerading as articles, but is there a policy about adverts masquerading as user pages? User:Therandoms is the specific example i'm pondering here. thanks Sssoul (talk) 22:51, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

The 'G' stands for general - it can be used on any type of page. I've tagged the page you linked. Dendodge TalkContribs 22:55, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
thanks Sssoul (talk) 22:57, 30 October 2008 (UTC)