Wikipedia:Help desk/Archives/2009 May 29

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May 29[edit]

How to put out a call for help in overhauling an article[edit]

There is an article on a fairly major poet that is basically a bad school essay cut and pasted. How can I put out a call to the community for help in a major overhaul? Or do we just have to wait until someone who knows enough wanders along? Thanks Spanglej (talk) 01:35, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

What is stopping you from doing it?. Plus, the name of the article would be nice... 01:37, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, I'm thinking that it would be a big project for one person, which is why he/she wants help. You could try WP:GOCE and add in a request there.FingersOnRoids 01:42, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree that having help is necessary in improving an article, but unfortunately, most of Wikipedia suffers from the tragedy of the commons. Unless someone acts as the main fixer-upper of an article, and specifically requests help from another specific editor (for example, bringing in a graphics designer or a copy editor to improve an article), rather than just a general "please fix this" request. For example, both of the articles I worked to bring to FA status required me to bring in outside help to get to FA status, but I asked specific editors to give me specific help; and I did the work of bringing them in. If we had the name of the article, I could check it over, and recommend some editors who may like to help out. Without the article name, I would not even know where to begin. 01:52, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
One way to find potentially interested editors is to look at similar articles that are in better shape, and see who has made the bulk of edits to them. On Wikipedia it's usually easier to see problems than to fix them. If an article has a seemingly overwhelming number of problems, I suggest:
  • Look for any problems you can fix, and fix them. No matter how trivial your improvements might seem, when 31,803,344 editors all make small improvements, they add up to big improvements.
  • If you don't know how to fix some problems, but you can identify them and describe them clearly, make a to-do list on the article's Talk page. For each problem, try to provide links to the policy or guideline pages or any other resources that give further details on how to fix the problem. For example, look at the Editor's index which links to pages that tell how to fix just about everything. If you don't have time to slog through the instructions and learn how to fix some type of problem that you have never fixed before, maybe somebody else will. You can add a lot of value just by identifying a problem and linking to the instructions for fixing it - someone else may decide to read the instructions and apply them.
  • Remember that there is no deadline. As long as you are working to improve the encyclopedia, it doesn't really matter whether you make one simple type of improvement to 100 different articles, or 100 different improvements to one single article. You might find it less overwhelming to learn how to do a few things well, and do those things to many articles, rather than learn all the techniques that are necessary to bring a single article up to featured status. If you keep editing long enough, eventually you will learn how to fix all the problems in a single article, but you can do lots of good long before you reach that point.
--Teratornis (talk) 02:59, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for all the suggestions. The header of the page says (and underlined in red ) that discussion should only about HOW to fix things so I didn't add in the specifics of the page in Q. The article is in fact about the poet John Clare. I have done many hours work on it myself - changing the essay register and making it more readable (I hope) but the whole thing is so unencylopedic there seems little point. I don't know much about his life and the article has no references (except one to a festival reported by a local newspaper). My wikip contribution is mainly around trying to improve prose copy, fixing links etc. Help with finding decent refs would be great. He is famous enough to attract quite a bit of traffic but not enough, I suspect, to generate many fixers. Spanglej (talk) 22:55, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

How do I find out my user name?[edit]

I am pretty sure that I know my password but none of the user names I can think of that I might have used will work. I am 99% positive about the email address I used but there is no place to enter in the email, only the user name. Am I lost? (talk) 03:48, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Do you remember editing any particular articles? If so, go the the edit history and scan for your old name. If the article has tons of edits, and you can see what you added to the article, copy the text you added and you can then use a program like wikiblame to determine where in the edit history that text was added by you and thus rediscover your username.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 04:04, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
If you have an idea what the user name may start with then you can try Special:ListUsers. PrimeHunter (talk) 10:07, 29 May 2009 (UTC)


what is the differece between TFT, LCD & PLASMA tv tecnology n how they work? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:25, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

See TFT LCD, LCD, Plasma display, Large-screen television technology. Have you tried the Science section of Wikipedia's Reference Desk? They specialize in answering knowledge questions there; this help desk is only for questions about using Wikipedia. For your convenience, here is the link to post a question there: click here. I hope this helps. PrimeHunter (talk) 11:33, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Interface Mock-Up[edit]

In order to refine a village pump proposal, shake-out its flaws and eventually provide a proof-of-concept, I'd like to create a mock-up of it in my sandbox.
Ideally, it would include functioning tabs and re-arranged, modified versions of existing features, such as elements of a "new section" dialog/page. Are there templates or other methods available to do such things in a user sandbox? rrzzrr (talk) 11:37, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

You may have to use javascript. hmwithτ 13:40, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Could you elaborate? rrzzrr (talk) 09:31, 30 May 2009 (UTC)



how can i find destination knowledge on wikipedia? ~ where do i search distance between one city to other?~

Aashish 27 (talk) 11:49, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

You could look at the specific articles for the cities in question, however, the easier solution may be to use [ Google maps] to get directions/distance from one point to another. TNXMan 11:52, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
wolframalpha may be a better bet, for instance see this search result: 1, all the best SpitfireTally-ho! 11:57, 29 May 2009 (UTC)


I've seen people have a side page of their user page, that they use as a guestbook, and I can't figure out how to make a page like that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pepperpiggle (talkcontribs) 12:47, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Just create a page at User:Pepperpiggle/Guestbook and create a link from your main page to it so people can sign it. It will be considered a subpage of your account. Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 13:10, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
But note, guest book pages and "secret" pages are a little controversial and may not be within the spirit of the user page guidelines. – ukexpat (talk) 13:53, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Delete Page question[edit]

I noticed that the page I created ( was deleted, but I don't understand the comment added as to why. Could you please explain this in a non-abbreviated way? Thanks? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:31, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. It was deleted, because users saw it as a dictionary definition and not an encyclopedia article. See Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a dictionary for more information. Wiktionary, on the other hand, is a dictionary, and if there are reliable sources, it can be posted there. hmwithτ 13:38, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
(ec)The deletion log says "‎ (Expired PROD, concern was: Transwikied dic def)" a WP:PROD is a propose deletion. Unless someone objects within 5 days, the article is deleted. Nobody objected. The reason for the prod was that the article was the definition of a word That someone had copied into Wikipedia from Wikidtionary (or somewhere.) Wikipedia is not a dictionary (WP:NOT), so the article is was not approriate for Wikipedia, although it might be apprioriate for a dictionary. -Arch dude (talk) 13:41, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Just a tiny correction: The PROD template is 7 days nowadays, not 5. :) Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 14:16, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
If you are User:Oldmanholland, creator of that article, also note that articles should never be signed, and that talk page entries always should be. --Orange Mike | Talk 14:19, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Friendly Problem[edit]

Resolved: Reported at WT:Friendly. – ukexpat (talk) 14:23, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

I'm having a problem with the gadget Friendly. The "wel" button no longer appears on the top of my screen when I want to welcome someone. --Abce2|AccessDenied 14:18, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

I see that you have already reported this at Wikipedia talk:Friendly, and it appears to have been fixed. Please keep the discussion there to avoid duplication. Thanks. – ukexpat (talk) 14:21, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Customizing monobook skin[edit]


I have been using the default skin for very long and I like it. Only I wish to hide the Wikipedia logo. It is VERY large and shows up on every page. I went through some other skins which don't display the logo, but I didn't find them interesting. How can I hide the logo when using the monobook? Jay (talk) 16:54, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Assuming you mean the one in the top left hand corner of the page, edit your Special:MyPage/monobook.css, adding:

#p-logo{ display:none; }

Then follow the instructions at the top for bypassing the server cache. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 18:17, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, it worked! Jay (talk) 04:30, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Name already used[edit]

How do I create an article about someone whose name is already in use? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jackie-thai (talkcontribs) 17:29, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

See WP:DISAMBIGUATION. – ukexpat (talk) 17:34, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Editor Awards[edit]

Does anyone know where the Wikipedia editor awards page is?

April809Compression09King 18:10, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

If you're referring to barnstars, you find more info at this page. If you're referring to awards in general, check out this page. TNXMan 18:12, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Or see WP:SERVICE. --AndrewHowse (talk) 19:02, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

A box[edit]

Resolved:  – ukexpat (talk) 20:58, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

If I want to put a box around a whole section of text, including multiple would I do that? Vimescarrot (talk) 18:24, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

I was thinking specifically of a creamy-looking box that says this is an archive, do not modify it that I've seen before. If you could just link me to the template for that, if I'm remembering correctly and it exists, that would be fine - I can go from there. Thanks Vimescarrot (talk) 18:25, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
I think you may be looking for Template:Archive top, which has the instructions you need. TNXMan 18:41, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Very grateful! Vimescarrot (talk) 20:09, 29 May 2009 (UTC)


Hiya. I dont know if you can help but I wondered if you had any reference to spiritual mediums in bury st edmunds. I friend of mine is trying to find one

Thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:25, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Hello. I suspect, based on your question, that you found one of our over 2.8 million articles, and thought that we were directly affiliated in some way with that subject. Please note that you are at Wikipedia, the online free encyclopedia that anyone can edit, and this page is a help desk for asking questions related to using the encyclopedia. Thus, we have no inside track on the subject of your question. You can, however, search our vast catalogue of articles by typing a subject into the search field on the left hand side of your screen. If that is not fruitful, we have a reference desk, divided into various subjects areas, where asking knowledge questions is welcome. Best of luck. TNXMan 18:35, 29 May 2009 (UTC)


Please reverse the wrong edit at (talk) 18:34, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Please explain what's wrong with the edit. – ukexpat (talk) 18:51, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Everything. It is pure fiction. (talk) 18:58, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Please take a look at the current version of the article and if you think it requires editing please be bold and edit it. – ukexpat (talk) 19:26, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
The current version is wrong and not in accordance with the sources. I don't know how to edit it. (talk) 19:33, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Have you read this? – ukexpat (talk) 19:39, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
You are very kind. I guess I am saying that if somebody wants to correct a howling error, please would they. But it is not how I want to spend my life. (talk) 19:46, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, Wikipedia is a collaborative project, but if you don't want to collaborate... – ukexpat (talk) 19:54, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

How do I add photos to my artice/page?[edit]

I've tried to add photos to my artice/page and I am unable to do so. How do I do this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kuec-pr (talkcontribs) 18:46, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Take a look at WP:IMAGE and WP:IUP. – ukexpat (talk) 18:53, 29 May 2009 (UTC)


whats the difference between an infinite and indefinite block? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:11, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Nothing. They are synonyms. Xenon54 (talk) 21:15, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Darn it, I could have sworn there was a reply to the same question posted elsewhere that explained that there was a difference, can't find it now. – ukexpat (talk) 21:56, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
At Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#Question by Please only post a question in one place and look for replies there. PrimeHunter (talk) 22:05, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Problem adding citation to Bhutan's area[edit]

I'm trying to add the following citation into the page for Bhutan for the Area. However, it keeps getting rendered as "UNIQ493daa972b76a72b-ref-0,000,002C-QINU":

<ref>{{cite web|url= |title=Bhutan Portal|accessdate=2009-05-29}}</ref>

How do I go about adding this? Thanks.—C45207 | Talk 22:07, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

I guess you are trying to add the reference to the infobox in an area parameter, but those parameters are supposed to be pure numbers so the infobox can make numeric conversion operations on them. The area is also mentioned in the normal text of the article. You can add a reference there. PrimeHunter (talk) 22:40, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks.—C45207 | Talk 23:02, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Infobox question[edit]


Something has been bugging me for a while so I thought I might as well simply ask, with the Geopolitical organization infobox, how do you get the word/link to its flag/emblem? For example if I want to get the word Emblem under this article's Emblem: ASEAN. And the the word Flag under this once flag: UM. I have been trying things along the lines of:

|image_flag = cheese.svg
|flag = flag of the republic of cheese
|flag_type = flag
|image_coat = cheese arms.png
|symbol = Arms of the Empire of the Great Cheese
|symbol_type = Arms

But that doesnt work. Anyone willing to let me in on the secret?--SelfQ (talk) 22:32, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

You'll get help faster by linking to the template so people don't have to hunt around for it. I see an {{Infobox Country}} to which {{Infobox Geopolitical organization}} is a redirect. Is that the template you are trying to use? General advice:
  • Did you read the template documentation?
  • Make a user subpage (such as User:SelfQ/Sandbox) with an example of what you are trying to do. It may help if you substitute the template into your sandbox page, so you can see the resulting wikitext. That way you can see whether the parameters you are feeding into the template are coming out in the wikitext. If you only transclude the template, you are probably only looking at the rendered page, and you can't tell the difference between something which is there but invisible or obscured, vs. something which is not there at all.
  • Study the template source. Find the named parameters to which you are passing values, and see how the template handles them.
  • Look for examples of the template as other people have used it, which you can find with Special:Whatlinkshere/Template:Infobox Country. If you find that someone else has done what you are trying to do, you can emulate their method.
  • Look at the template history. Sometimes templates don't work the way the documentation says they should, because someone edited the template and broke something.
  • Ask for help on the template's talk page (Template talk:Infobox Country).
--Teratornis (talk) 02:31, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

OK- you are referring to {{Infobox Country}} (redirected from Infobox Geopolitical organization). This template is a bit complex and not well documented. I had to look at the template markup to see what the frack is going on here.

ASEAN uses linking_name = ASEAN to create the link to Flag of ASEAN. The template markup uses an #ifexist to see if the linked article exists, which it does.

Union for the Mediterranean has linking_name = The Mediterranean}}, but Flag of The Mediterranean does not exist, so the link is not shown. You need to set linking_name = the Union for the Mediterranean, as Flag of the Union for the Mediterranean does exist.

You need to use symbol_type and symbol_type_article to create a link to [[symbol_type of linking_name]] that will show under the symbol IF the article exists. symbol_type_article is not documented at all, and I don't see an existing article.

---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 02:54, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, I get it now!--SelfQ (talk) 08:18, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Cross-wiki templates[edit]

I'm curious.. is it possible to include content from sister sites via transclusion? I ask because I'd like to put the WikiNews weather and the WikiNews ticker on my user page here. Possible? Not possible? If yes, how? If no, why? - ALLSTRecho wuz here @ 23:04, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

The feature you want is called "scary transclusion" and it has come up before:
--Teratornis (talk) 23:13, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
I currently have a bot in the process of approval that gets the Quote of the day from Wikiquote-see Template:QOTD, not Wikinews though! There is the User:Wikinews Importer Bot-don't know whether that helps? Dottydotdot (talk) 23:21, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Further Reading[edit]

How should the books in a Further Reading section be arranged? Should it be by date or by the author's name? And if it's by date of publication, should the most recent book be on top?

Also, is this correctly formatted: or should the Further Reading and Documentaries on Kurosawa have separate sections? --Stepusual (talk) 23:29, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Layout#Further reading says "usually alphabetized". PrimeHunter (talk) 23:36, 29 May 2009 (UTC)