Wikipedia:Help desk/Archives/2009 October 27

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October 27[edit]

how to give a name to a repeated citation[edit]


Got it, thanks a bunch.Off2riorob (talk) 19:01, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

I have tried to do this a couple of times and as yet is is mysterious, could someone please direct me to the ..idiot link or show me here how to do it.. Off2riorob (talk) 02:03, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

<ref name="Ben G. Streetman">Streetman, B.G. (1977) ''Solid State ...'' yada yada. </ref> ...Article text... <ref name="Ben G. Streetman"/>
Notice the marks around the name of the ref are double quotes, while the marks around the title are two single quotes (which puts the title in italics).
Jc3s5h (talk) 02:08, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
See WP:REFNAME. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 12:32, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Please also see WP:LDR, which is a newish approach to using references. It requires that you name references, which you are planning to do, but it will cleanup the main portion of the article, and make it easier for editors to read.SPhilbrickT 15:00, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Where would I go to get help for making a complicated template[edit]

I've made a nice navigation image map on my sandbox. I was wondering where I could go to request help with making a navigational template out of it? - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 02:10, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Probably WP:VPT or else WikiProject Templates. Unfortunately, I can't help you myself; I've got to leave. Intelligentsium 02:41, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
I would have some concerns over that template in regards to accessibility. When viewed in Lynx it displays as:
This is a collapsible box:
And this is text that is in it

imagemap test
Image map example. Clicking on a county in the picture causes the browser to load the appropriate article.
As you can see any useful navigational purpose is lost to those using text browsers, and would be similarly useless to those using screen-readers or other accessibility devices. This could be resolved by adding alt text for each region, but I am unsure if the MediaWiki <imagemap> syntax supports this. An old discussion on the subject didn't get anywhere. AJCham 08:43, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia does allow imagemaps, as they are already used in various places. Unfortunately the whole internet can't wait behind for the <5% of people who don't get up-to-date browsers (I mean c'mon... Lynx?), but yes I do aim to make a template that will display the current navigational aid (template:Subdivisions_of_Ontario) for anyone who is visually impaired, and if the template syntax can allow it, for anyone using text-based browsers. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 17:44, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I checked the html on the page and it looks like so:
<area href="/wiki/Lambton_County,_Ontario" shape="poly" coords="####" alt="Lambton County" title="Lambton County" />
So alts will show up the same as the label, which is how non-visually impaired readers will identify each region as well. I know there are ways to determine if there is a text browser (in html), but is there an option in wikipedia to set an alternative for users of text browsers? - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 19:05, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Spoiler alerts on Wikipedia[edit]

Why aren't there spoiler alerts on Wikipedia articles? I just looked up the article for Weird Al's album Peter and the Wolf because I'm about to buy it, and the article gave away the joke at the end before I even got a chance to listen to the album. In my opinion, there should have been a warning of some sort that the article will completely spoil the album for whoever reads it. I'm really disappointed. (talk) 03:42, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Spoiler. Wikipedia used to have spoiler warnings, but the general opinion these days is that if someone looks something up, they should expect to find a detailed article about it. Someguy1221 (talk) 03:51, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Hi, we on Wikipedia have developed several style guidelines for dealing with potential spoilers. You may read over a page dealing with spoilers directly here, and we also have a page on disclaimers in articles. The gist of the issue is that Wikipedia is not censored, and because of this we do not feel the need to point out information that one would typically expect in a comprehensive encyclopedia article. We assume that most readers turn to an encyclopedia looking for full coverage of a subject, and it would be against our goal of providing a comprehensive encyclopedia if we would censor ourselves for one sort of reason or another. ThemFromSpace 03:58, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Urgent question[edit]

I like to wear diapers? How to edit the article --ShortTermDonation (talk) 03:44, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Huh? Someguy1221 (talk) 03:52, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
We do have an article on Diaper fetishism if that is what you are looking for. If you do choose to edit it, please take care in what you are doing and edit according to our policies and guidelines. ThemFromSpace 04:00, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Hi I just edited a page on the film "Paranormal Activity". Unfortunately I think I've ruined the bit I touched. I really never meant to spoil this for anyone but I've obviously done something wrong, it just doesn't look the same anymore. Please accept my apologies. <dunce> sorry </dunce>-- (talk) 18:26, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Status of an image uploaded to Wikipedia,[edit]

I re-submitted a photo that did not have any copyright information. I still see the warning on the page, that says "does not have information on its copyright status", and "no author information".

I put all the information they required and still the picture is being removed on Nov. 1. The file is at ""

What did I do wrong?

Here is the information I added into that file page, by uploading a new version of the file:



RiverView Theater is one of the premier performing arts venues in the area. It is proud host to the regular season performances of The Shreveport Symphony, Shreveport Opera and the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet.



City of Shreveport, LA

(Reusing this file)

See below.

This template should only be used on file pages.)

What am I missing? I tried my best to conform to your rules, but it does not seem to be any use.

Skol fir (talk) 04:18, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Ok, so I helped myself. I thought that I could only edit the Image File by uploading another version. Apparently, all I had to do was to edit the page with the file to include the author and copyright info, as well as removing the template with the notice for deletion by admins. Not bad for a beginner!

Skol fir (talk) 04:53, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Why doesn't Talk:Indigo children have a Table of Contents?[edit]

Resolved: AJCham 18:01, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

I tried to force one with __FORCETOC__, but I still can't see one. AlmostReadytoFly (talk) 08:44, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

I've used __TOC__ to add a table in the appropriate place, but unfortunately that doesn't answer your question. I still have no idea why the table wasn't appearing in the first place. Hopefully someone else can shed some light on this. AJCham 08:50, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
The table of contents was hidden inside the WikiProject Rational Skepticism box (click a show link and then another revealed show link to see it here), because the box transcludes Talk:Indigo children/Comments which contains headings. PrimeHunter (talk) 11:35, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Ah, well spotted. I had tried looking in the collapsed boxes, but didn't notice the additional show link within the Rational Skepticism box. AJCham 18:01, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Localise and use Custom Search Wikipedia Skin on another Wiki[edit]

Custom Search Wikipedia Skin is a great tool. I would like to use it on other wikis. I don't know much things about JS/CSS so do I only need to chance all the en.wikipedia stuff into corresponding domain and translate all the text, or is there some coding to be done?—Ben.MQ (talk) 08:46, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

reading and writing better[edit]

while atying connected to wikipedia. I can I read and write better —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:04, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

how can I read and write better while staying connected to wikipedia —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:07, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

how good can I improve on my reading and writing skills by staying connected to wikipedia or utilizing wikipedia to improve my reading and writing skills. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:11, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

It seems like you are still working on your English, or at least your written English. You should go to the Simple English Wikipedia. They use short sentences and simple words, so you can practice your reading. Also, you can help write the articles with what you know, and practice writing. —Akrabbimtalk 12:54, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Edit my own addition to Discussion in WikiSongs[edit]

I have started a new topic. Preview looked fine. Posting showed that I should rather have used tabs than spaces. But it has no Edit, so I can't change it. NigelMackay (talk) 13:24, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Looks fine to me when I view Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Songs. Perhaps you could try purging the page? See if that helps. GlassCobra 13:27, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
I guess you wanted it to be displayed with alignment similar to the way you wrote it. Below are two ways to do that. Put text inside pre tags:
A Swingin' Safari
I    IV    I    V
I    IV    I    V

The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh)
I      IV      I     V
I      IV      I  V  I

Or start lines with a leading space:

A Swingin' Safari
I    IV    I    V
I    IV    I    V
The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh)
I      IV      I     V
I      IV      I  V  I
The latter way would have been displayed like the first if the blank line also contained a space. PrimeHunter (talk) 19:54, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

A question of Wikiquette[edit]


I am a new contributor and have a question pertaining to Wikiquette. Is it correct form to a an addition to the top of the list, so that the most recent addition is at the top of the list, or is it more polite to add yourself to the bottom of the existing list? I just don't want to have my additions removed for bad form.

Thanks! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cookiemonsier (talkcontribs) 14:05, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Whenever I've edited a list, I've placed new entries at the bottom of the appropriate section; I suppose others might perhaps do it differently, but placing it at the top could suggest that you are intending to give extra significance to your addition. What I would suggest is that you unbold and unitalicize your additions, as that is unnecessary and definitely does seem like you are trying to emphasize your edits over others'. GlassCobra 14:13, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict) What list are you referring to? If it's a talkpage or Help/Reference desk thing, then the bottom is best so people can read in chronological order. If it's for a Wikiproject or some other list of Wikipedians, it can vary - some prefer alphabetical, some chronological. Lists in articles are usually alphabetical (such as on disambiguation pages) unless there's some other scheme being used (such as Presidents, where chronological order reigns). On certain noticeboards, such as WP:RFPP, the most recent ones go at the top. ~ Amory (utc) 14:15, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
If you check the user's contribs, you can see that he's added an item to both the MOE and Moe (disambiguation) pages; however, as I've recommended, he should unbold and unitalicize his additions as soon as possible. GlassCobra 14:17, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Thanks GlassCobra, I think for the kind of lists that I am editing I will follow your suggestion of adding to the bottom of the list and remove the bold and italics.Cookiemonsier (talk) 15:11, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
In the interest of neutrality, I often prefer to order lists either alphabetically or chronologically (relating to the subject, not the date it was added to the list), depending on which is most appropriate for the topic. AJCham 17:53, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree, with the modest caveat that, for long lists, it may be appropriate for a grouping scheme to be use, e.g. for a dab page referencing a common word, there might be a grouping for "schools" and another one for locations", but within the grouping, I think the order should be alpha or chronological, but rarely simply added on to the end. The general guideline ought to be - "if I am looking for something in this list, where it is logical for me to find it." SPhilbrickT 15:39, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

How to sort out difference of opinion?[edit]

How do we sort out a difference of opinions? In this case, I think a redirect should go one way and someone else thinks it should go another. See Talk:La_Belle_Epoque if you are interested in the details and would like to have an opinion. This particular dispute/disagreement/difference is less important than my knowing what the process should be to settle a dispute should a more serious one arise. As to this particular disagreement, I think the other person is probably correct. Thanks GloverEpp (talk) 14:11, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

I'm glad that you are approaching your dispute rationally and with an open mind, you are already head and shoulders above many other editors when they are faced with a disagreement. Coming here to the Help Desk is an acceptable option; however, you may also wish to consider Wikipedia:Third opinion, as well as Wikipedia:Requests for comment. These are usually used as the first steps in any kind of dispute resolution. GlassCobra 14:15, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Mountaineering External Links[edit]

Is it possible to add the following website to the Mountaineering External Links section?

Title: Mount Everest The British Story URL:

Thank you for your time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:50, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

I'd recommend that you check Wikipedia:External links, and also consider asking at Talk:Mountaineering. However, it seems to me that your proposed link is a little too specific to be adding to that article. Perhaps it might be better used at Mount Everest? GlassCobra 14:57, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Almost duplicate files.[edit]

Someone edited an image file File:EpitrochoidOn1.gif but instead saving over the existing one saved under a new name File:EpitrochoidOn1b.gif. Is there a way straighten this so there is only one file and everything is attributed as it should be?--RDBury (talk) 15:53, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Use the "Upload a new version of this file" on the first page, and upload the new file. Then tag the second one for speedy deletion. —Akrabbimtalk 15:55, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
That would lose the attribution for the second editor. If that's the only option then that's what I'll do, but is there another alternative?--RDBury (talk) 16:38, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Considering the file is released under the GNU, who actually physically uploaded it is irrelevant, unless you think that Dan Pelleg would get offended if his name wasn't next to the thumbnail. He would still be mentioned in the description as having modified it though, right? I don't think that is a big deal. —Akrabbimtalk 18:05, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
When you upload the new version, link the other file name and the user name in the change field. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 18:58, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
My understanding is that you need to preserve history by the terms of the GFDL (See WP:MOVE). In any case I'm trying to work it out with the second editor to do the update the right way. If that doesn't work out then correct procedure seems to be outlined in WP:SPLICE, which is the answer I was looking for.--RDBury (talk) 00:19, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia's "query log"[edit]

Does Wikipedia share its search query log? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:25, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

I am not certain about the search query log, but i do know that article accesses are shared. See for example Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 16:31, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the link. I will try to contact the publisher of the corresponding access data. -Ron. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:01, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

My user page no longer exists[edit]

Resolved:  – ukexpat (talk) 20:09, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Hello. I hope this makes sense. I tried to change my signature to be "(mz)" and I guess since that doesn't match my original registration username my user page was deleted? I would use a user page, but I don't know if its possible to have the user directed to my user page when they click on my signature? Did I do something wrong? (mz) (talk) 18:28, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

You did it right, but it looks to me like your user page never existed to begin with...--Unionhawk Talk E-mail Review 18:32, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
It looks to me like you have it down now. Since your registered name is Mzanime, the pages are always going to be at User:Mzanime and User talk:Mzanime. The link that I see now as your signature is an accurate use of a piped link, so I guess that means you figured it out already?
As an aside, the information that you have on your talk page is what most users would put on their user page. The talk page is meant for people to leave you messages. Let us know if you still need help figuring stuff out. —Akrabbimtalk 18:36, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Oh, ok. Is it possible for me to change my registered name? Also, how can I get my signature to be bold, colored, etc.? And how do I get my user page to look all fancy like this? (mz) (talk) 18:51, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Changing username and Wikipedia:Signatures. You can copy the markup from any user page or see Wikipedia:User page design center; the boxes on the right are user boxes, see Wikipedia:Userboxes. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 18:56, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Yes, you can change it. See WP:UNC and WP:CHU for more information on the channels you need to go through. As for more advanced formatting, you can start by looking at the code of pages that you like, and then using a sandbox to see how the code works. Most of the colorful things on my userpage are from templates, which are blocks of code that you can add copies of to other pages just by including their name in these brackets {{ }}. You can start learning by looking at WP:HOW, but I found often the easiest way is like I mentioned, just copying existing code and seeing how it works. —Akrabbimtalk 18:58, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Thanks dudes. I think this is all I need to know for now. mz (talk) 19:05, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

african studies[edit]

identify the various forms of indigenous african technology from the past to the present time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:01, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Pictogram voting delete.svg Please do your own homework. Welcome to the Wikipedia Help desk. Your question appears to be a homework question. I apologize if this is a misevaluation, but it is our policy here to not do people's homework for them, but to merely aid them in doing it themselves. Letting someone else do your homework does not help you learn how to solve such problems.
Please attempt to solve the problem yourself first. You can search Wikipedia or search the Web.
If you need help with a specific part of your homework, the Reference desk can help you grasp the concept. Do not ask knowledge questions here, just those about using Wikipedia. Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 22:08, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

category help needed.[edit]

I am trying to add Committee on National Security Systems to Category:Computer Security articles needing attention, which is empty at the moment. The article is tagged as needing attention, and everything else I can see, But its not showing. Can anyone advise? Sephiroth storm (talk) 23:08, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

To add articles to a category, simply link to it in [[double brackets]] just like any other wikilink; categories go at the bottom of a page. I've gone ahead and done this for you on the article you asked about. Robert Skyhawk So sue me! (You'll lose) 23:16, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Wow, i'm an idiot. lol, tkx. Sephiroth storm (talk) 23:34, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
You can also enable Special:Preferences > Gadgets > HotCat. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 00:04, 28 October 2009 (UTC)