Wikipedia:Peer review/1250s/archive1

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This is a bit of an odd request for peer review, but I wanted to get feedback from the broader community on my approach to a decade article. I have departed from the standard list-only format and added a couple paragraphs of commentary summarizing the important trends of the decade. I have also used a somewhat non-standard scheme to organize the list of events, and slimmed down the birh / death lists to only those people I feel are truly important (the detailed lists are still available on the year lists). I would eventually like to have year, decade, and century articles all contain textual discussion as appropriate; in the time period of the 1250s; I think this is appropriate on the decade level, while earlier periods might require it be done on the century level and more modern periods on a yearly level (it probably becomes impractical at some point in recent history due to the sheer volume of recorded events). Thanks for your attention, comments, and suggestions! - Bryan is Bantman 21:44, May 2, 2005 (UTC)

  • I would encourage the adding of such summary paragraphs to decade articles. I couldn't quickly find another decade article with any detail to compare it to, but this one looks pretty good to me.-gadfium 23:57, 2 May 2005 (UTC)
  • I like the way it is setup, something every decade article could be like. Were there any major events in the Americas at the time? MechBrowman 01:49, May 3, 2005 (UTC)
  • This is a weakness to my approach; I have little or no independent knowledge of this period, and I've populated the lists solely by (somewhat laboriously) using the "what links here" for every year in the decade, updating the year articles, and then building the decade article off of that. - Bryan is Bantman 17:04, May 6, 2005 (UTC)
  • It's an excellent idea, as the decade articles really ought to distinguish themselves from the annual articles. Trends and major movements are a great way of doing it. However, there is an inherent pitfall in the present organization. While we might well all agree that the Khan is the most remarkable thing in general (surveying from China to Peru), by valorizing in a lead paragraph the articles set themselves up for potential POV wars and sloppy interpolation from future authors. (A fellow links to 1250s, goes there, decides that the baronial rise in England hasn't been sufficiently mentioned, and simply inserts it at the top, making a mess of the narrative you have so carefully written.) (Another person with a point of view comes along, deciding that the Crusades were a genocide, and wants that to be the first thing mentioned and wants every single atrocity mentioned. Some one else, of a Fideist stamp, decides that the Crusaders were saving the heathens, etc.) My suggestion to avoid these is to have a set order of survey for every decade. In Northern Europe, In Central Europe, In the Mediterranean Europe, etc. If you're consistent, you'll warn away the messy and POV pushing editors. Geogre 02:29, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Georgre makes some good points, is there a Wikiproject (Wikiproject:Decades?) looking after these kind of articles, if not you may want to consider making one. That would enable you to formalise a suggested template, then other editors could use to work on the other decades--nixie 08:28, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Geogre does have some good points. I am worried though about overstandardizing though, because of the great variation in our depth and breadth of knowledge for this general time period. The mongol empire, for example, didn't really exist in the 1150s, but by the 1250s are probably the headliners of the world. I have a (perhaps erroneous) stylistic preference for putting the most important events toward the top. While I realize that this could be a POV issue, I think it makes it much more useful to casual readers; I don't want to force people to slog through 14 semi-trivial events in Portugal before showing that the Mongols conquered 1/3 of the known world in a period of 10 years.
  • Regarding the Wikiproject; I think this was probably once under the purview of Wikiproject:Years, but that seems to have gone inactive (I posted a similar note there to what I put here on PR, and have not gotten anything back). Perhaps it would be good to do that for decades, although honestly right now this is such a backwater of editing, I don't know if anybody else is interested in participating (it's a bit of a chore sometimes, too!). - Bryan is Bantman 17:04, May 6, 2005 (UTC)
  • A very nice idea. I expect all years, decades, centuries etc. articles will eventually look like that. You may want to add references (if only from relevant articles). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 16:28, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
  • I am only using other WP articles as sources, and by design link to every article I use as a source. Do you think I should add a references section listing all of the articles separately? - Bryan is Bantman 17:04, May 6, 2005 (UTC)
Honestly...I am not sure. It wouldn't hurt, though - perhaps a reference section ilinking relevant articles reference sections might work here? I think we are threading on a new waters here. Let's see what others have to say about this. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 13:27, 7 May 2005 (UTC)
  • I don't think it's a good idea to try to summarize a decade. It's too subjective. Ultimately, you wind up with a mess like The 20th century in review. I think that a simple list of notable events during the decade is more objective and easier for readers to scan. - Brunnock 12:15, May 8, 2005 (UTC)
  • I don't understand why you categorized events pertaining to Mongol Empire separately from events in Asia. If someone is interested in the history of the Mongol Empire, they can read that article. - Brunnock 12:35, May 8, 2005 (UTC)
  • My basic philosophy is that lists should ideally be between 5 and 15 items long: any shorter and they are not much of a list; any longer and they become unwieldy. Given that, If more than 4 or 5 related events happen in a given decade (or year), I thought it would be useful to break them out into categories. It makes things easier to read and presents information more cohesively. Forgetting for a moment that no Timeline of the Mongol Empire exists, I still think it's useful to see what happened in the Mongol Empire during a decade, and then see that next to what happened in (say) Europe that same decade, in the decades articles. Commingling the two lists muddles the arc of history and implies that unrelated events were actually related. - Bryan is Bantman 17:26, May 10, 2005 (UTC)
  • Bryan, I love what you've done with the article. It'd be awesome if all decades were done like that. That way, if someone is reading an article that says "such-and-such happened in the 1570s" you can head over to the 1570s article to get a quick feel for what else was happening then. I like how you have events broken down by both place (Europe, Asia & Africa) and by subject (religion, art & architecture). Excellent job! Jacob1207 02:54, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)