Wikipedia:Phase II feature requests

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This page is obsolete. It is an archive of old feature requests that were still active on 2002 July 20, when we moved from Phase II to Phase III of the software. Many requests were implemented then, while others became obsolete due to being rejected by the community. See Wikipedia:Feature requests for current requests.

"Watch this article for me" and / pages[edit]

Since / pages now have some of the functionality as the old subpages once did, it would be nice if selecting "Watch this article for me" on a / page would automatically watch other articles at the non-/ page. For example, User talk:Maveric149/archive 1 is a talk archive I set up that links to my regular non-/ed user page at user:maveric149 through the sidebar "Article" link. However, this page is not automatically "Watched" just because my user page and talk is. Another example; the sidebar "talk" link in Liechtenstein/Temp goes directly to Talk:Liechtenstein (which is way cool, BTW), but watching Liechtenstein/Temp does not also watch Talk:Liechtenstein (which is the only talk page for this / page -- should we call the / pages subpages again?). --maveric149, Sunday, June 23, 2002

an unified format for special pages[edit]

(2002 June 12 ) For pages requiring numerical listings, as in special:Recent Changes, lines like this : "View the last 50 | 100 | 250 | 500 | 1000 | 2500 | 5000 changes; View the last 1 | 3 | 7 | 14 | 30 | 90 days; List only new changes" could be added. So if one wants to scroll down the list, just click on the numbers.

For example: for special:WantedPages, use View by numeber of articles wanted. special:WantedPages, use View the top 50 | 100 | 250 | 500 | 1000 | 2500 | 5000 -th popular of the list. special:LongPages, use View the top 50 | 100 | 250 | 500 | 1000 | 2500 | 5000 -th longest... wikipedia:Votes for deletion, start by the page with most votes etc. etc.

It doesn't have to be 50 | 100 | 250 | 500 | 1000 | 2500 | 5000, The numbers can be changed to fit the pages' needs. Like top 5, top 30, top 100 etc.


Case-insensitive wiki's[edit]

(2002/5/30) I note that the [[ sytax for internal links requires proper capitalization. I like my capitalization to be "proper" and thus use the | syntax all the time to allow the link to work. This is all the more frustrating because many of the entries have incorrect capitalization.

This could all be fixed if the wiki's were case-insensitive in the same way the search is. Or am I missing something obvious?


I'd also prefer case-insensitive linking. If the software were changed, it would be easy, I think, to run a script that automatically generated disambiguating pages for existing pages that differ only in capitalization. LC, Monday, June 10, 2002

This could cause problems for articles that are disambiguated based on capitalization. Quantum Leap/quantum leap, Event Horizon/event horizon, Red Dwarf/red dwarf, Double Star/double star and SISAL/sisal pop to mind (there are probably many more too). Capitalization oftentimes is used for proper legal names and the uncapitalized form is used for a general term (For example: there is the Global Positioning System owned by the US Government but it is just a global positioning system -- to be written). I've already fixed the capitalization of a couple hundred articles and still fix a few here and there whenever I see them. All we need here is a bit of diligence in making sure new submissions are capitalized correctly and in borderline cases make sure redirects exist for alternate capitalizations. Running a conversion script for this would cause an unnecessary mess and before long the displayed title Of Each Page Will Soon Be Oddly Capitalized Due To The Tendency Of English Speakers To Usually Capitalize Titles Of Pages. BTW, if anybody knows of a cluster of Badly Capitalized Articles then just drop me a line and I will move what needs to be moved and just make redirects for the borderline cases. --maveric149
Case-insensitive links wouldn't increase the problem of Article Names That Are Erroneously All Capitalized. Newcomers aren't using that style because of how links work, they're using it because we haven't educated them yet on how to do it properly. It's the same reason they use plurals. -LC, Sunday, June 16, 2002
I can see the potential problems that a case-insensitive linking can spawn; the cure could hurt more than the disease. Writers, we hope, have a good reason for the capitalization they use, and it would be unwise to let the machines run rampant re-capitalizing articles. The capitalization in a title by a writer should stand until changed by a human. A case-insensitive link should have a default routine built in to deal with ambiguities when the link does not provide an exact match. It could provide some kind of warning when there is no exact match, and more than one link is possible. Accent insensitive links would be far more useful. --Eclecticology, Tuesday, June 11, 2002
Case-insensitive links wouldn't mean that the machines run rampant re-capitalizing articles. It would just mean that the link would still connect to the article even if it were capitalized differently. -LC, Sunday, June 16, 2002

A more sensible welcome message[edit]

(2002/5/30) This is a small suggestion, easy to implement. Could the welcome when we have logged on be just "Welcome xxxx". This would be more in keeping with the farewell when we log off. The current message always makes me think I was previously logged on and forgot to log off, particularly when it is terminated by the exclamation mark. (I am not sure if this is a cosmetic user interface feature or not) Vignaux

Need more whitespace[edit]

(2002/1/25) The general layout of Wikipedia looks cluttered. It needs more whitespace to be remotely readable. --Damian Yerrick

I agree, especially at the top it's very busy. For new users, lets just have the page title in <H1>, the Wikipedia tagline, maybe Printable and Edit, then the content. --Carey Evans
I agree too - people new to Wikipedia will probably be overwhelmed by all the different links and actions at the top of the page. I suggest simplifing the top to the most necessary things and putting the rest at the bottom. Are two search boxes really necessary anyway?
Some things are not visible to new (=not logged in) users anyway, like the watchlist. --Magnus Manske

I also agree that the standard skin is too busy for newcomers. Why not make the Cologne Blue skin the default for anyone who isn't logged in? It looks much less cluttered, but still has all the functionality. This ought to be an easy code change, right? LC, Monday, June 10, 2002

Titles independent from URLs[edit]

I just edited Poincaré conjecture, and it was a bit difficult. All of the links off of that page -- Edit this page - Diff - History -- didn't work properly, because the name of the URL wasn't encoded properly. That is, when I went to the article itself, the "é" was properly encoded as "%E9", but it was left alone in the subsidiary URLs, which my browser proceeded to misinterpret.


[I realise that this is my browser's fault. I realise that it is my fault for using a Microsoft product (Internet Explorer for Unix, 5.00.2013.2002). But I can't find anything else with as wide a range of displayable HTML 4.0 character entities. If anybody knows of a (preferably free) alternative for use on Unix (not Linux), that has all of IExplorer's math symbols (not just Greek), then I would be grateful.]

Mozilla displays everything I want on Linux. The accent issue is a bug in our software, reported on wikipedia:Bug reports, and will be fixed with the next software update. After that update, the original version of the Poincaré page should work on all browsers. AxelBoldt

So I went ahead and moved everything to Poincare conjecture, putting the "%e9" in by hand when forming the redirect. Of course, this leads to the problem that the article's title doesn't have the correct accent on the "e". This is a fairly familiar problem; many titles lack apostrophes for the same reason.

So one solution is to make sure that special characters in URLs are passed appropriately in a way that all browsers can understand. But so much better would be to allow Wikipedians to edit the titles of articles independently of their URLs. Then we can simply resolve not to have any special characters in the URLs. This process might even be done automatically; then we can type [[Lou Gehrig's disease]] and have the Wiki software automatically interpret it as it would [[Lou Gehrigs disease|Lou Gehrig's disease]].

Well of course [[Lou Gehrig's disease]] is perfectly OK now and I was just reading old stuff that said it was problematic. But the other reason -- to retitle an article without copying it entirely (and confusing history) -- stands. Toby Bartels

I've seen enough editing of titles for other reasons anyway, and copying articles wholesale to completely different URLs is a lousy way to do it. Editing article titles is an idea whose time has come!

-- Toby Bartels

An article rename function (keeping history intact) is currently in the development version of the software... Brion VIBBER

Change "date" in right column to link to just the date[edit]

The date link in the right column (e.g. April 13, 2002) is also nearly useless. It would be much more effective to link to April 13, 2002, which would have the benefit of giving people "this day in history".

Alternately, it would be nice if a stub page was automatically created for the given day (e.g. April 13, 2002), which links to the previous day, the next day, the date without year (April 13), the year (2002), the day (Saturday), and whatever else is appropriate to automatically fill in. RobLa -- April 13, 2002.

Added 2002 calendar to keep track of what new pages are being created by the date link on the right. Not many there, and even fewer that are useful.

More namespaces[edit]

It would be nice to have a wikipedia utilities:namespace for all the wikipedia utilities, [[talk archive:namespace]]/[[user talk archive:namespace]] for no longer relevant talk comments, and [[wikipedia talk archive:namespace]] for all wikipedia/wikipedia utilites outdated talk. --maveric149, Saturday, April 6, 2002 I no longer feel this is needed. The general format user talk:maveric149/Archive 1 works fine without going namespace crazy (namespaces are for different classes of pages that need to be treated differently by the software). If you follow a link to my talk archive, you will see that "Article" is highlighted on the side by and clicking on that brings you to my user page -- the same thing works for regular talk pages. This was the functionality I wanted with the talk archive. --maveric149

Following on from this - I'd like to see a "meta" namespace added. I know we have the meta domain, but it doesn't cross-link in and has never really worked the way it was supposed to - as a parallel domain without NPOV constraints where people could write biased commentary, argue like fools and also participate in community activities (like choosing the logo, etc). And hell - just hang out with each other, which is an important aspect of a community. This will be a contentious suggestion - meta was created to combat the proliferation on "non-'pedia" writing that was going on, but while I supported the concept, I was always against the complete divorce. - User:MMGB
I think you are on to something with your suggestion Manning (I even flirted with the idea when I made the suggestion for the other namespaces). However, I am worried that it may be too confusing for newbies to have such types of commetary right along side encyclopedia articles. I am also worried that wikipedia may degenerate into another everything2 or someting - especially since editorials are inherently not really editable by anybody but those people with very similar veiwpoints. My idea for the meta, would be to install the greatest and latest Slashcode and have a posting forum that is parallel, yet still separate from the regualar 'pedia. We could still have the mailing lists for higher level stuff and maybee even something similar to the current meta integrated with the Slashcode for more permanent posts. In addition, each time a post would be made on, let's call it the Wikipedia Forum, the title of the post and a link to it would show up in Recent Changes. However, I don't know if implementing such a thing is a good thing until after wikipedia becomes an independent non-profit. On the other hand, such a forum might be too successful and take away attention from writting good articles. Just to be clear though, I am not totally against having a meta:namespace, I am just worried about the possible ramifications. We could always just turn off the meta:namespace and transfer the material if it didn't work out (and this would be alot easier than the forum route). As it is the current meta is just about useless, so something is goint to have to be done. --maveric149, Sunday, April 7, 2002
BTW "meta" would probably be a bad namespace (i.e. not intuitive for newbies). If we choose to have such a namespace something better would probably have to be used - maybe even forum:namespace or wikipedia forum:namespace if we choose not to go with the Slashcode idea. --maveric149
The "Slashcode" idea of mine was dumb -- there are plently of discussion forums on the internet (too many if you ask me), and there is no need to jeopardize wikipedia's uniqueness. I still think it would be a good idea to have better integration of the meta into the regular wikipedia by having a meta:namespace. However, it would be vital to have changes to meta:namespace articles only appear for logged-in users that opt-in to seeing this by selecting a checkbox in their preferences -- this might also be further limited to "trusted hand" or greater users. Otherwise, wikipedia may degenerate into a discussion forum due to the meta's willy-nilly and virtually anything goes post nature (which is in stark contrast to wikipedia's content policies on NPOV and naming). --maveric149

FDL versioning[edit]

The text at the bottom of the input field does not mention which version of the FDL my comments will be released under: 1 only, or 1+. (This is important because the FSF is just closing comments on the FDL 1.2 draft). user:Novalis 2002/03/13. (BTW, sorry if I'm supposed to add stuff at the bottom instead of the top -- Galeon doesn't like long textfields much).

Improved diff[edit]

Wikipedia's diff is currently almost useless. A better diff would look like:

<p> We the people rich white males of the United States of America, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, create a free encyclopedia, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. </p>

Red text: New stuff added or deleted. Non-red bold or strikeout text: Changed stuff. Python's Difflib will, given two sequences, tell you which elements are new, deleted, changed, or original. It's Free Software, and as of the latest version, GPL compatible. It could be ported to PHP. user:Novalis

I really like this idea. However, wouldn't green be a better color for added text? That way one could quickly scan a page to see what was added or taken away. --maveric149
Agree -- user:Novalis 2002/03/13
Actually, we need something slightyl different so that color-blind people can use Wiki too. Maybe green italics for new, red strikeout for cut, black bold strikeout and black bold for changed. -- user:novalis 2002/03/14
I'm colorblind and I love the new diff idea, keep the colors! --Chuck Smith
Any reason we can't each set our own color scheme in the Preferences? Anonymous users, of course, would be stuck with the default, so this wouldn't help everybody. But if you don't like green/red, you could use orange/blue or lavender/crimson without bothering anyone else. -- Rootbeer 2002/04/03
An improved diff function based on that of PhpWiki was checked into CVS a couple of days ago which does at least some of this. Brion VIBBER 2002/03/13
I haven't had a chance to get it running yet, but when I skimmed the code last night, I saw that it was still splitting on

, which is wrong, since single line breaks don't mean anything (actually, I don't know PHP, so I'm assuming that explode is the same as Perl's split). -- user:Novalis 2002/03/13

OK, now I've taken a closer look. The internal diff algorithm is right, since it's the same as Python's difflib. It's just being called on a line-by-line basis, *then* on a word-by-word basis. Output is still insane. -- user:Novalis 2002/03/14

That reminds me -- I think a diff of a redirect page should actually work on *that* page, not show a diff of the page that's been redirected to. Several times I've gotten quite confused when checking a page that had just been changed into a redirect, expecting to see the change from the previous page contents and finding myself looking at a whole nother page instead. Brion VIBBER, Saturday, April 6, 2002

Ahh, finally got around to this one-line fix... done in CVS. Brion VIBBER, Friday, April 26, 2002

Search limit of four characters too short[edit]


The search limit wouldn't let me search for world war 2 or ang lee.

There could be some way to get to exact topic instead of Search, or at least add some kind of I'm feeling lucky. (Boleslav Bobcik, Wednesday, May 29, 2002)

4 characters too short: seconded. Is it possible to search for a phrase? That would partly get around that problem, eg "Ang lee". Searching page titles only would be useful too, and could reduce the load on the server. -- Tarquin, 6 June 2002

From the New Features page[edit]

  • Talk namespaces All namespaces have their own Talk namespace ("Talk", "Wikipedia Talk", "User Talk"), to use instead of a /Talk page. Listed at the bottom of every page, empty Talk pages are red, existing ones are green.

I'd like to suggest that these links should have the same presentation as in-article links: that is to say [talk:My Article]? if not present, and talk:My Article if present. This enforces the same semantics and appearance for these articles as for the rest of the system, making the user interface simpler and more intuitive: there's one less thing to learn. -- The Anome

The presentation suggested (except for the green bit) is the same as presently used for links inside articles. Because it's done with CSS, some browsers use red for nonexistent links while others use question marks instead. So we just need to use the same code in both places, and it'll turn out the same in both places -- except for the green, which presumably wasn't what you were objecting to. -- Toby Bartels


To get favicons working in a standards-compliant way in Wikipedia:

add &lt;link rel="SHORTCUT ICON" href=""&gt; to the head element in all generated pages. This will tell the browser to fetch the icon at the named URL. At the moment, some browsers default to fetching favicon.ico from the site, but this will

  • tell all compliant browsers to do this
  • gives you the option of having different icons on different pages, should you want to

The Anome

There is no Should there be? --Brion VIBBER 2002/02/05 11:48 PST
Shouldn't the icon be a PNG instead of an ICO? Unlike ICO, which is a Microsoft proprietary format, PNG is a W3C standard. --Damian Yerrick

In an ideal world, yes. If we want to look nice and be more user-friendly, we have to live with the fact that most users will be using IE. We should not bash Microsoft if it affects our users adversely. Fortunately, leading open-source browsers (Mozilla) support the .ico format for this purpose. A bit of open-source browser evangelism targeted at IE users would be good, though - I am an enthusiastic Mozilla beta-tester, and 1.0 should be fantastic for the typical PC user.

Suggestion: send .ico to IE users (for user niceness), .png to all others. Give MS until (say) late 2003 to catch up with W3C standards (plenty of time), and then pull the .ico support. -- The Anome

Has anyone actually checked whether MSIE allows PNGs as shortcut icons or not? In any case, I've uploaded a couple of examples of a shortcut icon for Wikipedia, based on the quote, File:Favicon-q.png, and the W, File:Favicon-w.png. --Carey Evans

I checked, and IE doesn't appear to support PNGs. IMHO the W looks quite good, so I turned it into a standard 16-colour Windows icon: [1]. IE, Mozilla, Galeon, Konqueror, and probably Opera support this. --Carey

Here's the right thing to do:

  1. &lt;link rel="icon" href="/upload/favicon-w.png" type="image/png" /&gt;
  2. &lt;link rel="SHORTCUT ICON" href="/favicon.ico" /&gt;

Mozilla will look for the icon; IE will look for the SHORTCUT ICON or the favicon.ico depending on version. And you don't need to store the image at too high quality; a 16-gray PNG should be small in byte size without losing any visible quality. --Damian Yerrick

Konqueror uses favicon.ico and KView can save .ico files. Using .ico does not exclude Linux users. -phma

Diff with current in addition to previous[edit]

If several changes have been made to an article and I go to the History list, I would like to have a way to see all the diffs at once, the net change to the article since I last saw it. With the old software, I'd have clicked on the "diff" link corresponding to the first change, which would have displayed the difference between the original and the current version. The new software (I think?) forces me to click on all "diffs" separately to get a sense of the net changes. AxelBoldt

I second this. The old software was annoying because it only let you see cumulative diffs. The new software is annoying because it only lets you see diffs of individual changes. There should be a way of seeing both types of diff. --Zundark, 2002 Jan 27

My watchlist[edit]

I propose a small modification to the header section of the Special:Watchlist page, similar to a feature already present on the Special:Recentchanges page. In Recentchanges there is an option to show/hide logged in users, bots, etc. I would like an option in "My watchlist" to show/hide my own edits so that edits by others are far more evident. - Gaz 12:32, 1 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I just pulled this from the ignored section, since it is exactly what I wanted to request. --rs2 21:50, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

It would be wonderful if I could see the stubs that are on my watchlist even if they have not been edited. --rs2 21:50, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Yes, I adore the watchlist feature. So anyway, I was wondering if it would be too much of an additional grind on the server to list the number of pageviews for each of the pages on our watchlist? I think many people would be interested in this.

I would also like to be able to make my watchlist public. I hope this could be a feature that can be added in the future. Public watchlist (default: no)

--Chuck Smith

It occurs to me that whenever I hit "watch article", I would also like to see changes to the associated talk page... which may not exist at the time I start watching the article. Might it be useful to automatically include talk pages of watched articles in the watchlist? Brion VIBBER 2002/03/14

I'd say just add all the namespaces when someone puts something on their watchlist. That would make the process simpler I think. How easy would this be to add? --Chuck Smith

Easy as pie. I just checked it into CVS. Brion VIBBER, Wednesday, April 3, 2002
Sweet! How easy would it be to put the pagecounts next to the articles listed on your watchlist? Also, could the pages on my watchlist be boldfaced on Recent Changes for me? --Chuck Smith
(re: page counts) You mean the 'this page has been viewed X times'? Could be interesting info... (bolding watched titles in RecentChanges) Hey, now that's a great idea! Should be pretty easy, too. --Brion VIBBER, trying to edit in lynx while installing new KDE packages

It appears that the Watchlist does not work for all namespaces. I just edited Talk:Wikipedia Announcements and it didn't pop up on My Watchlist. What gives? --Chuck Smith

Jimbo hasn't installed the upgrade yet, apparently. Brion VIBBER, Monday, April 8, 2002
Also, while we're at it... it would be cool if there were a checkbox to add an article to My Watchlist when I Save my changes to an article, but it's probably not worth the effort to add this feature... --Chuck Smith
Actually, I think that's a really great idea. What I would suggest, though, is having an option where saving changes to an article puts it temporarily onto my watchlist; some days I'll go nuts an edit hundreds of articles, and I wouldn't want all of those to be on my watchlist in perpetuity. This feature would be good because if I'm knowledgeable on a subject, and someone else is knowledgeable on the subject, we could wind up in a tennis match of improvement on an article as we keep filling in each other's holes. Bryan Derksen


I would like the Orphans page to not list User: and User:Talk pages. The User pages don't need to be linked to anything, since they are not articles. The User:Talk pages are Talk pages, not articles. They aren't actually orphans anyway: Users are already linked from the List of Users page, and the User:Talk pages are linked to from the User pages. -- Dreamyshade, Feb 5

Seconded. I've been trying to clear out orphans for a while. A more general strategy may be to exclude from the list talk pages where the 'parent' page isn't an orphan, and then to make the namespace links more conspicuous. --Damian Yerrick
Not necessarily. The list of users links to all users, but special:AllPages links to everything.

Also, would it be possible to omit the various Complete list of encyclopedia topics pages when generating orphans? A link from these pages is not really helpful in terms of the general navigation of Wikipedia, there are probably plenty of articles which are only linked to from here and which nobody will ever notice. Bryan Derksen

As a more "out there" idea, how about doing the orphan search as a graph traversal starting at the homepage? That way it would spot "islands" of articles which link to each other but not to anything else in Wikipedia. Bryan Derksen

I think this is a great idea, but it should probably be on a different Orphan page (maybe a "Stranded" page), to separate true orphan pages from island pages. Dreamyshade

Edit page[edit]

Edit conflicts would be a lot more fun and a lot less grueling hot metal pins stuck under the fingernails if a diff between your version and the other person's version were shown. --Brion VIBBER, 2002/02/06 (Suggestion originally from eo::Bezonataj Funkcioj.)

Seconded. --Damian Yerrick

Recent changes[edit]

Editing an article causes the previous edit summary for that article to be removed from Recent Changes. This is incredibly annoying. Not only does it mean that I can't see many of the summaries that other people write, but also I obliterate my own summaries if I edit an article a second time. With the old software there was at least a way to change this behaviour, and it was reasonable to assume that anyone who was inclined to read summaries had set their preferences so that they could see them all. So I would like an option for full Recent Changes (and preferably it should be the default). --Zundark, 2002 Feb 7

Search, Sherlock, and Mozilla[edit]

It would be nice if the search engine could produce results that worked better with Sherlock search plugins, like the one on my user page. Basically, this would mean:

  • Having some easily identified text near each result, the same as Google does with special comments.
  • Using a unique URL, that Mozilla can spot as a cue to pop up the search sidebar when I search from the search box at the top or bottom of the page.
  • Using GET, because Mozilla's search sidebar seems to have issues with POST.

--Carey Evans

I would very much appreciate using GET instead of POST, or at least accepting GET-style parameters. That way my Galeon Smart Bookmarks could start working again. The Perl module parses both GET and POST parameters invisibly to the script; is there a comparable module for PHP? --Michael Shulman

You can actually use GET at the moment - my Mozilla plugin uses a URL like --Carey Evans

Change to username[edit]

Changing a username. Extract from FAQ

"Q. How do I change my username?

A. Simply go to special:editUserSettings and enter a new username and password, then save your settings. The old account will eventually be pushed off the Recent Changes page and can, if you like, be deleted by an administrator."

I tried this, either I am completely daft (very likely), or it cannot be done (perhaps). If it CAN be done, can someone please provide clear instructions, I cannot see a field in special:editUserSettings for changing the username, or if it cannot be done, can the facility be provided please. I ended up creating a new username, which seems a waste. user:Perry Bebbington

I tried it too, for a lark; it does not work.
The only way is to create a new username and start using that one. I'll change the FAQ answer. AxelBoldt
You must first Log Out before putting in a new username (yes, it was different on the old system).

Adding text documents to the upload page, and linking to the uploaded file in an article, displays the text in non-editable text box[edit]

I though of a better idea below --maveric

I just added a new entry on Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not. The entry is concerned with the habit of some, to do wholesale copy-and-paste jobs of public domain source material (i.e. entire books, laws, etc.). One of the worst (or best?) examples is the The Origin of Species article that has each entire chapter in its own subpage! This would be a real nice, cool and useful thing, if the entire planet couldn't edit the text and therefore change what Darwin said. This type of use (misuse?) of public domain text is, for practical reasons, useless. I agree that short and highly relevant documents should be in an encyclopida -- It is just not possible to protect what the original authors said if the text is editable in the wiki way. It would be great, if we had a place to "upload" such text, link to it in an article, and have it displayed in a non-editable, text-box (all it would be in edit mode is the URL to the text file -- just as it now is with images). In this way, the text will be at a stable IP, be content secure (unless somebody overwrites the file), and also be formatted and presented in a consistent way. maveric149

The "Upload" page needs a lot more features if it's going to scale well. There needs to be some way to determine whether any of these files are linked to from Wikipedia articles, and if so, which ones. Also, this page is eventually going to become really big. Don't know how much of a problem that will be, though. Perhaps some way to sort these files by something other than upload date would be useful? Bryan Derksen

Overwrite warning and/or history for Upload files page[edit]

Another scalability issue has to do with the fact that there is no overwrite warning issued when you upload a file that has the same name as a file already on the server. Some type of warning, along with limiting uploads to logged in users (to help prevent somebody from maliciously uploading a porn image, with the file name Pope_John_Paul.jpg for example, to replace an valid image of the Pope with the same file name), would also help. maveric149

Just got into a bit of an upload war :) I was blotting out a whole bunch of stupid banner images from the "never take shit" guy as he was uploading them, and removing some of his earlier spam while I was at it, and it occurred to me how easily I could wipe out a whole bunch of legitimate uploads instead. There should be some sort of "history" for the uploaded files to allow reversion to previous versions. Bryan Derksen

"What articles are linked to this file"[edit]

Sheesh, there's a ton of stuff in there now which doesn't look like it belongs in an encyclopedia. What would really help is some way of finding out what uploads are linked to from which Wikipedia articles. That way it'd be easy to spot which aren't linked at all, and which are linked to from inappropriate articles. Bryan Derksen

More upload and image stuff[edit]

2002/03/21 I've just checked into the CVS repository code to allow contributors to add a brief description (just like the Summary field on page edits) along with a file upload. The description will show up in RecentChanges and in the upload log.

While I'm at it, what else needs fixing with the upload system? (aside from the above) Should we try to limit file types or sizes? etc.

A related thought I recently had was the question of image resolution; a map or diagram that looks great at screen resolution is annoyingly fuzzy on a printed page. Could we use some mechanism for screen/print resolution doublets, where the low res version is shown on a normal page view, and the high resolution version in the printer-friendly view? --Brion VIBBER

Should we add requests to the top or the bottom of this page?[edit]

2002 2 25 Wouldn't it also be a good idea to include the date of the request as well or is there a convention against that? Vignaux

Reverse the date ordering of the "New Pages" listing[edit]

2002 2 25 It is the opposite of the ordering of the "Recent Changes" listing (latest at the top) which I prefer. Vignaux

Pages that link here & REDIRECTS[edit]

It would be nice if the "Pages that link here" utility could follow redirects and list the pointed to article as if it were diectly linked. For example, I originally created the Sutter's Mill article by naming it "Sutters Mill". After creating it, I went ahead and created related articles that linked to Sutters Mill by [[Sutters Mill|Sutter's Mill]]. Which worked OK. But then the new wikiware was installed allowing for apostrophes and I moved all the content in Sutters Mill to Sutter's Mill (so as not to imply that there were multiple owners of the mill who were named "Sutter"). But now, the Sutter's Mill article is an Orpan and there are no articles that are listed in Pages that link to Sutter's Mill except for my userspace. This to spite the fact that the article is linked to several others through a redirect. --maveric149

One problem with the "Pages that link here" feature: if I'm editing an article (e.g. Franz Schubert) that has a redirect coming from another article title (e.g. Schubert), I'd like to be able to see all of the articles that link to both pages. I could do this by looking at both pages (with a little URL fiddling) right now, but it's not easy. Anyway, it's not a major concern. Thanks, -D


Inter-Wikipedia Links[edit]

I just dealt with an article about the French language that was written in French. My solution was to cut and paste it to the French language Wikepedia and to add a Wiki in the form "fr: langue fran?aise". That worked fine. From there I tried to put a Wiki in the form "en: French language" to link it back, but was not so lucky. Is there any way that this sort of link back could be made to work. An other language linkage would be helpful in alerting others that there is already something in English that you only need to translate without writing a whole new article. Eclecticology

When we get all the non-English wikipedias moved over to the new software (currently pending additional work on character sets and yet more changes to the search engine -- see discussions in Wikitech-L -- as well as message string translations), you'll be able to do exactly that. For now, just manually put in a link with the full URL. Brion VIBBER 2002/03/14

The Inter-Wikipedia Links are a great feature, but hard to maintain. And there will hardly be more than a two-sided relation English -> foreign and foreign -> English. You'll hardly find links from let's say German to Portuguese or from Dutch to Polish because this requires people that speak both languages. Now, since the English wikipedia already acts like an "anchor" to those links, why not use it as a search key in an additional database table and create the appropriate links to other languages automatically?

Possible realisation could be like this: Only references from the foreign language page to the English page would be needed. In the database table there is one column for each language. When an article is saved and a link to an English wiki page is encountered, the name of the calling page is stored or replaced in the record of the English page. When pages are displayed, search for the appropriate record and display links to all pages that have an entry there. This system will not work for articles in foreign languages that don't have a counterpart in the English Wikipedia, but since the English Wiki has more articles than all the others together, this will happen only seldom. -- Ben-Zin, Saturday, June 8, 2002

Image captioning[edit]

It'd be nice if the upload page allowed us to enter notes about the images we upload (or even if it required us to enter certain pieces of info.) For instance, we could say where we got the image, whether it's public domain, etc. (sort of the equivalent of writing on the back of a photograph.) This would be useful for resolving copyright problems where nobody bothers to properly caption an image in the article.

Done. It only shows up in the upload log and recent changes so far, but I'm thinking we could have an informational page per-image which would include these comments as well as lists of pages that link to it, etc. Brion VIBBER, Thursday, March 28, 2002

Support HTML[edit]

The more HTML is supported, the better. Some people write naturally in HTML, others prefer the simple wiki style -- why restrict anyone? The only issue with unrestricted HTML is that malicious people could screw up the overall layout of the page, but who cares? We can always just revert to the previous version.

Just don't permit frames, please. Actually, I never missed any tags tht aren't implemented in the current version. What more tags are needed? Actually, I would oppose using <a> tags and I would prefer (contrary to an earlier opinion of mine) marking external links with [ and ] in order to see that they are in fact external links. This way we can tell easily when someone is linking within Wikipedia and when they're abusing the system by adding external links in inappropriate places. Generally speaking, let's keep the markup simple so that the people who can add content, but who don't necessarily know how to code, will feel 100% comfortable contributing. --LMS
I still need some more eyeballs to look at the parser. The question about the HTML tagsa was, should I have a list of allowed tags, or a list of "dangerous" ones and allow all others? Right now, all tags are allowed, except <SCRIPT></script> to prevent JavaScript or similar diseases;)
I second rejecting SCRIPT, FRAME, and IFRAME, but I don't oppose all A elements. For instance, named targets (<a name="">) make it easy to move around an entry that has not yet been broken up into subsections. --User:Damian Yerrick
You must only allow elements and attributes through which you know are safe. With many existing browsers, script can be attached to pretty much any element, and you can never say what wonderful 'features' are going to appear in the next release. You have to restrict what you let through to a safe minimum, and even then you have to worry that there'll be some tricky way of providing plain text which some stupid brower will interpret as an oddly-encopded scripting directive.Matthew Woodcraft


XML is the de facto standard. If we want to attract users from Slashdot, Kuro5hin, Everything, etc., we really need support for a language that feels like HTML. Perhaps we could act like and implement HTML support through XML, requiring all entities to be properly closed and automatically changing submitted pages to be well-formed when submitted in "XHTML mode". XML would also help solve the WYSIWYG vs. WYSIWYM problem by separating content from presentation, with multiple ways to italicize something (<em> for emphasis, <cite> for citing names of works, etc.) and to bold something (<strong> for strong emphasis, <hw> for headwords at the beginning of paragraph, etc.). Could we use some sort of filter to let users edit a page as wikistyle, as XHTML, as UBBCode, etc.? --User:Damian Yerrick

I disagree; implementing XML within a wiki context would be a disaster. We can add XML markup later, to more complete versions of the articles. One of the main reasons why there is this pared-down markup code is so that it is easy to use. Remember that. Your mother should feel like she can figure out how to contribute. --LMS
My idea was to store text as XML on the server, translate it to wikistyle or UBBCode in the edit page, and translate the submitted text back to XML. XML would also make using Wikipedia content with non-Wiki sites easier. --User:Damian Yerrick
I am going to implement different output modes (e.g., printable page [without the links], maybe RTF or PDF), so I could make an XML output function too. That could also be used for generating daily XML tarballs. But, all of this will take place after wikipedia is running on the new script. --Magnus Manske
I would like to support XML, directly or indirectly, so that text can be typed. This could be for typing text areas of documents or for associating text with fields of a record of some kind. In the latter case, you could support Lotus-Notes style database operations. The former could be used to indicate things like Summary, Body, Abstract, Question, Answer, Comment, etc. This is more of a general Wiki idea, but there are ways that this could be interesting for Wikipedia: Sections for Reference, Instances/Examples, Definition, Background, etc. --User:sdw

Reverse query on pages that link here[edit]

How about a reverse query on "pages that link to this page"? And how about making the search function also search titles of pages? --User:Damian Yerrick

My search function covers search in titles, but case-sensitive, due to some setting in MySQL. I'll look into a "reverse link" feature.
It doesn't pick up on the latest titles because somebody seems not to be running the update script too often. Reverse links would automate "see also" sections much as the other site's soft links do. Of course, the ideal would be to run it from a cron job.


I think that this would help Wikipedians keep with growth of Wikipedia: each page should have list of categories it belongs to, something like Biochemistry or Estonia. Categories could be introduced by something like #CATEGORY Foo, Bar or #KEYWORDS Foo, Bar. Then following features would be necessary:

  • RecentChanges for limited set of categories
  • Listing of all articles that belong to some category.
  • Listing of all categories --User:Taw

Download articles[edit]

Is there any mechanism to allow downloading of individual articles, or groups of articles from wikipedia? I don't see any. I suggest that we put a "Download this Page" link on each page on the top and bottom bars. Also, there could be a "search for downloads" feature where you search for words, and there is a check-box next to each article found so that you can check off which you want to download. This would make it easy to download groups of articles on a related subject. (Also, I think we should allow downloading of articles in either plaintext, HTML, or wiki formats, since any could be considered the "source" of the article.) -Joel Schlosberg

Random Page[edit]

On the old software, Random Page omitted /Talk (Talk:) pages, but the new software doesn't anymore. When I click on the Random Page button, I'd like to see articles, not Talk: or User: pages. Dreamyshade

Old requests[edit]