Wikipedia:Reference desk/Miscellaneous

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May 18[edit]

Private hotels[edit]

In the context of late Victorian or early Edwardian London, what was a private hotel, how did it differ from non-private hotels, and was there a term for non-private hotels? The concept appears repeatedly in A Study in Scarlet (early on, Watson stays in one, and at the end, Stangerson is killed in another), and references in The London of Sherlock Holmes make it appear as if there were significant differences between the two types of hotels. Google found almost nothing useful, and I find it difficult to trust, at least. Nyttend (talk) 04:31, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

No reference here, but I rather suspect it may be just a fuller title, and the differentiating is from "inn". --Dweller (talk) Become old fashioned! 09:52, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Maybe the difference is between an inn and a pension (lodging) or a boarding house? Just some ideas. --Jayron32 12:42, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Could it be a translation of the French term "Hôtel particulier"? --Xuxl (talk) 12:52, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
"a residential hotel or boarding house in which the proprietor has the right to refuse to accept a person as a guest, esp a person arriving by chance" - the opposite was a "common inn", where the innkeeper had a legal duty to accept a guest, unless already full. I am not sure if that legal distinction still applies - I suspect it would fall foul of the equality laws, as it would allow the owner to refuse a client for racist or homophobic reasons. There is also an alternative meaning in Australia, where it means there is no alcohol licence, but that would not be the meaning in the Sherlock Holmes stories. Wymspen (talk) 13:32, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
This is speculation, but I suspect that in the Sherlock Holmes context a private hotel is one where many or all of the guests are actually permanent or long-term residents. This used to be a reasonably common way for moderately well-off retired people to live: think of the characters in Separate Tables (film), or the Major and Miss Tibbs & Miss Gatsby in Fawlty Towers. I had a great-uncle who lived in this way in a hotel in Edinburgh for many years around the 1960s (though his was more of a "normal" hotel). AndrewWTaylor (talk) 08:17, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Maybe it was just meant to sound a bit exclusive, "private" in the sense of not open to the hoi-polloi (as the dictionary definition suggests). They are still around, I found the Bluedaws Private Hotel in London. Alansplodge (talk) 01:07, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Most hotels allow the general public to use the dining room and the bar. Maybe private hotels are off - limits for this. (talk) 11:59, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Probably right. It fits in with the modern Australian definition of a hotel without a bar. Alansplodge (talk) 21:17, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

May 19[edit]

Inmate numbers for Nazi concentration camps[edit]

During the Holocaust, did all concentration camp inmates have their numbers tattooed on their bodies, or was this only done at Auschwitz-Birkenau? More specifically, was this done at the Hinzert and/or Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camps as well? 2601:646:8E01:7E0B:B167:959E:4F51:222F (talk) 08:02, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

There is an article on this - Identification in Nazi camps which clearly states that not all camps used tattoos. Bear in mind also that identification numbers only applied for those being held in camps for a period of time: in the extermination camps there was often no record of who went to the gas chambers, and no numbers were allocated to those who were going to be murdered immediately. I can find no specific references to the two camps you named. Wymspen (talk) 11:27, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

site for book comparison of same title[edit]

Is there a website for comparing books with the same title but different editions like 10th edition of Understandable Statistics and 12th edition of Understandable Statistics, both written by Charles Henry Brase and Corrinne Pellillo Brase? I am asking this because I want to see if there are any differences between those two in terms chapters, questions, sections and etc. Donmust90 (talk) 23:01, 19 May 2017 (UTC)Donmust90Donmust90 (talk) 23:01, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

I sincerely doubt it, since it would involve a copyright violation, unless the publishers themselves chose to provide such a service. Often the preface of a later version will say what has been changed in a general way. The 10th Edition of Fromkin and Rodman (the standard intro to linguistics textbook) begins with such a preface, but nothing concrete is mentioned, just that some chapters have been moved, added, rewritten or expanded.
If your concern is for a class you are taking, I used to save hundreds a semester by asking the professor if I could use, say, the 4th edition, rather than the 6th. The normal response was fine, just as long as I could get a copy of any material assigned that was not in the older edition. Usually the only difficulty I had was the page numbers didn't match. μηδείς (talk) 00:17, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

May 20[edit]

posting ad for modelling for college students[edit]

Is there a site for posting an ad for modelling for university and college students especially here in Toronto Canada? If you ask me what type of modelling, it is foot modelling. Donmust90 (talk) 01:22, 20 May 2017 (UTC)Donmust90Donmust90 (talk) 01:22, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

Craig's List? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:26, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Kijiji also has a job opportunity system. Here's the one for jobs in Toronto. I suppose you could take out a classified ad in one of the student papers. Matt Deres (talk) 02:30, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

May 21[edit]

What (exactly) is the workflow for a new Wikipedia article? (Wikipedia doesn't tell, please no fairy tales...)[edit]

Dear reference desk folks,

I hope you can help with this. I'm writing a research paper (for a library-&-inf. science journal) with an assessment of Wikipedia as reference work, but after some months I'm still lacking understanding of how exactly the evaluation of a new article runs. I have authored one article in 2010, made edits in varied articles, have some years of experience (although sparsely), but I'm still far from "seeing" the process clearly. My question could be phrased in different ways, but I'm not sure what and whom to ask:

  • What exactly is the workflow?
  • Exactly what happens when new content is added to Wikipedia? (If there is a defined workflow)
  • How is a new article received and evaluated? (Is there anyone appointed to check new submissions?)
  • Is there a defined workflow that all contributions follow? (mandatory checking, specific sequence etc.)
  • Can a new article stick without some editor approving it?
  • Does editor rank influence the initial decision or only if a dispute arises then the hierarchy becomes relevant?

The sources I have read without success in understanding what exactly happens once a new article is put online include:

I hope someone can enlighten me on that. But REALLY enlighten (not pointing to existing evasive content). Best regards, Vmkern (talk) 01:50, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Wikipedia works through a magical combination of chaos, pedantry, and volunteerism. Few things are mandated. There are people who decide to help out in a particular portion of the encyclopedia, but nobody - apart from the vanishingly few employees Wikimedia has - is required to do anything a moment longer than they wish to. The process for creating an article is not straightforward as there are multiple ways of doing it. Registered users may decide to start their composition in a user sub-page or directly in the live article space. Unregistered users may use the process here (and see also here). The AFC process is staffed by volunteers who try to nurture both the users and new articles and any page (anywhere) may be considered for deletion. New articles will stay by default; another user does not have to vet them per se, but in practice, plenty of people patrol new pages on a voluntary basis. Hierarchy is not supposed to be relevant, but as with any organization, more established users find it easier to have their opinions heard. Firstly, simply because they supposedly know what should stay and what shouldn't, so they tend not to make obviously inappropriate articles. Secondly, they know how the system works and how to operate within it. (For example, they'll start in draft space rather than article space, so that their rough drafts aren't out in the open for people to see). In extreme cases, that amounts to gaming the system. Matt Deres (talk) 02:26, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
An "exact" workflow is pretty much exactly what there is not.
Most organizations start out small and informal and collaborative, and as they get bigger, discover that they need more and more rules and structure and bureaucracy and enforcement mechanisms. Wikipedia has had some of that, of course, but to a remarkably small extent compared to other large institutions. To a large extent, Wikipedia is a huge group of people working collaboratively and cooperatively, doing whatever they want as long as "what they want" keeps mostly inside the guidelines, and/or doesn't cause too much disruption. For the most part, people follow the guidelines (and a few rules) for some combination of (1) because they want to and (2) because they recognize that the guidelines are essential for the site to function as it does, but notably not (3) because there are heavyhanded enforcement mechanisms forcing them to.
All of which is by way of background to say, there certainly is no one, exact workflow for article creation! I gather some editors start at WP:AFCHD, which seems to have a pretty well-defined process. But if a reasonably experienced editor has an idea for a new article, they can just write it in place and then wait for others to improve it. (One I remember creating in this way was glass cutter, though that was a few years ago by now. But I don't imagine I couldn't do that today.) —Steve Summit (talk) 11:49, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Other semicasual processes that patrollers or others may do is tag pages for problems, such as lack of references or categories, or section headers. Some others will go around adding categories or stub templates. yet others like to disambiguate wikilinks that go to disambiguation pages in error. Others may copyedit to fix up mistakes. Yet others specialise in adding a comma after the word "however". Many of these simple non-controversial but repetitive jobs are done by Wikignomes. Robots may go around looking for vandalism, or semi automated processes may fix up references. Projects can go around an tag pages as belonging to a project. Then a group of editors may be interested in improving those pages, or defending against deletion. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 12:55, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
There was one editor who used to spend his time changing everybody's hyphens to dashes, or was it the other way about? Either way, the difference is barely discernible, but it made him happy I suppose. Alansplodge (talk) 13:59, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
May I also recommend a look at Category:Books about Wikipedia. Alansplodge (talk) 13:45, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
I have created a few articles over the years, going back to 2006.. It may start with me wanting to look something up in Wikipedia and finding there is no article.I wanted info about Johnny Carson's TV show director and there was no article so I created Fred de Cordova. Since its 2006 creation it has had 40,000 page views, or 59 per day. Not knowing about draft space back in 2006, I had a naive goal of getting a keepable draft, with a claim of notability and inline references before I hit "save" and it appeared in mainspace where eager deleters waited. As a result the browser kept eating large sections of the text, before I got to a 4000 word article with a number of references, however ill-formatted. In one sad case, the subject I created an article about was a child of early British royalty. I did my research, wrote the draft article in my user space, then found that we already had a fine article about him under a somewhat different name, so I deleted my article. It sometimes seems that "all the good articles are already written" which it comes to places, historical persons, and topics in science and culture. I once took an encyclopedia and went article by article to see if Wikipedia had an article for each article in the encyclopedia. One was missing: a fish called American plaice so I created the article. It gets about 25 views a day.Sometimes science news includes exciting new things which seem to have encyclopedic notability and get widespread coverage in the popular media in addition to publication in a refereed scientific journal. I created an article about ViroCap announced in 2015, a sensitive test which can "detect most of the infectious viruses which affect humans and animals" and is "as sensitive as the various Polymerase chain reaction assays for the viruses." I think I jumped the gun and it would have been better to wait for more secondary reliable sourcing in science journals, since it has been 2 years without much followup. Much of science is this way. Wikipedia assumes notability for US politicians at least down to the state legislator level, and to verify that I created articles about three such legislators,Ambrose Abbott, Jesse C. Gilbert and George Herbert Babb in 2008. They are hardly important or well known, just verified. But there have been thousands of such legislators in US history. These boring articles only get about one view per day. Copiale cipher and Rita Crundwell were subjects in the news which seemed to have obvious notability and lots of good sources, and they get 90 and 87 page views a day. So one can select clearly encyclopedic subjects with lots of references, which somehow got missed, the draft an article in user space, adding references and categories, then simply move it into mainspace. like the articles about de Cordova and the fish. I really think that does more to enhance the encyclopedia than to create articles about things in the news, although that is more exciting. If you start an article in mainspace with a title, a couple of sentences which make some unclear claim of notability or no claim of notability, and which have no references, some overzealous patroller is likely to tag it for deletion or for lacking references, which you may find off-putting. You may find it useful to find the templates which help format references. To find categories, it is helpful to consult a good article about a similar subject, and copy the appropriate categories. Edison (talk) 17:20, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
  • There is no official workflow. Any workflow has a step that creates an initial article in the main namespace, and for a article that will remain in Wikipedia, that initial article must be about a notable subject and have reliable sources. (It must also adhere to a few other policies, like not being a copyright violation.) The article can be poor in almost all other respects: it will be improved by the editing process. The rationale for this is that any article is better than no article, because it becomes the starting point for improvement. Example: In the early days of Wikipedia, There were one-sentence stub articles of the form: "George Washington was the first president of the United states" with a single reference. By policy, this is still acceptable. Most contributors now create an initial draft that meets the two criteria and then move the draft to mainspace. Others create a quite good article as a draft before moving to mainspace. Still others create a draft and solicit comments on the draft. I have created quite a few articles by copying from the public-domain DNB. I have used various techniques, but in every case the initial mainspace article met the two criteria. The crudest technique that I used initially was to dump the raw DNB article into mainspace with only a single addition of an attribution to DNB for the article, before then cleaning, formatting, adding links, etc. My rationale was that the edit history would show exactly what had originally come from the DNB. I later did most of the initial steps in a draft article and them move it to mainspace, since I finally (doh!) figured out that the edit history is retained. In no case did I attempt to adhere to anybody else's workflow standards. -Arch dude (talk) 18:37, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Note that we actually have a policy that states that we should NOT provide you with an exact workflow: Wikipedia:Ignore all rules. This policy includes an explicit injunction to avoid instruction creep. -Arch dude (talk) 18:41, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
The key to organizing [Wikipedia] is to organize people around what they can do and more importantly what they want to do. This paraphrases Abbie Hoffman's words in Revolution for the Hell of It (1968) p.135. Abbie died too soon to hear of Wikipedia and instead spoke of "an alternative society". Blooteuth (talk) 22:21, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
I created Stratford Langthorne Abbey and just look at it now. I'm both proud and humbled. Easy to create a stub and then WP editors will take over. Itsmejudith (talk) 22:56, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Likewise, this was my very first article, in all its glory, written by an utter beginner who obviously had no idea of what he was doing. Look at it now. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:08, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
My first was Vampire (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) because I noticed that stuff about vampires in general was repeated for each of the prominent vampires. It was more than a stub; but in about a week someone replaced it with, well, a mess! — Later I replaced Enclave and Exclave with Enclave and exclave and List of enclaves and exclaves, because they had so much overlap. I announced my intentions and then Just Did It. (From time to time, the article proper grows to resemble the list. Eternal vigilance is the price of brevity.) — Those may be my only creations; I wonder whether there's a tool to see whether there are others. —Tamfang (talk) 04:41, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
Go to "User contributions", click "Only show edits that are page creations". It will greatly cut down on the possibilities but still shows pages you created by being the first commenter on a talk page, moving a page, creating a redirect, etc. as well as new articles. Rmhermen (talk) 05:41, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. Wow, I was quite the redirectin' fool for a while. Also one article that I had forgotten: List of places in Cieszyn Silesia, out of List of German exonyms for places in Cieszyn Silesia and List of Czech exonyms for places in the Polish part of Cieszyn Silesia and List of Polish exonyms for places in the Czech part of Cieszyn Silesia. —Tamfang (talk) 08:02, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

Thanks Matt Deres, Steve Summit, Graeme Bartlett, Alansplodge, Edison, Arch dude, Itsmejudith, Jack of Oz, Tamfang, Rmhermen. I'm now enlightened about the notorious-and-nonexistent editorial workflow. Very interesting. It seems to me the huge success of Wikipedia a threshhold/critical mass thing. That's why the English Wikipedia has good quality and the Portuguese one, not. What a social/civic phenomenon. Vmkern (talk) 14:15, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

I picked a Página aleatória (which I assumed to mean "random article") and it came up with [[pt:Teudas]]. What's poor quality about it? (talk) 19:09, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
Picking one counterexample at random is no basis on which to demolish a general statement. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:28, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
In the Portuguese Wikipedia, Teudas links to a stub article about an obscure Gnostic Christian who was a disciple of Paul of Tarsus, and to a longer article about the concept of Messiah in Judaism. The latter article is flagged as lacking reliable sources for part of its content. Blooteuth (talk) 01:44, 23 May 2017 (UTC)
"Teudas" in pt:wp doesn't link to any other articles. While "Messiah in Judaism" is defective, lack of sourcing is not one of the criticisms. The Portuguese equivalent would be Messias no Judaísmo, which gets no hits. The nearest articles are [[pt:Messias]], complemented for having "reliable and independent sources" and [[pt:Judaísmo messiânico]], which receives a similar accolade. (talk) 10:56, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

May 23[edit]