Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)

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Proposal: Make Wikipedia's in-house ads (Geonotices) opt-in[edit]

Wikipedia now has ads. They appear on one's watchlist page. Ads running right now include: "West Virginia University Library is hiring a Wikipedian in Residence", and "Join and add your city to the Great American Wiknic meetup events in July and August 2015". The volume of those ads has increased substantially in recent months. There's no obvious way to opt out of those ads. There should at least be an opt-out. I'd suggest going further; those should be opt-in, or not present at all.

(Yes, those are ads. "Advertising is a form of marketing communication used to persuade an audience to take or continue some action, usually with respect to a commercial offering, or political or ideological support." See Advertising.) John Nagle (talk) 19:34, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

The geonotice on the watchlist page can be disabled in your preferences, under the "Gadgets -> Watchlist -> Display notices on your watchlist about events in your region." section. Nakon 20:14, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure all of them are specific to events in our region. For example, I'm in Indiana, in the United States. Nevertheless I still get the one about West Virgina University; I got the banner about freedom of panorama in Europe; the Wikinic one is for all locations; the Wikilibrary ones are for all locations...
That said, they are easy enough to hid or dismiss by clicking the button that says "hide" or "dismiss". You only need see them once. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 20:33, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
The location for the WVU one is defined as "US", so it's being presented to the entirety of the United States. The full list of local entries can be found at MediaWiki:Gadget-geonotice-list.js. Nakon 20:37, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
The WVU ad is the worst one. It's a wordy job ad with too wide a distribution. "Just hit delete" is an classic spammer argument. [1] John Nagle (talk) 08:12, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
Today I get "Wikipedia Library and Wiki Education Foundation are announcing 5 new Visiting Scholar positions." Why am I getting this with Geonotices turned off? I've now turned off "Central notices" as well. Is there a delay before those preference options take effect, or do they not really work? John Nagle (talk) 21:15, 15 July 2015 (UTC)

Related suggestions[edit]

I agree that sometimes the "ads" can be annoying, but I also would like to see them just once, as occasionally one may interest me. Since I do not stay logged in for the 30-days at a time (browser settings set to clear cookies when closed, for privacy/security), I see notices every time I log in to WP and check my watchlist. "Hide" only removes notices while logged in, so the next time I log back in, I will often see the same notices. Sometimes, the same notices appear for weeks. It's a minor annoyance to look at the list and determine if there are any new ones.

Suggestion 1: When clicked, the "Hide" button should permanently hide the notice so that it does not appear the next time a user logs in. Suggestion 2: For users who may want to see notices, but not see a wall of text every time they look at their watchlist, I suggest an option be created (in preferences>watchlist) to place notices in a collapsible list that would not be fully expanded

A better phrase than "Notices" is needed and any implementation would need to look better. The collapsible list is just for illustrative purposes. Users would still be able to permanently hide notices with suggestion two and change their preferences to display only central notices. I strongly support suggestion one. I am neutral to suggestion two...it's just something that crossed my mind and that is worth discussing.AHeneen (talk) 07:49, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

Odd, I have this enabled and didn't see any notices when I clicked on watchlist from a site in the US. WP:Geonotice doesn't list the West Virginia entry. Is there some other way to access this content? Wnt (talk) 11:51, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
I have a suggestion for ad and promotion placement: http://i.imgur.com/KXAGJgZ.jpg Syberiyxx (talk) 06:10, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

WikiWidgets[edit]

The WikiWidgets project is about adding interactive JavaScript widgets into some articles, to help illustrate and explain the concepts within them. The Spanish Wikipedia has already implemented it, you can try the two existing wikiwidgets here and here. This proposal is about bringing the project to the English Wikipedia. In order to do so, several things need to be done. The first is to create the Template:WikiWidget. That's easy, I already did it. The second is to add the following code to MediaWiki:Common.js:

/**
 * Inserts WikiWidgets in the articles with the Template:WikiWidget
 * WikiWidgets serve to illustrate and explain interactively the concepts treated within articles
 */
var WikiWidgetLogo = $( '<img>' ).attr({
	'class': 'WikiWidgetLogo',
	'title': 'Click to load the WikiWidget',
	'src': 'https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/57/WikiWidget_Logo.svg/200px-WikiWidget_Logo.svg.png',
});

WikiWidgetLogo.click( function ( event ) {
	var wikiwidget = $( event.target ).parent().data( 'wikiwidget' );
	importScript( 'MediaWiki:WikiWidget-' + wikiwidget + '.js' );
	importStylesheet( 'MediaWiki:WikiWidget-' + wikiwidget + '.css' );
});

$( '.WikiWidget' ).html( WikiWidgetLogo );

This code checks for the presence of the WikiWidget template in every page. When found, it replaces it with the WikiWidget logo:

WikiWidget Logo.svg

When a user clicks the logo, the wikiwidget named in the first parameter of the WikiWidget template gets loaded. If the wikiwidget is called X, the loaded code will be MediaWiki:WikiWidget-X.js and MediaWiki:WikiWidget-X.css. So the third step is to add the code of one or both existing wikiwidgets to their proper pages in the MediaWiki namespace, that is:

You can find the code in the homonymous pages in the Spanish Wikipedia, or at the Git repos here and here. Fourth, a line of CSS needs to be added to MediaWiki:Common.css in order to make the logo shine a little, when hovering over it.

.WikiWidgetLogo:hover {
	cursor: pointer;
	opacity: 0.9;
}

Lastly, a few pages of documentation would need to be created, probably Wikipedia:WikiWidget, the documentation page for the Template:WikiWidget and maybe even a Wikiproject:WikiWidgets.

I should mention that I already made this proposal here and here. The first time was before it got implemented in the Spanish Wikipedia, and it didn't garner much support, maybe due to technical and conceptual immaturity, so I took it to my home project and implemented it there before returning here. The second time it got much more support, but it got archived prematurely, so I'm posting it again. In these discussions and the one in the Spanish Wikipedia, a few concerns were recurrent:

  • Accessibility: the wikiwidgets are written in JavaScript, so obviously, users without JavaScript won't be able to run them. However, the WikiWidget template has a nice fallback: the second parameter is the file that will be shown to the user when s/he doesn't have JavaScript enabled. Similarly, when printing a page, the fallback file is shown.
  • Performance: the only new code that is added to every request is the one in MediaWiki:Common.js. The code of the wikiwidgets themselves is only loaded when the logo is clicked, and by convention the wikiwidgets don't start automatically, so the load additional requests and CPU cycles are minimised.
  • Security: the code of the wikiwidgets will be stored in the official Wikimedia git repositories at git.wikimedia.org. All code will go through code review before getting into Wikipedia, so the risk of malicious code should be no greater than with any other piece of code. Furthermore, the existing wikiwidgets are composed of a single JavaScript file of less than 1000 lines of code, and future wikiwidgets are unlikely to grow much larger, so they are quite easy to review.

A few users have already contributed to this proposal, I invite you all to join in again LFaraone, JohnBlackburne, WhatamIdoing, SMcCandlish, Stuartyeates, APerson, Krinkle and Unready. Cheers! --LFS (talk) 23:07, 12 July 2015 (UTC)

Felipe, is there any chance that you'll be in Mexico City for the Hackathon and Wikimania this week? WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:08, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
Hi WhatamIdoing, unfortunately no, but we can coordinate a Hangout or Skype meeting if it's useful. --LFS (talk) 21:18, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
The Spanish implementation is like a black box, with no indication to the reader that it's anything other than a picture (no caption or title attribute). It would be nice, when javascript is enabled, for the script to directly load into a passive state (as both examples currently do) so that something interesting appears right off the bat. I wish the widget could have a caption beneath it, in all states, like an image. I don't know why the logo needs to be involved at all; the widget would load for those who have js enabled; and an image or whatever loads for those who don't. That aside I support adding this capability to Wikipedia. (It would also be nice if the two available widgets were given simple, explanatory names rather than the artful but cryptic names that are currently used. Compare {{WikiWidget|GameOfLife}} to {{WikiWidget|Vivarium}}...) Riggr Mortis (talk) 00:11, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for your comment and support Riggr Mortis. The widgets did load in passive mode before, but a few comments made in the previous discussion led me to change that for the logo. Basically, the aim is to minimise the number of requests and data sent with each request, in order to reduce the load to those with a slow connection. There are a few other advantages too. First, using the logo would give an uniform initial interface to all the widgets, so as to make them recognisable (the two existing widgets are very similar, but future ones may look very different). Second, if the widgets start out loaded passively, they would need to have a small size so as to fit in the article without crunching the text. However, if they start out as a logo, then when the logo is clicked, the wikiwidget could expand to full size without upsetting the user (there would need to be a button to close it of course). So far, the two existing widgets expand to a small size, but this can easily change in the future, which to me is an exciting possibility, as more space adds more potential. On the other hand, I totally agree that there should be at least a title to the image, so I just added it to my proposed code. A caption may work too, but I'd like to hear other opinions before implementing it. Regarding the names of the widgets, I chose Formicarium and Vivarium mainly because they are more language-neutral (similar to latin names for species). These two widgets will serve as examples for showing the project to other Wikipedias, so I want to avoid language-based complaints if possible. What do you think? --LFS (talk) 15:39, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
Is this just an FYI post, or are we supposed to support/oppose something, or provide some other particular form of input? (I do support, as in previous version of thread).  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  03:30, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
I just want to make sure every major issue is accounted for before requesting the changes to the MediaWiki namespace. By the way, is anyone here able to do said changes?
Jackmcbarn, ais523, Technical 13, Anomie, SFB, you participated in the first discussion about this proposal. It has evolved a lot since then. Should we implement it? --LFS (talk) 22:09, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Personally, I'd rather see this done in the software instead of on-wiki, but I guess this is good as a stopgap. Jackmcbarn (talk) 22:43, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Request for comment: Bot flags and bureaucrats[edit]

Should we remove the bot flagging ability from bureaucrats and add it to a newly created a BAG user group? Σσς(Sigma) 07:21, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

This is a noticeboard for bot owners. Please move your RfC to WP:VPR or such. Legoktm (talk) 08:01, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

- or to the Bureaucrats' noticeboard. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 08:05, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

  • Comment: If we were to do that the only thing left for the bureaucrats would be closing RfAs. As it stands, the bureaucrats are a dying breed, but we need them. Although there are 30 or so of them it's difficult to get more than a handful together for a 'crat chat in a reasonable time. What we need are more truly active bureaucrats. The only way we'll do this is to give them more to do, not less. By increasing their tasks, it would attract new candidates for 'cratship and prevent the group's ultimate extinction. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 08:05, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

The contents of this discussion have been copied from WP:BON. Σσς(Sigma) 08:46, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

Note - As there have been concerns over the phrasing of the initial statement, one should treat this as asking for input on two separate, but related, issues: (a) whether we should remove the bot flagging ability from bureaucrats and (b) whether we should create a new BAG member user group, which will have the ability to flag bots. Σσς(Sigma) 20:14, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Naturally I'm very biased here, being a BAGer and non-'crat myself (and additionally as the person who mentioned this idea to Σ), but I support this. The current situation is a little odd; the BAG is responsible for gauging consensus and approving/denying bots from a policy standpoint but the technical task of adding the flag is left to bureaucrats. This is akin to a situation where 'crats are allowed to close RfAs but the act of promoting admins is left to stewards, or something similar. In practice this matters little, but it does lead to wait times after approval before a bot is flagged. if BAGers had this technical ability, we could do it as part of the approval process and there would be no wait time. While one could make the argument that bureaucrats act as a second/sanity check during bot approvals to make sure nothing was missed, in practice I'm not sure how true this is. Never have I known a 'crat to deny a bot flag, and I assume they mostly just watch Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/Approved for new approvals, verifying that there are no obvious issues. — Earwig talk 09:01, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
    I would also like to add some additional background here: this is the only substantial previous discussion on this topic that I could find, over six years ago. Primary opposition seems to be due to concerns over BAG operation, but I'm not sure how that applies here since this is just for the technical flagging ability, not for some kind of process reform. Bot controversies only happen after bots have been running for a while; the current situation seems less like a check for me than a bureaucratic (ha) extra step. I would also like to stress the fact that the +bot flag itself does very little; we can't grant it to edit through blocks or other serious things. Its most notable function is hiding edits from recent changes. — Earwig talk 09:25, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
    But if there is a need for process reform, adding the technical ability before the process is putting the cart before the horse - I would like to see the process BAG would use to flag bots before deciding. The "sanity check", as you called it, is a valuable step. –xenotalk 14:29, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Not a single thread of rationale has been provided as to why this should be done. As such, I can't see anyone can do anything but Oppose. Kudpung's points are also valid here. Dennis Brown - 09:40, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support if the right is unbundled (which may require agreement on other projects and interest from developers to do the unbundling). I reproduce below some evidence I once presented to ArbCom regarding the role of bureaucrats in the bot approvals process:

The role of bureaucrats in the bot approval process

The assignment of bot status was up until April 2006 within the technical remit of stewards, with requests being made on meta. In keeping with their usual role, the stewards deferred to local communities to determine the consensus for bots to run and issued flags based on the approval decisions of groups on local Wikis such as BAG, where these existed. When the technical ability to assign flags was given to bureaucrats, they assumed the same role as the stewards had previously played - acting on the advice of the Bot Approvals Group. In some situations where BAG have been unable to reach a consensus, they have asked bureaucrats to aid them in making certain determinations - e.g. whether there is consensus for someone to join BAG. However, the local community has never accorded bureaucrats an "oversight" role over bot operations. It is a misunderstanding to think that bureaucrats have delegated the task of bot review to BAG. Unlike the promotion of new administrators or the performing of rename, the bureaucrat role here is largely technical.

This is reflected in that fact that where the assignment of a flag is not needed, bureaucrats have no role at all in the approval process. Examples of such situations would be:

  • The approval of a bot to run unflagged
  • The approval of an additional task (however different) for a bot with an existing flag

BAG is mandated by the community to determine the technical suitability of a bot, its compliance with policy and whether a consensus for a task exists. It follows that bureaucrats are not empowered to make a separate judgments as to consensus and to refuse to flag, or to withdraw a flag by virtue of having the technical ability to do so.

When bots are approved, they are listed at Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/Approved and the next bureaucrat to check that list will assign the flag. Once a bot is listed, bureaucrats rely on the approval decision of BAG.

SquelchBot - a declined flag

In one recent case, I did decline to flag a bot [2]. This was expressly because I judged the approval to have been only partial - Tawker had only endorsed the technical merits of the bot. It was later decided this bot would run unflagged.
In the circumstances, I have no problem with "cutting out the middleman" and giving BAG the tools to do the job themselves. I don't think there's any need to invent work for bureaucrats to do - if the community would like to keep us busy, feel free to increase the number of RfA nominations (we used to close the same number each month that we now close a year!). WJBscribe (talk) 10:26, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
  • I still prefer a two key system, and there are only 4 BAG members listed as active (and there is value in having one key with a separate branch). There also hasn't been any indication that having bureaucrats flag bots has caused any undue delays. –xenotalk 10:42, 13 July 2015 (UTC) Disclosure note: Current bureaucrat
    I agree that lack of BAG members is a concern. For that matter, it is a concern with the current system - any idea why BAG membership is so depleted? WJBscribe (talk) 11:22, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
    It's a peripheral part of the project, I suspect. Thus lack of interest, and it requires some technical understanding. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 11:25, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
    It's a largely thankless and generally boring (and sometimes tedious) task. –xenotalk 11:28, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
    Still it has not caused any huge delays. It is only few days that I wished we had extra help. -- Magioladitis (talk) 08:40, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose removing the ability from bureaucrats because it would make them unable to reverse earlier bureaucrat actions and the BAG group is understaffed and prone to attrition. I am not opposed to a usergroup for BAG being created that can assign and remove the bot flag (so, in addition to bureaucrats) as long as it is not the same person that approves the bot who also flags the bot ("four-eye principle"). –xenotalk 13:36, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support giving ability to BAG, oppose removing from bureaucrats. I agree with everything xeno has to say in the "oppose removing the ability from bureaucrats". I think it's reasonable for BAG members to handle the flagging and even more important for bureaucrats to handle the flag in for nonstandard scenarios. This would certainly be a Nice Thing to have, and as long as the flag is handled with care, there shouldn't be any problem going forward. E. Lee (talk) 17:24, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Why not just add this to the adminstrator toolkit, like many other user rights? What was the rationale for selecting bureaucrats for this task? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 08:15, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
    • Please not allow this to every admin. It may become a subject of admin shopping. The BAG should have control of the bot flagging. Cooperation with bureaucrats was never an obstacle to this. I did a lot of effort in removing flags lately for security reasons. A compromised admin account with the ability to add bot flag is a nightmare. -- Magioladitis (talk) 08:37, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
      • @Magioladitis: Why is this any worse than a compromised admin account granting autopatrolled/ipblock-exempt or the other flags we can grant that are included in the bot user right? — Earwig talk 20:19, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
        • @The Earwig: they can create an admin bot and delete many pages within minutes. -- Magioladitis (talk) 20:23, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
          • How? Admins can already do this with their own account using automated tools; I don't see what the bot flag contributes to the equation. — Earwig talk 20:28, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
            • Are you sure they can? I ll check it. -- Magioladitis (talk) 20:40, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
    • I also considered this, but I think it could become too chaotic if that many people could grant the bot flag. –xenotalk 10:58, 15 July 2015 (UTC)′
      • Yeah, have you seen all the chaos at WP:PERM? ;) — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 11:09, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
        • The main issue I see would be folks self-flagging their own bot accounts without approval. –xenotalk 11:20, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support giving ability to BAG, oppose removing from bureaucrats This is very very interesting. As a BAG member I sometimes considered applying for a bureaucrat flag only for this reason. BAG members certainly need the bog flag ability. I see not reason to remove this ability for bureaucrats. Bureaucrats are trusted members of the community in helping in these issues. -- Magioladitis (talk) 08:35, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
    Do you agree that's it's best for the approver to not also be the flagger? I'd prefer two sets of eyes , as now. –xenotalk 10:58, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
    xeno Some thoughts: a) Sometimes I needed to be able to give bot flags was in order to allow bot owners perform bot trials. b) We do not require two set of eyes for admin flag. On the other hand, I think that bureaucrats should be aware of any flags given. So, I am neutral on that. Still, I do not reject your idea and I understand the reasoning behind. We have to find a middle ground between more bureaucracy and security. -- Magioladitis (talk) 12:01, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
    a) in this case [if you gave the flag for the trial], you would just leave your recommendation once the trial was complete and let another BAG member give the final approval. b) we have dozens of sets of eyes on admin flag (all the participant's and most bureaucrat's) while a bot's first task could be shepherded through by just one BAG member, BRFA is not well-attended. I'd prefer at least one other set of eyes before the approval and flagging. (anticipated) c) I understand unflagged bots could get their first task approval by a single BAG member but this doesn't concern me as much because those edits aren't marked with the bot flag. –xenotalk 12:40, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
    I meant that there is a case that you need to hand the flag for a limited period (for instance enable bot mode in AWB) and you ll want this ti be done with not much bureaucracy. And there is also the point you just made. In many cases we hand out bot flag but we do not attended what follows. We recently had a case of an editor running a bot outside the bot trial period. But, yes, I understand your concerns and I would not like to sacrifice security over flexibility. I like your proposal but I will try to find an even better solution if there is any. -- Magioladitis (talk) 12:52, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
    @xeno: In that case, should we require two BAG members to approve new tasks for an existing bot with a flag? New tasks can be totally unrelated to existing ones, and bureaucrats have no involvement in this process, so single BAG members are currently approving flagged bot tasks. WJBscribe (talk) 12:59, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
    I'd leave that decision up to BAG; it's reasonable to assume that once the bot operator has the one task and the flag ongoing, there is sufficient evidence that the bot flag is being used responsibly and just an additional standard approval is enough for me. –xenotalk 14:00, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
  • I don't knowe owt about bots except that they constantly cause us grief. The more eyes on them the better, and that means keeping the ball in the 'crats courrt. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 11:30, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose removing the ability from bureaucrats and oppose giving it to BAG. I have concerns about how little independent oversight there is in this area. Sarah (talk) 20:08, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Why? The 'crats are quick to flag bots when approved. Let's not make this more complicated than it has to be. MusikAnimal talk 20:36, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support giving ability to BAG, oppose removing from bureaucrats – while this is probably above my paygrade, from what I've investigated, it seems like at least the "active" BAG members should have this ability as well as Bureaucrats. No reason to take it away from the Bureaucrats, though, as far as I can tell. --IJBall (contribstalk) 04:57, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose I do have the impression that BAG is - as a matter of its highly technical function - a somewhat secluded group that governs a major aspect of wiki operation. Having another group of eyes checking bots before flagging them seems to be a more appropriate kind of supervision than having everything within the same group. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 14:33, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:BUREAUCRACY (which is ironic in the context). We don't need useless additional user permission bit, and there are so few 'crats left, don't render their role even less interesting.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  16:42, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - we have the 'crats to be neutral button-pushers for technical processes where the community has already approved; that they have little role in the bot approval process is a good thing. Ivanvector 🍁 (talk) 21:19, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I don't really see any reason to take this task away from bureaucrats. Bureaucrats are positions of trust and I believe they do a great job as well as the BAG. Sam.gov (talk) 22:12, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Icon at top right corner for A-class articles[edit]

My proposal is simple: add the File:Symbol a class.svg icon to the top right corner of the pages of all articles that have passed an A-Class review, at the same location as GA and FA icons. Currently, most A-class articles have the GA icon displayed at the top right corner of the page, but the A-class criteria is usually more stringent than the GA criteria. Displaying the A-class icon instead will help differentiate these articles with other GA/FA articles. Sovereign Sentinel (talk) 11:17, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

Perhaps a diamond shaped icon rather than an upside down star? Praemonitus (talk) 15:13, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
I think that's a 90 degree rotation, rather than upside down. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:43, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
I would oppose this change. A-class is project-specific whereas GA/FA are not. This means that A-class is not always "more stringent" than the GA criteria, and I can think of at least one project where A-class has been done away with entirely. --Izno (talk) 18:32, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
I am well aware that many WikiProjects have done away with A-class. Maybe I should clarify my proposal: if any WikiProject assessed an article as A-class, the A-class icon should be displayed at the top right corner of the article's page. Sovereign Sentinel (talk) 03:31, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose: As per Izno. This idea appears wildly redundant. --78.149.112.112 (talk) 18:54, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
    • Are you a registered person using an IP? Why is this your first edit? Dustin (talk) 03:34, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
@Dustin V. S.: IP users are as allowed as anyone to participate in this discussion. Many IPs are dynamic, meaning they change regualrly without the user even being aware of it, so one legitimate user could have thousands of edits under dozens or even hundreds of addresses. Their comments and contributions are as valid as mine or yours and it reflects poorly on you to aggressive y interrogate them in such a manner.
I don't think this is a bad idea. Whether or not A-class and Good Articles are bettor or worse than each other, there is a difference, which should be noted. Eman235/talk 19:12, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
At the very least, I think there should be the option to view A-class icons voluntarily. Dustin (talk) 03:35, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
There is a script/gadget that will color the heading of the article based on the highest quality it's been assessed at. See the "Display an assessment of an article's quality as part of the page header for each article. (documentation)" checkbox under "Appearance" in the Gadgets tab of Special:Preferences. --Izno (talk) 03:41, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm actually aware of that, and not to be picky, but it would be nice if displayed an icon. Regardless of how this would be done, I just want an A-class icon. Dustin (talk) 03:44, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose – There is no unified standard for what A-class is, so having an icon doesn't mean much. A dead project with rubbish for criteria could tag an article as A-class. Why should that warrant an icon? We don't need anymore accolades or fancy buttons, which don't help the reader anyway. If there was a unified "A-class" criteria, then perhaps an icon might mean something. Otherwise, no way. RGloucester 03:46, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
    • One method to avoid this problem is to require these articles to also pass a GA review. That is, if an article passes an A-Class review but not GA, it would not have the icon displayed. sovereign°sentinel 10:34, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
Another, even easier solution is to not do this as it adds nothing of value for our readers. Beeblebrox (talk) 20:53, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
Adding another layer of reviewing could mean more trouble for editors, but how on Earth does that "add nothing of value for our readers"? That simply is not true. Dustin (talk) 21:00, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
The good article and featured article icons let a reader know that that article has gone through a standardized review process and that impartial reviewers have found it to be among our best content. This would let readers know that some random person from a project that my or may not have decent standards and review decided an article was A class. That adds no value, it is just clutter better left on the talk page. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:33, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per RGloucester. There is a site-wide standard peer review process for FA and GA class articles; there is no such process for A-class. Quite literally, I could go to any article on Wikipedia and tag it as an A-class article, even conceivably under the guise of a project that doesn't have an A-class criteria, or a project that doesn't exist. Ivanvector 🍁 (talk) 20:56, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose, per all those above. A-class (and B & C class, come to that) is a relic of the early days when the WMF was planning print and CD-ROM versions of Wikipedia, and needed some way to determine which articles were of adequate standard to make the cut, and doesn't generally serve a useful purpose. (A very few projects, most notably Milhist, use it as an internal quality control mechanism, but each of those projects sets their own standards; as Ivanvector says, there is literally nothing as things stand to stop me creating my own WikiProject Letter W, defining my project's A-class criterion as "The first word contains the letter W", and tagging every article that meets said criterion as A-class. – iridescent 21:02, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose because there are no consistent criteria for A Class. In theory, A Class can be used by editors to undo changes demanded by WP:GAN and go back to some WP:RIGHTVERSION that suits their WP:LOCALCONSENSUS, and label it A Class (i.e. "better than GA"), even if it were later stripped of GA class at WP:GAR. In practice, from what I can tell, A Class is just a review process used by 3 wikiprojects, as an "FA prep" processes, but their internal criteria for what constitutes A Class are inconsistent between the wikiprojects. There's another proposal on this page or maybe at WP:VPPOL, I forget, to deprecate A Class entirely. B and C Class are fine; they have consistent site-wide criteria, and the wikiproject banner metatemplate supports individual parameters for which of the B-class milestones the article has passed.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  19:44, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support; perhaps certain projects could be given approval to mark their A-class articles with the icon? North of Eden (talk) 03:25, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Template:Infobox person ii[edit]

Infobox person ii - Michael Jackson - source code preview.png

I created this template in order to be able to view and compare, side by side, wikidata and user data infoboxes. It displays a dual infobox during preview in Source Editor, it does not affect VisualEditor, there is no harm at all if it stays saved inside an article. Just keep it updated, along with WD hidden infobox person template. Check out here. Can be used in any article by adding an " ii" at the end of any Infobox person template name. Enjoy.·· ManosHacker 13:51, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

@Frietjes and Plastikspork: -- Magioladitis (talk) 16:25, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

if this is needed, it should be merged with template:infobox person rather than creating yet another frontend that must be maintained. @Mr. Stradivarius and Jackmcbarn: Frietjes (talk) 16:36, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

Yeah, this should just be a feature of the real template, that can be enabled in preview mode.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  16:47, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

I agree. -- Magioladitis (talk) 16:55, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
It's been made separate to show the potential and allow error checking. I also agree to a merge within the real template.·· ManosHacker 23:59, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
Understood. I agree it's helpful.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  19:47, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

It would also be handy to be able to link to wikidata entries for corrections/additions.·· ManosHacker 00:23, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

ManosHacker I think the problem is that in the English Wikipedia we are still not ready to obtain info from Wikidata in that large scale yet. -- Magioladitis (talk) 12:29, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
There is no reasoning or request to import from Wikidata to the article. This is a tool to compare automatic and manual data side by side during preview, just to help correct mistakes and update, either Wikipedia or Wikidata. It does not affect the article itself, only the preview of the source editor is affected.·· ManosHacker 13:08, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
Templates are now merged, Infobox person can be replaced by ii version

It is now merged with Infobox person and works like a charm. No need for updating both Infobox person and Infobox person ii during changes. I propose to implement it as an option for advanced users.·· ManosHacker 13:42, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

It can be used, but not merged in one template, as it will not pass loop test. Merging will always require two external child templates and template update will always be tripple.·· ManosHacker 16:44, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

That was a bit telegraphic. Is there a proposed solution then?  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  19:47, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Update
Successfully merged WD hidden infobox person inside Infobox person ii.·· ManosHacker 15:12, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Proposal: Nest old template inside new, make this feature optional and not pre-selected[edit]

Purpose
Preview, side by side, the manually filled in infobox person to a mirror infobox that is filled in automatically with Wikidata entries
Target
Compare and update data in either side, effortlessly
Feature
Wikidata infobox appears only during source editor preview, disappears in article view, old article version view, VisualEditor
Inconvenience
Having to keep both templates synchronized (but is very straightforward process and new template is very clean)
Steps (technical)
  1. Call Infobox person i instead of Infobox person , inside template Infobox person ii
  2. Move Template:Infobox person to Template:Infobox person i without redirect
  3. Move Template:Infobox person ii to Template:Infobox person without redirect
  4. Put link to Infobox person i , inside Infobox person usage help, to easily keep both templates synchronized
Future
Enhance wikidata template to link to Wikidata edit / update (edit value popup or wikidata page link)

  • Support ·· ManosHacker 18:59, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose unless this is made somehow opt-in only. When I am reviewing a change to an infobox in p[review mode, i don't want it cluttered with a 2nd infobox full of data that I don't trust and that will not be used in the article. More importantly, when an editor who has never heard of wikidata (which is most of out editors) uses preview mode, s/he should not see a preview made intentionally wildly different from the actual article display. Preview is intended to preview what an article will look like after an edit. It is an abuse of preview to display data that will not be displayed after the edit, except possibly in response to some setting or parameter that only editors who explicitly want such a display will set, and which will never be left in place to confuse future editors. DES (talk) 16:26, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose DES objections are well founded. Anything fields that wikidata needs should be added - by WP:CONSENSUS to the current infobox. If that can't be done then perhaps persondata should not have been deprecated. MarnetteD|Talk 19:38, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

No doubt it will be optional, if implemented, and not pre-selected. It is made to help check for errors, not confuse people. Making it optional is beyond my current knowledge, an experienced user could help us on this.·· ManosHacker 21:06, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

I have no objection to a strictly optional feature intended for testing, as long as it doesn't unduly burden the normal use of the template. But is this proposal really ready for discussion before such an optional version is sandboxed? If we are discussing on an in-principle basis, I wouldn't expect to use this, but wouldn't object if it is optional, not the default, and doesn't impose significant cost on the very frequent normal use of the template. The discussion above sounded to me to imply that this would be always on, or on by default. DES (talk) 21:28, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
In Greek Wikipedia, wikidata automatically fills in the infobox and can be overriden only by filling infobox entries by hand. The result is a mixed infobox render and people get confused, unless wikidata values are rendered with different colour or icons (WD-ico-gray.gif-WD-ico-x.gif-WD-ico.gif) are used. I would use dual infobox by default there. English Wikipedia has a different approach and dual infobox should stay optional here.·· ManosHacker 22:40, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
It seems to work fine directly, but these templates also call it and we would have to check it there, too. Some expert could run tests to see if it is heavy for the system, I think not, and fetching wikidata would only be true for those who select to enable it and only during preview.·· ManosHacker 22:32, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Notability[edit]

The reliable sources guideline says that articles should be "based mainly on reliable secondary sources" and No Original Research has similar language about primary sources being used "to a lesser extent". However, many specialized notability criteria allow the creation of articles where no secondary sources exist. This often results in Wikipedia pages that are basically just a mirror of the official website or bio.

In a prior discussion on Jimbo's Talk page here, I found myself agreeing with @Wnt:'s comment here, as well as part of @WhatamIdoing:'s comment: "We have people who show up at the guideline recommending that the advice be relaxed for their area of interest, but maintained for others." The specialized guidelines are generally abused and they codify the community's biases in favor of certain subject areas - biases we should be trying to temper. The most sensible aspects of these specialized notability guidelines are those elements that are completely redundant with GNG.

I thought I would see if others feel the same way - that it would be more sensible to consolidate on WP:GNG or WP:Golden rule, perhaps with a short bulleted list of exceptions. The only thing that really matters is whether there are enough reliable secondary sources to serve as the primary basis of the article. CorporateM (Talk) 11:17, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

I think it's a matter of "good sources are likely to be found" vs. "good sources already have been found" in part. My understanding is that the various notability guidelines concern mainly #1. Perhaps having one topic or two would work, but I worry about the length of a combined list of #1 factors. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 12:04, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

I can't really improve very much on my comment referenced above (thanks!), but I should note that it contains a single tunable parameter, namely what "most" means. I think the specialized notability guidelines should be scrapped and we should use GNG, but it is necessary to make one compensatory change to GNG: we should allow a topic is notable if it is a member of a well-defined, enumerated, notable set of topics, most of which are notable. Two of the Golden Rule criteria still need to be met: there has to be a reliable source (we can't have an article without any source to cite about it) and that has to be an independent reliable source (otherwise there is no way to fully enumerate every member of the class; we can't just Google for everybody who says he won the X Award). The relaxed criterion is that the coverage doesn't have to be significant - we might have just a few vital statistics in a table, but still want to have an article to fill a gap in a list of kings so you can navigate up and down the generations of the dynasty. The tunable parameter is that we should put a number to precisely what fraction of the articles in a category have to be thought notable for this to apply.

To give an example, suppose we have an article about the 20** presidential campaign in some country. We have articles about ten major contenders (XXX XXX 20** Presidential campaign), but there are some other people in the contest. How would we decide under my system which of those deserve articles? Well, I'd say that first we look at some definitions of who is a contender. We can look at everyone that the State Broadcasting Corporation covers in their statistics - but is that notable? Is the SBC's set of candidates a notable topic in its own right? That could go either way, and reflects whether we find it important to have an article that covers every member of the list. If their set is not well defined, and includes different people at different times with no clear idea of who is "really" in it, we might still reject it. Or ... there might be a broader notable well-defined enumerated set we could also use, and I'd say that any such set justifies full coverage. Such as if the Public Broadcasting Company has its own list of 13 candidates, etc. And then, maybe a state office has a list of 15 people who made it onto the official ballot, and 17 people whose nominating petitions were accepted, and 24 people who filed petitions. So how do we decide if those are also acceptable sets worth completing? Well, in part, by a numerical threshold. We might say that to complete a class, >50% of the members are notable, or maybe >66.66%, or maybe >75% - some might even make it 90%. That particular choice is one to be made here, and determines how expansive this policy is. But whatever our choice, Wikipedia will look a whole lot fairer and more professional if we can point to our impartial threshold than if we point to a long chat thread with a bunch of people saying "this guy's a Nazi, nobody's going to vote for him ... no he isn't, that's just media propaganda ... etc." Wnt (talk) 15:45, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

The key about notability in both the main GNG and the subject-specific notability guidelines (SNGs) is that notability is a presumption - we want to give editors the opportunity to build an article on a topic that likely will have encyclopedic merit without worrying about a deadline. For most topics, this means showing that at least some (2-3 or more) secondary sources exist to build an article on (from the GNG). However, for many other topics, we have enough experience as editors that we can recognize that if a topic has met a certain milestone (such as a person winning a Nobel prize) that there most likely going to exist secondary sources or that these sources will be created as a result of that milestone, and so we accept the creation of an article just based on the primary source(s) that document the milestone. This provides the no-deadline time to allow existing sources to be found (recognizing that the Internet is not the end-all be-all of source locations, and that some might in print or in foreign languages and will take time to location).
That said, this is where the presumption aspect comes in: if someone created an article based on a milestone met 5 years ago and no one has been able to locate any sources for it with a reasonably exhaustive search in the present, that probably means our presumption was wrong, and because we cannot reasonably expand the article beyond the primary sources, deletion or redirection or merging is a perfectly acceptable result at that time. That's the checks and balances that make sure that we are always heading towards basing articles on reliable secondary sources, giving fair allowance for editors to work at improvement. --MASEM (t) 15:54, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

I am more concerned about articles being created with no WP:Independent sources than with no secondary sources. A common example of this is "Professor Important", employed by "Fancy University", whose article is entirely sourced to (and realistically cannot be sourced to anything except) the employer's website and the subject's own writings. This is accepted under WP:PROF. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:00, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
@Masem: I think there is room for language like "Organizations of about 100 employees or less that are engaging in routine operations are most likely not notable". This saves us the time of having to look for sources, when it's pretty obvious they are not notable. Or on the other side of things, we could say something like "Fortune 500 companies are notable", because every Fortune 500 company is going to have enough sources in existence, even if they aren't found right away. These are shortcuts that save us the time of having to do research to verify notability. The Fortune 500 is also a good example of what @Wnt: was saying about being a member of a class of notable subjects.
But as things are now, an article about a professor will be kept even if an exhaustive search has been done and no sources were found. I see people complaining about the notability of a Fortune 500 CEO, but supporting articles on every tenured professor at a university. That's just crazy; I don't think it's like that because there is a high probability that the academic is notable (they probably aren't), but it's more likely because of the biases of our community (we have more of an interest in academics than business) that are codified into policies. CorporateM (Talk) 02:38, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Unfortunately there are topic/focus areas of WP where there are people that will fight for notability of individuals that barely have independent sourcing but that meet an SNG. Professors are one area, professional athletes is another. We do require independance of sources irregardless of which SNG the person might met, particularly for persons to avoid self-promotional material. Unfortunately editors will fight for these areas hard. --MASEM (t) 03:12, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
@CorporateM: I think that arbitrary claims of non-notability are a very bad idea. Even when the specialty notability guidelines make them, in theory, as written, they only limit application of the 'alternate' guidelines and aren't supposed to infringe on the GNG; in practice this distinction is frequently ignored. But what are routine operations? Where did 100 come from? The Beatles are four people and all they go around and sing, no? I'm surprised to see Wikipedia is up to 200 employees, but not that long ago it was under 100. And of course any company that gets charged with a crime, or becomes known for some discrimination controversy, is going to end up being notable. So that is a rule without substance, as any rule must be that doesn't address our practical problem of finding enough sources to say something about a topic.
@Masem: Honestly, I don't see much wiggle room in the 'presumption' of notability. If all you have when you write an article are sources from a company website, you're not going to write an article people can trust. And if you have two independent reliable sources that detail a topic, there's no reason ever to delete that article, even if it remains small and no further sources emerge. Wnt (talk) 11:44, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
I would advocate moving in the other direction entirely. Whether or not we find sources for a particular is a matter of the quality of the search and the resources availabl3e to the individual, and whether the sources that write about the subject are the ones that we can easily search and recognize. Debates based on the GNG usually come down to evaluation of the terms "reliable" "substantial" and "independent", all of which can be interpreted to suit the desired result. Back when I joined in 2007, the guidelines were still being worked out, and I and others were able to use some rather convoluted arguments to justify the inclusion of obviously notable subjects. These were a very nonproductive way or arguing, and it in the end notability ended up as meaning, an article defended by someone with skill in using the arguments , but not anything about either the subject or the sources. Notability only means suitable for an encyclopedia like wikipedia, and , as long as verifiability is satisfied, the exact number and type of sources does not make much difference. The actual importance of the subject does.
(Incidentally, there is at least one formal guideline totally independent of the GNG -- WP:PROF does not work by presumption of meeting the GNG. It works by the different fundamental criterion of being an authority in one's subject, with various factors assumed to show it. It has worked very well for over 6 years, because everyone interested in the subject accepts it, and nobody else cares very much as long the results aren't ridiculous, which we take care of by being very conservative. I consider that an example, & think it's similarly time we get rid of the whole concept of presumed notability and have definite criteria that are easy to determine.
In practice, we interpret the key terms differently for different subjects,and the special notability guidelines help in subjects where the interpretation is particularly difficult. The balance between the different subjects is a compromise. Each of us accept a much greater notability for minor subjects in some areas they think totally unimportant in exchange for others accepting some relatively minor topics in their favorite areas, and thus we have a rough balance. The balance is at present rather distorted to sports and popular musics and geographic features, but this does no particular harm.
The basic question is, do we want to write and improve articles, or argue about what articles we should have? That's the real point. I'm rather good at AfD, and if we relied upon any such rules I think I could get WP to reflect my interests much more closely. I'm tempted to give examples of some of the arguments I used then and would use now, but I'll just give one: I would be prepared to argue that every news article written about a performer is ultimately the product of their press agent (actually, CorporateM, you taught me that argument yourself, in a slightly different context) and therefore not independent, and we should limit ourselves to to those about whom there is a full-scale published high academic quality biography or critical monograph. Think of it--we could remove 99% of the wrestlers and porn stars! But there are more important things to do here than argue at afd. There's a principle at WP just as important as consensus -- and, in a way, a restatement of it: compromise. DGG ( talk ) 03:11, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I think the basic question is quite different, DGG: I think the basic question is, "Do we want to have encyclopedia articles about BLPs that we are reasonably certain cannot comply with WP:NOR and WP:V?" NOR requires that articles "be based on reliable, published secondary sources", and if no such sources exist, then it is absolutely impossible to comply with that core policy. WP:V requires editors to "Base articles on reliable, third-party, published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy." If no such sources exist, then it is absolutely impossible to comply with that core content policy.
We might well decide that these aspects of core policies are unimportant, but if so, then we should say so. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:41, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
As I said just above, Without WP:V we are not an encyclopedia, and as I have often said, that applies to NPOV as well. But if bio article reports the verified information that is available, and that makes for something which is important, what's the problem? For example, an early Olympic athlete. We may know nothing but their name and country, and the event they competed in. That meets WP:V and WP:NPOV. It does not meet the GNG, so we currently deal with it by the evasion that there are certainly likely to be sources, if only we could identify them. (and I agree with this.) For an example in the other direction, an Assistant Professor at an undergraduate college. We know his degrees and position, for they are reported on the college website, which is a RS for such routine data as one of the exceptions to requiring third-party. In most cases, we can even find the title of his thesis and the date for it in WorldCat, a reliable and totally independent 3rd party source. It's a position which has some amount of social importance. But we do not make an article, because of the WP:PROF limitation that this does not show him to be an expert in his field, (and he hasn't met WP:GNG). Now, suppose that the college publishes a press release about an in-college teaching award he gets, and the town newspaper and his hometown newspaper report it. These would appear two RSs, but we still do not make the article, using the rationale that those two news sources are insufficiently discriminating for such matters for local people. (and I agree with this) Now, let's take a local politician, running for a town office. He says something remarkably stupid in an interview, it gets widely tweeted, to the extent that good national news sources report it. This does meet the GNG, but to evade it we use the BLP criterion of ONEEVENT. We do that regardless of the fact that we have V and NPOV. (and I agree with this.). Now suppose that 5 years later, he makes another such speech, with equal publicity. By our current rules, he should get an article; in reality, we probably wouldn't keep it, because anAfD will find some excuse for objecting to it. (and I agree with that also. Sometimes AfD will keep it, and I disagree with that--unless it becomes so prominent that people might reasonably look for it in an encycopedia) To anticipate, it wouldn't fall under the exclusion for purely negative information, because that doesn't apply to politicians who are by definition public figure. Now, let's take an example where I totally disagree with current practice: Consider an ambassador from one minor country to another. It's a public position at the top of his career ladder, and we can prove it by RS official sources. There's no NPOV problem involved in being an ambassador, and there's no problem with WP:V. We do not make the article. Why? Consensus has been that it isn;t important enough. To be sure, there is likely to be home country news reporting of his earlier career and the appointment., but normally we cannot find it. If we could, we'd probably still evade making the article by saying the appointment in ONEEVENT. Curiously, if instead of ambassador he was elected to the provincial legislature, we'd make the article. I could continue with such examples indefinitely. DGG ( talk ) 23:57, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
How do we demonstrate that anything "makes for something which is important", if the subject is apparently so unimportant to the word at large that there are no (or almost no) independent reliable sources on the subject? Olympic athletes about which nothing is known beyond name/country/event should be merged into lists until such a time as something is actually known.
Also, I suspect that library records about books do not constitute "independent reliable sources"; they are essentially direct copies from the books themselves (as you know better than I do). If you say your name is DGG, and I repeat that you said your name is DGG, the information does not become more reliable merely because I parroted what you wrote. If you publish a book, the book is not an independent, third-party reliable source for its title (although it is absolutely authoritative), and neither is an Amazon page. A library database that contains (on average) significantly less information than the Amazon page is not somehow more valuable for notability purposes.
One more question: Do you believe that it is possible to write an article that complies with NPOV, especially the part that prohibits the article from over-emphasizing the views of the subject itself, when 100% of the sources you can find are directly or indirectly controlled by the subject (e.g., the subject's own writings, the subject's own website, the subject's employer's website)? It'd be easy enough to get a neutral-sounding tone, but can you write an article about Alice Expert that fairly represent other people's views of Alice if every source you can find is from Alice herself? WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:47, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
In the specific case of Amazon, they are notorious for careless errors that refer to one edition with another edition's metadata, or flat out get bibliographic data wrong. (Page counts, for example, are often rounded up to the nearest power of 2 for recent books. Authors and illustrators are sometimes confused. Titles, esp sub-titles, are often wrong.) As long as it sells the book, they don't care. When I was working at the ISFDB an OCLC citation was MUCH preferred to an Amazon cite. It is true that such a cite is basically WP:PRIMARY. An OCLC cites says "A librarian handled a copy of this book and says that it exists, has so-and-so many pages, and states such-and-such data on its copyright page (and sometimes other pages such as the cover or back cover)." It also says that a library found it worth their time and money to acquire and catalog, and in some cases it shows that many libraries did so. That is worth something. DES (talk) 11:58, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Or that someone donated it. At least in my local system, people dump used books in the return box all day long. We can count on getting sackfuls every week. Some get tossed, some get sold, some get added to the collection (pretty much anything written by a local author or for kids).
I'm unconvinced that "some library decided to put this book in the collection" signals that we should have an article about the author. If it did, then we would accept a lot more articles about pulp romance writers. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:06, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

Template:Uw-english[edit]

I just discovered {{uw-english}} and was quite surprised by its wording: the thing actively forbids non-English comments without translations. It means that you're not allowed to leave an intelligible comment here unless you know English: what a horrid idea! Anyone can run Google Translate on something you've written in another language, but that's apparently not acceptable, because if it were, why would we complain about you doing it? Since that's the case, a {{user en-0}} person shouldn't leave an autotranslated comment either. Yes, it's not helpful for someone to leave a foreign-language comment at an article's talk page, where it might be read by others than the intended audience, and non-English article text is right out, but private conversations on user talk pages and notices on project pages (noticeboards, WP:RD, WP:HD, wikiproject talk pages, etc.) aren't problems. When someone writes an obviously badly translated message at WP:HD or WP:RD, we routinely say basically "Please just write in your original language, and someone will translate it", we actively encourage people to make English-only requests at other languages' Wikipedias if they don't understand the local language, and I've never heard of anyone on any other project to complain (I've even seen WMF staff leave notices in English at other projects!), so why should we object to the same thing here? We should welcome non-mainspace contributions by people who want to help and just don't understand English. Finally, please note that the template links to WP:TPYES, which specifically exempts user talk pages from its suggestions, and anyway TPYES is framed as "good practices" and is actively separated from actions deemed unacceptable.

With this in mind, I have two proposals, which obviously can't both be implemented: either deprecate the current template entirely (i.e. it will be deleted or marked as {{historical}}), or replace the wording with something saying basically "Please write in English if you're able to, because it will help others understand better". I'm proposing this here because it has a good deal more visibility than a template talk page. Nyttend (talk) 17:54, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

WP:SPEAKENGLISH states "It is preferable to use English on all talk pages of English Wikipedia" (emphasis mine). The template should simply use the guideline's unchanged own wording after the 1st intro sentence. This specific guidance has only 2 lines of text and would easily fit in the template to reflect the current consensus. GermanJoe (talk) 18:19, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
Agreed with GermanJoe. A template like this won't be used much except when posting in some not-English is an actual issue. It can be an issue for more than one reason, the two most obvious of which are: a) dominating an article talk page in non-English, to form a WP:FACTION that may try to reach a WP:LOCALCONSENSUS among themselves without the input or understanding of other editors, and b) use of other languages to violate policies like WP:NPA and WP:CIVIL. But even just making it a pain for other editors to figure out what you're posting about and why is kind of problematic to begin with. "People can use Google Translate" applies to the poster, too; those who habitually shift the burden onto all other editors need to, well, stop.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  19:32, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
  • If a person is unable to communicate coherently in English, by definition they cannot contribute to a project that is writing an encyclopedia in English, through collaboration amongst English speakers. I know it seems unfriendly, but it is pointless to contribute here if you can't make yourself understood, and we shouldn't pretend that isn't the case just to be nice to the hard-headed type of person who will try to contribute to a project despite being unfamiliar with the language it is written in and that all its business is conducted in. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:54, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
    • It's not about the contributor, but the communication, though. Machine translation can permit any WP:COMPETENT person to contribute, to an extent, regardless of language. I use it frequently on non-English WPs, to suggest improvements to the non-English equivalents of en.WP articles, or to ask for review of our version of theirs. The purpose of the template here on en.WP needs to be to make it clear that the burden of translation is on the non-English speaker, not on all other editors. The purpose of the template is not to say "get lost". :-) This template should probably include a link to an online translate service, actually.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  20:17, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
      • I can't speak German, but I've made nearly 1000 edits to the German Wikipedia, most of them either involving communication with other editors (talk page chats, or the "Englische Frage" section of [3]) or minor things like modifying templates and adding images. I've not tried to write articles, except for pages like de:Quinter where I just created stubs by changing details from existing articles. As far as I know, nobody's ever objected to my actions over there. If we continue using this template, it needs to be reworked so that it's demonstrably only for the person whose lack of English is causing problems. Nyttend (talk) 21:18, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
    • I've added images to more than a dozen Wikipedias. Also, it's not necessary to speak any English at all to "make yourself understood" to some editors. You've just got to find the right ones.
      Imagine it in reverse: you happen to see a problem at another language's Wikipedia. For example, you notice that they have an image of a pear at the top of the article about apples. You don't speak that language. Can you contribute? I think you could. You could remove the photo, which requires no language skills at all. You could substitute a more relevant one. You could find someone who is active and whose WP:Babel box says that s/he understands English, and leave a note in English about the problem for that person. Any of these would be helpful, and I would welcome such contributions from non-English speakers here. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:59, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
First off, the text of the template is
I noticed that you have posted comments in a language other than English. When on the English-language Wikipedia, please always use English, no matter to whom you address your comments. This is so that comments may be comprehensible to the community at large. If the use of another language is unavoidable, please provide a translation of the comments. For more details, see Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines. Thank you.
That's hardly forbidding, and in any case nothing forces anyone to use that template. Still, there is room to improve the template. In most cases the poster's language is identifiable and a roughly comprehensible translation can be produced, even if the original poster can't be the one to do it. The template could provide a way to link to a machine translation. It could suggest asking for help at wp:Local Embassy, on their language's wikiproject talkpage, or on their language's WP help page. Sometimes comments here relate to Inter-wiki collaboration. The idea that one would have to write English well in order to contribute by saying "There's a really good source on this topic on the Bengali Wikipedia" is just wrong. Contributions can be valuable without being perfect. We simply need to channel the contributor to a venue that will facilitate the work. LeadSongDog come howl! 20:26, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
I think you have some good ideas about improving it. What do you think about making it say, "please provide a translation of the comments if you can"? WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:59, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
That would be helpful, in my opinion. I'm just afraid of a not-so-competent-in-English editor (whether from another project, or not) getting a message and finding from Google Translate that it's basically a warning. We need to make this template as soft as possible; if someone actively ignores it and causes problems (as noted above) in a foreign language here at en:wp, someone can leave a personalised message in the language in question. Nyttend (talk) 05:07, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
  • I certainly think the template as it stands is unhelpful. {{Uw-notenglish}} quite rightly tells editors who have written non-English in the main namespace that this is the English Wikipedia and foreign content should either be moved or translated. But if {{Uw-english}} has to exist at all, it needs to be reworded: "Please try to make comments in English wherever possible—this could be done using a machine translation like Google Translate." would be my suggestion. Maybe a link to Category:Wikipedians by language or an extra parameter to add a specific language to would help: for instance, if one adds a parameter saying "German", the template could link to Category:User de so the user could talk to someone in German. It also occurs to me that there could be little point in putting English text on the talk page of someone who clearly doesn't understand the language; perhaps once a better version of the text to include has been established, we could get some Wikipedians to make foreign translations of the template (e.g. so a user posting in Spanish can get a message in Spanish explaining the issue, rather than an English message that they find completely unintelligible). Bilorv(talk)(c)(e) 18:09, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Does anyone here remember using this particular template? WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:52, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes, on a number of occasions. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:53, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
I haven't used it but made a search on "If the use of another language is unavoidable, please provide a translation of the comments", an unchanged sentence since the 2007 creation. There are 2502 results in user talk, and 26 in other namespaces. It's meant for substitution and doesn't have transclusions. PrimeHunter (talk) 23:22, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Excellent, Beeblebrox. Can you tell me what practical outcome you wanted to achieve by posting that template? If it was different things on different days, then just give me a few of your favorite examples. Also, did it work? WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:23, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
  • A startling example of template creep. I've hated it for a long time. Better not to filter out any intended meaning by running it through a machine first. I'd rather see it in a user's first language. Mark Schierbecker (talk) 22:09, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Yep, if we're going to translate the template, which is an excellent idea, Google is not the way to do it. The acxuracy and coherence of machine translation varies widely depending on the language. For German, it's pretty darn good. Tagalog or Mandarin, not so much. We don't want to be posting gibberish on people's talk pages. Beeblebrox (talk) 22:15, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
I didn't mean the template! That's nightmare fodder. Mark Schierbecker (talk) 23:19, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
  • I suppose the PC people will suggest that the machine translation links be to something non-profit rather than what is the best solution. The last proposal to add social share buttons was sunk partially because editors didn't want to favor any one particular social network. Mark Schierbecker (talk) 23:26, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
  • @WhatamIdoing: I will attempt to answer you though I get the feeling this is a loaded question.
  • What I hoped to accomplish was for the users in question to understand that this is the English Wikipedia, and if they are going to have a discussion anywhwere on it, other users need to be able to particpate, even if it is on their own talk page.
  • In at least two or three examples that I can recall, the user or users in question cheerfully provided a translation. In at least one of these cases it turned out they were in fact discussing article content, so it was kind of important that other users be able to understand and particpate in said discussion.
  • In other cases it was simply ignored, and I did not pursue it further.
  • I get the feeling most of the people commenting here think it is rude to ask people to communicate in a manner that can be understood by the community here. I am squarely on the other side of the coin, I think it is rude to come into a space where you know one language is used, and deliberately use another. Perhaps the language of the template could be softened, but the underlying message is perfectly valid.
  • If you want to have a private converstaion, in any language, Wikipedia is not the place for that. That's what email, texting, phone calls, Skype, etc are for. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:04, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
    • That's really helpful. So the most useful focus for the message should be about the ability of others to participate (or at least to know what the subject is).
      How do you feel about a "do your best" standard? If someone doesn't speak English, then I cannot agree that it's rude to "deliberately use" a language that s/he actually does know. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:42, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Google translate is literally worse than nothing. It would be much better to preserve the foreign text so that a human fluent in the language can translate it than replace it with the garbled ambiguous mess left behind by machine translation (this isn't just my opinion, it's codified at WP:MACHINETRANSLATION). --Ahecht (TALK
    PAGE
    ) 14:31, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
"Worse than nothing"? I have to disagree. It is very helpful for identifying a mysterious source language. I almost invariably find that it has correctly translated many of the words, which at least provides me a clue what the subject matter is and where to look for human translators and often lets me find a link to the corresponding [whatever]-language WP article. When grasping at straws, these are no small things. Of course we don't want machine-translated text in the mainspace, but we can certainly exploit it in talkspaces. LeadSongDog come howl! 15:58, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
There can be some difficult problems, but it depends on what your purpose is. It's pretty good for "Is this source about this person?" It's pretty bad for finding out the nuance. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:20, 29 July 2015 (UTC
It is worse than nothing when it is used without indication that it is a machine translation (or when it replaces the original text). With such indication it is more valuable - or, to be more exact, it is worth nothing, as anyone can get a machine translation on his own anyway... --Martynas Patasius (talk) 17:36, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
For the major Western European language it can be surprisingly good for many straightforward types of material , such as newspapers, provided you have the common sense & knowledge of the subject to fix the obvious errors. (and sometimes the cultural understanding to recognize equivalent offices and functions and the like) For Asian languages it's much less useful, but it's often possible to catch key words and phrases. (Of course the original text should be preserved also, and the translation acknowledged). DGG ( talk ) 01:53, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
On the other hand, German is sometimes an exception to that general rule, and in particular, machine translation is notorious for omitting a critical "not" when translating German to English.
I have updated the template's language somewhat, and I hope that User:Beeblebrox and others will think that it is somewhat more friendly, without changing the overall point of encouraging the use of English whenever possible. I have also thought about adding a sentence that says how much we need and appreciate people who speak a language other than English, but I haven't figured out where and how to do that. (Be bold, if you're inspired.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:14, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

Not-logged-in system[edit]

This would need some explanation: but the Dutch Wikipedia has a top bar for users not logged in which reads 'Not logged in / IP address talk / IP address contributions'. Should we implement it here? 137.147.55.132 (talk) 00:19, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

One side benefit would be that a user who is normally logged in but sees the bar would realize their session has expires and they need to log back in. —C.Fred (talk) 00:22, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Here is what it looks like: NL login bar.png MyOwnBadSelf (talk) 00:30, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
I like this idea. "Accidental edited while logged out" is one of the more common things the suppresssion team deals with, this could help curb that issue. Beeblebrox (talk) 17:58, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
What's wrong with the current notice? It says "You are not logged in. Your IP address will be publicly visible if you make any edits. If you log in or create an account, your edits will be attributed to a user name, among other benefits." 216.126.242.98 (talk) 00:51, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
And it's highlighted in yellow. CambridgeBayWeather, Uqaqtuq (talk), Sunasuttuq 00:53, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
There's nothing wrong with it, except that apparently a good number of users don't notice it before saving an edit. They should, but they don't, and then they see that their IP address has been revealed, and they ask for oversight. If a simple, harmless change that is invisible to anyone who is still logged in might help reduce that, that seems like a pretty positive thing to me. Beeblebrox (talk) 01:07, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Another (probably lame) idea is to require all anonymous editors to check a box before saving which states that they understand that their IP address will be publicly revealed. --Biblioworm 14:29, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Ideally, the system could detect that I was previously logged in (e.g., when I opened the page to make that edit) and make it very, very, very obvious that I was logged out. Flashing lights and sirens might be enough to get my attention even when I'm tired. A discreet little note at the top is sadly not enough. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:22, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
This could help with non-logged-in users finding their talk page and contribs too; it's not particularly straightforward otherwise. Sam Walton (talk) 14:36, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Support for the above reasons. Not everyone knows that you can (or wants to) change your skin to be not Vector or use your stylesheet to place a different colored background. MER-C 02:27, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Good proposal, especially the variant with the checkbox. Prevents users from accidentally revealing their IP and unintentional violating of WP:SOCK as well as encourages users to create accounts. Very good proposal Alex Bakharev (talk) 02:36, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks guys. Who is in charge of implementing new features? MyOwnBadSelf (talk) 06:09, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. This is an annoying issue and a productivity problem for the suppression-handling admins.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  23:06, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. Neat idea and, according to SMcCandlish, sounds like it would be useful too. North of Eden (talk) 03:27, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Hot Dry Rock[edit]

Add functionality to User sandbox template[edit]

Have a look here: User:ManosHacker/sandbox and see how Template:User sand box works. New users can create, fast end errorless, their article workplace with multiple sanboxed articles, fully organized and ready to be moved to main article space with simple clicks. Zero bites from old users. We have been using it at Wikipedia School as standard practice. Unhide first. Follow sandboxed child articles to see the change of behavior of the template. Hovering gives guidance. Moving a sandbox to an article removes it from the personal sandboxes view list.·· ManosHacker 23:33, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

What exactly are you proposing? Eman235/talk 10:29, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
This was also posted at Template talk:User sandbox#Add functionality. Please do not post the same thing on multiple talk pages without linking between the posts; see WP:MULTI. SiBr4 (talk) 10:49, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
The proposal is to put this functionality inside Template:User sandbox (replace old template with new).·· ManosHacker 11:22, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

Regulation Committee and alternatives to consensus[edit]

Bumping thread for 30 days. ceradon (talkedits) 04:22, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

Members of the community are invited to give their thoughts at a request for comment to discuss Wikipedians' alternatives to consensus, and the formation of a proposed Regulation Committee. Thank you, --ceradon (talkedits) 04:20, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

Email adresses for volunteers[edit]

Dear all,

A proposal to create Wikipedia email adresses for volunteers can be found at meta:Wikimedia Forum#Wikimedia volunteer email adresses. Your input would be very welcome.

Sincerely, Taketa (talk) 07:05, 2 August 2015 (UTC)