Wikipedia:Village pump/Archive AA

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"They" as a neutered pronoun

What is Wikipedia's position, if any, on the use of "they" as a singular gender-neutral pronoun? Recently, someone converted some of my "they"s I had written in an article to "he"s ([1]), and I want to know if Wikipedia has some position on the issue before I revert them.

Personally, though I know it's not traditional, I support using "they" in this sense. It's a word English needs ("he or she" is awkward and too PC), and just about everybody uses it already, in my part of the globe at least. Garrett Albright 02:58, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)

The other editor did not replace "they" with "he". The other editor reworked the paragraph and in one of two cases replaced "their" with "his or her" as part of a rewrite of that sentence. In the second case, the rewrite completely eliminated the need to use any form of words for this. Jamesday 00:57, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I think the relevant diff was [2], not the link that is given above, since that is the last diff of the article. Dysprosia 03:42, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I support it also. However, if someone feels they take offense to use of it, I try and reword it so it does not depend on a reference to gender - which is almost always possible. Dysprosia 03:03, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)
For example:
In another variant, players may be un-frozen when someone crawls between their legs. Such an action helps prevent "It" from winning, but puts the person crawling in a position where they may be easily tagged and frozen as well.
In another variant, players may be un-frozen when someone crawls between their legs. Such an action helps prevent "It" from winning, but makes the person crawling vulnerable to being tagged and frozen as well. Dpbsmith 10:26, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)
This is becoming accepted English usage, and in my opinion nobody should be going round changing such usage to 'he' and similar. I'm not sure if anyone should be doing the reverse, either, unless we have a consensus opinion on it. This is like fixing spellings that aren't wrong, just alternates, or going round changing English to American spellings or vice versa -- it tends to step on peoples' toes and is best avoided. —Morven 03:05, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)
It's not good English, and doesn't really look professional. What I do is change it to "he" in one article and "she" in the next, switching off. That way I don't offend any PC patrol, but still get good writing. Meelar 08:35, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Exactly. Singular 'they' is an ugly distortion of the English language, it just happens to be a quite old one. English has the perfectly acceptable pronoun 'one' if the PC crowd must be catered to. — Jor (Talk) 16:05, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)
FWIW, here is AHD's usage panel's position on the use of the word they as a singular neuter pronoun. As you'd expect it doesn't settle the matter, but I certainly think it puts the usage into the range where "correcting" it would be uncalled-for. Furthermore, when it seems clear that the singular "they" was used for the purpose of expressing gender neutrality, "correcting" it to the male gender strikes me as an assertion of a non-neutral point-of-view. Anyway, here's what AHD4 says: Dpbsmith 10:38, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)
The use of the third-person plural pronoun they to refer to a singular noun or pronoun is attested as early as 1300, and many admired writers have used they, them, themselves, and their to refer to singular nouns such as one, a person, an individual, and each. W.M. Thackeray, for example, wrote in Vanity Fair in 1848, A person can't help their birth, and more recent writers such as George Bernard Shaw and Anne Morrow Lindbergh have also used this construction, in sentences such as To do a person in means to kill them, and When you love someone you do not love them all the time. The practice is widespread and can be found in such mainstream publications as the Christian Science Monitor, Discover, and the Washington Post. The usage is so common in speech that it generally passes unnoticed. •However, despite the convenience of third-person plural forms as substitutes for generic he and for structurally awkward coordinate forms like his/her, many people avoid using they to refer to a singular antecedent out of respect for the traditional grammatical rule concerning pronoun agreement. Most of the Usage Panelists reject the use of they with singular antecedents. Eighty-two percent find the sentence The typical student in the program takes about six years to complete their course work unacceptable. Thus, the writer who chooses to use they in similar contexts in writing should do so only if assured that the usage will be read as a conscious choice rather than an error. •Interestingly, Panel members do seem to distinguish between singular nouns, such as the typical student, and pronouns that are grammatically singular but semantically plural, such as anyone and everyone. Sixty-four percent of panel members accept the sentence No one is willing to work for those wages anymore, are they? in informal speech.
Forgive my ignorance, but who or what is AHD? Hard to make an appeal to autority when the authority is not widely recognized (at least not by initials). FWIW, I am perfectly content using a singular they, although I do try to avoid it if possible without torturing the syntax. Bkonrad | Talk 16:03, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)
OK, I just realized AHD is probably the American Heritage Dictionary.

I have a hard time with this one too. Using "they" ends up ungrammatical, a choice between "he" or "she" leaves out half the population, "one" doesn't always connote what one wants it to connote (it often feels too formal), and s/he (my feminist husband's favourite) looks kinda dumb and it's uncertain how one reads it out loud. I usually do like Dpbsmith and reword it. If that would be to torturous, I use "one." But I don't think this is very amenable to consensus. moink 17:08, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)

It looks ungrammatical to me. If I was editing that piece of text anyway, I'd reword to avoid it. If I wasn't reworking it I'd almost certainly ignore it as a matter of individual taste of the writer concerned. Jamesday 00:57, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Edit summary auto-prefill

As some of you may know I hacked a little feature a couple of days ago that automatically enters the section title ("Edit summary auto-prefill" in this section, for example) in the summary box when editing a page. This can be overwritten if necessary - just tab into the edit box and the text is highlighted so you can write whatever you want.

Brion has disabled the auto-prefill of edit summaries for section edits because "a number of people" have complained that people would now be "discouraged" to write "real" summaries. I consider it a highly useful feature and, in my experience, it has much improved the value of Special:Recentchanges to get an idea what's really going on, as especially for small edits people do not typically fill out the edit summary box.

If you would like this feature back, or agree with Brion, I encourage you to vote on m:Edit summary prefill poll. Please post this announcement to other language/project pumps as it affects all wikis.—Eloquence 00:03, Mar 20, 2004 (UTC)

Alexa "Top 50 Reference Sites" list

Alexa has a top-50 list of reference sites; WP is by now probably one of them, by subject matter, reach, and traffic, but not yet on the list. Would it be alright to contact and suggest our inclusion there? Has this already been done? +sj+ 23:20, 2004 Mar 19 (UTC)

I don't see how contacting them would hurt. I also have not heard about anybody doing that. --mav 19:11, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback. I wrote them today; they wrote back promptly and were grateful for the heads-up. Turns out we weren't listed under the dmoz "Reference" category. Here's their reply (markup added):

We're glad you wrote to us to mention this. The top sites in categories of our Browse Subjects Directory are those sites with the most Alexa visitors during the past month, updated daily. It turns out the reason you're not among the most popular in reference is that the Directory (which we inherit from the Open Directory Project at did not include you in the Reference category. We've added you to that category on our back end, and you should be listed there within days. After you've been in that category for a month, you'll be eligible to be most popular in that category if the stats fall that way[1].

[1] Ed. note: it will be a good many months yet before we're more popular than the Internet Archive or Mapquest.) +sj+ 04:16, 2004 Mar 23 (UTC)

Random picture selection in sidebar

I think it would be interesting to have a Random picture selection as well as the Random page selection on the Wikipedia sidebar. - Bevo 23:09, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)

It would be fun, but alas, many seem to think the sidebar too crowded as it is (see Wikipedia talk:Community Portal). :) Jwrosenzweig 23:14, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
It certainly looks like a customisable sidebar would be pretty popular, if anyone created such a thing... - IMSoP 23:36, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I was thinking how good this would be just yesterday. Even if it didn't make it onto the sidebar, it would be nice to have it as a link on a page somewhere. fabiform | talk 23:55, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
How about on the [[Image:...]] description page? Click on (eg) the VP sheep, then click your way ever onward through Borgesian forking paths of randomness. Hajor 00:10, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)
That would be a great place for it. fabiform | talk 00:22, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Unicode conversion

A while back I posted a query here about finding an ASCII to Unicode converter. A helpful Wikipedian steered me to this page - - which does the trick very nicely. You can paste an entire sentence there (in, say, Cyrillic or Chinese) and get it converted into Unicode. Hope others find it of use too. -- ChrisO 22:02, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)

The problem is that it's much harder to edit these pages subsequently. I still think it's better to type out the actual characters. Dori | Talk 22:19, Mar 19, 2004 (UTC)
The problems is that the actual characters often get corrupted by users who don't have those fonts installed. For some reason, the character š seems to be particularly vulnerable to this; I've had to re-insert it many times where users have accidentally corrupted it to ? (apparently the default value for uninstalled characters). I suspect that the average UK/US user is only likely to have regular western European character sets installed, and certainly won't have the more "exotic" character sets. -- ChrisO 23:04, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
It is not Unicode conversion, but Unicode to numeric HTML entities conversion. Those kind of entities make editing almost impossible. It is hard enough as it is to keep having to check preview what ʒ is, if also all ASCII letters would be thus encoded editing would be made almost impossible. Wikipedia should just move to Unicode. — Jor (Darkelf) 23:13, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
See Japanese proverbs if you want to know what people are talking. -- Taku 18:40, Mar 20, 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia on steroids

If anyone wants a visual statement of the difference that the new servers have made, take a look at the latest stats ( ). December and January were the dog months but see how those bar charts soar afterwards! Looks like we're well on course for March to be the busiest month yet. -- ChrisO 21:56, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)

That link doesn't work. Tuf-Kat 21:57, Mar 19, 2004 (UTC)
Sorry, try it now. -- ChrisO 21:58, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
FWIW, those aren't this last December and January -- those are December 2002 and January 2003. The stats didn't get kept up properly while we were fighting with replacement servers. --Brion 22:50, 2004 Mar 19 (UTC)
Ah, I see. :-) I'm sure the assertion that March will set a new record is bound to be true, though. I came close to giving up on Wikipedia last year because of the server problems and I'm sure many others did take the jump. -- ChrisO 23:00, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)

By the way... thanks for the new servers

I'm not sure who-all deserves the thanks--the people that donated money, the people that got them installed and working... but I've now gotten so used to reliable access and pretty reasonable response speeds that I thought I'd better express my thanks while I can still remember how bad it was a few months ago! Dpbsmith 17:11, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Amen to that -- it's a world of difference! To all those involved, your work is greatly appreciated and will be put to good use, we promise. :-) Jwrosenzweig 17:24, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Copyright format

What's the proper format for the copyright notice (if any is required) on pages like Human eye? What's there now is obvioulsy wrong ("My copyright" from an anon. contrib. with link to original text which is copyright.) but I have no clue how to fix it. Anjouli 10:40, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)

As noted on Talk:Credit repair, copyright notices must be preserved under the GFDL. However they're not allowed by wikipedia policy. Hence, the offending text should be removed. If the poster wants to have their work displayed on Wikipedia, they should submit it without copyright notices. -- Tim Starling 14:39, Mar 19, 2004 (UTC)

Eye of a newcomer

Hi everybody.
I don't know if this comment is in the right page. Please move to proper page if necessary, and please indulge my English (I was not lucky enough to be born from English native speakers) :).
I am a complete newbie and I don't know much about Wikipedia yet (though I am trying to start a Tok Pisin Wikipedia, which is another story).
Nevertheless I would like to share some thought. First, I have to say that I was delighted to find Wikipedia on the net. From the first minute, I really thought it is a great thing to have. But you probably read that kind of comments many times before. Anyway, many thanks to everyone contributing. Now I would like to point out some things that surprised me. Maybe you heard that before to, but anyway, let's list it. These are just reflexions of a newcomer willing to improve things. There aren't attacks or reproaches in anyway.

  • I read in the discussion pages that newbies often create void pages by accident. Couldn't it be easily fixed? That should be possible to work out a feature which automatically deletes a page which contains the mention "No text in this page for the moment". Or?
  • The editing process is still difficult, and I believe it is kind of discouraging for people who have encyclopedic skills but no internet or programing skills at all. I am sure developers are working on this a lot, but at least the following would help:
    • why have to type <br> for a single paragraph break?
    • the buttons at the top of the editing window are extremely useful to understand the whole thing. Maybe they could type the relevant chains of characters directly into the window, without having to copy-paste them. Also I suggest the following buttons "Insert table", "Insert column", "Insert Row". I suppose it is technically difficult but I trust you guys!
  • It seems to be a very old debate about the too many stubs and red links are actually a little discouraging for a newcomer, even on the English Wikipedia, not to speak of others, nor of Wikibooks and such. Someone pointed out that it comes out badly when printing, too.
    • Maybe one should ease up on wikifying; maybe one should red-link something if and only if she intend to create the page in next days or weeks. If someone is interested in creating a link from a word, she will do it anyway, I guess.
    • Maybe one should refrain from creating stubs with empty subtitles. I read that some of you hate dictionary definitions, but they are fine to me, at least they help understanding the concept. But what I really find disturbing are articles with many subtitles with no contents. Maybe subtitles should be added only if one can put at least some content in it. Of course, they can be useful as guideline for others to expand the article, but a sentence should do the job (something like "A is the science of B, C, D and E". People willing to expand, say, D, could then add a subtitle and content.)
    • To that respect, the "Random page" button, which a newcomers hits a lot, leads to too many cities and empty timeline links. Who cares about 39th century BC if it is empty? One simple idea would be that the "random page" button hits only page with some content, say, pages with more than n bites.
  • The language list at the bottom of all main pages lists the languages by alphabetical order, which gives a distorted image of what Wikipedia really is. I suggest the language be ranked by number of articles, or by volume (with some indication of it between brackets, say: Tatarça (31 articles)). This could encourage contributors to promote their Wikipedia. Also newcomers will have a sharper image of what they can expect in the different language Wikipedias.

Sorry for having been so long; sorry for my bad English; and sorry to intrude in some maybe old debates. Well, I'm a newcomer, but remember that most visitors are newcomers! Their first glance and their first try are certainely determining in the developement of Wikipedia.
Best. --Milaiklainim 08:47, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Welcome Milaiklainim. You make some good points. But one thing you will soon see is that things tend to get better rather than worse. If you can't get an article formatted as you wish, or if you are unsure of the English grammar or spelling, somebody else will soon correct it for you. That is the beauty of Wikipedia. Some types of articles have been automatically inserted from existing non-copyright sources, such as census data. That is why the random button always seems to bring up small towns in Nebraska :) Have fun! Anjouli 09:11, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Wow, it is good to have people just wanting this to get better (and taking the trouble to express their concerns!). Thanks for the feedback and keep contributing! Pfortuny 10:52, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Regarding the toolbar buttons: They do exactly what you describe in Internet Explorer. Unfortunately other browsers do not support this functionality. Mozilla does to a degree, but it has an ugly bug which causes it to scroll to the top of the text window whenever you change the text selection. You can vote for the bug here. Before this is fixed, we can't enable this functionality in Mozilla.

However, the current development version of the toolbar should be more useful for users of non-IE browsers, you can test it here.—Eloquence 14:04, Mar 19, 2004 (UTC)

For some reason the popup asks me to "Please vote for bug #231389 to make text selection work in Mozilla!" This doesn't make a lot of sense when I'm editing in Safari! ;) It's also not too friendly, even for Mozilla users -- it's a bunch of extra seemingly meaningless instructions in what is already a fairly overwhelmingly long prompt. The eyes glaze over... --Brion
I knew you'd say that, but I'd like to keep it in for a while at least. It already tries to show this only for Moz, but the detection routine could use some improvement.—Eloquence 20:38, Mar 19, 2004 (UTC)
  • Regarding language order, there's a current poll on exactly this topic.
  • Regarding too many red links--I'm pretty new to Wikipedia, too (2 months) and they've never bothered me. But I might not be a typical casual user. Advantages to having red links include that the database can list commonly-requested topics that don't yet have articles --and all of those links become instantly good when an article is created, instead of someone then having to do a text search (via google, which is out of date) to find all possible text links to that topic and then add links to each of those pages. (There's some discussion on this topic on the Talk page for Wikipedia:Make only links relevant to the context.) Elf | Talk 18:47, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)

User User:Jaymer

How can we help this newbie? He's setting up his own private tech support here and here...  :)
Elde 06:22, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I think we need to politely let him know that Wikipedia is not a web hosting service. We do not wish for him to use our resources for his private buisness. →Raul654 06:57, Mar 19, 2004 (UTC)

Jaymer OK, great, I'm a newbie to YOUR system, and thats about all you know about me. As listed on the main page I setup, there's already 2 tech support sites, don't need yours for that... I'm not trying to use your resources for my "own private business....".
What i AM trying to do is utilize this technology to

  1. introduce a whole new batch of people to the wiki technology
  2. try out this technology for a collaboration-type effort, where maybe some design ideas can be handled more easily.

I'd gladly use some other nice wiki system and may do so at some time. I'm sure there must be other discussion/collaboration pages on your system, so I think the issue is this business thing. i've read through the policies and couldn't find anything - please be specific on which rules(s) i'm breaking.
Thanks - please don't delete me!

The Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, where people come to write articles about many different things. All of the articles that exist here meet that goal. The Wikipedia, however, is not a forum for discussion about commercial software - Wikipedia is not a resource for conducting business (#20). Like I have told you, you can download the Wiki software and set it up on your own server, and enjoy all the wonders of Wiki-technology and you will have absolute control over it. Perhaps that would interest you more. Thanks Dysprosia 14:01, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Please bring these things to the talk page of the newbie, and the talk pages of the articles first, before coming here in future, or else the newbie won't know he's doing anything wrong. temporarily dead

Wikiquote's regular address at is temporarily dead due to servers being swapped and DNS not being updated. It should be back within a few days, in the meantime please use Sorry for the trouble! --Brion 06:21, 2004 Mar 19 (UTC)

Thanks for the info. I was just trying to get in contact with you to find out what was going on. — Kalki 10:03, 2004 Mar 19 (UTC)

Biology pictures - request away

Next week, I'm going in with my mom to her work. She's a high school biology teacher. She has a lot of stuff in her room that would could benefit from having picture of. I'd like to know - specifically, what biology releated items do we need pictures of? I know she has an actual human skeleton (it's very old - at least 30+ years old). Do we pictures of any particular bones? (I have noticed that most of our bone articles are really lacking for pictures) Chemicals? Lab equipment? Other stuff that isn't readily available? →Raul654 05:43, Mar 19, 2004 (UTC)

I think all that stuff would be nifty but I have no specific requests--unless she's next door to a physics lab with a Mad Physics Teacher who has on hand such useful devices as Tesla coils, Van de Graaff generators, Jacob's Ladders and such turned on and sparking and arcing dramatically... Mwah ha ha haaaaa.... I mean, er... how nice it would be. Elf | Talk 06:02, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Actually, yes - in fact, the physics teacher is right next door. I could try to slip in and grab some photos →Raul654 06:04, Mar 19, 2004 (UTC)
There are good photos in the articles but they're not turned on. Just a thought. Probably better to spend time taking photos of ulnas and phalanges and such. Elf | Talk 06:26, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)

swear words

it's about time the profanity was addressed on the TV and air waves through the radio. Now how about the computer too?

This is an encyclopedia, not a children's book. RickK | Talk 04:58, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I agree totally. I'm sure there are some mormons out there somewhere who'd be happy to fork wikipedia and censor out all the objectionable stuff. I suggest the above poster should try to get in contact with them. →Raul654 05:08, Mar 19, 2004 (UTC)
Besides, Wikipedia doesn't really use any swear words except in the context of discussing them as swear words. It wouldn't be much use if those articles said "There are several words in the English language that are considered vulgar, but we can't tell you what they are because someone might get offended." This topic has been brought up a bazillion times, by the way; see Wikipedia:Content disclaimer (and its talk page). -- Wapcaplet 05:20, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Well, I'm pretty sure he's not just talking about swear words, but anal sex, dogging, and all the rest. →Raul654 05:27, Mar 19, 2004 (UTC)
Seems we are talking about two different things here. "Vulg." words are fine in context or as legitimate quotes - not as part of ordinary descriptive text. Well-known sexual acts I think should be defined and the obscure excluded (on the same grounds as anything else we list here), but we need to make very sure articles are neutrally-descriptive - i.e. people who write/read them are not "getting off" on the text. I would suggest a good rule of thumb might be "would the text look appropriate in an academic text book"? Anjouli 10:48, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Proposal: Wikimedia Commons

I have written a proposal to share media among the various Wikimedia projects, and to develop a central repository for freely licensed content. I call it the "Wikimedia Commons". I have posted the proposal to the wikipedia-l mailing list:

This project would absorb the free text repository Project Sourceberg, which is still in its infancy.

I invite all interested parties to participate in the discussion about whether we want to do this. The discussion about and roadmap for the implementation will be moved to Meta-Wikipedia if a consensus develops that we do. For those who do not want to subscribe to the list, I hope someone will summarize the discussion on Wikipedia:Goings-on.—Eloquence 02:38, Mar 19, 2004 (UTC)

"I invite all interested parties to participate in the discussion about whether we want to do this"
That's all well and good, but there are a few people that avoid participating on the mailing lists like the plague (present company included). Couldn't this have been done on meta to begin with, and a notice posted on the mailing lists? Dori | Talk 02:46, Mar 19, 2004 (UTC)
The problem is that Jimbo usually only frequents the mailing lists, and we need his approval to begin with. I'll try to get this to Meta ASAP, promised.—Eloquence 03:07, Mar 19, 2004 (UTC)

Article Images

Recently I've noticed a proliferation of images in articles which do not really add anything to the article itself. This is especially prevalent with various aircraft and airlines articles, where multiple images showing the same thing over and over (and often not even from different angles) are added. It seems as if people are adding their own images just because they can, without regard to whether it is really adding anything useful. The additional image content makes quite a difference to the download speed for pages on a dial-up connection (and it's costing me money), and I thought we were trying to keep WP lean and mean. Is there an official policy on this? I've been editing out superfluous images but feel I'm fighting a losing battle. Obviously if multiple images really enhance an article I have no objection, but at one point recently the Boeing 747 page had 6 nearly identical pictures on it! How do others feel? If like me you think that one image per article is usually enough, how can this be enforced? Graham 00:08, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Perhaps a better approach would be to have some sort of standard practice for image galleries on particular topics, linked from the relevant article. Such galleries may be of interest to some people (and it'd be a shame to waste the precious few GFDL-ed images we do have, since contributors have taken the time to create and/or photograph and upload them). That way, images wouldn't have to bog down the main article unless they were really pertinent, vital, and non-redundant. Not sure of a good way to do this, though... Boeing 747/Gallery would work, but we're trying to stay away from subpages. Maybe a portion of the Wikipedia: namespace could be used for image galleries? (not really appropriate use of the namespace, but it's a possibility). Perhaps on meta? -- Wapcaplet 02:23, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I like the idea of a gallery, similar to the personal galleries some users already have. I have some more photos which would be good enough for publishing them here, but the article where they would go are already illustrated, so they either need more text to allow for space for more images, or I would run into image-overloaded articles like the ones Graham mentioned, or I would have to add links like "For an alternative image click here". Such a gallery would be another application of the language independent image repository suggested some time ago on meta, but the subpage suggested by Webcaplet would be fine for me as well. andy 09:12, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Please don't delete image references just to save download time! They become orphaned, and some well-meaning admin comes along and deletes them, and they're gone forever. Just because an image doesn't have obvious value in one article doesn't mean it doesn't have useful information for another. By the time WP gets well-known most people will have broadband and the download speed issue will go away - plan for the future, not for the past. If it's Just Too Painful, create gallery of XYZ images and move the extra images there; this has been done a number of times already. Stan 07:57, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Polite request

If a decision is made on #wikipedia with regard to which version of an article that is involved in an edit war is correct, can a statement regarding this decision please be added to the article's talk page? I was accused of vandalism because I reverted an edit to New Haven, Connecticut earlier this evening, and the accusation was not appreciated. I do not have access to IRC so had no possibility of knowing that a decision had been reached. -- Graham :) | Talk 23:05, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

You are at liberty to ignore IRC entirely. IRC is not Wikipedia. Decisions reached on IRC have the exact same validity as a decision about a Wikipedia page you and I might reach over a cold ale at the Crown and Anchor — i.e., none. Wikipedia decisions take place right here at Wikipedia. Tannin 03:00, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Cold ale. God that sounds good, doesn't it. WormRunner | Talk 05:51, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
To the best of my knowledge, this was not discussed on IRC. It was, however, discussed on the mailing list [3], which everyone does have access to through the archives, and this fact was noted at Wikipedia:Goings-on. Having said that, I still don't believe the mailing list is the right place for such decisions to be made. Angela. 06:16, Mar 19, 2004 (UTC)
The only reason I took it to the mailing list is because there isn't really anyplace on the Encyclopedia to ask other people's opinions about articles. RickK | Talk 06:23, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Err... the talk pages? Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 16:21, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I wanted to raise it to a level of awareness that wasn't available at the Talk page.
Link from this page, then. Hence my recent thoughts on what this page could be - IMSoP 21:31, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Or Wikipedia:Requests for comment? -- Graham :) | Talk 16:22, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I never knew that page existed. RickK | Talk 17:34, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
This raises (and partly answers) a question I was thinking about earlier, namely: is anyone running a bot to archive [any of] those IRC channels? If so, where are the results kept; if not, might it be a good idea? Tannin's point that it is/should be ignorable notwithstanding, it would be nice to be able to copy appropriate parts of a log into relevant discussions, without relying on it still being visible in your client. - IMSoP 17:26, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Test message

Hi. I actually think it's a bit useless sending a test message like the one you're seem to be sending to every IP address that changes something in an article. Among many other reasons, because IP addresses can be shared by several people. I just got a message befor I could even think of editing anything! 21:45, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

For clarification, the test message does work because once it gets noticed the user realises this site is checked regularly by administrators, and gets directed towards the sandbox and welcome page which are all they need to start out. In your case someone using your IP posted two highly offensive articles that were both speedily deleted earlier this evening. It is unfortunate that, because of dynamic IPs, you then picked the message up. -- Graham :) | Talk 21:50, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Alert!! Recurring slashdotlike effects over the weekend

BBC Worlds Click Online just mentioned Wikipedia as an example of a "well maintained" WikiWiki site. This program will get numerous reruns through the weekend, day and night; expect minor slashdotlike effects! -- J-V Heiskanen 21:05, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Uploading trouble

I'm trying to upload a new version of Image:Two polar bears sparring.jpg, but it's not working. The upload says it works, the page says the new version is there, but the image isn't replaced. Note that my versions are listed as larger, so I'm not uploading the old image by accident. Is this related to the recent upload issues? (I can't find info about that anymore) --Spikey 20:20, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

For the 876th time this has been asked here, it's a caching problem. Hit cotrol-F5 and the new image should load fine. →Raul654 20:25, Mar 18, 2004 (UTC)
It's annoying isn't it, and catches a lot of people out.  :) fabiform | talk 20:49, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Why don't we just do what everyone is doing these days - make our own canned wikimedia reply message? →Raul654 22:01, Mar 18, 2004 (UTC)
Note to reader - the above is a joke. →Raul654 22:01, Mar 18, 2004 (UTC)
But we already have Wikipedia:Clear your cache, so shall we move it to the MediaWiki namespace? (just kidding as well) andy 22:26, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I thought that was it, but I still couldn't get it to display. Odd. It's working now, though. Sorry to post another caching problem here, Raul. *self-dopeslap* --Spikey 03:34, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
It would've been polite to tell the original uploader about changes you made to a photograph from their private collection. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 08:19, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)

new look boilerplates

What's with the new-look boilerplate texts such as {{msg:stub}} and {{msg;delete}}. Is there any way you can view the old ones. I kind of like the traditional kind... Ludraman | Talk 19:47, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

On second thoughts - they're absolutely terrible! Ludraman | Talk 20:43, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I don't like them either, looks like someone was a tad too bold. Discussion at MediaWiki talk:stub. Dori | Talk 20:06, Mar 18, 2004 (UTC)
A poll is underway at that same page to decide which look to use. Dori | Talk 02:19, Mar 19, 2004 (UTC)

New anonymous users making substantial edits

Is it possible to block edit access to anonymous users for certain contentious articles, where they appear over and over under different IP addresses to insert POV material? Cecropia 16:27, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Vandal alert

Having a bit of trouble with an anonomus IP vandal: Help out by reverting the vandalous edits made by this IP. Ludraman | Talk 15:45, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Auto-summary and preview

The new automatic summary for section editing is quite nice, but has one drawback - it is also set when doing a preview of the edit, so one has to set the summary after the previewing. I usually prepare everything and then when the preview shows fine save directly, so this is a bit annoying. And it isn't necessary, as the summary already contains the section name, so if the summary has changed it was done intentionally. andy 14:56, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Yes, you're correct, that was a bug. It should be fixed now.—Eloquence 15:19, Mar 18, 2004 (UTC)
Wow! Neato feature! Thank you! (Was about to say "funny, it works for me" - what a record-breaking bug-fix!) - IMSoP 15:25, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)
This might be nice for some, but for those of us that used to put something in the summary anyway it won't. It now procides an incentive not to put anything else (more informative) in the summary, as you have to delete what's already there (or fiddle with the cursor, to get your text in there). Will there be a preference to turn this off? Dori | Talk 15:31, Mar 18, 2004 (UTC)
If you are going to write something anyway, then the provided text is irrelevant. When you are finished with your change, tab to the summary box, and the automatic text becomes highlighted, simply overwriting your summary replaces the automatic text without needing to press delete or anything, i.e. the key strokes are unchanged. This information may be browser-dependent!:-)
But yes, I have noticed a lot of edit summaries that are only loosely related to their content today as people just use the default. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 15:36, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I would appreciate feedback on how these prefilled summaries should be formatted. Currently they are formatted as "(section name)". The problem with that is that it's not always obvious that it is an automatic summary, which might lead to confusion. It also looks a bit ugly to have it listed in recent changes as "((section name))". I have experimented with "[section name]", but that becomes very ugly when there are links in the section titles. Something like "<= section name" might work, but keep in mind that people write the text both to the left and to the right of whatever is in the summary field.—Eloquence

I'd go with "section name " (notice the space at the end). That way you can enter text at the end, or you can just leave it as it is, and it's less ugly than the other alternatives IMO. Dori | Talk 16:47, Mar 18, 2004 (UTC)
How about single or double hyphens or something, like --section title-- , (w/extra end spc) which would look like (--section title-- user's own text) in history lists. I feel that such delimiters would be better than the current ((section title) user's own text) (that is, I share the opinion that double parens are ugly here). (this comment was copied from my original one in Wikipedia talk:Edit summary) --Wernher 00:44, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I think "Section name: " would be good. Encourages people to put something after the colon. moink 00:05, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Note: see also previous discussion of pre-filled summary fields (including the idea of having lists of suggestions) at Wikipedia:Village pump/February 2004 archive 3#Summary line - IMSoP 17:50, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Maybe I'm being a party pooper, but I don't really like the automatic summaries. I think it discourages meaningful summaries. I'm not sure the section title is always helpful to know what somebody's doing to an article. moink 18:07, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Automatic summaries are irritating- at least for people who always fill the edit summaries- because one is forced to do two actions. Why not simply have a system such that saving/ editing a page is rendered impossible without writing at least a certain amount of characters- 1,2.. whatever. Maybe we can have exceptions only for minor edits, or maybe even for that we can follow the same rule. Is it too obvious but difficult to do or is it overlooking the obvious?:-) KRS 16:32, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I don't have to take two actions, because I tend to put the section title in the summary anyway, lest I edit two sections in the same article in a row and it looks like I don't know how to preview. --Charles A. L. 19:27, Mar 20, 2004 (UTC)

Note: there is a now a meta:Edit summary prefill poll in progress - IMSoP 04:27, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I Noticed wikipedia logo in many languages use phrases which mean "A Free Encyclopedia" for "The Free Encyclopedia" as seen in the English version. Could someone clarify?Mayooranathan 09:53, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

The page where this information should be found is Wikipedia:Logos and slogans - however that one hasn't been updated since the new logo contest was started, so it does not include the current logo description. You can find some description in meta:Image talk:Paullusmagnus-logo (small).png. andy 10:10, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)


Just like to say that I think the coverage of the recently discovered planetoid Sedna in Wikipedia has been excellent - the article is well written, informative and authorative, and the discussion page is very interesting too. A great example of Wiki collaboration. Gandalf61 09:27, Mar 18, 2004 (UTC)

Betty Boop

Hi, my name is dani and i have to do a prject in school on the history of Betty Boop. I need to set up an interview...

Hi Dani. I have copied this message to talk:Betty Boop, where BB fans are likely to see it, as the message will be deleted from this general purpose page quite quickly. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 09:22, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)
In fact, no need for it to be in both places. Follow link if interested. - IMSoP 15:33, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)
QED :) Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 15:37, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Proposal: New pages patrol

Discussion moved to Wikipedia talk:New pages patrol

After noticing how many new pages we're getting now, and how many of them do need a little help along the way, I'd like to propose Wikipedia:New pages patrol as an entirely voluntary and low-obligation way of keeping up with Special:Newpages and the flood of new stub articles. As a community, we have a vested interest in watching new pages as they come in and gently offering advice and support to new contributors in order to keep the quality of our article database high. If people think that this is a good idea, I think it'd be ideal to link to this from a header in Special:Newpages much like we do on Special:Recentchanges. -- Seth Ilys 22:55, 17 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Undoing an article name change

Hi, I added a page cycles which someone else (not sure who as two people made changes) changed to cycle I think for later ambiguity reasons. This is not good because "cycles" better describes the page than "cycle" and the ambiguity is now worse. I tried to rename it back but a page already exists there. Help! I have put more notes under Talk:Cycle, thanks, RayTomes

No more yellow?

What happened to the yellow background in namespaced pages? Did I miss something? --Spikey 21:35, 17 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I still see it. Perhaps you've been spending too much time on the computer and need to take a small break, eyestrains are not cool. If that's not it, then perhaps try resetting your monitor to the manufacturer's default settings. Or maybe a simple Ctrl/Shift Reload will fix it. Dori | Talk 22:08, Mar 17, 2004 (UTC)

What did happen to the background color? It is not there anymore after a refresh (on one of my monitors, and very faint on another...I guess it turns out to be a QC check on the display device). - Bevo 22:17, 17 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Map of Wikipedians

I don't know how much info is logged about IP addresses, but would it be possible to make a world map showing Wikipedia edit activity geographically? Just a single static image. May not be worth it, but I think it would be pretty cool. Possibly useful for PR. --Spikey 18:05, 17 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Wikipedians would be a good place to get the info from. →Raul654 18:06, Mar 17, 2004 (UTC)
I was hoping we could mark the map by edit or otherwise by activity, but it may not be worth that much detail. Also, many Wikipedians aren't on that list. Which reminds me... (runs off and adds self) --Spikey 21:29, 17 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I'm not sure, but aren't there tools mapping IPs to geographic space? -- till we *) 18:54, 17 Mar 2004 (UTC)
There are. The trick is getting the IPs. :) --Spikey 21:29, 17 Mar 2004 (UTC)


When is the wikipedia's own search engine going to be turned back on?. I was under the impression that it was only switched off when the WP was experiencing technical problems as a temporary measure. The current setup of using google etc to search the WP is far from satisfactory. G-Man 14:28, 17 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Our secondary database server still has not been repaired by Penguin Computing. Until we get it back, we can't re-enable the search for performance reasons.—Eloquence 14:57, Mar 17, 2004 (UTC)


How does one edit the boxes that appear when {msg:x} is used? I'd like to change the format of {msg:RAH} but can't figure out how. --Alex S 01:33, 17 Mar 2004 (UTC)

If you want to edit a msg:blah, edit the page MediaWiki:blah, so in this case MediaWiki:RAH. Dori | Talk 01:34, Mar 17, 2004 (UTC)

Thanks a lot. One more question: The list of most wanted articles lists Deaddead with 39429 links, none of which actually exist. What's going on? --Alex S 01:38, 17 Mar 2004 (UTC)

See Strange deaddead links, above. - IMSoP 02:24, 17 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Photograph of animal abuse

A user has uploaded an image which, while cute, may represent animal cruelty. Discussion included status of bonsai kitten as a hoax website, deletion via copyright technicality, and the personal merits of the users involved. Full text at Image talk:Cat in pint.jpg - IMSoP 01:08, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Has anyone already discussed and other encyclopedia thieves? Apparently they are using the entire copy of Wikipedia and advertising on their site -- have they paid for a license?

You can find them listed on Wikipedia:Copies of Wikipedia content (high degree of compliance). They don't need to pay for a license are thus are no thieves - the Wikipedia is GFDL, thus it can be copied with just a few limitations - most of all is quoting the source. andy 20:14, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I've put this question in the Overview FAQ, since it seems to be asked about once a month. -- Tim Starling 23:34, Mar 16, 2004 (UTC)

Many thanks.


  • "Shanthinager" is Hindi for place of peace →Raul654 14:16, Mar 16, 2004 (UTC)
  • Nautilus pompilius, the chambered nautilus, of which Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote "Build me more stately mansions, O my soul." Dpbsmith 17:06, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  • Xanadu: the summer capital of Kublai Khan's empir
  • Shangri-La: "a mystical and harmonious valley, gently guided from a lamasery, enclosed in the western end of the Himalayas
  • Síocháin na Naoimhe is Peace of the Saints in Irish. Ludraman | Talk 19:13, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  • I always liked Camelot, but that's because I'm a political junkie. Meelar 19:38, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  • If your son is called Rohan, maybe Edoras? DJ Clayworth 20:17, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  • Lou pastissoun (the tiny pastis) ^^ Greudin

request for a house name


This is request for a name for my new house.

My wife, baby (son) and myself are the people who are going to stay in the house. My name is PAUL NEVIN, Wife - ABILAH, Son - ROHAN.

I want to give an attractive simple name for my house. We will always like some words with meanings love, simplisity, and also with christian names.

Please suggest few names.

Awaiting your early reply.

George W. Bush Q & A!

What is George Bush's middle name?

Walker. --anon
Beelzebub. --anon
For future reference, see Wikipedia:Reference desk or the appropriate article. — Sverdrup 13:09, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Strange deaddead links

At this page it can be seen that the page on the topic deaddead is requested a LOT. This can't be right, and if you go the the "what links here" page of this page, a lot of pages are returned on which no link to deaddead can be found. Anyone knows what this is about?


This was mentioned just a couple of days back, but fell victim to vigourous archiving already: see the moved discussion. I suspect it's a dummy value being taken literally by the scripts somewhere. - IMSoP 18:21, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC) PS:I'm very annoyed at this conversation being buried so quickly

Internal error

While I am trying to upload a GIF animation, I got an error message, which said:

Internal error
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
Could not copy file ""   to "/home/wikipedia/htdocs/en/upload/d/d5/Animation_of_Mars_Arrival_of_Opportunity.gif". 

The GIF animation is about 3.8 MB, and has 91 frames (640x480).

That's hella large. Maybe you should shrink it, somehow. Dysprosia 11:35, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)

See this webpage for lot's of useful advice on shrinking gifs theresa knott 11:45, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Uploads are limited to 2 megabytes. --Brion 19:40, 2004 Mar 16 (UTC)

Do we really want animated gifs on Wikipedia? RickK | Talk 02:50, 17 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I've seen sane uses of them. [4], for example ([5] is bigger).

Select anniversaries - Rachel Corrie's brutal murder one year ago by Israel

I see on the front page that there are selected anniversaries for March 16. Why not put that today is the one year anniversary of the brutal murder of the peaceful protestor Rachel Corrie by the Israeli Defense Forces? Rest in peace, Rachel. -- Richardchilton 06:52, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I don't think this is so important as to be necessary. The IDF has killed many high-profile victims, intentionally or not. Will we put Barbara Olson's death on the main page on September 11? Also note that whether the death was an accident or not is controversially debated in itself, so I don't think murder would be an apt description. --Johnleemk 07:07, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)
New users may like to know that there was a lot of controversy about how to write about Rachel Corrie's death on Wikipedia this time last year. The above post may well be a deliberate attempt to stir up a fuss, or it could be a co-incidence. That the message was left on the village pump, rather than the appropriate talk page, leans me in one direction more than the other. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 09:40, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Uninformed, speculative attribution of a writer's motive is not probative to an effort to appreciate the signifigance of the anniversary of a political death. The death occured, it occurred on a certain day and it is widely recognized as a signifigant event. Those facts are probative to the discussion. Attacks against a person's motivation (ad hominem) are so routine on Wikipedia, I have stopped contributing substantive content because I see little or no appreciation of fact, but rather a widespread interest in attacking the mind or motivation of anonymous writers. Bird 16:15, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I did not resort to ad hominem. All I did was point out:
  1. The basis for putting Rachel Corrie on the front page is weak. It's a memorable event, but she is hardly a world-shaker.
  2. The use of the word murder is POV. --Johnleemk 05:15, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Do Songs and/or Characters Deserve Their Own Pages?

I've noticed that in pages like listings of songs, and movie pages, songs and characters typically are not linked as wikipedia articles in their own right. I've made a few related pages like Without You and The Sound of Silence and there are characters like Catwoman which haven't appeared on VFD, so now I'm confused. What's the official policy of Wikipedia on this? I half-expect to hear that there's no real policy and if we want to make such articles, we can go ahead. =p --Johnleemk 06:06, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not paper - in short, we're happy to take notable things you would not normally find in other encyclopedias. What exactly is "notable" is quite subjective. →Raul654 06:08, Mar 16, 2004 (UTC)
If there is an interest in the topic even if it is marginal (Catwoman certainly deserves an article I believe, as do popular songs), and you can say something about it, it deserves an article. The only exception would be unverifyable material (such as Dragon Ball Z Powerlevels) or patent nonsense. — Jor (Darkelf) 11:55, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Elf, the problem is that we are starting to end up with many pages that are little more than stubs, and never will be anything more. This for example. I'm as much as a LOTR fans as the next guy, but in too many ways Wikipedia is becoming a fan site. Elde 23:30, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)
This seems a bit POV. What is fandom to you is expertise to an enthusiast in the area. But it's a good question as to how general an encyclopedia Wikipedia wants to be. My suggestion is to err on the side of inclusion, the old catchcry being of course Wikipedia is not paper. Where we do get lots of little articles or informative but unexpandable stubs, eventually we should create a more general article to cover the same information, and merge and redirect the unexpandable stubs etc. to it. IMO we could and should have an article on Minor characters in the Books of Kings, for example, and eventually I'll write one. Andrewa 16:30, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)


This is a little problem in Chinese WP: some users like to use Times New Roman, while others prefer Songti. can developers add an option to the "Preferences" so that users can choose the font they like? --Samuel 03:50, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Can't they just change this in their browser settings? Dori | Talk 03:52, Mar 16, 2004 (UTC)
i can't find how to change the font of English... the problem is that when Chinese and English are mixed up, the English will be shown using the Times New Roman. Some users who like songti just keep adding <div style="font-family:songti"> to redefine all the font in the articles, which upsets me very much. because i don't like to use songti for English letters. --Samuel 04:04, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)
The point might seems to be: "Songti" is a monotype font, while "Times New Roman" is a proportional spacing one. When Latin text are displayed with Han characters, using "Times New Roman" may lead to misalignment of lines at the right hand side, due to variation of spaces caused by characters using "Times New Roman". There is nothing special but just cosmetic problems.--Tomchiukc 04:16, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)
well, i don't like (i don't want to say that, but i do hate) to use Songti to display English letters, whenever, whatever. The set of that Chinese font is badly designed for displaying English letters, though its design for Chinese characters is nice. (this is my POV) :# --Samuel 04:24, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Let work with Tahoma (on MS-Windows) or Sans (on X-Window). They are perfect to display both Chinese and English. :) Yaohua2000
Well, in fact, Tahoma is a WGL4 font, which does not contain any Asian characters. Therefore, it does not help much on displaying both Chinese and English together. -- Tomchiukc 18:16, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

"msg" vs. "subst"

I've restarted discussion of the policy on the use of "msg". I think we should use "subst" instead. Please see Wikipedia talk:MediaWiki namespace. -- Oliver P. 03:23, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)

refactoring large article

I'd like to refactor an article which appears as a number of separate edit sections. Rather than make multiple edits to the separate sections, how can I edit it as a whole?

Eoghan 23:58, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Click on "edit this page" in the side bar or on the bottom of the page any time you wish to edit the whole of an article.  :) fabiform | talk 00:09, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Of course! That was dumb of me. I just thought maybe there was some special feature for moving text between sections, that's all. Thanks, Eoghan 00:14, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)

legit use of Wikipedia content

I noticed that the people at

Are using LOTS of wikipedia content which seems OK in general. However, their site uses the content without clearly indicating where the text comes from or that wikipedia is the owner. Is this a violation of the GFDL?

Blimpguy 22:51, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

There's a central place where sightings like this are organised: Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks. I found that is listed on this page, which is linked from the above: Wikipedia:Copies of Wikipedia content (low degree of compliance), it's been noticed, and I see that David Newton emailed them about it just yesterday. fabiform | talk 22:59, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

de-anonymizing contributions

I added a new section to an article but forgot to login. It's not a big deal, but is there any way to de-anonymize content after it's been submitted?

Eoghan 22:42, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

This page should be what you're looking for: Wikipedia:Changing attribution for an edit Silverfish 22:44, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)
A much easier way is simply to revert your edit while still logged out, then log in and re-submit it. GrahamN 17:18, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)

redirect problem

I've accidently created a redirect from Glutaminic Acid to Glutamic acid. From what I can find on the 'net, they are the same thing, however, but I would like someone to confirm or deny this, and if they are not, to delete the redirect (or write a Glutaminic acid entry. Silverfish 21:40, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I'm fairly sure they're the same thing, yes. -- Vardion 04:02, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)
The Merck index lists Glutaminic Acid as a synonym for Glutamic Acid. -- Popsracer 12:21, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Mobile Wikipedia?

I wondered if a mobile version of Wikipedia (either WAP or XHTML Basic) has ever been considered?

I currently access Wikipedia using the Google HTML to WAP gateway, which works reasonably well but is a little restrictive as the gateway is designed for older phones with smaller screens, so you have to click "next page" a lot. Also data-tables are drawn incorrectly which is often a pain.

An XHTML Basic version would be easy to create and would could be designed for newer smart-phones and PDAs which support tables and formatting.

Having Wikipedia "on the move" is often very useful, even if it's just to resolve an argument in the pub :) Sort of like a real-life Hitch Hiker's Guide. No reason why editing facilities couldn't be provided too - so a Wikipedia researcher could amend an article while out and about, as they come across facts, also like The Guide.

Drop me a note on my talk page if you want to discuss.

--Danhuby 19:19, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

No, h2g2 is "a real-life Hitch Hiker's Guide"! ;-) (their WAP version got put on hold indefinitely, though, unfortunately). But yeah, could be good. - IMSoP 19:41, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)
"sort of like" in that it would be a more, erm, "serious" version (not to be offensive to H2G2 which of course is exactly in humorous keeping with The Guide). I saw the H2G2 WAP version was put on hold because I thought the same thing about H2G2 and found the old WAP project page... a real shame! --Dan 23:15, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)
An XHTML Basic version designed for media="handheld" would also work well with Opera to allow people to create sidepanels which do not lose all formatting. — Jor (Darkelf) 19:47, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)
What do you think about the xhtml skin at ? The parser needs some fixing of course, but apart from that it should work pretty well in small devices. -- Gabriel Wicke 02:08, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Looks a lot better than currently on a handheld medium (small device), although the mobile version could do without the large WP logo. The skin could do with some media="handheld" rules to beautify the layout, and hide some of the content. Specifically, for media="handheld" large images should be hidden from display and be replaced by a "click to show" link if possible, especially the WP logo. And the 'edit this page' is not needed probably. — Jor (Darkelf) 02:15, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I've changed the logo to a background image specified in the media="screen" stylesheet now, won't be loaded for mobile devices. -- Gabriel Wicke 14:25, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
ja:Wikipedia:携帯電話やモバイル機器からのアクセス explains, in Japanese, an ongoing pilot project for making Wikipedia readable via mobile devices (esp. cell phone). Tomos 21:23, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Ii 02:26, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)


Hey. I have to find out about Oxfam and I was just wondering why you do the work you do. Thanx

I'm guessing that you meant to ask this somewhere else. This is an online encyclopedia. We do have an article about Oxfam. Their own web page is at, if that's any help. -- Jmabel 19:12, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Downloading some linked pages

I am intersted in downloading a very small portion of wikipedia database, but when I download a single page using the "save as" command of Internet explorer the Html source always contains the absolute addressess (such as )and it is impossible to navigate the locally downloaded pages. Is there any way to work around this and get instead local/relative addresse without editing each single html source code. 15 march 2004 mauri

Your browser is altering the pages while saving them. There should be some sort of option in the "save as" dialog to not do this. --Brion 19:41, 2004 Mar 16 (UTC)
See also the new article m:MediaWiki User's Guide: Downloading pages .--Patrick 13:54, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Can/should GFDL images have a visible notice in them?

I noticed a very nice picture added to Arboretum which, unfortunately, contains the visible text "(c) 2003 Christopher Harris," where [User:Chris Harris] is the person who uploaded. I was going to send him a note, but realized I had no idea whether there was really a problem. I know that when I upload images myself, I usually put a notice on the image description page saying "(c) yyyy Daniel P. B. Smith, released under the terms of the Wikipedia license" myself.

  • Is there anything wrong with a visible copyright message on an image?
  • Conversely, would it be a good idea to have some kind of visible GFDL notice on images that are intentionally released under the GFDL (to increase the chances that the GFDL-ness will travel with the image when it is copied)?
  • If so, what would be a good short form for the GFDL notice?
  • How about a combined notice? What form should it take? "(c) yyyy Person P. Human, GDFL licensed"?
I like the idea of this. As long as the writing is small and unobtrusive. But it would have to be added by the copyright holder (ie the person who took the photo) before they uploaded it wouldn't it? theresa knott 11:38, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I don't like the idea to put text into the image. And if I understand the GFDL correctly you don't loose the copyright on the actual photo, you just release that one binary version of the photo. One possibility would be to add the author info into one of the magic JPEG header fields, which can contain any text. Many graphics software can add that one, while "thieves" may be ignorant of it. It gives less protection than a watermark or even the text in the picture, but is also least intrusive - but if you have a picture you intend to sell you don't have to upload it here anyway. andy 09:17, 17 Mar 2004 (UTC)

topic about hrm

sir i am doing mba,from next month on words i must do my project,so please send me the details of hrm and send the topics under it so i can do the project on it so please send the details of it. please send me which topic is best so i can prefer it and proceed it for further for my job.
thanking you, your faith fully,
g,naga sudhakar

We don't reply to email addresses and we don't have an article on hrm (I assume that's an acronym for something obscure? Human Resource Management?). If that's it, try List of human resource management topics. —Frecklefoot 16:39, Mar 15, 2004 (UTC)
Actually, I haven't got time at the minute, but there's no reason somebody couldn't be polite and send that link to the given address, along with a quick explanation of What is Wikipedia and a link to this conversation once it's been moved to Wikipedia:Reference desk. They may end up contributing useful information from elsewhere. - IMSoP 17:11, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:MediaWiki custom messages

Please go here to join the discussion over the use of Mediawiki:msgs for topical article sidebars, or if you've had problems with an overzealous Cal student named Jiang. -SV(talk) 10:28, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Minor edits

When did the "Minor edits" become small letter in recent change page? :O --Yacht 08:59, Mar 15, 2004 (UTC)

Must have been just this weekend. Maybe Wikipedia:Goings-on might be interesting for you - amoung other things such small changes are listed there. The rationale behind that change is simply that the capital N and the capital M look quite similar, but a the small m is much more different, thus easier to see at first look if it is minor or new. andy 09:08, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)
There was a discussion about this somewhere a couple of weeks back & the idea seemed popular. Elf | Talk 20:01, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)
It's a nice change. There is a difference, and it's good. — Sverdrup 20:03, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)
See MediaWiki talk:Minoreditletter -- Tim Starling 13:31, Mar 16, 2004 (UTC)

Question about all blacks who have played against Australia

  • Question being answered at the reference desk
  • A statement that "We don't reply to email addresses" was contradicted, and it was reiterated that the best strategy is to move reference questions to the Ref. desk and let them be dealt with there.

Allpages for other namespaces

Is there some feature analagous to the (currently offline) Special:Allpages that works for different namespaces, such as MediaWiki, User, or Image? -Branddobbe 06:22, Mar 15, 2004 (UTC)

It doesn't seem to be offline so long as you are not trying to list everything. If you include a "from" starting point, it works. And it does indeed seem to be accessing a live copy. For example:
Sort of, but not really (you would need to do a db query)...for MediaWiki see the links at the bottom of Wikipedia:MediaWiki namespace, for Users see Special:Listusers, for Images see Special:Imagelist. Dori | Talk 14:07, Mar 15, 2004 (UTC)
Well, the Special:Listusers only lists user pages, and I'm looking for subpages. I do remember very distinctly that I saw something that did that somewhere on here, so maybe that was Special:Allpages and that function got changed or something. I don't know. -Branddobbe 20:41, Mar 15, 2004 (UTC)

Mediation Committee

Bcorr has been nominated to join the Wikipedia:Mediation Committee. There has been no opposition from the committee or from Jimbo, and we would like to welcome comments from the community at Wikipedia:Mediation Committee#How does one become the member of the committee_?. Thank you. Angela. 00:19, Mar 15, 2004 (UTC)

Anonymous users should not be permitted to ask questions

Discussion of the perceived problem of the large volume of questions posted here by anonymous users. Further theories and discussions should be added to this page's discussion page - IMSoP 00:45, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Naming of article about a person

The article on bridge expert Charles Goren is titled simply "Goren." He is not someone commonly known by a single name, like Madonna, although there would of course be a certain number of people who would know there was a bridge expert named Goren but who wouldn't know his first name. Is there a reason the article is so named? or should this simply be changed? JamesMLane 22:49, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Yes, poorly named, I'll move it. -- Jmabel 23:10, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Move is a good idea. But he is commonly referred to simply as Goren by bridge players, as is his system of point-count bidding. I no longer play, but in several years' playing I never heard his first name mentioned once. So there should be a redirect (as now following the move) or possibly a disambig. Andrewa 16:19, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Can't images be moved?

 This action cannot be performed on this page.
 Move page:    Image:HotPeppersinMarket.jpg
 To new title: Image:Habanero_Peppers.jpg

Does that mean Nothing in the Image: namespace can be moved at all, or did I do something wrong? Mkweise 22:32, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Unfortunately, files cannot be moved. Dori | Talk 22:37, Mar 14, 2004 (UTC)
Any suggestions on how to rename photos to be more useful? I ran into this the other day trying to rename Dog1.jpg or something like that to be the actual breed name. Do we have to re-upload under a new name and request that the old one be rapidly deleted? Elf | Talk 19:57, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Missing images

I've been coming across articles with missing images (Hamilton, Ontario, for instance). It appears images were once uploaded, but now they have disappeared. Is there a reason why this is happening? Is there a place to note missing images? —Mulad 21:18, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)

There used to be a note about it at the top of this page. There was a hardware failure and about three days worth of images uploaded at the end of January were lost. They might be recovered at some point in the future.  :) fabiform | talk 23:34, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Discussion of future history as patent nonsense at talk page

Hello, I have posted some comments about possibly expanding the definition of patent nonsense to include future history. Please see the talk page and follow up there. Happy editing, Wile E. Heresiarch 16:15, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Copyright/sources question

As I begin to submit articles, I'm wondering about copyright and privileged sources. Through the course of my work I have access to a number of paid-for databases, mainly of newspaper clippings dating back years. If I were to use these to provide citations, or check facts, am in any danger of somehow tainting articles? Also, would it always be preferable to quote a newspaper directly or rephrase what it says?

Darkaddress 16:11, Mar 14, 2004 (UTC)

Am I correct in understanding that these sources are paid for by an employer? Has this employer stipulated that they are to be used only for job-related research? Then using the sources to research for Wikipedia might get you in some trouble; I don't know about the legal issues for Wikipedia itself. (None of this applies, of course, if you've paid for the database access yourself or if your job is to research and write for Wikipedia. :-)
As for the citation and copyright questions, Wikipedia:Cite your sources and Wikipedia:Contributing FAQ should have the answers. -- 17:21, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)

New Imperialism

-->Talk:New Imperialism

Master Editor

A dispute over the article on Artificial consciousness has resulted in a complicated situation involving an alternate version at Consciousness (artificial). Discussion continues at Talk:Artificial consciousness (IMSoP 00:35, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC))

  • See my talk page User talk:Tkorrovi and Ugen64 talk page user talk:ugen64 for the reason I created a separate page. Sorry, I know it is not the best solution to create NPOV version artificial consciousness NPOV, but this case was exceptional because solving the dispute by normal procedure was made impossible (I cannot edit an article started by me because of the blasphemy it shall cause on my address). Tkorrovi 22 Mar 2004
I think the discussion has got bogged down because:
-The article is trying to cover a topic for which no authoritative sources exist
-There is total confusion between the participants in the discussion of a Tower of Babel nature because there is no agreed definition of consciousness upon which to base a definition of artificial consciousness
-The article itself is about something that is hypothetical, and hence there is nothing to point to to test whether artificial consciousness can be said to exist
There is a case for the article to be treated as patent nonsense, or at minimum that it is non-encyclopedic, for the reasons I have given above
Suggest there is a strong case for the complete article to be deleted, though perhaps, if unicorn is allowed, then an article on Artificial consciousness could remain, provided it states that it was merely a concept that has never been actualised, just like unicorns. Better perhaps just to put a brief bit in the article on Artificial intelligence to the effect that one of the aims of AI researchers is to simulate consciousness in machines. Matt Stan 11:55, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
This would be blog, an article without content. I also think that the existing article is too long, so why not replace it with artificial consciousness NPOV what I tried to make shorter, including essential from main article (add more if you consider I omitted something important).
Artificial consciousness is a field of study with scientists working on it and articles published, so I think it's wrong to leave it out from Wikipedia, rather it shall add the value to Wikipedia when all not so well known fields are also described. Matthew, I would like to talk to you, do it on my talk page or where you prefer, but not on artificial consciousness talk page as of yet. Tkorrovi 22 Mar 2004
Artificial consciousness is a field of study, it is claimed, with scientists working on it and articles published, though none have been cited in the article in question. So it is claimed that it's wrong to leave it out from Wikipedia, rather it shall add the value to Wikipedia when other not so well known fields are also described, though no instances of such other articles are provided. Please leave me a message on my Talk page. Matt Stan 12:35, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Impossible to provide all evidence here, so thank you for your suggestion, I replied on your talk page. Tkorrovi 22 Mar 2004

There is a lot of truth in Matt Stan's comments re the difficulty of writing this article. But the subject is encyclopedic. That it got bogged down before and the reason for that is well understood. The reason the discussion is bogged down now is that the Wikipedia edit boldly mantra is still not being followed by any of us. All articles are supposed to be treated as if they are always drafts. There is much good material in the talk page that should be in the main article. For proof that the whole article (in its multiple versions) is worthwhile, just compare where we were to where we are. More work is required, that's all. That AC can only be simulated, that it has never been realised, that should it ever be realised it will not be real: These comments are all POV and deserve identifying as such together with their contrary POVs. That this discussion is being held here is not correct, BTW. Paul Beardsell 12:23, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

OK then what you think about artificial consciousness NPOV version? Tkorrovi 22 Mar 2004
I will reply on its discussion page. Paul Beardsell 14:01, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I cannot discuss there, I don't want another edit war against me there, with all the consequences for me from that. But OK, we can try first on NPOV version talk page. Tkorrovi 22 Mar 2004


Did something happen to the rollback feature? It doesn't seem to be working properly. I clicked it to revert some vandalism and instead of taking me back to the original page (like it used to), it says it reverted the edits when in actuality it did not. Am I missing something? Is this just me? (I don't see how that could be the case, though.) RadicalBender 19:22, 13 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I had the same problem. It seems that rollback doesn't work if the person who made the vandalism then deleted it and the latest version is the same as the non-vandalized version. RickK | Talk 21:33, 13 Mar 2004 (UTC)

It's more general than that. It will give you an error anytime someone changes the article between the time you click cur and the time you click rollback. You can only rollback the most recent changes. Once it isn't, you can't roll it back. →Raul654 21:37, Mar 13, 2004 (UTC)
No, no. That wasn't it. I knew about that. The actual rollback functionality wasn't working at all (I just tried it again a minute ago, though, and it's working again). I would click rollback and it would say it rolled back (as opposed to redirecting me back to the page again), except it didn't actually roll anything back.
Well, either way. It's fixed now, so never mind. :) RadicalBender 21:52, 13 Mar 2004 (UTC)
A bug was introduced last night that broke rollback in a misguided attempt to fix a perceived failure to detect edit conflicts. The change was reverted a few hours ago, and rollback should work fine now. --Brion 00:55, 2004 Mar 14 (UTC)

Manual purging for Main_Page and similar

I've just added a manual purge action that can be invoked like this: Works for any title, in all wikis. Hope this makes updating pages like the front page easier. -- Gabriel Wicke 16:43, 13 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Is this available only to sysops? If not, I'm not sure I like this idea. The current msg-system actually makes a quite good vandalism protection; Anybody can contribute content to the mainpage (within the frames of chosen topics), but there is still an offset in time from editing til it's shown on the main page. This means we can catch vandalim before it gets aired. So I think this is something which needs to be discussed. — Sverdrup 17:02, 13 Mar 2004 (UTC)
A simple shift-reload as anonymous user does the same, so this doesn't really work as anti-vandalism protection. However, there is a fair bit of talk about implementing more flexible protection mechanisms based on time and/or some form of trust/experience, for example see m:Anti-vandalism ideas. -- Gabriel Wicke 17:08, 13 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Neato feature! I added a link to it on the top of Talk:Main Page. Is there a way for it to automatically get activated when the day changes? This is important due to the fact that the selected anniversary section auto updates when a new UTC day arrives. Vandalism of the MediaWiki pages linked on the Main Page so far is just theoretical - just like the idea of a vandal bot was until very recently. If needed, a developer could set the MediaWiki namespace permissions so that anon users cannot edit them. If and when that isn't enough, we could protect the Main Page MediaWiki pages. --mav 05:33, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Added a cron job that does this at 00:00 UTC. -- Gabriel Wicke 11:21, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)
As many people start doing the manual purging, at random times, won't it pretty much mean that the main page will not be cached for any relatively useful periods of time? Will this have an impact on performance? Dori | Talk 11:27, Mar 16, 2004 (UTC)
Well, it'll only affect that one page, so at worst it will be like turning off caching for 1 article out of 5,458,730. And I suspect there will be more anon requests than purges, so it will be even less of an impact than that. Besides, if it weren't for all the {{msg}}s it would be purging the cache for every edit anyway. - IMSoP 17:48, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)
The problem is that it's the main page. It's the one that gets hit the most, and perhaps it should be updated a bit less frequently. Dori | Talk 18:50, Mar 16, 2004 (UTC)
Just out of interest, does anyone know if the Main Page does get hit that much more than other things - I'd have thought we'd get a huge amount of traffic via deep links (and as I understand it, the caching in question is only relevant for anons, right? So anyone with a user cookie doesn't count.) - IMSoP 01:06, 17 Mar 2004 (UTC)
According to m:Pages from English Wikipedia with more than 1000 hits in Feb 2004, the Main Page got 1631916 hits and it's at number one. Notice which "deep link" is number one :) Dori | Talk 01:13, Mar 17, 2004 (UTC)
Lol - looks like Wikipedia's readership is a fairly accurate microcosm of that of the Internet as a whole, doesn't it? - IMSoP 00:59, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Counting number of edits

I was wondering if there is an easy way to count the number of edits of a user. Unfortunately, the My contributions is not numbered, and having MS word or so count it is not very convenient. Is it also possible to count New pages, Talk pages, Minor edits, Image uploads, etc. separately? Thanks -- chris_73 16:29, 13 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I made a feature request on sourceforge about 2 months ago for this - I'm not holding my breath. You have to count them at my contributions. So set it for 100, and just start clicking next. That is fairly quick and should give you an approximate count. I do it slightly differently, manually altering the offset in the URL so I can "jump" over a certain number of edits. →Raul654 16:32, Mar 13, 2004 (UTC)
At the time of the weekly database dump (=yesterday) Chris 73 had 322 edits, ranking 806th, Raul654 had 2328 edits, ranking 178th now, 202th 30 days ago. Only edits on articles are counted in this, not discussion pages etc. You can check at this csv file, not nicely formatted, just of a dump of some counts, but updated weekly.
The top 50 active users of all time are listed here Erik Zachte 22:05, 13 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Thanks a lot for the Info. I think I'll check the CSV file every now and then, that seems to have all the info I need. The count by hundreds seems to be useful if I also want to know my talk pages. Thank you to everybody. -- chris_73 02:08, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Wikipedians by number of edits has been updated to incorporate this yummy new data. It now extends to 500 contributors. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 14:02, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Jiddisch Wikipedia

There seems to be wikipedias even in languages like Latin, Afrikaans and Zulu. Jiddisch (Yiddish) is spoken by more than four million people. Shouldn't a Jiddisch Wikipedia also be created? / BenjS

Take a look at Wikipedia:Create a new language in Wikipedia Jor (Darkelf) 15:04, 13 Mar 2004 (UTC)
There is one. See Nobody's started working on it yet, but its there. Morwen 15:09, Mar 13, 2004 (UTC)
Maybe this comment is a bit off-subject, but: "even Afrikaans and Zulu"??? That borders on the insulting IMHO. Currently about 10 million people world wide speak Afrikaans as a first language and 9 million people speak Zulu! Sheesh. :-) Elf-friend 23:52, 17 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Developer access

About a week ago, I put forward a proposal on wikipedia-l for separating developer ability from administrative power. It wasn't instantly shot down, so I've made a meta page for discussing it. Also, you can nominate people you think should be given developer-like powers. Head over and have a look, at m:Developer access -- Tim Starling 13:45, Mar 13, 2004 (UTC)

propagation of changes

I have edited a couple articles, and then sent the link to a friend, who tells me they see the old version of the article. The only thing I can guess is that wikipedia uses some sort of round-robin dns system, and the article hasn't propogated itself to the server that their dns server points them to. Is this correct?

If so, how do I make sure that they get the most recent edit of the article?

Reload the page or edit it to purge the cache. See Wikipedia:Reload --mav 08:09, 13 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Copyright policy

Im kind of thinking about our policy not to mention the person who has the copyright on the articles with the photos. The dilemma lies in that I have gotten a few permissions to post photos of airlines here, but the people who did it asked to have their names named on the article and to send them the page: Im worried they may ask to have them removed if they dont see their names next to the hpto, a misinterpretation cause as you all know , we credit the the photo history page, which one access by clicking on the photo....

I have requested for permission for various other airlines to have photos on their articles.

Thanks and God bless!

Antonio Jet Fuel Martin

Whenever we use text from another source (even if public domain or GFDL), we usually say something at the bottom of the article. It is just good form to acknowledge external sources (whereas wikipedians are in the history). I have also gotten some people to allow for some of their images to be under the GFDL. In those case, as part of the image's caption, I include the name (as a link to their site) of the author. This shouldn't be any different than what we already do for text. I think this is perfectly acceptible, and in fact, I think it should be recommended if not mandatory. Nonetheless, someone may come along and delete their name because they don't think it's acceptible. Therefore, you should explain the situation to those whose pictures you want to use. Dori | Talk 04:15, Mar 13, 2004 (UTC)

Some legal type may want to correct me here, but removal of the accompanying text is allowed under the GFDL, as I understand it. Therefore, if the condition attached to the image is to have such attached text, then the image is not under the GFDL, and therefore aught not to be in Wikipedia.

Now, keeping an attribution to maintain favour with the doners is fine, and probably advisable - it's the requirement to do so that I think is problematic. Syntax 03:11, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

If the attribution counts as a copyright notice, and it probably is when properly phrased, then the GFDL explicitly allows that those attributions cannot be removed or changed. Thus yes we should attribute to copyright authors on the article page itself, and give a guarantee to the copyright holder that the name will not be removed, if that is what they want. We do this, for example, at Sperm Whale. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 15:52, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Site with Wikipedia content, but no mention of Wikipedia

I wasn't sure what to do with this, but I figure someone here might know better than me. I came across these sites [6] [7] that are somehow connected and use Wikipedia content but I saw no mention of Wikipedia and no explicit link back to Wikipedia like expected with GDFL. Clicking around in it eventually gets you back to Wikipedia, but this whole site looks like a really poorly conceived idea. Bkonrad | Talk 02:20, 13 Mar 2004 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Sites that use Wikipedia for content --mav 08:07, 13 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  • Thanks Mav. I'm moving this to there. Bkonrad | Talk 14:00, 13 Mar 2004 (UTC)

log on, village pump no good

I wish you HAD to log on to edit the articles. This discourages vandals. Also it prevents idiots like me accidentally posting new articles anonymously.

The Village pump page takes a few minutes on my slow connection to fetch, so I can't really use it much.

Ojl 00:06, 13 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Yeah, it discourages vandals, but it also discourages honest people who just want to fix a typo or other small error without going through the fuss of creating an account. Garrett Albright 00:09, 13 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Status of Freedom of Information Act and other photos and materials

Discussion of whether these are copyrighted came down to whether they were fair use. Original questioner decided it was best not to use them. Moved to Wikipedia talk:Copyrights - IMSoP 00:25, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

How do I know if anyone's reading my stuff?

How do I find out the hit rate for particular wikipedia pages and the extent that they are being watched by other wikipedians? Matt Stan 22:08, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)

You can't. Your best bet is to make sure that many links point to the page.—Eloquence 22:41, Mar 12, 2004 (UTC)
Easy: make an obvious typo and see how long it takes for someone else to fix it. Mkweise 23:06, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)
It would be nice to know though. Could be calculated daily to avoid tying up SQL servers... It would be a good way of publically showing how influential wikipedia is. Washington Irving | Talk 23:59, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Hell with that, I'm just a narcissist. --Charles A. L. 00:39, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)
The hit rate is easy to get by visiting Choose the month, in this case March, move down to Urls and see the View all Urls link at the end of that table if your article didn't make it into the top 50. Beware, that list is long... (over 30MB!!!) Use you browser's find function to see your articles's rank and hit count for that month. -- Gabriel Wicke 15:16, 13 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for that - it really does work. Interesting to observe that during the 1st two weeks of March 2004, about 1000 of wikipedia's entries received 1000 or more hits. When I get a moment, i'll try to do a distribution histogram - if this isn't already available somewhere else. Note - when you're totting up for a page remember to count Redirects: for instance, I found there were more hits for the Lord Byron page than for that to which it redirects. Matt Stan 17:53, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Will it cause a strain on the server if too many people do it?
It's just a static file, so it's cheap to serve. The DB download would be something to worry about if we were short of bandwidth (and other sites loading images from wp), but not a 30Mb file. -- Gabriel Wicke 18:10, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Viewing the images already uploaded to Wikipedia?

Discussion of possible image cataloguing / searching techniques. Moved to Wikipedia talk:Image use policy- but that page is rather big itself - can anyone think of a better destination? IMSoP 00:15, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Ships as "she"

Discussion moved to Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style, please continue there. Stan 14:31, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Interwiki on Recent Changes

There are so many interwiki-links on the recent changes page, there's no space for them without changing something. Any views on this? Wikipedia talk:Recentchanges. Warofdreams 21:00, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Wu Dynasty

--> Moved to the Reference desk

Wikipedia - L mailing list

mailing list postings were being wrongly identified as spam; moved to Wikipedia talk:Mailing lists

Why do I have to keep logging in?

In the last week, every time I come to the site I have to re-log in, even though I click on "remember my password across sessions." RickK | Talk 15:52, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Has been fine for me. Have you been deleting your cookies? Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 16:08, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)
No. I do, from time to time, delete cookies that haven't been accessed for a while, but I haven't deleted any cookies for over a month now. RickK | Talk 16:14, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I always have to enter the password with MozillaFirebird. -- Chris Q 16:26, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I have had this problem too, just started the last day or two for me. It looks as though I am logged in on the Main page (I can see my user name at the top), but when I try to go to My Watchlist, it shows some message about an IP number not having any watchlist. If I go back to the main page it looks like I'm still logged in. If I close all the browser windows, when I come back into Wikipedia, I have to log in (and I always check the option to stay logged in between sessions). Bkonrad | Talk 17:31, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Yep. I've newly been getting this too. moink 19:39, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Me too. It seems that someone has changed the software to implement a time-out, perhaps to ensure that serial users of a contributor's workstation (PC) don't make inadvertant or deliberate spoof edits. Matt Stan 11:10, 13 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Mediation required

Ah, we seem to have developed an edit war over Hinayana. I own up to contributing to this, and someone has been mediating, but user 20040302 has now stepped up the conflict by vandalising my user and user:talk pages by posting taunts and other unhelpful stuff there (since removed). I've created maybe 30 or 40 articles, and contribute happily to many others, and seem to generally get on OK. But this one doesn't seem to be going to resolve itself and I'm aware that anything I do now is likely to be seen as adding to the conflict. Not sure what to do, but I'd like user 20040302 not to edit my user page like that, and I'd like to see this settled. Suggestions? Is anyone qualified to peer review this article? mahābāla 14:22, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Stopping forced capitalization

Unfortunately article names cannot begin with a lowercase letter. Discussion moved to Wikipedia talk:List of pages whose correct title is not allowed by MediaWiki

Kia ora! The Maori wikipedia needs YOUR help!!!

Do you speak te reo Māori? The Maori Wikipedia only has 8 articles :( If you know any Maori please come to the Maori Wikipedia. I have done my best to translate the things like "edit this page" , "discuss this page" , and "main page", but I do not really know Maori. If you know any Maori, please come to the Maori Wikipedia to help out. Perl 02:05, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I don't know any maori, but from what i see, you and the others working on it have done an awesome job! Good work! tb 10:12, 17 Mar 2004 (UTC)

User since?

Is there any easy way to tell how long another user has had their account? --zandperl 01:14, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Not really (I mean, it's probably possible if you have db access). Usually though, people make at least an edit when they register, so either check when their user and user talk page got first edited, or check their list of contributions and look for the first one. This would be a good approximation. Dori | Talk 03:18, Mar 12, 2004 (UTC)
Some hand-crafted data at Wikipedia:Wikipedians in order of arrival. Hopelessly incomplete of course! Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 08:10, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Sea of Japan/East Sea suggested Naming Convention

I have suggested a naming convention at Talk:Dispute_over_the_name_Sea_of_Japan#Naming_Convention, but nobody seems to be interested. Fortunately, it's been quiet about the article itself, but I do think we should have some form of naming convention to prevent future disputes. --Kokiri 00:58, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)


User:Nohat indirectly started a discussion on the spelling of 한글 (Hangeul/Hangul). I wish to involve as many of the community as possible. We used to use Hangeul, until Nohat backed with a Google test and be bold in editing pages changed most instances into Hangul. I think we can reduce much of the disagreement whether Hangul constitutes an English word or is merely a romanization. Please see Talk:Hangeul. --Kokiri 00:38, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)

What does striking out a section mean? No longer an issue, or just somebody who disagrees? - IMSoP 00:05, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)
No idea about the strikeout... but the word exists in English as Hangul. That's the official spelling in the Unicode standards. —Tkinias 02:15, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Straw man articles

Is there a policy on Wikipedia (or should there be) on articles that appear to have no other purpose than to argue with their own premise? I'm referring specifically to Spitting on soldiers during the Vietnam War. I went through the war and a lot of stuff went on and was talked about, but "spitting on soldiers" was barely a blip on anyone's radar screens. AFAIK, there isn't any current incident or debate which makes this an issue. Cecropia 22:02, 11 Mar 2004 (UTC)

  • I'd say keep it. I have heard of this debate in other areas, so it's a real subject. MK 05:32, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  • I don't see any major issue with the content, which is interesting, reasonably well supported, and IMHO encyclopedic. Biggest weakness is that it seems to me that it's a restatement of material from a single source. But that's not an issue, unless someone maintains that such incidents actually did take place, in which case the article needs to be expanded to reflect a neutral point of view. The only issue I see is with the title which does, as you say, seem to be setting up a straw man. It might benefit from some careful wordsmithing. I'm not sure I can come up with anything short, simple, and neutral. "Allegations of spitting on soldiers during the Vietnam War?" Dpbsmith 17:23, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Blacks of the Xia Dynasty

Before the Hans, Turks, Mongols, Manchus, and other tribes of China, the blacks were the first ones there I believe in 2800 B.C.-2200 B.C. Somehow, the blacks have dominated much of east and southeast Asia.

If you are referring to a specific article, please post those comments on that article's Talk page (follow the "Discuss this page" link for any article). —Frecklefoot 21:21, Mar 11, 2004 (UTC)

Including Talk link in signature

Elf asked how to include a talk link when signing. In preferences, either set signature to "Elf [[User Talk:Elf|(Talk)]]" or nickname to "Elf]] | [[User talk:Elf|Talk"

Undo a move

Problem solved; archived at Talk:Lacinka alphabet

A MediaWiki table of contents?

Lists of messages usable with [[mediawiki:{{{1}}}|message with id '{{{1}}}']] ([[mediawiki talk:{{{1}}}|talk]]) were eventually found via Wikipedia:MediaWiki namespace - list of boilerplate messages or list of navigational elements being the most relevant.


moved to Wikipedia:Reference desk moink 04:37, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Can you please add my link to your website


I was wondering if you would be kind enough to add my URL to your links page and maybe tell me what you think of my site. I just launched it and would really appreciate it. Thank You very much!



TITLE: Model Aces

Description: Creating professionally built scale model airplane replicas. Specializing in WWII military aircraft – 1/32 and 1/48 scale – our museum quality models have outstanding detail. Commissioned airplanes consider very specific construction that meets the requirements of my customers and include scale, specific markings, pilot, year, etc.

hand with symbols

please help me i was watching the movie "the cell" and i saw a hand with various symbols in the fingers and palm and latin writing underneath and ive seen it before and i cant remember what it is called - please help me someone i need to know what its called-help.. it was on her pillow when she was smoking some pot watching that french movie about OM's

southern hemisphere temperature records

has there been a pattern in the southern hemisphere temperature records over the last 100 years and if so what is this pattern. Your help is appreciated. link title

How do I request a page for protection?

Michael Hardy and I are having a BIG edit war with Ben (due do his non-NPOV) on Newcomb's paradox: he insists thath this is not a paradox (he even has put a silly green box with a message, see the page history). PLEASE, we are trying to do some serious Maths here, and I´ve reverted this page almost a half dozen times. Dobrowsky | Talk 18:09, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Well, this is one way of requesting a page for protection... which I've just done. --Dante Alighieri | Talk 18:15, Mar 24, 2004 (UTC)
Your comment here is a mis-representation of what has being going on over there. Michael Hardy is not involved in the reversions. The edit war is not big. You haven't contributed to the talk page at all. It should be easy to explain to bensaccount that we report on what other people with standing in the field have to say about a subject, not our own thoughts. I am unprotecting for now, let's see contructive chat on talk please. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 18:53, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)

For the benefit of those posting here, the preferred method for getting a page protected is to request it at Wikipedia:Requests for page protection. The village pump is high traffic and we're actively trying to reduce clutter. →Raul654 19:36, Mar 24, 2004 (UTC)

How do I create a :D ?

How do I create a emoticon :D (i.e. a laugh) with the Courier New font, instead of the Times New Roman? I know that if I put a '<space>' in a new line this will works, but I wanted it in the end of the a line. Dobrowsky | Talk 07:12, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

The only one I know of is the ☺ →Raul654 07:14, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)
<tt>:D</tt> which produces :D Dysprosia 07:16, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Well, tanx. But thats not what I wanted. It should be an 'open' mouth. Dobrowsky | Talk 07:19, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Tanx, Dysprosia!:D Dobrowsky | Talk 07:39, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

reader as murderer

Has any whodunnit been written in which the reader (not the writer) is the murderer?

If there's ever been a whodunnit about the murder of a tree, then the answer could be yes. Dysprosia 08:40, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I cannot tell a lie; it was I, and my little axe. -- Cimon avaro 09:01, Mar 25, 2004 (UTC)
I've never heard of one, but that's brilliant. Are you going to write one? I think I'd like to read that -- if not write it myself! Garrett Albright 09:20, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Tied Up Records new release

Tied-Up Records in affiliation with Life Records presents RAPS FINEST, VERSE.

LISTEN to the hottest Hip-Hop tracks by checking out (Please select MEDIA and then select any of the 4 tracks) Luv it, hate it, critique it, but check it out, all participants to be entered into a draw.

This is not spam but rather an invite to VERSE's new release. We apologize if you have received this in error. Support the Hip-Hop Scene


Sorry if this is the wrong forum for this question, I'm a newbie... I've discovered a redundancy: Pervasive developmental disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder I think these pages should be somehow merged. How does one go about doing this? Thanks.

Depends on how much work you want to spend on it. Minimum would be to list it in Wikipedia:Duplicate articles, add also mark inside the articles that they are duplicate (as described there), and hope someone will merge the two pages. If you want to invest more time you can merge the contents of them yourself as well, and when finished make one of the two into a redirect. It might be a good idea to choose the older article as the one into which you merge, so the newer one will become the redirect. andy 10:43, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Thank you, I'll invest some time in it. --Woggly 10:47, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

bootleg copy


I recently purchased a DVD from E-bay that was a grouping of banned cartoons. Several studios were on this copy including yours. It was a burned copy and they are advertising it as new. The listing was called Banned & World War II caroons Vol. 1 and Vol 2. I did not know if you knew about this but thought you would like to know.

I'm not sure you understand who we are. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a movie studio. Whom are you trying to contact? RickK | Talk 03:36, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Including ours? To my knowledge, we have never produced movies. -- Taku 04:29, Mar 21, 2004 (UTC)

Procedure on copyvio

Having noticed a probable copyvio at Don Lafferty, I added it to the list of possible copyright infringements (with the URL of the source material) and replaced the page's text with the copyvio messages. Am I supposed to do anything more? I see the copyvio page says things should stay there at least 7 days "before a decision is made" but that adroit use of the passive leaves it unclear who makes the decision. I'm guessing I can just ignore the matter and leave it to some panel of certified Great Minds but I'd like confirmation. JamesMLane 02:57, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)

That should do it, it gives people a chance to comment before it's decided whether or not to delete. RickK | Talk 05:12, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Thanks, I appreciate knowing that I'm not leaving something undone. But as a new participant I'm curious about the process -- and I notice that you, like the copyvio page, use the passive voice ("before it's decided"). Who makes these decisions? JamesMLane 13:36, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)

An investigation of the political beliefs of Wikipedia

For your information: Wikipedia is run by a bunch of Ayn Randite/US Libertarian/Anarcho-Capitalist loonies. I find it is always helpful to know the ideologies of people when dealing with them. It can help you determine their motivations and what to watch out for.

In the case of "Wikipedia" (god I hate the term "wiki" .. almost as retarded as "blog"), they are creating an encyclopedia.

So I'm reading this thing, and some of the articles on it are okay, others are lousy, but at least none of them are as outright awful as "Everything 2"'s are. Then I stumble upon a synopsis of "Atlas Shrugged" .. ok.. but it's going on and on for pages upon pages of descriptions of each chapter, the setting, the characters, etc. and I'm thinking the author of this synopsis is going a bit overboard. Probably just another lone objectivism nutcase, right?

I kept investigating and following various other articles and visiting one of the editors home pages where I couldn't help but notice his big section of pictures of his gun shooting groceries (no joke).

Hey, I like shooting stuff too.. but you know when you see a home page that has pictures of the author's gun collection you are either dealing with a 1) Libertarian wacko or 2) Republican wacko (case in point:Eric Raymond)

I continued investigating, and find that these guys who are the editors of the encyclopedia all seem to work for a company called "Bomis" which also conveniently owns the encylcopedia as well.

Unfortunately, I was just following this investigative trail for my own curiosity, and I didn't think I'd end up writing a diary entry on here about it... so I didn't bother to keep track of all the evidence I've found to determine the ideologies of the editors.... but trust me, !!!!Libertarian Wacko Alert!!!!

It's not that they are Libertarians that bothers me (for all you know, I could be one too), but that they are Randroid Libertarians Who Edit An Encyclopedia.

So what is my point? Any time idealogical extremists are in control of something, you better keep a close eye out for bias in the material. How can I rely on something for informational purposes when it is editted by people I wouldn't even trust to mow my lawn? Encyclopedia my ass.

Anyway, that wasn't my real point. It was "Why is the Linux community so full of political extremists?" aka "What about an obscure text-based operating system attracts the nutcases so well?"

Oh yeah, one last thing. What is it with the wild-eyed opposition of intellectual property by the Libertarian camp? It seems like something they should love?

No one is forcing you to use or contribute to Wikipedia. Since you managed to find the Edit this page links, tell me did editing here draft you into the Bomis army? Dori | Talk 16:10, Mar 27, 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia and Communism

Dear Sir,

I came to your site after reading about you on the Web. I have to admit I find it difficult to understand how your organization works or grasp your intentions. I had a look at the GNU Free Documentation License which you seem to promote here and I am afraid you have some similarity with the Communists or the Left. I don't know whether this is intentional, but I understand there is no private intellectual property in Wikipedia. However, this is against the principles of the free market and Capitalism, and since this site was started in USA (if I am correct) you should promote the values of our economy, such as competition, individual property and intellectual property. I would welcome some explanation on your ideology and organization.

Thank you for your cooperation,

Anna T. Strauss, New York City.

There is nothing forcing someone to edit here, and there is nothing that prevents someone from taking the info stored on wikipedia, and creating a business around it. In fact, there are many websites that already do that (i.e. make money off of the Wikipedia content), see Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks. All the GFDL ensures is that information remains free. There are people that believe that information is not property, that knowledge cannot be owned like a piece of land. Thus, Wikipedia is in no way like communism, but very much like a democracy. Dori | Talk 15:57, Mar 27, 2004 (UTC)
And thus like the "scientific" Socialism of Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx, and you can't do much better than that. — Jor (Talk) 16:00, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

To vastly oversimplify, the place where Communism ultimately failed (well, one of the places) is that it forced people to share for what bureaucrats deemed the common good. On Wikipedia people of all stripes, nations and ages are sharing their own intellectual property. By attracting people who are knowledgeable on esoteric subjects, public domain material that you could find free on the web anyway (Euler's Number, anyone?) can be collected in one place, and cross-referenced.
No one should be posting others intellectual property. Some feel that if it is written down, no one should "own" it. I don't believe that and it isn't the idea of Wikipedia. Cecropia 16:34, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia and Communism

-> Wikipedia:Replies to common objections


whats the authors name and enitials?

Beijing UFO sighting

I may have ask to from where i may got that informations for the UFO sighting on rural Beijing the capitol of my country China where then in March 26 2004 a UFO craft had been appeared of the color white and go east in so 3 minutes. I requestiate this more informations and please you help myself, thanks you kind help.

Sterns Department Store

I am trying to get in touch with Sterns Department store. I need their credit line telephone number.

Please contact me @

Thank you

==> Wikipedia:Reference desk


precipitation is currently a disambiguation page which has entries for the standard meteorological meaning and one for the meaning in chemistry. I question the choice of using a standard disambiguation page, rather than what I would think is more appropriate, where precipitation is the meteorological meaning and contains a link to precipitation (chemistry). The vast majority of links to precipitation are going to be for the meteorological meaning IMHO, at least from what I can see from using the "What links here". Unless someone objects, I will consider making this change in a few days or so. Please respond on the article's talk page and NOT here. Thanks. RedWolf 22:08, Mar 27, 2004 (UTC)

==> Wikipedia:Reference desk

Beijing UFO sighting

Image Cache Problem?

I uploaded a new, larger version, of a file, media:Vassar Logo, but it keeps displaying the old version.

The image page, has the updated image size, because the rectangle to show the image has expanded. but it fills in the old version. I see that the file size of the upload file matches the size of the original on my machine, so I know I uploaded the proper image.

18 hours have gone by and it is still using the old image. Is there a way to tell tell wikipedia to use the new image? NickP 11:41, Mar 28, 2004 (UTC)

Image Cache Problem?

I uploaded a new, larger version, of a file, media:Vassar Logo.png, but it keeps displaying the old version.

The image page, has the updated image size, because the rectangle to show the image has expanded. but it fills in the old version. I see that the file size of the upload file matches the size of the original on my machine, so I know I uploaded the proper image.

18 hours have gone by and it is still using the old image. Is there a way to tell tell wikipedia to use the new image? NickP 11:41, Mar 28, 2004 (UTC)



There is a new WikiProject called Wikipedia:WikiProject Historical Hungarian counties. This is similar to the historical Swedish provinces project. Anyone who wants to join may do so.


Watchlist bug

Whay does this mean? Thanks...Jorge Stolfi 12:17, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)

My watchlist
(for user "Jorge Stolfi")
A database query syntax error has occurred. This could be because of an illegal :search query (see Searching Wikipedia), or it may indicate a bug in the :software. The last attempted database query was:
SELECT cur_namespace,cur_title,cur_comment, cur_id, :cur_user,cur_user_text,cur_timestamp,cur_minor_edit,cur_is_new FROM :watchlist,cur USE INDEX (name_title_timestamp) WHERE wl_user=48742 AND :(wl_namespace=cur_namespace OR wl_namespace+1=cur_namespace) AND :wl_title=cur_title AND cur_timestamp > '20040325121537' ORDER BY cur_timestamp :DESC from within function "wfSpecialWatchlist". MySQL returned error "1030: Got :error 28 from table handler".

Oops, seems OK now. (Should I delete this section altogether?)Jorge Stolfi 12:20, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

This text is common to all Wikipedia articles and pages, it displays just below the title. On my recent endavours around the multilingual wikipedia I have seen that some of the neat, but smaller wikipedias use this text but in smaller font. I think we should also, because it creates a lot of good effects. Look at Matrix_(mathematics) and de:Matrix (Mathematik) just to see the difference. The smaller text on (for example) the german wikipedia makes the title stand out more, it makes it seem like there is more space between the intro and the title. It also makes the first sentence, defining the article, stand out more. Overall, it looks better. I certainly know that I'm on wikipedia, and the text is still there, even if it's in a small font; the text is also still close to the title.

— Sverdrup 16:48, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I agree that the smaller text looks better. I've also found that the From Wikipedia text sometimes detracts from the introduction to the article. Chopchopwhitey 21:46, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)


Hope Wiki guys can provide us more skins


Problem with wiki-spammer

Sorry, I don't really know where to put this so I am hoping someone can help me out. Someone is covertly spamming computer pages with: Citations from citeseer

that is a link to a generic search for that topic. This needs to be stopped. What has to be done to get this recognozed? example Google search containing all offending pages User talk:enigmasoldier 14:07, Mar 28 2004 (UTC)

I'm not sure why you think these links are in any way bad or objectionable? — Timwi 11:48, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Yeah, Citeseer is a (the?) main repository for on-line computer science papers. As long as those links are directed to search on a specific topic (rather than just to the Citeseer homepage), they seem just as valid as any other external link.Jorge Stolfi 12:31, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)

MediaWiki trouble

Can anyone tell me why MediaWiki:Religious music doesn't seem to work -- I cleared my cache but it doesn't load the msg (see for example Rastafarian music). Tuf-Kat 08:06, Mar 28, 2004 (UTC)

I was playing with it on Rastafarian music when I accidently clicked save - but happily I'd just hit on the solution. The space was breaking it, use the underscore instead: msg:Religious_music. fabiform | talk 08:26, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)


Some anon user keeps adding a very lengthy list of songs recorded on this date to various date pages (like February 9). The problem is, it's a very lengthy list and it's not terribly useful (recordings would be much more useful within the year itself and we already have pages for that), so I've been basically reverting them, but I'd like to find out what others think of this. Am I crazy or is there really a use for this information? RADICALBENDER 04:02, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Perhaps if people do want information like this, it could go on separate pages. For example, we already have pages like 1995 in music and 1995 in film existing separately from 1995. I don't know whether we actually need a February 9 in music, but if the user wants to add these lists in, that might be a way to do so without cluttering things up. -- Vardion 05:01, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I suppose then the next step will be to have pages like 1:36 PM in music...LOL! Mkweise 18:34, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Copyright question

User:Vikingstad recently put the following text on Talk:Gunning Bedford, Jr.. Is this source acceptable?

"Source Taken from CMH Online:

"Information presented on CMH Online is considered public information and may be distributed or copied for non-commerical purposes. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credits is requested."

I believe the source is acceptable, however not for images. Therefore I have put a noncommercial message on the pictures uploaded from that site. But since this is a governmental site and it says "public information" there should be no problems copying the text... --Vikingstad 03:45, Mar 28, 2004 (UTC)

"Information" covers both text and pictures. If it says that, then everything on the site is fair game. →Raul654 03:59, Mar 28, 2004 (UTC)
Doesn't the "non-commercial" caveat violate the GFDL? Meelar 04:20, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Oh snap, you're right. I must have skipped over that word. You are correct -if it says non-commerical, then it is not GFDL compliant. →Raul654 05:13, Mar 28, 2004 (UTC)


whats the authors name and enitials?

You mean the creator of wikipedia...? Shakeer 07:58, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Wikipedia is a free and open encyclopedia, meaning that each article is usually the creation of many authors and not just one. Most Wikipedia contributors are anonymous in the sense that they don't give out their names. Hope you enjoy reading from the 'pedia! Alex S 15:45, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I'm a newbie, can someone please help?

Is there a simple way to revert articles after vandalism or do I just have to copy and paste the previous edit? Shakeer 02:24, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Click on "page history", and go to the version saved just before the vandalism. Click on it, then edit it. Without making any changes, just save. And thanks very much--it's quite helpful to have people clean up after vandals.
See also How_to_revert_a_page_to_an_earlier_version --RichL 02:28, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Ahh, I was clicking cur and last and so couldn't figure it out. Thanks. Guess this can go now...Shakeer 02:33, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Web comics

I've put together a proposal at Wikipedia:Web comics that has been kicked around for some time at Talk:List of web comics. If accepted, these would be the guidelines for consideration of web comics as new articles, on VfD and on List of web comics. Please comment on it at the article itself. Do not comment on it here. Thanks. RADICALBENDER 23:30, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)


precipitation is currently a disambiguation page which has entries for the standard meteorological meaning and one for the meaning in chemistry. I question the choice of using a standard disambiguation page, rather than what I would think is more appropriate, where precipitation is the meteorological meaning and contains a link to precipitation (chemistry). The vast majority of links to precipitation are going to be for the meteorological meaning IMHO, at least from what I can see from using the "What links here". Unless someone objects, I will consider making this change in a few days or so. Please respond on the article's talk page and NOT here. Thanks. RedWolf 22:08, Mar 27, 2004 (UTC)

No, please do not do this. The point of a disambiguation article is to catch searches and allow an ambiguous search to be redirected to the appropriate place. If you find links to a disambiguation article which you think should go to one of the "appropriate places", then alter the link. Do not remove the disambiguation article. --Phil | Talk 12:26, Mar 29, 2004 (UTC)

Edit conflicts

Couldn't edit conflicts be a bit more intelligent about section editing? The current way it works, they are annoying, especially for long pages. -- till we *) 16:47, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Merging code is in CVS. It should handle most edit conflicts gracefully.—Eloquence 17:29, Mar 27, 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia and Communism

-> Wikipedia:Replies to common objections

((Boo -- why not discuss it here? It's fun!))

It's fun there too.
Dear Ms. Strauss, it isn't communism, it's info-anarchism -- but a useful one. Have a look around here. -- till we *) 16:47, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC) (via edit conflict)

On RC...

We need a "show anon. users... and users under ~1 day old" flag, to catch vandals who create new accts and user-pages before setting out on a rampage. maybe keep a cached daily list of 1-day-old users, and check each user against that list? cf. User:Tim706, User:Tim817, User:Tim205 +sj+ 07:57, 2004 Mar 27 (UTC)

Acceptible usernames

I have seen a couple of users choose a website as their username. I don't think this should be acceptible as it promotes those sites on Wikipedia. However, this is not part of policy. So my question is should it be? Reply at Wikipedia talk:Username#Acceptible usernames. Dori | Talk 05:51, Mar 27, 2004 (UTC)

Poll: Block anonymous users temporarily on certain articles?

Certain articles have had frequent vandalism lately, almost always by anonymous users. This has happened a lot on the GW Bush article, but now I see it spreading to the Kerry and 9/11 articles. If technically possible, I propose we let admins block edits by anonymous users only on those pages with high vandalism for, say, 3 days at a time, in the hope vandals will be discouraged and find some other way to spend there time. Comments, please? Cecropia 05:09, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

The formal proposal is here:

  1. No protection.
  2. Protect for a set period--e.g. every other day, every day but Thursday, etc.(specified if this option wins)
  3. Protection, with changes discussed on the talk page.
  4. Look into having someone write code to prevent massive swings in the #article's size.
  5. Look into having someone write code to prevent anonymous users from editing #the article.
  6. Don't protect until a page is formulated which is agreed upon by consensus.

Meelar 05:11, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Picture Crisis!

Whenever i seem to try to post a picture, it cant seem to locate it. I've tried posting from all sorts of directories, but only one pic has come up? what am i doing wrong? HELP!

I've replied on User talk:DefunKt, though my answer isn't very specific since I wasn't sure what your exact problem is. fabiform | talk 05:28, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

VfD & MediaWiki

Hi. I had previously listed Reich on VfD and, accordingly, created the page MediaWiki:VfD-Reich. Now I'm retracting the nomination because it received only "Keep" votes. Now what do I do with MediaWiki:VfD-Reich? Do I just delete it? What happens to these VfD-messages? — Timwi 03:49, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

This is discussed at Wikipedia talk:votes for deletion. Angela. 05:21, Mar 27, 2004 (UTC)

Image pages

Until the advent of the automatic thumbnail code, :Image: pages were something of an editors-only backwater. Now, however, these pages are readily (and one hopes commonly) visible to the ordinary visitor. Should we start to be a bit better organised about what we actually have there (it's often just the initial checkin comment, and maybe a licence boilerplate). Some pages have properly wikified paragraphs about the image's subject, some have details about the image itself (date, time, location, misc camera-dweebiness, etc.), and copyright stuff (hopefully from Wikipedia:Image copyright tags). My question: should we consider having (hopefully loose) standard format for these pages now? -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 01:08, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I made a sketchy example on Image:Fm cambuskenneth abbey.jpg -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 01:11, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)


The new image thumbnail contest really got me excited - the new design is very pretty. But when will it go into effect? Feel free to reply either here or on my talk page. --Alex S 00:26, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)


I felt the articles on René Magritte and on Surrealism were dying for a picture, so I added a picture of "The Betrayal of Images" (1928-9). I believe it's a legitimate fair use but wanted to sound off and find if there was disagreement on this. Magritte only died in 1967, so its copyright hasn't expired for that reason. Tempshill 23:11, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Foundation-L proposal

There's a proposal for a new mailing list specifically for the Wikimedia foundation on Meta. Please vote by March 31, 20:00 UTC. => m:Foundation-L Proposal

—Eloquence 22:14, Mar 26, 2004 (UTC)

Aren't we meant to discuss proposals before we start voting on them? -- Tim Starling 23:00, Mar 26, 2004 (UTC)
There's already been a discussion back in January, without many responses: —Eloquence 00:17, Mar 27, 2004 (UTC)

Any subscribers?

Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but according to [8] there might have been a column on the Wall Street Journal about Wikipedia. Anybody know anything about this? Dori | Talk 22:03, Mar 26, 2004 (UTC)

The article in question seems to be this one [9] (You may need to create a throwaway trial subsciprtion account). A couple of other links [10] [11]. It'd be great if we could get a Wall Street Journal link though. Dori | Talk 22:16, Mar 26, 2004 (UTC)
You can use Username: wikipedia, Password: wikiwiki for the above ;) Dori | Talk 23:50, Mar 26, 2004 (UTC)
FennecFoxen found a pdf of the version carried by the Wall Street Journal: [12] Dori | Talk 00:10, Mar 27, 2004 (UTC)
Wow: "Recent research by a team from IBM found that most vandalism suffered by Wikipedia had been repaired within five minutes." - does this mean IBM has been vandalising the WP as part of this research? Probably not, but it doesn't say they didn't either ;) Dysprosia 00:32, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Nope :) They just measured it: [13] Dori | Talk 00:34, Mar 27, 2004 (UTC)
Looks like some good reading! Thanks Dysprosia 00:43, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I wanna get my hands on the 'history flow' software they designed for this. That's a pretty cool way of looking at the edit history of an article! -- Wapcaplet 22:26, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Is Wikipedia a religious site?

Jim Forsyth, editor of [14], says:

"The religion website says Jeffs believes that in order to get to heaven, men must have at least three wives."


Is Wikipedia a religious site?



No, Wikipedia takes a neutral point of view. Dori | Talk 21:45, Mar 26, 2004 (UTC)
Mr. Forsyth is confused. Wikipedia is a collaborative online encyclopedia, which covers religion as well as many other topics. Welcome, and feel free to start modifying articles.
I have sent Mr. Forsyth an e-mail explaining that the above comment that he makes is erroneous. Dori | Talk 21:54, Mar 26, 2004 (UTC)
FYI, I believe the article in question is Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 21:57, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Does anything find it funny/ironic that Mr. Forysth's email is at →Raul654 21:58, Mar 26, 2004 (UTC)

Graphical time charts

New software released. Generate graphical time charts from a simple script. Examples and details at [16]. Please comment on meta.

When Dumping: "Access denied for user: `@localhost` to database `wiki`"

I'm trying to dumb the current English SQL Dump into my database. When I do so, I get an error: "Access denied for user: `@localhost` to database `wiki`". The error is on line 45, which is a LOCK TABLES cur WRITE. Has anyone else gotten this? Any ideas?

It sounds like you are trying to write to the database (i.e. add the database dump), but you don't have the right permissions. It looks like you need to tell MySQL to use the database administrator account and use that password. I believe the default administrator account that the software uses is 'wikiadmin' with a password of 'adminpass'. You can change this with the mysqladmin program. If you are using some flavor of Unix, try running the script as root. HTH. -- Merphant 05:05, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Examples of pages where a phrase can be defined in multiple contexts?

Can someone give me a few examples of well-designed pages that describe a word/phrase that can be defined in multiple contexts? The page in question doesn't deserve to be split and disambiged quite yet. - Wguynes 18:32, Mar 26, 2004 (UTC)

British Columbia Resources Investment Corporation

I realize that the company was bought out by Jimmy Pattison but my question is still the same. We (The Salvation Army In Nanaimo) receceived 2 5 shares certificates and we were wondering if they are worth anything and if so, how do we go about receiving it. My name is Dawne Anderson and I work with The Salvation Army in Nanaimo. My phone number is 250-740-1004 and my email address is I would really appreciate it if you would respond to my question or forward it on to the right person. Please let me know by email whether you can respond or if you have sent it on to someone else. Thank you for your time in this matter.

The story of BCRIC (pronounced "brick") was an interesting experiment in pop capitalism organized by former premier Bill Bennett about 25 years ago. Every citizen of British Columbia was entitled to 10 free bearer shares, and could buy more at $6.00 each. (I took my 10.) The shares made it up to about $9.00 during the following year, but the activity was all downward from there. Rventually the shares were diluted, and it's only then that Pattison picked up this loser. He was no more successful than his predecessors. As securities consider them worthless. The fact that you have 2.5 shares suggests that somebody divided it among his children into even smaller worthless amounts. That alone may give the certificate a little value as a collector's curiosity. Eclecticology 18:48, 2004 Mar 26 (UTC)

Problems with compact table of contents

I just created a couple of song lists whose titles include names:

They are organized into three sections each:

  • Titles that are entirely names
  • Titles that contain names
  • See also

They have no sub-sections as yet. However, I discovered within 30 minutes of creating them that they should probably have some groupings by first character in title, as the lists are getting quite long and are being edited rapidly by a number of people. (A good problem to have, certainly!)

I tried to create compact tables of contents for an experimental version in the Sandbox, but ran into two problems. First, the {{msg:compactTOC}} markup only creates a single compact TOC, whereas I need one for each section. If one instance of the markup is placed within each section, just before its first sub-section, two TOCs are generated, but they are essentially the same TOC, with each link going to the first section that has a matching sub-section heading. (E.g., if the first section has no "C" heading and the second does, it'll jump to the second. Otherwise, it always jumps to the first section's sub-section heading, whether you use the link in the first or the second section.)

The other problem is that I want to place song titles that being with numbers in a "#" sub-section, but the compact TOC only generates A-Z links. Is there a way to use compact TOCs that I haven't figured out yet, or must I stick with the full-sized TOC? Thank you for your suggestions. -- Jeff Q 15:29, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)

A lot of people don't care for lists like this, including myself. But I'd rather have a well-formatted list I don't like, so here goes.
What you need to do to handle the TOC link problem is to break the lists out into seperate pages. The real problem isn't that compactTOC only links to #A, etc. It's that MediaWiki generates the <a name="A"> from the heading names. If you want to have two lists, you need to have unique headings, which will result in ugliness like "A - Personal Names", "B - Personal Names". Without that, you can't even make your own compactTOC for it.
The cleanest solution is to break them apart, then you can use compactTOC all you want.
As for the numbers, {{msg:compactTOCwithnumbers}} is available. See Wikipedia:MediaWiki custom messages -- Cyrius 18:12, Mar 26, 2004 (UTC)

Dispute over the name Sea of Japan

I hope we can press towards a naming convention of the water on Talk:Dispute over the name Sea of Japan. There hasn't been much input recently. Kokiri 10:24, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Picture tutorial

I just wanted to let everyone know that I've written Wikipedia:Picture tutorial. As the name implies, it is a tutorial for teaching people Wikiformat, which is something that is pretty difficult for new users to learn. I'd appreciate anyone who is willing to help out polishing it up or adding stuff I've missed. →Raul654 08:30, Mar 26, 2004 (UTC)

How nice! -- Taku
Well done! -- chris_73 10:47, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I've just directed someone to this, it's very useful. :) fabiform | talk 05:30, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Richard Clarke article

I just popped on over to the article on Richard Clarke and found it to be somewhat lacking. Given the recent U.S. media events about his testimony etc., it'd probably be good to get this article in better shape. I've left some comments on its talk page. -- Wapcaplet 05:40, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Wouldn't it be great to be the #1 google hit for this one too :) →Raul654 05:44, Mar 26, 2004 (UTC)
Heh. Not right now, it wouldn't. The article is in pretty sad shape, though I guess it's not too bad for only being 3 days old... -- Wapcaplet 05:46, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Bold-face article titles via self-linking?

Self-links currently turns [[Title]] to bolded non-link text, which is useful for {{msg:Foobar}} navbars and such. However, I've seen people use this to bold-face the article title as well, rather than doing '''Title'''. Is it OK to do it either way, or is there a n official way of doing it? -- Khym Chanur 05:38, Mar 26, 2004 (UTC)

Creative, but very very confusing. --Menchi 09:28, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Indeed. Change self-links used to bold, to bold itself. Dysprosia 09:34, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Broken Open Tasks?

The open tasks tool seems to link to's user contributions. Help! Thanks, Mark Richards 00:43, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Is it better now, Mark? I believe I fixed it. For future reference, you can edit it yourself at MediaWiki:Opentask. Jwrosenzweig 00:47, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I get it now. Jiang put that in there because all of that user's contribs need wikifying. I'm afraid it would be confusing to most people, though, so it's best to list them one at a time. You might leave Jiang a note about it. :-) Jwrosenzweig 00:49, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)

siting [citing] this page

How would I site this page? i can't seem to find the copyright date or anything. I used the information on George Orwell and I must site where I got the information from. Its for a research project on British authors.

See Wikipedia:Citing Wikipedia. :-) Jwrosenzweig 22:53, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Please see Wikipedia:Citing Wikipedia. →Raul654 22:53, Mar 25, 2004 (UTC)

Harold Ballard

Hi There I need some information on Harold Ballard for a school project I need to know When he was born? About his childhood, About is teenage years, and about his adult years if you could send any infrmation you have to my e-mail address. Thanks for all your help

Seems like you haven't found Harold Ballard yet? andy 22:37, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)


I am interested in helping out with the coding side of Wikipedia. I haven't however, been here very long. Will I still be able to help or do I need to be a sysop or something? Ludraman | Talk 19:58, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

There's the beginnings of an introduction to that side of things over at meta:How to become a MediaWiki hacker - and the short answer is that you can happily install your own copy of the software to try out modifications on, and then submit patches to the mailing list to be implemented. If you do good, you can then apply for CVS access so you can apply the patches yourself. I'm sure an extra pair of hands will be very welcome. - IMSoP 20:16, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
See also Tim's reply to Decumanus on a similar question. Angela. 20:26, Mar 25, 2004 (UTC)

Idea: Poll namespace fun

Random thought. A Poll: namespace, a la Mediawiki: namespace. You could then include the poll in an automated fashion page via Template:Poll:poll-name. A link to view a specific poll, or to vote in it, in included with the Template:Poll: invocation. Combine this with an east way to make a new poll and possibly ... this could solve over half the edit conflicts in VFD, for one thing :)

The tricky part of this would be getting a way to automatically add polls to VFD upon creation. Perhaps this could be solved by some sort of subpage mechanism: Template:Polls:vfd (plural-- or maybe Template:All-polls:vfd) would then include all Template:Poll:vfd/whatever pages. The subpages could then be moved to an archive somewhere. Or, even better: use Template:Poll:vfd/start-date-here/poll-name-here, which could then be included by Template:Polls:vfd/start-date. The exact temporal order might suffer... but I think the benefits would be worth it.

You'd still want a mechanism of some sort to quickly create this poll- perhaps something like the &section=new page setup, with a form item or two that could be filled out.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions for improvement? Directives to code it myself? =)
If I were to start hacking the MediaWiki source myself, and came up with an implementation (which is possible, at least) would you support its use? -- Fennec 18:16, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

How would you address the issue that VfD is supposed to be about discussing the issues with an article and coming to a consensus about it, not purely voting? Angela. 18:23, Mar 25, 2004 (UTC)
The poll's vote/edit link would bring you to a page just like many others, with the actual text of and wikicode of a standard poll there for editing. It's just a clever way of outsourcing the individual poll from the main page. Fennec 18:30, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Ok, I thought you were trying to turn it into a voting-only thing. This is also being discussed at Wikipedia talk:Votes for deletion#Maintainability experiment. Angela. 20:24, Mar 25, 2004 (UTC)
I think it might be better to concentrate on a more general review of the edit conflict code, such that pages like this one could benefit at the same time - for instance, when two people edit different sections (either via section-edit links or simply because no other section is involved in the diff), the system could easily spot this and offer to incorporate both changes. Automatically merging would create some problems, such as the same content being added in two different sections, but 90% of the time you could just check the diff - which could be fixed to not diff a section against the whole page, like it does at the moment - and click "go ahead and make my edit anyway". This also requires less understanding on the part of the user, since most of the time everything would function as it does now. - IMSoP 18:53, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
We could do this without any new coding surely. If you want to delete xyz, go to MediaWiki:VfD_xyz and write why you want it deleted. Then add ==xyz== to vfd and include (IMPORTANT) an link to the edit page MediaWiki:Vfd_xyz, as well as transcluding the message itself. At first look, this appears to be a good idea, as it will solve edit conflicts, but contributing to the debate will be quite easy. Cleaning up will also be relatively easy. The vote can be archive by moving the page to MediaWiki:vfd_xyz_archived and then that archived page can be transcluded on talk:xyz. This is probably less work for cleaner-uppers than the task currently is. Shall we give it a whirl? Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 19:10, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Ick. No! Erm, I mean: I'm not sure this is such a good idea, since it prevents anyone being able to vote on more than one listing at a time, which can sometimes be quite useful. Also, every single vote will now show up on Recentchanges, rather than them all being collapsed neatly as multiple edits to one page. I also fear it will lead to constant confusion over how to list new polls. (Yes, I know it's not that hard, but it's going to have to be re-explained every 5 minutes, I can just tell.) Sections of a page should remain just that, sections of a page; single-use MediaWiki messages give little gain for a large cost in complexity. - IMSoP 20:06, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC) [via an avoidable edit conflict ;)]
I had considered a poll namespace before, but with a syntax more like the image syntax, i.e. [[Poll:poll name]]. This would expand to a nice looking box with a voting form and a link to "more information". This link would take you to the poll page itself, analogous to the image description page. The poll page would contain information about how the vote is going, the voting rules, who started it, etc. I had never considered using it for VFD: people always want to add comments and make conditional votes, I can't see how it would work. The reason I haven't done this yet is because the user interface code required is pretty daunting. Besides the poll box, and the poll description page, you would also need Special:Createpoll to create the poll, and a voting method which works fairly well with the consensus-finding wiki model.
The best way to solve the edit conflict problem, IMHO, is to implement CVS-style merging. -- Tim Starling 00:21, Mar 26, 2004 (UTC)
Well, the bulk of my idea was basically a slightly specialized inclusion mechanism. It seems, however, that VFD is now testing out a MediaWiki namespace solution which, although lacking one or two of the features I mentioned, seems to be more or less the same thing. :) -- Fennec 15:38, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Just how random is Randompage?

I'm a big fan of the Random Page link. I probably use it 50+ times a day. However, I've recently noticed something odd. Twice in the past few weeks, I've gotten an article a second time. The odds of getting any single article out of 230,000+ twice in, say, 1000 tries must be pretty tiny. The odds of getting two articles twice in the same number of trials must be near zero.

Just how sure are we that the random number generator and selection process for a Random Page is truly random (or, more accurately, highly pseudorandom)?

Unfortunately, I didn't record the specific pages that I got twice. One was one of the many US city pages that naturally show up frequently because of the large number available, but a single city (it was somewhere in Michigan) shouldn't pop up twice in a short time. The other was an article on some Middle East historical topic that made me wonder if there was some kind of interest-bias in the random selection process. Such a bias could be useful, but isn't really random.

I'll certainly pay more attention to the results of Random Page, but I'm not too anxious to start recording every result I get just to see if I can make it happen again. (After all, it's quite easy to merely think that you got a page twice. I did get one article in a Random Page click that I had read before, but I recalled that I got to it originally by following other interesting links and not through Random Page.) If the "operators" of the Randompage function insist that it is mathematically pseudorandom, however, I'll consider logging my leaps to trigger it again. -- Jeff Q 12:48, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

According to my rough calculation, there is about a 90% chance of reading some article twice when reading 1,000 articles from a pool of 230,000. Higher than you expected? see birthday paradox. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 13:01, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
A lot of people who have commented on the random page feature have observed the large number of US cities occurences. Wouldn't it be possible to include in the random page selection feature, the facility to ignore a sizeable number of US cities hits, like for e.g., ignore 999 out of 1000 times. No offence to US cities enthusiasts, just a fix/suggestion to make the random page feature more fun and spread out across different topics. US cities are over-represented right now, it's good for Wikipedia, not that good for the random link. Jay 14:20, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
See User talk:Rambot/Random page. IMSoP 14:37, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I concur with IMSoP that Jay's idea is best discussed in User talk:Rambot/Random page. Specifically, that worthy and interesting conversation is not relevant to my concern here, and I wouldn't want to cloud this issue with this sidebar. -- Jeff Q 14:46, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Back in October 2002, when Wikipedia had only 50000 articles, Rambot's 30000 articles were a overwhelming percentage of the whole. However, it seems that the resentment against those U.S. gazetteer articles has lasted, even though the English Wikipedia now has 235392 articles, and only one click in eight will give you a Rambot article. GUllman 00:19, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Thanks to Pete/Pcb21 about the birthday paradox link. I was quite familiar with the concept, but I clearly hadn't examined it on an appropriate scale for this question. I knew the intriguing fact that 23 selections of 365 items gave a better than 50% chance of getting the same item twice, but I made an incorrect intuitive leap that the number of trials need to get within an order of magnitude of the selection list for that surprising result.
However, my own (belated) calculation for this issue came up with essentially the same answer as Pete/Pcb21: an 88.6% probability that one will get a single article twice in 1,000 trials. This suggests that most people with my Random Page usage patterns have seen this occur (whether they noticed it or not). Some much for my intuition! My apologies to the Wikipedia Random Page process for impuning its integrity. -- Jeff Q 15:08, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Rather than using the "Random page" feature, I've been finding it more interesting to use the Allpages feature to see a group of consecutive pages. Of course I need to manually pick a starting point "at random." Something that I still find puzzling is that I continue to have the impression that Rambot city pages are overrepresented in the "random page" feature. Perhaps it's not as obvious with Allpages because it's so easy to avoid clicking on city links. To use the Allpages features, type in something like
(and pick some interesting starting point for the "from" argument). Dpbsmith 02:26, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)

FAQ in an entry?

Newbie here. Do you think an FAQ would be an appropriate contribution to Harry Potter in translation? Thank you.--Woggly 08:36, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Hi, and welcome. The short answer is no, because of stylistic issues. However you could write the content in paragraphs that answers the questions without being in the FAQ form. Dysprosia 08:39, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Boxing related questions

1: I need someone to put a line around the photo on the Boxing article, so that I can input information I consider important about this photo. I do not know how to do it myself. 2. Ive been trying to update the Ivan Calderon page with info about his win against Edgar Cardenas all night long. For some reason, after I save it it says Im blocked cause I share my number with Michael. I have been able to update other articles all night long, just not this one, and I need to be able to. 3: I need someone to make a disambiguation page for Jorge Castro (boxer) and Jorge Castro (actor). I dont know how to either.

Thanks and God bless you!

Antonio Dark Mystery Martin

I made the picture in the boxing article a thumbnail. Your code was mising the thumb keyword. I changed it and now it shows the text underneath of the photo. Here's the code:
  • Old: [[Image:Armedforces_boxing.jpg|right|250px|2004 Armed Forces Boxing Championships, held in 2003]]
  • New: [[Image:Armedforces_boxing.jpg|thumb|right|250px|2004 Armed Forces Boxing Championships, held in 2003]]
is this what you had in mind with the request #1? --chris_73 07:11, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Just made a disambiguation page for Jorge Castro. You create this type of page in the same way as other pages, and add the code {{msg:disambig}} to the text to show the disambiguity message. See also Wikipedia:Disambiguation. Hope this satisfies request #3, of course feel free to modify the disambiguation page if you wish. -- chris_73 07:20, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
On request #2: I made a minor test edit, and it worked fine for me. Maybe the other user was editing the page at the same time, but the description of your problem is not the message I ususally get in these cases. Not sure what the problem is, but, hey, 2 out of 3 is a good start, i think ;-) -- chris_73 07:26, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Alexa rank today 541 new best score.

For my money, our rank went up because we're the #1 google hit for ahmed yassin. →Raul654 23:21, Mar 24, 2004 (UTC)
Same with madrid attacks. --Minesweeper 11:02, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Cleanup / pages needing attention

Sorry - could someone point me to the page that explains how to use the {{msg:Opentask}} tool? I have noticed that all of the pages listed for wikification on this are already wikified, but can't work out how to remove or add pages to the list it serves. Thanks! Mark Richards 20:41, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)

See MediaWiki talk:Opentask -- Cyrius 21:05, Mar 24, 2004 (UTC)

MER-B / Opportunity

Anyone want to incorporate the following into the relevant articles? [17] --Dante Alighieri | Talk 18:22, Mar 24, 2004 (UTC)

I took a whack at it. Not entirely satisfied with the result though. -- Cyrius 20:08, Mar 24, 2004 (UTC)

Why did Leibniz succeed in finishing the Monadology?

Why did Leibniz succeed in finishing the Monadology?

Erm, while you're at it, people: "Why did the chicken cross the road?". Sorry. - IMSoP 16:53, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Well, maybe because the Monads didn't finish with him first? I could not refrain myself :( Pfortuny 18:27, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Because Newton was watching. Er, pardon me for my intrusion, wouldn't you like maenads better ? Happy editing - irismeister 18:31, 2004 Mar 24 (UTC) :O)

Raw HTML markup?

Is there any way I can use the raw HTML in the Wikipedia? Specifically, I wish to create a hyperlink using <a href> because the link is by design nonstandard in form, and cannot be created using Wiki markup. Could not find this in any FAQ so I'm asking here. — Jor (Talk) 13:08, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)

No, I'm pretty sure <a> tags are explicitly disallowed by the software. The only way you can link is with [some://address] and variants. What is it you're trying to link to? The only thing I can think that would stay as text but be a valid link would be a different protocol - like chrome:... or something instead of http:... (I know until recently irc:... didn't work). - IMSoP 13:43, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Post the link here, and I'm sure we'll find a workaround for you. — Sverdrup 14:34, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Basically I'd love to get rid of the external link in Wikipedia:Searching#7.50_Preview — while webspace is no concern Wikipedia stuff should be in the 'pedia. The link is of the form <a href='opera:/Button/Search,%20"",,%20"Wikipedia S"' title="Wikipedia S">Wikipedia search engine</a>, which alas won't work in the Wiki. — Jor (Talk) 20:12, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Ah, as I thought, it's the protocol thing (my example of chrome: above being a Mozilla-specific thingummyjig). No way round it unless someone adds opera: to the list of things that are interpretted as URLs, I think - the problem being that links get activated even if they're not in brackets, so things like "I went to the opera:it was good" would end up with links in them. The only solution I can think of that doesn't involve an external site is just writing out
opera:/Button/Search,%20"",,%20"Wikipedia S"
and telling people to drag it to their address bar, but I haven't got Opera, so I've no idea if that would work. - IMSoP 23:15, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Won't work alas. It has to be a valid link before it can be clicked (or dragged, both methods work). The site I linked is mine and is semi-permanent (got the webspace for at least another 18 months), so the only problem may be that I won't guarantee GPL for my entire site (if I were to use any license it'd be Creative Commons). Not sure if a license is needed at all for drag&drop buttons though! — Jor (Talk) 23:21, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)

The nested link is not the problem - it is the nonstandard "opera:/". Is it really "opera://"? It might work if it is. Dysprosia 09:05, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

It has to be a single slash for it to work, and a title must be included (or the button will have none). Fwiw a protocol only needs to include a colon, the double slashes are only required for protocols which define it in their RFCs. — Jor (Talk) 12:44, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Euler's number

I just want to know why the letter "e" is used as Euler's number. My college Algebra teacher is giving away extra credit for the answer. Thank you,


Math teachers have the annoying habit of asking about the meaning of the letters used in standard mathematical formulas, like "why do we use m for slope and bfor the y-intercept," when there is no universally agreed on answer. We don't know for sure why Euler used "e" though there is a temptation to think he named it for himself. It seems probable it stands for "expotential" as it is the "natural base" for exponential functions. But it may be that he wanted to use a vowel to designate the value and had already used "a", so the next was "e".
Now, since I've been nice enought to give you a reasonable explanation, I am charged by the dieties of pedantry to lecture you about getting extra credit in college courses by asking someone else the question. Or, Einstein didn't figure out relativity by posting to a bulletin board. ;-) Cecropia 04:33, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Added some history to E (mathematical constant). Its either exponential or a b c d were used already. Its unlikely that the modest euler used his initials on purpose. chris_73 04:54, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)
You've taken that information from the book "e: The Story of a Number", right? I just browsed through it a bit at amazon (the search inside book function is quite nice), and found basically the same on page 156... I added that book for the external links in the page on e, since it seems to be worth reading. andy 13:05, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Good book, but couldn't find it in my bookshelf when i made the edit. Found my sources online, see the links at the bottom of the E (mathematical constant) article. -- chris_73 07:30, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
According to History of Mathematics by Carl Boyer (yes, he is related to the "Wikipedian" Boyer), the "Euler constant" (quotes added advisedly) was known for a century before Euler, so it was highly unlikely there was any proprietaryness about it. Euler launched many other mathematical symbols that we still use, like frex. the use of the greek letter "Pi" for the mathematical constant, and with so many notational innovations, something is likely to seem non-arbitrary, but that would just have been an artefact of there being so may of them.
I would suggest that the best way of getting extra credit, would be to start your answer with the words: "Nobody knows,..." -- Cimon avaro 09:27, Mar 25, 2004 (UTC)

How do I block logged-in users?

User:Tough Kat has done nothing but vandalize pages--no valid contributions. How do I block him? Meelar 02:54, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I have done so. There's no direct link to block a logged-in user, AFAIK, but you can go to Special:Blockip and put the username in the appropriate field. Tuf-Kat 02:59, Mar 24, 2004 (UTC)
Thank you very much. Meelar 03:00, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Can you please add my link to your website

(snip) Nope. Ask somebody else... -- Gabriel Wicke 01:10, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Sharing Taxonomic information in a mulitlingual environment

Making Taxoboxes multilingual

The description of organisms is a large part of the content of all the wikipedia's. They all have a dog a cat an elephant. As the wikipedia's become more mature, an elephant becomes an Asian elephant, it gets a latin name. Getting the data on all organisms is a LOT of work.

One of the resources for presenting information is using a "taxobox". In the taxoboxes currently in use, you find the name of the organism and the higher taxonomic ranks to which an organism belongs. As there are millions of species around, it is a lot of work to translate all available taxoboxes. Not only that, the taxons are to be translated individually for all languages that want to use them.

In order to help with the translation of the taxoboxes, I have created MediaWiki messages in the de: en: and nl: wikipedias. The name of these messages are the latin names of the taxons and, the content is the link to the article that can be used for the discription of that taxon. As a consequence the translation of the nl:pos was a snap. I uploaded the picture, copied in the taxobox and now there is a en:ruffe and a de:Kaulbarsch. Well it was the first one so it was not the snap I wanted it to be, but now it does work well. (I used the standard as used in the nl:wikipedia for this fish.)

The Status messages can become part of this initiative..

What next

If language independent taxoboxes are considered to be a good idea, it may be possible to convert the current taxoboxes with a robot.

Taxonomic lists ready for multilingual use

When a taxon like a family is described, often all descending taxons like genera and species are described as well. The format in which this is done makes a lot of difference when translating. A typical list lookst like this:

  • Family: Familyname
    • Genus: Genus1
      • Species: animal1 - Genus1 species1
      • Species: animal2 - Genus1 species2
      • Species: animal3 - Genus1 species3
    • Genus: Genus 2
      • Species: animal4 - Genus2 species1
      • Species: etc

The translation of this list is a royal pain in the bud. The first reason is that all these "animals" have another vernacular name in a different language while the latin stays the same. Tne species are often sorted alphabetically and the sorting goes wrong as a consequence. Therefore I propose to create taxolists like below:

  • Family: Familyname
    • Genus: Genus1
      • Species: Genus1 species1 - animal1
      • Species: Genus1 species2 - animal2
      • Species: Genus1 species3 - animal3
    • Genus: Genus 2
      • Species: Genus2 species1 - animal4
      • Species: etc


The English wikipedia has many sensible standards in their Tree of Life. I think most are of a quality that they can be adopted as a standard for other wikipedia as well. Some however do not translate well. Practices do differ in the wikipedia's.


As my proposal is to get some coordination about taxonomy going, I would unvite you all for discussion on the subject. As I would like participation by people from all wikipedia's on the subject I think the meta-wiki is therefore the most logical place.

  • Subject: Is making the taxoboxes language independent a good idea?
  • Subject: What common standards to adopt for taxonomy?

Subject's talk space



9/11 Victims Policy

Can anyone tell me what the current policy is on the deletion of 9/11 victims' articles, and where a discussion is or was taking place about this policy? Cheers. -- Graham :) | Talk 17:31, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)

It's pretty much been decided that 9/11 people go into the Memorial wiki.

AFAIK there is no policy. Originally the plan was to move the POV and original research information to 9/11 wiki and keep the NPOV and verifiable information here. But lately people have been ignoring this and listing NPOV and verifiable 9/11 people on VfD, many of them successfully being deleted. anthony (this comment is a work in progress and may change without prior notice) 01:53, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Was this plan archived anywhere so that we can retrieve it, rather than reinvent the wheel? Andrewa 02:10, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Reviewing that page, it seems clear to me that the intention was that only people who were famous or otherwise encyclopedia-worthy independently of their involvement in 9/11 stay in the Wikipedia, and other entries go to Wikimemorial. Nowhere does it suggest that all 9/11 victims automatically get to have an NPOV entry in addition to their Wikimemorial page. Bearcat 03:55, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)
That's as I read it too, and I think it's a good policy and has general although not universal support. The other meta pages linked to it, Meta:Dealing with September 11 pages and Meta:What to do with entries related to September 11 casualties, seem to support this line too, although again there is a great variety of opinions expressed along the way. Andrewa 09:12, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)
It looks to me like a lot of these articles were already moved to sep11 at least once before, but have reappeared back on en since then. How about replacing those reappearing articles with transwiki redirects? Bryan 09:20, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I don't see anywhere on that page an expression of the people needing to be encyclopedia-worthy independently of their involvement in 9/11. The fact that they are encyclopedia-worthy should be enough. As for them having two pages, the original solution was to move the POV information to the talk page. So presumably only this information was to be moved to sep11 wiki. That way you're not duplicating information. anthony (this comment is a work in progress and may change without prior notice) 11:16, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)
That's a confusing way to state the issues IMO. The fundamental question seems to be, Does being a 9/11 victim of itself make a person worthy of a Wikipedia article? and there seems to be general consensus that it doesn't. This consensus has been affirmed by many VfD discussions and by more general discussions, such as this one, but it's not shared by yourself, obviously. But then, you seem to want to include every person in Wikipedia, whether notable or not. Or have I misunderstood you? Andrewa 13:45, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Making the text smaller. See MediaWiki talk:Fromwikipedia

Methane disulfonic acid

Dear Sir, Could you please guide me the Manufacturing process of "Methane disulfonic acid". With Regards, Sudheer


More music page discussion

Ok, I finished making some improvements to Piano Sonata, K. 545 (Mozart). Since this is (as far as I can tell) the one of the first edits of its kind, I'd like some community feedback as to what the format and presentation in the article should be. For instance, when linking to the songs, I made sure to mention the size and format. Is this acceptable? Should there be a standard? →Raul654 06:53, Mar 23, 2004 (UTC)

I see no problems with the format. Looks like you just set the de facto standard for that sort of thing, although somebody will probably want to shove it into an Infobox later. Actual music on a song's page is a great thing to have. <facetious>Let's see you try that, paper encyclopedias!</facetious> -- Cyrius 07:33, Mar 23, 2004 (UTC)
Yes, but it took a *long* time to do just that tiny amount there. The public domain page I got that from offers the score in pdf format, and the music in midi format. So I had to convert the pdf into png (12 seperate pages), and then copy/paste them together. For the midis, I wired the soundcard output to the input, played the midis, recorded them, converted them to ogg, and uploaded them. However, no one told me that there's a 2 meg/file upload limit, so it took a half-dozen re-encode/upload attempts to figure out what the problem was. Phew. I think it should be easier next time. →Raul654 08:35, Mar 23, 2004 (UTC)
Ack, you did the soundcard hardwiring thing? Ug; how unpleasant to have to go from digital to analog to digital again! :P Please read my most in the other Ogg/MIDI-related thread above. Garrett Albright 23:11, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)
It looks great. Won't it be nice when the Lilypond support thing gets off the ground :-) --Phil | Talk 09:29, Mar 23, 2004 (UTC)
The page looks good. Please could you add the PD site as a reference, as you took a lot from there (and also it would help me get PDF versions and MIDI files, OGG may be free, but it would mean downloading another player. :-) Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 11:48, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Ahh, Wikipedia:Sound help links to a page that has a download to a plug-in which causes, when installed, Windows Media Player to understand OGGs, although it doesn't immediately appreciate that it understands them. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 11:52, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Pete: when you say "immediately", the inference is that you have found a way to stop the stupid thing asking every time whether this funny-looking file is safe to open. Share, please, it's driving me (and maybe others also) bonkers. --Phil | Talk 14:06, Mar 23, 2004 (UTC)
I don't want to come over all free-software-activisty, but I've only had good experiences with the open-source player Zinf [18], which plays oggs from a browser link, without any problems. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 14:27, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I already have Media Player, RealPlayer and QuickTime Player to cover all the various audio/video bases, so was looking to avoid downloading another one, if I could. I think Phil's issue is with the browser.. e.g. I have Moz configured to play OGGs in Media Player with one click. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 14:39, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Alas I don't think I have the answer you want. By immediately I meant that the installer for the plug-in doesn't create a file association between ogg and Windows Media Player, you have to do that manually. The "file warning" issue you are having is, I guess, at the browser level. By default both IE and Moz force to click at least two buttons to play the file. I don't know how to persuade IE that ogg is safe, sorry. Moz appears to be configurable. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 14:32, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)
No, what I mean is that when you open a .ogg file in WMP, it says "I'm not sure about this file, are you sure?" and offers a check box saying "Don't ask about this file type again". However even if you tick the box, the message always comes up. The association works just fine: everything seemed to know that .ogg files should be passed to WMP. However I have just discovered that Real Alternative, which I installed because RealPlayer can't get through our firewall, seems to handle .ogg files just fine, and has rather neatly taken over the association. Which is nice. --Phil | Talk 14:57, Mar 23, 2004 (UTC)
Real Alternative is just a codec pack which allows you to play Realmedia files with any DirectShow player. The player that comes with the pack is the excellent Media Player Classic by Gabest. — Jor (Talk) 07:37, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I'd just like to say that Winamp can play Oggs pretty easily. Dori | Talk 14:41, Mar 23, 2004 (UTC)

Just to answer all the questions - I am getting the files from Mutopia, who says that they want to become the project guttenberg of music. They're public domain and everything. There are several other sites I've noticed too. Just google for "public domain music" and you'll get several useful hits. As for playing ogg files - use the winamp plugin found on Wikipedia:Sound help. It's amazingly easy and works perfectly. →Raul654 16:51, Mar 23, 2004 (UTC)

Just to clarify, Winamp neither is nor needs a plugin for Ogg Vorbis files; it's a player that has supported them as standard for years, alongside just about any other format you might care to name (although there are some really obscure formats where you do have to get extra plugins from the website, like weird console emulator soundtrack files). - IMSoP 23:17, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Unless I'm really misunderstanding things, that statement is not true. As of 2 days ago, when I downloaded version 5.02, Winamp "right out of the box" (IE, downloaded right off the website with nothing else installed) does not support ogg files. You have to download and install the plug-in at to get ogg files to play in winamp. →Raul654 23:21, Mar 23, 2004 (UTC)
Unless they changed it for 5.02, it should support ogg out of the box (I have 5.01 and I didn't have to download a plugin). Dori | Talk 23:23, Mar 23, 2004 (UTC)
When you download Winamp, you've got a choice of "Lite", "Full" (the default), or "Bundle" versions. "Lite" doesn't include Ogg support. "Full" does include Ogg, but there's no indication of this in their comparison chart -- you have to already know about it to make an informed decision. This has been the situation with Winamp's Ogg support for a couple years, if I'm not mistaken; I'm disappointed they haven't made this clearer. --Brion 06:59, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)
You can get the ogg "in" plug-in from the Winamp site if you downloaded the wrong version of Winamp. — Jor (Talk) 07:37, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)
How silly of them. :( Ogg is the future! ;) - IMSoP 15:39, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)

To find out


moved to Wikipedia:Reference desk moink 04:37, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Allpages ranges off?

Searched but couldn't find any precedent for this error. The article ranges for the offline copy of Allpages seems to extend past the actual number of articles displayed after the given "from" point. In the few ranges I counted, there were in excess of twenty pages truncated from what the range indicated on the top page.

Preferred format for country/region summaries?

A discussion on Talk:Kosovo and Metohia has raised an interesting question: is there a preferred format for country/region summary tables and what items should be listed in them? Many articles on countries and subnational entities have broadly similar tables, e.g. England, Ontario, Southern Finland. Is there a standard template anywhere or any guidance on how to use it? -- ChrisO 21:25, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

You might start with Wikipedia:Infobox. Elf | Talk 23:07, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
A better place to start would be at Wikipedia:WikiProject#Geography. WikiProject Countries has the "standard" format for countries. -- Cyrius 03:26, Mar 23, 2004 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Infobox#Country_subdivisions_-_Provinces,_districts,_counties_and_such gives links to several Wikiprojects covering those subdivision. So far, no standard for subdivision has come up, but at least for each country it should be the same. Some items which IMHO should be always be present in such a table is the capital, area and population (including reference year), and a map showing the location. More optional are the population density, ISO 3166-2 code, percentage of water area, governour, car license plate identification, phone code, flag or coat of arms. andy 09:00, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Thanks, everybody. I've had a go at creating a draft WikiProject for country subdivisions - see User talk:ChrisO/Country subdivisions. I'd be grateful for feedback. The idea is that this should sit at an intermediate level between WikiProject Countries and the country-specific WikiProjects, such as Wikipedia:WikiProject U.S. States. This would not override work that has already been done on specific countries but would provide a generic template for country subdivisions that haven't been addressed specifically. It's modelled quite closely on the Countries Wikiproject, as you will see.
One particularly delicate issue that needs to be addressed is that of secessionist subdivisions, where the region in question has broken away or is trying to break away from its parent. I've added some rules of thumb to cover how to deal with this question. See what you think! :-) -- ChrisO 13:16, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Policy proposal

moink has written a proposal that is currently at Wikipedia:State your point don't prove it -- it encourages Wikipedians to state clearly their position when arguing, rather than attempting to show the absurdity of an opponent's position by taking actions to parody their perceived beliefs. I think it an excellent idea (and one that most of us tend to operate under anyhow), and am hoping that people are willing to go there, help refine the page, and ultimately accept it by community consensus so that we can use this page to help steer people away from taking rash actions, and towards talking civilly and clearly with each other about ideas. Thanks for taking the time to go there and look it over. Comments concerning the policy and any changes/supports/objections should be posted at Wikipedia talk:State your point don't prove it and not on this page. Jwrosenzweig 20:19, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Cool little hack

A few days ago, someone asked about how to find out how our traffic is going. The response included the webalizer traffic wikipedia generates. Using the month/year mediawiki tags, I created auto-updating URLS for the web statisics:

Current month's hits (Warning - HUGE file)
Current month's webalizer

Figured some people would find those useful. →Raul654 20:17, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)

Cool! Elf | Talk 23:07, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)


I couldn't find a def for a new entry Agraphobia in my dic. Maybe I need a better dic (or maybe my suspicion is correct). Moriori 20:21, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)

Is your suspicion that it ought to be Agoraphobia? :) Arwel 21:14, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

The OneLook dictionary site[19], which searches dozens of online dictionaries, didn't find it, either, except at this one site, [20], which, I see, the original version of Wikipedia's -phobia page seems to have taken almost directly. That page is listed at the bottom with a (c) but it is just a list of terms whose def's probably don't vary much from one place to the next... Any thoughts on copyvio on this? Elf | Talk 23:00, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Agraphobia gets around 661 hits on Google. Not enough to say that the term is common, but I think it's probably enough to show that it isn't invented from nothing by the contributor. I think it's probably just a highly specialized term, or perhaps a term that has gained only limited use. Could be wrong, though. -- Vardion 07:30, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Many common spelling mistakes get hits on Google, merely showing that more than one person can make a mistake, I am convinced this is one of them and should be Agoraphobia Dainamo
"Fear of sexual abuse", which is how this is defined here & on several other sites I found fairly easily, has nothing to do with agoraphobia. Elf | Talk 21:40, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)


Where (or how) do I report vandalism? I noticed it this morning on the article "film". Would have restored it myself, but don't know how. -- user:Pacific1982

Wikipedia:Vandalism in progress. Most of the time, simply reverting the page a single time is good enough and a report isn't needed. --zandperl 16:48, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Revert to find out how to fix it yourself.—Eloquence 17:10, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)
I just attempted to make my first "revert" using those instructions on Front de Libération du Québec, and while it appears the reversion took, it wasn't logged in the page history or in my own contributions. Is this what supposed to happen? TimothyPilgrim 19:06, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)
No, I don't think this "took". It would show in the page history, and according to that, this page hasn't been edited for four hours. What you need to do is (1) look in the page history and find the version you want to revert to, (2) click on the date/time link in the page history to display that version, (3) when you've got the old version displayed, click "edit this page", (4) note that above the edit box there's a notice to warn you that you're editing an out of date page, (5) add an edit summary (e.g. rv vandalism), then click "save page". This should work, and appear in your contributions and the page history.  :) fabiform | talk 19:18, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Perhaps this is the problem: I made what I thought was a revert, but the most recent page is identical to the supposed reversion, so the change was in fact -not- made to the page, and thus the page history did not record this happening. Does that sound like a possible scenario? TimothyPilgrim 19:28, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)
Yes. If the submitted text is identical to the current revision, no change is made and no edit is logged.—Eloquence 19:38, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)
That would do it. Thanks for the help guys, if nothing more than to dispel my confusion. TimothyPilgrim 20:04, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)


Every search I do on Google, Encyclopedia4U shows up before us. What are they doing with our content, that we're not? -- user:zanimum

I believe the answer can be found at Googlebomb, though others know far more of such things than I. Jwrosenzweig 16:38, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
They were up when Wikipedia was down, so Google indexed them instead of us. Dori | Talk 16:42, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)

Do we need a list for suspect problematic sockpuppets?

The number of different community oriented wikipedia pages is increasing. As I stumbled over a "new" but obviously experienced user[21] pushing some POV:s which to me appeared bordering to suspect, I came to wonder if there maybe exists something like a list of users the community ought to follow extra carefully?
...on the other hand, if I were a genuine Newbie, I would of course not be happy to find myself on such a list. ;-/
--Ruhrjung 15:49, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Hmmm... that user to me just looks like a person who has edited for a while as an anon and then decided to register, which of course we don't want to discourage. I think you're right that a list like that would cause more acrimony than it would prevent. moink 16:59, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Incorrect tooltips for Inter-language links

I noticed this on Hungarian language where it affects the Polish and Slovenian ? links in that only the initial ASCII letters of the destination are shown in the tooltip: none of the letters after the first non-ASCII letter is shown. In other words although the Polish link is to an article named "Język węgierski", the tooltip reads "pl: J". Even worse, the Japanese link which should read "ja:ハンガリー語" actually shows only "ja:". This is with Mozilla 1.6 on Windows XP Home in case environment is a factor. HTH HAND --Phil | Talk 15:12, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)

It's not just a browser problem, the page is actually being generated wrong by the software: title="pl:J" where it should say title="pl:J&#281;zyk w&#281;gierski". I've checked, and correcting this wouldn't cause a problem in IE or mozilla, as far as I can tell. Somebody should probably submit a bug. - IMSoP 21:48, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Compliments to the developers

I (accidentally) tried to link to the page I was editing. On looking at the saved page, my link was in bold, much to my delight. See this? It's actually a link... Wikipedia:Village pump. -- user:zanimum

Seconded!--Ruhrjung 15:51, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
It only has one drawback - on pages like List of Thailand related topics the "Related Changes" link doesn't cover the changes of the self-link anymore. On the other hand this feature is quite necessary for those navigation bars, as only with it the same bar can be used for all entities at once. andy 16:09, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I found a trick for that, see Wikipedia:Self link.--Patrick 16:51, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
(re: on pages like List of Thailand related topics the "Related Changes" link doesn't cover the changes of the self-link anymore.) — That is not true. Or at least it shouldn't be. If this is the case, then that is a bug that is separate from my change. The "Related Changes" feature uses the link table. The bolded display of the link text doesn't alter the link table in any way. It is, of course, possible that self-links aren't included in the link table in the first place, but again, this is independent of the bolding. — Timwi 22:20, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for your comment! I wrote that feature. :-) Glad to hear that people like it. — Timwi 22:20, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)