Wikipedia:Village pump/Archive AG

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Vandalism in Chinese Wikipedia[edit]

Chinese WP is suffering mass attack from several IPs, continuously creating nonsense pages like "Shizhao再麻煩你砍一下吧44daf22d99161b01a4148a8c3cffedc4". Can the developers ban the feature of creating new pages in Chinese WP for a while? --Samuel 18:11, 17 May 2004 (UTC)


the chinese Wiki is experincing massiv vandalism with a bot and a proxy again. Please help.--Philopp 18:13, 17 May 2004 (UTC)

Please ban the IP addresses rang from to --Samuel 18:17, 17 May 2004 (UTC)
Any sysop on zh can ban a range. See m:range blocks. Is the problem that you need more sysops temporarily? Angela. 19:48, May 17, 2004 (UTC)

Can You Give us the E-mail address of National Congress.[edit]

Dear Sir, Can you give use the E-mail address or the Contact address of National Congress, actualy we want to give congratulation to Congress President Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, Please sir, help us in this matter, please give reply us on,,

With warm regards,

M/s. Access Point, Puri, Orissa India

The party's website appears to be -- it has a "contact" option on the front page which opens a form to email though of course we don't know if these would get forwarded to Mrs Gandhi.
Alternatively you can write to the INC at 24, Akbar Road, New Delhi 110011, or telephone 91-11-23019080 or fax to 91-11-23017047. -- Arwel 19:20, 17 May 2004 (UTC)

Watchlist trauma[edit]

Watchlists were temporarily cached to save server load. See Wikipedia talk:Watchlist help.

Wikipedia trophy room[edit]

Where should Wikipedia awards be recorded? Discuss at Wikipedia talk:Trophy box

Quantum optics[edit]

Quantum optics is a very lively field of current physics research. But so far we only have articles on its more application-related neighbouring field, laser science. I've done a start by writing the article quantum optics, but there's much to do: MOTs, optical tweezers, PDC, and the like should be covered as well. Any fellow physicists out there willing to help? Or other people knowing about it? (Sanders muc)

Linking to family trees[edit]

As an example, the article Julio-Claudian family tree has a single image with the entire family tree. I'm wondering if it's possible to create a family tree that appears similar but has a feature linking the individual names in the tree to the articles about those people. Does the software exist to do this? MK 06:22, 16 May 2004 (UTC)

I suggest some sort of mark-up to generate the trees in HTML format may be best - I know the GEDCOM file format exists for genealogy data, but I don't know of standards for genealogical markup in an easily readable format (for example, in XML) or conversion utilities. Image maps are possible but may not be compatible with all browsers (but then, images are not compatible with all browsers either.. --Chuq 03:38, 24 May 2004 (UTC)

Press Release[edit]

The May 2004 press release at Wikipedia:Press_releases/May_2004 looks to be about finished and, as it is nearing the end of May, should be finalized. Aside from quotes which may be added, it looks to be production quality. Anyone who has edits or comments should make them soon.

As for the proposed quotes, the first would be from Jimmy Wales the founder, which we don't have yet. The second is the five word acceptance speech that was delivered or will be delivered at the awards ceremony, which of course is dependant on a fact or decision about that. Also, it would be nice to be able to include the date and location of the ceremony, so anyone who has that information should step up to the plate.

- Centrx 01:33, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

request fir info[edit]

Dear Sir, We are pleased to inform you that our company want to supply good quality of Football on very competitive prices. We are new in the Polish market. Please supply us useful addresses of the clubs and teams to offer such goods. Thanking you in advance, With best wishes, Syed Sajjad Haider Wolrdwide Marketing Chilanzar 3, House 69, Suite 39, Tashkent 700115 Uzbekistan Tel 00998712 778411 fax 778903

Removing Vandalism from Edit Summary[edit]

Is there a way to remove Vandalism from the edit history. My impression is that the general response to Vandalism is to just revert the edit, but I recently noticed a problem where the vandal also included the offensive text in the Edit Summary so that it continues to show up in the edit history. You can see an example on the page history for Ridley Scott or [1] --- Solipsist 06:52, 22 May 2004 (UTC)

there should be some way to effectively delete a change -- rolling back to the previous version, and replacing the preceding edit-version with a note "<timestamp> edit by <user1> deleted by <user2>"; the deleted edits could be stored in a deleted-edits table for 90 days (or forever), but not shown to the average reader. +sj+ 08:52, 2004 May 22 (UTC)
This will be possible to remove with the new software to be uploaded this weekend (that is, Real[ly] Soon Now) - sysops can import an entire article history using Special:Import (or something) which takes the same output as Special:Export (the XML output that Yahoo wanted from us, IIRC). Obviously this system will be ripe for abuse (but we trust our sysops, don't we? ;-))...
James F. (talk) 10:50, 22 May 2004 (UTC)
A minor correction: Special:Export has been around longer than the Yahoo-related thing - unless they're going to change the format, that is, and annoy the Wikinfo folks, who've had an importer for some time (come to think, maybe that's not such a bad idea ;-)) - IMSoP 20:39, 22 May 2004 (UTC)

Selected anniversaries, namespaces, and links[edit]

What the hell happened to the automated selected anniversaries section? I thought that the English Wikipedia was not going to be upgraded until the 'variable in template messages bug' was fixed. This really pisses me off! Also, what happended to the background fill color for all non-article pages? The distinction before was a very useful one, now it is vague. So the only difference between Sandbox:maveric149, user:maveric149/sandbox, talk archive:Sandbox would be the tab at the top of those pages. This will only encourage the misuse of the article namespace and lessen the distinction between metadata and content.

I also see that some links to stub articles are showing up as red links for those with a stub threshold set. The new "blue" links have a very hard to read muted color and the external link icon is hideous. This is especially true for [1] wiki ref links in articles. So please:

  • Fix the selected anniversaries bug ASAP.
  • Change the internal link color back to standard blue
  • Change the stub link color back to what it was before.
  • Get rid of the ugly and intrusive external link icon and use the old color for external links.

And don't give me the "you can change your preferences" line since all of the above needs to be default. Also, is it just me or is the default font size way too small? --mav 20:52, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

Regarding redirect pages[edit]

Just wondering, how many is too many? I can't remember if I've asked this before, but someone is creating literally dozens of redirect pages for Japanese topics employing every combination of correct, incorrect and mixed romanization systems and misspellings he can think of, the vast overwhelming majority of which are not used at all or are exceedingly rarely used in Japanese or English. Some articles have 9 different redirect pages. So where do we draw the line? Exploding Boy 09:25, May 28, 2004 (UTC)

As with most things Wikipedian, opinions differ. I would say that if there's a chance a term might be searched for or linked to then it is worth having a redirect for that term (whether it's a legitimate alternative term or just a typo or misspelling), and I'd rather we have too many redirects than too few. Redirects don't, on the whole, do any harm, but you might want to take a look at Wikipedia:Redirect#When should we delete a redirect? if you've not already done so. --Camembert

Wikipedian personalities[edit]

I'd like to encourage everyone here to go take a myers briggs personality test (like this one) and then add yourself to Meta:Wikipedians by MBTI type. I'm curious to see how wikipedia's users compare to the general public. →Raul654 05:17, May 28, 2004 (UTC)

Not content with knowing what we look like, you want to know how socially awkward we all are, eh? ;). I imagine a self-selecting sample will be biased to a particular corner of the matrix. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 08:09, 28 May 2004 (UTC)
ROFL. I already took a test from which judged me as INTP, and unsurprisingly I turned up as INTP again. It describes me quite well. Especially second-guessing. I'm constantly doing that. I love my personality. Proud to be INTP! Especially because this means I'm in the same league as Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton. Johnleemk 12:05, 28 May 2004 (UTC)
I'm quite a character. I turned out to be an ISTJ. I don't trust tests like that. Where can I see the background?- 12:13, 28 May 2004 (UTC)
Well I appear to be INFP, but I don't trust the test at all. It looks like a bunch of gobbledygook to me. theresa knott 13:57, 28 May 2004 (UTC)
A solid INTP. And can it be coincidence that Descartes is rated INTP too? -- Solipsist 19:36, 28 May 2004 (UTC) -- If you want a more gobbledygook test, try the Death Test
A load of rubbish — Chameleon 01:05, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

Vandalism in Progress page[edit]

All of Wik's machinations have cause the history of the Vandalism in Progress page to be lost. It appears to be at Wikipedia:Vandalism in progress (other than Quagga's). Can somebody figure out how to get the history back and at the same time keep the current version of things on the ViP page? RickK 02:07, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

Isn't this what those delete/move/delete/restore merges are for? Never actually tried one myself, but I've seen it described. -- Cyrius|&#9998 02:25, May 28, 2004 (UTC)
I've been trying to pull this off for a good 20 minutes, and mediawiki refuses to delete the page. The query just times out. The process is described on Wikipedia:How to fix cut and paste moves. -- Cyrius|&#9998 02:47, May 28, 2004 (UTC)
It's been an hour and I still can't get it to go through. I'm giving up for the time being. -- Cyrius|&#9998 03:35, May 28, 2004 (UTC)
I tried merging it with the new software. It seems that the entire page history somehow vanished. I deleted the current WP:VIP and moved over the old WP:VIP/History. I checked the history and found that there was only one edit listed and no deleted edits. Guanaco 20:06, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

Red links for images[edit]

I noticed to my surprise today that links to nonexistent image pages (of the form [[:image:this_is_not_an_image.png]]) do not show up in red: image:this_is_not_an_image.png. --Smack 00:25, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

Looks like a bug. Have you tried on the servers running Mediawiki 1.3? -- Cyrius|&#9998 02:26, May 28, 2004 (UTC)


The way I understand things now, sysops can quickly rollback a page by clicking a link on the page history, whereas anyone—even anons—can achieve the same effect by editing an old version of the page. Is there any reason for this difference? It seems to me that if anyone can revert a page, there's no point in making non-sysops go through an extra couple of clicks and pageloads (which can be a real pain on a slow server day). Does the rollback link do something sysop-only that I'm not aware of? If not, can the rest of us have the link? Thanks for reading. -Etaoin 05:49, 27 May 2004 (UTC)

Simply put, because we don't want to make it easy for non-sysops to rollback the work of others. For anti-vandalism purposes, ordinary users should have it, but if it were too easy, "certain users" might abuse the feature. →Raul654 05:52, May 27, 2004 (UTC)
Makes sense, but isn't that possible anyway? The lack of a rollback link isn't going to stop someone from reverting other people's work. Tangling the user interface doesn't seem like the right way to solve the problem. Additionally, I like to believe that there are many more good Wikipedians out there than bad; is it not written, "Assume Good Faith"? -Etaoin 06:01, 27 May 2004 (UTC)
The "tangled user interface" is supposed to force the reverting parties into talking - at least by forcing each user to look at edit summary box. The rollback button bypasses that and thus discourages talk. That's probably as much as a reason as there is. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 07:11, 27 May 2004 (UTC)
I think the idea of not making features like this too easy is a kind of soft security. Looking at MeatBall's article (MeatBall:SoftSecurity) I see this as an example of a PricklyHedge - although the name Speed Bumps has also been suggested. Basically, it being a fairly slow process (and yes, sometimes "a real pain") is likely to make people think before doing it, but admins/sysops have the power to bypass this if they have to do a whole bunch (i.e. for reverting a vandalism rampage). - IMSoP 18:58, 27 May 2004 (UTC)

Elements of fictional universes[edit]

Is there a formulated policy on items in books, films, television, etc.? For example, I am dealing with Stargate (film) and the TV show Stargate SG-1 and have encount ered many articles on items of the fictional universe, such as Jaffa (Stargate SG-1), George Hammond, and Goa'uld. I think these should be merged with one of the main articles or put in an article like "Stargate (universe)". The advantage of the second option is that many universes have multiple books, films, and shows, like Star Trek or Star Wars. This present on has a film and two TV shows. Another option would be to create a new namespace for fiction and use the same unique names for every item, with the parenthesis of the context, as it is done now. It would also allow for the fiction to be separated for certain releases or archives of the encyclopedia. Comments? Have I missed something obvious? - Centrx 23:48, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

I don't think there's anything to worry about, and we have a countable infinity of Star Trek and Tolkien stuff. I do think that all such articles should begin "In the fictional Stargate SG-1 universe..." just so everyone falling randomly upon the article (ex google) isn't misled into believing that this stuff exists. (I also worry about the "future archaeologist" problem, for much the same reason). -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:54, 26 May 2004 (UTC)
To clarify my marginally off-topic answer, I don't think merging is necessary or desirable, an amespaces are a rather complicated, overkilly solution, IMHO. It's not a bad idea for all SG-1 articles to have a common msg: (like the Alien universe things have - see Weyland-Yutani for example), which (among other things) serves to tag all the articles you might later want to export/deport. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 00:00, 27 May 2004 (UTC)
It may not be much of a problem now, but the situation will become untenable and not befitting an encyclopedia. As the encyclopedia becomes more comprehensive, every topic will require a disambiguation page. If separate articles are appropriate for each element of some fiction, then in the interest of completeness and balance it would be appropriate to create articles of all sorts of things which most people aren't looking for. This is a general problem of the encyclopedia, as there are many non-fiction items that should be merged into a single article, but with fiction these elements can be separated with relative ease. When someone is searching for information on a specific topic, they know very well whether it is matter of fiction or not, and adding all manner of elements of fiction will make it more difficult and time-consuming to find a particular piece of information. It's also almost completely self-referential; very few articles of an element of one fiction are going to refer to the elements of another fiction, and non-fiction articles are not going to refer to the elements of a fictional universe, aside from articles on actors and such. - Centrx 01:28, 27 May 2004 (UTC)
The correct solution is catagories, a feature that's "coming soon". With catagories something can be in as many catagories as you want (it can be in "Stargate", "Science Fiction", "American TV shows", and "things that will never get you laid"). Once the software (and the nasty task of figuring out the catagories) one should be able to define a search within a given catagory. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 01:40, 27 May 2004 (UTC)
Centrx: When someone is searching for information on a specific topic, they know very well whether it is matter of fiction or not, and adding all manner of elements of fiction will make it more difficult and time-consuming to find a particular piece of information
But not all information is Searched for a lot of it might be found serendipitously. So, especially given that a lot of links are put in articles without checking - just assuming - they will lead to where we expect I think fiction should be flagged.
I remember having my eyebrows hoisted aloft when I was looking at my usual slew of serious subjects and finding myself reading an account of a computer game world all of a sudden with no definite indication that I was doing so (other than the inclusion of many "facts" that would give us cause for concern if they pertained to the real world) until I got half way through the article.
It would be great if I could point you at the specific instance I'm thinking of, but I forget it now. --bodnotbod 21:07, May 27, 2004 (UTC)
I had some trouble parsing your second paragraph but I think a clarification of what I meant obviates your concern. I was not arguing that the context of articles should not be clearly indicated at the introduction to the article. By asserting that many are looking for specific information with full knowledge of its context, I was pointing out that the many disambiguation pages that will result from having fiction in the same space as non-fiction will impede or elongate that person's direct search for information: he does not need a disambiguation between the thing of fiction and the thing of non-fiction. Thus, it would be beneficial to have fiction in a different space, yet not problematic because someone looking for that information would know that it is fiction. - Centrx 23:50, 27 May 2004 (UTC)
"fictional" should be one of the catagories, for sure. But centrx' idea of using namespaces means things can only be in at most one catagory, which really isn't sufficient. And all entries should clearly state the domain of knowledge they inhabit (regardless of technical stuff like catagories). -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 21:14, 27 May 2004 (UTC)
Having a separate namespace for fiction (opposed to non-fiction) or for each universe of fiction would not be problematic by this reason. A thing in fiction has no reason to be in the non-fiction namespace, and a thing in one universe has no reason to be in another universe's namespace. If the thing has the same name as something in another namespace, by virtue of it being fiction it requires a different article than the same thing would in non-fiction. If a thing is common in fiction in multiple universes: a) it wouldn't be a problem with a simple dichotomy of fiction and non-fiction; b) with multiple universes, it might still be appropriate in an article like "vampires in literature". None of this namespace business would mean that we couldn't also use categories for all things. For the record, I am not arguing for namespaces for each universe in literature; I think that would be problematic to say the least. Simply, a thing in fiction is wholly different from a thing in the real world and in an encyclopedia it does not belong in the same space. My idea for a separate namespace for fiction is a recognition of that fact, and a compromise for people who want to write articles on everything. Personally, I think major items of a fiction belong in the article about the piece of work and minor items do not belong in an encyclopedia at all. We can create articles covering all things, but doing so becomes redundant and impossibly exhaustive. In an ENCYCLOPEDIA, do we really want there to be dozens of articles for each book in the world? One for the information on the publishing and the book and paper itself, one for the history, one for each part of the story, one for each character, one for each item in the book? Accepting that this should be a comprehensive encyclopedia beyond what is normally considered an encyclopedia, that it should be a cyclopedia, the circle or compass of human knowledge, of the arts and sciences, that does not include the unreal, indeed false, narratives of fiction. - Centrx 23:50, 27 May 2004 (UTC)
Ah, I think I understand where you're coming from now. I suppose what (quite rightly, don't get me wrong) concerns you might more generally be called "unencyclopedic minutiae", and while fiction has the lion's share thereof, I don't think it has the monopoly. One could say just the same thing about every character mentioned in the bible - certainly there's hundreds of important ones, but there's also lots who don't really have any spiritual, narrative, or allegorical function, and are mostly there just to be someone important's great-great-grandfather (at this point our contingent of bible-scholars bristled some, as the contention that anything in the bible is unimportant will find disfavour with some). Equally it's quite reasonable to have biographies of, say, chess players, but should we have one for every international grand master? Every regular grand master? It's clear that Capablanca is encyclopedic, and it's clear that little Tommy who won his highschool's chess trophy isn't, but where to draw the line? Ditto for, say, molecules - we have H2O, we have MDMA, we have DNA, and I think they're all clearly encylopedic. There's billions of molecules, and most are as dull as ditchwater, but where to draw the line? A case in point is high schools. It's clear that Columbine Highschool is encyclopedic. It's clear (to me) that my own high school isn't encyclopedic. We've included Fettes College, but not the high school in Sunnyvale, California where Teri Hatcher was a cheerleader. But where to draw the line? There's a considerable contingent of people who think highschools, regardless of fame or alumni, are acceptable. College professors, linux kernel contributors, paintings by Tintoretto, bridges over the Po, verb declensions in Inuktitut, uninhabited islands in the Inner Hebrides, paraguian swimming coaches, the scope for factual minutiae (one might say trivia) is endless, but the line between the in and the out is blurry and sometimes astonishingly subjective. It's at this point someone will inevitable cite m:Wiki is not paper, which many take to mean "let's err on the side of keeping stuff that might be useful". Your concerns about the appropriateness of each individual fictional item are, I fear, but a salient in the great western front of inclusion vs exclusion. I see no end in sight to that conflict. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 00:47, 28 May 2004 (UTC)
Yes, but the matter isn't so much what should be included, but where it should be included and under what subordination. I don't think it's quite so clear with fiction though. With items of non-fiction, one can make a fairly good case that if there is sufficient information about something in the public domain to make an article about it, then it's appropriate. The same is not necessarily true of fiction.
First of all, proper names don't have quite the same problem as many generically named items of fiction, especially when listed as full names. I'm not going to go into the Bible example so much because if an item in the Bible does not have significant cultural or popular influence, I think it does properly fall under fiction, but if it is just there to be someone's great-grandparent and not much else, then it would properly fit in one of the many Lists we have here. For other things though, I think a good case can be made about uniqueness and length of article. If something isn't unique and a long, non-template article cannot be made of it, then it doesn't belong. If something is not unique, then it can fall under a superordinate article. If not much unique can be said about Tommy the chess player, then he should instead be in a list. Generic phenol molecules without much to say about them would fit under a large article about phenols.
Anyway, I'm not concerned about inclusion so much as proper placement. This is especially true with elements of fiction where the only way you can effectively define such an element is by relation to other elements of that fiction. It's all self-referential because it's a confined fiction. Everything in the real world is truly connected to other things in the real world, whether scientifically or historically. Interpretively also, but interpretations of fiction are not the same problem, because the articles I'm talking about are, in fact, confined to a particular fiction with parentheses after the name, and are actual definitions in the context of the fiction, not literary interpretations and syntheses. Once it becomes such an interpretation, it becomes "real world" and an analysis across fictional universes.
The fact is, fiction is peculiar. It is wholly different, and the matter of inclusion vs. exclusion merely illustrates the problem that results from articles on all things fiction. - Centrx 02:51, 28 May 2004 (UTC)
I agree with Centrix that there is a bubbling under problem here. If there gets to be too many articles on fictional items, Wikipedia could get unbalanced and its value degraded. To some extent its a question of where you draw the line as to what should be in and what should be out, but Wikipedia is likely to become much more inclusive than any prior encyclopedia. That leads to the problem of needing more and more disambiguation against real/fictional items. A (imperfect) concrete example here is Frodo. Arguably the only Frodo that is encyclopedic is the King of Denmark, except we don't have an article on him yet and I'm guessing it would be quite a while before anyone would actually want it. In fifty years time, I can't see anyone caring much about the C64 emulator even though it is a real item. And of course anyone searching for Frodo, was probably looking for Frodo Baggins. Perhaps a better example could be Speed of light (discworld). The unusually slow speed of light in the Discworld novels could get an article of its own, which would then suggest the need for an inappropriate disambig link on the real Speed of light page (the Big Bang page does actually have a see-also link to the Discworld page). An example of a problem article which doesn't make it clear that it is fictional, is Yig. I knew that the Cthulu mythos was fiction, but in reading the Yig article I started to wonder whether it was based also based on a 'real' American mythology. One solution might be to move the fictional milieu articles to a separate but related Wiki project (or perhaps category tagging gives the same effect). However there would still be fictional characters that are so significant that they are encyclopedic and should be in the main Wiki, for example Mickey Mouse and Peter Pan - and they you are back to drawing in/out boundaries. -- Solipsist 07:41, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

Removing page history entries[edit]

A user asked me to roll back a page that had undergone several vandalism-reversion cycles, because the vandal had included rude remarks in the edit summaries. That is, he wanted the offensive edit summaries removed. I couldn't figure out how to do it. For the time being, I moved the page to an inconspicuous place, deleted the original page, then re-created it with the same contents. Advice welcome. Sorry if I missed something obvious. (The "rollback" function simply appears to be a convenient way to revert, and preserves all previous page history). Dpbsmith 22:28, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

Right now there is no way to remove the history. If the user was the only one to have edited the page (besides any vandalisms), that's fine, but if someone else had edited it, then the history should have been preserved instead of creating a new page with the old content. Dori | Talk 23:48, May 26, 2004 (UTC)
Only developers can remove edit summaries and the rollback does exactly the same as manually reverting a page, only with less clicks. Bot rollback will additionally hide the edits from recent changes, but not from the page history or from watchlists. Angela. 01:41, May 27, 2004 (UTC)

Edit war ongoing[edit]

Nick Berg conspiracy theories has been paralyzed by conflict for about a day now--would people please check it out? I've used up my 3 reverts for the day, and would appreciate someone stepping in to help mediate and hopefully bring this to a good resolution. See Talk:Nick Berg conspiracy theories for the full details. Yours, Meelar 17:11, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

The Wiki-Link Game[edit]

Maybe this has been invented already, and maybe this isn't the best place to mention it, but...

If you are currently visiting Wikipedia as an excuse to waste time, you might be dissatisfied with the Random page link due to the high likelihood of arriving at some obscure little town in Arkansas (hopefully fixed in next version of Wikipedia which looks like it might have article categories).

As an alternative why not try The Wiki-Link Game. For the moment I've but the rules on my user page. -- Solipsist 13:12, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

It's a nice enough game. I played for the first time, picked N=5 and started at James Lick, went to Piano, then harpsichord, then back to Piano, and got the loop ending. However, I think you missed a loosing condition, you click a link and get the All Wikipedia servers are down page, which should be called the Wikipedia can't support waisting time right now ending. Gentgeen 13:33, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

april 8, 2004[edit]

There was an article about color consulation where I read it from Laurel Gazette. I would like to get in contact with the color consultant, Ms. Lopez from Hyattsville, Maryland. Will you be willing to give me her phone number or e-mail address where I can get in contact with Ms. Lopez. If not, you can give this message to Ms. Lopez to get in contact with me as: I have been looking for a color consultant lately. Hopefully, I will be hearing from you soon. Thank you. Sherry Hodge

Ms. Hodge, can you tell us what web site you think you're posting to? RickK 01:43, 27 May 2004 (UTC)

Loaded (articles)[edit]

Usually when perusing Wikipedia and reading articles for the first time, I'm pleasantly surprised by the quality of writing and information. I've learned all kinds of things on all kinds of subjects — I'm sure everyone else here has had the same experience — and this has given me high expectations for the quality of the Wikipedia’s content. Unfortunately, I've lately been stumbling upon pages in very bad shape. My first reaction of course is to try to fix them. But, in another departure from the normal Wikipedia, these articles are practically impossible to edit.

The articles I'm talking about have one thing in common: their titles themselves are loaded. Take a look at Political Correctness, Anti-American sentiment, and Terrorism. The articles read as though they were written by a committee whose members despise each other. Some people say this, others assert that, etc. Over time, these articles don't improve; they just get longer, less structured, and less coherent.

It's not every controversial subject that suffers so. I thought that Noam Chomsky might be a battleground, but instead it's a nicely written and informative article. The same goes for Hiroshima, Hiroshima and Adolf Hitler. The Wiki system works its usual magic there.

The problem with the other articles is that their titles overshadow everything. Half the people reading (and writing) at Political Correctness can't stop thinking about how the name itself is unfairly applied. The other half can't stop laughing — and adding dumb jokes to the article text — about how great they think the name is, especially with its communist overtones.

What a waste of everyone's time! I don't want to fight with other people over the content of these articles, but I also don't want the encyclopedia as a whole devalued by their juvenile content. I recommend that we adopt a policy for articles whose titles fit the loaded (language) definition. First, if there is an uncontroversial name for the subject, use it. Problem solved. (This is generally not the case; slanted language is the fundamental problem.) Otherwise, do one two things:

  1. Point to Wiktionary, where a short definition describes the term and notes that its use is controversial.
  2. Provide and require the use of a “Debated:” namespace, where people and argue over anti-Americanism until they run out of energy. Unlike the disputed point of view warning, this quarantine would be permanent.

This problem spans languages, by the way. Stay away from fr:Terrorisme unless you want to see Allied bombing of Germany in WWII equated with the 9/11 attacks.

Nathan 11:46, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

It's not immediately apparent to me why the allied bombing of Germany and Japan in WWII is not at least in the same class of action. Mark Richards 17:17, 26 May 2004 (UTC)
Mark, that's exactly why the Wikipedia should not even be in the business of making these distinctions. No one can agree on these things. Nathan 18:11, 26 May 2004 (UTC)
True. Mark Richards 21:34, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

suspicious users[edit]

just curious... anybody been banned recently? user:Paulbmann is new and seem to have hit the ground running with one or two dodgy contributions to some health topics... just curious... (very sorry Paul if you are a legitamte newbie rather an old hack in lamb's clothing) best wishes to all Erich 11:46, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

Wik and Quagga feud[edit]

  • I am away from English wikipedia for a while. Can someone inform me what happens to these two folks? Looking at the editing game at Recent Changes is certainly NOT a pleasure for me. Ktsquare (talk) 05:59, 26 May 2004 (UTC)
User:Wik was trolling after the Arbitration Committee banned him for a week. Wik now claims he left. Anárion 08:36, 26 May 2004 (UTC)
More accurately, Wik immediately announced he'd left Wikipedia after he was banned for a week. He then got upset with some comments/changes made on his talk page, and started reverting it. He was reverted back by various people because he was banned. Then he started trolling. I'm not sure what's going on at this point anymore. I'm also not sure where Quagga comes into it - he seems to be trolling to try to provoke a reaction from Wik, among other things, although Wik may have provoked it. john k 09:04, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

I have an idea....[edit]

I have a feeling I may not be the first person to suggest this, but... Would it be completely unacceptable for Wikipedia to serve advertisements to raise funds? I have donated money to support Wikipedia, and will probably do so again, but in the meantime I wouldn't have a problem with occasional banner ads, or Google AdWords, if it was raising money supporting Wiki. My idea was to implement such a thing, turned off by default, such that people intentionally TURN ON ads as a way to send money towards the project. If this is an idea that has been suggested and shot down already, please forgive me, as I'm still relatively new here. Cheers!

--Randyoo 23:07, 25 May 2004 (UTC)

Well, Jimbo has said on the mailing list that Wikipedia will never accept ads--I don't know how your idea about turning ads off by default would change that, but don't hold your breath. Good thought, though, and thanks very much for your time and your money. Yours, Meelar 23:09, 25 May 2004 (UTC)
The only ad I'd be willing to see is one on the main page advertising a hard copy or cd/dvd release of Wikipedia. Community portal could get away with a small ad for Wikipedia merchandise ("Wikipedia the flamethrower. Kids love it."). No ads on article pages, it'd probably violate NPOV anyway. -- Cyrius|&#9998 00:00, May 26, 2004 (UTC)
(only partially kidding here) It only violates NPOV if the ad in question is in any way relevant to the article. We'd need the very opposite of Google's targeted ads - so if you're browsing Zionism you get ads for Snorlax toys, if you're edit-warring in Mark Rothko you see ads for diodes, you're checking for the melting point of manganese and you're getting ads for holidays in Rakhigarhi. We call them "surrealverisments" and charge more for the stranger the juxtaposition. We'll make meeellions of (or perhaps several) dollars. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk
I don't see why it would be a problem to have POV ads in Wikipedia. It's clear by now to everyone that Google provides said ads, that they are generated automatically based on the context, and that they are not in any way part of the article. As long as the article itself is NPOV, what's the problem? If you're stupid enough not to recognise Google Adwords, you probably do not understand Wikipedia either. And maybe, just maybe, it would raise enough money to get the search function working again. Wyllium 17:47, 2004 May 27 (UTC)
Bizarre. You seem to show a touching naivety with regard to the effectiveness and evil of advertising whilst assuming a high level of awareness amongst Wikipedia users. Remember, not all Wikipedia visitors are editors. There will be many who arrive here because of a high Google ranking on their subject of interest. In such an instance a related ad on the page could be seen as an endorsement. --bodnotbod 18:29, May 27, 2004 (UTC)
I don't remember seeing a killer argument against ads for those who choose to have them on (but remember they have to be clicked for WP to benefit). Mailing list archives is probably best to look for this dicusssion. Minimal history: Jimbo once seemed somewhat open to the idea of ads, but this caused the Spanish WP to fork. More recently he has seemed much less keen. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 00:50, 26 May 2004 (UTC)
We'd have to change from the free encyclopedia to the sponsored encyclopedia and throw NPOV out the door. Dori | Talk 00:58, May 26, 2004 (UTC)

I encountered yet another mirror today, which is complete lookalike of Wikipedia, though images are missing. See [2] I quote Eloquence "There's plenty of these mirrors, most of them end up serving Wikipedia content with ads". Since we don't seem to care too much about those that do not follow our rules, and let them make a lot of money over our backs (it must be a lot given the huge number of pages they have on offer and the fact they often rank higher than the real thing in Google), this made me think: maybe we should start an unoffical mirror ourselves that serves ads, with proper attribution etc, which might channel some money to WikiMedia. I'm not sure how much money it would bring in, but it might take some load of our servers. It would be a read-only copy, refreshed say every week after dump have been made (some mirrors show content which is 6 months old), and which channels all edits to the real Wikipedia. Being unoffical it would not cause any forks, I'm sure. Just brainstorming. Anyway Wikipedia needs some drastic measures to improve and sustain performance. Erik Zachte 01:13, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

Seems like a great idea to me. Of course I'm new here and may not quite understand how things work, but this seems like something that will give us the money we need and still work with our rules. --IYY 02:41, 26 May 2004 (UTC)
Seems worth considering, the WP will constantly need new hardware etc to cope with increasing demand. The wikipedis keeps having annual (and very frustrating) slowdowns when the present set of servers etc cant cope with demand and new ones have to be bought and added. If it was properly funded we wouldent keep having these problems. Although it would have to be done in a way which didn't affect editorial independence G-Man 12:20, 26 May 2004 (UTC)
This made me think, and I realised that one of the reasons I keep coming back to Wikipedia everyday - is this notion that somehow it is sacred and outside the big, bad world of commercial merchandise. Here is a true university of sorts, which truly represents the free world. Allowing ads would be a huge step backwards from where we stand today. Hardware requirements/Monetary pressures ? - Yes, but there are some notions which absolutely do not deserve mind-space and this suggestion ranks right on top. I am so fanatic about this point, that I would not like Wikimedia to even consider charging through a mirror-site. As an aside, I thought when we appealed for help in January (that's when we got yanked out for 2-3 days), the requirements were met in no time. As we keep being as good as we are - infact surpassing ourselves with every passing month, funding through voluntary contributions is going to get easier, is my two pence. Of course, I am only vaguely aware of our current financial situation and I am not very sure about the hardware status (though I know that 4 new servers are being tested today at MediaWiki). Chancemill 15:53, May 27, 2004 (UTC)
At the moment it seems to be accepted that donations can pay for the Wikipedia. Worth following that route to the extent it's practical. If ads do seem necessary sometime, one relatively unobtrusive option is to serve Google AdWords at the bottom of the left column but with a check box just below the ad which drops a cookie saying "don't show the ads". Let anyone who wants to click on that and stop seeing them. That would end up showing them to new people once and never again to anyone who dislikes them. New people are the ones who are both most likely to click on an ad link and least likely to be bothered by one they can easily turn off. But this probably isn't the route to take right now, until we know that donations aren't sufficient. Jamesday 01:31, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

Edit conflicts in discussions[edit]

About edit conflicts in lively discussions: At a glance it looks like the most common place they occur. There are two kinds of edits -- make that three. Creating, modifying, and appending. Typically, and almost always, entries to discussions are appended to a particular point, perhaps most often at the end of a section. It seems like a simple matter to make another kind of edit page to append, just append, and a whole bunch of people can do that all at once. Their parts get put in right in the order they are submitted. That way it becomes feasible to compose online (which I am not doing now since I had an edit conflict already this morning when I thought I was whipping out my piece pretty quickly; so now I'll generally compose offline for my discussion stuff). ;Bear 18:10, 2004 May 25 (UTC)

The upgrade to MediaWiki 1.3 will greatly reduce edit conflicts, without the need for special talk page code. -- Cyrius|&#9998 18:15, May 25, 2004 (UTC)

Official Wikipedia song?[edit]

A bit of fun: what do people think should be Wikipedia's official song? -- ChrisO 17:25, 25 May 2004 (UTC)

Crystal Method - Busy Child. Bensaccount 18:13, 25 May 2004 (UTC) (Esp. for the "Did you know" section.)

I actually thought about this before! The best one I've found so far is 'The Hope Within Us' by Paul Spaeth. (See - the title fits too :) →Raul654 20:42, May 25, 2004 (UTC)
Elvis Presley / Junkie XL - A Little Less Conversation, a little more action. Mark Richards 21:12, 25 May 2004 (UTC)
Hotel Wikipedia. But that's the Wikipediholic version. Elf | Talk 05:27, 26 May 2004 (UTC)
Seem to me all the above songs have got nothing to do with Wikipedia, except maybe A Little Less Conversation. We need something with the words information, encyclopedia, text, community, etc, in the title. For starters, Freedom by George Michael is better than anything suggested up to now. --Wyllium 18:04, 2004 May 27 (UTC)
I like With a Little Help from My Friends, but it doesn't meet Wyllium's criteria. Johnleemk 12:13, 28 May 2004 (UTC)
Whatever we choose needs to be free of restrictive copyrights. That really narrows our choices. Guanaco 19:29, 28 May 2004 (UTC)
None of you will have heard of it, probably, but it fits--"Information Travels Faster", by Death Cab for Cutie". Meelar 19:30, 28 May 2004 (UTC)
"Encyclopedia Brown" - Guttermouth (Lyrics). Maybe not... - Lee (talk) 20:16, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

Spelling question: Cypher vs cipher[edit]

I'd like to invite discussion on how to treat the "cypher" spelling, a variant of "cipher", in cryptography articles: See Wikipedia:WikiProject Cryptography/Cipher vs Cypher for arguments. — Matt 15:44, 25 May 2004 (UTC)

According to American and British English differences#Miscellaneous, "cypher" is a UK spelling, and "cipher" a US spelling. As such, I think it falls under the guidelines in Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Usage and spelling. - jredmond 16:02, 25 May 2004 (UTC)
Actually, it's more complex than that. "cipher" is the most popular form in the UK as well as the US (e.g. UK security researcher Ross Anderson uses it). I favour "cipher" (I'm from the UK), and another editor who advocates "cypher" is (I believe) from the US. — Matt 16:17, 25 May 2004 (UTC)
Maybe I've been corrupted by too many things american, but I spelt it cipher. If there is a need to standardize, then the "i" version is the best bet. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 16:10, 25 May 2004 (UTC)
You haven't been too corrupted. I can tell, since you spelled spelled as spelt. ;-) -Rholton 18:43, 25 May 2004 (UTC)
GCHQ's predecessor was "the Government Code and Cipher School" [3]. I'd always thought cypher was another aspect of American English's long term scheme to inflate scrabble scores. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 17:06, 25 May 2004 (UTC)
I've generally seen it as GC&Cypher School, however. That fits with common British use of the period as in, for instance, the Royal Navy Cypher series (eg, nr 3). Even though at least nr 3 was a superencyphered code. ww 20:58, 25 May 2004 (UTC)
I guess the point is, ww, even GCHQ, the British government's cryptography agency, now spells it "cipher" (the link is to their website). The "cypher" spelling seems to be deprecated in usage by those in the field of cryptography itself; Wikipedia should follow this trend. — Matt 15:25, 26 May 2004 (UTC)
The OED, at least, lists "cipher" first and "cypher" as the varient. It has cites back to 1528 for cipher. -- DrBob 17:31, 25 May 2004 (UTC)
The New Oxford American Dictionary likewise lists cipher first and cypher as the variant. It also has an entry for cypher punk, which it defines as "a person who uses encryption when accessing a computer network in order to ensure privacy, esp. from government authorities." It places the origin of the phrase as "1990s: on the pattern of cyberpunk." -Rholton 18:43, 25 May 2004 (UTC)
Seems like I've seen "cipher" most used regarding cryptography, and "cypher" often used to mean "zero". ;Bear 18:06, 2004 May 25 (UTC)
Cypher is an anti-etymological variant of cipher used across the English-speaking world because it's prettier than the correct form. Chameleon 16:11, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

Asian/Pacific theatre of WWII[edit]

Someone has mucked up the article on the Asian theatre of World War II. As a result, there are now Asian theatre of World War II and Asian Theatre of World War II, neither of which contains the page history (it's at Pacific War). Can a sysop with some time on his/her hands sort this out and move/delete/merge these things back together and fix all the redirects? --Minesweeper 13:22, May 25, 2004 (UTC)

Done. Tannin 13:33, 25 May 2004 (UTC)

Pronouncing Wikipedia[edit]

So apropos of a discusion on Talk:Wiki it turns out that not everybody pronounces "Wiki" the same way. I think it's "weekee" but to some it seems to be "wicky". Possbily there are even stranger variants out their. Shall we have a poll?

The obviously correct way to pronounce "Wiki" is:

  • "Weekee:"
    1. --DrBob 03:09, 25 May 2004 (UTC)
    2. --Nat Krause 04:53, 26 May 2004 (UTC). This is just like pop vs. soda. I'm surprised so many say "wicky." I say "weekee" when it's by itself or else "wick-uh-pedia".
  • "Wicky:"
    1. --Wyllium 17:51, 2004 May 27 (UTC)
    2. --Sam [Spade] 03:30, 25 May 2004 (UTC)
    3. --Phil | Talk 17:20, May 25, 2004 (UTC)
    4. --Exploding Boy 01:25, May 26, 2004 (UTC)
    5. --pstudier 02:52, 2004 May 27 (UTC), Not strictly correct but much easier to say.
    6. --bodnotbod 18:21, May 27, 2004 (UTC)
  • "Wikə:"
    1. --SimonP 03:48, May 25, 2004 (UTC)
    2. --Dpbsmith 20:28, 25 May 2004 (UTC)
    3. --Zoney 16:25, 26 May 2004 (UTC) pronounced this way as a prefix in wikipedia. On its own, or in other prefixes, 'wicky'. (I'm tempted to say, on its own, 'wiki').
  • Other (please state):
    • However you want to pronounce it. RickK 03:12, 25 May 2004 (UTC)
    • Ditto. "Weekee" is closer to the word's Hawaiian origins, but "wicky" seems more natural in English, so I'd consider both to be equally valid. -- Vardion 03:28, 25 May 2004 (UTC)
    • "Wicky" when using the word by itself. When pronouncing Wikipedia, I say "Wik-uh-pedia" →Raul654 03:57, May 25, 2004 (UTC)
    • Hmm. See, I would say that the "correct" way to pronounce it is "wiki" (wee-kee), but I never, ever say that; I say wɪki (wikee). (Just as I can believe in the who/whom distinction while only observing it part of the time.) So, make of that what you will. Also, I think I say wɪkɨpidiyə or possibly wɪkɪpidiyə. Certainly I don't say wɪkəpidiyə. Of course, I probably just botched that IPA in several places... -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽ 04:18, May 25, 2004 (UTC)
      • I think the important question is how the heck to pronounce कुक्कुरोवाच. :-). Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 15:08, 25 May 2004 (UTC)
        • Just occured to me that that could possibly interpreted in a negative way. I sincerely didn't mean that - just genuinely interested in how to prounce it and how the characters translate into sounds. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 15:18, 25 May 2004 (UTC)
          • No, that's cool. You shouldn't feel bad, as "kukkurovaca" isn't a name or word in any real language, though it's in a perfectly real script (Devanagari). The roman transliteration is kukkurovāca, and it would be pronounced kookkoorowvaachuh, more or less.
            • No, no, you've got it all wrong. I just say "square-square-square-square-square-square-square", so that's obviously right. Hmmm, maybe I would be better off if I actually had the Devanagari font. - Nat Krause 04:53, 26 May 2004 (UTC)
    • Combination of above. I understand the "correct" pronounciation is "wee kee", but never use it. For the word by itself, I use "wicky", and for this site's name, I've probably used every variation between "wick eh pedia" (or "wick a pedia" [short "a"]) to "wick uh pedia". Niteowlneils 14:40, 25 May 2004 (UTC)
    • The first wiki says wee-kee, see So this is "correct", but I have a terrible time not saying wicky. Perhaps we should list both. pstudier 01:23, 2004 May 26 (UTC)
    • Combination of the above. It always comes out "wicky-pedia" when I say the whole thing, but when I'm telling people about it & the origin of the name (which I find myself doing a lot when photographing their dogs), I carefully say "wee kee pedia as in the Hawaiian weekee weekee", and almost always the person lights up and says, "Oh, as in quickly!" Amazing how so many people (Californians at least) seem to be familiar with the Hawaiian term. Elf | Talk 05:15, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

To point out a possible copyright infringement.[edit]

This site seems to have taken the content of wikipedia and rearranged it into rather useless terms. The point is that they seem to have blatently stolen content from wikipedia. Can anything be done about this?

Scroll to bottom of screen on the link. see "© 2004 Information Blast. All content provided by Wikipedia is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. " Cheers, Sam [Spade] 03:02, 25 May 2004 (UTC)
It doesn't seem to be listed on any of the subpages of Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks yet, but sites are allowed to use Wikipedia under the terms of the GFDL. Angela. 03:05, May 25, 2004 (UTC)
Of course they shouldn't be claiming copyright like that, but oh well, at least they mention Wikipedia and the GFDL. Dori | Talk 03:10, May 25, 2004 (UTC)
If you think about what GFDL says at the ending part, copyright notice is completely appropriate. See the part after the section 10 in Wikipedia:Text_of_the_GNU_Free_Documentation_License. If the reuser is just making verbatim copies in quantity, then it is possible that they do should not claim their copyright, because they have not made any creative contributions. But if I were to defend their practice, I would argue that they at least changed the layout. Tomos 22:39, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

This is a two part Business Development Proposal[edit]

This is a two part Business Development Proposal


Attention: Website Administrator/Marketing Director My name is Terry Schembari and I'm the Marketing Director for Mentura Inc. I was just looking at your website and was impressed with the design and content. My company Mentura, is the largest Educational/Family Friendly DVD rental company in the world.... [a lot of commercial deleted, see the article history if you're really interested]

Man: Well, what've you got?
Waitress: Well, there's egg and bacon; egg sausage and bacon; egg and spam; egg bacon and spam; egg bacon sausage and spam; spam bacon sausage and spam; spam egg spam spam bacon and spam; spam sausage spam spam bacon spam tomato and spam;
Vikings: Spam spam spam spam...
Waitress: ...spam spam spam egg and spam; spam spam spam spam spam spam baked beans spam spam spam...
Vikings: Spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam!
Dpbsmith 20:31, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
Yeah! Nerd pride! Meelar 20:33, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
I was going to try to find some policy page that explained why we aren't going to sign up for such a thing. Then I was going to compose a calm, rational, and nice response. Then I reloaded and saw Dpbsmith's response, which was much more satisfying. Bloody Vikings! -- Cyrius|&#9998 21:41, May 24, 2004 (UTC)
Um, what Cyrius said. Although Dpbsmith's response did make me notice that we're missing an article on lobster thermidor... - jredmond 21:52, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
Bah..... It's all just crazy Jevoah's Wittnesses stuff, someday I'd know they start spamming the Internet!!!! This seems like this infomerical about how you can get this machine that allows other people to rent and reload the machine and stuff like that... whatever... It seems that this Mr. or Mrs. Schembari didn't look before he wrote.

Translating articles[edit]

I would like to start translating English-language articles into languages that are currently not available or not as exhaustive as their English counterpart. The problem is, I do not know how to get into the servers for the other languages to start. I'm probably overlooking it, but I can't find it. Please help.

Kylefr635 18:59, 24 May 2004 (UTC)

Welcome aboard. In the English Wikipedia, see Main Page (at the bottom) for the Wikipedias in other languages, Wikipedia:Embassy and Wikipedia:Multilingual coordination. --Zigger 19:16, 2004 May 24 (UTC)
Maybe you should be little bit more specific about what your problems are. Did you fail to login into the other languages with your user account from the english wikipedia? You have to create a new account for every language, of course easiest to chose the same name in all you want to use regularily. andy 20:11, 24 May 2004 (UTC)


hi , i have a school science fair thing and i need to know why nylon was named nylon. do you have any clue on htis and could u send me any information if you have it of about this question . thanks .

See nylon and this page: [4]. It's basically an alteration of "no run", (a claim that wouldn't have withstood scrutiny) and not a contraction of "New York" and "London" as is often claimed. - Nunh-huh 07:15, 24 May 2004 (UTC)

Australian post code pages[edit]

Since people don't read the Talk:List of Australian post codes page ;) I'll copy what I wrote here:

Would the table I did a few months back at Australian States and Territories (with postcodes, area codes, etc) be better suited here? Or linked from here? Or merged with this page, or something like that? Perhaps all this would be better suited at Communications in Australia? (to follow the naming format of the CIA World Factbook, that many country pages on Wikipedia are developed from) --Chuq 04:33, 17 May 2004 (UTC)
I also notice that additional postcode list articles Postcodes: Victoria, Postcodes: Tasmania, etc. Have been made - not even capitalised, wikified, etc. Some sort of standardisation of this articles would be good. --Chuq 03:22, 24 May 2004 (UTC)

Geez Chuq, that's a curly one. dunno how I missed the chat at the post codes page! never knew about the 9nnn post codes. If in doubt it sounds like you're better off with the CIA than at odds with them... a page on Communications in Australia sounds reasonable. more power to your elbow! Erich 10:14, 24 May 2004 (UTC)

Personally, I don't think it has a place anywhere in Wikipedia. No offence to its author, nor to Australians - hey, I live in 2350 myself! The thing is, WP is not a directory. If I need to look up this sort of info, my first thought isn't going to be to crank up the old laptop and come to wikipedia, its going to be to fetch the phone book, or call the post office, or maybe look it up online on a more appropriate site. The reason is that if everything that belongs in a directory somewhere ends up on wikipedia, it will swamp the rest of the content by a huge factor. I think this silliness should stop now and some sort of official policy should be evolved that dissuades entries of a directory-like nature. Or at least some sort of debate should be had. Graham 12:33, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
The Postcodes: Victoria, Postcodes: New South Wales, etc. pages ought to be deleted. All of those postcodes are available at List of localities (Victoria) etc. in a much better format, and are given as additional information after the place links, rather than being the focus, which they don't need to be. The List of Australian post codes page also is useless given that everything on it is posted at Australian States and Territories in a much cleaner and less verbose format. As all the information already exists, I say get rid of them. The List of localities pages serve the useful pupose of linking to places around the country, however I agree that there doesn't need to be anything more than that which would turn WP into a directory. Hypernovean 13:03, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
I think you miss the point. These are not simply lists of post codes. They are indexes and category schemes to relate items by location. Categorising information is part of what encyclopedias do and that's why there are links to articles about places in there. And presumably will be links from objects to locations so you can find other objects in a given location at some point - everything in post code A linking to post code A somehow, perhaps via the category shceme. Jamesday 01:25, 28 May 2004 (UTC)
The only index and category scheme I see regarding Australian post codes, is that each state has its own separate page. The pages themselves have obviously just been copied from somewhere else, and are not arranged in any obvious order apart from alphabetically. If they were sorted by region, or city, category (are they an overnight express post region, etc) then they would be offering something that wasn't available elsewhere, but at the moment they aren't even linked/wiki'ed, and are in all caps. --Chuq 02:57, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

Blank page?[edit]

Whenever I log into wikipedia ,I get a blank page.I am using aol version 8 plus and internet explorer version 6.

       S. A. G.

New Creative Commons migration plan[edit]

Moved to Wikipedia talk:Creative commons migration

Wikipedia running really slow[edit]

Wikipedia is running so slow today that most of my attempts at posting are timing out. What's going on? RickK 21:51, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

Just overload. — Monedula 22:11, 23 May 2004 (UTC)
Hopefully not the MediaWiki 1.3 transition. -- till we | Talk 22:32, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

User:Chameleon's changing '-' to "—"[edit]

-->Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Dashes

tokipona interwiki[edit]

Language links to tokipona: aren't working any more. (See, for example, Drug, which ends with the text "tokipona:ilo nasa" because the link isn't interpreted correctly. Can someone fix that, maybe? Marnanel 05:39, May 23, 2004 (UTC)

"Washington Post", "The Washington Post", or "The Washington Post March?"[edit]

Believing that the correct title of the famous Sousa march was The Washington Post, I confidently tinkered, moving The Washington Post March to The Washington Post (march), and editing articles accordingly. (E. g. in The Washington Post I wrote, "The Washington Post is also the title of a march..."

Then I decided to see whether I could notate the melody of the opening strain. And found to my chagrin that one of my three recordings simply calls it Washington Post (no "The", although some of the other marches, like "The Thunderer," had their titles given with a "The"). Another calls it The Washington Post... and a third calls it The Washington Post March.

a) Anyone know which really is the correct title of the march?

b) Anyone know a convenient way to resolve this sort of question? Googling isn't it, both because of the difficulty of constructing proper searches to pick up only one of the three variants, but also because it is obvious that writers are not punctilious about the title of this work and "most frequent" would not necessarily be "correct." For example, I'm pretty darn sure the title of the famous Strauss waltz is "On the Beautiful Blue Danube", not "The Blue Danube waltz," but both give almost identical numbers of Google hits.

Zen answers, such as that it doesn't matter because nobody cares, or that the correctness of the title of marches is not altered by adding the word "march" to a title that lacks one or removing the word "march" from a title that has one, are not needed. (And no, don't bother to tell me that the actual title of the Strauss waltz is "An Der Schonen Blauen Danau...") Dpbsmith 00:21, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

I'm a big fan of Sousa, so I checked my CD from the US Marine Corps band. On that CD, it's labeled as The Washington Post March. I realize it's not definitive, but it's a pretty solid indication IMO. I figure the Marines know what they're doing. ;-) -- Dan Carlson 15:08, May 23, 2004 (UTC)
Indeed. Is that the same one I have, "Sousa Original?" from the Musical Heritage Society? On that one, about 2/3 of the titles are listed as ending with the word "march;" "Manhattan Beach March", "Saber and Spurs March","The Gridiron Club March", King Cotton March... But OTOH Frederick Fennell, who made his career recording Sousa marches with the Eastman Wind Ensemble for Mercury Records, also knows what he's doing (and is an academician), and "Hands Across the Sea" CD lists it as "Washington Post" (no "The", no "March"). Oh, and is selling what they claim to be remastered versions of recordings made by the Sousa Band from 1897-1930, who should also know what they're doing, and if the Web listing is an accurate transcription of the record labels, it's "The Washington Post". The Britannica's article on Sousa refers to "The Washington Post." The Columbia Encyclopedia prefers "The Washington Post March" . Dpbsmith 16:31, 23 May 2004 (UTC)
I think the most authoritative answer would be the manuscript or first published version. I don't live very near a good music library, but the next time I go through a city that has one, I would be interested in looking that up.
I wonder if there is a Sousa archive on the Internet that might have scans of this sort of thing? I'll scout around a little.
When I've heard it performed live, I only recall hearing it introduced as "The Washington Post." Glenn6502 22:40, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
(later) I checked the University of Illinois, which has the major collection of Sousa's manuscripts. Their on-line index does not include "The Washington Post" under any variant of the title. I'll put looking for published versions on my to-do list for my next visit to a university. Glenn6502 00:22, 25 May 2004 (UTC)

I too have heard it call both "The Washington Post" and the "The Washington Post March". After Googling "Sousa, Washington, and Post, I find that internet sources are 2-1 in favor of "The Washington Post". Logically, if it were "The Washington Post March", wouldn't it also be "The Stars and Stripes Forever March"? Scout32 19:41, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

Verdana bug revealed[edit]

This may be of interest to those who use Verdana as the default font in their browsers.  This bug has already caused some misunderstandings.  See Verdana#Combining characters bugMonedula 20:48, 22 May 2004 (UTC)

And recently the default style of Wikisource has been changed — exactly to use Verdana!  This should be reversed ASAP, because there are some accentuated Russian texts there, and Verdana shows accents in the wrong places! — Monedula 21:20, 22 May 2004 (UTC)

Is this only the case in one specific version of Verdana or in all of them? This would be a major bug in Windows- Verdana is one of the most common fonts on the net today because of it's good readability especially on screens and in small sizes. Arial might be an alternative (if it doesn't suffer the same bug). In any case, you can change the font in your user stylesheet like this:
#bodyContent { font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; }
-- Gabriel Wicke 19:17, 23 May 2004 (UTC)
The font copyright says "Typeface and data © 1996 Microsoft Corporation", so perhaps the font didn't change since 1996 and most probably there are no other versions of Verdana around.  The normal (non-bold non-italic) font version is 2.43, and bold, italic and bold italic Verdanas have version 2.40. — Monedula 20:02, 23 May 2004 (UTC)
Bitstream Vera Sans is actually the first font. [ alerante | “” 00:03, 24 May 2004 (UTC) ]

Cyd Ho Sau-lan Cyd Ho[edit]

It seems like the article and re-dir should be reversed. I don't want to ruin the page histories by doing it via cut&paste, but I can't move it because I can't delete the redir. Can some admin do it? Niteowlneils 17:52, 22 May 2004 (UTC)

The redirect had no unique edit history to save, so I went ahead and deleted it and moved the page. For future reference: Wikipedia:Redirects for deletion. -- Cyrius|&#9998 18:17, May 22, 2004 (UTC)

10% of profit to Wikimedia[edit]

I'm a big fan of Linux and of its Tux mascot. Wanting a Tux sticker and not finding any on the internet, I manufactured some, selling them by myself (see Tux Sticker). I'm also a contributor of the french Wikipedia and wanting to share with the community, I decided to give 10% of all profits to the Wikimedia foundation. Dirac

Thank you, Wikimedia eats hardware for breakfast it seems :) Dori | Talk 20:49, May 22, 2004 (UTC)

new version of the software does not work[edit]

The new version of the software used on meta does not work on IE5 (Mac). It is completely impossible to view the content of the page, or to edit. 12:35, 22 May 2004 (UTC)

We tested with 5.2 which seemed to work fine. More specific data about browser version and the exact problem would be helpful. If it's a layout glitch, a screenshot would be nice as well. -- Gabriel Wicke 02:56, 23 May 2004 (UTC)
I am currently using Internet Explorer 5.0 on MacOS 8.5.1. Here is a screenshot. Wolfram 06:06, 23 May 2004 (UTC)
Ok, we didn't test 5.0. I'll try to disable styles for 5.0 (it's very buggy), the look is a bit like nostalgia then. I'd recommend an upgrade to Safari, , Opera, Camino or IE5.2 in any case. It might be possible to find a half-working style for 5.0, it would be necessary to coordinate the tweak/test session on irc if possible (irc:// -- Gabriel Wicke 17:31, 23 May 2004 (UTC)
I have upgraded to IE 5.1.7, which is actually working! (This is the highest version of IE for Macs not running OS X). Wolfram 18:31, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

How Far Should the Extent of Writing Articles About Places Go?[edit]

Not sure where else to write this, so I'm asking here: How far should the extent of writing articles about places go? Let's use Malaysia as an example. There's district level (Petaling). Or you can go for subdivisions, or mukim in Malay, which would be, for example, Damansara. And some subdivisions have several townships in them, so you might have an article like Bandar Utama. How far should this go? I see some villages in the United States which have populations in three or four digits, and yet have articles, and as townships presumably have a comparable if not even larger population, I presume such articles are ok. Is this alright? Johnleemk 10:14, 22 May 2004 (UTC)

In short, yes, it is. Anything that's NPOV and verifiable is all right, particularly if it has some historical significance - and it's safe to assume that each and every settlement on this planet of ours has historical significance, if only in the date it was conquered by whoever conquered it last. Feel free to include every town you can think of. As for the US articles, in case you wondered, most of these were generated by a bot - an automated software - that imported US Census information (copyright-free, like most US publications) into Wikipedia. -- Itai 15:00, 22 May 2004 (UTC)
There have been some unremarkable parks and localities given their own articles. When these have been listed on VfD I believe the consensus has been that these should not be deleted. What seems to happen is that a newbie, or just an ethusiast thinks it would be fun to include details of their local park or area. Someone argues, not unfairly, that is unencyclopaedic. But the consensus (I think) has been that;
  • They do little harm
  • A new visitor who finds their local shopping centre listed will think "wow! Wikipedia is amazing!"
  • There are far worse edits being made to take up Admin time
That's just the way I've observed it - I'm sure there's an opposing view. --bodnotbod 18:49, May 22, 2004 (UTC)
When I click for a random page, it seems about half of the articles I get are content-free pages on insignificant American villages and small towns. The are the scourge of Wikipedia. Their pointless existence wouldn't matter so much if only they could be excluded from the random page link. — Chameleon 16:16, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

Making small links of long links[edit] Very handy. Andries 09:49, 22 May 2004 (UTC)

Also great for hiding pornolinks, shocksite links, and affiliate program links. Very handy indeed. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 11:07, 22 May 2004 (UTC)
But what happens if tinyurl go out of business or stop offering a free service, all the links stop working and there is no indication where the link is supposed to go to. -- Popsracer 11:59, 22 May 2004 (UTC)
Agreed. Full links should be provided here. -- Stevietheman 15:22, 22 May 2004 (UTC)
They claim on the webpage that the service will not stop. Andries 15:37, 22 May 2004 (UTC)
And we're soooo sure they won't go out of business - do they even have a revenue source? Not to be a pessimist here, but I don't see what's the point, since it's only a minor inconvenience to use the appropriate wiki markup. Johnleemk 16:42, 22 May 2004 (UTC)
Yeah, the Wikimarkup allows you to display the link in whatever guise you like anyway so I don't see any advantage there. TinyUrl comes into its own in emails and forums where clients routinely leave you cutting and pasting - but that's not a problem here. --bodnotbod 18:41, May 22, 2004 (UTC)
Once there was a similar service, IIRC it was They went out of business. Why add a vulnerability when it is totally unnecessary? pstudier 23:45, 2004 May 22 (UTC)

Removing Vandalism from Edit Summary[edit]

-->Wikipedia talk:Dealing with vandalism

votes for deletion[edit]

something funny is happening with votes for deletion Dunc Harris | Talk 16:52, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

MediaWiki 1.3[edit]

Many wikis are being converted to MediaWiki 1.3 today. The log of the process shows they are being converted alphabetically, and it is currently up to da:, so expect some changes here on en soon. Further details can be seen at m:MediaWiki roadmap. Please report bugs at m:MediaWiki 1.3 comments and bug reports. Angela. 10:25, May 28, 2004 (UTC)

Update: Because converting the English Wikipedia may require a few hours of downtime, it will be delayed until off-peak time tonight (UTC). Angela. 12:01, May 28, 2004 (UTC)
Given that, as you point out below, "There are still quite a few bugs being ironed out.", is this really a good idea? I mean, why not just pause with the ones already rolled out and use them as beta testers before rolling out a more stable version for everyone else? Or is there some strange sense of "fairness" here - "why should some languages have to suffer the bugs and not others?"? - IMSoP 22:48, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

international english wiki[edit]

I might have missed it, but i have been looking for a discussion about an international wiki. The point is that the current english wiki is in my experience culturally bound to mainly the US and the UK. When i read the en-wiki, i sometimes meet typical us-views and issues, and i feel that i should not interfere with my dutch background - i probably don't understand the culturally bound subtilities, although i do understand the language. Let's face it: objectivity means in fact inter-subjectivity and the same text can sound objective for one culture and very subjective for another. Also there sometimes are problems with international linking: the definition of terms in different cultures is not precisely the same, causing trouble with international linking of adjacent subjects Am i the only one who feels the need of a real international wiki? The "simple english" is no option, it is there for another purpose. --Taka 13:36, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

The English language is spoken as a first-language by primarily the US and the UK (and former colonies...!), so their citizens contribute most, and any English language Wikipedia is likely to suffer a bias in favour of those cultures. Any skewed writing should, in theory, be temporary, because Wikipedia has a policy on avoiding bias. If you find an article to be "subjective", it's likely that it is not yet written from a Neutral Point Of View (NPOV) and needs work to become so. Your contributions to these articles would be much appreciated in fixing things, especially because you are not from a US/UK background, and just pointing out cultural bias would be helpful. — Matt 14:09, 28 May 2004 (UTC)
I'd agree with Matt. As I understand it, the English Wikipedia is intended to be an international English Wikipedia. Any issues of cultural bias that exist on this English Wikipedia will also exist on any other. Unless, for example, we were to start a Dutch English Wikipedia. Instead, please help us to create an English Wikipedia that is more international. -Rholton 14:29, 28 May 2004 (UTC)
About the difficulty of international linking--that can actually be a good learning experience (see Talk:Comic book). I agree, and I'll admit that my presence probably makes things worse, just because I mainly know about U.S. topics--that's why we need people like you. This is not the USpedia. Meelar 14:32, 28 May 2004 (UTC)
All we can do is make sure there are as many non-Americans as possible in the project. Chameleon 14:38, 28 May 2004 (UTC)
I have the feeling that a significant portion of the wikipedians in the english wikipedia are not from the US or UK. My guess would be around 30%, and while US-bias may be a problem sometimes, I don't think it's a big issue. -- Chris 73 | Talk 14:45, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for the responses. I will consider the English wiki to be international. The point is that I could not find anything about it. But the Talk:Comic book discussion is a really good example of how things (apparently) are meant. --Taka 15:10, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

There's some mention of systematic bias — including cultural — here: Wikipedia:Replies_to_common_objections#Systemic_bias — Matt 15:20, 28 May 2004 (UTC)
A search with Google gave 38 occurencies of "us-centric" at Wikipedia. A quick glance gave the impression that no-one says it's good, ...but in practice it might well turn out somewhat differently. Already the linguistic handicap makes contributors with other mother tongues to seem less authoritative and reliable. Then there are many more of the Anglo-Saxons, of course. /M.L.

Artificial language Wikipedias?[edit]

There have been discussions lately on Wikipedia-l and Wikitech-l as to whether we should have wikipedias for artificial languages, such as Klingon and Toki Pona:

There are other scattered discussions as well.

It seems to me that this subject should have input from the wider community. Have at it! -Rholton 14:52, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

This is relevant cross-project, so I have moved the discussion to Meta. Please participate at m:Artificial languages if you have any opinion on whether Toki Pona should be scrapped or Klingon brought back. Angela. 19:20, May 28, 2004 (UTC)

Problem with external links in the Standard skin[edit]

When using the Standard skin, if I look at a page that contains an external link, whether the link is renamed or not, the external link is listed after the closing bracket. For example, if I posted [], it is displayed as [1] ( Rick'K 20:38, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

dKosopedia: Copying articles from Wikipedia[edit]

The Daily Kos political blog has opened the dKosopedia wiki. There are a number of original articles, however some are copied from Wikipedia (see: Democratic Party). The copied pages contain this notice: "This article was copied from Wikipedia. See Discussion section." The Discussion section of each article contains this notice: "I believe it is initially important that a foundation is laid with a list of intelligent links to build a comprehensive database. After many of these important links are filled, perhaps it would be wise to rewrite the article.

That is to say, this should be temporary."

Are there any copyright, licensing, etc. issues here? Please take a look, I don't know much about this stuff. 23:41, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

From Wikipedia:Copyrights "The license we use grants free access to our content in the same sense as free software is licensed freely. This principle is known as copyleft. That is to say, Wikipedia content can be copied, modified, and redistributed so long as the new version grants the same freedoms to others and acknowledges the authors of the Wikipedia article used (a direct link back to the article satisfies our author credit requirement). Wikipedia articles therefore will remain free forever and can be used by anybody subject to certain restrictions, most of which serve to ensure that freedom."
So yes, I think they can do that. Nice to see they think of us as a list of intelligent links.--Fangz 23:55, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

How to create an ngo[edit]

I would like to have some detailed information on how to create non governmental organization. This may include like how to register for, where to register it and what things should be done first before reaching the final process of registering.


It was proposed on VfD that the page on Heck should be made a redirect, either to Hell or Euphemism. The problem I have is that neither of these pages (as of this writing!) actually say anything about the word heck. That is, a user entering heck would have the odd experience of being directed to a page that does not discuss the entry word and does not explain why.

Should there be (is there already?) a form of redirect that would allow for inclusion of a comment, so that entering "Heck" could bring up a page with the notice

(Redirected from Heck, a euphemism for Hell)

rather than merely

(Redirected from Heck)? Dpbsmith

16:20, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

Doesn't sound useful to me. Only makes things complicated because text should be assigned to a page and not appear somewhere else. That would be confusing. If something like this is really needed, as in this example, it merits IMHO a on-line article without stub notice, e.g. "Heck is a euphemism for hell, q.v." Sanders muc 16:25, 28 May 2004 (UTC)
On German Wikipedia there was a lengthy discussion about the extension of redirect syntax with comments (something like #redirect[[To|why]], which could be helpful to distinguish between spelling variants, old terms, redirects-for-common-typos etc. So the implementation of an Redirect-with-comment feature would be a good thing. -- till we | Talk 18:57, 28 May 2004 (UTC)
I seem to remember Anthony DiPierro implementing a proof-of-concept patch to do this and discussing it here a couple of months ago. I'd try and find the discussion, but I honestly don't understand the archiving system on the pump any more. I seem to remember there was general agreement that it could be useful if implemented (and used) well; AFAIK it was never actually submitted to "The Developers" though.
IIRC, it was of the form "#REDIRECT [[Hell|Heck]] is a [[euphemism]] for hell" or something. (OK, I can't R.C., but that's the general flavour of it.) - IMSoP 22:34, 28 May 2004 (UTC)
Ah, nothing like following a few of your own links: User:Anthony DiPierro/Redirect diff, Wikipedia:Ignored feature requests#Redirection messages - IMSoP 22:41, 28 May 2004 (UTC)
At Japanese Wikipedia, there has been a discussion on a similar point, too. The feature would be welcomed indeed. Some spelling mistakes are too obvious, so that people do not hesitate to redirect it to the correct one. And the reader would notice that redirect was made because of the spelling mistake (say, "The The" spelled "Teh The"). But then others are common mistakes that people may not be aware - some names of foreign people are difficult enough, for example. Some of such mistakes could reasonably be mentioned in the article, but not all of those deserve a mention. At the same time, not mentioning it could result in the reinforcement of the mistake, by letting the reader to think that it is one of legitimate alternative spellings, etc. Comment function would be a nice solution to some of those cases. Tomos 00:25, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
The village pump really isn't a useful place to make feature requests. They will get lost if not made at sourceforge. Angela. 04:15, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

I copied this discussion to sourge forge (as anonymous entry), see [5] -- till we | Talk 19:37, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

Artificial language Wikipedias?[edit]

Should toki pona or Klingon Wikipedias be allowed to exist? Discuss at m:Artificial languages

international english wiki[edit]

Is Wikipedia biased? Discuss at Wikipedia talk:POV

How to know the latest happenings[edit]

I've been going through the comments at MediaWiki 1.3 comments and bug reports regarding the new skin. Many comments suggest a revert to the standard skin and then go further one step at a time. But I don't get to see any replies to these comments from any developers/admins. Is anything being done, where are the decisions being made, where to know the latest ? Jay 07:08, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Vote on artificial languages[edit]

Please vote:

Meta:Artificial languages equal rights


Watchlist link in side navigation[edit]

Why is it gone? I want it back. --Jiang 05:04, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Mediawiki Update?[edit]

Hmm... were things just recently changed? The text size on every page suddenly got very small and some comments on WP:RFA aren't parsed correctly. The # and : signs by my comments and those of one other user aren't converting to indents/lists. Is this just something on my end?  – Jrdioko (Talk) 00:01, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

It seems like this is a result of the nowiki tags in our signatures. I'll hop over to meta and mention it.  – Jrdioko (Talk) 00:11, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Update: There is now a bug report at sourceforge on this issue.

Multiple levels of superscripting?[edit]

How are other folks' browsers displaying 101010100, encoded as 10<sup>10<sup>10<sup>100</sup></sup></sup> (the googolplex, ten to the (ten to the hundredth))? In mine (Safari 1.2.2 under OS X 10.3.4) it is displaying exactly the same way as 101010100, encoded as 10<sup>10</sup>10<sup>100</sup> This markup was from an existing page; I haven't tried to enter this sort of expression before. Did multiple nested levels of superscripting ever work? or is the special WikiTex math markup needed? Dpbsmith 17:57, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

The examples look identical on Opera 7.5/XP, MSIE6S/XP and K-Meleon >0.8/XP: no difference in displayal. As with all purely presentational HTML, browser behaviour on deep nesting is undefined. Anárion 18:02, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Golden Age of Freethought[edit]

Someone created the page Golden Age of Freethought by Moving the Wikipedia:Sandbox to it.

Thus there is an obscure page with no incoming links, yet with a History of thousands of modifications.

This must take up an enormous amount of storage space. Can some admin person go ahead and truncate the history? Any way to prevent such a situation from recurring? Curps 20:16, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

The history has now been truncated, thanks. Curps 17:29, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)


I would like to inform the user who calls himself Moriori that his continued defamation of my character and false allegations against me have forced me to take drastic action. I am now going to sue you for libel. This is not a threat. I will be taking my first formal actions as you're reading this. I am not seeking money, but rather a VERY PUBLIC APOLOGY AND RETRACTION AND TERMINATION OF ALL OF YOUR TIES WITH WIKIPEDIA. I would further like to warn Raul654 that if he does not remove his false accusations against me from his "user talk" page, that he too will be included in my lawsuit. Anyone else accusing me of copyright violations will also be sued. This is not a hoax or a bluff. Moriori, you are is serious legal trouble. In addition to having the truth on my side, I have sufficient evidence to prove in court that you have indeed slandered me. You have obviously not even read my explanation for my actions, but another user of this very site has and believes me, regardless of how you attempt to poison the minds of fellow users with your lies. The only way to prevent a lawsuit that will ruin you, even as you have attempted to ruin my reputation, is an immediate and obvious retraction of all that you have said stating or implying that I have committed a copyright infringement, as well as resigning your status or any status at Wikipedia. (Felix F. Bruyns)

Nice Page widening troll. Mark Richards 03:25, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)


Could someone please tell me what a skin is? Adam 04:41, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

MediaWiki:Snooker tournaments[edit]

This page is no longer edible. However, neither on the page itself, nor on the talk page is there any clue who protected it, or why it is protected. Can anyone shed a light? Abigail 10:14, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

message redirects don't work.[edit]

It would have been nice if Template namespace initialisation script had first editted all pages so that {{msg:foo}} became

foo template and then went and moved all the MediaWiki message to the Template namespace, instead of just moving the messages to the new namespace.... Redirected messages do not work! All taxonomy pages that were using messages in the taxoboxes, and many, many, many other pages with the now redirected messages are b0rk, b0rk, b0rk! I've very disappointed. - UtherSRG 16:05, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Don't look now, but I think the script is going after those next. →Raul654 16:09, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)

No Help?!?[edit]

Help seems to be deleted. Not blanked by a vandal, gone. No History, nuthin'. "Help:Contents From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (Wikipedia does not have an article on this topic yet. To start the article, click Edit this page.)" Niteowlneils 22:14, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

Somebody's created a redirect as a work-around for now. Thanks, mysterious one. Niteowlneils 23:16, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
The Wikipedia:help namespace is completely new. There never was a Help:Contents page. Angela. 00:33, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

Problem with external links in the Standard skin[edit]

(Already reported at m:MediaWiki 1.3 comments and bug reports)

Trouble Editing[edit]

The oddest thing has been happening to me. I tried several times, both some hours ago and both now, to edit MediaWiki:Feature ("Austrian" should like to "Austria"), but to no avail. Every time I press "Edit this page", get to the edit page, make the modification, press "Save page" - and my Mozilla Firefox appears to be loading the page, until, several minutes later, it gives up. Wikipedia isn't the most reliable site when it comes to performance, so I wouldn't be surprised were it not for the fact that in the meanwhile I successfully edited and saved other pages. Is there some sort of curse hanging above the MediaWiki: namespace? -- Itai 20:20, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

No, it's you that has the curse :) I just made the change you suggest (with firebird, no less) and it seems to have taken. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 21:03, 28 May 2004 (UTC)
My Mozilla also had that issue. I tried to do it before Finlay and it took a really long time and came back not able to do it. Things are working fine, though a little slow, on other pages. Weird. moink 21:45, 28 May 2004 (UTC)
I've seen this issue too several times in the past, including yesterday. I use Mozilla 1.7. When I click Save page, sometimes it will take minutes before it returns. In the meantime, I can look at my contributions and see the system has recorded my change, yet the page has not refreshed yet. If I use another window to go back to that page I just saved, then it seems the page gets refreshed just before I see the updated page in the other window (tab). RedWolf 18:51, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

How to create an ngo[edit]

Question moved to the Reference desk.

Help needed[edit]

This is probably not the right place for this request, so feel free to move it.

If you have time, or don't know what to do, I'd appreciate some help with the Chemical Elements category. It seems pretty essential that we have such a category, but adding the tag to every element article takes ages.

You'll earn my Eternal Gratitude

Wyllium 06:37, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

Have you considered subcategories? I'm thinking chemical series here. -- Cyrius| 06:54, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
Yes, I have started a "Noble gasses" myself. However, and this applies to the antire principle of categories, if you have a parent category of "Elements" and sub categories of "Noble gasses" and "Metallics", should the parent directory contain all the elements of the subcatagories as well? I think they should, otherwise you'd never be able to browse the entire list of elements. Similarly, people in "WWII people" should be part of "People" as well. Wyllium 07:04, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Categorization has a full discussion of this. Meelar 07:08, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

Stylesheet discussions[edit]

Where should discussions regarding the look/feel/layout of Wikipedia go? 13:11, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

m:MediaWiki 1.3 comments and bug reports is getting a lot of attention. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 13:24, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

Categories howto?[edit]

How do categories work? I want to understand subcategories (and any other related goodies). Lupin 12:02, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

See m:MediaWiki User's Guide: Using Categories. We probably need to start drafting some policies on this...
James F. (talk) 12:18, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
What about subcatgories? Lupin 12:22, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
Put a link to the parent category in each of the child categories (e.g. Category:British monarchs has a link to Category:Monarchs which itself has a link to Category:People
What should we do for now? Should we categorise in the most specific subcategories only, or categorise in both general categories and specific subcategories. Eg. For Isaac Asimov, should we put him in People, Author, Scifi Author and Americans, or should we just put him in SciFi Author?--Fangz 15:38, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
Catagorize to the most specific catagory possible. →Raul654 19:01, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

Category placement: At the top (before the article proper) or at the bottom (along with the interwikis)? Bottom placement seems preferable to me (same reasons as with the w:xx's), but maybe I'm missing something. Hajor 18:58, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

Hajor - top placement makes it easier to change them in the future, should catagories change. Interwiki links generally don't change much, so bottom is preferred. →Raul654 19:01, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

And a simple English-language "category" link is certainly less likely to scare off a random monolingual anon editor than a list of strange foreign words at the top of the article text (which was, IIRC, the chief reason for sending the interwikis to the bottom). Even so, I still think there's a case to be made for all the "non-text" meta-information at the end of the article (ctrl-end in most browsers). Why the placement question in the first place? As you can see here, it seems that in monobook the formatting can be broken if the article starts with a table straight after the Category. FWIW, Hajor 19:37, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

See also Wikipedia:Categorization and Wikipedia talk:Categorization. I believe category tags should be at the end, just before the interwiki links. Angela. 04:26, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

  • I vote for placement at the end, too. For casual readers (which are most readers) the category tags are likely to be just useless distraction.
    If the tags are to stay at the top, at least place it above the article's title (like the interwiki links), to avoid the large gap between that title and the first paragraph.
    One category per article will force misclassifications; ideally some articles belong to two or more categories. But if multiple tags are allowed, then they definitely should go at the bottom.
    Jorge Stolfi 04:23, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Moved to bottom now (guess you noticed already). -- Gabriel Wicke 00:10, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

So yet again another problem[edit]

When I go to Current events, the calendar is spreading across the whole of the page. The pink table (deaths in May, etc.} is spreading across the whole page. The supposedly hidden notes ("<!-- To archive this page at the beginning of the month, see Wikipedia:How to archive Current Events --> ", "<!-- Election sections are for up-to-date articles about current or recently concluded elections. Once articles are updated with results, they are moved to the results section.) --> ", "<!-- NOTE: PLEASE LOG NEW EVENTS IN THE PRESENT TENSE. THANK YOU! --> <!-- PLEASE ALSO PROVIDE LINKS TO NEWS STORIES AFTER EACH ENTRY, NEWS STORIES WITHOUT LINKS MAY BE REMOVED. LINKS TO STORIES MUST BE IN ENGLISH. --> ", etc. are displaying. These problems were not happening the last time I logged in to Wikipedia. What's going on? RickK 06:08, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

It looks ok to me, though I just fixed a similar thing on ja:. The HTML comments had to be removed from ja:Wikipedia:Recentchanges before it would work, but I don't see why this would affect a normal page like Current events. Angela. 08:22, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
Fine here, too (IE, Opera, Firefox, and Mozilla, all on Windows, and the same plus Safari on Mac).
James F. (talk) 12:16, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

Link colours[edit]

I like the new skin but the link colours all look the same. Luckily, theres an easy fix: Go to <User:yourusername/monobook.css> and enter

/* standard link colors */ a { color: #0000FF; } a:visited { color: #7F007F; } a:active, { color: #FF0000; } a.interwiki, a.external { color: #3366BB; } a.stub { color: #772233; }

and save and shift+f5 to refresh. Bensaccount 03:54, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

Neat - thanks! --mav 04:33, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
Thanks. My eyes were starting to hurt. --Jiang 06:14, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
Thanks from me too! This was the one flaw in this beautiful skin. (Maybe it's just that I'm "color-blind", I don't know.) Now it's all fine. -- Jao 18:16, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
Thanks from me too! - Robin Patterson 22:07, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

See m:User styles for more details on what you can change. Angela. 08:12, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for that too! - Robin Patterson 22:07, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Now done for my other languages too, thanks; but I'm not bothering to tell my "bowser [sic] to get the new version"

New Skin[edit]

Hurray for the new skin! I really like the new skin for the main page and the edit pages. Could we skin this page (which is a sickly yellow) in the new format? - 02:26, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

I see in the time it took me to post, the Village Pump was newly skinned! Very nice look. - 02:27, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

I tried to log in from home with two different browsers and I got some kind of creepy new skin and I hate it. I had to go across the street to a machine where it remembers me. I could not log in at home -- not only that, one of the browsers would not even display the "log in" link, and the other had it crammed way up in the corner and it did basically nothing. The latter was Internet Exploder 5 on a Mac with 9.2.2 ;Bear 04:19, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

Please report bugs at MediaWiki 1.3 comments and bug reports or sourceforge. Angela. 04:24, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
I cannot. I can't log in at home, or do anything at all, on any of my machines. I have to go to the fire station, which is where I am now. Somebody else please handle this report for me. Thanx. ;Bear 21:05, 2004 Jun 2 (UTC)

[hate the new skin]. We used to be going forward, and now in one fell swoop we managed to create a look that's worse than that of the very first Wikipedia.--Branko.

The new skin looks terrific! Bravo on a job well done. Quadell (talk) 15:14, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)

I hate the new skin, but by setting preferences to "Nostalgia" I got something that at least dumps that almost unreadable font. However, whatever happened to being able to get to "My Contributions"? I can't seem to find it now. -- BRG 16:57, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)

Strange space in "Marshall Plan"[edit]

Does anyone know why there is a large gap before the table in the "Marshall Plan expenditures" section of Marshall Plan? It appears in all the different skins. Is something clashing with the new software? --Minesweeper 01:19, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

The HTML indentation confused the new software. As a stop-gap, I've removed the indentation. In the longer term, the page should be migrated to the new table format. You should file a bug on this (hey, I'm sleepy!), although a fix may not be possible. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 01:31, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

Template name space?[edit]

See Template talk:NihonG. What's going on? RickK 23:03, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

Is there some sort of forum for discussing msg "template" syntax? I'm not entirely sure whether it's that the new version is buggy or that I simply haven't figured out how to make the transition from the old version. (My current favorite problem? {{Template:x}}{{Template:y}} is interpreted as referring to a page named "Template:x}}{{Template:y", owing, I presume, to the new ability to use {{}} directly. See Nirvana for some interesting consequences. (Of course, I imagine the likely response will be: "Why were you using msg: for that in the first place," to which my answer will have to be some enraged gibbering madness on my part about the English wiki's inexplicable non-utf-ness.) -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽ 23:30, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
Okay, using a "|" helps somewhat, but for some reason I'm not quite grokking, it's still unpredictable whether the tag will produce the correct text or just "Template:x"... -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽

Problem with the Cologne Blue skin[edit]

Headers are entirely too large. hd2 levels are larger than the main header of the page. RickK 21:18, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

Again, with firefox, opera, and IE I don't see this - h1 headings are (a wee bit) larger, but they're grey (curious, but not a problem). Perhaps this too is a caching problem your end? -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 21:32, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
Most issues with design can be fixed in your own user stylesheet. Please see m:User styles. For other problems, see m:MediaWiki 1.3 comments and bug reports. Angela. 21:41, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
I would argue though that whilst utilising your own style sheet is fine for the regular user, it isn't the best option for the first-timer / irregular non-techy visitor where we should be defaulting to a display format that works without side-scrolls and the other problems that have been reported. Cross-browser compatibility should mean untweaked ... --VampWillow 11:32, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

Another Standard skin problem[edit]

Tables are way too wide using the Standard skin. For example, when I came to this page, the table at the top of the page spread all the way across my screen and even made me have to scroll right to see all of it. That didn't happen before. RickK 21:18, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

Rick, this just the problem I had on the main page in classic. But it's gone now, and I think it was restarting the browser and flushing the cache that did it. I just switched to Cologne Blue right now to test your problem, and both this page and the main page work fine, without being overbroad. I'm using firefox 0.8, but I just tested it in IE and Opera and they're both fine too. Tell me - do the exlinks on the main page show up as actual spelled-out URLs? -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 21:28, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
I just completely rebooted my computer. And I don't have caching enabled. It is still happening. Oh, also, now when I do a section Edit, instead of getting a "=" at the beginning and the end of the section title in the edit summary box, I get "/*" at the beginning and */" at the end. And yes, the exlinks on the main page show up as actual spelled-out URLs, and the tables are too wide. RickK 21:50, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
Yes, the worst thing that's happened to me in this new era is wide pages - including this one and the main page. Although, it's not as bad as I first anticipated.
On this page I have a horizontal scroll bar (not nice) however, the section edit links are still aligned with the right hand side of the visible portion of the screen.
I've listed this on the 1.3 bugs page and put a screen shot of my panoramically daft Main Page on a screenshots thing somewhere. Sorry to be vague and unlinking, but I'm not used to navigating around mediawiki and the like and I hope I don't have to make a habit of it. --bodnotbod 15:06, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)

Serious Problem[edit]

Aaahh! The links in my navigation box (eg, "Main Page", "Recent changes" "Current events" etc) don't do anything when I click on them in this new fancy-pants design. Are they now using some other type of sripting? Horrified, -- Infrogmation 20:53, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

They work for me. What browser/skin are you using. Does clicking them really do nothing at all? m:MediaWiki 1.3 comments and bug reports would be a better place to report this. Angela. 21:46, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
And when I look at an article history, why is there now a big grey button with the text "pare selected vers"? Hm, the folks who've been upgrading Wikipedia softwear have as far as I've seen generally done an excellent job, but the latest change is looking to me too buggy to have been set as the new default yet. -- Infrogmation 21:03, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
That should say compare selected versions. Do you have larger font settings that might be causing it? Angela. 21:46, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

Selected anniversaries, namespaces, and links[edit]

Overall I really like the new skin but:

What the hell happened to the automated selected anniversaries section? I thought that the English Wikipedia was not going to be upgraded until the 'variable in template messages bug' was fixed. This really pisses me off! Also, what happened to the background fill color for all non-article pages? The distinction before was a very useful one, now it is vague. So the only difference between Sandbox:maveric149, user:maveric149/sandbox, talk archive:Sandbox would be the tab at the top of those pages. This will only encourage the misuse of the article namespace and lessen the distinction between metadata and content.

I also see that some links to stub articles are showing up as red links for those with a stub threshold set. The new "blue" links have a very hard to read muted color and the external link icon is hideous. This is especially true for [1] wiki ref links in articles. So please:

  • Fix the selected anniversaries bug ASAP.
  • Change the internal link color back to standard blue
  • Change the stub link color back to what it was before.
  • Get rid of the ugly and intrusive external link icon and use the old color for external links.

And don't give me the "you can change your preferences" line since all of the above needs to be default. Also, is it just me or is the default font size way too small? --mav 20:52, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

I have to agree about the link colors and the font. I would be using the Standard skin, except that the link problem I listed above makes it unusable. RickK 21:14, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

Change the link colours back to the original please .. Jay 03:19, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

The problem with selected anniversaries is a different one to the one reported on the 25th. It's a known issue that is being worked on. Angela. 21:48, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

new layout not Firefox-friendly?[edit]

The new layout looks great, but it unfailingly crashes my installation of Firefox 0.8. The old look loaded without a hitch; I'm guessing the new layout is heavy with tables and forms?

Works fine for me (Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.6) Gecko/20040417 Firefox/0.8) --rbrwrˆ 20:55, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
Me too. Wyllium 21:01, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
I had several nasty visual artifacts in the classic skin in firefox, but they seemed to go after I restarted. Perhaps either I or squid had a cached version of the stylesheet. Equally, wikis where I still have the default (monobook) skin set (meta, de) everything works fine. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 21:07, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
The only tables in this page are one in the boilerplate at the top, and the automatic table of contents. There is only one form - the search box. The skin seems to work OK in Firefox on Windows as well. --rbrwrˆ 21:17, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

I am using Firefox .8 and it looks fine to me SD6-Agent 23:21, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

Same here... maybe you're using some extension, that causes problems?Fangz 23:48, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
I'm having nasty layout problems, I use a high res screen, yet tables insist on filling only half the screen. Images insist on floating the centre rather than r.h.s. (irritatingly, it works fine in preview mode!). The whole thing works fine in Internet Exploder. (Bah!). Zoney 11:24, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
If that's happening at the tops of pages, it's probably the issue being discussed at meta:MediaWiki 1.3 comments and bug reports#Categories list and right-aligned images at the top. I find the "categories" box sometmes gets in the way even if it's empty! --rbrwrˆ 11:39, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

New Skin Icon?[edit]

With the new monobook skin, several of the links have a curious little icon next to them. The icon is a box, with an arrow exiting to the top right. Can I ask: What is the significance of this icon?--Fangz 19:34, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

I'm not sure, but I think it was a transitory mistake. With the MonoBook skin , my navigation menu now has a small box bullet point icon before each item. The box + arrow icon now appears following external links, so I guess its meaning is clear. -- Solipsist 19:52, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
External links have icons by default. You can change this in your user stylesheet. Angela. 20:13, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhh! Help! Change it back! I liked the old version better... --Quagga
To change it back, go to Special:preferences, click on "skin" and choose "Standard". However, I recommend you give it a chance for a week or so first. It takes time to get used to something so radically different, but you might love it if you give it a chance. I've seen it for a while as it has been on test for a few months, and once you get used to it, it is an improvement. Angela. 20:13, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
Sans-serif fonts, bleah. And it really is too small, at least on my Mac Mozilla. Who makes these decisions anyhow? Would it help to recruit some design professionals? I still haven't gotten over the ugly borders around my pretty stamp images - carefully set up a white background to go with a white page, and boom, they're all wearing prison gray. Stan 22:44, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
Sans-serif fonts are easy to remove. Just add
body {font: x-small serif; }
to User:Stan Shebs/monobook.css. You might need to increase the font if you do this, so also add
#globalWrapper { font-size:140%; }
More details at m:User styles. Angela. 00:30, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
Yes yes, I see the gray is gone, now it's just a glass prison :-). Stan 22:50, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

Russian accents warning[edit]

Now that we have Verdana as our default font, the accents in Russian words will appear in the wrong places (due to the "Verdana bug").  Do not attempt to move accents — simply switch Wikipedia skin to "Standard". — Monedula 19:13, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

I must strongly disagree. We can't expect the casual reader to make an account, log in, and then set their preferences so that the stress-indicating accents won't be in the wrong places. We need to remove them. The aren't actually necessary. We don't put accents in other languages unless they are a normal part of the printed language. -- Thanks, BCorr|Брайен 19:21, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
It's silly to remove something simply because your pet font cannot render it correctly. — Monedula 10:44, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
Let me explain again. It's not about my "pet font." The aren't actually necessary. We don't put accents in other languages unless they are a normal part of the printed language. We can't expect the casual reader to make an account, log in, and then set their preferences so that the stress-indicating accents won't be in the wrong places. -- Thanks, BCorr|Брайен 23:41, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
Accents are an integral part of Russian writing — although they are added only when it is necessary to indicate the place of stress.  So every system that pretends to support the Russian language must also support the combining acute accent.  And exactly because the casual reader does not have an accout here, the default skin must be such that everything displays OK (which is not currently the case). — Monedula 22:52, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Is there no consideration of changing over to a less stupid font? I notice that Verdana doesn't include all the diacritics for transliterating indic langauges, either. And those are quite necessary. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽ 19:32, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

Exactly! A less stupid font! Heheh! --Menchi 02:01, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

A concrete illustration:
English: fóobar
Russian: фо́обар

Non-Verdana font works correctly:
English: fóobar
Russian: фо́обар

The Russian version incorrectly displays the acute accent (stress mark) over the second о rather than over the first (when using Verdana font).

It seems pointless to argue whether this is "necessary" for Russian, since there are other languages where combining diacritics are essential, as others have pointed out. Verdana has to go.

Curps 04:26, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Subscript in captions[edit]

Is there a way to add subscript to text being used in a caption? I'm trying to get a few numbers as subscripts in the caption for the Spirometry article. It just shows the wikimarkup being used: e.g. <sub>3</sub>

Any help appreciated

--Prisonblues 21:06, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

I think formatting in image captions is one of the features being added in the 1.3 release - whether subscript will work I'm not sure (and haven't time to test right now, somebody just threw a plastic bottle at me :-/) - IMSoP 22:51, 28 May 2004 (UTC)
Seems to work at Niteowlneils 01:34, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

New Skin is not working well[edit]

I notice that the skin in Chinese WP has been updated, but it seems that, it makes even the "Standard" one not work well. The external links are the biggest problems: their source codes are just displayed there! some source codes do not work, like this one "<a class=internal href='/wiki/Wikipedia:首页'>维基社群</a>" which should be link to the Community Portal in Chinese WP, but i just see the source codes; pics with hyperlinks have ugly borders...  :-| --哈越中 (talk) 18:32, May 28, 2004 (UTC)

There are still quite a few bugs being ironed out. See m:MediaWiki 1.3 comments and bug reports, which is wher new bugs should be reported. Angela. 19:04, May 28, 2004 (UTC)
That's not a bug, it's a feature :) Just change all the MediaWiki: pages that use HTML to use the wiki syntax. Dori | Talk 19:42, May 28, 2004 (UTC)
What?? Is it a feature or a bug or is Dori joking? now I am confused... olivier 19:50, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
Well, it's a consequence of a new feature, although breaking existing installations without warning could be construed as a bug, in my opinion. Basically, the MediaWiki: messages are now parsed as wiki pages, rather than being included (more-or-less) directly in the HTML; so the full set of wiki markup will work, but previous messages using HTML markup will show up broken. - IMSoP 15:34, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

The two Rafael Corderos[edit]

Rafael Cordero and Rafael Cordero (educator) need to be disambiguated, I still dont know how to do it.

Thanks and God bless!

Antonio Im a Barbie Girl! Martin

Done. Abigail 11:46, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

MediaWiki:Snooker tournaments[edit]

This page is no longer editable. However, neither on the page itself, nor on the talk page is there any clue who protected it, or why it is protected. Can anyone shed a light? Abigail 10:14, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

The same thing seems to have happened elsewhere, too: MediaWiki:Politics_of_New_Zealand, for example. Has someone protected all MediaWiki pages? I can understand people wanting to protect system messages and suchlike, but none of these messages are particularly sensitive, I would have thought. -- Vardion 10:26, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)
The page has never been specifically protected (see Wikipedia:Protection log). I just tried protecting it and unprotecting it again but it made no difference - as an admin it appears unprotected but as a anon it appears protected - so it is definitely a bug/higher-up decision. Either way, let's hope a dev sees this thread and can tell us what's up. 11:08, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Can you move protected pages? If so, you could just move it to Template:Snooker tournaments (currently a redirect). - Lee (talk) 11:27, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)
It looks like the Template namespace initialisation script should do that witin the next few minutes. --rbrwrˆ 15:07, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)
...and it was done at 15:08 UTC and the Template: version is now fully editable, even by anons. ---rbrwrˆ



Categories marked as "stub"[edit]

I notice someone has applied the msg:stub message to Category:WikiHolidays; I can only assume that this is not the only case. Category descriptions are highly likely to be short (and hopefully sweet): is there really any point in marking them as stubs? --Phil | Talk 09:11, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)

Someone took care of it by removing the tag. Seems a correct thing to do to me. - Bevo 15:47, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Category links again[edit]

At Apostle Titus, the box containing the Category link overlaps the caption to the photo. This should be fixed or deleted. Adam 05:21, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I've got a simple one-line user CSS stopgap fix for this in Monobook.
#catlinks { clear:both; }
This causes the category box to force itself below the image. I've tried it in several different browsers and it worked in all of them. Haven't checked to see if it screws up anything elsewhere though. -- Cyrius| 06:24, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Why does this need to be brought here instead of to the article's Talk page? RickK 19:10, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)

Skins and customization[edit]

Standard skin should be the default. Let users change the preferences to any other skin they want. Customization is for getting comfortable with the user interface, customization is NOT for making an unusable user interface usable. The latter is what the developers and admins seem to be suggesting nowadays.

customization = usable -> better<br\> customization NOT unusable -> usable<br\>

What is the level of usability is debateable, but it should satisfy the majority. For a website, the default browser behaviour is a good guideline. Refer Usability testing to check if the new Wikipedia format passes the test. It has a line that says "A common mistake that designers make, for instance, is to focus too much on creating designs that look "cool", but compromise on usability and functionality."

Jay 05:35, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Skin is...[edit]

Could someone please tell me what a skin is? Adam 04:41, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

See Skin (computing). In short, a skin is the way your browser (or any program) formats its output. If you don't like the new Wikipedia look, you can change the current skin. Go to your preferences (at the top-right under your username), click "skin" in the left column, and select "standard" (the old wikipedia "feel"). →Raul654 04:48, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)

You can change your Skin at your Preferences. There are 4 skins. --Menchi 05:38, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Sysop editable wiki-wide stylesheet[edit]

Thanks to Gabriel Wicke, sysops can now add a stylesheet for their wiki using MediaWiki:Monobook.css. The content of these stylesheets should be similar to the user stylesheets. I have used this feature to increase the font size on the CJK wikis, as requested on wikitech-l. Stylesheets for the other skins and configurable javascript will be implemented soon. See m:User styles for examples of the kinds of things which could go in these pages. -- Tim Starling 03:05, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)

Is there a possibility for sysops to change the monobook.css on request? e.g. on de:Wikipedia there should disabled the "text-transform:lowercase". the argument is: in an encyclopedia the correctness is more important than the design!
This is a great improvement (as is the vast majority of 1.3b - thanks, btw, to all those who contributed). Some questions and comments:
  1. is this monobook.css served instead of the system's default one, or as an adjunct to it? (I think an adjuct would be better, allowing it to override only necessary things). Ah, I just checked Tim's change and I see it's adjunctive (ahem), so good :)
  2. CSS is powerful, but flakily supported. It'll be very easy for folks to change something that messes up some other browser. So I think we need some kind of procedure (sigh, I know, don't we have enough already) for making sure changes are checked by a reasonable set of browsers before they get committed to the "live" version. It's like the main page (for which have quite a lot of process) only moreso - I'm not worried about people changing fonts and colours and stuff (that can be easily reverted), but it's all to easy to try to tweak layout and make stuff move to strange new places (offscreen, hidden under something, clipped badly) or cause other rather serious effects.
Thoughts? -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 17:44, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Hell In A Cell[edit]

Some admin might want to replace the recent cut&paste "move" with a proper move, before either page gets edited. Niteowlneils 18:23, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

  • Done. -- Cyrius| 18:58, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia Homepage with the Monobook skin[edit]

I just switched to the Monobook skin, and I see a <!--> at the bottom of the home page (as if someone messed up a comment). I did not have this problem with the Cologne Blue skin. I apologize if someone has already reported this and is working on it. I see the error in both Mozilla and IE. Also, is there a better forum for problems like this that can only be handled by admins? - DropDeadGorgias (talk) 14:47, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)

This should have had nothing to do with the skin. It was simply something that was put on the page in an edit (by mistake I presume) and I just removed it. Dori | Talk 15:15, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)
cough That was me. I was trying to purge the cache, but didn't notice that I got the syntax wrong.--Eloquence*

Category Links[edit]

I give notice that I will delete every one of these "Category" links I see so long as they have the effect of creating a huge white space on the right side of the page and pushing everything else to the left. If people think these links are valuable (which I don't), they should find a way to add them without causing such distortion of the page. Adam 07:29, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Boy, that's a reasonable and patient response to a problem. -- Cyrius| 07:35, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
This is how one gets results around here. Adam 07:43, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
At the risk of saying the obvious, I should point out that our developers are working hard to fix the problem, that it will probably be fixed in the near future, and that all those category tags you remove(d) will have to be replaced once the problem is quashed. →Raul654 08:04, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)
Do some research if you're using Monobook, alternatively, change your skin. Dysprosia 08:11, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
The first thing I did following the switch to 1.3 was to switch my skin to 'standard', which is the old wikipedia UI. Also, it seems to suffer from none of the problems that have everyone so upset. →Raul654 08:20, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)
You might also apply the fix mentioned in Pictures, Categories, and so forth above - this is the third time this topic is discussed on VP now. andy 09:11, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

When will you people grasp that an encyclopaedia is for readers and not for a cabal of computer nerds? I don't know what a "skin" is, and I don't know, or want to know, how to redesign or reconfigure my screen. Nor will many other readers and potential readers. Nor should we have to do so just because we want to read an encyclopaedia article. I do know that the "Category" links make the pages look very ugly, and until this is fixed I will delete them, at least when they are installed at articles I have written. Adam 09:33, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

If a temporary fix for the nerds is available, then the time until that fix will make it into the default stylesheet for everyone can be measured in hours or maybe days, depending on how much busy our developers are and which bug they consider most severe. Granted, it looks ugly, especially if a picture or infobox is involved, but removing legitimate contents just to circumvent a temporary problem is IMHO not the right way to go. andy 09:41, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Totally agree with andy. Also, the fixing of the category takes about as long as removing the category tab, so you might as well just fix it. -- Chris 73 | Talk 12:05, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Less time, especially given the number of pages affected. Take a look at mine for an example (be warned, this problem is not the only thing it does :-). You should AFAIK be able to copy it but not edit it. --Phil | Talk 13:39, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)
I take the opposite view. We should not let the default view (i.e. the view seen by the majority of our readers) look ugly unless there is a specific short-term time when it is going to look ok again. I note on the mailing list that our lead developer said it wasn't a bug, but a problem with right-alignment. Given the sheer number of pages I expect something will be done though.
NB for the technical-minded, I think there is a better short-term cludge than fixing one's own stylesheet but ignoring the masses. By wrapping the category code inside a template that includes a br clear=all tag that can be removed once the fix is made, the page looks ok with categories and a picture/box for all users, and is upgradable once the fix is made. Downside: it leaves a strip of white at the top. See Template:Category Cetaceans for an example. Pcb21| Pete 14:39, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Seems like someone is playing with this problem right now; categories being moved to the bottom. Pcb21| Pete 15:22, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Wow. Good way to get blocked for vandalism. And use the Standard skin. Everything looks fine to me. RickK 20:09, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)

OK well I will refrain from deleting the links since I am assured that someone is working on fixing the formatting problem they cause. Could someone please explain what a "skin" is? Adam 23:53, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Adam: A 'skin' is the basic appearance of Wikipedia pages (font, colours, layout, etc.). You can change your skin by first clicking on 'Preferences' (top right), then on 'Skin' (somewhere in the middle). You can then choose a skin (one of Standard, Nostalgia, Cologne Blue and MonoBook). I had precisely the same problem as you with categories. It turned out to be a problem with the 'MonoBook' skin. I fixed it by changing my skin to 'Standard'. Good luck! --Auximines 10:44, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Anonymous user cobntribution bug?[edit]

Look at, and

There's this mysterious [[User:]] in the diffs, and the revision history calls it Special:Contributions (with empty target). -- Paddu 06:11, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

That's the result of a bug in the rollback function, which has since been fixed (as far as I know). The user who made the edits is the one mentioned in the "Reverted edits by" automatic edit summary. -- Cyrius| 18:00, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Passing | in a Template parameter value[edit]

I'm trying to pass a vertical bar as part of a template parameter for a piped link to put into a wiki table being generated by the template. How do I do it? There is minimal documentation in the roadmap article on templates. For example, I want to do this

{{Template:something|name=test| topo=[[National Topographic System|NTS]] 83N/03}}

If I don't try to escape the vertical bar somehow, the "NTS]] 83N/03" is being treated as another parameter it seems. I've tried || and a \| without success.

RedWolf 03:41, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)

The same problem came up at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject Tree of Life without satisfactory resolution. Someone on IRC suggested trying the #????; entity for '|' but I couldn't get this to work. This would be an extremely useful feature, so I guess we need to file a bug report. Pcb21| Pete 07:23, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
See also Meta:MediaWiki_1.3_comments_and_bug_reports#Use_of_'|'_in_templates. Don't know if it was reported to sourceforge already. andy 07:25, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

If you simply want the vertical bar to be displayed, just use &#x7c;. However, if you want to pass a piped link that it turns into a link, forget about it. RedWolf 22:30, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)

Wonderful. That seriously messes with some of our plans for taxobox templates... although there are plenty of other lossages in templates that make them not worth itfor taxoboxes anyway. - UtherSRG 15:59, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Mediawiki Update?[edit]

Hmm... were things just recently changed? The text size on every page suddenly got very small and some comments on WP:RFA aren't parsed correctly. The # and : signs by my comments and those of one other user aren't converting to indents/lists. Is this just something on my end?  – Jrdioko (Talk) 00:01, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

It seems like this is a result of the nowiki tags in our signatures. I'll hop over to meta and mention it.  – Jrdioko (Talk) 00:11, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Update: There is now a bug report at sourceforge on this issue.

This appears to have been fixed.  – Jrdioko (Talk) 21:24, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Category links[edit]

Is it just my browser or is the category link on George VI of the United Kingdom screwing up the layout of the page, making the picture appear in the middle? I've tried everything to get it to line up properly, and the only thing that seems to work is to remove the category tag. Any hints? - Chrism 19:25, Jun 1, 2004 (UTC)

I've now mived the picture down a bit to prevent the clash between it and the category link. Annoying but its the only thing that works so far. - Chrism 19:33, Jun 1, 2004 (UTC)
It's also happening on Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and god knows how many other pages throughout the wiki. - Chrism 19:37, Jun 1, 2004 (UTC)
See also Pictures, Categories, and so forth above. andy 20:02, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Two Category Questions[edit]

Wow, I like Categories. What a great idea. It might even replace all the List articles when it's working properly.

However I see some problems. First is that we don't have any kind of policy on how to use them, and no help on how to use them, or indeed a discussion page on how to create a policy or a help page. (I may be wrong on these, in which case feel free to point me at these pages).

Also we already have several duplicate categories (playwright and dramatist, writer and author). We need to work on resolving these; in the long term this is probably a job for the Help and policy pages.

In the short term, does anyone have a script that will move all articles in one category into another? In the above example I would like to move dramatist (the shorter category) into playwright (the longer). Can we do this automatically?

DJ Clayworth 15:28, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

You're in luck; see Wikipedia:Categorization for discussion and policy. If something needs to be merged, bring it up in there. There's been plenty of discussion in #wikipedia on as well. grendel|khan 17:49, 2004 Jun 1 (UTC)
Thank you. DJ Clayworth 17:56, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Vote on artificial languages[edit]

Please vote: Meta:Artificial languages equal rights Thanks! --Timwi

Sign your edits, and don't make big spammy pink divs. They're ugly. 17:53, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Gallery of user styles[edit]

The Gallery of user styles is open for business. If you have a cool skin, please share it with your fellow Wikipedians. Dori | Talk 07:23, Jun 1, 2004 (UTC)

  • Ah, great idea. blankfaze | ?? 16:02, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

How to know the latest happenings[edit]

I've been going through the comments at m:MediaWiki 1.3 comments and bug reports regarding the new skin. Many comments suggest a revert to the standard skin and then go further one step at a time. But I don't get to see any replies to these comments from any developers/admins. Is anything being done, where are the decisions being made, where to know the latest ? Jay 07:08, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

No, nobody reads those comments.  Our designers have lost all contact with both the real and virtual worlds. ☺ — Monedula 08:07, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Don't know if that's meant to be sarcastic, but the developers do look at them, and many bugs have been fixed. There simply aren't that many developers, so one can't expect every bug report to receive a reply (especially since many reports are duplicates as people don't bother to check the page and the resolved issues subpage). Dori | Talk 17:11, Jun 1, 2004 (UTC)
It is same as usual - only the bad things get their publicity, but noone notices all the things which already work in the new version. Same as Wikipedia:Vandalism in progress is so long and often frequented, but Wikipedia:Great editing in progress went dormant so fast, I just want to use the opportunity to thank all the developers who almost never get the attention except when things go wrong. I am sure in one or two weeks all the important glitches in MediaWiki 1.3 will be solved. andy 20:13, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I second your comments. Jimbo has just announced June 1 as Brion Vibber Day on the mailing lists, in recognition of the fine work he and the other developers have done on MediaWiki 1.3 Pcb21| Pete 07:18, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Happy Brion Vibber Day, for yesterday :) Dysprosia 07:22, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Two categorization questions[edit]

See the history of John Kerry. The questions below pertain to the categories I added there before they were removed by another user. LuckyWizard 01:24, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Ugly categorization?[edit]

One of the reasons the links were removed was that they made the page ugly by pushing the table off to the side. What should be done if categorization makes a page look ugly, as happened with the John Kerry article? Should the categories be removed, or should the page be rearranged slightly to make it non-ugly? I feel that the page should be rearranged slightly; what's the point of categories if they don't include everyone who should be included? (Of course, the ideal solution would be to reprogram the software to put the category links elsewhere; the sidebar, below the interwiki links, seems the best place. But what do we do until someone does that?) LuckyWizard 01:24, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I'm removing them when they screw up the page formatting or seem dumb. There needs to be a lot more thought put into what is starting to look like a rather bad idea. I'm seeing categories on subjects with possible lists of just a few articles (examples: "shield volcanoes", "Hawaiian volcanoes". What is the point of that? You can link more effectively with a list in the article or under "see also" —or writing a paragraph about the category with links. Category seems to me to be a busy work that has all the same problems experienced at Wikipedia with the endless production of lists. Great, now we have made it easier to develop worthless lists. Forward Wikipedians! - Marshman 01:53, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Hopefully the page formatting issues should be being dealt with to make them less problematic. I do agree that there has been a bit of a 'mad orgy of categorization' going on in the last couple of days. Everyone experimenting with a new feature, I suppose.
Categories have some purposes, mostly the replacement of simple dumb lists. They are NOT good for smart lists that have information about each item, or grouping. However, given their current unreadable format (space seperated paragraph rather than e.g. bulleted list) they don't even replace simple lists very well. —Morven 02:59, Jun 1, 2004 (UTC)

Red category links?[edit]

Another reason the links were removed was that one of them (Category:American major party presidential candidates) did not yet have a page, and was therefore a red link. Is it OK to add redlinked categories to articles? I can't see why category links should be removed just because they're red links; after all, part of the Wiki idea is that people can come along, see the red links, and create the article. Why should it be different for categories? (Also, I had already seen other redlinked categories. Another point is that I might have created the category myself, were it not for the fact that it was midnight.) LuckyWizard 01:24, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

If there's no technical reason not to, just add them. They will be added soon enough and linking to them brings attention to them. If the category name is off, someone should come along and correct it. - Centrx 03:31, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Redirect not working?[edit]

The redirect at Sergio Vieira de Mello does not seem to work; it just brings up the redirect page. It does not appear to be a double-redirect. Could it be because there's an accent in the page it's trying to redirect to? --Golbez 23:30, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

Putting in the 'é' directly makes it work ... this is probably not the best option though. --VampWillow 23:46, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

Axing Series Boxes[edit]

With the new category feature, god willing, a number of Article Series Boxes are going to go the way of the dodo shortly. Hopefully, a very large number. Do we have some protocol in place to handle these? Are they just going to flood VfD? Are we going to leave a lot of them around? Can we temporarily create some deletion level between speedy and VfD for redundant boxes? Snowspinner 21:15, May 31, 2004 (UTC)

Let's start a poll about Wikipedia font policy[edit]

The proposed "law" for Wikipedia font policy is this:

  • The default Wikipedia skin must use the browser's default fonts only

The reason for this is that prescribing a particular font will almost certainly lead to incorrect display for some languages (as is the case with Verdana).  It's important to be nice, but it's much more important to keep Wikipedia readable. — Monedula 20:12, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

  • You have my vote. -Rholton 22:07, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
Do you mean the font only on the English Wikipedia? If not, please hold the poll on meta:, not here. See Wikipedia:polling guidelines first though. Angela. 00:32, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Very few people ever visit Meta.  And most of the people who do the other languages work also here, in the English Wikipedia.  So there is nothing wrong to discuss it here — especially because I suspect that the skin designers never look at the other languages at all. — Monedula 07:59, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Wrong on both counts. If a feature will affect more than one wiki, then it must be discussed on neutral ground. --mav 08:47, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Hell yeah. The default skin (and the other skins!) should specify only 'serif', 'sans-serif' etc. — and not any specific fonts. Even Internet Explorer nowawadays respects and allows user configurability of standard fonts so there is no excuse not to use it. Anárion 09:38, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Perhaps even the 'serif' and 'sans-serif' are superfluous.  Those who prefer sans-serif fonts can simply set them as the browser's default.  And all the other skins (non-default, user-selected) may use any fonts they like — if one skin does not work, just try another.  But the default skin must work always. — Monedula 01:00, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
  • That (i.e. specify 'serif', 'sans-serif' only) or use fonts available by default on IE and Mozilla (i.e. Verdana, etc). Paul Beardsell 10:08, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
    • Ah, that's a slippery slope. "We don't need to worry about X because it's included by default." Quiz questions: a) What is the first version of the Windows family of operating systems that included Verdana? b) Does Mac OS X 10.3.4 include Verdana? How about Mac OS X 10.1? How about Mac OS X 8.6? c) Is Verdana one of the "TrueType core fonts for the Web" that Microsoft offers for free? d) Does Microsoft still offer the "TrueType core fonts for the Web?" for free? e) Does Microsoft offer them for free-as-in-freedom or only for free-as-in-beer? f) Is Verdana available by default in Linux? g) Solaris? h) Lindows? I can't answer these questions quickly and accurately off the top of my head. Therefore, I can't make an informed judgement of whether Verdana is an acceptable default. Dpbsmith 18:41, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

as t

I'd like to ask a question. No one seems to be able to answer me. Today the font of monobook was changed, and the result is absolutely ugly for me. When I asked why it was changed, I was answered there was a poll. Now, when I asked where the poll took place, I never had any answer. I come around, and I find these nice comment about the english wikipedia being the only reasonable place to discuss this because 1) noone goes to meta and 2) everyone comes to en in the end.

And that is so unfortunately true. When I want to find how a decision was taken without asking us, I indeed come here, and find my answer. So, my question is : where did you hide this poll ? :-)


There has been no real poll, but only a lot of complaints.  (And check your browser settings.)    — Monedula 10:43, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

New default skin -- float right image placement[edit]

First off, let me say that I like the new default skin very much. But, when I view Mount Vernon (plantation), the top two right-floated images are positioned near the middle of the page. This compresses the text to the left into a very narrow column that makes reading difficult and leaves a large white space to the right of the images. I'm using Mozilla 1.5. Are others seeing this? If so, is this really intended? Bill 11:42, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

I think that the bug discusssed at meta:MediaWiki 1.3 comments and bug reports#Categories list and right-aligned images at the top affects Mozilla-based browsers even if the categories list is empty. Please contribute to the debate there. --rbrwrˆ 15:16, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
The article is not currently assigned to any categories and was last updated in Jan 2004. I see the same issue with Mozilla 1.6. RedWolf 16:42, May 31, 2004 (UTC)
Even if the category list is empty, it's still there, with height and width. I promise you. I have seen it (div id ="catlinks") in the DOM Inspector and with the Firefox Web Developer Extension. It has a width of 34% and has a paragraph in it with non-zero top and bottom margins. --rbrwrˆ 17:15, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
It's no longer there if there are no categories. -- Gabriel Wicke 16:29, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Category discussion where?[edit]

Overall, i like the category scheme. Is there a place to discuss the new category scheme? To me it looks like a lot of the List of ... articles become redundant with the category scheme. Also, is there a suggested system for common schemes, e.g.:

  • CountryName
    • History of ...
    • Economy of ...
    • People of ...
      • Artists of ...
      • Actors of ...
    • Literature of ...

Is it possible to format the listing of the sub-categories and the contained articles? Finally, how much introduction text is suggested for a category scheme? One line like e.g. Category:Harry Potter, none like Category:Films, or a lengthy introduction that makes the category more like an article like Category:Japanese culture (made by me for demonstration purposes)? -- Chris 73 | Talk 04:56, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

Start at Wikipedia:Categorization. I have a feeling there will be technical improvements made to categories once everything else is shaken down: one thing I'd like to see is something like redirects so that "Composer" and "Composers" aren't two separate categories. - Nunh-huh 05:49, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

User style showcase[edit]

How about a place where wikipedians can showcase their custom user styles, and comment on others? I for one, would like to show off my minor modifications to MonoBook and ask for some feedback (and a fix to why the search buttons suddenly look bloated in Camino...). kelvSYC 04:28, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

I agree. We could end up with a page full of different skins...yay! Wyllium 06:51, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
So, are you going to? -- Cyrius| 06:52, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I went and started one at Gallery of user styles. Dori | Talk 13:56, Jun 1, 2004 (UTC)

What Do You Say to a Naked Lady?[edit]

The question mark at the end of this title is making it impossible to get to the article. RickK 02:32, May 31, 2004 (UTC)

That article was deleted which is why you can't get to it now. There was a problem with question marks in titles yesterday, but I think this has been fixed now. Angela. 04:40, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

It's deleted now, but it wasn't when I asked the question.  :) RickK 23:04, Jun 1, 2004 (UTC)

Bug reports[edit]

At the top it says don't report bugs here. People are, however, doing so. Is this OK really? If I don't have to go over to some other namespace to do so I would rather not. --Nevilley 21:02, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

Do as we say, not as we do! ;-) Seriously, though, the main developers of the software find it much easier if all the bug reports are kept in one place - preferably at sourceforge, which has specially-designed software for tracking them. Pages have been set up on meta as a compromise, because feedback is genuinely useful, but people were reluctant to use sourceforge - at least that way you can use the software you're used to. Leaving it elsewhere is essentially laziness (or OMTWA?), and is likely to result in the report being lost and forgotten. - IMSoP 21:41, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for that. To be honest my worry was just that - that by leaving a comment there, on the meta, I had actually helped it to be lost/forgotten. However, the thing I was moaning about has indeed been fixed, so maybe the system really DOES work, yippee! Thanks. :) --Nevilley 22:22, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
There is no guarantee developers will read this page, and as the village pump is often archived, problems and suggestions are very likely to be lost if made here. Please use m:MediaWiki 1.3 comments and bug reports or sourceforge. Angela. 22:37, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

Stolen info[edit]

no time to explain/comment.

--AbboTT 20:23, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

Credits us, mentions the GFDL, links back to the "live" page on en:... what's the problem? --rbrwrˆ 20:38, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
see Wikipedia:Copies of Wikipedia content (high degree of compliance) -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 20:44, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

Sorry, I was kind of in a rush... Either I didn't notice that or it wasn't there at the time.

My bad. --AbboTT 03:54, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Categories formatting[edit]

At Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) and Chiang Kai-shek, for example, the catgories tag is pushing the image inward and creating whitespace. How can this be fixed? --Jiang 19:22, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

The weird thing is that when you load an old revision, it formats it nicely. But only when loading it from history. -- Cyrius| 19:43, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
See MediaWiki_1.3_comments_and_bug_reports - as a workaround you can either move the image to the left, or move it to the second paragraph. andy 19:45, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
Leaving an empty line between the Category and the table/image worked for me. Hajor 19:53, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
In which article? In El Salvador (the one you last edited) it is still broken. Maybe you are not using the new Monobook skin? andy 21:52, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
I'm actually switching back-and-forth between new Monobook and old Standard (monobook is a bit light and small for my rheumy myopic eyes), but as it stands now, El Salvador is rendering correctly in both. Opera 7.23 / Win 98SE. Hajor 22:52, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
Of the 5 browsers I test with, Opera 7 is the only one that has never shown me the "right images shifted left" problem. Niteowlneils 17:17, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
El Salvador looks like crap on Netscape 7 and Firefox, but fine on Opera, IE, and Mozilla. Gotta mention browsers. Niteowlneils 17:23, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
moving the image to the left of lower is not an option. it's hideous that way. they need to fix the tag so it doesn't do this. --Jiang 04:47, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

Empty link by itself doesnt work for me. Two br tags seems to do the trick, but a large border around the tag remains. --Jiang

Categories are now at the bottom of the page. -- Gabriel Wicke 00:16, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Old version?[edit]

Is there someplace running the old MediaWiki version, where I could compare how things are being formatted? I think I've noticed some changes that don't seem desireable. Niteowlneils 17:34, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

You could perhaps look at the list of Sites using MediaWiki, most of which are probably running some flavour of 1.2 - you could play around in their respective sandboxes and/or do a lot of previewing. - IMSoP 00:54, 31 May 2004 (UTC)


When you check your watchlist, you know how it tells you "Users have made X edits in the time period selected"? That number is up about 25%, at least for me. Meelar 17:15, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

Dislike new skin's font[edit]

Listen, this has probably come up a dozen times, but it's buried somewhere on the Villiage Pump page where I can't find it easily. Sorry, but I really don't like the new skin. It's a beautiful design, really, tabs, etc but the font is killing me. If you look at the word and for example I see the letter d with much thicker walls than the letter a, and the ns walls are much thinner than both. As a result, the text of an article seems to vibrate under these conditions. Maybe I'm doing something wrong here. I have Firefox running in a Windows XP system. Do I have to download a special font or something? Please, browseing wikipedia is getting me punch drunk over here. Trust me, I'm usually more coherent than this.

Windows 2000 Mozilla 1.6 on LCD 1024x768 and I think the font is fab and I do not experience the above problem! But I have always favoured sans serif fonts. Paul Beardsell 17:13, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

I personally just use the classic skin. Meelar 17:15, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
I have just found that preference setting. So no one has reason to complain. Paul Beardsell 17:26, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
Having a preference setting is no excuse if the default is broken on some systems—most users of Wikipedia are not going to have a login or set site-specific preferences. That said, I don't experience the poster's problems on my machine (Mozilla/Linux and Moz/Mac). —Steven G. Johnson 19:03, May 30, 2004 (UTC)
It's also inexcusable to make people tweak a preference in order to be able to look at words that require characters not included in Verdana in order to be spelled properly. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽
Verdana is actually the fallback font - try installing the open source Bitstream Vera fonts. Personally I find them a tad thin on Windows, but fine on Linux. TRS-80 20:43, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
It looks simply lovely on my system (Mac OS X 10.3.3, Safari 1.2.1). I don't know what the font is--presumably Verdana since that is installed and Vera is not—but it's gorgeous and highly readable. What characters are missing, by the way? I haven't noticed any. Dpbsmith 21:58, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
I have to agree, I find the new skin and features to be fantastic. Far more professional looking, and easier to use. I think the developer's deserve a lot of credit, yet I only seem to be seeing complaints. Obviously constructive criticism is useful, but shouldn't there be a page for praise of the new software too? --Chopchopwhitey 22:25, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
I've set my preferences to the 'standard' skin. But I'm surprised the default is a sans-serif font. I thought there was a broad understanding that serifs help readability and that sans-serifs are better for short texts such as headings/headlines. --bodnotbod 22:53, May 30, 2004 (UTC)
I think the new skin is beautiful, I've always liked the look of Verdana, although this talk of misplaced accents and missing characters worries me. btw Bodnotbod, I always understood the general understanding was that serif fonts help readability on paper, and that sans-serif fonts help readability on screen, as the serifs don't really help on the low resolution of the average computer display. --Stormie 01:53, May 31, 2004 (UTC)
Is the average computer display low resolution? --bodnotbod 02:29, May 31, 2004 (UTC)
Compared to paper, absolutely!!! Some example figures: 72 dpi for a computer monitor vs 1200 dpi for a computer printer vs 3386 dpi for photo scanning. - Nunh-huh 02:41, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
Yes, I suppose that's true. I seem to be in the minority with my standard skin bearing ways. And I got forewarning of future problems my old fashioned style will have when I tried to introduce a new editor to the wikipedia and had to bear in mind he would be looking at a different screen to me when I was explaining how to edit the page (less obvious, some feel, in the new skin than the old). --bodnotbod 15:17, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)

Heck! I have just installed the Bitstream Vera fonts on Windows 2000 and using Mozilla 1.6 now I have the weirdnesses complained of by the poster of the original para of this section. I will uninstall - returning to Verdana. Paul Beardsell 03:44, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

The (current default) font is terrible under both Mozilla and IE on my Windows 2000 box. It's pixilated almost to the pint of being unreadable in both the italic variant and whatever text decoration sis used to indicate a link. Honestly, using this new format makes Wikipedia look ugly and -- more importantly -- makes it far less usable to unregistered users who can't their preferences to something else.

I realize that a lot of effort must have been expended on this, and I don't mean to denigrate the effort, but, I'm sorry, this change just doesn't work. orthogonal 08:22, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

Also, in preferences, what's called "Standard" is what I think of as what wikipedia looked like prior to the "upgrade" to the new skin. orthogonal 08:32, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

An example of what I'm talking about can be seen here:

Problems with the new wiki look

Could someone please please make Verdana the default, and throw out this Bitstream thing? I'm using Firefox 0.8 w/ Windows XP Home, and the rendering of the font is terrible: The characters are just very uneven. I tried to change my personal style sheet, but to no avail. Micha 03:38, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

On my machine, a RedHat Linux 9 box, the font also looks not very nice. It is not pixelized, as others complain above, but the tracking is far too wide for my taste. (But I do like the other features of the new skin). Sanders muc 16:02, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I've changed the default to 'sans-serif'. -- Gabriel Wicke 16:16, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Thanks, that is much better. And it's better like that anyway because everyone can change their browser setting to their preferred sans-serif font. -- Micha 22:43, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
As it turns out Safari doesn't support this, but those users can still use something like body { font-family: Verdana; } in their user stylesheet. -- Gabriel Wicke 00:15, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)
IE also cannot change the sans-serif default (it always uses Arial). — Monedula 10:35, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Selecting images with templates.[edit]

I must be doing something wrong over at Template:Mancala 2x6. I expect to be able to use it like {{Mancala 2x6|1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10|11|12}} since the appropriate image names are defined. However, I end up with this, where it claims it cannot find images I know exist. Could someone suggest the correct way to do this? - Kevin Saff 20:59, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

message redirects don't work.[edit]

It would have been nice if User:Template namespace initialisation script had first editted all pages so that {{msg:foo}} became {{foo}} and then went and moved all the MediaWiki message to the Template namespace, instead of just moving the messages to the new namespace.... Redirected messages do not work! All taxonomy pages that were using messages in the taxoboxes, and many, many, many other pages with the now redirected messages are b0rk, b0rk, b0rk! I'm very disappointed. - UtherSRG 16:05, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Don't look now, but I think the script is going after those next. →Raul654 16:09, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)
Weirdnesss: It's inconsistent, too... Take a look at Three-striped_Night_Monkey (not b0rken) and Night monkey. Very strange! - UtherSRG 16:26, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Not sure what's going on yet, but MediaWiki 1.3 certainly does support redirects in templates, regardless of whether you use {{msg:foo}} or {{foo}}. If you make a trivial edit to the page and save it, the problem goes away. The really weird thing is that it's displaying the contents of the MediaWiki namespace page, when it's meant to check the Template namespace page first. Perhaps it is some kind of link table issue. -- Tim Starling 17:05, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)
W00t! (Ok... don't ask... I'm in a weird mood...) Kewl... now I just have to do is hunt 'em all down and squash 'em! :( - UtherSRG 17:18, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)
As I expected, that's not fun. There's got to be a better way..... - UtherSRG 17:26, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)
The problem is the linkscc table, which wasn't updated correctly by my script. I've disabled the use of that table for now. -- Tim Starling 17:39, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)

Search page[edit]

What the <bleep> happened to it? Where's the Yahoo Search, and, more importantly, where's the 'if you think you know what should be on this page, click here' link?!? Niteowlneils 15:39, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I think it's because $wgUseDatabaseMessages were temporarily disabled as a bot is running and updating things in the MediaWiki namespace. It should be renabled soon after that is done. Dori | Talk 15:47, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)
It's almost done now. See [6] and [7] -- Tim Starling 15:51, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)

Customizing en stylesheet[edit]

Since many people have complained about the style, and since now we have the option of fixing it at least for the entire english wikipedia, I think we need to have a discussion and possible some votes, and fix the major problems. As far as I can tell the biggest changes that people are irked about are:

  1. Font
  2. Color of links
  3. External link icon
  4. Color of non-main namespace pages

How about Wikipedia:MonoBook styling for the discussion? Dori | Talk 15:22, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)

I suggest it is discussed at MediaWiki talk:Monobook.css rather than creating a new page for it as this is the talk page of the place where the changes will occur. Angela. 16:36, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)
That makes sense to me - we should discuss it where it will actually be changed -- sannse (talk)
OK, neither of these places currently exist. I'll start an entry at the place suggested by Angela; I have been *very* confused and frustrated by the tab labels at the top of the page bodies, and I (a) am a fairly sophisticated user and (b) am already familiar with WPedia. Elf | Talk 16:47, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Next question: Where do we say what we *like* about the new interface? Here, or at MediaWiki talk:Monobook.css, or at m:MediaWiki 1.3 comments and bug reports? Elf | Talk 17:32, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Replacing pictures[edit]

How do I replace a picture with a new upload? Uploading again with the same name doesnt work. Bensaccount 00:49, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Have you tried reload with your control button pressed (for Internet explorer). That would be a real reload, and should show the updated picture. -- Chris 73 | Talk 01:07, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
That worked, thanks. Bensaccount 02:02, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Form completion box[edit]

It seems since the new skin was implemented that the form completion dropdown box does not appear directly below the original box I am typing in but may be elsewhere on the page.

My OS and browser stats:

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.6) Gecko/20040206 Firefox/0.8

SD6-Agent 22:12, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

First name/last name ordering in article titles[edit]

I can't believe I couldn't find this in Wikipedia:Naming Conventions... On the talk page for Talk:O. Henry, HamYoyo suggested that "the page ought to be filed under "Henry, O." I wanted to point to the naming convention that says that in Wikipedia article titles, names are given in normal order rather than inverted order (surname; comma; first name; middle-name(s)-or-initial(s)). But I couldn't find it! Where is it? Dpbsmith 18:55, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

We always give names in the "natural" order, hence "George Washington", "Mao Zedong", "José Ortega y Gasset". -- Jmabel 20:31, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

I know we do. What I don't know is, where we say that. Dpbsmith 23:04, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
Any definition of name-part ordering that does not reflect the nationality of the individual concerned is probably doomed to failure. DIfferent countries have different formats for name order: personal-name usually precedes family-name in the west but will follow the family-name in much of Asia. Similarly scandinavian counties don't use a family-name but are based on the personal-name of the same-sex parent. First-name is a null concept therefore, and the term surname has particular connotations which should be unacceptable on a world-wide usage basis. It could be useful however to have a page detailing a standardised format for each country/nationality rather than attempting such a thing globally. --VampWillow 20:34, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
It appears to make the category pages a bit of a mess. --bodnotbod 22:54, May 31, 2004 (UTC)
Use the "pipe trick" to sort names, see the User's Guide. HTH HAND --Phil | Talk 16:25, Jun 1, 2004 (UTC)
Sure, but I was trying to respond to a (fairly) simple question about our established practices with ordinary Western-style names. Even in the complex cases, the principle is that we use the commonest, most familiar presentation of the name. The point is, we just use the name as is, rather than trying to rearrange it for collating purposes. And what puzzles me is that I haven't located where this practice is spelled out. Dpbsmith 23:04, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
We mostly go by most common name (this should be somewhere in the guidelines) in English. There is no way that Henry, O. is more common than O. Henry. Dori | Talk 06:03, Jun 1, 2004 (UTC)
Minor correction to VampWillow: The only Scandinavian country to still use patronymics by default is Iceland; at least in Sweden and Finland family names are now the only lawful surname types. Also, patronymics are always based on the father's name, regardless of the sex of the child. -- Jao 19:57, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Board of Trustees election[edit]

I accept the principle that there should be some type of 'minimum service' requirement on voters, but would have to query the sole option selected of '90 days elapsed since registration' as there are people with fewer than 100 edits to their name on there (indeed I noted at least one in single figures!) whereas there are probably members who have a reasonable track record with more edits in a shorter timeframe. It would be wrong to change the process now, but just as some sort of 'heads-up' for the future maybe there should be a minimum time and minimum contribution together. --VampWillow 16:51, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

It would be so easy to rack up a hundred edits if one needed to that this isn't all that strong a restriction. —Morven 17:02, May 31, 2004 (UTC)
Which therefore begs the question why users with fewer than a dozen edits to their name get to vote in an important election ... --VampWillow 17:12, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
It does indeed, but if we applied such a restriction, it wouldn't do any practical good; one could simply rack up a hundred typo fixes in an hour or two. —Morven 18:45, May 31, 2004 (UTC)
User contributions is difficult to gauge, too. Someone with less than 100 edits could have written 50 complete, new articles, which is just as useful a contribution as 2000 copyedits. --Chopchopwhitey 21:01, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
Hey! Meelar 22:11, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

Using sound on Wikipedia[edit]

In response to my efforts to determine exactly how to pronounce "Abu Ghraib", someone suggested uploading a sound clip to Wikipedia, much as one can upload images for articles. I found, however, that there seems to have been little discussion on the uses of sound on Wikipedia. The Special:Upload page, which discusses images at length and provides useful links, only makes a passing reference to sound files, provides no link, and gives an example that seems to require the use of "OGG" files, which are unquestionably much less well-known than either WAV or MP3 files and are not supported natively by browsers.

After some digging, I found the article Wikipedia:Sound and Wikipedia, which calls itself "a place to discuss issues surrounding using sound in Wikipedia". It seems, though, to have the exclusive POV of a community of users who merely want to download music into portable players (possibly just iPods!). I thought a much more logical use of sound in Wikipedia was to enhance articles (for pronunciations and obvious sound-related issues, not the ghastly practice of forcibly "entertaining" Website visitors!). When I asked why OGG and why not something more browsable, Tuf-Kat suggested I bring it up here in the Village pump.

So I put it to you, the Wikipedia community:

  • Should it be possible to add sound files to provide useful content for Wikipedia articles? Should they just be stuff to download for player use? Are there other uses besides these two that should be considered?
  • What format or formats should be accepted/required for sound files? OGG's primary advantage in being unencumbered by licensing issues, apparently. WAV, MP3, and other formats are much more likely to be useful for augmenting browsable pages, but may have restrictions. (Actually, it's not clear to me how format licensing issues would be a problem, since the ability to use a file format depends on the browser or other application, which must be licensed by the reader, not the repository. But I'm hardly an authority on licensing issues. ☺)
  • Shouldn't there be a more specific place to have this discussion? The logical one, Wikipedia:Sound and Wikipedia, is not currently as general as it claims. Should it be generalized? Should another article — say, [[Special:Upload sound files]] or something like it — be created and linked with Special:Upload?

(By the way, please don't post your responses to these questions inside this single multi-paragraph posting. This is very confusing. Please create your own contiguous posting and excerpt mine as needed.) I invite your opinions and suggestions. -- Jeff Q 12:02, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:sound help for a little more discussion.
The specific case for Vorbis sound hasn't been made in detail anywhere; it's something that happened about 100 Wikipedia years ago :) Firstly, there's nothing in itself illegal about using MP3, WMA, or other encumbered codecs to post otherwise-legal material on Wikipedia. WAV (as well as FLAC, a lossless compressed audio format) are unencumbered. The trouble with using the encumbered formats is that they limit accessibility to the format (as a Linux user, it's very difficult for me to play WMA and AAC audio, for instance, and most Linux distributions refuse to ship MP3 encoders because of patent issues). Ogg, however, requires, at most, one free download for support on any platform. Uncompressed wav files are, indeed, more accessible than Ogg, as native support for them is available, without any extra download, on just about every platform in the world. However, their size makes them horribly inconvenient for modem users. Finally, it's more convenient for everyone to minimize the number of different file formats for content used on Wikipedia. Therefore, Ogg Vorbis remains the only sensible choice as far as I'm concerned.
As far as the uses are concerned, if a sound file adds useful information to an article, and doesn't pose any copyright problems (because it's available under the GFDL, is in the public domain, or is fair use), then it can be added. A good example is on V1 flying bomb, where there is a recording of the V1's noise.
WRT the music clips uploaded in the past, they are all, to my knowledge, short excerpts from songs rather than complete ones, and I think are regarded as fair use. --Robert Merkel 04:31, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)
As an American monolinguist, I often have trouble pronouncing the names of subjects from another language (e.g. Mohammed Mossadegh, Abu Ghraib, José María Aznar, etc). It would be helpful for me (and, I suspect, many other English-only speakers) to have a small ogg or wav or something of the pronounciation of foreign names. Currently, this would be relatively difficult. You would have to save a sound file of you voice, download an ogg converter (since most people don't have one), convert the file to ogg, upload it, and link it as a pronunciation. Should this be encouraged? Is there any to make it easier for someone to do? Quadell (talk) 15:35, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)
Robert Merkel's rationalization of the OGG format neatly demonstrates the nature of the problem here. His entire argument assumes without ever explicitly acknowledging it that the main purpose for providing sound clips on Wikipedia is to download music into players. I challenge that assumption. I suggest that the main purpose for sound on Wikipedia should be to augment articles, and that music download is necessarily a niche topic within the Wikipedia community. For that reason, I feel that the Wikipedia:Sound and Wikipedia article is inappropriately narrow and doesn't even admit to it. Quadell's comment indicates that I am not alone in wanting some reasonable sound support from Wikipedia, at least for pronunciation guides, and I'm sure that's only the tiniest possibility of usefully sound-enhanced articles.
I also suggest that OGG is a far from obvious choice, even for player download. Everyone has heard of WAV and MP3, but OGG, while perhaps popular among the Linux crowd, is not terribly well-known. Yes, Wikipedia:sound help describes how to play OGG files, but not a word about how to play them in browsers, the very tool required to use Wikipedia. Is there any browser that supports OGG natively, or even with a plugin? Even with external applications, OGG surely rates much lower on the popularity list than WAV, MP3, WMA, AIF[F] (Mac/Unix), and AU (Unix).
Finally, the argument against multiple formats is rather meager. Wikipedia has no problems supporting more than one image format. The real issue is what does one wish to do with Wiki sound, and what formats are needed to accomplish this. For my own admittedly niche application of pronunciation, WAV is the obvious choice, since all browsers support it, and its size is inconsequential for 1-2 second clips. Size only becomes an issue for much longer clips, where the excessive size of WAV justifies the trouble one must go through, both to encode and to play the files. Offhand, the only situation I can think of that should warrant trouble is music files.
I suggest we give the music downloaders a special area to do their thing and reclaim the topic of "Sound and Wikipedia" for true general use, with WAV files being acceptable for uploads and attachment to articles, at least to begin with. -- Jeff Q 07:03, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Popularity is not an issue here, it is simply wrong to store something in WMA here because it is a proprietery format and directly interferes with out goal of creating a _free_ encyclopedia. Ogg is a free format that is not limited by patents and should therefor be used. -- 17:51, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Somebody did that sorta thing with Poutine. Quite humorously (not that humour is necessarily helpful in this situation).

I think it's a great idea to add a pronunciation bit to exotic names. Unless you are into news, chances is the accepted pronunciation of many foreign names will always be a mystery to you. And dictionaries are no help with modern proper names. So, having sounds for such words would increase the informativeness of the article. --Menchi 07:19, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Without being egotistical, I think I'm probably one of the most experience users when it comes to sounds on wikipedia (last time I checked, I have 4 or 5 of the top 10 largest files uploaded). To answer your question about format - mp3 would be the ideal choice for its support, but it is patent encumbereed. The other formats (real, quicktime, microsoft) are proprietary and encumbered. That leaves ogg. Ogg is supported in the newest version of winamp, and you can get free programs that convert it to other formats (I *STRONGLY* recommend Audacity). →Raul654 18:00, Jun 3, 2004 (UTC)

The Election notice[edit]

Currently it seems that an election notice has been placed on every page, although it is only shown when logged in under a username. It says Wikimedia Board Elections: Vote open until June 12. However it is currently positioned after the main article heading and before the start of the article text. To me this seems the wrong place to have it as it appears to be part of the article text. I think if it is to remain it should be moved before the main article heading or else to the bottom of the page. -- Popsracer 09:32, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

I agree, it's currently in a bad place. The notice at meta is a little better, as it has a red border around it and makes it stand out more. The one on Wikipedia on first glance seems like part of the article. --Chopchopwhitey 09:40, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
Well it has been removed now. Thanks go to whoever did it. -- Popsracer 10:50, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
OK, so where do we vote? Apparently I'm too new to vote. sniff - That's fair enough though. --bodnotbod 22:44, May 31, 2004 (UTC)