Wikipedia:Village pump/Archive AT

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Noncommercial-use only images are not acceptable

A general reminder: Please stop uploading images where permission is granted for non-commercial use only, effective immediately. Under official Wikipedia policy, these images are no longer accepted. [1]. It is anticipated that existing images with the {{noncommercial}} tag will be deleted at some point in the future (possibly after a new upload form is in place), except for images whose use can be justified on other grounds. --Michael Snow 16:36, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

  • At the risk of making a lot of extra work for myself, I would be willing to accept requests for creating GFDL replacements for noncommercial-use illustrations. See my user page for a list of the sort of things I have illustrated. -- Wapcaplet 16:48, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
    • I can help out as well with diagrams. (Some of my diagrams can be found here) theresa knott 18:21, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  • I guess this means we shouldn't be featuring these images on the front page? [2] anthony (see warning) 16:51, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
    • Yes. Middle-earth is actually what called my attention to the problem, but by the time I noticed it was already on the front page, and I didn't think the issue warranted taking it down once it had gotten there. We are not yet to the point of removing all of these images from articles and deleting them, but I agree that they should not be used on the front page. I regret that your objection wasn't acted on while featuring this article was still in the planning stages. --Michael Snow 18:19, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

This is a great blow to the ongoing process of illustrating Wikipedia. There are a lot of people out there taking a lot of good photos which understandably they don't want other people making money out of. However they are quite happy, even honoured, to allow use of their images for noble projects like Wikipedia. I have been uploading a few of these non-commercial images recently to illustrate articles on towns. There is absolutely no reason why they should not be used. Downstream reproducers of Wikipedia content should simply not incorporate the images into their content if they intend to put it to commercial use. This can be achieved very easily with the tagging of images with their licensing status. What this policy is doing is allowing downstream commercial users to dictate to us here at the main project what we can and can't include. Can somebody please offer a decent explanation as to why non-commercial images shouldn't be included so that we can all come to an informed consensus on the matter instead of having policy decided by a small clique on the mailing list and announced to the rest of us from on high. If this policy is adopted then we are pointlessly preventing ourselves from using images which their creators are quite happy for us to use. A far greater problem Wikipedians should be devoting their time to is the lack of any licensing information whatsoever on the vast majority of uploaded images. — Trilobite (Talk) 20:55, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

IANAL, but it appears that restrictions on re-distribution directly conflict with the GFDL, our license of choice. - jredmond 21:58, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
The issue is not the GFDL — the GFDL is chosen because one wants to allow commercial use, not vice versa. —Steven G. Johnson 22:22, Aug 11, 2004 (UTC)
Our text is GFDL - images are not (which is why we have the image pages). →Raul654 22:07, Aug 11, 2004 (UTC)
The trick comes in when we place images on articles, though. Is the image a part of the article? If so, what license applies to the compilation of GFDL text plus non-GFDL images? - jredmond 22:12, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
But then there is an inconsistency. Mr Wales writes, "For the time being, I think we should rely on fair use, because it's a good thing, but cautiously so." We certainly cannot grant licences for images, but we use them nevertheless. Another problem is that the restriction on non-commercial images can be easily evaded with the fair use doctrine. -- Emsworth 22:18, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
In the present (US) legal environment, "fair use" is a pretty flimsy crutch to lean on. Besides which, Wikipedians seem to think "fair use" means "we can use any image we like as long as we really really want to." —Steven G. Johnson 22:32, Aug 11, 2004 (UTC)
Jimbo'll have to speak for himself, but I read that sentence to mean "Until we can get new, more libre images, fair use will have to do". This is consistent with the bits on fair-use content in Wikipedia:Copyrights. - jredmond 22:36, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Yes, it's pretty clear what Jimbo means here. He says that non-free content "should be removed from Wikipedia with reasonable haste." Then he says "This decree is only about non-free licenses _as a justification_ for images being on Wikipedia, and does not comment on, nor affect, evolving doctrine on 'fair use'." "For the time being, I think we should rely on fair use, because it's a good thing, but cautiously so." He is saying that we should get rid of content that is used under a non-free license, but that this doesn't apply to free use images. It's an interesting statement, because you could technically say since these images are copyrighted, they can be used under fair use. But IANAL. マイケル 00:10, Aug 12, 2004 (UTC)
In addition, the statement at the bottom of each page reads, "All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License" (emphasis added).
Non-commercial-use images are problematic for the same reason that non-commercial-use text is — there is no reason to allow one and not the other. We allow commercial use because we want to allow things like Wikipedia being distributed on CD by CheapBytes for a few dollars, being included with future Linux DVDs as a built-in OS resource, being bundled with every PalmPilot sold... as long as the encyclopedia material itself is never made proprietary. This is the same as the free-software/open-source philosophy (both of which movements require that commercial use be allowed). —Steven G. Johnson 22:22, Aug 11, 2004 (UTC)
From a contributor's standpoint, why not just contribute the image under the GFDL? Although the GFDL does not prohibit "commercial" use per se, it prohibits most uses that people ordinarily think of as "commercial" — for example, usage in a typical magazine or newspaper — because it prohibits proprietary use (all derived works need to be under the GFDL as well). (Indeed, just as companies do with GPL software, you could imagine a professional photographer contributing GFDL images as a promotion, and then selling the right to use a non-GFDL, proprietary license to magazines etc. that want to use the image.) —Steven G. Johnson 22:28, Aug 11, 2004 (UTC)
I think what Trilobite is talking about is images that have been copied from elsewhere under non-commercial use permissions. In that case, you don't have the ability to contribute the image under the GFDL yourself. --Michael Snow 22:31, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I think he was talking about photos taken by individuals...unlike companies, individuals can sometimes be persuaded, and you just need to convince them that the GFDL prohibits most of the uses that they want to prohibit with a noncommercial restriction. —Steven G. Johnson 22:35, Aug 11, 2004 (UTC)
Sure they can be persuaded, and if so, great. But it does take a little more work, and as you note about fair use, some people are just dying to contribute this lovely image they found "right now", without caring about the implications of copyleft. --Michael Snow 22:52, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I meant photos taken by anyone who has nothing to do with Wikipedia, so they can't just say, "I'll make things easier and license my images under the GFDL," as I would (and have done) with my own images I want to put on Wikipedia. There are a lot of people making their very useful photos available for non-commercial use which Wikipedia should be able to take advantage of. — Trilobite (Talk) 23:04, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia is committed to being as free (libre) a project as possible, as part of the open content community that relies on copyleft licenses. This is a core part of our mission. We define ourselves as an open-content encyclopedia on the Main Page. This principle has been policy since the beginning of the project.

There are a lot of people out there writing a lot of good text which understandably they don't want other people making money out of. This text is not allowed on Wikipedia, because it is not open content. There are plenty of people who might let us use their text, or their images, as long as it can only be used on Wikipedia. Because we're a noble project, because they're honoured to have it published, because they want publicity, motives may vary. We can't accept it on those terms, because it's not open content. The policy against non-commercial-use-only images reflects that commitment. --Michael Snow 22:31, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I quite agree with you where text is concerned. However, text which someone wanted to contribute on a non-commercial basis would of course make things very difficult and complex, as text is added to and taken away from, edited mercilessly etc. It would be absurd to have different portions and fragments of text under different licenses, but images are a very different matter. They are discrete entities instead of something that can be mixed up with new contributions until it's impossible to extricate the original. They are also, as Raul654 pointed out, on seperate image pages which are simply referenced to in the Wiki markup. By tagging those images which are not available for commercial use, downstream reproducers, or future commercial applications of Wikipedia such as those which have been mentioned, can remove them automatically. This makes things a little bit more complicated, but is greatly preferable to purging Wikipedia of vast swathes of perfectly good graphical content. Am I the only one who still isn't persuaded that this policy makes sense? — Trilobite (Talk) 23:04, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
A license to use something only for noncommercial use is not free, and it's inconsistent with our underlying philosophy. The fact that you can separate the images out from text doesn't matter. What we would be doing is flatly saying no, you can't use this content if it's for commercial purposes. In other words, the content is definitely not open, even though we claim that we are.
If you can claim fair use for an image, that has a slightly better shot at working in an open-content world, because commerciality is only one issue considered in fair use analysis. And with fair use, we're not telling people "you can't use this stuff", but we're tagging it so they can separate it if necessary. What we're really telling them is to figure out for yourself if what you're doing is still fair use. --Michael Snow 23:27, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
The mainstay of our content, which is text, would be very much open and free. Images not available for commercial use would serve as an embellishment on the Wikipedia website itself, as this is not a commercial use. In some other applications of our content, those images would not be available. It's as simple as that. Fair use, as I understand it (and I am by no means an expert), is a phenomenon of US copyright law of dubious international applicability. I have always thought it best avoided as it is often far from clear where the line between fair use and unauthorised copying lies. Non-commercial permission however is clear and unequivocal — we can use it on this website and any other non-commercial application, and we simply blank it out from anything commercial. This is easily achieved by putting all such images into a category. This is the Wiki equivalent of the sort of machine-readable metadata Creative Commons encourages the use of along with their licenses, so that computers can be used to selectively do things with content according to how it's licensed. Technologically this is very simple for Wikipedia and need not contradict the philosophy of the project at all, as long as we remain a text-based encyclopedia with images as non-essential extras. After all, we should already be aiming at this if only for accessibility reasons. I would appreciate some input into this debate from others as I think it's one worth having. — Trilobite (Talk) 23:58, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Noncommercial use is technically legal on Wikipedia itself right now, but would not be if we decided to add advertisements to the site (I'm not suggesting this is planned, but it has been contemplated). But anyway, such images are clearly not open and free, and I don't see why we should stray from our commitment to open content in order to embellish the website.
Fair use is specifically US, but other countries have fair dealing, and for a more international basis, the Berne Convention has fair practice. Determining what's "fair" tends to be case-by-case analysis, and the US may well be the most liberal jurisdiction in that regard, but the principle is internationally available.
Incidentally, if images are "non-essential extras", why exactly is it so important to allow images under noncommercial-use permissions? That philosophy seems to negate all of the arguments raised for including them. --Michael Snow 00:20, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Personally, I'm glad to have non-commercial images go. The goal of Wikipedia is to create a free resource which anybody can easily take material from. Moving to the GFDL will not remove any credit from you – and you aren't losing any money anyway, unless you're rich enough to distribute the picture, etc. What's so wrong about letting a company use your image? As long as they credit you, there's nothing you're losing. As for fair use, I consider images commonly seen (i.e. a particularly famous image of a celebrity), or images distributed publicly (i.e. broadcast on television, published in major publications) to be valid fair use material. Anything else is dubious. So, for example, an image of the cover of the Yesterday single would be fair use, but not a copyrighted image of the Beatles (or anyone else) performing it, unless licensed under the GFDL and/or published in several major publications. Johnleemk | Talk 10:53, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Have you considered this from the contributors point of view? If you have an individual who donates his or her time to write an article for which there are none of the traditional benefits of commercial reward or peer recognition and that individual also prepares images to support and embellish the article then it should be entirely up to them if they do not want to see their work profited from commercially unless they do so too. prometheus1 20:51, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I am not contesting that right. What I am contesting is that we allow that to happen on Wikipedia, and that as a contributor, IMO, there's little reason for it. Unless you have a way to make loads of money from it, there's no reason for not licensing the image under the GFDL or some other free license, unless you're one of those, "girlie men". (Don't take the comment seriously.) The decision is up to the image's owner, but we really shouldn't be using these images on Wikipedia. Jimbo's posts on the mailing list say it much better than I ever could. Johnleemk | Talk 05:12, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  • I'm a big fan of Arnold and I don't think you would call me a "girlie man" if you saw me ;). But I am not a fan of having others sell and make money out of a contribution that I made in the interests of sharing knowledge. From both an ideological and economic perspective if others wish to make money out of it then I should be entitled to my fair share in the great corporate tradition! If you go to pubmed books online you will find that some images cannot be shown in the online version. If it's good enough for them to compromise it should be good enough for wikipedia. I think placing such a restriction in the event that wikpedia want to change the business model so that they can sell CD's or use banner advertising to generate income is illogical. It is easy to tag the images such that if an ad appears or if the content is going to CD that it be not included. Otherwise pay a percentage back to the contributor - or better still stay non-profit like everyone believes wikipedia is, then there's no problem of using non-commercial use. prometheus1 06:42, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
A non-profit organization can make commercial use of images (or other things), right? Dan Gardner 19:20, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)
But if you really had a strong interest in sharing knowledge, you wouldn't mind allowing commercial uses of your contributions. After all, don't you know that every piece of text on Wikipedia can be taken and resold as long as we are credited, and nobody can say a thing? Jimbo makes the point for why we shouldn't be allowing non-commercial use only uploads on Wikipedia brilliantly – it's supposed to be free. If we have to rely on restrictive licensing, it goes against our original goal of an encyclopedia anybody can take and reuse. I can't wait to see how you're going to ask for a cut when some company decides to lift text from DNA repair, by the way. ;-) Johnleemk | Talk 07:30, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I think this decision has the priorities wrong. At least non-commercial-use images have licences and at least we can use them. Our first priority should be to remove images with no source; our second should be to remove copyrighted images unless the "fair use" defence is really solid (e.g., corporate logos). Non-commecical-use images should come a distant third. Gdr 15:35, 2004 Aug 12 (UTC)

The first priority is quite correct. People shouldn't be uploading images without source information any more than they should be uploading non-commercial-use images. In both cases, actual removal is waiting until we have a new upload form that will improve compliance. Weeding out improper claims of fair use would be good, too, but you have to debate those individually. Keep in mind that some of the images used under non-free licenses will also need to be considered for possible fair use claims. --Michael Snow 17:47, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)
First off, I agree with Trilobite: "non-commercial use only" images can – if tagged – be easily removed by commercial re-users of Wikipedia content. Wikipedia itself is a non-commercial endeavour, and I can't see anything wrong with the use of such images here. Removing them from here would only needlessly deprive Wikipedia of many great pictures.
It seems to me that downstream republishers of Wikipedia content will find it far more difficult to properly deal with "fair use" claims: they will in effect have to re-evaluate each and every of these images to check whether the fair use claim made by Wikipedia also applies in the jurisdiction they're under.
I think Gdr has the priorities exactly right. First deal with copyvios (we already do), then images without source and licensing info, then verify those "fair use" claims. Deal with problems that could affect Wikipedia itself first. "Non-commercial use only" images pose no legal problems for Wikipedia, and as I wrote above, commercial dowstream re-users can remove them. We have more important things to do.
How many "non-commercial use only" images do we have, anyway? Category:Non-commercial use only images currently lists 81 images, but I know that this number is far too low, maybe due to some corrupt link table in the database. A search of the "Image" namespace for "non-commercial" lists more than 500 results. (I tried to find out how many exactly by playing around with "&limit=" & "&offset=" in the URL, but queries invariably timed out for me.)
Lupo 19:17, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I don't know. Any image which is fair use for Wikipedia is probably fair use for just about any noncommercial encyclopedia, so non-commercial only images are probably more restrictive. That said, both issues need to be addressed. We shouldn't have many images here which we can't put in the print version, as having them here will just make us lazy about replacing them with free ones. anthony (see warning) 20:31, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

A lot of people are confused to as to what Jimbo meant. I think the text of from his latest e-mail states much more clearly what he means:

> We have a lot of images with "no commercial use" caveats.  Does that
>mean these images have to be removed?

My position is that yes, eventually, these do need to be removed.
There can be exceptions, though...

If an image meets our fair use/fair dealing guidelines, which
basically means that it is easily fair use for us, and likely fair use
for most contemplated reusers, then we can keep it (because it is free
in the relevant sense) *even if* we are *also* able to obtain a
license of some sort.  It can be wise for us to have licenses for
content that we could use without a license, just to make things more

An example of a "fair use" that would likely be fine for just about
any contemplated reusers would be a quotation from a book that an
article is discussing.  Another example would be a screen shot from a
movie in an article about that movie.

If the _only_ way we can use a particular image is through a non-free
license, and we believe that a fair use defense would be unavailable
to us, or to most contemplated reusers, then it should be avoided.


I hope that clears up any confusion anyone had. マイケル 20:37, Aug 12, 2004 (UTC)

National treatment

The Berne convention says that: "Authors shall enjoy, in respect of works for which they are protected under this Convention, in countries of the Union other than the country of origin, the rights which their respective laws do now or may hereafter grant to their nationals, as well as the rights specially granted by this Convention." [3]

So it seems to me that Wikipedia should be assuming the protections of the country of origin. If the work is a US work, then fair use applies. If it isn't, then it shouldn't. anthony (see warning) 17:14, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

An interesting legal interpretation, but not a correct one. Fair use is not a right of the author; it is a right of the (re-)user. Therefore, this section does not apply. This section is meant to ensure that, for example, copyright doesn't expire in foreign countries before it expires in the home country. It has no merit on fair use grounds. →Raul654 17:19, Aug 13, 2004 (UTC)
Your statement is completely wrong. I never claimed that fair use was a right of the author. I also never made any legal interpretation. As for your statement that this section is about copyright expiration, I have no idea where you got that from. Did you just make it up yourself, or can you point me to somewhere that backs that up? anthony (see warning) 17:24, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Your cite says: "Authors shall enjoy...the rights which their respective laws do now or may hereafter grant". Fair use is not a right of the author; therefore, this section does not apply. Therefore, we can operate under US fair use law if we so desire. →Raul654 17:30, Aug 13, 2004 (UTC)
Furthermore, "So it seems to me that Wikipedia should be assuming the protections of the country of origin. If the work is a US work, then fair use applies. If it isn't, then it shouldn't." - this is legal interpretation, whatever *you* might think it is. →Raul654 17:30, Aug 13, 2004 (UTC)
I understand that fair use is not a right of the author. I never said it was. Copyright is a right of the author. Fair use is a limitation on that right. My statement which you consider a legal interpretation is a suggestion as to how Wikipedia should treat things, and not a legal interpretation. I guess I see how you could misunderstand the sentence "If the work is a US work, then fair use applies." if you took it out of context. But even so, do you dispute that fact? It is obviously true. I take it you haven't found anything to back up your other incorrect statements, and that's why you ignored my question as to whether or not you just made it up yourself. anthony (see warning) 18:04, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Ok, so your "suggestion" is that Wikipedia follow the copyright laws of the respective country in which a work is published, even though you conceed that we are not required to by law (why did you not just say this in the first place?). That's your opinion, and you are entitled to it; however, a large number of our contributors would disagree. →Raul654 18:33, Aug 13, 2004 (UTC)
My suggestion is that we only use under the doctrine of fair use those images for which the country of origin is the US. We are, of course, "required" to follow the laws of any country in which we distribute Wikipedia, in that not doing so is a violation of the law, of course. That people might disagree is precisely why I brought this up on the pump. Personally I don't think the Wikimedia foundation should harm its status in other countries (virtually all of them) over the issue of fair use, it's just not important enough. anthony (see warning)
I discussed this with Jamesday in Boston at length. Basically, he's adamant about making sure the foundation does *NOTHING* except the website - so long as they only do that, they're legally untouchable (Webhosts and ISPs are covered by all kinds of safe harbor laws and precedent rulings). Distribution can be handeled by others - Mandrake, for example, wants to package Wikipedia on a DVD, or we can do it ourselves using a seperate foundation (which means that the Wikimedia foundation is still legally bulletproof). →Raul654 20:13, Aug 13, 2004 (UTC)
Jamesday doesn't run the foundation, isn't a lawyer, and isn't right if he has said that the foundation is legally untouchable, as not all countries have those safe harbor laws. Furthermore, just because we might be able to get away with breaking the law doesn't mean we should do so. Like I said, our status in other countries is just not worth it. As for whether or not the foundation should do nothing except the website, I disagree with Jamesday on that point, but this is a different topic altogether. If you or he would like to raise the issue somewhere and would like to hear my input, point me to the location. anthony (see warning) 20:27, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Unverified images

I was going through some articles and noted that they had unverified images (no info given on image description page). I've added {{unverified}} to them, and removed them from the articles, but is there anything else I should do with them? They appear to be photos from a news service. Best, [[User:Meelar|Meelar (talk)]] 15:47, 2004 Aug 11 (UTC)

For now, I think that's all you do. Eventually, images without source information will need to be deleted, but that is waiting at least until we have a new upload form and people are more used to the requirement. --Michael Snow 16:36, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

If defined work yet?

I was wondering if the "{{{if defined}}}" described at meta:Extended template syntax works? If so, can someone give me some hints as to what was wrong with the "if defined" syntax in this? Much thanks. siroχo 13:20, Aug 11, 2004 (UTC)

Probably you overread the word "proposed" in that article. While optional things with templates would be quite handy for many things, they could also lead to rather complicated templates, which then aren't much wiki (in the sense of quick to grasp) anymore. But before we get optional parameters in template, I wish the calculated links and images in template would finally work, thing like [[{{name}}]] or [[Image:{{{whatever}}}.jpg|100px|Comment]] don't work yet. andy 14:33, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Historical categories

Are there any recommendations on how to name and organize historical categories? I looked at Wikipedia:Categorization and Wikipedia:WikiProject History but didn't see anything. Category:History itself suggests that different contributors have had different ideas. Gdr 12:03, 2004 Aug 11 (UTC)

I wrote some guidelines for categorization of historical articles, and organized Category:History to fit my scheme. See Wikipedia:WikiProject History#Categories for details. Gdr 14:05, 2004 Aug 16 (UTC)

Bogus "you have new messages" flag for anon users? (Please fix this)

related entries elided by User:Finlay McWalter

Several anons are complaining that they're getting "you have new messages", and when they click on the link it takes them to the wrong User Talk page. See User talk:, for an example. I don't know if this is true or not, but there have been a lot of anon editors complaining on several different Talk pages. RickK 23:48, Aug 10, 2004 (UTC)

IP users are getting directed to the wrong user talk pages (as has been discussed) and I just receved a 'you have new messages' thing when my edit was last in the history (at least sent me to my talk page). There's something up with WP lately...and it's confusing eveyone ?:| Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 05:13, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

This has happened quite a bit. I've created bug # 1007164 anons receive bogus "new messages" indicators for OTHER anon on sourceforge, and added the two confused IPs RickK cited. Can others who know of such occurances amend the bug to add more such confused pairs (as I imagine the developers will want as many cases as possible). -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 10:49, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
This happened to me once when I used my brother's computer to access Wikipedia. Johnleemk | Talk 13:11, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

See User talk: Apparently, SEVERAL anon users are being directed to this same page. RickK 06:58, Aug 15, 2004 (UTC)

Recent changes mirrorred

If I enlarge the list of Special:Recentchanges the list gets mirrorred about halfway. I checked the source but could not find a rogue RTL character anywhere. Using Opera 7.54 on Windows2000 -- screenshot can be upped on request. Anárion 09:54, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Only visible on showing 250 or 500 changes. Anárion 09:59, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Ok to Use Rumors as Sources in Wikipedia?

On the main page the anniversary of the patenting of the spork is listed, along with an illustration. However, I was dismayed to find this in the article:

"According to a rumor, the spork was invented in the 1940s by the United States Army, which introduced them to occupied Japan. It was hoped that the use of the spork would wean the people there from the use of chopsticks. This pointless hope did not come true; yet the spork that was spurned by the Japanese found a home in the United States of America, where its versatility and disposability were well adapted to the cuisine of the United States."

Am tempted to delete it, but maybe not? Is it really okay to cite a rumor as a source? Seems like there ought to be some factual basis, not just "according to a rumor..." H2O 07:07, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

If its a notable enough rumor (for example the folk etymology of posh is quite famous and has been published in books and such), its probably encyclopedic as a rumor, it should be included and noted as a rumor (hopefully with some reasoning for how it started/spread). Of course if a rumor is fact, it should be given as fact. In this case, there should be some more investigation probably. siroχo 07:42, Aug 11, 2004 (UTC)
I looked around and everything seems to point back to one guy's comment on a spork newsgroup some years ago. Hardly encyclopedic. Probably another urban legend. I deleted the rumors. If someone wants to verify this with something more than some newsgroup chatter, fine. H2O 07:48, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
If you are feeling confident about your facts and if you think it is important, then you could debunk the rumor as a rumor on the page itself. "Many web sites indicate that the spork was unsuccessfully introduced in Japan following WWII. However this rumour appears to originate from a single newsgroup posting [here]." Pcb21| Pete 10:06, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I am not confident enough in my "facts" to include a debunking of a "rumour" in an encyclopedia article. That would be like starting another rumour. However, I have enough doubt that I think the rumour should be left out of the article until more evidence is available. Maybe someone knows of a person who lived or served in Japan around that time or has more knowledge of WWII history than I do. They could confirm or deny this rumour. H2O 15:58, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Proper treatment of rumors, which by nature accumulate small mutations, includes IDing any near-truth in them, e.g.:
  1. In "the anniversary of the patenting of the spork", almost certainly distinguishing that from "... of a new design for a spork". ("Prior art" aside, popular culture has a pathetic misunderstanding of the incremental nature of invention and patenting.)
  2. Thinking not in terms of whether sporks were invented for Japan, but of whether there was a specific plan to introduce them there with the intent already stated.
And don't forget to copy this discussion to Talk:Spork.
--Jerzy(t) 17:26, 2004 Aug 11 (UTC)
I think it is fine as long as you can cite a good source describing the rumor (i.e. it is not just a rumor started by a random Wikipedian). e.g. "One rumor, according to the American Dictionary of Slang (1983), is that the "spork" originated as...." —Steven G. Johnson 22:39, Aug 11, 2004 (UTC)
Because incorrect folk etymologies accumulate around works like spork, I think that it is much better to discuss it intelligently within the article rather than to leave it out. Include rumors from suspect sources if you don't have better evidence and if you can establish the rumor as widespread, and verifiable, and label it as such. E.g. do a Google Groups search for it. If you turn it up, say, "The story that the spork originated in thus-and-such way has been widely repeated on the Internet in the USENET newsgroups. However, the first such mention is in the year 1998, and the absence of mentions prior to that time makes it unlikely ..." Readers can judge for themselves whether they trust USENET or like your methodology. Later on, if someone finds a better piece of information they can replace yours. If you just leave it out, people will keep reinserting versions because everyone wants to know the origin. If you can find a dictionary that says "origin uncertain" be sure to say "The so-and-so dictionary says origin uncertain." Say what you believe about the rumor, give verifiable reasons for your belief, and supply information that lets the reader judge the soundness of your statement. My $0.02. [[User:Dpbsmith|Dpbsmith (talk)]] 13:32, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)


User:Celindgren has been going around adding a certain external link to every Vietnam-related article he/she can find, pushing a certain POV regarding the current Vietnamese government (the link itself is to the website of the "Imperial Nguyen Dynasty Overseas Council & The Vietnamese Constitutional Monarchist League"). Often, the link is actually irrelevant to the article in question (eg Dien Bien Phu, John Paul Vann). User:Celindgren also appears to be the same as User:, who has made more dubious edits. For example, the repeated deletion of external links which don't match User:Celindgren's point of view, such as in this edit. Also, a POV comment on Flag of Vietnam. Other articles primarily created by User:Celindgren (such as the one about the Vietnamese Constitutional Monarchist League) are definitely POV. Would someone better used to dealing with such matters please have a word with User:Celindgren about Wikipedia's POV policies? I'd do it myself, but I'm not really very familiar with the details of our policy, and have no experience with such things. (I have, however, started to go through the various articles attempting to remove the POV). Thanks. -- Vardion 06:29, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I added this to Wikipedia:RC patrol because it's going to take many hands to undo all this inappropriate editing... and I did add a general comment on User Talk:Celindgren, which I hope wasn't out of line. I've reverted a few of the more extreme examples such as Vietnamese language and Ngo Dinh Diem. --HobTalk 17:45, 2004 Aug 13 (UTC)

In case anyone cares: I've reverted almost all of the remaining inappropriate links (thanks to Vardion for sharing this tedious task), and rewritten the extremely POV Vietnamese Constitutional Monarchist League. Celindgren has so far not complained, but has also not addressed any of the questions I posted on his talk page and in fact erased them. I did get a rather incoherent personal E-mail from him as well, whose writing style was so different from his user bio that I wonder if the account is being shared between two people. Anyway, if the odd edits don't show up again, might as well let this drop. HobTalk 03:08, 2004 Aug 18 (UTC)

best practice for WikiProject ?

I have started a new article to discuss the best ways to lead a WikiProject. Any comments are more than welcome (please do them directly in the Talk page). Pcarbonn 05:46, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Compatibility of headings with templates

Having seen at least one case where headings broke VfD soon after we started transcluding sub-pages into VfD, i've made a practice of adding comments reading

<!--For technical reasons, do not add headers to VfD subpages-->

and converting heading to boldface. But i've seen some lately where there seem to be no bad effects (i think bcz the transcluded headings are rendered, but do not effect either the ToC or the numbering of sections for section-edit purposes).

Is it true that there is no longer a reason to avoid headings in VfD subpages that are to be transcluded into VfD's rendering? Or is the situation more subtle than that?
--Jerzy(t) 04:45, 2004 Aug 11 (UTC)

Category:Air Forces can't be deleted

Category:Air Forces has been superceeded by Category:Air forces, but it still shows up in Special:Categories, somewhere around here even though the category is empty without a description. --ssd 02:28, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Judging from how Special:Categories is implemented, I'd guess it's because the categorylinks table wasn't updated properly. But I'm afraid that probably doesn't help much. You might want to file a bug report and have a real developer take a look. --Diberri | Talk 03:42, Aug 11, 2004 (UTC)
Based mainly on the fact that similar things happen with updating templates, which were implemented in the same rolling release (MediaWiki 1.3?), it may be worth watching for 12-48 hours to see if it eventually does what you expect. IMO, there is something i would ignorantly call "server-side caching" going on. (No, my client-side caching doesn't seem to explain any of this.) I find that delay and/or re-editing a page that calls a changed template can result in seeing the expected change. Similarly with undeletes for merging page histories (but not necessarily related even as to timing, since i had no experience undeleting before 1.3), the undeleted versions often take a while to join the freshly renamed ones, and the "top" and current version may be an old one, even when all are shown, until another edit seems to force them being sorted into chronological order. --Jerzy(t) 18:08, 2004 Aug 11 (UTC)
Actually, I did a couple of edits and stuff to try to make it go away and then waited a couple of days before posting here. Anyway, it seems fixed now. --ssd 04:13, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I take it back. The link shows up as edit, so at least part of the system thinks it does not exist, but it is still showing up in Special:Categories --ssd 13:56, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Page history link

Is there a way to do an internal link to a specific time in a page's history? For example, an external link would be: [], but how would you do an internal link to that page? (You know, like [[cheese]].) [[User:Mike Storm|MikeStorm]] 22:59, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)

No, afaik. Dysprosia 04:55, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)


Do you have find that you cite the same reference work in plenty of different articles? E.g. if you write about tanks do you always need to add "Great tanks I have known" to the references list? If so, I have a new template for you.

Template:Book reference is set up to allow BibTeX-style book reference data. See e.g. Template:RefAudubonMarineMammals for example of how the base book reference template is used in practice. This allows us to write references quickly and in a standard way. Comments please to Template_talk:Book reference. Pcb21| Pete 13:24, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Deleting user subpages

There is a proposal at Wikipedia_talk:Votes_for_deletion#Deleting_user_subpages for a policy that requests to delete user subpages should go through RfC not VfD. It would be good to have some more input there before I actually write the proposal, only three people (myself included) have commented so far. Andrewa 03:08, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Are you including here delete requests of a user subpage, by the user who's subpage it is? Paul August 21:23, Aug 16, 2004 (UTC)
No. That's a speedy delete already, and doesn't go through VfD. Good question. Andrewa 01:04, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Levels of Protection

Now I don't know if this idea has been proposed before, but I think a lot of vandalism could be slowed down a considerable bit if we implemented levels of protection. Here's how I would do it.

  • Level 1: Low level, just prevents anon from editing. Signing up fixes this.
  • Level 2: Low level, prevents anon and users less than 2 days old from editing (this time is subject to change).
  • Level 3: Medium Level, users must be over 7 days old before editing. (time stc)
  • Level 4: Medium Level, users must be over x days old and have x number of edits (I can't come up with great numbers for this).
  • Level 5: High Level, only mods ++ can edit.
  • Level 6: Sysops Only Edit. This is basically the current protection, where sysops can fix things discussed and voted upon on the talk page, or something to that effect.

This was just my idea, as most of the vandalism (such as on There page) is from a group of anon ip's in the same range. Forcing signups not only gets a name for the person, but also an email address, helping to find out who it is and prevent them in the future.

Feel free to edit the plan mercilessly, but keep the original intact so others can see where I was going ;) -- TIB 20:58, Aug 15, 2004 (UTC)

Seems a much more sensible idea that the current "protect"/"no protect" situation (damned if you do, damned if you don't). zoney  talk 00:02, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Seems like a promising proposal (you are talking site-wide, not article by article, right?), altho' I'm not sure so many levels are needed. In addition to reducing the kiddiewiki that we've been receiving a lot lately, it would have prevented that attack we had recently from true "vandal bots" (I suppose someone could mass produce new usernames in one run, and do the attack in a second run a few days later, but that seems unlikely). I think just having something like 1, 2, and 6 would take care of 90% of the problem, and since most things are implemented if they just pass the 80/20 test, I think anything beyond that and you've reached the point of diminishing returns. Niteowlneils 02:17, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I like this idea, but it doesn't need so many levels. I think that normal (all edit), 1, 2, and 6 would be enough as Niteowlneils said. There are redundancies between 1 and 2 and perhaps only 2 is needed? siroχo 06:33, Aug 16, 2004 (UTC)

I agree, we really only need none/1/2/6, or none/1/3/6, or either but without #1. -Sean Curtin 08:34, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
none/2/4/6 my vote, but any improvement over current situation welcome. Pjacobi 08:35, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I also don't think we don't need that many levels. One more thing we'd need is to have a page "move protection", i.e. articles which only an admin can move. This would apply especially to User and User talk (some vandals like to create havoc by move User:Whatever to User:<Insert insult here>, thus it could be default both User: and User:talk), as well as some high traffic articles in the Wikipedia namespace. andy 08:37, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I strongly agree with "move protection" - it is a significant security hole. I also agree that that number of levels of protection would not gain us much. However a single extra "anti-sockpuppet" layer might be useful. Though in the cases where it might be used, more hard-headed admins tend to block the offending user anyway. Pcb21| Pete 08:44, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

So how about (choosing less levels), and nicking a designation scheme from somewhere else :o) -

  • Green: No Protection
  • Yellow: Low protection - No anons. All anons need do is sign up to circumvent/edit.
  • Orange: Medium protection - No anons. Users must be over x days old and have y number of edits. (Choose X and Y either each time, or we have fixed numbers for those variables)
  • Red: Full Protection (current protect) - Sysops Only Edit. Sysops can fix things discussed and voted upon on the talk page, or something to that effect.

And I suggest that yes, it would be nice to have this on article-by-article basis! zoney  talk 11:47, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Will we have more "Orange" and "Red" alerts when we are close to elections? Pcb21| Pete 13:28, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Yes. Me for Admin. I'm down with the color scheme though, that's nice idea. Yes, I know I listed too many levels, but I was trying to give fairness. There are 5 levels of warnings for people 'testing', so I went off that concept. --TIB (talk) 19:16, Aug 16, 2004 (UTC)
Note, signing on as a member does not require giving an email address as was stated above. Also, it isn't clear here what criteria would be used to set yellow or orange levels and for how long they would be set and so forth. Vandalbot attacks and random vandalism by anons wouldn't be slowed down much unless a very larger percentage of articles were protected at least to the yellow level. That would a major change of policy. But I can see implementing automatic protect to the yellow level for 24 hours on any article reverted from vandalism. Is that what is wanted, or something else? I can certainly see setting up VfD with two sections for each article, a vote section always at orange level and a discussion level always at green. I can see certain articles being voted on by consensus to be always at yellow or orange level (until voted by consensus to be changed to another level). Is that what is wanted? Jallan 19:32, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I found out that it doesn't require an email (at least anymore, I remember it requiring one, I may be wrong) quite recently, but after making this post. Yes, it would involve a change of policy, but with the current state of wikipedia vandalism (at least what I'm seeing), it'd be a change for the better. The idea of a "chat" about an article under VfD seperate from the actual voting is also a nice idea. I am not really for keeping all articles locked until proven unlocked though. If there is a controversial page (e.g. Abortion, George W. Bush) or a heavily vandalized (e.g. There) page, then it would be knocked up to protected. If people signup and continue to vandal, yet another bump. The Yellow protection is, to me, the equivalent of WEP; Not much, but better than nothing. --TIB (talk) 03:06, Aug 17, 2004 (UTC)

How about this:

Level 0: No protection
Level 1: No anonymous edits, and logged-in users must have existed for x days and have made y edits to edit. These variables would be set by the protecting sysop. If the sysop wants all logged-in users to be able to edit the page, they should set x and y to 0.
Level 2: No edits except by sysops.
  • There would be an option to allow/disallow page moves.

A similar system could be used for blocking IP addresses.

Level 0: Not blocked
Level 1: No anonymous users may edit from the IP address/range. User accounts that have existed for x days and have made y edits may edit. These variables would be set by the protecting sysop. If the sysop wants all logged-in users to be able to edit, they should set x and y to 0.
Level 2: No one without a "sysop" or "noipblock" flag would allowed to edit.
"Noipblock" flags would be exceptions to IP blocks that could be set by any sysop on any user account at the user's request. The flag would not prevent specific account blocks from working. Only stewards would be able to remove this, but it would truly be "no big deal" since flagged accounts could still be blocked.
  • There would be an option to enable/disable account creation.

Guanaco 19:52, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

The only problem with the three-level system you propose (in my view) is that at level 1 would allow disruptive and contentious users to edit protected pages provided that they've made enough edits over a long enough period. Two possible solutions to this are 1) A level between three and four that prevents "disruptive users" from editing the page. Defining disruptive would be difficult, of course. It could mean users who have been banned at least five times. It could mean users who have been ruled against by the arbitration committee three times. But you get idea. 2) A level between three and four that allows "trusted users" to edit the page, but no-one else. Again, the definition is difficult. It could simply been all users with >x edits whose trustworthiness in editing protected pages is not questioned by any sysops.
Of course, either of my proposed solutions could create problems. The former seems to be unfair to well-meaning users who get involved in disputes and comes too close to being a blacklist. The latter might create the appearance of elitism and/or cabalism. But I do see a problem in allowing ALL logged in users over a certain threshold to edit a page, especially considering that such users might be the very people causing pages to be protected.
Acegikmo1 20:25, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Here's a feature that could be useful to add to the levels, or as a new level (right above free-access): edit frequency restrictions. We specify that they can only edit, for example, once every x minutes. This will stop any bot attack in its tracks, but at worst cause a contributor to spend more time editing each article (sorry dabbers). Derrick Coetzee 03:44, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)

x edits per y minutes sounds like a good idea here. --TIB (talk) 23:38, Aug 17, 2004 (UTC)

Possible vandalism on id:

Anybody here know anyone or anything RE the Indonesian Wikipedia? This[4] really looks like vandalism--given the title I really wouldn't expect a date from 1980, but since I can't be sure, I don't want revert it. Niteowlneils 18:48, 15 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Er, I shoulda checked it before posting this--there's nothing to revert to. Tho' I still think it's vandalism, and probably should be deleted. Niteowlneils 18:59, 15 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Non-English references in the English Wikipedia

I received a complaint that I used Dutch references in an article in the English Wikipedia. I used it because that is was all that I had. I also regularly add German and sometimes French references to the English Wikipedia when I do not have access to an English version. I try to replace them as soon as I can. Using non-Dutch references is very common in Dutch scholarly tradition. Is it allowed here? Thanks in advance. Andries 17:03, 15 Aug 2004 (UTC)

If you have the choice the english sources are preferred here, as that'd be the one easiest accessible to most user here. However if there is no such source (e.g. if you write about a Dutch city and add the dutch website as your source) it is better than none, you just should add a short remark about the language - a "Dutch" in brackets is enough. Wikipedia:Cite sources does not mention anything about non-english sources, so there seems to be no official policy. andy 17:32, 15 Aug 2004 (UTC)
"Using non-Dutch references is very common in Dutch scholarly tradition." That's because there is hardly such a thing as a monolingual Netherlander; and I sometimes feel like there is hardly such a thing as a multilingual American or Brit. Clearly, given the number of monolingual English-speakers in our readership, English-language references are strongly to be preferred. On the other hand, I myself have probably cited about 500-1000 non-English web pages in the last year. When I place them the "external links" section of an article, I always note "in Catalan", "in Romanian", "in German" etc. I try to avoid citing them in passing in the body of the article, because explanatory language is hard to insert without breaking the flow, and a lot of people will be annoyed to click to something they can't read. If you have to do this, it's best to do something like (as discussed on IDESCAT's Catalan-language site []) ==> (as discussed on IDESCAT's Catalan-language site [5]) instead of just [] ==> [6] -- Jmabel 06:37, Aug 16, 2004 (UTC)
Agreely strongly with all that of that, but I just wanted to emphasise that it is standard scientific even in English practice to quote foreign language papers if that is the best reference on a particular point. Wikipedia is less specialist; but shouldn't be afraid to do the same where appropriate. Pcb21| Pete 07:59, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Use the best reference, whatever language it's in. English scholarly papers frequently cite papers written in languages other than English. As a courtesy to English-speaking-only readers, a short phrase describing the article in English wouldn't be out of line, and, of course, including similar references in English would be fine. There is a legitimate objection to articles in the English Wikipedia that are written entirely in languages other than English, but a complaint about a reference sounds inappropriate to me. The article in question gives three references, two in English. Without knowing the complaint I can't judge, but I'd be inclined to shrug it off as xenophobia. [[User:Dpbsmith|Dpbsmith (talk)]] 12:24, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Search/Go/Save Page buttons do not work

When I try to use the search, go and save page buttons on Wikipedia they do not usually work. I have no other problem with any other website. Delete this if you think it is irrelevant, but this problem makes it basically impossible to edit an article. - User:Icurite

What browser are you using, what version is it, and what operating system? — Trilobite (Talk) 06:52, 15 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I am using IE 6.0 on Windows XP. User:Icurite

Much as I'd like to blame it on the evils of Internet Explorer there must be a lot of people with that set up out there. I'm no expert, and the only thing that springs to mind is that with Wikipedia being a bit overloaded and slow at times the buttons appear not to work when really all that's happening is it's taking a while. — Trilobite (Talk) 19:00, 15 Aug 2004 (UTC)
It's hard to believe that we would only hear about it now if it was a general XP/IE6 problem. Have you tried different skins? I suspect Trilobite may be correct, that it's actually just Wikislowness. Niteowlneils 01:51, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Yeah, thanks for the replies. I don't believe it's Wikislowness because as long as I wait nothing happens and the status bar doesn't change. It's almost like the button doesn't have any value. Eventually, though, it always manages to work. ;) User:Icurite

vote for olympic medal tables

There is currently a vote taking place at Talk:2004 Summer Olympics medal count as to the style to adopt for medal tables. Obviously many people have inputted on the games rtcls today so many styles have emerged. Please vote if this is of interest to you.Scraggy4 22:44, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)

On reviewing that talk page, all concerned with it deserve a "best practice" barnstar, for:
  • doing work rather than volunteering others to do it
  • realising that consistency is more important than perfection
  • not making molehill differences in to mountains
  • just generally being nice, agreeable wikipedians
kudos. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:04, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Image Links

Is there any way to make an image link to somewhere besides its own image page? Thanks in advance, [[User:Supadawg|supadawg - talk - contribs]] 22:11, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)

No, 'fraid not. This is a good reason, however, to make image pages proper interesting wikipedia pages, not just infrastructural dumping grounds. Might I humbly (ahem) suggest Image:Wfm guggenheim exterior.jpg as an example. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:09, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Although, putting a redirect into the image page (as solipsist's sig does, above) kinda does what (I guess) you want. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:11, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Sig Escalation

Over the past month or so I've noticed a number of users playing increasingly clever tricks with their signatures (you know who you are...) From what I can see, there is quite a history of customised signatures on Wikipedia, but is this starting to get out of hand?

Signature Escalation; a harmless bit of fun, or the end of civilisation as we know it. -- [[User:Solipsist| File:SolipsistSig.png   ]] 20:55, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)

So far I haven't seen anything that causes me much concern. Where I would draw the line is if they start getting so big they slow page loading noticably, are unduly distracting (EG red and blinking), or require a plug-in (so help me, if anyone EVER puts a Flash animation in their sig...). Niteowlneils 22:20, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I think images are on the wrong side of the line, personally. -- Cyrius| 22:36, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Probably. They also seem impractical, as I haven't found a way to make them link somewhere (the question below caused me to try a couple ways). Your comment made me finally do the research to see what your graphic is supposed to be (found it was the tip of a pencil)--at that size, on my system, anyway, it looked more like a Rorschach test. Niteowlneils 22:49, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Ain't Unicode grand? -- Cyrius| 06:17, 15 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I know how to link them where I want them. But I was yelled at as soon as I tried to put images in my sig... I can adapt my sigs nowadays, though, even if it's not a good solution to use templates. [[User:Sverdrup|User:Sverdrup]] 02:23, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

The only problem I have with excessive signatures is that it makes the wikitext a lot harder to read. If you're reading in the edit box, or reading the diff, seeing a load of stuff like

<sup>[[User:Angela|''Angela''</sup>]]<big>[[User_talk:Angela|&#9829;]]</big> ([ Website])

makes it very hard to tell what the person has actually written. An alternative would be to put your whole sig inside a template so you would just see [[User:Angela|{{User:Angela/sig}}]].
[[User:Angela|User:Angela/sig]] 15:03, Aug 15, 2004 (UTC)

But wouldn't that limit you to just five (signed) comments per page? - 15:30, 15 Aug 2004 (UTC)
That's correct -- it's just what it does, sadly. I don't worry too much. [[User:Sverdrup|User:Sverdrup]] 02:24, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Is it possible to use {{subst:User:Johnleemk/sig}} instead? Johnleemk | Talk 06:59, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Oh wait, the idea is to have a nicer-looking edit box. My mistake. Johnleemk | Talk 13:48, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I have the following requests for people who want complex signatures:

  1. Please ensure that the result looks reasonable in a text browser, and in a graphical broswer with images disabled. For example, use sensible alt tags for images (see Wikipedia:Alternative text for images).
  2. Please ensure that the result does not take up a lot of space in a graphical browser. For example, keep it all on one line, and ensure that images are not significantly taller than text in the default font. (15 pixels would be fine. Solipsist's image at 18 pixels is just a little too large for my taste. Angela's and ScudLee's are much too big.) —AlanBarrett 16:44, 15 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I only discovered this neat little personalisation recently. I am curious as to how well the obsure Unicode characters work. Do those browers/systems not able to present them just present a weird symbol? (cause that wouldn't worry me). zoney  talk 23:57, 15 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Depends on the browser, but nothing bad should happen. For any character IE is not familiar with, it displays a square box outline. All the others, I believe (I know most do), display a question mark in that case. Niteowlneils 01:55, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
It's actually font dependent: the character that should be displayed is defined as the Unicode U+FFFD (�) REPLACEMENT CHARACTER. This is typically either a question mark or a box. It looks like this: �. However, MSIE is broken here (where isn't it?) and always does the question mark it seems. Anárion 09:10, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Nitpicking: IMHO Unicode U+FFFD is for byte sequences in the HTML which cannot be transcoded into Unicode at all, e.g. malformed UTF-8. -- Pjacobi 12:27, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
You're right of course, but most platforms and fonts seem to use �. Although I remember some Unixen display U+0000 instead (NUL — often a diagonally written NUL), or display the first character in the font (which often is a question mark). I prefer the missing character glyph, although it would be nice if all fonts displayed it rather equally so it would be more recognizable. (A question mark is of course always wrong.) Anárion 14:58, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Under Mac OS X, a character that isn't available in any font is rendered as a box with a symbol inside to show you what Unicode character category it belongs to. Gdr 19:36, 2004 Aug 16 (UTC)


I know that this may seem silly to most, but a local high-school of mine has a number of "famous" alumni.

Would it be wrong of me to add a page for their school? The school has been around for over a hundred years and has a very long history (of course). Plus, many current students and past alumni are very proud of their school - I think they would benefit from a wiki page.

  • It wouldn't be wrong. The absolute worst that would happen is that the article might get deleted, but even that is very unlikely as there are a number of people who believe that any article about any high school should be kept. Based on the questions you're asking I'm confident your article will be fine. You understand, of course, that it may get "edited mercilessly?" [[User:Dpbsmith|Dpbsmith (talk)]] 23:26, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)

What should I do? (I can get a detailed history of the school, I hope, so creating a lengthy article could work)

  • Do get the detailed history. But do boil it down into something interesting. Don't just dump it in verbatim. And do cite where you got it from. And don't copy big chunks of it, that could raise copyright issues. [[User:Dpbsmith|Dpbsmith (talk)]] 23:26, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Also, should I add the city name afterward?

For example: should Walnut Hills High School, which could refer to any school with that name in the entire universe become Walnut Hills High School?

  • Which regard to organization, formatting, and title: I'm not aware of any formatting or style guide for articles about schools, so just be bold and go ahead. I'd guess the title should be Walnut Hills High School initially, but it's easy enough to disambiguate later if it becomes necessary. But with all these things, don't worry. Editing these sorts of details is one of the ways in which Wikipedia functions quite well. Don't obsess with formatting and wording and structure or let it get in the way of putting your article together, just be bold and bull ahead as best you can. Do try to write an article that is at least slightly interesting to an utter stranger, and that answers the question "why does this school have an encyclopedia article about it." And do write one that will be pleasing to alums; just seeing their school listed isn't going to mean all that much to them. All my comments are just my $0.02, of course. [[User:Dpbsmith|Dpbsmith (talk)]] 23:26, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)

There are already a few people who have articles which are alumni (Charles Manson, Jerry Rubin, Theda Bara....)

  • Do include a list of notable alumni. All three of the names you mention are ones I certainly recognize and I believe their mention should be plenty to justify an article about your school. [[User:Dpbsmith|Dpbsmith (talk)]] 23:26, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Likely there are more, they like to boast their alumni. --JoeHenzi

Articles on J. Random High School are generally frowned upon, but where a school has some notable characteristic it is possible to make a worthwhile article out of it. Look at the "blue" links in List of schools in the United States for some examples - both good and bad. I think an unusual number of famous alumni sounds like a good basis (you might have to argue it out on VFD, though). I would go with the simple Walnut Hills High School until another school of that name that deserves an article is found, then disambiguate if necessary. --rbrwrˆ 20:33, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for the input. There is a rich history and Alumni world-wide. It isn't just another school. It's a college prep school and very unique amongst other high-schools in the USA. Another school of note is School of Creative and Performing Arts, also here in Cincinnati which has plenty of famous alumni. --JoeHenzi (BTW, how are you adding the date? is there a tag for that?) UTC/GMT is 21:31 on Saturday, August 14, 2004
~~~=name, ~~~~=name and date/time stamp. Niteowlneils 22:07, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I wouldn't worry about it even if it was just another school, what annoys people is when someone writes a useless article on an unremarkable school (or anything else), thus cluttering up Wikipedia with stub articles. Not being a paper encyclopedia, Wikipedia has effectively infinte space for articles on non-notable places so you might as well go ahead. As for the adding a date unless I've misunderstood what you are referring to you just need to write four tildes like this ~~~~ at the end of your posts. Three just signs your name and five will insert a timestamp only. Four tildes is always useful on article talk pages and pages like this one. Hope this helps. — Trilobite (Talk) 22:12, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Sorry Niteowlneils i didn't notice that you'd already responded to the datestamp query. Wasn't trying to imply there was anything wrong with your explanation or anything! — Trilobite (Talk) 22:18, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Eh, don't worry about it. I've always tried to not take life (or myself) too seriously, and each decade it gets easier. Plus being on Wikipedia has really re-inforced that, along with not taking things personally, and realizing that even tho' most people are operating with strictly good intentions, sometimes shtuff happens. Besides, I didn't know about the 5-tilde feature, so I learned something I wouldn't have if you had noticed. :) Niteowlneils 22:37, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Consider that this might belong more relevantly in an article about the town or city than about the high school (see, for example, Freeport, New York#Famous Freeporters. It's of more general interest that people are from a given town than that they went to a particular high school (unless, of course, the high school is notable for other reasons: say, an architecturally unique building, frequent winner of national competitions, etc.) -- Jmabel 06:24, Aug 16, 2004 (UTC)

Coloring columns

Could anyone help us how to colour the columns in a table? (Coloring rows would be definitely easier...) Is it possible at all? - The question arose at Talk:List_of_Germanic_and_Latinate_equivalents.


Adam78 13:50, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)

  • I tried ... and failed. Sorry. I will keep trying. Noisy 22:26, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  • The only way I know of is to use the colgroup and col elements, which are currently unsupported in Wikipedia. Best bet is probably to color each table cell in that column. -- Wapcaplet 04:26, 15 Aug 2004 (UTC)

A plea for civility in VfD

Within VfD, it is almost customary to conduct discussions as if they were being done by a committee in executive session, behind closed doors, in the absence of the people who developed the article. In reality, not only is VfD public, but the VfD notice has invited the authors of the article to attend. Many kinds of joking, disrespectual remarks are made as a kind of verbal shorthand which communicates the essence of the argument to other VfD regulars. Many VfD issues are recurrent and provoke an irritable curtness among those who have discussed a dozen vanity pages in the last month. If the article creators are not Wikipedia-junkies, it may take them a day or two to discover the VfD notice and make their way to the discussion. Having already gotten a slapped from the VfD notice itself, what they then find in VfD is likely to be experienced as salt in the wounds.

And that's when the discussion is polite.

Plenty of VfD pages are created by people who are by no means newbies and have an agenda and probably deserve a little antagonism.

But innocent newcomers are apt to interpret the VfD atmosphere as much more hostile and disrespectful than it really is. A number of VfD discussions which I interpret as "look how careful and punctilious we are about due diligence" are being interpreted by others as "This is getting blown way out of proportion. Why do you hate me so much?"

Nothing new here, but think the temperature's rising a bit on VfD and I think it would beneficial if participants tried to use a more formal and civil tone, particularly when listing articles. I think this is a case where a little bit of charitable hypocrisy might be beneficial.

I am eternally grateful to User:Angela when, as a newbie, I mentioned my favorite bed-and-breakfast in the article on Lancaster, Wisconsin and she moved it to the Talk page with a remark, phrased as a (rhetorical) question: "I moved this from the article because I don't think having lists of accommodation in places is a good idea. What do other people think?" So much nicer than if she had phrased it as say, "Accommodicdef nonnotable vanity doubleplusungood autorevert per Wikipolicy, in other words delete! delete! delete! with extreme prejudice and never darken our doors with commercial plugs again, O vile Wikispammer from the pestiferous pits of Hades!" Don't you think? (Rhetorical question). [[User:Dpbsmith|Dpbsmith (talk)]] 13:02, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I for one admit to having resolved never to visit VfD unless it concerns me, I am sorry to say. Combined with the awkwardness of the big long page anyways, it's quite an unpleasant experience. Also, it's kind of like looking at Wikipedia's "dark side", all the pure rubbish that one sees. I now go about, blissfully unaware of really absurb nasty articles. I believe seeing such tripe has upset a number of Wikipedians. I don't need Wikistress from VfD. So I avoid it. I'm not paid to deal with such unpleasantness. There you go. How un-wikipedian I guess. zoney  talk 20:45, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I do frequent VfD (but certainly don't consider it un-wikipedian of those who chose not to), and agree with Dpbsmith that it does violate Don't bite the newcomers, Wikiquette, and Wikipedia:Civility too often. VfD, as a mechanism, is a part of one of Wikipedia's greatest strengths, keeping only encyclopedic and notable content. However, VfD as currently practiced is, um, well, lets just say, not always our proudest moment.
This might be a good venue for me to mention one of my pet peeves with VfD, which is somewhat related: I'd like us to find a word or phrase to replace "vanity page". "Vanity" as it's currently defined in the VfD context is much different than the definition to the outside world, where it also has additionally negative connotations. Of all the standard/suggested phrases to say why a page is not encyclopedic, it seems to be the one that is most likely to make contributors feel very bitten. To them, they have just been accused of having a negative personality trait. Simply "not notable" probably would probably include most, if not all cases, but surely we can come up with something less likely to make people bristle, if we really feel these particular pages need a specific word/phrase. Niteowlneils 22:03, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Your point about the word vanity is a very good one and is well worth considering. I interpret it as shorthand for "Wikipedia is not a vanity press," which means a "publishing" house which publishes anything any author chooses to write at the author's expense. But even the phrase "vanity press" isn't terribly well-known. I don't think "not notable" quite does it, though. [[User:Dpbsmith|Dpbsmith (talk)]] 12:34, 15 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I considered "promotional", which led me to "hype"--according to, "PUBLICITY; especially: promotional publicity of an extravagant or contrived kind"--just the point we're trying to make, and even faster to type than "vanity". :) Still some negative connotations, but not nearly so personal. Niteowlneils 18:48, 15 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Perhaps part of a solution would be to make a few templates like template:vfd-vanity to use in vfd-nominations, which we could then take the time to carefully formulate to make them polite and easily understandable to newcomers. Thue | talk 09:47, 15 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I like the idea. I just would want to try to get a feel for how many people would use them before spending a lot of time on them. On the otherhand, the number doesn't have to be two large--if even 3 or 4 of the most prolific VfDers committed to using them I think it would be worth it. Niteowlneils 02:00, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Isn't it funny how the people who attack VfD are the ones who always insist "I never go there"? It reminds me of those people who always attack television and claim they don't own one, yet know everything about every show being shown. RickK 05:08, Aug 15, 2004 (UTC)

Regardless, I think Dpbsmith's criticism is very valid (He does read VFD, and so do I). Even if VFD is somewhat fair, it can be (or be percieved as) very hostile by newcomers. Thue | talk 09:47, 15 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I'm personally quite active there, and I completely concur with the complaint. [[User:Meelar|Meelar (talk)]] 17:19, 2004 Aug 15 (UTC)
Likewise. Andrewa 07:29, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

As a start, I've added a sentence to Template:VfD header about biting newcomers, civility, and wikiquette, as per some good points made here siroχo 13:07, Aug 15, 2004 (UTC)

Nice work. Niteowlneils 02:00, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I'm active on VFD, and I'm generally civil, I believe, but frankly it gets tedious looking at a lot of obviously inappropriate submissions. I do indeed want to dismiss them with a single word. If someone wants to give me a {{vanity}} template, a {{non-notable}} template, etc. I'll gladly put curly brackets around these words to get someone's lengthier, more polite wording, but I really don't feel bad about telling someone (for example) that their former elementary school or current hacker clan is not notable enough to belong in an encyclopedia. -- Jmabel

I much prefer freedom of speech with people developing a thicker skin to criticism. If you do poor work, like dropping a junk article in the Wikipedia, why not get criticism for it? That said, I think that criticism should reflect the severity of the article's problems--If it's clearly a newbie mistake, then be gentler. -- Stevietheman 16:33, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Errors in other Enyclopaedias

I thought there was a page which listed factual errors in other encyclopaedias, but I can't find it. Anyone know if this exists or is it a figment of my imagination?Mintguy (T)

There's Making fun of Britannica over on meta. Was that it? - 10:09, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC) Lee (talk)

Silicon Valley Meetup

I've set up a Silicon Valley Wikipedia:Meetup for next Thursday. Hope to see you all there! Peter Hendrickson 05:38, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Wiki Code for non wiki purposes

I am working on creating a page for the alumni of my alma matte, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. I am thinking of a page for users/alum to note what they are doing in life and how to find them. The user pages of Wiki are an ideal way to do this however, there are 2 things which I would like to change: the fact that everyone can edit a user's page (like any other page) and the visibility to the rest of the Wiki, which I would consider clutter for non-active users. I would like to consider hosting my own version, separate from the Wiki, using some of this extremely well written code. Is there any info which might get me started on getting a grasp on this situation? Cavebear42 02:56, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)

The Wikipedia uses MediaWiki but there are lot of Wiki type software. See the previous links and How to start a Wiki over at WikiBooks. Mintguy (T)

Moving categories?

Just wanted to check if moving categories works just like moving articles, and is everything updated automatically, or do I have to edit and re-save every article to get everything looking and acting right? I didn't see anything to address this at Wikipedia:Categorization. Niteowlneils 01:49, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I think the only thing that you will get by moving a category is to move the text associated with it, if there is any. (I.E. a description or any super-category memberships.) All the individual articles that are included in a category will have to be edited one-by-one. Think very carefully before starting down this path, and read as many Talk pages as you can find where this move might have been discussed before. Noisy 02:03, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick answer. It's good to know, but it turns out for the future, as I later realized it currently has no articles linked to it, and I believe could only ever have three articles, and the three are well-enough crosslinked I see no point in having a cat for it. If anyone's curious, it's [[Category:Bytopia (plane)]], and the reason I was thinking it needed to be moved is that Bytopia (plane) has been moved to Bytopia. Maybe I'll leave a note on the Talk page, or for the creator. Niteowlneils 02:37, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Anyone up for a quick photoshop job?

If anyone can get rid of the caption on this military photo of Ben Nighthorse Campbell, I'd be forever grateful. Neutrality 21:27, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Done. -- Grunt (talk) 22:05, 2004 Aug 13 (UTC)
I have converted the GIF to a PNG, resulting in over a kilobyte of savings! --Ardonik 00:03, Aug 18, 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for the news

I have to compliment the people behind the "In the news..." section on the front page, I've learned a lot of things there before I heard them on the mass media, and some things I haven't. In particular, the plan to move the South Korean capital from Seoul, and the resignation of Jim McGreevy, all appeared there before I noticed them on mainstream news sites. Thanks for keeping Wikipedians and the world at large informed! :) --Golbez 18:23, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I heard it on the Wiki IRC. Anyhow, yes, the In the news section is really nice (for example I didn't hear anywhere about the s. Korean capital) Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 20:58, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I generally think "hmmm, that's interesting", and manage to find the story on BBC news or whatever, albeit buried where I may not have seen it. It's handy to have the different view of importance - but I would suggest that Wikipedia doesn't always get it right. It is often quite US-centric also. I don't think anyone from a European country would get away with adding a personal-life scandal involving one of their politicians to the "in the news" section. I believe the EU commissioners appointment didn't make the main page! I've edited it in the past, but the box is cumbersome to access and I'm busy enough without keeping an eagle eye on it. zoney  talk 21:03, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Two pages slightly different names Same topic

Hi I found two pages on the same topic but with slightly different names. I don't have much time to go through both as they are quite long.

They are: Henry Bartle Frere and Henry Bartle Edward Frere.

Is there some place where these duplications are reported? --Jcw69 18:17, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Yes, at Wikipedia:Duplicate articles. Check the "Community portal" link on the left for a list of all these helpful pages. :) --Golbez 18:20, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I've redirected the second one (which was created later; had been edited less, and had fewer links pointing to it) to the first, and dabbed the links. Noisy 02:44, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Editing special text

When you click on "edit this page", you get a message which says:

If you would just like to test or practice editing, please do that in the sandbox. You are encouraged to create, expand, and improve upon articles, however, bad edits to articles are watched for and will be quickly removed.

There are a couple of linguistic errors in this:

  • "practice" is a noun, not a verb. It should say "practise".
  • There should be a semicolon or a period after "improve upon articles", rather than a comma.

However, I don't know how to change this text. Does it need to be done by a developer, or is there a template somewhere?

Thanks, ,,,Trainspotter,,, 17:31, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I agree on the comma/semicolon bit, but "practice" is the US spelling for both the noun and verb forms. (uh-oh, can of worms.) I'm almost positive an admin will have to alter that text. - jredmond 17:35, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I changed the , to a ; - the relevant text is at Mediawiki:Copyrightwarning should a change to "practise" needs to be put into practice. That page is protected but I don't think we can afford to unprotect it - the copyright information must remain invariant. Pcb21| Pete 17:47, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Anyone else flummoxed by the combination of "practise" (UK-ish for practice) and "period" (US-ish for full stop)? Or am I missing something? Hajor 22:30, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I am British. I sometimes write in US English here if I think it will be more intelligible to the majority of users, hence "period". However, I had no idea that the spelling of the verb as "practice" is correct in US English. I am accustomed to seeing it in the UK as a plain mistake, in contexts where there is no suggestion that the author is using American English -- e.g. a quick Google search has found the word "practicing" on this page from the BBC/British Council teaching English :-) ,,,Trainspotter,,, 12:26, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Oliver Hardy

If you look for the page of Oliver Hardy, you are redirected to the page of Laurel and Hardy. But doesn't Oliver Hardy deserve a page of his own, just like Stan Laurel? Aecis 15:25, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Of course they both deserve their own articles. We just need someone to write them. :-) Frecklefoot | Talk 15:46, Aug 13, 2004 (UTC)
But is there no way to make the redirection undone? Aecis 15:52, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
There is indeed. Click Oliver Hardy. When you end up at Laurel and Hardy, you will see a "Redirected from Oliver Hardy" link just below the title. Click that link, then click "Edit this page" to undo the redirect. Pcb21| Pete 16:03, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Won't work now, though, 'cause I've already beaten you to the punch. :) You can also add "&redirect=no" to the end of the URL to skip redirection. - jredmond 16:07, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Just MHO, but I think we should leave the redirect in until the article is actually written. Right now it just ends up at a blank page. Redirecting to Laurel and Hardy is more useful than just going to a blank page. When the article is written, there will be no redirect. Frecklefoot | Talk 16:20, Aug 13, 2004 (UTC)
Now that I look further into it, Stan Laurel redirects to Laurel and Hardy, so I've reverted Oliver Hardy back to the redirect for consistency's sake. Arthur Stanley Jefferson (Laurel's real name, and the subject of the link above) has some biographical info but raises some copyvio flags for me. (I'm looking into that now.) - jredmond 16:38, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Oops, I just undid that redirect and put a crappy stub - thinking it was also for consistencies sake! Now we have two articles to write :) Pcb21| Pete 16:40, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
D'oh! I think we can safely redirect Stan Laurel to Arthur Stanley Jefferson, though, as long as the destination article mentions that the former is a stage name. - jredmond 16:50, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Which is the case :) ("Arthur Stanley Jefferson (1890-1965) is better known as comedian Stan Laurel. In this article, Arthur is used to refer to the person, while Stan Laurel refers to the actor and producer.") Aecis 17:09, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I dimly recollect that the (possibly de facto) policy on this is that the article would be at the most common name (i.e. Stan Laurel but that the opening line would be as above. Pcb21| Pete 17:16, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
An admin'll have to handle the move, then. I don't have such powers. - jredmond 17:30, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Hmm, strange - I thought I had seen your name around quite a bit. How long have you been here? I've moved the page. Pcb21| Pete 22:50, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Interwiki links

Hi, could you guys and gals generally start adding more interwiki links outside the main namespace, such as in Image: namespaces when you copy images to other wikipedias and to Category:. Thanks. -- Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason 11:47, 2004 Aug 13 (UTC)

May I second that request with the request not to forget the interwiki links in both direction for normal articles either. Im am slowly working through the list created by User:Topbanana of missing or wrong interwikis between de-fr-en - which would be much shorter if everyone who adds a link to the english article on any international wikipedia would also add the backlink on en:. andy 12:03, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Wow man, are you doing that manually, It would be much quicker to run an Interwiki bot on the whole thing, I'll be doing that soon on en. to update all articles that dont link to the respective article on is., see Interwiki bot/Getting started for a tutorial on how to run one. -- Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason 16:12, 2004 Aug 13 (UTC)
I am doing them manually because there are quite a lot of them which are misleading, thus a fully automatic robot would just make it worse. If it were simple slavish ones like those for the year numbers I would leave them for a robot of course. andy 18:08, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
You can have the robot ask you for each one, anyway, some people even get the years wrong. I had that conflict one time i ran it. -- Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason 18:54, 2004 Aug 13 (UTC)
Yes, but not in templates: such a link appears in the edge of the page that includes the template, giving the impression that the link is to a version in the other language of the referring page instead of the template.--Patrick 13:45, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Watchlist times failing

My watchlist is only showing the last 12 hours of changes. When I click on 3 days or 7 days, it still shows the last 12 hours. Does anyone know what's going on?

Acegikmo1 05:26, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

If I recall correctly, that kicks in when you've got more than a certain number of pages on your watchlist to reduce database load. -- Cyrius| 06:15, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
This was reported as a bug at sourceforge nearly 24 hours ago. It has become impossible to change the default, which is 12 hours or 3 days depending on whether you are watching more or less than 1000 pages. Angela. 06:29, Aug 13, 2004 (UTC)
Wow...1000 pages. I only have 148. BTW, how come a little padlock shows up after the link to SF? Is it because it's a secure connection? How does wikipedia know? Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 16:51, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Yes, it's a secure connection. The addresses for secured Web sites all begin with "https://" instead of "http://". - jredmond 16:56, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I gotcha. "" [7] "" [8] Wow, you learn something new every day. Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 17:29, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Hey, that's why we hang around here, right? In any case, Uniform Resource Identifier has a more complete explanation. - jredmond 17:33, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Watchlists should now be working normally again thanks to Tim Starling. Angela. 16:02, Aug 14, 2004 (UTC)

Handling double copyvio Q

Luc_Fierens/Temp is also a cut and paste from [9], so what now? Delete it? /temp/temp? Niteowlneils 03:45, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

When I've seen that sort of thing, I've just speedy deleted it. It doesn't make sense to create an ever-deepening set of /Temps when some copy/pasting slacker just won't get the point. -- Cyrius| 06:14, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)


Does anyone else find it ironic that WP:VIP redirects to "Vandalism in progress"? [[User:Meelar|Meelar (talk)]] 00:56, 2004 Aug 13 (UTC)

No. Your point?Graham 04:01, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I think he means like VIP is 'Very important person' therefore labelling vandals as VIP's. I do find it somewhat ironic. Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 04:18, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Isn't that the point of vandalism (both online and IRL), to feel important? I am of the opinion that they should be ignored. Is anybody familiar w behavioural psychology? In it there is a method of conditioning called "extinction" in which you cause certain types of attention seeking behaviours (of which this would be one) to disappear, by ignoring them. IMO its best not to talk much about, or fuss over vandals. That?s what they want. Correct the mischief and move on, I say. Getting involved in dramas with them provides them the very importance and amusement that they crave. Sam [Spade] 04:33, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

where to link Sweet heart cake

This is a nice short article that I am trying to make better known, so I am trying to link it somewhere logical. I can't figure out what Chinese cuisine to link Sweet heart cake to. The article says Hong Kong. Why isn't this Hong Kong cuisine in the infobox for Chinese cuisine Ancheta Wis 00:13, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

that would be cantonese cuisine, I believe. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 00:25, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

incorrect category name

I have just noticed that Category:Women's basketball player has not been pluralised. And that it should really be moved as a sub-category of basketball players with the all players recategorised into men and women or all the female players moved into Category:Basketball players?? as it does not make sense at the moment. Are there any Basketball fans who know how to and would like to correct the error???Scraggy4 23:29, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I know how, and I can do it. However, it's better to teach someone to fish than to give them a fish. So here's what you do:
  1. Open the category.
  2. Edit each of the articles, so that they are categorized into the new category.
  3. If it doesn't exist, create the new category so that it looks just like the old category.
  4. Once it is empty, mark the old category with {{cfd}} so that an admin will know it is ready to be deleted.
- UtherSRG 23:36, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Thanx Uther, I didn't really want to do it myself as I am currently working on many other things, I only noticed this by chance. I was hoping that somebody who had made some input into the Basketball articles would do it, but many thanks for showing the procedure, now I will know what to do if I need to do it. C'mon Basketball fans there must be one of out there with a few minutes on your hands.Scraggy4 23:50, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Also, you can list it on Wikipedia:Categories for deletion and then move a handful of articles as you have time. Others on that page might be willing to move some as well, and pretty soon, it'll all be done. --ssd 03:59, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Hurricane Charley - part 2

Just in case there's people who watch the pump but not Wikipedia:Announcements

Hurricane Charley is expected to make landfall near Tampa, Florida on August 13. Wikimedia's hosting center is prepared for the storm, but downtime is possible. For offsite updates on Wikipedia's status, see the Wikipedia Status page at OpenFacts.

That's a big "Wikipedia might go down tomorrow" in case you missed the point. -- Cyrius| 21:11, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

The colo is pretty confident they can maintain service. Jimbo's house is in a more tenuous situation. -- Tim Starling 07:49, Aug 13, 2004 (UTC)
Isn't Wikipedia great. I thought I had recollections of another Hurricane Charley (The remainder of the 1986 one managed to carry on over to Ireland). How confusing to keep naming them the same name! zoney  talk 11:49, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
They stop using a name once a storm reaches a certain degree of notability. The previous Charleys haven't, but this one might. -- Cyrius| 13:55, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)


If an anon user is vandalising talk pages persistently, how long should he/she be banned? What if they're blanking/vandalising articles? etc... Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 20:38, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

First, you need to check whether the anon is a shared proxy (from someone like AOL). There's not much point blocking such IPs for more than an hour or two (or a day or two, max) as a determined miscreant can just log off and then on, and they'll get a new IP. At this point your block will only inconvenience some innocent third-party. We have a few of such persistent anonyvandals (no names, no pack drill) and there's a limited amount we can do about them. If an IP appears to be fixed (or the proxy-user is determined), then make sure you've warned the person that what they're doing is inappropriate (after all, anything goes in some other online places), and warn them that if they don't quit then they'll be blocked. After that, if they persist, a 12 or 24 hr block seems appropriate. If the come back, unreformed, the same again. Some people advocate a progressive doubling. Remember that the point of the block is to get them to quit vandalising, not to permanently ban them from wikipedia. There's really very few anonyvandals who have the patience to stick with it in the face of implacable reversion and a measured, firm blocking scheme. Oh, and remember that anything you write on an anon's talk page can be read by some innocent later (or, it seems, randomly right now), so try to sound, well, fatherly :) -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 22:59, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Okay, thanks. Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 04:17, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
My procedure is as follows: The first test or vandalism edit prompts a {{test}}~~~~ on the user's talk page. Subsequent questionable edits more than 5 minutes after I've left the previous message (making sure they have a chance to read what I've said) get {{test2}}, {{test3}}, {{test4}}. After that, one more bad edit results in a 24 hour block, noted on the user talk page. If they return and continue to vandalize, they get one more warning and another 24 hour block. After that the blocks get progressively longer. Note that this is extremely seldom necessary; most people stop after the first or second warning, and almost everyone goes away after the first block. In my opinion, we should standardize this among admins so that we stop working at cross-purposes. moink 16:58, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)


Search sometimes identifies target text within an article only minutes after it has been written. On other occasions, it fails to identify it for many weeks. Why is that?
Bobblewik 20:24, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I think the "many weeks" scenario is for the occasions when we're forced to fall back on google and yahoo for a search solution (something that hasn't been necessary for some months). As they're based on crawlers, updates must wait until the are crawled, which can take some time. Right now we use mediawiki's own mysql-based search function, so changes should be manifest immediately. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 01:17, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for that explanation. Let me give you a specific example. I edited Banshee light fighter on 27 June 2004. I changed 'km/sec' to 'km/s'. Yet when I search for 'km/sec', it still appears as a hit. What is happening there?
Bobblewik 09:47, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
For your specific example, what I'm seeing is that the '/' character is removed from the search string, which becomes;
  • The query is "km sec"
and the Banshee light fighter article eventually shows up in the result list because it contains the letters 'km', as highlighted in red on the following line. Other articles show up because they just contain the word 'sec'. -- Solipsist 10:16, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Thanks. Yes, I note that the '/' character is removed, as you say. That is a little frustrating. If I run the query without quotes as in km/sec, it tells me The query is "km sec". I get 67 hits which includes the Banshee article. I believe that it is trying to give me all articles which contain the string 'km' AND the string 'sec'.
If I use double quotes as in "km/sec", tells me The query is ""km sec"". I get 1 hit which is the Banshee article. I believe that it is trying to give me all articles which contain the string 'km' followed within one character by the string 'sec'.
The Banshee article has not contained the string 'sec' for over 6 weeks. So it should not be a result in either of those two queries. It looks to me like a false positive.
Bobblewik 10:56, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I now see that a search for "km/sec" gives zero hits and a search for km/sec gives 92 hits. So something has changed in the last 24 hours. Let me give the example of Eden, Cumbria. The words 'eden cumbria north west' have been in the text since 24 June 2004. If I search for those words, it tells me The query is "eden cumbria north west". I get 15 results but not Eden, Cumbria. It is not finding the page, yet it has been a valid result for over 7 weeks.
Bobblewik 09:57, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Another example:
A search for "600 mps" tells me that The query is ""600 mps"" and the page text match is in Jungle Carbine. But it is not true. That string has not existed on the page since 27 June.
Bobblewik 10:05, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Another false result since 27 June is "745 mps" leading to No. 4 Mk1.
Bobblewik 14:52, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Disambiguating pages

I want to properly disambiguate Hey Jude, which is both a compilation album and song, the song being far more widely known than the compilation album, which was United States-only. What would be the "correct" way to fix this? I'm looking into rewriting the article to featured standard, so I'm curious. Thanks in advance for help rendered. Johnleemk | Talk 13:14, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I would say keep the song at Hey Jude, and the album goes to Hey Jude (album), with a note at the top of Hey Jude saying This article is about the song; for the album of the same name, see Hey Jude (album).. Just my $.02. [[User:Meelar|Meelar (talk)]] 13:17, 2004 Aug 12 (UTC)
Seconded. Anárion 13:18, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Another possibility is to include both in the same article, especially if the album article isn't likely to be more than a paragraph or two. Each could have its own section. The article could start with a sentence that provides internal links to each section — something like "Hey Jude is a [[#The song|classic Beatles song]] and [[#The album|a Beatles compilation album]]". (I'm not suggesting this artlessly brief sentence, just its format.) Just a thought. — Jeff Q 15:21, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I had added a note about the album to the bottom a while ago, which was removed by a recent editor. I readded it, but if you wish to expand it to the point that it needs its own page, that would be excellent as well. siroχo 15:41, Aug 12, 2004 (UTC)
The album is nothing special - stick it all one article with the song taking precedence. Pcb21| Pete 16:52, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I agree. The sentence about the album is not worth of a separate article, at least not yet. anthony (see warning) 20:24, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Bold/italics combinations broken?

There seems to have been a software change here today that means that bold text nested within italics no longer seems to work the say it used to - is this by design or should I file a bug report?

Specifically, '''''P'''anzer '''E'''insitzer'' used to give Panzer Einsitzer but now gives Panzer Einsitzer.

We make quite a lot of use of this combination on aircraft pages... --Rlandmann 07:41, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

This is odd, it seems to work sometimes and not for others. If we actually use the Wikitext you wrote (not just forcing bold and italics), see: '''''P'''anzer '''E'''insitzer'' == Panzer Einsitzer. Introduce a space, ie '' '''P'''anzer '''E'''insitzer'' == Panzer Einsitzer

The problem is that the parser won't be able to differentiate ''''' as being <b><i> or <i><b>. The space should force this to happen. Dysprosia 08:40, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

OK thanks, but text formatted without the space in Casa C-101 was working fine yesterday, but not today... Will the parser ignore the extra space when using the method above? --Rlandmann 12:42, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)
HTML ignores extra whitespace, so having that extra space will have no difference in rendering. You can see this above. Dysprosia 22:36, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Is this change permanent or is it going to be "fixed"? I'm still not clear whether it is a bug or not. A lot of ship articles now have broken formatting, such as HMS Queen Elizabeth (1913). Geoff/Gsl 05:27, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
While there's a perfectly good work-around, this is affecting quite a few existing pages. I've just filed a bug report on it --Rlandmann 06:01, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Appears to be fixed. Yay! Geoff/Gsl 01:04, 15 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I really think someone from your organization needs to look into this. Here is a link to the whole article:

Reading your site as I do, I'm sure you realize that people are going to start believing that you are Pro-Bush and not realize what it is you ARE actually about.

I appreciate your time and consideration in this matter. 06:59, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC) MetroRetro

(I'm not affiliated with the Wikimedia Foundation, so this might not be an interesting answer for you, nor am I a US citizen, but I'm at least a regular contributor to this encyclopedia.) I'm not sure what is the problem here really. The "flip-flopping" formulation is a conclusion draw themselves from the information they had read on Wikipedia, I assume, so Wikipedia can't really answer to that part. The other things here are claimed facts (although the statement about Shanghai being American occupied at the time was removed as incorrect on June 10). If you feel that any of these facts might be incorrect, and no evidence is given, demand evidence on Talk:John Kerry. You have the right to it. All this while, you should be aware that the article (John Kerry) is one of the most frequented and edited on Wikipedia, subject to often repeated vandalism, several edit wars (one ongoing, it seems, between User:Rex071404 and User:Neutrality), the occasional protection, and harsh words between many of the involved editors (many words, too – only this month, the talk page has been archived three times already). So there will be statements there from time to time that are incorrect, point-of-view, or conceivable as point-of-view. This is the nature of wikis. These statements generally disappear within minutes or even seconds. This is the nature of good wikis. And of course, such statements disappear even more rapidly if more people join in and monitor articles. (Yeah, that's you.) -- Jao 09:23, Aug 12, 2004 (UTC)
If the information is incorrect, remove it. If it has been selected so as to present a false picture, then add information to make a complete picture. appears to be pushing a particular point of view: namely, (a) that the actions of Kerry's ancestors were bad; and (b) that this reflects badly on him. Wikipedia can't stop people making arguments like that, nor is it really the place to refute them (but see guilt by association). Gdr 12:16, 2004 Aug 12 (UTC)
You need to carefully read the article on John Kerry. The John kerry article is factual (well, close, it's being ironed). The way something is INTERPRETED makes all the difference. is very good at interpreting things the way they want to. Lyellin 12:21, Aug 12, 2004 (UTC)
Reading both texts, it appears that has taken every sentence from the Wikipedia article that supports their POV and pasted it together in their own way, with their own interpretations (but still crediting Wikipedia). The facts are the same as what we have, except that have been very selective about picking out pieces from Wikipedia article. I don't quite see what we can do about this but, if Wikipedia keeps getting more popular, things like this one are going to be more common as well. Andris 14:42, Aug 12, 2004 (UTC)
Not something to worry about. Such selective quoting goes on the world over. However, if "from Wikipedia" is used as an attempt at authoritativeness of selective quotes - I'm sure for serious problems of this kind, action can be taken over the misuse of Wikipedia's name. zoney  talk 17:53, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Taking a lighter look at it. I think it's great that Wikipedia's name is being used in order to add authority. I remember in the early days argueing on usenet with people who said "It'll never work, the general public are a bunch of idiots, if you let them all edit you'll get rubbish" How wrong they were. theresa knott 20:30, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

  • Plus, it may get some BushCountry readers with tendencies towards critical thinking to pop over here and check out the actual article. Exposure is rarely a bad thing. -- Wapcaplet 22:08, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Did REALLY get this biased information from here?

To find a fair and well-documented biography of John F. Kerry, and discover who this Presidential candidate really is, go to this Wikipedia Encyclopedia:

You will find that:

Kerry came from German-speaking Jews, but the family concealed its background upon migrating to the United States, and raised the Kerry children as Catholics. Kerry professes to be a Catholic but is divorced and pro-abortion, positions from which his Diocese has distanced themselves. Kerry has a family history of flip-flopping and appearing to be something other than he is.

John Kerry's maternal grandfather, James Grant Forbes, was born in then American occupied Shanghai, China, where the Forbes family of China and Boston accumulated a fortune in the opium and China trade.

Hurricane Charley

There once was a Hurricane, Charley...
That came from the land of Bob Marley...
chased Jimbo away
that very same day
But the site did not die, not hardly
by User:Jimbo Wales

I just thought I'd share that with everyone who doesn't hang out on #MediaWiki. -- Cyrius| 04:21, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Could you remove the "/wiki/" from URLs?

Could you remove the "/wiki/" from URLs?

Could you remove the "wiki/" from URLs?

Could you remove the "wiki/" from URLs? This will make the URLs shorter and easier to type.

Example: Change to

Auto Unit Conversion

Since Wikipedia has an internatioal audience, I thought it would be really cool if this worked:

Surround a number, along with it's corresponding unit (for example, "22km") with triple round brackets:


Then, the Wikipedia software could automatically look at the text in the brackets, run it through a unit conversion (similar to the Google calculator), and present it in the preferred unit of the reader.

What do you think?

Would be cool, but also hard on the server I think. [[User:Anárion|File:Anarion.png]] 07:31, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)
And also results in precise imprecision. It's about 20km from here would become It's about 12.43 miles from here. See also overzealous newspapers: She said, "I feel like a million dollars (£548,845.83)". -- Avaragado 08:11, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Positive diagnosis of censorship on Wiki and proposed cure for Wikicensors

One of my previous questions here has been deleted, en bloc, complete with evidence. More than HALF of my text contributed to Wiki has been deleted without a trace under the "personal attack" banner, doctrine, fallacy or whatever. So here is this interesting case for disfunctioning in my Wikicensors, which perhaps merits some qualified medical attention. Quoting from a famous textbook treating censorship as an institutional disease:

There is a serious problem of "institutional impotence" for many bodies -- with many others operating under prison-like constraints, if only conceptually. Of course some form of "conceptual masturbation" -- perhaps characteristic of many conferences -- may provide a short-term satisfactory substitute. Or, as Dave Barry humorously indicates: "To the rest of America, making policy is a form of institutional masturbation; to Washingtonians, it is productive work. They love to make policy."
At the other extreme, a rare form of erectile dysfunction is the permanent erection (priapism). By comparison, the concern has been expressed, notably by Cynthia Mahmood, that US policies with regard to terrorism could lead to a world where the United States is in a permanent state of "military arousal", perpetually fighting an ill-defined and elusive enemy. This could then be suitably named as "priapic warfare". Given US military admiration for Roman imperial endeavours, this suggests a line for further research (see Amly Richlin. The Garden of Priapus: Sexuality and Aggression in Roman Humour, 1983)
Non-sexually related spontaneous erections happen often, especially in young men. These may perhaps be compared to the momentary enthusiastic responses of the young to social challenges. Premature ejaculation is often confused with erectile dysfunction. It is a condition in which the entire process of arousal, erection, ejaculation, and climax occur very rapidly, leaving the partner unsatisfied. This might usefully be compared to premature human responses to the challenges of the planet.

Rest assured, my office is still open for more individual medical and psychological attention for the diseased censors here. Sincerely, irismeister 11:33, 2004 Aug 19 (UTC)

RE: Proposed institutional treatment for Wikicensors who see personal attacks wherever they can't argue using aristotelic or boolean logic :O)
-end-of item-

What is the relevance of the "no personal attack" policy?

Any arbitrator, sysop, and editor might consider whatever does not suit her personal humor, particular day in the monthly cycle, and so on, as a personal attack. Moreover, whatever some say is a personal attack others say it's only attention, care and indeed Wikilove. Who says what is what and what is not what in Wiki? Take my case study for instance: I had a six month assignment in commiting quality medical articles for Wiki. Well, six months later, half of my contributions have been deleted without a trace by people crying wolf while severly insulting, libelling and slandering me (by the expert opinion of my lawyers). In one instance, Theresa and Jwros felt personally attacked by me calling them "baby" while I should not consider them calling me a "nutcase" as a personal attack (by the enlightened ukaz of arbitrators). In a word, people, why don't you wake up and come to your senses. And while you are doing so, and in the process of arousal, why don't you ask yourself quies custodiet ipsos custodes. In conclusion, here I offer a minitext in order for you to help answering me with at least some sensible NON-PERSONAL, principial, relevant and creative stuff:

Relevance of policies

What is the relevance of the "no personal attack" policy?

Any arbitrator, sysop, and editor might consider whatever does not suit her personal humor, particular day in the monthly cycle, and so on, as a personal attack. Moreover, whatever some say is a personal attack others say it's only attention, care and indeed Wikilove. Who says what is what and what is not what in Wiki? Take my case study for instance: I had a six month assignment in commiting quality medical articles for Wiki. Well, six months later, half of my contributions have been deleted without a trace by people crying wolf while severly insulting, libelling and slandering me (by the expert opinion of my lawyers). In one instance, Theresa and Jwros felt personally attacked by me calling them "baby" while I should not consider them calling me a "nutcase" as a personal attack (by the enlightened ukaz of arbitrators). In a word, people, why don't you wake up and come to your senses. And while you are doing so, and in the process of arousal, why don't you ask yourself quies custodiet ipsos custodes. In conclusion, here I offer a minitext in order for you to help answering me with at least some sensible NON-PERSONAL, principial, relevant and creative stuff:

Positive diagnosis of censorship on Wiki and proposed cure for Wikicensors

One of my previous questions here has been deleted, en bloc, complete with evidence. More than HALF of my text contributed to Wiki has been deleted without a trace under the "personal attack" banner, doctrine, fallacy or whatever. So here is this interesting case for disfunctioning in my Wikicensors, which perhaps merits some qualified medical attention. Quoting from a famous textbook treating censorship as an institutional disease:

There is a serious problem of "institutional impotence" for many bodies -- with many others operating under prison-like constraints, if only conceptually. Of course some form of "conceptual masturbation" -- perhaps characteristic of many conferences -- may provide a short-term satisfactory substitute. Or, as Dave Barry humorously indicates: "To the rest of America, making policy is a form of institutional masturbation; to Washingtonians, it is productive work. They love to make policy."
At the other extreme, a rare form of erectile dysfunction is the permanent erection (priapism). By comparison, the concern has been expressed, notably by Cynthia Mahmood, that US policies with regard to terrorism could lead to a world where the United States is in a permanent state of "military arousal", perpetually fighting an ill-defined and elusive enemy. This could then be suitably named as "priapic warfare". Given US military admiration for Roman imperial endeavours, this suggests a line for further research (see Amly Richlin. The Garden of Priapus: Sexuality and Aggression in Roman Humour, 1983)
Non-sexually related spontaneous erections happen often, especially in young men. These may perhaps be compared to the momentary enthusiastic responses of the young to social challenges. Premature ejaculation is often confused with erectile dysfunction. It is a condition in which the entire process of arousal, erection, ejaculation, and climax occur very rapidly, leaving the partner unsatisfied. This might usefully be compared to premature human responses to the challenges of the planet.

Rest assured, my office is still open for more individual medical and psychological attention for the diseased censors here. Sincerely, irismeister 11:33, 2004 Aug 19 (UTC)

RE: Proposed institutional treatment for Wikicensors who see personal attacks wherever they can't argue using aristotelic or boolean logic :O)
-end-of item-

policy on image text wrt pointers to email addresses?

What's the policy on images like where the photographer has provided a sample of a photo for use in the Wikipedia, and also provides the email address where other photos potentially can be acquired by private arrangements with the photographer? Isn't this a form of an advertisement?

VfD Subpages - Don't link to the article being discussed

VfD has improved out of all recognition with the introduction of sub-pages, such as, to take one at random, Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/North of the Border. There is IMO one shortcoming, which is that the system for setting up the sub-page does not ensure that there's a link from the subpage to the page being discussed. So, in the above example, there is no link to North of the Border. If I pick up on a VfD dicussion from Recent Changes, I get taken into the subpage and have to cludge around going up to the main VfD page, or cut & paste the title of the subpage, in order to see the page under discussion. All of which is the sort of faffing around I'd hope computers would take away from me :) --Tagishsimon 15:21, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)

If the sub-page has exactly the same name as the page discussed then it'll be automatically linked to from the page via the vfd template. In those cases you can use "what links here" to get back the page (e.g. Special:Whatlinkshere/Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/North of the Border). Doesn't always work, though. - 16:21, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC) Lee (talk)

Minor edit indication on Special:Recentchanges

Why does RC suddenly display a capital "M" for minor edits, despite MediaWiki:Minoreditletter being a lower-case "m"? I thought we had decided quite some while ago that it should be "m", not "M". Lupo 10:57, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Hm. Seems to be already fixed now. Lupo 11:16, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)
This has happened occasionally over the last couple of months, on the watchlist as well. It seems harmless and goes away after a little while. Rhymeless 19:02, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Misc. Feature questions

1) Any chance of getting RSS into page histories and watchlists? Not everybody's interested in keeping track of every single item here! :)

2) I just downloaded the Wikimedia software...Really incredible...Thank you developers! Are there any plans to allow email notification, either integrated within the pages to opt for this and/or tied to the watchlist (say even as an add-on module if for some reason it is not considered desirable at Wikipedia)?

3) Any Wikimedia WYSIWYG client software (without the limitations of the HTML text box such as to highlight text and simply make them into links) out there yet that can interface with Wikimedia software? That would seem to expand greatly the pool contributing (in every sense) if it could be done.

4) Any chance of getting categories assignable to specific sections and then having individuals sections be summonable alone by a special URL? (i.e., to just retrieve and show one section out of the page). This could also be used in combination with allowing sections to be reused without duplicating. For example, if there was a page on the influence of Gandhi on Dr. Martin Luther King, this section could be referenced between both of them on their own pages without having to duplicate content. One could also reference the link to the section alone if that was the sole item of interest. I really think this could enhance the possibilities of organization a great deal....Especially if this could be combined with tables....

5) And how about the ability to see whether an edit was a section edit or a whole page edit...People could thus just monitor a section of a page. And if sections could be combined into tables (see #4), then we could really go to town as one could add in monitoring recent changes to a particular row, column, or cell as well as the whole table. This is is somewhat of a replacement or workaround for (or complementary to) the frames idea (see the frames section above on the idea to try to find a workaround for enabling frames to be generated within Wikipedia).

6) How about the ability to have in the edit window two pop-up menus (HTML or perhaps Javascript to allow for hierarchical data), one for categories and the other for templates...these could be used to pull up a pre-existing category or template without one having to navigate through them first; the choice would then be assigned to the document (or section if for a section edit). This could ideally be selected multiple times to be able to assign multiple categories or templates to a document (and then rearrange the code if necessary).

Thanks very much! [[User:Brettz9|Brettz9 (talk)]] 08:07, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I'm not a developer, so don't take these as set in stone:
  1. I don't know – sounds feasible, but not something that's going to be done in the near future.
  2. Not AFAIK.
  3. Not AFAIK.
  4. Too CPU-expensive for now.
  5. Usually edit summaries already mention this.
  6. I think there are just too many categories and templates to make this feasible in the near future.
Johnleemk | Talk 11:07, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)
First of all, I don't understand what somebody would do with an RSS feed. Can somebody please explain to me?

Basically, they are much more basic than HTML but can show you what has been recently to a website. They are used for news websites. You can see the RSS for Wikipedia's recent changes at or go to Special:RecentChanges and then click RSS at the top. As you can see, it is not that fancy, but when you use a nice feeder (you can get them to show up in a menu bar, in windows, etc.), you can combine your searches together to see everything that is now. Also, many of these programs not only check this for you, but they can notify you in different ways when changes have been made (such as by showing the number of unread items in a menu bar). Go to a place like and find a free RSS feed reader to try it out (search for RSS). If you're a mac user, the next major version of Macintosh will have an RSS feeder right in the web browser Safari (I don't know about PC's).

Second of all, what's 'AFAIK'?
As far as I know, it's "As Far as I Know" :)
Third of all, I have an idea myself; how about a wikipedia stand-alone client program, that let's you browse and edit wikipedia too, from a nice interface
Yes, that's what I was suggesting in no. 3
(and it'll be real-time on things that have to do with your talk page, and you can have your watchlist update every 5 seconds in another pane on the left),
These are excellent ideas, I think. In the meantime, for the first item, you could add a link at your talk page to an online chat service (it'd be nice to see in watchlists, etc. if so-and-so who edited an article was online to do this too)... But since Wikipedia's server is already overworked, having people constantly refreshing their Watchlist would probably be a burden. However, if they could implement my RSS idea for watchlists (no. 1), this would be just like the same thing, but even better as the newly added items could fit into a smaller space in say a sidebar on your web browser.
I'm not a programmer (or that is, a very good one; I'm only 13) but is there anyway/one that can get it done? Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 16:05, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)
We discussed a stand-alone wiki editor not too long ago here. I even started writing one (called WikiEdit), but no one seemed interested at the time, so I abandoned the project. You could type in wiki-markup on a pane on the left and it would show up rendered in the right pane as you typed in real-time. Or you could edit with word-processor keystrokes in the right pane and the wiki-markup would show up on the left (also in realtime). It would show up rendered just as the wiki-software would do it, so you could hone your wiki-markup to make your article just the way you wanted it before posting it. But, like I said, no one really cared, so I stopped development on it.
Well, that is a real, real shame you didn't get any feedback. People pay good money to get Dreamweaver to do that for HTML.... Maybe people here are just used to using the code, but I'm sure there would be a lot more people (including people here when they see it in action), who'd be very interested. If there could be the option to not even see the wiki code, I think that would take the cake. I'd be more than happy to help beta test if you decide to restart it! [[User:Brettz9|Brettz9 (talk)]] 21:10, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)
It isn't that I didn't get any feedback, but the feedback I got was "Why bother?" Personally, I'm used to the Wikimarkup syntax, but seeing it WYSIWYG seemed like a real boon. Since Wikipedia was so slow at times, using "Show preview" could take forever. Plus often I lost big sets of edits when Wikipedia barfed (I think a fix has been implemented to fix this problem, but it was a big problem back when I was developing this tool). It also had other features, such as holding down <Ctrl>+left clicking on a word would automatically create a wikilink, etc.
The outcome of the last discussion was that their is an editor that can help with wiki-editing. I think it's called Firefox? Not sure about this, but I don't think it is WYSIWYG. I think it just has syntax highlighting for wiki-markup. Frecklefoot | Talk 18:56, Aug 17, 2004 (UTC)
I didn't see this option at Mozilla's Firefox browser if that's what you were doing about.
Like I said, I wasn't sure what it was called. There's an archive of the discussion somewhere, I'm sure. :-) Frecklefoot | Talk 16:11, Aug 18, 2004 (UTC)
Can't help you there. In any case, if you're interested, start learning HTML, PHP, and (My)SQL now (there are of course plenty of 13-year olds who can run circles around their elders) so you can then join the development team and put into practice all your good ideas as you like. :) [[User:Brettz9|Brettz9 (talk)]] 18:02, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Freedictionary has improved very nicely on the Wikipedia software. If you go to Their Richard Stallman page you will note that all wiki links in the article have tool-tip text of the first several sentences of the linked article. This is very handy for a reader; you get the basic on linked subjects without leaving your main article of interest. I wonder if the Wikipedia could add this feature to the cached pages served to anonymous users. Tom 15:26, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)

That is a real nice option to have, though I could see it being annoying to some people. Hopefully! [[User:Brettz9|Brettz9 (talk)]] 21:10, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)
That's easy for them to do because their database is static since they aren't a wiki like us (if I'm not mistaken). They only need to check for an update in the database whenever they've uploaded more material from Wikipedia, which is a one-time job (until the next load of info). However, on Wikipedia, our articles are always changing. Therefore, every wikilink would add extra heavy cost in CPU cycles, because the software would need to check the linked articles every time the page was loaded. Until recently we couldn't even get better than average uptime. I don't think this is a feature for the near future, though as I said, I'm not a developer of Wikimedia, so my only qualifications are those as an amateur PHP/SQL programmer. Johnleemk | Talk 08:32, 18 Aug 2004 (UTC)
If our mirrors can serve our content in a static form, surely we can do the same thing, building that static content during slower times. This feature could definitely be served to anonymous users without overloading our servers. Tom 16:29, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)

On 4: I think the Summary style idea makes this unneccessary. Articles are built by building blocks, but not of what ever shape; text and facs have to be shaped (i.e. well written) in a form and style that suits the topic. The sections you think of to be included in many articles should instead by articles by themselves, and referenced as main articles by the articles using them.

But the problem with this is that a person has to keep clicking to get to new content, whereas some people prefer to scroll down a larger document. Why not leave the decision up to the user? [[User:Brettz9|Brettz9 (talk)]] 21:10, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)
the 'typical user' would rather click than scroll 'below the horizon' according to PC magazine last year some time... so clicking to subpages is not that bad.Pedant 18:28, 2004 Aug 18 (UTC)

On 6: I think it would be nice to have a visual navigation of a category tree, in sort of a side window or frame. Ideally, articles could be recategorised by renaming of categories or drag-and-drop. (Just a dream right now. Think of doing 500 edits in one drag! ;-) [[User:Sverdrup|User:Sverdrup]] 16:54, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)

That is a nice idea too [[User:Brettz9|Brettz9 (talk)]] 21:10, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)

help from an admin if poss.

Could an admin please have a look at the 20:48, 16 Aug 2004 revision of 2004 Summer Olympics medal count and explain why another admin User:Davodd made changes quoting "coded out, expanded comments to fit accepted WP format". The details on that revision were discussed at length on Talk:2004 Summer Olympics medal count and were purely there to help the smooth running of the olympic pages whilst the games are on. The sentences that he has removed would obviously be removed once the games have finished. I have requested an explanation of his actions on his talk page but he appears to have logged off and the quick rectification of this problem would be of great help. Especially if that user may not return for a few days. many thanks in advance to anyone who can help.Scraggy4

Wikipedia:How to edit a page says that instructions to future editors should be placed in <!-- --> style comments. These comments won't be visible to the casual reader, but when someone edits the page, they'll immediately see these instructions in the edit box. I don't see a problem with this, and agree with User:Davodd that this is generally Wikipedia's style for such things. --Diberri | Talk 23:16, Aug 16, 2004 (UTC)
May I just point out that this has nothing to do with Davodd being an admin, nor should the appeal to an admin be necessary - admins are just ordinary editors, just like you. If you really wanted to change it (though I don't suggest you do, for the reasons Diberri gave you above), you can do so yourself. Don't feel intimidated that just because an admin edited something, that you can't touch it. Dysprosia 23:25, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
It just seems petty to remove temporary instructions that are there to help on what is a page under work. We surely don't go round corrected every page that has a slight mistake that is still obviously being worked on. It would not have hurt Davodd to discuss this on the talk page first as it appears his only contribution to the olympic games pages so far I can't see how he could really tell what the purpose of the sentences were. It did include a link to another page that I don't know how to include in the ???
It is not petty, doing so is designed to keep the articles looking presentable, whilst keeping the instruction that was placed there. Coincidentally, we surely do go around correcting mistakes on Wikipedia - every little edit helps! Wikipedia articles should look as presentable as possible, especially for a potentially high traffic article set such as for the Olympics. Note that putting messages to editors in HTML comments is not generally controversial, so Davodd was not really going out of his way to do this. If you disagree strongly with it, perhaps bring it up on Wikipedia talk:How to edit a page. Dysprosia 23:46, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Apologies I didn't mean correcting mistakes which is obviously a very good thing to do but when pages are under construction would the correct thing be to take off anything that does not look correct even though it is apparrent the offending style conflict will be changed very shortly. Just a thought but isn't the disambig message an instruction to users about that particular page. I will now shut up as I usually try at all times to avoid discussions on Wiki.Scraggy4 23:56, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Actually I find this policy somewhat controversial. A clear omission is every bit as jarring as a note to editors. I think in some cases in-articles notes could really improve the reading experience, if only to say, please be patient, we're still working on this part. Maybe we should fire up a debate at the suggested location. Derrick Coetzee 00:07, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)
That seems like a pretty good compromise for this type of case. It could a) explain the instructions are a temporary measure to 'ensure the accuracy of Wikipedia' (turning lemons into lemonade), b) give said instructions, c) re-add the convenience of the link to the other template, and d) assure the reader it will be removed once it has outlived its usefulness. Niteowlneils 02:12, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Alternatively, we could have a template in the page which simply says "This part of this page is currently in development. Edit this page for details.", and then include the HTML comments in the wiki with details. This could reduce clutter on the main article view. Derrick Coetzee 02:42, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)
The messages are not "taken off", they are made invisible until you go to edit the page. The disambig message and inline comments are two different things. The disambig is a message to the reader, whilst the inline comment is a message to the editor. Messages to the editor should not be visible to the reader. Dysprosia 02:41, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Btw, the page is in violation of Wikipedia:Avoid self-references. As I'm not directly involved in editing the page, thought I'd let those interested know. Johnleemk | Talk 08:51, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Sorry for causing such a ruckus. The instructions originally made are still there verbatim - I even added another - with a link on how to use tables in wiki format. If you absolutely feel that it is required for a direct link to be put on the article page for potential editors, I suggest link to the a sub-section on the talk page with a link from the article page directly to that sub-section via link like this: [[Talk:2004_Summer_Olympics_medal_count#Notes_to_editors_updating_this_article | How to edit this article]]. That edit link should probably be removed after the last medal is awarded and recorded, though. - Davodd 20:05, Aug 17, 2004 (UTC)

Page move collided with existing Talk page

Can an admin that knows how to fix this condition fix Epicurean paradox/Epicurian paradox? Obviously I need to learn how to do it myself, but I'm worried that if I leave it in this state while doing the research, something may be done to it that makes it harder to cleanup. Niteowlneils 22:51, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Could you specify exactly what you wish to have done, or has it been taken care of already? -- Infrogmation 23:56, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I got it fixed. The essential error here is that the talk page was not moved with the article; there should be a checkbox to do this when you perform a move. The way to fix it was to go to the old talk page and move it separately to the talk page of the new article. You may then want to put the old talk page, and possibly the old article up for deletion (they would go on Wikipedia: Redirects for deletion, since move replaces the old page with a redirect). Derrick Coetzee 23:57, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I had the checkbox checked, this just happened to be the first time the Talk page I was moving to already had content (apparently, as I had never seen this particular message--previous times it's told me it hadn't moved the Talk page was because one didn't exist for the location I was moving from), so it told me it couldn't move it. Thanks for the walk-through. Ironically, moving pages turns out to be the 'tip of the day' on the community portal. :/ Niteowlneils 01:24, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Art articles?

Please let me know if this is not the right place, thanks. :)

I remember reading somewhere on the site that Wikipedia has a few gaps in knowledge, and one of them was art. After looking through the site a little while, it does seem like fine art is a little neglected. I'd love to create articles in this subject area, since it is my career and all! But I'm still a little new, so I need to ask questions here first. Has this been discussed before?

I'd like to create separate articles for individual works of art. Not all of them, of course! Just major works that are important (in an art history sense) or well-known (in other words, ones whose articles will be longer than stubs). I'd also like to list as many works as possible on the artist's article, as well. However, I haven't seen many articles on individual artworks. Is this because we shouldn't do it, or only because not many people have an interest in doing it?

Thanks for reading! Miss Puffskein 22:09, Aug 16, 2004 (UTC)

"I haven't seen many articles on individual artworks. Is this because we shouldn't do it, or only because not many people have an interest in doing it?" ::It is absolutely the latter - art is a definite weak spot, and if you want to create articles on individual works, go right ahead. If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them (you can ask on my talk page). Oh, and as for copyright issues, you might want to read up on the Wikipedia:Copyright FAQ. →Raul654 22:18, Aug 16, 2004 (UTC)
I'm no expert, but I don't see a problem with that - we already have individual articles on famous novels (eg. Nineteen Eighty-Four) and pictorial art should be treated no different. If people may type it in the searchbox, you should create an article about it...--Fangz 22:25, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Considering we have articles on individual songs, individual theorems, and individual video games, I think articles on individual pieces of fine art, even not-so-famous ones, would be more than welcome. I also encourage you to add articles on their creators if necessary, and make lots of links. It would also be especially nice if you can acquire, or encourage other Wikipedians to acquire, images of the works which are in the public domain or under the GFDL. I'm not a lawyer, but I think if you go into a museum and photograph a piece created by an artist who's been dead for a while (90 years?) that you can do anything you like with the photo. Derrick Coetzee 23:41, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Yes, please create the articles! Derrick Coetzee: I think any direct reproduction of an image of an artist that is dead for at least 90 years can be used as public domain, since the photographer/scanner did not hold the original copyright. -- Chris 73 | Talk 23:44, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
We have some, listed at List of artworks. More and better is encouraged! Cheers, -- Infrogmation 23:52, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Be bold. Just go ahead. Just do something reasonable. As long you can write three or four decent, sensible paragraphs about an individual work of art, by all means create an article about it. The only objection would be single-sentence articles that would be better structured as a list. As long as each individual article is OK, don't fret about the organization. When there are a lot of article you or other people may have ideas about how best to organize them, but that can be done later.
As you do this, you should try to educate yourself about copyright issues. (Don't ask me, I don't know). But read all the Wikipedia article you can find on image policy and so forth. The problem is that even though old works of art are in the public domain, a) nobody is really 100% sure whether a museum, publisher, etc. can claim that their specific reproduction is copyrighted, and b) lots of them do make that claim. But don't let that stop you from getting started. [[User:Dpbsmith|Dpbsmith (talk)]] 23:54, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Very glad to have more people adding articles on the arts - Welcome. I suspect the only reason we don't have too many articles on individual works of art, is that they can be a little harder to write than the biographies of artists. There can be copyright problems on showing images of particular works of art, but this shouldn't be much of a issue with artists who died pre-1930 or so, where their work should be in the public domain now. I can also imagine that a tricky article naming problem might crop up when discussing some modern works. I've been to shows where every painting has been 'Untitled (1968)' or 'Untitled (1969)' - goodness knows how you talk about them. -- Solipsist 12:53, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Yes! Please! more art and artists! If you have anything to add to Art car, about decorated and transformed vehicles-as-works-of-art, please dive right in. I haven't had the time I thought I would to work on it.Pedant 18:12, 2004 Aug 18 (UTC)

1911 Britannica : Old but interesting articles

I have a hard copy of the 1911 Britannica. There are some articles that are outdated, yet still very interesting. The "Calculating Machines" article for example is about the state of the art in computers in 1911. Theres very little useful information there to incorporate into Wikipedia, but it is still fascinating to glimpse what was happening in computers at the time.

Any thoughts on how this would incorporate, if at all, into Wikipedia, or perhaps a diffrent Wiki project? Stbalbach 21:43, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

My thoughts are that surely you shouldn't need to worry about whether or not to add such topics when there are extensive Wikipedia articles on entirely fictional universes. I mean, there's actually a Klingon Wikipedia! So obscure facts are, I assume, the least of people's worries. zoney  talk 22:19, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Read Wikipedia:1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica if you haven't already. I think the bottom line is, as long as it is still relevant, even if only as a historical record, by all means do so. Just remember to note {{subst:1911}} as a reference. In the specific case you raised, History of computing hardware would probably be the place to add stuff from "Calculating Machines", if it's not already there. In general, biographies would have their own articles, but most general science, technical, etc. topics would probably be best in =History= sections of related articles, if you can find a place to work it into the natural flow, but you should also check if there's already a "History of..." type article, and add it there if anything's missing. If you can't make it flow naturally in a related existing article, make a new article, but make logical links to it from relevant topics--no point in creating orphans. Also, Wikipedians are generally encouraged to be bold with their contributions. For example, wherever you put this content, if there's a better place, it will eventually get there, but it can't if it's not entered somewhere in the first place. Niteowlneils 23:09, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Isaac Newton (in depth) was taken from the 1911 Britannica, but the scanned copy online was incomplete, missing a section or two at the end. It's been on my mind ever since, it would be really great if we could fill in the gap. -- Tim Starling 00:10, Aug 17, 2004 (UTC)
Ok I'll put Newton on the list of things to look into. Stbalbach 00:32, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)
The 1911 Britannica is great. I have a hard copy of it, too, and I browse it for pleasure. The online version, in addition to being grotesquely full of scanning errors, is missing all the pictures. I also have the three-volume supplement that was added in 1922 and brings it up to date with all the latest advances in aviation from the Great War. There is plenty of stuff in it that is just fine. And a lot of things that give context and depth (it's very odd to read an article about nutrition that doesn't mention vitamins, for example!). [[User:Dpbsmith|Dpbsmith (talk)]] 00:54, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)
yeah I picked it up for $150 from a local book seller, it's been a cheap entertainment investment and theres nothing like dealing with huge old tombs of leather books that weigh 7 pounds a piece and smell like a grandfathers smoke room, it reminds you of how diffrent electronic versus real books are.. it's like the diffrence between grape "drink" and a bottle of good wine, we are missing somthing for all the benefits of electronica.
They're probably only tombs if you happen to be buried under a pile of them. On a shelf, they are (probably :o) just tomes. Incidently - man that's annoying - I wish my local bookshops had such items for such cheap prices. I'm guessing 1911 EB would be at least twice the amount here in Ireland (but probably a lot more!). But then again, when one can pay €3/$3.50 (or more) for a cappucino here, it's not too surprising. Bah! Stupid indigeneous economic jungle cats. zoney  talk 11:51, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Tim Starling the Newton updates are done, it is the complete article. Stbalbach 07:29, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)
There are __so many__ mistakes, particularly with dates, in the online scanned edition that I am tempted to believe they are deliberate. After all goes into great detail about how it is against their terms of service to copy the public domain text. I can't help but find that site a bit of an insult to the original! Pcb21| Pete 08:15, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)
And I've found, without trying, a couple of items in Wikipedia that reproduced errors. Fixed them, of course. Without doubt there are others. Can anything be done to prevent these liftings? Dandrake 23:04, Aug 17, 2004 (UTC)

Naming conventions for programming languages

For those interested in such things, many of the programming language articles have recently been moved to nonstandard titles, and we are talking about this at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (languages). Stan 20:55, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Selected anniversaries

I edit at 0000-0200 hrs Indian Standard Time (+5:30 GMT). Each time I log in to the wikipedia home page, in the selected anniversaries, the previous day's anniversaries are perpetually shown. (I have no problem with cookies etc.) I request the people responsible for maintaining that section edit it a day in advance so that the server dishes out the correct anniversary, as midnight ticks over, for us editing at that hour. [[User:Nichalp|¶ nichalp | Talk]] 20:15, Aug 16, 2004 (UTC)

This is currently not possible on Wikipedia. The main page system uses the system clock (which is timezone UTC) to automatically include the correct anniversiaries for today's date. Currently, it is not possible for it to use any user-specified timezone.[[User:Sverdrup|User:Sverdrup]] 01:03, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)

The Main Page is on GMT so if it's midnight in India, it's about 7 PM GMT, so you have to wait until about 5 AM Indian ST for the anniversaries to move over. Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 15:58, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I would like to get some consensus on the format of lists of incumbents.

I have been working on standardised format for Heads of State and Heads of Government. However my work is regularly being reverted to a previous, more cluttered, less detailed and inaccurate version.

A case in point is List of Presidents of Benin where clearly very few of the listed incumbents were actually 'president'.

My version, which is now located at User:JohnArmagh/Heads of State of Benin clarifies the office of the imcumbent and details the political party of the incumbent whilst uncluttering the format.

It appears though, that I am not allowed to use it. The reason behind this is that it is duplication (or, as it has been called, quote:stupid duplication) of the List of Presidents of Benin. However whilst the names of the incumbents are essentially the same, the latter includes a description that is specific to the post of President, whilst including non-presidential incumbents in the list.

So it currently appears that lists of Heads of State which include at least one President must be titled Presidents of Xxxx, which can only serve to render the information held in the Wikipedia as amateurish.

If this is an enshrined policy of Wikipedia then the phrase You are encouraged to create, expand, and improve upon articles on the edit page should be removed as it is clearly untrue.

--JohnArmagh 16:45, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

There is no such policy (Presidents of Xxxx instead of Heads of State of Xxxx), AFAIK. It's just one user, probably. Personally, I would prefer your format, except for the explanation of the abbreviations at the top. Move that to the bottom, and I would be completely happy with it. Only User:Gzornenplatz knows what his objections to your format are; have you tried asking him, on his talk page or on Talk:List of Presidents of Benin? About the name: I prefer the (simpler) name "List of Presidents", but only if it is accurate. In this case, "List of Heads of State" would be my preference. Eugene van der Pijll 17:52, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for this Eugene - most welcome. I have discussed this on User:Gzornenplatz' talk-page, and his suggestion was to post it here for a consensus.
I am concerned that there is some kind of standardisation of the lists without making the detail at variance with the title.
There is no wikiwide standardisation. But it seems that the objection on User talk:Gzornenplatz' was about duplication: one article named "Heads of State", and one named "List of Presidents". That would be bad, and one of those should probably be made into a redirect. Of course, because of the lack of standardization, this kind of duplication will happen from time to time.
In this case, you could move the "List of Presidents" to "List of Heads of State". Or you could wait for a few more opinions, if you want.
I have been in two minds about the placing of the abbreviations at the foot of the list rather than the top. I can see that it detracts from the list of incumbents if it appears before it (especially if the listing is short), but then again if the abbreviations appear at the end of a long list of incumbents then it takes a lot of scrolling down to. I could put it on a separate page, but I don't really want the reader to have to go back-&-forth between pages. I think the remedy is to put a link above the list the abbreviations at the foot of the list - but I haven't tried it yet to see how well it works.
regards --JohnArmagh 18:09, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
With the title of the page, you promise a list of presidents; it would be best if the reader sees that list as soon as possible, preferrably on the first screen. Perhaps put the list of parties at the bottom, and add "See below" to the heading of the "Affiliations" column. A separate page would be really bad, although a separate article on political parties in Benin would be great. Eugene van der Pijll 18:50, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I do agree with you, and User:Siroxo has provided assistance at User:JohnArmagh/Heads of State of Benin in making the Affiliation heading into a link to the list at the bottom of the page, which I like.
I had moved the page List of Presidents of Benin to Heads of State of Benin but User:Gzornenplatz didn't like it and as a measure of his disgust, reverted the data to the previous list and renamed the Head of State of.... page back to President of...
--JohnArmagh 19:01, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Wiki forums? I found this page: ; is there a forum for use by wikinauts? Any comments on these accesory pages?

Summarised sections

Could you remove the "wiki/" from URLs?

Could you remove the "wiki/" from URLs? Reason: To remove redundancy and to make the URLs shorter and easier to type.

Example: Change to . Rajasekaran Deepak 17:49, 2004 Aug 18 (UTC)

Um, why are you typing complete URLs? I've been here almost six months and have never found a need to do so. Also, for what it's worth, that would break all the links from google, etc., into Wikipedia, at least temporarily, so the need to make such a drastic change would probably have to be more compelling than this seems to be. Niteowlneils 18:38, 18 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Not that I'm an expert on MediaWiki, but I'm betting there are other directories on the server besides the wiki/ directory. It would probably require some hack to automatically search in wiki/ unless a different pathname is given. I don't know if this is possible or not; you'd have to talk to a developer. Nite, I don't think this would break links, because the wiki/ directory would still be there. --Slowking Man 19:09, Aug 18, 2004 (UTC)
I'm with Rajasekaran on this one. Years back, I used to contribute to, in the days when you could use a URL like to get their defintion of a computer. The site was sold to some oragsniation or other, which replaced the URLs with some awful kind of arrangement. It would be cool, no less, to be able to type in and have it return the battersea definition. Sure, so it needs some redirection at the server level; that's what software is for. And no, no reason why it should be mutually exclusive with /wiki/whatever, for Google's benefit. --Tagishsimon
There are directories at the top level that coincide with articles, such as math/math, style/style, and upload/upload, and they need room to add more in the future. I'm all for shorter links, but come on - it's only five characters. Derrick Coetzee 20:08, 18 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I think the original suggestion is an excellent one, but not to be taken lightly.
I currently get Forbidden You don't have permission to access /math/ on this server. Apache/1.3.29 Server at Port 80 as an error message when I try to follow the first of those links, to, but I think that what you are saying is that what is proposed already works for some articles. It seems to me that it should and could work for all articles. It could be done by configuring Squid to make these shorter URLs aliases of the existing URLs. There's no extra load on the database or Web servers, and it doesn't break existing links or Google searches.
It seems to me that we only need this to work for the article namespace, and that's easiest and important, but it might be easier to make it work for some other URLs as well. There may also be collisions with existing URLs that need to be resolved first. These details need to be carefully worked out.
Because once this is enabled, if it is, we will quickly have links that depend on it in our own articles, in Google results, everywhere. Andrewa 19:10, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Geez. I really don't see what the big deal is. It is just five characters. C'mon guys, what's the big deal? Frecklefoot | Talk 19:20, Aug 19, 2004 (UTC)
Many are less competent at computing than you, and some of them are quite terrified in fact, and there are many in between. Try to put yourself in their position for a moment. If you think that's easy, try harder. It's very difficult to do this well, and most people who think it's easy think this because they don't really manage to do it at all.
There's an enormous difference between the scariness of http:/ and http:/, despite the fact that there is only a five-character difference. The reason is that the first makes sense. The http:/ bit is familiar, most websites have it, the en is a puzzle probably but survivable, the is familiar, and the Sydney is the article name. The user does this analysis without even knowing it, all they know is they feel comfortable about it. Now add those five characters, and the whole thing instantly becomes a black box. They won't analyse it beyond a glance that tells them that they don't understand, they won't remember it, and they won't feel comfortable about using it.
This won't break Wikipedia if we ignore it, certainly. It works as is. But it's an excellent idea for something that would make it more usable for a lot of people. Many won't understand that five characters can make any difference at all, the logic apparently being It doesn't affect me, so why should it affect anyone else? All I can say is it does. This is always the biggest hurdle we face in trying to make technology truly user-friendly. Andrewa 02:18, 20 Aug 2004 (UTC)
/wiki is fine and will make much more sense once we start to produce stable articles and put them in a /stable directory on the servers. --mav 07:13, 20 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Oho! Where is this being discussed? Andrewa 14:21, 20 Aug 2004 (UTC)


I understand that I'm supposed to discuss a specific article on its Talk page, but I just haven't had any success with the Abbreviation article. I left a note on the Talk page six days ago, with suggestions for deleting most of the 1911 Britannica material, but haven't had any response so far. (I guess nobody's watching the page. Well, it's not John Kerry.) I don't feel right about deleting all that stuff without input from anybody else. Does anybody have a soft spot for abbreviations out there? Incidentally, if you do, and know more linguistics than me, which wouldn't be hard, I'd really appreciate it if you'd take a look at my HomO article. I wrote it mostly because the word (the short form for the Swedish ombudsman against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation) is a cool, and to me amusing, uh, fake abbreviation. Well, maybe you had to be there. But, anyway, I don't think I do justice to the word itself in the article about the institution, and any input would be appreciated. If you think this posting is inappropriate, please tell me so, that would also be useful. Bishonen 16:55, 18 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Well bringing it here is likely to garner the article some attention so hopefully that helps (its not my field, unfortunately). Wikipedia works on a system of massive numbers of incremental improvements. If no-one other than you is currently interested in an article, you have carte blanche to your best in improving it, doing whatever you think is right. Maybe you can't make it perfect, but it will be in a better state for the next person who comes along. Pcb21| Pete 19:59, 18 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Be bold. Discussing a major change on the talk page is only a courtesy to people who care about the article, and those people would be watching. Also, all changes are reversible, so if someone comes back from vacation and finds their page "devastated", they'll revert and flame you then. I for one favour your suggestion, but I might suggest moving them to a list of "archaic abbreviations." Derrick Coetzee 20:59, 18 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I've gone ahead and removed the lists - they were too long to keep inline in the page. I've also added sections. The article actually looks sensible and nice now. Not sure what to do about current examples, does list of acronyms and initialisms cover this (I suspect the line is blurred). Discuss on Talk:Abbreviation. zoney  talk 01:29, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Not all abbreviations are acronyms: acronyms can be pronounced as if they were a word. NATO is an acronym, QED is not. [[User:Anárion|File:Anarion.png]] 07:38, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Untrue. According to Merriam-Webster's Online, an acronym is "a word (as NATO, radar, or snafu) formed from the initial letter or letters of each of the successive parts or major parts of a compound term; also : an abbreviation (as FBI) formed from initial letters". QED is an acronym in the second sense (and even the first, depending on how you define "word"). Wikipedia's own article on acronyms is even clearer on this point. The essential difference is that NATO is pronounced "NAY-toe", whereas "QED" is pronounced "KYOO EE DEE". — Jeff Q 09:45, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Nope - by any definition QED is not an acronym - it is always spelled out and never pronounced kwed. --JohnArmagh 10:01, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)
But all acronyms are abbreviations? I.e. are acronyms a subset of abbreviations? Are initialisms also abbreviations? zoney  talk 12:23, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)
"By any definition?" Clearly, by at least one definition—the one Jeff cites above—it is indeed one. The artificial acronym/initialism distinction has always irked me, and I suppose you're going to be chiding me for splitting infinitives next. Austin Hair 12:51, Aug 19, 2004 (UTC)
Seconded. QED is not an acronym, since it is not pronounced as a word, but as three individual letters. All acronyms are abbreviations, yes.
From the OED: "Initialism: The use of initials; a significative group of initial letters. Now spec. a group of initial letters used as an abbreviation for a name or expression, each letter or part being pronounced separately (contrasted with ACRONYM)."
Sounds fairly unequivocable. -- Necrothesp 13:00, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)
What does "unequivocable" mean, exactly? It's certainly not unequivocal; few dictionaries even note the distinction, and those that do are quick to point out that it hasn't gained widespread acceptance—and rightly so, given its artificiality. Educated commentators are quick to disavow this "correction" right along with the prohibition against the split infinitive (mentioned above), the ending of a sentence with a preposition, the beginning of a sentence with a conjunction, and numerous other non-errors which have no place in this encyclopedia. Austin Hair 03:57, Aug 20, 2004 (UTC)
Zoney is quite correct - just as not all 'pronounceable' abbreviations are acronyms, not all acronyms are abbreviations. --JohnArmagh 05:21, 20 Aug 2004 (UTC)

KevinBot & RamBot

I have privately (to Kevin Rector) suggested that KevinBot should change all RamBot articles that they state that the place was actually in the USA. It currently goes X is a city located in Y-County, Z-State., and it'd be nice if you could add in the USA after that... I think this would be a bit more NPOV. Kevin Rector suggested that I bring up this on the pump for comments. Kokiri 13:43, 18 Aug 2004 (UTC)

This is a good suggestion. I have been giving a bit of thought as to how Rambot articles can be improved and I agree this is a welcome change. — Trilobite (Talk) 14:31, 18 Aug 2004 (UTC)
As a U.S. citizen, I emphatically agree that each U.S. town article should include "in the United States". (I prefer that to an abbreviation. These articles are essentially automatically-generated starting points — why not use the proper term from the start?) A quick check shows that Paris, Tokyo, and Buenos Aires, all large and famous cities, clearly indicate their country, though such information is no surprise to most. Should we expect less of U.S. locales, just because many people might be expected to recognize the second part of their article titles as U.S. states? — Jeff Q 14:40, 18 Aug 2004 (UTC)
"in the United States" sounds good to me. I expect you could even find some people in the U.S. who didn't recoginze all 50 states. Rmhermen 14:51, Aug 18, 2004 (UTC)
I would prefer the formulation as X is a city located in Y-County in the U.S. state of Z-state. I'd argue that the U.S. state article is more relevant to anyone interested in what Z-state was than the main United States article. [[User:Bkonrad|olderwiser]] 14:56, 18 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Even if you do recognize all 50 states, Athens is a city in Georgia is unclear, as there is both a US state and a country by that name. DenisMoskowitz
A reference to the country definitely should be added. I don't think the "in the..." is needed: why not just "<comma, country>?" My preference would be just to add ", [[United States|USA]]" after the state name, but some people don't like the abbreviation: ", [[United States]]" then. Hajor 15:02, 18 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I can already see trouble brewing here over the old controversy of whether United States or its abbreviation US is the best way of refering to the United States of America. My proposal is to have something along the lines of: '''Somewhere''' is a city located in [[State]], [[United States|USA]]. This avoids people complaining about US or United States because no one will object (hopefully) to the country being referred to by what is by far its most common abbreviation. — Trilobite (Talk) 15:12, 18 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Something like that. Discreet, to the point, and links to both the state and the country (said in reply to Bkonrad, above). Hajor
Also a US citizen, I very much want Wikipedia to not be US-centric, so I definately support identifying the country. I would prefer "USA" or "United States of America", as there is more than one "United States of ____". I would be happy with any of the following: Sunnyvale is a city located in Santa Clara County, California, USA. Santa Clara, founded in 1852, is a city located in Santa Clara County, in the U.S. state of California. Mountain View is a city located in Santa Clara County, in the U.S. state of California, USA. I like the latter two because they give the reader the most options to get further information, but can appreciate the arguement of succinctness of the first one. Niteowlneils 18:35, 18 Aug 2004 (UTC)
If anyone actually writes a bot to do this, they will need to be somewhat careful. While the vast majority of the Rambot location descriptions do match the form: X is a city located in Y-County, Z-State, there are many situations with variations on this. Besides the obvious city/town/township/village variants, sometimes the county is not given, presumably because Rambot was not able to manage ambiguous cases where a city spans multiple counties. Also many of the entries have already been manually updated so that the Rambot text may not be recognizable. Basically, I think any such bot would need fairly close human supervision.
FWIW, I'm still partial to the form X is a city located in Y-County in the U.S. state of Z-state. The other forms presume readers understand the comma separated hierarchy of U.S. place names. For those unfamiliar with the U.S federal structure, saying "in the U.S. state of Z-state" makes it clear what Z-state is. I personally don't like appending USA or United States of America, though I could live with appending simply United States. [[User:Bkonrad|olderwiser]] 20:07, 18 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Is there anybody who would understand the expression "U.S. state" without understanding the significance of "Z-state, USA"? ☺ I must admit an ignorance of how the rest of the world thinks of the U.S. and its states, which might be different from how they think of political divisions from other countries not their own. Whereas I would not expect many to be familiar with the région and département system of France, I expect the individual states of the U.S. seem to have much more world notoriety. (Of course, California is no doubt much better known than, say, Rhode Island, but how many French régions or Japanese prefectures can your average Wikipedia reader name? I just don't have a good perspective on this.) In any case, some form of "United States" belongs in the initial identification. As long as it's clear, it's not as important what form, especially since people are expected to improve upon the articles. — Jeff Q 00:07, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Well, my wife is German, although she's lived here for many years, and in discussions with her friends and relatives there, it's clear to me that for the most part they only have a very vague notion of U.S. states beyond travel destinations such as Florida or California. They may have heard the names of the states, but may not really know where they are and are about as mystified by the relationship between the states and federal government as I am about how the German states and independent cities relate to each other and to the whole. What I'm trying to say is that for all practical purposes they understand that Michigan is in the U.S. in much the same way that they might understand that Chicago or the Grand Canyon is in the U.S. Simply writing "Michigan, USA" does not provide any cues as to what Michigan is in the same way that "U.S. state of Michigan" does. [[User:Bkonrad|olderwiser]] 01:07, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I've heard stories of European tourists on the east coast wanting to rent a car for a weekend trip to the west coast, and similar. Completely aprochryphal friend-of-a-friend type thing though. -- Cyrius| 03:26, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)
While it's true that Mexico is formally Estados Unidos Mexicanos, in Mexico itself the phrase Estados Unidos almost always refers to the United States of America, and the English form should certainly be seen as unambiguous—it is in international usage, anyway, as we see in the Olympics. For my money, I prefer the form "California, US," with or without the periods, making use of the most common English-language abbreviation as standardized by the ISO. Austin Hair 10:58, Aug 19, 2004 (UTC)
Also, while I agree that the country should be explicitly stated in the article, it should be noted that US states are not mere subdivisions, but autonomous entities, all of which have enjoyed varying levels of sovereignty in the past (states must be organized before admission to the Union, if only as territories). The 13 founding colonies existed as de facto nations within a loose confederation prior to the ratification of the Constitution; Vermont, California, Texas, and Hawaii were all independent republics before being annexed. As for significance, one could easily argue that Rhode Island is no more obscure than Azerbaijan, whose economy is easily exceeded by the former, our smallest state. Just something to think about. Austin Hair 11:32, Aug 19, 2004 (UTC)
I would dispute that US is the most common English-language abbreviation. I'm quite prepared to believe it's the most common in that country, but in the rest of the English-speaking world it would only be heard as part of phrases like "US Air Force" or "the US embassy". USA is far more common. — Trilobite (Talk) 11:52, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)

My proposal: Exampletown is a city located in in the U.S. state of Examplestate. Neutrality 03:13, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I like the "in Florida, USA" or "in Florida in the United States" versions much better (I prefer the first). [[User:Sverdrup|User:Sverdrup]] 03:19, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Yes, it should be done hierarchically. Those who don't grasp that Florida is a state will be enlightened when they click on it. It seems illogical not to mention the country explicity — the "US state" proposal does it in a slightly roundabout way. Most articles on places give the country in the form "Dortmund is a city in Germany". The county and state need including so "Somewhere is a city in Somewhere County, Alabama, USA." should do fine. — Trilobite (Talk) 04:21, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Are you saying that people will not understand that "U.S. state" refers to a division of the USA? If we're talking about people needing to make an extra click to be enlightened, then why bother to include any qualification at all. If a reader doesn't know where Florida is, they can find out by clicking on it. I dislike the comma separated hierachy "place, county, state, USA" because it looks ugly, sort of like a postal address--but misleadingly because actual postal addresses would not include the county. I really don't care that much if people want to qualify the places that way, but I have been and will continue to qualify them by writing out "in the U.S state of". I don't generally re-write a USA ref unless I am also making other edits to the sentence containing it. [[User:Bkonrad|olderwiser]] 01:15, 20 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I second Trilobite. I like "Somewhere is a city in Somewhere County, Alabama, USA." Also, KevinBot uses Regular expressions so if the standard format is not in the article (it's been edited since) then the article will get skipped. Kevin Rector 13:58, Aug 19, 2004 (UTC)
If this is a vote, I strongly agree with the above format. - Taxman 19:14, Aug 20, 2004 (UTC)

Just say that {cityname} is a city located in [[{countyname}]] in the U.S. state of [[{statename}]]. I would oppose simply adding USA, U.S., or United States at the end of the current RamBot wording. The triple comma set-up is very awkward. --mav 07:21, 20 Aug 2004 (UTC)


The Hebrew Wikipedia is ruled by dictator named David Shay!!! He and his "friends" (Ben Teva) use Wikipedia only to premote their political point or views and someone with a different opnion will be banned (e.g. They deleted articles that where translated word by word from the English Wikipedia because they "don't found it important" or without giving any reason!!!!). They are ignoring the decision of the majority. I hope you will do something about it. I dont know if its the right place to post it but this is the only place I found to complain about the Hebrew Wikipedia.

Talk to a MediaWiki Steward, such as Angela. --Slowking Man 19:05, Aug 18, 2004 (UTC)

Public Domain Image Tag

I have proposed a minor change to this tag at Template_talk:PD. I am bringing it up here to try and elicit a response, so have a look and see if you think it's a reasonable suggestion. — Trilobite (Talk) 13:20, 18 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Wikimedia Commons

The Wikimedia Commons is to be a repository for all the images, and other files, used on Wikipedia, and also for files that would be useful in a free repository but are not currently used on Wikipedia. Open Media is a similar project, due to be launched next month. For people interested in this, please see meta:Wikimedia Commons/Collaboration with Open Media to help with ideas as to how we might collaborate with them. Angela. 11:31, Aug 18, 2004 (UTC)