Wikipedia:Village pump/Archive N

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Bush/Hillary Lists

Why are these stupid lists back after VfD votes? Unless there is an explanation that I have not seen I'll assume it was an error and re-delete them.Ark30inf 17:36, 13 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I have re-deleted the Hillary article since it had already gone through the VfD process. It was also my understanding that the Bush article had also been deleted through VfD. I have left the undeletion of that one in place for the moment to give an opportunity to comment on its deletion status. These political name-calling lists are just bait for political games playing.Ark30inf 17:55, 13 Oct 2003 (UTC)

The Bush one has never been officially deleted. It was listed on VfD previously but removed because of a large number of votes in support of it. Some of the original supporters later withdrew their support and it was re-listed on October 6th. Therefore, it is due for deletion today. The deletion log does show that it was deleted on 7 October by Stevertigo, but I undeleted it (along with a couple of other things he'd deleted) because I felt it was an out-of-process deletion – ie - it had not been listed on VfD for 7 days. It had been listed for one day. I felt it was easier to undelete it and let it see out its time at VfD than to allow to a potential flamewar develop against Stevertigo for deleting it 6 days early.
The Hillary one was listed on VfU but the vast majority of votes said to keep it deleted. I was accused of having wrongfully deleted it which is completely untrue. It had been listed on VfD for the full 7 days and everyone but Lir wanted it deleted. Therefore, the deletion should have stood. However, a sysop went against the consensus to let it remain deleted and undeleted it without even admitting it. Undeletions are not logged so there is no way of telling who did it.
Angela 19:37, Oct 13, 2003 (UTC)

Browser freezing

I don't know if this is a part of the server problems, but Wikipedia keeps freezing my browser. I have to control-alt-del to kill the browser and then start a new page. I'm using IE 6.0 RickK 22:45, 13 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Did you reboot? --Menchi 22:46, 13 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Blocked user?

I blocked, thinking they contributing to the vandalism of Oscar the Grouch. I was wrong, and now the site isn't list List of blocked IP addresses and usernames, so I don't know how to unblock them. - user:zanimum

I'd guess that if Special:Ipblocklist doesn't say they are blocked then they are not. Are you sure you did? Perhaps someone else unblocked them and didn't tell you. Or did you do it more than a day ago? Blocks only last 24 hours in usual circumstances. Anyway, thankyou for reminding me of some copyvios this user made about a month ago that I never got round to following up. :) Angela 17:12, Oct 10, 2003 (UTC)
24 hours? That's it? Oh. Learn something new every day. Thanks, and your welcome. - user:zanimum

A bug or something?

Goto The Golden Gate, click on Gates in Jerusalem's Old City Walls and you come to an edit box with a lot of text. But you are supposed to come to a written article! BL 22:11, 9 Oct 2003 (UTC)

  • Weird. I tried editing both the pages to see if that would help but it didn't. Angela 22:24, Oct 9, 2003 (UTC)
  • It's working now (for me anyway). Angela 22:35, Oct 9, 2003 (UTC)
    • For me too.. weird. BL 22:41, 9 Oct 2003 (UTC)
      • I had a similar case some shortly ago, when a link stayed red even though the article referenced existed, and thus the article was always called in edit mode. After the referenced article was edited once the database seemed to have updated the links. andy 07:25, 10 Oct 2003 (UTC)
It happened to me, and one of our resident bird-ologists (forgot which) as well. --Menchi 07:37, 10 Oct 2003 (UTC)
The link table looks fine, could memcached be the problem? Is there any easy way to find out? -- Tim Starling 07:55, Oct 10, 2003 (UTC)

Mail notification with dummy mail ID

I receieved a mail notification from . I replied to it and my reply went to . 4 days later I received a mail delivery failure notification. Is this a dummy mail ID or I just need to try sending once again ? I've never seen www in a mail ID before. Jay

If this was a new-password e-mail, it's just a dummy address, don't respond to it. If it was something else, um, what was this e-mail? --Brion 18:19, 9 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Ya it was a change password notification. Henceforth, for such notifications we can have a line saying "Please do not reply to this mail."
ok here was the content of the mail : "Someone (probably you, from IP address requested that we send you a new Wikipedia login password."
I replied saying that I have never requested for change of password, nor is the IP address mine, and listed a couple of users who have used the said IP address. Jay 18:46, 9 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Someone complained

Someone complained about the oversize logo-- at 37k -- I resized it to 11K and uploaded it over wiki.png -- a developer needs to install it. It doesnt count as a change since its just a bit-depth adjustment for size purposes.戴眩sv 02:38, 9 Oct 2003 (UTC)

As I pointed out on the image description page shortly after you uploaded it, that image looked very poor due to the removal of the alpha channel. This was especially evident around the lettering. I uploaded a set of 4 non-transparent logo images, each with a different background colour, and in indexed mode so they are also around 11K. They are displayed on Image talk:Wiki partial background.png (Brion moved your logo to Image:Wiki partial background.png). -- Tim Starling 02:54, Oct 9, 2003 (UTC)
I've replaced it with an 8k version with transparency that will work against light-colored backgrounds, and with the colors cut down to 64. --Brion 03:15, 9 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Broken image?

Is the second image on the Jämthund page broken to anyone else? (Image:Jamth.PNG) All I see is a black box, but it looks fine to Michael Reiter (who uploaded it). How about everyone else? -- sannse 21:13, 8 Oct 2003 (UTC)

It looks fine to me, using Mozilla 1.4 ¬ Dori 21:15, 8 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Okay here too, Mozilla 1.0. Daniel Quinlan
I also see the black box - Browser is IE6 Sandman 22:26, 8 Oct 2003 (UTC)
But shows up in Netscape 7.0 - Sandman 22:29, 8 Oct 2003 (UTC)
The image is no longer Image:Jamth.PNG that Sannse mentioned. Its been changed to jamthund.PNG and then to JAMTHUND.PNG and then to jamthund.png. So you might want to wait until Michael Reiter is done with it ;) Jay 22:37, 8 Oct 2003 (UTC)
It doesn't matter, the one he says shows up in Mozilla fine but is b0rked under IE which does not fully support PNGs. ¬ Dori 22:44, 8 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Thanks all - I've switched the image over to Dori's version - that should solve the problem nicely -- sannse 20:15, 9 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Donation progress bar

Why not make a status bar for the Wikimedia donations (like the one for the Brian Vibber fund)? Being able to see the donation progress would certainly motivate more people to donate. Thomas

I agree. Sort of the like that September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks victims fund meter. :-) —Frecklefoot
That sounds good to me. I don't know the particular bars and meters mentioned above, but one format that might work well would be to set some costed objective, and show what was in hand and what was still needed to buy it. Then update to a new objective as each is met. This introduces an accountability that many people like. But it also does have an overhead in doing the costing, and in deciding in advance how the money is to be spent. One Australian charity recently had a very negative PR experience when they launched a very successful appeal for money for victims of the Bali bombing, and then directed some of this money into other related projects. Still unresolved as I write, but it's done them a lot of no good. Andrewa 01:33, 9 Oct 2003 (UTC)
This was mentioned at the start (Wikipedia:Donation#Others topics to develop).
Mav said he'd do this [1]. --Menchi 01:46, 9 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I think this is a great idea. I'd be more inclined to donate if I had some notion of progress/goals. -- Minesweeper 20:05, Oct 9, 2003 (UTC)

it's all Greek to me

any thoughts on why my Greek letters aren't working? Pnyx Adam 11:58, 8 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I think you missed the semicolons. --Wik 12:01, Oct 8, 2003 (UTC)
Thanks for that. It didn't occur to me that the semicolons were part of the character code Adam

Broken link to Statistics

This Statistics link is broken on Wikipedia:Statistics.
Kpjas 23:08, 7 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Those stats were on the server that's dead at the moment. I'll go ahead and upload the last set I've got (from September 27) for now. --Brion 23:14, 7 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Technical Help

Dear Sir,We are a group of 3 students currently pursuing our B.E - IT (Bachelor of Engg. Information Technology)from the Mumbai University,India. As of now we are working on a project titled " AUTO EXTRACTION OF CONTENTS FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB" as a part of our BE project, in the renowned institute os HBCSE-TIFR (Homi Bhabha Center for Science Education - Tata Institute of Fundamental Research)under the guidance of Scientist Dr.Nagarjuna.G. --Rameez Don , Jaymin Darbari, Ulhas Dhuri Note:Full text moved to User:Rameez-戴&#30505sv

I moved the full text to the userpage because it was too long for the pump. 戴&#30505sv

photo overwriting

I notice that when I upload a photo I can upload another photo with the same name and overwrite the old one, without any kind of "are you sure?" warning. This is fine when it is my photo I am replacing, but how do I know I am not overwriting someone else's photo with the same name in another article, without realising it? Adam 05:43, 7 Oct 2003 (UTC)

You check: look at the image description page, it'll list all uploads under that name. If you notice the mistake after the fact, revert to the previous version and upload your file with a more descriptive name. --Brion 06:12, 7 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Making your image filenames personal will help, for example white.horses.dac.jpg. This is most unlikely to be repeated by another person.
Adrian Pingstone
Adrian's solution seems to be the best one. But would it not be useful to have a message which says "warning: there is already an image of that name in our server. Do you wish to replace it? If not, please rename your image."? Adam
Of course it would be useful, but it's very low on the priority list, which is topped with making the Wikipedia usable by humans as well as beings with much less hurried senses of time perception such as trees and geologic formations. :) So, it's left until someone with the itch scratches it and writes in the appropriate checks and interface. --Brion 08:59, 7 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I'm not sure if Brion is directing his sarcasm at me there, and if so why, but never mind. :) If someone would like to visit Vergina and fix my photo positioning and captioning, I would be grateful. Adam 09:03, 7 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Don't think it was meant to be sarcasm... just an admission that our heroic but undermanned developer effort has to be directed at speeding up the pedia at the moment, and other things sadly have to wait. Pete 09:23, 7 Oct 2003 (UTC)

It'll be helpful if the following line is included in Special:Upload page, beginning of the 2nd para. "If a file with the name you are specifying already exists on Wikipedia it'll get replaced without warning. So unless you deliberately wish to overwrite a file, it'll be a good idea to first check if such a file exists."

Above warning line has not yet been added in the Special:Upload page. Can someone with permissions to edit Special pages add it. Jay 19:49, 13 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Agree that some extra overwrite protection in software is a good idea, and also agree that it's not a high priority.

The protection isn't too bad as it is, IMO. After uploading a new image, you should always update the image description page to add some details: Who created the image and when, and a copyright release notice, at the very least.
So if you've accidentally overwritten a previous image, there should already be details there, and so you immediately know you've blundered and can fix it.
If this image was already used by any page, there will be unexpected entries in the 'what links here' section of the image description page. If there aren't then at least you know that you haven't damaged any existing articles. The overwritten image was an orphan. Of course it could be one that someone is about to use, but when they do they'll see the problem. So you haven't actually damaged the content of Wikipedia, which is the articles it contains.
How's this for a suggestion: Immediately before uploading a new image, update the article in which you intend to use it, adding the image as you intend. This has three main benefits. Firstly, it allows you to see how your alternate text works. Secondly, it verifies for you that the image name you have in mind is free. Use 'show preview' to check this, and choose a new name at this stage if it's not.
After uploading the image you may still want to tweak the format, but it's far better if you can avoid this. Not everyone has the same screen parameters as you have. So it's far better for your layout to be designed to be logical rather than tuned to your own particular display settings. That's the third benefit, and may even be the most important of the three. Andrewa 06:36, 8 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Feature request submitted to SourceForge - see wikipedia:bug reports for information. The advice on avoiding overwriting images should be added to wikipedia:image use policy, wikipedia:image description page and/or wikipedia:image markup gallery. Martin 11:01, 8 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Yes. Perhaps I'm not being bold enough here. The image use policy page seems the obvious place for it IMO, but this page is already getting a bit long and messy, possibly needs a refactor in any case. And, I'm fairly new at using images, which is why I called my suggestion a suggestion rather than a recommendation. Andrewa 20:35, 8 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Media files

I just uploaded a sound file, but it seems that the pages relating to the uploading of files were designed for images, so the file is now named: Image:Albanian alphabet.ogg, and that page also is tailored for images. Is there a plan to make that page and the naming more generic? --Dori 03:15, 7 Oct 2003 (UTC)

If anyone gets around to patching it up yes, but it's not a high priority, as there's no real functional difference to renaming the description pages. Use [[media:Albanian alphabet.ogg]] to create an inline link direct to an uploaded file (of any type). --Brion 03:18, 7 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Cleanup is open for business

The Wikipedia:Cleanup page is a buffer designed by Cimon Avaro, Stevertigo and others to take the load off of Wikipedia:Votes for deletion, which gets overused (up to 90k this week!). Descriptions and each listing's "life" on WP:CU are to be kept very short, allowing for rapid 'first handling' of a large number of articles, like Special:Recentchanges but with a solicitation for immediate community assistance in determinig/validating the article's path.

Needs to replace or coexist with VfD link on the top of the recent changes page.Ark30inf
I would just replace "Pages needing attention". That one is pretty much deadweight anyway. (IMO) -- Jussi-Ville Heiskanen 08:22, Oct 7, 2003 (UTC)
Apparently the problem is that there are too much editorial discussions. We should discuss if there is any reason to delete an article, not the article is if worth, useful or well-written. -- Taku
Yes, theres a lot of stuff that needs taking care of--sysops will just go ahead and delete or otherwise do. Newbies need a place to start action, though they may be unsure of the action - ie copyvio, deletion, etc. etc. We sysops tend to think of simply deleting nonsense, or making a fast change, we forget we need to harness newbie power.戴&#30505sv
Exactly, there are too much nonsenses listed on VfD, which sysop just go ahead deleting. And there are a number of articles whose existence is controversial, which VfD is not suitable to discuss. -- Taku
Awesome-- thats one convert to the Cleanup buffer idea-- its in use now, Taku san. -Ohayho gozaimasu- me sleep now.戴&#30505sv
  • What exactly is the process of deleting a page through Cleanup? And how is Cleanup different from Wikipedia:Pages needing attention? And what formal process occured to remove Wikipedia:Pages needing attention from the utilities listed on Recent Changes? I feel Wikipedia:Pages needing attention should be re-added to the utilities list. Kingturtle 22:49, 13 Oct 2003 (UTC)
    • The precise process of deleting a page through Cleanup is that it should not be done. Cleanup differs from PNA in that substubs, pages containing "asdfjkl falkjfaso iehfahjas dkja sdhfka kjhaf hjkaf soea flsjkfas" are welcome to be posted there (so they can be treated as per normal procedures by those who have the mojo) and any number of pages puzzling to any user, new or old can be posted there to get a second opinion. The formal process followed to put Cleanup up on Recent Changes is called the Wikiway, also called "be bold", which you too should follow, instead of whining, if it irks you. I posdef will not get into a edit war over Recent Changes, you can count on that. Nuff said. -- Jussi-Ville Heiskanen 21:59, Oct 14, 2003 (UTC)

Japanese Ship Names

The list of Japanese ship names contain some links to Japanese provinces and cities since some of the ships are named after those places. I am wondering if it is appropriate to make all of the links for all of the ships into ex. Akagi (aircraft carrier) since I do not know which ships are named after provinces or cities. In this way there would never be a clash. Similarly, some of the battleships are named in the form Japanese battleship Yamato to avoid this. I would like to rename them to Yamato (battleship). Is this the correct path to take or is there another suggestion? Thanks. Ark30inf 22:57, 6 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Don't count on me much but it seems battle ships are named after old provinces such as yamato or musashi while small ships are named after month names such as yutsuki (notice tsuki means moon and month in Japanese). -- Taku
I am intending on putting in some more ships and would like to see a common format for all the titles. P.S. My intention was to put in the translated names of the ships at some point so English readers can understand what the names actually mean. "Red Castle" is a neat name but most English speakers know it only as Akagi without knowing the meaning.Ark30inf 23:09, 6 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I don't see any established convention yet. As long as consistent, your proposal should work. Please check if there is a wiki project working on this issue to coordinate with others. Also it would be nice to have a mutual links between places and ships. Good luck! -- Taku
I found a convention. It looks like there is some dispute about what the prefix for Japanese ships is. It is listed as IJNS/IJSDFS some places but this does not follow the convention that the prefix should be the same that the crew used when the ship was in service. So, since there is no settled prefix, the correct titles would have (nationality) (ship type) (name). I wish we had a firmly settled prefix, but will go with the recommended version at this time.Ark30inf 23:35, 6 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Have you taken a look at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (ships) and Wikipedia:WikiProject Ships? I must admit that in the only articles I've written, I've named the articles Nachi, Haguro, and Ikazuchi but been inconsistent and named them IJN... within the articles, which really ought to be removed. Arwel 23:57, 6 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I think I got the title names straight. Now I want to have a list of the names of the ships translated into English (example: Akagi means "Red Castle"). Would it be best to have a new article like maybe Translations of Japanese ship names or would it be best to just put the translations on the current index page next to the ships? Thanks.Ark30inf 00:53, 7 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I like literal translations belong to each corresponding article because it seems norm here. See other Japanese-related articles. But certainly there is no objection to make such an article Translations of Japanese ship names. -- Taku
I normally agree, but having the real meaning of these names in one place in addition to the article seems useful to me. I am thinking that the ones named after provinces, etc. will get grouped together. The names are particularly beautiful and interesting as far as ship names go. I think I will give it a try, if it doesn't work then it can go to the deletion pile, no harm done.Ark30inf 03:37, 7 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Link to Wikisource on the main page

Any reason there's no link to Wikisource under the "Sister Projects" section of the main page? Axlrosen 17:56, 6 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Because Wikisource is not a Wikimedia project yet (and may never be due to the fact that Wikibooks does pretty much the same thing already - although I did reserve the domain name just in case). All "Wikisource" is right now is a collection of text files squating on the Pashtu Wikipedia. --mav 06:10, 7 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Problem uploading image

I tried to upload an image and got an error : "Sorry, uploads have been disabled on this server." Since I've never uploaded an image before and having no idea of how to make sense of this error message, I browsed all of wikipedia for a "correct" way of uploading an image. Finally I decided to post on the Wikipedia:Image talk pages. Luckily before that I came to village pump and got the answer.

I request that the error message be changed to a user-friendly one. Otherwise the user will firstly be confused with what "this server" means, and secondly he'll wonder if its a permission problem which is preventing him from uploading.

May the error message be changed to : "Sorry, you cannot upload files now as the Wikipedia server is under maintenance. Uploads can be resumed in xx minutes (or xx hours)"
Jay 16:39, 6 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I've added a link to Wikipedia:Server status. Hope that helps.—Eloquence 23:12, Oct 6, 2003 (UTC)
Why are uploads disabled? I've asked on wikitech-l and I've made some comments here, but no-one has answered. How can there be "synchronisation issues" when there is only one server operational for days at a time? Why can't we just set $wgDisableUploads to 0, then rsync the files after larousse comes back on? -- Tim Starling 00:37, Oct 7, 2003 (UTC)
It'd muck up any attempt to upload new versions of files that had changed or were added since things were moved back to larousse. If someone wants to fix the upload handling code to check for mismatches and missing files and handle them gracefully, we could safely turn it back on here before larousse is brought back. --Brion 00:56, 7 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Thanks. Okay, I've patched the live server so that any images which were touched after 20031003140000 cannot be overwritten. That is roughly the time when the backup of the files was made. Image deletions are disabled. Is that good enough? Say the word and I will turn off $wgDisableUploads. -- Tim Starling 01:42, Oct 7, 2003 (UTC)
That sounds like it should do fine, assuming you're using the timestamp from the image table for that determination. Go for it! --Brion 01:48, 7 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Hang on... Everyone: don't try it out until I say it's okay. -- Tim Starling 01:53, Oct 7, 2003 (UTC)

Okay, image uploads are now working, in a manner of speaking. For the moment, you won't be able to alter any images with a timestamp later than 14:00, October 3. I know this is annoying, but I think it's better than nothing. -- Tim Starling 02:07, Oct 7, 2003 (UTC)

Yay it works: Frank Forde. Order of Lenin for Tim Adam 02:24, 7 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Thank you Adam. Slight change: now you can update images as long as their most recent entry is not in the bracket from 14:00 Oct 3 to 00:00 October 7 -- that's the region where the image files are in the database but missing from pliny. -- Tim Starling 02:27, Oct 7, 2003 (UTC)

Um, I don't know what that means but so long as it is now working I don't think I need to :) Adam

It currently isn't working for me; it gives: A database query syntax error has occurred. The last attempted database query was: "SELECT img_timestamp FROM image WHERE img_name='Napier's_bones_(board_and_rods).png'" from within function "isImageProtected". MySQL returned error "1064: You have an error in your SQL syntax. Check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near 's_bones_(board_and_rods).png at line 1". I think the apostrophe in the name is messing it up, because when I change it it works fine. Evil saltine 08:46, 10 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Missing wfStrencode. Fixed, I think. -- Tim Starling 00:47, Oct 13, 2003 (UTC)

Afghanistan title

I request that the article U.S. Attack on Afghanistan be renamed US-led military operation in Afghanist or something similar. The current title is grossly POV and just plain inaccurate. There was some discussion of this at the relevant Talk page but nothing was eventually done. Adam 05:39, 6 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I'd say go ahead and move it if no one comments. They probably will then. :-) Ark30inf 06:14, 6 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Do I just create the new page, cut-n-paste the text, and leave a "moved to" notice at the old one? Or is there some other protocol I should know about? Adam
See Wikipedia:How to rename (move) a page -- Tim Starling 06:22, Oct 6, 2003 (UTC)
Thank goodness you asked. N'ver cut-n-paste. --Menchi 06:24, 6 Oct 2003 (UTC)
OK I have followed Tim's advice. I have also done pretty major surgery on the article, now US-led military operations in Afghanistan, which was far too long and POVish. There will be tears I fear. Adam 06:51, 6 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Looking at your surgery I would say that there are quite a bit of silliness that you cut out. But I probably would have done the most egregious examples first and make my changes slowly over time to give everyone time to comment on the changes separately. Its difficult for people to logically debate 5k of changes at a time. Ark30inf 06:59, 6 Oct 2003 (UTC)

What happened to Be Bold in Editing? :)

I have now created a new problem. The article U.S. Attack on Afghanistan was already redirected to US invasion of Afghanistan. I have now redirected US invasion of Afghanistan to US-led military operations in Afghanistan. Let us call these 1, 2 and 3. Now we have the position that 1 redirects to 2, and 2 redirects to 3, but 1 does not redirect to 3, which is where the new and improved text is. Solutions? Adam 07:34, 6 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Edit 1, so that it goes straight to 3. Double redirects don't work. Use the "what links here" feature to find any additional double redirects, and fix them too. -- Tim Starling 07:47, Oct 6, 2003 (UTC)
I can't edit 1, because it redirects to 2 :/ Adam
When you go to 1, it will redirect you to a page saying:
(redirected from 1)

The 1 link in that page is a URL with redirects disabled, so clicking on it will take you to the actual 1 page, which you can then edit. -- Tim Starling 08:00, Oct 6, 2003 (UTC)
When I tried to redirect 1 to 3 by that method, I got a message saying: A page of that name already exists, or the name you have chosen is not valid. Please choose another name.
You're not meant to move 1 to 3, you just manually edit the text of the redirect. BTW, Mav has reverted your move, on the basis that you "carelessly left behind many broken redirects". You'll have to perform the move again, then fix the redirects. There's about 15 redirects to be fixed. -- Tim Starling 08:42, Oct 6, 2003 (UTC)

Mav has in fact undone everything I did, and since I am sick of arguing with leftoids about Afghanistan and Iraq, I won't bother with it further. This is one reason reason why Wikipedia has a looooong way to go before it is a real encyclopaedia. Adam 08:45, 6 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Don't be discouraged if some Wikipedians lack graces. The title change looks ok and others can help scoop up the redirect links and check out the POV you complained about - Marshman 17:45, 6 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I set up a vote Talk:U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. My hope is that people will agree quickly on a neutral title and we can be done with it. Daniel Quinlan 09:25, Oct 6, 2003 (UTC)

Adam, you've revived an old - and passionate - argument over what the title of this page should be. I share Daniel's hope that this gets settled quickly. Arno 09:04, 11 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Donation header

Wikipedia:Donation header discussion moved. -- Taku 06:51, Oct 7, 2003 (UTC)

Erik Zachte's stats

Erik Zachte's stats are gone [2]. Where did they go? --Menchi 02:50, 6 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Um... larousse? -- Tim Starling 02:59, Oct 6, 2003 (UTC)
I rarely get to see those stats these days. :-( Tomos 20:04, 7 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Articles about songs

Whats the policy for writing the lirycs of a copyrighted song? --Antonio Who's that....boy????? Martin

I asked the same questions myself on Wikipedia:Copyright issues and the answer is that you do not have the right to reproduce the entire lyrics, but you can link to an external site or quote partial lyrics. --Dori 03:37, 6 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Google links to Wikipedia articles

Don't Google hits/ links lead to the latest version of a Wikipedia article? I added a lot of info to a page yesterday since it was in the first page of Google hits. But today when I followed the Google link to the page it was in the same state as before my editing- though the address bar in IE is the same for both direct Wikipedia and link from Google.KRS 05:34, 4 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Read Wikipedia:Searching#Google_search_of_Wikipedia. Martin 13:16, 4 Oct 2003 (UTC)

actually, that's not answered your question. My apologies. Martin 13:45, 4 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Did you try the "refresh" button? Can you see today the new content? Is the error reproducible with other pages on your computer? Maybe it has to do with our two servers: and (see a little bit above) Fantasy 15:35, 4 Oct 2003 (UTC)
The page is Indian writing in English( lower case 'w' in writing). When I created it I had named it as Indian Writing in English(uppercase 'W' in writing) and a veteran Wikipedian had done some redirection. Through some research I have come to this probable conclusion- the Google search gives the more popular usage capital "Writing" instead of small "writing". And this leads to a page that has a redirect. And this redirect page works on a cached version of the page concerned. I tried it a few times and everytime I got the same result. Does this happen with every redirect page? If so, then how much is the the time lag ? Is anyone aware of this problem. Please enlighten me/ or look into it.KRS 15:51, 4 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Have you tried clearing your cache? Angela
I have tried it.Actually, as I mentioned it is not something to do within Wikipedia- here I get the correct version even in redirect (If it is to do with the cache I should get the same result even within Wikipedia). It is only when I type the words in Google and get a link through that do I get this problem. In fact when I tried to check page history after follwing through Google, the latest changes were recorded!!KRS 16:39, 4 Oct 2003 (UTC)
KRS, my guess is this has nothing to do with Google, case-sensitivity or redirects, but something to do with browser sessions, wikipedia or wikipedia's handling of sessions. I tried out exactly what you suggested and came across the same result. I still get a very outdated page if I go to the link via google.
I had discovered a similar problem when I once went to the URL . It had some junk line "werfhjgu" and I put up the page at VfD. When I logged in and went to the same link, I found a neat page saying "(There is currently no text in this page)". When I logged out and went to the page, I found the junk again.
Are you opening a new browser window when you go to Google ? If so, you're not logged-in to Wikipedia thru' that browser. Solution to your problem would be to login to wikipedia using that very window, and u'll find all the recently added text magically re-appear. Open another Google window and go to the same link and you'll find its still got the outdated page ! (I assume you're using Internet Explorer. Opera users won't face this problem.)
Jay 18:19, 6 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Whatever be the problem, the data should be somewhere in cyberspace.I don't think it has anything to do with browser sessions[ with my limited knowledge]. I think that there is some kind of permanent storage [I don't know computer terminology/ slangs for all this:-)]system in Wikipedia and this might be not uptodate. Somehow, maybe, the Google link goes here rather than to the latest versionKRS 10:21, 8 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Lets narrow down and remove Google out of the picture. Step 1. open a fresh browser window and go to the URL "" (W is in caps). You'll get a very old page. Step 2. Click on the "Log in" link and login to Wikipedia. You'll get the new page. Jay 17:18, 8 Oct 2003 (UTC)
The problem seems to be that the server-side HTML cache got stuck when the page was moved on July 24. I'll put it on my to do list. -- Tim Starling 23:59, Oct 8, 2003 (UTC)
Correction: the HTML cache for Indian_Writing_in_English was left in place after the page move on July 24. It was not invalidated, and hence anonymous requests return the old version. I guess the HTML cache for all incoming redirects should be invalidated when the article itself changes. As a workaround, you could edit the redirect in some trivial way, which will force the cache to be invalidated. -- Tim Starling 00:13, Oct 9, 2003 (UTC)
Thanks a lot,Tim Starling. I followed your suggestions. It worked!!!Thanks to Jay too, for taking the trouble.KRS 05:03, 10 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I spoke too soon!The same problems arise as soon as another edit is made in the main page. Does this mean that everytime an edit is made in the main page, some change has to be made in the Redirect page? KRS 09:45, 10 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Yes, your diagnosis is correct. This is a bug, and will be fixed eventually. -- Tim Starling 00:35, Oct 12, 2003 (UTC)

Deleted images

Why does the "Great thinking, New thought" logo stolen from the People's Daily by User:Paektu still appear on his page even though it has been preumably deleted? --Jiang 01:50, 12 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Okay, I deleted it. It's probably still on larousse though. -- Tim Starling 02:05, Oct 12, 2003 (UTC)

Getting offensive articles rewritten

So where do I go to get an article like Homophobic hate speech rewritten? It doesn't belong on Votes for Deletion, because the article itself doesn't need to be deleted. It doesn't need to go on the page listing POV articles, because it isn't the POV that I'm objecting to. It's the use of a single term which takes up 1/3 of the entire article, in graphic detail. There are tons of other offensive terms that could be listed here, let's not be minimalists, let's go with all of them, okay? And then we can have Offensive terms for Jews and Offensive terms for Italians and Offensive terms for African Americans, etc. I seem to recall List of offensive terms for Germans having gotten deleted at some point. So why does this one term, on this page, keep getting re-added, when other offensive terms for gays are not included, and why are we not coming up with exhaustive pages of offensive terms for every other group in the world? RickK 03:10, 9 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I re-added this to the page, since it seems to have been deleted for no acceptable reason. RickK 06:47, 11 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Actually, moved to Talk:Homophobic hate speech. See the move note reading Getting offensive articles rewritten -> talk:Homophobic hate speech a little way above.
My apologies for any confusion this may have caused. Martin 14:49, 11 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Login password

Wikipedia no longer remebers my login password, although I always click the "Remember my password" checkbox. Is this problem universal now or is it me? Tempshill

I have this problem too. — Alex756 22:31, 11 Oct 2003 (UTC)
You may have cookies blocked. -Smack 02:00, 12 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I had this problem for a while but it's now come good, no deliberate changes to cookie management at my end (with Win98 it's hard to be definitive on this, and XP is worse, hey that's POV but true). I assumed it was just part of the server problems, and my personal decision was not to even raise issues of this sort until the server situation improves.
I could be wrong, and in any case I haven't even asked our wonderful overworked underthanked server administrators if this is a good thing or whether they'd still like to know about every little glitch. They do need to know about any important problem, to me this is just a minor annoyance but sometimes knowing about a little glitch helps solve a big one.
(And in any case, people you are doing so much so well with so little, hang in there, and thank you.) Andrewa 05:59, 12 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Another thing to check is exactly what domain name you're coming in on. The cookies are linked to the domain name, but for a while there've been several ways you could get to the site:,,,, even If you logged in on one and then visited another, the second "site" couldn't read the first's cookie.
I've just tweaked up the config to standardize on and send you there from whichever name variant you came in on, so from here out things should be easier. --Brion 08:00, 12 Oct 2003 (UTC)


... has been creating a considerable number of pages with regard to a mediation process. So far these seem well-meaning. But a question arises: Does this mediator, who has elected to remained anonymous, have the community's support for these activities? Can someone come forward and vouch for the integrity and commitment of this user? Indeed, can anyone vouch for user:Mediator being a Wikipedian in good standing? Louis Kyu Won Ryu 22:26, 10 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Rather than cluttering up the pump with responses, use these handy links:

-- Cyan 22:39, 10 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I've just blocked him from editing Wikipedia. Please see user:mediator for details. Debate -> user talk:mediator/ban. Martin 22:53, 13 Oct 2003 (UTC)

The author:Taku, reviewed by Taku. The article is scored 4.

However, I guess people just don't like things that sound approval at the first glace without looking at the details. -- Taku

Do I understand correctly, that the primary purpose of the scoring would be to alert other users that an article needs help? And that the score would be visible on Recent Changes and on Watchlist? Or would you want it to only be visible once you click the link to the article?
Hmm. If one were to have a range of scores on different aspects of the article, it would infact amount to a software-fix which would merge Wikipedia:Cleanup into Recent Changes, thus making it (Cleanup) obsolete. I could definitely get behind that, if the developers have enough time, and they think it worth their while.
Double-hmm. While we are waiting for a software feature to allow this, why don't we try to implement this on a trial basis at Cleanup, add a score element to the comment tags, eh? I know it isn't quite what you originally suggested, but it could provide some guidance as to how such a feature would be used by editors, eh? -- Jussi-Ville Heiskanen 07:16, Oct 15, 2003 (UTC)

I think you are in the same line with my idea. It seems problems seen particularly in VfD is originated from the situation where every article is treated equally. The truth is some articles are in very poor writing and some are completely readly to be read by general readers. I love to see features like low scored articles are not pop up in the google results. Such features allow us to keep articles of the low quality while they don't look wikipedia a trash of crap.

I also think it is important to store some editiorial information to an article itself to avoid duplicated information. Many articles are listed in VfD over and over again and the reason is quite often of the low quality of the article, rather than the question of existence. Unfortunately, tons of article remain as stub for months, which however cannot be used as justification of deletion of such articles.

Scoring is very similar to the stub caveat with more extented and extensive use.

-- Taku

Scoring articles

I have some proposal to address. It seems that the mess in VfD and cleanup is due to the disparities among wikipedians about the quality of aritlces in wikipedia. Those called inclusionists including me tend to defend keeping articles that are even less than stubs while deletionists are inclined to maintain the quality of wikipedia at whole even it takes to get rid of articles that are adequate stubs but contribute to making wikipedia look chessy. It seems to me that the problem is rather that every single article is treated equaly. Some articles are brilliant prose while some are crap or bot's generated.

Anyway, my proposal is to evaluate all articles with the range of 1-5 scores. 5 means brilliant prose, 4 peer-reviewed copyedited article, 3 draft, 2 stub and 1 less than stub or non-sense. This put a lot more burden to wikipedians but we really need some kind of approval system. The growth in the number does not consist with that in the quality. I am afraid that the vast number of the nonsense and bot-generated articles make wikipedia look like a trash. It is important to remember that readers might make a quick guess about the quality of wikipedia only by seeing stubs or less than stubs. -- Taku 23:04, Oct 11, 2003 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Wikipedia approval mechanism for prior discussion of this point. See wikipedia:bug reports to submit a feature request. See wikitech-l to volunteer to help develop MediaWiki and code your request yourself. Please don't submit feature requests to the village pump. Martin 00:48, 12 Oct 2003 (UTC)

This is not a feature request and I have already read Wikipedia approval mechanism. -- Taku

The argument isn't usually about the quality of the text, it's usually about the appropriateness of the topic. These kinds of debates will go on until we formally decide whether or not Wikipedia is the appropriate place for every postal code in the world, or any random elementary school, or any professor who has written a paper, or any subway station in any town, or anyone who gets 20 hits on Google, etc. I'd try to organize some sort of formal decisions on these topics but I'm not sure I have the energy... Axlrosen 14:49, 12 Oct 2003 (UTC)

We have had this debate on the mailing list several times (This username is just an pseudonym for another username). Most people don't want an approval mechanism. That would ruin the wiki-ness of it. ++Liberal 16:26, 12 Oct 2003 (UTC)

The proposal is not yet another approval mechanism, but simple editorial information. Scoring is intended only to improve poorly written articles.

I also favor putting the primary author and reviwers of the article. I often checked the page history to know who is primary responsible for the content. It is often convinient to contact such a person to discuss facts or POV issues. The article looks like this.

Takuya Murata is bahaba

Was GrahamN blocked on Saturday?

I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this question, but a few seconds after making this edit on Saturday I found I could not access Wikipedia, nor any of the other Wikimedia sites. So I gave up and went down the pub. It's only a web site, after all. But, just out of curiosity, was that a coincidence, or did someone block me deliberately? GrahamN 14:46, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Graham, if you had been blocked, you would still have had access to read the site, you just wouldn't have been able to edit. On attempting to edit, you would get a screen explaining the reason for the ban and the name of the person who had banned you (I banned myself once just to find this out). Secondly, blocks made on Wikipedia apply only to Wikipedia, not to the other Wikimedia sites. The log of server problems that day [3] shows that Wikipedia was not completely down at that time, but that 90 per cent of pages were timing out, so it is likely this is what you were experiencing on Saturday. And I don't think anyone is likely to block you just for criticising the cleanup page. At least I hope not! :) --Angela
Not a time to get paranoid. The instability of the servers right now makes it impossible to get on about 60% of the time; or stop having access in the middle of an edit a daily experience - Marshman 17:43, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Ah, I see we've been provided with a classic GrahamN diff there. It is indeed possible for a developer to block specific IP addresses so that they cannot access any wikimedia site -- this is often done for bots. And although I haven't made any secret of my opinion of GrahamN, I promise that's not what happened in this case. In fact, the log at the Wikipedia Status page shows a report from Cimon Avaro 20 minutes after Graham's edit that the server was dead at that time.
If I really wanted to annoy Graham I'd send him a browser exploit ;) -- Tim Starling 00:20, Oct 15, 2003 (UTC)

Shortpages should be deleted

I recently created a one-line article, and then posted it on VfD. Everyone who replied said "Keep"? What gives? If I create a one-line article, can't I just as easily delete it? Maybe I originally intended to write a longer article but then realized I wouldn't have time to turn the article into a decent stub or long shouldn't I be able to just delete it? It's just common sense to me. Wikipedia needs a stronger policy on deletion. Whenever a stub gets put on VfD, some person just adds one line and tada! it's no longer a stub. Pretty soon people are going to figure this out and every time they need some articles created they'll just post them on the VfD page! This is not the point of VfD. The point of VfD is not to expand on stubs/shortpages, it is to delete articles which should be deleted, and shortpages CAN be deleted under rule #4 on the deletion policy. Sub-stubs/shortpages should be instantly deleted IMHO, because as all people can agree, they can be re-created in a second. Sub-stubs are a waste of time, you click on a link, wait for it to come up, and are extremely disapointed when it does come up, as it is only one line of information you already knew. I'd rather it be a red hyperlink, meaning the article was not written yet, so that I don't have to waste my time clicking on it. That's my rant. dave 15:20, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Rule 4 of the deletion policy states that you may delete sub-stubs. Angela 17:39, Oct 14, 2003 (UTC)
That's what I thought as well, until User:Jiang reversed my deletion and stated on my user page that Stubs are not useless. Its a start in content. If it is a genuine stub, it will say something as opposed to nothing. I personally don't like stubs, but I see no point in deleting them. Besides, it's against the current policy. --Jiang 20:43, 13 Oct 2003 (UTC) The reason I deleted it was because I was looking at the List of British Columbia premiers page and clicking on all the premiers. I clicked on John Hart and saw the following: "John Hart was a premier of British Columbia". What is the use of that!!! And it just wasted 5 seconds of my life having to click on it when it should have been a red link like the others. Clearly we know he is a premier since all the pages on "What links here" say so anyways! Jiang undeleted my delete, and he also added two dates to the article, in order to justify keeping it somehow. Anyways, I'm a bit frustrated that as an administrator I was overruled by another administrator (User:Jiang) for doing something which was well within the policies of Wikipedia. dave 22:27, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Everyone gets overruled now and then. When it happens to me, I try not to take it personally. It all worked out for the best, didn't it? Even your experimental sub-stub got turned into a seed stub. -- Cyan 22:32, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I don't take it personally...I'm just trying to get to the bottom of what I did wrong so it doesn't happen again. I think I know what went wrong...I pissed off Jiang by first blanking the John Hart article (a Wikipedia no no because the link stays blue I guess). He unblanked it, and then I deleted it (which was my real intent all along when I first blanked it). He then undeleted either because he was annoyed at me, or just because he is an inclusionist? That's my only theory. He says it is "against wikipedia policy" to delete a stub. Perhaps it is, but the John Hart article wasn't a stub, it was a shortpage, and gave no new information (the disambiguation page said the same thing). Deletion policy exception #4 applies here I think. dave 01:59, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)
In as much as Wikipedia is a "work in progress" I think it is to be expected that any article (long, short, or stub) may or may not yet have information useful to the reader. I think stubs serve to remind editors (everyone) that there are articles in need of work. They should not be listed at VfD (and seldom are, actually) unless there is a sense by the lister that the "proposed" article will have problems (POV, troll bait, etc.). In general, a valid term used as a stub article is best just edited to a redirect if, IYHO it has no present hope to become anything. You can do that without listing or eliciting peer review. This practice can become very useful if later a disambiguation is required. - Marshman 17:43, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Dgrant, if you look at the timing of the votes, you'll see that people were voting on Delerium's update of your stub. I believe that if your original stub had remained unimproved, people would have voted to delete. -- Cyan 18:07, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Damn Delirium.  :-) dave 22:27, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Dave, instead of Trolling, just write the article or not, in accordance with whatever standards youve got. Such a thing can be either a newbieism or trolling --the latter, applying best to you, simply because you should know better. Thats really what this is about -- treating a perennial newbie phenomenon like if it was something you want to eradicate -- like you cant simply improve upon the thing. Of course people would look at who wrote it (you) and it had some bearing on how the vote went. Duh.戴&#30505sv
How on earth is it trolling? He's just trying to establish the policy and it is not surprising he needs to do that considering the conflicting advice he has been given. Angela 00:21, Oct 15, 2003 (UTC)
Steve, this is not whether or not I'm a troll (I'm not and never have been), whether I'm a newbie (I'm not), or whether or not I should know better. It is about the fact that I deleted a useless article (the John Hart article), and someone else went to the trouble of undeleting. I'm trying to figure out a) who is right? b) is anyone right? c) what IS the correct Wikipedia policy on this? Here's what I think: I was correct for deleting the John Hart article, it was a sub-stub/shortpage, and was useless. No need to put it on VfD IMHO. I was perhaps slightly lazy for not ADDING something constructive to it, but I wasn't interested in writing that article. Jiang was incorrect for undeleting it. If he was so inclined to write >100 words about John Hart, he should have then created the article and done so. But to re-create this useless article was pointless. And about c), I think Wikipedia's policy on deleting articles needs to be made more clear, through debate and discussion. dave 01:59, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I think in this case, it is clear. The words "John Hart was a premier of British Columbia" do not make an article. Although having said that, Tarquin once claimed that an article consisting only of the words "Jim was born in 1968 and likes hedgehogs" would not be classified as something which should be immediately deleted. I don't think you're going to get any sort of consensus on this. Some people are far too adamant that everything remains and others simply say it is up to you to make a decent article out of such nonsense. However, in terms of policy you did not do anything wrong. Angela 02:12, Oct 15, 2003 (UTC)
Thanks Angela...I think I have also come to the conclusion that there is no conclusion, and I will thus drop the issue, but I will certainly stick my nose in if these kinds of debates about deletion crop up, and I will also perhaps not hesitate to delete certain things, assuming the Wikipedia deletion policy stays the way it is. Perhaps your redirect trick is the way to go, so that they don't notice, although I don't think it should have to come to that. dave 02:57, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)
And this is why we should have a meta:deletion management redesign. Martin 10:51, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)

The title of Cardinal

I've noticed that most of the articles on Wikipedia that refer to Cardinals refer to them rather irritatingly as Firstname Cardinal Lastname; e.g. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. I'm not sure why this is, but I'm about to go change them all to Cardinal Firstname Lastname as per standard English usage, but wanted to check if there's any particular reason for this oddity before I do. All English-language news sources I know of, and even official Vatican press releases put the Cardinal as a titular preface, so I see no reason to deviate from standard English practice for titles if even the Vatican does not (see, for example, [4], which refers to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, not Cormac Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor). --Delirium 19:53, Oct 16, 2003 (UTC)

That is the agreed wikipedia covention, based on consultation with the Vatican. The Cardinal firstname surname only dates from the 1960s, so would be wrong in the case of 99% of cardinals who predate the 1960s. Two alternative versions is unworkable as many post the 1960s continue to use the traditional form and would produce edit wars. I checked in detail with the Vatican on the issue. The Vatican's modern news coverage of modern cardinals, in the words of a monsignor, "grudgingly goes along with media usage when we name" but prefers the technically correct form, which is also the only own workable for 99% of cardinals. In addition it keeps Cardinal surname together in searches on google and elsewhere, allowing more efficient links. It also covers the problem of what to use where, as happens, a cardinal uses a different cardinalate name to his own. As this is an encyclopædia, not a newspaper, and as we cover historic figures and not just contemporary ones, sticking to contemporary usage is in practice unworkable unless you want to make up names that never existed, covering 1000 years of cardinals to suit post 1960s naming systems, eg. there is no one called Cardinal Paul Cullen but there is Paul Cardinal Cullen, no one called Cardinal Thomas Wolsey but someone called Thomas Cardinal Wolsey. Leaving out cardinal altogether is also unworkable as many mediæval cardinals' first names are long since forgotten, they simply being remembered as Cardinal x. As this is a convention overwhelmingly agreed on wikipedia and applied to 1000 years of cardinals on wikipedia, any attempt to unilaterally change the system that has been agreed, is technically correct and is the Vatican's own perferred version in encyclopædias, will simply be reverted. FearÉIREANN 20:25, 16 Oct 2003 (UTC)

"All English-language news sources I know of, and even official Vatican press releases put the Cardinal as a titular preface" - funny, I heard "Bernard Cardinal Law" a whole lot in the (US) news a couple months back (which was confusing until I got used to it)... -- Jake 22:52, 16 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Law is a classic example of the complexity. There are many others. For example, the Irish cardinal in the 1960s and 1970s called himself William Cardinal Conway, never ever Cardinal William Conway. His successor called himself Cardinal Tómas Ó Fiaich and occasionally Tómas Cardinal Ó Fiaich. His successor again used both versions, Cardinal Cathal Daly and on some ecclesiastical occasions Cathal Cardinal Daly. The current cardinal is known in the media as Cardinal Desmond Connell and in some ecclesiastical and church publications as Desmond Cardinal Connell. Neither of the two previous cardinal archibishops of Dublin (both nineteenth century) were ever called in their lifetime anything but firstname Cardinal surname, except in a small minority of lightweight school history books in the 1970s, which controversially referred to Cardinal Paul Cullen. After being criticised for "making up a name", later editions simply spoke about Cardinal Cullen.
So if you followed Delirium's logic, you should rename the majority of Dublin cardinals to conform to the more widely used post Vatican II populist version, even though they never ever were called that, or have a list of three people which used two different naming formulæ. And you should rename all past Cardinal Archbishops of Armagh to follow the naming conventions of the last two. Elementary logic suggests that, given that wikipedia not merely covers the post 1960s era but all of history, that you stick to the one formula for the lists, a formula which the Vatican itself says is the most correct but which reluctantly it has decided not to use when writing only about modern cardinals for the modern mass media. Encyclopædias don't operate like the New York Times or the Times (of London) because, as they cover topics and a timeline far outside modern news management, they have to operate by different criteria. But then this was discussed before, and agreed before. In fact if I remember correctly everyone agreed that firstname Cardinal surname was the only workable solution on wikipedia. Which is why everyone who has added in cardinal names for month and months has followed that formula. Delirium seems to want to change all references to all cardinals dating back 1000 years on wikipedia to confirm to one version sometimes used in the last few decades by some cardinals but by no means all. FearÉIREANN 23:22, 16 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I disagree that there is a problem with calling previous cardinals by Cardinal firstname surname. This is standard English handling of titles: Title firstname surname. If it is factually correct that firstname surname was a title, then that usage is correct, regardless of the title or any particular idiosyncratic rules an organization may have about its honorifics. The usage Wikipedia currently employs is confusing and hard to read, implying to most English readers that Cardinal is the person's middle name. I frankly find the articles using this infuriating to read, so if it remains will have to go elsewhere for information on Catholic topics (several uninvolved people have commenting on the same to me, which is how it first came to my attention). Furthermore, if you open up history books, the Cardinal firstname lastname usage is already prevalent for cardinals from previous centuries, regardless of what they called themselves in official documents: it is simply standard English descriptive terminology.

To summarize: firstname Cardinal surname is a highly non-standard idiosyncratic type of honorific, whereas Cardinal firstname lastname is standard English. Furthermore, the latter is used in most contemporary history books (including those about Cardinals from hundreds of years ago), whereas the former is almost exclusively confined to document produced decades ago, and is no longer in common modern English usage, by the Vatican or elsewhere. --Delirium 23:27, Oct 16, 2003 (UTC)

Standard English? firstname Lord surname was very common for a fair period of time as well. These days, it mostly gets shifted, or a comma inserted to be firstname, Lord surname. -- Jake 23:38, 16 Oct 2003 (UTC)
That's exactly my point: was common for a fair period of time. It is no longer standard English usage. Wikipedia should, I presume, be written in modern English. Just because we're writing about someone from the 16th century doesn't mean we have to do so using 16th century English. --Delirium 23:44, Oct 16, 2003 (UTC)
Sorry, but I snicker every time I see the phrase "standard English". There hasn't been such a thing since 1066 or thereabouts. You have a valid point... but I could, if I dug, find other examples where the usage persists- for an easy example, Arab and Central Asian titles go that way strongly, even in their English versions. Maybe that's not English enough for you. I'll take a look around... -- Jake 00:02, 17 Oct 2003 (UTC)

So obviously we all dreamt about all those references to Bernard Cardinal Law a few month back. The Vatican doesn't know titles and everyone else on wiki who has used the name Cardinal surname format successfully for months on wikipedia is living in a timewarp that only you avoided.

So should the former king of Afghanistan have shah in front of his name, because "standard english" would place his title there, even though his title as used in english places it elsewhere? Should all foreign names that locate surnames at a different place in a name and do so in english be rewritten to conform to your definition of so-called "standard english"? So-called standard english for millions is American English. For millions of others, American English is idiosyncratic and they use British English. Which standard english should wikipedia use? Should it use the grammatical structure and spellings of American English, British English, Hiberno-English, Indian-English, or which else? The argument that an institution's choice of title structure cannot be used simply because your definition of standard english, based on late twentieth century norms unused before then and not universally used even now, is rather threadbare and indeed comical. FearÉIREANN 23:55, 16 Oct 2003 (UTC)

What do each of you (and the Vatican!) think of firstname, Cardinal surname? -- Jake 23:56, 16 Oct 2003 (UTC)

There were indeed some references to Bernard Cardinal Law a few months back; however, these were vastly outnumbered by references to Cardinal Bernard Law (a simple search on either google or the archives of any major news source can point this out). Note that I have no problem with Cardinal Law; that's perfectly fine usage when you elide the first name, so irrelevant to this discussion (Prime Minister Thatcher works similarly). The usage I'm proposing is, if not universal, at least the vastly preferred current usage, both within the Vatican and elsewhere. I have provided references that this is the standard usage at both the BBC and the Vatican's own press office; I'm not sure how much more evidence I can give towards that end.

I would prefer firstname, Cardinal surname the current usage, though I still find it somewhat silly and unnecessary: the information we're trying to convey is "Cardinal so-and-so", and we seem to be hung up on doing it in some overly formalized manner, instead of simply using conversational English. But adding the comma does make it less confusing. --Delirium 00:03, Oct 17, 2003 (UTC)

In clerical naming, the first name was originally used as the key. Documents receiving an episcopal imprimatur are still signed + (ie, christian cross) <first name>. In practice however the comma died out of usage except in formal ecclesiastical documents many centuries ago. Instead names are written as a block, with the title placed directly before the surname. In the peerage, wikipedia, based on extensive research and consultation, opted to use surnames for disambigulation purposes, simply because John, Duke of Kensington could cause problems if the mythical title had been held by different families, so Wikipedia's agreed naming policy would produce John Spencer, 4th Duke of Kensington, John Hoynes, 9th Duke of Kensington. That is the reason for the comma usage in wikipedia peerage title references. But it is unnecessary in cardinal names as most cardinals over the last millenium used the format name Cardinal surname. Cardinal name surname and name, Cardinal surname are both small subsets of naming structure used at either end of the period in which cardinal names have been used. FearÉIREANN 00:14, 17 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Neutral text

I don't think this quite rises to the level of problem of an NPOV dispute or an edit war, but I'd like someone (or multiple someones) to look at the following two paragraphs from Rush Limbaugh (initially, without looking at the edit history and discussion) and take a gander at which is more successful at being neutral.

In September 2001, Limbaugh denied suggestions that his voice and diction had changed. However, on October 8, 2001, he admitted that the changes in his voice were due to complete deafness in his left ear and substantial hearing loss in his right ear. Rush also revealed that his radio staff was aiding him in concealing his rapidly progressing hearing loss and subsequent deafness by setting up a system where Rush could maintain a conversation with callers. Some listeners could discern the change, especially after Rush was unable to hear callers, sometimes a longer delay between a caller ending his point and Limbaugh responding, and sometimes he would seem to accidentally talk over a caller. Some critics of Rush contend that this episode and his month-long concealment of his deafness constitutes a lie. Most listeners of Rush do not feel that way.
By September 2001, Limbaugh's listeners had noted changes in his voice and diction, changes that Limbaugh initially denied. However, on October 8, 2001, he reversed himself, admitting that the changes in his voice were due to complete deafness in his left ear and substantial hearing loss in his right ear. Rush also revealed that his radio staff was aiding him in concealing his rapidly progressing hearing loss by setting up a system where Rush could appear to hear his callers. The system worked remarkably well, but did not deceive all listeners, some of whom noted a long delay between a caller ending his point and Limbaugh responding, and Rush occasionally speaking over a caller. Some critics of Rush contend that this episode and his month-long concealment of his deafness constitutes a lie. Most listeners of Rush do not feel that way.

Thanks. Daniel Quinlan 07:21, Oct 11, 2003 (UTC)

Please respond at talk:Rush Limbaugh

That instruction rather conflicts with giving an opinion uncoloured by the article's history. Would responding at User_talk:Daniel Quinlam/Rush Limbaugh be better? user:Pcb21


Moved to User talk:Mediator

Bali bombing

Also, why has 2002 Bali terrorist bombing disappeared from the Anniversaries section of the Main Page? It was there yesterday (Oct 11), but it has gone today (Oct 12), which is the actuall anniversary. Adam

Because generally events get listed a day after their corresponding day page drops off the Main Page. The other events act as a kind of "best of" summary at that point. --mav 08:50, 13 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I checked about 5 versions of history and couldn't see why it's removed. Re-added. --Menchi 06:38, 12 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Many thanks Adam

Death of Jim Cairns

The former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Jim Cairns, died yesterday. I have posted a much-expanded article on him. Whoever edits the Main Page might like to consider this for the Recent Deaths section. Adam 05:47, 12 Oct 2003 (UTC)

What did he die of? -- Anon
Old age Adam
User:Poor Yorick added it. --Menchi 06:03, 12 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Thanks, o fellow of infinite jest Adam

Poorly written page SD6-Agent 02:24, 12 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Only content was "According to a letter in my possession, the Captain, in March 1835, was P.(?) A. Vallette. That is all I know." followed by an e-mail address. Please list requests for deletion at Wikipedia:Votes for deletion. Angela 10:37, Oct 12, 2003 (UTC)

Does anyone know anything about solid-fuel stoves?

A request for help with the portable stove article can be found at Wikipedia:Peer review.

Scoring articles

My proposal is to evaluate all articles with the range of 1-5 scores. 5 means brilliant prose, 4 peer-reviewed copyedited article, 3 draft, 2 stub and 1 less than stub or non-sense. This put a lot more burden to wikipedians but we really need some kind of approval system. The growth in the number does not consist with that in the quality. I am afraid that the vast number of the nonsense and bot-generated articles make wikipedia look like a trash. It is important to remember that readers might make a quick guess about the quality of wikipedia only by seeing stubs or less than stubs. -- Taku 23:04, Oct 11, 2003 (UTC)

Rest of discussion moved. Please continue at Wikipedia:Article scoring.

Login password

fixed --> archive

Plagiarism or POV?

Just by chance, I found a Web page ( ) that is remarkably similar in wording to the Wikipedia page Korean names for Korea, which was created and has been mostly edited by Nanshu. I am concerned because the non-Wiki Web site (main page: ) is definitely POV (pro-Japan, anti-Korea), and either the creator of that Web site plagiarized Wikipedia, or Nanshu is the creator of that Web site.

Nanshu is intelligent and knowledgeable about northeast Asian history, but he consistently makes subtly anti-Korean edits to Korea-related pages, which he claims are in the name of NPOVing. Some of the edits he makes are accurate, but not everything he has changed falls into that category. Not every edit he makes is an attempt at NPOVing--sometimes he simply changes the POV. In other words, changing "X" to "Y" is not the solution; "some people say X and some people say Y" would be much better.

Can someone look at the Wiki and non-Wiki page, and let me know what they think? --Sewing 22:41, 11 Oct 2003 (UTC)

That nonWiki site is obviously anti-Korean. Just look at its title: "Korea, the Preposterous World". But that's none of our business. Outside of Wikipedia, it's a wild world!
  • Did he plagiarize Korean names for Korea? The author did paraphrase a lot, so not entirely.
  • Is Nanshu the alter ego of that webmaster? I cannot tell, and we probably will never know. In any case, but so long as a person doesn't bring his POV into the door of Wikipedia and writes good stuff, we treat them as good contributors. (Note that it's probably very hard for most inherently POV people to lose their POV just to enter WP, but that's not the point.)
I haven't been following Nanshu's work that closely, could you point out some examples of his anti-Korean words?
If you encounter a POV passage (his or anobody else's), NPOV it and point it out the Talk page of the article. If discussion does not go well and it becomes an edit war, add it to Wikipedia:Current disputes over articles.
--Menchi 02:45, 12 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Thanks. It's a fine line between accuracy and inaccuracy in his edits. On the Korean names for Korea page, he writes that Korea became independent from China in the 1890s, which is a traditional Japanese interpretation of what happened, since it helped to legitimate Japan's annexation of the country in 1910. Two more examples are Dangun and Taekwondo. Dangun is almost certainly mythical anyhow, so he's probably correct; and on the Taekwondo page, he posted a link to a long paper which convincingly argues that Taekwondo is derived from Karate; nevertheless, sometimes I think he adds material in this format:
"Some Koreans claim X, which is wrong." Why not just not add it in the first place?
--Sewing 16:27, 12 Oct 2003 (UTC)


Not sure if this is a software issue or something more sinster so thought I'd ask here first. The number one article on Wikipedia:Most Wanted Articles is User:Sex. Now I've never seen this user editing and editors who've signed comments on 1000+ pages normal have a user page and I've normally seen them editting.... thus I thought some prankster had editted the MWA page to put a non-existent User:Sex on top. But no, if you click there are indeed 1400+ pages listed. So I thought I'd check a few pages out, get to meet this User:Sex but there was no such user making comments. To add a little more to the mystery all the pages that I checked out had the common feature that User:Zoe had signed a comment on them. However clicking gives a different set of pages. Any detectives in the house? Pete 14:34, 11 Oct 2003 (UTC)

It looks like Zoe's page was moved to User:Sex at some point (I would guess by the banned user Michael), and then moved back again. Beyond that, I don't know what's going on. --Camembert
Ok, thanks for your help. I created a User:Sex page as a stop-gap solution so that it will be removed from MWA whenever it is next generated. 15:41, 11 Oct 2003 (UTC)

That's a rather unfortunate case of link table corruption. Moving pages with lots of links to them can cause this sometimes. I'm fixing it... -- Tim Starling 00:19, Oct 12, 2003 (UTC)
Okay, I changed all the entries in the link table that were pointing to User:Sex so that they point to User:Zoe. It's possible some legitimate entries got moved as well, so now Special:Whatlinkshere/User:Sex doesn't really tell you anything useful. -- Tim Starling 00:30, Oct 12, 2003 (UTC)
I think we should be ok, don't there has been a User:Sex (or at least if there has, they never had a user page) so your change should be 100% accurate. Thanks very much for sorting that one out, Tim. Pete 00:55, 12 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Votes for Deletion

I've already posted this to VfD's talk page, but something has been screwed up on that page, with the result that October 5 ad 6 are duplicated. The resulting mess is too much for me to figure out how to sort out. Am I the only one seeing this (if so, I promise to take a wiki-break for the rest of the evening)? If not, how can we get this repaired? Please help. :) Jwrosenzweig 23:20, 13 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I see it too.. odd. I'm betting there's a section edit/edit conflict thing going on. (goes to check...) -- Jake 23:24, 13 Oct 2003 (UTC)
It appeared in Wartortle's edit an hour or so ago diff, looks like it just got fixed. -- Jake 23:29, 13 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Wikis in Current events

Maybe a dumb question from a newcomer, but why add wiki links to entries on the Current events pages when the articles that are linked to are so often not relevant to the news item in question?

We like links. :-) Just look around to confirm that. Excessive linking does make the text hard to read so anything more than a link every three words is bad. So we all should prioritize what we link in that respect. --mav 08:48, 13 Oct 2003 (UTC)

PLoS License

Does anyone know whether the Public Library of Science license is compatible with the use of their materials in Wikipedia? It should be similar to the BioMedCentral license.

This is a tricky issue. It's the Creative Commons Attribution license [5], which, as with almost all other attribution-but-otherwise-free licenses, is "almost GFDL compatible". The GFDL has no problem with requiring authorship attribution in most cases (and in fact does so itself), but when a work has more than 5 authors, only requires you to attribute 5 of them. Thus, the following scenario would lead to a license conflict: you take a CC-licensed work, and 5 users substantially edit and add to it. Now under the GFDL, you are permitted to attribute it to these 5 users, and not attribute the sixth author, while under the CC license you are required to attribute the original author still. This is a relatively minor conflict in my mind, but it may still be a technical one. --Delirium 09:28, Oct 13, 2003 (UTC)

It's worse than that. CC license: "You may not offer or impose any terms on the Work that alter or restrict the terms of this License or the recipients' exercise of the rights granted hereunder". The GFDL has different terms to the CC license (eg, invariant sections, etc, etc). You're in license incompatibility hell.

Best option: use the wikipedia:boilerplate request for permission, and ask for permission to use the text under the GFDL, noting that the licenses are different in various ways and incompatible. IANAL. Martin 21:19, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)


For some reasons I can't explain, I can't save my edit at 2003_invasion_of_Iraq. I want to revert, I go to history, choose an older version, edit, and save. It says it is saved, but it doesnot. Can someone check to tell me what is going on ? Thanks Anthère 15:50, 12 Oct 2003 (UTC)

the other reverted back his edit. Perhaps to the previous edit in history. Me reverting to the same history could perhaps explain that no change is taken into consideration.
I still do not understand well, but do not take into consideration then
Wikipedia:Clear your cache - it's always worth a shot. CGS 23:33, 12 Oct 2003 (UTC).

Highlighten map

Could anyone make a highlighting map for every country like that in article US? I think that would be helpful since I don't know the position of every country. --FallingInLoveWithPitoc 02:31, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)

ADMINS: Paradox article links to nonexistent ethical paradox article, implying its existence

ADMINS, the article paradox links to a nonexistent ethical paradox article, but in a way which implies there is such an article, and that it is relatively complete. Was there such an article, or is this a joke?

No there was never such an article and the link was added by a now-banned user. Angela
User:Evercat pointed out to me in talk:paradox that there was never an article. Thanks for following up though :) Pakaran 20:08, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Ed Gein,

   How can I get real photos of Ed Gein, and the crime scene. Thanks very much.

--Pages on Votes for Deletion should not be changed?-- I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask, but it seems that some folks think that once a page has been listed on VfD, it should not be changed in an attempt to make it less offensive. Is this right?2toise 13:09, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)

stroud new south wales australia

At stroud gloucestershire we have a link with the stroud in the usa and in australia. Ive visited stroud NSW and it is an interesting historic town dating to the early development by europeans. can you add more information about the town? they have an active history society and get a lot of visitors to the area.

You seem to know quite a bit on the subject. Why don't you do it? CGS 14:15, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC).
See also: Why Aren't These Pages Copyedited? and wikipedia:requested articles. Martin 21:04, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)


What's the relationship between this website and that of I thought that I'd stumbled onto a case of blatant plagarism of wikipedia material on this page until I saw the copyright note at the bottom. Arno

Found another one also showing the Sydney Opera House article! Its this one from
See Wikipedia:Sites that use Wikipedia for content. -- Tim Starling 10:02, Oct 15, 2003 (UTC)

Thanks. I hadn't known about this at all!

A public announcement for transparency sake. No need for comments.

A while back I created a user account Sockpuppet purely for demonstration purposes. (Wanted to show this wonderful virtual place to my direct female antecedant, and not freak her out with all the sysop functions... she wasn't really interested.)

In any case I chose a (I think) transparently descriptive username and posted on the user and talkpages the following (in part):

"I am a sockpuppet username for a sysop (Cimon Avaro on a pogo-stick) who wants a nonsysop username to use when demonstrating the system. There should be very few edits made outside the sandbox by this user (except perhaps editing from a public terminal when away from home)."

I also later logged in as Cimon Avaro and confirmed that it was I who had created the account, so that everything would be aboveboard.

It has been a while and I haven't had cause to use it since, nor do I expect to use it except in extremely rare and special circumstances. But I have forgotten, whether I made a public announcement of the fact at the time, so this cannot hurt. I have Read The Fine Manual, and know that there is nothing wrong with what I did per se, but I do want to come "clean" anyway, in light of recent events.


Jussi-Ville Heiskanen 08:35, Oct 15, 2003 (UTC)
Well since I'm paranoid, I've created a whole bunch of user accounts and variations of my name just to make it more difficult for people to pretend they are me. But I haven't used the accounts for anything other than that. I do edit anonymously sometimes for various reasons (public computer, too lazy, need to see what anons see, etc). --mav 08:42, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I sometimes make edits from a public computer. If they are substantial, I put "tarquin" in the comment line. -- Tarquin 08:48, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I'm too paranoid for that (don't want to expose any IP I use except to people I know I can trust). --mav

Photo overwriting

This section was moved to the archives with some unfinished work. Hence pasting it again :

It'll be helpful if the following line is included in Special:Upload page, beginning of the 2nd para. "If a file with the name you are specifying already exists on Wikipedia it'll get replaced without warning. So unless you deliberately wish to overwrite a file, it'll be a good idea to first check if such a file exists."

Above warning line has not yet been added in the Special:Upload page. Can someone with permissions to edit Special pages add it. Jay 19:49, 13 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Good things come to those who nag. I'll shortly be putting this into the four different places necessary to make an immediate but permanent change to MediaWiki. I changed the wording a bit: "If a file with the name you are specifying already exists on Wikipedia, it'll be replaced without warning. So unless you mean to update a file, it's a good idea to first check if such a file exists." "Get" is such an ugly word. -- Tim Starling 09:35, Oct 15, 2003 (UTC)

Streets of San Francisco

So how does "Streets of San Francisco" not represent the city of San Francisco?

Is this a riddle? What are you referring to? Axlrosen

I think this user had some additions to the San Francisco article nixed by mav. OP, if you have things like this about specific articles to discuss, do it on the article's Talk: page. You can get there from the "Discuss this page" link found on every article. :-) —Frecklefoot 01:27, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)
It doesn't look like the addition was nixed... It is still there. dave 02:04, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Right-o. All I did was change the bizarre Streets of San Francisco, The to Streets of San Francisco. Maybe it should be The Streets of San Francisco... Oh well. --mav 05:06, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Can't undelete

A newly created article Bobbing for apples was edited by somebody else (Deb?) and more or less at the same time I (mistakenly) deleted it. I then went back to that page and undeleted it, received confirmation that it was undeleted, but now the article seems to be gone. What happened? Kosebamse 21:35, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)

It hasn't gone. It's there. Try clearing your cache. Angela 21:36, Oct 14, 2003 (UTC)

OK, no prob then. Thanks and N/G/W. Kosebamse 21:47, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)

WikiProject: Popular Lastname

Hello! I would like to propose a new WikiProject: Popular Lastname. "Popular" in the sense that about 20 people of the lastname having an article in Wikipedia.

Anyone back me up? wshun 21:33, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Why don't we have simply a project about lastnames like where do they come from, what do they orignally mean and so forth. I don't think each lastname deserves to its own article but there should be some way to orginize such information? -- Taku
We already have list of people by name. But some popular lastnames will soon dominate the list, so I guess single them out should be a good idea. I personally prefer a separate wiki on lastnames but I don't think anyone will support it. -- wshun 22:14, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Just set them up as disambiguation pages... 1/2 :-) They'll probably sniff out some links needing fixing. I've done a bit of that with Roman names, Valerius for instance. Stan 22:23, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I heard Wikipedia was having a contest for their new logo. Who won? I think the new logo is really cool.

I agree - it's not the one I voted for, but I think the current revision looks pretty darn nice. Good job all! Axlrosen 21:22, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)
The current logo is the creation of User:Nohat, based on the winning concept by User:Paullusmagnus. I also like it a lot myself, but we will continue to try to find ways to improve it, so if you have comments, head to m:logo feedback.—Eloquence 02:50, Oct 15, 2003 (UTC)

Change User ID in credit for new article?

I just created the Norton Juster page, but didn't realize that I'd been switched to from and therefore logged out. Credit for the page is given to my IP address, rather than me -- which is okay, but I'd rather get the appropriate blame and credit if possible. Can the originating page author be switched? -- Scarequotes 18:20, Oct 14, 2003 (UTC)

See my previous reply at Backdating attribution. Angela 20:58, Oct 14, 2003 (UTC)
I thought it might be a hassle. Thanks for the info -- I clarified on the Talk page. -- Scarequotes 21:51, Oct 14, 2003 (UTC)
It isn't really that difficult. I think I will invent a policy for it, at Wikipedia:Changing attribution for an edit (or should that be "of an edit"?). -- Tim Starling 02:53, Oct 15, 2003 (UTC)

Shortpages should be deleted

See Wikipedia talk:Deletion policy for the full discussion.

Was GrahamN blocked on Saturday?

No he wasn't. See User talk:GrahamN.

Its too small (bitwise)-- it looks too choppy. Can we find a happy compromise (bettween the too big 50k and the too small (what it is now) maybe 25k?? Hint--try different background colors to test it for jaggies.戴&#30505sv

Can we find a happy compromise? I very much doubt it. CGS 14:33, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC).
The jaggies are a necessary evil due to Internet Explorer's having a hard time dealing with alpha transparency in PNGs. If you know of a workaround for this that doesn't involve losing antialiased text edges (very bad!) or a slight 'halo' that looks fine on the intended background colors but ugly if you switch your browser to purple-on-black, please advise. --Brion 21:28, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Thanks Brion-- I will bring it up with Nohat, and well have...well... a new (sub) contest for the best no-jaggy logo. ! ;) -戴&#30505sv

This is kind of interesting

User:Stevertigo recently created [[Talk:User:Eloquence]], which I'm pretty sure was a mistake. What's interesting is that the "View article" link (not "View user page", mind you) does actually link to User:Eloquence. This means everybody has two talk pages (sort of), a real talk page, and a talk page in the main Talk namespace. (I, of course, have a third talk page, at Talk:Cyan ;-). -- Cyan 02:11, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Yeesh.-戴&#30505sv 02:35, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Would actually making use of this unintended (?) feature be deprecated? I could think of several possible ways to make use of it. And I don't mean me personally, but there might be a more general consensus for what the Talk:User:Foobar page could signify, if we really put our minds to it. BTW. does it give Eloquence the You have new messages indicator, when it has text that he has not read yet? -- Jussi-Ville Heiskanen 11:07, Oct 14, 2003 (UTC)

Similarly pages like [[Talk:Wikipedia:Namespace]]. - Patrick 12:29, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I did not get notification of messages left at Talk:User:Angela when someone was writing there by mistake. What possible uses do you see for it Jussi? Angela 17:39, Oct 14, 2003 (UTC)

Very inchoate ideas, as usual, maybe we had best discuss it at [[Talk:Wikipedia:Namespace]]. -- Jussi-Ville Heiskanen 21:42, Oct 14, 2003 (UTC)
That discussion should be discussed at m:Talk:en:Talk:Wikipedia:Namespace. Why not use [[Talk:Wikipedia:namespace]] instead of [[Talk:Wikipedia:Namespace]], anyway? Κσυπ Cyp 10:58, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)


Just a reminder:

  1. Please use the Minor edit selection ONLY for spelling corrections, formatting, and minor rearranging of text. Many people have the Hide minor edits in recent changes feature ON in their settings.
  2. Please use the Summary function when posting non-minor edits. This makes all of our lives easier when we look at Recent changes and Page histories. Thanks Kingturtle 00:28, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)


Hrmm, we seem to be going through logos rather quickly. The current one needs transparency. Evercat 23:27, 13 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Who decides on these logo changes? I guess that the big contest and vote that we had a while ago was completely meaningless, since the results were discarded a few days later? Steven G. Johnson 00:10, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)

It's been discussed on meta. I've not been paying much attention to it myself, but it's there. --Camembert
These are just variants of Paullusmagnus' winning concept. We are trying to optimize it in a way that pleases (almost) everyone. The latest version has the advantage that it is already internationalized, although I think it could use a touch of color. Nohat is working on it.—Eloquence 00:19, Oct 14, 2003 (UTC)~
Almost everyone? You mean the small subset of the original voters who are now second-guessing the ratified design? How about you leave the ratified design up while you bicker about alternatives, select an alternative, and then have another publicized vote on whether to switch to it? Steven G. Johnson 21:09, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)
There should probably be a page (if there isn't one already) displaying all the different versions and their names of the logos used. At this time, I don't know how to refer to them. I made a comment on one version, and up comes a new version and changes the meaning of my comment. ¬ Dori 01:14, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I created a page on meta giving the m:Logo history in hopefully a NPOV way (I am biased so someone strongly for the logo should probably debias it). Jrincayc 15:29, 17 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I'd like to point out a problem with the new logo. It displays poorly on my Mac using an older version of Netscape. It doesn't appear at all on my Mac using Internet Explorer 4.5. As a matter of fact, MSIE version 4.5 doesn't display PNG files at all. Transparency also seems to be a problem. This file should be viewable with all browsers. --Fernkes 21:53, Oct 14, 2003 (UTC)

Netscape 4.x is more full of bugs than a compost heap, don't use it if you can help it! Internet Explorer 5.0 for Mac seems to deal with the logo ok, but IE for Mac has many problems; like Netscape 4 it cuts off long articles when editing and damages non-ASCII characters on wikis using unicode for internationalized text. Its not a high priority to support either of these browsers when they cause this much trouble; try Mozilla if possible. There's a MacOS 9 version of Mozilla 1.2 available for download at: --Brion 23:37, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)

There seems to be a new vote happening at It's not currently publicised on the Main Page, or at least not nearly so prominently as the previous votes, but it was foreshadowed at the time of those votes. And it seems to include departures from the original design that I (and I gather at least some others) consider to be sufficiently different to call them new logos, including the one currently being promoted (I guess that's a POV comment but I think it's needed) on the English Wikipedia. But I guess that's a matter of opinion, and I guess that's the place to express it, and I've done that. To do this properly you need to set up a meta account if you don't have one already. Andrewa 20:07, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)

It is still barely readable. It seems the whole site uses rather small fonts. -- Taku

Non-gender specific language

I'm backing out of an emerging edit war in the Shenzhou spacecraft and a few related pages (shenzhou 5, "manned space flight").

"Crewed spaceflight", whilst admittedly inelegant, is a perfectly valid, non-gender specific term for a spaceflight with a human or humans aboard. It's a term that NASA itself uses (along with human spaceflight).

Nevertheless, use of this term seems to have met with fierce resistance by Wikipedians who defend the use of the older "manned" term.

I would suggest that the deliberate choice of a gendered term where there is a non-gendered alternative readily available is inherently un-NPOV.

Like I said, I'm walking away from it, since it's very clear that the dinosaurs will have their day through sheer weight of numbers if nothing else.

--Rlandmann 09:44, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Why can't "Manned spaceflight" include women? I think it's presumptuous to assume "manned spaceflight" does not include women, especially considering all the women who have gone into space (and I'm sure China will follow). Besides, "Crewed spaceflight" is horribly inelegant and silly. Calling people who disagree with you on this point "dinosaurs" is much much much worse. Daniel Quinlan 11:58, Oct 19, 2003 (UTC)
The "manned" term is no different from using, say "policemen" to refer to all police officers or "firemen" for all fire fighters. Would you argue that "it's presumptuous to assume that 'policemen' does not include women"? And I stand by the dinosaurs remark - the use of gendered terms like this is (thankfully) fading out of English. Do you have a more elegant suggestion for a non-gender specific term? --Rlandmann 22:08, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)
"Policemen" and "firemen" does include women. "Man" has multiple meanings. Unlike some people, I understand English words can have more than one meaning. If the politically correct can't come up with a more catchy name for something supposedly sexist... "Crewed spaceflight" sounds like they're all wearing crew socks or perhaps some rowing is involved. Daniel Quinlan 23:03, Oct 19, 2003 (UTC)
I don't think anyone seriously contends that "man" does not have multiple meanings, do they? The issue is not with meaning but with implication - specifically, the implication that being human is synonyous with being a male human. Look - I'm the first to admit that "crewed" is not a pretty word, mainly as it's homophonous with "crude". But it's better IMNSHO than perpetuating the ugliness of past sexism. --Rlandmann 00:45, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)

If you simply look at dictionaries, you should find freshman and man kind include women. I have never heard freshwoman, I think it is just not an English word. -- Taku 00:35, Oct 20, 2003 (UTC)

Rlandpersonn, I don't think that whining, and calling those you disagree with 'dinosaurs', is going to endear anyone to your point of view, and it goes against the very idea you allege to be championing, namely respect for others. The non-gender specific 'man' and even 'he' is a convention of language that educated and civilized people have used for a long time -- understanding all the while that the sense of meaning includes both genders. If you note the liberty I have taken with your user name, you will understand why taking this issue ad absurdum is a crusade not worth fighting. I pride myself on striving for the highest form of English expression I know. I appreciate the many meanings which one word can convey, and the human ability to discern these meanings by context. Please show a little respect for others and refrain from cramming your PC ideas down our throats. Thank you. Paul Klenk 00:49, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I've never heard of "freshwoman" either. The non-gendered word I've heard at Australian residential colleges (as long as 10 years ago) is "fresher". Can't speak for elsewhere on the planet. What does the existence (or lack thereof) of a non-gendered word for "freshman" have to do with this anyway, since non-gendered terms for human spaceflight definitely *do* exist? --Rlandmann 00:46, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Just to lighten things up a bit here, has no one else noticed that 'crewed' rhymes with 'crude'? Paul Klenk 00:58, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Yes, Rlandmann did, 13 minutes ago. -- Tim Starling 01:02, Oct 20, 2003 (UTC)

"Crewed spaceflight" - AAAAGH! Who the heck dreamt up that abomination??? Not more of this PC nonsense. BTW a survey in Ireland and Ireland among the police found that most women in the forces hate the term 'policewoman', find 'police officer' puke-enducing, and want to use 'policeman'. As a result, the Irish version of police-woman, ban gharda was scrapped (at the request of ban ghardaí) and they, by choice, use the same word as previously used by policemen and was always understood to mean a police-man. Oh and in Ireland the word 'fresher', meaning 'freshman', never ever freshwoman, is used. (BTW the majority of Freshman in Ireland are women!) Sorry, Rlandpersonn with your sexist unPC name, you are in a minority. FearÉIREANN 01:04, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Edit count?

I always hear people mentioning the count of how many edits a user's done -- where can this be found? --Morven 00:23, 16 Oct 2003 (UTC)

For the more active contributors, the number often comes from Wikipedia:Wikipedians by number of edits. For a user who's not on the list, or for an up-to-date count, you can use the user contributions page, by hand-editing the URL. If you click on "user contributions", then "next 50", a URL appears with offset=50 and limit=50. I think most people just set offset to 0 and limit to some huge number, then count the lines using a text editor. Alternatively you could adjust offset until you find the end. -- Tim Starling 00:39, Oct 16, 2003 (UTC)
The offset doesn't work right. --Brion
Are you saying offset=0 limit=5000 would or would not list every edit by a user with less than 5000 total edits? --Morven 00:55, 16 Oct 2003 (UTC)
That would. But offset=4999 limit=1 would not show someone's 5000th latest edit. Only offset=0 works properly. -- 01:30, 16 Oct 2003 (UTC)
You have 598 edits. I copied the content of [6] and paste it into a word processor and convert bullets to list-number. --Menchi 00:59, 16 Oct 2003 (UTC)
For the *nix inclined: curl '' | grep -c '<li>'
Don't forget to replace "username" with your own username. Ed Cormany 00:14, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Latin Wikipedia

Is it possible to move pages on the Latin wikipedia, like it is here? Or delete a page even? I created "Imperatorii Romani" but it should be "Imperatores Romani" (I should probably learn the language before I start making pages in it :)). Adam Bishop 16:26, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)

It looks like it's on the old software, so maybe that's why you cannot. ¬ Dori 16:44, Oct 15, 2003 (UTC)

You need a password from Jimbo to be able to delete a page on the old software Wikipedias and until they're moved to phase 3, the only way to move a page is by copy and paste. If it needs to be moved, I would recommend making the old page a redirect to the one you move the content to and stating the title of the original page in your edit summary when you create the new one. Angela

Thanks, that's what I've done. Adam Bishop 17:07, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)
UseModWiki does not use a database backend but rather its own file format to store pages. However, someone with admin access should be able to move pages using the editlinks feature of the software (it allows moving and deleting pages as well as mass-replacing links).
The "proprietary" file format used by UseMod is the main reason it's taking forever to upgrade the wikis -- converting this stuff is really tricky.—Eloquence 21:52, Oct 15, 2003 (UTC)

Actually, it's pretty easy to read (particularly as the code that reads it in UseModWiki is GPL!) The holdup is in automating conversion of an entire wiki to our format and features: renaming pages to deal with changes in case sensitivity, fixing subpage link syntax that doesn't work, renaming talk pages and removing their redundant links; importing images; fixing up other syntax bits that have changed. I've made a quickie version of the conversion script that skips all this (requiring humans to do it manually), which should be suitable for small wikis but requires a lot of manual labor for larger ones.
As soon as I've got the link table rebuild script working again I'll offer upgrading to any wiki that is willing to do the work manually. --Brion 22:42, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)

External Links?

Does anyone have any opinion they can reason of excluding an extremely, I think, valuable source of information to AMD64?

The link is:,,30_118_4699_7980%5E875%5E4622,00.html

and provides free IA-64 documentation in CDROM, bounded book or download format. The books they supply you with are instructions for how to code with AMD64. It's a rather large 4 book reference library.

So the question I guess is, is it appropriate to allow wikipedia to act as a portal to other places of information kind of like dmoz but much more specific? I think if the links are highly tailored like this one then yes, but what do you think? --Dtgm 17:13, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I don't think there's a problem with that as long as it pertains to the article in question; some articles already have plenty of links. Evil saltine 16:01, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Dtgm, is your question like "Is it appropriate to have external links in articles ?" Jay 16:18, 17 Oct 2003 (UTC)

WikiProject: Space Missions

After the successful launch of Shenzhou 5, and looking at similar pages (Mercury 3) for reference when helping to write/update/edit the article, it got me thinking (particularly considering the bottom of Mercury 3) that there perhaps should be a WikiProject standardizing the appearance of space mission entries. I'm not sure whether it would apply to both crewed and uncrewed missions, or just crewed missions, but I figured it might be a good idea to at least standardize on a footer to help navigate through the various missions, much like rulers of countries (e.g. George Washington and Elizabeth II) have a navigation system. It wouldn't hurt to standardize on a method of describing the location/time of launch, location/time of landing, crew names, and mission badges (if applicable). Anyone else agree? I'll lay out the template if people say it's a good idea. -- Pipian 02:58, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Go for it. Ark30inf 03:01, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)

There's a "de facto" scheme I've been trying to implement - look at the early Soviet pages - Vostok, Voshkod, Soyuz 1-12. But yes, I agree standardisation would be nice :) rlandmann
Please check out Wikipedia:WikiProject Space Missions then while I'm working on solidifying a possible standard. I'll probably adopt most of your existing one. -- Pipian
Please also, set up a standard for what we call the crewmembers. Someone removed astronaut and changed it to taikonaut. Someone else removed the Chinese (Yuhangyuan) because they said "it looks ugly". We need a standard. Ark30inf 03:53, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Alright. I might just make a whole groups of Space WikiProjects.... -- Pipian
Just commenting that the "buff" coloured background on the tables was already kinda standard from many of the Shuttle missions - might be worth reviewing those pages as well before settling on the final version of the template... not really an issue, of course! rlandmann
Quite some time ago I started with adding a factsheet to some of the space mission (I did e.g. STS-9), but never came to more then just a few when the next project absorbed me. As that was when I was new to Wikipedia I didn't know about the Wikiprojects yet, and then didn't find the time to return to the space mission except to add minor details sometimes. So it's a good idea to revive this project, and at first unify those space missions already existing. andy 11:59, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Those who were following the debate earlier about Wikipedia's standards, might be interested in The Wikipedia Quality Survey. Adam 16:16, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)

==Is this as good as it gets?==

I just came from reading the talk page on Mother_Teresa and I can't help but notice that we need a "proper" forum where we can (1) post our comments (and maybe (2) set up a vote question with our comment, using wiki markup to set up any number of vote options/choices and a press button so others can register their vote along with their comment). Additionally, we could also have (3) a system to vote on comments as well, where we can rate "flame comments" down and "relevant comments" up. It would really encourage newbies to know what is the norm and what is considered argumentative trolling, making the talk page more clearer. One last request regarding votes is that if we had (4) a vote for "article relevancy", wikipedian users would be able to decide by consensus what should be considered a "Minor Edit". 'Cause "complex server scripts" and "multiple user names" seem to be seem to be the only results of the "Minor Edit" feature in it's current form. Besides, with a vote, it ought also to give a more accurate indication of reader satisfaction of the page.

I realise that the above four points may've already been discussed before, but I have not been able to find it so far. So kindly point me in the general direction where I could read up on this some more. If by chance this has not been thought of before, could somebody please pass the above comments to the people concerned? Also, could you kindly point me to some examples of how edit wars were resolved in the past here at Wikipedia?

Thanks in advance -- Phil R 19:31, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Is this as good as it gets?

I just came from reading the talk page on Mother_Teresa and I can't help but notice that we need a "proper" forum where we can (1) post our comments (and maybe (2) set up a vote question with our comment, using wiki markup to set up any number of vote options/choices and a press button so others can register their vote along with their comment). Sortta like the edit-box set up for a new section of this talk-page, perhaps. Additionally, we could also have (3) a system to vote on comments as well, where we can rate "flame comments" down and "relevant comments" up. It would really encourage newbies to know what is the norm and what is considered argumentative trolling, making the talk page more clearer. One last request regarding votes is that if we had (4) a vote for "article relevancy", wikipedian users would be able to decide by consensus what should be considered a "Minor Edit". 'Cause "complex server scripts" and "multiple user names" seem to be seem to be the only results of the "Minor Edit" feature in it's current form. Besides, with a vote, it ought also to give a more accurate indication of reader satisfaction of the page.

I realise that the above four points may've already been discussed before, but I have not been able to find it so far. So kindly point me in the general direction where I could read up on this some more. If by chance this has not been thought of before, could somebody please pass the above comments to the people concerned? Also, could you kindly point me to some examples of how edit wars were resolved in the past here at Wikipedia?

Thanks in advance -- Phil R 19:41, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC) P.S : I may have been temporararily disconnected earlier, 'cause I somehow posted my comment twice. I deleted the previous copy of my comment.

Resolving major NPOV disputes is indeed one of the biggest problems at Wikipedia. When there is an edit war, the usual process is for a sysop to step in and protect the last version of the page before the edit war started. The participants are then encouraged to debate the matter on the discussion page until a consensus can be found. Look at the Wikipedia:Protected page history to see some previous disputes. A different case is the medical analysis of circumcision article, where User:MyRedDice prefaced all disputed sections with "this section is disputed". Whether this is a wiser course of action remains to be seen -- to this date, not all of the disputes on that article have been resolved.
In the case of the Mother Teresa article, the involved users are sysops, which complicates the matter somewhat. Nevertheless, protecting the page seems to have cooled down the edit war. I hope that Jtdirl will work with me on improving the article little by little.—Eloquence 21:33, Oct 20, 2003 (UTC)
As a newcomer to Wikiland, I am amazed that people are even able to write anything of substance about someone as controverial as Teresa. What a challenge! I doubt that any current contributors have no personal bias or POV. Perhaps we should look for writers who are completely detached from both the catholic/worship angle and the sense of indignation at her Blessed Phoniness, and ask them to submit drafts that are purely based in fact, with no agenda. If we don't, people will soon be asking whether she floats on water, and concluding that she's a duck, or a witch, or worse. Paul Klenk 00:09, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)
And Phil, to answer your question, this may well be as good as it gets, and perhaps we should be satisfied with that. After all, we're asking basically anonymous people from all views and walks of life to work as a committee on creating profiles of controversial people. There is one ray of hope here: At least the end users have access not only to the encyclopedic article, but to the committee's comments and arguments along the way. Paul Klenk 00:19, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)
You can have bias and still be able to produce an NPOV work. All you have to do is present all sides in an equal manner with a neutral tone of voice. Since I am Albanian, I have recused myself from doing any editing that does not relate to her origins. All I am willing to say is that the article leans far too much towards the negative aspects. She must have done some good, because I don't see how the entire world could be deceived. As I see it, she helped people, but she was in a position to help them even more. Would the people who came into contact with her have been better off or worse off if she had not existed. As I see it, they are better off. You also have to consider the millions of people that her persona (that some consider a false and negative one) affected toward doing good things. I see her as having committed more good than bad in this world. I am also an atheist, and I believe that religion is not necessary in order to do good. On the other hand, religion may hurt people because they come to rely on it far too much and for no good reason (not meant to start any flames, just my opinion). But that's another debate. I will watch on the sidelines as the debate continues and hope for the best resolution. Dori 00:25, Oct 21, 2003 (UTC)


How do I make an infinity symbol? Lirath Q. Pynnor

Wikipedia Projects

Is there any way to check how many articles have been added or edited in a specific project? Tiles 07:40, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)

This Page

IS WAY TOO BIG Lirath Q. Pynnor

Redirect inconsistency? Strangeness

If you go to Mainboard you get redirected to PC motherboard. However, the redirected page looks like an older version of the one you get going there directly (notice the picture and the temperature section!) How come?! Strange. When you click edit on the 'old' version, you get to edit the normal up to date version. Even stranger! -- 13:26, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Have you tried clearing your cache? They look the same to me. Angela 13:29, Oct 18, 2003 (UTC)

I have tried that, even used another browser AND with lynx from a very remote different system. Still inconsistent! Perhaps a caching issue on the server side? It is definitely real. -- 13:37, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I have just checked out other redirected pages and they exhibit similar problems! For example MRI (as a redirect to) Magnetic resonance imaging. Last edits do not show up in redirected pages! -- 13:46, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)

It's something to do with users who are not logged in getting cached pages. They do look different if I log out. It has already been submitted to Sourceforge, where Tim wrote "The problem is that the HTML cache for redirects is not invalidated when the target page is updated. It's on my to do list." Angela 13:47, Oct 18, 2003 (UTC)
A previous discussion of the same problem archived here. Read the section "Google links to Wikipedia articles". Jay 14:49, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I have just noticed something simlar with Waikiki and Waikiki Beach. I'm pretty sure there was a bit more of an article there (under Waikiki?), but now both are just redirects to each other. From the history, I was able to reconstruct an older version and fix the circular reference. But seems like some text got deleted somewhere? - Marshman 08:51, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Oops.I figured it out. There was a double redirect and another page Waikiki beach. Missing text now located (not lost). I'll fix the redirect problem - Marshman 08:59, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Website with tiny font for Wikipedia license

This website has almost unreadable font for Wikipedia license text: --[[User:Astudent|Astudent]] 12:39, 2003 Oct 18 (UTC)

It is still barely readable. It seems the whole site uses rather small fonts. -- Taku
Is there a standard font-size specified for license and copyright text in general ? (I've put this question in Wikipedia_talk:Copyrights as well ) Jay 22:33, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Article: Sheremetyevo International Airport

Why has the article (Sheremetyevo International Airport been "Protected"? I have information to add to it, and I cannot do so while the page is protected.

I don't see it listed at Wikipedia:Protected page, and the last edit was in August! So it must have been a mistake. I've unprotected it. --Menchi 04:06, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Naming conventions

I'm not sure if if the Wikipedia:Naming conventions (names and titles) page is checked often (apparently it isn't), so I thought I'd post this here as well...I've been looking around for an answer to this, but the closest I can find is:

  1. Roman Emperors don't need the "of the Roman Empire" nor would Pericles be "of Athens" ? their names already indicate where they're from. The first line of the article can say when (and which empire) they ruled. Otherwise, we get stuck with Roman Emperor, Western R. E., Eastern R. E., Byzantine E., and (under the Carolingians) Roman Emperor (again).

That's fine for the Roman Emperors, but the Byzantine Emperors are kind of messily named. Some of them have "of the Byzantine Empire" or "of Byzantium" (the latter being especially odd), some of them have "Emperor XXX" (or Empress), and some of them have their family names as well. In this case, would the most common English name be the most common name used by Byzantinists? Most of these emperors don't come in normal English conversation :) Personally, I would refer to a lot of them by their nicknames or their family names, so "Alexius I Comnenus" rather than just Alexius I, or "Constantine Monomachus" (or Con. IX Monomachus) rather than just Constantine IX.

So, I'm not exactly sure what should be done about the naming of their articles, but something definitely needs to be done, as there is very little in the way of a standard for them at the moment. Any suggestions? Adam Bishop 22:21, 17 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Heh, Byzantine naming for Byzantines seems entirely appropriate! It has been worked over by various people in the past - talk pages and history might tell you some of the players. They're halfway between European royalty, for which "of X" is the accepted standard, and Romans, which don't do it, but lots of the names are have high ambiguity, so review all of them before starting to tinker and then finding out the status quo was that way for a reason. :-) Stan 00:06, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)
A lot of them wouldn't be ambiguous with any other world leader, of course...unless someone writes about the emperors of Trebizond, but I fixed those links so they will say "X of Trebizond." So I suppose "Alexius I", etc, is fine according to naming conventions, it just feels like they should all have "X, Byzantine Emperor" or something, if some of them do. Adam Bishop 14:59, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Wikipedia server offline

Is it just me, or does the wikipedia server go offline every afternoon in the Eastern Timezone? SD6-Agent 09:24, 17 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I'm not sure. I do know that the server goes offline a short while every hour at :34, this to clean it from a memory leak with unknown source. Andre Engels 11:22, 17 Oct 2003 (UTC)
US east coast's afternoon is our peak access period, so that's where our limited server power is going to show up the worst as far as slow / no responses go. --Brion 00:39, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)

linking wikipedia pages

I have now become a user at the Simple English Wikpedia. How do I put a link at my User page User:Adam Carr to this SE article ? Adam 05:04, 17 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Exactly like you have above. Interlanguage links (which appear at the top and bottom of the page can be written like [[simple:History_Of_Australia]] but if you want the link to appear in the body of the page, you have to use the full url. You can write it like [ History Of Australia] which will appear as History Of Australia. Angela 06:29, Oct 17, 2003 (UTC)

Thanks Angela. I wd value your opinion on the article itself some time. Adam 06:47, 17 Oct 2003 (UTC)
See Peer review at Simple. Angela 07:00, Oct 17, 2003 (UTC)
There is a simpler way to do this, although not in the cases mentioned. [[w:fr:Histoire|History in French]] results in an inline link to fr:Histoire, like this: History in French. However, it seems that simple: is not recognized as a language prefix for this trick, and it will not work on simple: as long as it is still on phase I software (but then, neither do 'normal' interlanguage links). Andre Engels 07:31, 17 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Herbs and Spices Template

If anyone has a few seconds, I'd like you to check out my new WikiProject for Herbs and Spices. I'd like to make a consistent template for Herb and Spice articles. This Wikipedia:WikiProject Herbs and Spices aims primarily to provide a consistent article structure for herbs and spices articles so that Wikipedia can become the true online spice bible, since most web sources out there are very scattered and there is no one true free source...many of them say different things depending upon the nationality and experience of the author, and other factors. Eventually this comprehensive information could all move over to the Wikibook:Cookbook. The template is available here: Wikipedia:WikiProject Herbs and Spices/Template and I'd appreciate anyone's improvements to it...I'm sure everyone knows about spices, if you were looking up a spice, what would want to find out about it?

The reason I am asking is that I'd like to get started on this soon, so I want to make sure I didn't forget any key things in the template. dave 03:46, 17 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Sounds and looks brilliant, I had a quick look. Perhaps a quick-reference table at the top right, similar to the taxbox in evolutionary tree articles, or the similar tables in dog breed articles and chemical elements? A photo of the source of the spice could be included at the top of this table. Looking forward to seeing the content, I may even be able to contribute a little. Andrewa 04:08, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)

paging quality control

I visited Samothrace, and there I read that "The island is a kaza of the Lemnos sanjak." These were divisions of the Ottoman Empire, to which Lemnos and Samothrace have not belonged since 1912. This information is NINETY years out of date. Doesn't anyone check that material lifted from the 1911 Britannica is brought up to date? Adam 01:32, 17 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Why Aren't These Pages Copyedited -- Tim Starling 01:40, Oct 17, 2003 (UTC)
Yes yes I understand that, and I will write a new Samothrace article tonight. But this is not just a copy-editing issue. Wikipedia encourages people to lift text from the 1911 EB. Surely we should say that people who do so have a duty to check its content? Adam
Yes, according to our lifting stuff from Britannica policy, editors have a duty to check the facts. Sometimes editors don't follow policy, so in that case you can clean up after them, and optionally whinge on their talk page, if they have one, which they don't in this case. -- Tim Starling 01:48, Oct 17, 2003 (UTC)

OK I have left a note at Wikipedia talk:1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica but it doesn't get used very often. Can I access a List of articles based on the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica? Adam

Use Special:Whatlinkshere/1911_Encyclopaedia_Britannica. Most of the Britannica articles link to that article. -- Tim Starling 02:11, Oct 17, 2003 (UTC)

Heh, if I did everything that was part of my duty here, I'd be working at this 80 hours/week and still be behind. :-) People should do as much as they're able, which may not include the extensive fact-checking that some 1911EB lifts require. I'm not as enthusiastic about the lifts as I used to be; the only articles that are useful as-is are the ones on long-dead European personages, for the rest it's been less work to write anew than to fix up. Stan 02:14, 17 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Adam Bishop tells me: "There are tons of articles like that...mostly the populations still reflect 1911 numbers, or they don't reflect that something has radically changed because of World War I. Sometimes there are even articles about people who were still alive in 1911. There used to be a Georges Clemenceau article that had minutiae about his political life in the 1890s or whatever, but of course nothing about World War I. I also notice that there are many articles about Greek topics that originally had Greek text in them, which has become unintelligible through scanning. Unfortunately I don't think you can get people to stop copying text from there, since it's such an easy/lazy way out :)"
This suggests to me that the EB is more trouble than its worth. What is the point of an encyclopaedia which is deliberately filling its pages full of stuff which it knows to be incorrect? We would be much better to admit that we don't have an article on these subjects and encourage people to write them rather than delude ourselves with all this padding. Adam
Better get to work and stop hanging around at the pump then! :-) But seriously, most of the ill-advised imports were done a long time ago, and you'll find few if any objections to a program of gutting and replacing. Ironically, 1911EB has the most detailed info about the now-forgotten colony of German New Guinea that I can find online, because it was published only a few years before the colony was extinguished. Stan 03:18, 17 Oct 2003 (UTC)
By the way, another problem with those articles is that they cite sources from the 19th century, which would be pretty useless now. (A new one with both extremely old sources and incomprehensibly scanned Greek is Longinus...people are still adding these articles!) Adam Bishop 21:23, 17 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I think all historical and economic facts should be checked and double-checked if you are citing from the 1911 EB, in case public and learned opinion has changed about the periods prior to 1909-1911, and new facts have emerged since the original publication. Geographical facts should be ok normally. Dieter Simon 00:31, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Mirror Sites

Hi all. Not sure where to ask this question, so I am asking it here. How can one become a Wikipedia mirror site? If the information is Public Domain or GPL or the project is Open Source, how can interested parties get access to the articles for the purpose of setting up a mirror site or setting up their own local Wikipedia site for faster access, development, contributions, etc? -Keyvan 22:52, 16 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Backup dumps of the databases every few days: (GFDL)
The wiki software: (GPL)
There is not (yet) an organized system for whole-site mirrors. If you have suggestions for how to go about this, please join the developers' mailing list:
If you'd just like to see announcements and get help with setting up a copy of the software, please join the MediaWiki mailing list:
--Brion 23:51, 16 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Disclaimers after quotes?

Ed Poor Recently added after a quote on the SEPP article:

"Note that Grist's view that there is a "scientific consensus" is neither endorsed nor disputed by Wikipedia."

I dislike this, because (a) quotes are quotes, and are always neither endorsed nor not, and (b) if it becomes common practice to add such disclaimers to quotes you don't like, the wiki will become littered with such disclaimers. Or is it already? I don't see anything under policy about this. Comments? (William M. Connolley 20:08, 16 Oct 2003 (UTC)).

I think we have no business editorialising like that, otherwise we'll have caveats all over Wikipedia. Quotes either stand or fall on their own merits. -- Arwel 20:58, 16 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Agreed. Same as with the articles on religious topics. If we made a note of every disagreement there would be chaos. DJ Clayworth 21:03, 16 Oct 2003 (UTC)
See also Wikipedia:Avoid self-references.—Eloquence 23:29, Oct 16, 2003 (UTC)
Agreed. It's the line between being neutral and being neutered. -- Jake 23:43, 16 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Love it, Jake! It's a very fine line to walk between NPOV (which is an article of faith around here) and no point of view (which leads to just plain boring articles). I'm fascinated that Wikipedia works at all, but I think we've shown it does. And I have the feeling we ain't seen nothin' yet. Andrewa 00:22, 17 Oct 2003 (UTC)

This article - Palm tree - contains a different kind of disclaimer. Also is it appropriate to mention the source of the article in the body of the article itself ? Or should that be put in the Talk pages ? Jay 13:22, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)

The title of Cardinal

Firstname Cardinal Lastname v. Cardinal Firstname Lastname.

Discussion too long - moved to Wikipedia:Naming conventions (cardinals)


Uuurgh! What's happened to the colours and the logo on the Main Page?! I've been away for a long time!

That's what happens if you go away. You can still give your feedback on the new logo and vote for your favorite variant.

Should go on articles requested, but don't remember the exact phrase...

In brief: anybody who knows the story to the point of titleing it properly, please start an article on the USENET historical event of the one autumn student rush that did not end, because those rushing in were not students any more... I feel we are heading towards an unending slashdot effect. Arhechgm, Was It Ythe "Unending September", "The September That Did Not End", "The September Without End", (August?, different phrasing?), Anywhay thisi is an important subject whe havent kovered. If somevody knobs the corect subject, I weill feeeel free to elaborate on the historical detail... -- Jussi-Ville Heiskanen 08:46, Oct 16, 2003 (UTC)

  • "Eternal September" or "September That Never Ended". See the Jargon File: [7] -- Jake 09:24, 16 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Logging out very often

What is the session timeout period for the en2 server ? Looks like I need to login every 5-10 minutes even if I'm working on the page and have not left it idle. By the time I have made edits and its time to save the page, I notice that I've been logged out again. Session timeout was never a problem with the other server. Is this an intended functionality to handle server traffic ? How do frequent timeouts help in this case ? Jay 07:58, 16 Oct 2003 (UTC)

You can't log in to en2, it's just a redirect to en. So if you log in, then use the back button to go back to the article you were editing in en2, you won't be logged in. -- Tim Starling 10:06, Oct 16, 2003 (UTC)
Sorry, it was a typo. It's "en" and not "en2". Jay 10:54, 16 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Try checking the box that says something like "remember my password". Then, using a cookie, you stay logged in indefinitely. LDan 01:18, 17 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Thanx LDan, that was it! It works fine now. Jay 09:51, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Using GFDL materials with the GFDL as an invariant section?

I was thinking about including some material from some GNU manuals in several Wikipedia articles. While these materials are released under the GNU Free Documentation License, they use the GFDL itself as an invariant section. Two things:

  1. Isn't the GFDL essentially an invariant section already? You need to include it with any copy of the text. Why is it necessary to include it as an invariant section?
  2. Can I post the material at all, and if so, do I need to include a note such as: This material requires the GNU Free Documentation License as an invariant section, or is that already implied?

Thank you, -- Mattworld 22:04, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Legally a puzzler, but the first question should be: which parts of GNU manuals are encyclopedic? All the bits I can think of are inappropriate for Wikipedia; we should be summarizing the manuals if anything, not dumping them in here verbatim. Stan 22:23, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)
There was a history section in one of the manuals that would have fit perfectly in Wikipedia; however, I now plan to summarize it, so this isn't that big of an issue. I'm still slightly curious as to the answer, though. -- Mattworld 22:34, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Invariant sections aren't welcome in Wikipedia (though you're welcome to separately distribute a derivitive of a Wikipedia article that does include invariant sections). I'm mighty curious now about the docs... which are they? --Brion 23:37, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)
In this case though, I think it might not be a problem. You already have to distribute an invariant copy of the GFDL along with any GFDL-licensed material, so including the GFDL itself as an invariant section isn't actually adding any new restrictions--it's just being redundant and restating the same restriction in a different way. --Delirium 01:44, Oct 15, 2003 (UTC)
A GFDL text can be redistributed under a later version of the GFDL. If you put a copy of the license in an invariant section, that that older version will need to be distributed with the text even if you're putting it out under a later version. Can somebody please point out the actual texts under discussion so more than speculation can take place here? --Brion 00:50, 16 Oct 2003 (UTC)
At the GNU site When should a section be invariant? it states that the GFDL is an invariant section [see § 4(H)]. If it is an earlier version of the GFDL that says it can also be released under a later version of the GFDL (i.e. originally ver. 1.1 released under ver. 1.2) then can not the older version be replaced by the newer version as the newer version is already an invariant section in a GFDL work? If it is only released only under ver. 1.1 of the GFDL (does not specifically state that it may be released under a later version) then would that make it incompatible with the GFDL here which is of a "later version" variety? Most of the changes in the later version seems to be just clarifications of the earlier version; is there any reference some one can point to that states how the two versions are incompatible and not just clarifications that have the same legal import? The only two I can find are (1) the five principal author listing (all the authors must be listed in 1.1; this is clearly not problem with Wikipedia as the history pages list all the authors of a particular GFDL work) and (2) 1.2. has the optional warranty disclaimers added so 1.1 is just 1.2 without any disclaimers in that regard; so maybe there is backward compatibility if no warranty disclaimers are used. In the license it is stated that if a use of the license invokes the language "any later version" that a user can decide which version to re-release the material under; as the GFDL is already an invariant section; this indicates that you can release 1.1 under 1.2 even if 1.1 is listed separately as an invariant section because you cannot take away any of the rights granted in the GFDL under § 9 (i.e. the right to use a later version cannot be revoked). BTW if no version number is listed the GFDL (§ 10) states any version can be used; so there is an argument that by making the GFDL an invariant section it then invokes any version of the GFDL even if the version used to release the document does not state that any version can be used. Thus, as a rule, a general statement that the "GNU Free Documentation License" is an invariant section (without reference to the version number) would appear to imply that one can use any version of the license — in such a case it does not appear necessary to provide a copy of the predecessor license as a separate invariant section. — Alex756 05:59, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Idea for new feature: "Who's watching this page?"

I wish we could see of list of the users watching any given page. This would be a relatively easy feature to implement, as "the computer" already knows this information. It would come in handy the most on pages we're actively working on, and our own user pages. (Of course, I wish for lots of things, including being afforded the same benefit of the doubt as Frank Zappa in naming my own children, but some people just won't have that.) Paul Klenk 19:33, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I don't want people to know what I'm watching. What benefit would it have? Angela 20:03, Oct 20, 2003 (UTC)
Absolutely NOT! People may be watching pages for all sorts of reasons, there are a couple I keep an eye on for my own reasons that I wouldn't want known to the world at large, bearing in mind that absolutely anybody could be monitoring this site and seeing who has an interest in what. quercus robur 20:12, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Big No, No! Since we're on the subject, how come there isn't a privacy policy link (for both editors and viewers) on the main page? You can learn a lot about an individual by seeing what he likes to look up. What information is stored, if/when this information is deleted, etc. Dori 21:02, Oct 20, 2003 (UTC)
Please see and help clean up and finalize the m:draft privacy policy if you're interested. --Brion 22:56, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I wasn't aware of that page. I am surprised that it is still in draft form. It seems to me that a privacy policy should be among the very first things to be established in such a public forum. I made a few notes in the talk page. I think this draft should be fast-tracked and implemented as soon as possible. It needs more coverage to other editors. I understand that implementing a sound policy will require time with respect to the software involved, but in the meantime it should be made clear to all users what the current status is and what information about them is gathered (even if it is not done for any nefarious reasons). Dori 23:13, Oct 20, 2003 (UTC)
Oh No! This is absolutely a terrible idea. It's perfectly sufficient that we can look at who has edited a page and what they have done. The only reason I can see to know who's watching a page is to be better able to track what someone may decide to edit. Between Wikipedia:Problem_users and Wikipedia:Vandalism_in_progress and the aforementioned page histories, that seems to provide more than enough resources for tracking things. I imagine that developers can look at someone's Watchlist, and that's fine, but I don't want folks with an axe to grind to be able to "watch my watching." And the idea of having the default be that people can't see one's watchlist is better, but I think the whole idea still undermines m:Wikifaith and adds an unwelcome level of surveillance. -- BCorr ¤ Брайен 03:35, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)
This was discussed previously on the pump, a few months ago. Someone said that this would be a good feature. I said that sysops could already do it (SQL queries were enabled back then), and that I had done it several times in the past, and that the required SQL was published on my user page. I asked if anyone had a problem with this. IIRC, no one replied, and the discussion ended there.
Obviously people do have a problem with it, they just weren't watching the first time. A possible solution to this problem has been posted to wikien-l [8]. The main reason such a feature would be useful, is when you make a talk page comment addressed to a particular person, and you wish to know whether or not it is necessary to notify them on their user talk page. -- Tim Starling 03:52, Oct 21, 2003 (UTC)
I saw the post on wikien-l, but as I said above I still don't like it. And I've left a note on someone talk page if I'm not sure they'll check mine for a response, and I just don't think it's enough reason for this feature. Even with a negative checkoff, as it were. -- BCorr ¤ Брайен 04:08, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)

It appears the nays have it. If we ever do have this feature, it would have to be an opt-in feature, with the default being no access to one's watchlist unless the user chose to make it available. Paul Klenk 04:18, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)

If we make the "survey" anonymous, most people will be happy to participate: "Hanja is watched by 3 users" (no names given). --Menchi 04:25, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)

If we made it anonymous, we wouldn't need anyone's permission, and everyone would be included. Who could object to an anonymous tally? Paul Klenk 04:29, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I wouldn't have any problems with anonymous, collective data. Please follow the link Brion posted above as well as its talk page to see what I mean. Dori 04:37, Oct 21, 2003 (UTC)
I concur -- anonymous would be fine. -- BCorr ¤ Брайен 04:39, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I've considered asking a developer to make an ability to see if an article is being watched in order to see if I need to watch it. For example, suppose I see an article which I have no interest in whatsoever being vandalized, but after reverting twice, I have to go to work or take some bizzle hizzle or whathaveyou, I might not want to place it on my already-inflated watchlist, especially if Ed Poor or Mav or someone whom I trust is already watching it and will revert any vandalism. My thinking was that, if there were enough people that I trust, a list of pages not being watched being useful -- of course, this has a limited application for the Wikipedia at large. I would support this function if it had the added corollary of giving the information as such: "3 users are watching this page, of which one is a sysop and two have made more than three-hundred edits" or something to that effect. Tuf-Kat 08:13, Oct 21, 2003 (UTC)
I agree. If I make a minor change on a page, I would not put it on my watchlist if I know that it is already heavily watched. If I encounter a page that interests me, I would put it on my watchlist if it is not watched (enough) even if I don't make any changes. This will also give some sense of reliability to the outsiders. Nikola 10:22, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)

A very useful idea. In fact I had put up a request [9] at Feature Requests at sourceforge earlier this month. Request ID 816617. Here I paste a summary of the request :

"Every page should have a "Who is watching" link While editing an article, I often want to know how many users have the particular page on their Watchlist. So that I can know that such and such person will be intimated when I finish editing the article.

It does happen that persons who have contributed to the article remove it from their Watchlist. If there was this feature that could show me if someone who had contributed heavily to the article was not right now watching the article, I could personally message him on his talk page to have a look at my changes." Jay 09:11, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)

If someone doesn't have an article on their watchlist, I wouldn't worry about it. If you do something that people don't like, they have a way of letting you know. If you're uncertain about a change you're making, then add some notes about your change to Talk and it will usually help alleviate people's concerns. Daniel Quinlan 10:11, Oct 21, 2003 (UTC)

I am not in favor of this idea. Adding something to your watchlist does not indicate a willingness for people to know they are watching it. Disclosing such information could leak information about someone that they do not wish known to the world. For example, a Microsoft employee might be watching the Linux page. A person might be watching an article of a sensitive nature related to sex, violence, politics, whatever — it doesn't matter what, just that people might not want that information disclosed. Yes, the information is accessible via SQL queries, but surely there are people not aware of that. I also differentiate watching from editing. There needs to be accountability for edits. I don't think there is any such need for watching an article. Daniel Quinlan 10:11, Oct 21, 2003 (UTC)

I hadn't assumed that there would be people who'd be watching a page without having ever edited it, or taken part in a discussion for the page, or having an intention of editing it in the future. Just watching for watching's sake, I don't know what the percentage of such people would be. Can the developers come up with a query that'll show "the no. of people (registered members) who have at least 1 page on their watchlist which they haven't made an edit on." (A page discussion would be equivalent to a page edit as they're both tied.)
Based on the number, we can calculate the percentage of wikipedians. If the % is too less we can go for an opt-in as Paul Klenk suggested with with the default set to "make watchlist public". If the % is high, the default can be private. Jay 19:39, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)

en2 doesn't have logins

I've been mucking about a fair bit tonight, and this was the first time I got forwarded to en2... odd, given how many articles I visited. On en2, I'm listed as not logged in... but login redirects to en. I realize this is temporary, but might it not be better to have login not redirect, and just log in twice? -- Jake 05:11, 16 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Correction. I apparently wasn't redirected to it, the link specified en2 explicitly. This may affect things. -- Jake 05:13, 16 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I moved this back down to the bottom of the page as this is now happening to me as well and doesn't seem to have been resolved since Jake first listed it. All my bookmarks are to en2, but I can no longer log in to en2 so they are all useless. Has something changed? I do of course have cookies enabled and I ticked the "remember my password" box. When I try and log in it redirects me to en, which it didn't do before today. Angela 18:25, Oct 20, 2003 (UTC)
en2 has redirected logins to en for over a week. However since its main purpose seems to be to confuse people, I've just disabled it altogether and set it to redirect every page to en. --Brion 20:08, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)


Is Swiss elections, 2003 newsworthy enough to go on the main page? Who decides this? Adam 10:03, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)

More importantly, Winged Victory of Samothrace has been vandalised. How does the "revert" process work? Adam

You already got an answer in your talk page. And the vandalism is already removed as well. andy


This does however raise a problem with this project that I have mentioned before. I have now created 109 articles here, and I have to check all of them every day to see whether they have been vandalised or had stupid and ungrammatical changes made to them (such arrogance, I know). Can I do this for the rest of my life? Probably not. There ought to be a point at which an article is declared to be finished - perhaps if no-one has made any useful changes for a month, and then cannot be further changed without someone's permission. Adam 06:34, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Yeah, I know. I don't watch my own articles as closely as I used to, and occasionally I find clueless poorly written changes which have been for weeks or months. But security scares away more genuine contributors than vandals -- that's the wiki principle. BTW I was interested to know if s/he was scared away by my user talk page comment, so I checked the logs. The answer is no, it had no effect. The user vandalised Earl Page the first time, hit "printable version", read some other stuff, vandalised it the second time and then left immediately. -- Tim Starling 06:48, Oct 20, 2003 (UTC)
Yes well that's all very nice but it does mean that the encyclopaedia will never be a fully accurate or reliable one, because on any given day there will always be a certain proportion of articles whose contents are rubbish. The encyclopaedia-using public will notice this, and Wikipaedia will get a reputation for unreliability, no-one will cite it, and it will never be a serious alternative to printed or even peer-reviewed online, encyclopaedias. Adam

Adam, you got great insight, very thing I am worring about. One of my teachers hates his students cite anything from the Internet, saying there are so many rubbish out there in the Internet and although some are good, it is difficult to sort out the good and the bad. We need reputation not traffic. There are dozens of web sites with reputation of good reliablity and but with less traffic then wikipedia. Some Japanese saying goes bad currency wipes out good currency. Bad things can make the whole look bad. -- Taku 07:15, Oct 20, 2003 (UTC)
"Bad Money Drives Out Good" is Gresham's Law. It may also be a saying in Japanese of course. Adam
That sounds like a very bad idea (declaring pages 'finished' after a certain amount of time), completely contrary to the spirit of Wikipedia. Whose permission am I to get, anyway? The most likely effect would be to cause minor improvements not to be made, and major ones to be done on separate pages rather than on the page itself. If you have information A and I have information B, chances are that letting me turn A into A+B is an improvement. Andre Engels 11:07, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Am I the only who felt the quality of wikipedia has recently been deteriorating? I used to feel more tension that some other people will fix or complain my mistakes. Lately I feel I have more feel to edit articles. Certainly, a number of new brilliant quality articles are created every day but more craps seem to be generated with faster pace. If you look at VfD, there are tons of nonsense. I mean while the traffic increases constantly, are we really gaining reputation and prestige among general public? We need more quality control as quick as possible. -- Taku 07:11, Oct 20, 2003 (UTC)

I agree. Adam

Adam certainly has a good point about a certain proportion of articles being rubbish, at any given time. I'm reminded of Hegel's philosophy that history is evolving towards a perfect "omega point", and the criticisms of it in terms of "friction". We know that security reduces growth. Will there come a time, either for part of the encyclopedia or all of it, where the lack of security, rather than the lack of growth, is the limiting factor in the drive towards perfection?
As for prestige in the general public: we're still not very well known in the general public. On usenet we seem to be generally well received. Occasionally someone says "that's just a wiki, I'll neve trust a wiki for anything." But that seems to be more a reaction to our model than to the content. The opinion in the media seems to be generally positive. I don't think Adam's gloomy prognostications for the effect of junk will be borne out, as long as we keep it to a low enough level such that you're unlikely to find it if you're not looking for it.
And remember we do have plans for a stable, junk-free, prestigious "Wikipedia 1.0". -- Tim Starling 07:53, Oct 20, 2003 (UTC)
Where can I read about these plans? Axlrosen 15:40, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Maybe you feel that the quality is deteriorating because you focus on the negatives. I, for one, believe that the content generally improves. On the articles that I watch (400+), there has only been about 2 cases of vandalism. If you look around, you'll see a whole lot of very good articles. --seav 10:51, Oct 20, 2003 (UTC)
Yes I don't dispute that, but if I open my trusty Funk & Wagnalls, I find that every article is very good, has not been vandalised, and is same as it was yesterday. Of course there are counter-balancing advantages, but nevertheless the quality control issue is a real one. People out there look things up in encyclopaedias to find accurate information, not to take part in the advanture of encyclopaedia-writing. If Wikipaedia is 80% excellent and 20% crap, while Funk & Wagnalls is dull but 100% reliable, most people will go with F&W. My feeling at the moment is that this project is being run as as excercise in indulgence for writers (including me), rather than to produce a product which readers will use. Adam
Well, if you spend your time watching the recent changes you can find many nonsense new articles, unwikified sub-stub articles, as well as vandalism (from deleting all contents, adding a single "fuck" into the article up to sneakingly changing a single number in a rambot article). When I monitor there I have enough work to do, and don't find any time for writing articles anymore. It's good to fix vandalism directly when it happens, otherwise it will slip through and will only find by accident later - like the vandalism of chimpanzee which stayed for several days... andy 11:03, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Those who were following the debate earlier about Wikipedia's standards, might be interested in m:English Wikipedia Quality Survey. Adam 16:16, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Wikipedia quality control is complained about perennially, especially by the academics for some reason. :-) The trick is to come up with a scheme that doesn't strangle new development a la NuPedia, still allows the "perfect" articles to be fixed when they are discovered to be mistaken or have been outdated by new information, and doesn't violate the general wiki spirit. Great minds (aka WP editors) have been thinking about this for two years at least; the best idea I've heard of is to take snapshots and run a final audit/edit, a la release branches in software development. Stan 20:25, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)

See also: m:Academic standards kick.

This conversation is perhaps getting too big for the pump, but I feel I ought to say my small opinion on the subject. What are we trying to do here? Out-encyclopede Funk & Wagnalls? That's not why I'm here. I'm here to make this a useful resource, and a community that encourages intelligence, dedication, and balanced perspective. We're not going to make a new, improved version of F&W or EB or any of the rest of the big-name encyclopedias. We're making something very different. I own and frequently use a "boring" print encyclopedia--they're wonderful resources. But I used Wikipedia for reference for a year before I contributed _anything_ as an editor, so I know what it's like to be a user here. You get up-to-date information on obscure topics, you get to see new sides of things (say what you will about the debate at Mother Teresa, it's certain you won't see that broad spectrum in Teresa's encyclopedic entries in print), and you get to dip briefly into a community (via talk pages) and see what the winds of change are saying. That's what we're good at. I was never put off by vandalized articles as a user: as long as they remain in a small minority, I doubt most users will care either. That's my two cents...Jwrosenzweig 15:46, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Another redirection problem

Why isn't this redirect working? Wikipedia talk:Votes for deletion/copyvio -- Axlrosen 16:12, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)

It was a double redirect because the page had been moved twice. It's fixed now. Angela 16:21, Oct 19, 2003 (UTC)

Non-gender specific language

Moved to m:Talk:Quest for gender-neutral pronouns

Wikipedia bedtime

It is late, and I'm getting tired, but a lot of people still seem to be up contributing. What time do we all go to bed? Paul Klenk 03:55, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)

  • Wikipedians are alllll round the world, so in all different time zones. But some prefer to stay up and edit till the small hours of the morning! :) Dysprosia 04:12, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)
In that case, I'm going to bed. Goodnight, Dysprosia! Goodnight, Moon! Goodnight, Wiki article on the Grapefruit Spoon! Paul Klenk 04:17, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)


I have seen that people archive their old messages (this is done for the pump too). Is there a reason for not using the history pages instead? Do the histories of pages get flushed after a while, do the URLs change, or is it simply a matter of preference? It seems a bit wasteful to do both. Dori 02:50, Oct 19, 2003 (UTC)

Text archived to another page will be searchable, while text archived only in the edit history isn't. (Though I'd be surprised if this directly motivates much of it.) Stuff from the pump tends to get archived to pages more immediate to the discussed subject, which may make it easier for people to find the relevant information later, though it's likely better to refactor and summarize the results of the discussion rather than moving a multi-page thread/flame around from place to place. --Brion 03:03, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Weird en2.wikipedia

Can anyone explain to me the difference between: and , same article on 2 different servers, but with different content (Otto_of_Bavaria redirects to Otto_of_Greece)????? Thanks. olivier 00:23, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)

See #Redirect_inconsistency?__Strangeness above. Angela 00:33, Oct 19, 2003 (UTC)
oh, OK. Thanks! olivier 01:34, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Can I add a page about myself in the Wikipedia?

And I don't mean a user page...

I've wondered this since I discovered Wikipedia a week ago. (What a great place!)

Yes, I admit up front that this question sounds vain, so let's agree on that, shall we, and move to the question:

Can I place a NPOV biography about myself, my life and my achievements in the Wikipedia? Is it done? Is there anything to stop me (policy-wise, I mean)?

Thanks for making this such an addictive and ever-exciting place.

-- Paul Klenk

Are you just some random guy who likes to edit Wikipedia? Then no :) If you have the barest amount fame, you could attempt it, and thereby start months of discussion about whether or not you are famous enough...but I don't know if it's worth the effort :) Adam Bishop 22:21, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Well, do I run into people in NYC who recognize me from my singing in the subway? Yes. Was I the subject of nationwide chat-room discussions when I rallied each evening for a month in Times Square on a live Web camera? Yes. Don't know if that's famous enough for you, but it might spur discussion, as you said. But my real question is, what's to stop me policy-wise? Thanks for your answer. -- Paul Klenk
Adam, I just researched you and discovered you're an administrator. Congratulations. So I think it's safe to say that your answer to me is borderline authoritative. (You can still answer me regarding policy, though). In closing I should say that, before you use your power to get women, first you use it to get 'respect,' THEN you can move to the women.  :) -- Paul Klenk
Ah, I don't know about authoritative, there are dozens of admins who do more admin-related things than I do :) There actually is a Wikipedia:Don't create articles about yourself policy, though. Adam Bishop

I would recommend that you read Wikipedia:Autobiography, have a look at the case study of Daniel C. Boyer (assuming you have a week to spare to read it) and note that Jimbo said on the mailing list "it is a social faux pas to write about yourself" [10]. Angela 22:49, Oct 18, 2003 (UTC)

There's nothing to stop you from creating an article about yourself, but there's also nothing to stop someone else from blanking, or deleting, or replacing your text with "Paul Klenk is a nobody." :-) So whatever you add has to be agreeable to the 8,000(?) other Wikipedia editors, and to date, nobody has been able to type fast enough to ensure survival of their material if even 10 other editors don't want it there. I have some accomplishments of my own, but somebody else will have to create the article about me; if not one of those thousands of editors thinks the article is needed, that's a pretty strong hint. Stan 22:53, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Stan, if those 10,000 Google hits are about you - you probably do deserve an article. Although two people have said that about me and I definitely don't! Angela 23:32, Oct 18, 2003 (UTC)
Heh, it's what comes of spending years with open source - take away all the source code online, the numbers are a little smaller! :-) Stan 03:16, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Thanks, all for your answers -- I think I know what I need and we can lay this question to rest. Kindest regards, Paul Klenk 23:02, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)

If anyone on here deserves an article, it's Jimbo. Has he affected 10,000 people? Hmmm... let me think... ;) But he's too modest to write one about himself. The main criterion used to determine whether or not you're allowed to write an article about yourself is how obnoxious you are. Albert Jacher and Daniel C. Boyer were obnoxious, so they got booted. Jim Duffy and Sheldon Rampton are kind, pleasant people, so they have articles. Florentin Smarandache was obnoxious but unfortunately very widely known so we had to include him. But he was the exception. So take my advice and act nice. -- Tim Starling 05:29, Oct 19, 2003 (UTC)

Paul: yes, you can, but frankly no, I really can't recommend that you do:

  • if you're really worthy of an entry in an encyclopedia, then surely someone else (someone you've never met) will eventually stop by here and create one. If you aren't: well, then they won't.
  • it's really hard to write NPOV about yourself, and taking the inevitable harsh edits or VfD character assassination can be tough too.
  • frankly, for every one arguable autobiographical entry, there's a hundred utterly undeserving ones. Some of these are just kids having a laugh, but there are quite a few efforts to deliberately (and in my opinion dishonestly) insert themselves into the wikipedia. This seems to be motivated either by vanity or a desire to enhance one's google pagerank. By asking this question here in such an open way you've already shown yourself to be a million miles (1.4 million km) above such pondscum, but by creating the autobiographical page you propose you risk being tarred with the same brush. I'd steer clear of such company, if I were you.

-- Finlay McWalter 23:59, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Can anyone write NPOV about themselves? IMHO, the answer is no. I suggest you add your name to the list of Requested articles, and let someone else write it. And let other people edit it. I seem to remember a South American composer who made an autobiographical article, and when other people made edits, he got upset, and a page dispute ensued. With that said, be prepared to see things written about you that you might not like, and that you might not like known to others. Kingturtle 17:18, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)


PETA is in the news. Lirath Q. Pynnor

Swap "systemics" and "systems theory"

Not sure where else to ask this. Could a sysop swap (rename) systemics -> systems theory as systems theory (337,000 Google hits) is by far a more commonly term than systemics (37,000 Google hits) in English. I'd like to retain the history. Thanks. --Lexor 07:02, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I've deleted the redirect. You can move now. Please bring such matters to VfD next time. --Menchi 07:13, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Thanks, will do. So VfD is not simply for unwanted articles, I guess. --Lexor

This Page

IS WAY TOO BIG Lirath Q. Pynnor

Well maybe you should apply for an archiving license. You can pick up forms from the Wikimedia Foundation office. Note that they must be witnessed by a JP. -- Tim Starling 07:22, Oct 21, 2003 (UTC)


How do I make an infinity symbol? Lirath Q. Pynnor

&infin; ∞. You may check the editing help :) -

procedure for banning

What is the procedure for having someone banned, or at least threatened with banning? See's stupid vandalism of Earle Page in the last few minutes. (This doesn't happen at the Britannica I bet). Adam 05:56, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Dealing with vandalism. The general idea is to attempt to get their attention, explain that what they are doing is wrong, instruct them to use the Wikipedia:Sandbox for testing, etc. If that doesn't work, a sysop will block them. -- Tim Starling 06:04, Oct 20, 2003 (UTC)
He's not testing anything, s/he's just inserting rude words into the text for the fun of it - maybe s/he hates the Country Party. And I can't communicate with him/her because s/he doesn't have a User page. Can I get the page (the Page page) protected? Adam
You can communicate with them, assuming talk page notifications for anons are enabled this week (the feature is sometimes disabled without warning for performance reasons). I had a go, see User talk: -- Tim Starling 06:16, Oct 20, 2003 (UTC)
Hey that's cool, I didn't know you could do that. Tim is soooo clever. :)

Yeah, guys like this are a pain, but they're less of a danger than they might at first appear. They all seem to follow the same cometary trajectory, zooming through pages sprinkling sweary words like pottymouthed Tinkerbells, and then (after ten to twenty changes) they realise that they're bored and not getting into the fight they wanted to, and they zoom off into permanent obscurity. Such damage is generally painfully obvious, and is cleared up very quickly. I've never happened across a page that remained vandalised in this way, so we plainly do a good job of blocking the more persistent ones in fairly short order. -- Finlay McWalter 00:22, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Broken page

Chip's Challenge is broken (it gives a database error). Evil saltine 12:49, 22 Oct 2003 (UTC)

User name oddness

Is it just me or is my username all of a sudden totally lowercase? I'm not sure how that happened, but I seem to have done it myself somehow. Presumably I can just delete the lowercase and move the proper name, like a normal article, but does anyone else see this? Adam Bishop 03:09, 22 Oct 2003 (UTC)

You mean User:Adam Bishop is User:adam bishop now? Not in my 'puter. --Menchi 03:15, 22 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Yeah...when I sign with the tildes it shows up capitalized, but that redirects to User:adam bishop. It's not really a problem, it's just strange. Adam Bishop 03:17, 22 Oct 2003 (UTC)
You mean your user page... Yeah, it seems User:Adam Bishop is a redirect now: "(Redirected from User:Adam Bishop)". But when I click on User:Adam Bishop, it has an entire intact history of the target page (User:Adam bishop), unlike normal redirect, which does not have the target page's history. Really weird... I'm sure this will be sorted soon. In the mean time, be prepared to be mistaken as a bishop. --Menchi 03:15, 22 Oct 2003 (UTC)

It also shows up in my address bar capitalized, unlike a normal redirected page. Adam Bishop 03:24, 22 Oct 2003 (UTC)
This doesn't happen to other case-sensitive user names, like User:Stan Shebs, User:Andre Engels, User:Bryan Derksen, or User:Brion VIBBER. When you click on their names, they don't redirect to an all-lowercase user page. You seem to be the single lucky victim. :-) --Menchi 03:28, 22 Oct 2003 (UTC)

It looks like someone's trying to steal your username. Someone created the "Adam bishop" account and redirected your user page to theirs. -- Tim Starling 03:35, Oct 22, 2003 (UTC)

Who is this thief? This person obviously knows enough of Wikipedia operations, so he must be an existing Wikipedian. --Menchi 03:44, 22 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Well, it's fixed now anyway. But when I checked the histories, it looked like it had been created by me somehow when I updated my user page. Adam Bishop 03:47, 22 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I think you'll find it was created by Adam bishop, not Adam Bishop. Unless you typed in "Adam bishop" into the login screen and clicked "create account", it wasn't you. -- Tim Starling 03:53, Oct 22, 2003 (UTC)
Hmm...maybe it was the guy who was vandalizing the chemistry articles earlier. Oh well...thanks for fixing it! Adam Bishop 03:56, 22 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Pages on Votes for Deletion should not be changed?

I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask, but it seems that some folks think that once a page has been listed on VfD, it should not be changed in an attempt to make it less offensive. Is this right?2toise 13:09, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)

If someone can fix an article so that it no longer merits deletion, there's no way that can be a bad thing. If it's not broken anymore, then keep it! Axlrosen 14:32, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)
This sounds unlikely. In general, editing a VfD article in such a way that people who were in favor of deletion become against it (or neutral) is considered a good thing. Andre Engels 11:09, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)

The article that 2toise is referring to is the Santrum article is "edit" refered to just redirect the article to another and adding the same information to the new article. There was nothing change about the article.Smith03 18:44, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Actually, it is a one sentence summary, added to a different article. It isn't the same information, and the inflamatory material is moved to an external link. I feel you are misrepresenting the situation.2toise 03:56, 20 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Pronounciation guides

Why are people putting in those pronounciation guides? They are unworkable in the content of wikipedia. Such guides work where there is (i) recognition of what they mean, (ii) a broad experience of usage of them, (iii) relevant context. Most people writing international english for a non-academic audience run a mile from these things because they are not widely used in much of the world and so in many cultures completely incomprehensible, and because they pre-suppose a clear shared standard of english, which in Wikipedia's case cannot be guaranteed because while for some users it is a first language, for many it is a second or other language that they are not wholly fluent in. The sensible approach in a cultural context where there isn't the culture, comprehension or experience of these guides is to avoid unduly complex pronounciation formulae and explain the pronounciation in basic english of the sort all readers everywhere can follow.

On Taoiseach we are told the word is pronounced /"ty: S'Vx/. Even with a link attached, to many people worldwide it might as well be written in aramaic for all the use it is to them. Previously, to recognise that many people don't have the practical experience of understanding complex pronounciation guides, they were simply told the office was pronounced tee-shoch (the och and is loch). That version could be followed easily by many people. /"ty: S'Vx/ to many would appear to be complete gobbledigook. FearÉIREANN 19:40, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I agree with you, but I think that it would be easier still if a pronunciation file was attached. Then it would be even more universal (except for the deaf). I don't know how many times I've wanted to know the correct (or accepted pronunciation of a program or project, especially in the UNIX/Linux/GNU world). Dori 19:59, Oct 18, 2003 (UTC)
Many months ago, when I wrote the article for Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz, I searched Wikipedia high and low for pronunciation guide standards. I was disappointed not to find any. Instead, I used the pronunciation guide from an American dictionary.
I don't know enough about lingiustics to proposal which pronunciation guide standards to utilize for wikipedia standards. But I feel such standards should exist, and should be listed.

Pronunciation files can help, but they should not replace the written word. Such files without written symbols breaks the continuity of reading, and cannot be used by many users.
A metapage called Wikipedia:Pronunciations (or something like that) should be created by people who know what their doing in the subject. I'd imagine it would look like in form, but not necessarily in content. Kingturtle 21:50, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)
The written pronunciation should stay. Perhaps I didn't make it clear, but I meant we should add sound bytes/clips for words, phrases, etc. to accompany such written guides. Maybe this could be a whole new site accompanying Wictionary and Wikiquote or it could just bee sound files uploaded to the pedias themselves. Dori 22:02, Oct 18, 2003 (UTC)
For example, have a look at Albanian_language#Pronunciation guide and Common phrases in different languages#Albanian (Albanian) that I just added. Dori 23:34, Oct 18, 2003 (UTC)

Mother Teresa

I'm sure everybody is as sick of the tiresome and juvenile edit war at Mother Teresa as I am. So I have witten a (largely) new text, which can be seen at Alternative Mother Teresa Text. Comments are welcome. Adam 14:39, 22 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I don't know abt the edit war, but when I looked at the page yesterday it appeared more as a research paper than an encyclopedia article. Are there any guidelines on what not to include in a Wikipedia article ? I searched the wikipedia namespace but couldn't find any. I found pages on "how to write a perfect article", and "what wikipedia is not" but no page that specifies "what a wikipedia article should not contain". Jay 16:18, 22 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I'm neither a Catholic nor a Mother Teresa detractor, but neither is NPOV. It's so far off the mark, it's a shooting range accident. I'm sick and tired of Wikipedia articles that are negative hit pieces. It may be standard for Wikipedia articles to drag people or institutions through the mud, especially if an editor disagree with their views or hates them, but attributing endless streams of crap to "critics" or "detractors" has got to stop at some point. And while it's perhaps a step down from the current article, that's no excuse for not getting someone neutral to fix the article. Just because the critics aren't getting to add all 45 pages of criticism and it's just half the article, does not make it okay. Only here on Wikipedia can Mother Teresa get more criticism than Saddam Hussein, Joseph Stalin, Idi Amin, or Moammar Al Qadhafi. Check those articles. Daniel Quinlan 20:31, Oct 22, 2003 (UTC)
That's because in cases like Hussein and Stalin, what they did is far less controversial. Purges, executions, torture and so far are well documented, so we can just state them as fact. In the case of Mother Teresa, there is a large gulf of perception between her critics and her supporters -- it is therefore a sign that NPOV works that these criticisms are not stated as fact as they are in the Hussein or Stalin articles, but are attributed to critics (who are not anonymous, by the way).
It is not difficult to find someone who is on the "other side" of any issue.
That is true, and if that someone has substance to back up his opinion, it may well be included in an article. Did Hitler really reduce unemployment in Germany and was responsible for the "Autobahn"? Did Saddam secularize Iraq and promote public education? These questions should be examined carefully from all sides, not ignored.—Eloquence 22:23, Oct 22, 2003 (UTC)
What you perceive as unfair to MT is in fact an attempt to maintain balance in the cases of controversial opinions. Or would you prefer it if we would just state: "Mother Teresa hurt the poor more than she helped them through her medieval 'homes of the dying' and her reactionary opposition to abortion even in cases of rape and incest, which she carried to the political level whenever she got the opportunity to do so. Building her up as a media figure allowed conservatives to sneak questionable values into society by using Mother Teresa as their crown witness." Or how about: "Mother's monumental work with the poorest of the poor in Calcutta has inspired thousands, if not millions, to follow her example. In a society with an oppressive caste system, she maintained modesty while impressioning upon the natives the true tenets of Catholic charity. Through decades of courageous work, Mother Teresa and her sisters did 'something beautiful for God'."
I somehow suspect that Encyclopedia Britannica or Encarta will manage to cover both sides far more neutrally (by having a disinterested person write the article) than we have (by trying to balance out critics with supporters).
My own suspicion is that you would be more likely to agree with Britannica or Encarta in this particular case, but that does not say anything about whether their article is more factual or neutral.—Eloquence
NPOV allows us to include information from all sides, without taking a stand on an issue. Abandoning this principle could lead to either of the above results, depending on which side has the longest breath and is willing to engage in the most aggressive tactics to get its way. Be careful what you wish for.—Eloquence 20:48, Oct 22, 2003 (UTC)
Having a policy or goal of NPOV does not guarantee neutrality. People have to work for NPOV. The problem with allowing factual criticism to get out of hand is that there's always someone out there who will link two unrelated facts together to spin it into something worse and while it can be refuted, if you pile up enough negativity in an article, it can easily give the appearance of illegality or at least impropriety. Basically, if the negative side has enough breath, they can make anyone look bad. Daniel Quinlan 22:03, Oct 22, 2003 (UTC)
I fail to see how the exact same argument cannot be made in reverse. It is possible to link two unrelated facts together to spin it into something positive (Hitler was in power in Germany, Autobahns were built in Germany while he was in power). As for "making anyone look bad" (as well as "making anyone look good"), aside from the question whether good or bad are useful attributes, one must also consider the possibility that this impression is correct. Did a person make more negative than positive contributions or vice versa? A comprehensive article should answer that question by listing both, attributed in proper form. As an open-minded reader, one should be willing to change one's mind about an issue.
On the other hand, Wikipedia is not a good place to go if you hold a strongly polarized worldview one way or the other and want to see that view confirmed. Because articles are written by a multitude of persons, all perspectives are likely to sneak in. Encarta or Britannica do not include an article about MKULTRA, yet that program undeniably has existed. The Britannica article about circumcision is ridiculously biased in favor of circumcision, repeating even the more bizarre myths about it (and a fraction as comprehensive as ours, which still takes a lot of work to be completely NPOV). Britannica & Co. enjoy a very good reputation, but that reputation is to a large degree undeserved. There is a certain myth of the "disinterested neutral writer". The moment a writer informs himself about a subject to write about it, he is no longer disinterested. He forms perspectives, conclusions and opinions which are likely to color his work. It is only through the mutual correction by each other that we can avoid a one-sided presentation. And the best way to go about it is to add facts, not to remove them.—Eloquence 22:23, Oct 22, 2003 (UTC)
I personally think Mother Theresa's reputation is overblown, but the article as currently written is entirely unacceptable. It reads as an anti-Mother Theresa piece, and is clearly written by someone with an agenda. It's not even remotely close to NPOV, and nobody not already favoring that POV would find the article acceptable as a neutral source of information (it's clear to any disinterested party that it's attempting to convince the reader of why MT is bad, presenting evidence in a lawyer-like fashion and so on). A stub would be much better than what we currently have. --Delirium 22:31, Oct 22, 2003 (UTC)
Considering that people from all sides of the issue have worked on the article, I fail to see who you are referring to when you are saying "written by someone with an agenda". Also, please cite specific passages which you believe are not NPOV, preferably on Talk:Mother Teresa. Please compare the article as written to my example alternatives in my response to Daniel above.—Eloquence 22:45, Oct 22, 2003 (UTC)

Personally myself on the third tentacle... Think the single most salient feature of this whole debate is that no-one is disputing the "allegations" or provided any controverting evidence, denials by any source, or any point which would point towards a view that the organization led by Mother Teresa not only acted as alleged, but was open about acting as alleged, and in some instances even proud of acting as alleged. -- Cimon Avaro on a pogostick 22:39, Oct 22, 2003 (UTC)

Why don't you all read the the proposed alternative Mother Teresa text instead of repeating all the criticisms of the old one, which have already been aired many times? Adam 00:28, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I think this is a difficult one.
I don't think I have an axe to grind either way, but my personal impression of the current article is that it is POV and anti Mother Teresa. I think, for example, that including a photo of her alongside a person later convicted of fraud is more appropriate to a sensationalist magazine than to an encyclopedia. Does it really add significant information to the article?
This and one other photograph appear both on this page and the Criticisms of Mother Theresa page. I think they do belong there, but there only.
The rewrite does this and is an improvement, but I still had the same reaction. I'd like more of the critical material moved to the page devoted to it, or where it's already duplicated there, it can be simply removed. There is plenty of material to justify a separate page, so I think the main page should just summarise the allegations and link to the Criticisms page.
I'd also like the photo of the Home for the Dying retained.
I imagine that this article will get lots of hits, so while every article is important, this one will affect Wikipedia's reputation more than many others. Andrewa 01:02, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)
The photos of her posing with convicted criminals, or with dictators, are of course important documents of fact, just like the photos of her posing with starving children, and I see no reason to remove them -- if you want photos at all in an encyclopedia, then you will want photos that document important people and events, and these are such photos. To have a separate page about her criticisms is not in the spirit of NPOV, and whether that page should exist at all is still disputed. Why not the other way around -- a long page with just criticisms and then a separate Praise of Mother Teresa? Whenever the same logic can be applied in two different ways and you are only willing to go one of them, you are walking on dangerous ground. If the article gets too long, we can split it up in various ways, but neutrality is always of paramount importance. Reputation is a double-edged sword. I for one wouldn't think too highly of Wikipedia if it employed a double standard.—Eloquence 04:45, Oct 23, 2003 (UTC)
Good points, but consider this. They are documents of fact, yes, but they aren't important to this article. I've probably been photographed with criminals too... actually I certainly have, I'm involved in a prison ministry! They are trivial in an article on her life. They are very important to an essay questioning the significance of her life or the validity of her likely sainthood, and they might even belong in an article reporting this debate, but they don't IMO deserve inclusion in the main article. The fact they are there is a symptom of its being used to promote a POV. Andrewa 06:35, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I fail to understand this argument. You may have been photographed with criminals, but did you take money from them and refuse to give it back? That is what MT did, and that is an important fact in any biography. Similarly, she praised the Duvalier regime she received money from, and that is also an important fact in a biography. Again, would you use the same logic if this article was not about Mother Teresa? Do you propose that the photo showing Donald Rumsfeld and Saddam Hussein shaking hands should be removed from that article and a separate article "Criticism of the behavior of Donald Rumsfeld" be started? That makes no sense to me.—Eloquence 06:38, Oct 23, 2003 (UTC)
I think I've probably said too much already in the Pump. This discussion really belongs in Talk:The two opposing views of Mother Teresa, Talk:Criticisms of Mother Teresa or Talk:Mother Teresa. I see you're a regular in all those pages. Andrewa 07:23, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)

In the end, this discussion has led nowhere and between the two possible articles, we are keeping the less NPOVed (as far as one can see from all the discussions here and in Talk:Mother Teresa). I am not changing the first three sections bc I am waiting for opinions on this, but I think it only fair to add all the bunch of facts that Adam has harvested to the real article. Pfortuny 12:18, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)