Wikipedia:Village pump/Archive S

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Rollback Edit summary

Rollback (see Wikipedia:Administrators#Reverting) currently gives a edit summary that shows up in the history as: reverted to last edit by .... Unfortunantly, this gives no indicatation as to why a edit was removed and makes no indication that a edit was reverted by an automated program. I think that one of two things should be done:

  1. Make in blindingly clear that this is an automated process. The Message could be something like: reverted to last edit by GoodUser as part of an automated rollback of all of BadUser's edits.
  2. Require rollbacks to have some kind of reason. reverted to last edit by GoodUser. Baduser has randomly deleted text in multiple articles.

This would make it clear to someone who is looking at the edit to try and figure out why on earth an edit has been reverted. It also gives a user some idea as to why their edits are being reverted (especially in cases of mistaken identity). Jrincayc 16:45, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Yes, that might be a good feature (similar to what's done with deletion). Currently, I think it's done this way as a timesaver feature (one click reverting). Whenever I revert something that is not obvious I usually leave a note on the article's discussion page. Note also, if someone deletes part of an article without mentioning why, (s)he may also be reverted without comment. That's why it's always a good idea to put something in the Summary. Dori | Talk 16:49, Dec 14, 2003 (UTC)
The point of the rollback button is that it makes defending against vandalism very quick and very easy. This benefit would be destroyed if you had to type in an edit summary explaining what you were doing. Angela. 16:57, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Perhaps a small set of radio buttons could be added, to help annotate that process. These would append the appropriate reason to the edit summary. Options might include "vandalism", "banned user", "see talk", producing edit summaries like "reverted to last edit by Hamish (vandalism)" -- Finlay McWalter 17:12, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)
It would still be nice to have the option of adding an edit summary. This would be especially useful when reverting edits by a banned user; it would be very easy to write one edit summary, copy it, and then quickly paste into into the summary box with each revert. Non-obvious vandalism doesn't need to be reverted as fast and needs more annotation. --mav 18:05, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Just give a place to put a summary, and if the person doing the rollback does not feel like giving a summary, than give a more detailed message like: reverted to last edit by GoodUser as part of an automated rollback of all of BadUser's edits so that it is clear that the revert is part of a rollback and not an individually checked edit. Jrincayc 20:54, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Excellent idea, Jrincayc! This makes such a lot sense, gets my support anyway. Chris Jefferies 23:18, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)
The software doesn't automatically know if the revert is part of series of them or not though. Angela.
I think it would be best to have a summary box on the user contributions page, and then use JavaScript to extract it and append it to the rollback URL on each click. -- Tim Starling 23:34, Dec 14, 2003 (UTC)
Would that work if there was more than one person doing the rollbacks though? Angela. 23:45, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Yes, why wouldn't it? They wouldn't necessarily use the same edit summaries, of course. -- Tim Starling 00:08, Dec 15, 2003 (UTC)
This would be broken under Lynx (which I think would just ignore it, but that should be tested). Pakaran 00:36, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
This is how the simple version could be done. I think that to implement just the automatic message would just take changing the message line in Language.php to something like:
"revertpage" => "Reverted to last edit by $1 as part of an automated rollback of all of $2's edits",
and the line that uses this in rollback() in Articles.php to:
$newcomment = wfMsg( "revertpage", $s->old_user_text, $ut );
Adding a user specified message will be more complicated. Jrincayc 00:48, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
  1. The one-click sysop rollback exists for the sole purpose of speeding reverts of mass vandalism, which should be obvious to anyone looking at what the edit did.
  2. This is one click per page. There is no such thing as an "automated rollback of all of X's edits".
  3. If you want to put a detailed summary/reason, you can always do so with history/edit/save. --Brion 00:20, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Does this mean that the revert button cannot/should not be used for isolated instances of vandalism, but only mass vandalism? -- BCorr ¤ Брайен 00:56, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I hope that people are not saying it can not be used for this. It is also used to mass revert edits by banned users, which seems to be what has started this issue. Do these count as vandalism? Is it obvious enough that the revert is being made because the user is banned? I'm thinking particularly of Michael's edits, which may appear on the surface to be fine, but are very often auto-reverted. Angela. 01:01, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
No I think Jrincayc has misunderstood their purpose. Revert is just an easy, one-click way to revert. It is used for auto-reverting, or for reverting single contributions. I use it all the time for one-time vandalisms. If the vandal does one bad edit, followed by one good edit, I don't revert them both. Dori | Talk 01:04, Dec 15, 2003 (UTC)

I think the way it should work is that the process should be a two-step one. For this to be easier though, I think the revert should be next to a page history and there should be a diff link next to a user's contributions (see meta:MediaWiki_feature_requests_and_bug_reports#Reverting). 1) click on revert link next to a diff (either in page history, or next to contribution) 2) a new page with a text box appears that has some automatic text, and you can add your own reason, or just click OK (sort of like the delete option). Dori | Talk 01:08, Dec 15, 2003 (UTC)

I don't think you quite understand the purpose of this. This is meant to help against instances where there might be ten, twenty, fifty, junk edits that need to be reverted. Firing off a bunch of one-click reverts and then checking the results is easy. Making them require two clicks each makes the process a lot slower and more difficult. --Brion 01:27, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
It's just a matter of implementing it, because you could just as easily make it so that there are a bunch of checkboxes, you select all the ones you want to revert, the revert reason is the same for all of them (maybe even a select all edits still on top). You still go trhough two pages, but you have reverted more than two edits for only one extra confirm click. Dori | Talk 02:19, Dec 15, 2003 (UTC)
I just see the effect as a non-sysop user and today I saw a revert that had no visible cause and no visible reason, so I made the incorrect assumtion that the reverter was being a dink by reverting a perfectly good edit. If there was some way to make a better comment, I would have realized that the revert was part of a larger rollback of all the user's changes, which would have saved some heated words. The message as is does not give a clue as to why the edit has been reverted, which is bad (Don't bite the newcomers ...). Jrincayc 01:22, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)


So, what was the technical problem last night, and presumably now too, since things are working but very slow? Tualha 14:44, 12 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Last night we had the database server fall over, choke, and die with a fishbone stuck in its throat. (Or the equivalent; it really shouldn't have died under the test load it was given.) It's been rebooted and the DB's memory usage adjusted in the hope that this will help.
I can't speak to the specific slowdown you're referring to, but we have had intermittent problems with the web servers which we haven't yet gotten to the bottom of. --Brion 03:53, 13 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Thanks. Tualha 05:35, 13 Dec 2003 (UTC)


I was browsing the net and I came across the following page on the Wikipedia site.

I was told that the following information is false [see below]. A person who has R Lowth's, "A Short Introduction to English Grammar" tells me that nowhere in that book does R Lowth condemn the use of split infinitives.

Terry 04:12, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

The earliest prohibition of the usage was in 1762, when Robert Lowth argued that because a split infinitive was not permissible in Latin, it should not be permissible in English. (It is worth noting that it is impossible to split an infinitive in Latin, since the Latin infinitive is a single word.) 04:12, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Welcome to Wikipedia. Please feel free to edit that article - that's how Wikipedia works. Just click the "edit this page" link and go ahead. Cheers, Kosebamse 06:25, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Or even, please use your right to freely edit that article. :-) Chris Jefferies 11:39, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

You have new messages

Why does the "You have new messages" sign not go away after I have actually read my new messages? --KF 17:16, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Try clicking "edit this page" on your talk page, and save it without actually editing anything...that has worked in the past. Adam Bishop 17:24, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Uncanny. But it worked. Thanks a lot. --KF 17:40, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I've found that clicking the "You have new messages" link doesn't make the message go away, but going to my talk page via the link located in the upper right-hand corner of the standard skin does make it go away. -- Cyan 18:38, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)


I need help pronouncing words. Can you please help? Thank you Dan Brosamle

The Wiktionary Tea room might be a better place to ask. Angela. 22:42, 12 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Links to large files

I have just edited Biometric word list#External link to reflect the fact that the link is to a 2 megabyte PDF. I think there should be some sort of guideline that external links to slow-loading pages should contain a warning such as this, and PDFs in particular as many people will prefer to download them rather than view them online. This one in particular doesn't give my web client (IE5.0) any idea of the file size.

Any other thoughts? Is there such a guideline already and I've missed it? If not, where should it go?

What should the criteria be? I think 2 megs is at least enough to warrant a warning, in fact my feeling is that about 200k and up should ideally have some sort of warning, as a rough guide. I also think it's going to be a very rough one, it's no particular hassle IMO if people deviate by a factor of two in either direction.

Should we even have this sort of link to a PDF? Many users wouldn't be sophisticated enough to decide to download it rather than view it online. So should we give them some extra help, eg an explicit download link? Andrewa 06:03, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)

As a matter of courtesy I always insert a little "(pdf)" marker to the end of pdf links. This should suggest the link may be rather large. Dysprosia 07:06, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I do similar notice as Dysprosia above. I hate PDF. Just waiting for Adobe program to load takes like 10 seconds, then another 10 seconds for file to load (in Win98). So I say (PDF) with a wikilink, and those who needs download link of the program and click on PDF to find out (and learn more about it from our article!). --Menchi (Talk)â 07:13, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Links: Auto-generation?

Moved to Wikipedia talk:Make only links relevant to the context

Some pages don't display properly in the Opera browser

It seems like some pages on wikipedia don't display correctly when the user's using opera. I tried with IE, and there's no problem. It happened to me with the sandbox and with the Village pump page... It would be good to fix this.

Probably the Arabic links; see down at the bottom of m:Talk:Main Page. This is either an Opera bug or a Windows bug or an Opera-Windows bug interaction. What versions of Opera and Windows are you using, exactly? I've been unable to reproduce it with Opera 7.23 on Windows XP. --Brion 01:28, 12 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Document Based Questions (DBQ)

I'm thinking of writing a HOWTO for Document Based Queries (DBQ) here. I'm particularly running into problems writing DBQ's for an AP history class. The HOWTO would be at HowTo write a DBQ.

Maybe this should be put into wikibooks, but I think it would be too hard to find. - Pingveno 22:20, 13 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Correction: Document Based Question (DBQ) - Pingveno 23:26, 13 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I would say write an introductory material here about what a DBQ is, where it's used, etc., and link to the full howto which you write at wikibooks. Dori | Talk 23:44, Dec 13, 2003 (UTC)
But where would I write the How To? I haven't found a good, obvious spot at [[1]] - Pingveno 00:01, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)
You might get an answer quicker if you ask at the Wikibooks Staff Lounge rather than here. Angela. 00:07, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Interlanguage Wiki concerns

Will it ever be possible to associate one user account to multiple language wikipedias? I know, I know, non-essential wishful thinking. But a couple of questions of greater immediacy:

  1. I can't seem to create an account at The page that I get sent to says "On this page currently there exists no content." 何???
  2. I have a shiny, new account at, but every aspect of my user interface is in Simplified Chinese, e.g. the Quicklink bar, Preferences page, etc. Isn't there a Traditional Chinese user interface? I already tried asking at the Chinese Village Pump, and somebody replied, "What do you mean?" Not... a... good... sign. Also, they don't use the zh-cn and zh-tw tags, nor do they observe due process deletion policies. I can't get a page started over there because some guy in Beijing keeps deleting before I can get started translating in earnest! Lord of the Flies, I tell you, Lord of the Flies.

~ stardust 05:27, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

If you created an article with only external links or interwiki links here it would be deleted as well. I think it is unfair of you to accuse the Chinese Wikipedia of not following due deletion policy. As far as I can tell, there wasn't any actual content in that page any of the times you created it. If you need to save an article before it has any content, it is best to do this your user namespace. You can then move the page to the main namespace when it is beyond the stage at which it can be instantly deleted. Try creating it at zh:User:Stardust/Catan instead. Angela. 05:45, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)


I remember about six months ago reading about the ability to import a static, image-free version of Wikipedia into a PDA. Can someone refresh my memory? Kingturtle 20:58, 13 Dec 2003 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:TomeRaider database. There's also a Wikipedia for a smartphone. See de:Wikipedia:Für Mobipocket if you can read German. Angela. 21:57, 13 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Demanding that contributors use the Summary field?

Has there been any discussion of this (recently)? Occasionally checking Page History lists, I find it progressively annoying that some people don't summarize their edits. With User:<username> pages exempt, should one implement some sort of 'reminder' system, say a message popping up when a user tries to Save Page with nothing in the Summary field? Just airing the thought (sorry if there's loads of discussion on this in some FAQ/archive I've ignored). Even a meager "misc" or "more info" is better than nothing! --Wernher 09:48, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Yes, there has been some previous discussion. But I haven't seen this suggestion before and I think it's a good one. I never leave the comment off except by accident, but then I can't add it. So a reminder would be great. Andrewa 12:46, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)
What pisses me off is that some of most experienced Wikipedians (many of which are sysops) don't do it! It is just one word or two! Type! :-) --Menchi (Talk)â 12:49, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Oh I hear people talking a bout me! Yes, I recognize that I am seldom filling the field, but I have to admit that it does not bother me when people leave it empty also. If a majority feels that this field should be filled, then we could imagine having a function asking to add a summary before the change can be saved. olivier 13:24, Dec 16, 2003 (UTC)
You have my vote for making an edit summary mandatory. (Even though I don't always give one) --snoyes 15:00, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)
edit summary contains our current guidelines (not rules, not laws). If you want to make a feature request, go to wikipedia:bug reports or to meta, as noted in the introduction to the pump.
I recommend a two-pronged approach. Firstly, model the behaviour you desire in others - make sure you always fill out meaningful summaries.
Secondly, when a lack of edit summary causes you problems, go over to the user talk page of the person in question, and gently explain the problems you've been having, and ask if they would try to include an edit summary in future. Be polite, and don't make an issue of it, but don't be afraid to ask.
You'd be surprised how effective gentle persuasion can be - typically far more effective than any form of coercion, or trying to "lay down the law". It won't work on everyone, but it can really help to shift the balance, and make life more pleasant and more productive.Martin 19:37, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)
What I'd like to see are more useful edit summaries. A summary that only says "comment" for a talk page edit, for example, is obvious and redundant. Also sometimes people make huge summaries for one character changes, like "removed the unnecessary apostrophe between 'of' and 'the' in the second paragraph of the ==History== section". I guess something is better than nothing, although I predict that having mandatory edit summaries would lead to more summaries like 'sdfdgdfsg' and 'change'. -- Merphant 21:36, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Nothing wrong with huge summaries. They help build trust (especially when the summary matches the edit ;-)). Also "comment" isn't redundant - there are many things I do on talk pages that aren't making comments. :) Martin 22:36, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Accidentally posting anonymously

Suggested feature/mod: it might be useful to modify the behavior of the page-edit code a touch: I didn't realize my login cookie hadn't stuck, and did a few edits while not logged in. I'd say that it might be nice to have either the login name or anonymous:IP *right down by the submit button*... and maybe a way to catch a login and password with a combined "Log In And Submit" button as a third choice...? -Baylink 18:21, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Please submit feature requests to Sourceforge. There are instructions on doing this at Wikipedia:Bug reports, or you can discuss them first at m: MediaWiki feature request and bug report discussion. Angela. 19:43, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Adding an email/Changing a password

How does one go about adding an email to an account without one? My old account doesn't have an email address, and I forgot the password years ago.


You probably need to convince one of the developers that you are the same person. I would imagine that that would be a difficult thing, so the only solution is to probably open a new account. Someone correct me if I am wrong on this. Dori | Talk 17:20, Dec 9, 2003 (UTC)

Encourage edits more

I think my perspective as a newcomer might actually help here. The way I found wikipedia was googling "campaign finance reform". When I saw the article on campaign finance reform, I realized it didn't have much information; then I realized that it could be edited. I might never have become a wikipedian if that article had been more complete; instead, I would have just read what I needed and left. In order to capture more of these people who stumble onto wikipedia articles, we could add the following standard text to the top of all articles: This article is not done. To help finish it, visit Wikipedia:About. I think this might help get more users, who might otherwise never realize they can edit. Meelar 20:07, Dec 11, 2003

Your suggestion that we be clearer that any visitor can edit an article is a good one, although I don't agree with your proposed text. There are many of us (but by no means all) who thing there's no such thing as a "finished" article (indeed, that's the biggest difference between wikipedia and, say, h2g2). I'd say that presenting new visitors with a flashy Hey Kids! Find out how YOU can improve this article, right now! bubble would be a great idea. -- Finlay McWalter 01:30, 12 Dec 2003 (UTC)

The suggestion is really an important one for us to discuss. In hindsight, I realize I came to wikipedia (via google searches) many times before recognizing what wikipedia was. It really wasn't until the 20th time (or so) that it hit me that I'd seen the interface many times before, and I started to investigate. It would be really nice to have some sort of text to alert new users that they are encountering an interactive encyclopedia. Maybe it could be designed that only non-logged-in-IP-address viewers would see the message. Kingturtle 05:27, 12 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I don't like the idea. We should keep each article looking as complete as possible, with room for expansion. Even if we miss important information, making the rest of the article look complete will make the Wikipedia be much more usable. Anyway, for stubs, we have stubnotes - they let the user know that they can add to the stub. Dysprosia 07:48, 12 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Figuring out you can edit a WP article perhaps has some slight function as an entry test to keep out undesirables. Meelar worked it out and seems to be the sort of person we want. "YOU CAN EDIT THIS PAGE" is practically an open invitation to any moronic vandal who sees it. Anjouli 14:14, 12 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Thank you for your suggestion and welcome to Wikipedia! This idea is interesting, but I think it needn't be implemented. There is already an Edit this page link. I don't think we need much editing from users who have visited Wikipedia only once or twice. What we need is readers and experienced writers. It is better to let editing to readers who bookmarked Wikipedia, visited it many times and are familiar with its structure, format, philosophy and look'n'feel. It should be noted that many newcomers may also vandalize some page. Best wishes, Optim 20:30, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Well.. who were the experienced writers in the first place? Well, just like this newbie. Meelar has my sympathies, since I arrived as a contributon on my first wiki just the same way. I do think however, that we needn't state it as Meelar's suggestion. My suggestion: sweeten up the stub message to be more inviting!  Sverdrup (talk) 22:25, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Where did my contribution go?

I contributed a few thousand bytes yesterday about the Isle of Wight Festival 1970. It was there when I checked it some minutes after submitting it, but now I can't find it. Was it deleted? I can't see it in the edit history Why would it be deleted? I was there, I believe what I wrote was accurate. Can it be restored? How? Can I look at the history of my contributions? Is there somewhere to register my contact details?


Peter Bull

It is still there: Isle of Wight Festival 1970. andy 15:16, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Andy thanks. But why does a search on those exact words bring up only a page about an ELP record? How dod you find it?

I did simply check your contributions - luckily you had the same IP yesterday. The search will find it exactly if you use the "Go" button instead of the "Search". But it's odd that the search did not list that page at all - I also sometime have some oddities with the search function, it seems not to update with article changes all the time. andy 15:23, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)

By far the easiest way to track your contributions (and to generally participate in the wikipedia) is to create an account. You can do this using the "log in" choice up in the top-right corner of the page. -- Finlay McWalter 16:38, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
  • You have new messages bug - please report bugs at SourceForge. Thank you.

Interlinking images

Is there any consensus (or has any discussion taken place) regarding inter-language linking of images that are taken from one language wikipedia and uploaded to another? --snoyes 17:46, 13 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you mean. Like this? --Brion 01:16, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Yip, that's what I meant. I just don't see it done all that much, I suppose it would be a good idea to make a habit of linking them though. --snoyes 01:23, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Well, you really should if you took it from another language. Acknowledgement/attribution of the source would be ideal. On an unrelated matter, it's fun to see how the labels get changed around (as in the case of that map). But I guess if it's Anthere's eyes -- that's little point to interlinking extensively (beside the source lang), because people aren't gonna change her eye colours or anything. So they are just clones. --Menchi (Talk)â 02:49, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I was asking because I transferred a whole bunch of maps from the french wikipedia (eg. Image:Carte Localisation Région France Alsace.png). As you can see, I'm too lazy to change the file names. Anyhow, thanks for the answers. --snoyes 03:02, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)
That is model attribution. I personally don't think "Credit(s): fr:Utilisateur:Rinaldum" is necessary (although certainly not bad), because you can just click on ther interlink and find out immediately. Maybe GNU requires it, but I don't know (I almost never did that!). I guess it'd be helpful if French WP got sucked in le black hôle one day and we're left with no functional interlink. --Menchi (Talk)â 03:10, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Did you enjoy that fantastique process of download-wait-upload-wait-describe-link? is some Wikipedians' ideas that you may find interesting, or boring. --Menchi (Talk)â 03:14, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Hey, at least I get an easy boost to my number of edits. OK, ok it is not actually worth it ;-) &mdash I've always been an advocate for a centralised image database (and a centralised inter-language links database aswell). As someone on a mailinglist mentioned recently: Wikipedia is a codocracy (or was it "codeocracy"). I can't really code, and I don't feel like badgering the developers. --snoyes 03:23, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Can you link to a subheading?

Does the software allow links to a subheading (or other specific part) of a wiki page? I know this is possible with HTML, but haven't found any instructions for how to do it here.

Thalia/Karen 05:38, Dec 13, 2003 (UTC)

Hi Karen, yes you can do this using the standard HTML method. Use the URL for the page as normal, add a hash (#), and then the full name of the section replacing any spaces with underscores. For example Wikipedia:Village_pump#Can_you_link_to_a_subheading? Chris Jefferies 08:25, 13 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Note that it's generally considered a bad idea to jump from a different article into the middle of another. Within the same article, it's generally considered okay. Daniel Quinlan 08:30, Dec 13, 2003 (UTC)
Daniel, I do want to jump from one article into the middle of another, but I think it makes sense in this case. There's already a link to the top of the second article a bit earlier in the one I'm working on; I want to add a second link to a specific subheading that doesn't appear on the first screen of the (linked-to) article. When I'm finished working on it, I'm going to ask for reviews, since this my first substantial writing job here. So if someone thinks it's a bad idea.. :-) Thalia/Karen 19:14, Dec 13, 2003 (UTC)
You don't need to replace spaces with underscores. Wikipedia:Village pump#Can you link to a subheading? works just as well.—Eloquence 13:12, Dec 13, 2003 (UTC)
Thanks for your help, folks. Thalia/Karen 19:14, Dec 13, 2003 (UTC)


can tetrahydrocannabinol be found in persription drugs such as zoloft or other presribed medicines that treat high blood pressure

can you please send a copy of the answer to thanks

Question about screenshots

How do we handle screenshots? Do we need approvel from just the person who took the screenshot or do we need the approval of the graphic set authors as well?

I am wondering because I am talking with the people of Simutrans about putting up a screenshot.

-- Emperorbma 02:26, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Question about screenshots

How do we handle screenshots? Do we need approval from just the person who took the screenshot or do we need the approval of the graphic set authors as well?

I am wondering because I am talking with the people of Simutrans about putting up a screenshot.

-- Emperorbma 02:26, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I ask for permission unless it's an open source application. The copyright holder is usually the publisher, not the artists or the person who took the screenshot.—Eloquence
Aye, this is the complication... there is no publisher. It is a free for download, but not open source game. So as a result, should I ask the game author and people who made the graphics, or the screenshot. -- Emperorbma 07:51, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Convince them to go open source ;-). Do you know who made the graphics? If so, mail them directly. If not, mail the main author and ask them to forward your request to the main artist(s).—Eloquence 07:59, Dec 18, 2003 (UTC)
Oh, Hajo (Hansjoerg Malthaner, author) isn't going Open Source anytime soon. The people at Angband treated him pretty badly. Anyway, I will convey your suggestion. Thank you! -- Emperorbma 08:19, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Also, Hajo should know who made the gfx since he is the one who is writing the game and puts the package together. I have posted and we'll see if they agree. Again, thanks. -- Emperorbma 08:25, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)
OK, Hajo said it is OK to put them up, so I think it is fairly safe to put one up... --- Emperorbma 09:23, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)


Where do i click to just tell you guys that this is a really cool site!!

Hostile experience on Wikipedia

On December 15 a poster on one of our game boards alerted me to a Wikipedia article that referenced one of our products. A Table Top RPG called The Morrow Project.

I went to the Wikipedia site and sure enough we were mentioned but the link page was empty. I thought I would contribute a general description of the game. I placed a section of text from our website describing the game on the page. Then I went back into edit mode to add some comments and more info. Before I even finished the edit someone (Silsor) had come along and voted to have the page deleted. They stated it was a rehash of an old RPG. While I don’t disagree with the statement that it was an older game I thought that a general description was a good way to start. I went to the indicated page and gave my reasons why and pointed out that it was a work in progress having only been up less than 5 minutes. At least one other person agreed with me and voted to keep the page.

The same person (Silsor) voted to delete the page then marked it as possible copyright infringement. I suspect this was more out of spite than a true desire to protect my copyright.

Another person (an editor) that goes by the handle of Smack then looked at the page. For some reason he believed it was copyright infringement. He sited a geocities site where someone had copied 3 lines from our description page onto their site. Since this geocities site was obviously a game related fan site and could be construed as a review we normally don’t pursue sites like that. I went to the your copyright site to explain that I was the copyright holder. This Smack person wrote a response but did not answer my questions just asked another question. I did my best to answer this ambiguous question. It would seem obvious that since I was the copyright holder and also the person that placed the text on the site that I did intend for it to be read on Wikipedia. His response was to ask the inane question “I don't understand whether you support or oppose the inclusion of the content on Wikipedia. -Smack 00:04, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)” I answered the quesiton that I did indeed support the inclusion of text. No response was ever give to that. The page is still listed as possible copyright violation.

It would seem that your editor is not performing his due diligence. The company website is listed in the original article. If this Smack has even bothered to go there he would have seen that it is a company website. The site he listed (if he even bothered to visit it) is obviously a personal fan website.

At looks like you have a fine idea here. I would like to contribute but the experience I have had makes it difficult to justify the time involved in doing so. If not for the people Silsor and Smack working against my efforts I would have been done in 15 minutes.

Chris Garland
TimeLine Ltd.
Chris(at)timelineltd (dot)com

I guess you are talking about The Morrow Project. The problem with that article in it's original state is that it doesn't give any context about what it is about. If it had an introductory sentence like "The Morrow Project is an online RPG game" the first Vote for Deletion nomination wouldn't have happened. Keep in mind we are trying to build an encyclopedia here, so a marketing text for the game is not fitting here - as I would have voted to delete it in its current state as well. As for copyright violation we are sometime too much paranoid to spot them, but as it is so easy to copy-and-paste text from any other website here it is a common problem. Of course there are sometimes false positives posted by the holder of the copyright, but these are rare. I hope that'll explain it a bit to you. andy 16:38, 17 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Chris, sorry about your negative experience, but perhaps I can clear some things up for you:
  1. Wikipedia does not employ any editors. The users you had conflict with are just free users just like everyone else. The users you had conflict with were just using due-diligence. We have to work hard to keep copyrighted material off Wikipedia to avoid any lawsuits. If you add copyrighted material to an article for which you own the copyright and are allowing its inclusion, note that on the Talk page for the article (click the "Discuss this page" link on the left). That should clear up any questions about copyright infringement.
  2. You might get more cooperation if you create a (free) account and sign your posts (by using three or four tildes ~~~~ at the end of your posts) (only on Talk pages, not in articles proper). Anonymous posts are usually frowned upon. Signatures also make it easier to keep track of who said what. You don't have to create an account to sign your postings, but a handle of some kind is easier to refer to than an IP number.
Please don't let this negative experience discourage you from contributing to the 'pedia. It's addicted several hundred people already and we'd hate to lose one potential addict due to a negative first experience. :^) I'm sure after this initial bump in the road, things will go much smoother. :^) —Frecklefoot 16:42, 17 Dec 2003 (UTC)
You also must understand that there is no such thing as an "Editor" of Wikipedia. We are all editors, it's a joint project. In addition, for items to be released under the Wikipedia aegis, you must specifically release the material under GFDL. Have you done so? If not, the material is a copyright violation, and must be deleted. RickK 16:41, 17 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Surely this is not true? He's the copyright owner. If he places his original text on Wikipedia, then that's implicit approval under the GFDL. I agree that as it appears elsewhere on the Web a release is a good idea, but I think you're overstating it when you say it must be deleted without one. It's not a copyright vio at all, and it never was. It just looked like one. And now we know it wasn't one. Andrewa 18:28, 17 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I See. Some very good suggestions. I have created an account. Also I will rewrite the info this evening and repost. Thanks for the great info.TimeLine 17:01, 17 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Meantime, I have reverted this article to, well, to an article, the most recent version that is an article. IMO the chat that was there belongs in the talk page, which is where it is now. I hope this meets with approval by other editors. IMO it was not acceptable to make the article a de facto chat page. The copyright vio and VfD notices are still on the version I've reverted to. Andrewa 17:07, 17 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Hmmmm, I now see that the text I regarded as "chat" is actually the boilerplate from Wikipedia:Possible_copyright_infringements#Copyright_infringement_notice, which concerns me a little!

I think this boilerplate needs a rework. Remember, this is the article namespace. It's our product. I don't think a signed letter such as this fits here very well at all. If the article must be blanked (and is this really necessary if the only evidence of copyright vio is that the text also appears elsewhere, and the copyright status is unknown?) then I think a link to the talk page is more appropriate. But interested in other views. Andrewa 18:28, 17 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I think the boilerplate is essential. No, it's not an article, and it isn't usual to have a signed letter in the main namespace, but it is only there for seven days and is, in my opinion, highly preferable to having copyrighted material there. The message is meant to be more friendly to newbies as it clearly explains what the issue is, where to discuss it, and what to do if you want to rewrite the page. Having this prevents someone trying to edit the page further, and then causing problems where the copyvio remains in the page history, which happened a lot before the boilerplate included links to the "temp" page. I don't think that this boilerplate being in the main namespace is any worse than the normal VfD boilerplate being there, particularly since that has been expanded and is now signed as well. One solution might be to immediately take the copyvio out of the main namespace, such as moving it to talk:article name/potential copyvio but you'd still need something in the main namespace explaining where it was, or at the least, a redirect. Would this be better than having the whole letter there? Angela. 19:18, 17 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Fair enough. I think the response to this particular case was over the top, and I was a bit surprised to reflect that the procedures seemed to have been followed. The only evidence of a problem was that the text appeared somewhere else on the web. The website owner hadn't objected, or even been contacted. The article could easily have been replaced by a m:good stub, which would seem to me to be a good response to many copyright vios. But what happened was that the text was removed, a very non-standard page was inserted into the article namespace, and the page was listed for deletion. Not good IMO.
Have a look at my m:good stub proposal on the Meta. It cuts across some of what is said on the existing stub and copyright vio pages. It's short and to the point, and intended to encourage the proper use of stubs. Comments and updates welcome. Andrewa 00:31, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Yes, replacing it with a stub is a good thing, but not on the same page. This means the original copyvio can not be deleted. See Wikipedia:Copyright violations on history pages for the justification of using temp pages for copyvio rewrites. Without this boilerplate, there would be no link to the temp page, so anyone wanting to rewrite wouldn't know to go there instead of the actual article. Angela. 01:02, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Good point! I'd missed that. Andrewa 01:22, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Hmmmm. I see what it's trying to do, but it's ugly. We shouldn't need to delete an entire page and its history in order to remove copyvios from the history. I notice that a developer can delete specific versions from the history, and that this is the recommended procedure when copyvio material is added to an existing page. It seems to me that there should be a tool to allow an admin to do this conveniently and perhaps even reversibly. This would simplify everything. Possibly not a top priority, but if Wikipedia grows as many of us hope things that are rare now will become common enough to need elegant tools. Andrewa 02:59, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)
It seems to me that there is an issue here, perhaps not as important as copyrights, that we Wikipedians are missing. TimeLine (as anon.) was in the process of editing the article when it was placed on VFD? Doesn't anyone else see this as an issue? Shouldn't we all be a bit careful not to "jump on" a new contributor. If the article is patently offensive or nonsense, there's may not be a need to wait (though, practically, I think we should). But if an article seems trivial, or POV, shouldn't we give some time to it before we place it on VFD? I mean, would an hour, or even a day be too much time to wait? -Anthropos 22:06, 17 Dec 2003 (UTC)
IMO this delay should be standard practice. Without it we waste everybody's time in edit conflicts and incidents like this one. Andrewa 00:31, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I had the same bad experience. In fact it is still ongoing. While in the process of editing my first (and last!) Wikiproject, RickK swept through with indiscriminate deletions of whole sections and all the images in the entry. When I pointed out, on the Talk pages, that Wikipedia's editing policy guidelines discourage such blanket revisions and subsequent reversion wars, he replied, "Really? Who says?" After a period of broader participation, the copyright and fair use debate ended, and my position carried. With full knowledge of that outcome, Gentgeen began pursuing the alternate route of suggesting that all games' documentation (including chess, go, and many other games with substantial Wikicommunities) be moved to Wikibooks, which by his own admission is still nonexistent. Likewise, RickK continued to pursue two votes for deletion against the Catan Wikiproject, one regarding the same images that were already shown to be legitimate, at Wikipedia:Possible copyright infringements (*cough* double jeopardy *cough* and the voters have been voting without reading the prior Talk page discussion and its resolution), and one regarding the Wikiproject's secondary pages, at Wikipedia:Votes for deletion. These secondary pages are under construction; people are working on them as well as on foreign language translations. And yet, as in the situation highlighted by Anthropos, they are already on the VfD. Since RickK himself has sysop controls, I have no doubt that he will delete whatever he can as soon as seven days pass from the time of the two VfD listings. Is this just? ~ stardust 09:31, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I just read the first talk page you linked, and there were at least three people explaining to you why those images were, at the very least, questionable. Alfio 18:39, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Your extensive attacks on me don't warrant responses. Kinda glad to see you won't be sticking around. RickK 16:43, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Please tell me if I've violated the canons by zapping my own ill-considered comments that were here for a short time. I have no opinions, except a doubt that a curt dismissal is a good response when a subject comes up in a public forum where almost no one has heard of the issue. I'm taking up space with this note just to explain my self-censorship. Dandrake 23:33, Dec 18, 2003 (UTC)

Quoting the reply to the conclusion that you jumped to, after having read part of the Catan copyright discussion:

You replied to a portion of old discussion quoted here, which includes a completely wrong definition of fair use which was refuted in later discussion. I've set all of the quoted portion to italic to reduce the chance of others doing the same. Jamesday 22:59, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Please read the discussion itself. ~ stardust 03:13, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I've read a great deal of that very long discussion, and I think it would be unconstructive to put down my opinion of it. But that's unconstructive too, so: a classic flame war in which the main antagonists of both sides make efforts to conceal the merits of their case because they're so busy slanging each other. Constructive comment: it really does illustrate problems in how Wikipedia works. Dandrake 06:08, Dec 19, 2003 (UTC)

Today an anon user came and I guess clicked on a link to sour, entered some junk and saved it. I put a {subst:test} on his page, and went to check out the "what links here" for sour. Less than two minutes, and the page was gone. Now imagine if that user was really just testing. Types something, doesn't get it immediately, and by the time he tries to edit what he's done the page is deleted, gone, non-existent. The only impression a chance user could get out of that is: "The editting feature doesn't work". Is this really what we want? Zocky 03:32, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

That's why we go to the effort of putting a message on their talk page telling that their test did work, and giving advice on where future tests should be done. So, I don't think we do give the impression that editing doesn't work, just the impression that vandalism doesn't work, which has to be a good thing. Angela. 03:38, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Another topic

I have to agree with the section title which describes hostility. I think that copyright notices are placed a lot of times out of spite. other users' thoughts? Greenmountainboy 20:10, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I don't really think that's the case (from reading over a lot of the cases). I'll grant you that the copyvio notice is a tad abrupt, and there are several wikipedians with the social skills of a tasmanian devil, but in general I think most notices reflect someone's honest caution in the face of any amount of willful abuse. -- Finlay McWalter 20:18, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Agreed. If people are hasty -- it's often simply that they want to bring attention to a problem before it grows into a big problem. We certainly don't want someone to go to a huge amount of work and create something huge and THEN tell them, weeks or months later, 'Oh, by the way, all that stuff you did, we're deleting it'. Better to question it early.
It's not helped, of course by the facts that a) Not every volunteer editor understands copyright law very well, b) that exactly what our standards are for IMAGE copyright aren't too well defined, and c) that the laws are not all that clear in the first place ('fair use', especially, is open to question at times). --Morven 02:36, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Wikipedia has no responsibility about the contents of external pages

How do you think about Wikipedia has no responsibility about the contents of external pages to be included in each article that contains external links? optim

It is obvious that Wikipedia has no control over the contents of external pages, and I for one am getting pissed off about the number of disclaimers floating around. --snoyes 18:53, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)
What problem is this a solution to? Martin 19:24, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I see no point. I think that it is obvious that we aren't responsible for other internent sites. Just my 1 franc. Also, many articles include links, and there haven't been any problems with people blaming wikipedia for their content. Greenmountainboy 19:31, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)
It would seem to be stating the obvious that we have no control over external sites, but having said that, a lot of sites do include such a disclaimer. Maybe just a note in Wikipedia:About would be a good idea if people feel it is an issue. I certainly wouldn't want it appended to every external link though! Angela. 21:05, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)
My opinion: All disclaimers and such should be stated on About wikipedia or such, with the exception of maybe the spoiler warning. I too see no reason to state the obvious every here and there.  Sverdrup (talk) 21:11, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I thought that a disclaimer like this might be a good idea for articles that contain external links that the reader could find questionable or offensive. Sorry I was at the netcafe and I hadn't enough time to explain my point very well. I propose such a disclaimer to be included in some page like About and also in every article that contain questionable external links. I just want to make sure that the Wikipedia reader will understand that we give the links only for informative purposes. Such a disclaimer would be probably useful for articles regarding politics and sex etc. I thought about this when I was adding some links about culture & politics in some article, but because I knew that some people (esp. in my country) could find the material very questionable, I added a small disclaimer under the External links section. Then, I thought that it would be better first to ask other wikipedians about their opinion on this disclaimer, so I removed it and I asked this question here. Thanks for your answers. Optim 23:17, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Seems unnecessary. This is the type of warning we used to see 5 years ago from companies fearing the unfamiliar. Our big "Wikipedia" boilerplate stuff at the top and left of each page is enough to let people know whether they're still on Wikipedia. Tempshill 01:49, 17 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I think its good practice to describe quite fully what lies beyond an external link whether its liable to be offensive or not. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 02:27, 17 Dec 2003 (UTC)
We already warn users if a link is offensive (see Shock site), so this has already been addressed. Greenmountainboy 03:51, 17 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Proposed new Saddam article

Here is a proposed new article on Saddam Hussein. I have removed large amounts of propaganda and irrelevance and included material on the 1990s which this article lacks. Comments are welcome. Proposed new Saddam Hussein article. Adam 14:52, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Phrase "towns, villages and townships" in all Dutch municipalities articles

The phrase "towns, villages and townships" occurs in all the articles for Dutch municipalities (in Dutch: gemeenten) and is an attempt at a direct translation from the Dutch "plaatsen, dorpen, gehuchten, stadsdelen" (see all the entries in ). Although the Dutch names have official meaning in the Netherlands, that's lost in the looser English translations (where we even go from four designations to three, since the translator presumably ran out of English words to express the Dutch distinctions!) Unfortunately, after I'd corrected Nijmegen to replace the phrase with the all-encompassing "settlements", I noticed that over 300 articles have the same problem :-( Solution? Can this be automated? Leaving the articles as they are is an option, but the phrase sounds extremely peculiar in English and doesn't even capture the Dutch distinctions.---Spellbinder 14:05, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I can't help you with the automation question, though my guess is that someone out there will. I'd like to comment though, that the use of the term settlement may not be the best. As a typical mono-lingual US American, when I hear that word, it tends to bring to mind a village of newly arrived pioneers. I'd suggest the word community as a generic term for a village, town, villages, etc. I'm not sure what other English speaking peoples would think. -Anthropos 15:03, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Well a hamlet is a small village (in UK English at least). I think "community" doesn't work as the name of a town. I've only ever seen people use township to refer to South Africa. I think settlement is ok. Secretlondon 15:13, Dec 16, 2003 (UTC)
Township seems to be used by the US as well. ("Define:" in google is your friend [2]) Township: "Generally, a square tract of six miles on a side containing thirty-six square miles of land. A name given to a civil and political subdivision of a county in the U.S." Note that the term "township" as used in the South African context refers not to some nice little town, but to a squalid collection of shacks, often on the outskirts of major cities. --snoyes 15:34, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Hurriedly: the word "township" is indeed used more or less throughout the U.S., but its meaning is complex and technical and varies very significantly from state to state. The meta-information that it's complex is really the only thing I can say for sure; I'm not an expert, and an expert is required. The Google definition refers only to the midwestern states that were surveyed during a big land-surveying project sometime in the nineteenth century; you can see the results on any airline flight, where the roads, farms, etc. follow an obviously squared-off pattern.
In these states, every piece of land is specifically tied to "range and township;" a 160-acre farm might be described as the NE quarter of section 11, range 40W, township 78N.
In New England, there is an entity officially and informally called a "town" is county-like in the sense that the land is fully apportioned and every square inch of it falls within one town or another. The U. S. census, however, I believe, calls New England towns "townships." Anyway, broadly speaking a) the word exists in the U.S.; b) nobody really knows what it means; c) it means something different depending on what state you're in. Dpbsmith 17:26, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I'd imagine that the best translation would be hamlets, villages, towns and cities, as this probably covers the equivalent English concepts (i.e. groups of residential and other buildings above the size of the single-family or extended single extended-family units or something like that). sometimes word-for-word translations just aren't possible, I suppose. Bmills 17:30, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)
"Village", "town", and "city" are about the only terms in English that are broadly understood to have a generic meaning in addition to any specific legal formulations. I would use just those, then supply the specific Dutch term in italics and parentheses following, ideally linked to an article so us non-Dutch-speakers can understand what the term is supposed to mean. Stan 18:03, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)
It really varies. In states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as well as Michigan and most of the Midwest, a township is a municipality, is the basic division of counties, has a government, etc. Almost everyone there knows what a township is, just as they know what a city is. Also, in most of New England, the state is divided into towns, and then counties are composed of towns (the opposite of Michigan). Maine, however, has cities, towns, townships, plantations, and unincorporated townships. Etc., etc. -- BCorr ¤ Брайен 19:49, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

The translation of the word "gehucht" is hamlet or settlement. The word is derived from the middle Dutch "gehochte or gehuchte" and originally meant a collection of farmhouses. Nowadays the word is used for verry small villages.
The word "dorp" is translated with village or town. A "dorp" used to be every larger settlement in the country which had no "stadsrechten" i.e. oficial priviliges which only cities had. Nowadays the word "dorp" is used for every village which is larger than a "gehucht" and has less than 10,000 inhabitants. The size of a "gehucht" is not defined but in contrast to a "dorp" a "gehucht" usually doesn't have a church.
The word "stad" means town or city. Since "stadsrechten" are now abolished, a "stad" is every settlement with more than 10,000 inhabitants. The Dutch distinguish between small, middle large and large cities, which depends on the number of inhabitants.
A "stadsdeel" is a quarter, area, district or part of a town/city. The word "plaats" (literally: place) can be used for every settlement and includes both "dorp" and "town"
Jurriaan 18:43, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Returning to the original comment, I do not think that "towns, villages, and townships" sounds peculiar in American English. To me, what it communicates is actually quite accurate: it sounds like a list of names of town-like things that have technical and legal distinctions that need not bother me. That is, although perhaps "village" may not be a technically accurate translation of the individual plaatsen and "village" may not be a techically accurate translation of the individual term dorp, I suspect that "towns, villages and townships" is a very good translation of the entire phrase.
If you ask people what the meanings of the words are in the United States you'll get general agreement that a village is small, a town is bigger, and a city is even bigger, but beyond that few people know or care about the exact distinctions.
It seems to me that, at least in the Northeast, "community" is the generic word used e.g. by makers of street atlasses; the table of contents of an Eastern Massachusetts street atlas would probably list ll the place names (Dorchester, Norwood, Waltham, etc.) under the heading "communities" in order to avoid fussing with the fact that Norwood is a town and Waltham is a city... and goodness knows what Dorchester is (a zip code? a neighborhood? a village?) Dpbsmith 20:37, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I think that a more accurate translation of "plaatsen, dorpen, gehuchten, stadsdelen" would be "towns, villages, hamlets, districts" though. Jurriaan 21:17, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)
OK, sounds reasonable. One more thought, though. I'd consider dropping "hamlets" and just making it "towns, villages, and districts," unless there's a strong feeling that the translation should be word-for-word. The dictionary definition of "hamlet" is "small village." However, in the United States, it is very rarely used other than as a jocular archaism. Nobody ever says "I grew up in a little hamlet named Barneveld near Blue Mounds State Park." One might say "all the little burgs and hamlets out in the boondocks." Indeed, even "village" is rarely used to describe an isolated community. The only times I've ever heard the word, it referred to small residential clusters with their own small commercial centers within a large town; as in Scarsdale, New York which contains the villages of Scarsdale, Heathcote, etc; or Newton, Massachusetts, which contains the villages of Newton Centre [sic], Chestnut Hill, etc. "Village" to me means a small isolated settlement in some other country e.g. England--or the Netherlands. Hamlet has one very specific and peculiar association: for some reason, it was the word invariably used to describe small settlements in Vietnam during the Vietnam war. Not helpful and we're now down to shades of meaning that are debatable and don't matter, but I think "village" is a better word than "hamlet." People in the U.S. who live in places with populations of, say, less than a thousand, usually call them "towns" with some descriptive adjective or phrase ("tiny little town, just a bend in the road."). Just musing. Dpbsmith 12:01, 17 Dec 2003 (UTC)

My goodness, I'm the originator of the thread and I didn't think so many people would contribute; I thought I'd be lucky to get a couple of comments! Anyway, the subject has moved on a bit; at the moment, I'm investigating with the help of some of those who contributed above, whether the lists that use these words are actually valid - they appear to be at best idiosyncratic and at worst misleading, so no more comments for the time being please. Thanks to everyone who commented. Spellbinder 13:44, 17 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I just wanted to add a link to Wikipedia's own article on townships which seems to have been missed in the discussion. Rmhermen 13:46, Dec 17, 2003 (UTC)

Demanding edit summaries

Copyright Inquiry: Congressional Biographical Directory

Does anyone know if the Congressional Biographical Directory is copyright protected? If not, we could get lots and lots of stubby articles on various congresspersons, which'd be useful... john 08:26, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Nope, they're copyright free, along with the images. Many articles on U.S. politicians are already based on these entries. See also public domain resources. --Minesweeper 09:46, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Certain characters becoming question marks on my talk page

All of a sudden, on my talk page, all of the bullets (•) and this character that I use in my sig (¤) have turned to question marks. This happened to me once on VfD a couple of months ago, but I haven't seen it since. Anyone know why this is and if it's a bug or not and why it would happen so rarely? Thanks, BCorr ¤ Брайен 04:37, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Perhaps someone who doesn't have a Unicode-enabled computer edits the page, and subsequently doesn't transfer the Unicode glyph properly. It's not your fault, I don't think. Dysprosia 04:45, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Dysprosia above is correct. The last editor of your Talk (TonyClarke) does not have extended Unicode apparently. I'd assume • is a very basic character though. --Menchi (Talk)â 11:44, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Thank you both. And I actually thing it was Ajd who made the edit.... -- BCorr ¤ Брайен 15:20, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

What to do?

What can sysop do when someone keeps creating the deleted topics? (There was a hot argument about if we should keep so-called lixiang-yu or not in Chinese Wikipedia, but when I deleted it according to the result of vote, I noticed that there was already 50 deleted edit! Someone kept creating that again and again after deleting) --Samuel 02:59, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

You could blank the page and protect it. This has been used as a short term measure here before on some pages. Angela. 07:48, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Relax. Go get a cup of tea. You will be here longer than them. Martin 00:08, 17 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Adding html tables to wiki pages

Hi. I maintain a list of remote sensing satellites ( and I love so much wikipedia that I'd like to share the table within wiki. However, it is not in a "normal html table" format. What should I do ? What do you propose ? (Plenty of people ( are using this list and it would be great to make them participate in wikis :) You can contact me on, thanks !

Something that size would be problematic on a wiki page and very hard to edit without making a mistake and messing the table up. Is there a way it could be split into a number of smaller tables? Angela. 07:52, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)
For something like that, might be more appropriate Dori | Talk 08:03, Dec 16, 2003 (UTC)

Edit Conflicts

moved to wikipedia:ignored feature requests

Reclaiming anonymous contributions

I made a few edits to some articles before deciding to create a user account. All those edits are now listed as contributions from my IP address. Is there a way I can move those to the list of contributions of my user account? Ambarish 20:08, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Yes, see Wikipedia:Changing attribution for an edit. Angela.
Thanks, Angela. I notice two other identical questions in Wikipedia:Changing username as well as one on Wikipedia talk:How to log in. How about a reference to Wikipedia:Changing attribution for an edit in the welcome message sent to newly registered users? Ambarish

"Don't mass edit without asking first...

... If you think that particular information should be added to, restructured or reformated in many articles, please ask first at the wikipedia:Village pump."

This should be written in many places, maybe there should be a {msg:} for it, so we can put it on users' talk pages. All of this provoked by a recent mass edit of articles on Holy Roman emperors, which made the first sentences unreadable. (anon user added german/czech/slovak/hungarian names, which is appropriate, but not in the first sentence like that. Also unwikified. I have work to do now, so I can't but if anybody wishes to correct all of it, please go ahead. Zocky 18:22, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)

That goes against the advice to be bold though. :) Angela. 19:43, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Probably the be bold guideline could do with a further caveat about naming conventions and certain use of style; now that some standards have become generally accepted. : ChrisG 22:05, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
It would also have been useful in a recent case, currently being discussed at Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(places), where a user has changed UK county names wholesale across many articles on towns, cities, counties etc, and has also created many new articles to suit a particular view of what is correct. There's a place beyond 'bold', where even angels fear to tread! Chris Jefferies 21:11, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Let me guess, User:80.255? -- BCorr ¤ Брайен 21:15, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)

You must be psychic! -- Arwel 13:49, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

How to move an article to another Wiki

I frequently see (for instance on VFD), the suggestion to move an article to Wiktionary, Wikisource, or to the Memorial Wiki. What is the process for doing this as a non-sysop? Should the page history, talk page, talk page history, any other subpages be moved as well? How? Is this something that can be done as a "bold edit" or is a more formal process required?

-Anthropos 18:05, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
See m:Transwiki and Wikipedia:Transwiki log. -- Cyan 18:35, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Sysops don't have a special tool for this. Basically, it's a matter of cutting and pasting as you can't actually move the page history (yet). Whether this is a problem depends on your reading of the GFDL. The since we are on legal matters ... thread on Wikilegal-l last month looked at the issues of moving text between pages within Wikipedia, but left many unanswered questions. My view is that is that it is ok to move text as long as you note "at least five of the principal authors of the Document (all of its principal authors, if it has fewer than five)" (see section 5.4 of the GFDL). When I move a page, I either list the authors in the edit summary when creating the new page, or I list the authors on the talk page (see m:Talk:Wikistress for an example). There is a function to output the full history (Special:Export), but not, as yet, any method to import that elsewhere. So, I would say – be bold and make the move yourself. If you are unfamiliar with the wiki you are moving it to, you may want to leave it in their transwiki pseudo-namespace rather than their main namespace. The page "Transwiki" here, and at Wiktionary, Wikisource, and hopefully in future other places, will redirect you to a page where you can log such moves. Angela. 19:43, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Thanks for the responses. Once the content of the page is question is copied to the destination Wiki, what is to be done with the article that remains on Wikipedia? Should that be listed at VFD? Is there some other mechanism for having someone with authority delete the page? -Anthropos 14:30, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Case of Internet TLDs?

Should the Internet TLDs of countries not be in lowercase? Anjouli 07:23, 24 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Yes, I would agree that lowercase is the de-facto standard representation. Daniel Quinlan 07:42, Nov 24, 2003 (UTC)
Such Qs are more appropriate on Wikipedia:Reference desk. --Menchi 07:46, 24 Nov 2003 (UTC)
I beg to disagree. This is not a Reference Desk question since it relates to the standard format used in all WP country pages. It is therefore a WP format issue, presumably best discussed in Village Pump (WP related issues) before making into a style guideline, if agreed. I though that was clear from the countries link, but perhaps I should have been more specific. Anjouli 05:59, 30 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I have moved this back to VP where it belongs. All our Countries of the world Internet TLDs are still in upper case which is incorrect. Volunteers to help me change them all to lower case please? Anjouli 17:49, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)

In this context let me draw your attention to Wikipedia:Reference desk#Countries of the world -- abbreviations. I really believe that there should be a page with a name that is easy to remember and guess (which I believe would rule out ISO 624-213-5 or whatever it is) where the various abbreviations are juxtaposed and where users can easily browse through them without being distracted by additional information. --KF 18:12, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Uppercase isn't incorrect. Of course, you can change them all to lowercase if you like, but it's fairly pointless, and arguably less readable. The reason they're currently uppercase is probably because they were originally added to the articles as ISO 3166-1 codes rather than TLDs. --Zundark 23:13, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I would not agree that it is pointless, since lower-case is correct and upper-case is wrong. I refer you to the ICANN General TLD Policies, which clearly state this. [3]. This is an encyclopedia after all and we are supposed to care about things like that. I don't buy the readability argument. The same argument could justify having all of WP in upper-case. Anjouli 16:50, 17 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Uppercase is not wrong. No ICANN document says otherwise (though ICANN certainly prefers lowercase). See also the relevant RFCs. As for readability, I was talking about 2-letter codes - paragraphs of text are a completely different matter. Anyway, I have no objection to you converting them to lowercase, as long as you don't make a single mistake. --Zundark 23:44, 17 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Brilliant prose needs YOU

Wikipedia:Brilliant prose is sadly neglected and needs your brilliant opinion!

Cheers all, Muriel Victoria 12:43, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Just as an indicator of what needs doing:

Wikipedia:Brilliant prose candidates currently has

  • 7 11 candidates with objections that need to be resolved
  • 22 20 11 10 nominations that need to be contested or moved to Wikipedia:Brilliant prose when appropriate.
  • 14 12 9 self-nominated articles, most of which lack a seconder.


Have a couple of hundred articles for you to vote on.

Vote Early - Vote Often! Bmills 13:04, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)

  • Where did my contribution go? -> Resolved, deleted. General hint: create an account.
  • You have new messages bug - please report bugs at SourceForge. Thank you.

Why is it Sir for some ?

Way back in June I requested that the title Sir be included in the underlining for Sir T.B. I started a new page to differentiate between other obscure Thomas Browne's but was jumped upon for altering it. I presumed this to be some egalitarian protocol to equalise all in the hall of fame. I now notice that a user named Smallweed has helpfully begun a page on a Sir James Edward Smith all underscored for clicking onto. Why is it Sir for some , but not for others? Or are arbitary editoral decisions made at the wiki? Norwikian 08:31, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)

As I understand it, the general policy is not to use "Sir" (or other similar titles) for any articles. As such, I think the Sir James Edward Smith article should probably be changed (and indeed, someone has already redirected it to James Edward Smith. The reason that "Sir" is avoided, I believe, is that the title generally is held by people only during a certain part of their life. As far as I know, most people who hold the title gain it during their life, rather than holding it from birth (but I could be wrong). Also, people who are "Sir" may later go on to be something higher (Lord, for example). Since titles can change, while names generally don't, it's better to stick with names. Or at least, that's my understanding - I wasn't involved. :-) -- Vardion 10:30, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
You're right that arbitrary editorial decisions are made on Wikipedia, though. Any consistency is arrived at through consensus and/or through people making things consistent by pulling articles into line. Individuals contributors are inevitably going to make decisions that aren't consistent. Onebyone 11:16, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Naming conventions (names and titles) advises against the use of Sir in the title. There was also some discussion of using the word in the article itself on the mailing list in October. See the Saints thread. Angela. 19:43, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)

--- Yep, all fair logical comments and explanatory, except that in this exception case ( and don't we all as Albert Camus once remarked, consider ourselves to be an exception case) T.B. has always been referred to as Sir T.B. ever since Coleridge's day, but on the whole i agree with this egalitarian principle, so i shall drop this slight whinge , fairly satisfied with your answers, thanks Norwikian 03:09, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I don't think it has to do with egalitarianism. Holders of noble titles have their articles under that title. Personally, I tend towards the opinion that "Sir" should be used in article titles, if only because it's useful in disambiguation, and many people are known primarily with their "Sir". But that might lead to Sir Michael Jagger (which, astonishingly, somebody already created!) being insisted upon as the main page. (For British peerage titles, it might be added, the standard is rather vague. The general rule is that you use the highest title achieved. Except sometimes, when you don't, as Benjamin Disraeli, not Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, Stanley Baldwin, not Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, and so peers are never to have their peerage title used...sigh). john 08:26, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Should one create articles that are of little use to the general public?

I'm as newcomer as possible, and I was wondering whether one should consider the relevancy of an article before posting it, or post it, assuming that if it is of little relevance few articles will link to it, and no harm will be done. For instance, I could write an article about my high school, but I very much doubt whether this will be of interest to anybody. Should I do this, so as to broaden the scope of Wikipedia, or should I dedicate my time to things of greater use and importance, such as juggling bananas?

-- 23:36, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)Itai

The debate about high schools is an old and ongoing debate, I can create other sorts of articles that may not be of everyday general interest (I would say a lot of the history articles I have created fit that description), but it may not be a good idea to start out with your high school. Adam Bishop 23:40, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)
See Wikipedia talk:Deletion policy/schools. Angela.

I'm a newbie here myself. So far, I've found that if I try looking up any article on a topic on which I have any significant degree of knowledge, I instantly find things that I think should be added, things that I think are not quite right, things that I think can be phrased better... so I suggest that's where you start.

If you look through an existing article, often you'll find links that display in red—for example, this one: Raymond Loewy. This means either that there is no article at all on the great industrial designer Raymond Loewy, or that I've misspelled his name.

When an existing article already links to an article that doesn't exist, that's a reasonable excuse for creating the missing article.

In your case, you mention juggling bananas. As you can see, there is an article about juggling and an article about bananas. Both look good as far as they go, but it seems to me that there might be more to write about. What do you think?

In other words, before creating a questionable article, why don't you see whether there is some contribution you could make that would be just as much fun to do and more likely valuable to users of Wikipedia?

Oh, one more thought—I grew up in Scarsdale so I know a little about the town. Well, almost every town in the U. S. has a Wikipedia article based on census data. I'll bet your town is there. And I'll bet you know something about it that isn't in the article. In my case, I added a snapshot of one of the stranger-looking buildings in Scarsdale and some notes on famous people who lived there. I don't know if anyone really cares—but I'll bet that there are at least as many people interested in knowing that Gish Jen lived in Scarsdale as in knowing that 32.8% of its inhabitants are under the age of 18 Dpbsmith 01:38, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Indeed, I have been doing the same for towns on Oahu where I live. I would suggest beinging your new material to the top, and have "Demographics" as one of the last subtitles. Census data are there not because of intense interest in the numbers. - Marshman 01:53, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Actually, I strongly disagree. There is a WikiProject and a guide for these articles at WikiProject Cities, with the suggested template given farther down the page here. It actually is a good convention to be consistent about. I (like many people) first found Wikipedia through these articles, and it's one of the things that people tend to expect consistency in. It's fine to add more info, but it would not be good for them to have the information arranged in completely different orders. -- BCorr ¤ Брайен 02:42, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Section heading styles/sizes

I notice two styles of section demarcation in Wikipedia articles. The first being the one used in this article ==xxx== and the other that uses ===xxx=== as in Joel and Ethan Coen. Is there supposed to be a standard one to use in every article, or is the choice a matter of what pleases the last person editting the article? - Bevo 15:49, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)

The Wikipedia:Manual of Style says
Start with "==" (that's two equal signs). If the resulting font looks too big (as many people feel), that's an issue for the Wikipedia-wide stylesheet, not individual articles.
so the Joel and Ethan Coen is not in compliance with this. Angela. 15:53, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Well, it wasn't, but it is now :) --Camembert
Sorry, Camembert, did you say the headers are in compliance now? Some of the middle headers are still treble ===XXX=== ones and seem oversized, if I am not mistaken. --Dieter Simon 23:15, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I also think the ==xxx== creates text in a font size that is alarmingly large. The ===xxx=== font size does seem more appropriate. I'll look over at Wikipedia:Manual of Style and see what the thoughts are in terms of style. I'm wondering if a smaller font size can be associated with ==xx==? - Bevo 16:09, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)
It's not just a matter of font. Each section is supposed to start at ==. If External links is used with ===, that means that it's part of another section (unless it's the only section there, or everything else is also at that level and below). The font size in an unfortunate, side-effect when there isn't much text in the article, but it is not noticeable otherwise. I assume it is for the font size reason that sections do not begin with = instead of ==. Dori | Talk 16:21, Dec 14, 2003 (UTC)
It's not font size, which can be fixed with a style sheet anyway. The reason you're not supposed to use = to mark up section headings is that that's what the article title is marked with; sections within the article should thus be marked with ==, the next level down. —Paul A 05:43, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Is there anything I can do to get the font size employed for top-level headings to display in a smaller size? There is mention above to the "Wikipedia-wide stylesheet". Is that something I can define or modify? - Bevo 20:18, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Hi, I recommend checking your web browser to see whether you can change the font size that you view, to display in some smaller size. Most ordinary (graphical) browsers have such an option in their menus. It's a handy feature for several occasions; sooner or later you're bound to surf into pages with 'too large' or 'too small' fonts here and there on the web. --Wernher 02:54, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Thanks, but it's not a matter of what font sizes are actually displayed, but more a matter of what font sizes are used for one aspect of the article, for example, the article's title, relative to the size of the article's section headings. Right now, I don't see too much difference in the font size used by both of these. I wish there were more contrast (by making the top-level section headings display in a smaller font). - Bevo 03:10, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
OK, now I understand what you meant. I have noticed it for my choice of font display size in that "==" and "===" sizes display more-or-less identically, which suggests to me that some other mode of contrast than size could be handy (but then one risks cluttering things up, I guess...). Some contributors seem to use the following, though: "==" sections have one empty line before the text, while "===" (sub)sections don't. --Wernher 09:39, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Rt. Hon.

Articles on Canadian prime ministers and governors (e.g. Paul Martin, Jr.) start with "The Right Honorable so-and-so is the this-and-that of Canada". I think that sounds weird - like starting an article for every monarch with "His/Her majesty so-and-so was the king of this-and-that". Any thoughts? Zocky 05:36, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Oh, yeah, you're the guy who removed the address from Adrienne Clarkson. Is there a reason why you did not remove the address from Queen Elizabeth II? --Menchi (Talk)â 05:40, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)

So, should Charlemagne start with "His majesty, Charlemagne was..."?
How about starting Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor with "His majesty Francis the First, by the grace of God Emperor of Austria; King of Jerusalem, Hungary, Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Galicia, and Lodomiria; Archduke of Austria; Duke of Lorraine, Salzburg, Würzburg, Franconia, Styria, Carinthia, and Carniola ; Grand Duke of Cracow; Prince of Transylvania; Margrave of Moravia; Duke of Sandomir, Masovia, Lublin, Upper and Lower Silesia, Auschwitz and Zator, Teschen, and Friule; Prince of Berchtesgaden and Mergentheim; Princely Count of Habsburg, Gorizia, and Gradisca and of the Tyrol; and Margrave of Upper and Lower Lusatia and Istria was..."?
How about "His imperial majesty, Napoleon I Bokassa"?
"Her majesty", "Right Honourable" etc. are not even titles, they are forms of address, and are not part of the person's name. Zocky 05:52, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)
For reasons of NPOV (and also standard encyclopedic naming), "The Right Honorable" doesn't belong in the article as a form of address. It does belong in Prime Minister of Canada as a bit of information about the position and the forms of address generally applied in different situations, etc. Daniel Quinlan 05:55, Dec 14, 2003 (UTC)

I went ahead and made a bunch of edits. Incidentally, I also edited the few British Monarch articles that had a similar honorific only used in formal address (that are not titles). Daniel Quinlan 08:15, Dec 14, 2003 (UTC)

How can I see the source of protected pages?

I know I shouldn't be able to edit the protected pages, but is there a way I can see their source? Roozbeh

Yes, go to PAGE_NAME&action=edit. Angela

Requests for help and comments

  1. See User:Daniel Quinlan/redirects if you want to help out with fixing thousands of broken links prepared by Brion and Daniel.
  2. See Wikipedia talk:Interlanguage links for Hashar's information on using RobBot to add interlanguage links.
  3. Aoineko has set up an international Egyptology project for all Wikipedias. If you would like to join it, see m:Egyptopedia.
  4. Kingturtle would like to remind biography writers that the first paragraph of a biographical entry should always mention birth and death years, nationality, and brief descriptions of three or four of that person's most important accomplishments. If the person is still alive, the first sentence should say what that person is. See Wikipedia:Manual of Style (biographies).
  5. Muriel Victoria would like you to vote at the pages linked to from Wikipedia:Refreshing brilliant prose on which articles should stay at Wikipedia:Brilliant prose.
  6. mav invites you to discuss expanding the focus of the Sep11Wiki at meta:Wikimorial
  7. Jiang requests comments at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Countries
  8. Adam suggests every American Wikipedian visits List of Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and contributes a short biography of their local Congress-person (see also public domain congressional biographical directory)
  9. Dysprosia requests comments on the new login text
  10. Viajero asks for your help in expanding the Guidelines for controversial articles
  • Adding an email/Changing a password -> archive 1

Another topic

I have to agree with the section title which describes hostility. I think that copyright notices are placed a lot of times out of spite. other users' thoughts? Greenmountainboy 20:10, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I don't really think that's the case (from reading over a lot of the cases). I'll grant you that the copyvio notice is a tad abrupt, and there are several wikipedians with the social skills of a tasmanian devil, but in general I think most notices reflect someone's honest caution in the face of any amount of willful abuse. -- Finlay McWalter 20:18, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Agreed. If people are hasty -- it's often simply that they want to bring attention to a problem before it grows into a big problem. We certainly don't want someone to go to a huge amount of work and create something huge and THEN tell them, weeks or months later, 'Oh, by the way, all that stuff you did, we're deleting it'. Better to question it early.
It's not helped, of course by the facts that a) Not every volunteer editor understands copyright law very well, b) that exactly what our standards are for IMAGE copyright aren't too well defined, and c) that the laws are not all that clear in the first place ('fair use', especially, is open to question at times). --Morven 02:36, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Looking For A Forester...

Looking for a Forester Office that I've been to in Gelsen-Kirchen. The Forester of choice is Oliver Balke. Is there anyone who would help me with the address and even telephone number?

Thank You, Tina B.


Where can I buy a Methuselah bottle of champagne and what price range is it in?

You can get a bottle of Veuve Clicquot here for £289. Other places, too, of course. Just google for your brand + Methuselah. - Binky 03:42, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Red links

It strikes me a lot of "vandalism" is a result of an inexperienced user clicking a red link in an article, finding themselves straight on a live edit page, and then typing-in the first thing that comes into their heads - probably with no real idea that they are modifying the live database, since this is not the expected behavior on an ordinary website.

Is this the best default behavior? Should we make users read a boilerplate page before reaching a live edit page? Might reduce the page deletion load on the sysops.

Similarly, a lot of VfD pages seem to have started out as ill-considered red links which got turned into stubs - so we really should not red-link anything that would not make a suitable article in its own right and we should remove any such red links when detected. I generally do this, but it does not seem to be common practice and I have not seen any guidelines. Anjouli 13:50, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

The edit page already contains the following notice:


I think it's a good thing that users stumble across the editability of Wikipedia by accident. It's a quick introduction into the world of wikis. Deleting nonsense pages is really not a lot of work. I do agree about not creating links to articles which we don't want to be written, of course.—Eloquence 13:59, Dec 19, 2003 (UTC)

I broadly agree. I just think it is a bit too easy to blindly bang the keyboard without reading the boilerplate. Just making it require a little more thought would keep out the real headbangers but not put off anybody with more than half a brain. Anyway, just a suggestion. Not something about which I have any strong feelings. Anjouli 15:08, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Too much boilerplate and instructions and help and pointers has a way of becoming annoying, so keeping it short is a Good Thing. But anyone who hangs around long enough to find it annoying is also likely to make an account. So I'd say: treat anon users to some more boiler plates, info and pointers, carefully chosen not to be overdone, and keep to shorthand philosophy for people with user names. Zocky 17:06, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Keep in mind that some people deliberately choose not to create an account, or not to use it on certain locations.—Eloquence
That's true. In that case they don't get a watchlist, user page, IP anonimity, etc. We already treat anon users differently. Zocky 17:11, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Of course, but this has technical reasons. We shouldn't annoy them intentionally. :-) —Eloquence
It's just as technical as giving them talk pages. And I'm not talking about striving to be annoying: just push verbosity on the edit page up to the level appropriate for somebody who has stumbled here by accident and has never heard either of wikipedia or wiki concept. Zocky 17:45, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Perhaps you could edit MediaWiki:newarticletext to demonstrate what you mean. I have unprotected it for you.—Eloquence
OK, I added a link to the sandbox, plus changed the wording from "page" to "article", which I hope sounds a tad more serious. I would have made it a bit flashier and more explicit if logged users didn't have to look at it.
OTOH, the text on the edit screen for existing pages could say something like:
"Please note that your changes to the encyclopedia will be visible immediately, so you should review Wikipedia's guidelines and policies before making extensive changes."
But I'm not sure that it would convey "It's always OK to correct typoes" enough. Zocky 19:17, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Another topic

related to comments made in Wikipedia:Village pump/December 2003 archive 2

I have to agree with the section title which describes hostility. I think that copyright notices are placed a lot of times out of spite. other users' thoughts? Greenmountainboy 20:10, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I don't really think that's the case (from reading over a lot of the cases). I'll grant you that the copyvio notice is a tad abrupt, and there are several wikipedians with the social skills of a tasmanian devil, but in general I think most notices reflect someone's honest caution in the face of any amount of willful abuse. -- Finlay McWalter 20:18, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Agreed. If people are hasty -- it's often simply that they want to bring attention to a problem before it grows into a big problem. We certainly don't want someone to go to a huge amount of work and create something huge and THEN tell them, weeks or months later, 'Oh, by the way, all that stuff you did, we're deleting it'. Better to question it early.
It's not helped, of course by the facts that a) Not every volunteer editor understands copyright law very well, b) that exactly what our standards are for IMAGE copyright aren't too well defined, and c) that the laws are not all that clear in the first place ('fair use', especially, is open to question at times). --Morven 02:36, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Of course copyright notices aren't added out of spite! They are added because the person finding them believes a violation has occured and genuinely wants to do something about that. Angela.

Thomas Edison

I would like to upload : Cattle driven to slaughter / Thomas A. Edison, Inc. ; producer, James White as an example for both the cattle article, and the motion picture history article. It is in both MPG(4mb) and Quicktime(1mb). Should I upload the MPG? Its in public domain as it was created in 1897. I assume thta Wikipedia would not be friendly towards proprietary formats like quicktime. See the Library of Congress site where I downloaded it [4] Greenmountainboy 21:36, 17 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I, as a Wikipedia reader, would personally prefer to have access to both versions, or at least to the MPEG version. But if I was wikipedia owner (paying the bandwidth fees) I would suggest you just to put an external link to the MPG and/or Quicktime file at website (there is no reason to duplicate the file here in wikipedia, I suppose isn't going to delete the file from its servers in the near future). Optim 22:17, 17 Dec 2003 (UTC)
If I remember correctly, there is a 2MB size limit on media files. So the MPG format would be too large, unless split in two. I'm not sure about the use of quicktime, but I've never seen it on Wikipedia, so that could be a reason :) Alfio 23:14, 17 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Question about tetrahydrocannabinol moved to Talk:Cannabis, with an answer. Tuf-Kat 00:37, Dec 18, 2003 (UTC)

Simple syntax for simple tables

I've dreamed up a simple, yet quite useful syntax to enter tables into articles in User:Zocky/Table_syntax. Please look at it and comment there. I'd like to hear some thoughts before I make it a request. Zocky 00:47, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)

How is that different from what's already done? m:MediaWiki User's Guide: Using tables. Angela. 00:59, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Mine's simpler and less powerful, and as such, not needed. It is better looking, though, especially for col and row spans. How come I've never seen one of those used in an article? Zocky 01:09, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)
This format is less than a month old, so very few articles use it yet. —Noldoaran (Talk) 01:32, Dec 18, 2003 (UTC)
I like Zocky's format alot, it is simple enough for me. The HTML format of tables is actually horrible, and as such actually misfitting in the wiki concept, with simple, fast and easy to remember syntax. I favour Zocky's syntax because it is similar to that of my home wiki's and actually Zocky's "howto use this syntax" page is a lot better. Look att than media wiki article!(m:MediaWiki User's Guide: Using tables) It expects me to know HTML, and comes with only few examples. Un-wiki and not simple. We should really strive to simplify the table syntax.
I understand that this was what we wanted to do when we added the | pipe syntax described at meta, but I have to say that I favour this even more. —User:Sverdrup|Sverdrup(talk) 17:47, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)

A thought about rowspans: their most sensible use (apart from formatting) is classification. It's not unlike bulleted and numbered lists. Wouldn't it be nice if this produced an expected table? (This is somewhat different from the syntax on my page). Zocky 23:07, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)

||||brown rat|sewer|squeaks|
||||black rat|middle ages|plagues|

mammalia carnivora canis dog house woofs
wolf woods yelps
felis cat house meows
lynx woods hisses
rodenta ratus brown rat sewer squeaks
black rat middle ages plagues
I like Zocky's format too. I find the one adopted just as confusing as regular tables. In fact, I am not going to bother to learn that, but rather stick to tables. Dori | Talk 23:18, Dec 18, 2003 (UTC)
Yep, it's still the same commands, but with different words. And they still expect you to know the HTML syntax to learn the simpler one. No, we need a truly easy way of creating tables. —Sverdrup(talk) 00:06, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

You don't need to use HTML now. See m:MediaWiki User's Guide: Using tables.

If you type

Cell 1, row 1 Cell 2, row 1
Cell 1, row 2 Cell 2, row 2

you get

Cell 1, row 1 Cell 2, row 1
Cell 1, row 2 Cell 2, row 2

Angela. 03:44, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I'm sure they're aware of that, it's just that that syntax is direct shorthand for HTML and they (and I) think it doesn't provide sufficient automagic. If you want to do even relatively minor stuff, you have to fall back on HTML attributes. The syntax of those is questionable: TD attributes are strange enough, but TABLE and TR articles look eerily unwikilike: there's unmarked text which is not displayed. AFAIK it's unique in that.
Also, providing an easier syntax for fully formatted tables (which the current syntax does succesfully) may not be a Good Thing. If one is needed (seldom), there's always HTML, and others should use standard formatting. Next thing you know we'll be having a revert war over the shade of blue.
My syntax is much more obvious and wikilike, and the hierarchical table thing is very useful and IMHO, really pretty. Too bad I didn't have an internet conncetion at home two months ago. Zocky 04:18, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I don't think the current method is a "direct shorthand for HTML" and I certainly disagree with the notion that you need to learn HTML before using it. It doesn't seem any harder to learn that what Zocky is proposing. The new way of creating tables makes it visually clear how the table is going to look even when viewed in wikitext and seems a lot easier than worrying about lining up the right number of ||||'s. Angela. 06:32, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Well, worrying about the number of |||'s is just as complex as worrying about the number of ***'s and we seem to do that just fine. And the current syntax is direct shorthand for html:

= /td td

= /td /tr /table

Nothing wrong with it so far. But try to make a country info table without falling back on HTML attributets. Or try to insert brown bear, honeybee and coyotte in the upper table using the current syntax and see how straightforward it is. Zocky 14:25, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

How to upload images

Is there any way to upload images found on the web without downloading/saving it on my computer first? --Jiang 01:46, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I think typing the URL into the filename box on Special:Upload works, but I've never done it so not completely sure. Angela. 01:49, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Nope, it doesn't work. It doesn't send me an error message, but what I upload comes out to be 0 bytes. --Jiang 02:14, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)
There is no way to do that; save the file to your computer. Also, please don't upload images "found on the web" that aren't in the public domain unless you're very sure they are acceptable for use. And either way, say where you got it from. Include the source URL in the description. --Brion 02:37, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

cheap .ca-domain (Canada)

If somebody knows a cheap registrator for a .ca domain please inform Jimmy - jwales AT

NPOV clarification, request for feedback

User:Gbog has objected (without explanation so far) to a change I made to Wikipedia:NPOV tutorial, it has since been moved to the talk page. The change clarifies that the suspicion that an article is POV is not always an indication that this is the case, as there may be cases where there is a large disparity between facts an opinions.

I would like to invite public feedback on this proposed change, as it seems like an important (if minor) caveat, to avoid knee-jerk reactions (please comment on the talk page and feel free to remove this request after a couple of days).—Eloquence 09:41, Dec 21, 2003 (UTC)

I have explained my objections as anybody can see on Wikipedia:NPOV_tutorial talk page.
For the people who could be interested in the little campfire flame here, short explanation: User:Eloquence has created a FAQ on Mother Teresa discussion page and I wanted to add a little quote grabbed in Wikipedia:NPOV_tutorial. Very astonishingly (never been able to write this one), He disagreed to my proposition. So he wants to change the source instead of allowing me to add this tiny little quotation (don't ask me why). As I am a new contributor here and he is a Sysop, I am obvious completely wrong when I try to edit pages like Mother Teresa and when I ask for discussions before an harmful change in Wikipedia:NPOV_tutorial, and He is surely in his full right to unfairly revert me in the first case (I had discussed my proposals before making them), and to change the other without having discussed the case with me or anyone else, but I would like other Wikipedians to confirm (and forgive and explain) all my wikisins. Amen. gbog 12:37, 21 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I explained to you why the quote is inappropriate. You didn't understand. That's why I think the NPOV tutorial needs to be clarified that merely suspecting that an article is POV doesn't make it so, as on cases like Mother Teresa, quite a few people will have this suspicion.
In any case, feel free to modify the FAQ or the article as you please. I won't edit either for a while and leave it to others to argue about the details.
Hosannah! You finally gave my full rights to edit those pages. Thanks a lot. Smack! (I hope it is true and I hope you will correct my poor English when you will come back, because I saw many times that you are very good for that particular job) gbog
I personally think you're quite incompetent, but hey, Wikipedia doesn't require its contributors to know what they're doing or to be able to rationally explain it. So go ahead, knock yourself out.—Eloquence

I think this displays quite eloquently (no pun intended) the need for a filter project. The current Mother Theresa article is an enormous improvement on the embarrassment it was for a long period of time, but now here we go again. I could list a number of others in this category. Despite this, Wikipedia has a good audience, role, function etc.. It's very worth doing as is. But there's an opportunity to be much more, whether by an approval mechanism, Wikipedia 1.0, or whatever.

If we do the filter project correctly, it will in the medium term vastly improve the "base" Wikipedia too, by concentrating attention on the (many) articles that really need attention. Andrewa 20:53, 21 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Stop calling people "you're quite incompetent", least of all to people who are not vandals! That is anti-Wikilove! --Menchi (Talk)â 21:28, 21 Dec 2003 (UTC)

People who have no understanding of the subject they write about, nor of Wikipedia's policies, but yet insist that they know better than everyone else, without any arguments to support their beliefs, and have lots of time to spend, are much worse than vandals. Vandals are easy to deal with. To prevent people like this from doing too much damage you need to be constantly involved. No amount of Wikilove will undo the damage they do to this project. They simply censor the information they do not like.—Eloquence
Yes, you are right. I'm really worst than a vandal: I did try to edit your prose against Mother Teresa and to edit your FAQ on the MT article. But you forgot one little tiny thing. On the top of MT article, there is a little ugly POV header, and archives are showing enough that many people think the article was biaised. That the only reason why I tried to edit and improve the article. I am not a Catholic, I am sure to share more ideas with you than with them, but there is one idea we may not share: religious tolerance. I don't agree with any anti-religious crusade. What I think is worst than vandalism is to transform Wikipedia to a kind anti-religious sandbox for those who think they are more clever than others because they don't believe in god.gbog
Somewhere you said Wikipedia should be informational and educational. I can't believe that the intend of this great projet is to "educate". If so, it is not for me. I will not write any cathechism, here or elsewhere. I don't believe I'm clever enough to educate people and I think they should do that alone, when they are adults. I have few info on few topics and I'd like to share them, that my goal here. I thought if was enough.gbog 03:11, 22 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I don't believe I'm clever enough to educate people. Indeed. You aren't. That's why you should not be working on an encyclopedia.—Eloquence

Unwanted sign

This may be a minor point, but something I can't ecplain: At Die Fledermaus#Film adaptations, just above the table, there is a -?- in the left-hand corner that doesn't belong there. Does anyone know how to get rid of it? --KF 17:39, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

It was between /tr and tr, so it wasn't a part of any row, and hence not a part of the table. I removed it and it now works as expected. Zocky 17:42, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Bard's Tale - Levitating Up a portal


I have recently revisited my youth and have been playing Bard's Tale I. With a Levitation or Major Levitation spell in effect, I have no trouble going down a portal (Using the 'D' key while over the portal) but going up has proven trying. The command I have been trying is using the 'E' key while under the portal, but I don't go up.

What am I missing???

Thank you for any assistance.


I don't know the game, but have you tried 'U' for Up? Κσυπ Cyp   13:25, 22 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Server status
Pliny, one of the web servers, failed to reboot following operating system upgrades. Things may seem a little wonky as everything but en is moved to a temporary server. 911 Widow Sues Bush Under RICO Statutes

new and bizzare form of comedy!

Iam busting at the seams with my new jokes. does anybody want to hear them?Contact me at 10q rsvp!


In ordinary writing, I find footnotes very useful when I want to unburden myself of a detail that gets in the way of the main narrative, but that I really think ought to be on the record for some reason. It would seem to me that footnotes could be improvised using HTML or current Wiki markup, but in fact footnotes (or any equivalent) are not used in Wikipedia articles, and are not mentioned in the "how to edit" page.

Are footnotes considered harmful?

If not, why don't they seem to be used—and if I want to drop in a footnote, what's the best way to do so with current markup? Dpbsmith 16:07, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Footnotes anchored to the actual notes at the bottom of a page would be nice. Right now the only way to have footnotes is to provide an external link like this [5]. But that is useless for referencing anything off-line. But footnotes should never replace a ==References== section. This thread really should be at meta:MediaWiki feature request and bug report discussion. --mav 16:27, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)
You could use "...blah blah blah.<sup>1</sup>" which results in "...blah blah blah.1" Or even "...blah blah blah.<sup><small>2</small></sup>" , which results in "...blah blah blah.2"
However, this technique is completely manual, and you'd have to renumber things (manually) if a footnote was inserted, deleted, or moved. Furthermore, on many browsers, this messes up the line spacing. And it's not a link, either.
1Also, I'm not sure, but doing things this way may be frowned on.
-Anthropos 19:36, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

The problem with footnotes is that it's much harder on screen than on paper to hop back up to where you left. -- Tarquin 17:25, 21 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Not if the footnote links back to the main text, as I would think it ought to. That's the way footnotes work in some eBooks. Dpbsmith 19:59, 23 Dec 2003 (UTC)

"revert" a bad move

How can I "swap" Ann Danielewski and Poe (singer) ?

The Hua-Yen (Sanskrit: Avatamsaka) tradition of Mahayana Buddhism is based upon the Sanskrit text of the same name, and a legnthy Chinese interpretation thereof (the Hua-Yen-Lun). This school flourished in China during the Tang period.

The name of the school means “flower garland”, suggesting the crowning glory of profound understanding.

Historical Background

The Flower Garland school, one of the major schools of Chinese Buddhism, the doctrines of which ended up having profound impact on the philosophical attitudes of all of East Asian Buddhism. Established during the period of the end of the Sui and beginning of Tang dynasties, this school centered on the philosophy of interpenetration and mutual containment which its founders perceived in the Huayan jing (華嚴經). Yet despite basic reliance on this sutra, much of the technical terminology that the school becomes famous for is not found in the sutra itself, but in the commentarial works of its early founders.

The founding of the school is traditionally attributed to a series of five “patriarchs” who were instrumental in developing the schools doctrines. These five are: Dushun (杜順), Zhiyan (智儼), Fazang (法藏), Chengguan (澄觀) and Zongmi. Another important figure in the development and popularization of Huayan thought was the lay scholar Li Tongxuan (李通玄). Some accounts of the school also like to extend its patriarchship earlier to Aśvaghoṣa (馬鳴) and Nāgārjuna (龍樹).

Although there are certain aspects of this patriarchal scheme which are clearly contrived, it is fairly well accepted that these men each played a significant and distinct role in the development of the school: for example, Dushun is known to have been responsible for the establishment of Huayan studies as a distinct field; Zhiyan is considered to have established the basic doctrines of the sect; Fazang is considered to have rationalized the doctrine for greater acceptance by society; Chengguan and Zongmi are understood to have further developed and transformed the teachings.

After the time of Zongmi and Li Tongxuan the Chinese school of Huayan generally stagnated in terms of new development, and then eventually began to decline. The school, which had been dependent upon the support it received from the government, suffered severely during the purge of 841-845, never to recover its former strength. Nonetheless, its profound metaphysics, such as that of the four dharmadhātu (四法界) of interpenetration, had a deep impact on surviving East Asian schools, especially the Chan school.

Philosophy of the Hua Yen School

Distinctive features of this approach to Buddhist philosophy include:

 – Truth (or: reality) is understood as encompassing and interpenetrating falsehood (or: illusion), and vice-versa
 – Good is understood as encompassing and interpenetrating evil
 – Similarly, all mind-made distinctions are understood as “collapsing” in the enlightened understanding of emptiness (a tradition traced back to the Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna)

Hua-Yen makes extensive use of paradox in argument and literary imagery. The following quote from Dale S. Wright [Philosophy East and West, vol. 32, no.3(July, 1982), P325-338] summarizes the range of such devices a reader is likely to encounter in a first foray into Hua-Yen literature:

         The  first  type  of  paradox   is  modeled  after
       paradoxical  assertions found in many early Mahayana
       texts   that   emphasize   the   concept   emptiness
       (k’ung(f)/’suunyataa).  Beginning with the assertion
       that  a  phenomenon,  X, is  empty  (k’ung/’suunyaa)
       (that  is, since  X  originates  dependently, it  is
       empty  of  own-being),  one  moves  to  the  further
       paradoxical implication that X is not X.  An example
       from  Fa-tsang  is  the  assertion  that  “when  one
       understands that origination is without self-nature,
       then there is no origination.”(5)
         A second  type  of  paradox  is derived  from  two
       doctrinal  sources: the  Hua-yen  concept  of  “true
       emptiness”   (chen-k’ung(g)   )  and   the   Hua-yen
       interpretation  of the  dialectic  of the  One  Mind
       (i-hsin(h)) in the Awakening  of Faith.  Whereas the
       first  type  of paradox  worked  with  the  negative
       assertion   that  phenomenal   form  is  empty   and
       nonexistent  (wu so yu(i)), the second type reverses
       that claim by asserting that any empty phenomenon is
       an expression  of, and the medium  for, the ultimate
       truth of emptiness.  The union of opposites effected
       here is the
       identity  between conditioned, relative  reality and
       the ultimate truth of suchness (chen-ju(j)/tathataa) .
       Fa-tsang’s  paradoxical  assertion illustrates  this
       second  type.  “When  the  great  wisdom  of perfect
       clarity gazes upon a minute hair, the universal  sea
       of nature, the true source, is clearly manifest.”(6)
         The third variation of paradox is grounded in the
       Hua-yen  doctrine  of  the  “nonobstruction  of  all
       phenomena”  (shih shih wu-ai(k)).  According to this
       doctrine,  when  the  ultimate  truth  of  emptiness
       becomes manifest  to the viewer, each phenomenon  is
       paradoxically perceived as interpenetrating with and
       containing all others. This paradoxical violation of
       the conventional  order  of time  and space  is best
       exemplified by Fa-tsang’s famous Essay on the Golden
       In each and every  hair [of the lion]  there  is the
       golden lion.  All of the lions contained in each and
       every  hair  simultaneously  and suddenly  penetrate
       into  one hair.  [Therefore], within  each and every
       hair there are unlimited lions.(7)
         The common element in all three types of paradox is
       that they originate  in the tension  between the two
       truths,   between   conventional   truth   (su-ti(l)
       /  and  ultimate   truth  (chen-ti(m)
       /paramaarthasatya).  Our  task  of interpreting  the
       significance  of  paradoxical  language  in  Hua-yen
       texts,  therefore, will  begin  by  working  out  an
       initial  interpretation  of the two  truths  and the
       relation between them.

See also the Hwaeom school of Korea, and Kegon school of Japan.

External Link

*Digital Dictionary of Buddhism (log in with userID “guest”)

WTF? Varying rendering of colon-indented text in different browsers

In an example above, and in Limerick_(poetry), in which successive lines are indented different amounts by using different numbers of colons, the appearance in Apple's Safari and IE 5.2 for Mac OS X is similar. The browser displays a blank line separating a source line beginning with a single colon and a source line beginning with two lines. Thus, the appearance of

:From the hag and hungry goblin
:That into rags would rend thee
::And the spirit that stands
::by the naked man,
:In the book of the moons defend yee.

in these two browsers is


On the other hand, on my wife's PC running IE 6.0.2008 under Windows 98, the interpolated blank lines are not seen.

On whatever browser you're using now, it renders as:

From the hag and hungry goblin
That into rags would rend thee
And the spirit that stands
by the naked man,
In the book of the moons defend yee.

Whose bug is this? Is there something wrong with the HTML that the wiki is generating? It certainly is unpleasant that the same browser, Microsoft Internet Explorer,' gives different results on different platforms. Right or wrong, you'd think MS would at least be consistent with themselves. Dpbsmith 16:37, 21 Dec 2003 (UTC)

MSIE is hardly ever consistent with itself :-) Also, MSIE for the Mac is, to the best of my knowledge, developed separately from MSIE for Windows. The case you mention is probably just a situation in which the default spacing for definition lists (which is what is generated by leading colons) is different for various browsers. Not a bug, really; just a quirk. -- Wapcaplet 16:45, 21 Dec 2003 (UTC)
The difference is almost certainly the handling of stylesheets between the various browsers - CSS handling between browsers is rather inconsistent (and will remain so for the next few years). In the meantime I suggest you a) file a bug against wikipedia's stylesheet (it is possible, with much effort, to make truly portable stylesheets) and b) stick with the nbsps in the interim. -- Finlay McWalter 16:47, 21 Dec 2003 (UTC)

The problem is that there is no way for HTML to indent text, really. We cheat with a DL and different browsers have different ideas on how to display this -- Tarquin 17:23, 21 Dec 2003 (UTC) (This should be FAQed)

There is no bug here. The HTML standard does not really specify how something should be renedered, so it's up to the browser. Some choose to put a blank line, some don't. They're both following the standard though. CGS 19:45, 21 Dec 2003 (UTC).

Indeed, but the wikipedia is suboptimal on at least one major platform. This is something in our power to fix - some more specific handling of CSS margins in the stylesheet (for dl tags) should do the trick. -- Finlay McWalter 19:50, 21 Dec 2003 (UTC)
On the contrary, I find that the rendering in IE/Mac and Safari is much superior for our primary use of the colon-indentation, which is threaded commentary.
Anyway, I tried playing with stylesheets a bit out of curiosity; the IE/Win and Mozilla behavior can be replicated in IE/Mac by setting the margin-top and margin-bottom on dl and dd elements to 0, but oddly this doesn't affect Safari (tested 1.1.1 v100.1). --Brion 03:17, 22 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I've submitted a description of this issue to SourceForge as bug 864015, MediaWiki project: "Different colon indent levels/blank lines/Mac browsers." Dpbsmith 21:32, 21 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Verse formatting

The first time I had to enter some verse in which successive lines were indented by different amounts, I tried preceding them with colon and colon-colon, e.g.:

:When I was one-and-twenty
::I heard a wise man say,
:"Give crowns and pounds and guineas
::But not your heart away;

which results in:

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard a wise man say,
"Give crowns and pounds and guineas
But not your heart away;

Unfortunately, when you do this, the Wiki-html-generator-thing-plus-browser-whatever inserts extra spacing between the singly and doubly-indented material, which I think looks grotesquely wrong (take a look at Limerick_(poetry), for example—does anything think this is the right way to present a limerick?)

After some experimentation, I settled on using a variable number of nbsp's at the start of each line, followed by a br at the end, e.g.:

&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Give pearls away and rubies<br>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;But keep your fancy free."<br>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;No use to talk to me.<br>

which yields

    Give pearls away and rubies
        But keep your fancy free."
    But I was one-and-twenty,
        No use to talk to me.

As displayed in the browser, I think this is perfectly acceptable.

Well, the last time I did THAT, someone edited it to use the space-at-the-start-of-a-line method, e.g.

    When I was one-and-twenty
         I heard him say again,
    "The heart out of the bosom
         Was never given in vain;

I detest the monospaced typeface you get when you do that, but otherwise I thought it was OK and I assumed that if someone had changed it that must be the Wikipedia Way, so that's what I did the next time I needed to enter a piece of verse—

—and when I did, someone changed it to alternating colons and double-colons!

What is the preferred Wikipedia markup for verse with variable line indentation? Is there a guide to this anywhere? Dpbsmith 13:38, 21 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Well, both Limerick (poetry) and your colon-based example above look perfectly fine for me, both in IE and mozilla. But as to the nbsp way - I think someone probably mistook your effort for those of a newbie - perhaps if you leave an html comment above the limerick in question, saying you're doing this on purpose (and having the above stuff on the corresponding talk page) then I think it'll be left unmolested. -- Finlay McWalter 14:18, 21 Dec 2003 (UTC)

NPOV clarification, request for feedback

Please see Wikipedia talk:NPOV tutorial and comment on the recent changes made to the tutorial.

List of links

The (now alphabetical) list of pages that link to World War I starts with 1066 and All That (i e numbers) and ends with European influence in Afghanistan. What about letters F to Z? --KF 21:56, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Hmmmm, I get the same. Looks like a bug to me. I guess we should raise it as such. Andrewa 12:35, 21 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I just noticed that 1945 is even worse -- links only down to the letter D. I have no idea how to report a bug. I read Wikipedia:Bug reports carefully but just don't understand it: I wouldn't know what to do. --KF 22:34, 22 Dec 2003 (UTC)


Hi, im a user of the german Wikipedia and i recently found a lot URLs, which are obviously spam. The linked websites contain some basic infos, but it seems that their main purpose is to promote some commercial links on the bottom of the pages. I found 19 affected domains so far on de: and removed them from the articles. By accident i saw, that these links exist on en:, too. Maybe someone wants to search and remove them. I mainly used a local SQL dump and the contributions page, because these links are always added by some anonymous users (IPs). Here's a list of domains:

I dislike the idea, that someone wants to get a commercial benefit from our google ranking or whatever. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me on de: [6]. Regards -- 16:22, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC) aka Fab

Just created an account on en :-) -- Fab 16:27, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Just made an update of the spam-domain-list on my user page -- fab 23:15, 22 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Yeah, we get a lot of *.de spam on Wikipedia:Friends of Wikipedia too. Thinking of submitting a spam report to the ISP from all those IP addresses... Dysprosia 09:50, 21 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Footnotes? moved to Mediawiki feature request and bug report discussion

"This thread really should be at meta:MediaWiki feature request and bug report discussion. --mav 16:27, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)"

Done. See meta:MediaWiki feature request and bug report discussion#Feature request: footnotes Dpbsmith 20:04, 23 Dec 2003 (UTC)

"Recently," "at this writing," etc.

I see a problem; I don't have a suggested solution. The article on Siegfried & Roy opens (italics mine):

Siegfried & Roy are longtime Las Vegas headliners whose illusion and magic act recently closed due to a tragic incident in which Roy was mauled by one of the act's performing white tigers.

I personally have written passages in which it seemed natural to say at this writing thus-and-such. It seems to me that when a term such as "recently" or "at this writing" is used, there should be some easy way for the reader to tell just when the passage was written.

  • The page history isn't very suitable for that purpose, because, given a particular passage, it doesn't tell when that passage was changed.
  • I've tried putting the year in—e.g. "at this writing (2003) a transition to digital photography is well under way, but film is still the predominant medium for ordinary family snapshots"—but it looks stupid.
  • It does not seem reasonable to insist that the writer of something like the Siegfried and Roy article stop in their tracks and not proceed until they can determine the exact date when the show closed; that's a nice-to-have, not a must-have.
  • I don't think it's safe to assume that any given article will be reviewed and updated on any regular schedule and that any usage of "recently" or "at this writing" will automatically get changed when it becomes stale.

Any thoughts about this?

This leads me naturally to my next query... footnotes... (because they are one conceivable way of handling the problem...) Dpbsmith 16:07, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I'd say just give the best explicit date you can manage. "Siegfried & Roy are longtime Las Vegas headliners whose illusion and magic act closed in November 2003 [or whenever it was] due to a tragic incident in which Roy was mauled by one of the act's performing white tigers." Precision isn't necessary if you can't manage it - "closed in late 2003" will do for now if the writer doesn't know more precisely. If you're talking about something which is ongoing or likely to be ongoing, you can say something like "as of 2003, a transition to digital photography is well under way...". --Camembert
In this context, can I point out the existence of the [[as of xxxx]] system. The idea is that if you know that the information will need to be updated later, you put an As of link in - "[[As of 2003]], Michael Palin's latest travel documentary is Sahara", for instance - and then some future person with time on their hands can go to Special:Whatlinkshere/As of 2003 and get an easy list of articles with information that might be out of date. Wikipedia:As of has more information. —Paul A 06:18, 22 Dec 2003 (UTC)
That's worth knowing. Thanks; glad I asked! Dpbsmith 21:05, 23 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Policy on Signed Pages

In Military training a sandbox is a box of sand used in conjunction with military models to model terrain and demonstrate tactics. Anjouli 16:03, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

The text above is contained in the main article of Sandbox. Do we have a policy about signed articles? Is this acceptable in wikipedia? Optim 04:12, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

We don't sign articles. I assume it was accidental and I've removed it now. Angela. 05:04, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I hadn't time to check the user's page but maybe he/she is just new here so I hope that he/she doesn't continue signing his/her edits. At first I was about to remove the signature when I saw it, since I haven't seen any signed articles here and I think they have no reason to exist in a wiki, especially when we can use the Page history to check who edited what... But then I decided to ask here in order to be sure that I will not do something wrong. Good that you removed it. Optim 05:27, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Internet-Encyclopedia does have the option for respected users to sign articles, after which they must approve all edits to the article. Hopefully the user isn't from there, and didn't intend to do that... Pakaran 05:08, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)
how do you think about adding the no-sign policy to the edit page so that we will avoid this situation in the future? especially now that another wiki (Internet Encyclopedia) allows signed articles, some users may get confussed and also sign here. Optim 05:27, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)
It was probably just done out of habit, for the same reason I find myself trying to sign emails with ~~~~. :) Angela. 05:13, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)
lol Optim 05:27, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I did in fact accidentally signed myself once in Current events, which made it, misleadingly, look like I invented that story. --Menchi (Talk)â 06:04, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Sorry guys. Mea culpa. Just signed by force of habit. Perhaps a wake up call that I'm spending too much time talking about other people's contributions and not enough time on my own. I promise to write a nice long article on a really dull subject to show I'm sorry. Anjouli 11:08, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Repeated Vandalism by 12.64.etc/12.65.etc

Over a long period of time several hoaxes have been added to Wikipedia from these IP ranges. Many of these hoax articles seem perfectly reasonable at first glance, often mixing facts in with the fiction. One of their favorite targets seems to be LeAnn Rimes. Some have been in concert with User: I am not sure if they are from the same user, but they appear to be. Examples (very incomplete):

I am posting it here so that hopefully more people will see this. --Maximus Rex 08:17, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Social Security #s on pages

The recent activity (I believe it borders on vandalism) by a particular user raises an interesting question: Does a social security number constitute public information that should be viewable on Wikipedia? I disagree myself, but I figured I should raise the question for discussion.

--Metasquares 02:43, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I don't rule out a situation where it might possibly be appropriate for some reason. But to put someone's SSN in the first paragraph of an entry about that person? No, there is no reason at all for that, and it does constitute vandalism. A SSN is what passes for private information in the US these days, and the addition of a SSN adds no relevant or necessary information to an understanding of that person within the context of an online encyclopedia like Wikipedia. --Moncrief, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Social security numbers should not be added to the pages because social security numbers are not supposed to be public knowledge. It is part of the information required to steal someone's identity and for example get a credit card as that individual. I think that constantly adding the information to the start of the biographies after being repeatedly asked not to is definitely bordering on vandalism. Maximus Rex 02:50, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Some SSNs are public knowledge. If it were possible to steal Bill Gate's identity, then it would have already been done by now. These numbers were published online by the United States government since 1995. I was never asked not to, and certainly not by anyone who was in charge of this site. Anthony DiPierro 02:54, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I disagree that knowing his SSN deepens anyone's understanding of Bill Gates (or anyone else) in any way, but I object most strongly to the information being put in the first paragraph of the entry. Even if you think the information is approriate for inclusion somewhere in the article (which I personally don't), there is no possible reason why it should be in the lead paragraph. His SSN and the context (unchecked, but I'll assume it's accurate) in which it became public ARE in fact in the Bill Gates entry, but very near to the bottom - which reflects the importance of the information to the entry. A compromise could be to leave it in that position. I don't agree, but it's better than the inexcusable entry of the info into the first paragraph. Moncrief

[7], [8] and some persuassion from Anthère on IRC has led Anthony to agree not to put this information up. Angela. 03:12, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

While I agree with the conclusion that SSNs do not generally belong in an article (exceptions are possible) it is worth noting that the act referenced appears not to have become law. Jamesday 05:51, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

There is no reason that an SSN should exist in a wikipedia article. They are not noteworthy or relevant to anything. The only reason they would be posted is in an attempt to subject a target (not necessarily the subject of the article) to identity theft. I think it should be Wikipedia policy to disallow the posting of SSN's, national ID numbers, or other equivalents in other countries. Tempshill 22:03, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Legal and privacy issues aside, inclusion of SSNs should surely pass the same common-sense test that including anything in an article should - is it relevant? Alexander the Great's hatsize is irrelevant, but O.J.Simpson's glove size is relevant. The dimensions' of John Holmes manhood are relevant, those of Sherlock Holmes are not. If one were writing an article about how SSNs are assigned then some significant cases (e.g. the first recipient) would be relevant - but those of J.Random Person would not be. If one were writing at article about numerology (attention: straw man) then the "fact" that Lee Harvey Oswald's SSN is 512 666 2666 (which it almost certainly isn't) would be relevant, but if the general article on Oswald said it was 512 943 4693 then that is (surely) utterly irrelevant. So I anything can, in theory, be included if relevant - but (as should be rather obvious) I had a very hard job of figuring out even a clutching-at-strawman for SSNs. -- Finlay McWalter 22:31, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

A social security number is nine digits long (###-##-####) and therefore we can say that Lee Harvey Oswald' SSN certainly isn't (not just almost certainly isn't) 512 666 2666. <ducking> Dpbsmith 01:36, 21 Dec 2003 (UTC) (Sorry) (Very sorry) (Terribly sorry)
Social Security numbers are public information. I remember that the original social security card said "not to be used for identification." Also, social security numbers are publicly discolosed in such things as University grade reports. Greenmountainboy 01:41, 21 Dec 2003 (UTC)
No they are not. If your university is doing this they are violating FERPA. Maximus Rex 01:45, 21 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I suppose I'm baffled by this whole discussion. Why would anybody even consider adding social security numbers to an article? Why is this relevant biographical information? --Delirium 04:41, Dec 21, 2003 (UTC)

I don't know. Best to ask the person who kept adding the SSN to the first paragraph of the Bill Gates article. Moncrief

ISBN link - how to?

Hi, how do I link to an ISBN with alternate text? i.e. I want the link ISBN 0767901320 to read Success is a Choice.

I'm trying to put this into Rick Pitino.

Thanks! Goodralph 02:12, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

We don't do it that way. A link reading "Success is a Choice" is expected to go to a Wikipedia article with that title (or an external website, if it's a different colour). ISBN links are consciously left to read the actual ISBN so the user knows that it is an ISBN link. -- Timwi 02:26, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

About red links. Really!

I have rescued the following bit from an earlier discussion, since it was not really addressed at all:

Similarly, a lot of VfD pages seem to have started out as ill-considered red links which got turned into stubs - so we really should not red-link anything that would not make a suitable article in its own right and we should remove any such red links when detected. I generally do this, but it does not seem to be common practice and I have not seen any guidelines. Anjouli 13:50, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I think this really merits serious consideration. The closest thing we have to a list of all red links on wikipedia is the list of non-existent articles with the most red links pointing to them. And that is a static list I gather. Is it totally unfeasible to just compile a list of existent redlinks ordered alphabetically, without counting how many of each there are, with a ready action link to a Whatlinkshere thingummy which would show all the pages where that particular bogus subject has been linked. Is this technically unfeasible, or is there a fear of abuse of such a facility?

Actually, now that I think about it... One would assume that a bogus article subject would not get too many links to it, unless the linker was someone doing it willfully. And someone like that wouldn't be deterred by the absence of links anyway... Maybe the answer would be to have a list of only those article subjects which have one or two red links pointing toward them. Would that be feasible? As Anjouli intimated, such accidental or semiaccidental creations of articles which do not deserve it, might be just that easy to deter.

If someone were too quick to remove red links, I'm sure it wouldn't be too ardous to replace them. -- Jussi-Ville Heiskanen 20:03, Dec 19, 2003 (UTC)

I strongly disagree with removing the red links that only occur 1 or 2 times in Wikipedia. Editors are placing them there for a reason: They would be articles that should exist. Why override thousands of these individual editors' judgments in an automated way? Are red links so bad that you have to throw up your hands and shield your eyes at the sight? (BTW, the "most wanted articles" pages are great.) Tempshill 00:12, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Please reread the above. Nowhere does it say that all red links which only occur one or two times should be deleted. But rather that a list of such links were available, so people could see which those links are, and which of those are invalid and which not.

Nothing about it would be automated save the generation of the list itself. A list which the majority of would be valid links of course. Each subject has had only one link to begin with (barring some truly spectacular examples of GMTA).

It is true that the creator of a link may have knowledge about what makes the link valid, which some other folks might not have.

Does someone really know what percentage of deleted articles were originally linked from somewhere, and where and how many places were they linked from? If a significant number were creations resulting from red links which were bogus to begin with, maybe there would be some justification to seek some way of hunting down those bogus red links. (I fully admit that I may have created bogus red links myself, some days I really have played by the rule. "If in doubt, feel free to link." Which I now realize was not a good idea, but what can you do.)

No, I mean really, what can you do? -- Jussi-Ville Heiskanen 01:39, Dec 20, 2003 (UTC)

Feel free to go over recent items from Wikipedia:Deletion log and try the "What links here" button on them. --Brion 02:40, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Excellent suggestion. Thanks. (now, why didn't I think of that?) -- Jussi-Ville Heiskanen 07:28, Dec 20, 2003 (UTC)

I think there may be a bit of "concept-drift" here. When I started this, I did not for a moment mean to suggest we delete valid red links, and certainly not on a basis of link-counts. But we should delete obviously stupid links like this one. (I just know that's going to end up as an article on VfD) The second point is where a newbie clicks a red-link, creates an article there, then gets blasted on VfD because the subject is trivial, inappropriate, or duplicates an existing article. It would save everybody a lot of heart-ache if such links were proactively fixed - or even better, done properly the first time. I take the point that the original author may know something that a potential link-modifier does not, but the link could be researched first - as (I hope) we all do now before placing an article on VfD. I think anybody who believes in fixing bad red links should simply do so. If anybody objects to a "bad call", they can always revert, or we can discuss the matter.Anjouli 11:39, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Well maybe. I think the larger point I was trying to make, is that there is at present a very limited toolbox of utilities that are directed at red links, and their pruning, fixing etc. As the number of red links grows, this may well be a crucial nexus for preventative action which is too easily missed. Removing a bogus red link is a very easy thing to do as an act, but it can forestall the need for much gnashing of teeth and bad feeling. It would be good if such targets for easily done very significant positive action were also easy to locate. Well that is just me musing aloud again. -- Jussi-Ville Heiskanen 12:34, Dec 21, 2003 (UTC)

delete, redirect

Hi, I created a new page for something which I now want to remove. I moved the article over to become part of another article. I want the link to go to the section of the pre-existing article, and get rid of the article I wrote, then thought better of. heidimo 19:24, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I'm guessing you meant Ambient groove, which I've now deleted. Wikipedia:redirects for deletion is the best place to list them in future. Angela. 20:18, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Yes, Angela, thanks. But, I still want "ambient groove" to go somewhere, to the ambient page, subgenre where I transferred what I'd written. How do I do that? heidimo 01:33, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Ok, you mean you want a redirect from Ambient groove to Ambient music? I've undeleted and done that now. You can redirect a page by typing #redirect [[page title]]. See Wikipedia:redirect for more. You can't (yet) redirect to a specific section though. Angela. 01:53, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)
That helps, but yes, I did want to direct the link to a particular section. Guess that's the best solution for now. Thanks! heidimo 02:15, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Hi Anglela. Sorry to contradict, but I think you can. Example: typing [[Village_pump#Red_links|My link]] gives My link. Anjouli 11:54, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)
You know, that's funny because in the past I seemed to be able to link to a section, but the last time I tried to do it (using the syntax you show), it didn't seem to work—the link took me to the top of the article rather than to the section, even after ten minutes of tinkering and staring at the exact wording of the link and the section. Dpbsmith 15:37, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I tried it and it worked! The link now goes to the section in the article where I wanted it to. Thanks, everybody! heidimo 17:29, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Oops, no it didn't. It only works if you click on the link on the actual "redirect page." It doesn't work from a list of links. Darn. heidimo 21:05, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I meant that you can link to a section, you can't redirect to a section. Angela. 21:08, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Right, then, I think this time I've finally got it. Hopefully I will have learned something, too! Thanks again. heidimo 04:54, 21 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Unwanted sign

This may be a minor point, but something I can't explain: At Die Fledermaus#Film adaptations, just above the table, there is a -?- in the left-hand corner that doesn't belong there. Does anyone know how to get rid of it? --KF 17:39, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

It was between /tr and tr, so it wasn't a part of any row, and hence not a part of the table. I removed it and it now works as expected. Zocky 17:42, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Red links

Discussion about message shown for newly created pages moved to MediaWiki talk:newarticletext.

Avoiding edit conflicts

Sick of edit conflicts? Just add the following code at the top of the article you want to work on:


This will add the following text:


Please remember to remove the note as soon as you're finished editing.—Eloquence 13:09, Dec 19, 2003 (UTC)

great! exactly what I was in need for! Optim 19:29, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Looks great. I have two suggestions. Firstly I think that anyone using this should put a signed, dated message in the talk page (using ~~~~) to identify themselves. Second, I think there should be a page (perhaps in the Wikipedia namespace) to which this box links, to provide further explanations and to allow dead boxes to be found and removed, perhaps after a specified time period. Andrewa 20:12, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Perhaps Wikipedia:Edit conflict could be used for the link checking. It doesn't have too many links pointing to it. I agree about the username, but it's difficult in practice -- just adding a sig after the box is ugly, and getting it into the box is non-trivial (the sig macro is not parsed when using transclusion). The name is always in the page history anyway.—Eloquence
great idea, Eloquence! —Noldoaran (Talk) 21:32, Dec 19, 2003 (UTC)
There needs to be a date in that box or next to it. Too laborious to search the history for when it was included. Personally I would always include something saying "The edit is expected to be done by 12/31/03" so that if it's 2005 and another wikipedian sees this, they can feel free to attack. Tempshill 23:58, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)
PS: I didn't intend to merely complain about this -- thanks, this actually is a good idea. Tempshill 00:14, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Point taken. As I said, it's a bit tricky to include this message in a visually appealing way. But I hope that we will eventually expand the MediaWiki namespace to support parameters, so we can do neat stuff like that. In the meantime, I think going with the history will be enough, because I do not expect this problem (messages left in place) to happen very often. I might be proven wrong, of course.—Eloquence

What a terrible idea. When did an article become the sole possession of a single editor? RickK 06:11, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I can see definite disadvantages to it. People putting it on during an edit war to stop their version being reverted for example, or leaving it for hours, if not days, and going mad when someone removes it. If it's just a few minutes, then perhaps that's ok, but I think encouraging people to edit offline or use the preview button is a better solution. Angela. 06:21, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Some of those concerns are easily adressed. Have a guideline that only a page with no significant dispute be eligible for this msg. Frex talk pages should always be fair game for the msg while archiving. I remember trying to archive a page despite some half a dozen edit conflicts with the user who originally requested the archiving (I won't say who, but you are free to speculate), and the file was 'bout 90k at that. Also have a clear guideline that complying with the request is a purely a courtesy, and not even a at the level of a recommendation. -- Jussi-Ville Heiskanen 12:55, Dec 21, 2003 (UTC)
90kb talk page. Hmmm. Now where could that be? ;) I think if those points are made clear then this notice shouldn't cause any problems. Angela. 13:09, 21 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Actually it was Talk:Jesus. -- Jussi-Ville Heiskanen 11:45, Dec 22, 2003 (UTC)
Thanks for your feedback, Rick. This is not about making articles the possession of an editor, it is about the times when someone is about to make major changes or rearrangements in an article, and wants to avoid the tedious and annoying edit conflict tool -- for himself and for anyone else working on the article. I'm sure you are familiar with that problem.
Many wikis implement this technically, by either showing a warning message or locking articles that have been recently opened for editing. I consider it better to use a "soft" solution that can be ignored when needed.
We should perhaps make clear somewhere the appropriate time limit for using this message, and that it can be ignored in cases of controversial edits.—Eloquence
A good idea, despite the real reservations expressed. Recently, I've been adding a note to talk pages and a link to the rewrite in progress in my user namespace when undertaking major rewrites. I do this to invite contributions to the rewrite as much as a notification. So far, nobody seems to respond, although I've been working in the relatively uncontroversial area of "high culture", which may explain that. I like the idea of putting something on the actual article page, but feel it might be good to add an invitation to communicate with the poster so as to possibly contribute to the rewrite? If an article is so controversial that such an invitation might cause problems, then the notice probably shouldn't be there in the first place. Bmills 11:56, 22 Dec 2003 (UTC)

WikiProject Games

I've started the Wikipedia:WikiProject Games page to help standardize what a Wikipedia article on a game should include, looklike, ect. If you are interested, please check it out. Gentgeen 08:34, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)


Hi. When somebody puts some message in my talk page, where should I answer? I have the options either to answer at my talk page, or to the other user's talk page, or both. Is there a standard practice regarding talk replies? and btw, maybe its time for archivation, the page is already 84k long! Peace. Optim 07:33, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

There's more chance of them reading it if you reply on their talk page. That way, they get instant notification of it. If you reply on your page then you have to assume that the person has your page on their watchlist and are actively checking their watchlist. Angela. 07:35, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Not necessarily. They can just monitor "My contributions" and check if their edit to the talk page is still the "top" edit.—Eloquence
That's exactly what I tend to do. If I particularly want to continue a conversation that someone else has started on my page, I'll drop a note on the user's own talk page. But many replies I just put on my own page, figuring if they want a reply they'll watch for it there. Some conversations develop, some don't. Most that do develop quickly move to an article talk page or similar, to enable other interested parties to find the material. Andrewa 11:30, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)
This is generally a matter of user preference. I like to reply on my talk page, but if the user is relatively new I send them a little "Replied on my talk page" notice to let them that I've done so. Some people like to reply on their talk page, some people like to reply on the user's talk page - it's up to you to decide! :) Dysprosia 07:39, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)
As someone who hasn't looked at my watchlist since December 10th, I strongly suggest you do let the other person know if you have written something you want them to see, even when they're not a newbie. I know Eloquence and mav reply on their own pages and because I know this, I'm more likely to look there if I expect a reply, but in most cases, I don't. Angela. 07:45, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I usually reply at their talk page. If not, I reply at mine and leave a message at theirs. WHen I am expecting a reply intended for me, I also add their talk page to my watchlist. I agree that it's a bit messy and unclear though. Dori | Talk 07:49, Dec 19, 2003 (UTC)
There is no standard. If I write something to a newbie, I include explicit instructions on how to reply (i.e. click on my name and click "discuss this page" and click "edit this page") and thus assume they understand. In some cases, I add a talk page to my watchlist, though this is more often if I suspect the user will not answer and I will want to know what others tell him/her. In any case, if someone leaves me a message, I almost always leave a message on their talk page, even if it's only See: Talk:Music of Scotland. Generally, conversation should be kept in the article talk:namespace, and not in the user area. There are no rules though, so your mileage may vary. Tuf-Kat 08:33, Dec 19, 2003 (UTC)
I usually do it both places. I'll put a reply on my page (so other people writing me won't post the same comment several times) and on their page (so they'll know I answered their response.) -- Paul Rfc1394 14:51, 22 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Merging pages - technicalities

Hi everyone - I was involved in a thorough rewrite of baseball, done at baseball/temp. The new text is now ready to be moved, but I'm not sure about the technicalities involved. Methinks it would be best to follow the procedure given at Wikipedia:How to rename (move) a page#Fixing cut and paste moves, however the original page was edited in between, so that might not work. Any suggestions? Thanks, Kosebamse 07:30, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

If you do merge the pages, the five edits that occurred on baseball will look strange when you view the dif. As it's only five edits, perhaps that isn't a huge issue. I'm not sure. Most people tend to avoid merging histories, preferring a redirect, but, personally, I would rather see all the author attributions in one page history, even if it does make the dif look funny on five edits. Angela. 02:14, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

GFDL vs Fair Use

At Talk:Settlers_of_Catan/copyright_and_fair_use there's a point that no one seems to have noticed, at least on that and related pages:

... As Wikipedia is a free, open content encyclopedia, we encourage commercial companies to help us redistribute our material, possibly for a fee. So although Wikipedia is not-for-profit, and therefore could in theory take full advantage of fair use, we like to steer a slightly more conservative course in order to preserve our freeness... Martin 02:25, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)

End quote. But hey!

'The purpose of this License is to make a manual, textbook, or other functional and useful document "free" in the sense of freedom: to assure everyone the effective freedom to copy and redistribute it, with or without modifying it, either commercially or noncommercially.' -- from the GFDL itself [9].

Isn't this a problem? If we rely on fair use, and we rely on being non-profit to make it fair use, then we can't "assure everyone the effective freedom to copy and redistribute it", and we can't release it to the world under GFDL. Can we? Dandrake 07:20, Dec 19, 2003 (UTC)

Read recent discussion in wikilegal-l on this very point. Martin 00:33, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Fair-use says 'personal, educational or noncommercial purposes'. Is Wikipedia educational? Dbroadwell 03:21, Dec 22, 2003 (UTC)

I'd say yes, without any real problem in that respect. (IANAL, but then, even a lawyer's advice here wouldn't be binding, as it were, because WIkipedia is not a client paying for legal advice.) The specialist whom I consulted formally and in detail on fair use issues considered the law pretty liberal with respect to what's scholarly and educational. But that leaves the question as to re-use by others who aren't non-profit educational entities; for this we need to see wikilegal [[10]]. Dandrake 08:45, Dec 22, 2003 (UTC)
(OPINION) Depending in interpretation (again wikilegal-l) even commercial education falls under fair use.(/OPINION)

However, to keep this same basic question from continuing to pop up see; copyright, GFDL, fair use and Wikipedia and Copyright Issues to get yourself up to speed on the issue then finally the Contributing Faq and decide for yourself. It doesn't seem like it can hurt to copiously ask permission. Dbroadwell 04:14, 23 Dec 2003 (UTC) - had to update links for Contributing Faq and Copyrights they were broken Dbroadwell 08:40, 23 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Numbers vs. years

Would it be better to move the years to "xxxx AD" instead of just the number, and move the actual number to the numerical name? For example, move 101 to 101 AD, then move One hundred one to 101. This seems simpler to me, and right now it seems strange to have "For the number 101, see one hundred and one," at the bottom of 101. Evil saltine 22:38, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I don't think that would be very intuitive. How many people do you think will link 2004 AD when they mean the year instead of 2004 the number. Very confusing and very unnecessary in my opinion. Dori | Talk 22:46, Dec 18, 2003 (UTC)
Okay, I see your point. It just seems strange to me to have the actual numbers relegated to Number 1, Number 2, Number 3, etc. Evil saltine 22:50, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Maybe a better solution would be to put the numbers at 1 (number), 2 (number), etc... and leave the wordings (one hundred, etc.) as redirects; of course this isn't much different than the way it is now.. ehh oh well. Evil saltine 22:53, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I like the idea of xxxx AD, but that would probably be extremely confusing. I think "for the number 101 see" should be at the top however. Greenmountainboy 00:15, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Isn't convention to use CE and BCE anyway? Dysprosia 02:52, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I dont think so! Most people use AD so we should too. Greenmountainboy 03:01, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)
CE and BCE are NPOV, while BC and AD aren't. I prefer CE/BCE. Optim 06:22, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)
CE/BCE express the point of view that identifying the era's start as the birth of Christ is somehow bad form; BC/AD express the point of view that it's ok to admit that the Gregorian Calendar is based on a Christian event. Neither is a neutral point of view. -- VerbalHerbal 06:27, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)
In the same way that not using terms like "civilised world" for the west is POV in that it assumes a point of view that it is wrong to classify non-western civilisations as uncivilised. This is a fallacy of definition the normal use of POV means avoiding a term that applies to a specific point of view. To extend the definition to say that POV includes a decision that biases should not be given is fallacious. -- Chris Q 12:11, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Sorry, AD means 'Our Lord' and some people will find it totally unacceptable. While CE means Common Era and has nothing inside it. ilya 17:37, 23 Dec 2003 (UTC)
For numbers 1-100, it's possible that they are linked more often than the years. For the 1500-2003, it's definitely more convenient to link them as dates, e.g. 19 December 2003. It might be easier to read if the numbers were at Number 101 Number 102 or 101 (number) 102 (number), rather than [[one hundred one]] [[one hundred two]]. BTW I suggested an addition for the link to numbers at Wikipedia:Wikiproject Years. -- User:Docu

Please don't move the years! All the ones I checked had at least 500 links to them. It would be a nightmare to try and fix them. :) Angela. 08:40, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Yes. Renaming the year entries is not a trivial exercise, and any change would need to be carefully justified. My feeling is that the current standard is quaint, by which I mean not entirely logical but workable and strangely appealing. So IMO the years should be kept as is and other standards adopted for other numbers, as at present. I'm not too worried about these other standards, but others in WikiProject Mathematics might be keen to contribute ideas. Andrewa 11:56, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I think as long as someone adds reference to the number pages to all those years which have a corresponding number page, we should be all right. I haven't checked, but do all the first century years have links to their number pages? -- Jussi-Ville Heiskanen 21:25, Dec 19, 2003 (UTC)

Definite articles in article titles

We've been having a lively discussion on Talk:List of Marvel Comics characters about whether to name articles of superheroes whose names have traditionally included the definite article "the" in their name. Examples:

  1. The Scarlet Witch
  2. The Vision
  3. The Wasp
  4. The Incredible Hulk
  5. The Avengers
  6. The Sandman (vs. Sandman (comics) - these pages need to be merged sometime, but that's another issue)

We seem to have reached an impasse, and with only 3 people actively debating (myself, User:Lowellian and User:UtherSRG) I don't think consensus can be reached. (For points from both sides of the debate, see Talk:List of Marvel Comics characters/Archive 2.)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions doesn't seem to provide any guidance on this issue, as far as I can tell. The only relevant advice seems to be Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names), however there is even debate about which form is the "common" one.

My feeling is that there are certain characters - including those above - whose article titles should include the definite article. Others, such as (The) Batman have evolved to the point that the definite article is optional or has fallen into disuses, and leaving it off those pages is fine. And in particular, names which are also names of actual comic book publications which include the definite article (The Avengers, The Sandman) should include the article in their article titles.

One point for me is that it's generally much more natural to write about these characters using the definite article (e.g., "The Scarlet Witch married The Vision", as opposed to "Scarlet Witch married Vision"), and it therefore seems more natural to linkify The Scarlet Witch rather than The Scarlet Witch.

What is the general feeling about this issue? --mhr 21:38, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)

No one has been consistent on this over the years - least of all the publishers. Every Managing Editor's attempt to achieve consistency has devolved into a Tower of Babel. As a searchable database, however, consistency is something we do have to achieve. Omitting definite articles seems definitely more intuitive for searching. Making links look nice can be achieved by [[Vision|The Vision]] which comes out as The Vision - unkamunka. 23:46, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I say use "the" where it's a part of the name or title. The only reason I can see to drop it is to appear in the right place in alphabetized lists. Since this is not an issue really (and even if it was, redirects would fix it), there's no sense in living them out. Zocky 03:26, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Not in every case. The Tasmanian Devil points to the Loony Toons charactor, while Tasmanian devil points to the actual animal. The same is true for The Tick and Tick, and I'm sure many others. Gentgeen 07:27, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I don't think you would write "The Scarlet Witch married The Vision" might write "The Scarlet Witch married the Vision," with lowercase definite articles...Anyway, most of my arguments are already summed up at Talk:List of Marvel Comics characters/Archive 2, but what I wanted to say here was that how about this compromise: for something like the Avengers, have The Incredible Hulk point to an article about the comic book volume/title, while Hulk (comics) points to an article about the comic book character. --Lowellian 19:45, Dec 20, 2003 (UTC)

I'm indifferent on using lowercase definite articles. Capitalizing it I think is a valuable visual cue that the article is part of the character's name, but to be honest I don't vacillate on that issue myself.
I'm not really interested in separate articles about individual titles, unless they have historic significance on their own (e.g. Action Comics). Separate articles on each, say, each Spider-Man title seems truly like splitting hairs.

It's specifically the characters whose names include definite articles where I'd like to see the article included in the article titles. The film may have been Hulk, but the character has always been The Hulk, just like it's always been The Shadow, The Beatles and The Tonight Show.
Sadly, there seems to be no consensus on this issue. sigh -mhr 07:18, 21 Dec 2003 (UTC)


Where do i click to just tell you guys that this is a really cool site!!

You just did. Alternatively, you could click on this one: [11]   :)  -- Finlay McWalter 20:37, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)


Would it be feasible to put a 32-character limit on usernames? - Hephaestos 04:57, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)

You read my mind. Actually I think you read the mind of many people. It might interest you to know that the longest apparently non-trolling name on the English Wikipedia is 37 characters "Johann Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet". The longest name overall is our friend "What most..." at 62 chars. -- Tim Starling 06:59, Dec 18, 2003 (UTC)
I agree that such a limit would be a good idea. I think 32 or 40 characters are enough for everyone, but the limit could be just 20 or 24 too. Peace. Optim 07:28, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Maybe the limit could be 3-4 characters, actually... That would probably deal with long usernames completely. Κσυπ Cyp   09:16, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)
With a maximum of 3 characters and with the English 26-letter alphabet, we can have up to 15600 different Wikipedians. With 4 characters we can have 358800. With 5 characters 7893600. Check Permutation. how many registered users do we have right now? Optim 20:57, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Just FYI, 32 bytes may be as little as 8-10 characters for some languages. --Brion 09:19, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Can the limit be on characters (i.e. Unicode codepoints) rather than bytes? --Delirium 03:21, Dec 19, 2003 (UTC)

Removing NPOV dispute notices

I believe that the current version of the 12th Street Riot article, which is currently linked to the NPOV dispute page seems okay.

How do I go about suggesting that an article currently under NPOV dispute be removed from that list/have the notices removed? I've noted my opinion on the article's talk page with a summary to that effect, so it's in recent changes, and, obviously, here.

Is there a different mechanism for asking people to take a look and comment/vote on removing articles from the NPOV dispute list that I haven't found yet? If there isn't, should there be? I'm thinking of something similar to the brilliant prose candidates page. Thalia/Karen 03:56, Dec 18, 2003 (UTC)

I don't think there is a policy. I would make sure that you really believe the article is in NPOV. Then, what you can do is: first leave a note in the talk page saying that you believe the NPOV notice is no longer needed, wait a while and then remove it. If someone believes otherwise they will come and put it back in. Dori | Talk 18:08, Dec 18, 2003 (UTC)

Okay, thanks, Dori. Any thoughts on whether it would be useful to have a page listing candidates for removal from NPOV dispute status? If there were such a thing, would you (or anyone else who's reading this) use it? I'm willing to put one together; I just don't want to do it if no one else thinks it would be worthwhile. Thalia/Karen 21:18, Dec 18, 2003 (UTC)

Karen, I don't know if it would be useful to have such a page. I am more likely to put an NPOV notice than to remove one. Perhaps you could just list such topics at Wikipedia:List of controversial issues. Dori | Talk 23:15, Dec 18, 2003 (UTC)

When you believe the neutrality of an article is no longer disputed, remove the dispute notice. See also wikipedia talk:NPOV dispute, IIRC. Martin 23:52, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Martin, thanks for the link; it was helpful. What you said certainly makes sense. But I wasn't involved in the dispute, so I wasn't sure. I know when I think something's neutral, but not when others do. I thought perhaps a single page listing similar articles might provide a) a consensus-building route out of NPOV disputes/editing wars and b) an easy way to speed cleanup of pages that were worked on after disputes, and then forgotten about. There's enough to do without chasing after pages that really don't still need attention. Still, as I said, I doubt I'll put one together if no one else thinks it'd be useful. Thalia/Karen 20:32, Dec 19, 2003 (UTC)

Difference between; Lists_for_deletion and Votes_for_deletion

Ok I'm a Newb. What the difference between Lists_for_deletion and Votes_for_deletion? Should the pages that lists for deletion has been collecting be merged with VfD? In the wiki sence, what is a list anyway?

(I try not to make too big a mess.) Dbroadwell 07:47, 24 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Romanian Wikipedia down

A language link was recently placed in en:Christmas song to the Romanian equivilent. It led no where, so I thought it didn't exist-- here it actually was all of . Anyone able to bring Romania back online? - user:Zanimum

It's because there are problems with Pliny at the moment, so only en is working. See Berlios for the latest status reports, or join the #Wikipedia IRC channel. Angela. 15:02, 22 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Difference between; Lists_for_deletion and Votes_for_deletion

Ok I'm a Newb. What the difference between Lists_for_deletion and Votes_for_deletion? Should the pages that lists for deletion has been collecting be merged with VfD? In the wiki sence, what is a list anyway?

(I try not to make too big a mess.) Dbroadwell 07:47, 24 Dec 2003 (UTC)

The pages were split because VfD was becoming too large. List for deletion is usually for any page with a title beginning List of..., though if something is obviously a list, but doesn't have such a title, you can put it there anyway. The two pages basically act in the same way, though things might be left on for longer on LfD than VfD because the page is smaller,so it's not so urgent to get it tidied up. Angela. 07:54, 24 Dec 2003 (UTC)


Can someone help center the flag and COA in the Bermuda article? --Jiang 00:30, 25 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Done, I hope to your satisfaction. --Jmabel 00:38, 25 Dec 2003 (UTC)

==may I suggest a few points?===

In producing a wikipedia in another language (in Hungarian, for instance) it may/would be useful for the Hungarian native speakers to have the option of some sort of alignment between phrases and/or sections of texts in an article or the headwords themselves. In the Hungarian texts one could keep in brackets or otherwise the hypertext links that are to be contrasted with the Hungarian terms/concepts and their domain. That can help further translation or learning English, which may of course be out of your scope. But should be? For instance it is very tempting/challenging to translate and/or write the article knowledge in Hungarian which would result in two words tudás and ismeret respectively. They are then used to form a number of other phrases connected with knowledge and to be detailed within. All that may be necessary to explain, just as similar differences in mapping other words are very likely and call for commenting. Further examples include the names of various courses and degrees, a constant headache for translators of diplomas and certificates for accreditation. ~~apogr~~

What is VfD?

  1. what is VfD?
  2. There was a discussion on the Al Gore III page on whether it was to be deleted. Now there is no mention of the nomination on the page itself and I can't find the discussion in archives. What was the upshot? If the tally is in favor of keeping is the article cleansed of all history of prior nomination?

thanks -- Ensiform

It's at Wikipedia:Votes for deletion. The Al Gore III article was debated, largely on the grounds that some wikipedians felt it was poking around in the private life of a nonpublic person. The upshot was that enough folks felt it should stay that it wasn't deleted. Here's the state of that discussion just before ballots closed: [12] -- Finlay McWalter 01:08, 27 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Al Gore III

  1. what is VfD?

---never mind, I figured it out from context. Votes for Deletion.

  1. There was a discussion on the Al Gore III page on whether it was to be deleted. Now there is no mention of the nomination on the page itself and I can't find the discussion in archives. What was the upshot? ***I still want to know this =====> If the tally is in favor of keeping the article, is the article cleansed of all history of prior nomination in VfD?

thanks -- Ensiform

It's at Wikipedia:Votes for deletion. The Al Gore III article was debated, largely on the grounds that some wikipedians felt it was poking around in the private life of a nonpublic person. The upshot was that enough folks felt it should stay that it wasn't deleted. Here's the state of that discussion just before ballots closed: [13] -- Finlay McWalter 01:08, 27 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Are lists copyright?

Can a lost be copyright. The article List of former members of the U.S. House of Representatives has been copied directly from a website called ( ), but it's only a list of names and I don't know if a list can be copyrighted. If it is, ought it be deleted? Adam 15:26, 27 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Hello. If you were to read the nationmaster site, you'd see that it is copying from us, legally. Thanks, Morwen 15:28, Dec 27, 2003 (UTC)
Hi, also, I think this list will be somewhat useless if and when we have more complete listings of the members of each Congress. I think that someone has already started working on this. Danny 15:31, 27 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Logos—please continue this discussion at Wikipedia_talk:Logos

Hello again,
and sorry for my perfectible english. I see that my question about the presence of commercial logos in wikipedia pages has disappeared from the village pump, so I put it again because from my point of view, these logos don't bring any information; on the other side such a logo entertain the image of the company in our minds, that's why I consider it as advertising. Why do you think commercial firms pay a lot of money to have their logos visible during big events? Hémant 15:47, 27 Dec 2003 (UTC)

  • Please provide examples of (links to) articles where logos might be improperly displayed. I think it is an individual matter dependent upon relevance to the article (for example if not a copyvio, it might well be appropriate to display the logo of CocaCola in the article on colas) - Marshman 17:45, 27 Dec 2003 (UTC)
  • It's generally perfectly appropriate. If a TV news was covering a story about Ford, they'd show the logo. They'd show it if Ford was creating new jobs, firing lots of people, had broken some world record, or made some car that killed its occupants. -- Finlay McWalter 17:51, 27 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Take a look at Wikipedia_talk:Logos and Wikipedia:Logos and join the discussion. Most of the Village Pump discussion was moved there. Discussions here and elsewhere led to the drafting of a proposed policy, which, to date, has not gotten enough discussion and debate.

My own view is that the logo is the the corporate equivalent of a person's portrait. I feel that a picture of Mark Twain or Hans Christian Andersen or Stephen Crane or Nicole Kidman adds something to an encyclopedia article, even though it is hard to make any left-brained logical explanation of precisely what information it conveys. In similar manner, I think that a logo is a very reasonable thing to have in an article about a company. As to the point that the logo promotes the company, well, so does the mere presence of an article (by indicating that the company is significant enough to deserve mention in an encyclopedia). Any article on practically anything of contemporary commercial significance can be regarded as having a promotional effect. Should we not have articles on J. K. Rowling or Nicole Kidman or Eminem on the basis that commercial firms "pay a lot of money" to publicize these people? That's my $0.02, go to Wikipedia talk:Logos and Wikipedia:Logos and let us have yours. Dpbsmith 23:59, 27 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Welcome back everybody.

Good to see you. Zocky 03:11, 30 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Formatting help

Can someone help align the two flags with the series table at History of the Republic of China ? --Jiang

I can do that. How do you want them to look? -- Finlay McWalter 01:40, 28 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I went ahead and tried a crude solution, just in case that is good enough. Please feel free to improve on it. Tomos 01:45, 28 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Yes, that's good. Thanks! --Jiang


Please have a look at [14] -- seems to be a case of (shameless?) self-promotion in my eyes. -- till we *) 17:04, Dec 30, 2003 (UTC)

I think you may be right.The one book I tracked down at Amazon appeared to me to be self-published and had only one review that gave it 5 stars! Highly suspicious considerring the concerted effort made at Wikipedia by one anon to promote this author all over the place - Marshman 17:30, 30 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Considering the fact that his bio gives a link to his wikipedia entry on the same day it was created suggests that 165.... is in fact mr Parrott. --snoyes 17:36, 30 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Seems like MRM is generelly good at self-promoting -- the only external reviews on his books in his own small publishing house are by an "Frederick Morissette", apparently from the Netherlands. A Google search for him gives exactly two results -- both ultra-exited reviews of books by MRM. (BTW: A search for "MRM Parrott" gives 120 hits). Should be mentioned on M.R.M. Parrott -- till we *) 18:13, Dec 30, 2003 (UTC)

Happy New Year

May you all have a wonderful new 525,600 minutes! Yay, it's 2004! (At least here in the Far East.) --seav 16:56, Dec 31, 2003 (UTC)

For those of us who don't have strong feelings about Warwickshire but have an idle and discreditable fascination with edit wars... can anyone explain to us just what this edit war is apparently about? ----

Romanian Wikipedia down

not down anymore

(From User talk:Raul654)
Hi, with regard to the question which of the two pages given above should be a redirect to the other one - it may be true that "Hess" is the traditional english spelling, but the correct spelling of the (german) name is "Heß", so don't you think that Rudolf Hess should redirect to Rudolf Heß instead of vice versa? Just a thought. :) -- Schnee 01:37, 27 Dec 2003 (UTC)
(From User talk:Schneelocke)
My thoughts on the matter were basically:
  1. This is the english wikipedia - I don't think it's a trivial matter that the titles should be only standard english-language characters, or else no one can directly link to Rudolf Heß without copying it first, like I did.
  2. Like I said before, Hess is the way it is spelled in English. (I've never seen it any other way) As precedent, I'd point out the fact that Italia (how Italians refer to Italy) is a redirect to Italy, Deutschland (as a disambig page) to Germany, etc etc. We usually put articles under the name by which they are most commonly known, which is not always the most "proper" name. Where languages are concered, we go with the standard English version.

--Raul654 02:09, 27 Dec 2003 (UTC)

There's a difference here, though. "Germany" or "Italy" or translations of the respective names, whereas "Rudolf Hess" is merely a spelling variation of the correct name (Heß). It may be true that it's more difficult to directly link to Rudolf Heß than to Rudolf Hess for someone who can't directly type a ß, but since one of the articles will always redirect to the other, I think that's irrelevant. And for what it's worth, there are several examples where latin-1 characters are used for article titles: take a look at, for example, Kraków, Eugène Ionesco, Josef Hiršal and others.
Furthermore, the fact that this is the English Wikipedia does not mean anything - to quote from Wikipedia:POV, "Also be careful to avoid an English-speaking Point Of View. Although country-specific and similar POVs are often easy to spot, this can be harder to spot." As said above already, "Rudolf Heß" *is* the correct spelling, so this is what should be used for the article. -- Schnee 13:16, 27 Dec 2003 (UTC)
You make a good point. Here's what I propose - let's copy the above discussion to the Wikipedia:Village pump as a request for comments and see what everyone says. That way, should another issue like this come up again, the community can enfore uniformity. --Raul654 19:48, 27 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Good idea. Let's do that. -- Schnee 21:36, 27 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Does anyone know why has its database locked and when it will be unlocked? Maximus Rex 08:58, 31 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Everything except en is locked at the moment. See the Wikipedia status page at OpenFacts for further updates. Brion's latest e-mail to the mailing list said "New machine is no longer responding to ssh." Angela. 09:12, 31 Dec 2003 (UTC)
They were left locked by accident after switching servers and nobody spoke up. Should be fixed now. --Brion 09:23, 31 Dec 2003 (UTC)

format for quotes

I was taught that punctuation goes before the end quote, but I have seen countless times on wikipedia the punctuation going after the end quote. Was I taught incorrectly? Or have times changed?

the so called "Zagreb Bible," which
the so called "Zagreb Bible", which
the inscription read "Manchu State Postal Administration;"
the inscription read "Manchu State Postal Administration";
SMOP is an acronym for "Small Matter of Programming". 
SMOP is an acronym for "Small Matter of Programming."

Kingturtle 05:27, 31 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I think in the US it's "blah," and in some other countries it's "blah",
I prefer the latter but use the former to be more consistent with most editors in en. Dori | Talk 05:32, Dec 31, 2003 (UTC)
Kingturtle is correct - gramatically (in the US, at least), it's preferred that the puncutation goes before the quotation mark. As a computer engineer, I cringe every time I have to write it that way. --Raul654 07:17, 31 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I think "blah," is the older and more pleasing usage, though this is only an approximation of the real typesetting solution which is to place the quotes further to the left so they're partially above the comma. In recent years, especially outside the US, the form "blah", has become more common as it's clearer from a parsing point of view, since it clearly shows whether the punctuation is part of the quote or not. I think either one is acceptable on Wikipedia, and would discourage changing one to the other. --Delirium 08:22, Dec 31, 2003 (UTC)
For me the crucial factor is whether we are talking about speech or phrase/referred word.
So-and-so said: "I think I will do this-and-that," and went on to do so.
Or the other variety of "quote", where one is just putting "quotes" around a word or phrase. -- Jussi-Ville Heiskanen 09:38, Dec 31, 2003 (UTC)
IMO, it doesn't matter whether the punctuation is inside or outside the quotes except in cases where the "quoted" material is supposed to be exact or verbatim. E.g., "On the C prompt type ‘dir’, then press ENTER, and then you'll see a list of the files in the current directory."