Wikipedia:Village pump/Archive V

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Messages for works in progress, low-quality articles, stub-message variants?[edit]

A lot of problem articles seem to be works in progress. Someone had an idea, got started, left things just barely started or incomplete, and you can't tell whether the project is still alive.

A related problem, which I think we may see more of, are pages started as school projects (see above, and also see Nurse assistant skills, which is currently the result of my efforts to fix grammar and language in an article of this type).

In such cases, Wikipedians are reluctant to delete the articles if a) the topic is worthy and b) the content that is there is considered to be better than nothing.

Still, it seems to me that it might be useful to have messages that are variants on the stub message. One might say something like "This page is a work in progress. You can help Wikipedia by adding to it." And it also might be useful to have a message that says something like "This page does not meet Wikipedia quality standards. You can help Wikipedia by improving it." In both cases, the message should be dated and should be handled as a sort of postpone vote for deletion. If someone notices that the page with such a notice is bad and hasn't been improved in months, that would be a prima facie case for deletion.

Thoughts? Dpbsmith 13:28, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Well, my immediate reaction is to reiterate what others have said on this subject before - the problem is that all articles on wikipedia are, by definition, works in progress. Granted, some are more polished than others, but there's no such thing as a final version of an article here, and that is surely the strength of the wikipedia approach. If a page needs attention, by all means list it on Wikipedia:Pages needing attention, but would we really gain anything by going round putting notes on things that basically say "I don't think this is very good, but I'm not going to improve it at the moment so you should"? And as for deleting articles because they have remained low quality for too long, this seems to involve far too many fuzzy quantities: how long, and how low quality. And if you do delete it, you lose any information that could have been used by someone to improve it. - IMSoP 14:06, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I agree with IMSoP on this, to a point at least. It seems possible that some articles may someday say all that's needed on a subjcet and be well-written and so need no further tweaking. But most articles are wip and will be for some time to come. The problem is with really poor articles on subjects worth having, and I see no real alternative to listing on Cleanup or Pages needing attention until someone comes along to improve them. Bmills 14:14, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)

migration of the apaches? --> Wikipedia:Reference Desk

School project[edit]

There's a school project on cosmetics going on. See Mascara, Nail diseases, Manicure (existed already before), Pedicure, Eyebrows, Eyebrow makeovers, and maybe others. All are on Cleanup, the last one also on VfD. See also the page history of Manicure, where the author comments "Begining a page for a grade, do not edit"... I have the strong feeling that the other authors belong to the same class. Most of these articles are in a pretty bad shape, and anyway, others have edited some of them. I'll grant that some of these may yet become real articles, but somehow I doubt it. What to do with these? Lupo 13:00, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Briefly, keep and improve if worth having an article on. Delete if not. Just like any other contributions, in fact. Bmills 14:10, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)
To clarify: my problem is not the poor quality, but the fact that these girls apparently will be graded on something others also edited. Lupo 14:12, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)
That's not our problem, but something for the teacher to sort out. I think that this type of school project should be encoraged though. theresa knott 15:03, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)

See User:Craigbutz for a list of them. There are more than cosmetics articles. My concerns are that we correct and improve the English and they get marked on our corrections, some have been redirected (what mark to they get then?) and some are how-tos. The premise may not understand the wiki concept - people don't own articles here, they are collaborative efforts. Secretlondon 14:17, Jan 21, 2004 (UTC)

I have taken the liberty to write on his talk page and to email him. Hopefully he'll show up and can provide some reassurances and perhaps we can all gain some enlightenment. - UtherSRG 15:39, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Maybe he should have his students use temporary pages before unleashing them on the unsuspecting public. Davodd 18:52, Jan 21, 2004 (UTC)
By using subpages off the teacher's username? No one would mess with them there I suppose, and once grades have been handed out the teacher could move them to an appropriate page on wikipedia-proper and let them sink or swim on their own merits. Fabiform 19:20, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I think this is an excellent idea. - UtherSRG 19:39, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Thank you all for your interest in this experiment. Please do not about students being graded on work they didn't do. I will be looking at page histories, user contribution lists, as well as narrative response papers in assessing. I would think that wikipedians would understand that writing has value beyond the finished product, and have faith that people can be given credit for participating in collaboration.

One of the biggest frustrations of writing teachers is finding assignments to give where the writing actually matters. I work with vocational high school students who are learning a wealth of specialized knowledge worth sharing. Some of them, obviously, struggle with writing. They are the ones who need their writing to matter the most, or they won't take it seriously.

I do now see a number of aspects of the assignment that should be reworked, which I could not have foreseen without letting students giving it a shot. I opted not to have them work up drafts in MS-Word because it would have been a nightmare to explain why formatting doesn't tranfer. Even with a demo and basic guide, many are confused by the mark-up.

In the future, I may have to save this project for more proficient writers. I do like the idea of temporary pages. Is there a protocol for doing that? Would it work to create links to obscurely named articles, then change the titles to their real names when completed? Other ideas? - Craigbutz 00:33, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I'll reply to Craig (on his talk page and email him a copy) on how to create sub-pages off of his own page. - UtherSRG 02:52, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Letter sent. - UtherSRG 03:16, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)


How about letting the google search be directly from the main page? Instead of the frustration of entering a search and then having to accept a google search (which b.t.w. gives completely acceptable answers) -- anon

Searching is disabled because of performance reasons, but as we just yesterday moved back to the faster computer and some more new servers are scheduled to be online within the next weeks you can expect to become online soon again. The Google search was thus just an emergency workaround - having the same user interface as before, but avoid the server slowdown. Moving the google search to the main page would make the temporarily workaround more permanent then anyone wants. andy 08:40, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Seems like searching is already enabled again now. However the index seems to have some wrong entries - if I search for my favourite mispelling "generaly" it gives just two pages, and both don't contain that word anymore. andy 08:48, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)

We have more than twice the articles in Encarta[edit]

I've always wistfully looked to the day when Wikipedia would be able to take established encyclopedias head-on. Just now, I looked up Encarta, and found that their biggest edition has less than 70,000 articles! In two years, we've created more than 2 and a half times the number of articles in Microsoft's encyclopedia. Well done, Wikipedians! -- Lunkwill

Note however that Encarta's articles are on average longer and more complete than ours. So we still have some work to do! :) --mav
What'd be more interesting is what percentage of Encarta articles Wikipedia has. I suspect a large percentage of the WP articles are fluff (are we counting every single city in the US as part of the total, for example). Anthony DiPierro 21:14, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)

War Quotation[edit]

Who said "I am going to Heaven because I have seen Hell" while fighting a war and in which war.

You're probably better asking quote-type questions of our buddies at Wikiquote - here's there Village Pump: (they don't appear to have a reference desk). -- Finlay McWalter 19:57, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Your quote is wrong -- it's "God, if I should die today, I know I will go to Heaven, because I already did my time in Hell." by Rene A. Hebert during WW II. - Davodd 23:38, Jan 21, 2004 (UTC)

Broken link?[edit]

Can anyone spot what I've done incorrectly on the John Hanson (disambiguation) page. The links to minor Hansons show up as missing articles. When I click on one (e.g. the John Hanson (musician) ) the pedia gives back an edit page with the existing article. The reverse seems OK, in that the [[John Hanson (musician)]] list of what links here shows the disabiguation page. I've built several of these disambig pages but never encountered this problem before. Thanks, Lou I 18:27, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)

It should display OK now. I wikified a couple of links on the page to force it to save a new version (because it ignored me when I tried to save with no changes). Did you make the disambig page before you had created the new pages John Hanson (musician) etc? I think wikipedia remembers whether a page was blank at the last save or something? Hopefully someone who's not just speculating will come along and explain in a moment... Fabiform 18:50, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Policy suggestions[edit]

Most of the conflict I have had here (IMO) was due to disputes over quality of information (and citations), or the inclusion or exclusion of POV (Interpretations of said information, and citations). I'd like to propose a few things, which might make my job here (assuming I get to keep it) and yours a bit easier. Don't take this the wrong way, I'm well aware that I am a dubious source of information, and I don't think I'm giving orders (I'm pretty low on the totem pole, clearly) but I would like you to hear my policy suggestions.
  • only replace text that you know to be wrong (inaccurate), and replace it with something that has a citation to back it up. If they have a reasonable difference, based on citation, allow both POV to be presented
  • Multiple POV should be expressed, and differing citations given. wiki is not paper. There is room for everyone to be heard, history shows us many examples of minority opinion later being found correct. There is room for all POV's so long as citations are given.
  • There is always room for respectable citations that differ.
  • The quality expected of the citations should be based on the number of editors, and thus number of citations involved. The more citations provided, the higher the standard (thus in an article with only one editor, a lower standard of citation would be expected than in an article where numerous editors are present and there are plentiful citations).
  • NPOV can be promoted best by providing citations of differing POV's and presenting said POV's in as impartial a manner as possible, thereby providing the highest quality, objective information possible.
  • I think some sort of forum for debate over POV should be made available, as there seems to be no end of desire for it among some.
    • editors who have proof of particular expertise should be considered a citation in and of themselves (on the subjects that they have such proof of expertise in).

p.s. I previously posted this on Wikipedia talk:Arbitrators, and I am also posting it on Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines, and maybe the mailing list. Jack 02:28, 23 Jan 2004 (UTC)

A thought : Wikipedia is not a collection of citations. Good night Jack :-) Anthere

Only Move-this-page used but history now gone[edit]

Obviously i'm confused, bcz i'm convinced i've found some sort of anamoly in the system. I believe the only action i took was using "Move this page" to reverse what i thot (and would still think, but for the inexplicable situation i now see) was another editor's "Move this page" action.

In a line, neither List of people by name: Mas-Maz nor List of people by name: Mas now includes the history

  • that Mas-Maz had yesterday,
  • that i believe Mas had this morning, and
  • that i believe Mas-Maz should have now.

Yesterday there was an "article", List of people by name: Mas-Maz or Mas-Maz (hereinafter, "the original"; not a conventional article, but a page in the article name-space that was (and i think again is; this note is more urgent than checking) a leaf in the tree whose root is List of people by name). The following extract from about 16:33, 2004 Jan 21 reflects an effort by another editor to turn that leaf into 4 new leaves, to replace the original (i.e. collectively list the people who were listed in the original), each new leaf having the same ancestor as the original:

14:32, 2004 Jan 21 M List of people by name: May-Maz
14:29, 2004 Jan 21 List of people by name: May-Maz
14:27, 2004 Jan 21 List of people by name: Mau-Max (top)
14:23, 2004 Jan 21 List of people by name: Mau-Max
14:23, 2004 Jan 21 M List of people by name: Mas (top)
14:20, 2004 Jan 21 M List of people by name: Mat (top)
14:19, 2004 Jan 21 M List of people by name: Mat
14:16, 2004 Jan 21 List of people by name: Mat
14:13, 2004 Jan 21 List of people by name: Mat
14:11, 2004 Jan 21 M List of people by name: Mas
14:10, 2004 Jan 21 List of people by name: Mas
14:07, 2004 Jan 21 List of people by name: Mas-Maz (moved to "List_of_people_by_name:_Mas") (top)
14:07, 2004 Jan 21 Talk:List of people by name: Mas-Maz (moved to "Talk:List_of_people_by_name:_Mas") (top)
14:06, 2004 Jan 21 List of people by name: Mas
13:57, 2004 Jan 21 List of people by name: Mas

My judgement was that

  • this editor got confused, gave up, or set it aside temporarily despite not having finished,
  • there were two copies of part of the list reachable by following links from the root, and
  • the new configuration should not persist, due to the prospect of editors adding and deleting sometimes from one copy and sometimes the other, and readers consulting one of the resulting conflicting lists without being aware of the other (and therefore not realizing if they consult different copies on different occasions).

(I think i like the other editor's concept, but it needs to be checked, repaired, and evaluated, at leisure, rather than as done, on the copy that is in use.)

I am mystified by the two earliest entries, which appear to me to imply the need for a deletion of List of people by name: Mas if the two entries above them really reflect (a single?) "Move this page" action.

I am more mystified by the fact that my "Move this page" of Mas (back) to Mas-Maz, which i understand to have succeeded bcz of Mas-Maz being a history-less link, lacks any history but the other editor's move. (Yes, i understand why it doesn't reflect both moves, tho i heartily disapprove of that design decision.)

(While not definitive, this helps bolster my illusion of having a dim grasp of what's going on: related stuff that's obviously a place to look.)

I am loath to do anything toward rehabilitation of the data structure and names without resolving the history problem, tho of course users will before too long track mud all over it anyway.


TIA --Jerzy 20:08, 2004 Jan 21 (UTC) I said (emphasis added), just above the tabular extract above

Yesterday there was an "article", List of people by name: Mas-Maz or Mas-Maz (hereinafter, "the original"; not a conventional article, but a page in the article name-space that was (and i think again is; this note is more urgent than checking) a leaf in the tree whose root is List of people by name). The following extract from about 16:33, 2004 Jan 21 reflects an effort by another editor to turn that leaf into 4 new leaves, to replace the original (i.e. collectively list the people who were listed in the original), each new leaf having the same ancestor as the original:

But i shouldn't have needed to check: my plan after my "move this page" was to revert to my own last edit, which would have hidden the main (and probably all) links thru the tree to the new leaves; if the history had been intact as i expected, i'd have had the old version to revert to, and i forgot that having nothing to revert to was what led to this appeal. [shrug] --Jerzy 20:37, 2004 Jan 21 (UTC)

The history hasn't gone, it's at [1]. You probably need to Wikipedia:clear your cache, or at the very least click here. Hemanshu moved it to List of people by name: Mas-Maz, you moved it back. -- Tim Starling 01:53, Jan 22, 2004 (UTC)

Marking births and deaths[edit]

How should we be marking births and deaths on the anniversary pages? (eg January 21) people born on this day who are now dead have their year of death marks as († YYYY), (+ YYYY) or (d. YYYY) (each page seems to be different). For people who have died on this day, births are often not marked, or they use the convention (* YYYY), (+ YYYY), (b. YYYY) or (YYYY - YYYY). I had been changing all the death symbols to the dagger (†) as I thought it was a good symbol of death (stab, stab) and * for births, but another user pointed out that both † and + could be seen as Christian symbols and there was a policy to avoid them. I can't find any policy on this in the manual of style. Fabiform 20:21, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)

NPOV is the policy you seek. We need not have a Christian bias here when it is not needed. See related talk at Talk:Historical anniversaries/Example --mav 20:36, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Well I'm not Christian and it hadn't occured to me people would see the dagger as a cross instead of weapon. But I do of course want to be NPOV which is why I asked here. Thanks for pointing me toward the relevant talk page. I see the consensus on the talk page is for (b. YYYY) and (d. YYYY). Cheers, Fabiform 20:57, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)
When I saw the symbol I thought it was supposed to be a cross. But, whatever, I don't care one way or another for that reason. The dagger is unclear, though. I'd prefer (yyyy-yyyy), or alternatively, (died yyyy). Anthony DiPierro 01:54, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Actually Wikipedia:Manual of Style (biographies) is better. We use (yyyy-yyyy). de.wikipedia uses the format with * and crosses. Secretlondon 20:44, Jan 21, 2004 (UTC)

The issue at hand is on pages like January 21 (as indicated) where there is a ==Births== section. In that section, if the person born then has since passed on, it's common to list the year of their death. In what manner should this indication be given. Of the above options, (d. YYYY) is my preference. - UtherSRG 20:55, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)

ah but (YYYY - YYYY) would duplicate information in this case

Today we have this entry for example- Births

  • 1738 - Ethan Allen, American patriot († 1789)

Changing this to (d. 1789) is one thing, but this would look odd IMO-

Fabiform 20:58, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)

The dagger (†) notation for many English-speaking users is a footnote notation. Its use to mark a death is archane and unclear to modern readers. When I see a "†", I start looking for the footnote explainer. My vote is for the standard (YYYY-YYYY) WP style. As for the Ethan Allen Link above -- the death is not germane to the list topic unless he died on his birthday. Otherwise, it should be in his bio entry article. Davodd 21:48, Jan 21, 2004 (UTC)
I disagree that the mention of Ethan Allen's (and everyone else's) year of death is out of place on the anniversary page. It adds context. Either way, these dates are all over the anniversary pages and written in many different formats, so I think it's worthwhile to tidy them up (rather than remove them). Of course, if lots of people jump in and second your comment, I'll bow to the consensus. Fabiform 22:31, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I think that including the death dates on the year page for someone who was born that year is a TERRIBLE scheme. If you want to know when they died, read the darn article. The only reason to have that year link there is to jump people to that year page, but presumably people aren't interested in reading about the magical connections between 1738 AD and 1789, but in reading about Ethan Allen. I beg, beg, beg people not to do this (+1789) thing. Among other things, it looks unprofessional, it clutters the page and we have enough work maintaining those timeline pages already, without having to add in a death date everywhere we put a birth date and visa versa! Please. Stop. (And delete all the junk that's already in there. Thank you kindly. jengod 02:36, Jan 23, 2004 (UTC)

Policy suggestions[edit]

moved to Wikipedia talk:Policies and guidelines Jack 04:35, 23 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Other wikis down[edit]

The English Wikipedia seems to be the only one still up. Does anybody know what is going on? Andres 06:45, 24 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Standard letter?[edit]

I've found a beautiful photo online that would be perfect for an article I've been working on while wikipedia's been down. Is there a standard letter I could adapt when I email to ask the copyright holder if they would be willing to release a smaller version of the picture under the GNU License? Cheers, Fabiform 19:07, 24 Jan 2004 (UTC)

wikipedia:boilerplate request for permission
Thank you MyRedDice.  :) Fabiform

The revert therefore also removed information (and added the original information back). I don't know enough to judge whether the longer version or the shorter version is better. I'm guessing neither did the reverter, or they would have combined both sets of information rather than simply reverting. Onebyone 15:38, 24 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Welcome, Gene. Thanks for your contribution. Yes, it's very common indeed. It can be a bit off-putting the way it works here, many people do shoot from the hip. They almost deleted one of my early articles six minutes after I created it and while I was right in the middle of adding the content, and then put up all sorts of rationalisations for the ill- (I suspect un-) researched comments they'd posted explaining their actions. And vigorously defended each other.
Hang in there. It's well worth it once you get over the steep learning curve that confronts newcomers. Well done finding the Pump, and if it's too hostile here feel free to post on my user page.

Thanks for the offer. Yes, it does seem like merely knowing your subject and being able to write about it isn't quite good enough around here, but I don't want to cause trouble with my edits.

On the topic of the article, IMO the two conflicting descriptions need to be merged into a single article for the moment.

Why? They say the same thing, only the way I said it is far more clear. Merging will merely produce confusion.

There may be several versions of the "Lucy Tuning", and Wikipedia shouldn't take a stand as to which of them deserves the name.

There are *not* several versions of Lucy tuning. If there were, I would have said so. What does exist are numerous versions of meantone tuning, of which this is one.

We'll just report what the experts say. That's unless there is a very strong consensus, among all users of the term not just the experts, and there's some doubt in my mind as to whether this exists. If it does, that's stage two. For the moment, we should list both mathematical explanations, with appropriate disclaimers. Andrewa 15:43, 24 Jan 2004 (UTC)
It's quite frightening that the opinion of Wikipedia users is considered more important than that of experts in the field. That means the Wikipedia is nothing more than a complex excersise in vanity publishing, and not an encyclopedia. Elde 18:31, 24 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I suppose the justification is that it is quite hard to define, let alone verify, who should count as an 'expert' in any one subject. Note also that Andrewa only said "users of the term", not "users of the site"/"Wikipedia users", as you inferred. Generally, in my (albeit limited) experience, someone posting to an article's talk page and sounding like they know what they are talking about will usually be believed until proven otherwise. In other words, an expert can come along and justify factual corrections if what they say holds up to scrutiny. The final point being that the Wikipedia concept of Neutral Point Of View suggests that a commonly held opinion is worthy of mention even if demonstrably false, as long as it is labelled as such. Or that's my interpretation, anyway. - IMSoP 20:04, 24 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Another way to deal with deleting chunks of articles without scaring people is to move (i.e. cut and paste) the objectionable section to the article's talk page. There you can explain what was wrong with it, and other interested parties can read the removed section and your reasoning without having to delve into the edit history of an article. Fabiform 15:46, 24 Jan 2004 (UTC)

There's a thought--move it to the talk page, and explain the problem you find with it. Should this be done with matter (and it is out there) which is plainly erroneous?

If you know something about the subject, you should know enough about it to be able to increase the length of the article rather than decrease it.

I could. I didn't know the idea was to pad articles as much as possible.

Instead of removing some content now with the intention of adding more later, just delay deleting until you have time to add.

WHere did you get the idea I removed content?

Consider it a courtesy to our weird culture. If you must delete content, you should mention it in the talk page and in the edit summary.

What "content" did I remove, pray tell?

The changes to the article did add information, but also removed information which this user thought was unnecessary.

I removed misinformation, and explained what the tuning is in a way which seems to me clearer. I also added the single most important piece of information about the topic, which must be included in any article if it is to make sense, namely, that it is a meantone tuning. What actual information is now gone?

Is this common?[edit]

I tested the waters in my first attempt at editing a Wikipedia article by choosing something I thought would be uncontroversial--Lucy tuning. But immediately, it seems, someone changed it back, and then someone else reversed the descision. Is this common? What in the world is going on here?

It seems that the decision to revert may have been wise, I haven't had time to look fully at the changes to Lucy tuning, but it does seem this user has removed some details, whilst adding others. Could someone see if they can merge the information together, it is only a short document, just there have been several minor changes since this. SimonMayer 12:20, 24 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Please don't do any merging unless you understand the topic. I'm a professional mathematician and an expert on musical tuning theory, so some degree of presumption of innocence may be appropriate, and to me at least (and I've mentioned this to the tuning list, where the tuning mavens gather, and it has met with approval there) it seems this article, while not on a topic of much significance, has been greatly improved by my edit. I'm afraid I've done some more work, and even added an article; but after all I think the point is to improve the Wikipedia. On the tuning list, it was suggested I take a hard line and tell people please do not change things back unless you first come there, where the experts forgather, and discuss why; but I'm afraid I am just finding out how the system works. But there is a place to find what the expert consensus is on matter related to tuning theory.

According to the page history, mav reverted the article to a previous version, but you restored your version. I'm not sure why... but not infrequently, edits from anonymous IPs are vandalism, so mav may have mistaken your edit for a destructive one. That kind of mistake is uncommon in my experience, but it may help if you create an account. -- Cyan 12:27, 24 Jan 2004 (UTC)
What happened is that you did a bit of Most common Wikipedia faux pas #5, and deleted some text without explanation. It's generally not a good idea to do that. If you have to delete text, you should have a very good explanation. Put it in the edit summary or the talk page. -- Tim Starling 12:33, Jan 24, 2004 (UTC)

Actually, it doesn't say that--it says don't delete useful text. I don't think I did that, but I'm afraid I did some deleting elsewhere. Is the intention to leave the pages bloated and soggy with side issues best addessed in separate articles which already exist?

Dear user, thank you very much for your interest in Wikipedia. Currently we have lots of vandalism in Wikipedia, especially from anonymous IP addresses (users without an account). Vandalists come and may make many wrong things: they delete content, they change the content to create confusion, they put innapropriate material etc. According to our quality assurance spirit and because we dont want the reader to be exposed to unverified, wrong or innapropriate information, we always keep an eye on new contributions and changes of existing articles. According to your edit: [2], it is clear that you removed some text and changed some links/text. This fact together with the fact that you don't use a registered username is a bit suspicious and because of the repeated vandalism we don't have much time to check deeply the changes.

Thanks. Nothing was suggested about registering a user name. Is it considered acceptable simply to register my own name?

According to the page history: [3], it seems that you didn't put some "Summary text" explaining your changes. The Summary textbox is located underneath the textbox where you make changes to the article's source code. If you remove some text, please write in the Summary textbox why you think this text should not be included. For example: "I removed some text for duplication avoidance reasons since the info is already contained in a linked article". If you change a link write something like: "This link is more appropriate because...". If you add some new text, it would be very useful and beneficial if you could add external links to websites that can verify the new information you add, and write in the summary that this info is verifiable by other websites or some book etc. It would be very nice if you could open an account and a username. If you need any help, please contact me on my talk page. I will have a closer look at your edit and the previous one to see whether I need to do some merge or change, but I don't know enough on the subject so somebody who knows more may like to do some factual verification and review. Peace. Optim 12:52, 24 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I thought the point was that someone who did know about the subject--in this case, that would be me--could remove factual errors add/or add important information. Does everything need to be justified in detail? Who is going to check it? What does one do about bad writing? If I think an article needs major surgery (and I'm afraid some clearly do) should I put the matter to the talk board for that article, and if I do, will anyone read and reply?

I could give a summary, but I am wondering if more is implicitly being asked here.

Gene Ward Smith

If you know something about the subject, you should know enough about it to be able to increase the length of the article rather than decrease it. Instead of removing some content now with the intention of adding more later, just delay deleting until you have time to add. Consider it a courtesy to our weird culture. If you must delete content, you should mention it in the talk page and in the edit summary. It will be read, but don't be surprised if no-one replies. -- Tim Starling 13:50, Jan 24, 2004 (UTC)

Anthony Kennedy Shriver[edit]

Hello Wikipedia: Do you have any listing for Anthony Kennedy Shriver, Founder & Chairman of Best Buddies International (, son of Sargent and Eunice Kennedy Shriver? Best Buddies International is a prominent internatonal nonprofit organization that establishes one-to-one friendships between student volunteers and persons with intellectual disabilities.

how tall[edit]

Did the tallest candidate always win the presidential race? Can you e-mail a list and the match-ups in order of year. I am usding this information for a college class.

thank you ray ruddles UTHRILLME007@YAHOO.COM

I'm sure the answer is no, but as a general trend, the taller candidate has usually won. Take a look at List of U.S. Presidents by height order, which is still very much a work in progress. --Minesweeper 03:59, Jan 26, 2004 (UTC)


Sir, I want to know whether there is any difference between Dynamo and a generator. I learned that dynamo can be termed for both ac and dc generators, then can we call analternator also a dynamo.


In Tamil Wikipedia, the normal wikipedia formats ([[image:file.jpg]] oralt text ) to include images seems not working. Could anyone Help in this. Seeதà¯à®ªà®¾à®¯à¯ I just included the URL there. 19:08, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)


Are you cancelling this program? If not, can you tell me why you had no programs for 1 1/2 months, then come back with one new program, and now on 1/25 you put on a rerun, and today when I checked the internet, you post no programming for the show for at least 2 weeks. What is going on? Why so sporatic, broken up? What happened to a new program every week? Lesson 101, how to frustrate the general public, do what you're doing. It's not worth watching if you don't produce something weekly. I suppose you know that, so are you trying to sabotage your own program? I have to say, I like it when you show the program, but man, this is really frustrating and not worth my time. I can't imagine I'm the only one that feels that way.

Inland Empire in California[edit]

While updating the Interstate 15 article, I came across an interesting situation. The article contains a link to Inland Empire and Inland Empire (California). Both articles contain information about the region near Los Angeles, California, but I don't know enough about the area to merge the articles myself. Also, there's the question of which would be the most appropriate title -- with or without the state name. Is the "Inland Empire" near Portland, Oregon sufficiently well-known to warrant its own entry? If not, I'd think the simpler Inland Empire would be the best place for the article.

I'm not planning to make this change myself, as my hands are full with the List of United States Highways. I'm hoping a Californian will jump into the breach! --Robertb-dc 23:09, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Usually "Inland Empire" in California means around the Central Valley (Sacramento area), not LA. I've lived in the Pacific NW for 26 years and never heard of an "Inland Empire" by Portland (although I guess I could imagine such a term having been used many years ago to mean Oregon's now-dominant Willamette Valley, including Portland, as against the Oregon Coast). It is the common term for the area around Spokane, Washington, extending into part of Northern Idaho. -- Jmabel 23:15, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Told you I didn't know enough to make the change myself! :) So who will bell the cat? --Robertb-dc 01:17, 23 Jan 2004 (UTC)
The cat is belled. The SoCal Inland Empire is not near Sacto, but near Riverside and the AZ border and stuff. Is very big. And there is apparently a much older Inland Empire (~1890s v. ~1950s) area in Washington. They are disambiguated: Inland Empire (disambiguation). Sorry it means more link work for editors. jengod 02:27, Jan 23, 2004 (UTC)
No kidding. I grew up in the area around Sacramento and NEVER heard it called the Inland Empire. I now live in Southern California and the Inland Empire is DEFINITELY Riverside/San Bernardino. RickK 02:57, 23 Jan 2004 (UTC)
But it does not go out to the Arizona border. The Inland Empire is only the inhabited parts of San Bernardino and Riverside, not the desert parts of those counties. At least when I lived in Apple Valley, near Victorville, we never refered to the area as the Inland Empire, but it was used when I lived in Alta Loma, just uphill of the Ontario Airport. Maybe things have changed sence I moved back to San Jose.

Wikipedia's Tipping Point[edit]

Hi. Many of you probably know about the Tipping Point idea popularized by Malcolm Gladwell, and if you don't, you should--it rocks. Anyway, I was wondering, does anybody have any predictions about when Wikipedia will tip? Or if it already has? I posit that the tipping and the 2,000,000 articles (English? all languages? I dunno) will happen at about the same time. jengod 00:28, Jan 23, 2004 (UTC)

I'm not sure what exactly you mean, but you may want to look at Wikipedia:Awareness statistics. You can also compare our overall traffic ranking against other lage websites here.—Eloquence 00:42, Jan 23, 2004 (UTC)
Compared to the massive size of the web, the numbers at niether place are that impressive. (Alexa data in particular is suspect as it depends on self reporting by people who have chosen to use the Alexa toolbar. Given that older versions of Netscape and I.E. are not supported, nor Mozilla, nor Opera... Alexa data also only appears to provide raw acess statistics, not unique vistor counts.) Looking at the number of Usenet posts, it's a vanishingly small number. "Mention of the Wikipedia outside of the Wikipedia" finds a lot of Slashdot posts and other places where you'd expect to find a mention. etc... etc... Wikipedia is far from reaching the 'tipping point'. Elde 01:13, 23 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Well, I don't know about you, but I am very impressed by how far we've come in three years. Nearly half a million articles in 50 languages, coverage in major news media, many highly ranked articles, many excellent ones. We've managed to do this with little more than two low-end servers, some free bandwidth and free software written by volunteers. True, Wikipedia is not a household name yet. Then again, when I speak to people who have any Internet experience at all, they are often already familiar with us. Among geeks, the Tipling Point has surely been reached.
And there is so much in the works that will make us even more accessible. New features, faster servers, bought with $20 K in donations, new and better policies and procedures. We've grown faster than our hardware could handle, and we've paid a price for it -- contributors and readers were driven away by slowdowns. Now we have enough hardware for at least a year of decent growth. I predict that Wikipedia will pick up even more pace in the next few months. We should definitely be among the Top 500 sites before the year ends. And by any measure, Wikipedia is surely the most interesting Internet project currently around.—Eloquence 03:13, Jan 23, 2004 (UTC)
You mistake me. I did not say the accomplishment was unimpressive, but that the data given that the Wikipedia had reached critical mass in the public consciousness was not. A few stories major news media does not equate to reaching the tipping point. (Also you might check some of those 'highly ranked articles', as a random sampling of 5 shows that in none of them is the Wikipedia article still in the top ten.) Yes, it's interesting and fun and well known in the geek community, but it's not well known in the public I don't think.Elde 07:13, 24 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I don't think we're there yet either. Reading the page, I get the feeling that reaching the 'turning point' would mean that Wikipedia would be the 'natural choice' for the 'average internet user' for a certain function - in our case finding information and/or disseminating information. It's a level to which very few websites get - google, ebay, yahoo, msn, on a smaller scale imdb. We're not in that illustre list yet. However, we might be closer than I myself tend to think. Andre Engels 08:17, 23 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I think Wikipedia made such a transition a couple of years back. I don't forsee anything on that magnitude occurring again. -- Tim Starling 00:51, Jan 23, 2004 (UTC)
I find that if I do a Google search on a topic which one would expect to be in an encyclopedia, the Wikipedia article on that topic will frequently be in, say, the first twenty hits. I also find that new Wikipedia articles get indexed by Google within a couple of days. I find both of these things impressive. Dpbsmith 01:55, 24 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Once you know that Google spiders highly linked pages/sites and rapidly changing pages/sites more often than it does others, it's not so impressive. The Wikipedia is highly linked because of the number of sites using it's data, and it's rapidly changing... It's high google rank is unsurprising because that's the exact type of site Google was designed to rank highly in the first place! Elde 07:13, 24 Jan 2004 (UTC)
WP will never reach the "tipping point" of becoming a genuine reference source for the wider online public until it solves the twin problems of stability of content and quality control which are inherent in the Wiki method. People do not expect a real encyclopaedia to be a mixture of quality writing and rubbish (as it currently is), nor do they expect to find articles which change every three minutes or which are accompanied by pages of abuse and polemic by the contributors. See my Talk page for some further comments on this. Adam 11:24, 24 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Gladwell's Tipping Point is (IIRC) at the number 150 -- "the maximum number of individuals with whom anyone can have a genuinely social relationship". Some related stats: [4]. I'm not sure how well Gladwell's work is applicable to Wikipedia, where there are highly varied levels of participation. Martin 01:34, 25 Jan 2004 (UTC)

To clarify the question, "metrosexual" tipped this fall. I'm thinking parallel levels of media and social saturation. *shrug* :) jengod 18:43, Jan 24, 2004 (PST)

Mistake on sitewide redirect page[edit]

I'm not sure if this is the right place to report it, but I couldn't find anywhere else. Doesn't seem like a bug that's relevant to sourceforge, more of a server issue. Anyway, I was trying to find the wikimedia homepage, and I typed into the address bar. I got the following response:

If you've gotten here, you're either having DNS trouble or you've followed some sort of invalid link.
Please see for links to Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.
Note that the address for should be This server is If you thought you were coming to, you're in the wrong place!

As you can see, the link mentioned points right back to the error page itself! A bit of a search turned up as the correct one to use. Can the link be fixed please? HappyDog 02:00, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Oh, that's hillarious. Ilyanep 02:19, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Fixed, thanks for the notice. --Brion 07:15, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Related pages: Mailing lists - IRC - IM a Wikipedian - Talk pages - Wikipedia talk:Software updates - Village pump archive

Welcome, newcomers and baffled oldtimers! This is where Wikipedians raise and try to answer Wikipedia-related questions and concerns regarding technical issues, policies, and operation in our community. However:

To facilitate ease of browsing and replying, please:

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    • If you use the edit link above, just enter a subject.
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See also: Wikipedia:FAQ, Wikipedia:Help, Wikipedia:Please do not bite the newcomers

For old discussion, see: archive

proposition regarding article length[edit]

I'm kinda new here but I have an idea. An author could write an article on a subject such as Computational complexity theory that could take an hour to read. Some people might want an article that long. Some people would rather spend 10 minutes reading the article, others might want to spend 5 minutes and some would only want to spend less than two minutes. I propose we create a system where articles would have different versions with different lengths. One could choose what version they want based on their needs, and we could even have a setting in the prefrences page where users choose what their default size would be. I realize that this might cause problems with minor edits (applying them to each version), and such, but I think we should give it a try. We could only use this system on articles that might need it. I think we might have 2 or 3 versions at most for each article. Tell me what you think. Thanks, and happy editing!. Sennheiser

Well, a well-written section should essentially do that already (and something that's kind of enforced by how nasty it is to edit a large article), with sub-subjects farmed off to other pages. Good information design would suggest that the largest single article should take around 5 or 10 minutes to read (heck, probably less). That does seem to be the case, at least in the overwhelming number of cases. I figure if some article were to rise to the titanic proportion you suggest, the correct solution would be to radically refactor it. IMHO the same information shouldn't ever be in more than one article. -- Finlay McWalter 23:28, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)
There is no need for separate articles. An abstract at the top of the article would be ok, I think. Optim 01:00, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I'd go with Finlay on this one: if the article gets too long, it should be split into seperate articles. My justification is that ease of cross-referencing is an obvious advantage of hypertext: since you don't have to turn lots of pages to find another article, you lose little by having to go from one to another. That's not to say we should have a million one-paragraph articles; and as they grow, it does become important to add abstract-style introductions; but really big articles should be split section-wise. - IMSoP 01:18, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Sigh. I disagree with this very strongly. Breaking up long articles on single topics into multiple pages is *not* an effective use of hypertext: it unnecessarily complicates usage and leads to duplication of information, difficulty of indexing and general tangles. From a user point of view it makes it impossible to know when you have seen all pertinent information or completed an article. Moreover, No size limits is an early and basic tenet of the Wiki [5] . So how do we prevent the problem originally raised by Sennheiser? Sectioning, resulting in effective tables of contents (these serve all the purposes of hyperlinks between pages with none of the disadvantages) and news style (which, done properly, yields exactly what Sennheiser is suggesting in one article).Jgm 02:30, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)
You are correct, Jgm, but extreme length also has its problems: higher risk of edit conflicts, of internal inconsistency, broken anchors etc. Also my experience is that very long articles are often viewed as "set into stone" - people are more cautious about editing them.
Generally, we try for each article to have a maximum size of about 30,000 characters. At this point, it usually makes sense to summarize the individual section and split them away into individual articles (e.g. Germany). For a 30K article, an individual abstract section is really not necessary. A couple of carefully worded intro paragraphs should do the trick.—Eloquence 12:18, Jan 22, 2004 (UTC)
This topic is (tangentially) adressed in Wikipedia:Article series. Elde 09:18, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)


How do you think about adding an abstract on some articles? Optim 01:14, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)

That is a good idea I was actually thinking of introducing that idea, but I was busy with something else. Sennheiser 02:41, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Could you give us some examples of where that might be appropiate... an abstract and an introduction are not the same thing and I would've thought the latter is most appropiate for an encyclopedia. An encyclopedia doesn't try to demonstrate anything, more discuss what others have demonstrated. When I think of an abstract I think of "This article demonstrates/proves/presents evidence that..." Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 08:21, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)
What I mean is: One paragraph which will include all the useful information contained in the article, so that the reader can get the info in less than 1 minute without even having to scroll, and it will be written in a way that will motivate the reader to read the article. A summary. See [6]. Another way is a bulleted list with the main facts, without motivational text. Optim 08:34, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Is anything stopping you from just doing it? Why not do it, to an article that you think needs it, and let us look at a specific rather than a generality. If we really hate it, we can always revert it. (Of course, if it is literally true that it is possible to put "all the useful information contained in the article" into a single paragraph, then there's no need for the rest of the article, is there?) (BTW, what does Britannica 3 do? Do they ever have both a "micropaedia" and "macropaedia" article under the same heading?) Dpbsmith 11:38, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I wouldn't imagine somebody not to like the idea, and I was planning to add intros/abstracts/summaries to some articles. When I added the first abstract (which wasn't so good in my opinion, but I was about to make it better it later), it was reverted, so I asked here in order to see what's your attitude on this matter. It seems that for some reason the idea is not considered good, so I am not going to add any more summaries. Optim 13:03, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I don't like the idea. I think it's the right style for a report or scientific paper, but inappropriate for an article. In any case, the most important facts should already be in the introductory paragraph. -- Tim Starling 12:08, Jan 22, 2004 (UTC)
I don't like it either. An article is already, if you like, an abstract inasmuch as it attempts to summarize knowledge from a variety of sources in a single text. The implicit assumption of this idea is that articles contain not-useful information. Bmills 12:12, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I think an introduction or overview is important for articles that are long and detailed; for example, the Voltaire article could do with one! --Sam
I'm afraid I'm also not keen on the idea. Really, the opening sentence or two (heck, there's a policy document for this, but I'm damned if I can find it) should say a) what the thingy is, b) in what context, and c) why I should give a damn. ("Finsville is the capital of Finlandia, and is its largest city. It is noted for its preponderance of unicorns, and for its lack of wise men and virgins."). Frankly, we're very bad at doing this already, with lots of articles getting launched straight away into history or controversy. This alone should be enough to tell some reader who has chanced upon the article (particularly from a search engine) whether this is the thing they're looking for. Beyond that, I think the article should take its own, linear, course. -- Finlay McWalter 23:54, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)
If you mean abstract is a short summary of what is actually in the article I think it's nice for really long articles (greater then 10 sections) ilya 23:59, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)
10 sections? That is too many. Nearly every non-stub article should have a summary/abstract. I do this. See titanium, Lassen Peak, United States. Their lead sections act as abstracts. This will be useful for Wikipedia 1.0: A script could be used to extract just the first section from every page in the 1.0 queue. That would automatically create a concise version of Wikipedia that would be useful on PDAs and print. --mav 12:51, 24 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Attention clean-up crew: This thread should be moved to Wikipedia talk:News style. --mav 12:51, 24 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Picture copyright?[edit]

If I have a scanned film picture that I give to wikipedia, what have I given to free domain then?

  • The scanned copy and any derivate of it?
  • The original film picture?

Same for a digital picture. I give a cropped and resized version, do I still have copyright of the original or not?

Stefan 02:49, Jan 22, 2004 (UTC)

(IANAL)You retain the copyright to anything you post to the 'pedia. You have only released that particular version under the GNU-FDL, which does not say you can't release it under some other terms later. Any source you have, such as an uncropped and unzoomed version of a picture, is not included in what was released, and so you retain all rights to them. I think. Gentgeen 07:22, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)
That's certainly what Wikipedia:Copyrights says, so that's probably the best legal information available to Wikipedia. Onebyone
Thanks did not find that last link when searching. Stefan 01:00, Jan 25, 2004 (UTC)

Discussion of formatting toolbar[edit]

I notice that in the most recent clearing of this page, the discussion of the proposed Javascript edit toolbar has been archived. Am I alone in feeling that this discussion was very much still 'alive', and should therefore be carried on somewhere else if there is no room here? If I am, feel free to remove this comment. - IMSoP 15:19, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)

The top of this very page states: Do not raise bug reports or suggest features here. Submit them to sourceforge or discuss them at Meta. Javascript is off-topic on the village pump, imo. Martin 00:21, 23 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Just a quick note that I have read your comments, and I plan to make some changes that will hopefully make the toolbar more useful. Note that it can be disabled in the prefs.—Eloquence

thank you wiki.. i love you! ce.

Help I cant see international fonts? --> Wikipedia:Reference Desk

Image copyrights[edit]

The featured article on the V1 flying bomb is great, but I was a little miffed to see no copyright or source details in the image description page of the photo. IMO this is a real slap in the face for those of us who are putting a lot of work into providing properly GPL-ed images for Wikipedia.

I think the featured articles should be examples of what we want, and I don't think this one currently qualifies on these grounds. Sorry! Andrewa 00:02, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)

And it's happened again. Bob Dylan this time. Just because a picture is "widely available on the web" that doesn't make it public domain. Or does it? IANAL.
If this is an acceptable way to obtain and document photographs, then our policies and guidelines should say this. Andrewa 08:59, 24 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Cf Wikipedia:possible copyright infringements. Best thing, I find, is to talk to the uploader - most are happy to add the info. If not... well then it's trickier. Martin 01:38, 25 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Agree. I've done this in the case of the person who provided the V1 picture, which has no details whatsoever, at the same time I posted this originally. No response yet.
In the case of the Bob Dylan photo it's a bit more complicated. They have provided a justification, it's just that I don't think it's an adequate one. I'd like comments on this before raising it with them directly, or following the rather confrontational process of posting the recommended notice. But you're quite right, we do have a procedure and eventually I'll follow it.
In both cases, the reason for raising it here was more that both these articles appeared on the Main Page list of featured articles. I don't think this is good, for the reasons given. But again I hoped for some discussion. Andrewa 05:22, 25 Jan 2004 (UTC)

access request[edit]

I received a request to permit access to my computer while on Wikipedia. As I did not know it I refused the request -- it was from "mega something.." and sheer habit made me deny acess automatically and miss the full bit -- is it your computer?

thank you

Ray Stirling

Probably it is not Wikipedia's server. AFAIK the only communication between a user and the server goes thru the standard HTTP port. I suppose the message you got was about another TCP port. Optim 07:45, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)
It was probably one of the Windows Popup spammers - you are using Win2000 or XP, right? You should disable the messenger service (not the Windows Messenger, that's a different program), or use a firewall which blocks connects to port 137/139. andy 08:43, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Question - language dictionary[edit]

Can I create one? I'm linking it to Japanese_language

No one's answered... I guess I will. If I'm not allowed to, tell me asap by User_talk:KevinJr42.

I don't understand what you mean. Do you mean within the Wikipedia namespace? RickK 03:01, 23 Jan 2004 (UTC)

He/she means this: Japanese Dictionary. Optim 07:31, 23 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I suggest to move it to Wiktionary. Optim 02:22, 24 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Looks like several other people on vfd agree. Tempshill 05:28, 24 Jan 2004 (UTC)


How do you comment on other people's suff or leave them a message on their page? I would really like to be able to do this but can't figure it out. Katie Salyer User #

Click the "edit this page" link in the bottom left of any page to edit it, and type your comment. Messages for a user go on the page called "User talk:" plus their user name. For example, mine is User talk:Onebyone. Onebyone 01:35, 23 Jan 2004 (UTC)
If you find yourself on someone's userpage (you click on their name) then you can go to their talk page by clicking 'discuss this page' (at the bottom, or in the left hand menu at the side of the page), then click 'edit this page' to leave a comment. Fabiform 02:50, 23 Jan 2004 (UTC)
If you have a comment on an article, click "Discuss This Page" at the bottom of the page, and then you'll see the "talk page", where there are comments on the article posted by other people. Then click "Edit This Page" at the bottom of the article and you can add your own comments to the talk page (to the bottom of the page, please). Tempshill 19:47, 23 Jan 2004 (UTC)[edit]

Has been added to Wikipedia:Sites that use Wikipedia for content, or is it one of the few "undiscovered" ones? It seems to be trying to be compliant, except that its GNU FDL link is broken... If it's not listed, can someone add it for me? At 72Kb, that page is a bit of a pain to edit. --Minesweeper 08:55, 23 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I've added it to the list, under "to be assessed". I guess someone'll have to demandrequest that they fix their licence page ASAP... - IMSoP 20:40, 23 Jan 2004 (UTC)


What is wrong with my Watchlist? It looks like this:

My watchlist (for user "Adam Carr")


24 Jan 2004

Adam 14:05, 24 Jan 2004 (UTC)

many people have this problem, including me. seems to be some database problem, maybe. Optim 14:10, 24 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Was there anything after the date? Like, a saved watchlist, for example? -- Tim Starling 14:33, Jan 24, 2004 (UTC)

yes there is a saved version of the watchlist, but it doesn't update. Adam 14:52, 24 Jan 2004 (UTC)

OK, it's fixed now. Instead of saying "<wlsaved>" it should say "this is a saved version of your watchlist". It should refresh once every hour. Saved watchlists are an emergency performance feature which have been used on and off for the last week or so. I hope it's not causing too much inconvenience. -- Tim Starling 15:04, Jan 24, 2004 (UTC)


I wasn't sure where to place this comment. Regardless, I would like to immensely thank you for allowing internet users like myself to access this wealth of information for free. One simply doesn't know the scarcity of free educational information anywhere anymore. Furthermore, your content is tacit, to-the-point, and readily understandable. I, and many others, greatly appreciate your hard work in making "wikipedia."

U welcome! Optim 06:51, 23 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback. Good to know that people are making good use of the place. Bmills 10:16, 23 Jan 2004 (UTC)
"tacit"? Adam 11:09, 24 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Santa spam[edit]

The Wilfredo G. Santa article is currently flagged as listed on Wikipedia:Inclusion dispute but not actually listed. It has previously been listed on VfD.

In view of the latest comment on Talk:Wilfredo G. Santa by Ruiz, I've little doubt myself that the article should be deleted. But I'm not sure how, or whether, to proceed.

Can I have some advice from older, wiser hands? Andrewa 16:08, 24 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Inclusion dispute uses backlinks, not a VfD-style listing. In due course, it'll become a category. Martin 23:15, 24 Jan 2004 (UTC)
OK. So, where does further discussion take place? On the talk page? Is there a mechanism for relisting on VfD? Andrewa 18:38, 24 Jan 2004 (PST)

I think consensus has developed on Talk:Wilfredo G. Santa to delete the article. Another sysop should proceed with deletion and keep the talk page archived for future reference. --Jiang 00:23, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Re: Other Languages[edit]

How does one create an "other languages" link at the bottom of an article? In other words if I translate an article I've written?

If you write an article on Athens in the French language, go to Athens and add a link: [[fr:Athènes]]. for linking to English Wikipedia you do this: [[en:Athens]]. Optim 08:41, 25 Jan 2004 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Interlanguage links for more details. --Brion 08:43, 25 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Magnus Manske Day[edit]

I just wanted to wish everyone a happy Magnus Manske Day (January 25).

how obscure?[edit]

Just how obscure does a topic have to become before it's deemed unworthy of being written up on Wikipedia? I mean, obviously no one needs an article on my cat, but what about things like small schools, small towns, obscure books, songs, and things of that nature? Exploding Boy 14:01, Jan 25, 2004 (UTC)

I'm guessing that if it were to be added to a regular encyclopedia, it would have to be here. I'm not sure if there's a policy on that. But there are some small articles too...there's an article on Carol Stream, Illinois for example, a very small suburb of Chicago, and obviously nobody plans to write an article on Bob's computer shack in Carol Stream or Geroge Whatsit Middle school in Normal, Illinois, while there are articles on Best Buy or Harvard University. It's a fine line. Ilyanep 22:11, 25 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Indeed, there are very often debates on Wikipedia:Votes for Deletion as to whether or not a particular article should be included - schools being a case in point, since people tend to want to add their own. My own (rather loose) criterion would be that it should be included (or covered, potentially in a combined article, with redirects) iff there is some non-obvious information that could be in the article.
For instance, if I were to make an article on Cavendish School, Eastbourne saying little more than "Cavendish is a school in Eastbourne..." it would add no value. But if I was able to claim that it had some historical claim to fame, and fill a paragraph with such, I should. And yes, I do realise this would exclude all the raw US town articles created by the Rambot, and in my opinion they don't belong in the same project as human-written articles. But as I say, this is all much debated, so I should stop rambling here.
- IMSoP 23:41, 25 Jan 2004 (UTC)

What links here[edit]

Is it absolutely necessary to disable "What links here"? This effectively puts a moratorium on all deletions and moves. Is it only off during peak hours; I think it's been off all day now. --Jiang 06:09, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)

The following pages need to be orphaned once the function is enabled:

  • Yeah, I'm confused about this one. According to the error page I get, it should be enabled now but isn't. Maybe someone just forgot to put it on a re-enable list or something?. —Mulad 07:59, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)
  • I find editing, contributing, and checking new articles awkward and in some cases not practical to do while this is turned off. Is this really such a serious drain on resources? If the server isn't up to doing the "what links here" function, I'm tempted to say we should just go ahead and disallow submitting new articles until Wikipedia is in good enough shape to have this back up. I find I really depend on this feature as part of editing Wikipedia. -- Infrogmation 21:52, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Good jokes[edit]

Is there a place for good jokes? I like, from samovar, "this compares with the Japanese tea ceremony, but only superficially." Unless I wrote it, in which case never mind. --Charles A. L. 22:08, Jan 26, 2004 (UTC)

That would be Wikipedia:Bad jokes and other deleted nonsense. There's really some hysterical stuff in there. -- Finlay McWalter 01:59, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)

thank you[edit]

you are probably annoyed to have to read this because I'm sure they're are many people who need help, but, well, that's really too bad. I just want to say that this site is awesome. I've been in a class for a quarter now and hardly learned anything. This site taught me what I needed to know for my final project. Without this I would be in trouble. With this site I am leaving my class with an A (hopefully) and with KNOWLEDGE! Thanks everybody!!!!

hey, we mostly hear from angry, crazy, and stupid people, so we're glad someone's happy :) I'm curious which class you took? - I do hope it isn't "Arboreal Humanoids 101" (sorry, dumb wikipedia in-joke). -- Finlay McWalter 03:09, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)

external links[edit]

Is it possible when adding a link to an external site to make it open in a new browser box instead of having to completely leave the wikipedia site?

Steve nova

Just shift-click it. Forcing people to open a new page is irritating, especially since tabbed browsers do not always treat these new pages correctly. All external links are clearly marked at the 'pedia. Jor 11:48, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Or command-click on a mac, depending on preferences. I find tabbed browsing works particularly nicely with wikis. --Spikey 13:44, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Hmm. Does that work in Internet Exploder, or do you need a real browser? (I'd check, but until wine iexplore.exe works, it's a no-go). Also, on a note to Darkelf/Jor: it could always be added a prefrences option: Open external links in new window. (Myself, I routinely promote Firebird anyway. :) - Fennec 14:45, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Shift-clicking works in Internet Explorer. Alternatively right-click and hit "Open in New Window". Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 15:17, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Web pages are not supposed to dictate how the user navigates - just provide the links and let the user and their agent worry about how pages are displayed and navigated. CGS 20:25, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC).


In Tamil Wikipedia, the normal wikipedia formats to include images seems not working. Could anyone Help in this. Seeதுபாய் I just included the URL there. Mayooranathan 19:22, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)

The magic word in the image link can be translated - in english it is [[Image:...]], while in German it is [[Bild:...]]. So maybe you just need to find the right word in tamil... andy 20:17, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)
You need to use படிமம் rather than "image", so படிமம்:Deira-2 small.jpg will work over there. Angela. 22:16, Jan 27, 2004 (UTC)
It works. Thanks to andy & Angela. -Mayooranathan 09:09, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)

International Student looking for MSC[edit]

Hello sir

this is RAM MOHAN RAO ADDURI from INDIA. i want to do a MSC in an international university. i also took the TOEFL EXAM through CBT TEST. in that i got 190 score. I am a MECHANICAL ENGINEERING student so please send me all the details.

thanking you sir,
ram mohan rao adduri
For the record, I googled for MSC and the only relavent hit I got was for Mathematics Subject Classification →Raul654 07:19, Jan 28, 2004 (UTC)
Obviously, 'Master of Science' (MSc) is the intended meaning. The first Google hit seems to be Number 38. Andres 08:06, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Yes, for MSc, see Master's degree - looks like it's usually called MS in North America, which may have caused the confusion. - IMSoP 12:28, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)
By the way: with respect to the names of degrees granted and the initials used to represent them, there is much more variation among U. S. universities than people sometimes realize. They are not standarized. For example, a bachelor of science is an SB at some institutions and a BS at others. Dpbsmith 13:06, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I have a condition if it is proved fermat's last theorem will disprove.

contact me at
Your condition is probably false. Onebyone

Wikimedia BB Problems[edit]

I'm posting this here since I can't post to the board itself.

Is anyone else having a problem where they can't post or reply to the Wikimedia bulletin board???

It seems that the two buttons under the text box where you would type your message (which, as I recall, said PREVIEW and SUBMIT) are blank and small and don't seem to do anything except hang the website OR to return you to the posting page with a new blank text box.

Having some not fully diagnosed problems with that web server. The boards should now be back online, running from another server. Give a shout if they're not working.

Any chance this is a MyDoom issue?

Not likely, as MyDoom attacks Windows machines of which we have none. --Brion 20:19, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Registering for multiple language editions?[edit]

I'm registered on the English site but also would like to edit pages in another language (Hungarian). To get the benefits of registration, do I need to register separately?

(Yes, yes, RTFM but found no answer anywhere...)

--jtg 10:24, Jan 29, 2004 (UTC)

Yes. Dysprosia 10:28, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)


Didn't the introductory text in the sandbox used to be protected, or is my memory playing up? By the way, I just tried out the new thumbnail feature on Stirling, what a great tool. I no longer need to upload a seperate thumbnail for each large image I have, and the automatic captioning thing works wonderfully. Fabiform 06:04, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

No, there's no such facility as protecting part of a page. People just put it back when it gets deleted. --Brion 07:16, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for setting me straight Brion. So, not only am I editing in my sleep, but I'm also imagining improvements?  :) Fabiform 07:50, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Sik Rescue Team[edit]

I am looking for somebody who was on the ski rescue team for the 1960 Winter Olympics. Does anybody know where I can hopefully contact somebody from this team.

Thanks so much

about English churches[edit]

Hello. I am a Canadian who will soon be living and teaching in Gwangju for a year. I was wondering if there are any English-speaking Christian churches in Gwangju that I could attend. Is there any way for me to find out? Any help would be appreciated. If you know of any info, please email me at


making my own manga[edit]

i have already finished my whole manga but where can i go to publish or edit it?

Sweden's Deaf Schools[edit]

I am writing a paper about Sweden's Deaf school and would like to know what kind of budget and/or resources are devoted to their education? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,


Is this common?[edit]

Moved to User talk:Gene Ward Smith

Wikipedia's Tipping Point[edit]

Moved to meta:Tipping Point in hopes of refactoring into an interesting page. --Brion 07:33, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Inland Empire in California[edit]

moved to Talk:Inland Empire (California)

Image issues[edit]

Can someone else confirm that there's a problem with the images that I recently uploaded? They were working fine previously, but now they seem to be semi-missing. Examples include images on CDROM, LPDA, and telephone. --Dante Alighieri 21:50, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)

The image I added to Belinda Stronach has also gone missing.  :-( dave 22:38, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I can see the CD but cannot see the Belinda Stronach image. Sennheiser 22:44, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I can see all those images, cd-rom, telephone, etc... but my Belinda Stronach image is still missing and uploads seem to be disabled right now. dave 22:57, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)

The images from MER-B seem to be missing from the server. Sennheiser 22:47, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Actually, every image that i've ever uploaded seems to be missing from the server. Sennheiser 22:48, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I also can't see the MER-B image. dave 22:58, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Images should now be current through Jan 24. The server that has been on the last few days has developed -- you guessed it -- disk problems! I suspect it's the controller, not the disk, as this is a replacement for the previous disk. We should have the latest changes copied off it by Friday at latest (depending on whether we can get it going remotely or have to wait until Jason goes in on Friday to physically tinker with the hardware.) --Brion 23:00, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I'm sorry, does this mean that images uploaded since Jan 24th are lost and should be uploaded again? Or does it mean that the recent images will reappear eventually? Dpbsmith 02:38, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)
From Brion's comment on the mailing list, I'd assume you don't have to. (See message below). Angela. 02:51, Jan 29, 2004 (UTC)
Uploaded images from en are current on ursula up through January 24, 
but newer updates are still on pliny and can't be copied off due to the 
disk errors. If we can't coax it into cooperating remotely, Jason 
should be able to reset things when he goes in on Friday and copy them 
off then. Brion Vibber.
We should be able to recover everything. If you want to put your pics back immediately (or to add new files), I've gone ahead and re-enabled uploads. Holler if there's any problem with it. --Brion 03:28, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)

About switching to a Power Macintosh G5 to run Wikipedia[edit]

I Know! I've written to Angela about this and she didn't understand, so I'm asking that anyone who has the expertise switch the Database from a PC based Server to a Power Macintosh G5 Based server (I've read the MySQL article!) ask permission to do so and to send a message to everyone about the switch. thataway, you'll get the following advantages:

1. No need for a firewall

2. UNIX based strength in the OS

3. Can be left on with no damage

4. No more connectivity issues

5. Gigabit Ethernet

and the best feature of all:

6. No Viruses!

What do you think? Jack Zhang 12:12 Jan 28 2004 (UTC)

Well, we've got $19,000 worth of Linux machines about to be delivered so it's a bit late. ;) As for the points you give, they all apply equally to these machines. --Brion 20:19, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Oh, Then the server downs account to power failures/surges? Jack Zhang 12:26 Jan 28 2004 (UTC)
Overloaded machines, defective motherboards, hard drive failures, and occasionally configuration errors. Remember this site gets over a million hits per day, there's a fair amount of stress on the web servers and database. I love my PowerBook, but Apple isn't immune to occasionally shipping broken machines either, and any machine that can't handle the load it's been given will be slow, no matter whose logo is on the box. --Brion 20:38, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Thank you! I also am going to get a PowerBook, But it'll be a PowerBook G5, It'll be bought when I graduate! Jack Zhang 15:55 Jan 28 2004 (UTC)
You think we'd be using Windows???! ;) -- Tarquin
Without mentioning any names, a professor of mine is chief system administrator for a major national power company. He had a great quote last year, when we were discussing beowulf systems. "Somebody sends you 4,000 Gateway PCs. What are your problems? Well, first, about 500 will be dead on arrival..." →Raul654 11:07, Jan 30, 2004 (UTC)

Linking to images from other language wikipedias?[edit]

Is there any way I can link to an image on the German 'pedia?

I want to include in Sütterlin, but I can't figure out how to do it. [[de:Bild:Suetterlin.png]] or [[Image:de:Suetterlin.png]] and related tricks won't work. Jor 17:14, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)

You'll have to upload it again here. The languages don't share images: a) we'd never agree on file names, b) disk space is cheap! -- Tarquin 19:02, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)
However, people are lazy and don't wanna re-upload one thing that is the same again again again. Some suggested Currently not under development. --Menchi (Talk)â 06:08, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Titles in names[edit]

When was it decided to have article titles like Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson instead of what he is usually known as? This sseems to go against the established guidelines I know of -- Tarquin 14:47, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Just a comment, he's known as Nelson, but is that because you're calling him by his surname or his title? And take Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington as an example. He's famous as Arthur Wellesley and Wellington. And the 1st/2nd/3rd bit might be useful in distinguishing between generations when title holders might have had the same firstname lastname (not uncommon)? Fabiform 16:05, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Hmm, I don't think it's true any more that Arthur Wellesley is known independantly of his title as Duke of Wellington - I'd say it was only true up to the point he was ennobled. I think that Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington and Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington should all usher you to the same place, but I find it difficult to sympathise with any emphatic arguments about which of the three should be the real article. I'd probably go for Duke of Wellington myself, on grounds that it probably wants a disambiguation link (see below), and hence can't be a redirect, and thus might as well be the article. That said, several other Dukes of Wellington were also called Arthur Wellesley, so it's all a bit tricky. Onebyone 01:03, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I see your point, but I know him as well or better as Arthur Wellesley because I often read books set before his elevation to Viscount then Duke etc. We should consider that people may come across a contemporary reference to someone before they were ennobled. And it's not uncommon for people to slip slightly knowing references to people who would later become famous (i.e. "artist in 1930s Germany" (I think!) = Hitler, "promising young officer Arthur Wellesley", etc, etc). I'm just saying it's difficult for us to determine what a potential wikiuser will know, what search terms they will come up with, so I don't think it's a bad idea to put peers' highest title in the article name along with firstname lastname. Fabiform 02:15, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)
While we're up, how about Sir Winston Churchill? Not Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, a 20th-century prime minister, but Sir Winston Chuchill, father of John Churchill first Duke of Marlborough. Seriously, an article on that gentleman would not be out of place, and I might contribute a short one, but how would one title it? Arguably, Winston Churchill might be a disambig page, which would be mildly annoying to nearly everyone who happened on it. Dandrake 20:42, Jan 28, 2004 (UTC)
I'd usually deal with this using a disambiguation page. The most famous one can go at Winston Churchill, with text at the top saying something like This article is about the 20th Century British Prime Minister. For several others of his family with the same name, see Winston Churchill (disambiguation). They would then be named with whatever disambiguation is necessary - the two usual methods are the format "<name>, <number> <noble_title>" and date disambiguation: "<name> (<birth>-<death>)". Onebyone 01:03, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)
In fact, I see that the disambiguation page is at Churchill (disambiguation). Otherwise, my comments apply to that, and I'd still modify the top of Winston Churchill to be more verbose and to specifically mention that there are other Winston Churchills. Onebyone 01:10, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)

url submission[edit]

Hi, We are a new Independent Record Label and wonder if we can be added to your list of indie labels? If so here are our details:

IRL: ShanelsWorldRecords 'We are a new independent Record Label specialising in commercial hip-hop and urabn music'. CONTACT:

Thanks for your time whether or not you could submit it. SWR


I failed to find any instructions about putting materials to wikisources. Any advice? Mikkalai 23:08, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Wikisource is still very new and no-one has got round to creating any help pages yet. You could try asking on their Village pump. Alternatively, the people nominated for adminship are the most active editors over there, so they might be able to help. Angela. 23:39, Jan 27, 2004 (UTC)

Anyone enjoy editing?[edit]

There is a list of articles in need of formatting, wikilinking, and other forms of editing at Wikipedia:Cleanup#leftovers. If you have more, please add them to the top of the Wikipedia:Cleanup page. Onebyone 23:06, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Cloudy and Gary Ferland articles[edit]

I'd like to start an article on cloudy, the photoionisation modeling code that is used in many, many physics simulations - see [7] for more. I've been trying to find where to create the link - any ideas - so far the only idea is Model, but there must be something better. Tompagenet 17:26, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Main Page/Yahoo silliness[edit]

Does it bother anyone that when you follow the link YahooNews:Wikipedia on the main page, the #1 item is: "The Eight Biggest Tech Flops Ever"? :) - Fennec 02:54, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Eeek! It sounds like we've been bombed. That's a known weakness with Yahoo's algorithm. Andrewa 05:53, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I don't know what "being bombed" means in this context, but the reason "The Eight Biggest Tech Flops Ever" is at the top of the list is that it's the only match from Yahoo's own news service. Wikipedia is mentioned only once in the article, and not as a flop but as a recommended source of further information.
The top item, objectively speaking, is the far more relevant "Wikipedia emerges as credible resource".
Paul A 06:42, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)
PS: The same article is also first on the GoogleNews search, but from a different site that gives it the headline "Online reference to reach milestone". I like the first headline better, don't you?
Online refrence ... was the headline when the story first appeared in Sunday's San Jose Mercury News. Think I'm going to cut it out and post it on my refrigerator. Gentgeen 06:55, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Sadly, while the article claims the wikipedia is emerging as a credible resource, there is no data in the article to back it up. Elde 09:11, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Edit war in progress?[edit]

What does one do if an edit war seems to be developing? I added comments to the talk page for Lucy tuning, but people reverted to a crackpot form of that article anyway without doing me the courtesy of explaining why. I wrote this there:

I've restored the non-crackpot version again, and moved the kook version to Wikinfo, which does not believe in NPOV. If you don't believe that is a kook version, you should either discuss that here or go to and present your case to the experts.

This seems to me to be the least someone might do who thinks they know better--stand up and be counted, and have the courage to take the matter up with the experts. - Posted by User:Gene Ward Smith 02:34, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC) (sig added by Anthropos 14:10, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I know virtually nothing about music, and absolutely nothing about Lucy tuning. However, it seems to me that both (all) parties to this dispute should provide some references for their statements, i.e. some published (and preferably peer-reviewed) paper, book, etc. If both (all) parties can provide such documentation and a disagreement still exists, then the article will have to be written so as to include both (all) points of view.
In my opinion, calling other people's changes "crackpot" or the like does nothing positive for the situation. It will only serve to harden others' positions, and fan the flames of the edit war (sorry for the mixed metaphor).

In my opinion someone editing a page on his own at least very controversial theories, which is what I think is happening, is a total violation of NPOV and an utter abandonment of any intellectual standards or notion of peer review.

Standing up for what you believe is right is only to be admired, especially if you can provide rational reasoning and/or documentation for why you are right.

I wrote something in the talk page, which Mr. LucyTuning did not do. I presented a case, he has indulged in what amounts to vandalism. I proposed we take the matter up with the experts, and told where they can be found. What, exactly, do you want out of me--the intellectual timidity born of ignorance?

But, in my opinion, using descriptions such as "crackpot" is nothing to be admired. -Anthropos 06:27, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)

You are not required to admire my language. However, I am not required to admire the abandonment of any standard of rationality. Is allowing the Wikipedia to become a dumping ground for crank theories really what people want? If so, I have no interest in the project. However, that is not what we are told is the case. Are there going to be some standards of evidence and reason here, or not? Are people going to be allowed to toot their own horn and promote their own goofy ideas, not accepted by their peers, or should that sort of thing be the provence of Wikinfo? In other words, people, are you serious? - Posted by User:Gene Ward Smith 08:32, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC) (sig added by Anthropos 14:10, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC))

Thanks for the signatures, Anthropos. It's an interesting battle and I'm still not sure of the players or of their credentials, but that certainly helps. It's a bit ironical and not impressive to me when an anonymous poster demands that their opponents identify themselves, as happened above.
Excuse me, but I did sign my name. Gene Ward Smith 20:10, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)
GWS, I don't want to make a big deal about this, but I also don't want to leave the implication that I have falsely claimed to have added your sig. If you check the page history ([8] and [9]), you will see that your first two edits were not, in fact, signed. Again, it's not a big deal to me -- I have done the same thing in the past. Since there is a history page, sigs are only for convenience anyway. -Anthropos 22:09, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)
IMO there's more to this than meets the eye. Meantone systems have always been controversial. But, their previous period of popularity was in the days in which keyboard instruments needed to be tuned, or even built, to a particular tuning. So the instrument was more or less dedicated to that tuning. This is no longer the case with electronic keyboards, as I indicated below. As alternative tunings are now so readily available, we should expect systems of merit to be widely used and acclaimed. This isn't happening in Australia AFAIK. How about the USA? Or is it all talk so far?
While some music needs to be written or at least arranged to take advantage of different intonations, much does not. Any piece which only ever modulates to (or uses accidentals from) keys closely related to the original (or not at all), for example, can be played in just intonation with no modification at all, and is already normally so played by sufficiently competent bowed (fretless) string instruments playing alone, and sung that way by the better a cappella groups. Andrewa 17:23, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)
This is by no means always true, see mathematics of musical scales.

Gene Ward Smith 20:10, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Yes, that's true, there can be a problem with chord II as this article points out. I admit I've overstated my case here. (And so has one of the writers of this article. I think their sweeping statement that chord II is the most important minor chord in a major scale is a bit doubtful.) The underlying argument remains valid IMO. Andrewa 10:47, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I'm beginning to smell vanity pages here. This so-called "Lucy Tuning" doesn't seem to be offered by any of the major "pipeless" organ companies. The significance of this is that these instruments are computer-synthesised and quite expensive, and used mainly in churches, a very competitive market, and are aggressively developed, updated and marketed. They typically offer several mean-tone systems, plus both just and even temperament, all available at the push of a button. They could easily offer another meantone tuning, at negligible cost. If they don't offer this one it suggests to me that perhaps it's not useful.
I'm a professional mathematician too, with an active and long-standing interest in musical tuning systems, and I can't see any advantage of the so-called Lucy Tuning myself. It's more an intellectual exercise than a significant departure from existing meantone systems. So IMO if it's to be described in Wikipedia at all it should be under the name of its inventor, John Harrison, as a curiousity of that era.
Charles Lucy unearthed it, named it after himself, and is assiduously promoting it, and that was the name of the page when I started editing it. Obviously it has no particular advantages, but it has no particular disadvantages either, beyond having fifths a little more flat than is usually done. It can serve as a good particular example of meantone. Lucy is claiming (he's now confirmed he is making the edits and is arguing his case on the tuning list, that the fact that the flattened fifth generator of 1/2+1/(4π) is a transcendental number is what makes Lucy tuning special. Of course this is nonsense for various reasons, one being that the 1/4 comma meantone of log2(5)/4 is also a transcendental number, and etc etc.Gene Ward Smith 20:10, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)
It seems quite possible that Charles Lucy, a computer-literate person still living, has now named the system developed by Harrison after himself, and is vigorously promoting it, including on Wikipedia. My one attempt at reason was met with passionate resistance. I don't know whether it's Lucy himself that we're dealing with here, but it's food for thought.
Lucy has certainly named it after himself and is promoting it, but I don't think he started editing the page until I mentioned it on the tuning list, which he also reads. Gene Ward Smith 20:10, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I could be wrong. Maybe it is significant. In which case, it's untried original work, and doesn't yet belong in Wikipedia. Andrewa 10:07, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)
It's not significant at all; that is why I made it the subject of my first editing attempt--First, Do No Harm. Little did I realize what I was getting into, though knowing Charles Lucy, I suppose I should have done. Gene Ward Smith 20:10, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)

News mention[edit]

This Yahoo News story links to us - someone want to put it where it belongs? -戴&#30505sv

Test Wikipedia[edit]

Is there a standard page where the current state of the Test Wikipedia is kept up to date? Since the database was wiped, all the instructions for the new experimental rendering features (chess, music and sundry other stuff) seem to have vanished. Also helpful would be documentation for the editing toolbar. I have tried searching but all I can find is the Wikipedia:Sites using MediaWiki page which really says almost nothing. --Phil 12:07, Jan 26, 2004 (UTC)

No, there isn't. Feature documentation is inconsistent. You can sometimes find it in announcements on wikitech-l or somewhere on en. Eventually, all features should be documented on meta. In theory, feature descriptions gather at m:MediaWiki development and m:MediaWiki User's Guide. If you want to know about a given feature and you can't find documentation, you should ask the person who developed it. The rendering features were by Peter Danenberg, and the edit toolbar by Erik Möller. -- Tim Starling 01:00, Jan 27, 2004 (UTC)


I've seen multiple references to Éire where it would seem that linking to Republic of Ireland would be the significantly better option (IMHO as a dumb American). See The Simpsons#TV Channels that air The Simpsons, for instance. I was just wondering if I'm lacking some insight that makes Éire the better choice than Republic of Ireland. Is this some nationalistic thing? Oh well, not a whole lot that can be mucked with at the moment anyway since What links here is currently disabled anyway. —Mulad 08:04, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I agree that for an English-language 'pedia, Republic of Ireland would be better. Both are "official" names of the state and Eire does tend to be favoured by nationalists and Irish language spearkers. Bmills 09:13, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Since the articles aren't the same, each link to should decide which of the two it wants to link to, and link to that one. Republic of Ireland is about the country, and Éire is about the use of the name "Éire" in the constitution. Onebyone 23:06, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Then the Simpsons article is simply wrong, pointing to the wrong article. Somebody ought to fix it (along with others, once What Links Here is working well again). Nice Eire article, btw; should it be Featured? Ignorant foreigner speaking. Dandrake 07:55, Jan 27, 2004 (UTC)
It is a nice article ant I'm going to nominate it for Featured articles this very day. Bmills 11:35, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Cardinal Konig again[edit]

Could someone sort out Franz Cardinal König? Some idiot insists on putting "Cardinal" in the title. Now the two articles each redirect to the other. Adam 16:33, 25 Jan 2004 (UTC)

This is not the way to talk about other Wikipedians. The "idiot" expects an apology from you. <KF> 16:49, 25 Jan 2004 (UTC)
And while you're at it, you might as well apologize to the authors who created the following pages:

<KF> 17:03, 25 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Check Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(names_and_titles)#Clerical_names -- User:Docu

See my note (with apology) at Franz Cardinal König. I did ask here what the policy was, and was told that article titles should not include personal titles of any kind. Why are Cardinals exempt from this rule? Adam 02:01, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)

That policy was formulated by JTDirl in this edit [10] about nine months ago, and from what I can see on the talk page, it has been uncontroversial... <ominous mood> until now </ominous mood>. -- Cyan 02:29, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Well I have to say I disagree with it, so now it is controversial. Why do Cardinals deserve titles while Archbishops, Bishops, Ayatollahs, Grand Muftis, Grand Rabbis, Moderators, Patriarchs, Doctors, Professors, Knights and Dames do not? Why is Bernard Law entitled to be Bernard Cardinal Law while Rowan Williams gets no title? This appears just to be privileging Catholicism over other religions. What is the justification for this? Adam 02:58, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Why do Popes, Princes, and Princesses get titles while Kings and Queens do not? --Jiang 03:00, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Because they change their names - Karol Wojtyla became John Paul II. "Cardinal" is just a title, like Dr or Professor or Rabbi. Please answer my question and don't raise side issues. Adam 03:33, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)

This relates to the general topic of naming conventions, but I may raise as many side issues as I want. You have the option of not answering. Why for Princes, and Princesses and not Kings and Queens? Why are are Queen consorts also stripped of their titles - Mary of Teck and not Princess Mary of Teck? --Jiang 04:09, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)

My view is all biographical articles should use the person's name, unadorned by any title, unless the title has completely replaced the name, as with Popes and the Dalai Lama, for example. Peers as we know have their titles appended to their names, but the peerage is a uniquely complex institution. I see no reason why Cardinals should have a mere title added to their commonly used and well-known personal names, when no other equivalent religious or secular titles are so privileged. Adam 04:14, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)

My view is that I don't care a whit which name gets the article, as long as both are present and one redirects to the other. -- Jmabel 04:21, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Ditto. Dpbsmith 18:32, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Adam: Linguistic custom. Since at least a few centuries back. Also, commonality. Who would remember John Cardinal O'Connor if you didn't mention he was a Cardinal, for example? The common usage is to do write it like that. - 04:27, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)

"Linguistic custom" and "common usage" would dictate that everyone gets all their titles in their article titles: Sir John Smith, Dr. John Smith, Rabbi John Smith, Emeritus Professor Dame Margaret Smith. If that is to be the convention, fine, but so far it isn't. The convention is no titles. I ask again, why are Cardinals a special case? Adam 04:50, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)

  • I have also created articles for people who had titles etc, but I used their real name. Using titles in article names seems POV to me. Please, move all Cardinals to their normal names and keep the "cardinal" articles as redirects. It is unencyclopaedic to use titles in article names. Optim 07:01, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)
    • It is unencyclopaedic to use titles in article names. Not true. I have the Cambridge Paperback Encyclopedia open in front of me, and it has articles on "Albert, Prince, in full Francis Albert Augustus Charles Emmanuel, Prince of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha" and "Gielgud, Sir (Arthur) John" and "Condorcet, Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas de Caritat, Marquis de" and "Richelieu, Armand Jean du Plessis, Cardinal and duc de". However, it has "Carey, George Leonard" and "Clinton, Bill". So titles in titles have precedent as being encyclopedic, but apparently aren't essential. Onebyone 22:59, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)
For quite some time, dictionaries in the U. S. have been descriptive rather than prescriptive; i.e. their intention is to report frequency of usage. Atlasses generally adopt the "neutral" policy of using the place names "used by the authority administering the territory" or something along those lines, although occasionally you will see an alternate in parentheses. One policy would be that the article should use what the author reliably believes to be the most common name by which the person is known, and include redirects from all other well-known names. I see that Mark Twain brings up an article, while Samuel Clemens, Samuel L. Clemens, and Samuel Langhorne Clemens come up dry... There's a lot of variation in Wikipedia right now as to whether people who referred to themselves with initials get entries with initials, or with fully spelled out names... A few lucky people, like Mozart, get redirects from their surname alone, others don't; is this POV or just an attempt to reflect frequency of usage? This IMHO is not an issue to obsess over. It's most important to see that ALL well-known names by which a person is known get entries; whether they are main entries or redirects is not important. Dpbsmith 18:32, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC) P. S. OK, I see that Samuel Clemens does redirect as a link... but it does not work when I typed it into the "Go" box. I wonder why not?

The issue is not what policies other encyclopaedias have, but what issue Wikipedia has. Its policy appears to be no titles except for Cardinals. Unless someone can give me a convincing explanation for why Cardinals should be an exception to the rule, I will start to move some of the articles listed above. That should flush out the Cardinal-lovers. Adam 09:47, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)

It's no titles except for Cardinals, Popes, Patriarchs, Dukes, Barons, Princes, ect. If we can have Charles, Prince of Wales rather than Charles Mountbatten-Windsor and William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin rather than William Thomson, then why can't we have John Cardinal O'Connor rather than John O'Connor? The title of Cardinal is of the peerage of the Holy See, as cardinals are princes of the church and electors of the Vatican City, and the title is at least as important to who they are as Lord Kelvin's Barony is to him. Gentgeen 10:26, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for comment[edit]

See Wikipedia talk:Conflict resolution for a possible way to better handle user and article disputes. --mav 19:03, 24 Jan 2004 (PST)

Footnotes/Endnotes - a proposal for a new MediaWiki feature[edit]

There has been a lot of talk on WikiEN-l about the need for citations in articles. I tend to agree with that. But our current system of wiki refs only

encourage the creation of footnote-like references to external websites (which is less than ideal).

I have put together a proposal that, if enacted, would create a more wordprocessor-like footnote system that could be used for all types of footnotes (web, ISBN, journal articles, and written out dead tree citations).

See and respond on:


--mav 01:42, 25 Jan 2004 (UTC)


Anyone heard about that ?

Linking Wikipedia to 1world2travel[edit]

Dear editors My compliments for the Wikipêdia initiative. I already added a lot of links to my pages! The homepage is It is a one-man-site (I really am the only one working on it) promoting countries for tourism and culture. The site is private and non-commercial and started two years ago when I studied the net, learning how to produce a website. You will find most of your links on my country-portals, the 'starttips'. You will find them immediately by going to and then search the continents. These pages started in Dutch but I'm extending them and translating them into English. An example I just finished South Africa ( giving a mass of information. China will be next. Some European and African countries underwent these changes already. Maybe you can use my site? Put some links to your pages? I don't think you will find many other sites offering the same volume of information to their visitors. Kind regards Walter Vaerewijck Menegemlei 15 2100 Antwerp +32/475/386-486

PS - Personal info: I'm a retired journalist. Still active in touristic trade magazines and a tourmanager for the Flemish TO 'VTB'.

Page Blanking[edit]

I don't know if this is a software glitch or what, but I just saved a page and rather than updating it, it blanked it. mydogategodshat 05:34, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Are you, by any chance, using Internet Explorer? -- Finlay McWalter 21:51, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Last time I checked I was using Explorer, but being an AOL subscriber the Explorer or Netscape screens are not visible to me unless I check. That was the only time the blanking happened, hopefully it will be the last. mydogategodshat 04:29, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)
This just happened to me here on Village pump, it was taking a while for the edit to complete, and all of a sudden there were two edits, and one of them wiped out a huge part of VP. I am using Mozilla 1.5 on Win XP. Dori | Talk 07:24, Jan 30, 2004 (UTC)
I don't know about the welfare economics one, but might the problem here have been the page length >32k issue - it currently weighs in at 100k, after all! When you say "all of a sudden there were two edits", do you mean the edit conflict screen? Because even if you were originally editing a section, that contains the whole page, twice... - IMSoP 12:52, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)
No I meant in the page history, i.e. my edit turned into two edits. I've edited large pages before, this is the first time this has happened. Dori | Talk 14:13, Jan 30, 2004 (UTC)
This has happened to me several times, usually when the page is very slooooooooooow to save. Bmills 14:24, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Yes, that's happened to me too. What I meant is that it has never deleted a page. Perhaps, besides the delayed edit, there was also a conflict. And the second delayed edit (which might have been on a section, I don't remember), could have overwritten the other edit (i.e. the whole page, with a section). Dori | Talk 14:49, Jan 30, 2004 (UTC)

House and Senate Committees[edit]

I've noticed that the committees of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate don't have articles. Can they be located somewhere else? I ask so I don't do a lot of duplicate work rewriting them for nothing. Also, if I do write them, what should the titles be? Thanks, Meelar 05:12, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Hallelujah! These committee have needed pages for quite a while.
As for naming...I suggest: U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary; U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means; per the House's own Committee Page--I'd love to write out United States House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, but really...
For the Senate I suggest, U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations; U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations per the Senate's own Committee Page (click to see full names). jengod 23:53, Jan 29, 2004 (UTC)

Providing the entire encyclopedia for download[edit]

As a student at a school which does not offer internet access, it would be wonderfully useful if there was a copy of the site available for download - of course I'd miss out on updates, but periodically re-downloading it would fix that.

I understand that it'd be a very massive collection of files and folders, and may be nearly impossible from a technical standpoint (I don't know how much of this is generated dynamically), but it would be fantastically helpful to many.

spankypoo att excite dott com

Please see Wikipedia:Database download. --Brion

Redirect annotation policy?[edit]

Something I've wondered about, why are redirects not annotated with the reason for the redirect? Is there a policy or accepted way of doing things on this? Thanks. Elde 19:10, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)

With most redirects I believe the reason is quite clear. If the redirect is because a page was moved, the page's discussion page should explain why. If not, raise the question there. And you CAN of course use the discussion page of any redirect itself: just click the 'redirected from foo' link after you've been redirected to get at the redirect article. Jor 19:44, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)
This has come up before, and I think there was a consensus to change redirect annotation so that choices were #VARIANT (for capitalization differences or other names, equally valid), #MISSPELLING (so that the "redirected from" changes to "redirect from a misspelling") and #DISCOURAGED (or something to that effect, when a name that used to be acceptable is now rarely used, such as Mohameddan, Zaire or Negro, perhaps). Doing something like this has an added bonus of maybe allowing for disambig blocks based on the source of a redirect. Of course, I'm drawing a complete blank right now, but there are numerous examples of a redirect which could have more than one article referrent -- a normal disambig block looks strange if you don't come from the redirect, because the real title and the potential title don't have anything in common, but having more complex redirect terminology could allow for presenting disambig blocks depending on the source of the viewer). Anyway, I think there was general agreement to do something similar to this, but not enough social impetus to coerce any developers into doing it. Tuf-Kat 19:56, Jan 29, 2004 (UTC)
I am not alltogether sure I understand you, but would Louis Napoleon Bonaparte be an example? It could conceivably redirect to Louis Bonaparte (Konijn van Olland) or Napoleon III of France, who shares his father's names. Jor 20:10, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Who should we nag to get that implemented! It looks like a great idea. WormRunner 22:33, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Yes, Louis Bonaparte is an example of what I'm talking about. Since it could refer to the son but, in all likelihood, is referring to the father, Napoleon Bonaparte could have a disambig block if you come from Louis, just in case, but not otherwise. To make this happen, I'd go to Wikipedia talk:Redirects and get some concrete proposals down (i.e. exactly what the syntax would be, what would happen to old-style redirects, etc) and then nag User:Tim Starling or User:Eloquence or some other developer (there's a list somewhere). Tuf-Kat 00:45, Jan 30, 2004 (UTC)
Annotated redirecs sounds like a cool idea for me, but I think using a pipe syntax would be more in common with how wikipedia is working. I.e. #redirect[[Napoleon (disambiguation page)|Redirect for disambiguation]]. -- till we *) 18:33, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Hmm. Also a great idea, and much more flexible. WormRunner 06:36, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)

New England[edit]

I don't want to sound too Americo-centric here, but I'm wondering just how often the phrase "New England" is used to reference the region in Australia. I ask because it is very commonly used in the United States to refer to the northeastern region, and the vast majority of pages that link to the disambiguation page are for the U.S. region. Would it be fair to move New England (U.S.) to New England with a proper disambiguation block at the top linking to the article on the Australian region? If these two meanings are equally common, then things should stay as they are, and my ignorant inquiry disregarded (but the links still need to be fixed). --Minesweeper 05:05, Jan 29, 2004 (UTC)

I think you're right. New England should be moved to New England (disambiguation) (waste not, want not), and New England (U.S.) should be moved to New England. —Paul A 05:53, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)
To answer the question "how often [is] the phrase "New England" is used to reference the region in Australia [?]" - the answer is - it depends on where you are! Round here, the Australian region is meant implicitly and understood as such by the several million people who live here - where? New England (Australia), of course! While most Aussies are easy going and not prone to getting too upset about it, there might be a few who'd prefer that the "default" didn't automatically mean the US. Why not just make New England the disambiguation page without explicitly naming it as such, and leaving the other two exactly as they are? People will both be easily able to find the right page if they just entered "New England", Aussies won't feel like second-class citizens, and those who never even heard of the Australian region will learn something ;-) In other words, it's fine as it is. Graham 05:59, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I did the following: (1) created New England (disambiguation), (2) Moved New England (U.S.) back to New England and added the "alternate meaning" thingie at the top (standard for stuff like Ottawa), (3) Moved New England (Australian region) to New England (Australia) per Wiki standards (if there's N.E. (U.S.) there should be N.E. (Aus.)--both are regions. This maybe should change in the future, but right now the large number of links to New England are overwhelmingly about the U.S. region. jengod 23:33, Jan 29, 2004 (UTC)
For the record, I agree with Graham, and think that you've probably been a bit hasty to make the change. My gut reaction was to revert, but I held back. I'm from England (not New England) by the way, so have no real interest in the specific example, but as a general case I think it only reinforces the US-centric feel of the pedia. (Mind you, I would object to a disambig page for England that pointed to New England (either one!). Is this hypocritical?) HappyDog 02:17, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I agree about the Amerocentrism of the 'pedia, and that's something that's going to need to be battled for some time to come, but before you lump that problem into this particular decision, I beg you to look at [11]--there about 350 links to New England that refer to the U.S. area. I hope as much as you do that New England (Australia) is eventually as linked, but right now it's just not, and it seems silly to break up what looks like a fairly tight web. jengod 07:22, Jan 30, 2004 (UTC)
Okay, I have an idea/suggestion/question. Is there a benchmark for what gets the "main page" of a link--like maybe if 85% of links to a page mean one thing, that page gets to keep the domain, but below that the domain should go to to a disambig page? Has this been covered anyway before? Is there a rule? Something similar came up on New Deal and I felt guilty about moving the UK stuff to another page without building a disambig page as a front for both. jengod 07:35, Jan 30, 2004 (UTC)
I'm not sure whether such a ruling exists, but I am kind of against the idea because I think there will be a lot of instances where the number of articles is irrelevant, or where there are too few articles to make this split. Also, because there are quite a few situations where one useage is obviously going to be much much more common, regardless of the number of articles.
For example, moderator, where the much more common sense (of someone who moderates e.g. a forum/mailing list/etc.) is sharing a disambig. page with neutron moderator, which is a very specific term in a very specific discipline.
However, I am with the idea that there should be a guideline, which should be used if a consensus can't be reached. The drawback of not having it as a rule is, of course, that if (like in this instance) people don't respond quickly enough the change will take place without discussion and therefor without concensus.
I'm not sure I've been very clear here, so in summary: A guideline would be good, but I'm ambiavalent about whether it should be a rule or not. HappyDog 20:47, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

(Note: this article was archived approx. 2 hrs after my last post. I have replaced it. PLEASE BE MORE CAREFUL WHEN ARCHIVING! HappyDog 00:11, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC))

Primary Sources[edit]

Howdy! Right now the four standard "footer" elements of an article are "See Also," "Related Links," "Further Reading" and "References." I would like to propose "Primary Sources" as a third. This is for links to etexts or online editions of things mentioned in an article. Federalist Papers' "Related Links" are really "Primary Sources" as are the Margaret Sanger etexts linked on her page. This would also smooth out the currently clunky formating some people use for stuff like *Project Gutenberg etext of A Tale of Two Citiesetc, etc. This would also be a good way to promote Wikisource texts. I propose a format like:

===Primary Sources=== * [ Project Gutenberg Etext: ''The Federalist Papers'']

===Primary Sources===

or something like:

===Primary Sources=== * [ Michigan State University Library Etext: ''What Every Girl Should Know'']

===Primary Sources===

When i click edit section for " Mistake on sitewide redirect page" i am directed to edit "Primary SOurces" Section. is this a bug? Sennheiser 04:10, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Yes. See those examples just above here, with the sample code that includes the markup for section headings? The edit software is counting those as real section headings, so it thinks it's found the right section when it's really a couple of sections early. It's something to do with the <nowiki> tags not being on the same line as the sample markup. —Paul A 05:34, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)
On a side note, according to the MoS, the second word is not capitalized (See also, not See Also). "Related Links" is not an option, while "Related topics" is.--Jiang 08:16, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Aagh! If the Primary Sources header isn't a subheading, there should be only two ='s - so ==Primary Sources==... Thanks :) Dysprosia 11:16, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

New MediaWiki software update[edit]

A new MediaWiki software release has been installed. New features include

  • extended image syntax, allowing alignment of images without div-tags
  • Fractional time zones
  • Page moves look nicer in Recent Changes
  • User, contribs and rollback links at the top of diffs
  • MediaWiki:Loginend displayed at the bottom of Special:Userlogin
  • Hide logged in users from Recent Changes using Special:Recentchanges/hideliu
  • Non-ASCII message names
  • Link table fixed for MSG
  • edit toolbar can be enabled in prefs (works perfectly in IE, near perfect in Mozilla, not so great in most others); will be refined and possibly made default in the future

-- JeLuF et al. 23:38, Jan 29, 2004 (UTC)

(not complaining, just asking) Am I correct in saying that to have floating image with a caption one must still use a div (with the exception of thumbnails, which the new syntax seems to autocaption with the alt text) ? -- Finlay McWalter 23:58, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I've always used (table border=0 align="right") to put pictures and captions together on the right/left/center of the screen. Is there a better way? Fabiform 00:18, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I generally use a <div style="float:right"> instead, but it's not substancially different from what you suggest. If the wikipedia stylesheet had support for floaty things explicitly, then the div way would be better, as it would vanish for visitors with accessibility browsers (who'd be using a different stylesheet, or not one at all). But best of all would be for "floaty" to be in wikimarkup itself, as both the div and table ways are a bit too technical for lots of wikipedians. Anyway, I digress into feature-request land, so I'll quit now. -- Finlay McWalter 00:31, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)
What is "MediaWiki:Loginend"? —Paul A 02:15, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Optim requested that the bulk of the text in Special:Userlogin be moved below the controls, so that people with small screens wouldn't have to scroll down in order to log in. Being pretty clueless at graphic design, I decided to the editors decide. If you think it's a good idea, you can move text from MediaWiki:Loginprompt to MediaWiki:Loginend. See MediaWiki talk:Loginprompt for discussion on this. -- Tim Starling 05:50, Jan 30, 2004 (UTC)

Just a technical note: it's not a new release, but a live rollout of the current development snapshot. We'll release the new version at after fixing bugs exposed by the rollout. --Brion 03:38, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Uploading PDFs[edit]

Why can't I upload a PDF? I am making PNG versions of the IPA chart, but having a PDF version available for download would be a good thing. Is there a good reason that I am forbidden from uploading PDF files? --Nohat 22:12, 2004 Jan 29 (UTC)

I may be wrong, but I think PDF may technically be a proprietry format - i.e. officially "owned" by one company, rather than defined as an open standard - and therefore not suitable for an open-content project such as this. Maybe someone should clarify that in the article... - IMSoP 00:53, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)
We have pdf, e.g. Image:Davis recall petition.pdf.--Patrick 01:56, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)
PDF used to be a proprietry format, but Adobe have published the specifications. There are now many utilities which write the format. David Newton 03:42, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Are you sure the file isn't too big? I think there's a 2MB limit on file sizes. --Minesweeper 03:47, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Something to offer but technically incompetent.[edit]

There's a few articles I would like to help update. The page on scandium for example ( I am one of the few who actually deal with the product commercially ). There's a few other rare earth metals and so on that I can contribute information to. However, I am completely incompetent when it comes to formatting, html, anything that smacks of needing more computer knowledge than simply typing. So, is there some way to partner up with someone, I providing the information, and they putting it in the form that is required ?

Tim Worstall

Tim, my experience is that if you type in useful content, lots of people will format it. Please go ahead and start adding to pages. You might even find that formatting is so simple that you can do it. Some tips are typing ' twice gives italic (you need to do it again to stop) a third ' gives bold and two [s (and to end two ]s) creates a link to an actual or desired wikipedia article other than the one you're working on.
Enjoy Bmills 11:05, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Hey Tim. Just add the info - others will format it. I happen to be the person who wrote most of scandium and would enjoy polishing your edits. Our rare earth article needs a good deal of help. See also WikiProject Elements. --mav
When I first joined I used to put comments like "Help I want the 2 in H20 to be a subscript but I don't know how" in the edit summary box. If you do this you'll find loads of people willing to help. Whenever someone formatted something that I wrote , i'd click on the edit link to see how they did it. I found that I was able to pick up the basics in a couple of days. It's all pretty easy. theresa knott 14:26, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Tim; check out Wikipedia:How to edit a page for information on formatting. (And be sure to create a user account) Welcome to Wikipedia! Elde 16:30, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)
And something useful I didn't figure out for ages, three ~ will sign your name, four ~ will sign your name and add a datestamp. Useful for all talk pages/discussions. Welcome, Tim. Fabiform 17:39, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Google Search[edit]

Does anyone know why pages disappear suddenly from Google searches for some time(a week or more) and then equally suddenly come back ? For example if we type the Page name + wikipedia in the search window, there is no link to the page. Ironically there are links to pages where the name of the page is mentioned elesewhere in Wikipedia. This was discussed earlier here without any clue/ solution. I am just bringing this up again because in recent months during the window(time) of disappearance, the parallel page from the Nationmaster site or encyclopedia4u( which use Wikipedia as source of information) comes up prominently( first/second,page etc.,) in the general search in Google.(I have the habit of trying this regularly with the very few pages that I had started/ contributed just to get a high!:-). KRS 09:01, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Part of it may be the mysterious Googledance over which we have no control. Part of it may also be because we have two webservers ( and which may be confusing Google as to highly ranked our site should be (as compared to, say, Nationmaster). I believe there are technical plans afoot to avoid this latter problem in the near future. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 10:08, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Well, there no longer is a Google dance once a month. The Google spiders are crawling as we speak and continue to do so. Google isn't confused by the en and en2 difference, however. When you search google from the wikipedia link it searches or depending on which server you were currently on. try doing george washington and you will get both en and en2 results. Sennheiser 13:29, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)

New features[edit]

A few new features will shortly be going live:

-- Tim Starling 08:43, Jan 29, 2004 (UTC)

What's RC? Graham 09:22, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Recent Changes -- Tim Starling 09:31, Jan 29, 2004 (UTC)

What's "shortly"? --Phil 11:46, Jan 29, 2004 (UTC)

Seems to be now :-) I just noticed the new links on the top of the diffs. andy 21:43, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Sorry, the conversion took a bit longer than I expected, I had to leave it until the next morning my time. -- Tim Starling 23:35, Jan 29, 2004 (UTC)
So what exactly do some of these do? :) Elde 00:04, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Pretty much what they say on the box:
  • Fractional time zones
  • Allows User Accounts to record their time-zone more accurately when their offset from UTC is not a whole number of hours
  • Page moves look nicer in RC
  • Shows the old name and the new name on one line
  • User, contribs (and admin only: rollback) links at the top of diffs
  • What he said
  • Is currently blank so won't make a noticeable difference
  • Allows you to see the most recent changes by anonymous users
  • Non-ASCII message names
  • (actually I have no idea either but I'll guess) allows messages to have Unicode names, probably helps with translating to other languages
  • Link table fixed for MSG
  • (guessing again) might have to do with updating pages containing {{msg:...}} messages
So now you know how little I know. HTH --Phil 12:17, Jan 30, 2004 (UTC)

Moved discussion[edit]

Questions and answers, after a period of time of inactivity, will be moved to other relevant sections of the wikipedia (such as the FAQ pages), placed in the Wikipedia:Village pump archive (if it is of general interest), or deleted (if it has no long-term value).

See the archive for older moved discussion links. For the most recent moved discussion see Wikipedia:Village pump/January 2004 archive 7

Welcome, newcomers and baffled oldtimers! This is where Wikipedians raise and try to answer Wikipedia-related questions and concerns regarding technical issues, policies, and operation in our community. However:

To facilitate ease of browsing and replying, please observe the following:

  1. Place your questions at the bottom of the list
  2. Title the question (by typing == title ==)
    • If you use the edit link above, just enter a subject.
  3. Sign your name and date (by typing --~~~~)

Related pages:

Wikipedia:FAQ, Wikipedia:Help, Wikipedia:Please do not bite the newcomers
Mailing lists - IRC - IM a Wikipedian - Talk pages - Wikipedia talk:Software updates

For old discussion, see: archive

(Press the END key on your keyboard to jump to the bottom of the page)

Welcome, newcomers and baffled oldtimers! This is where Wikipedians raise and try to answer Wikipedia-related questions and concerns regarding technical issues, policies, and operation in our community. However:

To facilitate ease of browsing and replying, please observe the following:

  1. Place your questions at the bottom of the list
  2. Title the question (by typing == title ==)
    • If you use the edit link above, just enter a subject.
  3. Sign your name and date (by typing --~~~~)

Related pages:

Wikipedia:FAQ, Wikipedia:Help, Wikipedia:Please do not bite the newcomers
Mailing lists - IRC - IM a Wikipedian - Talk pages - Wikipedia talk:Software updates

For old discussion, see: archive

FAQ: Images uploaded between January 24 and January 28 are currently not available due to a hardware problem with one of the web servers. We should have the files recovered sooner or later, but feel free to re-upload anything you uploaded in that period to restore it immediately.

Post a question or make a comment about working on Wikipedia now if you don't want to wait for the whole page to be loaded. But consider skimming to see if your question was already asked. Also, do not push the "save page" button multiple times when posting this way! Even if the server temporarily slows down it will almost always respond eventually and repeatedly pressing "save" will then post the question to the page as many times as you pressed "save"!

Minor mention of Wikipedia on Yahoo[edit]

Sorry for posting this, there's probably lots of links of Wikipedia all over the place, but here's one I happened to stumble upon by chance. (It says to Computer worm for a definition.) Κσυπ Cyp   22:18, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Cool! Sennheiser 14:36, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)


Some images I had uploaded some days ago haven't appeared yet. Obviously it's about the disk problem. Should I upload again? Optim 22:42, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)


Is it just me? When I try to run a search I get sent to the front page rather than a google search option. I was also logged out in the middle of an edit. I assume new features are rolling out?  :) fabiform | talk 02:53, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)

This is already fixed. --Brion 06:21, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Excellent, thanks. Speedy work.  :) (I'm not having editing problems by the way: Windows 2000, Crazy Browser) fabiform | talk 06:51, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)

No it's not just you, the same thing is happening to me. Also when I go to edit an article I see an older version of the article not the one I just submitted. We seem to have a bug in the works. Adam 03:08, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Me too. I'm assuming that there is something seriously wrong somewhere. I cannot get to articles unless I can find an active link. The Status page implies nothing is wrong, but also that nothing is in very good shape either. Were we not due for a change over to something that works here soon? I've had to just stop coming around, because things have become so flaky. But I'm anticipating big changes! Will that be pretty soon? - Marshman 03:21, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I'm also having problems with being unable to edit articles that have been changed since I last edited them. I can see the changes, but when I go to edit them, I get an edit screen with the OLD version. I can't get the edit to update to the new version. RickK 05:09, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)

That has been the situation for several hours (except here at Village Pump for some reason). Is anyone with technical expertise awake out there? Adam 06:09, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Haven't heard about this, will take a look. .... Can't reproduce the edit problem yet. Can anyone confirm that they're seeing it still? What browser are you using, what version of it, on which OS? Is there a difference between being logged in and not? Hoping to track this down... --Brion 06:40, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Yes, it's still happening. IE 6.0, it's only started doing it today. Windows Me. I've only done it logged in. RickK 06:42, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Three hours later it's still happening. I open Hutton Inquiry, I make an edit, I save it. I open "Edit this page" again, and I see the text as it was before I made my edit, even though the saved version has in fact been changed. Is anyone else still experiencing this? Adam 09:53, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Adam if you can get on the Wikipedia:IRC channel we can try to diagnose and test this. Nobody else has yet been able to reproduce the problem so we need to rely on you who do have it... --Brion 09:58, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I'm afraid I know nothing about IRC. It's on one my list of things I should learn to use one day. Adam 10:19, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Okay, we'll do this the old-fashioned way... ;) I've just made some tweaks to how the cache control headers are set. I can't tell for sure if this will affect you & RickK's problem; if it does or doesn't, please let me know. --Brion 10:45, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Sound's like the kind of problems I experienced after I installed the wikimedia software on my local Win/Apache-system for playing around. Only solution was to turn off Netscape caching in the browser. Maybe something in the caching code is a little broken? -- till we *) 20:30, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)

animated gif[edit]

I had thought that animated gifs weren't permitted, until I ran across one on Flag terminology. So I whipped up a neat one (a flyweight too at 21.4KB) to fill the gaping hole in Central limit theorem, only to discover that gif files get bounced after all. Is there an acceptable animated file format that I can use? If not, can a developer let me upload it to the talk page so that people can see it and decide if they like it? -- Cyan 03:35, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

As an aside, I don't think the example you pointed us to is a good use of an animated gif, it would be much more useful if the seven images were laid out and captioned side by side. Fabiform 05:27, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Amen to that. The example on the Flag terminology page is annoying. I can see valid uses for an animated GIF, e.g. in displaying mechanical motions, but, please, let's not start using trendy Web stuff just for the purpose of being k00l. Wikipedia is not PowerPoint. Dpbsmith 13:17, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Animated GIFs aren't not allowed, they're not recommended.
As far as your upload problem; the latest software update included stricter upload checking, with a default setting even stricter than we actually want on Wikipedia. You should now be able to override it for such files.
However, animated GIFs really, really aren't a good idea in most cases. Particularly not for "slideshows" which won't work on a printout, for instance. --Brion 07:23, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)
"Slideshows" are a REALLY REALLY bad idea. You can't know at what speed another person wants to take in information. I am currently remaking that dreadful flag types one as a flat image. -- Tarquin 13:50, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I will post it to Talk:Central limit theorem on Monday so people can render judgment. Thanks for the replies! -- Cyan 04:34, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)

orphaned redirects[edit]

I created some orphaned redirects today, and another user said that they personally didn't like the practice. I created The Teacup Poisoner (and variations) to redirect to Graham Frederick Young (a serial killer and what he was nicknamed by the press). Here's my rational as I posted it to the other users talk page as we discussed it: "IMHO orphaned redirects shouldn't be a problem, I mean wikipedia is still growing, and I added those redirects on the offchance that in the future someone will try to link to that phrase. When I'm wikifying an article, I tend to remove incidental links if they come up red rather than leaving them in in case someone creates an article called that in the future, I suspect most people do the same but it doesn't help develop wikipedia into a strong network of links if you think about it. (Did that make sense?)" What's the consensus on orphaned redirects? Am I commiting a solecism and drawing universal hatred upon myself by creating them?  :) Fabiform 06:52, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I'm not sure if I understood the question, but Redirects are usually orphaned, i.e. no article links to the redirect. The one you added avoids that another Duplicate article is created. -- User:Docu
That makes sense. I spent ages editing an article that appeared in cleanup, then discovered it was a duplicate, and had to spend even longer merging the two articles. So, it's OK to create redirects to an article, even if they are never used? Fabiform 07:37, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I did that once too before I was shown the way :) The problem is that it looks as if there is an article when there obviously isn't (yet). So someone clicking a blue link, will come up to an edit window. Also, it could be that the redirect is wrong, and people will follow an incorrect link. Dori | Talk 07:04, Jan 30, 2004 (UTC)
I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing here Dori. The redirects I created do point to a fully fledged article (Graham Frederick Young), what I meant by saying they are orphaned (and forgive me if that's not the right term) is that no article links to the redirect. For example, this is the "what links here" page for one of my redirects. Nothing links to it, I just created it on the offchance someone tried to link to the phrase the teacup poisoner. My question is, is this OK?  :) Fabiform 07:37, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Ah my mistake. Yes, I still do this type of thing all the time. In fact, I wish more people would do it, but others disagree. I usually do it for common mispellings, capitalizations (as in titles that have more than one word), plural, singular forms, etc. Dori | Talk 14:17, Jan 30, 2004 (UTC)
The redirect "The Teacup Poisoner" actually leads to the article about him, so no risk of confusion. It isn't even a "Redirect with possibilities" (here is preferable to link to the redirect rather than the article). Besides, just avoid linking [[The Teacup Poisoner]] within [[Graham Frederick Young]]. -- User:Docu

Unless there are lots of serial killers who poisoned people by slipping drugs into cups of tea?  ;) Fabiform 07:47, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Yes, by all means create as many redirects as possible to avoid having duplicate articles created in the future and increasing the change an article is linked.--Jiang 01:51, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)

US national archives photos - public domain?[edit]

I just wrote an article on Ernest King, and I'd like to add a picture to it. The US navy has some great pictures of him that are in the national archives. Are they part of the public domain, and (as such) distributable under the GPL? →Raul654 11:01, Jan 30, 2004 (UTC)

Yep. The U.S. government has no copyright rights and everything they produce (except classified documents and, you know, the maps showing where all the missle silos are) is up for grabs.jengod 11:30, Jan 30, 2004 (UTC)
Maybe not. If the picture was taken by a US govt employee as a part of their job, then yes, it's in the public domain. However if the archives happenes to have photo taken by a non gov employee then no, it's not in the public domain. The same issues come up for Library of Congress photos, too. Some are copyright, some are public domain. Gentgeen 12:04, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)
On the site's Privacy and Security Notice I read, "All information on this site is in the public domain and may be distributed or copied unless otherwise specified. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credits is requested." Under the banner of "no copyright paranoia" I would say that we should believe such a statement in the absense of evidence to the contrary. Andre Engels 12:13, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I'm not really being paranoid, and I wouldn't list a pic that said it came from the National Archives as a possible copyright violator. However, it's the "unless otherwise specified" part that you have to be carefull of. I know at the LoC pages, each photo has it's own reproduction rights page where any copyright is specified. Before you upload, go read that page, if there is one. Gentgeen

Suggestion: faculty rooms[edit]

The pump fills up quickly, and Recent Changes is harder to work with. A year ago, I could put a question in the comment line of an edit and hope that someone would catch it, but these days I wonder how long before it is seen. Therefore, I suggest we create "faculty rooms", which would be like Village Pumps centered on different subjects. To start with, maybe just science / humanities / arts, but see how it goes from there. These would be places to discuss new projects and mention pages that need attention -- Tarquin 13:58, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I don't know if that would be successful. It's true that the pump fills up, but that's because everyone knows it and it has a lot of publicity due to the following. These are pages will not be as followed, simply because people can't follow everything. In fact, sometimes I will write something on a talk page, and then advertize it here (I've seen others due this too). But then again, those interested in such topics, might follow them. Dori | Talk 14:21, Jan 30, 2004 (UTC)

How to use new Extended Image Syntax[edit]

How do I use the new extended image syntax please? I’ve read the Help but it’s still not totally clear how to use it. Here’s a screengrab of the code I’ve used up to now (from the Hawker Hunter article):
Can some kind person tell me the new code to replace it? You might need to know that my thumbnail is to be 300 pixels across and my Larger Version is usually 750 pixels across (but both pic sizes can vary depending on the quality and aspect ratio of the source pic). Do I still have to upload a thumbnail myself or does the new code generate it? I need the choice of placing the thumbnail on left or right, for the Hunter pic it needs to be on the right.
Adrian Pingstone 17:51, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Well I would use the following, although it doesn't reproduce what you did exactly:
[[|thumbnail|right|300px|A privately-owned Hawker Hunter photographed in England 2003]]
A privately-owned Hawker Hunter photographed in England 2003

And no, you only need to upload the large version. Fabiform 18:24, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)
You can put in the italic and center tags: [[|thumb|right|300px|<center>''A privately owned Hawker Hunter, photographed in England in 2003''</center>]] -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 18:31, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Ah, excellent. I'll go and tweak the images I did in the last day then.  :) Fabiform 18:43, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Does this new system not work with special characters? See for example: User:Dori/Sandbox. Dori | Talk 20:37, Jan 30, 2004 (UTC)
Also, check out the alt text on the right hand image in Dori's sandbox, it displays as:
<center ><strong>Image:Butrint 2.jpg</strong></center >
fabiform | talk 21:01, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Thanks everyone, the new code works fine. Have a look at my first attempt (Morris Marina). I only had to upload the large pic, the thumbnail was created by the code so the work of image uploading is now halved for me. Thanks to whoever coded this improvement.

P.S. I notice that the thumbnail the code makes is a little large, it was 36K compared with the 20K I got when I made the thumbnail. So the new code will have a penalty in page loading times.Adrian Pingstone 23:13, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Is there a way to align left the image on Henri_Druey ? Currently the list interferes with the image (it probably also did in the previous version). -- User:Docu

Yes, there is away to improve the page, just shift the image over to the right where it looks much more natural! It's standard practice on Wikipedia to put the first image on the right so that the beginning of lines are not disrupted. I hope you like the result.
Adrian Pingstone 20:53, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)
This solves the formatting problem. I usually prefer to have portraits look into the article, e.g. John Adams seems to be looking the wrong way, but Henri_Druey looks o.k. even on the other side. -- User:Docu

Articles on Business Entities[edit]

The articles on companies on wikipedia seems to be fairly shallow. I think that is an interesting use of wikipedia to actually describe the companies we are dependent on for so many of the things we use in our lives. People _do_ have very strong feelings about things they buy. But we often fail to connect those things to the companies, and then the people, that bring them into the world.

For example, I added a little note to the Pepsi page in which I referenced that it was an SIC 2080 company, as classified upon its incorporation in the United States. This then led to a list of US SIC 2080 compnaies. I got this list from the US SEC. Many of these companies are huge players in our lives in various ways, yet there are no articles about them.

It seems that there can be a standard bunch of information, such as the boxes that go with some other types of pages, that would show an entity's ownership, employees, geographical reach and other important information. I am not an economist, but I believe it is important to document these market forces.

Does anyone have ideas about good ways to do this? RayKiddy 06:40, 1 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I suggest creating a template html table. We already do something similiar for battles - see Battle of Taranto. I think at the very least, it should list the official name, stock symbol, yearly revinues, # of employees, owners (or major shareholders). →Raul654 06:53, Feb 1, 2004 (UTC)

Title of your page[edit]

Where did your name Wikipedia come from and what is your purpose other than to provide encyclopaedia services for free?

Short answers:

1) Wikipedia's name is a contraction of "wikiwiki encyclopedia".
2) As a wikiwiki, Wikipedia is open to modification by anyone on the internet. As such, it provides much more content (both breadth and depth) than one could find in a traditional paper encylopedia. →Raul654 00:26, Jan 31, 2004 (UTC)

As a result it is also full of badly-written nonsense, but we are working on that. :) Adam 10:19, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Stealth Vandalism of Slashdot trolling phenomena[edit]

From 06:30, 12 Dec 2003 to 21:24, 17 Jan 2004, article "Slashdot trolling phenomena" was the victim of what I think was stealth vandalism, but might possibly be an anonymous editor with very poor English skills.

The vandalism appears never to have been recognized as such, with individual problem phrases being corrected in an ad hoc manner as each was noticed by later editors.

In addition to changing phrases, expansions of abbreviations where removed, and some sub-sections were removed entirely. Some disputable or incorrect factual claims are also made ("Steal underpants" for "Collect underpants", added text under the sycophant troll). I noticed the changes when I went to copy the text of the "Stephen King is Dead" troll to commemorate Captain Kangaroo on Slashdot, only to find the canonical text removed.

I definitely think that the canonical text should be there (which is why I originally added it), but I'm a little reluctant to restore the text for two reasons: a number of other changes have acreted in the meantime, and the original text makes reference to a Slashdot user who shares my Wikipedia username, an addition I originally made only to correct what had been an incorrect attribution (of using the Stephen King troll to announce real deaths) to "Anonymous Coward".

Some of the changed phrases, with the change highlighted:

"This is a list of some of the trolls which may be come across when browsing Slashdot comments."

"Homosexuality is one of the most versatile and so common trolling devices utilised."

The rest can be see in the diff, at

PS: Minesweeper found a similar stealth vandalism in Slashdot on 20:27, 19 Dec 2003. My guess is that it's a Slashdot troll trying for some self-referential "humor".

Forgot to sign! orthogonal 14:50, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Overlinking to overly-broad terms?[edit]

A recent edit of Statue of Liberty has a section that now reads:

French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was commissioned to design a sculpture with the year 1876 in mind for completion, to commemorate the centennial of the American Declaration of Independence. It was agreed upon that in a joint effort the American people were to build the pedestal, and the French people were responsible for the Statue and its assembly here in the United States. However, lack of funds was a problem on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. In France, public fees, ...

The edit added links to French, American, French, Atlantic Ocean, and France.

I see a lot of this, and I don't understand it. What purpose is served by linking the word "French" twice, rather than just on its first appearance in the paragraph? And, what purpose is served by linking to these terms in the first place? There seems to be a frenzy in Wikipedia to wikilink anything at all for which an article exists. Isn't it preferable to link only those that are clearly relevant to the article from which they're linked? Dpbsmith 04:24, 1 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I agree. I often remove links where they bear absolutely no relevance to the article. Particularly dates, where the date has no real significance. For example in the article on Homer Simpson the sentence
  • Various episodes have given his date of birth as May 12 1956, May 10 1955, and even 17-23-1956 [sic].
contained 4 links to May 12, 1956, May 10, and 1955 before I removed them! HappyDog 04:45, 1 Feb 2004 (UTC)
But this is a hard call. The original idea of hypertext was that every word would be a link. It seems clear that this is not the way to go. But one of the really wonderful things about wikipedia is the robust links between pages. Let's not get too strict about removing links.... RayKiddy 05:29, 1 Feb 2004 (UTC)
See the debate: make only links relevant to the context vs. build the web. I prefer the former, since it makes it easier to read, and when only a few words are linked, it draws your attention to the more important words. --Minesweeper 05:58, 1 Feb 2004 (UTC)
At Wikipedia: Manual of style#Free links we find
...The use of so-called "free links" to other topics, for example, George W. Bush, is encouraged. Use the links for all words and terms that appear in your article for which it could be worthwhile to read the linked article. However, don't overdo it. Do not link every occurrence of a word; simply linking the first time the word appears will usually be enough.
which I think is about right. It's not always an easy call, but for instance linking to the number three from triangle is I think good (and I must do it), while linking to the number six from The six o'clock news would be quite wrong, linking to the number three from The three bears is IMO a line call, it depends on whether there is something important about the number three that makes it particularly apt for this story.
Helpful links are those which either a reader is going to be looking for, or isn't going to be looking for but will recognise as helpful and say "Aha!" when they see them. But deciding this isn't always easy.
Linking to the same article twice, or to articles of no likely relevance, just clutters the page and makes it harder to see the useful links.
I probably tend to err towards overlinking as the lesser of two evils. Andrewa 06:12, 1 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Disappearing pictures[edit]

Over the last couple of days some pictures have disappeared from this article. What is going on? mydogategodshat 11:00, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)

See up top. --Brion 11:03, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Thanks. mydogategodshat

Fanny Kaplan vs Fanya Kaplan[edit]

I posted an entry on Fanya Kaplan, the woman that attempted to assassinate Lenin. Being as her real name is Russian, there is some dispute on how it should be transcribed into English. I have seen it as both Fanny and Fanya. A Google search shows that Fanny is more popular by about two to one, but Fanya seems to appear much more frequently in the scholarly works as opposed to the general ones. In addition, Mikkalai, who unlike me actually speaks Russian, says that Fanny is the more accurate transcription. I'm throwing this one to the consensus of the crowd. 1430 EST 30 January 2004 MK

RC bug?[edit]

I just created a redirect from Paso Robles, California to El Paso de Robles (Paso Robles), California. This edit did not show up on recent changes until I changed it to "show bots". And, I'm pretty sure I'm not a bot. Going to this page didn't show it either. At around the same time, another user created a redirect from AUM Shinrikyo to Aum Shinrikyo which was similarly hidden. Other edits, which didn't involve creating redirects, showed up normally in RC. Is this part of an ongoing debugging process? --Minesweeper 06:49, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)

There seems to be some sort of bug with newly created pages. Tracking it down... --Brion 07:19, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Tim's found and fixed this. --Brion 07:42, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)

After you did the redirect did you click on the Recent changes link, or use your Back button? Recently, I've noticed the Back button doesn't give me an updated version of the Recent Changes page. It's been like that for about a week now. I thought it was intentional. RickK 06:53, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)

The back button doesn't cause anything to reload unless you have a weird browser. Internet Explorer often does that, I'm told. --Brion 07:19, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that I clicked on the Recent Changes link on the left. And, thanks for tracking this down. --Minesweeper 07:59, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Feature request[edit]

I'd like to request a feature for generating the number of user contributions someone has made. Like ~~~~, it gets replaced with a number once the article gets saved. I would suggest a format such as {{contributions:Username}}. →Raul654 07:47, Feb 1, 2004 (UTC)

I'd suggest not. Any time the number of contributions made is easy to find, people will make contributions for the sole purpose of making that number bigger. Just look at any forum on the internet. --Carnildo 10:19, 1 Feb 2004 (UTC)
It's not like I'm asking for it to be displayed prominently on the user page. I just want something easier than going into the contribution history and counting (or using size cutoffs to count quickly, but it's still the same thing). Besides, if seeing their edit count makes them contribute more, then I'm all for it. →Raul654 10:22, Feb 1, 2004 (UTC)
Quality is more important than quantity. This is the slipperly slope to becoming another Slashdot. CGS 11:13, 1 Feb 2004 (UTC).

OpenOffice Software Documentation[edit]

What is the Wikipedia policy on establishing pages for an ongoing FAQ/documentation project for various Open Source software? In particular, I have in mind the increasingly popular Open Office ( One of the problems with open source software is that the guides and documentation are frequently written at a single point in time by single authors, even though the software is a moving target. The web typically contains several outdated documents, and leaves some areas which are not well explained. A community effort could quickly keep documentation fresh, and offer assistance through current guides.

I realise that an encyclopaedia is not the place for software documentation, but then again, you wouldn't expect to find cartoon characters in an encyclopaedia either.

Your view and/or ruling on this would be much appreciated.

--Humanist 00:56, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

If what you describe could essentially be called a manual for OpenOffice (e.g. "OpenOffice for dolts") then that sounds like an excellent wikibook [12], from which a link from wikipedia's OpenOffice page could reasonably be made. -- Finlay McWalter 01:03, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

This is exactly the mission of OpenFacts. OpenFacts runs on the same MediaWiki software we use here on Wikipedia, and has as its aim documenting open source software. --Brion 03:36, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

So, which one, exactly, was article 200,000?[edit]

Who got article 200,000?! :) jengod 00:50, Feb 2, 2004 (UTC)

So, which one, exactly, was article 200,000?[edit]

Who got article 200,000?! :) jengod 00:50, Feb 2, 2004 (UTC)

Be prepare for slastdotting. -- Taku 01:12, Feb 2, 2004 (UTC)
probably User:SimonMayer, who appears to be madly creating hundreds of stubs on football… Jor 01:26, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Possible problem with new pic code[edit]

It seems that a link can't be used in the caption when using the new pic code. For example this produces a picture:
[[image:luft.a300b4.d-aias.750pix..jpg|thumb|right|300px|<center>''Lufthansa Airbus A300''</center>]]

but this gives no picture:
[[image:luft.a300b4.d-aias.750pix..jpg|thumb|right|300px|<center>''[[Lufthansa]] Airbus A300''</center>]]

(Ignore the double dot in the filename, that has nothing to do with the problem). Are links in captions not now allowed or am I doing something wrong?
Adrian Pingstone 18:04, 1 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I asked for this at meta. Dori | Talk 18:13, Feb 1, 2004 (UTC)
No links in captions, sorry. We currently can't handle nested links. -- JeLuF 07:26, Feb 2, 2004 (UTC)

So, which one, exactly, was article 200,000?[edit]

Who got article 200,000?! :) jengod 00:50, Feb 2, 2004 (UTC)

article 200,000 canidate [checked when there was 200,054 article] ...
55 Neil Warnock
Be prepare for slashdotting. -- Taku 01:12, Feb 2, 2004 (UTC)
probably User:SimonMayer, who appears to be madly creating hundreds of stubs on football… Jor 01:26, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)
WHATEVER, 200000!!!!!!!!!! Let's put some baloon pictures or at least a mention on the main page! Ilyanep 01:28, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)
The only balloon pics in the database are balloon bombs or hot air balloons.  :( Is this a big enough event to put in the Anniversary Page for today? fabiform | talk 01:49, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Should auld memories be forgot, and never brought to mind, I'll a have cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne. →Raul654 01:49, Feb 2, 2004 (UTC) --Well, it seemed appropriate ;)
Don't you mean "should auld managers of Plymouth Argyle be forgot, and never brought to mind" etc? fabiform | talk 01:56, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I suggest posting a link on the main page to Wikipedia:Celebrating 200,000 →Raul654 01:51, Feb 2, 2004 (UTC)

Vandalism and anonymous editors[edit]

With two hours today, three articles written by me have been vandalised by anonymous persons (Robert Menzies, George Panandreou, junior and Panhellenic Socialist Movement) and one subjected to a edit which, while not strictly vandalism, was destructive and pointless (The Sixties). Users of real encyclopaedia do not expect to open articles and see the word FUCK where they expected to find an article. What happens when parents and schools use Wikipedia and find this kind of vandalism?. Sure it is reverted fairly quickly, but Wikipedia has a high level of traffic and the vandalised version will be seen by some people. When is Wikipedia going to have a serious debate on the proposition Anonymous users should not be allowed to edit articles? Adam 04:08, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)

If you force vandals to log in, it will be harder to spot their edits. If you do not allow newcomers to edit (as your proposal suggests), thousands of useful corrections will be lost, and many potential contributors will not join. More promising, I think, is the proposal to disallow typing students, curious people and friends of gays. See m:Friends of gays should not be allowed to edit articles. -- Tim Starling 04:27, Feb 2, 2004 (UTC)
Three comments. (1) wikipedia isn't entirely "kid-safe" (nor is life), this isn't a bowdlerised consesus of human knowledge, kids could also find articles about the word fuck, racial slurs, sexual positions, etc, some of which are obviously linked from articles they may be using. (2) How would making users get an account (a process which involves simply chosing a username and password) protect the site from vandalism? We already have the power to block IPs, and actually, the very fact these edits are from anonymous users means they currently stand out in RC (edits by logged-in users can even be hidden, to make this even easier). (3) Who here got sucked into wikipedia by the very feature which you want to remove? The majority of people test the water by making edits as anons. I generally wont get a user account at a site unless I have to, or after using the site for a while I find I want to. Nutshell: I like the system as it is (can you tell?).  :) fabiform | talk 04:32, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Note that Adam Carr's proposal is not simply to force users to get an account, but also to implement an Everything2-style hierarchy, whereby new users (after email confirmation and 24 hour waiting period) can only submit new articles, not edit existing ones. Only after a user becomes trusted will they be allowed to edit. -- Tim Starling 04:37, Feb 2, 2004 (UTC)
That's not going to happen so long as I and people like me are still here. But we do need better ways to track untrusted edits. Hiding logged-in users is one step. I would also like to be able to see edits by rank newbie logged-in users in their own RC as well (maybe with anon edits). We should also continue adding neat-o features for logged-in users in order to add more incentive for anons to log-in. IMO, the anon interface should be optimized for readers - who are, by far, the number one users of that interface. But "Edit this page" should be there for everybody. --mav
I don't understand what hiding logged in users accomplishes. How is this a good thing?
It's just that Adam was concerned with the kind of contributions anon users are making. If you hide logged in users on RC you can see the recent edits by people who are only known by IP address in a clear list - these are the edits which are (arguably) most likely to need reverting (vandalism, test pages, self promotion, etc etc). fabiform | talk 06:05, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Yes, we were talking about similar measures via IRC recently. I'm particularly interested by the idea of coordinated review -- some method for allowing us to check edits without so much duplicated effort or occasional missed vandalism. But I'm certainly opposed to any kind of restriction imposed on anonymous editors, including moderation queues or stable versions. -- Tim Starling 04:51, Feb 2, 2004 (UTC)
Personally I think users should be encourage to weed (RC, new articles, random page etc) and report things that need sorting out to cleanup (or deleted pages, etc). More important of course is for users to find the time to sort out the articles linked in cleanup (have you seen how long it is lately?). fabiform | talk 05:23, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Props to myself for reverting the vandalism to the first three articles in 2, 3, and 3 minutes. ;-) - snoyes 04:53, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification Tim (I've read the link now). Other than the fact that I'm a user who jump into debates without following the links in the questions (sorry) I think I'm good for wikipedia. In fact (wikipediaholic?) I've made over 1000 edits and I've not even been here a month yet. I started by fixing problems I saw in other people's articles and replacing naff stubs (i.e. Editing). There is no way I would have joined wikipedia with the above restrictions in place. It's the open structure and ease of access that makes wikipedia what it is (special). fabiform | talk 04:54, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Ah well, I see I am not going to persuade many people on this issue. But sooner or later WP is going to have to choose between process and outcome, because the two are untimately not compatible. Real encyclopaedias, ones that readers rely on and come back to and cite in their essays etc, have both stability of content (ie the article on fascism presents the same facts this week as it did last week) and quality control (ie those facts are in fact facts and not somebody's illiterate ramblings). At present WP has neither of those things. Until it does WP will not achieve its objectives of being (and I quote) a complete and accurate encyclopaedia. I certainly would not cite a fact I read at WP without checking it somewhere, whereas I would do so with something I read in the Britannica. At the moment WP exists to satisfy the needs of its contributors (including me), not its readers or potential readers. Sooner or later this must change. Adam 05:27, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)

PS I didn't find Tim's parody of my page particularly amusing.

It wasn't my parody, I'm just promoting it. Alas, I can't lay claim to such a stunning display of wit. -- Tim Starling 05:32, Feb 2, 2004 (UTC)
Real encyclopedias are also updated yearly. You may want to take a look at User:Jimbo_Wales/Pushing_To_1.0. We can talk of two separate encyclopedias - one peer reviewed and ready for mass distribution, the other restricted to editing on this site. Edits to that one should be made on this one and not the other way around. Changing this one wont get you anywhere. --Jiang 05:40, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Adam, I don't think we should want to turn Wikipedia into something just like every other's not Britannica, and it's probably overly optimistic to think it ever will be. It's Wikipedia, it's just different. As for your main idea, to limit the ways anons can edit, seems like a bad idea to me, or at least an "anti-Wiki" idea. It should be as easy as possible for anonymous IPs to edit. We have plenty of people to catch vandalism...if one of your articles vandalized, it will be reverted quickly. If they had sat there for weeks, your complaint would make more sense. You shouldn't get so personally offended when one of "your" articles has "fuck" plastered all over it, or whatever. Just relax :) Adam Bishop 05:45, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Adam, some of what you're talking about doesn't have its roots in random vandalism, which is what you introduced this topic as. Jiang's already answered part of your point (wiki is not paper, it's not static, it's not peer reviewed in the scholarly sense). Wiki does have a problem dealing with NPOV disputes, and needs decent systems for dealing with conflicts between users, edit wars, etc etc (these are evolving, but aren't there yet). I think your aims might better be met by concentrating on those areas, random vandalism is pretty easy to catch, and vandals generally disappear when they see we fix things quickly (broken window theory).  :) fabiform | talk 05:46, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I think Adam has some good point, but possibly slightly prematurely. I think Wikipedia is still in a primarily "collecting knowledge" stage, where most of the world's knowledge that might be appropriate for an encyclopedia is not in Wikipedia. Within a few years, I think this will no longer be the case, and Wikipedia will be fairly complete, missing mostly obscure things and being mainly in need of revision and clarification rather than expansion. When that becomes the case, I think something will have to change. Clearly an article that has been painstakingly concocted over a period of a year should not be subjected to massive detrimental edits by a group of new users. So I think at some point in the future we might want to start flagging certain article as "this article is essentially done", and have some way whereby further edits must pass through at least a minimal review process to ensure they really are improvements. --Delirium 05:56, Feb 2, 2004 (UTC)

Jiang refers to the proposal for a Wikipedia.1 or whatever - this would amount to much the same thing as I proposed at the Meta page linked to above, because articles at WP which were peer-judged to be "complete" and "accurate" would be promoted to WP1, where they could not be further edited except by agreement. We would thus have a 2-tier WP, one where the soundness of articles was in some sense guaranteed, and one where caveat lector prevailed. Delirium may well be right that WP is not yet at the stage where this starts happening. But the sooner the better would be my view. Adam 06:14, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Sorry, no beans. That would fork the content. All editing should be done on one, and only one version - the one on Wikipedia. Periodically a snapshot of the article can be taken and served in static form as part of a stable release. The criteria for deciding what to snapshot would be decided later and will likely grow from our featured article process. --mav 07:12, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Adopting a peremptory tone won't make the issue go away, Mav. There is a big difference between a pile of bricks, no matter how large, and a house. Sooner or later the time for brick-amassing will end and the time for creating a permanent structure will arrive. You may be right that it isn't time yet, but playing King Knut will not cut it for ever. Adam 08:11, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)
You seem to be very alone in your viewpoint on this issue. So If you stop bringing it up then it will go away. --mav
I'd like Wikipedia to remain a pile of bricks forever. I think it's a wondeful thing just as that. But I'd also like to use these bricks to build a house. Perhaps even several houses. One of these may be Wikipedia 1.0, another may be a G-rated Wikipedia, suitable for use by primary schools, with its own domain and URLs. Still others may be stand-alone CD-based versions that will run on a 386 in the 3rd world. It's all possible. This is what the filter project promises. Andrewa 08:48, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Actually I don't think Adam is alone in his vision for a "guaranteed" version of Wikipedia (aka 1.0). Creating that version (performing a filter, whatever you want to call it) is going to result in edits to various articles. Whenever appropiate these edits will of course get cross-ported to Wikipedia (or take in place on Wikipedia and get re-exported to 1.0, same thing). Just taking a snapshot would be pretty much pointless... it would contain just as much typos and errors as fact as a live version does. There is interest in this... if someone came along and stumped up cash and developers, others would work on it. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 09:03, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)
There's no need to make special edits to create a reviewed version, in fact I think that's needless duplication and will create all sorts of problems. Any needed edits should happen in the normal fashion, in the normal Wikipedia. All that's necessary is a way to flag particular versions of articles as approved. If no version of an article is approved, then it's not part of the reviewed version of Wikipedia. If one is, then the latest reviewed version is what the reader sees. I did a detailed proposal based on this process a while back. Andrewa 15:54, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I share a lot of Adam's concerns, but not his proposed solution. Sooner or later an accurate free encyclopedia is going to have to start verifying that it lives up to the words accurate and encyclopedia. The only way to do the former is to start freezing candidate articles and institute some kind of peer review system. Then successful candidates would need to be locked and only edited for some kind of yearly audit. The verification of the second term is undergoing some level of debate at Wikipedia:Deletion policy polls. Mu suspicion is that when the product comes to be constructed, many of the 200,000 articles will never make the cut. As for vandalism, my suggestion would be a three strikes and you're out policy. Ban people who have had two warnings on their talk page for verifiable acts of vandalism. By the way, the introduction of Adam's sexuality into this debate was, to say the least, uncalled for. Bmills 10:00, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I acknowledge that there is more than one way to achieve these objctives. Pcb21 and Bmills's suggestions are on the same path as mine, but more sophisticated in their means. Incidentally I don't think Tim's link to the parody page was directed at me in a hostile sense. Adam 10:18, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)

In defense of Tim, it was a coincidence and not a dig at Adam Carr. What he was referring to with Anonymous users should not be allowed to edit articles was that most of the vandalism from anons is some variation of the dumb utterance "Josh is gay". The joke being, banning these "friends" will get rid of the vandlalism. This is perhaps obvious to folks on the IRC channel or admins, but too much an inside joke. Fuzheado 11:58, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Transwiki protocol[edit]

The transwiki protocol looks great, but I've a question... how do I link to an article in the process of transition? Will links to the Transwiki pseudo-namespace be converted to links to the final article when the process is completed? Is this described somewhere and I've missed it? Andrewa 01:37, 1 Feb 2004 (UTC)

When a page moves from the transwiki namespace to the real one, the resulting redirect will be kept so that any links made to that page during transition are not broken. I've added this m:transwiki now. Angela. 02:43, Feb 1, 2004 (UTC)
That sounds so obvious when you say it. Thank you! Andrewa 04:40, 1 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Perhaps Vandalism?[edit]

Wasn't sure where to post this since it doesn't appear to be vandalism per se, but...the user seems to be deleting large swatches of content in articles related to Sunnis, Christians in Arab nations, etc. (see this for a full list). Unfortunately, I know nothing of the subject matter and can't determine whether or not the guy is a vandal, making things NPOV by omission or what. Perhaps I'm being too cynical and the guy knows what he's doing. Anyways, I at least wanted to make a note of it and ask "What do you do when you're not sure if it's vandalism?" RadicalBender 05:30, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)

If the person does not explain why they are deleting text, then feel free to revert and if they keep it up list them on Wikipedia:Vandalism in progress. --mav 05:46, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Well, the person is now definitely an NPOV writer at least, since he vandalized Zionism very negatively as well. Anyways, most of the edits have already been undone now by various people. RadicalBender 06:29, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)

There would be too much overlap with compounds. So just use the compounds table with a few extra cells. See carbon dioxide. Develop that a bit and then start a WikiProject. At that point try to gain support and comments on your table. If and when others think it is a good idea, then start implementing it. --mav 00:21, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Just one suggestion: When choosing the colour, you might want to stay away from red because it is being used by the animal articles (see platypus or grouse), stay away from yellow because it is being used by the chemical compounds articles (see calcium carbonate) or carbon dioxide, and stay away from green because it is being used by the plant articles (see ginkgo). mydogategodshat 00:45, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Calling Australians[edit]

Can anyone who's familiar with Australian English have a glance at sherbert and talk:sherbet and tell me if I have it right. I'm having a hard time confirming it with websearches. Thanks! Replies to talk:sherbet. fabiform | talk 19:40, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Interwiki link problem (ku:)[edit]

I was just looking at Microsoft, and noticed that there was an inline link to ku:Microsoft. I assumed it was an accident in the markup ([[:ku:Microsoft]], like the one just there). But in the source, it is quite clearly correct: [[ku:Microsoft]]. The same problem appears on Bill Gates, and even on the German sandbox, so it seems the software just isn't accepting ku as a proper language. (Yes, I know it's a software issue, and those live elsewhere, but I suspect it's just a switch needs flipping somewhere, rather than a full-on bug...) - IMSoP 17:00, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)

My Ancestors--Help, Please.--from Elizabeth L. Nice[edit]

Hello, My name is Elizabeth L. Nice. I am in the United States. My Father was Franklin Motes Nice and all the Nices dateing back to the 1500-1700's were from Nice, France. I have an official coat of arms and I am looking into my ancestoral background. Any information you could give me would be greatly appreciated. My Grandfathers with the name "Nice" came to the United States we believe sometime in the 1700's--As far as we know, they were all doctors--My father broke that chain and did not become a doctor. I was also told that my ancestors founded Nicetown,Philadelphia. My one Grandfather, John Jacob Mickley has the credit for being one of the men responsible for rescuing the Liberty Bell during the Revolutionary War when the British were coming to attack Philadelphia and destroy the Bell. Thankyou so much for your time and any information about my ancestors from France. Very Sincerely Yours, Elizabeth Lee Nice

ethnic group[edit]

I wonder if you could help me.I am trying to fill a form out and it is asking my ethnic group,I am struggling with the answer as my grandad was apparantly jamacan and my grandmother english, and my mother was quite dark half cast and my father english.I was adopted you see so I am a bit stuck with my ethnic group I wonder if you can help Thanks Tracey.

small photos and big photos[edit]

Could someone vistit Monument to the Royal Stuarts, and fix the nifty magnifying glass thing, which I copied from Athens, so that it leads to the big version of the photo as it is supposed to. The big version is uploaded as [[Image:ac.stuarts.jpg]] and the small version as [[image:ac.stuarts2.jpg]]. Obviously I have missed a step in the process somewhere. Adam 11:41, 1 Feb 2004 (UTC)

With the new version, you need just one picture. I changed it on the page. Hope you like the result. -- User:Docu

Many thanks. So I just upload the big version, and then specify in the edit box the width I want the small version to appear as, is that correct? Adam 11:54, 1 Feb 2004 (UTC)

  • Yes, but I haven't tried out all options yet. A quick way to do it, seems to be [[Image:ac.stuarts.jpg|thumb|Monument to the royal Stuarts, Rome]] -- User:Docu
Have you been here yet: Wikipedia:Extended image syntax? There are examples of the different options that you can copy and paste.  :) fabiform | talk 13:40, 1 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Here's the code I'm now using for a large pic with its associated thumbnail, it seems to work fine:
Put double apostrophes around the picture title to give the italics.
DON'T UPLOAD A THUMBNAIL, the new code does it for you.
The result is a centred, italicised, caption and a nice-looking thumbnail 300 pixels wide and set on the right of the article. Go to Morris Marina to see how it all turns out.
Can I suggest that 300 pixels be the standard thumb width, it makes a thumbnail big enough so that the reader is not forced to view the big pic but not so big that the text is squeezed into a narrow channel on an 800 by 640 screen.
Adrian Pingstone 15:28, 1 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I second this suggestion. A standard width of 300px would be perfect. Hadal 16:32, 1 Feb 2004 (UTC)