Wikipedia:Village pump/July 2003 archive

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Message from David Thrale moved to the bottom. -- Tim Starling 03:55 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Please could one of the sysops re-generate a new version of Special:Longpages? I have moved/split up/reduced/etc. some of them and would like to see how the list has changed. Thanks a lot in advance. -- Timwi 20:01 23 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Also Orphan articles - still a small snapshot dated May 13th. -- SGBailey.

I think you need a developer for that, not just a sysop. -- Tim Starling 00:58 24 Jun 2003 (UTC)

How do I best approach a developer who is capable of doing this? (seeing as nobody has done it upon this request of mine) -- Timwi 18:56 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I might be one soon, maybe even this week. -- Tim Starling 22:22 29 Jun 2003 (UTC)

More on Aradia. As I was told that the contributor who wrote those articles will be of no help on the subject, if no objection is made, during the weekend I'm going to change Roman and Greek into Wiccan tradition to avoid confussion. If there is some objection, please let me know. Thanks.-- The Warlock 05:09 27 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Any HTML, CSS, or WAI gurus may want to check out the meta page m:Wikipedia accessibility, which I've set up to discuss accessibility issues on Wikipedia. It would also be great to have input from any users to whom accessibility is important for whatever reason (especially if you are disabled, use a text-only or speech browser, or otherwise require the benefits that accessible design provides). -- Wapcaplet 12:21 27 Jun 2003 (UTC)

seems fine to me. See the tech mailing list for a proposed new design which avoids tables in the header & footers. -- tarquin (logged out)
The accessibility issue pages just seem to talk about blind people. Aren't there other accessibility issues we should be looking at?
Well, yeah. The page is there to bring up, and discuss, any potential accessibility issues. That often means accessibility for the blind, but as the opening paragraph states, it can mean other kinds of accessibility as well. -- Wapcaplet 23:13 27 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Is there any way to keep sub and sup from creating "extra space" between lines? Pizza Puzzle

Then where would the sup and sub letters fit? CGS 22:35 27 Jun 2003 (UTC).
They would fit if they were made smaller. Pizza Puzzle
With km² (that doesn't use <sup>), no inter-line spacing occurs. For more examples, see Three Principles of the People. It only works with the numerals though. --Menchi 23:05 27 Jun 2003 (UTC)

That's a browser issue, isn't it? I don't think there's anything Wikipedia can do about it. -- Timwi 09:45 28 Jun 2003 (UTC)

If its a browser issue, the wiki needs to inform people as to what browser they should use. Pizza Puzzle

A magic browser from fairyland that doesn't exist. :) I'm not aware of any browser that renders superscripts and subscripts that doesn't behave as above. If you do, I'd love to hear about it. --Brion 01:18 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)

What is the standard width for a taxobox image? -- Tarquin 09:40 28 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I think something between 100 and 200 pixels; I think this is better asked at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Tree of Life or somesuch. -- Timwi 09:47 28 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I'm busy adding pics to the birds taxoboxes and 250pixels seems about right. Have a look at Snow Goose or Bean Goose or Black Swan.
Adrian Pingstone 11:06 28 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Auto-watchlist One's Own Uploaded Files[edit]

I copied this discussion from Wikipedia talk:Image use policy, as recommended by Martin, Fantasy 22:41 28 Jun 2003 (UTC):

Why does my uploaded image description page not show up on my watchlist? I really would like to know if someone is modifying something regarding my image. Is there a reason for it that it is not automatically on the Watchlist? Thanks, Fantasy 09:56 28 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Strange - I thought it did. :-( Well, you can go and fix that yourself (Wikipedia software is open source) or beg a developer on wikipedia:village pump, I guess. It's definately a good idea :) Martin 18:09 28 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Did you click on the image description page to add it to your watchlist, or just the article the photo is inlined at? Image pages appear on my watchlist, but I have to add them seperately. -- Infrogmation 23:15 28 Jun 2003 (UTC)
That is exactly the point. Why should I not want to watch my image? Is there a reason why it is not done automatically? Fantasy 16:44 29 Jun 2003 (UTC)
We should, but many don't care for it. I guess that's irresponsible in a cruel sense, but uploaders aren't required by policy to look after their children... I mean, uploadees. It's a good manner though. --Menchi 16:54 29 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Sorry, I think, you got me wrong. I was asking about the "automatically" on the watchlist. Fantasy 17:35 29 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Yeah, I understood ya. I meant "We should want to watch our image, so it is a good reason to make it automatic. However, many may not care what happen to their images, so they may find such it being automatic annoying".
I personally always watchlist my uploadees, but then, I watchlist virtually all my edits too. I did want to bring up "Auto-watchlist your edit" idea to the community, but I knew the resistance would be too large, so I just keep on manually checkbox "Watch this article" for the next 1000 edits. Anyway, "Auto-watchlist your edit" is much more extreme than your "Auto-watchlist your uploadees", so your milder suggestion may come thru. Although not many has participated in this, again, probably as a result of "many don't care for it". Or ppl are just busy.
--Menchi 18:00 29 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Check your special:Preferences, man, we *have* an option to auto-watchlist all your edits. However it doesn't currently trigger on uploads; I'll see about fixing that. --Brion 18:44 29 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I did check it, man, several times weeks and months ago. "Watch new and modified articles" does not suggest to me "Auto-watch your edits" at all. Even now, I had to read the whole Preferences three times before realizing that's what it is. I always thought it means making my watchlist filled with all "new and modified articles", something of a RecentChanges -- which made little sense because of the overlap in function, but still, that's what it meant to me.
But then, it's probably just me and my flawed understanding of syntax.
--Menchi 18:55 29 Jun 2003 (UTC)


I was looking at split infinitive and noticed a "®" in "The American Heritage® Book of English Usage". Is this really required? CGS 11:53 29 Jun 2003 (UTC).

I don't think so, see OED. But I do see them on some websites too. --Menchi 23:33 29 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Partial and all selection[edit]

I try to copy text from an article, but it insists on selecting all the stuff at the top of the page, the main page recent changes and title and egh make it stop! This is only occurring in article pages, not in wiki or talk pages. Pizza Puzzle

Try open another window, then "Edit" the article. With two windows side by side, you can copy whatever you want, even the tags!!! Wshun
Nice thought, but:
  1. It shouldn't have to be that difficult. We should be able to just copy from the article page.
  2. Until just recently, it wasn't that difficult; which suggests that something's gone wrong somewhere that needs to be looked into.
Paul A 03:54 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Everything's fine in Mozilla; seems to be a bug in Internet Explorer 6, triggered by using a correct DOCTYPE declaration. I've removed it temporarily; it should be okay in IE6 now. (Reload pages as necessary; some pages will have intermediate cached versions shown for non-logged-in users that won't be cleared until they are saved or otherwise forced to regenerate.) --Brion 04:10 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
After a little hashing on the developers' list we seem to have found the exact bit that IE doesn't like (main page content being absolutely positioned), and it looks totally unnecessary so it's gone now. :) If you still get the selection bug, force a reload (ctrl and/or shift along with hitting 'reload'; and/or try clearing cache files) to make sure you get the updated style sheet. --Brion 08:53 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)



Also, the wiki continues to lag awfully. Is somebody ever going to do something about it? Pizza Puzzle

It is the problem for all encyclopediae. Thousands of new things appear everyday, but there are less than one thousand wikipedians. Bots and wikiprojects somehow improve the efficiency, but there will be no "quantum leap" unless being a wikipedian becomes a fashion. Right now, everybody just try to do their best. Wshun
I think Pizza Puzzle was referring to the fact that Wikipedia pages often load painfully slow. Didn't somebody say that we could get more RAM or something for the server, and that somebody is accepting donations? --Nelson 21:25 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Super- and subscript convention[edit]

I would like to call for a convention to use super and subscripts as used at Three Principles of the People - so that line spacing remains more uniform. I also would like somebody to explain how one can do such scripting. Pizza Puzzle

Use Character Codes² from Character Map. I believe Alt-0178 is the code for ². Poor Yorick

Or you can switch from "English (United States - International)" to "English (United States - International)" on your typing input window of your Control Panels. Then you just ALT + 2 and 3 to get ² and ³.
I have no clue where ¹ is (ALT + 1 = ¡). I always just copy-&-pasted it, like I do with 4+ superscripts.
However, US-Int'l setting means that you need to type ' twice to get it. After years of doing it, I still find it mildly annoying. But such an annoyance is overwhelmed by the many conveniences US-Int'l brings. --Menchi 05:40 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
That'll only work for a small subset of characters for which Unicode contains precreated super/subscript forms. (see PDF chart from for the codes -- eg &#x2071; == ⁱ superscript latin small letter i). Beware that not everyone has appropriate fonts to read these characters beyond the superscript 1 and 2 (¹ and ²) --Brion 04:49 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Yeh. Anyways, fixing all of the articles with super/sub, would be a monumentus (or very tedious) task. But yeh, if it'll fix line spacing, I say go for it. Poor Yorick
Seems to me that the available unicode symbols for superscripted 1 and 2 would only take care of a small percentage of the articles that have superscripts or subscripts (not to mention the fact that it destroys any semantic meaning encapsulated by using real sup and sub elements). I haven't personally tried it, but isn't there a way with CSS to correctly align superscripts and subscripts so the problems with line spacing do not occur? I'd think it'd be relatively easy to define the style attributes of sup and sub so that they are aligned with their parent's baseline, and/or modify the line-height or leading of the paragraph to accomodate super/subscripts.
For example:
abc abcd BNlabetkj blaetE eatkbk aet abcd BNlabetkj blaetE eatkbk aet abcd BNlabetkj blaetE eatkbk aet abcd BNlabetkj blaetE eatkbk aet abcd BNlabetkj blaetE13 eatkbk aet abcd BNlabetkj blaetE eatkbk aet. Abcd BNlabetkj2 blaetE eatkbk aet abcd BNlabetkj blaetE eatkbk abcd BNlabetkj blaetE eatkbk aet abcd BNlabetkj blaetE eatkbk aet abcd BNlabetkj blaetE eatkbk aet abcd BNlabetkjWhee! blaetE eatkbk aet. Abcd BNlabetkj2 blaetEabc eatkbk abcd BNlabetkj blaetE eatkbk aet abcd BNlabetkj blaetE eatkbk aet abcd BNlabetkj blaetE eatkbk aet abcd BNlabetkj blaetE eatkbk aet. Abcd BNlabetkj2 blaetE eatkbk aet

-- Wapcaplet 19:07 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)


How are references to be cited, both in and out of the text? I have seen numerous ways of doing this, the most common way seems to be that it isn't done at all. Pizza Puzzle

I have wondered about that too, and have mostly cited in the == Reference == section because I think it's more common. And when the knowledge is public common knowledge, "Matsu (goddess) is said to have died in 28 or 16", then I don't cite, because there are thousands of sources on the same thing. --Menchi 05:40 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Yes, but a statement that Terra's inner core rotates 2&deg; more, per year, than the rest of the planet - should probably have a reference right there next to the statement, and Im not sure how that should look. Pizza Puzzle
I usually put in a [1] style reference, which works if you've got a URL for your reference. You can generally find a URL for articles in the major journals, but books are a bit of a problem. Perhaps in that case you could just use superscript references and a numbered list at the end. -- Tim Starling 07:44 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Yeah, I used the numbering endnotes system for book sources in Canuck. --Menchi 07:55 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Its interesting that u should note superscripts - I tried these; BUT, it doesn't work since superscripts screw up the line spacing. Just makes the page look awful. Pizza Puzzle

I want to write something about methods of obtaining water in the wilderness, but I don't know what to title the article. The term I'm familiar with is evaporation still (still as in distillation), but that refers to just one of several devices. -Smack 06:48 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)

You could call it Obtaining water in the wilderness or something like that. -- Tim Starling 06:53 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
If your methods include procedures you could also name it How to obtain water in the wilderness, like how it is named in HowTo. -Poor Yorick 06:57 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
wilderness water. water in the wilderness. Martin
gack! Why didn't I think of that? How to obtain water in the wilderness it is. -Smack

Arr_.png for watchlist[edit]

The image, Arr_.png, on Watchlist of the "Watch new and modified articles" option is non-existent and shows up as an empty square with a default IE dead image border, quite ugly. But somehow it disappeared after a few hours into invisiblity. Is that intentional intent? Or is it a malfunction? Because the image name suggests "arrow" →. --Menchi 07:16 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)

You're using the Enhanced Recent Changes option, which displays little arrows (Arr_r.png) next to items in Recent Changes for which there are multiple edits listed; when you click the arrow to expand the list, it turns down to show Arr_d.png.
When there is only one edit, the blank image Arr_.png is used as a spacer so the line lengths match up.
The watchlist shares the list display code with Recent Changes, so if you're using the enhanced mode, it'll use the empty spacer images in front of every line (since Watchlist does not look at history, only the most recent individual edit for each watched page, so there are no items to fold out on the list, and so no arrows are used)
Now, if it's showing as the dead image, there are several possibilities:
  • you have images set not to display -- turn them back on!
  • you have an error connecting to the server or for some other reason have a corrupted version of the file in your browser cache -- reload it. May need to force reloading (shift / ctrl / clear cache / etc ....)
  • ??
Anyway, looks fine to me. --Brion 08:59 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
After a little hashing on the developers' list we seem to have found the exact bit that IE doesn't like (main page content being absolutely positioned), and it looks totally unnecessary so it's gone now. :) If you still get the selection bug, force a reload (ctrl and/or shift along with hitting 'reload'; and/or try clearing cache files) to make sure you get the updated style sheet. --Brion 08:53 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Unfortunately, the problem has no spread to all the pages. Pizza Puzzle At least, until I try ctrl-F5. Pizza Puzzle

Anchors within Articles[edit]

Hi, I'm relatively new to the wikipedia. Although I have been browsing for a while, I have only been trying to add new articles very recently. I recently updated a page on Tropicalismo, and I am working on an article for the related Brazilian film movement of Cinema Novo, but have run into a small stumbling block. I want to add a link to information on the Brazilian military coup of 1964, whose oppressive regime inspired these new forms of creative expression. However, the closest thing that I can find is in History of Brazil. While this is certainly an adequate place for this information, it is rather broad in its scope. The relevant information on the coup is at the very bottom of the page (1964-present). Is there any way to create something along the lines of html anchors, that would allow me to link exactly to that part of the article? Thanks. -DropDeadGorgias 17:26 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)

It doesn't look like you can. I found this in the archives Angela;
...the syntax for defining internal anchors has never been enabled...--Brion 04:40 Mar 10, 2003 (UTC)
Anchors work, with the regular HTML tags, see Wikipedia_talk:How_to_edit_a_page. - Patrick 18:45 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Thanks, Angela. Could someone more familiar with wikipedia customs inform me as to a reasonable formatting for this? Is an independent article on the Brazilian Military Coup of 1964 appropriate? -DropDeadGorgias 17:53 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
You could type "See section "Military Coup 1964" in ....". But, the internal anchors actually work quite well in fr:Liste des articles d'astronomie. They're not official wikitag, as you can, though. --Menchi 18:06 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Oh, Merci bien Monsieur Menchi! You have saved my articles! Two questions, actually, if you can point me in the right direction.
Where can I find a full listing of the features of wikitag?
Who designed wikitag, and are there discussions on feature requests (i.e. official anchors). I also notice that wikitag does not really behave like normal sgml. For the 'b' tag used for the anchor, I could not close the tag in the opening element by ending with a '/' character, as is possible in html, xml, and sgml. Instead I had to create a closing tag. What markup language is wikitag based on then?
Thanks once more - DropDeadGorgias 18:29 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I thought I replied hours ago. And after waking up fr. a nap, it turned out I just typed it out in FrontPage:
De rien. However, "Wikitag" doesn't exist and should be "Wiki markup". (Oui, my knowledge in computer terminology is very superficial.) Assuming that's still what you are interested in:
  1. Wikipedia:How to edit a page
  2. According to "Wikipedia", probably, Clifford Adams, not a Wikipedian, and create his Wiki script long ago for something else, presumably.
--Menchi 00:22 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Pie-Face and Curly. - why the period mark? -Smack

No reason. Newbie Wikilinking error (which also include an opening space). Fixed. --Menchi 18:15 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Danino challenged Martin status as a sysop. Martin thus decided to refrain himself from using sysop powers as long as the situation was not clear. I think he is a valuable, long-time and trusted wikipedian. I support him as a sysop. Do you ? User:anthere

Here's my unqualified yes. He was one of the first people to welcome me to the Wikipedia and I think he groks the spirit of WikiWiki.--Nelson 22:56 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I can't say I've noticed Martin doing anything I didn't approve of sysop-wise. But then, I haven't been looking. :) --Brion 04:23 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Calling All Adventurous Spirits[edit]

If you are attracted to the open spirit of wikipedia and are looking for a good travel guide, check out It is a wikiwiki site where you can add information about travel around the globe. Take a look, add an entry, join the team! Mahongue 22:20 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Info: the above site appears to licence its content under the GFDL, so its content may be useful for Wikipedia. However, apart from its front page, I can't read any of its articles using Mozilla (even though page source shows there's something there). The Anome 22:30 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I use Mozilla 1.4 and I can see the articles fine. Maybe you need to update? --Nelson 23:03 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Looks okay in my version of Mozilla (1.3.1 Linux), but perhaps the fact that it is not valid HTML has something to do with the problems you are having... Looks interesting, though! -- Wapcaplet 01:11 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I took a quick look at it and was amused to note that about half of the first half-dozen articles I looked at were heavily based on Wikipedia! At least they acknowledge their sources... -- Arwel 00:00 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I guess that's how our anonymous contributor got here :) -Smack
Sorry, I forgot to login before. Remember, "Wikipedia content can be copied, modified, and redistributed so long as the new version grants the same freedoms to others and acknowledges Wikipedia as the source." But, was not meant to be a mirror site for Wikipedia. It should have more practical information about particular places. Addresses, phone numbers, prices, and reviews for restaurants, museums, hotels, and hostels. Please add some traveller's information to the site. What are some gems in the city you live in? Right now, there are only two or three people adding entries. We could really use your help! Mahongue 05:27 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)