Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab)/Archive 10

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Watching sections of pages[edit]

I'm not sure if this would even be possible without some changes to the MediaWiki software but I'd like to hear peoples thoughts on it. Watching pages is a key tool of WP editors. One of the first things I do when I log in is check my watch list. Would it be possible to create a way of watching a section of a page. This is obviously more related to talk pages and project pages than article space. For example, someone interested in this idea could watch it and have changes pop up in their watchlist without having to watch the whole page and have their watchlist flooded by changes to other discussions. In terms of implementing it, we already have the little section [edit] tag by headings, it could be added there like so: [watch][edit] - Cabe6403 (TalkSign) 11:52, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Good idea, and I'm sure its been proposed before, however it's not possible with the current implementation of the watchlist. Though the new notification system called Echo aims to fix that. Legoktm (talk) 12:10, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
I would use this feature for user talk pages, but am dubious about the project enabling the ability for article talk pages. If it becomes a popular thing to do, people who watch just a section of an article talk page are at risk of being left behind when conversation continues in other threads (despite WP:MULTI). It will also encourage battleground-type people to try to create a false impression of consensus, by jumping to a new heading whenever they are in a dispute, hoping that their "opponent" might be left behind if they are watching the original section only. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 01:01, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
I would like to have this feature, both for discussion pages where I am only interested in one discussion, talk pages, and articles where I am only interested in a section. --JFHutson (talk) 04:04, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

War between Exclusionists (or Deletionists) and Inclusionists[edit]

I've noticed that many people have created these terms, and I think we really need to find a way where these terms are not acceptable in Wikipedia. Because these labels cause friction within the community even if they call themselves these things. Or if we can't make these terms frowned apon in the Wikipedia community, then we should find a way to make it so that we need both types of people.

I personally find myself more of the Exclusionist way, and I find Wikipedia:Exclusion (essay) to go in the right direction, but nothing to help both sides see themselves in a better light. I think we should expand this essay to what trully is exclusionism and Inclusionism and how both can be good and bad qualities, so that when an inclusionist finds themselves in a discussion with an Exclusionist (if voted that those terms are allowed) they can have a more civil debate.

OR if voted that these terms shouldnt be used at all, then we would make a new essay on how it only brings more conflict with these r and avoid them at all cost even if they admit it.Lucia Black (talk) 18:43, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

  • I don't look upon "inclusionist", "deletionist", etc as labels pr qualities of an editor; I think of them as approaches to article incorporation. For example, I think of "exclusionism" as an approach to narrowing out unnecessary parts of the encyclopedia. They really shouldn't be prevented as they're just ways of Wikipedians expressing their values and ideals when it comes to content. An expanded essay seems like a good idea, but I don't think you can rigidly define any of these three terms, or other ones like "eventualism" and (I believe) "immediatism". dci | TALK 22:54, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
    • I am an eventualist inclusionist and I'm proud of these labels. --Cyclopiatalk 23:10, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Non-issue in my opinion. Editors think/do what editors think/do whether labels exist to describe it or not. If you are bogging down with someone who argues via label, then you engaged with someone who is not discussing the substantive merits of ideas in a civil manner. We have a WPDR process to resolve such problems. To use yet another label, if we feel compelled to perfect a wikilawyerish definition of the use or meaning of these terms, then in my view we have already lost the WP:CIVIL battle for WP:CONSENSUS. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 23:17, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
  • (after edit conflict} I don't see any problem with people labelling themselves as -ists of any flavour, but I do wish that people wouldn't label others in such a way, because that is almost invariably done as a form of abuse rather than as part of an effort to reach consensus. Phil Bridger (talk) 23:20, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
then i still feel we should make some form so that these terms dont get in the way. Im thinking of an essay so that inclusionist can see both the good and bad side of actually becoming these terms to certain degrees.Lucia Black (talk) 00:21, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
I know what you mean. I recently nom'd a 70,000 character section for deletion as WP:COATRACK but it was really just IMO WP:NEWSORG bloat. After first trying to nom for Move, which basically ended in, "We agree, you create a new article," I decided that Delete would be the most forceful stance to do something. Of course, being an inclusionist, I knew there would be buyer's remorse. I hid everything on a subpage until someone got sad about it, and then I revealed the subpage's existence. (It had already been rightly tagged by the greater community for what it was). I definitely see the necessity for deletionist thought, but I'm an inclusionist so that no one can ever say that Wikipedia is covering something up. A deletionist/inclusionist lovefest is in order. ClaudeReigns (talk) 04:28, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
Sorry to spoil the fun (and don't mind me) but is Idea lab the best place for this discussion? This is an honest question. Please, do go on now. Sorry for interrupting. Signed: Basemetal (write to me here) 06:39, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
Well, yes, actually. The OP has an idea for a proposal, and seems interested in feedback. dci | TALK 04:00, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Ok. Since asking my question I looked a bit around, read and tried to understand various headers and it's beginning to seem to me that either me or you (and the OP) have misunderstood the following (see header at the top of the page)
The idea lab section of the village pump is a place where new ideas or suggestions on general Wikipedia issues can be incubated, for later submission for consensus discussion at Village pump (proposals). Try to be creative and positive when commenting on ideas.
Before creating a new section, please note:
Before commenting, note:
  • This page is not for consensus polling. Stalwart "Oppose" and "Support" comments generally have no place here. Instead, discuss ideas and suggest variations on them.
Like I said, I really don't really care, you may have any discussion any place you like, I was simply wondering. But there are at least two advantages in doing things where there are supposed to take place: one, it keeps things tidy and neat, searches are made easier, people are more likely to find things where they are looking for them, and, two, you and the original poster are more likely to find the audience you are looking for, which means the discussion is likely to yield more results and better, more useful, results. This, of course, assuming I am right. If I've misunderstood what's said in the header, please accept my apologies.
Cheers. Signed: Basemetal (write to me here) 08:50, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

this is off-topic and really unnecessary. So let's get back on topic. The point of this essay is to show both good and bad qualities of.inclusionist and exclusionist. For example, using Wp:ilikeit or wo:otherstuffexist. While showing the good qualities would be proper so that it can be properly defined in Wikipedia.Lucia Black (talk) 13:57, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

  • Ironic that the OP wants to make these terms "not acceptable" but then tags their own position using these terms. It's a legitimate and ongoing philosophical debate about the nature of the encyclopedia, banning one set of words will only cause another set to be created and will additionally cause a new enforcement nightmare. Carrite (talk) 01:45, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
    • Not exactly, the first one was giving these terms a bad name and not recommended for usage in an argument, or define it in our own way so that we can determine what is a good inclusionist/exclusionist. So that there isnt any animosity between the two who want to be defined as such, not fall into bad discussion.Lucia Black (talk) 02:50, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

A suggestion for an article for those willing[edit]

NASCAR Craftsman series driver Zach Van Dyke may be considered a minor individual, but noticing that many articles in this great Wikipedia probably never are used (but are considered notable), I believe this person should have a nice little stub about him. Go ahead (for those willing) and try to build up this encyclopedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Meltingwood (talkcontribs) 01:04, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for doing that for me, SineBot. --MgWd (talk) 01:06, 4 January 2013 (UTC)MgWd

Social Media[edit]

I use your site religiously. I really think that social media links to share would improve the pages. Thank You! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:29, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

A good suggestion, but an impractical one. It would amount to a huge debate over which social media sites should be included. We should just leave people to simply linking to Wikipedia articles in their posts. Users who wish to share should take the initiative to do so themselves. - HectorAE (talk) 00:04, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

Small video clips running constantly disturb reading flow[edit]

Would it be an idea to implement the function to STOP small video-clips in various articles to play? Because its very disturbing when you actually try to read the article.

>>I am not really part of the wikipedia community, so please somebody else take up this issue if you find it important and work towards a solution<<

yours sincerely Pelle, Denmark — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:56, 5 January 2013 (UTC)

i believe the question is about GIF animation rather than "real" video clips, which, as far as i know, do not play automatically or in a loop, at least not be default. there are some browser add-ons that cause gif animation to not run automatically, or not in a loop, but i do not know of anything that can stop it on the page side. maybe what can be done is to embed all gif animation inside collapsible divs?
peace - קיפודנחש (aka kipod) (talk) 16:16, 5 January 2013 (UTC)
@Pelle - can you provide links to articles where this is a problem? I can think of one: BitTorrent (protocol) - it starts only mildly distracting, and gets worse due to the congested diagram and very thick lines. I agree that many (or most) GIF animations should not loop by default, but instead be configured to play once. Such an image could be manually restarted (reloaded) with a bit of Javascript, in place, without disturbing the page, but AFAIK this is not currently available. Or, a non-looped (or non-animated) GIF can link to a looping version, if someone wants to view in depth (this is possible with careful File: construction). Of course, OGV videos can be played & paused, and with a suitably advanced player, could loop, play at various speeds, or in reverse (developers?).
For any free GIF animation that annoys, feel free to remake it (accurately) as a free video file, then offer it for discussion. --Lexein (talk) 17:58, 5 January 2013 (UTC)
Lexein, without meaning any offense, that really isn't a solution for the original poster's problem. — Hex (❝?!❞) 14:22, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia can be a mouthpiece for politicians so caution is advised.[edit]

I see this often. One example is reporting a politician's health. Often, Wikipedia gives great weight to the official statements, even if they are overly optimistic. Politicians' press releases never say the guy is sick and almost dead. They often say that they are treatable or whitewash the truth.

As Wikipedia editors, we should strive for neutrality and recognize that official statements may not be reliable sources. I don't want to name specific politicians since supporters will support the person and opponents will attack the person.

Also, no need to look at my edit history because I have avoided editing on this very issue. Auchansa (talk) 05:06, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

Well, in the case of most politicians, I'd suggest quoting or mentioning the report but confirming that it was indeed released by his or her office. If we're talking about someone like Hugo (I presume you're not, but he's probably the most blatant example of your fears), sources describing skepticism of optimistic claims should be included. Of course, portraying everything in as neutral a way as possible is best. dci | TALK 02:03, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

Interlingual searching[edit]

I doubt that I'm the first person to come up with this, but here's an idea. It could be possible to allow searching of the English Wikipedia in any other language, or vice versa. I'll explain how.

The search box suggests titles as you type. If there were a language selector next to it, you could search through the list of articles in that language. Aha, but you say, what's the point of that? If I wanted to read about Green Eggs and Ham in Italian (Prosciutto e uova verdi), I would go to the Italian Wikipedia and read it there. Well, that's not what I'm proposing. What I mean is, if you selected Italian and searched for Prosciutto e uova verdi, you would get taken to the English article, Green Eggs and Ham.

When you type in the search box, it sends an Ajax request off to what I imagine must be an API somewhere for the Wikipedia database which responds with a list of matching article titles. I don't know what the syntax is for that request, so here's some pseudocode for the purposes of illustration. Let's say:


Let's say we select Italian and start searching for prosciutto e. The API call is:

API?action=titlesearch;lang=it;query=prosciutto e

We get one result back, Prosciutto e uova verdi. As we're operating with Italian selected, clicking it sends the API request:

API?action=showarticle;titlelang=it;title=Prosciutto e uova verdi

That returns Green Eggs and Ham and sends the user there.

Of course, this is based on the assumption that the Wikipedia database contains a table of interlanguage mappings. I don't know much about our internals, so that may not be the case.

I think this could be an extremely useful feature. I'd love to be able to go to a Wikipedia in any language and search it by typing in English. — Hex (❝?!❞) 15:07, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

  • If we are talking about the article titles/possible titles, this is realized in Wikidata. It is not the best realization so far, but they are working on improving it. If we are talking on the text pieces, probably off-wiki search engines like Google are still doing it better.--Ymblanter (talk) 18:32, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
Just titles. — Hex (❝?!❞) 18:47, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
First, you forgot two colons in your example. Second, a unified "table of interlanguage mappings" does not exist. There is the langlinks table in each of wikis, which are separated from each other. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 19:02, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
Colons? Do you mean semi-colons? And where? — Hex (❝?!❞) 19:51, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
Wikidata was exactly created to keep these links in all languages, and is currently about half-filled.--Ymblanter (talk) 19:09, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
Cool. It sounds like an ideal data source for this idea, then. — Hex (❝?!❞) 19:51, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

Live Editing[edit]

Hi In the edit tab, how about having an option for live editing, so it has a preview, like when you click on the preview page, and wherever you type, the edit box moves up to where you are editing in the page, and it creates a live view so you can see your edits straight away I think this would be a really good idea, as then it stops mistakes in editing and more people are likely to preview before they save the page!

I think this would be a great idea!

Georgeh109 (talk) 10:32, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Or how about we just make a WYSIWYG editor, so people don't have to deal with wikitext at all? We could even give it a cool name like "VisualEditor". Anomie 13:47, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

I agree with Anomie. Also that would completely get rid of test edits! — RosscoolguyCVU 23:26, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

Year in review[edit]

As many media outlets post "end of year" reviews, how about WP adding a notice of an end of year review to the main page throughout December/January (with decem ber liable to change and January "locked:"). We could showcase articles created/expanded/promoted, what was in the news and the corresponding WP article and also stats, etc?Lihaas (talk) 06:12, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

Random page[edit]

I actually saw this idea on a different village pump. I think that the random page link should have different ones for editors and readers. The one for editors should bring up articles needing improvement, and dusty and orphaned articles, while the one for readers favors long,airly popular articles and featured ones. --Avid Wikipedia reader — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:27, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

Wouldn't that render null the whole point of "random article"? There are already Featured and Good article portals and categories for readers, and editors can look for stubs and other cleanup tags, as well as elsewhere. This is a solution in search of a problem. - HectorAE (talk) 00:09, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
Presumably, you could use the random tool which allows specification of categories, to choose one in a category such as orphaned.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 21:26, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

Fancypants page loading[edit]

I came up with a brilliant genius idea and I didn't know where to post it, so here we go. Is it just me or do major articles on Wikipedia seem to take a while to load? I've tried loading pages on several Internet locations, so I don't think it's just me. I've noticed that the Internet Movie Database uses some fancy thing where part of the page only loads when you actually scroll down to it: so movie information appears immediately on your screen, but if you want the accessories or options, you have to scroll for them to load, and this saves a lot of time (theoretically). Yesterday, I noticed the lead of an article appear on my page before the rest of the article did, and it made me wonder if maybe Wikipedia could/should adopt a similar strategy. I know zip about coding, so maybe this is some new option available with HTML Lion (I'm kidding), and maybe it could be used to great effect. The idea is this: when visiting an article—perhaps articles of certain lengths or accolades only?—the lead will load on the viewers page. Once they scroll down for the rest of the article, it'll load separately. This would allow the first three paragraphs or so to appear instantly and maybe satisfy the reader who wouldn't have scrolled down anyway. But if they do, then there's less to load in the end. Brilliant? Or asinine? – Kerαunoςcopiagalaxies 20:41, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

w:Tools/Navigation_popups displays the first few sentences of an article and loads quickly so you could start reading the article without loading the whole page. There is an addon for Firefox which will pop up the whole article on a click of any word. That loads quickly because it gets content from On the mobile site, only the infobox (if there) and first paragraph is loaded. To do what you are suggesting, there may be some magical javascript thing you could do to get the same behaviour on the regular site. --Moogsi (talk) 02:36, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Proposal to implement an academic complement to Wikipedia.[edit]

Wikipedia has often been accused of being too little focused on academic subjects. Some subject matters may be old-fashioned, or incomplete, or even missing. This, I believe, is mostly unfair criticism; after all, Wikipedia is a generalist encyclopaedia, not a specialised one. There is no reason for the article on "Anselm of Canterbury" or "Ancient Literature" to be more detailed than the article on "Pokemon" or "Stan Lee". On the other hand there obviously seems to be a need for highly detailed and up to date articles on specialist academic subjects. Whereas there are encyclopaedias of this kind on the internet, for example, the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, they are neither part of the Free Knowledge culture, nor part of something larger that can be used universally. I believe Wikipedia could be the backbone of a more specialised set of articles for academic subjects in a parallel project (which could be exist parallel to the English language Wikipedia in a simillar way to which other language editions of Wikipedia do, with the option of reading some articles in "Academic" as well as in Catalá, Français, or Magyar). This would allow the non-specialised articles on academic subjects in the normal Wikipedia to be short and interesting for normal readers, but for there to be longer and more specialised and up to date articles linked to it.

A problem many of you might have already spotted is the following. Why would dividing Wikipedia further strenghthen rather than weaken the Encyclopaedia? My solution would be to use editors that have not dared or been willing to use Wikipedia yet. Many academics wish to help edit Wikipedia, but feel they would be wasting their time discussing about the contents of an article with someone without similar qualifications to them. If it were possible to create a parallel "academic" article on certain subjects, and restrict the power to edit these articles to users whose qualifications, and therefore identity, was vouchsafed by, for example, universities, or some form of digital I.D., then it would be easier to get the academics writing for Wikipedia, the sources might be less dated and the writers would only have to deal with other academics.

I do not believe this would in any way make the original articles worse, nor lessen the activity on the original Wikipedia, but it would allow specialist subjects to have more extensive and up to date articles, and faclitate the use of Wikipedia to segments of the population of the internet which have many useful skills, and yet are unwilling to participate in a totally democratic and anonymous enviroment. David Hastings 12:48, 14 January 2013 (UTC)DRHastingsDavid Hastings 12:48, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Just to check, but you're not proposing Nupedia, are you? At any rate, I think it's probably better to bring academics (and their students) into Wikipedia - as is already being done in many cases - than to split Wikipedia. If the community split, what you'd end up with is a forked project, not a single project with two areas. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 12:54, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Is Scholarpedia an intended thing? Or your hope that the same, incompetent (in average) editors of Wikipedia, are able to write "academic" articles in a separate wiki better than they write such articles here? Incnis Mrsi (talk) 13:12, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm confident that David wasn't proposing that the average incompetent Wikipedia editor work more on academic articles. Rather, I saw an attempt at brainstorming how to get more academically trained individuals to become editors. In general, I support such a goal. However, I don't think carving these articles off to a different place will help, but I don't see David as suggesting that. I see a proposal to allow the auricles in the same location, but have some limitations on who can edit certain articles, which might provide encouragement to new editors with special expertise. This is a very contentious issue, but worth considering, in case there is a way to achieve the goal (more experts editing) without compromising the key pillars.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 15:59, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
I think most of you understood what I'm proposing. A way to get scholars who aren't really into the Wikipedia spirit to collaborate with Wikipedia without compromising the pillars. Seeing as strange experiments have taken place in other language sections of Wikipedia, the suggestion consists, in the first place, in creating a new "scholar" language Wikipedia (much as there is a "Simple English" language Wikipedia) for a few articles of academic interest, that might expand as interest grows, or fuse back with the normal English language wikipedia if interest doesn't take off.
The second part of the project would be to limit the way articles are edited in a different way as they are on most other languages, or articles. A high level editor would have validate access to an editor before they could make changes, and the validation would depend on the user using his full name, and submiting proof of his identity and/or academic credentials.
Obviously this would make the growth of the language version a lot slower and less dinamic than in other versions, but it would be growth that would only be adding information from otherwise unexistant sources (scholars who do not fully share the Wiki spirit, or who do not feel inclined to discuss things with editors they unfortunately do not see as their peers), and not substracting much effort from the already hardworking community in the English language Wikipedia.
By doing all this on a different language version we keep the rest of Wikipedia as it is (without irrelevant distinctions based on academic success), whilst at the same time making this small section atractive to a group of hard-working and often very knowledgeable who find it hard to contribute without distinctions based on academic success being given relevance.DRHastings (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 12:02, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

Wiki - TOUR![edit]

Anyone have any thoughts on an app that would combine Wiki and a Map App? Very cool to be able to open it and drive in any city...being able to pass by any landmark and hear about current events or past history. All submitted just like Wiki... — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rock3030 (talkcontribs) 22:01, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Wikivoyage --— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 13:37, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

New timeline tool for Wikipedia - requesting feedback[edit]

We are building an application which will allow timelines to be created by adding events with a simple search and click. We've posted this message seeking feedback from the Wikipedia community about the idea.

We've got about a million events already available that have been automatically imported from Wikipedia articles, and many more are coming as we continue to update the software. We will also soon be creating a feature that allows any missing articles to be manually added to the database, by simply choosing the article and entering a date.

The user interface is unfinished at the moment, but we do have a working prototype which has been used to create a sample directory of timelines. Here are a couple of examples from the directory.

FIFA World Cup Timeline – created in 15 minutes.

Artists of the Italian Renaissance Timeline – created in 2 minutes.

Frank Herbert’s Dune Timeline – created in 20 minutes.

Of course, it's completely free to use the site and no log in is required.

Our goal is to make a tool that can be used to easily create timelines to accompany Wikipedia articles. We would really appreciate any feedback about the idea at this early stage, as it will help us to tailor the site to the needs of editors. If needed, more information is available at

Many thanks, NavinoEvans (talk) 23:34, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

I couldn't find anything about copyright, I'd suggest you consider that and add something appropriate and of course compatible with the copyrights that apply to the Wikipedia data that you've already imported. ϢereSpielChequers 15:43, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Thank you very much for the reply. I’m in the process writing the copyright pages at the moment, where it explains the copyright status of the content viewed through the site and how to report a suspected violation. The only information we actually store is the title of each event and the date at which it occurs, all pictures are accessed directly via their url. NavinoEvans (talk) 23:40, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

The spam filter should be disabled[edit]

I personally have never been a fan of the spam filter. While I don't want to construct a WP:OTHERCRAPEXISTS argument here, I have been involved in a number of discussions regarding a bot for NFCC enforcement. Out of all the discussions I have been involved my understanding is that we don't want to automate removal of users good faith additions of non-free images to articles. In a discussion I have been involved in recently it was pointed out to me that we cannot do anything before a violation of the NFCC policy has been made or before users have been pointed to our policy. Yet in this case we preemptively prevent users from making good faith additions. I think that at least established editors should be given the ability to override the spam filter, maybe only in their userspace or something.

To counter an argument that is likely to come up: I understand that adding a link and uploading an image are not the same. Spam bots could add hundreds of links across Wikipedia, while the same might not be possible with uploads of non-free images. Still I think preemptively preventing users from adding links in good faith is a bad idea.

(Disclaimer: I fully admit that I am biased against the spam filter and that it has annoyed me on many occasions.) -- Toshio Yamaguchi 14:21, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

It is used for a variety of reasons, not least to prevent copyright violations (textual ones). I'd object to this. Dougweller (talk) 14:48, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
In follow up of your help desk request, I added a request at -- Uzma Gamal (talk) 14:58, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
@Dougweller My point is that preemptively preventing such violations is a bad idea. I've been involved in similar discussions regarding non-free content. If such violations occur, they should be dealt with, that's out of the question, but preventing everything before a violation has even been committed isn't something I regard as productive or appropriate for an environment that is supposed to be open to editing by (nearly) anyone.
@Uzma Gamal Thanks for making the request you made at MediaWiki, though I personally don't need it anymore right now, as I found a non-blacklisted replacement. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 15:05, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
  • I don't think you understand the scope of link spamming on Wikipedia and WMF projects in general. As an example, do you really want to give anyone the ability to add links to 007footfetish[dot]com? I doubt it. Just take a look at the global lock log and global-block log on meta and you'll see that most of them are for spam. Disabling the spam blacklist is not a good idea. Legoktm (talk) 15:28, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
  • We already have automated tools such as User:XLinkBot that automatically remove unwanted external links after they have been added and provide an editor with an explanation of why such links are unwanted. That means all those links will eventually be dealt with. If the bot cannot handle the number of those links, then another one should be made. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 15:43, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
  • So if we know an edit is bad, your idea is to have the user still make it, and then revert as soon as its done? With that logic we should get rid of the edit filter as well. Additionally, a cross-wiki anti-spam bot is not the right implementation, it's to do it software wise. Legoktm (talk) 16:48, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Yes, that is pretty much the idea. If an unwanted link is being added, it should be removed and if it is readded, then discussion should take place. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 17:42, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
  • How is that any different than the current status? A spam link is added, removed, then added again, then it gets added on the blacklist after it becomes clear that its being used for spamming. Legoktm (talk) 17:54, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
  • If a link is found to be inappropriate in context of an article, then this can be resolved by discussion, but making the life of the editors who try to be productive harder than necessary through the blacklist seems counterproductive to me. If a user repeatedly tries to force a particular spam link into an article, then this specific user should be sanctioned. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 18:04, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
  • XLinkBot does not cover non-article pages, which are occasionally (especially for userpages) spam targets.--Jasper Deng (talk) 17:58, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Do you mean a user who puts spam links on his/her own userpage? -- Toshio Yamaguchi 18:06, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Again, if a particular user does this repeatedly, that user should be warned and sanctioned, but we shouldn't disallow the addition of a link to every page on Wikipedia. A link might be inappropriate on one page but appropriate on another one. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 18:22, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Alright lets try this a different way. What's a legitimate usage in Wikipedia for the website "007footfetish[dot]com" which I mentioned above? Legoktm (talk) 20:39, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
  • I don't think there would be any legitimate use of that particular website (at least not in article space). But acknowledging that we are all volunteers, sometimes it might be desirable to save such a link in a draft in userspace, if only to later find a better replacement for it. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 22:05, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Userspace drafts should not contain those links either, why should they?--Jasper Deng (talk) 23:40, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Maybe if someone is short on time and just wants to collect some links in his userspace to later draft a proper article? For example, when you do a quick Google search and try to save the Google search result links on a draft page, you'll find that if you try to add something like,d.Yms you can hear the spam filter screaming. That is counterproductive acknowledging that we are all volunteers here, because that means, for example, that if you find yourself just having some spare minutes you cannot say "Hey, I'll do a quick Google search, save the links in my userpace and later check those links for their usability." No. Instead you are forced to click on the Google search result in order to obtain the exact url. And while one might argue it takes less than 5 seconds to click on the result and paste the link from your browsers address bar, if you have to do this 10, 20, 30, 50, 100, ... times, at some point it gets just annoying and this might negatively affect (eventual) content creation. (And yes, I DID try to get that url removed from the blacklist, which was rejected). -- Toshio Yamaguchi 08:33, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
  • I don't see your argument here. We only add links to the blacklist because they are either not useful at all, or have been spammed too often. Good-faith users can request exceptions for specific URL's; this is definitely not grounds for disabling the filter altogether, especially since it appears there's only an issue with this specific blacklist entry.--Jasper Deng (talk) 18:50, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I think it is not worth pursuing this further. I agree that single cases where a backlisted link might be worth putting in an article can be handled on a case-by-case basis. I don't think anything productive will come out of this discussion, so we should regard this as resolved. I want to thank those involved for their responses. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 19:15, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Customized Wikipedia bot language, and truly intelligent Wikipedia bots[edit]

I have looked at WP:BOT, and it seems that Wikipedia bots (which I enjoy calling gadgeteer creations) are not actually different than any other kind of bot.

In other words, a bot that is designed to login to your Facebook account and gather statistics about your number of friends is not actually very different from a Wikipedia bot that logs into a WikiBot account and reads the number of articles you have edited since last Sunday.

That means, it should be possible to make a unique programming language that has special commands. Special commands designed solely to edit Wikipedia, such as addTemplate("Not categorized") or even addTemplate("Questionable notability"), or something like that.

Artificial intelligence can be applied so that the bot would become very clever. I am not sure if anyone has already done this, but it is perfectly possible to make a contributor bot. A bot able to (partly) understand the English language. A bot intelligent enough to see that there are not enough citations. A bot smart enough to browse Google Scholar in order to get more citations. A bot able to draw free-media images and upload them automatically to Commons. Most importantly, a bot that edits Wikipedia for real. A bot that can edit Wikipedia, not by adding random templates, but by citing its sources, adding real sentences to the article, and then drawing a free-media image that it could upload to Commons and then insert into the article only where the image would be relevant. A bot that is indistinguishable from a human editor.

This is not the point of bots. Bots are supposed to only do automated tasks that would be extremely boring for human Wikipedians to carry out.

However, what if we could have a bot that could write an article better than a human? Find citations more scholarly than those of a human? Draw art (such as explanatory diagrams), save it to a file, and generate freely licensed images for Commons... better than human artists?

It would be an interesting idea.
Welcome to Wikipedia. The Wikipedia of the robotic age.

Let us assume that you understand computer programming. Why not contribute?

If you want to help, we are probably going to modify a Java-based language of my own design. The language is written using Java, but should feel like Python, Ruby, Lua, and JavaScript. Please contact me for more information.

We also need artificial intelligence experts.

Thank you for reading. Feedback, criticism, and additional questions are welcome. --Carrot Lord (talk) 07:56, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

How do you know that we are not all already bots? Phil Bridger (talk) 14:46, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
The WP:pywikipedia framework exists for this reason already. --Izno (talk) 16:58, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Length of featured articles[edit]

Welcome. English Wikipedia is the first and largest version of Wikipedia, but some Featured articles too short and should be reviewed to make the selected articles short (such as meteorological articles selected) good articles --ديفيد عادل وهبة خليل 2 (talk) 11:56, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Hi. Can you provide links to the featured articles which you believe to be to short? Yaris678 (talk) 12:28, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

For example: Meteorology articles --ديفيد عادل وهبة خليل 2 (talk) 13:07, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Can you provide a specific example? Additionally, length is not a FA criteria, nor should it be. However, if you can show an example, and what specifically is missing from it, that would help us assess. Thanks, Resolute 14:26, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
  • For criteria: Is not good articles articles with premium content, but is eligible to become featured to limit the size? Permission must be selected review articles to make vignettes good articles
  • For identification: All articles featured meteorological short --ديفيد عادل وهبة خليل 2 (talk) 15:08, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Once again, please give us the titles of some of these meteorological featured articles that are too short. You can't expect a response when we have to guess which articles you are talking about. Phil Bridger (talk) 15:15, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Reference management software[edit]

Hi. I'm relatively new to Wikipedia and am working more within the Medicine space. I have a question rather than an idea and am hoping this is the right place to present. Are there currently any reference management software tools that are being used within Wikipedia to house and share secondary sources? Is there a certain tool that is more popular within the community? Thanks. GT67 (talk) 14:01, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

You might try checking with SandyGeorgia, who works in the same area, and if very familiar with referencing issues.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 18:31, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
I've no idea of what is being used routinely by people collaborating here but Zotero could do this quite well I think through its group feature. FiachraByrne (talk) 00:48, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
@FiachraByrne, out of curiosity, are you currently using Zotero for purposes of editing articles in Wikipedia. Thanks you both for your feedback. GT67 (talk) 19:56, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes. FiachraByrne (talk) 23:45, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Interwiki article links to WikiVoyage[edit]

I looked around for discussion of what I thought certainly had to have been raised already but could not find any. Beg pardon if through lack of skill or experience I'm being redundant or posting in the wrong section. Anyways, it seems to me that just as we have links in the bottom of articles for Commons images and WikiSource texts and so forth, so ought we to have links to our newest project. Observe, at Paris, how the box about sister projects references Paris, Paris, Paris, Paris, Paris, Paris, and Paris, but Paris is relegated to the External Links section. Surely this is in the interest of the community and would hardly take any time at all to be done. (talk) 12:43, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

We use the links in the left sidebar specifically for versions of the article in other languages. Sister project links are normally under External links. See Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Layout. When you examine Paris, you will find links to sister projects in a neat box using {{sister project links}}. Links to Wikivoyage, Wikidata and Wikispecies are disabled by default, but you can enable it by checking the documentation. --— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 16:17, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
I see. Thanks for the response; I was interested in this very box. I see also that there is a brief discussion of this very idea at Template talk:Sister project links. Is there a rationale for disabling WikiVoyage by default? It seems to me that it would be a useful thing to have enabled for ordinary users who don't bother fussing around with the website in ways they don't understand. But then I guess that this discussion should also be carried out at Template talk:Sister project links. (talk) 18:54, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
There will not be corresponding WikiVoyage articles for most Wikipedia articles. --— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 01:47, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
I don't understand. Surely there are not corresponding WikiSource articles for most Wikipedia articles, and yet we find means to have a link to the corresponding WikiSource page at Ulysses (novel) and Ulysses (poem) while not at Ulysses. Surely there would be a similar way to have a link to the corresponding WikiVoyage page at Beirut while not at Beirut (band) -- or do I misunderstand, and this is a thing not automatically done, but manually added to every page requiring an interwiki link? (talk) 10:46, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
The MediaWiki software does not automatically detect other language versions (but that is coming soon with Wikidata) or sister project articles. I know there are bots that update the language links, but I don't know about sister projects. --— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 11:39, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
There is a bot that just started merging {{Wikivoyage-inline}} into {{Sister project links}} where both exist. --— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 14:12, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
Well, that's settled then. Thanks much for your attention and patience! (talk) 18:54, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
Incidentally, as soon as Wikidata goes live here, we should probably talk about removing it from {{Sister project links}} altogether, as it would just be redundant. — PinkAmpers&(Je vous invite à me parler) 16:10, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Grant application for: "New Wikisource relationship with Commons, Wikidata and Wikipedia"[edit]

Since the Wikidata project is allowing us new ways of handling content, I have started a grant proposal to define a vision about how to integrate Wikisource content in Commons and Wikipedia. Please, check my grant application and share your thoughts. Thanks! --Micru (talk) 06:50, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Ensure state of the art security for us[edit]

Hello, Sometimes I have to use your website from Office or Cyber Café or Library. There are many hackers surrounding me who use key logger softwares and other techniques. So I am all-time worried. I hope you will provide OpenID service like “Sign in with Google” AND "Login with Facebook" including others. I use it to login to by my Google Account based on “One Google Account : One Yahoo Account” policy. Anyone can login to Yahoo’s website without password just by clicking on “Sign in with Google”. Google uses 2-step verification method which is the state of the art security against key-logger. ALSO ENSURE “FULL ACCOUNT” SUPPORT FOR THOSE WHO WILL USE OPEN ID LOGIN. Wish you good luck. Thanks, Tawhidur Rahman Dear — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tawhidurrahmandear (talkcontribs) 10:58, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

I refactored your discussion for readability. There is a software extension mw:Extension:OpenID that is not installed here. See bug 13631 for a proposal. --— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 03:16, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

Zoom feature on google chrome and wikipedia articles[edit]

Using the zoom feature on chrome results in different parts enlarging at different rates, breaking the formatting of articles. Eg. For chemistry, the chembox tends to push diagrams beneath it causing large white spaces.

Could this be changed?J1812 (talk) 19:08, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

The article chemistry has no chembox. Please give an actual example with a link to an article where you see the problem. Are you sure the parts enlarge at different rates and are not merely moved around or reshaped because they have to fit in the same window width? PrimeHunter (talk) 21:53, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

A category listing Wikipedians with their own articles[edit]

Is there such a category to be applied to mainspace articles about people who happen to edit or have edited Wikipedia? If not, I'd be interested in getting one going, but it would be helpful to get a list of articles to start with. AutomaticStrikeout (TC) 21:16, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

I am not sure whether this should be done. For most people being a Wikipedia editor is probably not a defining characteristic. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 21:26, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Wikipedians with articles and Category:Connected contributors. It sounds unsuited for mainspace articles. Whether a notable person has edited Wikipedia means very little for an encyclopedic biography about them. PrimeHunter (talk) 21:40, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Ok, thanks for the feedback. AutomaticStrikeout (TC) 22:35, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Bot for deleting unreferenced sections that have been tagged for more than a year[edit]

Should there be a bot that deletes unreferenced sections that have been tagged with {{Unreferenced section}} for more than a year? --Bob K31416 (talk) 00:24, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

No. Resolute 01:11, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
No. Gandydancer (talk) 01:40, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. Anyone else? I'm interested in editors' opinions and ideas concerning this. Negative, positive, or whatever. --Bob K31416 (talk) 02:08, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
No, a person would need to look at each section to see if it should be removed, not just removed without any review. GB fan 02:21, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for explaining. Anyone else? Positive, negative, or whatever. I'm interested in as many opinions and as much explanation as possible. --Bob K31416 (talk) 03:49, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
No. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 03:52, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
What's the difference between a bot doing it, and a human doing it but not conducting any level of review (as suggested by GB above), because I have and am seeing that happen? ˜danjel [ talk | contribs ] 13:04, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
We assume that a human has done some sort of review before removing. A human makes a conscious choice to remove, and can choose not to remove if he/she wishes... a bot can not choose. It would always remove. Blueboar (talk) 17:32, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
No, there is lots of unsourced material that is really good. Also, I'm afraid bots deleting content are not checked as often as editors deleting content. Lova Falk talk 20:00, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
No. While bots are useful for many tasks, I think deleting material with them is not a good idea. At least one pair of human eyes is needed. Miniapolis 01:27, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
Aside from the issue of uncontentious but unsourced material, this would open the way for all sorts of subtle or unsubtle vandalism. Removing preceding section headings from sourced sections just before a section that was about to be blanked being one obvious loophole. ϢereSpielChequers 20:17, 3 February 2013 (UTC)


Why does Wikipedia still not use MathJax? ProofWiki uses it with great success. — Timwi (talk) 20:56, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

It does, go to Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-rendering and look at the bottom of the page in the Math section, you can pick the MathJax option. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 21:38, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

Certification for PR editors[edit]

Is this a good idea at all: User:CorporateM/certification

The concept is as follows:

  • Define the characteristics Wikipedia would prefer from PR participants
  • Offer a certification program that provides incentives for PRs to act that way

I see that WP:COI+ has been marked as historical. I liked the idea of COI+, but didn't feel it set a high enough bar for certification. This one suggests consensus from at least six editors based on six months of editing history and has a rigorous set of criteria.

I have a PR background and often contribute in that capacity, but wouldn't currently qualify for certification under the criteria laid out, considering it's based on a six-month history.

CorporateM (Talk) 16:42, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

dealing with sockpuppetry[edit]

It is a fact that wikipedia has the technology required to detect the IP address of any editor. If this is the case, then in my opinion, it would be a good idea to detect the IP of every registered user (at the time of registration) and keep it on file (in a secure, private location, of course). This way, if a registered user attempts to create a sockpuppet, then wikipedia can detect it automatically and take the appropriate measures. Of course, it would be wrong to immediately ban any user that registers a second account because they might be seeking a WP:CLEANSTART, which leads me to the next part of the idea - admins should be notified whenever a registered user creates a second account, and someone would have to look into the issue and see what the deal is in order to determine whether or not the editor is in good faith. If the editor is indeed in good faith, then the second account should be "approved". This way, it would also be made known (even if not publicly) that a user has a second account in the event that the user becomes tempted to use a dormant account as a sockpuppet.

I think that detection of sockpuppets would be an enormous improvement to preserving the quality of wikipedia. I believe that sockpuppetry is probably a much more pervasive issue than most of us would imagine. I have wondered whether some of the editors I've had the misfortune of dealing with operate or are themselves sockpuppets. When I read stories about users operating 50+ sockpuppets, it actually sickens me that this sort of deception happens on wikipedia right in front of our eyes. I believe it would be justified to do something like this even if some might consider it an invasion of privacy (although I don't think it is considering wikipedia knows your IP anyway). Charles35 (talk) 19:33, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

This makes sense to me especially because almost, if not all, of the legitimate uses of alternate accounts "recommend" that the user makes it clear that they have 2 or more accounts on their user/talk pages. If the user does not do this, then I don't think it's unreasonable to assume they are in bad faith. It would be reasonable for one to choose not to divulge their main account but openly state that they are using an alternate account. But it does not seem reasonable in any circumstances to keep the fact that you are using an alternate account a total secret. Charles35 (talk) 20:01, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:CheckUser. Note that there are plenty of reasons that multiple people (sometimes even entire countries!) would be seen to be editing from the same IP address. The users involved may not even be aware of this. Anomie 00:43, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
No thanks. There are some people with fairly static IPs who could be identified years after their first edit. That would be very useful to some spammers and corporate lobbyists who would like to subpoena such information from the WMF in order to write threatening letters to editors who edit articles on their organisations. As for goodfaith editors, this would have too many false positives. I'm often involved in Wikimedia UK outreach programs to new editors. We have enough problems with the throttling bug that starts limiting the number of edits that it accepts from new accounts at one address. It would be even worse if all but the first trainee to turn up were automatically blocked as sockpuppets. ϢereSpielChequers 20:42, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
Interpreting IP data is slightly more complex than "do these two numbers match"; it relies on the context of user behaviour (what are they doing) and also on what types of IPs they are - some don't match but are part of a shared range, while others match huge numbers of users and yet no obvious connection can be drawn between then. As WSC says, I don't think an automated process here would work out well - I have asked approximately a hundred people to create accounts via my current IP address, and manually approving them all would be very impractical! Andrew Gray (talk) 11:03, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

WMF grant proposal[edit]

I have submitted a proposal for one of WMF's new Individual Engagement Grants. It is a pilot project to determine whether coaching new editors on their writing for the English Wikipedia improves editor retention, focusing on women and Global Southerners. If you would like to endorse this project, you can do so here. I would also appreciate any other feedback, pro or con, which can be posted here. Thanks! Libcub (talk) 03:35, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

Replace sidebars with horizontal navboxes[edit]

Navboxes have all the advantages. They're more compact, collapsible, stackable, unobtrusive, more popular, don't occupy space that could be used by header images or infoboxes, can hold more articles in less space, and are more consistent in style (unless there is "a good reason" to deviate from that style according to WP:Navbox). I am aware of the work necessary to produce this change, and am willing to aid in the transition. Pokajanje|Talk 03:34, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

I'm not seeing what this would actually accomplish. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 15:54, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
Consistency. Pokajanje|Talk 21:38, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
I'll grant that it would produce consistency, but it would seem to do so at the expense of usefulness and navigability, so I would oppose such a change. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 01:12, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
What's a sidebar? Anna Frodesiak (talk) 01:14, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
Some navboxen are Wikipedia:SIDEBARs running up / down instead of left / right. I suspect our IP / OP didn't think. Jim.henderson (talk) 01:36, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
What makes sidebars more useful or navigable than navboxes? Note navboxes' advantages. Pokajanje|Talk 19:23, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
Sidebars, particularly Category:"Part of a series on" templates often confuse me when they come in articles lacking infoboxes and show a picture of totally unrelated stuff. Also what is the point of listing all related articles even before the reader has started reading the given article. It only causes distractions. On the other side, horizontal navboxes are classic, communicate effectively and provides an overview efficiently.···Vanischenu「m/Talk」 16:36, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
You can see examples of sidebars at the top of most policies, like WP:Deletion policy. Their utility varies. Generally, they are much shorter and more selective than horizontal navboxes. Often, they only point to eight or ten major pages.
I believe that they predated the horizontal ones, so "classic" is probably not a fair description. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:13, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Watch user contributions[edit]

I would like to be able to watch User Contributions, in case disruptive or spamming users wait a few days and then continue their actions. Has this previously been discussed? Lova Falk talk 09:07, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

Yes, last time about half a year ago (I am not sure I could easily find it), with more like a consensus that it is needed, but never implemented.--Ymblanter (talk) 15:03, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
There's two existing (but dormant) feature requests - Bugzilla: 470 and Bugzilla: 31105. Note that you can work around this with RSS feeds for the moment. Andrew Gray (talk) 16:02, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
Thank you! Lova Falk talk 10:44, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
I usually bookmark the person's contributions page and check it manually every day or two for a while. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:20, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

wikipedia app[edit]

Why isn't there a Wikipedia app? With so many mobile devices, (I am writing this from one) the mobile version is not exactly user friendly. If not an app, at least upgrade the current one. You can almost never edit and you can't scroll comfortably. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:35, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Have you seen Help:Mobile access? PrimeHunter (talk) 03:37, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
TL;DR. I agree with the IP that the mobile version needs those improvements. Biosthmors (talk) 23:55, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Watch talk page only, or article only[edit]

I've often felt it would be useful to be able to only watch a talk page, without having to also watch the article (or whatever namespace) as well - e.g. if you are interested in a specific issue to do with that article, which there is a talk page discussion about. If it happens to be an oft-edited page, it can be intensely annoying to have your watchlist cluttered up with things you have no interest in. I've not often found that I want to watch an article but not the talk page, but it seems silly to suggest doing it one way only.

Does anyone have any idea if this would be technically feasible? CarrieVS (talk) 23:16, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

I've found basically the same suggestion in the archives (I did look, just not hard enough), with the conclusion that it wouldn't be useful enough to be worth the developers' time. So I guess this won't go anywhere.
I just leave it here until it gets archived, right? CarrieVS (talk) 16:09, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes. In between now and then, if you can easily find and add a link to the archived discussion you found, then perhaps it will save someone else the trouble of searching for it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:19, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Here: Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 83#Be able to watch talk and main pages separately. CarrieVS (talk) 10:44, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

Watching a single section only[edit]

As a new user, I'm unclear how people keep track of replies to their various comments or questions. Seems like the options are:

  • Watch the page, get lots of unrelated changes from all the other sections
  • Check back periodically, easy to forget and just never see something

This is for any talk page, but these "forum-like" pages (village pump, teahouse) exaggerate the problem because they have so many likely-unrelated sections one page. Long story short, could it be possible to "watch" a single section of a page? If you could, and if it was automatic for talk pages, it seems like that would notify you of just want you really wanted: replies to discussions you actually participated in.

This seems like it would be a big/hard change. But I'm just wondering if in theory it makes any sense, independently of whether it will actually ever get done. Silas Ropac (talk) 19:36, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Whoa I found the link to search the archives via google search and this question as come up a lot. I found links to mediawiki things like LiquidThreads (now dead?) and Echo and Flow. I guess it is the kind of thing that would have to be part of a whole "next generation" software change. Still interested in anyone's comments. But seems like this is often asked for but far out. Silas Ropac (talk) 19:50, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
I wonder about the same thing! I think maybe something to do with Echo might help. Biosthmors (talk) 23:56, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
See also Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#Option to watch a Section of the Village Pump which is kind of related. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 09:58, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

Search for uncreated but popular search terms[edit]

Hey, I'm just an ordinary person of the Internet who had an idea. No idea whether its already here, nor if ts a bad idea, but whatever.

There should be a list of the most popular inconclusive searches. By inconclusive I mean maybe the visitor never clicked on any search results, or there was no match for any page titles. Wouldn't having something that tracks searches and so tells you all editors what pages are needed the most be good?

Like I said, I have no idea how you people of the community of Wikipedia do stuff like this. It honestly took 15 minutes for me to find a place to post this. I just thought that it was a good idea nevertheless, and so decided to post it. Feel free to flame, if that's how things are done here. :X

Oh, and I probably won't follow up on this, so if your consensus or something decides that my idea is good, someone else should post it in the todo list or whatever.

Kuilin Li If anyone needs to contact me, not that they should or whatever, (My email used to be here, but some kind of automatic warning told me not to. You people think of everything!) If it was improper or something to post my email address, somebody feel free to delete it. Like I said, I have no idea how things are done here. (talk) 05:24, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

I think that is now covered at the new page User:West.andrew.g/Popular redlinks also WP:TOPRED or WP:REDTOP. Andrew is busy working the dissertation for his Ph.D., but maybe the list will grow when he gets a chance. I'm unaware of any previous attempts to do a list like this. Biosthmors (talk) 17:50, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

WMF IEngagement Grant "Studying content interest and editor engagement factors with new editors"[edit]

I have submitted a Meta:Grants:IEG/Studying_content_interest_and_editor_engagement_factors_with_new_editors for the [Meta:Grants:IEG|Individual Engagement Grants]]. I aim to understand how engagement occurs in new editors and see if it is possible to achieve retention with suggestions and courses. In a way, I will be adopting users but at the same time studying them with methods such as interviews and metrics. I have conducted other studies with data processing in Wikipedia and surveys to understand communities. If you would like to endorse this project you can do it here. I would so appreciate any kind of feedback! Thank you very much.--Marcmiquel (talk) 14:38, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

FAC article review board[edit]

I'm trying to formulate an idea for the village pump and I wondered if anyone might be interested in developing it with me. Essentially, IME, a major negative factor contributing to frustration and burn-out at FAC is an utter lack of reviews for those without a large pool of "wiki buddies", or even just the "interesting topic" that would attract attention at FAC. It seems to me that some kind of "FAC review board" could be formed so that when good-faith, hard-working contributors bring their work to FAC, they are provided with 2 or 3 respected reviewers so their nom does not get archived for lack of interest.

I imagine something along the lines of an "assignment/voluntary" process whereby any of the 40+ FACs that seem to be lacking review are assinged to or chosen by members of a group of 10-20 reviewers. In principle, this is not that different then any clean-up drive, except that the goal would be to vet FAC articles with the intention of improving the review process and the consistency and quality of promoted articles. Any thoughts? Is anyone interested in working with me on this project? GabeMc (talk|contribs) 01:59, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

It seems like it might work. Do you mean there would be a "manager" figure, to direct the people who volunteered to be a part of it? Biosthmors (talk) 02:14, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
There could be a "manager" figure, though I'm not sure more hierarchy is a good thing. Perhaps a current FAC delegate or two would be willing to help organise the assingments, though ideally, reviewers would volunteer and not ever be assinged an article to review, unless of course they are okay with that. GabeMc (talk|contribs) 02:26, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
Gabe alerted me to this thread, so I'll offer a few points for consideration. I don't want to discourage this, as personally I'd like nothing better than to have a dedicated pool of reviewers to be called on for FAC, but I wonder if it would generate more reviewers than we'd have available anyway. If it's a voluntary system (and this is after all a volunteer project) then I'd expect most people to review articles the same way they do now, simply out of interest in the topic. I'm not sure what exactly is meant by "wiki buddies", by the way, but in my experience "ready made" reviewers tend to be people with an interest in the same general area as the article in question, e.g. Military History Project members will tend to review military history articles, regardless of who the nominator is. Of course there are also a few people who simply try and help out at every FAC they can, performing necessary image, source, or prose checks, and still others who perform general reviews for articles outside their main sphere of interest. These include some of our most experienced reviewers, the sort that I imagine Gabe is talking about for a review board, but I think they probably do all that one could expect of them already. As a FAC delegate, there's a few people I'll call on to take care of an outstanding image or source review, or a source spotcheck, for an article that's otherwise ready for promotion, but I do this sparingly so as not to overburden people who are already taking a lot on. Perhaps what's needed is a call for volunteers from among potential or less-well-established reviewers to join a group that could be tutored in FAC reviewing, and are then pointed to nominations that need them. While we're here, beyond the review board concept, nominators needn't feel shy about making neutrally worded requests for FAC reviews to people who've already reviewed the article elsewhere, e.g. GA, PR or (where applicable) A-Class, or at related project talk pages. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 14:51, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
At one time I was one of the most productive FAC reviewers - I maxed out at about 35 a month. I often looked for articles that had no reviews and would work on those. Even so, there were times I wouldn't review, either for zero interest in the topic, or because a quick glance showed it wasn't ready. Although I like the concept of a review board, unless we have a way to attract new, qualified reviewers, I don't think much would change. Karanacs (talk) 19:45, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
The word "qualified" seems to be crucial here. Is there (I don't know) a guide that would communicate what it means for an article to be a FAC that can be understood by someone who's never read the MOS or the rest of the rules that are considered? If so, a board might be able to be set up and new reviewers recruited; if not, there could be problems. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 21:50, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
We already have Wikipedia:Featured article criteria, but IMO, the guideline is a bit subjective and also slightly contradictory. For example, 1a says: "its prose is engaging, even brilliant, and of a professional standard", 1) "engaging, even brilliant" is quite subjective and WP:ENGVAR can be invoked for anything borderline. 2) asking unpaid and unprofessional editors (many if not most) to judge if an article is "of a professional standard" is by nature subject to the whims of reviewers. 1b says: "it neglects no major facts or details", but what contitutes a "major fact" is not universal and what is notable to some is not to others. 1c says: "it is a thorough and representative survey of the relevant literature", but again, "relevant literature" is a bit subjective (there are almost always an example or two of "relevant literature" not used in a given article) and whether or not it is "a thorough and representative survey" is an opinion of the reviewers. FAC 3 says: "It has images and other media, where appropriate", but again, "where appropriate" is subjective. FAC 4 says: "It stays focused on the main topic without going into unnecessary detail" which could be seen by some as a slight contradiction of 1b: "comprehensive: it neglects no major facts or details". At the very least it is another subjective criteria for which one may receive an oppose for both a perceived lack of detail and an excess amount of detail, the balance of which is subjective to the reviewer, who is often inexperienced at FAC.
In summary, I think that there is currently enough of a grey area in the criteria that what truly constitutes FA quality is at least slightly subjective to the reviewer. Its as though we have a set of "laws" but no "judges" to interpret said law. A review board could at least establish that 2 or 3 "respected and trusted" reviewers have looked at any given nom before promotion or archiving regardless of whether the nom has a large clique of "wiki buddies" or a topic that attracts enough attention so that the FAC is properly vetted. GabeMc (talk|contribs) 22:39, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
To clarify, all I mean by "wiki buddies" is that not all editors have or want to have a large clique of Wiki-friends that review their work. It wasn't meant as an insult to those with large cliques, good for them if that's what they want, but if you don't have one, you are often at a disadvantage at FAC and the newer you are at Wikipedia, the less likely it is that you will have a "circle of friends". GabeMc (talk|contribs) 22:39, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
I like this idea in the abstract, but I share others' concerns that we just don't have very many people who are both interested and able to do such reviews. I've seen it said elsewhere, and I have to agree, despite my own similar experience with a "boutique" article not getting as much attention as I'd like multiple times, that the best way to get reviewers is to pay your dues and review other articles at FAC. People who have wiki buddies have probably put in a lot of time and effort into making them, and I don't think that's a bad thing. We clearly are short on reviewers, but submitters can and should pick up the slack. Not only can it establish relationships that lead to more reviews, but it can also improve FA development skills in general, so it's win-win. —Torchiest talkedits 04:29, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for taking the time to comment. I'm sure you're right, that's good advice. GabeMc (talk|contribs) 04:51, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
WP:WikiProject Featured articles seems like the obvious place to host such a group. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:44, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Community-Driven Video Production Portal[edit]


My name is Victor, I'm the Storyteller at the Wikimedia Foundation in San Francisco. I have been an editor since 2005, and started at the Wikimedia Foundation in 2011. I have a film and video background. Last year, along with a team, I interviewed many Wikipedians and produced a series of videos (which included this video):

We shot this video during Wikimania 2012, and edited it as part of this campaign to showcase the Wikimedia Community

We shot this video during Wikimania 2012, and I edited it as part of this campaign to showcase the Wikimedia Community. This year I plan to produce more videos to explain the movement to the general public. I have been reaching out to find other professional media producers, camera operators, et cetera who like Wikipedia & the movement enough to volunteer their normally very expensive time to make videos with me.

Now to my idea:

Being a Wikipedian at heart, I want to open up the film production process to the whole community.


Films and videos are very collaborative. When people think of Film production they probably think about a director and actors and on-set production and think, "I could never do that, I'm not a photographer or an actor, I don't have $50,000 to spend on a video". Actually, film and video is made is 5 parts and involves a wide variety of skills (of course this is only a guideline, and there are plenty of exceptions):

  • Idea Development - This is where you dream up concepts and focus ideas, mostly on 'pen and paper' just like this forum.
  • Pre-Production - this is where you plan to 'press record', you scout locations, find equipment & talent to help, make a schedule, et cetera.
  • Production - This is when you press record, and when most money is often spent because so many people are involved at one time.
  • Post-Production - You manipulate and create a finished product with what you have recorded, (video & audio editing, animation)
  • Advertising and Distribution - You create awareness of the product and provide places to consume it (in this case social media, Wikipedia pages, etc.)


I propose an online forum (on Meta or somewhere) where people can suggest ideas that they would like to see produced in a high quality video format. The public could discuss, research and script those ideas in a collaborative way. Projects could flow in a production queue like a ticket system in programing. Anyone at any point can post works in progress or take an idea and 'run with it' like they do using a wiki. Wikipedians can also get connected with volunteer media producers (like those I am currently contacting) who can see a script or concept they like and feel enthusiastic about and produce it, with many resources on the forum already at their disposal.

Any established and even relatively new Wikipedian could easliy get involved in the Idea Development phase (which is really the core of ANY production) and probably many pre-production phases too. Wikipedians with experience in film production could assist others with little or no experience. These days lots of people have access to tools to make video, and I think that it's just a matter of co-ordination to get high quality work produced.

In my opinion, most high-quality productions are made by people with 1.) access to media tools (like cameras & microphones) who 2.) know how to use them well (usually through experience) and 3.) have an incentive to work (usually money, but often it's just because they really like the project)

As it currently exists right now, any producer who would want to get involved wouldn't know where to start, but if they had a forum to as questions and pre-made resources (like scripts) available to them, it makes their job a whole lot easier. It takes alot to 'learn the ropes' of Wikipedia and a community portal would help connect Wikipedians (who themselves are not media producers) with video producers (who either are or aren't Wikipedians) who both are looking to promote Wikipedia or illustrate articles in some way would be a huge improvement towards getting more video on Wikipedia and explaining the movement to the world.

I want to make video the same way we make Wikipedia, free for everyone to share with as low a barrier to access as possible.

Thanks for reading my proposal, please share this idea with others if you think this idea or something like it should happen.

Victor Grigas (talk) 00:46, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

So... we can create a page in somewhere?
Like outreach:Video production?
Rodrigo Tetsuo Argenton (talk) 04:32, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
I received this message from Manuel Schneider with instructions to post here - Victor Grigas (talk) 18:23, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

Hi Victor,

Great initiative! I'd like to mention that there is a video project in the german-speaking region under the name "WikiTV". Actually we try to engage people globally to produce free video footage for the Wikimedia projects. Some of you might have visited my Wikimania workshop on WikiTV or might be able to do so at next Wikimania.

I am in a Wikimedia Meeting with only my phone right now, so I am a bit quick here.

Look at Meta "WikiTV" or if you speak german at german Wikipedia under "Wikipedia:WikiTV". On Commons you find a Category:WikiTV.

What we do at the moment is:

  • documentation of real-life events (eg. conferences, talks, Sue's visit at chapter assemblies...)
  • interview Wikimedians to gather additional knowledge for Wikipedia articles (we got an internet-based TV production tool from a public broadcaster)
  • we got two slots (45 minutes) per month on a public broadcaster's channel to publish a Wikipedia and a Wikiversity programme each month
  • we have people interested in creating video tutorials but we lack of knowledgeable people on how to produce them at the moment

I could imagine that WikiTV becomes a new Wikimedia project, so we would have video communities working on their language-based wikis planning and creating footage, shows etc. which will use Commons as the storage archive and publish the results in different Wikimedia projects where useful.

Feel free to publish this mail on the Village Pump discussion because I can't do so right now.


This conversation has been moved here to Meta Victor Grigas (talk) 20:30, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

Streamline the edit page for both basic users and power users[edit]

The two biggest problems I have with the edit page are all the text instructions, guidelines, and warnings outside the edit box. Anything that can be done to minimize and simplify those would be good. The other big problem are the top and bottom bar. From a UI point of view they aren't consistent. Beyond that, I don't feel they offer the right options in the best way. My first instinct would be to have something like the Microsoft ribbon interface (that microsoft didn't create) where you have only the basics exposed at first. I'd say the only three buttons that would be immediately available would be submit, reference, and signature (only for non mainspace articles I suppose), and add to that ribbons for things like wiki markup, special characters, formatting (bold, italics, strikeout), math, languages, etc.TeeTylerToe (talk) 09:50, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

Most of the Edit interface seems relevant or useful. I've used the Insert row, Edit summary, and Preview/Save on nearly every edit. The legal warnings are probably necessary. Praemonitus (talk) 16:02, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
How many times in the last thousand edits have you used the single dash, the double dash, either quotes, the is roughly equal, the is not equal, the less/greater than or equal to, for some reason it has an underlined plus but no regular plus, a minus, an x, a divide, a left arrow, a right arrow, a dot, and a subsection.
Well I don't have a thousand edits. But I have used the em-dash and the ± symbol. I've also used accented characters from the Special characters drop-down. It's been easier using those than for me to fire up OpenOffice, use the special character interface to generate the characters I need, then do a copy-paste. Hence, they seem at least somewhat useful. Praemonitus (talk) 21:49, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
Now, is that to say that on, for instance, legal articles a subsection would be useful? No. Is that to say that maybe if you're using a smartphone and for some reason it wouldn't be helpful to have a link to insert a quote? No. Is that to say maybe it would be nice to have a template for inter-wiki links with maybe a hover tip showing which is the text for the screen, and which is the link? Maybe it would be helpful to have a bar of links that are helpful for people on smartphones.
My problem is that there's the blue bar at the top with the seemingly random and duplicate(signature) buttons, then you have the sort of WYSIWYG editor that I suppose fits well with a sort of DIY media wiki blog or something but doesn't really fit with wikipedia, then on the bottom you have something that could easily be folded into the special characters, with the more used ones having a permanent position in the top bar.
It doesn't seem to have been designed with consistency, and it doesn't seem to be well tailored for the application that it has. And why is there a separete six character sign and timestamp along with the four character signature when the four character signature timestamps anyway.TeeTylerToe (talk) 02:54, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
some time ago, the box below the edit window (generally known as "edittools", named after the script that used to power it) was removed, because it "duplicates the functionality of the toolbar". there was a huge row, many of the veteran editors protested to high heavens, and the "edittools" was returned. (if you are interested in history, you'll be able to find it in the archives of WP:VPT - maybe around september of 2012, give or take a couple of months).
this tool is implemented through a gadget (you can turn it off through Preferences=>Gadgets=>Editing=>Charinsert). this tool is on by default, which means it is visible to anons, and is on for new users who did not turn it off. if your suggestion boils down to changing the status of this tool by removing the "default" designation, i can find a lot of logic in that (i think that removing the "default" will not turn it off for registered users - it will only affect anons, and people who register after the change). but we need to remember one thing: consistency is very nice, but it does not trump functionality. there are many veteran editors on wikipedia that are used to some specific set of tools. making life easier for anons is a noble goal, but keeping the *actual* editors happy and comfortable is not optional. if they say they want to keep the "edittools" alive (as they said), the technical people can't ignore it and decide to nuke in order to make the interface "more consistent". peace - קיפודנחש (aka kipod) (talk) 23:15, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm not saying that it should be removed, and I'm not saying that nobody uses any of it's features, in fact I specifically said there are obvious cases where it is useful, and suggested ways in which it could be expanded. What I'm saying is that it doesn't seem to be designed consistently, and in fact there are even duplicated features, and that it could be streamlined. Saying that it could be streamlined to tailor it to better cater to both novice and advanced users does not mean to blindly remove things.
For instance, there are three different places that have buttons regarding references in three different places. The whole design of the edittools bar seems to be to duplicate the function of the upper blue gradient bar in a clashing but perhaps simplified manner.
Simply applying naive UI principles to it, you would put the greatest emphasis on the buttons that are used the most. Perhaps in the toolbar at the top, the first button should be "Reference" with a arrow to the left that features as a drop down menu giving the various options, such as citation, and reference wizards specific to the media type. This way all reference functions would be in a single, obvious location allowing very simple use of one of the more important features, rather than scattering them in three different places. Another obvious thing to do is to have the sign feature appear only once, and perhaps appear contextually, as article pages typically do not have signatures.
The idea is to make the process of editing, which is obviously the central portal for contributors to be as painless and straightforward as possible. On top of that there's no reason that the edit page could not at the same time be improved for more advanced users. For people trying to add templates, or for people trying to add tables, or lists, or things like that. I'm looking at the edit page, and it's obvious how to make text bold, or italics, it's obvious how to add links and pictures, and cite, sign and reference. The pencil signature icon is a little vague, and the book reference is indecipherable, it looks more like a bookmark feature if anything. Aside from citing and referencing, all of those features seem to have relatively low priority. That doesn't mean that they should all go, or that they should all be put at a lower navigation depth under a style or formatting menu for instance, but I think there are a lot of other features that have greater relative priority.TeeTylerToe (talk) 21:41, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
Well, the devs can do things that annoy the current power users, because "the *actual* editors" don't own Wikipedia. But there's a cost for annoying them, mostly in terms of noise generated whenever any little thing changes.
What we will do when the new WYSWIG editing tool goes live, I don't know, but it's probably worth stocking up on earplugs. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:49, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
As קיפודנחש notes, it was removed (briefly) and there are good arguments it should still be removed by default, but there was sufficient resistance to ensure it got left in place. It's worth remembering that edittools precedes the blue bar; the duplication is because the bar was mostly designed to replace or duplicate its functionality. I'm not sure there was ever a conscious decision to design the page with both in place; it's sort of aggregated together over time. (It was a lot messier until about eight months ago!) Andrew Gray (talk) 22:03, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Can category pages link to the actual articles?[edit]

Maybe I'm missing something, but for a category page like Category:GA-Class_Book_articles why does it have links only to the talk pages? So today each link is like:

why can't it be like this:

Then you can jump to the talk or the article page, whichever you want. And it's hardly any more characters. I find myself browsing categories and mostly want to go the article pages, not the talk ones, which today requires a 2nd hop. I realize the bot finds the templates on the talk pages, but seems like it could easily figure out the article pages from them (just drop the Talk: part). Silas Ropac (talk) 02:29, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

Is this really a technical question, because some script is formatting this list? Should I post under technical? Silas Ropac (talk) 01:01, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
With the ratings, I think some of the intent is that since the rating tags are on the talk page, then the talk pages populate the category. Technical may be a better venue, partly because it gets more traffic. Chris857 (talk) 02:32, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. Seems like having links to both the article and its talk page is the best of both worlds. Yeah I dunno, was just wondering. I posted in technical too so see if someone knows. Some script must generate that page, or I have no idea how it works really under the hood. Silas Ropac (talk) 14:35, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
There are no scripts involved. The cats are transcluded via the WikiProject templates. The cat you give as an example is from WP:WikiProject Books. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:59, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks that's interesting, so maybe there is no way to to do it today. On the technical board someone did have a userscript that basically does it, so that's at least one option. Silas Ropac (talk) 14:24, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

go mod... change with time[edit]



AND MANY MORE POSSIBLE. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:02, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

Like buttons don't provide us with any useful data. We do however have the Wikipedia:Article Feedback Tool in ongoing development. Views are available through the Page view statistics link in the history tab. For sharing we suggest copying and pasting the URL. For definitions we rely on wikilinks for less common terms.©Geni 20:15, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

A new noticeboard[edit]

I've been toying with the idea of proposing a new noticeboard, and would like some input on the idea. The way I see it, we have the following problems:

  • AN/I serves far too broad a scope of issues: Sometimes it's used to request quick administrative action slightly outside of the remit of AIV, and other times it's used as a forum for ongoing major conflicts, some of which even wind up necessitating arbitration. This means that any user bringing up some small issue has to wander through a God-forsaken minefield of drama and anger. This often can lead to overreactions to minor requests, as AN/I regulars (even the helpful ones) can find themselves habitually assuming bad faith.
  • While AN/I frequently takes into account editors' histories and editing patterns, it does not have the ability to deal with recurring issues when there is no specific incident that can be cited.
  • While AN reserves the right to settle pretty much whatever type of matter it wants (excluding those specifically reserved for ArbCom and/or the WMF), use of AN for major issues often turns it into a mirror of AN/I, when the rest of the time it can be as placid as good ol' BN.
  • A frequent complaint among users importing major disputes to either AN/I or AN is that RFC/U, the "proper" venue for such matters—and the one to which editors are often referred by ArbCom—has no real enforcement mechanism, and is almost entirely ineffective without the subject's participation.

So, what I think we need is some sort of noticeboard for longstanding issues. Its purview could include tendentious editing, recurring content disputes, patterns of incivility or personal attacks, or basically anything heated enough that it gives AN/I the nicknames WP:PITCHFORKS, WP:CESSPIT, and WP:Dramaboard. By moving all the bullshit to its own place, we could create rules more suited to an environment of two warring users of groups of users, while AN/I could become (ideally) a streamlined forum for adminstrative response to routine incidents.... who knows, maybe someday WP:HAPPYPLACE wouldn't be so ironic a redirect.

Thoughts? I know that the actual scope is still a little vague, but what do people think of the general idea of dividing the stuff that can be fixed easily from the stuff that can't be? — PinkAmpers&(Je vous invite à me parler) 01:55, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

I don't very often seek help from admins, but when I do, time and again I find that I have put my request on the wrong page. I suggest creating something like WP:help, a kind of disambiguation place for admin help with links to which noticeboard to use for what problem. Including links for problems that actually don't need an admin at all. Once there is such a page, it will be easier to see what kind of new noticeboards are needed. (I see now that this is more of a reflection inspired by your sentence: "AN/I serves far too broad a scope of issues" and maybe not so much an answer to your entire post.) Lova Falk talk 12:06, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
There is WP:RFAA. — PinkAmpers&(Je vous invite à me parler) 20:24, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
I had no idea! Thank you! Lova Falk talk 08:57, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

Reducing the possibility of bot edits inadvertently covering up vandalism[edit]

Is it possible when bot edits appear on a watchlist that they state how much time has elapsed since the previous edit to the article? As an example of how this may be beneficial, at the moment my watchlist is swamped with bot edits as part of the transferral of interwiki links to Wikidata. I don't have time to check all these to see if any vandalism has sneaked under the radar prior to the bot edit, yet if the bot edit gave information on how much time has elapsed since the previous edit to the article, that would be enormously helpful in deciding which articles need taking a closer look at. PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 22:31, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

There is a option to hide bot edits from your watchlist in your Preferences. Would that do? Rmhermen (talk) 18:13, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
See also Help: Watching pages #Options. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 18:58, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
I realised when travelling to work this morning that the problem could be overcome by eliminating the bot edits from my watchlist; I don't know why I didn't realise this before. I think sometimes my brain doesn't work at full speed! Thanks for the assistance anyway; I think we can put this one to bed now! PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 19:33, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
I have the same issue as PaleCloudedWhite, but I am not sure about the solution. Let's say I hide the bot edits. Now if an editor vandalizes at 5:00 in the night and a bot changes something at 6:00, when I open and refresh my watchlist at 10:00, will the vandalizing change show at 5:00 or is the article simply not mentioned in my watchlist, because the last change is simply hidden from me? Lova Falk talk 08:49, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
For this 'solution' to work one would need to have the watchlist to show all edits rather than only the most recent, which is something you need to change in preferences rather than something easily done on the fly. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 14:37, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
It is just as I suspected. Mental model is on my watchlist. At 14:12, 25 February 2013‎ an edit was made. At 13:54, 26 February 2013‎ Addbot made another edit. When I want bots to show, Mental model comes up. When I click on "Hide bots", Mental model does not show up on the list of 25 February, but disappears completely. So the only way of knowing in case some vandalism has sneaked under the radar (or some other edit is made that I want to get involved with), is to check each and every one of the bot edits. Confused-tpvgames.png Or, as you said ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ let the watchlist show all edits. However, "all edits" are only the most recent edits. For Mental model, the edit made the day before did not show. Lova Falk talk 14:48, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
One should never feel bad about asking a "dumb" question as somebody even dumber may learn something. The bots have been driving me crazy lately and now I learned that I may banish them forever. And I learned to make a "confused face" to boot! Thanks to all. Gandydancer (talk) 15:44, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
BTW, I have a similar question. While I was changing my preferences I asked that minor edits also not show with the idea that a previous new edit that is not minor will show up. Is that correct? As it is I have found that I need to check minor edits to be certain that new material has not been added followed by perhaps a very slight change to the edit, spelling perhaps, that the editor considered "minor" which shows up as the last edit. I hope I made myself clear... Gandydancer (talk) 15:56, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────You made yourself perfectly clear! I do this all the time. I write a bigger edit, save page, and discover a minor mistake, which I then save as a minor edit. And I suspect when you ask for minor edits not to show, the bigger one done earlier does not show. Sad-tpvgames.gif But why don't you test to make sure? Make a big edit to your user page, followed by a minor one, and see if it shows on your watchlist... Lova Falk talk 16:09, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
PS Wikipedia:Emoticons has lots of faces. Lova Falk talk 16:12, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

Didn't work. I guess I'll have to change that back. Misc-tpvgames.gif Gandydancer (talk) 17:07, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
SMirC-cool (from: [1] Lova Falk talk 17:44, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm glad Lova Falk opened this thread up again, as I had gone away from it with a misunderstanding; I had assumed (wrongly) that by clicking the "Hide bots" tab on my watchlist, any non-bot edits made prior to the bot one would be revealed. So I now have adjusted my watchlist preferences to show all edits (which at the moment is giving me a watchlist that's a bit confusing to look at, but no doubt that will ease as I get used to it). As regards to Lova Falk's assertion that the change made to Mental model the day before not showing, could that be because the "Maximum number of changes to show in expanded watchlist" is not large enough? I also encountered this problem, but it is adjustable; whilst in preferences I changed it (the default is 250), so my watchlist is now long enough to cope with all the changes. PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 20:45, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
My number is 1000, so that is not the problem. What I meant was just what you said: non-bot edits made prior to the bot are not revealed. My watchlist has also been quite overwhelming these last days, but I found that if I open the history of lots of bot changes in tabs, it doesn't take much time to check what has happened prior to the bot change. Lova Falk talk 08:17, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
Rather than open lots of tabs, why not use Navigation popups when reviewing the watchlist? I use a non-expanded watchlist with all the "Hide" options disabled. For each page listed, I hover over the "History" link to get the popup of the last 10 or so edits. This works well for me. -- John of Reading (talk) 08:31, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

Redirect templates/messages[edit]

You know how some articles state "X redirects here. For other uses, see X (disambiguation)", when X is a part of the topic? Why not instead use a message on the redirect page, and have it embedded on the article when you reach it like a template. So you wouldn't see it when going directly to the page, but if you were redirected you'd see "You were redirected from X. For other uses, see X (disambiguation)"? That way multiple redirects to the same page could link to different disambiguations.--occono (talk) 02:41, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

This would be helpful but it's not possible with the current software. It has been discussed before, for example at Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab)/Archive 8#Dynamic hatnotes. I don't think the developers would allow the required software change because multiple versions of hatnotes would break page caching which is important for server efficiency. I don't know whether this particular feature has been discussed by the developers but they are generally fast to shoot down suggestions which mess with caching. There could also be issues with sneaky vandalism which goes undetected because most editors don't see that version of the page. PrimeHunter (talk) 03:12, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Passages page[edit]

How about a page for relevant passages and quotes? The first three tabs would be..."Article" "Talk" and "Passages". Or maybe "Article", "Passages" and "Talk"?

For example...I added a bunch of relevant passages to the preference revelation talk page... Talk:Preference_revelation#Preference_revelation_passages. But I think it would be far more preferable if I could add them to a page specifically for passages.


  1. Greater continuity. Eventually the passages I shared on the preference revelation talk page are going to be archived and eventually I'm going to die.
  2. Better collaboration. Some people have a comparative advantage at researching while others have a comparative advantage in writing. Researchers could do the digging and word smiths could do the writing. Improving the division of labor would increase productivity.
  3. Facilitate contributions. It would be relatively quick and easy for anybody to share a passage on the passages page.
  4. Increased accessibility. If a source is out of print or gated, then adding a passage to the passages page will make it readily available for other editors.
  5. Better value for readers. A stub with several passages is better than just a stub.


You could either manually add passages or you could click on the "New passage" tab. The new passage tab would give you a drop down list of source types (magazine, book, web, etc) and your selection would then display various fields to fill in (author, link, date, page, etc). This would make it easy to copy citations over to the article.

Thoughts? --Xerographica (talk) 03:10, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

This sounds like Wikiquote. See for example Public trust#External links which uses {{wikiquote}} to link to wikiquote:Public trust. PrimeHunter (talk) 03:19, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, kinda like Wikiquote. There would certainly be some overlap in the passages/quotes, but I think having a tab next to the article, in addition to a page on a completely different website, would add considerable more value for both readers and editors. Out of curiosity... could I create wikiquote:Preference revelation and copy and paste all the relevant passages into it? --Xerographica (talk) 03:59, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
It's exactly like Wikiquote; I have no objection to an (optional) tab pointing to Wikiquote, but they are more familiar with the potential copyright violation problem. As an aside, if you would include those fields (author, link, title, date, page, publisher, etc.) when you added your passages, it would be easier to determine whether they had any credibility, or sometimes, relevance, to the article. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 15:50, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Was this template useful to you?[edit]

For the purpose of user interface enhancement, might I propose that we temporarily modify all of the cleanup templates so as to include a box or line underneath that reads:

Clicking on either box registers a "vote" for the ip address, which is then collected and stored via a javascript program or some other tool. After a period of time (say a month) the poll box can be removed and the results assessed to see how the templates, and their usage, can be improved. Praemonitus (talk) 01:46, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

This is one of the best ideas I've heard of. Unfortunately, I think the community would not like to hear what people think of templates. But it's still a good idea. (talk) 05:26, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
To some degree I suspect you may be right. My experience in other discussions has been that some editors are wedded to the cleanup template concept itself, and will gainsay any contradictory opinions. But I think that feedback from the reader population can be interesting and informative; potentially leading to useful improvements. Plus hard data can produce more constructive discussions. Praemonitus (talk) 19:00, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

Uploading and deleting non-free images in order to undelete them once their copyright has expired[edit]

Symbol declined.svg Rejected by the Wikipedia community. Nonetheless, the received feedback regarding this proposal is appreciated.

As original proposer,

-- Toshio Yamaguchi 22:09, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

The copyright for some copyrighted images will expire in the future. I think there might be images where a use on Wikipedia cannot currently be justified under WP:NFCC, but which would be used if they were out of copyright (for example in list articles). I think we should create a process to allow the upload and subsequent deletion of non-free files which would definitely be useful if they were under a free license. Those files would be tracked in a maintenance category and could be undeleted, once their copyright has expired. Thoughts? -- Toshio Yamaguchi 11:29, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

Whenever the copyright expires, they can be uploaded again. I don't think it's a good idea to make a copyrighted files collection already in advance. Plus there is no official guarantee from the system administrators that the files can be undeleted in the future. Right now you can, but if they need the space, they will use it. :) Non copyrighted files should also be uploaded to Commons, not to Wikipedia. Garion96 (talk) 11:54, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
They could only be uploaded again, if someone had the foresight to store the image. If not, then the image might no longer be available on the web. While it is true that this would create a copyrighted files collection this would only be visible to administrators. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 12:00, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
Commons has per-year subcategories of Commons:Category:Undeletion requests for this, though I doubt if any of the original uploaders intended their uploads to be deleted. -- John of Reading (talk) 13:01, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
Toshio, I'm afraid there is no exemption in law allowing for the posting of copyrighted works, as long as only administrators see them. So what you're proposing is legally dangerous. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 20:43, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
  • This is utterly unacceptable. Whether the images are visible or not, they're hosted on our machines. Ironholds (talk) 20:44, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
We already do have non-free files that only administrators can see, for example all non-free files deleted under CSD F5, F6 and F7, unless there is a process to permanently erase such files from the servers that I am not aware of. I don't see how this would be different. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 07:45, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
You don't see how there's a difference between having some potentially problematic files on the servers, and intentionally uploading as many copyrighted works as you can get your hands on? Ironholds (talk) 14:45, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
No, I don't see a difference. Also, I don't know where you got it from that the purpose of this proposal is to "intentionally upload as many copyrighted works as you can get your hands on". That is not the purpose. The purpose is to upload and delete non-free files that will benefit the project once their copyright has expired. Besides, registered users can already upload as many non-free files as they want. What we need is a new special speedy deletion criterion for this purpose. This purpose does not increase the number of non-free files one can upload over the number that is currently possible. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 16:09, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
Sure, but it does legitimise such behaviour. If you can't see the difference, I'm honestly not sure how to explain it to you. You intend to intentionally take works that are within copyright, duplicate them in violation of civil and criminal law, and store them until such a time as their copyright terms expire. You intend to have community processes built around this (illegal) goal, and are seeking the community's not only tolerance of copyright violations - which we have a board mandate to instinctively kill - but endorsement of it. And you can't see the difference between that and 'a newbie has uploaded files they are not permitted to upload, we shall delete them to minimise risk'?
This proposal increases our potential liability and legitimises within policy something that is illegal within the nation we operate in and contrary to Board and Foundation-set policy, including our terms of use. It's not tenable, and even if it were, it's not proper. Ironholds (talk) 17:04, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
Copyright/licensing laws don't give you free rein to transiently violate them--what you're proposing is not fair-use and is not within the rights that are by default available to anyone other than the license-holder. We delete license violations because they are not allowed at all (not just "allowed to be had but not displayed"). It's admirable to want to plan for the future when other things will be allowed legally, but we can't break law and policy now in order to enable that.DMacks (talk) 17:08, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
This novel proposal is not an acceptable or a legal solution to the "problem" of inconvenient copyright terms. Also, there is no practical advantage to uploading-and-hiding-and-storing (for decades?) now versus uploading the files later, when they are in the public domain. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:24, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Surnames data[edit]

I would like to propose to include some basic data in the form of a box information for surnames. For example Eastman (surname) could present also a synthetic information data of the origin of the surname itself and it could be a great information for investigation. Thanks for discussing this idea. --Albeiror24 - English - Español - Italiano - ខ្មែរ 07:26, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

Could it be that {{Infobox surname}} is what you are looking for? An example of it is at Chen (surname). Hope this helps. (talk) 06:52, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

PC 2 with Fully/Semi Protected Templates[edit]

First I recognize that there is no consensus to use PC 2 at this time, HOWEVER (this is idea lab). Do we think there is a category of templates, (I don't have any specific examples) where using level 2 Pending Changes + Semi Protection would be useful? It could either be an upgrade for certain currently semiprotected templates, or a downgrade for (low) high-risk templates. For currently fully protected templates, it would allow the template gurus access to do what they need to do. For the currently semi-protected templates it would provide protection against autoconfirmed vandalism while still allow the gurus to work. Thoughts? Crazynas t 14:33, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

This is a good idea, although it's possible that the people working on templates would just use a {{sudo}} or {{SPER}} on the talk pages of the templates they wanted updated. (talk) 05:42, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Indeed, and {{sudo}} is what they use. This proposal would not change the requirement that anonymous users would need to make an edit request, the templates would be semi-protected (my understanding is that the protections stack, so you need to be autoconfirmed to make a PC request, when both are applied). Registered users could make edits that would be in PC until accepted or rejected, and reviewers could make edits without the need of an edit request. The reviewers are primarily who I'm thinking of, as reviewers that don't work with templates are (presumably) trustable enough to not break anything, and those experienced template coders that aren't already administrators are trustable enough to be reviewers. To give an example, {{Infobox music genre}} has 853 transclusions, however it is fully protected. I think it would be a good canidate for the above proposal, since it's not big enough to cause widespread harm (like say {{-}} clocking in at 112371 transclusions, which I suspect we never want to remove full protection from, as something might break if it got incorrectly edited). In other words, there is a category of templates that we don't want edited on the threshold of autoconfirmed, but don't necessarily need to be restricted to administrative use. As for need, there have been RFA's where the main reason the user was applying was to gain EditProtected rights, solely because they were a great template editor.
Crazynas t 10:39, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
Having just read the RFC relating to this, I think that this particular application has a much better chance of succeeding then another (more general) proposal regarding level two. Crazynas t 11:23, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
I think this might be a useful thing, but I think it might be useful to take this level as a case-by-case issue for a while. There have been a couple of examples of individual pages being set at level 2 via consensus at ANI (e.g., to deal with persistent abusive socking), and it might be preferable to follow that approach in the near term. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:39, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
I like the idea. I've always been aware when fully protecting templates that we're adding an extra layer in where an admin has to implement an edit; where it would be better to have a particular subest of users access. GedUK  13:10, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing, I feel that we need at least a provisional modification to the protection policy rather then making this an IAR case by case. The primary arguments aginst level two, as detailed in the september RFC, appear to be:
  1. Article ownership. (This prima facie does not apply to the template namespace, in addition this seems to be based on upgrading unprotected or semi-protected pages to PC2, what would occur under this proposal would be downgrading from full protection)
  2. Creates a new class of super-editors. (The group of editors that work with templates is already as specialized as they come, also since the reviewer class exits there is a new class, this whould simply allow (whom I suspect have a high corrilation with experinced template users))
  3. Allows users to approve edits without consensus. (Any controversial edit to a HRT should be discussed anyhow, this would premit editors to make non-controversial edits directly, without waiting for an admin to implement the changes who might not even understand what they're changing)
  4. The policy is too vague, and would be applied to broadly as it currently stands. (This proposal by its very nature addresses this concern.)
The way I see it, this adds a layer of gradation to HRT without any downside. Template:! (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) is extremely high risk (and should remain fully protected). Template:Infobox monarch (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) is high risk, but we can allow trusted users to edit it without signifigant danger to the project (PC 2). Template:Policy (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) is not high risk (by translucion count) but is a likley subject to abuse by persistant vandals who might go to the trouble of aquiring autoconfirmed (PC2). Template:SockpuppetProven (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) is subject to abuse annonomus abuse(semi protection). Currently administrators have to decide on a case by case basis if the template is high risk enough to deserve full protection, and, as they well should, often err on the side of caution in fully protecting a template that is dangerous, but not that dangerous. Crazynas t 21:11, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
The RFC said to avoid using PC2 for three to six months. The use of PC has gone well and been very restrained so far (Special:PendingChanges is usually empty, Special:StablePages lists just 434 PC1 pages, one PC2 page, and seven test pages), but given the hysterical, sky-is-falling-I-quit reactions from a (small) minority of editors to anything involving PC, I don't think that it would be wise to make that proposal until a full six months has elapsed from the 01-Dec-2012 official start date. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:30, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Image width magic word[edit]

Would it make sense to have an IMAGEWIDTH magic word that is set to the viewer's thumbnail size preference? I'm envisioning the typical use would be as a default image width in a template such as {{multiple image}}. Perhaps it could also be used in a function to calculate a layout. Praemonitus (talk) 02:30, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

If you don't write the image size, it will shrink to the user's size. --NaBUru38 (talk) 17:42, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes I know that. Praemonitus (talk) 00:04, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree this could be useful. There will be cases where someone wants to create a table, a text box, or something, and have it the same size as a nearby thumbnail image. -- John of Reading (talk) 08:29, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

More attractive destination when clicking on a thumbnail[edit]

What if when you clicked on a thumbnail it showed an overlay or "shadow box" with a big version of the image, but right there on top of the article. Today when you click on a thumbnail it more or less takes you "behind the scenes" to a very technical page with all sorts of resolutions and rights and links to other pages and metadata. For a popular image this can amount to hundreds of lines of stuff most readers won't care about. Also today if it's an SVG on the technical page the background is drawn as a checkboard instead of white, which ruins the image. We'd still want the same technical page of course, there would be a "details" link on overlay. And editors could have a preference to jump straight to the technical page if they wanted, skipping the overlay. Silas Ropac (talk) 15:11, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Is this a bad idea, in that people like how it works today? Or a bad idea in the sense that it's too big of a change, it's not worth talking about? Silas Ropac (talk) 13:36, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

I like this idea! I have a love/hate relationship with Wikipedia but it would be great (for once), to click on an image and have the page darken with a large image floating over top in the center. Hmm, perhaps you could also have Left and Right arrows as well, so you can cycle through ALL the images on an article's page. *SIGH*, shouldn't this be standard by now? Every website had this a millenia ago. hehe AnimatedZebra (talk) 14:36, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

Agreed being able to cycle through the images in the article would be a nice touch. Silas Ropac (talk) 16:33, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

This is typically called a "lightbox" on the web, and yes, I definitely agree with Silas Ropac's comments. There's an earlier (2010) discussion of the idea here, for reference. — Hex (❝?!❞) 17:12, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

This would definitely be a good idea, and something which would be of much use to people who mainly read and don't edit. The file pages aren't well designed for readers. One question is if we implemented this, how would you like to the file page? SFB 19:35, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
There could be a link under the image in the light box which says "details" or "file information". Thanks for the 2010 thread, yeah exact same request. And I agree editors should have the option to disable. But there are what, 5000 readers for every editor? I think this would be really important modernization. It would be not be a trivial implementation effort, but plenty of other sites do this. I wonder if it could be done entirely as as user script, for initial prototyping anyway. As a reader when you see a thumbnail my impulse is, I want to see that picture bigger, not I want to go see an ugly technical page with lots of details I don't care about. Pictures are a huge asset of the encyclopedia that should be shown off accordingly. So it's a good idea, for readers at least, but how do we make it happen? Didn't happen since 2010 at least so I guess there just isn't enough support or interest yet. Silas Ropac (talk) 12:58, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Hmmm there are already several extensions of stuff like this. See LightboxThumbs and its See Also section. Picking some wikimedia sites at random and none had light boxes, so it has not caught on like wild fire. Silas Ropac (talk) 14:18, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Automatic removal of the orphan template when an article is linked?[edit]

By using the 'Random article' link, I keep finding articles that have the {{orphan}} template, yet they are linked from other articles. Isn't this a cleanup template that could be automatically expunged? Thanks. Praemonitus (talk) 04:16, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

There's a bot, JL-Bot (talk · contribs), that tries to do this. If you've found tags that you think the bot should have removed, you could ask about them at the bot's talk page. -- John of Reading (talk) 07:30, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. That bot appears to set too high of a bar for the removal of the template. The orphan template says that no articles are linked to the page. The bot only removes the template when four suitable articles are linked. Perhaps there should be a bot that substitutes the "|few=true" option into the template? Praemonitus (talk) 00:57, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
The contents of the template were changed last June. Perhaps the bot's threshold should be reduced stepwise to account for this. If it currently removes when four mainspace links are found, then it might be reasonable to run it for a month at "three" and then, if all seems to be well, switch to removing the template if two links are found. (I'm not sure that we want to remove the template if only one link is found, because that one link could be removed, and the article would be re-orphaned but no longer tagged.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:36, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
You have a point about the potential for losing a link. But it's unfortunate that an article needs to hang on to that ugly template just in case. The document on the {{Orphan}} template page even allows for the possibility that not every article is going to be linkable into wikipedia. Praemonitus (talk) 22:20, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I agree that the template is intrusive and may be out of date. But a better solution would be to move to an automatically generated and updated set of hidden categories - that way you could differentiate between articles that are linked to from 0, 1, 2 3 or even 4 other articles. People who only bother about articles that are completely orphaned could focus on the zero link category and no need for intrusive templates. ϢereSpielChequers 13:12, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Simple English versions of technical pages[edit]

I was going over the user feedback on the Evolution page, and a common theme popped out: people kept asking for simpler information, or information that one could give children.

Now, there is a simpler, Introduction to evolution page, but it seems people don't really notice that there's also a Simple English version, listed in the language bar.

I suggested on that talk page that a link, similar to the one referring people to the introduction, be placed in italics before the summary.

There, Andrew Lancaster suggested I submit this idea to VP, as a suggestion for a broader policy on technical pages. I wanted to put it here to kind of refine the idea before it's submitted to Proposals.

So... What do you think? Good idea?

Havensfire (talk) 16:07, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

So, you want to create a special hatnote that points to the Simple wikipedia? Ruslik_Zero 16:29, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes, exactly! Sorry about not knowing what the term was... I'm new to participating with wikipedia. I thought it'd be a good idea for articles of a more technical nature for which there's a Simple English version to have a hatnote pointing there. Havensfire (talk) 18:50, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

I think you could make an External links-style box for that purpose without too much trouble. It would look something like this. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:49, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

I agree with WhatamIdoing. A box in the External links section would be consistent with how we deal with commons. i.e. there is the {{Commons category}} template that gives something very similar and is usually placed in the "External links" section of an article if there is a relevant category.
Yaris678 (talk) 18:36, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

WikiProject Conflict Resolution[edit]

Invitation to join Wikiproject Conflict Resolution. Help develope this project and concept.

Wikipedia:WikiProject Conflict Resolution.--Amadscientist (talk) 10:31, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Template uw-unexplained-contradiction[edit]

Often when I vandal patrol, I come across changes such as changing names from John Doe to Jane Smith, changing the year they were born from 1484 to 1884 or negating content such as John loves Jane to John does not love Jane. With no edit summary, unless you know the facts of the article, it's a plausible correction (hence why vandals like to hide with this.)

The best thing to do in this situation is to google, however this slows down patrolling by orders of magnitude. This makes it impractical to do, as if reverting vandalism takes more time than the vandalism itself, we are loosing the battle.

I propose a set of user warning templates for use in these situations, telling the user the usual warning stuff, but explaining to the user that they should use the edit summary to explain why they are making these changes. Legitimate users should understand before the third revert, by which true vandals can then be caught when they repeat until blocked.

Thoughts? 930913(Congratulate) 09:40, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

I found this one: {{Uw-editsummary}}. Praemonitus (talk) 05:57, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
When the changes are made by ip-editors, and I don't have the time or energy to check the change, it has become my habit to revert these changes, with an edit summary saying "unexplained change of sourced content" or something like that. My reasoning is that sourced content most probably is correct, however, in case it was not and the correction made by the ip-editor was accurate, the chances are quite big that someone will revert my edit. Lova Falk talk 19:28, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

South West Tasmania[edit]

Hello all. I come to you asking for your wisdom. While I wont mention names, I have been concerned observing for some time as an editor whom I look up to appearing to unknowingly involve himself in the makings of an Edit War. While I may be jumping to conclusions here, I ask that some third parties jump in and have a look at South West Tasmania to see if they can strike a compromise between the editors involved. I emphasise that I believe no-one is at fault in this situation – all parties have valid points in their argument. However this stalemate in editing consensus can’t be allowed to continue. Kind Regards, Wiki ian 07:19, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

Hello Wiki ian. I'm not sure this is the ideal place for resolving editing disputes. Have you tried the approaches on the Wikipedia:Dispute resolution page? Praemonitus (talk) 15:32, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

Improving the talk page[edit]

It's always occurred to me that talk pages aren't very user friendly when you open them. Take Talk:Beijing for instance, which is not atypical of articles with regular talk discussions. You have to scroll down two pages to even begin to get near anything that looks like a discussion. We should start from a user perspective and put more relevant information at the top, just as we do for the lead of an article. The {{talk header}} is fair enough, but the rest of it is a distraction at best and new-user-repellent at worst.

What falls into view when you open the page: "Beijing has been listed as a level-3 vital article"? "Article Milestones"? A series of links to Wikiprojects? These are some of the least relevant aspects of the page. Furthermore they make it less obvious what the actual focus on the page is (the discussions below). I think this kind of information should not be centre stage and would be better presented in a sidebar format floating on the right, perhaps similar to the {{Archive box}} presentation. As an added bonus, this would usually fill up the white space that you typically find to the right of the table of contents.

Expanding the idea further, maybe we could have a brief transclusion of the latest added discussion that if you clicked would take you to the bottom where the discussion is happening. SFB 21:21, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Would it help if all the project information were moved under a separate "Projects" tab? As an aid to discussion, the "Talk" tab could have a small iconic marker to indicate when it has been updated with new comments within the 28 days. Praemonitus (talk) 18:23, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

hous this? (talk) 20:25, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

Links to wikiprojects should remain on top, because it's a better place to discuss stuff. There's hundreds of wikiprojects, but millions of articles. --NaBUru38 (talk) 17:55, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
It is still at the top. Perhaps the example is a bit to crude.
To talk a bit about the talk: I'm really on the talk page to talk. I want the table of content to appear all the way at the top of the view-port. On the right of the toc there is plenty of space for cargo cult banners archive search boxes, royal seals, clarification of English etc etc While no doubt tremendously important and expected to be there editors hardly ever look at these things let alone click on anything. That makes them not worth disturbing the discussion with? The boxes use all width available, there is always room for a table of content to their left. Most of their horizontal size is intended as page filler while there is a gaping emptiness besides the toc under it. It's not a bad lay-out but there isn't any lay-out on this block level. It gets worse on popular articles, more and more info boxes appear. Why have a "Jump to table of content" if we can have the real mcchicken? The boxes are annoying while there is no need for it. When I open a bunch of talk pages I want to see the discussion on each tab, I don't want to have to find it every time. lol? It should already be there. (talk) 10:19, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
Like in File:All-small=yes layout mockup of Talk-Barack Obama.png? Also, BTW, remember not everyone has as large a screen as you do. Anomie 10:42, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
The yellow is suppose to attract attention to important things but the way we overuse it that doesn't work. I've changed the colors a bit [2] (full size) (talk) 14:43, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

A gadget to visualise the evolution of an article[edit]

I have applied to Wikimedia's IEG programme.The idea is to Playback Edits.I have wanted a tool to help me understand how an article evolves over time. I have explained the idea on my Grant proposal page and on its adjoining discussion page.I'd love to hear about other interesting ways I could visualize the edits or other interesting use cases for the tool other than the ones I have been able to think of in my proposal.--jeph (talk) 18:02, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Hi. I definitely think something to help visualise multiple diffs would be really helpful. My suggestion was User:Yaris678/DiffDeck. Feel free to use any ideas from there that you find helpful. Yaris678 (talk) 21:43, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
Cool idea. So the tool is going to display the final rendered text or the wikisource? If final text you of course miss lots of changes which are only visible in the source (references and categories and links). But I think tools which show diffs of final text are needed, are there any even? There is kind of a time-lapse video someone made showing the final page changing over time, I cannot find it right now. One thing that might be neat is have the slider overlayed on top of a 2D graph which shows article size plotted just as a filled line graph. Then you can easily "dial in" places where the article size shot up or down, and see what changes were made. I find if I'm looking at an article history, often I am scanning past all these little changes just looking for who is adding big chunks of prose, who is really writing the text rather than tweaking it around (not that both don't have value). It's great to have these experiments, good luck. Silas Ropac (talk) 03:36, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

Move all infoboxes to a "PAGENAME/infobox" subpage (or a template or new namespace)[edit]

In a discussion of this week's Signpost, User:Jorge Stolfi mentions about how the edit window being cluttered with techie-looking stuff can scare away potential editors. This is supported by past usability studies. In particular, due to their prevalent usage and positioning near the beginning of articles, users are also presented with the intimidating-looking and confounding machinery of infoboxes should they happen to click the "edit" button. Even as an experienced editor, I often find infoboxes annoying because I have to scroll past them to find the start of an article. It occurred to me to ask, "Why are we putting this data in the article in the first place?" Would not a subpage be a better location for it? In a very literal sense, infoboxes sort of are sub-articles so using a subpage seems to make logical sense. I see many benefits here:

  • less intimidating source for new-comers
  • less crowded source for everybody
  • lead paragraph more easily found for editing
  • smaller files to save with each edit
  • easier to spot the "extra newline" problem from infoboxes

The only problems I see are of a minor technical nature. It would mean many more entries in the database. That might have performance issues but maybe not. With in the "/infobox" subpage, a "References" section would need to appear within "noinclude" tags to prevent the ugly red "missing references tag" warning from appearing. Also the infoboxes should be equiped with "V • T • E" ("View • Talk • Edit") links just as the Navboxes are.

Now that this idea has seized me, I am wondering why it hasn't occurred. It seems obvious that it should have been done this way long ago. I must be missing something (and it is really late right now for me so maybe I'm not thinking well). I'm also aware that Wikidata is planning on doing something with infoboxes eventually, which might make my idea moot. I have yet to fully understand that proposal or appreciate how it will work.

There's, of course, the issue of multiple infoboxes... so they could just be numbered, "/infobox1", etc.

I have temporarily set-up my sandbox to sort of do this for the Arise (Sepultura album) article. I also added a junk references to the infobox for example purposes. Jason Quinn (talk) 08:12, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

  • This is a great idea. Equipping infoboxes with VTE links would also facilitate easier updates to them. — Hex (❝?!❞) 09:49, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
The issue i find is that, similar to the lead article, the info in the infobox is based off info in the article. Its not a good idea. Particularly, articles with separate templates is usually more inclined to navboxes. Why have it separately if it wont be used for multiple articles? Its a waste of space.Lucia Black (talk) 10:21, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
If you have an article with infobox of 100 kb and split it into infobox (5 kb) plus the article (95 kb), it's still 100 kb altogether, is it not? I don't think "waste of space" is a valid objection to my idea. In fact, in the long run, this idea would save space because of less redundancy in the saves. Jason Quinn (talk) 15:52, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
The sofware doesn't support subpages in the article namespace (otherwise you have issues with article titles likes AC/DC). the accepted workaround is things like Template:Rolle Canal mapGeni 12:53, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Minor correction: it does support them, that support is just disabled. But yes. Hrm. A possible problem with farming out infoboxes into templates is that it would result in a massive expansion in the Template: namespace, making searching through it more difficult. Perhaps a specific namespace for infoboxes would be in order. (I can see people howling in protest at the prospect, sadly. — Hex (❝?!❞) 13:35, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Single use templates, especially where they are hard-coded instances of other templates are generally deleted and moved back into the article. --— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 13:38, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Also, "subpages" in the main namespace will be picked up by various statistics and by things such as Special:Random. Any variation of this proposal also means that many more pages that will likely be unwatched. Anomie 15:06, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Ugh, of course!, that subpages are disabled was something I was forgetting about. Great example too with AC/DC. I wonder if there's a way around that by using unicode for the slash in titles so that subpages can be enabled. Anyway, consider the possibility of using templates instead of subpages. (I have renamed the section to include that). Perhaps that's a good idea. Even if up till now single-use templates have been deleted, as Gadget850 points out, that doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad idea. It's not clear to me that the 1) "performance" or the 2) "search clutter" objections to single-use templates outweigh the benefits here. In fact, I still think it's a good idea. The new namespace is also another interesting idea. More comments with pros and cons of each method? How you you feel about each? Jason Quinn (talk) 16:03, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

In theory yes, but it just influences more single-use templates just far too much. Ok, i dont want to sound like a jerk, so ill try to think of a way to solve this....hmm...The only way this could work if multiple single-use templates were used in the article so that a new tab on the article "next to read, talk, history, etc." Will manage all the single-use templates. But that will only encourage more single-use templates and i doubt many articles will need multiple single-use templates other than the infoboxes if we go through with this idea. Infoboxes at the moment look easy to manage already but i may be bias by the fact that ive been here for a long time. The issue is that it makes it difficult for new editors to edit infoboxes. Whats stopping from moving whole sections of an article in a separate template? The info of the infobox is dependent on the info of the article article, this is what makes this idea about templates completely different on what templates and meant to be used. There are other ways to get the benefits without these issues.Lucia Black (talk) 17:59, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

I like the proposal of making the infobox into a subpage of the main article. Another alternative would be to move that information to a wiki database, like wikidata; but a good implementation of this alternative would require a lot more work than using subpages.
Please consider also splitting the image off the infobox. That way even non-expert users would be able to edit the image and its caption, and perhaps place two or more images, larger images, etc. The infobox then would be a separate item.
For the good of editors and readers, the infobox should ideally be inserted *automatically*, say just below the head section. --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 18:06, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
This may be what Wikidata is planning (see Wikidata:Phase_2). If so, it's a much more ambitious task than Phase 1 was. I hope it works. After a brief skim of the plans, I still don't comprehend the details about how it will be implemented. Maybe it will click when I first see it. Jason Quinn (talk) 21:16, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback, User:Lucia Black. I'm not sure why we would need a new tab; seems overkill to me. Editors can currently use the "What links here" page and narrow a search to the template namespace to find templates linking to an article. I do agree keeping track of single-use templates is a point of note concern. As for sections being split off into templates, that could be prevented by a single sentence in a guideline. Has there ever been a problem with editors wanting to do that? I don't work a lot in the template namespace so maybe you are more familiar with editor tendencies there than I am. Jason Quinn (talk) 21:16, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

I gave your idea some thought. I think: "Discuss" and "View" should link to "Infobox album" and "Edit" should work exactly like a section edit works. That way you have the same functionality without the sub page. I've hacked an example into your example. (talk) 23:45, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

Single use templates[edit]

Let us suppose here that using templates for infoboxes is the best available option. There seems to be a general feeling that "single use templates are bad" but I do not appreciate why. I suppose from Lucia Black's comments that this may be because they are hard to keep track of. Perhaps he will expound upon previous comment. Gadget850, your comments on this would be welcomed too. It's not clear to me yet that we should be adverse to single-use templates, especially in light of the benefit that may be gained. Aren't any templates hard to keep track of? Many only have a few pages that link to them. How strong is editor opposition to them? Is it justified? For what reasons? What are the cons of single use templates? I think some of Lucia's concerns could be address by saying what's allowed for single-use templates (i.e., a whitelist in which infoboxes would be an entry). Jason Quinn (talk) 21:40, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

  • Just to say I also agree that large amounts of template code at the starts of articles can be either inconvenient or off-putting, so I think I'd support a solution that tucked it away (but not too far). As to why one-use templates are disparaged, I too am not convinced why, but they may not be the most effective solution anyway. (I have seen a few, I think, e.g. {{Infobox European Union}}.)
One radical (but I'm sure hardly original) thought that's occurred to me is (the option to) split the editing box into more than one box, e.g. a "Hatnote/s / header template/s" box, "Main article" box, "References / footnotes" box (taking all that inline <ref> code away from the flow of the article text), possibly a "See also" / "External links" / etc box or boxes, "Footer template/s" and "Categories" box or boxes – with e.g. all boxes initially collapsed apart from "Main article" (unless preferences indicate otherwise). Might be worth offering even if not all browsers or browsing circumstances would always permit it..?
CsDix (talk) 03:33, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

I'm going to say that the benefits arent really that beneficial or rather not that big to be considered as a great problem solver because this is barely considered a problem. Its just more convenient for newer editors but just the infobox alone wont solve that issue as proper ref citation and tables will confuse some aswell. Trial and error is how most of us figured out these templates. 2) the ammount of free space within an article isnt all that much. Its better to split an article rather than make a template for separate infoboxes. Its just a waste of namespace. They dont take much room at all, most of the time its 1/10 of a B-class article.Lucia Black (talk) 09:54, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

You haven't looked at articles like Earth recently, have you? It begins with about three and a half screenfuls of unintellgible stuff. Mercury (element) got so bad that they have already made a Template:Infobox mercury, which is exactly what's being talked about here.
We want to make things "more convenient for newer editors". Your rationale is on par with the older physicians saying "Back when we were in med school, we had to see patients and perform surgeries while we were dangerously sleep deprived, so I don't see why the students and patients these days shouldn't have to put up with residents doing 48-hour-long shifts with no time to eat, much less sleep". The fact that some of us survived the old, confusing, error-prone system is not a good argument for perpetuating it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:19, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Another issue is if the infobox contains a non-free image, as these are allowed only in article space. --— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 15:59, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes, but exactly like the "single-use template rule", that's a rule that we created and therefore a rule that we can change to accommodate this kind of sensible use.
I think that this is a great idea. I'm not sure that 'subpages' will work (or that things that look like subpages), and I wouldn't recommend it for very short infoboxes, but I think that we would benefit from moving the biggest ones out of the articles. I suggest adding an 'edit' button to make them easier for people to get at them if wanted (see the very bottom of {{Infobox mercury}} for an example of what I mean). WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:19, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Jason QUinn: single-use templates can help to clean the article code. --NaBUru38 (talk) 17:57, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

About the techy looking machinery. (repeat my comment from above) The yellow is suppose to attract attention to important parts of an interface, the way we overuse it that doesn't work. I've changed the colors a bit [3] (full size) In stead of one giant warning sign you can see what is important at first glance. (talk) 14:55, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

  • I like the look of that. CsDix (talk) 01:47, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
For comparison: Talk:Brussels. (talk) 23:28, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

Lack of response to Categories for discussion post[edit]

Hello. Although it's only been a few days, I'm a bit surprised that this post at Categories for discussion hasn't prompted some response. Was it a poor location to place it (e.g. because it's not addressing a specific category/ies)..? CsDix (talk) 03:38, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

I kinda just glanced over it. I'm not familiar with templates and infoboxes. I'm not really getting it. I could guess but why bother. Could you describe the situation in brief? (wo examples?) Or perhaps even shorten it to explain what it is you are looking to accomplish? (talk) 00:02, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Yes, maybe I didn't step back far enough and make it simpler and clearer. It's essentially this: many template categories appear to be named "X [type] templates" except for navbox-type templates, which use "X navigational boxes" (i.e. don't mention the keyword "templates"). Let's iron out this inconsistency, no?
I've also been advised that a "Request for comment" is probably a better approach, so I've now removed the "Categories for discussion" post.
Thanks for your response. CsDix (talk) 01:42, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
It would confuse editors who know how it works. Would the new names improve things enough to make that worth it? (talk) 11:57, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
It would make the categorization more consistent – is that sufficient worth..? CsDix (talk) 01:49, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
That's generally not been a convincing rationale in the past. I don't claim to know whether attitudes have changed recently. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:21, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm intrigued to hear that. Having worked as a librarian, my instinct is that consistency is a key feature of a categorization that works and that doesn't tend to become more tricky to maintain. (It's also an update that, using one or more of the Wikipedia bots, I imagine should be relatively painless to implement.) CsDix (talk) 02:31, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Note that I'm also not saying it's smart of us, just that this is (or, at least, was) the reality. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:44, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Understood – thanks. CsDix (talk) 03:26, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

What to do with Edits that have Non-Matching Brackets?[edit]

A surprising number of edits introduce extra brackets: (), {}, [] and <>

At best, these just leave bad impressions; at worst, they break all kinds of syntax and wiki markup.

I have made a bot that finds these. Here are some recent edits it has found: diff diff diff It also catches lots of vandalism. diff diff

(For those interested in a live feed of the bot, join ##930913 connect.)

Can we have suggestions and discussions on what we could do about these?

One idea that springs to mind is to have the bot message editors to alert them to the possibility of a slip.

930913(Congratulate) 23:15, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

How about just fixing them as you encounter them, instead of spamming thousands of notices to people? Also, if you want to make these maximally useful, you will want to filter the list for things that get fixed or reverted in the subsequent edits. Unpaired brackets that persist for more than an hour would be more useful than unpaired brackets that were already getting fixed by the time the bot noticed them. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:27, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
I've tried fixing them; the problem is so prolific that is impossible to keep up. Each fix requires a significant amount of time and brainpower, more so if you don't know the article. The person best equipped to fix the problem is the person who added it. Therefore, notifying them seems the most reasonable thing to do.
Obviously any bot would have to wait for a fix and honour opt-outs, just like SineBot does. The current script detects *all* changes; the breaking ones are green → red. 930913(Congratulate) 03:12, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps you could set up a patrol page that people can watch if they so choose? Praemonitus (talk) 02:44, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

Deletion of an article with a hatnote: redirect instead?[edit]

A hatnote on an article will link to another article that someone who comes across that page might be seeking instead. Sometimes a page is deleted with a hatnote in it, where the page should be converted to a redirect instead. For example, in 2008, Willy B. was speedy-deleted as A7, and it contained the hatnote "{{dablink|For the bridge, see Williamsburg Bridge.}}". (It was later re-created as a redirect to Williamsburg Bridge.) The utility of the hatnote — that people seeking the other page can find it — is lost in the deletion.

Now, in WP:AFD discussions, the discussion will, I'm guessing make sure the page becomes a redirect. But in prodded or speedied pages, there's usually no discussion, so it is entirely up to the deleting admin.

  • I wonder what the prevalence of the problem is. How often does a page get AFD-deleted/prod-deleted/speedy-deleted with a hatnote?
  • I'm thinking that any deleting admin of a prodded/speedied page with a hatnote should seriously consider redirection instead.
  • I don't know whether admins often use a script to automate deletion of prodded/speedied pages. If so, perhaps it can be modified to add the link information to a list somewhere of pages to possibly be re-created as redirects.

I welcome your further ideas. — The Great Redirector 16:11, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

I too have run across this problem many times. Perhaps we need to update some of our policy pages so that admins "delete" articles correctly. (talk) 05:36, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

"Time-Location" tag[edit]

I have great idea to be added to the Wikimedia projects, I was going to do it alone but I preferred Wikimedia Foundation do it, it would be better and more influential.

There is a long time since someone invented or innovated in History researching, it is still hard and fragmented, you need to go through tens of links to find what you want.

Wikimedia have done great job in "WikiProject Geographical coordinates" for each article, but still it need something else.

My idea is about making world history research more interactive, by making an intuitive and innovative interface that gives the user the ability to search in all earth history by transferring the user to any Time or Location on earth he wants to research at, like a Time Machine.

I have found what is needed for this to happen, it is to add a "Time-Location" tag in each historical article or events, like the the "Geographical coordinates", we need to add a "Time coordinates" that put the article in a specific place in the earth timeline, for example: (sports event, people birth/death, battles, natural disasters, cultural events, scientific events, religious events, business events, stats establishments,… ) these events needs to have a universal unified tag so it would be more searchable and linkable.

if we want to search by location on the a map or time in history or both, it is possible by using the "Time-Location Tag", suppose you want to search for something but you want to know what is happening in the world in that particular time, or you want to know what happened in this place on earth after or before that event, you just have to press some buttons then you travel anytime or anywhere in the entire earth history.

check ( it has the same idea by placing Wikipedia articles on the map only, and they are mixed in the time of history, like Baghdad, Sumer and Babylon are in the same view of the Iraq map, which is confusing when I want to search in specific time only, no need to show hundreds of icons on the same location.

I have made some work on the concept of the idea and about the relation of the elements of the interface, we can work together on this project and I have no problem in funding it, I want this project go live and invent the world first "Time Machine" with WikiMida so people all around the world get the benefit of it for free, it will help a lot of history reachers or students.

Thank you very much. MR32F (talk) 00:19, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

I really really like this idea. Two comments though, many events have a duration and thus a start and end date. Other important events have estimated or disputed dates. ϢereSpielChequers 07:43, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

I have mad some analysis on this, you are right about the Events some has a Start & End dates, even famous person will be considered as an event, but they have 3rd date (influence), because famous people will be known for there influence in the world, example: prophets, scientist, kings, artist, sports men,...) Duration should be calculated automatically for each event, the estimated time or disputed will be treated as how the location treated in the discussions (Talk) and should a special icon represent this.

Here is what I think :

* Person:

  • Birth Time-Location Tag
  • Influence Time-Location Tag
  • Death Time-Location Tag

* Event:

  • Start Time-Location Tag
  • End Time-Location Tag

Most Wanted Articles clarity[edit]

Methinks there should be some way to see the articles containing the red links in the "Most Wanted Articles" list. The main reason is that it is sometimes unclear which of the many things with a particular name are needed, e.g., "Warriors of Heaven". This has 102 red links, but a Google search of this yields various things: computer games, computer game environments, novels, films, and bands. It is difficult to tell which of these are most wanted/needed for article creation, or whether any given one of them is even sufficiently needed to merit an article (the fact that this phenomenon screws up the M.W.A. rankings is another problem). The ability to see the context of the red links would quickly clarify the problem. The only way to handle this at present would be to search article text for this phrase, which would be time consuming and unreliable. Robert (talk) 01:51, 31 March 2013 (UTC)


I recently had my Olympic results index accepted and I'm using it all the time. I would like to create more articles of a similar nature but I'm having some misgivings. Does anyone think that there could be a new area of Wikipedia for articles such as this with the generic name of Index, which would provide a different group of articles than is available with the Category idea? Jodosma (talk) 21:34, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

While not exactly the same thing, check out Portal:Contents/Outlines, which has a bit of a checkered history.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 16:17, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

Current tag on recent changes[edit]

One of the most annoying things about being a recent changes patroller or tags patroller is having to check if the edit is the current version of the page manually. I had an idea: you know those (current) tags on contributions pages? Well, I was thinking we could institute a similar feature for recent changes. Is this a good idea? Revolution1221 (talk · email · contributions) 23:08, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

popular tag depository[edit]


This idea is not specifically for Wikipedia, but its pages kind of do the job already.

Here is where I am coming from. I am writing about composting, come to a cute point with JohnnyJumpUps.

My question/idea: WHERE, if anywhere, is the best place to register a CloudTag JohnnyJumpUps with a link or just a text string? Is it just registering with Google, or is there perhaps a better way to systemically link my compost with the world wide web?

Thanks, Tomasz.

Few hours later, [] has tag management options. This is what I'll use to form my contribution to whatever Cloud.

I guess this is
then. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:16, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Continuing "Simple English versions of technical pages"[edit]

I kind of dropped the ball on this [4] suggestion (real life got in the way, you know how it goes), and I wanted to start the discussion back up.

My only objection to putting this link in an external links box would be that the people it's intended for (e.g., those intimidated by technical language) wouldn't ever make it to the end of the article. If there was a hatnote with some message like "For a simpler version of this page, consider reading in Simple English." and a link to the simple page, it'd be one of the first things they see, and they'd be more likely to use it. Havensfire (talk) 16:18, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

Yes, this would be useful in the few cases where Simple's version is worthwhile. Probably it's against some guideline about Simple or hatnotes, which alas would call for a guideline amendment. I ran across a similar hatnote in virus which points to an introductory article and of couse there's also a Simple one. Such methods do not address the root cause, which is topic experts writing one big article to tell readers the things experts ought to know, but there's little hope of fixing that, and your method has more practical potential. Jim.henderson (talk) 17:08, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
Hi I'm for simplifying articles where ever possible. However you should be aware that research into the simple english Wikipedia versions of technical pages has been found to be about as complex as the original pages.
  • These simple versions also tend to omit too much context
  • Often the sentences are not in well formed english.
  • The editors are generally unable to write about technical subjects without using technical term.

This is english Wikipedia and as articles mature towards good and featured status they will by definition have a high level of linguistic complexity per the WP:MOS. BO | Talk 16:04, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

Sure. So. only use the hatnote to link to something that's worthwile. Which is, very scarce. Jim.henderson (talk) 17:58, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Allow CC-BY-NC content (but read the proposal)[edit]

I am aware of the WP:PEREN entry stating we cannot allow non-commercial licensed content. However, suppose that we allow images licensed under CC-BY-NC - on the condition that they immediately be modified in some small way (such as a 1 pixel resize on each border), thus creating an Adaptation and giving us grounds to choose another license. Pokajanje|Talk 22:48, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

Sry, but I have never seen CC-BY-NC; only in combination with SA (or with ND). Are you sure that would help us in any kind? mabdul 00:12, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Even if you could find non-SA CC-BY-NC content, a '1 pixel resize on each border' is not an adaption. For the purposes of US copyright law, derivative works must display genuine originality and alterations which require a degree of creative input, not just manual labour or trivial changes. Ironholds (talk) 09:47, 31 March 2013 (UTC)
This is a non-starter for a very simple reason; you cannot relicense an adaptation in a less restrictive fashion than the original license provides for. Andrew Gray (talk) 12:15, 31 March 2013 (UTC)
As said above, this proposal is based on an incorrect understanding of the CC license suite. So no. Sven Manguard Wha? 02:22, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

Anyone remember Facebook's old Wall-to-Wall?[edit]

Before "See Friendship", Facebook had a Wall-to-Wall function where you could view (1) Y person's comments on X person's page, and (2) X person's comments on Y person's page back to back in chronological order. Why don't we mimic that function on Wikipedia?

Let's say I post on User talk:Example a discussion asking him to delete User:Example/Subpage 2. User:Example then writes on my talk page responding. This back-and-forth goes on for a while, but then User:Example posts a message regarding the subject at User talk:Example2. Then I go there to continue the discussion while both users respond on my talk page to previous points that were already made. Does this sound confusing? It sure does! But it happens all the time!

But let's say we had a special page called Special:Conversation where you write the three users involved and the special page automatically templates all three of the sections together on one page. You can continue responding there while all responses to all sections are automatically templated to the special page. If two users are particularly friendly, you can narrow it down by timespans (i.e. Choosing User:Example, User:Example2 and 14 days will give you all posts on each other's talk page during the last two weeks).

A small "Special:Conversation" button could be added next to sections on User talk pages. Like that, if you're visiting someone's talk page, you could lick the button and be shown the "Wall-to-Wall" of all users involved in the conversation you clicked. This would make catching up on discussions much easier! And If you despise the button, you could easily turn off the feature in your preferences. But frankly, I think you would get used to it considering it come in handy when participating in discussions. Feedback 23:43, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

This seems very similar in function to the conversation system already being designed by the WMF. Sven Manguard Wha? 02:21, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
I had no idea. Could you link me to an announcement? Feedback 03:34, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
It's going to be a while. mw:Extension:LiquidThreads is available now (but not here), and there's something else that's supposed to be much better, but I've forgotten its name. I don't think they'll do much until the WP:VisualEditor is up and running in the mainspace (this summer, by the way; you can join the alpha testing now if you want). WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:44, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
I can ping Ironholds on it if you want, but I think that there are two separate teams on those two things, so the development schedule of one should not affect the other. Sven Manguard Wha? 05:02, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
Although both of those features sound excellent, they are still very different from a wall-to-wall function. I'd love to have liquid threads and visual editing, but neither of those fixes the issue that users keep writing on each other's talk pages dividing the discussion in multiple pages. Wall-to-Wall would fix that. Feedback 05:09, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
It wasn't LiquidThreads that I was thinking of. LiquidThreads is horrid. Echo is what I was thinking of. Sven Manguard Wha? 05:16, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

New user "drafting" script[edit]

Is there anyway we could petition to get a modified version of MW:Manual:Force_preview#For_MediaWiki_1.17_or_newer set as a default gadget or added to common.js that forces new users to use the show preview button on AfC draft pages. It could be modified to make sure there are no content categories in the drafts and numerous other things as well. If someone else thinks there may be merit in this idea, I'll expand, otherwise I want to keep it short for readability. Technical 13 (talk) 10:37, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

Good idea. I would go further than this - I disable the "save page" button entirely until after the page had been previewed one time unless the user had said otherwise in his preferences. But this idea is better suited for the village pump than here. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 17:05, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
So here I am... I'll type up my full idea on Monday. Weekends are busy here... Technical 13 (talk) 17:20, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

Add a population database by country to wikidata[edit]

Hi, noticed yesterday that World Gazetteer, a highly valuable population resource website by country has announced its closure in July. I feel it would be very important to try to salvage the data and process it into wikidata before the website is shutdown and we can continue to build it and eventually try to provide population data for most settlements in the world which is there for every wikipedia to use at their fingertips. Please comment at my proposal here if you see potential in this.♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 10:06, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

You posted it to the right place on Wikidata, there's no need to cross-post it here. Sven Manguard Wha? 00:20, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

Refining Searching Wikipedia[edit]

When searching Wikipedia it always searches for the article titles unless you insert a special character to just search for the phrase e.g. using Special:Search/?North Wales Coast Line instead of Special:Search/North Wales Coast Line allows you to just search for the term as a phrase instead of an article title. Therefore surely in common with many search engines and other websites, Wikipedia could be changed so that perhaps with extra advanced items just the phrase could be searched for.

This idea would also help to supplement Special:WhatLinksHere instead of trawling through hundreds of links. Simply south...... catching SNOWballs for just 6 years 17:26, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

Are you hand-editing the URLs here, or using the search box? If you're using the search box, you just need to pick the item at the bottom that says "containing..." WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:19, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
Whilst "containing" is not there, I've just realised what I've missed and so never mind. Simply south...... eating shoes for just 7 years 22:02, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

Need Geography Wiki[edit]

I'm a bit tired of the countless articles that are simple geography references. The vast majority are not notable. How many articles are there for every city, town, hamlet, village, hill, mountain, château, castle, bridge, and so on?? just fills up space. Wikipedia is not a dictionary of place names. It's not a collection of facts without context. On the other hand, this information can be useful to provide context to other things...but most of it is just pure data. Therefore I suggest that a geowiki be created to contain all of this information. War (talk) 07:21, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

So what is exactly the problem for keeping this information in Wikipedia? Would you also suggest creating biowiki, astrowiki etc? --DixonD (talk) 08:11, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
The biowiki isn't needed as notable people have more to them that just a picture, a gps coordinate, and a sentence like, "____ is village located in the south of ____". If a bio had this little information it would be speedily deleted. Your question about an astrowiki though is interesting. I've often thought that articles on the thousands of stars, moon, and asteroids that have very little information concerning them other than a name and location should also be consolidated somehow. War (talk) 08:18, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
Sorry for confusion, I meant the biology wiki by biowiki. Anyway, I've forgotten to put [sarcasm] --DixonD (talk) 08:54, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
Again, you raise an excellent issue. Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, et al have numerous terms that are closer to dictionary definitions than articles. I would feel better if all these myriad facts were consolidated into a place separate and distinct from articles. War (talk) 09:12, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
Doesn't Wikitionary have all of these places and terms and whatnot? Couldn't someone with WP:AWB for example just go through and change the links to these places to the interwiki links? Technical 13 (talk) 12:12, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
We could set up WP:Soft redirects, but the goal is to eventually have someone finish writing the article. That's much more likely to happen if we have a page that says "____ is village located in the south of ____" than if we have a page that says "Click here to see a page on that will tell you where this village is located." I suspect that the OP would self-identify with the meta:Immediatism philosophy. Most of the community prefers meta:Eventualism, as in WP:There is no deadline, not even for making an accurate substub contain more than two sentences. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:35, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
I hear you. And I agree in principle with meta:Eventualism. However, consider Dehaq, Meadow Valley, Wisconsin or Mokošín, to name just a few. Eventually they may become notable in some way that will warrant an actual article, but more than likely the vast majority of these places will stay obscure indefinitely. I don't see the value in wikipedia being a holder of countless place names. War (talk) 21:13, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
Most of the articles on Wikipedia don't seem to be of much value. That issue isn't unique to geographical place names. But why is that an issue for you? Virtually the only time that seems to be significant is when using the 'Random article' link, whereupon one needs to wade through many dozens of articles before finding one that looks interesting. Praemonitus (talk) 00:05, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
Hmm... I wonder if that has anything to do with the Wisconsin Meadow Valley Wildlife Area. It's important to remember that what's in the current version of the article is not necessarily all that can be said about it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:14, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
Per Wikipedia:Five pillars, Wikipedia incorporates elements of gazetteers; it's part of our mission. Lots of articles (even short ones) have been written about cities, towns, villages, and other communities. If you try to get one of these deleted, you'll probably fail. Consensus has been that verifying their existence through a reliable source is sufficient for a standalone article to stay. All attempts to limit this have failed. And I for one hope consensus continues to favor the existence of these articles. I also hope people will improve and expand them. Ntsimp (talk) 15:51, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
WP:FIVE is just a summary written for new editors. It is not our official mission. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:40, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
Sorry if I seemed to imply that. But I stand by everything I said; these geographical articles (or their future improved versions) are an important part of what Wikipedia is for. Ntsimp (talk) 23:36, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

Wouldn't random FA be better?[edit]

There are plenty of featured articles. I never look at those specifically for that. The page says:

"Featured articles are considered to be the best articles Wikipedia has to offer"

Wouldn't it be cool if the Random article link in the sidebar would link to one of our best articles? I consider the menu to be primarly for reading purposes. Currently clicking this link gives the impression wikipedia is a pile of trash. Or maybe that is the truth. It shouldn't matter. It's just bad to present these works in the reading context. The average article isn't worthy, the below average ones are just terrible, we show people a stub written by 1 guy in 4 minutes 6 years ago? Some of these currently worthless articles will one day be featured articles.

It seems not to matter what the arguments are for displaying a truly randomized wikipedia article. Whatever these arguments are I wont be using it. Most of the time it shows me exactly what I expect, nonsense. I felt I had to click the random link at least one time after saying these harsh things.

There you have it. More words would be excessive. lol (talk) 21:03, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

  • A button that said "Random Featured Article" would be cool, but if someone clicks random article and we skew that by only showing our best, well that wouldn't be honest, or much use to anyone clicking a random article till they see something they feel confident improving. ϢereSpielChequers 21:31, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm not using it in it's current implementation. When I did use it it made Wikipedia look terrible to me. The fairness you suggest gives non-articles huge priority over actual articles. 10 times 3 minutes of effort becomes 10 times more important than giant groups of editors slaving away for years. We are putting the reader on a page that has nothing worth reading. This level of stupidity is going to reflect terribly on our effort. If want people to judge wikipedia favorably our best chance is in the featured content. Because all of our effort went into making those page. I can imagine Marcello Vitale is worthy of an article, some day someone may write it. Until that day comes we don't have any article.
I know I can use other kinds of randomized links but that also applies to anyone who wants a truly random page rather than an article. The existence of other options doesn't make this one the right choice for the reading interface.
As a side note: Featured articles also doesn't contain sub pages, currently it is impossible to make sub pages because they will be shown in random articles. We need the option to create sub pages to be able to discuss ideas requiring such things. If there is no way to make sub pages the discussion tends to ends before the usefulness of the idea was fully investigated. There is little need to speculate if something can't be done for technical reasons. (talk) 22:17, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
I fully agree that our Featured content should be showcased and brought to people's attention. But we already do that by featuring them on the Main Page. As for the argument that random articles skew things to paragraphs in short articles rather than long ones, that's true, and a random reading as opposed to random article button could allow for that by giving longer articles a greater chance of selection. I prefer random article and it is simpler, but I for one would have no great objection to implementing a random reading button that gave a 5,000 byte article the same chance of being selected as ten 500 byte articles. ϢereSpielChequers 00:10, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree that would be a good solution but it presents a (much?) bigger technical challange to implement. (talk) 00:58, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
What about those who use the link to find a random page to improve? Praemonitus (talk) 01:01, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
You can make a link in your user space "special:RandomPage" or type that in the search box. Try press Alt-Shift+X (talk) 03:11, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
That's not an adequate alternative since you need to keep visiting your user page in order to select it repeatedly. How can a user permanently add that link to the side bar if it is removed? Praemonitus (talk) 13:50, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
It isnt that bad. I have a link "RND RFC" random request for comments on my talk page, I hardly ever use it but it works wonderfully.
A customizable link however doesn't sound like a bad idea. If you are logged in it should be possible to customize the random link to have it do precisely what the user wants. You can already drag the special link to your bookmarks toolbar but perhaps that isn't obvious enough. I don't know if there is an account settings page but it could have an empty field to specify the random category you want, say "Random page in category Featured articles". For users who are not logged in anything is better than a random nonsense. If you haven't guessed it, you don't want to know how it looks. lol I already have this in my Greasemonkey userscript.
document.getElementById('n-randompage').innerHTML='<a href="">Random fringe article</a>'; (talk) 16:23, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes. A customizable set of scripted plug-in tools would be nice. For example, I'd like to be able to select from a filtered list of random pages; excluding sports pages, politicians, Pokemon characters, and so forth. Praemonitus (talk) 19:36, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Personally, I much prefer having 'random article' actually point to a random article. Yes, we're not showing readers our best content - but it seems unfair and unrealistic (not to mention rather detrimental to a project that recruits from the general public) to give the impression that we consist of nothing but perfect shininess. It's deceiving our readers, and doing so in such a way that it perpetuates any myths around people not being able to jump in and fix stuff. Personally, I use 'random article' when I want to find something, well, random, to learn about that I didn't previously know, or sometimes in the hope of getting a terrible article I can make some effort into fixing up. Ironholds (talk) 11:54, 31 March 2013 (UTC)
  • It would be to have an input box in our Preferences where we could apply simple filter rules to the 'Random article' link based on category trees we do (or don't) want to peruse. For example, it could be a list of categories allowing the 'Rnadom article' to select any article categorized underneath. Negative (!) categories would specifically exclude articles under that tree. Praemonitus (talk) 01:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
  • I think it might be better to have two links: one for FAs and one for random articles. Or, the "Random Article" button could be weighted, to show Featured articles more often. Pokajanje|Talk 18:00, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia site revamping.[edit]

Wikipedia has this page layout for at least three years (that when the writer started using the web), thus why not change its layout into a more modern look? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Shimazu (talkcontribs) 16:58, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

This is pretty vague; what kinds of changes would you like to see? Ntsimp (talk) 17:11, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Because a significant minority of experienced users believes that change is bad.
  • Because we're going to have major internal changes this summer to the editing interface (see WP:VisualEditor), and too much change at once probably is bad. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:59, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

By layout change, I mean how the site should look like on the surface and change in the font used here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Shimazu (talkcontribs) 21:25, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

If memory serves, if you want the font changed, the only way to do it is to change it on your own computer. Nearly everything on Wikipedia uses the default font as set in your web browser. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:19, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
I once stupidly proposed that Wikipedia's font be changed, not knowing this and thinking that Arial was the font used by Wikipedia. I would still support embedding a libre alternative instead of letting the browser choose. Pokajanje|Talk 03:30, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

Keeping an Eye on US History-related pages[edit]

I am in AP US History right now, and my teacher warned us not to use wikipedia because some malicious students purposely put in wrong info to mess with other students studying for the AP exam, which is on May 15th. One example one of my friends found was this page. Just wanted to give everyone a heads up in case they didn't know this is a thing; I am not a frequent editor here but I would like to help make sure there isn't much misinformation regarding this subject. Any comments on what to do? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ashvio (talkcontribs) 03:19, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

There's a group of people particularly interested in US history at WP:WikiProject United States. You might leave a note on their talk page.
Good luck with your exam, WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:27, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

Annoying rollback/undo/vandal feature[edit]

I've just (for the umpteenth time) managed to rollback someone's edit as vandalism, rather than just undoing it, as should have happened. This occurred because the rollback button loads more slowly than the undo button. When it finally appears, it displaces said undo button. Such things can't be undone.

Can we look at repositioning these buttons so that such misclicks do not occur? Parrot of Doom 20:58, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

Do you actually use the rollback button? Moving it around or hiding it is easily done with .css Technical 13 (talk) 21:40, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
That's like saying "getting to the moon is easy, you just need a Saturn V rocket" to an eskimo. Parrot of Doom 22:09, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. I've had this problem, too. Perhaps it should be posted at some central rollback page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:28, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
I probably should work on that script a tad bit. I just realized that it expects that " | block" is always the last link, and maybe it shouldn't? As above it gets rid of all of the [rollback] and " | block" links, you can always wrap it in an if() and specify which pages to get rid of them on like Special:RecentChanges, Special:Watchlist, and Special:Contributions. Also, if you just wanted to "move" the links, let me know where you think they would be better located and I'm sure I could work that out too. Technical 13 (talk) 16:03, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

Proposal to improve on "read in another language"[edit]

Hello I would like to suggest an improvement in the category "read in another language". Many times me (or other users speaking different languages ​​all over the world) are looking to find an article in their language, and we find it in other language. When entering "read in another language" we can see a list of languages ​​that have been written the same article. I want to offer to add a button "Request this article in your language" at the bottom of that list, when we click that button it will be possible to choose from a list of languages ​​that do not yet have that article. So, requesting for articles ​​that exist in other languages ​​will be very intuitive and user-friendly for readers all over the world, who dont know the "normal" ways for requesting an article. Of course, thank you all authors of Wikipedia articles! (talk) 08:02, 20 April 2013 (UTC) Liran

This seems similar too another discussion happing right now at WP:Village pump (proposals)#Languages on sidebar, but you feel free to correct me if I am wrong. Technical 13 (talk) 10:12, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

well i was read that discussion and it is not the same issue. (talk) 08:58, 21 April 2013 (UTC) liran.

I apologize, I misread your proposal. What you are looking for is a link at the bottom of "read in another language" to Wikipedia:Requested articles for each language that does not already have the article. Is that correct? Technical 13 (talk) 15:38, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

i'm looking for button/link that will popup a list of languages ​​that do not yet have that article. by choosing one of the languages, the requesting process is completely finished by the user. (talk) 02:55, 24 April 2013 (UTC) liran.

what we need to do now to make it happen? (talk) 06:43, 28 April 2013 (UTC) liran.

Employing CAT tools to manage articles in multiple languages, improving consistency and reducing turnover time[edit]

I would suggest the use of CAT tools to manage the translation of articles. The translation memory will expand over time with, pardon the use of trade and technical language, fuzzy matches, and improve translation consistency, if a platform of sharing translation memory between editors can be developed. --OO(talk)(useless text here) 01:37, 28 April 2013 (UTC)

einstein's brain[edit]

The text says the sylvian fissure was enlarged. The diagram says it was truncated. Which is correct? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:CCF5:59A0:D8BA:8DEC:F83:9A5E (talk) 19:37, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

Please go to the talk page of the article for this. Ramaksoud2000 (Talk to me) 19:14, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
I kind of doubt that after 1½ weeks the person who posted under the IP will check back here for an answer. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 19:50, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
I posted a talkback like I'm doing to you now. Ramaksoud2000 (Talk to me) 12:30, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

Place all code snippets under software-specific license[edit]

The GNU Free Documentation License states specifically, "If your document contains nontrivial examples of program code, we recommend releasing these examples in parallel under your choice of free software license, such as the GNU General Public License, to permit their use in free software." Creative Commons recommends that its licenses not be used for software, because they do not distinguish between source & binary forms. Wikipedia's computing-related articles contain a significant number of code — perhaps these snippets should be placed under a more software-appropriate license. Pokajanje|Talk 17:58, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

Articles are dual-licensed GNU FDL 1.3 and CC by SA 3.0. See WP:Copyrights. --Izno (talk) 20:39, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
I am aware of that. That is exactly why I mentioned that neither of those licenses recommends use for code, which is why I am suggesting that code be put under a different license. Pokajanje|Talk 03:16, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
Oh, I didn't realize the FDL was not the GPL. Mah bad. --Izno (talk) 00:17, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
Then may I have some additional input on this? Pokajanje|Talk 03:10, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

View Wiki pages as spider diagrams ('Brain Storms')[edit]

I think it would be a cool feature if you could view your subject as a spider diagram.

I was thinking to do this that every link made within the subject page is expressed around the subject. Specifically, I was thinking each link should be colour coded. So scholars are purple, political events are brown, etc. So you could see a visualised version of your subject rather than pure text information.

I'm sure that if an algorithm is designed all the pages could be rendered easily Example of a spider digram — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:16, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

What you're thinking of is called a mind map (a spider diagram is mathematical diagram), and although a few enthusiasts have made some, most people have not found them to be useful. There are a couple hundred over at Commons in commons:Category:Mind maps if you want to look at them. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:51, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
Also called "graphs" in the sense of Graph theory (eg Graphviz). There are many people dreaming of the same interface to our collective knowledge, but it'll be a while. (See semantic-mw:Semantic Result Formats and semantic-mw:Help:Graph format (eg screenshot) for a taste of what the people are building. It's been inching forward for years.) –Quiddity (talk) 04:38, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

Articles on Websites should be encouraged to include how the web site is paid for.[edit]

Follow the money. Good advice for the crime fighters in the FBI sure, but also for anyone who needs to judge the bias of his news sources. Or protect his personal data on the net.

There is an old saying that's getting more and more popular with the internet, "if you're not paying for it, you're not the customer, you're the product."

Who IS the customer. Who is paying for some particular source of free news, knowledge, or entertainment? What are their motives. What are we giving them, are they tracking our movements on their site, or any site affiliated with them? Do they sell this info? Ads are less frightening, we can see them, we know who their from. Does the content get edited to not anger the CEO's of the fortune 500 companies paying for those adds? Ok, that last part has been a problem since newspapers became ad supported over a century ago.

But there are a lot of scarey new.. scarey things on the internet. They seem to invent a new one every year. Knowing the motives of the sites we visit, isn't everything, but it is a key step in combating these fears. And money is a big part of a commercial enterprises motivation.

If Wikipedia articles on these content sources were be encouraged to by default provide a good summary of how the company supports itself, where it's money is coming from, it would be very helpful. How to structure such information, legal issues surrounding reporting it, where to actually get it. All of these would be greatly aided by it becoming the norm in articles about web enterprises. They would develop over time. But they won't until a common header for articles to discuss such things becomes the norm. Even if the only text under the header is the single word, "unknown." That alerts the reader to be suspicious, and invites folks in the know to edit the page and add some. Or even the company itself. They're not ALL evil. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:49, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for your suggestion. When you believe an article needs improvement, please feel free to make those changes. Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone can edit almost any article by simply following the edit this page link at the top.
The Wikipedia community encourages you to be bold in updating pages. Don't worry too much about making honest mistakes—they're likely to be found and corrected quickly. If you're not sure how editing works, check out how to edit a page, or use the sandbox to try out your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome. You don't even need to log in (although there are many reasons why you might want to). WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:39, 30 April 2013 (UTC)


I was wondering if we had any page that provided a timeline of significant on-Wiki events and milestones over the years? If not, would it be a worthwhile undertaking? AutomaticStrikeout (TCSign AAPT) 00:10, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

It would be useful, but would this be ENWP or all of Wiki? I think a page of project starts and milestones could be obtained from the SIGNPOST, but as for major ENWP or drama events one probably does not exist. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 00:14, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm thinking of ENWP. Is there any list of historical project events for ENWP? AutomaticStrikeout (TCSign AAPT) 00:17, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm sure the archives of various Wikiprojects would be useful, especially larger ones like medicine and military history, but you could also go by ArbCom cases as many of those are major events. The Muhammad article is another case. You could go and look through major newspaper reportings or go by court ones. It might just be easier to ask established members about memorable experiences and then dig up the event pages. Again, Signpost archives are a great beginning. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 00:23, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
Ok. I'll wait to see if anyone else is interested and if there are any ideas on what a good title would be (Wikipedia:Timeline is already taken). AutomaticStrikeout (TCSign AAPT) 00:28, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
Have you seen Category:History of Wikipedia? WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:36, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Contrast media events with internal impact: There is the page "List of Wikipedia controversies" but also consider positive impacts here. Many technical advancements would likely surprise some people, such as the days when there were no wp:templates (yes, it was the 21st century, with no macro scripting language), and then early templates had no parameters (so each of dozens/hundreds of subtemplates acted as each parameter value); in January 2008, they installed the recursive descent NewPP parser which finally no-included the noinclude sections and omitted false branches of #switch/#if conditions (any "noinclude" was formerly included but hidden to overwhelm template sizes). Remember they later introduced "vector skin" and browsers could warn, "Sure you want to leave this edited page?". Recently, MediaWiki was changed to support IPv6 IP addresses, then they introduced HTML 5 (and HTML5 video). Now in late 2012/2013(?), they have fixed formatting for IE8 browsers (world's most-popular, to even precisely position map-locator dots). The Lua script Scribunto interface was installed c.19 February 2013, and the wp:CS1 cite templates were transitioned to Lua in mid-March 2013, to allow major articles to reformat 2x-3x times faster (because 2 million pages [of 4.2M] were using those slow CS1 cite templates, and the larger the article, the more cite templates used). Also document when Wikidata started the bot-removal of interwiki links with the other-language Wikipedias. Again, see wp:Wikipedia_Signpost for back-issues about major events, such as wp:Wikipedia_Signpost/2009-01-24/Technology_report, or similar.
Also see WP:Size of Wikipedia, and have a timeline of growth: 0.5 to 4 million articles. Note when various policies/pillars were added: wp:NPOV can be traced to 10 November 2001 (id39), but the WP database was corrupted and older revisions are hard to reach. Template:Convert was created December 2006 for only feet and metres, expanded to 27 units in January 2007, but rewritten by 13 November 2007 as dynamic unit names, and now supports over 350 units (more each month); Template:Convert/spell was created 14 April 2011, to spell the converted amounts in words. Also, it would be great to have a "Wikipedia museum" with screenshots of how webpages looked over the past years. -Wikid77 (talk) 13:39, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
Please also look at meta:Wikimedia history (particularly the subpages, which were used as part of guillom's presentation WM2012:Submissions/11 years of Wikipedia, or the Wikimedia history crash course you can edit). See also WM2013:Submissions/It's Great Music, but... which hopes to pursue the topic further. –Quiddity (talk) 22:16, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
The 2013 Wikimania submission - whether it is successful in getting up at 2013 wikimania, or not - is part of a larger ...proposal to centralise all wikipedia/wikimedia history issues and traces (which have beend discussed above) as they are considered at the wikimania paper... sats 01:28, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

More templates to auto-respell IPA format[edit]

We could have more templates, such as Template:IPAc-en/re, to auto-respell the wp:IPA symbols as English syllables. I noticed the wp:IPA folks have been spelling the complex IPA pronunciations as one-symbol-per-parameter, which could be auto-respelled to also display as simple wp:respelled form. So, I have begun writing templates, to "read" the 366 various IPA-for-English symbols and "say" the typical respelled syllables. For example:

Although more template logic would be needed to split the respelled syllables with hyphens "-" between them, even at this point, the auto-respell templates can be used to advise editors how to write the respelled format. Plus, in more complex cases, then an auto-respelled form could be suppressed while showing a manual respelled form instead. These templates could be a big help to users who do not know the 366 IPA symbols being coded to show English words.

Other examples: I found the example word for Template:IPA-en, "Alabama" shows /ˌæləˈbæmə/, which would auto-respell as /`alə'Bamə/. The primary stress is indicated by lead-apostrophe ('), and secondary stress is by accent mark (`). Yet I see how the IPA format has omitted the syllable breaks, so unless specified by syllable-dot "." then the auto-respelled form would not have the syllable information. A full wp:respelled form is a higher-level format, than the limited IPA form, which often omits syllable breaks. Other words:

Anyway, the French IPA form, Template:IPAc-fr, has more symbols beyond the 366 used by the English-text Template:IPAc-en in 17,000 articles. So, that is a separate effort, to show the auto-respelled French form. -Wikid77 (talk) 14:39, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Chain of Artistic Influence[edit]

The Influences/Influenced section in some artists' (mostly filmmakers and novelists) bios is a fascinating and underappreciated feature. If it were applied more consistently and informatively, you could spend hours tracing the evolution of some trope or technique from say, the Odyssey to Harry Potter or Dashiell Hammett to Quentin Tarantino. The only technical changes this would require are:

1. Link the influenced/influenced by entries. If you're adding Stanley Kubrick to Darren Aronofsky's list of influences, Aronofsky automatically shows up under Kubrick's list of influencees, as well.

2. Allow textboxes to be created and applied to specific listings so if I hover over "Stanley Kubrick" I'll get a description of some of Kubrick's ideas or techniques and how Aronofsky applied them, citing either a critic or Aronofsky himself.

Anyone else think this would be cool? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:16, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

In my experience such content is not usually reliably sourced, or is sourced to one person's opinion rather than to anything that shows that such influence is generally accepted. This proposal would propogate this unreliability to many other articles. Phil Bridger (talk) 19:27, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Limit discussion of influences to subarticles not main articles: There are just too many potential influence connections, which would overrun the main articles with wp:UNDUE weight of tangent, fringe topics, or provide a wp:COATRACK for wp:Grandstanding about others. However, some related subarticles could describe cultural influences between them, with space for adequate coverage of connections, and so one subarticle would connect each to the other, without the need to double-mention "Darren Aronofsky" in article "Stanley Kubrick" plus vice versa. Otherwise, a popular music group could easily have 10,000 connections to other notable musicians, painters, sculptors, novelists, inventors, computer scientists, footballers, etc. and those names would flood a main article with mostly the off-topic text about other people, rather than events directly about the main topic. In general, reporters could document millions of influential connections, every time another person is interviewed ("What music did you like when young? Which paintings inspired your style?"). The best structure would be to create a wp:subarticle about notable (heavily documented) connections between various topics. There are entire books which explain various connections, such as Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter. By having special subarticles ("etaoin shrdlu"), then the influences can be better explained, with ample room to describe specific detailed connections. However, I agree that those influences are fascinating subjects to have in Wikipedia. -Wikid77 (talk) 12:43, 4 May 2013 (UTC)
    What would you do when there are no subarticles? Consider the case of a classical violinist: We have a reliable source saying that his performance style was influenced by Violinists A and B, as seen in his choices C and D. What "subarticle" is going to cover that? Why not just say put that single sentence in the article about the violinist himself? WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:53, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I think the concept of a chain of influence is an extremely interesting idea. However, I do not see how it works well within Wikipedia. I see two main problems that are related. The first is that influence is not a binary variable. It is a continuum, ranging from "substantial", down through "moderate", and all the way to "not at all". At a minimum, one needs a multi-valued metric, and even that may not be enough, as there are likely to be multiple dimensions. The second problem is the inherent WP:OR nature of the metric. With some rare exceptions where we might find an explicit quote (A was heavily influenced by B), it will be OR by an editor to make an entry in the field. I am assuming you are talking about the infobox fields. I am quite happy to support a discussion of influence in the text of an article. If it can be supported by reliable sources, it adds a great deal to the article, but semi-automatically identifying a chain isn't easy if the discussion is in the text, while plausible in the case of infobox fields.

However, I have had painful experience with edit wars over the influenced field, prompting me to add the third bullet point in my to do list, which is to push for the elimination of infobox fields which are inherently subjective.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 19:52, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

Template of systematics and taxonomy[edit]

Hello, I need a help from people with knowledge in systematics and taxonomy to discuss the Template:SysTax. This template was removed from many pages for discussion and improvement. Thanks. Zorahia (talk) 18:00, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Pages with missing lead section[edit]

A recent bot request, which I'm willing to try out, in my opinion, is likely to have a number of false positives. I'm therefore asking for ideas of how to avoid this. So far, I'm considering skipping pages marked as lists or disambiguation pages. Any comments/suggestions? Thanks.  Hazard-SJ  ✈  03:35, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

A bot to automatically add yet another cleanup template for something that is not a significant problem? I'm not seeing the value. Praemonitus (talk) 23:18, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
Instead of marking them, perhaps you could notofy the projects concerned by building lists of them. There are already too many templates being added to the top of articles that don't help our readers. They may need to know that the article could be hoax, or is about to be deleted. Other templates may be an invitation to someone to do some work to improve the article, but if the chances are getting very low that a random reader will help out, it would be better to target the regular wikipedia editors, but putting the page into some kind of clean up category, or making a list for projects to deal with. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 08:34, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Articles from Hungarian villages[edit]

I have a question. I see there are articles from Hungarian villages, but they are all stubs. Are they notable enough to have a full article?--Wolf Rex (talk) 12:58, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Notability is a criteria by which a decision can be made as to whether an article will stay on Wikipedia. It doesn't dictate the length or depth of an article. So if something is notable enough to have a stub, it is notable enough to have a long article. A lot of articles on places have short stubs because geographical information is brought in from elsewhere and nobody adds to it. If you're asking because you're wondering if it's OK to build these articles up, then please do improve them and make them longer. --bodnotbod (talk) 13:19, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Thank you, I have informations from this villages, and I saw there is a lot of stubs, and I thought it would be a good idea.--Wolf Rex (talk) 14:04, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia search engine[edit]

No not the internal search engine. But one problem with locating online sources is ensuring that they follow Wikipedia criteria. A device for refining searches so that only "wiki-worthy" sources appear would save a lot of frustration. Serendipodous 19:16, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

It's not possible. All sources are reliable for something. The most worthless blog posting is still reliable for what that blog posting said.
That said, there are shortcuts that are useful, but they tend to be subject specific. PubMed with the 'reviews only' filter turned on is a good place to look for medical sources, the ERIC database provides educational sources, news is good for politicians and entertainment, etc. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:44, 27 April 2013 (UTC) (Not sure if it helps in practice, and I hit the 'spam blacklist' while trying to save this edit).···Vanischenu「m/Talk」 21:46, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Temporarily noindexing some new articles[edit]

There have been repeated discussions in the past about temporarily noindexing (see Wikipedia:Controlling search engine indexing) some new articles - especially new articles created by relative newcomers. (See eg 2009 discussion a and 2009 discussion b and 2009 discussion c.) I'd float this idea again (please see previous discussion for justification - basically, keeping new articles more likely to be spam or junk or attack pages or WP:BLP violations out of search engines). There are different ways it can be done; generally, it's felt to be important that there's some way to override the noindexing, so that at least more experienced users can say "yes, index this immediately", particularly for articles on news events.

Some ideas

  • Defining temporary noindexing
  1. new articles created by non-autoconfirmed users, for a limited period defined in MediaWiki configuration (eg 24 hours, 1 week, whatever is decided per wiki)
  2. new articles created by all users for (X - account age), where X is again configurable (eg 1 week, 1 month).
  • Cancelling temporary noindexing

the noindexing is always temporary, and will expire without further action - these options are for cancelling the noindexing immediately

  1. Cancel once the article is patrolled
  2. Cancel once edited by an autoconfirmed user (except bots).
  3. Cancel once the article meets minimum quality criteria that can be measured by a bot (? probably too hard), with a special bot able to cancel noindexing.

Any thoughts? Rd232 talk 12:33, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

I believe that at one time, new pages were noindexed until patrolled, but that it was turned off due to <insert impressive-sounding computer jargon for Bad Things Happening>. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:38, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
If I remember correctly, the problem was that when an article was moved to a new name it would be considered a 'new article' by the software. Kaldari (talk) 17:49, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
I seem to recall that we provide a live feed to certain search engines which would make such a step impractical. (talk) 22:22, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Interesting idea while search-engines also deter spam articles: The potential for spamming is a shared risk with the search-engine companies as well. Plus, not everyone dislikes reading spam, and some critics even profit by writing snarky comments about spam. Meanwhile, from what I have seen, a search-engine might quickly index a new article, but not elevate the search-rank to be instantly visible unless the searcher has asked for specific phrases in that page. The overall result is that the impact of "spamming" tends to be self-regulating, where the most-intense spam would be the most-likely to have very low-rank in search results, or be soon corrected. Perhaps 95% of quick information is the non-spam, good-to-know variety, while 5% might be hacked or spammed data, and perhaps 60% of readers know to ignore it. So, 60% of 5% ignores 3%, leaving 98% of new articles as instantly valuable for search-engines and their viewers (some viewers might think the spam is good for their concerns). Also, one way to check the impact of search-spam is to check a search-engine for automobile parts, which has been a topic of immense spamming with adverts to sell car parts. If the search-results seem logical, or neutral, about car parts, rather than sales-spammed, then that search-engine ranking is likely resistant to intense levels of spam. A related issue, is to rewrite the lede 30-word-intro of a spammed article, which is the part generally shown in search-engine results. Once a page has reached a certain level of prominence, then the intro text can be reset, by a search-engine re-indexing, often within one hour of editing, although it might take days to "forget" the spammed search phrases of the prior page revisions. Also remember, how a search-engine company might auto-delay the re-indexing of a Wikipedia article when its index-spider scans for improper text inside the new revision (again, the search-engine companies know they have shared risk in allowing spam to be ranked high). I guess we need measurements, for a few months, to estimate the actual, recent risk of spamming. -Wikid77 (talk) 12:33, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Making the best use of notifications[edit]

I think the new notifications feature is great. In particular whenever I'm responding to someone on a talk page I'm trying to make sure I mention them (with a link to their user page) so that they get a notification of my reply. It would be great if that could become standard etiquette across the board, but such a cultural shift is always difficult to achieve. It's also tricky to know how to mention people in a talk page reply without it looking a bit odd - perhaps we should develop a {{mention}} template for just such a purpose? WaggersTALK 11:29, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

I wonder if you receive a notification about this, User:Waggers? Interesting idea. What kind of output would this template {{mention}} produce? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 11:38, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
No, I didn't receive a notification for that (which is quite interesting in itself). I was thinking of perhaps something like this. WaggersTALK 12:53, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
User:Waggers/sandpit/mentionIn fact, I've now created the template in my userspace, at User:Waggers/sandpit/mention. Are you getting any notifications about these posts? WaggersTALK 13:14, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
Of course, we're not getting notifications for mentions on this page because this isn't a talk page. WaggersTALK 13:42, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
Yep, got the notifications for both of those. Another question, can the link be piped, e.g. does @ call you? I'm thinking that these "mention boxes" are quite large and repetitive, so perhaps we can make it smaller but still do the job — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 13:51, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
Yep, that worked. Also I've noticed there's a parallel discussion at Wikipedia_talk:Notifications#User_mentions_have_potential... where they've come up with the less conspicuous {{replyto}} template. WaggersTALK 14:58, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
@Waggers and MSGJ: Here's an example of the {{replyto}} template. It's also aliased to {{ping}}. Currently mention notifications work on any talk pages or Wikipedia namespace pages as long as the username is linked, followed by a signature, and within a discussion section (i.e. below a header). Kaldari (talk) 17:43, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
@Kaldari and MSGJ: On reflection I think I prefer {{replyto}} to my boxy suggestion! I guess the real challenge now is encouraging the wider community to use it habitually. WaggersTALK 18:40, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
If people see a practical benefit to it, then they will adopt it.
They will also game it. I can easily imagine people "accidentally" misspelling or mis-capitalizing a name so that it looks like the person will get notified, even if any notification won't work (e.g., User:Mastcell when you're trying to reach User:MastCell (Hi, Mast Cell!). WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:21, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

300 characters! It's to long.[edit]


It is scientifically proven that the longer lines of text than 60 characters are difficult to read without losing focus on the next line. On the 20 inch screen, a line of text on Wikipedia can be mighty long, it contain up to 300 characters(!) It looks, to say the least, unprofessional.

My suggestion is to design 2 rows which will hold text lines shorter, as it is on page Wikimedia Press room. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Adnota (talkcontribs) 07:02, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Make your window smaller. Problem solved. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 07:07, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
True, but not helpful. We do currently have formatting options for reference lists to break them into columns.... Designing documents for both large and small screens is hard, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't talk about it. Rd232 talk 13:01, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
Hi, Adnota! I agree with you, so I configured my accont to display text at 750px width. You can copy this page in your account. Good luck! --NaBUru38 (talk) 15:28, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
  • IMO, at least, the 'fix' is to simply not use 'static' formatting....i.e. avoid {{reflist|2}}, use something like {{reflist|30em}} instead. Defining widths in terms of 'pixels' breaks when you're referring to text, because different fonts have different character widths. ems are dynamically set to be the same width as the height of a displayed letter. Similarly, using a 'fixed' number of columns can force them to render unreadably narrow. Revent (talk)

Section preview could include preview of references[edit]

It would be nice if previews of sections would include previews of references even if these sections didn't include a reflist in the section itself. -- (talk) 02:47, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

It's a known problem that has been listed at Bugzilla (the official bug report/feature request database) for years.
It's possible that the major upgrade to WP:VisualEditor next year will finally solve this problem. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:39, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
Isn't a workaround extremely easy to implement? If find in string text being previewed does not include {{reflist... make the code print a {{reflist... right before displaying the wikiEditor div. -- (talk) 16:39, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
Bug tracker link added. Go vote for it. –Quiddity (talk) 20:27, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
If it was actually "extremely easy", then presumably someone would have implemented it sometime since it was first formally requested eight (8) years ago. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:13, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
More relevant: bug 5984 - Edit preview doesn't let you preview cite.php footnotes. See Help:Footnotes#Previewing edits. --  Gadget850 talk 01:05, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
It's only "extremely easy" when you forget about named refs, the possibility of multiple <references />s in a page, and probably other corner cases. Look how much trouble my userscript goes to to get an approximation, and it doesn't work for some edge cases with named refs, or for all these weird ref-hidden-inside-a-template templates like {{sfn}} that people have been creating lately. A real solution, server-side, would basically have to merge the section back into the full page and parse the whole thing again just to throw most of it away and then somehow extract just the refs used in the actual section to display in the pseudo-<references /> and match them up with the ref numbers in the section-only parse being used for the actual preview, all without getting confused by all those corner cases. Anomie 02:47, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

Need previewonly tag during edits[edit]

Beyond the parser tags "<includeonly>" and "<noinclude>" there should have been a tag "<previewonly>... </previewonly>" to only process that markup during an edit-preview, such as triggering test-style reftags at the end of a section where cite-style formatting often needs to be tested during previews of separate section-edits. In general, there should be a parser variable revealing the current mode of page-formatting, aka "{{fmtmode}}", which has values as "standalone" or "included" or "preview" and that value could be checked within #ifeq conditions to skip markup not intended for whatever combination of page-formatting modes. Although the "<noinclude>" tags can be very fast to skip huge sections of comments within live templates, that level of efficiency is probably not worth the bother, and so checking the format-mode value in "{{fmtmode}}" (for when "preview" mode) would be fast enough to trigger showing partial, customized cite references (or other markup) only during a section-edit preview, and skipped when the page is formatted for view by other users. -Wikid77 23:57, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

Improvements to searching for judicial decisions[edit]

So, Wexis' online case search products (and Bloomberg Law for that matter) have the feature that if you enter a citation to any page of a court decision, it will retrieve the court decision. Thus, if I enter "358 U.S. 5", the services will display Cooper v. Aaron, even though the proper case citation for the case is 358 U.S. 1. However, if I search Wikipedia for 358 U.S. 5, Cooper v. Aaron isn't in the first 50 hits. This feature would be very helpful as a common issue with law review articles and treatises is that a footnote will include a short-form citation to a case, which doesn't give the case name or first page (and the full citation may be tens of pages earlier).

Some external search engines may already handle this. Google gives our Cooper v. Aaron as the third hit for 358 U.S. 5, following Justia and HeinOnline pages on the same. Yahoo gives the Justia and Hein pages, but not ours (at least not on the first few pages). And of course the Wikipedia search engine drops the ball entirely.

I can think a few means of implementing something like this, each having pros and cons:

  1. Redirects for each page of a case we have.
    • Pros: Would be a fairly trivial bot task and makes use of the existing infrastructure (i.e., no developer intervention required). Would definitely influence search engine results.
    • Cons: Extremely resource-costly. If we just confined this to the United States Reports, you're talking about 554 volumes with up to 999 pages in each, or upwards of 500K redirects. (note: many volumes of U.S. Reports have substantially fewer than 999 pages of decisions, but it'd still be a lot of redirects).
  2. Including citations to all pages of decisions of the case as meta keywords or similar to the article.
    • Pros: No ridiculous number of redirects.
    • Cons: I can't think of a way of doing this that wouldn't require a huge textdump in a comment in each article, or wouldn't require the software to generate the case citation for each page and include it in the metadata when search engines crawl the page (which would likely require developer intervention).
  3. Create a "page range" metadata template, that takes as parameters the volume, reporter, first page of the decision, and last page of the decision. Then have the Wikipedia search engine give weight to a citation matching this article if a redirect doesn't already exist.
    • Pros: Should be relatively resource-cheap and not disruptive to other operations on Wikipedia. Also mirrors other metadata inclusion efforts (e.g., persondata).
    • Cons: Requires developer intervention. I'm not sure how this would affect searches otherwise.
  4. Toolserver search app.
    • Pros: No resource impact on Wikipedia itself. No potentially controversial impact on the way the internal search engine works.
    • Cons: Requires users to know about it to be useful. Would not influence search engine results either internally or externally. Toolserver can be slow.

Sorry if this is a bit long! Thanks in advance for your comments! —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 03:08, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

  • Interesting. My main concern is the number of redirects this would create, but other than that, I like your Idea #1. I assume that you mean to create redirects both for xxx US zzz and xxx US yyy, zzz to point to Party v. Party, cited without page numbers as xxx US yyy. It should (?) be fairly easy for a bot to create those redirects based on a formatted list of the case names/pages. And I'm sure there's one somewhere on the web, though I don't know of one myself. I wonder if you or someone at WP:SCOTUS would know where to find such a list? A redirect in the format of
#REDIRECT [[PAGENAME]] {{R from court page}}
(where {{R from court page}} redirects to {{R from short name}} or {{R from alternate name}}) or some-such would make a good content for the redirect. All things considered, this seems like it would make searching a easier, especially for users who are less familiar with how cases are normally cited or who are trying to look up a nameless case citation. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 01:26, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • For U.S. Supreme Court cases, many of these case citation redirects already exist. ;-) There's a report here: Wikipedia:WikiProject U.S. Supreme Court cases/Reports/D. If you're interested in other courts, the coverage will be minimal or non-existent. As Philosopher hinted, it's usually a good idea to find like-minded editors for endeavors such as this. WP:SCOTUS isn't particularly active, but there's been some good progress made within the past year or two to clean it up and make it a bit more welcoming/friendly. If you're interested in U.S. Supreme Court cases, be sure to check it out, if you haven't already. :-) --MZMcBride (talk) 01:53, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

Unify Wiki Commons and Wikipedia?[edit]

I find that uploading images or photos through using the Wikipedia's own technical source seems to be a little bit difficult, as each and every individuals especially to those who are newcomers of Wikipedia (Included me) are not familiar with the Upload file system from Toolbox located at the side bar. The issue over here is the long and tedious process whereby the Wikipedia's upload section requests for filling up of information in order to prevent any copyrighting and plagiarism.

I couldn't upload any of the images through Wikipedia Toolbox, so I've decided to follow on the recommendation given by the Upload file's webpage. I came across to WikiCommons, and eventually I uploaded my first image by using WikiCommons, instead of Wikipedia. It was interesting that I succeeded in putting my uploaded image from WikiCommons to the Wikipedia edit page.

Further point(s): WikiCommons demand no complex copyrighting procedure(s) as compared to Wikipedia that constitutes confusion to newcomers. Besides, all users possess their own uploading rights without having to go through complications.

So, based on this situation, I felt that it is more convenient to upload images and photos by using WikiCommons and channel them to Wikipedia edits. Therefore, I think that Wikipedia should look at this point and take it into consideration by unifying both WikiCommons and Wikipedia in order to upload files more efficiently.

Discussions are pure opinion based and suggestions and it's opened to everyone, please feel free to drop by and provide relevant information, ideas, and solutions for further improvements. Unwanted profanity and sensitive topics (mainly: Racism and unduly criticism) are all disallowed. Thank you. AAZIO (talk) 13:15, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

I'm not following your points. Regarding copyright, images uploaded to either place have to comply with copyrights. It is not the case that the rules are different (except that fair use images can be included in Wikipedia, but not Commons).
I think the upload process is easier to use on Commons, but you are encouraged to use Commons for any free images, so I don't see this as a change in policy. If you are arguing that this preference is not clearly communicated, then let's discuss how to clarify it.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 13:24, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
  • You should by all means upload free images to Commons since they will be available not only for English Wikipedia, but also for several hundred other Wikimedia projects. Non-free images can not be uploaded there.--Ymblanter (talk) 16:52, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

New BOT request[edit]

I would like to request a new bot. It will assist people like me who save the web page to my computer using the browser. All i request is that the links between the pages get automatically updated to prevent redirects - eg: Esther, Redirected from Esthers, (from memory) the edit wiki-text should have: [esthers|esther] instead of [esthers]. This means that the correct page will be referenced when i click a link on a file stored on my PC and i dont need to go looking for synonyms. the bot would use existing redirects to determine the correct link to place. This should save the server doing redirect processes. I have noticed that redirects also point to sections also, this will have to be encoded into the link. if someone decides to create, delete or move a redirect the bot will know about it and do repairs as required. Some pages (and redirect pages) point to pages which should have a section on it but do not, perhaps when the section is made the bot can be alerted and update all the links that have the text describing the former missing section over the link. Charlieb000 (talk) 00:30, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

Are you requesting that someone create the bot or are you offering to do it yourself? If the former, you might be interested in Wikipedia:Bot requests; if the latter, you may want to check out Wikipedia:Creating a bot. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 00:50, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Either way, it is unlikely it would be approved. See WP:NOTBROKEN. Anomie 06:01, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

Accessibility of characters for readers[edit]

Let me explicate some thoughts induced by talk: Pseudo-Euclidean space #Markup and WP:Village pump (technical) #.texhtml revisited. For a long time I feel that some permanent solution is needed, since the current state of affairs is awful and the anarchy is rampant. Although existence of tens of thousands of Unicode characters is a general problem, mathematical symbols are the thing which I mostly care of. Then I have to answer first to an obvious question: why not simply to rely on <math>? There are several arguments:

  • <math> does not offer all symbols and some of its symbols are not available in all reasonable typefaces: surprisingly, there is no Roman small Greek letters, for example.
  • The default <math> implementation is not text-friendly, and MathJax is not going to supersede it in the foreseeable future.
  • On the other hand, MathJax is very resource-hungry, which does not always meet the complexity of a task.
  • Both implementations of <math> bring serious inconveniences when used amidst a text line.

Of course, LaTeX symbols cover only a small portion of Unicode, so the problem exists anyway. What can be done with it? The only solution is to implement some form of content negotiation. This means that:

  1. The engine should be able to make assumptions about the client’s capabilities, based by default on HTTP headers, but overridable with query parameters and preferences.
  2. The engine should tag cached (expanded by transclusions, but not yet HTML-rendered) pages with some codes indicating the usage of various Unicode blocks.
  3. The engine has to compare 1. and 2. and do not entertain anything special if the browser will likely handle the page.
  4. Otherwise, if the browser is not expected to have JavaScript enabled, then the engine should substitute all problematical characters with approximations, images, or whatever stuff available.
  5. Otherwise, two JS-powered buttons should appear on the page:
    Download fonts(if not yet) and Replace characters(see 4.).

Thanks for your attention. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 18:20, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

I think that what you want to do is to go to WP:VisualEditor and become the devs' new best friend, so that the replacement for <math> will never stray far from their minds. I'm sure you can understand why dealing with the replacement for hand-typing citation templates is a higher priority for them, but fixing the math problem seems to be on the list of planned improvements. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:44, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Did you read my posting from its header? I am sure that editors can solve their accessibility problems with scripts or other techniques, but these are readers whose problems are discussed here. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 19:01, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Depending on how they solve the problem in the VisualEditor, the problem for the readers may evaporate at the same time. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:30, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
I guess you're posting to the idea lab because for now, this is just an idea. But perhaps when it's a bit more mature, you can post something larger and more actionable at RFC. That's how you'd likely get something like this done. Or rather, creating a concise and coherent RFC (or even series of RFCs) is the first real step in the development process, usually. :-) --MZMcBride (talk) 04:22, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

BTW, notice a secondary dispute at Wikipedia talk: «math» ‎#Personal styles. I likely will insult some people, but I have an ever-increasing feeling that some persons, especially sysopped persons, persistently refuse to cooperate with any attempts to make "texhtml" (a.k.a. templates) a viable alternative to MathJax in the long-time perspective, if not to say that they obstruct such attempts. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 09:10, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

Technical change in RfA procedure[edit]

Moved from Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#Technical change in RfA procedure: There doesn't seem to be much point in proposing something that isn't very clear. Hence, the idea lab would be better to decide how this thing will work, or if it will at all; rather than subjecting it to supports and oppositions already. smtchahaltalk 09:17, 25 May 2013 (UTC)

So I went through the WT:RFA archives to see if the change I'm talking about has already been discussed. But it's not (from as far as I looked). All those proposals only talked about changing the way discussion takes place, and what I'm talking about here is rather a technical change.

Although I'm quite new to RfAs and the only RfA nomination I made failed (though not per WP:SNOW or WP:NOTNOW), I've noticed that the people involved at RfA discussions mostly judge a user by their contributions – what they have done – rather than what they could possibly do if they had the mop (other things are taken into consideration, too, of course, but they've nothing to do with what I'm proposing here), which is not completely fair in my opinion. Sometimes, even candidates who have had a decent amount of experience in administrator-involving fields fail due to other trivial flaws, as the community assumes that since the candidate cannot be careful about those, they can't be trusted with the mop, either.

What I'd rather like to see at RfAs is that a special environment be created for the admin candidate, where they'd be challenged by various things an admin has to deal with. The candidate will temporarily become an administrator inside of this environment alone (it could be at Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/ExampleUser/Challenge and all its subpages, for example). These "challenges" shouldn't be obvious ones, like blocking obvious vandals or trolls, but rather something that could truly demonstrate that the candidate deserves the mop. This "environment" I'm talking about could be similar to (or rather more complex than) the new admin school. These challenges should only be presented when the candidate is a reasonable RfA candidate (i.e., not likely to fail per WP:SNOW or WP:NOTNOW, because if anyone were allowed to take it up, every Tom, Dick and Harry would apply for RfA just for the fun of it, I do understand). Bureaucrats could be given the power to allow temporary access to admin tools to the candidate inside of that environment. I've noticed that some people do this already in the form of questions, but not everyone does and this proposal is more practical than mere questioning.

While it may sound interesting, my proposal is flawed and incomplete since I've missed a lot of things: how the hell will this happen? When should the candidate be allowed to take up this challenge: before the discussion? After the discussion (or maybe along with it)? How exactly would those challenges work (for example: maybe someone would need to 'play' the vandal or the troll, for testing the 'vandalism skills' of the candidate)? (And even this list of questions is incomplete.)

Also note that this proposal is not to replace the existing RfA procedure, but rather to add to it. The discussion will still take place as it does, and even though the candidate 'passes' the challenges and the discussion fails to achieve a consensus in favour of the candidate, the candidate should fail. The discussion should still be given the first priority, since it could be that the only reason the candidate passed this challenge was only that they got lucky or something. The bottomline of this proposal would be: "RfA candidates, in addition to being subjected to the discussion, should also be tested practically." Exactly how: that's what I don't know and what this discussion will (hopefully) clear up (even if this proposal does fail, it would still, at its very worst, make for a good joke for days to come). smtchahaltalk 06:23, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

This would be trivially easy to do if it could be contained to a talkpage and this 'admin testing' didn't come with the unblock right. Candidate creates doppelganger account, bureaucrat adds the 'admintest' flag or whatever, and blocks the user. Testing of tools could take place solely on that useraccount talkpage. No chance of rouge admin running wild.
That being said, I don't think this is a useful idea. Can you provide some examples of what one could test an admin on that isn't just as easily tested for by saying "In situation X, what would you do" ? — The Potato Hose 06:45, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
This admin test thing would, in a sense, make it compulsory for the discussion participants to know how an admin would behave if given the mop, because as I mentioned, not everyone asks these questions, and even the questions of those who do are disregarded by many participants. I mean, if one can just see what the result of that testing thing was, one can't simply ignore it; it could decrease the number of "no experience in admin fields" oppose rationales.
Yes, blocking and unblocking is something to worry about in this testing thing. That is one reason why I myself questioned "how the hell will this happen?". Maybe the blocking and unblocking part is the only one that can't be included in this 'admintest' thing. smtchahaltalk 07:05, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
You're still kind of short on specifics here. What exactly do you want to test for that isn't already being tested for? And I don't understand what the difference between "How would you act in this hypothetical situation?" and "Here is an admin sandbox to use the tools in. How would you use the tools in this hypothetical situation?" is. Admin actions all boil down into two categories: judgement calls and technical skills.
The judgement calls are really what people are evaluating in an RfA, and those are easily answered by posing hypothetical questions, as happens in every RfA. Creating a sandbox to answer these questions is just a bunch of coding work that really doesn't need to be done.
AFAIK, the nuts-and-bolts technical abilities which are granted with the +sysop flag are by and large pretty simple point and click tools (leaving aside more complex scenarios of rangeblocks or tidying up munged edit histories or such, which tend to self-select for already technically-minded people anyway and which are sufficiently complex that new admins learn slowly how to use the more esoteric settings in the tools).
However, if technical competency with the tools is what you are concerned about, I could see an argument for creating a separate wiki specifically for training admins to use the various tools. Transwiki a small chunk of the various namespaces over so there's something to play with, and have newly-made admins head over there to test out how the tools work and learn about the details of them without causing any disruption over here, and without having to come up with complex technical solutions for things. Some admins have expertise in certain areas, so would make sense to ask them to come up with training modules. Older admins could use it as a refresher course, could be especially useful for admins returning after long periods of inactivity. — The Potato Hose 07:30, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm all for the last paragraph. And yes; while hypothetical questions do work, (a) they're not always asked (b) they're often disregarded by other participants; when this admin sandbox (as you call it) will make it compulsory. Hypothetical questions can be asked, but this admin sandbox has to be used to let the community know what you'd do as an admin. smtchahaltalk 07:40, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Also; although these questions are asked in (almost) every RfA, they're not complete as they're only related to the user's contributions; related to the areas the questioner thinks the candidate is weak at (even though he/she can't be completely sure). Testing the candidate in a sort of a sandbox would give a complete overview of the behaviour of the candidate, wouldn't you say? smtchahaltalk 07:53, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
It's de facto compulsory to answer all questions (even the 'optional') ones in an RfA, since not answering is often seen as grounds for opposition. I'm not sure how you will make it compulsory for these 'other participants' who 'often disregard' the questions to go view this sandbox... you can make candidate use of the sandbox compulsory, but you can't force anyone to look at it. And, again, I'm still trying to understand what you want to test for exactly and why someone would need to have access to the tools to answer hypothetical questions. The only way that would make sense would be to give them the tools on a trial basis, and that's an idea which has been floated and failed to achieve consensus multiple times before. You might want to go read WP:PEREN and have a think about your proposal here. What I'm saying is, you seem to have a nebulous solution in search of a problem. And no, I wouldn't say that creating an admin sandbox would give a complete overview, because--and you're not responding to this at all--you are still asking for an answer (in this case some sort of technical admin action like a block or a revdel? because that's the only thing you would need the sysop flag to test for) to a hypothetical question. Also as Wehwalt said below, this is very much not a 'technical' change to RfA, this is a proposal for a structural change. — The Potato Hose 07:58, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes, it is compulsory to answer all questions, denying which the candidate usually gets disqualified, I do know. But I've observed that all discussion participants do not ask these questions and even those who do miss a lot of questions that don't need to be asked if this testing thing is created. To be honest, I never thought there was anything I wasn't responding to. Yes, you're looking for an answer by creating this testing environment for an RfA candidate, but the questions you "ask" with this procedure rather than directly are more than one has ever done before in an RfA. If this proposal seems unnecessary or something that won't work, I'm not surprised because there'd be a huge change in Wikipedia; it won't look like Wikipedia at all. And oh, someone can move this to the 'proposals' village pump if it's not technical. I thought it was technical because of the amount of coding it would take to build that environment. smtchahaltalk 13:23, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I don't think it would be regarded as a joke. No serious suggestions made for changes to the RfA system have been regarded as a joke even if they failed to find consensus. What is frustrating for the proponents for change is that almost anything that might work doesn't garner enough support or even participation in discussions. Add to that, some people are still looking for proof that there is anything wrong with the system and proof that there is admin attrition - things that by now are really abundantly clear. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 06:53, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
That is a gross mischaracterization of my position, and you know it. — The Potato Hose 06:57, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Actually, he may not be referring to your position. Kudpung has been involved with RfA for a long time and he has a pretty good handle on the environment related to the process. Based on my experiences, I would agree with what he wrote above as a general statement. AutomaticStrikeout  ?  14:01, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
There's a precedent set for this by the BAG. It's how we approve bots. All bots get trialled to ensure they are doing what they should. If it can work for WP:BRfA it should work for WP:RfA. 930913(Congratulate) 07:06, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
That's not a very good rationale; bots have to be trialled as they can't be questioned like humans (which is why I'm not proposing to replace the RfA system with this testing thing). smtchahaltalk 07:18, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Yeah but bots don't have to make judgement calls. Input X ==> Output Y. If true, approve the bot. See my point above bc don't really feel like repeating myself :P — The Potato Hose 07:30, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I think this goes beyond a technical change; you are using words like "compulsory" and "has to". I suggest you more fully disclose what you propose on the WT:RFA page. I should note in passing that these "challenges", were they to be meaningful, would have to be human-created. They would have to be human-judged.
I haven't taken any strong view on admin change. However, it would be wise to have each proposal clearly labeled. I will admit, when I saw "technical change", I assumed some minor thing in the template. Proponents of change, who are already hearing it for a multiplicity of proposals (some might say, "throw it at the wall and see if anything sticks"), will convert no opponents by being seen as "trying to sneak one under the radar" and "forum shopping". I am not saying that is what is happening here, I am saying that is how it will be perceived in this charged atmosphere.--Wehwalt (talk) 07:52, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry for that; go ahead and correct me (though don't edit my comment itself). smtchahaltalk 08:00, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Well I have given my view. Did I change your comment? Very sorry if I did, in fact, some corrections to my post seemed to get lost in an edit conflict. No intent to.--Wehwalt (talk) 08:11, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
I don't think what you propose is well-advised generally, if only because you'd have to have someone (or several people) to construct the tests and make them meaningful, and publish the results in a meaningful way. Even if you got your site, the proposal might founder on the appointment of those people and the terms under which they serve. Giving someone a blank check and unlimited tenure ends badly, we know that now. In any event, this would be a considerable change to the process and this is not the forum.--Wehwalt (talk) 08:14, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
I meant you to correct me on WT:RFA. And I never lost any corrections you made (I did get in a few edit conflicts, but I managed them, though never used {{ec}}). And I'm not sure if you really meant to reply to yourself or just dropped in an extra colon by mistake. smtchahaltalk 13:12, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
It would probably be easier to set up a separate WMF wiki and give crats cratship there rather than asking the developers to construct something new. --Rschen7754 07:54, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Agreed; doing it all in Wikipedia itself seems quite complicated and far-fetched. smtchahaltalk 08:00, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Yet another well intentioned proposal that totally misses the mark while managing to deliver massive overheads for the candidate and community. Furthermore, This is not a "technical" change and it would be inappropriate to continue to describe it as such. This is a proposal to make candidates sit a theory test. Bad idea. Many use criteria related to a candidates maturity, judgement and trust, not technical skills. Leaky Caldron 12:09, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Technical skills? I didn't intend this proposal to test an admin's technical skills, to be honest. The new admin school has got to be sufficient for that; we obviously don't decide admins based on whether they can use the buttons correctly or not, it's a matter of a few days (for me, even though I've never been an admin). This proposal was intended for testing the candidate's judgement, at least, for me. Trust and maturity should be apparent in the candidate's answers to the questions asked by the community. smtchahaltalk 13:12, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
So if you're not testing technical skills, why would they need the tools? — The Potato Hose 16:44, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
"This proposal was intended for testing the candidate's judgement, at least, for me." smtchahaltalk 03:22, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
I get that. But you didn't answer the question. If you are testing for judgement, why are the technical tools necessary for the test? I'm not attacking you here, I am genuinely puzzled as to why you aren't answering that question. The act of judgement is what leads to very mundane tool use. Beyond that they have nothing to do with each other. So... why are the tools necessary to test here? — The Potato Hose 03:46, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
I believe – and I think I've mentioned this enough times already – that this testing set will test the judgemental skills of an RfA candidate by subjecting them to a series of various "challenges" that an admin may have to face. This process, in my humble opinion, is more effective than mere questioning, because I think this test can get more answers out of the candidate than any number of questions directly asked possibly can. I hope this explains it. And no, I never took anything as an attack. And I still don't believe there's anything from your part that I didn't respond to. smtchahaltalk 04:04, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
Do you have any evidence for this belief? It really seems like what you're saying is that your idea will be better because Reasons. How will such a procedure get more answers out of candidates? (For that matter, can you even show more than, say, two occasions of an RfA candidate not answering questions?) — The Potato Hose 16:42, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
No, I don't. The thing is not that RfA candidates don't answer questions; the thing is, enough questions are not asked in the first place. smtchahaltalk 02:01, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. So what you really want to do is impose more mandatory questions. The whole sandbox of admin tools thing is a complete red herring. Your best bet is to figure out what questions you think aren't being asked, and then propose, at WT:RFA, adding them to the basic set of questions. — The Potato Hose 02:15, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────No, I'm not asking to impose more questions; this admin sandbox thing does that on its own. This, as a matter of fact, is supposed to reduce the number of questions that are asked at RfAs. smtchahaltalk 03:48, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

Yes, that is exactly what you are doing. Whether on the RfA page or in the sandbox is irrelevant; what you want is to push the candidate to answer more questions. Whether that answer is via text or some still-totally-unexplained use of admin tools, it doesn't matter: you want more questions. What you want does not require any kind of sandbox or temporary access to admin tools or anything like that, because what you want to know is how an RfA candidate will respond to a given situation. "Here is hypothetical situation X. How will you deal with it?" is the basic format of all questions posed at RfA already. Sometimes questioners use real-wiki examples.
So you have two options: 1) gain consensus at WT:RFA to include more standard questions, or 2) Just ask them yourself.
You still haven't shown exactly how or why this 'sandbox' is more useful. You have not shown how or why temporary access to the admin tools is required. You have not shown any specifics at all of what you want to test for. Those are things you need to address if you want anyone to pay any attention to this, frankly, very weird and poorly-conceived proposal. I have asked you a whole bunch of times for specifics. Provide them or please, go do something productive. — The Potato Hose 03:56, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
There can never be enough questions to be asked; the best way to do this would be to replace those three pre-loaded mandatory questions with hundreds of others. That would be a big waste of time (not saying that this testing thing would be any quick, either, but it would be more efficient, in my opinion), and I don't think I would want to bore every RfA candidate by asking them tones of questions like "Imagine you are dealing with this vandal or troll. What would you do?" or "Would you semi-protect this page in case it gets vandalised by new users every day?" (these are very basic questions, of course, and the testing thing could automatically get answers out of the candidate to really complicated questions that can, by no means, be directly asked). And that's not the only reason I want this testing thing; there is always a lot of difference between practice and theory. You cannot do things theoretically what one can do practically. When you face a question "How would you respond to X?", you can simply answer it with "Like that." But when you face it, things are different. The candidate won't really know that's what he/she was going to face (nor would the discussion participants, perhaps), but that's one thing that makes this admin test thing extremely complicated and a far-fetched idea to ever get approved at Wikipedia. smtchahaltalk 04:08, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
My head is starting to hurt. Look. Throw me a bone here. Name one specific thing you want to test for, how you want to test for it, and specify exactly why using the tools in a totally hypothetical and unconnected-to-reality way is better than just answering a question. Or are you having visions of some Starfleet-entrance-exam-style thing? — The Potato Hose 04:19, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry for your head, but I think I'll just repeat what I've been saying so far. I want to test the admins for their judgement; for how they would act under circumstances. I do not believe questions would work here, because, again, questions are never enough (neither in quantity nor in quality). You obviously know there are hardly a few questions in an RfA that could test the judgemental skills of the candidate. Moreover, these are just questions, mere questions, that simply are not enough. There is a lot of difference between answering "Imagine a man points a gun at you. What would you do?" and actually facing it. Is that not a specific to you? And oh, I have already said I don't know how it will work happen. That's the precise reason I moved this discussion to the idea lab VP. smtchahaltalk 04:28, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
You said in your own words, that the problem is not enough questions are being asked. How is asking more questions not the simplest, easiest, and most direct solution to that problem?
And you know what? Forget it. This proposal isn't going to go anywhere; it's a (very poor) solution in search of a problem. — The Potato Hose 04:46, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
You seem to have misinterpreted my statement. The exact problem (in my opinion, of course) is, questions are not enough. Even if you ask hundreds of them (even literally), they simply won't work as efficiently as this testing thing. And again, asking more questions simply bores the candidate as well as the questioner, and also does not promote a healthy discussion in the RfA (that should still be given the first priority).
And for your information, I knew this proposal won't pass right when I clicked the "Save page" button on the technical village pump. Changes as huge as this have never happened at Wikipedia (not at one blow), and even though I also knew other reasons why this proposal won't pass, that one was enough on its own. I just wanted to know what the community thinks about it and what its flaws are, but I don't think I've spotted any major ones so far (except that it's simply a huge change to ever happen on Wikipedia). smtchahaltalk 04:59, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Potential outcry: Although I generally like the idea of a "competency test" for a new admin, such as testing to use the tools in a sandbox, I have been severely criticized for even suggesting that an admin candidate should be tested to write a new article ("Blue iceberg"), if he/she thought appropriate, to demonstrate knowledge of article structures. I was even accused of being so lazy as to get an admin candidate to "write articles I wanted to see" on Wikipedia. So, expect strong resistance to making a candidate prove they could use the tools effectively, and this PUMPTECH topic would be overriden by the related policy debates. -Wikid77 (talk) 15:41, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • My experience in both Russian and English wikipedias shows that there is no strong correlation between a candidate’s (initial) ability to demonstrate an apparently competent use of the tools, and his/her competence in their actual use. Many candidates, being not especially advanced at their RfAs, later learned all things necessary to their work. On the other hand, some candidates (especially who were promoted without a considerable opposition) later developed a habit to use the tools incompetently and even whimsically. A policy and/or some devolution of privileges, which could (temporary) deprive a user of specific capabilities in specific circumstances, either technically or administratively, would have more merits. It will force users either to learn or to abstain from problematical involvement. Competence is an acute problem. But this thread addresses it on a wrong approach. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 12:25, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
I have already said that I do not intend to replace the existing discussion format of RfAs with this testing set; in which case, I do not think there is any harm in subjecting the candidate to a sort of test as well as discussing their contributions (in fact, with the first priority). I'm not asking to ignore what the candidate has done in the past to just know what the candidate can potentially do as an administrator, but I only think both of these things need to be taken into consideration. If a user who was blocked in the past week applies for adminship and yet manages to pass the admin test, there is no point in approving him/her. In fact, I would say the candidate should not be allowed to take the test in the first place and the discussion should be closed before it was supposed to (per WP:SNOW or WP:NOTNOW). smtchahaltalk 04:47, 27 May 2013 (UTC)