Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab)/Archive 12

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How to reduce to number of times of clicking back[edit]

I think clicking Talk on any wikipedia article or Project page should automatically open the talk page in a new tab with the scrren displaying what's in the new tab right away. That way, all you have to do is close the tab once instead of clicking back 3 times to get back to the article once you made an edit to the talk page. I also think Wikipedia should evolve in such a way that you can type into the search bar then right click the magnifying glass and click open in new tab to open what you searched for in a new tab without interrupting the article you're in the middle of reading or interrupting your unfinished edit to a talk. Blackbombchu (talk) 17:14, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

Those are good (excellent) ideas, and would help users edit many articles faster, especially with some https secure-mode browsers (IE9) which throw away the in-progress edit-session once a user vists the talk-page or search. As for the wikisearch box, Search:[_____], I would even default to "Open in new window" and let users right-click "Open in new tab" or "Open (in same tab)". It is sad to say the capability has been around over 10 years, but not done yet. But remember: even wikisearch has changed, or re-changed, over the years to either merely search for words, or implicitly go to an article title with those exact words. Over the years, WP has become much harder to use, easier to lose all changes, and all we get are slow doofus collapsible ^|> menu sections, or loss of username in http-mode login, or the VisualEditor forced on all JavaScript browsers without warning people how to enter a wikilink when "[[__]]" inserts the literal square brackets. The WMF developers are so out-of-touch with what is needed for the basic user-interface options, that I refer to current upgrades as "user-interfere changes". Anyway, thank you Blackbombchu for suggesting something truly valuable for secure-mode browsers. -Wikid77 (talk) 12:15, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
You would have to have an option to turn it off. On my machines, I don't use tabs, never have used tabs, never will use tabs - and when it was available used an Add-On called TabKiller that took tabs out of the menus of Firefox. I don't open tabs - I open a new window. I have Google set to open clicked results in new windows. I find tabs difficult to work with - on the odd occasions when I am forced to cope with them when dealing with something someone else has started on their machine, and needs rescuing from. Peridon (talk) 16:36, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
Isn’t the new tab/new window option a browser-side thing? I thought web pages could only specify to open in a new something, and leave it to the browser what that is. —Frungi (talk) 20:03, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
When it comes to tabs, I don't trust anyone or anything. Not developers, not browsers, not even the Dalai Lama... Peridon (talk) 18:11, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

ITN banner[edit]

There is a questiona at Wikipedia_talk:In_the_news#ITN_banner, we need some coding help. How does that work?Lihaas (talk) 21:19, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

I'll take a look later today. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 09:11, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

Template to link to non-Talk sections?[edit]

Sometimes, you want to link from a Talk page to a section of the associated non-Talk page. Would a template that converts, say, {{section link||Section}} to [[{{ARTICLEPAGENAME}}#Section|Section]] be useful? Would it be possible? —Frungi (talk) 05:13, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

  • Already in {section link||topic} since 2007: That is a good idea, and Template:Section link does, in fact, know when used in a talk-page to link to "#Topic" in the related article. Thanks for mentioning the idea again. -Wikid77 (talk) 12:29, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
    Oh… wow, I didn’t check the actual template at the name I used as an example, and it’s exactly this… Well, thanks! Though I think templates may have a discoverability problem, but that’s another topic. —Frungi (talk) 19:57, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

Watchlist ideas: (1)Hide change+undo pairs; (2)Group consecutive changes by single editor[edit]

Is this the right place to discuss ideas like this?

(1) If you're like me, many of the changes cluttering up your watchlist are merely pairs of changes where one undoes the other (often undoing vandalism). What do you think about hiding these (optionally or by default), since together they represent no net change?

(2) Also very often the same editor makes many consecutive revisions or tweaks of the same (or different) text in an article and we just want to see the net change that they made altogether. Why not group these under under an expandable group or optionally combine them into a single change (combining edit summaries if needed)? Changes are already grouped by day, but often the day includes changes by other editors that you'd like to see separately.

These ideas might also apply to other lists of changes, maybe even page histories.

DavRosen (talk) 15:19, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

Re-introducing level-two pending changes?[edit]

As proven, level-one pending changes is appropriate for severely seldom- or infrequently-edited articles, not for pages that encounter excessive vandalism, sockpuppetry, and content disputes. Level-two was deemed as too bureaucratic and irritating by opposers, but we have level-one PC pages converted into semi-protected pages already this. Some unprotections are successful; some failures. Some PC1 are successful; some failures. Same for PC2. I am unsure about how to use level-two PC, but we have 10 pages pending changes from everyone alike, according to Category:Wikipedia pending changes protected pages (level 2). While PC2 has been out, we already faced too many disputes, like Chelsea Manning situation, which was recently fully-protected for a short time due to uncontrollable self-references. If indefinite level-two PC is too bureaucratic, then maybe temporary level-2 PC is less bureaucratic. --George Ho (talk) 18:24, 7 November 2013 (UTC)


My proposal was inspired when I noticed that many blocked users were "account creation blocked", which made me wonder--why don't we do this for everyone? It would make sockpuppetry much more difficult. While it is true that some people need to use legitimate alternative accounts, I think the benefits of actually enforcing the one editor one account rule by blocking people from creating multiple accounts would outweigh the disadvantages. In addition, we could get around this problem by creating a noticeboard where someone requests permission to be allowed to create an alternative account, and, should the permission be granted (this would be based on whether the user is considered trustworthy by an admin), the account will be instantly blocked if it does anything other than what its creator said it would be used to do. This system would, again, make tracking down and blocking the countless sockpuppets of certain users far easier. As with my previous proposals, there is almost certainly something I am missing; feel free to tell me what it is. Jinkinson talk to me 13:26, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

The option to "Prevent account creation" when blocking an account is the default option, and the vast majority of accounts which are blocked have this enabled. (There may be exceptions, for example when blocking a malfunctioning bot.) However there is no way that the software can really stop a person from creating additional accounts: if they go to an internet cafe and create an account there, we wouldn't know it was the same person who had created an account before. Regards — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 15:17, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Befriending people is the preferred method: Instead of focus on blocking of users (or sockpuppets), it would be more beneficial to persuade them to work within the WP policies and guidelines, and to quicken the update of guidelines when people disagree as there is no real broad consensus to force peculiar rules on people. Numerous editors have commented how some of the regular editors should be blocked instead, at times, rather than the hounded editors who get blocked or topic-banned, because the so-called "consensus" is a false consensus of an isolated majority of editors who have wp:TAGTEAMed into similar interests and conclude their occasional opponents are "disruptive". There are many cases of false consensus, where perhaps 9 people disagree with a "consensus" being forced by only 7 people but rabidly. One option, which could reduce false consensus, is to have "term limits" or topic limits or per-article edit-limits, where a person would be auto-topic-banned from the same topic, after perhaps a year, with limits of 3-month or 6-month bans away from a topic to deter teams of wp:OWNer-mentality editors from dismissing new editors and maintaining the status quo of the current, false consensus for years or decades. In fact, I have seen several hostile comments from new users, about specific issues, who I think were correct and understandably upset how a peculiar rule or method had been forced for years, with no plans to improve, and the new users were shocked how such rules existed. If we empowered people with special privileges, to act as facilitators to shepherd improvements into the system, then I think many new users could be persuaded to work toward a better system, based in true consensus which included their viewpoints. -Wikid77 (talk) 16:22, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
  • I think the two replies so far have misinterpreted the proposal… What I read it as is a site-wide limit (with exceptions) of one account per IP address—preventative, rather than reactive. Is this right, Jinkinson? —Frungi (talk) 20:18, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
    • Yes, Frungi, that is correct. Jinkinson talk to me 21:37, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
      • I presume creation, not use, would be restricted by IP address, so we could still log in from wherever. But it seems like public locations such as schools, libraries, internet cafes, and the like would be problematic here, not to mention ISPs who change their users’ dynamic IP addresses on a whim. —Frungi (talk) 21:45, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

True. However, it would still help prevent some sockpuppetry, though of course there is no way to stop all of it. However, just because this can't be done doesn't mean that this idea is not a step in the right direction, unless there is a serious drawback to limiting IPs from creating multiple accounts without permission, in which case, feel free to point it out. Jinkinson talk to me 21:58, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

Don’t get me wrong, I do like the idea at face value. I’m just not sure how it could be implemented. —Frungi (talk) 22:29, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict)The main issue is that there is no guarantee that an IP address represents a single person. In fact, in the majority of cases it probably doesn't. Even in residential ISPs where there is one IP per house, there may be multiple people in the home, and more than one of them may have an account. IPv4 address exhaustion will make this even worse, with more ISPs putting multiple users on a single IP. IPv6 will solve the latter problem, but worldwide IPv6 adoption is still less than 2%. We could do something like a throttle of 1 account per 48 hours or something, but that could still have issues with organizations and ISPs that put large numbers of people behind a single public IP (at one point, most of the nation of Qatar used just a handful of public IPs, I don't know whether this is still the case). Mr.Z-man 22:56, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Using IPv4, it can't. IP addresses can be dynamic, and can be conflated by NATing, two legitimate cases of IPv4 address collisions. Josh Parris 22:59, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

You've got the additional problem of there are cases when it's legitimate to operate undeclared sockpuppets, for example for editing articles that could get you into trouble in your homeland, or with your social or work contacts. Josh Parris 23:07, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

  • Sockpuppets are a great way to handle separate tasks: As noted above, the ability to have numerous sockpuppets is a tremendous advantage, when needing to separate the work on various tasks. For example, in wiki-classroom assignments, a teacher might ask students to all create new (sockpuppet) accounts which will be totally monitored by school officials, as separate from any personal-time usernames, and a student might attend multiple wiki-classes during the same school term, with a separate wiki username for each class. Also, a college professor might create several sockpuppet usernames, to allow edit of semi-protected major articles, but then change usernames each month to limit the scope of investigations in case of accusations of improper use of Wikipedia with school-related activities. In case anyone thinks "cyberstalking" is just rare elsewhere, I can confirm how some Wikipedia usernames were insulted without basis and wp:wikihounded to complain (with vicious profanity) about edits in totally unrelated articles, until using separate usernames to allow editing without being the target of a stalker. Sockpuppets are an excellent method to separate tasks and to limit stalking or investigations related to the specific tasks. -Wikid77 (talk) 01:06, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
Some of that is probably done in education - I can't see all that many school to uni level having accounts of their own. (Those that do are probably admins or developers, if not both, anyway, and could probably teach the teacher. Or else they're already indeffed as nasty little sods...) Peridon (talk) 18:16, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
Aagree and support the proposal fully. The exceptional cases can seek permission at ANI or some place.Lihaas (talk) 02:20, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

I don't know about this idea of treating sockpuppetry as a non-negative trait. The administrator declared one IP user as a sockpuppet and blocked him for one year. George Ho (talk) 17:03, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

  • A rule of one account creation per IP address would restrict people in all sorts of shared accomodation, including households and families. I suppose we could set up a system under which wives and children were allowed their own accounts if their applications were countersigned by the account-holding Pater familias. Of course, those on dynamic IPs would work out or just learn by googling "why can't I create a Wikipedia account?" that they could get around it by disconnecting and reconnecting to acquire a new IP, gaining an invaluable lesson for a future career in socking (and a contempt for bureacracy, restrictions, rules and laws) that could ultimately make Wikipedia's problem much worse. NebY (talk) 19:34, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Ten years ago on Wikipedia[edit]

Just for fun, it'd be nice if somebody put up a read only snapshot of Wikipedia as it was a decade ago - just to remind us how far we've come! --Khendon (talk) 14:03, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Well, you could use for that - and jumping from one link to another should still show you very old versions of those pages. --Elitre (talk) 14:43, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
And, a permanent record of Wikipedia as it was on December 20, 2001 —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 20:20, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
Nostalgia is great :) too bad it's only for English! --Elitre (talk) 20:29, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Policy to re-engage the community[edit]

I was reading MIT technology review Vol. 116 No. 6. It details the diminishing community and quality of Wikipedia. One thing it mentioned specifically was: "the loose collective [of editors] that operate a crushing bureaucracy with an often abrasive atmosphere that deters newcomers" (p.52).

Having seen some of the talk pages about articles, I have to agree.

So my proposal is this: The bureaucracy is ran top down, and a number of the long term administrators and senior editors have become so engrained in the culture of Wikipedia and rule, yes, rule is the correct term, with a style that deters newcomers. Jimmy Wales should revoke all administrator privileges from every administrator.

The slate would be cleaned, the trenches that were dug during the nascent Wikipedia experiment would be filled in, and people who actually care about the site in the present time, not the past, would be reinvigorated. An additional benefit would be to eliminate the Fiefdom-esque behavior of some of the administrators who rule over Wikipedia. When everyone is equal again, your advancement depends on your merits, nothing more.

So there is my proposal. I estimate it has precisely 100% chance of going nowhere, but it sure would be interesting to shake things up again here and breathe new life into the system. (talk) 00:28, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

Your proposal is good, but doesn't go far enough. This was my proposal a year and a half ago, but I could see the writing on the wall many years before that. But I still keep volunteering, not wanting to give up on this project. (talk) 07:06, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

Create guideline or policy for deceased persons?[edit]

There are disputed information about people no longer living. Some removed, some left remaining, despite lack of citation. Some categories don't belong. Is a guideline/policy needed, or must we depend on other policies and guidelines? --George Ho (talk) 20:12, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

if there isn't guidance already, we should create it - such as
remove them from cat "living persons"
caution around sourcing of the death - e.g. be extra careful and make sure the death is reported in multiple RS before jumping the gun
fill out date of death in the person info box + categories (year of death)
update verb tense in article - I think?
add to deaths list
what else?
Disputed information in any bio should be removed, I think - BLP still applies to those who have recently died.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 16:10, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
There should be a clear-cut threshold for "recently", however. One year, I'd say.--cyclopiaspeak! 16:15, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

Banning administrators from using the word "fuck" and all derivatives[edit]

I'm going to wrap up this discussion whilst it remains good natured. The original poster was cautioned to avoid Drmies on-wiki and really shouldn't be discussing them at length here in this discussion. Nick (talk) 17:46, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I find it incredulous that Administrators are allowed to use the word "fuck" (or any other form of the word) when addressing or discussing other editors on this site. If any group of people are responsible for upholding the high standards of civil behavior on this site then it is surely Admin. Considering that Administrators regularly implement bans on users for uncivil behavior towards others then surely they themselves should be subject to restrictions on the use of offensive language.

Here is some text written by me (see my Talk Page for the full post) that includes an example from an Administrator called Drmies (he deleted the post on his Talk Page so I copied the offensive words to my Talk Page to allow a visible copy to exist):

user Drmies used foul language in a discussion about me on his Talk Page. His words were: "fucking bullshit paranoia of the dumb kind". In light of his role as admin and the young age of many members here I took exception and replied "try to refrain from swearing in the future"

I would like to propose that a guideline or policy be implemented that will ban Admin from using "fuck" or any derivatives. The word is English and is found throughout the English speaking world. However if you were a pupil at any English school (including the US, Australia and Canada) and were subjected to a teacher using such language it wouldn't be long before that teacher would be facing a disciplinary action or even dismissal. Below is a list of reasons for implementing an Admin ban on the use of the word "fuck" and any derivatives:

  • It sets a standard of behavior for Administrators with regards to foul language.
  • It avoids cross cultural offense (Drmies is Dutch so English is not his first language and I doubt he really understands the force implied by "fuck").
  • It allows Admin to legitimately enforce bans on editors who are uncivil without any counter-claim against them for the same behavior.
  • It would make life easier for all parents, teachers and other parties involved in the raising of young adults in English first language countries where the word is generally discouraged with regards to public use.
  • It would show that Administrators here, regardless of where they are from, are aware that use of the word or derivatives in the UK, US, Australia or Canada especially in situations that could be further inflamed could result in an arrest e.g. it is banned at UK football grounds for that exact reason.
  • Funding or raising funds from individuals and institutions may be helped by this ban since the reason to donate it usually based on positive feelings about the mission that one is donating to. If Oxfam opened every campaign with the slogan "We can defeat fucking poverty" we may commend them for "stressing" the point but we would surely doubt the standing of the person who thought that was a good idea which by extension we would then apply to the whole organization.
  • Its a simple but highly effective action to implement.
  • It is a word originating from the body or bodily action (e.g. piss off, shit head, cunt, prick) - as you can see the physical aspects of such terms gives them their force but that force is always felt more keenly by UK, US, Australian and Canadian citizens then say someone like Drmies who is from Holland (no doubt the Dutch have their own terms).
  • It is a standard that once imposed on Admin can then be easily ported over as a general guide line for all editors especially with regards to edit descriptions and Talk Page posts thereby reducing conflict, edit wars and the need for Admin to implement bans based on such uncivil behavior.

Sluffs (talk) 13:52, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

  • Firstly , I wouldn't underestimate the knowledge of the word in Western Europe. From the early 16th century, it is of of Germanic origin, it compares with Swedish focka, Dutch fokkelen, and German ficken. In particular, most people in the Netherlands of my generation and younger are practically bilingual and of all the non-British European nations, they speak English best.
Of course it's inadmissible on Wikipedia for all the reasons you state, but you would have to come up with some very hard evidence to convince the community that it demonstrates a pattern of usage of significant frequency by admins to obtain support for such an idea. It's probably best to treat such instances on a case-by-case basis. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 14:34, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
  • tl;dr but WP:FUCK the title of this posting. Biosthmors (talk) pls notify me (i.e. {{U}}) while signing a reply, thx 14:39, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Context is obviously lost given you did not link the relevant discussion, but "fucking bullshit paranoia of the dumb kind" looks to me like a comment - albeit strongly worded - about content you have added rather than an attack on you personally. Also, I pity any nation that would arrest someone for saying the word "fuck". At any rate, it is ridiculous to suggest that only one class of editor should be banned from using a word rather than all, but it is doubly ridiculous to ban it at all. Oppose. Resolute 14:44, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Devil's advocate -- so, could admins not discuss Fucking, Austria? Granted, admins should probably adhere to a certain level of decorum, but censorship of certain words is not the correct path, in my opinion. Chris857 (talk) 14:51, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Ignoring whether banning the use of any one word (and its deriviates) is desirable or not. Either it should be a ban for all users or none as a general policy. -- KTC (talk) 14:53, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia isn't fucking censored. Nick (talk) 14:54, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
    • ya mothafuckin' right. Biosthmors (talk) pls notify me (i.e. {{U}}) while signing a reply, thx 15:03, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
      • can i now say the "n" word? Biosthmors (talk) pls notify me (i.e. {{U}}) while signing a reply, thx 15:04, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

All I can say about this proposal is: what the fuck? --cyclopiaspeak! 15:31, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

  • "it is banned at UK football grounds"[citation needed] NebY (talk) 15:48, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Heck no. Word tests just encourage people to be abusive in more hurtful ways. Yngvadottir (talk) 16:03, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
  • This idea has its heart in the right place. While profanity is not forbidden, there is a general consensus that it is discouraged and reserved for exceptional circumstances. Everyday editors are not going to be discouraged if they see the guardians of Wikipedia throwing profanity around willy-nilly. And it's the same with loaded Wikipedia-speak words, too. pbp 17:22, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
  • [Sorry Nick: I edit-conflicted with you, and this took me a while to type up. Thanks.] I did ask an administrator beforehand if I could speak freely, and was given permission. FWIW, what led to it was this comment--the accusation that User:GoingBatty was operating a bot which was hounding Sluffs. Yes, for real. Kind of like the NSA. Sluffs goes on to troll Bgwhite's talk page (who had blocked them for harassment related to the Going Batty accusation), is reverted by NE Ent (and if NE Ent removes a talk page comment, it's worth removing), restores it, is reverted by me, and on and on. They ended up getting blocked and blocked and blocked again--the first time because they wanted my head cut off. A valid question is, was it indeed "fucking bullshit paranoia"? I think the answer is yes. Should I have used those words? Maybe. Is profanity sometimes uttered in response to boneheaded remarks and accusations, and an absolute refusal to discuss things rationally? Absofuckinglutely. A quick look at the user page of the editor in question indicates that I'm not the first one to see problems here, and I guess I won't be the last: right now, it's TheOldJacobite's turn, in relation to odd edits exemplified by this one. Drmies (talk) 17:50, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Add ability to do a natural language sort for sorting columns in table[edit]

One of the things sometimes encountered on Wikipedia is incorrectly functioning column sorting on tables. This often is due to needing to add an annotation to a few of the entries in a column that is primarily a numeric column. Providing a comparison function to allow a natural language sort, and some way of annotating the columns which comparison function to use would be a useful addition. Natural language sorting has been around for decades. It's not something new or uncommon.--Aflafla1 (talk) 23:26, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

How to greatly reduce the number of stub articles[edit]

More than half the Wikipedia articles are a stub. I know because I usually get a stub when I click Random article. By stub I mean an article that deserves a stub tag, not one that actually has one. That problem can be solved by making sure that for every article, there exists an article that has a link to that article. That will cause all those stub articles to gain way more views and thus be greatly expanded to stop being a stub. It can also be solved by having all Wikipedia articles contain an additional section at the bottom of all Wikipedia articles that have a link to that Wikipedia article. The commons does it for image files by showing a list of all Wiki pages it was used on so Wikipedia should do the same about about giving a list of all articles that have a link to a specific article. Blackbombchu (talk) 23:46, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

We do this already, there's the Special:WhatLinksHere feature which shows what pages link in to the current page you're on and we also have an OrphanBot - an automatic bot which will highlight pages that don't have incoming and outgoing links, which sit in isolation. The problem can often be spelling, punctuation and so on, articles that should link to each other don't but OrphanBot can pick that up and we can deal with it. Nick (talk) 00:33, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Clicking What links here should give the list of all Wikipedia pages that have a link to the article you're reading, not the pages that have a link that states the title of that article. For instance, when I click What links here on the JavaScript article, Java update virus does not appear as a result because in that article, the link that takes you to the article JavaScript says Java, not JavaScript. Blackbombchu (talk) 00:50, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
No, Java update virus doesn't appear because it links to the article about Java (programming language), not Javascript, which is something totally different. Writ Keeper  00:58, 14 November 2013 (UTC)


Why not have the now increasingly popular "Like" tabs across social media. This would be for use on pages that are not mainspace, ofcourse. It can also be a source of "support" votes in discussions, perhaps. Individual departments can decide that.Lihaas (talk) 02:12, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Aaaaaaaarrrrrrggggggghhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!! Don't like... Peridon (talk) 19:00, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
What a good idea, Lihaas - a bar at the top, bottom or side of pages with maybe a button to like on Facebook, e-mail to a friend, share on whatever other social network etc. Whilst we must be careful not to turn Wikipedia into a social network itself, providing resources to allow integration with modern social networks would be an excellent way to promote Wikipedia, encourage greater reuse of content and possibly encourage new editors (imagine that - writing a new article, and then being able to share it with 'real-life' friends and peers). @ Peridon - did you read the edit notice for this page - Rather than merely stating support or opposition to an idea, try to be creative and positive. If possible, suggest a better variation of the idea, or a better solution to the problem identified.? Do you think new editor's scanning through this forum wondering whether to post a question here would be encouraged or discouraged by this kind of 'feedback'? Acather96 (click here to contact me) 18:40, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
We have talk pages and email. I take no part in social media, but people who do can already share links to their work here through the social media there. As to being positive, I once had to do a work experience report on a girl. I got told to 'be positive', and got told I shouldn't have put 'The best part about xxxx's week with me was that she only came in for one half day'. I was being positive and didn't say she was a snotty little bitch, which she was. I never had any trouble with any other WE people, and got complimented on the improvement seen in some. Keep social media stuff in social media. It just doesn't belong here. Bringing it in is a bit like giving a false impression to the people who already confuse us with social media (and free webspace, etc...). I can't suggest a better solution when I can see no problem to begin with. Peridon (talk) 18:59, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
No offence to the proposer of the idea, BTW. I was responding in a social media manner.... Peridon (talk) 19:01, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure how useful a "Like" button would be but a "Share" button would allow readers to quickly share Wikipedia articles would be a great idea. (Before someone says that you can already share an article by switching to your e-mail program, creating a brand new e-mail, copying and pasting the URL and copying and pasting the name of the article, a "Share" button would allow you to do this in a couple easy steps rather than several steps.) A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 14:25, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
BTW, I'm pretty sure that the Wiki software already supports both the Like and Share functionality. We just have to enable it. If you go to, for example, the Beatles Wiki, you can see how they implemented it there. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 14:31, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
This has been discussed many times before, see WP:PEREN#Share pages on Facebook, Twitter etc.. Anomie 14:54, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
The copy and paste functionality on your computer should allow you to share Wikipedia articles on social media services. —Tom Morris (talk) 10:00, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Example of Wikipedia related Kickstarter campaign[edit]

I don't think this was discussed on VP before, but here we go: a working example of gathering funds for a Wikipedia-related activity through crowdfunding: [1]. I wonder if we should start keeping track of those projects, perhaps creating a Wikipedia:Crowdfunding page or such. Also, it may be worth discussing any COI intersection (see here), through I, at least, am fully supportive of such initiatives (not seeing any COI problems w/regards to the funding method). Thoughts? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 05:08, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

This particular case is good: the photographer asks for money to do a specific non-trivial task. Your proposal can work well, as long as it's done well. --NaBUru38 (talk) 22:38, 4 November 2013 (UTC)
Very cool idea. Here is a link to the kickstarter campaign I think NaBUru38's point about "specific non-trivial task" is spot on. Any thoughts on another specific non-trivial task that needs funding?--Nowa (talk) 21:52, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
User:Ashstar01 and I as volunteers raised around $3000 on Indiegogo to distribute Wikireaders to kids in poor schools. We were aiming very high, but still managed to get some WMF grant money to distribute 500 Wikireaders to some underserved schools. Indiegogo is nice because unlike Kickstarter, if you don't raise the full amount, you get to keep a portion of what you raise anyway. Victor Grigas (talk) 00:08, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

Air safety[edit]

The reliable, transparent and fair information in my mind would be a reference by anyone. That is not my formula but it is a normal thing in the world. Safety in aviation is a condition where many passengers or people in the world need assurance. So, very simple, how to get that? Any one will search the information from media any where. In term that, personally, I very support any article in wikipedia, regarding to any airline with safety record is included. As we know well that to build, maintain or enhance of safety is no compromise. As a safety watcher with 35 years experience and former representative of my country to ICAO (2004-2006), I just want to suggest you to always insert safety record for all airlines without any exception.

In your many articles, I have unfortunatelly read some airlines without IATA (IOSA) , EU,(Blacklist) FAA (IASA) or ICAO (USOAP) as well at all. I do believe one of them is a recognized body in the aviation safety community. Your articles read by so many readers in the world who want to get reliable, transparent and fair reading especially for Safety. I'm sure, the information would be a wake-up call for someone in a certain country who is lack of transparency. Thank you so much for your cares in aviation safety without any compromise. Yours sincerly, Aries Martono — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:27, 22 November 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) 23:59, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Unwatched BLPs to be Pending Changes protected[edit]

I couldn't find any earlier discussion regarding unwatched BLPs and Pending Changes, so feel free to point me at any previous discussion. Is there any reason not to add Pending Changes protection to BLPs with few or zero watchers? BLPs would have to be protected slowly, so that Pending Changes doesn't become flooded, and we'd need a stronger culture of keeping on top of outstanding Pending Changes, but those are the only two drawbacks I can foresee. Josh Parris 05:10, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

No reason not to. Amount of watchers is irrelevant to vicious or annoying or bad contributions that they do to BLPs. Shall I give you an example of vandalized BLP that is "pending changes"? --George Ho (talk) 05:14, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Then include something like : Fewer than 5 watchers in your RfC. It's easy enough to make a bot or a script that will de-PC an article that finally exceeds that number. Thing is, a page may have watchers, but they might not be watching all the time. If you want help drafting the RfC, don't hesitate to ask me. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 07:28, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
I don't know. A bot adding least viewed page, removing page that will have six watchers, re-adding the same page, re-removing the same page, etc. Would that hurt the bot? George Ho (talk) 07:32, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
It'd confuse and annoy humans watching the bot, the bot itself wouldn't feel a thing.
Clearly implementing the rules like that would not be helpful. Josh Parris 08:00, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
The wikimedia software thinks that anything with fewer than 30 watchers is so insufficiently watched that it's not going to tell you how many are actually watching it. I'd suggest around that point protection could be pulled. Josh Parris 08:02, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
So set it at that then. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 08:06, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Wait a minute. Enabling PC protection on a page that has not yet been vandalized, regardless of amount of watchers? I don't think so per WP:protection policy, unless it's a template. George Ho (talk) 08:20, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
I think for this idea to work, Wikipedia:Protection policy#When to apply pending changes protection currently doesn't allow protection for unwatched BLPs; if this idea was proposed the policy would need to be altered to embrace it. The existing rationale is that you shouldn't be protecting something that's not being vandalised (etc), but without watchers how will we ever know if something is being vandalised? Of all our articles, unhelpful BLP changes have the most potential to create angst. Josh Parris 22:40, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
In terms of the best number, you should consider the problem of inactive users. Look at this example. Ten active users might be plenty; 30 inactive users is worthless. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:48, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
I certainly have considered the problem, but I've glossed over it. There's all manner of considerations, such as how active a user needs to be to be "active", if activeness is a good predictor of vigilance (does editing often mean a watchlist is watched?), does past activity predict future activity (wikibreaks, etc), and so on. I don't know the answers, I haven't looked at any data, so I just picked the same arbitrary number that the Mediawiki developers picked, on the assumption they picked that number for a good reason. Mind you, sockpuppeteering could defeat that simple metric (active sockpuppets would defeat an "active" requirement). Josh Parris 22:40, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

Wait a minute... You may want to read Wikipedia:Pending changes and its Timeline section. Speaking of Timeline, there are links to past discussions about watchlist and stuff. George Ho (talk) 07:46, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

I'd strongly support this. We have a major problem with unwatched BLPs. Pending Changes for unwatched and minor BLPs is a simple way to protect article subjects from drive-by vandalism and BLP violations. Yes, it goes against WP:PP. WP:PP should change; we should have a duty to take proactive care of articles on living people. —Tom Morris (talk) 09:59, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

@Kudpung: and other interested parties: I've drafted up an RfA at Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/RfC to add Pending Changes to all BLP with few or no watchers, please feel free to sculpt it into a presentable state. Josh Parris 11:58, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Disallow non-free SVGs[edit]

Following this discussion I would like to float the idea of getting rid of SVG images of non-free images. It would involve the following:

  • Following a consensus developing for depreciating non-free SVGs, applicable policies would be altered
  • A bot would render all non-free SVGs as PNGs at 400 pixels on the largest side, upload those PNGs, then replace the SVGs with the PNG versions anywhere where they are used. The edit summary during the switch would indicate that all non-free SVGs are being depreciated, and not to undo the edit
  • The SVG versions would then automatically be put up for deletion as non-free images not being used in articles (per existing policy on non-free images)
  • Admins doing the mass deletions of SVGs would have the option of looking at individual SVGs and relicensing them as {{PD-text}} or {{PD-shape}} where applicable

Thoughts? Sven Manguard Wha? 18:24, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

Sounds like a baby and bath water solution to me: you can't figure out an easy way to reduce the level of detail so you want to throw out all SVGs, even the ones that don't have this issue? Anomie 18:51, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
The issue isn't with the level of detail, it's with the concept of non-free scalable images in general. Non-free images are supposed to be small enough that they can't be reused. SVGs, no matter how detailed they are, can be rendered at pretty much any size. This means that SVGs aren't following the already existing restrictions on non-free image size that keeps non-SVGs at about 400x400 pixels size max. Sven Manguard Wha? 23:15, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
I've always found that argument to be utter BS. So vector images don't have a pixel size? Neither do audio files and we deal with them fine. Textual works don't have a pixel size either, but if we're discussing using a direct quote in an article no one ever argues that we can't because someone could print it with a 10000px font. When I read your proposal above and the linked discussion, I had thought you were avoiding that old canard and I'm sorry to find myself mistaken. Anomie 00:36, 15 October 2013 (UTC)
Either we enforce the policy as it stands, or we don't. Do keep in mind that you are talking to someone who believes that as written, WP:NFCC is helplessly broken because there's too much room for interpretation at both ends. (For the sake of discussion, I also very strongly feel that we should get rid of all non-free files, but that's not something I'll ever win. With this, I just want a consistent and rational adaptation of existing policy). Sven Manguard Wha? 01:01, 15 October 2013 (UTC)
An alternative solution is to simply tag too big SVG files with {{di-fails NFCC|3b=yes|date=~~~~~}}. If the uploaders fail to reduce a file within a week, then too bad for them. --Stefan2 (talk) 19:43, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
Bad idea. Nothing in the policy says that a non-free image cannot be in SVG format. (Sven's proposal to adjust the policy would fix this, though). I wouldn't recommend performing such a tagging without a policy change supported by a strong consensus. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 21:13, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
@Stefan: The issue, as our previous conversation indicated, is that the concept of an SVG failing the NFCC because it is too detailed is a matter of some contention. There's no explicit policy backing up the content of the orange box in Category:Fair use images that should be in SVG format, but rather it's an interpretation of WP:NFCC, one of the most heavily debated guidelines we have. My interpreation of the NFCC is different from yours; where you see it as mandating that SVGs not be that detailed, I see it as mandating that we get rid of non-free SVGs. I also find the concept of removing details of an image to be ridiculous, because that's making the image inaccurate. Sven Manguard Wha? 23:23, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The policy is clear: all non-free files have to satisfy WP:NFCC#3b. Per WP:NFCCE, non-free files which don't satisfy WP:NFCC#3b should be deleted within 48 hours after they have been tagged unless the problem is solved. Another task: modify WP:NFCCE, WP:CSD and deletion templates so that they all agree on after how long time a non-compliant file should be deleted.
A problem with SVG files is that people often add more details than necessary to display them at a low resolution. Even if the file doesn't contain too small details, you still get a better rendering at high resolutions than if you use pixel graphics. The same problem also applies to many PDF files, so the same handling should really apply to PDF files too. --Stefan2 (talk) 23:25, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
(tangent) If a PDF file is of a single image, it needs to be deleted and replaced with a file in a more appropriate format on sight, regardless of whether it is freely licensed or non-free. PDF is not a suitable format for displaying images on Wikipedia due to the unnecessary complications doing so causes. If an PDF is of a document, and is non-free, it almost certainly fails NFCC3b. There really is only one reason to have PDFs, which is to store freely licensed documents - and those need to be on Commons, not here. Sven Manguard Wha? 23:29, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
Sven: If all non-free SVGs (and PDFs) are deleted, then the problem is solved. This is probably also the easiest solution. However, if files are adjusted so that they look correct at 400x400 pixels (or below) but wrong at 401x401 pixels (or above), then the problem is also solved as far as I am concerned. The problem is that uploaders do not design the SVG files in that way, so essentially all non-free SVGs violate WP:NFCC#3b.
PDFs are often inappropriate for the kinds of files we have on Wikipedia, but that is another matter. --Stefan2 (talk) 23:31, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
What does it matter if a circle doesn't get pixelated when a vector image is scaled up? You could as easily claim that we should get rid of all non-free raster images that include complex figures that would require many basic shapes and complex paths to recreate if we were to vectorize them. Grouping raster images and vector images together as "images" here and trying to apply the same criteria to both doesn't make sense, any more than it would make sense to hold articles and policies to all of the same standards. Anomie 00:47, 15 October 2013 (UTC)
Why? The purpose of raster images and vector images is the same; to be images. They just go about it differently. I see the difference between PNG and SVG as closer to the difference between American and British English (same goal, different execution), rather than the difference between articles and policies (different goals). Sven Manguard Wha? 01:06, 15 October 2013 (UTC)
"They just go about it differently" is exactly the reason. While the broad goals are the same, the execution is radically different, far more different than American versus British English. If you want to go with that analogy, it might be closer to going over to dewiki and trying to enforce our "National varieties of English" guideline (rather than any "Nationale Varietäten des Deutschen" they might have). Anomie 11:22, 15 October 2013 (UTC)
Per WP:NFCC#3b, a non-free file shouldn't contain more information than necessary, although the exact limit of the amount of information doesn't have an exact definition. If a PNG file can be generated from an SVG file using trivial methods (for example, by uploading the SVG to Wikipedia and downloading a PNG generated by Mediawiki), then by definition, the PNG file is "smaller" than the SVG file as it contains less information than the SVG file. If an SVG file is too big and needs to be reduced, then converting it to PNG is one way to reduce it. There may also be other ways to reduce the file, and the SVG file might not always be too big to begin with. --Stefan2 (talk) 12:58, 15 October 2013 (UTC)
That's an unusual definition of "smaller" that you have there, if you consider any PNG to be smaller than any SVG. Anomie 21:56, 15 October 2013 (UTC)
It is "smaller" if it contains less information than the original file. --Stefan2 (talk) 21:59, 15 October 2013 (UTC)
How do you compare the information content in "There's a blue circle here, and a red square there" with "The pixels are: clear clear clear clear half-transparent-blue blue blue [and so on for thousands more]"? Anomie 01:14, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
  • No Support - While I appreciate the notion here, I think this is straining at gnats and doing something that is wholly unwarranted. The reason why there might be questions about a particular file format in general, such as a PDF file or formerly GIF images has to do with legal issues for using those data formats. MP3 files, for instance, still need a license plus royalties paid for each file (something that basically violates the licensing terms of CC-BY-SA or the GFDL). MPEG files are even worse. That is not even remotely the case with SVG files as the data format specification is in a public document that is royalty free, thus it is acceptable for use on Wikimedia projects.
In this special situation of having a non-free SVG being used under terms of fair-use, it is merely using the file as illustrative in the context of the article itself. I really fail to see why for any possible legal reason it would be necessary to convert the image to something like a PNG... which is the real issue involved. If for some reason the Wikimedia legal counsel is warning that some specific issue is happening where a legal threat is being made against the WMF or that there is a recent judicial ruling that would render such fair use unacceptable when using non-free SVG images as is done on Wikipedia, I would be much more inclined to accept the technical solution being offered here. Instead, I don't see anything of that sort at all nor do I even remotely see the ethical problems being suggested either.
If anything, I find a far more overzealous attitude towards enforcement of non-free media on Wikipedia and it tends to be more draconian as time goes on. I do remember debates and discussions earlier where I think it was far too permissive before the current non-free media policies were implemented, but this kind of straining at the fine details is completely missing the point of this policy. Just because it is possible to enlarge the image to be the size of a billboard does not imply that either a typical reader will do that, nor that it overemphasizes details that would typically apply with other non-free content. This is attempting to make an issue out of something that really is not an issue at all. --Robert Horning (talk) 01:40, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
  • No support. You're confusing technical display resolution with the degree of use of a work. In other words, suppose Adam copyrights a ten-by-ten pixelated image of a circle, and Bob makes a .svg of a circle by specifying "draw a circle". Perhaps Bob intends at first for the image to be displayed at reduced resolution, which is all "five-by-five", but what about if it is displayed at 1000 pixels? Is that, like, a 10,000-fold copyright violation over and above just copying the original? No. What Bob did making the .svg was to reduce a 100-byte image to a brief text summary ("a black circle") which plainly falls within Fair Use, then render that, and no matter how it is rendered, there is no more information than that there. Now while my example here is a bit facetious, I think that we'd find upon close examination is that most if not all svg's are vastly lower-resolution than an equivalent "reduced resolution" .jpg image. Much of the artist's specific style and substance will be gone, with only some generic concept remaining. In many cases (for example, rendering the coastline of a continent) I think we can fairly argue that if we can reduce an image to a simple list of data points which faithfully represent data rather than any artistic inspiration, and then convert that list to an image in a country not cursed by database copyright, we have converted it entirely to public domain, not even Fair Use. Wnt (talk) 19:03, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
    • I don't think rationale works when we also consider how we handle raster images. We use the lowest resolution that makes reasonable sense to see the work but this often will eliminate fine details that the article may have put in (for example, maybe the specific type of brush stroke they did for a painting . But unless that fine detail is discussed in anyway, that's not a problem for us in handling the lower resolution. Similarly with non-free vectors (which nearly always are used for logos), we're just using the logo to identify for branding purposes (infobox) and not spending any time talking about specific elements of the logo. Thus, we can transform that to the raster and not lose anything for our NFC purposes. --MASEM (t) 16:50, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
  • not supported In most cases the logo copyright holders want Wikipedia to have a good quality image. The real issue is not the scalability of the SVG but how much information is contained in it. SVG resolution should be replaced with detail. So reduction for these should be to drop out small detail, but that big black circle or clear text should remain unmutilated by rasterization. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 10:02, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Partial support for the concerns, but not the execution at the moment. I raised this point two years ago: SVGs bypass 3b, by allowing arbitrarily detailed, perfect, free derivative work of a trademarked or copyrighted symbol, indistinguishable to the untrained eye. Graphical primitives are one thing, detail is another; until consensus is reached on that dichotomy amongst the pro-SVG and anti-SVG among us, we'll get nowhere on this discussion. --Lexein (talk) 03:43, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Restricting non-free SVG files[edit]

If we can't discourage non-free SVG files, can we restrict them? How if so? I just had a talk with other people, especially in WT:non-free content. George Ho (talk) 05:27, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

"There's no consensus above for us to not use non-free SVG files, so can we force people to not use non-free SVG files?" No. Anomie 12:09, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Are you referring to reducing use on non-free SVG files? --George Ho (talk) 17:25, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
@Anomie, surprise links like WP:STICK are uncool for an administrator to bury in courteous discussion. I see an attempt to reframe the question by proposing alternate language. I've long hoped for some consensus to be reached about SVG scale and permitted degree of detail. It's a troublesome, and worthy, issue. --Lexein (talk) 03:43, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Ways to be "unconfirmed" editor again[edit]

What are current ways to be downgraded from "autoconfirmed"/"confirmed" editor to "unconfirmed" editor? If that is not enough, should there be more ways to become "unconfirmed" again? --George Ho (talk) 22:30, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

  • The only way that I'm currently aware of is by triggering an edit filter which can strip your autoconfirmed status. Technical 13 (talk) 23:08, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
    • That wouldn't be helpful, though, because autoconfirmed is granted when you attempt an action that you need autoconfirmed for; IIRC, it'll just give it right back to you. Writ Keeper  23:12, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
    • How many days of inactivity would that strip you out of that status? George Ho (talk) 23:20, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
      • (edit conflict) Nope, once it's revoked, it needs to be un-revoked before you can automatically get it again. Legoktm (talk) 23:21, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
        • I can think of no reason, other than testing features perhaps, for you to want to no longer have autoconfirmed. If someone is doing something that would warrant having autoconfirmed remvoed, a block would be a better solution. Sven Manguard Wha? 22:15, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
          • What about long inactivity? That could warrant removal of "autoconfirmed" role. George Ho (talk) 00:07, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
            • Why? Do you have a list of users that have edited productively, only to disappear for two years and come back a vandal? Autoconfirmed is a first line of defense against certain disruptive editing functions. It's not like adminship, or even autopatrolled, where being active is important purely from the standpoint of keeping up on policy changes. Again, I don't see a need for this. Sven Manguard Wha? 18:42, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Proposal to hide offensive words[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Thread started at Village pump:Proposals. Sven Manguard Wha? 22:06, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

I am proposing that, since there are already ways to hide offensive images (such as those which depict Muhammad), that maybe we should make it possible to set a certain filter in your preferences so that all derivatives of "fuck," "shit," and similar such words will be replaced by a black censor bar. I want to get some feedback on whether this seems like a good idea, plausible, both or neither. Jinkinson talk to me 03:06, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

  • Support creation of a gadget to allow users that don't wish to see "bad words" to have them hidden/filtered by a script. I'm thinking the script could check two pages; a generic MediaWiki:Bad words for the majority of agreed upon words and then a < your username >/bad words page for those not agreed upon but specific users may take offense to. Technical 13 (talk) 03:30, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
I would encourage this line of development, except that I would object to the generic list, at least as any official Wikipedia list of bad words. Obviously, if the maker of the gadget decided to have their own default list, that would be one thing, but I would encourage anyone doing so to make their gadget default to the user's own list, and only use the default list if a user-specific file doesn't exist. Maybe even the gadget make the User/bad words file and just have it transclude the general bad words file at first, but obviously let editors fiddle around with it however they'd like. In any case, I would object to incoporating such a thing into the core functionality, per WP:CENSORED. VanIsaacWS Vexcontribs 03:47, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
I'd suggest making it a user script rather than a gadget since it seems such a niche script. This reminds me of my spoiler hiding script and my offensive-image hiding script, which are also very niche use scripts ;) Anomie 04:19, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
Unfortunately, I have no idea what the difference between a gadget and a user script could possibly be, so yeah, one of those kinds of whosamawhatsits. VanIsaacWS Vexcontribs 08:07, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
A gadget can be enabled directly at Special:Preferences. A user script is enabled by editing one's personal JS file (Special:MyPage/common.js or Special:MyPage/skin.js). --Yair rand (talk) 08:17, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
VanIsaac, your proposal basically means that the user has to sit down a type a list of all the "bad words" they can think of, which is likely to be a highly distasteful activity for the user who doesn't even want to see these words. Is that intentional on your part? WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:08, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
It would prevent people fighting over which words, specifically, are "bad" enough that they should be blocked by the script by default. Anomie 18:14, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
No, it would allow them to do that. If the user page just transcludes the author's default list, then users can just subst the list into their own user space, and then edit it to their own preference, or they can make their list from scratch to their own specifications. VanIsaacWS Vexcontribs 19:07, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Support the general notion that anyone can write their own script and release it under a free license (or not) to do whatever they want with their own computer. I'm not sure how this requires discussion here, however. --cyclopiaspeak! 15:45, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose While I'm fine with keeping some especially disturbing images off of the main page, I have very little tolerance for other institutionalized "head in the sand" behavior. This is an encyclopedia, and in the course of properly covering history and current events, we can and do quote people saying things that, by modern Western social values, would be considered "horrible". We should not be wasting our time trying to hide words that every eleven year old has heard and most eleven year olds use. If someone wants to create a userscript, and keep the coding and the list entirely within their own userspace, they are free to do so, and I will not object. But if someone wants to turn this into a gadget, use the MediaWiki namespace, or do anything that might interfere with other people seeing those words, I will vociferously object. Let us not distort reality for the sake of making people with exceedingly thin skins feel more comfortable. Sven Manguard Wha? 22:09, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose Apart from the reasons expressed by User:Sven Manguard, such tools also accidentally censor lots of other things. Some time ago, the Chinese government wanted to prevent people from Googling for certain dissidents, so the government blocked searches for the characters (surname of e.g. Kiang Tsing and Kiang Tse-min) and (surname of e.g. Chou En-lai). While this blocked Google searches for those three people in China, it also had the unfortunate side-effect that you couldn't search for any rivers or weekly publications by typing in their names.[2] A blocking script would not only block bad words, but also words which aren't bad but happen to be spelled identically to a bad word in English, for example random words in non-English book titles in a reference section. Some badly written censorship scripts also censor long words which contain a short bad word, such as "Saturday", even if the long word isn't a bad word in the first place. These side-effects instead draw extra attention to bad words and are therefore counter-productive. --Stefan2 (talk) 21:58, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
    • Stefan2, this proposal has been moved to VP:Proposals; you may want to comment there. Sven Manguard Wha? 22:05, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Block vandals[edit]

I have quite a few articles on my watchlist, and I have noticed many, many instances of vandalism. Reverting these takes valuable time from other editors, and, even though the edit is reverted, the vandals have accomplished at least one of their goals, which is to get people to see what they have written. I believe repeat offenders are eventually blocked, but I am wondering if there weren't a way immediately to block the IP of these vandals at least temporarily in order to discourage further vandalism, instead of waiting to see if the person is a repeat offender. The ability to do that could be restricted, perhaps to Autoconfirmed Users, or to editors who have demonstrated consistently responsible editing for a designated period of time or number of edits. Just an idea. – CorinneSD (talk) 22:32, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

I think your second criterion is covered by the admin body. Autoconfirmed is way too low a threshold for allowing blocking powers - four days and ten edits (which may be made to a sandbox or user page. Slap a warning on them - if it could have been good faith (but looks unlikely to be) use Level 1, if it looks bad go for 2 or 3, and for very bad give a single notice. A lot can be resolved this way, but if there's no sign of sound edits, or no sign of listening, go to WP:AIV. They must have been warned before AIV, unless it's extreme BLP or such. Or you can contact any admin you think is online. Do remember that content dispute doesn't come in as vandalism (but edit earring does...). Bang hard on the table and get them talking on a talk page is my way. There's been some quite lengthy discussions on my talk page. Peridon (talk) 14:11, 29 November 2013 (UTC)



I was wondering if there was a way to clear up ambiguity in wikipedia.

For example instead of writing..."The longest side of a right triangle is called a hypotenuse" We would write...."The longest side of a right triangle is in english called a hypotenuse"

I only suggest this as other languages do exist and they don't all call that side a "hypotenuse" For example in spanish, that side is called a "hipotinusa".

I mean we can keep the old way, but it means there is a chance of ambiguity as there is more than one language in the world. (talk) 14:54, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

My perspective is this is the English Wikipedia, so it is implied that is called the hypotenuse, and that it is English. Also hipotinusa is not fundamentally different than hypotenuse. Now, for subjects where the name in different languages is of particular interest, say why the symbol for sodium is Na, then it makes sense to discuss the name in other languages. Chris857 (talk) 16:30, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Chris. In the English Wikipedia, it is natural, and not ambiguous, to use English terms.--S Philbrick(Talk) 16:52, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

But have what I written from a purely "meaning of language" point of view wrong? It does make sense to say that in the English language we call this side of a right triangle a "hypotenuse" and that in the spanish language we call this side of a right triangle a "hipotinusa". Even when we translate between words it makes sense, say you dont know what a "hipotinusa" in spanish is, you can translate it into English and get "hypotenuse". From that you can link the word "hypotenuse" to what it represents image wise. You can go from the word "hipotinusa" to it's meaning image wise as well. (talk) 17:17, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

It's correct but unnecessary to say "in English". Right triangle and Hypotenuse are articles in the English Wikipedia so all words are assumed to be English unless otherwise stated. es:Triángulo rectángulo and es:Hipotenusa are in the Spanish Wikipedia so Spanish is assumed there. Unless we discuss different languages in the same article, there is no need to constantly say in the English Wikipedia that the used words are in English. That would quickly become tedious to read and I have never seen an encyclopedia or dictionary which did it. Almost everybody who can read are probably aware there is more than one language in the World and different languages often have different words. I think extremely few people reading "The longest side of a right triangle is called a hypotenuse" would assume that means it's the name in every language on Earth. PrimeHunter (talk) 00:34, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

I understand, so when we say "The longest side of a right triangle is called a hypotenuse", do we mean it's called a hypotenuse but in the english language? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:30, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Yes. PrimeHunter (talk) 22:46, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

Say you did write it my way, in what way would it be wrong and thus we write it your way? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:08, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

I have already explained that. It wouldn't be incorrect but it's completely unnecessary and many readers (such as me) would find it annoying to constantly read a superfluous "in English" when the whole text is in English. It isn't just about "your" or "my" way. It's your way or the way used by nearly every text ever written in any language. Of course words are in the language of the text they are part of. Who reads "The longest side of a right triangle is called a hypotenuse" in an English encyclopedia and wonder "Is that the English or Spanish name?" I don't see any risk of ambiguity. PrimeHunter (talk) 14:40, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

Colour coding in edit window[edit]

I'm pretty sure that this idea has been suggested before, but I don't know what became of it. Some simple colour-coding in the edit window, especially the highlighting of {{ ... }} and <ref> ... </ref>, blocks would be so incredibly useful. Is there any technical reason why this has not been done? If not, it should be put above almost every other enhancement request as a developer priority, IMO. (talk) 02:20, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

If you have an account (username), you can enable Dot's syntax highlighter under Preferences/Gadgets. As far as I know, it can't be used without an account.-gadfium 02:51, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
Syntax colouring (a standard feature of advanced text and programme code editors) has been discussed many times, but in view of Visual Editor it's unlikey to gain any support at Foundation level. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 05:01, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
You might also look at the gadget WP:WIKED.
If you've got an account at Bugzilla, you can also vote for bug 11627, which seems to be the general request. (Accounts are free at Bugzilla, but it exposes your e-mail address to every spammer out there, so consider getting a disposable e-mail address first.) Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 21:59, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

MindMaze for Wiki?[edit]

This is a kind of random idea, but I thought I'd throw it past the more programming-experienced members of the community. The one thing I really liked about Microsoft Encarta (I didn't even realize its main purpose was as encyclopedia software until a year before it shut down) was its game MindMaze. The one dilemma I had with the game (besides its not being available after Encarta was shut down) was the limited questions it had, so I was constantly getting repeat questions. I wonder, would it be totally crazy to create a sort of MindMaze-type game using Featured Articles? God knows we have enough that we could rival or even surpass the number of questions MindMaze had when it was created. I know there are a lot of issues - programming games is a different beast from WikiMarkup, and we'd need to be careful about avoiding copyright issues, but it could be an interesting project nonetheless. And I learned a ton of history from that game, so it could probably be really helpful in sparking people's interest on new subjects. What are people's views on the subject? Reinana kyuu (talk) 19:52, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

  • Cool idea! Maybe start writing it up in the IdeaLab, perhaps someone could even get a grant to make it, especially if it might help people to contribute. heather walls (talk) 21:38, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
  • I've never played A Google A Day before, and when I just tried I got an error message, but you can get the gist of how MindMaze worked by watching this video. If you notice those book buttons next to each answer choice, each one of those was supposed to lead to the page of Encarta on that particular answer choice. The problem with the design of that game was that the scoring was based on a timing system, so the incentive was actually (and probably accidentally) set away from looking up the articles. However, I think if we tried scoring on a streak-based system rather than on a timer-based system, the incentive would then turn to actually going to the article in question and making sure you have the answer right. The next question then becomes how to translate the increased article views to increased editing. By the way, if anyone can show me how to play A Google A Day, I'd love to try so I understand that system. Reinana kyuu (talk) 19:56, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Sounds interesting (although that video is annoying).--S Philbrick(Talk) 17:20, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Sorry. It was the first one I could find. Reinana kyuu (talk) 18:36, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Reinana kyuu, Heatherawalls, and Sphilbrick: As per heather's suggestion, I have started a new proposal at the IdeaLab. Please feel free to discuss this idea there. TheOriginalSoni (talk) 21:52, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

I've commented there.--S Philbrick(Talk) 22:27, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Increase the chances of requested media's fulfillment[edit]

I like very much the idea of having access to lists of media wanted at Wikipedia, since people that want to help with some picture or video, for example, but don't have one in mind will have some nice hints.

Depending on the media, the geographic location of the user will have a big impact on the chances of he being able to get it. Think, for example, about animal, plant, fungi, etc. Despite this, the lists don't help in showing the user the items that maybe he will have an easy time in finding, say here in my region there's plenty of a species of fungi, but I don't know that, since I am not specialist on the subject.

If there's some way people that create the requests put geographic coordinates or regions (maybe, in a simple way, a coordinate and a radius), we could create a list based of this information and the location of the user. Maybe even in the user pages.

I just realized that this feature maybe is more effective at Wikimedia commons, but since the pages that inspired me were here at Wikipedia, I'll let these here and wait to see what other people think. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rhalah (talkcontribs) 14:24, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Have you seen Category:Wikipedia requested photographs? Anomie 14:47, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I saw. Indeed, I had this idea when trying to find a picture that'd be easy for me to take. I see that in some cases it's easy to know where to get the picture/video (places, people, etc) but for biology stuff (animal, plant, fungi, etc) the task is pretty tricky, since many people have specimens in their gardens without knowing. I was talking to a friend that raised a big problem about the idea, that was the fact I could know the name of the picture I could take, but wouldn't be able to recognize the specimen as we don't have the picture. The problem is not that we don't have a picture, but we don't have a "free" one, so I could search for the image on the internet and later take the picture for upload to commons.Rhalah (talk) 20:27, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
I have a tool that allows you to search for pages that need an image near your location (or any location). However, it can only search for things that have coordinates in the article, so things like plants and animals generally won't be included. Mr.Z-man 22:51, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
Great! That's it, Mr.Z-man! The key point is being able to put coordinate info linked to the request for any media. Don't know if that's technically viable. Rhalah (talk) 18:59, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

Articles too easy to edit.[edit]

It seems that Wikipedia fosters “edit warring.” By allowing anyone and everybody to easily edit established content in a carelessly convenient, 2 step, type and save process, rather than, for example, by submitting suggestions in a formal, multi-step process that editors can be automatically guided through. This would eliminate the need for “owner-editors” to guard their content, who are notified of edits to wiki articles they “own,” who then swoop in and undo these edits while at the same time they issue threats and warnings to the individual making edits, which is appalling and should be totally unnecessary. It shouldn’t be necessary to notify people who contribute to a wiki page when their content is edited, or for anyone to worry that content they offered is being edited. This seems to be a “flaw” with Wikipedia that should be corrected, now that it’s in a mature stage of its existence where most of the wiki pages are complete and basically “locked down” and not accepting edits.

It seems that without this more elaborate process, that Wikipedia fosters “edit warring” and the resultant blocking of editors who are “caught in the crossfire” but who are well intentioned if not savvy to the process.

Either that or have a tiered system of editor, where the work of an editor can only be undone by someone from a higher tier. Tier would be established by the number and quality of credentials. In this way, a Ph.D. or specialist could undo someone with a masters degree, but not vice-versa. This would help reduce edit warring. (talk) 07:12, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

Interesting idea, and I agree that edit warring is a problem, but how would credentials be verified? And there may be some Ph.D.s who are knowledgeable in their fields but who are not the best writers. And what about two Ph.D.s who disagree? I think the Wikepedia articles have become as good as they are because of collaboration. Also, knowledge about many subjects continues to evolve, and there may be a give-and-take and some disagreements as the new information is incorporated into the articles. I think the insistence that changes be discussed on the Talk page of an article so that consensus can be reached is the best approach. Perhaps administrators could intervene sooner in cases of edit warring. Regarding editors who are "caught in the crossfire", I see many edits made with no edit summary, and many reverts made with no edit summary. I think an edit summary briefly explaining the change should be mandatory. Then an editor will see the reason for the edit, especially for reverts. Good faith editors will learn from that and can possibly revise the edit and re-submit. However, I do think that more attention needs to be paid to the practice of outright vandalism. It is so frequent that it detracts from the quality of the encyclopedia as a whole. (See my suggestion, above.) To summarize, I think:
  • administrators should intervene in edit wars sooner than they do now, and insist on discussion on the Talk page before further edits are made;
  • an edit summary should be required, especially on reverts; and
  • vandals should immediately be blocked from editing for a time, with an explanation (and perhaps also an invitation to participate constructively in the future).CorinneSD (talk) 16:22, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Such a system has been tried by Citizendium and utterly failed. We're experiencing a dramatic loss of editors. I don't think editing should be technically easier, but we should think on how to attract (good) editors here, not kicking them away further. --cyclopiaspeak! 17:21, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
When you say, "such a system", what, exactly, are you referring to? It is not clear. I do not think my suggestions would result in editors being "kicked away further".CorinneSD (talk) 17:57, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Apologies. I was referring to the OP, not you. --cyclopiaspeak! 18:00, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
O.K.CorinneSD (talk) 18:02, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • "established content" != "reliable content." Just because something has been in an article for a long time doesn't necessarily mean it's more correct than something a week old. I've fixed blatantly wrong material that had been in articles for several years. Articles that have no active maintainers and sit stagnant for months or years at a time far outnumber ones with "owners," probably by something like 1000:1.
  • "most of the wiki pages are complete" - Uh, what? Click on Special:Random 10 times. You will probably get at least 3 that have only 1-2 sentences, and no more than 3 that are reasonably complete (more than 3 paragraphs). There are nearly 2 million articles that are tagged as stubs and probably hundreds of thousands more that would qualify, but haven't been tagged yet. Only ~25,500 articles are rated as Good or Featured, that's less than 1% of all articles. A large number of articles may be "permastubs" where there isn't enough verifiable information tow write more than a paragraph or 2, but there are hundreds of thousands of articles in need of major expansion and/or improvement. Wikipedia is nowhere near complete.
  • Just because someone has a PhD doesn't mean they are automatically more authoritative. I've been improving an article that was originally written by someone who probably had a PhD or was in the process of getting one. The article was fairly biased, giving most of the credit for early research to one research group, presenting some minor committee as if they were a governing body, and using an arbitrarily restrictive definition of the topic not widely used in the literature. This is one of the problems that Citizendium had, which gives "experts" control over articles. Rather than attracting world renowned researchers, who generally have better things to do, they attracted cranks and POV pushers. Mr.Z-man 18:10, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • A problem with this idea is that it would remove anonymity. To be classified under this system, editors would have to be identifiable and verified. This is done for WMF employees (obviously), and checkusers and OTRS workers. That's a small number of people. We have over a thousand admins. How many editors do we have? Who is going to do the checking? Or do we accept Joe Bloggs's word that he has a Master's in 'Mincraft Tecknology' [sic]? Peridon (talk) 14:18, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
We could and in my view should put an edit filter in to warn editors and force them to an extra click before breaching wp:3rr. But I'd be careful to put in accreditation system for editors, aside from endless arguments as to whether someone's credentials applied to subjects on the borders of their expertise, we would become even more closed to those experts who aren't yet here. This would give an insider with a batchelors degree in a subject greater status than a Phd or Professor in that same subject who is making their first edit but has not yet gone through the accreditation process. ϢereSpielChequers 16:53, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

Don't allow Wikipedia articles to reference other Wikipedia articles[edit]

The article Surreal number references the article Von Neumann–Bernays–Gödel set theory. The problem with Wikipedia articles referencing other Wikipedia articles is that there could be 4 articles such that article 1 references article 2, article 2 references article 3, article 3 references article 4, and article 4 references article 1 all referencing the same information. Because of that, for each of those articles, wrong information in that article could go unnoticed because the article it's referencing also has the same wrong information. That situation I described is like proving a mathematical statement by circular reasoning.

Even if Wikipedia articles are allowed to reference other Wikipedia articles, the problem can still be solved another way by having all references to a Wikipedia article showing a number to indicate what level of referencing it is. The number indicating the level of reference should be 1 if it references another Wikipedia article that doesn't reference that same information with another Wikipedia article, a 2 if the Wikipedia article it's referencing information in another Wikipedia article that references the same information as a level 1 reference to another Wikipedia article and so on. Blackbombchu (talk) 02:30, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

This is already a thing; see WP:CIRCULAR. Writ Keeper  02:43, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a reliable source, it is already documented at WP:WPNOTRS. GB fan 02:44, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
In that case, maybe the proposal should be to inforce that rule better than before. I already saw that rule broken. Blackbombchu (talk) 03:51, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Yeah, that's not actually a ref, it's a note. Just reformat using {{note}}. VanIsaacWS Vexcontribs 04:24, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
I wonder if there is a way to deploy a bot or other automated technology to identify and remove cites to Wikipedia articles. Something like that could purge Wikipedia of any citation that there is clear consensus is never an adequate source for anything. CorporateM (Talk) 00:41, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Since there are legitimate reasons to link to Wikipedia pages in refs, then probably not. You should be able to get a list of candidates for human review, though. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:11, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
A list was created on request at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 120#Wikipedia articles as references. PrimeHunter (talk) 01:17, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

Halifax Explosion.[edit]

Could the Halifax explosion please be given higher priority and put on the main page under "On this day" on December 6th? This is an important event to remember, Certainly more so than "1953 – Vladimir Nabokov completed his controversial novel Lolita, five years after starting it." (Finished, not published). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:58, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

On this day entries often vary between years. The Halifax explosion was there with a photo last year [3] and is still listed as eligible so it may return next year. According to Talk:Halifax Explosion it was there in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2012. Talk:Lolita only lists the book in 2013.PrimeHunter (talk) 01:13, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

Why do we still allow IPs to edit?[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I have received an email from Σ instructing me to drop this topic because it is such a touchy subject, so I have decided to do so. Jinkinson talk to me 01:56, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

I've looked over the arguments on the topic and I don't find the arguments for allowing editing by non-logged-in users very compelling at all. In addition, they all fail to realize that requiring the creation of an account--an extremely simple and non-time consuming process-- does not "scare people off." In addition, the argument that IPs should still be able to edit ignores that, in many cases, they cannot--i.e. in the case of the thousands of articles that are currently semi-protected. Given that 97% of our vandalism comes from IP addresses, I propose not that we permanently prohibit anons from editing, but just that we do so for two weeks as a test. Then let us see what happens--will countless good edits fail to be made as a result of all the people who, while they were too lazy to create an account, were not too lazy to spend hours of their life contributing constructively to this website? How many such people exist? Not enough to justify allowing IPs to edit, in my view.

  • The last remaining argument for the IPs is that it contradicts Wikipedia's policies about being an encyclopedia that "anyone can edit." However, not anyone can edit Wikipedia--what about the hundreds of banned users? What about semi-protected pages, which cannot be edited by IPs or new users? Does that violate the "anyone can edit" principle as well? What about blocked users? Should we not block anyone, ever, because doing so violates this principle?

I am curious what arguments people will make in response to this. Jinkinson talk to me 03:51, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

  • The most fundamental reason? The WMF, which hosts Wikipedia, would intervene if we tried to do otherwise. Writ Keeper  03:53, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
And that's it. Plain and simple. It's a Founding Principle - though "The encycopedia anyone can edit" is open to interpretation, and I don't actually see where it says users shouldn't jump through a couple of simple hoops to be able to. Let's face it, almost every single forum and blog needs at least a simple registration. In a few years time maybe when the number of unusable pages and edits hits more than 90% perhaps this fundamental policy will have to be modified, but it's not going to happen any time soon. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 04:06, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Obligatory link: m:Founding principles. Legoktm (talk) 05:44, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Perennial proposals#Prohibit anonymous users from editing. PrimeHunter (talk) 04:07, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
I've read the page PrimeHunter links to. I find it unconvincing, really, because, as I noted above, while many IPs make constructive contributions, which takes a lot of their time, I don't see why requiring them to spend an additional 15 seconds to create an account is such an enormous and unthinkable inconvenience, or why it would effectively stop them from ever wanting to edit again. Jinkinson talk to me 04:10, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Because this is a wiki anyone can edit, and all you need to do is hit the edit button. If you really want to get into some of the history behind this, MeatBallWiki is a great place to start. Legoktm (talk) 05:39, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
  • "Why do we still allow IPs to edit?" Because it is a founding principle of all Wikimedia sites. If you'd like to read it, it is at m:Founding principles but I'll quote the relevant parts.

    Wikimedia projects have certain founding principles in common.
    ... People who strongly disagree with them are nonetheless expected to either respect them while collaborating on the site or turn to another site. Those unable or unwilling sometimes end up leaving the project.

    These principles include:

       2. The ability of almost anyone to edit (most) articles without registration.

    You are certainly welcome to suggest changes to the Founding Principles if that is what you want to do, but that should happen at meta: so that all the other projects may weigh in with their thoughts. I hope that answers your question. Best. (talk) 05:46, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Where does that 97% figure come from? —Emufarmers(T/C) 07:01, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
"Where does that 97% figure come from?" It comes from Wikipedia:Counter-Vandalism Unit/Vandalism studies/Study1 from 2007 and was seen by the academic world as largly invalid mainly because it was an un-scientific study and had a such a small sample size as to make it statistically invalid. Another criticism was that registered users tend to log out before vandalizing (for example see Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2011-07-04/Arbitration report#Motion). Probably the most accurate thing we could say is that more vandalism is recorded from IPs than from registered accounts. I don't know of any recent studies that looked for percentages of IP vs. percentages of registerd users. (talk) 10:19, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

Roughly 80% of edits by unregistered users are constructive. 2AwwsomeTell me where I screwed up.See where I screwed up. 10:32, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

About 86% of numerical statistics were completely made up on the spot. Writ Keeper  10:58, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
You just brought it up to 86.001%. And it wasn't made up on the spot. 2AwwsomeTell me where I screwed up.See where I screwed up. 11:01, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
This says about 80%. 2AwwsomeTell me where I screwed up.See where I screwed up. 11:02, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

I wonder who here didn't edit as an IP first of all before signing up for an account. Simply south...... eating lexicological sandwiches for just 7 years 12:29, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

  • "Given that 97% of our vandalism comes from IP addresses" And what percentage of edits by IP editors are beneficial? Don't let that statistic fool you, there are fare more beneficial edits from IP address than vandalism. (talk) 13:27, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Perhaps you're right, 24. However, as I stated above, I find it very implausible that IPs who have spent lots of time contributing constructively, such as here, cannot be bothered to spend 15 seconds to create an account. The gist of my IPs-can't-edit proposal is that people editing from IP addresses are often people who are bored and too lazy to create accounts, and that not allowing such people to edit would outweigh the disadvantages. In this case, I suppose the disadvantages would be:
  1. People editing from IP addresses and making constructive contributions who do not want to create an account will be "scared off", and
  2. The huge number of constructive IP edits would never be made because of these scared-off IPs.

I don't think either of these is true, for reasons I have stated above. Jinkinson talk to me 16:03, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

I occasionally make IP edits - I'd recommend it to anyone on a low security IP such as airport free WiFi. But the central arguments for continuing to allow IP edits remain:
  1. We want to recruit more editors to replace those we lose, and regardless of the theory, those rivals to Wikipedia that have ruled out IP edits have not fared well.
  2. Vandals do the minimum necessary to vandalise, spammers will do the minimum necessary to spam, if we raise the bar that won't deter either of them, it will just get them to create accounts. The only way to raise the bar to the point where it deters vandals more effetively than goodfaith editors would be to verify ID by charging to create an account. But that would lose us too many goodfaith editors and hand the site over to the spammers who would love to have a pay to edit model.
  3. Most IP edits are good, and whilst we won't lose much if any vandalism by banning IP edits, we will lose many of the good IP edits
  4. We've automated most of our vandalism detection and removal, but not so much of our content creation. The more we automate vandalfighting the lower the overhead of dealing with vandalism and the lower the price of keeping the wiki open to new editors.
  5. Morally it would be wrong for a site built so much by IP editing to close the door on IPs unless someone came up with a reason to do so, and it would need to be a good reason too.
  6. We have a board of trustees some of whom are elected by the community. The place to overturn their policy on openness would be by electing people as trustees who were willing to change that policy. ϢereSpielChequers 16:40, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
If I had to sign back into my account just to edit, I would not be editing right now. In fact, I wouldn't have picked it back up editing if I was not able to edit as an IP. The thing is, blocking IP edits will not put a dent in fighting vandalism. The vandals will create a series of throw-away accounts and probably vandals even more than now because those multiple throw-away accounts offer more obscurity than if they used an IP (and a CheckUser takes time to process). But it will also discourage many current contributes. You may think that all IPs are "lazy" for not creating an account, but each of us have our own reasons for not using a regular account and it has nothing to do with laziness or boredom. (talk) 21:50, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
article edits, IPs vs. registered users.
Article edits, IPs vs. registered users.
  • "I don't think either of these is true" @Jinkinson: if you really want to know what the facts are, just hop over to meta: where there are lots of scientific studies. We don't have to guess anymore because Wikipedia is one of the most well-studied web sites on the internet. For example, we know for a fact that one third of all edits to article space come from IPs. The graph shows this has been true for essentially the entire life of the project. We also know that we get roughly 1 million edits to articles each month from roughly 100,000 unregistered IP editors. As a project, we value these contributions from IPs. That's part of the reasoning behind our m:Founding principles. Being too lazy to create an account is not one of the reasons I've ever seen in any study. That doesn't mean it's not true, just that I've never seen it. Best. (talk) 01:45, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.
It would be more accurate to describe my email as "advisatory" than "instructing". One that explained to someone the unchanging stance of Wikimedians on this argument, and how attempts to change this would be futile, rather than censoring someone. Σσς(Sigma) 03:39, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Jargon needs to be better managed, perhaps with a collapsible glossary[edit]

Ok, so when I'm browsing an article such as isotope, I see a word like 'nucleon' is described briefly in parentheses. The current method, as I understand it, for quickly defining jargon is to put a short description near it, as per the example above. If the reader still can't understand, they follow a link to the actual page to find more detailed information. Alternatively, a template for 'look up X in Wiktionary' can be added. Where these methods fall apart is this:

  • Articles on subjects which are particularly specialised will link to other articles on subjects which are particularly specialised, which means one has to follow three, four, five links to find out what they would like to know. For instance, if I, as a high-school student, would like to know what a field is, I have to follow the link to commutative ring, then to ring, then algebraic structure, then set, then object, then Abstract object, just to find out a highly specific bit of information on just one of five links on the original article. This is, of course, due to the subject being a complex one, but the knowledge-gathering process is hardly optimised. (I might add that I still have next to no idea what a field is: hardly WP:ACCESS.)
  • The original author is never going to be able to describe, in parentheses, every bit of subject-specific jargon in the article; the reader is forced to follow more links, as prior knowledge is assumed. Besides, the parentheses get in the way of the article.
  • Following links to find definitions is annoying; the browser's tabs fill up and the reader might become distracted or frustrated with being unable to learn about the topic - I can't speak for others but I know I often do.
  • Links to wiktionary only cover the title topic and take lots of time to load, for what are, at the moment, relatively incomplete definitions.
  • I like, personally, to have my information loaded when I start to read an article. Quick definitions for esoteric words would be a useful tool for every reader, and not hard for the editor to add.

So in summation: the current system for finding definitions, to me, seems to be in need of streamlining, in a way which doesn't require opening more tabs. I think this could be solved with a collapsible glossary, similar in format to the contents section, for jargon to be explained within, but it's incredibly open-ended. I've read WP:WINAD: perhaps the function could be integrated with Wiktionary. I couldn't find this discussion anywhere else, so what do you people think? Thennicke (talk) 04:25, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

Taking the example of field (mathematics), I note the presence of the very first section after the article lead – headed Definition and illustration – which actually gives a reasonable and accessible description of the properties of a field, and then gives a couple of examples. The lead is pretty technical, but it's probably difficult to give a description which is both concise and precise without resorting to jargon...which in advanced mathematics, often relies on further jargon. Nevertheless, the reader who gets over his initial panic is immediately rewarded by a helpful introduction. If someone is still stuck after reading that section, then it's possible that their background in mathematics isn't quite up to the point where reading a bunch of definitions for the world field (and all the related concepts) is going to do them any good.
I don't doubt that there exist articles which are both jargon-heavy and lacking in help for the neophyte, but I don't think field (mathematics) should be considered a member of that set. Coming at the article 'cold', I'm actually inclined to believe that it is more an example of the way that we should try to handle these complex, abstract topics. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 05:33, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Whilst my knowledge of mathematics is indeed not all that amazing, what would somebody be looking at the article for if not to know what a field was? They are going to need to know some basic concepts in order to understand it. Whist it's entirely possible for me to go and learn about commutativity, set theory etc., it's cumbersome when I have to follow a similar process for each of those topics as well. On this being a comparatively well-handled article; that is probably true to someone who has the necessary background knowledge, but the practical consideration is that I, as a reader, have not been able to find out what I'm trying to. All that being said, I understand that mathematics (and in particular advanced, abstract concepts such as this one) builds upon prior knowledge. All I'm suggesting is that we find ways to speed this process. I'll often have to keep open list of mathematical symbols for instance, and locate the one I want, just to understand one operator in one equation. It's like reading a book in a foreign language by looking back and forth between a word translator and the book - nothing is actually learned. If that information could be there on the same page, I'd be quite content with not having to search so far. A good user interface, for instance, always shows a little description box when hovering over anything that might be misunderstood. I'll concede that this sort of thing isn't necessary, but it'd certainly be helpful. Thennicke (talk) 07:29, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
"what would somebody be looking at the article for if not to know what a field was?" To learn more about fields of course. It's a long article and we are an encyclopedia, not a dictionary. Do you only look at articles where you don't know what the subject is? Do you think people only look at France to find out what France is? Registered users can enable Navigation popups at Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-gadgets. This shows the start of an article when you hover over a link to it. The start will often contain a definition. By the way, I had forgotten the definition of field (mathematics) but the opening sentence contained exactly what I needed. Mathematics has a lot of complex terms which are far removed from everyday life. They often rely on eachother and you learn them gradually when you study mathematics. If you don't study mathematics then you probably have no need to know what field (mathematics) is. PrimeHunter (talk) 13:40, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
I'll add my support for popups, and this is a perfect example. With popups, you don't need to follow five links to learn what a field is, you need zero! Hover the mouse, it is right there. This alone makes popups very valuable, but popups does so much more. Links to contributions and many other things.--S Philbrick(Talk) 14:25, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
I saw the popups gadget previously, but originally thought it would fail to cater for my needs. Having tried it out just now, it looks perhaps a little more useful than I expected - thanks for mentioning it. PrimeHunter, what you say is absolutely correct, apologies for the fallacy. ("what would somebody be looking at the article for if not to know what a field was?") and you're also right on with your other point ("If you don't study mathematics then you probably have no need to know what field (mathematics) is."). I'm completely aware that projects like Wikiversityand Wikibooks are there precisely for people who do want to learn about new topics. I'm also conscious that WP:WINAD - I linked to it earlier. I've actually just come across this, which, coincidentally, uses the exact example I've been using. ("When writing about a field, do we assume the user already knows group theory?"). I suppose I'm just whining, though I do believe we should be making articles as accessible as possible for those who don't know about the topic - to me, field (mathematics) still doesn't fit this criteria sufficiently, but hey, I have no idea what it even is, so why should I know if the definition can be simplified? Perhaps an image might help explain the concept, though of course it is abstract. I'd certainly be very appreciative if someone did spend some time making it interested-high-school-student friendly. Sorry if I've wasted your time, and thank you for your responses - you've convinced me that Wikipedia doesn't need a glossary function, just that its content needs to be more accessible. Thennicke (talk) 12:51, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

You might want to read WP:MTAA, and improve articles whenever possible. It's very easy for experts to forget how poorly understood their terminology is, and we need people to collaborate in improving prose. We also have a problem with some inexperienced people using needless jargon (or sometimes even by removing sources that normal people can understand) because they think that the goal is to sound impressive rather than to effectively communicate information. This, too, is something that can be remedied through constructive collaboration. There are technological bandages, but there really isn't a better solution out there than to write in good English using the simplest words that are appropriate for the subject. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:06, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Proposal for a Template Documentation: namespace[edit]

Any template with even a shard of complexity has a corresponding documentation file... the end result being that AllPages for templates is chock full of /doc, /doc, /doc. For such a ubiquitous feature, I feel that it would be very justified for a new Template Documentation: namespace to contain all of these documentation pages. This way, we could have a clear dichotomy between template code to be transcluded, as opposed to whatever needs to be said or explained about the template (but, of course, not transcluded with the template).

Let's also consider taking the idea a few steps further. By its direct association with an existing Template: namespace, the new TD namespace has potential for some features not usually found in a run-of-the-mill new namespace.

Automatic transclusion
We could make the function of the {{Documentation}} template automatic: a Template: page, requiring no individually-paged code or template to do so, could automatically check for a corresponding Template Documentation: page and display that on the bottom of the Template page, with a little explanatory divider/footer separating the two - explanation similar to the format currently in place on {{Documentation}}. And of course, none of that documentation or divider explanation would be transcluded onto any pages using the Template page. If we did this, it would be very feasible for a fully-developed, fairly complex template, complete with documentation, to use zero includeonlies, and zero noincludes. None of that crap. {{Documentation}} could become a thing of the past.
No documentation exists? "No documentation exists for this template. Click here to write some! <link>"
Special pages
Hard-coded associations between Template: pages and their Template Documentation: pages would enable us to look into additional Special pages: "Special:TemplatesWithoutDocumentation", et cetera.
Intelligent categories
An infobox template about birds might be in Category:Infobox templates. It might transclude Category:Birds onto host pages which use it. This is logical, but to restrict the application in those ways we need more include rules. Ugly! My understanding is you simply must have include rules to use categories on a template page - because honestly, how often do categories apply to both templates and their host pages?
A better system: we could declare that categories in the Template: page's code would only apply to host pages, while categories one wishes to apply to the Template: page itself are placed in the Template Documentation: page.

I wrote all that out pretty completely for Proposals but I thought that I'd downgrade it a bit to Idea Lab to see what people think of this particular manner of implementation. I'd like to send it in for big approval soon enough, but if you think you could build on my ideas, go ahead. − Elecbullet (talk) 12:21, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

In a private conversation, an administrator suggested that instead we have a master "Documentation:" namespace, which could apply to user scripts, CSS, and other things, not just templates. I disagreed with that, namely because many of the benefits of TempDoc pages being definitively linked to Template pages are lost. − Elecbullet (talk) 12:23, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
The concept sounds intriguing. I've just started dabbling with templates, so want to hear form some of the experts, but as a newbie, the demarcation between template and documentation, with the no-include and include-onlies just adds to the complications , and this proposal sounds like it would improve that aspect. Are there some down sides? --S Philbrick(Talk) 02:50, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
I'm no expert myself, so maybe someone with a zillion edits can come along and tell me what's horrendously wrong with my plan.
No real downsides come to mind. If I absolutely must play devil's advocate, I will say that the proposed changes to the implementation of categories (listed under the third bold-faced bullet point) are a departure from what's currently a fairly regular, standardized system. While I believe they would be changes for the better, the category system changes would be the most likely thing (if anything) to raise opposition. If the opposition is very strong, I feel the category system can remain unchanged and the other proposed changes implemented very well.
There's also the problem of implementation, but if it's for a better system, I feel it's worth the effort. − Elecbullet (talk) 04:43, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
I think this is a great idea. One benefit is to avoid having /doc pages clog up PrefixIndex searches. (For example, if you look for pages starting with "Template:Infobox_", you get a lot of doc subpages. Ypnypn (talk) 19:52, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Sounds like a sensible idea that simplifies and better manages documentation. TheOriginalSoni (talk) 20:54, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
I am very happy to hear that there is approval for my idea. But this page is for development of ideas prior to submission for final community approval - if possible we need to think of ways to improve the proposal. People: Do we approve of every facet of the proposal as I've put it forth? − Elecbullet (talk) 14:40, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Could this goal be met by providing a way to filter out subpages instead? WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:05, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Filters on AllPages or PrefixIndex would serve to solve the issues of clutter on those pages, but I feel there's more benefits to the proposed system than fixing said clutter. − Elecbullet (talk) 21:19, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
The documentation namespace sounds very similar to the existing Help namespace. Maybe we just need to use it more? Legoktm (talk) 19:16, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
I don't really think that wide-scoped, general help topics such as Help:Footnotes really belong in the same namespace with individual-page-associated documentation for templates and the like.
As I said previously, another administrator privately suggested a general-use "Documentation" namespace, which was not rigidly associated with templates and thus could be used for anything: user scripts, Mediawiki pages, et cetera. I feel that, ultimately, any documentation system without rigid association with the original namespace forces us to abandon a few benefits listed above. Furthermore, Template documentation, specifically, is very widespread, and its implementation awkward... I feel like documentation for other things isn't quite as critical an issue. − Elecbullet (talk) 21:19, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

Would we also have a Module Documentation: namespace? -- Ypnypn (talk) 23:52, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

I know little about Modules but I am sure it could be done. − Elecbullet (talk) 03:32, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
I sent this in to Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 109#Proposal for a Template Documentation: namespace. I suppose further comments should go there. − Elecbullet (talk) 06:49, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

How to reduce the number of useless proposals[edit]

Just like the proposals section of village pump links a list of perrenial proposals, there should also be another project page that lists frequently made proposals for Wikipedia to work in such a way that it already works that are made because the people making those proposals have no way to check whether or not Wikipedia already works that way and that project page should be linked to the proposals section of village pump. The type of proposal I just described could be something that only effects administrators. Another example is a proposal about how accounts work that is made by somebody with no account. Useless proposals like I just described also take away attention from proposals about a change for Wikipedia to work in a way it doesn't already work or about an already made change in the way Wikipedia works being undone. Blackbombchu (talk) 19:59, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

I already saw it and knew how the Perrenial proposals page worked before I wrote this idea. The project page I suggested is not the same as the Perrenial proposals page, one is for proposals that people frequently write about that Wikipedia knows it doesn't want to make a change about and the other is for frequently made proposals for Wikipedia to work in a way it already works without those people knowing Wikipedia already works that way. Blackbombchu (talk) 20:59, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

Edit filter for usernames[edit]

Given that we have a filter that prevents new and unregistered users from making certain edits that are likely to be unconstructive, I propose that we create a filter that prevents the creation of certain usernames if they violate our username policy--e.g. contain any expletives or are very similar to an existing username. I suppose this wouldn't really work for promotional usernames, though, although we could try to prevent people from creating an account if the username contains "corp" or "inc." The false positives would be reported in a similar way as false positives are reported for the existing edit filter. I hope this idea gets better feedback than some of my previous ones here. Jinkinson talk to me What did he do now? 12:43, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

We already have something like this, compare MediaWiki:Usernameblacklist / MediaWiki:Titleblacklist. The warning message is at MediaWiki:Titleblacklist-forbidden-new-account. —Kusma (t·c) 13:06, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
Curious. I was not aware of that. However, I have seen people create some pretty obscene usernames, so I can't help but wonder if we need to make this blacklist more restrictive. Do you guys think this is a good idea? Jinkinson talk to me What did he do now? 13:16, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
See also the list of edit filters mentioned at Wikipedia:Usernames for administrator attention. In general, when doing anti-vandal work, I don't mind users with offensive usernames (admin work is easy when usernames say "please block me"). Forbidding usernames that are very similar to existing ones is very difficult. Somebody's last name could be Jenkinson, should they not be allowed to use that name? Is "Kusma1987" too similar to "Kusma1988"? Note that we already prevent impersonation by usernames that look the same but have different Unicode somewhere (that is done through the title blacklist feature). —Kusma (t·c) 13:55, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
Some people keep trying until they find an obscene name that works, for example making deliberate misspellings. You can make suggestions at MediaWiki talk:Titleblacklist. For performance reasons the list shouldn't be overly long. PrimeHunter (talk) 14:04, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Admins and self-blocking/unblocking[edit]

Why are admins allowed to block themselves and, if someone else blocks them, unblock themselves? This seems like an abuse of privileges. They should have to wait until the block expires like everyone else. Do you guys think they should be able to do so? Jinkinson talk to me What did he do now? 02:48, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

Admins are not allowed to unblock themselves; what made you think otherwise? I don't know that it's a big deal for an admin to block themselves, though, nor why it would be an abuse. Writ Keeper  03:08, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
I'll tell you what made me think otherwise: the fact that WP:MISS#T describes Tanthalas39 as "An active admin who left after being desysopped for an incident in which he unblocked himself and proceeded to block an administrator who blocked him." Jinkinson talk to me What did he do now? 03:14, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
Admins can still unblock themselves as far as I know. There is a policy against it at Wikipedia:Blocking policy#Unblocking. A previous suggestion about removing the ability was opposed at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 61#Disable admin self-unblocking? PrimeHunter (talk) 03:22, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Admins are technically able to unblock themselves because that's how the software is (the block that an admin can invoke only affects edit ability, not admin actions--only someone higher than an admin can alter the admin bits). However, it's against policy to unblock oneself as a reverse of someone else's block (Wikipedia:Block#Unblocking)--in one sense a gentleman's agreement not to use one's admin bit as an end-run around the block, given that a normal editor wouldn't be able to do that). But that spirit doesn't extend to unblocking oneself after blocking oneself (self-revert of admin action). Self-blocking is itself a crazy action (more often done by accident or to test WP software from what I've seen), and undoing it isn't any worse IMO. DMacks (talk) 03:26, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
The fact that he was desysopped for doing so should suggest rather strongly to you that admins aren't allowed to unblock themselves (except, in principle, under very unusual and unlikely-to-occur circumstances), and that doing so is considered a serious abuse of privileges. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 03:55, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
There's a lot riding on what definition of "allowed" y'all're using in various contexts. DMacks (talk) 04:43, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
Technically allowed (by software)
Consensually disallowed (by policy)
TeleComNasSprVen (talkcontribs) 03:03, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

Proposed RFC: Proposal to require confirmed opt-in permission for bulk-delivered content[edit]

NOTE: I AM POSTING THIS TO Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab) FOR REFINEMENT.

IF IT SEEMS LIKE IT MIGHT PASS, I WILL POST IT AT Wikipedia:Village pump (policy).

Proposer: Guy Macon (talk)

Date proposed: 07:30, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Proposal: Anyone who uses any tool to deliver a newsletter, mailing list, or any other bulk-delivered content to more than ten user talk pages at once must obtain permission from those users. On the policy page for this policy, there will be a carefully chosen list of specific exceptions such as required user notices and certain bots.

To this end, anyone who wishes to sign someone up for a newsletter must send them an invitation template with an opt-in message. Anyone who does not respond with positive conformation that they want to subscribe will not be subscribed or receive any further messages. The template will also contain a link that puts the talk page in Category:Opted-out of message delivery. No invitations are to be sent to any talk page in Category:Opted-out of message delivery.

Once the user has opted in, every bulk-delivered message sent from then on must contain an unsubscribe link.

Initial list of exceptions (to be expanded based upon comments made to this RfC):

  • Official communications from the Arbitration Committee or the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • Anything that an uninvolved Administrator approves.


Please do not reply to comment in this section. Replies should go into the discussion section

  1. Approve: Example approve comment.


Please do not reply to comment in this section. Replies should go into the discussion section

  1. Approve: Example oppose comment.


  • Comment: Example discussion comment.
  • Reply: Example reply to discussion comment.
  • You really shouldn't be structuring this as an RFC if you want refinement rather than people !voting on it like an RFC. As for the proposal itself, it seems unfocused: neither User:lowercase sigmabot II nor User:SineBot appear to be "bulk-delivered content" of any sort, and Template:ANI-notice seems a bit of a stretch in the majority of cases. There also seems to be no need for your Category:Opted-out of message delivery category to be added by this invitation template; all the template would need to do is say "Go to such-and-such page and add your name to subscribe to this newsletter". It's also unclear what you mean by "an unsubscribe link". Anomie 13:04, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
Sigmabot II, SineBot and ANI-notice would all be forbidden by a literal interpretation of this proposed policy, thus the need to explicitly say that they are not forbidden.
An unsubscribe link is a link, usually at the bottom of a newsletter, which allows you to unsubscribe, meaning that you don't want any future newsletters.
  • There absolutely is a need for a link that adds Category:Opted-out of message delivery along with a rule saying that you cannot send invitations to someone who has opted out. If they don't want any invitations for any newsletters, it should be easy for them to shut the invitations off.
The basic rules I am proposing are:
  • Do not sign anyone up for anything without their explicit permission.
  • Sending invites is OK unless they have indicated that they don't want those either.
  • Everything you send because of a subscription must contain simple way to turn off the subscription.
All of this is clearly explained in the Marketing FAQ. We just need to tweak it a bit for talk page comments as opposed to email. --Guy Macon (talk) 20:30, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
As general advice, I think it's okay. I don't know if it makes sense as a hard and fast rule. For example, let's say that I want to re-open a discussion. I think it is fair to notify all 12 of the previous participants. You seem to want me to "invite" them to receive my "content", rather than just leaving a note for them. It seems to me that it is far less efficient, even silly, to post a note saying, "Would you like to subscribe to the announcement I'm going to make about the new RFC?" Why not just leave a message saying, "I'm starting an RFC?"
And what if I don't want to be perpetually invited to receive WikiProject newsletters, so I opt-out, but I really do want to hear about new RFCs? How am I supposed to know that opting out of spam is also going to opt me out of relevant notifications about discussions that I've previously participated in?
It seems to me that you're trying to target a small number of repetitive announcements, rather than one-time messages. It might be worth being explicit about that, and not trying to regulate the one-off messages. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:25, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
I thought this sounded like it was based on email guidelines, ignoring the fact that email has entirely anonymous senders while every sender here is known and can be blocked, and various other differences. So yeah, this sounds like a rather misguided proposal to me and doesn't seem salvageable. Anomie 23:29, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Template editor notice[edit]

I noticed that when I click view source on a protected template only to edit by template editors, the lock was gold. Shouldn't the lock be light pink? Blurred Lines 16:53, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

That sounds like a fairly trivial detail but at MediaWiki talk:Protectedpagetext you could suggest matching colors between {{Pp-meta}} and MediaWiki:Protectedpagetext PrimeHunter (talk) 17:31, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done Blurred Lines 18:35, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

GA / FA icons on category pages[edit]

I know that categories aren't valued by some editors, but whenever I get involved with an article in an area that I'm not overly familiar with I use them to find similar good quality articles for ideas. I'd find it pretty helpful if I could tell which are GA/FAs on the category page. I assume it would be possible to display the icons next to the titles? Alternatively the article size might be nearly as useful. Sorry if this has been suggested before and I missed it. --Trappedinburnley (talk) 18:39, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

Nobody interested? Am I in the wrong place? --Trappedinburnley (talk) 18:29, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

I don't think this is easy to do, unfortunately. It's technically possible (there used to be a tool which would assess the quality of all links from a page and colour-code them) but it's complex and sharply increases the load on the page, as you would need to look up each entry & examine the talkpage. You might find Wikipedia:Navigation popups useful, though - this doesn't show article quality ratings in the popup, but it does show page size. Andrew Gray (talk) 20:03, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Reddit discussion Wizardman AMA: Please check criticisms of Wikipedia to see if there are relevant on-Wikipedia discussions that may need remedying[edit]

There is a discussion on Wikipedia at the Wizardman AMA on Reddit:

For those criticizing Wikipedia saying they had a bad experience, do not belittle them. Ask them where they encountered their problems and follow the links. Check the discussions to see if they were handled properly. In AFD cases see if you can revive or re-write the deleted articles. WhisperToMe (talk) 20:55, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

Need an ORGANIZED Watchlist or separate Reading List[edit]

Hello, I am new to the community. I believe an organized system of bookmarking articles would greatly enhance the reading experience for any user. When I research a topic, I cannot keep up with my browser as it fills with tabs. I would like to be able to develop lists of bookmarks organized by category to return to research topics. It could mean developing a better system of organizing the Watchlist by allowing users to make their own FOLDERS and SUBFOLDERS OR CATEGORIES and SUBCATEGORIES. The current alphabetical order organization isn't helpful to me at all and I am surprised it is still in use. Or this list could be separate from the Watchlist as I am not necessarily interested in keeping track of changes, but in reading articles.

It's plausible to develop my own organization method through bookmarking webpages on my browser and using the folders (I will probably do this in the mean time), but I think Wikipedia is missing out on an essential aspect of research and learning: an intuitive design to assist reading across multiple pages. I have no experience programming, but I think developing an effective organizational system for this could be quite simple.

For example, if I favorite the Miles Davis wiki article I want it categorized under "Trumpet Players" under "Jazz Musicians" under "Jazz" under "Music" under "Arts and Entertainment". Something along these lines. What do you think Wikipedia users? Thoughts on an automatic system of categorizing? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bcraig627 (talkcontribs) 07:52, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

Watchlists aren't really designed to be a reading list but a personal recentchanges list. This is really what bookmarks in your browser are for. Automatic categorization is actually rather difficult, even if you use the existing categories on the article. You may want Miles Davis categorized as above, others might want it categorized as "African-American musicians," "Grammy Award-winning artists," "Musicians from Illinois," "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees," or even "Burials at Woodlawn Cemetery (Bronx)" or "People with sickle-cell disease." Mr.Z-man 17:05, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
You could just put links to them on your userpage (or a subpage), categorized however you like. A [add to my userpage list] toolbox button would probably be a simple bit of javascript (for someone who knows the WP API, which I don't). DMacks (talk) 17:15, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
This is a long-standing request. I support it and would personally benefit from it, but I've not heard any rumors of this happening any time soon. There are apparently some challenges with creating a decent user interface for it (e.g., how do you tell it to put a page on this watchlist rather than that one?). Anyone who has any specific recommendations should consider getting a Bugzilla account (warning: use a disposable email address, because Bugzilla makes it public!) and adding their advice or design ideas. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:14, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
I agree that adding the capability to create a reading list of articles that one can organize by topic is a great idea. Surely there are technical people who could work on this.CorinneSD (talk) 19:31, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
@Bcraig627: User:UncleDouggie/smart watchlist#Screenshots might be close to what you're looking for. (Note: I haven't tested, only seen). –Quiddity (talk) 00:09, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
Hi, DMacks! You can create a personal subpage, like User:DMacks/Bookmarks. Or even better, you can use the Book tool to add articles easily to your bookmarks page. Good luck! --NaBUru38 (talk) 21:18, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

Allowing old discussions to be rehashed on purpose to increase editor participation? (So newcomers can get a sense of inclusiveness)[edit]

One thing I notice on Wikipedia is that many FAQs have been developed for articles so that old points on articles like Barack Obama and Sega Genesis aren't rehashed over and over. I can see why longtime editors don't want to deal with the same question over and over again. However, I found a user comment posted at an article by the MIT Technology Review: "The Decline of Wikipedia."

minstrelmike "One of the problems with the current editors is they've been on the job too long and have heard all the arguing. It's the same thing that used to happen on Usenet. The old-timers would shut down discussion because they'd already discussed the same issue 2 years earlier, and 3 years earlier and 5 years earlier.
They are bored and unable to pay attention and unable to have the same discussions--which made the people talking a cohesive group--with newcomers so no one feels like they belong.
Look at how most of the successful discussion groups evolve over time to eventually become stale and intolerant."

So how could Wikipedia combat this? Should there be a tolerance of allowing some discussions to be rehashed without it being too disruptive to longtime editors or editing in general?

An idea could be: "An old discussion in an FAQ can be reopened, without new evidence, every 6 months to 1 year between the time the previous discussion ended and the time the next discussion begins. The same points can be re-hashed but they can be brought up in the beginning. New editors can participate and learn how the existing debates are structured by experience, by doing" - and this can allow newcomers to join the community. WhisperToMe (talk) 03:27, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

  • Notwithstanding the fact that consensus can change, that idea would have the wonderful benefit of driving good editors away in a real hurry. We already have enough problems with tedious POV pushers who try to win arguments through attrition. Giving them license to rehash the same arguments over and over and over and over again does not benefit the project. Certainly not in cases like the racist birther nonsense or the desire to censor the Muhammad article because some people choose to be offended. There's no reason why anyone should be subjected to repeats of the trainwrecks that resulted in those particular FAQs. And the Sega Genesis article is listed at WP:LAME for a reason. Resolute 03:55, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
    • What would happen if the community decided that certain perennial discussions should not be re-allowed for fear that it could damage the participation of existing high quality editors while other perennial discussions are okay to rehash because there is less of a chance of damaging the participation of existing high quality editors? WhisperToMe (talk) 04:01, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Some additional comments about the genral issue were made here: Talk:Sega_Genesis#Village_pump_idea_lab:_Allowing_old_discussions_to_be_rehashed_on_purpose_to_help_include_new_editors - One idea is maybe checking if consensus has changed in 6 months to a year but also asking newcomers to look at previous discussions like how internet forums ask newcomers to check FAQs. That way, there is a chance to gauge if consensus is changed, but there is also consideration of balance to allow new editors without angering existing ones. WhisperToMe (talk) 04:22, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
For this to work, the regular editors on the talk page would have to take it seriously. We can't force users to participate in a discussion that they already know the outcome of (because they've done it 5 times before), which means they're either just going to ignore rehashed discussions or give canned/templatized responses, neither of which are really better than referring people to an FAQ. Debating something just for the sake of having a debate seems rather contrived. If people want to see the structure of a debate, it's not like there's a shortage of real debates on Wikipedia, especially on controversial topics like Obama. Mr.Z-man 04:45, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
One of the ideas stated in Talk:Sega_Genesis is that there is the possibility consensus can change (I'm not sure if it's necessary to have new evidence for that, though obviously it would be better than it was) and there is some nuance in asking new editors to look at the FAQ anyway and then asking: "has consensus changed on this matter?" WhisperToMe (talk) 04:50, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
Maybe for low traffic articles that have not been the subject of massive sockpuppeting, arbitration cases, racism, trolling, hundreds of blocks and bans, etc. As it applies to the Obama article, no way we need to open the floodgates every six months to another assault from people who think he is a communist, Islamist, fascist, Muslim, noncitizen, not African-American, puppet of terrorists, needs to have every biographical fact balanced by a countervailing opinion from the opposition operatives, etc. Consensus is a matter of article editors making decisions on a local basis. It would be a very bad idea to arm everybody with a sledgehammer and tell them they could attack the article with it every six months. Newcomers need to be educated in why articles are the way they are, not encouraged to break them. - Wikidemon (talk) 13:11, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
While consensus can change, the chances of it happening when there's no new evidence, no one involved has changed their opinion, and the discussion is only restarted because time has passed are pretty darn slim. Or what happens if the original discussion had a large RFC involving dozens of uninvolved users, but the discussion 6 months later gets a different conclusion only because fewer people were involved? The people most likely to show up for a new discussion every 6 months are the people most interested in changing the status quo. Not every new user is someone we want to retain. If a new user's first actions are to go to the Obama article and insist that we describe him as a Muslim, that doesn't bode well for their future as a productive editor. Mr.Z-man 14:43, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
Comment: Thank you for the thoughtful responses. You both bring up good points regarding the stability of the article and ensuring that new editors have what Wikipedia is looking for. I wonder if there could be a page listing perennial debates, stating "these perennial debates are not okay for re-opening without new evidence because..., and then another list stating "these major perennial debates are okay for for re-opening without new evidence"? That way editors wanting a debate are encouraged to debate healthier topics. WhisperToMe (talk) 20:19, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Consensus has not changed. You have a rather large number of people who'd show up and say the exact same thing they did in multiple previous discussions. These discussions fill up the entire talk page, just massively long, and just increase bitterness of everyone. You shouldn't have to have the same exact conversation every few months. Its been done enough times now, with a large enough number of people involved in it, to just accept reality, you aren't going to get a majority to change it, so let it be. Dream Focus 15:50, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
This is not about any one topic and this was really intended as a trick to allow newcomers to integrate themselves into the Wikipedia community. The forum poster's comments say that by not allowing people to "have the same exact conversation every few months" newcomers have difficulty integrating
  • The very thing he said was "The old-timers would shut down discussion because they'd already discussed the same issue 2 years earlier, and 3 years earlier and 5 years earlier. They are bored and unable to pay attention and unable to have the same discussions--which made the people talking a cohesive group--with newcomers so no one feels like they belong."
Other responses have stated reasons that actually address what is being talked about. I like Wikidemon's and Mr.Z-man's answers on why that would be a bad idea for certain articles, because certain article debates can be so contentious that they can destabilize the article.
WhisperToMe (talk) 18:57, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
  • I was referring to Sega Genesis where its the same people who didn't get things their way before, claiming something changed when nothing has, and trying to restart the argument time and time again. Plus the same IP address comes back, insulting Americans, and gets blocked a few times, but keeps on returning trying to start something. Only by various editors deleting him when he appeared in a new form, could we stop the constant disruption. So sometimes you need to silence new people when they are being disruptive. Also, its gaming the system when the same people who failed to get their way previously, don't notice anyone else active at the article at that moment in time, and decide to try to start the same discussion all over again hoping not to get noticed, so they can have their way. Dream Focus 17:27, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Dave Dial at Talk:Obama explained that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a chat forum. If anyone has a serious proposal that has an inkling of a chance to improve the article, the matter will be discussed. If anyone were to post a polite "I'm new here, why was my post deleted?", they would be referred to the WP:HELPDESK or given an explanation. In practice, what we see are indignant demands that some UNDUE matter be thrashed out, again and again. The external commentary about the decline in activity is mostly misguided—after ten years, a lot of topics are very well covered, and random changes are now very much more likely to break an article than improve it. Also, those favoring anything-goes chatting have no understanding of the consequences, namely that good contributors would be driven away (they are here because they want to edit, not chat about Obama's birth certificate or gun control), and that there would be a proliferation of those who thrive on excitement and conflict. Wikipedia needs to create an environment where good editors are retained, and that in turn would attract others who similarly want to contribute in building an encyclopedia. Johnuniq (talk) 01:21, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Agree that rehashing the same-old can drive away our most committed editors, which is terrible. On the other hand, biting off the beginner's head, because they haven't first memorized the five bazillion rulz, read the past two year's worth of talkpage-arguments, or dare to insert some sentence ' against settled consensus' is absolutely guaranteed to 1) drive away new good-faith editors averse to hostility, and 2) selectively retain those who don't mind an adversarial environment. At one point I thought it would be a good idea, to have a "secondary" namespace where beginners could have a bit more freedom. We already have an article-mainspace. We know what that is for, and what it isn't for. We already have an article-talkpage, and we mostly know what that is for. Both places tend to be either actively hostile to beginners (ninja-reverts and template-spamming) or just passively hostile to beginners (deserted).
  So here's the spiel.  :-)   What is there was a third place, called WP:Drafts#draft_article, where the beginner had a bit more leeway, as long as they followed BLPTALK and COPYVIO and other all-namespace rules? What if there was a fourth place, called WT:Drafts#draft_talkpage, where beginners had even more leeway... why *not* let folks use the draft(s)-talkpage(s) to hash out the meaning of the second amendment, the existence of telepathy, and who REALLY was behind the power behind the group that facilitated the assassination of JFK? We have 40M/yr to spend on the server-farm, if needed; surely we can afford to run a semi-moderated WP:FLOW forum on the draft-talkpage, as long as we *keep* that stuff to the draft-namespace, and off the article-talkpage and the article-mainspace. Wikipedia was originally supposed to be the "draft" version of Nupedia, but it turned out that Nupedia wasn't required, and Wikipedia was good enough. Wikipedia *is* still good... but maybe, with the new&improved WP:Drafts concept, we can get back some of that old-school 2001-style freedom of expression, which will help us attract new recruits.
  Now obviously, not all of them would become actual editors; many of them would be happy to use draft-talkpages for POV pushing, promotion, forums, social networking, matchmaking, forever. The banhammer would need to fall, regularly, to keep everything from disintegrating. But there would be fewer block-worthy offenses on draft-talkpages, more on draft-articles, more on mainspace-talkpages, and even more in mainspace-proper. A nice gradual learning curve, is what I'm thinking here. Right now our learning curve is more like a reality-teevee-obstacle-course-challenge, complete with peanut gallery and annoying voice-overs. HTH. (talk) 16:54, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
The fundamental problem with re-opening old arguments, is that it provides a mechanism where the argument is decided not on its merits, not by consensus, not even by a simple majority, but through sheer bloody-minded persistence.
Didn't get the answer you like? No problem. Ask the question again. And again. And again. Eventually nobody will bother to argue with you and you'll win!
You see this on less trafficed pages a lot. People come back with old arguments over and over until eventually people just ignore them as trolls. Then they claim victory by WP:SILENCE, and make the changes that everyone told them not to make.
If policy was changed to encourage reopening old arguments, it would have to be balanced with a way to make those decisions definitive for some period of time. Some kind of mandatory cool-down period after a decisive consensus. Maybe it's worth re-checking the consensus in three years, but not every other week. APL (talk) 17:16, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

How to make creating an article easier[edit]

There should be a method of creating an article by choosing the title of the article first then going staright to the same page as you would go if you clicked a red link to its title without actually adding such a link to any Wikipedia page. When I created the article Toronto blackout (2013), I did it by writing Toronto blackout (2013) on my own talk page then clicking the link to go to the page Creating Toronto blackout (2013) because I didn't see a way to go to that same page without first adding that link to a Wikipedia page and I didn't see any way to go straight to the page Creating Toronto blackout (2013) instead of going to the article wizard. I didn't add it to Wikipedia:Requested articles either because I had knowledge about the topic right away. I don't like the article wizard very much because it's too complex. There should be a method of going straight to the page for creating the article you want to create. Blackbombchu (talk) 01:06, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

I don't know if this answers your question, but you can type what you want to create in the search menu, which will bring up a search page with the text "you may create the page ARTICLE HERE, but consider checking the search results below to see whether the topic is already covered" along with some search possibilities. The ARTICLE HERE represents a red link that shows up with what you search, and you can simply click that red link to go to the Creating ARTICLE HERE section. I hope this clarifies things for you. Greengreengreenred 01:22, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
That was really helpful. It does exactly what I asked of taking me right to the page for creating the article in only one step without making any edit to any Wikipedia page first. I went to the article wizard by mistake because I tried to go to the requested article page to create it and then wrote the article title in my talk page because I didn't like the wizard very much. Blackbombchu (talk) 04:50, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm glad I could help! Happy editing! Greengreengreenred 04:54, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

Reduce editing suggestion tags, maybe by moving them to the talk pages[edit]

It seems to me that tags suggesting article improvements, mainly for adding references and citations, have proliferated lately to the point where to me they significantly detract from the encyclopaedic experience. The basic problem is they speak to editors, not really to readers, although I suppose there is some slight benefit to having the reader aware of the article's possible shortcomings. I have been removing the older ones when I see that the original alleged deficiency has been corrected, so there is that too. Has this subject come up before?

One solution would be to move them to the talk page. While I realize that would significantly decrease their salience, I as an editor am in the habit of usually checking the talk page before editing an article. Thanks for listening. Spalding (talk) 15:11, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

OK, sorry, I just noticed the search bar and of course found a myriad of posts about this subject. I see that as usual, nothing is as simple as it seems on the surface. Here is an interesting one:
And it is also a perennial proposal:

And a useful article on the subject: WP:Responsible tagging — Preceding unsigned comment added by Spalding (talkcontribs) 16:02, 1 January 2014‎

I think that removing stale tags is an important task that anyone should feel free to do. Many times, newer users fix the problem but don't remove the tag, because they think that someone "in authority" should do so. I've pulled a couple hundred {{unref}} tags off of articles over the years. Some of them had contained inline citations for years. I'd actually like to have a bot remove unref templates if <ref> tags are present (or at least have someone make a script of the likely candidates for manual review). WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:19, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

"Subject requests deletion"[edit]

If the subject of an article wants his/her article on Wikipedia deleted, as happened with Rachel Marsden, this request should be granted. Currently there isn't a speedy deletion criterion for this, but if the Wikimedia foundation can ensure that the user claiming to be the subject actually is, or if they state they want the article deleted outside of Wikipedia, this should result in the article invariably getting deleted. As usual, I did not originate this idea, but I do think it is a good one that should be implemented. Thoughts? Jinkinson talk to me What did he do now? 18:59, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

You'd need to get consensus for If the subject of an article wants his/her article on Wikipedia deleted, as happened with Rachel Marsden, this request should be granted first; you might be surprised at how many people disagree with you. Writ Keeper  19:00, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
Speedy deletion is for things that are not controversial, where almost everyone would think that the page should be deleted. One subject wanting it gone is not almost everyone, and it is not a consensus either. Really they should have to persuade others at an AFD why it should go. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 21:10, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
So you are suggesting that Wikipedia delete articles of individuals like politicians, entertainers, and other public figures on request because their PR managers cannot "control" the article's contents? (talk) 21:34, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
This has been discussed before. Our policy is at WP:BIODEL. PrimeHunter (talk) 00:04, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
Articles on relevant people should only deleted if the text in inappropriate for an encyclopedia. --NaBUru38 (talk) 21:24, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
I agree this is far too controversial for speedy deletion, but AFD is not the only route. If the subject is only borderline notable then a prod may well succeed; You can always escalate to AFD if the prod is removed. ϢereSpielChequers 18:42, 3 January 2014 (UTC)


I think it would be better if there was one sandbox per Wikipedia article instead of one sandbox per account. That way, everything that goes into the sandbox will gain attention much faster because more than one person will make an edit to the same sandbox and experts will look at many people's edits to the same sandbox and think of a way to combine them. I sometimes think up extremely large edits to an article and don't make them because I don't know for sure that those edits aren't harmful to the article and I really want to be able to suggest a major edit to an article and have that edit wait pending approval or get modified by an expet into a better edit before it makes it's way into the article. I'm not saying all edits should wait pending approval. I'm just saying that people should have the right to make their own edits wait pending approval if they choose to. I know that Wikipedia has a method of undoing any edit at all but I still don't feel comfortable making large edits that don't wait pending approval to make their way into the article. Blackbombchu (talk) 20:42, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

Pages in the Template: and Module: databases actually do have their own sandboxes. However, there's some technical distinction, which I don't really know how much difference it makes, between these pages ending /sandbox which are "subpages", versus the main namespace where subpages are disabled because "/" can occur legitimately in an article name. So you don't have a menu option to navigate "up" to the article, that's all I can think of.
Anyway though, the good news is that there's something almost the same, the new Draft: namespace - see WP:Drafts. But the bad news is, I don't think anyone has yet worked out our expectations about how people use it, especially when an article already exists. My preference would be that anything at Draft:XXXX should always be written with the intention that it could become XXXX. So we shouldn't just dump snippets of trimmed text there; we should have a complete alternate article version there. I think that's what you intend with your sandbox. And if text is to be moved to some other article, it should be put in Draft:(some other article), written so as to be the prototype for a new article, not dumped in the Draft: for the one it came from. So under these conditions - which I don't know will prevail! - the Draft namespace may be exactly what you're looking for. Wnt (talk) 21:20, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

Protect closed AFDs and MFDs[edit]

I propose that, given that they have no reason to be edited and sometimes attract a lot of trolling if the page is on a well-known topic, that all closed AFD and MFD discussions should be fully protected indefinitely. I am curious if there is some reason this should not be, or has not been, done yet. Jinkinson talk to me 00:34, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

Sanctions/AEwarnings/topic ban log/page[edit]

Recently there have been several debates covering issues with various administrative warnings and sanctions and the templates/warnings, and if they can be removed from the user's talk page.

  • Generic notifications of ArbCom/Discretionary Sanctions (Where they user is not necessarily being warned for misdeeds, but just that they are editing in an area where sanctions are applied, so they can't claim they didn't know about sanctions later)
  • Topic bans
  • Individually applied active sanctions

A few concerns about the current state :

  • If users cannot remove them from the talk page
    • Its a badge of shame
    • Its cluttered
    • Difficult to enforce
    • Automatically gets ignored by archiving/blanking etc
  • If they can remove them
    • It is cumbersome for admins and other editors to know what warnings/sanctions have been given
    • In the case of topic bans, there is the topic ban log, but that must be scrolled/searched through

During recent ANI discussions, I came up with the idea to create a new log/userpage that could cover these. Some ideas

  1. Integrate into the existing block log (technical issues?)
  2. Make a new log similar to the block log (tooling?)
  3. Make a new automatically created userpage/talk subpage.
    1. fully protected by default?
      1. Can non-admins give discretionary sanctions warnings?
    2. Onus on applying admin to make sure items are copied into the new page (Maybe only apply them here and NOT on the talk page, and make sure the notifications catch it?)
    3. possible twinkle/tools enhancement to make this easier?

It seems that option 3 likely involves the least technical/programming work. Clutter of the log should not be a big issue (if the user has enough warnings and sanctions applied that they cannot be easily read/navigated, we should probably WP:CBAN them anyway)

Thoughts? Support/Opposes?Gaijin42 (talk) 22:26, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

AC/DS sanctions have been under discussion at Wikipedia_talk:Arbitration_Committee/Discretionary_sanctions/2013_review for a couple months now, so discussion of those should remain there. NE Ent 22:46, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
1) easier to determine on a per user basis
2) less error (For example, Darkness Shines, the user in one of the recent ANI threads that kicked this off, is not listed in the global list of sanctions)
3) also covers the warnings/notifications at issue in the first ANI thread, which are not listed anywhere except talk page history.
4) once going, no additional burden (notify on the log page instead of the talk page. Done)

NE Ent Should I move this thread (and replies) to that location? Gaijin42 (talk) 22:54, 8 January 2014 (UTC) Gaijin42 (talk) 22:54, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

I'd close this and join the discussion in progress. NE Ent 22:58, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
@Gaijin42: I' not sure that this is going to get off the ground here. This is the type of issue that is going to probably have to be decided at a more local level. Since the crux of this is related to Arbcom process, I would recommend following NE Ent's advice and contributing to the the AC/DS discussion.- MrX 02:54, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
  • What's funny is that I proposed something like this some time ago. It would be a user subpage that listed a) restrictions and sanctions like noted above b) agreed-to restrictions as part of an unblock, and whatever else. IIRC, I was messing around with it here. As I originally suggested, it would be fully-protected ES&L 09:13, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
  • I'd be inclined to support this. Lukeno94 (tell Luke off here) 23:57, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose this or any other additional complication of the already confusing way we deal with users. DGG ( talk ) 01:37, 10 January 2014 (UTC)


could create a wiki videos to rival the you tube. João bonomo (talk) 13:05, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

This page is for suggestions for the English Wikipedia. See meta:Proposals for new projects for suggestions for new Wikimedia projects. Videos with a permissible license and format can already be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons (commons:Category:Videos), but it isn't for most Youtube-like videos. Videos require large bandwidth and Wikimedia does not permit advertisements so funding of a large video site could be a problem. What would the wiki part of a video site be? Editing eachothers videos does not sound practical. PrimeHunter (talk) 14:08, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
Is that my english is bad. I'm just a Brazilian using the google translator. Can you make these two favors for me? João bonomo (talk) 12:37, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't support this or the below suggestion. I don't want to propose them at meta if that's what you mean. They don't seem consistent with the goals of the Wikimedia Foundation. See PrimeHunter (talk) 14:57, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
Thank You. João bonomo (talk) 21:18, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

Sugestion (2)[edit]

could make a wiki-project to create a website that would compete with facebook. João bonomo (talk) 20:25, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

See PrimeHunter's response above about where to post ideas for new Wikimedia projects. But I don't see how this would be a wiki project. It sounds more like an open-source software project. — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 20:37, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
Is that my english is bad. I'm just a Brazilian using the google translator. Can you make these two favors for me? João bonomo (talk) 12:35, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

Separate donation fund for Wikipedia community[edit]

In no way do I want to step on any toes, but I commonly see editors complaining about the way the WMF spends its money, and I am wondering if the Wikipedia community has ever considered creating its own donation fund with spending done at the consensus of the community?AioftheStorm (talk) 00:27, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

"The database has been automatically locked while the slave database servers catch up to the master"[edit]

That this message bothers me is admittedly outrageous political correctness (discussed at master/slave (technology)). But it still seems unclear when I think that all a "master" does IRL is sit on his ass and have some flunky whip the slaves, and he wouldn't be able to do the same things they do even if he had twenty times the time to do it in. In replication (computing), which that references, the terms used are primary and backup. In any case, at least a link to explain the concept would reduce confusion. So I'd like to see the message be

"The database has been automatically locked while the backup database servers catch up to the primary."

It might also be a good time to link to some technical page from this message - suggestions? Anyone think is a reasonable change? (That is, if I can ever get this to post now...) Wnt (talk) 21:57, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

Support. Worth it just to avoid enshrining the particular goofy replication language used by MediaWiki's MySQL persistence layer. —chaos5023 (talk) 22:16, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
  • I really don't care much about the wording of the message, I'm just curious why the error message only offers a link to the main page instead of a link back to what you were working on or a link to try your edit again... Technical 13 (talk) 00:21, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
"Backup" isn't really accurate, because the slave servers are not just a backup. Read-only database queries, where getting outdated results won't break anything, are made on the slave servers. In fact, they're not even a particularly good backup, because if something goes wrong on the master, it will be replicated to the slaves, nearly instantaneously in most cases. The section of Replication (computing) that discusses databases uses master/slave, as does probably every single reference manual and book that discusses database replication. Mr.Z-man 00:33, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
The message appears to be from MediaWiki:Readonly lag. The version there has links in html format to Master-slave (computers). Are there no links when the message is displayed? I don't know whether the message is actually taken from that page and written in a way which preserves the links. PrimeHunter (talk) 00:36, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

PrimeHunter, That doesn't look like the same message I saw. The one I saw looked more like an ambox with an image and a lot more text... We should probably track that down and see how we can improve it. Technical 13 (talk) 01:34, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

@Technical 13: MediaWiki:Readonlytext? Theopolisme (talk) 03:41, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
The message did appear to be MediaWiki:Readonly lag placed into MediaWiki:Readonlytext as $1, to the best of my recollection. In Wikitext, <a href="whatever"> links don't get processed; here, however, they seem to be removed without creating a link. For whatever reason, I didn't see links when I viewed the page. I think though I had Javascript off, if that matters. Wnt (talk) 04:14, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Interface messages from the MediaWiki namespace don't always behave like wiki pages. I don't know whether a link is displayed by the message, and if it does make a link then I don't know which color it will usually have. I don't think Javascript should matter. PrimeHunter (talk) 04:44, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Theopolisme Yes, that was the message I saw. Then on the bottom of the page it had "Go back to the Main page." no matter what page I was arriving there from. That is likely a bug that should go to Bugzilla, but I'll need to figure out more about it first. Technical 13 (talk) 05:22, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose whilst I would object to enslaving or saying we are enslaving any sentient being, as long as the slave server is not an AI I would prefer that we continue to use normal names for this process. ϢereSpielChequers 18:22, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

A Kaggle-like competition to improve the algorithm underlying Cluebot NG[edit]

Kaggle is a platform for hosting competitions whereby people will compete to develop the most accurate solution to a well-defined problem which can typically be solved through machine learning. An example from the currently open competitions is develop an algorithm to distinguish dogs from cats, but there's also been several more serious competitions, set by Facebook, Amazon, Mastercard etc.

The machine learning method underlying Cluebot NG was written (almost entirely AFAICT) by the now mostly inactive Crispy1989 (talk · contribs) and Cobi (talk · contribs), the latter of whom wrote original heuristic-based version and is still involved in maintaining the bot. The vandalism detection engine is a feed-forward artificial neural network which, according to the current version of the userpage (likely out of date), can revert an estimated 40% of all vandalism with a .1% false positive rate. If this is still accurate, it provides a nice benchmark for a Kaggle-like competition to try and beat.

We also have a large curated training set. In a competition scenario we make, say, 80% of the training set available to competitors to train their algorithm, and hold back the remaining 20% to evaluate their approaches. We can run NG over the same train/testing data to get an accurate benchmark too. The competition runs for a set number of days or months and a leaderboard is generated of entrants, according to their success on our held-back testing set. The winning algorithm could then be worked in to the existing Cluebot framework, potentially with significant improvements in % vandalism detected for the same level of false positives.


  • Organising a competition as described above could lead to significant and meaningful improvements in vandalism detection and reversion, lightening the load on Hugglers and other reverters, and keeping the project clean and tidy. Potentially even discouraging vandalism long-term, if it's instantly reverted in the majority of cases.
  • A successful approach could likely be replicated on other wikis and projects (I'm not sure what other language wikis currently use?).
  • A WMF interest in vandal bots could lighten the load on Cobi and remaining maintainers (like DamianZaremba), which are sometimes not around when needed (e.g. [4]).

Potential issues:

  • Cobi (and to a greater extent Crispy) are largely inactive and AFAIK there aren't many others around with an in-depth knowledge of the wiki interface and constraints a replacement algo might need to meet—i.e. performance? language for API bindings?
  • Typically we'd need to incentivise the competition with some prize, though not necessarily a large one. I'd argue it's probably a good use of 1-5,000 USD of the WMF funds, but it depends on the improvements we'd see.
  • Due to misunderstandings about machine learning, people are often concerned about making algorithmic details and datasets available, with the worry that it shows determined vandals how they could beat the system.
  • Maybe the WMF is already working on an improved or centralised replacement for Cluebot NG?
  • Alternatively: Another approach could be collaborating with an academic department in the field of machine learning. It could be a high-profile project for their lab and result in a nice paper as well as likely some attention from the mainstream press.

Apologies if this is the wrong venue for this suggestion. The idea isn't wedded to the Kaggle platform, it's the most prominent site of its kind as far as I know, but we could probably hold a local on-wiki competition to the same ends (likely with less entrants). benmoore 13:42, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

With regards to the algorithm, there are a few minor improvements that can be made (like better wikitext parsing), but nothing significant. CBNG's algorithm beats or is at least on par with all of the theoretical algorithms that can operate on real-time data that have been submitted to PAN (and co.) when operating at or below the FP tolerance set by the community (<0.1%).
With regards to my inactivity, I am inactive, but I do lurk, and check my e-mail multiple times a day (where do you think I found this thread?). I only respond when needed.
With regards to the bot's instability, I actually have no control over that. I would be willing to take that responsibility back, but when Rich and Damian moved it off of the ClueNet servers to WMF Labs, I lost access to the running bot (I do not have an account on WMF Labs). This can be rectified, but until recently, it hasn't been much of an issue. -- Cobi(t|c|b) 09:24, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the comments Cobi. I wasn't trying to "call you out", or anyone else, for inactivity—I know we're all volunteers here. The point of such a competition is that entrants build solution-specific algorithms that beat any off-the-shelf algo for a given problem. My understanding is that the underlying neural net is just fann (right?). Is the training set raw data available anywhere? Maybe I could try a couple of other methods and see if a more accurate classification is possible for the given FP rate, or confirm that the current approach is optimal. benmoore 11:14, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
The effectiveness of an artificial neural network is not necessarily how you tweak the algorithm, but what you feed as inputs into the neural network. All of the (core) code, should you wish to peruse it, is here. -- Cobi(t|c|b) 00:18, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
Yeah I'm not talking about tuning the net parameters, but replacing it with something else, or combining its predictions with an ensemble of other methods. Also are you saying feature selection and hyperparameters has already been benchmarked and optimised by you or Crispy? Am I right in thinking you're not interested or optimistic about improving the detection accuracy of the bot? benmoore 10:02, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

Reputation/voting mechanism[edit]

Dear community members,

I recently had chance to dwell upon the, and study its gamification concept being applied for its site maintenace and future growth.

I found it interesting.

I liked some of the gamification that is reputaion/voting mechanism/point etc. that I am now thinking if wikipedia adopts some of the useful and meaningful concepts from them they that would really great.

In-case you like my suggestion just pass it to the wikipedia admin team and programmer team to think and ponder on these lines.

thanks, Sanjay Tank, vienna, VA, US — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:10, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

Treat some IP address users as 'trusted' IPs with user-rights which would allow the same access levels as auto-confirmed usernames, and allowed to edit semi-protected pages. After examining over 100,000 edits across several weeks, the activity of IP-based edits was shown to be 27%-28% of the level of username-based edits. A reputation mechanism could be focused on IPs/usernames with thousands of edits, to reduce the processing time needed to handle the vast majority of users with just a few hundred edits (no reputation level yet stored). -Wikid77 06:18, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
An IP address might consistently be used by one person or even group of librarians for years, and then be passed onto a vandal or spammer. Unlike accounts, past behaviour of IPs is not such a good indicator of future behaviour. ϢereSpielChequers 17:43, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
Hi Sanjay, we actually have quite a bit of that sort of stuff built into this site, including white listing and various processes to give extra tools to trusted users. Have you got a more specific suggestion as to how we could change one of our processes? ϢereSpielChequers 17:43, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

"Complexity of Topic" statistic for links and/or pages[edit]

While browsing I often find I open many new articles partway though the one I'm working on because I want to know more about topic X that has been thrown about a lot in the article I'm reading, and I don't fully understand it. A sort of 1-10 ranking on how long it would take me (or rather, the Average Reader) to understand an article, based on what article I come into it from, might prove useful, quite possibly for several reasons I don't know.

In the context that spawned this idea: I was reading about Sentience, originally to differentiate it with Sapience. Due to the opening paragraph of Sentience I became interested in Suffering as a proof of sentience, whose opening sentence lead me to open Valence (psychology) and Affective Phenomena.

Because I opened Affective Phenomena first, I started there, and got to about Non-conscious affect and perception before I felt I had a good understanding of the concept, and could safely return to the previous article. However, I also had to go through Valence, and found that it consisted of only a little more data than the one sentence summary provided in the article I was just in.

To return to my proposal; a system wherein an averaged ranking (perhaps 1-10) of how long a reader spends reading the linked article (target article), or how much of it they read (even what parts, if possible), with regards to what article linked them to it (source article), would appear on inter-article links. Such a system may prove useful for organizing relevant information first, and allowing readers to distinguish between articles that they could likely open and understand to their satisfaction readily, and ones that may take them quite some time (or in fact several more tabs full of articles) to grasp.

Of course readers would have to know for themselves how 'strong' they are with any given topic, and adjust the numbers given this way accordingly: A history major in a neurology source article would see a complexity rating of 6 for a target article about neurotransmitters and know they're getting into deep water, but a target article about the French revolution with a link rating of 9 (say from a source article on the American revolution) might be no problem. I don't see this as a problem in the system, because readers generally know what they know, and can make judgments like that for themselves no problem, but giving them numbers to compare related topics at a glance may still be informing them of something useful.

The overall goal here is to increase the efficiency of inter-article linking, which (as I see it) is one of the major strengths of the core Wiki system of information access.

Taking it a step further— and this may be beyond the scope of the idea lab, I wouldn't know, as I've never used it before— could be to allow users to link such data generated by their browsing to their own Wikipedia accounts, which would let wiki roughly know what the user should know, and what information others in their situation found that proved useful; a sort of cloud-based what-I-know/what-I-need learning system. If we can watch what people are looking for, and know when they find it, we could use that to help others know what to look for, and where it could be found.

Such directing of users to specific content MUST of course be completely optional and transparent, lest we risk going the way of user tailored search results, which while useful, naturally degrade our ability to explore beyond our borders. -- (talk) 00:49, 14 January 2014 (UTC) Zenith

This sounds complicated. Complicated is generally bad.
But I want to know: what's the difference between sapience and sentience? If I click the links, I'll probably end up with another long set of tabs to read... WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:22, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia checkpoint edition[edit]

One problem facing users of Wikipedia is determining whether an article they are reading has been vandalized. While I think we do a good job of catching and reverting vandalism, there is a interval between the act of vandalism and its removal. A reader may access the article during that time window. There are also occasional instances of vandalism that goes undetected for a long time. Readers have no way of knowing whether an article they are reading is in a vandalized state.

I would like to propose a ‘’Wikipedia check-point edition’’ as a way to address this problem. Here's how it would work:

As of a certain day and time, not publicized in advance (say 2359 GMT on December 31, 2013), the current version of all articles would be recorded as a list, indexed by article name, of permalinks to the latest version the article as of that date and time. Automated scripts would then “apply” certain subsequent edits made over, say, the subsequent two weeks. Applying an edit would mean replacing the permalink in the checkpoint list with that of a later or former version. Edits that would be applied automatically might include:

  1. reversions that are marked as vandalism removal
  2. edits marked as removing copyright violations
  3. Any article deleted in the time window (deletion scripts might be updated to delete from the checkpoint list as well)
  4. Articles created less than, say, two weeks earlier might be excluded from the list as too immature .

Articles that are the subject of active dispute resolution or in the midst of an edit war as of the date and time might also be excluded so as not to favor one side in a dispute.

Manual changes to the list would only be made on an exception basis, perhaps only by an admin, with notice on the article talk page and maybe a notice board. The only acceptable edits would be for clearcut vandalism not caught by the automated scripts, copyright violations and BLP violations. Errors of fact, POV bias, poor sourcing and other disputed material would NOT be a basis for changing the checkpoint edition. Changes to the checkpoint would be limited to substituting a later or earlier revision of the article. Admins could also remove the article from the checkpoint list, if there was no other clean option available. The goal would be to have the the list contain vandalism free versions as close as possible to the checkpoint date and time.

For articles that had recently undergone a review, such as featured articles or good articles, it might make sense to use the reviewed version of the article as the check pointed version.

The goal would be to create a list of articles that reflect a vandalism free version of Wikipedia as of the check point time, using minimum human intervention. New checkpoint editions might be created every year or two, perhaps at randomized times so as not to create an opportunity for editors to get POV material into articles just before they are checkpointed. Note that nothing in this proposed process would change the current content of Wikipedia articles or our normal editing process.

A tool would then be provided to let readers view the check point version and to compare the current version by diff with the check point version. A reader concerned about the status of the article could compare it with the check pointed version, and then check the sourcing of any changes that seemed material. There might also be a mechanism to report uncaught vandalism in the checkpoint edition.

This proposal is not foolproof. There will always be some vandalism that is missed, but I believe such a mechanism would be a useful tool for readers concerned about the trustworthiness of Wikipedia.--agr (talk) 18:28, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

If you haven't seen it, then you might want be interested in the discussion currently going on at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#Make_it_clear when_there_is no_change_to_articles in your watchlist.2C_compared_to_a zero_byte_length_change. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:54, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
  • I can understand why this idea is attractive. The idea of being able to be sure that a revision of free of vandalism is a tempting one, and to be able to allow readers to share that certainty when they visit an article would seem like a good thing. However I have several reservations about this idea. i suspect that in practice it might well cost significantly more effort than it is worth, and have a net negative effect on the project. Some issues that occur to me:
  1. Most vandalism is now reverted fairly promptly, and most readers do not encounter articles in a vandalized stated. The much larger problem is unreliability. Content that is added in good faith, and therefore not vandalism, but is inaccurate or incomplete. Unfortunately, this proposal does not help with this. Indeed it may even hinder, see below. (The other large issue is PoV-pushing. This is not strictly speaking in good faith, but is often not simple vandalism, either.)
  2. A year can be a very long time in the growth of a Wikipedia article. If Users are being referred to a check-pointed version of an article that is, on average, 6 months old, then new information, corrections, improvements, etc will not be included. Yes, i understand that the latest version will also be available, but if this feature becomes popular (and if it fails to, what is the point) then many, perhaps even most readers will look first or solely at the checkpointed revision, thus missing any improvements since the last checkpoint time.
  3. If being "marked as vandalism removal" or "marked as removing copyright violations" gets an edit automatically added to the checkpoint revision, then many vandals will start so marking their vandalistic edits. Manual confirmation is going to be needed, or such edits might only be accepted from some trusted subset of editors. But that would further the establishment of first- and second-class editors here, which is generally undesirable, in my view.
  4. One of Wikipedia's curent strength's is that vandalism is usually quickly reverted, and error is often swiftly fixed. If soemoen complains, the classic answer is 'So fix it'. But it will be hard if not impossible to fix any vandalism that does sneak by, or any error, in a checkpoinhted revision of an article, until the next checkpoint.
  5. If the checkpoint revision becomes what most or many readers look at (or look at fist) editors may loose the emotional thrill that live editing gives. In my view, this is one of the major drivers of editors choosing to continue to contribute to Wikipedia. Losing it, or reducing it, may well exacerbate the existing problem with editor recruiting and retention. This could harm the whole project significantly.
  6. It looks to me as if considerable manual work by admins or other trusted editors will be needed to administer and maintain such a system. This can only come out of the work already being done by such editors, and therefore increase backlogs or reduce progress on other aspects of the project. Is this feature worth that price?
  7. If such a system is instituted, it might well be better to have some sort of rolling checkpoint dates. Instead of every article in Wikipedia begin check-pointed on, say, May 12th, have 1/12th of them checkpointed every month, or 1/52nd every week, or 1 /360th every day, with each article having its own checkpoint date. This reduces the burden of a huge group of extra chores all at one time of the year.
There may be other issues, but those are some of the reasons why I am dubious about this proposal so far. DES (talk) 00:42, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
    • Thanks for taking the time to give feedback. Here are my responses:
  1. Vandalism may not be our biggest problem, but it is a problem. We are one of the most used sites on the Internet and even if an article is in vandalized state only for a short time, many readers will see it in that state, and now there is no clear mechanism for checking. And what I propose also works for existing article review mechanisms and could form the basis for new ones.
  2. I checked some random articles using that link in the side bar, and most had little activity in the past year. The minority of articles that get heavy editing can of course be reviewed more frequently if that proves necessary.
  3. That is the reason I propose a checkpoint time of 2013-12-31, before this proposal was posted, so no one can easily game the first checkpoint. If what you describe becomes a problem, we may need more manual review for future checkpoints. But note that a vandalism reversion returns the article to a previous state, and a vandalism revert to a previous vandalism revert should be easy to detect, so the most a vandal could get away with is revert a previous valid edit. In my experience, vandals are nowhere near that sophisticated.
  4. Vandalism that does sneak by can be dealt with manually on an exception basis as I proposed. If doing that becomes too messy, say there is a virulent edit war in progress, the checkpoint can simply be removed and a user who clicks the checkpoint link would be told there is no checkpoint available. I believe such cases will be very rare.
  5. The way I envision this working, a reader would always get the current version of the article, just as they do now. The only difference would be a link, perhaps in the sidebar, that presents a comparison with the checkpointed version. So there should be no friction added to the existing editing mechanism nor any reduction in the thrill of editing, which I agree is an important motivator.
  6. Certainly my proposal requires ongoing work, but any attempt at improving Wikipedia quality will do so. But we shouldn't assume that this is a zero-sum game. Good solutions to real problems can attract new editors and reinvigorate existing one. I suspect some editors do not participate in good/featured article process because it becomes meaningless after the article has been edited many times. My proposal could increase the thrill of getting article stars.
  7. There are lots of possible modifications to my proposal, but as pointed out above, there is some benefit in having the entire article space check pointed at once.--agr (talk) 18:41, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
The most heavily viewed pages other than the Main Page get around 1.5 million views per week. That means vandalism that lasts 1 minute will be seen by around 150 people. But only a couple of articles get that many views. The 25th most viewed article gets only 25 views per minute. The 1000th gets 4 views/min. The 5000th gets less than 2 views/min. That means that nearly 99.9% of articles get fewer views than that, often much fewer. ClueBot NG and people using Huggle can often revert vandalism in near-real time. ClueBot can often revert in less than 5 seconds. Which means even on the most heavily-viewed pages it would be seen by no more than 10 people.
This is basically like sighted versions, except with potentially more downsides. There will be no review of articles prior to checkpointing, all users (not just anons/newbies) have to wait for their edits to go to the "checkpoint" version, and the wait will be longer - weeks or months instead of hours. Mr.Z-man 19:24, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
First of all, what I am suggesting is quite different from flagged/revisions/sighted versions. It does not change in any way Wikipedia's editing process or what article content a reader sees. All it does is give a casual reader and easy way to check for vandalism and recent changes in an article. You seem to be arguing that vandalism is a problem that has become manageable, but others disagree, for example: Our Wikipedia:General disclaimer says The content of any given article may recently have been changed, vandalized or altered by someone whose opinion does not correspond with the state of knowledge in the relevant fields. You and I as experienced editors know how to check for such recent changes using Wikipedia's history and diff tools, but this capability too opaque for most readers. Why not make it easier to use? Finally, my notion of a check point was intended to be a light-weight way of identifying vandalism free versions, while capturing formally reviewed versions where they exist. Adding another "vandalism free" review mechanism to update the check point version, perhaps just requiring a talk page consensus of at least 3 auto-confirmed editors, might be a useful addition to my proposal.--agr (talk) 14:53, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Except for the fact that it's done automatically on a regular basis instead of manually as needed, it seems almost exactly like sighted versions. The point of sighted versions is to provide a vandalism-free version to readers while still allowing editing. The problem with the lack of manual review before checkpointing is that it has the potential to include vandalized content in the checkpointed version. So while a checkpointed version will show recent changes, it won't necessarily show which ones are vandalism. Take the "Kenny's syndrome" example from the Boston Globe piece. If you weren't familiar with the topic and saw someone added it, you wouldn't necessarily know it was vandalism. You might be a little suspicious because it was a recent addition, but that's it. But what if it made it into the checkpointed version before someone caught it? Maybe the person who removed it wasn't a regular user and didn't mark it as a vandalism removal or start a discussion to update the checkpointed version. Now you just have a recent edit removing some content. How do you know that that wasn't the vandalism? Mr.Z-man 15:52, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Sighted versions disrupted the normal Wikipedia editing flow, my idea does not. I think that is an important difference. By your own argument, most vandalism gets fixed soon, so if we take a snapshot of Wikipedia on a given date and then apply any vandalism reverts over the next few weeks, we should get a vandalism free version for all but a handful of our 4.4 million articles. With an exception reporting mechanism, most of that handful can be found too. My goal is not to create a stable version of Wikipedia, but a vandalism free check point that readers can compare to. It won't be 100% perfect, that is not an attainable goal, but it will give our readers an added means of assurance about most articles.--agr (talk) 23:30, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

English variants (dialects)[edit]

I have an idea that might solve the problem of dealing with different language variants (dialects) within articles. For English, as per MOS:ENGVAR, a given article should be consistent and employ only one regional variant for word spellings, e.g., exclusively using either US (American) English or UK (British) English spellings. For example, an article discussing insect coloration should use either the US spellings "color" and "coloration", or the UK spellings "colour" and "colouration" throughout the article.

I propose a new template that will allow the use of multiple variant word spellings within a given article; the choice of which variant is displayed for each variant word is selectable from the user's profile settings. I propose a new template named dialect (or something similar) to be used to provide two or more different spellings for a single word. For example, the construct {{dialect|us=color|uk=colour}} would render the word as "color" if the user's preferences were set to "US English", or as "colour" if his preferences were set to "UK English".

This template could also be used, of course, for other language variants, such as Spanish (for spellings and idioms specific to Spain, South America, Central America, etc.) within the es Wikipedia. This being the case, we would probably have to specify the specific language group we are interested in for a given choice of words to render. Thus the template would have to be specified as either {{dialect&nbsp;en|us=color|uk=colour}}, where part of the template name itself specifies the language (en in this example), or it would have to be specified as {{dialect|en-us=color|en-uk=colour}}, where each selection choice (parameter) specifies the language and the dialect (us-en and en-uk in this example). (Personally, I would prefer not to have to specify a language explicitly (using just {{dialect|...}}), but not doing so would probably cause problems if the template is intended to be used for languages beyond English; if so, I prefer the first form over the second form, since it is more concise and it appears to follow established WP template naming conventions.)

So more syntactically complete examples would be, for example when discussing automobiles, the constructs {{dialect&nbsp;en|us=trunk|uk=boot}}, {{dialect&nbsp;en|us=hood|uk=bonnet}}, and {{dialect&nbsp;en|us=windshield|uk=windscreen}} when referring to the trunk/book, hood/bonnet, and windshield/windscreen, respectively, each word being rendered according to the user's en dialect preferences.

The selection choices should, of course, allow for embedded wikilinks. Thus a plausible example of this is {{dialect&nbsp;en|us=[[association football|soccer]]|uk=[[association football|football]]}}, where both rendered variants "soccer" and "football" link to the article for association football. Since this usage is likely to be quite common, the syntax could be made more concise with the addition of an optional link parameter, so that it becomes the simpler form of {{dialect&nbsp;en|us=soccer|uk=football|link=association football}}.

As an added benefit, the use of the template need not be limited to single words, but could be used to select between multiple alternate (idiomatic) phrases as well.

— Loadmaster (talk) 18:34, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

I think this would solve the problem, but I think it would be a nightmare to read and/or later edit an article with all that extra markup in it. Many articles are already so filled with refs and other junk that trying to edit the raw markup can be a nightmare.
I'd prefer a server-side process that delivers the content based on the user's preferences, but that presents its own problems. — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 19:23, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
An automated process would require a dictionary of all word spellings across all variants. That sounds like a lot of work, with no guarantee that it would be 100% correct. Consider, for example, the difficulty of distinguishing between the word "color" in normal text versus in a company name or movie title. Consider also the distinction between a car's "trunk" (US) and its "boot" (UK); a script could not possibly catch instances like these. As for editing article source text "with all that extra markup", I humbly remind you that markups are what make automated scripting easier and what makes the content of each article more precise. Short of splitting each article into at least two variants (one for each dialect), I don't see the debate about using one dialect per article being resolved in any other practical way. — Loadmaster (talk) 21:07, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

The number of words/article that would be affected by this is fairly large, and I agree that this will make editing more difficult. Would use of this template be mandatory? all/none within an article? (If you converted half an article to use the template, that would break the current guideline since half the page would appear with the converted spelling). How hard is it to read the alternate spellings for anyone? (Not to mention places where the US intentionally and explicitly uses brit spellings like Theatre Cedar Rapids or other style choices) Is there any consensus that this is an actual source of problem? (As opposed to say Metric vs English measurement which can actually be incomprehensible to those that don't use the system) Gaijin42 (talk) 21:18, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

I think a template is not necessary and that readers should get used to reading slightly different styles of English. If someone notices an inconsistency in an article, corrections can be made to the spelling of a few words to reflect the predominant style of the article. Things seem to have worked well so far the way they are.CorinneSD (talk) 21:34, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
It's not a problem per se, but it is a source of on-going argument among WP editors. I'm proposing a solution for those who think it's a big enough problem to fix, suggesting a tool they can use to go and fix it. — Loadmaster (talk) 22:15, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
It's been proposed before and still seems a pretty bad idea, to me. The practical result of this would be to make almost all wikitext unreadably complex for editors (and I'm not sure how VE would cope, either). We'd be placing an enormous maintenance cost on our editors in return for a very small benefit to readers, very few of whom are actually challenged or confused by normal spelling variants. I also suspect that any potential bickering over which version of ENGVAR to use in an article would be rerouted into bickering over implementation, defaults, "correct" local versions, etc; we wouldn't have any reduction in editor conflict.
Remember that we did have a tool do so something like this - date auto-formatting - which was eventually abandoned as more trouble than it was worth. Andrew Gray (talk) 11:19, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Begin with direct word-conversion templates: The original idea, of 2-word template calls selected by Special:Preferences, is perhaps too cumbersome in coding the markup for every time a word is used. Instead, rethink as "word-conversion" templates with 2 main issues: (1) only show the translation for the first instance of a word, and (2) have the templates know the conversion for common words or idioms. We can create the templates within a few days, and later switch to Lua to quickly handle hundreds of words and idioms. So, have a template for each intended output dialect: {{ukword|hood}} gives 'hood (bonnet)', while {{usword|lift}} gives: 'lift (elevator)', etc. Then users would learn (or re-read) the /doc page list to better understand the equivalent terms. So, when the plot of the U.S. story says the man was kidnapped and locked in the "{{ukword|trunk}}" then the text could show 'trunk (boot)' for the first mention of 'trunk' in the plot. Just as with numeric measurement conversions, people could omit the template, at times, and simply hand-code the equivalent word in parentheses (curved brackets). However, for readers who forget the UK/U.S. dialects, then let them use {{ukword}} or {{usword}}, or {{auword}} for Australian English, or {{caword}} for Canadian English (etc.), depending on the likely readership for the topic. Overall, this is an important concept, and we can have the solution running within a few days; this need not be difficult, by starting with the initial capability as about 100 common words/idioms during the first few months. -Wikid77 (talk) 13:22, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Andrew Gray, above. I think a tool will increase bickering over which variant is, or ought to be, predominant in an article. I also think it would be distracting to see synonyms from the other variant in parentheses. I think there are enough distractions already. The differences among the varieties of English make English interesting, not difficult.CorinneSD (talk) 19:01, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
Can't see how we would manage words like "metre/meter". The spelling depends on both language variant and context. "Labor/labour" in the Australian context is problematic too. Which "checks" in American articles would you convert to "cheque" for UK articles? I recall previous proposals of this nature, and the number of exceptions to standard rules was quite large. HiLo48 (talk) 06:29, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
I appreciate your idea, it having a simpler syntax for editors than my proposal. However, your list of idioms/words is deceptively small; you are forgetting the multiple variants of each word. For example, the word "color" alone produces the variants "colors", "colored", "coloring", "colorful", "colorless", "colorize", and "colorization", not to mention the variants "overcolor", "undercolor", "precolor", "unicolor", "monocolor", "multicolor", etc., all of which also have "-s", "-ed", "-ing", and "-ization" forms themselves. The resulting work list would be at least an order of magnitude larger than what you now have. I admit that my proposed syntax is somewhat cumbersome, but yours might have bigger problems having to maintain incomplete automated word lists. — Loadmaster (talk) 18:23, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
I think effort would be better expended in simply reminding all editors (or letting some know for the first time) that multiple variants of English exist, and that spelling error they're planning to "fix" may not be an error at all. I find that correcting incorrect corrections is one of the bigger jobs here. HiLo48 (talk) 23:37, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

Essay WP:Idioms about phrases/spelling[edit]

I have created the essay wp:Idioms to examine the extent of the differences between various dialects of English. Based on a list of common idioms, I think the scope of the problem can be better understood. -Wikid77 17:15, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

Here is a list of alternate spellings between UK and US. GB fan 19:32, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
In the idioms list, US zero should be UK nought. Naught means nothing in non-numerical ways ('his plans came to naught'); nought = 0. Correctly, both are pronounced the same ('nort'), just to confuse people, but when speaking, nought is often pronounced as 'owe' (or 'oh') when not being pedantic, or as 'zero' when dealing with call centres and (other) foreigners. In GBF's list, 'gaol' is hardly ever seen outside old-fashioned books or tourist attractions. Peridon (talk) 21:36, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Proposal to give arbitrators special abilities[edit]

My proposal is that we give every member of ArbCom (assuming every member thereof is already an admin, of course) the technical ability to block administrators (but not each other, because <joke>we all know ArbCom is infallible</joke>). Then, we would prevent admins from blocking or unblocking other admins, and would require decisions about whether admins should or should not be blocked be made only by ArbCom, so that we wouldn't have to worry about admins unblocking themselves or something like that. Good idea or not? Jinkinson talk to me 20:15, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

No. Legoktm (talk) 20:35, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
What Lego said. Writ Keeper  21:05, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
  • More of the same. All snarkasm aside, the blocking of admins is sometimes needed within minutes, and ArbCom is like watching paint dry, on a humid day, as just insufferably slow to act. People are like, "Let's solve some major problems" and I'm like, "The solution could be done in a few days" while ArbCom is like, "I think the user noted an issue which is likely very important, as a key issue ArbCom could decide, which should have been resolved years ago, and after some consideration, the issue is probably very important, and ArbCom could resolve the matter this month, but perhaps should wait, but could actually solve this crisis, but we probably won't." And the paint is still waiting to dry. -Wikid77 06:18, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm all for upbundling blocks of the regulars, but not for giving admins an immunity that we deny to other regulars. I'd also point out that when its urgent to block an admin its really urgent to desysop them, and you need a crat for that. I'd be happy to see block-regular upbundled to the crats, there are more of them, and they can be trusted to act with due caution, whilst Arbs are supposedly chosen for their ability to make hard choices in difficult cases. ϢereSpielChequers 18:08, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
    • Well, I don't mind the idea of upbundling block-regulars (though in passing, I doubt we'd ever be able to establish solid criteria for "regulars"; adminship is certainly not it). I'm not sure 'crats should be the ones to get it, though. The 'crat tools are a motley enough group already; I'm not sure pushing yet another job (particularly one so different from the rest) just to save on reorganization time is a good idea. Writ Keeper  21:36, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
      • The common thread in crat tools is that these are admin tools that we don't want to dish out to all admins, but only a highly trusted subset. This really should be no exception. The threshold to define a regular could be very low. few vandals or spammers get anywhere close to 100 edits so I'd suggest we put it there. ϢereSpielChequers 16:11, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
  • For the love of everything that's good and holy, please no... Salvio Let's talk about it! 21:47, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
  • How often is this reckoned to be needed? Peridon (talk) 21:16, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Suggestion: Link on Wikipedia article to share on community sites[edit]

Dear Wikipedians,

I would like to suggest an idea of bringing community links automatically on Wikipedia Articles (New and existing), so that anyone can share the article on community portal. This would be a good way to share so many articles that someone comes across and wants to share it to others. This way the purpose of "free knowledge" and "knowledge to all" will be served more effectively. The link can be at the TOP of the article or at the BOTTOM or at both places.

Udangng (talk) 06:57, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

About the main page of Wikipedia[edit]

I suggest that the main page of Wikipedia should solely use the project namespace and the one in the article namespace should be redirected to Home page. What do everyone think? The Chinese Wikipedia also follows this pattern. Currently the main page is technically in the article as well as project namespace.

As you cannot navigate readers in the main page as it won't look nice, you can {{selfref}} to the Main Page. Huang (talk in public in private | contribs) 15:31, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:FAQ/Main Page#Why is Main Page in the main namespace? PrimeHunter (talk) 08:43, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Web Accessibility feature on Wikipedia[edit]

Wondering if there is a plan to extend Wikipedia for people with disability. Considering it as an Important website for all people irrespective of there ability, we should probably make it W3C compliant. Udangng (talk) 18:42, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Improving accessibility is a continuous process at Wikipedia. See WP:ACCESS and WP:WCAG. Edokter (talk) — 19:19, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia "Data Savants"[edit]

Here's a weird pitch. I was responding to a random user's request for help here, which involves problems and accused vandalism of the data in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. While unfamiliar with the subject, I am familiar with vandalism, (for example, the trend to corrupt article dates, e.g. here and here.) I understand that Wikipedia is "Not an indiscriminate list" and so there are tons of ways we could get better, but for articles such as this one where you pretty much have to accept on sight that everything you are viewing is correct (especially for this entirely unsourced list), it becomes IMPOSSIBLE to manage vandalism. I could easily assume that whatever's on the page right now is correct, and then revert any new additions as unsourced or vandalism, but how do I know I'm not defending actual EXISTING vandalism?

A while back I floated an idea about being able to lock out certain data tables as "Verified". Editors would double-check the references and look for more, and if the data from 3 (or 5 or 10) users from different sources all matched, the table would be "Verified" and locked out so that any changes submitted by vandals could be reverted automatically each hour. (We'd apply rules, like only editors with 1000+ edits, no blocks/warnings for 6 months, etc.)

But then the idea led me to a different level of Wikipedia trust. We have admins, we have bureaucrats, we have CheckUsers, and so forth, but could we have a different group of "Data Savants" whose jobs involve securing solid data for disputed subjects? Like, if I knew that the community trusted MarigoldABC123 as a data savant in the way we trust administrators, it would be so much easier to revert to THEIR endorsed edit, rather than having to verify each of the 13 intermediate edits submitted by a rascal who wanted to vandalize the airdate of Episode 22 of Scaredy Squirrel. Can't we find SOME kind of automated or community-based way to deal with the rampant submission of garbage data? Thanks everyone for your thoughts! Cyphoidbomb (talk) 03:31, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Need another protection lock?[edit]

We have current locks so far:

Content locks:

  • Full-protection
  • Semi-protection
  • Pending changes, level-1
  • Permanently protected
  • Office protection

Other locks:

  • Template protection
  • Create protection
  • Move protection
  • Upload protection

If LV2 pending changes won't be reincarnated, should there be alternative proposed locks? I have proposed locks in mind, but they aren't officially proposed yet.

  • BLP protection
  • Wikipedia page protection
  • Talk page protection
  • User protection
  • User talk protection
  • Redirect protection

However, you can say that there are enough locks at this time. George Ho (talk) 23:03, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

  • George Why would we need different locks based on namespace? Technical 13 (talk) 02:28, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
    • Well... perhaps for those needing privileges to edit such namespaces? Just like "Template" privileges? George Ho (talk) 02:31, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
This sounds like a solution in search of a problem. Mr.Z-man 03:51, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Change of Infobox Musical Artist to Infobox Person[edit]

Hi all,

I'm hoping to gain editorial consenus or opinions on creating a hybrid of Infobox person/musical artist (e.g. Hilary Duff, Ciara, Fergie) for each musical artist. You can incorporate a lot more information about their life in such a format- it strikes a fine balance between both musical career and personal life (of which I am sure most people would be more interested in). There must be more information in that infobox than just about their musical career. Its purpose is to be a summary of their life as wellas their musical career, and I feel like the infobox musical artist template simply is not efficient enough in this respect.

Opinions and discussions in regards to this will be greatly appreciated- whether on this page or on my talk page :) Feel free to contribute and/or "second the motion".

Miss.Indecisive (talk) 12:44, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

The edit window for this page says "This Village Pump is for developing ideas, not for consensus polling." Given that, I suggest that the discussion be centralized in one place, such as Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Infoboxes. -- Gyrofrog (talk) 15:41, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
The editor posting this Infobox idea is posting here at my suggestion. I listed several WP pages & projects for them that I thought might be good places to open discussion about the status of Infobox/person & Infobox/musical artist. Even for a more-experienced editor like myself, trying to navigate the maze of WP:pages, WikiProject pages, Talk:WikiProject pages, WP Talk:pages and so on can be daunting. I thought that it was possible that developing the idea of a hybrid person/musical artist Infobox could be discussed on this page but wasn't sure which particular Wikipedia location was the best. Thanks Gyrofrog for centralizing the discussion in one place. Shearonink (talk) 16:42, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Flagging shelf-life of time-sensitive content in articles[edit]

Sometimes articles contain statements about events that were in the future at time of edit, e.g.: "Reconstruction of Highway 123 will be complete in December 2013" or "Johnny Bravo's first album is scheduled for an October 2011 release."

It seems there should be a way (probably with a mostly-invisible template) for editors to tag this information with an expiration date to make it easier for future editors or bots to hunt it down and clean it up after the mentioned date has passed, i.e. see how the expected event turned out and put it into the past tense with an appropriate source. A special page could summarize tagged content that has already expired.

--Theodore Kloba (talk) 18:03, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

Never mind; found Template:Update after; just have to figure out how to use it and get its results. --Theodore Kloba (talk) 19:09, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

Troll Hunting[edit]

During my usual looking at edits by Cluebot NG, I thought that these vandals just get warned and that they can go and vandalise Wikipedia again, so I thought of a group of people who would go around beating these trolls instead of just warning them, called Troll Hunters.

Like me, if you would like to go around vandal bashing, the please visit the page Here.

I Look Forward to seeing you bash some trolls. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Titusfox (talkcontribs) 13:11, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

This would seem to be exactly the type of response that "trolls" are attempting to engender. It might just be better to deal with the behavior in a calm and measured manner. Praemonitus (talk) 15:08, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
Do not feed trolls. --NaBUru38 (talk) 21:25, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
An essay is at Wikipedia:DNFTT
The only useful responses to trolling are 1) ignore them, or 2) block them for destructive behavior. If someone is posting things that don't quite justify blocking them, simply ignoring them is appropriate. Anything else could be taken as encouragement for further trolling, which is the last thing we want to communicate. — Loadmaster (talk) 17:30, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

Troll Hunting has been deleted due to lack of interest and User:NaBUru38's Comment Regards, Titusfox 16:27, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

I had an idea[edit]

hi my name is Mustafa, from Iran.the story began when our government channel broadcast a news about Michael Schumacher .after one year they said his name in different as much as every name originate its pronunciation from the place its born, there should be a reference that we rely on to call.when you are at a country and all the people there call a abroad object in similar way nothing special happens. but probably after a while if we talk with some one in a third country they may not understand what exactly we are talking about.for instance: 1- a bridge in the country A is called Ukhlama( the people of the A spell it oklama) 2- the people of country B call and spell it Aklama 3- the people of country C call and spell it Ulama

no imagine the people from the country B want to talk about the Ukhlama with someone from the country C, at the beginning it will be hard to explain what the first one is going to talk about.if there was an accepted source to how to call it , conversation was much easier at the beginning. totally it is easier for all the. people of the earth to call a name in the same I expect wikipedia as the best place to do this and want the developers to put a spelling system in the wikipedia for the names. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:02, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

It's a good idea, but not an easy thing to do. The alphabet to render sounds correctly is the International Phonetic Alphabet. However, IPA is very rarely given in sources about people. Editors viewing video sources might add the IPA for what they hear. However, most editors don't know much about the IPA. Wnt (talk) 12:53, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Freeze headers on tables[edit]

To be able to freeze headers on tables. (e.g. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:28, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

This has been proposed before, but nobody has written the software to make it possible yet. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 20:26, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
This feature would be really nice. — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 20:31, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

New live chat mechanism[edit]

Hello, folks. It's observed that helpees in our IRC help channel (#wikipedia-en-help) sometimes find it confusing chatting on IRC. I've started a discussion on File talk:Live chat mock-up.png on this matter. Zhaofeng Li [talk... contribs...] 08:19, 8 February 2014 (UTC)

Setting up an RFC about joining the ALA[edit]

I'd like to run something like Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Should Wikipedia join the American Library Association?Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Should Wikipedia ask WMF to join the American Library Association on its behalf?, but I haven't started an RFC before and I know too well that the smallest imperfection in starting one can lead to failure or huge debates. Can I get some feedback about what can be done to perfect its overall form, before I try to go advertise it for a vote? Wnt (talk) 16:57, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

The immediate problem would be what it can conceptually mean for "Wikipedia" to join something, as it doesn't really have a corporate existence as such - I think you'll immediately get diverted into trying to figure that out and the proposal would not go anywhere. In addition, there's the problematic tension between Wikipedia-the-international-community and Wikipedia-the-US-hosted-operation; I think you'd have more luck with a discussion about getting one of the US chapters, or the WMF itself, to join. Andrew Gray (talk) 19:59, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
Hmmm, I'd hoped I'd walked that tightrope in the proposal... the appeal of having Wikipedia join per se is that plans for joint activities and so forth could all occur here, as part of this project only. And for interfacing with an American organization it makes sense to have an English-language meeting point. The entire project is already affected by U.S. law, so it seems to make sense for the entire project to pay attention to U.S. issues, regardless of the nationality of individual editors. If this is a library it is located in the U.S. Wnt (talk) 22:56, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Nonetheless, I've moved this to the lengthier title because you're not the first to raise this issue. This title better matches what I actually wrote for the RFC. Thanks for the feedback. Wnt (talk) 23:03, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

Comparing articles[edit]

We should add a feature to compare articles. We would be able to compare Apple and Nokia, Google and Microsoft (see It will allow a user to compare two companies, countries and many more things. It can be done by adding a "Compare" button in infobox. When user will click on this button, a box will appear and user will write name of another article which he want to compare present article with.--Wikiuser13 (talk | contribs) 14:57, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Maybe a tool could compare some info from Wikidata, but I can't see any ability to compare beyond that. :S — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 15:57, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
No, Wikidata will only serve data about the page you're on. I actually figured out a hack to get around that and access more, but they've taken it out. [5] As failure has been the outcome of every other attempt to use that site for any purpose, I would suggest instead that it is possible to use a Lua script to read the sources of two articles and make comparisons. However, the processor power allotted a module is limited, so you can't do too much of a homology search; I'm thinking at most it could pick out tables or infoboxes from the articles and try to make side by side comparisons when there are columns with identical headings. Wnt (talk) 19:42, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
Where two articles have the same infobox, a side by side comparison shouldn't be too hard. Just find the infobox template, grab the parameters, and feed them into a new version of the template which shows the fields side by side in a table. (not going to have much luck with Apple vs Google though, better off comparing Apples and Oranges) MChesterMC (talk) 15:59, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Hall of Fame[edit]

Can't we make a Wikipedian Hall of Fame including all the users who really deserve it. Herald talk with me 13:41, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

Sounds like a new venue for drama generation. Users have very different opinions on who deserves it and who does not.--Ymblanter (talk) 13:42, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
We already have a way to reward very trusted users: it's called making them an admin. Also, we have the missing Wikipedians page for helpful users who are no longer active here. We also have barnstars, editor of the week, and those service award things that you get after making a certain number of edits. Jinkinson talk to me 23:27, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
reward? Interesting word choice. --S Philbrick(Talk) 20:13, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

I volunteer to be in the Hall of Fame. Cheers! bd2412 T 22:39, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

I agree with BD2412: I want to be in the WPHof. But I don't want to be an admin. --NaBUru38 (talk) 23:21, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Idea to add a preview (the first sentences) to other articles which are linked in another.[edit]

Sometimes, I've been reading an article of a subject I don't usually read about. This means that most of the terms and subcategories in that article is also new to me. Most articles have therefore made these terms etc. links to other articles, explaining the meaning of them. This is great! However in my fictional case, where I am completely new to a larger subject, I need to open all of these links in new tabs to understand the bigger, first article.

My idea is therefore a tech-solution, where I may only hover with my cursor above said links, to get the first one or two sentences of that article in a little square attached to the cursor for as long as I hover above that specific link. Most of the time, in such a case that I have described, those first words or sentences are enough to understand the big picture of the (first, big) article.

Here is a Photoshoped image of my idea (from the article about stem cells, where I hover above the link to the article about the femur):

I apologize for my english.

Sincerely, Alexandra — Preceding unsigned comment added by Alexandra.E.Fischer (talkcontribs) 12:26, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Tools/Navigation popups. Mr.Z-man 15:32, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
@Alexandra.E.Fischer: I recently made a video (File:Navigation popups quick tour.ogv) about it. I'll be tweaking it and adding it to the documentation pages, later next week. –Quiddity (talk) 08:40, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

Edit filter[edit]

I was just wondering whether or not there is an edit filter for adding protection templates to non-protected pages. If not, can somebody make it? Thanks!
Cogito-Ergo-Sum (14) (talk) 18:51, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Not just anyone can protect pages. Are you an administrator? — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 19:34, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
Protection templates have code to not display an icon when the page is not protected. The page is also added to Category:Wikipedia pages with incorrect protection templates (most pages there are probably expired protections), so I don't see much need for an edit filter. Do you know of a wide-spread problem we should address? PrimeHunter (talk) 21:05, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
Isn't there still a bot that removes inappropriate templates? WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:21, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
User:lowercase sigmabot giveth, and it and User:DumbBOT taketh away. (found via WP:BOT#Examples) –Quiddity (talk) 08:35, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

Anonymous Editing of Wikipedia[edit]

Why should anonymous editing of Wikipedia even be allowed? If people had to create accounts and log in to edit articles, article vandalism and factual inaccuracies could potentially drop significantly. This is supposed to be a professional encyclopedia (is it not?) that should not be laughed at by professors and teachers in class rooms across the country. This proposal would increase Wikipedia's acamedic credibility. Vodkacannon (talk) 05:31, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Perennial proposals#Prohibit anonymous users from editing. Also, look over articles like this one. Most of the content added was added by logged-out/unregistered editors. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:23, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Search test box at the bottom of the page/article?[edit]

Often I feel we should have Search text box even at the bottom of an article/page, which gives an option for a reader to search an article even without going at the top of the page. I understand, we have trivial options of going at the top by pressing Home key or command key, but having this option will certainly give more flexibility. Udangng (talk) 04:56, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Unless I am missing something obvious, there is only one scenario where this is better than pressing the Home button: when you're already at the end of a long article. In that case it saves you one key press. Praemonitus (talk) 01:25, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't think it even does that. Go to a long page. Scroll to the bottom with your mouse or trackpad. Do you want the search box? Press tab one time. You're already there, with cursor in the search box and ready for you to type. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:54, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
That last tip must be browser-dependent, because on Firefox pressing tab cycles through all the hyperlinks on the page, starting with the first one visible in the current scrolled position of the page.
However, Udangng may be using a browser plug-in to read articles, like I do. I use CoolPreviews to view a number of articles and it requires you to manually scroll back up to the top to get to the Search box. Normal navigation keypresses are directed to the main browser window. — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 14:15, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
How about having a floating search box on the left sidebar, so that there is always a search box visible? Chmarkine (talk) 07:05, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
@Chmarkine:Actually, there is something like that: FloatHead. It leaves the top bar on top of your screen, including search box.Supernerd11 :D Firemind ^_^ Pokedex 05:19, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Simplified articles[edit]

Many articles are very hard to understand, or too long for a simplified explanation, especially those which are related to one specific field. I propose a simplified article to each normal article that is long or hard to understand. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gameon123321 (talkcontribs) 15:44, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

You get your wish. Check out Simple Wikipedia--S Philbrick(Talk) 16:29, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
You could also read/develop the In a Nutshell bubbles on the top of many pages. --Sta13ths17 (talk) 00:26, 25 February 2014 (UTC)

An idea/suggestion to change Wikipedia's pronunciation key[edit]

As an everyday user of Wikipedia, I have had to concede that I have never been able to decode the parenthetical IPA pronunciation key generally used for Wikipedia entries. I value the correct pronunciation of English language words and entries used on Wikipedia and believe it is an important issue. I contend the IPA key currently used by Wikipedia is arcane and archaic and thus exclusionary and should be changed to a more modern and conventional key, such as the American Heritage Dictionary pronunciation key, or, better yet, a simple syllabic phonetic key such as that used by The New York Times. An understanding and appreciation of the correct pronunciation of entries on Wikipedia enhances appreciation of article content, and a more contemporary and user-friendly pronunciation key advances that goal. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Engteachr (talkcontribs) 16:03, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

Welcome to Wikipedia, Engteachr. If you are interested in teaching, I hope that you will look into the education-related articles that the (very small) group of people at WP:WikiProject Education has found. Our articles on basic education subjects are generally worse than average.
IPA is not at all archaic. The main problem with IPA is that American schools don't choose to teach it, except for ə. However, pretty much all European countries do use it, and all linguistics scholars do. It's also common for vocalists; opera singers learn IPA so that they can figure out how to pronounce words in any language.
The main problem with your proposed alternatives, especially the pronunciation respelling method used by The New York Times, is that they only work for people who happen to speak the same variant of English, and thus believe that a group of letters "naturally" has a given sound.
However, there are alternatives. You may add (not substitute) pronunciation respellings with the {{respell}} template for English words (only) according to the system described at Wikipedia:Pronunciation respelling key. You may also make audio recordings of the word being properly pronounced, and upload your recordings to Wikimedia Commons, and add links to those files both here and at Wiktionary:. There is information on how to do that at Wikipedia:WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia/Pronunciation task force. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:15, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for your thoughtful comments. However ironically, they corroborate my sentiments regarding IPA, particularly with regard to their arcane and exclusionary nature for American users of Wikipedia. I would not regard linguistic scholars, opera singers and other vocalists as majority mainstream users of Wikipedia, i.e., I'm wagering there are more non-vocalizing non-linguistic non-scholars that seek reference from Wikipedia than the opposing group. Basically, you verify that IPA is beyond the reach of most general-knowledge American users (like myself) who were never taught it. Are you saying that non-English-speaking Europeans are favored over Americans with the utilization of IPA for English-language articles on Wikipedia? Are English-speaking Europeans not familiar with the American Heritage Dictionary key that we Americans easily understand? Also, are there so many more non-American English-speaking users of Wikipedia than there are American users to justify using a pronunciation key for English-language articles that Americans are unfamiliar with?
I rely on Wikipedia for quick reference and am not inclined (like perhaps most users) to take the time to add editorial information regarding pronunciation to make it easier to understand as you suggested. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Engteachr (talkcontribs) 20:13, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
I would like to concur with the comments made by Engteachr. Since most Americans do not learn the IPA, it is virtually of no help at all as a guide to pronunciation. I have a graduate university degree and have found learning the IPA difficult. However, since Europeans and others do learn the IPA, I propose that links to both the IPA and a guide from a widely read American dictionary be supplied. Links do not take up much space. WP is not just for experts who already know how words are pronounced, it is a resource that helps many people learn new words, including children, students, and non-experts of any age. – CorinneSD (talk) 21:04, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
I don't understand IPA (I've never taken the time to learn it), but Wikipedia is an international encyclopedia. Making it American-centric will only alienate non-US users. — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 14:20, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
I'm with CorinneSD on this. It's not just an issue for Americans; it's an issue for native speakers of the English language. WaId, you say that "pretty much all European countries do use it" - well, I was educated at an expensive private school in London. I got to learn French, Latin and Ancient Greek - but IPA didn't feature even once. It's very much a tool for specialists, not a general audience. For a test, try reading our article Great Vowel Shift if you don't know IPA, without manually playing each one of the dozens of (inconsistently-recorded, to boot) audio clips in it. It's completely impenetrable. — Scott talk 15:27, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
So your school didn't use the Oxford English Dictionary? The most respected English-language dictionary in the world uses IPA. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:55, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
I'm an American who does understand IPA. The Spanish-English dictionary we used in junior high gave the English pronunciations in IPA, and I got a lot more of it as a linguistics minor in college. I understand that most of my countrymen never encountered it in school, and American dictionaries don't use it. But I can't imagine how the comprehensibility of Great Vowel Shift would be improved by adding an American dictionary pronunciation transcription. It already uses example words affected by the shift, as well as other words now pronounced similar to the old ways to illustrate. But that's a complex technical subject that's all about details of pronunciation. It seems to me the main issue here is for articles that give the pronunciation of just the subject. People are always free to add a {{respell}} to those, but it doesn't seem to have been a high priority so far. If enough people care enough, they could organize a project to add them. Ntsimp (talk) 23:31, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
It's like any other jargon issue. Psychiatry is unfortunately written for people who want to get into that business, who want the advantages of jargon. Jargon, besides its function of discouraging silly outsiders, also has advantages of precision and concision. But we're an encyclopedia, not a texbook for students of phonetics or psychiatry or other trade. We need to help psychiatrists to look up an elementary aspect of phonetics, and phoneticians to understand a particular psychiatric question. Yes, IPA is a wonderful tool of the trade. But tools that fit perfectly the needs of a particular trade do not generally fit so perfectly the needs of our encyclopedia-writing trade. Yes, using IPA or other phonetic scheme means writing for a dialect. So, if one dialect is important, so are others, right? Do them, too. Jim.henderson (talk) 16:16, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
Indeed. Our editors are expected to make technical articles understandable, and solely relying upon IPA does not. — Scott talk 16:53, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
The problem with this proposal is that it is exactly the articles where pronunciation assistance is most needed (foreign place and personal names) that cannot be represented in a phonetic system designed only for English. So replacing IPA with, frankly, anything else results in a loss of information. So please feel free to add {{respell}}, but don't remove the only phonetic system that was designed to faithfully represent the pronunciation of any word in any language. If you need help reading IPA pronunciations, template {{IPA-en}} provides a nice link to a pronunciation for English, {{IPA-fr}} links to French pronunciation, and others link to a general IPA guide. VanIsaacWS Vexcontribs 18:31, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

I disagree with the comment above that "foreign place and personal names" are "where pronunciation assistance is most needed." I don't believe "most needed" applies, and concurrently, there isn't any word transcribed using the Roman (Latin) alphabet that can't be decoded using a simple phonetic pronunciation key or American dictionary key and would be easily understandable to anyone who understands the English language. A previous post asserted that the phonetic "respelling" method used by The New York Times wasn't feasible because of "variant"s of English. I'm not sure what "variants" of my language are, unless the poster was referring to national dialects, but in any event any pronunciation key could be faulted for the same reason. Most American dictionaries give one pronunciation, with occasionally an alternate pronunciation, often indicating that it is British as opposed to American. This has worked fine for American dictionaries for centuries, and it could work very easily in Wikipedia. In contrasting IPA with, say, the American Heritage Dictionary pronunciation key, the learning curve with IPA is pretty severe (in my view it's like learning a new language with obscure symbols not seen anywhere else), whereas most dictionary or phonetic keys are pretty quick studies -- dictionary symbolism is limited and basic. The bottom line is millions of American users of Wikipedia don't know IPA and have great difficulty understanding the pronunciation key for Wikipedia entries, and this is a damn shame. I'm sure opera singers and Europeans who know English as a second language are happy but I'm not. Wikipedia should make their pronunciation key more accessible to a larger number of users.Engteachr (talk) 20:05, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

I agree completely. I should amend my comment above. I said that I had found the IPA difficult to learn. The truth is that after looking at it for five minutes I decided not to even try to learn it. Regarding differences in the various dialects of English, if we take Standard British English, Standard American English, and perhaps Australian and one or two others, the differences in pronunciation are mainly in the vowels and just a few consonants. These could all be displayed. Either let people select one of the dialects of English for a guide to the pronunciation of a word, or someone could create a simple table that shows the pronunciation of a word or name in all of the main dialects of English. I'm sure the tech-minded people could do this. Regarding the problem of foreign place names and personal names that have sounds that are not in English, the reader can click to hear the pronunciation or click to see a guide that enables the reader to come close to the pronunciation, using familiar words in their own dialect of English. If we can send an unmanned vehicle to Mars, we can do this. This can be done, and it should be done.CorinneSD (talk) 20:29, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
Engteachr, I'm not really talking about when Brits and Americans pronounce a word differently, like beta ("bay-ta" vs "bee-ta", to use respelling). I'm talking about when they pronounce the target word exactly the same—a person's name, for example—but when their idea of how to respell it is different.
Consider Peter Duesberg: you would say that the first phoneme could be written either "Due" (as in deadline) or "Do" (as in action), because those words sound the same, right? But a Brit will tell you that that these two little words sound obviously different. If you respell that name as "Duez-burg", then an American will get the pronunciation right and a Brit will get the pronunciation wrong. Why? Because Americans believe that "due" (as in deadline) is pronounced (in IPA) du and Brits believe that it's pronounced djuː.
Similarly, only an American will believe that "Do, a deer, a female deer" is helpful. That only works if you think that Doe is pronounced dō (American dictionary method; it's doʊ in IPA) and not if you think it's pronounced dəʊ (the British pronunciation).
In some cases, the respellings will be the same. In other cases, you're talking about adding respelling-for-Americans plus respelling-for-Brits (and/or people speaking Indian English, Canadian English, Australian English, New Zealand English, etc.), because even though every single person on the planet needs the same actual sounds, each group's idea of the ideal respelling is incompatible with another groups. And nobody thinks that an article is well-served by adding a three or four pronunciations to the top just to cover the major groups of readers. If you need that, then try a link to Wiktionary:, where that is welcome and supported. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:55, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
The IPA template has a field for linking an uploaded sound file. "All we need" is a gadget or browser-extension that automatically produces the sound-file. DMacks (talk) 18:06, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Content movements to Biblicalapedia[edit]

Hello. I notice there is a wide variety of pages concerning biblical-history from a perspective that represents it purely as biblical history (some articles or versions don't document specific religious beliefs, but simply the historicity of the subject, in a way taking it as mythology, except it is not disclaiming nor claiming its truth). Many of these articles cover topics that are very much in depth into biblical history. This is just a draft proposal and early on discussion to whether or not certain articles shall be redirected to Biblicalapedia. Biblicalapedia is a small biblical-history website (averaging about 1.9k views for a month [this was gained in two weeks due to free Facebook advertising] according to Quantcast, however has no contributors except the occasional contribution)that has been measured to have an enormous potential. With the wiki being neutrally based, not siding for secularism, Christianity/Judaism/Abrahamic faiths, nor neutrality. What I mean by this (this is very hard to explain to users upfront, and so it makes it a bit more difficult to attract contributors and viewers) is that the wiki attempts to present the content in a historically based view. It tries to explain and describe the historicity of the Bible and its content, and its connections with archaeology and geography. This is meant be to written as a history book or encyclopedia. Biblicalapedia is also a wiki (just to clarify in-case anyone was confused). We do not claim nor do we support or endorse the fact that the spiritual content of the Bible is real, nor do we disclaim it. The goal is to not only help those who believe the Bible's content understand the historical aspects more easily, but also to help demonstrate a basic idea of the beliefs (historically not spiritually) of those who do believe it to those who don't. This is meant to be whether they have a general curiosity, interested in converting, etc. A content moving would greatly boost up Search Engine Optimization to our wiki, and help us stabilize the wiki by gaining potential visitors and contributors. I feel however that a more formal policy discussion should become in progress once (or if) this gets passed on to the proposals forum. Also what I would like to do is post external links to some of our content in external links section on certain articles here on Wikipedia, and vice versa (I would need the content being linked to be developed enough to follow the policies). Superdadsuper (talk) 23:56, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

I would say that this is a no go. Wikipedia does not redirect articles to outside sites. An exception is that certain words or phrases that are not suitable for article status are redirected to a sister project Wiktionary - but even that is regarded by some editors as not really being acceptable. Wikipedia treats all religions on the basis of reporting both historically evidenced matters and mythological matters that are evidenced as being notable. There is no objection here to you using our text and images subject to the requirements of acknowledging Wikipedia as a source and the material continuing to be freely licensed. There is no way I can see that you would be allowed to move articles off here to another site, leaving a redirect here. Peridon (talk) 14:11, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

I have seen pages on Meta Wiki or stories for certain content on Wikipedia having a redirect namespace that would redirect to another wiki, perhaps i misunderstood that could you explain that to me. I can not find the page currently however. Superdadsuper (talk) 17:03, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

Whether or not, I can see no way that valid articles can be exported leaving a redirect behind. We have articles that anyone can use - copying them to their own sites or even printing and selling books of articles - subject to acknowledgement and free licensing. We don't 'give' articles away. We retain the article for others to copy. Having looked at a few random articles on your site, I wouldn't recommend adding links to it. I'm afraid it's not up to the standard for 'further reading' yet. Many articles on Wikipedia started off as 'stubs', however, and your site is fairly new still, I think. Where another wiki has considerable content of a specialised nature (subjects like manga, Transformers and so on), we will allow external links to that wiki. Where the other wiki is at stub level and there is no extra information, I'm afraid that a lot of our patrollers would regard the addition of links as being promotional. Peridon (talk) 21:48, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
Superdadsuper, You might have been looking at a {{soft redirect}} on a page like Wikipedia:Metapedianism. They're sometimes used to send people to Wiktionary for a dictionary definition. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:06, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

User:TeleComNasSprVen/Shared accounts[edit]

Hi, I'm getting ready to move this to Wikipedia:Request for comment/Shared accounts, but I would like some advice on how best to structure the RFC page and outline its main points. Full discussion is at here, where 28bytes (talk · contribs) suggested we get started on drafting the RFC page. There was a brief mention about the distinction between 'commercial' and 'promotional' which was never really fleshed out. Can someone give me a clearer definition of what those means, and what they might imply for this RFC? TeleComNasSprVen (talkcontribs) 00:59, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

"Commercial" means profit-making companies. "Promotional" is much wider: there are many non-profits, clubs, lobbying groups, charities etc who would like to use Wikipedia to promote themselves and their aims, and are surprised and indignant to be told that's not what an encyclopedia does and pointed to Wikipedia is not here to tell the world about your noble cause. The issue in both cases is a conflict of interest between the organization's aims, whether "worthy" or profit, and Wikipedia's. I think your RFC will stand a chance only if you confine it specifically to GLAM organizations, where the potential for COI is minimised because their aim, like ours, is free distribution of knowledge. JohnCD (talk) 22:40, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
Well, in any case I note that Wikipedia:Username policy strictly prohibits promotional usernames and make no mention of commercial ones. TeleComNasSprVen (talkcontribs) 17:30, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
Commercial usernames are included in WP:GROUPNAME's wider prohibition of promotional usernames which "consist of a name of a company, group, institution or product" (my emphasis). JohnCD (talk) 18:14, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
You can also have a user who is commercial but non-promotional (e.g., a corporate PR person whose sole action is to revert poop vandalism or clean up citation formatting to independent news articles). You can have a user who is non-commercial but promotional (e.g., User:Donate to This Charity).
Then there are the complicated cases: how do you classify someone who is hired to provide purely neutral (or even invisible) work? Imagine that I hired a law student to spend the school break cleaning up complicated copyright violations, on the grounds that copyvios are evil and CCI's overloaded. Is that "commercial", because money's changing hands, or non-commercial, because the content has nothing to do with a money-making enterprise? Or what if I hired someone to clean up the mismatched column templates currently listed in my sandbox? (Speaking of which, if anyone's looking for a little project: The list is at User:WhatamIdoing/Sandbox. Anything starting with {{multicol}} must use {{multicol-break}} and {{multicol-end}}, not the unrelated {{col-break}} and {{col-end}} templates. If you clean up any of these messes, then please remove the links from my sandbox. And thanks.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:13, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
Part of the problem of shared accounts is assigning responsibility. At present, accounts known to be or seriously suspected of being compromised are permanently blocked. A shared account has more than one operator. But it has one password. Bearing in mind how many passwords around the world are set to 'password' (or more cleverly, 'Password' or 'pissword'), or '12345', it's likely that passwords won't always be reset when an operator leaves the company. If leaving because disgruntled (or sacked, even), what a lovely chance to vandalise and get the company account blocked... Very difficult to prove who dunnit without violating the principles of Checkuser. Similar things apply to husband/wife (etc) sharings (but usually with a smaller number of operators...). Peridon (talk) 22:54, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Commented on User_talk:TeleComNasSprVen/Shared_accounts NE Ent 12:25, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

  • So have I. JohnCD (talk) 22:45, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Several ideas, some specifically wikipedia related, some relating to other foundation entities as well[edit]

Sorry for the length of the title above, and, for that matter, for the length of the proposal page itself. But when my computer when to hell a few months ago and I was waiting for the holidays to end and buy a replacement, I reviewed what I could of the WF entities to see what seemed to be weak, and saw at least a few things which might be better, some of which I thought I might have some useful ideas about. The full page is at User:John Carter/Opinions. I would welcome any input from others regarding whether they think the ideas there are worth considering, and if any are, what might be the best way to proceed to maybe consider implementation. My thanks to anyone who might actually suffer through reading it, but a lot of things occurred to me, and that made it longer than I would have anticipated. John Carter (talk) 12:47, 21 February 2014 (UTC)


I was just thinking, wouldn't it be cool if pages had a visitor counter for each day, for example, it would be interesting to know if I am the only one who had looked up an article for Eritrea today.. thanks — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:03, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

  • They do... -- type in the page name and find out how many visitors this month, in the last 30-60-90 days... There is also a new page hit counter on labs, but I don't have the URL memorized yet. I'm sure I'll come across it soon (or someone else will post it). — {{U|Technical 13}} (tec) 06:07, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

"Starred diffs" on watchlist[edit]

I shared a recent idea here, but realized that page might not be the best location for that sort of comment. I had this idea about the ability to "star" diffs in your watchlist as a reminder to follow up at a later time/date. Any feedback would be appreciated. --Another Believer (Talk) 23:49, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Hi! You could use the bookmarks of your web browser. Good luck! --NaBUru38 (talk) 18:14, 25 February 2014 (UTC)
If you use the web browser add-in Cool Previews, you can build a "stack" of URLs to visit. Not a Wikipedia software solution, but it would give you the same results. — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 19:22, 25 February 2014 (UTC)

Blocked users and mailing lists[edit]

It has been suggested that blocked users should not be allowed to receive mailings via the Mass message sender system while they are blocked. The suggestion was that the "You're blocked dummy" template should categorize the user's talk page with Category:Opted-out of message delivery. Unless I'm mistaken, my testing on testwiki showed that blocked users are automatically prevented from receiving messages through the system and are logged with a "... failed with an error code of protectedpage" message. @Legoktm, MZMcBride, and Ktr101: is that correct? How does the community feel about everyone who is blocked not receiving messages? What about people who are granted requested enforced wikibreak blocks, or people who's accounts are compromised and they recover them within a few hours, should they still not be allowed to get messages? — {{U|Technical 13}} (tec) 03:29, 25 February 2014 (UTC)

I haven't the faintest idea of whether they get notified or not, but we could always try it with a few blocked users and see what happens (and then revert, with a note explaining what we did). In terms of notifying them, I don't see the point of telling indef-blocked or retired users what's up, but if we do remove them from lists that they signed up to, we should definitely do them the courtesy of notifying them when we do. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 05:09, 25 February 2014 (UTC)
Uh, that's not correct. "protectedpage" is for when the page is protected to the level where the bot account can't edit it. The extension doesn't even check a user's block status, it merely checks that the user exists. Legoktm (talk) 06:58, 25 February 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure it's reasonable to disable message delivery simply because a user is blocked. What problem is trying to be solved here? --MZMcBride (talk) 22:08, 25 February 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure what John Cline's rationale was, but my thinking on the topic, as one who was been blocked almost a year ago, is that receiving messages from mailing lists would be disruptive and distracting to the task at hand of researching what the user did wrong to get themselves blocked in the first place. They should be focused on learning policies, protocols, what being a Wikipedian is all about, not worrying about improving TAFI or reviewing AFC drafts or any of the other million things to do to keep oneself busy here. Their only task once blocked is to learn why they were blocked, learn why it was wrong, and decide if they want to continue to contribute in the future or not. Those are just some of my thoughts about it, and I brought it here to see what others thought as well. — {{U|Technical 13}} (tec) 00:59, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
My rationale is very similar to yours T13. If there is a problem to be solved it is that instead of each WikiProject discussing how they will handle the matter individually, it would be better to make it a consequence of being blocked prohibiting all users from receiving any automated messages while they are blocked.—John Cline (talk) 01:42, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
I don't think that all automated messages should be blocked for any user. Bot-delivered mesages about copyvios ought to be posted.
In the case of a user being blocked for a brief period of time, it would probably make more sense for them to continue to receive messages. Not every block involves someone who needs to understand Wikipedia better. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:40, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

What is with the TRUTH on Wikipedia?[edit]

When a reader of Wikipedia, look for an answer, to some of their questions, most often faced with the fact, that on Wikipedia or no answer, or the answer is wrong. This is due, totally wrong policy on which is founded Wikipedia, and completely the wrong way in which this policy is implemented.

When some well-intentioned users criticize the content of the article, or put differently the same question, or offer a different explanation, his contribution is deleted, because his opinion is not enough cited and because Wikipedia is not the forum. SO WHAT IS IT THEN? On the first page of Wikipedia should stand the WARNING: This is an unauthorized plagiarism outdated and inaccurate definitions and data.

Who is responsible for this situation? All of us! And for whom? We are responsible towards our children! Wikipedia has an important - civilizational role! We who have had the misfortune to live in a totalitarian system, we know where that leads policy when, faithful and registered members of some party, carry out "the only good policy" - of that party and "putting salt on the brain" of other members of society. Condition with the truth, on pages of Wikipedia is worrisome, especially since, are multiplying and nationalistic version of Wikipedia.

Anyone who wants to give the reader at least approximately the correct answers and definitions of some of the current general human, philosophical and scientific concepts, know that the answers to these questions, do not lie in dusty old books, but in the present and the future, in the minds of honest and intelligent people. Therefore, it is the last time, for a change, the policy of Wikipedia.

The time has come, that the editors of some articles in their editing, equally cite authorized opinions expressed on the talk pages of Wikipedia, along with other media. They must not erase someone else's opinion, but that opinion are obliged to accept and REFUTE. Authors will erase themselves, their incorrect and refuted opinions.

Forgive me, at Google's language, translation and proofreading are functions that actually missing Wikipedia, rather than nationalistic versions of Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is free. Wikipedia has the talk page. So let's talk! Amendment I, Cheers! Vjekoslav Brkić, Osijek. (talk) 10:48, 11 November 2015 (UTC)