Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab)/Archive 2

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Pictures on the main page[edit]

Wouldn't it be better if the small pictures on the main page (in the DYK, In the news and on this day section) have a (small) caption? Currently you have to read the whole section to find out what or who is on the picture. I asked Jimbo today and he thought that this is a good idea, 'if there is room'. So what do you guys think about that? Hive001 contact 20:59, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

The mainpage in it's current form was the result of extemely extensive work in 2006. Proposals to change it in 2008 didn't really go anywhere. There isn't really space to add captions to images other than the featured image while keeping a readable font size.©Geni 22:36, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
What about a rollover message?
Thinking of the main page, what's with the massive overlinking in OTD, ITN and DYK? Practically every other word is linked to, meaning that readers find it hard to know what link is worth clicking on. Fences&Windows 01:10, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
A rollover message sounds like a good idea. If this is too complicated a very short caption with just the name of the person/thing wouldn't use that much space. Hive001 contact 10:49, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

a list of the wikilinks in the article[edit]

Hi, what do you think of this idea:

may I have a categorized list of all the keywords or links that were in the article? (for example, as a side bar) categorized means by subject. for example, terms related to general computing, terms related to the specific subject, and external links related to the various subjects, each in their own part of the list.

for example, in the article

you have many OS names, some Windows applications, GUI frameworks, and general terms such as floppy disks, VGA, API, vapourware ...

it could be nice to have them all batched together, but sorted based on their domain. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:50, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

I can give you a list of all links on a page. I can also give you a list of categories a page belongs to. Now all you have to do is to put them together. MER-C 03:27, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

YouTube (not just External links)[edit]

YouTube has come up many times at Policy discussion, various noticeboards, and the Help desk. There are several guidelines and policies that can apply to YouTube but it just isn't clear and is often debated. I started a draft in my sandbox. It might be better as just an essay stating my personal interpretations but I wanted to get some eyes on it to see if there is anyway to get some consensus on what should be included. In the perfect world, I would love to see it take the place of WP:YOUTUBE but at the moment it really is just snippets from guidelines and what I think is consensus from the Policy talk page archives. And apologies if this is the the correct venue.User:Cptnono/Sandbox--Cptnono (talk) 03:14, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

Good idea. I've dived in. Fences&Windows 13:51, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
Awesome, thanks Fences and windows. Your changes were good. Someone mentioned bringing it up at WP:CERTWP:CENT(oops) before you jumped in and I was also considering that. I don't know exactly what steps need to be taken or if the draft is even the best but am sick of seeing it not clarified. I know enough editors have dealt with the issue in random venues that as many thoughts on it as possible would be completely appreciated.Cptnono (talk) 03:53, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
You can move it to Wikipedia space if you think that it's nearly ready, then get comments at VPP, and then CENT to get it approved as a guideline. Fences&Windows 16:43, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
I'm thinking Wikipedia:Video links based on your shortcuts. Thank you again.Cptnono (talk) 21:29, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
At Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#YouTube now. BTW, my screen is showing fluffy font for that new section but I don't see anything causing it. (Someone's font tag not closed) Cptnono (talk) 22:01, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

Random Article[edit]

Dear Friends at Wikipedia,

I hope people say this frequently because i believe it needs to be improved upon. Once upon a time, when Wikipedia was young, there were many articles about some astonishing topics. I came upon several different branches of physics which i'm intensely interested in now because of you guys. But now when i click on random article all i come upon is crap ie. football players, country's/cities and other un-useful information. Now i'm not saying the good ones aren't still out there' but there far and few between... So if you guys could add another link for something like "random most frequent topics" or something that'd solve some problems. Because i'm positive i cant be the only one experiencing this frustration.

Thank you for your time, Daniel Francis —Preceding unsigned comment added by DanielFrncs33 (talkcontribs) 05:08, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

The problem would be is that the most fequently viewed topics are pop culture and current events. I'm not sure you would view this an an improvement.©Geni 00:54, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
Erwin85's random article tool limits to a particular category. I'd suggest trying the link on WP:Featured articles, although basis is still there. — Dispenser 02:12, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
There's also Template:Random page in category which would allow you to restrict random articles to within a specific category, such as Category:Physics. And you might also want to try out Random featured article. -- œ 18:59, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

WP:MOS for Sports[edit]

Hi all,

I'd like to start a MOS for sports. Would that go under "arts" or a new section? Doc Quintana (talk) 15:57, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

Great idea, and surely this has to be a new section, entitled 'Sports'. Arts is much broader and should rightly be kept separate, or am I the only one that thinks this? User:T p daniells —Preceding undated comment added 17:09, 7 July 2010 (UTC).

I agree, it is a good idea. In the Reference Desk, sports usually end up under entertainment, but since sports includes all sorts of items not part of other disciplines (e.g., statistics, tables, etc.), it should be kept separate. I would like to help with this project if I may so be permitted. Thank you. — Michael J 12:12, 9 July 2010 (UTC)



Some articles are being turned into spoken versions by Wikipedia:WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:Spoken articles for a list of them. If you want to hear an article not on this list, there are software programs that convert text to audio, or you could use Pediaphon, a free tool. Fences&Windows 22:28, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
Microsoft Windows includes the Microsoft Narrator, which works if you use Internet Explorer as your web browser. The Mac has an equivalent called VoiceOver. PleaseStand (talk) 00:18, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
See strategy:Proposal:Audio offerings and strategy:Proposal:Text-to-speech. The latter could be developed on the Toolserver and I invite interested parties in contacting me. However, distribution of an audio version of a Wikipedia article (text-to-speech) violates the Toolserver's page text redistribution rule. Uploading files to Commons is still an option. — Dispenser 20:29, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

"Do not archive this thread" template[edit]

Does there exist a template such as {{Do not archive this}} for example, that can be placed under the heading of a talkpage thread which would direct archiving bots to NOT archive that particular thread? When it sees the template the bot would ignore that thread and 'skip over' it when doing it's archiving duties and would effectively cause that thread to remain on the page until the template is removed. It would be great if templates such as {{unresolved}} and {{unanswered}} could do this, or rather if archiving bots could be made to recognize these templates and NOT archive those threads until the matter is resolved and the template removed. This is useful because I often come across old posts that ask important questions but that have gone unanswered which then get promptly archived and forgotten about. I don't agree that just because someone's post is a few months old that it has no value and can be disregarded. If the original poster is not around to read the reply that shouldn't matter, the information is still there for others to read and learn from. And you never know when they might just come back and be delighted to learn that someone, after all that time, actually DID care about their question and decided to reply. Other reasons for wanting to retain a post on a page would be for important notices or when there are many links to that section and archiving it would break all those links, which actually happens quite often I've found. So, any thoughts or ideas? Much appreciated, œ 19:20, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

There is a way: User:DoNotArchiveUntil. Fences&Windows 00:06, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
I wonder if a template can be made that makes use of that "user"? Fences&Windows 00:07, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but it would have to both be substituted and include a far-future timestamp for the bots to care. PleaseStand (talk) 00:11, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
The template's easy if you don't mind using subst:. I'll whip it up at {{DNAU}}. --Ludwigs2 00:21, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
Arg: the fact that it's a hidden comment means that the substitution is not processing the date parameter. I'm going to remove that parameter for the time being, and add in more functional control as and if I figure out how to get around that. --Ludwigs2 01:14, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
That's great, thank you! I was unaware that User:DoNotArchiveUntil existed. So how does it work though? Do the bots just watch for the date stamp that's set way ahead in the future? Thanks for DNAU too, it's perfect. -- œ 05:00, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
As I understand it, the bot looks for the most current date in the thread, and if that date is more than x days in the past it archives the thread. even though this date stamp is hidden, the bot will still see it, and since the date is way in the future the thread never gets archived.
however, to get more control over it, I need to figure out some tricky something. apparently subst won't process parameters that are in hidden comments (not sure whether or not that constitutes a bug); I'll work it out eventually... --Ludwigs2 05:17, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
ok, fixed it up: you can now enter an integer as the first positional parameter for the number of days you want to prevent archival. check the docs. --Ludwigs2 06:09, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
Test: . Fences&Windows 21:53, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
Um, the output is not what the documentation says, it gives <!-- Do not archive this thread until 21:53 8 July 2010 (UTC) -->. Would that work on bots? Fences&Windows 21:56, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
As I understand it, the way this works is that the bots look for the last properly formatted date stamp in the thread and compare that against the current date. so the only real operative element is the date itself - the text is just for identification. However, I made a test page here - assuming that miszabot has no trouble archiving subpages, the first three threads should archive tomorrow or the next day, the next two should archive the day after tomorrow or the day after that, and the next two in three to four days. the last should stay around for 10 years. let's let it sit for a few days and check the page histories. --Ludwigs2 23:20, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
Hah! first test failed utterly. Face-smile.svg apaprently the bot uses a grep that looks for a userlink date combo. I've revised the template and set up some new test threads. --Ludwigs2 17:16, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Ok, the template appears to be working correctly now (at least, on my test page the threads that should have been archived in the last run were, and those that shouldn't have been weren't). It also seems that it only uses the date, not the user-name dat combo. the problem it had was that I'd forgotten a comma on the template, so that the bot didn't recognize the string as a valid date. --Ludwigs2 16:52, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
P.s. the only remaining question is whether we want the template to use a pointer to User:DoNotArchiveUntil, or whether we want some more descriptive text to be passed. what do you think? --Ludwigs2 16:53, 13 July 2010 (UTC)


New Domain for Wikipedia competitor to Street View. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sidzig (talkcontribs) 05:30, 13 July 2010 (UTC) אײ —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sidzig (talkcontribs) 05:32, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Music albums/singles information[edit]

To Whom It May Concern:

Forgive me if my proposal formatting is completely incorrect; it is my first time sending a proposal. I am a logged in user for Wikipedia editing. I have a proposal to make music albums/singles DISTINGUISH between the producer of the album or song, and the co-producer. Both terms are different, and just to specify the roles each person had in the creation of the song (who produced and who co-produced), I believe that this distinction is important.

Example 1:

"Liberian Girl"
Single by Michael Jackson
from the album Bad
Released July 3, 1989
Format CD single / 7" / 12"
Recorded 1987
Genre R&B, Adult contemporary
Length 3:53 (Album Version)
3:40 (Edit)
Label Epic Records
Writer(s) Michael Jackson
Producer(s) Quincy Jones
Michael Jackson singles chronology
"Leave Me Alone"
"Liberian Girl"
"Speed Demon"
Bad track listing
"Speed Demon"
"Liberian Girl"
"Just Good Friends"

My second proposal is that for Double-A singles, there can be separate infoboxes for each single (perhaps as subheads for the main infobox of the double-A single). Having to enter musical information into one category for BOTH songs makes the infobox appear mushed up. I believe that separate descriptions would clean it up a little bit (separate personnel as well). EXAMPLE:

Single by {{{Artist}}}
from the album HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I
Released May 31, 1995
Format CD single, cassette single, 7" single, 12"
Recorded October — December 1994
Flyte Time Studios
(Edina, Minnesota)
The Hit Factory
(New York City, New York)
Label Epic



| Certification = Platinum (RIAA) [1]

| Chronology = Michael Jackson singles

| Last single = "Gone Too Soon"

| This single = "Scream"/"Childhood"
(1995) "D

| Next single = "You Are Not Alone"

|Misc =

|- ! colspan="3" scope="col" style="text-align: center; background:khaki;" | HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book Itrack listing |- | colspan="3" |

Janet Jackson chronology
"Whoops Now/What'll I Do"
"They Don't Care About Us"


Please let me know if these proposals are valid. Thank you —Preceding unsigned comment added by Luminoth187 (talkcontribs) 20:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Template pack[edit]

Quite often the requests from many of our reusers is to install our "standardized" set of templates. Many templates are not standardize yet and other require CSS or JavaScript bits. Idealy, a test page tell reusers which template they can install and use (e.g. ParserFunctions). Should their be a WikiProject? How should be deal with standardizing template names and parameters. — Dispenser 23:10, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Automatically remove unreferenced?[edit]

I've come across a number of articles with {{fact}} on them for years. Articles such as [1] and [2] have required a sledge hammer approach. Look at Category:Articles with unsourced statements from December 2006, surely 4 years is more than enough time.

Would user be in favour of automatically removing unreferenced after a set period ? Gnevin (talk) 10:35, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

No, such removal needs human judgment. You may want to talk to Wikipedia:WikiProject Unreferenced articles. Anomie 16:09, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Sufficiently sophisticated computer judgment can substitute for human judgment (although we're probably not there yet). On the other hand, if a human is going to sit there and remove everything that's unreferenced anyway without putting much thought into individual cases, and if the community will allow that, then we might as well automate the process.
We have a lot of unreferenced stuff that is probably true, and a lot of unreferenced stuff that is more dubious. Sometimes people just don't feel like citing that the sky is blue. E.g., some people may think to themselves, "Well everyone knows that apple pie is the national food of the United States!" and not feel like citing it. Then again, a lot of the things that "everyone knows" turn out to be incorrect, and one need look no further than Snopes to see the truth of that. Tisane talk/stalk 16:46, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Human judgement would be involved just wrap the unreferenced in {{fact|Ireland is the biggest country in the world}}. When the time expired the bot removes the entire sentence. Until such time as the majority are force reference the things that "everyone knows" we will have articles like National dish which was a mess and no one cared to fix it Gnevin (talk) 17:22, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
National dish demonstrates the other problem with the assumption that mechanically requiring references will "fix" things - that article is full of references, and it's still an unacceptable mess. Gavia immer (talk) 17:30, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
If may be unacceptable mess still but at least its not an unacceptable mess made up of unreferenced nonsense and I've stated on the article talk page that for something such as National dish multiple high quality references are required but considering I gutted the page I didn't want to much it further Gnevin (talk) 17:35, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I see that you did work on it, and I think your trimming was an improvement; I just don't think that the remainder is usable merely because it's referenced - no offense meant to your work on it. Gavia immer (talk) 18:08, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
  • I'm opposed to this idea. We don't have a deadline. I understand that this is not a reason to keep everything forever. However, much of that material can be referenced, but for whetbver reason, it simply hasn't. These articles are clearly tagged as having no sourcing so any readers viewing the article are informed that there is a serious deficiency in the article if they were to rely on this information. As a collaborative effort, Wikipedia will not benefit from the removal of these articles. There's nothing to build on when the initial work (flawed though it may be) is simply removed for being flawed. -- Whpq (talk) 17:32, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
No one is proposing removing the articles , I am however suggesting the we should have a deadline be it 2 or 3 years when a specific fact or serious of facts are flagged as such Gnevin (talk) 17:35, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
I am not at all convinced that automatic removal of any material is a good idea. It pre-supposes that it was appropriate to challenge the information in the first place. Without human oversight, there is no reason to believe that removal of the material is teh correct action. -- Whpq (talk) 18:05, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Things aren't incorrectly challenged for 2 or 3 years in my opinion maybe Wikipedia:WikiProject Unreferenced articles can advise Gnevin (talk) 18:10, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm a member of that project, but I usually work on the completely unreferenced articles and don't come acoss fact tags much in dealing with those types of articles. Fro those articles where there's often opinion, then perhaps the fact tags may indicate removale. But again, this sort of assessment requires a human being, and not a bot. -- Whpq (talk) 19:33, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
It would have human assessment when tagged .If a particular sentence has been flags as unreliable for years it's been reviewed by 10's if not 100's or 1000's of edits. Why do we need a human to re-review it to remove it? Gnevin (talk) 08:36, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Because anybody can and does sprinkle text with {{fact}} tags. There is no indication that anybody has reviewed the material. That it has been around for some time does not guarantee that any editor has looked at it to evaluate that the material should be removed, or that the tagging was ever appropriate. -- Whpq (talk) 10:00, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Well the same could be said for anything and at the end of the day for the very ,very small number of {{fact}} that haven't been reviewed a revert is always possible but the vast majority of {{fact}} have been reviewed by the very fact the page has been edited numerous times over a extremely long period of time Gnevin (talk) 10:08, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Who is going to follow up on a bot edit and revert it if it was wrong? I would venture almost nobody. So the fact that it can be reverted doesn't negate any errors. I disagree with the assumption that a page that has been edited over a period of time means that the fact tag has been reviewed. If it actually had been reviewed, then it wouldn't be there. I would venture that it has been seen, but nobody has seen fit to do anything about it. -- Whpq (talk) 10:46, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Ok I disagree with your conclusion as it could be review ,no source found but editors is afraid to remove it but fair enough ,it was just a thought Gnevin (talk) 10:54, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Editors acting like automatons is bad enough without us actually replacing them with robots. Fences&Windows 18:20, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
I absolutely agree with this. Some people get bored and want to write bot scripts to solve problems that aren't problems or problems that shouldn't be addressed with bots. Please don't. Carrite (talk) 05:45, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Unacceptable solution, and probably based on a common misunderstanding of how {{fact}} is supposed to be used. {{fact}} is for statements that are not suspected of being problematic. If a statement is problematic, it needs referenced or taken out of the article now, not five years from now, and if a statement is non-problematic, then it doesn't matter if it's cited tomorrow or in 2025. --erachima talk 05:51, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

That may be how its supposed to be used, but not how it works in practice, at least the majority of the time. In practice, its used for things that aren't obviously wrong ("The War of 1812 started in 1956") but still questionable ("The vase sold for over $16 million at auction"). Things that are totally non-problematic are generally just left alone, otherwise half of Wikipedia would be covered in {{fact}} tags. Mr.Z-man 22:25, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

"Ditch the suggestion box"[edit]

From Newsweek:

Could that be occurring here? Maybe the proposal process actually hinders progress because people focus on a process that is, statistically, unlikely to result in any changes, rather than just going ahead and implementing what changes they can without going through the bureaucracy. Tisane talk/stalk 21:38, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Be bold already advocates what you're saying. We don't have a top-down bureaucracy that tells us what to do (other than the WMF forcing Vector onto everyone), so we're already not like most organisations. However, proposals that are going to be controversial or be a major change ought to be discussed beforehand: if you just go ahead and make the change, you'll inevitably be reverted by someone who objects - and then you'll have to discuss it. And it's not possible for a single editor to implement a change that requires others to change their behaviour for the change to be successful. Do you have any examples of proposals that should have just be done instead of being talked to death? Fences&Windows 22:32, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
WP:PWD and WP:IIGW. Granted, the former was my fault for bringing it up. I just think it's time for people to start creating more wikis rather than bothering trying to change Wikipedia; that could be viewed as intrapreneurialism if viewed from the perspective that one is still working within the larger Internet and wikisphere, or entrepreneurialism if viewed from the perspective that it's working outside Wikimedia. Tisane talk/stalk 08:19, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure if its bureaucracy in fact its probably a lack of bureaucracy but ideas are much harder to get passed than before. Now maybe this is because 3 or 4 years ago wiki had a lot more problems needing solving but looking at stuff like flagged revisions and BLP the objections seems to be a combination of inertia and fear of change Gnevin (talk) 08:06, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Indeed. Wikipedia is beginning to stagnate is some ways. The wikisphere probably needs to grow beyond its current state, into a network of independent yet interconnected wikis, and that is where WP:JFII comes in. People feel like they've done their part by posting their opinion to WP:VPPR, but that really doesn't accomplish much; it's more like slacktivism. Tisane talk/stalk 08:19, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
The trouble is users won't want to get involved. Take Wikipedia:Subject-specific_guidelines or the recent attempt to improve the WP:MOS I posted every where I could think of to get input including the WP:MOS, {{cent}},WP:VPPR and others informed users on the talk page to be bold and edit the proposal this pretty much didnt happen. Yet with I open the RFC (at Wikipedia:Subject-specific_guidelines and Wikipedia:Manual of Style (words to watch) particularity) the !No came thick and fast . Half of the No votes didn't make sense in my opinion and what was worse was most of them where drive by !No . They'd vote but not offer feed back on how to improve the proposal . Gnevin (talk) 10:18, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Just because your pet proposals fail doesn't mean there's a problem with Wikipedia. Of course you don't think they were opposed for good reason, or you'd not have proposed them. I opposed SSG as I thought it was bureaucratic and lacked a good rationale. I've had proposals fail too: sometimes I can see why, and sometimes I think it's ridiculous, but I'm not going to get bitter about it. I think it'd be more enlightening to point to failed proposals you didn't write yourself.
There have been multiple attempts to create other wikis, like Citizendium and Wikinfo. The problem is that the editing base is here at Wikipedia, and these other projects usually have significant flaws (and are often vanity projects). The place for other projects to succeed is not by competing directly with Wikipedia, but by doing what Wikipedia doesn't. Wikia's success has been down to crackdowns on "fancruft" on Wikipedia. Inclusionists who bemoan notability should start a project that lacks any notability guidelines. Fences&Windows 22:45, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
My examples included proposals I didn't write myself and I'm not bitter .Examples I didn't propose include the attempt to update the MOS and Wikipedia:Manual of Style (words to watch) both of which I was involved in but not heavily . In fact Wikipedia:Manual of Style (words to watch) had a RFC opened vast numbers of notifications and yet users only choose to get involved when the proposal had CON which they then attempted to derail . The SSG example was an example of how difficult I found it for the no side to engage. In that RFC I posted on the talk page and user talk page for future feed back but was ignored. Anyway the SSG isn't the point . Attempting to generate discussion is extremely hard when users start there reply with a !no.
I'm not sure what Citizendium and Wikinfo has to do with anything?
The core of my point is that its extremely difficult to get users to engage in proposals without just saying no .Maybe this is just me but look how hard it's been to get WP:FLAGGED or WP:BPL in place. Gnevin (talk) 08:33, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
I was referring to Tisane's point that "I just think it's time for people to start creating more wikis rather than bothering trying to change Wikipedia". Fences&Windows 16:44, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
I think one problem with "Pure Wiki Deletion" was the name! As was proposed "Deletion by page blanking" would've been more intuitive. I'm ambivalent on the idea, but it might've been good to try it. Could still be resurrected. I like the idea of a "Trash" namespace - and we do already have the Wikipedia:Article Incubator, which was definitely a JFII project. It was set up on the fly last year and survived an early MfD attempt where some people complained that nobody had asked for permission to set it up... Fences&Windows 23:05, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Wasn't PWD was disallowed by Mike Godwin due to legal risks? --Yair rand (talk) 02:58, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
What legal risk? We'd still be able to delete copyright material, libel, etc. the traditional way. Godwin's view was regarding "view deleted": Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Persistent proposals/Straw poll for view-deleted. If Godwin's opinion did apply to PWD, it'd equally apply to all non-notable redirected pages - but it doesn't. Fences&Windows 16:44, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
I fail to see how a single discussion (which is all it takes except for major changes, most of which couldn't be implemented by a single person anyway) can really be considered "bureaucracy". It certainly isn't a black box. A system like that can work in a workplace setting as people are hired only after they can reasonably convince their employer that they are competent at whatever they're being hired for and then they have to consider potentially serious (injury/death, financial losses, etc.) consequences for changes. Wikipedia has no such competency requirements and there aren't many things that can go horribly wrong (and if they do, you can just disappear without dealing with it). If Toyota let random people into their factory and allowed them to change things, I doubt it would work as well. Mr.Z-man 00:01, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, the more I think about it, the more I realize Wikipedia's suggestion system is a lot different from what is seen in corporations. On Wikipedia, you post it publicly, discussion basically starts immediately, and all (or most) of the debate occurs openly. I have worked in corporations where I put something in the suggestion box and then looked back a month later and no one had emptied it. Having said that, Toyota did come up with a pretty good system, lean manufacturing, that empowered the workers pretty well, but their system was also based on lifetime employment, in which both parties had made a pretty significant commitment to the other; when times became tough, they would move personnel into sales rather than firing them, and the employees evidently saw it to be in their interests to hang around for decades. As you say, Wikipedians can just disappear, and there are no consequences. Tisane talk/stalk 07:59, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Proposed Addendum to WP:Title[edit]

Currently, the manual of style for medical articles states that the International Nonproprietary Name (INN) must be used as the title for all drug pages. (Ex. Paracetamol, instead of Tylenol) This naming scheme is developed by the World Health Organization, and is internationally accepted. In fact, most Wikipedia articles already use it, but there are a few that don't, and it is important, for thecredibility of Wikipedia that they do, so that they may conform to international standards of naming. Ronk01 talk, 14:49, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure exactly what you're proposing. I don't see the need to add anything to WP:Article titles, since it already has a link (in the box at top right) to the medicine style page, as it does to a whole load of other specialist naming convention pages. But if you just want to rename the articles that you say don't conform to the convention, then follow WP:Moving pages etc.--Kotniski (talk) 15:01, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Well the problem is that the medicine stylebook is a guideline, and those who insist on using outmoded naming schemes constantly cite that, claiming that their version is "more correct" though INN is internationally endorsed. The general idea of the proposal is to make the medicine gildebook policy for medical articles. Ronk01 talk, 21:51, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

We editors do not take a position on what is "correct" we follow usage in reliable sources. That something has an "internationally endorsed" name may give it some weighting when building a consensus over what name to use, but that does not automatically override other common usage if the "internationally endorsed" name is not the common name. "The wonderful thing about standards is that there are so many of them". -- PBS (talk) 06:19, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Unfortunately, allowing Common nmaes to be used sets a dangerous recednet, the next thing you know, the paracetamol article will become "Tylenol" and Naproxen will become "Aleve" this is not acceptable uner WP policy, but it could work if there is no other opposing policy. (In fact, this is happening already over at epinephrine) Ronk01 talk, 16:13, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

That argument at Talk:Epinephrine is an example of how not to approach this. The solution for two editors who disagree on a title is not to argue endlessly and open mediation, but rather to seek outside views. Fences&Windows 16:12, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
Oh, and neither epinephrine nor adrenaline is a brand name, so there would be no precedent set by using either name. Fences&Windows 16:19, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

Firstly, this proposal has nothing to do with the mediation, it is totally independant of that discussion. Secondly, Adrenalin (very close to Adrenaline) is a brand name. Third, we agreed that RfC would be useless in this situation. This a not a public mediation, it is between three oppsing parties who will present their solution on the article talk page when the mediation concludes. Ronk01 talk, 22:53, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

Hey, you brought up the example. Surely "Adrenalin" was a brand name, it's not now, is it? And for titles that correspond to brand names, see Heroin and Aspirin: Bayer still holds the trademarks for these compounds in many countries, although not most English-speaking countries.
A handful of editors deciding that "RfC would be useless" worries me. Why is it that you think that you three disputing parties can come to a better conclusion than can the wider community? Fences&Windows 01:05, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

I think that most of the editors involved in this dispute would benefit from reading Wikipedia:The difference between policies, guidelines and essays, paying particular attention to the third 'myth'. Putting this rule on a page marked "policy" (rather than "guideline" or "essay") does not force other editors to always obey it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:11, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

That page is itself an essay; therefore, how can we give it any credibility? ;p Tisane talk/stalk 18:46, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

CSD bot idea[edit]

Has anything like this been though of before:

Instead of directly tagging an article as A7, you tag with a specialized template that puts it in a certain category; if there are no edits within a certain time period (say, 12-24 hours) the bot would put a custom A7 speedy tag on it. If there is a edit, the bot would notify the tagger on their talk or other page (possibly customizable by the template), then if it becomes unspeedible the tagger could untag it.

The reasoning behind this is behind A7 is one of the leading causes of pre-mature article death, and would ideally you'd wait a while a tagging a lot of WIP articles of "[xxx] is a [xxx]", it really becomes impractical in a lot of cases due to having to near-unrealistic constant watchlist maintaining for high-volume patrollers.

Anyway, just a fleeting idea I had. It could be applied to speedy criteria as well I suppose, but A7 was what inspired it.

Ryan Norton 05:56, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Do you mean a new kind of PROD that is specifically for "no assertion of importance" and is a shorter duration than 7 days? PleaseStand (talk) 10:04, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
A7 is the bonfire of a lot of notable topics. Valarie Pettiford was subject to A7 in 2009 when it read "Valerie Pettiford is an actress. She has acted in multiple times in movies and showa such as, Half & Half and Glitter." I see that as a credible indication of importance, so the problem is misuse of the criterion. That article was actually speedily deleted 6 separate times for copyvio, no context etc. and BLPPRODed once. Fences&Windows 16:43, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I normally don't believe in templating the regulars, but this CSD abuse is becoming so common that it's probably the only way to efficiently instruct/warn people to quit doing it. Maybe we can use a progression of templates, e.g. "Thank you for experimenting with Wikipedia's criteria for speedy deletion. Your test worked, and it has been reverted or removed," followed by "Please do not tag articles for speedy deletion per A7 when there is a credible indication of importance. Such edits are considered CSD misuse and quickly undone," followed by "Please stop. If you continue to misuse CSD, you will be blocked from editing Wikipedia," etc. We should assume good faith at first, but if they keep doing it, we need to start cracking down. Tisane talk/stalk 16:54, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Wot, like {{Uw-csd}}, {{Uw-hasty}}, and {{uw-bite}}? Fences&Windows 20:32, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia Clock[edit]

It would be cool to have a clock somewhere in a corner, to give info about the universal time, phase of the moon, and other time-like related events.

Also, related, a stat counter: how many articles exist in this second, how many edits have been done, how many users are logged in and so on. Update-able every 1 minute or so. Blakut (talk) 10:16, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

I'm sure Firefox apps exist to do things like phases of the moon etc. There is a clock in the gadgets (see your Preferences) to show UTC. A log of articles is on the main page, and you can use this template: {{Number of actual articles}} 4,751,896. Lots of this info is at Special:Statistics, and also see Wikipedia:Statistics. Fences&Windows 16:35, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
There's a gadget you can enable in your preferences to add a UTC clock. -Atmoz (talk) 01:15, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, i know, i just thought it would make the front page a little more interesting and dynamic. Blakut (talk) 08:22, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
I like the frontpage distraction free. The only thing that should move, is the Featured Image if it's animated. :)
Did you check the links Fences gave? wikimediacounter and (when it loads properly) wikichecker look very interesting. -- Quiddity (talk) 19:16, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
You want: to scour google for Clocks Counters Countdowns and other statistic tickers, eg.
(Flash format)'s World Clock and Earth Clock
(Warning, Heavy javascript)
(Yes, I've been collecting these things for years). I've never found any decent ones that included moon phases and realtime comparison of calendar systems though. Let me know if you do :) -- Quiddity (talk) 19:16, 1 August 2010 (UTC)


I created the Inclupedia proposal over at meta. The idea is to solve the ongoing conflict over notability, which will probably otherwise never be resolved to the satisfaction of a large majority of users. There has always been a large minority that found the whole concept of notability, as employed on Wikipedia, to be arbitrary and of dubious merit, but it is evident that they are never going to get their way. Therefore, Wikipedia can remain as it is, and this new wiki can integrate with Wikipedia to squeeze the full value out of the fixed costs that have been incurred in setting up templates, the Wikimedia Commons, the set of Wikipedia articles, etc. while also accommodating content that is non-notable but verifiable through reliable sources.

I know people are skeptical about anything that has to do with viewing/undeleting deleted Wikipedia articles outside the processes of deletion review, etc. but this is a bit different from pure wiki deletion and other proposals to allow viewing of deleted articles by non-administrators. Sysop intervention would be needed in order to view/resurrect articles, as it is on Wikipedia; the difference is that on Inclupedia, articles can be resurrected if the only reason for deletion was lack of notability. Yes, some articles are deleted from Wikipedia for notability/importance reasons when the deleting sysop also suspects copyvios or other unacceptable problems, but the onus is on the undeleting sysop at Inclupedia to sort such issues out before hitting the "undelete" button, by verifying citations, using copyvio detection tools such as CorenSearchBot, or maybe with the help of whatever remarks were left behind by the deleting sysop and other users who may have commented on the article in various forums such as the article talk page, AfD, etc.

In some ways, it's an ambitious project, but probably worthwhile. If we don't find a mutually acceptable solution to the notability problem, it is probably going to continue dogging us into the foreseeable future. This type of wiki, closely integrated into the Wikimedia community and, in particular, integrated with Wikipedia more closely than any wiki has ever been before, is probably the best way to address WP:DEMOLISH concerns without going some pointless route like starting a Wikia wiki that will never go anywhere. That's been tried, and it hasn't worked very well. No other wiki in the world has come close to the level of success of Wikipedia because they all tried to reinvent the wheel, and in the end, everyone realized that it was pointless to try to continuously duplicate the heroic effort of so many Wikipedians. It's like a Red Queen's Hypothesis; you have to run as fast as you can, duplicating all those Wikipedia templates, images, etc. just to keep from falling behind, and no one has been able to pull it off very well. Tisane talk/stalk 08:50, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

This is a very interesting proposal. A couple things:
  • There is, all the way at the end of the notability/usability spectrum, content that it is extremely clear not a single person will want to read, but one person will want to write a sentence about. A project to accept content deleted from WP for notability reasons would need to decide early in the planning stages whether such content should be accepted.
  • People writing about fictional universes have already developed their own considerably large and successful communities and wikis with their own methods best suited to their needs, and built metacommunities around common areas of interest and principles (NIWA is a good example of this). These communities are very unlikely to want to abandon what they've built (not to mention their allowance for in-universe perspective), and new contributors to such areas are unlikely to want to delve into a wiki trying to be inclusive but lacking content and community when developed wikis already exist. Thus, Inclupedia is unlikely to be successful in these areas, IMO, even if it tries to import many of the millions of articles in off-Wikimedia wikis.
  • Holding a verifiability requirement in Inclupedia would be very difficult. Since the content would be non-notable, it would often be impossible to verify things. It would need to be decided whether unverifiable articles should be deleted. Verifiability would likely cause many disputes.
  • Would quality-based deletion be allowed? Say someone makes an article containing "Famous person X's dog is an ugly grey furball named Rover. :P". What does one do in that situation where notability isn't a requirement?
Inclupedia would certainly fix a number of problems, but there are many obstacles that need to be cleared. Trolling and semi-vandalism would be hard to stop, and the whole project would certainly need a large number of dedicated sysops working on protecting it. (Final note, and I hope I'm not being too negative for VPI: I've seen something similar to Inclupedia attempt to fix inclusiveness limitations, only to turn into a disaster zone, and it's not pretty. It takes a lot of work to keep something like this from being overwhelmed.) --Yair rand (talk) 20:05, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
What might be an example of something that not a single person will want to read, but that someone would want to add? Really, the only objective measure by which we can judge such things is the number of hits an article gets, and that can yield surprising results. E.g., I have written articles such as supervised release under U.S. federal law that I would think a lot of people would be interested in, given the large number of people affected by the subject matter, but it gets few page views. On the other hand, one never knows what obscure subject will unexpectedly get attention. There shouldn't be one-line articles with no prospect of growth; those should be merged into larger articles, as I believe we already do in many cases.
I would think that the statement about X's dog being an ugly grey furball would be an NPOV violation, given that "ugly" is a subjective judgment. On the other hand, the article might say, "Barack Obama controversially described X's dog as "an ugly grey furball," and if that statement were reliably sourced, it would be okay to include.
If you don't mind my asking, what was the project similar to Inclupedia that didn't work? Tisane talk/stalk 06:14, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
An example of something not a single person would want to read would be something like "The 33rd tile on the sidewalk of XX street is a standard light-grey sidewalk tile located at XX°XX. Is is three feet long and two feet wide. In 1992, it was stepped on by obscure person X[reference linking to some picture somewhere]. The tile has a dark spot on the north-west corner that is roughly 1.5 inches in diameter." and would go on for paragraphs about various other aspects that can be derived from the picture, with a mild amount of background on why the person who stepped on it was there and an approximation of what percentage the city's budget for sidewalk tiles this particular tile took up, as well as some background on the process that goes into constructing sidewalk tiles. Whether such an article would be accepted very much defines the project; if such an article were to be accepted there would probably be an article about an extremely obscure topic used as a basic example of the fact the Inclupedia is inclusive, thus generating quite a lot of similar content. There would also likely be quite a lot of bot-generated articles.
An article calling a dog an "ugly grey furball" is certainly an NPOV violation. What does one do with such content? Delete it? Try to extract acceptable content from it and remove the rest? If so, what's "acceptable" and what's "low quality, but improvable"? Exactly where one draws the line is the entire issue this proposal is trying to solve, but it seems that if the new project draws the line anywhere that has room for ambiguity, it would move to be far closer to WP's standards over time. (The 'disaster zone' I was referring to (I know someone's going to jump on me for saying this) was the "Protologism" area of Wiktionary, which has basically become a useless lawless mess, though in reality its similarities to Inclupedia basically end at the theory being "we can't have this content in the regular space, so let's put it somewhere else rather than deleting it".) --Yair rand (talk) 08:40, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Theoretically, someone could create an article about such a tile. In practice, I haven't seen anyone attempt to add such an article to Wikipedia, although I have seen a lot of articles about non-notable people, bands, companies, etc. People have an incentive to promote themselves and their organizations; they don't have an incentive to promote a tile. A bot could theoretically add content about every tile in the walkway; this is true. But in that case, all those articles could probably be merged into one article containing information about the tiles as a whole, and what distinguishes particular tiles from the others. As a practical matter, there would probably have to be something significant about the walkway before the average editor would bother to do all that. The labor costs will probably tend to be a limiting factor on such article creation. And by the time bots could create acceptable articles of that type without human intervention, bots would probably also be advanced enough to be able to manage all those articles so that their presence wouldn't increase the workload overmuch. There's a saying, "The problem with Wikipedia is that it only works in practice. In theory, it can never work." The same could probably apply to Inclupedia.
As for the item, "Famous person X's dog is an ugly grey furball named Rover," that would probably end up being changed to something like "Famous person X has a grey dog named Rover," and put either in the main article about famous person X, or some other article. E.g., there might an article, list of dogs of Norwegian actresses. Wikipedians have always had a knack for figuring out how to move information around so that the project can be comprehensive without bogging down general overview articles with minor details. Tisane talk/stalk 11:40, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I like the idea, but I can see major drawbacks. The major one is letting non-Wikipedia admins see deleted articles. I think Mike Godwin of the WMF will veto this, just as he vetoed earlier proposals to allow non-admins to see deleted content. I also don't see the value in mirroring Wikipedia in close-to-real-time. The duplicated effort and problems with forking would be massive. This project would be able to create bluelinks to the English Wikipedia in the same way that German Wikipedia can, and vice versa. I'm not writing on German Wikipedia right now, but I can link to their article about Wikipedia easily enough. Local redlinks are not a good argument for a complete mirror.
What I propose instead is that Inclupedia only write about things that are verifiable but not "Wikipedia notable". Inclupedia could include articles on topics never written about on Wikipedia, but you should probably have a policy preventing POV forks from Wikipedia - perhaps any article that exists at Wikipedia could be creation protected automatically to non-Inclupedia admins?
There could be a "Requests for transwiki to Inclupedia" page on Wikipedia, analogous to WP:REFUND. Any Wikipedia admin would be able to assess the deleted article for copyvio, BLP issues etc., and if all is OK they could temporarily restore it to Wikipedia:Transwiki to Inclupedia/Example; a bot would move it across (like with Template:Copy to Wiktionary) and then delete the article again on Wikipedia. Fences&Windows 22:19, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
"What I propose instead is that Inclupedia only write about things that are verifiable but not 'Wikipedia notable'." You just summed up the existing Inclupedia proposal. :) There will be no way for someone to create, say, a POV fork of the dog article under the page title "dog" because of how the mirroring will work (described in the next paragraph).
I'm not sure where you see the potential arising for duplicated effort and forking. The way it will work is that if there is an article dog on Wikipedia, that same article, with the same up-to-date revision history, will exist on Inclupedia. Thus, anyone who types in "dog" on Inclupedia will see the mirrored Wikipedia article, and anyone who edits it will add a new edit to the revision history on both Wikipedia and Inclupedia. (Such editing will require that the editor have an unblocked account on Wikipedia.) Likewise, all the templates, categories, etc. from Wikipedia will be mirrored there in real-time. On the other hand, there will be some articles on Inclupedia that won't exist on Wikipedia.
You can link interwiki already, but the links aren't existence detecting, which is kind of a drag, and unless you use the interwiki prefix, it won't work. If you have all of Wikipedia's articles mirrored on Inclupedia, then an article that was deleted from Wikipedia, and is restored on Inclupedia, will not require any changes to the wiki markup (i.e. adding those interwiki prefixes) to make those wikilinks turn their appropriate colors (red or blue, depending on page existence). Also, you need Wikipedia's content in order for Inclupedia's pages to be integrated into the Wikipedia categorization scheme; the Inclupedia category tree should allow users to browse both notable and non-notable content, without the need to go back and forth between Wikipedia and Inclupedia. And, unless some sort of interwiki template transclusion is going to be used, you need local copies of Wikipedia's templates if you're going to transclude them. The idea of mirroring is to abolish most forking and duplication of effort, by using as much of Wikipedia's stuff as possible, without the need to manually import it.
If Inclupedia has a reasonably rigorous RfA process, and someone successfully goes through the process for becoming an Inclupedia sysop, they should be able to view articles deleted from Wikipedia. Otherwise, Inclupedia's viability becomes wholly dependent on Wikipedia admins, who may or may not care about Inclupedia. Granted, it is unprecedented for a sysop of a project to be able to view content deleted from another project, but it is also unprecedented for any two projects to have the type of close relationship that Wikipedia and Inclupedia would have. Tisane talk/stalk 06:14, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
OK, so we're basically on the same page on the relationship between Inclupedia and Wikipedia: how the two relate technically is probably less important than how they relate conceptually. Rather than a mirror of all the articles, a log of all the titles on Wikipedia with Wikipedia content loaded in a frame could accomplish the same thing, I think. It would be an automatic interwiki redirect, but letting the reader stay on the Inclupedia site while still reading Wikipedia. But I am not a techie.
Interwiki template transclusion sounds awesome, and I believe their is the technical ability as Wikimedia Commons content is automatically linked to from Wikipedia. I seem to remember a Bugzilla entry about this.
As the prospect of non-Wikipedia admins looking at deleted content from Wikipedia is central to the current proposal, I suggest you check with Mike Godwin now and not later on whether this would be acceptable to the WMF, as a veto of this idea will throw a spanner in the works that will need to be worked around. There have been problems with posts like Checkuser on smaller wikis like Simple English Wikipedia: people who were banned on Wikipedia (e.g. Poetlister) gained access to global checkuser records, iirc. Small wikis are targets for disruption, and Inclupedia will be no different. Fences&Windows 16:08, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, development of reasonably efficient interwiki transclusion is presently underway as a Google Summer of Code project. In accordance with your advice, I have left Mr. Godwin a message here. Letting Inclupedia sysops who are not Wikipedia sysops view deleted Wikipedia articles is not necessarily vital, but it might be desirable. It all depends on how much Wikipedia sysops would be willing to help with Inclupedia; if they are willing and able to handle the workload of sorting those articles, that might suffice. Tisane talk/stalk 16:37, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

I don't want to get bogged down in legal issues; there's no reason for the project to be aborted for something as minor as the issue of whether Inclupedia sysops who are not Wikipedia sysops should be able to view/undelete articles deleted from Wikipedia. Therefore, I have modified the proposal to only allow Wikipedia sysops to view/undelete said articles. This will change the Inclupedia power structure to be substantially more subservient to Wikipedia, and also change the incentive structure in that some users might seek adminship on Wikipedia so that they can help with deleted article sorting at Inclupedia. I'm not sure if that's a drawback; if it is, then perhaps a new class of semi-admins can be created, who will go through some sort of RfA on Wikipedia to obtain access to view and undelete Wikipedia articles (and perhaps only to Inclupedia), but nothing else. In other words, Inclupedia's deleted article sorters could be vetted and approved/rejected by Wikipedia rather than by the Inclupedia community. Tisane talk/stalk 17:12, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

Sorry to be awkward. There are inclusionist admins! And plenty of Wikipedia admins already userfy deleted material. I would hope that you'd find enough willing participants. The community has been wary of creating second-class admins before, though there is a user class called "Researcher" that can view deleted material, this is currently assigned by the WMF directly. Fences&Windows 18:23, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
So, are there any remaining issues that need to be addressed before this goes to WP:VPPR? Usually, new project proposals are decided at meta (or, more commonly, simply stagnate there), but because Inclupedia would be uniquely intertwined with Wikipedia, and indeed dependent upon it for sysop assistance, it seems to me that it should be discussed at VPPR. Tisane talk/stalk 19:31, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
  • A factor not considered here is promotionalism. About half the articles I delete under A7 for notability could also be deleted under the category of G11, undoubted advertising or promotional.; I tend to give both reasons when applicable, in order to clarify things with the disappointed authors of the articles; additionally, good number of articles about clearly notable things get deleted as G11 because they are hopelessly promotional & unfixable by normal editing. I'm not clear about what the intent is for theseAdditionally, there's NPOV. We do not delete via speedy for NPOV--nor do we delete even at AfD for NPOV unless it's inherently unfixable. And though the proposal for this says it will require NPOV, I don't see how this will be enforced--NPOV is a matter of editing, not deletion. DGG ( talk ) 01:16, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Why do we delete stuff on G11 grounds? Isn't it because there's a connection between the purposes of WP:SPAM and WP:N? E.g. "Wikipedia does indeed have articles about popular products and web sites, but it is not acceptable to use Wikipedia to popularize them" has upholding the notability requirement in mind. When content added is so promotional that it would need a total rewrite, I would think the offending material could just be cut out of the article, even if it results in making the article a stub. Then if someone wishes, he can rewrite in accordance with NPOV standards. We do that all the time, when an article's subject has notability but the article is written in a biased or unsourced manner. Tisane talk/stalk 02:31, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

I am sorry, I think a project like this would be a disaster. Wikipedia really benefits from the large numbers of editors and mutual review. The standard of material is far above any other wiki I have seen. I am an inclusionist and my fear is that it will be used to tighten notability and hive off even more fiction/pop culture material which will then languish half-finished on some other wiki. I hate the large-scale removal of material as is, but I contest the best way to address this is source existing content. Casliber (talk · contribs) 09:02, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

I think there is some truth to the statement that no amount of editing can overcome a lack of notability, though. Some topics will never be able to be covered on Wikipedia, due to lack of notability. So the question is, do we want half a loaf or no loaf? We don't know that Inclupedia will be a relatively unused site; it is conceivable that Inclupedia, since it would include Wikipedia, would actually be more popular than Wikipedia.
But in any event, WMF has a lot of other less popular wikis, such as Wiktionary, Wikiversity, etc. where we put content that isn't suited for Wikipedia, and sometimes it languishes there half-finished. But, it's better than nothing. And those wikis probably wouldn't be as neglected if we had better interwiki integration. Inclupedia would be uniquely suited to have a particularly close kind of interwiki integration because it, like Wikipedia (and unlike Wiktionary, Wikiversity, etc.), would be an encyclopedia. Tisane talk/stalk 15:02, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
I am extremely confused by your characterization of the sister projects. "...where we put content that isn't suited for Wikipedia, and sometimes it languishes there half-finished"??? What in the world are you talking about? --Yair rand (talk) 20:13, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
E.g., sometimes I will write a short article and someone will delete it, saying, "This is just a dicdef, and so has been transwikied to Wiktionary." I don't follow up on that dicdef to make sure that the Wiktionary entry is the best it can be, since I'm a Wikipedian, not a Wiktionarian. It is not uncommon for content to be transwikied from Wikipedia to Wiktionary, Wikibooks, etc. if it seems more appropriate there. Tisane talk/stalk 20:34, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
With all due respect to Casliber's raised problem, I think it's a false one. The way Wikipedia... let's say evolves, does not depend on whoever takes in the articles it decides are not suited for it, and vice-versa. If Wikia didn't exist, it had to be invented, but if it hadn't been invented, most of the articles existing on Wikipedia related to niche material vaguely non-notable would have still been redirected or deleted, whatever sites would or would not continue on with the removed subjects.
I'm afraid you're holding on to a half-cut rope, and as you notice, with or without niche wikis or sites covering such subjects, more and more pop culture articles are removed. If there was no Wikisource, public domain books would still not be included in Wikipedia. If there was no Wiktionary, no stand-alone terms would be "notable" by themselves on Wikipedia, and so on. As such, if Inclupedia does not exist, it won't affect the mass removal of pop culture articles and the continues tigtening grip of policies on WP taken to more and more extreme lengths. The only problem is if we let those article just dissapear, be "rescued"/highjacked and spread on half the internet by projects like Deletionpedia, Wikia n+1 subwikis, or do we store them in one place under the WMF control - and as Tisane pointed at the project page, what could be not notable and useful to us today, may be useful and interesting to humanity tomorrow or in the next 10 years, and subsequently, for Wikipedia too. --Anime Addict AA (talk) 15:31, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

What about having...[edit]

What about having a special page : Special:MySubpages,just like Special:MyContributions ??It'll help us navigate our sub pages. CoercorashTalkContr. 11:44, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

This can already be done via Special:PrefixIndex. There is a handy link at the bottom of your Contributions page labelled "subpages" which uses it. Rd232 talk 12:17, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
I know that,i'm suggesting the direct link so that we can acces our subpages faster,instead of going and searching in prefix index,or going to Special:MyContributions and than accessing it. CoercorashTalkContr. 13:06, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
If you just want it for your own subpages, then the link at top-right to "My contributions" should suffice.
If you want a toolbox link so that you can quickly browse other editors' subpages, the folks at Wikipedia:WikiProject User scripts/Requests should be able to help you code that up. I don't imagine it would be utilized enough, for everyone to want it installed by default in their toolbox.
Lastly, please place your signature on the same line as your comments. Adding a linebreak each time, just makes it confusing for the rest of us :) Thanks. HTH. -- Quiddity (talk) 20:37, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

On this day ...[edit]

Not so much a new idea, more an old one.

Why is it that in the opening page of Wikipedia, in the section "On this day ..." one of the most significant events in reasonably modern history, certainly one which changed the World forever ... the bombing of Hiroshima with the "Little Boy" atom bomb, is not mentioned?

Coronatum Veritas (talk) 07:39, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

Because it's mentioned in the caption on the featured image and we don't include things in on this day if they are already mentioned elsewhere on the page.©Geni 21:01, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

Idea of using color on edit page to highlight refs?[edit]

Hi everyone. I have been editing for over 3 years and have nearly 50,000 edits. I find that when I am reading prose on edit pages, it is often quite hard visually for me to pick out the prose and to skip over all the text that is enclosed in the reference tags of the inline citations. It is equally hard to pick out the citations among the prose when you want to do that. This is perhaps a very radical suggestion, but I was wondering if, on edit pages, all info that is inside of ref brackets could be displayed in some way (like using a color or underlined in a color or some other way) so that the citations are easy to differentiate from the prose of the article? Thanks so much and best wishes, Invertzoo (talk) 18:42, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

  • WikEd does this. Go to "My preferences", "Gadgets" tab, tick the WikEd box. Save. Fences&Windows 16:41, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
    • Oh wow, thanks! That's great! Invertzoo (talk) 16:56, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

That's one way to achieve this. The other way is to make use of the not-so-new-as-they-used-to-be capabilities of the <ref> tag, and move all citations out of the prose proper into the "References" section, leaving just Harvard-like links in the prose wikitext. Look at the wikitexts of Westminster motorcycle parking charge, Japanese corporate title, or Loyalty, for examples. The actual wikitext itself is not really harder to read than a Harvard-style referenced rendered article would be. Uncle G (talk) 19:56, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

    • Yes, I see what you mean! Thanks so much to you too! Best wishes, Invertzoo (talk) 21:42, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

Audio for terms[edit]

When looking up names, terms, etc. there is a pronunciation guide. I have thinking for a long time, an audio of the pronunciation would be an awesome addition if possible. Just like what is available in the online dictionaries. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:00, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

[Update: Ignore me, see the answer below. I went off on a half-related tangent!]
Great idea, but it still requires a lot of work. (I was looking for the same thing, recently).
We can have mouseover explanations for the IPA characters, if the template {{IPAc-en}} is used. (see the second batch of examples: "If broken into ...").
And there are nifty charts with audio samples at The IPA - Audio Illustrations and at IPA Charts
But nobody has combined the two, yet, as far as I know. Nor has anyone combined the IPA with a text-to-speech program, that I can find.
I believe WP:IPA is the page to watch, and ask further questions at.
HTH. -- Quiddity (talk) 02:15, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

Note that there's a whole project at Wiktionary to provide audio pronunciation files, for multiple dialects. If you're looking at a project that does things like an on-line dictionary, then Wiktionary is the place to be. Uncle G (talk) 04:05, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

"Field guide" search[edit]

For some topics it might be handy for the users to have a "field guide" search to mode. To identify a bird / plant / mushroom / flag / etc. by making some simple selections. Without really knowing the name of what one is searching or without knowing the professional words or concepts for this topic.

I do know that some of these already exist in the web (I've seen a site helping identify flags, for example), but it might be useful to integrate this into Wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:45, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

moved from talk pageWaltham, The Duke of 21:46, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Different colored links for stubs.[edit]

You should make it so the links throughout the whole site will be of a different color if they direct to a stub article. That way you can avoid the stubs if you prefer. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:23, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Probably difficult to code. Stubs are tagged by using a template, so the software would have to check all links first to check whether a specific page contains a stub template. On pages with hundreds of links it would mean an additional hundreds of pages loaded in the background, which would probably be very taxing on the server while not really be of any benefit to the project. After all, we want people to expand stubs they stumble upon, not avoid them. If anything, it could be done as an userscript but that would mean you have to load all those pages in the background, thus making page loading very slow. Regards SoWhy 11:42, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
There is a preference that colors links to pages that have less than n bytes (you can set that number) in a different color. You would have to create an account to do that, though. Also, it may make loading of huge pages slow. Svick (talk) 19:43, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

Expandable links from public domain encyclopedias[edit]

I have done some work at getting the Catholic Encyclopedia articles on line. One thing I'd like to do is then move on to the "stub" articles. I personally think that they should be set free and have a category assigned to them, perhaps in a talk page saying that there is more information in the Catholic Encyclopedia rather than keeping some sort of listing going.

What sort of thing can be done on the expandable artcles?

JASpencer (talk) 22:18, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

I'm sorry but you've used terms which are unfamiliar to me and I wasn't able to make any overall sense of what you were saying. Are you saying you work on a website which is devoted to the Catholic Encyclopedia? Are the stub articles you refer to ones on Wikipedia that refer to things in the Catholic Encyclopedia? In what way are the stubs bound or unfree, is the source copyright and you can't rephrase it properly or what? Why are you unable to decide on a category name or set up a new one? Why would you want to put the category onto the talk page instead of the article page? What is the listing and does it not exist since it is 'some kind' of listing? What is it that makes an article unable to expand, how does one distinguish between ones that can't be expanded and expandable articles? Dmcq (talk) 08:41, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
And the title, what is an expandable link and is the Catholic Encyclopaedia public domain? Wikipedia is not public domain though it is free, see WP:COPYRIGHT. Dmcq (talk) 08:44, 14 August 2010 (UTC)


I've had this idea and it seems to need to get out. We know that Wikipedia has a strong bias to recentism, driven by people being exposed to news media. Watchlists further reinforce this, because recently edited pages show up in it, and remind other editors of the existence of the page or topic; we've all seen pages go through cycles of obscurity and heightened editing activity purely because somebody made a minor change and "bumped" the page onto people's watchlists. So why not have a "bumpbot" which goes around making constructive minor edits in order to "bump" obscure, rarely edited pages? I know we have bots (and AWB users) doing this already, so it might be entirely unnecessary; but I'm thinking these work more on recent changes or subsets of Wikipedia, and I'm thinking there may be a long tail of neglected pages out there.

To be clear: it's obvious the bot would need to edit at a rate designed not to flood watchlists (and figuring that out might be tricky, but it could be adjusted over time). I also know that watchlists can filter out bot edits, but I'm thinking many people don't bother (and in theory, if a big problem, this could be overcome eg by marking it as a special bot with an extra preference to hid its edits, or whatever). And of course there are endless potential refinements in terms of targeting the bot (eg a rarely-edited BLP could need bumping once a year, a rarely-edited article on a 15th century map rather less). So - initial thoughts? Anything in it? I think we need more ideas like this which help the maintenance aspect of Wikipedia, which is becoming ever-more important compared to creating new articles. Rd232 talk 11:04, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

I like the idea a lot, as long as they are CONSTRUCTIVE edits (like what Smackbot does). I can see a lot of people not liking the idea, though. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 14:00, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
Wouldn't it be easier to make a change to the Watchlist function? So it displays all changes, and any item on your watchlist that hasn't been edited in n days (user selected). Let n=365, and you are sure to see every item in your watchlist at least once a year. For people who don't want it, they can turn it off, or set n very high.--SPhilbrickT 18:09, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
How would that work? The watchlist lists things by when they were edited. You could have a parallel Reverse Watchlist (list of My Watched Articles By Date Last Edited, reverse order) - that would be useful, and can be an independent thing of the bumpbot concept. But I don't see how you'd put the rarely edited articles into the watchlist itself; or if some way is find, I imagine it would be confusing. In short, I think you'd want both things. Rd232 talk 19:33, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
I don't use the watchlist as is, which may color my thinking. I use Svick's Wikipedia Desktop Watcher, which I presume populates its screen from my watchlist. Sometimes I look at the entries sorted by time, but usually an alpha sort, which puts all Talk page and all Wikipedia page results together. I'm assuming that it would be relatively simply to tweak the code to add a page from my watchlist to the displayed list, even if it didn't have an edit.
Making this work through the existing watchlist might be a little tougher, as it would require code changes, perhaps to the MediaWiki Code, but I envision that the displayed list would be all items in my watchlist with an edit in the last n days, plus any entry in the watchlist that hasn't been displayed in m days. I'm not familiar enough with the MediaWiki code to know whether this is easy or hard, but Svick could tell you whether it would be easy to add into his tool (which is much better than the built-in watchlist).--SPhilbrickT 21:32, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
Well that approach might be fine for some people, but I don't know how popular it would be. Fine of course to add it to a tool like that (never heard of that one, it's at User:Svick/DW if anyone's interested), but a separate tool, especially one that needs installing, means a much more limited audience. On a general point: I'm assuming that (minor, I suppose) MediaWiki code changes would be required, but sometimes these things turn out to be doable in Javascript. Rd232 talk 22:35, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm not really sure about the utility of such feature (or rather whether it would be worth my time coding it). There is already lots of cleanup categories (many of them have backlogs, going back to 2002 in extreme cases), WikiProjets' todo-lists, and a list of articles that haven't been edited the longest (currently that means since 2006). None of those are exactly what you want, and you are probably aware that such lists exist, but I think working on them could achieve the goal of bumping long inactive pages to people's watchlists.
By the way, I'm glad to see that someone other than me actually uses Desktop Watchlist and likes it. Svick (talk) 23:05, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
Ignoring the technical issues of coding either option, it's a pull approach versus a push approach. Your approach will push the article page onto the watchlist of everyone who watches it. Some will appreciate it, others will be annoyed. My suggestion will pull the article onto the watchlist of everyone who opts in. By definition, everyone who sees it will be happy, so you've eliminated the annoyance factor. on the other hand, maybe only a few per cent will opt in, and the annoyance factor is small enough to be negligible. It's not immediately obvious which is better. (I'm worried that my posts will sounds like I'm fighting the idea. I'm not - I'm just wondering if there's a better way to accomplish your goal. If the alternative isn't feasible, I think it is worth further discussion of bumpbot.) @Svick (are you kidding, I'm so used to it, that when I read this proposal, I had to go find my watchlist to see what it looked like - I had forgotten.)--SPhilbrickT 23:50, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
Well I had in the back of my mind that (a) pull is useful, but push is essential to have an impact - you can have both of course; (b) annoyance is a critical issue, which is where the rate limiting comes in, along with a possible opt-out (if the bot edits are marked as such, you can hide bot edits at present anyway). Rd232 talk 01:31, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

A script request, that only affect the end user would be my first option for such a function. While this can be useful for some, for others it would be seen as annoyingly cluttering their watchlists with insignificant edits. Sole Soul (talk) 02:29, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

You mean for the Reverse Watchlist idea? Sure, good start. But I discussed above the ability of users to opt out of the "bumps" (you can hide bot edits), plus finding a reasonable bump rate (target could be maybe 1 per day on the average watchlist - figuring out how to achieve that would be an interesting challenge). Rd232 talk 08:14, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
Update: I asked at User Scripts and was told the software will currently only give you data for watchlist pages changed in the last 7 days. You could reverse sort that but it wouldn't be much use! So, the idea would need a MediaWiki software change. That's an obstacle, but not an insurmountable one. Back to the drawing board, then: do we think it's worth pursuing, and elaborating into a proposal? Rd232 talk 20:57, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
You're saying it's impossible with current MediaWiki? Challenge accepted! :-) Svick (talk) 22:53, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
I have finished the proof-of-concept. You can use it by adding importScript('User:Svick/reverseWatchlist.js'); to your skin.js. It just adds the article from one's watchlist that hasn't been edited the longest to Special:Watchlist. It would be quite simple to add a cookie-based “ignore this one” button. Also, it currently won't work correctly for users that have more than 500 articles (not pages) in their watchlist. Also, it doesn't work in IE. Svick (talk) 00:37, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
Cool - the proof-of-concept works, albeit with a very slight delay (I have 3000 pages on my watchlist, but I tried it on my public alternate account). Now, is it possible to make it really usable? Is there a lot of delay or server strain involved in constructing a full Reverse Watchlist? Is the 500-article limit because of this (and is this insurmountable)? Rd232 talk 10:20, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
The limit is because I can get data for at most 500 pages in one request, modifying it so that it makes more of them is quite simple. Of course, more requests means longer delay. And what exactly do you mean by Reverse Watchlist? The idea mentioned above to list all articles from Watchlist that haven't been changed in n days? Svick (talk) 17:52, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
I mean the current watchlist lists edited pages in chronological order (up to last 7 days). Reverse Watchlist lists edited pages in reverse chronological order, starting with the oldest edit to a watchlisted page and working forwards in time. This could be done in chunks of X (eg 100?) pages, so you can page forwards in time. And in terms of access, the Reverse Watchlist should somehow replace the current Watchlist, when you click a button on the page to do that (so the normal and the Reverse data aren't displayed together). Rd232 talk 18:06, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
Hmm, that would be quite impossible to do as a script. Also, I don't see much utility in that. This whole thread is about dealing with articles that are abandoned, i.e. weren't edited for a long time. Your Reverse Watchlist would just show (old) edits to old articles.
My take on the Reverse Watchlist is at Wikipedia:Reverse Watchlist. Svick (talk) 19:26, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
I don't understand your criticism; the idea was always to give a way to answer the question "what pages on my watchlist have not been edited the longest?" Also right now your script is doing nothing for me - maybe it's taking absolutely ages to load? What's supposed to happen? Rd232 talk 20:00, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
I have probably misunderstood what you meant. It didn't work, because you are using monobook and I didn't test that. It should be working now. Svick (talk) 20:54, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
No, my alt account is on Vector, and I've still got nothing with either account (and yes I'm bypassing the cache). :( Rd232 talk 21:03, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
Then maybe it's that there is nothing to show. Try lowering the threshold to e.g. 180 days by adding reverseWatchlistLimit = 180; to your skin.js. Or maybe it's a browser problem, which one are you using? Svick (talk) 00:33, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
There was something to show before, when I first tried your script and said "the proof-of-concept works". There were articles last edited in 2009 then. I'm using Firefox for my alt account and Chrome for my main. It would be helpful if I knew what was supposed to happen! Rd232 talk 09:03, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
You should see “Loading” and after a short while, the list should appear [3]. Also, 2009 may not mean more than a year ago, but I'm sure you realize that. Svick (talk) 10:13, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the screenshot - that's very helpful; but I can't get anything out of the script (no "Loading", nothing). On my alt account I ditched all other javascript and tried it on both Vector and Monobook in both Chrome and Firefox. Nada! :( Rd232 talk 10:31, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

most needed translations[edit]

de:Kyrill von Saloniki exists in 18 other languages, and many are quite detailed articles, but there doesnt appear to be an English edition. I haven't seen that for quite a while; usually enWP ends up with at least a stub after the fourth or fifth language has an article about a topic. Does this also seem anomalous to other contributors? I'm wondering if it would be useful to have a tool compile a list of pages on other languages that don't exist on enWP, ordered by the number of other languages which have the topic, or is something similar has already been created. John Vandenberg (chat) 08:37, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

I'd expect that to exist already, it seems quite obvious and useful! But I don't know of any such tool. Rd232 talk 09:08, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it exists already, if only in another form. The article John mentioned is about one of the Saints Cyril and Methodius brothers, so the topic is already covered but apparently not as detailed as in a standalone article. So if we split it up we'd also have to translate de:Method von Saloniki. De728631 (talk) 15:59, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

A Wiki Chat room ?[edit]

Yes, I know such things are considered a bit 2000s and we've all had bad experiences I'm sure in chat rooms but Wiki editors are a reasonable bunch overall and I think such a thing would be a very useful addiction to the Wiki community. I have not searched thro the archives to see if this has been suggested before so forgive me if it has. It wouldn't be much effort to set up such a thing I wouldn't have thought. All you would need is a few moderators, a 'block' facility and AGF. It would be pleasant, when one logged onto Wikipedia, to see what other editors are also online, people could discus articles and seek advice and guidance in real time and it would generally make Wikipedia feel more like the community it says it is. I have time at present and could volunteer to be one of the moderators if no-one else wants to do it. And I would be happy to assist in other ways I can (although I am not much of a programmer).

Any thoughts, my fellow editors? SmokeyTheCat 08:06, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

IRC may be what you are looking for. sonia 08:13, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
Yup, as they say.. "It's been done" ;) see Wikipedia:IRC. -- œ 08:50, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
Wow, that's not only an internal link, but it's a better link. Thanks OlEnglish ;) sonia 08:56, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

New deletion proposal[edit]

Not sure if this is the right place (redirect me if not), but how do I propose a new deletion guideline, that says after X amount of time, a completely unsourced page can be deleted? I believe unsourced pages are detrimental to Wikipedia, and I can say that one of the biggest complains about Wikipedia is unreliability. CTJF83 chat 05:33, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Well, WP:PROD works for unsourced pages as well.. -- œ 09:12, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
But there is a current afd, where mine and the noms rational is to delete for 0 sources for 2 years, and the "keep people" are saying that isn't a good enough reason to do I propose a change where it is a good enough reason to delete. CTJF83 chat 17:27, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
Why are you so insistent on deletion in the first place? "Unsourced" does not mean "unverifiable". It could be unsourced for 10 years and that still wouldn't be a good enough reason to delete, so long as it IS verifiable. -- œ 04:06, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
ps. Information providence trumps reliability, IMHO. -- œ 04:21, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
Well don't you think the biggest complaint of Wikipedia form outside users is unreliable...clearly no source = unreliable info. CTJF83 chat 04:31, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes of course, but deleting every unsourced article simply for being unsourced does not solve that problem. Wikipedia's primary goal, as an encyclopedia, is to provide information, we should be reading it with the assumption that the information IS reliable even IF it is unsourced, that's part of AGF, assume that the content provider is not trying to deceive. Only controversial content requires a source absolutely, otherwise we have no reason to doubt the reliability of content based ONLY on the fact that it is unsourced. Because unless it is without a doubt unverifiable, there most likely always IS a source somewhere that CAN verify it. -- œ 04:43, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
That also explains why your AFD nomination receives so many "keep"-!votes. If you consult WP:DEL#REASON, you will notice that it says that "Articles for which thorough attempts to find reliable sources to verify them have failed" can be deleted but not "Articles for which no one tried to find any sources" (read also WP:ATD and WP:BEFORE which both say that if an article can be improved through editing, it shouldn't be deleted). As Secret (talk · contribs) demonstrated in that AFD that a source can easily be found (in this case ESPN) and a very strict and short Google Search (GNews for example) turns up another 30 potential sources. Your proposal would just allow laziness to improve an article to be a valid reason for deletion and that's contrary to this project's spirit (remember WP:SOFIXIT ;-)). Regards SoWhy 07:43, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
Well I didn't nominate the one linked to, and actually, most of my recent ones get deleted/merged/redirected :) CTJF83 chat 07:55, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, when I wrote "your nomination", I meant the nomination you cited, not to imply that you made it (i.e. as in "your example nomination" and not "the nomination you made"). I probably should have phrased it better. Regards SoWhy 08:22, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
Go ahead and archive this discussion then. CTJF83 chat 07:55, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

Should the ability to upload be a separate user right?[edit]

This is something I've been thinking about for a while. Many indef blocked users were blocked because they simply couldn't cease uploading improper images after multiple warnings and notices, Brexx being the best known example. A more current case is in this ANI report that has been resurrected from the archives several times. (I once mentioned in jest that any user with more uploads then talk page edits should be indeffed). Currently, any autoconfirmed (or manually confirmed) user can upload files. What I propose is that "uploaders" be a separate user right granted by admins the same way that "rollbackers" is. One advantage of this is that it will no longer be necessary to block users with problems uploading copyvios but who otherwise make good contributions. Just remove their upload privileges. (of course this would only restrict what is uploaded to enwiki and not to commons where most free images should go)

Alternative proposal. If it's felt that this would add an unnecessary level of bureaucracy then another idea would be to have the software add users to the "uploaders" group when they are autoconfirmed but have the right be removable by administrators. --Ron Ritzman (talk) 16:32, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

Interesting proposal...what would the requirements be to get the upload right or to have it removed? CTJF83 chat 16:49, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
Haven't much thought about that but what about "on request" for 100 or more edits or if less, have the user describe a file they wish to upload, what license they wish to use and, if applicable, the article they wish to use it in and the fair use rationale. Of course this would be moot if we go with the alternative proposal. --Ron Ritzman (talk) 17:01, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
That could work....I would think the other way would be better, where you can lose your upload privilege...but under what circumstances? I admit (as recent as early this morning) I uploaded an image that was deleted, for copyright vio, but I hardly think I should lose my upload privilege, I have a lot more good uploads then bad ones. CTJF83 chat 17:13, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I think this proposal would discriminate against a huge number of people based on the actions of a very few. If people violate copyright repeatedly, they should be blocked, no matter how they do it. But our first and foremost goal should be for people to be able to contribute to the encyclopedia easily. Rollback is a right that's neither relevant to contributing nor to allow people to revert other people's edits. On the other hand, upload is relevant to contributing and there is no manual alternative (like WP:UNDO for rollback), so there is no way to compare those groups. As for the alternative, do we really need an option to remove this option? The work required to code this probably outweighs the benefits - or, to phrase it another way, do people who repeatedly violate copyright with uploads despite multiple warnings really deserve any other treatment then those who repeatedly add text in violation of copyright? Regards SoWhy 17:15, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
That's true, if they can't follow the upload rules, after repeated warnings, they should just be blocked all together. CTJF83 chat 17:21, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
If a user is unwilling to stop uploading problematic files after warnings or even blocks, is this really someone who can succeed in a collaborative environment? In the linked case, the user doesn't appear to have responded to a single message on their talk page. You can only get so far here working entirely on your own. Mr.Z-man 17:43, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
I see the logic, but I don't think it's worth the additional complexity, for reasons given by others. At the end of the day, there are also options of more social measures: eg a user could agree to be banned from image uploads (on pain of block regardless of following image rules or not), in order to be unblocked. Rd232 talk 18:05, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
Also, even if I am usually not in favor of blocks as a way to communicate, in such cases they are probably the only way to get such editors to start interacting, even if it's only to request an unblock. Regards SoWhy 19:17, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

Proposal for interface innovations for copy editors[edit]

Hi folks. I put this idea to the Guild of Copyeditors; I had just one response to it but it was positive. That was two weeks ago, so I want to move on to the next step, which is to get feedback here.

The problem I want to solve is that of the copy-edited article where no edits were required. I will sometimes read through an entire article and find no problems with it. Since I have made no changes, there is no record that anyone has had a meaningful interaction with the article. Yet something palpable did just happen - the article was proofread and found to be fine; wouldn't it be good if that were recorded?

I notice that the Guild has templates that can be placed on talk pages. That would be one way of signalling that a proof-read has been done in the absence of any edits being made. However, I hope my proposal will be more powerful than that.

My idea is to have a button or link (I'll use the term prooflink from here on in to refer to the concept but please don't think that I have given nomenclature much thought) that can be clicked and will then leave a record in the article history. Clicking prooflink should have an associated edit summary. The exact wording of what such an edit summary should say we can discuss and I'm open to all suggestions. Let's say it could be "Article has been proofread - no issues discovered" or "Proofreading complete - no edits".

The location and availability of prooflink can also be discussed. At the moment we have access to a number of "gadgets" via our preferences. This could be one of them so that it doesn't appear on a user's interface by default. I feel the most sensible home for it would be a tab near the 'edit' tab or similar in nature to the 'watch/unwatch' icon (I use the Vector skin, if you are using a different one your user experience may be very different, perhaps not even showing tabs).

Does this sound like a desirable innovation? If so, I have more ideas which would increase its power...

Caption=Friendly's dialog box

We all have different skills. Some of us will be all-rounders but some of us may not be anywhere near as confident with grammar as we are with spelling. So we could consider having prooflink not just as a button/link that one either presses or does not press but gives you a range of options as a dialog box (see example of a dialog box used by another gadget, right); the user ticks all the boxes that apply.

Everything is up for grabs, but to get the ball rolling, here's a rough first pass at what the dialog box could offer:

  • Spelling checked.
  • Grammar checked.
  • Readability checked.
  • Wikifications checked.
  • ...?

You check the boxes of everything that applies and then an automated edit summary will appear in the article history; eg "proofread: spelling, wikifications checked" or "proofread: spelling, grammar checked" or perhaps even "proofread: spelling checked. But wikifications, readability, grammar NOT checked".

Looking even further ahead it would then be possible to extract dates of the last use of prooflink on an article and generate reports of articles that have not been given a once over.

What do you guys think? --bodnotbod (talk) 10:43, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

In summary - a sort of WP:Twinkle for Dummy edits? From the description above, sounds like it would be useful. Problem is finding someone to code it... Rd232 talk 11:45, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
Ah! I didn't know we already had a term for it. "Dummy edit". Thank you. As for coding, well, if we get consensus that it's a good idea I'm willing to do all the legwork and go around trying to push things forwards. The people behind Twinkle and Friendly etc would be good to approach. Obviously I shan't if the consensus is that this is a non-starter, so I'll see how this goes first. --bodnotbod (talk) 16:17, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
Problem is, in a collaborative editing environment where anyone can edit anytime, the article could just as well become UN-proofread in a matter of minutes.. Someone can come along and do a complete overhaul of the article after you just finished your checklist and totally undermine your efforts. I think this idea would be better suited for semi-protected articles. -- œ 05:46, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
It would be more useful on more stable articles, but those are not necessarily semi-protected ones. More likely, they're either pretty good standard and not a controversial or newsy topic, or just relatively obscure. Anyway that's really a choice for users of the system, which would apply to any articles someone's willing to put the effort in. The edit summary says no more and no less than that someone checked version X of the article. The only issue could be (and perhaps that's what you meant?) proofreading version X, whilst changes are made, and then you do a dummy edit saying everything's fine. If the system can specify in the edit summary the version proofread and/or identify edit conflicts, that would be OK. Rd232 talk 09:59, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
That sounds like just a more intensive Pending Changes. -- œ 11:10, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Pending changes? Then I've completely miscommunicated. This system is only about adding dummy edits in order to record (via edit summary) work done which doesn't result in an edit being made. The complexity is in making sure it's completely clear exactly what work was done (in particular, what version of the article it applies to). Rd232 talk 14:05, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
I take your point: yes, an article can change substantially within moments of someone doing a proof-read. My response is that this would allow someone to check all the diffs since a proof-read. Of course you may want to check further back than that because you may not have any faith in the self-appointed proof-reader. Nevertheless it provides a little feedback to the history page that can be used or ignored at will.
Personally I do a fair bit of full reading of articles to check for spelling mistakes, poor formatting, lack of wikifying, readability and so on. It would be quite useful for me to be able to see in the history that someone had done a proof-read just a week ago; I would be inclined to read a different article that hasn't had the attention. --bodnotbod (talk) 12:30, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
I think that's exactly it. Rd232 talk 14:05, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Okay, this could be achieved with a fairly minor change to the interface I think. What if null edits produced an entry in the page history? Then you could type whatever you wanted in the edit summary, without changing the article at all. This could be helpful in other situations as well, and would avoid the clumsiness of having to make dummy edits. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 09:50, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
Might there not be a good reason it was designed that way though? I'm not sure what it might be, but I have a feeling there might be one. Rd232 talk 09:05, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
I suppose one could argue that allowing people to do Null edits with edit summaries would may royally annoy people who start getting such things appear on their watchlists? However, there could always be a preference setting to stop those appearing in your watchlist as there are with various other sorts of edits (edits by registered users / minor edits / bot edits etc). I'm keen to move this forward. Any suggestions as to where I should take this next? As I say, I would like to approach the makers of Friendly but I don't really regard the input on this thread so far to be overly compelling to make the move yet. Should I get more input from elsewhere? Where would you advise? --bodnotbod (talk) 22:17, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

This VP's title box: proposed changed view[edit]

In the Template:Village pump pages/sandbox is a proposed new view for this page's header box. There are demos before/after in Template:Village pump pages/testcases, and notes. Any support? -DePiep (talk) 17:16, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

The United Wikprojects[edit]

What do you think of started a Wikiproject that would represent Wikipedia's WikiProjects? Arlen22 (talk) 14:22, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Sounds like the WP:WikiProject Council... --Izno (talk) 15:01, 9 September 2010 (UTC)


When I first brought this up I was only half-serious about it, but maybe this idea might have some worth so I'd like to know what the community thinks about it or if it's even feasible.

The thought is we have many huge backlogs of maintenance and administrative categories of the sort that can only be worked through by humans, but also ones that most users never touch, either because the job is too frivolous or because the backlog is so huge that its just not practical or doable by a single volunteer on their own free time. I'm talking about mostly image cats such as Category:Images lacking a description, Category:Images of people replacing placeholders, or Category:Wikipedia license migration needs review, but also many of the items in Wikipedia:Database reports and Wikipedia:WikiProject Check Wikipedia. There's many better examples that I've seen, but anyways, a list of the most arduous of these can be made up at some point. The idea is that the Wikimedia Foundation can actually hire people to work on these areas and pay them to do it, sort of like contracted janitorial workers. Certain maintenance areas would be assigned to a certain amount of workers. They would work on it remotely, and I guess they would be on a quota, but it depends on the task. Now before you freak out or slap me with a trout, I must stress that this would NOT be paid editing, because these employees would not be doing any content editing whatsoever (this could possibly be enforced by software?). They would be strictly limited to non-controversial dull repetitive tasks that bots can't do and only someone who gets paid would ever want to do. The rationale is that if not worked on, these maintenance categories would only grow bigger in time and if nothing is done about them they would just sit there indefinitely. Hey it's an idea.. -- œ 11:13, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

An interesting idea, actually. Maybe something like Amazon Mechanical Turk; I can't imagine many people would sign up to do this kind of work full time. Though there's the question of how much this is actually worth to us. Clearing one of these categories would probably only cost a few hundred dollars (US), but that's still a few hundred dollars not being used for other things. Mr.Z-man 23:05, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes! Pretty much exactly like Amazon Mechanical Turk. I wasn't aware that something like that already existed. I think we got enough dedicated Wikipedians willing to do the work, I'm often surprised at just how gung-ho some are to contribute, especially those that aren't good prose writers, they're willing to do anything that can help the project, and the prospect of getting paid to improve Wikipedia makes it all that more enticing. But yes, determining a pay rate is something to consider carefully.. Although some may say these tasks are unimportant and a waste of time, I don't believe that. I'm of the philosophy that nothing should be neglected, and even the most mundane tasks have worth. Every little thing counts and it all makes a difference in the end. -- œ 01:45, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Detective Agency[edit]

What do you think of having a detective agency to track down stuff (such as the Article Alert Bot source code) on Wikipedia? It would be some form of Wikiproject. Arlen22 (talk) 15:25, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

You'll have to explain this thought in a bit more detail. Isn't this the kind of stuff that the WP:VPT deals with routinely? Fences&Windows 22:50, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
A place where people can collaborate to investigate things on Wikipedia. Arlen22 (talk) 11:56, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
What sorts of things? Past projects include Wikipedia:Requests for investigation and Wikipedia:Association of Member Investigations and Wikipedia:WikiProject Vandalism studies. There's also Wikipedia:Contributor copyright investigations and Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations. You'll have to be more specific as to what kind of investigating you have in mind. -- œ 12:10, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Stuff that requires, or is helped by, tight collaboration. Arlen22 (talk) 17:36, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Or in general, any problems that people need help with, especially finding the code for inactive bots, contacting inactive users, etc. Arlen22 (talk) 18:50, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
What would this accomplish that our existing noticeboards, including this Village Pump, do not? Fences&Windows 21:34, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
You tell me, then we will both know. Arlen22 (talk) 17:05, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

History Stats...[edit]

It is time to deal with the unreliable history stats function on Wikipedia, once and for all. We must have something that works all the time. This function should be in America somewhere, it must be somewhere in the western hemisphere. Could the Wiki Foundation round up some last generation UNIX Sun Fridge servers (the mother of all servers?) say at a nice isolated State university somewhere in the mid west? So we can see the effects of our edits. For certain and for all time.This is something that you CAN DO NOW and many people WANT DONE NOW instead of pushing useless change that no one wants Chop Chop....--Oracleofottawa (talk) 00:30, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Can you explain what it is you're looking for? What unreliable history stats? Everard Proudfoot (talk) 05:55, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Well I for one wish we had reliable page view stats... but I don't think that's what he meant. Rd232 talk 11:01, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
As a busy person, I can only contribute to significant articles with significant errors or omissions but it is not clear which pages are significant without raw or indicative page view stats on each article header. Ballabrewy 15:22 22 September 2010 (GMT) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

No Robots at DOE's[edit]

Please go there and take a look. Search robots are banned! This is a HUGE collection of scientific papers paid for by the US government, particularly the Department of Energy (DOE). I can understand that they might have limited computation time for real-time searches, but why not give a current copy of the entire database to major search engines or us. It would be nice to have here on Wikipedia an advanced search button that allowed searches of the last-store version of It's good for them, too, because the ability to search their database of math and science papers would encourage more on-line publications at this DOE site. Bridgetttttttebabblepoop 03:14, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

The user put this on WP:RFC, but asked me to move it where I thought best; pump/ideas seemed reasonable.  Chzz  ►  22:08, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Wouldn't Wikisource be the place to do this? Fences&Windows 01:09, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree that Wikisource sounds like the right solution.--SPhilbrickT 13:26, 19 September 2010 (UTC)


Sorry but i don't know weather i have to write this here but i want to say you that but please can you make the complicated words more easier because it is difficult to understand some words for the students i think because i am also a student.if you want to say anything i am having an account on Wikipedia you can tell me on it. and if you cannot change that words then please write it's meaning in a bracket if you do this i will be very thankful of you —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:38, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

You could look them up on Wikitionary, or you might like Simple English Wikipedia. Fences&Windows 00:51, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

my idea[edit]

I think that there should be a chat room where you can set up meetings from a user list so it would just be you and who ever you want talking. It should be linked to your talk or your page

I think that you can get to see other peoples pages and their discussion by ONLY clicking on an easily found link.

I think that their should be an avatar area where you can use an avatar and have a chat about wiki with friends.

thanks hedgehogs1998 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Hedgehogs1998 (talkcontribs) 14:37, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

1) We have several IRC channels, it would be more useful if you could see if they're on. 2) Huh? Everyone is suppose to have links to their pages in their signature. 3) Sound alot like social networking, see WP:NOTFACEBOOK. — Dispenser 16:39, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Bubbled wiki-histories..[edit]

I'm seeing potential for a restructuring of the site, come HTML5.

Mainly thinking of something I'm calling "bubble histories".. something like having an always-visible trace of a session inside a browser window, in the form of, lets say, a string of connected bubbles. So that users can see not only current wiki content, but also (at some convenient location within the browser window) this chain of bubbles showing how they've gotten there. At the moment, keeping track of link-jumping is a task seen as being something completely left to the user - (s)he having to manage multiple tabs and keep moving from one to another. From own experience and for wikipedians I know of, this is a pain - anyone from newbie to experienced "wiki-miner" has experienced the many ways of getting lost while searching for information that requires jumping many links.

Having a readily available history of searches, and more importantly, their connectedness, seems an intuitive way of getting around this. The idea seems appealing enough in itself, and could add an interesting new layer to usage. Off the top of my head - bubbles could be sized, so as to intuitively reflect the chronology of paths/branches a user has taken on the site. Hovering mouse pointer over a bubble could have much the same behaviour as hovering over links within a wiki does right now.

There's one more attractive possibility.. one of showing (in dulled bubbles maybe?) links branching off from current wiki - into the future, so to speak.. these will be interesting possibilities for future navigation, personalised for the current user, based on their navigation thus far. I'm looking forward to feedback on whether or not there's a potential for consensus here, why or why not, problems with implementation etc. The essence of this idea could probably be well managed without HTML5, though the latter will be of definite help I'm guessing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gopalkrishnan83 (talkcontribs) 18:24, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

Sounds like Wikipedia Diver and Wikimedia+ (both add-ons). Fences&Windows 21:15, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

Checked these, both are nowhere near what I'd like to have as an average user(always-visible, and within the browsing window). IMO link-jumping is quite central to Wikipedia usage, optional half-useful apps wont do much help I'm afraid. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gopalkrishnan83 (talkcontribs) 20:24, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Superb Article Category[edit]

Hi! Just an idea, but I think it would be really cool to have a superb article assessment category for articles that meet the FA requirements plus all of the following:

  1. They have received a stylistic review by two different independent (Outside of Wikipedia) media sources and have been classed as excellent.
  2. They have been referenced and referred to directly by a notable figure (unconnected to Wikipedia) on the relevant topic.
  3. They have undergone two internal Wikipedia peer reviews by different sets of ten editors and passed.
  4. They have not had a edit war for the past year.

The reward for getting an article to superb status could be that the article is mentioned directly during a WikiMania event, and a direct link on the Main page to the list (very small) of all the superb articles on Wikipedia. Any thoughts?--Novus Orator 05:07, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

Do any articles actually meet this now? I'd rather see this kind of effort put toward improving the 99.91% of articles that aren't featured, rather than trying to improve what's already our best content. There are diminishing returns on work put into article improvement. Something like this would be a huge amount of effort, but the difference would probably only be noticed by subject matter experts and professional writers. To the majority of readers, it would just be a different icon on the page. Mr.Z-man 18:22, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

I think the edit war rule should be cut out if this gets passed to proposals. Many articles get edit wars, including FA articles. The 1 year part also makes it impossible to achieve. I recommend either to cut it out, or shorten the no edit war rule. Yousou (talk) 21:18, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

Idea to increase donations to Wikipedia and keep newcomers[edit]

Proposal: Town Sheriff project[edit]

This is an idea that's been kicking around in the back of my head for a while, as a solution to ugly disputes on some of the more deeply contentious pages on wikipedia (you all know of at least one example, I assume). The basic idea is this: when there's a community consensus that a particular article or topic area has gotten out of control (protracted, nasty, unresolvable POV disputes, for instance), the community can assign a town sheriff to step in and clean the page up. Basically, a town sheriff would be a volunteer sysop (picked from a short list of experienced sysops who have the time and inclination), whose purpose would be to make sure that everyone on the page participates nicely and follows proper consensus discussion practices, and who has a somewhat stronger array of tools than sysops normally use to accomplish that end. A short list of these tools, along with the reasons why they're useful:

  • The sheriff would be the only sysop working on that article/topic area as a sysop, unless s/he deputizes other sysops to help (and deputies are required to follow the sheriff's lead).
    • This improves accountability, since the sheriff will be unambiguously responsible for all administrative actions on the page
    • This reduces system-gaming, since editors can't appeal to outside sympathetic sysops or try to confuse issues by dragging in multiple sysops for help
  • The sheriff would have very liberal rights to redact, refactor or require that editors reword their posts. This would be used specifically to remove disruptive and distracting material while preserving the meaning and sense of ongoing discussions. It would allow actions like the following:
    • redacting uncivil comments and inflammatory language from within posts so that the debate can progress without stimulating further contention
    • redacting or refactoring duplicate material so that discussions don't get bogged down in endless repetitive cycles
    • redacting off-topic commentary and 'me too' type posts to cut down on page noise (except where they are useful, as in straw polls)
  • The sheriff would have the right (generally disapproved of on wikipedia, I know) to impose 24hr (non-cumulative) cool-down blocks/page-bans on editors who are getting excessively heated (basically any sheriff's eternal right to toss someone in the pokey overnight for being drunk and disorderly)
    • This would cut the more intense disputes down to a dreadful crawl, since angry editors would only be able to make a couple of posts a day.
    • This would (eventually) get across the idea that calm civil discussions are more productive than heated disputes - calm, civil people would be the only ones who could post freely and without interruption - which will generally improve the demeanor of the page.

Basically the idea of a sheriff (anywhere) is to use force as needed to preserve the peace and ensure that people interact cooperatively and productively, even where people might be inclined to behave in less savory ways. On wikipedia this means preserving the consensus process against those who (intentionally or otherwise) end up disrupting it. it's self-limiting: sheriffs who start taking sides in the dispute, or start trying to dictate content, or start abusing the extra tools, would be painfully obvious to all and would get themselves replaced in short order, and sheriffs on pages that cool down significantly will find they have nothing to do, and can exit the page gracefully.

Setting up the basic paradigm is easy. it would take me a few hours to list out the rules and create some associated material (such as templates). Teaching people how to do it correctly might take a bit more effort - it sometimes requires a fairly philosophical perspective on the consensus process to distinguish between productive and non-productive speech acts. but it is not outside the realm of feasibility. And frankly, there are some disputes that are not going to be resolved, ever, except by someone putting their foot down and insisting on civil, reasonable behavior. This might be a useful technique to try first if a dispute seems to be on its way to ArbCom anyway.

Comments, thoughts, insights? --Ludwigs2 22:23, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

  • Unfortunately, Wikipedia doesn't have a provision for binding arbitration. Coming up with a "town sheriff" would require the Wikipedia iceberg to change course and there's a whole lot of inertia behind that thing... —Carrite, Sept. 26, 2010.
    • It's not binding arbitration, it's civility enforcement. very different things. Binding arbitration means making a binding decision about content (which is not at all what I'm suggesting here). Civility enforcement means taking strong measures to ensure that normal consensus discussions have a chance to progress. seemingly subtle difference, I know, but with a deceptively large difference in results. --Ludwigs2 18:06, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
  • The idea has some merit; in fact, it's to some degree already done in the really combative areas like Climate Change, whenever ArbCom enforces more restrictive editing standards. However, CC in fact points to the problem with this issue--as far as I've read on ANI, what seems to inevitably happen is that, over time, each Admin in charge (the sherriff) inevitably gets tag by one side or the other as being non-neutral, and that admins neutrality itself becomes a bone of contention, until that Admin is either forced to step aside or the other editors stop paying attention to that admin (making end-runs around him/her). Also, I don't like the idea of ever taking away someone's ability to contact an outside admin for help--otherwise, what recourse would someone ever have who feels like the somehow just aren't working well with that specific person (and this can happen even when someone edits in good faith)? Perhaps consider a group of admins working on one article? I'm not sure exactly if there is a way to flesh this out, but there may be something. Qwyrxian (talk) 00:01, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
    Interestingly, it was exactly this kind of situation that I was thinking about when I came up with this, because I've seen it happen myself. There are two reasons why sysops get sandbagged in that particular way when they try to intervene on troubled pages:
    1. They have to assume the authority for intervening in a stronger fashion on their own (it's not given them by the community), and so they get accused of exceeding their rights as a sysop for some imagined 'personal' reason.
    2. They have no guideline for precisely how they should intervene, and (since they have to make it up as they go) they leave themselves open to all sorts of specious interrogations about their behavior. and as we all know, once someone leaves themselves open in that kind of interrogation, they are going to get Ken Starred by someone.
    The way real-world sheriffs handle these problems - because they are just as vulnerable as any sysop to counter-attacks by the people they are trying to cope with - is by (1) having their extra use of power legitimized by the community, and (2) restricting themselves to a clearly defined, pre-sanctioned list of actions. A real-world sheriff is allowed to carry and use a weapon because the community hired him specifically to use force in situations that require it, and a real-world sheriff has a list of things he's allowed to intervene on which states ways he can intervene on each. So long as this real-world sheriff restricts himself to doing the things on that list (and treats everyone more-or-less the same with respect to that list), he's pretty much immune: people can complain about the list of infractions itself, but can't fault the sheriff for enforcing it.
The same thing would work on wikipedia. Obviously people could complain about a TS and accuse him/her of all sorts of things (the rule about the TS being the only active sysop on the page is to prevent editors from playing 'mommy/daddy' games with different sysops, not to prevent people from talking about what's happening on the page). but if the TS has been sticking to the narrow scope of the job, the TS only needs to say: "I am cleaning up the page according to the procedures laid out for town sheriffs, link here, as approved by the community. If this process is somehow flawed, please begin a discussion about modifying that page, and I will change my actions when a new set of procedures is agreed on." The explicitness of the laid-out procedures should end most discussions about TS behavior quickly, and in cases where a TS steps over the line in minor ways, the discussion can be ended by simple clarifications of the procedure. in either case (so long as the TS is not actually overtly abusing the system), any attacks on the TS should quickly get shifted onto discussions about community-approved procedures, which should insulate him/her from witch-hunts. And if the TS is overtly abusing the system... well, I think that situation will take care of itself.
The job would take some cojones, of course - a sheriff has to be willing to do the right thing over strong objections - but the setup would at least keep TS's from the ravening assaults I've seen made on pro-active sysops in the past. --Ludwigs2 01:44, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
In that case, I guess it would depend on exactly what "authority" such a person would hold. Some of your original suggestions seems good (e.g., redacting uncivil comments) to me, while others (refactoring comments) seem bad. As a side note, what place do you believe would be the appropriate source for the installment of a sheriff? Would this come from ANI? Could someone post a request, much like they do now for an RfC or voluntary mentorship? Qwyrxian (talk) 02:04, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
The precise authorities a sheriff would have would be details we'd need to work out - part of why I posted the idea here in the lab. I have a good idea of the kinds of things that would be useful (based on a fairly extensive knowledge of the pitfalls of discursive decision-making), but I'm not so sure about what the community would be comfortable with. The basic model I have in mind is actually a socialization model - the sheriff working to short-curcuit the various advantages that are derived from improper behavior in a consensus discussion, so that editors will slowly re-socialize to proper consensus behavior because bad behavior would become a less profitable method for achieving article goals then cooperative consensus-oriented behavior. For instance, refactoring comments is one way of offsetting filibuster techniques, where editors individually or collectively keep reasserting the same points endlessly, with the effect that all conversations on the page grind to a repetitive halt. Refactoring or redacting repetitious material removes no substantive points from the debate, but keeps the discussion on that particular point localized to a single place where it has the best chance of being resolved, and removes a tremendous source of frustration for other editors who never know how to deal with that sort of mindless-seeming repetition. I can spell all the points out in detail if you like.
As far as installing a sheriff, that should probably come from wp:AN, wp:ANI, or some special noticeboard created for the purpose. It doesn't really matter where; what matters is that enough people notice that there is an ongoing problem with the article/topic, and the problem has gone on long enough that there's a general consensus that it is an annoyance/eyesore/irritant/whatever. I anticipate at that point that someone will say "Gads, I'm sick of this topic. Should we send in a sheriff to straighten this mess out?", there will be general grunts and grumbles of agreement, and if there seems to be decent consensus they'll get a volunteer from the available sheriffs list who'll take it on. That will involve things like adding a template to the page so editors know what's going on, leaving a notice on wp:AN so that sysops know to contact the sheriff about issues related to the page, and then wading in with warnings first to let people know that the situation has changed. The main concerns, from my perspective, are (1) making it clear and obvious that the sheriff is there at the behest of the community, and (2) going through the necessary bells and whistles to make it absolutely clear that the sheriff has a legitimate right to do what s/he does on the page, based in established community consensus. Establishing and maintaining that sense of legitimacy is by itself a significant factor (in the sandbagging cases we discussed above, this is where the sysops got in trouble - their attackers always relentlessly dogged them on the issue of legitimacy). The message has to be: "The community is sick of this, sheriff X is here to put it right", so it just needs to get started in a venue that makes it clear that the community is fully behind it. --Ludwigs2 07:26, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I see some issues:
  • Who is the community?
  • Who will control the controller?
  • Incontestable extra special powers in exactly one hand does not sound good.
  • "Refactoring or redacting repetitious material" by just this one person will inescapably lead to occurrences of censorship. Also accusation of censorship will impede other functions of the sheriff. A special refactoring function or power should, if used at all, lie with a different person.
-- Tomdo08 (talk) 22:58, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
  • 'The community' means pretty much the same thing that it means in any significant wikipedia decision: a consensus between a goodish number of editors that there is a problem that needs to be addressed, where those editors reflect a good cross-section of the wikipedia community as a whole. It's the same kind of thing that happens with community ban proposals or policy RfC's. It's not perfect or definable, just something that shows there is a general agreement that the issue is a problem.
  • No one will control the controllers. Sheriffs could be removed the same way they are installed (and it would likely be far easier to remove one than install one in the first place), but once installed they would operate independently according to a well-defined set of rules.
  • Incontestable extra special powers in a single hand may not sound good, but it is distinctly better than the alternative (a hormonal free-for-all that escalates endlessly). The whole point of installing a sheriff would to sidestep all the nonsense of contentious pages: let a sysop go onto a page with the tools he needs to stop the editorial nonsense, and with relative immunity from attack, and with the backing of the community, and you'll be amazed how fast everyone on the page transmogrifies into a good, productive wiki-citizen.
  • Censorship is a non-issue, because the sheriff (as I've said) will have a clearly defined set of rules for what he does, and everyone will be watching to make sure they are applied equally. Yes, people will complain, but every complaint should be able to be met by the sheriff pointing to a diff or two and saying "This diff is what you did, this link is the rule you broke, this link is where the results of breaking that rule are spelled out. Obey the rule or change it (changing it is your right, if you can get consensus), but don't complain about my enforcing it." This is what sheriffs do in a liberal society. Nobody much likes it, but everybody sensible understands that it wouldn't be a liberal society at all without it.
The resistance to this idea (yes, I'm aware there is and will be resistance) is resistance to the idea of allowing the community to impose a temporary authoritarian structure on an article; Wikipedia has strong anarcho-liberal strains that I rather admire. But, you know, Aristotle singled out 'low' democracy as the worst form of governance imaginable (low democracy being demagoguery: a system dominated by hot-tempered rhetoric, ignorance, and manipulation, rather than the calm, conscious application of reason). On contentious pages low democracy is all you're going to get. If a proper polis is possible on an article that is obviously preferred, but if all a page can manage resembles old-west Tombstone, then installing a Wyatt Earp might be an infelicitous but useful move. --Ludwigs2 02:35, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
Great policy proposal, altough this is an Idea Lab, not a policy discussion page (this is way past the idea stage). ;) This thing is so thoroughly thought out that it could be implemented right now! Arlen22 (talk) 19:14, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
well, it's been developing as I've talked to people here. but I think you're right: it's time to write this up as an actual proposal and offer it up at VP (Policy). I'll see if I can do that today. --Ludwigs2 20:19, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
What I am primarily aiming at, is that the envisioned sheriff would have to much power.
There is a difference between this article sheriff and a real world sheriff: Real world sheriffs ascertain misdeeds, enforce judgement of a gremium after debate and, only when nothing else is possible and there is need, act on their own decision. Reverting either some form of vandalism or some undue deletion or an insult may fall in this last category.
But when editing is involved, the matter becomes different. You gave the example of "refactoring or redacting repetitious material"; but what is a repetition and what is a variation? And is the redact true to the meaning of the redacted? IMHO a better solution would be to make a summary, list or table and insert that into the discussion. But this can be done without any special power. If done by any special person, this would be the job of a mediator.
And why concentrate all power in one incontestable person? Why not allow multiple admins? If quarrel between different admins starts to evolve, the solution would be some arbitration of that. The sheriff-solution would compare to making one of them the chief -- Tomdo08 (talk) 23:07, 7 October 2010 (UTC)


I am a student with course work and stuff. I need google to be simple and easy so I can create a scrap book of all my findings. You can create a scrap book, a logbook telling you where you've been. You could also create a Diary, a calender and chat system. The chat system should be easy to find and you just type, click enter and the person that your talking to should see it. ( a bit like msn but safer and only chat to people in an address book thanks hope you can do this to help me with school work —Preceding unsigned comment added by Hedgehogs98 (talkcontribs) 17:24, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not connected with Google. Google do have Google Documents, Google Talk and many other projects, see Fences&Windows 22:57, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

Article Feedback Tool: how to use and improve it[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation has been doing a small test of the Article Feedback Tool, an extension that lets readers rate articles. We're trying to figure out whether, or in what ways, people find it useful, and how it could be improved. Please join the discussion. --Sage Ross - Online Facilitator, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 18:51, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

make it simple[edit]

Make wiki simple —Preceding unsigned comment added by Hedgehogs98 (talkcontribs) 17:20, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

That's what is for. If you have ideas on making Wikipedia or the other Wikimedia projects simple, please let them know. Fences&Windows 23:02, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Alternatively, if you want a simpler to read version of Wikipedia, There is one. sonia 03:42, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

Video clips stuff for science articles[edit]

Crossposted from the science desk as per suggestion of a respondent.
I am considering producing a number of video clips (after adequate research, as I am a bear of little brain) which can be added to relevant scientific articles. Attached are some examples I have been working on. As per the guidelines, the format is .ogv in all clips. Sorry about the voice over. I did not realise that I sound like a dim-witted upper class twit straight out of Monty Python.
Please provide feed back as to the (un)suitability of the clips. I am aware that details will have to be corrected and optimized. Thank you for any help.
--Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 19:06, 5 October 2010 (UTC) Warning: Not to be used via dialup connections. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 22:17, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Sample video clips for evaluation
DNA packing, 13 MB
Nuclear decay and nuclear fission, 13 MB
You may be interested in the Wikipedia:WikiProject Images and Media/Illustration taskforce. They seem to be concerned with mostly images but I'm sure videos fit within their scope. commons:Category:Commons video resources might have some helpful links too. -- œ 02:47, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
The videos appear to be potentially wonderful additions to our articles. Very suitable. The only suggestion I can offer for improvement, would be to add a copy of the transcript to the video's talkpage, so that other editors can translate and redub in their own languages.
Wikipedia:WikiProject Science (or one of its descendants) might be able to offer further input. -- Quiddity (talk) 01:57, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
One can say with only hearing 2 seconds of your voice that you are a native German speaker, without any doubt. ;) Und ich kann nur sagen, daß deine Videos sind super. Gute Arbeit!-- (talk) 20:39, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
I think this is a great concept and a very suitable addition to any broad/popular article. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 20:44, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

"Share this article"[edit]

Just an idea that occurred to me about five seconds ago: Why isn't there a simple way to share Wikipedia articles? I mean, increasing reach is pretty important, as it's basically what brings increased participation and thus increased quality and thus increased reach (strategy:File:VirtCirc3.png), so why isn't this a priority? A way to share articles, something like what Wikinews has, might accomplish this immensely. Any ideas about the best way to go about doing this? --Yair rand (talk) 06:16, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

I think that's probably a good idea. The link could easily be added to the Toolbox at the left, and I expect the actual sharing bit can be done in Javascript. Lots of websites have this, and I see no reason why we shouldn't. Rd232 talk 10:27, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
I agree. There are on-line services for this (addthis for example) but I don't know if they would appreciate it if we add up to 3 million new entries to their database or if the Foundation would be happy to use any third-party service for this. You might want to propose this at the strategy-wiki. Regards SoWhy 11:52, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
Wikia uses what you are proposing on all of their content articles, and allow the user to easily link to that article via Facebook or some other social networking site. It might be a good idea, but it could be easily done. Ajraddatz (Talk) 23:26, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
As someone who uses neither Facebook nor any sharing service, this would only mean one thing: excessive, unnecessary clutter. I know, this just might be a small icon somewhere (= clutter). If it were one of the entries in the menu on the left hand panel of the page, minimal and subtle in its form, not standing out, then why not. --Ouro (blah blah) 05:01, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
  • The Signpost just starting doing this, see Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2010-09-20/From the editor. The same code could easily be used on articles, and it is very unintrusive. Fences&Windows 00:56, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
    • The developers don't want this. There is a bug report and developing a sharing feature has been declined by the devs. (I don't have a link, sorry...) I think they worry it could lead to spamming. I agree that this should exist. If the community wants it, it will require a lot of discussion to convince the devs it's a good idea. Calliopejen1 (talk) 17:58, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree it's a good idea. Most sites require someone to sign in before emailing an article, so this feature could be used to boost the number of people creating accounts and becoming editors, too :-) CordeliaNaismith (talk) 21:33, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
Besides tracking for marketing purposes/creating spam lists, is a reason to force people to sign in? I'd hope assume that mailto: is setup properly even on shared computer terminals. — Dispenser 22:06, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

Dealing with POV extravaganza articles about religions, ethnicities, nationalities, groups[edit]

Articles whose primary purpose is to spread negative ideas about religions, countries, cultures & groups seem to generate no end of trouble on Wikipedia. (An article that seems to be a good example of this general problem is under discussion here. Here's how I see the general form of this problem:

  • Act I: Editor A writes an article that's a negative POV extravaganza pertaining to a religion, country, culture, or group. There are plenty of sources, but they are used in a very one-sided way. The topic is of dubious encyclopedic value.
  • Act II: Editor B sees the article and nominates it for deletion.
  • Act III: There is a deletion discussion. The article is kept, because the article is sourced and huge POV problems aren't considered a valid reason for deletion. Editor B protests that the article is an unholy mess and is told well, in that case, she should fix it. Moreover, Wikipedia editors C and D feel personally offended by the general lack of understanding displayed regarding their religious/political/ethnic identities. Editor C decides editor A is a bigot, says so, and gets blocked. Editor D finds that the discussion is so unpleasant that she goes on an extended wikibreak.
  • Act IV: The only editor who is enthusiastic about working on the article is editor A, because editor B thinks that the article does not belong in the encyclopedia at all. After a prolonged discussion, Editor B manages to get rid of the most glaringly POV chunks. She's frustrated because she'd really rather work on making an encyclopedic article better, rather than making a horrendous article a little less bad.
  • Act V: The end result is that the encyclopedia is left with fewer editors and an article that is a piece of crap.

What could be done about this problem? Two possibilities:

  1. In biographies of living persons, particularly high standards are required for including negative information, and articles that are negative biographies of living persons are not included unless they are clearly notable. Obviously, as in articles on living people, information that reflect badly on a group must and should often be included. However, precisely because such issues are sensitive and have the potential to damage the community as well as the reputation of the encyclopedia, impeccable sourcing should be absolutely required for such issues, and the community should be particularly careful with issues of weight and balance. I think that it would save no end of problems, and that we would not lose anything valuable, if we applied the same high standards to negative information about extant groups of people as we do to negative information about individual people.
  2. One common way of writing bad articles is by stringing together quotations connected by a common theme. (The article that was discussed at AN/I is a good example of that problem). I think that most articles that are centered around quotation salads should be summarily deleted.

Thoughts? How do other editors see this issue & what can be done about it? I think that the fact that it is much too easy to write a POV extravaganza on a sensitive topic and have it be kept is a real problem. CordeliaNaismith (talk) 21:19, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

I have said elsewhere before (and not just once) that just like there is a BLP-policy, there should be a BLE-policy ( ethnicities)... Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 21:30, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
BLE sounds like a good approach, although it should probably be a bit less restrictive than BLP. Another approach would be to remove all POV nightmares of borderline notability from article space (and Google) until they are fixed. This typically puts the pressure on editor A, where it belongs. A wants their article published, they must write for the enemy. If they can't or won't do that, we will have to wait until a responsible editor comes along who cares sufficiently about the topic to fix A's article or start a new one on the same topic. Hans Adler 21:57, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
PS: WP:Article Incubator is not very clear about what is and what isn't welcome there. The rules may have to be changed for this kind of thing, or maybe they are already fine. It's hard to tell what the rules are. Hans Adler 22:01, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
It would be useful to have some kind of clear standards for BLE articles. Might I suggest:
  • that a threshold number of academic/authoritative sources that focus on an overview of the issue might deal with the journalist quote salad issue. (i.e., an article on Klingon mating rituals would have to have a certain number of non-journalistic sources concerning Klingons and/or mating rituals in general etc., and not be collected from a series of travel accounts and web posts that happened to make offhand remarks on the subject)
  • That a template be created so that a BLE article about X group (such as Klingon mating rituals) is referenced at the top of the talk page on that group (Talk:Klingons) and put in the relevant category, so that editors involved in writing about that group are aware of its existence. Ideally, relevant topics would be summarized on the main group page, or put in the see also section, but that might get unwieldly.
  • Some more subjective comments about WP:NPOV, WP:CHERRY, WP:COATRACK be included in the policy.
  • What would really be helpful, though, is a clear guideline that encourages or requires potentially general-policy-compliant, but not BLE-compliant articles to be shunted into the incubator. Right now in the scenario Cordelia lays out, there's no guidance towards the incubator in the deletion process, and often no awareness that the incubator or WP:TNT are viable solutions among people who join the discussion. Such guidelines could be introduced into the deletion policy, at least for BLE. See, for example this one
  • Finally, an obligatory peer review process should accompany the move from incubator to main article space
  • Some thought will have to be given to how to keep articles trapped in incubator purgatory by editors pushing a POV
Just some suggestions.--Carwil (talk) 00:15, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
I can't say I agree with the basis of this at all. It sounds like censorship to me. The person writing the article about say criticism of Scientology is an editor too so I don't see why the pro everything is lovely editor should be specially supported and the other not. Dmcq (talk) 00:32, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
I actually agree with the concern about leaning towards one side. I think that the list of quality criteria I suggested above apply to descriptions in either direction. So if Animal experimentation by Gnostics contains either a series of quotes saying "gnostics have lots of cute puppies" and "Gnostic principles oppose cruelty" OR a series of quotes saying "Nasty gnostic Q vivisected the last existing unicorn," and "Biology teacher R reports that his Gnostic students are eager to experiment on planaria," then we wait for more comprehensive and verifiable sources on the issue.--Carwil (talk) 04:39, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
I saw that discussion about the article CordeliaNaismith mentions. I didn't get involved because I didn't have a simple solution for that problem. On the one hand, the subject of the article isn't objectionable in itself -- nor would the article be, if it were simply about the subject. An analogous example would be Serpents and vipers in Christianity: there is a great deal of scholarly research on the iconography & symbolism of these creatures in Christian literature, so an encyclopedic & notable article could be written on this topic. On the other hand, it would be very simple for someone to subvert an article with such a name into a list of people called serpents or vipers -- which is what happened in the article CordeliaNaismith alludes to, much as she described. While Wikipedia is not censored, any objective observer has to wonder about the importance or notability of an article that is solely negative; I think this is a case where ignore all rules properly should be invoked & the article deleted. And if pressed for an explanation, my only answer is that I can't explain why the article is worthless, but I know toxic bullshit when I see it. -- llywrch (talk)

Wikimedia URL Shortener & Sharing Wiki links[edit]

All the sites with heavy traffic have been using URL shorteners to make sharing their links easier and safer. For all of the wikimedia projects, especially wikipedia, this can be extremely useful. Most sites use foreign country Top Level Domains as a way to link to their own content. For example, Google:; Flicker:; New York Times:; Facebook:, and so on.

Wikipedia needs one, but I think if they do, it should be good for all wikimedia liks. Perhaps using (TLD of Kiribati). Links could be shortened by having an option on top of the page to allow one to share links, the shortened url can be available. If it were 6 alphanumeric characters, that may cover all the links for quite a while (36^6), ie:

(, are also options) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:11, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

Secondly, If each entry had a "share this link" option on top of pages, for twitter or facebook, that may be somewhat beneficial to users.

Just a thought. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:01, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

As a nonprofit entity that strives to present a neutral point of view in our wikis, there are problems with splattering "share this" links to for-profit websites all over our articles. Even if this weren't true, they are ugly, fatuous advertising and ought to be opposed on those grounds. As to the URL shortener idea, it's not a bad one; though if you're specifically thinking of Twitter for this, they are eventually going to pass all links through their URL shortener, so using others isn't needed.
well, it might be nice to have a single 'share this article' link. I occasionally like to forward wikipedia articles to people, and it's a bit annoying having to copy and paste the URL or save the page as a PDF first. --Ludwigs2 05:04, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't have too much of a problem with share links presented similarly to Special:BookSources and linked it from the sidebar. I do have a problem with big rows of colored squares, either (definitely) in article space or on a dedicated share page. Gavia immer (talk) 05:26, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
  • See the discussion under the heading "Share this article" further up this page. Fences&Windows 23:34, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Yeah, I wasn't thinking of colored squares for FB or Twitter. But a link to EMAIL or link for a bulletin board would be nice. As for it becoming a link, sites like work with companies/organizations so that their links are shortened the way they want it. New York Times becomes, for example or facebook becomes So it would be okay to have a,,, etc URL. I know I like sharing links of relevant topics on message boards and chatrooms (particularly those relating to science and philosophy), and I email links too, and a shortened URL would be less cluttered. The UI doesn't have to be flashy or complicated. The ultimate idea I suppose is just to have the ability to click one button to have a send/share link with a shortened URL presented. Even when you mouse-over a shortened link, it could still tell you where it directs you to. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:55, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

There's . —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 20:47, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

  • I want to just say that I like this idea (as the author of this section) probably more than anyone reading this, and so using wikipedia's list of Top Level Domains, I looked at the ones that have a logical connection to the wiki sites. Ones like .jp, or .vn don't flow, where as ones like .is, .me, us., etc work better. Most were registered and/or in use. That is, and I tried different combinations. Because I think ALL wikimedia sites should be included, I only looked for prefixes wiki and wik, but if it were to include just wikipedia, I could research other options, even though my efforts are completely futile and unnecessary since this will probably not come into fruition. From what I can tell, its only $140 for 2 years, which seems pretty cheap. Also, is available for seemingly $119/yr. Others like are there, and a few more, but they go up in price. I share wiki links a lot, so it would be a great service, and Wikimedia can partner with a free account so they can automatically redirect links. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:45, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
There's no need for the Foundation to use, and it might run afoul of the WMF privacy policy in any case. There is useful open-source software out there to automate running an URL redirector, and the server staff could use that if the Foundation thought it was a good idea. I can see that there have been some requests from the Foundation to the owner of to consider turning it over to them, but I agree that if there were an interest in doing this it would be better to have a more generic domain. Gavia immer (talk) 03:24, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
The thing is a start, but its not really a legitimate URL shortener. Prime example:'t_Be_a_Menace_to_South_Central_While_Drinking_Your_Juice_in_the_Hood_(soundtrack). For one to be useful, it has to be a shortener in the truest sense. I am thinking about creating my own. I found a good domain for about $20/yr. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:09, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

New Template[edit]

There is a template with the name {{USERNAME}} on Call Of Duty Wiki where it displays the current viewer's username as they see a certain page. an exaple can be found on my user page there: It is similar to our REVISIONUSER template, however, that template displays the username of the last person to edit that page. I think it would be really neat to have Template:USERNAME because it would allow users to create some really cool "Welcome to my userpage" templates. I have no experience in creating templates like this, so I would like someone else to do it, is of course, it is approved. Thank You. A Word Of Advice From A Beast: Don't Be Silly, Wrap Your Willy! 02:29, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

I think this would just be annoying. It is also potentially misleading. A message will look like it is addressed to you personally, when in fact it is addressed to anyone that looks at it. Yaris678 (talk) 10:56, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
It's not likely to happen here anyway, as it would break the parser cache. Anomie 16:27, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
Then how come it works perfectly fine and doesn't break the parser cache on Wikia? And it could be used in a message saying "Hi, User. Welcome to my Userpage. Make sure do check out my talk page and leave a message!" or something like that. It wouldn't be misleading. (talk) 18:52, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia and Wikia share the same software but not the same tweaks and patches and Wikipedia has more complicated templates than most Wikias, so not everything that works there will work here. Regards SoWhy 19:20, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
I see someone just deleted the template at your Call of Duty wiki, but if it's the same thing as at Wookieepedia (first Google hit for "Template:USERNAME") then it's not what I thought. Rather than the oft-requested parser function to return the reader's username, it's just a placeholder that is replaced using Javascript. While that could be done here, there is no good use for it, it would fail for people without Javascript enabled, and it would cause extra CPU load on every visitor's computer for every page load for no useful purpose, so it probably won't happen here. Anomie 21:03, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

Cataloging useful sources[edit]

This has probably been suggested before. I was reading an article possibly Three Strikes Laws or Incarceration in the USA. I had a look through two of the refs to check or for some reason. One of the refs had information used and the other didn't. So, I was going to delete the other source, but it had very relevant information which didn't seem to be used on the article, so I just left it there. I might even go back to find it and try to fit it in or something. So anyway... I thought it would be useful to remove this source and put it on a subpage where it could be found by anyone. Of course it would be handy for any article to have a list of good sources, inclusive of ones not currently referenced. I thought it could even be a new tab. Surely the more mainstreams topics have bundles of sources on them and how better to have them compared than to have them listed handy where anyone in the world can see what sources could be available? I don't know how well I explained the usefulness of that but basically there are unused but valuable sources. Shouldn't we be keeping on to them all in easy access in case they prove useful? Of course sources like that are often listed on a talk page but talkpages are often archived and are not organised for such a thing and people would be more likely to note their unused resources on a special page. Has this been suggested before? What was it called? ~ R.T.G 16:48, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

That's one reason I have been adding a section entitled "Further reading" to some of the articles I have worked on. Another reason is that I often find more sources on a topic than I can quickly digest, so I add them as a pointer to the next person who works on the article. -- llywrch (talk) 05:15, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
There's a handy template you could use called {{refideas}} It's meant to be put at the top of talk pages and it doesn't get archived. And I totally agree with you on the usefulness of listing potential sources, WP:List of free online resources and WP:WikiProject Resource Exchange/Shared Resources have a wealth of potentials available for use. -- œ 14:29, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

blacklisting "File:"[edit]

Lemme be "real stupid" and simply ask: what happened if "File:" was on the title blacklist? Would that effect upload as well? (Right now, anyone can create a page with that prefix without uploading anything. Type File:kvjtfbk79g%$# or whatever into the searchbox, it'll give you the option of creating a page like that.) Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 01:56, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

I'm not 100% positive that it does, but it should affect upload, otherwise it would be a bug – people could upload files with titles that they couldn't create. Mr.Z-man 17:04, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Oh, I hear ya. Nevermind then. Woulda been nice though... Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 02:10, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Moving the Main Page to the project namespace[edit]

Many wikis, such as the French Wikipedia, the Spanish Wikipedia, the English Wiktionary and the German Wikipedia, have all moved their Main Page to the project namespace. Wouldn't it be time for us to do so? It is obvious enough that the Main Page is not an encyclopedia article. —  Waterfox  16:11, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

See also Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 43#Why not Portal:Main Page? and Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Persistent proposals/Archive 3#Proposal: Move the main page to Portal:Wikipedia for some previous discussion on this matter. Anomie 17:12, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Also see also Wikipedia:FAQ/Main Page#Why is Main Page in the main namespace?, which links to many previous discussions at Talk: Main Page on this subject. In short, its a frequent proposal, but one that's never managed to gain widespread consensus.--Fyre2387 (talkcontribs) 18:38, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

How about a Wikipedia policy /guideline "Talmud"?[edit]

Okay, this probably sounds really strange, but today I was commenting on a proposed addition to WP:ELNO (discussion can be seen at WT:EL#Are online petitions a form of social networking?. One of the standard concerns with such an addition is that it creates "instruction creep"--that if we just keep adding more and more "rules," the editing process becomes more and more difficult for new editors and less and less like the original spirit of Wikipedia (whatever that is). In this particular instance, we don't actually need a new rule, because consensus seems pretty clear that the proposed addition is already covered, but since it isn't covered explicitly, a new user may find it difficult to see why.

This triggered in my mind the idea that since our policies are supposed to arise out of consensus, and often out of specific contexts, like a particular problem on a particular page or group of pages, that every policy often has a story--perhaps an ArbCom decision, or an ANI discussion that had wider consequences, a WMF ruling-by-fiat, or even a heavily discussed AfD. Furthermore, every policy has a varying set of interpretations, not all of which are mutually consistent. What I was wondering is whether or not such interpretations and "stories" could somehow be linked to the policies themselves, either via notes, references or some other system? My framing metaphor is the Talmud. For those who don't know, the Talmud is a collection of writings by Jewish rabbinical scholars from the 3rd and 6th century BCE, which provide discussions and interpretations of the Tanakh (which are the actually core holy books/canon of the Hebrew Bible). The Tanakh itself is the "real" authority, but the Talmud provides helpful insight into ways that the Jewish rabbinate traditionally interpreted various parts of the Tanakh. In the present day, different Jewish sects give different levels of authority to the Talmud, but at a minimum, all look to it for insight in how scripture was interpreted in the past. Our "Talmud" would work in much the same way--it would not be binding in the same way that policy/guidelines are, but it would help others see how and why the policies arose, and how they have been interpreted by the community at various points. It would allow us to keep some policies simple and clean, but let the interpretations speak to the details (another metaphor that we could use hereis the way that judicial precedent is "secondary" to law, but is also important and valid when applying that law in the present). It would also be helpful when considering ways of changing policy, because it would let us see what had gone before (i.e., serving a role similar to the WP:PEREN page). Finally, it helps build a sense of community and history, showing new editors where we have been before, and why we made the choices we did. At present, I have only this broad idea, nor any specific idea of how to address this from a technical perspective. Any thoughts—positively, negatively, or otherwise? Qwyrxian (talk) 00:44, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

I'd always seen this as the relation between policy (as tanakh) and guideline (as talmud). are you suggesting that we need a third layer, or that guidelines are (pragmatically) treated as equivalent to policy? I think it's a really good idea, mind you, but I think it should be made explicit in the division we already have rather than to create an entirely new class of pages. or am I misunderstanding what you're saying? --Ludwigs2 19:52, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
I recommend you read Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines. Essays would be what you are talking about, I believe. Arlen22 (talk) 21:09, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
@Ludwigs2: As far as I know, guidelines are not subordinate to policy, and, in fact, essays can hold as much credence with community as policy (WP:BRD is the best example I can think of). Once upon a time, if I read my history correctly, policies did trump guidelines, but not any more. @Arlen22: Essays are part of what I mean, but I mean more than that--I also mean to include the precedent found in other consensus building places; and I mean for the commentary to be directly linked to the policies. To be specific, in the example that triggered this, there was a concern as to whether or not we needed to explicitly add "online petitions" to the enumerated list of things that are not allowed as external links in WP:ELNO. Someone rightly commented that it is true that they are not explicitly listed now, but that they definitely fall at least partially into several existing categories, and, more importantly for this discussion, had been several times before been argued to be unreliable. So, if there were linked/annotated commentary, rather than having to add more instructions, we could simply add a link to the various places where previously online petitions had been decided to be invalid external link targets. So I guess that what I'm saying is that essays are written (usually) by individuals, and may or may not slowly gain community consensus, and thus are more difficult to cite with confidence; but I'm talking to linking to discussions that have already obtained (at least local) consensus. Realistically, I think this idea is nearly unworkable (the amount of "commentary" would overwhelm the actual content, and it would just add a whole additional level of argument ("Is Discussion X a good example of policy Y?"). I'm just wondering if there is any salvageable component to the idea. Qwyrxian (talk) 23:52, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, writing an essay is often a good way to handle that. Along those lines, I've been contemplating an essay that explains how primary/secondary sources differ from first-person/third-party sources. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:18, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Aside to WhatamIdoing: I wish you would - that would resolve a lot of confusions. if there's anything I can do to help with it, let me know. --Ludwigs2 06:39, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Have a look at Entitlement_(fair_division)#Entitlement_in_the_Talmud and think whether all that discussion in the Talmud has helped or hindered in producing something clear and straightforward. :) We want something everybody can understand and commentary would lock out all except the wikilmudists. Dmcq (talk) 09:25, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for your comment Dmcq--you seem to have understood most clearly what I was getting at. In fact, your concern is well worth worrying about--simpler policies at least let us keep the surface level "clear." I still intuitively feel there's some core useful idea underneath my muddled symbollic picture, but I haven't been able to tease out of my own mind what that is... Qwyrxian (talk) 10:16, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

I think this is a very interesting idea. The way I see it working is that you could have a series of pages that would be a bit like Wikipedia articles except that:

  1. The subject would be Wikipedia policies, guidelines etc.
  2. They would use use Wikipedia as a source, which is not allowed for most main-space articles. Specifically, they would use talk pages, old versions of policies etc.

These pages would cover the history including where the policy/guideline came from and how it has been interpreted. Perhaps it would make sense to treat such pages as essays, unless someone can think of a better idea. They could have names like WP:About verifiability and WP:About notability... or perhaps some other convention such as WP:History of Verifiability.

On a separate note, those discussing the relationship between policies and guidelines might also be interested in Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Should anything marked as a "policy" in every case trump anything marked as a "guideline" at AFD?

Yaris678 (talk) 10:17, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

As someone who's been around for a while and is very interested in slowly starting to contribute more meaningfully (I've largely kept to reverting vandalism/fixing up grammar so far) something like this interests me a great deal. I think a very practical way to implement this is to simply have references sections on policy pages, so that if a policy is unclear/seems strange/etc, I can go read the relevant ArbCom decision/other history. Personman (talk) 09:45, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

New theme for a vandalism warning template[edit]

I recently made a vandalism warning template that had the idea of demoralising vandals, but it got deleted for being too bitey.

The template gives some stats, to show the vandal that their efforts are easily reverted, quickly. An example can be found here.

With the short time that I used the template, I generated these stats:

Warning type Number in sample Number of reoffence Reoffence %
My warning 40 0 0
Huggle L1 30 4 13.3
Huggle 40 12 30

Here was the code as it stood when deleted (I think it's right, since it was deleted I had to remake it.)

[[Image:Information.png|25px]] Hello '''{{BASEPAGENAME}}'''. I have [[WP:Revert|reverted]] your '''[{{{1}}} edit]''' to '''[[:{{{2}}}]]''' as it constitutes [[WP:VAND|vandalism]]. This action took me less than five seconds, one press on the keyboard and removed your vandalism in '''{{3}}}'''. If you want to get yourself blocked from editing, I am quite willing to press that button a few more times. If however you want to drop [[User:{{REVISIONUSER}}|me]] a [[User_talk:{{REVISIONUSER}}|message]], we can find something [[WP:Department of fun|fun, enjoyable]] and useful on Wikipedia for you to do. ~~~~ <!-- User:A930913/vandwarn -->

and would look something like this

Information.png Hello A930913. I have reverted your edit to User:A930913 as it constitutes vandalism. This action took me less than five seconds, one press on the keyboard and removed your vandalism in 3 seconds. If you want to get yourself blocked from editing, I am quite willing to press that button a few more times. If however you want to drop me a message, we can find something fun, enjoyable and useful on Wikipedia for you to do. 930913(Congratulate) 19:39, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

Please can I have some ideas and help so that it is less bitey and will be accepted by the community. After this, I plan on running a trial to gather more data to see if this approach works, and if so, by how much. Thanks, 930913 (Congratulate/Complaints) 19:39, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

Personal messages of this nature tend to be provocative and may lead to escalation. For starters, I would try re-wording it to take out the "I", "me", "you", "your", "yourself" and "we".—RJH (talk) 20:22, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
I think the idea of trying out different versions of such messages and seeing what the effects are is a good one. I'm sure it would be possible to have an opt in for something like Huggle so different messages could be tried out rndomly and then proper statistics could be got about reoffence/actually went on to do something useful. We don't know whether a bitey response actually increases vandalism and decreases good contributions or the reverse and the figures above show the answer may not be obvious. Dmcq (talk) 13:00, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
These template messages are signed by the users who put them on talk pages, so making the text a bit more personal to go with the signature makes sense. And most vandals are probably just plain bored, therefore offering to find a better activity for them is probably in their own best interest. --Morn (talk) 13:31, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

New "Mini Wiki" Mobile App[edit]

Hey everyone, I was thinking of a Wikipedia mobile app similar to that of the dictionarys. The idea behind it is to write the concept or article you want to look for and the result is just a one line explanation for it. This will help users in case they need to look up something on the go till they get back home and read the actual article. For example, you could write "Mark Zuckerberg" in the search field, and you immediately get "The founder of facebook" as the result. We can call it "Mini Wikis" Amr Z. Darwish —Preceding unsigned comment added by Amrdarwish (talkcontribs) 08:31, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

Searching Google will already give the first ~150 characters of our articles.
Unfortunately, Google:Mark Zuckerberg manages to cut off before the keyword "Facebook"...
What you're proposing would require writing a new 1-line-synopsis for every single article. This is a potentially brilliant idea (that Citizendium already uses with its "definitions": See citizendium:CZ:Definitions, and see citizendium:Reel (disambiguation) for examples of "definitions" in action.) but it is a massive undertaking, that would require overwhelming consensus and support.
You'd need to find someone experienced to lead the proposal. -- Quiddity (talk) 20:40, 30 October 2010 (UTC)
Actually I think this could be done quite simply by bot. The first line of each article should provide a clear and concise definition or summary. → ROUX  02:20, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
You could use the same code as Wikipedia:Tools/Navigation popups uses to select what it presents in its popups. Fences&Windows 20:58, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Tranches: a new way to patrol BLPs[edit]

Please visit the page below and consider adopting one of the 100 lists of 5000 BLPs by putting your signature at the end of the corresponding line.

The idea is to get every single edit to a known BLP patrolled, even the articles that are not otherwise watched.

To patrol recent changes to the articles, click on the "related changes" link for your chosen list. Diffs can be inspected in the usual way; it's not unlike a normal watchlist. Start at the bottom and work your way up.

The lists will be refreshed regularly to account for changes in the content of the living persons category.

--TS 00:24, 4 November 2010 (UTC)


The idea of a WP:COLDSTORAGE was brought up in discussions regarding the Article Incubator. Basically: Idea is to create a WP:COLDSTORAGE for non-infringing, non-offensive content that has been evaluated to not meet wikipedia inclusion requirements.     Eclipsed   ¤     01:44, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

I opposed the incubator at first when it wasn't clear that it was going to be a limited-time staging area for article improvement. I came around on the idea when I saw that it was being kept reasonably clean and wasn't turning into "deletionpedia". So, because of that, I still oppose the idea of an indefinite "junkyard". This view is in line with our guidelines on userspace at WP:UP#COPIES, which forbid using userspace for indefinite storage of articles unsuitable for mainspace. I'm not sure that there will be community consensus for an indefinite storage junkyard, since we haven't let one form up until now. Gigs (talk) 02:09, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm with Gigs here. This already exists. There is not a single good reason for keeping useless articles indefinitely. The incubator is enough of an end-run around AFD; creating COLDSTORAGE would quite simply make AFD completely moot. Anything copyright-violating or grossly offensive would be dealt with via speedy, and the people who just don't understand that not everything under the sun needs an article would cheerfully move everything up for deletion into incubator or cold storage, thus circumventing years-long community consensus. No way on God's green earth is this a good idea. → ROUX  02:19, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
You're both missing the point. There is no good reason for deleting useless but innocuous articles in the first place.
1) If it's NOINDEX'ed, the COLDSTORAGE area won't be displayed to site visitors, search engines, etc.
1a) this also solves the problem addressed by WP:UP#COPIES, aka WP:FAKEARTICLE, in that it is abundantly clear that these are not encyclopedia articles, but fragments of not-ready-for-prime-time articles which may someday become articles. The guideline exists for a reason, which is in large part due to the failure of the community to NOINDEX userspace--a solution which itself would have done away with the reason for FAKEARTICLE guideline.
2) Since the revisions are stored in the Wikipedia database anyways, there's no storage space to be saved by deleting them--it just ensures that an admin's intervention is needed to retrieve content, and that it will be correspondingly harder to find such content to undelete it.
Roux, what is the point of AfD? Is it for keeping mainspace clear of things that don't belong there? Then why is a non-mainspace, non-searchable, non-indexed boneyard of such content an "end run" around AfD? That sort of pronouncement makes more sense is AfD is an "I-win-you-lose" venue, and the humiliation of losers is their just deserts for daring to bring whatever cruft into existence. Remember, this encyclopedia is built on the contributions of volunteers, and we would do well to be as polite as possible in rejecting such well-intentioned, non-offensive, non-infringing, but non-includable content. If it can remove the vast majority of the burden on AfD, good for it! Let us do away with the divisive tug-of-war and spend more effort improving the things that don't cut it per our current guidelines.
Most things will still get deleted, of course, but things where one editor in good standing says "Hey, I think that should be an article!" and no speedy criteria (BLP/attack, copyvio, promotion, vandalism, etc.) apply, we should WP:AGF when doing so will do no harm to the quality of content presented to our customers/readers. Jclemens (talk) 04:21, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
I think it is you who has missed the point. I do not see AFD as a win/loss. The fact that this proposal is an end run has nothing to do with that; it is a method of circumventing long-standing community consensus. Beyond that, I see no reason to continue engaging you on this subject. Arguing with True Believers or extremists of any persuasion is never a good idea; the very simple fact is that there are articles which do not now and will likely not ever fit within Wikipedia's scope. There is, therefore, not a single compelling reason to keep them. Deleted articles still exist online, which completely addresses all of your points. → ROUX  12:27, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
As deleted articles are 'getable' via Deletionpedia and WP:REFUND, I tend to agree that WP:COLDSTORAGE is not required.     Eclipsed   ¤     12:42, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
To the extent that you've "engaged" me in discussion, Roux the above post is pretty typical: once again, you fail to get the point. Deletionpedia is 1) not Wikipedia, 2) contains deleted material that may violate our content policies (copyvio, attack, etc.), and 3) there's no indication that anyone ever asked for it to be kept. COLDSTORAGE is for wikipedia storage of innocuous content that someone has asked to be kept. Even if you posit that "Wikipedia vs. not-Wikipedia" is irrelevant, there are still two very large reasons why Deletionpedia is not sufficient to meet this particular need, along with the fact that Deletionpedia does nothing to reduce the AfD tug-of-war. "Long standing consensus" is not a reason to avoid improving Wikipedia. Jclemens (talk) 14:39, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Useless articles are not innocuous. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, and its usefulness as an encyclopedia depends on its perceived quality--quality both in terms of content and in terms of what it covers. the concept of notability is real, however we may sometimes disagree on its definition. On the other hand, Wikipedia does not have a monopoly on information. the best thing to do with things that Wikipedia does not cover is to move them elsewhere -- to local wikis, to wikia, or even better, to a defined wmf project, possibly called Wikipedia Two. I can see a purpose in a supplemental database of non-infringing material; i can not see a purpose in a non-indexable unsearchable database. I agree we need dod something with sort of content, but I do not think this is the way. DGG ( talk ) 04:36, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
There's a difference between NOINDEX and non-searchable. When things are deleted, they are seen neither by the customers (readers) nor the non-administrator volunteers who might want to improve upon what was deleted. When things are NOINDEX'ed, they remain invisible to the customers, but visible and searchable to those who are perusing that area or specifically include it in their searches. Jclemens (talk) 04:53, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Note - mirroring/scraping sites do not always follow the NOINDEX. For example, all Article Incubator are set to NOINDEX, but pages DO show up on the web. For example in this google search[4] I found 3 NOINDEX pages showing, because they are on mirror/scraper sites. Probably is more, but I stopped searching after 3.     Eclipsed   ¤     08:49, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, NOINDEX, like all robots.txt, requires the scraping site or web spider to honor it. That's a large part of the reason why attack, promotional, or copyvio pages don't belong kept NOINDEX'ed--they belong deleted. Jclemens (talk) 14:40, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree with DGG. The principle that "Wikipedia is an encyclopedia" limits the project's scope and ensures that it is not a storage area or dumping ground for content which is not useful for the project. The description of COLDSTORAGE as a would-be "junkyard" is appropriate, in my opinion, and it highlights the problem with the idea: as a project, we may be too deletionist in some areas and too inclusionist in others, but the process of quality control is essential to Wikipedia's continued usefulness. Wikipedia is not the only website on the World Wide Web, and it is not intended to be a repository of all possible information. There are plenty of blogs, forums, webhosts, and other wikis for that.
The argument that COLDSTORAGE would be used to store "innocuous content" for potential future use is unconvincing. If someone cares enough about certain content to suggest that it should be kept for possible future use, then surely they can care enough to improve the content to a level that it is acceptable for the mainspace (either as a stand-alone article or as part of an existing article). -- Black Falcon (talk) 19:32, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
You do realize there's a difference between a junkyard and a landfill, right? Junkyards are places where pieces and parts which may prove useful are kept. Your argument is essentially as irrelevant as arguing that every car in a salvage yard must be street legal: There's a reason that those components are kept there--they, as a whole, have enough value to be worth keeping. Jclemens (talk) 20:01, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Your point depends on the assumption, which I addressed in my comment, that the content has "enough value to be worth keeping". If that is the case, then there is no reason that it should need to pass through a "dumping ground" phase. Instead, it can simply be improved to the point of viability or merged to an article on a related topic.
Also, I am not nearly as deletionist as the "street-legal" analogy would imply. :) There are many articles on Wikipedia which are not "street-legal" (i.e., do not comply with the core policies of verifiability, original research, and neutrality), yet I do not think that they should be "taken off the streets" since each one can be quite easily improved to the point of being acceptable (the problem, of course, stems from the fact that there are just so many of them). -- Black Falcon (talk) 20:19, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
So, I'm looking at the COLDSTORAGE being an alternative to deletion for things that 1) have been challenged, such as at AfD, 2) don't currently meet inclusion criterion, 3) have editor(s) speak up that they might be valuable someday, 4) don't presently or imminently have anyone willing to work on them, and 5) don't pose an undue risk (BLP, copyvio, etc.) The fact is that we have more content that gets challenged than people want to work on at any given time, such that the "incubator" can never hold most of the material that someone thinks should be kept. Jclemens (talk) 21:20, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
A page that meets the 5 criteria which you identify would be a prime candidate for userfication, no? If no editor is willing to tentatively commit to working on the content someday (not even now), then surely any value that the content supposedly has is more theoretical than practical. -- Black Falcon (talk) 18:37, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
The difference between this and userification would be three fold: 1) It would be in a centralized location, 2) it would be NOINDEXed, but still a discrete, searchable space, and 3) no one would have to commit to working on it. Additionally, there is a bunch of back-and-forth over how long userified articles can remain userified without being appropriate MfD candidates. But yes, there are more similarities than differences. Jclemens (talk) 21:52, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
I guess the proposed system is going to be somewhat similar to the "Useful resource" system in Lithuanian Wikipedia (lt:Vikipedija:Naudingi resursai). If I understand it correctly, the difference is that any text can be added to "Useful resources" (it can be an addition that is not suitable for an article, but seems worth keeping "just in case"). Also, the "Useful resource" is supposed to be at least somewhat useful (if "Move to 'COLDSTORAGE'" is simply going to replace "delete" when no legal problems are present, much of the content in it is going to be useless to everyone). Anyway, even such system doesn't seem to be a great success (to say the least): I do not remember a single case when such content was actually used to create or improve an article...
Thus the main result is "softening the blow" for the authors and contributors of the articles that would be deleted otherwise... But is it such a good result? Hopefully, deletion clearly tells the author of the article: "Sorry, Wikipedia is not the right tool for the work you did... Feel free to choose a different tool or a different work.". Is it really a good idea to make it less clear..? --Martynas Patasius (talk) 21:07, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
I oppose this in its entirety, for precisely the same reasons I oppose COLDSTORAGE.→ ROUX  07:34, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Oh, and one more difference: in Lithuanian Wikipedia an article that needs so much cleaning up, that it is going to be easier to write it anew, can be marked with a template "Hopeless" (lt:Šablonas:Beviltiškas) and deleted if nothing changes in about two months (the idea is that red links are going to encourage writing a new article better than a tag - which also explicitly notes that "If you can write this article anew, even if it is going to be several times shorter, do it."). Thus it might be that some "useful resources" of Lithuanian Wikipedia would not even be proposed for deletion here in English Wikipedia... --Martynas Patasius (talk) 21:47, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

I'd like to point out that such a radical change to our deletion policy (in effect, repealing it entirely) would require site-wide consensus, and potentially permission from the foundation, that has explicitly said that deleted material is not to be made available to the general public. Gigs (talk) 04:31, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

I'll believe it when I hear it from the Foundation. "Deletion" on the basis of unsourced BLPness, vandalism, copyvio, promotion, etc. would remain unchanged. It's really only the good faith contributions neither meeting inclusion criteria, nor running afoul of one of the perfectly good reasons to delete something from public access, which would be affected: For the most part, things failing notability. Given the way it's drawn, I would be highly surprised if anyone with any authority had a problem with this sort of a repository. I daresay if you think it's repealing the deletion policy and such a hazard that the foundation would prohibit it... you haven't understood it. Jclemens (talk) 04:43, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Here you go: [5]. There was a proposal similar to yours near the bottom of the page, where BLP and copyvio and stuff wouldn't be viewable but everything else would. That proposal was there when Godwin made his comment. I would think at a minimum you'd need to get confirmation that his concerns there would be satisfied by your proposal. Gigs (talk) 05:49, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
I think that's a stretch, given the specific context of Godwin's comment, to include things not-included on solely notability grounds (or other inoffensive grounds that may exist that I simply cannot envision at the moment). In general, the proposal he is repudiating was to allow everything to be viewable, less oversighted material, and that's what his comments most directly address. The COLDSTORAGE proposal poses at most 1/1000th the risk, because for something to be sent there, it would have to have been verified as inoffensive. Still, it's moot, because the vast majority of folks, as evidenced by the feedback on this page, won't think past the boolean status quo for a thirdspace where innocuous but not-currently-includable content can stay indefinitely. Jclemens (talk) 05:59, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Examples TAB to increase learning![edit]

GidaY! You guys are doing a fantastic job, but the functionality of many of the articles is limited by their purely theoretical nature, or use of complex, precision examples and definitions which have probably been settled upon by debate between editing University Professors and those with a high understanding in the specific field. This generates copious amounts of articles that are difficult for students and the average reader to relate to and understand. To address this problem, i suggest an examples tab be created to sit beside the article and discussion tabs.

This would allow people to add practical examples to articles without needing to change the articles themselves. As you know, most people learn practically, with examples, exercises and participation being a far faster teacher than theory alone. Having a page of graduated difficulty examples for all the pages would allow people to understand the theory encompassed in the article section far better and faster.

In order to construct this extra section, I may naively assume that you should just be able to allocate a an extra region of storage space and thus editable space to each wikipedia entry in parallel with those that already exist, and apply the same rules and programming used for the article section. The fact that space already exist for a tab on the bar beside the article button would mean that other code shouldnt need to be changed either. This is probably a gross underestimation, but the benefit to the quality of wikipedia, a 10 to 30% improvement in the whole experience would be well worth the effort.

Cheers and good luck Hamish New Zealand

Examples of what would greatly benefit from an examples tab:

  • All maths artices, physics, science in general
  • Economics, accounting, art - techinques and painting exampes.
  • Animal species, examples of their charachteristics and locations
  • Car parts, installation exampes
  • Cooking, recipes, sources of ingredients
  • People, examples of their speeches, music, art, deeds etc links to you tube videos or myspace etc
  • Programming, codeing examples
  • Unlimited examples

I contend that almost every article on wikipedia would benefit from an examples tab. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:49, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

I fixed the formatting on your list.
In general, Wikipedia is WP:NOTTEXTBOOK, and thus significant emphasis on examples, and any sort of exercise for the reader to do is inappropriate.
However, we do sometimes provide WP:External links that contain this sort of information, and there are entire projects dedicated to these things. For example, many articles on historical figures link to Wikisource's copies of the person's writings or speeches, and many articles about cooking link to Wikibooks' cookbook. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:30, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Userbox namespace?[edit]

Just sounding out opinion here: I know this has been discussed in the past, but that was four years ago (unless there are more recent discussion which I've missed) and part of a broader discussion on userboxes in general, and there was nevertheless substantial support for the idea. WP:TfD already excludes userboxes from discussion there, thereby distinguishing them from all other templates, and User:UBX essentially serves as a pseudo-namespace for userboxes, despite what it may say to the contrary on the user page. In general I feel it would be better for userboxes to have their own namespace, rather than having them dispersed across Template and User space (and to a lesser extent, Wikipedia space). Thoughts? PC78 (talk) 17:06, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

I of course think that userboxes are not that important in general, as they focus primarily on the editor, and not on the project. But, I agree the above idea sounds better, instead of having boxes in all different namespaces... Just a comment. Kind regards. Rehman(+) 03:01, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Will the benefits (standardization/neatness) outweigh the costs (added complexity to MediaWiki and, by extension, Wikipedia; time and effort spent to transfer all userboxes to the new namespace; and any technical work needed to create two new namespaces)? For many technical implementations of this nature, I would say "yes". However, precisely because "userboxes are not that important in general" (Rehman) and are, actually, not directly related to the encyclopedia project, I am leaning the other way. Providing a separate namespace to userboxes gives them undue significance in the project. I think that the idea of using User:UBX as a pseudo-namespace is perhaps the best one: it allows standardization and cleanup with a minimum of added technical complexity. -- Black Falcon (talk) 19:41, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
If you must have a "userbox" I don't see what's wrong with keeping it in User-space. The clue is in the name. --TS 19:45, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
A userbox is not a user. Fair point about giving them undue significance to the encyclopedia, though. PC78 (talk) 18:56, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

some better way to keep redirects alive[edit]

It's frustrating how, whenever a talk page gets archived, all the incoming wikilinks to the section headers get broken. So I'm wondering: is there a way (or can we implement a way) to create redirects WITHIN a page which get activated when someone clicks on one of those old wikilinks? So, for example, suppose there were a VPM thread, WP:VPM#two million articles? Never!, archived on WP:VPM/archive 4. Then, we should be able to put {{archiveredirect|WP:VPM#two million articles? Never!|WP:VPM/archive 4}} at the bottom of the CURRENT version of WP:VPM, and it will keep the old redirects alive. AGradman / talk / how the subject page looked when I made this edit 18:20, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

We already have {{Anchor}}. A bot to maintain the section links using this template may be what you need. – Allen for IPv6 06:46, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Is this real?[edit]

My idea came when I sometimes realise that things I thought were still 'science fiction' or in the future, were actually reality today. A couple of examples - nuclear fusion and a cure for cancer. The idea would be to add additional semantic information to pages to allow the easy browsing of articles by classification of 'real/not real' (amongst existing sub-categories) and to generate a news feed based on reality status changes such as when fusion becomes a commercial reality.

I've been mulling over the best way to try to achieve something like this, and the closest I can think of is wikipedia. Rather than create a separate wiki which would duplicate a large number of the articles in wikipedia, I think wikipedia could be extended relatively easily to account for this extra information. It could be achieved by including various semantic tags in templates as is done with the wiki page for cities, for example Berlin. People could then explore Category:Capitals in Europe (or rather the equivalent for IsThisReal) to discover things that are real, or are planned to become reality shortly, for example. There could eventually be an RSS feed for things that have become or are shortly to become a reality, utilising a filtered feed from the RecentChanges RSS feed perhaps?

The only trouble is that for some things like the cure for cancer, it's a concept that doesn't necessarily have an existing wikipedia article. I don't think this idea would work without a definitive negative rather than just the absence of a positive (which could simply mean the article hasn't been created yet). I'm keen for people to help pitch in and try to develop and solidify this idea and see if it's workable within the wikipedia framework.

The sorts of information that would need to be included:

DateRealityAchieved=some standardised date format
IsThisGenerallyAvailable=True|False  # E.g. fusion is possible, but it's not a commercial reality at this point
DateOfGA=some standardised date format

--Azekeil (talk) 23:39, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

How are you going to define 'real'? The fusion example is ideal for this question... it can be done for a few microseconds in a lab, but it's not powering our toasters yet. When does it cross the line from fiction to theoretical science to practical science to something you can buy in Argos (or whatever), and when is it 'real' on that scale? Denny de la Haye (talk) 00:15, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
Good point. So this is why there are at least two definitions of 'reality' - one is simply has it been verifiably done ever (in a lab, for example). The second is 'is it a commercial reality', meaning is it available to use/purchase by the general public. The details should still be subject to Wikipedia rules - sources must be cited, impartiality, etc... except that there may be scope to allow people to place guesstimates as to when something will become reality (in either definition), but should cite sources where possible. Azekeil (talk) 10:00, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure about the plan overall. I too am concerned about who decides what is or is not real. What about, for instance, jet packs? There are now several commercially available products, but they're extremely expensive, take a long time to get, and it's not even clear whether they're legally allowed to be used. Or, similarly, commercial space flight. Technically speaking, if you have a spare hundred million, you can buy a berth (or could until recently) on a Russian rocket (sometimes). Is that "real"? Commercially real? I think that the subtleties here mean that the information you want to include belongs in prose in the text, and often can't be broken down into simple binary answers. For instance, you mentioned a "cure for cancer." Sure, there's no one singular cure. But there are treatments for some cancers that have very high success rates. Where does that fall on the scale? Also, it seems like a lot of extra information, which, for 99% of the articles, would all be "True" (that is, almost everything that Wikipedia writes about, from living people to historical events to companies are all "real". So I think a better push would just be to make sure that the small set of articles this is relevant to are careful to explain--in prose, not binaries--how "real" they are. And, finally, you should know that the very last part, about guesstimates, is explicitly not allowed per WP:NOTCRYSTAL. In most cases, even a quote from a scientist saying "We'll have X in by 2015" isn't allowed, because there will be too many competing opinions, the prediction is too vague, and it isn't notable enough for the article. Qwyrxian (talk) 23:54, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback Qwyrxian. I agree there are some difficulties, especially around definitions and the like. Do you think it would be possible to agree on a few standard definitions of 'reality' that would be enough to pique the interest of someone searching for stuff that had recently become real in such-and-such category? I did also realise that guesstimates was probably against wikipedia policy - well, fair enough. Perhaps simply a category suggesting the potential for arrival within the next 1/3/5/10/25 years? I admit I see your argument enough that it may spell the death of this idea, which would be a shame. Azekeil (talk) 01:31, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Counter on each article[edit]

Is having a counter on each page of an article a good idea? This way we can see what people are interested in. The info collected from this could also be used by the servers to allow more popular articles to be down loaded quicker. Leveni 12 Nov 2010 —Preceding undated comment added 23:40, 11 November 2010 (UTC).

Already implemented. Go to the page's history, and click the "Page view statistics" link. This page, for example, is viewed about 50 times a day. These are compiled by a bot on request for subject areas; you can see an example at Wikipedia:WikiProject Architecture/Popular pages.
For more information, see Wikipedia:Statistics and Category:Wikipedia statistics. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:22, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the quick reply. Leveni —Preceding unsigned comment added by Leveni (talkcontribs) 23:45, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Google Refine[edit]

Very powerful tool by Google. Check


Louperivois (talk) 15:59, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Yes! Definitely check this out, if you're interested in Data transformation (structured-text wrangling). This video uses our article Filmfare Award for Best Actress as an example, and shows how to transform the list into a table, AND make the process repeatable for other articles, with an extractable JSON. (but for some reason he didn't save his edit). " ... works just fine with up to a few hundred thousand rows". ! The above link is to part 2, but part 1 is also well worth watching. -- Quiddity (talk) 19:19, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

A flag to indicate which version of English is in use?[edit]

An hour or so ago someone edited the Human evolution article to change the word civilisation to civilization, i.e. from UK- to US-English. Now, we have our conventions. Obviously if the topic is primarily relevant to the USA (eg. Baseball), we use US spelling, and the same for British related article (eg. Cricket). When it's a topic not so obviously connected with one country, I understand that we tend to follow the convention first used when the article was created.

In the case of the example above, I don't have strong feelings about which way it should be spelt, but we should be consistent. I looked for while, and couldn't pick up any hints as to how the article was first spelt. I'm not sure why the editor chose to change it. (Such changes sometimes happen because of a good faith but inaccurate belief that there is only one way to spell a word.)

Would it be possible to somehow attach to such articles a flag of some sort (and I think I mean the pun - it could be a little national flag) to indicate which version of English should be used?

(I'm actually Australian, and we too get very possessive about wanting our articles spelt our way, so it's broader than just US- vs UK-English.)

Sorry if this has been done before. I did look, and couldn't find anything. HiLo48 (talk) 03:50, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

A few years ago I was doing a lot of spell checking and I started putting an HTML comment at the top of the page so that editors would know which dictionary to use. For example, in this article you can still see <!-- Spelling: UK --> at the top when clicking the edit button. --Ron Ritzman (talk) 04:03, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
Checked and many of them have been removed, usually when infoboxes were added. The tag is still there in this article but my HTML comment <!-- Spelling: AU --> was replaced with <!-- Spelling: NZ --> but you should get the idea of how this is suppose to work. --Ron Ritzman (talk) 04:18, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that's the idea. Well done. Shame it's fading away. I reckon the need is still there. HiLo48 (talk) 04:23, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
In the case of human evolution, it's possible that it was a good faith edit from an editor using a browser based spellchecker with one dictionary which is what I did when I first started spell checking. To do it properly you need to install several. If using Firefox a good extension to have is the "dictionary switcher". --Ron Ritzman (talk) 04:29, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

There is {{British-English-editnotice}}, as seen at Amnesty International. It can be applied to any page by adding a reference to it in the appropriate editnotice page (eg Template:Editnotices/Page/Amnesty International). This needs admin permission though (AFAIR) and as a result isn't too widely used. We manage to have a BLP editnotice based (I think) on the mere existence of Category:Living people in an article; in principle we could do something similar with Category:British English articles etc. Rd232 talk 00:30, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Yes, that's a neat approach, and now that you point me at an example I do recall seeing such a notice on a few occasions, but certainly not very often. Is there a good reason it has to remain an Admin only tool? I can't imagine it being abused all that much. HiLo48 (talk) 08:17, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
This was discussed here. The main issue is that edits to editnotices aren't visible to people watching the article, so any vandalism would be very low visibility. In addition, more inexperienced users would find it hard to fix (to identify the small link to the editnotice, where you can edit it). Accountcreators can edit editnotices, or you can use {{edit request}}. But I quite like my idea of using something similar to BLP editnotice - I'm going to go to WP:VPT and see if there are technical issues with that. Rd232 talk 09:40, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Information Accessibility to Less Academic Readers[edit]

Wikipedia's objective is an on-line, all-encompassing encyclopedia. Many of its articles are authoritative definitions, and as such, often take on a highly academic structure and flow. The problem with this is that it makes the information less accessible to people not used to reading academic papers, but who may wish to understand the concept nonetheless. This is one of Wikipedia's "core values" - to make this information accessible to all. But as articles evolve, along with the standards and skill level of contributors, they are becoming less easy to utilize by people who do not already understand them or their surrounding concepts.

Wikipedia's apparent altruistic goal is to make all knowledge accessible to all people. It's evolution is however moving information out of the hands of people who need it, which is most people statistically, if not most of wikipedia's user base. It needs to develop a method of offering concise explanations in addition to concise definitions, for people who want to learn rather than reference. It needs to address all levels of understanding in way that can impart useful and relevant information to anyone that had a reason to look it up. The levels could and should transition the person to greater depth when they seek it, perhaps after making clear the contents and value of that greater depth.

This could mean various things:

  • a new wiki fork (say... WikiLearn?)
  • augmented document structure
  • new objectives and measures of quality for articles
  • new ways of presenting information (learning styles and techniques, media types, interactive learning)
  • new ways of differentiating readers by understanding

Another aspect of wikipedia is that in many cases, it makes information more accessible simply by making it easier to learn. While we can reasonably expect people to self-motivate in this regard, there are also many reasons why people choose not to investigate. Addressing these is key to propagating knowledge to those "less academic", particularly their skills in recognizing information quality, versus the subjective, incomplete or poorly substantiated material they may find elsewhere. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dougkeeley8888 (talkcontribs) 01:51, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Are you familiar with the Simple English Wikipedia, or the simplified articles in Category:Introductions? Have you read WP:Make technical articles understandable? WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:17, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, maybe you're right. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dougkeeley8888 (talkcontribs) 03:42, 22 November 2010

Proposal for a new wiki[edit]

Dear Wikipedia,

I've been immensely impressed with wikipedia and can only thank you for starting it and maintaining it.

I've had another idea that I thought you might like to take on...

How about Wiki-Ideas? or Wiki-Inventions?

I and many people I know think of things that we would like to have, or to use or things that would be useful...

but I'm not an entrepreneur, nor do I want to become one. I've thought of a great chain for food cafes, but I don't want to run a single cafe, nor do I want to find people with capital who might be interested. I can think of software products for my iphone or computer that I would like it to be able to do, but I can't write the software and I don't know someone who can...

Can't we have a website where we can post good ideas up for other people to make use of them?... and perhaps other people could vote for the product - eg saying how useful they would rate this thing and maybe then other people would use the ideas to make the suggestions.

Some people say well how would the ideas make money for the people who invented them... well, mostly they wouldn't - although you could have a system where people could donate something to the inventor if it worked through paypal (you can do this on free font sites for example). But I think the system would have to agree that you had no future claim on the profits from the idea but you would gain the moral right to say that I invented that.

It would be a site that would challenge the existing copyright arrangements but could celebrate our mutual inventiveness. If some of things were made or developed, their success could be charted on the website to encourage others to celebrate their ideas.

What do you think?

As you can see, I'm no webdeveloper...otherwise I would design the site myself, but I'm sure if you took it on, you'd make a better job of it than me as you've already done wikipedia and learnt so much from doing that.

Best wishes, suke —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sakw (talkcontribs) 23:58, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Hi. Some of your comments reminded me of this site I was reading about [6] a few days ago: Searching for "collaborative invention" might unearth more groups.
See also Crowdsourcing, Social collaboration, Innovation intermediary, Open innovation, and Ideas bank. HTH. -- Quiddity (talk) 20:15, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

New way to use the [[double bracket]] linking method[edit]

I was thinking, shouldn't there be a shorthand way of writing out redirect pages and at the same time append &redirect=no rather than having to use the full url? I would prefer to use something like [[WP:FOO|redirect=no]] as a link to a redirect page without having to completely write out for example. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 09:24, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

  • There is {{no redirect|1=ArticleName}}... ɠu¹ɖяy¤ • ¢  03:41, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Stable wormhole between two talk: pages[edit]

Note: This was recently mentioned on WP:VPT, but received a lukewarm response.

See User:NYKevin/interface. Does anyone think this is useful? --NYKevin @090, i.e. 01:08, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Well you made it... what do you imagine it being useful for? Rd232 talk 01:12, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
One option would be as an alternative to {{central}}, when separate talk pages may be needed but some sort of centralization is still desired... --NYKevin @104, i.e. 01:30, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
I think {{central}} often covers cases of 3 or more talk pages being centralised in one place. Sorry, I can't really imagine any situation where this would be less confusing than some alternative. You might as well have simple transclusion, keeping the conversation in one place, but visible in the other(s) (on the model of eg navboxes which have the v/d/e links so you can edit them easily). Rd232 talk 02:09, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Okay, what if a user is blocked and discussion about unblocking them is taking place somewhere other than their User talk? Then we could use this to let both pages "see" each other (perhaps using onlyinclude tags around the discussion section). Currently when a blocked user makes arguments for his/her unblocking on his/her talk page, others may not notice the arguments until someone copies the argument over to the discussion forum. See here for an example of such a discussion. More generally, this template could be useful anywhere that 2 talk pages need to interact with each other more directly than via linking. --NYKevin @141, i.e. 02:23, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Actually, I think the idea for a wormhole template is a good one. I suggest you be bold and move it to the template space, maybe calling it Template:Wormhole? This could be useful for ANI and other community discussions, if on several pages, and could help to give editors background info quickly and easily. Maybe you could add a little link in the green bar at the top to edit the 'other' discussion? Good job :) Acather96 (talk) 11:15, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done, along with subpages, doc, and testcase. --NYKevin @217, i.e. 04:12, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Note for archival purposes: The template under discussion above is now at Template:Wormhole. The User subpages are now redirects and will soon be deleted per WP:U1, since they add clutter for no good reason (admins: I am going to check WLH before tagging them, please don't delete before I tag). --NYKevin @237, i.e. 04:41, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Watchlist for WikiProjects[edit]

I have been thinking that having a WikiProject Watchlist would be good to have and would like to hear comments from others. I currently work with several WikiProjects but mostly US topics and I frequently find articles with comments that have gone months without answers or where subtle vandalism was not reverted. Some of this could be solved I think if the WikiProject's had a Watchlist type function that could be used. --Kumioko (talk) 05:32, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

There are several methods already. Some projects create a list of all pages and simply use Special:RecentChangesLinked to monitor it. User:Tim1357 created a tool for project banners. However, from what I've seen with the former method, their simply not enough users watching them. — Dispenser 06:23, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks I didnt know about either. --Kumioko (talk) 14:03, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Words to Pictures[edit]

WikiPedia, WikiMedia,

I see you have pictures and accessories on WikiMedia. Would you put pictures on WikiPedia or make another dictoionary/encyclopedia that explained with pictures every sentence? A picture can explain in any form and any language. Pictures normally help with comprehension, categorization, and speech. All forms of reading help memory and happiness. I know this because I have had two brain surgeries, and I know people with neurologic and pyschologic conditions, including epilepsy and autism. Each of our talents, dreams, and relevance can grow by this. I ask for whatever you can do, please.

Thank you and God bless,

Ben Minney, Musketeer41 —Preceding Musketeer41 comment added by Musketeer41 (talkcontribs) 20:05, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Interesting suggestion. I think that there are better alternatives than Wikipedia for this, including the visual dictionary. Let me know what you think. Logan Talk Contributions 18:36, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

If InfoVisual is used, they need to make it about three times more accurate. I looked at WikiVisual and wondered about them. Does WikiVisual work for you? I know that Google, Yahoo, if Bing, trust you alot. Vision makes wisdom and trust grow. Thank you. —Preceding Musketeer41 comment added by Musketeer41 (talkcontribs) 23:20, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Page History Recorder[edit]

Hi all.

How often have you just browsed through wikipedia going through page after page, topic after topic...and when you decide to go do something else, you don't understand how you managed to go from reading about WWII and ended up reading about a Japanese cartoon animator!?

My idea is that you could enable a "Page history recorder" of some kind, that would record your wikipedia session. When you were finished browsing, you could graphically view your session in "Tree diagram" where you would see your initial page at the bottom, and each page you clicked would grow up from that. Sometimes you only click on one link in a page, sometimes 10, the recorder would read that and make branches in the tree diagram from the topic nodes.

I am not a programmer so I just wanted to share my idea with you. So weather it would be implemented in wikipedia or just an external plug-in to your browser...I don't really care. Just think it would be kinda cool to experience.

--Joimagg (talk) 18:09, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

This Firefox add-on has everything you requested down to the graph :O Logan Talk Contributions 18:32, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

search history[edit]

What about search history in Wiki? Is there any like in a web browser? It can be useful from time to time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ferrari enzo197 (talkcontribs) 20:48, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

RC Patrol WikiHow Style[edit]

Hi, it's fun to have a patrol app. like WikiHow, but is it possible to make one without download?

I'd like it to be placed to a page like this:

I'd like a 'Next edit' button placed at the right side of the screen, (where the green stuff is).

So, can you please make a 'Next edit' button at the right side of the screen so we can click it to get to the next/newer revision?

I see other problems too, like mark as patrolled, quick note and quick edit buttons.

All I'm wanting is a simple button to move to a newer revision.

--Moseyman (talk) 08:19, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

RC Patrol WikiHow Style: Mark as Patrolled[edit]

Hey, is it possible to make a 'Mark as Patrolled' button like the ones you see under 'Save page'?

You know those buttons under the 'Save page' button that says 'Sign your posts on talk pages: Moseyman (talk) 08:29, 1 December 2010 (UTC) And, Cite your sources: ?

Well, can you use those to fill in the 'Edit summary' with 'Mark as patrolled' or 'Patrolled'? --Moseyman (talk) 08:29, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Source Dumps for article pages[edit]

In a nutshell - a non-archivable section of a talkpage/special section of talkpages where editors can dump sources which they think may be useful to add, but have not added yet/don't have time to add/can't get hold of etc.

Background: A few of us are trying to develop a guideline at WP:Further reading as there basically isn't anything much guiding content in such sections. One of the prompts for this was the use of the further reading section by some editors to add sources that were not yet integrated into the article. This seems a problematic use of Further reading, as some sources which are good for sourcing certain parts of the main text are not actually good as "further reading" on the subject, which implies they are general references for the subject. Inclusion in the article page is effectively putting our internal workings before presentation - a bit like having one's petticoat showing in polite company.

Instead, is it possible to have a talkpage section that would not be archivable by a bot, where editors can dump references (preferably ready formatted/with links) for all to see? At the moment, suggestions can get archived away all too easily, or be in the middle of long discussions. Obviously we'd need some principles to avoid spamming, but hopefully they can be implemented/managed by editorial discussion.VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 03:02, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

It's possible to use a talk subpage for this, and then transclude it inside a hat template. That's the way I would do things. Gavia immer (talk) 03:35, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, that would work. Presumably the worry here is with auto-archiving, but that can also be bypassed in other ways (not dating the section and configuring the bot correctly). Tijfo098 (talk) 04:04, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
See WP:FURTHER. There's an extensive discussion on the talk page there (in like 3 sections or so). I don't think that a separate page would be useful. If there's too much material and it's disorganized or would seem odd as "further reading", just add/move it to a talk page section instead. I do that for instance when the wiki page is a biography of an author, but the sources I found are book reviews, which would be more appropriate in a (not yet existent) article for the book itself; see Mary Boyle for instance. Tijfo098 (talk) 03:57, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

There's now an essay and guideline proposal at Wikipedia:Further reading on the suitability of stuff in the mainpage section. Tijfo098 (talk) 04:17, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for opening the discussion. (For onlookers: VsevolodKrolikov and I initially appeared to be on "opposite sides" of an edit war that was started by neither of us, but he has graciously accepted my apology for my failure to communicate to him about the back story involved in some of those edits, and I think he and I are entirely on the same side in wanting to add more good quality sources to Wikipedia, as nondisruptively as possible.) I too am curious about the purely technical aspect of keeping sources in view for joint editor discussion on an article talk page. Of course, by WP:SOFIXIT, we will all continue to have the power to simply add sources to articles as we find them, but the concern here is how to do that in the least disruptive way when many editors have invested a lot of time and thought into revising an article. I have never posted to Village Pump before, so I suppose some people who see me post here will not have seen this example, but I've already been using my own userspace to keep fairly extensive source lists that I continually update. It is also possible to set links to those on talk pages,[7] but that has generated less discussion among editors about new sources to add to particular articles than I had hoped at first. So I am eager here to learn how to take the next step, of suggesting particular sources for particular articles, particularly in cases like those I frequently encounter: 1) where the articles have been neglected stubs for years or 2) where the articles have been minefields of edit-warring and reverting of sourced content for years. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks to everyone who has already commented, and to the editor who opened the discussion. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 05:19, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Here's an idea - how about a talk subpage linked to by a nice shiny template on the talk page? I had a look at transcluding, and realised that it might be confusing, and clutter up the talkpage. (A narrow coloured banner with a redirect). Everyone has browsers with tabs these days, and it would be simpler when working to have a dedicated page for sourcing to copy/paste from. Anyone want to mock one up? (I wouldn't know how) VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 05:54, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Actually, there's already a template for this at Template:Refideas. I personally don't like this template though. (Normally I just add the source directly to the page.) I actually had posted a similar request at Wikipedia:WikiProject Unreferenced articles, asking if we could make a category for articles with unused sources. I think I like your idea though. Also, to stop bots from archiving a thread you can use {{DNAU}}. --vgmddg (look | talk | do) 22:00, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

A numeric index for multilingual cross-references on Wikipedia[edit]

If articles had a numeric index of their topics it would be possible for equivalent articles in different languages to be cross-referenced.

Moreover the numeric index could provide a useful ontological categorisation number for variables in programs. Used this way: 1. programs may be translatable 2. meta information on variables could be included as links

While wikipedia may be free the index could be reserved as intellectual property and references to the index might eventually incur a microcharge. This could make Wikipedia financially sustainable.

Allmedia (talk) 03:31, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

I don't understand this idea. What does this do that the existing WP:Interlanguage links don't do? If, for example, you go to the article Lion and have a look, you'll find a long list of articles about lions in other language (probably on the left, starts with "Afrikaans", which takes you to [8], which is the article about lions on the Afrikaans Wikipedia). How is clicking on the Afrikaans link different from clicking on a numbered file that takes me to the same page? WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:31, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

"Experienced Editors Noticeboard" or something like that?[edit]

You know, there've been times when I wished I could get quick input from a couple-three experienced editors on some aspect of Wikipedia.

The kind of questions I'm thinking of are along the lines of "Is such-and-such usual practice?" and "Am I out of line here, or should I escalate this?" and "Do articles really usually contain such-and-such info" and "Does anybody know if such-and-such has been discussed elsewhere?" and stuff like that. And if I've wished for this from to time, you'd think that new editors might have also.

The Help Desk is useful for technical questions, and Wikipedia:Third Opinion is useful in some limited situations, and of course there are boards for specific areas like the Reliable Sources Noticeboard, LGBT Noticeboard, Wikiquette Noticeboard and so forth. And there's Wikipedia:Active Editors, but that's for immediate help, I guess. And there's WP:RFC, but that's kind of a big deal and one hates to open an RfC if avoidable. And there's Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous), but it doesn't really fill the bill either, it seems to me. And I kind of don't to want to necessarily be getting responses from someone with 35 edits and two weeks service, if that doesn't sound too un-Wikipedian.

I think that theadmin noticeboard is kinda-sorta used as a proxy for getting general input from experienced editors, but it's really only intended for situations that might require admin tools and doesn't necessarily work very well for general questions.

I was thinking of something like "Experienced Editors Noticeboard" (or "Question Board" or "Discussion Board" or whatever), where (except for the people asking the questions) the participants are experienced editors. How that would be defined I don't know, maybe say 2 years service/8,000 edits, which is the threshold for Veteran Editor in the service awards scheme, or maybe even higher.

Granted there's no guarantee that a person with that experience isn't an idiot, but probably not. How the board would be "policed" I don't know - probably mostly just honor system, I guess.

Does this sound like a good idea? Or is it un-Wikipedian, or a solution in search of a problem, or do we have too many damn boards already, or like that? Herostratus (talk) 05:57, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Your welcome to drop me a line any time. Im almost always on or respond within hours or at most a day. As far as the question itself, the Various village pumps are pretty good for that. They tend to draw the more experienced folks but still offer newbies a place to voice their opinion. Not to say we couldnt make another Noticeboard but Im not sure that the draw of readers would be any higher than here. --Kumioko (talk) 03:59, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, it's not a question of dropping a line to an individual person... but other than that, you're probably right. Herostratus (talk) 15:02, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

The noticeboards ought to fit the bill generally. What sort of thing do you have in mind that doesn't seem to belong on an existing noticeboard? Is it just that noticeboards are generally about solving Problems, and you just want to ask a question? Rd232 talk 15:52, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Updating a large number of Wikipedia articles from material in a book[edit]

I am new to Wikipedia, so if this is old hat, I apologize.

A request for volunteers to train students to work on Wikipedia appeared on my screen a few days ago. If this is for purposes already determined, then my idea is pre-empted. But if possibilities are open, here is an idea that I illustrate by reference to a photographic history of Malvern, Worcestershire -- a town where I once worked. I chose to edit the article to get practice before constructing new articles on technical topics that are not yet covered, for which I feel competent.

The photographic history has led me

  • to wish I had time to check if there are pages for several other subjects of photographs that should be edited correspondingly.

Corresponding photographic histories exist for hundreds of other places.

I have a history of the Radio City Music Hall at hand. It contains information that would enrich dozens of existing Wikipedia articles.

The emphasis in material I have seen about participating in the Wikipedia community seems to be: practice on some small edits of existing articles, then think of a topic and strike out on your own.

Is it possible that the appalling brevity and lack of content of many articles is because the writers have approached the activity from the standpoint of being creators of articles, without really expert knowledge of any particular field, or experience of research and scholarly writing.

Could attention be given to recruiting students and other volunteers to work FROM source material which is suggested by experts in particular fields, TO existing articles, initially from lists of topics and additions that the experts can construct relatively rapidly. Students could benefit considerably. Then, when they get the hang of things, to take books and recognize their multiple relevances and proceed accordingly.

Because this is not for profit, it could be worked into educational curricula.

This approach is analogous to development of dictionaries and construction of Wilson indexes and analogous tools for literature searching. Michael P. Barnett (talk) 03:53, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

This seems like a really good idea to me. We're always going on about sources at Wikipedia, so why not encourage people to find useful sources that they have and then stick material into relevent articles? I guess there are two things we have to be careful of though:
  1. We don't want people just sticking in things willy-nilly, without thought for the overall flow of the article.
  2. We don't want people to plagiarise or abuse anyone's copyright.
I guess it is a question of being judicious with your use of the source and of giving proper attribution.
Something that springs to mind is that there are probably a lot of books out of copyright with some very good images in them that we can use.
Yaris678 (talk) 16:11, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Another "New messages" banner[edit]

Is there a way to construct a new message similar to MediaWiki:Youhavenewmessages so that it connects to a particular Wikiproject? I was thinking about applying a way to bring up a different “New messages” banner that pops up every time someone edits a Wikiproject’s talkpage when they opt-in for the Wikiproject, say, with a checkbox in their preferences. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 02:17, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Your watchlist restricted to the Wikipedia namespace isn't enough? I doubt anyone has that many project pages watchlisted to need another means for watching conversations. Fences&Windows 01:24, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Did you mean just the project page (in which case Fences and windows' reply covers it), or pages tagged for a project? For the latter, see eg here. Would be nice to have that onwiki, but then, there is a perennial request for multiple watchlists to be implemented... Rd232 talk 01:37, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Template:Pie Chart[edit]

Just a thought, it might be nice to have a template to generate a pie chart. Just the enter the percentages & the size. This would elevate the need to reupload images of pie charts, if the represented statics change. Like I said, just a thought. ɠu¹ɖяy¤ • ¢  04:06, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

I don't know if it's feasible, but I've asked people at WikiProject Templates to please comment here. I think it would be useful for all sorts of articles:
  • 30% of breast cancer patients have a known risk factors, and 70% do not.
  • The charity spends 70% on program services, 12% on overhead, and 18% on fundraising.
  • The town's residents are 75% white, 10% black, 10% Latino, 3% Asian and 2% Native American.
If it was easy to use, I think it could become one of the most used content templates in the entire encyclopedia.
You'd probably want labels for the wedges in addition to percentages and image size, since "Overhead expenses" is more meaningful label than "12%". WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:00, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
If it is possible, the coder deserves a pile of barnstars... that would be one hell of a complicated template, methinks. Bar chart's probably more feasible, but even that would be impressive. Rd232 talk 22:11, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Not feasable I'm afraid. Perhaps when HTML5 is the standard one day, we could dabble with drawing on a canvas, but I cannot see any possibility of drawing a chart of any kind with the currently available tools. Someone could try and write an extention for Mediawiki that can draw charts and serve up an image. EdokterTalk 22:15, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Pity. Extensions for this already exist though, eg this and a bunch of them here. We could try and persuade WMF to install one... Rd232 talk 22:22, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Have you seen Template:Visualizer? It generates a link to a chart. Logan Talk Contributions 18:39, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Oh, and Template:Brick chart is apparently a "poor man's substitute for pie charts." Logan Talk Contributions 18:41, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
About the bar chart: Could we kludge something together with tables to do this (e.g., boxes of one pixel in height for every percentage point)? WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:51, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
One bar chart template already exists: Template:Infobox political party/seats. Svick (talk) 11:17, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
I think it is possible, I'm not sure how practical it would be, but I'm thinking of 100 pictures each 1% of the pie. As such, any pie will only be accurate to 1%. 930913 (Congratulate/Complaints) 00:31, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Template:Visualizer is beautiful. Too bad we can't just swipe the graphic and post that directly in the article. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:54, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

What we would actually need is for developers to install an inline SVG extension which would allow wiki syntax expansion inside the SVG code and thus parametric SVGs. That way, we could make not just pie charts, but all sorts of advanced visualizations inside the wiki, with the tools that we're accustomed to. Zocky | picture popups 19:20, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

I came up with one possible way of doing it: {{Pie chart}}. Read the documentation; there are issues with Internet Explorer to be worked out, but this would require no new extension, possibly just some changes to MediaWiki:Common.css. PleaseStand (talk) 01:23, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

There seems to be some information at WP:Graphs, although it's focused on regular graphics. I've described some options at WT:MED#Chart workshop and gotten a few more suggestions, if anyone's interested. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:09, 9 December 2010 (UTC)


I have an idea for what will become a very large but very helpful gadget. How about we make a Gadget that has a comprehensive list of most of the Wikipedia-based user-added templates (e.g. Maintenance templates, Infoboxes, etc.; not templates about specific topics.) that you can quickly add in. Each of the template buttons allows you to fill out a form to add parameters to the tag. This will not only make adding templates and infoboxes easier in general, but will also include other templates that most people probably even don't even know exist! Whenever possible, similar templates should be grouped together and placed under the same button, like {{Merge-to}} and {{Merge-from}}. --vgmddg (look | talk | do) 23:25, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Hello? Anybody there? --vgmddg (look | talk | do) 20:22, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Current List[edit]

Please feel free to edit and add your own ideas.

1.) Things this gadget should probably include:

2.) However, this gadget need not include options for:

  • Actions that are already performed by other Gadgets. These include:
    • Adding categories: HotCat already does this.
    • Citation templates: refTools does this.
  • Templates maintained almost solely by bots, like {{Uncategorized}}.
  • Templates not related to actual article editing, like the things that Wikipedia:Friendly and Wikipedia:Twinkle do, and things like archiving.
  • Add more.

Index to article talk page results?[edit]

I see that article talk pages are used to explain, resolve, and develop consensus on issues regarding the article. But when discussions are over and get archived, it can be difficult to locate them (searching the archives being an inadequate tool at best). In some cases the FAQ feature has been used to provide summaries and links into the archives. But forcing what should be a simple topic heading into the form of a question tends to be grotesque, and even distorts the identification of the topic or issue. So we are largely dependent on the memories of current editors to have any sense of where we have already been.

I am wondering if institutional memory (in regards of article issues, etc.) would be better served with an index facility very similar to the FAQ facility to provide a summary of results, conclusions, or consensus reached (or even just discussed), with links into the archives. It could be very similar to the FAQ format, but needs to replace the question and answer format (and the rather strained fib that people are frequently asking about these) with something like a header and summary. Comments? - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:36, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

  • It has already been done long since on several talk page archives, with topic-based, rather than date-based, indexes. Some people do, or at least used to do, this with their user talk page archives, too. (User talk:BD2412 comes to mind. But xe is far from alone in this.) The problem is maintenance. It cannot be done by robots. Ask yourself this: Are you willing to maintain such an archive? You might like to ask BD2412 and others how much effort is required in order to continually archive by topic. Uncle G (talk) 00:21, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
I am wondering if I was not clear enough. I didn't see what I am thinking of at User talk:BD2412, and it certainly is not to "continually archive by topic". (Heavens, no!) If the talk pages are considered analogous to a long-winded meeting, and the archives to a tape recording of all that has been said, then what I am thinking of would be like a summary of what results were reached. Currently this could be done in the FAQ framework by contorting significant results into the form of a question, and engaging in a little fib that this literary invention is "frequently asked". What I would like could be just like the FAQ feature except that "question" would be replaced by (say) "header" (and not numbered), and "answer" replaced by "text", and entries added when there is something to note. Then we could view this list of results reached without having to revisit lengthy discussions dug out of various nooks and crannies. - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 00:21, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
Software for web forums allows topics to be "pinned" - as other threads expire, they remain at the top of the list. I think this could be a good idea for article talk pages. There then wouldn't be a centralized index as you have suggested, though. Herostratus (talk) 01:21, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
  That this listing or index of results reached be in a central — or at least a known — location is an elemental part of my idea; the purpose is diminished if people have to search around for it. But tell me more about this "pinning". Is that just a way to keep a section (discussion, thread?) visible? - J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:32, 16 December 2010 (UTC)


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