Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab)/Archive 4

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Brief Description when hovering mouse on a link

When I was reading an article about "Java (programming language)" I noticed that many of the words and phrases in the article was new to me and I don't understand the meaning of that word, But each of those words is a separate article in wikipedia (they are links), For those who don't want or have no time to navigate to the link and leave the current page to read the full article (so that he or she can follow the original article) this is a good idea that the author of the article also provides a brief and meaningful description of the article (the gist of the subject) and when the reader hovers the mouse on the link and holds control key down this description appears and help her to understand the original article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mz1378 (talkcontribs) 22:06, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

There's something like this here, click on 'gadgets' and enable 'Navigation popups.' Or you can go here and see if there's something else which fits your needs better. → ROUX  22:10, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

OTRS Noticeboard

Moved to: Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)#OTRS_Noticeboard
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Wikimedia commons has a Noticeboard for OTRS members to answer questions asked by other users.(Commons:Commons:OTRS/Noticeboard) The advantage of this is that a user can get a quicker response to any questions regarding a ticket. I think it would be just as useful to have the same thing on Wikipedia. MorganKevinJ(talk) 03:38, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

Support this; wonderful idea, one I've entertained myself. :D I don't know that it needs much development, though. :) Maybe it's just time for WP:VPR? --Moonriddengirl (talk) 15:15, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
Should there be separate noticeboards for permissions, schools and vandalism? MorganKevinJ(talk) 15:56, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
IMHO, no. Too many noticeboards makes the thing confusing. :) (For clarity: I support the idea of a noticeboard for OTRS, but not of multiple ones) Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 15:59, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

The ability to access yesterday's main page

I decided to browse Wikipedia while having my breakfast, and found three or four articles of interest to me on the main page. I didnt have the time to read them this morning.

I came home for lunch, hoping to browse the interesting articles I had seen earlier. Unfortunately, in the intervening time, a new Wikipedia day has begun and the content has changed.

So my suggestion is simply that Wikipedia add the ability to access yesterday's featured content, to enable users to browse interesting content at a convenient time. However, I realise a simple suggestion may require a complex solution. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:32, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

You should be able to access all the articles that appeared on the main page via these links: Wikipedia:Today's featured article/2011, Wikipedia:Recent additions, Wikipedia:ITN archives, Wikipedia:Picture of the day/May 2011, Wikipedia:Selected anniversaries/All. Fences&Windows 01:55, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
The brand new Wikipedia:Main page history should help. Fences&Windows 02:44, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

Convert articles to video files


As a fan of open source documentaries, I thought it would be great to watch Wikipedia pages as a video rather than read them.. Have you considered converting some of Wikipedia's best articles to video files by perhaps using some text-to-speech application like this: (this is not an endorsement) and then give an appripriate and nice background sound and use the images from Wikipedia Commons with some animation effects.

Wikipedia could have hundreds or thousands of documents close to something like this:

Now that would be really nice to watch :)

Perhaps there is a project like this already ongoing, or even videos available? If there isn't and you think this idea has potential, I would be happy to assist Wikipedia in my free time with this project :)

Best regards, Pete — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:53, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

I think Qwiki is what you're looking for. Fences&Windows 05:53, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

Dispute resolution noticeboard

Moved to Village pump - proposals

Part of this comes out of the RFC on dispute resolution. It seems to me that disputes on Wikipedia are all over the place, as in, they are not where they should be. We have people filing mediation cases for conduct issues, and vice versa. Some users don't seem to realise the best forum for getting their dispute resolved. As a result disputes often get disjointed, and it becomes quite hard for mediators / "helpers" to keep track of. While I don't exactly think we need to micromanage every Wikipedia dispute, quite often disputes go to ANI when they really should go to MedCab or an RFC. Perhaps we could create a new noticeboard, say Wikipedia:Dispute resolution noticeboard where we would have users being able to post their enquiry there and get assistance as to the best forum for their issue. I see part of the problem being a) ANI getting clogged up with disputes, so perhaps part of the new noticeboard could take away some of these disputes from ANI and b) Users not knowing the correct place to take their issues. Perhaps the noticeboard could have a similar format to SPI (with "clerks" to make sure discussions don't get out of hand, stay civilized) but with users not having to post with funky templates. A simple comment about what the dispute, who is involved, what has been happening, and then we can point them in the right direction. These are just a few ideas in my head so far, needs refinement, but I think it would be worth a shot to see if it helps the situation at all. Steven Zhang The clock is ticking.... 19:05, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

Something like that has crossed my mind before. If the board makes sufficiently clear that it's primarily there to help direct users to where to go, not to resolve disputes, it could work. Inevitably some early discussion may sometimes help with dispute resolution itself, but that should be clearly secondary to the primary objective of directing people. And editors who know where to go should be encouraged not to post there, to avoid clogging it up. Worth a go, I think. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. Rd232 talk 19:47, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
Even better, it could help resolve them. Better than wikiquette, a DR noticeboard could be staffed by mediators rather than clerks who would try and come up with solutions rather than just deal with policy or behavior issues. And unlike a content noticeboard, it would be focused on the editor interaction and compromise rather than just the writing. Ocaasi c 23:16, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

Hatnotes that appear following a redirect

How feasible would it be to create a template that only appears when you display an article by following a redirect? For example, suppose you want a {{Redirect}} hatnote that will only appear when you reach a page through a specific redirect. The benefit would be that the Redirect hatnote won't clutter up the top of an article for those readers who don't need to see it. You might also want to have multiple Redirect hatnote instances on an article; one for each redirect. (For example, see Century.) Thank you. Regards, RJH (talk) 14:53, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

Even if feasible, a problem would be that some editors "helpfully" fix redirects by piping the term -- the term would look to the reader like a link to the redirect but would go direct to the target and the reader would thus not see the hatnote message if it were only visible when arriving via the redirect. Of course, one would hope that editors would check to make sure that the "fixed" link went to the correct article for the context, but unfortunately that isn't always the case. Also, a context-dependent template would also cut off a means of browsing -- some readers are actually interested to see other uses for a term. Rather than such context-dependent hatnotes, I think there might be some value to having optionally collapsible hatnotes -- the collapsed hatnote could include a brief note that there are other uses and the expanded version would list all the options. olderwiser 15:25, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
In the event of a piped redirect, the viewer wouldn't see the hatnote anyway, so I don't think that would be a significant issue. To me the hatnotes are directed at a small minority of the viewers, while they can make an article header look cluttered and amateurish. (For a really messy example, see Wikipedia:Peer review.) Anything that can be done to clean up the look could be beneficial. Thank you. Regards, RJH (talk) 18:04, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure if you misunderstood or if I wasn't clear, but with a piped link made to look like a link using the same term as a redirect, currently a reader would see the same hatnotes on the target article as everyone else. With what you propose, they would not. Hard to say how significant an issue it is, but I see it as a disadvantage. And for what it's worth, I'm not aware of any objective evidence that hatnotes are only useful for a small minority of readers or to what degree readers in general are bothered by the appearance of hatnotes. olderwiser 18:18, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

New Page Patrol - moved from subpage / redirects

I've recently created a few stubby articles in my own subpages and moved them to mainspace, but checking Special:NewPages shows no sign of them and their patrolled log is empty. This seems a bit of an oversight: an editor who knew of this loophole would be able to created attack pages, advertising pages and so forth knowing that it would be a rather long time before they were discovered. The same seems to go for articles created from redirects. Would it be possible for the page move function to automatically add the article to Special:NewPages if it is moved from user subpages? Would it be possible for a bot to detect articles created from redirects and add them too? doomgaze (talk) 00:48, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

You had to tell everyone about the loophole, didn't you! But yes that would be a good idea. Suggest this on the bot proposal talk page. (Wikipedia:Bot_requests)--ThePastaKing (Talk) 16:00, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Userspace moves are covered by feature request Bugzilla: 12363. I created Bugzilla: 29286 to cover redirects. Rd232 talk 16:27, 6 June 2011 (UTC) Microdata HTML enhancements for Search Engine indexing

My original message to Wikipedia, from which the answer forwarded me to this place:


As you maybe heard of, Google, Yahoo and Bing recently announced This initiative should make indexing of structured data easier by using special HTML attributes in your web pages. Now is my question: Will Wikipedia start using this method of HTML markup for their pages, or won't it ever?

If you didn't heard of it (which I suppose is not), you should consider using this!

Thanks in advance!


So, will Wikipedia update their HTML structures along with to help search engines understand their content? Or maybe it already has an own HTML structure to indicate what type of information is provided by what page?

Steven — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:47, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Interwiki bot for Commons

I'm wondering if there is (or should be) a bot to periodically go around checking whether crosswiki links to Commons exist, and if they don't, to add {{commons}} or {[tl|commonscat}}. Anyone? Rd232 talk 23:41, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Block log annotation

Prompted by a recent discussion at WP:ANI, I wonder if we couldn't have a means to specifically annotate block logs, to help interpret longer or more complex logs, correct errors etc (a bit like a person's credit reference file has a place for explanatory comments). It could be a protected user subpage of that user (i.e. annotations by admins only), which a bit of Javascript transcludes on the block log. Rd232 talk 17:12, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

I was thinking about something like this as well. Someone would need to add a field to the table that the block info is held on, and write up an interface to it. It wouldn't be terribly difficult to implement, but it wouldn't be trivial either. You should see if you can find a developer willing to work on it, or help you out with implementing it yourself (PHP isn't that hard). There might actually be an extension that does something like this already (check MediaWiki). If that's the case you'd just need to see if it needs any polish, and lobby to get it installed on the Wikipedia servers.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 01:26, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
I was thinking it would be doable in JavaScript - but I don't know for sure. Rd232 talk 02:06, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
No it can't be done in JavaScript since from what I understand, you want to share notes with others; as in, you write a comment that other admins can see. Then I do think that the PHP method mentioned above is the better way to do it. Gary King (talk · scripts) 06:26, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
The JavaScript can't transclude a page, if the page (User/blocklogannotation sort of thing) exists? That's all I had in mind. Rd232 talk 06:29, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
I tried this in MediaWiki:Blockiptext but unless I've mucked something up, it's not getting the SUBPAGENAME you would expect from Special:Block/Rd232. (Compare User:Rd232/Rd232 test page.) Rd232 talk 07:04, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Okay yeah, technically JS can transclude a page. It uses the Wikipedia API to grab a page's contents and then it can manipulate it however it likes. It's a tad bit slower than PHP, but it's doable. Still, a few questions would arise. For instance, when an admin blocked a user, they'd have to create User/blocklogannotation manually. Most likely they'd also have to edit protect it so only sysops could edit, too, right? Gary King (talk · scripts) 16:33, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Yea, javascript is not the way to go here. Anything that is going to be shared among users should be done server-side (both in terms of storage and computation).
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 20:03, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Well, maybe. But how often is the block log for a given user shown? And the page load would only happen if the page exists, which I'd expect to be rare. Rd232 talk 20:13, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
It's just kludgy trying to make (client side) javascript work for this... somehow, in some way, the information that is to be shared has to be on the server someplace, eventually. We might as well do it correctly from the get go, and store the information with the existing block information. It's all related anyway, after all. Besides, it wouldn't be that hard to add in really, and as you point out the impact is fairly low. Unfortunately, I don't know of any established developers who don't already have their hands full with one project or another.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 21:26, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── It may be kludgy, but as you say, getting developer attention for it isn't very likely, the more so as it may turn out not to be used much, and perhaps ultimately ditched. If it was done in JS and started getting traction, it could be done serverside later. Rd232 talk 22:01, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

I can understand that thinking, but doing it fast in javascript now would likely make it more difficult to implement server side later on. At the very least, it would complicate any hypothetical transition from one method to another.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 22:32, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

bug 29324 - "Provide a means to annotate a user's block log". Rd232 talk 11:19, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Aha! It works! Try Special:Block/Rd232. Now, can we use Javascript to at least provide a link to that annotation page from a user's Block log (eg [1])? Rd232 talk 21:30, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

cooling in the humid areas

the idea of having simple steps taken to cool the home using less or no energy .simple thing sthat can be included or combined in the architecture of a building or simple additions on the curtains walls ,evaporative cooling can be used in hotter dry climates but what about the humid places ? what can be the simple steps taken for cooling but without using the principle of evaporative cooling. like ther are a number of simple steps taken to cool using evaporative cooling techniques but in humi climate it only adds to the discomfort. maybe fan is the only simple option using less resources ,but the speed of air causes different prblems like the noise and the working on a desk with a fan moving at full speed is impossible so how can we solve this problem?any views? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Shivanidholepatil (talkcontribs) 06:39, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

There is a reason Air conditioning was invented. This question really belongs at the Wikipedia:Reference desk though, not here. Yoenit (talk) 07:24, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Blocking policy/ messages

I think there should be a change in policy where Admins should need to elaborate on a block proposal. For example, I recently reported User:Nisar shah. She had been continually warned not to recreate a deleted page. Her block stated that it was for "Creating attack, nonsense or other inappropriate pages." While this is a pretty clear-cut case, I think it should have been written "for re-creating a deleted page after being warned not to." In another example, User:Wekn reven i susej eht was blocked for welcoming users who were no longer active. His message stated that his account was being used for "trolling, disruption or harassment." I believe that should have stated exactly what he was blocked for. Ryan Vesey (talk) 20:01, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Need semi-for-profit Wikiversity-like organizations as Benefit Corporations under Wikimedia Foundation control

Note. This discussion was started at User talk:Jimbo Wales. Archived here. See also: Wikiversity, Wikinews, and the semi-for-profit section at WP:Advertisements.

Maybe the Wikimedia Foundation can create this. Here is a model: The Mozilla Foundation is a non-profit organization that acts as an umbrella for for-profit subsidiaries. See also: Social enterprise. It has info on for-profit organizations like Benefit Corporations, etc..

From the Mozilla Foundation article: It "owns two taxable for-profit subsidiaries: the Mozilla Corporation, which employs several Mozilla developers and coordinates releases of the Mozilla Firefox web browser, and Mozilla Messaging, Inc., which primarily develops the Mozilla Thunderbird email client."

This also needs Integrated, interwiki, global watchlists in order to take advantage of the already-registered millions of Wikipedia users.

I think if there was some dedicated well-paid leadership (due to the for-profit aspect) combined with the social enterprise goals, then things like Wikiversity and Wikibooks might become much more useful. Advertising could be used too without profit becoming a controlling factor. People could invest money in it. --Timeshifter (talk) 16:00, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

If there is anything the "Great Recession" showed us, it is that "dedicated well-paid leadership" is not what it is cracked up to be, and the unregulated capitalist "business model" does not, as it claims, produce a better more efficient business. Why do so many think that Wikipedia/Wikimedia Foundation would be better off if only they made a profit? Wikipedia, Wikiversity, Wikibooks, etc. are all better off being under a non-profit organization than as a for-profit (and heaven forbid publicly traded) business model where profit (or share price) are the driving motives and "well-paid leadership" is an oxymoron. If you can't do a "leadership" job without excessive compensation then you dont know how to lead in the first place. Enron et al. proved that. And I'm relatively sure that Jimbo's motivation in inventing Wikipedia was not to become wealthy, which is the motivation for for-profit businesses to invent things; which is why we didnt see Microsoft, Google, or Yahoo! invent Wikipedia.Camelbinky (talk) 21:45, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. Jimmy Wales is well-paid, and I am glad for that. What I am talking about is that he gets large speaking fees. He also does lots of freebie talks too, or gets airfare, and a place to stay.
Do you know what a Benefit Corporation is? It's a new legal designation for socially responsible businesses. Here is some info:
Explains the Washington Post:
"At its core, benefit corporations blend the altruism of nonprofits with the business sensibilities of for-profit companies. These hybrid entities pay taxes and can have shareholders, without the risk of being sued for not maximizing profits. Companies can consider the needs of customers, workers, the community or environment and be well within their legal right." --Timeshifter (talk) 01:31, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Are you sure (with all due respect to JFK, or possibly Mark Twain(?) [2]) that they don't run the risk of blending the altruism of for-profit companies with the business sensibilities of nonprofits? I think CamelBinky has hit the nail firmly on the head here. Wikipedia works better than economic theory says it should. This is a problem with the theory, not with Wikipedia. Fix the theory. AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:51, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Nice username. :) I am not talking about Wikipedia. I want collaborative knowledge work to spread much more widely beyond Wikipedia. I do not see much good work in that area elsewhere. Attempts have been made, but 100% for-profit models do not seem to do very high level work (not like the quality of info at Wikipedia), and 100% non-profit models are marginal and frequently disappear to due lack of funding. Hybrid models of organization seem to be working and expanding in areas outside collaborative knowledge work. --Timeshifter (talk) 03:04, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Timeshifter, I'm a bit confused, and hope you have the answer to this- How would making profit (or as how I interpret what I read about benefit corporations, the proper term would be revenue and not profit) help wikibooks (as a specific example). We could add advertising and make boat-loads of revenue, but what would we spend it on that would actually make a difference? The theory that the benefit corporation business model would be MORE likely to be efficient is flawed... If you're a non-profit with limited resources, trust me you are going to trim fat and be more careful with your expenses than if you were operating under a profit-generating rival business model. If you think of Wikimedia Foundation's various functions such as Wikipedia as more like public services and less as a business this may make more sense. Even the staunchest Fiscal Conservative has never stated that the military would be more efficient if it made a profit (or any revenue at all). If I'm still missing something please inform me on this business model some more.Camelbinky (talk) 05:36, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Timeshifter, I wanted to thank you for bringing this to my attention. I've had a longstanding interest in hybrid models, due to the limitations of both the non-profit and for-profit models. While I don't think "under the control of the Wikimedia Foundation" for-profit subsidiaries is the right way forward, you should feel free to pitch the idea to the board. It's certainly interesting.
Camelbinky, let me give one example of how a for-profit (or semi-for-profit) model might benefit a project. Most of our smaller projects feel a somewhat justified neglect - the Foundation's primary focus has to be on Wikipedia because it is so big. We know, for example, that the software we use at Wikipedia is optimized for writing an encyclopedia, but isn't really awesome for Wikinews (for example). I can envision lots of things that could be done to improve Wikinews with some investment, investment that the Foundation isn't in a position to make. But imagine if Wikinews could raise $4 million in venture capital, with the investors expecting to make a return from an advertising-based business model, but also with the "Benefit corporation" charter giving very clear and legally enforceable rights to the community of editors, for example mandating editorial independence, NPOV, pursuit of quality, etc. You can tinker with this idea all you want, because the precise details aren't the point: the point is that in a hybrid model, the organization can be well-funded, provide a good return to investors, and still pursue social goals.
In the past, I've thought about various ideas about what can be done to help Wikinews realize its potential. I've thought about Wikinews being spun out into a separate non-profit, so that it can have an organization that focuses only on Wikinews... but such a non-profit could very well not survive. Unlike Wikipedia, Wikinews simply isn't popular enough to count on sufficient support from its readers and editors. (Maybe, maybe not... I think not.)
Ok, what about spinning Wikinews out and having it be a for-profit? Well, I don't see how that really makes sense. Anyone can start a for-profit wiki-based news site anytime they want, and in our considered business judgment at Wikia, we've not (yet) seen that as a viable alternative.
But maybe a hybrid model could work. I don't know for sure. But it's certainly interesting to think about.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:20, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Having never worked on anything other than Wikipedia I had not realized that Wikinews and other Wikimedia Foundation projects were having problems. That's interesting, and definitely a very good sign that you in particular have taken time to trying to rectify those issues. I assume in your position that you get access to, or at least occasionally run into and chat with, leaders in the web industry, such as Google. Have you ever been approached by the likes of Google, even if just in an informal discussion, to purchase Wikipedia or any other project? Would you be willing to ever sell Wikinews if the likes of Google were able to make clear promises to keep core principles?Camelbinky (talk) 19:08, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

I don't think that he could or would talk about it here in the open if he had. I have thought quite a bit about this over time myslef and this issue is and always will be a give and take. No matter which way it goes there will be positives and negatives and people who like it or hate it. Personally though, as long as the money goes to the Wikipedia foundation to further the dissemination of information and maintenance of the Wikiservers and such, I personally wouldn't have a problem with some things in Wiki being done to generate some funds. I am not a proponant of mass advertising on Wikipedia though just to be clear. A couple of possibles:

  1. IMO individuals reading or editing Wikipedia is different than say a business using Wikipedia's information for a profit. I have often thought that if a business (such as a book company printing books of Wikipedia articles) or like Faccebook that creates "site links" to Wikipedia articles and then associating ads on those, used Wikipedia then they should pay at least a small fee of some kind. This would be different than a news agency or book that mentions or references the infrormation. I am talking straight copying or linking for profit.
  2. Another possibility would be for a Business to be allowed to advertise on some Wiki's (though probably not Wikipedia) if and only if IMO that article pertained directly to them. For example if Microsft wanted a small add on a Wikibooks article about them. Although probably not about products or people...just the organization. I admit this could be problematic in itself though and we would need to do a test or maybe a study to see if there is any interest.
  3. Potentially creating and selling professionally bound books on a subject. These should be FA quality in my opinion and well vetted prior to release but I think its doable.
  4. Possibly doing public private partnerships on certain types of data. For example, if an organization wanted to donate money to expand information on a given topic (even a government grant) then some of these might be allowable. For example if the Center for Disease Control gave Wikipedia a grant to build up information related to Diseases or even if Boeing gave money to expand the dissemination of knowledge and infrormation about Aviation related articles, then why not. It should be clear that they are not being given preferential treatment or be tied directly to the development of an article (something like a combination bounty board and WikiProject) perhaps with the payments tied to various milestones (articles created, articles improved, article promoted to FA, etc).

These are just some and there are many many more ideas out there. Its just a matter of hashing through them all. --Kumioko (talk) 19:35, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Thanks Jimbo Wales for reading my comments, and for your good ideas. I want to get the hybrid idea out there for more people to chew over. Many interesting ideas have come out of this thread. I doubt the Wikimedia Foundation will be the first to try out these ideas. But if some hybrid successes first occur elsewhere then the admins and editors of some of the smaller Wikimedia Projects may clamor to join in, and the Wikimedia Foundation might allow it to occur. The problem is advertisements of course. I am the main editor and writer of this section: Wikipedia:Advertisements#Arguments for optional adverts, and so I understand the politics. Other than that optional ad method for non-profits, the hybrid semi-for-profit model is the only one I would trust for high-level knowledge collaboration work. --Timeshifter (talk) 08:30, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Yes, it's very interesting. I am not advocating for any particular arrangement in the future, and of course I'm not the decision maker on such things, the entire board of directors of the Wikimedia Foundation is. However, I personally would invite and support proposals for novel institutional arrangements that might be beneficial for some of our other projects that could likely flourish if given appropriate resources. This is not a top priority for the board right now, but I think it's worthy of sustained discussion in the community.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:08, 20 May 2011 (UTC)


"I learned more on wikipedia than from college, but I didn't get a degree from wikipedia. I paid tens of thousands of dollars for school and jack squat to read wikipedia. Why is this? Change is gonna happen, and it needs to happen soon."

1- study plans (syllabi) and tests 2- various courses of study on various levels 3- legitimate degrees approved by the authorities 4- input by experts and good sources (which already takes place on wikipedia)

this is all that is needed, why isn't this happening? the world is slow, we cling on to an archaic academic system which gives power to those who already have it, money to those who can afford to learn. There is a rich idiot whose parents are CEOs and they send him to school. He parties and drinks for four years, and at the end of it all he gets a diploma and can get any job he wants with it. Does he deserve it? There is a poor man in india who is a genius and a very hard worker. He thinks hard and applies to a basic school to help his family survive. He gets denied due to lack of proper funds. Does he deserve it?

I think that free organized education on the internet could have tremendous positive effects throughout the world. We already have the materials, most study is done on the internet. All we need is the organization, and wikipedia possesses the key to this kind of organization and popularity. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:12, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

Granting degrees requires accreditation from whatever the international body is, can't remember what it's called. Getting accreditation means committing to certain levels of teaching, breadth requirements (e.g. humanities students must take sciences courses and vice versa), etc. These things cost money, which Wikiversity doesn't have. → ROUX  20:33, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
Many employers will hire people with skills no matter how they got those skills. Many skills are easily tested by employers. More and more schooling is done online and by teleconferencing. More and more courses can be tested out of. This is the future because it is a lot cheaper. Home schooling produces better test scores overall. Putting people in desks and rows in order to learn is old school. Literally. --Timeshifter (talk) 00:25, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
Wikiversity supplies the platform, with a range of Open Learning Resources available. Tecahers can then organise face-to-face teaching, as learning is not simply about acquiring facts, but also a more complex development of experience of how these facts interact both socially and ontologically. This teaching can then be accreditted in the same way as other accreditation is done, by autonomous organisations whose central aim is to create a learning environment. These organisations will no doubt fit into the local economic structure in away which is viable, with variable forms responding differently in differing situations. For an example of this, see:SPIR608_Political_Simulations_and_Gaming, a course run at the University of Westminster.Leutha (talk) 08:32, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
I see many resources at some of the links I followed from your link. Such as:
wikiversity:Other Free Learning Resources.
OER Commons - it has a problem though in that it uses a non-commercial Creative Commons license. That means the knowledge is still not free. It can't be shared on company websites, nor on sites with ads as almost all sites have nowadays.
The important thing is to cut the ties between teachers and knowledge. That means the knowledge must be on the web, and in an in-depth form such as at Wikipedia. It also must be WP:NPOV knowledge as at Wikipedia. It also needs to be in sequential form. Wikipedia does not do that.
Wikiversity does not do that very well. It does not do that very well because it is tied to a poor funding mechanism, the annual Wikipedia fundraising. Also, there is no integration of one's Wikiversity watchlist with one's Wikipedia watchlists. People are working occasionally on that, but no one seems to be working on the funding. Accepting ads on Wikiversity pages could solve that problem. Wikimedia may never allow that. So the Benefit Corporation model may have to be used for a wikiversity fork. Or for another organization altogether. Accreditation is a separate issue, and not really necessary for learning. --Timeshifter (talk) 13:48, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree that integrated watchlists would be good, but as regards any sequential form I would go for a non-linear approach using folksonomy. I do not think we should cut the ties between teachers and knowledge, but develop more fluid relationships. Acrreditation may not be necessary for learning, but it is useful for funding, in that it produces the outcomes which funders like to use to evaluate the the success of a project. Putting material on sites with adverts does not make it free, it makes it exploitable. Many companies are not for profit organisations. I would not be involved with wikiversity if it had adverts. Such a step would be very disruptive of the community.Leutha (talk) 09:32, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
I did not see how folksonomy related to this discussion here until I checked out the 43 Things site. Interesting site where people share some tips on how they learn or do things. I bookmarked it. It is a for-profit site, and there are ads on the pages. Its license for info on the site does not seem free though. See the terms of use page.
What bothers me about these type of strictly for-profit sites is that they can be bought and sold, and their initial leadership can change to the point that they start deleting lots of stuff, and completely lose their social enterprise utility. They "sell out", lose their way, or otherwise lose focus. They also do not use a completely free license for info on their sites. But so far the 43 Things site continues to exist, and that is a good thing, and it is probably due to a continual funding source, the ads on their site. It looks like 43 Things is getting 7 times the traffic of Wikiversity. See:
Whether a site has ads or not does not indicate whether the site's info is completely free or not. Wikia is for profit and uses a completely free license, CC-BY-SA. Many for-profit sites use a CC-BY or CC-BY-SA license. The problem is whether one trusts a solely for-profit site to keep that info up on the web without spinning it, or whether they may just decide to go in another direction and delete most of the CC-BY or CC-BY-SA info and focus. Both for-profit and non-profit sites disappear all the time. I believe semi-for-profit sites may have better longterm survival possibilities, better funding, and a longterm social enterprise focus.
After many Village Pump discussions and other discussions, many people think optional advertising would work in a non-profit format. See:
Public radio is non-profit and has ads. I think public radio is not nearly as WP:NPOV as Wikipedia, though. Public radio is too dependent on government money, and spins much of what they do to not offend politicians. Wikipedia shows far more viewpoints on any issue.
Most of the for-profit sites are tame in their coverage of issues, mostly because they have a fiduciary requirement to make profit above all else. This is another reason semi-for-profit sites are needed using Benefit Corporation incorporation, or similar. They are not required to make a profit.
We need something better than what we have been doing. As Jimbo Wales said higher up in the discussion (copied from his talk page), "I've had a longstanding interest in hybrid models, due to the limitations of both the non-profit and for-profit models." --Timeshifter (talk) 04:34, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Wael Ghonim and Egypt NGO

Wael Ghonim. In April 2011 Ghonim announce he was taking a "long term sabbatical" from Google in order to start a "technology focused NGO to help fight poverty and foster education in Egypt."

In May 2011 Ghonim said that he has signed "Revolution 2.0" book deal with US and UK publishers. All proceeds from the book going to charity & families of victims of the revolution. The book will be released in Arabic and English on Jan. 25 2012. The book deal is 2.25 million USD (all given to Egypt charities and families of Jan. 25 victims) and $500k worth of books to be given to public schools.

"I call this Revolution 2.0. Revolution 2.0 is, is — I say that our revolution is like Wikipedia, OK? Everyone is contributing content. You don't know the names of the people contributing the content ... This is exactly what happened. Revolution 2.0 in Egypt was exactly the same. Everyone was contributing small pieces, bits and pieces. We drew this whole picture. We drew this whole picture of a revolution. And that picture — no one is the hero in that picture." -- Wael Ghonim on the peaceful protests in Egypt that lead to the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak. Feb. 13, 2011 on CBS 60 Minutes TV show.

Essay elevation to Guideline proposal

You are invited to join the discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Military history/Notability guide#Essay to Guideline. RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 21:21, 12 June 2011 (UTC) (Using {{pls}})

Conflict of Interest Essay idea

You are invited to join the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Conflict of interest#Political affiliation and COI. RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 21:52, 12 June 2011 (UTC) (Using {{pls}})

How about an Editor Feedback feature?

I like the new Article Feedback feature. I wonder if an editor feedback feature would be a good idea? After I had been contributing to Wikipedia for some time, I discovered that one editor had been following me around and systematically reverting my changes—without saying anything to me. When I asked why, he said "Wikipedia policy". When I asked where such policy was stated, he couldn't find anything to support his "Wikipedia policy" statement. Another time, when I was trying to expand an explanation slightly to make it understandable to a newcomer, another editor persisted in repeatedly truncating my entries such that they would surely not be understandable to a newcomer. I think that most contributors would like to avoid having to ask for arbitration, and wonder if an editor rating (feedback) system—that would flag editors who are unhelpful, lack goodwill and civility, abuse their authority or behave behave obnoxiously—might be a good idea? Of course such a rating system would also provide positive feedback about editors who are extremely kind and helpful. Maybe an "editor of the year" award (based on ratings) would also help? LittleBen (talk) 12:36, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

I sort of like the idea of an anonymous editor feedback system; however, there are times where I believe it can cause more harm than good. Just as some RFA's have caused editors to leave, poor reviews may force an editor to leave. Vandalism to the editor feedback system could also be seen so Jimbo Wales could conceivably have the lowest review of any editor. ANI creates accountability for the editor and for the person who brings up the issue. I do think editors should be encouraged to use WP:Editor Review. Ryan Vesey (talk) 13:45, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
Would do more harm than good, I think. For one thing anonymity wouldn't be guaranteed (timing of feedback would often be revealing), which scotches the possibility of keeping the feedback private for just the receiving editor to think about. Rd232 talk 15:12, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
I've just discovered that RFCs look like a viable lightweight alternative to arbitration. LittleBen (talk) 05:03, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Converting the Paragraph from one language to another language

Dear Wikipedia Team,

Myself N. VINAY KUMAR, is a Post Graduate in Master of Science in Information Technology. I would like to request you to kindly assign an option to convert the meaning of a word from one language to another in your web page. It would be very useful for the online viewers & to learn the desired language in such a manner that everyone would become fluent in the desired language.

I have been trying to change the word from wiktionary but i could not make it convert.

First of all i appreciate your service. Wikipedia has a plenty of information has stored on its website & its having worthful information about anything on this planet..

Once again i request to assign an option to convert the meaning of a specific word into our desired language.

Let me explain you.. I know the meaning of a word in "TELUGU LANGUAGE" but i'm unable to convert it in "ENGLISH LANGUAGE".

I hope this option i would find very soon in your website.

-- Thanking You,

Your's Sincerely,

(N. VINAY KUMAR) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:13, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Have you seen Google Transliterate? (Help). LittleBen (talk) 14:38, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

translate equations...

When looking at equations, it would be helpful if there is some sort of way to see the correct way to say it... it would be helpful for those of us who have not used equations over the passed several years to see how to say them... often, this would be of some benefit to parents when helping their children with homework - consistency between parent and educators, for example...

Also, can links have indications that the link is to a subscription or pay-wall site; even those sites that merely require a login access but are otherwise free. (talk) 05:45, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

We already have the latter: {{subscription required}} → (subscription required) --Cybercobra (talk) 22:26, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Add -sysop ability to bureaucrats

According to the last discussion about giving local enwiki bureaucrats the ability to process de-adminship requests, which ended with a majority but not a significant consensus as regards the poll associated with the page, there were concerns that this is, to quote, "a solution in search of a problem", in particular because at the time we already had the CDA process to supplement it. Now that that page has been rendered or marked inactive, there is less transparency because the de-adminship requests are processed off-wiki in a separate log at Meta, and it would be confusing, especially to newbies to the system, because the local logs do not show this appropriately. There were also concerns that, with the increasing number of stewards, the possibility that a steward account being compromised is increased and it would be much more dangerous for them to desysop than a local compromised 'crat to do it. I was wondering if we should conduct a new poll, as per WP:CCC, or at least to have the global logs duplicated here? :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 05:27, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

The concurrent CDA discussion last time certainly didn't help. It might be worth having another go, but there seem to be a large number of editors who have an irrational fear of this proposal. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 21:17, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
This is probably the wrong place for this discussion - you aren't so much trying to discuss and develop an idea as you're proposing a poll. That being said, I think it's a good time to try the poll again. --JaGatalk 22:55, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

”Years Active"

There is a term which frequently pops up in biographical info boxes that does not seem to have a consistent meaning; 'years active'. For some individuals the term seems to refer to the years during which they worked; Betty White's "years active" are 1939-present, because she got her first job in 1939. In other articles, the term refers to the years during which they worked at whatever made them famous; Bob Barker's years active are 1956-2007 because that is the period during which he hosted game shows, even though he had worked at radio stations during the 1940s and has continued to appear frequently since 2007 as guest hosts at different events. There are more examples that are even more ridiculous, but I simply cant recall any at the moment. I'm sure you've seen them, though. I'm wondering if there is any 'official’ interpretation of the term, and if there's not, I suggest that one be formulated.theBOBbobato (talk) 19:25, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

I never noticed the "years active" item in an info box. I'd suggest leaving it out altogether. As you mentioned there is no real way to define it, and I don't think it adds much useful information to an article. For instance I'm a Giants fan and Willie Mays (at age 80) is still somewhat "active" although he no longer gets paid to play baseball. BigJim707 (talk) 04:14, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
And George H. W. Bush still active at 88. BigJim707 (talk) 04:23, 23 June 2011 (UTC)


Are we capable of creating a trending gadget like Yahoo and google and if so why haven't we — Preceding unsigned comment added by Reallycurious345 (talkcontribs) 01:18, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia itself doesn't (and I don't think that we need to), but there are a couple of third party sites that do.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 01:38, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
Actually, I believe it would be a very useful addition to the main page. I think there are more users than just this one who would like to see the gadget. Ryan Vesey (talk) 01:40, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
See WP:STATISTICS for sites that do this already. Currently there's no pressing need to see trending on Wikipedia on Wikipedia itself, so to preserve bandwidth it should probably be left to these sites.AerobicFox (talk) 02:26, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Professional reviewing

Some sort of method by which articles can be reviewed professionally, and the casual reader made aware in an unobtrusive manner of its reviewed status.

An initial idea I am thinking of a process in which a qualified person or organization reviews a featured article for accuracy and subsequently verifies that version of the article. Something could be added to the top of the article similar to the star on featured articles that denotes that the article has been removed, for example purposes likes say a check mark. If the reader then clicks on the check mark then it would take them to a page or a section of a page, subpage, etc to something that reads like this:

On February 26th 2010 the Example Subject article was reviewed by professional subject specialist John Doe on behalf of the International Example Subject Society and confirmed to be accurate. Subsequent edits are not endorsed by John Doe, and have been under normal Wikipedia editing policy. To view the version reviewed by John Doe you may click here, to return to the current version of the article click here.

Recently some professional organizations have been looking into Wikipedia due to the large volume of information that is disseminated to the general public through our site, so I am opening a discussion here to cover existing ways to establish some sort of infrastructure that would allow professionals to aide Wikipedia in providing higher quality content and bringing more legitimacy to Wikipedia. Since most professionals do not want to edit on Wikipedia for a variety of reasons an approach like this may be a good way to get their foot in the door as it could be done on an flexible schedule and wouldn't require knowledge of Wikipedia editing practices or extensive editing or research on their part. AerobicFox (talk) 02:23, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

What would this do that posting a review on the talk page does not do? —Tom Morris (talk) 09:12, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
You might consider the way the Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Google Project worked as a model. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:43, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Block messages

I think there should be a change in policy where Admins should need to elaborate on a block proposal. For example, I recently reported User:Nisar shah. She had been continually warned not to recreate a deleted page. Her block stated that it was for "Creating attack, nonsense or other inappropriate pages." While this is a pretty clear-cut case, I think it should have been written "for re-creating a deleted page after being warned not to." In another example, User:Wekn reven i susej eht was blocked for welcoming users who were no longer active. His message stated that his account was being used for "trolling, disruption or harassment." I believe that should have stated exactly what he was blocked for. Ryan Vesey (talk) 15:09, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

Could admins state the reason in an ordinary comment on the blocked user's page? Wabbott9 (talk) 00:24, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
I certainly think so, but there are too many times where this does not happen. Should I take this to policy? Ryan Vesey (talk) 00:22, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Taking it to VP:Policy sounds good to me. I'm not an admin, mind you, so I'd want some input from those who are before going much further. Wabbott9 (talk) 16:14, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

Editing your post messages

On multiple occasions I have regretted not being able to go back and modify my edit posting messages, if only to correct a typographical error or a mis-worded explanation. Once your incorrect message is out there, it stays that way for eternity; at least if you are just an editor. I think an editor should be allowed to modify their own remarks up until the time that another change is made to the same article. Is it possible to implement this, or is there a better solution? Regards, RJH (talk) 16:01, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

I totally agree with your statement; although, I am not sure on the technical issues of your suggestion. I usually try to leave my edit summary before I preview my edit because it also gives a preview of the edit summary. That is probably the best that you can do for now (or until something like this gets implemented). Ryan Vesey (talk) 19:36, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. If this is feasible, I think it would be useful to place a "edit message" link next to the editor's message at the top of the history page. It might also be good to flag that the message has been revised x times (for history purposes). Regards, RJH (talk) 15:28, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't quite understand. Of course you can edit messages if you make a typo etc. See WP:REDACT for the advice on when not to change comments. Fences&Windows 22:39, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
I think RJHall may mean edit summaries. —Tom Morris (talk) 23:51, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Probably. In which case there are some relevant archived discussions: Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive_30#Being able to edit your edit summaries, Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 61#Ability to edit edit summary, Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 44#Edit summary grace period?, Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 83#Retrospective correcting of edit summaries... --Martynas Patasius (talk) 23:31, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Well then the alternative is to make a trivial edit to the article for the sole purpose of posting a correction to a previous edit summary message. Sigh. RJH (talk) 22:42, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

A Solution to the Problem

We all know that Creation and Evolution in their true forms are irreconcilable. There are several approaches we could take to remedy this problem.

  1. Present everything as is the way the World Book Encyclopedia does.
  2. Present one or the other as fact, which breaks WP:NPOV.
  3. Present each theory in separate articles and clearly mark each one as Creation or Evolution.

Here are my opinions on those 3.

  1. This one just won't fly.
  2. This one breaks WP:NPOV,
  3. This one seems to be the best remedy to the problem.

I think the best way to implement this would be to have a template that takes each page and links to it's counterpart. It would also have a banner on top and perhaps a category. This will allow both sides to present their arguments without fighting over it and without breaking NPOV. Is this a good idea? I think it would work well.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Arlen22 (talkcontribs)

  • I would point out that Arlen's option #3 is to allow blatant WP:POVFORKs, and that there already is a solution:

Neutrality requires that each article or other page in the mainspace fairly represents all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint. Giving due weight and avoiding giving undue weight means that articles should not give minority views as much of or as detailed a description as more widely held views. Generally, the views of tiny minorities should not be included at all. For example, the article on the Earth does not directly mention modern support for the Flat Earth concept, the view of a distinct minority; to do so would give "undue weight" to the Flat Earth belief.

In articles specifically about a minority viewpoint, such views may receive more attention and space. However, these pages should still make appropriate reference to the majority viewpoint wherever relevant and must not represent content strictly from the perspective of the minority view. Specifically, it should always be clear which parts of the text describe the minority view. In addition, the majority view should be explained in sufficient detail that the reader can understand how the minority view differs from it, and controversies regarding aspects of the minority view should be clearly identified and explained. How much detail is required depends on the subject. For instance, articles on historical views such as Flat Earth, with few or no modern proponents, may briefly state the modern position, and then go on to discuss the history of the idea in great detail, neutrally presenting the history of a now-discredited belief. Other minority views may require much more extensive description of the majority view to avoid misleading the reader. Wikipedia:Fringe theories and the NPOV FAQs provide additional guidance.

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 13:26, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict)First, both of these pages exist in a separate way. Creationism and Intelligent Design have their own pages. Evolution has its own page. There is no need for a split. I also don't believe they need to be linked on the top for two reasons. One, that is what the see also section is for. Two, that would exclude all of the other, less major, views on the topic. Also, please remember to sign your posts with four tilde's like this ~~~~. Ryan Vesey (talk) 13:39, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
I have linked the two pages in their see also section Ryan Vesey (talk) 13:39, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
My interpretation was that Arlen was proposing some sort of 'Separate But Equal' schema, whereby each viewpoint was presented in magnificent and complete isolation from the other. This would seem to violate WP:POVFORK, WP:WEIGHT & WP:GEVAL. HrafnTalkStalk(P)
I do have a problem with the current situation though. Both intelligent design and creationism have a wide following; however, they (intelligent design in particular) are presented on their pages as if they are false. The intelligent design page is incredibly biased focusing on criticism more than any other part of the article. Wikipedia has also endorsed evolution as can be seen from the FAQ section of its talk page. Ryan Vesey (talk) 15:16, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
They have a wide popular following, but only a vanishingly small following among relevant experts -- see for example List of scientific societies explicitly rejecting intelligent design (also contrast A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism with Project Steve). If we were to accept argumentum ad populum as a basis for WP:WEIGHT, instead of expert/WP:RS opinion, then we'd likewise have to accept a wide range of academically less-than-credible views that have popular support (or at least popular acceptance-through-ignorance). HrafnTalkStalk(P) 15:55, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
The point is that some highly controversial articles, especially the Flood related articles, which has both scientists and the general populace divided on the issue, are going to look awful. Does anyone realize that in 2006 Noah's Ark was a FA? Right now that article reminds me of a house that is undergoing renovation by two crews with a totally different objective in mind. If each crew would work on their own house, we would get the best of both worlds. Literally! Since this is the idea lab, would it be a good idea to make a case-by-case exception when needed? That would require a policy of its own. Or maybe ArbCom should decide when it is needed. Arlen22 (talk) 14:27, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
No Arlen, there is no 'division among scientists' on whether the Genesis flood occurred -- there is an overwhelming consensus that it did not. The treatment of the Genesis flood narrative as a historical literary creation is of course another matter -- and one outside the scientific purview. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 16:42, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
But that doesn't mean that those articles don't look awful or that they are biased. And there IS a difference of opinion between different scientists. Arlen22 (talk) 20:09, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
"Generally, the views of tiny minorities should not be included at all." (Nor according to that policy should viewpoints only published in unreliable sources.) Therefore failure to include such views is not "biased". Whether or not the articles in question "look awful" is a completely unrelated issue. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 05:40, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
Certainly, but a viewpoint/theory that draws such heavy criticism can hardly be called minor. But your right, this isn't related to how the article looks except that it is the cause of the article looking like junk. Arlen22 (talk) 12:38, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
(i) This thread has gone on long past the point that WP:DEADHORSE applies -- with an unworkable 'solution' to a non-existent 'problem'. (ii) Your first sentence is both fallacious as a matter of logic, and a non sequitor as a matter of relevance. (iii) Your second sentence is incivil, unsubstantiated, and vague to the point of being utterly worthless. Your proposal appears to serve no purpose except to undermine WP:NPOV in order to promote Creationism. I would therefore suggest that you find yourself an encyclopaedia more consonant with your objectives -- Conservapedia is an absurd enough encyclopaedia that they have no trouble with such absurdities -- and in fact encourage them. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 13:57, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
In response to point 3, I didn't mean for it to be uncivil or anything, I meant exactly what I said. What I meant was you're right, we are discussing a reason the page looks bad rather than discussing the page itself. I hope that helps. As for point 2, ArbCom said that if a theory is notable enough to draw criticism from scientists, then it isn't pseudoscience, but that probably don't apply here since no one was calling it pseudoscience. As for point 1, if it don't exist, great, then I'll just drop it. Arlen22 (talk) 18:26, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm fairly certain ArbCom said no such thing -- and cannot find anything even vaguely resembling your claim in Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Pseudoscience. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 18:51, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
It was Findings of Fact #9. As for an "encyclopedia that is more consonant with [my] objectives", the World Book Encyclopedia presents both ideas on nearly equal footing, and THAT is my objective. Otherwise things will continue to be biased and violate WP:NPOV. Not that we have to do it the way I suggested here, but that is my objective, as I am sure it is yours too if you aren't a die-hard humanist. Arlen22 (talk) 16:39, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
FoF#9 says nothing like "if a theory is notable enough to draw criticism from scientists, then it isn't pseudoscience" -- only that it is "often ... so little regarded that there is no serious criticism of them by scientific critics." (emphasis mine -- note: "often" not 'always' or 'necessarily') "Presents both ideas on nearly equal footing" = explicit violation of WP:NPOV (specifically WP:GEVAL). And contrary to your bigoted, blinkered ad hominem attack, being opposed to creationism does not make one a "humanist" -- many people of faith reject creationism's corrosive dishonesty, and some of them are among its most prominent critics -- see theistic evolution & the Clergy Letter Project for an explication of this viewpoint. Your proposal has no basis in policy, guideline or ArbCom opinion. It would open up Wikipedia to giving the misleading impression that Creationism has scientific credibility when it has none. It serves no purpose other than the promotion of creationism -- which last I checked was not an objective of Wikipedia. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 17:27, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
To present both ideas on equal footing (i.e. informationally), and let the reader decide which is true is anything but a violation of WP:NPOV. Of course my proposal has no basis. I was just bringing it up to see if it is a good idea, the necessary arrangements will of course be made after we decide if it is a good idea. I did not mean to imply that being opposed to creation would make one a humanist. What I meant was that I can't really imagine that anyone except a die-hard humanist would try to violate WP:NPOV rather than make a balanced article. Of course, it is probably the same the other direction, the problem is where do you draw the line. If you draw the line at one place, and I draw the line at another place, it is almost certain that I'll be across your line before I even get to mine, whereas someone from the other side would have to go pretty far to cross your line. And by your line I mean the line that you've drawn in this discussion, regardless of whether it is your line or the community's line as a whole. The whole problem seems to be that you want the line at one place and I want the line at another place. You say that having the line in the middle would give it undue weight. I agree that my proposal is not very good, but I just wanted to try anything. How can something that has been held as fact for 6000 years by nearly all Christians and many others be considered non-notable and not be given equal presentation in an informational way? If we would present it that way, it would give no weight to it. It all depends on whose viewpoint you use. If you use the Bible, it will not be a POV, it can be given equal presentation, and it will not need to be criticized at every turn of the way. The article on Evolution has only one small section of criticism, which is based on the article Objections to evolution. Even that article is not really about the objections themselves as it is about the fact that there are objections and it almost tries to ignore them. Now who is to determine that a pound of lead shouldn't get as much attention as a pound of feathers? Which is heavier? Neither, believe it or not. Which is bigger? The feathers, of course. But they still weigh the same. If anyone tried to do the same thing with creation, everyone would be screeming at the top of their lungs, at least I think they would be, but I don't know. Why do people get so offended by anyone suggesting there is a God or that he created everything? (That isn't a rhetorical question, BTW) Arlen22 (talk) 12:26, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── WP:Complete bollocks:

  • "To present both ideas on equal footing" 'explicitly violates the following statement from WP:NPOV:

Giving "equal validity"

While it is important to account for all significant viewpoints on any topic, Wikipedia policy does not state or imply that every minority view or extraordinary claim needs to be presented along with commonly accepted mainstream scholarship. There are many such beliefs in the world, some popular and some little-known: claims that the Earth is flat, that the Knights Templar possessed the Holy Grail, that the Apollo moon landings were a hoax, and similar. Conspiracy theories, pseudoscience, speculative history, or even plausible but currently unaccepted theories should not be legitimized through comparison to accepted academic scholarship. We do not take a stand on these issues as encyclopedia writers, for or against; we merely omit them where including them would unduly legitimize them, and otherwise describe them in their proper context with respect to established scholarship and the beliefs of the greater world.

  • Following explicit WP:NPOV policy and not wanting readers to be 'harmed' by placing "dishonest and misguided" pseudoscience on an equal footing with science does not make one "a die-hard humanist" -- it is the position of hundreds of thousands of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Taoist, etc, etc scientists.
Of course not. I just meant...well, forget it, you aren't getting my point. Suffice it to say I am not calling you a die-hard humanist. Arlen22 (talk) 13:48, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
  • You are misrepresenting Christian history. Whilst prior to the advent of modern geology, Christians had no reason not to accept a Young Earth, Christianity has a long history of not taking the Bible literally. See for example Augustine of Hippo's The Literal Meaning of Genesis.

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 13:18, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

The only problem is that there are modern geologist who argue that these things couldn't have been gradual, that they had to be sudden for fossils to form. There are people who ask how Indians knew what dinosaurs looked like if they didn't exist at the same time. There are people who ask why there is so much limestone all over the continents. I want to know how languages could come about if man just sort of evolved. A language is not an inherited trait, it has to be passed on. Some ask why minerals that are dated at millions of years have so much C-14. Others ask why God shouldn't exist. Some ask why true evolutionism excludes the idea that there is a God as if it isn't an option. Others ask how the big bang could have suddenly happened and why it happened, and why didn't it explode before that if whatever it was always existed. I know that the last couple have some ideas. However, for the Christian, it comes down to whether he will accept the biblical account or evolution, since the Bible puts plants before the planets, and we all know that plants can't live fore very long without sunlight. That is just one example out of many of the difference between the Bible and the Theory of Evolution. That a theory can even be fired on like this raises serious questions in my mind. Of course, I know that the Bible is shot at, but where has it not stood to criticism, whereas some things in the Theory of Evolution have things that have yet to be explained. Arlen22 (talk) 13:48, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
"The only problem is that" your "modern geologist" [sic] ubiquitously work for Christian apologetics ministries (such as the Institute for Creation Research) that require their staff sign 'Statements of Faith' (or similar) avowing a young Earth -- which doesn't exactly make them credible witnesses. "There are people who ask" about all sorts of strange and incredible things (alien abductions and the like) -- that's why we have WP:FRINGE & WP:REDFLAG. Wikipedia asks for reliable sources. And I would point out that many (most?) Christians reject your false dichotomy along with your Biblical literalism. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 14:15, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
As for the modern geologists, I think it is the other way around. They sign because they believe it. After all, I could just as well expect an atheist organization to have their staff sign their own Statement of Faith (that there is no God, etc), right. And they would sign because they believe it, not because they want to work there, right? Of course people ask about all sorts of things, and many questions just don't fly, but some do. Arlen22 (talk) 14:36, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Regardless of your attempts at spin, your "modern geologist" [sic] and their Christian apologetics ministries are not accepted as credible scientists -- even by a state as conservative as Texas (see Institute for Creation Research#School and accreditation) -- hardly a hotbed of "humanist" tendencies. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 14:47, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Nor have you presented the slightest sliver of evidence that their claims would pass WP:REDFLAG. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 14:49, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
However, as far as I know, there is no atheist organization which requires anyone to sign a paper saying that they do not believe in a god so the point is invalid. If they did require such a thing, I would not trust any scientist of their's either. Science should be unbiased. Regarding the overall issue: proposing that creationism, intelligent design, or other such hypothesis should be presented alongside evolution or otherwise seems unnecessary as it is not the place of Wikipedia to inspire debate. If there are any valid scientific objections, I'm sure they could be added to the articles in an unbiased way but I am not aware of any such objections to naturalistic responses to the question of origin. --AJ00200 (talk) 02:29, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

On second thought, it appears like the experts have finally arrived and seem to be coordinating Noah's Ark. Arlen22 (talk) 15:43, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
I haven't looked at any of the articles, but I've heard (in a college class) that a leading theory is the Biblical flood stems from the Black Sea deluge theory. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 18:08, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Well, I wish you would look at them, because we are talking quality, not content here. Arlen22 (talk) 20:17, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Live chat?

OK, so this is a change that would probably have to come from the top as it would require a website-wide change... but I would really like to see an addition of live chat, sort of in the same vein as Facebook chat. Having worked as a copy editor and as a reporter, I know that the most effective copy editors will talk directly with article authors to clarify any ambiguities. Although that is possible with the way that the Wiki system currently works, live chat would make the process much more efficient, and it would make collaboration much easier. And sometimes, you just need to have a live conversation. I know there have been several edits where I needed more information before I made the change, but I opted not to touch it for fear of introducing an error because it wasn't worth the effort to hunt down the information.

I also think the increased interaction would help to stem some of the snarkiness, which seems to be featured as a prominent theme in complaints about Wikipedia. Interaction builds relationships, which builds respect (usually and ideally).

Just my thoughts. Not sure how practical the suggestion is, but it sure would be handy.--Jp07 (talk) 20:06, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

If you really want to have a live chat with somebody, why not use IRC? With freenode there is no need to set anything up. Try it for yourself: #wikipedia-en connect. Yoenit (talk) 21:39, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
Well, I thought about that, too, so it's a good idea. I don't think it would reach the level of cooperative work that I'd like to see unless the chat client was built in, though, like Facebook does it, because a lot of people aren't familiar with IRC and don't want to download a bunch of software/figure out how to use it. It's got to be a pervasive chat client that is easily accessible if it's going to work. This is a much more popular concept, I believe, because it seems as though the instant messenger, oh so popular in the '90s and '00s, seems to have died.--Jp07 (talk) 05:35, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
I just submitted this idea to Bugzilla... maybe someone who knows about coding can do something about it :).--Jp07 (talk) 13:25, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Improving copy editing

Another thought today. I'm in the midst of editing a document, and I feel like this process would be much easier if Wiki formatting could be made invisible while editing. It is very difficult to find my place on the page when I transition from the article to the editing screen, and all of the punctuation in the Wiki formatting kind of causes some headaches. I think people would be more patient editors and more successful editors (i.e. they would overlook fewer problems) if Wiki formatting could be made invisible during the editing process.

I fully understand the formatting, but when I'm looking exclusively for logical/grammatical/syntactical/punctuation problems, the formatting really poses an unnecessary obstacle.

This would also make editing much more approachable for new Wikipedians, who are not yet familiar with the formatting. I think best case scenario would be to default to plain-text editing with a checkbox to turn on Wiki formatting. Is this practical?--Jp07 (talk) 10:14, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

The ideal situation would if you could edit the article as it is displayed, but that would be a massive technological change. WikiEd tries to do something like this, but it tries to do so much it can hardly be considered new user friendly. Yoenit (talk) 12:27, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree. I can't remember the name of it, but I think Google's website building service has this capability if someone more knowledgeable is looking for ideas. I also had a friend/colleague who interned for MSNBC, and he essentially did the same type of things that we do for Wikipedia all the time on their website (i.e., writing, editing, linking, etc.). I didn't ever really ask him about the editing/writing software, but I'm willing to bet that they had software something along the lines of what I'm suggesting as copy editing is paramount in journalism. Perhaps someone who has a little more authority could contact Google or MSNBC for ideas; they both seem to be very interested in furthering educational causes, and Wikipedia is not really a competitor of theirs.--Jp07 (talk) 12:46, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
I just submitted this idea to Bugzilla... maybe someone who knows about coding can do something about it :).--Jp07 (talk) 13:25, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
A true WYSIWYG editing system has been discussed and several implementation exist. Most implementation are generally rejected as they make working with templates too cumbersome. The Visual Editor is a foundation's project at addressing these deficiencies with new backend parsing code. — Dispenser 15:33, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
Having stuff like citations appearing in grey, or green, or something like that instead would be a major improvement. It can be a real pain trying to find the actual prose in amongst heaps of references! Pesky (talkstalk!) 11:20, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

Redirects to article added for crawling


I think one of the biggest obstacles to finding articles on Wikipedia through search engines is that they only find text which is inside the article. Many times it is impractical to include all possible spellings/synonyms for an article in the body. I think it would be a great help if each article's HTML source included every page that redirected to it (perhaps through some kind of out-of-the-way bar?). For example, all the redirects to Hanukkah are here: However, if "haneka" is searched in Google (ignoring the spelling suggestion), the Wikipedia page does not appear. If "haneka" was somehow exposed to the search engine, it would.

What do you all think? InverseHypercube 07:29, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

You could add a footnote with alternative common spellings, I did something along those lines here. Fences&Windows 18:29, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
That is a good idea. Do you think this kind of thing should be encouraged? InverseHypercube 01:46, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
My immediate reaction is that it is a good idea.--SPhilbrickT 17:58, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Sounds like a good idea, certainly worth taking to proposals or another location. In my mind, if it's a truly alternative spelling, or an alternate transliteration, then a redirect would be suitable. That would be true without the search engine thing. Redirects are cheap. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 18:03, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Crosspost: BibTeX style referencing

I've posted over on the Technical section of Village Pump an idea about improving referencing, but upon reflection it is probably also an idea lab topic. Feedback welcome here, there or anywhere. —Tom Morris (talk) 12:52, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

welcome newbies, and welcome experts

The number and quality of edits in Wikipedia is decreasing. And I've been thinking about it.

Imagine an outstanding professor, who has taught in an university for over 20 years, worked professionally for dozens of governments and UN organizations, and served as a representative in his country's congress. If this person ever stumbles upon an error in Wikipedia... do you think he has all the time to register an account and read dozens of pages of Wikipedia policies? He doesn't. Once he edited an article on Wikipedia. It was gone in no time. I really mean "in no time": all it took was to press F5 and the page had the same mistake it had 5 minutes before. He can't wast his time learning the "view history" tab and edit summaries. But if he clicked he would have understood: User1234 reverted and unsourced statement. He never tried to edit Wikipedia again, because when you revert someone's edit, or delete an article, you're basically saying "your work is worthless, we don't like it, we don't want it, so let's delete it".

Ok so Wikipedia aims to carry "the sum of human knowledge" (which is not entirely true because it excludes a great deal of practical knowledge, know-how and other "non encyclopaedic" things), well if you're trying to add up all the knowledge, at some point you'll have to go beyond the things you can check with Google. You need experts in each field.

So I propose these things:

1) Do not delete IP edits automatically, except for blatant vandalism. 2) Get teams of experts in each area.

And the reasons are

1) Quickly deleting a contribution is the worst thing you can do. Vandalism is the exception to the rule, but in any other case it is much better to add a [citation needed] for 24 hours and only then delete, and to place a small nice comment in the user page. An auto-generated list of links is a bad thing, because people get lost in the mess of wiki-bureaucracy. Pick 5 things they need to know and a single link to "more resources". Scaring off new editors should be a bannable offense. Also, treat vandals well! Seriously, the first time they commit the oh-so-terrible-deathly-sin-of-vandalism, maybe they were just checking how all this works. In staid of "if you do it again we'll ban you", I think it would be very productive to kindly direct them to the sandbox and ask them to make only constructive edits. If you threaten them, there is no chance to get any contributions from them. But if you try to convince them, then the chance is greater than 0. The choice should be obvious. So, ALWAYS write a gentle warning on an IP's first vandal edit.

2) You really need editors who know what they're doing. You need them with name and surname, and a .edu email wouldn't hurt. (If it was anonymous you could as well ask Essjay's theological insight). This gives you a lot of advantages:

  • Boosts Wikipedia's credibility, now articles are not only made by the masses, but reviewed by scholars.
  • Prevents you from ending on the news for trying to delete something that was indeed notable.
  • Increases the overall accuracy of all articles.
  • Reliable sources and notable articles are those backed by a plurality of experts in the area. (Opinion of experts vs. today's opinion of random strangers in the interwebz)

Users could self-classify themselves as "hobbysts" "students" "graduates", and provide reasonable proof of their claims (name/surname, own web domain, .edu email address, university profile page, etc). Then when something is disputed there's a group of people who can be trusted. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:05, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

People can lie. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 20:06, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Classic example of (Personal attack removed) above. This is the #1 reason why people leave WP. If you knew my username... but anyway! hmm, It would take much technical expertise AND stupidity to break into an university's computer system and put a webpage with your real name. That's like asking the police to pay you a visit... well, screw this.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 13 June 2011
Your comments about vandalism show a lack of experience in the area. Starting with gentle messages is exactly what we do (see {{uw-vandalism1}} for example), but somebody who inserts "Gay Fucker with AIDS" on a random biography is not here to improve the encyclopedia and does not deserve gentle treatment.
Your second point is basically is what Citizendium does and it has failed miserably. Yoenit (talk) 20:38, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
The above comments by the IP editor are offensive, and I request that they redact them. The Mark of the Beast (talk) 19:03, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
Such personal attacks are totally inappropriate, so I've removed it myself.--Fyre2387 (talkcontribs) 21:47, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree that we should favor adding a citation needed template and notifying the user on their talk page. I generally think that every time an edit is reverted a note should be left on the user's talk page. The problem is that many users do not check their talk pages or if they do it may be days later (particularly with IP edits). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aj00200 (talkcontribs) 02:39, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

To summarise, are you saying that Wikipedia should end anonymous editing? Well, Citizendium has a policy of non-anonymous editing and it has not resulted in an online encyclopaedia any better than Wikipedia (in my view, it is inferior to Wikipedia). As for not automatically deleting edits from IPs, a lot of their edits do not get deleted. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 19:21, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

CSD Expiration Date

Discussion moved Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion#CSD Expiration Date to hopefully facilitate more input. MAHEWAtalk 22:59, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Is Wikipedia done, and what does that imply?

Most of the important articles in Wikipedia were added years ago. The importance of most new articles is rather low.[3] A sizable percentage of new articles are spam, and those that are acceptable tend to be on very minor subjects, like obscure politicians and athletes of the past.

Encyclopedias do get finished. The staff that revises Encyclopedia Brittanica is modest; it's in "maintenance mode", as one would say in the software field. Wikipedia is at that point. Should this be recognized in policy?

So, should new article creation be made harder? Perhaps something like tagged revisions could be applied to new article generation, so that it takes two editors to create a new article. --John Nagle (talk) 15:57, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

There's millions of potential articles that can be created (check out WP:BIAS for one reason why) not to mention many topics that simply don't exist yet. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 16:02, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree. Wikipedia is far from "done". LadyofShalott 16:08, 27 June 2011 (UTC) Take a look, for example, at Wikipedia:Requested articles; also, everything in Category:Stubs needs a lot of work. LadyofShalott 16:30, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
I also agree we are a long way from being done. Just between WikiProject United States, National Register of Historic places and Military history there are over 10,000 articles for each project. --Kumioko (talk) 16:35, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Atlas-type information really should have an atlas-type map-based system of its own. Wikipedia started out before map-based systems were widespread. Today, if you were designing this, you'd immediately think of a map tagging system rather than a wiki as the right tool for the job. On maps, you can zoom, and there's a level of detail concept, so items of local interest have a proper place, and notability is about what level of detail something should appear at. Space keeps everything from being in the same place. But that's a separate discussion. --John Nagle (talk) 18:59, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
We are not done, but there is definitely a shift away from new article creation and towards improving existing content. A proposal related to what you suggest was recently approved for trial (Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Proposal to require autoconfirmed status in order to create articles), which was motivated by the high deletion rates of articles created by new users. Yoenit (talk) 16:48, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Personally I think the rate of deletion has a lot to do with the slippery slope of notibility and it being so subjective. I have seen several articles on individuals I would consider notible deleted because the majority of editors voting were from England or vice versa. Several were even pretty well sourced. The problem is some folks don't like to wordsmith articles they like to create them. I also think this deletion frenzy is a big reason why we are noticing a sharp decline in the number of editors (new and seasoned both). --Kumioko (talk) 19:04, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

I would like to respond to the question which initiated this section - that of whether new article creation should be harder. I think that it should be appreciated that one has to be logged in to be able to start a new article (as far as I know, that means no userpage, and one cannot create an article - please correct me if I misunderstood Wikipedia policy). If one were to create an article anew, and leave without citations, it would probably be on the day of its creation that it would get the tag "Citation needed". This is particularly true for articles that are biographies of living people. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 19:15, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

But there is another important point in John Nagle's question, that the "important" articles have been written, an assertion various persons have objected to. Importance is very much a subjective issue, & while there are many articles I think are unimportant -- say, all of the articles on professional wrestling & beauty pageants -- other readers likely believe they are the most important articles in Wikipedia. And even if we pass over disagreements over those articles, many indisputably important articles are in poor shape. For example, Military history of Africa has many surprising omissions in it: a single sentence about Carthage, barely more about the Arab conquests, nothing about the Byzantine wars, & the briefest of mentions about the great Sahel empires of West Africa. that's hardly enough to discuss tactics, military technology, or even list the major battles & wars. And our philosophy articles suck because the no original research rule discourages anyone who is not familiar with the secondary sources from contributing to them. (Then there is the issue one should read most of Aristotle before beginning to explain what his philosophy was, but who would want to take on that task if any edits based on it were immediately reverted?) The only reason to make creating new articles more difficult is a belief which can be summarized as "3.7 million articles ought to be enough for any encyclopedia." -- llywrch (talk) 18:48, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

New merge procedure

I am constantly coming across articles with merge tags where no discussion has taken place in months or years. It mildly irritates me that these tags are left on despite either there being no consensus to merge, a consensus to merge, but no one is willing to actually merge the articles, or no discussion started in the first place. The purpose of the tag is to inform people that a discussion is taking place, but there is no need for the tag if a discussion is not currently taking place, indeed, it may detract from the article by giving the impression to readers that there is something wrong with the article, as with our other article tags. Many merge tags seem to remain in perpetuity, there are 167 articles in Category:Articles to be merged from July 2008.

How would it be to set a fixed tenure for the merge tags, say two weeks? A bot could remove the tag after the time is up and leave a note on the discussion to say that the discussion has expired. If, at the end of the two weeks, it is felt that continuing the discussion would be helpful, the tag could be replaced. If a merge tag is placed with no discussion started within a reasonable amount of time, the tag could be removed as a procedural matter.

After the discussion has been closed, someone can assess whether or not a consensus has been reached, if a consensus has been reached in favour of a merge, a template could be placed on the talk pages of both articles to the effect that: "There is a consensus in favour of X being merged with Y, any editor can make the merge etc.".

What do people think of these ideas, are they feasible? Thanks, Quasihuman | Talk 15:23, 3 July 2011 (UTC) I am now closing this, as noone has made any comments on it, positive or negative, in seven days. I am going on a wikibreak due to recent family circumstances, so I will return to this later. Quasihuman | Talk 19:02, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

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

Pester users to registering an email address

A bot should notify active users who haven't registered an email address after 500 edits. — Dispenser 14:20, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Why? An e-mail address is optional. Do you have a reason for wanting to change that? Ntsimp (talk) 14:46, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Better security, password recovery, and allows contact from the WMF staff if need be. Users still can opt-out of being emailed by fellow Wikipedians. — Dispenser 15:16, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
I wouldn't be opposed to a bot notifying all autoconfirmed users who haven't registered an email address. It should let them know that registering one is optional, but should also tell them the benefits of it. Ryan Vesey (talk) 15:24, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
I like this idea. People can register, make few edits, and much later come back forgetting about this useful option. Maybe it is too late to wait for users to become auto-confirmed, because it may take a while, and if they get to autoconfirmed status they would most likely realize by themselves that there was a possibility to get e-mails. --Antidiskriminator (talk) 15:42, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
My reasoning for having it notify autoconfirmed editors was so that the bot doesn't waste time notifying a bunch of users who just created an account but didn't edit, or created one and were blocked right away. If an editor has not been autoconfirmed yet, they can usually just create a new account if they forget their password or something goes wrong. Ryan Vesey (talk) 15:46, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
As a frequent help desk reader, I cannot count the number of requests for help restoring an account, which fail because the editor failed to have an email address. I'd make it 100 edits, possibly fewer (but not 1) --SPhilbrickT 16:12, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
I picked a number for when an account starts to become valuable. 5,000 - RfA, 500 - AWB access, 300 - Board Elections, and 200 - Commons Picture of the Year voting. — Dispenser 17:50, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Where can I go to read about the benefits of registering an e-mail address with Wikipedia? I've seen the option in preferences before, but thought it was just for communication with other users. Ntsimp (talk) 20:15, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
One important benefit is, if you forget your password, you can get a new password instead of starting a new account. I bet this happens every day.--SPhilbrickT 22:25, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
I find this idea useful and I think that it should be proposed.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 22:21, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

Interesting. Somehow this didn't come up at the Account security RFC, although requiring verified email addresses did. Anyway, I think it worth doing in some form - but why not link it with autoconfirmed status? We could then have a bot that welcomes people to their new autoconfirmed tools (page creation, soon; and moving pages) and also point out the benefits of providing an email address. Rd232 talk 23:49, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

In my above comment I opposed to the proposal of linking this notification with autoconfirmed status because I mistakenly understood it as autopatrolled status. Now I think that this linking is a good idea.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 06:28, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Intern at a top comedy website, learning the ropes

Hello Wikipedia, I work as an intern at one of the top ranking comedy sites online. I was assigned to learn about wikipedia and how to maximize its potential but I understand there are a lot of rules. I don't even know if I should be touching my own companies page.

Do you have any advice? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mops1234 (talkcontribs) 16:57, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Hi, Mops1234! First, about your own company: it's generally discouraged.:) See WP:COI and WP:ORGFAQ for some recommendations there. Beyond that, probably the quickest way learn about Wikipedia is to begin with Wikipedia:Introduction and follow through the tutorial. :) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 17:07, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Medina standard on wikipedia

Command responsibility is based on failure to act, like Medina standard mentioned in the current version of the article about the command responsibility. It says: "It holds that a commanding officer, being aware of a human rights violation or a war crime, will be held criminally liable when he does not take action."

Maybe in case of wikipedia it could be interpreted like this:

Wikipedia administrator, being aware of serious violations of wikipedia policies in articles that are on his/her watch-list, will be held responsible when he/she does not take action.

According to this idea every article could have some automatically generated template with list of administrators watching that article and he/she should take an action based on serious violations of wikipedia policies in articles on his/her watch-list within reasonable period of time after it is reported to him/her.

Further development of this idea could be defining the reasonable period of time, what are serious violations of wikipedia policies and what actions could such involved administrator perform and anything that other users maybe can propose.

There are many reasons why I think this idea might be good:

  1. I noticed that there are serious violations of wikipedia policies on many articles that are on the watchlist of more than one administrator, but still in certain areas which are not within scope of interest of larger community. Taking in consideration their edits, I am tempted not to AGF in this case and to interpret their failure to take an action against such violations as extremely disruptive support of one POV. The final result is that complete areas of topics are groups of worthless POV articles silently supported by groups of involved administrators who are not taking actions against serious violations of wikipedia policies.
  2. Most of the users who participate in editing of such articles are not experienced enough to go trough process recommended by wikipedia in such cases
  3. Those who are willing and do it are sometimes faced with obstruction of above mentioned involved administrator(s)
  4. This way administrators could use statistics about articles and administrators who are watching them and focus on articles which are not watched enough or which are watched by administrators who are not skillful, competent or maybe even trustworthy enough (according to their opinion).
  5. Users who are faced (or think they are faced) with serious violations within some articles would be able to approach to such involved administrators more easy than to follow full procedures of going through regular procedure.
  6. Sometimes noninvolved administrators are not acquainted with history of editing of some articles and/or users and it would take them some time to be. Involved administrators would usually be able to easier, faster and often better evaluate some actions.
  7. This way we would reduce a risk of wrong actions performed by uninvolved administrators who are usually less acquainted with history of the article edits and user edits.

Comments are welcome.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 10:44, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

While I know that, since this is the Idea Lab, we're supposed to give positive responses, everything about this idea sounds bad to me. First, watchlists are not public information--it may be that people watch pages, but don't actually want others to know that they watch them. Second, just because an admin doesn't take action to fix a problem, doesn't mean they're approving of the action. I'm not an admin, and I have several thousand pages on my watchlist, which means sometimes I miss things (especially if a bot or another editor edits the page after the problem user). Third, if someone could determine that a page was not on the watchlist of any admins, or only retired admins, or only a small number, then that might indicate that that page is an easier target for vandalism or other inappropriate edits. Finally, you seem to be confused a bit about one point, in that you indicate that you suggest that users should go to an admin watching the page if they have a problem. But what if that admin is an active editor of that page? In that case, the admin is involved, and can't even take any admin actions with regard to that page.
Ultimately, admins aren't really, and shouldn't be responsible for pages. All admins can and should be able to do is to respond to problem users; they can do this if they see it directly and aren't involved, or they can do it indirectly if another editor (admin or not) notifies a relevant noticeboard. This proposal seems to set up admins as if they are responsible for the full content of an article, which is not really within their remand. Qwyrxian (talk) 10:56, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply.
I agree with your statement that "just because an admin doesn't take action to fix a problem, doesn't mean they're approving of the action". That is why I restricted this responsibility to "serious violations of wikipedia policies" which should/could be defined later. My idea does not imply that administrators are responsible for full content of an article, just for acting when faced with serious violations of wikipedia policies, i.e. in articles they watch.
I will interpret your comment like this. I will try to focus on things you did not disagree with (for now). You did not explicitly disagree with me about existence of the problems I wanted to solve with this idea. Also, you did not explicitly disagree with basic concept that administrator could be held responsible for not acting as well as acting in case of ignoring serious violations of the wikipedia policies (like other users could be held responsible if they are ignoring opinion of other users, consensus, questions...). You only disagreed about details of ways how to solve this problems. Please clarify if my interpretation of your comment is right or wrong.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 12:18, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
This ain't the army. Vandalism, POV or generally being a jerk are not yet as far as I'm aware war crimes. More responsibility is the last thing admins need. A major part of the editors here are autistic loners, they are good at developing and looking after Wikipedia. More stress and conflict is the last thing they want. Straightforward ways of removing troublemakers and keeping articles clean would be more useful. That would cause less stress and do the job without talking about responsibility. A much more useful idea of responsibility would be to implement pending changes protection more generally. Dmcq (talk) 12:34, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your comment. I really appreciate your opinion, but still I feel obligation to give it one more try to explain it a little better because I maybe made mistake when I mentioned command responsibility and Medina standard. Please forget that example and don't focus on the details of implementation of this idea, but on the basic concept, that administrators could be, like other users and people in the world, held responsible for not acting, based not only on Medina standard but on Diffusion of responsibility, Good Samaritan Law or Duty to rescue - there are plenty of basic concepts which deal with this problem. In some legal systems it is illegal not to help somebody in dire need. I think that I may say that many articles are bleeding on the sidewalk because they are victims of serious violations of the wikipedia policies, and nobody is helping. Neither simple passengers, nor physicians passing by. That is exactly why in many states it is againts the law for first responders, EMTs, nurses, and doctors to not treat someone in need. It doesnt matter if they are off duty. These health professionals recieve their license from the state and as a condition the state requires that they help those in need regardless of duty status. Failure can result in criminal charges, lawsuits, or loss of license. --Antidiskriminator (talk) 12:53, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Talking about laws and legality is a bit against the spirit of Wikipedia too. There are policies about not a bureaucracy and a major one saying ignore all rules plus another policy about no legal threats. If you don't have nything linke that then the only responsibility is because people want to make a good encyclopaedia. They are responsible to themselves and they need nobody else for that. Dmcq (talk) 13:12, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
You are right about mentioning laws and legality. The only reason why I mentioned it was to illustrate that this concept is not limited to military or government, but also to other people, like doctors. Anyway, thanks for your reply and opinion. --Antidiskriminator (talk) 13:31, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Beyond all that was said, everyone here, admin or not, are volunteers. Noone HAS to do anything. And it's often easy to miss something one one's watchlist, and what sort of standard are you going to give it? Maybe they haven't CHECKED their watchlist since it happened, or they did but got far enough behind they didn't get down to where the problem was....etc etc. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 14:00, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I totally agree with Melodia Chaconne. Everyone is a volunteer and requiring them to do anything at all makes them workers. This is contrary to the views of the project. This also fails on its technical possibilities because, unless we forced all admins to reveal their watchlist tokens, you cannot view their watchlist. I advise you not to bring this to Village pump (proposals). Ryan Vesey (talk) 16:32, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I think that most of comments are aimed on two arguments:
  1. nobody has to be obliged to do anything. - My comment: Users of wikipedia are already held responsible for actions they did not take in case they participate in editing of certain articles, i.e. if they ignore questions of other users and not answering it, ignore consensus, opinion of other users... etc.
  2. technical possibilities. - My comment: I believe that in this moment we should not think about technical possibilities or any other detail of implementation if the main idea is useful for the project.
--Antidiskriminator (talk) 16:57, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, people are held responsible for ignoring questions, etc. but this is after they already 'showed their hand' so to speak. If someone makes a controversial edit to an article, and they ignore talk page chatter, that's one thing. What you're talking about is someone allowing someone ELSE'S actions to stand, not their own. And further more without real proof that they know about it. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 17:56, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I think this would be a good idea in a workplace where people are being paid, but I'm hesitant to stick it to (volunteer) administrators when they didn't react perhaps because they didn't look at every edit on their watchlist or because they didn't get around to it because of whatever is going on in their offline lives. I really don't think it is fair to try to regulate productivity levels of volunteers. I really think that inactivity or slow reactions of administrators shouldn't be identified as a problem; I think it really only becomes a problem when their power is abused.--Jp07 (talk) 17:05, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I will repeat one sentence I wrote explaining my idea: According to this idea every article could have some automatically generated template with list of administrators watching that article and he/she should take an action based on serious violations of wikipedia policies in articles on his/her watch-list within reasonable period of time after it is reported to him/her. and "Further development of this idea could be defining the reasonable period of time..."
That means: Nobody would be held responsible because "they didn't look at every edit on their watchlist or because they didn't get around to it because of whatever is going on in their offline lives." --Antidiskriminator (talk) 17:54, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I have to say that, as an administrator, I think my response to such a rule would be to remove every article from my watchlist.:/ I try to be conscientious of problems, personally, and I truly do support fostering an environment where civic responsibility is expected, but there are articles on my current watchlist on which I am by policy forbidden to take admin action except in the most obvious cases because I am involved with them as an editor and I would really prefer not to be the "go-to" point for any article. I tend to specialize in what I do on Wikipedia (copyright work, mostly) and wouldn't be especially comfortable being called on to answer, say, sock puppetry questions or issues of WP:UNDUE in some of the articles I monitor for copyvios. We have various boards where editors can report issues to a broad group of admins, and I worry that a system of associating admins with particular articles might generate a sense of WP:OWN--if not among the admins, then among the editors who use the lists. Maybe if you want to encourage admins to use their tools under their own initiative more often we could instead consider encouraging a philosophical change among admins by "catching them being good", as they say in parenting sectors? If admins who go above and beyond are noticed for doing so, maybe it would help create a philosophical shift? Or maybe you could clarify what problem you're trying to solve here? Do you think that editors are having difficulty determining where to go currently to report serious violations or that they aren't getting heard at the existing boards? --Moonriddengirl (talk) 18:01, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm also confused by the reporting part. I thought the point of this is that there are vandalized pages people haven't noticed so we'll make admins keep track, thought they're still acting as editors (which I do not think is a great idea). But you seem to be suggesting that users would report and then admins would react to fix it, and this is my problem: If it's just basic vandalism, the reporting user could fix it himself. If it's something an admin needs to deal with, the last people who should deal with the issue are the admins who have the page on their watch list, since they're the ones most likely to be involved in the issue. I also don't see how this would be quicker than the many boards we have for reporting the various issues a page might have. MAHEWAtalk 18:07, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────First of all, thanks for your responses. I will try to deal with your concerns one by one.

  1. some administrators might remove all articles from their watchlist. Yes, that can be a problem. Still, this can be regarded as a technical issue that we could deal with later, if we agree that basic concept of idea is useful.
  2. using of some administrators privileges are restricted in some articles because of the fact that they are involved in editing some article or because there was a decision about it. In this cases administrators, of course, would not held responsible for not taking an action.
  3. There are various boards where editors can report issues to a broad group of admins. Do you think that editors are having difficulty determining where to go currently to report serious violations or that they aren't getting heard at the existing boards? Yes there are various boards, but explaining the issue to a broad group of admins who are not acquainted with the whole picture could be to complicated and connected with certain procedures and discussion process which usually discourage users from doing it (besides few reasons you mentioned yourself). Admins who watch the article (or in some other technical way are informed about its details) should without much explanation understand the situation and take action accordingly. If admin to whom the serious violation is reported do not react within reasonable period of time the issue could be resolved following the existing procedures and administrator who did not act would be held responsible for it. We are not talking about some sort of legal responsibility, of course. But in case that some admins show systematic tendency not to use their rights and act when faced with serious violations of wikipedia policies in certain topical area, i.e. they would not be allowed to use administrative tools in those topical areas.
  4. maybe you could clarify what problem you're trying to solve here. I tried to clarify some problems I believe could be solved or reduced by implementing this idea, when I wrote above about "many reasons why I think this idea might be good". If you read it and still did not understand them, please let me know and I will try to elaborate my idea better.
  5. I also don't see how this would be quicker than the many boards we have for reporting the various issues a page might have. This "report-taking an action process" would be the first initial step in dealing with serious violations of policies of wikipedia, on the way explained two points above. I think that this step would be more efficient and, what is more important, it introduces a new concept to wikipedia. Concept of admins being held responsible if they don't take an action. I think that it would have positive effect because many serious violations of wikipedia policies would be dealt a lot more efficient and admins would take care not to misuse their privileges by not taking an action or taking an action selectivly. --Antidiskriminator (talk) 19:31, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
You are basically proposing that some of our volunteers should be punished if they don't volunteer enough. I think this is a bad idea that is fundamentally incompatible with the notion of a volunteer.
Additionally, there are so many valid reasons for any given individual to not take the kind of action that Antidiskriminator has in mind—the admin will say "I disagree that the reported behavior counts as a serious violation"; "I am still thinking about the best way to respond"; "I have taken action (just not an action that you can see and/or agree with)"; or "I am too busy in real life to deal with this now"—that it would be completely unenforceable. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:21, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
No, I did not mentioned punishment and no I did not say that not taking an action would be a serious violation of wikipedia's policies. --Antidiskriminator (talk) 22:32, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
In this context, "hold responsible" means exactly the same thing as "punish". WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:38, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I understand punishment on wikipedia as block or ban. I did not proposed that but "in case that some admins show systematic tendency not to use their rights and act when faced with serious violations of wikipedia policies in certain topical area, i.e. they would not be allowed to use administrative tools in those topical areas."--Antidiskriminator (talk) 22:41, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

(edit conflict)

Yes, you are right that mind-the-admin could say all those thins you wrote. I brought this idea here because I needed other user's opinion and help to evaluate and develop it in case it is considered useful.
The main point are not technical issues, enforceability or any other detail, but the idea of the Concept of admins being held responsible if they don't take an action which I believe could be very useful if all details about technical, implementation and enforcement issues could be resolved. If not, maybe they could be resolved in future.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 22:53, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
SO your saying that if any administrator doesn't use their tools in a certain area in response to a serious violation, they will not be allowed to use their tools in that area? GB fan (talk) 22:47, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
No, not any. Only those administrators who are acquainted with situation in certain article (i.e. by watching it or some other way we might come up) and approached by other user reporting serious violation of wikipedia polices in that article, but not acting against such report within reasonable period of time.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 22:57, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm astonished that you believe that prohibiting an admin from using (some) admin tools is somehow not a punishment. What exactly do you think it is? A birthday gift? WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:04, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Who would decide if the administrator made the right decision to not use their tools in a specific situation? Two separate administrators can and do come up with ways of handling situations. If one admin decides nothing is warranted and another one disagrees do we punish the one that did nothing because in their judgement use of the tools wasn't necessary. I do not see any way that this will ever work. GB fan (talk) 23:13, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
The action of the admin is not always using the tools. He can act with message to the user who committed serious violation of wiki policies, if it is enough in exact case. Nevertheless, I am talking about serious violations of wikipedia policies which are usually indisputable. As I wrote above, "If admin to whom the serious violation is reported do not react within reasonable period of time the issue could be resolved following the existing procedures" which would determine if there was serious violation or not. And only if there is a "systematic tendency not to use their rights and act when faced with serious violations of wikipedia policies in certain topical area" they would not be allowed to use administrative tools in those topical areas. Not because of one case which maybe could be disputable.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 23:31, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
If the action does not require the use of tools, then there is no need for admin action. Monty845 23:34, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I would argue that it is better for a problem to remain slightly longer, and to have it handled by an admin that is fully comfortable dealing with the issue, then it is to force an admin who may not be as familiar with the particular type of administrative action to handle it just because it came up on a page they deal with. While we do have some jack of all trades admin that represent the full package, to require that to be an admin would create a massive shortage of admins. There are I suspect many admins that prefer not to close complex discussions with contradictory sub discussions with differing levels of support. Many admins do not know how to fully investigate a suspected proxy, how to tweak a heavily nested protected template, or how to fully investigate a subtle case of sock puppetry based on less then obvious behavioral evidence. Again, if they don't feel comfortable handling it, it is much better to wait until either an admin who is comfortable comes along and handles it, or it is referred to someplace where such an admin can be found, but sending something to a notice board doesn't take an admin... Let admins be as involved and responsible as they personally choose, as long as they are not abusing the tools. Monty845 23:34, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Or what if the admin considered him-/herself to be WP:INVOLVED. We could be setting people up to be punished under INVOLVED for taking action and punished under this notion if they don't. If you've got a long history at an article (and people who are watching a page often feel that way), it may be better to let someone who knows nothing about it take any necessary admin actions. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:32, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Depending what you consider abusing the tools. I think that in some cases modern concepts, which are basis for this idea, consider not using the tools as their abuse, as explained above.

The point is not to introduce obligation for admins to close complex discussions when requested by someone, or to deal with anything so complex that it would require assistance of other admins, but to deal with obvious serious violations of wiki policies.

It is obvious that this idea did not met support of involved users. In case that some new user(s) do not support it soon it could be good idea giving it up?--Antidiskriminator (talk) 23:52, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

While it's pretty clear that this is not a well liked idea, I want to clarify something you imputed to me before: I absolutely do not support holding Wikipedia admins for failing to act, in particular because it is absolutely impossible to distinguish "failing to act" from "failing to notice" some particular action. No one is responsible for anything on Wikipedia, except for the edits they, themselves make. Yes, I personally (non-admin) do my best to keep the articles I watch up to at least a minimum standard, although that standard varies widely based on the article. On some articles, for instance, I watch for only one specific thing (like the addition of spam links, or vandalism on school pages); over time I may try to give the article a better polishing, but not necessarily--too many things to do, too little time. In other words, I'm trying to say that it's not the implementation that bothers me, it's the fundamental principle behind it. Qwyrxian (talk) 02:34, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Please understand that I did not fully understand your position when interpreting it and therefore I wrote: "Please clarify if my interpretation of your comment is right or wrong." Thanks for your clarification.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 09:01, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

There comes a point, if one contributes to Wikipedia long enough, when there are far more disincentives to contribute than incentives; the sticks outnumber the carrots. That is why a third of all Admins are inactive -- they no longer edit, not even at the tenuous level of five edits a month. There is no interpretation of this proposal that I can envision which is not some form of a stick. Wikipedia currently has enough of a problem holding on to experienced contributors. -- llywrch (talk) 20:20, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

Taking in consideration that idea I presented here did not met support of any of involved users, not to mention its further development, I popose that somebody close this discussion. I will try to think about another idea that could solve the problems I wanted to solve with this idea. Thanks to all participants in this discussion.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 20:32, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
I have 10,000 pages on my watchlist and I rarely check it these days. Where do I go to be prosecuted? Fences&Windows 17:03, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

No links in the Reference Desk Archives before around July 2006

The problem I'm trying to solve with my idea is that there are no links in the Reference Desk Archives before around July 2006. my idea is to make a bot to go through the archive and add links to the pages. (talk) 00:28, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

Enriching English articles from the local

Resolved: The "Expand from other language" templates already do what is being proposed. Fences&Windows 16:58, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

Dear Wikipedians, this is my first mass discussion in English Wikipedia, though I am a regular contributor to Bangla Wikipedia, have 3800+ edits. So, Hello to everyone!

I've an idea, I don't know whether it is exist or not in English Wikipedia, but I think it can be a good solution to enriching Wikipedia in a greater extent. In some cases, the Local Wikipedia articles, on any LOCAL subjects, are more enriched than of English one. Suppose, the article of Sylheti Nagari is not enriched than of the Bangla one, সিলেটি নাগরী, yet it is a notable subject.

There are some wikipedians, who visit pages, try to enrich them, but in some cases, they don't have enough information or resources. But if we can invite them to the local ENRICHED wikipedia article of the same topic, then they can simply translate them to English and enrich English Wikipedia & that will lead a better enrichment to the other local Wikipedias (because some wikipedians simply translate from English article to the local).

To do so, I think, we can make a NEW TEMPLATE, saying:

This article or paragraph can be enriched better from the Bangla Wikipedia article of "সিলেটি নাগরী".

Here I take "Bangla Wikipedia" and "Sylheti Nagari" as an example. But we can make it in general. We can make the template available for all the Wikipedians: they can add the template to any article or paragraph of an article in English Wikipedia, inviting the next visitor to enrich the article or paragraph from any other enriched local Wikipedia article. Hope we can discuss about it from all the viewpoints, if it seems agreeable, then anybody is welcome to make such a template. Thank you.Mayeenul Islam (talk) 14:14, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Translation. --Izno (talk) 14:40, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
I maybe misunderstood the idea. Did you mean that some bot should compare sizes of the article on and other wikis and if there are articles which are much bigger on other wikipedias, a bot should add a template which should direct readers to look at the article on those wikipedias? --Antidiskriminator (talk) 15:47, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
It can be a bot, but I proposed a manual system. Not comparing the size, but the content's enrichment. Suppose a French Wikipedia article is more enriched than the English Wikipedia article on French Revolution. A French Wikipedia contributor, who visits English Wikipedia, can add such Template to the English Wikipedia article to enrich it with the help of the French one. Thats it. @Antidiskriminator, you got me, except the bot and the size of an article. The measurement should be the "Quality". Thanks.Mayeenul Islam (talk) 19:03, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't understand who and how could compare the quality?--Antidiskriminator (talk) 19:10, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Anybody can judge the quality. The quality can be judged by the Good Article criteria. A reader, who can read both French and English can judge which article (whether the or has the better content. Comparing both articles of & he/she can add the template into the lesser-content-article by indicating that it can be enriched from the other enriched one. But it is not mandetory that the article (reference article) is a GA marked article in that local wikipedia, but it can be well-written, that can be followed.Mayeenul Islam (talk) 20:18, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
[4]--Antidiskriminator (talk) 22:15, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. Thanks very much. That's a good thing, much similar to my idea. But I pose something different. I pose a link of the corresponding article inside the template. Because, general people, who don't use Wikipedia frequently and not familiar with its format and layout, don't know that the corresponding artile can be found on the left pane. That's why I pose the link of the corresponding article inside the template area. Any way, this is a good template. But if it's possible, then we may think of it. Thanks again. :) Mayeenul Islam (talk) 20:22, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
The templates already have that option: {{Expand Bengali|Bengaliarticletitle}}. This means that if you enter the title of the article on the other language Wikipedia after a pipe (|) in the template wikitext it will appear in the template message, e.g. see this edit I just made. Fences&Windows 16:56, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks very much. It is resolved. It is exactly what I proposed. Thanks for your assistance.Mayeenul Islam (talk) 18:39, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Sticky Notes: contributing - for beginners

So the question I mean to ask is: are there any suggestions that could make this sticky notes idea more ready for the proposals page?-Tesseract2(talk) 23:29, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

I think broadly making it easier for readers and newcomers to leave comments without having to engage with wikitext (so some form of Javascript input I guess) is a very good idea. And being able to leave a note attached to a specific section (or even paragraph/sentence/word) should make editorial discussion easier. However, the concern I have with this idea is integration with talk pages, where discussion should take place. I think any comments left should somehow (Javascript? Bot?) be copied across to the talk page. Rd232 talk 09:50, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

Treatise : The Genius of Wikicredentials, Offered by Wikiversity.-- by Gaon Abhinava 21:05, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

This Treatise promotes Freedom of expression, Intelligent discussion is welcome. Please let me know what you think of this idea, so we can work together for it's development. Thanks--Gaon Abhinava 18:23, 24 July 2011 (UTC)


In this Treatise, we will discuss The simplicity, practical effectiveness and limitless Potential of Wikicredentials, which would produce an Educational Utopia, as Wikiversity's Global Genius Innovation. Let us Think without Limitations, Let us Weigh WikiCredentials and Wikiversity on the Scales of our Minds. -- Gaon Abhinava 02:50, 24 July 2011 (UTC)


( Q )

Is the withholding of Free Educational Accredidation a form of Oppression for the Students who Cannot afford Tuition?

( A )

Maybe, maybe not, but they still can't afford tuition. Freedom of Education is a Human right, and I believe Free accredidation should be also. Wikicredentials could ensure that Poverty and economic recession will not effect an individual's opportunity to achieve an Accredited Education. It is no secret that This Idea will Brilliantly Advance the World For Good, with the Freedom of Thought and creative expression.

WikiCredentials would Promote Global Innovation, Co-Operation and Understanding between human cultures.  

Below are the comparisons of Reason that support Wikicredentials..--Gaon Abhinava 02:50, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Advantages, Wikiversity Without accredidation

1) Less Pressure to meet educational demands and time lines for scores and accuracy, this way, fear of failure will not hinder a students learning.

( My Response : Scores and accuracy are the only way to track personal developement, The Mind Advancing from "Level (1)" -to- "Level (2)".... And Wikicreds. could be Fully self-paced, Producing Less pressure and Less "fear of failure".... Fyi, It is impossible to be void of this fear, regardless.) --Gaon Abhinava 03:23, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Dis-Advantages, Wikiversity Without accredidation

1)There is Less motivation to Learn, if there is No Award , and No Accredidation.

2) There would be Less People Learning.

3) It seems to be an Imposed Limitation on The Minds of STUDENTS to NOT give Credentials, or not reward their hard study. Given the fact that Goals, and personal Mind development, would both Increase with the student's Acheivement of WikiCredentials. Every Student's Mind Development would be progressive and measurable, this is obvious, and This freedom of education would produce Enormous Enthusiasm among students and teachers alike.

--Gaon Abhinava 03:23, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Advantages, WikiCredentials Offered by Wikiversity.

1) Anyone with sustained Internet access can earn the Equivalent of an associates, bachelors etc...

2)The world may be become a difficult place in the future, to try and physically go to college by way of transportation. Wikicredentials would make earning an educational degree easier in the events of " sheltering in place " and " lack of tuition ". etc...

3) The students and Teachers at Wikiversity could closely moniter and edit the educational material, making sure it is accurate and promotes the well being of students. ( free from malicious, historical information distortion, or manipulation ) This would make Wikicredentials and Wikiversity more appealing, and more Attended by the mass populace of humans.

4) Your own personal Wikicreds. Can be Fully customizable, and Fully Self-paced upon your request, Based upon your Preference, Interests and Mental Capacity.--Gaon Abhinava 03:23, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Dis-advantages, WikiCredentials Offered by Wikiversity.

1) It may take away the profits from colleges and Institutions, being that they are very expensive and Wikicredentials are Free to earn......

( This is Dis-advantages for Them, Not the students, Wikiversity could be an educational Utopia, Conveniently Saving Students Time and Thousands of Dollars, obviously Wikicreds. will have great economic effect, among other effects. )--Gaon Abhinava 03:23, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

The Advent of WikiCredentials ( Wikicreds. )


Hello Friends, Teachers and Fellow Students, My name is Gaon, and I firmly believe Wikiversity should include " WikiCredentials " ( WikiCreds ) upon the completion of Testing courses. This would inspire Millions around the world to learn and challenge our societies present accredidation system... and change our culture's perception of credentialism. It is time for freedom of thought to Flourish, where anyone can learn and be accredited, regardless of age, mental capacity, location, economic status or the inability to pay tuition. Wikiversity could rival and surpass the Best education available, If we have the desire and diligence to fulfill this Grand Vision........

it would be The Most Good for the Most People, Literally, Billions of people. Do we have what it takes to fulfill this expansive, innovative and BOLD endeavor?

Kind regards, Intelligent Discussion Welcomed.

Sincerely --Gaon Yincang Abhinava (talk) 21:28, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

Questions and Answers

( Q )

What does "credential" mean to you? What does "WikiCredential" mean to you? What do you consider to be the differences and similarities between "credential" and "WikiCredential"? -- darklama  15:56, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

( A )

Wikicredentials would be the equivalent of Bachelors,Associates, Masters and Docters degrees, Along with Re-Certifications and continuing education amongst the many Skills that exist in the Global workforce.

The Similarities between Credentials and WikiCredentials = They are both Evidence or testimonials concerning one's right to credit, confidence, or authority.

The Differences Between Credentials and WikiCredentials = WikiCreds are Free to earn by effort, Traditional Credentials cost thousands of dollars. --Gaon Yincang Abhinava (talk) 21:30, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

( Q )

Would something like Wikimaster on wikieducator fit the bill?Leutha 17:00, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

( A )

Yes, Wikimasters can earn WikiCreds. also, it is Continuing education. Anybody in the world can earn WikiCreds.... if they have determination, time, and internet access. --Gaon Yincang Abhinava (talk) 21:30, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

The Establishment of WickiCredentials

We need to raise awareness of this idea, and determine if we will get a great return on this investment. This is a team effort, and strategic plans can be Formulated to construct it's Genesis --Gaon Yincang Abhinava (talk) 21:30, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

What Do do You Think About WikiCredentials? Intelligent Discussion Welcome.

--Gaon Yincang Abhinava (talk) 21:30, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

Changing the orange "You have new messages" box

User talk:Dcharris1 claims to have not seen the box due to editing a section, which is theoretically why he did not respond to any warnings. Would sticking a "position:fixed" on usermessage be a good idea? --Σ talkcontribs 20:49, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Ambassadors program for page improvement

Is there a way to suggest page fixes to students as part of the Ambassadors program that gets them to work on Wikipedia? I made a comment on Talk:Message_passing about this. If the efforts can be directed via suggestions, may help. History2007 (talk) 08:52, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

Welcoming new IP users

How hard would it be to send a welcome message to each new IP user, creating their talk page if necessary? Downsize43 (talk) 11:45, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

No, because most vandals have redlinked talk pages. --Σ talkcontribs 20:49, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
1. This does not answer my question.
2. Does anyone seriously believe that any new IP user with no talk page is a potential or actual vandal?
3. What is wrong with a friendly welcome to someone whose first edit appears to be (or definitely is) vandalism? Downsize43 (talk) 05:40, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
It would be easy, but redlinked talk pages are helpful when fighting vandalism. I don't know about you, but in my months of anti-vandalism activity, a redlinked talk page would receive extra review from me. --Σ talkcontribs 05:57, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree with sigma's point, but there may be a way to eat our cake and have it, too. I think a user talk page with no posts by the user, that is either only warnings, or requests that are ignored, would be at useful, or even more useful than simply a red linked page. It would require the addition of some sort of flag, but then we could welcome people semi-automatically, and not lose the information value of a page unedited by a user. (Remeber, we are in the developing ideas page, not the proposal page.)--SPhilbrickT 18:16, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
I think it'd be a good idea, and should be easy to implement, and the advantages outweigh the problems. However, I do believe that a sizable contingent of people think that an automated welcome message is derisory and actually insulting. I don't agree, but you do hear that. I don't think it'd be possible to push this through. Herostratus (talk) 19:51, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
In my limited experience a substantial number of IP users do make useful contributions to existing articles. What they do after that is totally unknown, but for those who return with the same IP address an automated welcome is surely better than nothing, and may encourage some of them to either become registered users or to continue to make useful contributions from the IP address. I envisage something like the following in the welcome message: "Your recent edit to Article shows you have an interest in the topic. Other editors with a similar interest may wish to contact you (anonymously) to discuss the topic. Please respond on the Discussion tab of the article if you are interested in further sharing of information."Downsize43 (talk) 00:59, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

Please see Wikipedia:Perennial proposals#Use_a_bot_to_welcome_new_users. This has been talked about for years. Also, someone was doing some work on new user experience a few months ago, and personalized (non-bot) welcoming was part of it. Does anyone know what happened with that experiment? WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:13, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

I made a hash of my support of sigma's core idea. I intended to suggest that if we had some sort of flag, indicating that a user talk page had either no posts at all, or no posts other than bot messages, possibly even no posts by the user, would provide useful information to vandal patrollers. If we had such a flag, then one of the primary criticism of the bot welcome approach would become moot. I accept that the concern is valid, but if we address the concern, then we can debate the other issues (is a bot message better or worse than nothing?)--SPhilbrickT 22:55, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

midrash of a book

Imagine that authors want to put the full text of their books online. They'd want to annotate it with footnotes and so on. But imagine *others* annotating it as well. One way to do it would be to have comments added to the bottom, like with a blog. But any bits of wisdom would be very hard to find. What would be more practical would be an editable midrash <> of the book.

What you'd see would be each page of the book with some sort of marker (like a tiny footnote indicator) where a note has been added. Readers could easily ignore the comments and simply read the book. But for those interested in the comments, maybe the notation expands when the mouse hovers or clicks on the marker. Or maybe the notes are alongside, like in Martin Gardner's "Annotated Alice." And, of course, the notes would be addable and editable. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Seidensticker (talkcontribs) 06:32, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

If an author wants to post their book online and to avoid tampering thereafter, I'd suggest using something comparable to Project Gutenberg. Regards, RJH (talk) 22:45, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
FWIW, Wikibooks does publish some original books with annotations; see Wikibooks:Wikibooks:Annotated texts. They might be a good home for this kind of project, depending on the nature of the text. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 20:46, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Live update of articles and watchlists

This is my first time on the Village Pump, and I'm here to propose a new idea (incidentally, is this the right place to post this?) My idea is that instead of the need to refresh the page, automatic updates of the page would happen. It would mean that any changes to an article would mean that anyone viewing the page would immediately recieve the new changes. When an area get updated, the selected area becomes highlighted into yellow (temporarily), and there will be options next to the edit which would allow links to the users talk page, and the link to the undo function. As well as that, I propose it also be extended to all users watchlist, so therefore whenever an edit happens to a watched page the watchlist would automatically update, with the update being highlighted. This would facilitate people who edit pages frequently, or people who watch many articles. I believe this would help Wikipedia. General Rommel (talk) 09:17, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

Just get Firefox's "reload-every" add-on. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 09:21, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for your idea, but the point is that a user wouldn't need to refresh a page, the page would update itself (something similar to Facebook) (and not everyone has Firefox). And I forgot to mention, the feature would have a toggle at the top for people who don't want the page to update automatically. General Rommel (talk) 09:46, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
This would need default to off as it would be too disruptive with existing vandalism and would incentivize more. The technical part is rather very difficult. We've had some code ported from daisydiff (see mw:Visual Diff), but it this was eventually removed. If you are in a computer science major, you'll find the challenge a great place to cut your teeth on.
The watchlist part it easy and I wouldn't be surprised to find that someone wrote the user-script already. — Dispenser 11:55, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
If someone has indeed written a user script for the automatic updating of user watchlists, perhaps it should be rolled out to all users by default. I do see the technical challenges of such an undertaking (I have no knowledge of programming though), but something similar to Pending Changes can be implemented in such a case here where a user believes vandalism is a major issue where possible. General Rommel (talk) 23:00, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
I am eager for some input into the issue. General Rommel (talk) 07:39, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
Not really what you were asking about, but User:Yair rand/watchlistnotifications.js gives watchlist desktop notifications of new changes for Chrome users. --Yair rand (talk) 03:43, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

I really like the sound of that, and it sounds like a very modern version of a wiki (considering Wikipedia's formatting and whatnot is sort of stuck in the past). I do think there should be some parameters. For example, that it would automatically update with accepted users (you know, the accepted revisions), but not with anons. I absolutely love the part about highlighting the altered paragraph. This could be great for articles on the main page. Lesser-edited pages wouldn't be affected much by their very nature. I like it overall. ♫ Hurricanehink (talk) 18:11, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

I hate websites that reload automatically. They invariably reload just as I'm reading something interesting, and what I want to read or click on is always delayed and sometimes missing because of the reload. I don't mind if the feature exists, but I'd definitely want it turned off by default. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:04, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
I agree. It's annoying fora website to think it knows better than you. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 00:11, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
That is why there should be a togle on/off button. General Rommel (talk) 03:03, 5 August 2011 (UTC)


you should make a website which tells the original temperature of the city ! because many websites are showing different different temperatures it make us confuse ! if you create wiki weather then all users can check the real weather because they trust you ! your sincerely Muzammil Wahid ! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:19, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

Wikinews had n:Template:Weather World C. I assume the bot stopped as it was just copying data from the NOAA website. Also, I'm doubtful if crowd-sourcing would bring anything useful to efforts done already by NOAA. Presumably somebody would've already done something if they thought it was. — Dispenser 12:59, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

Reference namespace

Commons uses a custom namespace, Creator: to organise its "Creator" templates (Commons:Help:Namespaces#custom). There have been previous discussions about having a Reference: namespace; the last comprehensive one I can find is from 2007, here. French Wikipedia has a Reference namespace (eg fr:Référence:1066, l'histoire secrète de la tapisserie de Bayeux). So... has this been discussed recently?

Because personally, I'd love to be able to move references out of the main wikitext of an article, to (a) simplify things within an article (cite templates in the ludicrous one-parameter-per-line format are a particular bugbear) and (b) centralise across articles, eg to make it easier to reuse references in related articles. I'm not sure if this is the best solution, but it's a relatively simple one to do (alternatives involve far, far more development work). The biggest issue I can see is the need to figure out a naming scheme, and the related need to be able to easily find existing references to avoid duplication (categories, lists?). Anyway, just wondering if there are any recent debates or new thoughts on this general issue as well as on this specific solution. Rd232 talk 14:11, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

{{cite web}} and the like don't have to be setup one field per line, you know... Juliancolton (talk) 15:10, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
And yet... all too frequently... :( Rd232 talk 15:20, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
That's not something you could fix simply by adding the option to have centralized citations, because the format of citations and references are still voluntarily decided by the main contributors... :/
That said, I can recall it being discussed somewhat recently, within the past year or two.
As for part A, you can solve that just as efficiently using WP:LDR, imo. --Izno (talk) 17:38, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
Tucking away the citation body in Reference: would be compatible with any citation style/format. Rd232 talk 18:20, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
WP:LDR helps but it's not something people tend to use that much. Is there a tool to convert an article (using some form of footnote referencing system) to LDR? Rd232 talk 18:24, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
User:PleaseStand/References segregator maybe? Cogitating (talk) 04:14, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
Wow, thanks! That's brilliant. How have I never heard of this?? Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)#User:PleaseStand.2FReferences_segregator. Rd232 talk 21:59, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Heving spent a lot of the past few weeks doing little gnomish things on articles which sometimes appear to be 90% references to 10% prose, I actually find the one-parameter-per-line references mu easier to edit around, and pull the prose out of. It makes it dead easy, in the edit window, to see what's inside the ref and what's outside it. WikiEd helps, with the pretty colours etc., but just occasionally WikiEd highlights / lowlights prose too. Anything which helps other editors to differentiate between the prose and the references will be immensely helpful. Pesky (talkstalk!) 09:50, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
Referring to the initial comment here, I have a third suggested potential need for the Reference: namespace. (c) To facilitate the system-wide management of references/citations and the related discussions concerning reliability, verifiability, multiple translations/publications, and to help systematize the process of making WP a deep, well-connected tertiary source. Mattsenate (talk) 03:18, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

ArbCom reform essays

These two essays build on earlier discussions on how the Arbitration Committee could be reformed. Comments welcome.

PhilKnight (talk) 16:34, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

I think that it's a good idea for ArbCom to be looking at dividing (within the Committee) and delegating (outside the Committee) some of the tasks it now has. Too much of what ArbCom currently does has fallen to it by default, because there has been nobody else to do it. My biggest suggestion would be to look at such issues in the context of the leaked e-mails: what has ArbCom been doing in private that doesn't really fall into the category of what we generally consider to be arbitration, where the community presents the Committee with an intractable conduct problem, the Committee examines the evidence presented to it, and issues a binding decision intended the put the matter to rest. I'd like to see the Committee, as a whole, be focused on just that. Other things, which I think tend to be either investigation (searching for evidence that is not evidence placed before the Committee by the community), or human resource management (all kinds of sensitive issues that cannot be handled publicly, but which are not arbitration), ought to be gradually outsourced to other parts of the Wikimedia communities. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:10, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Two flavors of "Criticism" sections in articles

I just had an idea as I was looking at the Omega Point article. I had a criticism of the theory as it was originally written, but it was supportive of the theory, rather than a refutation of it. Where a criticism reaches roughly the same conclusion as the article under discussion, we might formalize this as a "Constructive Criticism:", deserving it's own section header, as opposed to a criticism which reaches a different conclusion, or acts as a refutation of the conclusion given, would then be a ("Destructive Criticism"?), also with its own section header. This answers a lot of questions concerning the fairness of articles in which criticism is either:

  • seen to be entirely absent
  • is "damned by faint praise" and an abundance of destructive criticism
  • has criticism included, but exclusively of the "constructive" sort, as a sort of "weasel" fulfillment of criteria, or article critique on the talk page
  • probably a few other cases others may have more insight and experience with

Such a change in how articles are constructed, or in policies, would be rather massive in their scope, but could be implemented rather gradually. I get the feeling that building consensus on the details of implementation will be the larger part of any effort here. So is it then worthy of the effort? The bullet points I have seem to point out the gains categorically, but does it add up to enough in terms of total problems with articles? -- TheLastWordSword (talk) 14:43, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

  • You have raised a major point, about keeping reactions in article text balanced for WP:NPOV. There might be some WP essays about the proper critique of issues in articles, but I would encourage others to write more WP essays, or talk about them, such as naming an article section header with the word "Controversies" rather than "Criticism". There are several common headers used in relation to this topic, such as "Media reaction" or "Response" or "Cultural influence" and those terms should be recommended, where they fit the subject. Overall, this is a great topic, as a topic for writing broader WP essays, and continue to discuss these issues with new users. See also essay: "WP:Avoiding POV funnels". -Wikid77 (talk) 02:29, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

An idea which will help us identify which redirect pages will be most helpful.

I notice that, when you do a Wikipedia search for an article that does not exist, Wikipedia takes you to a "search results" page -- e.g., a search for "dog walk" takes you to this page.

Now, suppose that the Wikipedia software kept track of which article in the list people click on at this point.

Further suppose that, periodically, the Wikipedia software produces a report based on this data -- identifying those instances where (1) a particular nonexistent article name is frequently searched for and (2) people then frequently click on a particular exiting article in the search results list, e.g. "dog walking."

This report should be made visible to Wikipedia editors, as a list of "suggested redirects". At this point, nothing more should be done automatically. The editors will look at the list and use their common sense in deciding whether to create the redirects. In many cases they will not, e.g. in the case of "dog walk," since there are actually many other potential target articles for that phrase.

And there you go, that's my proposal. Where this innovation will really shine is in the cases where articles have common alternative names, or common misspellings.

I can only anticipate two minor hangups. First, if we have a "suggested redirect" list lying around, won't there be some dumb shmuck who just creates every redirect, no matter how inappropriate? Perhaps... But I think there are ways to design the list to make sure that the community can remove bad proposals from the list to prevent this from happening -- e.g., if the list gets generated to a wiki-style page, editors can manually delete the bad proposals. No harm is really done if too much caution is shown in this regard.

The second hangup is that our search algorithm isn't any good. A query produces a whole lot of articles that are poorly related to the search term; what if readers are just clicking indiscriminately on the first article? I don't think this is really a problem because editors will use their judgment in creating redirects.

I have been on Wikibreak for about a year and I unfortunately need to stay on my Wikibreak ... so if somebody likes this idea and would like to run with it, I invite them to do so. I probably won't even be able to check this page again. Thanks. Andrew Gradman talk/WP:Hornbook 07:59, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

In order to create a 'Top 10 Searches' report, the server would need to record the search string every time someone presses the search button. One thing to consider is the extra load this would put on servers, assuming it's not being done already. Another thing is we need to be careful to preserve user privacy, so nothing which can identify the person doing the search should be recorded. Even so, the privacy policy might need to be updated since we would be collecting data that's not already be covered. I don't think storage space would be a problem since we don't need an entire archive, just enough of a sample to make the results meaningful. It would be better to store the data separately for reporting so server load is not affected by reporting. Once the data is collected the report shouldn't be too hard, we already do more complex reports involving page visit counts. The biggest risk is that we may create the report and learn that searches don't follow any useful pattern. In your example, someone searching for 'dog walk' may be looking for an article on dog walking or they may be looking for an article on how dogs walk, or they want the complete list of all articles that use the words dog and walk. That's assuming they actually meant to type 'dog walk' and not 'fog walk' or 'dog talk'. On the other hand the report may turn up something completely unexpected which is more useful than creating redirect pages. So it's hard to say if the benefit will be worth the effort it takes without doing most of the work.--RDBury (talk) 20:26, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

How to solve our Feedback response (or lack thereof) problem

Every day, 10-20 editors, usually new editors, fresh-faced and brimming with the excitement of their first Wikipedia page, come to the Feedback page to ask for feedback. Over half get no response. Totally ignored. What are the odds that such an editor will continue to contribute? Example: August 2, August 3, August 4 I see many editors concerned that we aren't getting enough new editors. Well, here they are, and we are ignoring them.

This is the forum for ideas. Anyone have any?--SPhilbrickT 22:14, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

This is likely to be stupid (or at the very least annoying) but you can get administraitors to look at it.General Rommel (talk) 03:09, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
Actually, I should say that Administrators should be given the additional responsibility to look at the feedback page. General Rommel (talk) 07:53, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Sphilbrick that this is a problem, actually I think it is a wider problem, there is a similar lack of response in WP:Editor review, it seems that a lot of editors are unwilling to review other's work or behavior for whatever reason (I include myself in that category). Personally, I will try to review in those area's more often. Perhaps there should be a more concerted effort to review requests by new contributors, leaving those unreviewed is a missed opportunity to encourage those editors to contribute more. Quasihuman | Talk 09:20, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Suggestion - Use polite feedback-response templates: I know how templating of users can be seen as "too robotic" in many cases, but if a few clever feedback-response templates could be developed, then it could be faster/easier to focus new users into related areas. For example,
  • {{Feedback-ads}} - saying, "You might be seeking to market new commercial products but that is not allowed on WP due to non-profit status ...yada-yada...".
  • {{Feedback-projects}} - saying, "You seem ready to join a WP:Wikiproject to work with editors sharing similar interests..."
  • {{Feedback-RS}} - saying, "Your editing needs to include more WP:RS (reliable sources) due to the type of details you are adding to articles. See essays: WP:... and WP:Suggested sources. . . .".
  • {{Feedback-delay}} - saying, "I see you have been waiting 2/3/4 days for a response, but other editors might be too distracted to give adequate feedback to you now. In your case, you might try...".
On balance, a templated message is often preferable to waiting "3 days" with no feedback at all, when a new user could easily imagine how 143,000 active editors might have a few thoughts for a fellow editor. Of course, using close-knit feedback would be preferable, in an ideal world, but no response in 3 days begins to look callous, demeaning, or even heartless, like saying, "Just call me and I'll answer" but don't. As noted above, many admins have a better idea of the templated-response shortcuts, but we need an essay "WP:Accelerating feedback to users" (or such) with suggestions to make the process faster. Remember, even vandals have been reformed to become anti-vandal members of Wikipedia, so using carefully-worded, feedback-response templates might send the feedback faster, while adding extra encouragement text to sway users into the mainstream efforts. Otherwise, providing feedback to many new users could become burnout-tedious, or abrupt-snarky, due to non-templated responses being so difficult to craft for the new-user mindset. Does anyone have such an essay, a list of templated-messages, or a list of typical responses which could be crafted into feedback-response templates? -Wikid77 (talk) 03:23, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

Just a thought. Could feedback templates be created more efficiently by using feedbacki responses found in archive? Maybe the responses can be catagorised for easy use. Not bad for a Noobie ;) Logistical One (talk) 23:07, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

Essay, seeking feedback

I've been working on User:Tryptofish/Arguments to avoid in image deletion discussions. Feedback prior to moving it into the mainspace would be welcome (there, rather than here). Thanks! --Tryptofish (talk) 19:54, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

I am, admittedly, not an expert on Wikipedia's non-free content policy, but I am interested in that area of copyright law, and all of this seems like very good advice especially when discussing NFCC areas. I would perhaps add more about other arguments often seen that do not add to the discussion. One that comes to mind is merely "it enhances a reader's understanding" that's the equivalent of saying "it's notable" in an AfD discussion, it adds no real support to your side of the discussion. That would be the most important one I think you missed, other than that, very well done. HominidMachinae (talk) 03:52, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Nice. I wrote a similar essay Wikipedia:Arguments to avoid in non-free image discussions which probably should be merged into your essay. PhilKnight (talk) 16:19, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, both of you. I'm going to copy these comments to User talk:Tryptofish/Arguments to avoid in image deletion discussions. And Phil, I didn't even know that your essay already existed! (blush) --Tryptofish (talk) 16:50, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Reminder in searching project essays/guidelines: Try to run more searches, to find the latest information, such as with Special:Prefixindex:
Also, use the left-margin "search" box with namespace "Wikipedia" and search for "arguments" or whatever. Of course, this does not find the in-progress user-space essays, so perhaps encourage people to move essays into the "WP:" prefix sooner. -Wikid77 (talk) 02:43, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
Good pointer, thanks. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:40, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

MoodBar data: can we make use of this?

So, as I've mentioned at Wikipedia talk:Welcoming committee#A new method of outreach?, I am in possession of some data (mwahaha) from the new mw:MoodBar (which is visible only to new editors). In a nutshell, they're asked to rate their feelings about editing and given the opportunity to say something about it. I've got a list of users who were confused or unhappy with editing and their comments about why.

I'm wondering if there's any way for us to use this data to reach out to new contributors with assistance--targeted welcome notices? Perhaps treating it like a {{help me}}? I know from my recent meetings with staff that they hope that human contact from other volunteers at this crucial point can help newcomers transition into successful editors. That seems plausible to me.

The data in the table I have was transformed into wikitext (imperfectly) by excel2wiki. It seems to me that we ought to be able to get it formatted better for us from the get-go, including possibly linking to the usernames to facilitate response, if this seems like something the community thinks is a good use of time. (This, by the way, is kind of bridging my roles as liaison and my interests as a volunteer. As a volunteer, I'm always very interested in mentorship opportunities. :)) --User:Moonriddengirl/Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 16:31, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

I see a lot of "confused" and a handful of "sad" responses, but zero "happy" ones. Does this mean that none of the respondents said they were happy, or did you filter out those responses?
Also, you might consider whether an "angry" response would be useful. A basic division of emotions is glad, sad, mad, and afraid. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:58, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Happy to say I filtered them out. :) There were quite a few happy people. I'll mention the angry option to the developers. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 19:42, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
Heh. I'm here, and watching. We decided not to use "angry" because it has a much more negative connotation than we would like to support, btw. -- (talk) 19:54, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
(Crap. This ^ was me; I was pretty sure I was logged in.) --Jorm (WMF) (talk) 16:43, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
I didn't read them all, as it's a lot, but... it does look like quite a few actually are requests for help. If we are going to ask them for this sort of feedback, we should make it so that it can be easily followed up on by willing experienced editors. Asking for it, and then letting it drop may just make people even angrier (term chosen deliberately). LadyofShalott 22:29, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
It seems to me that linking to user pages would be an immediately useful thing, to make it simpler for people to respond. Somebody on IRC recommended that we ask them specifically if there is something they want assistance with, and I can see that would be helpful, but I also see a potential danger there--exactly as you say, User:LadyofShalott. If we ask and don't do, we run an even greater risk of alienating people. Hmm. I wonder if the MoodBar can offer feedback for confused or angry people suggesting they use the {{helpme}} function to get a volunteer to their talk pages? I believe that system is still pretty functional. Or do you (that is, anyone) think if we generated a clickable table people would actually respond to it? --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 13:17, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
We have a planned, interactive dashboard that will facilite responding to people as they leave comments in a stream. We just haven't had the resources to begin working on it yet, and we want to make sure that the data is actually useful before assigning them.--Jorm (WMF) (talk) 16:43, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

Article Comparisons

Recently, I've noticed myself more and more frequently having two or more of Wikipedia's pages open for comparisons. I figured I can't be the only person who uses this site to compare similar entities, so for a while now, I've thought that adding some sort of "Compare" feature to the site would be useful.

Ideally, there would either be a "Compare" link in the sidebar, or a button at the top of eligible pages. These pages, depending on what supercategory (I added the super- prefix because I noticed that no articles seem to fall into broad categories like "food", "movie", or "businessperson") they belong to, would have certain bits of data associated with them. Take a movie, for example. It would have things like "Director", "Producer", "Budget", etc... After clicking the "Compare" button, then selecting a second article using an incremental search feature (this search could, perhaps, be filtered based off of the category or categories of the first article), a page containing a table would be presented to the user. The table would have columns for each article being compared, and rows for each attribute.

I know this would be easy to implement in a personal, non-networked project, with the most difficult part being the addition of the attributes to every article, but I have no idea if the difficulty compounds when accounting for servers and multiple users.

Anyway, I posted this idea here to see if it was even possible and, if so, if it would be appealing to the general Wikipedia public, so any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Danke Schön! Br3k (talk) 03:29, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

There's a toolserver tool somewhere that does that. --Σ talkcontribs 00:30, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
tools:~dcoetzee/duplicationdetector/ and Special:ComparePages. Neither of them are as graphical as what's described, but that's not likely going to happen until daisy diff is properly ported to PHP by somebody. — Dispenser 18:59, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Template Request Page

Hello, I propose that a page be created where users can request templates. This way, those who are knowledgeable in the topic can help fulfill the need quickly. For example, on White House FBI files controversy the page needs an infobox created for all "US Political Conspiracies" however there is no easy way to get help for this task (other than doing it yourself). I think a request page like this would be beneficial. Comments, suggestions? Don4of4 [Talk] 22:55, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

You can use the template wizard at WP:WIZ/TEMPLATE. Regards, Nathan2055talk - review 23:40, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
Scratch that, you can go to requested templates at WP:RT. Regards, Nathan2055talk - review 23:41, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
Oh... Thanks! For some reason my wiki and google search did not yield this result. Don4of4 [Talk] 23:48, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

More use of crosslink pages

This topic concerns pages which choose among related ideas, rather than among identical titles. At some point, dab pages (WP:Disambiguation pages) became treated as branches based on nearly identical titles, although many people have also listed titles which contain some, but not all, of the identical words. For example, "San Francisco" (in disambiguation) can be a saint's name, a city, an island, or a lake, etc. The dab pages have been focused on choosing subjects by same title, rather than same related ideas (which have different titles). I expanded this notion with crosslink pages, which link to pages with similar ideas, rather than similar titles. An example of a crosslink page would be "John Doe (crosslink)" which would list generic names "John Doe", "Jane Doe", "John Q. Public", "Average citizen", "Anonymous" and perhaps "Unknown soldier" or "Kilroy was here" as pages related to the idea of generalized, placeholder names for people. One problem with these types of crosslink pages is trying to focus on which ideas are connecting the various pages listed on each crosslink page. When I saw the numerous "Outline of <nation>" pages (example: Outline of Kenya), then I also considered them as a type of crosslink page, where the connecting idea is not a special concept such as "generic people names" but rather, any article related to major aspects of a nation's typical description. In a sense, a list-format article is also a type of crosslink page, but regimented to present page titles in a linear list, as compared to the "Outline-of-<nation>" pages, which link the related pages in an outline-format, with various subsections and sub-subsections. Also, crosslink pages link more than synonyms, because the relationships between pages can be roughly connected, rather than having almost the same meaning, as with synonyms. I am mentioning these uses of crosslink pages, as an ongoing idea to consider, to look beyond the strict mindset of the dab pages, which have listed pages with identical titles, rather than listing pages about similar (or related) ideas. Using linguistic terms, the dab pages focus on the syntax of titles (as identical spellings), whereas the crosslink pages can focus on the semantics of titles (or contents) for each page being linked. -Wikid77 (talk) 02:00, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

You give the example of John Doe... if you go to the bottom of that article you see it is in the category "Anonymity pseudonyms" and visiting there you can see pages of a similar nature. So I guess my quibble with your idea is that categories already go some way to meeting your desire. And as you say, there's also the "List of X topics" pages, for example List of biology topics. I'm pretty sure I've also seen dab pages where the page begins by listing pages of similar title but go on to have a See Also section where the articles are related to the idea but have article titles that are dissimilar. --bodnotbod (talk) 08:11, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia: The Automated Encyclopedia!

Greetings fellow users!

I love Wikipedia but isn't it about time it was more automated?

1: Article Creation

When creating an article, you select what kind of article it's about; Song, Film, Person, Country, Type of Food, Company etc. This will create the correctly associated Infobox for you on the page and any other standard headings like See also, External links etc. To add and edit infomation for the Infobox, you select "edit" and a pop-up window appears over the page while dimming the one behind. You then simply fill the empty boxes next to each heading (like when you sign-in) and the ones with infomation will then appear on the Infobox in the article. If say you wanted to put in a website address, you would only need to put in "", with the "http://" prefix automated for you.

2: Language Associated Article

When creating/editing an article, you have the option to select what language it should be associated with. So say I associated the Australia article with "Australian English", any words like "color" or "aluminum" would be detected causing a note to appear, asking users to change them to the correctly associated language; which is "colour" and "aluminium" for Australian English.

That's just two examples but I could go on some more but a movie is about to start heh! AnimatedZebra (talk) 13:06, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

Yes a basic outline may help, but if you subdivide it by topics you could potentially end up with a huge list of templates for every possible topic. Maybe you could do something at the WikiProject level with links to auto-generate specific article types based on the topic?
You have to be a little careful about "aluminium": there is a policy about the spelling convention at WP:MOSCHEM. RJH (talk) 20:30, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

The first paragraph should always be aimed at a 6-7 year old

Einstein was famous for saying "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough". His estimation was that "if you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself". None of Wikipedias pages reflect this kind of wisdom, at this point (none).

The reality is you can describe something in infinitely more complicated ways, you cannot necessarily explain something in an infinitely simpler way.

I recommend revising every single Wikipedia page, with a short one-two-or-three sentence paragraph, aimed at 6-7 year olds.

It is a function of the desire to remember something, to have it explained simply. ( (talk) 09:31, 4 July 2011 (UTC))

That seems to be apocryphal, it seems to be based on a similar remark by Rutherford about explaining things to a barmaid. However Einstein did say 'Make things as simple as possible, but not simpler.' The general principle on technical articles is to aim the lead at one level below the target reader for the straightforward bits. I do not see that aiming lower than that would improve Wikipedia. Dmcq (talk) 17:48, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Encyclopedias are not written for the average 6-7 year old. Simple Wikipedia, however, is. → ROUX  17:51, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Not exactly. Simple English is a variant of English that uses simplified, highly regularized grammar constructions and a limited vocabulary for people who are not native English speakers. A six-year-old native speaker would not accept "100 childs go to the school", but this is apparently correct in SE. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:29, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Dear God, please tell me you are joking. The way to teach people whose English isn't good is not to teach them bad English. Fucking hell. → ROUX  18:37, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
It is certainly not correct. It is an error that needs fixing. If you post the link to the article containing that phrase, I'll go fix it now, myself. LadyofShalott 18:45, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
I must say that this is the most ludicrous thing I've ever heard. Childs is not a word, and I have to agree with Roux here, dumbing down english is not the way to teach people who don't have a good grasp of english. Steven Zhang The clock is ticking.... 11:36, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Rule 1: "Make plurals with an -s on the end of the word." (Standard spelling changes associated with it, like -es or -ies is permitted, but irregular plurals, like geese and children, are apparently not. Simple English appears to have "childs" and "gooses".) WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:23, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
In case anyone is trying to find definitive answer: I'm not an expert, and I could be wrong. (I sincerely hope that I'm wrong.) But I have actually looked for something to contradict this application of the rule to irregular plurals, and I haven't found it. In the meantime, you might try using the grammatically correct and Simple-approved "boys and girls" whenever you'd normally use "children".) WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:11, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I must agree with Dmcq and Roux: aiming for a comprehension level of six-year-olds is too low a bar. LadyofShalott 17:54, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Journalists often talk about trying to write for 5th graders. It doesn't always happen in practice, but I think it's a good goal. One article in particular that's not written for 5th graders and that concerns me is economy. I could not make it past the first sentence; technical articles like that definitely need to be knocked down a few reading levels. The goal of expository writing should be to inform, not to make yourself sound smart. There is a time and a place for "vocabulary words," but there really shouldn't be more than about three of these in a sentence if we're aiming to educate. People don't look up words when they're reading; they just don't.--Jp07 (talk) 17:58, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
"People don't look up words when they're reading; they just don't" - speak for yourself, please. → ROUX  18:13, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
That was meant to be a hyperbole. I do realize that some people do utilize a dictionary, but it certainly is more taxing when you have to look up every other word in an article, and not everyone is motivated when it comes to reading. The fact that you're a Wikipedia editor suggests that you're interested in reading and writing, but not everyone is. Let's try to be amicable.--Jp07 (talk) 19:18, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
The 6-7 age range is silly and arbitrary. Some are more advanced than others and some less so. The general principle should be 6th grade, which most or all articles currently meet (except perhaps some technical or scientific topics) not 6 years old. --Kumioko (talk) 20:48, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
So we should be emulating Britannica Junior, which targets ages 5–11? That seems an unreasonable goal. The Encyclopedia Britannica is aimed at ages 18+, which is more feasible. Regards, RJH (talk) 16:46, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Let us also remember that WP is uncensored and there are things in here not appropriate for little kids and that a 6 year old should not be (and probably most are not) using the internet without an adults permission who could explain the "big words" if needed. --Kumioko (talk) 17:06, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

This proposal doesn't go far enough. Take our article on neurosurgery, for example. The lead currently says: "Neurosurgery (or neurological surgery) is the medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of disorders that affect any portion of the nervous system including the brain, spinal column, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and extra-cranial cerebrovascular system." Sure we could rephrase that so that the average healthy 6-year-old child will understand it: "Neurosurgery is when a doctor helps you because your brain hurts." But clearly that's not enough. Neurosurgery is also important for younger children, and it's clearly not just important for healthy children. In fact, it is indispensible that this article can be understood in its entirety by very young children with severe learning disabilities such as those typically caused by hydrocephalus or other congenital diseases with a similar impact.

Example: "Neuroradiology methods are used in modern neurosurgical diagnosis and treatment, including computer assisted imaging computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), magnetoencephalography (MEG), and the stereotactic surgery. Some neurosurgical procedures involve the use of MRI and functional MRI intraoperatively." We could rewrite this as follows: "Doctors use big, expensive machines to help your brain." But clearly that's only half of the way towards real simplification. Hans Adler 17:07, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

This seems to assume that 6-7 year-old children are dumb; I remember quite well when people talked to me like "oh, little boy, where mommy? oh, mommy gone to buy-place, mommy buy food-things" and I thought, yeah, my mother went to the store to buy groceries, wtf... Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 17:55, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't think that entire articles written for 6 or 7 year olds is what we want. So if we restrict ourselves to the first paragraph, well, I can see the possibility. But in my estimation a paragraph aimed at a 6 or 7 year old employs a basic level of English, which merely obfuscates the true meaning. It's not precise enough. Instead, I try to think of the Sun reader. Politicians are said to communicate like that. (Perhaps Americans have a similar analogy.) What I think this means in practice is a level of fairly complicated English that allows for correctness, but simplier ideas. No difficult lines of logic, that sort of thing. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 18:30, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Please avoid using sarcasm when you would like to disagree. It is probably easier to succinctly state your position.--Jp07 (talk) 19:47, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Isn't aiming to write for six year olds something that is more appropriate for the Simple English Wikipedia? ACEOREVIVED (talk) 20:47, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

The rule I learned in my distant youth was that the average newspaper article ought to be written to be comprehended by someone with an 8th-grade education. However, there are some articles I would be happy with if they were written to be understood by the average college freshman! General rules include avoiding technical language or jargon, and keeping sentences as grammatically simple as possible. (As a recent translator of Avitus of Vienne wrote while commenting about Avitus' late antique Latin, the human mind can only keep track of a small number of relative pronouns and gerunds.) So the sentence which Hans Adler quotes above:

Neurosurgery (or neurological surgery) is the medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of disorders that affect any portion of the nervous system including the brain, spinal column, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and extra-cranial cerebrovascular system.

Might be understood by more people with no significant loss of content were it rewritten as follows:

Neurosurgery (or neurological surgery) is the medical specialty concerned with disorders of the nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal column, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves.

Non-experts can be assumed to know that neurosurgery involves "prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation" -- those are what doctors do. And the bit at the end about "extra-cranial cerebrovascular system" comes across to me as verbal undergrowth which obscures more than it enlightens. (I have a college education, & I had to carefully re-read those words to realize they referred to the veins & arteries in the head between the skull & skin, not the nerves located there; suffering a bit of information overload, I found myself skimming that part of the sentence.) Far too often, our technical articles are written by experts for fellow experts, not the non-experts. Non-experts should be expected to be the majority of readers for all technical articles. -- llywrch (talk) 19:59, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

We should not lose track that the original poster makes a very, very important point. The first section of a page (an "overview" section) is a fine place for all sorts of details and links. But I would say that the lead should always be (well) written for someone of about 11 years old. Far too often I have run into lead paragraphs that could probably kill the curiosity of a searching reader, or at least lead them to (maybe rightly) believe that the article will be inaccessible.
If those problems exist, tag it as too technical. Problem is, a lot of articles are like that, but I don't really see what to do about it. Maybe the answer is to provide more links to pages that explain the technical terms. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Robert the Devil (talkcontribs) 15:33, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
Actually, this is a complaint I have with the general quality of writing sometimes... Often too little attention is paid to the art of writing, or the importance of engaging readers. Someone provided a perfect example in the economy page.-Tesseract2(talk) 22:27, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
I think that on some topics should be, like the economy, but some should not. Also, all words that may cause confusion should be linked.--CanvasHat 04:37, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps editors should focus on adding template:Nutshell to pages, rather than dumbing down the intro paragraphs. MrJosiahT (talk) 20:51, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
I think that we could reasonably write for the average 6th grader but I do not think we need to write all the way down to a 6 or 7 year old level because in my humble opinion a 6 year old should not be surfing the internet or Wikipedia alone. I know it happens but, that doesn't mean we should write our articles at that level. --Kumioko (talk) 20:57, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
(ec with Sonia below) The point of my sarcastic neurosurgery example above was that it's unreasonable to prescribe any specific age for all articles. In fact, Wikipedia has a lot of mathematical articles that cannot possibly be understood by anyone without extensive training in university-level mathematics, and there is nothing we can do about it short of removing notable topics from the encyclopedia and diminishing its value as a mathematical encyclopedia -- which it is, among many roles it plays. On the other hand, I totally agree with the way that llywrch rewrote my example paragraph. Poor style, often in the form of misguided pedantry that obscures meaning, is a serious problem. But this has nothing to do with age or with tabloids. Stylistically, Wikipedia tends towards the mediocre rather than effective language. This is the problem we need to address. Hans Adler 21:18, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Just to clarify. As a regular on the Simple English Wikipedia... well, we seek to follow the simple English wordlist, but not the artificial grammatical constructs. Basically, we cut down on complex sentences and sophisticated words; this doesn't mean concepts themselves are simplified where it is possibly to convey them using simpler words (or introduce the relevant terminology in an appropriate way).
As for writing for a six-year-old, this goal would probably be detrimental to the rest (and great majority) of our audience. But I do agree that often the ledes of our articles are unnecessarily packed with so much jargon the mind shuts down, especially with technical articles. (As a student whose English is rather limited, this is something that I sometimes have issues with.) The purpose of a lede, in my opinion, is to succinctly and simply explain the main points of a subject; if it becomes either "let's mention and bluelink every remotely relevant concept" or "this stuff doesn't fit in any of the other sections" then we have a problem. Writing the lede (and if possible, more of the article!) so that it would be easily grasped by an intelligent middle school student should be an achievable goal. sonia 21:13, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

There's no way this can be done for some advanced physics topics. Maybe 6th or 7th grade, not year olds. Dzlife (talk) 15:12, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

Major value-add feature - "WikiLists"... What do you think?

Business Concept

“Let’s not re-invent the wheel.”

There is usually a best, or at least a better way to do something- particularly as one gains experience and expertise in a given field. The internet is the medium in which the coordinated exchange of knowledge becomes dynamic and exponentially valuable. Combine this with recent advances in mobile connectivity, via cell phones, smartphone/PDA’s, email accessibility, and the spectrum of communications options, and make it simple and usable for the average person, and the result is value to the end user. Where there is value, there is profitability.

WikiList, a working name for this business concept, will be the online hub that provides best practices for events, projects, and decisions of all kinds, particularly through the use of pre-populated, interactive, expert-level checklists. These ready-made, user-driven lists will allow the participant to visualize, customize, save, print, email, and text message the ideal process, items, or considerations for a topic, created by people with background in the given field, so no one has to “start from scratch”, or be at the disadvantage of coming to a decision making point uninformed, or having missed a critical step.

To better illustrate the functionality and value of this service, please find a mock, simplified webpage, Appendix A (link at bottom), which uses the subject of camping as the WikiList in question. The actual web design and hosting will be discussed later in the proposal in terms of budgeting; Appendix A is a conceptual reference only, and does not do the concept justice. This could be a hugely powerful "app" as well.

Let us assume that the user (Joe) is planning a camping trip, but hasn’t been camping in years. He and his friends have a lot to sort out to ensure a successful trip. Our expert (Kevatasu) has laid out all the key considerations for a camping trip, in the form of a checklist, with clickable links enabling Joe to probe and learn based on his needs. The list has the ability to check off those items and considerations that apply to Joe’s situation, and adds valuable technological capabilities.

First, beyond a simple “yes or no”, each check-box can be marked according to the legend, indicating whether the item in question is: a) already packed; b) owned, but not yet packed; c) can be borrowed (instantly search Joe’s friends for the lender); d) must be bought (here Joe is a motivated shopper, yielding highly targeted pay-per-click links to vendors); or e) does not apply. Furthermore, the person in Joe’s group who will be supplying the item (the tent, for example) now has his or her personal icon next to the check-box, so there is accountability and no duplication, all the way down to who brings the chips, if desired. This customized list is given a title (Joe’s Camping Trip to Payson 5/11/08) and saved in the favorite lists of anyone in the group. When any of them are ready for another camping trip, their personalized list is waiting in their saved lists.

When it comes to coordinating the people involved, recent technological advancements open an array of possibilities for communication. This electronic checklist can now be sent via email, text message, or even faxed, real-time to everyone involved with the pressing of a few buttons or keys. Included in the website functionality is a dynamic carpool and trip planning element, which not only coordinates transportation and routes, but can alert all players in the event of an emergency or change of plans, instantly.

Additionally, the originator of this WikiList describes his or her level of expertise across several metrics, and the value of the checklist and information can be rated by users. This allows a search for the best of the WikiLists, as multiple choices for the category “Camping” become available. There are a variety of ways to motivate expert users to generate lists, including a daily or weekly prize for the best new list, etc. and these inventive options are still flexible. Much of the initial content will be generated by the WikiList team and our contacts, and there will be a monitoring process for WikiList submittal to ensure quality and restrict abuse.

Camping is an event, but this concept of best practices and shared information applies to so much more, including decision making. Imagine entering any (or every) significant negotiation knowing what the salesperson knows! From insider tips on buying a diamond engagement ring, to choosing the best business payroll service, to getting the most out of your PPO- knowing how an expert would approach the process will level the playing field. Additionally, in the realm of people and relationships, we can glean best practices for a “clean breakup”, dealing with roommates or relatives, or tips for special occasions.

Now with the help of a WikiList, the average person can coordinate a function with the efficiency of a trained event planner, recognizing the impact of prioritizing different levels of importance, bottlenecks and throughput concerns, and that in many cases the order in which things are done results in the ultimate success or failure of the project. Atop the mock webpage are various major categories for which WikiLists are a great fit, and that list will undoubtedly grow as users’ needs help identify and illuminate other applications for sharing knowledge and experience, facilitated through technology.


No single piece of the WikiList concept is some undiscovered gem of an idea. There is already a, a and a handful of other sites which attempt to provide “to-do lists”, but none implement any degree of functionality beyond a mediocre, handwritten list; no customization, no connectivity to other users, etc. There are certainly highly valuable sites such as Wikipedia, WikiHow, and which provide information, but they are typically hard to digest and don’t offer the user a plan or solution, just paragraphs to peruse and sift through. Even iCarpool falls short of fully utilizing the capabilities afforded by modern technology, and it is very limited in its scope.

The key to creating the critical mass which has marked the success of such sites as MySpace, YouTube, or Craigslist will be the ease of use to the end user. The site must be intuitive and clean, and provide valuable information in order to become viral, and the industry standard for our target user. The goal is to yield WikiList brand equity and marketability, and ultimate profitability through banner and pay-per-click advertising, and the exit strategy includes the potential sale to a larger player, such as Google or Yahoo, permitting them to overtake the advertising revenues and add value and traffic to their site.

Without the ability to patent a web concept such as this, the WikiList rollout must be smooth and instantly functional, and as soon as possible. Working within a limited budget, this will include a grass roots push toward innovators and early adopters, typically a younger and more tech-savvy demographic. This can be achieved with relatively little cost, and would include a campaign via Myspace and Facebook, and email. An effective PR campaign will also be very effective, including guerilla marketing tactics for media exposure. The challenge lies in finding a tasteful yet newsworthy way to draw attention to the site, and is still to be determined, but ideas are in the brainstorming stages.

This free service will improve the overall efficiency and satisfaction of those who use it, and who wouldn’t want to be part of a happier, more productive society? Please tell what you think.

Appendix A - I doubt that the formatting will come through, so see it at: — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kevatasu (talkcontribs) 15:58, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

  • Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation are not for-profit movements, and do not allow advertising in any format. Ironholds (talk) 16:52, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
Also, even if you strip out the advertising part (which is mandatory for all Wikimedia projects), I believe you're proposing this in the wrong place. That wouldn't be a portion of Wikipedia, it would be an entirely separate Wikimedia project. The place to propose those is on the main Wikimedia suggestion site, which can be found at M:Proposals for new projects. Qwyrxian (talk) 00:26, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Love th3e idea, but as mentioned it would need to be an entirely new Wikimedia project... and advertising? Serriously? — Preceding unsigned comment added by MrJosiahT (talkcontribs) 20:45, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Proof integrated Article (PIA)

This idea came to me when looking at some of the issues of editors who have had articles deleted. Any article that is submitted as an AfD Article For Deletion is discussed and a consensus is reached through recommendations. The editor need references that are preferably secondary, but proof that references are secondary is not required in the article. Notability is also an important prerequisite to all articles but proof of notability is also not required. Both are usually brought into play when an article is nominated for AfD and presently the burden of proof is on the editor. This is an idea that if implemented should be made optional only (not sure whether is should be a guideline, policy, or whatever, need help here). Proof integrated Article ( or PIA) levels the playing field because the burden of proof may be require by the nominator before AfD can be applied. This is only possible if the editor intentionally incorporates evidence into the Article. On the one hand, who wants to make work harder during creating an article by incorporating proof? On the one hand, if the article has a modifiable PIA banner listing the incorporated evidence that is in the article, then the AfD nominator must bring proof to the contrary where possible to make the AfD nomination viable. The decision to incorporate proof into an article should be totally optional to editors, and in most cases it will not be necessary. That said it is a good way of reducing the risks of having a good article deleted. All proof types required to be used for deletion nomination should be made available in the banner. Any feedback would be welcome. Logistical One (talk) 22:53, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

I am confused by your proposal. Does this mean "Please make WP:BEFORE mandatory for anyone who wants to nominte an article for deletion"? WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:13, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

Ref: Wikipedia articles on "The Caine Mutiny", "Captain Queeg", and "Workplace bullying."

Captain Queeg in the classical WWII naval war novel, "The Caine Mutiny," was petty, dishonest, inattentive to duty, and cowardly, and these were among his better features. Captain Queeg is extensively described in several Wikipedia articles. Not described is Captain Queeg's defining signature statement, "I am an unholy son-of-a-bitch," prominent in the novel. This statement, largely unnoted, reveals a psychological lost soul with an extremely negative self-image, which is a clue to his bizarre actions and pronouncements. The novel was a fictional treatment of a real-life ship and its captain.

As a young Army officer, I worked for two personalities very similar to Captain Queeg. I went back to school with the specific intent to learn why the Army would promote and support such counterproductive officers. Nothing in the MBA program nor in my own extensive readings in management and psychology contributed to my understanding of the problem.

The first two civilian managers I worked for were both exactly in the pattern, only worse. I have since identified dozens of similar personalities. Without exception, the SOB manager is, across the board, the most incompetent managerial type experienced. Human Resources studies tell us that perhaps half of all workers (~ 65 million workers) will be subject to an abusive boss at some point in their careers, implying huge personal and organizational costs easily in the billions of dollars, as described and verified in the "Workplace Bullying" article.

These SOB personalities each follow a distinct and recognizable pattern of behavior and each has a typical signature statement, often in the form, "I am a tough son-of-a-bitch" or "I am a tough little bastard." This is not random profanity. This is a core statement of the SOB personality's defining self-image. I have labeled this behavior pattern, including the signature statement, as the "SOB Syndrome." This type statement appears to be exclusive to very disturbed personalities, but this particular and peculiar statement is indistinguishable and lost among the many bizarre and destructive statements and actions of the SOB personality. There are many reports of SOB-type behavior but these reports are anecdotal, not analytical.

Alcoholic and substance-abusing workers have a chemical marker that is easily detected and organizations generally take rapid steps to end the hazard presented by such workers. The signature statement of the SOB personality, "I am a tough son-of-a-bitch," is an equally valid verbal marker for a destructive personality that typically has otherwise excellent qualifications for his/her position; Captain Queeg was a Naval Academy graduate. These qualifications tend to maintain the SOB in his/her position and are an element within the SOB Syndrome. Consequently, the SOB is an unrecognized hazard that tends to maintain his/her position for long periods.

Sooner or later, the SOB personality will lose his/her position, typically after doing much damage to the organization. The military tends to transfer SOBs, but that does not solve the problem. Analyzing why the SOB is allowed to continue in position while abusing subordinates and failing to reach organizational goals is key to understanding the SOB Syndrome. I have done such an analysis from the perspective of a professional engineer and businessman, using recognized psychological models. My findings have been vetted by qualified psychological and educational experts. My findings are contained in my privately-published book, "The S.O.B. and Business: Destruction Dynamics in Organizations," available on the web.

I propose to add a comment on the SOB's nature and signature statement to the referenced Wikipedia articles, and perhaps a separate article on the SOB Syndrome. The SOB Syndrome is almost totally unrecognized and unaddressed within conventional management and psychological literature, and is not found on the Internet. Regardless, this is the phenomenon under discussion in articles on the "bully boss" and "Captain Queeg" references, and requires attention to document existing knowledge and to improve organizational performance and general understanding.

Any advice or guidance would be welcome.

Pa Deuce (talk) 23:26, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

Your idea sounds interesting, but privately published books are not generally accepted as WP:reliable sources unless the author is proven to be an expert in the field. (So if Albert Einstein privately published a book on physics, we'd take that, but if I did, we wouldn't.) Consequently, I don't think that this will be acceptable. You could, however, make suggestions on article talk pages for paragraphs and sources that you think would be appropriate. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:59, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
If you are doing actual research on this topic, it would be interesting to find out how many "SOBs" have been promoted to become admins, bureaucrats, and other "leadership" positions in Wikipedia. My own experience is that there are more than a few of them. What is especially interesting is that almost all of the communication can be found in relatively "permanent" form and can date over the course of several years in terms of analyzing behavior.
Basically, Wikipedia itself would be a fantastic case study with this principle and you might even be able to compose some statistics on the concept itself as well from a fairly large population in a way that would be hard for most other organizations. Since the content of most of these talk pages are supposedly "public", you wouldn't even necessarily have to get any sort of consent to perform this evaluation either.
I know that isn't quite what you were looking for here, but it is something you might be able to find some volunteers to help you out so far as collecting data or perhaps even finding somebody who might be willing to co-author a paper with you if you are interested in getting this into formal academic publications. If you can get such a concept published outside of Wikipedia in a reliable forum (like a journal of psychology), quoting that paper in a Wikipedia article is generally considered much more acceptable and it is likely that others will recognize the value of that publication so you won't even have to do the actual inserting of that article as a source. In fact, I'd still recommend that an author not insert references to his own work, although mentioning something to the effect you have the book or paper for consideration on a topic on the talk page would certainly be useful.
The line between self-published books and more formally published materials is blurring due to "new media" opportunities, so identifying what is a reliable source can be tricky. Still, don't give up hope. You just have to work a bit harder if you want your ideas recognized. --Robert Horning (talk) 23:18, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

Does WP have a policy for sexually explicit photos?

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

Resolved: A member of en:WP:FEMINISM contacted legal and found out they actually do have a policy on possible child pornography: [[5]].--Henriettapussycat (talk) 19:08, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

Let me start out by saying I'm not trying to censor anyone here. As long as we are verifiable adults. What I've been starting to wonder is if WP has any policy for age requirements with sexually explicit photos? I know there is a policy for public/private pictures of individuals. If there is, could someone point me to it? If there isn't, why is one not set in place? This could be a possible legal fiasco for many people. --Henriettapussycat (talk) 15:02, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

To the extent that the image is appropriate to the article it is included in, the image has educational value, and thus should not be an issue if a minor views it, Wikipedia is not censored after all. As for a minor who searches out pornographic images that are not used in articles, we would be fighting a pointless battle to try to stop them, as such content is extremely accessible online, regardless of age. There would be no way to prevent a minor from accessing the images without also interfering with the ability of Adults to anonymously access the same images. See also Wikipedia:Sexual content. There is also the poll about letting users disable certain images for themselves, but that would do nothing to stop a minor seeking such images. Monty845 15:32, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
The problem also comes from defining what is "sexually explicit". Is this one? How about this? How about here? ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 16:04, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
As I just said this isn't about about censoring anything, or whether or not a minor is viewing these pics (that's a completely different issue). What I'm talking about is making sure the pictures are of adults. Number one you listed is the only one that applies to my question. Number two is a person wearing a thong, and number three is an illustration. Number one: are all the people featured there adults? And just because they "look like" they're of age doesn't mean they are. Teenagers can have boobs like that.
Seriously, read what I wrote. This doesn't have to do with censorship. This has to do with making sure child pornography isn't happening. I don't know the laws in other countries, but the US is very explicit about what constitutes as child pornography, and makes sites keep detailed information about photos which are sexual in nature, including the age of the subject. If Wikipedia is not monitoring this, there is a potential legal issue for them.--Henriettapussycat (talk) 16:07, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
Ah I misinterpreted the issue you were raising, I think your original statement was somewhat ambiguous. Wikipedia:Sexual content does have two failed proposals that are on topic, it is also worth noting that some articles specifically do use nude (though arguably not sexually explicit) images of underage individuals, for instance [[Virgin Killer]]. Still I don't know a good way to verify age without making it very difficult, or even impossible to upload images taken by third parties that are either PD or otherwise acceptably licensed if they don't already provide the info, how is the uploader going to find it? Monty845 16:21, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
Erm, perhaps if the uploader can't find it, it shouldn't be uploaded? Just a logical conclusion. And I can make a few assumptions of why these propositions have failed.--Henriettapussycat (talk) 16:24, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
The thing is, if WP doesn't do something about this, eventually some entity where WP is based will come down on them about the issue. I can guarantee.--Henriettapussycat (talk) 16:27, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
If you are worried about the legal consequences for the foundation, I think you should correspond with them directly. Really what needs to be done as a matter of law would then be a question of a combination of Federal and Florida law and that should only be answered by the foundation's legal counsel. Monty845 16:42, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, probably something hysterical will happen some day, what with the servers being in Florida, but that is indeed irrelevant and very much up to the foundation to sort out, not the community. Anyway, the image is not of a minor (a breast reduction on a minor with two tattoos? unlikely) and in any case she could be of any age and the image is still not be child pornography as it IS NOT PORNOGRAPHY. It's breasts. Nothing pornographic. Egg Centric 17:35, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
No, you're mistaken. The image about which Henrietta is speaking is a closeup of a vagina spread very wide open by a pair of hands. It is not obvious that the subject of the photo is an adult; she may or may not be. Rubywine . talk 17:40, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
Whoops. Without seeing the image it certainly sounds like it could potentially be child pornography, but on a practical note how on earth would anyone ever know? I almost certainly isn't and seems an irrelevant concern (I can't imagine anyone is being sexually abused to put images on commons - I know human depravity has no limits and it's possible in theory, but that's just too unlikely to really worry about) Egg Centric 17:48, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
A further thought: Why not just ask for all self-made potentially pornographic images to have some kind of model release? That should answer any plausible child porn OR abuse concerns. You'd have to grandfather in any current images for practicality. Egg Centric 17:52, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
This is what I believe would be the best of all solutions. Then there is a paper trail.--Henriettapussycat (talk) 17:58, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
Excellent idea. So we're all in agreement then. Henrietta, SlimVirgin has provided a link to what is probably the best place to raise this. Commons_talk:Sexual_content Rubywine . talk 18:16, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
What's wrong with raising it here? I can't imagine that anyone would object to such a policy if carefully implemented, and there'll be more eyes on it here to get it right (as it will have to be carefully worded for sure). Egg Centric 18:21, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
There's nothing wrong with raising it here whatsoever, if people here are empowered to take some action. My intention wasn't to challenge this discussion at all, it was just to point out that we've been pointed to the Commons forum (and by an admin who has experience on trying to raise related issues). Rubywine . talk 18:28, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
I gave Henrietta quarter of an hour to create it then got bored, so here's your discussion Face-wink.svg Egg Centric 18:54, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
I had to leave, real life beckons! But thanks. This is where the discussion is at pump policy. --Henriettapussycat (talk) 19:54, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

The {{2257}} requirements have been recently discussed in the gender gap and best summarized in post by Andreas Kolbe. Additionally, images uploaded to the English Wikipedia are generally only done so to take advantage of "fair use" exemptions allowed here. — Dispenser 17:14, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not considered a porn site, that's why. But just because it isn't under these conditions now does not mean that these conditions will not apply in the future. And in any event, it doesn't mean that child porn is not being uploaded to WP.--Henriettapussycat (talk) 17:55, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
If someone uploads child porn to Wikipedia then it's probably, frankly, a good thing, as I believe logs are kept indefinitely and the publicity surrounding it when discovered would force the police to do something (and I'm sure foundation would cooperate 100%). Result: paedophile imprisoned. But again, I expect this is a concern about something that won't happen in practice. Egg Centric 18:08, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
Child porn has been uploaded. The files and logs were purged from the database (see Signpost). In any case, this is should be moved to Wikipedia:Village pump (policy) since this is the wrong place for this discussion. — Dispenser 18:27, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
Bloody hell, I take that back then. Were the uploaders reported to legal authorities, and if not, why not? I believe that such a policy should be implented if there isn't one. Egg Centric 18:32, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
I have to agree with Egg Centric, we need to have some accountability here... I'm not some radical conservative trying to get all the nude pics off Wikipedia. I just don't want child porn on here. I'm definitely going to move this conversation.--Henriettapussycat (talk) 19:56, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I'd like to suggest that further discussion is directed to Commons, here:


The Commons discussion includes links to all four discussions on Wikipedia. Rubywine . talk 20:56, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

Well, OK, but the thing about that is that Commons has a different job than the Wikipedias. I'd describe their policy (de facto anyway) as "We'll host anything, provided 1) it's not under copyright restriction and 2) it could conceivably be used for some reasonable purpose". And use of an image on any of the Wikipedias (even, probably, internal use) is more or less proof of the latter. (Lack of such use is not necessarily a cause for removal, although it's an argument that they consider, I think.) Certainly child pornography could be used to illustrate an article on child pornography, even if not on one of the Wikipedias then in someone's scholarly paper. They might be (and I guess are) constrained by legal fears, but only reluctantly I think, and the "We'll move the servers to Iceland if it comes to that rather than bow to any law regulating our content" camp has a fair amount of traction there, I'd say. So Bob's your uncle. There was a suggestion in the study on controversial content that came out last fall that, to address this dichotomy of purpose, Commons be spun off from the Foundation into its own entity, with their own corporate structure, fundraising, and servers, and that's probably a good idea but I haven't seen it gain any traction.
So that throws it back on the individual Wikipedias. I would say, regarding some of the arguments above, that kicking it upstairs to the Foundation is no answer. The Foundation doesn't see it as their job to regulate content, and they really can't even if they wanted to without running roughshod over the structures they have in place. We're a self-governing community, and need to govern ourselves on these issues. And if history teaches us anything, it's that entities that can't or won't govern themselves effectively will perforce find themselves governed by someone else. Herostratus (talk) 18:16, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
That's a very interesting response, thanks. After the conversation I had at Commons today, a spin off sounds like a good idea. With their attitudes, behaviour and total lack of preparation for questions about their policy, I can't see them as an asset to the future global expansion of Wikipedia. Or even the continued existence of Wikipedia. On your point that child pornography is suitable to illustrate academic studies, let alone Wikipedia articles, if you're talking about photographs that would be illegal to publish in print, I can't agree. I doubt that academics would source such photographs from Commons. Academic use of such materials would be regulated. Rubywine . talk 22:27, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Erm, yeah, no academic would use a photo of child pornography to illustrate why child pornography is bad, or some other related issue.--Henriettapussycat (talk) 23:29, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, you might use parts of photos. For example, I read once that law enforcement uses the child's facial expressions (which apparently get sadder over time) to infer the length of time a child has been abused. So you might show a series of cropped images that show the child's face. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:48, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
Okay let me say something to those who are undereducated on this issue. Possessing child pornography for any reason is illegal. And I don't say this as some person on the street, I used to intern at a women's shelter. I know laws on this sort of stuff. So no--a researcher would not have these photos, and if they did, they would be thrown in jail if they made it known they had them. Also, facial expressions--perhaps by children who are in treatment for sexual abuse, but not during the act, and even then, patients and test subjects are to remain anonymous, even in gender. I can't believe I have to inform people this is not correct.--Henriettapussycat (talk) 00:56, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
I will respond to those claiming that others are "undereducated" on the issue. § 1466A makes it clear that a visual depiction of children in a pornographic sense must "lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value;" in order to be illegal.
You claim that the possession of child porn "for any reason" is illegal, but there are many cases contrary to this: the possession of child porn by the state as evidence and as use for victim recognition(the UK government has a database of nearly 3 million child porn images, see JOHN, S. (2002, January 15). New Side to Face-Recognition Technology: Identifying Victims. New York Times. p. 5. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.), the development of child porn in dramas and documentaries to critique against it, for example all of the child porn on Law and Order SVU, as well as any scientific inquiry that someone may have. It is not unreasonable to assume if some scholar had a legitimate reason to analyze child porn that they would be allowed access to the department of justices large collection to run some sort of anonymous test. It is also not unreasonable to imagine the police using simulated child porn in a sting operation on a pedophile ring. I know that volunteers receive basic legal training, but that is not enough to be trying to teach the law to others, if you want to make a legal argument then appealing to authority with such qualifications will obviously be insufficient. As for banning child porn on Wikipedia, we already do that.AerobicFox (talk) 17:08, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
Obviously it is not illegal for the state and other authorities to have it as evidence. I didn't write that because anyone would logically know that--that is common knowledge (at least I assume anyone who knows anything about law enforcement would know this). Fictional child porn, such as on SVU, is not the same as actual child porn, and yes, I know about disputed cases in art. Get off your high horse on this. No one was being paranoid, flapping their hands, or anything such thing. All we did was question whether Wikipedia had a policy. People were rather rude to us and told us Wikimedia needed no policy, because it's a ridiculous idea to even fathom, and couldn't cite any policies (neither could you, in fact). We got to the bottom of it and found out that Wikipedia did have a policy. You also don't know what other training I have received as I don't you, and I am not going to start assuming. I may not know a thing about issues concerning copyright or other parts of the law, but I do understand issues concerning children due to my profession, including child abuse. Now get off it and stop treating me like I'm a five year old child.--Henriettapussycat (talk) 19:26, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

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

WP needs a "Like" button.

User comments on Talk pages should have little "Like" buttons next to them, so if you agree with what somebody has said, you can click "Like" instead of cluttering the discussion with new comments saying "I agree with User:Adjwilley." We probably couldn't call it the "Like button" because of Facebook issues, but could do something like an "Agree" button, or better, a "Hear, hear" button. -- Adjwilley (talk) 20:51, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

I assume you mean article talk pages. Well, for balance you'd also need buttons for the opposing opinion, which could lead to rancor. Regards, RJH (talk) 21:26, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
Opposing opinions would be expressed in new posts, just like they always are. Editors who agree with the opposing opinions can "Like" those as well. -- Adjwilley (talk) 21:33, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
WP:NOTFACEBOOK --Σ talkcontribs 21:38, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
(ec) No. Even a "like" needs to be justified. There's no need for a popularity-of-opinion contest. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 21:39, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
👍 Like
(edit conflict) In early mockups for the third redesign of LiquidThreads there was a give "Thanks" button (seen mw:File:Lqt-thread-full-callouts.png), presumably intended for posts that contributed some valuable insights. This seems to have been removed. You can read the discussion on mw:Talk:LiquidThreads_3.0/Design. — Dispenser 21:44, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
  • The pageview stats reveal how many talk-pages are rarely read, so a "Like" button would be of limited use. When a straw-poll is needed, then the not-vote (!vote) list of replies allows each person to add additional comments to consider other ideas, and I fear the use of "Like" buttons would suppress that user feedback. However, there might be some special cases where the "Like" button could act as anonymous voting (where it would count 1 vote per username), but the problem would be sockpuppet usernames (or IPs) all clicking "Like" to give a false impression of popularity, and Wikipedia is not set-up to deter multiple usernames, as in Facebook or other websites. Instead, a WP user could easily have several dozen ("48") usernames, and the result could be, "Wow! A total of 48 users instantly Liked that idea!" I really think the danger of a "Like" button is too great because Wikipedia does not deter having 48 usernames (or 256 auto-IP addresses), but the concept seemed to be a good idea until considering how easily one person could re-click "Like" 48 or 256 times. -Wikid77 (talk) 04:50, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

For a while now I have thought it might be cool if you could hit "Like" on a page's edit history. It would be a way of seeing an edit and just saying to that user "hey, nice one!". I would like this because I see good edits every now and then on my watchlist, you know?

We could reserve that option for confirmed users, if necessary, but we could also be clear that praise in this way is irrelevant to arbitrating disagreements - discussion on the talk page does that. Because Likes are on the history page, they are also pretty out of the way. They are really just to boost up the user making a decent edit, as per WP:Wikilove.

I also think that some kind of "Like" or "Thumbs up" could be useful later, when Wikipedia's GUI gets more dynamic and user friendly. It would be a good way to sort the priority of external links and videos, or images in a gallery.-Tesseract2(talk) 15:50, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Yes, something like that suggested would be great. However, Wikipedia is full of geeky pretentiousness. The Foundation has embraced the idea (go read the blog, guys) but the community is so stuck on being to cool and counter culture. The community seems to not want new editors. It certainly does not want to embrace new media or social networking even though Wikipedia is that sort of media and a social network. Of course, Comment Oppose Keep and the like are just as fun since we know as established editors that bolding things, wikilinking, and wikispeak are so cool that we can bite anyone too stupid or young to jump into Wikipedia 3 years ago. Oh yeah: +1 this comment if you dare. Cptnono (talk) 06:42, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia can be stuffy but this is not the right solution. It seems like it will just encourage mindless voting instead of discussion and consensus. Dzlife (talk) 15:11, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

The problem with having a like button on talk pages is that Wikipedia operates by consensus, not by direct democracy. Decisions are made not based upon how many people support an idea, but based on the discussion that has take place. Many discussion pages have something saying that a well reasoned and thought through answer is better than just an "I agree". It seems to me that, if we have a like button for talk pages, people will just like/dislike an idea without giving any comment. As it is, people who just say they support or oppose an idea on a talk page without giving reasons tend not to contribute much to the decision. A like/dislike button would make it too easy to just click like/dislike without putting any though into it or comment. This prevents a consensus based on the reasoning of the community and could deter new ideas and developments from being posted. ItsZippy (talk) 14:11, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

watchlist-item expiration

No idea if this has been discussed before and whether it's even technically possible: It would be nice if there was a gadget to have watchlist-items expire (maybe after half a year or so). Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 23:08, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

Well I could write a Toolserver tool that prunes a watchlist by your last edit, edit traffic, number of watchers, and (possibly) page traffic. — Dispenser 02:31, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
I often wish for separate buttons: "Watch this page" and "Watch this page for 60 days".
The problem with an automatic pruning is that I don't want to apply the same standards to everything. I watch some pages that I've never edited and never will, solely because a particular sockmaster can't stay away from them. But perhaps a recommended-for-pruning list would be useful. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:02, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
yeah, something like that would be useful indeed. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 01:22, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
List pruning tools would be great. I've given up on pruning mine and it's grown to over 13,000 entries, which is much too large. The number of watchers and the last edit date would be two important factors in deciding which to remove.   Will Beback  talk  23:37, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
I've come up with a way for a gadget to know when to unwatch a page: Watch a sub-page like PAGENAME/expires=20120101, when checking the watchlist pull the raw watchlist, compare timestamps, and present the users with pages to unwatch. Optional: If all items were removed, set a cookie to avoid checking until the next item expires. — Dispenser 17:21, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
Thats funny something similar just came up in the last couple weeks somewhere else. So just wondering but wouldn't the user need to create a subpage for the watchlist for each date they want to delete? How would that work? The reason I ask is because I know that the watchlist is a restrictied visibility item meaning that its not readily stored and accessible on the servers to everyones view (ie. private). Thereby making the use of a tool to clean it up rather labor intensive because it requires me to manually remove them and place them in a separate list. Especially if you like me and have a very very very large watchlist. Personally I would be fine with an option that allowed me as an individual editor to use a user/subpage as a watchlist by default or in addition to the private one (or better yet be able to state which i want the article to go too in case I don't want someone to know I have x or y article on my radar) so that tools like this could be used. I also realize that many want to keep them private which is ok too. Personally I think there are a whole bunch of things that could be done if this was done including:
  1. Removing deleted articles from my watchlist
  2. Setting an article to expire after X time or X event
  3. Allow the automatic addition of articles to a watchlist if added to a certain category (Medal of Honor recipients for example)
  4. Better notification to the user if an article was submitted for something (like article alerts) be it For deletion, review, GA review, FAC
  5. etc.
--Kumioko (talk) 18:00, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
You can watch red linked pages, so no need to create subpages. Sharing your watchlist can be done by copying Special:Watchlist/raw or as my in tools using the API with your watchlist token. But that's the easy part, the hard part is creating a useable interface. — Dispenser 19:56, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Alternative uw-speedy1

My idea

Welcome to Wikipedia. Maybe you did it accidentally, but you may not remove a speedy deletion tag from a page you've created yourself, as you did in [{{{2}}} this edit]. If you are convinced the page should not be speedy deleted, you may contest the speedy deletion by adding {{hang on}} on the top of the page and, then, elaborate your opinion on the talk page of the article. Administrators will consider your reasoning before deciding what to do with the page. Thank you.
I would very much like to get your feedback about this topic. Alex discussion 11:27, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

For starters, the hang on tag was retired a while ago. Other differences between this template and {{uw-speedy1}} are an optional diff parameter and a different first sentence. "Maybe you did it accidentally, but you may not remove" vs "It might not have been your intention, but you removed". I think both wordings will get the message across, but prefer the original one. All that being said, doesn't User:SDPatrolBot handle this nowadays? Yoenit (talk) 12:07, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

What do you mean? Alex discussion 12:25, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
User:SDPatrolBot replaces speedy deletion templates removed by the creator and issues warning templates. It uses a custom version of {{uw-speedy1}} which you can see for example here. I don't seem to be running now, but when it does there is no need to hand these warnings out manually. Yoenit (talk) 12:41, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
You're right! But, why should we hand it manually, anyway? There is a several scripts that can easy (with one click) revert those edits and warn individuals. (Link is diff of reverted edit). For sure, it must be customized with the present wiki standards. Regardless of first sentence, it's quite a better worded in some parts, and it also provides a link! We could merge good sides of both versions, so we'll got potential better template, if you agree? Alex discussion 13:34, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
at any rate, "created by yourself" is not correct English for the intended meaning. It should be just "created yourself". Ntsimp (talk) 13:55, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Narcotics Anonymous for wikipedians

Hi, I'm egg centric and I'm an addict....

Ok, first of all, despite being a member of NA (and less than a week than that) I'm perfectly aware 12-step programs are by themselves total rubbish, in the sense there's a lot of god-crap and that they have no proven efficacy. So I don't want to argue about that stuff. I totally AGREE with Penn and Teller.

Nevertheless... there is a HUGE thing about talking to other addicts that is really great - and that DOES help. So I was wondering if there could be a narcotics anonymous/alcoholics anonymous/whatever for wikipedians. I appreciate that wiki is not for hosting these things - but my idea is that it would be for wikipedia users. In truth it would probably end up on the IRC bit - there's already an online NA chatroom in the UK which is rather succesful, and that could work here too. Thoughts? Egg Centric 20:27, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Could this be what you're looking for? --bodnotbod (talk) 08:18, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Obviously not. — Kudu ~I/O~ 21:52, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
I don't feel like Wikipedia is the right place for such a thing. There are many suitable forums that can be found online. — Kudu ~I/O~ 21:52, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

Delete button an individual userright

Thoughts on it? It would be very helpful for new page patrollers. I remember getting CAT:CSD to 93 articles singlehandedly once, and would've hit triple digits if I hadn't mentioned that on IRC.

Obvious theoretical limitations could include not being able to delete a page with over 20 revisions, or something else. --Σ talkcontribs 05:19, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

We've had this idea so many times... always defeated. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 06:06, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
The problem is that deletion is actually the number one or two (Blocks being the other) thing people are worried about in RfA's. So I doubt that anyone who can't pass an RfA could pass this. I also think it's a little less useful than it might appear, because you still need a second admin/deleter anyway. Rather, I should say that in my opinion you do. Except in the case of copy-vios, attack pages, and recreation of deleted pages, I think it's really critical that one person tags the articles and a different person actually does the deletion, even if the first person is an admin. It bothers me to think of things like A7 not having at least the bare minimum of 2 eyes checking them; I say this even more now as an admin than before, because I find myself declining a fair number of A7s, since it is a very subjective decision. Qwyrxian (talk) 06:17, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
A large number of A7s I get are "Person was born in 1996-2001", which is even worse, as they are minors. Getting just the delete button should be easier, as RfA requires 3+ good articles for some reason. In my CSD log, I noted that a page I tagged took 12 hours to be deleted under what should be speedy deletion. CAT:CSD is (as of this timestamp) at 49 articles, which is almost a backlog. --Σ talkcontribs 06:57, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
It still won't convince people to support this. If you are worried about a page's content, blank it after tagging. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 07:06, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
Read the edit notice. --Σ talkcontribs 07:07, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
? It says "reply" Oh, you meant that one — well, I'm just telling you that this has been proposed many times before and has always been shot down; so in essence, you're wasting your time. If that's your goal, g'ahead. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 09:30, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
Interestingly enough, I remember backlogs of 200+ articles in C:CSD to be common when I was more active in deletion (a couple of years ago), and that was when we used to promote a lot more admins. Of course, back then we didn't expect all of them to be content-perfect AND to do lots of admin work. —Kusma (t·c) 08:57, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
+1. "Back in my day...." the CAT:CSD was out of control. Two digits is like heaven. Sorry, I see this as a potentially dangerous situation with very little need at this point. Until the error rate that I see at CAT:CSD decreases, I'm unlikely to support anything like this, in either my personal or professional capacities. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 18:51, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
Σ, you may not have realized this, "speedy" means "without having a week-long discussion first". It does not mean "deletion guaranteed to happen within minutes or hours after tagging". In fact, we get justifiable complaints from people when pages are deleted so quickly that the authors have no opportunity to address the problem. This is a serious problem when we have so many NPPers who don't understand the difference between "says something positive about a notable business" and "hopelessly promotional spam". WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:28, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
As I saw for the implementation of WikiLove, an abuse filter logs its use. Why not have this implemented, with an abuse filter to log all non-admin deletions so the deletions can be reviewed? Also, there would be a required policy for this, including things like must have tagged at least 50 successful CSDs and must have had and used rollback constructively for at least 2 months (obviously the user would be autoconfirmed), and other requirements. (I don't usually tend to support a minimal number of edits, as some people edit more than others, whether manually or semi-automatically.  Hazard-SJ  ±  04:34, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

I think this is not only a bad concept and idea, but something absolutely horrible. I have spoken up about the "New Page Patrollers" before and have been adamant that many of them are simply clueless about many topics with often a refusal to simply learn what is a legitimate article and what isn't. If it was just an isolated case, I could be content with that but it goes well beyond just a couple of users in this case.

This is also a basic and fundamental philosophical battle over what a wiki is all about, when articles should be kept or deleted, why they should be kept or deleted, and what impact it has upon new readers and new contributors. I stand by my assertion that the new contributor experience on Wikipedia is horrible to down right rude to the point that I am amazed that anybody new comes to Wikipedia in the first place, much less would be willing to help out on any project.... and that is just with the edit wars on existing pages. The new user experience on creating new articles is especially fraught with difficulty, where even I as a rather experienced hand at Wikipedia content need some substantially thick skin and by necessity must engage in Wikilawyering just to get a new article to stick around for more than 30 minutes when I create it.

As a basic philosophical principle, I don't think any reasonably sourced content should ever be deleted from Wikipedia. This includes content for which the citation may not necessarily be apparent or so formally mentioned either, and that there is a proper role for stubs. I know some people feel differently on this, but it is a basic principle that also reflects strongly on the basic principles of Wikipedia in a most basic manner. I will battle against those who would turn Wikipedia into Nupedia, which is something that to me is an ever present problem with many users who would have that happen. Nupedia failed explicitly because it was not friendly to new users and could not sustain or grow articles.

Introducing the ability to delete articles to new page patrolers who don't meet the standards of administration is to me a mistake so far as it is perhaps the single most abusive ability that you can have if in the wrong hand, even more so than a user block. I will be the first to admit that there is a need to delete some pages, but it is an ability which by its nature should be done rarely and with soberness knowing that you are destroying the work of others and censoring content. For myself, this is the #1 administrator privilege that should be reserved exclusively to admins, even if all other abilities and "user rights" are available individually to other users (like page blocking, user blocks, etc.) Only in the hands of somebody competent who also has the power to "undelete" should this privilege be given. It is also with page deletions that I think somebody who holds administrator rights should be most held accountable for their actions where abuse is just cause for removing this privilege.

Let the backlogs build up, and I don't care if there is a backlog of thousands or even millions of articles. That can be dealt with in time and is not an excuse to be unfriendly to new contributors as so commonly is the problem with those trying to "clear out" some sort of cleanup category. I would rather that we become much more friendly to new users than necessarily having a clean project free from errors. --Robert Horning (talk) 06:23, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

I agree that the dangerous delete button shouldn't be used on a regular basis like NPP as so many people go there and they may occasionally delete the wrong page. I wonder how useful this tool would be for the clerks who work at WP:Copyright problems (And, if CSBot is working, WP:Suspected copyright violations too). There are quite a few users (with me included) that work over there but all of these users have good judgement and have plenty of experience in the copyright area. Minima© (talk) 06:43, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
If they have good judgement and plenty of experience, they should be admins with perhaps extra privileges above and beyond adminship. The problem here is in part thinking that being an admin is some sort of special privilege granted to just an elite few with an incredibly high bar set as well. I've had adminship on other Wikimedia projects but have neither sought for nor for that matter really desired the ability on Wikipedia as anything needing deletion from my perspective could be accomplished by those with the ability as it is a power that should be used with great reserve.
If we have a backlog problem in some area where we need competent people reviewing proposed pages for deletion, the problem can and should be solved with perhaps an effort to seek out and find competent editors who can be trusted with the privilege. A great many people are falling through the cracks on Wikipedia in part because it is such a huge project that quality contributors are being ignored as well. If there is a particular group of editors who need the privilege, we shouldn't be so stingy with the ability. Indeed, it is the undeletion ability that is far more critical to be handed out, where from my humble perspective more people should perhaps be given the ability to undelete than delete.... but that is just me. If the number of admins on Wikipedia doubled over the next couple of months, I would view that as perhaps a good thing. --Robert Horning (talk) 07:32, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
There can be near-perfect new page patrollers who have <1% of all tags being mistagged and declined, but cannot write articles, close AfDs, or meet all those other unwritten criteria for adminship. --Σ talkcontribs 08:08, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Adminship was never supposed to be a big deal. Just as there are specialized editors doing various projects, the same can be said for admins as well where some will specialize in a particular area of project administration. Closing AfDs, other than the actual deletion of the content itself, shouldn't even be the exclusive domain of admins either although it is helpful to get somebody who is experienced and hopefully neutral. The only real admin function that is "dangerous" besides the deletion button is the blocking/unblocking of users, and then for the technically minded folks who want to mess around with Special:AllMessages, something I wouldn't recommend even for experienced admins unless there is widespread group consensus that a change is needed.
I'm merely suggesting that if they can be trusted, that they should be trusted and that is that. Breaking out this particular bit of authority to somebody who is in theory less trusted implies that there is something wrong with the trust metric being used in the first place. My argument here is if you have some new page patrollers who can be trusted and show consistency on their markups, that it is about bloody time they become admins on Wikipedia. It shouldn't be that big of a deal to become an admin and perhaps they might be willing to branch out to other areas of the project over time as well. Having adminship on a wiki should not necessarily put you into an elite category of user, and existing admins shouldn't be blocking new adminship so vigorously or raising the standard to impossible heights. --Robert Horning (talk) 16:19, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

BTW, I would like to add that I supported the concept of introducing newer users and people wanting to get more into the administration of project to have a tier of user rights between admin and autoconfirmed users. I'm not completely objecting to perhaps even some minor admin authority like perhaps setting some pages to semi-protect status or something similar could be useful in some cases for "probationary admins" trying to prove they can be trusted. Deleting pages, however, is a big deal and it is this authority that I think should be in the exclusive province of full adminship. --Robert Horning (talk) 16:41, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

Giving someone the power to semiprotect an article is giving the user to partially salt a page and censor the edits of new users and IPs. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Σ (talkcontribs)
Which gets back to the trusted user issue again. Admins already have this ability, which is done on a rather routine basis but does have oversight from other admins, bureaucrats, and others who can also change that status. The problem with the delete button is that often you don't really even know if the article has been deleted unless you look through the logs, at least as a mere mortal ordinary user. Semi-protect status is proclaimed on the page itself in a variety of ways, and usually a request for review on the Admin noticeboard is sufficient to get it removed if this ability is being abused. It doesn't stop you from being able to read the article or for a determined ordinary person to actually register a new account and eventually being able to edit that article.
I'm just using that as an example of something which currently isn't being done but I think would be more reasonable as a probationary authority that could be granted for somebody wanting to do more on Wikipedia. Being a member of a group which watches news media and semi-protects "hot topics" for a short duration doesn't seem like that bad of an idea, or allowing non-admins to join in to help with anti-vandalism efforts in some more substantive manner. --Robert Horning (talk) 16:58, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
Bad deletions can be easily reversed. I have no strong feelings regarding semiprotecting pages. --Σ talkcontribs 00:20, 2 September 2011 (UTC)
In practice it is rare for anybody to reverse deletions, where there is strong hesitation to second guess another admin. To do so is usually considered a prelude to or tantamount to wheel warring. Just because such action are "easily reversible" doesn't mean that they are in practice. If you don't have the ability to delete/undelete pages and are fighting somebody in an edit war who does, it ramps up the problem considerably.
It is this uneven aspect of the use of the tools, where mass deletion of pages is common but mass undeletion is so rare as to make a Signpost article and to be really big news, likely as the result of ArbCom intervention and deadmining somebody after considerable and obvious damage has happened. I'm not necessarily suggesting that this is a terrible thing as it shows the quality of admins on Wikipedia, but my suggestion is that it is hard to get things undeleted or to even know if a deleted page even exists, particular as an ordinary Wikipedia user. In practice, bad deletions are not easily reversed even if in theory they can be. --Robert Horning (talk) 17:36, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

I am bound to tightly disagree - admins shall be admins. The reason "we" want our adminship candidates to have experience with content authoring and other activities than deletion is not because of the extra buttons (apart from deletion, I mean). I am of the opinion that once a user can be trusted to use the delete button, there isn't much of an issue to grant him the block and protect. The reason content writing experience is preferred for adminship candidates is because it's historically known to teach content policy skills which may be useful even in CSD work. — Kudu ~I/O~ 14:55, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

Portion protection

There's been trouble recently on Super Mario 3D Land about an unsourced release date. An edit war was basically started which didn't stop until my request for full protection was approved. It just expired, but I've seen no more unsourced edits (checks watchlist) since last Sunday. What if there was a way to fully protect only a portion of a page using a tag? If someone tried to edit the locked area, an edit conflict-like notice will appear, and the software will remove the edit in the locked area. An admin can add or remove the type of protection by adding the tag, then protecting the page using a special setting. This would stop any disputes about a certain portion of a page, without having to break out full or semi protection. --Nathan2055talk - review 17:50, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

I like the idea, though it probably brings with it significant technical challenges. The first I can think of is simply on how: how does the software distinguish the content which should be edited and the content which should not be edited when a person edits the entire page, and technically, how does the software do it at all? --Izno (talk) 18:30, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
It would need significant software updates, but it's uses are infinite. How would it distinguish the area? Perhaps a <protection> tag could be made. --Nathan2055talk - review 18:46, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
It could probably be done with the abuse filter. Have it set up so that no edits adding, modifying, or removing protect tags/templates are allowed except if done by an admin. --Yair rand (talk) 22:34, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
I would think that would be a fairly heavy use for the abuse filter. --Izno (talk) 00:23, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Yeah, I'm not sure if the abuse filter could even be set to block that much edits. And then there is more trouble-removing protect tags. I'm not sure how that would work. Anyway, ever considered a RC patrol bot for this type of job? Maybe called ProtectBot (talk · contribs)? --Nathan2055talk - review 00:54, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

That protection could easily be circumvented by just hiding the section in question and starting a new one with your preferred version. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 21:32, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
It sounds like a nice idea. It could be a technical challenge, though. If it is a technical possibility, it sounds like it could work. I've noticed a few people who keep adding false information to pages on footballers regarding transfers (Eden Hazard is an example). Partial page protection would be helpful. I have no idea if it is technically viable, though. ItsZippy (talk) 14:17, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────There are other ideas which are in more of a grey zone, but this one can be done without a doubt. Also, it seems that many of you haven't tried googling - there is a similar solution already existent called Extension:ProtectSection. Of course, its code would have to be quality-checked and its bugs ironed out. If necessary, we could even add section semi-protection (it's actually really easy once you've got the code for protection). So, there seem to be 3 options:

  • An extension like Extension:ProtectSection;
  • A bot which would check that <protect> tags are added only by admins, and would revert edits trying to circumvent the protection, including editing the section, removing the tag, or copying the content. Other forms of blatant protection evasion would be grounds for an immediate 31-hour block and then possibly an indef;
  • An edit filter. I am currently working on one.

Kudu ~I/O~ 20:53, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

I was just now checking the Quetiapine article, and noticed how frequently this page was edited, 27 times in the last month and on average every 2.73 days since it's creation in 2003. The article has contained controversial and plain wrong information more than once. Maybe this type of topic (psychiatric medication or psychoactive drugs) could use some partial protection for sections based on official sources like the FDA, Summaries of Product Characteristics and Patient Information Leaflets content etc. Not so much to prevent edit wars but rather to indicate some "higher standard" for the information provided in those sections. At the moment it's hard to tell whether any of it can be believed at all. DS Belgium (talk) 09:42, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Suppression by administrators

This is slightly similar to how the system worked a while ago.

  • Administrators using RevDel can select the Suppress revision from other administrators option. They can also use hideuser feature when blocking.
  • Administrators cannot see suppressed revisions, even the ones they hid. Only oversighters/suppressors can.
  • Users requiring suppression would still be directed to go to an oversighter/suppressor and not an admin. This would be for patrolling use only.
  • The same requirements would apply to admin suppression as for oversighter suppression. Issues involving admins using suppression when not required instead of RevDel will be dealt with in the usual matter (as appropriate).
  • Entries to the suppression log can be filtered by enforcer (admins or oversighters). (optional feature)
    • These entries can be patrolled by oversighters to assess the admin suppression. (optional feature)
  • The bulk of this is dependent on bug 20476.

What do you guys think? — Kudu ~I/O~ 21:35, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

Can you explain how these changes would be improvements or what problems they'd address? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Will Beback (talkcontribs) 21:38, 1 September 2011
It would allow admins to deal with libel, outings and other suppressible issues more quickly, especially since there aren't always oversighters available around the clock. — Kudu ~I/O~ 20:46, 2 September 2011 (UTC)
Conversely, it would create the problem of certain revisions being unviewable until an oversighter/suppressor is available to unsuppress it, if an error is made in the suppression process. —C.Fred (talk) 21:09, 2 September 2011 (UTC)
Do you see an issue with the cycle time for suppression requests right now, or do you believe the current oversight team is overloaded? - Alison 21:19, 2 September 2011 (UTC) disclosure: I'm an oversighter
Hmm... I'm not sure if there would be much added benefit over-and-above the current system of administrators using regular revision deletion and then flagging it to an oversighter. Yes, it would mean that other admins would not be able to view the oversightable material while it is being reviewed by the oversight team but this is usually not a huge concern. And on the other hand, it would would increase the probability that material would be inappropriate suppressed and add work for the oversight team as they would have to patrol the admin-suppressions. As an alternative, I think a pretty neat feature would be a checkbox for administrators to check to automatically flag the deleted revision for review by an oversighter - it would either generate an email to the oversight queue or have it appear on a special page for oversighters to review (or both). –xenotalk 21:31, 2 September 2011 (UTC) disclosure: sitting arbitrator and holder of oversight permissions

I can assure we are not currently overwhelmed/understaffed. As of this moment there are no pending requests in the queue and 24 persons with oversight permission signed in at OTRS waiting for work to do. That's what it has been like most of the time for the past year. I would add that currently WMF policy is that all holders of CU/OS permissions must identify themselves to the Foundation, so all 1,544 admins would need to submit identification. I don't think we need to do this, and furthermore I don't think we can do it. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:34, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

I can confirm that. Whenever I get the chance to log into OTRS (which is not enough, I'm afraid), I wonder if my queues have been set wrong in preferences because I don't see any open tasks!
As I understand it, Kudu is suggesting we give admins the ability to simply quickly oversight something - but not view anything more than they can now - so it probably wouldn't require identification. (See wmf:Privacy policy#Access to and release of personally identifiable information; wmf:Access to nonpublic data policy)
However, the more I think about it, the more issues I see arising: already too much material is revision deleted that shouldn't have been; it would reverse the onus, essentially requiring oversighters to have to explain every time they had to convert a suppression back to a deletion; and would lead to more complaints submitted to the Audit Subcommittee. –xenotalk 22:03, 2 September 2011 (UTC)
I don't know if I like the idea of admins being able to suppress, but not view/unsuppress suppressed revisions. Just generally, allowing anyone to take an action they can't reverse is troublesome, at least potentially. And of course, allowing admins to view suppressed revisions would render the whole system rather useless. If there's a compelling need, I'd say consider it, but in lack of that I just think the cons outweigh the pros. That said, the idea of admins flagging a revision for review by oversighters makes a lot of sense.--Fyre2387 (talkcontribs) 21:43, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
I'm afraid I don't much care for the flagging idea either, due to the potential for the Streisand effect. That is why suppression requests are best done through emailing OTRS. That's actually better than just flagging it because the reporting user, which does not have to be an admin, can describe in detail what the problem is without calling undue attention to it. It's a well-designed system that has had a lot of thought put into it. As the old saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Beeblebrox (talk) 15:23, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
In my idea, the fact that an item was flagged for suppression would only be available to users with the oversight permission. And indeed, perhaps the interface should simply provide a convenient way to generate an email to the OTRS queue with a field input for a rationale while performing an admin-level revision deletion (someone could probably write a script to accomplish this). –xenotalk 15:30, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
Hmm. Interesting. If we can find the code-fu to actually do that I could totally get behind that. Beeblebrox (talk) 15:33, 6 September 2011 (UTC)