Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab)/Archive 8

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Allowing minimization of disturbing images[edit]

Medical articles are often rife with very disturbing images that make it difficult to concentrate on the actual article. Why not have some simple function that allows a reader to minimize or hide a disturbing image so that he could go on reading peacefully? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dorshil (talkcontribs) 15:08, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

You mean like the (extended) keyboard shortcut ⇧ Shift+i to disable images in Opera? — Dispenser 15:49, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
There has been discussion around implementing an image filter, particluarly at meta: meta:Image filter referendum/en, as well as elsewhere. Depending on the implementation method, support has been... lukewarm. Resolute 20:32, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
I know what Dorshil means, but that is the nature of medical encyclopedia, it is pretty gross. But then how about the articles on entomology, any better? From a personal perspective, I consider some types of modern art, and the music of Barry Manilow more gross than medical images... so opinions vary... If we could suppress Barry (and others who murder music) as well, I would be all for it. But I doubt that it will happen. History2007 (talk) 14:36, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

what is I want to make text bold, underlined and italic[edit]


'''Bold text'''
<u>'''Bold + underlined'''</u>
'''''Bold +italic'''''
<u>'''''all of above'''''</u>(too much code so should be simplified to "''''''")

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Deathlaser (talkcontribs) 17:05, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

At first glance this seems like something of a corner case. Other than for illustrating what the format looks like in an article on HTML or CSS, do you have an example of where this would be useful in general? Regards, RJH (talk) 20:58, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
For 12+ years now <u> has been deprecated in favor of <span style="text-decoration:underline">. If you wanted all three (remember bold and italics are presentational) it's <span style="text-decoration:underline; font-weight:bold; font-style:italic;">. However, it recently been brought back in HTML5 as an unarticulated, though explicitly rendered, non-textual annotation. I honestly find the rational week and wonder why they'll bring back <blink>Dispenser 04:32, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
I'd be in favor of an automatic block for anybody using blink. Face-wink.svg Regards, RJH (talk) 16:32, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
I missed a great April Fools joke, Commons.css workaround for missing blink property. WebKit animation codeDispenser 00:36, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
It seems like the OP's issue is really that there's no wiki shortcut code for underlining, whereas there are for bold and italics. I've thought about that myself. Making it a single apostrophe would mean you can't display single apostrophes, though (apostrophes were chosen for wiki formatting presumably because they're basically never used in multiples otherwise). Maybe some other symbol that isn't otherwise used in multiples could be used instead for underlining, like $$ or %%. Equazcion (talk) 20:51, 14 Apr 2012 (UTC)
It would help if we understood the OP's intent. Bold, italic and underline add too much emphasis; see MOS:BADEMPHASIS. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 21:14, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
I'd like to point out that given the parser is under redevelopment as part of the Visual Editor project at the Foundation, the likelihood of underline being added is very minimal. The current syntax for bold and italics are bad enough and cause enough problems on non-English wikis. —Tom Morris (talk) 13:46, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

Hidden category for non-English sources[edit]

One issue I've come across with Wikipedia articles is the existence of articles which are either heavily or exclusively sourced to non-English sources. In practice, this makes verifiability rather hard for people who don't speak that language. A very simple solution I've got for this would be some hidden categories that could be placed on articles or their talk pages to help identify articles by the language of their references. A hidden category for something like "Wikipedia articles with Russian sources" could then enable Wikipedians who speak Russian to locate articles easily. Combined with CatScan, this could be useful for WikiProjects to locate articles that have sourcing issues. —Tom Morris (talk) 09:50, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

This might be useful, but it needs careful documentation, perhaps in the category. Thinking that one shouldn't accept non-English sources is a surprisingly common mistake and you'd need to avoid such a category being seen to label such articles as problematic. There's also the issue that some of these articles will themselves be translations from other language versions of Wikipedia, and for those articles the best way to add English sources is through normal editing and the course of time. ϢereSpielChequers 10:33, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Sure, they wouldn't be warning banners like we have on WP:TC: the point is specifically to aid with a variety of maintenance tasks rather than being something that needs "fixing" or "cleanup". There is no intention to build up another backlog, nor would the use of these categories be intended to imply that non-English sources are not acceptable. It's primarily so if someone who happens to be able to speak, say, Swahili or Welsh or whatever turns up at English Wikipedia, we can point them to such a category so they can check source usage.
Another way of getting the same result is to add a "language" property to citation templates: that way, if someone, say, copies a {{Citation book}} template from one article to another, the language tag goes with it. —Tom Morris (talk) 17:04, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
The citation templates do have a "language=" parameter. Phil Bridger (talk) 21:53, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
In which case, it might be very easy: just having a meta-template that transcludes hidden categories based on the language template content. Face-smile.svgTom Morris (talk) 13:00, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

Wasted time[edit]

How can we give a hint to editors not to waste time making minor fixes to disastrous articles that will soon have to be rewritten, and focus on articles where text has a decent chance of surviving. I say that because I have seen far too many edits like this one today. Now, that article has multiple tags on it, is by and large incorrect and I will most probably rewrite it later this year and only 1% of the current text may survive. As that happens all the work they did running AWB or what not gets thrown away. Can AWB or other tools be instructed to warn the user that this article is already dead and there is no need to put makeup on it? History2007 (talk) 21:51, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

Well there's {{cleanup-rewrite}}. If the article is currently undergoing an extensive edit, you can use a template from WP:TMAIN. Regards, RJH (talk) 17:37, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
It is not what I can/should do, for there are millions of articles and I can at best look at 2,000 of them. The problem I see is that the effort that goes into these types of edits (and who knows how many there are, but I guess a huge number) could be put to better use. I think AWB and other tools should somehow give better hints to those who use them, or some type of guideline of where clean up is needed or more appropriate. History2007 (talk) 18:12, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
That'd be something to take up with the folks who work on AWB, not something we can fix here. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 22:52, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

Proposed changes to the criteria for speedy deletion[edit]

I would like to propose some changes to the criteria as follows:

  1. Merge A9 into A7. The two are very similar, as they both deal with notability issues.
  2. Merge U1 into G7. The two are very similar, so why have a separate criterion for userspace?
  3. Expand G12 to include any page that could get Wikipedia into legal trouble, including files meeting criteria F3, F4, F5, F6, F7, F9 or F11. Those F-criteria deal with copyright and licensing issues, just like G12. Oh, and there's something else the speedy deletion criteria need to cover so Wikipedia isn't on the FBI's Most Wanted list: illegal files. There are some things that are illegal to display (I think you know what I'm talking about) and must go quickly so Wikipedia doesn't get in legal trouble. Illegal files could be covered by G12 too.

And I propose 2 new criteria:

A11: Unencyclopedic articles with no valuable history, including dictionary definitions, how-to articles, essays, things made up one day and others. A11 would not include articles that could become encyclopedic with a reasonable amount of effort. I know this will be controversial, but please think about it before automatically !voting oppose.
G13: Content forks, especially disruptive ones, where there is no reason to keep. A10, T3, F1 and F8 could be merged into G13. Why have four separate criteria when one will do?

I have proposed these changes to help simplify the criteria, avoid getting Wikipedia into legal trouble and save time pointlessly debating unencyclopedic articles that wouldn't stand a chance of surviving AfD. Thank you for reading these proposed changes, and please share your opinion below. I need your opinions. ChromaNebula (talk) 18:06, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

U1 and G7 are fundamentally different from each other. G7 is only for page where the requester is the sole contributor, while U1 is for page in the own userspace irrespective of contributors. Ruslik_Zero 16:25, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

Hiding tools by device[edit]

I sometimes find myself doing an accidental rollback when looking at my watchlist from a smartphone, big fingers and all that. I was wondering if it would be worth having an option to hide certain shortcuts by device - so if editing from a mobile, you can have twinkle/rollback turned off.

Otherwise - I guess it's a css fix? Anyone smart enough to have already done one of them? WormTT · (talk) 17:40, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

If you know exactly what device you're looking at, you can check its screen width and work from that. I pinched a bit of CSS to detect screen size for iPads and boost the font size:
@media only screen and (device-width: 768px) {
    textarea {
        font-size: 180%;

To hide rollback, I guess you'd want something like:

@media only screen and (device-width: NNNpx) {
    .mw-rollback-link { display: none; }

where NNNpx is the width of your smartphone's screen - 640px for an iPhone 4, 480px for a Nexus One, etc. Shimgray | talk | 18:47, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

FOI Request to National Archives[edit]

I was wondering if anybody here had considered filing an FOI request with the National Archives concerning the obtaining a specific dataset namely a list of Titles and Chapter numbers for all UK Primary legislation. (In Print form this list would seem to be the Chronological Table of The Statutes)

The wording I had arrived at for the initial request was:

"In order to provide for greater accuracy and to verify information contained within Wikipedia and Wikisource on information relating to Statute Law in the United Kingdom, it would be of advantage to have a list of Chapter numbers and titles (esp. Short titles) the intended use of which would be to confirm, amend or supplement existing data already present. The current site does not meet the requirement as it only holds legislation still in force, and seemingly not information about historical repeals.

With this in mind it would be appreciated if you were able to respond to the following questions (under Freedom of Information provisons)

i) Does your orgainsation in fact retain a list of the titles (in specific Short Titles) and Chapter Numbers for all UK primary legislation? (In print this dataset would be the 'Chronological Table of The Statutes')

ii) If held, (or can be provided) what period (specifically which Monarchs) this dataset covers, and when it was last revised?

iii) If held,(or can be provided) the likely time-scale needed to provide this data in a 'machine-readable' format, licensed subject to Open Government License terms the intent being to confirm and supplement data already held within Wikipedia and Wikisource.

iv) If not held, which organisation or official publication contains a partial version of the data being sought, and under what restrictions such data-set or publication can be provided?"

Before sending out an FOI request of this nature I felt it reasonable to begin a consultation here. Sfan00 IMG (talk) 21:24, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Non UK commonwealth wikiprojects are also likely to be interested in this once it's done. The FOI laws are different country-to-country but the core legal system is similar. Stuartyeates (talk) 21:45, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure making a request on this basis will get very far. You're basically asking for a digital copy of the Chronological Table, but that sort of thing is explicitly exempted from FOI - under Section 21, a public body isn't obliged to provide any information which is otherwise "reasonably accessible to the applicant", and commercially published would certainly qualify there.
Requesting the dataset may be worth a shot, but I would recommend against pitching it as a FOI request - it gives an easy avenue to turn it down outright. Shimgray | talk | 21:49, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

How do lists get promoted?[edit]

A few days ago we ended up creating Wikipedia:List of self-publishing companies and List of self-publishing companies just because the books by these types of publishers are appearing within references in Wikipedia with alarming regularity. They need to be avoided before they are used in 10,000 more Wikipages.

The 3 or 4 of us working on that will probably never be able to deal with the huge number of pages that use them. A bot is being discussed. But in the meantime, how do we go about promoting the existence of these lists so that:

  • People know they exists and hence avoid these publishers, given that they often show up on Google books, and just get used
  • People can look for the uses of these sources in the thousands of (or even more?) articles in which they are used, and somehow remedy the situation

Of course one way was to leave this message here, but other ideas (or actual help in cleaning up the use of these sources) will be appreciated. Thanks. History2007 (talk) 16:05, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

I'd link to them from appropiate places in policies to which they are relavent. You may be to dicuss the linking on the respective talk pages first. Stuartyeates (talk) 22:15, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
Good idea. I posted here to add it to WP:V. Thanks. History2007 (talk) 15:28, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

Elections at ITNR[edit]

In order to generate some more opinions to get consensus on an oft-cited issue of complaint there is a discussion at Wikipedia talk:In the news/Recurring items/Elections for those interested in expressing their view. There is also a sports extension should the current popular idea prevailLihaas (talk) 22:12, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

Dynamic hatnotes[edit]

Certain articles have a fair amount of cruft at the top, due to hatnote/disambiguation. Currently, all hatnotes are displayed at the top of each article. The worst example I know of is this one: Century: "Centuries", "Centenary", "Centennial", and "Centennials" redirect here. For other uses, see Centuries (disambiguation), Centenary (disambiguation), Centennial (disambiguation), and Centennials (disambiguation). For other uses, see Century (disambiguation)." I'm sure there are other examples like that.

We can do better than that. What if the hatnotes were dynamic, and they only displayed themselves based on the redirect that the user came from. So, for example, if I came from (Centenary), I would only get the centenary redirect hatnote.

The user interface could be simple - basically, there would be a certain class of hatnote templates that is dynamic. In the template, you specify all of the redirects that you want the hatnote to be triggered by. The software would normalize, (so you don't have to specify "Centuries" and "centuries" etc) by decapitalizing, removing spaces, and converting accents to ascii for example - that way, if new redirects get added, they might still trigger the hatnote.--KarlB (talk) 02:57, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Oooh, great idea! -- (talk) 06:00, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that would be great for redirects. However, not every hatnote is a redirect. See Entropy for example. Regards, RJH (talk) 14:36, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
I have no relevant technical knowledge, as this is a cut above coding a simple template. But would it be possible to implement this idea with specific templates? {{redirect}} for example? —WFC— 21:47, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure, but I can speculate that you'd need to pass the redirect name as state information to the new page, then be able to use that as a special variable in the template logic. Maybe a new variable could be added, such as {{PRIORPAGENAME}} to carry the prior page name. See WP:MAGIC. Regards, RJH (talk) 03:31, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

Script for adding reference sections in unreferenced articles.[edit]

I was wondering if there exist some kind of script that adds a reference section like the one below in articles not having one. This is very important as new editors who see the un-referenced tag sometimes try putting a "ref" but may be discouraged on seeing an error message even after they correctly placed the refs but was marked as error just by the lack of


Please guide me to such a script that places the reference section aat the appropriate place, if not i think this can be placed in one of the already existing tools such as Twinkle, any comments or suggestions ? -- ÐℬigXЯaɣ 18:10, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Helpful Pixie Bot usually makes this fix, but it looks like it has not run this in quite a while, as Category:Pages with missing references list has a backlog. I dropped a note with Rich F. to see what is going on. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 14:08, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
Backlog cleared. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 17:45, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
WP:REFLINKS does this automatically while formatting bare URL references at the same time (which is its primary purpose), however it takes no action if there are no bare URLs in the references. --lTopGunl (talk) 22:34, 13 May 2012 (UTC)


I think that you should put a button that allows formal HTML. I have some experience in HTML formatting and tags, but Wikipedia's own markup language is Greek to me. I know we can already use some HTML, but i mean letting us use the entire HTML alphabet. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sirsynx (talkcontribs) 23:14, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

Raw HTML is pretty dangerous. --MZMcBride (talk) 00:53, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
See also Wikipedia:FAQ/Technical#Why not use HTML? PrimeHunter (talk) 15:15, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Today's topical article[edit]

I would like to stress the that this is not a proposal, merely an early-stage idea that I would like to float, and hence the lack of publicising on my part. I would of course post this at WT:ITN, Talk:Main Page and WP:CENT if this were ever to develop into a serious proposal.

There have been several, piecemeal discussions in recent weeks about ITN, the general theme being whether it is too focussed on things which are general news, and not enough on stand-alone, consequential, encyclopaedic events. In my judgement, there is a significant strand of opinion that we should go all-out to move towards the latter, but at the same time there is a legitimate resistance to removing the only true avenue to the Main Page that "highly significant yet routine" news events have.

So I've been thinking about how we could possibly marry these two seemingly conflicting wishes. And I think a possible solution might be to use the TFL slot, which currently only runs on Mondays, to when appropriate feature "Today's topical article". This would be a reasonably well-developed article (C Class due to relatively minor deficiencies at an absolute minimum, ideally B class, GA or FA), on an article which under the current ITN system would ordinarily get a blurb. The existence of this section – which I envisage would only be used on 50-80% of the available days, due to the availability of stories and quality of articles – would enable us to steer ITN firmly in the direction of covering major, encyclopaedic events, rather than simply things which we consider important enough. I envisage that the overriding factor would simply be quality of article: where the supply of stories exceeds space it should simply be a race to the top, and a consensus decision on which is the higher quality article. If there is not an article which is at the very least close to B-class quality, we do not run an article at all on that day.

Thoughts? —WFC— 15:11, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

Addendum: For clarity, I am not proposing that we replace TFL (I am after all one of its biggest proponents). The suggestion is that this idea might utilise the TFL slot on the days that TFL doesn't run. —WFC— 16:23, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

So, what would replace the position currently occupied by ITN? -- tariqabjotu 16:02, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
Nothing. ITN would remain, albeit it would probably shift significantly towards "major recent events" (things outside of the usual news cycle), and away from "general news".

Essentially, the message to those who want to get something related to "general news" onto the Main Page would be to work on the article, and if it's of high enough quality, the article will be rewarded with high-quality exposure – a full-on TFA/TFL style blurb about the subject, in which the news itself is mentioned but is not the sole purpose of the blurb. I'm tentatively suggesting that quality be the only consideration (provided a subject is in the news), to prevent relatively subjective discussions about whether a particular piece of news is important enough. —WFC— 16:17, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

I was musing a somwhat similar idea last night but didn't actually raise it anywhere. Instead of a running order of teasers in the ITN box use an extended extract from just one story, replaced as and when a new story comes along that is ready. It might help alleviate the staleness problem we've had recently and at the same time it would implicitly enforce the update requirement more strongly - after all any extract is going to focus on the updated element even if it is part of the wider article so obviously a one-sentence non-update doesn't fit the bill. However, in some situations some editorialising would be needed to put the updated content into context - that isn't a show-stopper but is more work somewhere along the line. Crispmuncher (talk) 16:39, 11 May 2012 (UTC).

This is a very interesting idea. It's been stressed repeatedly that ITN is not a venue to simply report the news. Its underlying mission is still to showcase articles on this encyclopedia (and, to add to that, to have a convenient place where people can click on things they are interested in, in a timely and accessible fashion). This proposal would incentivize editors to contribute to articles detailing recent events much the same way DYK incentivizes creation of new articles. I envision that a 'queue' is drawn up and articles are placed on the main page after they undergo some scrutiny from the community (C-class minimum is a good standard, but also sufficient updates and a reference check).

I would also like to put forth the idea of ditching the ITN blurb (I don't understand everything Main-Page has to be a blurb!), or at least reducing its use. This way, it could save the discussions and arguments over blurb nuance, allow for a greater number of articles to be posted at any given time, and also prevent the blurb from featuring only a segment of the article that may only be of cursory importance. For example, the recent Greek elections: we posted a relatively inconsequential detail (who won a plurality) when we could wait until the dust settles to post who actually formed government. Doing away with the blurb would solve this problem: the reader would simply click and read the article itself (which is what we want the reader to do anyway).

Another reason for this is so we can showcase articles that are well updated but often get bogged down in 'support-oppose' style discussions at ITN/C, such as the NCAA March Madness debate that has now become an "annual ITN tradition". Effectively we can have a topical section on sports, in which we can provide links to the recent sporting events of wide interest. The NCAA guys would be happy that their article gets posted on the main page (they dedicate a lot of time updating it meticulously), and the community wouldn't be so put off that it is taking an entire blurb space on the page. Plus the reader benefits.

Yet another reason to have a 'topical article' idea is that it would incentivize updates to "minority topic" articles. Let's say we have five topics, just for starters: sports, disasters, politics, business and science. Let's say each topic showcases three articles dealing with recent events at any given time. We know that politics articles update more often, therefore are more likely to get 'recycled' off of the page more often. Science articles have higher lag time (as of now), so a user creating an article or updating an article about a recent event in the science category would understand that the science article will stick longer on the main page. Therefore for a veteran contributor, he might choose to contribute to science articles over a politics article just so his work can appear on the main page for a longer time (perhaps this will even out the "minority topics coverage" over time). To add onto that, to curb systemic bias, some incentive can also be given for users to create articles that deal with undercovered areas.

Anyway, I am optimistic that we all have the same goals in mind, and I am glad someone proposed a bold, fresh, thought-provoking idea! Colipon+(Talk) 01:17, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

That's extremely tl;dr, but it seems to me that you're attempting to hijack this idea into a "let's get rid of/severely change ITN" thing, which is what WFC expressly said his idea wasn't. —Strange Passerby (talkcont) 08:30, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
That's an accurate description of the differences between my idea and Colipon's – we share similar goals, but I have gone out of my way to give ITN the option of remaining as it is, whereas Colipon believes this should be part of the solution at ITN. Both valid approaches. Either way, I am very relaxed about related, tangental or counter-ideas being put forward. This discussion isn't about me getting my way, but about testing the water: seeing whether a semi-serious proposal which bears some sort of resemblance to the broad concept would be worth the effort, and whether there are ideas or elements which are better than the model I have presented. —WFC— 08:41, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
I think the idea is great but envision opposition to it in that many/.most ITN articles are created for that purpose and would be unilikely to become C in a such a short time. But its a good idea to stop the creation of recent articles more suited to wikinews.Lihaas (talk) 09:59, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
Lihaas: I think an article should be expected to be at a reasonably high standard if we are giving it a higher level of prominence on the page. On the other hand, I completely agree that any potential future proposal which entirely removes the avenue for brand new articles to get onto the Main Page would be a non-starter. I would point out that my idea would not change the status quo in any way: Today's topical article would look almost identical to how WP:TFL currently does, and ITN would be able to continue unchanged, if the community wishes it. Because it is very easy to know what this would look like (just look at the main page on a Monday and imagine TFL featuring my blurb on Adam Yauch), I haven't done a mock-up.

If however we were to go down the route of ditching mini-blurbs in ITN, and using the space to give prominence to one article at a time, I've created a tentative mock-up of how that might look, taking into account the feedback on this page. Please pretend that the blurb and article are tolerable – I literally whipped a blurb up in five minutes on something that I had at least some interest in, and spent more time on the layout.

Adam Yauch (August 5, 1964 – May 4, 2012) was an American rapper, songwriter, and film director. Known by his stage name MCA, Yauch was best known as a founding member of hip hop trio the Beastie Boys, which was formed in 1979 in New York City. The group's discography during Yauch's lifetime included singles such as (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!), Ch-Check It Out and Sabotage. Yauch was diagnosed with parotid cancer in 2009, for which he underwent treatment. He later resumed his role with the Beastie Boys, contributing to the release of Hot Sauce Committee Part Two in 2011. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2012, although Yauch was too ill to attend.

More topical articles: (would link to subpage with all other blurbs)
Please note that this mock-up is NOT a reflection of my original proposal. My proposal is that Today's topical article is created as a new section, in the TFL slot on days that TFL doesn't run, and that ITN continues to look precisely as it does now. I consider that idea to not require a mock-up at this stage. This mock-up represents an alternative idea, of incorporating the idea into ITN. —WFC— 10:48, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
I do apologize if my response was a little lengthy... it got the creative juices going. What I was proposing is merging TTA with ITN, creating an 'integrated' section called ITN or "Recent Happenings" or something along those lines. But instead of having a 'featured article' lengthy descriptor as we give Adam Yauch above, we would simply have four-five 'sections', such as politics, deaths, disasters, business, science. Each would be represented with an icon, and simply have article links. An alternative would be to maintain a few blurbs but also link articles.

I'll work on a mock-up. It would make it easier for people to conceptualize. Colipon+(Talk) 18:26, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Dont get me wrong, i agree. Im just doubting that something like this could pass. Considering we know the frustration of changing the status quo. this would knock off the rubbbish wikinews pages created on WP. Though i wholly agree with replacing ITN blurbs by objectively chosen articles.Lihaas (talk) 21:57, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
In the grand scheme of things, I've done relatively little for WP:TFL. The Rambling Man and Bencherlite were among its most respected advocates, Adam Cuerden, Edokter and Raul654 did most of the technical work (I did a small amount), TRM and Neelix have done more than anyone to keep the supply of quality content ticking over, and literally dozens of users have done more in the way of reviewing and creating featured lists than me. Sorry for going so off-topic for so long, but I say all this to make clear that I am not in any way trying to inflate my own importance or take credit for other people's efforts.

The one significant thing I did do for TFL was implement the roadmap for getting community approval: drafting the final proposal, doing everything in my power to make sure that problems and resolveable objections were nipped in the bud quickly, ensuring the community had confidence that all the behind the scenes mechanics were in place and that workload wouldn't cripple it, etc. If there isn't an underlying will to do something along these lines, then that's a shame, but that's life and we move on. On the other hand, if I believe there is a wider will for this sort of thing, I'll do my damned best to make it happen. —WFC— 20:23, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

Mock-up of integrative approach[edit]

In the News: (From Wikipedia's content covering recent events)

I was imagining something closer to the above. Colipon+(Talk) 18:44, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

I like the look of that. A lot. And I think a combination of ITN having a rapid turnover of articles in that sort of format, with the TFL box featuring one, longer blurb 5 or 6 days a week, really could work.

With an eye on how we might make this happen, my worry is that a lot of people might consider your vision for ITN as too big a departure from what we currently do. I think if both of those things were proposed simultaneously, the combined resistance would be too great, as people would consider it to be a big gamble. And I think if your suggestion were made first, those who might have been happy with the end result would oppose getting rid of all qualitative coverage of recent events on the Main Page.

On the other hand, I think if today's topical article were proposed first, and took off in the TFL slot, the community might later be receptive to ITN changing to something resembling your format. I'm not trying to charm or in any way mislead you into supporting my idea on that basis – there is the very real chance that the community still might not like such a bold change to ITN – but in my opinion that is the most plausible roadmap. —WFC— 20:53, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

WFC has it spot on — I (and I'm sure many others) will oppose any attempt to shoehorn a change to ITN away from its current 'blurb' structure. —Strange Passerby (talkcont) 12:45, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
I would like to hear some arguments on the advantages of a blurb structure over an article-title-based structure. I am sure those exist, and I am not dogmatic about implementing the above structure, fully aware of the opposition that I may encounter. But apart from the reasonable desire to curb such a 'radical departure', what are some of the advantages that the blurb structure offers? Colipon+(Talk) 15:03, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
At the moment, an ITN nomination is an unhelpful half-way house – we don't really care about the quality of an article, and yet we fiercely debate whether a subject is important enough. The advantage of a paragraph sized topical summary of the subject is that the nominator is actually putting thought into it, which generally means that either the article has a good lead, or someone is actually working on the article and will try to sort out any deficiencies. Essentially, my approach would remove all subjective discussion about importance, replacing it with a somewhat less subjective and hopefully less divisive discussion about quality. I guess under your system we would remove the extent to which an ITN appearance is a big deal, allowing us to simply focus on turning over a large number of diverse articles.

If you take the time to look at the section below, you'll see that while I haven't included your idea in the mock-up, I easily could have done. —WFC— 20:41, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

I'm not entirely opposed to this idea, but I tend to see ITN as more of a way to draw editors into helping us improve these topics than as a product in itself. For that reason, I feel like the blurbs are helpful. Two months ago, the discovery of the world's smallest frog was featured on ITN; the blurb interested me enough to click through and edit, but I wouldn't have recognized it by its scientific name. On the other hand, I'm a fan of trying to include more on ITN generally for the same reasons (attracting a wider variety of editors). Khazar2 (talk) 19:23, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
This approach may well help more editors from diverse interests; though I do see a value in a blurb, I see many of them as redundant. Take "Michael Jackson dies" for example. No one is going to come onto WP to find out that Michael Jackson has died. It's better to just link the article "Michael Jackson" because people probably already knew he died, and just want to visit his article to read about his life. Same with "Spain defeats Argentina at the world cup." For the people interested in reading about the world cup, they very likely already know that Spain won. They come onto Wikipedia to check other details - match stats, game dynamics, standings etc. Having a link "World Cup 2010 Finals" would achieve this purpose. Colipon+(Talk) 02:42, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Demonstration of the original idea[edit]

... can be seen here. —WFC— 14:23, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

Personal-bios idea[edit]

I think wiki pedia should have a division that would allow "regular" non famous people to create a page on themselves. Not unlike facebook this would link into the narcissistic behavior of most people. Kind of like an early online obituary. lol They would be similar to existing pages for famous people with background info etc. This page could be linked into facebook and maybe What do you think?


Fergus Falls Minnesota — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:55, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

No. Not within our purview as a general encyclopedia. Wikipedia:Alternative outlets. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 03:16, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia, only notable and relevant subjects are included Kinkreet~♥moshi moshi♥~ 17:34, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Personal bio-pages would overwhelm copy-editors: Already, Wikipedia is becoming swamped with thousands of articles with substandard grammar, format and sources, while still limiting those pages to notable topics. A mass infusion of non-notable articles would completely overwhelm the current system, and lose many more thousands of articles in the flood of personal biographies. If the plan were to tag personal-bio articles to avoid cluttering the whole system, I think even that would be improperly handled, and a vast flood of untagged articles would slip through to clutter and bury the notable articles which currently struggle, for editor attention, to get edited to WP:MOS quality standards. Facebook does not have the high-level quality-control problems of ensuring quality content. -Wikid77 (talk) 00:09, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

Watching topic[edit]

Before I start, let me say I have no idea how to do this, I just think it is a good idea. But will be willing to help anyone who wants to implement it.
At the moment, we have the option of watching pages. If I want to watch just one topic or discussion on that page, I have to watch the whole page. So when I look at what has changed in my watchlist, even things I am not interested in pop up. I think it would be a good idea to have an option whereby a user can watch a page, but also watch a topic, heading, or sub-heading of a page or article. Kinkreet~♥moshi moshi♥~ 20:54, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

It's a good idea. There is the script Catwatch lets you watch a category for changes (I misunderstood)Equazcion (talk) 21:14, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't think that's what Kinkreet is after. It sounds more like s/he would like to be able to watch (for example) a single discussion at WP:ANI without having to watch the entire page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:19, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
Oops I wasn't paying attention. Yeah this has been brought up before. Actually they were thinking of making all the ANI discussions into transcluded pages, so people could watch them individually and avoid edit conflicts, as is done on some other process pages. It never came to fruition though. The ability to watch a particular header would definitely be awesome. I think it would require some significant new coding and database changes in MediaWiki though. Equazcion (talk) 21:29, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing caught my idea right on, thanks. I want it (and I think others want it as well) for following a single discussion, as well as following a section of a large article. For example for quantum mechanics, if someone is a historian and only want to keep an eye out for the history of quantum mechanics, I think it would be more efficient for them if they are able to watch just that section, for example. Kinkreet~♥moshi moshi♥~ 10:41, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes, a good idea, and may require effort to implement if it requires schema changes as Equazcion said. But as they say leave it to the bot. If the user has patience, a bot could produce such a report without Mediawiki modifications and produce a report once a day. And that would not overload the Mediawiki servers if and when distributed bots fly... but let me not get off topic, for this is unlikely this year. History2007 (talk) 21:57, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
I think we have establish this might be not a simple implementation, but if there is someone who we can talk to about this, who would it be? Kinkreet~♥moshi moshi♥~ 12:31, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
It would have to be brought up at bugzilla, that's how we communicate with the developers who make the major changes. It can be tough to get them to do stuff that constitutes major new features, unless a broad consensus is demonstrated first by the community (even then it can be difficult). A !vote at WP:VPT would probably be needed first. I can't predict how that might go. Equazcion (talk) 12:47, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the advice, I will move this discussion over there. Kinkreet~♥moshi moshi♥~ 08:26, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

Transparent image overlay on mouse-over?[edit]

I know we have functionality like image maps and annotated images, but I don't see anything like the image swap capability you can provide with JavaScript code. What I'd like to be able to do is place a transparent SVG overlay that appears on a mouse-over (or the alternative: removing the overlay on mouse-over). This would see to have a lot of applicability, and it's comparable to the transparent overlays you'd find in some encyclopedias (such as the transparent overlays used to show human anatomy). What do you think? Regards, RJH (talk) 17:54, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Here's an example of a type of mouse-over overlay. RJH (talk)
{{ImageAnnotations}} seems to be available on Wikipedia, but it isn't enabled. There was a discussion here, but I don't see any more recent discussions. Regards, RJH (talk) 16:24, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

Bot to assist is dealing with Time Dependent Langauge[edit]

I saw this post by a newish editor which seems to make one hell of a good suggestion. As they said;

I now suggest that wikipedia have a campaign to teach editors that TIME is very important in editing.

In articles I often come across references to things such as "recent" "current" "currently" "last few years" "last few decades" "last century" etc. These are obviously silly and have no place in an encyclopedia.

So. 1. editors need to be made aware NOT to use such phrases 2 Someone should make a robot which searches for phrases like this and flags them as POSSIBLE TIME PROBLEMS

What is the feasibility of such a bot being developed?

There are evident advantages to a bot. It will assist in dealing with actual in line content rather than focusing upon whole pages. It should be able to highlight pages with multiple issues and priorities them and assist in targeting copy editors to the most needy cases. It would act to target experienced eyes and minds where they can be most valuable, and they are also most likely to pick up multiple issues.

Of course the idea may be totally infeasible for wiki, but I would prefer that to be shown to be the case rather than it being assumed to be the case. It could be a great bot and tool is lost for the want of a nail. Media-Hound 'D 3rd P^) (talk) 11:07, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

The guideline you ask for already exists: WP:RELTIME.
The main hurdle such a bot would have to overcome is described in WP:CONTEXTBOT. For example, in direct quotes these types of phrases should not be tagged. And in a phrase such as "In the last few years of the 20th century", "last few years" is entirely clear. The word "current" has many different meanings (see all sections besides the first of current (disambiguation)), and words such as "current", "recent", and "currently" may not be a problem when discussing events on a geological time scale.
Your best bet would be to have someone periodically analyze a database dump to generate a list of articles for humans to manually go through; I'm not sure whether this is in the ambit of Wikipedia:WikiProject Check Wikipedia, or whether they focus more on technical and syntactic issues rather than semantic issues. Anomie 15:02, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the response Anomie - it would seem that the use of the term Bot is misleading. It would seem that "Tool" or maybe "Script" is a better description. Thanks for helping focus the language.

I have anticipated the argument that "Quotations" would be an issue. It is relatively simple when content is parsed to ignore everything within quotation marks.

I don't believe that using a Database dump is useful or practical. It takes the focus away from wiki itself and the edit window. A correctly formatted tool/script along the lines of a Java script that keeps focus where it is needed.

Headings such as Category:Lists_of_currently_active_military_vehicles show just how mixed up the language is. On the page there are many forms of Cron Language from "Active" to "Currently Active". Does "Currently Active" mean an aircraft has to be in the air to count? The recognised phrase would be "In Service", but it does not feature at all. "In Service" is itself Cron Language. Any tool would need to link certain words and phrases for searching such as "Military"+"Active"or"Currently" to parse down to pages that need the eyes of copy editors.

I would advise looking for the following using the wiki search engine "| currently airing". Does it identify pages that are about the subject, or is it identifying pages that have an air of advertising and marketing about them that may need some attention?

The Guild of copy editors are themselves focusing upon Cron Language Turn Of The Century

The word "presently" keeps cropping up. I found one entry that caught my eye concerning a rather rare and precious gem which is described as "Presently" being in The Iranian Crown Jewels. I did not know that one of the world's rarest gems is for sale! Who do I pay? P^)

Presently, as adverb, is not being used correctly. The entry should be in the simple present tense, denoting a fact that continues into the future. The English language has no True Future Tense, other tenses are modified to talk about the future. Here we have an unintended time shift that indiactes I can buy a rather nice gem. My guess is it is linked to a translation issue.

I have noticed:
  • that when you find Cron language, it has a high incidence on pages that are already tagged with other issues.
  • that on many of these pages the language in general indicates that it has been translated into English, or the person who has written the page is not First Language English. Other languages have very different tense structures to English, and unskilled direct translation often introduces Cron Language in error.
  • Frequently, linked citations are either wrong or incorrectly formatted or both.
  • Cron Language keeps on cropping up on pages that have a very high level of edits identified only by IP address and where there are observable issues over COI. When you check the IP you find it linked to those with clear COI.
  • There are templates to deal with specific date and cron issues Update After and WP:ASOF, and that shows just how important Time is to referencing and validity of content.
I did a quick test with google and looked for pages with the template for "additional citations" which produced over 600,000. I double checked that for just the word "Presently" and got over 180000 results.

I then checked for copy edit template and found 3500. Cross reference that with "Presently and you get 1800 hits. It would seem that when copy editing is identified as a need it has a better correlation with overall issues and clean up. And that is just looking at one term in the pantheon of "Cron Language".

I'm no copy editor. My eyes and mind work in different ways, but I can see just how those eyes and minds can be better utilised and empowered. I also see that there is little information available on how to use existing resources to locate issues within wiki that copy editors are experts in fixing. Catscan is one resource but it does not allow the needed analysis. Any tool may need to reference a specialist tag which would identify that a page has been copy edited and not changed since. It could be referenced to the talk page so that an entry there saying that phrase "Blah Blah" was reviewed and passed (date) would exclude the wiki page entry from any generated lists. That way if a new edit has introduced new or further Cron language it can be readily flagged for a revisit, review and re-tagged. It would allow the copy editors to do Quick Jobs easily rather than having a massive focus upon in depth copy editing. There is also wider application for hunting down and addressing many other forms of language - "Purported" gets some interesting results. Purported by who - when - how? Where did the allegation, inference or claim come from? It flags up so many missing citations it's fascinating.

Presently, when you look at Wikipedia articles needing copy edit it is clear that articles with high levels of needed input have been tagged. The smaller issues which are equally important and even rapidly addressed are being missed. There are presently no tools to empower the copy editors to locate and address the far larger incidence of Cron Language misuse - and which can be dealt with faster. Using the wiki search engine just returns list of pages that is hard to manage - and if a piece of Cron language is found to be valid, it still keeps being pulled up even after it has been addressed.

A valid tool or script that empowers people to track down Cron Language - and potentially other forms of language that can be just as insidious - would even allow people with different levels of skill as copy editors to focus where they can best be utilised, and it can even be used as a training aide for mentorship of rising copy editors. Media-Hound 'D 3rd P^) (talk) 14:25, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

I absolutely see the value in such a bot, but Anomie raises an excellent point as well. If such a bot were developed it might generate quite a few false positives, which would be very troublesome. I will think on this problem more, Media-hound-_thethird. Perhaps we can brainstorm a solution that is agreeable to all parties involved. Timeweaver (talk) 22:41, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

Thank you so much Media-hound. You are wonderful. Unfortunately the answers given here is exactly the type of negativity I am talking about. Instead of THINKING how to do it, they make up theores why they think it won't work. And you know what, the theories are wrong!! Have they even tried to see if their theories are correct? NO. Unfortunately the search box in wikipedia is broken. Try searching for "currently". But if you use google ..... Try "last few years" and the result is the same ie LOTS of pages that could be improved, not many negative hits. Try "last few decades". So now I make more suggestions:

  1. Anyone who is an administrator and does something wrong or thoughtless or negative loses a point. After they lose three points they lose their administration.
  2. Fix the wikipedia search box so that if you use "" you get what you search for
  3. Make a robot to flag (not change) time dependent words.
  4. Make a robot that saves me having to type tildas all the time for my signature.

And thank you again Media-hound. You should be the boss of wikipedia because it looks like they need a new one. SOoooooo much negativity here it crushes my spirit. I seriously doubt I'll be back. ONE person who cares and so many others who are just talk is not a happy ratio. I have to go now. It's not good for my personality and still there are no apologies or no fixes from the negative people I met when I started editing. Good luck. LOL Kelly222 (talk) 23:01, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

This particular problem doesn't happen to bother me that much, but I realize that it is a problem in some cases.
On the other hand, the mere presence of these words isn't always a problem. I saw someone tagging a sentence a while ago that said something like "In the Middle Ages, everyone believed X, but now everyone believes Y". I don't remember the article in question, but the statement struck me as something perfectly obvious (like "cancer doesn't instantly kill 100% of patients"), that had been true for at least the last half century, and (if memory serves) was followed by an inline citation supporting the claim. The editor apparently wanted the statement to say something like "In 2012, everyone believes Y", which is a silly way of indicating a belief that has existed for decades, or "As of 2:57 a.m. GMT on January 3, 1953, when public opinion instantly and radically changed to something very different from the views in the Middle Ages, everyone now believes Y", which would have been wrong.
I think there is a lot of room for improvement, but mindlessly flagging statements that are both accurate and verifiable because they might (or might not) need to be updated in another decade or two is not helpful. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:24, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

Notability of Academics[edit]

I have started a discussion (see Talk page) about whether we should consider revising Notability (academics). Compared to other Wikipedia notability guidelines, this one seems rather convoluted, and at times self-contradictory. NJ Wine (talk) 04:13, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

specification - the key to success (about "Integrated circuit packaging")[edit]

I read an article "Integrated circuit packaging". Everything seems right - but not a drop of knowledge has not increased, and all because of anecdotal evidence do not be thought of value. So I think it would be better to consider the information subsequently present a more detailed, as is done in some articles on mathematics. The article does not address many practical issues, and it turns out, it is even not enough for school. Well, for example where infrared heat for drying or welding of the cover in nitrogen or dry nitrogen filled housing to increase the breakdown voltage. Sorry if that is not so - my native language - not English. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jogladik (talkcontribs) 19:21, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

This is the wrong place...try WP: Requested articles or the article talk pageLihaas (talk) 22:18, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Actually, I think the problem is that the article is incomplete. Perhaps Jogladik could try to expand it. There are now two WP:WikiProjects listed on the talk page. The WikiProject users might be able to help Jogladik. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:56, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
That article is a disaster. Needs a rewrite really. I marked it as such and as needs attention for WikiProject Computing. The sad part is that it is really a "key topic". But think of it this way, the single source it has is from 1976 and predates the IBM PC... History2007 (talk) 22:07, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
So fix it is my feeling. Overall it does look like a top level article that just lists subsidiary topics and I think a reasonable start would be to include the summaries of the referenced articles and then use proper summary style. I don't think there is anything particularly bad about using a 1978 book at the top level to introduce things. For instance a modern book about handling thermal problems would deal with just simulating the system and detail various special systems whereas an old book would give more of a feel for the overall problems because they had to do hand calculations or use a HP calculator so they had to concentrate on what was important. Dmcq (talk) 10:14, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Which one do I fix first, this, the message passing articles, virtual worlds, robotics? There are so many articles that need help that even I worked on them 72 hours a day I would still be many hours short. I am still trying to write one more and final article to finish the "supercomputing series" clean up I started in July 2011. So by midsummer I can start to think of new things, but not before (and yesterday someone asked me to write a new article on art history). The reality is that WikiProject Computing is seriously shorthanded. So I will probably never get to do this article. History2007 (talk) 18:30, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

Localized Units of Measurement + Currency[edit]

I just wanted to suggest that you use localized currency and units of measurements. You could auto detect them and the user's location (with permission).

I came up with this because i was reading the article on The Avengers and on the section about the gross profits it half in £ and half in $, it looked messy.

Pre-release audience tracking showed that interest for the film was "incredibly strong", with interest very high among men and strong among women. The tracking suggested that the film could gross over ****$**** 100 million during its three day opening weekend in North America, with online ticket pre-sales selling out.[144] Further tracking suggested that the gross could exceed ****$**** 150 million.[145] The Avengers tracked ahead of 2008's The Dark Knight ( ****$**** 158.4 million) and 2012's The Hunger Games( ****$**** 152.5 million), which held the record for the second and third best opening weekends behind 2011's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 ( ****$**** 169.2 million).[145] On, North American ticket presales during the week before release exceeded those of Captain America: The First Avenger, Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and Thor combined during the same period, by over 150 percent.[146]

As of May 6, 2012, The Avengers has earned ****$**** 200.3 million in North America and ****$**** 441.5 million in other countries for a worldwide total of ****$**** 641.8 million worldwide,[3] marking the highest grossing film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.[147] Its worldwide opening of ****$**** 385.4 million is the third largest of all time.[148]

Outside North America, the film opened on April 25, 2012, in ten countries, earning ****$**** 17.1 million.[149] It opened in 29 more countries on April 26 and 27, earning ****$**** 73.1 million in three days.[150] Through April 29, it earned an opening-weekend total of ****$**** 185.1 million from 39 countries.[151] The Avengers set opening-day records in New Zealand, Malaysia and Iceland, a single-day record in the Philippines, as well as both single- and opening-day records in Singapore and in Thailand. It also earned the second highest-grossing opening day in Australia ( ****$**** 6.2 million), behind Deathly Hallows – Part 2, in Mexico, in the Philippines and in Vietnam.[149][150][152][153][123] It set opening-weekend records in twelve territories, including Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, Central America, Bolivia, Taiwan, the Philippines and Hong Kong.[151][154] It also earned the second largest five-day opening in Australia ( ****$**** 20.2 million).[155][151] In the UK, Ireland and Malta, it earned ****£**** 2.5 million ( ****$**** 4.1 million) on its opening day[156] and ****£**** 15.8 million ( ****$**** 25.7 million) during the weekend,[157] setting an opening-weekend record for a superhero film.[153][158]

In North America, on its opening day, the film earned ****$**** 80.5 million, marking the second biggest opening- and single-day gross of all-time, behind Deathly Hallows – Part 2.[159][160] The film's Friday gross included an ****$**** 18.7 million midnight run – a record for a superhero film.[161] Without midnight grosses, the film earned the largest single day of all time ( ****$**** 61.8 million).[162] It also set a Saturday- and Sunday-gross record ( ****$**** 69.7 million and ****$**** 50.1 million respectively).[163][164][165] In total on its opening weekend it earned ****$**** 200.3 million, setting an all-time opening-weekend record (previously held by Deathly Hallows Part 2).[166] Other records include the biggest per theater average for a wide release ( ****$**** 46,057 per theater) and the fastest film to reach ****$**** 100 million (two days), ****$**** 150 million (two days) and ****$**** 200 million (three days).[167][168][169][170][165] The opening weekend audience was evenly split among those under and over the age of 25. 60 percent of the audience were male, 55 percent were couples, 24 percent were families, and 21 percent were teenagers.[171] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:28, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

While the proposal is a bit messy, this does sound like a pretty good idea. The trick is trying to find a reliable source of "open source" or public domain data we can use for currency conversions, and coming up with a way to keep those conversions up to date. The problem isn't so much templating the conversion factor (that would be easy) but instead setting up a system variable that could be put into the user preferences for deciding what the "local currency" would be for the user or what kind of units (Imperial or Metric... to give some examples) would be appropriate. A couple of bots could be used for updating the conversion factors (and a Wikiproject set up to maintain the system if enough interested editors could be involved). Articles should also have the locally appropriate currency listed as well in the context of the article and some editorial discretion, but it certainly is something possible to add to Wikipedia. --Robert Horning (talk) 02:40, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Searching the VP finds a multitude of previous proposals.
Say you state that a 2012 movie grossed $100 million and automatically convert that to €77 million. Two years from now, the Euro takes a dump, and the converted number in the article is updated to €50 million. But that is not right, because the value on the date in question was actually €77 million.
The problem is that currency conversions are instantaneous values: They are only good for a specific date. Your template would have to include the date and draw from a database that includes every currency value for each and every day. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 08:57, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
Articles should give the amounts as then recorded, not convert to modern day equivalents. In fact I don't think they should even convert between different terms unless the sources did. However if somebody would like to write a gadget that people could use to convert prices in 1955 terms in pounds to present day terms in dollars for instance I'm sure here would be a ready market for that. Dmcq (talk) 10:23, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

Notability of television (or radio) episodes[edit]

"Woody Interruptus", the episode of Cheers, was created under claims of notability, such as "Best Director" award, ratings, and its own existence. However, I could not find sources that significantly cover this episode's story and writing. I even tried addressing it in WP:Notability noticeboard, but there has been no immediate response.

WP:notability (fiction) is still an essay, so it must not be used. I have also found Wikipedia:Notability (TV episodes), but it is inactive. What can I do? Shall we make exclusion guideline? --George Ho (talk) 17:54, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

But if there are no sources available, what are you going to write in the article?--Ymblanter (talk) 18:04, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
There's nothing I can do for that article without proper reason to either merge or delete. The consensus says "retain this article". No production notes about this episode have been found. Expanding a plot is out of question, as it might encourage fancruft, and the plot is uninspirational and unmemorable as is. Also, no critical reception is found yet, and IMDB and are not reliable. --George Ho (talk) 18:13, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
May be you should ask the admin who summarized the merger discussion, or invite them here--Ymblanter (talk) 18:16, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Asked Beeblebrox. --George Ho (talk) 18:21, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm unclear on what it is you want from me, I did not participate in the RFC, I merely closed it based on what consensus could be drawn from the discussion there. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:41, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
I think (if I understand the matter correctly) we have the following problem. The article does appear to be not notable, and no sources could have been found. There was a merger discussion, which you summarized, with the result that the article should not be merged. What would be the next step without accusations in gaming the systems? If this issue would come to my attention before the discussion, I would say AfD. But now I do not know. Do you have any advise, possibly also based on the outcome?--Ymblanter (talk) 18:45, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

I have contacted previous participants of merger discussion about this. --George Ho (talk) 19:10, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

What is at issue here is a much broader issue of what constitutes a "notable" episode. There are two sides. Side 1 says that an episode must have critical commentary to make it notable, while side 2 says that notable awards and a basic plot are sufficient to make it an encyclopedic topic. Side 1 feels that if an article just has a few awards, it could be redirected to a season article or episode list. In the instance at hand, side 2 carried the day. The question is should we use that as a guide for what the general rule should be. I was on side 2.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 19:14, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
Then I return to my original question. Ther material in the article should be sourced. Potentially, we should be able to source every sentence. Then, if reliable sources only cover the fact that the award was given, this is the only material which is allowed in the article. (And then we could still discuss whether such an article should be kept, merged, or deleted). What is wrong with this reasoning? I assume now that the sources have been thoroughly searched for, and they indeed do not exist - I have no idea whether this applies to the article in question.--Ymblanter (talk) 19:25, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
Everything in Woody Interruptus that needs to be sourced is. Neither the WP:LEAD nor the Plot needs to be cited.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 20:03, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
The lead does not need to be cited so long as the statements it contains are cited in the body. The plot section is part of the article body, and yes, it does need to be cited. You know, WP:V and all. Resolute 20:36, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
Plot sections do not need to be sourced, according to Wikipedia:How to write a plot summary#Citations, and this random sample I just took. Woknam66 talk James Bond 21:29, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
Err no, that says you can cite a plot summary to the primary source. It does not say anywhere in that section that "plot sections do not need to be sourced". Resolute 22:00, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes, and the fact that plot sections are never sourced means that the primary source is implied. Woknam66 talk James Bond 22:08, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm curious as to what part of WP:V says that sources can be "implied"? Resolute 17:05, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
The parts that say inline citations are not required except in three specific situations (BLP adds a fourth). The first of those parts would be the beginning of the second paragraph of WP:V: "It must be possible to attribute all information in Wikipedia to reliable, published sources that are appropriate for the content in question. However, in practice it is only necessary to provide inline citations for quotations and for any information that has been challenged or that is likely to be challenged."
NB that "possible" encompasses "by going to the library" and "asking your favorite search engine", not merely clicking pre-supplied little blue numbers. WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:39, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Claiming that these reviews don't exist is completely ridiculous. Woody Interruptus was the most-watched episode the week it aired, and claiming that reviews of it don't exist is like claiming that reviews of recent American Idol episodes don't exist. These reviews may not be online, or they may be hidden behind pay walls, but I guarantee that they exist. If someone could get their hands on a New York Times or a LA Times or a Washington Post from December 14, 1990, they would find a review of Woody Interruptus. The problem is that, back in 1990, reviews weren't posted online, because the internet wasn't very widespread yet. When you google "Woody Interruptus review" you don't get any real results, but when you google "The Magician's Code review" you get literally thousands of reviews. This has absolutely nothing to do with notability, this has to do with time. Deleting an episode article because you can't find any reviews doesn't make any sense. Just because you can't find any reviews doesn't mean that they don't exist, it just means they you're looking in the wrong place. Woknam66 talk James Bond 19:42, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
Just as every other episode of Cheers that season is the most watched. Ratings could make the whole season notable, but an episode? As for the good-faith argument, well, I'm trying to find those episode reviews in microfilms. However, when I was a little boy, I could not find such review about one episode of any show on newspapers before internet. Maybe Entertainment Weekly or People could do, but... NY Times? --George Ho (talk) 21:02, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
I may be wrong about widespread newspapers having reviews, and maybe I should have used pop culture-oriented periodicals as examples, but that's irrelevant. What matters is that assuming that reviews of the most popular show in a given year don't exist is completely ridiculous. I believe that they exist not because I have any proof that they exist, but because they must exist. Woknam66 talk James Bond 21:29, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
If you are discussing season reviews... well, they do exist. Episode reviews? Later reviews of older episodes exist.... well, pop-culture oriented sources are more likely than widespread ones. Nevertheless, maybe we could propose a good-faith guideline on television episodes? If not, what about exclusion straw poll, as editors are doing to WP:PORNBIO in WT:notability (people)? --George Ho (talk) 02:34, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

Anybody here? I think I need a better idea about episodes (radio or television). The only ideas I have are notability guidelines and good-faith guidelines. So far, that's all I have, and I'm not sure if they are very pleasing. --George Ho (talk) 03:41, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

If the rules aren't clear, chillax and think about what would be best for the encyclopedia.
I have a random idea though. How about someone goes into a public library, which keeps old copies of the New York Times (possibly on microfilm), and finds the one with the review of the show. If you could find different reviews in different newspapers even better. This would satisfy WP:V as per WP:SOURCEACCESS. Yaris678 (talk) 17:40, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
....Well, I guess the topic itself may be notable under vague notability guidelines. I still believe that any critical commentary verifies an episode's notability, and I still believe that lack of commentary would prove the search of notability difficult. However, another side says that other sources, such as an episode itself and awards, verifies its own notability. Well, under this logic, both sides are correct. Right now, I'm losing interest on the episode. As for the offline sources, I'm still trying, but I have other plans without wasting too much time on one thing. --George Ho (talk) 21:15, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
To quote myself "None of this really even matters, I'm never going to convince you that you're wrong, and you're never going to convince me that I'm wrong." that being said, I believe that any episode of any english tv show should be able to have it's own page, if someone is willing to create it. Woknam66 talk James Bond 00:30, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Chan Siu Kei and Keith Chan[edit]

Both subjects are named Keith Chan. Both are composers, but one of them is a lyricist and producer. What can I do to comply with WP:naming conventions (Chinese)? --George Ho (talk) 00:07, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

The idea lab section of the village pump is a place where new ideas or suggestions on general Wikipedia issues can be incubated, for later submission for consensus discussion at Village pump. Why is this section here? —Strange Passerby (talkcont) 10:02, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
I am planning a request to rename both titles into something more disambiguous. I need suggestions if "Keith Chan Siu Kei" and "Keith Chan Fai Young" are not suitable. --George Ho (talk) 00:22, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Hi, George. This isn't really an idea to be incubated; this is a content question. :) You might want to take it up somewhere more likely to succeed - like at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Chinese) or even at a WikiProject. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 18:40, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Use of templates in articles of Asian topics[edit]

Seriously, the contents in articles that I've created, such as dan dan you qing, bu liao qing (song), zai shui yi fang (song), ni zen me shuo, and yat saang ho kau (album), prove that adding templates is not that convenient to use any longer. Calling them stubs are insulting because they may not have inline citations and explanatory details. I tried using Template:track listing, but that turned out to be more inconvenient for dan dan you qing, especially with precious information that I provided. At least I used Template:expert-subject on dan dan you qing, but... what do I know?

Moreover, the sources are mostly non-English and not easy to translate, as it has been mentioned before. Looking at articles, such as Teresa Cheung, I wonder if I have enough energy to clean up the content. Template:Infobox Chinese may be something, but.... I don't use it, as I prefer using simple prose and list formats. Infoboxes are bonuses. --George Ho (talk) 09:38, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

Exactly the same question as above. What idea are you advocating? This doesn't belong here otherwise. —Strange Passerby (talkcont) 10:03, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
For starters, the only ideas I have are either stop using stub templates, encourage prose in related guidelines rather than infoboxes or list templates (such as track listing), or make something that complies with kinds of informating. If these do not work, then... shall we move this information to WP:village pump (miscellaneous)? --George Ho (talk) 10:15, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
"Stub" usually means "this page currently has fewer than ten sentences on it". What is insulting about this? WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:44, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
When I said "insulting", I imply that calling one article a stub would encourage unnecessary unsourced details about one topic. "Bu liao qing" has no secondary sources but has referenced primary sources; same for "zai shui yi fang" and "ni zen me shuo". Even when short, an article is informative enough. Also, the offline sources are Chinese and not easy to understand for many English readers. Why calling them stubs if no expansion is needed, especially for any "notable" old Asian topic with obscure coverage, such as old songs? --George Ho (talk) 14:59, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
If the article says as much as can be said, then it is not a stub, as defined by WP:STUB.
Encouraging people to expand an article is not an insult. It is insulting for you to assume that other people would be likely to add only "unnecessary unsourced details" intead of improving the article. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:23, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Static vs dynamic topics: seriously outdated articles[edit]

As someone pointed out further up on this page, the article on Integrated circuit packaging is many, many years out of date. That made me realize that we have a chronic problem on our hands.

So, how is the situation with out of date articles in fields such as life sciences, chemistry, medicine, etc.?

What I can tell you is that in the computer science project, many articles are embarrassingly outdated. I cleaned up supercomputer some time ago, and it was at least 10 years behind, if not more. Computer animation is at least 10 years behind, and I will clean it up by the end of summer probably - will be a rewrite. I came across Massively parallel now and it is at least 15 years behind, and still gives ESPRIT 1085 (1985) as an example. I will clean it up next week, but this seems to be a serious quality/reliability problem. I will not even attempt to look at all the computer networking articles in this lifetime - who knows how up to date they are?

What are people's experiences in fields such as chemistry, biology, medicine, etc.?

Now, contrast that with Pythagorean theorem. Can it go out of date within the next 5 years? Certainly not. The topic has been stable for centuries - Pythagoras is not proving theorems any more. Many of the math articles enjoy the "stable for ever" property. The same may be true of many art history articles, etc. Van Gogh and Rubens are not painting any more, of course.

Something needs to be done to mark the articles that may go out of date soon, to attract attention to them as "dynamic" topics that need attention once a year at least. As usual, the problem remains the shortage of editors. The last comment on Talk:Massively parallel was from June 2010 and they suggested a rename then, but no one seems to be even breathing there any more. The problem is that there are many far flung technical articles that are embarrassingly out of date and a list/category of some type may need to be invented for them. The current outdated tag means it is outdated now, not that it is likely to be chronically outdated unlike Van Gogh type articles.

I do not even know which articles me need ongoing attention. So some type of list/category should help identify the pages that need the most help on a routine basis. What is the best way to create this type of list/category to distinguish these from the timeless Pythagorean theorem type pages? History2007 (talk) 03:38, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

What specifically do you consider to be wrong with these articles? Both could be improved but "out of date" would not be among my first criticisms. I'm looking primarily at Integrated circuit packaging since I have little expertise in massively parallel systems but the content there seems pretty much up to date to me. That there are few recent sources given does not make the material out of date: on the contrary, it reflects the speed of the underlying trends. In my experience people tends to look at the speed at which new models and speed bumps come along and confuse that with the speed of progress in the fundamentals which is generally much slower.
Since computers are being discussed here they are actually a good example - the SSEM ran in 1948. By 1960 the underlying theories for most of a current computer science degree were in place - most fundamental data structures and sorting algorithms (for example) were well known, operating systems and high level languages were in place. By 1970 virtual memory, wide area networking, object orientation and multiprocessing had been added to the mix, and with semiconductor memory which was becoming widespread by that point the computers were very much beginning to look like they do now from a technical standpoint.
The popular computing press tends to cloud these fundamentals in endless reporting of yet another new product. That's their job. Out job is to be encyclopedic, and take one step back and decide what is truly important for a thorough grounding. Too many computer-related articles devolve into endless reporting of the latest products (Hard disk drive would be a good example) and neglect the fundamental broad-brush outline as a consequence.
One final point: slapping issues templates on articles doesn't help anyone, particularly general ones as you have done to those articles. The notes for those templates are clear that explanatory notes on the talk page describing the perceived problem should be left: without those no-one can fix the issue, and indeed no-one knows to remove the templates when the issus are fixed. Since there is no rationale anywhere I am removing those templates now, feel free to add them back with a rationale that is detailed enough to be acted upon. Crispmuncher (talk) 23:55, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
It would really take a box of Kleenex to start to say what is wrong with these articles. As I said above, there is no way I can even start to address the IC packaging article given all the other things I have to do. But I will give you an example, Look at this: the before and then this the current versions of one of the outdated items. Just compare them and you will see the old one had so much missing, was mostly incorrect and new articles on OS and architecture had to be written to fill the gaps and there is still a missing article on message passing - I am still working on that. There are huge, huge problems out there - all over the computing domain. This is one of the reminders to myself. And the animation article is still living in the last century really. I am hoping to fix it by the end of the year. But a serious look at most of these articles uncovers huge problems. The only ones getting attention are the hot topics like cloud computing - alas said attention often comes with the extra baggage of WP:COI, given the market potential. History2007 (talk) 15:47, 4 June 2012 (UTC)


Sorry in advance for this wall of text about chemistry, but since the door is open I'll give some thoughts; I'll section it so other fields can be separately seen. In the realm of chemical articles (not chemicals that are primarily of interest to medicine), very few articles are likely to become seriously outdated. Of the zillions (to us the technical term) of articles about specific chemicals, most are either niche chemicals that have little ongoing development or major industrial or common-experience chemicals that are well-established and at most might have a new application or properties discovered or become subject to some new regulation or study. But the facts likely don't change, just new chemical-articles created and more details added to old ones as someone has interest in them. Unlike advanced computer science or medicine, the study of chemicals doesn't generally "advance", and the articles aren't written from the perspective of tracking the latest [item or use] as a milestone except in certain small areas of active research. There are some sections of chemicals-articles content that do become dated, generally pertaining to current industrial trends (country or company producing the most; worldwide output or consumption; regulatory or environmental-impact concerns) and a very few chemicals derive their notability from being the "most X known" (latest in an ongoing development series, or an extreme of some chemical or physical property). I don't know enough about our current state of medicinal-chemical articles to know how much of their content is tied to their current medicinal status (either intrinsically or could-be-once-someone-adds-that-important-missing-info-to-them).

Another division of our chemistry articles is the set about specific reactions and about general structure-types (functional-groups) and details of them (types of bonds, aspects of stability). Some of these definitely do get dated because new reactions are often developed as extensions of old ones, long-ignored ones become popular by a new application or modification, or recent research into specific details becomes available. But most of these cases are dated by omission of recent work rather than becoming no-longer-correct over time. In at least some cases, the new material winds up in a new article forward/back-linked to the existing one because the new material is really a self-contained topic rather than just a more advanced bit of the old.

A third division might probably chemical-analysis (techniques and equipment, etc). Here is a place where things may well become dated and lose correctness. There really are advances in equipment and ways of doing experiments. While the theories-articles are fine (though perhaps not having the latest details added), the experimental applications do change (and not just by new ways being added with retention of the old ways in common use). For example, advances in materials and engineering make increasingly powerful types of lab instruments in a genre possible, and advances in signal handling migrate from analog to digital to more powerful computers with multidimensional numerical analysis, etc. DMacks (talk) 05:37, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

Thank you for the analysis. So the way I understand it as a non-chemist is that the chemical structure of salt is not going to change next year, but the equipment for chemical analysis is likely to be dynamic, of course. And the chemical theories may change, but the basic concepts are likely to stay stable. Is that right? Now, how do you suggest "marking" the dynamic pages so they are distinguished from the very static pages? History2007 (talk) 05:44, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
I worked on several of the chemical elements and I found that the some of the applications sections were not up to date. Some elements like lead and arsenic were widely used in certain applications and due to safety regulations the fell out of use. It looks sometimes like people grab a book from 2000 and add content and this book is than an unchanged 12 edition of a book from 1980 and in no time you have an section describing the situation in the 1970s. This is not a problem for elements like neon or iron, but a problem for silicon and indium. To get the latest informations from reliable sources is sometimes not that easy.--Stone (talk) 06:28, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes, Wikipedia can not be perfect (yet) but what about the procedural issue? How can/should we tell/remind people in Wikiproject X to go and check page Y every 12 months? On that note, as a side survey, how shorthanded are you guys in that project, given that it may affect the issue as well. History2007 (talk) 09:29, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

As a counterpoint, there are newer and more dynamic fields which are more prone to articles becoming outdated. Things like biophysics, synthetic biology, and nanotechnology come to mind. Synthetic chemistry, as DMacks explained, is a mature science where the core principles are known and are not likely to be changed. New chemicals and reactions will continue to be discovered at the margins, but it is unlikely that there will be a discovery that will cause well-established articles to become outdated. On the other hand, some articles in the more avant-garde fields will need to be updated more frequently, since in these fields the current state of the art may be completely superseded within a couple of years.

As far as the technical side, what would be our goal with such a system to mark dynamic pages? Are we merely trying to encourage someone to review each of these articles every few years? It seems that this is better done on the WikiProject level; perhaps there could be a category for "articles likely to become outdated", activated through an option on the WikiProject banner. Perhaps such a category could be used to identify priority articles during a periodic WikiProject article improvement drive? We could also think up a system which allows an editor to endorse articles as being up-to-date as of a specific date, again maybe through WikiProject banners, with older endorsements signaling a need for the article to be revisited. Of course, the case needs to be made that there is a problem and that a proposed system solves it, to justify the extra bureaucratic overhead. Antony–22 (talkcontribs) 17:08, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

Thanks, that was exactly what I was hoping for. A classification of the implementation possibilities (not generated by myself) so we get an overall view. Your point about the project flag may well work, and the category may even be a better idea. Could you please list your top 3-4 choices, one per line for how this gets implemented, so other people can comment on it? Thanks. History2007 (talk) 19:25, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
So what if we invent a more general version of the {{as of}} template, and not make the category hidden. Now that a couple of suggestions have been made, I would like to suggest:
  • A more general version of {{as of}} that has a few options, e.g. this article was checked for recency on Date=ABC and the next check is recommended on Date=XYZ.
  • The automatic updating of non-hidden categories and talk page banner assessments based on the parameters supplied to the new "recency checked as of..." template.
  • One of the parameters may be that "this article's contents are not time sensitive", e.g. purely mathematical topics, etc.
In the old days when a car is serviced they used to put a tag on the door that says: last oil change was on Date=ABC and next service is due on Date=XYZ. These days cars know that from their own computer, of course. But the idea of this template is that.
There is another point here, namely "meta information" of the type Dmacks provided above. That was an interesting review of the field as a whole. Is that knowledge going to be "archived and forgotten" now? Why not make that knowledge available somewhere within WikiProject Chemistry. Can we see if that can act as an example of "good practices" where a newcomer to chemistry can get an idea of which parts of the field are stable and which are not? Perhaps two sections: "State of the art" and "State of the project" in the Wikiproject where the Dmacks analysis forms the basis of the state of the art, and the state of the project is then developed by a review of which articles need most help and where progress has been made. That is of course partly a different issue from the outdated item, but is along teh same lines about maintaining quality.
I think in the early days the rush was on to get knowledge into Wikipedia. Now, part of the task should be maintaining it. History2007 (talk) 18:16, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
To make my proposals above regarding using WikiProject banners to identify dynamic articles more explicit:
Simpler option: There is a field "dynamic=true" in the banner template that puts a message on the banner, something like "Dynamic: This article has been identified as potentially becoming outdated" or something, and also puts the article in "Category: WikiProject Foo dynamic articles".
More complicated option: There is a field "dynamic=May 2012" that identifies the last time an editor ascertained the article as being up-to-date. This date is displayed in the banner message and also puts the article in "Category: WikiProject Foo dynamic articles from May 2012". This way it is easier to focus articles that were last checked earlier.
I'd like to point out that there is a seldom-used "Future" assessment category which appears to do something similar. It appears to be intended for articles which are expected to be unstable because they are about a future event, like an election or an upcoming album. Its disadvantage is that the "Future" assessment precludes the use of a standard assessment, but if it could be changed to enable parallel use with a standard assessment, then it could be used for our purposes as well. Antony–22 (talkcontribs) 20:00, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
I like your "More complicated option" because it has a date. I would even suggest just a year, e.g. review this every year. The one thing I would really like to have is a list of when the articles in a Wikiproject are "due for oil change" also by importance. As is, the flags/assessments etc. can get spread all over the project and one forgets what needs to be updated. Ideally a user needs the dates when all the key articles need a review, then the mid-importance articles etc. But it looks like some solution is beginning to emerge here. History2007 (talk) 06:10, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Quality-tracking system[edit]

My 6-years experience in wikipedias shows that we have not enough active users to watch all articles, such as that each article be watched by at least one active user. Hence, Wikipedia apparently has a lot of pending damage (pages which were improperly edited, or not yet edited after a degradation); see my new essay Wikipedia:Shoot it early. In future, the ratio of articles to editors become even higher and the problem become worse. I propose to consider an approach opposite to "Flagged revisions". Namely, to store some data (including a pointer to revision) about each section of each article, instead of storing some data about each revision.

The proposed system should be able:

  • To have several degrees of quality, such as perfect (5), fine (4), doubtful/controversial (3), unsourced (2), ungrammatical/unformatted (1), unchecked/raw (0).
  • To track renaming and rearranging of sections, at least for most edits. This is probably the most difficult technically.
  • To have a set of records (quality, revision, expert) for each section, which should point to major improvements (including creation) of the section. "Expert" should be any registered user, unless this privilege was explicitly denied.
  • To provide possibility of adding such records both for ongoing edits (for which expert = author) and retrospectively. Any "expert" (see the previous item) should be able to add a record or to upgrade its "quality" value.
  • To raise an alert (such as highly visible mark in watchlist and the edit history) if a section previously rated at least (3) disappeared without explanations.
  • To allow altering (downgrading and deleting) there records to people with the "reviewer" privilege (shared with FlaggedRevs).
  • By customization, to display, below or near the section's header, a coloured bar (corresponding to registered quality) and links to several of recently registered revisions.

The latter is the thing which can ultimately make the system useful for tracking casual degradations.

What is wrong with WP: Flagged revisions? Let a reviewer to spot some edit. It has then three easy options. If s/he marks the edit as reviewed, then s/he virtually become responsible for it, although s/he may not be an expert in this particular matter. Reverting an edit is also a responsibility, and may constitute a newcomer's biting or provoke an edit war. If s/he choose to do nothing, it will increase the backlog of unchecked edits which will gradually weaken the entire system.

Instead, the proposed system prompts to check edits not on the spot, but when someone reads (and especially intends to do something with), say, a particular section. If a user sees  5  near the header, but the section is poor, it can mean that either the section was degraded since the last evaluation (which can easily be checked against aforementioned links to old revisions) or someone abused the "expert" feature (which may be deterred administratively). In the opposite case, if a reader feels that a section is underestimated, it may upgrade the "quality" field. Also, we may introduce a special (negative) "warning" quality level, to indicate that "expert" is actually not an expert, but feels that the so-labeled edit is problematical.

Although such system is very complex, it possibly will be more resistant to misinformation than FlaggedRevs, and will be much more convenient than searching the history for any doubtful stuff. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 16:29, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Yes, this system looks very complex, hard to use and implement. And if you make it a little less automatic, you will get simple tags (like "{{unreferenced}}" or "{{POV}}"). However, the actual system of tags seems to be far more flexible, able to show more than one problem.
In the end, if the matter is of any importance, the reader must check everything he reads on Wikipedia. There are no workarounds for that. We can help this process by giving the reader sources, showing the edit history and talk page, but we should do nothing that could give the reader the idea that the text is "reliable" and nothing has to be done. --Martynas Patasius (talk) 21:09, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
The problem of the declining user:article ratio is definitely a concern and something that will have to be dealt with in the future. If I understand Incnis Mrsi correctly, the solution proposed seems quite elaborate, but I wouldn't be surprised to see something like that in the future. I remember already seeing a program that rates the "trustworthyness" of each sentence in an article based on how long it's been there and who the article editor was. ~Adjwilley (talk) 01:57, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
Sadly, Martynas did not understand which problem the proposed system has to deal with. So named "simple tags" (BTW learn the {{tl}} template) serve Wikipedia when added responsibly and removed by consensus, which is not always the case. Wikipedia's community does not consist of experienced users and vandals only. There are also numerous botchers. Some of them have the best intentions, others not so, and yet another type of them is so biased and blindfolded that their faith really has little significance. And even an experienced, tidy user occasionally makes mistakes (i.e. such changes that the same user will consider mistaken, after some pass of time).
“[T]he reader must check everything he reads on Wikipedia” is something of great utopia. In the real world only experts should (but not "must") check, and fix, all they are reading. That's why "tags" actually are very important, but currently not accountable for. The proposed system will not supersede tags, but could protect it against accidental or unfair removal, for example, if editors (or even bots) will check the diff against the recent evaluated version. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 06:57, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
You might want to look into WP:WikiTrust. This seems related to their work. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:55, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
And please see Wiki-Watch. Despite the political/payoff aspects the basic algorithm was a good idea. I even suggested that they donate the code to WMF after they got into hot water. But although I initially wrote the page, I no longer watch it and have not followed what has happened after their own little civil war there. History2007 (talk) 20:14, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
"“[T]he reader must check everything he reads on Wikipedia” is something of great utopia."? It is? You know, it simply means "If it is a life and death matter, you have something to lose, and you are not an expert, go somewhere else.". That's what everyone must learn. That's what the schools and universities that do not accept citations to Wikipedia are trying to teach. And "must" means a simple thing: if someone doesn't, it is not our fault. That's all.
"In the real world only experts should (but not "must") check, and fix, all they are reading."... Well, in such case, Wikipedia is not a real world. There are no experts in Wikipedia. Or, to be more exact, we can hardly tell the experts from the non-experts and thus we must act as if there were no experts around. Also see Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab)/Archive 7#Something to make everyday users, a bit more sure of what they're seeing for an idea somewhat similar to the one you proposed - and answers to it.
"So named "simple tags" [...] serve Wikipedia when added responsibly and removed by consensus, which is not always the case."... Well, I suspect that no other system will work if used irresponsibly either...
"BTW learn the {{tl}} template" - I know that template, but do not happen to like it that much. I hope that's OK..? --Martynas Patasius (talk) 22:22, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
I like this idea. If the current system continues to be available for editors who do not wish to learn the new system, the complexity of using the new system is less of an issue. Good, functional change management is always a complex problem so the technical complexity of this proposal should not be a deterrent. There may be inherent, architectural issues we haven't considered that will block this proposal. Jojalozzo 20:02, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

The essay[edit]

On a first reading I had not even noticed the essay mentioned above. I think it deserves attention and comment. It is a good idea in its own right, aside from the quality tracking issues, etc. History2007 (talk) 20:55, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Suggestion for pop up warning if attempting to move to Wikipedia name space[edit]

Prompted by yet another case where a new editor moves an article from a sandbox to the Wikipedia namespace (here, I offered a suggestion, which is probably better posted here.

This isn't the first time I've seen this happen. A new user might (understandably) think that, when moving a page out of user space, the proper location is Wikipedia. Seems obvious, but it is wrong. I wonder if there is an easy way to have a pop up warning, as it is almost always wrong, and if you really want to move it to the Wikipedia name space, you would know enough to ignore the warning. The warning would read something like " If this is intended to be an article in Wikipedia, you want to move it to the article namespace, not the Wikipedia namespace. If you are sure that you want the Wikipedia namespace hit continue".--SPhilbrick(Talk) 14:06, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Decline of user / article ratio[edit]

About 2 threads above a statement was made about the decline of user / article ratio. Is there some type of solid data on that? A few links to a few graphs? Thanks. History2007 (talk) 15:17, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

  • I will look for the links now, but, yes, this is a solid fact: The number of editors has stabilized, and the number of articles grows linearly. The situation is like this in English Wikipedia since approximately 2008, but it has since established also in other major Wikipedias.--Ymblanter (talk) 15:20, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
    What I can find easily is article statistics (the third graph); user statistics (pretty old but already shows the decline).--Ymblanter (talk) 15:29, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. I left a message there to see if anyone there has more info. History2007 (talk) 20:25, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I asked at the help desk and:

  • In this link the blu eline shows the decline in English Wikipedia.

And the simultaneous increase in article count exacerbates that effect. If that trend continues, in 3 years there may be half as many long term active editors per article. At the helpdesk, user:Fuhghettaboutit said that he felt the the backlog in admin-related functions has been growing.

As I said on a user talk page recently, the determined users seem to be those driven by COI, while frustration is driving away the best editors. Something needs to be done if we are to avoid a wiki ghost town here. History2007 (talk) 16:00, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

To me this seems a questionable use of statistics. A fixed pool of authors is going to publish an ever growing number of books. Should we be concerned because the ratio of authors to books is declining? No. Regards, RJH (talk) 04:22, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

Create a new namespace of Project For WikiProjects and associated subpages[edit]

Since the WikiProject concept was started there has been an explosion of WikiProjects in Wikipedia and there are currently more than 2200 in various states of activity. Once you start adding in subpages there are tens of thousands of pages just dealing with WikiProjects. Up till now these projects reside in the Wikipedia namespace which IMO is better suited to house the policies, guidlines and other rules we use to govern ourselves and is not particularly well suited for WikiProjects.

I would like to recommend a new Namespace of Project that the WikiProjects can reside in. This would allow us a bit better Way to manage our WikiProjects, how many there are, how many pages are affected, etc. Aditionally, this would allow the title and location to better line up with the assessment class that is currently being assigned to them.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this before I present it to the community in one of the more public forums? Kumioko (talk) 13:18, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

My only thought it that this has been proposed a couple of times and rejected (IIRC mostly as pointless) but that I agree with you. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 13:38, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, I do think that there would be some technical challenges we would need to work through in regard to the bots and things that are running on the project pages but thats not an insurmountable problem that we can plan for. Kumioko (talk) 14:02, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
I think it's pointless, and that it would result in disputes over whether some groups are True™ WikiProjects, but if I were trying to reduce clutter in the project space, I'd target the quarter-million AFD pages. WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:30, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't think we have to worry about people thinking that projects are eligible for TM since everything in WP for the most part falls under GNU. I also wouldn't say its a clutter issue. To me it just separates the "Wikipedia" policies, guidelines, essays and the like from the projects and project related work. I don't think it would be a bad idea for a Deletion namespace either but that would be a major overhaul and since most folks don't look much at AFD stuff once its been finished I don't know that its necessary. Kumioko (talk) 14:36, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
The name "Project" won't work because it is already in use. Project:Village pump (idea lab) is the canonical name of this page. Project:Namespace is a synonym for Wikipedia:Namespace. Anyway, wasn't this actually done at some point and then reverted? ISTR that one of the "missing" namespaces (102, 104, or 106) at one time actually was the "WikiProject" namespace. --R'n'B (call me Russ) 14:24, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Oh I don't know if there used to be one for WikiProjects. Thats good to know about the namespace Project already existing. I wasn't aware of that. That makes it even easier then as the namespace already exists and doesn't need to be created. I could see the village pumps and several other things being in the Project namespace along with the WikiProjects so to me thats still a good fit. Kumioko (talk) 14:36, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
I guess I wasn't clear. The "Project:" namespace is the same as the "Wikipedia:" namespace. They are two different prefixes that both refer to the same pages. So you can't move a page from the "Wikipedia:" namespace to the "Project:" namespace, any more than you could leave the "United States of America" and move to the "USA". --R'n'B (call me Russ) 15:02, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Oh ok got it thanks for the clarification. Kumioko (talk) 15:24, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

Rollback exempt[edit]

I'd like to suggest a new user group; "Rollback exempt". This would be for trusted users who are so unlikely to vandalize that their edits should not be replaced through automation. A manual edit to remove their inclusions would always be possible but only administrators could roll them back. This would solve a couple problems. It would promote discussion of the edit because when the rollbacker attempted the rollback they would instead see a message stating something to the effect "This is a trusted user who is exempt from rollback. To modify their edit you must manually append a revision or request an administrator perform the automated procedure. It is highly probable that discussion is the most appropriate next step." and it would quell the current form of edit war common with vandals who restore their own edit right after being rolled back, in continuous cycle until they are blocked. Now they would have to manually redo the edit each time. My76Strat (talk) 07:05, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

Do you have any examples of where there has has actually been a problem that would have been prevented by this measure? Phil Bridger (talk) 09:11, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
There is one more problem: what would happen if a vandal would guess the password of such "rollback exempt" user?
But maybe I do not understand the proposal... "[A]nd it would quell the current form of edit war common with vandals who restore their own edit right after being rolled back, in continuous cycle until they are blocked. Now they would have to manually redo the edit each time."... Something doesn't look right here: here "they" are the "vandals", right? But in such case they are not going to have neither the right "rollback", nor "rollback exempt", are they? So, I don't see how the new right will change anything here... --Martynas Patasius (talk) 12:16, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for commenting. The scenario of the vandal would only measure out if the user who rolled back their previous edit happened to be "RE" Then when the vandal tried to restore theirs or undo the other they would see the message and have to add everything back manually. If a vandal got control of an account with the flag it would give them an advantage until stopped by an admin, but I am thinking that would be a very low volume occurrence; I could show the most examples of where it might have been helpful from this scenario. The good faith disputes that might be avoided I can only surmise but for sure if I hadn't been undid, restored over, or rolled back here, My comment would have been considerably less candid here. My76Strat (talk) 12:47, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
We could also perhaps add a parameter where when a rollbacker viewed the interim screen stating they are about to rollback a trusted user that rollback was active if depressed a second time. Similar to the whitelisted user warning you get with huggle. That would reduce any crippling effect. I would at that point however further advise the rollbacker if they do rollback after the caution was given, they need to be sure it is vandalism or be subject to loss of rollback. My76Strat (talk) 12:59, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
If nothing else, this would provide easy rollback of a rollback mistake, or an edit that a rollbacker decides just doesn't work. True they can always do undo, but that very fact means there's no reason to remove it, because rollback is a mere shortcut anyway. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 13:27, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
As you rightly point, rollback is a shortcut to the same feature that undoes an edit or restores a previous edit. I would hope all forms of automated modification were interrupted by the caution with only rollbackers an others with that in bundle would be active on the second push. That is the only way to achieve the additional benefit of preventing the vast amount of vandals from reinstating their content if and when an "RE" rolled them back. For they would not be able to do it by automation at all. And if the good faith moments when heads collide was reduced which I think it would, that would be good. My76Strat (talk) 13:41, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
"That is the only way to achieve the additional benefit of preventing the vast amount of vandals from reinstating their content if and when an "RE" rolled them back." - could you, please, give some proof that such vandalism (with automated reinstatement of the edit when rolled back) is widespread? Or that it is not extremely rare? I find that rather hard to believe... --Martynas Patasius (talk) 14:39, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

The flaw in the argument behind this is that most reinstatements of reverted edits are already made manually. A rollback edit war is rare, because the sort of vandals who will repeatedly restore an unwanted edit generally do not have access to rollback, or any of the various similar tools. All the edits at Miami cannibal attack given as an example above are manual edits, and that is the common pattern for edit wars. Disabling the potential for rollback/automated-reversion for any of those edits wouldn't have altered the course of events. Preventing all reversion to a given article text is effectively enshrining the 1-revert-rule, which is not in line with current policy (nor, I think, would it be a good idea). Happymelon 14:28, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

Thank you Happy-melon, there's a lot of insight in your comment. My76Strat (talk) 14:45, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
I realize that I make mistakes, and I wouldn't want anyone cleaning up my mess to be discouraged from doing so. Even a 1% error rate means that I make something on the order of a hundred mistakes a year. WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:46, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

Location Sensitivity[edit]

Can wikipedia be made location sensitive(esp. the searching)? For example, if I were in India and were searching for DAE, I would most likely be looking for Department of Atomic Energy. It may be helpful if the user is directed to the relevant page rather than the disambiguation page. Thoughts? Roshan220195 (talk) 07:29, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

I think it's better for the user to see the disambiguation page because I think it's better for the user to make that choice than to have Wikipedia make the choice for them. Pine 07:45, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
I regard bumping into a disambiguation page at such times as a positive, educational experience. We're a global encyclopaedia. It improves my global knowledge. HiLo48 (talk) 07:49, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
In some cases, we have a kind of 'main article' with "For other uses ... " in the top. What i'm trying to say is that location also plays a role in determining what that 'main article' could be. Roshan220195 (talk) 07:51, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
I read an encyclopedia to find out about things that I don't already know, so would, in fact, prefer to be presented with articles that are not about my home country. Phil Bridger (talk) 07:55, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
Good point Phil. Roshan220195 (talk) 08:11, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
On second thoughts, when people search, then they already have an article or topic in mind. Its not to find out things they don't know. Roshan220195 (talk) 08:14, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
"when people search, then they already have an article or topic in mind." That's probably true, although not in all cases (say, you search a term to find out what it is), but then they will know where to go from the disambig page. I think other uses of the term is an interesting and useful thing to find, and it's not as though going through one extra page is a vast inconvenience. And you're not necessarily going to be looking for the one in your country: I think it would just make it harder to find other uses. CarrieVS (talk) 09:08, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
Why couldn't you be searching for India's Department of Economic Affairs? I'd suggest that the search tool is already location sensitive because you can include location information among the keywords. Regards, RJH (talk) 03:17, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

CAPTCHA for IP users adding extenal links[edit]

You might not know this if you don't regularly edit logged out, but if you add an external link as an IP editor, you are prompted to complete a CAPTCHA test. This is overwhelmingly a good thing -- we don't want bots bombarding Wikipedia with spam -- however, it is a bit disruptive if you are a good-faith human IP. Would it be possible/a good idea to create a whitelist of websites that obviously are not going to be used abusively, I say this because I made this edit recently which introduced an external link in a reference to PubMed Central, upon which I was presumably placed on ArbCom's most wanted list for being a malicious spambot advertising ... PubMed? My point is that certain domains will never be used maliciously, and putting unnececcary blocks in front of good IP content creators is a bad idea. A good first item on the whitelist would be Wikipedia itself, posting diffs always prompts a CAPTCHA test. (talk) 19:01, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

That seems like a relatively good idea, and I can think of a great many websites that won't be used for spam. Here are some examples:
  • *.gov
Reaper Eternal (talk) 19:05, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
I agree and I have mentioned this before. Often times you have to try the IP several times to get it right, get it for things that don't obviously relate to a link, etc. I think that WP has evolved to a point where it seems to favor strongly editors with accounts over editors who use IP's and I think that is a wrong direction. I think a better way would be to use the existing blacklist. Here is another link that describes the existing functionality a bit better. MediawikiExtension:SpamBlacklist Kumioko (talk) 19:09, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
Also there is another extension call the Whitelist that these other websites such as Jstor that coule be added too. Kumioko (talk) 19:18, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes a whitelist would probably make sense for this purpose. Presumably the list would be maintained by admins, but editors can propose new additions? Regards, RJH (talk) 16:26, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
That is likely how it would end up, but I don't see a compelling reason why it couldn't be semi-protected, as getting an autoconfirmed account to edit the whitelist would be much more work then simply creating an account and spamming with that. Monty845 17:06, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
It would automatically be fully protected because the MediaWiki software automatically protects pages in the MediaWiki: namespace.
I see no reason why IPs and editors shouldn't be allowed to propose additions just as they are allowed on MediaWiki talk:Spam-blacklist. Reaper Eternal (talk) 17:12, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

I like the idea of having a whitelist. I routinely add ISBN, OCLC and ISSN numbers to references, and I always get a CAPTCHA when doing so. And just to confirm, I am not adding a link, I am only adding a number which the citation template turns in to a link. For example, when I add "0362-4331" to the ISSN field in a citation like this ISSN = 0362-4331 I get a CAPTCHA. Seems conterproductive as it's the citation template that turns that number in to a link, not me. (talk) 09:00, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

I think a general CAPTCHA for IP edits would be good. THE IPs that are constuctive wouldnt mind, and the vandals should be discouraged (though i doubt theyd disappear)...we could extend this to non-autoconfirmed.Lihaas (talk) 08:50, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
I disagree; I would mind. (Don't bother looking at this IP's posting history to see how constructive I am; I've used many different IP addresses.) -- (talk) 05:59, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I support the idea of a whitelist. I would also like to modify the policy of a CAPTCHA to make it for ALL edits generated by an IP user (should I make a new thread for this?), to help combat spam and vandalism (unless if this is already implemented, I am unaware). Also, I would like to see all new accounts be subject to this policy for a grace period of anywhere from 24 to 72 hours, so we do not have a loop hole in the system. Я£ΙИӺΘЯСΣĐᴙᶕᵻᴎᵮᴓᴚᴐᶒᵯɘᴎᴛᶊTalk 04:11, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support the black listed IPs must pass through Captcha. as per Reinforce. but I guess a larger consensus for this would be needed from the community as some would consider as access level-- ÐℬigXЯaɣ 06:38, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I also support the idea of having a whitelist for certain external links. ~Adjwilley (talk) 21:56, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Oh my gosh. I'm for this. (talk) 23:56, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support User:King4057 17:04, 24 June 2012 (UTC)


There seems to be a lot of confusion about this proposal.

  • There already is a CAPTCHA for any IP adding any link of any kind.

This proposal is for discussing a whitelist for good links, such as links to Wikipedia itself. I'd just like to add that IPs get a CAPTCHA for adding {{find}} to talk pages, which is a good link. (talk) 15:06, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

One more to add, IPs get a CAPTCHA when starting new articles because of the links in {{AFC submission/draftnew}}. (talk) 23:25, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
{{cite doi}} also brings up a CAPTCHA. (talk) 18:31, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Oh really? A Captcha for the AFC submission template? :( mabdul 12:06, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
I believe it is due to a link to Ryan Vesey Review me! 17:03, 9 June 2012 (UTC)


I think this is a great idea and we should make it as inclusive as possible. The purpose of a CAPTCHA is to stop automated addition of links. It is not to stop the audition of bad links by IP's, that is what the blacklist is for and CAPTCHA would be pointless in stopping that. We should add any webpage that is unlikely to be added automatically by a spambot to the whitelist. This would include any .gov or .edu website. It could include .org websites as well, but I'm not positive on that as there may be some .org websites with the potential for automated abuse. It should also include any links to reputable news organizations like BBC, Fox, MSNBC, CNN, New York Times, The Daily Beast, etc. Ryan Vesey Review me! 17:03, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

Already implemented[edit]

Such a list is already implemented (MediaWiki:Captcha-addurl-whitelist), it just needs to be filed! See mediawikiwiki:Extension:ConfirmEdit#URL_and_IP_whitelists - Hoo man (talk) 10:28, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia: HTML5 edition?[edit]

According to the W3C, the HTML5 standard will be ready by 2022. (In case anyone doesn't know, HTML5 is a new version of the HTML markup language for Web pages and it's supposed to revamp the very experience of reading Web pages... or something like that.) So what are Wikipedia's plans for creating an HTML5 version of the wiki (experimental)? Ideas:

Use tags such as <article>, <section> and <nav> to divide the actual Web page during preprocessing.
These divide an article into logical groupings that can possibly be processed by machines as well as humans. Who said machines aren't learning from us, too? For example, the entire navbar as well as catlinks box could be placed in <nav> tags.
Encourage editors to use appropriate tags for emphasis rather than just bold or italic.
According to the W3C, <em></em> tags should be used rather than italics when emphasizing text (if you're going to use italics to do so), and plain italics (''Italic book or mag title'') for everything else that gets italicized. No human will ever notice the difference, but remember what I was saying about machines reading and using Wikipedia as well?
Use inline MathML and SVG.
These features are appropriate for an online encyclopedia and could replace the current standard of PNG equations, depending on your preferences. There might even be a chance to incorporate client-side transclusions, or what we call templates. (I proposed that myself, check the IP address.)

Any other ideas? Post them here! (talk) 22:43, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

Added to previous comment by (talk) on 22:56, 7 June 2012 (UTC):

Ooh! My other idea was to incorporate syntax highlighting into the editor.
Syntax highlighting is available as a script (you'd need to register). See WP:Wiked. That would be nice in the regular editor though. Also there's a WYSIWYG editor in the works long-term. Some HTML5 elements were added to the wiki software, but they were switched off because they apparently broke everything, so further work needs to be done. Wikipedia is already used by machines :) but making that easier would be good. I'm not sure if getting editors to differentiate between tags for bot use is a good idea though, since this is a wiki, meant to make editing as easy as possible. Those elements should probably be hidden from users during editing, but there's nothign wrong with switching to HTML5 elements in the actual generated HTML code. Which I'm sure will be done at some point. Equazcion (talk) 23:07, 7 Jun 2012 (UTC)
The section tags would be added by MediaWiki. (talk) 23:43, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
The Wikimedia engineering team have been trying to enable HTML5 on Wikipedia for months if not years now. Every time they try, it breaks just enough bots and scripts for them to turn it off, and give "a little more time" for them to be fixed. One day they'll give up and just turn it on and force people to fix said broken things; probably to howls of protest... Happymelon 15:25, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
Lack of HTML5 means that the new table sorter is borked, as it relies upon HTML5. Perhaps HTML5 should be enabled for 24 hours on the first of each month until we get it cleaned up. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 16:53, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
Hmm I didn't know it was just bots and scripts that were the issue. It would be good if it could be enabled via a preference temporarily, during a warning period, so bot/script authors could iron things out until it's enabled permanently on a set date. I would say enable it in a testing environment for that period, but that might not be effective for bots that might rely on who knows which pages and templates on Equazcion (talk) 17:10, 8 Jun 2012 (UTC)
That's exactly why we have the Wikimedia Labs projects.  ;) Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 22:20, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
As far as I know, that doesn't solve the reliance on pages and templates issue, though. A good chunk of en.wikipedia would need to be copied to any viable test environment. Just my view, I'm not a bot developer, but it seems likely that they wouldn't be able to test effectively in a skeleton wiki. If I'm wrong then just set a date for switching on HTML5 and tell them they need to get ready by then. Say 6 months. Equazcion (talk) 22:26, 8 Jun 2012 (UTC)
We've got Maybe something like would be a great place to test new HTML5-brand features. (talk) 22:37, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
For the record, the request to enable HTML5 is marked as one of the "1.18 post-deployment actions", but we are already using the MW 1.20 on this wiki. Helder 22:24, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

As a student I am confuzzled by Wikipedia's article on HTML5: What the heck is the most significant improvement to the specification? I mean, I know a bit about CSS3: round borders rock! (←Make sure that renders properly in your browser. It should have round edges. It's a trick I picked up from Bulbapedia.) (talk) 22:34, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

Wouldn't the HTML5 version be a bit of 'harsh' for those who are totally not experienced in HTML5 coding, when they want to add some special contents? It would be better possibly, if a toolkit that can instantly put a piece of code and explain how to edit the HTML5 contents is developed. I mean, say, if you want to insert a pair of parallel images in one frame, you just click on 'Parallel images' icon and it puts a piece of code. Whatever else you have to do is to replace the default URL with the actual URL of the image. Like that. Any idea?
And it always seem that HTML5 has a lot of problems and bugs. (The YouTube has an HTML5 version too, but it's quite bad, I think, personally.) Greek Fellows (talk) 12:01, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Oh my gosh[edit]

Proposal: Add microdata tags to infoboxes. (talk) 02:19, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

Is there a way to demonstrate what sort of benefits it provides? I.e. a working example? Regards, RJH (talk) 04:12, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
While the effect wouldn't be visible to human readers, intelligent machines wouldn't have to go far to get basic information about a subject when there's an infobox jumping out at them. This is the kind of thing we'd discuss with the support team. I'm testing microdata in my new signature on Uncyclopedia. (talk) 20:49, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

Rewriting parts of MediaWiki[edit]

We might need to rewrite parts of the MediaWiki software to make it compatible with HTML5. Should the new version be called MediaWiki 1.21, 2.0 or better yet, 5.0? (talk) 00:15, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

Just found it. Where would I go to make suggestions for that? (talk) 00:17, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
In my opinion it probably shouldn't warrant a MediaWiki 2.0, though this could be introduced along with a visual editor.--Jasper Deng (talk) 00:49, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
Wikia's got an okay visual editor though I never use it because I always use the Vector skin (Uncyclopedia only). (talk) 19:50, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
P.S. HTML5 has capabilities for visual editing, though this can be done with DOM (which is now being prioritized). 19:52, 11 June 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Not that much change[edit]

See what happens at the top of a section:

Wikitext HTML 4 (current) HTML 5 (ideal)
== Early life ==

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet...
== Next section ==

<h2 id="Early_life">Early life</h2>
<p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet...</p>
<h2 id="Next_section">Next section</h2>
<section id="Early_life">
<h2>Early life</h2>
<p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet...</p>
<section id="Next_section">
<h2>Next section</h2>

Not that much difference here. But in the HTML5 version, the id attribute is applied to the entire section, not just the heading. (talk) 20:01, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

What links here[edit]

I have a couple of suggestions for this:

  • I think it would be helpful if the 'What links here' pages told you how many links there were from each page.
For instance, I repair links to disambiguation pages, and I often edit a page, and then have to edit it again after refreshing 'what links here' and finding it's still listed. It would be easier to know how many links I was looking for and do them all together.
  • It would also make it easier if there was an option to go straight to the link, or at least to tell you what section it's in rather than searching every line of a very, very long article.

I don't know how feasible these would be, especially the second one, but I for one would find them very useful.

(If there already is some kind of tool to do either of these things, please point me to it!) Thoughts? CarrieVS (talk) 20:49, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

dab-solver is my go-to tool for this, but there are some others at WP:DPL#Tools and reports. You might find something you like better. --R'n'B (call me Russ) 21:14, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. I have looked at those things before, but in most cases you have to know a lot more terminology than I do to even work out what they do. I've used dabsolver before, and it's pretty good, but it doesn't do what I'm after. looks like it does, so I'll give that a try.
That solves the problem for fixing dablinks, but I still think 'what links here' would be more useful if it made it easy to find the links. CarrieVS (talk) 23:13, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
MediaWiki does not store the number nor location of links from a page. You may wish to file a bug/feature request to have this information stored. To make a tool to do this requires fetch HTML @ ½-3 sec per link (so ~1 minute for a page of 50). You may also find tools:~jason/dab_fix_list.php useful. — Dispenser 17:30, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

Notability (television)[edit]

Wikipedia:Notability (television) (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs)

I think right now is the time to develop a proposal for notability guidelines of television topics. This must cover television programmes, stations, schedules, magazines, advertisements, and anything else related to television, such a television itself from any company, like Sony. It cannot limit itself to fiction, and notability of fiction itself is... vague to define nowadays, as WP:notability (fiction) is an essay. Currently, there is not yet one proposed notability guideline of television. It may look suitable for elsewhere, but I think this must be the right place. Any volunteers? --George Ho (talk) 16:04, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

Is there a reason to think that the general guideline (Wikipedia:Notability) is insufficient? Also, are you sure, that grouping all those topics under "television" makes more sense than alternatives (for example, TV stations would seem to have more in common with radio stations than with TV advertisements)..? --Martynas Patasius (talk) 17:53, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
The first question: well, I'm thinking inclusion and exclusion of notability, as WP:PORNBIO has done already. Recaps of programs (fictional plot or event summary) may have been mistaken for evidence of notability, so, even if one might pass GNG, the show might fail such criteria of inclusion or exclusion, or the other way around... Also, the awards might or might not prove notability, but look at Woody Interruptus: it won the Best Director award that has nothing to do with the plot itself, and there is no commentary about or awards contributed by the plot. Even ratings don't help much. Access Hollywood and seasons of Survivor (TV series)... do they pass GNG? If so, how? Amount of episodes and episodes themselves... must they be proof of notability? KDOC could be notable because of news coverage about this station and its background, but... that's all I can say, unless it fails GNG.
The second question: amount of television topics is diversive, regardless of what television and radio stations have in common. Television and radio are different from each other; you hear people talking or singing in radio; you see and hear things in television. Look at WP:notability (people); it is diversive with human beings, yet they have nothing in common, unless I'm wrong. However, if television stations must be excluded from the guidelines, then how can I disambiguate "television"? It's a broad term, but I crossed out schedules and magazines, anyway: maybe WP:notability (television programme), which includes fictional and non-fictional programs, advertisements? Must I be missing the point or something? --George Ho (talk) 19:38, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
Actually, first of all, those questions were meant to develop your proposal, not to criticise it... Thus I will leave much of what you said for someone else...
But anyway, I expected something similar to, let's say, the case of Juozas Idzelis... He was a member of Lithuanian Constituent Seimas (1922-07-13 - 1922-11-13) and there is a page given to him in the encyclopedic dictionary of such members, but that page is almost empty, as little is known about him. Thus it is not clear if that is "significant coverage", but I guess that notability is demonstrated by having someone giving an effort to collect the data and publish it in a serious publication. And we know that members of such legislatures do get such attention, thus we can make a more specific guideline (or just apply WP:IAR, for we do have a reason). Now, maybe you can give an example of a TV program for which a similar case can be made (notability or lack of it could be clearly demonstrated to almost anyone - inclusionist or deletionist - but the general guideline would give a different - or borderline - answer)? Or maybe you can show that there are some "shortcuts" - conditions that would be easy to check and would indicate presence of coverage in suitable sources? Or maybe you can give examples of suitable and non-suitable "almost borderline" coverage - I guess that might also be useful for such guidelines? --Martynas Patasius (talk) 21:36, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
Asian television shows last for normally 20 to 30 episodes because... Asian writers do that very often. The Greed of Man lasted for 40 episodes in just one year, yet it is not short-lived because... it is an Asian show that can last for one year, like other shows from Asia. It might be notable in so many ways, like Impact the show did. Even many Asian television shows do not fall under definition of short-lived, especially Animes. Even Latin American shows (e.g. telenovelas) last for one year because... it's a telenovela, like Yo soy Betty, la fea and Los Ricos También Lloran. Television show is defined differently in many countries. --George Ho (talk) 21:51, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
OK, so we have something that might be promising: "It might be notable in so many ways, like Impact the show did.". But you should be more precise: what sort of "impact"? Did the show inspire most of its viewers to start some sort of regime change right after the premiere? If it did, it would be easy to persuade everyone that it was notable. But then, we would need sources to show that it did, and the program would be notable by the general guideline as well... And, well, I don't think you had such impact in mind... So, what exactly did you mean?
And the number of episodes doesn't seem to be an obvious indicator of notability. It doesn't even seem hard to make a show with many episodes, if there are no requirements for quality...
There is one more thing you might wish to try: make a list of deletion discussions that, er, had some problems now and would have had less if there was a guideline you propose. Then, for each of them, explain why do you think so.
And finally, there is some danger that, unless we have enough good sources about something (thus proving that we deal with the object that is notable according to the general guideline), we won't be able to write an article worth reading (and keeping)... You might wish to read User:Uncle G/Cargo cult encyclopaedia article writing about some of potential dangers... By the way, for all I know, a couple of other essays by the same author - User:Uncle G/On notability and User:Uncle G/On sources and content - might also be a source of inspiration while preparing the guideline and the case for it... --Martynas Patasius (talk) 23:36, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
For anime if there are alot of episodes to it chances are that it ios going to have other things to it that meet WP:N. I would say that the number of episodes counts only towards it not fully. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 03:48, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

My deletion discussions are examples, good or bad: WP:articles for deletion/Fictional women of Sunset Beach, WP:articles for deletion/Fictional women of All My Children, volume 1, WP:articles for deletion/Fictional women of All My Children, volume 2, and Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Sierra Esteban. Terrifically, some of my arguments are very bad, and the examples are fictional. Another of my botched proposals: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Brothers in Law (TV series). One of articles I majorly did came close to deletion, but AFD nom was withdrawn: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Sam and Diane. --George Ho (talk) 02:57, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

Another example but not exactly fictional: WP:articles for deletion/Fusion Cosmetics and WP:articles for deletion/Friday night death slot. --George Ho (talk) 03:01, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

I would recommend to be very careful with this idea... as it might be opening a can of worms and before doing anything, please review the discussions around WP:FICT, and especially Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Notability_and_fiction#Summary_of_the_debate. WP:FICT was a notability guideline at a time, and the debate took many years, before ending up as no consensus (over 50+ pages of archives). Also note that by the end of the discussions (end 2009), many editors were tired of participating, and did not participate in discussions anymore. G.A.Stalk 05:05, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
... After all thought about television, what if I can split up this whole idea into many TV-related ideas: WP:notability (non-fictional television), WP:notability (television commercials), and WP:notability (fictional television)? Therefore, one group can focus on non-fictional stuff that happens on television, such as news programs, instructional stuff, animal programs, etc. Another group can... let's get into fiction later. I'm not sure about television commercials; notability of commercials are very rare nowadays and do not reach the levels of 1984 (advertisement). Let's start with non-fictional stuff, shall we? --George Ho (talk) 05:20, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, there is one more idea from those discussions... In one of them you write: "Soap opera recaps about this character in any editions of a periodical, such as Soap Opera Weekly or Soap Opera Digest, to me, do not count as "significant coverages," unless they are proven to determine notability of this character.". So, write an essay explaining that and giving examples of "significant coverage" and "insignificant coverage" of characters, shows or something else. Such essays would seem to be exactly what we lack at the moment, explaining the general guideline. Otherwise, I don't see anything that could replace the general notability guideline in those cases. --Martynas Patasius (talk) 19:02, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Here is one of my essays yet in development: User:George Ho/Notability (character). --George Ho (talk) 19:08, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Good. I'll add additional advice in its talk page. --Martynas Patasius (talk) 20:33, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Done ([1]). --Martynas Patasius (talk) 21:10, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
...Actually, my essay has potential to be about deletion discussions. Since I don't want it to go waste, I realize that making a notability guideline of fictional characters is too soon. Nevertheless, maybe I'll make more essays about fictional characters. --George Ho (talk) 21:21, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

Non-fictional stuff[edit]

Let's start with Monday Night Football and Sunday Night Football, these football programs. Do they pass GNG? If so, how? If not, how? --George Ho (talk) 06:28, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

How could they possibly not? Are you somehow claiming there is no significant coverage? (talk) 23:07, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm just hypothesizing or theorizing that either way. Anyway, to me, they are notable for maybe... ratings... People's opinions about producers' choices of teams... Football teams themselves? Sudden impact on NFL? How else are they notable? --George Ho (talk) 23:25, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
It's almost unfortunate that we continue to use the word "notability", since it is so vague and open to interpretation. Personally I'd lean toward using the word "reliability" as it seems a more accurate description of WP:GNG. At any rate, the programs you list are probably not going to need screening with a separate notability criteria. Regards, RJH (talk) 19:07, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
So separating non-fiction and fiction programs won't be a good idea at this time, right? --George Ho (talk) 06:46, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

Naming a fictional character[edit]

User:George Ho/Naming conventions (character) (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs)

I am still developing this proposal to make a guideline or an essay about naming a fictional character of any kind, legend or not. Hopefully, bad naming cases may lessen. --George Ho (talk) 19:19, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

Fundraising throughout the year?[edit]

This is really a question to MRG, given that she reads this page. I saw a fundraising banner a day or so ago. Was it just my imagination or are they doing fundraising more than once a year now?

As you recall we talked about Right time marketing a few months ago. I saw the banner once, and it had a picture of Jimmy Wales and a request for funds. But that was it. It was not repeated. If they are experimenting with that I think they should not just place the banner once at random. That will get minimal results and may cause them to abandon that approach. A user typically needs to see the banner 3-7 times to respond. Once is never enough. That requires that registered users be targeted first and a count is kept of how many times they have seen the banner. The key to that type of message is repetition, but not over-repetition.

So, if they are placing fundraising banners somewhat at random, do talk them into doing them at least 3 times (but 5 is preferred) for registered users, if they are to be effective. And please do say that the results of a random placement experiment can not be relied upon. Repetition, and right time marketing are essential for the success of this experiment. Please let me know. Thanks. History2007 (talk) 21:52, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

You came across a banner test. The fundraising team runs them (for an hour at a time) every now and then throughout the year. Mostly they are doing A/B tests on things like language or form performance. Long-term testing is not needed in this case; the data gathered in only an hour is more than sufficient for answering the questions posed. --Jorm (WMF) (talk) 22:31, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
I beg to differ on that. I think they are throwing money away not doing right time marketing. I know there is $20M in the bank, but if things go south they will wish they had $40M. 12 months is a long time to wait for new funds. I think they can get 25% to 35% more by fundraising throughout the year by right time marketing. I would have paid again if they had hit me the right way. History2007 (talk) 00:37, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Other people think that a never-ending annual campaign is deceitful and refuse to donate at all because of it. There really isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. For example, donations through the Arabic Wikipedia might be higher if we ran the campaign a month from now rather than at the end of the (tax) year. But that's likely to be the worst time of year for non-Muslim US donors. If you want to make a donation, you can do that at any time. There's no rule requiring you to wait for an ad. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:47, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
I do not think fundraising is deceitful, and do not know why other people would think so. Servers cost money. And I do think selective, focused banners via right time marketing would work throughout the year. Anyway, I have said what I needed to say and I think they know what I think. I will leave it there. History2007 (talk) 07:31, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Obviously, I'm not the only staff member who reads the page. :) (Hi, Jorm!) I'll make sure that the Fundraising team is aware of it as well, so they can consider your thoughts. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 21:03, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. And let me assure you that I am not going to ask for a cut of the proceeds, but think that as they say "people need to be reminded more often than taught". I had all but forgotten about fundraising until I saw the banner. I think it may just remind people that servers cost money. But anyway, I will really, really stop now. History2007 (talk) 22:03, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

Multi-level warnings and User talk notification background color[edit]

An admin posted a set of Template:Uw-spam in March 2012 that lead to a block.[2] The user recently indicated that they were not aware of all the messages.[3] When the first Template:Uw-spam1 was posted to the user's talk page, the user saw

You have new messages (last change).

Over the next eight minutes, the admin posted three additional escalating warnings, but the "You have new messages (last change)." notification never changed, so the user in fact was not aware that there was something going on beyond someone trying to get a message to them. Not stopping to read a message is not an excuse for continuing spaming, but I think this is a problem in that it would be better to make the user additionally aware that there is some more urgent going on than someone merely trying to send them a message so that the user more likely stops to see what that might be. To address this, perhaps the background color of the User talk notification can be tied to (1) the Wikipedia:Template messages/User talk namespace being posted and (2) the permission of the editor posting the user warning. In other words, if an admin posted a series of user warnings like these, the color of the User talk notification should change to match the escalating warnings, with the last "You have new messages" notification background being red. (The color of the User talk notification would not change if a non-admin posted the same user warnings.) I think this will increase the number of times a user stops their behaviour before being blocked. Thank you for your thoughts on this. -- Uzma Gamal (talk) 06:02, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

If we had a serious notice to post, perhaps we could make it so that instead of a link to a talk page, the editor only saw the new notice, and nothing else, until they acknowledged it. So this is some sort of more immediate talk method. Perhaps it could be done with a special style sheet, but be careful that we don't slow everyone else down while doing it. I think that not only admins should be able to use such a messaging facility, or colour changing facility, as it is likely that new page patrollers, or other change patrollers will need to use it. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 06:23, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm not opposed to changing the template to something like "You have new warnings" instead of "You have new messages" and changing the background to red, but I don't think that this a high priority for a developer's use of time. After this user's block for spamming, maybe they will behave better in the future. Hopefully they learned that they ignore messages at their own risk. Pine 06:28, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, changing the notification based on what has been placed on the talk page isn't feasible without some relatively big changes. I think the simplest thing to do would be to add a number to the notification, for how many times your talk page has been edited since you last checked. When people see the number rise, they'll know something's up. Equazcion (talk) 06:47, 10 Jun 2012 (UTC)
  • The above responses are all great ideas I think any change to the original "You have new messages (last change)" should be enough to warn them that something is up and they really need to take a moment and look at their talk page. -- Uzma Gamal (talk) 09:37, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

You may be interested in this project: mw:Echo (Notifications). Helder 22:27, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

Thanks! Seem like they would be the ones who could make such a change. I commented there at Talk:Echo (Notifications) . -- Uzma Gamal (talk) 09:37, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Would it be possible to replace "You have new messages" with "You have X new messages" based on the number of edits to the Talk page? It wouldn't be accurate all the time if someone made multiple edits to the same post, but... User:King4057 17:08, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

Reform program for Wikipedian sockpuppeteers[edit]

Using WP:SPI and WP:sock puppetry can get sockpuppets banned or blocked forever, and we would lose sockpuppets who would have become better contributors with help of reforming. Somehow, I must develop this idea into WP:village pump (proposal). However, I don't have enough time to create a new page to reform sockpuppets positively, so I wonder if there is someone here who can create a stable page that can help sockpuppets be better people than they are. Actually, this idea is intended to stop sockpuppetry and to help people stop committing sockpuppetry. --George Ho (talk) 00:58, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

we would lose sockpuppets who would have become better contributors with help of reforming
There's a solution for that. They use their main accounts to become better contributors. The silly ideas are rather getting old. —Strange Passerby (t × c) 03:08, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Like gang reforming programs, the online sockpuppetry reformation in Wikipedia could be a positive influence for sockpuppets who will lose interest on sockpuppetry and will want to stop committing sockpuppetry. --George Ho (talk) 03:21, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
You are missing the point totally. There is no need for sockpuppets. The puppeteer can either become a constructive editor with his main account, or not. —Strange Passerby (t × c) 03:33, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Why don't we need them then? --George Ho (talk) 03:36, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
I think there is a bit of confusion as to who we are referring to here. Your statement that Sockpuppets should be reformed should have been worded that the sockpuppeteer should be reformed. It causes a bit of confusion because conceivably one sockpuppeteer could have every one of their sock puppets "reformed" but would still be engaged in sockpuppetry. I certainly understand the point of your statement. There are many editors who are indef blocked and later become unblocked and become good contributors. Other editors decide to work around their block and become sockpuppeteers so they become banned. I would be supportive of some type of system of WP:ROPE for the original account rather than dealing with further sockpuppetry. Ryan Vesey Review me! 03:44, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes, thanks for the clarification Ryan. Personally I'm not convinced we need to do anything more. There is a standard offer accorded to some banned users who want to return and be a productive editor. —Strange Passerby (t × c) 04:29, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Changed to "sockpuppeteers". Does this change affect anything? What is difference between sockpuppets and sockpuppeteers? Anyway, after what you said, would any execution of this idea fail? Would sockpuppeteers still commit same crime after "reformation"? --George Ho (talk) 03:57, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Sockpuppets are the accounts. Sockpuppeteers are the humans. One sockpuppeteer (human) might have dozens of sockpuppets (accounts). We want one useful human, with one account. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:28, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
How uplifting and how just like the Parable of the Prodigal Son. I feel impelled to rush out to these sockpuppeteers as I see them returning to the fold and falling on them kiss them on the neck an prepare a feast for them. Those sons and daughters of Wikipedia who have worked their lives in its service should realize that a celebration is required, these sockpuppeteers were lost and now are found, their accounts were blocked and now they are free again. Halleluiah!
Anyway as to the idea. Wikipedia is not a social services programme, it is an endeavour to develop an encyclopaedia. In Wikipedia terms all that matters is how well the fields are tended and it cares zilch about the prodigal son whatever the father feels. As said above there is the standard offer. Dmcq (talk) 20:12, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
I've never participated in an SPI before, but I see a lot of darker-side aspects of Wikipedia from my real-life interactions. I have seen one case where a single employee created a blocked IP address for an entire Fortune 500 company. Other cases, where we probably don't want to give the user an opportunity to "reform" given their objectives are mis-aligned with Wikipedia's - we just want to give them a quick boot and never see them again. I guess I'm also not sure what specific proposal is in mind. The only thing I could think of is some kind of ping inviting users back after a certain amount of time. For example (just throwing out crazy ideas) if all bans had a max term of five years, at which time the user received an email inviting them back to make constructive edits. User:King4057 17:21, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

Add in edit summary later[edit]

I think that there should be a feature where you can add in an edit summary later if you forget to do and just hit "submit" (as I have done a couple of times). How it would work: When logged in, and on a View history page, any edits you have made that don't have an edit summary would have a link "Add edit summary" that would allow you to put in what the edit summary should have been. This would only be displayed to you (or possibly also admins), and no other users.

I don't know how to code something like this, it just seems like something that should exist. - Evad37 (talk) 05:26, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

Click on the "My Preferences" link at the top. Pick "Editing" tab and scroll down. Check off "Prompt me when entering a blank edit summary" and the next time you forget it will let you know. CambridgeBayWeather (talk) 14:07, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the info. Prompting beforehand does make more sense than editing the edit summaries later - Evad37 (talk) 05:59, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
bugzilla:13937 --MZMcBride (talk) 14:09, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
It's useful but wont stop you from making an error in the summary. CambridgeBayWeather (talk) 07:39, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
bugzilla:13937 is very interesting. I am as novice as one gets when technical issues are discussed, however following that discussion impressed me on several fronts. Firstly the discussion appeared thorough and systematically refined the approach with each collaborative step. The exchanges appear to have been nearly intuitive, implying the technicians could emerge the task of development with hair intact. And there were significant expressions regarding this ability as useful; which I agree. I have but one reservation, and hope it does not constitute a monkey wrench to the idea. I believe the original summary should be logged to an archive for future inspection and concurrently believe the amended summary should carry an identifying feature which clearly shows the summary had changed while linking to the archive location for the original. Without this level of transparency, I do not see it possible to gain the support of consensus. IMO - My76Strat (talk) 08:31, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

COI Survey[edit]

I recently created a report analyzing 2,500+ Wikipedia articles on brands to help companies understand Wikipedia's content needs. For example, it shows that History is what Wikipedia is most interested in, that COIs should be less aggressive and easier to work with and research (citations) is what the community needs most to improve articles. The idea is to help companies understand what Wikipedia wants. Many organizations have decades or centuries of rich history they're proud of and their heritage department could provide a lot of research to help improve these pages, but instead product marketing is spamming Wikipedia with promotional product information.

I was thinking of what other report could educate companies on the community's desires and I wonder if a structured survey would also help understand consensus on Wikipedia. Today there are many contradicting claims as to what consensus is on the issue and an understanding of community sentiment could educate companies off of Wikipedia, while guiding the debate on Wikipedia. Thoughts?

An initial thrown-together draft of possible survey questions
  • Do you frequently edit articles on companies or products?
  • Have you edited a company page on a brand that you are a customer of?
  • What percent of companies would you guess would be able to make substantial content contributions to Wikipedia that are of value with minimal help?
  • Would you post quality content that meets Wikipedia's policies and guidelines to a Wikipedia article regardless of the source?
  • What percent of company articles would you guess have been edited by the company?
  • Do you think most company articles could be improved with encyclopedic information that reflects positively on the company?
  • Do you feel the community's collaborations with companies would be improved if they had access to expertise on the rules of engagement and Wikipedia's content needs?
  • How many hours of time commitment do you think a marketing professional would need to make reading, practicing and learning the skills necessary to make substantial, acceptable content contributions despite their COI?
  • Would you be less likely to collaborate with a company in good faith after prior editing behavior from them violated Wikipedia’s policies and guidelines?
  • Generally, you think Wikipedia should (a) ban all paid editors (b) we can't stop them, so might as well let them do it transparently (c) Good encyclopedic content is always welcome - the issue is only with Wikiepdia's policies, guidelines and general neutrality
  • Regarding substantial content contributions, you think company representatives should be allowed to (a) edit the page directly (b) edit the page directly, but only if their contributions are good (c) only contribute through Talk pages as a rule of thumb

User:King4057 18:02, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

What about a Wiki master editor that uses it for nothing but a traffic generator? I'm hesitant to call anyone out but it sure appears to be a gross misuse of power and a huge COI. I stopped at 30 similar artists that all had very similar reviews going to the editor's website. A few here and there would be acceptable and even encouraged, not every major artist thoughPleaseAdvise (talk) 23:32, 24 June 2012 (UTC).
You mean like citing oneself or using self published sources? User:King4057 02:28, 25 June 2012 (UTC)


Each Wikipedia article should start with a precise "Definition" of the subject rather than a lead which sometimes leaves the reader wondering what it's all about.--PrinceMathew (talk) 18:10, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

I've rewritten many leads that had such a problem. Sometimes leads get argued over and changed so much that a simple definition gets lost. Did you have a specific example in mind? Equazcion (talk) 18:37, 20 Jun 2012 (UTC)
See This:

"Idiyappam (Malayalam: ഇടിയപ്പം, Tamil: இடியாப்ப‌ம், Sinhalese: ඉඳි ආප්ප) (or string hoppers) is a culinary specialty in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and coastal areas of Karnataka (especially in the districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi). It is also popular in certain areas of Sri Lanka. It is also called noolappam or noolputtu from the word for string, nool or noolu in the major four languages in southern India, but is most commonly known as idiyappam or string hoppers. It is known as semige in the coastal areas of Karnataka. It is made of rice flour or wheat flour, salt and water. It is generally served as the main course at breakfast or dinner together with a curry (potato, egg, fish or meat curry) and coconut chutney. It is also served with sweetened coconut milk in the Malabar region of Kerala. It is not usually served at lunch. Using wheat flour in preparation gives it a brownish hue."

(From Idiyappam)--PrinceMathew (talk) 18:46, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
In that instance it looks like no one could come up with a definition. I edited this article's intro to provide an upfront definition. WP:LEDE does state that an article's intro should state an overview and definition. Equazcion (talk) 19:03, 20 Jun 2012 (UTC)
I think there may be a bit of a cultural business in this [4] in that people from individualistic places like America concentrate of the object and ignore the environment, whereas more social ones pay far more attention to the environment of something. Dmcq (talk) 22:15, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
From WP:LEAD "The lead should be able to stand alone as a concise overview. It should define the topic..." User:King4057 17:24, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes, somewhere in the lead, the subject should be defined, to the extent that it is possible to define it. Some things are not amenable to "precise definitions", and the first sentence is often not the best place to define it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:32, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Sub-administrative status[edit]

Hm... I wonder how many times this has been proposed in the past, but apparently Bulbapedia likes it just fine.

Anyway, my two cents: 1,468 admins isn't enough to account for 17,022,169 editors. We should have a sub-administrative user access level that has about 30-50% of admin tools and who would be the people you go to before bothering the admins about trivial stuff such as, "Why was my page deleted?" At Bulbapedia, they call it "Junior Administrator". Any ideas? (talk) 22:06, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Take a look at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Proposal by Jc37Ryan Vesey Review me! 22:21, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Perennial proposals#Hierarchical_structures.
Also, we don't have 17 million users. We have 17 million accounts. We actually have 118,866 active users, which means one admin for every 90 active users. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:42, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
That's roughly comparable to the industry norm for IT admins to users, which is typically 75:1 or higher. Regards, RJH (talk) 02:47, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Not all admins are active however. Active admins is somewhere in the realm of 7-900 which moves the ratio to something like 1:150-175. --Izno (talk) 03:25, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Yep, but then most professional SAs have to support the OS, web, database, layered apps, networking, hardware, user community, and so forth. Regards, RJH (talk) 16:02, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Create high quality simple English leads for all articles?[edit]

Every wikipedia article should try to have a one or two sentence lead that describes the subject of the article in simple English for the benefit of readers who have no idea what the subject is.

As an example article, take a look at this: Ivy Bridge (microarchitecture)

The first three sentences are a really nice lead. There are suitable links to other articles. But imagine a user who has no familiarity with the subject - inserting a first sentence saying that this is a computer CPU would help. As it stands users might not be sure whether this item is a CPU or GPU or some other IC used in computing.

Compare with any article about a US president. The first line says "$PERSON was blah blah blah and Xth president of the United States beween $YEAR_START and $YEAR_END"

There are some problems with this.

  • Simple English is very hard to write well. Simple English about technical subjects is harder to write.
  • Being correct (using "useful lies") is troublesome for an encyclopaedia. Often a simple English description might use language which is truthful but not fully pedantically rigorously correct. I think this is okay, so long as the lead acknowledges the short-comings.

-- (talk) 22:26, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

We have a Simple English Wikipedia. See Wikipedia:Simple English WikipediaRyan Vesey Review me! 06:41, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
Having an accessible lead, especially for technical and scientific subjects like the one linked above, is currently recommended by the manual of style, see WP:MOSINTRO and Wikipedia:Make technical articles understandable. Unfortunately many of these articles fall short of these standards. I'm not sure how to tackle this issue, maybe it could be something that could be done at WikiProject-level. Quasihuman (talk • contribs) 10:51, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
That article's lead is certainly lacking. Still, to expect it to briefly explain a CPU is too much - that might be feasible for such a short article, but other articles cover such a wide scope that it's already difficult to summarize everything in four paragraphs. Simple English Wikipedia might not develop fast enough to address the issue, so it's a good thing we have wikilinks. The reader can go from Ivy Bridge to CPU, and then from CPU to computer and so on. There are too many subpar leads, though. Maybe we could implement some interface for systemically going through leads and improving them. You don't need knowledge of the subject to do that, only writing skills. I think improving all leads would greatly enhance the reader's experience, because when the lead summarizes the article properly, that's all the information most readers are looking for. ʝunglejill 23:04, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

This is a great suggestion, imo, but I don't know how we can action this on a community-level. One of the examples of esoteric leads that I've been using as a 'demonstration' of how heavily convoluted article ledes can get is the article on Ismailism. It contains such unreadable passages as:

the teachings of Ismailism further transformed into the belief system as it is known today, with an explicit concentration on the deeper, esoteric meaning (batin) of the Islamic religion. With the eventual development of Twelverism into the more literalistic (zahir) oriented Akhbari and later Usooli schools of thought,...

As someone who simply wanted to get a better understanding of what Ismailism was, I was completely dumbfounded by the density of the introductory paragraph. I don't reckon that this actually serves our readership well. Colipon+(Talk) 02:51, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Maybe recruit volunteers to rate all old established articles for readability by outsiders, concentrating on the intro? The various Projects already rate them, but those are necessarily by people who already know quite a bit about Islamic sectarian history or microprocessor architecture or fossil cephalopods or whatever. We need a dumb gang. Not as difficult as it might seem among Wikipedians, since thanks to specialisation we're all ignorant about a great many topics. Jim.henderson (talk) 04:03, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Sometimes I almost wish they'd just hire some professional copy-editors to come in and purely focus on dumbing down lede sections for general readership consumption. A lot of ledes aren't necessarily specialized, but just terribly dense and grossly recentist, with all sorts of esoteric POV-balancing and focus on insignificant details that one editor might find interesting. From the lede of Kim Jong-un:

At Kim Jong-il's memorial service, North Korean Chairman of Congress Kim Yong-nam declared that "Respected Comrade Kim Jong-un is our party, military and country’s supreme leader who inherits great comrade Kim Jong-il’s ideology, leadership, character, virtues, grit and courage".[1] On 30 December 2011 the Politburo of the Workers' Party of Korea formally appointed Kim as the Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army.[2] On 11 April 2012, the 4th Party Conference elected him to the newly-created post of First Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea.

Most of this stuff has no long-term significance, almost bordering on trivia, and definitely belongs to the article body instead of the lede.
Colipon+(Talk) 15:34, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Another example is Israel, where the focus of the lede is to cover all the bases of sensitive POV-material rather than serve our reader to get a general understanding of the subject:

Following the adoption of a resolution by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 29 November 1947 recommending the adoption and implementation of the United Nations partition plan to replace the British Mandate for Palestine, on 14 May 1948 David Ben-Gurion, the Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization[3] and president of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, declared the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel, a state independent from the British Mandate for Palestine.[4][5][6] Neighboring Arab states invaded the next day in support of the Palestinian Arabs. Israel has since fought several wars with neighboring Arab states,[7] in the course of which it has occupied the West Bank, Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights. Portions of these territories, including east Jerusalem, have been annexed by Israel, but the border with the neighboring West Bank has not yet been permanently defined.[neutrality is disputed][8][9][10][11][12] Israel has signed peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, but efforts to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have so far not resulted in peace.

  1. ^ "Kim Jong Il son declared 'supreme leader' of North Korea's people, party and military". Washington Post. 28 December 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2011. 
  2. ^ Cite error: The named reference AFP2011 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ Then known as the Zionist Organization
  4. ^ "Declaration of Establishment of State of Israel". Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 14 May 1948. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  5. ^ Brenner, Michael; Frisch, Shelley (April 2003). Zionism: A Brief History. Markus Wiener Publishers. p. 184. 
  6. ^ "Zionist Leaders: David Ben-Gurion 1886–1973". Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 13 July 2011. 
  7. ^ Gilbert, Martín (2005), The Routledge Atlas of the Arab–Israeli conflict, Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-35900-9 
  8. ^ "The status of Jerusalem" (PDF). The Question of Palestine & the United Nations. United Nations Department of Public Information. East Jerusalem has been considered, by both the General Assembly and the Security Council, as part of the occupied Palestinian territory. 
  9. ^ BBC News (29 March 2006). "Analysis: Kadima's big plans". Retrieved 10 October 2010. 
  10. ^ Kessner, BC (2 April 2006). "Israel's Hard-Learned Lessons". Homeland Security Today. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  11. ^ The Institute for National Security Studies. "The Legacy of Undefined Borders, Tel Aviv Notes No. 40, June 5, 2002". Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  12. ^ "Israel Journal: A Land Without Borders". The Epoch Times. Retrieved 20 March 2012. 
Colipon+(Talk) 15:38, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
So how about a lead taskforce that will tackle leads by order of importance and accept requests? Like I said, no knowledge of the subject is needed to improve a lead. I imagine with a bit of practice, an editor could really become an expert leadforger. ʝunglejill 21:08, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
I suggest that a couple of you try it out for a few days, and then report back here and at the regular Wikipedia:WikiProject Guild of Copy Editors talk page so that people can see your examples and so that if they're interested or have questions, they'll know that you're interested, too. There's no need to set up a separate task force or any other bureaucratic stuff at this stage; WP:Just do it and let people know how it goes. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:26, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
A practical limitations with some of the above examples: I imagine much of their ledes have been decided on after lengthy processes of "POV-balancing", dispute resolution and other such unsavoury aspects of Wiki-life. Even minor alterations to the text may get you admonished by the articles' lead authors. Colipon+(Talk) 19:21, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
There's Wikipedia:WikiProject Outlines. If you Google for the topic of any of these outlines, you will find that the corresponding articles appear far above the outlines in Google results — so outlines are unlikely to be found and so unlikely to be read. I feel that it would make a lot more sense for people in this project — who are investing time and energy into creating really good topic outlines — to switch to creating really good Executive summaries at the head of important and popular articles. LittleBen (talk) 11:15, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

Collapsing the blp notice[edit]

Every time I encounter the {{BLP}} notice I am left feeling that its dominate placement and aesthetic void constitute overkill and simply detract quality for no appreciable gain. I understand it's an important concept, but believe we can achieve the same objective with less eyesore. I suggest the notification be posted in a collapsed manner, perhaps similar to this example:

An added benefit to this approach is the ability to include even more information within the collapsed portion. Thank you - My76Strat (talk) 19:27, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

I agree that the original is too large, but your alternative seems overly strident and may even encourage disruptive editing. I think a calmer version is needed because people tend to ignore overblown warnings.
My76Strat replaced his earlier example from above in favor of RJH's example from here, which is now posted above.
Regards, RJH (talk) 22:48, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
I agree with you; and perhaps there are better ways. My primary resolve is to see if others feel it worthwhile to reduce the initial presence, to an abbreviated form. I appreciate that you commented here today. My76Strat (talk) 23:06, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
Since you overwrote my statement with your own, I tried to edit your action above for clarify. Face-smile.svg Please see WP:TPO. Thank you. Regards, RJH (talk) 02:39, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I made a mistake there. I apologize. 76Strat String da Broke da (talk) 07:15, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
No worries. Thank you kindly. Other than that, I'm not sure where to suggest bringing this up for further action. Regards, RJH (talk) 20:38, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Research guidelines/tutorials for new editors[edit]

When deciding article or category titles, it is important to research the most appropriate terminology—but I haven't found any guidelines or tutorials on research techniques, and I'm not sure where such information could be put.

For example, to determine which term is more widely used on Wikipedia — "layout engine" or "browser engine", one can enter the following into Google: "layout engine" and repeat for "browser engine" to compare the approximate number of pages containing the adjacent words "layout engine" with the number of pages containing the adjacent words "browser engine". Likewise, to determine which term is more widely used *outside* of Wikipedia: Google for "layout engine" and "browser engine" LittleBen (talk) 11:49, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

Category titles seem to change at the whim of the editor and I see a lot of time spent re-categorizing articles, so I'm not sure if there is any standard to follow there. Article titles typically follow the Wikipedia:Article titles policy, but it doesn't really discuss how to research and determine what the most appropriate title would be. Determining the title through Google hits would find the most common title, which might be the most appropriate but I'm not really sure. (talk) 23:50, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing me to Wikipedia:Article titles. LittleBen (talk) 03:22, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
I discovered that my search engine tips (above) for researching the most appropriate naming are already in Wikipedia:Search engine test, which is linked to from Wikipedia:Article titles#Common names. It's not clear that the criteria for Recognizability in Wikipedia:Article titles#Deciding on an article title are explained in Wikipedia:Article titles#Common names. But when I tried to logically connect these two sections, my edits were repeated reverted. LittleBen (talk) 11:49, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
One of Wikipedia's biggest problems seems to be the creation of multiple articles with almost the same content, and the renaming of articles without adequate research as to the most appropriate and most consistent name. It takes such a lot of effort to clean up the resultant mess that that more and more editors seem to be giving up trying.
If you search Wikipedia for an article "ABCDEF" then you will be told "You may create the page "ABCDEF", but consider checking the search results below to see whether the topic is already covered." Note that basic Wikipedia Search does not search Categories, and it's quite difficult to find out how to do this. I'd think that the obvious solution would be to add Category search to basic search. Then searching Wikipedia for an article "ABCDEF" would very probably find a Category "ABCDEF" containing an article on "ABCDEF" but under a different name. I have suggested that basic Wikipedia Search should include Category search, to no effect.
Another part of a solution would be to modify the search results something like as follows: "You may create a page named "ABCDEF", but consider checking the search results below to see whether the topic is already covered. Also be aware of Wikipedia Article naming guidelines." However, the present article naming guidelines don't suggest that you should search Categories and try to create article names that are consistent with Category names and with other articles in related Categories. I tried to add information on how to do this to Wikipedia:Article titles and Wikipedia:Categorization/Naming, but my edits were reverted. Wikipedia seems to have quite a few editors who follow others (particularly new editors) around, reverting their work (without saying a word) rather than attempting to help or to solve problems in a spirit of goodwill. LittleBen (talk) 09:34, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
"Wikipedia seems to have quite a few editors who follow others (particularly new editors) around, reverting their work" Yes, this happens a lot and can be very discouraging. I hope it's not too discouraging in your case. Regarding article titles, I'm really not an expert on our polices and I don't really know if we have something to cover the best way to determine what an article title should be. I will say in general, if there's no guideline for something people will often create an essay (per Wikipedia:Wikipedia essays) and ask for input from the community. Then they'll propose that the essay become a guideline (per Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines#Life cycle). This usually happens when somebody, such as yourself, see a need to clarify something. Wikipedia is quite chaotic in how it develops and it might be possible nobody has thought about this issue and that you are the expert in this area. Perhaps you might like to start a guideline such as Wikipedia:Article naming guideline if we don't have anything already. I'll ask our resident expert to chime in here to see if we already have something. Best regards. (talk) 05:27, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
We have a large number of article naming guidelines already. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:45, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Re: the google search: One thing to keep in mind is that there are lots of copies/mirrors/meta-searches out there that dup the contents of Wikipedia. doesn't get rid of those – you need to also add -"some unique phrase from the article" to get rid of those mirrors. As far as modifying stuff in the WP and Help space, I've done some, but it's usually just spelling/grammar/punctuation, minor clarification, or better examples, since most of them are reasonably well-written (IMO). Anything more, and it risks being seen as changing policy, something which needs to be discussed first. As someone else said, I'd write the proposed change in my userspace and then discuss it in the appropriate place (which can be hard to find). —[AlanM1 (talk)]— 09:26, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
My basic advice to LittleBen and anyone else who wants a firm, reliable method of figuring out the best title for an article is: Give up now.
It is not possible to create an algorithm that will always (or even nearly always) produce the One True Answer™. The best research method depends on the field (e.g., web search results are good for software, but weak for medicine). The best title depends on your personal and cultural values. For example, we have some people who firmly believe that the best possible title for an article about a person is always the person's full, legal name ("William Jefferson Clinton"). We also have people who believe that the best title uses initials for the first name ("S. R. Rana"). We also have people who believe that academic titles ought to be included ("Prof. Richard Dawkins"). None of these personal and cultural preferences are "right" or "wrong". We can easily find reliable sources that back up each of them, because our sources have personal and cultural preferences, too. We already provide advice on what the community most commonly chooses in such situations, but there are times when we reject the common approach and choose another. There is no single answer. There is no single criterion that always trumps the others. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:45, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
I am not suggesting that there is a single best way. I am suggesting that Wikipedia objectives should be (1) to help the average user research what is available, (2) to make it easier for the user to find Wikipedia guidelines, (3) to better promote the advantages of creating user and talk pages — "an alias is OK".
As examples of problems with the current Wikipedia basic search interface / ways that it could be improved:
(1) (a) Instead of saying just "You may create the page "ABCDEF"..." as described in the scenario above,
also provide a clickable link like "Search for "ABCDEF" in Categories." (This is needed because basic Wikipedia search does not search categories, and many or most experienced users don't know how to search categories—you need to know how to find Advanced search). This would help authors of new articles choose article names and category names that are reasonably consistent. Given the importance of Category search, and the fact that few people can work out how to do it, surely it would make a lot of sense to alias the Category search button up one level (to the same level as the Advanced search button) in the box below the Special search box so that one doesn't have to know to click on the Advanced search button in order to find Category search? Also an explicit, clickable link to Help:Searching would be good.
(b) If a user is not logged in, the default action of basic search is to bump the user directly to an article, rather than to display all related search results. This is like clicking "Go" rather than "Search" under the search box that is displayed when a user is logged in. "Search" is surely better behavior.
(2) Instead of saying just "You may create the page "ABCDEF"..." as described in the scenario above,
also say something like "You might like to read Wikipedia Article naming guidelines". (It would be useful if this article were more clearly linked to the search engine tutorial which explains how to use search engines for research to satisfy Wikipedia requirements like verifiability and recognizability).
I have just discovered a related discussion here.
(3) When a user who is not logged in (or who is logged in with an IP address) attempts to create an article,
it might be a good idea to display a link like "you might like to know the advantages of creating a logon alias, and talk page". LittleBen (talk) 08:31, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
LittleBen, That's a good idea. Although, in relation to point 3, IPs can't actually create articles.
In relation to point 2, maybe it should also link to Wikipedia:Your first article. This is linked to from the top of the page once you are actually creating the page... but arguably catching people one stage earlier will help.
Yaris678 (talk) 08:38, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Color vs colour, Thai vs Siamese, Armenian vs Turkish (which is better, Blah blah or bluh bluh)[edit]

Issue must be taken to the naming conventions-page. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 14:40, 6 July 2012 (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.

The only reason, geographical region is called Anatolia, is that you, we all call it so. As yougurt is white for we call it white, area's, river's, mountain's .. names should be called in their real names. This is absurd to stay in an office and produce names. Why we should follow it? when this is pedia, not foreign affairs. Arantz (talk) 13:45, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

So what's your "idea"? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 14:00, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm also struggling to understand what you're trying to say. Please could you say it again, as simply as possible? --Dweller (talk) 14:08, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Hi. My point is making an eye on Eastern Anatolia related pages, then systemically change office or political names into geographicals and not do edit wars over them. Arantz (talk) 14:09, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
what's an "office-name"? Y'know, what you should do is go to that mountain, ask it what its name is, make an audio-recording of the answer, then come back. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 14:14, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Seb az86556, this isn't a night club, express more social, please. Arantz (talk) 14:17, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
More social? hm... hey, come here often? Interesting ceiling lights, no? So have you asked the mountain yet? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 14:18, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Goog, I managed to ask them in a minute. They call themselves Sar, and know nothing about dagis. Arantz (talk) 14:23, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
So if I am reading this right, you are complaining about how we call Anatolia by that name is because everyone calls it by that name? Resolute 14:26, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
No. Apparently, Turkish names are "office-names" and Kurdish and Armenian names are what the mountains call themselves. Mountains speak Armenian, didn't you know that? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 14:28, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Seb az86556, at least you're right. Resolute, I'm complainin of this, also this, and each page. Arantz (talk) 14:36, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
Well, you'll have to take that issue to WP:Naming conventions. Closing this. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 14:40, 6 July 2012 (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.

Creating a guideline about naming a fictional character[edit]

User:George Ho/Naming conventions (character) (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs)

I am attempting to created a proposed guideline about naming a fictional character. So far, I'm doing my best there. LtPowers opposes "Coach (Cheers)", "Fry (Futurama)", and "Apu (The Simpsons)" because... I don't know, he prefers naturality to commonality. Yes, first and last names are standards, but there are other considerations, like nicknames or whole names. --George Ho (talk) 23:45, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

Nicknames and whole names are fine. I supported the Reverend Lovejoy move, for instance. Those (along with Principal Skinner and Groundskeeper Willie and Grandpa Simpson have the advantage that the common name is unambiguous. Where we have a problem is with articles on Coach, Fry, and Apu, where the common name is not unambiguous. I favor, and I believe policy backs me up, adding increasingly less common name parts until the name is unambiguous. Certainly I don't think we should read a strong precedent into the Fry move. Powers T 14:47, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
I also favor, as LtPowers says, "adding increasingly less common name parts until the name is unambiguous." The problem is that we need to determine what is considered "unambiguous". For example, I feel that "Fry" and "Apu" are unambiguous enough, but not "Coach" (because it is a nickname) nor "Kelso" (for the reasons listed in the proposed guideline). RedSoxFan2434 (talk) 17:42, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Fry is unambiguous? Is that Fry (biology) or Fry (racing team) or Fry (cooking) or...? That name definitely requires some sort of disambiguator. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:51, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, I should have clarified that I meant that "Fry" and "Apu" with correct disambiguators are unambiguous enough. RedSoxFan2434 (talk) 21:34, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Is there a particular deficiency in the WP:Article Titles policy? If so, what is it? bobrayner (talk) 16:49, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
    • The policy is too vague for fictional characters. Our interpretations on this policy are not wrong, unfortunately. Michael Kelso meets this policy, and Fry meets this policy, as I'm afraid. Someone said that WP:NCTV has no answers on such discussions. WP:NCP doesn't apply to fictional characters, so we're stuck in the middle of a rock and a hard place. --George Ho (talk) 17:09, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
      • Perhaps I should rephrase. How, exactly, is WP:Article Titles deficient? Is the vagueness specific to fictional characters, or does it affect other topics too? What's wrong with the policy? bobrayner (talk) 17:48, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
        • Nothing's wrong with policy... it's inadequate to fictional characters whose nicknames (or first or last names) dominate naming usage. But it also is adequate to names, like Peter Griffin and Homer Simpson. WP:CONSENSUS is our only best shot, as well as other cases, which may be harder to find. In my proposal, first and last names are normal standards for most characters, but there may be special exceptions, unless I'm talking essay there. --George Ho (talk) 18:04, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
          • So the concern is mostly around fictional characters who are typically known by their first name? bobrayner (talk) 19:30, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
            • Not all. I can't request renaming Homer Simpson just because he is often called "Homer". Am I sensing straw man argument here? Look, if you think creating a guideline about naming a fictional character is a bad idea, tell me why. C'mon, you can tell me. --George Ho (talk) 19:44, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
            • Well, there's Zoidberg, which is a last name... of a anthromorphic lobster character. --George Ho (talk) 19:47, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
              • Strawman? I was just trying to fathom what the actual problem was. Meh, I'll leave you to it. bobrayner (talk) 07:42, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
George, try reading this exchange through the eyes of bob - I share the frustration. He asked if the policy was deficient, and you say there's nothing wrong with policy. So why are we here? After saying there's nothing wrong with policy, you list a problem, which bob tries to rephrase to see if he understands it, and you tell him he got it wrong. It will be hard to make a change to policy if you can't articulate the problem.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 12:57, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
We are not changing a policy. Instead, I'm making an idea for naming a fictional character, like my proposed guideline for naming a fictional character. Is that a good idea? If not, then what else to do if we can't change policy? --George Ho (talk) 14:05, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────We have policies—high level expressions of standards. In many cases, it is useful to have more detail on how to apply a policy in specific cases, so we write a guideline, as more of a "how-to". Whenever contemplating writing a guideline, it is critical to write it while casting on eye on the relevant and related policies:

  • Is what you are adding to the guideline specific advice, or is it general enough that it really should be a modification of policy?
  • Is the guideline consistent with policy? (It is absolutely critical that a guideline not give advice that conflicts with a policy. In rare cases, we might decide that the guideline is valid, and seek to modify the policy, but in most cases, we would modify the guideline to make sure it is in line with policy.)

You are proposing a guideline about the naming of fictional characters, and some are noting that we already have a policy on naming items.

So the obvious questions:

  • Is your guideline consistent with the policy? If not, something has to give.
  • Does the existing policy already provide sufficient guidance, in which case the guideline isn't needed
  • If the policy doesn't provide sufficient guidance, should the policy be amended, or a guideline be written?

I think people are asking questions like this, and not understanding your answers.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 16:14, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

At first, I thought a policy is not sufficient for fictional characters. However, I'm not sure, given that there are other compelling arguments per WP:consensus. The proposed guideline is intended to suffice understanding of the policy. Moreover, it is also intended to help readers what to propose and not to propose. If policies are sufficient enough, then must I give up on this idea? --George Ho (talk) 16:27, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
As you've been asked several times, what is deficient about the policy? If the policy does not provide sufficient guidance on this question, then amending the policy is one option, or writing a guideline is a second option. But when you were explicitly asked about deficiencies in the policy, you said there was nothing wrong. If so, what's the need for the guideline? Here are some possibilities:
  1. Policy is wrong -> fix policy
  2. Policy is right, but not sufficiently detailed to cover this situation -> amend Policy OR add guideline
  3. Policy is right, and sufficiently detailed to cover this situation -> do nothing
Which of these options is closest to describing your view?--SPhilbrick(Talk) 18:06, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
I guess my answers are not very clear to you, so I'll elaborate. Normally, many characters must have first and last name if common, maiden name is optional. Some characters have nicknames per WP:COMMONNAME. Currently, either a parenthetical disambiguation method or a natural disambiguation method may be preferred by consensus on case-by-case. Now that I think about what it, I guess policy is sufficient enough for naming a character. I just answered not clearly because... I thought a guideline creation is a way to avoid flimsy arguments. But then right now, I realize there is no need for another guideline. In other words, we're stuck with only case arguments and policies. What can I do about case arguments in article talk pages? I hope my answers are clear this time --George Ho (talk) 18:43, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

large articles in foreign language wikis[edit]

Just an idea here - what if we had a bot go through a foreign language wikipedia and report on the X largest articles in the foreign language wiki that don't have wikilinks back to the English wikipedia. This would hopefully give us an idea of what subjects are perhaps worth doing some research on and maybe creating articles for. I recognize that length is not correlated to notability or importance, but it's a reasonable indicator of articles for which there is significant content that we have no content for. Does this seem like a worthwhile and feasible endevour for a bot? If a bot is overkill (as I suspect it might be), is there a simpler way to do it? Perhaps some other way to do the necessary queries? --Bachrach44 (talk) 10:21, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

It just requires someone to run a query similar to DBQ-91 or DBQ-121 on toolserver's Database Queries service. Helder 15:11, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

Can we do both[edit]

I was updating my preferences when I realized we could do a thing better. There are some pages that I wish could be checked for "E-mail me when a page on my watchlist is changed" but not all pages. So I either have to clear my watchlist and list only the pages important enough for e-mail notification but this would reduce the value in real time that the large watchlist offers. And if I checked the box related to my large list, I would get so many e-mails that it is impractical. I think it would be a valued ability to check only certain pages on the list for e-mail. The all or nothing approach limits the usefulness of an otherwise useful option. Can we do this? Should we? 76Strat String da Broke da (talk) 07:50, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

I like the idea. If there was a all or nothing system, then you would have two accounts, ont with email enabled for watchlist and another without, of course this is more effort to maintain. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 09:38, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
I hadn't thought of using an alternate account for this purpose. That would work. Also to clarify, the e-mail watchlist notification is an available preference. It simply is set up as an all or nothing option. Otherwise I guess we'll see what others have to add. Thank you for that insight. 76Strat String da Broke da (talk) 12:33, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
I agree that having the ability to grade your watchlist and have some things as Email notify would be useful. Yes here is the alternative of setting up multiple accounts, but we shouldn't encourage people to create multiple accounts. ϢereSpielChequers 15:24, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
I agree. Will someone proficient in tech development please comment regarding the difficulty in creating the option being discussed? It does seem that using an alternate account should be the least desirable manner of overcoming this limitation, and yet it is currently the only available means. 76Strat String da Broke da (talk) 07:45, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
It has apparently been sort-of created - mw:Extension:WatchEmailOptional seems to more or less cover this. However, it was written four years ago and looks pretty experimental; it'd need some thorough checking before it could be used on here. Andrew Gray (talk) 23:30, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

Create a place for wiki-frustrated editors[edit]

Please see this thread for a similar previous discussion.

We should have a place where editors can freely talk about their feelings and on-wiki experiences. I think many editors will simply leave Wikipedia when they are wiki-frustrated. This place would be a page where editors can talk about themselves, their own thoughts and feelings regarding Wikipedia perhaps in a more open way than at other pages (WP:NPA and similar stuff would apply there like it would anywhere else of course).

Sometimes a fruitful conversation could perhaps save Wikipedia a good contributor. I do not think we have anything like that yet. Sure, we have WP:Editor review, but that has something of There's something wrong with YOU so let others tell you what it is. Many experienced editors might not like to hear that and often it might simply be plain incorrect.

Now I can see that someone might argue that this could be abused by an editor who only wants to disrupt Wikipedia who could endlessly claim he or she is being right and all other editors misbehave. I am not entirely sure how that could be handled. Anyway it's only an idea so far. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 17:36, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

The village water cooler perhaps? :-) The simple way to avoid your final concern is to simply make it so nothing binding can ever come out of the forum. It will be sort of like complaining about politics around the office water cooler - people get to vent, hear other opinions, and share, but ultimately it has no direct effect on anything. If there's one nutty person always bringing up some radical fringe position (UFOs are real! They teamed up with bigfoot to shoot JFK!), after a while people just stop listening to him/her. --Bachrach44 (talk) 18:01, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
Heh, water cooler. I like the name suggestion; it's a double-entendre. Regards, RJH (talk) 20:31, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
lol! Any double entendres were completely accidental. :-) —Preceding undated comment added 20:31, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia in the medical university curriculum[edit]

Wikimedia and several related projects such as the medical segments of Wikipedia are included in a free course designed for medical professionals and students to let them learn more about using social media efficiently, it is also an elective course at the medical school where I teach.

If you have any suggestions about it, please let me know! Thank you, NCurse work 14:10, 16 July 2012 (UTC)

Don't - I suggest strongly that you don't. I suggest you go through the policy WP:NOTTEXTBOOK. Wikipedia can be a good for research on a topic and find reliable source but never for teaching per. se. There are lots of examples of how and when Wikipedia articles have had faulty information and lot of content is liable to change over a period of time.-Wikishagnik (talk) 05:05, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

I think you misunderstood something. The course is not about teaching "with" Wikipedia, but about Wikipedia for medical students and professionals as they have to be able to deal with related issues. The course has already been running for 4 years at the medical school and for 3 months online. The feedback I'm asking for is about the basic details I added to the presentation and whether I present the way Wikipedia works properly. NCurse work 06:20, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

Hello NCurse. I read through the presentation; it looks well done and provides a good overview. There were a few basic points it did not seem to cover (although I didn't listen to the videos):
  • Wikipedia's definition of "notability" may not match people's early expectations. For example, a reliable and well-respected textbook is not necessarily considered notable on Wikipedia. Such articles may be put up for deletion, which can be frustrating for newcomers.
  • We have strict provisions against copyright infringement and the use of original research. Professors and researchers should probably be made aware of the latter.
  • It could mention the guidelines provided by the Manual of Style, which create a definite learning curve.
  • Of the five pillars, the one that wasn't covered was civility. Even experienced editors can sometimes be a little unpleasant to deal with.
I'm sure you're probably already familiar with these points, but you did ask for feedback so I thought I'd mention some topical concerns that seemed noticeable by their absence. Still, I think the presentation will hold up just fine as it is. Thank you. Regards, RJH (talk) 16:18, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

Additional geolocation data for mobile device users?[edit]

At an ongoing AfD for multiple related articles, one argument raised against merging and redirecting the individual articles is a user's desire for the articles about individual cemeteries to remain separate "so these articles will show up in handheld applications displaying Wikipedia geolocated articles." The user says "I go out of my way to look at cultural heritage sites wherever I am" and uses Wikipedia on a mobile device to find interesting places to visit.

The issue of wanting the coordinates to show up in handheld applications is an interesting one (albeit not one that should determine WP:Notability). This was the first time I had seen this raised in a Wikipedia discussion, but I see that it also arose lst year in this Village Pump (policy) discussion, also about cemeteries. Since many individual items that are geolocatable and could be of interest to a person with a handheld device are typically covered in broader articles, there is likely to be increasing demand for a way to broadcast multiple geolocations associated with a single Wikipedia article. It is something that would be needed for most all Wikimedia projects. Is anybody aware of, or working on, a link/redirect function that could include (and broadcast) the geolocation data for multiple elements in a single article? Is this feasible? --Orlady (talk) 20:05, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

Does it work to put the geolocation data on the redirects to the merged article? Anomie 00:47, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
On that AFD page, user Jane023 says "There is no way to add geocoordinates to a redirect." I have not investigated this. --Orlady (talk) 19:24, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
That's clearly false. You just put the appropriate template (or other markup) on the redirect page. The question is whether the tools people use will find it or ignore it. Anomie 19:55, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
My point was not whether or not one can put wiki markup on a redirect, but my point was that putting geocoordinates in a redirect was silly. The original NRHP discussion had to do with combining articles on geolocated objects, such as these 3 objects that are in a 10K range of each other. Currently that article is geolocated to the middle of the three objects. Are coordinates in redirects of the other two sites supposed to overwrite the coordinates on the destination page? What's wrong with creating two more articles? My remark has to do with being able to find wikipedia articles with Google. I put the link in the AfD proposal, but here it is again: Please see this link for information on how to view Wikipedia articles based on geocoordinates in Google maps. I am baffled simply by the idea of putting geocoordinates in redirects - I would prefer a stub with a link back to the destination article. What I find odd about even discussing this is that I had no idea people could be so against the idea of stub creation on principle. I make stubs all the time, and I think they're great. I have seen stubs I created back in 2009 grow in all sorts of interesting ways, based on input from other Wikipedians. Jane (talk) 05:09, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
It seems to me that putting coordinate data on a redirect makes as much sense as putting a category on a redirect instead of on the target article: sometimes it's not useful, but sometimes it is. For example, we want Category:Fictional birds to contain The Road Runner rather than Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner.
I'm not going to get involved in the argument over whether stubs are better or worse than redirects to a list article. Anomie 18:39, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Searching for deleted files[edit]

As an OTRS agent, I often get inquiries where the writer does not specify the exact article name or image name. With a little fishing, I can often figure it out. For example, if the writer is "Joe Jones", using the search will identify a number of possibilities.

However, it is quite common for them to be inquiring about a deleted article. If they have the exact article name, I can find it, but if it is not exact, I cannot. On several occasions, I have made a guess, failed to find it, and when we tracked it down, the right title was very close, sometimes only a single character different, such as an apostrophe or some other minor character.

My suggestion is simple to state, although I have no idea how hard it would be in practice:

Admins have the authority to view deleted material. If the search results could detect that an admin was making the request, and expand the search options to included deleted material, it would make it much easier to find the article name, and not have to engage in back and forth by email to track down the article.

If it is not easy for the search box to identify who is making the search, an alternative would be a search screen only accessible to admins.

As an example, suppose the author of 1970-71 Mitropa Cup writes to me and provides permission. I need to find the article and undelete it. If I copy the correct name into a search box, it won't find it, but it will suggest I create it, and when I click on it, there will be an option to undelete it. Or I can enter the name in the deletion log and see it. However, if the person writing to me says the article name is 1970-71 Mitropa Cup (using a hyphen instead of an en-dash) the search function won't find it, nor will a search of a deletion log. Those searches only get hits with exact names. I'd like the ability for admins to search, and even if it doesn't find the exact match it should show deleted names that are close to the entered name.

I assume this will only work if we index the deleted names as well.

If I know the editor's name, I can search their contributions, but editors usually write to OTRS using their real names, and only occasionally include their user names, plus, it is quite common for the person contacting us to be someone other than the editor.

I'm starting at Idea Lab rather than Proposals, because it occurs to me that there may be other ways to accomplish my goal, or other things I need to consider before writing this up as a formal proposal.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 22:03, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

Addendum: It was suggested I check Bugzilla, to see if this has been discussed. I found this and that, but if I read them correctly those are proposals to allow Commons admins to view deleted files on other name spaces, not the ability to do fuzzy searches of names of files.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 22:08, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

This sounds like a good idea to me. I did not realize that admins could not search for deleted article titles. Anything that makes the job of OTRS folks easier is a GoodTM thing in my opinion. (talk) 02:01, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

Unlinking unprintworthy redirects[edit]

I was thinking pretty hard about {{unprintworthy}} redirects while I was pondering an RfD, and an idea occurred to me. Generally when an editor wikilinks a term in articlespace, a redlink will indicate if they did something wrong. Unprintworthy redirects deny the editor this feedback, so if I add a sentence to an article and link Tom Hank for example, I would see a blue link when I preview my changes, which simply redirects to the correct title, Tom Hanks. Now I'm rather unfamiliar with most editing bots that run on Wikipedia, but last I recall there seemed to generally be more willing programmers than viable bot purposes. Perhaps there is a bot doing this already, though I could see it being difficult for a bot to choose which print-worthy redirect to replace each typo with...

  • So I ask, is there a system in place to catch this type of error? Where should I look? If not, where should I float this idea? I'm not particularly interested in creating a bot myself. BigNate37(T) 18:22, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Been mulling it over more. Perhaps a Special page or a bot-generated listing showing the contents of Category:Unprintworthy redirects sorted by incoming links? BigNate37(T) 18:49, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

It's not always "wrong". Resume is an unprintworthy redirect to Résumé. It would be desirable to have {{R from misspelling}} pages fixed in the mainspace, but that doesn't mean that all of the nearly one million unprintworthy redirects involve errors. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:30, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
Good point. I think it's still a useful concept with respect to Redirects from misspellings. I take it by the lack of response that nobody has heard of anything that's already doing this? BigNate37(T) 03:58, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
I suppose that User:Anomie/linkclassifier might help to identify unprintworthy redirects, but I'm not yet familiar with any tools to help automate the process of fixing them. SoledadKabocha (talk) 01:03, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
User:Josh Parris had attempted it for names. I'm more concerned about wrong redirects (e.g. mothballed should be a disambiguation page) and redirects to no-longer existing sections (I have a tool for this). I have some related code used in finding section redirects to replace regular sections links. — Dispenser 05:58, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

Allow bureaucrats to disable (but not remove) some or all admin tools at their discretion[edit]

If a bureaucrat feels that an admin is being disruptive, but does not feel a full desysopping is needed, he/she can assign a new userright that revokes some or all of the admin tools, at his/her discretion, especially blocking. This is somewhat like the fact that admins block at their own discretion in many situations. The new userright would be created using mw:Manual:$wgRevokePermissions on the technical level.

The bureaucrat should then open an ANI/BN/AN thread if one does not already exist, and add a comment. A re-enabling of admin tools should only occur after consensus has been gathered or after a pre-set time period.

I imagine situations where an ordinarily-good admin is having a bad day and needs to take a break from Wikipedia, with this.--Jasper Deng (talk) 22:44, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

AIUI, bureaucrats specifically avoid discretion, only acting on consensus - hence the name "bureaucrats". OTOH, this would be a power for the arbcom - David Gerard (talk) 17:28, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
"... and needs to take a break ..." I worry that if we start down this path, we'll end up allowing (explicitly) WP:COOLDOWN blocks eventually. Not a great idea, imho. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 18:59, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

Adding skins in user preferences?[edit]

Website looks evolved a lot since the creation of Wikipedia. The last one added is Vector, wich don't please everyone, simply because not everyone have the same tastes or have some handicaps (such as, colorblind people). Of course, we can personalize a skin, but not everyone is a CSS/JS expert or have to time/will to do this kind of work.

The idea is to add new user-friendly skins with a modern look in the preferences, available for every registered user, using at least CSS2 and possibly CSS3. Though I don't know the way choosing them (and who contacting for adding them to the wiki). Do they have to come from Mediawiki? (see the skin projects too) The WP:en community? Both? Do we have to vote for them? If yes, how?

Personnaly, I think a vote between different skins proposed by the community would be nice. And what about you? — Foldo Squirrel (nuts?) 18:33, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

I think there should be a version of Vector with a dark background (energy saver!). (talk) 18:16, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
You probably know that there's a gadget for a black background in Special:Preferences --> Gadgets that works on Monobook but not Vector. The code for it is at MediaWiki:Gadget-Blackskin.css, but I don't know if the compatibility issues can be easily fixed or not. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Philosopher (talkcontribs) 18:56, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
I personally think round boxes (used on Twitter) are sexy. (talk) 20:46, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

Wikiproject Video Wikipedia[edit]

Hey, everyone. As Wikipedia has expanded, multiple new formats for the project have arisen, including the grouping of articles into books, articles available on CD, and the Spoken Wikipedia project. I would like to take the latter up a notch, to create Wikiproject Video Wikipedia.

The project will be dedicated to creating a video presentation adaptation of each article in the encyclopedia, primarily based on YouTube with each article's adaptation accessible from a Play button where the Spoken Wikipedia link usually is. Why YouTube? Because we can create links and citations with the YouTube annotations, something especially useful as the Spoken Wikipedia is still in the very early stages of incorporating links into their recordings.

Of course, even if this doesn't get support as a Wikiproject, I'll still plan to make a series on YouTube doing this, attributing all the correct licenses to Wikipedia of course ^_^ 72Volt (talk) 11:50, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

I could see this becoming a task force of WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia. —Yutsi Talk/ Contributions ( 偉特 ) 21:17, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

A merged InterWikimedia Watch list[edit]

Perhaps this has been discussed before, but I haven't seen it mentioned so I thought I'd bring it up. It would be helpful to have a combined watch list across the different Wikimedia sites. Is this even conceivable? Presumably I'd have to use a unified login. Regards, RJH (talk) 01:59, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

It's in the pipeline. Jorm (WMF employee/internationally renowned banner advertisement star Brandon Harris) gave a presentation about it at Wikimania. You'll have to ask him about timelines and specifics, but considering that it was already in the "Show it in Wikimania" stage, I'd say that we're on our way to that in the 'near enough future'. Sven Manguard Wha? 06:02, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
Really? Cool! @RJHall: It's been brought up quite a few times, but usually without anything being done about it. Nice to know that Jorm's working on something here! --Philosopher Let us reason together. 12:23, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
Sweet! Thank you. Regards, RJH (talk) 21:11, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
We're getting pretty close to starting to build it; afaik it's going to be soon after we finish Special:NewPagesFeed. Ironholds (talk) 13:55, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
You should be able to see an early prototype later this week, actually, though it will only be deployed to (WMF) (talk) 20:13, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Facts, Truth, & Pravda.[edit]


what I need to know is why there is no true editorial board/program to go back and make sure that what is being written is fact? I know truth is dependent on point of view, but facts are always facts. And so much of what is on Wikipedia is not fact nor truth.

That is why so many schools & universities will not allow anything quoted from Wikipedia which is sad. The greatest learning tool of this age and it is disallowed across the board by so many because there is no accountability. Just like the politicians and popstars that scrub out certain facts from their wiki file because they are shady or do not paint them in a good light and so much more pushed into their wiki file that is either false or frivilious.

There has to be a editorial tool/computer program that can help make the job of managing the content and info in wiki better. If there is not then that is what I need to work on I guess. I'm a history major in college and know the difference between truth, fact, and opinion. And i want to help, if possible, get Wikipedia's credibility back. Where most of the works and statements are fact and truth not just Pravda.

Let me know what I can do to help, besides donate, and we can go from there. Donating will be hard for me since I'm a disabled american veteran with little financial resources. What I do have is time and flexibility .

Let me know when you can. Thanks.

Mr. Shannon Wright — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:48, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia is a general encyclopedia. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 04:00, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
See Citizendium. Something like that has been tried and it didn't work as well, as you would seem to expect. --Martynas Patasius (talk) 18:19, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
Our policy on verifiability is what determines the accuracy of our content. It should be supported by reliable published sources. If you want to help improve our accuracy then the best things you can do are to write content based on such reliable sources or to find sources for existing content that doesn't already have them. Potential articles for such work can be found by following the links at Wikipedia articles with sourcing issues. Phil Bridger (talk) 11:41, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
As a history major you may also be interested in Wikipedia:WikiProject History. Wikipedia has chosen a model where everybody can edit anonymously and see the result right away. This has resulted in a lot of volunteer editors and content but also reliability concerns. See Reliability of Wikipedia and Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia. We have around four million articles. There is no money for paid professionals to review all this, and not enough sufficiently qualified volunteers who will spend the necessary time. Some other sites like Citizendium chose other models but they have only been able to produce far less content. It's more reliable but it will rarely have the information you want. PrimeHunter (talk) 12:23, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
You might also be interested in Wikipedia selection for schools where versions of the articles are checked and selected for school use. Study of the Wikipedia is actively researched and I'm pretty certain there will be many further improvements in both engineering the environment and in the automated tools. 17:11, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
I have an related idea, markup tags could be used such that one can verify that there is a source to back every statement and which source that is used by hovering with the mouse above text. Of course only after being turned on as a source debug option. Electron9 (talk) 01:26, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Thoughts on AfD/CSD Reform[edit]

I thought I'd start with this here rather than at the talk page for AfD.

I think (and it has been shown very well) that deletion discussions, particularly speedy deletions and snowball discussions, are one of the most inhospitable environments to subject a newbie to. All too often the first article somebody creates is nominated for deletion or speedy deletion. Hell, even my first article when I got serious with Wikipedia was nominated and nearly vanquished to the pits of doom. For many, it spells the end of their attempt to continue.

I think its fair to say a lot of us came to Wikipedia with a "conflict of interest" - There was something in particular we wanted to work on, and from there the story grows. I think it's important that we prevent potential editors from being scared away, and I believe XfD, specifically AfD, is the largest beast to slay in this regard. There are a few suggestions I think would jump start a transition.

There are two types of nominations at AfD that I see. The first type is new articles; the second is reoccuring nominations. The system works well for the latter type, but fails miserably with the first. Could the two be separated as a process? Perhaps if they could, the new article nominations could be set up under a process where nominations must be made using one or more of a list of predefined reasons, thereby eliminating the nominators personal opinion and making the process procedural. The snowball/pile on effect is also disheartening to new editors, and so this separated process could also possibly protect against that.

In both processes, perhaps not allowing voting for the first 48 hours would encourage editors to take time investigating the noteworthiness of the topic under review, rather than voting with their opinion or without investigating sources on the net.

I know one of the issues with watering down the way users can vote is that "we don't vote", we go by reasoning and arguments. By blocking out the reasoning it would literally become a vote. So perhaps the exact opposite would work: No voting, just reasoning as to the notability of the topic. The closing admin would determine the outcome. However, the issue here is that even prohibiting voting as it were would only hide the keep, delete and merge bolding. Could we do 'blind' voting, where usernames are hidden until the vote is closed and only the comment is visible to users, thereby preventing voting by association, or cabalism.

I think it's clear that a reform is needed. Perhaps my ideas are non-starters, or they might encourage some others or some brainstorming. However, the problem has been acknowledged for quite some time, so let's do something about it! - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 15:21, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

I agree that AfD can be an inhospitable environment, but that's mainly because of a collision between conflicting interests. There's bound to be some contention and politicization of the process. Civility among both the nominators and the respondents is frequently helpful in resolving the discussion in a useful manner. It's unclear what a 48 hour delay would do to ease the situation; that just increases the amount of time one has to spend on what is already a big time sink. Regards, RJH (talk) 18:00, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't think an arbitrary waiting period would really improve the situation. Also, this would have the consequence of favoring the nominator: The nominating statement would then be out there for 2 days before those who disagree with it could respond. Same issue if the there is a speedy or snow keep situation, we have not artificially prolonged the deletion process instead of allowing a prompt keep result. Monty845 18:08, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
Well, I don't think that it is that clear that "a reform is needed". The claims that good newbies are often scared by deletion of their articles are sure common. But let's look from the other side. We tell the newbies "Be bold!" (as in Wikipedia:Be bold). We also tell them that they can be bold because their sincere mistakes can cause no lasting harm: bad edits will be reverted and - yes - bad articles will be deleted. We hear about the newbies that do not like deletion of their first article, because they complain, but are we sure there are no newbies (and, may I say, better newbies) who have looked at the deletion of their article with joy? I don't think that many of them should be expected to say anything, but it doesn't mean that they do not exist.
There is a second point. We don't need "more editors". We need more good editors. And "good" first of all means "taking criticism well", including the harsh criticism - although one should not confuse "harsh" with "impolite" or "insulting". Thus the editors we want can be expect to react to the proposal to delete their article rather well. On the other hand, the editors we don't want are more likely to react badly and end up out of Wikipedia. The process isn't perfect, but it seems to be better than nothing.
That brings me to the third point: is there some evidence that the criticism of the articles often happens to be impolite or insulting? That would be problems to be solved, although I don't see how any of proposed things would help... --Martynas Patasius (talk) 18:34, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I don't think there is anything inherently broke regarding XfD discussions. Most users, even new accounts, and IP's, are reasonable; and benefit from a discussion. CSD may be too much bite for the buck however and could be more user friendly. I think it should. And I believe that it could. 76Strat String da Broke da (talk) 18:44, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
By the way, one more thing... Maybe there is one place where it could be possible to get slightly closer to "eliminating the [...] personal opinion and making the process procedural" - the closing of the discussion and writing down the result. Maybe it would be worth to propose a possible procedure - let's say, "first look at the calendar (if it is not April 1), then read the discussion, article and its talk page, then make a list of participants of the discussion, then make the list of policies cited, then note the opinion of each participant, then list the arguments given, then..." or something. It is highly unlikely to make a huge difference, but, for all I know, it might even help (a little) some newbies to understand what is going on... --Martynas Patasius (talk) 20:15, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
Many fair points have been raised here. I agree that it is good editors we need to retain and not editors in general. We will always have fly-by-night edits. Regarding the last point you raised, it may be worthwhile to have the closing admin investigate the history of the nominated article and its author. If the article is new and the author is also fair new and genuine, then the admin should be obligated to leave a note informing them of what happened, not to take it personally, and to keep at it. Providing a copy of the content (again, assuming it was genuine and not spam or promotional material). - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 20:49, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

This may be controversial but... something I wonder about are people who seem to take an inordinate interest in adding entries to the AfD list. Perhaps many such are truly dedicated to cleaning up the garbage from Wikipedia. However, I've long suspected there are at least some who derive a sense of personal empowerment by causing somebody else's work to get purged. To me it resembles a form of disruptive behavior. I wonder how well AfD would work if there were a quota on the number of article entries (single or multiple) that can be proposed for deletion (at both AfD and PROD) by one editor in a week? Regards, RJH (talk) 19:15, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

Sounds very similar to those that smash up the sandbox at the end of the day. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 20:51, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
Wouldn't it be better to just assume good faith to the point of complete "naivety"? Like the Catechism of Catholic Church says (paragraph 2478): "To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor's thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way". After all, it's not like you are going to be able to prove that someone is proposing articles for deletion from bad intentions. Thus you have nothing to lose by simply assuming good faith and leaving it at that.
"I wonder how well AfD would work if there were a quota on the number of article entries (single or multiple) that can be proposed for deletion (at both AfD and PROD) by one editor in a week?" - we would have many heated and fruitless discussions in WP:ANI about the meaning of "one editor", "proposed for deletion" and "a week" (I'm afraid they are far worse defined than they look), and we would have more articles that are waiting for deletion... --Martynas Patasius (talk) 22:30, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
One can only assume good faith for so long before an editor's words demonstrate otherwise. Then what does one do? Shrug. Regards, RJH (talk) 14:51, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
"Then what does one do?"? Well, then one uses one's imagination! We can assume that the user in question is joking (there are many - perhaps too many - users who mistakenly think their jokes are funny), that the user is drunk, insane, simply incompetent, that the account has been compromised... Only in most extreme cases nothing can be done! And we lose nothing by keeping the assumption of good faith: the editors in question can still be blocked and banned.
That brings me to a second point: if you really have evidence that some other user nominates articles for deletion "just because he can", don't complain here, at the "village pump"! Complain in WP:AN, in WP:ANI, to the arbitrators, open an RFC on the user in question... And don't complain about "some users" - tell us which specific users do so. --Martynas Patasius (talk) 18:35, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
Ah... right. LOL. Anyway, have a good one. Regards, RJH (talk) 21:30, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

A better landing page for new users and an improvement in the knowledge of New Page Patrollers, would contribute to an improvement in the AfD system. One of the inherent problems of AfD (like in many other places) is that anyone can !vote. Having participated on close on 1,000 AfDs and closed many, I get a distinct impression that much of the !voting is subjective. Perhaps a guideline that all  !votes, whether keep, oppose, merge, etc should all be backed up by citing policies and established guidelines would lead to more consistent and more objective !voting.

Recent assurances have been given by the WMF that they are now 'revisiting' a proposal they made over a year go that has remained dormant since, to create a new landing page for new users. The new landing page (working title Article Creation Work Flow) would probably replace the Article Creation Wizard, and might possibly be developed as an obligatory step for new users towards the creation of their new pages. This may significantly reduce the number of CSD, PROD, and AfD. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 05:28, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Just to expand on the above idea, I would like to see a rule where all nominations must cite a relevant policy, guideline or even essay under which they believe the article should be deleted. The one-word noms must be very confusing to new editors, I think we owe to them to give a clear explanation of why we believe their article should be deleted. Template:Afd-notice says "the nomination will explain the policies and guidelines which are of concern" this is often not the case. Quasihuman (talk • contribs) 10:54, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Per the template wording you cite, that's already the way it's supposed to be for both AfD and PROD. CSD already has over 30 categories, and it's user talk page templates inform the user clearly enough. As previously mentioned, rather than introduce new rules, the answer probably lies in better educating the users who do the patrolling and templating, and developing a proper landing page for new users. A 'quota' system wouldn't work - we already have too few clueful patrollers.Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 16:05, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

A formal A-Class criteria[edit]

I have been searching and it's obvious that A-Class assessment is quite abandoned, so i would like to bring a fresh proposal to help develop the foundations of that class. The first thing that A-Class articles need is a formal list of criterions that help any user understand what need to be done before an article reaches such status. Just like GAs have their criteria, and so does FA, this intermediary class should have too. So, I propose the following criteria here at the Lab:

An A-Class article should approach the standards for a Featured article (FA), but will typically fall short because of minor style issues. A peer review should make the article a viable candidate for FA. In addition to meeting the policies regarding content for all Wikipedia articles, it has the following attributes.

  1. It is—
    • (a) well-written: the prose is engaging, clear and concise, respects copyright laws, and the spelling and grammar are correct. It may be brilliant, and of a professional standard;
    • (b) Factually accurate and verifiable: it provides references to all sources of information in the section(s) dedicated to the attribution of these sources according to the guide to layout. Claims are verifiable against reliable sources and are supported by inline citations where appropriate;
    • (c) comprehensive, well-researched: it neglects no major facts or details and places the subject in context and contains no original research. It might be compiled as a thorough and representative survey of the relevant literature;
    • (d) neutral: it presents views fairly and without bias; and
    • (e) stable: it is not subject to ongoing edit wars and its content does not change significantly from day to day.
  2. It follows the style guidelines, including the provision of—
    • (a) a lead: a concise lead section that summarizes the topic and prepares the reader for the detail in the subsequent sections;
    • (b) appropriate structure: a system of hierarchical section headings and a substantial but not overwhelming table of contents; and
    • (c) consistent citations: where required by criterion 1c, consistently formatted inline citations using either footnotes (<ref>Smith 2007, p. 1.</ref>) or Harvard referencing (Smith 2007, p. 1)—see citing sources for suggestions on formatting references; for articles with footnotes, the meta:cite format is recommended. The use of citation templates is not required.
  3. Illustrated, if possible, by images: It may have images where appropriate and they are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales. Non-free images or media must satisfy the criteria for inclusion of non-free content.
  4. Length. It stays focused on the main topic without going into unnecessary detail and uses summary style.

I would like to see community imput on this draft for a future formal proposal. Thanks. —Hahc21 21:11, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Two thoughts:
  • The WP:1.0 team owns the assessments, so you should advertise this to them, if you haven't already.
  • IMO the biggest reason behind the abandonment of A-class is the requirement that at least two editors in the WikiProject approve the designation. Most assessment work is a solo activity. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:16, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Personally I don't see much point in having separate A and GA classes. There's little motivation in working for an A, when GA is just as satisfactory and with a little more work the article may gain an FA. A-class is essentially a redundant criteria, and it almost feels like you're losing status by trying to take it from GA class to A class. Perhaps if the FAC could also be used to assess whether an article satisfies the A criteria... but I think that idea has been discussed before.
That being said, I think what really needs to be clarified is what exactly allows an article to clear the A bar without satisfying the FA criteria. Simply replicating WP:FACR doesn't really help in that regard.
Sorry if I'm coming off too negatively. Regards, RJH (talk) 14:35, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't have a strong opinion but I think that merging A-Class with either GA or FA would be the best way to go. Some projects do their own, most notably WPMILHIST. so you might want to drop a note their too. They would also be a good source for a good set of criteria. Kumioko (talk) 20:43, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
I believe that A-class provides a low-pressure aptitude test of FA-wannabee articles. There is a big gap between GA and FA standards, despite what has been said above. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 22:47, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
I believe the same. I have worked at both GA and FA and they are far too distant from each other, so deleting GA is a no-no and keeping only FA is a no-no. Also, A-Class is kind of distant too from FA, since FA may have "brilliant [prose], and of a professional standard", but A-class doesn't, and neither does GA. —Hahc21 00:19, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
It depends on the wikiproject really. At WP:HWY/ACR, we provide a review that's held practically to the standards of FA, but more as a constructive approach than a raw support/oppose vote. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 00:26, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes but many wikiprojects have no A-class assessment whatsoever, and that's very sad. That's why i think we should have some sort of alternate formal way to make the assessment in case that wikiprojects are not able to do so. —Hahc21 02:12, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I agree. The A-class is probably useful for projects where there is a heavy involvement by the community. For smaller projects it's not a practical approach. Regards, RJH (talk) 17:13, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I'm not convinced of the value. I think the B and C distinction is close to useless as well. I think a four stage categoriation:

  1. Start/Stub
  2. Placeholder name for every thing else
  3. GA
  4. FA

is just the right amount of refinement.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 18:28, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

You're probably right. But I find the grainier classifications are more useful for articles rated high or top importance than they are for low importance. In the latter case, an A, B, or C class probably doesn't matter that much to a WikiProject. Regards, RJH (talk) 00:44, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Personally, I like B and C. In my view, a C class article touches on most aspects of a subject, but contains obvious deficiencies. Lacking sourcing, lack of one key aspect of the subject (e.g.: athlete bio missing personal life, early life, etc.) B, in my view, is an article that is nearing completion. As far as A class goes, It has been completely supplanted by GA. That classification is dead, save for the military history project. There really isn't enough of a gap between B and GA or GA and FA to make A class useful again. This proposal is well considered, but unnecessary. Resolute 02:07, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

COI ideas[edit]

A few ideas that have come up in discussions where editors suggested they be brought here to flower or fail:

  1. The front page of Wikiproject Companies already has a COI warning, but doesn't place one on the articles themselves. Almost any article on a company has someone on the other end wondering if they should edit it. Add a template on company pages or just on their Talk pages, perhaps through the Wikiproject Companies template, cautioning about COI and encouraging COIs to use {{request edit}} or a link to some other instructions. So that any company that views the Talk page on their own articles can get some guidance on what to do and what not to do.
  2. Write a letter written by the community that can be sent to PR agencies and departments. Create more dialogue between the PR and Wikipedia communities. The letter might provide some guidance on what kinds of edits are universally acceptable, what universally isn't and where there's a grey area.
  3. By and large, media humiliation has prevented the Fortune 500 from grossly unethical behavior on Wikipedia, but leaving this power in the hands of reporters, instead of with the Wikipedia community, has its shortcomings. Creating our own wall of shame, owned and operated by the community, but shared with the media, would do a better job discouraging a broader range of behavior we all agree is improper, while not shaming people who don't necessarily deserve it. It's impossible for us to play a game of wack-a-mole to try to prevent censorship and spam on Wikipedia, instead of deterring those edits from ever occurring in the first place, by letting people know their actions will be exposed (we would use examples where we couldn't remotely maintain AGF). This would be through a very careful and rigorous process. User:King4057 (EthicalWiki) 22:42, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
    1. There is obvious value to this idea, though it would look ugly to have to hang it permanently on every company article. What about using edit notices instead?
    2. This sounds like simply drafting and sending a pamphlet of Selected Wikipedia Policies and Guidelines for the Businessman. Not a bad idea, in any event.
    3. I'm uncomfortable with this idea. Our ethos has always been to punish only preventatively, not punitively. Edits can be made to stand on their own merits, which is exactly the stance we take in situations where an editor is likely in a COI but has declined to out himself. We should be grateful for those corporations that don't resort to subterfuge to conduct their COI editing, rather than pushing them underground. See Talk:Brittany Binger for instance—it is a WP:BIO, bear in mind, but matters are a lot simpler (if not any easier) when COIs are acknowledged. BigNate37(T) 23:26, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Something like this? Sort of like how when you edit the village pump it has a notice at the top that the village pump is not for polling. User:King4057 (EthicalWiki) 02:48, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

You've got the gist of it, sure. It may be worth browsing some of the templates that WP:PAIDWATCH#Templates or WP:COMPANIES have hanging around, or maybe even Template:Not a ballot or Template:Recruiting to get an idea of what sort of content and style might be important to borrow. I don't want to step on your toes, but if you want I can try to find some time in the next couple days whip up some alternatives based on examples I can dig up; having a few examples of varying degrees of sternness might help you pitch the idea. I think the biggest concerns are making it grab attention (perhaps warning colours and icon) and making it as simple as possible. I like your establishment of context, regarding the BLP-like concerns companies have, but I'm not sold on using here as a wikilink, not sure that the folks who need to hear the message will click through. BigNate37(T) 06:09, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Two things to consider, and one argument: 1) Does this really deserve an editnotice mention? We only mention BLP issues on the talk page, and the BLP policy is arguably our most important/sensitive policy. If this was done, it should be done on the model of {{activepol}}. 2) You realize that this notice (as written) would potentially affect every BLP article and every article of an active organization? That seems like quite a bit of overkill. Finally, I don't think we need this anyway. Let the edits stand or fall on their own merits and talk to problem users. No need to put a scare tag that is irrelevant to the vast majority of the people who will see it. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 08:51, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
A few thoughts
  • A talk page template would be less intrusive and is certainly an option as well (this was my initial direction). Unfortunately I don't think many companies would notice it, but that is the balance between making people see it and it being intrusive.
  • We could just stick to company articles to make it less of a huge change.
  • I wonder if the template should speak specifically to the COI editor or be something relevant to all editors.
  • The COI guideline does strongly encourage (but not necessarily require) that "financial COIs" use {{request edit}}
I've gone ahead and fixed a typo in the boxes that was driving me mad. I think it's an interesting idea, but maybe it should be simply incorporated into the sitewide editnotice whatever it's called (i.e. next to the Terms of Use and licensing stuff). It would need to be made conditional ("If this page is COI-worthy then please follow the guideline", and no I don't think we should use that exact wording). If we do that, we should probably stick to simple text; a box down there would be rather ugly IMHO. Does anyone know which MediaWiki: page handles that text? --NYKevin 04:18, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
I think you mean MediaWiki:Wikimedia-copyrightwarning? That could be okay. The problem I see is that the COI rules are, for all that we talk about them, simply a recommendation. I don't know that a recommendation should be put up there along with our requirements about copyright and verifiabilty. Perhaps instead add "and must be written from a neutral point of view" following "verifiable" in the copyrightwarning? --Philosopher Let us reason together. 00:58, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
I'd rather have this banner appear only when somebody edits the page. Having it show up at the top of an article would be too distracting. Regards, RJH (talk) 16:37, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Location of notice[edit]

I think there is agreement a notice should exist in some form, but there is a need for discussion on (a) the location and (b) the content. Since the style and length of the content will vary depending on the location, we should take that first.

I am prone to think we should choose the least objectionable path. This would be a Talk page template like {{activepoll}} and only for companies. At a later date, if it is found the template was exceptionally helpful, it can be determined if it should be upgraded to an editnotice and/or expanded to BLPs.

This way we can get a pilot going quickly in a matter most editors would agree with. Thoughts? User:King4057 (EthicalWiki) 17:07, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Well, the way {{BLP editintro}} works is basically that it's shown automatically when editing a page categorized as Category:Living people, because the edit intro is injected into the edit URL by MediaWiki:Common.js. Eventually an "extant organization editintro" might be a good organization-based analog. For now I think that we should focus on creating a talk page header. BigNate37(T) 23:17, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Content of notice[edit]

Obviously we need a different image, but a Talk page template could look something like this. User:King4057 (EthicalWiki) 17:21, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Objectives of the template are to:

  • Encourage more volunteer editors to be more cautious about posting bias (negative) content that may affect the company.
  • Encourage more editors to watch pages on organization for bias editing (most likely from COIs, but not necessarily)
  • Encourage more COIs to use {{Request edit}} as is recommended by the COI guideline for "financial COIs" (or at least make them more aware of our advice in that area.

CommentThis page is about an organization that may be affected by its contents: This statement is unclear because of ambiguity. I think it could use a little work. Regards, RJH (talk) 18:58, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Do you think that's any better (or worse)? "An organization may be materially affected by the contents of this page. User:King4057 (EthicalWiki) 20:12, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
fyi, I've corrected an eror in the above discussion as made by several editors--the word wanted is affected, not effected. To effect an organization is meaningless, unless it means to effect a change in an organization. I would have though a precondition for being a sufficiently expert editor to get paid for working here would be a knowledge of the formal standards of English grammar. DGG ( talk ) 18:02, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that's much clearer now. Thank you. Regards, RJH (talk) 18:06, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

BigNate37's alternative[edit]

I've put a draft alternative template together, with the assumption that it would be used as a talk page header, at least for starters. It's not finished; there's a few other techniques and best practices that I want to read up on before I'm willing to say that it's my final version. If you like my wording changes feel free to co-opt them. For now though I'd rather not merge the two templates together; once my draft is done and some decisions are made, if we want to use King's version I have no problem transplanting the formatting and bells/whistles from mine onto his. BigNate37(T) 23:13, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Thanks BigNate!! This is a huge improvement. I made a couple tweaks. User:King4057 (EthicalWiki) 17:16, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
I'll reply to you on the talk page over there, so that the discussion is preserved if the template sticks around. BigNate37(T) 18:09, 4 August 2012 (UTC)


Posted on RFC here