Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous)/Archive 31

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Contradictory articles Southern Sudan, Nuer language, and Zande language

The article Southern Sudan, in the section discussing languages, claims that Nuer is the "second most populous language" (assuming this means the most widely spoken) contradicts those on Zande and Nuer, whose infoboxes have statistics that claim that while Nuer has under 800,000 speakers in South Sudan, Zande has more than a million. Is the article about Southern Sudan correct in ranking Nuer the second most widely spoken language (the word "populous" is incorrect and sounds awkward), or are the numbers in the infoboxes a more correct estimate? (talk) 09:31, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Check the cited sources. Roger (talk) 18:30, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
Thank you. I did, and it makes sense now. The information in the Southern Sudan article is uncited, so I don't know if it is altogether accurate in its ranking of languages, but Ethnologue stated the number of speakers of Zande in the Democratic Republic of the Congo at over 700,000, leaving less than 500,000 speakers elsewhere. This estimate is unverified, however[1], and does not point to any studies which measure the population of Zande speakers. The other estimate (for Nuer speakers) cites a paper from 1982 [2]. Which one do they mean (under the heading "Vernacular publications", two entries are listed from that year)? Is Ethnologue even a reliable source, since it is just a catalogue of automatically categorized languages? (talk) 19:33, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
Ethnologue is intended to be a reliable source, & AFAIK makes a sincere effort to be accurate without attempting to promote any bias or belief. Obviously every reference work will contain errors; but to the best of my knowledge there is no other source which covers as much ground as Ethnologue does, & where other sources are lacking (e.g. official censuses for the number of speakers of a given language) it does fill an otherwise unfillable hole in our knowledge. Beyond that, if those considerations do not make Ethnologue a reliable source, then we should consider polemical news organizations like the Fox News cable channel an unreliable source. -- llywrch (talk) 00:55, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Can you prononce a word for the french Wikipédia ?

Hi ! I'm a contributor on the french Wiki, and I'm working on tow articles called Debaser (one for the Pixies's song, one for a comic book). But, in France, we speak mostly french (thank's captain) so, nobody really knows how to pronounce the word "Debaser". Can anybody here with a good mic say "Debaser", upload the file on Wikimedia Commons, and give me the link ? It would be really nice ! - Raphaël.

The "IPA" - assuming "General American phonology" - would (roughly) be /dɨˈbeːsɚ/. That any help? --Shirt58 (talk) 10:21, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Well, thanks it would help the peoples who kwnows phonetic alphabet, but not the other ones. For now, I'll put your text on the page, but I think it'll be more intuitive for the french people to have an audio file. - Raphaël.
I'll ask at Wikipedia:Reference desk/Language. That might be a first point of call to see if someone can fulfil your request. --Shirt58 (talk) 11:18, 17 February 2011 (UTC) Grrr! Why can't we all just speak Italian?
Hey, thank's a lot, as I don't know very well Wikipedia en, I didn't know that there was a page like this. - Raphaël grazie mille
De nada, mi amigo. O la lingua più bella, più semplice! Even its irregular verbs make sense. OK, so they don't actually make sense, but, hey, what the heck.--Shirt58 (talk) 12:32, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Automatic dash-correcting script developed

I have recently written a hotkey script that allows the user to press Win-D to load the Edit page and replace various styles of dash, including

" - " " -- " " – "

with a standard, unspaced M-dash:


at the user's discretion on a case-by-case basis. I feel that this may be useful to Wikipedia and improve the readability of articles. I based it on the style recommendation to avoid short dashes and typewriter approximations (such as those shown above).

Currently, only I am in possession of the script and will only release it (as freeware) if Wikipedia approves. My question is: do you, at Wikipedia, have any particular preference for M-dash or N-dash? I plan to M-dash articles that I read at my leisure, and I want to feel comfortable with whatever decision I make.

Just thought I'd let you know what I was up to!

Scott H 12:14, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Free license means it's not theft... because it's free! Right?

Original CC image.
Totally legal!!!!

Does anyone actually police these things? I guess that they figure that nobody will notice, and it was free to begin with, so what's the big deal? I found this watching the animated short DC Showcase: Green Arrow, referred to as "Star City International". There is no mention of the license, the source, or the original photographer anywhere in the credits. Way to go, Warner Brothers! ▫ JohnnyMrNinja 23:27, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

If Andrew Choy, the copyright holder of the original image, decides that he wants to pursue legal options against Warner Brothers for violating the terms of his license, then he will. If not, he won't. We are not in a position to enforce the copyrights that others hold. If this image is a minor part of the overall animated short, then Warner Brothers might be able to argue that it falls under fair use. —Bkell (talk) 23:42, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Although it seems clear the one is based on the other, it could be argued that merely knowing the layout of SFO would be sufficient to extrapolate out an aerial view anyway. They should give credit, but as Bkel points out it is not up to WP to enforce such things. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:53, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

English language for publications

Hello, everyone. I am your fellow Wikipedian from sr:. I have an English language question that is related to research papers concerning Wiki stuff that I want to publish. Today I've heard an unverified thing, i.e. that I can't use shortcuts like "don't" or "can't" in sci papers. Is there any truth to that? 本 Mihajlo [ talk ] 16:51, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Contractions are considered an informal writing style, so I believe they are usually frowned upon in formal writing such as scholarly papers. The exceptions would be when you quoting somebody or relaying written dialogue from a drama or a play.—RJH (talk) 17:09, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Heh, thank you. I will have it on mind when translating papers. 本 Mihajlo [ talk ] 18:02, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Article-commercial: Ecosphere (aquarium)

I am passing through articles related to the earth science and I found this piece of commercial. Article includes interwiki links to the valid articles on other Wikipedias, although it is a piece of shit. It is almost for sure for deletion, but I don't have time to argue about it. If someone has will to fix it or start the deletion process, please, let him or her do it. (Just reporting problem, as a good Wikipedian citizen :) ) --millosh (talk (meta:)) 22:07, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

I took some actions. Firstly, the disambiguator was inappropriate, as all three meanings of the term given at ecosphere are scientific in nature. As such, I moved the article to ecosphere (aquarium), and updated all links (except for the ones on user's talk pages). That includes the ones here. I then repointed ecosphere (science) to the disambiguation page; it could likely be deleted as an unprintworthy redirect. Finally, I tagged the ecosphere (aquarium) article with the {{advertising}} banner. From the talk page, it apparently used to be worse, but it still reads too much like it's promoting the one product, though apparently it's a trademark. It's definitely a notable product, and wenshould have an article on it, but it does need cleanup. oknazevad (talk) 23:04, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks! :) --millosh (talk (meta:)) 01:35, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Category:Unreviewed new articles

As part of the backlog effort, I have looked at the Category:Unreviewed new articles and found that there are many months of unreviewed new articles to be done. What I would like to know is just what an experienced editor should do before removing the unreviewed tag. I am willing to do some if the topic is something I know about, but I am unsure just what to do. --DThomsen8 (talk) 21:23, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

Basically just ensure they meet our policies and guidelines. Primarily you should check that they conform with the major policies on content, such as WP:V, WP:OR, and WP:NPOV, and if not they should be marked for deletion, either PROD, AfD, or CSD depending on the severity, or if you want to fix up the article then that's even better. Secondarily, you can check that style and formatting is consistent with the Wikipedia:Manual of Style, but you can still remove the {{New unreviewed article}} tag if not, just replace it with the relevant cleanup maintenance tags. So pretty much you're just doing same thing WP:New page patrol does. -- œ 14:43, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
I've updated the instructions at Category:Unreviewed new articles. -- œ 15:34, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
I believe that the only required action is to determine whether the article qualifies for CSD. I also believe that someone at NPP had a bot tagging any articles that didn't get marked as 'patrolled', which probably accounts for the size of the backlog. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:12, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm sure eventually editors will develop their own style for efficiently patrolling the category, but as far as the 'official' instructions on how to properly review them go, I think it should focus on article improvement rather than emphasizing deletion. -- œ 20:55, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

Audit Subcommittee vacancies: Call for applications

The Arbitration Committee is seeking to appoint at least three non-arbitrator members to the Audit Subcommittee.

The Audit Subcommittee ("AUSC") was established by the Arbitration Committee to investigate complaints concerning the use of CheckUser and Oversight privileges on the English Wikipedia, and to provide better monitoring and oversight of the CheckUser and Oversight positions, and use of the applicable tools.

Matters brought before the subcommittee may be time-sensitive and subcommittee members should be prepared and available to discuss cases promptly so they may be resolved in a timely manner. Sitting subcommittee members are expected to actively participate in AUSC proceedings and may be replaced should they become inactive. All subcommittee members are subject to the relevant local and global policies and guidelines concerning CheckUser and Oversight.

If you think you may be suitably qualified, please see the appointments page for further information. The application period is scheduled to close 7 March 2011.

For the Arbitration Committee, –xenotalk 23:20, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

Discuss this

Outdated articles "Internal_conflict_in_Burma" and "2010_Burma_border_clashes"

The idea of Wikipedia was that articles were updated continuously. I had planed a end of this conflict together with Mahn Sha Lah Phan, and major powers have accepted the initiative. I know as this articles have need of constant changes.Haabet 07:49, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

As the number of articles continues to increase while the amount of editing hasn't done so since 2007, it's hard to see how WP could possibly be kept up to date. Peter jackson (talk) 10:07, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
Ugh, I've been meaning to work on Padoh Mahn Sha Lah Phan, but I was trying to get his daughter Zoya's article done first and I never did get there. I'll have to get going on that; Zoya's book has some good information on him. That said, he was killed in 2008, I'm not sure exactly how relevant he is to the second of the two articles above; the KNU would be, but not so much him specifically. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 21:24, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia's Africa (and rest of world) problem

This is an extremely coherent analysis of Wikipedia's ethnocentricity problems. Like Wikipedia's recent admission of failure in reducing male control of the encyclopedia, Wikipedia has been slow to acknowledge its extreme systematic bias problems (ghettoised WP:CSB aside). The Jimbo's Jerky Shacky deletionist debacle happened years ago, and things are still as bad, if not worse.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 02:01, 19 February 2011

Believe me, if I could get a sex change, I would ;) –MuZemike 03:37, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
Those who can, do. Those who cannot, teach. Those who cannot teach, whine. ;-) —RJH (talk) 22:35, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

March 2011 GA backlog elimination drive notice

Symbol support vote.svg
WikiProject Good Articles will be running a GAN backlog elimination drive for the entire month of March. The goal of this drive is to bring the number of outstanding Good Article nominations down to below 50. This will help editors in restoring confidence to the GAN process as well as actively improving, polishing, and rewarding good content. If you are interested in participating in the drive, please place your name here. Awards will be given out to those who review certain numbers of GANs as well as to those who review the most. On behalf of my co-coordinator Wizardman, we hope we can see you in March.

MuZemike 17:38, 22 February 2011 (UTC)


Hello. First of all, I must say that I am Spanish, so maybe my English is not perfect, and I must also say that I am almost new to the English Wikipedia, so maybe I'm doing things wrong because I still don't know the way you use to do them. The purpose of this thread is that I've been adding additional points of view to the article about love, and I was reverted because the information was not accurate, references were in Spanish and I did not specify them with the precise page from which I extracted the information. So, after a couple of reverts, I added precise information (in fact, literal), with the exact page and from English sources. I've been warned in my discussion page about "making changes to a stable article without consensus". I'm not sure if my edits made the article completely neutral, but I firmly believe that the article is not neutral at all as it is now, and just reflects a single point of view, that is, the Catholic and Western point of view. I asked for the information not to be reverted without discussion but nobody tells me why I am wrong, but one user tells me that it's me who must demonstrate that the information is right and pertinent. I think that it *is* right and well referenced, and very pertinent as it has vast implications on the concept of love, which in turn, as some people use to say, "makes the world go round", but nonetheless it was reverted again. I don't know what to do. This article is visited by +10000 people each day, but after a few days 3 people are trying to avoid me from adding the information, and I don't want to enter an edit war. This is my edit. And this is the reverted edit. I hope you don't feel bad about this intervention of mine in the village pump, I just want to know if I am doing something wrong, since I just tried to be bold. As nobody came to the discussion except 2 people, I thought that it would be a good idea to bring it here where more people can be aware of such an important article for the philosophy of life. Keep in mind that this article is read by people from very different thoughts, and with very different conceptions. Is it fair to keep just one of those points of view? I thought that neutrallity could be achieved by adding all the different points of view. Buddhism and Christianity are important enough to be presented in the lede, and so do Freud, the humanistic psychology, and the influence of capitalism on the conception of love according to relevant non capitalist authors. Thank you. --Dalton2 (talk) 20:18, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Rather than editing the text of the article in appropriate places you are making a major revision to the introduction. Try adding material to appropriate sections first, then summarize in the introduction. User:Fred Bauder Talk 21:52, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
But there are yet sections about Christianism and Buddhism; shouldn't the lede reflect in that case those points of view too? And also, do you mean that the shape of the information (sections, lede, etc.) is prior to the information itself, so, if I am not able to create a whole section, I *can't* add that information to the article in any ways? I find this disturbing, and I am not used to seeing such a rigid attitude with a so flexible issue as love is. Nobody really knows what love is exactly, so I find that pretending to be sure about what it really is, discarding any other interpretation, is kind of pretentious. --Dalton2 (talk) 22:27, 22 February 2011 (UTC) P.S: Of course, I'm not talking about you, Fred.
Please see WP:LEAD; article leads are not to contain any information not elsewhere in the article. It would be better to add a short section on the other views, and let others summarize the sections in the lead, to helpmensure NPOV.
And, to be blunt, people would take you more seriously and not think you're a fringe theorist if you'd use standard, proper English terms. Christianity is the name of the religion, not "Christianism". I presume your use of that term comes from being a non-native speaker. But it could be interpreted as an attempt to denigrate the religion by intentionally using the wrong term. That's not going to go over well. oknazevad (talk) 00:59, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
Of course it's due to my lack of knowledge of the English language. I'm sorry if I offended somebody. And no, I'm not a fringe theorist, I'm a normal person with normal ideas who wants neutrality in the articles. But this seems to be too difficult and good faith is not enough. One less contributor to the English Wikipedia, one less problem for you. --Dalton2 (talk) 02:15, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
I do believe you are acting in good faith. My goal was to point out the shortcomings of your edits so they can be addressed.
Acting as though others good faith edits are not isn't going to win over anyone. That's the way your responses are reading. It's not likely intended, so it's just something that needs a little work. As all have areas that need work.
Please don't be discouraged by my criticism, which is intended as constructive. You definitely have passion, and that can be both a benefit and a curse. I hope that can be used for beneficial use. oknazevad (talk) 03:51, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

Suppose a SPI...

Suppose a SPI came up regarding my account and AirplanePro2000 (talk · contribs), AirplanePro (talk · contribs) and Pro2505 (talk · contribs). AirplanePro is my former account, and the rest are my siblings. We all use the same 2 computers at home, and suppose a SPI or Checkuser request came up? I don't want to get blocked for SOCK, but I don't think this is big enough to post on WP:ANI. So I'm posting here to ask for other users' opinions on what to do.

Disclose it on your userpages, or at least to an ArbCom member (although you've already said as much now, so there's little point in trying to stuff the genie back in the bottle), and it shouldn't be a problem. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 17:14, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, I was frustrated and I had already went through a SPI, and I didn't want the frustration all over again. I'll tell one of the ArbCom. Wikicopter what i do s + c cup|former 17:38, 23 February 2011 (UTC)


I always wondered when a ancestry of a person should be mentioned diretcly at the begin of an article. There a major diffences on wiki. Sometimes it's mentioned under personal life (e.g. Babe Ruth or Robert Rodriguez, sometimes at the beginning (e.g. Oscar De La Hoya or Carl Schurz). Is there a general rule? Why are some americans just mentioned as "american actors/xxx/xxx", some as "italian-american", "mexican-american" or whatever? Thanks. Fremdschaemen (talk) 14:31, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

We had a discussion about this just a few weeks ago. I think - in general - we don't put "Mexican American" or "Italian American" in the header unless the individual is directly of that nationality and widely regarded and referenced as such. For example, calling Ada Dyas an "Irish-American actress" would be acceptable because that's what nearly every external source that mentions her says. This is how Britannica does it as well. See Pierce Brosnan: [3] I'm removing it from Oscar De La Hoya. It seems inappropriate there. Bulldog123 08:41, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

Superhero categories again

A while ago, I started a a discussion about Category:Fictional characters by superhuman feature or ability. My concerns echoed those of previous deletion debates, which ended without consensus. To summarize, many of the categories are too broad, ill-defined, or specific to works of a particular genre or company — without clearly indicating so. For example, Category:Fictional mutates uses "mutate" as a noun, which has no meaning outside of particular franchises.

Other categories are problematic for not having a clearly defined scope. Category:Fictional characters who can turn intangible is an example of an article with such a scope, but references List of comic book superpowers for the definition, which incorrectly implies that all fictional characters who can turn intangible belong to the superhero genre. My central concern is that these categories were created primarily for that genre, and are being applied clumsily and inconsistently to other fictional works by trying to classify them using its idiosyncratic taxonomy. Examples include numerous categories in Category:Fictional animals (crocodiles and alligators, birds of prey, bears, etc.) belonging to Category:Fictional characters with superhuman strength. The present state of Category:Fictional characters by superhuman feature or ability means that further such misuse is likely to occur in the future.

I have not yet opened a CfD on this, due to the number of subcategories. I'm not advocating wholesale deletion, but I think these issues need to be addressed, whether by renaming, merging, restricting some categories to certain genres or companies, or eliminating especially problematic ones. I would like the community's input before nominating specific categories, but if there is truly no interest in fixing these categories, then I will start making nominations. Feezo (Talk) 06:53, 23 February 2011 (UTC) — edited 12:45, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

You could try raising this issue at Wikipedia:WikiProject Comics.—RJH (talk) 16:15, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
Since that didn't get any response, I've nominated Category:Fictional mutates for deletion. Feezo (Talk) 02:47, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

Trying to figure out where these requests are coming from

For some reason that I haven't found yet, new editors tend to make editprotected requests at Wikipedia talk:Requests for permissions/Reviewer. I'm not sure if there's a template or interface message that directs them there, but if there is it probably need to be updated to point to the article's talk page rather than this RFP page. Can anyone help find where this is? Nakon 02:12, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

Beats me, Special:WhatLinksHere/Wikipedia talk:Requests for permissions/Reviewer doesn't shed any light on it as far as I can see. – ukexpat (talk) 18:16, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
We got this a lot at {{reflist}}. We added an editnotice that seems to have slowed it down. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 16:52, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Keep RPOTD going!

Fellow contributors, the Random Picture of the Day is a small hobby of mine I have run for the past 1 1/2 years. However, I will shortly be taking a very long Wikibreak and I need you to help keep it alive. There are instructions on the page to follow, so it should be uncomplicated. Please help keep this alive, and hopefully you'll join me in selecting pictures in the coming years. Thank you. - Talk to you later, Presidentman (talk) Random Picture of the Day (Talkback) 23:59, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

Maybe you could set it to automatically use Special:Random/File. -- œ 08:46, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

how to upload an article

Hi...where do I go to upload an article that I wrote? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fco Paco (talkcontribs) 17:01, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Many ways. One way is to write the name of the article here in square brackets. Save and you will see it as a red link. Click on that and an editor will open up where you paste the article. Click show preview to see what it looks like, and when you are happy click save. You now have a blue link to your article. To left you will see the word blue link Help- click and there is loads of advice --ClemRutter (talk) 23:27, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Military History WikiProject drive

The Military History WikiProject is hosting a March 2011 backlog reduction drive, a month-long effort to reduce the number of articles marked as needing attention to referencing, structure, coverage, supporting materials, etc. in the project's B-class template. The goal for this drive is to reduce the number of articles tagged as needing attention while simultaneously increasing the number of B-class articles in the project. Barnstars will be awarded at the conclusion of the drive. Participants can sign up throughout the month in the Participants section of the drive page. Due to the number of articles within the project's scope, there is pretty much an article for everyone, no matter what your field of interest! Dana boomer (talk) 22:48, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Removing discussion of unblock requests from one's own talk page?

Please see Wikipedia talk:User pages#Is it ok to remove other users' discussion about an unblock request from one's own talk page? and offer input if possible. rʨanaɢ (talk) 17:34, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

I wish to challenge

I found an article that lacks do I put one of those pictures with the unbalanced scale in the article? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:29, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

Just fix it. That would be a lot more useful. -- Derek Ross | Talk 18:28, 4 March 2011 (UTC) New sections in discussion pages should be at the bottom of the page. I took the liberty of moving your post to the bottom of Mark the Evangelist's talk page so the other editors can see it. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 18:37, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

What good answer is this???

Historic French newspapers

Are there any French national newspapers that have historic archives available online without needing a subscription? Mjroots (talk) 13:04, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

Try Gallica? Roscelese (talkcontribs) 01:00, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
Many thanks, Gallica looks like an excellent site. I've included the link so that others may have access to it too. Mjroots (talk) 07:06, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Highscore: Longest standing vandalism?

With this edit I reverted vandalism on a BLP page that had been there for ten consecutive months, first hidden in footnotes and then, after a friendly Wikipedian cleaned up, from the lead. That must be a high score of some sort? --Pgallert (talk) 22:47, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

Good job catching it, but we should be leery of recognizing such "achievements" — see Wikiversity:WV:SHRINE and Wikipedia:Deny recognition for the reasoning. Feezo (Talk) 23:26, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
Sure, I'm not requesting a page with me on pos 1 (after some thought I also doubt it is anywhere near a high score). But I wonder how this could happen, and how several editors can format this very paragraph without even reading what it says. Not that I particularly like this lady... --Pgallert (talk) 23:47, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
BLPs of "despicable people" are often POV targets. And those are the BLPs which most need scrupulous adherence to WP:BLP. Be prepared though for folks doing the pushing to attack you, however :(. Collect (talk) 00:07, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Wikipedia records#Deletion has one piece of vandalism listed as lasting 2 years 6 months 26 days. Siawase (talk) 00:26, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia:List of hoaxes on Wikipedia has two examples that topped five years. Fences&Windows 02:31, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Wikipe-tan as a mascot?

There has been debate on wikipe-tan's unofficial mascot status, and I am wondering from the wikipedia community seeing that wikipedia is used by multi wikipedia projects is wikipe-tan a mascot? see: Wikipedia:Mascot if not then what should be or what is the status of her? - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 00:41, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Pretty straightforward in my book: there isn't even a consensus that Wikipedia should have a mascot at all, much less a consensus that it should be Wikipe-tan. If the anime and manga projects want to use her as a project mascot, feel free, but don't inflict her on the rest of us.—Kww(talk) 01:48, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
The status should be "this was a shameful part of the project's past that should, proverbially, die in a fire. Tarc (talk) 02:17, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
As far as I'm concerned, Tan is not our mascot, has never been our mascot, and if we have any respect for making women feel welcome here and not objectified, SHOULD never be our mascot. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 02:50, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
Ugh, what a horrible, atrocious cliched abomination. This is the sort of immature crap that we need to get rid of, not ever reinforce. oknazevad (talk) 02:54, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
I find the "unofficialness" of her refreshing. We don't need a mascot. Or an ascot. Although, I look dashing in mine. Kyaa the Catlord (talk) 02:58, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Since I guess it's relevant to this discussion, the page on the character is up for deletion (although those who have already weighed in here seem to already know that). If you're going to join the discussion, please be civil. Thanks!--Yaksar (let's chat) 03:05, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I've been using wikipedia for years and never heard of this unofficial mascot fluff until this week. Wikipe-tan has no official status, its just something a few groups of editors have developed outside of the mainspace.--Milowenttalkblp-r 03:49, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I do not care for Wikipe-tan and am opposed to the character's being a mascot (official or unofficial) for Wikipedia. If some wikiproject (particularly the anime and manga project, but not necessarily limited to them) wants to use it as their mascot, that is within the purview of the individual project. Wikipe-tan does not and should not represent the Wikipedia project as a whole. The argument has been put forth that Wikipe-tan may put some women off from editing here. Obviously, it has not prevented me from editing, but then I'm one of the mere ~13% of Wikipedians who self-identify as female. LadyofShalott 03:55, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Ignoring the possibly dubious infantilised sexuality if the image, it is poor choice for a mascot, official or otherwise - it doesn't really relate in any way to the project. I'd suggest that it might well be best deleted from any article etc where it has no obvious relevance. Maybe Wikipedia does need a mascot, but not this one. AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:59, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • While we are on the subject it appears that Wikipede is wikipedia's current mascot > [4]. That being said I wil lremove the mascot bit from wikipe-tan's article. Wikipe-tan is a mascot but should not be presented as the wikipedia one as a whole. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 04:18, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Although many people seem to like Wikipe-tan, there are those who dislike her for various reasons. If a specific group wishes to use her to represent their project because that type of drawing is closely related to the project, that may be appropriate. There is no reason for her to appear anywhere else or be considered even as an "unofficial mascot" if editors dislike her. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 04:26, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I personally wish her to remain solely as an unofficial mascot and to be able to be useful where non-free images can be added. But i don't think we should be promoting her, such as adding her images onto the wikiprojects and portals, as if she were official.Bread Ninja (talk) 07:15, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I would seriously suggest if you have too many images like this on your desktop the police will take an interest. --ClemRutter (talk) 10:17, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Genuinely unlikely. And if they did they would struggle to find a court interested. --Errant (chat!) 12:36, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • ok how? you need to be more reasonable than that....let's not say half-baked comments and leave the interpretation to the rest. thats why things get uncivil or a giant battleground. because some people aren't clear or just settle for half-baked comments.Bread Ninja (talk) 10:24, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • We do not need a mascot, official or unofficial, and we certainly do not need this one, as it clearly puts off some women and therefore may contribute to the unacceptably low 13% of editors who are women. --Bduke (Discussion) 10:41, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • agreed. though that doesn't mean the mascot itself isn't useful. thought, it could be better if we didn't all make "wikipe-tan" drawings just to be consistent within pages that use images of her.Bread Ninja (talk) 11:01, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • The obvious concern with using this image is that it depicts a young girl in dress that has been described as a "french maids uniform" (I don't think that was the original intention; I suspect it is Japanese style "Gothic Lolita" costume). This brings uncomfortable feelings to the table because, in the Western world such things are social pressure points. It must be remembered in Japan, where this style originates, it is not seen that way at all and is an art form depicting something else entirely. Whilst I see no issues with the image in the slightest, I think the connotations it faces, particularly in the US and EU, makes the image unsuitable for use as mascot - official or unofficial --Errant (chat!) 12:36, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
    • There is nothing "French maid" about Wikipe-tan's outfit. A French maid outfit is black and white, has an extremely short skirt that risk exposing their undergarments, is either sleaveless or short sleeves, and a tight bodice that emphases the neck, shoulder and breasts. Wikipe-tan's outfit, on the other hand, is typical of most modern day interpretations of a maid outfits. —Farix (t | c) 13:34, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I don't think the problem itself is if it were unofficial (clearly it would be incredibly difficult to pass this off as official). i think the problem is it tries to do things an official mascot would do.Bread Ninja (talk) 12:39, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • This has got to be a joke. I expect to see her in a hentai comic soon, in which she and wikipe-stud cover eachother with wikipe-whippedcream and perform wikipe-(censored) upon each other. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 12:48, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • it's not a joke. and please refrain from speaking in such manner. if you have something to say thats important, please do so, but if you're only here to disrupt than do not say anything at all. I dont know why, but it seems people are just on edge when it comes to wikipe-tan and that includes those who hate her, and those who like her.Bread Ninja (talk) 12:55, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Sorry, but "speaking in such manner" is exactly what this cartoon would produce from a sizeable portion of the public, which is why this is a bad idea. The only purpose of a mascot is to represent an institution/organization, and if the mascot draws ribald ridicule then it's a really lousy mascot. Wikipedia is a very international institution and it can't be represented by something which has wildly different connotations in different cultures; I suspect this anime would seem ordinary only in Japan and a few similar places, and would draw reactions like mine in the rest of the world. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 13:15, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • OK, now we're getting somewhere and i agree (on this comment). This mascot does produce a lot of within the community and it's getting to the point where one group has to give up. the constant reasoning i see in here for keeping wikipe-tan page itself has been mainly half-baked in my opinion, but at the same time those who want to get rid of it seem to also have "some" hidden intentions aswell. I don't think completely removing her will fix anything but i don't believe leaving things as they are will fix things. The most i can ask removing such images that promote this page indirectly, such as making her some-what official yet claimed to be unofficial.Bread Ninja (talk) 13:22, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • What exactly is the point of this discussion? You can't declare something officially unofficial, which is self-contradicting, and this just gives those who dislike her another chance to voice their dislike. —Farix (t | c) 13:34, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Although, that may seem like it. i dont think thats the true issue at hand. I'm just saying, if she's going to be official, than let her be official, but if she's unofficial, than restrictions need to be placed in order for her not to be considered official in anyway.Bread Ninja (talk) 13:39, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
    • It's a free-use image. There is no need to place restrictions on its use. —Farix (t | c) 13:42, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
      • On the contrary, it could be seen as self promoting if the same character is repeated constantly in other articles. i'm not saying we shouldn't add images where it's needed. But adding images as a mascot in certain places such as the anime wikiproject and other projects won't truly make this mascot "unofficial".Bread Ninja (talk) 13:47, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
        • If the image has no official status, it should only be used in articles where it is directly relevant to the subject (and the only one I can think of where this would be true is the Wikipe-tan article). Anywhere else, it is off-topic, and should simply be deleted. End of story. AndyTheGrump (talk) 13:57, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
        • (edit conflict) Ok, this kind of double speak just gives me a headache. It would be self promoting if Wikipe-tan is the official mascot of Wikipeda. But she isn't the official mascot. The few cases where she is used in article space, the images are appropriate for the article's subject and it complies with WP:NPOV. However, this discussion isn't about her use in article space. There is already a discussion about that elsewhere. Instead, the OC is about whether Wikipe-tan is official an unofficial mascot, which as I already stated, is a self-contradiction. —Farix (t | c) 14:04, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • where as the page itself would see her legitimately as an unofficial mascot. Still, i think the situation could be solved, if we only kept images of her that were necessary in the articles. and anywhere else where she isn't necessary at all can be removed from that page. her status affects her usage.Bread Ninja (talk) 14:18, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
    • That sort of comment is a "She should be removed because I don't like her", which is a complete nonstarter. —Farix (t | c) 14:24, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
      • No it's not. I'm saying at the moment, the line between official and unofficial isn't so strong and should be made clear. Let's not make accusations right away. I do have some issues with her now that discussion has risen and i see their point of views, but that's not the reason why I'm saying this. Just because people don't like her doesn't mean you should ignore their reasoning or so. When it comes to wikipe-tan everyone wants to assume bad-faith right off the bat. it's getting irritating how easily you people fall into this misunderstanding. you're not even elaborating, or making your point. almost everyone is incredibly bias towards Wikipe-tan.Bread Ninja (talk) 14:37, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
        • Actually, 'that sort of comment' is that the image has nothing to do with article content, so should be removed as a matter of policy. Either get official recognition for this 'mascot', or accept that it has no legitimate reason to be placed in articles. AndyTheGrump (talk) 14:39, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
          • Wikipe-tan images aren't slapped onto articles to be decorative, but they illustrate a concept presented by the articles. In fact, her image is the only free-use image currently available to illustrate the concepts. So there are legitimate uses of Wikipe-tan in article space. The one case where a Wikipe-tan image was used in article space without illustrating a concept has since been removed. —Farix (t | c) 15:36, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
      • @Farix...And all of yours are just remixes of WP:ILIKEIT. So if you wanna play that game, a lot of Wipe-tan proponents should see their comments removed as well. Perhaps everyone should just knock off the "my comments are better than your comments" stuff and let people opine as they see fit. Tarc (talk) 14:41, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
        • No comment to the editor who calls Wikipe-tan supporters "undersexed basement-dwellers"[5]Farix (t | c) 15:36, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
          • "No comment" because you can't refute what I said, and resort to ad hominems yourself? Gotcha. Tarc (talk) 15:47, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I think we should drop the whole wikipe-tan is the mascot of wikipedia thing, as I pointed out wikipedia already has a mascot anyways. Wikipe-tan does not need to be the mascot of wikipedia she has already fit herself into wikipedia and her image is used by multiple wikiprojects as it is, so why go the extra step here, we should just accept where she is used. I am also all for keeping wikipe-tan but I do not see her as a wikipedia mascot but rather one for more than one wikipedia project. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 14:43, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • And i think thats the issue why she is seen as a mascot. because she's somehow used as a universal NFC that multiple projects use. It's promoting her due to adding her in the wikiproject as just for show.Bread Ninja (talk) 14:46, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Somewhere someone added wikipe-tan to other projects and there has been no deletion discussions reguarding the images(that I can see) so that tells me that I do not think they really care about it. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 14:48, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
      • But you realize this affects her status significantly because it promotes her as a mascot to wikipedia. So something should be done about it. I dont think anyone did anything because no one brought up this discussion before, but it was still important to bring up now.Bread Ninja (talk) 14:56, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
        • What is wrong with wikipe-tan being a mascot for more than one wikiproject but not wikipedia as a whole? The idea of including wikipe-tan in other projects were brouught up in talk pages and editors from those projects liked the idea. This is not promotion this is a good idea that has been used in other projects. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 15:01, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
          • because it's promoting her as a mascot for wikipedia. although not as a whole, she's still being seen legitimately as an official mascot. And whats with the reasoning? just because they like the idea? that's a poor basis.Bread Ninja (talk) 15:12, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
            • So WikiProjects should not be allowed to freely choose a mascot if they want one? I honestly don't see a WikiProject's adoption of Wikipe-tan as an endorsement or promotion of her as Wikipedia's official mascot. —Farix (t | c) 15:36, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
              • exactly. I'm sure you don't see it. but thats how i see it and i'm sure you can understand to some degree.Bread Ninja (talk) 23:18, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Perhaps, I should start by explaining, that this image is someones artistic creation- an image is a it nor a he or she. I don't live in a society where such an image is seen as innocent or cute. In my society such an image is loaded with sexual references and with references to the sub-servience of women. While our abhorrence of censorship means Commons should host it, the reputation of Wikipedia means we should not be seen to give it any status. I pointed out earlier that anyone charged of an offence who has their computer seized would have a hard job in explaining that they were not a danger to children- which could be placed on a Enhanced Record Check preventing them from acting as a teaching assistant in UK schools, their right to foster or adopt. This would be a front page story for the Murdoch press- "Wikipedia infested with kiddie pervs". Majority of wiki writers vote to use kiddie porn as mascot. Your school lets your children read encyclopedia written by pedos.... Quickly followed by Wikipedia being blocked by the education authorities- because this is the reality in Murdock country. It is the symbolism of the image that makes it unsuitable for official or unofficial recognition. --ClemRutter (talk) 15:30, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
    • As I said above; poppycock on the "this image will get you arrested" thing. We have a hard enough time prosecuting people with several hundred piccies of teenagers in swimwear, a few bits of anime that is not going to be a problem. Even for someone with real nasty images this is unlikely to be flagged --Errant (chat!) 15:38, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • TL;DR. I strongly oppose using it as the official logo. The Wikipe-Tan has no relevance to Wikipedia. Anime makes me sick, and using the Tan as the official logo is likely to be seen as POV-pushing for anime. However, the Tan is a crucial part of WP culture so demoting its mascot status seems to be a bit impossible and bureaucratic. Kayau Voting IS evil 15:53, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I am amazed that people are getting so upset about this. We don't need an official mascot, and this would not be a good one anyway (as it does not coherently express or represent the ethos of Wikipedia), but that doesn't mean it needs to be bombed off the face of the Earth. It is fine as a mascot for individual projects that choose it. If anybody is trying to shoehorn it into articles where it is not appropriate then that can be dealt with on a case by case basis.
    The incomplete jigsaw globe should remain as the logo. It represents key elements of Wikipedia: the never-completeness and the global/multilingual nature of the project. --DanielRigal (talk) 16:13, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Suggestion: There is clearly no consensus here for it as an official mascot and the discussion has drifted off topic and become unconstructive, ill-tempered and just plain silly. Lets wrap this up and move on. --DanielRigal (talk) 16:18, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

  • ^^Agreed: Considering that no one here or at the deletion discussion for Wikipetan has suggested she become the mascot of Wikipedia, I don't see why this was even started. One side feels like she is a de facto emblem of their groups in Wikipedia and enjoys its use on their project pages, the other side wishes to delete Wikipetan entirely off Wikipedia except in user space. This discussion shouldn't have been started in the first place.AerobicFox (talk) 23:39, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
    • but one is too extreme about something, and one side is too casual about it. and it seems no one wants a compromise.Bread Ninja (talk) 23:45, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I oppose this cartoon girl, this manga lolicon, as serving in any way as a "mascot" for Wikipedia. Edison (talk) 02:20, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Per WP:SNOW, the answer is no.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 02:41, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

  • I see no snow vote here but a no consensus bit. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 02:45, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Everything here is a no, right? That's snow. Regardless, I echo DanielRigal's sentiments above.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 02:51, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
I echo DanielRigal's sentiments above. (me echoing your echo)AerobicFox (talk) 02:54, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Misread sorry for that, I agree with DanielRigal as well. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 02:57, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Would someone help me with some minor cleanup

Would someone help me tidy up the further reading section of a list I am working on? The actual references look good, but the formatting and alphabetization is off on some (i.e. some citations list the authors first name first). I would appreciate any help, small or big! ---My Core Competency is Competency (talk) 22:09, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Okay. I will check it out and see what I can do to help. Steve Dufour (talk) 22:42, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

US military propaganda?

Hi. Info@ received an e-mail pointing out that the U.S. military has announced plans to use Wikipedia to get its message across. Specifically, in this Fox news report, it says:

Speaking to the general's character, current and former U.S. military officers who worked with Caldwell said he is an example of a modern Army officer who was trying to bring the Army's "strategic communications" into the 21st century, encouraging the units he commanded at Ft. Leavenworth, the Army's premier training facility, to use social media, blogging and Wikipedia as part of their efforts to shape their message. Defense Secretary Robert Gates praised Caldwell just last week for his efforts training Afghan forces.

I guess we can trust that the usual Wikipedia model will guard against this, but should Wikipedians be asked to keep an eye out for it? If so, what people? Where? :) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 14:44, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Sufficient unto the day. There are a great many groups who are active on WP - from many nations, religions, etc. This sounds like one of the least offensive, truth be told. And we must be sure it is not used by anyone to try claiming a person is a "sock" who happens to be a member of the military of any nation, or work for the government of any nation. Collect (talk) 15:54, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
I've left a note at WT:MILHIST. EyeSerenetalk 11:40, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
No, it has been shown in the past that the Wikipedia model will not guard us against this. There is very little that can be done against highly organised groups of editors. If their members outnumber the regular neutral editors, they will succeed in pushing their agenda. Nanobear (talk) 12:44, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
Something in me doubts that the US Army is going to commit all 800K of it's personnel to editing Wikipedia articles. If something like this were to happen, it would be up to the few public affairs offices that have a dozen personnel at best to work. I don't think there is anything to worry about here.--v/r - TP 13:57, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
The military would be able to generate enormous amounts of IPs though, but I don't think there is anything to worry about.AerobicFox (talk) 17:02, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree although there is only 1 IP for 90+% of the USMC and Navy and its currently blocked indefinately. --Kumioko (talk) 17:19, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
Where POV-pushing has been most effective/controversial has generally been topics without lots of editors familiar with the subject watching them (the Balkans, for example). If these people are going to start editing pages like Iraq war, I think more people are going to notice. We have quite a lot of editors familiar with the US military, even low-importance pages. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 17:24, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
The concern is valid and this is something I've been following for a long time. The best way to begin addressing the issue is to get some closure on how to deal with sleeper accounts, because this is the most common point of entry. This also means deciding what to do about admin accounts that are used rarely if at all. Viriditas (talk) 19:57, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
Although I agree that there is little need to worry at this time I still think if we create a report of Military IP, editing like we do for the Congressional edits that will help. In response to the comment about sleeper accounts, and its a little off topic. I have long thought that if someone was gone for a while and had admin, AWB or a variety of other things, they should be temporarily dsiabled (the person can simply just request for them to be restored without much fuss) but I think that its a potential for exploitation. I also think that we should, via a bot or something, drop a template on User pages if it has been inactive for 6 months or more. That will put the account into a category that can be monitored for activity. --Kumioko (talk) 20:25, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
Agree, but let us also pay heed to what Collect is saying. This is not merely a military issue, but one that will be quickly seized upon by any interested organization, and has, IMO. A good way to help users keep on top of this situation is to encourage people to use the toolserver to provide simple apps for any editor to utilize. One can already use intersect or "wikistalking" toolls to view matching contribs, but in a situation like this, we also want to see account creation dates and edit histories. Last year, I was blocked by an admin who had not been active for five months, and who appeared to have been contacted offline by a user involved in a content dispute with me. Looking into it further, I found that the two users had been working closely for years, supporting each other across the project. More recently, I was involved in protracted dispute with a user who received support from another user who appeared to have an account creation date separated by a matter of hours, making me suspect that something wasn't quite right. This kind of thing goes on all the time here, with admins and users making use of multiple accounts and gaming the system. If we can put tools in the hands of users, giving them the ability to check out the contribution histories themselves, this will go a long way towards educating editors about the potential pitfalls and empowering them to protect themselves and each other. Viriditas (talk) 20:37, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

I can tell you right now that there is not an organized conspiracy to edit or take over Wikipedia. Military public affairs generally regard Wikipedia the same way as any other website, in that they know that they can't control the content effectively (ironically enough) and that it should be taken with as much a grain of salt as a blog. I've seen the occasional unit public affairs office try to edit, and generally, thier edits are unreferenced, POV, and usually unencyclopedic jargon; they get frustrated that thier edits are reverted and give up. I've had a couple find my name on my userpage and contact me, and when I explain to them our policies, they tend to be daunted by the fact that there is really more to it than just copy and pasting from thier unit's website. Just like any other organization (like a corporation), some units see Wikipedia as an opportunity to "advertise", some have genuine good faith efforts to improve the encyclopedia (but with generally poor success), and most just ignore it. TLDR: our current practices are more than sufficient to guard against the low-level spam, NPOV, and COI issues we get from military members editing Wikipeida. I will continue to be a watchdog on my brothers and sisters. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 12:32, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

I am seriously concerned. The US Air Force solicitation for persona management software that allows up to 50 users to play up to 10 personas each that are "replete with background, history, supporting details, and cyber presences that are technically, culturally and geographacilly[sic] consistent" [6] did not specifically mention Wikipedia, but if the US Air Force treats Wikipedia like every other website we can assume that this software will be used against us. The required design is such that it would presumably fool checkusers.
If "encouraging the units he commanded at Ft. Leavenworth, the Army's premier training facility, to use social media, blogging and Wikipedia as part of their efforts to shape their message" is a euphemistic description of astroturfing including at Wikipedia, then I see potential for an Arbcom case similar to the climate change case. I don't like the idea that our checkusers might find themselves in an arms race with the US military. Hans Adler 20:17, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
I do not see it as very likely that checkusers would find themselves in an "arms race" of any kind with the US military. If the military actually was fully committed to using Wikipedia in order to subtly influence public opinion (or whatever), we would be hopelessly outclassed. I am not an expert on either behavioral analysis or in networking technology. I work on Wikipedia in my spare time (what little of it I have...). As a hobby. As far as I know, most checkusers are quite similar (there are a few who really know their stuff, but they still don't do this for a living). The reason we have been (mostly) successful is because thus far, no sufficiently large group has put up the necessary manpower and cash to mount a concerted effort (or maybe someone already has, and we don't know it yet...) Regardless, putting 30-50 or so volunteers/hobbyists up against any determined and well-funded group, let alone the largest military force on the planet, would redefine the term "curbstomp".
Despite this, I don't see the US military as a major opponent. For one thing, I doubt that the military would be willing to allocate the resources to launch a campaign to subtly influence Wikipedia. As I see it, the risk/reward factor is far too small. The potential for massive embarrassment and scandal if they were caught would, in my own opinion, far outweigh any benefits they could gain by using Wikipedia to, say, distribute propaganda, disinformation, influence public opinion, etc.
To me, this means that even in the (imo) unlikely event that the US military decided that it would be worth it to use Wikipedia as a platform, in order to avoid embarrassment, they would have to allocate a serious amount of manpower towards the project, which would invoke the curbstomp scenario mentioned above. J.delanoygabsadds 23:28, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
You may be right, but there is generally a lot of incompetence and sometimes also criminal (e.g. anti-constitutional) energy in all levels of government, in practically all countries. The potential for embarrassment is of course precisely why even if my suspicions should turn out to be right the game might be rather more equal than you described it. So I think it's just worthwhile for us to keep our eyes open in this direction and rely on behavioural more than on technical evidence. Of course there is no reason for panic. Hans Adler 01:18, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
I've opened a related thread over at Wikipedia_talk:Activist#Scope_and_title. Comments are welcome. Personally, I am less concerned about the U.S. military, and more concerned about PR and political organizations that could do the "dirty work" for anyone that pays. Fortunately, I'm convinced that it is possible to develop countermeasures. There are already ways to monitor articles in real-time, and to watch for unusual connections between editors and topics. Using the toolserver to make these methods public, would allow anyone to watch groups of articles (under a project banner, for example) and empower individuals to "watch the watchers". This is the ideal way forward. Viriditas (talk) 04:40, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Over long articles on pop culture topics?

Only Girl (In the World) has 49,595 bytes, while Eve has only 37,308 bytes. :-) Steve Dufour (talk) 22:41, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Yes, but there are a greater number of reliable sources for Only Girl. ;-) AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:54, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps both are fiction, but one seems like a bit more important treatment of the theme. :-) Steve Dufour (talk) 03:30, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Who cares? These "omigod we have longer pop culture than proper culture" comparisons are tedious and pointless. The length of one article has no bearing or impact upon another article. Fences&Windows 03:51, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

I think it is a serious issue. Wiki doesn't have a faultless reputation for making the right choices on which content to promote. Maybe a purge on "pop culture" subjects is needed? doktorb wordsdeeds 07:47, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Facepalm3.svg Facepalm Yoenit (talk) 08:14, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
I really think a single paragraph could give all the notable information on "Only Girl". Then a link could be given to the video. Watching it would be a much better use of the readers' time than wading through all the trivia now in the article. I do like the song, BTW. Steve Dufour (talk) 03:30, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not in charge of what news covers and we can only make an article based on the sources that are out there. However, this discussion is pointless, since it's quite obvious that Eve can be expanded by a significant amount, since there has to be more information out there than is currently in the article. Instead of complaining here, maybe you should go and actually work on improving the Eve article? SilverserenC 08:17, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, no because what an encyclopedia should do is give basic information on a topic in an article that is of a length that almost every reader who starts it will finish it in one sitting. Not to give every documented fact and published opinion about a topic. Steve Dufour (talk) 03:34, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Besides, raw size of an article's source code is not a good judge of its length. That's because there are formatting issues that affects the page's size, such as using tables. Eve actually has more content, but because Only Girl (In the World) uses several tables, its source code is larger. The number of references will also affect the overall size of the page. —Farix (t | c) 11:48, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
I think we need to purge these tedious articles about boring military history, religions, trains, and species nobody has ever heard of. Total and utter cruft. And why is some dead chick squatting at Eve? That should be a disambig page as Eve Online and Eve (entertainer) get waaaaay more Google hits. Fences&Windows 21:53, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

This is the flaw of a wiki system: people will write about what they want to write, and specific topics of more limited interest will have less editors working on them. Let's suppose for a moment that we go on with this proposal, and cut down the information about pop songs because there are more important topics. What will happen next? Will the users that write about Rihanna's songs or Shakira's CDs "become academic" and write about Eve, Eva Perón or Susan B. Anthony instead? or would they simply get upset about an arbitrary abuse and simply leave the project?

Have in mind that including popular culture items can benefit the "important" topics in an indirect way. Somebody may start in the project writing about frivolous things (a non-paid and non-mandatory activity must give pleasure, otherwise, people don't do it), and then shift to other more important topics. Perhaps to "gain prestige" among a community of users of a web site (namely, us), perhaps to fancy to friends or relatives "look, I wrote an article in wikipedia and it was selected as a featured article!" (and articles on history or science would be better than the frivolous topics), perhaps as a self-challenge, perhaps just by the simple reason of helping the distribution of information that may be actually useful for other people... MBelgrano (talk) 03:58, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments. I wasn't seriously proposing that WP policy change to force people to write shorter articles. What would be good is if people were to get the concept that articles exist for the readers. Steve Dufour (talk) 16:01, 8 March 2011 (UTC)


There's something odd going on here — this user is mass-creating stubs on Chinese railroad articles, many (e.g., Sandu Railway Station, Guiyang Railway Station, Xiaoxian North Railway Station) with cleanup tags already in place. This smells of a cut-and-paste move or recreation of deleted material. Can someone look into this? Feezo (Talk) 06:00, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Also, the editor's speed (7 new articles in 2 minutes) is such that I have to question whether this is really a single user. Feezo (Talk) 21:29, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
They're all completely unreferenced as well, and concerns have been voiced on their talkpage. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 00:32, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
This is the first thing I though of. Reach Out to the Truth 02:02, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
Any way to tell if that's what's going on, or can we just guess? It seems consistent with there being absolutely no references whatsoever in them. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:37, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
OK, now it's moving into disruptive. It's flooding Special:NewPages with enormous amounts of unreferenced stubs, and is creating a lot of extra work. I would advise that someone give another warning (see the talkpage history for the first one), and if nothing happens block this user until they agree to at least reference their articles. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 16:11, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes references are mandatory. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:10, 9 March 2011 (UTC)


Working on a table of incunables, I have encountered two challenges. First, I'd like to have the numbers sorted one below the other by place value, but {{0|0}} somehow interfered with the sorting function. Second, is there a way to include the percentages automatically from the total into the % column? A function which goes like "21,193/21,193+3,265+414*100". And another for adding automatically the number of editions, please.

Rank Language Number of editions %
1 Latin 21,193 <percentage calculated automatically from total>
2 German 3,265 <percentage calculated automatically from total>
3 Italian 414 <percentage calculated automatically from total>
<total calculated automatically from Latin, German and Italian numbers>

Gun Powder Ma (talk) 21:09, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Nobody? What I am asking for is actually the very same system as with Excel. Can we do these calculations also in a table here, with a template or something?

1 Latin 21,193 =C1/C4*100 in %
2 German 3,265 =C2/C4*100 in %
3 Italian 414 =C3/C4*100 in %
4 =C1+C2+C3

Gun Powder Ma (talk) 10:57, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Well, you can use {{Percentage}} to calculate percentages, but you are still manually gonna have to enter the numbers. Yoenit (talk) 11:15, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
Hmm, and any template for the field C1+C2+C3? The data is pretty dynamic, you know, so I don't want to recalculate the totals every time I make a change in the list. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 12:45, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
There is the parserfunction #expr for the mathematical part (see Help:Calculation), but I am not aware of anything which would allow you to refer to table entries the way excel handles them. Yoenit (talk) 13:52, 9 March 2011 (UTC) know how sort to the numbers in the "Number of editions" column by their place value? I tried to use {{0|0}}, but it did not work properly. I could align them to the right, yes, but I'd prefer some solution with the numbers aligned to the left. Regards Gun Powder Ma (talk) 16:44, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Can a talk page be speedied?

Two or three times I've encountered a newly created File Talk page with spam-like text including an email address. I have blanked the text but wonder if the talk page alone (not the associated file) can be deleted under CSD. If so, under what criterion? Rivertorch (talk) 09:17, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Any of the general (G) criteria works for talkpages, with the exception of user talk pages, which are almost never deleted. In this case just tag them with wp:CSD#G11. Yoenit (talk) 09:45, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
Hmm. Yes, I think that would work. Thanks. Rivertorch (talk) 09:54, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
Just as an aside; there is one exception I can think of to the not deleting user talk pages rule. IP talkpages with only one revision containing an obvious legal threat usually get deleted as G10, then recreated with the block message, which makes sense because we don't want to stigmatize the next person who might use that IP who's done nothing wrong. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 17:13, 9 March 2011 (UTC)


[Redacted attempted OUTing. Not appropriate to OverSight and RevDel would snarl up much of the rest of the page, so just blanking, but please don't do this in future. James F. (talk) 14:22, 12 March 2011 (UTC)]

Wikimedia Venezuela

Hello everybody, I'm writing to let you know that a group of venezuelan wikipedians (including myself) are working together towards the establishment of the local chapter named Wikimedia Venezuela. Wikimedia Venezuela (WM-VE) is our initiative to create a NGO for promoting all the free-knowledge projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation. We are looking for people collaborating in any of the projects interested in working with us and organizing our first general (and formal) encounter on May 15th (This day will be the 10th anniversary of the Spanish-language Wikipedia). More information available in our web site or through IRC, on the channel #wikimedia-ve. Best regards, --JewBask (talk) 04:19, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Redundant Article and Read tabs

  • OK, so I'm stupid. Why is there both an "Article" and a "Read" tab atop the page, when they... you know... do exactly the same thing? GlitchCraft (talk) 02:54, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, on the talk page, the "Read" tab points to the talk page. Which is still redundant there, but makes it different from the article tab. The point, I believe, is that the two tabs on the left are for toggling between the article and it's talk page, while the three on the right (along with the star for adding it to your watchlist) are for things you can do with the page your on, namely read it, edit it of view its history. That's why they are in separate groups. oknazevad (talk) 05:44, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
But it is still redundant, no matter what page you are looking at. So we have a redundant tab whose sole function is to contribute a (misplaced) sense of fullness and balance to the organization of the tabs... I think. GlitchCraft (talk) 06:12, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
I like the way the tabs are currently arranged. Just because the standard viewing mode is "read" does not mean the tab is redundant. Going from edit/history mode to read is a lot more intuitive than clicking the article tag. Yoenit (talk) 22:53, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, you are only saying that you think labeling the tab "Read" is a lot more intuitive than labeling it "Article". So..... keep only one, and label it "Read". No need for two. Redundant. GlitchCraft (talk) 23:44, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
So how would you switch from the talk page to the article page then? With a button labeled read? Yoenit (talk) 00:36, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
My point is this: Label the button anything you like. Call it macaroni. But it's poor design to have two buttons that do the same thing so very close to each other, just because we can't make up our minds what to label the button. GlitchCraft (talk) 01:29, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Maybe I am stupid, but what difference does it make if there are two buttons that do the same thing? (talk) 01:56, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Hello! The "read" tab is not for switching between an article and it's talk page. It is for switching between reading a page and editing a page. It's not the same thing as the "article" tab at all. Beeblebrox (talk) 02:13, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
No, that's what the "Edit" tab is for, surely. There's also a "New section" tab which is for editing, but the difference between the "Edit" and "new section" (and there is a difference) is a meaningful & useful one. Meanwhile, I am not aware of any difference btw "Article" (which sometimes shows as "Project page" etc., depending on the page you are viewing) and "Read". GlitchCraft (talk) 03:49, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
Use the Classic skin like those of us who have been editing for the last ten years and your problem will literally disappear along with the tabs. -- Derek Ross | Talk 04:04, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
That would hide the problem from my eyes, but wouldn't solve it. ;-) GlitchCraft (talk) 05:40, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
I understand that there are 2 different tabs that do the same thing, what I don't understand is why is that a problem. (talk) 12:40, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
Poor design. Annoying. Misleading. Waste of real estate on the page. Just plain pointless and therefore unwanted. Take your pick.... It is intuitively misleading to have two tabs with two different labels that perform precisely the same function (especially when they are so close together); it implies that there are two different functions. It looks dumb, therefore.GlitchCraft (talk) 12:52, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
So there really isn't a problem, it is just that you don't like it. (talk) 13:18, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
The buttons do not have "precisely the same function" as has been explained repeatedly. The tabs on the right switch between read/edit/history for whatever page you're currently on. The tabs on the left switch between the article/talk pages of the page you're at. On a purely technical sense the read tab does link to the same place as the article/talk tab depending on which page you're on. But the technical function is irrelevant, what matters is how it appears to users. The argument that it's a waste of real estate is just nonsense. If the tab wasn't there, there would just be more blank space between the tabs. Mr.Z-man 15:52, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Try an experiment; it will prove you're wrong. Regardles of what page you're on, whether it's an article or a talk page or Wikispace or whatever, try clicking first the Read tab and then the far left tab (on the page where we are now, that tab reads "Project page"). Then click the "Read" tab again. Then click the far left tab again. Then click the Read tab. And so on, ad nauseum. Here's a little spoiler: absolutely nothing will happen. Absolutely nothing will change. The extra tab doesn't provide any extra help moving back and forth between Talk and the project page or Article; The Project page or Article tab already fulfills that function adequately. So we have a tab that does absolutely nothing. If that isn't poor design, then I'm Phyllis Diller. GlitchCraft (talk) 11:58, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Don't tell anybody ms. Diller, but clicking the Wikipedia logo in the top left and the main page button below it both lead to the main page. Also, there is an "about wikipedia" button on the left and one on the bottom, while the "Terms of Use" are linked twice below my edit box. Clearly those were not added with usability in mind, but are part of an evil conspiracy to reduce the amount of whitespace on wikipedia. Yoenit (talk) 12:31, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

  • The globe is not labeled as a link. Moreover, all those links you mentioned are located on the periphery of the page. They are small and peripheral. They are not situated in areas that are designed to direct the main functions of Wikipedia viewing and editing. Redundancy serves a function in the periphery of the page, because folks might miss one or the other of those links, and so the extras are helpful. Redundancy in the periphery is not misleading; in fact, it is beneficial.. OTOH, this redundant "Read" is is up front and center, and located in an area explicitly given over to the purpose of directing editing activities... Your statement concedes my contention that the tab serves no real purpose. GlitchCraft (talk) 14:02, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
No, if you're on a talk page, the read tab will keep you on the talk page, the far left tab will bring you to the corresponding article. The read tab is (on technical function basis) redundant to one of the two left tabs, but which one depends on whether you're on a talk page or not. The read tab is not designed for switching between talk/article, that's what the left tabs are for. The read/edit/history are designed for switching between read/edit/history views. Mr.Z-man.sock (talk) 14:56, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
basically the tabs on the left help you know which page your own, the tab on the right shows you what you can see from that page, such as simply reading it or editing it (if there's no section or you would like to edit the opening paragraph). for example, if i want to see the history, the page on the left helps me see which history i'm looking at. either the main page or the talk page. it's not redundant.Bread Ninja (talk) 16:17, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
  • The tabs on the left are for navigating back and forth from Talk to (article or project or whatever). That's excellent. Left side = navigation between views. Easy to remember. The tabs on the right are for "under the hood" stuff... implementation details... editing and viewing history. Excellent. Right side = implementation. Easy to remember. Those four (sometimes 5) tabs are all we need, end of story.
  • So, if you are on the talk page and want to switch to the article page (or vice versa), there's a navigation tab on the left to do so. Easy as pie; clear as a sunny blue sky. If you want to go "under the hood", there's a tab on the right that is appropriate. For example, if you want to edit the entire page, there's a tab marked "Edit". If you want to edit, but only want to edit in a new section, there's a tab called "New section" or "+". If you want to look at the history of the page, its tab is also clearly labelled. Easy as pie; clear as a sunny blue sky.
  • Look. People have been deriding me for daring to mention whitespace/real estate, which shows poor manners etc., but I was just talking off the top of my head. The real problems are these: 1) It misleads the users into believing it offers some unique or useful functionality, and 2) there is just no stinking need for it. Unlike other links repeated on the periphery of the page, there is no way anyone could miss these links (see my response to Yoenit above), so duplicating the functionality of one tab in another tab of a different name offers absolutely nothing. So why deliberately add a useless and misleading thing? GlitchCraft (talk) 00:10, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
  • it's easier to move to read if your cursor is already near edit or view history. and it does serve a purpose, but it's automatically in use.Bread Ninja (talk) 00:15, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
  • You're arguing that we want to spare editors the effort of having to move their mouse about one centimeter or so, even though both tabs are in the same area, and both are impossible to overlook? That's a new and unique argument. GlitchCraft (talk) 00:19, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
  • no, i'm saying it serves a purpose. and they're not really in the same area, one is top left the other is top right. really, it seems too trivial to even argue.Bread Ninja (talk) 00:22, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I have shown that your "it's closer" argument is invalid. I have explained very carefully and in great detail why that tab does not serve any useful purpose, providing clear examples that anyone can follow on their own computer. You simply assert that it does serve a purpose, and the fact that you say it does constitutes your entire argument... ummm.... how should I respond?GlitchCraft (talk) 01:05, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
  • i'm not playing nice anymore. be blunt with me, or don't bother talking back. i said it's useful, but it's also too trivial to argue for it to be kept. it's nothing like affecting articles from reaching GA status or featured. so why should it pother me so much? why does it bother you so much? just because you assume it's insignificant? well no matter what it serves some purpose, saying it doesn't is ignoring the facts.Bread Ninja (talk) 01:09, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I will continue to play nice. I am being blunt with you. Look... here we have a feature in the user interface. I have argued that it is unnecessary and misleading. I have provided detailed support for my argument. The way for you to respond is to provide detailed support for your argument. If you can't do that, then you will only grow increasingly frustrated if you continue to argue, and that scenario could very well cause you to fall back on teeth gnashing, name calling, etc. As for "it's not important", well, I couldn't disagree more. The user interface is a significant factor in newcomers' stay/not stay decision. The user interface plays an important role in every editing task imaginable (well, unless using AWB or whatever). If the interface is trivial, why did we switch from Monobook to Vector? we did so because the interface is not trivial. That's about it... GlitchCraft (talk) 01:19, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
  • not really. and misleading? not that much. and if you have proof that it is, please get a significant number of new users that have previously complained about it. it isn't misleading because it's already on that tab. i'm just saying that you're overreacting to the littlest thing that does eserve some purpose, but you refuse to see it.Bread Ninja (talk) 12:21, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
Just a general observation, each side in this discussion believes in their position and that they have explained why their position is right. The problem is that neither side has convinced the other side. From the status of the conversation I don't see that happening. GB fan (talk) 12:44, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Well, first, a) No one has shown that the tab does anything that is not already done by other tabs (because it doesn't). Second, b) No one has explained that having two tabs that do exactly the same so close together in a very prominent area serves any useful purpose (because it doesn't). [I say that because have duplicated links in different areas of the periphery of the page makes much more sense... they are much, much farther apart, and one or the other could be overlooked.. ]... But whatever. I can't argue with people who have no ammunition other than constant, unsupported (unsupportable) assertions. Unwatching. Have a nice day. GlitchCraft (talk) 01:12, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

Someone please write an article on the recovery of the American alligator

This topic, is well, well, WELL notable. There are a bazillion RSes on it (GIYF). I would do it myself, but I feel like there is so much to do. Someone please write this article. I will {{hug}} you if you do. I tried going over to the request an article desk, but I can't make head or tails of how you actually POST THE REQUEST there.

Oh...and yeah, there is a section in American alligator on this topic, but it is unsourced and REALLY this is a big enough topic to be an article. Have been documentaries and all on this. It's famous. We need a full article and that thing can stay a section. Umm...and maybe get some refs. TCO (talk) 06:59, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

You've been here since 2008. Do what Wikipedians do: Enlist the aid of a WikiProject, and then {{sofixit}}. It will probably be fun... GlitchCraft (talk) 07:31, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
The only project that exists is (maybe) Milhist.TCO (talk) 08:53, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
In your edit summary, which says "{{sobiteme}}", I will WP:AGF and assume that you were indicating that I had WP:BITTEN you. If that's the case, then I apologize. If, OTOH, you were employing an extremely common, vulgar and dismissive interjection, then perhaps you should apologize... Meanwhile, you are a member of Wikipedia:WikiProject Amphibians and Reptiles. I don't see a post on their talk page regarding this. I do see a few familiar names, such as User:Ucucha & User:Enlil Ninlil, plus I see some who have the general air of at least some level of expertise. perhaps contacting them would be a good first step. There's also Google Books, Google Scholar etc. as easily accessible resources... GlitchCraft (talk) 09:13, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
I might help out too. Steve Dufour (talk) 12:13, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Daily Pictures

Why are there so many pictures from Australia and especially Tasmania? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:34, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

US National Archives Wikipedian-in-Residence opportunity

Just officially announced...

"This summer, we hope to strengthen our institutional relationship with the Wikipedian community by hosting a Wikipedian in Residence. We are currently seeking applications for this student position for the 2011 summer. The Wikipedian will gain an insider’s look into the National Archives and develop an appreciation for the records and resources we have available." — US Archivist David Ferriero

This is a summer intern position, with stipend, for a student to work at NARA 2 in College Park, Maryland.

Full blog post and

Please spread the word and encourage all good candidates to apply. Cheers. --Aude (talk) 21:35, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Orphan Talk Pages

I have discovered three talk pages with no associated articles.

Discrete computer was deleted and redirected to Computer, but Talk:Discrete computer was left in place with no pages linking to it.

Ultrahard fullerite was deleted and redirected to Aggregated diamond nanorod, but Talk:Ultrahard fullerite was left in place with no pages linking to it.

Weak-field approximation was deleted and redirected to Linearized gravity, but Talk:Weak-field approximation was left in place with no pages linking to it.

Should these orphan talk pages be deleted, and if so, what is the procedure for doing that? WP:PROD? WP:AFD?

If these should be deleted, is there a way to find all such orphans? If I found three, there may be many more out there, and there is no way for anyone to reach them unless they type in the page name. Guy Macon (talk) 21:09, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

They qualify for speedy deletion under WP:CSD#G8. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja 21:12, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
If the associated article is a redlink (rather than a redirect) you can tag with {{db-g8}}. But in the cases you refer to the talk page is still relevant to the redirect page. – ukexpat (talk) 21:16, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't see how a 2006 discussion about a now-deleted page on discrete computers - a page that cannot be accessed from anywhere else on Wikipedia - is relevant to a 2011 page about computers. How would anyone editing Computer even know that Talk:Discrete computer exists? Guy Macon (talk) 21:42, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
The page is not deleted, merely redirected. Is there a reason why the talk page should not be redirected as well? The discussions on that talk page are about content that is still visible in the page history for those who wish to look. Reach Out to the Truth 22:38, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

As stated above, orphan talk pages can and should be speedy deleted per WP:CSD#G8:

"Such as talk pages with no corresponding subject page"

AerobicFox (talk) 21:48, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

I just CSD G8 tagged all three. Thanks! Guy Macon (talk) 22:02, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

I've restored those pages; they should never have been speedy deleted because the history of their corresponding article pages is still intact. They are harmless; just leave them there. If all of these kinds of pages were deleted, we would lose a lot of historical discussions. Graham87 03:23, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
I usually move talk pages orphaned by a move to a subpage of the new talk page and add a link to the archive list. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 20:15, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

Where's the direct link to the search page?

There used to be a link in the left-hand menu that took us directly to a search page, which would list all the relevant results, unlike the search box, which takes you directly to an existing article. I know that I can get to the search page by using the search box to find a non-existent page, but I'm wondering if there's not a direct link to the main search page. There are times when I want to search for terms so that I can link them to the relevant article, but I have to force the search box to take me to the search page before I can do that. Where did that direct link go? Is is still there and I'm just not seeing it? Thanks, Aristophanes68 (talk) 16:41, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Maybe an example would help: Today I wanted to see how many articles use the term "Filipina" but when I type Filipina in the search box, I get redirected to Filipino people, so that I can't see if other pages use the term without first searching for a term I know doesn't have a page, like Filipina people. Once I'm on that page, I can search to my heart's content, but it's getting there that's not easy. (By the way, the answer to my question is that there are several pages that use the term "Filipina", but I only know that because I found the direct search engine page and didn't stop with the search box, which is next to useless in these kinds of situations.) Aristophanes68 (talk) 06:18, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
I think it's at Special:Search. - Hydroxonium (TCV) 17:26, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Ah, thanks. Still, it'd be nice if that link were more easily available in the left-hand menu. Aristophanes68 (talk) 17:29, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
I think you're also missing some of the functionality that the search box offers - although said functionality works in firefox, not in safari, and I don't know about IE. Enter a search term such as Ant, and the search box provides a drop down list of suggestions. At the top will be Ant; selecting this to search on will take you to the ant page. At the bottom of the list, you'll see an option for containing ant. Choose that latter option, and you get the "all relevant results" rather than being taken to the ant page. As it's a) subtle and b) browser specific, it's easy to be unaware of it. --Tagishsimon (talk) 18:29, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
D'oh!!! I have never even noticed that before. It's exactly what I was missing from the left-hand menu. Thanks so much! Aristophanes68 (talk) 18:35, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

Chinese-language-capable assistance on China-related Spaceflight articles

Hi. I am a member of WikiProject Spaceflight and would like to improve the generally inadequate coverage and poor article quality on the Chinese national space program, as noted here.

I think it could be quite helpful to find Chinese-language-capable space geeks to help in this effort. Specifically, if space-interested, Chinese-conversant, folk are available, but perhaps lack the English-language facility to care to significantly edit the English Wikipedia, then it might be very useful to form a partnership between people with different skill sets. For example, I know very little Chinese beyond basic pleasantries, but will edit spaceflight articles extensively if I have good sources, and very much want to improve the coverage of this important emerging national space program (and especially get better coverage of the Chinese space station which will begin to launch this year).

Where is a good place to post requests for help for folks with Chinese-language skills and China-space interest? N2e (talk) 23:41, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

The Wikipedia:China-related topics notice board would seem to be a good place to start. You could also look for an active editor in Category:user zh. Thryduulf (talk) 17:18, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

Lists of non-English actors

  1. List of non-English Total Drama voice actors
  2. List of non-English Phineas and Ferb voice actors
  3. List of non-English Family Guy voice actors
  4. List of non-English Ed, Edd n Eddy voice actors
  5. List of non-English SpongeBob SquarePants voice actors

Are these really notable intersections? Why not list all the actors? The first two were created recently by the same editor, and the third is from 2009. Feezo (Talk) 11:47, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

Looking at these pages, these are lists of the actors who dub these cartoons in other languages. Seems like a reasonable topic for a list article; they certainly would be too long for a section on the main series article.
Honestly, I'm not sure what your concerns are. The choice of "intersection" in your comment reminds me of a CfD discussion, but these aren't categories. And what do you mean by "all actors"? The lists look pretty comprehensive. If you mean the English-language casts, they're already included in the main series article, which is more than appropriate as these series are originally written and produced using the English language. oknazevad (talk) 14:00, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
Wow, those page titles are not helpful at all. I read them as "people on the Family Guy show who aren't British" and not as "voice-over actors for Family Guy in other countries." Should they be given a more informative name? Aristophanes68 (talk) 16:44, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
Possibly. At the very least, it should use "non-English language" so there's nonpotential confusion with the English nationality, as you thought. oknazevad (talk) 18:49, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
I read the titles in the same way as Aristophanes68; oknazevad's suggestion would fix the issue. Feezo (Talk) 03:18, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
So what's the best way to do this--speedy rename? Or do we first need to hold discussions on each of those pages? I'm with oknazevad's suggestion of adding the word "language" as the simplest solution. Aristophanes68 (talk) 17:09, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oh, I see it's already been done. Thanks! Aristophanes68 (talk) 06:25, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

choosing FA(s) from different languages as a representative article

I needs your help, especially the help from those who can use multi-language. I am trying to assess the featured articles across diverse languages on Wikipedia in order to find what factors affect the difference of the quality of the featured articels by language.

As you know, I cannot manually evaluate all featured articles from diverse Wikipedia languages because the total number of featured article approved over all the languages reaches thousands. I need to select a representative that explains the quality of the featured article group of each language on Wikipedia as a sample for the quality evaluation.

I established the criteria for selecting the sample as follows:

  • Not translated, that is the representative article does not use other language source as reference as less as possible
  • concerns history, particularly historical person whom most sources about was written in its own language
  • When a language does not have a featured article satisfying the criterion above, the article from other topic, for example geography can be a representative article for the test.
  • When a language has more than one article meeting with the criteria above, the best quality article is preferable

I have found the representative article candidates for each language as seen in the table below. Please give me your opinion on the candidate list, and the advice for updating the list if you know the better one for candidate for what I try to do, with short explanation of why you recommend the new article. cooldenny (talk) 03:57, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

long table with articles
language candidate
English Robert Sterling Yard
German Ostfriesland zur Zeit des Dreißigjährigen Krieges
Spanish Momia de Mánchester
French Benoît de Boigne
Hebrew יוסף רוזנבלט
Italian Regno di Napoli
Hungarian II. Fülöp Ágost francia király
Polish Zofia Jagiellonka (1464-1512)
Russian Изабелла Баварская
Catalan Edgar Degas
Portuguese Guerra de Granada
Swedish Josefina av Leuchtenberg
Finnish Malmedyn verilöyly
Croatian Andrija Mohorovičić
Vietnamese Lê Đại Hành
Dutch Vergissing van Troelstra
Georgian განმანათლებლობა
Slovenian Anton Podbevšek
Esperanto Edvard Beneš
Chinese 林则徐
Afrikaans Cetshwayo
Norwegian (Bokmål) Magnus Berrføtt
Ukrainian Український військовий клуб імені гетьмана Павла Полуботка
Basque Bigarren Mundu Gerra
Romanian Vincent-Marie de Vaublanc
Indonesian Cut Nyak Dhien
Bulgarian Дойран
Turkish Ankara (isim)
Serbian Опсада Београда (1456)
Arabic عبد السلام عارف
Japanese 源義経
Czech První bulharská říše
Thai พระเมรุมาศ
Bosnian Visoko
Malay Mahathir bin Mohamad
Malayalam എം.എസ്. സുബ്ബലക്ഷ്മി
Slovak Pavel Jozef Šafárik
Korean 여운형
Greek Ανδρέας Μιαούλης
Austrian Antón de Marirreguera
Limburgian Kölle
Latin Gaius Iulius Caesar
Javanese Pramoedya Ananta Toer
Norwegian (Nynorsk) Den austerrikske arvefølgjekrigen
Urdu سلیمان اعظم
Simple English Billy Graham
Belarusian (Taraškievica) Максім Багдановіч
Latvian Ģibuļu pagasts
Serbo-Croatian Goli otok
Telugu NA
Interlingua Carl von Linné
Tagalog Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
Danish Østrig
Aragonese NA
Cantonese 中國史
Lithuanian NA
Yiddish NA
Tamil NA
Albanian NA
Icelandic NA
yo:Wikipedia:Àyọkà_pàtàkì Yuruba NA
Uzbek NA
Walloon NA
Bengali NA
Estonian NA
Silesian NA
Azeri NA
Occitan NA
It is unclear to me what your intention exactly is or why you use those criteria, but if you want to compare featured articles between languages I would select articles which were promoted at the same time. On english wikipedia standards for featured articles have been changing and a 3 year old FA is not comparable to one that was promoted a month ago. I would select for example the first historical article which was promoted since 1 January 2011 for every language. Yoenit (talk) 12:17, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
I may also point that the FA criteria (or by how much it is actually enforced with nominations) may not be similar to ours, and an article accepted as featured at another wiki may not be accepted even as a good one here. For example, there is a rule here of referencing with footnotes at least every paragraph. In the Spanish wikipedia, this rule was proposed and rejected (and, if it was enforced, more than half of their FA would be demoted) MBelgrano (talk) 12:32, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

Yoenit, you showed me a good point. Your method of choosing the first historical article which was promoted since 1 2011 for every language is another good method of choosing a representative for each language. However, I cannot read some languages at all, so I cannot find when a FA was promoted on some language Wikipedias by myself. cooldenny (talk) 14:40, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

MBelgrano, you gave me an interesting case of Spanish version, which rejected the rule of referencing with footnotes at least every paragraph. The reason I try to compare FAs across many language Wikipedias is on that. As you know, almost all contents of encyclopedia must be made of the materials from reliable sources with suitable attribution. However, some language versions have been ignoring the basic rule. As a result, the quality of the language versions could not improve even though the number of articles and users of the versions increase. cooldenny (talk) 14:40, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Verifiability is a standard that the English Wikipedia has imposed on itself. If we (lost our minds and) chose to, we could eliminate that standard. The fact that the English Wikipedia's community chose this standard does not mean that other WMF communities are required to follow the same standard. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:19, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your good advice, WhatamIdoing. Your opinion is absolutely right. As you said, the fact that the English Wikipedia's community chose verifiability standard does not mean that other WMF communities are required to follow the same standard. Choosing the standard is up to each WMF community. However, we can guess that the quality of articles of each WMF depends on whether or not the WMF communities accepts the standard or other standards about encyclopedia editing. Thus I would like to show the relationship between the quality and editing standards in a WMF. cooldenny (talk) 14:32, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Audit Subcommittee appointments: Invitation to comment on candidates

The Arbitration Committee is seeking to appoint at least three non-arbitrator members to the Audit Subcommittee, and is now seeking comments from the community regarding the candidates who have volunteered for this role.

Interested parties are invited to review the appointments page containing the nomination statements supplied by the candidates and their answers to a few standard questions. Community members may also pose additional questions and submit comments about the candidates on the individual nomination subpages or privately via email to

Following the consultation phase, the committee will take into account the answers provided by the candidates to the questions and the comments offered by the community (both publicly and privately) along with any other relevant factors before making a final decision regarding appointments.

The consultation phase is scheduled to end 23:59, 21 March 2011 (UTC), and the appointments are scheduled to be announced by 31 March 2011.

For the Arbitration Committee, –xenotalk 00:00, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

Discuss this

Does wikipedia do anything about sites which have copied its material without attribution?

I have recently found a website for an artistic roller skating club which has a section about their sport. The problem is that they have cut and pasted the Wikipedia article on artistic roller skating without giving Wikipedia the credit. Is there anyone in Wikipedia who deals with this?

The website is which is a direct copy of the wiki article on artistic roller skating Molybdomancer (talk) 19:01, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

There are some suggestions on how to deal with it at Wikipedia:Mirrors_and_Forks#Non-compliance_process. Hut 8.5 19:24, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
It's difficult to take action because the copyright holder (the author) of the content has to take an interest, and they rarely do. WMF cannot enforce copyright of any content on Wikipedia except for the logos. Dcoetzee 03:26, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
I have seen picture books in bookstores where the text is WP articles. Steve Dufour (talk) 06:00, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm not a lawyer, but do we need to satisfy some type of due diligence clause to maintain the Wikipedia copyright status? We could create a form letter that editors can fill out, add to a queue for administrative verification, have the letter dispatched to the site in question, then log the action for future use.—RJH (talk) 17:46, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
There is no such requirement that I'm aware of, although enforceability of the license has not been tested (much) in court. I'm not a lawyer either.--Chaser (talk) 19:50, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
That rule is about trademarks, which must be defended. Copyright owners can permit unlicensed copies completely at their whim, without losing their rights. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:21, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
I never got that ... the author of the piece. Given all the changes articles go through, who the heck is the author? I think its a dodge than rather say... we dont care about it ... After all, they are supposed to credit WP, not the "author." Honestly I dont lose sleep over it, but it would be nice to see credit where credit is due.Thelmadatter (talk) 20:10, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
Actually mirror sites are required by the GFDL or CC licence to credit every single person who has contributed to each article that they mirror. The simplest way of doing that for them is to link back to Wikipedia where the article history is kept but in principle they don't have to link back provided that they display their own list of the contributors who jointly wrote the article as required by the licences. Even Wikipedia itself does not own the copyright to its articles except inasfar as that is allowed by the GFDL and CC licences. The ultimate copyright for each article is jointly owned by the contributors to the article. For the roller skating article which you give as an example, it would be necessary for one or more of the contributors to that article to write to the club concerned and complain. Wikipedia itself is not in a position to do so. -- Derek Ross | Talk 21:48, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
  • When I contribute to WP I want to contribute some information to the public. If someone copies that it doesn't hurt me in any way, so I don't see why I would want to be involved in some complaint. Wolfview (talk) 22:25, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
If you want to formalize that, you can add a template like {{userpd}} to your userpage to release your conributions into the public domain. Feezo (Talk) 22:42, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I will do that.Wolfview (talk) 02:01, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

A search on Special:ListUser

I did a search on the user list page and i came across a couple of users in which the date they were created are not listed. They seemed to be dormant accounts. Anyone know why this is? For example, Button. Simply south...... 23:28, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Accounts which were created very early in Wikipedia's history do not have a creation date attached to them - I believe the dates have been logged since 2005. --Kateshortforbob talk 13:12, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

"Mormon"? ...Or "Latter-day Saint"?

A WP:Manual of Style page is dedicated, in part, to this question. I have tweaked it, though, and desire input from the Wikipedia community. The edit I made is presented on its talkpage here.*

*And, for the not faint of heart, there's a somewhat technical discussion of the terms "the Mormon Church" and '"the LDS Church" here: Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (Latter Day Saints)#Regarding term "the Mormon Church".--Hodgson-Burnett's Secret Garden (talk) 16:07, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

The MOTD project needs you!

I took another look at WP:CANVASS and I don't seem to violate the rules, so here it is: We're lacking mottos. Recently, we had a handful of close calls; there was even a day when there was no motto at first. There's still ongoing discussion at WT:MOTD/N about how to solve it in the long run. In the short run, though, we really need more mottos, and more comments on the current ones. Please support MOTD if you want everyone to have a new motto to display on userpages every day! Kayau Voting IS evil 03:22, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
P.S. I'm thinking of giving out barnstars for editors who nominate mottos when we most need it, or, to use a Chinese phrase, to give us charcoal when it's snowing...

Bytheway, Japanese Earth quake crisis to Wikipedians charity What a things? --MOTOI Kenkichi基 建吉(gikoneko擬古猫)as Kenkichi Motoi (talk) 19:39, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Problem with Beauty

It seems that User:ISJM can't take a hint. He appears to have inelegantly slammed a deleted article on feminine beauty into the main article, with absolutely no discussion. Apologies if this is the wrong place to bring my concern. TheRealTeln (talk) 21:03, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

I removed the material, but I sure am having trouble figuring out which warning template to use on the user's talk page! Aristophanes68 (talk) 23:17, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
The generic one on disruptive editing works. {{subst:uw-repost|Article}} would sort of fit, too. I'd be inclined to leave a very specific message without any boilerplate. Rivertorch (talk) 23:42, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I ended up using a level-2, but I sure look through a lot of other templates first. Nothing seems to fit this situation very well, and I'm surprised this problem doesn't occur more often. Aristophanes68 (talk) 23:58, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
The best solution is to use no template at all. Tell him why what he did was wrong, and inform him of the consequences of continuing to be disruptive. Templates rarely serve any purpose except to either confuse or enflame and already volatile situation. If you really wish him to stop, and to behave better, tell him in your own words. --Jayron32 01:21, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Templates tend to be the most useful for anonymous editors and/or vandals, where they demonstrate a pattern of behavior for other editors to notice. I agree they are annoying for experienced and generally well-behaved editors.—RJH (talk) 17:48, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
I didn't realize that about templates. I did add a more detailed explanation, but I thought we still needed to use the template. Thanks for letting me know this; I'll use those more sparingly from now on. Aristophanes68 (talk) 01:15, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
If you'll let me climb up on my soapbox for a minute: The bit about "with absolutely no discussion" is irrelevant. Editors are not required to get advance permission to make changes to articles. The normal WP:Consensus#Process does not require anyone discussing anything in advance. We'd get very little done if we had to discuss everything first. WP:BOLD editing is desirable (just maybe not exactly that particular example of bold editing, which is why you're permitted to BOLDly object to it, either through improving it, removing it, or starting a discussion). WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:04, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
All perfectly true, but may I suggest there are instances where advance discussion (not permission) is advisable. Examples include major changes to articles on highly contentious topics, IAR-type changes that run afoul of one or more guidelines, and so on. In such cases, one can sometimes avoid being reverted unnecessarily simply by explaining what one proposes to do and why. It isn't required, of course, but it can prevent misunderstandings and unnecessary drama. Rivertorch (talk) (standing on an adjacent soapbox) 03:58, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

lower case in names

probably this has brought up, but is there a way to make an article title where the first letter of the name is lowercase? having trouble with a certain article.Bread Ninja (talk) 16:54, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Try using {{lowercase}}
It didn't work.Bread Ninja (talk) 19:15, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Now try {{lowercase title}}. {{lowercase}} redirects to {{lowercase title}}.--Tagishsimon (talk) 00:16, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
No i tried that one. here's the article Enigma (manga).Bread Ninja (talk) 19:11, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

That's because schwa is not the lowercase form of Ǝ. Anyway, we shouldn't be reproducing the stylization in the title of the article like that - it should just be under "Enigma" if that's the name. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 19:24, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

ONly released in japan, and no official source has romanized it as "enigma" I added the upside-down lowercase e in the title, and it automatically turned it uppercase.Bread Ninja (talk) 19:26, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
It looks like that came from the anime & manga header infobox, which automatically sets up an italic title. That italic title overrode your lowercase title template. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 19:32, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Regardless, the move you performed was done out your assumption rather than verification. the name Enigma has only been mentioned per fans, and some have fan-romanized it as enigme. So i think you shouldn't be moving things so quickly without verifying it. a good example to this is Weiß Kreuz.Bread Ninja (talk) 19:41, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
We should base the title on sources. The only source cited in the article uses "Enigma", so that's what we use. If you have another source, cite it. As it is, the article looks like it may not have sufficient sources meet our guidelines to exist as an independent article rather than a mention in another. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 19:53, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
The source with Enigma in it, i doubt is reliable as it doesn't show up in the reliable source list of the wikiproject. The article may nto be notable yet, so i'm planning on putting it on a special page in case it gets deleted.Bread Ninja (talk) 19:57, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

How can I change the title of a Category?

There is a category whose name should be changed, but I can't find any way to do it, since the Cateogry page has no Move tab. How can this be done? Wahrmund (talk) 22:11, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

You should initiate a discussion at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion GB fan (talk) 22:13, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Copyvio report impossible

I just met my first "possible copyvio". I am a serious editor, and I could not find a single template to make a note. A horror, and I am not invited to notify a copyvio ever again. See Braille embosser. -DePiep (talk) 20:58, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

I think Wikipedia:Cv101 is a good guide to the basics of dealing with suspected copyvio's. I must admit it seems complex, but then it probably needs to be to deal with the different possible cases - and we need to consider legal implications. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:44, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Thank you. I came across that one too when browsing. My point stays: I know what editing is, and when I encounter a possible copyvio (no small matter), I don't get a clue. Not a clue. -DePiep (talk) 22:06, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
To be clear: I am not asking what is a copy-vio. I am asking: why do I not find the right template/procedure/help. -DePiep (talk)
Are you asking what templates to use to post to WP:CP, or how to indicate the copyvio on the article's page itself? Corvus cornixtalk 22:38, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Good Q, cornix. It's not about what template to use. It is: how to find the right template at all. And then, there is the procedure. I do can put a page for deletion at AfD and win, thank you, but to notify a possible copyvio -- no way. -DePiep (talk) 23:01, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
You go to wp:Copyright Problems, then you see the "instructions" section (wp:CPI). After that it should be trivial if you can do AFD. Which part of this was causing you problems? Yoenit (talk) 23:35, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, the fact that I am here and still have a Q says it. I am saying: I know that copyvio is relevant, and I cannot get to the right place, let alone procedure. Or: the Help does not exist. (Really, do NOT explain here where to find my template. Nor where I can find the Help). My Q is: why did I not find it? -DePiep (talk) 00:52, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps because you have never made it easier to find? After all, this is wikipedia, where we're supposed to do things ourselves, not complain that others haven't done them already for us. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 01:26, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
Nice trick, DavidWBrooks. So we're not a community at all. If problem, solve it yourself. -DePiep (talk) 01:46, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm still not sure what exactly you're asking. If you want to report a user, there's Wikipedia:Contributor copyright investigations. And Yoenit showed you how to report a page. The procedures you keep asking about are all listed at the Wikipedia:Cv101 page posted above. Or are you wanting an easily-accessible drop-down template on the edit page? Aristophanes68 (talk) 02:01, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I don't know why you didn't find it. I don't know what you tried. But if you type "Wikipedia:Copyright" in the search bar, it takes to you to the policy, which includes a sidebar with a number of helpful links, including one that's labeled "Copyright assistance". Wikipedia:Copyright assistance is also full of helpful links, including one of "Wikipedia:Copyright violations if you feel your copyrighted material has been improperly used and you want to ask, discuss, complain, or have it rapidly removed." Even if you just type "copyright" into the search engine, our article includes a link to that same policy, while Help:Copyright offers a link to the policy or the Copyright assistance subpage. Meanwhile, if you type "template:copyright" into the search engine, it takes you to {{Copyvio}}, which tells you exactly what to do. If you explain what you tried, maybe we can devise ways to make sure that others who try the same avenues meet with better success. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 02:11, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm still not sure what exactly you're asking: me neither. If I knew what I was looking for, I'd have found that. But. That is the point. I find a possible copyright violation, first time in my life. I want to tag it, so I type "WP:copyright". Please join me. That page opens with an "OK"-thing,because it has to do with legal stuff (why the green OK-notch?). Below, there is a big area of warnings on red, not for me. Then, 2 pages down, there is a TOC. Even if I care to read the TOC, it's nonsense to me & what I am there for. This is only the best link you provide, and I could have think of. (Again) I am not here to ask for specific help. I say: why does not even a moderate editor like me can find their way. Even the best editors in town keep saying look there. Instead of: OK, our Help & guidance is way below. -DePiep (talk) 02:44, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
And oh yes I saw {{Wikipedia copyright}}. None of the relevant links are useful (try 'General assistance''General help' or 'Copyright assistance' - for fun). (after (edit conflict)) -DePiep (talk) 03:07, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
You saw Processes: Suspected copyright violations, Copyright problems, Possibly unfree files, Contributor copyright investigations but you didn't think any of them were useful? I am not understanding something. Rmhermen (talk) 03:10, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
Most likely, I saw them all. Read all the pages. Clicked all the links (now we are at a 100 pages). And yes, still I did not get it. Any idea why I did not? -DePiep (talk) 03:17, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
No, no idea. You typed in Wikipedia:Copyright, it gave you a sidebar including Copyright problems which says in its first line that this is the page you need. The table of contents has a instruction section. That is two pages, not 100. If you went WP:Copyright, Suspected copyright violations, its first line directs you to Copyright problems, that's 3 pages, not 100. Rmhermen (talk) 03:28, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
Ah, after WP:Copyright I should have skipped the (red background) Important note:. Then I click "Copyright problems" (of course. Not "Suspected copyright violations", "General help", "Copyright assistance", "Process page for text-related copyright problems", which are irrelevant at first glance, how stupid can I be). Really, you ae saying again: 'do as I know'. Thank you, a bit. -DePiep (talk) 03:47, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
I understand that you are frustrated but you aren't showing us how we could do better. "which are irrelevant at first glance, how stupid can I be". But "Suspected copyright violations" has a top line which says "For images and media suspected of violating copyright, see Wikipedia:Files for deletion. To report suspected copyright violations, please use Wikipedia:Copyright problems". That seems pretty clear to me, not irrelevant. Rmhermen (talk) 04:28, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
I wonder if perhaps the reason you can't find the tag you are looking for is that it doesn't exist - and perhaps for a good reason. Leaving a suspected violation in place, with a 'possible copyright violation' tag on it might look like negligence if it did turn out to be a violation - one is supposed instead to remove the violation from view, and then alert others to the problem. I'm guessing here, but it seems to make sense. AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:04, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
If the tag does not exist for a good reason -- then lead me to a good explanation (not here, but beforehand) that says so. -DePiep (talk) 03:19, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
A tag for copyright problems? If something is copyrighted it should be deleted imediately.
I believe what you are looking for is Template:Copyvio. For future reference if you are looking for a template then you can just type Template:XXX in the search bar and you can usually come up with the type of template you need. For instance, here you were looking for a template that deals with Copyvio, you could have simply typed in Template:Copyvio into the search bar and that would've taken you there. If the whole article is copyvio then you should mark it for speedy deletion. You may also want to check WP:CPI for general instructions on what to do with copyvio problems.AerobicFox (talk) 04:36, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

Two thoughts:

  • You don't have to use a template to get help. You could have asked a friend, left a note at one of the usual noticeboards, or just re-drafted the material.
  • Given that you describe it as a possible copyvio, you might have been looking for {{Cv-unsure}}. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:41, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
The only thing I can glance so far from dePieps comments is that we might have to rethink the headers of wp:COPYRIGHT. It currently contains a massive dablink, but does not link to wikipedia:Copyright Problems

Most of this is because of the shortcut wp:C, through which only 10% of the traffic finds wp:Copyright. An even smaller part of that is gonna be interested in that huge fucking dab link, so I propose we remove it and sneak in a link to wp:CP in the other dab.

Yoenit (talk) 10:54, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

I added a link to WP:Copyright problems to WP:COPYRIGHT and moved the WP:COPY dabs before the WP:C dabs. I wasn't prepared to remove the links to WP:C, though. I also added a link to WP:Copyright problems near the top of Wikipedia:Possibly unfree files. Rmhermen (talk) 16:48, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
When I came across a possible copyvio not long ago, and read through the reams of stuff I was supposed to do about it, I had to heave a humungous sigh ofrelief on discovering (logically, and with suggestion!) that it was 'them' who had copied from 'us'. Honestly, though I think I;m pretty bright and resourceful, I felt that I really cba to go through all that stuff ...... way, waaay too much. What about a simple 'call an admin / experienced user' button to deal with it, if someone really doesn't feel able to do it? As in, actually live-ping! someone, not just stick some kinf of tag there ..... something where someone else can actually communicate with you, say "Yup, looks like you're right - no worries, I'll take it from here. Watch what I do and learn ......" kind of thing :o) Pesky (talk) 13:22, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Thank you all, I have read and learned. Of course I was frustrated, as one editor noted. Our Help/Documentation department is not examplary. In general, I think we might meet again on the future WP-project "improving help & documentation", probably involving a Wikimedia resources. -DePiep (talk) 00:45, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

400 free Credo Reference accounts available

Another 400 free Credo Reference accounts have been made available for Wikipedians, kindly donated by the company and arranged by Erik Möller of the Wikimedia Foundation. We've drawn up some eligibility criteria to direct the accounts to content contributors, and after that it's first-come, first-served. The list will open on Wednesday, March 23 at 22:00 UTC, and will remain open for seven days. See Wikipedia:Credo accounts.

Feel free to add your name even if you're lower on the list than the 400th, in case people ahead of you aren't eligible, and good luck! SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 04:41, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Seven days? More like seven minutes :). /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 15:36, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Would be so useful. But I don't qualify :o( Pesky (talk) 13:35, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

A question about quotation practice

Okay this probably isn't the best place to ask this, but does anyone know where this practice of italicizing quotations in Wikipedia came from? While my knowledge of conventional forms of punctuation is not exhaustive, & neither is my knowledge of the various Manuals of Style embraced by various professional journals, I'm familiar with enough of them to say ith confidence no one else does this. Yet since at least 2005, I have found countless articles where all of the text between quotation marks or in block quotes is italicized. So why do people insist on doing this? -- llywrch (talk) 06:45, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

The Manual of style actually does not prescribe italics for quotes - WP:MOS#Italics and quotations - so you are free to change it to regular text. Roger (talk) 07:04, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
I've been doing this already -- for years, in fact. So that wasn't my question; I just don't understand why people are following this unusual practice. And AFAICS, many people are doing it because they see it is done & think it is proper practice. Maybe getting the word out that this isn't an accepted practice might end it. -- llywrch (talk) 14:47, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
It comes from one person doing it and others copying. Using decorative quotation marks also looks cool but is wrong even when used in the Signpost. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 13:49, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
I'd guess that both are used to draw more attention to the quote.Wolfview (talk) 09:04, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

2011 United Kingdom austerity conflict

The former article should probably be merged into the latter article. The latter article should probably be subject to 'more eyes' as it were, since it harder to understand the issues for those outside of the U.K. Sugar-Baby-Love (talk) 20:40, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

A new backlog

If anyone is looking for something new to do, I have assembled a new list of broken links from English Wikipedia to Commons. Enjoy. Commons:User:Wknight94/Broken English Wikipedia links. Wknight94 talk 20:59, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

Misspelling in Book sources page

On your book sources page, the word "simultaneously" is misspelled under the list of libraries in the Netherlands: "Find this book in the Dutch-Union Catalogue that searches simultanuously in more than 400 Dutch electronic library systems (including regional libraries, university libraries, research libraries and the Royal Dutch library)". When I tried to edit the page, I discovered I was unable to edit it. Could somebody please fix this? Wiwaxia (talk) 11:04, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

 Done, but I have no idea why you where unable to edit the page yourself. It is not protected or anything. Yoenit (talk) 11:21, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Are Assange, Murphy, O'Keefe, et al, "alternative journalists"?

I've started a thread on this topic here: Talk:James_O'Keefe#cat.--Hodgson-Burnett's Secret Garden (talk) 18:43, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Need some eyes

It's the usual problem at The Man Who Would Be Queen: POV pushing and edit warring. This time, it's someone who has been at it off and on for a couple of years now.

I'd be thrilled to have some people watching this article who (1) do not have any personal or professional connection to either the author or the people who tried to have him fired for publishing it and (2) do not think that their personal biopsychosocial situations could possibly be affected by this book. That ought to be >99% of you, but it seems that only the 0.1% of editors with significant conflicts of interest have been willing to keep an eye on the article. (Hint: If you don't recognize the title, you're probably just the sort of neutral editor we need watching the page.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:05, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

I've tried before a few times. I'll try again. It's perhaps unfair to ask someone new to this to read all the previous. DGG ( talk ) 04:48, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
OMG, NO! We need to retain editors at all cost! Don't drive them away! To think that I've tried to get that person blocked at ANI once, or enter formal mediation? How foolish of me! Tijfo098 (talk) 05:13, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Titling a new article

I'm writing an article about a multidisciplinary dance company, called Contraband. Can anyone please give some feedback on the following title options? Especially in terms of internet searches.

Contraband (dance performance)

Contraband (dance/performance)

Contraband (live performance/dance)

I put ones with slashes in to differentiate- dance performance reads as its own category, when I think what is meant is dance and performance. Is it not a good idea to put too many words into the parentheticals?

--Jennifer.Marie.Hoff (talk) 20:05, 24 March 2011 (UTC)User:Jennifer.Marie.Hoff

you said it was a company so why not Contraband (company)?Bread Ninja (talk) 20:09, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) "Contraband (company)" is probably the simplest. Before you spend time on the article though, have you read the inclusion criteria for organizations and companies? –xenotalk 20:09, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Well, company denotes a business, and this was a dance company, aka a dance troupe. The problem is they didn't just identify as dance in their performances, they used dance, theater, music, props, etc in ways that make the category potentially limited, and not truly descriptive of what they did. --Jennifer.Marie.Hoff (talk) 20:29, 24 March 2011 (UTC)User:Jennifer.Marie.Hoff

Ah. Any of the above would be fine, but does the group meet the general notability guideline? –xenotalk 20:32, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
How about "performance troupe"? Avoids the potential business-y appearance of "company", while not limiting the type of performance. "Theatre company" might work as well, as "theatre" doesn't just imply acting (dance, music and props are standard to any musical, for example). I will reiterate the call to ensure notability, as well. oknazevad (talk) 20:43, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Yes, they are notable. There are reviews from newspapers like the Washington Post, etc of them. I guess my question is really more about using one descriptor, vs using the slashes to indicate multiple descriptors. --Jennifer.Marie.Hoff (talk) 21:05, 24 March 2011 (UTC)User:Jennifer.Marie.Hoff

I'd suggest Contraband (dance company). The purpose of the disambiguation is to disambiguate, not to convey a full sense of all of their facets. "Company" being open to misinterpretation, I'd plump for the fuller disambig. The pertinent advice from WP:NCDAB appears to be "If there are several possible choices for disambiguating with a class or context, use the same disambiguating phrase already commonly used for other topics within the same class and context, if any. Otherwise, choose whichever is simpler. For example, use (mythology) rather than (mythological figure)." --Tagishsimon (talk) 21:18, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Oh, thanks, that link was helpful. I'm leaning toward

Contraband (dance/performance)

Any problem with the slash in there? --Jennifer.Marie.Hoff (talk) 23:40, 24 March 2011 (UTC)User:Jennifer.Marie.Hoff

That name would make me think it was the name of a specific show, rather than a troupe. I also dislike the slash in general. What about Contraband (troupe)?
Jennifer, you'll want to read WP:NC-SLASH. The short answer is that it's technically functional, but it has occasional complications and generally makes people nervous. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:52, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the link. I'm trying out:

Contraband (dance & performance troupe)


Contraband (dance & performance group)

but is that too many words? its only so difficult because part of the group's mission was to challenge convention. i'm hesitant about the word troupe because dancers don't generally like the term, though its how people usually refer to them. dancers usually use 'dance company' but it seems that on wikipedia this would associate them as a business company. --Jennifer.Marie.Hoff (talk) 16:54, 28 March 2011 (UTC)User:Jennifer.Marie.Hoff

alot of people are leaning toward "company" or "dance company". performance doesn't seem so important to add....maybe just add in Contraband (Dance group).Bread Ninja (talk) 17:04, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

The performance part is important to the members of the group. They don't want their work to be only recognized as dance.

Contraband (dance & performance company)

Howzat? --Jennifer.Marie.Hoff (talk) 00:03, 29 March 2011 (UTC)User:Jennifer.Marie.Hoff

It's okay, but, as dance is a form of performance, and they see themselves as a more general "performance troupe", that's what I would go with: "Contraband (performance troupe)", as the use of "dance" seems almost redundant and ideally parenthetical disambiguates should be as short as possible. oknazevad (talk) 13:47, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Muammar Gaddafi

If this article is so important that it has been so much edited (insanely edited like maniac) over the past few weeks why it isn't in the featured article list ?--Sweetcorn (talk) 16:08, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

Featured articles are articles that go through the featured article nomination process where editors assess an article's quality on various bases (see Wikipedia:Featured article criteria) and consensus to promote the article to featured article status is reached. The assessment process is to determine whether the article is one of Wikipedia's best works. High numbers of edits has little to do with the matter, nor does that necessarily translate to importance. The reason edits to the article are spiking is because of what's going on in Libya. Wikipedia allows anyone to edit so it follows that when a person becomes the focus of international interest and debate many people will visit that person's article and edit it. Note that the fact that the article is being edited heavily actually means that even if it was of incredible quality and was nominated it could not be a featured article at this time because featured articles must be stable.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 16:41, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
Articles that receive lots of edits are listed at WikiRage instead. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:10, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Source of statistics might be de-funded

Some Wikipedia entries cite the Statistical Abstract of the United States. The US Census Bureau has proposed de-funding the Statistical Compendia branch which produces this resource. Librarians are trying to save the publication. We could use the support of Wikipedia volunteers. Please see our petition Thank you for your help! Alesiamc (talk) 22:00, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Wiki markup

Posted this at VPT, but no response. but anyways: for some reason, my Wiki markup has stopped working whenever I edit a page. In the past I've been able to click any of the icons and it would be automatically imported into the article; however now it won't, and I have to manually add it instead. Is the problem clear enough? I bet I sound like a right noob... Thanks in advance, GiantSnowman 17:17, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Try unchecking the "Enable enhanced editing toolbar" box on the Editing preferences tab. - BilCat (talk) 04:59, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
BilCat you utter genius! Thanks so much. GiantSnowman 12:38, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Not genius, just sheer dumb persistance and frustration at not having the icons that caused me to experiment till I found the solution! But you're welcome. - BilCat (talk) 17:52, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Resocialized vandals


just out of curiosity: Are there any known cases of users/accounts who started with obvious and intentional vandalism, got a warning on their talk pages but no block, then started making useful edits, and eventually became respected Wikipedians? -- (talk) 10:20, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Yes. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:00, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Give new pages longer to develop

magine you're using a website for the first time, with a complex interface and strict user rules. You start to create an article. It takes a while for you to figure out how to do headings and formatting. You add a few more sentences. You receive a message saying that you must include references. You follow the link to read what's needed and then search the web for some. Then you try to figure out how to add references, which is strangely complicated. How long has all this taken so far - 30 minutes? Maybe an hour, if you went and had a snack in the middle?

Your page by now has been deleted. Maybe you work out how to use a talk page and send a frustated message to the new page patroller. Maybe you recreate the page - now you get told off for recreating a previously deleted page...

WP:NPP recommends that "A good rule of thumb is to wait until at least 15 minutes after the last edit before tagging the article" How many new users can create an acceptable article in 15 minutes? No wonder 80% are deleted. Either we need to give them much more time, or we should force them to develop new articles in their own user-space until they're acceptable.

Hope it wasn't WP:TLDR. I recognise many of you are friendly to newbies and are working hard on a large backlog. But I think the process currently tends towards biteyness.--Physics is all gnomes (talk) 19:20, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Agreed. I haven't created too many articles in my time here, but I am a pretty experienced editor, with what I believe is a good grasp of "the rules", and it certainly took more than 15 minutes to create the article. I think we need to extend that recommendation to at least 30 minutes, and to be a bit less itchy on the trigger finger. (BLPs excepted, of course, to avoid potential legal issues.) oknazevad (talk) 19:36, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
Minutes? We are all amateurs here, I would say hours, maybe longer. What's the rush? Britmax (talk) 20:04, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
IMHO - unless the page is a clearly a malicious attack article or BLP violation - that at least 24 hours should pass before any "bitey" templates and particularly speedys are slapped onto a new article. Anything less than 12 hours is definitely biting - the article creator may have done the initial work just before going to bed - just because it's 9 am at your location does not mean it's daytime for the article originator. Of course if it is 9 am in the newbie's time zone he/she is possibly at work and would not be able to respond to that speedy or other "this is a load of crap" template before getting home in the evening. I have personal experience of a speedy being slapped on an article I was just starting, literally while I was typing the second paragraph. Roger (talk) 20:29, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
You obviously aren't seeing things from my end, which is in no way shocking given what I've said above. The vast majority of pages from new users are rightfully deleted; we don't and shouldn't have articles on every MySpace band or retain advertisements for companies. Your "solution" will enable a rather dramatic increase in spam, as businesses will figure out that they can post something for (depending on who's solution we're talking about) 30 minutes to 24 hours here to improve their search engine rankings. Furthermore, it will break our backs on NPP; we don't exactly *need* more to deal with right now, as the section heading should rather clearly indicate. If you don't believe me, try doing NPP for a day and see what we're up against. Also read what I've said above; if it wasn't for Kamkek and I, you'd be up Shit Creek without a paddle. The idea is nice in theory, but it can't possibly work because as much as everyone bitches about us, almost no one can be arsed to actually do it themselves. I've given my view at the abovementioned RfC, and I'd also suggest that not every user comes here wanting to create an article straight away. I started because I saw minor grammar issues that bothered me, and I wanted to be able to fix them- I didn't create my first article until I was here almost 11 months. Maybe, just once, we could assume that not everyone wants to create an article from the get-go, and that the perceived biteyness from raising the bar to autoconfirmed won't affect nearly as many newbies as people seem to think. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:37, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
^^ I agree with Northern. New page patrollers don't need instruction creep, and the vast majority of articles that are speedied are copyright violations, clearly unnotable, etc. It is unlikely that an article will get deleted in 15 minutes due to "incorrect headings" or not understanding how to make references show up. Also, please see WP:KITTENS.AerobicFox (talk) 05:57, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
"If you don't believe me, try doing NPP for a day and see what we're up against." Fair enough, challenge accepted. I feel quite strongly about this, but maybe I'll be proved wrong. At any rate, I'll be able to come up with a more workable solution once I've seen the issue from both points of view.--Physics is all gnomes (talk) 14:29, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm not really understanding objections to the idea that new articles should be given more time. It's not any more or less work to process the same stream of articles 24 hours later, it just shifts it in time, e.g. this link gives all new articles exactly 24 hours at the time of this comment. It's quite rare that any article, whether a copyvio, BLP, or whatever, can do enough damage in 24 hours that we really have to worry about checking the brand new ones. After all, many copyvios and BLPs are detected months or years after creation, and the sky hasn't fallen yet. Dcoetzee 03:32, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm absolutely with Dcoetzee on this. When we started Wikipedia we didn't have 15 minutes to sort an article out, it was more like 15 weeks. At that time our list of editors was growing exponentially. Now it's not. Is there some connection? I wouldn't be surprised. So I'd be inclined to rewrite the NPP guidelines replacing every occurrence of minutes with days. But I'm prepared to compromise if necessary and replace minutes with hours instead. Having said that I don't want to knock the good work that New Page Patrollers are doing. I've done my share in the early days. But we all know that there's a difference between absolute crap and good content with crap formatting and no citations. The trick is to speedily delete the former and improve the latter, or tag it for improvement. -- Derek Ross | Talk 04:42, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
That distinction is what makes NPP so hard to get into. It takes a few months to figure out when a wikify tag works and when it should be speedied under G1, and it definitely takes a few mistakes to find what the threshold for "credible assertion of notability" in A7/A9 is. Vandalism is much more straightforward; NPP not so much. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 14:58, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Not a BLP violation, hoax, copyright violation, or any of the other extreme speedies... but why should we wait 24 hours or longer (or even 30 minutes) to tag and/or delete e.g. Pokehearts? Fram (talk) 15:32, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Exactly, the whole point of CSD is that those are the cases where there is no hope for the article anyway, for everything else we have AFD/PROD. Deletion is Bitey anyway, whether it is done after 5 minutes, 24 hours, or two weeks. The solution is to stop those crappy articles being created, not to let them linger for a bit longer before killing them. Yoenit (talk) 15:56, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
There are many experts at NPP that are doing an incredible job and I wish to thank them all. There are also many less experienced people at NPP that are working very hard and doing some good work, but occasionally somebody jumps the gun and good articles are misjudged. removed example as I don't want to single out a small mistake from a good user It was speedied less than 60 seconds after it was created. Luckily it was declined and is now a decent stub, but things like this happen all the time. Mistakes like this unfortunately have given Wikipedia a bitey reputation in the media and to the general public. Just to reiterate, the majority if CSDs are proper and the community thanks those users that are working their butts off. What's trying to be addressed here are the few mistakes that give us a bad reputation, not the good work that everybody does. Thanks. - Hydroxonium (TCV) 04:32, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
I am one of the editors who has been correctly criticised for jumping the gun and WP:CSD-ing articles against policy, before they are given a chance. I'm fine for my contributions to be examined for the purposes of this discussion. --Shirt58 (talk) 10:11, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
I disagree with the logic behind this. See for example the text you are presented with when you go to create a new page. (This can be edited at MediaWiki:Newarticletext, in case you care.) Users are presented with several pre-warnings about creating an article, being WP:YFA, WP:AW2, a warning to have references, and an option to create a userspace draft. If they have ignored all the warnings and proceeded to create a page in mainspace, then they have, in my opinion, accepted the risk that their page will be deleted. Stifle (talk) 09:32, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
I always give the benefit of the doubt if I can, but what should be done for an article which will obviously never meet standards? Should we wait 15 minutes or 2 hours or 2 days or 2 weeks to delete an article on someone's garage band or geometry teacher just because it's a new article? Most of what shows up in new pages violates core Wikipedia tenets (mostly wp:not and wp:N) in blatant and flagrant ways, waiting to pull the trigger doesn't give them any greater a chance of survival, nor does it assuage the feelings of the creator just because it existed for a few more hours. What we need in my opinion is a way to more gently guide new users into an understanding of WP:not and WP:n so that they see what they can and cannot create. HominidMachinae (talk) 08:53, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Comment No, sorry, lets stick with policy. If the article is so egregiously bad that it meets CSD criteria - lets CSD it. If not, and an editor still feels it should not be included, lets PROD or AfD it. If it's only very slightly bad, then lets do that little bit of work to improve it and keep it. In short the current deletion processes are not particularly broken, so let's not seek to fix them... Pol430 talk to me 22:45, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Let me give you a real example:
A brand-new editor started work on a page. He accidentally hit 'save page' rather than 'show preview'. The resulting page had about half a sentence and an infobox on it. It was a clearly notable subject (a well-defined medical condition). It was tagged for CSD as "nonsense" within minutes. He discovered this when he tried to save what he had originally meant to be the first draft of the page, which included a full description and a couple of high-quality sources. This left him with an edit conflict (which basically zero new users know how to process) and confusion about whether Wikipedia wanted an article on the subject.
Now: Are you glad that this "egregiously bad" article got tagged for deletion so quickly? I'm not.
(This one had a happy ending: The newbie was persistent enough to ask around about what happened, and the speedy-tagger accepted the trouting graciously.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:25, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
An excellent example of why new editors should be restricted to creating articles at AFC, and not be allowed to immediately create live articles in the mainspace. Pol430 talk to me 21:30, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

I made a related proposal over in Mediawiki Strategic Planning a few days ago. It has been ignored there, but I'll throw it here:

Some posters in these discussions have felt that new editors are driven away because their initial efforts at creating new articles are deleted too quickly. After thinking on this for a while, I would like to propose a little experiment on the English Wikipedia, as follows:

  • Modify the speedy deletion procedure for criterion A7. No indication of importance (individuals, animals, organizations, web content) and criterion A9. No indication of importance (musical recordings), to delay deletion until the article is seven days old.
  • During the period before the article is seven days old, mentors could help the article creator improve the article, including adding citations to reliable sources establishing notability. After the article was seven days old, any administrator could still delete the article if it did not include a credible sourced claim to notability.

I'm offering this for discussion, make of it what you will. -- Donald Albury 16:27, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

I think 7 days is too long, as some of these articles are no-hopers: we don't want "Mr X is our favourite teacher" type articles sticking around for a week. But I agree that some A7s, the more borderline cases, should give the creators more time to address concerns.--Physics is all gnomes (talk) 16:38, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
The length of time given to improve an article needs to be long enough to allow something to be done. I picked seven days thinking of the time given some speedies of images, but there is nothing magic about that number. As I'm proposing an experiment, offering an option (at the discretion of the initial reviewer) of a delayed speedy on only some A7s and A9s would work. I'm interested in seeing whether doing something like this would make a difference; would it help retain some new editors who would otherwise just go away. In return for giving anyone who wanted to retain the article some extra time to work on it, I am also proposing that it would have to be sourced with at least one citation to a reliable source that establishes notability for the subject of the article for the article to be retained. -- Donald Albury 19:50, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
A waiting period for A7/A9 could work iff we can distinguish between "David Smith is awesome in bed!!!!!!" A7s and "David Smith is an actor" with a link to a personal Facebook account. Neither one asserts real notability, but the first is totally unsalvageable while the second could be if someone adds a notable film that Smith appeared in and/or a decent source is added in that says as much. It's feasible to have a waiting period for the second, but not the first. And this isn't mutually exclusive to the proposal at the top of the page; I still support that. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:14, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
From my experience 7 days is too long, and I'm not sure any fixed period is appropriate. If an article is going to be improved to the stage of indicating some importance, it will almost always be done so in the first round of editing, though not necessarily at the first edit. Improving it enough to pass AfD may take longer. 12 hours would be enough for use in A1,A3,A7,A9 to not cut off anyone before they've had a a chance to say something. The people who get really angry, and rightfully so, are the ones whose article get speedied while they are writing the second sentence. of an article like "Jim Jones is an air force pilot. He won the medal of honor." DGG ( talk )
Seven days? Even one day would be a dramatic improvement (and probably enough). WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:28, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
One day sounds sensible to me for articles that aren't vandalism, unambiguous copyvio or complete no-hopers, ie things that might conceivably turn out to be encyclopedic. Would it be better to delay the tagging of them, or to get admins not to delete them for a while? --Physics is all gnomes (talk) 22:47, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
I think that in general the best thing is going to be delaying tags (unless we can come up with a better tag system). The current Speedy (and even prod) tags and talk page warnings are incredibly bitey all by themselves. As I've said before I'd probably leave if 1 minute after my first article was created I got the giant red speedy deletion tag and the really kinda "yelling" talk page warning (I saw a very viable and sourced article tagged for deletion 1 minute after the page was created today). I think that tagging and waiting ends up with fairly little benefit and runs the risk of people not realizing it was just created and deleting anyway. It is one of the reasons I think most (if not all) Patrollers should work from the Back of the buffer and not the front (though obviously that only works if there is a backlog, if there isn't you just have to wait :) ) Jalexander--WMF 22:54, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
I wonder, and this is just me thinking out of the box, if it would be possible to have a special kind of tag that itself didn't appear until later. For example, NPP/RC patrollers could use the current set of speedy criteria for obviously unacceptable stuff (copyvio, attack pages, spam, bands that actually admit to never having recorded anything or played outside of a garage). On the other hand, for articles that at least look like there's a glimmer of hope, we could put on another tag that, on the article, says something like "This new article is still under development." We would then place a nice, welcoming message on the user's talk page, that says something like "I see you're working on New Article X. Just to let you know, Wikipedia has some policies and guidelines about what sorts of subjects can have articles on them (see this handy list of information). I'd be happy to help you with this article or answer any questions. Please note that if there aren't enough improvements to the article in the next few hours, we may end up deleting the page, so please don't hesitate to ask for help." Then, we could use a bot (seems like the easiest solution) that would automatically replace the "Under development" tag with a CSD tag if no action had been taken on the article in, oh, about 3-5 hours. All of those could have their own CSD category; admins would be tasked with carefully checking any such articles to determine if any improvements had actually been made before deleting. I know that this is a significant bit of process to work through, and a form of instruction creep, but sometimes we do actually need more sophisticated systems to respond to more complex challenges. Qwyrxian (talk) 23:46, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
A tag that didn't appear until later means that you're still making a (too often bad) decision with insufficient information. Marking the article as 'patrolled' but tagging it for a second review (after maybe 12–48 hours, perhaps with an invisible tag/hidden category?) would probably be better. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:03, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Everyone go to CAT:AFC and help a new user's article

Just wondering how many people here have actually done some AfC work. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 14:45, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

I did some yesterday, must say I like it better than NPP. Yoenit (talk) 14:48, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
I've lurked there a bit, but I don't want to commit myself to it until we can significantly throttle NPP down; as much as AfC needs to be done, the worst attacks generally come at NPP and that still needs eyes (I've come across a couple of pages that, if I saw them now, I'd request oversight). The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 20:52, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Just spent an hour doing minor edits for various articles there. A hell of a lot of fun, actually.--Jorm (WMF) (talk) 05:02, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
Wow. My first time doing that...quite a nice experience. Related to Blade's point, if there were strong, ongoing commitment at AFC, then that would make the "only autoconfirmed can create" position stronger. Qwyrxian (talk) 01:01, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Haven't spent much time there lately, but AFC really is an all around good experience. Sure, there is still some utter crap submitted, but there is also stuff that just needs a user who knows what they are doing and isn't in a rush looking for stuff to delete. Sometimes when I feel down about the direction WP is headed I go there and try and find something that is ready or close to ready to move into mainspace. It's not only great for new users, it's almost like therapy for more experienced users, reminding them what it was like to be new here and encouraging them to help rather than just looking to delete. Maybe we should require anyone wanting to be a reviewer/patroller/rollbacker to find at least one AFC submission to approve first. (I think I'm kidding about that part, but maybe it's actually a brilliant idea...)Beeblebrox (talk) 01:13, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Cool--thanks for pointing us to that page. I wonder why I hadn't known about it before? Aristophanes68 (talk) 01:55, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Academic papers under a free license

I don't know if this was noticed earlier, but in January the 5th Bienniel Conference on Innovative Data Systems Research (CIDR 2011) took the unusual leap of allowing all authors of accepted papers to release their work under a Creative Commons Attribution License, including diagrams, etc. They apparently did this because Internet content is one of the topics of the conference. This could be a really exciting source to borrow content from, and would help to generate positive feedback for CIDR's generous donation. Keep in mind that these papers are not solely a good source for the original research they describe (which, being new, has limited impacted thus far) but also have related work and introduction sections that could provide excellent background information for existing and new articles, complete with references. Dcoetzee 11:03, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

That sounds like something good to shove on wikisource. Ironholds (talk) 23:11, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Great idea :-) I suggested it at the En Wikisource Scriptorium. Dcoetzee 20:38, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Epic wikifail

When the wiki principle fails ... it does so far too often, spectacularly and unexplainedly as well. I don't get it. Why does even the most blatant nonsense (sometimes possibly critical) on high-profile articles remain unquestioned and unchallenged? Why do even the most obvious vandal edits stay unreverted for (sometimes) years, allowing ridiculous misinformation to spread all over the net? Why are vandals, POV-pushers and other shady characters allowed to make or change claims that aren't even backed up by the (easily examinable) sources? Whenever I encounter such puzzling cases, I put something like "overlooked vandalism" in the edit summary to draw attention to such annoying cases, and if you go through my edits, you'll find a fair number of them – a frustratingly large number of wikifails. My latest find: *sigh*. Wikibullshit. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 01:53, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Logistics. The number of articles continues to grow, but the amount of editing work being done hasn't grown since 2007. Same amount of work ever more thinly spread. Peter jackson (talk) 09:57, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Turn the question around. With 3.6 million articles online and roughly a thousand new ones added daily, plus the distractions of innumerable user, project, category, and portal pages, not to mention templates, how is it that only a few thousand volunteers can maintain and continue to build an encyclopedia that for all its faults contains a vast number of vandalism-free, decently sourced, informative, reasonably well-written articles? Rivertorch (talk) 05:36, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
None of us have a life? -- llywrch (talk) 16:32, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Good points, and I realise that patrolling recent changes or even just checking articles for comparably easily detected errors such as this one is an overwhelming task, but you know, I really think that most articles are simply too long. They're often basically unmanageable. Sometimes I wish that fairly highly developped articles that have already reached a decent size and are rated as having an appreciable quality should simply be semi-protected to reduce the amount of drive-by vandalism, the vast majority comes from IPs and recently signed on users, after all. I do appreciate the often useful input of IPs in short articles (especially new and rapidly growing ones) so I don't propose banning IP edits altogether, but at a certain point, the signal-to-noise ratio becomes really tiny and wading through the revision history annoying if not downright unbearable, as the majority of edits consist of unhelpful edits or outright vandalism and reverts. Too often, dubious edits remain and this results in the article progressively worsening from its once acceptable and at least basically correct state until it degrades, slowly but surely, into a train wreck. Alternatively, the German model of flagged revisions or at least pending changed at least, or whatever. By such measures we Wikipedians could ensure that our valuable attention remain focussed on more substantial tasks than getting bogged down with reverting vandalism and borderline vandalism. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 23:03, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Audit Subcommittee appointments (2011)

Effective 1 April 2011, Bahamut0013 (talk · contribs), Courcelles (talk · contribs), and Keegan (talk · contribs) are appointed as community representatives to the Audit Subcommittee. The period of appointment will be 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012. AGK (talk · contribs) is designated as an alternate member of the subcommittee and will become a full member should one of the appointees resign their role during the term. The Arbitration Committee thanks all of the candidates, as well as the many members of the community who participated in the appointment process for these roles.

The Arbitration Committee also extends its thanks to Dominic (talk · contribs), Jredmond (talk · contribs), and MBisanz (talk · contribs), whose terms in office were extended so that an orderly transfer of responsibility could occur. Dominic will return to his previous role as a CheckUser and Oversighter; MBisanz will assume his role as an Oversighter. The Committee also thanks former subcommittee member Tznkai (talk · contribs), who was one of the original appointees to the Committee in 2009, and resigned in August 2010.

Support: David Fuchs, Elen of the Roads, PhilKnight, Jclemens, John Vandenberg, Mailer diablo, Newyorkbrad, Kirill Lokshin, Risker, Roger Davies, Shell Kinney, Xeno
Oppose: None
Abstain: None
Not voting: Casliber, Cool Hand Luke, Coren, Iridescent
Inactive: Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry, Sir Fozzie

For the Arbitration Committee, –xenotalk 16:00, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Discuss this

Typos on main page...

I've been seeing typos on the front page recently... Today, the "In the news" blurb on the Cricket World Cup is appalling to me. "India defeat Pakistan" is not quality writing, by any standard. If we are trying to be an encyclopedia, we can't let grammar errors like that through... Also, I could not find a way to even get close to fixing it. Dynamitejoe (talk) 23:49, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Appalling? No, it's British English. Groups are treated as plural words: India = "they", not "it", so it reads correctly as "They defeat Pakistan" rather than "It defeats Pakistan". WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:06, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
The main page is protected from editing, for obvious reasons. Reports of issues with the text should be posted on Talk:Main Page which has sections set-up expressly for this purpose. --Tagishsimon (talk) 00:20, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the Talk:Mainpage tip, i had no idea it was there. BTW, because the team is a single entity, "defeats" is correct. "defeat" would be correct if it said "the 5,10,whatever players of the Indian team defeat Pakistan..." Dynamitejoe (talk) 00:26, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
No, it may come as some surprise to you but we have been using English for quite a long time here in England, and have got quite good at it. "Defeat" is correct in this case. See notional agreement to learn more. DuncanHill
Well, im not British. :P Sorry. Its correct for me.Dynamitejoe (talk) 00:39, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
This is correct if it is in British English, as WhatamIdoing says. 'India' in this context means 'the Indian cricket team' (of eleven). I think that in most respects Indian and Pakistani English will be like British English in this respect, though the two variants can be a little idiosyncratic. AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:34, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
What if the Pakistani Cricket team played a "friendly" with the USA Cricket team (assuming we could find eleven Americans that could play cricket)?Defeat or defeats?Buster Seven Talk 11:48, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
How about a team of 11 cricket-playing ex-street gang members from Compton? Still putting odds on England? Rmhermen (talk) 15:10, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Then it would depend on who wrote the piece - per WP:ENGVAR we go with the original usage when it is not clear from the context which form of English should be used. DuncanHill (talk) 12:04, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Call for demonstration in the Village pump

April's Fool Day is over

Affected by recent revolutions and rebellions in many places around the world, a new group of WP opposition activities are demanding Jimmy Wales to resign all his posts, along with major changes in the five pillars, lifting the ban on all sock puppets, and granting more access rights to unregistered users. If you are in favour with our demands please clean up an article from Category:Articles needing cleanup and list it with your signature hereinafter. --Ciphers (talk) 06:32, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

  1. Added references to Genkan. --Ciphers (talk) 07:18, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

What posts do you want him to resign? Except "all"? -- (talk) 08:54, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

What "major changes" are you proposing to the five pillars, and why should the ban on sock puppets be listed? And what is the relevance of genkan? — Cheers, JackLee talk 09:12, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Is this the line for the Insurrection,hostilities Demonstration? I want to get a good seat, up front, close to the gallows!Buster Seven Talk 11:41, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Drawing board

This page hasn't received the sort of attention it might have done, and is thereby splitting focus/link space etc. unnecessarily. Either we need to push it more, or else get rid and go back to the drawing board. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 18:20, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Logging in directly to watch list

I once had a shortcut that let me log in directly to my watch list.

Now, I am always directed to the home page.

I do not want to visit Wikipedia's home page every time I log in.

How can I use the secure log in and go directly to my watch list? - Ac44ck (talk) 23:29, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Bookmark this:
--SmokeyJoe (talk) 23:51, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
I once used this to save the step of getting to the form for entering password, ect.:
It seemed that it had become unreliable, but it seemed to work this time.
Not sure what was different in times when it did and didn't seem to work. Opera is 'helping' me (and maybe phishers) now by hiding parts of URLs. Maybe I was misled by Opera's 'help'. I couldn't see the full URL when bookmarking the link again after an old Opera installation quit working. I had to reinstall and re-enter bookmarks from scratch.
Thanks for the reply. I am much happier when logging into Wikipedia now. -Ac44ck (talk) 00:24, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

How WP runs off new editors

I slogged through the discussion above about new page patrol, declining editor numbers, and the possible death of Wikipedia as we know it. It's a tedious slog, with NPP and AfD and ya-ta-ta acronyms abounding. Ironically, it is basically unintelligible to the very WP rookies you claim you wish to retain. Rather a case of, Let's us grownups control the discussion so we can decide what the kids need. And I guess I am still one of the kids, because I did not understand it all.

However, it is apparent to me that either overtly or unconsciously, the participants in the discussion are seeking a means of recruiting a talent pool that mirrors their own makeup. The bias is for technicans who can script, template, wiki-edit, and write. You lump them all together as "editors". In other words, the bias is for technical editors who also want to write. Actually, it's a demand for someone who combines the functions of technical editor, computer programmer, and writer. In WP, you are just an "editor"--who runs bots, patrols new pages, whatever. Writing skills seem to be the lowest priority.

So what happens when you get someone like me?...I'm a professional writer who has picked up a smattering of wiki-editing so I can have fun writing for WP. I only lasted through my rookie stage in WP because I only had to master one new skill at the time, and I have Kevlared confidence in my writing ability. I would not have lasted in Wikipedia if I had to learn or improve my expository writing while figuring out Wikipedia's (non)structure and catch on to wiki-editing. And forget the scripting, bots, and all those other little devices that litter up my new creations with sometimes bogus and/or conflicting information.

The answer to my own question is, You overwhelm and intimidate the beginners right back out of Wikipedia by inundating them with demands to learn while hiding whatever help they could find in a morass of webpages. If they manage to produce anything, you probably throw it out. I am amazed that you retain as many "editors" as you do. In my past 30 months here, I have come to feel there is very little tolerance in this community for those of us who merely wish to write for Wikipedia and leave the technical and copy-editing to editors. And now, if you will pardon me, I will get back to my writing. Georgejdorner (talk) 03:55, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

  • We were all beginners at one point, so it doesn't matter>Bread Ninja (talk) 04:09, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
    • I think the point is that the culture of new page patrol encourages beginners to leave. Feezo (send a signal | watch the sky) 04:17, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
      • We were all beginners once, true, but some beginners were already much more familiar with the technical aspects of wiki coding than others. I've been on here 5 years now, and there's still a lot of technical/programming/coding/bot-ing stuff that I don't feel comfortable doing on my own. Geo. has a good point about the learning curve here and how it's hard enough for people familiar with academic writing just to learn the style/tone of WP articles without also having to learn all the technical skills required to be fluent in WP. Aristophanes68 (talk) 05:36, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
        • I've been here since 2007 and I have over 6000 edits "under my belt". I have only in the last few weeks begun to edit tables. I'm still not comfortable using most cite templates. I'm a content producer, technicalities I leave to others. 17 of my first 20 edits were posts on Talk pages - the three article edits were typo fixes. I was an active editor for more than a year before I dared to create my first article. All articles I started have stuck. People who arrive here with the primary intention of creating an article almost by definition run into COI problems. Roger (talk) 05:54, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
    • Bread Ninja, when over 96% of your volunteers quit on you, it definitely does matter. Georgejdorner (talk) 04:56, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
      • Well, you guys could just give articles a chance. such as preservation. Idk if theres a wikiproject out there that deals with this sort of thing. But i really don't think it matters too much. it's there choice, the rules are enforced on everyone.Bread Ninja (talk) 05:02, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
      • George, you know what I find unfortunate? When editors have been on Wikipedia for over two years and continue to speak of the community in an "us against them" mentality. "You claim". "You lump". "You overwhelm". "You intimidate". "Your volunteers". I think change will more quickly come when we all begin to recognize that ALL OF US are a part of the community that we rail against. I would suggest that it may be time to become a part of the solution. Rather than pointing our finger at the problems and everyone around us, it may be time to look to ourselves. Neither one of us are any different than the next person. All of us together make up the Wikipedia community. We are ALL Wikipedia. YOU are Wikipedia. Regards, Cind.amuse 11:08, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
  • The real problem is whilst we can spend all day discussing the problems, there has not yet been a solution. Wikimarkup might seem complicated, but WYSIWYG editing is riddled with problems; we have a dropout rate of 96% but no idea how many would have realistically become major editors if the problems could be fixed; we have a daunting amount of policy, but with no seeming way of getting rid of it – one can go through WP:Policies and check each one off for keeping; we have complaints about over-zealous reverting, and yet in the vast majority of cases there is no alternative but revert wrong changes. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 17:10, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Hampton Township School District

The page Hampton Township School District is now a disambiguation page, rather than a redirect, but I am unable to update the talk page, because it is a redirect to the Hampton Township School District (Pennsylvania) talk page. Please help. --DThomsen8 (talk) 01:14, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Forget it, I found a way to fix it. --DThomsen8 (talk) 01:19, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

We need more New Page Patrollers

requiring autoconfirmation to create articles

As one can see from a thread near the top of WP:VPT, there seem to be a very few people doing the vast majority of NPP right now. Kamkek and I did over 7000 pages from February 1-26 alone), and the same is happening at New Article Review. I can only speak for myself, but I've been attacking around 200+ pages a day to try and keep Special:NewPages from flooding again; the other day, I patrolled about 350 pages. I can handle going at that rate, but Kamkek and I aren't online all the time. It's obvious when neither of us are doing NPP because it backs up very quickly during that time. We badly need one or both of two things. First, we need more people to help us; that way, we might have the time to actually reference that BLP instead of having to cut our losses to keep up with the new pages by BLPPRODding it right away, which is the situation now. Second, there was a proposal some months ago about making editors become autoconfirmed before writing an article. I want to raise this as another possibility; I think this would greatly reduce the number of completely useless pages that turn up every day on Special:NewPages, and simultaneously prevent newbies from feeling bitten because they tried to create a new article that wasn't suitable for Wikipedia, because creating an article now requires a fairly high level of skill (I just created my first article in January, and it took me about an hour to get it together; mind you, the article in question is basically start-class, nothing fancy). This has its drawbacks, the most obvious one being that it removes the instant gratification of being able to create an article right away, but there are solutions to this as well (i.e. promote using AfC). This doesn't seem to neatly fit any of the other Village pumps, so I put it here; if people think this belongs elsewhere, then please say as much. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:12, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

I have been thinking of raising a similar proposal, although for a different reason. Some little tests I did show that around 80% of the pages created by new users is deleted. Freaking 80%! I would argue deletion of a page is inherently wp:BITEY, no matter how you bring the message. Even if you userfy the page the newbie is still gonna feel rejected. Combine those two and I can only reach the conclusion we should stop new users from creating pages until they reach autoconfirmed, sending them through some pre-review system like wp:AFC instead. (Note this will not drastically affect the amount of patrolling power needed, it will just move most of the pressure somewhere else). Yoenit (talk) 04:51, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
That's a start; that'll at least ensure things get looked at. But that's only one half of the problem, then; how are we supposed to encourage more people to get involved? The problem with NPP is (as I've said at my newly opened editor review) outside editors only see the plane that crashes. Unlike just about every other part of Wikipedia, there are extremely rigid CSD rules (just look at some of the discussion on WT:CSD if you don't believe me; you'd think IAR said, "If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, unless it has to do with CSD, ignore it.") and no matter what you do a lot of people end up not liking you. Vandal fighting can bring, if not adminship, glorification in many corners; NPP gets you just about nothing. We're way overworked right now; that doesn't mean we don't enjoy what we're doing, but we're still way overworked, and we need ways to spread it more evenly. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 06:26, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
That's too much. Maybe we need to find a way of throttling back new page creation? Perhaps a form of "Pending changes" for new pages, to leave new articles created by new accounts in a hopper until they can be vetted?   Will Beback  talk  08:54, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
And there they'll sit gathering dust, the sublime alongside the ridiculous, yet another growing backlog to eliminate. The autoconfirmed proposal seems well worth exploring, though (perhaps in conjunction with a tightening of the requirements for that status). Rivertorch (talk) 09:05, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
Rivertorch is correct — we don't need yet another backlog. In fact, we already have a perfectly good "pending pages" system: Articles for creation. I am in favor of requiring autoconfirmation to create articles; Yoenit's statistics confirmed what we've all known intuitively, but it's still surprising to know that 4/5 of the pages created by new accounts end up deleted. By requiring autoconfirmation, we would not only cut down on the creation of junk pages, but spare the newcomers who might otherwise have their good-faith contributions deleted. The latter factor should not be underestimated: if a new editor receives constructive criticism on AfC that allows them to create a respectable and worthy article, we are far closer to acquiring a new and valuable member of the community than if their page had been unceremoniously purged. Feezo (Talk) 10:59, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
If we're going to go the autoconfirmed route, then I would suggest a total moratorium on non-autoconfirmed editors creating articles, like Feezo. New editors can learn from improving existing articles; that'll be better for everyone, really, on a lot of levels. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 17:30, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

─────────────────────────So where do we go from here? It's been a couple days now since anyone's said anything. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 18:03, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

There is a very interesting RFC here on the opposite idea Wikipedia:Wiki Guides/Allow IP editors to create articles. I would say there is enough support to start a {{cent}} listed RFC to see what the larger community thinks about it. Yoenit (talk) 22:43, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
I have listed this discussion at {{cent}}. Cunard (talk) 06:21, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support "requiring autoconfirmation to create articles". The years have moved on since creating a stand alone article, over editing existing pages, was a more realistic option for even the most specialised or peculiar newly arriving volunteer. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 02:09, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
Yoenit below at 08:20, 18 March 2011 (UTC) speaks of evidence that sounds quite compelling. New arrivals creating new articles that have to be deleted is not good for us or for the new arrival.
New users should remain able to create new userspace pages.
New users who wish to move their draft to mainspace immediately should be encouraged to request help via {{helpme}} or some other very easy very fast method than involves another human. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 21:20, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
I like "one possible compromise is to allow immediate creation for users who go through the Article Wizard (ensuring a minimum of education and direction to support)" posted by User:Rd232 far below, 11:44, 24 March 2011 (UTC) --SmokeyJoe (talk) 12:06, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

I support the restriction on new page creation (that is not my point though). My point is why don't the New Page Patrollers give any props to the PASSING new pages? The whole thing seems like all stick, no carrot. Look someone has made a new article. If it passes, and the NPP is the first or only one in a while, to look at it, why not make some talk page comment on it. A quick attaboy, even with comments on upgrades (some kinda feedback) would just be good. I'm dead serious. Rethink the whole purpose of NPP! Oh...and I would just lurve it if someone said "dayum" your new page had a source and cats and a bolded first sentence and go gurl! TCO (talk) 07:07, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

If a stumble upon a proper article by a new user I always welcome the new user and give the article a fixup (wikify, categories, typos) if required. To be honest they are quite rare though. Yoenit (talk) 16:07, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
Exactly. That just doesn't happen very often; instead, the great majority of pages are deleted, and those that aren't are almost always require a tremendous amount of work to bring up to even a start-class. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 18:56, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, so than it wouldn't be much work to give an attaboy to the ones that pass. I've never gotten any positive comments on my stubs that did pass and gotten one (improper) PROD for an article that was a spinout of a section that got too long. I'm not saying to stop being negative to all the failing articles. It's just a mindset change to think about a comment on the passing ones. Or is there something about the psyche of NPPs where they don't care about the new good content coming out?TCO (talk) 06:18, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
It has to do with the fact that, by the nature of NPP, we tend to only get involved in low-quality articles. A decent, well-referenced, wikified article doesn't need any more than the few seconds it takes for us to hit "mark as patrolled", so you do tend to notice the bad ones more because those are the ones needing attention. That said, if I find a decent article from a newbie I will give them a welcome. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 16:45, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
It's a mindset change, but why not make a comment on the good ones from established users as well? You have completely defined yourselves as defenders against vandals, and I'm suggesting to be more holistic. I HEART you for blowing away the crud. honest. NUKE IT. But when I see no interest in the creation...that worries me...TCO (talk) 21:13, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
Why should I be congratulate people every time they create a new article? Should I also congratulate them if they fix 20 typos, add references to 5 BLPs or seriously expand an existing article? We are all here to build an encyclopedia and adding content is part of the job. If we kept congratulating each other for every improvement we would spend most of the time knocking each other senseless and get hardly any work done. I do hand out a barnstar from time to time, but I do so sparingly on purpose. Yoenit (talk) 22:13, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
Find some way to meaningfully engage usin?g your basis of experience in off wiki writing and deep life experience, and on wiki writing. It's only a FEW pages, remember. You should be INTERESTED. TCO (talk) 22:19, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
It's not like I never stop to work on something; I turned Chihiro Iwasaki from Engrish to English, for instance, after coming across it on NPP. In my case, that's because the subjects I tend to be interested in (Ainu and Burmese history) aren't things that come up too much on NPP; my article work and NPP work tend not to mix all that often. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:30, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support Long overdue common-sense solution. Less throwaway SPAs making an article about a schoolkid they hate and then disappearing? Less newbies feeling bitten? Less terrible articles? Less spam? Less backlogs? Sounds great! Andrew Lenahan - Starblind 00:29, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Question: Are any of the other projects doing this? It might be interesting to know what their experience is. For myself, I reluctantly support autoconfirmation. Five years ago, it would have been a Bad Idea. Now, as a relatively mature project with a steep learning curve, it's perhaps not unreasonable.
    If we decide someday to have a "trial", could I please beg for it to be a prospective trial, with the specific things to be measured declared and discussed far in advance, with specific people publicly agreeing to collect the data by named deadlines, and predicting and publishing in advance the level of activity that would be expected under current rules? So much of the PC trial has relied on subjective opinions. (Randomizing per account would be lovely, but a multi-step cross-over design [autoconfirmation is required every other month for a total of four or six months] might be more manageable and also interesting.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:45, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support I wonder how much NPP has been done by the people behind RFCs like Allow IP editors to create articles and Minimize talk page templates. I occasionally click "Recent changes" and spend a bit of time cleaning up, and my limited experience leaves me with no doubt that 80% of new pages need to be deleted. The solution is not to userfy all bad pages (a suggestion I saw somewhere recently), but to prevent people with no experience from creating a page except through AfC which will provide the necessary guidance. Johnuniq (talk) 10:38, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
    You may have seen the 'userify drafts' proposal at meta:IRC office hours/Office hours 2011-02-24 and meta:IRC office hours/Office hours 2011-03-18. The idea is to put all new pages created by newbies in a pile somewhere (userspace, a new draft namespace) and create special processes around them to a) avoid biting the newbies, but also b) purge the junk semi-automatically. The idea is essentially software-enforced WP:AFC for newbies, however we wish to define newbies. John Vandenberg (chat) 05:24, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
    Oh. That sounds a lot better than the unconvincing text at Allow IP editors to create articles. I had another quick look at the links in the first para at that page and did not notice anything like what you outlined (a new "Draft:" namespace please, not userspace; a Draft namespace needs to automatically set NOINDEX and have "This is a draft" or some such at the top so if an outsider is given a link to "this great article at Wikipedia!" they would have a chance of working out that it is not actually an article). I'll take your word for it that the long IRC logs include those suggestions, but no, I had not seen them. I am a bit grumpy about the Wiki Guides RFCs because they look exactly like what I would expect from a PR outfit paid large amounts to produce mission statements for management, but your quick outline presents a much better idea. Johnuniq (talk) 06:39, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
    Nothing against user:Tomstar81 who drafted them, but those RFCs are just some naive ideas which should never have left the wikiguides talkpage. There is nothing official about them and nobody got paid. (talk) 12:04, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose - nobody is irritated by newbie glop more than I am, but this would be a complete undoing of the basic idea of wikipeda, the whole "plunge in, and get better as you go" mindset that has accomplish orders of magnitude more than we thought it would. Crappy, awful pages eventually die or, less often, improve, but in the process they don't really do any harm. It's not like readers can't avoid them and are saying "I will never use wikipedia because I encountered a bad page!" - DavidWBrooks (talk) 11:09, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
The problem is not that crappy articles are created, as we can deal with those quite effectively. The problem is that the newbie editors creating those pages are driven away from wikipedia. Our retention rate among new editors who create a page which is then deleted is 0.63%, while our retention rate is among new editors who start with editing existing pages is 2.6%. (sample set of some 50.000 users, see User:Mr.Z-man/newusers). The "plunge in and get better as you go" mindset has become "plunge in, get your page deleted, a talkpage full of warnings and quit in disgust". Yoenit (talk) 08:20, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
I guess I don't see how "plunge in, hit an annoyng registration wall, quit in annoyance" is much of an improvement, except that it avoids the crappy article syndrome which I think is a minor issue. I think you're underestimating the effect this would have on the overall psyche (that's not exactly the right word, but something like that) of wikipedia - it's the "anybody can do this at any time without any training or preparation, unlike anything else of this magnitude in the world" ethos (maybe that's the word) which has kept it going. I think this would seriously undermine that personality (?) over time. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 11:53, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support per nom, per support arguments above.  – OhioStandard (talk) 03:11, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. Unfortunately, this is necessary. NPPers dont want to bite the newbies, but the integrity of the encyclopedia and the rights of living people are more important than the newbies. Our resources are not currently able to cope with the workload, so we need to reduce the workload. IMO we should not allow newbies to create new pages (in mainspace) unless there is a redlink to it which is stable for at least a few days. This depends on Special:Wantedpages, which is 'too inefficient' (last updated 2009-10-12T12:55:54). John Vandenberg (chat) 05:15, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. This wouldn't have made sense years ago, but it makes sense now. We have to figure out how to help new users create articles, instead of the traditional sink-or-swim approach which so easily turns people off (besides the workload involved). I created the Article Wizard because of that, and maybe a year ago (?) I suggested limiting article creation to autoconfirmed, with a getout clause for immediate creation if the user goes via the Article Wizard (which ensures a certain minimum of education). I still think that's a good compromise. Rd232 talk 19:05, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. I strongly believe new users need at least a few edits before plunging in to their first article. These few edits will at least familiarize them with the layout of a Wikipedia page. Furthermore, the time limit will help to discourage the drunken Saturday night joke pages or the pages that eleven-year-olds create out of boredom. Although this may also have the unfortunate side effect of discouraging legitimate editors, I think that the benefits outweigh the costs. GorillaWarfare talkcontribs 23:28, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Well at least some people are saying that it may result in less discouraging of legitimate editors. At any rate, those who are so easily discouraged are not really the ones we need to attract: the older WP gets, the more patience and dedication are important qualities. Far more important to help the really good potential editors who struggle a bit with it (eg older people perhaps?) than to worry about putting off those who haven't got the minimum patience to wait a few days to have an article live. Rd232 talk 00:10, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. I've just recently begun doing a bit of NPP, and it's clear that there needs to be a minor speed bump in the process of creating a new page. The main benefit is not that it would require less of Wikipedians, but rather it's that we can give more attention to improving new articles that are worthwhile. -- DanielKlotz (talk · contribs) 01:45, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. There's too much crap coming in the door, frankly. But we need to become better in helping new editors writing content that is not crap, either in new articles or elsewhere.  Sandstein  06:42, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support if the phrase "not allowed" can be avoided on the response page for the new user. Not sure how it works technically, but a message like "Thank you for adding to Wikipedia. Click here to go to Articles for Creation if you are ready to write your article right now" would be great. --Pgallert (talk) 07:41, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support I wouldn't have supported this a few years ago, but nowadays we don't have to worry about getting new article ideas from anywho anymore, including inexperienced editors. It's better to (1) clean up and keep clean what WP already has, and (2) give newbie editors more time to learn before they find out the hard way they're yet too inexperienced. This proposal is two birds with one stone. – sgeureka tc 08:42, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support I have been in discussion for a while, but not yet added my support. Let me use this to debunk some myhs which could lead to oppose rationales.Yoenit (talk) 09:01, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
This will seriously decrease the amount of new articles created
No, even if AFC/userspace options did not exist we would lose only 5-10% of new articles. New users generate somewhere between 20 and 33% of new pages, but 80% of those are deleted. Also, if the wp:AFC option is presented properly I wouldn't be suprised if it actually increases the number of useful articles created by new users
This proposal is WP:BITEY and decreases the number of new editors
No, what we are doing now is bitey. The cold reality is that 80% of the articles contributed by new users is deleted and our retention rate among those editors is a mere 0.6%. (For comparison, editors starting on existing pages have a retention rate of 2.6%). If we can direct even some of those editors creating new pages elsewhere it is likely to give us a net benefit of editors. Yoenit (talk) 09:01, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Addendum: Statistics from User:Mr.Z-man/newusers. Yoenit (talk) 09:05, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong support, provides a small impediment to creating articles which will screen out the most commonly-deleted articles before they get in. Stifle (talk) 09:27, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I do not think that turning Wikipedia into Citizendum will solve any problems. You know that Citizendum has failed, and I do not want Wikipedia to have the same fate. Ruslik_Zero 12:20, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Your oppose is invalid since it opposes a proposal radically different from the one made: making new editors wait a few days before they can make a new article go live is nothing like Citizendium. You might as well oppose a proposal to go shopping by saying "no, I don't want to go to the moon". Rd232 talk 12:32, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
      • It is a fine example of a straw man argument and should be ignored. I think it is telling that he could not oppose without resorting to a fallacy. Yoenit (talk) 12:40, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
        • If your goal is push this proposal at any cost, by insulting anybody who oppose it, I will make sure that it never passes. Sand that appropriate measures are taken against you. Ruslik_Zero 14:21, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
          • No one has insulted you. Your opposition has been criticized, from what I can see, in a reasonable and civil manner. I'm not sure how you intend to "make sure [the proposal] never passes", but ambiguously threatening statements are definitely not helpful. Feezo (Talk) 14:47, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
            • It seems your oppose is based on a wildly flawed interpretation of the proposal. Making a small prerequisite to create a page is not at all like Citizendium. Nobody has insulted you, they have rebutted your argument. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 21:43, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
              • Please, do not treat others like fools. I know what Citizendum is. The problem is that of slippery slope—if this passes why not restrict all editing to autoconfirmed? And after that you will have something similar to Citizendum—you do not actually need to reproduces all restrictions from that project as the threshold of failure is much lower. Ruslik_Zero 07:31, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
                • "if this passes why not restrict all editing to autoconfirmed" - because autoconfirmed needs 10 edits, so how would new editors get there? That's not a slippery slope, it's aslippery Catch-22. Rd232 talk 08:01, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
                  • You forgot about talk pages. Ruslik_Zero 09:43, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose for now; support if/when this won't prevent new uysers from creating their own user pages. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 14:12, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Well, technically the proposal is for users creating articles, not pages, so you're in agreement with the proposal anyway. I'm not sure how much harder it is to implement a restriction that only applies to mainspace (compared to all namespaces), but it doesn't sound particularly difficult. Rd232 talk 15:16, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support for mainspace only Yes, yes, yes. We need this; route everyone to AfC, institute a strict no-BITEy review process in which all non-attack pages may not be deleted immediately. We should tell users how to rewrite spam, etc.; obviously non-notable bios and stuff can be deleted after, say two days. Also, this helps developing Wikipedians learn our content policies better, and show ravenous taggers that "no, we CAN talk to new users". All this requires is some dedicated reviewers. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 14:40, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. "80% of the pages created by new users is deleted". I should add that a lot of the remaining 20 % are not kept because they are good, but because they are not bad enough. Sole Soul (talk) 16:52, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support - Autoconfirmation is an extraordinarily minimal requirement which will weed out a vast amount of vandalism. Sign-In-To-Edit is also long overdue, but this is a start. Carrite (talk) 18:59, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment just to be 100% clear, this is only intended for article space; users should be able to create their own userpages, as that's the perfect place for editing tests. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 20:55, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support As long as we're able to make sure that non-autoconfirmed users are able to make their own user and user talk pages. We don't want to turn off that ability. But, yeah, this should drastically improve both the retention of new article and, hopefully, the retention of new users. SilverserenC 22:42, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. Wikipedia is now a mature encyclopedia. New articles tend to be on obscure topics or news items. Asking editors to register and wait a few days before creating articles is a reasonable step to move the project towards a focus on quality instead of quantity.   Will Beback  talk  22:59, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment If this proposal is adopted, I think it is essential that some careful thinking go into the messaging provided to then end user when they click a red link or otherwise try to create an article. Communicating clearly what is going on, and what is the best path to creating an article (right away in a sandbox, or in a few days after some exploration) would be absolutely vital. -Pete (talk) 01:09, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Strongest possible oppose the life of Wikipedia depends on continually attracting and keeping new editors. Editors are more important than articles--we can always re-make an article than gets deleted, but we cannot retrieve n edit who gets discouraged. Many people come here specifically to write about something they know, and many of them do fine. Of the new articles submitted to Wikipedia we keep half of them. Of course, many are formulaic articles by continuing editors, but the ones by new editors also have a very considerable percentage of acceptable edits. And even the ones that are not acceptable as submitted an be made acceptable. What we need to do is the exact opposite of this proposal.: encourage and facilitate the creation of new articles by anyone, guiding ips to register in order to make their articles. And then follow up each individual person and each individual article.
The comment above that NPP is now entirely negative is very much to the point--the purpose of NPP is not just to identify what must be deleted, but also what must be improved. We newed to get new people involved in this, and taught how to do it properly. But the lack of them is not a current crisis. Two or three years ago a great many more new articles escapted checking--and we are now dealing with the process of removing them, especially the unjustifiable very minor BLP articles. We're actually doing better now., Two years ago,m when I patrolled at the end of the backlog, I found immense amounts of unchecked junk. Now I don't--almost all of it gets removed earlier.
The way to kill Wikipedia is to inhibit the flow of new editors. This will be a rather sure step along the way. DGG ( talk ) 02:34, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
As much as I like being as open as possible (and I'm actually really warming up to WereSpielChequers' idea at the Allow IPs to Create Articles RfC; I think that's a really neat solution, and we should try to go that route first), I'm not particularly encouraged to see that in the few days I've been fairly inactive, Special:NewPages has developed a several-day backlog (which I will begin going at shortly). Since March 17th, we have just under 1500 unpatrolled pages, which is roughly what I would have done in that time frame (anywhere from 200-300 a day). It's nothing unmanageable now, but it's indicative of a problem; it's not good that two people (Kamkek and I) are doing such a grossly disproportionate amount of NPP. The problem is, unlike vandal fighting, we need human eyes on every page. It's like Rush said in Second Nature; "I know that progress has no patience, but something's got to give". The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:13, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  • support I do some work at NPP myself, and it's sad because I understand not biting new users, on the other hand, is there any other possible way of dealing with some highschooler writing an article about their lunch table clique or their best friend or a game they made up? I rarely actually get to an article BEFORE it's already been speedy tagged anymore by users faster than I. I would honestly LOVE to find an article I can improve on, but almost always it's something that doesn't belong here and never, ever will. I could wikify and format and add categories and remove peacock language all day long and it's still a highschool garage band that's never released a CD and never played anywhere but the local high school battle of the bands and their drummer's dad's pole barn. I understand that discouraging new users hurts Wikipedia, but on the other hand users with nothing to add beyond material that violates policy don't HELP us either, and the massive waves of advertising spam garage bands and non-notable unsourced BLPs piling up will do measurable harm. HominidMachinae (talk) 08:44, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The requirement to register raised the threshold for newcomers, but at least didn't make it much more difficult since registering an account is quick and easy. Adding a temporal quarantine adds another hoop which makes the creation of legitimate new articles much more difficult in that they need to wait for a long time. If someone wants to write a new and valid article, a autoconfirmed requirement will easily make the newcomer lose interest. Registering an account should bring with it some immediate benefits, not benefits which are a long way off. Sjakkalle (Check!) 10:31, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
    • "a autoconfirmed requirement will easily make the newcomer lose interest." - I don't see that. We are talking about exposure on one of the world's top ten websites. Frankly, even in this ADD modern world the sort of users who can't wait a few days to have an article go live on such a site are users we can do without. Besides, at 3m articles the primary issue is no longer creation of articles, it is conversion of newcomers into dedicated Wikipedians, and we do that better by converting an extra 1% or whatever by drawing them in with better support and less biteyness, than by allowing Tom, Dick and Harry to slap down a half-arsed effort and then walk away (and probably see it deleted). Anyway, one possible compromise is to allow immediate creation for users who go through the Article Wizard (ensuring a minimum of education and direction to support); what do you think of that? Rd232 talk 11:44, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong support. Unfortunately, the current situation leads to negative outcomes for all concerned; well-intentioned newbies feel bitten, somebody has to spend long hours cleaning up the mess, and some crappy new articles (including vandalism & hoaxes) still survive to appear on readers' screens. It's not as though we have a shortage of existing articles to edit; our "encyclopaedia that anyone can edit" principle is quite compatible with a specific and reasoned restriction on article creation, just as it is with blocks and with protecting the main page. We are here, first and foremost, to build an encyclopædia, not as a social experiment. bobrayner (talk) 16:28, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support I don't think this will result on more offended new users. On the contrary I think a user will be less offended by a message saying "you don't have permission to create pages yet, sorry" than by seeing their article summarily deleted, which is the fate experienced by the vast majority of pages created by very new users. Even the ones that survive only do so needing extensive cleanup. This proposal has many advantages: it will reduce the workload at CSD, NPP, cleanup etc and it will reduce the number of BLP violations, copyright violations, hoaxes etc that make it into mainspace. And finally our focus as a project should be shifting from creating as many pages as possible towards cleaning/improving up the ones we have. Hut 8.5 18:46, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
    • I agree, but I think it's worth emphasising that this involves (or should involve) a substantial shift in emphasis towards helping newcomers instead of dealing with the fallout from their lack of experience. In essence, if experienced Wikipedians aren't constantly rescuing people who can't swim, they will hopefully have time to teach some people to swim. Rd232 talk 22:07, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  • support But allow non-autoconfirmed users to submit articles for creation at WP:AFC. Perhaps some work to make AFC a slicker system would be helpful as well. Pol430 talk to me 22:38, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support, just in case it wasn't clear from the discussion. Feezo (Talk) 22:53, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Strongest possible oppose. Registration is a sufficient barrier to keep the tides of crap out. If you're a newcomer and you want to create a new article, you can deal with "OK, I have to register, fair enough." Waiting 4 days and making 10 edits unrelated to what it is you actually want to do is a great way to keep the good ones out because a newcomer will go "fuck it, I'm not dealing with this stuff". I know, because that would have been my reaction, because this was not the cause, I've been here for 3 years now, with roughly 100K edits, created Wikiprojects, wrote templates, a few DYK, cleaned countless of articles, wrotes an FA and an FL, etc... Developing better edit filters is the answer, not going "Sorry newbie, but you can't play here just yet, this is the big boys & girls' encyclopedia". Bringing the new editors to a interstitial page saying something like "YOU'RE ABOUT TO CREATE AN ARTICLE... BUT BEFORE YOU DO, HERE'S A FEW THINGS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER", with a small guide to the basic mistakes new editors make is a much better idea (This page would go away after you're autoconfirmed) than this you-need-to-be auto-confirmed-before-you're-allowed-to-create-an-article crap. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 23:52, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Apparently the WP:Article Wizard is what I had in mind. Bring new editors trying to create new pages to that rather than prevent them from doing so. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 23:58, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support for mainspace - Trying to teach new users how to create a passable article is an unreasonable proposition. Creating a decent new article requires knowledge of basically every major policy and style guide. We can spend huge amounts of effort trying to educate new users through guides, wizards, etc. or we can let them learn by experience. Excessive reading makes Wikipedia boring and frustrating and too many users will simply ignore it; if we make the reading too short, we'll invariably leave out important information and users will continue to fail and be discouraged. If new users still want to try to create a new article, they can do it through AFC. Users who start by editing existing pages already outnumber those who create articles and they're far less likely to have negative first experiences. This would also have the effect of reducing the ridiculous quantity over quality emphasis that some people still cling to. Mr.Z-man 03:06, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Strongest possible oppose. This idea doesn't actually fix the problem; it just foists it off, overburdening the Articles for Creation people instead of the Special:NewPages people. I appreciate that the workload is heavy, but if we let more users get involved, and help them do that, then the number of new page patrollers will increase incrementally as the userbase does. There are alternatives to leaving problematic articles involved which don't disenfranchise new users; since many of them come to Wikipedia seeking instant gratification, putting an additional hoop in place for them to jump through will drive many potential contributors off. Yes, that will deal with the issue at hand, but at what cost? Ironholds (talk) 03:36, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't get that proposal. It just seems as though you want to start some new wp:AFC process for crappy pages "with potential" which have already been deleted. Why wait for the pages to be deleted first? Why not just sent them through AFC straight away. Wouldn't that be much more productive? Yoenit (talk) 08:52, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
If you read the proposal, you'll see that it's both deleted and undeleted-but-problematic articles. Yes, it'd be more productive to send them through AFC straight away, if it wasn't for the fact that (a) AfC'll quickly get overburdened and (b) things still get deleted. It's a bit pointless saying "you should have sent articles through AfC before they were deleted!" unless I've somehow got a reputation as an omnipresent being who can preclude all CSDs made on en-wiki. As for "crappy pages" - one of the articles I saw was about an Egyptian cabinet member. It was A7'd. Ironholds (talk) 21:10, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Well yes, you'd need a lot more involvement in AFC (especially if the immediate-creation-via-Article-Wizard doesn't happen). But part of the idea here is that rapid-fire CSD decisions more easily go wrong (eg with the Egyptian example) than AFC. Rd232 talk 00:16, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Strongest possible oppose. I feel the idea that the only (or best) way to solve the problems of New user biting or the New Page Patrol backlog is to get rid of the new users by stopping them from creating pages is horribly knee jerk and doesn't seem to be done for any actual data driven reason. As Sue said in last week's Letter to the community our community is shrinking (even dieing). The last thing we possibly need is to close down the project even more. Only 5 other WMF projects even restrict page creation for anonymous users (and none of them are in the top 10 other then enWikipedia). The Editor Trends Survey, which came out with the update and Ironholds touched on, shows even more data such as the fact that 37% of the users who DO make 10 edits ("New wikipedians" in the graph) take over 2 months to get there (50% take over 15 days) so this isn't a "just wait 4 days" issue.
I'm trying to get my hands on the data about how many editors never reach that 10 edit level at all, my gut and anecdotal review says it is absolutely enormous, I will certainly share that with everyone as soon as I get it. Before you make a decision here I encourage you to try a different kind of New Page Patrol and specifically look for articles that would be viable and can be moved into user-space or incubated. Jalexander--WMF 05:57, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
If we start userfying and incubating pages randomly we are just creating a poor, disorganized copy of wp:Articles for creation. Better to just sent everything through AFC and use its excellent review structure (which is what we are proposing here). I would also like if you could clarify whether your position here is personal or the official WMF position, as it is likely to carry weight. Yoenit (talk) 09:04, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
You think that moving everything to AfC would not simply create the same problems (backlog, biting, stress) that they do at Special:NewPages? Ironholds (talk) 23:05, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
That's what we already do, at least myself; if I thinks something is salvageable, I'll ask the user if they want it userfied. However, as has been said above, these articles usually aren't salvageable, and in case you haven't noticed, we're being overworked to the point of burnout on NPP right now. We are possibly the most hated people around (I actually like that essay a lot, including the title, by the way); we're generally treated like shit because newbies don't like when we tag their garage bands, and regular users see the planes that crash, not the overwhelming majority of planes that land safely with our taggings. I've been pretty much inactive since the 17th (although not for much longer), and since then a giant backlog has built up at Special:NewPages; that's not a good sign. I will give you the basic data again, in case you missed it; 80% of articles from newbies end up deleted, two people (Kamkek and I) have done a grossly disproportionate amount of NPP in the last couple of months, and in the week I've had to be out over 1,500 pages have built up unpatrolled. So we can either chase away newbies by deleting their pages (which almost always have to be deleted), or we can do what just about every other website on the Internet does and put some basic restrictions on creating something (in our case, pages); which, even then, will be much less than just about every other website. In addition, it doesn't matter how long it takes for someone to get to 10 edits; if they don't have at least that, they probably aren't ready to make a page anyways. I've seen editors make a page on their 6th or 8th edit, and there's no real difference. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:36, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
If you think something is salvageable, you userfy it and then..what, just leave the guy to it? And wonder why nothing comes of it? Don't tell me about new page patrolers being overworked, matey. Y'know that guy who, rumour has it, cleared the entire buffer single-handedly, not only once, but twice? That guy is me. You know what the buffer length is? 30 days. You know what the backlog is? 6. 6 days. That, for those of you who like percentages, means that 80% of the buffer is free. You think the wiki is going to break if you take some time off? Ironholds (talk) 04:51, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
If that's what you took away from it, then you didn't read it correctly. I drop by periodically to see what's going on with userfied articles. And the rumors are exactly that; rumors. You didn't clear Special:NewPages singlehandedly (at least the second time); what the hell do you think I was doing that day? (answer; I patrolled around 300 pages). I've got 9 times more pages patrolled than you do in the past several months, so I've felt it 9 times harder than you. Don't project narcissism onto me; poisoning the well isn't a very effective way to attack my points. Try again, and see if you can come up with a real argument this time. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 05:13, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
It wasn't narcissism; I was simply pointing out that those opposing you are not ignoring the problem of burnout at Special:NewPages - we know how you feel. What I was trying to say was "trust me, the wiki will not burn down if you take a few days off". Ironholds (talk) 05:31, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, that was a bit of an overreaction; I'm up a little past my bedtime here. I'll check back in sometime tomorrow when I'm (hopefully) a bit more sane and try again. These occasions remind that my PDD-NOS interferes with reading between the lines. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 05:42, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Jalexander. --Yair rand (talk) 06:46, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  • WikiLifeCycle, Stage 27 (GatedCommunity). --Kim Bruning (talk) 10:18, 25 March 2011 (UTC) to NameTheConflict
  • Support "The encyclopedia that anyone can edit" does not necessarily mean "The encyclopedia that anyone can create a new article in" to me. I don't want to inhibit new editors just finding their legs, but I honestly think that at least some experience editing is necessary before making that first step in creating your first article. (take my opinion with a grain of salt, however; 36,776 in five years, and I've created exactly 0 articles) EVula // talk // // 17:11, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Support. I believe in Wikipedia, but I don't like the people that run it. They treat new users as enemies instead of friends. So I'm supporting this idea knowing it will reduce the in flow of new users. I'm hoping this will help bring about Wikipedia's demise. Then maybe the people that run things will realize the importance of new users.

You do realise that the hope of many supporters is that this change would make it feasible for new users to be given more support, with less time spent cleaning up through deletion and tagging (cleanup which scares many off)? Rd232 talk 18:46, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
It seems to be a counter-productive goal anyway... killing Wikipedia wouldn't fix the BITEy problem. It's a sarcastic/satirical oppose !vote. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 21:43, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree with you; I, too, believe in Wikipedia but I don't like the people who run it. And as soon as I figure out who belongs to this shadowy clique running things, I'm going to give them a piece of my mind! (Obviously. you & I aren't part of this group running things.) -- llywrch (talk) 05:27, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Jalexander. This is just going to exacerbate the problem in the long term, not make it better. Kaldari (talk) 20:31, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Jalexander. The data we have indicates that a move like this would likely be lethal to the community - perhaps in as short a timeframe as 8 months.--Jorm (WMF) (talk) 21:35, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
    What data would that be? The data that I've seen show that the vast majority of new users who start out by creating articles have a negative experience (~80%) and then leave the project. The new users who start out by editing existing pages (and who outnumber the article creators by ~3:1) tend to have much better experiences. Mr.Z-man 22:06, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
    Can you show me where that data is? I can't seem to find it though I've seen the statistics (the 80% one especially) mentioned multiple times (not at all saying it doesn't exist I just haven't found it yet). I'll post the table below in the analysis section so as not to clutter this but as I was trying to collate data I came across the % of editors who make more then 10 edits. Of all users (who made at least one edit) less then 20% ever make 10 edits (about 60% only make 1 or 2 edits) and as I shared in my !vote above that 19.4% does so very slowly. We've learned in basically everything we do that people leave very quickly and I don't see how moving people to AfC will help that. Making an article that sits there without feed back (or gets deleted) is no better for the user then making it in Main Space, perhaps worse. Jalexander--WMF 23:04, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
    My data is at User:Mr.Z-man/newusers. The problem with your analysis is that it assumes all or most new users want to create new articles, which isn't actually the case. Mr.Z-man 00:48, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
    Thank you very much! That was really interesting data (you can see some of my analysis of it below) I'd be really interested to see updated stats. Looking at it though I would stand by what I said, it looks like 1/3 of new users created an article as their first edit (who knows how many of the other users created an article within 10 edits) but 1/3 of new users is a HUGE portion of users and in no way insignificant or small. Jalexander--WMF 22:19, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support: I think the constant stream of crap Wikipedia's been recieving in the last few years is getting worse. The encyclopedia's reputation as a reputable reference hasn't really increased much in the last decade, and I'm constantly seeing newbies whine when exposed to our standards "this is why WP is crap/unreliable/etc. and I'm leaving because you didn't want to keep my crappy page about something unnotable". I think it's generally recognized that the project has a very long way yet to go to become the "sum total of human knowledge" (especially IRT to systemic bias), but we've really hit most of the essential subjects pretty hard, and we have less a need for quantity and more for quality. That means we need editors who are invested, and less stock in the number of fly-by editors who contribute little. Thusly, it is my opinion that an editor who quits over having to wait a few days and get a bit of experience before creating an article is probably not the kind of editor who will contribute effectively to the project anyway. I know I'm generalizing, and some editors have longer learning curves than others, but I think the point still stands. And of course, this seems to fly in the face of my eventualist ideals ("baha, the crummy articles will get deleted no matter what, so why have to prevent them from getting created"), but I have to counter that the impact on a new editor to getting an article deleted is probably worse than being prevented in the first place, and the latter has the advantage of being automatic (i.e. without wasting the time of editors and sucking up gigabytes of data). In any case, I think the predicted "lethality" is terribly exaggerated.
TLDR? I'm not troubled by the idea that the community is shrinking (especially in comparison to the quality of articles and depth of coverage Wikipedia has), and I don't think this proposal will cost us many quality editors. We need better edits more than we need more articles. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 21:43, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
That's what is known in critical thinking as a "false dichotomy". The choice is not cut and dry between good edits and new articles. Lots of users start off by writing an article about something, and we then have the possibility of turning them into good members of the community. If we disenchant them immediately by not indulging their first effort (to write an article) the chance of turning them into a long-term contributor hovers around zero. The choice is not between new articles and good edits; we can get the writers of new articles to make good edits. But not if we shut the door on them. Ironholds (talk) 23:09, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
"If we disenchant them immediately by not indulging their first effort" - yes, we should support new editors writing new articles, especially if they have zero experience. The question is whether the BITEy CSD+tag-emphasising status quo is actually a good way of supporting them, especially with an eye on making them feel welcomed by the community. In fact the status quo does not seem reasonably characterised as "indulging", it's much more "here's a car, here's the keys, what do you mean 'driving lesson', anyone can drive". Rd232 talk 01:26, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
Ollie, I think you missed my second-to-last sentance. If they are gonna get disenchanted by having to be autoconfirmed, then they will be disenchanted by having thier first article deleted. Either way, we lose a potential editor (and probability states it's not going to be a lot of potential anyway), but this way reduces the damages while we get to that point. I'll restate that I don't think the kind of editor who would try to write a quality article, be denied because he or she isn't autoconfirmed, and then say "oh, well, one strike and Wikipedia is out" probably isn't going to be able to someone who will do great things for the project (it demonstrates a considerable lack of maturity and patience that even mentoring and choaching just won't be able to fix). I think that EVula's comment says it more eloquently than I can. I'm basically saying that the false dilemma is yours in asserting that we can fix people who throw a hissy fit over a denial of immediate gratification, and that denying them the chance is going to be a huge blow. There are plenty of ways to get that gratification without creating a whole new article, and anyone with the sense to learn our community standards, MOS, and create an article that lives up to our minimums for inclusion isn't going to be put off by something so petty as a short waiting period. People who want to coach the wayward should certainly be commended, but the dividends for the effort spent in doing so (while also cleaning up the messes they leave behind) aren't worth the few diamonds in the rough. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 18:01, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose - Serves no purpose other than to further confuse and hinder new contributors. Welcome to Wikipedia, the encyclopedia you just might be able to edit! Juliancolton (talk) 22:23, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
    • ?? What the status quo gets us is lots of (a) immediate turnoff (b) very shallow engagement over one article (c) tiny, tiny fraction of new editors turned into Wikipedians. In essence, systematically handing newcomers the keys to a car they don't know how to drive is not working in terms of producing competent drivers in substantial numbers. We ought to be able to do better on that score by finding ways to give more support to newcomers (which includes this proposal of not allowing them to immediately drive solo and almost certainly crash, burn, and leave). We may indeed get fewer people getting in the car, but we'll get a greater number of competent drivers, and that's what really matters. Rd232 talk 22:28, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
      • I was by no means a knowledgeable or skilled Wikipedia editor when I started editing, but I did so because I was able to create articles immediately – even though most of them were summarily deleted or merged or something. The word wiki itself literally means "fast", which means as much as possible should be able to be completed and viewed immediately... putting speedbumps on things undermines the foundation on which wikis are built. Juliancolton (talk) 01:51, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
        • Then you are in a tiny minority. From data last year, less than 1% of new users who created an article and had it deleted were still editing a few months later. Mr.Z-man 02:39, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
          • How many people who didn't create an article as part of their first few edits were still around several months later? Juliancolton (talk) 02:55, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
          • Given Mr. Z-man's stats it appears for last February it was 1.85% stayed if you created an article first and 2.63% stayed if you did not create a page first. That's including deleted and non deleted. If you do just edits that were not deleted it's actually really interesting because 3% of people who created a page first stayed while 2.69% of people who did not create a page stayed. Jalexander--WMF 03:17, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Provisional Support. While I'm sympathetic to the concerns Ironholds and Jalexander express, we have yet to be shown any data that actually demonstrates that the losses from requiring new editors to introduce themselves to wikipedia before starting an article would be greater than the losses we currently experience from new users creating, getting deleted, feeling bitten, and buggering off. If the Foundation or any of our resident data wranglers can provide some evidence for the doom-and-gloom "death of the wiki" scenario Jorm and Jalexander predict, I'm more than willing to be persuaded - I doubt they're opposing so strongly just for fun - but as it stands, we have historical evidence for "new users who create crappy new pages drop out fast" and none being presented for "omg the world is going to end if we make them do ten edits first."

    This proposal could easily be implemented with an approach such as,

    Welcome to Wikipedia! We require new users to have some familiarity with how Wikipedia works before they can create something from scratch. To do this, we suggest you try [link to gnomish thing] or [link to easy thing]. You'll need to have carried out ten edits before you can create a new article, but if you don't want to wait, you can suggest your idea at WP:AFC.

    This would keep users from feeling bitten, give them a timeline for when they can create an article, and give them some constructive suggestions for where their first ten edits could be useful. Foundation folk, could you please provide some sort of data that an approach like this is going to cause users to run away rather than feel welcomed? A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 23:23, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

ETA: It's been pointed out to me that autoconfirmation isn't, as I thought, ten edits OR four days, but is in fact ten edits AND four daya. Given that, I find it a bit more believable that users who are asked to autoconfirm before being able to do their work might throw up their hands and leave. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 23:43, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Really? Have you never seen people play Farmville? Even the ADD internet generation has more patience than people seem to credit. Rd232 talk 00:12, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
Given how long it takes people who DO reach 10 edits to get there (you can see the graph here "New Wikipedian" means 10 edits) this is certainly one of my concerns combined with the amount of editors that don't reach it at all (see below). Jalexander--WMF 02:25, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but it isn't obvious how that is of any relevance. You're analysing all editors and claiming that tells you something about whether a tiny subgroup (new editors who want to create new articles) are going to be put off from creating articles by being forced to go through a process where they get more support, until they reach a (low) minimum threshold of edits. That a large proportion of "all editors" don't reach that threshold or only reach it slowly proves nothing whatsoever. Nothing whatsoever. Rd232 talk 11:04, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Soft support Help to decrease the CSD, PROD backlogs, but it is a bit WP:BITEy. And, making the autoconfirmation required will only encourage more vandalistic edits for people to bring up their edit count to the limit. — Train2104 (talk • contribs • count) 23:45, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose Wikipedia shouldn't even require registration for creating new articles (there's a lot of evidence that has slowed Wikipedia's growth) much less impose additional requirements. (talk) 02:51, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
Question - Could you link to this evidence please, so we can take it into account?--Physics is all gnomes (talk) 15:25, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support The greater interaction with new editor should offset any negatives. However, the wizard still need the following improvements:
    Follow the Writing for the Web guidelines. Use bold, underline, and lists liberally and keep it short.
    Add a panic IRC button. Log points where users get stuck in a Google Spreadsheet or on wiki.
    Provide alternatives (copy editing, image uploading, illustrating, etc.) that an editor can do instead.
    Dispenser 06:38, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support: I have been clamoring for this for years. Creating proper articles is the hardest thing to do correctly at Wikipedia. Users should be encouraged to learn how to do so first, and autoconfirmation would at least require users to have a bare minimum understanding of how Wikipedia works before diving headfirst into what amounts to the hardest thing there is to do. It doesn't seem unreasonable that users get familiar with wikipedia's core policies and guidelines (which 4 days would give them time to read) or have a passing familiarity with the Wikimarkup (which 10 edits would allow them to gain) before creating new articles. --Jayron32 16:05, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support I think this can be a useful part of a solution to improving the quality of Wikipedia while continuing to bring new editors in. -- Donald Albury 16:16, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment All the people that have commented in this thread are very dedicated to the project and all are fine examples of the type of people we want to attract. I'm wondering if people remember what it is like to be a new wikipedian? Or how long it took them to reach autoconfirmation status? Here's a small sample just so we realize what we are truly asking for in this proposal.
User (first contribs) Days to reach autoconfirmation status
Bobrayner 1732
John Vandenberg 573
Silver seren 178
Johnuniq 101
Pgallert 99
Donald Albury 65
SmokeyJoe 44
Mr.Z-man 36
Sgeureka 30
Yoenit 26
WhatamIdoing 22
EVula 20 (talk) 19:31, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

And your point is? This is utterly irrelevant to the issue of whether requiring non-auto-confirmed users to go through AFC (or possibly the Article Wizard) is better than the status quo of giving people who can't drive the keys to a Ferrari and an encouraging "anyone can drive! off you go" remark. How long people remain unable to drive on average simply has no bearing whatsoever on whether you should allow people to drive, unaided, when they have zero experience. Rd232 talk 20:02, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
And how long did it take each of those users to decide to create a new article before they would have been autoconfirmed? Excluding redirects, only 3 of the users in that list created an article in their first 50 edits. Pgallert created an article on his 23rd edit, after having been here for several months, I created one in my 38th edit after being here for around a year (and that was 2006, when standards were lower), and another user created an article in one of his first few edits that was speedy deleted. So if anything, that table just establishes that users who wait before creating a new article are better off. Mr.Z-man 20:29, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
...and that's why the graph is going down. If it wasn't obvious, I was trying to help people understand what's going on here. Well, that's what I get for trying to help. I'm out of here. (talk) 21:29, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
For myself, it looks like the first article that I created was about four months after my first edit (which, by the way, was about six months after I created the account). I'd probably made about 100 edits before creating my first page (not counting a small number of minor edits as an IP). Editing existing articles before creating new ones appears to be one path towards long-term involvement. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:20, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose This is a bad idea. We shouldn't be trying to me exclusive. Cbrown1023 talk 22:07, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
    • I'm starting to get irritated by the thoughtless, kneejerk opposes that seem to have zero thought going into them. Are you people against driving licences and driving instructors too? Anyone can drive - yes, but not without a minimum of support and experience. Don't you guys understand that the status quo doesn't work? The definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Let's try something different now. Rd232 talk 22:42, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
      • Actually, the definition of madness is jumping on to "something different" when its only apparent benefits are that it's not what we've been doing. Ironholds (talk) 22:47, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
        • If what we're doing isn't working, I don't think it's particularly mad to try something different, Ironholds. It may or may not improve the situation, but it's not mad to want to try it. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 22:57, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
        • "when its only apparent benefits are that it's not what we've been doing" - yes, that would be bad. Fortunately that doesn't describe this proposal. Rd232 talk 23:00, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
      • (edit conflict with Ironholds)I'm sorry? I have yet to see that this is in anyway better. The status quo doesn't work (and the biggest problem I see is that our ability to hold onto new users is dieing rapidly) but everything I can see says this proposal is the knee jerk reaction that would make it much worse. I see no reason to believe this would help new users or the project in the long term and I see many reasons that it would hurt both. I don't think the "anyone can drive" analogy totally works, The risk to the project of letting people "crash" is small, the benefit in helping them learn from that crash great. Forcing them to move into AfC where everything would point to a large backlog (and they will get little to no immediate feedback) does not help the situation. Jalexander--WMF 23:04, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
        • "...the benefit in helping them learn from that crash great". Well, there's the rub, isn't it. Currently we have no infrastructure in place to be helping them learn from that crash (the new incubator project is an interesting suggestion, but I don't think it can handle anything near the volume required). So the question is, do we let them crash and burn, or do we keep them from being able to start the car in the first place until they've either completed driver's ed or decided that they don't really want to drive that much anyway? Both positions are reasonable, and the clash here seems to be that each side is convinced that their proposal mitigates harm the most. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 23:09, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
          Aye the problem I have at the moment is that I am deeply concerned that this proposal is actually far worse then the status quo. That it is more of a "The newbies are getting bitten so we should get rid of the newbies" type proposal. I know that is not everyones intention but I do not see the current suggestions playing out (I think the general evidence points to AfC not being able to handle an influx like this for example). There is a reason that only 5 other WMF projects even stop anonymous page creation (and not a single one stops autoconfirmed page creation) and I haven't even seen evidence to say that helped anything on en. Changes like doing all new page patrol from the back (rather then the front) and making our templates a lot calmer (have you ever seen a speedy template, it's SCARY! I'd leave if that was the first thing I got too) would be a lot more helpful I think. I was told yesterday by a New Page Patroler that if a page has existed for at least 10 minutes and he didn't think it was ready then it should be tagged for deletion. A new user writing an article within our policies in just 10 minutes!? That's crazy in my mind and I see no harm in that being in the main space. If an article is harming our reputation or the project it is generally because lots of people are looking for it/viewing it, if that is the case people will start helping to fix the article very quickly. If no one is expanding the article it's because very few if anyone is SEEING the article and in most cases allowing the user some time is fine. Jalexander--WMF 23:20, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
          "If an article is harming our reputation or the project it is generally because lots of people are looking for it/viewing it, if that is the case people will start helping to fix the article very quickly. " - sorry, but that's a bit naive, particularly when it comes to the potential harm BLPs of non-notable people, and spam. I had suggested a while back that new articles should be NOINDEXed for a a day or two - that would take some of the pressure off NPP trigger fingers. Rd232 talk 23:45, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
          I certainly wouldn't have a personal problem with noindex for a couple days though I'm not totally sure it would take the NPP pressure off. Attack pages and negative BLPs have significant issues but I think that giving a bit of time to put a claim of notability on there isn't a bad thing (10 minutes is far to short). Spam is ugly and annoying but again I think the harm of it lasting a bit longer is over estimated. Spam links etc are already no follow (all of our external links are). I don't know what percentage "emergency" tags/deletions make up but I feel that, at least what I've seen anecdotally, most could be passed over for a bit to give the user more time. Jalexander--WMF 00:08, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
        • (e/c)Great, all we have to do is educate the all the thousands of new users who come here and create pages that get deleted. In an ideal world that's exactly what we'd do. Unfortunately, we live in the real world. Users are not learning on their own from their mistakes; they're getting frustrated and leaving. To use my stats from last year, if we assume that only half of the new users creating pages were doing so as a serious attempt to contribute (and not vandalize, spam, test, etc.) and we could actually distinguish between them, we'd have to be educating something like 180 new users per day every day. This is of course, in addition to the current NPP workload. In any case, your arguments still seem to be based on the assumption that most new users want to create articles, which I've yet to see any basis for in fact, but a fair amount of evidence to the contrary. Mr.Z-man 23:24, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
          • From what your stats say 1/4-1/3 of them DO want to create an article or page first (1/4 article 1/3 page in general). That is obviously not the majority but it is an enormously significant amount of users with 20-50% of those pages (20% article 50% total) being kept. That is again, an incredibly significant amount of articles and that's assuming all of the deletions were correct (and the keeps obviously). I don't think it's anything special to say that the majority of editors edit an existing page first, given that most editors are reading the project that makes total sense. The statistics however say that an enormously significant amount DO want to make that page (especially when you take into account the fact that so many are reading the project). We don't help by saying "I just don't have the time to educate them, so get rid of them" we have to find better ways to educate them. The problem at the moment is that I don't see the proposal helping anything the two most like responses are:
            • The added difficulty makes a lot of users give up, we bite new users less because there are less around (in this way madness lies)
            • The added difficulty does not make users give up, we find a good way to funnel them all to AfC or some other system that becomes an overloaded, stressed, understaffed spot where new users get bitten at least as much. This just sounds like NPP all over again. Jalexander--WMF 23:49, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
              • I'm not saying it's not a significant amount, I'm just saying that all the doom and gloom predictions about how new users not being able to create new articles will result in the, almost immediate, death of the project seem to have little basis in fact. Even if 100% of the people who come here to create an article (I'm excluding non-mainspace pages, as there seems to be a significant amount of support for exempting them) give up as a result of this, we'd only lose about 15% of new users. That would be bad, but it would hardly kill the community. What we should be doing is dropping the nonsensical quantity over quality mentality that stopped making sense years ago and instead of funneling them directly to AFC, trying to encourage them to contribute to an existing page. Something like "Hey, we have 3.6 million articles already, maybe one of them will be a better place to put those 3 sentences you want to add than in a new page" (but nicer, of course :P). An article about a sports player? Why not put it in an article about the team or season (which almost certainly already exists)? An article about a song? Why not put it in the article about the album its on? Then we don't have to have to spend as much time educating them (since editing an existing article is far easier) and we can devote more time to helping those new users who really really want to create a new article. Just because something can be in a standalone article doesn't mean it has to be. By encouraging people to put everything into its own permastub article, we're not only doing a disservice to new users by making it difficult to get started editing, we're doing a disservice to readers by spreading similar information across lots of articles with lots of redundancy. Mr.Z-man 00:20, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Some very good points. I'm starting to think though that this discussion is spilling the bounds of manageability and becoming TLDR for newcomers to it. Maybe we should try again with a separate RFC with some well thought out Views for people to endorse, rather than this straw poll-ish format. Rd232 talk 07:12, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

  • Comment. I don't have the time nor energy to do the soul-searching needed to come up with a position on this, it's quite a difficult issue. However, I'd encourage everyone to have a think about how their bold position summary is interpreted. Every single person who has given a "support" summary has done so as a simple support, apart from one soft support, which I'd interpret as a "weak support". Of the opponents, we have seven simple oppose statements, and then three people who strong[ly] opposed and four who felt the need to declare it a strongest possible oppose. If I were reviewing such a discussion as this, coming closer to the front of my mind with every instance would be the principle that the "strength" of an argument is determined entirely by its quality and depth, and not at all by how forcefully it is presented. There is absolutely no benefit, to my mind, in asserting in big bold letters that your argument is strong, because that is a non-sequitur: you might feel particularly strongly about an issue, but that is irrelevant if your arguments are weak; conversely if your arguments are strong you should have no need to resort to hyperbole to convey them. Happymelon 21:08, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
Thank you, after reading through this, this is really bothering me too. It's worth pointing out that the whole "strong/weak" thing is simply meant to convey how cemented one's opinion is. It's not meant to magically add more weight to an argument (or even a vote); I feel a lot of users seem to be under the impression that this is the case. --Dorsal Axe 17:47, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Could this same argument ("absolutely no benefit", "irrelevant", "no need to resort to hyperbole") be applied to people who add colors to their signature? - DavidWBrooks (talk) 17:54, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
While there is no doubt that the important part in your argument (though of course in the end everyone will start bringing up support %s) I don't think there is anything wrong or problematic with people using expressing things differently. I know in my case (obviously bias) I didn't feel it meant anything about the strength of my argument. It was the strength of my feeling, I see the proposal as a serious threat against the long term survival of the project (as I believe some on the other side see it the opposite) and it was important to me to show that it wasn't just an "everyday" oppose in my mind. Does that mean I can't be proven otherwise or that if my argument isn't good enough it doesn't matter? Of course not. Jalexander--WMF 03:50, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I was going to make some comments on "encyclopedia vs community" and some other hopefully insightful comments, but idiots like this have made me decide otherwise, which is why I do not trust anyone who is not autoconfirmed. Support. –MuZemike 18:13, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
I'll make one comment: the fact that "anyone can edit" is a double-edged sword – we let anyone with good intentions edit, but we let the morons edit (or otherwise vandalize) as well. –MuZemike 18:21, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I'd certainly be interested in your "encyclopedia vs community" comments. I think they would be more convincing then the analysis that "this ip vandalized an existing page, therefore we need to stop non autoconfirmed accounts from creating pages". Personally I think that we have to always remember that the project (the encyclopedia) is a community and if we lose sight of that or that communities dies that the project itself will die. I think the problem is that setting up more hoops is likely to just make those "with good intentions" shrug and move on. The vandals and spammers are just going to wait or find some other way to do it as happened when we tried to prevent move vandalism by adding 4 days to autoapproved. Is it really better for attacks to be made on existing pages, where they are far more likely to be missed, then on new pages where people are looking?. Jalexander--WMF 03:38, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
    First off, I'm going to strike my "support" there as that was more out of frustration than anything. I mean, I suppose my problems are more based on my experiences so far; some of us tend to deal with more of the nasty users than others, and that could be very well affecting my opinions on who should edit what. –MuZemike 19:35, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. A welcoming attitude and assumptions of good faith don't preclude insisting that new editors have some idea what they're doing before adding new articles. I didn't begin my existence here by trying to create a new article, but if I had, I certainly wouldn't have been offended if I'd been required to wait a bit and jump through a reasonable hoop or two before trying it. Editor retention is a concern, but it's clueful editor retention that is critical to the success of the project. Rivertorch (talk) 18:06, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong Support for requiring autoconfirmation to create articles. I would also propose increasing edits from 10 to 50 to be autoconfirmed. I see too many crap vandalism edits by people that state they just want to get in their ten so they can create an article on how hot their girlfriend is. I also prefer the AFC process. All this is moot if we don't formulate a clear and concise proposal to indicate what everybody is recommending here. Too many talking points. Separate each one and determine according to consensus on each point, what will be presented as a final proposal.
  • Autoconfirmed (Oppose/Support);
  • Increase number of edits to achieve autoconfirmation (Oppose/Support);
  • Mainspace preapproval (choose one)
  • Require AFC (Oppose/Support);
  • Require Article Wizard (Oppose/Support);
  • No preapproval (Oppose/Support);
  • Pending changes (Oppose/Support);
  • Other talking points?

Cind.amuse 02:58, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

  • Strong Support There's far too many new editors diving in creating poor pages, basically due to their lack of understanding of Wikipedia policies - because they have dived in, no one has got round to giving them a welcome template with some guidelines - so the page soon gets deleted for A1 or A3 or A7, and they never edit again. For example there was one editor yesterday who created a dozen or so articles, where the only content was to add a Category (and that was a red link), so that user then received a shed load of CSD messages - I'll wager he won't return. Making the need for autoconfirmation to create articles, would help to ensure that the editor has some knowledge of how Wikipedia works.  Ronhjones  (Talk) 20:49, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment. The ironic thing is that this user was editing in his role as student coordinator with Ball State University's "Digital Literacy" course and serves as a guide for other students in teaching them how to edit on Wikipedia. I reached out to this editor, along with his professor, presented an overview of the Public Policy Initiative, and invited them to become involved with the program. I am now working with the professor and 40 students in a mentorship role. Since their course is almost complete (two weeks left), I am working with them apart from the PPI program. Over the next couple of weeks, they will be posting their new articles, as an example of what they have learned in the classroom and off Wikipedia. It should be interesting. They will be participating with the Campus Ambassador program in an official capacity next quarter. If anyone is interested, we could certainly use more Online Ambassadors. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Cind.amuse 10:56, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong Support Per RonHJones - I can't say it any better myself. - BilCat (talk) 21:11, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Weak Support. As much as I would like to give new users a chance, and the fact that there are some good articles created by non-autoconfirmed users, the vast majority of articles created by non-autoconfirmed users are deleted. While this can be attributed to their lack of understanding of our policies, most of it is junk anyway. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 11:28, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. No way. Too many users' first edits are creating a new page. Stickee (talk) 02:24, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. Apuldram (talk) 08:19, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Oh my, strong support. A bit of RC patrol shows that so many new pages are made by users who have just signed up. These range from new bands to planned Third Intifadas. Since the criteria for autoconfirmed status is four days and ten edits, I really don't see how this would harm new user retention (per the "deletion is bitey" argument). It would also mean that new users would have to acclimatise themselves to the encyclopedia and get at least a rudimentary idea of what it's all about. Less work to do for established editors, less bloat and spam slipping through the net, new users don't get their house knocked down before it's built (if they decide that their house is appropriate anyway) so they stick around longer, unteachable (or angry) new users lose interest and go away. Good for users, good for the encyclopedia, good for newcomers. As a mature encyclopedia, new page creation isn't the bulk of what needs doing, so I don't see why people should need to create pages from day one. As an aside, my early edits were poor and unencyclopedic but by the time I'd made a few that took my fancy I think I was approaching something close to competence. Also a shoutout of thanks to User:Tetracube, whose signature after my welcome template meant that I had someone I could ask if I needed help. Brammers (talk/c) 12:28, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment: Speaking to the question I have some suggestions that are so simple that they will probably be mocked for being simple-minded. Please keep in mind that I suffered through the cycle of recommended early deletion, learning through failure while creating my first new pages, etc. I am also a retired writing instructor and professional writer with a 30 year publication history. And although I love to write on my computer, I am not a computer-oriented type.
  • 1) Lighten up the load on New Page Patrol by diverting newly created pages by trusted editors away from the list. In my case alone, a Trustee Editor designation would have saved New Page Patrol about a week's work over the last two and a half years, and I am only a single contributor. Once the load on New Page Patrol is lightened, the remaining articles they patrol can receive a lot more attention.
  • 2) Don't require the newbies master wiki-editing right away. Coach them through learning to write in Wikipedia's style first while their maiden efforts are edited. Once hooked on the thrill of seeing their words in print, they will be encouraged to pick up wiki-editing.
  • 3) Award every rookie contributor who completes an initial article a "New Editor's Barnstar", whether his/her article is retained or deleted.
  • 4) Recognize the difference between editors and writers. There are centuries of literary and journalistic history to teach us the two roles are vastly different. The present Wikipedia mindset that there are only "editors", and that they must be capable of wiki-editing, scripting, designing/running bots, etc. as well as writing is ridiculous. Many of your rookies could be content to be writers; others may gravitate towards one or more of the editing tasks. However, they have to be encouraged to stick around to get to this point.

Georgejdorner (talk) 16:33, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

I like those suggestions; I'd be surprised if someone mocked you for them. For suggestion one, does the autopatrolled user right fit the bill? Admittedly one of the criteria (50+ articles created) seems a bit steep, but there was something about that discussed last month, and how a dozen or so would be a reasonable number. I also like the coaching idea, although this requires an ample number of coaches and a great deal of willingness on part of the new users (hang on – I'm seeing the advantages here...). The barnstar idea would also be pretty cool, making the carrot:stick ratio that new users are exposed to much greater. I'd suggest that this would be awarded only to those who had undergone coaching. And I agree with you on part 4: I know someone who has been a journalist all his life. He happily fixes spelling and rewrites sections, but all the square brackets and pipes deter him from dipping in any further. Regards, Brammers (talk/c) 17:31, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose I'd be comfortable with "all non-autoconfirmed users must go through AfC, rather than creating the article directly" but not just a flicking of the off switch. Sven Manguard Wha? 00:23, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
    • Why does that translate as "oppose"? Most if not all of the supporters of the proposal want that. Rd232 talk 13:56, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Support An excellent proposal, long overdue. Basket of Puppies 00:58, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose I registered an account here simply to create an article on Shovel racing. I think it turned out ok and I decided to stick around afterwards. I'd like to see others have that same opportunity. Qrsdogg (talk) 05:06, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
    • They will, going via AFC or possibly Article Wizard or else doing some other edits first. Rd232 talk 13:56, 3 April 2011 (UTC)


The primary concerns here seem to be

  1. Getting lots of new articles created. (It's agreed this is a lower priority than it was a decade ago, relative to maintenance and quality improvement of existing articles, but it's still an issue.)
  2. Converting new article creators into Wikipedians - i.e. editors with an interest beyond their article.

Now, some historical perspective. Back when Wikipedia was starting off, and for long after, a lot of articles were started by editors who did nothing (or very little) beyond editing the articles they created. They came, they created, they buggered off - and that was OK, because the standards generally were much lower and kicking an article off was better than nothing, and enough people were getting more substantially involved as Wikipedians that this didn't matter. The model was focussed on 1. rather than 2., and it worked fairly well.

Now the vast majority of articles created by newcomers are rapidly deleted (and much of the rest need a lot of work). That's partly just a function of the fact that so many notable, easily-sourced topics have now already been covered. Now we need a lot more emphasis on 2. - the conversion of casual editors and would-be editors into Wikipedians, drawing them into the community. The question is simple: is the best way to do this by slapping a lot of these people in the face when their efforts are inadequate or unacceptable (through speedy deletion and various tags)? Or is the best way to say to them "whoa, you can drive solo in 4 days, but first, let's give you some support so you don't crash and burn first time out"? And if we give this support during the article creation process, won't that help 1. as well, by ensuring we get more articles that are not deleted and not borderline-deletable crap? Rd232 talk 13:43, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Some users have been working parallel to all these NPP issues for a couple of months. For their recent developments seeUser talk:Snottywong#NPP and then User:Snottywong/Patrollers. --Kudpung (talk) 17:49, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I mentioned this above in my response to Z-man (under Jorm's !vote) and wanted to include the data here (from about 1/3 of the way down). In the table "Wikipedians" are all users who have made at least 1 edit (hence why 100% of users in the table made an edit). You notice of course how quickly it drops off, only around 40% make 3 edits, only about 19% reach the 10 edit auto-confirmed threshold. This is my biggest worry, if we do not support them at the start we are losing them and I do not see this proposal helping. Even if we assume that we can siphon them all to AfC I see no reason not to believe that they will just create pages there that generally get little to no feedback (especially before they give up and leave) and/or get deleted. The added backlog that will go to AfC is FAR from small. Jalexander--WMF 23:28, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Edits >= Wikipedians Percentage
1 3434408 100.0%
3 1387363 40.4%
10 667570 19.4%
32 260945 7.6%
100 106814 3.1%
316 46728 1.4%
1000 20851 0.6%
3162 8420 0.2%
10000 2506 0.1%
31623 473 0.0%
100000 40 0.0%
316228 5 0.0%
  • Aha, numbers! I still think that stemming the tide of new-user article creations is a good idea, but I understand your concerns a bit better now. I wonder if there's some sort of compromise possible here where we can up the conversion from first-editor to autoconfirmed-editor so that requiring autoconfirmation for article creation isn't such an onerous burden. Jalexander, do you think any difference could be made in the conversion rate if new users were welcomed in a way that gave them direction? As it is, you create an account and you just kind of flounder. Maybe you get a welcome template linking you to the rules, maybe you don't, but either way, you don't really know what you can do, and pulling ten edits out of your ass just so you can do something else sounds kind of farfetched. I'm imaging a system where new users are provided with links to stuff that needs to be done ("Do you like grammar? Here are articles that need to be copyedited! How are your language skills? Here are some things we need translated!"). A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 23:52, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
    Yes, we could use more guidance on gnoming and learning curve stuff (at one time I tried to get guidance for that on the Main Page...). There's always the Article Wizard option below - any thoughts on that? Rd232 talk 00:19, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
    Currently, we are testing a new version of the account creation landing pages as part of Outreach:Account Creation Improvement Project/Testing content. We should add a "panic" button to let users jump back to the tasks list. — Dispenser 05:42, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
Question about the data: What's the definition of 'Wikipedian' in this dataset? Are these registered users, or does it include IPs? WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:40, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
This is just registered users who made at least 1 edit (hence why 100% made 1 edit). Figuring out "who" an IP is is very difficult, especially in an automated fashion, because of dynamic IPs. Jalexander--WMF 03:42, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
Oh, good.
Now for the more complicated (values-based) question: Say I'm a new account. I write a new article on my non-notable business, WhatamIdoing's Gas Station (Fourth and Main Streets, Timbuktu). I make a handful of edits to this page. I never edit any other article. Once I'm happy with it, I never even look at it again (thus I don't know if it get deleted).
Is the English Wikipedia actually better off in this situation, than if I'd never edited anything? That is, we have "one new editor" in the stats, but do we actually have "one new community member"? And is it the account creation stats that determines the success of the project, or is it the participation of community members?
Can you run these numbers again, but give us numbers for registered who have ever edited more than one page in the main namespace? (That is, people who might actually have become Wikipedians, rather than advertorialists?) WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:58, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
I would love to get numbers on those stats and I'm certainly trying to get more. Unfortunately they aren't all as easy to find or create as I would like (the amount of raw data to wade through is enormous). I was lucky enough to find these in the stats that were already created and updated. I'm trying to post everything I find though (both for and against my point) so that it's available though. I'll let you know if I can get what you're asking for. Jalexander--WMF 22:16, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Mr.Z-man provided a link to some great statistics he ran last year that I wanted to share here with some of my concerns. You can find his data in his user space and I'll put some of the stats here (most of which are calculated from his data and not specifically mentioned on that page). All of these statistics were using Accounts created in February 2010 and "Not-gone" or "Gone"(users who stayed or didn't) is after about 6 months from what I can tell (Mr.Z-man can correct me). Jalexander--WMF 22:16, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
Created page first Edited existing page first Total new editors
21366 43441 64807
% creating page first % editing existing page first Total
32.96% 67.03% 100%
  • It's quite clear that only about 1/3 of all users editing an existing page first but I'm not sure that's a huge surprise. There are obviously a lot of existing pages and many (obviously most) users would first edit by wanting to change something there. That said 1/3 of users is incredibly significant (in this month still over 21000 accounts) and actions targeting that group have a significant impact on the project as a whole.
created page (deleted) Created page (not deleted) Total
11126 10240 21366
% of pages deleted % of pages kept Total
52% 48% 100%
  • This was very interesting. If you dig into the data a bit deeper it does look like about 80% of article space pages were deleted but only about 50% of pages in general were deleted. Those other pages were obviously not main space (I would imagine most were User space but could also be Project space or talk pages)
% who stayed after page deletion % who stayed after page kept
.39% 2.99%
% who stayed after first edit deletion % who stayed after first edit kept
.82% 2.62%
  • This was another interesting stat. Clearly if your first edit or page was deleted you are far more likely to stay but otherwise the likely hood of you staying is about the same (even a bit higher if you created a page first). This is for all types of pages, if you count only Article pages the percent is actually 4.6%.

These stats are all about 6 months-a year old. I would be very interested to see stats for more recent accounts. I'm going to ask Mr.Z-man if that's possible (either with another run of the script or if it takes too much time sharing the script). My biggest concern is I see no reason to believe that by closing article creation we are helping the situation. Even assuming all the legitimate pages will be created through AfC etc (remember we currently have a technical inability to stop people from JUST editing main space though I'm sure that can be worked around eventually) we are still putting a tremendous new weight on AfC and I do not see evidence to believe they would be supported by a lot of the New Page Patrollers. Jalexander--WMF 22:16, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

I'm planning to run it again for next February at the end of March (I can't do it until at least March 28 or the data will be thrown off by the fact that account creation is included in recent changes) and then again for the next several months to track the retention rate over time. If I have time before then, I also plan to expand it to the first 5 edits, and possibly track some more data. Mr.Z-man 22:40, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
Comment about statistics: We need some way to separate out multiple accounts that lok like separate Wikipedians but are actually either sockpuppets or legitimate alternate accounts. User:LadyofShalott-alt with only 4 edits is not auto-confirmed, but my main account certainly is. This skews the data to look like we have people being chased off who actually aren't. LadyofShalott 23:55, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
It certainly skews it some but I'm not sure if it skews it enough to have a statistically important impact on the data. The data already eliminates indef blocked users (which is going to eliminate most sockpuppets, at least the ones we can reliably track) We could look for the different alternate-account categories on the user page but not sure if it's worth it (it would require a fair bit more time for the script I think). Jalexander--WMF 00:12, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
I can't think of a good way to do it. Near-match on names won't work, because many of us (including myself) have had socks create "impersonation" accounts. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:16, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I've mentioned them above but just since we are keeping a lot of the analysis stuff here I wanted to post links to the Editor Trends Study and the Letter from Sue Gardner from last week which shows some of the concerns we have about the continued loss of new editors (and why even a 15-20% loss could be very significant and painful) Jalexander--WMF 04:23, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Losing 15–20% of new editors is only a problem if the lost editors are selected randomly. If we lost only editors who were going to quit after all of their edits were deleted or reverted anyway, then we've really lost nothing.
      Oddly, this parallels what I've been reading about breast cancer screening recently: Do you want to find the most cancers, or do you want to find dangerous cancers? A third of breast cancers are probably harmless. Current screening technology is unfortunately better at finding the harmless-but-technically-cancerous tumors than at finding the definitely-going-to-kill-you tumors. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:16, 28 March 2011 (UTC)


Some people are much concerned about the loss of instant gratification ("I want to have an article live on a global top ten website NOW - what do you mean I have to wait 4 days and get some support to make sure it isn't deleted in 5 minutes, oh well then I won't bother") - so what about the compromise mooted above several times: allow instant creation for non-autoconfirmed if going through the Article Wizard? What do people think of that? Rd232 talk 13:43, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

This, so called, wizard is not a wizard at all. It is just an adviser—a user still needs to create the page manually. Ruslik_Zero 17:56, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
The Article Wizard is precisely a Wizard (software), viz a user interface type that presents a user with a sequence of dialog boxes that lead the user through a series of well-defined steps. Tasks that are complex, infrequently performed, or unfamiliar may be easier to perform using a wizard. I mean I'd love to have a Version 3 of the Article Wizard which goes beyond the limitations of wikitext and uses Javascript to be more sophisticated and more helpful, and combined with a really working genuine WYSIWYG editor it would be even better, but that would take real development effort (maybe one day, WMF?). But really, I don't see how you can get away from "manually" - it is never going to be some kind of automatic article creation machine ("insert title, press enter..."). Rd232 talk 18:42, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
For disambiguation pages, I've made a tool which is fairly automatic. Just copy edit the results and group into appropriate sections in the customized WYSIWYM editor (wikEd). Admittedly, the constraints on disambiguation pages format make this task much easier than others. I am unsure if it was worth the effort, as fewer than 20 people have used it since it was announced in September. To justify a similar thing for AfC, I would expect 50-200 editors daily. — Dispenser 20:53, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
The fact the article wizard makes it pretty doesn't change the fact that the reason they're deleted is core to the articles: they're often just not notable in any way approaching wp:N. It can be properly formatted and categorized and wikilinked and include all the right templates... but it's still your brother's garage band. HominidMachinae (talk) 20:20, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Well this morning you asked for "a way to more gently guide new users into an understanding of WP:not and WP:n so that they see what they can and cannot create". The Wizard is intended to do just that. Rd232 talk 21:09, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I have some concerns but I like the Article Wizard at some level (even for experienced users ;) ) but I think the level of work required is being underestimated. The problem is that the Article Wizard as it stands can not be used how you are thinking, it is a wiki based tool that can not really be set up in a viable technical way to require people to go through it (or allow people to only create an article through it, they would require the 'createpage' ability). To do what you want would require what I believe would be a fairly extensive Extension and some very very real development time. I think finding ways to polish it and get it in front of new users much more would have better dividends for time invested. Jalexander--WMF 02:20, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
    If MediaWiki has technical impediments, we'll simply do it using edit filters and/or JavaScript. — Dispenser 05:31, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
    Are you suggesting that MediaWiki isn't all we need and more? Heresy. Killiondude (talk) 05:48, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
    I don't see why it's that difficult; you just need some way to kludge an exemption to the "non-auto-confirmed can't create pages" rule. That's not hard - in the "permission denied" code check the referrer URL to see if it's the Wizard [maybe taking the Wizard location from a MediaWiki: setting, to be slightly less kludgy], and handle it as "oh, alright then". Or something in that vein. (I have no knowledge of the actual MediaWiki code, but inelegant as it is, and perhaps trickier in practice, my gut says it ought not be a big deal to do.) Rd232 talk 18:32, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I appreciate the motivation behind this suggestion, but the Article Wizard is not exempt from garbage in/garbage out laws. The primary problem with total newbies starting articles is that the subject is impossibly non-notable: garage bands, brand-new businesses that thought Wikipedia was cheaper than a real website, that sort of thing. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:45, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Well yes, the Wizard does its best to ward that off, but some will still do the wrong thing anyway. Are you actually against the compromise though (i.e. no Wizard exception to the proposed restriction on non-auto-confirmed creating articles)? Rd232 talk 18:37, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I would support this, though it would be nicer if the wizard were more integrated into the interface. If the user had to enter bits of the article (title, content, references, categories, etc.) along the way, it might deter some of the people who just click through to the end without reading it. It still has GIGO issues as WhatamIdoing notes, but at the very least it helps with formatting, that's a big part of the learning curve. Mr.Z-man 00:29, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Mmm, focussing on that might help give a way in for someone trying to upgrade the Wizard to V3 with some Javascript involved (that is, use Javascript to collect different bits of the article along the way, and inject them into the article draft). Sadly, even that level of Javscript expertise is in short supply. Rd232 talk 04:37, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
  • A definite support on this, providing that the Wizard can be improved. NW (Talk) 04:25, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
  • This is extremely easy and hence is worth trying. It requires something like the following to be added to MediaWiki:Common.js: if ( user is not autoconfirmed && url.contains("action=edit") && namespace == 0 && page does not exist && !url.contains(some parameter in the URL that signifies the user went through the wizard ) { document.location = }. Everything here is a JS function, to the best of my limited knowledge, or can be discovered through existing JS variables (I believe they are wgArticleID != 0, wgNamespaceNumber == 0, wgAction == "edit", wgUserGroups does not contain "autoconfirmed"). It still is optional, but one needs to be quick to stop the page from loading. The URL can easily be changed to something offsite (perhaps on the toolserver) which has the server-side logic to enforce sourcing requirements, categories and the like. But that can be done later. MER-C 05:24, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Comment: Just want to throw out a few ideas that some of you may not have considered in this long discussion. First, the fact that the number of new editors is declining steadily doesn't seem surprising to me - because Wikipedia is no longer The Next Big Thing it was five years ago when I started. Since then, the world has become enamored with all kinds of new toys, iPads and iPhones and iWhats, etc., etc. Seems to me it's inevitable that WP will (or has?) become, like radios and TV sets and microwaves just another tool in the background of modern life - useful, and good to have around, but not particularly thrilling except to the relatively small section of the real-world population that enjoys making a sustained effort at writing and editing, and being held accountable for that to some degree.

It would be most interesting if some wizard of a statistician could devise a way to do a truly comprehensive survey of editors so we knew the true demographics - age, race, sex, education, etc. Because I just bet that a huge percentage of the one-time editors who create unacceptable articles are quite young, and do it because they can, but lack any real commitment to truly encylopedic writing. In which case no amount of warm fuzzies would likely keep them for long or entice them into the learning curve, when there are so many other FUN things to do, ya know?

Another segment is those folks whose one and only reason for contributing is to promote themselves or their business (like this one I just declined), and otherwise have no interest at all in writing an encylopedia, and never will. Yet another chunk is made up of folks who may or may not have a half-decent idea for an article, but who - bless their hearts - are just not good writers or logical thinkers, and will never have the persistence it takes to learn those skills.

But all that is just my guess, and somebody else may think differently. Getting back to the question of how to reduce unacceptable article creation while not biting too hard on sincere but misguided newbies, it does seem to me that an improved article creation wizard like Rd232 has made would be a really good idea, if required for all first-time creators. But it should not be just a series of links, "read this and then read that," etc., which people can click through and blow off too easily. It ought, I think, to be a user-friendly thing that says "insert title here" "good, now type your text" "great, now insert reliable third-party source that is independent of the subject" - grin - or something like that, which requires them at least to think about what they are doing at each step.

Which brings me to another, larger issue that perhaps has been somewhat overlooked in this discussion. The interface for editing/creating articles is pretty daunting and could be much better here in 2011, I think. I'll save specific suggestions for improvement for another time, but I think a lot of folks beyond college age would be encouraged to contribute by simply improving the technology. The new editing tools that were introduced a year or so ago do nothing for me, with the exception I discovered only a few days ago of the new way to insert citations - but I couldn't even tell that was there all this long time, I stumbled on it only by accident. And there are many other functions, like merging or redirecting pages, that seem to take a lot of searching to find out how to do, and then are hard to remember once you have done them.

Some of us, you know, have still not figured out how to take a snapshot with our Razr phones. Stop that giggling, I'm serious.

Once again returning to the main point - there are some things about WP that are at least intermittently rewarding, and some that need to be rethought from top to bottom. The idea that some people have to spend thousands of hours a year cleaning up unnecessary crap posted by others is one of the huge systemic drawbacks of this project. Not to mention the fights and fusses you encounter when you do - which is why I have learned to avoid the big, controversial articles and focus on those few things I really want to write about, or sometimes copyedit here and there when I have nothing better to do. It's just not worth spending hours and hours of my life fixing other people's crap - in some cases very deliberate, obnoxious crap. Why should I put my heart and soul into that? (If I were getting paid for doing it, that might be a different matter, but we know that's not happening, right?)

Bottom line: From here on out, WP is probably never going to have more than a few thousand committed, conscientious editors at any given time. Newbies who want it to be stressless and pain-free as a video game are always going to be disappointed, and IMO losing those particular folks is no great loss at all. Experienced editors, as well as Foundation staff and developers, need to devise better, easier ways of creating and editing articles that bend towards the side of higher quality and less crap for everyone to deal with. Without going down the Citizendium route (ugh). OK, there's my 2c. Textorus (talk) 01:45, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

I agree with that, we need more real software development to make editing easier, for example to have a Javascript version of the Article Wizard, along the lines you suggest, but also, ultimately, genuine WYSIWYG editing that really works. That still leaves a bundle of issues, as you discussed, but it at least reduces the technical part of the learning curve. Rd232 talk 20:31, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment: Hey, I just wanted to say that anyone interested in New Page Patrol and how to support newcomers creating articles should feel welcome to join us tomorrow morning during IRC office hours. (Time zone conversion etc. are in that page.) The topic for the chat with Sue is editor retention, and the last one we had on that topic was really interesting. Hope to see you there, Steven Walling at work 23:03, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
    • We didn't get a huge number of NPP folks, but it was a good conversation about this idea, and newcomers generally. Logs are here if anyone is interested. Steven Walling at work 19:48, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

A suggestion

Might I suggest we start up a formal RfC on this? There's definitely been a lot of enthusiasm on both sides, which is great, but the format of the Village Pump does not lend itself to debate, counter-debate, counter-counter-debate, and so forth. Whatever consensus is reached here, it'll have a tremendous impact on the way the wiki works - and that means we should try to hold debate in as public and well-known a forum as possible, which an RfC provides. Ironholds (talk) 21:08, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Agreed, this is clearly an impassioned debate and we have stimulated the idea; now is the time to move it to its proper forum Pol430 talk to me 21:34, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. Rd232 talk 19:30, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
I'll set it up in a tick; everyone fine with something like this in terms of format? Ironholds (talk) 10:54, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
Works for me. Hall of Jade (お話しになります) 23:40, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
Fine. But what would really, really, really help is if you could kick it off with a reasonably brief and neutral summary of the main points made so far. Rd232 talk 23:45, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Now at Wikipedia:Wiki Guides/Allow new editors to create articles; I've created a brief summary of the main points made by the prompter of this thread, since any additional points/counterpoints can be made by the participants. Additionally, going through every section of this picking out arguments is both time-consuming and ultimately pointless, since it leaves very little for people to actually do at the RfC :P. Ironholds (talk) 19:22, 3 April 2011 (UTC)