Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous)/Archive 36

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Could we have avatars and signatures please?

I want a pirate flag as my avatar and the quote by Greg Lemond ("It never gets easier. You just go faster.") as my siggie. Seriously, it would make scanning talk threads easier. That and just have different sections for each post.

TCO (talk) 13:19, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

P.s. People who don't like it can turn off signature and avatar display: every other forum has that setting. (Just shooting this argument in the crib.)

Sorry, this is a perennial proposal. Please read Wikipedia:Signature#Images to understand why this is not likely to happen. If you want to customize your signature (Colors, text, etc.) you can do that, just as long as you stay in current policy. If you can present a good policy reason, open a discussion at the Policy Village pump. Hasteur (talk) 14:06, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Events Organiser

Wikimedia UK are hiring an Events Manager to work from their London office, and run GLAM (and other) events in the United Kingdom. The job description and how to apply are on the chapter wiki at wmuk:Events Organiser job description. We'd welcome applications from community members who live in the EU - please let me know if you have any questions! The Cavalry (Message me) 15:32, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Big changes to the format of hits from google books

I noticed Big changes to the format of hits from google books -- and they are not good changes for my needs.

When I find google throws up a hit to a whole book I use the {{cite book}} template. Up until today I found when you clicked on "about this book" link the page presented to you listed the ISBN. That doesn't work anymore.

Google seems to ahve decided to go head to head with Amazon. So that's why they went to the trouble of scanning in all those books. Maybe that will be great for those who are going to buy the books. It is not so great for those of us who want to briefly browse the book, and pull out a quote or two related to a very narrow focus.

None of the hits from today are offering me the fairly generous preview some google books used to offer.

I suspect this question will be wishful thinking -- has anyone found a work-around, to get a preview, to get the isbn?

Google books used to provide links to online book sellers pages for that book. Now that google is selling the books too, they dropped that. Unfortunate for those looking for the ISBN, as, although Amazon didn't offer ISBNs, some others, notably Chapters, did. Geo Swan (talk) 15:37, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

The services seem to be working as per usual for now, at least on long may that last!--MistyMorn (talk) 16:04, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Off on a slight tangent, but this tool is very handy for generating {{cite book}} details from a Google books URL. – ukexpat (talk) 19:41, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Seconding MistyMorn's comment. Google has added a floating sidebar on the left that sticks around wherever page you go in a particular book. That sidebar contains a dropdown ("GET PRINT BOOK ▼") with links to other booksellers as well as a separate link to "About this book". See this example. Goodvac (talk) 21:54, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Just checking

"At least" and "over" mean the same thing, right? As in "at least 75%" and "over 75%" both mean "not less than 75% but more than." Ian.thomson (talk) 16:01, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

When precision is required, no. Erm, not quite... "At least 75%" means ≥75% (ie 75% and above), whereas "over 75%" means >75% (ie values greater than 75%, but not including 75%). Note that this is after rounding. For example, a value slightly below 75.0% (say, 74.7%) that is rounded up to 75% may actually fall into the "at least 75%" category. Hope that helps,--MistyMorn (talk) 16:08, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
But if the margin of error involved tens of millions when dealing with a rough estimated in the low billions, precision is kinda out the window, right? Ian.thomson (talk) 16:45, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, my mistake... Wrong context. I was using the word to refer to precise writing, rather than arithmetic precision. Similarly, "at least 75%" and "over 75%" may in practice mean the same thing in the context of a conversation. But if you're reporting statistics on WP, I guess it's generally better to use the correct phrase. Unless of course, the estimate was so rough that it makes no difference anyway. But in that case, one could question the appropriateness of citing a number such as 75% (something like "it has been estimated that at least / over three-quarters of..." might arguably be more appropriate). Just my 0.75 cent...--MistyMorn (talk) 17:37, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Tense of some Iraq-war related articles

I have come across some Iraq-war related articles that should probably be put in the past tense. I thought I'd check here, rather than just doing it, cos it might be a lot of effort if it gets undone and there are probably other articles worth looking at that I haven't seen.

Articles I have seen that need a change of tense throughout:

An article I have seen that needs a change of tense in parts:

Yaris678 (talk) 19:08, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Singapore railway station article trivia

I have noticed that Singapore MRT station articles are being maintained with a list of trivia that I do not believe in belongs in an encyclopedia. This includes suicides and minor train delays. Below are a selection I have found from a cursory search:

I think someone needs to take a long look through the articles and identify and remove this sort of trivia. - Mark 05:30, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

If you notice a problem, feel free to fix it. Alternatively you could tag them with Template:Trivia and somebody might get to it in a few years. Yoenit (talk) 17:31, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Why the bot is not working??

Peace be upon you all..

Why the welcoming bot for the new users was not working? I must post in each new users talk pages to welcome them. Are there are something problems on the bot? SpartacksCompatriot (talk) 11:15, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

There is no such bot; see Perennial proposals. -- John of Reading (talk) 11:42, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
(more) I suggest you check out Wikipedia:Welcoming committee. It's a good idea to take a quick look at an editor's contributions before deciding on a welcome message. -- John of Reading (talk) 11:48, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Second 2011 editors survey

OK... so I started the survey, which had a banner ad when I logged on. It explicitly told me that I don't have to answer all the questions. Now I'm half way through and it says


The specific questions it wants three answers to are:


I have only ticked one thing for each. I think none of the other things have affected me at all and I think that most of proposed "changes that might make it easier for you to contribute" would be counter productive.

Are they interested in my opinion or not?

Yaris678 (talk) 09:07, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

We most certainly are! I will begin the review process early for the next iteration, and will reach out to as many community members as we can. That will help us minimize issues like this one. Thanks. Akhanna (WMF) (talk) 23:20, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
You ticked one!; was it 1 obnoxious fellow editors, 2 unusable user interface or 3 Byzantine rules? This was the point where I too abandoned the survey. --catslash (talk) 19:36, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

I'm encountering a slew of problems with this survey. Surveys are an excellent tool, but only if created well enough for the results to have genuine meaning, and I'm not sure if that's the case here.

1. It asks for experiences within the wikipedia community, but the following questions ask about experiences outside of it, and in all its a mystery whether the various qs refer to within wikipedia, or within the community of all wikis, or outside of them too.

2. There were several questions I had no idea what they even meant. Linkifying words in the qs would really help.

3. One question asked for A or B answer. I quickly went to tick both, having not thought it through, but it didnt work that way. Since ticking either one alone was wrong, I went to untick them, only to find out it wont. So either I abandon the survey or it goes ahead with false data. False data is worse than useless.

4. Do you do online activities such as facebook, twitter etc. No, never. Then I realised it probably just meant do you do online activities. Yes, a lot. So the q is very ambiguous.

5. Please pick 3... well, for me none of those are true, so I ticked none. It won't accept that, so once again either the survey is abandoned, excluding a percentage of editors with a certain set of relevant and often very constructive views (good data often comes from results that break the assumptions), or else more garbage data is collected and processed as if it were true, producing untrue and thus valueless results.

In short there are so many issues that the data collected ends up being to a substantial proportion, junk. And this changes a lot of the results from real to something else, ie makes them false data.

To make matters worse, one of the really good points of the survey resulted in an idea that could possibly much improve wikipedia in its main problem area, but since I cant complete the survey, its lost to the wiki. Who knows if it would have made a big difference.

I'd be happy to get involved in the creation of these surveys, to help make them function properly. But I can't find an article for them anywhere. I've no clue where to go.

Thank you to whoever you are for putting the time, effort and care in to creating the survey. Excellent idea. Now, can we work together on the last percentage to make it a more powerful tool? Tabby (talk) 01:38, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

I'm stuck on the "three ticks or more" problem too. I've posted a link to this thread at strategy:Editor survey feedback, but I don't know if that's a good place. -- John of Reading (talk) 21:11, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I've mentioned the issue at meta:Research talk:Wikipedia Editors Survey November 2011#Trouble completing the survey - Hydroxonium (TCV) 04:38, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for your feedback. Unfortunately, we are too far along (in terms of responses) to make any changes. However, we do plan to a. keep this issue in mind when analyzing responses from this question (since many of the chosen options might be forced/junk) and b. redesign this question for the next time. Akhanna (WMF) (talk) 04:57, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

The basic nature of the errors indicates the need for someone else to be involved in future surveys. Is there a way for people to get involved? Tabby (talk) 13:33, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

We plan to get more community feedback for the future. While we did try to invite feedback this time as well, perhaps we need to reach out via more channels. In general, I will reach out to everyone who shared any feedback on meta:Research talk:Wikipedia Editors Survey November 2011, so if you can just add a small note there, that would be helpful. Of course, if you have any ideas on how we can reach out to more people (including posting to Village pump), please do share. Thanks! Akhanna (WMF) (talk) 20:05, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

How can I help?

Hello. I have been using wikipedia for years, and I think it's a really spectacular service. I would really like to contribute, but I'm nervous about jumping right in writing/editing. Where should I start? I've read through a lot of the documentation for starting out, but I still would love a little guidance. Are there particular areas that need specific research or citation? I have access to a massive library of scientific and peer-reviewed literature. Thanks for the guidance. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Scootsity (talkcontribs) 01:48, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

There's many ways to do it. Fix the typos/grammar mistakes you find in the articles you read, find sources when you see "citation needed" in the articles you read, expand a short article on a subject you are very familiar with, choose a missing article from Wikipedia:WikiProject Missing encyclopedic articles, Wikipedia:Most wanted articles, or Wikipedia:Articles requested for more than a year, check the tasks on the Wikipedia:Community portal... Rmhermen (talk) 03:12, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
In addition, if you have a particular area of expertise, it can help to find a matching WikiProject and join in the conversations or just see where the activity is occurring. These projects will typically have article quality and importance ratings, so you can readily determine which articles may need more scholarly attention. Before modifying an article, it can be helpful to check the article's Discussion page and see if there are any relevant prior discussions. Some changes can be contentious, and these usually show up in the discussion threads. Finally, something I find to be helpful is to follow the WP:PR and WP:FAC reviews and see the common areas of concern.
I hope this helped a little. Regards, RJH (talk) 19:12, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
You could also look in Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Directory for a group that is working on a subject that interests you, or check the talk page of an article that interests you for a banner (almost always at the top) about a WikiProject. For example, if you're interested in pharmacology-related subjects, then Talk:Drug lists four different groups of people that you might like to help out. Most of them will have a list of ideas about how to get involved or would be happy to make a suggestion if you posted a note like this one on the group's talk page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:32, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

The Gardner interview

It was pulled from the current edition of The Signpost, without proper reason. As a service to readers, I've put it on my talk page. Tony (talk) 05:20, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

I've taken it off my talk page in the expectation it will be run in next week's issue. Tony (talk) 08:50, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

I wonder, is it time to get rid of those banner headlines asking for donations? They are starting to become tiresome. It makes Wikipedia look less like an online encyclopedia and more like an online begging machine.

I understand you have done some marvellous work and could do with some support. However, the look and feel of Wikipedia is compromised. It's starting to look more than a little naff. People who have already given might be wondering what they have given to.

There is also such a thing as compassion fatigue. Enough already! Even "on page advertisements" for third party products would be better than this! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Richard Gillard (talkcontribs) 08:16, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Read User:WhatamIdoing/Fundraising. As you are a logged in editor, you can suppress them by setting a preference in your account. --Tagishsimon (talk) 10:36, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Open Call for 2012 Wikimedia Fellowship Applicants

Wikimedia Foundation RGB logo with text.svg
  • Do you want to help attract new contributors to Wikimedia projects?
  • Do you want to improve retention of our existing editors?
  • Do you want to strengthen our community by diversifying its base and increasing the overall number of excellent participants around the world?

The Wikimedia Foundation is seeking Community Fellows and project ideas for the Community Fellowship Program. A Fellowship is a temporary position at the Wikimedia Foundation in order to work on a specific project or set of projects. Submissions for 2012 are encouraged to focus on the theme of improving editor retention and increasing participation in Wikimedia projects. If interested, please submit a project idea or apply to be a fellow by January 15, 2012. Please visit for more information.


--Siko Bouterse, Head of Community Fellowships, Wikimedia Foundation 12:55, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Distributed via Global message delivery. (Wrong page? Fix here.)

I just donated...

OK not to be too narcissistic. But I just donated a significant sum to this fine website. I wanted to try to convince others to the same. So after I donated I clicked the share to Facebook button, and wrote a personal plea to my personal friends. Only afterwards did I realize that my roommate was logged into his account(on my desktop). I deleted the post on his wall. My question is can I get a link to that same share button to place on my wall. So I can repost my personal plea. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mrebus (talkcontribs) 10:01, 21 December 2011 (UTC)--Mrebus (talk) 10:02, 21 December 2011 (UTC)~~

I think that the button you want is at foundation:Thank You/en. If it doesn't work, then Pcoombe (WMF) (talk · contribs) is probably the person to hassle. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:25, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't know how it works but perhaps you could also have seen User:TheDJ/Sharebox if your friend has installed it. PrimeHunter (talk) 20:43, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

Interwiki autopromotion

I think this user page User:Огірко Ігор Васильович is confusing as it present itself as an article and as it is only a user page. I am from French wikipedia so if I don't post on the right page please move the conversation. --Xavier Combelle (talk) 14:39, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

I deleted it. Ruslik_Zero 18:20, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

What is your preception of the WMF?

An open-ended question of sorts, directed at the open-ended community. ResMar 05:05, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

I have been very happy with the WMF, especially recently with their focus on new editors and the stance on WP:SOPA. Best regards. - Hydroxonium (TCV) 02:50, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Depends what issue you're talking about; their stance on SOPA is one thing, which I of course support, and they of course do keep the servers running. However, as most of the community will well know by now, I have some major issues with the handling of certain things (I'm still trying to help pick up the pieces from both). But they don't seem to want to budge on them, so I'm not sure if saying anything will do more than chew up a few more kilobytes. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 05:03, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Loriot Signature - repost from commons Bulwersator (talk) 09:02, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Personal Appeals

I personally appeal that we end these personal appeals that pop up at the top of every page.

Just when I think my page is loaded up - oh, wait, one of these faces has to emerge.

I also find it vaguely insulting because I do contribute to Wikipedia so at least switch these off if we are logged on? Eugene-elgato (talk) 08:16, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

I never see them. Do you not have cookies turned on perhaps? ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 14:49, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Now come to think of it, the personal appeals no longer appear when I am logged on - though they do still turn up when not...I could have sworn they did come on though when I was logged on; and yeah, in which case it could have something to do with cookies.Eugene-elgato (talk) 15:47, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
User:WhatamIdoing/Fundraising might amuse you. Usually, by this point in the year, they've turned it off for registered users (who are apparently very cooperative about donating early in the campaign), but they leave it on for unregistered users until they meet their fundraising target. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:35, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Thank you. This does clarify things enormously! Eugene-elgato (talk) 21:51, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for User:WhatamIdoing/Fundraising. It was fun and had links to some interesting stuff. --Greenmaven (talk) 08:55, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

Ta ta

I'm off - well, I've typed in a random password so that I won't be able to log in any more as mattun0211. I was in the middle of developing teh page [[1]] when I decided to nominate it for DYK. This was a process that tested my patience, and the reviewer effectivly wiped the page because of copyright infringements. This was actually a work in progress, and I was fully prepared to adjust the page to meet the concerns. But the whole things been blanked, including not just the areas with copyright concerns, but thos that are fine and/or parts from other editors. I've had enough, so I'm off, with more than a thousand edits to my name. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:12, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

  • " Otherwise, you may write a new article without copyright-infringing material. Click "Show" to read where and how." Bulwersator (talk) 11:36, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Of course you can always request a new password and have a confirmation link sent to your e-mail and happily continue editing. If you really want to make editing impossible forever with that account change your e-mail address to one of those temporary e-mail addresses (e.g. one from and then change the password to something you won't remember. SpeakFree (talk)(contribs) 02:13, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
It is a convention on wikipedia to blank a page when copyvio is found, if the finder does not have time to identify and excise it at the time of finding. Copyvio is a very serious business for wikipedia and is dealt with as such. None of your text has been lost; it's all there in the article history. That being the case, I say that you're over-reacting by several orders of magnitude. You have the opportunity to take the text, excise the copyvio, and carry on calmly. You're taking the hissy fit choice of your own volition, and cannot expect much sympathy ... beyond that we've all felt that way inclined sometimes, but have allowed ourselves slightly more of a cooling off period than you have allowed yourself. --Tagishsimon (talk) 02:23, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
Okay, goodbye, then. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:36, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

Text size

I appear to have enlarged the text size in Wikipedia (but not Google Chrome in general) in some way I don't know how to fix, and this is an accident. Have you had this experience before?? Georgia guy (talk) 15:04, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

Additional information; not even in other wikis, such as Disney Wiki, did the text grow. Wikipedia is the only site this affected. Georgia guy (talk) 15:18, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
Now I checked Wiktionary and it also has original-sized test. Wikipedia must be the only site where text size enhanced. Any way to fix this?? Georgia guy (talk) 16:00, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
Which browser are you using? With Firefox and Chrome, 'Ctrl' and '+' enlarge text, while 'Ctrl' and '-' shrink it. I think the browser stores this setting on a per-website basis. AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:31, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
I did it, and now it's back to normal. Georgia guy (talk) 16:36, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
Ctrl+0 resets font size to normal too. — Bility (talk) 19:32, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

A friend of mine just posted on Facebook that he has just been hired as a writer/editor for Wikipedia. It's a full-time job with benefits. I was always under the impression that everyone writing and editing on Wikipedia was a volunteer. In the section About Wikipedia, there is no mention of paid writers/editors, and that section really leads the reader to believe that everyone is donating his/her time to make this endeavor successful. Apparently, though, this is not the case. I feel very strongly that Wikipedia needs to be more up-front about the fact that some of the people contributing here are getting paid for it. Otherwise, it really does seem to me that Wikipedia is just taking advantage of people by leading them to believe that they're supporting a great community effort when, in fact, Wikipedia is just exploiting people to get something for nothing. Can someone out there please give me the honest version of how this organization runs? Thanks Retroversion (talk) 10:28, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

The vast majority of work is by unpaid volunteers. A vanishingly small amount of work is done by people who, for one reason or another, get paid. IN proportion, I would think some very small fraction of a small fraction of 1% of the work will be by paid editors. Areas like WP:COIN try to keep tabs on the activities of paid editors, who should always declare their interests. IN general, we are not keen on paid editors, but understand that it is pretty near unavoidable that they exist, and this being so the better thing is to be able to monitor their activities than fight and lose a war to keep them out. I don't know why you've jumped to the conclusion that you're being lied to. Most odd. --Tagishsimon (talk) 10:33, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
See also Wikipedia:Paid editing, which lists some failed policy proposals in this area. --Tagishsimon (talk) 10:35, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Tagishsimon, thanks for your reply. I read the WP:COIN page, but that seems to deal with people who are being paid by a company other than Wikipedia to write articles that are then posted on Wikipedia. The person I'm talking about says that he was hired by Wikipedia to do writing and editing. So, he is claiming to be a Wikipedia employee. If that is the case and he truly is a Wikipedia employee, then, yes, I do feel duped. I've spent a lot of hours researching and working on a major revision to an article, and I've done it all for free because I thought we were all doing it for free. I thought that was how Wikipedia worked. If someone else is doing the same work but is being paid by Wikipedia to do it, I don't think that's fair. It's just not right to have everyone doing the same work but only be paying a few people for their efforts. To me, that's exploitation, and the fact that Wikipedia doesn't mention it on the About Wikipedia page seems quite underhanded and dishonest. But please do let me know if my friend is just selling me a bill of goods here in saying that he has been hired by Wikipedia as a writer/editor. Thanks Retroversion (talk) 11:13, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
The wikimedia foundation has 15 or 20 employees (not absolutely sure how many) - none employed to write articles, so far as I know. Some country chapters also have employees - the UK has one, for instance, and is seeking a second, IIRC. I think I'd ask your friend for some further and better particulars. Whatever the case, 99.99% of work is done by the unpaid. A vanishingly small minority manage to make a paid career out of wikipedia, but they tend to be involved in the IT, or fundraising, or outeach, legal, etc. Someone may come along and provide pointers to pages setting out more info on what employees there are. I think you can safely relax. --Tagishsimon (talk) 11:37, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Check out for instance. More than 20... --Tagishsimon (talk) 11:40, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Except for the very rare WP:Office actions, I don't think any Foundation staff are paid to edit in article space. Paid to make it possible for us to edit, though. Rmhermen (talk) 16:52, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
That's the long and short of it. :) --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 19:33, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

If your friend said he was hired "for Wikipedia" rather than "by Wikipedia", the most likely explanation seems to be that a third party hired him to do work on wikipedia. But the simplest solution seems to be to directly ask him for specifics rather than having us speculating.--Kmhkmh (talk) 17:10, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

I actually did ask directly and haven't heard back yet, but in the meantime, I've checked on the Wikipedia pages mentioned here, and it does appear that the paid staff really do just keep the infrastructure going and that no one is getting paid by Wikipedia to write articles. That makes me feel a lot better about donating my time, and it makes me feel like I truly am participating in a community endeavor. Anyway, thanks to all for your replies. I appreciate the info. Retroversion (talk) 17:42, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

An update on the info-my friend told me that he is employed by Wikipedia/Wikihow and will be paid to clean up about 3000 articles that need to be edited. So, he believes that he is actually working directly for Wikipedia and that they have an office in Portland, OR. This sounds more than a little fishy to me, but beyond that, if there are people going around saying that they are employed by Wikipedia to write and edit articles, it's bound to make at least some of us who are doing it for free a little angry. Any thoughts? Thanks for any replies Retroversion (talk) 19:55, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

WikiHow is located in Palo Alto, CA. See [2] So there's a good chance he is pulling your leg. SpeakFree (talk)(contribs) 02:06, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
AFAIK wikiHow has nothing at all to do with Wikipedia, although it uses MediaWiki software produced by the Wikimedia foundation. All things wiki are not wikipedia. My thought is that you need to identify exactly who he is working for before becoming aggrieved that Wikipedia is doing something that Wikipedia assuredly ain't doing. --Tagishsimon (talk) 19:59, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
The Wikimedia Foundation doesn't have an office in Portland, Oregon. We have an office in San Francisco. Staff can clean up articles on their own time, under their volunteer accounts, but nobody is paid to copy-edit or write Wikipedia articles. Even if WMF could budget that, there would be legal issues (I think) with its status as a service provider if WMF crosses that line. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 19:41, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't know your friend but he may be pulling a prank to annoy volunteers. I have been a Wikipedia administrator for years and sure don't get paid. PrimeHunter (talk) 20:53, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

OK, I finally got the accurate version of what's going on with my friend. He was hired by WikiHow to edit and clean up their voluteer-generated articles. WikiHow is a for-profit company, so that makes sense. He was told by his manager that a small part of his job would be editing Wikipedia articles, and I assume that his primary job there is going to be adding links on Wikipedia articles to WikiHow articles. Anyway, I gave him a bit of a stern warning about not saying that he works FOR Wikipedia because that does make it sound as though he is getting paid by Wikipedia to write articles, and that is not the case. I also let him know that he was going to have to deal with COIN issues on Wikipedia. At any rate, that's the story. He's going to be a Wikipedia contributor who is being paid by WikiHow. So, if a lot of links to WikiHow suddenly start showing up, I guess we'll know what's going on. Thanks to everyone who added to this discussion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Retroversion (talkcontribs) 21:23, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

2012 WikiCup

I'm just dropping a note to let you all know that the 2012 WikiCup will be beginning tomorrow. The WikiCup is a fun competition open to anyone which awards the production of quality audited content on Wikipedia; points are awarded for working on featured content, good articles and topics, did you know and in the news, as well as for performing good article reviews. Signups are still open, and will remain open until February; if you're interested in participating, please sign up. Over 70 Wikipedians have already signed up to participate in 2012's competition, while last year's saw over double that number taking part. If you're interested in following the WikiCup, but not participating, feel free to sign up at Wikipedia:WikiCup/Newsletter/Send to receive our monthly newsletters. If you have any questions, please contact me on my talk page, or ask away at Wikipedia talk:WikiCup, where a judge, competitor or watcher will be able to help you. Thanks! J Milburn (talk) 00:47, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

More bollocks at DYK

Did you know "... that the death of Jeannie Saffin has been cited as an example of spontaneous human combustion, due to witness reports that flames were coming from her mouth and she was roaring like a dragon?" - from today's main page. How the fuck can anyone know what a dragon's roar sounds like? Pure drivel, and further evidence that the DYK section of the main page is a net liability to the project... AndyTheGrump (talk) 07:02, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

The key words here would be "witness reports". If a witness reported that she was "roaring like a dragon", then that's what the witness reported, regardless of the veracity of the statement.--Fyre2387 (talkcontribs) 23:10, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
And you have other sources that suggest "roaring like a dragon" is a phenomenon associated with "spontaneous human combustion"? If they aren't, your "due to" is synthesis. I note too that your 'witness reports' are now singular. The article this is taken from is poorly written, and of questionable notability. Drawing attention to it with a poorly-worded DYK does nothing to enhance the reputation of Wikipedia. AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:48, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
DYK is nothing more than a bad joke. Even when an article could offer a reasonable hook, those chosen are all too frequently either farcical or dull, and very rarely relate to any of the interesting content. Andy Dingley (talk) 00:03, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Good observations. DYK may have had a point in the early days of WP when there was always scope for a new and fascinating articles, but now it scrapes the bottom (unless its an article I have had a hand-in of course). It would be better in my opinion to reduce it to the 'beast article this quarter'--Aspro (talk) 00:29, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Nah I want to hear about riots because tins of baby food had pictures of a baby on them just like baked beans had beans pictured on them and suchlike silliness. Dmcq (talk) 00:57, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
If there was more of that, I'd support it. The trouble is that DYK is all too likely to say something ridiculously irrelevant and factually dubious like, "the tin lids were soldered onto the tins. Solder is made of lead and kills babies." Andy Dingley (talk) 02:02, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
It encourages article expansion and creation. Or are you all content with people creating gajillions of stubs? The problem is not in DYK, it's how that specific hook was worded. That can be remedied easily enough by pitching in with the review process or the final steps of cleaning them up in the queues.-- Obsidin Soul 01:12, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Do we really want articles that were created just for pot-hunting at DYK? We already have plenty of articles - I'd like to see some good articles instead. Andy Dingley (talk) 02:04, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
DYK also rewards expanding existing stubs. --Jayron32 02:11, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
How many editors do you think are capable of writing GA-class articles? How many months/years did it take them to get to that level of proficiency in policies and guidelines? How many are capable of reviewing them? Have you seen the backlogs in there? We already have a Featured Article section in the main page, only one due to the sheer difficulty in getting an article to that quality. And don't tell me editors who go for GA/FA don't do it for the green cross/star icons either. And I get that, we're all proud of our work.
DYK is one way of encouraging the less experienced and the less finicky to quickly put out articles that are at least C-class. Lesser quality than GA's certainly, but desirable in terms of the time cost and the information gathered. A C-class is still a helluva lot more information than a stub or a redlink. To put it simply, it builds the encyclopedia faster than if we only rewarded those who already have a boatload of rewards anyway. From experience, we have a lot of stubs that need that badly, and it does encourage users to write better and to become more familiar with guidelines and policies. Heck, it's one of the stepping stones to striving for a GA eventually.
The problem is with the screening process as like everywhere else on Wikipedia, there are not enough volunteers. And I don't blame the reviewers at all, DYK is a very busy place and the volunteers who man the more menial tasks have all my respect. If you really wanted a solution, you'd help with the review, not take potshots and moan every time one problematic hook manages to get to the front page.
FWIW, I do think a section featuring GA's in the main page is also a good idea, but please don't shoot down DYK in getting it there. That's like burning down the high school to build a college.-- Obsidin Soul 02:23, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm all in favour of DYKs with a real, interesting hook to them. However what we deliver at present is fatuous. The hooks are where it's failing.
I do see DYK as a traffic pull though, and it really shouldn't become a reward for creation, otherwise we reward creation of quite the wrong sort of article. Imagine if Indian villages started going through DYK?! Those are bad enough already. Andy Dingley (talk) 11:43, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps more rejections for unquestionably banal hooks then? Or perhaps more people with a flair for creative hook-writing? I've never actually rejected a DYK due to an uninteresting hook (for me, I might add), but then again there's usually an interesting fact in most topics which might appeal to other people if not to you (e.g. hooks of national interest in one country which would make a citizen of another yawn). When reading the DYKs on the main page, I only click those which interest me anyway, and I think most readers do the same.
The review process also actually educates the authors on proper article writing where reasonably experienced user(s) can help the author improve a newly created/expanded article either by example or by criticism - which overall improves their future edits. DYK also have very specific criteria that need to be met to prevent a badly written article from getting through anyway (though a few bad ones do get through, depending on the proficiency of the reviewer). If Indian villages do go through DYK, I'd wager they'd actually be improved in the process. I'm now curious if you've ever had a DYK. If not you should, if only to see how the process works.-- Obsidin Soul 12:04, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't recall if I've ever submitted a DYK - maybe once. A few of my created articles have been DYK'ed by others. Some of these, as well as others' articles, suffered from banal hooks. Andy Dingley (talk) 22:08, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

My main issue with the donation banners

I realized the thing that is making me hate the ad banners. It is not that they are on every page (when I'm logged out). It's that they aren't on every page, but then decide to show up after I've already started reading the intro, pushing all of the text down. Every time. It's like I am sitting at a cafe and I open a newspaper, and just as I see a headline that interests me, Jimbo pushes my paper down and asks for spare change. This is, unintentionally, like a pop-up ad. I realize that this is the result of the banners being tacked on at the end of the code, but it is bloody annoying. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja 02:23, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

I agree. There doesn't seem to be a positive result of this. I wonder if it's technically possible to change it (perhaps move the rest of the page down earlier, before the banner loads, I don't know). Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 11:02, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Somewhere on the mailing lists there is an explanation for this - which is related to caching. Basically the current approach returns the cached page and then uses some JavaScript to load the relevant banner (which can be randomized, geolocated etc.) dynamically. Adding a placeholder element with the same height into the cached page will have the opposite effect of inconveniencing those not seeing a banner. --Errant (chat!) 13:46, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
This seems to be a much broader problem: When loading any page, browsers tend to render the text first, then jump all over the place as they render pics. I've noticed this also happens on the Math Ref Desk as it renders all those formulas. I wish they could render empty frames for the pics at the same time they render text, from the top of the page down, to solve this problem. That way, I could read the text on the first page while it loads the images. StuRat (talk) 18:12, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
I had a similar issue with WikiTrust: the late loading would change the position of the tab buttons while I was already in mid-click. The behaviour became so annoying that I disabled the service. Just my 2 grouse, MistyMorn (talk) 19:03, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

NARA on-wiki ExtravaSCANza participation

Please see User:The ed17/NARA to brainstorm ideas and a structure on how we can help make the National Archives ExtravaSCANza a success, in the hope that such events will continue in the future. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 10:08, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Yahoo and Google, but not Amazon? (which I just inserted in a biography) goes no where on our special page. (That is a 2012 ISBN number probably purchased from Browker.) I don't think there is a link to an Amazon search on this special page, but there are commercial links on that page to Yahoo and Google markets. A similar link to Amazon would be useful. I don't see a discussion page for that special page so I posted here. I do not know who uses Browker's database to update, nor do I know the time frame. Noncanonical (talk) 18:15, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Amazon is listed twice on that special page, in the "online text" and the "booksellers" sections. For future reference the source of the special page can be found at Wikipedia:Book sources, with its discussion page at Wikipedia talk:Book sources. Phil Bridger (talk) 11:42, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

Template Help

Anyone know how to fix Template:Charleston, South Carolina? – Connormah (talk) 00:15, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

It was missing an end ]] for an internal link. [3]. Goodvac (talk) 00:24, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Strange behavior == cell phones (?) requesting a new password for me

For the last several weeks I have been receiving messages from Wikipedia indicating that somebody has requested the password for the user called  ? and an IP is provided indicating where the request came from. I have looked up the IPs and they are associated with various cellphone providers. British Telecommunications was the most recent IP identity.

The user account is just a no-break space character and a question mark, so nobody's account is being endangered, but I am wondering how they are getting my e-mail address (and it's not the one I use for Wikipedia), and what they think they are doing.

Have other people been bothered by this kind of thing? I am thinking that there may be some combination of e-mail collection and misfiring stupid spam software. To me it is just spam, but I don't want to have my e-mail software reject messages from Wikipedia.P0M (talk) 18:06, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Huh. Have you asked your favorite web search engine about the message? It might be just plain old spam, and sometimes people post sample messages of spam. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:43, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
I must not have communicated clearly. The message comes from Wikipedia. It is the same message you will have received if you have ever forgotten your password and click "Forgot your password" during the log-on process. What appears to happen is that user x, user y, user z..... of some service providers (always in Europe so far) go to Wikipedia and act like they are trying to log on. When they do so they enter “ ?“ as the username, and one of my e-mail addresses as though it were theirs. Then Wikipedia sends to a message such as:

Someone (probably you, from IP address requested a reminder of your

account details for Wikipedia ( The following user account is

associated with this e-mail address:

Username:&_#_160;? (I had to put in underline characters to make the & code show up.)

Temporary password: 123WXYZ

Since there is no such Username, the object of the European operator cannot be to obtain access to a Wikipedia account. All that really happens is that I am getting a certain amount of unwanted e-mail. It's hard to say how the Europeans got my e-mail address since I try to avoid using it for any site that would harvest it for spam.
As far as I know it's just an annoyance, but it leaves me wondering why people in Europe (or one person who really gets around) keeps trying the same stupid procedure. Is there something else behind this move? If so it might be a problem for other Wikipedia users. How many of these messages are sent out by the Wikipedia server each day?
My experience with ordinary spammers is that it is useless to complain to the ISP. They just ignore the complaints.
If somebody has managed to automate this procedure and has accumulated a huge number of e-mail addresses, then sending in a flood of requests for password assistance could possibly amount to a denial of service overload. But that is just a guess.P0M (talk) 20:16, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
How do you know that it's actually from Wikipedia, that is, that it's not being spoofed? Anybody can send out e-mail that claims to be from Wikipedia. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:54, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

FYI: I'm going to be running an RCom approved survey

Hello, my name is Michael Tsikerdekis[4][5]. I am currently involved as a PhD student in full time academic research at Masaryk University. I want to anounce that I will be conducting a survey for the duration of January - February 2012 on Wikipedia. The research tries to establish the relation between various kinds of anonymity and conformity for wikipedians. The survey has been reviewed and approved by the Wikimedia Foundation Research Committee. After the study is complete, results will be published in an open access journal and anonymized data will be made availiable in an open access database.

Curently there is pilot study in progress(15 people) to determine that everything is alright with the survey. The expected date for sending the invitations for the main stage of study is currently the 26th of January 2012.

You can find many questions already answered for the research on:

For any other questions do not hesitate to reply to me here, or contact me through my talk page as well as my email address (personal address:, university address: --Michael Tsikerdekis (talk) 20:40, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Spam for new Wikiproject

I'm proposing the creation of a new Wikiproject which might interest some editors. It's here: User:Herostratus/Wikiproject Paid Editing Watch Herostratus (talk) 21:06, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Most times failed at FAC?

Anyone know what is the most times a single article has failed/been put up to FAC before? I'm curious as to know before I attempt a fourth FAC for an article. Also knowledge of any policy regarding the maximum number of attempts at FAC for a single article would be great, if such a policy exists... Shannºn 01:13, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

The most I am aware of is Wikipedia:FAC/Roman Catholic Church/summary5 where just discussion number five has a summary, an archive, linked user talk page discussions. And the article now seems to be at a different title. Rmhermen (talk) 02:34, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
Ralph Bakshi has been failed nine times. Dabomb87 (talk) 14:35, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm not aware of a limit, but before you do that why not take it through WP:PR again? I've done that and it has been helpful. Regards, RJH (talk) 04:48, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

RFC to make FA leaders elected, not appointed

An RFC is underway to consider a proposal to make the Featured Article leadership elected.

TCO (talk) 05:05, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

It's already closed, and I think the respondents got it right. Personally I don't think the leadership is the problem, if there is one, with the FAC process. I suspect that most editors get greater enjoyment out of bringing an article up to the GA level, compared to trying to add the extra polish needed to reach FA. Having an article at GA level quality is perhaps good enough for most purposes. Regards, RJH (talk) 21:51, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

Wikimedians to the Games

Wikimedians to the Games (W2G) is a an opportunity for two Australian Wikimedians to go to London and cover the 2012 Summer Paralympics held in London for Wikinews, Commons and Wikipedia. W2G is played and won by skill of editing. The purpose W2G is to encourage content improvement related to the history of the Paralympic Movement in Australia and make editing on Wikipedia fun.

Wikimedians to the Games begins on 10 January 2012 (today) and is structured as a two round tournament. The plan for the tournament is as follows:

10 January 2012 to 20 April 2012
We start with one group of all participants, with the top 4 from that group progressing to the second round. These four will be given press passes to cover the 2012 Paralympic Games. Points reset to zero at the round.
22 April 2012 to 30 June 2012
4 participants left – the top two will earn paid transportation and accommodation to cover the Paralympic Games in person.

For the full rules clarifying for what points can be awarded and other rules, see outreach:HOPAU/W2G/Rules. However, the spirit of the rules are more important than the letter, and the judges reserve the right to deny points to anyone deemed to be abusing the system, as well as remove persistently problematic users from the competition. The judges for W2G include Laura Hale and John Vandenberg‎. They will be assisted by other judges including Sp33dyphil. They can be reached by their talk pages, the W2G talk page, by email or in the Wikimedia Australia IRC channel, #wikimedia-au connect. Also, check this page and its sub pages to see if your question was already answered.

If you believe one of the contestants is abusing the spirit of the rules, intentionally submitting subpar articles with the aim of getting more W2G points, or anything similar, please contact one of the judges by email. They will look into the matter and take action if necessary.

You can sign up at any time between 10 January and 20 April 2012 by following the directions on outreach:HOPAU/W2G/Participants. John Vandenberg (chat) 05:04, 10 January 2012 (UTC) Note this was posted to WP:AWNB on 2 January and there has been some criticism raised there.

Should East Germany be described as a satellite state of the former USSR?

A Request for Comment has begun at talk:East Germany: 'Should East Germany be described as a satellite state of the former USSR?' Your comments at this discussion are invited. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 16:38, 10 January 2012 (UTC)


can anybody help me. i want to know what is Polymoist-PS, and what is cell revival. i am looking for a Polymoist product for facelift without going for a facelift surgery. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:37, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

Try posting your questions at Wikipedia:Reference desk. Regards, RJH (talk) 03:48, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

Please improve Wikipedia's fund-raising emails

On December 28th, I received a fund-raising email blast from Wikipedia. The subject line was "Can you share this?" and the specific "ask" was for me to pass the request on to my personal network, to help Wikipedia raise money.

The idea is solid, but the execution was lacking. I took the time to respond with some specific suggestions, and an explanation of why it isn't enough simply to ask supporters to "forward an email." Here's what I wrote:

Dear Wikipedia,
I love you and I'd love to help why on earth did this solicitation, which is actually focused on leveraging the trusted connections of existing donors, arrive without integrated sharing/republishing tools (to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc.)?
Please, make it easy for me to help! I'm already juggling trying to recover from holiday travel and working from home while my bored kid is on school break and tugging at my sleeve and destroying the house. :-)
If I had time, I'd cut/paste/reformat your message into my social networks, but this is like the worst possible week of the year to assume I can manage it, and I'm sure I'm not remotely alone in that.
Make it easy: use MailChimp (or any tool!) that automatically puts that stuff into your solicitations.
Many thanks for all you do, and I hope you'll consider my suggestions so that in the future, I can more efficiently solicit my friends on your behalf.
~Jen H------

Today, I received an email back from fundraising[at]wikimedia[dot]org telling me that all changes come from the editing community. As the president of a non-profit, I am keenly familiar with the pains of fund-raising. I am also convinced that some things (like the format of an email blast) just shouldn't have more than a couple of cooks. Nonetheless, if it is the Wiki way, so be it.

Would you consider updating your email blast approach to make it easy for supportive recipients to pass the message on to their friends and family, thereby helping to raise awareness of Wikipedia's funding mechanism and money for Wikipedia, too? Heck, at least stick a Facebook "share" button in there!


Jen — Preceding unsigned comment added by MaldenJen (talkcontribs) 00:20, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Hi, Jen. Thank you so much for following up on this! I think you may have received that email response in error. We get a lot of suggestions for the way things should be done on Wikipedia, and it is those kinds of suggestions that we do need to direct to the community. :) I'll make sure that the fundraising team is alerted to the issue and to your idea. Thanks much for sharing your suggestion! --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 18:58, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Ownership on Eau Claire Municipal Band

I think the image gallery at Eau Claire Municipal Band is excessive, so I trimmed it down a bit and pointed the adding editor to WP:Galleries, but was promptly reverted with the summary "reversing vandalism". Could someone else take a look at the page and see if it needs to be shortened? --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 02:55, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Holy cow, is this Flickr? Yes, it should be trimmed. I wonder if those are the pictures of the people editing the article? You could also just let it go. I doubt it that's a high traffic article. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 03:05, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
I have plunged into what I fear will be an edit war, but that article was absolutely ridiculous with over-photo usage! - `DavidWBrooks (talk)
Yeah, I edit conflicted with you doing the same. That article has serious problems, I suspect COI/SPAM issues are the major problem. --Jayron32 03:51, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Ship accident in Italy

Is there article about recent ship problem in Italy [9] --Olli (talk) 11:28, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

We have an article on the ship which mentions this incident. You can add to the sourced material to the article if you wish. Britmax (talk) 11:34, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

Could Duolingo help Wikipedia?

Although it hasn't been released to the general public, Duolingo is getting press coverage for its potential to benefit the world - and possibly Wikipedia. In particular, in Luis von Ahn's TED talk about Duolingo, he suggests that if they had 1 million users (which isn't that unreasonable), they could potentially translate all of English Wikipedia into another language (say Spanish) in only a few days. A few days.

Have editors thought about how this could actually be used to benefit Wikipedia? Consider, for example, the tens of thousands of articles which has one of these tags: Category:Expand_by_language_Wikipedia_templates. Has there already been a discussion on this somewhere? It would be sad if we couldn't use a translation program such as Duolingo due to licensing problems.. (talk) 19:03, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

Arab Characters

Can anyone remove the "born" from Arfa Karim in the lead without messing up the foreign characters preceding it? – Connormah (talk) 20:03, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

Tried. Failed. I'd love to know how it is eventually fixed. The issue is that the Urdu reads right to left and seems to attack all the text around it. Quite bizarre. fredgandt 20:40, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
If there isn't a better way; we could create a sub page for the Urdu text, and transclude it to the article page, thus removing the editing problems. fredgandt 20:48, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
I added ‎ and it works, but I don't know exactly what it does. Goodvac (talk) 20:57, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
Well done. See Left-to-right mark for some details. fredgandt 21:00, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
If this is the fix, why isn't this built into {{lang-ur}} or {{lang}}? -- John of Reading (talk) 21:08, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
The ‎ would need to appear in the article text, so even if it were included in the lang templates, those templates would need to be substituted for the trick to work. fredgandt 21:13, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
By Unicode, the Arabic letters are strong R-to-L. Western numbers, such as 1995, are weak (=following neighboring strong letters: putting Western numbers L-to-R in an Arabic R-to-L string, and positioning the number at the end of the Arabic sentence). So, in Arab, one reads →"The price is: $20.50" at the left hand side: "$20.50 :si ecirp ehT"← correctly). Punctuation like space and bracket is neutral, i.e. does not influence sequence. So, after removing the letters "born", the text string was: Arabic - punctuations - 1995. Unicode Bidirectional reasoning then concluded that "1995" was part of the Arabic sentence, and put it at the end of the Arabic R-to-L sentence: on the left hand side.
The current trick, adding ‎, adds an L-to-R sign (like our Latin a is) but invisible by definition, so the year number is not subdued to the Arab string. From the lrm-mark onwards punctuation and the number is positioned as in Latin, as intended. Boy this is difficult to explain. -DePiep (talk) 21:47, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
FredGandt:no the ‎ could be in the template. It should be on the rightmost position (thereby stopping the effect of any Urdu R-to-L letter spoiling outside of the template into regular copy text, as has happened here). Actually, this could be in every R-to-L script template for the same reason. -DePiep (talk) 21:55, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
I correct myself: technically it could be in the template, but it makes the editing window a chaos (directions are mixed up beyond readability). -DePiep (talk) 12:10, 15 January 2012 (UTC)


How do we go about the correction of Talk:Adamangalampudur? Should it be moved to article space or AFC or deleted?  Hazard-SJ  ㋡  21:13, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

I've made some changes to the article, after it was moved to ns-0. It should meet the GNG now, but it still needs to be improved. ~ Matthewrbowker Talk to me 07:24, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

best license(s) for smooth wikimedia inclusion

I'm creating a lot of lecture notes and stuff for the courses I'm teaching, and I'd be happy to see anyone take those notes and cannibalize them into a Wikimedia project. (In fact, this question is more relevant for Wikibooks, but I figured this is heavier traffic so I might get better answers here.) I'm wondering what licenses I should use to make any such cannibalization work best.

As I understand it, though I don't understand why really, I should dual-license the stuff under both CC-BY-SA 3.0 and the GFDL? I can do that, but here's my questions:

  • While I would kinda like attribution, the "how" of attributing when bringing stuff from outside a Wikimedia project seems like it might be daunting.
  • So, would it be easier and/or acceptable to license under CC-SA and GFDL?

Thanks for your thoughts. CRETOG8(t/c) 18:38, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

We find a lot of people publishing "books" compiled form Wikipedia articles, as well as mirroring or using our data with or without attribution. I get the feeling the community as a whole likes to think that people are not passing our work off as their own, especially for profit. Dual licensing under GFDL and CC-by-SA-3 should enable someone to use your work with just an acknowledgement to you. If the work has been revised by Joe Random User, then the revisions will by CC-BY-Sa-3 anyway. So I would say, go for the standard license. Rich Farmbrough, 21:39, 17 January 2012 (UTC).

Announcing Wikipedia 1.19 beta

Wikimedia Foundation is getting ready to push out 1.19 to all the WMF-hosted wikis. As we finish wrapping up our code review, you can test the new version right now on For more information, please read the release notes or the start of the final announcement.

The following are the areas that you will probably be most interested in:

  • Faster loading of javascript files makes dependency tracking more important.
  • New common*.css files usable by skins instead of having to copy piles of generic styles from MonoBook or Vector's css.
  • The default user signature now contains a talk link in addition to the user link.
  • Searching blocked usernames in block log is now clearer.
  • Better timezone recognition in user preferences.
  • Improved diff readability for colorblind people.
  • The interwiki links table can now be accessed also when the interwiki cache is used (used in the API and the Interwiki extension).
  • More gender support (for instance in logs and user lists).
  • Language converter improved, e.g. it now works depending on the page content language.
  • Time and number-formatting magic words also now depend on the page content language.
  • Bidirectional support further improved after 1.18.

Report any problems on the labs beta wiki and we'll work to address them before they software is released to the production wikis.

Note that this cluster does have SUL but it is not integrated with SUL in production, so you'll need to create another account. You should avoid using the same password as you use here. — Global message delivery 00:05, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps some downtime could be arranged for this switchover work. Selery (talk) 04:57, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Please note: In less than 29 hours...

Will Wikipedia be disestablished?? Georgia guy (talk) 01:13, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

"disestablish... to deprive an established church of its official status": Wiktionary [10]
I don't think that Wikipedia quite qualifies as a church ;-) AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:19, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
"Like". — Cheers, JackLee talk 14:47, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
No, nonprofit charitable corporations are allowed to campaign against legislation which would materially harm their operations in the U.S. Selery (talk) 04:56, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

English Wikipedia anti-SOPA blackout

English Wikipedia anti-SOPA blackout: "Today, the Wikipedia community announced its decision to black out the English-language Wikipedia for 24 hours, worldwide, beginning at 05:00 UTC on Wednesday, January 18..." The announcement, written by Sue Gardner, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, goes on to say, "The decision to shut down the English Wikipedia wasn’t made by me; it was made by editors, through a consensus decision-making process." My question is, can someone please provide a link to the discussion or discussions of this decision-making process? I wasn't aware of it and I'm curious to see where it took place. Thanks. P.S. I'm in favor of the blackout and I would encourage interested editors to click through to the announcement and read about why this is being done. Mudwater (Talk) 07:07, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

It's at WP:SOPA -- John of Reading (talk) 07:47, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
What does a "blackout" entail, exactly? I couldn't tell from WP:SOPA. Does it mean that tomorrow (18 January) this website will be completely unaccessible for about 24 hours? — Cheers, JackLee talk 08:27, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
That is my understanding. There's a summary at Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2012-01-16/Special report. -- John of Reading (talk) 08:40, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I read that too, but it only refers to a "blackout" without explaining what that means. Thanks. — Cheers, JackLee talk 08:55, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

This needs to be stopped. The poll was taken without sufficient community notification, and it was taken before SOPA was effectively killed. Now we're using a short-notice nuclear option to protest a dead bill. This is insanity. Powers T 12:22, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Interesting that the site can apparently be shut down and abandon its principals on the basis of a 72 hour strawpoll (not, as Sue suggests, consensus), which was initiated by a WMF staff member, and was a) worded in such a way that suggested a consensus had been established supporting some form of action, but failed to demonstrate this (Wikipedia:SOPA initiative does not demonstate any clear consensus, as far as I can see (n.b. I excluded the transcluded /Action page when looking at this)) b) contained no clear way to "support doing nothing" and c) had a generally difficult to follow layout and structure: it was particularly difficult to work out how to express one's opinion about whether action should be US or global. Just all a little out of process, really. The fact that the whole idea has now been undercut by SOPA being shelved is also an issue, as LtPowers comments above. SpitfireTally-ho! 12:50, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
ps. if you're going to link to any external resources as part of the blackout, you need to consider if they can handle the traffic. SpitfireTally-ho! 12:53, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

I was pretty impressed by the speed of this, too. The base problem is that any set of internet access laws that allow YouTube to stay in business are basically evil, and any set of internet access laws that don't allow YouTube to stay in business will be lobbied off the face of the planet.—Kww(talk) 12:57, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Um. What? SpitfireTally-ho! 13:09, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
A bit of a tangent, no doubt, but still the foundation issue. YouTube makes its money by rapidly and indiscriminately violating copyrights at a speed and scope beyond anything the copyright holders can manage. That's the primary defect of the DMCA: it puts the entire onus on the copyright holder. So long as they can make that much money at it, YouTube/Google will be able to effectively oppose any legislation that brings an end to it. SOPA may be bad, but the DMCA is evil. There's a lot of hooplah about foreign web sites, but YouTube is the real target of SOPA, and Google is fighting back. Unfortunately, we seem to have been duped into being its ally.—Kww(talk) 13:15, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
It had more consensus that anything I've ever seen. More editors expressed their approval that any RfC I know of; indeed, by some margin. "Insufficient notification", when basically everything was notified, doesn't hold water. That it should be re-evaluated in light of the movement on the Hill, that's a better point. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 13:47, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Lets not delve into strawmen. I never said, nor even mentioned, insufficient notification, so providing a counterargument against that, and including the words insufficient notification in quotation marks is misrepresentation. I talked about the failure of the proposal to follow due process, and the short time over which it ran (which meant that users such as LtPowers were not able to express their opinion, assuming he is the same "Powers" who commented on the WMF blog). That aside, the comment you make about consensus is interesting: you should be aware that something does not have more consensus or less consensus simply as a result of how many people support it, as the entire point of consensus is to do with merits of the ideas and points put forward, not the number of people supporting them. If the WMF is going to run a blackout without making efforts to judge consensus and weigh up the arguments but instead merely making sure they're supported by a majority, then fine, but I'd rather they didn't claim to be doing otherwise. Cheers, SpitfireTally-ho! 14:07, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
The vote for a full blackout seems to have been 763 to 104, while the vote for a soft blackout was 94 to 100. I think that is a pretty clear demonstration of the overall community sentiment, and goes far beyond just a simple majority. It's hard to see how we could expect anything more clear-cut than that with 800+ participants. — Carl (CBM · talk) 14:12, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────My unscientific view is that we'd be better off if there was a more robust system for notifying editors of such discussions. Certainly this was news to me. The discussion is at WP:SOPA, fine, but how did editors find out that the discussion was taking place? It's not a rhetorical question, since finding out about these types of things is not obvious to the average editor, I want to learn more about it. And here are two suggestions for handling this better: (1) A dismissable banner notice, that only signed in editors can see, notifying them of very significant discussions like this one. (2) A centralized page, short and easy to scan, with links only to very significant discussions. Mudwater (Talk) 14:13, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Yes, and my scientific background leads me to wonder how Wikipedia, in general, addresses the key issue of selection bias in its discussions. I've raised this concern elsewhere (in a completely different context), but I ended up none the wiser. I believe the Wikipedia name for the issue is "vote stacking", but that expression seems to give the idea that someone is actively campaigning, which often may not be the case at all. MistyMorn (talk) 14:24, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

While I wasn't all that thrilled with the conclusions of the discussion, there were banner advertisements and notifications here in the Village Pump that such discussions were going on. The earlier discussion on Jimbo's talk page on the other hand totally took me by surprise and for me was an abuse of an individual user's talk page (even if he is the presumptive founder of the project... as if that should mean anything at all beyond a barnstar and some thanks). I asserted earlier that this is going to be a one-way trip for Wikipedia in general, and I mean that here too. The door is opened now for activism using a blackout and other political moves using Wikipedia as a political tool. For this reason I strongly objected (and "voted", as if that meant anything at all) to this action and I still think it is wrong. Since the U.S. House of Representatives' version of SOPA has already failed to pass, it almost seems pointless to hold this blackout as well.
Regardless, news of this has hit mainstream media, and it is going to make some sort of impact. Welcome to the new Wikipedia, where the principle of NPOV has now been thrown out the window as I consider that pillar to be gone from the project altogether. I would love to know what sort of steps could be taken so this never happens again, or if anybody would even care to depoliticize Wikipedia, or if that is even possible now? Yes, there are the two "political parties" of Wikipedia in the form of "inclusionists" vs. "deletionists", and I wish project politics stayed just at that level. At the very least, I'm glad that the WMF didn't censor my very negative comment to this action on the WMF site.... something I was expecting. --Robert Horning (talk) 14:42, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
There has actually been a large banner notice about this discussion posted prominently at the top of Wikipedia these last couple of days. Short of sending personalised messages to every active user I can't really see how much more they could have done to make you aware of the discussion. --Saddhiyama (talk) 14:29, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
But the issue remains. Only people who have the time and inclination to explore the material behind that banner, which assumed some prior knowledge of SOPA, are likely to participate. So we're going to get a distorted view of what Wikipedia users think, presumably biased towards the opinions of people who have stronger preexisting views on the question. MistyMorn (talk) 14:34, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
If there was a banner notice about this, that at least partially answers my point. Not sure how I missed it, but I'll be sure to pay more attention next time. Mudwater (Talk) 14:37, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

The notice didn't say that voting would close on Monday for a sitewide blackout on Wednesday. It just said (and I'm going by memory here) that anti-SOPA options were being explored. Not exactly commensurate with the scale and scope of the action. Powers T 14:38, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Like it or not, final decisions on consensus tend to be influenced by numbers. This comment (from Carl, above), broadly reflecting content included in Sue Gardner's announcement, gives the idea: 'The vote for a full blackout seems to have been 763 to 104, while the vote for a soft blackout was 94 to 100. I think that is a pretty clear demonstration of the overall community sentiment, and goes far beyond just a simple majority. It's hard to see how we could expect anything more clear-cut than that with 800+ participants. These are numbers affected by a major selection bias. Period. MistyMorn (talk) 14:58, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
But, if the selection that biased our result are "people who have the time and inclination to explore the material behind that banner," how do you propose we get any other, more representative sample? We can't conk people who DON'T have the time and inclination on the head, drag them to the SOPA page, and force them to form their opinion and post it. I'm not saying that what happened was a great way of doing it (and in fact, I have some issues of my own with the speed of the formulation and closure of that discussion), but I'm not sure what they could've done to improve on it. Also, I think saying that we've thrown out NPOV is kind of ridiculous hyperbole. The WMF believes that the bill represents (or represented, I guess?) a serious threat to Wikipedia, and they have the right to do something like this to defend it. If they had done it unilaterally, or ignoring the results of the RfC, then that would be a different story. Writ Keeper 15:22, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Comments like the one above show that there is a real big problem with those who twist WP:Consensus into something it simply is not. Consensus is not vote taking, and WP:VOTE has the content on that page explicitly because early on in the development of Wikipedia it was felt that vote taking was evil. Evil because there are numerous ways in which vote taking can be skewed with an on-line poll where no protections are being taken to ensure fairness in the discussion, and because the process of consensus is far more than simply counting up how many felt one way or another.

By forcing consensus rather than what the majority opinion is on something, it forces compromise solutions to be found, where minority opinions on a topic are strongly considered, and if a strong argument can be found which isn't resolved by some equally strong or stronger counter-argument that the discussion is allowed to continue on some more. For most discussions like AfDs or even community discussions about problematic users (such as what comes before the ArbCom), many of those discussions can wait for resolution as long as additional commentary is being offered.

I firmly believe that genuine consensus could have been found on this topic in terms of blanking out en.wikipedia, and if anything I would say that a soft blackout was a more reasonable compromise. More importantly, the real fall-out of this decision has not really been fully explored, where it is angering a whole bunch of Wikipedia users in terms of how this decision is going to damage the project in the future. I really don't think the supporters of this action fully considered those consequences, and I do think this is a very rash decision to have been made. No genuine attempt at consensus was really achieved with this "poll", and sadly it is an irreversible decision too.

From the Statement of principles on User:Jimbo Wales (found here as the current version doesn't display this) the following is stated:

Any changes to the software must be gradual and reversible. We need to make sure that any changes contribute positively to the community, as ultimately determined by everybody in Wikipedia, in full consultation with the community consensus.

I do not believe this decision to black out Wikipedia to "protest SOPA" is either gradual nor reversible. It has changed the community in a permanent way. Something has been lost here, and it won't be back. Real consensus on what action needed to happen here did not happen, but instead a mob of people came in and took over Wikipedia. There is reason to be angry about that. --Robert Horning (talk) 15:27, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

In reply to Writ_Keeper's question above, how do you propose we get any other, more representative sample? Well, for a start, specify that a worldwide blackout of en.wp was on the cards. Explain far more clearly both in the banner and behind it what the ruddy acronym refers to. Emphasize the importance of participation in a vote. Explain that SOPA has been modified... I could go on. A protest like this which is going to attract major media attention (like the broadly successful Italian initiative) like this is just too important to be peresented with an obscure acronym. Disclaimer: I don't have a clear opinion on the protest, largely because of my ignorance of the details of SOPA and, especially, how it has been cut down. MistyMorn (talk) 15:39, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
BTW, in responding to why NPOV has been thrown out the window is not a "kind of ridiculous hyperbole", Wikipedia has now set the precedent that it will be involved in political objectives as a project, and that politics are something it will meddle in even so far as how the content of the project itself is involved. The "leaders" of Wikipedia have ransomed the content of this project for pure political purposes. One of the reasons why advertisements are consistently rejected here on Wikipedia is the issue of perceived skewing of neutrality if that was to happen. If blanking out Wikipedia isn't a form of advertisement on some level, I don't know what else it could be considered. This is blatantly advertising an anti-SOPA POV done in a fashion that can't be ignored and in some ways is far worse than even a banner advertisement. Every single argument that applies as to why advertisements for Coca-Cola shouldn't be found on Wikipedia should equally apply as to why this was a bad thing to blank Wikipedia... along with other even stronger arguments. If you don't see that the principle of a neutral point of view has been thrown out by this action as a general principle, that as a pillar it might as well no longer exist as the pillar has been completely removed by this action, I'll just have to say "wait and see". The consequences of this action have yet to be felt, and other political actions as well as POV struggles are going to happen in the future as a result of this precedent that can't be ignored. This is a morally corrupt action to have taken and it compromises the core values for which Wikipedia was originally created in the first place. --Robert Horning (talk) 15:44, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia's mission has always listed the promotion and protection of free information gathering and exchange. This protest is just in support of that mission. No precedent has been set that hasn't always been there. It was actually part of the wikis mission from the beginning to take such stands if the exchange of information was threatened. -DJSasso (talk) 15:48, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
No, Wikipedia's mission has been to publish a neutral encyclopedia that is available under terms of an open source license, making it available to ordinary people. Neutrality has been as fundamental of a tenant since as long as I've been involved, and the principle has served this project very well. I remember what life was like prior to Wikipedia, where encyclopedias like Encarta, Encyclopedia Britannica, Compton's, World Book, and others simply were the only game in town and where information was being closed up due to copyright and people compromising their values for the sake of a quick buck. Regardless, there are other strong reasons to have opposed this, and as you are showing by your very statement here in re-defining what Wikipedia "has always been about" (which I am disagreeing with here) that a pandora's box has been opened which can't be shut. It is this very politicization of Wikipedia that I'm warning about, and this precedent is something very new. It hasn't "always been here", and I'm sorry that you don't see that. BTW, when talk about "the wiki's mission", are you talking about Ward's wiki wiki? There was always a bit of politics with that group, of which Wikipedia even distanced itself from even though the wiki ethos of that project did come into Wikipedia as well since a great many of Ward's wiki wiki were very early contributors to Wikipedia. --Robert Horning (talk) 17:03, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Leaving the particular issues under examination aside for the moment... The very tight vote in favour of a world-wide blackout is a particular concern. Familiarity with the topic is likely to have attracted a disproportionate number of US participants. Furthermore, self-selected groups such as this one tend to attract strong opinions. So it's reasonable to suppose that the "55%"* majority decision on this international question was taken by a pool of participants which overrepresented Americans with somewhat strong opinions. *Quote from the summary of the discussion, also cited in today's announcement: We also noted that roughly 55% of those supporting a blackout preferred that it be a global one, with many pointing to concerns about similar legislation in other nations. MistyMorn (talk) 16:02, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

BTW, I share your concern with the self-seleciton of the votes as well, but I think that is an issue which is beating a dead horse... other than that the principles of consensus clearly weren't followed in this situation. Sadly, it isn't the first time for a situation like that as well as other votes have been taken like that in the past, but this is the first time it has happened for something so political in nature. In the past it has always been about project governance or organization, such as the switch from the GFDL to CC-by-SA. --Robert Horning (talk) 17:03, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Maybe I haven't understood what you're saying, but if the best response to this sort of issue is going to be beating a dead horse, then expect me to lose confidence in WP:CONSENSUS. (Personally, I trust Jimbo's judgement more than what looks to me like a hastily formed "consensus", particularly as regards the global aspect of the blackout.) MistyMorn (talk) 17:40, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Time will tell. Selery (talk) 04:55, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Fund raising header

To whom it may concern!

I have been seeing the findraising header how for a while and I gave my few shekels to the cause.

I wrote to Wkipedia and suggested the photo in the header be moved from the top left to top right, otherwise it seems the photo is of the person one is looking for. Small point, small annoyance, but should be an easy fix.

Peter Schleger — Preceding unsigned comment added by Peterschleger (talkcontribs) 22:56, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

What did Wikipedia say? — Bility (talk) 23:57, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support fundraising photos should appear on the right side of the banner so they aren't used for silly memes. Selery (talk) 04:54, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Regarding the Wikipedia Blackout that just happened.

Hi. Long-time browser, occasional contributor. I just noticed that Wikipedia did it's blackout today and the result seems to be impressive; with thousands of people seeing Wikipedia "blacked-out", or at least something that appeared to be blacked-out. For those of you who missed the blackout, it was done via the usage of a CSS screen instead of redirects, now I don't know if technical problems prevented the redirects from happening but the redirects would send a clearer message and it wouldn't leave the impression that Wikipedia doesn't care as much as their position states. (Anyone could easily disable it by unchecking the "display:none" settings in a web-developer feature; or more simply by disabling javascript., which I'll get to in a moment.)

The fact that it was easily disabled undermines Wikipedia's efforts since anyone can just neglect the blackout and get to the article without question. I've seen some people compare this to crossing a picket line but I would like to compare this to a choice that should not be available in the first place; I mean the fact that you can disable it and read the articles in question shows that most people who do that don't seem to support Wikipedia's position on the matter and their efforts when it comes to SOPA/PIPA; though it may not seem like it. I know that millions of people have been made aware of this but seriously, the fact that a method to allow people to read articles was available is appaling.

Reddit blacked out their site and every link lead to their SOPA page; that sent a strong signal that they were serious about this and that they wanted people to know that this was a bad idea. The fact that nothing was accessible proved their point. Wikipedia's point was to prove that bills like these would bring down sites like this and lead to the end of a free internet; I know that Wikipedia has dicussed this thoroughly, gone though every option avaliable and worked hard to make it work but again, this seems half-hearted. I wholeheartedly disagree with SOPA/PIPA and I support the people who oppose this "bill" but Wikipedia could of taken it further, for Jimmy Wales, for the people who are against SOPA.

Franky, I'm disappointed; and I feel like there's nothing else I can say. You could of make a bold message but you blew it by giving users the options mentioned above. Let's hope the death of SOPA/PIPA can bury this issue. --Taylor Karras (talk | contribs | Rcool35) 06:05, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

For a "half-hearted" measure, it sure made a lot of editors upset. I think it did what it was supposed to do: focused people's attention on the threat. That it did so without making the site completely inaccessible seemed like a plus to me. Would anything else have been gained by blocking read-only pages for those who chose to turn off Javascript? Rivertorch (talk) 06:19, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
"the fact that a method to allow people to read articles was available is appaling." Yes, heaven forbid we allow people to GAIN KNOWLEDGE. The world didn't stop yesterday, and I didn't stop needing to look up information. Powers T 14:04, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
In response to your question above. Reddit did the same thing and linked all of their pages to the blackout page; sure, there might be nothing to gain but the message came in loud and clear for users of reddit. It doesn't send much of a clear signal if you're allowed to post in the /videos/ and /funny/ sections of reddit during the blackout. As for people GAINING KNOWLEDGE, the point of the blackout was to show users what it would be like if Wikipedia was taken off the internet due to SOPA/PIPA, so why should the option exist for them to gather knowledge when Wikipedia is blacked out? --Taylor Karras (talk | contribs | Rcool35) 17:03, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Most people who use Wikipedia are not tech savvy enough to know immediately how to bypass it. The point was to get the SOPA/PIPA issue to these people, which have been generally isolated from it due to the lack of any mainstream media coverage of the issue. If you got around it, great, but you probably already knew about SOPA/PIPA and had your opinion on it. Blacking out as was done got the message to the non-choir. --MASEM (t) 17:14, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Curious about success of one-day boycott

Does Wikipedia feel that the one-day boycott was a worthwhile effort?Bill.cornell (talk) 15:41, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

WP:SOPA is thataway... – ukexpat (talk) 15:59, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Infobox Schienenfahrzeug - german names of parameters

Maybe somebody will be interested in fixing this problem - there are multiple templates copied from dewiki, what results in german names of parameters. Example (from Saxonia (locomotive)):

{{about|the locomotive Saxonia|other uses|Saxonia (disambiguation)}}

{{Infobox Schienenfahrzeug




|Abbildung=Saxonia 1989 Meiningen 01092007.JPG




Templates: Infobox Berg, Infobox Schienenfahrzeug, Infobox Burg, Infobox Militärische Einheit, Infobox Bahnhof, Infobox Austrian Landesstraße etc Bulwersator (talk) 17:29, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

{{Infobox Schienenfahrzeug}} redirects to {{Infobox German railway vehicle}}, which makes it portable between and It would be simple, but tedious to add aliases for each parameter so it would work in English and German. I would also recommend updating to {{Infobox}}. Discuss on the template or Wikiproject talk. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 17:42, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Audit Subcommittee vacancies: Call for applications (2012)

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 31 January 2012.

For the Arbitration Committee, –xenotalk 18:00, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Discuss this

RfC on the leadership of the featured article process

An RfC on the leadership of the featured article process has been opened here; interested editors are invited to comment. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 00:17, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Who left because of SOPA blackout?

The media claims a number of people left Wikipedia—never to return—because of the SOPA blackout. I know a number of people said they were thinking about it, but I don't know anybody that has actually carried through with their pledge. So I'd like to know;

1) Who said they would leave forever because of the blackout


2) Has actually stopped editing

I don't know of any. I think the media might have been stretching the truth here, but I could be wrong. - Hydroxonium (TCV) 08:30, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

User:Scott MacDonald seems to be the rallying point for the counter-movement, but it is way to early to tell who will stay away and who is just acting like a Diva. Yoenit (talk) 10:06, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
It all sounds a lot like the usual meatball:GoodBye to me, which is basically what we get when power users believe that "If you don't do what I say, I'll take my ball and go home" sounds more impressive online than it does on the playground. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:18, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Regardless of how many actually leave, it is a death by a thousand cuts for some users. Perhaps not just this one issue, but other issues are piling up that may drive them away eventually, with this being one more on the list. The more significant factor here is that Wikipedia is now politicized and those remaining are going to be even more politicized than in the past, where those who are protesting simply will leave.

On the whole that is sad, and it is something that I don't think was strictly necessary either. Name calling, backstabbing, and belittling the efforts of others is not a good way to assume good faith, or even understand that some very real issues are in play here. Yes, I am talking about the comments made above. The fall-out of this action has not yet worked its way through the Wikipedia community, which I think is more the point. I've said my piece about the blackout above and elsewhere, but the last thing we need to do is tell people "Good Riddance" and pack their back for them on their way out.

The loss of any voice on Wikipedia is a sad day, and I'm sorry if some of those commenting here seem to fail to grasp the consequences of that. In particular, those leaving are valued contributors who otherwise have performed a great service through their contributions and no longer will be participating... as if Wikipedia didn't already have an editor retention issue as it is. --Robert Horning (talk) 18:54, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Retaining recruits is a problem for every volunteer organization, not just Wikipedia. I agree that a conflicted environment doesn't help, including political disagreements. But there's only so much we can do to remediate that problem. Volunteer organizations typically have to work to recruit volunteers; thus far Wikipedia has been fortunate in having a ready influx of people willing to participate. I'm not really surprised that the participant curve eventually fell off. Yes it is sad to see skilled and productive editors leave, but long as a dedicated core group remains, I think we'll be okay. Regards, RJH (talk) 19:09, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

I think the mainstream media are trying to paint a different picture about the situation since many of them support the lobbies that in turn support SOPA and PIPA. The reality is that the protest on Wikipedia sparked protests everywhere. I've seen people writing on facebook fan page of google and twitter "thanks for protesting for SOPA"(sarcastically). I believe that wikipedia editors are explorers of doesn't take a nuclear scientist to understand that SOPA is bad for everyone(except old school media). --Michael Tsikerdekis (talk) 20:49, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

"Who left because of SOPA blackout?" Who cares? I don't. fredgandt 21:02, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. Anyone who left because of this was probably going to leave soon anyway and this is just a convenient excuse to angrily storm off. People quit every day, it is the nature of this type of project. I don't see any point in giving more attention to those who are throwing a fit about it now, over 800 people participated in the discussion so it's not as if the community didn't have a ssay in this. Beeblebrox (talk) 22:17, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
These two replies really annoy me to no end. If you really are that cold, heartless, and without compassion or feeling towards the opinions or even contributions of other long-term users who have helped to build up Wikipedia to the point that it is today, I am so utterly disappointed in this project that I may simply quit based off of these kind of comments left alone. I certainly hope that somebody, anybody else who is reading this, would give a damn enough that such comments are smacked down for exactly what should not be happening here on Wikipedia. Who cares if people leave? I CARE!!!! Wikipedia should be a friendly environment for editing, and it is this kind of hostility that I am objecting to. It is not merely a convenient excuse, but rather people who feel their voice is no longer being heard, and that people like you are driving them away with pitchforks. Don't even get me started with the "800 people participating" bullshit. --Robert Horning (talk) 16:06, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
I opposed any action in protest (or support) of SOPA from the first suggestion at the idea lab proposals. I spoke up where I felt it was appropriate, I emailed Jimbo, I watched and hoped, and I got cross. I eventually begged quite angrily that the debate just finish once and for bloody all. The result sucked in my opinion. The blackout was a triumph of politics over reason and ego over logic. "The empty can rattles the most." as Metallica (amongst others) have put it. And yet here I am, trying to do whatever little I can to help this project thrive. If a bunch of divas want to flounce off in a strop, GOOD!!. What matters is that this project serves the world with high quality free knowledge. If you think it should serve the old guard and pander to toddlers who have a tendency to throw all their toys out the pram when things don't go their way....please join them. fredgandt 22:53, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
Actually, Tsikerdekis, I would say that for all the bad that people can say about SOPA and PIPA, the DMCA is worse. Allowing businesses like YouTube to thrive with a business model based on turning a blind eye to copyright violations is obviously bad for everyone as well.—Kww(talk) 22:33, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Where on earth did this business about YouTube turning a blind eye on copyright violations come from? They take copyright violations very seriously and spend lots of good money on trying to automatically detect it and lets various media groups remove stuff they consider copyright to them too without any notice. If you think Rupert Murdock is a reliable source of information about keeping to the law or morals you've got your compass way skewed. Dmcq (talk) 23:02, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Most YouTube content violates music licenses or copyright laws. Their efforts are done at a level sufficient to comply with a weak law, not enough to actually prevent copyright violations from being posted. Please don't accuse me of watching FOX News, BTW.—Kww(talk) 00:37, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
Exactly what makes you think that the videos break copyright laws? I think citation needed is really needed here. Rupert Murdoch's allegations have been on other stations besides FOX though FOX does sort of show what he stands for. Who else has made such allegations? Dmcq (talk) 06:36, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
Do you use a different YouTube than the rest of us? Take a look at links like or or Look over at the lists of "related videos" and tell me how many of those posters are not violating copyright and licensing.—Kww(talk) 19:57, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
No you tell me if they are violating copyright or licensing. Do you really think a video of Rihanna can be up for three years without permission? It's not as though there was anything hidden in the titles either that a quick search wouldn't find or that they're not famous enough for people to notice even if YouTubes content identification wasn't so good. The Rihanna one for instance even links to iTunes so you can buy a good copy of the whole business. There may have been a copyright violation originally for all I know or it might have been a member of the studios stuck them up but it isn't as though the automatic checks would have missed them! Dmcq (talk) 21:01, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
Clearly, the multinational media conglomerates aren't doing it right and have been completely unable to find the copyright violations on Youtube, all they needed was for you to point them out! Music is saved! Perhaps there's a job in this for you? Or, perhaps, they either don't want those videos taken down, or they don't rise to the level of a violation? ... Nah, surely entire legal departments can't know more about this than you. --Golbez (talk) 21:32, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
Clearly the speed of posting illegal copies has exceeded the capability of the media conglomerates to generate takedowns. It isn't the copyright holder's moral responsibility to chase these down: it's YouTube's. The problem with the DMCA is that it places the responsibility for enforcement on the victim, not the person that profits from the infringement.—Kww(talk) 22:51, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
What has actually happened with YouTube is that Google has negotiated agreements with the major media conglomerates, allowing them to choose to either auto-block content that resembles content they own, or force the display of an advertisement that the conglomerate gets a cut of, or automatically pay a pre-established per-track royalty. So for example in the UK they have an agreement with the Performing Rights Society, establishing per-track royalties, similar to the kind of block licensing agreement radio stations, for material controlled by the PRS that one of the majors hasn't opted out of. Since taking it over Google has worked very hard to get agreements in place for as much of the content of YouTube as possible -- most of which is entirely invisible to the ordinary re-masher/uploader. Jheald (talk) 01:39, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Notification of DMCA takedown demand - Tonga#Economy

The Wikimedia Foundation received a takedown request in complaint with the provisions of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Our community and legal teams spent significant time on this DMCA request as part of our ongoing vigilance against improper, sloppy, erroneous, and sometimes intentional misuse of the DMCA. This is one case where the DMCA request was wrong.

In its DMCA notice, the company involved charged infringement, claiming that the article “Tonga” on the English Wikipedia contained content copied from their publication. Our investigation showed that the content in question had been on Wikipedia for years before their work was published, having been taken from public domain publications by the US Department of State (with proper attribution at the time of the edit). The company publication apparently copied from the same source. They have withdrawn their takedown notice, with apologies. We have reported this erroneous report to

The takedown can be read here. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 18:14, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Haha, idiots. --Closedmouth (talk) 18:23, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
The Foundation should have asked if they have provided proper attribution to the contributions in that article... --MASEM (t) 18:26, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
From the notice:
Cengage Learning, Inc. (“Cengage”) is among the largest textbook and academic publishers in the world
Maybe school boards should be made aware of how thorough this publisher of textbooks is in checking their "facts." - Ac44ck (talk) 19:06, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for reporting this to the community. Often, a simple shaming is the best option. --Golbez (talk) 21:26, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

URAA affirmed by US Supreme Court - deletion request opened

The Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA) is a 1996 US law that restored copyright to many foreign works that had fallen into the public domain in the US. In a 6-2 decision, SCOTUS affirmed the decision of the district court. The principle findings were: "1. Section 514 [of the URAA] does not exceed Congress’ authority under the Copyright Clause. [...] 2. The First Amendment does not inhibit the restoration authorized by §514." Supporters were Ginsburg, Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Sotomeyer. Breyer and Alito dissented. Kagan recused. See SCOTUS Blog.

For some time, Wikimedia Commons has been accepting images that are copyrighted in the US under the URAA, on the theory that it would be held unconstitutional. Such images were tagged with {{Not-PD-US-URAA}}. I've opened commons:Commons:Deletion requests/All files copyrighted in the US under the URAA and invite your opinions there. Please post your opinions regarding deletion there. Please don't post here to avoid dividing discussion, as I'm posting this notice in multiple locations. The English Wikipedia has also borrowed the template and the practice, but I have not yet opened a deletion discussion on the English Wikipedia. Dcoetzee (talk) 18:14, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Well we have to keep to the law so they need to be fairly quickly removed unless some other good reason can be found. Personally I think the extreme length of copyright is wrong. I see no reason they should be any longer than patents. The most I'd grant such a long ownership to is trade marks and I'd consider an authors characters a trade mark so for instance Mickey Mouse cartoons done ages ago would now be out of copyright but Disney would still own the trademark and be the only one who could produce new ones. But that's not the law and though the law is an ass we still have to abide by it. Dmcq (talk) 23:11, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Exactly my view, but I'd never considered the trademark side of things before. Josh Parris 10:58, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
It can be understood in the way that the work of art is often more of an abstract quantity compared to a technical process, which is usually in the pipelines for ages before that one will come through with it. Then reusing a fictional character often leads to the caricatural side of it and thus is less directly concordant with an idea of public service. A pity for the Wikipedia. --Askedonty (talk) 14:17, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
Personally I say, stuff it, but I guess the foundation has lawyers that feel the need to follow a horrible law. Where's jury nullification when we need it? --Golbez (talk) 21:33, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia Teahouse

Hi everyone! The Wikipedia Teahouse is a pilot project being coordinated by two Wikimedia Foundation Fellows (SarahStierch and Jtmorgan) during the first half of 2012; through this request for comment, we are looking for additional community input as we develop the project. For more information, please review the full project page on Meta, as the following is a short summary.

The Teahouse is intended to serve as a complement to existing self-service 1:1 help and mentoring systems already in place on English Wikipedia, which are addressing the needs of some, but not all new users[11]. We want to test some new approaches to teach new good-faith editors how to become better contributors by helping them develop a stronger understanding of policy and the 5 pillars, learn best practices for communicating and resolving disputes on-wiki, etc. We hope this project will demonstrate a measurable impact on new editor retention, which has been declining since its peak in 2007, and also on the gender gap: recent data shows only 9% of editors on Wikipedia are female, and we suspect that additional support mechanisms are needed for Wikipedia to retain more new female editors.

In this project, we'll be developing and testing ways to:

  • identify good-faith editors.
  • pro-actively reach out to invite these editors to engage with fellow community members.
  • provide a new space where new editors can be confident and comfortable in asking their "n00b" questions and get answers from a group of friendly, experienced Wikipedians; get pointed towards WikiProjects or other initiatives that may fit their interests, etc.
  • provide a space for new editors to encourage each other and share advice and helpful information in a "many-to-many" setting that is specifically geared towards their needs.
  • encourage quicker development of the kinds of community ties that experienced editors already have with one another.
  • provide an on-wiki space to follow up with new editors who come to Wikipedia via off-line outreach, edit-a-thons, etc.

The Teahouse pilot is intended to run through May 2012, at which point we'll assess outcomes. If the project is deemed successful, spaces like this could be incorporated into other languages or projects, as well, at each community's discretion.

Thanks so much for your thoughts! SarahStierch (talk) 01:37, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

This Request for Comment will run from January 21 until February 3.

We're looking for feedback on the project, most importantly a few specific things:

  1. What do you think are the most important things to help new editors learn about Wikipedia and the editing community? Can you share lessons you have learned from past experiences helping and welcoming new editors that either worked well, or did not work well?
  2. What kinds of invitations and mechanisms of inviting new editors to this project do you think would be most successful?

  • Just a random thought: have you considered whether it would be useful to produce a series of free YouTube videos to train new editors? I know its become a non-trivial task to climb that learning curve, so perhaps training videos would help? Regards, RJH (talk) 21:37, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Writing contest: The Teylers Challenge

The front of Teylers Museum
The entrance

Pieter Teyler van der Hulst died in 1778 and, in his will, he specified that his collection and capital had to be used for the promotion of art and science. For this purpose, a foundation was set up with five directors who had to manage the money for the specified purpose, including the gathering of knowledge. At that time, most knowledge was reserved for universities and the clergy only. In Haarlem however, there was no university and the clergy only had limited power. Haarlem was therefore the ideal location to inform the people about science and art. In the following centuries, Teyler's Museum bought thousands of pieces in the fields of fossils, minerals, paintings, drawings, coins/medals, and instruments to show scientific discoveries, but books were the best sources of knowledge. In that age, books were real pieces of art where art and the sciences were brought together, to make showing and describing the discoveries possible. The first purchase with Pieter Teyler's money was the purchase of an encyclopaedia.

Wikipedia and the Teyler's Museum both have the same goal: to collect knowledge and make this knowledge available for the public. With this background, a partnership between both institutes has been organized to use the benefits of each. To kick-off of this partnership, Wikimedia Nederland and the Teyler's Museum organized on 21 January a tour with a view behind the scenes of the oldest museum in the Netherlands. After a plenary presentation by Mrs. drs. M. Scharloo (the director of the Teyler's Museum) and Ziko van Dijk (president of the Dutch chapter Wikimedia Nederland), the writing contest The Teylers Challenge was announced. Then the audience was divided into seven groups, each led through the different parts of the museum, with a guide explaining the pieces held in those sections. Afterwards, a New Year reception was held by the chapter at the Grote Markt.

With this presentation and tour, The Teylers Challenge was presented: an international writing contest on Wikipedia about subjects that are linked to the Teyler's Museum. The articles may be written in any language, about a wide spectrum of subjects, and there is only one condition to participate: on the article there must be a blue link to the article of the Teyler's Museum in that language. This means that if the museum article doesn't yet exist in that language, it must be created (and that article can be part of the contest as well). The Teyler's Museum offers us images and information on the relevant topics. Information about some of the topics can be found on their website ( Teyler's Museum | Teylers Universe ).The museum will also respond to requests for information or images to be obtained for articles on Wikipedia. These requests can be put on Wikipedia:GLAM/Teylers/One on one collaborations (in English or Dutch). The writing contest runs until May 2012 and there are prizes to be won, made available by the Teyler's Museum.

The ideals of Pieter Teyler in the 18th century match with the ideals of Wikipedia today. Let's take up the challenge and enrich Wikipedia on the fields of art and science, and share this information with the world.

1rightarrow.png For participation and more information see: Wikipedia:GLAM/Teylers/Multilingual Challenge.

Success! On behalf of the organization of the Teyler Challenge, Romaine (talk) 19:26, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

iBook author incompatible with Wikipedia

So it appears that it is a condition of using the new free iBook author software from Apple is that the book produced can only be sold in the iTunes store.

As far as I can see this is incompatible with the CC-BY-SA license used on most Wikipedia and Commons content. If so this will mean that authors using this software to produce books are not allowed to incorporate text and pictures from our projects.

Is there something we can do about this? filceolaire (talk) 15:47, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Good topic; but I'm a little skeptical. (But I confess I haven't looked at the iBook lessons.) Is it a condition that the author can't sell the book elsewhere, or that the book can't be sold elsewhere? A license that permits others to sell the book is different from actively selling the book, so I'm curious how the iBook agreement discusses that.
Also, I'm not sure how this would prevent using content from Wikimedia? Publishing a CC-BY-SA photo in a book doesn't, I don't think, make the entire book a derivative work, requiring the entire book to be released under CC-BY-SA. I may be wrong about that, but it seems to me that the photo remains a distinct work, even when published in a book. Otherwise, wouldn't it be illegal for newspapers to use CC-BY-SA photos from Commons if they don't also release their entire publication under a free license? -Pete (talk) 22:05, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
The License Agreement 2.(B). stated that (paraphrased) if you sell the book, you may only do so through the iBookstore. However, if you distribute the book for free, there's no restriction. --tOMG 05:16, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
This remains problematic. The CC-BY-SA license permits others to sell your book. Apple's license cannot prevent this, since resellers of your book were not parties to the iBook authoring software EULA and did not agree to it. However, it's not clear to me if such a broad authorization to resell puts the original author at risk of a breach of contract or not. Dcoetzee 02:18, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
What exactly is the problem though? If the license is incompatible, it's incompatible. Is Apple promoting using WP content? If not, then it's hardly it's on the people who make the iBooks to follow WP's licence, and normal steps should be taken (whatever those may be) if it happens, but I don't quite see how "Apple cannot prevent this" because don't they have a right to make their own license? ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 03:12, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Just for laughs...

See todays nonsequitur. Tjuus, Kleuske (talk) 09:59, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia Is Safe and Awesome

Just a few minutes ago I posted a test statement, this was a test to see how long it took before a vandalistic post was removed from a page. In under two minutes the change was corrected, in no way are the lies your teachers tell you true. Wikipedia is secure and vandalist free. ***** — Preceding unsigned comment added by Seedorfjames (talkcontribs) 06:14, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Please do not do "test edits" on Wikipedia. It wastes the time of volunteers. -- Obsidin Soul 07:05, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
If you're interested in vandalism, you'd be better off seeing Wikipedia:WikiProject_Vandalism_studies. It contains links to independent research, which generally shows in a more scientific way that vandalism isn't a serious problem and is quickly fixed (e.g. [12]). --Colapeninsula (talk) 11:08, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

How rude!

OK...I know this has been discussed before, but I don't know where to look for any archived discussions. I have noticed that some editors use belittling tactics when they reply to friendly requests on how to improve articles. I seem to have a bit of a limit to how much I will stand when I see editors talking down to others or making fun of mistakes on articles and using these mistakes to call out other editor as idiots. I recently traced a request by one editor to simply ask how to go about raising the rating on an article. He seems to have approached a number of editors from varying projects and at least one Admin who simply said he didn't know anything about how to do such. Really? Really? His request to others was even worse. On one page he was blown off completely and the article ridiculed at the article talk page.

Normally the archived discussions on a talk page will be linked to in one of the tan-colored boxes near the top of the talk page. For example, on the Talk:Evolution page is a box named Archives next to the table of contents. You can also find old postings by clicking on the 'View history' tab at the top of the talk page. Note that there is a 'Help' link in the left-hand column of each page that links to various topics, or you can try searching for a particular subject such as 'archived discussions'. RJH (talk)
I saw that, but don't know exactly how to search for a specific subject and going through all the archives at the moment didn't seem like it would be a quick look...but a long drawn out research project. But thanks!--Amadscientist (talk) 01:22, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

I have had a few run ins with editors and I am no stranger to rudeness so perhaps I am just now seeing how badly this behavior effects the encyclopedia. I have become very sensitive to editors who claim to be female as the number of women editing on this site is extremely low...but I see that there are many editors of both genders leaving over disgust from how they are treated by others. I left a project years ago when an editor (who is still VERY active) started using horrible language that would make an sailor blush. I asked why he was being so uncivil and was told Wikipedia doesn't censor. That turns out to not be an argument that applies to talk page discussions as outright cussing is not acceptable. What I want to know from others, is this; How do you handle editors that are not cooperating with others, berating or belittling other editors (I see this as a control method frankly) or are using the project talk pages and article talk pages to bash articles and their editors as ridiculous. I can't say this is getting out of hand as I see it all the time. Most of the time it turns out the information they are defending for themselves is more than questionable, but this sort of highbrow attitude gives the impression that they are quite impressed with themselves and have little time to help anyone below their perceived abilities. What can one editor do that could help this overall situation improve? How do I turn around attitude...WITHOUT giving attitude back? Haven't figured that part out yet.--Amadscientist (talk) 10:37, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

I can definitely relate to your concern. A big part of the problem seems to be the anonymity inherent with this interface; the same level of rudeness just wouldn't be tolerated in person.
I do the best I can to avoid rancor, but sometimes it just isn't possible to avoid heated disputes. If the conversation becomes unpleasant, a gentle reminder to see WP:CIVIL may be appropriate. It can also help to step away for a few days and let things cool down. An alternative is to stick to editing more obscure topics that see little activity. Those rarely generate any disputes. Finally, you might try joining some of the WikiProject discussion groups. Those seem to generate less rancor since the editors there may be working together for long periods of time. Regards, RJH (talk) 16:23, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
I have occasionally gone back and read some of my own comments, and am often shocked at how rude I sound, when I never (well, not usually) meant to sound that way. There's something about quickie-anonymous forums which seem to generate inadvertent snideness. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 17:03, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I have seen some of my posts from my first couple of years here....and it's like I am looking at a different editor and I guess I am a different editor now. With a better understanding of Wikipedia. I just see so much bitter put downs and insults that go beyond the normal disputes. Some editors taking a moral stand over encyclopedic information while others look down on editors for simply editing an article another feels they don't deserve to be editing and express such. I wish people wouldn't post that anyone has no right to edit a page and then go into insulting a user by putting down their abilities. One editor actually said no one working on the article was capable of understanding the subject at all and therefore shouldn't contribute.--Amadscientist (talk) 01:20, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
I think part of the solution here is just more involvement by senior community members. We have dispute resolution, but in the absence of a dispute, we don't have a mechanism by which someone can recruit a senior community member to step in and say "don't be mean." Perhaps a civility noticeboard would be helpful? Admittedly it does risk escalating the issue - perhaps an anonymous mailing list would be better. Dcoetzee 01:46, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
You pretty much have that already in Wikipedia:Wikiquette assistance. --Tagishsimon (talk) 01:53, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Thank you all so much for this input. I think Tagishsimon may have found the solution I am looking for. One cannot take a stand against rude behavior without engaging in that same behavior in another editor's eyes, so this may be exactly what I am looking for! Thanks!--Amadscientist (talk) 02:45, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Have a read of this discussion; editors are on the whole against the use of "language gags" in Wikipedia, so expect to see some cussing here and there! When the cussing is directed at someone, though, that comes under our policy on no personal attacks, and is different. It's always worth remembering that one person's "unacceptable language" is another's "everyday informal talk" (a bit like a regional accent, in a way), so although we shouldn't tolerate personal attacks, always bear in mind that the other person possibly didn't mean the language as harshly or rudely as you may have perceived it. Wikipedia covers all cultures and the whole of the English-speaking world, and standards vary. Pesky (talkstalk!) 08:42, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation are very concerned about the toxic behaviour you're describing, Amadscientist. Last April they passed a resolution (wmf:Resolution:Openness) that urges us to develop practices to discourage disruptive and hostile behavior. Presently there is a case running before the WP:Arbitration committee entitled "Civility enforcement." It involves an editor, Malleus Fatuorum (talk · contribs) (Latin for hammerer of fools, I believe) who is intelligent, hard working and very helpful, but who has no time for people he deems to be troublesome fools. He can be quite unpleasant to petty idiots in particular. Everybody's watching to see how seriously the committee takes his behaviour.

It's a very nuanced case, though. Every controversy I've seen him in, I've agreed with his evaluation. In my opinion, he generally gets it right. (Though I've only seen a few). And he's supported by some of the finest minds on the project. His position seems to be that he'll start treating fools more benignly when the project starts taking the truly toxic - but "civil" - behaviour we see all around us seriously. It's a very difficult one for the committee.

The committee's response will be a signal to the community about whether being cruel and mean warrants just a chuckle and a knowing wink between administrators; or whether it's time for us to create an environment where a scholar, or an average civilised human for that matter, can enjoy contributing. The evidence and workshop stages have closed. The arbitrators are deliberating. If you watchlist this page you'll be able to watch the decision unfold. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 11:09, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

The whole "civility" issue is extremely complex. There are people who never say a swearword, who always appear to be polite, and who make other people's lives a misery! At the other end of the scale, there are extraordinarily helpful and constructive people, who just come across as "grouchy" a lot of the time. Most people fall somewhere in the middle; the important thing to remember is that we're all humans, with all our human fallibilities and failings, our bad days and good days, and Real Life issues which can spill over into here. That's just normal. Assuming good faith, wherever possible, gets us over a lot of differences in the ways we interact with each other. This isn't like anyone's "normal" real-life environment; we have people of all ages and backgrounds, brought up differently, but when all we have to rely on is the typed word we can easily be misled. A reasonable amount of tolerance is vital; on the one hand we certainly don't tolerate intentional attacking, but on the other hand we don't want people who just have differing language styles to feel unduly "caged". It would be a bit like having to do the gardening while wearing high heels and full evening dress. To put it in clear and blunt terms, someone saying "That's fucking awesome!" is OK, but someone saying "You're a moron!" is not. Pesky (talkstalk!) 12:15, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Just for the sake of clarity Anthyony, who exactly are you accusing of being "cruel and mean"? In general though I think you've summarised my position quite nicely. The real incivility here is very rarely, if ever, dealt with. Malleus Fatuorum 15:24, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
I confess I have my doubts about you. You may be so clueful that you never deal out spleen that your interlocutor can't take. In those few controversies of yours where I've examined the history, and followed the repercussions, your intensity was nicely pitched. This is why I mentioned your case is nuanced. We're dealing in notions as subtle as sensibility. However, if my suspicions about you are correct, that doesn't preclude the committee drawing important lessons from this case with regard to civil behaviour, while acknowledging that you're not a mean person, and that you have a deft touch. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 17:07, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

A further factor which is well known but doesn't seem to get mentioned so often regards the propensity for self-selected (volunteer) discussants to hold strong views, which may in turn be associated with strong verbal exchanges... People who are aware of the tendency may deliberately try to tone down their remarks and avoid excessive polarization. But even so, it's easy to find oneself in the midst of a word-slinging match, where nuanced views get elbowed out of a nastily polarized debate. Sometimes, I wonder whether more could be done to encourage wikipedians who have some sort of an informed opinion on a given subject of discussion to contribute it even if the topic doesn't take them by storm, as it were. But maybe that's just a meteorological pipe dream... MistyMorn (talk) 14:37, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

That is beautifully put, MistyMorn. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 17:12, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
I understand that foul language itself is not's when that language is used to push editors away from article by use of berating them with that language, but that is really a side issue to the demeaning, and belittleing of others that seesm to get out of hand. No one should be telling others that they lack the intelligence to edit, or that the subject is too much for Wikipedia to cover. High brow bashing of less knowledgable editors is disruptive and is not civil. It also crosses the line on talk pages by not discussing ways to improve the article...but simply a way to keep editors of a page. I almost see it as an ownership issue where the basher is simply trying to humiliate another to shame them of Wikipedia. But what agreat discussion this has turned into! I can clearly see this is an issue of importance to many editors as well as the foundation! I have to use the Village Pump more often. I learned a great deal here!--Amadscientist (talk) 00:30, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, anything akin to the 'silent treatment' is not good. And I would guess that painful attrition constitutes a far more relevant risk factor for loss of editors than the decision to stage a blackout. MistyMorn (talk) 21:17, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

Two species with the same common name

Both Puntius clemensi and Mandibularca resinus have the same English common name “Bagangan”, as it can be found on here and here. While this article Bagangan uses the common name as the title, it only mentions Puntius clemensi and completely ignores Mandibularca resinus. However Mandibularca resinus is redirected to this page, making it so confusing. Is there a better way to deal with it?--Quest for Truth (talk) 13:58, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

If there are two things with the same common name and neither is significantly more notable than the other, then there ought to be a disambiguation page. --Tango (talk) 14:02, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
I am not familiar to this fish, so I can't tell the significance of the species. Perhaps I need more opinions from those who are familiar with it. --Quest for Truth (talk) 15:11, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
There are numerous fishes in the Philippines named bagangan. In Visayan languages at least, the name literally means "mandibled", "large-jawed", "toothy", "large-cheeked", or "with prominent gums" (from bagang or bag-ang - "molars", "gums", or "lower jaw"). You can see why when you take a look at the fishes themselves. P. clemensi and P. resinus (=Mandibularca resinus) in particular look very similar as they belong to the same genus and inhabit the same lake (Lake Lanao). Nonetheless I can not move the page. I request an administrator to please move Puntius clemensi to Puntius clemensi. Then create a disambiguation page in Bagangan to list the fish species listed in the previous link from fishbase. I have also created a separate stub article for Puntius resinus.-- Obsidin Soul 22:11, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Thank you! There is only administrative work to do. Let's wait for an admin.--Quest for Truth (talk) 23:31, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

 Done Now someone who knows what they're looking at make sure all the species that should be listed at Bagangan are. LadyofShalott 00:08, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Language/2009 June 17#Cunjevoi.
Wavelength (talk) 00:31, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Heh. Anyway, I've completed the list at the dab and corrected the articles (including redirecting Mandibularca, as that is currently considered invalid). It's all good.-- Obsidin Soul 01:55, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
P.S. and TY LadyOfShalott, ofc -- Obsidin Soul 01:59, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't know what that means. LadyofShalott 15:54, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
In which universe is the name "Bagangan" an English word? Roger (talk) 15:39, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Doesn't really matter now that it's just a disambiguation page - it is a reasonable search term. LadyofShalott 15:54, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

When did "object" become "oppose"?

Just wondering if anyone remembers or knows how "Oppose" came to be used in Wikipedia's voting processes, replacing "Object", which is used for example at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/President of the United States/archive2. Leonxlin (talk) 03:45, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

4.43, 27 August 2007 (UTC). Didn't you get the memo? fredgandt 04:45, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Five hours after my first edit? Sending out the memo is still on my to-do list. :) Franamax (talk) 05:56, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Ah! All your fault! Tush. fredgandt 06:17, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
As to why it happened I reckon that "support - oppose" is a much more natural antonym pair than "support - object". Roger (talk) 15:54, 27 January 2012 (UTC)


I figured since this is the (approved) talk forum, I could chat here. Without someone getting all rule-monger on me. Like a normal human being. Not a Wikipedian.

So what people be doing? Anything interesting going on? Wish me luck to prevail on Fluorine. I am going to dare to disturb the universe and do a few new things to show you Wikians that there is still room for innovation. (and pleeeze don't edit war my article. that would be so ga...lame. Face-wink.svg.

So what be happening? Room?

TCO (talk) 05:55, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

This is still not a forum for random chatting. You know this, of course. → ROUX  06:05, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Hey TCO, check out the original source of that quote - there's some innovation for you. Nikkimaria (talk) 22:21, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
That's pretty cool actually. I looked the poem up on line and read it. Don't remember it from school although I'm sure we had it. Probably makes a little more sense after having grown up and been in love once and all that. Not high school kid. Actually the main T.S. Elliot thing that knocks in my head is isn't that what The Who are alluding to with "Teenage Wasteland"? It is all connected...
The Wiki article on J Alfred has 26,000 per month and is B. One main writer who is up on T.S. Elliot, but only has 40 edits to article over 5 years. Hmm...TCO (talk) 00:31, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Sir Isaac Newton - Theory of Gravity

I have always believed that it was Sir Isaac Newton who first discovered gravity; as explained in the article on this web site. I have just read the 1943 translation, of Emperor Frederick II - The Art of Falconry, by Wood,A.Casey and Fyfe,Marjorie,F and was interested to find on p.92 the following, when discussing the flight of birds, "as all weights are attracted to the center of the earth". This observation forms the central point in the theory as expressed four hundred years later by Sir Isaac Newton. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:41, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

This seems more suitable for the reference desk. However the knowledge that things were "attracted to the center of the earth" was well known long before Newton and easily observable. Newtons revolutionary contribution was to supply an explanation as to why that was so. --Saddhiyama (talk) 15:08, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
"Discover" is the wrong concept when referring to something that is and always was a ubiquitous part of the human experience of the world. Newton didn't discover gravity, nor invent it. He provided the first scientifically coherent explanation of how it works. Similarly, Columbus or Erikson (depending on which myth you prefer) did not discover the Americas. The people living there since long before any Paleface pitched up have always known of the place's existence. Roger (talk) 16:16, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
To quote Dirk Gently: "Though that [gravity], of course, was merely a discovery. It was there to be discovered. You see?" he said dropping his cigarette butt, "They even keep it on at weekends. Someone was bound to notice sooner or later." the wub "?!" 00:02, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

When external reliable sources explicitly cite wikipedia articles in their coverage of a topic...

When external reliable sources explicitly cite wikipedia articles in their coverage of a topic to what extent does this help establish notability? There is an academic law journal that used to routinely direct its readers to the wikipedia articles on individuals, when it was commenting on developments in their cases. You can see from this google search they don't do so anymore, and haven't done so since 2008.

There is an individual whose article was deleted, inappropriately, in my opinion, for whom several articles in this RS advised readers to go to the wikipedia article to learn more.

Clearly this deletion of this kind screw up the efforts of the law journal's readers. Nowadays on of the grad students or research assistants who helps produce the journal provides their own little in-house biography

I thought those references helped confer a fair measure of notability in and of themselves.

I am reviewing this individual's case, and I thought I would ask for input on whether having a reliable source explicitly cite our article confers any more notability for an individual. Thanks! Geo Swan (talk) 17:19, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

If the references were of the form of "An analysis of judgement bias by race" by Fred Nerk (see Fred Nerk on Wikipedia), then no, I don't think writing an article in a law journal counts as making oneself notable. Josh Parris 22:20, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
You'll want to consider WP:CIRCULAR. In general, however, it works like this:
  • If law journals write about someone (providing in-depth information, with no connection between the source and the person in question, etc.), that suggests that the person is notable (which means "qualifies for a separate Wikipedia article", not "is famous" or something like that).
  • If the source tells people to read Wikipedia for more information, that's irrelevant (neither plus nor minus), because we're trying to establish the notability of the person, not the Wikipedia article.
  • If the law journal says that Wikipedia is their source for the information (e.g., "According to Wikipedia, the subject was convicted in June 1834 of spitting on the sidewalk...", then the source is completely worthless for establishing notability and completely worthless for verifiability purposes. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:47, 29 January 2012 (UTC)


I generated list of suggested images for articles without image in infobox and it is a quick way to import content from different language editions: User:Bulwersator/Echo/Images

Bulwersator (talk) 12:37, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Why was redlink deleted?

I see that the redlink redirect page was deleted in 2006 (before my time).

Just wondering why it does not point to Wikipedia:Red link? Ottawahitech (talk) 19:37, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

I believe it's purposefully kept red to that it can be used as an easy example. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 19:57, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
The answer is in the protection log "16:57, 27 December 2007 Xaosflux (talk | contribs | block) protected Redlink ‎ (This page has been created as a permanent red links for demonstration purposes, meta comments, and interface demonstrations. [create=sysop]) (hist | change)" So basically it is in this state to demonstrate what a red link is. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:59, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Is it possible to add that explanation directly to Talk:Redlink instead of "hiding" it in an obscure log file that only Super-Wikipedians know how to find? Roger (talk) 20:57, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
I've re-deleted the article so the notice is in the deletion log as well, will that do? --Philosopher Let us reason together. 21:04, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Which Deletion log are you referring to? Ottawahitech (talk) 22:26, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
There is only one - Special:Log/delete. --Redrose64 (talk) 22:44, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
And clicking redlink shows that log with the clear reason for why the page does not exist. Johnuniq (talk) 06:21, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Out, damn bot!

Can someone who understand such things sort out the edit war that is going on between RFC bot and us inferior carbon-based lifeforms over at Talk:Demi Moore? I think that Dr.K's last edit summary indicates how - to someone more clued-up than me [13]. There has been enough strife already, without edit-warring bots adding to the confusion... AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:41, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

 Done MBisanz talk 05:09, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. Now we can get back to arguing about whether Ms Moore is a reliable source for her own name... AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:19, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
...but ten minutes later the bot edited again. -- John of Reading (talk) 08:23, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
I've let the bot's handler know of the situation. Perhaps they can lend some insight into what is rapidly turning into the beginnings of the First Robot-Human War. elektrikSHOOS (talk) 08:43, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

The RFC had been open for a month, hence the bot was marking it as expired. For the most part, this approach works fine, however obviously in large/long term Rfcs it creates problems. I can't actually comment on why this approach was taken (when I inherited the bot from harej, that was the approach that was taken, so I used the same approach when I rewrote the bot), as oppose to say expiring rfcs that have been inactive for X-days/weeks/ whatever . I would hazard a guess and say, that it would have been mostly a coding problem. Mainly, bots aren't very smart, and unless you had a very well written parser, it would have probably gotten mixed up, missed comments etc, and been even worse than it is at the moment. Talkpages are not the most friendly things to parse, and it would be hard to get an accuracy rate that is acceptable, so I assume that is why this arbitrary one month solution was used.

That said, there obviously is somewhat of a problem when Rfcs need to go longer than a month. One trick is to fool the bot by placing a comment with a fresh timestamp next to the rfc template (e.g. <!-- [[User:Chris G]] 08:43, 26 January 2012 (UTC) -->), otherwise, I've just added something that will also work. The bot will not expire any rfc's if it finds <!-- RFCBot Ignore Expired --> somewhere on the page (Like so).

Hopefully this clears things up a bit, and apologies on behalf of my bot. --Chris 09:36, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

Hidden text containing date stamps screws up the RFC pages, because only the first half of the code is picked up (the <!-- but not the closing -->.
The solution is documented at Wikipedia:RFC#Ending_RfCs: "RfCs that are listed by the RfC bot are also automatically de-listed by the RfC bot after 30 days (calculated from the first timestamp after the RfC template). Thirty days is the default length, but there is no required minimum or maximum length. If consensus has been reached before 30 days, the RfC nominator(s) can remove the RfC tag, and the bot will remove the discussion from the list on its next run. If further time is wanted, editors can change the first timestamp to a more recent date, which will prevent the bot from removing the listing."
If you will please read and follow the directions, you can be done with your edit war. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:52, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
As a general rule, it's good if bots are programmed to never edit war. If they get reverted, they shouldn't try again. --Tango (talk) 23:12, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Wikimania 2012 cfp and scholarships

The Wikimania 2012 Call for Participation is open now. The submission deadline is March 18. Don't be shy! Submit a presentation, a panel session, or workshop.

There also are travel scholarships (really, don't be shy!) and registration is also open.

Wikimania will be held July 12-15, 2012 in Washington, DC. There will be pre-conference events, including a hackathon, and Wikimania Takes Manhattan is the weekend before. Cheers. --Aude (talk) 06:17, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

How do I make the "Improve this page" corner box go away

Second only to blinking/moving advertisements, the attention-grabbing scheme I dislike the most is boxes or bars that travel with you as you scroll down the page. I find them unnerving, and think that that uses them is either desperate or thinks that their clients are incapable of using scroll wheels. The new article feedback tool incorporates one of these annoying boxes, in the lower right hand corner, and I'm quite eager to make it go away. I'm game for anything, scripts included. Someone help please. Sven Manguard Wha? 23:25, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

We're currently developing a mark-as-dismiss function now (I had asked for it to be available as soon as the box was, but... Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 23:38, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
You can disable it by checking "Don't show the Article feedback widget on pages" under Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-rendering, but this will also disable the "Rate this page" box at the bottom of the page. Goodvac (talk) 23:41, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Sad that I can't get rid of one but not the other, but oh well. Thanks Goodvac. Sven Manguard Wha? 01:47, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
Add #articleFeedbackv5-bottomrighttab{display:none} to your common.css. --Yair rand (talk) 04:23, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. I think that for the time being, however, I'll just disable the whole suite. Sven Manguard Wha? 22:41, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

The edit link rewriting…

…bothers me infinitely more. Does the pref disable that as well? ¦ Reisio (talk) 09:16, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

The what? Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 11:29, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

The href values for the [edit] links are altered from something mostly readable to a ridiculously long string of nonsense. ¦ Reisio (talk) 22:03, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

The [edit] link problem I'm encountering is that the buttons to edit sections no longer appear on diff pages. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:49, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 96#Missing section edit links on a diff. --Redrose64 (talk) 16:27, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. The last comment at bugzilla:33671 says it's fixed in a future release. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:13, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

And this is why it's silly to not have an ordinary VP. Still unsure of the answer to my question. Suppose I'll have to try it and see. ¦ Reisio (talk) 23:48, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Home of Peace moved to Home of Peace Cemetery (Helena, Montana)

I'd appreciate comments on my move of an article titled Home of Peace to Home of Peace Cemetery (Helena, Montana). What is the optimal title for this article? There are at least 13 cemeteries in the US named "Home of Peace", including the famous one in L.A., Home of Peace Cemetery (East Los Angeles), which I also moved to its new title (it was previously named "Home of Peace Cemetery"). --Kenatipo speak! 02:59, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

It doesn't matter how many cemeteries are named "Home of Peace", it only matters how many have articles on WP. If there are only two on WP and one is famous, it might be the primary topic. If it is, it should have remained at the plain title with a hatnote pointing to the other one, per WP:TWODABS. If neither is primary topic, then what you did makes sense, except that the dab page (which should be at Home of Peace Cemetery, not Home of Peace) should not have all those redlinks, per MOS:DABRL, because they do not disambiguate anything on WP and therefore lead nowhere. Station1 (talk) 06:30, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
Thank you, Station1. I looked at Primary Topic as you suggested and I think it does not apply in this case. I didn't know that redlinks were discouraged on dab pages! They're encouraged in article space, so, it gives me something to think about. --Kenatipo speak! 00:18, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
Let me clarify: redlinks are fine on a dab page, provided there's a bluelink on that line that has the same redlink on it (presumably giving some context as to what the redlink is about). Orphaned redlinks are not cool. Josh Parris 00:39, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, Josh. To me the dab issue, although important and directly related, is secondary. My question to you is: What is the optimal title for the article that used to be named "Home of Peace", and, why? --Kenatipo speak! 03:16, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Hi fellow Wikipedians

Should Is Hindawi a RS publisher for this content? (thread on RS/N) and Please review my closure of an RS/N discussion (restored from archive), (thread on ANI) be regarded as something worth the attention of the Arbitration committee?
A non-admin developed a cabal of his own and closed a free RS/N discussion. He brought the closure before ANI for review, but almost no one want to touch the hot potato. I don’t know why and need your help. I welcome a comment from you. Thanks. Granateple (talk) 23:23, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Could you please simplify your request for help by clarifying/wikilinking some of the jargon you are using (ANI RS/N cabal etc)? Ottawahitech (talk) 15:03, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
Here it is difficult I know,
Cabal - WP:Cabal
RS - WP:RS — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:36, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

Editing archive pages

I was looking at someones wikipedia contributions and noticed that they edited a page marked: {{talkarchive}}

Are some Wikipedians allowed to do this and if so who and why. Ottawahitech (talk) 15:22, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Archive pages are generally not protected so everybody is technically able to edit them by clicking the "Edit" tab, but it should only be done in special circumstances and not to continue a discussion. PrimeHunter (talk) 16:28, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
How about reverting edits on an archived Talk page - what special circumstances would justify this? 17:32, 31 January 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ottawahitech (talkcontribs)
It's a page. Pages are pages. There is nothing special about any page on Wikipedia. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 21:16, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Could you please elaborate: Are you saying it is up to wikipedians to patrol archived pages marked with {{talkarchive}} to make sure they are not vandalized? Ottawahitech (talk) 14:53, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
In a sense, it's "up to wikipedians to patrol" EVERY page on Wikipedia. Obviously being a volunteer effort some pages will get less eyes than others, and archive pages being things that aren't all that visible and tend to not change at both aren't going to get vandalized much but also aren't going to be on nearly as many watchlists. If they do get vandalized it should be reverted, yes, but it's no different from someone vandalizing an article page or this VP page or whatever. As for your question of reverting an archived talk page, certainly that can happen if the discussion isn't done yet -- so if the editor puts the discussion back on to the talk page that's perfectly fine. If not, and especially if there's there's no edit summary explanation, then it's probably simple vandalism and should be fixed. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 15:37, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
Common sense applies. Archived pages should not be edited casually. I just edited an archive page because part of the original discussion wasn't signed or dated so it got stuck on the talk page for several months. I could see where archived discussions would need to be redacted regarding Oversight issues. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 15:46, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
A good rule of thumb is probably "If you're continuing a discussion, don't; if you're fixing something, do." --Philosopher Let us reason together. 11:44, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
Good summation. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 18:24, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
Another problem that often needs fixing is the presence of templates or links that inadvertently place the talk page archive into a category. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:45, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

Deletions of categories

I just found out a category I found useful had been removed from Wikipedia. How can I find out why it was removed? Thanks in advance. Ottawahitech (talk) 15:08, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

What category is it? GB fan 15:22, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
It should be in the deletion log. Put the category name, including the Category: prefix, into the box after "Target (title or user):", and then click on "Go". For example, if the category that you have lost is Category:Proposed deletion as of 23 January 2012, this is what the deletion log looks like. --Redrose64 (talk) 19:05, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
You might also be able to find a discussion in Wikipedia:Categories for discussion which resulted in its deletion. --Tagishsimon (talk) 11:24, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia Mumble

Mumble is an open-source group voice chat software, originally designed for gaming. Just today I've set up an unofficial Mumble server for interaction and collaboration among Wikipedians as described at Wikipedia:Mumble. I'd love to get more people trying it out and I would appreciate any feedback anyone can offer on it. Thank you! Dcoetzee 11:07, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Personally I really don't like the idea of people going off into a huddle and talking about an article and then descending on it as a group. (talk) 18:20, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
Collaborations on particular articles have been conducted before on IRC (e.g. Editing Fridays) and were pretty effective. Dcoetzee 21:11, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
Single day collaborations are too short for gangs to form and the results won't be reinforced. However I can see gangs forming from longer term collaborations as they do in games. What they talk about will not be subject to review. Also whereas there probably has been nothing untoward happening with Editing Fridays I see no way of fully assessing the results. One would not expect unbiased answers from participants. And for longer term collaboration one should not derive assessments of a gangs actions only from the gang members. There is already too much wrong happening in the interactions between editors. Dmcq (talk) 01:12, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

Tequila (song)

Considering that it is an instrumental piece, with the word "Tequila" being occasionally spoken, would it be correct to move it to Tequila (instrumental)? Within the article, it's repeatedly referred to as a song. Hearfourmewesique (talk) 18:15, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Although strictly speaking it may not be properly called a song, it seems best to title articles so that they are easily found. The disambiguation (song) is perhaps more likely to be searched than (instrumental). A possible solution would be to create Tequila (instrumental) and redirect Tequila (song) to it. Then if the content of the article remains a concern (regarding the description of the music as a song), simply edit the article accordingly. Whatever action is preferred, I recommend discussing that action at the talk page of the article. fredgandt 04:05, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Seems that has already happened. fredgandt 04:07, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
I only see "instrumental" as a redirect to "song". I guess I'll go ahead and make the necessary adjustments. Hearfourmewesique (talk) 02:43, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
You'll see (in the history) that someone already noted that since there are sparse lyrics, it is not purely an instrumental. I think it is probably fine the way it is. Your call though. fredgandt 02:50, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Po-tay-to, po-tah-to... well, since the talk page has been moved, I'll go ahead and copy-paste in spite of the guidelines. You can't call it a song unless it's a pure bureaucratic call that disregards common sense at its utmost. Hearfourmewesique (talk) 18:27, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Maybe next you could have it out with Elton John, whose Song for Guy is described as "mainly instrumental". Actually the word "song" is commonly applied to popular music tracks regardless of whether they have words (try googling "Instrumental Songs" if you don't believe me). --Colapeninsula (talk) 11:13, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
"PEnnsylvania 6-5000" is also referred to as a song, even though it has virtually no lyrics.   → Michael J   03:48, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
You mean: was referred to, erroneously. Also, common misconceptions are still misconceptions. An "instrumental song" makes as much sense as a "feline dog". "Salt Peanuts" is also not a song. Getting back to the issue in question – quoting the appropriate policy: "When a track is not strictly a song (in other words a composition without lyrics, or an instrumental that is not a cover of a song), disambiguation should be done using "(composition)" or "(instrumental)"." Hearfourmewesique (talk) 18:23, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Mis dos centavos: The idea that "Tequila" is an instrumental is very open to debate. The reasoning against this position is that the one-word lyric is "used as a sound effect" and "isn't sung". But this is nonsense; it's not some random noise like the samples popular in hiphop and in industrial music; the song's intent is to represent what it feels like to be loaded on tequila. And the word is sung: "Ta-quiii-la!" In cover versions, e.g. "Tequila Slammer" by Klute, this is even more apparent (and the article is about the song as a work, not just the original version). It's a song that is mostly an instrumental, with the most minimalistic lyrics. But it is still a song, with lyrics. As I said when someone brought the matter up at WT:Article titles, we are not in the business of making guidelines/policies that split hairs at a nanobot level. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒〈°⌊°〉 Contribs. 11:38, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

VOA Links Broken

At some point in the recent past, VOA News ([14]) changed their link format (previously they were using Cold Fusion with .cfm links, I am not sure what they're using now, but all their articles are now .html). Because of this, expect all old VOA citation links will likely need correcting and/or need to refer to an archived copy of the page. I have in the past proposed methods of auto-archiving links. I have not really seen any progress in that regard, which is sad for Wikipedia and means that we will have to now manually fix all these links.

By the way, this is the third or fourth page I've considered putting this notice on, and I'm still not sure if this is the right place. Wikipedia, really, really, really needs a clear place for community information to be posted. (yes I know about the community bulletin board, but according to the talk page that's for things like project proposals and announcements about Wikipedia's accomplishments. It's also not clear if that page has certain designated editors or is for anyone to edit, moreover, I'm not sure how many people actually look there, there is also Wikipedia mailing lists, but that seems more for people involved in the nuts and bolts of Wikipedia administration than for a general announcement to all editors). Jztinfinity (talk) 17:52, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Looking at some of the VOA Links in Wikipedia, I actually think that this url format shift happened quite a while ago, so while there are some older links broken, there are not a huge amount as I feared Jztinfinity (talk) 06:24, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

Help with Self-parody

When I wrote self-parody, I included a parody of the way my style was coming out. It has belatedly occurred to me that it would be funnier to parody Wikipedia. The best I can come up with is

This sentence itself contains parodies of legendary free encyclopedia Wikipedia's own typical features.[citation needed].

Would anybody like to help? I think it would be good to make the whole first paragraph a self-parody, but I can't come up with enough things to imitate. (I just know them when I see them.)

I realize we're supposed to avoid self-reference, but this strikes me as a unique case where we should ignore that rule.

I also realize the article needs a good deal of other work, some of which I may be able to do in the next few days, but of course others may want to contribute to that too. —JerryFriedman (Talk) 15:16, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

No, self-parody should not be written in the form of a parody of any sort. Wikipedia does not use self-demonstrating articles. Go to TV Tropes if you want to do that (see Self Demonstrating Article). Dcoetzee 21:13, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
For an extreme example of what happens when people do that, see the history of Gadsby (novel). The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 05:26, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
That's definitely an extreme example (although I'm glad lipogrammatic versions are still available in the history). Now I'm wondering why I didn't think of this when I worked on iambic pentameter :-) Anyway, thanks for the comments—it hadn't occurred to me that there might be anything wrong with a limited bit of self-demonstration. —JerryFriedman (Talk) 18:54, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
It would be quite amusing indeed to do what you have in mind, but issues can stem from demonstrations of an article's content. Perhaps on April Fools' Day sometime an attempt could be made to do something like that. DCItalk 04:25, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
The funniest idea I ever heard was to randomize the article on Schroedinger's cat so it deletes itself 50% of the time it's clicked on, but that seems a bit too drastic even for April 1st. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 14:08, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
I do like the Schrödinger's Cat one. —JerryFriedman (Talk) 21:59, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

I need a template translated from German to English

Hi there. I came across template:Infobox German railway vehicle, which is on English Wikipedia, but all of the terms are in German. Could someone wrap the German parameters in English parameters please? Sven Manguard Wha? 15:18, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

I think it's only intended for temporary use on articles which are in the process of being translated. The permanent infoboxes are {{Infobox locomotive}} and {{Infobox train}}. --Redrose64 (talk) 19:57, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
Than could someone who speaks German take the articles that use the German language template and put the information into the newer English language templates? Sven Manguard Wha? 17:03, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Have informed WT:RAIL#Infobox German railway vehicle. --Redrose64 (talk) 17:55, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Redrose is right. The template is intended to speed translation from German Wiki to English. In due course the individual templates can be converted. However, be aware that the equivalent English template lacks some of the capability at present. This is all work in progress. The beauty of the template is that it automatically translates the parameters and some of the data as well. --Bermicourt (talk) 19:08, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Also, the documentation page for the template (ie Template:Infobox German railway vehicle/doc) already has translations of all of the parameters in the infobox, eg Leermasse is translated as "empty weight". Bahnfrend (talk) 01:40, 5 February 2012 (UTC)


What does it means "internal probability" in this case?

"The Story in the Epitome of Victor, that Diocletian put himself to death in order to escape violence which he apprehended from Constantine and Licinius, seems to be unsupported by external evidence or internal probability.

--Ἐπαμεινώνδας (talk) 17:48, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

At a wild guess, "prior probability", though I wouldn't care to venture on what grounds... Too many 2c, MistyMorn (talk) 20:35, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
I'd say what's described in the story (that is, internal to it) doesn't seem probable to whoever wrote that. There are places on the Web where you can get good answers to questions such as this. I'm fond of alt.usage.english. —JerryFriedman (Talk) 21:25, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

Requested articles

Hello. Would you be interested in contributing to this Wikipedia:WikiProject New Jersey/Requested articles? You do not have to live in New Jersey to help out. I am trying to get people to help contribute. Many thanks! By the way, I have asked on the project talk page, but did not get any response! So I figured, I would ask here. --Tinton5 (talk) 20:20, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia Review - libel?

Closing this per WP:SNOW, noting that the English Wikipedia is the wrong forum for this decision in any case. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 02:32, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Wikipedia Review, which most of you know about is a forum devoted to critisising and harassing Wikipedia and our prominent users. Countless editors have been harassed by their posters and the site is obviously doing all it can to defame us and get us out of business. On January 23., after a server breakdown, an administrator wrote an announcement; "We're back! (Just like SOPA will be)", clearly referring to the SOPA and our opposition to it. The site openly claims Wikipedia is undemocratic and cites Jimbo Wales: "Voting is evil" (reference:[15]), without mentioning that Jimbo meant that reaching a consensus through a discussion is more democratic than voting. The site is aggressively trying to hurt Wikipedia and spread false, negative rumours, which I believe, without being an attorney, is libel and WMF's legal staff should take a close look at this and eventually, legal action for libel should be taken. PaoloNapolitano 15:11, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Strongest Possible Support - That website won't look so smug when it's in court giving evidence from the prisoner's box. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 15:26, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Believe me, I think that WR is largely a collection of pathetic individuals that take pleasure out of hurting or saying hurtful things of others. That being said, in the United States, and most of the western world, there are legal protections for people to stay stupid shit on the internet, and even to say hateful and malicious stupid shit on the internet. This dosen't meet the standards of libel, and would set a dangerous precedent toward how we interact with the rest of the world, which would negatively effect Wikipedia's reputation (think sue-happy scientology). The solution is pretty obvious: don't bother reading what is said on that site. Sven Manguard Wha? 17:00, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
It's not that we're "trying to sue the people we don't like". If we go as far as suing WR, we sue them because their only intention is to hurt Wikipedia's reputation and we can't allow them to do that. Imagine a forum solely devoted to falsely claiming "McDonald's use XXX in their food" or "this is how they treat their workers" without any sourcing. McDonalds would have sued them almost immediately. The evidence lies right before our eyes at the website and they would be thrashed by our attorneys in the courtroom. Scientologists sue all the time for no apparent reason, while the WMF rarely, if ever sues someone, so a case like this would make big headlines and a win would benefit us greatly. I can imagine admins who are contemplating retirement because of pressure from WR and users who fear becoming admin candidates because the pressure and harassment from WR that follows the task. We are just sitting here watching a bunch of people who hate Wikipedia harassing people who are just doing their jobs. We must not accept that. PaoloNapolitano 18:48, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
But an almost inevitable side effect would be to give WR unprecedented publicity. My 2c, MistyMorn (talk) 18:55, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
MistyMorn is right. Better people have tried to "hurt Wikipedia's credibility" (most notably, Wikipedia itself). Ignore WR. They are irrelevant and always have been. But pointlessly attacking them would change that. Oh, and they are right in one thing. Wikipedia is not a democracy. Resolute 22:48, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes, but when McDonald's went around and SLAPPed people, were you cheering for them? My first guess would be no. I bet you were on $(your favorite website) complaining about how EVIL McDonald's is. So how exactly is it different if WMF is the one going around and SLAPPing people? ZZArch talk to me 22:47, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
The effect mentioned above is the so-called "Streisand effect", and we'd be in real danger of it afflicting us. It's a user-driven site, I think we should just bite our tongue. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 21:28, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Haven't you better things to worry about in life that what some eejits say about Wikipedia? Bang your thumb with a hammer or get into an argument with your next door neighbour and that'll get your mind off it - I'd advise the hammer ;-) Dmcq (talk) 22:35, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. Once we engage in legal action, there is a little thing called freedom of speech that kicks in. SLAPPs are evil, and it does not matter who is doing it. (In fact, if the WMF were to sue WR, I might just send my annual donation to the WMF this year to WR's legal defense fund, simply because my hatred for censorship trumps my love for Wikipedia.) ZZArch talk to me 22:40, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Someone is wrong on the Internet. Let it go. Besides, I don't follow the site but isn't a lot of the nasty stuff posted by anonymous contributors? Wikipedia is criticised for allowing anonymous contributors to post copyright violations and attack living people on a much higher profile site. We may work to curb it here but we shouldn't sue others for allegedly not. It will just give them attention and reflect badly on us in many commentators who wouldn't bother to distinguish between who does what to self-police. PrimeHunter (talk) 23:33, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose as both counterproductive were we to attempt it, and impossible to actually do in the first place. 'Some minor website says nasty things about Wikipedia' isn't news, but 'Wikipedia tries to censor criticism' is. In any case, the WMF cannot 'sue a website', they could only sue individuals, and even that would require something more specific than claims that they were 'trying to hurt Wikipedia and spread false, negative rumours'. If an individual libels another individual, on Wikipedia Review or elsewhere, the person libelled is of course entitled to pursue this through the courts (though not necessarily best advised to do so), but the WMF has better things to do than involve itself in such trivia. The best response to the Wikipedia Review is to ignore it, as the irrelevance that it is... AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:53, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Isn't this the Foundation's decision?? Besides, WR isn't trying to destroy W, because without W there would be no WR. It's just haters taking potshots, and a lot of Wikipedians getting their troll on, using sockpuppets and other fun things woefully denied around here. Besides, it's hardly as nasty as Encyclopedia Dramatica. - Wikidemon (talk) 06:07, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Beside for being a completely unhelpful and wasteful action, it would be totally contradictory to our values. --Yair rand (talk) 09:55, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. If WR actually spreads false information about one of our users that hurts them in a material way, then by all means let that user sue the original poster for libel. That's what libel law is for. If WR members harass them by calling their school or workplace, there are laws for that too, which the victim can and should report them for, rather than just feeling intimidated. If they need legal assistance, I'd hope the community and/or the WMF would support them. But I don't think the Foundation itself has grounds to sue for libel, as WR members haven't really damaged the WMF with false information, as far as I'm aware. Moreover, WR itself (as opposed to the people who post on it) is immune as they are merely a service provider - an immunity that Wikipedia is dependent upon. Dcoetzee 10:10, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose it's not libel.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:28, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support or opposition is irelevant This is one decision the community can't make for the Foundation, and it reads like a joke anyway. If you understand what SOPA is really about, you would realize that currently such a lawsuit would be thrown out of court. Only if it passes could the site itself be held accountable for such content. Really, really, pathetic proposal, move on to something constructive. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:14, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Ridiculous, and just one more example of Wikipedia's inability to accept criticism. And just to echo Wehwalt's point above, in the UK at least anything posted on a web site would be considered slander, not libel. Malleus Fatuorum 23:49, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
"Wikipedia's inability to accept criticism"? You do realize that it's a wall of oppose versus two editors who cannot accept criticism, right? ZZArch talk to me 23:54, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

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

I want Drop me from spanish Wikipedia

I want to drop myself officially from Spanish Wikipedia. How can I officially be sign off, and so, they erased all my data?Sonia Murillo Perales (talk) 21:40, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

English Wikipedia has no control over the other Wikipedias. I don't think user data is ever completely erased. Ian.thomson (talk) 21:42, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
See m:Right to vanish, and/or ask at es:Wikipedia:Café. Dcoetzee 22:22, 5 February 2012 (UTC)


There are request for deletion or creation, Are there request for improving quality? (talk) 14:47, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

I hearby request that every page on Wikipedia have its quality improved. ;-) Seriously, the WikiProject banners on the article talk pages usually give a quality rating, which is essentially an indicator of the article's need for improvement. Thanks. Regards, RJH (talk) 18:46, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
What if an article seriously need to be improved? (talk) 19:07, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
It is not clear to me what you have in mind. A general observation "I don't like it" isn't specific enough to generate any focused activity. Any number of tags exist to request specific improvements. Do you have an example of a page you think belongs on a "request for improving quality" list? What, in particular do you think needs fixing. Why don't *you* fix it? - Ac44ck (talk) 20:35, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
We have WP:Peer review, and tags can be placed on articles in need of major improvement. In the case of a poor article having an old status of Featured Article or Good Article, there are reassessment processes that can end up removing or delisting those articles from their respective categories. DCItalk 04:22, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Such requests are normally made by adding one of the Wikipedia:Template messages to the article. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:12, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
You can also post a request at Wikipedia:Cleanup. -- œ 08:08, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Reagan Day commemoration

WikiProject Conservatism cordially invites you to celebrate Ronald Reagan Day. On February 6 The Conservatism Portal will commemorate Ronald Reagan Day with a format specially designed for the holiday. The Conservatism Portal has recently been promoted to Featured Portal. – Lionel (talk) 03:24, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

And Wikiproject Not Conservative, And Not American Either cordially invites you to ignore it entirely, or alternatively to celebrate Reagan's most significant lasting contribution to humanity. Please take your soapbox elsewhere... AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:45, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Hmmm. I wonder if your antipathy also extends to WikiWomen's History Month? Or are your biases only limited to Americans and conservatives? – Lionel (talk) 08:38, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
On what basis do you assume that it is impossible to be simultaneously a woman, an American, and a conservative? Admittedly I can see good reasons why it might not be particularly sensible, but that doesn't make it impossible. ;-) AndyTheGrump (talk) 09:09, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Margaret Thatcher; who maybe wasn't american, but did lick RR's ass. Let's have a Hate week, shall we? --Redrose64 (talk) 15:30, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

BTW. It isn't a holiday... AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:35, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

Are we having a quarrel on this as well? Breaking news: WikiProject Conservatism wants to celebrate conservatism. Let's just all get on with our (Wiki)lives. (Although I do like to remind us that our BFF is probably throwing a bigger party that day.) ZZArch talk to me 21:33, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

Key difference is that celebrating WikiWomen's History Month is overall celebrating the existence of about half the planet. Not being a misogynist is not a political view, and doesn't count as soapboxing. Ian.thomson (talk) 21:51, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

I'm no conservative (quite the polar opposite, in fact), but I see that they want to set aside a day to celebrate their hard work on improving conservatism-related pages. What's the big deal? Unless they are yelling "Obama is evil, all Wikipedians should vote GOP", I don't see what's so bad about it. ZZArch talk to me 23:44, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Although I do think it's a good idea if we could have a preview of the commemorative edition, just to see if it's truly soapboxing or not. ZZArch talk to me 23:48, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
I'd be able to take WikiProject Conservatism's efforts a little more seriously if our Ronald Reagan Day article wasn't based entirely on primary sources, apart from a solitary dead link. And why the heck do me need a massive table that tells us the Session, Short title, Bill number, Date introduced, Senate, Assembly, Governor, Lead Author, Joint Author, Principal Co-Author, and Co-Authors (all 23 of them)? The legislature of the state of California seems to have decided in its infinite wisdom that once a year, they will add political propaganda/hagiography to the normal school curriculum, and I'd have thought that the public reaction to this might actually be of interest (assuming it wasn't 'so what?', which is I suppose entirely possible), and of more relevance to an encyclopaedia than a meaningless listing of the names of those peripherally involved. AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:10, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

More important holidays and observances held on February 6. From our article, the following important observances also fall on February 6. All share the distinction of relevance in more than just one U.S. state, and of having existed for more than a couple of years.

Seriously, if we decide to slap an announcement up on the Pump for every made-up regional holiday, I fear that we'd never be able to do anything useful with this page. I wish everyone a happy Waitangi day. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 15:21, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Problem with observatories

Good morning : this message adresse to one, who is strong in astronomy:

It is : in the page over a few asteroids, name:

It is deer that this asteroids are discovered in the Harvard College Observatory (in the Harvard University, what is en Cambridge, Massachusetts, come to the world say).

Gold, in the fish of the Minor Planet Center, one not see the Harvard College Observatory, but the Oak Ridge Observatory what is en Harvard, Massachusetts.

Is not it a confuzion between Harvard College Observatory (in Cambridge) and Oak Ridge Observatory (in Harvard) ?

Thank you very much if what one say respond to my question and pardon poor my not good english.

--Jean-François Clet (talk) 14:49, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

I'm not at all sure what your problem is, but I appreciate that English probably isn't your first language. I have left a note at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Astronomy#Observatory question. --Redrose64 (talk) 16:28, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
I not know that exist "Astronomy Question" : noon I know that this exist: I go to see it, thank you !--Jean-François Clet (talk) 17:11, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Input on how the Wikimedia movement spend its funds?

Hi. The Wikimedia Board of Trustees are working towards developing guiding principles for how to raise and distribute funds to best benefit the Wikimedia movement. Those who have been following the several Fundraising and Funds Dissemination conversations are familiar with this, but you don't need to have followed them to give some input here.

A survey is planned to help figure out what resources (requiring funding) Wikimedians want and need, and at what priority. We want to present contributors with this list and ask them to allocate funds to the items on it or otherwise indicate their support for items on the list. There's a short amount of time left for me to draw this list together, and it could use more input. Since people may have wants and needs we don't anticipate, there will be a "write-in" option to allow them to bring those to our attention, which may raise awareness of needs we haven't considered.

Are you interested in helping to generate that list of resources? Please add your thoughts to meta:Fundraising and Funds Dissemination/Resource list. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 17:05, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Announcement: Regional Fundraising Tests Starting Soon!

On the next couple of days we will be kicking off our Regional Fundraising Tests, targeting the countries that we took down for 10 days during our Annual Fundraiser last year. Our main goal is to provide an improved donor experience in each of these countries while decreasing the number of fundraising days.

The campaigns will be grouped by region (e.g. Africa, Asia, Middle East) for better efficiency as we work on localizing currencies, ask strings and local appeals.

Our first test will be on a few Portuguese and English speaking countries in Africa (specifically MZ, AO, CV, GW, ST, BW, NA, ZW), and it will last from 02/07 up to 02/14 (only 7 days!!). This test has the goal to compare the Jimmy appeal vs a local appeal as well as compare high vs low ask strings. Ppena (WMF) (talk) 01:39, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Sorry, could you elaborate on which countries those are (Mexico, Cote D'Ivoire, Botswana, Zimbabwe?) and what "high v low ask strings" means? Thanks, Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 17:16, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Those are ISO country codes: Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe. "Ask string" means the choice of amounts to donate. So for example some people will get a choice of USD 2, 5, 10, 15, 20, 50, 100 or other, whilst other people get a choice of 5, 10, 20, 25, 50, 100, 150 or Other. Pcoombe (WMF) (talk) 20:58, 8 February 2012 (UTC) is stealing our content

Copy/paste from what I posted to foundation-l.

In the news on the English Wikipedia, Eli Manning was named most valuable player for Super Bowl XLVI., a top 500 website and one of the most popular gossip websites in the world[1], is using English Wikipedia content without license or attribution for almost all of its immense biography database.

A simple rundown using some random Super Bowl related bios, no inline citations for referential comparisons and I don't have the time to find the exact diff, but they exist:

American football players:

Eli Manning

Tom Brady

Wes Welker

Madonna was the halftime show.

Kelly Clarkson sang the American national anthem:

At the bottom of every single TMZ biography, I'm certain of which almost all are ripped from Wikipedia, is this:

© 2012 EHM Productions, Inc. All rights reserved.

They have a contact us form in case they're infringing on your copyleft. This is pretty much if you've ever touched the lead of a significant entertainment or sports biography. Keegan (talk) 08:00, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Darkfalls pointed out that we do have a form letter available. Keegan (talk) 08:31, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Show me the money

I have added a little humor in the subject title to what I consder a serious matter. I have noticed that there are many people out there publishing our work and making money out of it. For example, if you go to and search for "Modesto Cartagena" you will find a book that goes for $73. whose contents are articles from Wikipedia. We the editors in Wikipedia spend countless hours researching and writing for the project with the intention that our work is shared and used by those less fortunate. We do this for free. How is it possible that our work is being published and others who have done nothing in regard to making contributions, are profiting from it? Is there a deal between Wikipedia and these people? Where are the earnings of our work going to? What does Wikipedia have to say about this? Is it fair that others are making money from our work, I think not. I want to know what is going on and what is Wilipedia's stance in the issue. Tony the Marine (talk) 16:08, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Reusing Wikipedia content. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 16:10, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Basically, all Wikipedia content is under a free license, so anybody can do whatever they want with it, including selling it, so long as they attribute the original authors. There is no deal between Wikipedia and these people. --Yair rand (talk) 16:20, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Please avoid posting the same thread in multiple forums; see WP:MULTI Wikipedia:Help desk#Show me the money. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 16:27, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • I only posted the same thread in this and one other forum because I was not sure which one was the proper forum to discuss this issue. Tony the Marine (talk) 16:39, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
And in a further injustice, I now come to suspect that people more fortunate than us may also be sharing and using our work. — Bility (talk) 16:45, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Wiki is getting better!

A couple years ago (maybe two or three), wikipedia was was just letting anybody post anything they wanted and wiki WAS ONLY CHECKING ABOT ONCE A MONTH!!! Now, wiki has cracked down on editors who edit their pages. Wikipedia now checks daily or weekly to make sure that the articles are true. But, I still see many articles that aren't. Fellow editors, give me your take on this, is wiki really improving?

--GBA — Preceding unsigned comment added by GokuBeatsAll (talkcontribs) 03:19, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Please do not place spaces before new text, it causes problems with formatting. Also, I've been here since 2006, your understanding of how Wikipedia worked two or three years ago bears no resemblance to how things actually worked. They worked pretty much like they do now. "Wikipedia" is not a person, it is thousands of dedicated editors who check articles on their watchlists daily. Not all articles are watched, and some articles only become watched after errors are introduced.
"Wiki" is just the software this site uses, not the site itself, which is Wikipedia. I'm assuming that you were refering to the site when asking if it is improving. In terms of approaching finished, it never will. In terms of having more information and more accurate information, more gains occur than losses. Ian.thomson (talk) 03:32, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Here is a link to the page history for the site guideline "Verifiability". Though the page has only been around since 2003, the concept is older. It has never been acceptable for people to just "post whatever they want." Ian.thomson (talk) 03:48, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
People post "whatever they want" all the time here. It's being able to actually prove that the information (even when referenced) is an error or misinterpreted or just catching the vandals in a timely manner. Perhaps that is all the user was refering to. Or maybe they actually think Jimbo is our King and we sacrifice a virgin to him monthy. Hard to tell.--Amadscientist (talk) 04:13, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
I never post anything verifiable, and I can prove it! Face-smile.svg fredgandt 04:26, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
I know I used to check more than once a month, but seeking a virgin seems a much better use of my time. Now, what's the best way to save them from Jimbo. Hold on, here's an idea...!? Britmax (talk) 08:40, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Recent Changes is patrolled for obvious vandalism at all times, and it is generally reverted within seconds. This has been consistent for years, and times have only gotten quicker with the invention of tools of Huggle. Dcoetzee 11:32, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Is Wikipedia getting any better?
I hope so, but I don't see the whole picture, yet. One thing I am concerned about is throwing out the bathwater with the baby, something that seems to happen a lot in large social groups. Ottawahitech (talk) 15:05, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

User name not signing name

Can anyone explain and defend why it is allowed to have a signature name different from the User name? -DePiep (talk) 03:26, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

I see no issue with someone having differing user/signature name, as long as the two can be connected somehow. However, using a signature entirely different from your username is misleading, confusing, and, some might say, inappropriate. As for your statement, I can defend using a signature slightly different from your username. For example, I used my current signature, or a variation of it, when my username was DCI2026. Finally, I dropped the 2026 and went by the simpler "DCI," which is what my signature had suggested. I can defend this because the signature provided a simpler, more personalized version of the username that did not disrupt anything on the website. I hope this answered your inquiry somehow. DCItalk 04:19, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
This is the positive direction. The negative one (i.e. no connection between the two names, giving me the mental job to remember or search that) is: User:Thumperward|Chris Cunningham. This is always a mental step for me, the reader, and very often not even visible (for example in the Watchlist, where I see only the User:name). -DePiep (talk) 04:27, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Doesn't the user in question include both names in his signature? DCItalk 05:06, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
He does when signing, but it does not show in a watchlist or history page. -DePiep (talk) 12:02, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Sure, in those the username shows, and that is the crucial part in finding him. LadyofShalott 15:57, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
That is only so in this example. Can you or I get tell the user name from this signing: "Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits"? In general, since users are not required to sign with their username, others are bothered with the extra steps. -DePiep (talk) 12:34, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Well yes, in that example a) the user name forms part of the string ("Pigsonthewing") and provides links to the user's page, his talk page and his contributions page. Should you be aware of the Andy Mabbett sig and be looking at a page history, I'd expect you to be able to recognise "Pigsonthewing". --Tagishsimon (talk) 12:47, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Exactly: it requires that one should be aware that the signing name is not the name I see in History page. That's two steps added: 1. Know that there is (or might be) a different name involved, and 2. figuring out which name is what. -DePiep (talk) 12:58, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

A Windows Phone 7 Wikipedia app

Hi. I've written a simple, free Wikipedia app for WP7, which I've given a silly name WikiSentinel. The app may not be very useful, but it can download and display the list of global recent changes and changes made on a user's watchlist. I don't think I'm going to develop it further actually, but in case someone was interested, I've released the source code under MIT License on github, here. Feel free to fork or e-mail me for commit access. MIT License is one of those open-source licenses which are permitted on the WP7 Marketplace. Cheers. Kamil Kaczmarczyk (talk) 11:29, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

I am looking for a good biography article

I see biographies of living people on Wikipedia a lot. I find many of them are pretty hard to navigate. I know (vaguely) that there are Featured Articles on Wikipedia and tried to search for Featured Biography, but I end up in a hopeless loop.

How can I find some examples of well-written biographies of a living person? Thanks in advance, Ottawahitech (talk) 14:55, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps the best place is Wikipedia:WikiProject_Biography/Assessment in which there are a couple of tables which show how many biog articles are of which class. If you hit the links against the FA, A or GA entries you'll find yourself in a category of articles of that class. --Tagishsimon (talk) 15:23, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Here are 4 that are all Featured biographies and are well written. Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, Elvis Presley and Joan of Arc. Of course there are others that aren't FA that are good as well such as Smedley Butler, Douglas MacArthur and a lot of others. --Kumioko (talk) 17:03, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
To shamelessly advertise my own work, Zoya Phan; a bit off the beaten path, which is why I like working on it. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 18:10, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Bill Clinton is a BLP good article. dci | TALK 19:17, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Featured articles does not have a single "Biographies" section, but does break out the biographies in each individual topic area. For living people generally, there are ~150 FAs which are in Category:Living people; you can get a list by running this report. (Form pre-filled; click "do it" at the bottom to get a list. It'll take about a minute to process.) Shimgray | talk | 23:26, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Thank you so much for this info - I have been looking for this type of a report for a long-long time (not necessarily in connection with this subject) Ottawahitech (talk)

RIAA on NY Times

Unsurprisingly, the chief of RIAA is pissed off by our opposition to his cash cow bill, and has written this article to smear us. Any thoughts? ZZArch talk to me 22:02, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

"Would they have cast their clicks if they knew they were supporting foreign criminals selling counterfeit pharmaceuticals to Americans?" I had no idea the RIAA cared so much about drugs. "Perhaps this is naïve, but I’d like to believe that the companies that opposed SOPA and PIPA will now feel some responsibility to help come up with constructive alternatives." Even if they did, they have the scruples to not bribe congressmen as blatantly as you and your ilk do. "We all share the goal of a safe and legal Internet." lol no we don't. You want an Internet where you can sue someone for 250,000 dollars for downloading a song that not one cent of which has ever gone to the artist. Go get a real job, Sherman. --Golbez (talk) 22:16, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
As he says "respectful fact-based conversations can lead to progress." If he's prepared to drag the RIAA and MPAA into that fact-based world, we'd be highly delighted and more than cooperative. --Tagishsimon (talk) 22:19, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

The point is, what should we do? Shall we have Jimbo write a counter letter? Shall we ignore it? Shall we pursue some other means of setting things right? ZZArch talk to me 22:31, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

We'll note its contents and move on. Tempting as it is to get into a print battle with the RIAA, in general wikipedia has better things to do than get into a public slanging match. As individuals, I trust we will continue to read widely about the Big Content versus the Users IP wars, and impress our views strongly and repeatedly on our elected representatives. Right now ACTA, TPP and Canada's Bill C-11 are the games de jour.--Tagishsimon (talk) 22:46, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
If anything, allow Jimmy and/or the WMF write a counter-letter, perhaps talk about false defamation, but outside of noting this response on the appropriate SOPA/PIPA articleS, should do nothing. --MASEM (t) 23:08, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Concur; a response from us would only bolster his point, in his eyes, and frankly there's no sense in trying to reason with people when they're trying to get their grubby little fingers on more money. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 16:17, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
I think the reader responses to this column indicate quite clearly how persuasive the RIAA is to typical Internet readers (answer: we all hate them and aren't buying their arguments). Dcoetzee 01:33, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
I am dead set against copyright violation and support copyright except that I believe the copyright term is far too long. The RIAA article was full of half truths which amount to an overall lie. The problem for the Recording Industry Association of America is that they are rapidly approaching obsolescence. They know it and are using their wealth to try and keep the money like they got in the past for themselves even though they have no real purpose any more. Of course they are losing jobs, who wants records?, and CDs are rapidly following. Yes I agree with copyright and trying to ensure musicians get what's due to them. Apple and suchlike may not be wonderful but they do that. What is the purpose of RIAA any longer? It's whole function can be done by some office for just checking and collecting money from public performances in halls and suchlike. They no longer have any other useful purpose. RIAA screwed musicians then and still do so the quicker they die the better I think.
So as to the article we're going to continue to get this rubbish because they have lots of money just like those patent companies that plague the place for manufacturing companies. We are not in the business of entering into debates with such people except in extreme circumstances where the basic aims of Wikipedia are affected. They will die eventually but it will take a long time and the world will be better off. Dmcq (talk) 18:49, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Publishing wikipedia articles for profit

While browsing aimlessly across the interwebs, I came across a book on Amazon that is literally a bunch of Wikipedia articles being sold at around $50 as a "network management book". It appears to be copyrighted, and I see no reference to Wikipedia or the appropriate licenses. I've also confirmed content that I contributed is included in that book. A subsequent search from this "author" shows an extensive list of books that are Wikipedia content. Is this permissible? If not, what recourse exists for Wikipedia/Wikipedians? Thanks in advance. //Blaxthos ( t / c ) 22:45, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

If you flip to the end of the book, there are meticulous references to the source & contributors, which more than satisfy our CC requirements. I cannot see that the book carries a CC license itself, but I'd not be surprised if there were one somewhere - whoever put this together clearly has a good appreciation of CC requirements. In general, re-use is permissible if citations are given (check) and if the info is made available under the same license (dunno). So I don't see a problem here. --Tagishsimon (talk) 22:57, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Click "Search inside this book" at your link and then search on Blaxthos to see you are indeed listed among contributors five times. If you ask me, it's unethical towards buyers to charge a lot for such books without revealing in advance that it's copied from Wikipedia. But being ethical can often interfere with a business plan. PrimeHunter (talk) 23:13, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
But hey, Blaxthos, turn it to your advantage; add each of the publications you've contributed to to your CV ;) --Tagishsimon (talk) 23:19, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Talk about chutzpah. Judging by the number of reviews on amazon, the "author" has made more than a few bucks with this ploy. Dnorton38 sums it up best: "you cannot burn the book in disgust without having to buy a new Kindle." Thanks for the replies, all! //Blaxthos ( t / c ) 23:48, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Lots of publishers have done this kind of thing, most infamously Alphascript. IMO, customer reviews will find people doing this and point out the important omitted facts in the advertising. Once that knowledge is published, anyone who is still buying it is doing it because they really want a paper copy. Dcoetzee 01:31, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
That practice might not be so bad if the publisher actually made an effort to go in and correct/edit the content. If you don't like the practice, you can always point out the issues by posting an Amazon customer review. I almost always check for negative comments before buying anything through Amazon. Regards, RJH (talk) 15:26, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Indeed, if the price had any relation to the value-added people would not instinctively object, or at least less of us would. Some of the early re-publishers in book form do now clearly state "this book is compiled from Wikipedia articles". Rich Farmbrough, 14:34, 13 February 2012 (UTC).

Office hours on the new "Legal and Community Advocacy" department

Hi, guys. Some of you may already know that the WMF is carving out a new department, promoting User:Philippe (WMF) to Director of Community Advocacy working under General Counsel Geoff Brigham. As community liaison, answering to Philippe, I'm tagging along as well. :) As per meta:Legal and Community Advocacy/LCA Announcement, "This new alignment will carry forward the Foundation’s goals of advocating for the community in new ways, ranging from fighting for content online, to facilitating community discussions about critical WMF initiatives that affect the community, to better supporting Wikimedia administrators and functionaries, to providing information about legislative initiatives worldwide that impact online content and censorship."

I understand that there is some confusion about what the department is meant to do, and I wanted to be sure that as many people as possible know that office hours are being held today in about 2 hours on IRC to discuss things. (See meta:IRC office hours if you need to know more about how to participate in that. If you can't participate in it, a transcript will be posted after.) I'd really hope to see good turn out there, because I'm honestly pretty excited about the possibilities. Being still an active editor (at least on weekends!), I'm a shameless cheerleader for community, and I'd love to see high participation in making this department function well to serve community needs. :) Even if you can't participate in the office hours, there are plenty of ways you can help shape this department at its ground level. Please read meta:Legal and Community Advocacy/LCA Announcement and play a part! --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 15:21, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Move request

Talk:General_Nutrition_Centers#Move This move request has been open 7 days and needs more discussion. Ten Pound Hammer(What did I screw up now?) 21:50, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Deletion review on subpage of Article Rescue Squadron

Please comment here on whether the page should be relisted or not.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 01:04, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Can you summarize a bit: which page are you talking about, what does relisting mean on Wikipedia, etc. Sorry for being so ignorant. Ottawahitech (talk) 10:56, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
    • I think they mean Wikipedia:Article Rescue Squadron/Rescue list, which is not in the article space so it is unclear why it was up for deletion. But I have no opinion on the matter; the whole topic of article deletion/rescue gets just a little too fanatical for my blood. Regards, RJH (talk) 21:45, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
    • And to answer more of the question, relisting means to list for deletion again. The review occurs at Wikipedia:Deletion review which a place to appeal deletion related decisions. For this sort of page, nominations for deletion happen at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion. In this case an overwhelming number of people wanted to keep the page, and and admin closed the debate very early as a snow keep. The deletion review proposal contests that decision. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 22:16, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Cross-section of categoeries

I see here that Wikipedia has a tool that provides a list of aricles that fit cross-sections of several categories (how many?). I wonder where I can find documentation that describes this (and other) tool(s). Thanks in advance Ottawahitech (talk) 10:50, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

For the category tool try Wikipedia:CatScan or one of the pages it links to. For documentation on available tools try Wikipedia:Tools. -- John of Reading (talk) 08:34, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

MediaWiki 1.19

(Apologies if this message isn't in your language.) The Wikimedia Foundation is planning to upgrade MediaWiki (the software powering this wiki) to its latest version this month. You can help to test it before it is enabled, to avoid disruption and breakage. More information is available in the full announcement. Thank you for your understanding.

Guillaume Paumier, via the Global message delivery system (wrong page? You can fix it.). 14:57, 12 February 2012 (UTC)