Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous)/Archive 6

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Article traffic stats

I've created a page with traffic stats graphs for articles on the English Wikipedia (using data put together by User:Midom). It currently allows you to see statistics for a month (it has data since December 10).

Statistics for a few random articles from December:

To check other articles, go to and enter a title. It'll update once per day.

It is brand new, so there may be quite a few issues and it may break. If it does, you get to keep both pieces. henriktalk 12:44, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Fabulous! Well done and thank you. DuncanHill (talk) 21:45, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
If an article only gets viewed n times per year, would that be grounds for putting the article forward for deletion? And what would be the value of n ?--Aspro (talk) 00:12, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
No. The encyclopedic nature of each article does not depend on view count. –Pomte 02:01, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
This is brilliant! It's a great motivating factor for encyclopedic contributions to see just how many views an article gets per day, and consequently, how many people are reading your hard work. This is an excellent complement to Wikicharts since it allows you to get data on articles that are not in the top 50 etc. Well done to Midom and Henrik for putting this together. Tra (Talk) 02:27, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Very awesome, I had always wondered why something like this wasn't implemented. I definitely agree with the motivation factor noted above. Thanks! Joshdboz (talk) 03:15, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Of course the purist idea is that creating high hit point articles should never be the point of wikipedia--AresAndEnyo (talk) 06:10, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Vulgar advertistement on your news programs

 I want to object to the Mo Money ad you're running on your news shows on WPTY

and WLMT. Disgusting. Pls trash it. M from Memphis —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:35, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

I've seen a lot of misplaced comments on wikipedia over the years, but I think this one takes the cake. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 15:40, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
I recall one woman who attempted to order Shaker-style fruit preserves from Canada through the Village Pump, but this may be a personal second. - BanyanTree 10:42, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree. Hmm, I really don't get it. - Rjd0060 (talk) 05:11, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Fruit preserves? Ok, that would top even this one. Pyrospirit (talk · contribs) 21:02, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
We should frame this for wiki-prosperity. Is Wikipedia:Talk page highlights the right place? • Anakin (contribscomplaints) 22:37, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
I didn't know that existed, but sure got some laughs from it. I've added this. - Rjd0060 (talk) 00:55, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Also check out Wikipedia:Unusual requests. Dcoetzee 01:15, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Actually I have seen a fair number of people in various talk pages and also the RD trying to order stuff. There are also a number of people trying to add a santa claus for kids article Nil Einne (talk) 10:24, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Highschool Vandalism

I'm not sure if this is the right place to take this or not, but I'd like to make a note to the mods that the vandalism that's been coming from IP is located at a highschool in Hershey, NE. The IP should remain blocked in my opinion, and the users should have to created accounts. I attend the highschool and am a senior. Sorry if this is the wrong place to bring this up, if it is, I'd be glad if someone would point me in the right direction. Zeroxysm (talk) 01:13, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

The best place to get admins' attention is Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard or Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents. It's rare for a school IP to be indefinitely blocked unless there's a request from the school's IT admin or principal or whatever, but in cases of high levels of vandalism they are often blocked for up to six months at a time. Confusing Manifestation(Say hi!) 03:23, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Or you could make a report at WP:ABUSE. - Rjd0060 (talk) 04:44, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
If you attend the high school why don't you take your concerns to the principal or school's IT admin Nil Einne (talk) 08:44, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Selection of random articles

I use the "random article" from time to time just to browse and gain general knowledge. Increasingly I'm finding this yielding stubs, very sparse pages and lists, none of which are really "articles".

Could the random article capability "screen out" low content articles? I realise that is a highly judgmental area but a simple rule like: it must be yea long in own text, have so many references/links (to articles, externally), must contain no warnings/messages, etc. would improve the value.

Maybe some of these checks are already present - I don't specifically recall seeing warnings - it is more the number of short and content-free articles that leads to the suggestion. Or maybe I've just been unlucky recently.

--Martin (Talk, Contribs) 18:45, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

That sounds like a good idea to me. Steve Dufour (talk) 01:18, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Please don't do this. Many people use the random article feature to find articles that need to be cleaned up. There is much to be gained from openness. Raymond Arritt (talk) 01:36, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
The point of a the Random article button is. . .uhh. . . random articles. The majority of articles on Wikipedia are stubs or small articles. That’s why they come up so often. --S.dedalus (talk) 02:37, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I could see a preference being useful so that by default the feature brings up higher quality articles, but gnomes can find those that need work. But how would you propose filtering them, anyway? -- Avocado (talk) 03:12, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, I'd be more in favour of "completely random" by default (I agree with S.dedalus on this one), and "higher quality" (for readers) or "lower quality" (for gnomes and stub expanders) by preference.
As for filtering, I'm not sure how this would work technically, but here's stuff that could be taken into account:
  • Character/word count (not that good of an indicator)
  • Wikiproject quality rating if available (probably the best indicator we have)
  • Number of images (again, not very good)
  • Number of tags (clean up, expansion, wikify) (problematic because many articles that deserve these tags are without them, while others that have them don't really need them)
  • FA/GA status (good indicator, but no indication of quality for articles that haven't yet reached GA) Puchiko (Talk-email) 18:04, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Number of references or word to reference ratio Puchiko (Talk-email) 18:46, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Ratio of Simpsons references to total word count (inverse measure of quality) - DavidWBrooks (talk) 18:57, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

[outdent] Well, the reason I'd suggest higher quality as the default would be so that unregistered visitors would see examples of our better rather than our worse work. Anyway... I'm still not convinced that this is realistic in the first place. -- Avocado (talk) 19:02, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

But that wouldn't be random. We don't want to be seen as trying to deceive people into believing that Wikipedia is better than it really is (and I'm sure many would interpret it this way).
But I agree with you, this could be very hard to do technically, and might not be worth the effort of our developers. Puchiko (Talk-email) 19:17, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
You're right about deceiving but there's nothing wrong with doing it if we make it clear it's not random for example. As for editors who use it to find articles to fix, we definitely need something for them but default stuff should always prioritise readers over editors. However I agree with both of you it'll almost definitely be too much work to be worth it Nil Einne (talk) 10:23, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree avocado you have to do high quality by default. People who aren't experienced with wikipedia will want to see high quality pages for interest rather than pages they can fix up, I HOPE the latter is a recipe for disaster. I simple one would just be a word count but that might not work with lists, I don't know if lists are in seperate catagories. Remember nothing is perfectly random, but if that is too hard for you people we could rename it, or have two buttons for both options (but the high quality one higher up).--AresAndEnyo (talk) 06:08, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Most lists have "list" in the article name, so that could serve as a way to weed them out. However, not all readers consider lists to be an undesirable article to read, there have been proposals to feature lists one the main page.
I am not familiar with the technical doability of this proposal, it might be a good time to ask about this on WP:VPT. Which reminders me that this should probably have been posted at WP:VPR. While it is probably not a good idea to move it there now, it might be prudent to leave a note linking here.
I have no problem with having it return higher quality articles, as long as the button is not labeled as "random articles". Can anyone propose a better name, the only thing I'm thinking of is "Pick an article" which is dumb.
If we were to use raw word count, what do you think the minimal count should be in order for the articles to be returned as a result? My thoughts are somewhere around 100 words (that's one or two paragraphs), enough for the reader to get at least a basic idea. Others may disagree however. Puchiko (Talk-email) 19:50, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Hit count

Just because I am a vain, self-absorbed jerk, is there a tool for counting the number of hits an article receives? Not that I care or nothin'..... --Knulclunk (talk) 04:06, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Don't think so...:( - Rjd0060 (talk) 04:56, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
There is. In fact, there's a section about it on this page. :) - FISDOF9 05:43, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

HeeHee. I ask and it happens! Obviously there is a Wikipedia zeitgeist here... Thank you! --Knulclunk (talk) 13:49, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Under 19 and Under 20 national football team players

A discussion over the notability of under 19 and under 20 national football team players is underway at WikiProject Football. -- Sunderland06  23:41, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Bad Link In webpage here is the right link

The web page ( has a bad link on it.

The link ( on the web page referring to ( does not exist anymore as the web site has changed.

The new link is:

Someone should make this change. WHO I do not know! That is why I posted it here.

Linda —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:17, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Change made - thanks for pointing it out. You can make changes like this yourself in future, if you wish - just click on the "edit this page" button and replace the information that needs fixed with the new stuff. Cheers! Tony Fox (arf!) 08:24, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Zen Buddhist Wikipedians

I happened to see this: Category: Zen Buddhist Wikipedians and I noticed how surprisingly short the list was. Wikipedia is not a discussion forum and I do not intend to come across as proselytize, so I do not intend to waste your time. However, Wikipedians and Wikipedia both could learn a lot Zen. What's not to love? Zenwhat (talk) 03:38, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:The Zen of WikipediaPomte 04:45, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Not sure what to do about this POV-pushing.

Could someone take a look at the user who posted this diff. He has turned a respectable article into little more than a list of allegations. I don't want to violate 3RR in protecting this article. Can someone else (preferably an admin) take a look at this situation? Bellwether BC 16:43, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Dispute tags were added to the article. Claiming that this article is "respectable" seems like a bit of a strecch in view of the highly slanted and POV content it contains with such statements as "A whisper campaign, involving a set of false claims, half-truths, and innuendo about 2008 U.S. presidential candidate and Illinois Senator Barack Obama's background and loyalties, has circulated since 2004," right from the intro. No one is interested in a revert war, you initially blanked out material claiming it was not sourced , the material was then sourced to reliable sources and re-inserted to deal with your objection you stated in your edit summary. You then re-blanked it again, this time saying that it was a list.The only person who is doing reverts in this article is you. Administrators should review Bellwether conduct in blanking of sourced material --CltFn (talk) 17:14, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I came here for outside opinion, not to be hectored by the one who is causing the problem. You turned an article into a list of your views on the matter. Let others review the "content" you added to the article. Bellwether BC 17:40, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
No I did not turn that article into a list , I added a section and NPOVed some blantant slanted statements. If you came here for outside opinion , you might begin by an honest presentation of your issues, rather than attempting to mislead the admin community by accusing editors of behavior which you yourself are commiting. I would not have any comments to make if you simply requested a third opinion , but what you are doing is implying others are reverting when you are the one doing it. My suggestion for the article is a balance of various points of view. Just blanking the other point of view that you disagree with ,will not do.Furthermore you have also removed the disputed tags on the page when there is an active dispute on the talk page [1]--CltFn (talk) 17:49, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I won't be responding to any further posts you make to this forum. Bellwether BC 17:51, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
There no violation of WP:BLP. The material comes mostly from Barack Obama's own words in his books. The author himself is the source of the material I am attempting to include in his article. The material is also presented as cited by reliable mainstream publications--CltFn (talk) 03:00, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
So you're saying that Sen. Obama's book says he was brought up Muslim? Please provide a reference with page numbers, etc. I'm pretty sure you can't and that this is a pretty blatant vandalism. APL (talk) 20:15, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
I already sourced to published articles. Follow the citations provided.--CltFn (talk) 05:30, 15 January 2008 (UTC)


What are the symbols on the Wikipedia puzzle globe on the main page? Why were those symbols spcifically chosen? Thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:01, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

This article at The New York Times may help. -- ReyBrujo (talk) 20:14, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Mostly, they're just the initial character of "Wikipedia" in various scripts. If you visit the Japanese and Chinese Wikipedias you'll spot a couple of them in the textual part of the logo under the globe. Dcoetzee 09:15, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Username for sale - runs good, only 1.5K edits

Does anyone want to buy this username? It's been brought to my attention that the fact that it ends in "a" misleads people into thinking that I'm female. Accordingly, I decided now is as good a time as any to put it on the auction block. Note that this username is still in good condition, it's a 2007 model that I got brand new last November. I realize that usernames lose about a third of their value as soon you drive it off the lot but the last time I looked at the wikidashboard this thing only had about 1,597 edits on it. My only reason for selling it is that as mentioned, people tell me it looks like a girl's username, plus I could use the money since my credit cards are maxed out. I'll sell it for $20 by PayPal but if I don't hear anything by the end of January, I'll probably just go with the best offer, and if I don't hear anything by February 29, I may end up having to pay someone to haul it away. I've made a few modifications; it does have quite a few bumper stickers and an American flag tied to its userpage. Sarsaparilla (talk) 19:56, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

It doesn't make me think you are a female - one might as well say it makes people think you are a soft drink! DuncanHill (talk) 19:57, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
And $20 will solve your money problems? Wish mine were that simple! Anyways, try contacting these guys, they may be interested. -- ReyBrujo (talk) 20:12, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
It's a start. Tuition went up this year! Sarsaparilla (talk) 20:15, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
This is a joke, right? - FISDOF9 01:42, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Sarsaparilla! That's the legendary name, the one with the map! We must have the username. We will pay any price! Dcoetzee 09:11, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
The only other person I've ever known named "Sarsaparilla" was definitely male. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 14:13, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
It's too expensive for you right now, but any differences in perception between you and your username can be solved with gender reassignment surgery.-gadfium 18:46, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps you should offer the username for rent, and eventually use the money to pay for said surgery. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 19:47, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Per Wikipedia:SOCK#.27Role.27_accounts, I don't think selling your account is a wise move. — Save_Us 01:51, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure about this. Someone told me I could get a generic brand version of your username for half the cost. -- Ned Scott 03:22, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

WP:CHU is that-a-way. Don't give up; you can do it! hbdragon88 (talk) 05:23, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Isn't Sasparilla a root? You could rebrand yourself and change your name to SasparillaStud to sound more macho. Or sell your account on ebay, may make lots of monies. Make 2000 edits first, become an admin, then the account will be worth much more lol, to New Religious Movements and others seeking to whitewash themselves on wiki. Merkinsmum 01:51, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Random article function on Navigation link list

I am interested in doing a content analysis of wikipedia articles and would require a random sample. Can you tell me how the random article function works? Is it truly random, or stratified in some manner? I understand that certain details of the algorithm may be proprietary - but what I am interested in knowing is more general. Can I rely on it to create a random sample of all Wikipedia's articles (in English)?

thanks! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jhonni (talkcontribs) 13:49, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

It's not truly random. There's a column in the page database, called page_random, where every page has a pseudorandom floating point number in it, between 0 and 1. To get a random page, it makes up another random number and finds the first page with the number greater than or equal to it, (I think?). This means that some pages may turn up (ever so slightly) more often, if there are by chance larger gaps in the numbers between some pages than others, but it is not likely to be a significant effect, when there are 2,176,146 articles. It will certainly be random enough for a content analysis of a set of articles, as they're not deliberately limited or filtered in any way, except that only mainspace (article) pages are returned. Talk pages, Wikipedia policy pages, categories, templates, user pages, etc., aren't included in the output, but you can get them by using (for example) Special:Random/Help, or Special:Random/Category, etc. Oddly, I don't know how I know this. I read it somewhere, but can't find it now. Perhaps somebody else has the link.
Oh, and no the algorithm is not proprietary :). One of Wikipedia's core policies is that as much as possible is open source and reusable. Anyone can download the MediaWiki software that runs Wikipedia, as it is licensed under the GNU General Public License. You can also download all the Wikipedia article content. Hope that helps. Cheers! • Anakin (contribscomplaints) 14:23, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Also, if it's useful to you, here's the current source code for Special:Random: • Anakin (contribscomplaints) 14:36, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

That helps a bunch. Thanks so much! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jhonni (talkcontribs) 02:49, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Water Displacement, Climate Change, Thermohaline Current Shutdown

During Al Gore's presentation in An Inconvenient Truth, he shows a graph showing floods and droughts across the world, and for a research project I am doing, I need similar data, but I cannot find it. I want to know how climate change and Ocean current change is affecting water displacement, EG, floods in the Northern U.S., and droughts in the Southern United States, plus similar displacement elsewhere. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Hatchettman (talkcontribs) 19:09, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Buy a copy of the book version and see if any sources are given. -- SEWilco (talk) 19:23, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Or better yet, pick it up in a library. Algebraist 19:49, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia does run a sort of reference librarian service - you'll find it at WP:RD. But it's not exactly the major purpose of Wikipedia. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:12, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

What was all that about?

Did Wikipedia shit itself, or did I miss something... It stopped accepting article edits at about 22:27 UTC or so, and by 22:47 UTC it stopped accepting ALL changes... What happened? 23:10, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

I don't know. Might have been a server problem. Commons was still working. Woody (talk) 23:17, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Ah, deleted the Wikipedia:Sandbox which crashed the servers, which shut down Wikipedia. A lesson to all of us admins. ;) Woody (talk) 23:21, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Someone put the code for a virus in the sandbox - Don't worry, apparently won't work out of MW) and Scientizzle deleted it, causing what can only be described as complete chaos.--Phoenix-wiki 23:28, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Wait, was it the code for the virus that caused the crash (And why would it do that ?!?!?) or was it the deletion of the sandbox (again, no idea why that would happen) that would cause that? What was it, and is the DevTeam aware of this problem? Sounds like a weakness we would not want people to know about... 02:06, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Phoenix-wiki, you might want to erase that link, my virus software got triggered just by clicking it. Jayron32, it was the deletion of the sandbox that caused the problem because of its huge edit history. I took the servers a while to choke down those thousands and thousands of revisions. There's a discussion going on over at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#Deletion restrictions for pages with long histories if anyone's interested. —Elipongo (Talk contribs) 02:54, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
My virus software got triggered by just holding the cursor over it and having popups bring it up. I'm going to erase the link, but feel free to revert me. --Joelmills (talk) 00:31, 20 January 2008 (UTC)


Communication is, in its most broad definition, the giving, recieving, and/or the exchanging of information. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Krwakefield (talkcontribs) 05:47, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Um, yes it is. If you wrote that definition yourself and you'd like to add it to the article on Communication, take a look at the Wikipedia editing tutorial to become more familiar with editing Wikipedia, and remember to Be Bold! in updating pages. If you need any specific help please consider asking at the New contributors' help page. Cheers! • Anakin (contribscomplaints) 21:17, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

If you have a local newspaper making US presidential primary endorsements,

please add them to the Newspaper endorsements in the United States presidential primaries page. Ideally we'll catch all of this year's endorsements as they happen and work our way back through history from that point, but we need your help! Be sure to cite and spread the word if possible. Gracias! Kallahan (talk) 21:24, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

What's this?

I didn't know where else to ask this, so

what's this:


Thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by ReluctantPhilosopher (talkcontribs) 16:18, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Look at Category:Wikipedia administrators open to trout slapping and then at The Fish-Slapping Dance by way of explanation; just a bit of silliness; some editors need to be "whacked with a wet trout", particularly those who remain stubborn when it's clear they're mistaken.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 23:36, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
It's basically the equivalent of a warning template, but for use on experienced users and specifically not for inexperienced users, and also only intended to be used in cases of gross stupidity/cluelessness. --Thinboy00 @056, i.e. 00:20, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Question about the three reverts rule

New to wikipedia, I found myself blocked one day because I made three reverts to articles that I was working on. I humbly accept this policy, but does it only work that one way and not for users who do the blocking? Thanks -- carol 19:20, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Any user, blocker or not, needs to follow WP:3RR. x42bn6 Talk Mess 19:24, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
You should have been warned by an message on your user talk page, before you did an edit that resulted in your being blocked, and the warning should have had a link to the policy, so you could have read further regarding the warning.
In any case, please shrug it off - constructive editors are always welcome, and it's not unusual for newer editors to make mistakes. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 23:12, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Also, though: 3RR is a "strong fence" to keep people from going to far, not an entitlement to keep stopping just short of the limit. If you are finding yourself in a "revert war" with another contributor, it is time to discuss the issue on the relevant talk page, not to keep fighting it out with this blunt instrument. - Jmabel | Talk 00:55, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I admit, I have a (perhaps) extraordinarily difficult time reading policy documents. My mind does not stay 'tuned' in. One example of civil laws, jay-walking -- crossing a road not at a designated crossing area. If my memories about this are correct, some localities have these laws and some don't. For the most of my life, I have on occasion crossed the safer roads at non-designated areas both safely and without interfering with traffic and without harm to my life or others and without really knowing the local laws about this. I can see the rule being used for other reasons -- like perhaps to get a person who had consumed too much alcohol off the road where he/she was not safely jaywalking. That is just an example of when and how to use those weird laws.
Most of the good rules are easy to follow without reading them even. Don't be rude, don't kill people, don't rape people, don't abuse your power, try to apologize when you have done something wrong, don't steal, yadda....
At the point where the policy rewards aggression and promotes difficult relationships between authors and editors it has surpassed civility? In the noise from those events (my talk page had been rendered useless to me by those same blockers and editors) the feeling that other things were going on was strongly prevalent. Like that a good citizen was being detained for safely jay-walking because there was an unscheduled and unlawful drag race about to occur that everyone except for the detainee knew about -- an analogy, again.
My point in all of this would be this: when the policy makes the environment uncivil and unproductive as it might be being used for other purposes, wouldn't it be better to just publish the details of the drag race (or whatever it was) or move it to a different location?
One more analogy then I am done. I went to see Circ du soliel recently -- Kooza. There was a brief scene where a dog was being amorous with the leg of a human being. The human being was allowed to shake the dog off from their leg and the rest of the show was so much better with this having been only a brief little funny part of a much bigger and very beautiful show. Is there a policy that I could paste that would have the same affect here (of shaking the dog off from my leg)?
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your time with this. -- carol 09:54, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Actually, Carol has not been blocked for 3RR. The only block in Carol's block log is one applied by me for disruptive editing, specifically for willfully disruptive edit warring over truly ludicrous issues, such as her insistence on adding the quote "There's nothing shady about the shade" to the article Hieracium horridum. Why? Because this plant's common name is "Shaggy Hawkweed", and the quote is by Norville "Shaggy" Rogers.[2]

This is just one of a number of incidents in which Carol has deliberately set out to piss people off, all the while pretending to be the calm and reasonable victim of others' aggression. There's another example right here: she speaks oh so politely, yet manages to characterise an editor with whom she is in dispute by analogy to a dog who is trying to hump her leg.

Carol, I'm warning you again. I perceive that the need to protect the encyclopedia against your disruptive editing has not yet ended. If your contributions continue in the same vein, I am sorry to say that I must once again block you from contributing at all, for a time.

Hesperian 11:24, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Occasionally, the feeling that a person 'needs to protect' is a thin guise for 'needs to feel needed'. It might actually be more efficient if you just tell me something that is protective to the encyclopedia that you have done elsewhere and I will oo and/or ah over it and then we can just get on with accomplishing things -- article writing, project cleaning -- encyclopedic things even.
One thing you could think about doing is to protect our future from being really stupid and find the person who wrote the description for the grape hyacinth image and help them to understand when to contribute to the encyclopedia and when not to -- gently though. I think that I have a little experience with the 'mood' in which that description was written from within. I also have the luxury of my own web space where I tend to do my uploading when I have that mood. Find that person; help them to figure out when to pluralize English words. Save our future from improper English pluralization conventions. I think it is too late to protect the now and the past from "Shaggy" Rogers.... -- (straight and sober in California) carol 15:04, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

were are you now??

for some time i have been trying to find the were abouts of a lady i went to university with some 18 years ago. Her name is Janice Elizabeth Morgan though i understand she has got married hence the morgan may have changed!! She originally came from the tenby area but moved to aberystwyth some years ago, i would dearly love to find out how she is what shes doing etc.. so if anyone can help please contact me via my email or mobile phone . Many thanks paul. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:12, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Removed personal contact details.
Wikipedia is not a matching service. You would have better luck doing a Google search, looking through online networking sites such as Facebook or contacting your university alumni organization. - BanyanTree 23:09, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Working group on ethnic and cultural edit wars

Nominations are open for the Wikipedia:Working group on ethnic and cultural edit wars.

FT2 (Talk | email) 00:48, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Readers' Advocate?

What do you all think about WP having a "Readers' Advocate", who would look out for the interests of WP's readers? I'm mainly thinking of problems with articles being hard to understand or even to read, even if not factually incorrect or offensive. Steve Dufour (talk) 04:22, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

I think readability of articles should be the main focus for everybody on this list. - Rjd0060 (talk) 04:43, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
I hope it is. Sometimes the results are not as good as they could be. :-) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Steve Dufour (talkcontribs) 06:46, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
huh? But encyclopedias aren't about readability...they're about process. Are you from Brittanica? 19:29, 9 January 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Violask81976 (talkcontribs)
Huh? Are you from Uncyclopedia? If an encyclopedia isn't readable, then it is useless, no? - Rjd0060 (talk) 23:56, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

How about a "Style Board", like the "BLP Board", where concerns about aticles could be posted? Steve Dufour (talk) 17:41, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

An interesting idea, and may be one we need to explore. - Rjd0060 (talk) 23:50, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
If one is started I will check it out every day (almost) and help when I can. Steve Dufour (talk) 00:12, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Note, I was being sarcastic. I agree that people here don't seem to care about readability, and only about sources. -Violask81976 16:05, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

I guessed so. A person who really felt that way would have ignored the discussion or else wrote a whole page about it. :-) Steve Dufour (talk) 00:12, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

I think this falls under the interests of Wikipedia:WikiProject League of Copyeditors. Definitely a valuable goal, I remember one time I couldn't even figure out how to fix a badly-worded sentence because I couldn't even figure out what it meant! It eventually took three or four editors to get it settled, if I recall correctly. Good times! --tiny plastic Grey Knight 14:34, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Double idenity

Is it alright keep multiple user identities and make use of all at the same time? This was asked by User:Librarianpmolib on my talk page. The question came when I asked if User:Anwarpulak and User:Librarianpmolib are same person. They are. But, is it alright per the policies/guidelines? Aditya(talkcontribs) 03:11, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

The answer can be found at WP:SOCK, and is basically "Yes, as long as they're not being used for false representation, e.g. both voting on proposals, or one being a 'good' account and the other being disruptive". Confusing Manifestation(Say hi!) 05:05, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
And per that page, the it is recommended that multiple identities be disclosed. An exception would be for an identity used to make edits to articles like sex, where the primary accountname wants to contribute to the encyclopedia but doesn't want the edits associated with that primary account, particularly if the username is a real name. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 18:38, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I have two accounts myself; this one is my "lesser account" for computers which are public or otherwise not owned by me, since I'd rather not risk the password of my main account to whatever little software creepy-crawlies might be lurking around. If you look at my userpage, you can see I've plainly identified this fact in order to avoid confusion or the appearance of impropriety. --tiny plastic Grey Knight 14:40, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

UseModWiki page

The article UseModWiki has recently been moved by Crotalus horridus to Wikipedia:UseModWiki, with a comment: "This is not an encyclopedia article. No valid and reliable third-party sources are cited. It belongs in project space." I would tend to agree with him, however, appropriate renaming would require substantial changes both in the article and in everything that links to it. I have no experience in this field, so I've decided to post a message somewhere. Súrendil (talk) 15:52, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

I disagree with the move; that an article lacks sources isn't a good reason to move it to projectspace. Projectspace pages are to help editors; since the article discusses software not used for Wikipedia, there is no reason for it being in projectspace. If it's not acceptable as an article (and I personally think it is - the claim that it's the most widely used wiki in the world clearly is a claim for notability, and I'd bet it's true), then the right thing to do is to propose the article for deletion. Projectspace isn't a wastebasket. -- John Broughton (♫♫) —Preceding comment was added at 18:42, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I moved it back, opened a section for discussion on the article's Talk page, and asked User:Crotalus horridus to come join in. He's an experienced editor, I'm sure he had either a misunderstanding, a slip-up, or a valid reason (in which case we're the ones who misunderstand). --tiny plastic Grey Knight 14:59, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

A site to help you translatinng articles

The site Wikipedia article translator translate the wikilinks of an article.

  1. choose the languages, for example french -> english,
  2. copy the article or the part of the article you want to translate with [[ .. ]] links
  3. click search

Don't hesitate to ask for enhancements. (talk) 18:06, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Regarding Uncyclopedia

Uncyclopedia is a Wiki which was started to mock Wikipedia. The site was full of jokes and funny content. And yeah, most of the pages are certainly funny. But I've also observed that some of the pages were carrying abuse of spiritual, economic and political convictions of individuals apart from indulging in slander of politicians and important people and similar activities. I've raised the issue as Uncyclopedia is being publicized in a page for Wikipediaholism test. In the first place, I'm of the opinion that such sites carrying articles which cross the limits should be censored. In the second place, I'm against Wikipedia publicizing such sites. -Ravichandar 05:27, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

There's a long-standing policy that Wikipedia is not censored. If something meets the relevant guidelines for inclusion then it can have an article. If you don't like Uncyclopedia's content take the matter up there. --Nick Dowling (talk) 07:15, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm only complaining about this line:
"If you use Uncyclopedia like Wikipedia, then treat Uncyclopedia as Wikipedia."
found in the page Wikipediholism test. Could it not be regarded as an official endorsement of Uncyclopedia,by Wikipedia?-Ravichandar 09:19, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm not even sure what that line is supposed to be saying; I think it's referring to some old Uncyclopedia questions that aren't in the test anymore. It could probably go itself, although with irrelevance as the reason rather than endorsing Uncyclopedia. Anyway, any idea of "official endorsement" that might leak through is entirely undermined by the big purple Humour banner on the page. :-) --tiny plastic Grey Knight 09:45, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Line now removed, is was added about a month ago by an anon[3] --Salix alba (talk) 10:58, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

Democratica Regular

Democratica Regular can be categorized in Oncial fonts? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:13, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia doesn't appear to have an article about Democratica Regular or a category for Oncial fonts, so I'm not quite sure what you mean, although there is a page about uncial script. To categorize them, the page on the Democratica typeface would have to be written first. If you mean, could the page be categorized on the web site you would have to ask them directly, as the web site you are at now is Wikipedia, an encyclopedia, and isn't associated with • Anakin (contribscomplaints) 13:47, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia lectures

created a separate page. Are you interested in learning about how wikipedia works? At an intermediate to advanced level? We'll be doing lectures, first on irc, then later hopefully in alexandria. Wikipedia:Lectures

12:06, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Famous people editing Wikipedia

I got one question of curiosity, I hope this is the right place. Are there any famous wikipedia editors - that is notable to have thier own articles? I mean among the more than casually active wikipedians with a username. Any historians, writers, journalists, et cetera? Thank you. Funsides (talk) 10:27, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Wikipedians with articles. Algebraist 10:39, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Wiki spoof

About 2 mins into this video there is a good wikipedia joke [4]. Funny how Snopes calls them on verifiability. MBisanz talk 22:14, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Its about 3 minutes in. Yeah, I guess snopes would know. :) - Rjd0060 (talk) 00:51, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
Nice find! The funny thing is, it's actually quite common for me (and I'm sure many others) to read or hear something random and make a mental note to check the wp article later. Joshdboz (talk) 01:57, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

New Wikiversitans needed

You want to learn new things, like in the "bricks-and-mortar schools"? Want to teach others by a brand new wiki-way? Is Wikipedia too crowded for you? Want to participate on up-and-running, but still developing Wikimedia project? Than >>Wikiversity<< is a perfect place for you. Wikiversity - Set learning free --Gbaor (talk) 07:03, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia is eating my life

Ok, sorry for posting this here, but I have been surfing around looking for a better place and can't find one. Wikipedia is vacuuming up my time. I found Wikipedia:Wikipediholic and realise it is supposed to be for funny purposes only, but too much is too true (and I think I am not alone, judging from its talk page). Can you help? I am wondering if there is a clever developer or admin who can put a cap on my editing: say, 20 edits in a 24 hour period, and then my account goes to read-only access, like a high school IP. I realise this is a technical solution to a psychological problem, but it would help. Exercising free will is like dieting: all very well when the object of one's desires is out of sight, out of mind, but damn difficult when working in the Twinkie factory. When I am off the digital leash, I am fine, but when I am at any internetted computer, I inevitably end up Googling something and getting a link to a Wikipedia article, in which I am bound to see a phrase I could improve, so I do, and then I check my watchlist and then I'm hook line and sinker sunk. Help! BrainyBabe (talk) 00:58, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Do you want us to ban you? :-) --Kim Bruning (talk) 04:38, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
I used to have that problem and my experience was that limiting myself to reading didn't work – I compulsively wanted to edit. What I eventually did was restrict myself to whenever I saw a Wikipedia page in a google search listing that intrigued me. You may not even be safe there in the first stages of the addiction. Remember, one edit and you're right back where you started. Sarsaparilla (talk) 20:18, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
I want to be the one glass of wine a day drinker, not the bottle of vodka a day type. (Don't worry, I'm not actually a problem user of any substance.) So the offer to ban me, which I appreciate Kim, is too much. Is there a technical way to a partial ban -- like maybe an hour , or X many keystrokes, or Y edits per day? If such a solution does not exist, I bet I am not the only person who would appreciate the option, if a canny software person could create one. Sarsaparilla, thanks for the empathy. I don't exactly understand what you mean by going for when the search result is for Wikipedia. Could you explain? Thanks. BrainyBabe (talk) 23:14, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Sure: Wikipedia:WikiProject User scripts/Scripts/WikiBreak Enforcer. (As for, that's a mirror of Wikipedia, without - of course - the ability to edit; the idea is to avoid even reading Wikipedia for information.) -- John Broughton (♫♫) 23:46, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
One simple thing is to avoid your watchlist when you're not prepared to commit a lot of time. Watchlists are full of articles you care passionately about, and are prepared to edit war over. If you're not looking to get drawn in at the moment, try the random article button or just click some internal links. Dcoetzee 09:18, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Change your password, uncheck "remember me", log out, clear your cache, edit your hosts file, set up a custom Google search with -wikipedia, just say no, this is what your brain looks like on Wikipedia, etc etc. Good Luck. :) Dan Beale-Cocks 12:05, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

If you are editing from a static IP, then John's suggestion will work well for you, IF you also request your IP to be blocked from editing. If you are on a dynamic IP or edit from a variety of computers incuding some with shared procy access, then you would still need to exercise self-control over not editing as an anon during the enforcement period. JERRY talk contribs 06:25, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

You can always clear your watchlist as well to give yourself kind of a fresh start. Sarsaparilla (talk) 16:54, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Hey I understand your problem ... I had it too, for the first couple of months after I got registered. I'm telling you the truth I was about to lose my job because of this, I did nothing else at work but edit wikipedia. What I did then was request a ban for two weeks. That got me sobered up, though I began to edit anonymously a little towards the end of that period. After that I continue to edit, but not compulsively like I used to. Hope this helps! ReluctantPhilosopher (talk) 17:34, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
I actually did lose my job because of it. Sarsaparilla (talk) 02:10, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
I add this here by way of comparison: How to control a WikiHow addiction [5]. BrainyBabe (talk) 14:41, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

The war on prose continues

To me, an edit like this (turning "cheek-by-jowl" into "next door to one another") is a sheer liability. What do others think? - Jmabel | Talk 02:14, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

I must admit, I never (consciously) heard the phrase "cheek-by-jowl" before. Perhaps "next door to one another" is simply more easily understood. • Anakin (contribscomplaints) 03:28, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
Much more than being neighbors in adjoining buildings is implied by the original. -- SEWilco (talk) 05:11, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree with Jmabel, and have reverted the change as a net detriment. -- Bellwether BC 03:33, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
It may best to rewrite it all together. At the very least see if there is a wikitionary link or some additional context that can be added. While the prose is certainly prettier, idioms have the habit of fading from the common vernacular and becoming archaic. (Lordy, I think the last time I heard "cheek by jowl",I was a school girl :p) Idioms can also be troublesome for non-native English speakers. I think the edit was a good faith effort to improve the article and there probably will be repeat occurrences as the phrase fades even more from common use. I'm sure there is some middle ground between "brillant prose" and "Simple English". AgneCheese/Wine 05:25, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I guess what we must decide is if we are writing the project for the "lowest common denominator" of reading comprehension. I had never heard the expression before, but immediately grasped its meaning, and appreciated its usage, simply from the context. It's a sharp turn of phrase that implies much more than simply living "next door" to one another. I guess if we're trying to write to the LCD, such phrases should be replaced. If not, they should stay. It's really as simple as that, in my vies. -- Bellwether BC 06:45, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Agne27, maybe you should rewrite your statement to avoid phrases such as "at the very least", "have the habit", "fading", "non-native", and "middle ground" which might become archaic.  :-) -- SEWilco (talk) 16:45, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
LOL touché :p Though truth be told, I think they have more currency than "cheek by jowl". This statement sponsored by W.F.I.I.M. - Wikipedians for idioms in moderation. They're freakin' unavoidable. :p AgneCheese/Wine 00:06, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
"Cheek by jowl" sounds perfectly current to me - are we seeing some national differences in usage here? DuncanHill (talk) 06:47, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

If you are going to use colloquialisms in your writing, I suggest you put in a transwiki link to the wiktionary definition. Not every reader is going to be as well versed in English, including non-native speakers.—RJH (talk) 18:32, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

FWIW (now how long will that be in the language?) I'm an American who spent quite a bit of time (several years, altogether) in the UK, and unless I'm thinking about it consciously, I don't always notice whether particular turns of phrase I use are more American or British. I think this particular one is more current in British English than American English, but, yes, I liked it for its vividness here, and it is much stronger than just "next door". The latter doesn't convey the ongoing low-level clashes that inevitably result. See for example [6] from Seattle weekly The Stranger. Probably we could do with more expansion, rather than just the phrase, but that's often the case. I like vivid writing. I think Wikipedia has been getting slowly blander this last few years, and I don't think that's good. - Jmabel | Talk 19:15, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Oh, and I agree that Wiktionary links can be useful, but can also be carried too far, and become real clutter (viz. SEWilco's remark above). - Jmabel | Talk 19:17, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

It's also worth pointing out that we don't have to focus on the simplest form of English all the time, since that's what the Simple English Wikipedia is for. Neither, of course, should we be using florid prose all the time, but the odd idiom (maybe wiktionaried if someone raises an issue about it) can't hurt. --tiny plastic Grey Knight 07:55, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

It's also worth pointing out that defining "good prose" is the basis of entire careers - nay, entire industries! Expecting it to spontaneously arise from the wisdom-of-crowds muck, in a form that always pleases you (or even, sad to say, me), is cheek-by-jowl with unlikelihood. (Or is it "cheek by jowl" without hyphens? Or "cheek-by-jowl to rather than with? Or, or, or, or ....) - DavidWBrooks (talk) 02:31, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Can you be a Wikiholic if you don't edit as much, but still go to the sight all the time. Like you close it and then you reopen it. Then you search and search some more. Close it and reopen it. Then search again. Its Wikipedia is a drug of learning. ([Rem])