Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 13

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Highjacking articles

I wonder where I might find information about policy on highjacking articles for a pov presentation.

For example, let's say that a serial killer attended school x. I go to school x (which has no article as yet) and contribute accurate information on the killer's prolongeed association with the school. This is the only information there. No teachers. No principal. No school board. No other graduates. No information about who attends. Number of pupils. Nothing.

While not violating any policy, it seems to me that this ought to be discouraged. For example, I just had to disassociate a business which only had very lengthy info about a seven year old series of illegalities. The company went bankrupt a long time ago and was brought out and became a legitimate business. Not that Wikipedia ever discovered that! There was only one name that I recognized on the list of bad guys which were all breathlessly reported in exquisite detail when it became known, I suppose.

Anyway, it seems to me that the person doing the entry has some obligation to see that details about current operation are entered, however slightly. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Student7 (talkcontribs) 01:21, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

There is a section on WP:NPOV titled "Undue Weight" which deals with this. The usual response to "This article is f***ed up" is {{sofixit}}. If nobody steps up to fix it, it's likely to be deleted at WP:AfD. Argyriou (talk) 01:24, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
Some other relevant links: Wikipedia:Reliable sources and undue weight. Wikipedia:Manual of Style (writing about fiction)#Notability and undue weight; Wikipedia:Tendentious editing#Undue weight; Wikipedia:External links#Avoid undue weight on particular points of view; and {{unbalanced}}--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 02:22, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
Also, directly relevant essay: WP:COATRACK. --- tqbf 03:51, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
These are really really great answers. I've saved them away permanently in case they get archived!
Two more questions: a)I wonder if you have any pointers to relevancy. As above, a man has been convicted of wrongdoing which garnered national attention. Are all his previous haunts then subject to scrutiny by Wikipedia? Do articles about his school, the shopping mall where he hung out, the arcade where he played games interminably, etc. It seems to me that he did something wrong. That should be reported in the article that relates to where he did the wrong. (In the case of NYC it might get forked!  :) I'm pretty sure you can help me there.
b) Second question. A little more to the point, when Guilty Guy is caught, he claims "the devil made me do it." He is able to identify the devil and where the devil worked and where he met him. However, no connection is proved nor, most likely, can be proved. Right now, the "devil" may be protected by WP:BLP, but what if he dies? A second part of this question is: does the place where the devil worked merit the publicity when there is no proof forthcoming. The workplace is obviously not covered by WP:BLP.
You guys have been particulary helpful. I've learned a lot and appreciate it. Student7 (talk) 14:25, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
  1. I think (a) comes down to notability. Is the location notable for being the haunt of a notable criminal? Is it notable for any other reason? The WP:N + WP:V equation is surprisingly powerful: do reliable sources write about the criminal haunting the location? If so, it's fair game for inclusion. If not, you can make a strong case for undue weight.
  2. Even if the accused is alive, WP:BLP doesn't prevent you from writing about the accusers claims. It just requires that you be very, very careful about sourcing, about not misrepresenting those quotes, about the neutrality of the language used to convey them, and about the weight you give those accusations versus everything else about the person. The easiest way to handle this is to use only material from the highest-quality printed sources, where editors will have already taken much of this into account. If the accused is notable for nothing else but being accused, consider whether they merit an article at all. --- tqbf 18:07, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Marginal notability BLP deletions

Hello, I'm crossposting this as suggested by User:Mercury. In the wake of the BLP marginal notability courtesy deletion of Angela Beesley, which is being discussed at Wikipedia:Deletion review/Angela Beesley, a discussion on this practice is underway at:

Wikipedia talk:Biographies of living persons#Marginal notability deletions. Thanks. Lawrence Cohen 18:20, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

CC-by content

From the reference desk, I became aware of a copyvio situation. I initially removed the content and listed it as a copyvio but after looking into it I believe that a CC-by text can be freely used in wikipedia articles. I know there are moves to harmonisation and there appears to be some doubt about CC-by-sa (since it's unclear if GFDL can be considered an 'alike' license) but CC-by seems fine to me since it only requires attribution. I.E. provided there's attribution everything's fine. As such, I added recognition of the source following the 1911 template as an example [1]. Am I correct that there's no problem now license wise? I noticed afterwards that Creative Commons license also uses CC-by text and it appears to have done it in a similar way. 19:54, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

N.B. I did consider requesting the author to release it under GFDL, would this be best to avoid confusion? Nil Einne (talk) 19:57, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
After reading the legalise from the comments I read of a user in the copyright policy page I'm rather confused [2]. Specifically "You may not offer or impose any terms on the Work that alter or restrict the terms of this License or the recipients' exercise of the rights granted hereunder" may be a concern Nil Einne (talk) 20:09, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

How do various policies get changed?

I'm sure that there have been many changes to policy over the years.

How does a lowly user "get the ball rolling"?

Curiously, --angrykeyboarder (a/k/a:Scott) (talk) 05:18, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Method 1) Ask on the talk page. Method 2) do it yourself. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 06:11, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Do not do it yourself without discussion and consensus. Corvus cornixtalk 04:08, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
ORLY? --Jayron32|talk|contribs 06:14, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
Nothing wrong with BRD, just so long as it doesn't become BRRRRRRRRRRRRR. Making the proposed edit can result in it just being accepted, in which case it can be presumed to have consensus until and unless someone objects, and if someone does object, it can help start a discussion as to why and what should be done. Seraphimblade Talk to me 06:25, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
And note that BRD is neither a policy nor a guideline. Corvus cornixtalk 19:35, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

David Miliband article

Could some other editors please look at this page- there seem to be editors intent on adding "Jewish" right at the top and claims that his grandfather "murdered" Poles, Ukrainians and White Russians. As they don't seem to be adding this information to everyone whose grandfather was in the red army it seems to be malicious so I would be grateful if others could help to remove it. Gustav von Humpelschmumpel (talk) 13:08, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

You'd be better off posting on the BLP Noticeboard. Lurker (said · done) 15:09, 13 December 2007 (UTC)


There is a discussion at Wikipedia:Notability (fiction) regarding where consensus lies. All participants are welcome to engage with the debate and outline their position in the hope that consensus can be formed. Hiding T 17:32, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Proposed change to Common.css

A (imho) meritorious change to include some additional java script is ongoing on WP:VPR (policy forum). The script is used on the French wikipedia to UNCLUTTER and trim down the number of images in articles when needed. It does that by making a singe image frame into a slide show presentation... that is the image displays for a bit, then the next for a few more seconds, then so on and back around... complete with individual captions. If the user does not have java script extensions enabled, the pictures are "gracefully" displayed in a column. It could probably be written to become a gallery instead but that would require a browser originated status word be recognized by mediawiki software and then sensed (as a magicword) by template software... a Slideshow template, based on existing functionality in French wikipedia // FrankB 19:21, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Title Possible Offense (Five pillars)

(note: I copied this discussion from the FP talk page, as I think it is important and not receiving notice there.) ---- Kevin Murray (talk) 18:53, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

To Whom it May Concern:

I represent the Islamic Information Center (IIC) on a volunteer basis, and they asked me to contact you (whoever that may be) as to a possible violation upon our principle religion regarding both the Quran and relation to the modern world today. Unfortunately, I didn't see any phone number to contact, so I wrote in discussion - as Jim Wales suggested on C-SPAN for independent organizations to contact Wikipedia. The problem is this articles (or policies) title as a basis of the five pillars of Islam. We don't consider such actions hostile towards the Muslim community, however we do ask it be changed to prevent any possible confusion in Muslims relations with Wikipedia - to something more neutral.

To discuss this further, please contact me at

(e-mail address removed)


Josh Armin —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:07, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

If we went around changing every article that would/might offend Muslims then we would be in direct breach of the second pillar " Wikipedia has a neutral point of view," by submitting to one groups claim to offence not to mention we would lose all sense of accuracy and credibility to wikipedia. Its been argued over and over, especially on articles such as Aisha that wikipedia does not bend or change to Islam. Its about facts and knowledge and I highly doubt and unsigned comment by someone claiming to be from the IIC (even though you list a yahoo email address NOT an IIC one) is going to do anything constructive. Thats my two cents --Curuxz 10:15, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
  • In away I agree with Curuxc and we must be cautious about pandering to social pressures and special interest groups. However, I see legitimate concern in this case. Was it random chance that we named this policy the Five Pillars, or were we emulating Islam? I see no offense intended, rather I see a potential compliment. But if offense is being taken, why not modify our title. We are a young enough project that we can easily adapt. ---- Kevin Murray (talk) 18:48, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Islam lays no unique claim to the number five, or the idea of pillars supporting something. Their combination is rather natural, and the similarity a coincidence. EVula // talk // // 20:55, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I can't agree. There is no special meaning to "ten", nor to "commandments" but the combination has a very specific meaning. ---- Kevin Murray (talk) 21:32, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
  • "Commandment" doesn't have a strong definition outside of "The Ten Commandments" or general orders; "pillar" has a more literal definition, which is what the symbolic meaning is derived from. See Five Pillars, Four Pillars, and Three Pillars. EVula // talk // // 21:46, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Good examples! Thanks. I'd like to find out more about the depth of concern. Perhaps someone should write to IIC, to see whether there is broad based concern. ---- Kevin Murray (talk) 21:50, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I think a more interesting question is whether this page is needed at all. All our policies are important. SashaCall 21:38, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Personally I don't think so, as your just assuming based upon the titles notability that its irrelavant. For instance, what if there were the 6 commandments or 5 commandments (not having to do with the Bible). Just because there aren't doesn't warrant 10 pillars - after all we have to take this from a Muslim perspective, what would a Muslim first think about when he hears 4 pillars, like a Christian would think about 4 commandments. They are very much alike.-- 02:04, 2 December 2007 (UTC) [This was added to the archive; missed it when pulling out the wikimarkup from the history —Random832 15:29, 12 December 2007 (UTC)]
  • I strongly disagree. It's usually more usable and scalable to decide things based on general principles, rather than expecting people to memorize 27 different policy pages whose content may or may not be accurate at any given time. The principles and some intelligence are all you need; the details can be worked out as needed. Friday (talk) 21:52, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
  • The relevant question is whether we would change if it was the Ten Commandments of Wikipedia, and someone objected. I leave people to contemplate that. I'd also say that if it is the case that some people are being offended, we could perhaps leave it out of the welcome template, because that at least should be as anodyne as possible. Relata refero (talk) 18:16, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
  • For what it is worth, I think any moderately well-educated and cultured person would immediately think of Islam when "The Five Pillars" are mentioned. Having an internal Wikipedia subject as the first thing mentioned at Five Pillarsstrikes me as somewhat tactless - I'm sure it was not done with any intent to offend, but it shews a lack of awareness of the world. DuncanHill (talk) 20:47, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
  • FWIW, I don't agree. I'd like to think of myself as moderately well-educated (cultured may be a little more iffy), and likewise (except for the iffy cultured-ness) for most of the people I associate with. I would not expect that many, if even any, would immediately think of Islam upon seeing "Five Pillars". Personally, I think this is a non-issue. olderwiser 21:28, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
I live in Saudi Arabia. Ask the very few people here who speak English (obviously more educated) what they think of first when they hear five pillars and it is most definitely Islam. All depends on ones perceptions, and if these aren't taken into account neutrality isn't really one of Wikipedia's acclaimed principles. -- (talk) 05:46, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm surprised this complaint is so restrained, because articles in the encyclopedia often treat Islam (or specifically, its followers) horrendously. We're constantly using sources that are absolutely terrible, far, far worse than anything David Irving ever published. The easiest test is "Would we allow a different Middle Eastern religion to be refered to/sourced about in this fashion?" - over and over again we'd say "of course not" - in fact, in many cases such behaviour would lead to an immediate indef-blocking. (This was tried and very nearly succeeded on me for publishing entirely uncontroversial material purely based on my supposedly having used a "hate-source" for it).
There are examples everywhere - here's a proven liar an article whose subject told lies about her name, age and how she reached the Netherlands, and who has admitted the falsifications in several media interviews since 2002.[1]
Despite the fact that these lies directly concern the supposed behavior of Muslims, our article gives her the lovey-dovey treatment as she tells the world we brazenly quote her views as if they were perfectly acceptable Violence is inherent in Islam—it's a destructive, nihilistic cult of death. It legitimates murder".
Compare this with the treatment we give to Israel Shahak, an Israeli Professor of Chemistry who was critical of (some portions of?) his own religion, Judaism - we absolutely slate him for it eg from his article - Edward Alexander stated that Shahak "was a disturbed mind who made a career out of recycling Nazi propaganda about Jews and Judaism.".
With this degree of hatred being given such pride of place imbalance in our treatment of different religious, it's astonishing Wikipdedia isn't hissed across half the world! PRtalk 19:33, 11 December 2007 (UTC) PRtalk 12:21, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
I'd strongly recommned you refactor your above comments to strike out libelous comments you have made. WP:BLP applies on evry project page, if you need to be reminded. Isarig (talk) 00:08, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
You are aware that that is a quote by the article's subject in a section about the subject's views right? Its not being presented as fact. Wikipedia is not censored. If we remove anything that any significant group finds offensive, we would be left with a lopsided encyslopedia full of holes. As far as the 5 pillars debate goes, it is a fairly common term outside Islam. A Google search for "5 pillars" -Islam -Muslim returns over 80,000 results, only one of which is Wikpedia's 5 pillars. Mr.Z-man 00:24, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't think its the fact that its offensive to some people (which in and of itself is grounds for removal) but that a very prominent Wikipedia policy's title can be perceived as based upon a religion when we do indeed claim neutrality. It should be changed for this and not because its only offensive. -- (talk) 04:32, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
But it is only potentially offensive and/or confusing to a certain group of people, and then only in an indirect manner. As noted above, pillars by themselves are not religious, and the fact that there are five of them (a number selected even before this project was started and present in the first edit of the page in question) is simply a coincidence. While I understand that the Five Pillars of Islam are very important to Muslims, Wikipedia concerns itself with collecting information and presenting it in a neutral manner, not cultural sensitivity. We do not use titles for Muhammad or, indeed, follow many of the normal practices prescribed by the faith. We present the full images involved in the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy and do not censor articles on things like Satanism, pornography, Anti-Semitism, Creationism, and so on. Essentially, my point is that Wikipedia cannot serve the interests of one group because it would then have to serve the interests of all groups, which in turn would undermine its position as a neutral source of information and remove any trace of the credibility it currently enjoys.
That being said, consensus can change, and so it's not impossible that WP:5P will be renamed at some point. But given that the principle of neutrality is essentially not up for discussion, I can virtually guarantee that any such renaming will not be because of religious concerns. --jonny-mt 05:32, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
@Z-man - I accept that Ayaan Hirsi Ali's words are being reported "neutrally" as her opinion. However, we'd never allow such hate-statements to appear about other religions - except as evidence of the totally disgusting views of the subject.
And in this case, the subject is known to have lied on precisely this topic (the bad things done in the name of Islam). The touch-stone for using hate-sources is to compare them with David Irving. He's been proved to have cheated over historical matters and is widely assumed to be a race-hater (a judge has accused him of anti-semitism). It's no great exaggeration to state that anyone who presented his views in a "neutral fashion" would be indef blocked from here without further discussion needed. So how come we "neutrally" insert statements into articles that are both more extreme than Irving's, and from a source even less reliable? PRtalk 14:34, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
I'd like to point out that there is also a Sixth Pillar of Islam, as well as two different Seventh pillars. EVula // talk // // 15:39, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
I suggest: (1) remove NPOV pillar; (2) change name to "four noble truths." —Jemmytc 00:10, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Ignore them. There are many things using the phrase "Five Pillars". Try searching Google with '"Five Pillars of" -Islam' and see what you get. 247,000 hits. "Five Pillars of Quality Online". "Five Pillars of Social Media Marketing". "Five Pillars of Total Quality Management". "Five Pillars of Church Safety". "Five Pillars of Patent Act (Canada)" "Five Pillars of Stupidity". Etc. There are even more "Ten Commandments of" items. Don't worry about it. --John Nagle (talk) 17:08, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, no one group of people owns the idea of "pillars", this is really not a reasonable complaint. 1 != 2 17:13, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, where do you think those are all derived from? -- (talk) 00:35, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

I would like to propose that articles featured on the front page be fully protected while they are on the front page

The reasoning for this is kind of obvious: anything ever linked on the front page always acts as a vandal magnet. This pre-empts them, and as the article is featured status already, protecting it for a bit won't hurt it any. Jtrainor (talk) 00:38, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

See: Wikipedia:Main Page featured article protection. Prodego talk 00:40, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
Would it be a good idea to insitute a (short) block at first offense policy for the front page? Taemyr (talk) 13:42, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
No, because it is a common place for people to see, and thus experiment with. We would want to direct them first, and then if they continue block. Prodego talk 22:14, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
Is this[3] directing? Taemyr (talk) 09:21, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
I believe that certain pages merit a more careful consideration of pre-emptive semi-protection. When Honoré de Balzac (a page I helped make FA) was TFA, semi-protection was denied, even as the constant vandalism piled up. We spent the entire day (fortunately it was a Saturday, so fewer children were milling about) reverting "ball sack" jokes. I strongly believe that the costs heavily outweigh the benefits of leaving a TFA page like HdB (or controversial pages like Yasser Arafat) open to unregistered users. (Of course, I believe this is true about the entire project, but that's neither here nor there.) – Scartol • Tok 16:11, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Policy on self-published sources

I was wondering what the rationale for the policy on self-published sources is (see WP:SELFPUB). I was wondering if over-use of self-published sources constitutes advertising-like language. This issue is discussed here. I'll quote the relevant bits:

"Here's another question: does the overuse of self-published sources (as in, well over half the sources; especially online self-published sources that link to subscription/membership/purchasing forms) constitute advertisement-like language? The way I see it, overuse of self-published sources lends an aura of notability to those sources which may or may not be justified. Additionally, those sources make the subject of the article look more notable through their affiliation with the subject (i.e., it appears as if the article is saying, 'Look at us, we have a notable source on our side/in our ranks; that makes us even more significant')."

I'm trying to apply WP:SELFPUB to this article. I was hoping you could also jump into the conversation in the article's talk page (this section). Thanks! SharkD (talk) 06:00, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Another relevant policy is WP:NOT - Wikipedia isn't a how-to guide. I think the article should be sharply shortened; there really is no need to quote a users guide at all, in my opinion, other than for something unusual or unexpected, preferably something mentioned in reliable source other than the users manual itself. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 16:25, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
That's fine, but I'd appreciate some more comments on the topic of advertisement-like language, as I've added the {{advert}} tag to the article. In the meanwhile, I'll search Google for articles on the subject. SharkD (talk) 03:33, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
I searched the Chicago Manual of Style for the term 'advertisement', but wasn't able to come up with anything useful. SharkD (talk) 04:29, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

I'll try Wikipedia:Editor assistance/Requests, as I've been led to understand in another post in Wikipedia:Village pump (assistance) that that is a better place for seeking advice. SharkD (talk) 04:23, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Proposed naming convention change

There is a current proposal to change a naming convention, which directly effects the the Manual of Style guideline, and the naming conventions policy. If you are interested, your input would be appreciated. Justin chat 06:32, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

(I moved this section from the talk page) Bluap (talk) 06:52, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Checkuser requirement for RfA candidates - Proposal

Please comment at Wikipedia_talk:Requests_for_adminship#Checkuser_requirement_for_RfA_candidates_-_Proposal. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 19:24, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Eliminate the separation on software based on classifications of 'Commercial, Non-Commercial/Free, and Open Source'

Many pages on software have separation between commercial non-commercial, free and open source software. While it may be useful to a user to know that certain packages are free or open source it would seem more appropriate to have this as a note in the information about the software as opposed to categorizing based on this feature.

Some examples are

one page which I feel does it right is

Comparison of video editing software

LetterRip (talk) 21:52, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

I personally agree with you, that applying such a "prose" categorization is somewhat overdoing it. Defining features of the software like linear editing etc, should be more important than the distribution license of a program if you are on such pages. However, people do care a whole lot about the licenses today, so you are advised to take caution and listen to fellow editors if you intend to make changes. Ergo, be bold, revert and then discuss. --TheDJ (talkcontribs) 14:46, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Your second example would be much better (for everyone) if it were a sortable wikitable; I really doubt you'd get any resistance to putting all information into a single table, as is the case with the third example you cite. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 16:36, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Clarification of policy on image useage

I'd like some clarification on image usage policy, preferably form an admin.

I'm currently editing a page about a notable television franchise. 2 series (approx 75 episodes), 12 books, two films and about a dozen computer games, broadcast in multiple languages. The franchise has a large number of recurring characters most of whom are currently included on a single page. Under current image policy is it permitted/prohibited or editors to add an low resolution identifying image for each individual character?

The current argument for is that each character has been individually designed so that they visually represent the part that they play in the franchise and so an object illustration is required.

The current argument against is that doing so breaches rules on decorative images.

Any ideas?

perfectblue (talk) 11:51, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

I think the best we can do is "it depends"... Currently pretty much everyting on the policy talk page from Wikipedia talk:Non-free content#Fair use images in "list of characters in..." or "Characters of..." articles and down deal with this, and related issues. --Sherool (talk) 00:04, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

YEAR in TOPIC wikilinks

There is a discussion going on at the talk page of the numbers manual of style (oldid) that would change all piped wikilinks like [[2007 in film|2007]] to 2007. Those kinds of wikilinks are being referred to as surprise links. Wikilinks like [[2007 in literature|2007]], [[2007 in video gaming|2007]], etc (basically any wikilink to any of the articles at List of '2007 in' articles (and every other year) that has a pipe and then just the year would be replaced with just the plaintext year, with no wikilink. Input from the community would be appreciated. --Pixelface (talk) 14:07, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Multiple Language Links

The main question: What should one do with language links when a single article in English is covered by multiple articles in other languages?

As I understand it language links exist to help people find material in their own language and to generally facilitate easy moving between articles in different language Wikipedias. However in certain circumstances a single term in English is represented by multiple terms in another language - this has arisen in the article college which has many related meanings in English:

  • The American term for an institute of higher education (referred to as a University in British English). e.g. Harvard College
  • An independent subunit of certain 'traditional' universities (Oxford, Cambridge, Paris...) with responsibility for both housing and teaching. e.g. St Catherine's College, Oxford
  • A institute of further (non compulsory, ages 16-18) education in the United Kingdom e.g. Isle of Wight College
  • A name given to certain traditional schools - e.g. Eton College

...and a number of others, all of which are covered by a single article in English Wikipedia.

Now, someone has linked this article to three articles in Spanish (es:Colegio, es:College, es:Facultad )and Italian (it:college], it:Collegio, it:Facoltà ), which I'd guess reflect different usages of the term (e.g. one for Higher education, one for further education and one for schools), and someone has raised understandable concerns about this - seeing as it may well lead to large and confusing language link lists.

Anyway - I've thought of a couple of possible solutions to this:

  • Link to a single article - perhaps the best compromise, but unfavourable to my mind as it would mean that someone might be linked to the wrong article in their language.
  • Link to all relevant articles - as noted may lead to huge and confusing link lists.
  • Split the English College article into articles on each meaning. - unfavourable to my mind as the meanings are closely related and would have to be replaced by a very long disambiguation page.
  • Create international disambig pages - i.e. the English college article could link to a Spanish article named something like es:College (en) which would then disambiguate the various meanings of college in English. I think this is potentially the best solution, but would require a fair amount of work.

Any thoughts? Solutions? Think that I'm making a mountain out of a molehill ::smile::? --Neo (talk) 13:41, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

You might be over-thinking it; es:College strikes me as the only appropriate Spanish interwiki for College, while it:College is the only appropriate Italian interwiki. The others appear to be out of scope or about faculty. EVula // talk // // 07:49, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Well 'College' is now used in a couple of British Universities (Birmingham, Edinburgh) to mean something wider than a faculty - a collection of closely related subjects - but there is also the wider issue of what to do, for instance as I understand it in Slovene and a number of other Slavic languages the words finger and toe share a common word - to what should the Slovene 'finger' article link? [In this case we actually have a possible link in digit ] Or a other languages have separate words for mother's-brother and father's-brother which would surely both correspond to 'uncle' in English. --Neo (talk) 21:31, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

ISO format dates in citation templates

Stuck: Discussion should not have forked from WT:MOSNUM#Proposed MOSNUM text for optional autoformatting, per WP:CONSENSUS on "forum shopping".

There is also a discussion going on at the the talk page of the numbers manual of style (oldid) where it's been proposed that editors stop using ISO-format dates (such as 2007-12-16) in citation templates like {{cite web}}. When an ISO format date is placed in the date field and wikilinked, (like [[2007-12-16]]), it will be shown according to a user's date preferences. Some editors are saying we should stop doing this. Input from the community would be appreciated. --Pixelface (talk) 14:07, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

I can't imagine how allowing the end-user to display the date in a fashion of their own choosing can be considered a bad thing... EVula // talk // // 18:55, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
I honestly don't see the problem with using ISO dates in citations. With autoformating, so long as the dates are wikilinked, there shouldn't be a problem. And even without autoformating, the ISO dates are far more compact. This isn't a case where readability is huge concern, such as it would be in-text. --Farix (Talk) 19:38, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

I've given a better explanation of the proposal below. —Remember the dot (talk) 21:13, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Proposal to reformat ISO dates in footnotes

There's been quite a bit of discussion at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers) over the use of the ISO date format (2007-12-25) in footnotes. The general feeling is that ISO dates are unfamiliar to most readers, which could lead to confusion. Because of this, I propose that we:

  1. Change the citation templates to allow for date formats other than ISO.
  2. Use a JavaScript tool (which I have already written) to quickly reformat all ISO dates into a more human-readable format. For example, [[2007-12-25]] would become [[December 25]], [[2007]] if the user editor selects that the article is to the use American date format, or [[25 December]] [[2007]] if the user editor selects the British date format.
  3. Once the conversion is close to completion, change the citation templates to no longer wikilink ISO dates. This would encourage editors to convert the remaining ISO dates, as those dates would no longer be automatically wikilinked.

The JavaScript tool is available at User:Remember the dot/ISO date format unifier.js, but it will not work properly until the citation templates have been tweaked to allow non-ISO dates. —Remember the dot (talk) 21:10, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

The above originally suggested that the users would be enabled to see their preferred format. It is however the editor that makes the choice. I can see the edit wars coming, reverting back and forth between formats. This is not a proper solution. Is there not a technical way to format according to the user's windows date settings? −Woodstone (talk) 21:40, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
User date preferences will still work. This proposal only changes what anonymous users and users without date preferences will see. Articles will basically follow the same guidelines we use for spelling: British for British articles, American for American articles, and whatever the first main contributor used for everything else. —Remember the dot (talk) 21:49, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
I checked the JavaScript reference, and I do not believe that there is any good way to accurately guess what the user's date preference is. Web browsers do not appear to share this information with web pages. —Remember the dot (talk) 22:57, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
  • The discussion at WP:MOSNUM has focused primarly on readers, most especially anonymous readers, and the inconsistent presentation of dates in articles they read. This is due not to the inconsitent manner in which they are entered, but rather to the lack of a default date preference on the English Wikipedia. Much of the argument could be resolved by giving a specific preference to anonymous users and users who have not expressed a preference. I strongly suspect that it wouldn't actually matter what preference was chosen, just that there actually be one. The MediaWiki software as it currently runs here is capable of doing this. I therefore propose, in counter to Remember the dot's proposal, that we establish a default date preference on the English Wikipedia of 'mdy both' (i.e., "16:12, January 15, 2001"), although I would not oppose the other obvious choice of 'dmy both' ("16:12, 15 January 2001"). RossPatterson (talk) 21:42, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Setting a default preference for anonymous users would lead to a terrible discussion over whether we should use "December 25, 2007" or "25 December 2007" as the default. It would be like saying we're only going to use American spelling from now on. It would also cause a discrepancy between what the source text of articles say (2007-12-25) and what users actually see (December 25, 2007). —Remember the dot (talk) 21:49, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
ISO dates have been perfectly acceptable on Wikipedia because it is a universal format as opposed to the date-month or month-date format. The only case where it may benefit to spell out the date is when it is in text of the article. But this change in footnotes and citations just trivial, fruitless, and without any real point. --Farix (Talk) 22:54, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
The idea is to eliminate confusion by presenting dates in a format that users are more familiar with. Eliminating confusion is quite worthwhile. —Remember the dot (talk) 00:16, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Here is an example of how this change would work.

Before: Wikipedia:Citing sources. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2007-01-02). Retrieved on 2007-01-02.
After American formatting: Wikipedia:Citing sources. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (January 2, 2007). Retrieved on January 2, 2007.
After British formatting: Wikipedia:Citing sources. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2 January 2007). Retrieved on 2 January 2007.

After reformatting, the dates become significantly easier for the average reader to read and understand. —Remember the dot (talk) 00:23, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

How many readers actually read what is in the references? Not very many, I would assume. These changes seem arbitrary and irrelevant and appears to be more of a WP:IDONTLIKEIT regarding to ISO dates. This is a solution to a problem that doesn't really exist; therefore I would oppose prohibiting or reformatting ISO dates in references. --Farix (Talk) 00:41, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
It doesn't matter whether ten people or ten thousand actually read the references. We have a way to improve those readers' experience with no negative effects. Why shouldn't we take it? ISO dates are very rare, especially in reference works like encyclopedias. Consequently, the reader has to stop and think about what the date means before they can understand it. That is not ideal. —Remember the dot (talk) 02:22, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
I strongly object to this change. WP:ENGVAR, which is part of the basis of this reasoning as I understand it, was designed as a solution because there is no right answer for English variations. Dates, on the other hand, when treated as data rather than as prose, have an official international format which we can use - ISO. That's why we use it in the first place. We offer the ISO date customization in the preferences for registered users because it is convenient, when dealing with an individual user, to allow them to choose the format in which they would like to see dates. This is not the case for unregistered users, whose IPs are often shared by many users. ISO dates are not hard to understand, and our use of them is consistent across references. Our wikilinking of ISO dates can be corrected with a single edit to each template that does this. I see no need for our use of this to change. The format is also noted as being appropriate for list-style entries such as where it is placed. I see no problem with using this format - this appears to be a solution in search of a problem. If we could reliably give users date preferences which they would be most likely to prefer, that would be ideal, but in the meantime we should live with an acceptable standard where possible rather than some confusing and unneeded mélange of formats across articles. Nihiltres{t.l} 03:38, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Readers who do look at the references will have to stop and "think" about the formating of the references anyways, so the formating of the date isn't going to mater. And having them think "a little more" isn't a bad thing either. Also the ISO date format is acceptable on tables as well and hasn't posed any problems. So there is no need to suddenly attempt to wipe them out. This is very much like an WP:ENGVAR issue and should be left well enough alone. If you really want standardization of dates, then I would suggestion adopting the ISO format since it is the only internationally recognized standard for formating dates. --Farix (Talk) 04:20, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Oppose - The compact ISO date format is documented for citation editors. Making editors choose from several formats is not an improvement. If display based on user preferences is wanted, that display ability should be added instead of forcing changes away from a standard format. -- SEWilco (talk) 04:38, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

I don't want to have to type out the month every time I cite something and worry about whether the day should come first or second. It's easier to type 02 than February. There's a lower risk of typos. When I'm signed in, [[2007-12-25]] appears to me like "December 25, 2007" because I've set my date preferences to display it like that. When I'm not signed in, [[2007-12-25]] appears to me like 2007-12-25. If you put your cursor over "12-25", it displays in the status bar at the bottom of the browser. Unregistered users can still see that 12-25 means December 25 (although they may not realize that until they mouseover it).

For articles that were nominated for the 65th Golden Globe Awards, I've used this reference frequently, the list of nominations:

<ref>{{cite web|url= |title=HOLLYWOOD FOREIGN PRESS ASSOCIATION 2008 GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2007 |accessdate=2007-12-16 |date=[[2007-12-13]] |}}</ref>

Now you're saying I have to figure out if the day should come first or second on every article I use that citation in?

It needs to be determined how many unregistered users have complained about stuff like 2007-12-25 before ISO dates are disallowed from citation templates. --Pixelface (talk) 06:55, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.