Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 58

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In discussion of an article that I nominated for deletion [1], because of lack of notability, there has been some disagreement over what constitutes notability. Some editors claim that this [2], a series of newspaper mentions including the name of the group, constitutes notability. My own understanding is that per WP: Notability: Significant coverage" means that sources address the subject directly in detail.... I understand that to mean that the mention of a name of a group in a few newspaper articles does not constitute notability, and a notable mention should include significant discussion of the group itself. Perhaps I have misunderstood the way this guideline is applied, and I would appreciate comments from other users to clarify the issue. Thanks. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 14:30, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

The really key thing about Wikipedia:Notability is that it is a guideline, not a policy. In a deletion discussion, an article can be kept by consensus even though its subject doesn't meet the guideline's standard to an exacting degree. Trivial mentions, the way I see them, are things like listings of a band's performances. In this case, the NYT quoting from the group's spokesman, and a paragraph about the group in a lead story in the Wiener Zeitung, are certainly more than "trivial mentions". Darkspots (talk) 14:54, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Darkspots, just to clarify, are you saying that even thought there is nothing that (as the guideline says) address the subject directly in detail, the fact that their existence is acknowledged is sufficient to make them notable? I have to admit that, to me, that seems way to open a standard of notability. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 15:13, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Sort of—what I'm really saying is that the consensus of a discussion like an AfD can decide whether or not sources meet a guideline like WP:N. Consensus, in contrast, cannot (or in any event should not) overturn a core policy like WP:BLP or WP:V, and the closing administrator needs to make sure that the result of the discussion adheres to policy. I'd like to call your attention to the sentence from the guideline: Significant coverage is more than trivial but may be less than exclusive. In other words, an article can be primarily about something that is not the article subject and nonetheless provide significant coverage demonstrating the notability of the article subject. A single sentence can be enough, depending (among other factors) on how notable the source itself is, and what the sentence says. If the New York Times said that "While most people regard Darkspots as the greatest authority that ever lived, Example had some things to say too" in an article completely about Example, that would demonstrate my notability even though it wasn't even an entire sentence about me. That's a silly example, but I think it demonstrates my point. Darkspots (talk) 17:36, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
I wonder if you may think my main interest in this is the AfD. I am actually not concerned about the AfD because my personal experience is that most do not succeed, at least not those I have observed. My expectation from the beginning that it was likely to fail. What I am really trying to figure out is why WP standards for notability are so loosely enforced. In that respect, I do think the article I nominated is a pretty good example of the problem.
Thanks for your replies. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 20:32, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
It might interest you to know that there are a lot of editors who feel like our notability standards are far too strict, that we delete a lot of potentially valid encyclopedia articles through our various deletion processes. I personally think that we've drawn the line in a pretty good place and that most of the time we get it right, but that's just me. If it puts your mind at ease, I have no opinion about what your main interest is; you had a question about the notability guideline, referencing a particular discussion as an example, and I've tried to answer your question both in terms of your example and in general terms. You might want to check out Wikipedia talk:Notability. Darkspots (talk) 22:45, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
I am well aware of the inclusionist view, and am sympathetic their reasoning and goals. Perhaps if WP had a two or three tier system, with less notable or less reliably sourced articles kept and available in a second and third level of search, that might resolve some problems. But, if articles of first rank importance are sourced with problematic sources instead of with truly reliable sources, that discredits the entire project. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 23:15, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
WP:N is mostly sensible but has a few problems. For example sources tend not to "address the subject directly in detail" if it is something that publications and readers in that field are very familiar with, and may just say e.g. "this is an instance of X because it has these features". This is not a fictitious example, I was involved in a vigorous discussion of one such WP article, which is now an FA. WP:RS also has an over-academic orientation, since it treats as second-class anything less than a peer-reviewed journal or book by an author who has published in peer-reviewed journals. I edit articles on both "academic" and "non-academic" subjects, and on the latter you have to adapt to the sources that are available.
IMO these are good reasons for not interpreting WP:N and WP:RS rigorously in AfDs. --Philcha (talk) 23:47, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
To make this a more concrete, the example I used, and the article I nominated for deletion, is an anti-Zionist organization called European Jews for a Just Peace. The Anti-Zionism article, is linked to the European Jews for a Just Peace, and the group is cited as a source. If the source was (for example) Al Jazeera, I would not take a second look because they are obviously notable, and are a reliable source dealing with Zionism and Isreali/Palistinian issues. But what is this group European Jews for a Just Peace? When I looked at their article I saw that there was nothing there to establish notability. Moreover, a search shows that there is very little press coverage of them, mostly articles that do nothing more than mention the group's name. But, nevertheless, they are a source in the Anti-Zionism article; which article deals with a highly controversial subject. Since there are many other, reliable sources, why is this group used as a source? So what I want to know is if I am out of line (and misunderstand WP guidelines), by objecting to the use of what seems a source that is not reliable? Malcolm Schosha (talk) 13:44, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
A source can be reliable without being notable. I would venture there are plenty of peer-reviewed academic journals that don't have articles on WP because the journal itself has no notable coverage, but the journal is reliable because of that. See, for example List of scientific journals in chemistry, and many of the articles within that only have one secondary source to establish notability, that being a ranking of them. In the specific example you give, of course you may object to the European Jews being used as a source since its reliability is not shown - it doesn't have to be shown via its article on WP but does have to be through examination of their website and news reporting methods. --MASEM 14:30, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, certainly "reliability" and "notability" are somewhat separate as issues. But not completely, because once the WP: notability of a subject, group or individual is established by the existence of a WP article, it is very difficult (if not impossible) to arguing against the inclusion of content sourced to that subject, group or individual if the content of one can be shown to impinge on the other. Because of that, it is logically obvious that to anyone who wants to push a POV, creating marginal articles to support their POV is will be an effective course of action. The end result is to degrade the value of WP articles by allowing too easy standards for notability. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 14:57, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Having an article is by no means equivalent to being reliable. An organization may be notable only for the fact that they are an unreliable source for certain topics (case in point, VGChartz an alternative game sales site that we avoid using, but certainly is notable). Reliability of sources is only judged by the site itself and any third-party articles that demonstrate that reliability, not by what it's WP article has to say about it. If editors are trying to push "If there's an article on WP, then the source must be notable", then that needs to be addressed to these editors because it is not true. --MASEM 15:29, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
That is interesting. I am not sure that for articles, dealing with politically controversial issues, it plays out that way. I can think of a specific case when a source I considered unreliable for the subject, was backed by a very experienced administrator on the grounds that "all points of view need to be included." The source is still in the article, although I argued, at length, over its inclusion, and even though undeniably reliable sources exist. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 15:50, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

(undent) Wow, Malcolm Schosha, you've picked a real tricky case as an example! I've just looked at European Jews for a Just Peace and done a little not very thorough Googling, and I understand your reservations about its notability. However it seems to be larger than e.g. the Monday Club, and although younger it seems to be stable and fairly well-organised. If a couple of decent news reports about incident / anniversary / issue X mentioned some action or statement by European Jews for a Just Peace, I'd accept that it's notable, even if the reports did not have much of a description. That's an example of my comment above that WP:N's address the subject directly in detail is excessive, since news reports might assume that readers know about European Jews for a Just Peace or can easily Google for it. If online versions of some reports linked to its site, I'd interpret that as indicating that the reporters have checked it out and regard it as a credible organisation, and then it would of course be notable. The other issue you raised was whether European Jews for a Just Peace is a WP:RS for a statement in Anti-Zionism. There I think it depends on the statment for which sources are being considered. If it's a flat statement that X is a fact or Y is the consensus, then I'd say "No". OTOH I can think of statements for which the organisation would be an adequate source, e.g. "European Jews for a Just Peace said that ..." or "Several Jewish organisations said that ..." or "Non-Israeli Jewish opinion is divided over ...". --Philcha (talk) 17:40, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Anonymous IP talk pages[edit]

Twice this week, I have called up a Wikipedia page without being logged on, to be greeted with "New message". I clicked the link to see a warning, "Do not vandalise or else". Obviously I had picked up the same IP address a vandal was using many months ago. It then occurred to me that this must be happening to lots of non-editors. People who only come to read Wikipedia being greeted with warnings!

Is there any point in placing vandal warnings on IP pages. Yes, if the vandalism is currently in process, but after a few hours, the message is more likely to be displayed to an innocent bystander. Should the IP talk pages be deleted after 24 hours? ++ MortimerCat (talk) 20:45, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Not all IP users have the same editing patterns - with pervasive always-on broadband in much of the West these days it is quite possible to have the same IP indefinitely and to work from it in WP. Warning IPs helps in this case, along with when the IP belongs to and org (especially a school) and is frequently used for unproductive edits. I would support a move to bot-matically blanks warnings from IPs which haven't edited for a while, though. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 00:15, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
The problem arises when warnings are placed automatically, without any consideration to the IPs contribution history. I agree if the IP had a long term history of disruptive edits then a warning should be placed. If it is a single, or a short burst of edits, the rogue editor is unlikely to see a warning, particularly if there is time delay between the edit and warning. For example, the warning I saw related to an edit in November 2006. The edit was at 18:16, the warning was at 19:58 - the culprit had long gone. MortimerCat (talk) 10:21, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't like the solution: I've seen IPs used for vandalism with days and even weeks between edits, but with a vandalizing style that strongly suggests that the same little bastard fellow is out there doing his thing when he gets bored. Perhaps a better solution to the problem is to have a set of standard vandalism warnings for use on IP talk pages that emphasize the "If this doesn't apply to you..." (and also "Why not create an account?"), along with the warning msg. -- Mwanner | Talk 17:41, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
Some of our recent changes scripts attempt to do just that sort of thing, when they detect a warning is being issued to an IP user. I'd prefer not to tack on such a note to all warnings (many of which go to registered users), but doing so conditionally strikes me as a good idea. – Luna Santin (talk) 11:42, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
I didn't mean to change all templates, just to have a separate set (Testip, say) that one could use when warning IP users. Do the RC scripts apply a template? Do you know what they're called? -- Mwanner | Talk 15:57, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Don't link to ""[edit]

Somewhere, we need to warn editors not to link to "" for Associated Press articles. Those pages only have a lifetime of a month or so. The link left behind is useless; it's just a big encoded string that can't be referenced to another source for the same article. --John Nagle (talk) 21:59, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

If you can come up with an automated method to find a more permanent link to the same AP article, you could request a bot to watch for those kind of links and replace them. Anomie 00:54, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Or just blacklist that sub domain and save everyone the hassle? βcommand 05:25, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
That would be more of a hassle for those citing sources. What we need to do is 'warn' editors to include more than a URL. --NE2 06:13, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
I think the original post was about any linking to, rather than using only the url. I considered suggesting the spam blacklist, but I don't think it would be helpful if people were to see us claiming was related to spam. Anomie 15:38, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that would just discourage editing. It's better to fix the link and explain to the editors. --Apoc2400 (talk) 23:25, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
In most cases the AP title is directly used in at least one paper, so a google search on the title string and "Associated Press" will turn up something other than the temp link. LeadSongDog (talk) 00:30, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
It is also another good reason to use the quote= parameter in the cite template, to include the text string you are quoting. The titles of AP articles change from publisher to publisher, but the text quotes is always the same. Most of the time I have to delete the original AP reference and start from scratch with a new reference, unless text was quoted. The AP may issue 6 updates to a breaking story, each with new information, it isn't always easy to know which one was quoted based on the title alone. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 00:29, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Fair use and quotation[edit]

Berne Convention is the world standard copyright law

Berne Convention Article 10

(1) It shall be permissible to make quotations from a work which has already been lawfully made available to the public, provided that their making is compatible with fair practice, and their extent does not exceed that justified by the purpose, including quotations from newspaper articles and periodicals in the form of press summaries.

It rules not "can quote text, speech" but "can quote work" Work is not only text. Work also include "text, image, video, draw, voice, speech, song, etc"

In South Korea Copyright law,

image or media's fair use clause is not exist.

But, Korea, Berne Convention Article 10 is effected.

Berne Convention Article 10, People can quote from a work.

In korea, image fair use = image quotation.

In korea, vedio fair use = video quotation.

South Korean Copyright Act

Article 28(Quotations from Works Made Public) It shall be permissible to make quotations from a work already being made public provided that they are within a reasonable limit for news reporting, criticism, education and research, etc. and compatible with fair practice.

It rules not "can quote text, speech" but "can quote work"

Work is not only text. Work also include "text, image, video, draw, voice, speech, song, etc"

So, in korea, "image fair use"? no. korean calls it as "image quotation".

So, in korea, "video fair use"? no. korean calls it as "video quotation".

So, korean can ask.

Wikiquote, why it is only for text quotaion? where for image, video?

Wikiquote, Of course, we can quote anything from copyrighted text. regardless of their licensing status.



wikiquote:Barack Obama

it is all copyrighted work.

So, South Korean can ask as following:

In wikipedia, wikiquote, users don't discuss the original text's license. All user can quote from copyrigeted text, speech freely. Nobody don't discuss the original text's license. Nobody don't discuss to delete because of copyright infringement, not fair use, etc.

So, In wikipedia, wikiquote, Why users discuss the original image's license?

Why American discriminate between "text, speech"'s quotantion and "image, video"'s quotantion?

World standard copyright law, Berne Convention Article 10 rules that We can quote "the work", not only text, speech.

Why we can't quote copyrited image freely like text?

You are american? so you know only U.S. copyright act?

But, the world standard copyright law, Berne Convention exist.

In Berne Convention, you can find "fair use clause"? No. only exist "fair quote clause"

I want to quote image, viedo freely like text in wikipedia, other wikimedia projects worldwide.

Berne Convention.png

"ALL CUONTRY HAVE Berne Convention"

Thanks :) -- WonRyong (talk) 03:48, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Fair use is not open content. Ie. we are not free to license fair use as we please. That is the most important reason that wikipedia is more restrictive on use of non-free content. Taemyr (talk) 05:01, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm not quite sure what this thread is about, so I'll try to quickly address all the possible topics I recognized:
  • Each project can set its own fair use policy. Some projects allow fair use, some don't, some have heavy restrictions. This project has no control over other projects.
  • Wikipedia's database servers are in the US state of Florida. US law and Florida laws are what matter, though projects often choose to also follow the laws of the country where most of their editors are from, in cases where those laws are more restrictive.
  • Copyright problems in Wikiquote are known, there are efforts to clean it up.
  • I'm not sure what you mean "discuss the original text's license" - the only time copyrighted text is used here is in a direct quotation, which in the context of a Wikipedia article, doesn't need an elaborate fair use rationale.
This seems like something that should be discussed on meta rather than here. Mr.Z-man 07:37, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
FYI, fair use (or doctrines analogous to it) is what allows us to quote from copyrighted text, or what allows us to summarize a copyrighted text when it's a work of fiction rather than fact. Including a substantial text quote (or substantial summary of fiction) from a copyrighted work in an article is no less a copyright issue than including a screenshot image from a film, yet we have elaborate and byzantine requirements for the latter but not the former. I think this is mostly a problem in the area of articles summarizing fiction, as articles by their nature tend not to tolerate large verbatim quotations. But the summaries of fiction get completely out of hand, and are so far dealt with primarily through style guidelines rather than through policy requirements. Postdlf (talk) 15:50, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
WP:PLOT is policy. Taemyr (talk) 22:29, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
That doesn't change what Pstdlf was saying - "A concise plot summary is appropriate as part of the larger coverage of a fictional work. " is all that it advises, and then it recommends that the reader check WP:WAF for specifics. The problem here, however, is that summarising is inherently a little subjective and dependant upon the style of what is being summarised, and so a policy restriction would be inappropriate. I would personally argue that the risk of WP:COPYVIO is a greater issue in summary text than WP:PLOT, and a far stronger case against overly lengthy summaries - yet normally people prefer to cite WP:PLOT. LinaMishima (talk) 22:42, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
I would instead say that the problem is neither--it is the deceptive ease of writing such summaries without adequate skill in making them clear. Where I see probable copyvio is in the shortest summaries in episode combination articles, where they appear to be copied from teaser descriptions in program guides. DGG (talk) 00:46, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

New fiction notability proposal[edit]

There is a new notability proposal up at Wikipedia:Notability (fiction). Unlike past attempts, this one tries to start from the existing trends in inclusion and deletion on AfD, and go from there to guidelines. As such, it is unlikely to please any hard partisans on either the inclusionist or deletionist camps, but is similarly unlikely to actually offend anyone. But comments are very much welcome on the page - I'd like to try to get it to guideline status so that the deletion debates on this topic can be put behind us. Phil Sandifer (talk) 14:58, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

WP:MOS - discussion of image sizes, especially lead image sizes[edit]

The discussion of image sizes, especially lead image sizes, at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#Forcing Lead image may affect thousands of artciles and editors, but only a handful of editors are currently involved in the discussion. Please make your views known at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#Forcing Lead image. --Philcha (talk) 11:24, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Can an RFC be amended after people have started voting?[edit]

Can an RFC be amended after it people have started voting? There is active comments section. However, the RFC itself has been modified by the addition (at 0852 on 24 November) of opposing comments highlighted in a big green box as part of the RFC text. What do people here think? See the big green box at Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style_(dates_and_numbers)#RfC:_Three_proposals_for_change_to_MOSNUM. Regards. Lightmouse (talk) 13:57, 24 November 2008 (UTC)


There is a discussion at Wikipedia talk:What Wikipedia is not#WP:BATTLE regarding the content and the meaning of WP:BATTLE and regarding possible additions to the current text of WP:BATTLE. I'd like to invite further input. Thanks, Nsk92 (talk) 19:10, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Request for Comment: Dismissive Deletion Issues[edit]

Request for Comment: Dismissive Deletion Issues[edit]

(With apologies if I am formatting this wrongly, this is the first time I have ever initiated a request for comment)

I have been intermittently contributing to Wikipedia to the best of my ability for several years now, and I used to enjoy it, but for the last several months I have found it increasingly frustrating, to the point that I am considering giving up on Wikipedia and mourning the loss of what used to be a useful and fun resource. Since essentially the only source of my frustration is one particular issue, I will venture to try and explain that issue here and invite comment and suggestions from the WP community at large.

In the past few months, a considerable proportion of the pages on my watchlist at least have been plagued with what I was originally tempted to refer to as raiding and nuking. However, since some people might regard this as insufficiently neutral to use as a convenient shorthand, I cast about for a more neutral term and came up with dismissive deletion to describe the process whereby one or more sections of an article (occasionally amounting to most of the content of an article) are removed without any replacement whatsoever and without any form of discussion on the relevant talk page. At best there may be a quasi-bot justification in the edit summary, typically appealing perfunctorily and without explanation to such Wikipedia policies as WP:NN, WP:TRIV, WP:REF, WP:NOR, WP:SYN (the list is not exhaustive). Depressingly often, addressing the implied criticism and restoring the removed information leads merely to renewed destruction of the information under the cover of another policy (equally perfunctorily and without elaboration). For a recent example see Talk:Never Say Never Again.

In my opinion, this kind of dismissive deletion at best does not make any positive contribution to Wikipedia (since the information is in effect simply destroyed without any replacement) and at worst differs from vandalism only in claiming to be founded on Wikipedia policies that more often than not were instituted for reasons that have nothing to do with the perceived violation. For example, hardly any organized bulleted listing of information is safe from being destroyed (removed without any replacement) based on the most perfunctory reference to WP:TRIV, in spite of the fact that the relevant policy specifically states that "This guideline does not suggest removing trivia sections, or moving them to the talk page. If information is otherwise suitable, it is better that it be poorly presented than not presented at all" (emphasis added) and "a selectively populated list with a relatively narrow theme is not necessarily trivia, and can be the best way to present some types of information" (emphasis in original). Despite this recommendation, in most edits justified on the basis of this policy I have seen, the information is simply destroyed.

Similarly, statements that can be independently verified by anyone willing to watch a DVD or listen to a commentary track are routinely removed based on WP:REF if the source is not exhaustively referenced, but decried as original research and removed based on WP:NOR if it is clear that the information was obtained by, guess what, watching the source (Please do not say the example is too ridiculous for words, I saw it with my own eyes). However, having done some serious research of late into Wikipedia policies, I found that the original research requirement historically originated in the elaboration of the neutrality principle, specifically: "The original motivation for NOR was to prevent editors from introducing fringe views ... or from excluding verifiable views that, in the judgement of editors, were incorrect. It soon became clear that the policy should apply to any editor trying to introduce his or her own views into an article" (quoted from core policies history page, emphasis added). In other words, the NOR requirement originated specifically to prevent the exclusion of information, making it particularly ironic that its most pervasive and routine use now seems to be as an excuse to remove information without any replacement whatsoever :(

Whatever mistaken impressions some people might have, I am not gratuitously whining about someone "messing with my edits". In the example mentioned above, the original edits I went to bat for were not mine (nor indeed any one person's, as a perusal of the page history would make clear). I am not trying to defend mine or anyone else's private turf. I am trying to defend the usefulness of Wikipedia as a resource for otherwise hard to find information for myself and everyone else's sake. I love to use Wikipedia and I love to contribute what I can to the best of my ability (however much it may fall short of some people's standards of perfection). But if Wikipedia has any use at all, it is as an organized repository of linked information that would otherwise be hard to collect piecemeal (ever tried to wade through 400,000 Google hits?), and the increasing pervasiveness of dismissive deletion as I have described is disheartening and frustrating. Nothing is easier than "raiding" articles looking for easy prey for deletion. Researching and contributing useful information is much harder, especially if one's contributions are expected to run the gauntlet of a web of policy requirements that gives the aspiring raider a surfeit of sticks with which to beat the dog (is it "original research" to hear James Earl Jones say Kotlas in Dr. Strangelove? if not, maybe we can decry it as "unsourced"? or maybe it's not "notable" enough? or maybe we can just call it too trivial, Slim Pickens's bomb ride notwithstanding?).

I welcome any suggestions or proposals to deal with the (in my experience) increasingly pervasive problem of dismissive deletion (or even any reasoned explanation of why it is not considered a problem). With apologies for the original research ;) according to my personal anecdotal count of the pages I have been keeping tabs on for the last 6 weeks (in my watchlist and out), dismissive deletion (defined as the removal of information without replacement or justification except a perfunctory appeal to the unexamined letter of WP policy) is the third most frequent type of change observed to the average article, after bot-mediated edits and spelling corrections. I truly hope I am not the only one to feel that this is a problem :/ Nude Amazon (talk) 13:22, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

It's a lot easier to tear down parts of articles that have problems completely than to deal with the problems in the best way. That said, most of the time I see people tagging problems, rarely hatcheting the sections. Mangojuicetalk 15:22, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Nude Amazon, it would help if you could provide examples. I'll have a go at outlining some scenarios, but there's no guarantee that anything in my list will correspond to the cases you have in mind. Here goes - it won't be comprehensive but may get the discussion going:
  • Vandalism. Usually easy to identify. Revert, warn perpetrator, if repeated report at WP:ANI - as at present.
  • Disruptive editing or other pushing of a personal point of view:
    • If a rant or aggressive in tone or violation of legal guidelines like biographies of living persons, revert, warn warn perpetrator, etc.
    • Otherwise move offending content to article's Talk page, point out problems and how to resolve them, e.g. by providing adequate references.
  • Unsourced, but otherwise reasonable content added to a Featured or Good Article: move offending content to article's Talk page, point out problems and how to resolve them, e.g. by providing adequate references. The reasoning behind this is that unsourced or other problematic content might cause the artilce wto be de-listed. It would then have to go through another review, wasting quite a few person-hours. Resolving the matter on the Talk page will generally be much more economical.
  • Unsourced, but otherwise reasonable content added to an article that is being prepared for Featured or Good Article review: less clear-cut, as the new content may be filling or at least demonstrating a gap in coverage. Move to Talk page as above. However reviewers should check the Talk page to see if there are any unresolved issues of this type, and raise them during the review.
  • Other cases: as above, as WP:Verifiability places the burden of proof on whoever adds something to an article, for regretable but sound reasons. --Philcha (talk) 16:33, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Nude Amazon, I can sympathise with you completely. This problem has put me off investing time into Wikipedia as well. Evey time some half wit with a half knowledge of the policies deletes useful information, everybody looses at the expense of the person getting an quick ego trip for being so powerful. Wikipedia needs a mechanism to combat this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wildplum69 (talkcontribs) 05:20, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
It really might help if you could come up with some better examples-- the one you mention, the Gaffes section of Never Say Never Again is not a great example of the deletion of useful info that is hard to find anywhere else on the web. IMDB lists gaffes, though it calls them goofs. In fact, several of the gaffes removed from this article could have been removed as copyright violations-- they are word for word from IMDB, which has a very long list of them. Its length is, in fact, as good a reason as I can think of why such sections are not, in general, a good idea-- they really don't constitute encyclopedic content. Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of all possible facts. You speak of the problem of "wad[ing] through 400,000 Google hits", but without some sort of standards of what constitutes encyclopedic information, our articles will become things that no one will want to wade through. -- Mwanner | Talk 13:03, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
The flip to this is the ghettos we have here on wikipedia. Take the area of Gundam, clean-up of those areas is impossible, so people deleting content is irrelevant because there are legions of fanboys waiting to revert back to their ugly cruft filled articles. Clean-up is impossible because there is no will to do so. Work in one of those areas and you can add original research to your heart's content. --Cameron Scott (talk) 13:15, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

People have repeatedly requested "better examples" of the kind of dismissive deletion that I believe to be problematic. So far I have been reluctant to do so for at least 3 reasons:

  • I specifically wanted to avoid giving examples that involve edits in which I was personally involved, either as the author or as a later contributor to the edits that were dismissively destroyed. Given my previous experience with the readiness of some contributors to ascribe personal motives to anyone attempting to protect information from dismissive deletion, I do not want people to think that I am merely standing up for my own edits, I am standing up for all of them (or at least all those I feel merit some protection from knee-jerk dismissive removal).
  • In the example I did give that people took notice of, and in other instances in my experience, if a specific example is given, some people will latch onto that particular example and try to explain away the general problem I am trying to address by pointing out that that example does not qualify for whatever ad hoc reasons they can conjure up (this is by far the clearest aspect of the example I gave, which was treated exactly like that, and a major reason why I chose that particular example in the first place). This hunting for any stick to beat the dog is part of the general problem I am trying to explain, I do not want people to draw attention away from that, whether deliberately or unwittingly, by diverting attention to tangential, ad hoc particularities and thus deny the general problem.
  • Given the nature of the problem as described, I am quite reluctant to, in effect, throw any example to the wolves. If one suspects there may be bombers lurking in the skies, any break in the blackout is at immediate risk of destruction. Part of the problem is that information apparently must be triple or quadruple ironclad and then some to be safe from dismissive deletion, so I am very concerned that the provision of any example will expose it to a greatly increased risk of dismissive destruction.

Having said that, let me attempt to dispel the genuine puzzlement of those who have asked for better examples. Casting about for an example suitably lacking in personal involvement (per my first concern aforementioned), let me try the following example in the Casino Royale (1967 film) article [before and after]. Note that the deletion in question is typically dismissive, with no more than a perfunctory note in the edit summary. Note also that the dismissive deletion significantly destroys a link to the relevant director, effectively without replacement. Although the remover (again typically) does not so much as mention it, it might occur to well-meaning contributors that the likelihood of overlinking obviates this concern. However, this potential excuse does not apply to this example, since Casino Royale is precisely unusual in having involved five different directors! Finally, as to the token justification offered, the damning accusation of original research is amazingly (but alas, again typically) taken for granted. As it happens, the information can be checked in the simplest way by watching the film The Life and Death of Peter Sellers just mentioned higher in the same paragraph. What on Earth does not constitute original research by this reasoning? By the same logic, should every single reference whatsoever to any media not readily accessible online be ruled out of court? After all, if it's from a book or journal, someone would have to go to a library to look it up!!! What on Earth would satisfy such a draconic dismissive interpretation of the original research rule? Mere mention of the source is obviously not enough. DVD chapters? (for the record, Chapter 12 on the 2005 HBO DVD 92833A) Time stamps? (for the record, 1:24:15 to 1:25:24, same DVD edition) Yes, it took time and effort to look up these references (which are supposedly required, or the information is unceremoniously destroyed), which I guess is the excuse for calling it original research and destroying the information anyway. Catch-22, anyone?

I hope this example clarifies what I consider to be the problem of dismissive deletion, but given the all too tangible risk (per my second concern aforementioned) that people might get lost in the particularities of the example, I feel compelled to give another example differing from the previous one in being partly personal (throwing my first concern to the winds) and in (throwing my third concern to the winds with a due sense of apprehension and dread) having managed to stay out of the crosshairs of dismissive zappers so far (it also shares with the previous example the distinction of deliberately not being about trivia this time). You see, I did in a sense give a second example in my original post, but I chickened out by not explicitly calling it an example, because so far it has managed to survive safely in relative obscurity. A while ago I added a short paragraph to the Kotlas article based on the consideration that its direct relation to one of our culture's most iconic images [[3]] would be sufficient to protect it from the usual dismissive notability attack. It is less of a poetic exaggeration than I would like that I have been apprehensive of dismissive deletion attacks from the reference-requiring direction (is the link to Dr. Strangelove enough?) and from the original-research-killer direction (if I provide the extra information that James Earl Jones says "Kotlas" at precisely 1:18:59 in Chapter 23 of the special edition DVD, ISBN 0-7678-6372-0, am I waving a red flag in front of any original research bulls?). I apologize if that sounds a little paranoid, but the pervasive prevalence of dismissive deletion is starting to make me feel that way about nearly every contribution I make. I am trying to make a constructive contribution, but I am getting a bit tired of negotiating a minefield of dismissively destructive contributions :( I hope that clarifies both the nature of the problem and the extent to which I have come to feel it is a problem Nude Amazon (talk) 07:55, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Policy vs Consensus.[edit]

I've seen the claim that "Policy overrides consensus" appearing around wikipedia. Even sprouted by administrators [4]. To me this seems a non tenable position. Our policy on policies explicitly states that both policies and guidelines should be approached with common sense, and indicates that IAR applies. Am I completely in the wrong here? Taemyr (talk) 07:49, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

IAR applies only if the strict application of policies do not benefit the encyclopedia, or prevent you from doing so. My take is that policy trumps local consensus, as policy incorporates a community-wide consensus and a local article does not. IAR should be used with extreme caution if it leads to more controversy than before it is invoked, if it should be invoked at all. —kurykh 07:55, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
Where did the strict come from? Why does IAR not apply if a loose interpretation prevents you form from improving the encyclopedia. I agree that one should be careful about applying IAR when it could lead to controversy, but fail to see how it can when there is consensus for the act. What do you mean by local? Every decision on wikipedia is taken by the editors that participate in the relevant discussion. Further it seems an odd way of relating policies and consensus. If consensus can override policy one would expect the best such over rides to be when it's clear what it is best, and hence no need for a broader discussion. The decisions that is more problematic, and hence where one wants a broader discussions, should have a higher need to comply with policy. Taemyr (talk) 08:45, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
Ok, strict was not the right word, and I take that back. When I mean "local consensus", I mean like consensus on an article talk page. These "consensus" decisions are based on a smaller pool of editors than that of policy discussions, which are more often than not (and certainly more often than local discussions) based on the consensus of the community as a whole. Policies are the bedrock upon which the encyclopedia is built on, although they may be modified or disregarded from time to time as necessary. And I'm not sure by what you mean by the last sentence. —kurykh 09:38, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
Just a quick comment for your info: I was quoting Wikipedia:Deletion guidelines for administrators, which says "Consensus is not determined by counting heads, but by looking at strength of argument, and underlying policy (if any)", and that "Wikipedia policy...cannot be superseded by any other guidelines or by editors' consensus." Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 17:31, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, then you were quoting a user who has apparently left the project, again. --Pixelface (talk) 07:16, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
People who ask if policy trumps consensus tend to have missed an important point: policy is consensus. Generally speaking, policy and guideline pages should describe best practices already in place around the project. In my own opinion, IAR shouldn't be wielded as a club to ignore best practice -- it's not a reason to deviate from normal practice, in and of itself, but can be a useful backgrounder for interpreting such practices as documented in the project namespace. – Luna Santin (talk) 11:39, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Kurykh kinda explained it well from my personal perspective. A local consensus would, mostly, be a small group of editors who agree on something per a relevant article/issue. However, the policies are reviewed by a far larger group who reach a consensus on it and if there are issues with the policy, then it could be mended through this 'large' type of consensus rather than circumvented. IAR is just a way to say that you shouldn't let the bureaucracy/system destroy the it's purpose if there's something amazingly obvious which should be fixed/dealt with. Personally, I can't recall an event where IAR was used in a discussion I was involved in.
Cheers, JaakobouChalk Talk 12:02, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
This debate is caught between a rock and a hard place:
  • "local consensus ... a small group of editors who agree on something" could describe a group of POV-pushers. I know that's not what Jaakobou (12:02, 23 November 2008) was referring to, but it happens, especially where religious or nationalistic issues arouse passions (I've seen that recently). So that's an argument in favour of policies taking precedence over local consensus.
  • However some policies represent the consensus of editors who either are more interested in policies than in articles or focus too much on specific subjects. For example WP:RS is fairly good for preventing Creationists from denying that Darwin's theory of evolution is the current scientific consensus, but works poorly in less academic subjects - I won't bore you with the details unless challenged :-)
I can only suggest that WP:RfC be used for cases where policy appears to get in the way of producing articles that are useful to readers, which AFAIK is the primary purpose of Wikipedia.
BTW I know a recent instance where WP:IAR was successfully invoked to resolve an issue in a GA review. --Philcha (talk) 16:50, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Date linking RFC: Three proposals for change to Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)[edit]

There are three proposals for a change to Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers). In summary, they are:

  • delete the current discouragement to link dates and replace it with encouragement to link dates
  • delete the current discouragement of autoformatting and replace it with encouragement of autoformatting
  • create an additional requirement whereby all bots/scripts need additional consensus at the Manual of Style talk page before are allowed to implement a Manual of Style guideline

Voting is already underway. Feel free to add your vote at: Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style_(dates_and_numbers)#RfC:_Three_proposals_for_change_to_MOSNUM Regards Lightmouse (talk) 20:14, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

It should be pointed out here, as well, that there are two disputes as to the validity of the RfC; one a dispute as to the "current" wording of WP:MOSNUM, and one that the suggester is opposed to the changes, so that he may not have made an effort to describe them properly. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 01:53, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • There is now a second RFC at Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style_(dates_and_numbers)#Date_Linking_RFC, because people disagreed on the purpose and wording of the RFC. I guess it could have been solved by an RFC about how to start an RFC, but that would have been very silly. Anyway, come over and voice you opinion (again) on date linking. This time there are lots of questions that are not related to autoformatting date links, but at least comment on the first two questions. --Apoc2400 (talk) 11:00, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Articles of non-english songs?[edit]

Hello. Are articles on songs in languages other than English allowed? I noticed a couple of them like Dragostea din tei and Kuch Is Tarah. But if that is so, wouldn't it bulge the size of WP too much? Thanks. (talk) 11:50, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

The article has to be in English, but the sources and topic don't.—Kww(talk) 12:46, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, as long as the song meets our guidelines for notability, it doesn't matter what language its in. I don't even care if its in incomprehensible gibberish!. ViperSnake151 15:36, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm thinking national anthems in particular are plainly notable and "worthy" of articles. SDY (talk) 16:11, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
As for the size concern, see WP:NOTPAPER. As long as something is notable and has verifiable sources, it is an appropriate topic. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 12:09, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Governance issue and solution (a safety valve?)[edit]

I've dobbed all the bureaucrats in in a new idea for a safety valve/point of redress/check and balance/good governance/etc. --> here

My idea would be this was a low volume committee which could be established by any five 'crats for the situations described. Has something like this been discussed before? Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 04:48, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

I haven't seen a proposal like this before. But then, if it's main purpose is to handle arbitration-type cases involving arbcom members, I have to ask, have there been any cases where arbitration was brought against standing arbcom members, and those members didn't recuse themselves from the case? Mangojuicetalk 04:55, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
None as far as I know, but never mind, I will mark this as historical/archived in a minute as TenOfAllTrades has poked enough holes in it to make me ditch it. Feel free to archive folks, or I will rummage round for a template in a moment. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 09:58, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

Shame on you![edit]

It's mindblowing that a girl Tukker shows more interest in US historical monuments than the inhabitants of the US. Isn't there at least ONE person in the expletive deleted county who CARES? While every article about US-towns drones on about how much everybody earnes, and what nationalities their great-granddads had, it's virtually impossible to find out anything about the actual HISTORY of these villages. Somebody must have founded them, something must have happened, ANYTHING, PLEASE!!! (talk) 17:15, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Copied here from Talk:"S" Bridge II (Muskingum County, Ohio) Kleuske (talk) 17:45, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
The 'droning' is because it was imported from census data and that is what census data collects. RJFJR (talk) 19:50, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
em.. why? what's the policy issue that needs discussing? WP:AMERICANWRITERSCONSCRIPTEDTOWRITEHISTORY ?
The article was robot-procuded, furbished with minimalroutine edits and a few rather pedantic ones and then got robo-copied into the dutch article, all based on a single record in a public register with minimal data. Perhaps the policy WP:ARTICLESSHOULDHAVESOMECONTENT or WP:WHYDONTAMERICANWRITERSWRITEHISTORYARTICLES or WP:ROBOTDATABASEXPORTSAREWORKSINPROGRESSBYDEFAULT until they get some real content. Kleuske (talk) 20:49, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
And if you think. Hey, wait a minute, that article ain't so bad, that's because i figured out what it was and wrote the article. Kleuske (talk) 20:53, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
If only we had some way of adding to that census data, to expand the articles by some kind of, I dunno, "editing" process. Postdlf (talk) 19:52, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, even if there was such a process, imagine if just anyone could utilise it. Imagine if even people not logged into the site could do so. If only... - jc37 20:23, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
I know we could call it anyonecaneditapedia! --Cameron Scott (talk) 20:52, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Why wasn't it? Kleuske (talk) 20:56, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
All the article needs is a photo of the bronze plaque that says "On this site, in the twentieth century, nothing happened."LeadSongDog (talk) 22:52, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
I know I am going to regret asking this and it will probably make me look stupid, but who is Tukker and why is she wikilinked to Twente? SpinningSpark 00:21, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
Tukker means "person from Twente", I believe. My Dutch isn't up to ethnic slang, yet, so I'm not a WP:RS on the topic, but her IP address tends to confirm that theory.—Kww(talk) 00:47, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
nl:Tukker would seem to confirm that theory, but of course WP:SELF says that's not a WP:RS either.LeadSongDog (talk) 02:18, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
I did not know appropriate sources were needed in a simple statement about ones own ethnic origins. Would you be satisfied with my birth certificate? Or would that just prove i was born there, and not my membership of this ethnic community? Besides, "Tukker" is an quite commonly understood dutch epithet for "person from Twente", so there's no "ethnic slang" there. Kleuske (talk) 11:05, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps my understanding of this issue is not nuanced enough, but it appears that Kleuske is making a point about how boring and uninformative stub articles are? However I doubt that is it because most editors recognize that is what stubs are like ... you know, just a stub of an article. Yet if an Ohio history enthusiast or bridge expert were to cast their creative hand on the article, I am sure it could be radically improved. Now that is not to say that everyone would find an article on the topic interesting (much like how my eyes glaze over when I run across one of the many Warhammer 40,000 or American football articles). So again I am back to what is the point here? --Kralizec! (talk) 02:00, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

See S bridges too. But seriously, wp is the biggest encyclopedia ever and growing faster than it ever has. Articles will flesh out in their own time. Don't panic.LeadSongDog (talk) 02:18, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
I hope you're right, but given th comments about a plaque saying "nothing happened here in the 20th century" above, i'm not at all satisfied they will. And excuse me for lamenting US disinterest in US history, and in particular "small" US history. I'm not surpised stubs are, well, stubby, but i am dismayed at the number of stubs in this particular field. Kleuske (talk) 11:05, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for your suggestion. When you feel an article needs improvement, please feel free to make those changes. Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone can edit almost any article by simply following the edit this page link at the top. The Wikipedia community encourages you to be bold in updating pages. Don't worry too much about making honest mistakes — they're likely to be found and corrected quickly. If you're not sure how editing works, check out how to edit a page, or use the sandbox to try out your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome. You don't even need to log in (although there are many reasons why you might want to). Mr.Z-man 03:40, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

Meanwhile, that machine generated stuff is way better than something saying simply "Mineville is 10 miles west of Leadville." And googling US placenames results in page after page of bogus sites offing to find you hotels, jobs, restaurants, dates, and of course, the weather, in tiny hamlets in the middle of nowhere, so Wikipedia's entries on such places, while they need some work, are still a far cry better than nothing. -- Mwanner | Talk 16:00, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
Once the new NRHP site is working, there should be more material available too.LeadSongDog (talk) 22:19, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

Proposed Deletion for a Hoax[edit]

Proposal withdrawn; user on temporary wikibreak :(

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

I have created a proposed policy for speedy hoax deletion on User:Darth Panda/Proposed Deletion for a Hoax. As this is my first time proposing a policy, I would be glad to hear any critiques or comments about my proposal. Please direct all comments to User talk:Darth Panda/Proposed Deletion for a Hoax. Thanks! DARTH PANDAduel 02:00, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

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

Proposal to include template {{cent}} on every discussion page[edit]

refers to {{cent}}

I am concerned about the number of discussions regarding important WP policy matters, of which the vast majority of editors are unaware. Placing this template on ALL talkpages would be of enormous help in keeping users in touch with policy discussions and developments, enabling them to participate in debates of their choosing. Rotational (talk) 21:15, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

When you say "all talkpages", do you mean a more comprehensive collection of discussion forums, policy talkpages, and the like, or do you genuinely mean we should transclude this template on all five million talk pages on If the latter, strongly oppose: at that level of instrusion, we might as well put it on the main page. I exaggerate, but the point remains: such would be a ludicrous overreaction. I agree that this helpful template should be more widely deployed, but certainly not universally. Discression is the better part of valour. Happymelon 23:10, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

On every discussion page? No thanks. On a greater number of Wikipedia related pages? sure. Resolute 23:32, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Comment I would be very doubtful of its usefullness on every talk page. There are editors who are completely detached from the policy/admin side of Wiki by choice. To suddenly assume that 100% of editors want reminding 100% of the time of every new proposal would, I suggest, turn off a lot of single-use or 'part time' editors completely. Advertising proposals to the right crowd in a proper manner is far more appealing. doktorb wordsdeeds 23:35, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
I think this arose out of Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#Forcing Lead image, where Rotational expressed concern that only a handful of editors were contributing on an issue that affects all editors. I therefore guess Rotational meant "on all Talk pages relevant to WP:MOS or policies such as WP:V, WP:NOR, WP:RS, WP:N". I'd favour a mechanism that advertises all such debates, but allows users to turn off such notifications. Is that possible?--Philcha (talk) 23:41, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Some people want to jump on these issues as soon as they pop up, but then, these people often watchlist the relevant pages. You may find WP:Update useful; it only gives you updates to the 7 content policy pages and the general style guidelines (that was in there and I'm going to put it back in tomorrow) once a month, but hopefully that will be often enough so that you have a chance to push back against any changes you don't like. I know that on style guidelines pages, people are not generally in any hurry to declare issues closed, there's plenty of time to weigh in. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 04:47, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Every discussion page is impractical and likely unwanted. But I would definitely support a much wider set of pages. Should be on Wikipedia:Community portal for a start. CIreland (talk) 04:54, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I think it would be okay to transclude {{cent}} at the top of every talk page of every policy and guideline, about 300 pages. Althought that would be a big (and very noticeable) change, so more feedback should be gathered before actually doing it. --Pixelface (talk) 07:01, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

I'm not a software developer, but I know that placing the template on every user's page is not only technically possible, but simple. If the user doesn't want to be kept informed of the important issues of the day, then it is again a simple matter for him to turn it off (see the "Funds appeal banner" which can be turned off permanently by accessing 'preferences/gadgets'). I don't think the template should be rammed down anyone's throat, but it should rather be seen as an obvious means of keeping in touch with developments, and to be turned off at the user's convenience. This touches on the far greater issue of being informed about discussions on ALL matters, and not just policy developments - in other words a bulletin board where the user chooses his areas of interest and doesn't clutter his screen with notices that fall outside those areas. This is not a pipe dream - it is actually possible. ciao Rotational (talk) 07:14, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Agree with Resolute. People are welcome to put {{cent}} on their user page, their user talk page, some more Wikipedia talk page, but everywhere? No. Stifle (talk) 11:01, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Well, if you wanna transclude Cent on talk pages, it could be done like this now since I changed the structure a bit so that we can transclude the list as its own template. ViperSnake151 16:04, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

This is spilling into the next thread, so here's a {{clear}} --Philcha (talk) 17:00, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Yes, everywhere, with the option of removing it if you don't want to see it. The vast majority of editors don't know of the template's existence, so that the whole exercise is aimed at publicising the template, and if one doesn't like it, then remove it. And considering the amount of irrelevant clutter everyone puts on their user and talk pages, I honestly can't see how ViperSnake's streamlined version can possibly give offence - it's a bulletin board for gawds sakes, not a Mona Lisa. Rotational (talk) 18:28, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • This should not go on article talk pages as it would be duplicative and irrelevant to the discussion at hand. The last thing we need is more clutter on talk pages distracting from the actual discussions. Eluchil404 (talk) 18:29, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Have you understood any of the above points? Rotational (talk) 07:25, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
  • This is not a good idea. Transcluding it on Wikipedia Talk pages (there are plenty of those) is fine. Dropping it on user talk pages with the presumption that they care about date autoformatting or some crap is not fine. Protonk (talk) 16:58, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
Protonk, I presume the issues you call "crap", are the issues you don't care about and which other editors could very well be passionate about - there's no accounting for taste. The whole point of this template is that it can be turned on or off at will. Those editors who want to keep their heads under the sand are free to do so - those that want to stay informed will benefit. Rotational (talk) 13:34, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Some talk pages are really cluttered already: Talk:Rickrolling has 8 templates and a table of contents before reaching actual discussion (you have to scroll down!). Do you want to put more burden on that poor talk page? Raymie Humbert (TrackerTV) (receiver, archives) 01:23, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • This template would not pertain to the content of the overwhelming majority of articles for which the talk pages are designed; therefore, I am against putting it on every talk page. kilbad (talk) 04:29, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

I support putting it on a wider variety of project talk pages, but putting this on every single talk page on the largest website in existence? No thankyou--Patton123 18:27, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Watchlist might be a nice place to put it. — Werdna • talk 07:03, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Too many guidelines and policies?[edit]

A contributor to #Proposal_to_include_template_.7B.7Bcent.7D.7D_on_every__discussion_page estimates that there about 300 pages of guidelines and policies. At Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style#Guideline-by-guideline citation of sources an experienced editor wrote "I do not know the complete set of guidelines to which an article is subject." I suggest we list somewhere all the guidelines and policies and then see what we can do to prune them. It looks as if it's now easier to become an expert in an academic subject than to become an expert on WP guidelines and policies. --Philcha (talk) 09:52, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

110% support. For a community that is supposedly not rule-based, we have an incredible amount of stuff in this category, much of it mutually contradictory, most of it unknown to most editors. Needs pruning with a particularly large pair of shears.--Kotniski (talk) 11:35, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia is big. Most guidelines are about articles in a specific field. --Apoc2400 (talk) 11:59, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Apoc2400, does "Most guidelines are about articles in a specific field" mean that there are much more than 300 in total, or that most of the 300 are subject-specific?
Either way, is there an easy way to help editors to find them? For example by assigning them to categories and then lining to the categories wherever relevant? In the case of field-specific guidlines, I'd suggest the categories should be about as broad as the those used at WP:GAN. --Philcha (talk) 12:21, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
I hope there are not more than 300, but it's still too many, even if many of them are very specialized. I think they are quite well categorized already though. There is a project to rationalize the Manual of Style pages (WP:WikiProject Manual of Style), which account for a fair few of the total number, although I haven't noticed much action there recently. I'd be in favour of starting a similar project for other policy and guideline pages (though people get very attached to their beloved tracts, so getting agreement for any serious change is likely to be quite tough).--Kotniski (talk) 12:38, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
I did a grep of the Policy and Guideline categories, ferreting out duplicates, userpages there by accident, etc, there are 491 official policies and guidelines of Wikipedia, including such gems at Wikipedia:Avoid academic boosterism. MBisanz talk 13:20, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Ouch. On the plus side, though, I see User:Gurch has been doing a good job on combining the edit warring and blocking guidelines today - looks like that number has been reduced by at least two.--Kotniski (talk) 14:08, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

<- I just reverted that. Lone editors should not merge policies without any sort of prior discussion at the policy talk page. Jehochman Talk 14:38, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Huh? It was discussed, admittedly not by many people, but no-one objected, and the changes are only cosmetic (no substantial change to policy, unless you can show otherwise). It isn't really helpful to revert changes just because you weren't consulted on them, without indicating what your objections are.--Kotniski (talk) 14:43, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • The proliferation of policies and guidelines certainly needs pruning and, of course, we also have explicit policies for this: WP:BURO and WP:NOTLAW. Colonel Warden (talk) 15:11, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't see the number as an issue . No one needs to know about WP:IMOS unless the editor is interested into Ireland related issue the same applies to Wikipedia:Avoid academic boosterism. Are they all in a category for ease of reference ? Gnevin (talk) 15:45, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Number of guidelines is not too much of an issue. Number of policies is more of an issue -- the policy pages amount to, in effect, everything that must be adhered to when contributing. Admonishing someone for violating them is hardly fair if there are so many that nobody ever reads them all (a situation which I think we are in already) -- Gurch (talk) 15:53, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Right, too many policies is a problem. Guidelines are basically just a written record of a reached consensus that concerns more than a few articles. It's better to have them written down than just in editors heads. --Apoc2400 (talk) 16:24, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Someone asked for it, so I ran a grep, there are 56 Policies. MBisanz talk 02:21, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks MBisanz, is 56 policies to many . I don't think so . Gnevin (talk) 11:15, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Way too many IMHO. Of course, it's the total volume of the policy that matters too, not just the number of pages. Much of it is empty waffle or incomprehensible nonsense; much of it is duplicated or contradictory, or at variance with actual practice. We should be supporting efforts (like Gurch's) to reduce both the number and the combined length of policy pages, and to make them clearer, so that all editors can quickly learn the rules and get on with editing in harmony. --Kotniski (talk) 11:24, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
We have over a million articles to cover with WP:C,WP:CON,WP:Civil,WP:AFG,WP:NOT.... all be essential. I'd like to see a full list but i'd suggest their would be very little to trim Gnevin (talk) 11:27, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Category:Wikipedia_official_policy what do you think we can trim from here? Gnevin (talk) 11:30, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

(unindent) Well, looking at WP:List of policies, a number of possible merges (with consequent trimming of excess material) suggest themselves immediately. For example:

--Kotniski (talk) 13:05, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Given that I was reverted when trying to merge the single-paragraph Wikipedia:GlobalBlocking (which has absolutely no need to be on a separate page) into the blocking policy, I think you can abandon any thoughts of doing anything like that -- Gurch (talk) 13:56, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
A full list of policies would be very useful. I suggest it should also include summaries a few lines long, plus notes on types of case where it's necessary to look up the details and on where to get help. For example:
Reliable sources. All except the most uncontroversial statments must be supported by citations of reliable sources. Articles in academic journals are the best, as these articles are checked by other experts before publication. Book by authors who have published in academic journals are usually reliable. Other types of source need to be checked carefully. For example some newspapers and magazines produce accurate reports and good analyses, while others are less accurate and sometimes sensationalist, frivolous or even libellous. Self-published sources such as blogs are generally not considered reliable – a few may be, if their authors' expertise is acknowledged by unquestionably reliable sources, but you will have to justify each use of these. If you are unsure about whether a source would be considered reliable, please ask at Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard.
Related policies: ...
A simple list would be a good start, as I agree with Kotniski's comments (11:24, 26 November 2008). So I'd expect a list to become the driver for a review that would lead to simplification and merging, and summaries could be added to the list after that. --Philcha (talk) 11:54, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
We do have WP:List of policies, though the summaries there are rather shorter than in your example. I wonder if it might be a good idea for your type of list to become the policy, and demote all the existing policy pages (with their varying degrees of waffle and drift) to guidelines. That way all editors could quickly learn the rules that matter most, and we could all easily keep track of any proposed changes to those principles.--Kotniski (talk) 12:44, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing out WP:List of policies, I didn't know it existed! It's a well-hidden secret, as few of the policy pages link to it, nor does Template:Welcome for new users. I also notice a few inconsistencies, for example Wikipedia:No original research's "In a nutshell" is IMO better than the summary at WP:List of policies. OTOH I think making such summaries the actual policies may be a step too far, as summaries can't help with the tricky cases - I picked WP:RS as an example for exactly that reason, and WP:N is another case where the detailed page is needed despite its flaws. I suggest:
Erm... all non-User Talk pages? I don't think so... -- Gurch (talk) 17:33, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Why not? Which ones should not? --Philcha (talk) 19:40, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
I can't think of a good reason to link to it on any article, article discussion, user, template, template discussion, category, category discussion, file, file discussion, portal, portal discussion, mediawiki or mediawiki discussion page either -- Gurch (talk) 22:07, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
@ Kotniski. Honestly, the idea that Wikipedia:Vandalism could remotely share space at all with Wikipedia:Wheel war is laughable. Aren't you guys getting a bit overzealous here? What is so bad about the way things are? Is this about new users having a hard time learning all these policies? If that's the case let's all go try to improve Wikipedia:Five pillars (long my favorite introductory page on Wikipedia) and Template:Welcome. Mangojuicetalk 04:09, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
There is something in what Kotniski is suggesting, so why not take each line one-by-one? I will gladly support "*Civility+Harassment+No legal threats+No personal attacks+Attack pages" all being merged together into one policy named something like "Wikipedia:Civility, Conduct, and Legal Threats". We cannot allow 10 chefs to come up with 11 dishes just because it feels good to maintain the status quo. All these 'civility' policy documents can surely be put together into one when they are essentially dealing with the same thing? doktorb wordsdeeds 10:42, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
I think WP:CIV and WP:NPA, I could see those being merged. But there's an important difference in degree between those two. This is somewhat analagous to the distinction between WP:EW and WP:3RR: Civility (like Edit Warring) is a general, rather subjective idea, but Personal attacks are a much more specific case that is more clearly delineated as inappropriate and blockable, like violations of WP:3RR. WP:HARASS is rather distinct because one can be civil (i.e. use polite language) while harassing someone, following them around, engaging in conflicts. WP:LEGAL is another matter entirely; it really can't be merged with anything else. It's again a bright line rule. Civility is an element, but the importance of not using Wikipedia during legal action is entirely something else. Also, WP:LEGAL has been very difficult to write correctly; actually I think it needs to be split; one part of the rule has to do with using legal threats to intimidate others on Wikipedia, while another part has to do with how one should behave while involved in a conflict that might involve legal issues, like libel. WP:ATP, I do think is reasonable to merge somewhere since it seems like a somewhat minor point, but since it's central point is about deletion of such pages, I think WP:DP is a more reasonable target, or perhaps WP:CSD. Mangojuicetalk 15:41, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
Philcha, I think you may be referring to a comment I made. I realized there were over 300 Wikipedia policies and guidelines when I was making User:Pixelface/Unique editors of policies and guidelines (which lists 302). I found them by looking through Category:Wikipedia policies and guidelines and its subcategories Category:Wikipedia official policy and Category:Wikipedia guidelines (and its subcategories), excluding proposals and rejected proposals. 68 of the guidelines are naming conventions. Wikipedia:List of policies and Wikipedia:List of guidelines provide summaries of Wikipedia's various policies and guidelines. I really don't know if the village pump is the place to figure out whether to "prune" them. --Pixelface (talk) 04:01, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Contradictory Templates Template:Cleanup-gallery and Template:Gallery[edit]

I am posting this in concern that I believe Template:Gallery is allowed to use despite it Contradict the Polices that are cited on Template:Cleanup-gallery. Basically what is going on all over Wikipedia is that the most all the pages that use Template:Gallery is also topped with Template:Cleanup-gallery. The polices of the Cleanup Gallery Template cites the following source Wikipedia:Guide to writing better articles and does not directly link to the Section #images which is located at Wikipedia:Guide to writing better articles#Images, which in turn cites Wikipedia:Layout#Images and Wikipedia:Picture tutorial.

The Cite at Wikipedia:Layout#images does cite that "If an article has many images, so many, in fact, that they lengthen the page beyond the length of the text itself (this also applies if a template like {{taxobox}} or {{Judaism}} is already stretching the page), you can try to use a gallery, but the ideal solution might be to create a page or category combining all of them at Wikimedia Commons and use a relevant template ({{commons}}, {{commonscat}}, {{commons-inline}} or {{commonscat-inline}}) and link to it instead, so that further images are readily found and available when the article is expanded." It goes on linking to a failed Policy which show what the proper formating of Galleries and what is or isn't allowed for them.

I was considering placing Template:Cleanup-gallery or Template:Gallery on WP:TFD but I decided to ask here first instead as I feel that I want more details on why these 2 templates exist even though they contridict. Also I felt that the massive usage of the Template Cleanup-Gallery is being over used and I have seen it placed on image gallerys with as few 2-3 images. I have event tried to remove on of them only to get my edit reverted. (My Edit Log Reference: Lucas_Oil_Stadium) In my personal opinion I feel that the usage of the Template Cleanup-gallery is very unclear and does not specifically point to why the gallerys are not allowed on Wikipedia. In closing I hope this problem I am having gets straightened out. Sawblade05 (talk to me | my wiki life) 05:27, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

I found the Gallerys are not allowed policy at Wikipedia:Image use policy as I am now considering placing the Template:Gallery on VFD if someone can place the template on there. I am gonna try to make the edit to Template:Cleanup-gallery to make it point to the specific policy as it does not link there already. Sawblade05 (talk to me | my wiki life) 02:10, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
Oppose, Both cited guidelines discourage but in no sense bar the usages of Galleries. The purpose of this template is to encompass those individual cases from which a gallery may be beneficial. It is both counter-protductive and unconstructive to remove this option. If you are intent on barring galleries entirely, please understand that the Gallery tag is use more often than the template—desite the advantages with the template. Furthuremore, deleting this template would quickly cause a number of galleries to fail to function. Galleries that violate the policies cited above, should be dealt within an individual basis rather than issuing an unilateral ban. Under good faith, Wikipedia does not protect pages or ban users as a means of prevention; and it certainly violates this principal to delete templates as a means of reducing the number of galleries which contain an unnessary number of pictures.
Your concerns are justified, and it is certainly of interest to correct those galleries that are unncessarily large. However, most galleries use the Gallery tag rather than template. The Gallery tag does not allow for categories or the use of "What links here" tool to track them. If a usage should be deprciated it should be the tag rather than the template. ChyranandChloe (talk) 03:08, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
I have one last question. What do we do with Galleries With only 4 or less images that are tagged with Template:Cleanup-gallery as this does not solve my problem that I had when I've attempted to remove such a Gallery citing that it was already in the Commons per my edit and revertion of Lucas_Oil_Stadium. We really need a Guideline for the usage of the Template:Cleanup-gallery as I felt its been overused and I don't think it belongs on small galleries with 4 or less images. (The ones that take up 1 line without scrollbar) Kinda similar to the guideline of the placement of Template:Trivia which is to be only used on Trivia Sections that are excessive in Length. (more than 3 facts from what I understand) Sawblade05 (talk to me | my wiki life) 05:46, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
I think this guideline would apply a lot of cleanup templates, and as you've cited Trivia and Gallery-cleanup appears to be suffering the worse of it. Within my opinion simply removing it should not cause too much controversy, and you certainly have leeway with such a nebulous policy guideline. This issue is no longer encompassed by title of this section, and perhaps we should research and propose a guideline in how many and in which cases templates may be used. I remember after talking to David Levy, that originally the guideline for adding templates was derived from an older set of rules of making omissions explicit (the one I linked is actually a proposal, there is an older one than this that actually got passed). ChyranandChloe (talk) 08:56, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

External links to forums[edit]

If a company runs their own support forum and has there own people in it, would it not be acceptable to list the forum in an article about the company in the external links section?

Speaking of forum.. This site needs one. Email topic notification search by topic title only etc.. I dont htink it will ever happen though. This seems pretty cumbersom to use.kieranmullen (talk) 00:22, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

See mw:Extension:LiquidThreads. — Werdna • talk 08:22, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Wikijargon in article-space[edit]

Have a look at Buckwheat (or, in general, Special:Whatlinkshere/Template:Peacock term). Are most readers going to know what a "peacock term" is? Have you guys seen other maintenance tags that may be obscure to the general reader? - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 02:32, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

In the case of Buckwhear I find User:Temporaluser tagging excessive. Taemyr (talk) 02:44, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
Playing the devil's advocate I must say that the template is a blue link to Wikipedia:Avoid peacock terms, so "most readers" have an easy way to find out what it's all about. Having three tags per line is quite a different story. NVO (talk) 10:26, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
If we want to allow wikijargon in article-space, we'll have to rewrite much of WP:SELFREF and WP:JARGON. Although WP:Naming conventions concerns only page titles, the many arguments we've had over how to weigh using words that Wikipedians understand vs. words that readers understand are relevant here, too. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 13:12, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't know about anyone else, but "peacock words" or the like was used to name this issue in every writing class I've taken where the issue came up. Same for "weasel words", BTW. Anomie 18:11, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
I changed it to say "Why?" because that's pretty much what a peacock word is, saying something without saying why it is like that. ViperSnake151 22:41, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Retouching of images[edit]

What is the policy (or do we have one?) for using photoshop for slight retouches of famous people? I know stuff like photoshopping a mole out of Barack Obama.jpg isn't right, but what about stuff like what was done in BarackObama2005portrait.jpg? (See their revision histories. Also, sorry I couldn't internal link them, I've forgotten how to do so without actually showing the image. I'll fix when I can.) Jedibob5 (talk) 01:52, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

I fixed your links for you. --Cyde Weys 01:55, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I keep forgetting how to do that. Jedibob5 (talk) 13:49, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
There isn't one, but this sort of cosmetic image improvement is commonplace, as long as it doesn't lead to factual misrepresentation or inaccuracy. We have countless fair use images from e.g. magazines and professional studios where this sort of work was already done before anyone ever saw the image. Dcoetzee 06:26, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

A discussion on the use/necessity (?) of biographical infoboxes[edit]

This discussion on the general WP:MOS guideline talk page has probably started to venture off beyond being a MOS.

The point in question is basically about specific wikiprojects opting to use infoboxes or not, particularly if there are other projects an article falls under that would get an infobox (in the specific discussion, it is the Classical Music WP desiring not to use an infobox on composers even when the general People wikiproject suggest their use.

The main issue is of course are Infoboxes as necessary as some make them out to be. Some see these as duplication of the article text, as well as having random datum that would otherwise never be included in an article; in addition, for shorter articles, they can be a visual eyesore. Of course, they can also be seen as a useful "at a glance" section.

The second issue is where the purview of the use of an infobox falls under. In the above case, a classic composer falls under both the People and the Classical Music project. Which "project" has priority, or do neither do leaving it to the specific page editor to handle?

The final issue is more something that I am concerned with and that is the fact that infoboxes can be useful for creating meta-data for an article (for a person, for example, dates of birth and death, nationality, etc.) that can be computer-read and thus used to build meta tools to compare and combine such data appropriately (say, a timeline of when various people of a nationality lives); they are also often used to categorize articles automagically. Now, regardless if a project decides they don't want to have visible infoboxes, a simple modification to most infoboxes to allow them to be hidden via CSS (not collapsible hidden, but hidden via "display:none" CSS) can still be used to provide said meta-data without affecting page display. I would at least encourage this aspect to help make articles more useful via third-party tools, in the same manner that most articles with geo-spatial data can be mapped out. --MASEM 18:25, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

My take on this
  • Infboxes should not be necessary (although they can be useful). What worries me more is that infobox growth seems to get a life of its own (see e.g. the zillions of options in the country infoboxes) making them often several screens long, no longer in a glance information.
  • Projects have only limited power in Wikipedia. If there are conflicting interests the projects should leave it to the page editors to come up with a tailored solution for that page.
  • Hidden infoboxes is in my opinion a bad idea. Infobox information is not always uncontested (see e.g. the debate over the start of WWII). Hiding this information will make it important to bots and indexers, while hiding it for the average editor, thus eliminating checks and balances of wikipedia. Arnoutf (talk) 18:38, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
You may all want to read Wikipedia:Disinfoboxes before commenting here.Nrswanson (talk) 19:13, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree with the objections Wikipedia:Disinfoboxes presents against uniformitarianism in infoboxes - items that can't be shown to benerfit readers should be excluded.
I'm not familiar with the metadata issues or with whether the metadata idea is a concrete plan or a pious hope. I understand Arnoutf's point about not hiding metadata because that would make it an opportunity for POV-pushers, but I don't see why that should impact readers. What about putting the metadata where readers who are not editors don't see it, e.g.:
  • on a separate sub-page of the article.
  • in a construct that is hidden by default but can be shown by setting a Preferences option? --Philcha (talk) 19:42, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

My personal feeling is that wikiprojects should not make blanket requirements for the inclusion of infoboxes, as the biography project has done, but the use and structure of infoboxes should remain flexible to meet each individual article's needs. However, I have no problem with a project banning infoboxes, such as the composer project, if they prove to be problematic within a particular series or topic of articles. Personally I think wikipedia has gone info box mad and we could use a good weeding out of useless/poorly constructed info boxes. Most articles really don't need or benefit in any way from them.Nrswanson (talk) 20:16, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

I think a single project trying to "ban" infoboxes in "their" articles is a massive overstepping of the job of wikiprojects. Projects exist to aid and organize collaboration, not to create their own content rules that only apply to a few articles. The fact that infoboxes are so widely used in articles should be an indication that there is wide community support for them. One project doesn't really have the authority to overrule the community like that. Just because it isn't codified in official policy doesn't mean there isn't consensus. Sure the project can choose not to create a {{infobox composer}}, but they have no authority to blanket revert the addition of infoboxes, that's just absolutely ridiculous. Mr.Z-man 21:24, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

I fully agree with you Z-Man, but the problem ends up being that people will say that "but consensus is that X type of article doesn't! See the discussion!". So it's a hard line to figure out, and certainly is part of a larger issue than just info boxes. The problem in THIS case, that I've brought up elsewhere, is that some of the arguments used against them seem to want to elevate composers (in this case, or a couple people have mentioned artists) as somehow unable to be 'pigeonholed' because they are somehow beyond's something that doesn't quite make sense to me, and is ALSO part of the larger issue, I think. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 21:59, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
I can speak a bit to the issue of infoboxes being useful as a source of semantic key-value attribute information. In a number of ways this works well: the syntax clearly and unambiguously expresses the association, and the information is visible and easy to edit so that it can be verified and corrected by readers. Another common source of key-value pairs is categories. On the other hand, it'd be much nicer if the available key-value pairs were not limited to those in infoboxes, but could be expanded to many pieces of information contained in the prose. Doing this effectively in a way that enables reader verification and correction is a difficult problem that hasn't yet been addressed. Dcoetzee 22:27, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

My opinion: Infoboxes are often useful; sure, the lead probably mentions the person's birth and death dates, but "Born: November 1, 1972 / Died: December 1, 2008" can be easier to look up quickly than "Romeo Scragg (1972–2008) was born on November 1, 1972, in Dogpatch, USA. He lived an uneventful life as an alcoholic and pig farmer until his death on December 1, 2008." There is also something to be said for the uniformity of appearance that infoboxes can give to articles within a field. WikiProject's recommending or discouraging infoboxes should represent the consensus of the community in regard to articles within the project's scope; when an article is within the scope of multiple projects with differing consensus, a consensus for that article needs to be determined (neither project automatically "wins"). Wikipedia:Disinfoboxes looks like one person's opinion with no attempt at a balanced presentation, and not something that is terribly useful as actual guidance on use of infoboxes.

In the case of the WP:WPBIO versus WP:Composers, it looks to me like individuals on both sides are too entrenched to allow much progress, and the issue is too clouded with WP:OWN, WP:ILIKEIT/WP:IDONTLIKEIT, vote counting, over-reaching generalities, and hysterical raisins. What is needed, IMO, is a collection of what real advantages and disadvantages there are to composer infoboxes, and whether enough can be done to minimize or eliminate the disadvantages (e.g. No damn flags!) to make the advantages worth it. Anomie 22:54, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

I find it amazing that everyone is so quick to jump on the composer project without being concerned with the fact that the Bio project is trying to force info boxes on articles across the encyclopedia. If that isn't a case of WP:instruction creep and WP:OWN I don't know what is. It certainly doesn't line up with WP:Style. I personally believe its best to not require info boxes but leave them as optional. There are three issues at play here: style, communication, and content. A policy enforcing the implementation of an info box is a style/communication decision. The argument for an enforced info box is that the info box will improve the look/design of the article as well as providing a useful means of disseminating an articles information. However, this view fails to recognize that not all articles are best served in terms of style and communication by an info box. Many articles are better off without them. See Wikipedia:DIB for a more thorough explanation. Therefore I would oppose any policy that blithely imposes an info box on any article without considering the unique needs of that individual article. On the other hand, banning info boxes from certain articles for content reasons is perfectly legit. If an info box is going to present a consistent problem within a particular area of articles by creating inaccurate presentations of content, then I think a ban is warranted. If you want a detailed example of such a case I can provide one for not including info boxes on opera singer articles, but it will be lengthy. Basically none of the categories applied to musicians works well for 99% of opera singers (i.e. Voice type, label, website, years active, etc.) All that's left is name/d.o.b./d.o.d/occupation which is already in the lead. I am not familiar with the composer project's particular arguement against info boxes so I can't comment on it. Nrswanson (talk) 00:08, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
So you think infoboxes should optional, but support wikiprojects banning infoboxes from certain articles? That seems a little contradictory. Requiring infoboxes is against WP:OWN but forbidding them isn't? If the musician infoxbox doesn't work for opera singers, wouldn't creating an {{infobox opera singer}} with more sensible fields make more sense than a blanket ban on infoboxes in opera singer articles? Mr.Z-man 00:39, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
If you can think of any fields for an opera singer that won't present a problem beyond the standard info contained in a lead then sure. I personally can't and I am a opera singer. And I don't think my arguement is contradictory. Its not a case of WP:OWN when you honestly believe that any info box on a particular kind of article is damaging to the article's factual accuracy (a view which I believe I can prove). This isn't an arguement about style but about the accurate presentation of content; something wikipedia should take very seriously.Nrswanson (talk) 00:51, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for illustrating my point about editors who are too entrenched to allow for progress, who overreact, and who spout over-reaching generalities. But I really don't think it was needed. Anomie 00:55, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Why is being forced have an infobox bad, and forced to delete an infobox good governance? Both are forced, and both are disagreeable to the person with the opposite philosophical position. Your argument is that forced governance is bad, except when you guys are doing the forcing. Then it is rule by wisdom and enlightenment. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 01:33, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

No my arguement isn't that all forced governance is bad. We force people to not add copyrighted material and thats a good thing. We force people to do lots of things at wikipedia, they are called guidelines. I don't think we should force people to present content in a highly specific format like an info box but I do think we should force people to present information accurately.Nrswanson (talk) 01:57, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
Ok, we just force them to delete infoboxes. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 02:17, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
You are sure quick to jump to extremes. An entirely blanket policy banning info boxes on all articles isn't good either. Info boxes are quite useful in many places, just not everywhere. I'm all for info boxes when they can be implemented in a useful way. I just don't think that's possible within certain articles. I'm not for banning info boxes but limiting their use to where they can be used to the benefit of the encyclopedia.Nrswanson (talk) 02:28, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • No, you just delete the ones under your control where you have enough muscle to reverse any restoration. Being part of a gang is good, it allows you to exert control over Wikipedia blocks of articles and enforce rules. Your group appears to oppose all biographical-infoboxes. You just delete them where you have a tagteam in place to enforce your will. There is nothing magical about a classical-composer compared to any other creative person. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 07:41, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
Uh I have never removed an info box from a composer page, nor have I participated in any info box discussion at the composer project. Nor am I arguing for such a policy at composer articles. (I haven't heard that project's reasoning behind that decision in enough detail) Although I am technically a member of the composer project, I don't watch their talk page and I don't participate their much. I only joined because I write articles on composers (mostly opera composers) fairly often. I wouldn't, however, consider myself familiar with the project and it's members. All I am saying is that there may be a series of articles where info boxes are not helpful or are even harmful. (an assertion that you have yet to address seriously) Also, as far a I can recall I have never removed an info box from any article at wikipedia. And what gang am I supposed to belong to? As far as I can tell I have never bullyed anyone, nor have I forced my will on anyone else as part of a group. Are you so afraid of rational discussion that you have to resort to incivility and name calling?Nrswanson (talk) 15:23, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Fragmentation of this discussion/Past history[edit]

This topic has been forum shopped around to at least seven pages including:

also Template talk:Infobox Person, Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Biography, Template talk:Infobox Actor and probably others.

It isn't easy for those with an interest in the subject to have the energy, stamina and time to keep pace with all these simultaneous discussions - hence only two or three concerned editors seem to be represented here.

There is a considerable past history of discussions on the subject of biographical infoboxes, see Music biography infoboxes for links to many of them. This issue has consistently been the most disruptive faced by the music projects. One of the main reasons that bio-infoboxes are so disliked by content editors is that they involve some many time-wasting point attacks and accusations of ownership by essentially non-contributing editors. --Kleinzach 02:20, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

If it wastes your time, don't bother with it. It's a volunteer one is forcing you to do anything. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 03:10, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
So exhausting those holding a different opinion through extensive forum shopping is now a legitimate strategy? Michael Bednarek (talk) 03:55, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
That doesn't have anything much to do with what Kleinzach said. The point is, if you think something is a waste of time, no one is forcing you to waste your time with it. Nor is the fact that the 'issue has consistently been the most disruptive faced by the music projects' have anything to do with the need to deal with the issue, now does it? And can't one say that those being accused of violating WP:OWN being the disruptive ones? Everyone has their own view on what is and isn't important here, and what is and isn't a waste of time. Since no one here has ANY mandates and no one is making any money/doing this as a job, trying to say that only certain opinions and discussions are worthwhile is very unhelpful and really pretty uncivil. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 04:43, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
As I previously mentioned, it is not forum shopping, such as searching for the best venue for a trial, it is notifying any potentially aggrieved parties, as is done in any proceeding based on laws. It is why involved parties take out ads in multiple local papers to notify those involved, of say a foreclosure, or an inactive bank account. Anything less would not be considered due diligence. The only posting that looks like an odd man, is the actor box. The closest I could find at the time for a vaudevillian. Each time the wording is roughly this: "The discussion is here at Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style#Individual_wikiprojects_are_deleting_infoboxes_from_articles. As best as I can sum up the argument is that: classical composers as creative people can't be defined by the simple labels used in musical-infoboxes, and as creative people transcend the traditional people-infobox which can't capture the essence of what makes them an artist. And of course, some people are just philosophically opposed to any infoboxes, no matter what information they contain." --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 07:26, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
The gross distortions in that summary of the opposing view has been pointed out to you at the other discussion. I'm not going to repeat all the arguments made in that, much fuller, discussion, but would urge those looking at this to read that before making up their mind. Johnbod (talk) 17:03, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
Only a few of those threads could be legitimately misconstrued as forumshopping. The key parts of the definition of WP:FORUMSHOP are: "repeatedly ... until", and "same issue on a number of forums in succession" – meaning 'over a span of time' (after one thread dies unsuccessfully, move on to start it up again elsewhere).
In most of those later threads Richard was pointing everyone towards a central discussion, and they were all within the same short time span. That's just normal canvassing for additional input in relevant locations. Due to the non-neutral wording of his pointers, it could also be called "Campaigning" according to WP:Canvass, but not forumshopping. Consider it "noted", as arguably poor-etiquette, and lets get back to (re)discussing the actual question, above. -- Quiddity (talk) 06:52, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
Forum shopping is forum shopping. The number of times it's done is not relevant. It's a problem because it turns people off the discussion. For the record, it was other contributors who were trying to move the discussion to a more central location, see [5] and [6]. --Kleinzach 07:48, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
Cut the bickering - we've got a centralsied discussion now. --Philcha (talk) 09:27, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

KiB --> KB // GiB --> GB[edit]

What is the policy of wikipedia relating to the use of KiB and KB and (GiB / GB)?

Personally, I'm sick of seeing this made up measurement of KiB.

The advantages of KB are: 1. KB is a known abriviation; people will understand it right away. 2. Choosing one policy for the whole of Wikipedia limits confusion. 3. KiB notation is not widespread in use (even so according to the KiB article). 4. Complete accuracy is often not that important to convey the message, when accuracy is very important; articles could fall back to the KiB notation. 5. The whole outside world uses the KB notation.

See WP:MOSNUM#Quantities of bytes and bits. There has been much debate over this on the MOSNUM talk page, so expect strong feelings when cleaning this kind of thing up, but the guideline clearly is on your side. -- Jao (talk) 12:27, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposition 1 - Civility and Conduct[edit]

Following the discussion above about merging certain policy documents to make things a little more streamlined, I've gone away to think about the first of these merger proposals which could be a "runner". We are all Wikipedians aiming for the same cause, I just don't want to see editors new and old having to trawl through a Treaty-sized pile of articles before daring to start an article. The streamlining of the machine should make the product better produced.

My proposal is to merge current policies on Civility, Harassment, No Personal Attacks, and Attack Pages, into one single policy - "Civility and Conduct". I take the point that Legal Threats should stand alone.

I believe that a single behavioural policy will be easier to police, easier to understand and easier to implement. The current policies are confusing in their overlap (or potential to overlap), whilst I believe quite honestly that were we to work together to merge Civility, Harassment, No Personal Attacks, and Attack Pages together into a streamlined policy, "Civility and Conduct" will be one of the benchmarks of Wikipedia behaviour.

doktorb wordsdeeds 12:47, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Sounds good. But you're on your own, I'm not due to unilaterally rewrite a policy for another three months or so -- Gurch (talk) 13:30, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • This is a good example of the missing-the-point alluded to above. Wikipedia:Attack page doesn't just cover conduct by editors. It also covers content of pages. (See Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion#G10.) Merging it into a "conduct policy" would lose that very important facet of the policy as it currently stands, the consensus for which you can see at Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion/Proposal/13. I suggest having a better understanding of our policies before thinking about how to merge them. The simple truth is that editors don't have to trawl through all of our policies before daring to do anything, so the fundamental premise of this entire discussion is flawed. Wikipedia:Ignore all rules is a policy, too. Uncle G (talk) 20:25, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
    • They don't have to, but they might well think they have to... Anyway, surely the point of having policies is that we do want editors to read them?--Kotniski (talk) 09:53, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
Hmm, with WP:EW and WP:3RR, they should be merged because a 3RR violation is always a EW vio. With this its a little different. Someone can make personal attacks while still remaining civil. People can completely fly off the handle without attacking or harassing anyone. While there is a significant bit of overlap, they do cover separate topics. Mr.Z-man 00:50, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't get that - can you give an example of a personal attack that isn't uncivil? In any case the line must be a very fuzzy one, and there is much that could be saved by putting the two topics (to the extent that they may be distinct topics) on one page. --Kotniski (talk) 09:53, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
May I respectfully suggest that your mother fornicated with barnyard animals? I believe that is an example of a perfectly civil personal attack. (talk) 22:23, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
So you think using fancier words makes such a comment "civil"? I believe the message being express, rather than the words used, determines civility of a post. SMP0328. (talk) 22:29, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
For excellent examples of civil attacks, see the various discussions between Winston Churchill and Lady Astor. LeadSongDog (talk) 16:56, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
It gets murkier; what about cases of niggling comments to editors who may be clearly upset or angry about something? Clearly disruptive - should the punishment be as bad as that for the subsequent outburst? Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 23:24, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
If we want a merged, simplified version of the personal behavior policies, one already exists: meta:Don't be a dick. The rest of the content of these policies is really elaboration and explanation for people who honestly have a hard time understanding that they are being dicks. Mangojuicetalk 15:01, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
The idea of merging the articles, as suggested, seems sound to me. As a separate issue, I have a question concerning civility blocks. I have noticed that editors who violated 3RR excessively can get blocked for extended periods of time, or even permanently. Does that apply to civility violations also, or is that something that never gets more than a 24hr block? I am asking because have noticed that some users seem to violate WP civility guidelines rather freely. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 15:35, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Yep, I'm sure we could do much better on the civility front. The confrontational atmosphere often found around WP must surely be one of the things that drive good editors away. I was thinking of proposing it as a kind of communal new year's resolution - but strengthening of the policy and enforcement (polite but serious warnings - followed up with blocks - until people start getting the message; uncivil comments allowed to be removed from wherever) might not be a bad direction to go in.--Kotniski (talk) 16:18, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

I would certainly endorse strengthening the enforcement of civility violations. Would this justify moving to a separate thread for further discussion without distracting from the proposal to merge the civility articles? Malcolm Schosha (talk) 17:05, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
If we're going to merge them, we might as well look at proposals for strengthening them at the same time. Maybe someone (I'd do it if I had time) would like to draw up an outline proposal for a merged, strengthened policy as a concrete subject for discussion.--Kotniski (talk) 18:33, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

public domain photo[edit]

hello i can t understand how can Image:NSMiklos1-wiki.jpg and it's copies be a public domain?? it's author (photographer) haven't died 70 or more years ago. It's coloured, so it's improbable. It can be public domain, but not based on these licence terms.

The image itself is probably not PD. It's derivative of the 3-D work of art, and probably taken by a museum or archive. The image info says the photographer is Sava Boyadjiev. That appears to be the author, and the person who owns the copyright for the image, and the one who should grant permission for the image to be used on Wikipedia. --Moni3 (talk) 19:39, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (flora)[edit]

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (flora) appears to run counter to WP:NC, which is policy. Recently many articles have been moved from the common name to the scientific name. Just a few examples: Joshua tree to Yucca brevifolia; White oak to Quercus alba (which was then reversed): based on the logs, this one seems to have been moved and reversed 3 (!) times; Bur oak to Quercus macrocarpa. It is understandable that the scientific name might be preferred in cases where there is no single well-known common name or where the common name is ambiguous. But it seems contrary to policy to systematically prefer the scientific name, even in cases where there is a well-established, unambiguous common name. Given the participants there seem at loggerheads, I think broader comment here is warranted. Any takers? UnitedStatesian (talk) 20:58, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

See Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (flora)#Breach of the Naming Conventions policy --PBS (talk) 21:07, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree. Discussion should probably continue at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (flora)#Breach of the Naming Conventions policy. --Born2cycle (talk) 21:09, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
For the moment, discussions have stalled on the stubbornness of a handful of intransigent owners of the page. If this continues, we will have to consider whether the mentions of this ill-advised policy in the naming convention are justified. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 13:46, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
Of, from another viewpoint, the majority of people in the discussion disagree with you and the one person siding with you, so you've decided to identify the opposition with biased labels and declare yourself sole arbiter. That sort of ugliness is unbecoming anywhere, not just on Wikipedia. --EncycloPetey (talk) 18:37, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
Come and judge for yourselves. I see the three of us as disagreeing at root only with this editor and Hesperian; then again EP's claims, both here and there, do not seem to have much relationship with the record. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:10, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
Please don't leave me out of the list of naughty plant editors!--Curtis Clark (talk) 04:27, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
If you insist; but you have been far more rational, and I don't see what your substantive objection to Joshua tree, and so forth, is. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:42, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

USian, I was right there with you initially. But reading the linked discussion on the flora naming conventions convinced me otherwise -- using scientific names by default and only using common names in exceptional cases prevents an awful lot of conflict among flora editors over which regional common-name is most appropriate. This is one of those areas where "use common names" causes more problems than it solves. Powers T 13:48, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

I agree on regional names; but rhw scientific or Neo-Latin name has been pushed in cases (Joshua tree is one) where there is only one English name, and it is well-known. Fortunately, an explicit change seems to be developing now. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:42, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

GNU copyrighted Photo[edit]

I was wondering if a copyrighted photography can be released via GNU? I'm confused about this image (Image:Carlhancockrux.jpg). The summary notes the copyright is retained by one Felicia Megginson, I did a really quick google search for this person but was unable to find any conclusive contact information, I intended to e-mail for confirmation of authenticity. It appears to me that the image was taken from this website. Does this seem fishy to anyone else? Naufana : talk 23:00, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Yes, absolutely. I suggest nominating it for deletion per WP:IFD. Powers T 00:11, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
You'd have to nominate it for deletion on Commons rather than IFD, as it's hosted there, not on Wikipedia. On the more general point there's nothing inherently incongruous about a copyright notice on a GFDL image; under the GFDL the copyright holder still retains the copyright, he/she just allows other people to use the work under certain conditions. Rather, the problem in this case is verifying that the uploader is indeed Felicia Megginson, and it seems unlikely at first glance given that their username is Mann.benoit. Assuming that he's not Felicia Megginson then no, he can;t rlease other people's work under the GFDL. Iain99Balderdash and piffle 00:26, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
If you contact the photographer, request a declaration of consent. See commons:Commons:Email templates --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 00:28, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

I'll nom on Commons, I tend to think it is an improper upload because the user uploaded an image of the cover of Rux's book Asphalt, which is released as GNU. This is obviously incorrect... I'll be fixing that as Fair Use just after I nom the original image. Thanks to everyone for their assistance. Naufana : talk 00:35, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Full protect important policies[edit]

I think important policy pages such as WP:BLP and such should be full protected due to their seriousness, and being possible vandal magnets. This should also be done for legal reasons due to their scope. Anyone agree?

On Wikibooks we do that, but then we have this "unstable branch" where people can propose changes. ViperSnake151 15:57, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Preferably no. Otherwise, it makes it difficult for me to rewrite them -- Gurch (talk) 15:58, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
I really don't see a need for this. - Rjd0060 (talk) 16:43, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Neither do I. I see no evidence that they are vandal magnets, and even if they were, I can't see that this would be a problem. The reason vandalism of articles is bad is that some readers will view the page in a vandalized state. For policy pages, only editors are likely to look at them, and editors can easily revert any vandalism they see. The only exception would be if the pages were being so heavily vandalized that it became an effort to revert, in which case temporary protection could be used as usual. On your last point, if anything has to be done for legal reasons, the foundation lawyer will tell us. That's what he's for. Algebraist 16:58, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
"possible vandal magnets?" We don't protect things from editing because of a "possibility of vandalism"; WP:V has been only move-protected for several months, yet its seen rather little vandalism for the amount of incoming links it has. Mr.Z-man 18:46, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

I'd possibly agree so that users don't make massive changes that may be against consensus on the talk page. Policies are important, and people use them like a rule-book. It's no good if the rule book has the wrong thing in there. – How do you turn this on (talk) 18:51, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Strong oppose. This procedure would shift even more power to admins over active non-admin editors of good standing. When vandalsim is threatening article integrite, admin limitation (full protection) is warranted, but this would give admins more power to discuss and change policies that will have an impact on the whole community. That cannot be the intention, but that is what will happen. Arnoutf (talk) 18:54, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
What's the point of a policy if anyone can twist it? Rules should be stable, lock it and throw away the keys. NVO (talk) 03:34, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
"What's the point of an encyclopedia if anyone can edit it? Compendiums should be stable; print them and shove them in a library." — sorry, couldn't resist twisting your comment this way. I'm mostly joking, but hopefully you can read my response between the lines. :) {{Nihiltres|talk|log}} 04:16, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
And I'm not joking at all. You are quite right about stability of the compendiums, thanks for bringing the point. Remember, stability is one of five criteria of featured content (or so it was at 18:30 today in case some schoolkid with a button changes it). Unfortunately, the wars over WP:MOS make all featured content subject to daily revamps, reverts etc. rendering FAs unstable and... yes, "unfeaturable". Today it's double quotes, tomorrow single; link dates, unlink dates - I'm not talking of something new, it's basic typography styling that must be stable. NVO (talk) 18:33, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Edits made to policy pages without (or against) concensus can be reverted too. I firmly disagree with this proposal. Zain Ebrahim (talk) 10:15, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

We certainly need to have some kind of stability in our rule-book. Making it much smaller would be the most productive step - then we could all keep track of what's changing and object to changes we don't like. Protection, however, normally seems to be necessary only when edit wars break out (as they do from time to time). It has the disadvantage that it prevents innocent copyediting.--Kotniski (talk) 10:59, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

I fully agree with Kotniski's comment (10:59, 26 November 2008). Protection would make it more difficulty to clarify the rules, reduces duplications and inconsistencies, etc. - improvements which are seriously needed.
AFAIK at present we have difficulty recruiting admins, and protecting policy pages would only increase admins' workload and aggravate the recruitment problem. --Philcha (talk) 12:03, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Difficulty recruiting admins? Haha. That's rather like advertising a software development job saying you need 10 years of .NET experience and then announcing you're having difficulty recruiting candidates... -- Gurch (talk) 12:10, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, I would not mind becoming admin if the RfA procedure was not time consuming (and I think I would qualify after 2 yrs, 10 months - not a single block - >11,000 edits - admittedly little vandal fighting so no urgent need for the tools either) However the 3rd degree interrogation and the very much involvement in the admin nomination process make me unwilling to go through this. Arnoutf (talk) 18:33, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
The whole admin process is one area were policies can and should be changed; you named one solid argument for it. Arbcom has already announced upcoming review of its own role. But content policies are quite different from site maintenance. So I see no conflict between (a) actively changing what needs to be changed, especially when it does not affect content directly (b) locking key content rules. NVO (talk) 18:38, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Solution looking for a problem. I've yet to see any major policy page be vandalized in such a way that seriously impacted anything... the costs of full protection greatly outweigh the benefit. EVula // talk // // 18:19, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Bad idea. If individual persons cause problems by vandalizing or edit warring over the policy pages, those individual persons can be first warned, then later blocked, for being disruptive. However, there is no compelling reason to stop good-faith changes to policy pages merely to stop a few individuals from acting unseemly. 18:27, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
There is one compelling reason: it is a policy, not an article or an essay. The difference is: if me or you are expected to abide to the rules (of any formal standing), then they must be stable. We don't expect real-world laws to change at will every hour, why would we tolerate it here? NVO (talk) 18:44, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't recall anyone ever enforcing a vandalism-modified policy ("Dear user: I'm sorry, but please refrain from not placing penis pictures on articles. If you don't start adding dicks to your edits, you will be blocked."); this isn't an actual issue. EVula // talk // // 21:14, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
The rules are stable. If anyone tries to change a rule without consensus, it is quickly reverted, with or without protection. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 21:31, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
A "consensus" of, say, three or four determined regulars is then quite able to bend the rule as they like. Again, look at MOSwars. Reverted? many times and still unstable. NVO (talk) 00:23, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
The MOS is not policy. Policy has a lot more eyes on it, and any controversial change will generate a remarkable amount of discussion. And, as you noticed with the MOS, even three or four determined individuals are not able to force their preferred version through. Resolute 00:43, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
And protecting the page does not do anything to change the stability or instability properties of WP:MOS, as the mentioned "regulars" are admins. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 06:17, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
Most of them (us) aren't, as far as I know. In any case I've never seen anyone abuse any admin powers they might have by editing the page when it's been protected.--Kotniski (talk) 10:01, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
Per Jayron32. --MZMcBride (talk) 23:29, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
@NVO: I think you've misunderstood the concept of "changing a rule". If a policy page is vadalised, the rule hasn't changed (the vandalism will be reverted as soon as one of us sees it). Rules are only changed via WP:Consensus. Zain Ebrahim (talk) 10:22, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

This is one of the things that Wikibooks gets exactly wrong. In the 7 years that Wikipedia has had policy pages, it has successfully dealt with vandalism, edit wars, and changes to consensus without having to resort to permanent full protection for any policy page. There is no evidence that this will change. Furthermore, many changes to policy have been made by non-administrators editing the pages in the normal way, reflecting consensus and talk-page discussion, and many improvements to our policies, such as copyedits, corrections of stale hyperlinks, and other things, are done by non-administrators. The only pages that we permanently protect for legal reasons are pages such as the general disclaimer and the copyright licence. Those are legal documents. Our policies are not. Wikibooks has an acute problem with overprotection, of which the protection of its policy pages is but one facet. (There are several large parts of its main namespace that are permanently fully protected, for no good reason, ironically leaving several books in a state of permanent disrepair that normal editors could have otherwise fixed.) This is not thinking that we need to import into Wikipedia. It's pretty bad thinking for Wikibooks. Uncle G (talk) 20:01, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Agree with the conclusion, can't agree with the "successfully" in the second sentence though;) Our inability to deal in any rational manner with bouts of edit-warring and irresoluble disputes over what has consensus leads to disruption on a massive scale, both to those trying to maintain these pages and to ordinary editors trying to comply with them. Protection isn't the remedy, but the system is broken.--Kotniski (talk) 10:10, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Repeat after me, Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy. Any description of Wikipedia's policies as a "rulebook" represents a fundamental misunderstanding of how Wikipedia works. — Werdna • talk 08:29, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Hmm, you seem to be committing your own fallacy, by quoting a statement from WP:NOT as if it were true just because WP:NOT is policy. We all know that WP is a bureaucracy, at least to some extent (and perhaps that's a good thing too), and its policies do function as a rulebook (again, to some significant extent).--Kotniski (talk) 10:03, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
I think that you fundamentally misunderstand how WP works. It certainly is a Bureaucracy and the rules keep us from becoming Uncyclopedia. Zain Ebrahim (talk) 19:21, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

I am not saying Wikipedia is a bureaucracy because our page on "What Wikipedia is not" says so. I'm saying that Wikipedia is a bureaucracy because that is what I honestly believe, and obviously a lot of other people honestly believe this, because it's been written in our page on "What Wikipedia is not". Wikipedia's project-space pages serve to document accepted community practice, without presuming to dictate the same. If somebody writes "George W. Bush is gay" on his article, then George W. Bush does not leave his wife for another man. In the same way, if somebody writes a new policy, it does not enter into force when somebody puts the {{policy}} tag on it. In fact, it "entered into force" far before that – when it reflected current community practice. Indeed, it may be that the policy "entered into force" before it was even written!

This is the misunderstanding you have about policy – you seem to think that Wikipedia's project namespace is a rulebook which dictates community practice. In fact, Wikipedia's project pages are more like articles than you think – we document what is already true, without trying to make it true.

Your assertion that rules are what stand between 'Wikipedia' and 'Uncyclopedia' is way off the mark. Even without a rulebook, we would not have pages full of bad jokes, we don't need a deletion policy to delete them. We would not be covered in vandalism, we don't need a vandalism policy to revert it. We would not be overrun by trolls, because we don't need a blocking policy to block them. All of these things are not the definitive guide to what is and isn't acceptable; they're what we've written down about what we tend to think is generally accepted.

This is the true meaning of 'Ignore all rules'.

Do you see what I'm getting at? — Werdna • talk 02:04, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I think we all understand, it's just that in practice it doesn't always work like that. Anyway, I've forgotten what the question was - were we disagreeing about anything substantial? --Kotniski (talk) 09:25, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
Nope. That is NOT the true meaning of WP:IAR which simply states:
"If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it."
All of the examples you cite (joke pages, vandalism, trolls) do not improve/maintain WP so WP:IAR does not apply. If your world view is correct then the only rule we'll need is WP:Common Sense. We won't even need admins. But we do. The fact is that anyone can edit here and when you have millions of good faith editors with differing opinions of what's good for WP and what isn't, rules become vital.

Furthermore, I clearly stated that rules can change. Go back and read my comments earlier in this thread. I don't have a misunderstanding. Zain Ebrahim (talk) 09:52, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

If we're going to have an argument based on contradiction and assertion, then I don't see any value in continuing this discussion. Obviously, however, I am not convinced of the merits of your proposal. — Werdna • talk 00:00, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Please state clearly who you're addressing. It would seem as though you're replying to me since the OP (i.e. the one with the proposal) didn't respond to any of your comments. I proposed nothing. Zain Ebrahim (talk) 06:34, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

How about semi protection?[edit]

Some of the claims above (such as admin overload) would be solved if, in stead of full protection, we decide on semi protection. Additionally, a user who doesn't have experience on Wikipedia (like most anons and new users) should probably not be editing our policy - I think that one needs to be familiar with it before one can try to change it. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 13:06, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

They can sometimes still do useful copy-editing, though. I've never had the impression that anon attacks on policy/guideline pages are a particular problem (at least, not more of a problem than such attacks on articles, and we don't semi-protect all of them). The main problem on p/g pages seems to be experienced editors attempting to edit them without consensus, in order to make a point or to improve their position in some other ongoing dispute.--Kotniski (talk) 09:40, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

minimum edits for RFA[edit]

There is a poll at Wikipedia talk:Requests for adminship#8 failed RFAs so far this month re a proposal to set a minimum number of edits before an editor can submit an RFA ϢereSpielChequers 17:12, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

A revisit of this from 4 months ago---Balloonman PoppaBalloon 17:24, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
This section and the section above it, both from today, have a lot of good ideas and goodwill in them, this would be a good time to jump in for people who are interested. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 17:45, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Archiving subsections of talk pages[edit]

Is there any rule abuot when a user can legitimately decide to archive a subsection inside a talk page by surrounding it with something like this:

?--pokipsy76 (talk) 11:34, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

No, but let's create WP:DA – Discussion Archiving Policy. We'll have to come up with a whole bunch of metrics and hard rules to make sure that nobody ever illegitimately archives a discussion. — Werdna • talk 12:26, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Why nobody?--pokipsy76 (talk) 12:38, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I thought archiving subsections was usually done when they became too long to be practical on a particular talk page (but for whatever reason could not be fully archived to a subpage yet) - Mgm|(talk) 12:58, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
    No, I'm not talking about when you move a section to an archive, I'm talking about when you leave the subsection on the page but you surround it with the box above.--pokipsy76 (talk) 13:04, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
Werdna was joking. You can do it when, in good faith, you think that the discussion is over, or has become unhelpful, and you want to help get discussion back on track. Just because something has been archived, though, doesn't mean that it has to stay that way if others disagree. But do try to avoid having conflicts over talk page contents, it's particularly WP:LAME. Mangojuicetalk 16:42, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes it's ok when used in the appropriate way, the problem is that it could be abused by people who want to stop a certain discussion when other people don't want to, so I was wandering if this behaviour is against some specific policy or if instead everybody could feel free to try to stop discussions in this way whenever they wish claiming to be in good faith.--pokipsy76 (talk) 17:34, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
If you think someone used it inappropriately, discuss it with them. Mangojuicetalk 19:36, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
Ok, suppose there are user A and user B: A wants to discuss a change to an article while B disagrees with A and in order to stop the development of the discussion B "archives" the discussion (in the way decsribed above) claiming the topic is "stupid" or "already discussed" or any other dismissive comment. Now: can B be accused of any policy violation? Can any user just revert the archiviation without being possibly accused of a policy violation?--pokipsy76 (talk) 20:27, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
pokipsy76 is most probably referring to this edit: The edit in question was made by an administrator to prevent frivolous arguments about a proposed edit that had already been rejected numerous times. In fact, I had requested new reliable sources multiple times with no responses. The archival was just. Just thought I'd give a point if reference to this debate. --Tarage (talk) 10:40, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
No, I was not rereffing specifically to that edit and I don't want to talk about any specific case here, if I wanted to speak about it I would (obviously) have cited explicitly that edit. Please do not try to explain what you suppose to be my personal thoughts to other people, I think to be percectly able to explain myself.--pokipsy76 (talk) 11:41, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

To be sensible, I don't think there's any need to have weird archive templates. (talk) 07:13, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Suggesting a policy update: what NOT to put in edit summaries[edit]

I was direct here from WP:Help desk.

Hi everybody,

Recently I've been experiencing that some editors put messages towards other Wikipedians in their edit summaries. I, in my most humble opinion, find that unnecessary, let alone if that is a personal attack or an offensive stance ([7], [8], [9]), for one thing, edit summaries can't be changed or deleted, except for admins. I don't know how others feel about this, but maybe the guide line should be updated, like by stating that is unnecessary to put anything in other than a small summary of one's editing. --Soetermans | is listening | what he'd do now? 12:21, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

We already have a no personal attack policy which covers that. I find little notes explaining WHY in edit summaries can often be much more useful than a simple "reverting", but that's just me. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 12:28, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
I have responded at Help talk:Edit summary. Gandalf61 (talk) 12:38, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Youtube screenshots[edit]

Would screenshots from Youtube qualify as public domain? User5802 (talk) 21:44, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Pretty much no. The only possibility I could see would be that it would be of a PD film, and the screenshot limited to only the film itself (YouTube's web interface elements are copyright); I doubt this is the case for a majority of youtube videos. --MASEM 21:55, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
As a rule, if you found it on the web, it's copyrighted and can't be used without permission, unless it explicitly says otherwise. See Wikipedia:Copyright#Image_guidelines for exceptions and more information. Dcoetzee 21:59, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Consent for photos of deceased persons in burial rituals[edit]

A policy to protect the privacy of families and individuals in private burial rituals, especially in process rituals and not meant for display, to have the consent of deceased persons if photographs are publicly posted.

A case in point:

There is a photograph of a deceased subject, nude, and in a private burial ceremony in Tibet.

The images in Tibetan Sky Burial article violate several photography and privacy policies.

This photo is illegally obtained by a foreign tourist, and photography of sky burials is not permitted by law in Tibet.

The photographer also verified that he did not have the consent of the government, or the private temple at which the photograph was taken, or of the deceased individual.

It is also unlikely that, if the subject were asked for consent when he was alive, that he would have consented to either the taking of this photograph, or the public display of it, as Tibetans and Buddhists traditionally do not permit photography of remains for religious reasons.

The laws against foreigners visiting sky burial sites, as well as photography there are both Chinese and local Tibetan laws, as well as religious laws of the property on which these burials are held. The Drigung Kagyu monasteries, where these sky burials are performed, do not permit photography of burials. They can be contacted at Drigung Kagyu [10].

Further information on governmental and regional law can be found in this book Multiculturalism in Asia [11], and these articles Tibetan sky burial[12] and Sky burials [13].

These photos are in violation of privacy, legality, decency, and consent.

These photos are also in violation of governmental laws of China intended to protect the traditional ceremonies, national and provincial laws of Tibet, cultural standards, and religious laws, and monastic laws, of the private property of where these were taken, and the family and deceased individual.

Please also include clear policy guidelines about photography of deceased persons.

-AthenaO (talk) 16:26, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

  • We don't need to make things more complicated than they already are. Photographs need to follow the law of the US state of Florida. Unless the person is particularly famous, US law requires the subject of a photo to give consent to its publication (the photographer needs to give them a form to sign). If the photographer did not obtain permission from the subject, the local government or the deceased person's family, it is a violation of US law too. - Mgm|(talk) 17:30, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Not so fast - in the US if you are in a public place there is no presumption of privacy under US law and a photographer does not require your consent to photograph you or to publish such photo (despite the increasingly more frequent and arbitrary attempts of law enforcement agencies to restrict photography in public places). The basic principle applies that WP is not censored and if the photographer has the right under current policies to upload an image to WP or to Commons, that should be enough. The issue of whether the photographer obtained the images legally or not is a matter for the local law of the place they were taken. – ukexpat (talk) 17:43, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Ukexpat is correct in all counts. Insofar as his last statement ("The issue of whether the photographer obtained the images legally or not is a matter for the local law of the place they were taken") - that was the same question at issue as far as pictures of graffitti were concerned. I even went so far as to email the US copyright office, and was told that graffiti itself is eligible for copyright. Raul654 (talk) 17:49, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
What's WP's policy about uploading evidence photos of mutilated murder victims? Why is the Tibetan burial site considered a "public place"? The article makes it sound that it isn't, and even with open spaces or public spaces in the US a "reasonable expectation of privacy" standard is applied. Professor marginalia (talk) 18:14, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
This kind of armchair lawyering just confuses everyone. "Reasonable expectation of privacy" is a Fourth Amendment standard relevant to government searches and seizures; it has no application here (even to the extent the dead can "expect" anything). Postdlf (talk) 19:19, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Basically you'll just have to live with the offence and insult because nobody here will do anything about it. We can dress it up in lots of long words but that's what it comes down to. --Cameron Scott (talk) 19:31, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
I believe the "reasonable expectation of privacy" language is also used in reference to photos. Here's a lawyer's blog discussing it.[14] Some of these laws may have come from paparazzi-related issues. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 19:33, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Here's an even better discussion: [15] More than paparazzi, it probably stems from peeping toms/voyeurists. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 19:35, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
(ec)::::::Armchair lawyering? The "expectation of privacy" standard is used in tort law for invasion of privacy concerns as well. It's not cleanly defined, but there is one. "courts constantly redefine what is private based upon interpretations of the elusive legal standard of a 'reasonable expectation of privacy'". Professor marginalia (talk) 19:41, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
He kinda has a point, since personality rights do last after death. But, the images that you were talking about specifically...are now gone for a different reason, the description page alongside a free license said to "contact for right to use", which I interpreted as a usage restriction to Wikipedia only. They have been speedily deleted due to this. ViperSnake151 03:40, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

  • The burial shown in these photographs is a private burial, on private monastery grounds. Both the monastery laws, and religious laws, forbid photography of deceased individuals during the burial ceremony.

Further, the Tibetan national laws also forbid photography of these ceremonies.

Apart from the illegality of the photos, an issue raised is of consent of deceased persons.

The deceased person in these photos did not give consent to have these photos taken.

What is the policy regarding deceased people, in private places, who do not give consent to have photos taken or published?

-AthenaO (talk) 09:11, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Recommend drafting an essay or two[edit]

A new policy not needed, but an essay might be appropriate. If people follow the suggestions in the essay, it can become a guideline. Remember, on Wikipedia, guidelines and policies evolve out of consensus behavior. With the exception of policies required by law, which WP:OFFICE will inform us of if necessary, community consensus comes before policies and guidelines.

Please write up an essay describing "polite" image-use behavior for "private" images. Separately, write up an essay giving guidance on using images that were taken in violation of the law for other than trademark/copyright reasons but which are not themselves against US law to host on Wikipedia. Trademarks and copyrights are covered elsewhere in policy, and of course images which are criminal offenses to possess or use on web sites like child pornography are either covered by policy or so obvious they don't need a policy.

Personally, I would endorse an essay that said something along the lines of "Using photographs which would put Wikipedia in legal jeopardy is discouraged and may be subject to WP:OFFICE actions, but the burden of proof is on the person claiming the image is in fact legally risky. Such photographs may be used in a similar manner as fair-use copyright photographs while the legal status remains uncertain, subject to overrule by community consensus or office action for each image used. Discussion of the use of such images on a case-by-case basis is strongly encouraged." and "Using photographs where subject of the photograph or, for objects, events, places, and non-living persons, the owners or responsible parties have made it clear their expressed desire that the object, event, place, or non-living person not be photographed under any circumstance whatsoever is generally discouraged. Such images may be used when necessary to illustrate an article, subject to overrule by community consensus for each image used. Discussion of each such image is strongly encouraged to determine a community consensus." I would not endorse this as a guideline unless it became a consensus first.

Before putting it up as an essay, put it up as a user essay first and put a link to it here and on Wikipedia talk:Images soliciting opinions. If you get a few endorsements and no oppositions, or a lot of endorsements and a few oppositions, move it to Wikipedia: space as a normal essay. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 20:45, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Images of children[edit]

I have initiated a discussion on this proposed new policy. TerriersFan (talk) 20:28, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Red XN Discussion has already been closed as "no." davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 20:22, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Image size and download times[edit]

I have searched and could not find a guideline discussing optimal page download times for Wikipedias target audiences. Does such a guideline exist? Miami33139 (talk) 22:56, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Would you be looking for the WP:SIZE guideline and/or the WP:IMGSIZE policy sub-section which states that you should generally use the "thumb" option? --Kralizec! (talk) 23:24, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
This part about animated images helps the circumstance that raised the issue in my editing conflict, but still does not address overall page load time. WP:SIZE does not adequately address total page load times, though there is old mention of it in the attached discussion page. I think I will re-raise this issue there. It is important. Miami33139 (talk) 23:55, 8 December 2008 (UTC)


Quoting from WT:Layout#Sister links:

Are you talking about the autoformatting {{wikisource}}-type templates? Because I think that most editors at this page would prefer that this:
Wikisource has original text related to this article:
were replaced with this:
-- WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:19, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

I don't have a position, other than wanting the guideline to be stable, and this and similar questions have been argued for a while now. Any opinions? - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 03:53, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

I prefer the boxes: we want to draw attention to our sister projects and we can definitely, as a matter of presentation, favour them. Relegating sister projects to mere external links seems like treating them like they're just that. Further, sometimes there are good reasons to include such links in the middle of text, e.g. "Wikinews has news on controversy X in topic Y" in the "controversy X" section of the article on "Y". {{Nihiltres|talk|log}} 04:32, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Unresponsive editors[edit]

I'm currently involved in a slow-burning edit war with Planth (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log), who's repeatedly trying to reintroduce an unsourced section to the article Demographics of Japan, which came to my attention when an IP user removed it (with a rather confusing edit summary - my guess is they're not a native speaker). Since then, the only response I've gotten from Planth has been repeated "undo"s, despite my having attempted to contact him/her on the article talk page and his/her own talk page.

What's the appropriate response to a situation like this? Most of the dispute resolution systems in place assume that both sides are being communicative, which doesn't appear to be the case here. Trying to goad the other user into a 3RR violation is a pretty obviously icky way of getting their attention, and a full RFC seems like overkill at this point, so I'm not sure what the right approach is.

Any thoughts? Advice? Zetawoof(ζ) 12:36, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

You could try reporting it at the edit-warring noticeboard (WP:AN/EW). Hopefully an admin will take appropriate action.--Kotniski (talk) 13:29, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
I'll try that, thanks. Zetawoof(ζ) 21:45, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Fiction presented as fact[edit]

The article Zefram Cochrane says:

  • was the inventor of warp drive on Earth, and was the first Human to travel faster than light.
  • Cochrane was born in 2032. During the 2060s, he lived in Bozeman

I have no knowledge of this person but a reference to the the name made me look it up. I was surprised at the claims made and can only assume it is some science fiction stuff that has found its way into the encyclopedia. Perhaps it is meant to be a joke.

I can't see any explanation of why the article uses the past tense to refer to the future. I can only assume that this is a fictional article falsely protraying itself as fact. If the intention is to deceive the reader, it is an abuse of an encyclopedia. If there is no intention to deceive, then naive readers like me need a truthful explanation. Are there other such articles? If so, what is Wikipedia policy on such issues? Lightmouse (talk) 05:39, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

The guideline is Wikipedia:Manual of Style (writing about fiction), also the article had been heavily vandalised/updated a bit weirdly so I have reverted it to the last ok-ish version. Nanonic (talk) 05:42, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Notability guidelines for Firefox extensions?[edit]

What are the accepted notability guidelines for which Firefox extensions deserve articles? There appear to be quite a few that lack any external citation or independent claim of notability. Wikipedia:Notability (software) is defunct, so do we just go by strict notability guidelines? Thoughts? --ZimZalaBim talk 02:55, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

WP:N is the overriding guideline. – ukexpat (talk) 14:03, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

ALT text[edit]

The following sentence was recently added to WP:MOS#IMAGES: "Images, including math-mode equations, should generally include alt text that describes the image for visually impaired readers." We could really use more discussion over at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#ALT text. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 16:22, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Merge edit summaries and GFDL attribution[edit]

According to Help:Merging and moving pages#Performing the merger, the source article must be recorded in the edit summary to comply with the GFDL. This requirement is frequently ignored in practice. Does it really carry any weight or is it more of a recommendation?

I have started a discussion at Help talk:Merging and moving pages#Merge edit summaries. Flatscan (talk) 04:07, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

  • It describes how to follow an important policy. So it shouldn't be ignored. It happens because a lot of people don't know how copyright, GFDL and all that stuff works and some people don't even know it applies to merging material. Educating them is key. - Mgm|(talk) 21:41, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
The help page is wrong, GFDL doesn't require that. Nonetheless, it is a good idea to mention the source article in the edit summary, as that is helpful to all editors. Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 22:02, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • GFDL requires every edit to be properly attributed. If someone copies material without mentioning it comes from a merge they pretend to have written something that actually 'belongs' to someone else. That is just bad practice in writing. - Mgm|(talk) 09:19, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
While perhaps bad practice, it is not a violation of rights. Wikipedia editors do not own their edits. They are not the authors that the GFDL talks about. Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 10:46, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
What? Wikipedia editors retain full copyright over their edits, and are the authors referred to in the GFDL. Where did you get the idea that this is not the case? Algebraist 14:28, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
From author rights law, and (although superfluous) discussions with GFDL experts. It is a common misunderstanding. A Wikipedia editor is not an author, but a collaborator. The author rights lie with the project as a whole. What en:Wikipedia grants you (note: this is not automatic, other projects may not) is that you can write what you input here elsewhere, without the need to attribute it to Wikipedia, but that's the full limit of your individual rights. Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 15:37, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
That is, regrettably, completely false. The Wikimedia Foundation does not assert, does not want, and does not have any authorship rights or copyright claim to the material submitted by the editors of Wikipedia (the authors). If you're not willing to believe the other editors here or the plain language of our own copyrights policy, I would strongly recommend that you ask the Foundation or its counsel (User:MGodwin) about this.
As the policy states quite clearly: "If you contribute material to Wikipedia, you thereby license it to the public under the GFDL.... In order to contribute, you must be in a position to grant this license, which means hold the copyright to the material, for instance because you produced it yourself.... In [this] case, you retain copyright to your materials." TenOfAllTrades(talk) 15:52, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
And the policy is quite correct, it does not contradict what I say in any way. But once again, let's not have the same discussion in multiple places. Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 16:53, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
What are you talking about? The quoted section of policy directly contradicts your claims. Algebraist 16:54, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Please follow the link provided by Flatscan. Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 17:29, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, please do. :) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 18:19, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

I sometimes forget this myself, but failure to mention the origin of a block of copy-pasted text indeed violates the GFDL. This is a nightmare especially for anyone wishing to mirror part of Wikipedia. It is in practice impossible to legally re-destribute Wikipedia in any other form than as the full database, including all edit histories. This is ignored in practice, I have yet to see any Wikipedia mirror that gives me credit for the pieces I authored. This is strictly illegal, but I doubt anyone is going to go to court over it. --dab (𒁳) 15:23, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Static is fully compliant (check out the attribution at the bottom of each page). Algebraist 15:28, 11 December 2008 (UTC)


If anyone can edit the content of this "encyclopedia", then the accuracy of its content is in question and cannot be reliable. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:58, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

  • Have a look at Wikipedia:FAQ/Overview#How_do_you_know_if_the_information_is_correct.3F and Wikipedia:Replies to common objections. You shouldn't blindly trust information, not on Wikipedia, but not elsewhere either. Anyone can make a website, so you never know if what it says is correct. In the past for example IMDB has been plagued by rumors and hoaxes. If you read an article on Wikipedia, look for the references and read those to check if they confirm what the article says. When you know where the information came from, you can assess if you deem the reference source reliable yourself. -- Mgm|(talk) 09:23, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Reopened: Talk page guidelines: Should IPs be allowed to remove warnings from their talk pages?[edit]

Wikipedia_talk:Talk_page_guidelines#Anonymous-IP_address_warning_deletions is a new discussion to revisit the current wording of Wikipedia:Talk_page_guidelines#User_talk_pages:

Users may freely remove comments from their own talk pages, though archiving is preferred. They may also remove some content in archiving. The removal of a warning is taken as evidence that the warning has been read by the user. This specifically includes both registered and anonymous users.

the bold part of which was added last April 19. This was previously discussed on WP:AN/I and Wikipedia_talk:Talk_page_guidelines on March 9, here and here.

There are merits to allowing IP addresses to blank "their" talk pages and merits to not allowing it.

Please participate in the current discussion. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 19:59, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Battle of Iwo Jima - Raising the flag of policy creep[edit]

NOTE: There is a letter allowing use of this image on Wikipedia. Soundvisions1 (talk) 14:28, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

I am amused by User:Megapixie's edit here, as he has now removed the exact example used in the policy WP:NFC#Unacceptable use Images # 4 to illustrate when fair-use is allowed, with the edit summary ""Raising the flag" is NOT fair use in this context - per Policy. Replacing with another suitable image." This must be something of a record in the annals of policy creep. Johnbod (talk) 22:57, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Not sure you're right here Johnbod. The image is OK for Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, which is an article about the image and is the example given at WP:NFC. Using it in Battle of Iwo Jima would be hard to justify and I think its removal is correct. CIreland (talk) 23:50, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
The policy linked to above says (as what is unacceptable) "An image whose subject happens to be a war, to illustrate an article on the war, unless the image has achieved iconic status as a representation of the war or is historically important in the context of the war (e.g. Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima)." That seems very clear to me. It is not talking about an article on the image, but "an article on the war", and the case is surely even stronger for an article on the actual battle. Johnbod (talk) 23:57, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure the image should have been removed per WP:UCS...Modernist (talk) 23:55, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
I read that as using Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima as being the article where the use is justified, but I can see the other interpretation too. Regardless, I don't see the need (per minimal use) to use it in the battle article when it refers to the image article anyway. (Oh, and by the way, if you decide to replace it, it needs a FUR.) CIreland (talk) 00:05, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm afraid that is just not what the policy example says. Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima is an article on a photo, not a war. The "iconic status as a representation of the war or is historically important in the context of the war" is completely irrelevant to the article on the photo, as fair use is justified there by the textual discussion of the image etc. Johnbod (talk) 03:39, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
Then the policy example is wrong, and needs to be clarified. It's a question of law. Using the image to illustrate war is "superseding the use of the original work" - it is using the image for exactly the purpose for which it was created, and exactly the purpose for which people have to pay royalties to AP. It is not fair use, per U.S. law.
To be justifiable as fair use, legally, the photograph has to be being used in a different way; for example, to make possible criticism or commentary of the photograph.
Further discussion is probably best centralised in the corresponding thread at WT:NFC. Jheald (talk) 10:49, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
Dose this have any bearing, since permission has been granted for use on WP, then it seems like a logical choice for a policy page. --Nate1481 11:37, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Another fair use debate has erupted[edit]

Over at Wikipedia_talk:Non-free_content#Severe_overuse_problem, a debate has erupted regarding the use of sports teams logos.

Crux of the argument: Should team logos be used on all articles having to do with a team, such as season, rivalry, and championship articles, or should they be limited to the specific article about the team and an article about the team's logos (if such exists).

Not surprisingly, the debate has spun out of control, and is running in circles. Enjoy. --Hammersoft (talk) 14:41, 12 December 2008 (UTC)




There is a problem distinguishing titles from subtitles in articles, which adds a element of confusion. Subtitles should be noticeably less dominant on a page, but what is now being used inverts that. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 13:06, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

I beg to differ - the horizontal line under Titles, clearly indicates that it is a higher level title than Subtitles. – ukexpat (talk) 17:23, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
The distinction may be clear to editors, but not necessarily to other readers. The subtitles actually have more visual weight than the heading titles, and that is not good. But, if you think I am wrong, that is ok too, and it will be just one more WP mess up. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 17:38, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
And who appointed you the final arbiter of web design? Mr.Z-man 19:14, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
I did! I also don't understand why third-level headings are twice as fat and bold and black as second-level. Maybe you do? Please, speak out the secret wisdom! NVO (talk) 21:43, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Please assume good faith and remember to remain civil. Little Red Riding Hoodtalk 22:34, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
I spend a lot of time thinking about how letters work on a page, and about page design, because it is my profession. I tried to point out what I understand to be a problem. The weight of the subtitles is heaver than the titles. That is inherently confusing. But if everyone wants it the way it now is, then it will stay the way it now is. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 00:14, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
I suppose the weight of the level 2 heading could be a bit bolder, but i think they are far more prominant on a page than subheadings (level 3) because of the line beneath them splits the page into sections. The weight of the text is secondary to the line and probably isn't really noticed by many people reading. Chris_huhtalk 11:00, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Certainly, the line does serve to split the text. But without a distinction in weight, I think there is confusion about what the division actually means. The relative visual weight of the letters is very important, and that is exactly why, in talk page discussion, editors are asked not use bold to emphasise their point. It really can seem like visual yelling. (Sorry about that.) Malcolm Schosha (talk) 20:55, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Internal Consistency Within Wikipedia[edit]

Is there an existing policy that Wikipedia should have internal consistency?

By this I mean that all articles referring to a particular topic should have the same, or similar definition/description of that topic, and that Wikipedia should not contradict itself.

If it does not exist, would such a policy be useful, or even possible? Riversider2008 (talk) 17:09, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

There are some guidelines (e.g. WP:MOS) that cover part of this.
Would it be useful to expand yes, possible probably not. Arnoutf (talk) 17:35, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
And there are some more specific MoS like WP:MOSBIO. – ukexpat (talk) 18:21, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
Beyond that, each wikiproject often has its own style guidelines such that articles that fall within a certain type will appear roughly similar. Resolute 19:12, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, I think the MOS is talking about internal consistency in terms of style, while my query is about internal consistency in terms of what it says is fact. Thus if one the wikipedia article on 'sky' we say 'the sky is blue', we do not put the sky into the category 'list of things that are yellow' - while this is a bit of a silly example, I've seen the same topic treated quite differently within different articles, almost, if not actually to the point where WP contradicts itself. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Riversider2008 (talkcontribs) 20:37, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, if they contradict each other, then one or the other is (or both are) wrong, right? Figure out which, and fix it (them). Getting it right is more important than getting it consistent.
Subject of course to the usual discussion about verifiability and truth yada yada yada. --Trovatore (talk) 22:26, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
The problem is that not all articles are read by the same experts. Take for example, the following 2 statements:
  1. All surviving members of the Afrotheria originate from South American or (mainly) African lineages – even the Indian elephant, which diverged from an African lineage about 7.6 million years ago. (From Evolution of mammals#Family tree of placental mammals according to molecular phylogenetics)
  2. Amebelodon is a member of a diverse group of primitive proboscideans called gomphotheres, a group that also gave rise to the modern elephants and their close relative the mammoth. Amebelodon first appeared in the Great Plains and Gulf Coast regions of North America during the late Miocene, roughly between 9 and 8 million years ago, ... (from Amebelodon)
The first clearly states that modern elephants come from an African lineage, and the second clearly states a North American lineage. (talk) 06:34, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, but no contradiction here. You have to read it carefully. The second text says that gomphotheres gave rise to elephants and mammooths. Amebelodon, as one member of the gomphotheres, has North-American origins. Presumably there are other members of gomphotheres that lived in South America and Africa were ancestral to the elephants. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 13:15, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
Whether there is a policy or not is pretty much irrelevant; articles didn't ought to contradict each other. I know too little about the topic mentioned above to judge whether this is a contradiction but if it is, you could add {{contradict-other|Name of article it contradicts}} to both articles and outline your concerns at the talk page. This would, at least, draw the attention of editors of one article to the other. CIreland (talk) 06:49, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
But when one of the articles is one which probably few people look at, and the other statement is about 2 thirds of the way through a 90 K long article, placing such headers on the two articles would probably do little good. (talk) 07:42, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
That's why you must also give a quick summary of the issue on the talk pages. CIreland (talk) 12:43, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
Whether or not the specific examples are true examples of what I'm talking about, I think it would be possible to find multiple examples of places where Wikipedia contradicts itself. Philosophically, I'd suggest that it would be impossible for it not to - in an analogy with mathematical systems that must always fail to have total internal consistency.
All Wikipedia policies in a sense are 'irrelevant', as they are simply a crystallisation of what good editors tend to do anyway. The fact that most editors see it as desirable that Wikipedia should not contradict itself suggests that this could be codified into a policy, on the lines of what CIreland has sugested here. Riversider2008 (talk) 15:36, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
WP policies reflect what good editors do anyway — but not everything they do anyway. It's important to guard against instruction creep.
In this case the suggestion would make bad policy because it shifts focus away from the real underlying good thing to be sought after, which is not internal consistency, but external consistency; that is, making the articles accurate, where "accurate" means what it usually does in a WP context (that is, accurately reflecting the range of views in reliable sources). Get that right, and internal consistency takes care of itself.
That said, if you come across two articles that contradict one another on a factual level, of course this should be brought to the attention of the articles' respective editors (assuming you don't feel competent to fix it yourself). Nice to know about the templates; they could come in handy. But let's keep at the forefront of our minds that the thing we want to fix is the inaccuracy, not the inconsistency. If you make the two articles consistent with one another by "fixing" the one that was originally correct, that's worse than nothing. A lot worse than nothing. --Trovatore (talk) 21:51, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • You named it! No, wikipedia does not have a specific editorial policy and no specific field within wikipedia is immune from disintegration. Some wikiprojects are closely policing "their" content, but there is alway a thousand or two of "their" articles that nobody cares about. Outside these wikiprojects there's near-perfect chaos. NVO (talk) 21:50, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Excessive deletionism[edit]

The Not a ballot template clearly states that deletion decisions are made on the merits of the arguments.

Since this discussion started the template has been edited to remove the phrase deletion decisions are made on the merits of the arguments Delaszk (talk) 15:16, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

And yet in the Deletion review we find Admins saying the exact opposite: "It is not a competitive debate that is "won" or "lost" on the strength of arguments." and "I'm not aware that it's called a debate." Wikipedia:Deletion review/Log/2008 November 19#Allele

Given the enormous waste of time and energy that vexatious deletions cause, the Not a ballot should be more publicized and all admins reminded of it. Creation is hard work. Deletion is too easy. Delaszk (talk) 20:05, 11 December 2008 (UTC) (uncivil comments removed) Delaszk (talk) 15:12, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

I don't quite agree with what Stifle said at deletion review.. but this may be due to not liking his specific words more than a legitimate difference of opinion - I can't quite tell. As for "Deletion crazed admins are ruining wikipedia".. evidence? So far what I see here is deletion review working like it's supposed to. Friday (talk) 20:13, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
I am not an admin, but do admit to being a natural deletionist. The AfDs I have seen and been a part of tend to go on the flow of the argument, rather than a vote count, but in some cases consensus will lie with the majority view. AfDs sometimes go against my opinion, but for every close call there are many other sensible decisions. With Deletion Review working pretty well, too, I am hesitant at the door of creating yet more red-tape for the project to knit...doktorb wordsdeeds 20:22, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
I see no evidence of a systemic problem, but the comments in question do appear to indicate that the closing admin either does not understand policy or simply chose poor wording, so it might be worth following up on an individual level with that person. SDY (talk) 20:23, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

So let me get this straight - DRV worked exactly as it's supposed to and the article in question, Allele (band), has been restored, yet Delaszk is here complaining of "deletion crazed admins" with their "stupid comments" who "are ruining Wikipedia"?? Let me assure all of you: What is ruining Wikipedia is a complete lack of respect for WP:CIVIL that is driving many long-time contributors away. Why we continue to tolerate this kind of behaviour I honestly have no idea. — Satori Son 20:49, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Couldn't have said it better. --Kbdank71 20:55, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Stuff like this always makes me smile. People "outside" Wikipedia routinely mock the amount of crud, cruft and fanwankery we carry, to the point that it has become something of a running joke. It's only within Wikipedia that people seriously argue against removing such articles. (As it happens I tend to favour retention, I just don't believe in the Great Evil Plot). CIreland (talk) 21:01, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

The question is all too often: who gets to declare that a consensus has been reached, and what it is? Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 23:18, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
My argument here about those complaining about the fan cruft and less "serious" articles (BTW, this includes many of the Wikimedia sister projects as well) is that those tend to attract a great many more casual editors to join into the debate and cut their teeth on project policies and editing procedures. I would rather have a new editor join in with their first edits to Darth Vader than to jump immediately into Barack Obama... to give something of an example here. I have, over the great many years that I've edited Wikipedia and been involved with open-source encyclopedias (going all of the way back to Nupedia BTW), seen these folks who join in on the less serious stuff to eventually get into the "serious" articles and make incredibly useful contributions to the project as a whole.
Yeah, I'm an inclusionist. There certainly is some cruft that certainly can be deleted as pure drivel and I don't mind removing stuff that is entirely original research or is hopelessly POV with no potential to introduce a NPOV standard to the article. Still, I also assert that far too much is getting removed from Wikipedia, the duration of AfDs is far, far too short in most cases, and questions of notability are arbitrarily applied... usually by admins that know nothing about the topic or what might even be notable in a broader category of similar subjects. Yes, I can give plenty of examples where some user/admin pushed hard for deletion only to be hammered very hard when they question notability... and other situations where the "community" wasn't even aware of the AfD in the first place. And don't tell me that reversing a decision to delete is easy here... on the contrary, it is much, much harder to "undelete" something (and get the undeletion to stick) than it is to delete something in the first place.
The danger here is to ignore the fresh blood of new contributors... and the potential they can offer. By driving off new users and slamming good-faith efforts before they can be developed makes everything we do here harder to accomplish... and encourages the development and "training" of vandals that we all love to hate.--Robert Horning (talk) 18:52, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for your thoughtful exposition, Robert. As someone who most definitely started contributing to Wikipedia through the crufty fringe (witness my rather frivolous alias) and is still slowly moving on to better things (despite persistent frustration and discouragement by the issue at hand), I find myself agreeing with your analysis with unwonted and refreshing wholeheartedness. Nude Amazon (talk) 02:27, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Not meaning to belittle Satori's rather sweeping generalization, but as a reasonably conscientious contributor of several years' standing (does that make me a sufficiently longtime contributor?), if I were asked to name the one major source of frustration that has come close to making me feel like leaving, it is the ease with which some editors "contribute" by constantly removing information that is not triple ironclad enough. Anyone thinking I'm just whining is cordially invited to check out my recently archived request for comment which was mostly ignored, apparently largely because it challenged people's attention span, so I'm not going to reiterate all of it. Those who feel it would be intellectually honest to revisit the argument are welcome to find it in the archives. For those who feel it's all about soundbites anyway, I don't think I can better Delaszk: "Creation is hard work. Deletion is too easy." If that seems like an uncivil observation to some, all I can say is that perfunctorily junking whole sections that other contributors have worked on for weeks does not strike me as the epitome of courtesy either. Please note I am not commenting about the specific article that started this discussion but about the general unresolved issue I believe it has raised. Nude Amazon (talk) 05:49, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

AFDs like this will end up at DRV either way. If an admin closes the debate against the majority, it'll be DRVd for going against consensus, and if an admin closes the debate against the arguments that are considered "stronger" for some reason, it'll be DRVd because "AFD is not a vote". All this discussion and argument is going to do is discourage people from closing AFDs, which is counterproductive. Stifle (talk) 09:58, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Oh, and I invite Delaszk to refactor/redact xis assumptions of bad faith. Stifle (talk) 09:59, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
I still find it very difficult to understand why discouraging people from potentially destroying useful information is self-evidently counterproductive? Barring vandalism (which may add text but does not add information), any edits that add information are more likely to increase the value and usefulness of Wikipedia than edits that remove information. If something is worth doing it is worth doing badly to begin with, which is a useful stepping stone giving others (or the same person at a later time when they have had the opportunity to further research the topic) the opportunity to do it well. If the bridge is blown up in the meantime for being too rickety, nobody will end up crossing it. How is that productive? Nude Amazon (talk) 12:17, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
First of all, Nude Amazon, I think we simply have a difference in philosophy. I strongly disagree with your assertion that “Barring vandalism…, any edits that add information are more likely to increase the value and usefulness of Wikipedia than edits that remove information.” To paraphrase William Blackstone, “Better that ten articles do not have enough information, than that one article contain false information.” I believe it is more important to be accurate than to be comprehensive, but that is simply my humble personal opinion and anyone here is free to disagree with it, which I suspect you do. Someday, I hope Wikipedia will be accurate and comprehensive, and this worthy debate will be moot.
More importantly, however, was my point that someone came to this forum acting extremely rudely and disrespectfully, and no one said anything about it. I find that yet another sad example of our declining standards of civility. I might disagree with you on our standards of inclusion, but I do not call you "crazed" or your opinions "stupid". A project of this massive scope and size can only work if we treat each other with respect and common courtesy, and the widespread acceptance of uncivil behavior is a crucial issue we are going to have to address seriously at some point. — Satori Son 14:29, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Many thanks to Delaszk for refactoring their comments. — Satori Son 16:19, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for your thoughtful response, Satori. I am afraid we will have to agree to disagree on this one. I do prefer information, even potentially false information, to no information, for the simple reason that absence of data breaks the thread of research, whereas false data merely diverts it, with every expectation that in the course of further research it will get back on track (and in my personal experience at least invariably does). Wikipedia will never be the gold standard or the last word on anything, nor will any other encyclopedia (being by definition a summary of knowledge). It serves as a starting point and a catalyst. It exists to save time and effort in pursuing a line of research by making available the fruits of the labor of others who have gone this way before. This has always been its usefulness to me. To remove information that someone else put their time and effort into contributing is a form of disrespect that may not be as socially offensive as incivility, but that I find deplorable all the same. Nude Amazon (talk) 02:27, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
  • The admins that made the comments cited in the opening of this discussion should be educated. Every possible page on deletion says it's not a vote. It even went so far that we had "Votes for deletion" renamed to avoid confusion. We don't need red blinking banners, but if there's a more visible place this can be put (and isn't yet), I don't oppose the idea. - Mgm|(talk) 12:46, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Seems to me that potentially controversial deletes (in fact, any significant and likely-to-be-contested closures of debates) ought to be handled more cautiously, by doing one or both of the following: (1) inviting a few uninvolved users to make up a closure panel, so that the judgement is not just that of one person; (2) engaging in dialogue before making the closure, i.e. stating how you're minded to close the debate and on what grounds, so that those involved have a chance to point out errors/omissions in your reasoning. But I also agree with those above who point out that we need to enforce high standards of civility in all our discussions.--Kotniski (talk) 14:52, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Something like that is done for close RFAs. It's called "crat chat". If an RFA can go either way, then instead of one bureaucrat making the call on his own, several crats discuss how best to close it. --Ron Ritzman (talk) 18:19, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
<saracasm>More wikibureaucracy is exactly what we need.</sarcasm> DRV exists to review deletions so why further complicate the Afd process? – ukexpat (talk) 15:14, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
DRV is the bureaucratic way of doing it, what I'm suggesting is a way of possibly avoiding that bureaucracy and doing it the human way.--Kotniski (talk) 15:38, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
But what you are suggesting is more process wonkery - if an admin's deletion decision in an Afd is thought to be wrong, DRV exists to discuss it. So let a single admin make their decision based on the Afd discussion, and it can be taken to DRV if necessary. – ukexpat (talk) 16:47, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't see what's wonkerish about hoping to settle a matter correctly through one process rather than two (particularly when the second one is as arcane as DRV). Perhaps the most important thing, though, is to avoid pissing off new editors. Having your article deleted is never going to be nice, but psychologically it's nicer to have a chat with the doctor before the operation than after (if that metaphor makes sense).--Kotniski (talk) 17:17, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
"so that those involved have a chance to point out errors/omissions in your reasoning" - Why not just make the AFD last 10 days then? This is basically suggesting that the people doing the closing involve themselves in the discussion. We generally try to avoid this. Its generally seen as improper for someone involved in the discussion to close the debate. The bit about "pissing off new editors" doesn't make much sense. How often is an AFD for an article created by a new editor a controversial one? From my experience, the controversial ones are articles that have been around for a long time or are on one side of a big POV dispute, not the kind of things that a new user creates in their first couple weeks of editing. Mr.Z-man 19:06, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, there are many possible scenarios, I'm not saying the suggested actions would be appropriate in more than a small minority of cases. However it's the "someone involved the discussion shouldn't close the debate" idea that I think needs revisiting. Obviously by closing the debate you become involved in it in a sense; what we actually mean is that someone with strong views about or personal involvement in the issue shouldn't be the one to decide it. That doesn't exclude the possibility of dialogue between the closer and the participants before closure occurs; nor is there any reason why a closing judgement should always be made by a single person. To avoid boring people any further with this here, I'll write an essay sometime explaining the kind of situations I have in mind.--Kotniski (talk) 09:55, 13 December 2008 (UTC)