Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 63

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There's a dispute at WT:RFC#RfC.2FUser_time that could use more opinions -- any third opinion, to be precise.

The background is this: after having a semi-active (at best) RfC/U closed five days after last activity on the sole grounds that 30 days had elapsed since the RfC/U was begun, and realizing (again) that the 30-day timer that the bot uses to remove presumed-stale article RfCs was being strangely applied to dispute resolution for user behavior, I boldly added what I expected to be an utterly non-controversial statement to WP:RFC/U recently: "There is no specific time limit on RFC/U discussions." My reasons for believing this statement to be true are:

  1. that the rules for closing discussions (which have not changed since originally drafted in March 2004) have never specified a 30-day timer,
  2. that the actual practice for RfC/U pages used to be 30 days since last significant activity, not 30 days since original filing,
  3. that even with the bot's automatic 30-day timer, any individual editor is allowed to extend article RfCs, and
  4. that it's pretty silly to close an active RfC/U just because 30 days have passed since it was started. (Note that very few RfC/U pages are active at that stage, but those few that are shouldn't have an arbitrary and artificial deadline hanging over their heads.)

Ncmvocalist (talk · contribs) (whose user page essay about the complaints directed at him for his involvement in Wikipedia's dispute resolution processes may be useful background information) promptly reverted the change and has proceeded to accuse me of gaming the system, tendentiousness, beating a dead horse, being foolish, going against the wishes of an unspecified administrator and an unspecified arbitrator -- in short, the usual bruising litany of an WP:OWNer without a rational argument to advance. I'm feeling pretty much abandoned by the community at this point. I don't mind if the community decides that mindless adherence to a calendar is the right solution, but I do mind the fact that not one single editor appears to have even noticed this nearly week-long unpleasantness. Perhaps the WP:RFC page isn't watched by very many people? Perhaps no one else is foolish enough to tangle with this editor?

If you have any opinion about whether dispute resolution through RfCs on user behavior should have a firm deadline, please go to WT:RFC#RfC.2FUser_time and express your opinion. You don't have to agree with me, and you don't have to stick around to argue with anyone, but I'd like to move this argument out of a "yes, it is/no, it isn't" mode by getting other views. Thanks, WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:45, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Mandatory Registration

I recently read somewhere (I forget where) that there was a movement afoot to require registration for editing Wikipedia. I don't find any discussion about that here, though. Am I looking in the wrong place? Has it come up and been dispensed with?

For the record, I support this. I seem to spend about half my WP time cleaning up after IP vandals.... Mark Shaw (talk) 15:48, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

It comes up every so often, and is defeated every time. See Wikipedia:Perennial proposals#Prohibit anonymous users from editing, Wikipedia:Editors should be logged in users, Wikipedia:Disabling edits by unregistered users and stricter registration requirement, meta:Anonymous_users_should_not_be_allowed_to_edit_articles and no doubt other places. Algebraist 15:53, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
WP:PEREN. It's been argued and rejected so many times I have lost count. I suppose with enough argument though, consensus might change. Resolute 15:55, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

WP:FICT status

Recently there was a third* RfC: Wikipedia_talk:Notability_(fiction)/Archive_49#Final_adoption_as_a_guideline which failed again to gain consensus as a guideline. This page has been proposed for months and months. Is there anyway to formerly make WP:FICT something other than proposed, such as failed or historical or an essay? I would prefer fresh responses from editors who did not vote in the WP:FICT RfC please. Ikip (talk) 19:41, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

An essay about "Criticism" pages

This issue has been raised at the BLP page recently, and it is not a new one. An essay on the topic is here User:Somedumbyankee/Criticismofcriticism.

It recommends that "Criticism of..." pages be removed, retitled, or merged, even against consensus, because of the nature of the page. A consensus convinced of WP:TRUTH can shout down WP:NPOV, and that should not be allowed, however popular it might be. SDY (talk) 04:15, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure where you'd prefer to discuss this issue, as that essay is in your own userspace (and thus not the best place to discuss policy), so I'll assume that you'd like to discuss it here. :)
Honestly? While although I can understand where you're coming from, and will concede that 'criticism of' pages sometimes go way too far, I don't think it's a good idea to get rid of them universally.
It seems to me that these are your primary concerns (tell me if I'm wrong):
  • They're one-sided.
  • They tend to inherently have a negative (and thus, not neutral) tone.
  • Any information worth retaining should be incorporated into the articles about the original topics.
All of those are valid concerns, buuut... could not the same be said of, for example, Political_positions_of_Barack_Obama? (other than changing 'negative' to 'positive')
The article almost exclusively contains only what he claims to believe (with criticisms being limited to cases where he then had a counter-argument). The article mentions his distaste for lobbyists, but doesn't even address the existence of criticisms of a possible double-standard in that regard. (keep in mind that I'm not making any judgements pro or con obama here. I'm simply acknowledging that the article only includes what he claims to believe, not instances of people challenging his sincerity with those issues)
And yet, I don't see it as a problem.
In the most general sense, here is where I can see a justification for view-specific articles: When the material would be valid in the original subject's article, but would be too long to be included in said article.
And, when the material is directly relevant to overall notability and nature of the figure. Sooo... since Obama is a politician, it makes sense that there's an article dedicated solely to his stated political views. Dissent may belong elsewhere, but it's good to have a repository of positions relating to his politics.
Similarly, though I don't think there's currently one, I'd argue that a Criticism of Ann Coulter article would be very much warranted. Not because she deserves a negative (or positive) tone, but simply because the very nature of her career has been defined by intentionally provoking backlashes against her. (I think my favourite was when she suggested that Canada was lucky to be allowed to "exist on the same continent" as the US. Obviously, the only alternative would be the genocide of about 30 million people.) She veeery obviously simply wants to provoke debate, or controversy, or some other response. And she wouldn't have a career otherwise. So, yeah, it would make sense to document that response, as it's integral to why she's even still a public figure.
So, my suggestion would not be to make such a sweeping change to policy as to outright ban an entire field of article, but rather to crack down on specific articles that go too far.
I would argue that any criticisms directly related to why the subject is notable (politics, writings, whatever), that would be considered notable within the context of the original subject's article, but which would contribute to excessive length in that article, is fair game. Anything that wouldn't be notable or pertinent in the original article should be excised. (talk) 04:58, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
This isn't policy, just an opinion. My problem is that these entries are well-researched opinion pieces and not encyclopedia articles. An article about a candidate's political views may be dubious, but it does not give inherent value to those views unless written as a sales pitch or in loaded language (which are obviously forbidden for exactly the same reason as I'm objecting to pages devoted to criticism). Conservatives and liberals would describe Obama's views using different language and have different conclusions about the value of those views, but I think that they would agree he is in favor of federal intervention for the current economy. Biased articles are already banned. The enforcement on that ban is spotty sometimes, and it may simply be an electronic tiger, but they are banned nonetheless. I am simply invoking WP:DUCK on the "Criticism of..." articles. SDY (talk) 05:12, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
Urgh... please don't link to an essay when already talking about another essay. :)
Seriously though, I think it all boils down to this:
  • Criticism in general does need to be included for some topics. Neutrality doesn't mean sticking your head in the sand and pretending that nobody has a single criticism or praise about a subject. It means including all notable and pertinent viewpoints on a subject. (I did however, like the suggestion on the obama page about using 'views on' instead of 'criticism of') When talking about carbon offsets, could one possibly justify omitting all discussion about whether or not they're a good idea? When talking about climate change, could one possibly justify taking out the arguments supporting and denying it, just to ensure that it's neutral? Obviously not.
  • If one assumes that an encyclopedia should actually contain, um, all the verifiable and notable information on a subject, is there any specific reason that an article should be forced to be unmanageably large, just to keep all the positive and negative stuff in the same page?
The fact is, good or bad, topics are broken up onto multple related pages all the time. It's just how things are done. In and of itself, I just don't see a problem with that.
The only alternatives I can see are to either cut down an incredible amount of information just to make things shorter, or to make some articles absurdly huge. (talk) 05:35, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
Major and notable criticisms should be within the article itself. If they aren't major and notable enough for the main article, there are a few options. If those criticisms are obscure or marginal (i.e. the argument that nuclear winter makes other factors for climate change irrelevant), then we can just ignore them. The article need not include a list of all possible opinions about a topic, just the important ones. WP:NOTBATTLEGROUND is relevant here-we are not here to detail every point and counterpoint. For notable opinions that are just too specific for the main article and with a complicated topic where there are many important criticisms, there are usually many pages. Criticisms of Obama's policies could be covered under an article like Foreign policy of the Barack Obama administration or an equivalent full article where it has appropriate weight for the subtopic covered by the article. SDY (talk) 06:06, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

A criticism article in Encyclopedia Britannica is one thing; I don't know if any actually exist but it would be encyclopedic I'm sure. Criticism articles on WP, even if started with the best of intentions (usually splitting off a long Criticism section, which is where the problem starts) devolve almost inevitably into a magnet for WP:COATRACKing. But anybody who attracts so much notable, significant criticism to make a Criticism article seem a good idea should also have related articles on their work where it can be included in its proper context. Rd232 talk 01:48, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

Related discussion (RfC) at WT:CFORK#Prior history. --Francis Schonken (talk) 18:12, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Icons in sidebars

Resolved: Discussion continues at MOSICON – ukexpat (talk) 21:06, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Several articles, such as Direct examination, Age of Enlightenment and Marxism, feature sidebars with icons in them. User:Gnevin has removed several icons from sidebars, citing WP:ICONDECORATION. I would like clarification regarding whether this removal is appropriate. SharkD (talk) 07:45, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

  • He removed images from infoboxes. Those clearly weren't icons. So, no. -- Mgm|(talk) 10:19, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
  • The earlier removals on sports templates/articles appears to be valid though. - Mgm|(talk) 10:24, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
The icons in the infoboxes where just generic icons, where as the image in the example above have direct relevance Gnevin (talk) 11:56, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
They're being used for an identical purpose: as icons. To say that one or another are more relevant is inaccurate. SharkD (talk) 12:23, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
One is a picture of Marx the other is a generic icon, Clearly the picture of marx has a lot more relevance than some random icon found in /usr/share/icons . Also this discussion should be at WT:MOSICON or Wikipedia:Village pump (policy) Gnevin (talk) 12:29, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
I have to disagree with you when you say the icons are not relevant. I think the icons adequately represent the subject matter they are trying to portray. Any user can understand how an icon can and the article subject can are linked together. Also, only one of the examples I linked to features an image of Marx. SharkD (talk) 19:59, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree with SharkD. I just added comments related to this issue here [1]. Oicumayberight (talk) 22:07, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

If they allow a reader to quickly identify what the article is about by visual information (e.g., the scales symbolizing law in the direct examination article) then they are useful and not merely decorative. Postdlf (talk) 20:05, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

More quickly and clearly than visual information convey in the form of words ? Gnevin (talk) 20:26, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't understand your question. Postdlf (talk) 20:28, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, particularly when multiple articles are grouped together under a common heading. Otherwise, readers would have to read the entire article to determine whether two topics are related to each other. SharkD (talk) 20:31, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
But the templates all have This article is part of x series . The icon don't help achieve this Gnevin (talk) 22:58, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Gnevin is violating the discussion at WT:Manual of Style (icons) surrounding the expansion of this guideline from flags to other icons. Many editors were opposed to the expansion as unnecessary instruction creep. To gather support for this move, it was agreed that

1. The guideline would cover only icons that are pure decoration, i.e., that have no relation to the subject of the article. These icons are not pure decoration, they are directly relevant to the subjects at hand.

2. A consensus would need to be made that the icons are only decorative before they are removed. He unilaterally removed them. Bold yes, but it needs to go back until he gathers a consensus at the involved project page to remove them. He should not cite the guideline (not a policy, mind you) as such a consensus.

As someone who was involved in the expansion of this guideline from flags to other icons, I can tell you that this expansion was curtailed in the manner that I described above. He has ignored the caveats we imposed on removal.--2008Olympianchitchat 21:42, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

The guideline like all on wiki is subjective .I am just applying it in the way I think has agreement. Can you point me too where these caveats have been added to WP:MOSICON ? I removed them as per WP:BRD. Gnevin (talk) 22:58, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
It doesn't even require a MOS guide to just delete images as per WP:BRD for subjective reasons. So what purpose does the MOS guide serve? Oicumayberight (talk) 23:19, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
The discussion to which I refer is on the talk page. You got a consensus from the Congress wikiproject before you removed the icons from their templates, please continue that behavior.--2008Olympianchitchat 23:24, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

This discussion has been duplicated at MOSICON can you please continue it their Gnevin (talk) 23:45, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

BLP subjects requesting article deletion

Resolved: discussion continues at WT:Articles for deletion  – ukexpat (talk) 21:03, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

I normally don't get involved with BLP issues, but I somehow got involved with the recent debacle of Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Rod Dreher 2, which had tentacles at both WP:AN (by me) and Jimmy Wales' talk page (by the alleged BLP subject). In short, after several requests for the alleged BLP subject to email the Wikimedia Foundation to establish his identity, and after several contributors to the AfD (on both sides of the keep/delete debate) automatically assumed the nominator was the BLP subject, several users finally determined (by emailing the BLP subject at a verifiable email address) that the user was an impersonator, and the AfD was speedy kept as a bad faith nomination.

So, should we revise the AfD policies for the specific case where a BLP subject requests deletion? My proposal:

  1. All BLP AfD's made by someone purporting to be the article subject should be immediately closed as "pending identification of nominator as article subject."
    1. A blatantly obvious impersonator (e.g., username "Michael Jackson") would be immediately closed as a bad faith nomination and appropriate block(s) made.
    2. In the case of an uncertain impersonation, replace the AfD tag on the article with a tag indicating that deletion has been suggested, but pending verification of the request's validity.
  2. The nominator would be requested on his/her talk page to contact the Wikimedia Foundation via e-mail from a verifiable email address or in the case of a person who has a publicly available email address, an administrator or bureaucrat email that person to verify that he/she is indeed requesting deletion of his/her Wikipedia article.
  3. If there is no timely response (5 days?), or if impersonation is verified, close the AfD as a "bad faith nomination" and block accordingly.
  4. If nominator is confirmed as the BLP subject, re-open the debate.

I should note that another user expressed some good ideas at the discussion on WP:AN. I have copied his/her post verbatim from that board below, with one minor formatting change. KuyaBriBriTalk 18:23, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

(begin copied text)

Is this a good spot to review Lessons Learned?

This might happen again. Possible ways to prevent it:

  1. Don't let an editor with the user name of the BLP propose an AfD without verification of that user name first. Otherwise, sympathy for the BLP can interfere with the judgment of the AfD participants.
  2. Don't wait to block an editor with the user name of a BLP. Block first, then let the person clear the name with the WP office. Block before the editor does damage to the BLP's reputation. This doesn't need to be spelled out. In order not to be too rough on a real notable person who opens an account under his or her own name, when the block is done it should be done very, very politely, perhaps with a super polite template. No harm in that. That's all I can think of. Perhaps other people have ideas. -- Noroton (talk) 17:08, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

(end copied text)

Since I posted the words above at A/N, I looked up the policy about using real names of people. It's worth looking at: WP:REALNAME. Perhaps that policy should be changed to encourage admins to immediately block any editor with the name of a well-known person who is trying to influence Wikipedia coverage of that person without first having confirmed their identity with the WP office. The automatic sympathy generated for the subject of a BLP is an underhanded way for imposters to game the system. A super-polite template for these kinds of blockings would be a good idea for the cases where the editor and BLP are actually the same person. -- Noroton (talk) 01:40, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
This could have happened with any username, it is the claim to be the subject of the article that caused the disruption; if the user had made it clear that they were not the subject this would have been like any other AFD by a new user. One problem is although BLP subjects have been impersonated before, the deletion discussion continued despite the lack of confirmation - I agree with KuyaBriBri, that there should be a way of putting AFDs on hold in circumstances such as this. —Snigbrook 21:06, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
An alternate approach is to say that an article may not be nominated for deletion by a user who claims to be the subject of that article. They would have to nominate it using a different account. This would allow the article to be considered on its own merits (I hope we're not giving BLP subjects any special control over their own articles). Whether the user is an impersonator or not is not an issue, BLP policy is not about how the subject feels (e.g. BLP subjects frequently attempt to remove well-sourced negative material, which we don't allow). Dcoetzee 21:36, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
Whether the subject requests deletion is relevant, as it is mentioned in Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons#Deletion and Wikipedia:Deletion policy#Deletion discussion as something that should be considered. —Snigbrook 23:43, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Kuyabribri's suggestions, except for 1.1, which I think is problematic in that admins don't need to be distinguishing between obvious and possible impersonators. I think that's just too difficult, and the decision to block should be made quickly, since the editor could be making the BLP subject look bad (the Rod Dreher impersonator was posting on Jimbo Wales' high profile talk page, for instance, and could have done a lot worse). I'm curious, can admins immediately tell if some editor who claims to be a well-known person is, in fact, that person? Is there a list put out by the WP office somewhere that admins can check immediately, even when the WP office is closed? If not, I think there should be. Or perhaps some kind of mark that can be put on the user's talk page to show that confirmation. Also, anyone trying to nominate a BLP for deletion, while claiming to be that person, should be blocked if their identity is not confirmed. WP:REALNAME states that it's very possible that this could happen, but it should be automatic if an AfD is started on the BLP. -- Noroton (talk) 01:50, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

I have transcluded this discussion to WT:Articles for deletion per suggestion at my talk page. Please continue the discussion there. Thank you. KuyaBriBriTalk 13:54, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Wiki material in a magazine

Resolved: ukexpat (talk) 21:02, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

A question to those who know more than I about GFDL:

I'm writing an article for a US magazine, 8 pages, of which 2 are a separate "article within an article", composed of text and photos from Wikipedia. This is what the GNU license calls an "aggregate", i.e. the 2 pages are GNU licensed and "free for all", the rest are not, and under my and the publisher's copyright. Quite OK, and the wiki stuff will be clearly separated from my own. However, the GNU license with all references to cover pages etc. is way too complicated!

My question is this: Is it enough to state that the material is "from Wikipedia article "XXX", GNU license", or must there be a www-link to the license itself? It is totally impossible to print the whole license in the article!

Greetings, --Janke | Talk 07:37, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

Have you taken a look at WP:REUSE? – ukexpat (talk) 13:49, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
(ec) You can ignore everything in the GFDL that refers to cover texts and invariant sections, since Wikipedia articles don't have them. You cannot, however, ignore the requirement that the full text of the license be included. If you don't print the full license in the magazine, then you are not complying with the license and are violating the copyright of the editors in question. Algebraist 13:52, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm sure the magazine won't print the full GNU license... However, I could include a www-link in a source statement within the article. Wouldn't that be OK? --Janke | Talk 15:06, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
(ec)Hi Janke - actually I think the cover page thing is the easy part, as Wikipedia does not make use of front covers or back covers as allowed in the GFDL. However, your magazine would have to include a copy of the GFDL license. This is detailed in Wikipedia:Verbatim copying#Printed Copies. There are other considerations, such as the page history section, which make it even more complicated. I would hope you could state something like, "This text is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License as provided in the appendix on page XXX" and then include the license in small print at the back of the magazine. However, I am far from an expert on this topic. I also found an example notice given at Wikipedia:Reusing Wikipedia content#Example notice, although that one seems intended for web sites. You may need to put something on the web anyway, because assuming you are printing over 100 copies you need to provide a machine readable version (also described at the Verbatim Copying page linked above). Lastly, don't forget to check the licensing of photos you include, which may or may not be under the GFDL. If they are, you can probably consider them collectively as a "collection", but if not, you need to comply with the licenses of those photos. Fletcher (talk) 14:09, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
I have contacted the authors of the photos, they have all given me permission, except for one, unreachable, but who has licensed the photo as CC-BY - then, just mentioning the name is enough, right? --Janke | Talk 15:06, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
Read the license. It'll tell you exactly what you have to do. Algebraist 16:15, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
I think he was asking here because the licenses are damned confusing! I found a PDF pamphlet here that details how to do attribution for Creative Commons. There are samples on p. 3 and pp. 6-7. It does seem quite a bit less onerous than the GFDL. Fletcher (talk) 17:32, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

This may be impossible depending on the article's history and number of contributors, but you could also try to contact directly the contributors of all of the article's text you want to use, and the authors of the photographs, and see if they will grant you separate permisssion to use their material. Contributors always retain full copyright and the ability to license their material under different terms. Postdlf (talk) 14:31, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

Impossible, yes. --Janke | Talk 15:06, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

PS: I've seen many examples of wiki text and photos used in print, with just a statement "Courtesy of Wikipedia"... But I do want to do something better, but I can NOT put the full license in the magazine. --Janke | Talk 15:08, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

Then what you do will be a copyright violation, and the magazine will be at risk of legal action. It's unlikely anyone will sue, but the possibility is there. Algebraist 15:13, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, we all know that there are plenty of examples of very poor respect for Wikipedia's licensing, but it doesn't make it a legal precedent. ;-) Diliff | (Talk) (Contribs) 15:20, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

The entire magazine itself would also have to be licensed under the GFDL, wouldn't it? Not just the pages that use GFDL-licensed material from Wikipedia. Postdlf (talk) 16:09, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

I don't think so. It would probably qualify as an aggregate, as the OP said. Algebraist 16:15, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
Heh, "probably". I've been trying to educate myself on the GFDL and it's very puzzling that no one seems to have a definite answer to the question, which would seem to be very important. In particular the definition of modified version in Section 1 seems to contradict the meaning of aggregate works in section 7. Although if there is ambiguity in the license I take it that would benefit re-users, as it would be hard to enforce a strict interpretation of an unclear license. Fletcher (talk) 17:59, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

Janke, you may be aware of this, but let me state plainly: Wikipedia itself is not a party you need to negotiate with, or a party that is empowered to negotiate on this stuff. I suggest that you take an approach that approximates communicating with all contributors to the article. Here's how I might approach it. Let's assume that there's a tremendous number of contributors, which sounds like it's the case. Hopefully, though, it's not too many to make a list of all contributors. Do that, and then using diffs, narrow down who are the main contributors who added the most text or made the most significant changes. Reorder your list roughly according to the size of the contribution. Now, draw a line somewhere on the list; this is where you make your own judgment, in concert with staff and/or legal counsel from the magazine. With everyone below the line, you are assuming that their contribution is so small that your republication will fall under "fair use," and you're not worried about them getting pissed at you or suing you.

Now, your list is a lot shorter, and hopefully manageable. Check each user page to see if they have already granted republishing rights that are more permissive than the GFDL; many editors put on their user page that they multi-license their contributions, or that they place their contributions into the public domain. You may be able to cross some names off the list at this stage. Now, contact everyone that's left, and ask if they grant you the right to republish their work. Explain what you're doing with it, and ask them to give you a response in writing.

Hopefully they all give you permission. If not, maybe you're comfortable taking the risk re: fair use with some of them.

YMMV, and IANAL ;) -Pete (talk) 19:16, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

    • CLOSURE:

I emailed the Press dept. of Wikipedia, explained that in my article, 2 pages (separated from the article proper) out of 8 pages total are wiki material. My question was:

Is it enough to state that the material is "from Wikipedia article "XXX", GNU license", or must there be a www-link to the license itself? It is totally impossible to print the whole license in the article!

I received a timely answer from legal-en(at) :

I understand and sympathize with your frustrations. The GFDL is not the most ideal of licenses. In this case, fortunately, simply providing a link to the license will be acceptable.

So, the problem is solved, at least for this author and this particular circumstance... --Janke | Talk 20:41, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

A Question about Non-Free Content and Fair Use

Before you ask, yes, I've gone through the article, WP:IUP, and WP:F. However, I'm confused as to when limited use of copyrighted material without requiring permission from the rights holders and the boundary of "limited" use. Cheers. Imperat§ r(Talk) 21:39, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Is there any copyrighted material in particular you're interested in? It sounds like you've already read all the generalities advice we've got, so something specific would probably be more useful to you. Algebraist 21:43, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, the primary problem is as to the term "limited". Is that up to interpretation, or is there already a set boundary? Cheers, 21:52, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
The image basicaly have to comply with all 10 criteria laid out in the policy section of WP:NONFREE, if you take a critical look on the intended use of the image and believe in good faith that most people would agree all 10 criteria are satisfied then go ahead and write a rationale for that article on the image page explaining your reasoning for why the image is needed there, and put it in. If in doubht that's probably a sign you should err on the side of not adding the image. --Sherool (talk) 18:40, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Infoboxes, sidebars and images in lead

Related to the discussion above, I'd like to propose that infoboxes and sidebars be prioritized over unadorned images in the lead sections of articles. The reasoning being that I think infoboxes and sidebars look more professional, and that they provide more general information at a glance to someone who is merely scanning the lead sections of articles. The lead sections of articles tend not to go into sufficient depth to properly describe an image and its importance/relevance to a topic. Further, I think that they should be prioritized in this order: infoboxes, sidebars, images. Please reply with your opinion. SharkD (talk) 03:39, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

I think most sidebars should be dispensed with entirely and that images always, always, always would be better. I also think there are a lot articles where infoboxes don't work at all and people are picking infoboxes with pointless data (and pointless repeats of info found in the first sentence of the lead). So, no, I disagree entirely. DreamGuy (talk) 21:12, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

What is the policy relating to the redirects to Manual of Style?

What is the policy relating to the redirects to Manual of Style?

Until recently we had the redirects 'MOS:UNLINKYEARS' and 'MOS:UNLINKDATES' pointed at: Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style_(dates_and_numbers)#Linking_and_autoformatting_of_dates

However, an editor recently changed the redirects so they didn't point at the MOS, they now point at: Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Date_delinking#Temporary_injunction

Thus editors will find two different outcomes depending on how they try to access the MOS. I would not worry if the text were identical in both cases, but it isn't. What is the policy on using redirects in this way? Lightmouse (talk) 13:11, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

  • Since you've brought this up in a "general policy" kinda way, I'd like to go on record as saying that I think we should get rid of MOS: redirects altogether. It's ironic that we use cross-namespace redirects to access our manual of style which itself probably speaks out against cross-namespace redirects. –xeno (talk) 13:18, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
  • I think we have to stop creating cross-namespace redirects as well and send the existing ones to RfD. It's weird for me that some of these redirects survive RfD. If the redirect remains, I think Lighmouse is right. The redirect has to target the manual. A short notice about the arbitration can be put there (if there isn't already). -- Magioladitis (talk) 15:44, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

It May be Time to Shut this Down

[I mistakenly posted this to the proposals page. My apologies.]

I'm not a huge Wikipedia user, although I use it occasionally, and have even made some small edits in the past (mostly spelling and grammar, occasionally adding verifiable content). I understand that Wikipedia is huge, and that watching over it must be difficult, and I have real respect for the administrators who put what must be a considerable amount of time into the site. However, I think the bias in many entries has probably reached an uncontrollable level. In the past couple of weeks I have looked up at least three topics that seem obviously biased, then looked at the "discussion" pages to see back and forth accusations of bias, repeated postings and deleatings, name-calling, etc. The issue is that I suspect many people using Wikipedia never get to the "discussion" page, and even if they did, there is no clear way forward to a little more objectivity (and yes, I'm aware that objectivity is mainly something to work toward, since multiple standpoints may make it impossible to achieve for many topics in this context). Wikipedia actively puts information out in the world that may have real material consequences, and yet may be false (and worse, false toward achieving some particular end).

As a university instructor, I have requested that my students not use Wikipedia as a source for any research. It seems that the original Nupedia goal of objectivity has been completely abandoned by many editors (or perhaps was never known to them). Given that, have you considered simply shutting Wikipedia down once and for all and trying to return to the Nupedia format in order to provide a free comprehensive web-based encyclopedia but eliminate the great (and I would say, realized) risk of creating a platform for subtle (and not-so-subtle) bias? I doubt most of the administrators of the site will take my suggestion seriously, but I believe it may be the most responsible thing to do.

Paul 02/04/09 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:29, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Your suggestion probably has some merit (though as I understood it the problem with Nupedia was that there weren't a lot of experts lining up to donate work that they could otherwise get paid for), but you're also correct that it's not going to happen. All of the content here is freely-licensed, though, so if somebody wanted to take some or all of Wikipedia's existing content and start their own Nupedia-style site to compete with Wikipedia, they'd be able to do so. Sarcasticidealist (talk) 23:34, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Firstly, I'll just say there's virtually no chance of Wikipedia being shut down for the reason you state. Too many people like it, care about it, and consider it a success. As far as neutrality goes, I like Wikipedia, though I hear your concern often from a lot of different people. My feeling is that these people have an idealized version of neutrality in their heads that simply doesn't exist in real life. Is any publication truly neutral? Is any publication even more neutral than the average controversial article at Wikipedia? I find more neutrality problems in the New York Times than I generally do at Wikipedia. And that makes sense when you think about it: Media outlets are run by corporations that could be biased, and often are (arguably). Then there is the individual author of an article, who could have his or her own biases. At least here we have thousands of people to cover all possible biases, constantly checking and balancing each other. It's true that heated arguments do occur, but on controversies that garner the most attention, what I see in their articles, if you ignore their discussion pages, is a resulting balance that you can't find anywhere else. Equazcion /C 23:40, 4 Mar 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia is a concept. If this closed down, it would be moments before someone else started it up again. The problem is not Wikipedia; the problem is people incorrectly taking Wikipedia at face value. --Golbez (talk) 23:57, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Obviously, it's not going to shut down - and as a university professor who USED to allow Wikipedia use (even encourage it), I just want to say that I agree with Paul's basic sentiment. Not only is Wikipedia a poor source for most topics I send students to encyclopedias for, it actually inhibits learning in my field. So, I've reluctantly joined the ranks of "never ever allow it." I never mention it any more, actively seek out and take points off from people who do use it, etc. In other words, I'm no longer a fan. I am forever grateful to wikipedia for help in the pop culture domain (rock bands, discographies, etc.) and I never thought I'd be as negative about it - I still try to help out here, but mostly, I just make comments and shake my head.Levalley (talk) 03:42, 26 March 2009 (UTC)LeValley
I can't stand the defeatism inherent in the suggestion that we close down Wikipedia. If the people of the world can not be trusted to write their own encyclopaedia then why not freeze them out of all decision making and responsibility and just leave it the "great and the good" to decide everything? Sure, there are a lot of people who don't quite know what they are doing and quite a few bozos deliberately trying to balls things up, but I still have faith that the people working together can achieve great things. I believe that Wikipedia is one of those great things.
The correct approach to the problem of bias in articles is to flag them as problems so that plenty of people look at them and deal with them. If a small group of people are arguing then try to bring in more people to get a wider view of where the mainstream lies. In my experience the main problems with bias occur when somebody succeeds in flying it under the radar. We need people to shout when they see trouble, if it is not something they can fix themselves.
As for telling students not to use Wikipedia as a source, of course they shouldn't. We are not here to do people's homework for them by providing cut, dried, potted answers to everything. If people treat Wikipedia articles (or any other encyclopaedia's articles) as gospel, without checking the sources, then they deserve what they get when they come unstuck.
Anyway, that's what I feel. --DanielRigal (talk) 00:02, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
It isn't that they treat them as gospel (that has nothing to do with it). It's that Wikipedia misleads them so badly that I have to spend lots of time UNteaching them what they've obviously heard here. Also, when I use literature in the classroom, I do not want the students reading the plots in advance on Wikipedia, so I need to ban it or they won't read as eagerly. Knowing the hero dies (or doesn't) and exactly how ruins the book for most readers. Being told what a piece of literature or poetry means subverts the literary process. In other classes I teach, it's simply the misinformation - and of course, that's just humorous (the undergrad gets the low grade, because s/he took the wrong info from Wikipedia and it's obvious - so that ban is well understood by undergrads, but they do it CONSTANTLY anyway - I have no problem with that, makes it easy to find plagiarizers/cheaters). But I know longer feel the enthusiasm for the project, perhaps because I'm now at a point in my career where I know a few things and don't have the time to rewrite huge sections of Wikipedia in order to make them all connect again - it's an encyclopedia apparently written BY undergraduates and grad students FOR undergraduates or the high school educated. For that, it's fine. Levalley (talk) 03:42, 26 March 2009 (UTC)LeValley
I hope you realize that the fact you are telling your students not to use Wikipedia as a source should in no way detract them to use it as a starting point. The vast majority of Wikipedia's vital articles are referenced, and these sources could end up being cited in your students' homework as a result of that, with Wikipedia to thank for the fact that your students consulted them in the first place. Actually, I'd have to say that, as a starting point for academic research, Wikipedia should be regarded as much more reliable than, say, Google. -- Blanchardb -MeMyEarsMyMouth- timed 00:11, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
It had BETTER "detract" them - because if I find out they're using it (and I likely will), their grade will suffer. That's how strongly I feel about (especially on the poetry/literature/spoiler issue). There's no way to have a class discussion about chapter one and chapter one only of a text when the students have already read a synopsis of chapter last, when asked NOT to read ahead. I used to see it as a jumping off point, but SO many of the links in my subject areas are terrible, and if I edit, they just get reverted. So I don't. Levalley (talk) 03:42, 26 March 2009 (UTC)LeValley
My personal experience is that not only would a well-written Wikipedia be an excellent starting point for research, it will also recommend sources that you simply can't find with a typical Google search.... such as books and even "unpublished" papers on the topic. You know, those things made from dead trees that often surround the computers used to look up information on Wikipedia. This whole topic is something that has been long discussed, and I can't even begin to cite all of the discussions about this very topic, on all of the mailing lists and even here on Wikipedia dating all of the way back to before the project was even started. There are too many times this has been brought up.
As for instructors recommending or not recommending that their students cite Wikipedia as a source, I would have to ask: Do you suggest the same standard in terms of citing Encyclopedia Britannica, Encarta, or other "encyclopedias" of various kinds? Have you discussed the difference between primary, secondary, and tertiary sources of information with your students? Wikipedia doesn't hide the fact that it is a tertiary source (even though in my own opinion some WP editors go over the top by excluding primary sources from WP articles).
Of course. And yes, I have policies for all these encyclopedias. Interestingly, Britannica contains no huge spoilers for novels or interpretations of poetry that students can borrow.Levalley (talk) 03:42, 26 March 2009 (UTC)LeValley
I also think that in some ways Wikipedia is bursting at the seams in terms of trying to govern the content. Some policy changes happen with little input in terms of those who are impacted, consensus is determined on the part of just a couple of "long-time" users (I'm not talking ArbCom here, just "decisions" on talk pages) who throw their "experience" around, and some content problems go under the radar for years without getting resolved. Some tools are being developed to help with this, together with projects like Wikipedia 1.0 that are trying to improve the standards for what is seen on a public basis. This is a long term issue, and it will be interesting to see where Wikipedia ends up 10 years from now. I don't think this project will be the same or even recognizable in ten years either... so if that is what is meant by shutting down the project, I guess it will eventually happen. It might not be what you thought it would be but Wikipedia will be different as time goes on. --Robert Horning (talk) 00:50, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
  • My second comment, sparked by Blanchardb above: I think that is one of the great values of Wikipedia -- that you have a good starting point, to see what is generally known about a subject, and then to delve into references to check for accuracy and use your own judgment. Why deprive your students of that resource? As a university instructor, do you feel you yourself could hypothetically include Wikipedia articles in your own reading, perhaps as a mere starting point as Blanchardb suggests above, without much danger of believing false information? Is that the danger you fear for your students?
  • What really sucks, and no offense, is when teachers don't feel they can properly impart to their students the virtue of discerning reliable information from unreliable information themselves. Teachers instead choose to go the easier route of banning certain sources outright, not trusting their students' ability to judge for themselves. They don't stop and think that it might be good practice for real life if students were forced to make those distinctions, and hone their judgment. Students aren't held to the standard of self-reliance that they once were, and are often getting spoonfed; which results in many of the snooty graduates we have today, who reject new ideas outright until they hear someone else do otherwise. Equazcion /C 00:31, 5 Mar 2009 (UTC)
Again, the discerning of reliable vs. unreliable isn't the entire point - and students who can't discern, well, they can't discern and it's not Wikipedia's fault. Indeed, stealing Wikiarticles is a good way of figuring out who flunks an exam - and I make it pretty clear that plagiarism isn't allowed in the first place. But a huge chunk of students will take the Wiki-word over a juried article I've had them read just because it's easier to read - and those students do not get good grades. That's fine. Not wiki's fault.Levalley (talk) 03:42, 26 March 2009 (UTC)LeValley

I can't think of any institution which would seriously consider its own cessation, except the former Soviet Union. Undoubtedly, most here will want details of your experiences so they can be fixed. A few contentious areas is hardly reason to abandon the whole project. Have a look at the featured articles for the best of the best. There are hundreds of thousands of great articles, very well done, balanced—and produced without conflict. Shutting it all down is throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Featured articles range from the excellent, neutral, and comprehensive to the abominable inaccurate POV-fests, because FAC is so badly flawed, all too often ignoring all minor details like accuracy, neutrality, and clarity. The attention to verifiability is more often that footnotes exist rather than that they contain references, or that the references support the article. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:07, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

I think you'd do better to challenge your students to properly use Wikipedia: go beyond what the article says, follow the references, track down sources, correspond with authors, etc. As a rich mine of sources, it works very well. —EncMstr (talk) 01:00, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

I suspect "the most responsible thing to do" would be to teach your students the limits of wikipedia. Suggesting that wikipedia should close is sufficiently disproportionate to be irresponsible. --Tagishsimon (talk) 01:03, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Certainly, tell your students not to use Wikipedia as a academic source. We tell your students the same thing. But teach them not to use any tertiary source in this manner. Citing an encyclopedia, generally any encyclopedia, is not acceptable in rigorous research.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 02:04, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Citing an encyclopedia as a student is acceptable up to about grade 8, after that you only use them as a starting point for research. Thankfully unlike most encyclopedias this one tries to link to the references used to build the article, we are certainly lacking in this area but we are trying. Chillum 02:12, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for all the feedback. I'm not sure how many of you have taught, but of course I have spent plenty of class time discussing possible bias in sources (including, but definitely not limited to, online sources), different types of sources, etc. I should clarify that I have no problem with students starting research with Wikipedia, I simply ask that they not use it as a primary source. The suggestion to flag articles is a good one. Thank you. If I were to flag an article, I assume I would then state my reason for doing so in the discussion section. What would happen from there, and how long would it take? (it seems like some "discussions" I've read are 4-5 yrs. old but the questionable content has remained in the entry). Finally, I'm not quite naive enough to think that as a result of my suggestion I would find the site shut down tomorrow over my morning coffee, but I do believe the point is valid. You (and everyone else who posts on or in any way facilitates Wikipedia) are actively producing knowledge, which seems to me to come with some responsibility. Despite your cautions, best efforts at fact-checking, identifying and eliminating gross bias, etc. (and again, I sincerely compliment all the administrators for those efforts), there will be people who read an entry here and believe they are getting the full story about something, and there will be those that exploit that. To write "I can't think of any institution which would seriously consider its own cessation" doesn't say much, but I expect at least some of the discussions here have more depth than that (the fact that an institution wouldn't consider ceasing activities doesn't say a thing about whether it SHOULD cease - and in the brave new world of the 21st c., shouldn't one's own irrelevance be something to be considered, too?) One more thing: with all this spirit of transparency, why do so many of you use pseudonyms? Notice I signed my original suggestion with my real name.

Paul —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:15, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

  • You can change (most) articles yourself; if you simply tag and leave a note on the talk page, the article will wait until somebody notices, cares, and feels competent to correct it (which can be minutes or years).
  • Pseudonyms are recommended; there is the occasional, if very rare, nutcase, who takes resentment over a Wikipedia article to the length of trying to get someone fired. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:21, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. Fix, or recommend fixing, articles where you think appropriate. Wikipedia is continuously a work in progress; that's why the logo is incomplete. As for pseudonyms, it is commonplace to use a user name when commenting on a website. Why should Wikipedia be any different in that regard? SMP0328. (talk) 02:41, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
And the fact that nutcases might track one down due to one's edits is a BIG reason why a lot of people don't edit. Besides which, I've never once seen an article clean itself up and I've been watching some pages a long, long, long, LONG time. Some of them have gotten steadily worse, despite my comments - and suggested citations. I used to copy and paste LOADS of good citations into discussion pages - guess what? They don't get used. Levalley (talk) 03:42, 26 March 2009 (UTC)LeValley
In the real world, Wikipedia is a hugely valuable source of information, less biased and more accurate than most, and probably the best way to quickly learn about almost anything. Students should not be resting their claims on encyclopedias of any sort, not after grade school. And real researchers need to go to the source documents anyway. But as mentioned it is a jumping off point, a good central place to embark on the study of something. If anyone tries to research a topic new to them without using google and Wikipedia, I would question their research skills. I'm not sure about the comment about "responsibility" - that would apply to anybody publishing anything, no? Wikidemon (talk) 02:18, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
I hope this doesn't mean you think Wikipedia is a reliable source; we're not, and we know it: indeed we have policy against trusting WP. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:21, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it's a good substitute for not having paid attention in high school, that's for sure. Levalley (talk) 03:42, 26 March 2009 (UTC)LeValley

Just as a thought, using Wikipedia is a lesson in and of itself: you cannot give absolute trust to any source. Wikipedia is a "laws and sausages" version of the usual writing process- you see the work as half finished, and the biases and quirks of all of the authors that are represented in the final product are obvious. A Nupedia-esque project would have exactly the same problem, it's just that the group of biases would be different. The truly WP:FRINGE stuff would be left out, but we do a fair job of beating that away here anyways. The first rule of writing is to understand your reader, and the reverse is equally true: as a reader, understand who wrote it. Bias isn't unique to Wikipedia. SDY (talk) 03:12, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

I always wonder about people who try to belittle others who don't use their real names. Personally, I'd rather be known as Melodia than my real name, but that's just me. I don't see how my name has any function beyond identifacation in general, and since I've adopted a specific identication here, that's all that matters; but to get back to the topic, the problem seems to be that you have a problem with people being people, and are trying to force some people to take the responsibility of others. If some 16 year old comes along and subtly vandalizes an article, is it anyone's fault that some 21 year old believes it, except that 21 year old? No, no more than any newspaper (real or tabloid), or any book. Wikipedia presents the information, makes it CLEAR that anyone can edit it. If people aren't smart enough to understand that, that's a problem with the end user, not the content provider. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 03:19, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

If you can't beat them, join them. Many college professors are assigning students a Wikipedia article to work on rather than papers. If Wikipedia is controlling/influencing the primary discourse on a particular subject (at least on the Internet), the addition of academic, scholarly trained editors would help to vastly improve the project's scope and tone. It is true that not all editors are academics, but a college degree does not necessarily give an editor the edge in thought or research. I would encourage you to follow the examples of professors from Emory University and the University of Washington and get your students involved. Copana2002 (talk) 03:26, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
  • It seems like Paul is under the mistaken impression that it's only administrators who can fact-check and make corrections. The job of admins is actually just to keep the peace, blocking problem users and performing certain maintenance tasks. Everyone has the ability, and it's in fact everyone's job, to edit articles, check accuracy, add and remove references, etc. If you see a problem in an article, you can and should try to fix it yourself, not necessarily just tag it. Equazcion /C 03:30, 5 Mar 2009 (UTC)

No belittling intended, just honest curiosity about the use of user names instead of your real names. And I do get that anyone can edit articles, but was guessing that Administrators probably spend a lot more time on this than the average editor (I may be wrong). Again, thanks for your feedback. Paul —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:19, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

I would not be too sure about that. Most of the admins whose activities I regularly come across seem to spend a lot, if not most, of their time dealing with vandals, protecting articles when needed and other "operational" issues. – ukexpat (talk) 04:25, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
I admit I've very rarely looked at RFA, but I've often seen it mentioned that an admin needs to be a productive article maker (so someone like me who mostly reverts vandalism and makes little changes, in addition to discussing things could never be an admin). But maybe it's just an experience thing. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 04:41, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
It depends on the admin. They're really no different from other editors in terms of how much of the time you can expect to see them working on articles. As for usernames... well, without anonymity, it wouldn't be the Internet :) Really you could ask the same of any website -- there aren't too many internet mediums where people use their real names. Our reasons are basically the same as theirs. The way I see it is that the internet is too public to use a real name. At the extreme, the argument could be made that it's dangerous. At the least, the average person just doesn't want to display themselves to anyone and everyone that way. I myself am particularly selective of who I allow to get to know me. Equazcion /C 04:34, 5 Mar 2009 (UTC)
Oh believe me I've seen professionals belittle people for "hiding behind a fake name" as if anyone's opinion is only legit if they say exactly who they are. I've seen on WP some people propose that editors should be verified (IIRC doesn't Citizendum actually do that?), but I've been online since 1996 and even then most people used an alias of some sort, even if they also mentioned their name as well. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 04:41, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Even I still go behind pseudonyms (though less so on WP), and my real name's been floating around out there. I tend to see the real name/pseudonymity problem as one of personal peril - if someone is required to use their real name or reveal their credentials on a public site, then there will be someone out there who will eventually take umbrage with that editor and either try to get him fired or issue death threats to his immediate family (as happened with User:H). The Internet allows someone who has no qualms about destroying you to do so with little in the way of repercussion since laws either are ill-suited to dealing with it or the technology used makes it impossible to gather evidence (i.e. open proxies). -Jeremy (v^_^v Cardmaker) 05:15, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
The three cases I know of admins who have been 'outed' to their employers and two other of admins who claim that off-wiki personal threats were made against their families, one on an online forum and one by telephone, convince me that it would be foolish to give your real name on Wikipedia. There is even Wikipedia:Admins willing to make difficult blocks who can be contacted by admins who have offwiki concerns when dealing with vandals who seem likely to take a grudge offwiki.
I'm not convinced that most content comes from admins. I certainly believe that most edits are made by admins, who tend to do a lot of maintenance edits, but that's not the same as the meaty content that makes up the actual encyclopedia. I've seen quite a few articles that mostly consist of a large contribution by an anonymous user, which is then tended and shaped by regular users. There are also many productive editors who choose not to become admins, don't want to bother with WP:RFA, or who have personality characteristics that mean they won't be able to pass RFA (a inability to resist calling editors who do idiotic things idiots being among the most common).
Going back to the original post, clearly we are not going to shut down Wikipedia, and the people on English Wikipedia don't have the authority to do that even if they wanted to. My practical suggestion is to look at Wikipedia:School and university projects to see if you can assign Wikipedia as an class project. Honestly. Familiarity breeds contempt, and you won't find a group of people as skeptical of Wikipedia for a sole-source of information as Wikipedia editors. (Well, maybe university professors are more skeptical as a group.) Figure out some way for your students to interact constructively to the site, and by the end of the semester they'll be telling their friends how lame it is not to doublecheck info on Wikipedia because anyone can edit. (For some reason, many people are surprised to find that the slogan on the Main Page is taken seriously.) And if you assign them the articles where you think there is bias, you can take care of that while you're at it. - BanyanTree 08:55, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Your concern is indeed valid and for this reason, flagged revisions are becoming popular.(See Wikipedia:Flagged_Revisions). Also, while admins do have the most edits, they mainly rack them up doing maintenance (such as tagging, merging, deleting...etc)...though some admins do write articles. Wikipedia is generally written by the general public and for this reason your suggestion will never be implemented. See Who_writes_Wikipedia and ...(there is a better wikipedia link, I just don't remember it). Google, however, has done such a thing called knol... see For more info regarding wikipedia being used by schools see Wikipedia:FAQ/Schools. Wikipedia does have standards for articles ...see Wikipedia:Manual of Style and Wikipedia:Guidelines. Articles that do not qualify are marked for cleanup Wikipedia:Cleanup or otherwise are deleted Wikipedia:Deletion policy. Wikipedia does have good articles WP:GA and featured articles WP:FA. You are right however in that most articles are stubs. Wikipedia also has a number of wikiprojects (groups of people dedicated to expanding and organizing certain articles]...Wikipedia:WikiProject. There is also the Editorial Team which compiles articles for offline use...see Also as a suggestion, you should create your an account so that people will acknowledge you more. I hope I have been of some help in addressing your concerns.Smallman12q (talk) 01:07, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Just to barge in for a second, but I recommend, if anyone has the time for an interesting read, sit back, crack open an ice cold beverage of any sort and read the interesting essay at WP:FAIL. I personally find some of the stuff interesting and a good read. MuZemike 03:38, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Ah, but one cannot read WP:FAIL without also reading the counter-argument at Wikipedia:Wikipedia is succeeding. –Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 03:44, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
True, but you can't read either of those without also reading WP:Wikipedia is doing so-so. Equazcion /C 03:48, 6 Mar 2009 (UTC)
  • Hi, Paul!
  • I think the value of Wikipedia is that it's the single biggest and most successful attempt to take the huge, disorganised morass of information available on the internet and filter it for relevance, brevity and clarity. It's obviously not been completely successful at that—but no other attempt has come anywhere near as close. Basically, whether or not Wikipedia's an encyclopaedia, we make the internet not suck.
  • As such, I think Wikipedia's a reasonable starting point for research on any given topic. The important thing is that your students use Wikipedia to point them towards the primary sources, then read the primary sources and come up with their own opinion. And I think that's true of any encyclopaedia or other single source.
  • I'm mistrustful of academic sources that seek to pour scorn on Wikipedia. I think Wikipedia is threatening to academia, because it lets anyone access information that was (previously) the sole purview of highly-trained (and highly-paid!) academics. In other words, Wikipedia could be seen as undermining the privilege inherent in the whole chaotic, old-fashioned, conservative, tottering academic structure.
  • I think that with the technological advances in information storage and retrieval, we're looking at a future where people don't need to keep knowledge in their own heads any more, but they do need wariness, mental agility and brilliant critical evaluation skills.—S Marshall Talk/Cont 11:41, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

As Paul hasn't replied in a week, can this matter be considered resolved?Smallman12q (talk) 00:47, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Not really. Why is a week a magic number? Some of us are quite busy. The single most objectionable policy of Wikipedia to me (plot summaries for novels) is "resolved" though - somewhere, and I'm out of it. Levalley (talk) 03:42, 26 March 2009 (UTC)LeValley

Sorry, but I'm just looking back at this now. Thanks for all the input. Paul.

Perm. semi-prot of pages with no reasonable expectation of further information

I have a page that I monitor that is a supporting article for a larger topic. While new information may come to light on the larger topic, the information in the supporting article is pretty much set in stone, and has no likelihood to be changed in the foreseeable future. Yet, this page attracts a number of anon-IP editors like to change the data on this page for no reason, and it can be troublesome to track down to make sure that stacked changes are still all correct. I know that flagged revisions would be a tool here, but in light of not having them yet, would it be reasonable to request a permanent semi-protection of this type of page? --MASEM (t) 13:42, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

I think that's exactly what we don't want to do -- there's always a spelling error, or what not that needs to be fixed, and the more articles protected from IPs being able to do this, the worse off we are. That's why we need flagged revisions, so they can still do it while at the same time no bad info is inserted or other issues. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 14:48, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
I share your pain, but all attempts to stop truly disruptive fanboy IPs from restoring my merged articles ended at best with a one-month semi-protection. If the fiction cleanup goes on and fanboy IPs keep restoring merged articles, maybe the problem can no longer be overlooked in good faith. Until then, I have made good experiences with setting up a list of all my merged articles (e.g. User:Sgeureka/Episodes) and do a watchlist check on that list every other day (e.g. – sgeureka tc 16:45, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
If there's a high edit-to-revert ratio with no positive anonymous contributions, why not semi for 6 months or a year? At least than it's re-evaluated by someone on a regular basis. This is especially important given our admin burnout rate. (i.e. admin indefinitely semi-protects an article, later retires, users go to their talk page to request its unprotection and have to hope another helpful admin sees the request). I'd like to see the size of WP:INDEFSEMI go down, not up. –xeno (talk) 16:50, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
I like this proposal. 6 months are enough time for (initial) popularity to wear of to prevent misguided restorations of non-notable articles, and for notability to potentially build up to the point that a stand-alone article may become justified. Editors with a little experience (i.e. autoconfirmed editors) can still edit redirects without a problem, and the problem of retired admins and forgotten permanent-semi-protections becomes a non-problem. – sgeureka tc 14:19, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

This isn't how Wikipedia works. An article is never "finished", and we certainly wouldn't protect them from editing if they were. — Werdna • talk 01:37, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

When is quoting too much a copyright concern?

I've been working on Involvement of Croatian Catholic clergy with the Ustaša regime in bits and pieces (currently semi-protected to deal with a long-time vandal), but I was just thinking about its current structure. There are huge sections of copyrighted books quoted (footnote 2 alone quotes 4 paragraphs plus at least 3 more full paragraphs), and I'm wondering if that's too much. It's obviously nowhere summarized in any sensible way but it's just a mess of an article. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 10:39, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

There's no need to quote the source material in the references, that's the point of references. Consider using {{cite}} templates to standardise the reference style. You shouldn't be including any copyright material verbatim from these sources. OrangeDog (talkedits) 17:45, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
It's interesting that—despite all those quotes—footnote 2 doesn't really support the "enforced conversion" claim. The BBC broadcast on page 256 sounds like a quote from someone involved, not a summary by a journalist, and even BBC journalists weren't entirely reliable sources in WWII. Footnote 3's page 211 supports "forced conversion" better, and comes from CUP, which is more reputable than Penguin in this context. But footnote 3 doesn't support "dark chapter" unless you know who Draganović was (he's not mentioned in the article). As you said, I think what you have on your hands here is a mess. Is there perhaps a bit of "synthesis to advance a position" going on here? - Pointillist (talk) 18:13, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
Oh, no, I'm aware of that. That entire sphere of articles has that huge problem. The real fun is that a number of the sources there aren't available in English so the translations are also a fun game. Then there's the users who flat-out make-up books and other sources, since nobody can check on them. If you want to attack it, be my guest. I'm guessing I'm going to have to wipe it clean and start with a stub to get some sanity there. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 18:19, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Back to the original question. A footnote list 3 complete paragraphs PLUS parts of another 4. I think that is overdoing it. In general it is good practice to quote no more then a few lines to one paragraph.
I do agree with other answers though, if you need to quote multiple paragraphs your point is probably not very strongly supported and you have had to synsthesise your point from several sections. Arnoutf (talk) 18:22, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

I imagine that since Ricky81682's an experienced editor (knows all about the synth stuff already etc) he was maybe hoping that copyright rules would help limit the size of the quotes? I doubt it. - Pointillist (talk) 18:30, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
I was hoping for an excuse to cut the crap out that wouldn't lead to another series of fights and more WP:ARBMAC fun. The character here was a real blast and there's a vandal going on two years I think which is why the page is indefinitely semi-protected. Ah, that's why they don't pay me to do the hard stuff. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 19:29, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
Well I'm no expert on US copyright law, so someone might find a rule that says quoting so much material goes beyond permissible extents. I rather hope not, though, as in other situations it could be useful to copy 13 sentences from a single book for use in an article. - Pointillist (talk) 20:29, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
There are no hard rules on amounts: it's all a matter of how you're using it. I'm aware of one court case where a single paragraph from a 500-page novel was too much, and another where quoting the entire lyrics of a song was acceptable. --Carnildo (talk) 21:31, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
I have added the section Wikipedia:Quotations#Quotations_and_fair_use to help address these issues. Review and comments appreciated. Dcoetzee 21:53, 25 March 2009 (UTC)


I humbly suggest this guideline for talk page behaviour. There's a section of MOS that deals with caps editing in article space, but this is for talk pages. --Dweller (talk) 15:48, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

I think that this is already a part of the Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines (shortcut WP:TALK) under #Good practices. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 16:00, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
(E/C) yeah was about to post the same, not a big enough problem to warrant a seperate guideline and we already have one that mention it. Make this an essay or redirect it there isntead. --Sherool (talk) 16:04, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Good stuff. I'll make it an essay, as it includes suggestions and explanations that the brief coverage there doesn't. <scratches head> Can't think why I didn't look there myself. --Dweller (talk) 16:07, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
See also the related (though slightly different) essay at WP:SHOUT. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 16:28, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, yes, I already had that in the "See also" section. --Dweller (talk) 16:38, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

This has always been a guideline for talk page behavior. It's called "Be civil". If people don't know that all caps typing comes across as rude, then they don't know their Internet etiquette very well. I guess we could write a page to say that, but we could also just enforce it culturally, by modeling good behavior, and asking people who shout why they're shouting. -GTBacchus(talk) 19:05, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, though people who's native language doesn't use the latin alphabet sort of have a valid excuse the first time since the difference between uppercase and lowercase is somewhat alien to them (and their keyboard layout may make toggeling caps on and off harder in some cases), but if they know the language well enough to participage in discussions on the English language Wikipedia they rely should know better and a friendly reminder should be sufficient. --Sherool (talk) 16:35, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
That's certainly true, that people who don't know yet about that convention have an excuse, and that's why it's not something to be enforced, so much as explained. If Alice comes to Wikipedia typing in all caps, and Bob reacts by putting a civility warning on her talk page, then Bob has just failed to be very civil. (Naturally, if Charlie beats Bob over the head for this act of rudeness, then Charlie....) Enough people asking, "why are you shouting?" will eventually convince anyone to turn of their caps-lock, if their goal is to accomplish anything at all productive. -GTBacchus(talk) 23:15, 26 March 2009 (UTC)


Hi: Apologies in advance for the spam -- I've started a RFC concerning the WP:TERRORIST guideline. It's been a contentious matter (off and on) for some time now, and outside opinions are welcome. RayTalk 18:08, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

It's here btw --Dweller (talk) 10:58, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Criteria for summary deletion#Moved (speedy deletion boldly renamed)

A discussion is ongoing at Wikipedia talk:Criteria for summary deletion#Moved regarding the recent bold move of WP:Criteria for speedy deletion to WP:Criteria for summary deletion. –xeno (talk) 14:10, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

WikiProject Policy

I've proposed a WP:WikiProject Policy at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals#WikiProject Policy. Such a project might help improve policy coordination and get a more thorough appraisal of proposals for policy change at their initial stages, before being brought to the wider community. Comments welcome. Rd232 talk 16:33, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Ask Free Software Foundation to explicitly amend GFDL 1.2 to allow upgrade to 1.3?

Per the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Text of the GNU Free Documentation License#Should we update this to 1.3?, it appears that we may need to ask the Free Software Foundation to explicitly amend version 1.2 of the GFDL allowing upgrades to version 1.3. As I understand the situation, they would merely need to publish a new version with such an amendment to their version 1.2 source stating that any content licensed under version 1.2 may, at the licensee's option, also be licensed under version 1.3. I will post pointers here from M. Godwin's and J. Wales's user talk pages. NCC-8765 (talk) 22:12, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

We don't need the Free Software Foundation's permission to upgrade to 1.3, Wikipedia text content is already licensed under GFDL 1.2 or later by default, and the vast majority of GFDL licensed images have that as well. Within a month or so the Wikimedia Foundation will hold a comunity wide (across all projects and languages) vote on wether or not to implement section 11 of the GFDL 1.3 license in order to switch the license over to a CC-By-SA-3.0 instead, see Meta:Licensing update. --Sherool (talk) 00:53, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
(e/c)When you edit a page, you agree to release your contributions under the "GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts." - I think "or any later version" covers this. Mr.Z-man 00:56, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
I think that they're referring to the "GFDL 1.2 ONLY" license, which does not allow 'any later versions'. Diliff | (Talk) (Contribs) 08:03, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
Where does it say that? We've been telling people this for years. I highly doubt that we've been doing so without even asking a lawyer if its valid or not. Mr.Z-man 16:19, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
{{GFDL-1.2}} (which is used on about ten thousand commons images) licenses a file under GFDL 1.2 only. Algebraist 16:23, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
I think images are the only things under 1.2 only, and they have always been handled separately from text, so I don't think we need to worry. --Tango (talk) 21:39, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
If we can't upgrade from 1.2 to 1.3, then we can't upgrade from 1.2 to an amended version of 1.2 that says we can upgrade to 1.3. Asking GFDL to amend 1.2 isn't going to help in the slightest (1.3 *is* an amendment to 1.2). --Tango (talk) 21:39, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
If the FSF decides that their version 1.2 says that it can be upgraded to 1.3, that will overrule the template restriction, for the tiny proportion of people who know about it, have used it, care, and think it matters, respectively. NCC-8765 (talk) 22:03, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure you're right, but it doesn't matter much, since the FSF will not do this. Algebraist 22:14, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
There is only one way to find out. If they aren't asked, then they likely will not. However, the FSF has shown an eager willingness to help in these matters recently. NCC-8765 (talk) 01:44, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
I think Tango's point is that "1.2" is basically an arbitrary number assigned by the FSF to that version of the license. They could call the next version "GFDL 7.4" if they wanted to. If they come out with a new version of 1.2, its still technically a different license. I guess if they gave it the same exact name, you might be able to say that since the template only specified the name of the license it would work, but I don't think that would hold up in court. But IANAL. Mr.Z-man 23:51, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Do you know anyone who has even hinted they are willing to take this to court? I doubt any of the people who have ever used the "version 1.2 only" template have any inclination to sue the Foundation over this at all. It's easy enough to ask. NCC-8765 (talk) 01:44, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm not saying anyone's going to sue, just that what's being proposed here seems rather legally dubious. Mr.Z-man 01:49, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
If we ask the FSF to make it explicit that their version 1.2 can be upgraded to 1.3, then that will preclude the possibility of anyone suing the WMF. NCC-8765 (talk) 02:12, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
FSF can't change an existing license, they can just issue new versions. You are making no sense at all. --Tango (talk) 02:19, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the WMF won't be sued. Instead, they'll be suing the FSF, and they'll be winning. --Carnildo (talk) 04:50, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Who will sue FSF and for what? FSF aren't a party to any contracts or licenses, and I'm pretty sure they haven't committed any criminal offences... --Tango (talk) 19:00, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Anyone who used GFDL 1.2 can sue. I don't know what the legal term for it is, but saying "you know that work you licensed under certain terms? Well, now it's licensed under these different terms" can't be legal. --Carnildo (talk) 22:55, 28 March 2009 (UTC)


Please express your opinion on relicensing at m:Talk:Licensing update#Poll of editing community. NCC-8765 (talk) 08:33, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

I've closed the poll. The official community vote is expected soon per the timeline. There is no reason to duplicate that process with a crude and unofficial poll right now. However, if people want to express opinions on the process, either here or there, I won't stop them, but just no voting right now, please. Dragons flight (talk) 17:09, 28 March 2009 (UTC) (speaking as a member of the licensing update committtee)

Redirecting plurals

I've got some lists, and some questions. This is about plurals of common nouns that are also proper nouns - in the plural form. The following lists only contain examples where the plural proper noun only has one referent, so disambiguation is not an issue, at least per a strict reading of WP:DAB — there is only one thing called "Freaks," and it's a film. There's only one thing called "Slackers," and it's a film. -GTBacchus(talk)

Plural does not redirect to singular
Singular form has its own article
Singular form is a dab page
Plural redirects to singular
Plural is a unique proper noun, singular is an article here
Plural is a unique proper noun, singular is dab page
Plural is a unique proper noun, singular and plural redirect elsewhere
Plural is borderline unique
Redirects to dab pages specific to plural forms

So... are those all redirecting as appropriate? What makes the things in the first two lists different from the things in the next two? Should there at least be a link to Door at the top of the page to which Doors redirects? Where should Guns point? (no pun intended...)

Any thoughts would be quite welcome. -GTBacchus(talk) 02:11, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

DAB pages should not differentiate plurality. For the same reason we are dab neutral on upper/lower case (one page for all) and diacritical marks (one page for all). Miami33139 (talk) 02:35, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
What about when there's no DAB page involved? -GTBacchus(talk) 02:49, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
A DAB page does not need to be involved to use WP:DAB principles. For instance, if there are two pages that have the same root word except for plurals, and they are not about the same thing, there are easy to use templates that "This is not That" and many other headers that can be adopted for the situation that "These are not That" and "This is not Those" when there are only a few items being disambiguated. DAB pages follow the same principles, just applied to many things. Miami33139 (talk) 03:04, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
So do you agree with Slackers redirecting to Slacker while Freaks is an article about a film? Can you say specifically what you're recommending when it comes to these articles? I'm trying to get at the reasons behind things here. -GTBacchus(talk) 03:42, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
(EC) The policy appears to be spelled out here - Wikipedia:Naming conventions (plurals)#Redirects - and in essence it says redirects from the plural to the singular are good. However if there's a legit article at the plural, no advice is given on whether a hatnote pointing at the singular should be added, equally it does not fall into the examples of imappropriate hatnotes, and so it would appear to be a matter for your good judgment. --Tagishsimon (talk) 03:07, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Then I guess what I'm asking is, what does your good judgment say about the cases listed here? Are they all handled properly, or not? Which ones should be fixed? I'm not asking for a simple rule-citation that answers the question. I'm asking for active reasoning about what's best. -GTBacchus(talk) 03:42, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
My reserves of good judgment for the day are by now spent :(. But clicking on a number of the links, such as Guns and Cats and Freaks and Pigs leads me to conclude that my preference would be to point them at the disambiguation pages Gun (disambiguation), Cats (disambiguation), Freak (disambiguation), Pig (disambiguation) rather than at the singular. This gets a bit more problematical for Cats, which has Cats (disambiguation) and Cat (disambiguation). Cats (disambiguation) breaks the rule seen on the singular disambiguation pages of pointing to the "obvious" article first, and then listing the rest of the DABs. I considered the alternative - point the plural at the obvious singular, but I find it compelling that there are so many DABs for each plural. Finally, you could IMO go as far as renaming the Foo (disambiguation) page as Foo. But as I warned, I may be talking out of my hat. --Tagishsimon (talk) 03:58, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Why shouldn't dab pages disambiguation the formation of a plural? This is not the same as the naming convention, which addresses a redirect of what would have been an article titled with the plural to the article about the same topic titled with the singular. Especially with proper nouns, sometimes the articles that are ambiguous under either the plural or the singular, and especially when the dab list becomes lengthy it can be helpful to separate one group of ambiguous entries from another group of ambiguous entries when they aren't "cross-ambiguous". So the disambiguation project has treated them on a case-by-case basis, with no particular goal of forcing all of them to follow a single model other than useful navigational aid for the reader. -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:11, 25 March 2009 (UTC)


Well, the discussion closed at Talk:Faggots (novel), so now it is treated the same as the rapper Stacks, the board game Tables, and the film Troops. I also changed the redirect on Strokes, so it points to the second-leading cause of death in the Western world instead of pointing to a rock band. It turns out that 3/4 of the incoming links were for what happens when a brain doesn't get blood.

That leaves, of the pages on the list where the plural does not redirect to the singular, just four articles: Freaks and Hearts, Pixies and Doors. When you read that list, do you think of a film, a card game, and two bands? -GTBacchus(talk) 01:16, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

No, yes, yes, yes, fwiw :-) Privatemusings (talk) 01:23, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Same here. The capitalization makes a big difference. Algebraist 01:33, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I really doubt the film Freaks is more well known than the film Slackers, which redirects to a fairly poor article about "workshy" people. -GTBacchus(talk) 01:00, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

What this page is for

The policy section of the village pump is used to discuss existing and proposed policies and guidelines.

If you want to propose something new other than a policy or guideline, use the proposals section.

The two lines, at the top of this page, are contradictory. Line 1 specifically excludes ideas for new policies and guidelines, while line 2 suggests that new policies and guidelines should indeed be posted here. --Dweller (talk) 15:55, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Maybe I'm missing something. Line 1: "The policy section of the village pump is used to discuss existing and proposed policies and guidelines." Line 2: "If you want to propose something new other than a policy or guideline, use the proposals section." Seems copasetic to me. --Ali'i 16:40, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Hmm. I read "proposed" to mean ones that have previously been proposed, not ones you'd like to propose. Aren't these things fun? --Dweller (talk) 16:57, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Makes sense to me. The first line doesn't specifically exclude ideas for new policies and guidelines, since "proposed" is roughly analogous to "new" in this context. The two lines could probably be clarified though so that there is less room for interpretation. Diliff | (Talk) (Contribs) 10:13, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

The closeness of "proposed" and "proposals" is also tricky.

How about:

This page is for the discussion of existing policies and guidelines and ideas for new ones.

If you want to propose something new other than a policy or guideline, use the proposals section.

? --Dweller (talk) 13:28, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

If you want to propose something new that is not a policy or guideline, use the proposals section.

~user:orngjce223 how am I typing? 20:32, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Yes, that's good. --Dweller (talk) 21:19, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Changed. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 01:23, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Mergers for discussion

AfD is a process that has a specific purpose: to determine if an article should or should not exist on Wikipedia. And for the most part, it works. However, it has become a polarizing force between self identified inclusionists and deletionists. People often have a hard time separating two things at AfD: article subject and article content. And I think this is why AfD is destructive, because people don't understand where one starts the the other stops, and which process is supposed to deal with what.

AfD is clearly about article subject. If the subject of an article is inappropriate for Wikipedia, then it should not exist on Wikipedia. Simple enough. However, when an article with a good subject shows up with crap content, I still feel people are inclined to vote delete, and this is where the problem is.

Although this concerns me, I am more concerned about the opposite: when a crap article subject shows up, but one that has good content. We've all seen these articles, they're song stubs, fictional characters, TV episodes, stuff like that. In these cases still, people find themselves voting delete, and again, the inclusionists and deletionists argue. Inclusionsits want to save the content, deletionists want to get rid of the subject. Really they both want to improve the wiki, just in their own ways.

This is my proposed solution, at least, to part of that problem. Wikipedia:Mergers for discussion is a process that is complimentary to, but not a replacement for Wikipedia:Articles for deletion. It is a place where editors can take single articles or groups of articles and find discussion about how to restructure content, such as in a list or with straight forward merging. MRfD is a process that is concerned primarily with content, not subjects, and it seeks to preserve valuable content in a way that improves the quality and depth of Wikipedia, without sacrificing it's core principles.

My vision of how MRfD works goes something like this: an editor identifies a potential problem/issue with some content in the wiki (like two dozen tv episodes, or a collection of minor fictional characters) and thinks there is a better way to present this content (like in a list of seasons or list of characters). Similar to AfD, the articles get tagged with a template directing readers to the discussion, where they weigh the ups and downs of presenting content in that way. Then after 7 days, a decision is made (most likely by an admin), and the articles are retagged with "merge this article" tags (if that's the appropriate decision). If the community decides it's best to leave the articles how they are, then the tags get removed and it's business as usual.

This process would also be used to discuss more one dimensional merges, like ArticleA into ArticleB, but where the merge may be controversial, or where it might not be a good idea to be bold and do it yourself. I see this problem mostly on low traffic pages, or pages that don't have a lot of editors watching them. If you look at Category:Merge by month, you can see pages with merge tags that don't have anything on the discussion page except a project banner. This is especially bad for pages where a merge isn't really clear cut, because it can take literally years for a merge to go through.

There is already some sort of process that exists to perform some of these actions, and that's Wikipedia:Proposed merges. However, that process seems to have no time frame, which basically makes it a hand selected collection of merges from Category:All articles to be merged. This is helpful, but there needs to be something more streamlined, or else articles will continue to show up at AfD, and this inclusionist/deletionist polarization will continue to get worse, and the backlog at Category:Articles to be merged will continue to grow. Ideally I would like to see the backlog of Proposed mergers absorbed into MRfD, which I think could happen in a matter of months.

What I would like to ask the community is this: what would make a process like this function? What kinds of templates are necessary? What kind of guidelines can be established for tricky merges that will make them more streamlined? Do you think something like MRfD will improve the quality and focus of AfD, and thereby the quality of the community in general? Would editors actually use something like MRfD for certain kinds of discussions, instead of taking things straight to AfD? Is this actually a good idea? I think it is, but what do you think? --NickPenguin(contribs) 04:31, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

You brought up some really good points there, particularly about contrasting perspectives of subject vs. content. I'm not sure your proposal is viable though, Nick. My initial thoughts follow.
You mention an existing process Wikipedia:Proposed merges, but point out it's underused or has low user-participance. A further process limited to 7 days seems unlikely to improve that; a peripheral thought on the 7 days aspect, is both the film and novels projects' style guidelines point out research can take months—to make clear an article is not a book report.
Let me draw on the content problem/issue example you gave—a cluster of episode articles held to require a different form of presentation; specifically, the form of a list of seasons/eps.
A dozen plus tv episode articles, where the articles are predominant out-of-universe content built with sourcing encompassing books produced by established publishing houses and scholarly periodicals exploring the themes and artistic style (its content and its form), do not have intrinsic need to be merged into a list.
Effective merging relies on two things: Sound content that warrants retention—in the source article, and a destination article capable of accomodating that material while continuing to stay both focused and reasonably-sized. –Whitehorse1 06:46, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
What's wrong with using article talk pages to discuss? Hersfold (t/a/c) 07:36, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Sorry were you directing that mainly toward the OP (originating poster) or to me? –Whitehorse1 07:43, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
I tried to outline why I feel talk pages are not always the best venue for discussion, but maybe I can make it a little more clear with an example I came across.
Way back in the day, when I was walking through Category:Merge by month I came across a handful of character articles from The Saga of Darren Shan, a series of books I'd never heard of. There was about a half dozen minor character articles strewn about, and two or three of them has merge tags. List of characters from The Saga of Darren Shan was listed as the proposed merge target, so I merged and redirected a few of them there. Now if you dig through the page histories and find the specific pages I merged, you'd find that even though the merge tags were on there for at least 6 months, none of them or the proposed merge target's talk page even mentioned the word merge! And I mean, in this case the merge might have been a little more clear cut, but the reason the merge never got done before that was because not enough people came by that had an opinion on the matter, and I was the first person who came by rogue enough to do the merge without waiting months for someone else to talk to.
Merging is an important and neglected aspect of the wiki, because it maintains essential housekeeping. Right now the groupthink on the wiki is set to believe that the only way to clean house is either to nominate something at AfD (like, how I found the Meaning of life article (AfD available here) or do something else that makes their point widely known. I think this is because of editors frustrations; I've been on the wiki for two years or so, and I know there is only one place everyone reads, and that's AfD. Thus my goal with MRfD is to create a new avenue for effective discussion, discussion that will improve the wiki.
To get back to one of Hersfold's points, I don't see this process as being used for a lot of new articles, I see it as a way to reorganize existing content. A lot of the collections of articles I see at AfD have been on the wiki for months until someone came across them, so my goal is that rather than tie up AfD, they could try an actual discussion about the content first. So while this could be used for more established articles, I think it would be better for something like the discussion that's going on at List of South Park episodes right now. --NickPenguin(contribs) 14:15, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
If, as you claim, insufficient people are reading+participating in the existing merger-discussion forum, then it's hard to see how creating a second merger-discussion forum will help that problem.
When editors place merge tags with zero talkpage-explanation as to why, or perhaps how, the merge might be formed, that indicates underinformed use of the templates plus it's unhelpful; again, it's hard to see how creating a further explanatory venue will address their not having used the existing (talkpage) one. –Whitehorse1 14:58, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
What would need to be done, either at PM or at the proposed AFMerge, would be to implement the same deletion-sorting aspects so that specific groups and wikiprojects become informed of such discussions as presently happens with AFD (While I'm sure there's a few editors that routing visit WP:AFD, I would suspect most come from WPs). --MASEM (t) 15:16, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Somewhat of a thread drift there I think, but the raised-issue of editors placing merge tags without explanation stands whether they fail to use the articles’ talkpage for notification or the underlying (at least, for those projects that are not moribund) wikiprojects’ talkpage for that notification. –Whitehorse1 16:04, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Ok, but there is another important point: regardless of whither there's stuff on the talk page, a complicated or controversial merge on a low traffic page will likely not get enough discussion to form consensus. The idea behind this process is that when the possibility of a merge is identified, the community can quickly decide if the merge is actually the right thing to do, and then perform the appropriate action.
And just to go back a bit, there is a fundamental difference between this proposal and Wikipedia:Proposed merges, since Wikipedia:Mergers for discussion is a process involving regular editors, admins and a systematized function, while Proposed merges is just a page. No organized discussion, nothing of that sort, just a bunch of links to a selection of pages from Category:All articles to be merged. Consider how article deletion might function if, instead of having a centralized discussion place like AfD, we just placed deletion notices on pages and asked people to discuss it on the talk page. Completely dysfunctional, then only whoever randomly shows up at the page would be aware of the deletion nomination. This is how I see the current state of merging. --NickPenguin(contribs) 01:53, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, generally, controversial interaction happens on high traffic pages not low traffic ones. You also seem to be placing community(/)consensus on a special kind of 'pedestal'. You imply that "the community" at this proposed new forum is, intrinsically, far better able to handle (and in 7 days or less), the matter of whether and how a cluster of articles should be merged, than those editors that actively work on the actual articles, their accompanying talk pages, and underlying applicable wikiproject(s) discussion pages. (Existing dispute resolution procedures, of course, exist where those editors are unable to reach agreement.) Those editors will have the advantage of strong subject familiarity compared with the persons—perhaps case-hardened regulars of the new forum—who do see the item on the new forum and happen to chip in to the merge discussion. Yes, the existing merge-discussion forum is just a page, therefore bulletpoints, ordered & unordered lists, and indented comments can be used on that page for discussion of each item exactly like any other common or garden page. –Whitehorse1 18:42, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps the word "controversial" would be better replaced with something like "contentious". I am trying to express the idea of a merge that may not seem like an obvious decision to everyone. I see your point about how discussion on the article talk page is likely to attract editors that are familiar with the subject, but I would say that if you really look at a lot of the articles in Category:All articles to be merged, finding a resolution to the merge does not always involve expert knowledge of the subject, it involves a balanced evaluation of two or more articles and common sense. Besides, a forum like MRfD could attract expert editors from all sorts of subjects, who could apply their knowledge to specific cases as they appear. Again, this process would never replace talk page discussion, it would provide a kind of next level assistance when editors think it is necessary. --NickPenguin(contribs) 20:26, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Here's what often happens at AFD...

There's an article on a minor character in an otherwise notable TV series. A "cruftbuster" comes along and sees this article heavy on in universe history and plot details but light on sourcing and "real world notability". He might start out by proposing a merge or he might "be bold" and start the merge himself or just simply redirect the article to an already existing "list of characters" article.

Now the "fanboys" who wrote and maintain the article revert his merge/redirect attempts or just say "no we like the article fine the way it is" on the talk page. Since the "cruftbuster" can't get a consensus for his merge, he switches forums and takes it to AFD. It runs for 5 days (or it's relisted and runs 10) with a split between the "fanboys" and "inclusionists" !voting "keep" and the "cruftbusters" !voting "redirect" or "merge". If the nominator mentions a "merge" in his rationale you'll probably have someone saying the nomination should be speedy closed because it's "articles for deletion" not "articles for merging".

Now once the AFD has ran its course, an administrator (or "non admin closing person") comes along and sees that while there's a lot of talk of merging, few or none are saying "delete" so he closes "keep" with a closing statement suggesting that the merge should be discussed on the article's talk page. Even if the AFD is closed merge, there's no practical way to enforce it. This puts the "cruftbuster" back where he started.

Now if we had "mergers for discussion", a lot of these articles might be brought there instead of AFD but you would still have the same problem. If a "mergers for discussion" debate were closed "merge" but those who maintain the article are dead set on keeping a standalone article on the subject, how do you enforce the close? --Ron Ritzman (talk) 03:16, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

To answer your question about "how do you enforce the close", I suppose it would be enforced the same way anything gets enforced on the Wiki: abiding by WP:Three revert rule, escalating that to WP:Page protection, and if that fails, some sort of admin intervention, i dunnno what kind, I'm not an admin. Plus, the difference between the scenario you outline and MRfD is that with MRfD, the fanboys actually get a chance to discuss the merits of keeping specific content rather than being faced with an all-or-nothing decision at AfD. I think people will be more inclined to work together with an MRfD scenario than even the best AfD scenario. --NickPenguin(contribs) 16:39, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

I really dislike this idea, strongly. Discussions should happen on article talk pages, or possibly the respective Wikiproject, not on an AFD style page where any editor can just do a drive-by proposal. Steve Crossin Talk/24 03:22, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

The current reading of Mergers for Discussion clearly states the following This process also is not a replacement for adding a {{merge}} template. The template should be used if a merge is being discussed on the article's talk page, or if a merge appears uncontroversial but you are unable to perform it. Mergers should always be discussed first on the article talk page, and if there is no response (or just no consensus) after a week or two, it can be listed here for more community input and better visibility.
If you believe this process is intended to replace discussion on the article talk page, you are wrong. As I said before, it's purpose is to guide complex or controversial merges and to seek broader community input for low traffic pages. None of this seems to be out of step with the general community. --NickPenguin(contribs) 15:50, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
The call for further opinion on a merge proposed on an article talkpage with insufficient response or failure to reach agreement is (aside from the existing merge-discussion forum) already possible using existing procedures, like Third Opinion or even Requests for Comment. –Whitehorse1 18:42, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Creating a new process does nothing to deny the utility of the old processes. In this case it would add another avenue that editors could use to resolve issues, in this case, issues specifically involving merges. --NickPenguin(contribs) 20:26, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
I am going to give my two cents here, THe only way forward in for a "Articles for Merging" style of approach. This is because of the arguments outlined above by Ritzman. Discussion on the talk page though should always be the first resort in all cases. I would like to draw attention to this old mediation case Wikipedia:Mediation Cabal/Cases/2008-01-13 24 character merging of minor characters which in my view illustrates why a formal merging procedure is essential.--Lucy-marie (talk) 13:42, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Just like to point out that MedCab case started because a consensus was unable to be established in favour of the merges. A formal merging procedure is a bad idea. Discussion on the talk page should suffice. I'd see requesting a merger elsewhere as forum shopping. Steve Crossin Talk/24 21:31, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
It amazes me the time and effort some editors put into trying for force the deletion/merge of non-BLP articles. If they can't get consensus for a merge, they go to AFD (apparently hoping an admin will use his "bully bit" to force a merge) or they file mediation/RFC requests etc. If one thinks an article doesn't meet our "descriptive" inclusion standards then go ahead and propose a merge on the talk page. If one thinks it should be deleted, then take it to AFD. Make your case and then see what happens. If you can't get consensus for a merge/delete then drop it and go do something else. You can't win them all. --Ron Ritzman (talk) 18:55, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
Forum shopping is clearly a bad idea, but I think that cases like that MedCab example is exactly the sort of thing that MRfD would be used for. And I'm not saying that every case that comes across the page would result in a merge, what I'm saying is that tricky cases that span multiple articles require focused discussion. And certainly discussion on the talk page should suffice, but sometimes it does not, and having a specific place to get broader input would be extremely helpful. --NickPenguin(contribs) 22:59, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Banned URLs

I understand the mechanism for MediaWiki:Spam-blacklist URLs. But what gets a site added to the list and what might get it off the list again? -- SGBailey (talk) 19:32, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

Generally, URLs get blacklisted because they have been repeatedly spammed. Consensus is used (as always), and if there is a consensus and a legitimate reason to blacklist the domain, an administrator will add it to the blacklist. -Jeremy (v^_^v Cardmaker) 20:46, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

WT:CSD. Stop the wholesale Deletion of the Usepages of Indefinitely Blocked Users

I have started a thread to Stop the wholesale Deletion of the Usepages of Indefinitely Blocked Users at WT:CSD. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 23:58, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

Global Sysops Policy

The Global Sysops policy as it applies to the English Wikipedia needs reconfirmation. Please familiarize yourself with Wikipedia:Global rights policy#Global sysops and m:Global Sysops, and join in the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Global rights policy#New consensus needed. NuclearWarfare (Talk) 00:40, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Licensing update progress notice

The licensing update proposal to dual license all Wikimedia Foundation wikis under both the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) and the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License (CC-BY-SA) is moving into its final phase. This proposal has been put forward by the Foundation and made possible by recent changes in the GFDL. Adopting the new licensing scheme is contingent on community approval. In several days a site notice for all editors will announce the start of three weeks of community voting on this proposal. In the mean time we would invite you to visit the update proposal and its associated FAQ if you want to learn more. We would also appreciate your help finishing the translation effort for the core documents associated with this process.

Dragons flight (talk) for the Licensing Update Committee 04:25, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Proposal to change the length of deletion discussions to 7 days

Please see Wikipedia_talk:Articles_for_deletion#Proposal_to_change_the_length_of_deletion_discussions_to_7_days Fritzpoll (talk) 11:44, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Right to vanish and user talk pages

There's a discussion at Wikipedia talk:Right to vanish#User talk regarding what to do with user talk pages when someone exercise their right to vanish. Comments, etc. welcome. --MZMcBride (talk) 14:56, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

FlaggedRevisions (sort of) poll has one day left

Need clarification of policy

People can quote all kinds of policies and guidelines, like undue weight. I summarized a few into one simple layman's sentence. It is actually getting opposition!

Here's what I say: In Wikipedia, the most important details should be included and have priority. Trivial things should have low priority, so low that they sometimes don't make the cut of inclusion.

I thought this is a layman's summary that makes so much sense that there should be 100% approval. Yet in there seems to be at least one person very much opposed.

In your opinion, is what I'm saying an accurate summary of Wikipedia policy or what Wikipedia policy should be? Contino (talk) 00:12, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

That's the gist of it, but people sometimes have difficulty agreeing what is trivial and what is important. WP:FANCRUFT is a helpful essay to read, but tossing accusations of it isn't particularly polite, so quoting it at people might not be the best idea (just an essay anyway). See also Wikipedia:Discussing cruft and WP:NOCRUFT. SDY (talk) 15:22, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Vote on date autoformatting and linking

The Vote on date autoformatting and linking is now open. All users are invited to participate. Lightmouse (talk) 14:56, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

New account policy

Due to increased server costs and a reduction in donations due to the economy, the Wikimedia Foundation regrets to inform its loyal users that features such as the watchlist will no longer be free.

  • Basic accounts will remain free, but will only be allowed 1 userpage, 1 user talk page, and 1 watchlist usage per day. Usernames will no longer be the choice of the user, but will be a randomly assigned sequence of letters and numbers.
  • Silver accounts, for only US$5/month will be allowed 5 userpages, 5 watchlist usages, and will be allowed to upload files up to 5MB. Silver users will be given the opportunity to choose from a small selection of "less desirable" usernames.
  • Gold accounts, for only US$20/month will be allowed unlimited userspace and 20 watchlist uses per day. Gold accounts will also be able to change user preferences (except custom signatures), upload 20 MB files, and use email services.
  • Platinum accounts, for US$50/month will be allowed full access to all features restricted in other plans and free choice of usernames.

Due to the extra server usage by the extra tools, administrator accounts will be charged an additional US$5 fee. Users found to be sharing access to watchlists and other features with lesser users will be returned to a basic account and will not receive a refund. Repeat offenders will be banned. This new system will apply retroactively to current amounts as well, so if you wish to keep your account as-is, please make sure to pay the requisite fees in advance of the deadline, which will be announced shortly. -- From the WMF Board of Trustees. 02:30, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Is this an April Fools' Day hoax? SMP0328. (talk) 02:44, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Don't be silly! Of course not. NuclearWarfare :  Chat  02:46, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes. :) Prodego talk 03:05, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Very funny Mr.Z-man! :) Referring to the economy was an excellent touch, because it made the joke sound realistic. SMP0328. (talk) 03:10, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

An Admin's View on Right-facing Portraits

We start with a right-aligned image because starting with a left-aligned image makes the article look like shit. The average person notices when the article layout looks like shit. The average person doesn't notice pretentious wankery like whether or not the subject of an image is looking towards the text. Hesperian 11:38, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

- copied from Talk:Walter Hood Fitch by Rotational (talk) 02:53, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
What does this have to do with this page? — Carl (CBM · talk) 03:05, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
Logically? The statement and the page are about policy. Rotational (talk) 03:41, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
So? We don't cut-and-paste every policy-related comment anyone ever makes here. Why have you done so with this? Algebraist 03:46, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
Come, try and exercise your mind - think. Rotational (talk) 11:01, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

OK, Rotational. If you are wanting views on the application of policy to Walter Hood Fitch, please state your question clearly. If you are wanting to draw attention to the tone of Hesperian, then you're in the wrong place. Please consider Wikiquette alerts. Papa November (talk) 11:52, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

Wrong place indeed. --Cameron Scott (talk) 12:46, 2 April 2009 (UTC)


I've suggested three possible ways to handle unreferenced articles as a whole (not just BLPs). The proposal only applies to new articles, which would allow us to start working through the existing backlog without it becoming any larger. Additional options are welcome. The aim of the proposal is to find a way to please as many editors as possible from a wide spectrum of Wikipedia ideologies while addressing the issue raised. - Mgm|(talk) 09:44, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

Banning image licences identical to Commons on Wikipedia

I want to propose banning uploading image under licences, that are also available on Commons. The unified login will today work for anyone who registered with Wikipedia on Commons too, so there is close to no barrier in redirecting folks to Common when possible.--Kozuch (talk) 17:47, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree. Especially for English wikipedia. The Commons is in English. --Timeshifter (talk) 18:07, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
I can see why this would be brought up, but I'm not sure banning or preventing, as you say, is needed. The main thing that occurred to me when reading the idea was 'meta' images. By that I mean images relevant to Wikipedia, about content on Wikipedia. I've seen some of these uploaded here in the past, with text that reads something like 'uploaded to en-wiki because it illustrate $foo here and is little point uploading to Commons'. Examples are graphs or diagrams people produce illustrating review processes like GA/PR/FA. I doubt having to upload them to Commons instead would be "bad"; there's, well, probably little value in their being there though. –Whitehorse1 18:15, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
It doesn't hurt anything though. It is still an image stored on a server. And a few of the images might actually be useful to other-language wikipedias. Maybe only as models for their own graphs or diagrams. And vice-versa. See my reply farther down concerning special images that need to be protected. --Timeshifter (talk) 20:46, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

It would discourage some uploaders, however small a percentage, from contributing if they come to Wikipedia and then are told that they have to go to and learn another site. The maintenance involved in Template:movetocommons is slight. Postdlf (talk) 18:27, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Many images are deliberately uploaded from Commons so that they can be protected. This is done with interface images as well as those that appear on the Main Page. Preventing duplicate upload would prevent the local protection of images, leaving Wikipedia open to widespread vandalism. OrangeDog (talkedits) 19:06, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Could we create a special upload page for administrators to copy stuff from the Commons, and then upload those copies to Wikipedia? This way people can still use the Commons images in other-language Wikipedias and Wikimedia projects. We could link to the special upload page only from administrator places such as the administrator FAQ pages, and so on. That way the average image uploader is unlikely to come upon the special upload page.
We could then change many of the links at Wikipedia:Upload to link directly to the relevant Commons upload pages. This way there are no extra steps required as mentioned by Postdlf. --Timeshifter (talk) 20:42, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Bottom line, what's the problem we're trying to solve by banning content from being uploaded to Wikipedia that could be uploaded to Commons? Postdlf (talk) 20:44, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
I have over 9000 edits on the Commons and over 17,000 on Wikipedia. There are SO many images that need to be categorized on the Commons. Every image having to be moved to the Commons is time lost that could be spent categorizing an image on the Commons. Plus bots are oftentimes a pain to use. :)
And I forgot the most important reason. Other-language wikipedias can use the Commons images, but not the English Wikipedia images. They will likely not even know of the English Wikipedia images. --Timeshifter (talk) 21:10, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
You know, we could fully automate that migration process (with as much or more accuracy than the typical manual process). Last time the idea was brought up though Commons people complained that they wouldn't be able to handle the influx. Dragons flight (talk) 21:14, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

(unindent) Since then I think the Commons has come up with better ways to flag uncategorized, or redlink-categorized, images so that Commons editors can easily see what needs to be done. I remember seeing a link for that for awhile on the top of many Commons pages. I think it even counted down the images as they were categorized. Whatever it was, it worked well, and cleared up a lot of images needing categorization. Users did not have to hunt around for that link since it was on so many Commons pages. It may have been on all Commons pages at the top. I don't remember. --Timeshifter (talk) 02:47, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

Having images here on Wikipedia with the same licence as Commons can provide is an issue in both terms of free access to information and extra work that has to be done to move such images to Commons by hand. I think the community should put bureaucracy to the side and act while either introducing fully automated bot for moveing images to Commons or redirecting uploads for the same licences directly to Commons.--Kozuch (talk) 16:46, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

Proposal to set quantifiable minimum of "cult following" and "fan base" at WP:BIO#Entertainers

Please see Wikipedia talk:Notability (people)#Strongly suggest quantifiable definition of "cult following" and "fan base". Thank you.

₪— CelticWonder stalk me? …… " 07:04, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

Reviewing guideline

As we're heading towards an implementation of flagged protection and patrolled revisions, and reviewing: marking a revision patrolled, or confirmed/validated for flag protected pages is an essential component, a draft on the issue is available at Wikipedia:Reviewing guideline. This is not yet in the process of gathering consensus for adoption, but edits and comments are welcome. Cenarium (talk) 21:19, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

Verifying the existence of commercial products

Hi. I'm here to ask a general question, but I'll say up front that it's motivated by looking at a particular example, namely some links in the article List of liqueurs. Each liqueur on the list is a brand-name product, and most of them do not have Wikipedia articles of their own. We would like to be able to verify the contents of the list; in particular, we'd like to verify the existence of each liqueur, and what its ingredients are.

Now, if we've got a link to a commercial site that sells a liqueur, and which contains information verifying the existence and ingredients, and possibly other information, then is it appropriate to add that link as a reference? Where is the line to be drawn, or what principle should we apply? Where is the balance between adding value in terms of information, and avoiding promotion of products? Or, am I asking the wrong questions?

Thanks in advance for any input. -GTBacchus(talk) 23:28, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

Inclusion on a list should not be indiscriminate because mere existence is not enough for Wikipedia to document a subject, even as just a bullet item. References should be non-trivial, non-promotional, not-self-published, and should show notability, not just verifiability. Without some minimal standard you devolve the list to an indiscriminate collection of information or a directory. There are hundreds of varieties of liqueurs in a well-stocked liquor retailer which means thousand of liqueurs globally, and tens of thousands for historical and future labels. That is unmaintainable which also argues for selection standards. Miami33139 (talk) 23:08, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
You should find a source about the product published by someone unaffiliated with its manufacture, such as a review (in the case of many wines and liqueurs these should be easy to find) or an article about the product history or manufacture (as is common for many commercial products). Not every product is Notable, and the ones lacking these sources don't fit our guidelines. It needs to be reliably informative, and promotion is really orthogonal to that, except insofar as promotional sources are unreliable. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 05:21, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

Comments needed

A post at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject user warnings needs comments. -- IRP 20:21, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Overlinking vs. Redundant Linking

I'm a marginally experienced wikipedian, trying to grow and write better. I'd like to ask experienced users about the subject of overlinking. I've run into trouble twice now with other Wikipedians removing links (not necessarily of my creation) that I thought were useful. Both conflicts were met with good faith and mature behavior. But the conflict remains: What is overlinking?

The best definition of overlinking that I've found was written in the Wikipedia article titled "overlinking" and states:

"Excessive" [linking] is usually more than one link for the same term in a line or a paragraph, [because] one or more duplicate links will almost certainly then appear needlessly on the viewer's screen. (emphasis and clarity added)

Redundant linking, on the other hand, is an identical link located, not on the same screen, but rather on the same article.

I was editing a rather long article (endometriosis) that used a rather obscure term (adhesions) multiple times (twelve). This word was linked only twice and in locations that were difficult to find. The way it was written, it was easy to gloss over the term and continue reading, and I thought that the reader might later find it difficult to search and locate the link. So I added some redundant links at later occurrences. This edit was reverted, which of course, is a wound to my pride, but more importantly, I think the article is worse off for it, but I'm not sure how to describe the wikipolicy on the matter.

Perhaps the policy is meant to be unclear, and the definition of overlinking is meant to be defined on a case by case basis. I find that a refreshingly complex and liberating way of thinking. It's usually best to avoid extremes, isn't it? Otherwise, you become a zealot.

The official policy on overlinking is found here: wp:overlinking Nowhere in this policy is there any statement about redundant linking. So

1. Am I correct to say that there is no policy against redundant linking? Also,

2. Since readers are free to ignore a link and continue reading, isn't it better to err on the side of overlinking?

I look forward reading your responses. Perhaps out of this discussion, the wp:overlinking policy might be expanded to answer these two questions.

Sincerely, Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 07:39, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

P.S. I've just now learned that there exists a fair and honest dispute about overlinking dates (i.e. July 4, 1776) That debate is associated with the desire to easily control date formats and is driven by the technical demands of administrating wiki-articles. Unless there is something helpful to be learned, I don't care to incorporate that debate into this one. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 07:39, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

Yes, you are right. We do not want to be articles almost completely blue out of unhelpful and/or redundant wikilinks but we do not want force users to look through all the text (maybe a several computer screens above) of a long article trying to find an essential wikilink. The preferable trade of somehow differ with the tastes of editors but it is better to err on the side of overlinking if the link is essential (e.g. many users would noot be able to understand text without clicking on the link). Wikilinking of the dates is a different trade of only marginaly related here Alex Bakharev (talk) 08:28, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
A solution to the problem you cite is one that you use when writing for print: Briefly explain the term after its first mention in the article ("the fibrous bands that form between tissues and organs, often as a result of injury during surgery"), or even later on as well, if you think it necessary. It's not advisable to make a reader jump to another page (wrecking his or her train of thought) in order to understand what the article is about. (See Deprecate, above.) Sincerely, GeorgeLouis (talk) 14:30, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
  • If you want this discussion to end with a remotely usable result, let's ignore the date linking issue altogether =) –xeno (talk) 14:37, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
Danglingdiagnosis, thanks for your reasonable approach; I hoped you would notice that I did not just revert you, but made some other minor improvements when I removed the redundant links. Indeed, it is sometimes beneficial to link a valuable term more than once—but if we go overboard in that direction, it becomes just as difficult to locate one bluelinked term among many bluelinks as it is to locate a bluelinked term a few paragraphs up in mostly-black text. GeorgeLouis is right on the mark here: if understanding an obscure term is necessary to understanding the article, the best approach is to clearly define the term right in the text.
Thanks for the work you are doing; we sorely need the help on medical articles. Would you be interested in joining WP:MED? Maralia (talk) 21:14, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
Repeat a link whenever it's likely to substantially improve a reader's understanding. But no more than that. If there are links to specific sections on a page, consider adding extra links to unfamiliar terms in that section. This is especially true is the links are redirects. Read the article as if you didn't know the subject well. When you come across an unfamiliar term, is there some way to figure out what it means if you scroll back a few paragraphs? If not, consider (a) adding another link, but also, consider a brief reminder as to what the word means. Guettarda (talk) 02:55, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
This matter is addressed on the WP:Linking page, which says: "Link only the first occurrence of an item. A link that had last appeared much earlier in the article may be repeated, but generally not in the same section. (Table entries are an exception to this; each row of a table should be able to stand on its own.)" (Admittedly this comes before the section that WP:Overlinking redirects to - maybe that should be changed.)--Kotniski (talk) 10:29, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
A related case is in the references section (which is not exactly a table). In articles where authors, publications, or even publishing houses are wikilinked, should it be done in every citation or only the first such to appear in the reference section? Discussion on this had been recently active at Talk:Homeopathy#Citations linking to journal titles, author names, publishers, locations.LeadSongDog come howl 15:31, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Reverting legitimate edits without explanation

There is currently a discussion at WikiProject user warnings regarding reverting legitimate edits without explanation. I was thinking that there was something that is not right about the Wikipedia policy. People who abuse the rollback feature have their rollback rights revoked. With that being said, I could reasonably assume that abusing the undo feature by reverting legitimate edits without explanation is almost as bad, as it is the same thing, just somewhat slower. The bottom line is that if rollback abuse is bad enough to merit revocation of the rollback feature, then abuse of the undo feature is almost as bad. Any comments or suggestions? -- IRP 22:42, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

See the second to last item on WP:TEND#Characteristics_of_problem_editors, as well as the link to the arbcom ruling. Removing sourced and NPOV edits without discussion constitutes disruption. Unomi (talk) 23:22, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't see why it needs to be treated any differently than normal edit warring. Using rollback to edit war is abuse of a tool that was granted based on trust. The same is not true about undo. Mr.Z-man 02:07, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
agreed. the notice is more likely to increase than decrease disruption. I've explained why in more detail on its talk page.It's much too snarky. A prime candidate for TfD. DGG (talk) 12:40, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Spam fighters trying to block YouTube links

Spam fighters (mostly) are trying to block YouTube links. See;

There is a 4-part discussion there. They would block even links to videos such as the "I have a dream" speech by Martin Luther King for dubious reasons such as dial-up users having to wait longer for the video to buffer! And hundreds of thousands of other historic videos from the official channels (no copyright problems) of many news media organizations, and thousands of other organizations with official channels. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:47, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Don't forget about how one needs to take into consideration that people may be blind or deaf... ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 17:12, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Or have no Internet access at all. -- What consideration do we need to take that readers may be blind or deaf? -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:32, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
"Or have no Internet access at all." Good one. Or still use 14.4 kbps modems! Or are among the 1 to 2 percent of web users worldwide who still do not have Adobe Flash installed (needed for YouTube viewing).--Timeshifter (talk) 07:19, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Blind people can listen to the audio portion of videos (such as the "I have a dream" speech by Martin Luther King). Deaf people are interested in watching videos. --Timeshifter (talk) 17:56, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

"which is rare" phrase as near blanket ban of YouTube and many historic videos like "I have a dream" speech by Martin Luther King

A group of edit-warring spam fighters (mostly) has up-to-now effectively created a near blanket ban of YouTube links by continually reinserting a limiting phrase into Wikipedia:External links. See:

No matter how many times people have removed the phrase "which is rare" or "infrequent" over many months, and after many discussions, they keep reinserting the phrase. In many discussions of YouTube links consensus has been "due care" for YouTube links. Not "rare" or "infrequent."

See: Wikipedia:External links#Linking to user-submitted video sites: "There is no blanket ban ..."

See also:


To just about every English speaker, deprecate means express strong disapproval of; deplore. Type "define deprecate" into a Google search box and you will see. My proposal (made seriously) is to outlaw avoid the use of deprecate within Wikipedia to mean discontinue the use of and instead always use the latter phrase instead. This misuse of the English tongue is really annoying. It is jargon, pure and simple. I deprecate its use. Where do I go to make this proposal and get it adopted? Yours sincerely, GeorgeLouis (talk) 18:06, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

I took your advice to type 'define deprecate' into Google, and got definitions including 'to recommend against use of' and 'In computer software standards and documentation, the term deprecation is applied to software features that are superseded and should be avoided.' Those seem to correspond exactly with the usage of the word on Wikipedia. Algebraist 18:21, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
People are allowed to express themselves however they like as long as they are not disruptive. Disallowing the computing sense of "deprecate" would run counter to this, regardless of whether or not it's technically correct. Now, if you're advocating the deprecation (this is too ironic to not do :D ) of the word "deprecate" in the article namespace on the grounds of pedantic correctness, that would be slightly different, and I'd say that, for articles not related to computing, it would certainly be reasonable to remove the use of "deprecate" and variations—but no specific policy or guideline is required to do that. {{Nihiltres|talk|log}} 18:28, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm afraid the responses both miss the point of my posting. The fact is that the people who work with the articles in WP are called editors, not computer geeks. If you are writing for editors, then you must use the language of editing, not of computing. Anyway, the responses (for which I thank you) do not answer the question as to where I should go to make the proposal, and how I should go about getting it considered (and, of course, accepted). Sincerely, your friend, GeorgeLouis (talk) 22:59, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

My response was intended to answer your one piece of evidence that your claimed standard meaning of 'deprecate' is in fact the only meaning understood by most speakers. Do you have more evidence? As for your question of where to go, I answered it the first time you asked. Algebraist 23:05, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

One good way to propose something as policy is to first write an essay, explaining the reasoning behind the proposal. You could create that as a sub-page of your user page, or else create it in the Wikipedia: namespace. Point people to your essay during relevant situations, and in general discussion areas such as those suggested by Algebraist. If a lot of people seem to agree with your essay, it might grow into a guideline. Most things stop there, and don't become policies. It's best if it grows organically like that.

The other option would be to write it up and tag it as a proposed guideline, and then people would come and talk about it. The trouble with this method is that it asks the question too directly and too soon, and tends to polarize the discussion into camps. Letting it happen more slowly gives wrinkles in everyone's thinking time to work themselves out, and when (and if) it gains currency, it's a lot more ingrained in our collective consciousness. That's my 2¢, anyhow. I don't particularly like the proposal, because I think the secondary meaning of deprecate is gaining currency in English, and if someone learns it here, that'll probably help them somewhere else down the line. -GTBacchus(talk) 23:38, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

I see nothing wrong with this usage, because (a) it's a simple extension of the wider English definition (b) the word is uncommon; "To just about every English speaker" it means nothing; I've never seen it used outside its computing usage (c) face it, editing WP is a slightly geeky thing. Rd232 talk 01:12, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
Outlaw? No, we are not going to tell people how to use their words. Chillum 01:13, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, good point. -GTBacchus(talk) 02:49, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
Who is that comment aimed at, Chillum? Rd232 talk 16:02, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
To GeorgeLouis, who used the word "outlaw" in his original question. --Tagishsimon (talk) 16:04, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
Sorry. I changed the offensive word above to avoid. (Maybe I should have used deprecate.) Yours in repentance, GeorgeLouis (talk) 14:58, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

Let's replace it with defecate, to indicate that we regard the target of such usage as crappy! *Dan T.* (talk) 03:11, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

I would prefer defenestrate. -GTBacchus(talk) 03:13, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

Thanks to GTBacchus for the good suggestions a few grafs above; very well-thought-out, very cogent, very mature. Sincerely, GeorgeLouis (talk) 05:02, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

GT Bacchus's reasoning (23:38, 2 April 2009) is sensible. This is a storm in a teacup, as editors have to get used to get used a mix of colloquial English abbrevs, l33tspk and WP-specific acronyms on Talk pages, and WP-specific acronyms on guidelines and policies - and the acronyms are often not flagged and linked, e.g. "RFC" or "AFD" instead of WP:RFC or WP:AFD. I regret such jargon, but don't see that it's possible to ban it. At least "deprecate" is explained in online dictionaries. --Philcha (talk) 12:32, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

The first time I have heard the term "deprecate" was when I was first learning XHTML and its improvements over HTML. MuZemike 14:59, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

Noob. ;-) I think I first heard it in the context of Win3.5. Besides, HTML hasn't been deprecated; all XHTML is still reverse-compatible (isn't it?) KillerChihuahua?!? 15:39, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

Algebraist pretty much nailed it. George, the word is used correctly in its original usage, as in "express wish against or disapproval of." When we deprecate a feature, that is what we are saying, in other words, please do not use this feature, whether it be a template or a piece of code or whatever. Viriditas (talk) 08:42, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Language changes, I know, but when I read something like "I think I first heard it in the context of Win3.5. Besides, HTML hasn't been deprecated; all XHTML is still reverse-compatible," the eyes glaze over and the mind gets numb. Anyway, nowadays when I run into the word in an article, and if I have the time or inclination, I tend to help out the reader by inserting "discontinue the use of" as an explanation after it, and I would hope others would do likewise. As the WP article Deprecate make perfectly clear in the first paragraph, the word is plainly computer-speak, and as it states in a later paragraph, 'In mainstream English, the infinitive "to deprecate" means, simply, "to strongly disapprove of (something)".' Editors are mainstream people; they are not, as I said above, computer types (not that there is anything wrong with that!) Your friend, GeorgeLouis (talk) 15:11, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
But deprecate doesn't simply mean "discontinue the use of", it means to disapprove of the use of something, as there is a better alternative. Deprecated features often still work, if they didn't they would be "removed" or "discontinued" features. Technical words are used for a reason - they are more subtle and specific than "equivalent" phrases. This isn't Simple English Wikipedia. OrangeDog (talkedits) 20:19, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
While we are being geeky, that link to Simple English Wikipedia should be [[:simple:|Simple English Wikipedia]] rendering as Simple English Wikipedia. – ukexpat (talk) 20:49, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
Ah, I tried [[simple:Main Page]] before, which disappeared into the ether even though WP:POPUPS linked it correctly. OrangeDog (talkedits) 22:00, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

GeorgeLouis, I'm 42 years old, and consider myself reasonably literate. I was unfamiliar with the word before I heard it in relation to html, several years ago. When you heard it used here, in this way you deprecate (wow, that just sounds wrong to me), did you have trouble understanding what it meant? How long did it take you to figure it out? -Freekee (talk) 05:04, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

Well, I had to get it defined for me via the Internet, and when I looked in my Webster's Eleventh, the new meaning is still not in there. We editors may be smart, but we should really also have a feel for language as it is understood by the man or woman in the street. I repeat, editors (particularly new ones) are not always computer-literate. Instructions for editors should be written in simple terms, and when a new meaning for an old word is introduced, it should be explained (as I have done for adhesions in the section below headed "Overlinking vs. Redundant Linking.") By the way, OrangeDog makes a good point: Apparently deprecate means discontinue the future use of — all the more reason to define it fully in the text for the reader's benefit (because, frankly, I never understood it that way). Yours faithfully, GeorgeLouis (talk) 14:51, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
But to define it "fully" requires at least two sentences of clumsy English. Why not just wikilink it like everything else and let the reader find out for themselves? Language is there to be used, expecting people to learn anything they don't understand, rather than dumbing things down at the expense of precision and fluency. OrangeDog (talkedits) 22:00, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
A quick trip to Google Definitions gives me "software features that are superseded and should be avoided." Hmm. Nine words. Could you live with that? GeorgeLouis (talk) 22:33, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

GeorgeLouis has a point. Wikipedia came from the open source programming world, but our guidelines and documentation should be easily understandable by non-programmers as well. --Apoc2400 (talk) 14:01, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

The question then is whether anyone here fails to understand the meaning in Wikipedia's terms. Frankly, I don't think this is an issue at all. Resolute 14:10, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Hey, before the preliminaries to the Great Date-Autoformatting Wars, I didn't know there was a specialized meaning to "deprecate", so I was definitely misled. I certainly knew (and had known for decades) the meaning of "deprecate" in the sense of "deplore" or "disparage", so it was only natural to read the word in the common and ordinary English meaning (not suspecting there was any other). But those who wanted to remove the wikilink brackets from autoformatting dates declared that the Manual of Style and Wikipedia Policy now deprecated their use. So of course to me that meant that, although it had once recommended their universal use, Wikipedia now mildly disapproved of them and now leaned towards, or suggested, or recommended, their non-use. But to others familiar with the InfoTech meaning of "deprecate", it meant that they were obsolescent, should never be added and in fact should be removed. —— Shakescene (talk) 08:59, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Indefinitely semi-protected user talk pages: should policy require an unprotected subpage?

Discussion of File:Lolicon Sample.png

An editor has brought up a concern that this image is illegal and should be deleted. Please come participate in the discussion. Thank you. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 22:56, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

An editor's idea of what constitutes "child pornography" is totally out to lunch. If that's illegal, then so are 90% of the clothing ads delivered with my Sunday newspaper. --Carnildo (talk) 23:38, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
User:Nihonjoe -- the one who opened the debate on commons -- seems to be forum shopping, as it's been on two village pumps and the anime project at least, and is talking about himself in third person here. Just saying... ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 00:28, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
In any case, that image is not on this project, it is on commons, so it would need to be deleted there according to their process. No admin here can do it. — Carl (CBM · talk) 00:43, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
I think, Melodia, that you are misleading us somewhat. According to the first post to which Nihonjoe points (which is admittedly a post by Nihonjoe), the claim is made that another user, Human.v2.0, is the person who initially raised the concern. Talk:Lolicon#Image appears to confirm this. --Tagishsimon (talk) 00:48, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
It's okay, it's not forum shopping to announce a discussion in several directly relevant and neutrally inclined places. My opinions on the matter itself are at Commons. Dcoetzee 00:53, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
It was mainly a matter of the way it was worded, as well as bringing it up on more than one pump. But I see Joe was defending it in Lolicon talk, so I strike my comment. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 02:11, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

IP and newbie !votes

What is our policy on XFD and RFX !votes by new IP editors and new accounts? As per AGF do we allow such votes as any other and only discount them if sockpuppetry is proven?--Ipatrol (talk) 20:25, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

I believe we allow them by the very maxim of "anyone can edit". Some people are just too lazy to sign in (or something) and others may wish to use an IP for certain topics they may not want their ID associated with to the casual user. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 20:54, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
The ! in "!vote" is supposed to stand for "not". It hardly makes sense to say !votes in one sentence and votes in the next, meaning the same thing. If we had votes, then for credibility's sake, I think anonymous ones would have to be discounted. But we don't, we have comments, and these should be judged on the strength of the arguments advanced. (Of course, the strength of arguments is often - at least partially - judged on the basis of the number of editors they convince, and for that purpose I would tend to discount anonymous comments that don't advance any new arguments. But I don't know what real admins do.)--Kotniski (talk) 09:44, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
"XFD and RFX !votes by new IP editors". What in the world does that mean? In confusion, GeorgeLouis (talk) 17:51, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
XFD and RFX !votes by new IP editors. OrangeDog (talkedits) 18:02, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
XFD (_____ For Deletion) and RFX (Requests For _____) do often end up being quasi-votes anyway, and ten bad arguments for and one good argument against often gets resolved on the side of the bad arguments, but so long as there isn't sockpuppetry, an IP user or new user is as likely to have a good argument as an established user. If socking is an issue, we have ways to deal with that. SDY (talk) 17:59, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, do we? Are we really able to establish satisfactorily, within the time that an XFX discussion lasts, whether one or several IP addresses or accounts have been used by a single person? And if you're saying that we do in effect have votes, then surely random passers-by should be disenfranchised? We can't have it both ways - if we are going to decide things by numbers, then we must have and enforce a proper voting system where it's clear who can vote and how many times. If not, then we must insist that closers give their rationale based on a full analysis of the arguments. --Kotniski (talk) 06:51, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Draft arbitration policy

The Committee has prepared a provisional draft of an updated arbitration policy for initial community review. All editors are invited to examine the text and to provide any comments or suggestions they may have via one of the two methods specified on the draft page.

On behalf of the Arbitration Committee, [[Sam Korn]] (smoddy) 11:40, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Proposed edit

I have proposed an edit at Template talk:Essay#Bold and colored text; some people seem to miss the important facts. -- IRP 03:32, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

RFC: Notability of free open source software

Wikipedia is currently missing a standard of notability for free open source software. I wrote a proposal at Wikipedia:Notability/RFC:Notability of free open source software and would welcome your comments. Thank you, Dandv (talk) 04:45, 10 April 2009 (UTC).

WP:ATA - Guideline proposal

I have proposed that WP:ATA become a guideline. Please discuss here. Best, Steve Crossin Talk/24 05:00, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Image size on image description page

So lately I've been uploading a lot of very high-resolution public domain images. A good example is File:The Anti-Slavery Society Convention, 1840 by Benjamin Robert Haydon.jpg. Annoyingly, when you view the image description page of such images on English Wikipedia, they're displayed at full resolution, which is larger than any monitor I've ever heard of. You can't view the whole image at once, and you have to scroll way down to see the description. Many of the other language wikis and Commons display these images scaled down to a large, but more reasonable size. If you want the full-resolution size you click on it. Can we agree to turn on this option as well? Dcoetzee 23:38, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Go to Special:Preferences > Files > Limit images on file description pages to and change the size in the dropdown box to something smaller than is currently there. I think the default value is 800x600px which should display well on most monitors. Tra (Talk) 23:47, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but I'm proposing changing the default behavior for users who are not logged in and users who have not modified their preferences. Dcoetzee 00:55, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
Are you sure this is what the bulk of not-logged-in users get? Any other wiki I go to (ah, the joys of SUL) has the defaults set to 800x600; if I look at that file logged out, I get it 800x600. Could this possibly be a problem at your end? Shimgray | talk | 02:07, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, it is almost certainly an issue at the OPs end. I have never even touched those preferences, and uploaded images always come up no larger than 800x600. Resolute 06:25, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
The scaled-down version is default. Dcoetzee, try logging out and viewing the image. Either you changed your prefs without realizing, or your browser (or a plugin) is doing something wonky. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja 06:34, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
Er, oops. :-/ I must have set it many years ago and forgotten. Forgive my error. Dcoetzee 08:08, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Poll: autoformatting and date linking

This is to let people know that there is only a day or so left on a poll. The poll is an attempt to end years of argument about autoformatting which has also led to a dispute about date linking. Your votes are welcome at: Wikipedia:Date formatting and linking poll. Regards Lightmouse (talk) 09:06, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Advertising discussions

Please see Wikipedia:Advertising discussions, a proposal I've made to formalise guidelines on where and how the largest discussions should be advertised around Wikipedia to ensure sufficient input to major discussions. Improvements to the page and input on the talk page would be appreciated. Carcharoth (talk) 10:33, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Audit Subcommittee established

To provide better monitoring and oversight, the Arbitration Committee has decided to establish an Audit Subcommittee, which will investigate complaints concerning the use of CheckUser and Oversight privileges on the English Wikipedia. The subcommittee shall consist of three arbitrators appointed by the Committee and three editors elected by the community. The Committee shall designate an initial slate of three editors until elections can be held.

The initial membership, the procedures for the subcommittee, and more details on the election process will be published in the near future.

For the Committee, Kirill [pf] 22:30, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Discuss this

Poll on reviewer autopromotion for flagged protection and patrolled revisions

There is currently a poll on the autopromotion of reviewers at Wikipedia talk:Reviewers#Poll on autopromotion, for the trial implementation of flagged protection and patrolled revisions. For information, see general documentation and overview. All users are invited to comment, and to participate in the elaboration of a reviewing guideline as well. Cenarium (talk) 13:43, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

I would suggest messaging all the editors who have the "for" and "against" flagged revision tags on their talk page, with a neutral invitation. Ikip (talk) 17:46, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

RfC concerning the Rescue squad and TfDs

Should templates be within the scope of the Article Rescue Squadron? In particular, should the {{rescue}} tag be applied to templates currently at templates for deletion?

Please do not comment here but at the RfC thread itself. Thank you for any assistance and insight you may be able to offer. -- Banjeboi 01:19, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Successful modification of an arbtritation

Can anyone give me an example of a sucessful modifiction of an arbritration?

What are the regualar steps to modificating of an arbtritation? Is there a page about this? Thank you. Ikip (talk) 17:46, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

First, what do you mean by "modification of an arbitration"? Do you mean, getting an aspect of an existing arbitration decision changed? — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 13:51, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
The enforcement of the arbitrition has been one sided. Thanks in advance. Ikip (talk) 07:27, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Requests for modification are made at Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration#Clarifications_and_other_requests. MBisanz talk 07:48, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for your response here, and all your help, here and on other pages MBisanz. Ikip (talk) 17:04, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Plagiarism of wikipedia

I found a book published in 2008 containing a verbatim copy of the intro to the article Superconductivity. By digging through the revision history, I have determined that the article was copied in May 2007. The material is my original work, which I added to the article in Aug 2006. While it's clear to me that publisher has stepped over the line, I don't know what action I should take. I could write a strongly worded letter, but I'm not sure who has been wronged -- me? The Wikimedia foundation? See User:Spiel496/plagiarism for the details. Spiel496 (talk) 21:07, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

"You irrevocably agree to release your contributions under the GFDL." It's not your work, not once it's submitted here. To the question, here's a quote:
You may copy and distribute the Document in any medium, either commercially or noncommercially, provided that this License, the copyright notices, and the license notice saying this License applies to the Document are reproduced in all copies, and that you add no other conditions whatsoever to those of this License. You may not use technical measures to obstruct or control the reading or further copying of the copies you make or distribute. However, you may accept compensation in exchange for copies. If you distribute a large enough number of copies you must also follow the conditions in section 3.
You may also lend copies, under the same conditions stated above, and you may publicly display copies.
Does that answer you question? — Trust not the Penguin (T | C) 21:11, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, it is still "your work": WP:C notes "Copyright is never transferred to Wikipedia. You can later republish and relicense them in any way you like. However, you can never retract the GFDL license for copies of materials that you place here; these copies will remain under GFDL until they enter the public domain when your copyright expires (currently some decades after an author's death)." If a publisher has used your work that you placed on Wikipedia without meeting the requirements of the GFDL license (see Wikipedia:Reusing Wikipedia content for what those requirements are), you do have the same legal remedies available to any copyright holder. Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks#Non-compliance process suggests some steps that you might take (standard disclaimer: not legal advice) on finding a website that violates your copyright of material you placed on Wikipedia. These are obviously less likely to work if a book has already been published. You may wish to consult an attorney. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 21:22, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
It's possible that the book is published under the GFDL, in which case no licensing breach has taken place -- but there doesn't seem to be any indication of this in the contents as displayed by Google books. I would make a polite enquiry to the publisher regarding the book's licensing model. If it turns out to be the egregious breach of the GFDL that it looks like, further action would be appropriate and you should follow Moonriddengirl's suggestion and talk to a lawyer. (You might want to consult someone at the WMF to see if they would support you in this, but it's important to note that you are the holder of the copyright in the text and therefore you, not the WMF, are the wronged party.)
Incidentally, if James R. Tobin is an academic then you should write to whoever is in charge of academic standards at his institution, copying in his Head of Department, pointing out that he is a plagiarist. --Nick Boalch\talk 21:51, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
They're stealing our free knowledge! Sue them!. Mr.Z-man 21:54, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Copying half a printed page of text verbatim with no acknowledgment is unusually blatant. Dragons flight (talk) 22:08, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree that any plagiarism is inappropriate and reporting it to the academics in change is a good idea, I'm merely pointing out the irony of suing someone or threatening legal action for misusing our free content in an educational setting; kinda sends the wrong message. Mr.Z-man 00:58, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
There are two separate problems here. One is the issue of plagiarism, which is the height of academic irresponsibility. The other is a (potential, as I note above) breach of license: taking Wikipedia's free content and using it in a non-free manner. The issue here isn't 'stealing our free knowledge', it's 'making our free knowledge non-free'. I believe the point here is worth pursuing, because both plagiarism and license abuse of this kind are contrary to the very fibre of what Wikipedia is for. --Nick Boalch\talk 09:36, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
OK, I'll see what the publisher has to say. Thank you to everyone who responded. Spiel496 (talk) 22:05, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
One more comment: I think the culprit is not the author, but the publisher, Nova Publishers. On their website I chose, somewhat arbitrarily, another technical book (optical fibers, this time) and found that this one's preface also contains verbatim text from Wikipedia. (Not my material.) Again, details on User:Spiel496/plagiarism. Spiel496 (talk) 00:30, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

There are instructions at Wikipedia:Mirrors_and_forks#Non-compliance_process for websites (somewhat different for books - no OCILLA). Because Wikipedia does not own the copyright, only republishes the material, the Foundation has no legal grounds on which to issue a complaint themselves. Dcoetzee 23:32, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
It's worth noting that Nova Publishers have been criticised elsewhere for repackaging public domain works without indicating the source: [2]. Now this might not be a breach of copyright, but it IS plagiarism: see Signpost dispatches for a similar discussion. There seems to be some controversy at Talk:Nova Publishers as well, which I haven't waded through. As far as WP content is concerned, NgB above is right that this is a significant problem: a publisher using free content without attribution and presenting it as non-free. Gwinva (talk) 23:48, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
The really big problem, in my opinion, is that editors here expect attribution when they make their edits, and some of them may choose not to edit if they believe these legal rights will not be respected. Dcoetzee 01:27, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

To answer Spiel496's original question: You have been wronged. You hold the copyright on the material you contributed. Even if you agreed to license it under the GFDL, the publishers have not followed the terms of the license. They are violating your copyright in your work. You have whatever legal remedies you ordinarily have. (In the US, minimum statutory damages are $200 or $750, depending on the circumstances.) You could threaten legal action if you wanted, and see if they would settle for some sort of payment. I think a not trivial number of photographers here have sent stern letters when corporations used their work without attribution, and some have gotten decent payouts. Calliopejen1 (talk) 23:57, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Deletion of indefinitely blocked user talk pages

I have raised the issue of deleting the user talk pages of indefinitely blocked editors at Wikipedia talk:Deletion policy#Deletion of indefinitely blocked user talk pages. Comments and suggestions are welcome. --Vassyana (talk) 09:18, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Speedy deletion criteria / Deprecating categories without discussion

In this edit, I declined a speedy for a category: apparently the category was just emptied, and an editor (not the creator) tagged it with {{db-empty}}. After I left a short note on the tagger's talk page, explaining that I'd declined it because this was criterion for the deletion of articles, not of categories, I received a reply of "A db-empty is a db-empty." The category itself is empty, so in a few days it will qualify under C1, but is it really right to delete a category under A1, as was attempted here? Nyttend (talk) 13:12, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

No, of course it isn't. The article speedy deletion criteria are for articles, the category criteria are for categories. The tagger should read policies before applying them, and read templates before transcluding them. Algebraist 13:31, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Categories have their own criteria for a reason... What concerns me is that this editor seems to be eliminating categories without discussion... –xeno (talk) 13:31, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
You should have deleted it under G6 housekeeping IMO.--Pattont/c 13:32, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
You certainly should not. There are reasons C1 requires a four-day wait, and one of them is to stop this sort of unilateral category removal. Algebraist 13:37, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Um, guys chill out. I have created new categories to replace them per our standard naming convention. See Category:Cities, towns and villages in Ecuador. I have created new categories by province and have recategorised the articles accordingly which were once in these now redundant categories. Seems as I have done this with practically every other ocountry on wikipedia and am working my way through referencing and standardizing these articles and making them consistent all I asked is to remove the empty categories which have been renamed as towns as they should be. This is certainly not a big deal to bring it here. The reason why I have replaced them is that they are named "canton seats" yet many of the articles combine the canton and main town into one article so it was an awkward naming. Dr. Blofeld White cat 13:38, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

and this task is so urgent, that you can't file a CFD? CFDs serve many important purposes, one of which is ensuring proper GFDL attribution is retained when renaming categories. –xeno (talk) 13:42, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Given how little time I have to what I want to achieve on here yes. I've done exactly the same thing with other countries on here and nobody has said a thing and glady deleted the empty categories. As a result or organisation and articles on towns in general are better organised than they have been since wikipedia started. I'm also going through Mexican municipalities and referencing them. Am I expected to propose that too? GFDL for simple category naming. Sorry I don't follow. It doesn't matter who starts the categories, I have a job to do which I'd now like to continue doing. Dr. Blofeld White cat 13:45, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Proper GFDL attribution is not an option or something we can discard just because you don't think it's important or you're too busy boosting your create count. See Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Administrator instructions: "any significant history of the category introductory text should be pasted into the new category talk page". –xeno (talk) 13:49, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

What are you talking about? The categories for Canton seats has nothing to do with cities, towns and villages. It is a fresh start on a basic category created by me. Do you think its feasible to start listing the names of editors who ever created any categories for Ecuador since 2001 to "comply with guidelines". Dr. Blofeld White cat 13:58, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I don't see that GFDL has any relevance to this discussion, unless there is some significant authored text on these category pages (in the vast majority of cases there isn't). Seems to me this is a case of editor working hard to improve Wikipedia vs. bureaucrats trying to make things more difficult. --Kotniski (talk) 14:03, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
What I see is someone eliminating a categorization by "Canton seats" unilaterally, without discussion, and trying to force his changes through using an inappropriate CSD criterion. That's not how Wikipedia works. Now, perhaps we don't want to categorize articles by Canton seats, but there is no deadline to eliminate this category and CFD is relatively painless. –xeno (talk) 14:07, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Exactly Kotniski. The fact is while people sit around fussing about my "misconduct" I'm the one coming up with the goods every minute on here by standardising articles like this, wiki knoming which a lot of people here rarely give me credit for. I'm sorry if people feel I am some sort of rogue editor who ignores "policy" but I feel I am doing good work and improving wikipedia. All I asked was for somebody to delete the empty categories, plain and simple. I certainly didn't expect people to make a big thing about what seems a very simple procedure. Dr. Blofeld White cat 14:14, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

You know what else is a simple procedure? Filing a CFD. We're not trying to discount the good work you do here, but there are processes in place for these things. And it's not process-for-processes sake. How do you know people don't want categorization by Canton seats? –xeno (talk) 14:16, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

(after ec) Recreating deleted categories is painless too. Let's not overdramatize here - most of what happens on Wikipedia is done unilaterally without discussion, and quite rightly. There's a problem with this C1 criterion; it's been discussed before. It ought to be possible to tag a category as empty as soon as you've emptied it (if you're dealing with a lot of categories, you lose track if you have to wait four days). It's then up to the deleter to decide whether the category's been empty long enough. You can't do this easily of course - although you could look at whether it's been tagged for deletion for long enough. Anyway, the upshot is that the perfect solution is to use PROD to delete empty categories; and naturally, like any good solution on Wikipedia, this is opposed vigorously.--Kotniski (talk) 14:21, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Thats exactly how I feel. And if large scale changes are made to a normal convention then it is the time and place to engage in a lengthy discussion. I saw this as just a minor change to cleanup the confusing nature of the categories e.g many articles on cantons were categorised as "Canton seats in so and so province". Which is an error that needed fixing. It would be like Adams County, Pennsylvania being categorzed as "County seats or county capitals in Pennsylvania" -a clear error, then of course some cantons are combined and others aren't -too confusing at present. By creating universal town categories I have solved this problem, which I had hoped to do a lot more quietly. If ther eis some outrage in the futre that we must have these categories then they can be recreated within minutes. As it was though the basic system was inconsistent and needed sorting. Dr. Blofeld White cat 14:31, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

I applaud your efforts to more logically order these categories, and I think the best way go about it without causing all kinds of shoe-throwing would be to file a CFD explaining the changes, and ensure that everyone agrees what you are doing is a good idea. –xeno (talk) 14:35, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Agree with Xeno here. This is not like recreating a deleted article. If the category is renamed or deleted and the articles relocated/removed, sure, it's easy to recreate the category, but unless you know who did the article moving, it's extremely difficult to repopulate it. It's much easier to get consensus for such actions before than to try to fix things after. --Kbdank71 14:39, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
I think we can see where you're coming from, but as I know from my own practical experience, categories in obscure areas of WP are often very messy, and tidying them up requires enough work as it is, without having to go through additional unnecessary bureaucractic processes as well. The Doctor is doing us all a favour by marking these empty categories for deletion (after all, he could have just left them lying around orphaned in category space), so we should be finding ways to make this task as easy as possible, for him and others - and certainly not criticizing him.--Kotniski (talk) 14:48, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Real consensus or getting "everybody to agree" rarely happens on here. The people who comment at CFD are minimal in comparison to who uses wikipedia and often a lot people who comment don't work on articles related to that subject and might know less about how things are organised than in their more familiar topics and that goes for any topic on here. Discussion is a good thing if a major change is being made but the way I fele is too much time is wasted on here with very little real gain for the encylopedia. For instance people could spend hours arguing at some arbitration request about some awful wikipedian. Yes it might helped evaluate the siuation but how does it actually improve the encyclopedia itself. By the time I've waited days for a couple of random editors to say whether they like it or not I could have got the whole thing done and filled in missing articles and references to boot. Maximise mainspace output minimise chit-chat is best in my view. Gaining real consensus given the severe restriction of jkust a minute handful of editors is not really on cards, even if a few people say I like it or a few say "I hate it." Sorry thats how I feel about it. And while I've tried to justify myself here I could have referenced 3 or 4 more articles. And nobody is throwing shoes, I respect my Zapatero too much... Dr. Blofeld White cat 14:47, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

While you wait for the CFD to run its course, you could add your new categories, leaving the "Canton seats" cats in place and then a bot would remove them if consensus existed to not categorize by Canton seats and an administrator would delete them (see WP:CFD/W). Just because you don't feel its worthwhile to categorize by Canton seats, doesn't mean someone else doesn't. For the record, I didn't have any idea what a Canton seat was before this discussion, so I'm speaking from general principles here. –xeno (talk) 14:51, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Two questions: 1) Is the consensus of a few people at CFD better or worse than the unilateral decision made by you and you alone? 2) Concerning wasting time, CFD's run five days. Is Wikipedia so fragile that it's going to be damaged in any way while the CFD runs? --Kbdank71 14:55, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Maybe someday when all of the canton town seats are expanded into seperate articles and it is consistent they can be readded if there is "consensus" that people really want them, as it was though it was easier to avoid the confusion. Yes some of the articles are so poor on here that I can't waste time in too many debates. They need urgent attnetion seriously. How is this discussion helping improve what is important, the encyclopedia? 14:56, 15 April 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dr. Blofeld (talkcontribs)

By making sure things get done right. --Kbdank71 15:01, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Well, then file the CFD, state your reasons, and then don't visit it again and do whatever work you feel is so urgent that it has to be done this very second. If people agree with you, everything will happen in due course. This discussion is helping the encyclopedia because, hopefully, your behaviour will be modified and you will file the appropriate discussions to log and perhaps prevent these changes if consensus does not exist for them. For example, we may not wish to do double-work re-categorizing these by Canton seats further down the line. –xeno (talk) 15:02, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Who is the authority to judge what is "right"? Might I point out that wikipedia as an encyclopedia would not be what it is today if individual editors didn't take the initiative themseleves to make their own choices and edit articles individually. A massive percentage of encyclopedic content on here (which is why we are here believe it or not) is not generated through endless discussion and branding policies it is created through individuals like myself being WP:BOLD having guts to do things themsevles and sheer hard work. Wikipedia is still the free encyclopedia that anybody can edit. A lot of the time editors make changes which they believe are beneficial to the encyclopedia and they are done and a lot of the time go unnoticed by later editors as problems have been fixed and solved without heavy discussion needed. I can see you can't understand how I operate on here but I can see why you think discussing everything is important. I disagree, sorry. Dr. Blofeld White cat 15:08, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

And it's clear you feel that your opinion supersedes the opinion of those who originally felt categorization by Canton seat was worthwhile. You seem to operate on the basis that you have the sole authority to judge what is right, and everyone else's opinion be damned.xeno (talk) 15:12, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
As I said above, let's not overdramatize, and let's not say things that might start to sound like personal attacks. The Doctor has done nothing worse than be bold, and Wikipedia greatly benefits from people's doing that. Not everything needs to be discussed beforehand, and not every process needs to be followed to the letter.--Kotniski (talk) 15:18, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

For what it's worth, my answer to Kb's first question is probably "worse". I don't know about CfD, but at other .fD's that I've seen, people just pass by and comment without any real understanding of the issue. One experienced editor who knows the subject is probably more likely to get it right. Other editors with an interest in those articles might have something of importance to say on the matter, but they'll comment when they see the categories changed on the article pages, not as a result of anything happening at CfD. --Kotniski (talk) 15:07, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Where's the fire? I don't understand this artificial urgency. -Chunky Rice (talk) 15:11, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Its hot on your ass boy you better watch out!! Reach for the hose. Just kidding. The urgency is obviously in the 80% crappy unreferenced stubs on articles which should be fully developed by now and other crap that exists on here which people couldn't give a monkeys about. A lot of articles on here need urgent attention if you take our content seriously. Our main priority on her eis the produce an encyclopedia of the highest quality. With well over 1 million unreferenced stubs... and many more nursery school level english quality articles. Thats why I'd rather not sit around discussing minor categorical changes when so much needs doing on these articles now this very minute. I rest my case. Dr. Blofeld White cat 15:17, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Me too. Happy editing. Consider WP:CFDs, if only to log what was once there. –xeno (talk) 15:24, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Wow, what a discussion in a short time! This matter has led me to propose a revision of speedy criterion C1 at Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion, header "Category speedy deletion"; would you please offer opinions there? Nyttend (talk) 16:27, 15 April 2009 (UTC)


I wanted to get feedback on proposed guidelines at WP:DERM:CAT regarding the categorization of dermatology-related articles. Are there any issues that need to be addressed to make them better or more consistent with other wikipedia policies? ---kilbad (talk) 23:08, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Renaming Articles for Deletion to Articles for Discussion

There is an ongoing proposal to rename Articles for Deletion to Articles for Discussion. Interested editors are asked to comment and make their thoughts known. --NickPenguin(contribs) 04:30, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

WP:Stop editing

My experience at Wikipedia has been good. But I have run into editors multiple times who are not quite trolls, not quite vandals, but rather an unseemly combination of gamers and point-makers who are angry at Wikipedia for continually attempting to "censor" their "useful contributions" that are actually sneakily sourced, carefully worded, blatantly POV "drive-by" edits. What makes this type of editor unique is its remarkable persistence: despite its frustration with Wikipedia and its fascist editors who keep on reverting and scolding and blocking, it keeps on editing its way to prominence as an annoyance, often claiming that if they have a source, it MUST be encyclopedic material according to NPOV, mo matter the phrasing or the context.

For this reason, I propose this policy: If you blame Wikipedia for consistent reverts of edits that you feel are legitimate, stop editing. Alternatively, you could read up on Wikipedia's policies on pushing agendas and points of view and make your future edits more productive along those guidelines.

That is obviously a rough draft and I hope to hear your input. I think this rule would make it a lot easier to weed these pestilent people out without a dispute. And they love to dispute. The Sartorialist (talk) 03:02, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Are you proposing banning people who make such complaints or simply recommending that they "stop editing"? SMP0328. (talk) 03:13, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
It's not the complaints that are bothersome so much as the disruptive edits. The complaints are just where their intentions of gaming the system are fleshed out when things such as "it's sourced and therefore relevant and NPOV" are said about, say, Robert Byrd collapsing at the inauguration of the first black President. This would be made to seem as though he collapsed as a result of the idea that a black man is President, with some vague reference to his KKK affiliation in the 40s, and then referenced because technically he did become upset at Obama's inauguration (though he didn't collapse; that was Ted Kennedy having a seizure, which was itself the reason Byrd was distressed). Anyways, I would not advocate banning such editors left and right, but rather create a policy from which there is little to no wiggle room (like I said, they will dispute if you nail them on NPOV or something, often using some bastardization of the censorship rule) so that a note, a warning, or a threat of a block or ban is granted more credence. It should also make clear that if they have a problem with the editors at Wikipedia, they should probably not be one, since their edits will be reverted anyways if they continue disrupting. More than anything else, I think this policy would act as a stern warning and a nudge in the right direction for those who insist on gaming the system, a very clear statement that toying with use of sources and mechanically biased rhetoric are not welcome, and in worst case scenarios, an indefatigable warrant for a block. The Sartorialist (talk) 03:51, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure exactly what we should do, but I certainly agree that we need to become a whole lot less tolerant of this type of person. Maybe I'm too pessimistic, but it seems to me that if we feed the trolls (to extend the original definition of troll somewhat), and also allow them to abuse and harrass good editors, then the latter will leave and the former will be left running things.--Kotniski (talk) 06:56, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
And as much as it's said to not feed the damn trolls, almost everyone does, admins included. Since most of the perpetrators of these sorts of edits will stand by their positions and never admit they are wrong-- whether it be in terms of the position itself or by the rules of WP-- it's better to give admins a tool that will really drive the point home, rather than have them argue semantics/feed the trolls until eventually the person breaks a tangible rule like 3RR and is finally blocked. And even in that instance, they will be able to continue with the same tactics once the block is over; this rule would hopefully solve that problem as well.The Sartorialist (talk) 22:07, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't think there's any general agreement as to which reactions constitute "feeding," nor as to identification of trolls. I tend to think that identifying them aloud as trolls is more trouble than it's worth. That said, I've dealt quite recently with two editors that fit Sartorialist's description to a T. I don't know what the best way is to deal with them, short of some major changes in our community culture, which I don't know how to bring about. -GTBacchus(talk) 20:02, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
In the example above A happens (with source A) and B happens (with source B), implying a causal relationship when neither source A nor cause B expresses a causal relationship is a simple WP:OR violation. THis would be the strongest grounds for reversion. dramatic (talk) 19:53, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
The policies are in place, what is lacking is the will to enforce them. Go to any contentious article, spend fifteen minutes reading the talk page and article history, and in most cases, you will be able to identify the one to four editors causing the problem, usually through an unwillingness to work toward consensus and/or an inability to participate in the collaborative editing process in a collegial manner.
And in a large number of instances, they are simply not editing in good faith. We must assume good faith - but not when confronted with evidence to the contrary. Many, many Wikipedia editors are not really here to help produce an encyclopedia based on WP:FIVE, but for other reasons. If an editor really is looking to help, a topic ban will remove them from the area in which their efforts are counter-productive, (perhaps because they are too passionate about the subject), but allow them to continue to contribute in other areas.
Disruptive editors should be quickly topic banned from the areas in which they are causing disruption, no matter what form the disruption takes. Dlabtot (talk) 17:48, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Funny you should say that, as it's you who are being disruptive on a number of pages right now by adding copyright violation links back to articles after they have been pointed out, blind reverting whole masses of fixes to get back to your last edit, etc. If you want quick blocks for disruptive behavior I recommend you ask an admin to give yourself a time out for a day or two. It appears more that you just want to assume bad faith and go on a rant about how anyone who opposes you must be a bad editor, etc. DreamGuy (talk) 18:22, 15 April 2009 (UTC)]
If you think I am in violation of the letter or spirit of some Wikipedia policy, I encourage you to report my behavior in the appropriate fora. Dlabtot (talk) 18:32, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

What is the appropriate fora? It's not to report you, because I see this as Talk. However, I have had to deal with ArgleBargleIV, who has in the past been very troll-like in editing people's work. This person actually edited incorrectly an article, deleted references, and then wrote on my talk page how I quoted things incorrectly and needed references while providing misleading information. Some users who want to follow the rules are so busy jumping down people's throats that even if something is marked as being under construction, they still want to edit things. When I look at this person's talk site, it is filled with other similar complaints spanning the past few years. I can see how this person throws things into deletion mode quickly, almost before someone can object, but is there a way to report someone like this who does it inappropriately rather than just having to re-correct their errors to avoid the repetition other than to stop editing?slm1202000 (talk) 06:02, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

There are a lot of places to report problems, depending on the specific circumstances. At WP:ANI there is a box of links at the top of the page for the various noticeboards, etc. Dlabtot (talk) 06:26, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Disputed content

In the article Chris (Everybody Hates Chris) I saw two possible years of birth, and footnotes indicating that his age was 13 in Season 1 and 15 in Season 3. The writers of this show weren't known for consistency. But in one episode they showed his driver's license, and we knew exactly when he was born, regardless of what had been said in previous seasons. Still, I think the disputed information should somehow remain in the article, probably in the footnotes as it was before, to show the inconsistency. That is part of the character's history.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 21:44, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Is it even disputed? Is maybe season 5 set two years after season 1? OrangeDog (talkedits) 23:47, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Maybe disputed is the wrong word. At the start of each episode they tell us what year it is. The first season, it was 1982. Chris was starting junior high. Since his driver's license said he was born April 4, that would make him 11 (though the footnote says Chris turned 13 that year). That's reasonable, since he's very bright. And he did just start high school this season. The Everybody Hates Chris article does point out the discrepancy; one sentence says each season was set 22 years ago, except the first which was 23. Now M*A*S*H lasted much longer than the Korean War, and Head of the Class was the same way. Do Over was worse since they actually went back in time. A time travel show can do that, but from the time it first happens, you're supposed to go forward.
I messed up. It's just season 4. I don't know where I got season 5 above. I was tired.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 18:12, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Notability of Bilateral relations

I have started a discussion at the AfD talk page about a possible notability guideline for bilateral relations articles it can be found at Wikipedia talk:Articles for deletion#Bilateral Relation AfDs/ Rough Guideline Proposal. TonyBallioni (talk) 13:11, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

It's worth pointing out that this is an important topic because:
  1. there are roughly 20,000 pairs of independent countries, and
  2. some people have already started creating articles on unlikely pairings such as Malta–Uruguay relations, which led to considerable tensions. --Hans Adler (talk) 13:50, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Notability of educational institutions

There are 256 articles in the category High schools in Massachusetts", and many may not meet the usual criteria for notability, as the institutions are not of national influence and are not documented in reliable independent sources -- at least, not apart from their athletic programs. 159 Massachusetts school articles are stubs.

Is there a different criterion for the notability of educational institutions, based on mere accreditation, state recognition, or attendance? Chonak (talk) 19:28, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

WP:OUTCOMESsuggest that most high schools are notable, while elementary and middle schools are generally not. This is very broad of course. Unless I am mistaken there is no policy regarding schools, and at this moment it isn't causing much of a problem. Of course this could change, but until it does I think things are fine the way they are now. TonyBallioni (talk) 19:52, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
There was an old, and very silly (in my view) argument that high schools were automatically notable (i.e. WP:SCHOOLS), I've always found it silly, and the suggestion that a high school is automatically notable is as silly as the idea that any other random building is notable. I would be happy to see this assumption reassessed, as clearly not all schools, regardless of the age of their students, are notable. Resolute 21:19, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

To suppress or not to suppress: that is the question

I've hacked together WP:R#SUPPRESS to help explain when one should suppress redirects, and when one should not. Additions, tweaks, comments, invited. –xeno (talk) 19:56, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

IMO, for the most part "suppress" should just be a shortcut for "CSD the redirect immediately after moving the page". Anomie 21:30, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the policy should be that you only do it when the redirect would otherwise be speedyable. --NE2 21:32, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

New articles with similar content; hatnotes

I have a couple of concerns. Because one would expect one infobox with an article about one mountain peak, I chose to create two articles. But the articles have very little separate content. What would be the appropriate action to take with Eaglenest Mountain if there is a North Eaglenest Mountain that is actually higher and more famous than Eaglenest? I have no photo I can use of North Eaglenest, although I could probably find one and link to it. But it is used on lots of postcards and publicity information for the area.

My other concern is about a link from said articles. I ended up linking to Cloudland, which wasn't what I hoped it would be. But I added to the hatnote on that article's page. I'd appreciate someone checking to see if I did it right.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 20:18, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm going to redirect North Eaglenest to Eaglenest for now and put both infoboxes there, and fix the disambiguation page accordingly. If I've done anything improper let me know, and I'll fix it tomorrow. Or anyone can.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 20:34, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

I've discovered a problem. The coordinates are the same in both boxes. I guess that justifies two articles, although I can't figure out how both will qualify.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 20:49, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

CfD CATGRS test case needs input

Please see Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2009 April 13#Category:Female pool players. This is the third time this particular category has been up at CfD, as it keeps closing without consensus. This time it should close with a clear consensus, one way or the other, as it has high precedent value with regard to whether, under WP:CATGRS and WP:OVERCAT, categories (and especially sport[s] and competitive gaming biographical categories) should be broadly gender-divided (e.g., a Category:Female snooker players, a Category:Female chess players, a Category:Female basketball players, etc.). To date, the majority of respondents have been the same in all three CfDs. Broader community input is clearly needed to prevent yet another finding of no consensus. Disclaimer: I am the nominator for discussion at CfD. As I have stated there, I will be entirely satisfied with a consensus decision either way (though I clearly favor one outcome over the other in my arguments there), as long as a consensus decision is actually arrived at, finally. The nutshell version of the issue is that in some cases women compete separately from men in professional and amateur pool (pocket billiards), and in other cases they do not. One camp says that this is sufficient gender division within the industry to warrant a gender-split category, while the other side disagrees. The arguments on both sides have well-reasoned and plausible rationales, thus the lengthy dispute. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 22:13, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Dispute resolution question

I'm dealing with a rather stressful situation and would like to know where I can turn for help. A content dispute started with things being said by both parties which probably shouldn't have been said. I'll cop to that. I'm the only one copping to that. So, the page was locked down so that we could resolve our differences. When I tried to do so, the other editor continued making personal attacks. He also started screwing around with my comments on the talk page (removing them from view). I tried to restore them and an admin friend of his blocked me from making edits to the talk page (as well as ignored the ongoing personal attacks). What dispute resolution processes are available to me?- (talk) 09:21, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

There are several, such as WP:3O (a third opinion forum), and WP:RFC (Wikipedia requests for comment). It's also fine to just informally ask others to have a look at the situation. Which page are you talking about? -GTBacchus(talk) 17:33, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Input sought: Should WP:NOT include considerations for plot summaries

A straw poll and discussion on whether WP:NOT should be giving advice in regards to plot summaries is opened and seeking additional input, and can be found |here. --MASEM (t) 12:11, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Survey at Talk:Autofellatio#RfC: Should the human image be placed in a drop-down/toggle box

Hi. This project seems to be a good place to tell people that there is a survey running at the Autofellatio article regarding whether the top image should be placed in a toggle-box, defaulting to "hide". Opinions are welcome. I've cross posted this message at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Sexology and sexuality. -GTBacchus(talk) 17:30, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Improving wikipedia home page

I am a long time user of wikipedia who is always thinking of ways to streamlinethe experience, with this in mind may i suggest the following: On the main pagehave a top ten of the most topics searched for the current day. It would giveevery wikibrowser the opportunity to find out what is hot for that day, expose usto topics we wouldn't see otherwise, and make the whole wiki experience moreinteresting! > —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:53, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

It would result in the same ten hot topics for months at a time with little change and would skew heavily toward pop culture, celebrities, huge news stories and the like. See here. Note also the preponderence of female body parts and other prurient interests of young males included in the top hits. That'll probably stay consistent.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 02:18, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
I like the idea. I think the list would need to be updated far more often than every month in order to be effective (perhaps every day), and certain pages would need to be filtered out of the process -- e.g., Main Page, anything not in article space, etc. Matt (talk) 01:42, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Attribution/GDFL and translations (and sourcing)

There have been a number of recent discussions

  1. Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard#Editor adding many WP:SELFREF-violating entries to reference sections
  2. Wikipedia talk:WikiProject French communes#Problematic mass editing of french communes
  3. Wikipedia talk:Citing sources#Question on using wiki articles from other languages

and at last a TFD @ Wikipedia:Templates for deletion/Log/2009_April_13#Category:Interwiki translation templates

both the proposer of the TFD and myself although of some difference of opinion do feel that the issue needs wider attention rather than just deciding to delete a template (or not). Alternatives where discussed and another thread came up at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#Special:Import

Questions raised are:

  • Do we want attribution templates on the article or does the talkpage suffice?
  • Can we go the Special:Import route and actually import the complete history before translating?
  • How to proceed if there is already an article but it gets expanded based on a translation?
  • A side issue is also the current mass tagging of articles like Härkingen requesting translation from the de-wiki equivalent de:Härkingen where there is absolutely no sourcing bringing us into WP:RS trouble.

I do feel this issue needs resolving one way or another. Also I have been asked to close the above TFD once a relevant discussion is under way. I'd feel more comfortable if someone else where to do that after checking that I got all the issues covered here. Agathoclea (talk) 22:55, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

Just in case it is not clear the editor that caused the discussion objects to the self referencing of the template if in article space. On a funnier sidenote: One editor in particular complained about the note "This article is based on a translation from the French Wikipedia" on the grounds that he actually had translated the article into French from here. Agathoclea (talk) 23:04, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
  • I think the ideal place to put the attribution would be in the edit summary. This is the same practice as when merges are performed and it means that the history page would have links to all of the necessary attributions in one place. Putting the attribution details on the talk page should be OK as well, although I think it would be more suited to cases where there are a lot of complex issues surrounding the copying and translation. I don't think a note on the article page should be necessary. If anything, it gives undue prominence to a single source.
  • Using Special:Import could also work well. One problem that might exist is that only certain editors would be able to receive the necessary permissions to do imports so it would still be necessary to establish a procedure for people who can't use the import feature.
  • If an article is expanded from a translation, the attribution should be in the form of a link to the other wiki in the edit summary.
  • If no sources exist in the articles, ideally it would be possible to find some good sources and add them to both articles. If that's not practical, it might be best not to go ahead with the translation and to consider removing or tagging the unsourced statements in the foreign language article. Tra (Talk) 23:44, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree with the part about the editsummary as when merging. Another issue there is that on de-wiki they have a tendency to move geographic articles without leaving any redirects which could be updated in a template but not in the history. My view regarding the differences between article space and talkpage is that mirrors tend not to have the talkpage available. Agathoclea (talk) 07:31, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Keep It is perfectly legitimate to reuse text from any free content source, and the other WPs are such sources. Not only legitimate, but its a good way of getting articles started and discouraging cultural bias. When this is done, its well to let people know. In fact, I think its a requirement of the licensing that at least a link be made. This is the link. The article page is a good prominent place to put it, in addition to an edit summary at the first edit. Putting these source templates on the first page discourages unacknowledged plagiarism. Once the licensing change is approved, and the entire contents is relicensed uniformly, a link like this will meet all possible objections about licensing details. It is not a self ref--the article stands or fails based on what refs are copied or added to the enWP version,. The only problem is when people do the transwikify without including the references from the original. DGG (talk) 08:08, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
  • I'm on the fence. I say, pretty much, reference the source article however you want to. If the edit-summary process is used for moving material between articles, it also suffices for moving material between Wikipedias; we permit that streamlined crediting mechanism because Wikipedia trusts itself. If you want to add an external link or footnote instead, go ahead. There's more than one way to attribute. Dcoetzee 23:29, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
  • The issue I am having is attribution by whoever takes content from wikipedia - including we ourselves should we further merge articles or create wikibooks. At least article page attribution will be retained talk page attribution will not. Ideally there would be a way to link the histories but that would be something for the developers. Agathoclea (talk) 07:18, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree that something really should be done by the developers to make recording the history of translated and merged articles easier. Right now in terms of GFDL compliance it's pretty much a mess. I'm not sure what the best route would be. Importing the history is good, but doesn't solve anything where an article is being expanded (as opposed to created) using a foreign source. One related concern (both for merged and translated content) is that if the original article later turns out to be a copyvio and is deleted, it's hard to track other articles where that content has ended up. I'm not sure what an easy way to implement that would be. Calliopejen1 (talk) 23:50, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Also, I am very concerned about this problem with the attribution method of the new book feature, which doesn't include edit summaries. (So if you acknowledge a source in the edit summary it is not preserved.) Calliopejen1 (talk) 23:51, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
We should be consistent regardless - the same issue arises for article merges, where the history cannot be preserved as it is in a move. Dcoetzee 01:13, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Well technically it can, but it can sometimes end up being confusing. OrangeDog (talkedits) 03:01, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
History "merging" is for resolving cut-and-paste moves - you can't actually merge the histories of two different articles that evolved concurrently in a meaningful and navigable way. Dcoetzee 04:19, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
No, but you can retain the logs of all versions together with the merged article, as required by the GFDL. I'm not going to go around prosecuting users who didn't get an admin to do this when they merged things though. OrangeDog (talkedits) 15:43, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree. Prosecuting is not the way forward. Making it simple and easy to do is. Agathoclea (talk) 21:18, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Simple and easy is a crisp, clean, concise edit summary "Information added translated from". The permalink provides an exact trail for GFDL attribution. Then, drop a talk page template for more visibility - but not in the references of the article! User:McDutchie said it best: "The article itself is for encyclopedic content, and meta-information is not encyclopedic". A template that may or may not be noted with a proper edit summary makes it a lot more difficult to figure out if its the entire article, or simply some census numbers that a guy pulled over from another language Wikipedia. –xeno talk 04:48, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

(Deindent) Would it be possible/advisable to have some sort of way to be prompted to provide the required info for your merge/translation edit summary, which would then be processed and put into a standard/machine-readable form? The problem is that edit summaries currently are not machine-readable, which makes it impossible to properly credit authors in applications like the new books feature. (This does not include edit summaries in attribution, but presumably could be made to detect these sorts of things and then look to the source article for additional authors to include.) We could also use this to make some sort of bot to go around removing article-space templates like this and including a machine-readable translation edit summary. Calliopejen1 (talk) 14:56, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Help talk:Merging and moving pages#Merge edit summaries (2) has some previous discussion. Flatscan (talk) 03:54, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
That would save the template clutter and solve the book problem. Maybe ask a dev to see what they think. Agathoclea (talk) 15:35, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
How would I go about doing that? Just the normal bug report process? Calliopejen1 (talk) 18:01, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Trademark image usage

Ok, I know trademarks are "free" in that they can't be copyrighted (well, usually). Therefore, they do not fall under WP:NFCC policy. But, I'm really wondering if our treatment of non-copyrightable trademarks is in our bests interests. We have a number of trademarks that are available in the file space, but are not used in article space. Case point; File:RedBlueP.jpg specifically uploaded to populate userboxes.

Do we really want to be hosting trademarked files for purposes having nothing to do with the encyclopedia itself? --Hammersoft (talk) 16:22, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

In practice this would be unworkable because no files are "trademarked" in the same sense that files are copyrighted. Anything can be a trademark; it's all a matter of the context and way it's used, not what it is in the abstract. And in the abstract, this is just a two-color letter. It's furthermore being used in the userboxes "nominatively," which in trademark legal jargon means to identify the actual trademark holder. Postdlf (talk) 16:32, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
How exactly is it "not in our best interests?" Mr.Z-man 16:38, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Ditto Postdlf - trademarks in the abstract are unprotectible (unless they indeed contain copyrightable elements, which must be rather involved), so an image of a trademark is as available to us as an image of the Statue of Liberty. No legal issues, and really these files don't take up much space. bd2412 T 17:41, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
  • It's not the space that concerns me. It's the willy-nilly use of intellectual property. --Hammersoft (talk) 19:27, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Trademark only covers specific uses of the protected symbols. For example, UPS has a trademark on the color "brown", but there's no problem with people using brown on their userpages because the trademark only covers the use in relation to delivery services. --Carnildo (talk) 00:14, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Sure. I can also use the letters UPS. But, if I were to make brown bumper stickers with UPS on them, I'd be encroaching. I don't see much difference between a bumper sticker and a userbox. --Hammersoft (talk) 13:28, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
I do: your userpage isn't delivering packages. --Carnildo (talk) 00:28, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
If it's non-infringing use, who cares? -Chunky Rice (talk) 00:20, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Any trademark that is viewable in file format to be uploaded to Wikimedia can also be copyrighted, as they contain all the same elements that meet copyright law. Anything prohibited by our rules on handling copyrights should also be prohibited for visual trademarks. Hell, trademarks are protected even MORE strongly than copyrights, so we'd have even LESS right to use them. Can't imagine how any userpage use would make any sense at all. DreamGuy (talk) 16:33, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

What on earth are you talking about? I don't know if anything you just wrote is correct. Any plain text can be converted to an image trivially. As long as the arrangement of the text is not copyrightable (like an image of an entire sentence or paragraph) and the design of the image isn't artistic enough to be protected by copyright, it can't be copyrighted. The fact that its a PNG or a JPEG versus text has nothing to do with it. Trademark is only protected in cases of similar usage. As Carnildo says above, the UPS trademark prevents people from using it to start their own delivery service, but using it on a userpage is not at all infringing. They are certainly not "more protected" except that trademarks don't expire as long as they're in use. Mr.Z-man 17:43, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Geography graphics for cities/towns

When will English Wikipedia start promoting the use of the really eye-catching and useful auto-created images for entries on ciites and towns which show the subject of the article in its geographical relationship with other places, as other languages (Portugues, Dutch, etc) use? E.g.:, —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:53, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

I have seen worse on de-wiki. But please never. Agathoclea (talk) 19:32, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

On userboxes meandering back into templatespace

Discussion about username blocking

FYI, there is a discussion about username blocking going on at WP:AN#Username blocks - can we clear this up once and for all?! In retrospect, this may have been a better venue but I don't want to move it partway through. (Anyway, it is chiefly about admins and the inconsistent blocking practices with respect to usernames). —Wknight94 (talk) 20:04, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Comments sought on External YouTube link

Your views are welcome on the subject of adding an External link to the Susan Boyle article. Talk:Susan_Boyle#RfC:_Should_the_Susan_Boyle_article_include_an_external_link_to_a_youtube_video_of_her_4.11.09_performance_on_Britains.27s_Got_Talent.3F SunCreator (talk) 22:01, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Medical articles

Feedback requested at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (medicine-related articles)#Style.2C yes please.21. --Arcadian (talk) 22:44, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Incomplete redirects

Hello all,

I'd appreciate comment on my BRfA for ListasBot 3.

The basic question I'm asking for input on is: If article A has been redirected to article B, but Talk:A was left unmodified, is it appropriate to replace the content of Talk:A with a redirect to Talk:B? Thanks! Matt (talk) 02:18, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Proposal to require links to usertalk pages in signatures

I have started a discussion at Wikipedia talk:Signatures#Require link to usertalk page in signatures?. Any feedback would be appreciated. LadyofShalott 03:56, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Credential Stuffing: Is there a policy on the inclusion of personal details when they aren't relevant?

It's probably easier to give a example than try to explain. "Harvard grad Offe Dawalle is a prominent critic of the theory that humans require regular hydration to survive." This sort of thing which I maybe unfairly call "credential stuffing" occurs often in controversy or criticism sections. The problem I have is that the alma mater of Offe Dawalle is totally irrelevant to the argument he presents, yet when it is included, it makes him look like he has some sort of authority on the subject. It's one thing if he has a relevant degree, ("Human physiology major Offe Dawalle is a prominent critic... ") but what about when he has a degree in say, music? Is it good form to remove such epithets as irrelevant and potentially misleading details, or am I in the wrong? I'm specifically talking about cases on non biographical pages, or biographical pages where those details can be included elsewhere. Hopefully I'm posting this in the right location... Sifaka talk 02:24, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Undue weight is similar. --NE2 03:29, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
It's not quite right though. In my experience, U.W. isn't often enough to make a successful case against these sorts of things since they are facts (vs opinions or viewpoints), people could argue their inclusion helps establish appropriate weight, and they're just a couple extra words so people don't want to fuss about them. As I see it, "credential stuffing" is a way to appeal to authority to lend weight to a viewpoint rather than go by the merit of the statements themselves. Undue weight concerns itself more with not giving more air time to fringe and minority views than they are worth. Sifaka talk 04:02, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
In my daily rounds of copyediting, and the various project pages I'm on, I run across similar issues all the time. Let's say a person is notable for some academic achievement. Does that mean the person's hobbies and interests, as well as those of their spouse, are supposed to be in their article? I would say not. Does that mean the person is expert beyond the areas of their notability and therefore, their views on everything from Wikipedia policy to music should be somehow included in the article? I don't usually get involved in trying to do much more than remove unsourced material (which such opinion usually is), but I see other editors taking a much more radical approach than mine (such as deleting large chunks of what appears to be vanity or blogging in the article). Sometimes, the person who is the subject of the article is heavily involved in editing - never a good situation, IMO. I never know exactly what tags to put on these articles, or what happens next. Anyway, once the speedy deletion and the deletion for notability actions are concluded and the article stays, it's frequent that someone comes in and adds vanity-related or irrelevant and "appeal to authority" type things to pages. What to do?--Levalley (talk) 04:24, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Unimpeachable source? Really?

For complex and irrelevant reasons, I was looking at the talk page for Ivo Andrić (, and saw a number of statements like, "Look, I hate the idea of using a decades-old Times article but the Times is reliable per the standards..." There were six, some duplicative.

I have no standing (I'm dilettante and novice both) in a detailed and extended discussion of Wikipedia policies, but is this really a good idea? Doesn't the Times have an errata section, regularly not empty? Is the Jayson Blair article ( substantially accurate, particularly the bit about the "partial culpability" of the executive editor and the managing editor?

It seems to me a questionable policy to give to your editors a club with which they can beat those who question/object/correct/etc. Examples from the Ivo Andrić talk page: "the Times is reliable per the standards" and "That's a reliable source under our policies. Period. Provide an alternative source if you have one or otherwise let it go." Further, the idea of a daily newspaper being "reliable" in some pseudo-omniscient sense is *at best* intellectually lazy in my not at all humble opinion. My source: let's start with Mencken, or any other reporter who has written widely about his trade. (I'm quite sure Mencken would be laughing and laughing at such a silly notion.)

As previously mentioned, I have no standing, but having looked at the Wikipedia:RS page, I would suggest that most of the caveats given for Self Published Sources and Extremist and Fringe Sources are applicable to daily News Organizations as well. This is just a suggestion of one way to dilute the aura of omniscience apparently perceived by some, and I offer it only to avoid being labeled a bomb-thrower. Amccray (talk) 20:09, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Citations and the reliability of their sources are examined on a case by case basis. We don't simply say that "X is a reliable source" end of story. Editors and readers must weigh the reputation of sources, which is why we have a verifiability policy in the first place. Dlabtot (talk) 20:16, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't see anyone in that talk page discussion calling the New York Times unimpeachable, just reliable. An assertion sourced to reliable source trumps an assertion of fact that is either unsourced, or sourced only to an unreliable source (such as a self-published website). That's what is meant by the quote "Provide an alternative source if you have one or otherwise let it go." Postdlf (talk) 21:01, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
No source is infallible. Even the Times can make mistakes now and then. However, having the Times as a source trumps having no source at all. Matt (talk) 21:42, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Do we need a notability criteria for articles about short stories

There is a discussion at Wikipedia talk:Notability (books)#Short story? about whether a new guideline is needed to address the notability of a short story. Please feel free to comment. I find one discussion of this here in the archives from 2003: Wikipedia:Village pump/November 2003 archive 3#Short stories NJGW (talk) 23:39, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Proposal to establish practices to be followed for deceased Wikipedians

Just a heads up that their is currently a discussion to establish practices to be followed for deceased Wikipedians happening at Wikipedia talk:Deceased Wikipedians/Proposal to establish practices to be followed for deceased Wikipedians. (talk) 04:46, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

the time between AfD nominations for an article

On February 18, 2009 Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Ray Joseph Cormier was closed as "The result was keep." On February 28, 2009, the same article was nominated again for deletion. Ten days?! I'd like to propose a policy that if an article survives an AfD it cannot be renominated again for at least one year after the AfD closed. Kingturtle (talk) 14:57, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

I've seen this happen a few times, but I think a 1 year wait is an overreaction. Nominating an article twice in quick succession for the same reason is probably a bad thing. However, what if an article survives a nomination for one reason (e.g. for notability) but then someone discovers a different non-CSD problem a few days later (e.g. subject is an elaborate hoax)? There are already guidelines saying that a reasonable wait should be left between nominations, and adding a fixed waiting time would cause new problems. Papa November (talk) 15:34, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
The page you linked about times between noms/repeated noms is in fact a Policy (not guideline) page, just to clarify. –Whitehorse1 16:22, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, if it turned out to be a hoax, then it could simply be speedy deleted as Patent nonsense. My concern is that currently an editor has the ability to keep running AfDs for an article over and over again until he gets his desired result. Kingturtle (talk) 15:51, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
Just for precision, WP:CSD#G1 does not cover hoaxes. If the hoax was plausible enough to pass the first AfD, another AfD is probably necessary. Flatscan (talk) 04:07, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
That seems like a long time. I'd be fine with a limit of a month, if it were to come to a hard rule. That being said, do we really need a rule for this? Ten days between AfD's is obviously fishy; the problem does not require a rule to be solved. {{Nihiltres|talk|log}} 15:38, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
[edit conflict]There's been some discussion of issues of parity involving this. DrV isn't the place to bring back an article that was deleted if nothing has changed. But AfD seems to be the place to bring an article back after it has been kept. Then it finally gets deleted (and anything debatable will get deleted with enough tries) and there is no way to bring it back. Seems like a poor set-up. Either we should provide an idea how long between AfDs is acceptable or we should allow DrV to be AfD2. Hobit (talk) 15:52, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

I am willing to suggest six months rather than a year. If an article survives AfD that means there are at least a handful of people who can monitor and fix the article to get it up to snuff. If they haven't done so in six months, then let another AfD take place if someone wants it. We can't expect said handful of people to work their magic on an article in two weeks. Kingturtle (talk) 15:57, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

My example above (about hoaxes) was meant only to be illustrative. I think it's OK to renominate a "kept" article for a completely different (legitimate) reason, no matter how recent the last AFD. The policy already states that repeated renominations are considered disruptive (with a link to WP:BLOCK). This could easily be resolved without introducing an arbitrary time limit. Why not just tweak the policy to something like:
"It can be disruptive to repeatedly nominate a page in the hopes of getting a different outcome. Repeated nominations may be closed as speedy keep unless a new deletion reason is given." Papa November (talk) 16:36, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree that rapidly repeating, substantially similar nominations are not useful. These are usually closed early, but WP:Speedy keep has a narrower definition. Flatscan (talk) 04:07, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

There are some interesting thoughts brought up above about parity. It suggests a determined person has multiple processes at their disposal, with multiple opportunities to employ one of those such as AfD. For example, let's say there's a new article created by a fairly new editor:

  1. Somebody applies a CSD tag; the creator or whoever has to familiarize themself with that deletion process and act accordingly. The article-creator places a hangon tag perhaps – someone removes the deletion tag.
  2. Straightaway or shortly afterward, it gets Prodded, often by the same editor; the creator or others have to familiarize themself with that deletion process and how it works. The tag is removed.
  3. Later, the article is nominated under the AfD process; a third process with which the contributor(s) must familiarize themself. That process, can involve input from few or many; the views of the creator may be given less weight, not simply for having created the article, but being new and unfamiliar their views are less likely to be on clear policy grounds.
  4. If the article survives, the AfD nominator may then request a Deletion Review; a quasi-judicial fourth process with which the contributor(s) must familiarize themself, quite possibly all happening within a short time. This fourth stage might not happen if the person(s) wanting its deletion wait, for some days / a few weeks / a month or so, and instead renominate it under AfD at any time.

The point raised by Papa November about successive nominations requiring a new deletion reason bring the possibility of Gaming The System: The AfD nominator proposes one ground for deletion in their nominating statement. The AfD reaches no consensus or is closed as keep. On renominating, the nominator argues under a different criterion—our nominator could have specified this criterion alongside the previous one in the original AfD, but did not. We can assume for this example that at least the suggestion of the reason is sufficiently realistic to, at least, broach discussing it against the article. –Whitehorse1 17:15, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

I doubt that the gaming you describe occurs often, if at all. I've noticed that AfD/DRV participants tend to exhaust all plausible rationales. Flatscan (talk) 04:07, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
The part you're referring to, Flatscan, relates to the policy wording change suggested by Papa November, and its potential drawback of constituting a how-to for repeat-noms. –Whitehorse1 20:57, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
If such gaming were effective, I think it would have seen some use, even without the proposed change. Withholding a backup nomination rationale seems inefficient: if it's reasonably strong, it should influence the active AfD; if it's weak, a renomination would likely close speedy keep. Flatscan (talk) 02:45, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Well what about the case I described? The rationale behind the 2nd nomination was no different than the first. Such actions should not be permitted. Articles surviving AfDs need some time to blossom before going through another AfD. Kingturtle (talk) 11:54, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

To clarify my stance, I agree that 2 weeks is probably too soon for a renomination, except in cases like the hoax example. However, I consider WP:NOTAGAIN to be a weak rationale, except in egregious cases or when backed by a separate reasoning, and I think that formalizing a minimum interval will encourage its use in AfDs that should be argued on the articles' merits. I agree that a poor renomination wastes time, but I don't see substantial harm to justify a rule. Flatscan (talk) 22:20, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
  • There's a DrV on another one that was deleted with back-to-back AfDs (Dan Schlund). We apparently do need a formal policy. Hobit (talk) 00:12, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Here's an idea I've always wanted to propose but haven't because I know it would be rejected as CREEPy. When nominating an article for deletion that has been previously nominated and closed with a "clean keep" (not "no consensus", not "Delete/DRV overturn" etc) the nominator will be required to "impeach" the previous closure. That is he must, while still assuming good faith, explain why in his judgment, the previous close was not the correct one. If the nominator fails to address the previous nomination, it can be speedy closed by anyone. --Ron Ritzman (talk) 01:20, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

  • It is creepy and WP:CCC should also play a role. The renom could simply argue WP:CCC I suppose. Perhaps disallow that argument for less than year? And then maybe do the same thing in DrV for the otherway around? Eh. I like the idea, but instruction creep sucks and the number of cases are so small at this time.... I just don't see it (yet). Hobit (talk) 04:23, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
  • I would consider just saying WP:CCC a "vague wave" not an "impeachment". (is "impeachment" even the right word for this?) The AFD that started this thread would be a poster child for such a proposal. The nominator was more or less pretending that there was no AFD on that article less then a month ago. Still, such a proposal would likely fail but perhaps a note to check for and address previous AFDs at WP:BEFORE might be a good idea.--Ron Ritzman (talk) 16:00, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
Impeachment is challenging the honesty or veracity of, if this helps. GeorgeLouis (talk) 17:15, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
Part of the definition of "veracity" is act of being exact and accurate. correctness and carefulness in one's plan of action so perhaps "impeachment" is a good word for it. Is the previous "keep" closure "correct" and if not why not?. Still would be CREEPy but the only one being inconvenienced is the one who wants to renominate the article but I think that if he really really really wants it gone so bad, then let him jump through some hoops and do his homework. --Ron Ritzman (talk) 22:50, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
I've been arguing for something like this for a long time. Ever since i first saw AfD, in fact. During that period, my feeling about the length of time between successive nominations after clear keeps have only increased--at first I thought 3 months. But a year is probably too long--the first time round. what is really needed is not preventing Afd2, but Afd3, 4, 5, and so forth: For exceptions,the process should be deletion Review--which already exists and could use some more participation. (Dealing with nomination after other processes is a separate issue--I think it good that an unsuccessful CSD or Prod be follwed errather soon by an AfD. A failed CSD or Prod just means that someone objects reasonably or unreasonably, not that there is no merit.) I propose the following wording
After a keep closing, a second XfD may not be brought for 6 months without permission from deletion review. After 2 consecutive keeps, the interval must be one year. After a third, there must be permission from deletion review in all cases. it is understood that this refers to keeps, not non-consensus keeps by default. DGG (talk) 04:26, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Making it a black and white issue by codifying the process it makes it easier to accept/reject further nominations. — BQZip01 — talk 05:26, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
  • I would support something such as DGG proposal of 6 months; however I am not i favour of extending the wait period longer than 6 months. I believe this would be significant time for tempers to cool in between AFDs (in other words it would deter most repeat AFDs). Also I do not particularly support the idea of requesting permission from DRV to reopen a discussion. DRV is intended to determine if the correct process was followed, not to rehash AFD, which is precisely what requiring consent from DRV would do. Consensus can change over time( given probably not in 10 days), and DRV is not the appropriate forum for determining a change in consensus. See explanation bellowTonyBallioni (talk) 20:19, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

A year is way too long. Maybe a month. Not a hard rule, though. Consensus can change, and it can do so quickly. It might also lead to abuses of people nominating deleteable articles they don't want deleted so they get immunity. Sceptre (talk) 02:15, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree a year seems excessive. A month is just 4 weeks though. If someone nominated a "deleteable" article, which they didn't want deleted then they'd quite possibly end up sorry about the nomination. Swiftly. –Whitehorse1 02:35, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
I think DGG's proposal is a good one. When an article is deleted, in DRV we are repeatedly informed that "DRV is not AfD round 2". But when an article is kept, it is subject to AfD round 2, 3, 4, etc. Requiring DRV or some suitable time delay before renominating an article which had consensus to keep seems reasonable to me. DHowell (talk) 03:45, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

I strongly disagree with setting a time limit between AFDs. While the example given here does seem like very bad form, and should probably simply have been snowball closed, I think it's premature to let one incident dictate policy. Reactionary policymaking often leads to bad policy. An article, or our particular standards for articles or notability can change dramatically over time. An article that wasn't deletable a few months or even a few weeks ago may now be in a condition to be worthy of deletion, particularly if the problems cited in the original AFD were not resolved or were even allowed to get worse. IMO, the standard of what can be renominated should be whether a different outcome can reasonably be expected, were the same community to !vote again. If the answer is no, then an article shouldn't be renominated, period, if it's yes, then I'd say it's a good faith AFD no matter how soon its renominated.

While I don't think we're ready for a new policy here, as an alternative to setting a time limit on renominations, we could amend the speedy keep definition - whenever it's appropriate to do so, simply consider the comments in a recent prior nomination as belonging to the current one, and weigh them as such. Unless consensus really has changed, or there was a real lack of participation the first time around, this all but guarantees the same outcome when the same article gets repeated AFD nominations, and it may make it easier to support early closure of an already settled matter. - Triona (talk) 04:03, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

I don't think for a moment this is a single incident; quite the opposite in fact. I think renoms after a short period are far from unusual. If, as you say, an article wasn't deletable a few weeks ago, it seems illogical to suggest it may be in a condition to be worthy of deletion a few weeks afterward, given the ability to revert; likewise, it is not for AfDs to give a stay of execution dependent on providing solutions to issues cited in them. –Whitehorse1 05:46, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

I think this is unnecessary policy creep. The current system seems to work well enough. If an article is renominated after a short period, the worst that could happen is that it gets WP:SNOW kept after a couple hours. But there's nothing that prevents consensus from changing in a short time. AFDs often get very few comments, its possible that a wider cross-section of the community in a second AFD could result in a different outcome simply by having more participants. Sceptre also points out a way that a time limit system could be abused. Mr.Z-man 04:11, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

If this proposal, or something similar, is rejected, than I propose we somehow deprecate the "DRV is not AfD round 2" argument. If we are going to do nothing to discourage kept articles getting AfD rounds 2, 3, 4, etc., then we shouldn't be discouraging deleted articles from getting the same treatment. DHowell (talk) 04:35, 11 April 2009 (UTC) [How ironic that I used the word "deprecate" before even noticing the following section. However, I do use the term exactly as defined in the first sentence below. DHowell (talk) 04:41, 11 April 2009 (UTC)]
  • Concur with Mr.Z-man and several others, this is unnecessary policy creep. Consensus can change fairly quickly on this project. If there is to be a policy, I'd say one month between formal deletion discussions. Six months and one year are ridiculously long periods, particularly at a time when notability guidelines seem to be in constant flux. Risker (talk) 04:55, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
(re Mr.Z-man's comment) No, the worst that could happen is that it gets deleted after a short time, perhaps having been (NAC or admin) WP:SNOW-closed, thus removing content.
Let's not kid ourselves AfD is a wholly-consistent, failproof, system. Don't get me wrong, we shouldn't throw out the baby with the bathwater: For any faults it may have, it is what we have. If you've hung around AfD for any length of time though (which, I'm sure you have, being an admin who'll provide copies of deleted articles!) you'll know much depends on who participates in the given discussion, the strength of their argument and what they bring—plenty of the discussions get comments like 'keep / changing to keep, following sources found by / changes made by suchandsuchuser'.
A by-no-consensus keep that gets an—underattended—renom may end in the article's deletion. Put another way, successive renominating in the hope different AfD participants, perhaps with poorer supporting arguments, are present the 2nd time is possible; or, "It'll be deleted. Sooner or later they all are." Your point about different participants shaping a different outcome works both ways. –Whitehorse1 05:23, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't consider consensus on an AFD changing to be a bad thing, I may disagree with the outcome, but I'll still accept it. If an article kept at AFD, then a week later deleted per WP:SNOW, either the first AFD attracted too few participants, or something fishy happened at the second. I agree that a different outcome is possible, I don't see why its a terrible thing however. Obviously somebody nominating the same article month after month hoping for a different result is likely trying to game the system, but I see no reason to automatically shut down a second good faith AfD simply because it was nominated recently and kept. Mr.Z-man 05:46, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree. I recently saw a situation in which an article had been (barely) kept on the basis of some sources that were then found to be anything but reliable. Nothing should prevent a repeat AfD for that. I see no need to change the system. Dougweller (talk) 06:09, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
Also agree with the opposes. A while back I renom'd an article that had zero sources, none could be found, yet the first AfD closed as keep because all the !votes were of the WP:ILIKEIT variety. I don't fault the first admin for the close (I've experienced the howls that go up when I've relisted that type of AfD), but I can't see a reason to prevent the relisting.--Fabrictramp | talk to me 17:53, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose A year, six months... even an unconditional one month block on renominations is too long. I think a better solution is to have a bot notify all parties who !voted in the prior AfD if a new one begins within a 6 week period. Yes, rapid renoms are of limited utility, but establishing a bright line rule here is unnecessary instruction creep in a process that's already an enormous generator of bad press. However, if this does go through, speedily kept mass-noms, bad faith listings (e.g., banned user) or otherwise malformed nominations that get speedily kept should all be specific exceptions to the rule. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 17:03, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Support While it does constitute 'policy creep', it seems warranted, I too have seen a few articles in my short time here which suffered under repeated AfDs and then had to fight off unilateral merge attempts. It does happen, some areas of wikipedia remain a battlefield, unfortunately. I don't see how adding a paragraph regarding how often an article can come up for AfD constitutes undue policy creep, I agree that it shouldn't be necessary.. An article with such grave faults that it needs to be removed would fall under speedy deletes anyway? There is no deadline, this is also true for removal of articles that are not speedy delete candidates. I would much rather extend the AfD deliberation period to 1 week so that it might get more extensive attention from the community and ensure proper handling and then submit that such decisions are binding for an increasing set duration. Would it be that it weren't necessary. Unomi (talk) 19:48, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Support either the original version or (preferred) DGG's version. Mostly in an attempt to end battlefield mentality. I'd ideally include "no consensus" closes in there too. Otherwise what's the point of closing the first AfD if another one is just around the corner. It should relist instead (which is also icky). Hobit (talk) 21:34, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Would support that an AfD may be speedily closed if it presents no new reasons, arguments, or evidence than a recent (perhaps as long as 6 months) keep result, and there is no significant change relevant to the reasons. As an example of a signficicant change, a finding on WP:RSN that a certain source is not reliable would be relevant. (This proposal has nothing to do with "unilateral merge attempts".) (And I agree with Mendaliv that, even if something like this is agreed to, almost all "speedy close" results must not count even if the result is "keep".) — Arthur Rubin (talk) 22:02, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
    • I would support your proposal as a compromise. DHowell (talk) 06:41, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Weak OpposeAfter reading the above opinions, I agree that a set time period would be a bad idea; however, I still recognize the need to prevent a renomination within two weeks. I feel that perhaps a mixture of Mendaliv's and Arthur Rubin's proposals could help prevent quick renoms. TonyBallioni (talk) 22:55, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose per common sense. This is policy creep and serves no real benefit. We already speedy close new AfDs with short turnarounds from others as a matter of practice, and I see no compelling evidence that this proposal is anything but a solution in search of a problem. Resolute 23:40, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Support I like DGG's version from last week above.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 19:29, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

I don't think this would be a great idea. For a start there are too many poor nominations which prejudice discussions, even if a topic does not meet the inclusion criteria, three word nomination statements like "Non-notable band" or "Just not notable" will likely result in a keep. This discussion ended in a clear delete just thirteen days after a previous discussion ended in keep - although that was a dubious non-admin close, it still shows there can be exceptions. Consensus can change, there's no reason to implement an arbitrary time limit if it has. For example this AfD ended as a unanimous keep with four contributors, a current discussion is ongoing just three months later and - whatever the final result may be - is showing a significantly shift in opinion among the community. Finally, how many discussions would this actually affect? Probably less than one in a hundred at AfD, doesn't seem worth a specific policy, especially as I can see a lot of the burden passing straight to deletion review; the keep/no consensus "boundary" has always been a bit ethereal and turning it into something that makes a practical difference doesn't seem like a great idea. There's probably a reason that this perennial proposal has never achieved consensus. Guest9999 (talk) 13:25, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

      • I deliberately left out cases of non-consensus closes, which i think raise a whole set of additional questions. There are nonconsensus closes where it is clear that the discussion might well come to some consensus if restarted when things are a little calmer, and those where it is clear the community is hopelessly at odds, and a reasonably long time should be given to see if consensus develops. Suggestions here can wait till we do this. Non-admin closes too are a separate issue, because per WP:NAC any admin can revert them if they seem to be over-hasty, and this is indeed routine. And as for the situations that Guest9999 describes, there is always an escape route when things need another AfD before the time is up: take them to Deletion Review, and ask for permission to start an early AdF2, or to reverse the earlier close and relist, or even to reverse the close altogether. There needs to be some approximate symmetry between keeping and deletion. DGG (talk) 09:15, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
        • Why is it preferable to have the additional stage of a deletion review? If there was a realistic chance that consensus has changed then the review should give permission to have another AfD and if there wasn't then the AfD would fail to overturn the initial result anyway. It just seems like the venue would change for discussions which endorsed the previous decision and an extra unnecessary step would be added to those where the decision might be overturned. Guest9999 (talk) 22:22, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
this is better than not having the multiple repeated deletions at all. The point is to make going faster difficult, but not impossible. An alternative i suppose would be to require two successive delete closings with a months interval between them if there had been two successive keeps.: in other words, k k d does not delete an article, it has to be k k d d or even k k d d d -- a final result of more deletes than keeps. At present, even k k k k d is delete, and I think that's unbalanced. DGG (talk) 22:34, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
d d d d k would also be keep. Would you suggest that we need another 17 or discussions to confirm the result of Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Gay Nigger Association of America (18th nomination) when the topic clearly does not meet the criteria for inclusion and did not at the time of discussion. Consensus changes, for an article to be deleted a clear consensus must be shown (this - quite rightly - isn't the case for an article to be kept, another "imbalance" but one everybody accepts as correct), any successful repeat AfD will almost certainly have had to discuss the reasons for keeping given in the previous debate(s). Guest9999 (talk) 12:16, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
d d d k would almost always have been speedied as G4 the 2nd or 3rd time round, and would have gone to deletion review in order for there to have been a 4th creation DGG (talk) 23:21, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose, quite simply on the basis that this is far too rigid and could easily conflict with consensus, which can change greatly over the course of one year. Such a policy would, in many cases, do nothing but stop things from getting done. I'd likely support, though, a guideline advising against renomination of articles within a one-month period or so, especially in cases where the article concerned is nominated for similar reasons and is a similar version to the previously-nominated version. Haipa Doragon (talkcontributions) 23:31, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Too many names?

When presenting people with all their given names in articles about them, I propose a policy standard of putting second names in brackets or italicised to separate them from the first name(s) this person is commonly known under. E.g. Erik (Alfred Leslie) Satie or some other way of distinction that is often used in real encyclopaedias. Here is one example from Stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy:

Some may claim that one needs only to look at the heading, but for the careless reader this small distinction in the beginning of the text would preclude misunderstandings as to which of the many names the person is commonly known under.

Educated or experienced people of course don't need such distinctions, but many of the younger generation often don't seem to have a clue and may easily start thinking - and writing - of certain writers, artists or composers with all of their names, not knowing the proper or common use. Lorielle (talk) 21:30, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Well, either

  • Éric Alfred Leslie Satie


  • Erik Satie

"Erik Alfred Leslie Satie" would be utter nonsense (not found in the Erik Satie article), and by extension "Erik (Alfred Leslie) Satie" is reinventing reality (to put it mildly). --Francis Schonken (talk) 20:50, 21 April 2009 (UTC)


I wanted to get feedback on proposed guidelines at WP:DERM:REF regarding referencing for dermatology-related articles. Are there any issues that need to be addressed to make them better or more consistent with other wikipedia policies? ---kilbad (talk) 23:08, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

as I commented there, I see no need for specific policies by subject--the general rules on RS deal with the situation. DGG (talk) 23:31, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
I replied to your comment on that talk page. kilbad (talk) 01:35, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Is an acceptable source?

I was cleaning up an article and found it used as a source. For an article I wrote and found very little information for, I found a great article, with good references, at (and since I was supposedly the creator of the article for Wikipedia, I know they didn't get it from here), but hesitated to use it as a source. I would not be able to access the references that were used, and the references were just listed, as opposed to footnotes where you know exactly what came from where.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 20:39, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

My experience is that there is a remarkable inconsistency in the level of quality from topic to topic. I would not ever use it, myself. Dlabtot (talk) 20:41, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Not in the least. What sometimes escapes people is the fact that will actually mirror Wikipedia pages. Here is Jason Voorhees. Here is's Jason Voorhees page. Anyone notice some of the minute similarities in information?  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 20:44, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
This is the article in question. [3] I was just looking at my article and it has been tagged for not being notable. The sources in this article would go a long way toward helping establish notability. Too bad I can't identify them individually.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 20:51, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
As for the article I'm cleaning up, I guess I need to do more cleaning. It even uses Wikipedia as a source! There was no references section before I got there, though.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 20:55, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

I don't know which WP article you are working on but of course whenever you create or modify an article it's your responsibility to verify that each citation connects a reliable reference to an appropriate statement—so if you can't access a reference, you shouldn't use it. Nowadays I find myself checking citations here quite often, and a small but significant proportion do fail verification. Actually I'm sorry to say that (like some other obsessive editors) from time to time I pay premium online fees, visit my old University libraries and even buy out-of-print books just to check references. Of course, if you need access to Hoover's research you could consider contacting them openly and honestly (or maybe bribing or blackmailing friends who already have access, q.v. the essay that covers this approach). Good luck! - Pointillist (talk) 21:44, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

That said, I would be happy to help you improve bona fide articles where there's an existing level of reliable sources to prove notability. - Pointillist (talk) 21:50, 21 April 2009 (UTC) generally compiles information from various sources, which they should cite on their pages. I don't know if they actually write any of their own content. It would generally be best to use the source that uses (assuming the source is reliable), especially as the pages seem to change often. Mr.Z-man 22:42, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
I have a considerable respect for them. I'm not sure how the editing is done, but I consider a sourced article there as possibly usable if there's nothing better. As for mirroring Wikipedia , they seem to do that on the reciprocal principle--if they can find nothing better than us. (of course those pages are not considered reliable here, but it seems to be less frequent thaqn it used to be.) The RS noticeboard is the place for continuing this. DGG (talk) 23:40, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
In the case of the article I want to use, it appears the information comes from something called "Hoovers", but a search for that only gives · talk · contributions · 15:17, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

I understand now. is displaying information from Hoover's, which is a research firm (a subsidiary of Dun & Bradstreet) that provides information on U.S. and foreign companies. You can look up the same company online at Hoovers (here it is), and cite Hoovers instead of If you need more info, Hoovers can sell you reports on the company and its commercial landscape, etc. BTW, it might be a good idea to cut-and-paste this section into Wikipedia talk:Reliable sources ...I think that's what DGG means. - Pointillist (talk) 15:36, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Procedure for temporary removal of permissions

The Arbitration Committee has adopted a procedure for authorizing the temporary removal of advanced permissions in cases where the Committee must undertake such removal expediently.

The use of this procedure by the Committee is not intended to constrain the authority of the Wikimedia Stewards to undertake emergency removal of permissions on their own discretion, pursuant to the relevant policies governing Steward actions.

The procedure was adopted by an 9/0 vote, with two abstentions:

  • Support: Casliber, Coren, FayssalF, FloNight, John Vandenberg, Kirill Lokshin, Rlevse, Roger Davies, Vassyana
  • Oppose: None
  • Abstain: Carcharoth, Sam Blacketer
  • Not voting: Cool Hand Luke, Newyorkbrad, Risker, Stephen Bain, Wizardman

For the Committee, Hersfold (t/a/c) 01:56, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Discuss this

Help me understand notability policy/issues related to Clean-up and clarity

There are a number of articles that I'm editing as a result of either a request for copyediting, or because they are stubs/starts in some subject. Today's example is Robert Haralick. He has a Ph.D. He has taught, sometimes as a part-timer, at various places. The article, where Haralick is an occasional editor, makes claims that he contributed significantly to the study of computerized vision. There are no citations. The external links that are on the page go to pages on Kabbalah and Torah. The references are all to his own work, some of it on computer vision-related topics, some on other topics (differential equations, the Torah). There is no evidence that his work is widely cited. I've put a notability tag on the page - but what do I do next, to get more input as to whether this article passes notability standards? And, since it has no citations other than the author's own work, what is to be done about that? Tags have been on it for about two years. What happens next? I've got a stack of these articles (mostly from the copyediting backlog). It's a lot of work to copyedit articles that may not even be proper content for Wikipedia. On the other hand, the guy clearly knows something about robot vision. Why aren't more of these articles about individuals merged into subject area pages (like Robot Vision)? If I'm ambitious, should I try to learn how to do that?--Levalley (talk) 22:00, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Looking at WP:Notability_(academics), Haralick meets item # 5 - "Distinguished Professor". Dlabtot (talk) 22:11, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Hmm. Well, then, so do I - but that's besides the point. My question is more specific. Is being a Distinguished Professor in one field a free ticket to have, in the article, work outside that field? I need to know what to do when the article jumps from discussing robotic vision (where it makes sense) to mentioning Moby Dick and the Torah, neither of which have anything to do with robotic vision nor is it at all clear what the article intends to say about them. I can add more tags (clarity) to the article, but it already has so many, it seems futile. I guess it just stays the way it is, oddly written.Levalley (talk) 22:24, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, I agree that might be an overly lax criteria - I've never even looked at that notability guideline before. I hardly feel qualified to give advice on copyediting, but I will give you my impression of the article. The lede needs to say what is important about him and why he is in Wikipedia. The rest of the article is too long, too detailed and as you note in one of your tags, too technical. Do we really need to know that He has developed the morphological sampling theorem which establishes a sound shape/size basis for the focus of attention mechanisms which can process image data in a multiresolution mode, thereby making some of the image feature extraction processes execute more efficiently. I don't think so. I think basically the article could be pared down to 4-5 much more general paragraphs. More power to you if you do so... that looks like some heavy lifting to me. Dlabtot (talk) 22:37, 21 April 2009 (UTC) btw, pattern recognition does seem to be a related field... Dlabtot (talk) 22:40, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
people who do scholarly work are noted for it, and there's nothing wrong with describing it exactly. the only problem with that sentence is the prose. The level of detail is I think correct. What helps is to list the two or three most cited papers, which gives a clear objective picture of the best known work. In his particular case, some of the work is controversial, and this needs to be discussed. Asfor the distinguished professorship, i do not consider the fields totally unrelated. DGG (talk) 23:37, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
You think the fields of robotic vision and Kabbalah are related??? That's a pretty nonstandard view, I must say.CDart (talk) 23:03, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
The related fields are robotic vision and pattern recognition. His work is in pattern recognition, work which has been applied to the Torah. At least, that's what the article says. Dlabtot (talk) 23:11, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Quote sections

I first posted this on Wikipedia talk:Copyright problems#Quotes, but got so far no reaction there. It started from one particular dispute, but that's not really relevant here. The question is: are quote sections like the one in Chuck Versus the Truth and many other TV episode articles (and probably also other culture related articles) acceptable, or should they be removed per WP:NOTDIR, as a copyright violation (they are not fair use unless when they are integrated in the text and used with a clear, non-decorative purpose), or for some other reason (policy or guideline based)? Or should they be allowed? If they are not allowed, what would be the best policy or guideline to explicitly mention this? Fram (talk) 07:45, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

They should go on wikiquote. As for the copyright issue, it doesn't make sense to me, but last I heard the wikiquote stance is that it is, for whatever reason, not really a problem. --erachima talk 07:48, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
I think the inclusion of quotes on that page, in additon to violating WP:NOTDIR, is wholly indiscriminate, places undue weight on matters of little encyclopedic value to the subject, and can be removed at any time because it is unverified, with the burden of verifying the information you object to on the person wishing to keep the material.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 11:05, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
The quotes are verifiable from the primary source, but every other point is correct and should be deleted. --MASEM (t) 15:25, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
Unless there was something significant about the quote -- e.g. it introduced a popular catchphrase or illustrates some distinctive information - I don't see how it is appropriate. No copyright issue for short quotes like this, though. Dlabtot (talk) 15:31, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
Allright, thank you all. I'll continue to remove quote sections like the one linked above then. Fram (talk) 07:25, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

What's wrong with trivia sections?

I like them. I like to look up such information in Wikipedia. It seems to be a better place to find some of these items than other sources.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 20:57, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Trivia sections. Dcoetzee 21:30, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
When should a trivia section be removed from an article? SMP0328. (talk) 21:35, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
I think the basic reason is that you wouldn't find lists of trivia in an encyclopedia. It makes it look less professional. Trivia sections can be used like outlines to figure out what the article should say, but leaving it as a list of facts makes it look like no work was put into the article. Matt (talk) 21:36, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
I guess it doesn't look professional, but in a lot of cases you wouldn't be able to find a lot of supporting information to go with those details.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 21:42, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Trivia almost by it's very definition is not notable, and therefore should not be included in an Encyclopedia that prides itself on notability. I Feel Tired (talk) 21:46, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

See WP:UNDUE - by definition, trivia is not that "important" to the topic, although it might be interesting to a lot of people. If we have a lot of trivia, then we are giving it undue weight in the article, which violates a WP policy. Karanacs (talk) 21:55, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

There's a common confusion between "trivia" and lists of miscellaneous information. Truly unimportant or irrelevant information should be removed no matter where it appears in an article. The current consensus is that what constitutes "unimportant" information is an editorial decision that there aren't really guidelines for. Truly useful or interesting information should be presented in a coherent, organized manner, not as a disorganized list of facts. Dcoetzee 22:13, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
My pet example for how tribia (or in this case "in popular culture" sections tend to spiral out of controll is Chakram. You have 4-5 short paragraphs about the real thing and then a page and a half of various game and movie characters who have used vaguely simmilar weapons... I mean I can see Xena deserving a brief mention maybe but geez. It's been savagely trimmed in the past, but tend to genenerate itself over time. --Sherool (talk) 00:19, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

The pop culture trivia sections are simply backwards for the most part. It's helpful to annotate pop culture articles with explanations of what they reference, such as a video game article linking to chakram to explain a character's weapon in that game. But conversely, it's not helpful for articles to blandly list every single work of pop culture that's ever referenced them. It doesn't explain the topic any further, and if you really wanted to know everything that ever merely referenced chakrams you'd click "what links here" or just google it. Postdlf (talk) 02:59, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Well, I like trivia, and Wikipedia has become my place for finding it. That may conflict with the project's goals, but it's what I do. Search engines don't know what I want, but conscious decisions went into Wikipedia, even if they technically broke rules.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 13:23, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
it isn't the least in conflict with the project goals. It's in conflict with what a vocal minority have thought to be the project's goals. There was a period about 2 years ago when it looked like they were vocal enough and active enough at AfD to appear to be a consensus, but fortunately that is no longer the case. There are repeated attempts at revival of this, and due to the randomness of AfD decisions, they sometimes succeed. That said, there is a line beyond which something is no longer encyclopedic--an example is fan fiction. DGG (talk) 23:29, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
To be honest there should just be an entire new wiki for cultural references. This wiki could hold all the references that works derive inspiration from (i.e. the references that the Star Trek franchise has to the works of William Shakespeare), and in turn all the fancruft could be moved to that wiki instead of just deleted outright. That way, the project's goal of notability is preserved, and the fans still have a place to post references. PS: Yes, I know, this isn't exactly something for Village pump - policies, but I felt it necessary to comment specifically on the trivia policy with this. Toad of Steel (talk) 20:02, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
I've been saying for a while that someone needs to create something like Wikitrivia so all the people who want that stuff have a place for it and everyone who wants an encyclopedia at Wikipedia like it's supposed to be won't have to put up with that nonsense. DreamGuy (talk) 20:21, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
So how come it hasn't come to fruition? There are certain times I like fancruft in certain areas as much as the next fanboy (i.e. in South Park, Star Trek, Spore, etc), and I particularly like seeing the myriad ways works reference other wotks, but if the goal of the project is to provide encyclopedic material, this seems like the easiest way to resolve the issue in a manner that is beneficial to all parties involved. Toad of Steel (talk) 21:14, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
Probably a combination of just needing someone to take th initiative and the fact that the people most interested in pointlesss trivia want to force it here instead of somewhere else because they don't get th entire concept of an encyclopedia. DreamGuy (talk) 21:47, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
Like it's supposed to be? Who are these people who don't want to include items that meet the inclusion criteria? Zain Ebrahim (talk) 21:18, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
Give me a break. The kinds of trivia we are talking about most certainly do not meet inclusion criteria. See WP:ENC if you need it spelled out in simple language. DreamGuy (talk) 21:47, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
If it doesn't meet the criteria, it should be deleted whether it's trivia or not. Zain Ebrahim (talk) 21:52, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
Notability criteria are for separate articles, not for within article details; in other words to meet the criteria each and any line of trivia should warrant a stand-alone article.
Why no trivia. If it is important for the article it can be integrated into a relevant other section; or get a specific own section (for example a section with references to popular culture like is common in the Chuck episode articles. If it is just a loose random fact that has nowhere to go it should be deleted. Most Trivia sections are made up out of the last type. Arnoutf (talk) 22:06, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
That's what WP:TRIVIA essentially says. If the topic is notable and the inclusion of trivia doesn't interfere with other P/G's (especially WP:UNDUE), I see no problem. Although I should add that this type of thing is easier to deal with on a case-by-case basis with common sense. Zain Ebrahim (talk) 22:35, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't think WP:UNDUE covers it, exactly. That's mainly to keep the fringe viewpoints to a minimum. I work with music articles a lot, and I see this song was featured in movie X all the freaking time. I could care less, but some people feel that a song's prominence in pop culture is a valid, encyclopedic topic. -Freekee (talk) 00:06, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Links that don't go where you think

I'm not sure where this belongs. In two articles to which I made major contributions, a link to AT&T was included. This seemed reasonable in that the company was called AT&T at the time the events in the two articles occurred. But I noticed a significant deficiency in the AT&T article when I looked to see if it referred back to the topics of the other two articles; this is one of the biggest companies in the history of business, after all.

I noticed there was a disambiguation page, and after some effort, I discovered the company I should have linked to, while called AT&T, was American Telephone & Telegraph. There was everything left out of the other article. I'm not really sure what the proper way to handle this would have been. SBC was a smaller company but is now the subject of AT&T because it has taken over and named itself after the big company.

I guess the best thing to ask is: is there any kind of project to see if other people, doing what seemed reasonable, might have linked to the wrong article? Of course it happens all the time with disaambiguation pages, and I should know better, but I do it too.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 20:32, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

I don't know of a project, but if you think an article has been improperly linked to, you can use the 'What links here' link to make corrections. Dlabtot (talk) 20:36, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
That of course implies someone will actually notice a problem.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 20:39, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
I think that is best left to editors like yourself who notice that sort of thing. I know I've fixed my share, but I don't always follow links to check. Maybe we should urge more editors to check that when they're reading? But most of us have our chosen issues already. -Freekee (talk) 23:58, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Disambiguation pages

I was wondering about the rules for external links on disambiguation pages. WP:MOSDAB indicates that there should never be external links on a disambig page, but it seems like many disambig pages include them. I had done a little bit of cleanup on a few, but some of the external links were re-added by others afterwards (in some cases, by admins, which is why I now assume I was doing something incorrectly.) It seems like adding an external link to a disambig page brings up problems regarding things like which subjects are notable enough to have a link, as I don't think there's any actual checking of the subjects of these links, so I was hoping someone could tell me what the general practice is for deciding whether or not an external link on a disambiguation page is okay. Is this just a case of WP:IAR and people tend to decide on a case by case basis? Thanks in advance for any help you can give. Rnb (talk) 14:30, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

I looked through your history, and I found plenty of ELs that you had deleted from disambig pages. But I couldn't find any that were re-added afterwards. Could you please specify which disambig pages you are referring to? Dlabtot (talk) 17:39, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
Have you asked the admin that readded the links why he did so? That is usually a good place to start. Taemyr (talk) 17:45, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
The one that I was specifically thinking about was Mowgli_(disambiguation). Another is Moola, although I later re-removed it (which is not something I would now repeat, given my new questions about the policy.) I was going to ask the admin why the links were re-added, but given how many of these external links exist on DAB pages, I thought that I must just be missing something major, like a policy I wasn't aware of that contradicts the no external links guideline. If there's nothing blatant that has gone unnoticed to me, I'll go ahead and ask the admin. Thanks again for your help. Rnb (talk) 17:52, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
Even if something blatant have passed you buy it's usually best to start by talking with the other side. Mowgli_(disambiguation) should probably be deleted. Taemyr (talk) 19:13, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
I'll toss them a note. Thanks again for your help! Rnb (talk) 19:16, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
You are doing good work and I don't think you should be dissuaded because someone reverted you. User:ShakataGaNai, was right to change the Mowgli disambig page to a redirect. Per WP:MOSDAB: "Disambiguation pages are solely intended to allow the user to choose from a list of Wikipedia articles, usually when searching for a term that is ambiguous. This style guideline is intended to make the process more efficient, by giving disambiguation pages a consistent look and by avoiding distracting information, such as extraneous links (internal or external)." Not that I'm trying to imply that you shouldn't talk. Dlabtot (talk) 19:20, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
  • I've not seen many disambiguation pages with external links and undo them every time I see them. Go ahead and continue to do so, for you're correct that it's not allowed. DreamGuy (talk) 20:17, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
  • You are completely correct to remove external links from disambiguation pages. Such pages help reader navigate between Wikipedia articles -- they are not intended to be a directory to the World Wide Web. olderwiser 21:22, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Agreed as well. Disambig pages are not linkdumps. If the target of these links are notable, someone should write an article about them rather than simply linking to another website. Resolute 00:33, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
  • There are legitimate uses for external links on disambiguation articles. For example: There are disambiguation articles where the external link is a bare link at the end of the item, with the article itself a redlink. Editors often add these external links to point to sources from which the redlinked target article can one day be made. You'll find, here and there, disambiguation entries like this:
  • Removing that in the name of "style" is actually making the encyclopaedia worse, not better. It doesn't help readers to lose the pointer to further information, and it doesn't help editors to lose the work that someone else has already done to hunt up a source. Blanket statements that external links are "not allowed" are not correct. It is correct to say, however, that this particular use of external links that you are talking about — changing the entry's internal navigation link into an external one — is wrong. It wouldn't help, or be appropriate, to have "Maud Sulter" as an external link instead of an internal one. Uncle G (talk) 17:56, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
WP:NOT#DIR is an official Wikipedia policy. WP:MOSDAB is a style guideline that is based in part on that policy. Removing external links on disambig pages is not something that is 'done in the name of "style"', it's something that is done because Wikipedia is not a directory of links. . Disambiguation pages are solely intended to allow the user to choose from a list of Wikipedia articles. Dlabtot (talk) 18:14, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
      • Nonetheless, what I said stands. Removing something because of a style guideline is removing it in the name of "style". One has to think, not mechanistically apply a style guideline to the detriment both of readers and of editors. One has to think about the policy, too. A bare URL that points to an actual source isn't creating a directory. There's a difference between, say, linking the name "Maud Sulter" to Maud Sulter's MySpace page and linking the end of a paragraph to a biography of her life.

        There are several things that people do in the name of this style guideline that actually work counter to the collaborative writing process. This is one. Uncle G (talk) 22:23, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Sure, what you said 'stands', but it's still wrong. WP is not a directory of links, nor should it be. Disambig pages are not intended to be linkfarms. I have no idea why you keep bringing Maud Sulter into it. As far as I can tell, her name doesn't appear on any disambig page in Wikipedia so it seems like an irrelevant example. Dlabtot (talk) 23:24, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
    • Hmm. WP:MOSDAB seems to indicate that links that can be used as future sources should be included as comments in the page, not as actual links (and also, that the only red links on a DAB page should be those that have articles pointing to them already.) I'll go back and make sure I didn't accidentally remove anything I shouldn't have. Thanks. Rnb (talk) 18:21, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
      • People, however, tend not to do that. The "poor man's citation" is still a bare URL. Moreover, it's not readily obvious that there is a URL if it is a comment. Ask yourself how many times have you edited the linking article when recolouring a redlink. ☺ Uncle G (talk) 22:23, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
        • Well, this has officially become more trouble than it's worth, so I'm just going to leave them alone. Thanks for everyone's input. Rnb (talk) 22:34, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
  • An external link that proves something is a notable topic and belongs in Wikipedia should be treated as a reference until the article itself is created. If it's so easy to create the article, the person who wants to remove the link should do so. Jemima PD (talk) 21:53, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Template:GFDL-presumed

Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Template:GFDL-presumed - I don't think it's that controversial, but I'd rather it went out with a bang than a whimper. Please drop by the MfD and pay your respects. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja 00:23, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Don DeLillo image

I'm searching for a Don DeLillo photo for my article that's not subject to copyright. All the pictures I looked at have the warning: may be subject to copyright. Can anyone find me one that's free? Thanks, (talk) 03:42, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Retrieved from "" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:49, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Your only real chance of locating a public domain photo of this guy is locating a photo that was published in the United States without a proper copyright notice (see e.g. Commons:Template:PD-US-no notice). Alternatively you can locate somebody who can take and freely license a photo of him. Dcoetzee 06:08, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the advice (didn't help any). Oh well. One question, though. The does have a photo of him--how did the editor of the article obtain it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:06, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

The image File:Don-delillo.jpg was obtained here. Tra (Talk) 16:52, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Thank you. I checked out the page, but couldn't find a clue how I could communicate with someone about that photo. Would you please kindly explain, why can't other Wikis use all the images displayed in en.Wiki? I thought whatever appears in the Commons is public domain. There's a huge confusion about this in the Wikipedias of other nations. (talk) 18:27, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Whatever is in Commons is freely licensed, but not necessarily public domain. For example, GFDL or CC-SA licensed images are acceptable at Commons. Enwiki also allows "fair use" images in cases where a free image would be impossible to obtain. These are not on Commons and cannot be copied to Wikipedias that do not allow fair use images.
The image in question, File:Don-delillo.jpg, may actually be against our non-free content guideline, as the article indicates he is still living. I'll leave it to those more familiar with that sort of mess to handle it. Anomie 22:24, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

This is a mess indeed. The issue must be that the writer is still living. Same thing happened when I tried to transfer the picture of Cormac McCarthy. All right, but then, why are the British and American Wikis allowed to use these photos, and other Wikis are not? (talk) 00:12, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

I think the problem is that the Hungarian Wikipedia does not accept images used under 'fair use'. 'Fair use' is a part of law that allows you to use a small amount of copyrighted material in limited circumstances. I think the reason why the Hungarian Wikipedia community have chosen not to accept fair use images is because fair use is not recognised in Hungarian law. Have a look at their FAQ and image policy (translation) for more information. Tra (Talk) 11:31, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Actually, this picture should not be on in the first place. Living person means that it is replaceable and thus invalid by WP:NFCC. Marking as such. --MASEM (t) 13:13, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

That takes care of that, then. Thank you all. (talk) 16:08, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Headings for navboxes

Note: moved from VPT -- John Broughton (♫♫) 13:13, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Recently, User:Butwhatdoiknow has been adding the heading "Related information" before the templates at the bottom of articles (eg, H1_antagonist#Related_information, Loratadine#Related_information). His rationale is summarised at User:Butwhatdoiknow/Related information. He has also added a sentence to WP:LAYOUT (here: "There is no consensus establishing that a heading is prohibited or required for navigational aids."). Well, I'd like to use this space to help establish that such a heading is not needed.

  • No one has been asking for the heading. We have no evidence anyone (aside from its creator and a handful of others) sees a need for it.
  • A header makes templates part of the article, which they are not.
  • We can safely assume a reader knows how to scroll to the bottom. We need not assume our readership are morons: shall we have pop-up messages telling them there's relevant information just after the lead, or in the middle of the article? Shall we put "click to enlarge" in every image caption?
  • Also in the "not morons" category: is there any evidence whatever that putting templates under "external links" has led anyone to believe those links are in fact external?
  • Headers are for prose and information directly relevant to prose (references, notes), not templates. Moreover, the table of contents is for elements of the prose, not templates.

In short, this is a needless element of clutter that serves no real purpose, and should be eliminated. - Biruitorul Talk 16:21, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

I don't think this page is the correct place to discuss this move; perhaps WT:LAYOUT would be better. Wherever it goes, feel free to say from me that this is completely unnecessary and undesirable, per all your points above. Templates are not part of the article prose, therefore they are not part of the ToC hierarchy. Happymelon 16:34, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
That would seem a more logical place for the discussion, but there was an ANI thread on this a while ago which was closed, with the recommendation that the issue be taken up here. - Biruitorul Talk 16:58, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

My recommendation is kill it with fire. The section heading that is. Ideally we'd find some way to make the navboxes render outside the gray outline of the main prose area to make the distinction clearer. Apart from that the histamine antagonists box seems way too big (well, it fills the entire screen for me). I'm guessing this is an unfortunate side-effect of standardizing all the navboxes to use a base template which cannot possible accommodate every desired layout. In particular there is a lot of wasted space in the "2nd gen" section. I doubt there is an easy way to arrange the first four link pairs horizontally, but keep the background colors, without abandoning the base template. Consider also a smaller font-size. — CharlotteWebb 19:32, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

I had the same opinion a month ago; the user has become disruptive in his continued actions against multiple establishments of consensus, and it may be that time has come to review his actions for sanctions. ThuranX (talk) 02:02, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
Note that this essay Wikipedia:Related information recently surfaced on the subject. I also don't think it is a good idea. Zodon (talk) 03:33, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

First of all, the recommendation from AN/I was to discuss the issue at Village Pump/Proposals not VPT. The project-space essay (moved there by me) accomplishes essentially the same function. It represents a place to discuss the topic, and thaks Zodon for commenting there. It in fact was raised first at WT:LAYOUT (by me), where the message was that the layout guideline was descriptive, not prescriptive. So the only way to establish desirability was to try it.

Secondly, with all due respect to the "kill with fire" feelings, See also and External links are no more part of the article prose than the navboxes. Some people hate navboxes and feel that the prose itself should be all that people need. I'm a little different, bein' a geek and all, and love that Hn antagonists box, it tells a story all by itself. (As long as it's closed on default view) It's nice to have an indication that all that great stuff is down at the bottom.

Third, "multiple establishments of consensus" IMO is an inaccurate statement at best. Discussion is welcomed at the essay talk page. Franamax (talk) 04:08, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

NO. There's been far too much bouncing this around already, he's had over a month of leapfrogging the topic to perpetrate widespread attempts to force this idea on the project because everyone's gaming 'centralized discussion'. It's here now, let's settle this now. It's abad idea, with a misrepresentative title, and over and over, it's been opposed before being moved around again, to find more who oppose, so it gets moved again. It's forum shopping at this point. ThuranX (talk) 04:27, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Yes, it is forum-shopping, but not on the part of BWDIK. It went to WT:LAYOUT first, which was not the right place. Since then it's been "bounced" around by Biruitorul in what seems as much a vendetta against the editor as against the idea. Do you have a question about the software operation of Wikipedia? This is the place to ask it. BWDIK started the essay a long time ago and tried to put it at WP:RFC (it got wiped out by a bot). The essay is in project-space now, it's a content/layout matter, not a technical issue, discuss it there. Franamax (talk) 06:05, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
1) There's no "vendetta" on my part against anyone; do review WP:AGF. 2) Yes, I mistakenly started the discussion at VPT instead of VPP. But can we just get over this silly detail of venue and achieve some sort of consensus? Move it to VPP if you insist, but that's hardly so important; do review WP:BURO. (And there was no "forum-shopping" on my part either; ANI recommended VPP, and I (nearly) went there.) - Biruitorul Talk 09:25, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Alternative implementation

To possibly move this in a technical direction, allow me to propose an alternative implementation.

The material in the proposed section is not part of the regular article content. Rather than bastardizing the table of contents by adding a section for material that isn't part of the article, it seems like this idea would be better handled by changing the interface to provide such indicator or navigation as is deemed desirable.

The language and category links are already handled with special interface features which make them more accessible. If it is desirable to have a special area for navboxes, or an indicator at the top (or in the table of contents) that they exist, or whatever, that should be achieved by changing the interface, not by changing all the articles.

This would

  • Save work - don't have to edit all the articles
  • Automatically be up to date (the interface can determine if there are navboxes or not at rendering time)
  • Maintain the separation of article content from navigational extras
  • Allow customization - those who want an indicator can turn it on, those who don't don't suffer the clutter,
    • Location and form of the indicator could also be customized (table of contents, sidebar, etc.)

Implementing the idea with a new section is not appropriate (as noted elsewhere). Handling it in the interface would be more appropriate. Zodon (talk) 18:50, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

And what exactly is the problem to this solution? --Kotniski (talk) 14:15, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Bot naming policy

A discussion has begun on whether to change into a suggestion the current requirement that bot accounts incorporate the word "bot". Please comment at Wikipedia talk:Bot Approvals Group#BAG and bot policy with regards to names. Thanks. Anomie 12:18, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Wikki as an agent for Global prosperity –policy on bilateral relations

A common point of agreement among even normally opposing economists and International Relations scholars is that optimal choices are less likely to be made in the absence of relevant information. For a variety of reasons outlined in the central discussion link below , there's considerable benefits for us to maintain a comprehensive list of bilateral relations. With almost 20,000 interesting permutations its too large a task to be delivered adequately by any one university or indeed by orgs like the WTO or IMF, even if they were equally trusted for neutrality.

Several editors with possible deletionist tendencies are moving to have as many of these Z – Y relations articles deleted as possible, even when notability is firmly established by multiple reliable sources, see for example the deletion discussion for India–Malta relations

There's a central discussion going on to determine consensus for whether or not the community supports having separate articles for the different relationships , and whether or not there should be a specific notability guideline for this class of article. With global population projected to increase by approx 3 billion and the peak not expected to about 2060, the world needs to collaborate both economically and politically with increasing efficiency, or else face escalating humanitarian and violent crises. As one of the worlds most widely accessed sources of information wikki has a key role to play.

Editors are invited to have their say at this link to the central discussion., including those who feel that bilateral relations article will often not be notable enough for inclusion in our encyclopaedia . Users such as Tone and Hans Alder make the case for not having these articles better than I can on the discussion page. FeydHuxtable (talk) 13:00, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

AfD notifications at related articles

I started a discussion at WT:Canvassing#AfD notifications at related articles. Flatscan (talk) 03:26, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Question about Citation Notices posted at the top of an article.

The wikipedia article on Harel Skaat has a notice (if that's the correct term) stating that the article does not cite any sources. It is also listed as a stub in the discussion page. I have expanded the article and also included 16 citations, but the notice at the top still remains. How do I initiate the process so the wikipedia community can consider removing the notice? Also I think the article should be elevated from Stub status to at least catagory C level. I also should add that attaining how to information is very difficult and the directions are often not clear.

Thanks, Hjquazimoto —Preceding unsigned comment added by Hjquazimoto (talkcontribs) 22:24, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

If you add references that cover the contents you are welcome to remove the citations needed template yourself. Similarly if you have expanded the article beyond a stub, you can remove the stub templates. However make sure that there is some kind of category left on the article. Also if there are project ratings on the talk page, they would not mind if you changed them from stub to start. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 10:59, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

RFC on the reform of ArbCom hearings

The attention of all editors is drawn to a Request for Comment on a major issue for the English Wikipedia: a package of six proposals to move the ArbCom hearings process away from the loose, expansionary model that has characterised it until now, to a tighter organisational model. The RFC started Tuesday 29 April. Tony (talk) 14:27, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Flagged protection and patrolled revisions

Can someone quickly let me know where we are with this? I've been waiting for an update for weeks. I assume something must be happening... can someone point me in the right direction? Thanks, 2help (talk) 06:18, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Image copyrights

Was going to ask this at RD but maybe here's better. Anyways, why is it that Wikipedia has to have fair use rationale on copyrighted images and not doing so is illegal whereas movies such as Super Size Me (a film showing how terrible fast food is, primarily McDonald's) can show loads of copyrighted material such as characters, screenshots of McD's ads, and tons of other material owned by the company where doing so clearly hurts the company's profits? -- penubag  (talk) 01:53, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Just because something is against WP policy doesn't mean it's illegal, persay. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 02:08, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
Our particular interpretation of fair use is rather strict. Also, there's the "use it without a license or fair use, cross our fingers, and count on them not suing us" route, which is used surprisingly often (and indeed is one of the reasons that people take copyright so lightly elsewhere). The strictness is good for us, because legal issues are one of the things that could do major damage to us. {{Nihiltres|talk|log}} 02:24, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm pretty surprised that is so widely used. It seems there would be far more lawsuits than must be happening for everyone to use that method.-- penubag  (talk) 07:01, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
  • The fact that Supersize Me is a documentary, helps. Also, since it's an American film, fair use applies and critical commentary is one of the things that allows restricted use of such materials and the film is definitely a critical commentary. - Mgm|(talk) 09:59, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
That is interesting, I never knew that, which could explain why that documentary went over the edge with copyrighted material. But nevertheless, there are a lot of other instances where copyright isn't abided by without any consequences. -- penubag  (talk) 07:01, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
For your edification: Copyright and Fair Use Overview Dlabtot (talk) 17:19, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

You can rest assured that a team of lawyers pored over every minute of Super Size Me to make sure its use of copyright material fell under fair use. We don't have a team of lawyers looking over every image that's been uploaded, or every placement of an image in every article, so requiring a fair use rationale helps us guarantee that at least some thought has gone into compliance with our policies, and allows other Wikipedians to quickly see why someone thought it was a permissible use. And as noted above, our policies are more strict than what fair use would permit, because 1) being more strict gives us greater security that we're operating well within the law, and 2) our policies regarding non-free materials are also intended to disfavor such materials so as to encourage the contribution of freely licensed or public domain materials. These are the theories, at least, and it's certainly arguable how well our policies and procedures accomplish those goals in certain instances. Postdlf (talk) 17:52, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

AutoArchiving by Miszabot

Hi, there is a user who adds the Miszabot archive notice on every talk page he encounters. To me that seems kind of pointless. Some editors like to read previous discussion and now they will encounter an empty talk page. This is not for articles like talk:George W. Bush where auto archiving makes sense but for articles like Talk:Val Verde (fictional country) which had only three comments since creation. Any second opinion on this? Garion96 (talk) 08:23, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

  • The whole point of autoarchiving is to avoid repetitious edits by hand. Tell the user in question that these edits aren't useful and that how often pages that have the tag are archived is something that should be discussed. _ Mgm|(talk) 09:57, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Unless the editor is also addding minthreadsleft=0, misza will leave a nice sampling of 5 threads rather than completely harvesting the talk pages. –xeno talk 02:45, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Proposed change to WP:ATHLETE

Per this AfD, some are saying he's notable because he was drafted in the 2009 NFL Draft which I agree with but some are saying that he fails WP:ATHLETE because they claim you have to play. Which I disagree with I think that if you have been a member or been drafted by a top level league (i.e. NFL, NBA) that you are inherently notable. However the drafted part would exclude Major League Baseball since there's like 30 rounds and creating those articles would be meaningless. Also per this AfD who does in fact fail WP:ATHLETE because he hasn't played either but he is on the roster and has been since 2006. Now undrafted free agents unless they had prolific college careers are not notable since many get cut on the first day they show up, they must make the team before becoming notable.--Giants27 T/C 11:33, 27 April 2009 (UTC) --moved from talk page

Comment No opinion on the proposal yet, but if drafted athletes were to be accepted, it would include all of them, from all leagues, everywhere. That's a hell of a lot of people. Also Giants, I'm curious your opinion on the NHL. They draft seven rounds, and with 30 teams, less players. Yet those new articles are rapidly prodded or go through AfD. Grsz11 13:15, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Well I know NBA, NFL and CFL players are notable and more than likely NHL falls into the MLB thing because some draft picks don't join the teams minor league affiliates and play junior hockey instead so probably not really notable. While obviously MLB has like 50 rounds so unless it's the first couple of round then they're not notable either.--Giants27 T/C 14:01, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

I don't beleive that we should hold players notable who are drafted, because they are drafted on poetential, whereas they have an article on WP because they have already done something noteworthy. Even a first-round pick could be hit by a bus tomorrow, in the in scope of the history of sports is he really that notable? My comment here has recieved no feedback, but basically I feel the simplest place to put the notability line is that players who have played in and only in the highest professional level (i.e. MLB, NHL, NFL, etc. Not minor professional leagues like AAA or AA baseball) I have no clue about European soccer players and how their leagues are set up, and from what I have heard is that currently WP:ATHLETE makes more sense for their leagues than the said US leagues. I also think it would be worth considering to specifically mention each sport in the guideline. blackngold29 14:49, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Like the old Wikipedia:Notability (sports)? Nanonic (talk) 16:06, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
I would like to think that in the hockey project, we've found a reasonable compromise on this issue. Our internal project standards say that a first round pick is notable, but subsequent picks are not unless they have either played pro, or won a major award (i.e.: Hobey Baker, or a top award in any of the CHL's three leagues). Thus far, we've had little opposition to this standard at AfD. This might be a fair compromise for the NBA, NFL and MLB as well. Resolute 17:09, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
"Even a first-round pick could be hit by a bus tomorrow, in the in scope of the history of sports is he really that notable?" - George Pelawa. Resolute 17:11, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, there ya go. In the entire thousand year history of sports is George really that notable? I would make an exception for him because that's an extremely rare—perhaps one of a kind—event. I have less of a problem with first round hockey picks than baseball, as I said above I think the best way to go is to spcifically mention each sport. blackngold29 20:27, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Most NFL draft picks can pass as playing NCAA Division I FCS, which has been repeatedly deemed as the highest amateur level since there is no international competition in American football. I would think that the standard would be more inclined to become more restrictive than less, as proposed. Grsz11 17:46, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
  • There are international competitions in American footbal, IFAF World Cup and there are plenty of other national leagues, probably a European Championshp (and Asian etc.). chandler ··· 19:44, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
  • I have to say its amusing that someone is propossing to make it less strict when its one of the perennial propossals to make it more strict. Every 2 weeks or so on the talk page of wp:athlete. But no one can ever agree on the wording for making it more strict. -Djsasso (talk) 17:52, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
  • WP:ATHLETE should stay as it is (in this context, at least). Just because a player is picked in a draft does not make him/her inherently notable. What if said player never made an appearance for his/her new team? Would they still be "notable"? Notability is not temporary, and to speculate that someone may one day become notable under the terms of WP:ATHLETE is crystal-balling. – PeeJay 17:57, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
  • The theory, as I see it, is that a drafted player, at least for a first rounder, will experience a considerable amount of non-trivial coverage, thus passing the general notability guidelines. I also do not view it as a one event scenario, as their sporting careers will have spanned multiple events to that point. Being a first round pick would then become the hurdle they pass to gain enough coverage to pass WP:N. Resolute 18:56, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Yes, and if they pass WP:N, they don't need the exceptions in WP:ATHLETE. chandler ··· 19:46, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
  • WP:ATHLETE and the like aren't exceptions. They basically reflect consensus as it stands. "If a person meets this, then they generally pass WP:N". Resolute 21:25, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Sorry, I meant general notability. chandler ··· 02:43, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Isn't WP:Athlete supposed to be additive to WP:N? Basically, it allows athletes that don't otherwise meet the notability guidelines to have an article created for them. If that is the case, then I'd be opposed to loosening it to include draft picks. If a draft pick is notable, then there will be coverage of them in the press somewhere. If the only "notable" thing that they've done is be drafted and there isn't "significant" coverage of them by reliable sources, then I believe WP:ONEEVENT applies. This is particularly true of late round draft picks, even in the NFL. --Bobblehead (rants) 18:04, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Let's just ditch WP:ATHLETE in it's totality. WP:N standing alone is enough of a guideline, there's no need to expand general notability guidelines to include any other athletes. - fchd (talk) 19:31, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
I worry that ditching WP:ATHLETE would result in the loss of many articles about notable pre-internet era athletes in places where English is not spoken because of the way WP:N determines notability. The first few Uruguayan World Cup winners may have too few sources readily available on the internet to qualify under WP:N but there is every reason to believe they are notable (achieving the pinnacle of their sport). Jogurney (talk) 19:40, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't know if it would be enough but every player ever to have played in a World Cup has a page on that show their record in the world cup and world cup qualifiers. chandler ··· 19:50, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Relying solely on WP:N is fine if we want to end up as Everythingfromthelasttenyearsandverylittlefrombefore-opedia. We'd end up with gazillions of articles on small-time players, including potentially semi-pros and even amateurs, who've been fortunate enough to have played in the last ten years and got a smattering of coverage on the internet, yet end up potentially deleting the majority of players who reached the top of their game but had the misfortune to do so before the internet. Roy Goodall, for example, captained three Football League-winning teams and gained 25 caps for England, but I'm struggling to find any in-depth sources about him online, so presumably that means that, in terms of WP:N, he's not as notable as Lauri Dalla Valle, who's never played a single professional match but has had a little bit of internet news coverage....... -- ChrisTheDude (talk) 07:08, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
There's nothing about Internet news coverage in WP:N. The word "Internet" is not even mentioned. I understand that finding newspaper mentions from the 1920s and 1930s is more difficult (or at least tiresome), but as long as everyone agrees that such mentions probably exist, we don't actually need to list them. Only if someone claims that he has not "received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject", you have to prove something. —JAOTC 18:44, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
Obviously I realise WP:N doesn't specifically refer to the internet, but the point I was trying to make (albeit possibly quite badly) is that due to the internet it's really easy to find sources for borderline nobodies from the last ten years or so, but extremely hard to find sources on far far more notable players from earlier decades without having to try and gain access to newspaper archives, many of which require payment (The Times = £5 per day!!!). This would create a systemic bias in favour of more recent players -- ChrisTheDude (talk) 21:13, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
But my point is that if nobody thinks he's non-notable, then nobody has to pay those £5. People don't wikilawyer articles to AFD just because they don't show how the subject has received significant coverage, if it's obvious that it has—at least, I certainly hope that they don't. —JAOTC 07:51, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Giving the equivalent of being drafted for a team notability does not work, that would mean all these players for example to be notable, just because they're technically part of the first squad, even though most of them only have played in the reserve and academy teams. chandler ··· 19:44, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
    • Well, I have this debate every year with the MLS draft, but the American system of drafting players is quite different than the professional football academy systems in Europe and I don't think necessarily a fair comparison. People are usually signed to academies at far younger ages than draftees. Draftees almost always have relatively significant accomplishments in college athletics as well, so it builds upon this foundation to make the subjects more notable. matt91486 (talk) 20:29, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
      • Yes they're very different but still it would be the best comparison, for example I think it was Rafa Benitez who got stick for having a first team squad of 62 professional players [5]. chandler ··· 02:47, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
  • We have dozens of articles created after the draft just for the sake of creating them. Really, what's the point of even having this or this, and the dozens more with only an infobox more? Looks like an easy way to boost somebody's edit count. Grsz11 20:48, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Well, that someone was lazy in creating those articles does not argue that articles on such players should not exist, in my view. For comparison, John Negrin's article as it was re-created immediately before he played his first pro game, and John Negrin's article today. I came across the article for Evander Kane yesterday as well. A lot of information, and a lot of work, and the kid hasn't even been drafted yet. Now, that article could technically be deleted based on WP:ATHLETE, but he's obviously been the subject of multiple, non trivial RSes, won world junior gold, and is one of the top prospects for this year's NHL entry draft. Is the project served by deleting his article? Nope, not at all. And, of course, the more famous example from the hockey world is John Tavares (ice hockey). Or, to make a long rambling post short, top prospects, such as high draft picks, generally are notable. And that is what guidelines like WP:ATHLETE are meant to reflect. But yes, those football draftee articles are terrible, and need to be expanded. Resolute 22:53, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
  • This might be best to just let the individual projects determine notability for athletes that compete in their sport. You're never going to be able to get consensus for NA sports, let alone trying in bring in Cricket, Football/Soccer, the various Rugby codes, etc. For instance, for the NHL draft, there is a strong likelyhood that the player will play in professional hockey, but not so much in the NHL. Whereas the with the NFL draft, their best shot is the NFL and much smaller with the AFL and CFL. I realize there will be a great disparity between the projects, but it is really they best shot. Patken4 (talk) 22:04, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) I firmly believe that the creation of sports biographies for individuals such as footballers who have never actually played 1st team professional football at any level should be strongly discouraged. It is the equivalent of creating articles on unpublished writers, singers who have never performed in public, architects that have never designed a building, etc. I also believe that WP:ATHLETE is too narrow to give effective guidelines for all sports. I think that we should move to establish something like WP:Notability of sportpeople with sport specific guidelines based on discussion and consensus between experts in the field as can be found at WP:FOOTYN, rather than something that was dreamt up by a lone user and established through lack of interest which has been criticised and debated on a nearly continuous basis ever since. New sports specific guidelines would give us much less ambiguous guidance for the tens of thousands of sports biographies on Wikipedia and would put an end to the same old queries coming up at sports AfDs over and over again. It is also important to remember that WP:N is king, whether we stick with a slightly reworded WP:ATHLETE or go down the sensible route of working out consensus based sports specific guidance. King of the North East 22:13, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
    • See User:Grsz11/Notability of sportspeople. Grsz11 22:25, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
      • Better yet Wikipedia:Notability (sports) should be restored and discussed, too much drama. Secret account 12:52, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
        • I agree. However, on the specific topic of NFL draft picks, the NHL solution seems like an appropriate starting point. However, given the different structures of the leagues, probably at least the first three rounds of the NFL draft are notable, and maybe all. Unlike NHL, the NFL has:
          • larger active rosters
          • shorter careers
          • no major developmental leagues like juniors or minor league hockey
        • As a result, NFL draftees - especially from the first few rounds - are likely to make the roster in their first year and often get signfiicant coverage and are discussed in news articles about the team. When a high NFL draft pick does not make the roster, that in itself is often notable, and often gets discussed to some extent for years later as a draft bust of draft mistake. Therefore, they are notable enough to have Wikipedia articles. Whether the cutoff for "presumed notability" is 3rd round, 4th round or 7th round can be determined, but even many 7th round draft picks will accumulate enough coverage prior to their first NFL game to satisfy WP:N, so more liberal cutoff for WP:ATHLETE will just make the process of demonstrating notability a little simpler, without substantially reducing the number of notable NFL draftees. And, given that even late draftees were most often important players at the highest amateur level (e.g., NCAA Div. 1), if a few less notable draftees end up getting articles as a result of a liberal application here, it should not be a major problem. Rlendog (talk) 18:09, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
          • Well, we can't really say "third round NFL picks are notable because they are likely going to play in the NFL" as that is a crystal ball issue. The relevant question is whether the top one, three, all round picks are going to be the subjects of multiple, non-trivial reliable sources? This is the hockey project's view on our own guidelines. We can't tell the rest of Wikipedia that a hockey player is notable because he is drafted - the project at large does not care. But as a result of being a first round pick, we can say with absolute certainty that he will meet the general notability criteria. The bar for football and other sports should be set where that line of coverage is drawn, imo. Resolute 23:02, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
OK, could someone tell us how we go about turning Wikipedia:Notability (sports) into a notability guideline rather than an essay? King of the North East 21:29, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

WP:NFCC and text

Text is explicitly mentioned in the guideline of WP:NFC, but not the parent policy of WP:NFCC. There is a proposal at WT:NFC to remedy this by including the following (text by ViperSnake151):

*Fair use of text in articles. Articles may use verbatim textual excerpts from copyrighted media, properly attributed or cited to its original source or author. Moderately long excerpts from such works should only be used sparingly. Proper use of such text does not impede the reuse of the text under the GFDL. Fair use of text will often be more desirable in many cases than the fair use of other media.

If you have feedback, please contribute to the conversation there. Thanks. :) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 01:46, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Lead images

Every wikiproject seems to have a different policy on the size of lead images. Typical values are around 250px. I use a thumbnail size of 300px, so generally lead images appear smaller than the images that come after. Surely there should be a well defined lead image size in the MOS? Ideally the lead image size would be specified by user preference. Noodle snacks (talk) 02:52, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

I tend to agree; unless there's a reason not to use it, the default thumb size is a user preference for a reason. – Luna Santin (talk) 21:31, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
Over time, an article's layout can become a bit of a mess when explicit pixel widths are used for images. This might be because of the variety of resolutions and font sizes on different contributors' screens, so what looks perfect on one system is a bit of a dog's dinner on another. It's best not to specify thumbnail sizes, not least because another editor may come along and remove them all. Of course, images in tables like the Boat Race course and List of female Nobel laureates are special cases. BTW there's a useful parameter called "upright" for use when an image is taller than it is wide. Adding |upright to an image seems to reduce the thumbnail width by approx 76% (rounded to the nearest multiple of 10 pixels), e.g.
User's preferred width If upright Ratio
180 140 77.77%
200 150 75.00%
250 190 76.00%
300 230 76.67%
This means if a page contains uploaded images whose sides have lengths in the ratio 180:140, and the user has thumbnails set to 180 pixels, then landscape thumbnails will be 180 pixels wide and 140 high, and "upright" (i.e. portrait) thumbnails will be 140 pixels wide and 180 high so the areas will be the same. - Pointillist (talk) 22:11, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

I wish we could specify the image size relative to the default. I.e. 50% means have the default. --Apoc2400 (talk) 14:16, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Mmmm, that could be useful. You could propose it on the technical village pump page. - Pointillist (talk) 14:29, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
  • The original reason why forced image sizes were verboten, and large default image sizes were disdained, was to accommodate readers/editors with dial-up connections that made it difficult for our pages to load. In 2009, I think we could start to eschew this idea in favor of larger sizes. Just some background and 2 cents. -->David Shankbone 14:42, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm surprised how many people either read or even edit Wikipedia using cell phones. With the rise of small-screened netbooks overly large images could be a problem again. I agree with Apoc2400's suggestion that relative sizes would be a good compromise soultion.   Will Beback  talk  18:05, 30 April 2009 (UTC)


A new noticeboard is awaiting creation. See User:IRP/ArticlesForCreation/Wikipedia:Requests for talk page editing disablement. -- IRP 20:44, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Why do we need this? WP:RFPP does the job just fine.--Jac16888Talk 20:50, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
Requests for page protection is for requesting protection of pages, not for requests to change a user's block settings. -- IRP 21:15, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
Its basically the same thing, both prevent people from editing a page we don't want to. Having a separate board for this is just excessive bureaucracy--Jac16888Talk 21:19, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
In fact, requests for page protection is not meant for that purpose, as you can see from this RFPP request. -- IRP 21:57, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
That seems to show that it worked correctly. The user didn't request a change to the block settings, they requested semiprotection and the block settings were changed instead. I agree that such a board is unnecessary. These cases don't happen very often and most of the times this needs to be done, its either {{unblock}} abuse, which is usually found by an admin before someone could report it to a board, or its in the context of an existing AN/ANI discussion in which case there would be no reason to make the request on a different page. Mr.Z-man 22:08, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
(Ec - and I agree with z-man)It doesn't show that at all, the desired result was achieved, and I imagine the decline tag was used for archival purposes, or else because there was no appropriate tag, I've just added one. There are a lot of boards already for different purposes, something as small as this doesn't require its own when we have RFPP, and this has never come up before despite the disable talk editing being around for a fairly long time, so clearly nobody else thinks its a good idea--Jac16888Talk 22:10, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
The only reason why the user posted there is because that was the closest noticeboard that the user could find, not that it was the place where such a request belongs. -- IRP 22:14, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
In future, please make such posts at WP:Requests for noticeboard creation. Hang on, that's a redlink - could someone create that page?  :P SHEFFIELDSTEELTALK 22:16, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
Could probably be redirected to Wikipedia:Requests for process. Mr.Z-man 22:38, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
We don't need a noticeboard for every possible thing. Its not the end of the world if someone posts a request on a board that it doesn't exactly fit, Jac has already added {{RFPP|tb}} to the options for RFPP reviewing. Mr.Z-man 22:37, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
We need fewer noticeboards, not more. This is a solution desperately seeking a problem. EVula // talk // // 23:18, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree with the very clear consensus here: this is adequately dealt with elsewhere, and there is no need for a new noticeboard just for this limited purpose. JamesBWatson (talk) 13:56, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

Italic title

Ok I had a look through WP:MOSTITLE and couldn't find what I wanted so thought I'd ask here. I know you're supposed to use italics for books, magazines, species etc. but until today I had never seen an article (like this) which had it's page name altered into italics. It comes about through a sub-template of the infobox, but I was just questioning if it is allowed. If it is allowed shouldn't thousands more articles be italicised. (e.g. this).

On further investigation there was a discussion about this here, but it didn't seem to come to any conclusion. I personally think it looks awful and should be removed, but thought it should be discussed. Also I can't WP:BOLDly remove it and start a discussion that way becasue {{Taxobox name}} is protected.

Thanks, Rambo's Revenge (talk) 17:41, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

It looks awful because the obliques of sans-serif fonts usually look awful, especially in larger sizes. But it is accepted practice for scientific names, and should be used more widely now that there is a way to achieve it.--Curtis Clark (talk) 20:49, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
Is it also accepted practice for titles? I find it jarringly awful (though that may be just not being used to it). Rd232 talk 21:03, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps it could use a serif font? Dlabtot (talk) 21:31, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
Arguably, "Puijila" is hard to look at even unitalicized.--Curtis Clark (talk) 21:48, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
I kind of like it for Latin scientific names that are conventionally italicised, even though it seems a bit unnecessary.
But I would dislike it if it was used for book and film titles and similar.
So I would like a rule that article titles are not  italicised, with possibly some exception like Latin scientific names. -- (talk) 21:44, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Okay so it seems there is no existing policy about this. Where is the best place to try and gauge if there is consensus for or against it (I suspect this isn't the best place). Rambo's Revenge (talk) 22:25, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style.--Curtis Clark (talk) 05:17, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Okay. See Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#Italic titles. Rambo's Revenge (talk) 18:02, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
The manual of style - and indeed scientific practise - states that binomial names should be italicised wherever they appear. What does it have to say about references to film titles in articles? Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 14:12, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
As I linked above the MoS also states that film titles, books etc. should also be italicised. However this convention is not adhered to for the actual article titles. Rambo's Revenge (talk) 17:50, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Oh, okay. Well, titles are a stylistic issue, so I guess that comes down to personal preference. I just wanted to make the distinction that it is bad practise to present scientific names in non-italic font in any context. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 20:17, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
I hate the idea of italicizing the titles of articles, if for no other reason than any disambiguating suffix (such as "(film)" for Serenity (film)) would also be italicized. I don't think the MoS should apply to the titles anyway; the title is the name of the page, not an actual reference to the work in question (it's just an identifier). EVula // talk // // 23:22, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
On Serenity (disambiguation), the WP:MOSDAB guidelines would render it Serenity (film). -- JHunterJ (talk) 23:28, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but that's different from the actual title of an article (as in, what's in an h1 tag). EVula // talk // // 23:41, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
You're right, I was mistaking what we were talking about. Now that I know, though, can they not using piping to format just part of an H1 tag? (I don't know -- out of my expertise here.) -- JHunterJ (talk) 14:02, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

{{Taxobox name}}
Template talk:Taxobox name#Auto-italicisation of page name
archive WP:Village pump (technical)/Archive 56#Italic titles for names
archive WP:Village pump (technical)/Archive 58#Italics in article name

Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#Italic titles
-- (talk) 10:48, 2 May 2009 (UTC)