Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 67

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Contents

Wikipedia's elitism - Knol logical successor[edit]

As in any utopia, Wiki started with Good Intentions to encompass as much knowledge as possible with as few rules as possible. The site has been, and continues, to undergo a metamorphosis into an elite static battleground of editors.

Although there are exhortations to be bold and break rules ... in practice no edit to a page is ever quite good enough, and few pages meet the increasingly picky standards of increasing picky elite editors. Although the claim is that anyone can edit without exhaustive familiarity with the current editorial standards, in practice that is not the case. There is now a very exacting process for submission and approval of new work. One editor even went as far as to say about all the articles folks have interest in, already appear in Wiki. That is the same as the senior Patent Official in the US about a 100 years ago saying there are no further inventions to patent anymore.

Evidence of this can be seen in the increasing bureaucratic rules governing edit wars, the time and efforts devoted to conflict resolution, "consensus", what Wiki "isn't", what is notable, what is significant, etcetera, etcetera. Wiki has gone from acquiring new information to defense of existing information and rejection of new information.

Editors are by nature and practice negative. In lieu of submitting fresh data it is always easier and more satisfying to delete and criticize and find fault. One editor stated that cleaning up an article was more difficult and important than acquisition of new data (aka an article).

I believe the tide has now turned such that no newbie is welcome anymore, and unless an existing Wiki gatekeeper can be absolutely convinced of the notability of an article and that precise editorial standards be followed, forget about it appearing in Wiki. Ever. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and the Wiki quality assurance Gestapo is in full control today.

If anyone has any suggestions how to reverse this downward death spiral, please offer them up. Google's Knol seems to be the logical successor to Wiki, where authors lock down their work, are named, and articles compete in usefulness.

I mean, if folks are going have to go through the same effort to see their work in Wiki or Knol, might as well submit to Knol and not have to worry about getting abruptly deleted at the whim of yet another elitist.

Google is so powerful simply because it doesn't screen anything out. Annoying to sort through all the rubbish, but I am also grateful to find what I need even if it means sorting through 20 search pages. And I am keenly aware that one person's rubbish is another person's goldmine.

If anyone here believes utopias are sustainable ... they are not. Wiki can either evolve or end up on the ash heap of every single utopia that has ever been tried. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Oracle2universe (talkcontribs) 15:56, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

Who says Wikipedia is utopia? I think you are confused, we are an encyclopedia not a utopia. I think you are misunderstanding about how we work, for example we don't govern edit warring, we prohibit it. The fact is that we have new users contribution to articles every day, it has not slowed down but increased. Chillum 18:09, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
From the opening page ... "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.". That seems a utopian ideal to me. Anyway,although edit warring may be prohibited, there appears to be an entire Wiki page (among others) devoted to it at: "Wikipedia:Edit war". And an evolving process to deal with it. The metric I would be interested in is how much data is rejected versus how much data is accepted. The whole concept of "notability" and use of that reason to reject data is what is most worrisome. There is no compelling reason nowadays to casually reject data, given that there are no universal standards about what is "notable" or not. So I believe as long as the data (aka edit) is on topic and not violating legal requirements, let it be. (To a computer it is just strings of 1's and 0's that get accessed a little or a lot.) So rather than get wrapped up in yet more elitist bureaucracy, focus should be on acquiring more data. This drive towards absolute consistency and perfection is easy and fun to do, but not the main thing. It is the data.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Oracle2universe (talkcontribs) 15:47, 23 August 2009
Anyone being able to edit does NOT mean anyone can put whatever they want. There are guidelines on content for a reason. I still can't figure out why so many people seem to not be able to comprehend that fact. It's like someone yelling "deleting a post is taking away my free speech!" on a private forum. No -- in both cases it's content that people deem IS NOT APPROPRIATE. It's really not a hard concept to understand in my mind. To put it a different way, just because you are physically able to put text into WP, doesn't mean that it has some right to be on WP. Anyone can edit, yes. But they can't just put in everything. Anyone is allowed to walk down the sidewalk, but that doesn't mean you're allowed to pull your pants down and piss. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 20:16, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
nobody cared last time you ranted about this either. Resolute 18:29, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, you do take Wiki's "be bold" philosphy to heart. Thank you! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Oracle2universe (talkcontribs) 15:47, 23 August 2009
How many times do you have to espouse The Greatness of Knol! and The Badness of Wikipedia! before you get labeled as a SPA ... ? — Kralizec! (talk) 20:30, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
Note that besides these rants at the Village Pump, Oracle2universe's only contribs have been some external links to sheet music, several of which have been reverted as inappropriate. --Cybercobra (talk) 21:15, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
  • There was a reason I had removed this, y'know. → ROUX  21:32, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
I do not agree with the editor who first posted this section, but I must protest the archiving of this section. By censoring him, you are feeding his very "point" even though it is a misinformed and misguided one. Let the kook talk and thereby let everyone see how much of an idiot he is. Are we that scared of knol or this lunatic? Remove the archive template or I will.Camelbinky (talk) 05:09, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree we shouldn't have archived. Unarchived it. -- Taku (talk) 11:46, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
Can I be incredibly crass here? Wiki does not have a stable source of funding. It is entirely dependent on one person (Jimmy Wales) and there is no guarantee he or his heirs or backers or whatever won't pull their funding. So as Noble as this overall effort is, without the money it won't continue in the style it is accustomed to. Jimmy Wales has already abruptly dumped Wikia and if a tree limb in Central Park falls on him don't expect anyone to rush in. This project does not make money.
Wiki depends on untrained amateurs for its existence and bureaucracy. My experience with untrained amateurs on Hurricane Katrina relief is that they were more trouble than they were worth. (One person was arrested by the FBI and others were canned when their background checks didn't quite check out.)
So let me be even more blunt and crass here. Until Wiki secures a base of loyal small contributors of money (yes money ... sorry we have to address that annoying issue), it is in a precarious position. The best way to secure these donations is by humoring the donors. Being kind. Catering to some of their idiosyncracies.
A few years ago a person in the office said they had submitted an article to Wiki, and was told it was not notable (or whatever the heck the jargon was back then). He had a hurt puppy dog look on his face, and he contributes a significant part of his income to charity. Everytime you call someone misinformed, misguided, kook, and lunatic ... that is one less person amenable to any appeal by Wiki for a donation.
Every person that complains about a bona fide issue and gets blown off by an amateur editor, is one less donation to Wiki. The cartoon people ... forget about any of them sending Wiki any money. When Wiki has its call for proposals, understand anything that talks about bringing in money is going to get attention of the upper echelons. Talking about formatting articles isn't on their radar screens.
Now if anyone wants to comment on this logical text without the apparently obligatory trashing of the author, chime in. And if you want to call me more names, even better. Wiki is making a steady list of more and more enemies, and a lot of potential article contributors are potential money contributors that you are turning away. As incredibly outrageous as you will think this post is ... the world is not a nice place. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 134.67.6.14 (talk) 15:02, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
You're mixing up two points, I believe. First of all, the Wikimedia Foundation will survive Jimbo. Its daily operations have been independent of him for quite some time.
Second, I'm sure you have a point with the lacking communication of an untrained and random group of anti-social volunteers (aka "us", present company excluded of course) with new readers and editors. What's your proposal to solve this though? The standards applied (WP:NOTABILITY among others) can't be shaken in any case, otherwise there isn't much of a project to retain anyway. Amalthea 15:23, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
By the way, this site is called Wikipedia, not wiki. A wiki is any website using wiki software; there are thousands of them.--Unionhawk Talk E-mail 16:39, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

You are correct, there are a couple of points here intertwined. I'll defer to your expertise that Wiki will survive beyond Jimmy Wales. My concern would be that without revenue from ads or a broad base of donors ... it is in a risky position. A lot of my original works have been picked up by other web sites that sustain on advertising revenues, so if I went away tomorrow I'm pretty sure the works would continue on. (Greed is a much more reliable predictor of human behavior than altruism.)

My issue with notability is that there is no accepted standard. And what is notable today is often not notable in the future. And what seems unremarkable today can prove crucial in the future. In the print days, editors had to cut, that was just the nature of the technology, and no way around it. There are always limits, but computers have extended the possibilities enormously. My guess is Wiki could handle 30 million articles now and upwards 300 million in the future. The money may not be there but the technology is. Notability is such a nebulous concept that most decisions are just arbitrary anyway and guaranteed to inflame folks.

As you hint, trying to shake human nature is difficult, and in the case of WP:NOTABILITY probably impossible. Wiki's professed ideals (grandiose but inspiring nonetheless) of a comprehensive source of reasonably reliable data that anyone can add to, is simply not being followed. Period. I believe that disconnect of practice from theory is what galls people. If Wiki had said upfront you need prior approval for articles, nothing is guaranteed to appear, etc., etc. folks would understand and not do a slow burn.

So if I ran the circus, I would have every editor read and sign a statement of principles (or the equivalent) that makes it crystal clear nothing gets deleted unless there is a compelling reason. And if the data can possibly be included ... it stays. An editor should stretch the limits within legal requirements.

Second, I would have a very brief training program for editors. Have them write a sample article, another persons makes changes to their article (good, bad, off topic, on topic, vandalism, unkind comments, etc.) and check their reaction to it. Do they accept the data and stretch? Or get ticked anyone touched their work and delete it.

Wiki is going to end up with a lot of seemingly trivial data, and a lot of pages of no interest to anyone but the author for now. That isn't a lot different than reality at a major computer center now. (The acronym is "WORN" ... write once, read never.)

On the other hand Wiki stands by its egalitarian principles, and creates a big pool (we are talking millions here) of potential donors softened up, ego stroked, and easy to tap. And these donors don't have to do much heavy lifting to justify their donation, maybe just some innocuous edits would satisfy their need to contribute.

Three percent (not unreasonable for a charity drive) of 3 million is 90,000 that at $100 per donor (average) is $9 mil a year. Year after year you can hit these folks up and they are already in an automated system. Of course, if you get 30 million articles ... you are talking upwards $100 mil and real money. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 134.67.6.14 (talk) 17:35, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Anyone else want to archive this to end the trolling?--Unionhawk Talk E-mail 17:43, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
NO, archiving only feeds the morons views that Wikipedia stifles debate, which is what the original stupid complaint was. We do not censure based on idiocy of a comment. Ignore them or state the truth to counter their misinformation. As for the misguided idea that we cant survive without Jimbo I agree that there have already been in place for awhile safeguards for that. I doubt it will ever come to where we'll need a wealthy benefactor to jump in.Camelbinky (talk) 22:51, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
WP:NOTAFORUM, WP:NOT#ESSAY, WP:NOTSOAPBOX. If there is no actual policy proposal here, then Oracle's latest rant is beyond the scope of this forum. He can proselytize all he wants about the virtues of Knol, but how is that relevant to us? If Wikipedia is so broken that Knol is the logical successor, then why is he wasting his, and our, time here? Resolute 14:29, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Is it obligatory to include "moron", "idiot", "kook", "troll", and "lunatic" in discussions on this page? Just curious. However I commend Camelbinky for sticking by his principles. And not being afraid to say so. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Oracle2universe (talkcontribs) 02:27, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Good G! First some well-mannered wikipedian calls me a troll, then the Oracle Himself (hush ye peasants!) calls me "by nature and practice negative". Doctor, they're everywhere! duck and cover. Sysops: don't you dare archiving this, we might miss some crucial revelations here... NVO (talk) 03:51, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Well you do have a way with the King's English! Editors exist in the real world to smooth out the rough edges and keep things within available technology and resources ("money"). If Wikipedia (there I spelled it out) has limits (disk space, article #, article length, etcetera) then decisions are made to content and priorities made. The decisions about notability will be arbitrary and capricious but ... tough noogies. Technology limits are technology limits. People understand.

And so now my crucial revelations are now revealed. Wikipedia is text and doesn't handle multimedia well (no indexing system does). My area of expertise (music performance) does not lend itself to writing an article within the rules of Wikipedia ... even the ones I agree with.

If I dumped on the Couperin page guy, I have to apologize. After being called a kook, lunatic, idiot, moron, etc. here I thought by avoiding insults I was well within the general quality of discourse. Obviously I was wrong.

Since Wikipedia doesn't handle multi-media well, most music composer pages have outside links to sheet music, YouTube performances, commercial sites, etc. There is just no other easy way to handle it. There is text about composers, text about pieces, but musicians just want the music and sound file. Period. With as little hassle as possible. Like just one click.

I realize the music community is quite a bit different than the Wikipedia text article writing community (especially now). But if Wikipedia wants to extend their outreach a bit, some rules have to be ... stretched. People here that write more than a plausible # of articles in their area of expertise, like essjay with 16,000, are just copying stuff from the internet, changing enough words to avoid copyright violation, and calling it their own. That isn't in the same ballpark as the world class pages at Wikipedia.

Music (and other multimedia) on the other hand, is quite a bit different ball of wax. Few people (unlike text) can use a music editor or have much training in the area. Copyrights are hotly contested and productivity seems low compared to text writing. And no composer is going to casually give up copyright. (WikiMusic appears to be copyright-violation heaven.)

So if anyone can point me to a place where this can get ironed out without having to personally negotiate and get pre-approval from over a hundred editors that range from "its okay" to "I'm going to blow a nut" ... please let me know. I think I have resolved the only bona fide technical issue that folks could object to, short of satisfying increasing narrow nit-picky rules that spring up like crabgrass. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 134.67.6.14 (talk) 16:33, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

You still miss the fact that external links have guidelines. We simply can NOT add every little link to sheet music that someone comes up with, or such lists would end up HUGE. We already do have plenty of links to other sites with similar philosophies as WP, such that the IMSLP (did you try posting your work there? It should accept it fine so long as you agree to the licence), the Choral Public Domain Library, the Mutopia Project, and the Werner Icking Music Archive. People insult you because you make these long rants that really seem to be "omg you Nazis, taking away my rights!", which really isn't helpful in the least. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 18:30, 25 August 2009 (UTC)


"We simply can NOT add every little link to sheet music ..."[edit]

There is a big difference between "can not" and "don't want your stuff". I think unless a page goes over the top with more than 50 outside links, it is not an issue. When a page has NO link to ANY sheet music, your claim is really really reaching for some reason, any reason, to exclude data.

There is really no hardware capacity issue with including a lot of text and outside links in an article. But it may offend an editor that there might, just might be other sources folks are interested in, besides their sum total article.

I'm more than familiar with the music sites you gave, and many more (including ones with significant copyright issues). I didn't bother with them because of their difficulty of use and odd indexing schemes. Besides my stuff is already at 8notes.com (I have one piece on their classical top 20), and a hundred pieces at freescores.com (without my permission). It is a bit difficult going after a person in another country for copyright infringement, and since I'm in it for the fame anyway, don't mind the exposure.

If I seem a little unhappy, it is not with a particular editor's judgement to accept or reject. It is with Wikipedia's grandiose philosphy and come on that anybody can add, edit, and contribute ... and find out it is just not so. Knol says upfront here are the rules, you can get bounced at anytime, and we will likely not tell you why. And your page is locked. Truthful and upfront. Take your chances.

Now if you want to outreach to the music performance community, it is time to go back to basic Wikipedia principles (which at this point is just hype) and dispense with spending ever more effort to find reasons to reject data. Multimedia files get large quickly and Wikipedia is not prepared to handle them (few sites are). Links are the only feasible solution. If an editor is offended that folks want the music and not the article text, that is the way it is in music performance.

Now if you want to ding me about self-aggrandizement, why exactly are you and everyone else at Wikipedia? To be anonymous? To cut stuff simply because there could possibly be an outside chance they may benefit from it (aka fame) is ridiculous. If the data are good and on topic, no Wikipedia user cares, no matter how much Wikipedia bureaucracy gets entirely bent out of shape about it.

Sorry for the length here, but it seems short compared with a whole lot of guidance stuff within Wikipedia. (I haven't seen a rule about length here ... but the day isn't over yet.) And you are welcome to call it a rant ... but it doesn't score any points with professionals and whomever reads this stuff for their research on Wikipedia's strengths and weaknesses.

Don't think that the upper echelon of Wikipedia hasn't closely studied Knol and is worried (anything Google does can be worrisome), and Google didn't spend a lot of time and money studying Wikipedia and its strengths and weaknesses, before launching Knol.

So here is a chance for you to champion opening up Wikipedia through your experience and insider knowledge. Oracle2universe (talk) 19:19, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Chance declined. I offer two solutions: 1) learn to argue your case such that people come away with even a shred of respect for your arguments. 2) Go away to your Knol heaven and leave us alone but in peace with our shabby broken promises. --Tagishsimon (talk) 19:30, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

You are right, and I was wrong to place my opinions on this page. And your advice is excellent! Adieu! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Oracle2universe (talkcontribs) 13:56, August 28, 2009

Countries[edit]

Moved from Talk:Wikipedia

Lately, I've noticed that in different language versions of Wikipedia people have started to become a little rebellious and keep referring to everything as "that's the way eng wikipedia handles things, our wikipedia is different". This seems to be #1 reason to change and remove basic rules of the original wikipedia, to shape it for their pleasing. Is this kind of behavior allowed and encouraged or is it not? --88.115.50.38 (talk) 08:29, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

They're allowed to make whatever rules they want (within reason). I would hope they have better reasons than mere contrarianism but anyway.. --Cybercobra (talk) 09:21, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, I've noticed that whatever Jimmy Wales says about rules and such is automatically challenged in my country's version of Wikipedia, and to be honest it's starting to annoy me. I understand that different language versions kinda must make their own rules but I don't like it when they try to find loopholes in the very basic rules that are the foundation of it all. --88.115.50.38 (talk) 09:50, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
This might be better pursued at the policy discussion forum page. --Cybercobra (talk) 11:16, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
Can you move it there? I dunno how to. Thanks. --88.115.50.38 (talk) 14:18, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
Sure. --Cybercobra (talk) 23:30, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
What does this have to do with en.wikipedia? Shouldn't it be discussed on the other-language wikipedias in question, or on meta? Algebraist 11:12, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, since the question is directed to the English Wikipedians (the original Wikipedia), I think this is just the right place. The nature of the question should also be enough to point that out. --88.115.50.38 (talk) 16:03, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
What policy do you expect enwiki to set to change how other wikis set their policies...? → ROUX  16:05, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

I don't. Read the original question. --88.115.50.38 (talk) 16:13, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

I read the original question. You're asking English Wikipedia what kind of behavior is allowed and/or encourage on other Wikipedias. Because of that (since English Wikipedia doesn't allow or disallow or encourage or discourage policy or guidelines on other Wikipedias), Roux asked what you expect. So, let's say the answer is "yes, it's allowed and encouraged" (or, conversely, "no, it's not allowed or encouraged") -- what do you expect to happen then? -- JHunterJ (talk) 16:51, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't expect anything to happen then. I was just asking a question, and pointing out that to me, this is rather irritating and disrespectful, since this is the very site it all started from. Surely there must be guidelines that each Wikipedia must follow. To me, arguing about what one of the founders of Wikipedia has said and claiming that whatever he said about the policies only applies to the English version is rather childish. If the answer would've been "no, it's not encouraged", I would've expected a conversation about it and possibly an update that mentions such behavior on Wikipedia. But since it is allowed and encouraged I'm not expecting anything. --88.115.50.38 (talk) 10:31, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm pretty much positive that if one of the other language Wikipedia's decided to overturn one of the Five Pillars for their project, then someone from the office would end up stepping in. Aside from a drastic action such as that though, they're as free to do whatever their local consensus dreams up as we are here. Theoretically, we could all decide that we don't want to have any policies or guidelines other then the five pillars, and that could be put into effect. It'd never happen of course, but there's really nothing to stop it.
V = I * R (talk) 10:43, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

Verbatim Copy of Public Domain Text[edit]

In the Irish Wolfhound article under the history section an editor has added several paragraphs of text from a public domain work, without attribution. What is the Wikipedia policy on this? There is a huge amount of text to format. Should the text be left in, whilst a gradual effort to format it is made, or should it be excised from the article? Matt J User|Talk 12:22, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Covered at Wikipedia:Plagiarism#Public domain sources. Text can stay but there should ideally by a citation, should be an an attribution, normally in the references section. --Tagishsimon (talk) 12:25, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Verbatim copies raise two issues: copyright and plagiarism. Since public domain sources have no copyright, the only issue is plagiarism -- a deeply unsettled area of policy on WP. To repeat Tagishsimon's comment, we encourage editors not to plagiarize, i.e. to include some citation, e.g. a line at the top of the references section, "This article incorporates verbatim content from XYZ".
  • However, the point is often raised that, since plagiarism consists of 1) unfair denial of credit to an author and 2) unfair appropriation of credit by the plagiarizer, the second "prong" is simply not applicable to Wikipedia since it is written anonymously and disclaims the notion that its content is original research; and depending on which "prong" you think is more important, this could undermine the reasons for not plagiarizing on WP. Until I get a good answer to that question, I think people should do whatever suits their consciences -- since, after all, the plagiarizer is not Wikipedia but the individual Wikipedia editor.
  • However, I choose to include the citations, because if our policy should ever shift one day to require them, a huge number of my contributions would need to be deleted. (I use a template to associate these sources with talk pages, and aggregate them in a category, and then engage in gross imports -- I've created about 1000 article this way. I want to make some major improvements to this template but I need to learn how to program first). Andrew Gradman talk/WP:Hornbook 17:25, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
There's also the question of whether the quotation is appropriate in an encyclopaedia. Peter jackson (talk) 17:40, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
Remember that complete public domain sources can be stored at Wikisource - it is never appropriate to include all of a PD work in WP, though certainly choice elements can be included with the link to the sister site. Still agree that some attribution is needed, regardless. --MASEM (t) 14:03, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
The hundreds of articles based entirely on EB1911 or the DNB would argue against your assertion that "it is never appropriate to include all of a PD work in WP". --Tagishsimon (talk) 14:06, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
From a standpoint of an encyclopedia, both the EB1911 or DNB make great starting points for articles - but we should appropriately transform that information with newer sources to make them better for WP. (This would be the case where starting stubs or start-class articles with "full works" would be reasonable for our purpose as an encyclopedia, but when WP is "complete" we should not have the full excerpts from those works as part of those articles.) --MASEM (t) 14:13, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for your help everyone, I have decided to remove the text in question, as it was not formatted correctly, and written in the first person.Matt J User|Talk 14:56, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

The need for attribution of quoted text persists even absent any rights or duties to the original author. The reader is entitled to know from whose perspective the words came. Plato had different views from Aristotle, though the works of both are firmly in the public domain. If we mask the author, we confuse the reader. Always attribute.LeadSongDog come howl 15:25, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

Keep without prejudice[edit]

Could someone explain what an XfD close of "Keep without prejudice" means/implies/entails? OrangeDog (talk • edits) 18:51, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Probably that the article is kept at this time (probably due to lack of consensus) without prejudice towards a future decision in the opposite direction. You would get a better answer by asking the person who closed the XfD in question. → ROUX  18:52, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
In law "without prejudice" means it could be brought up again and considered afresh. That is the case with any XFD, really... --Tango (talk) 20:03, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. OrangeDog (talk • edits) 20:25, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, it's usually used after a delete to indicate that the current article was unacceptable but that the topic is not inherently unencyclopedic. After a keep, it seems a bit redundant. Powers T 13:57, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

All edits to pages about living people will need approving by a moderator?[edit]

Wikipedia:Flagged revisions. More at Wikipedia:WikiProject Flagged Revisions#Resources --Tagishsimon (talk) 10:33, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
No - as noted on both of those pages, the approved proposal is Wikipedia:Flagged_protection_and_patrolled_revisions which is more about passive patrolling than active flagging. The New York Times got this wrong also and ignored my comment to clarify it Wikipedia_talk:Flagged_protection_and_patrolled_revisions#New_York_Times_article - sigh. --NealMcB (talk) 05:04, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Also see the foundation blog post: "Wikimedia blog » Blog Archive » A quick update on Flagged Revisions". Retrieved 2009-08-30.  --NealMcB (talk) 05:28, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Newspapers and their readers should remember that we're quite possibly weeks away from a trial of semi and full-prot BLPs. - Jarry1250 [ In the UK? Sign the petition! ] 10:41, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
What's happening? The media are misunderstanding and exaggerating, as usual. Fritzpoll (talk) 11:11, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
What's happening is that there's going to be a limited test deployment of a system derived from Flagged Revisions, implemented on English Wikipedia's BLP identified pages. Personally, my knee jerk reaction is that I don't like the idea, but my only real exposure to flagged revisions is a limited experience with Wikinews and Wikibooks. I'm taking a wait and see attitude, since it's entirely possible that my preconceived notions of what the implementation will look like are entirely incorrect.
Ω (talk) 01:32, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
Some good general advice, in my opinion.
Ω (talk) 01:29, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

That is already the case now, even if no editor comes out and says so. Effectively the pages are edit locked ... only it is AFTER you edit that you find it out when stuff is deleted. Human nature being what it is, no author ever wants their work touched and finding ever more picky and silly reasons to reject edits ... is how it is done. (Amazing how people rationalize.)

Just take your information (and whatever else looks good on the page), go to Knol, rewrite enough to avoid copyright infringement, and if you work is accepted, figure no one is going to change it.

I'm surprised folks here haven't figured this out yet. I mean, you can be the essjay of Knol! (And remember with all the Wiki stuff under some commons license, it doesn't take too much rewriting to clear copyright issues.)

Jimmy Wales just HAS to be getting tired of the endless hassles his baby creates for him.

I mean, here is an innocuous mainstream media story, talking about a plan and yet another Wiki apologist blows a nut and trashes anyone outside their Wiki sewing circle. Yes, let's strive for as much accuracy in Wiki and immediately assume a professional journalist at the Telegraph is knee-jerk wrong —Preceding unsigned comment added by Oracle2universe (talkcontribs)

Format for book titles in bibliographies[edit]

I notice that many articles have book titles italicized in the bibliographies. This contradicts prevailing print conventions, in which book titles are underlined. Can someone point me to a place where this protocol has been discussed? If it hasn't been, is there any good reason why Wikipedia shouldn't conform with the published academic literature?24.22.141.252 (talk) 10:37, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Underlining is standard typesetters' code for italics. If you supply them with a typescript with titles underlined, they'll print it with them italic. All the published academic literature I've seen uses italic. Peter jackson (talk) 10:56, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia does not underline, since that hints at an anchor for a hyperlink. Wikipedia:Manual of Style (titles)#Italics is the pertinent guideline. --Tagishsimon (talk) 13:21, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Got it. Thanks, Peter, it all makes complete sense now.24.22.141.252 (talk) 23:44, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Featured x candidates (Regarding withdrawal)[edit]

Break[edit]

Disambiguation links to Wiktionary[edit]

At the top of the article titled prisoner, I added this:

Inmate redirects here because it is a euphemism for prisoner. Among younger people it has ceased to be a euphemism. For it various senses, see its Wiktionary entry.

Is there a standard form for such notices? Or is Wikipedia forbidden to mention that this word is a euphemism? Michael Hardy (talk) 13:24, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Inmate may also refer to people in mental health institutions. Jezhotwells (talk) 13:29, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
You actually added this note to Prison (which is indeed the redirect target for Inmate), not Prisoner, which is a disambiguation page primarily listing media, such as the Cher album, with the title Prisoner or similar. This type of note is called a hatnote; they are used for disambiguation and there are several templates for formatting them. A redirect hatnote typically says something like "X redirects here; for the other use of X, see Y" or "for other uses of X, see Y (disambiguation)". However, I don't think any hatnote, including the one you placed, is called for in this case, because it doesn't appear that there are any articles on Wikipedia that discuss any other meaning of the word "inmate." Hatnotes never link to wiktionary, because the purpose of disambiguation is to direct users to content on this encyclopedia; adding them just to say "other meanings of the word exist" is clutter serving little purpose. Propaniac (talk) 14:22, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
We have templates for linking wiktionary. {{Wiktionary}} Taemyr (talk) 15:37, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't know what that has to do with this conversation. Those templates have nothing to do with hatnotes; they're used on disambiguation pages, which, like hatnotes, are only created when they are necessary to disambiguate content on Wikipedia. The wiktionary templates are supplementary to the purpose of a disambiguation page.
(Unless you're not actually responding to my comments, and your intent is to say that the wiktionary template could be used on Prison to link to the dictionary definition of "inmate," instead of using a hatnote. In which case I have no real basis for response because for some reason the template appears to be completely absent of documentation that would prescribe its usage; using it in this case does, however, seem rather random, since I don't think it's normally placed on every single article titled with a term that appears in wiktionary, or with a redirect from such a title.) Propaniac (talk) 16:13, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
{{Wiktionary-inline}} is what should be used as hatnotes or in body text. People tend to discourage such linking however, for some reason.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 02:16, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

The Wiktionary templates are not limited solely to disambiguation articles, nor were ever meant to be, Propaniac. And, Michael Hardy, such links to Wiktionary should be interwiki links ([[wikt:inmate#English|its Wiktionary entry]], producing "its Wiktionary entry") not external links as you have in the above. Notice, by the way, the specification of the relevant language heading in the link. Uncle G (talk) 13:16, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

A Wiktionary link never belongs at the top of an article. Further, Wikipedia relies on WP:V and WP:RS; wikis are not reliable sources, and their links belong in WP:EL. We don't link to non-reliable sources in Wikipedia articles, by policy. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:29, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Not so - we link to other Wikipedia articles (obviously) and to Wikipedia articles in other languages. There certainly ought to be links to wiktionary from articles, if the wiktionary entry exists and there is no dab page (equivalent to the situation where we have a primary topic and just one other topic for a title). I think we should have a hatnote template for this situation.--Kotniski (talk) 15:17, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Template:Forwikt is my prototype (although it wouldn't work too well for redirected terms).--Kotniski (talk) 15:31, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

And on the original question, I changed the redirect on "inmate" to point to the more logical Prisoner instead. I don't think there's a need for a second wiktionary link on the prisoner page (I guess if people are given a link to "prisoner" on Wiktionary, they'll be able to navigate to the "inmate" entry fairly easily from that). And the information about it being a euphemism etc. (unless you have some extensive sourced material on that subject) certainly seems to belong in a dictionary rather than an encyclopedia.--Kotniski (talk) 15:52, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conflict has been marked as a guideline[edit]

Wikipedia:Naming conflict (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

  • I just fixed the link... now to figure out what the heck is going on...
    V = I * R (talk to Ω) 02:18, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Due to the latest conflict over this guideline, I have fully-protected the page for two weeks. Hopefully that will give everyone time to sort it all out on the talk page. — Kralizec! (talk) 01:00, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

policy of movie reviews or critiques?[edit]

Hello Wikipedians, thanks for all your great work. I'm new to Wikipedia, and interested in the rules defining movie entries and personal opinion.As encylopedia facts should be verified by previous written sources, do I have to find a review of a movie that I agree with to quote? Naturally my point of view regarding any movie is the only one that matters, and all should bow down before me....I realise that opinions of movies are wildly varied. I'm trying to understand the definitive wikipedia view of movie information. I appreciate that maths, science, academic subjects etc must have accepted sources and be written in neutral tones. (This does not exclude a warm and enthusiastic sense of the subject matter).If Wikipedia has a movie that is extremely contentious,who has the final say as to it's social meaning or intent? If the director is the arbitor of meaning, the author of the book the movie is made from might strongly disagree.I realise also that any major stuff ups I enter will be deleted by the more knowledgable. Hoping to avoid the bunfight of subjectivity ,I remain yours sincerely Ern Malleyscrub (talk) 06:46, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

My first suggestion would be to read some of our featured articles on films. Category:FA-Class film articles is where you'll find them. Take a look at how they handle the situation, especially those that have been promoted recently. In general, we try to achieve balance by including representative reviews from respected critics. Powers T 13:02, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Anarchism referencing guidelines has been marked as a guideline[edit]

Wikipedia:Anarchism referencing guidelines (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Dealing with articles that are both large and severely unbalanced[edit]

I'm wondering how one deals with articles that seem to have a long history of tendentious editing, basically, articles that are lengthy and have a great deal of content, but the article is strongly unbalanced toward a particular point of view or otherwise has undue weight problems. In other words, one editor or a group of editors have basically flooded the article with a large mass of cited content, but clearly leaning (and in some cases, only giving) one point of view on a controversial topic. Three articles I have in mind are Adolescent sexuality in the United States, Feminist views on prostitution, and Prostitution (criminology). It seems in dealing with articles of this kind, one is left with two bad alternatives: 1) start adding balancing content, which in the case of a "flooded" article, may take a great deal of time and effort to get the article to a point where its balanced, or 2) start deleting or paring down content that contributes toward slanting the article, but in the process end up deleting valid, referenced content. I'm not really sure how to deal with articles of this type, but unfortunately, it seems that a kind of "He who gets their soonest with the most 'facts', wins" dynamic can create a winning strategy for POV pushing on Wikipedia. Thoughts? Iamcuriousblue (talk) 21:59, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

I've been wondering about this as well, but from a slightly different angle - Diffusion of technology in Canada, Scientific research in Canada, and Innovation, invention, and industrial research in Canada were one article that seems to be broken down into three. Even in their current states, they are massive and are largely all the product of one editor. I don't think he has a POV but who the hell can tell? How we would get started fixing those articles is beyond me. --Cameron Scott (talk) 22:05, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Wow – these look like highly tendentious personal essays that have been formatted for Wikipedia. It also seems like these might be articles that would be AfD candidates, since whether these are truly encyclopedic subjects is questionable. In the case of the articles I've mentioned, I know the subjects are encyclopedic, and there is enough content to justify a break out from a more general article. However, once the article is broken out, its subject to all manner of content forking. Iamcuriousblue (talk) 22:13, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes, this is a hard problem, that Wikipedia has trouble with. It is especially hard if the POV-pushers are defending their slanted article. One method is to focus on the lead section, make it reasonably neutral and leave the POV mess below. --Apoc2400 (talk) 15:37, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Time for WP:VICTIM[edit]

So in the past week, in the discussion on the kidnapping of Jaycee Lee Dugard, 3 separate controversies about naming victims within the context of existing articles have arisen that can not be solved simply by WP:BLP.

1) Jaycee Lee Dugard is a (alleged) rape victim, and is clearly also an underage rape victim. Her name has been reported in major media publications as such, but clearly not with the victim's consent.

2) Jaycee Lee has two children whose names have been given in major media reports. These children are presumed to also be victims of physical abuse. Reporting these children's names may violate Florida's Crime Victim's Prevention Act of 1995 and other rape shield laws, and in many editors eyes, violates all standards of decency, as evidenced on the talk page. At this point, the children's names are not given in the article.

3) Another previous victim of the accused has appeared on "Larry King Live", giving her name and being interviewed about her rape experience. There is debate about whether to include her name in the article. Her name has been removed at the current time.

All of this together has exposed a need for a policy on victims privacy vs. the need for knowledge dissemination. I propose we think about some proposals.--CastAStone//₵₳$↑₳₴₮ʘ№€ 01:14, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

This sounds like an extension of WP:BIO1E... (see also Wikipedia:Who is a low profile individual). Luminifer (talk) 01:40, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
No, It's not in regards to notability, its in regards to privacy. Not who deserves an article, but rather whose name should be revealed--CastAStone//₵₳$↑₳₴₮ʘ№€ 01:43, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Well I dont know why the "previous victim" who has appeared on Larry King has been removed from the article or why there would be a debate about using her name since she has obviously given her story and gave a high-profile interview, she has no expectation of privacy both in common sense and more importantly in the legal-sense, it doesnt matter what Florida's statute states, it doesnt apply to her. Second- unless Wikipedia's servers are IN the state of Florida it doesnt affect us one bit what laws Florida chooses to enact. We arent going to hold ourselves to the laws of every single little government's laws. Third- it is regrettable that the woman is getting all this media attention, but the fact is that she is getting the attention. Her name is not withheld, it is everywhere, there isnt even a debate going on anywhere I am aware of, other than maybe a blog (which we dont use blogs)_and of course the debate going on here, which isnt admissable either. Basically- there are bigger more important controversies about who to name or not name than this case, which isnt even a controversy, this is a bad example of what you are trying to get at.Camelbinky (talk) 03:36, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Wikimedia Foundation is organized under the state laws of Florida. –xenotalk 03:41, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
What about the children? you didn't comment on them--CastAStone//₵₳$↑₳₴₮ʘ№€ 03:43, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Wouldn't it matter where the contributor adding the information is located, more than where the servers are? Or does safe harbor not apply to this? --Cybercobra (talk) 04:24, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
All that matters would be the physical location of the servers, since from a legal point of view that is where the "information" is physically stored. The incorporation of the Wikimedia Foundation has no bearing upon Florida's ability to regulate Wikipedia. If Florida wants to bring the Foundation on charges I dont think it would win based on the fact that the Internet is federally regulated to the exclusion of state regulation (Interstate commerce clause gives the Federal govt sole responsibility in that area, and courts have found that to apply to the Internet), state law would not apply in this case, only if the servers are physically in the state of Florida could Florida have the legal right to do anything. If the individual adding the information lived inside Florida, perhaps, but proving the individual's identity would be a daunting case and probably would deter any prosecutor (you can prove the IP address, but then how do you prove the individual that was using it, and not someone else in that household or a friend or a neighbor or someone that broke into the apartment and decided to play on the computer while robbing them or perhaps it was OJ Simpson, how do you know who?) It is clear that the one victim who went on Larry King has forfeited her expectation of privacy the minute she did that. The victim who's name is all over TV on the other hand didnt, but its out there, if there was some discussion out there about holding back her name, if a few networks or newspapers had refused to publish her name, that would be a different story, but unless you can prove there is in the media an actual discussion or debate that "perhaps we went too far and should have kept her name out" then we have an obligation to give the whole story, including her name. When she first went missing her name was released and given (18 years ago?), it was public knowledge back then, it is still public knowledge, the regretable and terrible and sad and deplorable acts done to her are sad and I am sorry for her. But it is news it is verifiable it is reliable. Personally I dont think her story is one that reaches notability requirement for an article on Wikipedia. It is all over the news NOW and notable, but 10-20-100 years from now? What would be the reason for having the article? We need to stop with this proliferation of news events the second they happen becoming articles. Our criteria needs to be not whether or not something is notable NOW, but instead "is it going to still be notable 100 years from now?". This is an even that is better for Wikinews or some other place than a permanent Wikipedia article that if it had happened 100 years ago and someone made an article on it then it wouldve been deleted for non-notability.Camelbinky (talk) 04:41, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Legal issues are the province of the WP:OFFICE, and should remain so. They have a job, so let's allow them to do it. Everything else seems to already be covered by various combination's of WP:BLP, WP:BIO1E, WP:NOTCENSORED, WP:OFFICE, WP:V, and WP:RS, so my first question is what purpose would additional documentation serve?
    V = I * R (talk to Ω) 06:58, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
If its already covered, than what's the policy on dealing with the children's names in this instance? What's the policy on revealing a rape accuser's name? There is none.--CastAStone//₵₳$↑₳₴₮ʘ№€ 14:59, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
We can discuss this here, we dont need to stop. If you dont find your answers on the multiple (and in at least once case unrelated to the topic) wp's that Ohm's Law listed then let us know and we'll discuss it and come to a consensus. Quoting policy/guideline is NEVER a substitute for discussing and using common sense to come to a consensus on what to do in a particular situation. Policies and guidelines are here to GUIDE us to a good rational common sense solution to problems; only if they are to keep us from getting into legal problems (such as rules on copy-right violation) are they to be taken literally and applied strictly to all situations. This is a legal issue, but since major media outlets have huge legal departments a good rule of thumb is- if it is reported across all major media outlets and they are not discussing any bad ramifications nor debating the merits of reporting nor reporting that any of them are being sued, then we must assume then it is ok for us to report what they are reporting. I have not personally heard the names of the children on CNN so I would say "what source(s) reported the names?" and we can decide from that whether or not it was "right", if it is just one source probably not. The rape accuser's name has been out there ALOT across every place, plus the fact he has been arrested is a matter of public record (ever get a ticket for not wearing your seat belt? if your local newspaper has a "police blotter" it probably was in the newspaper and its perfectly legal for them to do so, even if you get the ticket dismissed, and this is more serious than a seat belt). If you get arrested it is public knowledge and open to reporting (unless your a minor in which case you are not "arrested", though the term they do use escapes me right now, its been over 10 years since I took the course "Juvinile crime, its cause and control" in college). Let us continue this discussion and come to a conclusion. Anyone who is not interested in discussing it and thinks it should be punted to being a quotefest of policy doesnt have to participate but they shouldnt try to drown out discussion and end it.Camelbinky (talk) 16:25, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Review of the first section of the Naming Convenions[edit]

See Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions#Main principle?

There is a review of the first section "Wikipedia:Naming conventions#Use the most easily recognized name" of the Naming conventions policy, which could result in fundamental changes to the policy. -- PBS (talk) 09:30, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

LGBT nominations and NPOV[edit]

Proposal: Any large-scale semi-/automated article creation task require BRFA[edit]

See also Wikipedia:AN#Proposal: Any large-scale semi-/automated article creation task require BRFA - needs discussion as to implementation

I've closed this discussion that fell off the page as carried. The proposal as edited (requiring BAG approval, soliciting but not mandating Wikiproject input) has broad support. Objections are split between opinion that BAG may not be the ideal forum in case the creation is semi-automated, hesitation over adding a new hurdle to (some) article creation, and concerns that the proposal is redundant to existing BAG requirements — none of which appear to be compelling enough to override the general support. — Coren (talk) 17:47, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

  • Coren: As the carried policy proposal and your closure summary mention soliciting Wikiproject input, I'd like to suggest bulk-notifying en-wp WikiProjects of this new agreed approach. Thanks, Whitehorse1 18:02, 2 September 2009 (UTC).
    • Actually, I have absolutely no involvement with that discussion; I've simply gauged consensus of the discussion as requested on AN. — Coren (talk) 19:55, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
      • I understand. It might in any event be worth waiting a short while, to take stock. Thanks for stepping up to the plate to close the discussion. –Whitehorse1 22:45, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
  • This is a good idea, Whitehorse. I've actually started a thread about the implementation and announcement of this change at AN, you may want to comment there. –xenotalk 22:59, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

people might misuse it[edit]

I seem to recall that there's a policy which says something to the effect that "people might misuse it" is not a valid argument in deletion debates and the like; can someone remind me where and what that policy is, please? Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 22:20, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

WP:NOT houses most of the arguments to avoid. Not sure if the one you are looking for is in there, though. Shereth 22:25, 2 September 2009 (UTC)total brain fart on my part here *cough* the right link is below. Shereth 22:31, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't think any policy governs valid deletion debate arguments. The WP:ATA essay covers quite a few poor arguments though. Mr.Z-man 22:26, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Category deletion policy no longer marked as a policy[edit]

Wikipedia:Category deletion policy (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a policy. It was previously marked as a policy. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:01, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Proposal: Wikipedia:Articles about companies policy[edit]

Resolved: Well, that flew like a lead duck. --Hammersoft (talk) 16:53, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

harassment[edit]

Resolved: The English Wikipedia has no position or ability to affect what occurs on other Wikis. You'll just need to work tis issue out with those directly involved in it, on the danish Wikipedia.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 03:16, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:How to write a plot summary no longer marked as a guideline[edit]

Wikipedia:How to write a plot summary (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

I'm not contesting this, but where was the discussion about this? Irbisgreif (talk) 05:27, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Naming conflict[edit]

There's been a fairly long running, slow burning, battle occurring on the Wikipedia:Naming conflict (talk page) guideline page (which is a supplement to the Wikipedia:Naming conventions policy, for those of you who aren't aware of it). The debate seems to have degenerated into internacine infighting by this point, with the same or very similar arguments simply being batted back and forth, so some fresh eyes and opinions on the matter would be a good idea. Note that the guideline is currently edit protected, so nothing is going to change immediately regardless. Hopefully we can settle this before the page protection comes off though, so that it doesn't have to go back on. I would have just started an RfC on this, but we can't even seem to come to a decision about what the RfC would say right now. Any larger participation would be welcome (at least, to me it would be).
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 15:33, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Edit war moved to Wikipedia:Edit warring[edit]

Wikipedia:Edit war (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a policy. It was previously marked as a policy. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

False positive due to pagemove. Algebraist 02:04, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Introduction to WIkipedia policies, processes and more generally, internal workings[edit]

It is very often difficult for new users to understand our policies and how our processes work, that's why I think we should have an introductory page on the internal workings of Wikipedia, separate from the introductory pages on editing. It should be easy enough to understand for newcomers, but still cover all our major policies and internal workings. I don't think we have any page like this, or a t any rate widely recognized. I hope we could write one. Though I'm not sure what the title should be. Ideas ? Cenarium (talk) 00:08, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

  • We actually have some introductions for some processes. We have the Wikipedia:Guide to deletion, for example. (I created it in 2005, so it's been around for some years.) There's also the Wikipedia:Guide to requests for adminship. And if you check the Wikipedia:Editor's index to Wikipedia, you'll find the Wikipedia:Department directory and Wikipedia:Maintenance. Don't overlook the Wikipedia:Crash Course in Wikipedianism, either.

    The Guide to deletion is on every AFD notice, and at the top of every per-day AFD page. The Editor's index, Department directory, and Maintenance list are all right at the top of Wikipedia:Community portal. As for policies: Wikipedia:Five Pillars leads to many of them. Uncle G (talk) 04:08, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

    • Yes, there are plenty of those but there is no single page introducing and summarizing all the major aspects, so new users get lost. The deletion process is one that is well introduced and covered, though. But the general reference page that is given for policies and guidelines is WP:policies and guidelines, which is a policy, and not intended as an introduction or overview for new users. The community portal is convoluted and very insider (wp weekly, signpost, announcements..), the only section that could really help them is the last one, Guidelines, help & resources, but most of them probably won't scroll down to that point. Maintenance is a hard part of Wikipedia, which would overwhelm new users, and they aren't ready for wikiproject collaboration. The directory is just a collection of links, with no explanation. The five pillar is a good pre-introduction and reference, but isn't detailed enough and doesn't discuss processes. Cenarium (talk) 01:38, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
      • Something like this is on my list of Things I'll Get Around To Eventually, Really I Will. The aim (for me) is for it to come fairly organically out of this, whenever I get it finished. → ROUX  01:43, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
Book-length introductions to Wikipedia are available at How Wikipedia Works and Wikipedia: The Missing Manual. Graham87 02:36, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, and they're quite good, but they have two weaknesses:
  • Most visitors won't bother to get their hands on a copy before editing; indeed, they may not even know the books exist.
  • Even if a visitor does read a book-length guide before editing, it's likely that they'll miss important points due simply to the amount of material being presented.
(Nor should we expect, as a community, that newcomers must read a book before they have any idea what to do.)
What I think would be very useful would be a very short—perhaps even simplistic—summary of the core rules, presented in a "follow these and you won't get blocked" manner. There's no need for a newcomer to immediately be exposed to the intricacies of the manual of style, or all the various special cases and exceptions in our more arcane policies; what we need is something that simply covers the common areas where newcomers get into trouble (e.g. sockpuppets, legal threats, copyvios, etc.). And then we need to make sure this summary is prominently linked in every welcome template, and perhaps even on the edit screen itself,.so that everyone who starts editing gets to see a copy very quickly afterwards. Kirill [talk] [pf] 02:45, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

I'd echo the need for some short, clear, helpful introductions. In developing the Article Wizard I've been conscious that a lot of the policy links we expect newbies to look at for clarification of simple points ("what's a reliable source?") are pretty full-on, having developed over long periods of time to clarify as many internal Wikipedia debates as possible. This would be less of a problem if more policy pages had good leads - but many are pretty crappy, and being placed at the top of a big page gives a WP:TLDR effect anyway. Perhaps we need some "policy summaries" or something; but it's going to lead to extra argument and maintenance so I don't relish the idea. Rd232 talk 08:12, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions/Draft policy rewrite has been marked as a guideline[edit]

Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions/Draft policy rewrite has recently been edited to mark it as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Looks like an error to me.--Unionhawk Talk E-mail Review 02:05, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
Fixed wikilinks. It's just a draft page. Rd232 talk 08:06, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Suggestion for 'pages requiring improvement' lists[edit]

Given that there are so many pages marked as requiring improvement, and the lists for each category tend to require 'several levels of clicks to find the relevant list' would it be possible to have a 'Random article requiring improvement' link (ie 'Random article' link combined with 'find relevant <tags>')? Jackiespeel (talk) 17:15, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Proposed deprecation of "Future" templates[edit]

All comments on the possible deprecation/deletion of {{Future}} and related templates would be much appreciated at Wikipedia:Centralized discussion/Deprecating "Future" templates. Thank you! –Drilnoth (T • C • L) 01:27, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Revert trolls should be penalized[edit]

A recent study [4] concludes that "We consider this as evidence of growing resistance from the Wikipedia community to new content, especially when the edits come from occasional editors." I'm concerned with the RC patrol's rate of type I errors (i.e., the error of undue skepticism, e.g., a court finding a person guilty of a crime that they did not actually commit). There should be some penalty for "revert trolls", defined as editors that repeatedly revert legitimate, well-sourced statements that eventually make it into the article after lengthy discussion. It's really a pity that such editors keep wasting the time of experienced contributors and driving away potential new contributors. This issue seems to be of concern at large; see, e.g., 1, 2, [5], [6], and the whole Wikipedia:Revert only when necessary. Thanks. 128.138.43.254 (talk) 19:21, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

I'm a bit confused...if the edit is legitimate and well-sourced why is it getting reverted in the first place? Sourced info should never be removed unless the source is unreliable, there is a copy-right problem with the info, its libel, or some other legal reason. Is that truly an epidemic? If so I havent seen it happen on any article I work on, I can only think of one time where a sourced statement was reverted and that was in an edit war regarding two contradicting sources. I think a bigger problem are those who put up for AfD articles that are poorly written but are notable, and the problem of facts being deleted from an article rather than just being slapped with a "citation needed" template. Take two seconds to do a web search on ask.com and find a citation yourself instead of removing the info, if the info is removed how does anyone know that a citation is needed for it?Camelbinky (talk) 19:52, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Don't forget WP:WEIGHT. Something might be true, but not necessarily significant to be included in an article. Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 20:17, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Camelbinky, the confusion you reported is the very cause of frustration with revert trolls: they seem to be driven by a desire to increase their "revert counts", regardless of whether these are false positives. My suggestion is that such behavior should be discouraged at Wikipedia. Regarding whether it is truly an epidemic, I tried to gather evidence in my original post above; I'm not sure how else to quantify this hypothetical spread of revert trolls. Finally, I agree that unwarranted AfD is a problem, but I'd suggest us to keep the focus here on reverts and not consider deletes. What do you think? On the other hand, I disagree that removing unsourced statements is a problem; after all, if it's easy to find a source supporting the statement, I think it's fair to expect the original contributor to do that. Thanks for your feedback. 128.138.43.254 (talk) 20:36, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Whatever happened to WP:AGF? Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 20:55, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree that "revert trolls" fail to assume good faith, if that's what you meant; but it's not only that: such editors also don't comply with WP:DONTBITE. Still, I think this issue deserves a separate guideline, because we must prevent the proliferation of type I errors in reverts, as detailed originally above. Do you agree this concern is legitimate? Thanks. 128.138.43.254 (talk) 21:04, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Don't be ridiculous. You obviously know that I'm talking about your claim that people are reverting solely to get their edit count up, with no proof for your claimed motives. If somebody is removing valid sources, then it should be discussed on the article's Talk page, and if that doesn't work, there's plenty of places where discussions can be had. Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 21:09, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Who. Though there may very well be a small minority of editors who do just as IP address claims. I dont really think it is of the magnitude that requires a guideline that basically tells people "use your brain, dont be stupid". We have wp:use common sense for that.Camelbinky (talk) 21:15, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for your input, Camelbinky. You seem to admit the possibility of the existence of the so-called revert trolls. Considering the mechanisms currently available at Wikipedia, how should a contributor proceed (assuming she's willing to invest some time) to neutralize the disruptive behavior of a revert troll? 128.138.43.254 (talk) 21:45, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
There's no reason to be nothing less than friendly here, Who. My only claim is that the RC Patrol inevitably makes errors of type I, and that these should be discouraged, meaning if they become frequent for a given editor (what I call a "revert troll"), that there should be some penalty. It is not hard to interpret the behavior of revert trolls as bullying and arrogance, reason why I think it should be disencouraged. Could you please clarify if you are disagreeing with (i) the importance of the rate of type I errors by the RC patrol or (ii) the need for a guideline discouraging such a behavior. Thanks.


Wikipedia developing leukemia

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack ... may I interject some logic here? Based on what I see here there is an enormous amount of time spent resolving disputes instead of focusing on new data and the talent that produces it. It seems that every issue and dispute is just beaten down by the bureaucrats no matter how far they have to reach to find some "rule" that is in their favor. De facto lock down of pages, vengeance, getting even, sadistic revert editors ... is it any wonder that any newbie looks at this and says WTF? And bye bye?

There are more and more police at Wikipedia ("wikipolice") putting every single change under a microscope and deciding it is not appropriate. Too many police, like when a patient with leukemia has too many white blood cells. (Actually "Wiki-sicherheitdienst" might be a better term for the police here.)

The funny part, is that no one comes to Wikipedia with the expectation that the information is reliable. Just an entry point into the subject. Since the pages can be changed before you access them, there is no guarantee any sentence on a page can be relied upon.

If anyone cares to respond, let me save you some time and you can just append this text to your post: This person is a [kook, lunatic, idiot, moron].

Any questions? Oracle2universe (talk) 00:10, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

You forgot to include "troll" in your list. --Cybercobra (talk) 00:21, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Rules creep for a non-existant "issue". Clearly of the issues facing wikipedia, the removal of sourced content (particularly removal of sourced content as part of an effort to increase edit count) is less than a gnat. Lets deal with real rabid dogs of BLP issues and WikiDRAHMAZ. -- The Red Pen of Doom 00:37, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Oracle and TheRedPenofDoom both please keep your comments to actual constructive help that may be of some use to the IP address and his/her issue at hand. IP address, I sympathize with your plight. If someone reverts, change it back, explain in your edit summary, and bring it to their attention on their talk page. Assume good faith. If they show bad faith then bring it to the attention of the proper forum for disciplinary action, contact an admin you trust and ask for advice on what forum is proper and what they think you should do next. If it is serious enough perhaps the admin will take it upon themselves to do something immediate. It never hurts to say "this is my problem, can you tell me what I should do about it?"Camelbinky (talk) 00:44, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Well, the easiest complaint to raise is that the data shown in that study don't necessarily lead to the conclusion that the researchers made. They picked one of many causal factors for what is likely a broad polycausal slowdown in growth and just declared that was the likely explanation. Protonk (talk) 01:13, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
    • Interesting. I would say that such a critique would be WP:OR, and yet, we must be sure that the source is a WP:RS. Perhaps a different study can be found? Irbisgreif (talk) 02:54, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
      • And I would say I'm not placing my critique in an article, so OR/RS don't really apply. If we are going to trumpet some external study as cause to make some policy change on wiki, then it behooves us to actually make sense of the study itself. If we just read the abstract and say "that fits with my perspective of things", then we are failing. Protonk (talk) 05:39, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
  • I agree that this is a tremendous problem on certain articles on my watchlist - not only do the editors revert very quickly and presumptively, they are adamant in their unwillingness to listen to arguments, and quite rude in their responses to the editors. They generally violate WP:AGF, WP:DICK, and countless other policies that (I believe) are not grounds for action by themselves. I think it would be meaningful to have a 'complaint box' for every user, as well as a 'thanks box', so that it would be easier to find users who are causing problems - right now, as far as I know, it is incredibly difficult to have any of these revert-maniac problems addressed. I even saw someone go on a wikibreak with the message (essentially) "hey guys - revert all changes on music pages until I get back!"... Luminifer (talk) 03:01, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Addressing the previous post first I believe you are a bit confused. The editor you question about "reverting all changes" on their edit summary also left a post for another editor with the same message which included a :-) smiley face along with the statement. In other words, the statement was an obvious joke. Based on the number of posts asking for help on his/her talk page the person is a very respected editor on Wikipedia with regards to music articles. (he has no shortage of awards given to him as well) The users he addresses in his edit summary are not Wikipedia Administrators who have the ability to do mass reverts. The three people mentioned appear to be veteran editors who share a similar dedication to the topic of music on the project. I think it is very bad faith of you to assume otherwise. On topic, I think recent change patrollers do a very good job at catching a grand share of poor, trivial or damaging edits made to Wikipedia. But many more get through and damage the credibility of the entire encyclopaedia by adding trivial unreferenced content. Or by creating pages for subjects that barely scrape notability. Or just simply vandalising the project. If an editor makes 5000 constructive reverts and then does one revert that was in error. That mistake should be ignored. The old phrase "sometimes you have to break a few eggs" comes into play here. If an editor is running on high speed revert patrol and that editor is good at what they do they should just be allowed to continue. Scaring those sort of editors away by hounding them will just have a long term negative impact on the project. Wikipedia has plenty of forums to complain about the few RC patrollers that are not good at it the task. Wether B (talk) 03:56, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Offtopic response: I knew it was a joke. It was a tasteless one considering how many people that user has angered, and how it's a joke that's at least somewhat based on truth/conceptions.
Ontopic: RC patrollers, and watchlist patrollers do perform a critical part of wikipedia's work - but they need to perform it right. Your edit summary essentially says "we should not police the police", which is a questionable statement in any situation, I think. Unless I am misunderstanding you, you are suggesting that even if they do some good, their reversions should not be scrutinized, even if they are also alienating new users and/or preventing valuable information from being added to pages. Your phrase there "if..that editor is good at what they do" is exactly what is being discussed here. If they are not good at what they do, what do we do then? A user who is reverting things that should not have been reverted is _not_ necessarily good at what they do... Additionally, who determines whether they are good at what they do? Luminifer (talk) 04:01, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Open or Closed[edit]

Dear Camelbinky ... this page IS for policy, and what my comments simply boil down to is whether Wikipedia is going to be "open" or "closed". A VERY high level policy issue. If the SOP (standard operating procedure) for everything you don't like is to tell them to take a hike, petition this or that bureaucracy, go to another group, and essentially beg and grovel to be part of the clique of the day, forget it. If Wikipedia is de facto closed and page locked, well, that really is the standard everywhere else in publishing and folks would understand if that were made the overall policy.

"Don't be afraid to edit — anyone can edit almost any page, and we encourage you to be bold!" - Wikipedia

"If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it." - Wikipedia

I mean, do you really understand those quotes from Wikipedia? Truly? To the point where we can dispense with calling everyone you personally dislike a troll?

The main thing is the data. It is not an ever increasing thicket of rules, regulations, and bureaucracy that just feeds upon itself to exclude more and more data. There is no computer hardware capacity issue to limit more articles, regardless if the Wiki-Gestapo at the moment think it is significant or not.

At this point all the creative types are being turned off and told to leave Wikipedia, and if they don't pronto, yet another arcane obscure rule is going to be recited to make sure they do.

Tagishsimon said it the best: "... leave us alone but in peace with our shabby broken promises."

That place I can't mention could care less about the articles, as long as they get a lot of page hits and have an advertisement. Quality, format, notability, verifiability, style manual, etc. don't matter in the least. If the internet community finds it useful, so be it and let them decide instead of the wildly capricious editor sewing circles at Wikipedia.

I would be surprised if some Wiki-minion isn't following the comments here and reporting the interesting ones to a higher level. They will find a bona fide contributor called names (I thought that was against Wiki policy), told to take a hike, pounced on, told Wiki isn't this or that, trashed for being bold and breaking rules (exactly what Wiki says in the above quotes), and generally completely despised by the established sewing circles/mutual admiration societies within Wikiland.

A million folks have visited my creative works on the internet (really, I have the ISP logs) and I gave my rationale for handling multi-media (large file sizes).

So what's it going to be? Take a chance, be bold, attract new ideas and creative types? Or continue the death spiral towards stasis?

Any questions? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 134.67.6.14 (talk) 12:58, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

I'm leaning towards death spiral, actually. Good cardio. :P --King Öomie 13:50, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
I have found that many people who cling to WP:IAR actually only respect HALF of the policy. They are very good at the "ignore all rules" part, but when asked "How does ignoring the rules in this instance improve the encyclopedia?", they generally fail to have any answer. How does your ignoring the rules improve the encyclopedia? -- The Red Pen of Doom 00:21, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Sorry - who was this directed towards? Re: ignoring what rules? Luminifer (talk) 00:23, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Sort of related: a lot of the 'reverters', as I'll call them, have a tendency to not put helpful messages in their reversions, even when it's not clear blatant vandalism (as opposed to a misguide, good faith, needy (see Wikipedia:Recent changes patrol) edits). Not only do they not seem to assume good faith in cases like these (their sensitivity to this can be explained by things like User:Realist2/Genre Warrior, but I think that is not a valid excuse, it it harms the perception of wikipedia from newbies), they could actually look up a reference for a fact, or add a CN tag, when instead they remove it. I believe that an editor really needs to use good judgment when doing a lot of reversions (in terms of when to revert, when to add tags, how to explain the reversion) - and if they do NOT use good judgment, there should be consequences of some sort. (Note also that a lot of anon IPs will never check on their edit again, and it's a shame to lose all of that info that may be correct but just badly formed). Luminifer (talk) 04:08, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Dear TheRedPenOfDoom ... the improvements should be obvious to a subject matter expert. Having each person justify this or that why the edit was made ... is just another way of entangling folks up in Wiki-bureaucracy. When in doubt, leave it in and let the users of Wikipedia decide if it is useful or not. And if a newbie (like myself) has to extensively justify what seems obvious to me, there is little point in contributing. In my case, there are musicians that play for weddings and not familiar with the music requested by the wedding party. They want something simple to sight read and improvise from. (After one acquires the basic musianship in their chosen instrument, the only thing ensembles care about is if you can sight read.) That is why "fake books" are so popular, only they don't indicate what inversion of the chord is best and some other details. Nowadays people either want something simple for weddings and Christmas carols, or listen to the definitive performance on their iPOD. All the in-between arrangements don't have much use anymore (including the elaborate ones by Franz Liszt).

So if any Wiki-revert enthusiast had shown the LEAST bit of interest and read the hundreds of comments in my guestbook, and shown ANY interest in researching exactly what is going on, it might have made some sense to them. Instead of knee-jerk deletion with some ridiculous canned policy copied that has zero bearing on the issue.

Soooooooooooooo, as entertaining as it may be to debate the finer points of Wiki-rule-making-and-capricious-enforcement, it has nothing to do with adding value and new data to the project. Especially from the user point of view. I'm now familiar with that other site I can't mention, and on a roll to add about 100 new articles.

Anymore questions? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 134.67.6.14 (talk) 12:26, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Yes. What, exactly, do you want us to do here? You've provide no evidence of a phenomenon of "revert trolling" (and bristle that anyone dare consider you a troll in return), and you've given us a long rant about process without providing any kind of solution. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 15:48, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Providing examples of revert trolling is a touchy subject, as it would probably appear to attack the people being accused of doing that. Is that appropriate to do here? How many would be sufficient? Luminifer (talk) 16:43, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Even one would be a good start, though I would pretty well imagine that your idea of the term and my idea are at completely opposite ends of the spectrum. Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 20:46, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Without diffs, we don't get to see what the problem is. So far, all we have is vague assertions that there's a group of people who "repeatedly revert legitimate, well-sourced statements..." If it's just a few individuals, they can be reported to WP:AIV as vandals; if it's some more widespread phenomena, we need diffs to show that this is a real, widespread problem. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 15:11, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Ok, let's just start with one (arbitrary, not necessarily entirely representative) example and discuss. [7]. I would argue that instead of immediately reverting this change, with no edit summary nor message on the user's page, is not a constructive thing to do. This seems to be a good faith (needy because of no citation?) edit. In cases like these, would it make more sense to try and find a reference, add a CN tag, and/or post to the user's talk page telling them they should supply a reference or it is likely to get deleted as it is unverifiable? None of these things were done. Luminifer (talk) 05:26, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
Uh, I'm sorry, what legitimate, well-sourced statements were reverted? I see no sources whatsoever. Also, if you'd look at the lede of the article and the edit history, there is a long history there of people adding unsourced claims, as well as not meeting the criteria mentioned at the top of the article. Care to try again? Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 08:16, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
True, that's off-track from the original stated goal here... I would actually like feedback based on what I suggested though. Luminifer (talk) 09:17, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
Please respond to the above questions... but also, what about [8] ([9])? Luminifer (talk) 09:22, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
Is no one interested in addressing this? Luminifer (talk) 19:24, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
Since you haven't provided any evidence to support your claims, I see no point. Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 19:44, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

dear HandThatFeeds - a. I don't want to be called names here (aka troll since that appears to be negative) and certainly must be against some Wiki rule or another, and b. don't think calling my concerns a "rant" is likewise within Wiki rules. It sorts of sets a negative tone from the get go. Don't you think?

The solution to all these issues is simple. Lock down the pages. That is defacto the case now, and potential contributors can submit their contributions, and take their chances. Completely disclosed.

That would eliminate about a zillion disputes, discussions, rules, policies, soul-searching, revert wars, article ownership, watch lists, your term "rants", complaints, hard feelings, vandalism, authenticity of information, assurance no one changes the page right before a user accesses it, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Right now there can be no expectation that any Wiki article is reliable do to the possibility a change can be made at any time. So any push for "greater quality" is a hoot.

Now this major policy change would upset all the police rapidly proliferating on Wikipedia, the bureaucrats and sadistic revert editors, and certainly end the grandiose utopian dreams of folks not involved in the day to day administration, but is really the only feasible solution.

So there is your solution, simple, clean, and easy to implement. And I can't believe this is the first time anyone has proposed it. (More like the thousandth time is my guess.)

Any more questions? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 134.67.6.14 (talk) 13:22, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

I don't see how someone submitting something and it getting rejected is any different from someone submitting something and it getting reverted. Can you explain please? Luminifer (talk) 13:52, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
Assuming you're the same anon IP that began this discussion, you called these people "revert trolls." Why is it acceptible for you to call other people trolls, but not be called the same yourself? Plus, your comments about "sadistic" editors, etc. really leave a bad taste in the mouth. So, again, why do you get to be the exception to the rule, when you began and continue the negative tone of the discussion? — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 13:50, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Just the expectation of the person submitting material. If they know upfront it may (or highly likely) be rejected, that is no different from any publishing house and well understood. People may be unhappy but they can't say they weren't warned. To actually see you material in Wikipedia, and then ripped from the very depths of your psyche (or some similar psychobabble) makes for some really hard feelings.

All utopias come to an end and Wikipedia has had a good run. Time to move on and metamorphose to the next stage. Oracle2universe (talk) 20:52, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

I see your point about submissions needing approval, but there are a few pieces of logistics which I'd like to hear your response to: Luminifer (talk) 14:59, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
1) the increase in person-power involved: i'm sure a lot of contributions to wikipedia don't get checked by anyone in the near future Luminifer (talk) 14:59, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
2) deciding who would be valid "approvers" - would they be admins? registered users? anon ips? Luminifer (talk) 14:59, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

When does an essay become a guideline?[edit]

I ran across this, Wikipedia:User categories, which expresses several contentious ideas that have repeatedly been rejected when put up as guidelines in the past. Looking at the history, I only saw a few contributors, and nothing on the talk page discussing it on the merits. So, I deprecated it to essay, instead of guideline. This was quickly reverted, [10] with the edit summary supposedly pointing to a discussion showing concensus. The archived VPP page shows one line, from a bot, which says the page has been marked as a guideline, Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)/Archive_42#Wikipedia:Requests_for_drama_has_been_marked_as_a_policy. Zero discussion. It appears that those that want this to be a guideline have simply written a new page and tagged it as a guideline without outside input.

The category discussion/deletion process has been openly claimed as broken for a while, and this minor subset issue of user categories is challenged even moreso.

So, what's the criteria for marking an essay as a guideline, besides just someone saying so? SchmuckyTheCat (talk)

  • Are you still trying to to find a way to justify you repeatedly re-adding Category:Wikipedians by religion to your userpage to the point of it needing to be fully protected? This has been a guideline for a long time, and rightfully so. It reflects what we have been doing on Wikipedia long before it was written; just because you don't like the way user categories are dealt with on Wikipedia doesn't mean you can unilaterally change a long accepted guideline to an essay and then suddenly the next time a user category comes up for discussion point and shout claiming there is no Wikipedia guideline to support deletion. VegaDark (talk) 02:19, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Guidelines exist from consensus. Show it. SchmuckyTheCat (talk)
      • The various subpages of Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/User/Archive and links from Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/User/Archive/Topical index may be informative. Also, the VPP section link was to a section titled "Wikipedia:User categories has been marked as a guideline", not "Wikipedia:Requests for drama has been marked as a policy". –BLACK FALCON (TALK) 04:57, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
        • Carts go after horses. You are showing archives of deletion discussions, those are not discussions on the policy/guideline at issue. Showing that a small group of editors can repeatedly agree to delete things opposed by a stream of single issue opposers is not showing wide range consensus of the issue. SchmuckyTheCat (talk)
          • Hundreds of discussions that say the same thing over and over again are better than one discussion that just happens to carry a specific title and apply to a specific page. –BLACK FALCON (TALK) 06:33, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
  • I am fairly certain that WP:POINT has been a guideline for a long time, and some people are toeing the line of WP:DISRUPT (also a longtime guideline). The use of the userspace as a WP:BATTLEGROUND (part of WP:NOT, a longtime policy) is also problematic. The best idea is not to fight meaningless wars over what should and should not be on ones userspace. Insofar as something on ones userspace is genuinely divisive it should be removed for the sake of collegiality and cooperativeness. Being divisive is a good enough reason to remove it, regardless of what is expressly written in other pages which may or may not be widely accepted policy or guidelines. There's enough policies and guidelines outthere which suggest this entire conflict is probably not a good idea... --Jayron32 05:36, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
    • I'm really opposed to the idea of people creating guidelines out of thin air, and calling them and tagging them as guidelines with no discussion. SchmuckyTheCat (talk)
      • Then I would suggest discussing it further on the talk page of the essay/guideline, and file an WP:RFC if it's not resolved. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 18:52, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Strategic Planning[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation has begun a year long phase of strategic planning. During this time of planning, members of the community have the opportunity to propose ideas, ask questions, and help to chart the future of the Foundation. In order to create as centralized an area as possible for these discussions, the Strategy Wiki has been launched. This wiki will provide an overview of the strategic planning process and ways to get involved, including just a few questions that everyone can answer. All ideas are welcome, and everyone is invited to participate.

Please take a few moments to check out the strategy wiki. It is being translated into as many languages as possible now; feel free to leave your messages in your native language and we will have them translated (but, in case of any doubt, let us know what language it is, if not english!).

All proposals for the Wikimedia Foundation may be left in any language as well.

Please, take the time to join in this exciting process. The importance of your participation can not be overstated.

--Philippe

(please cross-post widely and forgive those who do)

Seems interesting...Smallman12q (talk) 23:36, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

Right not to have a Wikipedia article about onself?[edit]

Is there a right for a person not to have an article on Wikipedia about themself?

Jim Hawkins is against the existance of an article about himself. The article is currently at AfD for the 2nd time. He has requested deletion of the article via OTRS and an editor has posted the AfD, which is currently ongoing. My belief is that he is above the notability threshold to sustain an article. The article is now fully in compliance with WP:V (hasn't been in the past) but JH stated to me in a phone call that he doesn't want personal info such as where born, where he lives etc in the article (he doesn't want the article at all) - this is info he is apparantly quite happy for his employer to publish though.

The crux of the matter is this:- Should a person have the right to demand that an article on Wikipedia about themself is removed? Mjroots (talk) 08:41, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

His BBC Shropshire biog says "Jim was born in Essex - his mum used to babysit Ian Dury - and grew up there and in Warwickshire … Jim lives in Shrewsbury, and loves living in Shropshire.". I Doubt they'd say that without his consent; and that information is clearly already in the public domain. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 12:45, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
  • No. Giving a person the "right" to demand removal of an article about themselves is censorship. Wikipedia is WP:NOTCENSORED, especially not by subjects of articles. Mjroots (talk) 08:46, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
"Courtesy deletion" is the standard that's been used for people at the cusp of notability. See the AfD's for Angela Beesley. If the subject of an article is clearly notable, and there are sources that pass WP:V available to base an article on, then the request isn't a factor. If there are BLP and vandalism concerns, protection and dispute resolution are the tools to use. -Pete (talk) 08:50, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
  • No: I would say no if they pass Wikipedia's requirements for notability and verifiability using readily available sources, then they are sufficiently in the public domain to expect an article. They would be unable to prevent a journal from publishing an article on the grounds of intrusion either. If notability is an on balance thing - particularly if the only sources are more obscure - eg only offline and in a foreign language (just offline is not enough - millions read print newspapers) then a request should be considered. --Elen of the Roads (talk) 10:18, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Absolutely not. We have the right to write about who we choose, so long as we do so legally. For administrative ease, we choose to self-limit on the basis of notability, but even that is our choice, not the subject's right. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 10:43, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
  • no with a but It shouldnt be a right but the person directly or via email to OTRS should be able to request that an article about themselves be deleted at which point it should be discussed at AFD. The final decision should be by community consensus weighted towards deletion in that a no consensus results in deletion rather than the normal retention. Gnangarra 13:19, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
  • No for the most part, assuming notability is clearly met, though I would consider how much of the information is "publicly" available verses the type that requires a bit more investigated digging. If the article is primarily composed of sources coming from the first 10 or so Google hits, then yeah, unfortunately for that person, the information is public, and WP can't do much about. But if we're pulling out from sources deep inside Lexus-Nexus or the like, then it may be reasonable to deleted. --MASEM (t) 13:32, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
    • I don't think Google Top 10 v LexisNexis is a widely recognised criterion for distinguishing borderline notability cases... Nor should it be. What matters is the quality of the sources, combined to some extent (for borderline notability) with how large the original audience was. Rd232 talk 13:48, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
      • Agree, with the added criteria of closeness to source; somebody putting their own birth date on a page carries more weight than a third party "outing" them. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 15:49, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Sort of. In cases where a person has a VERY tenuous claim to notability, especially where the person holds a position where there is an expectation of privacy, then Wikipedia generally agrees that, erring on the side of "do no harm", articles may be deleted via AFD per the subject's wishes. That is, when a subject requests, we run an AFD, vet the article with the subject's request in mind, and decide as a community if it should be deleted. The request of the subject is certainly a valid, and often strong factor in deciding whether or not a person may !vote delete. HOWEVER, it is not the only factor, and people who hold a job or position which puts them in the public sphere have a lower expectation of privacy with regards to details about their lives. To take an extreme example, Wikipedia would NOT respond to a request from Gordon Brown to take down HIS article, since there is such a huge wealth of information about his life in the public sphere, and a Wikipedia article properly only reflects that. It is not directly applicable here, but the U.S. Supreme Court case New York Times Co. v. Sullivan is illuminating in the sphere of U.S. Law vis a vis freedom of the press (and before the internationalists jump on me, Wikimedia is still a U.S. company under the jurisdiction of U.S. law). That landmark case has held that there are differing standards applied to "private citizens" vs. "public figures" with regard to issues such as defamation as well as invasion of privacy. Thus, a person who has a job, which they voluntarily hold, and which puts large aspects of their lives in the public sphere, have little expectation that what they do in conjunction with that job, in public, should not be reported. Insofar as the subject of the article in question Jim Hawkins does things on a regular basis which are part of the public record, he does not have the expectation of deciding WHICH outlets do or do not carry that information. This is doubly true for Wikipedia, since everything here has been published elsewhere BEFORE, so what he is essentially asking of Wikipedia is that the encyclopedia should cease re-publishing facts that were reported elsewhere, and where he didn't object to the publication of the facts themselves, only just on their being republished at Wikipedia. That sort of expectation is patently rediculous. We do have a strong responsibility to maintain the rights of the subject pusuant to our strict WP:BLP policy, but that can be accomplished via standard methods (reverting vandalism, blocking users and protecting the article as necessary). --Jayron32 13:37, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Absolutely not. Does the article pass inclusion criteria (such as WP:V and WP:N)? Are the WP:BLP policies being followed? If the answer to these questions is a yes, the subject of the article has no say in the issue. They have done something/been a part of something that has become a part of the public record (reliable sources) and do not have the luxury to pick and choose how and where to redact such information. Sorry. Shereth 15:53, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
  • No This has been discussed plenty of times before. Very marginally notable people there is some support for giving them a choice (I do not support it myself), but there is definitely no consensus for a general opt-out. It is completely against WP:NPOV. --Tango (talk) 15:59, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
  • No - a this has been discussed. The subject can edit his article to make doubly-sure that WP:BLP is followed, but not demand that an article about him not exist entirely.--Unionhawk Talk E-mail Review 16:32, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
  • No, if the article meets the notability guideline it should be kept, if this was accepted then we would move more and more to a stage where we lose neutral point of view and gain only positive articles (people who have got anything negative in their article would just request deletion). However I would be happy with the ability of any subject of a bio being able to request flagged protection (as soon as it is introduced), thus keeping the worst of vandalism/libel from such articles and ensuring revisions are reviewed. Davewild (talk) 17:08, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Follow the policy. Subject's opinion matters in borderline cases of relatively unknown people. Relatively means that each editor may have a different opinion on this or that person; we have no doubt that Angela Merkel is notable and public and yours truly is neither, but in between there's a gray area that can be resolved only by plain old voting. NVO (talk) 17:35, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
    There it is... "but in between there's a gray area that can be resolved only by plain old voting." First, there's nothing in or on Wikipedia that should be decided by a "plain old vote". That such does occasionally happen is not an excuse, it's a shame. Second, policy can certainly inform, but the suggestion of your statement (intentional or not) is that policy needs to be followed unquestioningly and to the letter. Policy is not law, and it can and should be broken with impunity if and when there is a good reason to do so.
    Aside from that though, it's easily arguable that deleting an article simply because the subject of the article requests it does in fact go against standing policy. We have an extensive and comprehensive BLP policy, and I don't see it mentioned there that the author can request and be granted the right to delete their own Wikipedia article. In addition to that, NOTCENSORED has already been mentioned, and "if it looks like a duck..."
    V = I * R (talk to Ω) 19:14, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment - Regardless of all opinions to the contrary, articles are sometimes deleted at the request of the subject, and sometimes not, depending on the community's whims. An example that springs to mind is the case of Ginger Jolie, which was deleted at the request of her publicist (although no one verified their identity) - see [11] & [12]. Daniel Brandt is another example, with a much more complicated history. There are more examples of both deletion of notable BLPs upon request and refusal to delete, but those are the two that sprang to mind. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 19:24, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
    I see those examples as a perfect illustration of the arbitrary nature of our deletion policy, which is the primary reason that I personally think that there should be a moratorium on deleting articles at all until we can implement a more rational system. I know that's a somewhat extreme viewpoint though, so rather then actually argue it I've simply chosen to normally not to participate in the deletion process (besides, the alternative is that I would happily while away my time arguing that almost all AFD nominations should be kept...). The point for this discussion though is, I don't see those examples as being particularly informative to the question itself. That some instances have occurred is not something that I see as an excuse to allow all such requests to be heard. In my view we should be clear that there are certain rights that people have regarding articles about themselves on Wikipedia (which BLP covers), but the right to request that the article actually be deleted is not one of them (although the same effect can of course be achieved by the removal of all BLP objectionable content).
    V = I * R (talk to Ω) 20:13, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
  • I'm not certain that the discussion so far really does justice to the argument in favor of respecting the wishes of the article's subject. Wikipedia's great strength is its huge reservoir of the people able to add information on virtually any topic. Its great weakness is that it is forced to rely on volunteers to donate time to vet information added by others, maintain articles in a reasonable state, and revert vandalism. A person with an axe to grind or a POV to push is virtually guaranteed to have greater motivation to put an article in favored state than a presumably neutral editor. So, when, as is inevitable, some of our articles become vandalized, Google can quickly push erroneous/embarrassing/defamatory information across the internet. Truly public figures are used to dealing with this, and often have other avenues to address it, marginally notable people do not. NOTCENSORED, while laudable, does nothing to patrol BLPs. Protection is great, and works pretty well - but we don't protect preemptively, and by the time we catch some of the cases, BLP violative information has been present in article for hours, days or more. In such cases, I don't think that it is unreasonable for the subject to seek deletion rather than assume the obligation to patrol thier BLP, or for the community to agree not to have the article. To be clear, I'm not advocating that subjects get a veto - just that we should give very careful consideration of their request. Xymmax So let it be written So let it be done 22:09, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
    • All true, but Jim Hawkins, the specific article that led to this case, IS about a public figure. He's a popular broadcast personality, who voluntarily holds a job that puts him in front of the public at least 3-4 hours every day... --Jayron32 06:25, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
  • This edit by David Gerard will probably explain why we're currently hearing from BBC presenters about biographical articles on them. Uncle G (talk) 06:26, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
    • Comment How can Sally Boazman not be famous when she appears several times a day on BBC Radio 2. I note that the title has been protected so that only admins can edit it. Again, if there wer BLP problems there is a system in place to deal with them. Once flagged revisions come in, perhaps this article can be resurrected? Mjroots (talk) 06:37, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
      • You've missed the wood for the tree, there. Notability is not fame nor importance, by the way. Uncle G (talk) 07:57, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
      • Because there are pretty much no third-party sources on her - David Gerard (talk) 13:43, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
        That's a completely different subject from the "subject doesn't want a Wikipedia article" issue. Conflating both questions into a single monolithic answer just creates confusion and uncertainty.
        V = I * R (talk to Ω) 14:41, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia's purpose is to be a comprehensive encyclopedia. Allowing people to opt out is contrary to that that purpose. My answer is therefore no. WP:OPTOUT was rejected for this reason. Sjakkalle (Check!) 14:13, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
  • While I haven'gotten through all of it, I read a lot up on the past discussions of AFDs that have the same issue, and both the main ones that I read seemed split down the middle on "should we or should we not allow". It's an interesting issue, and 1) It only seems to be an issue if the person is close to the cuft, enough that some people will say they aren't notable in the first place and 2) A lot of people imply that the REASON they want it gone is an issue. One point brought up a number of times -- does WP automatically 'need' an article if it 'can' have one. That is, 'should' we try and have an article on EVERY person we can who passes the notability test, or does it not matter if we skip (delete) people who aren't high on the scale because they don't want an article. It's a hard question to answer, because WP being as big as it is, DOES mean that we won't really 'miss' such an aritcle. But, I think what may be interesting to think about -- if the person should die today (I apologize for the dire thought), it seems to me as if an article about them would be less of an issue. But I think the other big thing is this -- it's not like this info is private. Certainly in this case, thousands of people will have heard his name and his voice. People who don't want themselves on WP seem to be most concerned not with being known, but rather than someone may come along and vandalize. Which is why the whole thing bugs me...I kinda find myself agreeing with that thought, but on the other hand, simply regurgitating public info is hardly a sin. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 14:29, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
    Actually I think you just hit the nail on the head. My impression is that privacy is not the concern of people who have come out against having an article on Wikipedia. The issue seems to be control. Since it is not possible to control the message of articles on Wikipedia, many people seem to prefer that one doesn't exist. In my opinion giving in to that issue is fundamentally a bad idea. All due respect to User:Wizardman, but after reading his lengthy close - delete last year and considering the issue myself, I believe that he made a serious mistake and this is the result. If this deletion goes through as well, this incident will only be the tip of the iceburg (once others realize what has happened, which is likely given the fact that the subject of this debate has a microphone). Wikipedia is being blackmailed, and we're allowing it to happen.
    V = I * R (talk to Ω) 14:48, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Not that simple. We appear to have coalesced over time on a policy that the desires of the subject carry some weight in a deletion debate in the case of marginal notability. In this case - as in others - it is a question of degree - how much notability and how much weight. That is the de lege lata answer, i.e. existing policy. In my own personal opinion (de lege ferenda), given our long-term ongoing ability to find a system to prevent BLPs from suffering from the issues they do, I think we should extend this policy to courtesy deletion of articles on all living persons, even if clearly and overwhelmingly notable. We just can't reliably do the right thing, so we should if necessary err on the side of not doing harm. However, I doubt this personal opinion of mine is shared by the community. Martinp (talk) 20:58, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

Already implemented[edit]

Already implemented. Actually, in my experience, people already do have such a right, because, as in the case of Robert I. Sherman, the subject of an article can manage to get the article deleted by writing a complain about it. You most likely don't know who this guy is, but he is the person who is responsible for the rumour that the elder Bush once said that "atheists" shouldn't be considered as citizens". I suppose, every atheist in the United States has heard of that. I actually had this issue worked out (it is not proven that Bush ever said that), but I didn't find the time to write a proper article on Robert I. Sherman. The article as it was had issues, but I didn't even get a chance to fix them. So, as it stands, the alleged Bush statement is covered by the partisan right-wingers at Wikiality, but not by Wikipedia; I had worked it out completely, but they deleted it, because they wouldn't allow me the 48 hours to fix it or to merge the material into another article. All I am left to wonder about is the question, if the article was deleted because Wikipedia is suffering from a Christian bias, an atheist bias or simply a bias of over-anxious blp people.

So, in my experience, if your personal notability isn't to obvious and your Wikipedia article isn't that good, there is a good chance that you can get it deleted by simply writing an email-complaint about it. Of course, a right not to have a Wikipedia article about oneself would be against our policies, but factually this right already exists for some people. Zara1709 (talk) 23:16, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

I suspect that there's nothing stopping you from re-creating the article in a state that addresses the problems given in the AfD debate. The ground hasn't been salted. It wasn't deleted just because the subject requested it, but because it was in wild violation of policy. OrangeDog (talk • edits) 03:23, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Speaking of "already implemented", and I do hesitate to mention this due to all the drama this caused, but from my memory the Brian Peppers article was deleted in large part due to a family member requesting the page be deleted, which is pretty much the same type of situation as the one being discussed here. Granted, in the end Jimbo unilaterally came in and deleted it, but while the AfDs/DRVs were going on, many of the arguments for deletion directly related to the rempoval request. VegaDark (talk) 04:36, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

See, that's my main issue with all of this. If the Office has actual cause to take action then they will, so I don't see why we should be trying to anticipate their actions. I can somewhat understand the desire to do so, and individually we certainly shouldn't create issues that the Office will need to address, or obstruct the office from doing their jobs in any way, but their professionals (more and more so as time goes on, as well), so let them do their jobs. We're all just editors here, regardless of any real world knowledge or expertise, so we should stick to just being editors. I see a lot of quasi-legal arguments being bandied about, and while I personally give them no weight I see that some others do and I think that is a bad thing for Wikipedia.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 09:47, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Non-free text in userspace[edit]

There is currently a discussion regarding this issue at Wikipedia_talk:Non-free_content#Proposed_clarification. Erik9 (talk) 16:13, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Twitter feeds in External links section[edit]

What's the word on this? (couldn't find this in the pump archives) --Anna Frodesiak (talk) 05:54, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

You probably wanted to post this at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy) not here, but Wikipedia:External_links#Links_normally_to_be_avoided (WP:EL) already lists Twitter feeds. A search of the WP:EL archives has this relevant thread.--Commander Keane (talk) 06:01, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Much obliged Commander Keane.--Anna Frodesiak (talk) 06:05, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Note: this thread has been moved from Wikipedia talk:Village pump. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja 18:48, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

Infante/Infanta[edit]

We have large numbers of bios of Portuguese and Spanish princes and princesses that start with the titles 'Infante' and 'Infanta', such as Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia of Spain. Per WP:English, WP:Common name, and WP:Naming conventions (names and titles), shouldn't this be Princess Isabella Clara Eugenia of Spain? I moved some of these articles and got a very irate response from their author. I understand that the English is not as precise as the Portuguese, but that will be made clear in the text of the article. As it is, the effect is that of half gibberish, and half calling these people 'infants', since only a very small minority of English speakers have ever heard of the Portuguese titles. kwami (talk) 21:14, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

This page is for discussing the village pump. You want WP:VPM or somesuch place. Algebraist 22:06, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
Note: this thread has been moved from Wikipedia talk:Village pump. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja 18:48, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
I think they're generally refered to in English as infante/infanta, I've certainly heard it done. If people don't know about it, this is the perfect way to learn. OrangeDog (talk • edits) 22:49, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

Attempting to insert some truth in country articles[edit]

I have been watching Venezuela, related political articles and Caracas, for a year or so and have been dismayed that editors are unable to get basic political facts into the article due to highly knowledgeable and alert "counter-editors" who immediately revert anything resembling the truth with polished Wikipedia statements. So Venezuela is a paradise where there are no political problems. Caracas, the worst country capital, per capita, for murders in the world (in truth before the current regime) has no entry for that because it has been reverted many times. There is no mention of weapons that came from Venezuela that have "fallen into" the hands of nearby Columbian rebels. An offhand mention of the effective removal of the elected mayor of Caracas by the regime, replacing him (in effect)with an appointed governor.

Not every proposed edit has been perfect, but some haven't been too bad and would be accepted in most any other article I watch. All can be found well-documented in an unbiased way, in the media. All efforts at unbiased editing are rejected in favor of no edit at all. So I have been made to feel foolish when criticizing well-meant editors, ultimately resulting in their efforts being purged instead of modified, as they would be in a regular article.

I looked at Iran which seemed slightly better. Just changed a comment about "western suspicion" (about nuclear program) adjective to "suspicion" since it was the Security Council, on which Russia, and China sit and which, typically, has members from all over the world. It was prima facie, wrong.

North Korea came close to the truth, if only because they probably don't care what anybody thinks and are not monitoring articles!  :)

I can appreciate that all countries get an equal shot on bias. As of now, political subsections on Venezuela are nonsense and nearly useless. We need an admin without a pro-Chavez bias, and probably more than one, monitoring. I realize that we have no input from here into the Spanish-language Wikipedia, but whatever is happening here, is probably worse there. Having said that, we simply may not be able to counter, with volunteer editors, a well-paid staff. Student7 (talk) 20:56, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

What exactly do you expect "an admin" to do, exactly?
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 21:04, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia operates via verifiability, not truth using material sourced and cited to reliable, third-party, published sources. If information regarding the removal of the mayor of Caracas (or Columbian weapons or anything else) cannot be verified via these means, they it should not be included in a Wikipedia article. — Kralizec! (talk) 21:46, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
If you add sourced info on say the murder rate in Caracas, including the references, and it is reverted without good reason, you could take it to WP:AN/I. If you think you can finger anyone as a government agent, take it to WP:COI

Microsoft Product Screenshots may not require Fair-use[edit]

Screenshots of Microsoft products may be licensed under something other than a non-free fair use rationale. See disccusion.Smallman12q (talk) 23:07, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

Arbcom directed discussion - Policy on non-consensual topic or page bans[edit]

As per Item 5 of the recent Arbcom case: Wikipedia Arbitration - Abd-William M. Connolley:

The community is urged to engage in a policy discussion and clarify under what circumstances, if any, an administrator may issue topic or page bans without seeking consensus for them, and how such bans may be appealed. This discussion should come to a consensus within one month of this notice.

This discussion will conclude by midnight, 12 October, 2009 (UTC). Manning (talk) 07:12, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

Why specify an end date? Either consensus to change the wording of policy will emerge or it will not. If it does not, having a deadline won't help. If it does, the deadline is superfluous. --TS 07:26, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
On the substantive question, of course anybody may declare a ban. If there is no consensus for the ban then it's meaningless, and that lack of consensus will quickly become obvious. If there is consensus for the ban then it will be implemented by the community as all community bans are. --TS 07:29, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes, absolutely right. It's no different to the situation with blocks and bans; any action an admin takes is (by common consent) the responsibility of that admin, and if there is consensus to reverse it then it get reversed, and if there is consensus to support it then it remains. I don't think any more process is needed here, as long as people post such actions for review there is no real problem to solve. Guy (Help!) 08:56, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
How do one reverse a ban? A block is a technical solution, and it's easy to see if it gone. Is it sufficient that a user states "You are no longer banned" in order for a ban to be lifted? Taemyr (talk) 09:23, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
(Caveat: This is purely my individual opinion.) I think the distinction between blocks and bans, at least as it has arisen in the past couple of years in Wikipedia discussions, is a false distinction. Bans are social constructs prohibiting contributions, which can be as broad as the entire site or as narrow as a single mainspace article. Blocks are nothing more than a technical measure used to enforce a sitewide ban and provide easily accessed documentation. I find it counterintuitive, and even illogical, to argue that administrators may impose siteside bans (via the blocking mechanism), yet are somehow prohibited or greatly restricted from imposing lesser bans on specific articles or topic areas. I believe the most productive focus of conversation would be to clarify the appeals process (given the lack of an equivalent to {{unblock}}) and the documentation process (given the lack of an equivalent to block logs for bans not requiring an enforcement block). Vassyana (talk) 07:43, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
  • I've offered a suggestion there and suggest that we not duplicate that discussion.  Sandstein  15:01, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

Images that are only tangentially related[edit]

Is there any policy or guideline with respect to images like the ones on Phil Hartman of Poco, Paul Reubens, and Sinbad, where the image has nothing to do with the topic, and is simply an image of something else that's mentioned briefly in the article? --NE2 12:18, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

If they were non-free, there would need to be a much stronger reason to keep the images. But being free, that's no restriction beyond ifg there's local consensus from them. --MASEM (t) 12:37, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
In other words, if they help article by illustrating something, and they are free, then it's no problem to have inherently, and any issues should be discussed at the individual articles' talk pages. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 14:17, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
The thing is that they don't help the article. They simply show what these non-Hartman people look like, which has no impact on Hartman. --NE2 15:30, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
You can be bold and remove them with an appropriate edit summary, or post the issue first on the article's talk page and take the temperature of the other article's contributors. I agree with you, btw, I just don't think this is a policy-level decision; it's the same kind of editorial judgment as whether the article has irrelevant or peripheral textual information. Postdlf (talk) 15:34, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

Order of See Also, Further Reading, External Links, References, Bibliography[edit]

What is the correct order of See Also, Further Reading, External Links, References, Bibliography sections? I see that MOS:APPENDIX has a specification, but it isn't strictly followed. Is it article/author preference? Or should there be a bot that corrects the order?Smallman12q (talk) 00:50, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

It is per MOS:APPENDIX. Doubtless a bot would be handy; Wikipedia:Bot requests is thataway. --Tagishsimon (talk) 00:53, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
It's included in WP:AWB's genfixes, so there should be a number of bots around standardising it on the side. OrangeDog (talk • edits) 02:16, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
WP:LAYOUT is the actual guideline that covers it, by the way. My understanding is that it's one of those things that you're not supposed to change without an actual reason... personally, I think that them being "out of order" is reason enough, but not everyone agrees.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 07:55, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
I have yet to see an article where a non-standard order is justified. Care to show me one? Pcap ping 19:09, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
In so far as no-one in this discussion has supported out of sequence end sections, your "care to show me one" seems a trifle pugnacious. --Tagishsimon (talk) 19:35, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

Community input needed at WT:Naming conflict[edit]

When editors can not even agree on how to word an RFC, you know there is a crying need to have one... and to get outside involvement. So, to be utterly neutral, I will simply say: Please swing by, read the talk page discussions and give us your opinion. Blueboar (talk) 16:26, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

I've commented on this issue in the past, & having read the discussion I don't know what more I can say. We have at least two parties at loggerheads over whether to give preference in some cases to a subject's preferred name; no one seems to be willing to consider where they can agree, thus minimizing the disagreement. Good luck in trying to solve this. -- llywrch (talk) 17:58, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Help desk has been marked as a policy[edit]

Wikipedia:Help desk (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a policy. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

False positive, fixed. Algebraist 02:11, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Website owner requesting that their links *NOT* be used on wikipedia[edit]

Can a website owner request that their links not be used on wikipedia? If so, how would such enforcement be carried out? (See Wikipedia:Help_desk#Website editor requesting no external links and the relevant discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Birds#External link naming) Smallman12q (talk) 12:44, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Anyone can request anything that they like, in the same veign that anyone can edit. If this person feels like going through and removing external links to a certain website, then their as free to do that as others are to add them in. There is not really any actual enforcement of anything here though, beyond what the community decides to enforce. If this person has a real issue with links to "his" site, then he/she can come here and make a case for their removal.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 17:46, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
Tell them that the best way to prevent people from linking to their website is to log into their server as root and type:
/etc/init.d/apache2 stop
This will prevent anyone from successfully linking to your site. Beyond that we will just do what editorial consensus indicates we should do regarding these links. Chillum 17:50, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
Oh, come on! Use common sense and agree that if someone doesnt want Wikipedia to link to their website then we wont. It's that simple. They ask nicely, then just agree. I love how the similar question that was posed recently regarding someone wanting an article about them to be removed was greeted with just about every editor saying "too bad, we do what we want, you can request what you want but if we want to, too bad". But in the end the answer that came back from "on high" was "yes, you can request and it will be granted". Let's stop being sooo damn self-centered and egotistical about we decide things over the objections of individuals on the outside world. Someone doesnt want us to link to their website, just dont do it. Be considerate of their opinion and their personal property.Camelbinky (talk) 22:49, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
I tend to agree with Chillum. If they don't want people to see what they put on the internet ... they probably shouldn't put it on the internet. Common sense says we shouldn't just automatically comply with whatever arbitrary requests people make of us, and rather do what's best ethically and for our readers. Having an article about someone is a completely different thing than an external link to their website. I don't see how the 2 are even comparable. Doing something just because someone asks you to is not always the right thing. Mr.Z-man 23:26, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
The whole discussion is moot, as the person involved has changed their mind. I think the lesson to learn is don't bite the newcomers, and don't get bogged down in legal matters - as editors they aren't our concern. OrangeDog (talk • edits) 00:31, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
Camelbinky, FYI, at the time of writing this the article mentioned above still exists. You are welcome to look at it, and read and contribute to the AfD discussion. There has been no move from "on high" to delete the article. Mjroots (talk) 07:09, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

For future reference however links shouldn't be disallowed simply because of a request the same way that info shouldn't be removed per request. If I'm a big star that gets arrested, but I don't want negative publicity on the internet we can't just remove it because I request it. blackngold29 01:54, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

If someone doesn't want links to their website, they don't understand how the internet works and they shouldn't be running a public website. It's as simple as that. Anyone can link to any site that is open to the public. That is well established and it is the whole basis on which the WWW is founded. -- Alarics (talk) 12:19, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
I agree that it's unusual for anyone not to want links to their public webpages - but you can't deny there's a certain etiquette when it comes to (for example) Inline linking. And it's wise to respect that etiquette because otherwise the site you're linking to can check visitors' referrer headers and serve them goatse. If someone really doesn't want their site linked from Wikipedia, surely it's simpler for us to remove the links when they ask, rather than waiting until they goatse everyone to perform that same removal? In any case, this seems to be the first time anyone has asked to have their links removed, and the person who made the request changed their mind. I don't think we need to establish a policy on something so unusual unless it happens a few more times at least. Mike1024 (t/c) 10:06, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Ribbons in template namespace[edit]

Are ribbons considered to be userboxes; and if so, would having them in template namespace be appropriate? Please see Wikipedia:Templates_for_deletion/Log/2009_September_9#Template:9-11_Ribbon for related discussion.Smallman12q (talk) 13:19, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

I wouldn't consider it a "userbox" per se, but it's still "a template used for decorating user pages" and IMO the same rules should apply. Anomie 16:50, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Digit grouping style question (from WT:MOSNUM)[edit]

At the Manual of Style (dates and numbers) talk page, we've recently been discussing the issue of when to allow regional or topical style conventions for digit grouping (in the context of rephrasing a WP:MOSNUM section).

On Wikipedia, should the selection of digit grouping styles depend upon regional and topical conventions used in the English language?

Discussion on WT:MOSNUM has included arguments for and against this (see that talk page for the lengthy details). Opposition was mainly based on increased confusion that might result from multiple styles being permitted. One editor suggested that (for example) English-reading Europeans were generally familiar with several styles of digit grouping, while many Americans were only familiar with American custom and would be unnecessarily confused by other digit grouping styles, and that Wikipedia should not prescribe an unfamiliar convention. Support was based on symmetry with Wikipedia style precedents for significant English-language usages (like synonyms, British "boot" vs. American "trunk", or words with variant spellings but the same meanings, British "theatre" vs. American "theater"), particularly the WP:ENGVAR MoS guideline.

As examples of region-specific digit grouping styles, European Commission English Style Guide recommends a convention where groups of digits are separated by spaces, while the U.S. Government Printing Office Style Manual recommends using commas on the left of the decimal place, and spaces on the right. As examples of topic-specific styles, NIST (American standards body in science and technology) recommends a convention where groups of digits are separated by spaces, while The Chicago Manual of Style (targeted at writers, editors and publishers) recommends using commas for numbers of one thousand or more. (These are examples only; this does not assert that these guides are authoritative in a particular field.)

Please express your opinion regarding the above question on this page. (If you'd like to address the detailed proposals that were made at MOSNUM, please continue the existing discussion on the MOSNUM talk page.) TheFeds 03:45, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Yes. For what it's worth, I was always taught that large numbers are delimited by commas. Then one day I was reading an article where a large number was delimited with spaces instead. I looked at it for half a second and said to myself, "Oh, so that's how they do it in Europe". The idea that Americans would simply throw up their hands after failing to decipher the strage heiroglyphic 1 433 916 is silly—anyone with enough of a brain to read an encyclopedia can surely puzzle out what it means with little fuss. Moreover, even if some Americans have to look it up, who cares? Not Wikipedia editors, surely: we've already decided that it's okay to write articles in British English, despite the probability that a greater proportion of Americans are unfamiliar with Commonwealth terms than Commonwealth inhabitants are unfamiliar with American terms. This issue should be decided like every other issue of regional/national variation (except in scientific articles, which should follow scientific convention). Strad (talk) 06:27, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Comment. The comma seperator is standard in British English, and the usual approach is to use British English for European topics (rather than an official EU standard). The proposal above would presumably introduce the Indian English style of seperators after every second digit for Indian topics - I don't feel strongly about that either way, but it's something to be aware of. Warofdreams talk 09:22, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Support This seems to be an obvious extension of WP:ENGVAR, to me.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 10:01, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Comment: the way you formulated the question yes/no can mean anything you want. I suggest you ask a clear question. Pcap ping 13:06, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
To address Pcap, I didn't intend this to be a simple Yes/No vote—please feel free to clarify your opinion as necessary to avoid misunderstanding. TheFeds 16:32, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Maintain consistency, do not parallel with ENGVAR. The vast majority of ENGVAR examples are mutually intelligible, and where not, can be clarified with a parenthetical. With digit grouping, though, there is too much risk of confusion and parenthetical clarification would be nonsensical. Powers T 13:18, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't really understand these criticisms, can you explain further?
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 13:28, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Anyone and their mother can tell what someone means by 'Color' or 'Colour' (apologies to illiterate mothers), but differing number formats can confuse. Seeing numbers in the thousands separated with periods, for example (sorry, full stops), still gets me, especially when there's no comma-like decimal point to ground me. I don't think the space will be a problem, however. --King Öomie 14:27, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
The CGPM, an international organization with official representatives from many countries, including the USA, resolved in 1948 and 2003 that thin spaces as separators are allowed. If some readers have trouble reading this, perhaps they should be complaining to their elected representatives who allowed (directly or indirectly) these resolutions to be passed, rather than complaining to Wikipedia editors. --Jc3s5h (talk) 14:14, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Or whoever made their display font. Can we at least use non-breaking spaces?--King Öomie 14:19, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't see why not. For those instances where spaces are used in numbers, they should be non-breaking spaces regardless.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 14:25, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Wait, since when does any outside style manual directly affect what we do here on Wikipedia? Why should we care about what CGPM or any other external body recommends?
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 14:25, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Do we not follow SI conventions regarding the capitalization of units named after people? --Cybercobra (talk) 19:20, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
As far as I can tell we're currently doing so, yea... is that supposed to be some sort of answer, though? I don't get it... we have our own conventions, was my point. Some outside style guidelines can certainly be suggestive and influential, but the original post that I was replying to above seemed to suggest that we should be actvely subservient to "CGPM" (whatever that is), which I don't think is a good mindset to have at all, let along a good idea.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 19:32, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Measurements are different from other areas of language use, because it is closely regulated by law, at least when it comes to goods sold in commerce. Wikipedia does not sell anything, so is free to ignore CGPM (the pronouncements of which become law in many countries, after being reviewed or interpreted by the government concerned.) While Wikipedia may be free to ignore the law, those of our readers who engage in commerce are not; if they mislabel their goods, the local officials can seize them. Note that in the case of thin spaces as unit separators, the CGPM is permissive; they may be used, but they are not mandatory. So, we should be subservient to CGPM lest we, through our ignorance, lead our readers to break the law. --Jc3s5h (talk) 19:40, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
I sort of agree... and sort of don't. I think that we collectively agree to very closely ape the standards primarily out of convenience, but I personally would have no issue breaking from any standard at all (internal or especially external to Wikipedia) with good reason. It's largely a good idea to follow standards, but I don't think that it should be expected that we ought to do so. There's a subtle difference in mindset there, but I think that it's important.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 19:47, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Comment (and I'll comment on on MOSNUM): the way I was taught was that British English uses a comma as a thousand separator and a full-stop as a decimal separator and that French (for example) uses a space as a thousand separator and a comma as a decimal separator. The BBC follows this convention for British English, however, the European Commission, Directorate General for Translation uses a non-breaking space as a thousand separator, which could be source of confusion see paragraph 3.7. Notwithstanding, it should be our styleguides that prevail. -- Александр Дмитрий (Alexandr Dmitri) (talk) 16:09, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Comment Is the issue just commas versus thin spaces as a thousands separator and the details of if/how to place thin spaces in numbers with a long string of digits after the decimal point? Or are there questions of using other characters besides "." for the decimal separator or ","/" " for the thousands separator? Anomie 16:45, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
No one has suggested any change from the guideline of always using the full stop as the decimal point. --Jc3s5h (talk) 17:36, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
This discussion pertains to changing WP:MOSNUM and the discussion belongs on its associated talk page. TheFeds (the sponsor of this so-called RfC) didn’t get a good reception to his proposal over on WT:MOSNUM and has now jumped over here. Perhaps he was hoping to obtain a favorable response in a new venue after failing to do so on WT:MOSNUM? I can only guess by judging from his actions. Regardless, this is improper. The proper place for discussing MOSNUM guidelines is here on WT:MOSNUM. Thanks. Greg L (talk) 18:49, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
I just read the MOSNUM talk page myself, and you're misrepresenting things slightly (which, being a participant in the main dispute, isn't really surprising). TheFeds just came here in order to see a wider audience, and I applaud him for having the foresight and courage to do so. Regardless, if either of you is looking for a quick answer you're just not going to find one. opinions here seem just as split as they do on the MOSNUM talk page. That tells me that there is no consensus for any position, and the best course is likely for the MOS to remain silent on the issue for now.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 18:58, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
  • The best course is to not have him jumping to new venues in hopes of finding an outcome he finds favorable. Moreover, the proper thing to do is leave MOSNUM as it long has been unless there is a clear consensus to change it; particularly on something as fundamental as changing the method Wikipedai has long delimited numbers, which happens to be the way it is done in American English, Canadian, British, Australian, Irish, South African, and Singaporean English. I belive that takes care of about 95% of the native English-speaking population.

    If someone wants to suggest that MOSNUM be changed to become silent on this fundamental issue, then they should come to WT:MOSNUM and propose that change. Given that the result will be a hodgepodge of different styles in our general-interest articles, I wouldn’t cross my fingers on such a suggestion being favorably received. Greg L (talk) 19:11, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

    OK *shrug*... to be honest, I could personally care less what 90% of the MOS actually says anyway. I get the feeling that most others have similar feelings as well. Regardless of that though, I know that there are some who feel that it's very important what the MOS says (and I'm guessing that you're one of them), which is fine. If you want to keep arguing about the actual issues then nothing is stopping you from doing so. TheFed and others are still able to post questions here regardless, and personally I don't see an issue with replying. You might not like it, but I don't see any issue with it.
    V = I * R (talk to Ω) 19:15, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
    Yeah, MOS is something that nobody pays attention to except for the few users who actually bother to visit it, they make their own rules and then force everybody else to obey them. I think MOS should be deprecated to essay, and let its denizens play in their own little sandbox and leave the rest of the editors alone. Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 19:49, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
    I don't care enough about it to do so personally (and I would rather avoid drama, to be honest), but I would support that. I have a feeling that the MOS is suffering from bloat now anyway, and could use a good purge. The academics and MOS worriors will likely scream bloody murder and prevent anything from happening, though.
    V = I * R (talk to Ω) 08:21, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Oppose changing MOSNUM's guideline on this. Further, the regulars there are the ones who deal most often with articles involving numbers and have the most expertise. Also, there is a value in guidelines remaining stable unless there is a very good objective reason (not some editors' personal preference) to change them. —Finell (Talk) 21:00, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
WP:VPP is the appropriate venue for policy consultations. The question is phrased in that manner in order to avoid this becoming a discussion of the minutiae of any particular formatting style—like whether to use thin space characters in nowrap elements, or non-breaking thin spaces. The implementation details are frequently and productively discussed at MOSNUM.
This is simply a consultation about a policy matter that arose from MOSNUM, but which impacts the site as a whole. You'll recall that there have been many discussions about when to use a particular regionalism or conventions from a particular discipline, arising from all areas of the site. (And some of those discussions have resulted from content wars, which we seek to avoid.) On the theory that consensuses from related discussions can inform our present discussion at MOSNUM, I'm asking for the opinions of editors who may have witnessed or participated in such a discussion, or who are otherwise interested in the impact of number-formatting policy.
Despite Greg L's poor framing of the issue, this discussion does not seek to invalidate the conversation at MOSNUM; it's just a source of pertinent information. However, it allows us to honestly determine whether a consensus exists among the most interested and qualified contributors, with regard to one specific measure of general relevance. TheFeds 16:32, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Could I just point out that the European Commission translation service's English style guide is not a good guide here. It recommends the use of spaces (instead of commas) between thousands only because they have to translate zillions of documents out of French, and it makes their life much simpler if they just leave the French style as is. They do this knowing perfectly well that it is unusual in English. WP has no such excuse. -- Alarics (talk) 12:05, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
Basically numbers in the everyday sense should be grouped in threes, with commas if they are greater than 9999. So 10,000 for example. Numbers between 999 and 10,000 should only be split if they are used in tabular or list form with numbers greater than 9999. Where the number is not used in an everyday sense, for example its importance is as a large prime or a pattern of digits, grouping in fives with full spaces - per Abromwitz and Steugen etc. they may be a suitable pattern of breaking and non-breaking to encourage sensible formatting (for example 4 non breaking followed by a breaking space). Digits to the right of the decimal should be separated by a thin space in groups of threes in the former case, and in the same way as digits to the left in the latter. Any replacement of a comma by a space or vice versa contra the above will be punished by 2 hours of typo fixing. Rich Farmbrough, 14:28, 17 September 2009 (UTC).

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (broadcasting) has been marked as a guideline[edit]

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (broadcasting) (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Gravity no longer marked as a guideline[edit]

Wikipedia:Gravity (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

THAT'S why I am floating right now! Gravity is no longer recognized by Wikipedia!Camelbinky (talk) 05:05, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
No gravity? It's been deleted for lack of content(!) Another one of life's axioms down the drain... B.Wind (talk) 04:06, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps there is consensus to leave it in at least as a guideline. If not, someone should at least write an essay. Bongomatic 04:12, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
Great. Gravity just got deleted. Any other laws of physics we want to abolish while we're at it? --Jayron32 05:35, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
I nominate conservation of energy. It's just no fun. — Trust not the Penguin (T | C) 05:41, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
No, that's a useful one. At least once a week someone comes up with some bullshit perpetual motion machine over at WP:RDS and asks why it can't work... Conservation of Energy is far too useful. I'd nominate all of Special Relativity since it messes up my life; Relativity of simultaneity just has to go... --Jayron32 06:04, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
On Wikipedia, everyone knows that guidelines are just a suggestion, but you only really have to follow policies. This is much the same as "theories" and "laws" in the real world. The Law of conservation of energy is immutable fact, while the Theory of Evolution is just some old guy's crazy ideas. Likewise, the Theory of gravity was dreamed up by some English bloke who was all honked off about getting beaned in the head with an apple. Now where the heck is my anti-gravity car ... ? — Kralizec! (talk) 17:42, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
It seems that the common people have lost their sense.Smallman12q (talk) 13:17, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

What did this page said? MBelgrano (talk) 18:34, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

{{Humorantipolicy}}
{{nutshell|Obey gravity. It's the law!}}

^ –xenotalk 18:37, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Article has a few problems[edit]

Things had gotten a bit heated in the past and now the situation is clear. Everyone else has to back off and allow another editor to stretch basic guidlines and ignore official policy. It is not about the editor......it's bout the fair use images. Most of which are good enough to use but not if they are being used against policy to overwieght a subject or or take advantage of fair use.

Carmel-by-the-Sea seems to have a problem with it's arts section being basically about two theatres and nearly nothing else. Too many images of the Golden Bough Theatre, two of which are Fair Use and are basically the same subject; a fire that destroyed the original building in 1949. I have communicated this on the talk page but I think this may simply be an editor trying to push the envelope on guidelines. He has a conflict of interest that consensus seems to allow, but regardless of consensus, we have to report the founder of a theatre who insists on emphasising theatre arts in Carmel (especially those theatres he is directly involved in) and no expansion of Visual arts in a town that is world famous for painters and paintings. I will continue to try and work in good faith and with the editor, but with every subject I bring up he just pushes back and rallies others to back him up. Fine, consensus will allow many things but not overuse of inappropriate use of images.--Amadscientist (talk) 01:51, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

The situation is simply not as described. The only editor that was asked to "back off" was Amadscientist and it was an administrator who made the request following a case of wiki-stalking that was reported against Amadscientist, who was also edit-warring, forum-shopping and mounting personal attacks, among other offenses. To address the specifics of the above accusation, it is absolutely untrue that expansion of the Visual Arts section has been prevented. The fact is that Amadscientist has never even tried to expand that section! Further, Amadscientist asserts that two images are of the same subject - the Golden Bough fire of 1949. This is also completely inaccurate. In actually, one image is of the fire of 1935 and one image is of the fire of 1949, both of which were historic events in the town's history. He also asserts that the arts section is basically about 2 theaters and "nearly nothing else". This is also a complete fabrication, as a quick perusal of the article can attest. In fact, the sub-section on Theatre is no longer than the sub-section on Literary arts. And this does not include the sections on Visual arts or Music, both of which do need expansion (but again, Amadscientist has not made any effort to expand these sections). I'm afraid that the above report is simply an escalation of Amadscientist's continued efforts to defy consensus and harass any editor that does not support him. Sorry about this, everyone. Smatprt (talk) 16:01, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

No....those are your accusations against me, sir. Your claim of Wikistalking was not agreed on by Admin. They felt it might be boarderline, but you gave out your personal information on the image you uploaded to the article...actualy more than one. You gave away the information that you are an artistic director/manager and founder of a few theatres in Carmel and created and edit your own wiki article.

Admin requested that I voluntarily step back for two weeks and also asked Smartpat;

Smatprt, on your side, please avoid edits in the hot-button issues that Amadscientist identified while they are staying away from the articles, and please do what you can to disengage as well for that informal cool down period. Thanks. Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 04:17, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

He too was asked to disengage, but refused, and kept going while making these same false accusations about me as well as my not being able to edit the page. He has also posted on the talk page of Carmel-by-the-Sea, an attack on me for bringing this to the village pump. That seems to be harrassive if you ask me. Fair use being used for public domain images from the turn of the centry and far too many fair use images of the Golden Bough Plyhouse. There are free images that can be used. The editor has files full of images that he can not attribute to the copyright owner and is using fair use around the issue innappropriatly.

No action has been taken against me by any admin over anything I have done in this situation. Claims of harrasment and stalking were false. I discoverd his conflict of interest though his own uploads and posts. He admited who he was and now has removed all identyfication, but he still has a conflict of interest. Maybe consensus is allowing it and maybe it is not. It's a case by case matter with an editor that refuses to lighten up or take it easy on article he has been identyfied with having COI. When something new happens...I will report each one.--Amadscientist (talk) 05:47, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

I think the fact that Amadscientist, in the above post, failed to address any of the particulars that were outlined in his original posting, is an indication that his charges are without merit. The complaints originally listed have been shown to be inaccurate, so they were ignored and replaced with a collection of rehashed material. Excuses such as admitting that his wiki-stalking was only "borderline" (like borderline stalking is OK?), truly boggles the mind. I really have nothing more to add here. Smatprt (talk) 22:29, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
I think the fact that all you can do is accuse others (I am not the only one) and twist posts around is actualy the true indication. The "concerns" have not been shown to be inaccurate. You are simply stating things that are without any merit and unfactual. I never admitted to boarderline stalking. This is a perfect example of how you work with others that disagree with your contributions. I will repeat what I posted, that Admin felt it might be boarderline, not myself. He also said there was nothing he felt required any official bans, blocks or other administrative action. In fact you seem to get pretty confused as to who is an Admin and who is just another member. You have twice stated that an Admin has admonished me, when it was just another regular member.
You are attempting to blurr the subject and keep the discussion on your complaints about me for raising issues with you.--Amadscientist (talk) 02:11, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
There you go again. On Sept 8th you wrote above "It is not about the editor......it's bout the fair use images". But the majority of your posts are, indeed, about "the editor" (me). Odd that on Sept 7, on the article talk page, you wrote: "But the images are too nice to see get deleted. I support your contributions and will help where I can to add additional rationals and where needed add to prose to meet guidelines I will try to defer to you in regards to deleting from an article though". Then, within 24 hours you come here complaining about the images without even the courtesy of leaving a note on the article talk page about your sudden... change of heart. Ah well. Smatprt (talk) 16:35, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Attribution to translated Wikipedia material on Article page[edit]

I have a question regarding the consistency of two Wikipedia practices of attribution to free content.

In the case of material from the 1911 Encyclopedia Brittanica, Template:1911 is placed on the main page of the article. In case of material translated from another language version of wikipedia, Template:Translated page is used and it is placed in the Discussion page. Why not on the main Article page?

If a Wikipedia article is used by another media outlet, we do require the Wikipedia attribution to be part of the copied material, why not do the same for our translation between Wikipedia projects? --İnfoCan (talk) 14:49, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Because it's all Wikipedia content? I don't really know, I'm just guessing here, but that seems logical to me. We don't, and probably shouldn't, attribute ourselves.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 15:31, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
There is {{iw-ref}} but I'd prefer we did away with it. Attribution to another language should be done in the edit history, or we should import the history. I've actually got a bugzilla open for that, not sure what's going on with it. Good reminder... bugzilla:20280 if anyone is interested and wants to bribe a dev to look at it. –xenotalk 18:40, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Blocking for posting on an external website?[edit]

My question is on the existing policy on Wkipedia forks. We had the following story on ru.wp. User A runs an external website. He copied over there several templates from Russian Wikipedia failing to credit the source. When reminded he refused to credit Wikipedia as the source. Then sysop B blocked A for copyright violations. The copyright violation policies we have are ambiguously formulated, but have been previously applied only when smbody posted copyrighted materials from external sites (aka copyvio) to Wikipedia, not vice versa. C asked B to unblock A, and B refused. Then C filed n arbitration request, which we have to consider. Have you encountered smth similar on en.wp previously? Do you have any policies about such situations? We have to decide it anyway according to our policies, but if such policies exist in any Wikipedia, this would help us a lot. Thanks in advance.--Yaroslav Blanter (talk) 23:52, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

I'm sure someone is going to say English Wikipedia can't advise Russian Wikipedia on its policies, regardless of whether there has been a similar situation here. A few comments from a non-admin person: I don't see how a user can be blocked for violating an unwritten policy, presuming no policy actually exists for this infraction. We usually don't say someone is blocked for "copyright violations" (as a general category), but refer to a specific subsection of the rules. I would also question whether a template is copyrightable, assuming it's just a list of things. We would need to see (and be able to understand) the template to give an opinion. --A Knight Who Says Ni (talk) 06:10, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. We are not actually seeking an advise, I am just trying to see what policies exist in other Wikipedias and how they are implemented. Looks like we have a policy which is open to too broad interpretations--Yaroslav Blanter (talk) 08:10, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
Majority of copied templates is quite simple, however, wikificator is more problematic, because it is clearly copyrightable. Ruslik_Zero 19:15, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

Cite youtube template[edit]

moved to Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 52#Cite youtube template 18:59, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

Public domain images in UK/EU[edit]

Is there any clarification on when an image becomes public domain if it had corporate authorship in the UK/EU? Our current templates do not apply. Magog the Ogre (talk) 18:30, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

It's {{PD-old-50}} if it had any publication in the USA. The only possible problem with historic images is 'right of first publication' - which resets the copyright clock. That's my understanding, I'm sure someone will be along to correct me. Cheers Kbthompson (talk) 18:50, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Belgium/Brussels naming conventions has been marked as a guideline[edit]

Wikipedia:WikiProject Belgium/Brussels naming conventions (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

Hand drawn diagrams[edit]

I'm looking for advice; maybe I am missing something in WP:IUP. A IP user has added a couple of diagrams to an article; they are useful and accurate, and I've got no problem with having the info in the article since it improves it. But, they are (good quality) scans of hand-drawn notes, possibly taken in a class, or created while researching the topic. I'm not 100% about the handwriting, it's quite stylised and to me a bit unclear in a couple of cases.

There used to be a policy page for diagrams WP:DIAGRAM, but it indicates it is no longer active. Is there any current MOS policy on diagrams that illustrate articles? Is this sort of diagram generally acceptable? I like what the IP user did and want to encourage them, but am also concerned with style etc.. EasyTarget (talk) 09:33, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

The diagrams should really be vectorised, to improve readability and scaling. The people at the WP:Graphic Lab will be able to do this for you. OrangeDog (talk • edits) 10:09, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
Request made. I note the policy/guideline question remains outstanding. --Tagishsimon (talk) 10:29, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
Wow.. I didn't realise you could do that, wikipedia continues to amaze me :-)
The policy issue is still outstanding; I was rather surprised when I could not find something about this topic, Ideally I'd like to see WP:DIAGRAM made active and brought up to date, eg. giving the Graphics Lab as a resource for improving and vectorising diagrams, reducing the mapmaking references, would be useful.. EasyTarget (talk) 14:08, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
Do we need a policy for everything? A better diagram is better, so replacing a diagram with a better one is good. A non-perfect diagram may still be better than nothing. --Apoc2400 (talk) 19:12, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
Well we probably need a policy to establish what constitutes a "better" diagram. --A Knight Who Says Ni (talk) 06:01, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
I'm always a supporter of more policies, but I am in the minority here in Wikipedia concerning that. BUT in this case, would a policy saying what a better diagram is be proper? It needs to be worded very carefully, and even then it might discourage people from adding things like their hand drawn diagram in the first place, which while it isnt the preferred method it at least adds useful information and then can be vectorized by the graphics lab by someone more familar with Wikipedia. If we discourage any home-made diagrams in anyway there will be editors who go around with the intent to remove all home-made diagrams saying they arent up to Wikipedia standards and they will cite this policy as their reasoning; they will not simply send the diagram to the Graphics Lab to improve it. We see the same thing with uncited material, it simply gets deleted instead of someone just doing a two second search on Google to find a source and verify it. I think if a policy is instituted it needs to be worded carefully and not discourage newbies from adding less-than-preferred diagrams, and it needs to not encourage editors from going around and removing diagrams.Camelbinky (talk) 21:40, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
People are always encouraged to think for themselves of course. OrangeDog (talk • edits) 18:54, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Help, I had more than one account[edit]

In the past I had more than one account because I thought it wasn't against the Wikipedia rules. I had two other accounts: one has about 5 edits and the other one has about 20. They were last used in 2008. I am afraid someone will find out and get me banned or blocked. Now I wrote on those other accounts that they were mine (with a link to my main account) and wouldn't be used again. Will this be enough? What must I do? If an admin finds out he/she will ban me for sure. They weren't used for vandalism, nor have I had warnings or bannings.

Justanaccount4 (talk) 13:01, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

See Switching usernames#Using multiple accounts. In short, if you have identified the links between the accounts, and as long as you are not engaging in nefarious practises, then you'll be fine, and no further action on your part is required. --Tagishsimon (talk) 13:12, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
I note, btw, that nothing at all links to your Justanaccount4 page ... you might want to add {{User Alternate Acct|Justanaccount4}} to the user pages of each of the other accounts. --Tagishsimon (talk) 18:57, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Numismatics/Style has been marked as a guideline[edit]

Wikipedia:WikiProject Numismatics/Style (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Lick my decals off, baby[edit]

How about if on BLPs we get rid of all category listings that aren't concrete, factual information? American President, University Provost, Persons Born in 1942, Licensed Mole Drainer, ok; Bad Person, Stupid Conservative, Fascist Liberal, not ok. That sort of thing. (OK, a little exaggeration for effect but you get the point.) Listing people in these categories is an endless source of drama, can negatively affect the individuals in question, and often cannot be conclusively verified one way or the other. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 01:37, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

If they aren't concrete, then I would suggest WP:CfD for them. Rich Farmbrough, 14:32, 17 September 2009 (UTC).
Categories are just as subject to the WP:BLP policy as anything else; if a category were added to an article claiming a person was a Category:Mass murderers or something like that, and they clearly are not, then the category should be removed with extreme prejudice, and if anyone wars to re-add it, they should be blocked for BLP violations. --Jayron32 01:40, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

At WP:CFD, we've routinely deleted categories for people that aren't concrete, even where they may not be explicitly pejorative, such as vague political labels the original poster suggests. One may be able to find reliable sources calling this or that politician a liberal, but because of the nature of such labels it's still that source just making a characterization rather than stating what is or isn't an objective fact (and in our reliance on reliable sources, we as Wikipedia contributors are not slavish copyists just parroting whatever we find).

Other people categories that are problematic are ones based on accusations, such as the "accused spies" category scheme that was deleted recently. Accusations are far too easy to make for it to be the threshold for category inclusion, and the circumstances under which one may be accused of something heinous would vary too much from individual to individual to merit lumping them together in a category. Narrowing it to "people indicted of spying" or whatever may go some length towards solving such a problem, but still may be unworkable.

Any such problematic classifications or characterizations of people may still be properly handled in article text, because it can be directly sourced and explained for that individual; categories can't do that and so should be limited to concrete and non-controversial classifications. Postdlf (talk) 17:44, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (video games) has been marked as a guideline[edit]

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (video games) (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Video games/Article guidelines/Naming no longer marked as a guideline[edit]

Wikipedia:WikiProject Video games/Article guidelines/Naming (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

The Curse of interwiki bots[edit]

Recently getting into an edit war with interwiki bots on pages Lichfield and Worcester, it strikes me that there is something fundamentally unsound in letting these beasts roam free, propagating errors as they go. I appreciate that there appears to be a consensus that these bots are a "good thing", so I would like to propose a way of mitigating the problems. I propose a set of Laws of botics, as follows.

  1. No bot shall reapply a change that it or any other bot has previously made, and that has been reverted by a human. Period. Full-stop. Never.
  2. (Stronger version). No bot shall reapply a change of any kind that has previously been reverted.
  3. (Interwiki bots only). An interwiki bot shall monitor all reverts that have been applied to its changes. If it detects a revert it shall automatically revert the corresponding changes it made in any other wikis as part of that amendment.

Jan1nad (talk) 19:53, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

The interwiki bots, for the most part, use interwiki.py. I don't think it's smart enough to follow your laws. However, I do think the whole interwiki process should receive an overhaul. Why don't we assign each subject a unique global ID and have some way of noting at meta that a project has an article on the subject and then build the list of interwiki links from there? –xenotalk 19:59, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
I'm with Xeno. The real solution here is to create an actual interwiki system, rather then using the current cobbled together mess.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 20:36, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
There's no remotely efficient way for bots to implement the first 2 of these. Mr.Z-man 20:42, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
I agree that there is a serious problem here. Basically the interwiki bots are broken at the design level -- they assume that the ideal solution is that there should be the same set of articles in each language, with a one-one mapping between them.
That, however, is never going to happen. The semantic space covered by two articles in one language may be covered by three in a different language, with partial overlaps, and you just have to choose the best map between those two languages. But then when you bring in a third language, which has three articles distributing the material a bit differently, it may be impossible to make the best solution "consistent" in the sense that if you follow the interwiki links around in a circle, you get back to the article you started with.
I appreciate that the solution proposed by Jan1nad may not be feasible from an implementation standpoint. But how about this?
  • If an interwiki link contains the HTML comment <!-- NOBOT -->, no interwiki bot shall change it.
Surely that can be implemented? And we would then at least have a way of preventing the bots from overriding a human-crafted solution in difficult cases. --Trovatore (talk) 21:16, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
{{nobot}} exists... although, I'm not sure if the pywiki framework is aware of it. We could start using some sort of template for interwikis ({{interwiki}}?), if there is a real issue here...
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 21:28, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
There absolutely is a real issue, and it's a fundamental problem. Look at the history of, say, the vitamin A and retinol articles. We have two articles (retinol is a specific chemical; vitamin A is any of a number of chemicals that serve a similar function in the body). Many languages have only one article, sometimes called by a word cognate to vitamin A, and sometimes by a word cognate to retinol; that's a defensible choice as well. Naturally, if language X has only one article, and it's called retinol, that article will iwlink to the article called vitamin A in language Y, which also has only one article. So the bots are going to follow that link, and then try to reconcile them with the distribution between en.wiki's vitamin A and retinol, and are never going to come up with any sensible solution.
Note that Xeno's proposal does not help at all here. That proposal starts with the same wrong assumption that there can be a centralized list of articles, which only need different translations in the different languages. Never going to happen — it's hard enough to hash out the number of articles required for a particular collection of material, and the distribution of material among those articles, in a single language. Imagine trying to do it globally across however many languages we've got now, when many of the participants can't even find a common language to discuss it. --Trovatore (talk) 21:37, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
I was with you right up until the last paragraph, where it sounds as though you're saying "It's too difficult of a problem, we should do nothing". You'll never see consensus to scrap language interwiki linking completely, as far as I can tell (don't let me stop you from trying though!). Xeno's skeleton of an idea is at least a step in the right direction. That it may suffer from similar inadequacies as the current (non)system of language related interwiki linking may be true, but it would at least be something that could be discreetly improved upon and maintained.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 00:14, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
I'm certainly not saying we should stop interwiki linking! If that's what came across, then obviously I expressed myself badly.
What I am saying is, we need to recognize that different WPs are free to distribute content differently, and that therefore the graph of interwiki links is not going to have some property that we might like it to have in the abstract, like being able to navigate a cycle of languages and necessarily getting back to the article you started from.
To put it another way, each individual interwiki link should express the best judgment of the editors from both languages, as to which articles from the two WPs best correspond. There should be a way to prevent bots from interfering with this human judgment once it's made, in a futile effort to enforce a chimerical "consistency".
As to whether we should stop striving for consistency because "it's too hard", that's not the point. Consistency is the wrong goal entirely. It should simply be dropped from the interwiki scheme, because it doesn't make sense in the first place. --Trovatore (talk) 00:25, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
That makes much more sense. I'm still with the idea that Xeno expressed, where the real long-term solution is to move language interwiki linking into it's own space somehow (essentially). In the meantime, I could, and certainly do, support some change which causes bots to leave links that are somehow tagged by people alone. Editors > bots is generally true, and should remain so (I dispute that we're getting anywhere near the point where bots are even equal to editors, but that's a different subject really). Bots are supposed to give way to human editors anyway, by long standing policy, so imposing some sort of "bots can't touch this link" is actually un-controversial. The only real question is "how", and that's best addressed by getting some change made to the interwiki.py framework. Therefore, my recommendation is to those of you with an interest in this subject need to go and start a conversation with the developers.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 00:58, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
Interwiki links are not meant to be an interlanguage "see also" list, they are only meant to indicate when the very same topic has been covered by another language project. So "best correspond" is not the right concept here. If one wiki has an article on Für Elise and another only has an article on Beethoven, the article on the song should not have an interwiki to an article on the composer, even if this is the best corresponding article. The concept should be: are these articles covering the same concept? If they are, there should be an interwiki link; if not, there should not. Different wikis are always free to organize things how they like, with the result that sometimes there will not be any appropriate interwiki link from a particular article in one language to any article in another particular language. — Carl (CBM · talk) 01:09, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
No, it's not about whether there should be a see-also list. Of course if there's no article that corresponds closely, then you just make no link. The judgment call comes in when there's more than one possibility for a close correspondence -- like in the retinol/vitamin A case, or the question of which of our Boolean algebra articles should link to simple:Boolean algebra (the answer in the latter case is not canonical, but the bots for a while were trying to enforce a link between the simple article and Boolean algebra (structure), which made no sense at all). --Trovatore (talk) 01:13, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
Ohm's law: Which developer should I ping? Presumably whoever's in charge of interwiki.py? Do you know who that is? --Trovatore (talk) 02:17, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
I didn't actually know who to ask before now (I'm a C#/Windows geek personally), but it was easy enough to look up ;). As it turns out, interwiki.py has it's own meta page at m:Pywikipediabot/interwiki.py, which ought to make interacting with the dev team fairly straightforward.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 02:28, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
  • I've just fixed Lichfield interwiki problem. It's not bot's fault, it's a human error. Someone has placed a wrong interwiki link and bots have spread this error out to other languages. If discovered, it can be fixed at low cost, but it must be fixed at once in all language versions, a simple revert in one version wouldn't work. So it's better to be done by bots as well. --Volkov (?!) 06:52, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Just to note here, one way of stopping interwiki bots from reapplying unwanted changes was indeed implemented some time ago, but it's unfortunately not well documented: if you have a problem with a bot adding an inappropriate link, don't just delete the link but place it in html comment tags (<!-- [[foo:bar]] -->), then the bots will leave it alone. Fut.Perf. 07:08, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

That's good to know, but what if you're trying to preserve a particular link against bots that want to change it to a different one? --Trovatore (talk) 07:33, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
Honestly, I don't know if the same method would work here. Not sure how exactly the current algorithm works. But it might be worth trying, if you have such a case at hand right now: add the correct link side by side with the commented-out incorrect link, and just wait and see what the bots do. Fut.Perf. 09:18, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Bing Linking/References[edit]

When an article is mentioned on bing such as in this reference do we use the {{press}} or {{high traffic}} template? Is Bing using a cached version of wikipedia's page, or is it simply serving it up in a frame?(If its cached, then perhaps press is best).65.51.38.194 (talk) 23:18, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

{{high traffic}} isn't really very useful these days, when we get more traffic normally that most linking sites combined. OrangeDog (talk • edits) 22:55, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

BAG and Bots[edit]

The Wikipedia request for bot approval board has gone unanswered by BAG members for a couple of weeks now. When I pointed this out, a BAG member came by, and, in 28 seconds approved most outstanding requests without reading any of the discussions.

BAG is self-selected, self-directed, self-elected entity foisted onto en.wikipedia. If they select themselves and direct themselves to oversee the approval of bots, but are not up to spending the time necessary to oversee approval, and ignore (by simply not reading, it appears) all community input into discussing bots according to the rules for bots, why are they the group doing this?

--69.225.3.119 (talk) 01:16, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Could you have possibly assumed any more bad faith in your comment?
It appears the BRFA page has been ignored because the bot updating the status template is broken. I was actually working on a replacement when I noticed the rude comment on my talk page directing me here.
It was 28 minutes, not 28 seconds.
I actually approved 3 bots, the others I only commented on or approved for trial. Of the 2 approved bots, 1 had no objections at all, 2 had only trivial formatting concerns. Given that User:Rich Farmbrough is one of the most active bot operators, I trust that he'll review the comments.
Mr.Z-man 01:26, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Oh, I apologize for that. Still, it appears you did not read or acknowledge any of the outstanding comments. Since the most discussion was about one bot and you ignored ALL comments about it. --69.225.3.119 (talk) 01:42, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Oh, you mean one of the few bots that I did nothing but ask a question on? That I neither approved nor approved for trial? That one? Mr.Z-man 01:47, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
You asked a question that indicated you had ignored all comments. There is no community consensus for that bot. The bot operator admits this after first suggesting I can't read and he doesn't need community consensus.
If there's no consensus a trial is not indicated. You didn't mention anything about community consensus, simply asked if it was ready for a trial as if all issues had been solved. --69.225.3.119 (talk) 01:51, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
I asked a question that indicated I didn't feel like reading 20 days of discussion. You are simply reading far more into it than what I intended. You took a single question, misinterpreted it, blew it out of proportion, expanded it into a general complaint about BAG, gave misleading and downright wrong information, and complained about it in half a dozen places. You could have left a polite comment on my talk page, or on the BRFA, but no, you chose to assume bad faith and waste the time of everyone involved, and continue to do so even after I have explained my position. Mr.Z-man 02:10, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes, of course, any IP commenting is wasting everyone's times. All comments at BRFA have been ignored by BAG members for a long time now. The bot is down, doesn't mean BAG members have been commenting all along. They haven't been. Your question indicated only one area of concern, trial now. If there is no consensus, or the discussion is about whether there is consensus, the question is about consensus, not about trial. --69.225.3.119 (talk) 02:18, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
Just stop, please. Mr.Z-man, and Rich are trustworthy members, and even if they do happen to make a mistake (they are human, everyone is fallible) that could be corrected once identified. Amplifying a perceived issue by posting about it outside of the process it encompasses is certainly no way to resolve a potential issue, regardless of anything else. ps.: register a username already. if you're interested enough to come here and complain, then you should be interested enough to have a real identity as well/
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 02:21, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
This really feels like much ado about nothing. Among other point, regardless of if Mr.Z-man approves, a crat will still review the task for consensus/soundess when deciding if the bot should be flagged. And any changes the bot may make can be reverted and the bot turned off. Really quite a bit of hyperbole here. MBisanz talk 03:53, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Renaming of multiple categories, including one or more stub categories[edit]

Please express your opinion at Wikipedia talk:Deletion discussions#Renaming of multiple categories, including one or more stub categories. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 08:32, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

When are blogs acceptable as sources?[edit]

[13] was a recent addition. I don't know that it adds anything to what was there. The other source may have had sufficient information.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 20:34, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

I don't think it's acceptable there. –xenotalk 20:36, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
(ec) Short answer? Never. Long answer : There may be instances of what started as a humble blog but has evolved into a well-known and (mostly) reputable source of information, such as The Huffington Post. Even these sources should be used with a grain of salt and a lot of caution, IMHO. Random blogs like the one linked? No, no, no. Shereth 20:37, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
WP:SPS:Self-published material may, in some circumstances, be acceptable when produced by an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications. However, caution should be exercised when using such sources: if the information in question is really worth reporting, someone else is likely to have done so.
Self-published sources should never be used as third-party sources about living persons, even if the author is a well-known professional researcher or writer; see WP:BLP#Reliable sources. --Tagishsimon (talk) 20:45, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
Though they are reliable sources for direct quotes ("Foobar Smith said on his blog that he hates Marmite"). 21:26, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
I also think that "blogs" from what are otherwise reliable news sources are usually acceptable (i.e. New York Times blogs, etc) as long as they aren't being used to support an extraordinary claim or something. –xenotalk 20:47, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
Also, developers blogs for software (Such as MSN messenger) can sometimes give out upcoming features ahead of release. The posts by the developers of the software could be considered reliable, although I'm uncertain where policy stands on this. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 20:54, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
Sure, that's covered by the notes at WP:SELFPUB. –xenotalk 20:55, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
I think the general answer "never" will have to be revisited over time. On a case by case basis at first. For example, Volokh Conspiracy and other legal blogs have been cited multiple times in court cases.--SPhilbrickT 15:06, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Being a blog is not some special category of disreputability. For every source, the basic questions are the same; is this self-published? (not all blogs are) has this been subject to peer review or editorial oversight?(in some cases, yes) do the authors/publishers have a reputation for fact-checking or accuracy? (many blogs do). In short, see Wikipedia:Blogs as sources.  Skomorokh  04:23, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Well said. We could easily stretch the same thinking to (for example) YouTube and even Twitter as well. The platform(s) used are not the issue, it's the content providers themselves which need to be evaluated. If platform was the only consideration then all books would be acceptable, but that would clearly be a mistake for us to make.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 04:53, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

RFC: Editing-while-discussing of a policy document @ WP:Naming conventions[edit]

I have opened a request for comment at Wikipedia:Naming conventions. This is the second RFC at WP:NC in a little over a week. My concerns is that since September 6 the page has undergone on-going and substantial revision while discussion for such change take place on the talk page.

I'm worried that such a manner of editing a policy page brings instability to policy pages - and reduce their worthiness as reference points for other editors. I am also concerned as to the degree of community involvement in the changes taking place. Several of the editors involved say they "know" what a "new consensus" for the policy is. I am concerned that while they may be well-intentioned, if that was the case they would not still be wrangling over the page nearly three weeks later. --rannṗáirtí anaiṫnid (coṁrá) 21:58, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

This is pretty much SOP for page editing. Do you personally have any issues you would like to see addressed? --Kim Bruning (talk) 20:54, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Community input requested: Proposed policy on the administrative use of RevisionDelete[edit]

Message cross-posted to several relevant venues. Please only reply on the revision deletion talk page.

Several months ago, I drafted a policy for the use of the revision deletion function for administrators on the English Wikipedia. After consultation with a small group of users, I made modifications and changes (with the help of FT2) to better address the suggestions of these people. I have waited a while for the policy to become more stable before consulting the wider community, because it is in my belief that there is nothing worse than discussing a policy draft that still does not have the consensus of its drafters. The policy in its current state is quite similar to the Criteria for Speedy Deletion policy, in that it defines very specific circumstances in which the revision deletion functionality can be used. The policy is defined so strictly to help allay some of the fears of potential misuse of the functionality, with deviation from the set criteria resulting in whatever sanctions are decided upon by the community. I would invite all users to read the statement and FAQs that I have written at Wikipedia talk:Revision deletion#Community consultation regarding the functionality and then discuss on the talk page the merits of ratifying this policy, and subsequently enabling the feature for administrators on this project. Thanks for listening and happy editing! ~fl 05:44, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Comics/editorial guidelines no longer marked as a guideline[edit]

Wikipedia:WikiProject Comics/editorial guidelines (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as a guideline. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Q. When is a guideline not a guideline? A. When it's on Wikipedia. Does anyone else find these notices to be silly? --A Knight Who Says Ni (talk) 17:37, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

WP:Wikipedia is not a dictionary[edit]

There is a proposal that the WP:Wikipedia is not a dictionary policy be moved down to being only a guideline, or 'merged into WP:ISNOT' (i.e. removed completely as an independent policy).

It is currently being discussed at: Wikipedia_talk:Wikipedia_is_not_a_dictionary#Change_to_guideline.- (User) Wolfkeeper (Talk) 01:47, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

Why do editors continually try to water down Wikipedia policy? I just don't get it. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 09:33, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
Or constantly trying to get every single editing decision ratified as a guideline first. OrangeDog (talk • edits) 22:57, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Huh, I missed this. No one is trying to either "move down" or "water down" anything. Policy and guideline labels are simplistic (and often subjective) characterizations, not some form of level system. Remember, Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy. Wikipedia is not governed by statute: it is not a moot court, and rules are not the purpose of the community. There's a more in depth explaination given at Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia is not a dictionary#Change to guideline, and participation there would be more then welcome. We're still talking past one another there right now, but if we eventually are able to talk to one another and still don't agree then an RFC might come up over this.
    V = I * R (talk to Ω) 03:57, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Notability_(web)[edit]

Input needed at Wikipedia_talk:Notability_(web)#Quotations proposal.--Otterathome (talk) 15:02, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Non-free content has been marked as a policy[edit]

Wikipedia:Non-free content (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a policy. It was previously marked as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

A user manually added the Category:Wikipedia content policies to the page, but left the {{Guideline}} template on the page. That being the case, I've reverted the manual addition of categorization, but this should not be seen as an endorsement of either categorization on my part.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 03:49, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Proposal to extend scope of WP:RfD to incorporate disambiguation pages & remove dab pages from the purview of WP:PROD[edit]

A year ago, deletion of disambiguation pages seemed to be a rare event, to the point of some admins not even knowing whether or not a dab page is subject to a prod. Some claimed that disambiguation pages are not articles (although, like redirects, they are usually in articlespace) and thus PROD would not be appropriate for them; others contend that they are articles and should be prodded (because of the controversy in the status, and WP:PROD explicitly states that it applies only to noncontroversial deletions, this needs to be addressed in a wider arena than the WT:PROD discussion page). Because a disambiguation page (and not a list article, which is an article with encyclopedic information) is essentially an extended redirect, a navigation tool and not intended to be a significangt source of encyclopedic information, I propose the following: since disambiguation pages are not encyclopedia articles, they are not subject to WP:Proposed deletion; furthermore, requests for deletion of disambiguation pages are to be posted and considered at WP:RfD (which can be renamed "Wikipedia:Redirects and disambiguation pages for discussion").

The reasons for treating dab pages and redirects in the same fashion should be rather obvious. In addition to both being purely navigational tools with very strict methods of style restricting the information and presentation of each of them, neither permit the inclusion of citations and other information required for WP:V and WP:RS. Redirects and dab pages cannot assert notability if properly formatted (one AfD of a disambiguation page was couched on an editor's objection that it did not have any cited evidence of notability of a particular name/phrase). The deletion of a dab page should be a deliberate process (Quite often the disambiguation page was proposed or nominated for deletion simply because it had two valid bluelinks. On more than one occasion, an AfD nomination was withdrawn after someone found a third, or even a fourth, bluelink. Had the prod process gone through, the otherwise-valid dab page would have been lost). Moving a deletion discussion of a disambiguation page from WP:AfD (which processes anywhere between 120 and 220 entries a day) to WP:RfD (which usually processes less than ten nominations a day) would give the community a better opportunity to improve its navigational tools.

One of the questions that was mentioned at WT:PROD concerned those "half disambiguation pages, half articles" and where to delete them. If the page is tagged as a disambiguation page, the software recognizes it when someone edits it - these, for the purposes of this proposal, would be dab pages ineligible for prod and should be taken to RfD; those that are not (and thus would be list articles) would be considered articles for the purposes of WP:PROD and this proposal. I think that now is a good time to resolve the controversies regarding disambiguation pages and establish a policy of deletion consistent with that of other navigational aids. I thank the Wikipedia community for its consideration and feedback on my proposal. B.Wind (talk) 04:04, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

I'd agree with this, personally. Disambig's are the same as redirects, really. Irbisgreif (talk) 05:30, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Sounds like a reasonable proposal. DABs are basically just redirects with 3+ possible targets (or maybe a redirect is a dab with one target), so it stands to reason that the same process should deal with all of them. --Jayron32 05:34, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Support - a disambiguation page serves a similar purpose to a redirect, not to an article. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 11:42, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
I too like this idea. Disambiguation pages are sort of a gray area, but I think it makes perfect sense given their use to treat them more akin to redirects than to articles given their content. It would probably be more beneficial to have dabs discussed in similar terms to redirects anyway. A difficulty I foresee is that RfD is supposed to be for "discussion" with default to delete, and I don't think that necessarily makes sense for disambguations. A "discussion" for a dab page will only ever be about deletion because anything else is a content/article issue; it's like a redirect with multiple targets, so there's no need for discussion outside the talk page regarding inclusion. Moreover, I don't think it really makes sense to default to delete for dab pages. That could pose some problems, in my mind. ~ Amory (usertalkcontribs) 13:30, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
Your concern is a valid one, Amory, but I think that, since RfDs tend to last at least seven days (except in WP:SNOW or WP:Speedy keep situations), any postings lasting that long without any support for keeping either can be deleted without anybody missing it or (in the purview of an admin) reposted for further review. This is already in place for RfD as there are some currently listed that have been around for two weeks or longer. Of course, the discussion time itself would give editors an opportunity to "fix the problem" (based on the spate of AfDs of dab pages, content - namely the number of bluelinks - is often a reason for the nomination), and if it's a problem that cannot be fixed, it should be deleted. B.Wind (talk) 18:06, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. Makes good sense to me. --Tryptofish (talk) 16:09, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Support Neutral, as long as the speedy criteria for disambiguation pages are kept. This is in contrast to the stated "Quite often the disambiguation page was proposed or nominated for deletion simply because it had two valid bluelinks. On more than one occasion, an AfD nomination was withdrawn after someone found a third, or even a fourth, bluelink. Had the prod process gone through, the otherwise-valid dab page would have been lost" -- before someone found a third, or even an nth, blue link, the dab page was not a valid dab page and should have been deleted. Subsequent editors who find a valid need for a navigational page (such as a dab) can recreate it once they've identified the third or even the nth ambiguous article. Rename might be Wikipedia:Navigational pages for discussion. -- JHunterJ (talk) 01:29, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I believe this was proposed solely to bypass the consensus of two previous discussions (1 & 2) where nearly every editor opining viewed the deletion of dabs with 2 entries as non-controversial. More to the point, there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with using the PROD propose for disambiguation pages. The prod process gives anyone 7 days to add a third entry or even to remove the tag without adding one. Granted the prods aren't widely evaluated, but then again neither are RfD discussions. Essentially the end result will be the same via PROD or RfD - the page is evaluated by a small sample of the community and then deleted after 7 days if no one adds a third entry. As such, I see no reason to make this change. Additionally, dab pages deleted via PROD can be restored at any time without question. Thus if someone wants to add a third entry even 6 months or a year later the article can be restored. In short, this is a solution in search of a problem. --ThaddeusB (talk) 01:28, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose - seems like another bureaucratic, difficult-to-remember rule that just adds another quirk to the process, and I also don't see what problem it solves. RfD is an obscure place with few regulars. The regular two-pronged article deletion system is just right for dab pages: just like with regular articles, there are routine cases, and I don't see why we shouldn't use prod for those, and there are difficult/controversial cases (like e.g. if the deletion necessitates a controversial decision about which of two uses is "primary"), and those should get all the community input they can get. Fut.Perf. 05:48, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose Seems unnecessary, prod works fine on disambiguation pages, as people do still have a week to object and, as has been stated, they can easily be reinstated. Boleyn2 (talk) 08:37, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose Unnecessary bureaucracy. Neutral but I also second JHunterJ's sentiments. --Cybercobra (talk) 08:47, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Support moving dab's to RfD, possibly with a rename to navigational pages for discussion. Oppose disallowing prods for dab pages. Taemyr (talk) 08:59, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Support and support JHunterJ's proposal to rename to "Navigational pages for discussion". The arguments for and against deletion of a dab page have much more in common with those for redirects than with those for articles, and anything we can do to emphasize the distinction that dab pages are not articles will be a good thing. PRODs are simply not good enough for dab pages—too few people look at them, meaning many dab pages that could be improved are instead deleted. In response to Fit.Perf, this does not complicate the process—no new deletion process is being created, and we are actually consolidating all nav-page deletions in one place. Also, this will tend to correct the workload imbalance between AfD and Rfd (NfD?). » Swpbτ ¢ 16:51, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
    Portals could be discussed at NPfD too... –xenotalk 18:39, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Confused. 1) I don't see any reason for prohibiting the use of prod with disambiguation pages, but that's not such a big deal. 2) So long as speedy deletion of disambiguation pages as specified by {{db-disambig}} continue to be accepted, it makes little difference if the prod option is removed. 3) It makes little difference to me where the deletion discussions occur, but there is a slight preference for AfD simply because that has more robust mechanisms both for notification and for archiving of old discussions. olderwiser 21:13, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
  • I don't believe that excluding dab pages from PROD on the basis that it doesn't fit into some defined class of article is a bad idea, and overly bureaucratic (which is also why I feel that the qualifications on A7 are unnecessarily restrictive) - the nature of a dab page does not in and of itself suggest why PROD would not be appropriate. I have no opinion on the AfD vs. RfD issue at this time. 81.110.104.91 (talk) 22:09, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose - A discussion of this matter was brought up on WT:PROD and it was agreed that it is fine to delete dab pages through prod. The numerous reasons for this are given there. There are many cases where uncontroversial dab pages have their deletion proposed and they are properly deleted. Prodding these pages is done all the time, and it works. The premise that a prod might cause a dab page to be "lost forever" shows a fundamental lack of knowledge regarding the proposed deletion process. Anyone who wants that dab page restored can request it, and it will be restored without question, as is the case with any other page that can have its deletion requested. Frankly I don't see why we need to force uncontroversial dab page deletions through an RfD discussion. -- Atama 21:23, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Support proposal to move dab deletion discussions from AfD to RfD and rename to "Navigational pages for discussion". Oppose proposal to remove dabs from the scope of PROD, based on the many arguments raised above and the previous discussion at WT:PROD. —Zach425 talk/contribs 16:33, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Support moving dabs under RfD is a good idea, since as said, it's kind of like an extended redirect, but there was more than one target so a standard redirect can't exist. And they are not articles, so don't require references in the dab page, unlike lists, which do, and don't conform to the anti-kitchen sink rule, since it's not an article. Support removing dabs from PROD, since PROD doesn't cover redirects, and NN and unref seems to be used to try to delete some dab pages. 76.66.197.30 (talk) 15:31, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

SVG signatures[edit]

Many high-profile politicians and celebrities have images of their signatures in their infoboxes. Examples: John Adams, Stephen Hawking. These are generally images that have been traced by Wikipedia users into the SVG format.

Putting aside the argument of whether the signatures should be there to begin with, can we talk about this tracing thing? Tracing a signature into a vector format is inherently inaccurate, especially when you start with a tiny image and blow it up. As the entire value of a signature is that it is difficult to forge, it seems rather misleading to use an image that has been scanned at an unknown resolution and traced to an unknown fidelity by an anonymous person and present it without qualifications as an authentic signature. I think we should consider a policy to use only actual photographs of signatures, not versions that have been traced or altered. —Noisalt (talk) 16:41, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

I don't think it is a big issue. I'm not even sure why we have the signatures. Are they really encyclopaedic? -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 22:31, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
No, they're not. Unless it's someone whose signature is important (e.g. Barack Obama, Queen Elizabeth, etc), it's random fancruft trivia at its worst. → ROUX  22:33, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
It would seem more important to concentrate on clearly reproducing the signature, before worrying about conversion to a vector format. We should consider how much image editing is warranted: for example to remove the background texture or solidify the colour. I think a simple tracing and vectorizing operation is unacceptably lossy. I've got no real problem with the trivial aspect of the signature, as long as it's referenced as actually belonging to the person. TheFeds 04:30, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Anybody got a genuine original signature for Button Gwinnett? I'll give you heaps of bucks for it. That aside, I think that a lossy method is better for a reproduction of signature, since we don't want to be had up for forgery, which is an imprisonable offence in several territories --Redrose64 (talk) 15:16, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Are you aware that many of those politicians use machines that reproduce their signature, or fonst to represent it? The value of a signature as being a "personal" work, wich could not be forged by mechanical means or legally done by someone else, is a little outdated. Under this context, providing SVG of signatures images is hardly a problem. MBelgrano (talk) 15:18, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
I am aware of such devices, and never use them. However: do we reproduce the PIN numbers of debit/credit cards? --Redrose64 (talk) 16:11, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
That's a truly terrible analogy. Celebrities don't tend to hand out their PIN numbers to anyone who asks. Propaniac (talk) 17:15, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

The vectorisation issue is not really policy, it's technical. As far as accuracy of images goes there is policy already which covers it. Rich Farmbrough, 21:11, 28 September 2009 (UTC).

I would say that John Hancock's signature is important to the understanding of his standing in popular culture, and if a person's signature is widely distributed on notes of monetary exchange (paper money), then that is also important. As well, the signatures artists use to sign their works. And counterfeit signatures produced by counterfeiters and fraudsters... (and probably the non-fraudulent version to compare it to) 76.66.197.30 (talk) 04:49, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

accessdate format[edit]

Quick (hopefully) question as things seem to have changed or become unclear: Should the |accessdate= parameter in {{cite}} templates be given as in ISO (2009-09-16) format, or to match the format in the prose (16 September 2009)? OrangeDog (talk • edits) 00:34, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

The "{{CITE}}" button in the editing interface uses ISO, FWIW. --Cybercobra (talk) 01:57, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
Use the |dateformat=dmy parameter (presuming that still works)? –Whitehorse1 02:15, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
Just put them in a {{#dateformat:16 September 2009}} parser function wrapper, and then you don't need to guess what everyone would prefer (which is a pointless game anyway, since everyone has different preferences).
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 03:55, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
I was under the impression that yyyy-mm-dd was preferred for automation purposes, though practices seem to have changed. OrangeDog (talk • edits) 09:36, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
...for what automation, exactly? I'm not sure what you're referring to, although you've piqued my curiosity.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 14:46, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
Neither am I... OrangeDog (talk • edits) 15:09, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
lol OK, in that case: don't worry about it. Any program worth using should be able to deal with templates, magic words, and multiple formats anyway. If they don't, and they break... well, to bad. The programmer needs to deal with that. As a programmer myself I'm just not sympathetic to the idea of ensuring that what we do as people doesn't break some program. That's a backwords relationship to have with software. :)
Incidentally, the core MediaWiki/parserfunctions.php handling of dates is piss poor in general as well, which is something that should be addressed. That's a somewhat different topic, however.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 16:45, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Straight answer to the original question: write the month out in full. There is no need to use all-numeric dates in footnotes, we aren't that short of space. A majority at MOSNUM currently think that the YYYY-MM-DD format is user-hostile; some don't even regard it as completely unambiguous. -- Alarics (talk) 10:08, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

On the other hand, a number of people consider MOSNUM scorched earth, particularly after Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Date delinking. Anomie 11:51, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't see how Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Date delinking reflects badly on what a majority at MOSNUM think. Most of the offenders in that case were defying MOSNUM. -- Alarics (talk) 17:51, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
There's a fairly widespread belief that anything having to do with date formatting at all is an issue that will cause the offender to get into trouble, which is what Anomie was referring to ("a number of people consider MOSNUM scorched earth"). That such views are not rooted in the reality of what the ArbCom decision actually says is completely irrelevant, since the perception is widespread that touching dates at all is "against the law".
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 19:08, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I was referring to the view that MOSNUM should be demoted to essay status and generally ignored due to the hostile atmosphere on that talk page effectively preventing participation by anyone who doesn't want to get involved in a months-long flame war. Anomie 19:29, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
OK, that too... two sides of the same coin? I tend to avoid most of the MOS in general, and especially the talk pages there, so I wasn't aware of just how bad is must now be at MOSNUM. I'm hardly surprised, however. My experience is mostly rooted in reading things "out there", in the article\article talk namespace.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 19:56, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
The date should be cleanly written and consistent throughout the article and the cites. {{#dateformat}} is not useful for this (I thought it was at one point), as it relies on the user's preferences. Thus, if you use ISO dates, then readers without an account will see ISO dates. If there were a way to set the date style per article, then it might be useful. Unfortunately, when the date linking was removed from the templates, much of the documentation was not updated and a huge number of articles were left with ISO dates.
The cite button that was mentioned is the refTools a gadget. There has been some recent discussion about the date fields. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 22:53, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
{{#dateformat}} is not useful for that? *confused* If all of the dates are in {{#dateformat}} then they will all be much more consistent then if they aren't.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 23:50, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
It is useful for those who have an account, are logged in and have set a preference. Readers who are not logged in see the raw date unless you specify the format with {{#dateformat:date|format}} where format is mdy, dmy, ymd or ISO 8601. But how compare {{#dateformat:2009-09-24|dmy}} to September 9, 2009? Then you would have to have a switch to disable formatting for dates outside the Gregorian calendar. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 00:06, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
←Ah, OK, I've heard this argument before, but I don't really agree with it. For one thing, use the format parameter. Even without the format parameter though, at least all of the dates would be in the same format... Also, dates outside of the Gregorian calendar are not valid dates for formatting anyway, since they aren't Gregorian dates.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 00:40, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
OK— then let's make a proposal to add date formatting to the cite templates and see where it goes. It needs to be clear that such a proposal is completely separate from date linking or it will get bogged down. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 03:18, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
I'll support it, but I'm not up for actually proposing it. The "completely separate from date linking" aspect is all that most will see, so it's not likely to get anywhere. There is an actual legitemate reason not to make that change anyway: if the cite templates are standardized to use {{#dateformat}}, then most of the articles that use it will suddenly not be inconsistent. Of course, the counter-argument to that is that the majority of reference sections will at least be internally consistent. the point being, I think that it's probably best to leave things be and take care of dates on a case by case, article by article basis.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 04:08, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
Too bad they never fixed bug 17905http://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=17905. Anomie 11:31, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
Gadget850, could you explain, for the benefit of non-tech dunderheads like me, what "add date formatting to the cite templates" would involve exactly? How is it going to know which of the two valid date formats (September 25, 2009, or 25 September 2009) to use? -- Alarics (talk) 16:30, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
It would involve one of two things:
  1. Wrapping {{#dateformat:...|{{{dateformat}}}}} around the dates output by the templates, adding a "dateformat" parameter to all the cite templates, and editing every use of the cite templates in the article to specify the appropriate value for the dateformat parameter. And then watching forever for anyone to add new references to the article without a dateformat or with the wrong dateformat.
  2. Fixing bug 17905http://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=17905, wrapping {{#dateformat:...}} around the dates output by the templates, and adding {{DEFAULTDATEFORMAT:...}} to the article.
In either case, the current status quo (IP users and users without a date formatting preference set see the text as entered) would remain for each article until that article is updated in the specified manner. The advantage of either of these over the old link-based autoformatting (besides no links, of course) is that it is possible to specify a format besides "as entered" for IP users. Anomie 17:05, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
We could make the format (mdy, dmy, ymd) mandatory and put the page in a hidden category for fixing. I doubt we want to generate a big red error message that the format is missing— at least not for the initial implementation. The problem with bot fixing is deciding on the default format. Perhaps a {{DEFAULTDATEFORMAT}} template that inserted a comment that the bot could key on; it could be replaced if the magic word is ever implemented. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 17:29, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, you've completely lost me there. Are you saying that {{DEFAULTDATEFORMAT}} would be added to every article so that the bot would know which date format to use? What does "put the page in a hidden category for fixing" mean? What do you mean by "the magic word"? Would all this work for people who are not logged in, so that the ordinary casual reader would see a consistent date formate within each article, or does it depend on readers setting preferences -- which we now know they mostly don't do? One thing of which I think we can be certain is that, if editors are required to type in a whole load of extra code, it isn't going to happen. -- Alarics (talk) 21:56, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

The community has determined, in more than several RfCs and long discussions, that date formats are best left alone. We do not want to return to the situation where WPian editors see something different from what our readers see. The shambolic state of date formats under the old "dynamic dates" system (they were anything but dynamic) demonstrated the need for us as WPians not privilege ourselves over our readers, especially when (1) what was at issue was so trivial, and (2) dmy and mdy are readily understood by all English-speakers. The same principle has recently come up WRT to the selection by a small proprortion of WPians of a default thumbnail size bigger than the 180px our readers see. This is not conducive to the exercise of reader-oriented judgements and maintenance. End of story.

Furthermore, the notion that edit-mode should be cluttered (a lot, since there are a lot of dates) with in-house syntax goes against the principle that WP is the encyclopedia that "anyone can edit". There are growing complaints that WP is less welcoming and a little daunting for outsiders to edit. See the Time magazine article linked from The Signpost this week for more on that. We need to minimise syntax bloat. Tony (talk) 03:06, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

What Tony1 said about dates. The above proposals (about autoformatting dates in citation templates, bots, etc.) have all been suggested before, and have all been shot down in flames, mostly for good reasons. Let's leave dates the way the editor wrote them. Eubulides (talk) 03:57, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
Thank you both for illustrating my opinions about the denizens of MOSNUM. Anomie 04:09, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
This seems to have strayed off the point. Everybody knows date formatting is a completely dead duck and rightly so. That's not what the OP asked about. It was about whether dates in footnotes should be written in numerical form as YYYY-MM-DD or with the month spelled out as a word. I replied that the month should be written out in full, and that there is a strong move to deprecate the use of YYYY-MM-DD, in footnotes as elsewhere. (The current prevalence of in footnotes is merely an accidental by-product of the date delinking saga.) See the ongoing discussion at Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style_(dates_and_numbers)#Summary_of_the_present_state_of_play_on_YYYY-MM-DD_in_footnotes_.28now_superseded_--_see_next_subsection.29. -- Alarics (talk) 08:06, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

It’s not complex. Do what is common practice in any well-written, English-language publication that is intended to be read by people for whom English is their first language, as well as by those for whom English is their second language: write out the name of the month. Encyclopedia Britannica and World Book are found in libraries throughout the world. Notwithstanding this international readership, these quality publications wisely don’t write out event times like “2008-11-09T17:42.” Even though English-language newspapers are found all over the world, something like 99% of those that subscribe to the Associated Press feed also adhere to the AP’s manual of style, which also calls for writing out the names of months and also provides a short-form list (May, June, Sept. Oct.). If a date is in a citation, use the A.P. short-form (Science Week, Issue 136, Sept. 15, 2006). If it’s a table, consider using fixed three-letter abbreviations. In full-blown body text, write the name of the month completley; everyone understands what “9 November 2008” and “November 9, 2008” means. Moreover, the practice reads very naturally and smoothly without having to count on one’s fingers to find out what month “5” is. Just write ‘em out. That simple. That Wikipedia is *international* does not make it unique. That it is *electronic* doesn’t change a thing. Greg L (talk) 06:12, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

Alarics, you should also note there is strong opposition to your move to depreciate the use of YYYY-MM-DD. It is not hard to see why editors such as Anomie are suspicious of anything that comes out of MOSNUM.

To answer the original question, either is acceptable, it's your choice. wjematherbigissue 08:26, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

There is a certain amount of opposition, yes. There is also quite a lot of strong support, especially if we confine ourselves (as I am trying to get people to do) to talking about YYYY-MM-DD in footnotes (as opposed to tables, etc.). -- Alarics (talk) 13:08, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but in my experience, anything changed purely because of "strong support" at MOSNUM inevitably leads to backlash from the vast majority of editors who don't follow these discussions (c.f. date delinking debate 4Q 2008). Dabomb87 (talk) 13:49, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
  • In my experience, articles often have more than one date format, even if WP:MOSNUM is applied in the body. Although WP:MOSNUM requires date formats to be uniform in the reference section (same goes for the body), I find that in more than 50% of cases, there is a mixture of dd mmm yyyy and yyyy-mm-dd formats (or mmm dd yyyy and yyyy-mm-dd formats) in the reference section where there is one. If there is no consensus to deprecate the use of yyyy-mm-dd formats, editors should still at least ensure that all dates in the reference section are uniform. Hotchpotch date formats are an open invitation for some editor to come along and unify them all, to dd mmm yyyy or mmm dd yyyy Ohconfucius (talk) 10:05, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

Accessdates are meta-data. As such they really don't belong on the rendered page at all. We only allow them there because of the vagaries of the web - can you imagine if we cited "J. Bio Phys V 115 pp. 112-8 read 13 September at Stamford Public Library, seat N.13"? I am not sure hiding them completely or making them (part of) alt text is a good idea, but I certainly wouldn't be against it. Who would miss having them on display? Not I! Rich Farmbrough, 12:06, 27 September 2009 (UTC).

Bravo indeed, but whether or not to have access dates, or comment them out if they are there, is a separate discussion. WP:CITE#HOW already recommends commenting them out if the page linked to already has a date; this is the result of a long discussion over some months in 2008, now archived. However, a few people strongly disagree, and a fresh iteration of the argument recently began at Template_talk:Cite_news#Accessdate. -- Alarics (talk) 13:18, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

The references section should use whatever is used in the rest of the article. That is: normal English dates, in whatever country's format is appropriate. No ISO dates, and no magic words, unless we agree to do those for all dates throughout the article. —Noisalt (talk) 16:26, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

RfC now under way[edit]

There is now a page inviting comments on the proposal to deprecate YYYY-MM-DD in footnotes. It is at Wikipedia:Mosnum/proposal_on_YYYY-MM-DD_numerical_dates. -- Alarics (talk) 19:10, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

ad hominem argument NPOV[edit]

Is the following quote from the Chemtrail conspiracy theory considered neutral? It seems to be an application of the ad hominem argument

Patrick Minnis, an atmospheric scientist with NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, is quoted in USA Today as saying that logic is not exactly a real selling point for most chemtrail proponents: "If you try to pin these people down and refute things, it's, 'Well, you're just part of the conspiracy'," he said.

Further discussion at Talk:Chemtrail conspiracy theory#Maintaining NPOV.Smallman12q (talk) 12:02, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Of course it's not neutral. It's a quote from someone who is based in reality stating his opinion. The article must be NPOV. Quotes from experts in the field don't have to be. → ROUX  17:53, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
Wouldn't this be considered {{lopsided}}?Smallman12q (talk) 20:49, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
The phrasing is poor and potentially problematic. It would be more neutral to say something like "Patrick Minnis, an atmospheric scientist with NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, accused the chemtrail proponents of circular logic: "If you try to pin these people down and refute things, it's, 'Well, you're just part of the conspiracy'," Gigs (talk) 22:19, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

(Lack of) Progress on the implementation of flagged protection.[edit]

A little while back now English Wikipedia approved a trial of some configuration changes to allow users to control the default display of recent revisions to anonymous readers using new classes of page protection which delay the display of new edits by anons rather than prohibiting editing like normal forms of protection do. This is described over at Wikipedia:Flagged_protection_and_patrolled_revisions. The Wikimedia technical staff setup a staging wiki to try out the configuration before hitting the switch on English Wikipedia. But the configuration has not been activated there and I have seen further publicly visible progress in spite of multiple inquiries.

I've begun a thread on foundation-l about this. I thought it may be of a more general interest because of the considerable impact to the English Wikipedia. Cheers. --Gmaxwell (talk) 04:22, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

I've noticed the lack of activity - my hope is that the recent update of the software, and resulting bug fixes have occupied the development staff, and we will soon hear that attention can be paid to the FR experiment.
I'll also note that I hope reviewers of the experiment will evaluate separately the Flagged revisions aspect and the Deferred revisions aspects. It is not inconceivable that Flagged revisions will prove to be unworkable or unacceptable, but if that happens, I'd like to see if Deferred revisions could be implemented on its own. I think Deferred revisions would cut down a significant amount of vandalism at very little cost. If FR works, great, but if it doesn't let's not abandon all aspects.--SPhilbrickT 15:05, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
The test is now live. See announcement Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2009-09-28/News_and_notes and test siteSPhilbrickT 20:09, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Rewrite of WP:Naming_conventions[edit]

It has become increasingly obvious that we have some serious confusion when it comes to the various policies and guidelines that tell us how to name articles. There are so many sub-conventions, "carve outs" and exceptions to general WP:Naming conventions policy that it is almost meaningless. In addition, we have several guidelines, originally created to further explain things stated in the policy, that have been edited to the point where they actually contradict the policy and/or each other. I think the only way to resolve this confusion is to conduct a systematic review of the entire policy area... determine where consensus has and has not changed, what should and should not be an exception to the policy... and get rid of contradictions. This is not a task that should be undertaken by a few... broad community involvement is needed. Blueboar (talk) 14:34, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

There's now a fairly concrete proposal for a wording that merges several pages, but as Blueboar says, wide community involvement is to be desired. Please see discussion at WT:Naming conventions#Merge.--Kotniski (talk) 12:28, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
I think Blueboar, as usual, is correct. I do however disagree that a broad community involvement is needed. I think too many cooks in a kitchen would apply to that type of situation. There are those who have their own special niches that they would promote as being special and needing separate rules and exceptions from a general rule. I think a few fair-minded generalists such as Blueboar to hash out the broad rules is what is best. Screw the people who say "well the articles regarding ports need to be different" or "well in NRHP articles we want to do this.." and "articles concerning France should use the French Wikipedia naming convention". I dont know if those specific concerns would come up, but similar ones would. This isnt a democracy. But that's just my twenty cents regarding this proposal. Hope it works out well! (oh, and where's my twenty cents, please?)Camelbinky (talk) 22:12, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Approval for large-scale article creation not working[edit]

It was recently agreed in a discussion here that any large-scale automated or semi-automated article creation task should go through WP:BRFA. Not much seems to have been done to implement this though, and such large-scale article creations as Sasata's recent fungi articles, or Fergananim's very short articles on medieval Irish abbots (currently at articles for deletion) have apparently received no such approval. I was very much in favour of this decision, but I remember some contributors objecting that it would just be another layer of rules that would have no practical effect. Are there any suggestions on how to advertise and implement this decision? Lampman (talk) 16:25, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

I think the flaw is with the idea that a bot can or should create articles, not with the process for approving such a bot. Blueboar (talk) 17:25, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Well Rambot seems to have done OK. Rich Farmbrough, 22:09, 28 September 2009 (UTC).

The Irish abbots are not really large-scale. Rich Farmbrough, 22:08, 28 September 2009 (UTC).

No, but that's the issue here. The general consensus seemed to be that creations between 25-50 articles should demand approval. This was 38 articles. The thing is that for Fergananim this was a lot of work for something that might get deleted. For me it was a lot of work tagging the articles for deletion. If these articles had been vetted beforehand, it would have saved both of us a lot of work (as well as for those of you voting for or against deletion). My point is that if this new regulation had been more widely advertised, then this might not have been necessary. Lampman (talk) 22:31, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Well that's true. Not sure it's a regulation just because we agreed it on village pump though. Guess it should go to Bot Policy, since we are asking BAG to do the work. Rich Farmbrough, 23:16, 28 September 2009 (UTC).
That's another issue. There was an overwhelming consensus that this was a good idea, but no real agreement on who was going to do the job. Lampman (talk) 23:25, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
The abbots weren't all formulaic either. Most of them had substantive content. Only the tail end of the 38 articles were sub-stub. –xenotalk 15:21, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

One idea would be an edit filter to trigger (throttle) a warning message after creating a several new pages in a short period of time. --ThaddeusB (talk) 02:56, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

That would be great if anyone could make something like that. Lampman (talk) 09:15, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Filter requested --ThaddeusB (talk) 16:13, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Personally, I think the creation of stubs by bots is undermining Wikipedia content policies and guidelines because an autobot cannot provide content that demonstrates a topic is notable. I have object to the lack of quality control is a governance issue - see WP:VPP Automated creation of stubs for an earlier discussion. Overall, I think bots are a menace when it comes to article creation and should be stopped. --Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 11:50, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Um, sure a bot can determine notability. For example, all national elected officials are notable so a bot creating stubs for every such elected official in France would clearly only be creating notable stubs. --ThaddeusB (talk) 15:18, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
The bot doesn't determine notability, it is a bot that only makes articles on notable topics. The programmer and the community supporting the bot determine the notability. Wikipedia biological editors have already determined that every species is notable. The determination of notability was made by the taxonomists who described the species as unique and named it. If it wasn't unique and notable it wouldn't be a species. --69.225.5.4 (talk) 18:16, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Note: this "policy" that was decided upon, by the way, isn't in accordance with wikipedia bot policy. Wikipedia bot policy requires a community discussion of the issue, not BAG approval, for a bot. --69.225.5.4 (talk) 18:19, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

...and BAG approval requires community discussion. –xenotalk 18:41, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Xeno, it seems BAG only requires unspecified community input after which BAG will "most likely approve a trial." Community discussion, imo, implies that the community does more than: give input after which the bot is rubber stamped by a single BAG member.
This doesn't appear to protect the content of wikipedia from a badly written article creation bot or automated task but seems to add a layer of bureaucracy without purpose. --69.225.5.4 (talk) 19:35, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
An important part of the abovementioned discussion was that comment should be solicited from the Wikiproject in question. How this will work in practice is another question. Lampman (talk) 22:13, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Formatting of code in complex templates (such as citations)[edit]

In Naomi Klein somebody is changing the code style of citation templates, because he thinks it gets more readable. Although it's obvious that the formatting he uses is bad, he is right that it's hard to read and edit big citation macros. But I'm not sure what is best. Is there some guideline for this? I can't find anything.

As an example, the "inline" formatting that is most commonly used is hard to read:

Bla bla bla bla text text text.<ref>{{cite web |url= http://departmentofculture.ca/video-naomi-klein-at-last-nights-town-hall/|
title= Video: Naomi Klein at last night’s town hall|accessdate=2009-02-17 |author= |date= September 4, 2008 |work= |
publisher= DepartmentOfCulture.ca}}</ref> Bla bla bla bla text text text.

But the vertical layout makes the two parts of text look like they don't aren't in the same paragraph any more:

Bla bla bla bla text text text.<ref>
{{cite web 
 |url= http://departmentofculture.ca/video-naomi-klein-at-last-nights-town-hall/
 |title= Video: Naomi Klein at last night’s town hall
 |accessdate= 2009-02-17
 |author= 
 |date= September 4, 2008 
 |work= 
 |publisher= DepartmentOfCulture.ca
}}</ref> Bla bla bla bla text text text.

The using in question in his edits([14] as one example) uses the vertical layout, but for some reason with one empty line in between each row, which is completely weird. So I'll change that, but to what? Is there a style guide for this, and if not, what do people here prefer in general? Is there a better option? --OpenFuture (talk) 20:09, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

I don't think the blank lines in between is an improvement over either of the two aforementioned options. –xenotalk 20:12, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
You could follow WP:CITESHORT which gets the {{cite xxx}} templates down the bottom and out of the text, which would then have the two ends of <ref></ref> much closer together:
Bla bla bla bla text text text.<ref>[[#refDofCvideo|Video: Naomi Klein at last night’s town hall]]</ref> Bla bla bla bla text text text.

Argentinian copyright and File:Julio_Olarticoechea.jpg[edit]

Article 35 of Argentina's Ley de Propiedad Intelectual (Ley 11.723 (235) del Poder Ejecutivo Nacional) sets the copyright for photographs at twenty years from the date of first publication. The WP pd-license tag Template:PD-AR-Photo says essentially the same thing; however, the corresponding Commons tag, Commons:Template:PD-AR-Photo also requires that the photograph have been created at least twenty-five years ago in order for it to be considered PD, a condition set out in the Berne Convention, Article 7(4). Two questions:

  1. Is it actually the case that both conditions have to have been met?
  2. If a file (for example, File:Julio_Olarticoechea.jpg) must have been created more than twenty (but not necessarily more than twenty-five) years ago, but the uploader provides no information about its date of publication (if indeed it ever was published), how should the file be treated?

--Rrburke(talk) 22:29, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

question about galleries[edit]

i installed a "gallery" in the article Love and Rockets (comics) which has been "deleted"... i just read the policy on Wikipedia:Galleries (#6 fair use) but i think it does not apply to a "gallery" of different books, which is still "fair use" for me...

it means, for an article like Whitney Houston discography, we will never see the cover near the title for every cd?!

thanks in advance for your comment + help kernitou talk 23:44, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

The criteria we normally apply for "fair use" in such situations is "is it replaceable/illustrating critical analysis". In this situation, the images are not illustrating critical analysis (they're a gallery) and they're perfectly replaceable (anything they're being used to demonstrate can be expressed in prose). Image policy is based on US legal principle, and our fair use policy is an attempt to remain within that. We take a stricter line than is probably required by US law, but that's only to make sure we always stay within the boundaries. Note that Wikipedia:Galleries is a failed proposal; it isn't how things work around here. Ironholds (talk) 00:12, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

thanks kernitou talk 05:18, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Restrict creation and capabilities of new accounts[edit]

WP has about 10,000,000 user accounts but only 150,000 active within a one month period. Of the 10 million accounts I suspect that the vast majority have only been used to create one page or used for vandalism. Also, many users are blocked for various reasons. Having an easy process to create an account adds an unnecessary workload to editors (and to the servers to a lesser degree). Since anonymous editors can edit WP there is no reason for the easy creation of an account unless the editor is prepared to help rather than hinder the building of WP. Any edits that an anon editor would want to see happen but cannot do can be outlined on the talk page.

In order to restrict new accounts I propose that:

  1. New users MUST supply an email address in order to be granted an account
  2. New accounts will not become active until after a set time (14 days??). A sort of "cool down" period.
  3. Restrict the capability of new accounts eg. prevent page moves, page creation, editing protected pages etc.
  4. Allow full editing after a given number of good faith edits

Note that my proposal still allows for editing WP by anyone (as an anon) but it restricts the creation of an account. WP should be "the free encyclopedia that anyone who wants to help can edit" and not for the hordes of vandals and others intent on wrecking WP. This proposal will hopefully keep the vandals at bay but not scare off those who help WP (as anons or users). Spending time at Special:NewPages will see that there is merit in this proposal since a large percentage of pages from new accounts are deleted.

An alternative method of reducing editor workload would be to have full implementation of Flagged revisions. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 07:17, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

This goes completely against the encouragement for people to create accounts. It's just like a proposal that IPs shouldn't be allowed to edit (even if it's somewhat the opposite at first glance) and I can't see it ever gaining consensus to happen, if the Foundation would even let it. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 14:11, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
The aim of my proposal is to prevent the encouragement of having an account unless the user is willing to help. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 20:07, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
The main idea behind this proposal would be that new users want to harm wikipedia unless it's proved otherwise. Wikipedia works with a completely opposing conception MBelgrano (talk) 20:26, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
Given the amount of bad faith edits from new users we cannot assume good faith. My proposal still assumes good faith for anons. Note that even though the whole wiki thing is based around assuming good faith there are a multitude of restrictions placed on editing. These have all arisen because not all edits are made in good faith, so various means of protecting WP and reducing editor workload for maintenance have been made. I am proposing another set of policies to help with this. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 20:41, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
It's still punishing those who DO want to act in good faith, and, more to the point, would just serve to enhance WP's already bad reputation of being an elitist group. And what of people who want to make an account to change the default prefs? And what use would supplying an email do? It's easier than anything to get one that isn't used for anything (though I'll grant that most places do force a working email to register accounts). Also, what constitutes "a given number of good faith edits"? If someone makes a bad faith edit are they prevented from ever using that account fully if they haven't gotten the correct amoung of "good" ones? Plus who determines what constitues one? Etc etc etc
One thing to consider and perhaps the very best reason to reject this -- as an IP, many people will not have the same one. Having an account allows one to have all ones edits in one place, have a single talk page, have a user page, and all that good stuff. It's also potentially more private. As it stands NOW, anyone can make an account and edit right away without making ANY IP edits. Your proposal would prevent someone who wants to NOW edit under their own ID -- and may not WANT IP edits -- to have to wait two weeks to starts. That right there is the very antithesis of what WP is all about. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 22:21, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

(outdent)

Replies:

  • As it is new accounts are "punished" since they cannot edit semiprotected pages for four days. Unless we are an admin we are "punished" since we cannot speedy delete, move protected pages, etc.
  • If an editor wants an account to change the default prefs that they can - if they play by the rules.
  • Who is saying WP is elitist? On the contrary it has a reputation for open editing.
  • Supplying an email address it to put off those who remain anonymous so that they can vandalise WP
  • I don't know what a given number of good faith edits would be. 100 maybe?
  • It is easy to determine what a good good faith edit is from a bad bad faith edit. It is the ones in the middle that are a bit grey. Granted it is a judgement call but judgement calls are always being made on WP for deletions, RfAs, content etc
  • Etc etc etc -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 22:29, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
This proposal would overturn just about every meaningful core policy that Wikipedia has had since day one. We assume good faith FIRST, it is not something that has to be earned. Do you also want to assume all people in the real world are guilty of a crime until proven innocent? It is the same idea on a different platform, but the silliness of your proposal sticks out more in my example. Yes vandals exist, yes they will always exist, yes we can do some things differently to limit or possibly even to end all vandalism; but again the same exists for real life crime in the US (or UK or any other democracy) but the costs and loss to our values prohibit us from implimenting those possibilities. The same goes with vandalism on Wikipedia, we have a certain code of ethics and beliefs that the majority of us live by on Wikipedia, they arent the same as the ethics in the real world, but they are the ones we have agreed to on here, and this proposal flies in the face of all we hold dear. To some your idea could be considered the "Patriot Act" of Wikipedia; that's exactly how I would label it if I needed to fight really hard against it. Though really I dont need to because hopefully enough already will fight against I wont have to resort to propoganda. An IP or a newbie is treated as a full-fledged member of our society, "dont bite the newbie" sound familar? We actually give newbies MORE leeway than experienced members because they make mistakes. We have a problem with not having enough editors anyways, lets not make it harder to recruit more.Camelbinky (talk) 22:39, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Controversial Pages, I agree there is a problem, but the ability to edit anonymously is a boon as well when discussing controversial topics. There are politics played out in WP. For instance, I personally would think twice about altering the edits of Admins, or established editiors with a good track record that think as I think. But say you are a great editor, or admin, and you edit say......the abortion page, or climate change page. You may lose credibility based on what you say. Being anonymous is a blessing when voting for a leader, it is also a blessing when disseminating information that is highly controversial.eximo (talk) 03:50, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
    OTOH, if you make an "anonymous" controversial edit you risk some overzealous checkuser deciding to misapply the "potential disruption" clause of WP:CHECKUSER#Grounds for checking if they don't agree with your edit. Anomie 04:22, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Aside from the previous objections I'd just like to point out that when a user creates an account they are separating their edits from other users at their IP address. Thats why we can be much freer with indef blocks for vandalism only accounts than we can with vandalism only IP addresses because the next edit from that IP address could be from a completely different individual.
Also we currently limit certain functions such as rollback, adminship and !voting to registered accounts, so it would be perverse to discourage IP editors from creating accounts.
This proposal requires that an email address be supplied but doesn't specify what we would do with it; I'm assuming the intent is to simply make our currently optional Email compulsory. I'm not sure what if anything that would benefit us, and certainly don't believe it would deter vandals from creating accounts using throwaway email addresses.
Lastly but most seriously our strategy at the moment is to reduce the barriers to entry and encourage more people to edit. I don't see how this would help that strategy. ϢereSpielChequers 16:08, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Accounts used to create one page if that is a good page are great accounts. We block accounts fairly easily and more people are probably creating accounts since we stopped anons doing it. It takes about 2-3 users on Huggle to keep up with newbie vandalism I reckon, and allowing newbie accounts to vandalise then get banned means they spend more time creating accounts and getting past edit filters than they so vandalising. The average quality of the writing on WP articles is so low we desperately need more people who will fix the copy-edit requirements. Rich Farmbrough, 21:05, 28 September 2009 (UTC).

I think this proposal goes in exactly the wrong direction. Its main effects would be (1) to discourage people from bothering to become seriously involved, because of the extra trouble, and (2) to encourage people to continue indefinitely to edit from IP addresses, which makes it less easy to keep track off who is doing what. I really do not see that it would have any significant advantage at all. The requirement to provide an email address is totally pointless, as people would simply create pointless throwaway email addresses: that is what I do when registering on sites that require an email address and I see no reason why they should do so, and that is what I would have done when I registered on Wikipedia had it been a requirement. The idea that this wold be a way to "to restrict new accounts" makes very little sense. JamesBWatson (talk) 09:32, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Requiring some "personal" detail during the registration process (such as sites that request an e-mail and send to it a mail with a link that has to be followed to activate the account and use it) is a legitimate tool but for another intention: it's to make sure that the registration is done by a real human and not a "bot" or some oher automated process. We don't need it anyway, that's not the only way to achieve that goal, the captcha is also useful.
If the idea is to check the "intentions" of the user that's creating an account, requiring an e-mail will not be helpful at all for that. There's nothing we can do to an e-mail direction more than send an e-mail to it, and if a vandal doesn't stop when receiving warnings on his talk page, why would it be different if we send them warnings to their e-mail? Even more, the talk page is public and visible to anyone, and the e-mail is confidential MBelgrano (talk) 12:48, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Meaning of "WP is not Facebook"?[edit]

I posted a link to a Facebook page and it was removed by an editor citing WP:NOTFACEBOOK. To me that policy seems to mean that WP is not to be used for social networking. It doesn't say that it's forbidden to post a link to a Facebook page (under "external links") that is related to the article's topic and may be of interest to readers. It might well be a good idea to have a policy forbidding Facebook links, but that is not what WP:NOTFACEBOOK says. The discussion is at Talk:Moonie (term). Steve Dufour (talk) 23:59, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia should not be used as a WP:Social networking site, or as a vehicle to drive web traffic to some Facebook group page. That is not what we are here for. Cirt (talk) 02:26, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
The policy they ought to have cited would be WP:EL --Cybercobra (talk) 02:35, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, Wikipedia should not be used as a vehicle to drive traffic to any sort of online community, social network, etc. The policy shortcut originally used mentions Facebook by name because it's the largest and best-known example, but that's beside the point; links like that are generally not a proper accompaniment to an encyclopedia article regardless of the URL. I don't see any problem with the removal here. Gavia immer (talk) 02:38, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Thank you, Gavia immer (talk · contribs). :) Cirt (talk) 02:58, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Thanks everyone. I see that there is a policy, just not the one that was cited. It's probably a good policy overall to exclude Facebook links. Steve Dufour (talk) 05:41, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Although I imagine there are cases where Facebook would be directly relevant within a certain context and thus acceptable to link. –Juliancolton | Talk 18:43, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

For the convenience of anyone reading this and wanting to read where this is spelt out, WP:ELNO number 10 is it. JamesBWatson (talk) 09:36, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

BUT as Julian pointed out- there may very well be cases where Facebook may be directly relevant and therefore an acceptable link to put in an "external links" section (but not in the main body of an article, unless the article is somehow about that particular Facebook page). There are always exceptions to the "rules" and that's why we have IAR.Camelbinky (talk) 22:17, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
In this case the article is about how the word "Moonie" is used. The Facebook page was called "I'm a Moonie and I love it." But still I'm not sure if it's important enough to ignore the rule, which is almost always a good rule. Steve Dufour (talk) 06:09, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
Recently I heard in the news about a survey made on facebook about a proposal of killing Obama (yes, it's not a joke). Some blogger found it and warned the authorities, and the survey was closed, the author started to be investigated, the people who voted in it too, etc; and facebook denied endorsing in any way the activities of this guy. So far it's just daily news, but if those news grow and gave shape to something deserving a specific article, we may need to link internal pages of facebook in it. That case would be an example of "NOTFACEBOOK" having to be ignored. MBelgrano (talk) 20:14, 30 September 2009 (UTC) PD: If you don't know what am I talking about, read here

(outdent) I'm generally a believer that myspace and facebook links should be blacklisted. They are not reliable, and they are not professional. These are two criterion that links to any other website would be scrutinized against. However, as JC mentioned, there are always exceptions. Facebook and myspace are not reliable for a BLP. However, if an article-worthy news event surfaces that is centred upon something on myspace or facebook, it may warrant linking to. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 20:27, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

I think it's been agreed that this issue that started this discussion does not have to do with WP:NOTFACEBOOK, but actually with WP:ELNO (#10). In the case MBelgrano is describing, it would be appropriate to include a link to the survey (provided there is a live link to the survey remaining), provided the story receives substantial coverage, and the information in the article comes from the secondary sources and not from the "primary source" of the link itself. Angryapathy (talk) 20:33, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
In all honesty, the "all exceptions" rule aside, I can't think of any situations at all where we'd be using a Facebook link. It certainly isn't reliable for usage as a reliable source, and looks very unprofessional as an external link, as mentioned above. Floydian mentioned "an article-worthy news event centered around Facebook," but I can't think of any sort of occurrence that might fit such a description (and wouldn't be taken straight to AFD); further, even then, we'd undoubtedly use the news site itself, rather than a Facebook link. GlassCobra 23:08, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
There was a case in the last few years concerning a British MP, whose spouse posted the family holiday photos on Facebook. Questions were asked in Parliament about security, and the press had a field day. If such an event were to be covered in WP, then a link to Facebook might be suitable but only as background to the case, not as source data. --Redrose64 (talk) 09:19, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
In my case the mere fact that there is a FB page called "I'm a Moonie and I love it" was interesting information for readers of the article. But still, as I said, I agree with the anti-FB policy. Steve Dufour (talk) 19:10, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

References[edit]

As I understand it , CITESHORT uses a separate reference list and footnote list, meaning the little footnote link goes to the foot notes, and you the manually have to figure out what reference is meant. It's a reasonable idea, but I don't like that, it makes it much harder to use. Also I would have to go through the whole article and redo all the references at once. Phew! :) --OpenFuture (talk) 21:10, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
It does indeed use "a separate reference list and footnote list, meaning the little footnote link goes to the foot notes", but by also using the internal link technique I showed above - note the two instances of refDofCvideo (ie [[#refDofCvideo|Vid ...]] and |ref=refDofCvideo) you don't need to "manually have to figure out what reference is meant". The click on the [1] takes you to the short notes, the relevant one being (in Firefox anyway, with Monobook) highlighted in pale blue. Part of the short note will be a bluelink. Click that, it takes you to the relevant citation which is also highlighted in pale blue. For a working example in a short article, try Abingdon Road Halt railway station --Redrose64 (talk) 22:26, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Ah, right, you click on the [1] and then click on that link and then you get to the reference. OK, better than I thought, but still one confusing click extra. --OpenFuture (talk) 07:18, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
Extra click yes, but try looking at a few featured articles, they mostly have a two-step process to get to the cited source. Their actual wikicode techniques vary though. --Redrose64 (talk) 11:10, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
How about the obvious solution?
Bla bla bla bla text text text.<ref>"[http://departmentofculture.ca/video-naomi-klein-at-last-nights-town-hall/
Video: Naomi Klein at last night’s town hall]." DepartmentOfCulture.ca. September 4, 2008. Retrieved
2009-02-17.</ref> Bla bla bla bla text text text.
Noisalt (talk) 23:41, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Removing citation templates is a bad idea. Maybe instead use the newly installed cite.php features documented here. OrangeDog (talk • edits) 06:38, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
That's it! I knew I had seen that type of technique before. Thanks! --OpenFuture (talk) 07:18, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

To return to the original question. Templates can be in horizontal or vertical format— there is no consensus for one or the other, but use should be consistent within an article. I see no reason for the blank lines in the vertical format. Some believe it is a good practice to remove unused parameters. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 11:21, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

I would suggest it is a function of length and in-line-ness. Having just formatted a significant number of infoboxes done as in-line, but never expecting, for example a {{Citation needed}} to be K&R'd. But yes the new cite system will be a boon. Rich Farmbrough, 04:11, 1 October 2009 (UTC).

We've agreed on a format for Naomi Klein now anyway, and I like it. :-) --OpenFuture (talk) 11:27, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

List-defined references are now supported by {{reflist}} and {{r}}. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 11:33, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
Repeating Gadget's and OrangeMike's point for emphasis. While the "vertical" layout of the citation improves the readability of the citation itself, it is usually embedded in the main text, so the improved readability of the reference ends up adding tot he clutter in the main text. But even the inline citation form (without vertical formatting) drops lots of reference material in the main text, making it hard to read, especially in articles with many references. CiteShort cuts down the mess, but has other problems serious enough that its use is not encouraged (not to mention you cannot mix Citeshort with inline) . While WP:LDR doesn't eliminate non-article text completely , it eliminates it better than any of the other suggestions above. Plus, if you liked the vertical layout format for ease of reading of the reference, you can now use it, as the main part of the reference is down where it belongs, in the Reference section. WP:LDR is only a couple of weeks old, so you may not have heard of it before.--SPhilbrickT 11:53, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
Oh, it's that new? I thought I had seen it before, but maybe I'm mixing it up with some other markup format. :-) It's great anyway. --OpenFuture (talk) 12:07, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Local talk pages for Commons files[edit]

File:Hematoma Feb 07.jpg was moved to Commons last November and the local image deleted, two months after someone had posted a message on its talk page. I just discovered the existence of the talk page and deleted it under G8, since the local image had been deleted. Is this justified? Moreover, if this talk page had been created after the image was moved to Commons, rather than before, would it be speedyable? It seems so to me, since the local image doesn't exist, but I thought that it might be different because the file exists and is usable here. Nyttend (talk) 19:46, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

If it's just one message, and not an ongoing discussion, is should be deleted. But before that, it would be better to explain it to the user that posted that, and tell him how to make again his comment at the talk page of the new location of the file. If it's a discussion between many users, it may be better to move it there yourself, explaining in Commons that the discussion was migrated and related details, and inform that to the users that took part in it.
After those steps, yes, speedy deletion. MBelgrano (talk) 02:48, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

What about using soft redirects to the relevant commons talk pages? --Ron Ritzman (talk) 13:14, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Arbitration Committee code of conduct[edit]

Proposal at Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee code of conduct. Input would be appreciated. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 09:51, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

WP:ATHLETE, WP:GNG, and Minor league baseball players[edit]

Wikiproject Baseball has been having a long long discussion (that has gotten nasty at times, but has become civil once more) over just exactly how minor league baseball players fit into WP:ATHLETE, and when exactly some other form of notability or coverage overrides WP:ATH and justifies an otherwise non-notable player from having an independant article. The discussion can be seen here. Here are a few examples of questions I put in a table in the discussion. We'd love any input you folks have. Staxringold talkcontribs 16:30, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Person Background
Stephen Strasburg #1 overall pick in 2009 Major League Baseball Draft, and Olympics competition. No ML appearances.
Tim Beckham #1 overall pick in 2008 Major League Baseball Draft. No ML appearances.
Drew Carpenter Short ML appearance, otherwise non-notable.
Moonlight Graham Similar to above, one appearance (though outside fictional notability)
Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel No ML appearances but "first" notability as first Indians signed by ML team, also won Indian contest/game show (though that show doesn't yet have an article). In other words, would Jackie Robinson be notable after his signing but before he appeared in an ML game? (perhaps a bad example, since Robinson was a notable Negro Leaguer before that)
Dustin Ackley #2 overall pick in 2009 Major League Baseball Draft. Currently 4/5, 7/10, and 12/20 in the 09 draft have their own article. Notability as a #1 overall pick is one thing, but how deep into the draft are you notable simply for being a high draft pick?
Pat Venditte 1345th overall pick of the 07 draft, 620th pick in 08 draft. Switch pitcher who had specific MiL rule created to deal with him.
I wish these things could be decided by if the person has an interesting life story, documented in reliable sources, not by some kind of WP rules and regualtions. Steve Dufour (talk) 19:13, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
  • The thing is (I learned this process working in Criminal Justice research this past summer) is you have to come at this like a slaughter house or assembly line, a mass-production and bright-line rule that covers a broad range of situations. Otherwise EVERY minor leaguer will become the focus of contentious AfDs with no clear guidance on what to do. Staxringold talkcontribs 19:30, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

The guy with Olympic experience would be automatically notable, as would the the guys with "short ML experience." Otherwise, two significant sources is what it will take to be notable (which is not much)... Checking the specifics, all appear to be notable - failing ATH is never sufficient reason to exclude anyone. --ThaddeusB (talk) 00:16, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Where does "two significant sources" come from? And if we say that it must be understood (hopefully included in the policy itself) that that doesn't mean stats pages, articles on the team or league's website, etc. blackngold29 00:25, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
I see the word "multiple" has been dropped from the GNG - in any case it has always been interpreted as meaning two sources. Current wording: "If a topic has received significant coverage in reliable secondary sources that are independent of the subject, it is presumed to satisfy the inclusion criteria for a stand-alone article." A team web site wouldn't be independent of the subject. A stats page would be considered "routine coverage", as thus not "significant" (by de facto consensus at AfD). --ThaddeusB (talk) 01:18, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia_talk:User_categories#Guideline status, eyeballs needed[edit]

There is an open RFC dealing with the mechanics of policy creation. It needs some input. Wikipedia_talk:User_categories#Guideline status. SchmuckyTheCat (talk) 20:50, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

RfC to increase the default thumbnail size of images[edit]

The issue of the default thumbnail size of 180px has come to a head after many years. All input is welcome. Thanks. Dabomb87 (talk) 01:28, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Not dictionary[edit]

Same article as discussed above but a different policy. Differences of opinion about WP:Not a dictionary came up in Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Moonies. (I voted to keep, BTW.) But does "not a dictionary" mean there should be no articles on the meanings and use of words, or are some words so important that they are exceptions? Steve Dufour (talk) 03:33, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

"In popular culture"[edit]

Isn't it really time that this project grew up beyond letting people add every passing mention of an article subject in a Cartoon network show to an article's "In Popular Culture" section. Shouldn't every "in popular culture" listing require a mention in a secondary source to establish the notability of the reference to the subject. Do we really need to know that Downtown Los Angeles was mentioned in a Family Guy episode? Is that inherently notable without a reliable source commenting on it. And don't get me started on people adding that their favorite pop star has played a concert into every article about a concert venue, despite that these venues host concerts by notable people every day of the week. We should have some specific guidelines to cover these things, I'll help write them if people agree. Rant over. Mfield (Oi!) 04:51, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

No. Deal with it.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 05:09, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
That's rather rude, don't you think, Ohms law? I think a bit of a compromise between the two positions may be in order; it's not necessary to purge every popular culture reference that isn't impeccably sourced, but we should be looking to pare down excessive lists. Not everything referenced in Family Guy needs to be noted as such, but sometimes that reference can be representative of parodies of a particular topic, especially if that representativeness is sourced. Powers T 15:00, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
I knew that this wouldn't work out correctly. The edit summary to the above post is integral to it: "In all seriousness, there are plenty of things to deal with this already. WP:N is the most obvious." I've just added that as a comment after my statement, which is something I was considering doing anyway and should have done. Anyway, my apologies.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 19:05, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
Notability is not about the content of articles, only about topics deserving or not a specific article for them. If Barry White or Buzz Aldrin appear in a Simpsons episode, that can be verified even if no secondary source mentions the whole thing.
This proposal might work if it suggest some working and universal criteria about when to include those references and when not. For example, "Deep space homer" can be mentioned in the article of Buzz Aldrin, but it's of less interest in the articles of the NASA or space exploration, with a too broad relation, or others of very limited influence in the script such as the president, Rambo or the inanimate carbon rod. MBelgrano (talk) 15:04, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
I see the claim that notability is about articles, not content within other articles, a lot, but it's total nonsense. We have policies like WP:NOT and demands for WP:RS-complaint sources and WP:NPOV policy and so forth specifically to demonstrate that something is notable before it can go into ANY article. Merely verefying that something exists/happened does not make it notable. If every article included everything with any possible connection to that topic that could be verified we'd have nothing but long lists of indiscriminate information, which is explicitly prohibited by WP:NOT. And there's also WP:ENC for the people who need a bigger clue. DreamGuy (talk) 16:19, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
IMHO these "pop culture" references are little more than worthless trivia bits and I would rather not see them at all; that said, they do no real harm to the article and I'm not going to get my pants in a twist over their existence. I'm not sure a guideline about them is necessary, as it is the sort of thing that is probably best handled on a case-by-case basis. Shereth 15:22, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Most of the pop culture refs in articles are just mere trivia by people with no clue about how encyclopedias work. It's an unfortunate side effect of being open to editing by everyone and there being so many people who want to edit but who have nothing of any value to add. I am one of many editors who go around removing most of this on sight, but it takes determination to stop the flow. Wikipedia should really have some official response for these situations... like a talk page template encouraging them to head over to wikia.com and go crazy with all that crap they want. It might cut down on repeat drive-by triviacruft. DreamGuy (talk) 15:37, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Good, I am glad I am not the only one that finds the continuous addition of such unreferenced crud annoying. I was really thinking - as DreamGuy suggests - of something that editors can be directed to, either a policy subsection or an essay, that politely explains that we would rather editors focussed their efforts on adding something researched and noteworthy than simply rushing to their computer after every cartoon/daily show/colbert episode and adding stuff that becomes less than irrelevant only 10 mins later. It may also help with the undue weight that gets afforded to every pop culture mention. Mfield (Oi!) 15:59, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
The problem is there's not always a obvious line between what is and what isn't appropirate. But one of the reasons it happens is that people say "hey, here's an easy way to comtribute". I for one often find them interesting, and for years have wondered why there was never a WikiTrivia (akin to Wikiquote)to hep trim the fat without losing it -- which has been proposed a number of times but as far as I know never happened. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 16:20, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
I fully agree with Mfield and DreamGuy. There is way too much superficial short-term claptrap about "celebrities" on Wikipedia. It seems to me absurd that there are articles about individual pop records that most people have never heard of and which will be forgotten in no time, while there are still university professors with no article. Let us at least plead for the right to wipe serious articles clean of so-called popular culture trivia. -- Alarics (talk) 16:39, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
I find the phrase "nothing of any value to add" to be insulting towards those editors who contribute to articles by adding or editing popular culture references. Surely the "sum of human knowledge" necessarily includes pop culture references? I suggest the problem here is not that editors are helpfully adding information, but that certain elitist factions are bent on keeping that information out of Wikipedia. Perhaps a project like Citizendium would be more appropriate for editors who feel that each and every mention in a child's cartoon or song title shouldn't be included in an article about scholarly subjects. There is also an implicit suggestion in these perennial discussions that those who add such material are feeble-minded or children. Again, I feel this is insulting. I would point to the activity levels of Wikipedia:WikiProject Pokémon or Wikipedia:WikiProject Professional wrestling to show how important these editors are to the project. I am deeply disturbed that there is a taste for disenfranchising any editor based on age, skill, or interests - WP:ABOUT specifically states that articles are open to be edited by "people of all ages and cultural and social backgrounds". When will the elitists learn that if the average person is more interested in Family Guy than Abraham Lincoln, they should expect (and welcome) that as long as there are no restrictions on editing that there are more edits involving Family Guy than Abraham Lincoln? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 16:50, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
It's all about aspirations. Are we setting out to create an encyclopedia that is credible and concise enough to read, or one that values the inclusion of every minutiae to the point that it becomes impossible to separate what's important and what's not. Further, if you want to encourage the advancement of knowledge, you encourage people to focus on what is important and challenging, not on what is easy. The easy route may get people involved and interested but to move on you need to focus and apply. Education needs to involve some elitism to an extent; if the goal is for everyone to be better educated then the better educated people need to be leading the less educated ones in the right direction. No one is mocking people who want to build the world's largest collection of pop culture references, if that is what makes them happy at this point in their lives, and no one is suggesting that they cannot create articles that apply to their area of interest. That doesn't mean we shouldn't all have a grander plan that involves looking further than that, one where we don't allow heavier topics to get watered down by adding information to them that is not important. It's about locating the information according to its merit. Mfield (Oi!) 17:22, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
The goal of the project, and hence our aspiration, is to compile "the sum of all human knowledge". That goal necessarily includes pop culture references. If that is not the goal you are working toward, perhaps you should examine your involvement here. I find the use of phrases like "better educated" and "less educated" sets up a false opposition between those with a formal education and those whose knowledge is of a more observational nature. Who are we to say that knowledge of history or science is more valuable than knowledge of television programmes or television stations? Suggesting that some few editors know better then the majority is chauvinistic, elitist, and, frankly, patronizing. This attitude is antithetical to the populous nature and aims of Wikipedia. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 19:23, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
Well I am certainly glad that you feel able to speak for the whole project and tell me to examine my involvement. That is the most arrogant and patronizing thing that has been said in this entire thread. The rest of us are having a discussion yet you seem to have made up your mind and decided to invite anyone that disagrees with you to leave. To say that some editors know more, or may be better informed than others, is not chauvenistic or elitist; it is realistic. We are not living in some imagined dream world where knowledge is handed out equally to all at birth. Learning ability and knowledge is something that people work very hard to improve on, for themselves and the rest of humanity. Man didn't set foot on the moon because of millions of people going about their daily lives, it happened because a small percentage of very talented, hard working and highly educated people worked to make it happen. It didn't happen because they concerned themselves with whether or not a cow had jumped over the moon in popular culture. That's the real world and that is something that those of us that have spent a number of decades living, working and being educated in and by this world understand. To suggest that all that is needed is participation and that knowledge will follow is to invite mediocrity, the sum of all knowledge will increase faster by concentrating on adding in the most significant chunks. Mfield (Oi!) 19:48, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
This is an interesting reply, because it seems that you're now feeling the same sting of criticism which you were leveling at others when you began this thread. People can easily recognize the ephemeral pop culture references which are often added to articles, and are intelligent enough not to give them the same weight as actual science or history. Actively fighting against the addition of such content isn't something that is particularly useful to the encyclopedia, or at all effective. The biggest issue is that in the vast majority of cases where transient pop culture references are added to an article, the people adding it are not going to be aware of, let alone responsive to, suggestions that they shouldn't be attempting to help out in their own way. Don't try to fight the tides. My suggestion is to put all of this energy to productive use instead, and start or continue developing articles about "more important" topics rather then railing about the behavior of others.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 20:44, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
Mfield, I am not in a position to speak for the whole project. I merely reminded you of the goal of the project and suggested that if you felt as you do that perhaps you should examine your participation. It is clear from your reply that you do not agree with the project's goal. You seek to exclude certain content based on your elitist criteria and you started this thread in order to find ways to discourage users from participating if they do not meet your idea of what should be included, yet you believe I am the one to "invite anyone that disagrees with you to leave". Your comments about knowledge being handed out at birth have a disturbing similarity to the tone of Eugenics, but I'm sure that isn't what you meant. Wikipedia is "The Encyclopedia That Anyone Can Edit" and there is no room here for chauvinistic sentiments which serve to create two classes of editors. Anyone means anyone and the sum of all human knowledge means all human knowledge. If that means that every article on Wikipedia ends up with a section entitled Simpsons references then so be it. To suggest otherwise is not congruent with the goals and aims of the project and unwelcome here. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 21:28, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
No, you are twisting what I am saying. I will not even rise to your allusion to my advocating Eugenics, you know that is not what I was talking about and I stand by the fact that some people are born with a greater ability for learning than others. Every brain is different and that statement of fact doesn't make judgement. But back to the actual topic of discussion. If you re read my original post, I was merely proposing (in language that you evidently found provocative), that maybe we should have some guideline that covers the notability of popular culture references. I.e. that perhaps they must be backed by a mention from a secondary reliable source for them to be appropriate for inclusion in the article of the subject of the reference. I never suggested that editors seeking to insert such material were second class human beings or any of the other assertions you have made whilst side stepping my point. It is certainly clear that we get a lot of drive by adding of such unsupported material, and it may as such be handy to have some sort of community consensus on the matter laid out where editors could be directed to explain specifically what concerns there might be abut the material they are inserting. I would have thought that Village Pump (policy) was the place to have a such discussion about such a proposal and would expect that such a discussion could be had without a bunch of reactionary distraction. Maybe I should have known better, but a number of other editors have commented sensibly in this thread without feeling need to express their mock outrage in edit summaries and jump directly to suggesting an established editor is at odds with the entire project. Mfield (Oi!) 22:11, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
I'm glad you have finally realized that my outrage is not real. Neither is my hyperbole here. The link to The Marching Morons should have been a dead giveaway, but perhaps I wasn't over-the-top enough. That said, Wikipedia is what it is and no matter how annoying you -- and I -- find the needless insertion of pop culture trivia, it really is part of the project and I suspect that any attempt to exclude it will fail miserably. Best of luck. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 23:22, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
It is nearly impossible to be facetious on Wikipedia. There's pretty much no line of argumentation that would be over the top enough to pull it off, since some pretty extreme arguments get put forward every day in seriousness. Gigs (talk) 21:24, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
You have to reconcile the goal of the project with WP:INDISCRIMINATE. --King Öomie 19:30, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
Knowledge of science and history can rebuild a culture after a disaster. Knowing how many Simpsons episodes Sideshow Bob appeared in won't do you much good while your city's getting flooded. Of course some knowledge is more valuable than other, and I'm embarrassed at how far to the wrong side I lean. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 19:35, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
(EC) You're conflating two issues there: articles on pop culture subjects and pop culture trivia finding its way into articles on other subjects. Restricting articles on pop record albums would not cause more professor articles to be created. Anyway, I wouldn't denigrate articles on pop culture generally. The line between so-called high and low culture is not a clear or objective one, and due to pop culture's pervasiveness, if nothing else, Wikipedia has an obligation to document it. The trick is to do it from a serious, academic perspective rather than as a fanboy. Postdlf (talk) 16:57, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

The question should always be whether the reference actually tells you something about the subject beyond "this was mentioned here." At its worst, it's almost like reverse annotations—explaining every one-off reference in a song, TV episode, etc. by listing those references in articles on what is referenced rather than in the article on the TV episode. Empire State Building would be seriously lacking without a description of its iconic use in King Kong. But listing every television show or video game where it can be seen in the background is completely useless. That's the issue with such widely-known landmarks—they're shown in so many creative works because they provide a quick and easy way to establish location. Listing all of those in the article on the landmark itself serves no purpose.

Nothing I've seen so far can top this as a contender for most useless pop culture reference ever added to an article. Postdlf (talk) 16:38, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

  • http://xkcd.com/446/ --King Öomie 19:39, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
    • Another user, who has since retired and I attempted to reform the inclusion of every single person ever born or lived for a short-while in a city in the "notable persons" category. This is very similar. We didnt have any luck, and I have always assumed it may have had something to do with the editor's leaving, though I probably am wrong. The various proposals and compromises he and I attempted on it failed to sway those who want inclusion of every bit of arcane knowledge. There is a place for the inclusion of how a certain place gets unusual attention in cartoons or tv shows, especially if it is a small place, but in my opinion it should be a prose paragraph mentioning that fact and not a list of every episode it is ever mentioned on and the context (see- Albany, New York for an example of what not to do). There is a real-life town that claims to be the "future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk", that is obviously a pop-culture reference that deserves encyclopedic inclusion. Not everything in an encyclopedia needs to have some sort of ability to help rebuild the world after a disaster, that's not the point or use of an encyclopedia, especially not one that is internet based (if the world is full of giant killer cockroaches and radiation are you planning on going onto the internet and reading on Wikipedia how to build a hydroelectric dam or are you just going to get in your military vehicle and drive to Albany, NY? That's a Damnation Alley movie reference BTW). Plus Wikipedia is also a gazetteer, and pop-culture references may be of use in such a fashion. As with everything on Wikipedia some sort of compromise and common sense needs to be applied on each pop-culture reference within a consensus reached framework on how to present it and vague guidelines on what should be accepted (and of course we should always allow exceptions that may be found). Perhaps someone would like to help draft a proposal on such a guideline concerning pop culture? The Village Pump (proposals) archive probably has the discussion regarding notable persons and a read through of that may help identify what pitfalls led to that proposal's demise.Camelbinky (talk) 22:28, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
      • Delicious carbuncle says "Who are we to say that knowledge of history or science is more valuable than knowledge of television programmes or television stations?" If somebody isn't saying that - or, at least, that knowledge of history or science is more valuable than knowledge of some transient, talent-free, airhead "entertainer" - then we are all doomed as a civilisation. WP is supposed to be an encyclopaedia, not a dumbed-down tabloid celebrity-fest. There are more than enough of those already. -- Alarics (talk) 22:28, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
        • Specialist encyclopaedias of popular culture exist. Wikipedia is intended both as a general and as a specialist encyclopaedia. This is basic Wikipedia:Five Pillars stuff, note. Uncle G (talk) 22:52, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
          • We are all doomed as a civilisation, the question is not if it will meet its end but when. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 23:25, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Is it time to point to User:Uncle G/Cargo cult encyclopaedia article writing and User:Uncle G/On the discrimination of what is indiscriminate again, so soon? Uncle G (talk) 22:52, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Probably not Uncle G because 1- they arent even Wikipedia essays, they are ditribes written by you on your talk space; 2- not well researched or written; 3- the very fact that most of the articles you list in the cargo cult diatribe still exist and survived their AfDs contradict your "theory" and the fact that they some of them are actually quite interesting, well-written, and of a sound and notable topic, listing them does more harm than good (perhaps you shouldnt have bluelinked them so people could see they existed and check them out..) Someone needs to read the five pillars again and what Wikipedia is and is not along with the many other consensus decisions on what we allow. We are more than just an encyclopedia, we are also a gazetteer for one, and yes, we are about ALL knowledge, not just history and science, it includes pop culture and yes even famous porn stars (Tory Lane is my favorite, though someone should research and write an article on Madison Scott...) Knowledge is not discriminatory, pop culture has its place. Try winning Trivial Pursuit, Jeopardy!, The Weakest Link, or Who wants to be a millionaire? without knowing any pop culture. Encyclopedias have always had articles on art, dance, music, architecture, amongst other things (include an article on pornography) for a loooooooooong time, including modern variations of those things, including pop culture. We are online, we have unlimited space (theoretical) we are not paper applies especially in this topic, we are not limited on space, we are not limited on topic (as long as its notable). We are the repositors of all knowledge. We are Sparta! Oh, wait no...scratch that last one.Camelbinky (talk) 00:15, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't say this often, but shame on you. You've not only missed entirely the point of his "cargo cult diatribe," as you called it, but you fail to give credit when credit is due, and you've outed yourself as someone who jumps to comment and insult without having carefully read what you're supposed to be commenting about. None of the surviving articles listed by Uncle G were in their current state at the time of their AFDs, but rather were just undigested lists of occurrences, which as his essay rightfully states, does not constitute an article. In fact, had you looked at the articles he mentions and checked their edit history, you would see that Uncle G was the one who fixed many of them, writing actual content and providing sources, thus ensuring that they survived deletion. So you've insulted someone who actually accomplished, on numerous occasions, what you were purporting to support.
You've also missed his broader point that the problem is with how Wikipedia covers pop culture topics, not with the mere fact that Wikipedia covers pop culture. Articles that merely regurgitate bits of pop culture and list it without any synthesis, without any reference to how secondary sources have addressed it, are not about it in any meaningful way and fail to cohere as articles. Postdlf (talk) 03:25, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
I wasn't going to say anything, but that's par for the course with Camelbinky. Regardless, I personally still have an issue with this, even considering Uncle G's well thought out (rooted in personal experience) essays. I'm perfectly willing to accept the fect that I view this through my own ideological rose colored glasses, but this whole topic primarily illustrates the fundamentally broken and arbitrary nature of our deletion system. I don't think that it should be permanent, but I'm all for placing a moratorium on deletion, removing "speedy deletion" altogether, and leghtening and making the deletion process generally more difficult (with the absolutely intent of making it's use much rarer). I'm completely realistic about the possibility of that happening so I don't mention it often, but this seems to be a solid example of the reasons behind my view. The fact is that there are many problem articles out there, but rather then actually doing work to fix them people (predictably) take the easy route and seek deletion. Uncle G and others actually take the time to do work and save articles, and there are people who actively fight against their efforts. This is not helpful to the project.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 07:59, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
Here's an egregious example: Albert_Schweitzer#References_in_popular_culture. -- Alarics (talk) 07:26, 26 September 2009 (UTC) Update: someone else has now deleted it. Good! -- Alarics (talk) 14:11, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

God, can't we focus on content instead of squabbling? Let's try a few examples, to see if we can figure a rough guideline - I doubt of bright line is possible:

  • Mention of Jurassic Park (film) in a "Popular culture" section of Chaos theory. I'd suggest Jurassic Park (film) should be included in a "Popular culture" section of Chaos theory, as it's probably the most widely-known presentation of the unpredictable complexity of natural systems. If the presentation in Jurassic Park (film) is flawed, we'd be doing a service to readers by pointing this out. Likewise I'd be happy to see Jurassic Park (film) in Velociraptor, including correction of any miscponceptions.
  • I'm less sure about mentions of The Simpsons in articles about various celebs who've guest-starred in these toons, because so many have appeared that guesting in The Simpsons stopped being much of a distinction long ago.
  • I'd be happy see "We'd Like To Thank You, Herbert Hoover" from Annie (film' appear Herbert Hoover, becuase that sums up the popualr of Hoover's presidency. Again if the presention contains misconceptions, I'd hope our artciles would point them out.
  • And if it's just some temporary bit of merchandising, forget it.

These are just examples of the top of my head. I suggest other contribute examples and then we have a decent range we try try ranking them and then which fails passes the cut. --Philcha (talk) 09:03, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

The thing is, myself (and I think others) are against new guidance here. It's just not something that is needed or can ever be effective. The best statement that could be made is that these issues should be considered on a case by case basis.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 09:08, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
You should always feel free to delete crappy material from Wikipedia. The example you gave above, "that Downtown Los Angeles was mentioned in a Family Guy episode". is an excellent example. That has nothing to do with "notability", but with article quality and verifiability. The Trivia sections guideline outlines what to do about trivia. The complete nonsense you describe (and in practice all or most of nearly every trivia section currently on Wikipedia) can simply be removed. In many cases they will come back in due course, and then they can be removed again. They are best thought of as temporary sections. --TS 11:32, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
"Par the course for Camelbinky"? Who's insulting who now? And insinuating I dont go around improving articles but Uncle G does? Check my user page I have listed the articles that I am most proud of to have been involved in, check the edit history of Capital District and see what it used to look like before I rewrote it and what it looks like now, check out Port of Albany-Rensselaer an article that except for the photos and minor copy-edit is entirely my doing from creation to today, it is a GA article. I am cofounder of the NY Capital District Wikiproject as well. Ohm's Law the reason we dont get along is that, as with your original response to this thread, you are the one that jumps on to throwing out entire discussions and try to end them when they begin, this thread is another example of one where others had to jump in and say "lets have a discussion, there is merit", I've had to do that to you before on many occasions where you have tried to swat away a question or you closed out an entire discussion prematurely. I never personally attacked Uncle G, I attacked his premise and his mentioning of a user space self-written "essay" that had never been moved to Wikipedia-space as it should if it is so useful to some. My opinion is just that, and this is the Village Pump where opinions are expressed freely. Attacking someone's opinions and positions is what debating is about. Ohm's Law, as you have alot in the past, attacked me personally and got involved in what did not involve you, I dont believe I mentioned anyone's name other than Uncle G and I simply put forth what I believed to be wrong with his "essays" and I still believe it was extremely arrogant and self-centered of him to put them out in that manner as if they were binding policies, perhaps Uncle G in the future would like to state it in this manner "at .... I have written an essay that may be of some use in some insights, I think I laid out some good points that are relevant". His manner was wrong. But of course Ohm's Law fails to recognize that and always jumps on me when I call out others. I guess jealosy happens when my position normally wins the day in discussions we are in on noticeboard threads that you close out prematurely and often. I ask that you stop this fascination you have with trying to call me out on every discussion we are involved in, I dont go after you, I only mention your name when after you call me out.Camelbinky (talk) 20:36, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
Best to ignore pointless insults I find. Anyway, we really don't need a guideline for every specific way an article can be improved before anyone can make those improvements. If there's a problem with an article, fix it. If someone disagrees, discuss it. WP:BRD. OrangeDog (talk • edits) 23:29, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Fiction is not a topic of less worth than others. By it's nature it must be handled with care, to avoid mixing fiction and reality, but that's it. And "popular culture" of today will be classical stuff of tomorrow, as classical stuff of today was "popular culture" of it's time.

Having said that, I notice there's a problem in some of the links provided, but the real problem is not fiction or popular culture: it's the degree of detail that articles should have, and how to keep them well focused on their topic. It would be a bad idea to mention all the times the White House has appeared on movies, TV shows or whatever (either as a location of a story or as a background building), as it would be to mention all the real events, ceremonies, rulings and whatever that took place inside it's walls (even if all real and "scholary"). Perhaps the thread should be restarted from that angle, popular culture is not the real issue but just a manifestation of it, and it tends to polarize opinions of users. MBelgrano (talk) 01:35, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

The real problem is that that information should only be given to people who want it. The films that use Carmina Burana in their soundtrack may have it noted, it should then be simple a simple extension of intersecting "what links here" and "category:films" (or more smartly). Rich Farmbrough, 12:11, 27 September 2009 (UTC).

My take on pop culture references (and for purposes of discussion, say work X is "referenced" in work Y) is that:

  • If it is impossible to briefly summarize work Y without mentioning X, then it is necessary to mention in X that it was referenced in Y. (best example is "Make Love Not Warcraft" South Park episode since you can't separate the two. (Obviously, Y will note the link back to X in its description)
  • If a strong reliable source(s) notes that X is referenced in Y, even if it is not necessary in the summary of work Y, then it should be mentioned. I always prefer the method that we list out in X what it appears in rather than listing out what works are referenced in work Y.

Any other use is frivolous and engages in OR. This allows for some "in pop culture" sections, but keeps them trimmed to what is appropriate for an encyclopedia. --MASEM (t) 14:00, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

Stating that X appeared in Simpsons episode Y is not original research. See, for example, Wikipedia:These are not original research#Works of fiction. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 18:55, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
I didn't mean to imply that any statement of "X appears in Y" is automatically OR. However, "in pop culture" sections can often generate OR when the connection is not as obvious (as when there's homages or parody scenes). That's why limiting such sections when it is impossible to avoid the issue or if its sourced helps to avoid the weaker claims and prevents these from becoming excessively indiscriminate. --MASEM (t) 19:07, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

Actually... Couldn't WP:UNDUE apply in this case? In a sense, different aspects of the subject of the article (including popular culture references) might not be that different from points of view... --Martynas Patasius (talk) 22:32, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

"In popular culture" really means "I just saw this thing I didn't know about mentioned on TV and I looked it up on wikipedia, let me document this momentous event for future generations!" Gigs (talk) 21:29, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
The solution to uneven coverage is to make the more substantial sections of the articles fuller and better. That some parodies may need sourcing to show they are parodies doesn't mean that the obvious, if supported by specific quotations , needs such sourcing. From an admittedly academic POV, every possible reference to a cultural artifact in later works is significant, as showing the popular (or cult) knowledge of it, and the use of it as a symbol. Wikipedia has in its population of editors a unique opportunity to assembly this material--and it's just assemble, not SYN--the discussion of why the examples indicate, that would be SYN or OR, and need secondary sourcing. From the point of view of an ordinary user (not a negligible POV, I'd say) that they might come to a comprehensive encyclopedia to discover the source of something in a film or whatever that they half remember or do not understand and that is very much within our remit. So if everyone from the scholars to the least scholarly can use the material, in what way is it worthless or of low importance? The only POV that would want to omit it is the POV that says that we must look like an old-fashioned Brittanica and cover only the things that students 50 years ago would have been permitted to write term papers about. DGG ( talk ) 20:10, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I do not see why that information is ueless. It illustrates that at a particular time
I'm not sure I understand you correctly... Are you saying that a reader is going to remember something he saw referenced in some work of art and look at the article about the subject searching for facts about its portrayal in the same work of art? Are you sure it happens that often? Wouldn't the reader be more likely to look to the article about the subject to see what it is supposed to be "in real life" (to find out how its portrayal differs from the reality)? After all, someone who already remembers that subject X is mentioned in work of art Y is not going to find another mention of this same fact very useful, right? And if the reader wants to find out something about the work of art - isn't that what the article about that work of art is for? Isn't it going to be the correct place for such references too (in many cases)? Thus, wouldn't it be better to concentrate on what a different reader (who is not familiar with the work of art in question) would like to learn? What is going to be "signal" to such a reader and what is going to be "noise"? I'd guess that such a reader would be interested in some references, but not in others. But which are going to be which? While we do not seem to have an easy way to find out directly, can't we try to do what we do in case of POVs - check the reliable sources that describe the subject of the article and see if they tend to mention the work of art in question? Wouldn't that approximate the wishes of the readers reasonably well? --Martynas Patasius (talk) 23:56, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
Well, that's true, popular culture references that had a significant impact on the usage or popularity of a concept or term should definitely be included. Not all popular culture references are created equal. One-time use of a term or concept in a joke in a TV sitcom... probably not worth mentioning. A massively popular and long running sitcom catch phrase that uses the concept in question, on the other hand, probably worth mentioning. Gigs (talk) 00:34, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Of course there is already an essay that deals excellently with this topic. WP:IPC says ""In popular culture" sections should be carefully maintained and contain sourced examples demonstrating a subject's cultural significance." I don't think it can be summarised any better then that, and I hope nobody disagrees with that statement. Lampman (talk) 12:01, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

The problem is the guideline is the watered down WP:TRIVIA, and WP:IPC dilutes its good advice with weaselly words (some editors believe). Merge the good bits of WP:IPC into WP:TRIVIA and we might have this debate a little less often. Gigs (talk) 14:48, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
I think the essay is as good as anything we can hope for, and wouldn't mind seeing it promoted to a guideline. But apparently that's been discussed before. Lampman (talk) 15:50, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
To be honest, and as the OP, I have never seen that essay (WP:IPC) so thanks for pointing it out. It's not one that I have ever seen referenced so i am guessing there's a lot of other people that didn't know it existed either. I think it could use some rewording as Gigs notes and I still think that we should look to make some kind of policy on this whether it defines our mission or just clarifies the nuts and bolts of it. Mfield (Oi!) 04:52, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
I just came across this absolute beauty. Thanks to Itchy and Scratchy, I now understand the cultural significance of the phrase "mazel tov". Something should definitely be done to end the madness. Lampman (talk) 15:30, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

I believe it's high time we made WP:IPC a guideline, and the arguments against it I've seen above haven't really impressed me at all. Here's how I'd categorise them:

  1. Anything goes. There seems to be this idea that any trivia on popular culture should be allowed on any page. This doesn't even deserve a counter argument, as it's so blatantly against the most basic WP policies. WP:NOT says clearly that Wikipedia is not "Lists or repositories of loosely associated topics", and that's not a guideline, but a policy.
  2. There's no point, cause it will never be implemented completely. Perhaps not, but Wikipedia is a work in progress, and we should always be striving towards perfection.
  3. It's useful. First of all, that's not a valid argument, as explained here. Secondly, I don't see how it is useful. If you first learn about Leonardo da Vinci on The Simpsons, then that's great. But do you really need Wikipedia to tell you that you heard about Leonardo da Vinci on The Simpsons? You already know that. At this point you would want to know the basic, encyclopaedic facts about him.

We need to put WP:IPC into guideline form fast. The absolute purists among us may not agree with the wording of this essay, but I think it's the best we'll be able to pass at the moment. The reason why it's important, is that if anyone gets into an edit war over the usefulness of popular culture trivia in an article; then being able to point to a guideline will really help their cause. I suggest we take this to the WP:IPC page, and try to gain consensus for creating a new guideline. Lampman (talk) 02:19, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

I am not a popular culture fan, plus I hate lists and think everything should be prose unless absolutely necessary to have a list, especailly trivia lists. BUT I am completely utterly scared shitless by the proposal directly above that there must be a guideline, and one made "fast", referencing "purists" and wanting it to be a guidelines so that editors in an edit war can reference it to help their "cause". We dont need new guidelines to help those who go around quoting rules, we should be discouraging the use of guidelines in such a manner. Consensus rules the day, there is no guideline or policy that is more important than doing something that HELPS and IMPROVES Wikipedia as an encyclopedia, that is the heart and soul of IAR and we dont want another guideline that "purists" can go around quoting and then refusing to even listen to the other side because they now have a "rule" on their side. Let consensus rule the day at each instance of pop culture lists, and if your side is truly right you will prevail using common sense and proper debating tactics and skill, you dont need to quote a rule, especially not one that was fast-tracked just so you can quote it.Camelbinky (talk) 02:34, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Wow, there's a lot of quotation marks there. The whole point here is that WP:IPC simply summarises existing policies and guidelines (WP:NOT, WP:TRIVIA, etc.), and as such would help clarify matters for editors. If you read my post again, you'll see that I'm not advocating the "purists", but rather trying to find a compromise between the hard-line anti- and pro-IPC editors. Lampman (talk) 02:48, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

There's an essay floating around about how some articles simply don't need to link to others, more or less because of WP:WEIGHT, and about what I'm going to say.

If say, I take the article Oregon, and I want to link it to the city I call my home (away from school), that would be giving my quite small city, which is relatively unimportant to the overall topic of the state of Oregon, unneeded weight in 'Oregon'. It's (might be) alright, however, to link to Oregon from Forest Grove, because Forest Grove is in Oregon and is part of Oregon's topic.

This can be applied to the ordinary case of trivia/popular culture, easily. Say we have random Simpsons episode #XYZ. This Simpsons episode may make reference to A place, B person, and C meme. These things, however, aren't relevant to that A place, B person, or C meme as wholes, but they might be relevant to Simpsons episode article. In that case, we then need to judge the referencing available for this connection, so that we can avoid original research. If the referencing is poor for the connection, simply put, the information should be removed. If not, then it should still be up to the individual article contributors. If they think it's worthy of inclusion in the Simpsons article and that it has the right context, then they have the power to include it. If they don't think it is worthy of inclusion, then we default again to the case of removal.

That's basically what our guidelines say, too. --Izno (talk) 05:30, 4 October 2009 (UTC)